Imagine you had a friend who was a fan of the President, but did not know him. Every time your friend read or heard something the President said they name dropped.
What would you think of your friend? A little pretentious maybe? Definitely annoying. Now, imagine your friend name dropping in the presence of the President. Foolishness has just been elevated to flat out disrespect. Any person in a position of authority deserves to be honored according to their position. When they are referred to, introduced, or spoken to a title should be used.
I know my senior pastor well enough to call him by his first name privately; however, in public I refer to him as Pastor Alex. This is a level of respect he is due according to his position, whether he expects it or not.
Romans 13:7 instructs us to honor those to whom honor is due. If anyone had the privilege to use the Father’s names it was our Savior, yet the Lord most often referred to God by title rather than name. This wasn’t done out of fear, but out of love and respect. If men deserve a certain… Continue reading
In Matthew 7:1-5 Jesus speaks about judging others. The passage begins “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” (NASB) I have often heard people refer to this passage (incorrectly) by saying “You can’t judge me!” or “Only God can judge me!” Nothing could be further from the truth or the intent of the passage.
It is the duty of parents, pastors, and other leaders to judge those they are responsible for. In 1 Cor 5:3 Paul wrote “For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present.” We know that God cannot contradict Himself, so there is obviously an appropriate way to use judgement.
I think you could paraphrase Matt 7:1-5 like this: “Stop gossiping and tend to your own morality and growth then, in time, you will be qualified to help a struggling brother or sister deal with their moral issues.
We are supposed to use judgement when it is appropriate, and when we do make judgements our goal should always be to edify someone, never to tear them down, belittle them, or make ourselves feel superior.
Last night I had a vivid dream that has me thinking about the last days. In this dream I was cleaning a church after a service when the church began to fill again. It was an odd church that was built into a cavern deep beneath the earth.
I saw the leaders of many churches begin to gather and take seats in the congregation. It was obvious that something very serious was about to happen when I saw the pastor who was to lead the service step out of the sanctuary.
As people found their seats I understood what was about to happen. This was the last day of the world as I knew it. There was about to be an altar call heard around the world. A call to unbelievers both in the church and in the world to decide whether they would serve their own interests or the interests of God.
The sanctuary grew silent and the service was ready to begin, but the pastor had not returned. I left the sanctuary to find the pastor. Perhaps I could help him prepare or take care of whatever was keeping him occupied.
I found the pastor kneeling outside the… Continue reading
How often have you heard someone justify their worldly ways by claiming the church is evil and they maintain their spiritual life on their own? While this may be possible (in some extreme circumstance) it is highly unlikely.
In scripture, the church is referred to as sheep and God has chosen these references very carefully. Consider the symbolism. Sheep are communal creatures and congregate in flocks. Sheep are never alone by their own choosing. They prefer the safety of a group and to associate with their own kind. A sheep that wanders away from the flock in search of food becomes vulnerable to predators. In fact, a predator will try to cut a sheep out of the flock before devouring it.
Believers are also not meant to survive alone. We are meant to congregate together and to support and edify one another. When a believer becomes separated from the flock it allows the enemy the opportunity to challenge his or her faith. In time the majority of lone believers will succumb to the ways of the flesh and distance themselves from God.
The primary reason people begin to move away from the church is to avoid confronting some sort of… Continue reading
People will try to mold you into who they think you should be based on their opinion about you or your what you have done. Don’t let your past or the opinions of others define you, be who God created you to be!
So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away–look, what is new has come 2 Cor 5:17
In His Service,
The Gospel of John begins “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Word of God is a powerful force. After all, it was through His spoken word that the entire universe was created.
In the past people had to go rely on priests to hear the Word of God. Printed Bibles were rare and expensive and were available only to clergy. Today the Word is available in print, audio, and video translated into many languages and adapted to every reading level. Through scripture we learn not only the history of our faith, but our identity, and the very will of God.
With so many resources available we should take advantage of them. I have listed a few below to make it easy for you to spend some time with the Word and discover the great things God has in store for you. Please take a few minutes to check a few out!
In His Service,
BibleGateway – A searchable online Bible resource. BibleGateway has over 100 bible versions in 50 different languages.
I’m usually onboard with the ACLJ but their latest campaign is flat out stupid. Jay Sekulow is advocating pulling passports from US citizens who join ISIS. There are already laws in place to imprison those who support terrorists or commit treason. How is it better to leave them free to operate outside the country? This policy only serves to endanger American citizens oversees. A fact the ACLJ is aware of, I informed them myself.
Secondly this is simply a pathetic attempt to capitalize on a proposal that was found to be very popular when it was proposed in the UK. This was not the idea of Sekulow or Senator Cruz. It is basically plagiarism.
Take a moment and let the ACLJ and your congressmen to impose laws that are currently on the books, and that there is no excuse for endangering American lives in order to win elections!
I just read a blog post by Mike Monteiro on various mistakes to avoid in a presentation. His points were all valid with excellent examples; however, it won’t be Mike’s wisdom I remember, it will be his language. When did it become acceptable for a professional to use foul language in a public forum?
Before you post anything on a blog (or social network) think about what you want your audience to take away from it. What do you want them to remember? What opinion do you want your audience to form? Remember, nothing online is private. At any time a social network can change its policies and make all of your content public, or a disgruntled friend or colleague could take a screen shot of a comment and make it public. The internet is a place of business, much like a shopping mall, and you should behave accordingly.
If you expect to be thought of as a professional, write like a professional. A good rule of thumb: Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your wife, employer, kids, or grandmother to read.
(Mike, if you’re reading this feel free to comment. Watch the language though, or I’ll have to bill… Continue reading
Today I realized I had forgotten the power of the Gospel of Jesus. Like many I have reduced it to salvation and limited the power of God to work in my life. The Gospel is more that salvation. Salvation is just the beginning.
In Luke 18:19 Jesus quotes Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon ME, because HE anointed ME to preach the gospel to the poor. HE has sent ME to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, TO set free those who are oppressed, TO proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
Many ministers will interpret this passage in Luke to be exclusively symbolic of salvation; however, this quote is from Isaiah and the text that follows contains promises. In Isaiah 61:5-6 the Lord promises that strangers will stand and pasture our flocks, foreigners will be our farmers and vine dressers, we will be called priests of the Lord and spoken of as ministers of our God, we will eat the wealth of nations, and in their riches we will boast.
Their will be no foreigners or strangers in heaven, so this does not refer to the after-life. This refers to today.… Continue reading
How many people does God want me to reach with the Gospel?
When does he want me to reach them?
These are questions I ask myself to remind myself that what I see in the world is not what exists in the spirit. I know God wants me to reach as many people as possible, as soon as possible. I also know he has the resources to meet whatever needs I have. The only thing that limits me is my flesh and fear.
The world may view my past behavior and my current struggles as hindrances or disqualifications, but I know that disqualification does not refer to ministry but salvation. I will still run the race. If my past is a handicap I will train harder and run faster, but I will run.
1 Corinthians 9:27
Jim Disbrow – Sioux Falls