Tag Archives: Honor

He Did Not Miss

He Did Not Miss

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.  1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Recently I read of one High School Graduate in Pennsylvania who was being honored for perfect attendance.  From Pre-K to grade 12, this young man did not miss a single day of school.  Incredible!  This truly is a good record to hold.  No matter how he “felt” he was at school.  On sick days, he took medicine and toughed it out.  How could he be so consistent?  Perseverance.  Dedication. Determination.

In the verse above, please note how that the Lord is faithful to finish what He starts.  When a person is saved, the Lord begins to change them from the inside out! This is called “progressive sanctification.”  It is the Lord who changes us, but the change is also dependent on the Christian yielding and submitting his life each day as a living sacrifice to the Lord.  Jesus wants us to “live for Him.”  God is faithful to preserve us and take us to Heaven at the time He has appointed for us.

These same qualities of faithfulness, perseverance, dedication, and determination are also necessary in the Christian life for us to develop, be more fulfilled, and for us to live lives that truly glorify Jesus.

Here are 3 helps to be faithful to the Lord…

  • David Looked For the Faithful. Psalm 101:6 Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. David wanted to be around people who loved the Lord and were faithful to Him.  The people we “hang” with do influence us.
  • Moses was a Servant. Hebrews 3:5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after.  Moses, a prince of Egypt, leader of Israel, and spoken directly to by God, did not let that get to His head.  He was faithful because he still saw himself as a servant.  Who are you serving today?
  • God Sends His Blessings to the Faithful. Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. Serving self, or being selfish is not blessed by the Lord. The “others” focused person who is faithful in His walk with God is blessed in many tangible and intangible ways.  There is no price tag on peace or contentment, yet this is what God can give to the people who are faithful to Him.

Well, I can’t get perfect attendance in school; I am well past that stage of life – but I can be reliable.  I can be dependable.  I can be faithful to the Lord.  While the Lord is sanctifying me and making me more like Jesus, I can yield my life and decisions to Him each day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Believers and Tattoos

Believers and Tattoos

Should a Christian get a tattoo?  Should we be concerned when someone gets some “ink?”  To answer this, we must understand the origin of tattoos.  Tattoos are nothing new and in fact we see tattoos in the Scripture.

According to a report by NPR, “Tattoos have become more common over the past couple of decades. A Harris poll in 2012 found that 1 out of every 5 adults — 21 percent — has at least one tattoo. An earlier Pew Research Center study found that the number was closer to 40 percent among those ages 18 to 29.”

With the incredible amount of people getting tattoos, you can see why there are so many of these little shops and mall counters offering tattoos.  I saw one shop that sold engraved trophies for sports teams, etc. and they could also engrave your body in their tattoo parlor. How convenient is that?!

Right in the middle of God’s law recorded in Leviticus in between the prohibition for drinking blood, the prohibition for prostitution, and the ban on wizards and witches we find the following verse:

Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.  Leviticus 19:28

Keep in mind the Old Testament Law was multifaceted.  Some Law related to civil government (most of which we continue to follow today), some related to worshiping God, and other parts were practical (like sanitation and diet laws).  The Law was given to show how deficient and sinful humans are and to demonstrate how much we need the Lord.  Jesus fulfilled the Law.  While we do not obey the Law to earn the favor of God, these truths can cause for a more healthy and happy life.  Thank God for grace!

The verse starts by prohibiting cutting the flesh.  That practice was found in pagan religions.  Think of Elijah (1 Kings 18) and the prophets of Baal who were cutting themselves to try to get their false god to answer them.

Apparently, the tattoos were also part of cult religious practices. Stars, leaves, flowers, and other images were inked or burned into those being initiated into the cult.  The tattoos, like today, represented something.

Very simply, tattoos were connected with “dead people” and with cult practices in ancient times.  They were used as identifying marks in groups and activities that were (and are) against the Lord.

Commentator Albert Barnes adds this insight: “The prohibition against marking the skin may involve either tattooing or painting the body as part of a religious ritual. Such markings may have been designed to protect a person from the spirits of the dead or to demonstrate membership in a group. Some evidence for this has been found in the examination of human remains in Scythian tombs dating to the sixth century b.c. The Israelite law may prohibit this practice since it involves a self-imposed alteration of God’s creation, unlike circumcision, which is commanded by God.”

Think of it this way: If a person spray painted a public library, were caught and charged; they would be charged with “defacing” a public building. They would not be congratulated for decorating the building.  Our bodies are the temple of God and is to be wholly dedicated to Him.  Marring or defacing the body is not something we want to do.  Sin has already done a good job in changing mankind and our bodies – because of original sin and its consequences.

If you already have a tattoo, then use it as an example of God’s grace.  When people see it, or you talk with others, make it a point to say “This is who I was, but now I belong to Jesus.” Use the “Before and After” approach of telling others of your Savoir.  The “Old Man Vs. The New Man” is a great way to demonstrate the markedly different life the Lord has made in you.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What will this tattoo identify me with?
  2. What kind of statement will a tattoo make?
  3. Will this help me look more likes Jesus in attitude, actions, or appearance?
  4. Does this make me appear more like the world or less like the world?
  5. Will this point people to Jesus or to something/someone else?

I do not believe that many readers of this article today would like to be associated with a cult or with occultist practices. Take care of your body – do not deface your body.  We conclude with several verses and one key thought for your consideration.

1 Corinthians 6:8-20 says, Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient (Helpful, beneficial): all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.  And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Watch and the Ring

The Watch and the Ring

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  Genesis 1:27

I am thankful for my wife.  I am glad that she is different than me!  If we were identical in personality and physicality why would I need her?  Better yet – Why would she need me?

God made men and women with differences on purpose and it is these differences that add great variety and… value to an individual person.

The role of men and women in the home or in the church has nothing to do with value or worth and everything to do with function and role.  If a body has two heads we would know the body will have conflict and issues.  Dr. Adrian Rogers used to preach that a body with “two heads is a freak.”  For sure it is not natural, nor intended for a body to have 2 heads trying to tell the body what to do. Science fiction is just that- science fiction.  Some people want science fiction to be true in their marriage relationship or in their home or church.  It is just not healthy to have two heads vying to be in charge.

 

The head of the church is Jesus.  For order & structure in the home, God says the man is the “head.”  Study the New Testament book of Ephesians chapter 5.

Men, don’t let that go to your head; and women, don’t think that this structure excludes or devalues you.  “To whom much is given much is required.”  If a home succeeds or not – is a responsibility charged to the man. He is held accountable by the Lord.  Men are not to be dictators.  Leaders are to be servants. A husband should be bending over backward to make life easy for his wife.

This organizational structure contributes to a happy and healthy home where the “two” have truly become “one.”

Men and women are of equal value, even if their role and function is not the same.  Here is a valid example:

Recently, I was looking at my wrist watch and my wedding band, both of which my wife gave to me.  Both are made from shiny silver looking metal.  They are made of the same stuff but are different in form and function.

  • The wedding band’s function is to prove that I belong to Natalie.
  • The wrist watches’ function is to keep me “on time.”

While both are made of similar materials and have a different function and role in my life, the watch and the ring have the same value.  The retail value of either one is about $200.

Function and role does not determine value.  Each person in your home should be HIGHLY VALUED…

 

 

 

 

The Politics Do Not Matter

The Politics Do Not Matter

Kneeling during the Anthem, drinking Gatorade in the locker room during the unfurling of the flag, and protesting on team time is a growing trend among many American athletes today.

When it comes to the interaction of the citizen and the government leaders of a country, respect must be the underlying principle.  As our country becomes increasingly sinful, some have suggested that the Constitution is out of date or is no longer useful.  Quite the contrary; the Constitution is not broken, the people are.  Our nation, like every other nation in history is following a path to destruction because we have, as a whole, denied the truth.  Human nature is full of sin, rebellion, and selfishness.  The main reason things are the way they are is because we are… people.  Whenever a group of people no longer fear God, read the Bible, or have respect for Biblical values, there will be an increase in troubles.

Back to the flag, kneeling, and protesting on team (company) time.  The Bible says that Christians are to respect the government and governmental leaders.  Subjection, while unnatural to a man full of pride, should be the goal of the Christian filled with the Spirit of God.

Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Roman Christians about their relationships towards their government:

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.  Romans 13:1-4

It is apparent that the Lord wants to save the lost leaders from their sin just as much as He saved the Christian from his sins.  The Lord can even use the believers response and attitude of respect to challenge, encourage, and convict a leader of his need for Jesus.

Our respecting of leaders is demanded and has nothing to do with policy.  Our submission has nothing to do with policies or political party.  Our attitude towards leaders is not to be impacted by the leader’s personality, brashness, or decisions.

Do you know the cultural and societal insanities that were being projected upon the people when Paul wrote to the Roman Christians?

  • Criminals were many times tortured to death in the coliseum.
  • Christians were fed to the lions.
  • Some Christians were burned alive for their faith.
  • The shedding of blood was a popular sport that people would flock to see in the coliseum.
  • Some Roman Emperors even demanded people to worship them as a deity.

No matter how bad some suggest living in America is – we are still living in the most just, least prejudiced, and most advantageous (to personal success) country in the world.  We still have a very relaxed legal system compared to most other countries today.  It is even harder for an American to enter and try to live in other countries of the world.  Proof of work and a verification that you are not taking jobs away from another countries citizen is a general requirement.  Things are relatively easy in America.

Those who complain about poverty are probably more-wealthy than most people in many places of the world.

Work ethic, respect for others, personal discipline, and a peaceful existence lends itself to a more productive life than protesting, walking around streets late at night, inciting riots, and sitting around complaining on the internet.

I encourage you to pray for our leaders. Respect those the Lord has placed over us.  Participate in government with a good attitude.  Work at loving your neighbor.

The political party nor the particular person does not diminish the Lord’s command to be subject to and show honor to our leaders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Responding to Our Public Leaders

Responding to our Public Leaders

Romans 13:1-7 is a passage of Scripture devoted to the Christian response to our governmental leaders.  No matter which side if the isle and what model of leadership they offer, the Bible has a “one size fits all” approach the Christian should consider for his response to our public leaders.  Note the following Scripture:

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.  2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

Application from Romans 13:1-7 includes:

  1. Be a Good Subject. We do not have kings in America, but we do have leaders that God has appointed to lead us.  Even if we disagree with the leader, it is God who has placed him there.
  2. Do Good Works. A citizen who is not breaking the law should have no fear of the government.  The government does not terrorize law abiding citizens.  Law breakers should be fearful of the consequences of their breaking the law.  The government was appointed by God to “bear the sword” or enforce the rules of the land.  People doing good should have nothing to fear.
  3. Have a Clear Conscience. The leaders are held accountable to God, by God.  We can vote people in or out of office, but ultimately any leader answers the God. We can have a clear conscience in the areas of showing respect, observing the law, and being proper in our response to the leaders.
  4. Show Honor. I have heard many “Good people” say jokes about various presidents or other political leaders.  It is not right to mock authority.  We are to show honor.  Even if the person is no longer respectable because of scandal, impeachment, or some other cloud hanging over them, the position they hold should be revered and respected.  God established and ordained the position they are holding. God put them in that position.  It is right to show honor, not name calling, mocking, or scorning.  Most people need to learn to disagree with grace.

Praying for our leaders is one final admonition for this post.  No matter if in “my” party, the “other” or no party, our leaders need our prayers.  We are on the same national team. It is God who “holds the Kings Heart.”  It is God who can work despite sinful men.  It is the Lord who shows mercy and grace every day.  We are to pray.  1 Timothy 2:1-2 declares: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

Have you prayed for our nation today?  Have you prayed for the outgoing and incoming president?  Posting to social media is not as important as praying to God on behalf of our leaders.  Will you have a proper Christian response to our leaders?

Life Lessons From Mother

Recently I came across the following in a message illustration file…

‘My mother taught me to appreciate a job well done. “If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.” 

My mother taught me religion. “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

My mother taught me logic. “Because I said so, that’s why.”

My mother taught me more logic. “If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

My mother taught me irony. “Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

My mother taught me about the science of osmosis. “Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

My mother taught me about stamina. “You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

My mother taught me about weather. “This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

My mother taught me about hypocrisy. “If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”

My mother taught me about envy. “There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

My mother taught me about anticipation. “Just wait until your father gets home.”

My mother taught me medical advice. “If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way.”

My mother taught me humor. “When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

My mother taught me about my roots. “Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”

My mother taught me wisdom. “When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

My mother taught me about justice. “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you.”’

Did you enjoy those sayings?  Perhaps your mother spoke some of these things to you too!

Today, thank the Lord for your mother.  Determine to show her honor and respect.  Recall and remember the instruction she gave to you.  There are many serious lessons she taught you during your childhood.  Some were verbal lessons while many were demonstration lessons given in everyday life.

Much of how you act, behave, speak, and even what you accomplish in life has been impacted by your mother. Don’t forsake the lessons she gave.  Take them with you.

Proverbs 1:8-9 says, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.”

Mom, I love you.  Thank you for the life lessons!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering His Life

Remembering His Life

“And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.” Mark 16:1

Another day of remembrance is here.  Every September 11, we will remember the shameful attacks on our country, the sacrifice of men and women responding to help, and the call for international action against terrorists.  It is a day our generation will never forget.

Many who lost loved ones in the attack or subsequent wars that followed will never forget.  Today we pause to remember their lives.  We remember the sacrifice, dedication, and spirit of those who gave so much.  We remember the husbands and fathers, the wives and mothers, the sons and daughters.  We remember their lives.  Some will bring flowers, others will light candles.

Despite the difficult times we have experienced as a nation, we are blessed to live in this great land of freedom.  The Lord has prospered and provided time and again for this nation.  The Christian foundation continues to guide the land, even as many are veering from the Biblical principles that the Lord has providentially blessed.  We have the opportunity to freely remember and reflect on days such as this.

Another day that we should never forget is the scene at the Garden Tomb.  The ladies who witnessed the Crucifixion never forgot the day they saw the empty tomb.

It was Sunday morning, the first day of the week when Mary, supernaturally the mother of Jesus and naturally the mother of James, Mary Magdalene, and Salome, also known as Mary the sister of Martha, along with a few others according to Luke 24:1, came to the tomb with items with which they were going to anoint the body of Christ.  He had been dead three days now.  They brought sweet spices that had a perfuming essence and quality fit for a King.  It was a gift that they brought to remember the life and death of Jesus.

Just days earlier, Jesus had been unceremoniously beaten in a courtroom, had his clothes stripped off Him, had a large cross to carry up a hill, was met with ridicule and mocking, had a crown of thorns thrust onto His head, had nails driven in His feet and hands, and was hoisted up vertically on that cross for all to see.  On that day, man attacked God in the Flesh.  Jesus willingly endured the shame and disgrace of the cross.

These ladies had watched and listened as Christ forgave his tormentors, as He cried out “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”  They saw His blood dripping as they watched Him die.  He was taken off the cross, and Joseph of Arimathea begged for His body so it could properly be buried.

Now these ladies were reflecting on the life of Christ that had touched and changed so many people.  They brought these special items to honor His life and death.  When they got to the tomb however, the door was rolled away.  Christ was not in the tomb!  The angel told them in Matthew 28:5-6: “And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”  Look, He is not where they laid Him for He is risen from the dead!  They came to remember His life and death, but now He was alive!  Jesus is alive today!  Hundreds of eyewitnesses saw Him following His resurrection. The gifts they brought to remember the life and death of Christ were no longer needed!

Every day is a day to always remember.  Jesus at Calvary and the amazing truth of His empty tomb are events we should remember as well.   Remember the life of Christ.  He is alive today!

If you have not done so, trust Christ for your eternal salvation.  The God of eternity, Jesus, offers to you the free gift of salvation.  He gave His life so you could believe in Him and have eternal life.  Would you trust Christ today?

If you pray to Jesus in faith, He will answer your prayer for eternal life.

Pray to Him:  “Lord, I know that I am a sinner.  I believe that Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, and died in my place on the Cross.  He had no sin, yet He paid the price for my sin.  I believe He rose again from the dead.  Please forgive me of my sin and save my soul.”

Did you ask Christ for His forgiveness of sin and eternal salvation?  You may enjoy reading the New Testament book of First John.  This book will help you grow in your new faith in Jesus.