Archive for April, 2014
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)
When you are in Christ, every spiritual blessing is yours. Every day God will pour out blessings. Take time today to praise him for your blessings in Christ.
“When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” (Deuteronomy 24:19)
Sharing with others is good because it helps others. It’s also good because it pleases God and leads him to bless us.
Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! (Psalm 147:1)
Sing praise songs. Sing with the radio or just sing those church songs. Do not worry about how you sound. The point is for God to be praised, not us.
It is one of main reasons I hear from people who do not choose to get involved with Christianity: the church is full of hypocrites. It is true that every church I have ever known has hypocrites. There are people there who do not love Jesus and do not care about his teaching. They may be there because of family pressure, or because it is habit, or because it is beneficial to their career. Hypocrites are those people who say one thing while intentionally doing something different. So there may be hypocrites in church who are mean, cruel, liars, addicts, thieves, and immoral. And they never intend to change.
Even Jesus knew that some “religious” people would not follow him. Read the story from the Bible about the Good Samaritan. It is found in the book of Luke, chapter 10. The religious leaders would not help an injured man. Jesus understands that there are hypocrites. But most people at church are not hypocritical, even the ones you know do not always act the way a Christian should.
So here is the truth about hypocrites at church. It is mostly a myth. We are not hypocrites, even when we do not the way we want.
It is not on purpose. We do mean what we say about Jesus. We are trying to live up to our profession of faith. But we are not perfect. We are strugglers with our sin. And we are getting better. We are a work in progress. We are trying to live new lives in an old world. We are forgiven and now we are learning to live forgiven. So we work on putting to death the things in our lives that are not like Jesus. And we are trying to put into our lives the things that are like Jesus. Sometimes you may see us in this in-between stage.
We are sorry. That is not who we want to be. It may be who we were. It is not who we are becoming. We are changing. We are helping each other in a journey to be what Jesus calls us to be.
We invite you to join that journey. We want to tell you about the new life you can have in Jesus. We want you to watch us be changed into new people because of Jesus.
Full of hypocrites? Not really. Just flawed, forgiven strugglers who are becoming more like Jesus every day.
“When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.” (1 Kings 3:28)
It’s all right to be impressed with someone’s gifts and talents, but we always need to remember that what they have, they received from God. In the end, all praise belongs to Him.
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:3)
When God does not give you what you ask, check your motives for the request. Do you for things to bless others with, or to use for your own pleasure?
“Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 19:10)
From the very start, God’s people have been called to be aware of the less fortunate among us. We mustn’t let our greed or even our frugality stop us from sharing with others.
The Bible is not just something to study as an intellectual exercise. Pay attention to what God says. Do not miss what he is telling you.
Part invitation, part command. Jesus didn’t plead with these fishermen to become his disciples; he told them to follow.
This is what God wants. This is what God calls us to proclaim in this world. Justice and righteousness. We are part of that this day.