Father’s Day

The Good Word

Father’s Day can be tough for many people out there. Some like Jane and I have lost our Father’s.

Others may have never had a Father in their lives.

For those out there who are struggling there is good news.

You always have had a Father, He has been with you since the beginning. He knew you before you were in your Mother’s womb.

God is your Father.

He created you.

He is there for you.

He provides for you.

He loves you unconditionally.

He will never forsake you.

If you have left His embrace or have never known Him, He is waiting for you. Just like the Father in the story of the Prodigal son, when He sees you coming home to Him, He will run to you with open arms. There will be great rejoicing.

Thank you Lord.

Happy Father’s Day God.

Love,

Your child,

Chris

Psalm 68:5…

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God Asks For So Little

The world will attempt to put God in a bad light and act like God asks us for so much but when you think about it God asks so little of us.

Think about it.

 How much money does the government tax you? Not just your wages but in everything? Sales, bills, housing, here where I live there even is a “rain tax”. It’s crazy.

How much did God ask the Israelites for? 10%.

How many are called to dedicate their entire lives to ministry? Sure we are called to further God’s kingdom but how many are called to be a Pastor or a ministry leader? To wake up every and devote their work each day to the Lord? Not many.

However what God does call us to do entirely is rely on Him and listen to His word.

In the end it is not to benefit Him, He doesn’t need us but instead to benefit ourselves to know joy and to know Him, to spend eternity in His love.

All He asks for is our faith and faith alone.

The world wants you to dedicate your lives to them not for your benefit but for selfish reasons, they want your money, body and your mind. They don’t care for you, the world wants to use you.

The world is always changing yet always telling you to follow it.

But God He never changes, His path is the same and He just asks that you follow that path. While it is narrow, He will guide you on the path, steady you, pick you up and bring you back if you drifted away. All He asks is if for you to let Him guide you.

God knows you to be a sinner who isn’t worthy of His grace but He loves you and offers it you to anyway.

There is no cost just acceptance.

The world can’t wait to tear you down as soon as you make a mistake. There is no grace or mercy.

God gave us so much, in His creation, Jesus even died for us and we will share in His inheritance and rule and reign with Him by His choice.

He asks of us so little.

Yet just because God asks so little doesn’t mean you can’t give more.

You can give generously in your time, money, in your work.
 
You can represent Him in everything you do, at work, in school, any and everywhere you go.

Be the example, let the world know you’re a Christian by your love.

The truth is you can never love God like He loves you but you can put Him first in your life. Follow Him, listen to Him, honor Him even if it feels hard because deep down you know you owe everything to God, because He gave you everything.

But do remember this even though He may ask little of most of us, you are not little to Him.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Heritage Baptist Church Online Service: Third Sunday of Lent

What Does It Mean To Fear God?

It is very commonly discussed in the Bible and in churches that you should fear God.

This often sometimes scares or confuses Christians and more often is used by atheists to criticize God and the Bible.

The truth is you should “Fear God”.

But you may ask, “What does that mean?”

Fearing God is about respect and reverence. Knowing what God is capable of while being joyous in His grace and deep devotion to us.

But how should we fear God?

Fear Him not just like a father but the best Father.  

Remember God is our Father look at a common opener to a prayer. How often do you hear, “Heavenly Father” start a prayer? Jesus opened the Lord’s Prayer by saying, “Our Father…”

So that obviously means we can look to God as our Father.

Because of this we can look at ourselves as His children.

A good father is loving, kind and cares for His children. He teaches and instructs. He also disciplines. This causes a child to fear a good father in certain ways but not just by his presence but because of the consequences of our bad behavior.

Since God is not just a good father but The Best Father, He loves us, is more kind and cares for us more than any other human father, which means we should love Him more than any human father or anyone else in general.

This also means we should fear him more than any human father or anyone else in general.

His presence should cause joy while His anger trembling.

However know this God is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. For that we can remain joyful because He is good in all things. Greater in mercy, in compassion, in kindness and love.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Heritage Baptist Church Online Service:

Tips On Theology

Theology and biblical study can be overwhelming. I am the furthest thing from an expert but I do want to share with you some tips on how to form your theological opinions.

Truth is a lot of times we can form opinions on scripture prior to even reading scripture. We hear someone take a position and tell us why that is true in the Bible and that version sounds good so we resist anyone else’s take on scripture because our mind is made up already. 

Don’t put any theologian on a pedestal no man has it exactly right, only God has full knowledge. You can be a Lutheran or a Calvinist or a part of any other denomination while disagreeing with the person who started the denomination or the person the denomination is named after. As a matter of fact you should disagree with them on occasion as they’re a fallible man.

It is very important when you hear a scripture verse used in an argument to cross reference that verse with the rest of the Bible. Scripture doesn’t contradict itself if you find a verse that seems to do so then find another interpretation of the original verse from scripture you were cross referencing and see if that view makes more sense.  

Read those who you disagree with, you can still learn from your brothers and sisters even if you disagree with them.

Learn what heresy is, it is not just something you disagree with, true heretical doctrine should be spoken out against in a different manner than a non-heretical stance that is different than your own.

It’s okay not classify yourself, you can hear all sides and form your theology. For example when it comes to soteriology (the doctrine of salvation), I don’t classify myself as anything. I have my opinion (I will not share it because soteriology is like the politics of theology it cannot be brought up without a big argument ensuing). I listened to all sides of the argument and read the scripture and came to my opinion on salvation. I am sure it may fall in a category but that doesn’t really bother me. I just want to focus on being a Christian first and a category within Christianity second.

Most importantly read scripture on your own and let the Holy Spirit be your teacher.

God is the ultimate teacher, He can teach through man but it is His Word not ours.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Links:

Holy Spirit As Your Teacher
https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/The-Holy-Spirit-As-Teacher

Cross Referencing Tool
https://www.blueletterbible.org/

Heritage Baptist Church 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

Celebrating and Grieving the Loss of A Parent

Tomorrow would have been my Dad’s birthday. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given just a couple years to live, however just a few months after his diagnoses he suffered a fatal heart attack.

My dad had an impact on many people’s lives. Everyone I know has Richard stories. When we talk about him it is always good memories.

But my Dad did have his flaws like we all do. While he always had compassion and was loving he still struggled with anger and depression. In the last few years of his life he got married again and started going to church. I could see a drastic difference in him towards the end of his life.

One of the last time’s I saw him I remember him taking the time to visit with a homeless man and talk to him, my dad gave him some money, listened to what he had to say and while walking away I could see the compassion in my Dad’s eyes.

I could see the growth he made through God and his relationship with the Lord. As I said my Dad always had compassion and was loving but that compassion and love was growing and growing as he walked his path with God.

I thank God for that day and I thank God for my time with my earthly father.

Losing a parent is tough and is certainly hard on holidays and days that are designed to celebrate them. I am not qualified to give advice on how to grieve but what I will do is leave these two articles I found and hope that they can help those who are struggling with loss.

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/get-help/moving-forward-dealing-with-grief/

https://www.gotquestions.org/death-of-a-parent.html

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

It Always Comes Back to Jesus

In the three faiths of Abraham there is one major difference and that is Jesus.

The Jews reject Jesus as their Messiah.

The Muslims reject Jesus as the Son of God.

We Christians believe Jesus to be who He says He is.

That’s the difference.

We believe Him. We do not reject what He said like many Jews do. We don’t believe the words of men from hundreds of years after Jesus left the Earth and returned to the Father.

We believe Jesus Himself and the writings of those who knew Him.

He is the Son of God because He says He is.

He is God because He says He is.

Before Abraham Was, I Am

“48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’[a] 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”[b] 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.”

Read again what Jesus said and see the reaction. Why did the Jews become so angry?

It is because He declared Himself to be God.

When did He do that you may ask?

When Jesus said, “before Abraham was, I am”.

God’s name is Yahweh which translates to “I Am”.

He said He was God.

So it all comes back to if you believe Him or not.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%208:48-59&version=ESV

Father’s Day 2020: You Will Always Have a Father

Happy Father’s Day’s to all the fathers out there who are reading this.

My wife and I’s fathers passed away a few years ago so this day can be a somber day for us. I know this is true for many people as their fathers have also passed away and  sadly for some they may never have truly know their father or any father.

If any of that describes how you feel I want to tell you, today can still be joyous.

Because while our earthly fathers might not still be in our life or ever were in our life we have THE Father who is there and who wants to have a personal relationship with us.

If you’re missing your dad or never felt fatherly love from someone know that God made you, God loves you and God is your Father.

I thank God for everything He is done for me, I thank God for creating me and I thank God for creating my earthly father Richard and my wife’s earthly father Ralph. Both who brought blessings and wonderful moments in my life.

Thank you God, Thank you Father, I love you. Happy Father’s Day.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Here is two great links to look at today…
https://www.openbible.info/topics/god_the_father

https://www.christiantoday.com/article/5-prayers-for-fathers-day/88623.htm

When Someone Mocks God

I did it again.

I was reading a sad news story and decided to do the unwise thing of looking through the comment section. And naturally there began a chain comment mocking God.

This time it was an attack on prayer. The person said, “Instead of praying, why don’t you do something that works?”

A foolish statement.

I thank the Lord that He granted me the wisdom and the maturity not to respond. He helped me not to get upset and respond to this man’s comment. This man was trying to hurt believers and get them angry but instead of that he actually received many replies from Christians who did not respond with anger but instead corrected him with love. Hopefully some see the loving replies he received and realize the Light that comes from Christianity when someone tries to be hateful and dark.

When it comes to his effect on me he ended up inspiring me to write this blog so it appears his comments have done the opposite of what he intended.

One mistake people make is they act as if prayer is an “instead of” option. If a fire breaks out no Christian is saying pray only and don’t send the firemen. We are praying for the fireman and the victims of the fire. We are praying for strength, protection, comfort and guidance. We are praying to the Lord for help.

It’s a silly thing to mock, besides I’ve never heard someone say in response, “Thank you for mocking those who prayed.”

Instead you hear, “Thank you for all the thoughts, kind words and prayers.”

Prayers uplift a person, telling someone they’re being prayed for shows that people out there care.

So why do these people mock prayer?

Because if God isn’t guiding their heart, satan is, he knows the power of prayer and wants the believer to stop it and give up a crucial part of our relationship with God.

Truth is there wasn’t much of a point for me to respond to that man, he had taken it upon himself to ridicule those who did respond to him. In this moment his heart and mind are made up he was enjoying mocking Christians and God. Our brothers and sisters had planted a seed in his brain but by his own free will he rejects God and refuses to open his mind and heart to the Lord. Sadly he and others like him think these thoughts are their own but truth is they come from satan and they’re being used by him.

The skeptic presents an argument where they attack the effectiveness of prayer but no believer has a chance to win that argument. Because the skeptic has placed unreasonable demands on the believer.. They refuse to believe the testimony of the believer but they themselves cannot test the power of prayer because they lack faith, so therefore the argument by human standards in unwinnable. That doesn’t mean you should give up, talk to them and share your story, treat them with love. The argument possibly could be a pointless endeavor but your story is not.

God knows your story and wants you to tell it, He loves you and sees what you’re trying to do. Keep up the good work.

Now the skeptic may also bring up a time in which they did pray and the prayer supposedly wasn’t answered. But the truth is ALL prayers are answered. But sometimes the answer is “no” or maybe even “not yet.”

Just because you did not get what you asked for doesn’t mean your prayer was unanswered.

God is our Father and just like any good parent He doesn’t give His children everything they want.

God knows what is best and that is why we pray by God’s will not our own.

So that leads to the question what do you do with a person who mocks God and rejects the Gospel? Someone who refuses to have an open conversation and talk with you?

You do what they mock, you pray.

You pray and continue to be the light in the darkness.

Who knows that person might accept the Lord into their heart and they could be praying for you someday.

Wouldn’t that be something?

So how do we end this entry? What better way than the Lord’s Prayer…

Matthew 6:9-13 New King James Version (NKJV)

“9 In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

10 Your kingdom come.

Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts,

As we forgive our debtors.

13 And do not lead us into temptation,

But deliver us from the evil one.

[a]For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Sources:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+6%3A9-13&version=NKJV

You Cannot Change the World

It is true you cannot change the world. That may surprise you as you try to spread the Gospel to the world but the true reason you can’t change the world is you are not of this world*. However it is our job to spread the message of the Gospel to the people who live in the world so they can be brought out of the world and into the Kingdom of God.

This world hates* you, it despises you because this world is evil and is filled with injustice.

But God is good, He is just and He will create a new Heaven and a new Earth**.

Also remember you cannot change a person’s heart, it is up to them and God. Pray first, trust the Holy Spirit to guide you on how to present the Gospel to the individual person or group you’re speaking too.

God is infinite as is His wisdom. There is so much in the Word of God. Someone might be craving a message of justice, a message of family, a message of hope, or just plain love. Only God knows what message they need to hear so let Him guide you on how to present the Gospel in that moment.

It is very important to know scripture and know God because if you don’t your message of the Gospel may become twisted to fit the world. We must stick to the Truth and remember to let the Holy Spirit guide you on how you present the real Gospel.

Remember we are the light of the world***, even if we aren’t of this evil world we still are the light that is on it for now. While our light still shines on the Earth remember to shine it to those in need.

Present to those you are reaching out to, Christ in all His wonder, present Him as the True King, the One who will take back the Earth and make all things new.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Scripture:
*John 15:19 New King James Version (NKJV)

19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

**Revelation 21: 1-7 New King James Version (NKJV)

**All Things Made New

21 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, [a]John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said [b]to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

6 And He said to me, “It[c] is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes [d]shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, [e]unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

***Matthew 5:14-16 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Sources:
*https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+15%3A19&version=NKJV

**https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+21&version=NKJV

***https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A14-16&version=NKJV