Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How will you be remembered?

What will your memorial be? When people consider your life years from now what will they be thinking about you? Don't figure we will make the history books but what will probably happen is that we will be remembered by the lives we've touched in some way.
This Sunday we will be remembering those who have served and some who have given their lives so we may enjoy our freedoms. These who have died gave the supreme sacrifice. I don't want to ever forget those men and women.
In Matthew 26: 6-13 Jesus said a certain woman would be remembered by her act of sacrifice and adoration spurred by his approaching death. She had a compassionate loving heart toward Jesus and she has not been forgotten. Her example teaches us some important truths.
Her action showed that love is shown through service. She did something to show how much she loved the Lord. She didn't worry about the cost of the gift she gave him. Too often thats all we think about. What's this going to cost me? This woman knew what was important and she acted on her belief with a personal sacrifice.
May we be willing to show the same service, giving, and obedience to our Lord!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Western Christianity

"Come over to (Europe) and help us," pleaded the Christian in the apostle Paul's dream (Acts 16:9). Paul heard the cry, and Europe became the crucible of Christianity and the most influential continent on the globe. But now, the "glory has departed," as Europe's churches empty out and in the west generally the Christian worldview is in retreat. As an African Christian said recently, "The world-church is having a feast, but the West hasn't turned up at the table." Philip Yancey offers a stark observation: "God goes where he's wanted."
Since the end of WW II church attendance has roughly halved, and the under-thirty generation is hardly bothered with church at all. England had 5.4 people who attended church. By 1f998 that number had falled to 3.7 or 35%, and that during a time when the population increased by 5 million. Even in the U.S. which had remained fairly constant at 30 to 40 percent of the population, there is no room for complacency as the mainline churches also have lost 50% of their members. The younger generation exhibit a determined indifference to church life.
I think we are beginning to see the "great falling away" that the book of Revelation speaks about. A time when Satan has his day and killing of believers grows worldwide once again as it is already happening in some countries. A time where to name the name of Christ might mean death. I have never seen such disrespect for the things of God as I'm seeing today. I have to wonder how much longer God will put up with America's sinfulness. We need to humble ourselves and pray and repent and renew our zeal for the Lord.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Is there life after death?

While eating breakfast with a group of men at a prayer breakfast a young waitress asked me if there was life after death. She said she had been worrying about it and could I give her some help. That was like saying sickem' to a bull dog for a Baptist preacher. She is a sweet young girl with two children and I have known her as our waitress for some time. I shared with her that there is a life after death and this is how you prepare for it.
Sir Michael Faraday was a great Christian scientist and as he lay dying a newspaper reporter said to him, "Sir Faraday, knowing that you are about to pass into eternity, what are your speculations about the great beyond?"
With a glow on his face he said to the reporter, "I know nothing about speculation, sir, my hope is built upon him. 'I know whom I hve believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I've committed unto him against that day.'
When I stand in the presence of death as I have done so many times I am not interested in speculation or in guesswork. I want some word of assurance about the life beyond that I can share with the family.
God gives us great assurance when Paul writes in II Corinthians 5: 1-8, "For we know that, if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." My friend eternal life is promised to all who accept Jesus Christ into their heart to be LORD and Savior. We shall live again and it will be eternal life in heaven with our Lord and Master. Praise Him throughout eternity!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Living In Peace

I believe our world is winding down as we have known it! I'm ready for the Lord to return. I'm sick of the sin and decay of our own country. I'm sick of the crime, immorality, and selfishness I see around us. So I say maranatha! Even so come Lord Jesus. Then I will know true peace.
How does one find peace in this world? Well first one must put his total faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. One must be willing to yield to him and make him the Lord of life. I believe one ought to follow the Lord in believer's baptism and get active in a church because your now a part of God's family, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. After one makes that decision you have many promises from the Word of God.
I find great peace in troubled times from Psalm 34:7 where it says The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them. Since my teen years I have had the deep personal belief that God will always take care of me. I have had some narrow escapes and difficulties like all living, but God has always protected me. Scripture teaches that God has a plan for each of us and He watches over His own. I believe with all my heart that as long as we walk with the LORD and serve Him He will keep us safe until He is ready for us to come home.
Sometimes I get discouraged and God reminds me the battle is His. Sometimes people hurt us and we're reminded by the Holy Spirit how many times we hurt our Lord by our sin and disobedience. Sometimes I'm afraid and this Scripture reminds me God is looking out for me and I find a peace deep within. Not because I'm afraid of God in the worlds sense, but I have a deep abiding reverence for Him in my life. Because He's my Lord and I reverence Him in my heart and life I have His peace. Hope every reader has this same peace.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pastors Make Hard Decisions

Pastors have a difficult job in many way, contrary to the 'He only works on Sundays' mindset that many people have. For one thing, spiritual stress is very strong. It's why some pastors die young, on average. Some decisions that one must make are very hard.
Sometimes we just should do nothing but the hard thing to do is be obedient in the right thing. A good pastor will be a good undershepherd who is willing to do the hard Paul.
In II Corinthians 7: 1 Paul said "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and Spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
Paul is talking about the promises at the end of chapter 6. If we will obey Him He will be a real Father to us. He can deal with us in that close relationship. It's not talking about us coming out and being separate or we'll lose our salvation. It does mean if we do not lead a clean life, God can't treat us as a Father would want to treat His child. We'll not experience His power in that relationship. God wants to be a real Father to us.
The blood of Christ cleanses us from our sin but we must have a daily cleansing from the contamination that enters our life so easily. When I receive the Word in faith and I act upon that Word, I am cleansed from all the filthiness of the flesh. John said "Sanctify them through they truth: thy word is truth" (John 17:17). The best cleanser in the world is the Word of God. The Holy Spirit will use it to clean us up and enable us to deal with the sin in our lives.
During my years in the ministry it has been hard to live down the failures of so many famous TV preachers who failed morally in some manner. Respect for a pastor is something that must be earned these days by living an exemplary life. For respect is not automatically given for all of us are lumped into the same mold as the famous failures. It's important we live clean lives.