Spiritual Boxing Match

We hear often that we are all in spiritual warfare. This is both true and vastly important to remember.

For me it’s like a boxing match, sometimes I feel like I am getting overwhelmed with punches and I am going down. But we have to keep fighting no matter what.

Because in this fight the enemy we are battling is Satan and his demons.

It sounds scary when you think about it, like you are outmatched.

But the good news is you aren’t. The opposite. It’s impossible for you lose the fight.

This match will go the distance, it won’t end in a KO it will go until the time is up.

When you’re a Christian you have God on your side, He has trained you, He has given you all the tools you need to win.

Follow Him and you will win.

If you get knocked down God will help you up, He is right there in your corner.

It may feel like you lost a round but in the end God is the judge and He will declare victory to the winner.

And since you’re His you can’t lose.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Heritage Baptist Church Online Service:

Not Enough

Anyone else feel they’re hearing a lot of “fear not” scripture quotes but not enough, “don’t test your Lord your God” quotes?

In the world there never seems to be enough, people always want more and more while not focusing on what they do have.

I can be that way.

But for me from a Christian perspective there seems to be a lot of certain messages but not enough of other important messages, messages and requests that are from God and the Bible but are hard to hear and harder to execute.

We hear a lot about loving ourselves but not enough about loving others.

Others might say to pray for friends and loved ones but not enough praying for your enemies and those who hate you or think differently than you.

We hear people point out they must provide for themselves or their family but not enough that God is their provider.

We hear the world tell us to do you but not enough do what God intended for you to do.

There is a lot of condemning sin, there is a lot of condoning sin but not enough correction of sin directed at ourselves and others.

There is a lot of Sheppard’s but not enough sheep.

There is much focus on human forms of government but not enough focus on God’s Kingdom.

The list can go on and on.

My Pastor this Sunday preached about Jesus’ response about paying taxes, towards the end he pointed out what belongs to God is everything.

Everything is God’s.

And God is love.

So love everything.

Remember that in every circumstance and that will be enough.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

Links:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2022:15-22&version=NIV

Finger Pointing Is a Major Issue

Finger pointing is in fact a major issue in the world and of course in America.

It is not just in politics or sports or the work place but personally too.

Think about it, if there is in an issue what to we have a tendency to do?

Blame the other person or group for the problem, if they point out what you or your group has done then the counter many times is to point out what they themselves or their group has done wrong. 

People attempt to justify their own mistakes by pointing out that others make worse mistakes or given reasons and excuses as to why they made a mistake.

The burden of blame is passed around over and over.

Is this a new problem?

No.

When Adam was confronted by God what did he do? He told God it was the woman who GOD had made that caused him to eat the fruit.

The woman of course blamed the serpent.

God did not take sides He held all accountable for their actions.

He will do the same to us.

The truth is here in America we have failed each other, our nation and our God by passing around blame.

We are so unrepentant for our behaviors and it is easy to be so. After all look what many others are doing? Look how ungodly many behave.

But does Jesus say to do that?

No.

Jesus told use to remove the plank from our own eye than we can removed the speak from our neighbors eye.  

You may say you have removed a plank and now you can focus on your neighbor but don’t we all have so many planks in our eyes?

Of course I am not saying that you can’t confront others for their sins as a matter of fact the Bible does instruct us to do so. What I am saying is often we get so distracted about other’s sins and transgressions that we forget to work on ourselves.

This has been a big problem for me as of late.

Has it been for you?

I pray that we all can do better at being the light of the world, the hands and feet of Christ and of course accepting our blame and repenting.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Links:
Genesis 3: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%203&version=ESV

Matthew 7:3-5: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%207:3-5&version=NIV

Heritage Baptist Church Weekly Online Service:

Don’t Form Your Own Bible

I’ve written before that people use the Bible to justify their opinions rather than use the Bible to form their opinions. They will say “I feel this. Jesus said this and that matches how I feel.” But they ignore the other things Jesus said or did so that way they can live how they want. This leads people to walking around with their own version of Jesus’ character and the Bible.

That is why it is so important to remember the Bible is not going to tell you one answer that relates to all issues. You have to cross reference and know the situation otherwise you are missing so much in the Bible.

You can’t take one or two scripture and think it’s the end all be all of life. If you do then you will end up with a very tiny Bible.

Know the Bible, know the situation and use your discernment to determine how to react in a Christian manner.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

PS-Here is Heritage Baptist Church’s Online Services

Behave Like a Christian (Plus Online Worship From Heritage Baptist Church)

One thing that is very hard to see is when a brother or sister lashes out in a non-Christian manner. When seeing this it may make you angry, maybe even make you act in a non-Christian manner as well.

Or maybe we are the ones who are behaving non-Christian first, sometimes it is a struggle to behave the way God tells us.

The truth is if something you are engaging in causes you to behave in a manner that violates your Christian values than change your behavior or walk away from it.

Whether it be a fun activity, a place you go, or a political or even a theological discussion. If you behave in a non-Christian way than it is time to step back and reevaluate the situation. Get in your Bible and pray.

If you find that despite everything you do that you still are behaving in a non-Christian manner then walk away from what it is you’re doing.

Remember Jesus said in Matthew 15:18-20 (ESV), “18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

We cannot tell the world we’re like Jesus but speak like the Devil.

We must be slow to anger, loving in our responses and speak the way God wants us to speak.

We must appear different than the world.

We must be the light not the dark.

We must behave like a Christian.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Links:

Heritage Baptist Church Service

Satan Has No Power

Satan is not only the tempter but the accuser. Resist him with the Holy Spirit and you will win your battle. Satan has no power over a Christian, we can resist because the Holy Spirit dwells with in us and God is on our side.

This does not mean we will not fall and we will not fail at times. If you do fall don’t let the devil send you into a depression if you do then you allow him to harm you twice.

Notice how I say allow. Take accountability, if you sin don’t blame Satan instead take responsibility, cast out the devil from your mind and repent to God.

God doesn’t expect perfection, if He did the Son would not have had to come. God wants obedience and your love. If you love someone then you will take responsibility for doing something wrong so if you love God take responsibility for your actions.

Part of love is also forgiveness, God will forgive you because He loves you, so ask for forgiveness and move on. If God, who is greater, forgives you than you can forgive yourself.

All power and all glory goes to God and with Him all things are possible.

Remember that and fear no evil.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

The Importance of Rest II

Labor Day was just last week a day designed for the worker to have a day of rest and be celebrated. Unfortunately now a days it seems like most or at least too many are not given that day off. Quite the contrary actually many stores and businesses say it is one of their busiest days or weekends of the year.

Two years ago I wrote a blog called, “The Importance of Rest”. Unfortunately I feel that things have gotten worse in the world when it comes to rest and not better. I know for me personally I continue to struggle with recognizing the importance of rest. This past week I went to bed later and later and woke up earlier and earlier. Not good. By the end of the week I felt sick every time I returned from work due to the lack of sleep.

Luckily I have been resting well this weekend and been able to get better.

A lot of us were forced to take a rest this year for an extended period of time but for most the stress of their jobs, finances or a desire to just keep busy kept them from resting and they were more tired than ever despite being stuck at home.

I said this in my previous blog on this subject, I can’t begin to tell you the importance of rest.

It is true.

We know we are not greater than God and yet God chose to rest and told us to do the same.

You need to rest, so do so not because anyone else tells you but because God tells you to.

So rest in the arms of the Lord and Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

PS-Here is a link to Bible verses on rest.
https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/rest-bible-verses/

Staying on the Narrow Path

Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV)
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

That verse may scare some because they’re afraid of falling away from God. They’re afraid it is not possible but remember Jesus’ answer from last week about how someone can be saved. He said…

Matthew 19:26, “26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

So with God your salvation that seems impossible to obtain is possible and ONLY possible through Christ Jesus.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be times where you stumble or even fall completely of the path.

Just remember if you do fall off you don’t have to start back at the beginning.

Allow Jesus to pull you back up. You are never too far out of his reach.

A lot of times people say, “Don’t look back”.

But on the Narrow Path, go ahead look back and see the progress you made.

See where you used to be before you started your walk with God. See the differences in your life.

Then keep going forward and let the Holy Spirit guide you to keep you from falling.

Let Him steady you.

And remember Jesus is the way.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Links
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%207%3A13-14&version=ESV
https://biblehub.com/matthew/19-26.htm

Money in the Bible

There is a debate I continue to see in Christian groups about money. Some preach the prosperity gospel which is very dangerous while others counter that by making it seem sinful to be rich or have money.

They’re verses that can be found that will strengthen each person’s argument when it comes to money so how do we know what to trust?

The answer is ALL of them. Trust all scripture and know the word, understand context and you will be on guard against those who take the Bible out of context and if you know scripture you will be able to stop yourself from taken the word of God out of context.

Jesus told this story in Luke 21:1-4 (ESV), “21 Jesus[a] looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, 2 and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins.[b] 3 And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Jesus did not condemn the rich man for being rich and not giving everything he had instead the story was about the woman giving and being generous despite being poor.

Jesus also did not say the woman would be blessed with earthly possessions for giving like the prosperity gospel preaches.

Others reference this story from Mark 10:17-31 (ESV),
The Rich Young Man

“17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is[a] to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him,[b] “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Many have used this story to show that rich people will not get into Heaven and that having money is a sin.

But Jesus in this story was testing the young man and it set up his next lesson. He told them that with God all things are possible and that shows that yes even the Rich man can get into Heaven. Once again the message is clear do not value money over God but God does not condemn the rich for being rich.

So what is a good example that fits the theme of money?

It is non-other than King Solomon. He asked for wisdom from God over monetary blessings.

Solomon’s Prayer for Wisdom

“3 Solomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt. He took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her into the city of David until he had finished building his own house and the house of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem. 2 The people were sacrificing at the high places, however, because no house had yet been built for the name of the Lord.

3 Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places. 4 And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” 6 And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. 7 And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. 9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”

10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 13 I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. 14 And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”

15 And Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.”

You see Solomon asked for wisdom and because he valued that over wealth and power God chose to give him those things in addition.

Remember that is not a guarantee it is God’s will and any money should be considered a blessing.

We can also use what happened to King Solomon as a lesson since he fell into temptation and misused his wealth and power.

We must be on guard as sin is the issue not the material things. An object is never the sin it is what we do with the object.

Money like many physical things are still dangerous Paul sums up that danger in, 1 Timothy 6:10, “10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”

So love God over any money you have.

Let God guide you on what to do with it and treat any money like a blessing.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris
Links:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2021%3A1-4&version=ESV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark%2010%3A17-31&version=ESV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+3&version=ESV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Timothy%206%3A10&version=ESV

Learning About Not Being of This World

I like many others struggle with how the world is today. But what’s helping me is my faith in God. Throughout my life I always believed in God but never really took my faith seriously. I heard before over and over that Jesus said, “You are not of the world.” I never really grasped that until I read the Bible fully and looked at the world we live in.

It’s crazy.

The world is so dark. If you compare it to the Bible, God tells us it’s okay to ask questions to Him, there is always room for forgiveness and redemption no matter what you’ve said or done. God tells us once we are forgiven He will never bring up what we have done again.

The world screams at you for questioning things and tries to destroy you if you make a mistake. Your past will never be forgotten no matter what you do it will always be brought up and held against you.

God tells us the importance of disciplining children so they will have the opportunity to be good adults. The world hates those who discipline their children unless it is in the way they tell you.

The Bible tells you to stand up for truth but at the same time respect and love everyone even if you disagree with them or they’re your enemies.

The world tries to destroy anyone they disagree with or thinks differently than it does.

The Bible tells those who have money don’t be prideful or love your money but use it wisely and the poor who lack money are called blessed.

The world shames both the poor and the rich.

I can go on and on with examples but the main message here is this world has completely gone off the rails and is filled with hate, anger, sadness and evil.

They take their hatred out on us as Christians because we are not a part of their evil world but we’re of God.

I choose to follow God not this world.

What about you?

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Scripture: John 15:19 (ESV)
19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2015%3A19&version=ESV