Showing posts from April, 2017

28. Faithfulness is God's Gold Standard

Faith seems to be what God values the most in His people. The "Hall of Faith" in Hebrews 11 lists all who exemplified faith. We are people of faith, but are we faithful? In other words, are we people who can be trusted ourselves?

     It would seem obvious, right? People of faith being faithful. We who trust God, is it right for us to be anything less than trustworthy? We believe in Jesus, but do people believe in us to be genuine?

     There is a legacy of faithfulness found in Genesis. Not perfection, although Joseph is said to be someone in the Bible who did not demonstrate an identifiable sin. And consider his legacy of faith.
Abraham the testimony of Faithfulness, showing obedience in leaving, offering, and trusting. His testimony demonstrates that faith in God should not be based on sight, but on what and Who is unseen. First he left all in Haran and Mesopotamia for a country he could not see. Then he believed God would grant him a child in his and Sarah's old a…

God's gots more kindness than we gots and He is willing to share

When I was a kid, my mother was a widow, raising three kids and many times without a job. When my grandmother, also a widow, sold the family farm, she would often take all five of us out to dinner. I remember one time my mother and grandmother were “arguing” over who would pay the $10 bill for all five of us at Bill’s Restaurant at Parker Plaza in Weatherford (remember the days when five people could eat for $10 at a restaurant?).

    I don’t remember how old I was but my grammar wasn’t the greatest and I piped up and said, “Mama, let Nonna pay, she’s gots more money than we gots!”
      The word we are studying this week, kindness, reminded me of that story so let’s look at the word, but not in English but in the New Testament Greek.
      The word kindness in the Greek is crestotes and is sometimes translated as kindness or goodness and has the root of someone who loans someone else money or lets someone borrow something.
Kindness began with God.       Eph. 2:7 tells us that one of t…

Sometimes (not often) I get discouraged in writing

Every once in a while, I wonder "Why do I write?" No one is reading and my books will never get published.

   Then someone will encourage me ... like Anne Cina who drew these cartoons that make me smile. She was inspired to do so by my column (click here). And lo and behold she even alliterated it (now why didn't I think about the three C's!).

   Now I really enjoy writing. I went to a C.S. Lewis Conference years ago and introduced myself as a "failed writer," to which someone said, "The only way you can be a failed writer is if you fail to write."

(I guess that is why she was a successful writer. Smart as a whip lady...and no sarcasm there, it really made an impact on me.)

   In fact, that was when I started this blog. And sure enough, just as Anne gets therapy out of drawing, I get true pleasure out of writing my blog and sharing my insights. Perhaps some day when I am dead and gone, these writings will still be on the web and someone will ge…

27. What does it mean to be good?

18 Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God…” Luke 18
    The virtue in Lesson 27 of BELIEVE is goodness. It also lists the word "kindness," but in every place where the word kindness is listed, it could be translated just as accurately as "goodness." So let us use that word as our virtue word. A form of the word "goodness" is used in the story from Luke 18 known as the "rich young ruler." 
    The rich “young” ruler (the Bible never says he was young) who came to Christ was sadly unfulfilled in his life. Maybe without thinking, he called Jesus “Good Teacher.”
    Jesus immediately saw an opportunity to expose his proud, self-righteous, and empty heart. The ruler was good, but not compared to Christ or God. This ruler, who kept “all” of the commandments (or so he thought … or so he said he thought) since he w…

26. Passing the Patience Test...With Pleasure, not Pressure

Here it is, the one you have all be WAITING for; the virtue of Patience!
How many times have you ever heard someone say, "Don't pray for patience. If you do, God will send you things that will test your patience."
But is that really true? Perhaps. Or perhaps, you have never learned how to endure the trial in patience in the first place and God simply sends you again and again to remedial school until you learn it. It is better for you to learn how to "pass the test" of patience. 
From our reading we see how the Lord is slow to anger, He is patient. (See Numbers 14:17-19). But the Lord is also patient in allowing us to execute punishment for our stubbornness (see Numbers 14:30-33). If you read the passages from Numbers, you might think that it is God who needs to learn patience, but in reality, God is testing Moses in this area and sure enough Moses passes the test. 
Like Moses, I too struggle with patience. No, I have never murdered an Egyptian for beating a Hebrew…

Reasons to Believe in the Resurrection

Believe Lesson for Easter Morning, 
April 16, 2017
Reasons to Believe in the Resurrection

-------------------------Key Question------------------------- How does Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead impact my life, my faith and my future?
-------------------------Key Idea------------------------- With the proof, power and promise of the resurrection, we believe in an abundant life now and eternal life in the future
-------------------------Key Verse------------------------- Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58
When we Christians are called to believe in Christ and the resurrection, are we called to hope against reason? Believe without any evidence? The recent release of the movie, The Case for Christ, which tells the story of Lee Strobel’s conversion from atheism to faith, highlights a major part of Christianity: apologetics. There are reasons to believe i…

The Revelation Song and Revelation 7:12

Today we look at the sixth and seventh virtues extolled to God in Rev. 7:12. This verse is tied to Rev. 5:12, when all the world will be praising the Lamb of God who was slain. That chorus and choir gets even larger and is repeated when those from the Great Tribulation come before God's throne. John the Revelator saw possibly three and a half billion people and possibly more singing a song about the Lamb. 
    I do not know what the song will sound like from every nation, tongue and tribe. If you have not seen the story behind "The Revelation Song," watch the link below.

     6. POWER. This is the fourth and final word that is used in Rev. 5:12, Rev. 5:13, and Rev. 7:12. Those four virtues (Blessing, Honor, Glory and Power) of God are especially significant. 
     This is the dunamis power from which we also get the word “dynamite.” The explosive was so named because when it was invented, the power seemed massive considering its relatively small size. It was as though t…

Thanksgiving and Honor

When you think of Thanksgiving, what food do you think of? When you think of turkey, what holiday do you think of? When Israel celebrated with palm branches, the people naturally thought of giving thanks, especially when they would think of the Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Booths. 
    4. THANKSGIVING. The fourth virtue in Rev. 7:12 is Thanksgiving and it is the only one that is not also contained in Rev. 5:12. In Greek, it iseucharistia.When we think of the saints being welcomed in to heaven as they are shown in Revelation 7, it is easy to imagine them (and us) as having an attitude of thanksgiving to God. 
Palm branches reminded the Israelites of their 40 years of wandering in the desert and living under the tabernacles and temporary shelters thatched with palms leaves and branches of trees. 
The people ushered Christ into Jerusalem, honoring him by laying down their outer garments on the road before Jesus. Imagine the waving of palm branches coinciding with the parade and the…