Who God Uses

Scandals are everywhere in church leadership right now. Moral failures, abuse, coverups.

I am also noticing a problem in stubbornness, pride and arrogance from some of the most famous Bible teachers of the day. 

They’re nasty to people who disagree with them, speak in arrogance, give their opinions on things that they are ignorant on.

All the while their followers build them and lash out at those who disagree with the Pastor or teacher. 

They mock, put words in others mouths, misrepresent the other side, call people heretics and just behave so far away from what the Bible teaches.

They do this under the guise of glorifying God but in reality they’re just glorifying their own perceived intellectual superiority.

Quite frankly all this gets me angry and it grieves me.

It’s helped me come to realize why God uses the fisherman, the tax collector, the Sheppard boy, the stutterer and so on.

He doesn’t just find the smartest and brightest.

Look at the smartest and brightest religious leaders of Jesus time on Earth, they looked in His face and cursed Him. 

They stared in the face of God and didn’t recognize Him, they didn’t know Him.

Yet the people thought they were the most holy because of their knowledge but they lacked humbleness, mercy, grace and love.

I’m not saying God doesn’t use intellectual people of course, Paul was a pharisee. God uses every type of person but I see a pattern that those willing to be humbled and have faith get used by God for His glory.

Of course you may say but all those people still failed.

But what stands out is all those dealt with their failures, humbled themselves and repented.

Jesus said, “The humble will exalted and the exalted will be humbled”

Truth is getting angry at other Christians failures and arrogance is easy and satan I’m sure loves that.

Because while your focusing on them you get distracted and won’t focus on your own sins and failures.

Which is why I must focus on my own sin and flaws and pray that God humbles me before I fall.

God help me, I pray You humble me, take away my anger and grief and help me focus on my own sins, and be a helpful hand to those who need restoration.

In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris 

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – Amos 8:1-12

Tuesday – Psalm 15

Wednesday – Colossians 1:15-28

Thursday – Luke 10:38-42

Love Your Enemies And Pray For Those Who Persecute You

This is from just a year ago but it seems like the Bible verse in this entry is needed more than ever. Things have gotten way worse in a short time.

The Good Word

I have heard and seen people who hold onto bitterness and refuse to listen to scripture and pray for their enemies.

It could be someone they know personally, it could be a type of person or just an entire group.

Sometimes a person views someone as their enemy because of race, religion, denominational differences, politics, etc.

They say the person or group has hurt them or that they’re enemies of God, I have even heard a person say I only pray for those who the Holy Spirit guides me to pray for.

These are all not Biblical arguments.

The Bible is clear on this matter…

Matthew 5:44 (ESV),
“44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”

None of us are worthy of God’s grace so your enemy and yourself are on the same page.

In the Bible, throughout history and today people…

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Forgiveness is Available For All Sinners

Throwback Thursday from May 2019. This is one of my more controversial posts, in that it attracted some angry attention in the comments. Two comments I had to delete due to profanity. Nevertheless it also received a lot more positivity. I’ve learned a lot about soteriology since I wrote this, so I may have worded a few things different to respect everyone’s theological beliefs but other than that I think the message holds.

The Good Word

I’ve heard many people ask a similar question that often times is hard to answer or even comprehend for some Christians. The question is usually along the lines of, “How can someone who is in jail who did terrible things and repented go to Heaven while I haven’t done horrible things will go to hell for not believing in God?”

For years I struggled with an answer to this question but God showed me the answer through scripture. The reason is that person in prison has now paid twice for their sins.

First through earthly consequences, the person committed crimes, was punished and served their sentence or is serving their sentence. That is their physical judgment.

But what remains is their spiritual judgment and when one truly accepts Jesus Christ as their savior, it is He, Jesus who took on their spiritual punishment. God will know if they truly are…

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The Common Denominator is people

Three years later and this post seems way more relevant today than it did in 2019.

The Good Word

Most everyone has a bogeyman or men that they blame all their problems or the problems of the world on. Sometimes its one particular person in their life, or a world leader. Sometimes it is a group of people based on their political beliefs, religious beliefs, race, gender or any other difference.

They say all the trouble and problems in their life or the world would be solved if only that person or group of people would change or be gone.

Well turn on the news, you will hear stories of people killing others, robbing others, hurting others, attempting to destroy all that is good. These people are from all different races, religions and backgrounds. Men, women, sometimes even children.

What’s the common denominator here? It’s people.

People are the ones who do the evil, evil does not discriminate, it does not chose race, gender, political affiliation or even the…

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Guilt

Here’s a post from five years ago. As usual I am wishing some things were worded better but I think it holds up well.

The Good Word

I have had a lot of trouble dealing with guilt, many people do. It seems when we become Christians, rather than accepting the fact that our sins have been forgiven we want to remember them, and feel not worthy of God’s gift of salvation. Other times we end up feeling guilty for small things. I often feel guilty for missing Church, or not reading the bible enough or even not posting on here for a while.

We have to remember guilt is an open door to Satan. He wants your past defeats to drag you down. Even a victory can drag you down if you let the enemy inside your head.

You have to remember, you will fall, be humble as you get up. We can’t comprehend God’s love, he said he will cast your sins as far as the east is from the west.Take him at his word. You…

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Love Your Enemies And Pray For Those Who Persecute You

I have heard and seen people who hold onto bitterness and refuse to listen to scripture and pray for their enemies.

It could be someone they know personally, it could be a type of person or just an entire group.

Sometimes a person views someone as their enemy because of race, religion, denominational differences, politics, etc.   

They say the person or group has hurt them or that they’re enemies of God, I have even heard a person say I only pray for those who the Holy Spirit guides me to pray for.

These are all not Biblical arguments.

The Bible is clear on this matter…

 Matthew 5:44 (ESV),
“44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”

None of us are worthy of God’s grace so your enemy and yourself are on the same page.

In the Bible, throughout history and today people have prayed for their enemies and those who persecute them. We must do the same.

I understand it is hard, so ask God to soften your heart, to help shed your pride and humbly reach out to Him.

Pray even if you’re angry, sad, bitter.

Just pray and the Holy Spirit will work in you.

Have a Blessed and Prayerful Week,
Chris

Bible Verses:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205%3A44&version=ESV

Prayers For Those Who Persecute You:
https://www.openbible.info/topics/pray_for_those_who_persecute_you

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – 1 Samuel 17:1-23, 32-49

Tuesday – Psalm 9:9-20

Wednesday – 2 Corinthians 6:1-13

Thursday – Mark 4:25-41

Mother’s Day A Follow Up

Last week was Mother’s Day and I had some extra thoughts that just didn’t fit the blog.

I talked about honoring Jesus and the Mothers out there but what about those who feel like they can’t or shouldn’t honor their mothers?

A great way to honor Jesus is by honoring your Mother like it is commanded, love her and look at her like a blessing from God.

I know this can be tough for those who have been hurt by parents but even if your relationship is strained show love to your Mother. Even if you feel harmed by your Mother or feel they don’t love you like they should, even if you consider your mother an enemy show them love anyway.

Remember God says to love your enemies so of course we have to love our mother no matter what.

That doesn’t mean we have to allow them to hurt us or that gives a mother a free pass for their behavior.

But you can still love your mother by trying to reconcile with them.

Some may have lost their mother or reconciling with their Mother may be impossible right now so instead give a gift to God today and honor Him by forgiving your Mother.

Forgive them even if they don’t accept it.

It will be a blessing.

And God will see it as such.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Bible Verses on Forgiveness:
https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/forgiveness-bible-verses/


Understanding Forgiveness:
https://www.acts29.com/forgiveness-what-it-is-what-it-is-not/

How To Love Someone That Is Hard To Love (According To Scripture)

As Christians we are called to love people even if that person is emerged in their sins, even if that person is your enemy or an enemy of God and even if they hate you.

That being said love isn’t condoning bad behavior.

Love also isn’t shouting and pointing out how horrible someone is.

Look at it this way, if someone is an addict, shouting at them and telling them how horrible they’re and the wreckage they have left behind doesn’t seem like a sound strategy. Could it work? Possibly. But more than likely it will lead to them pushing you away and immersing themselves more in their addiction.

On the reverse of that if someone tells the addict, “Hey I love you the way that you are and everyone has their vices.” That is condoning their destructive behavior. In some ways that can be worse than the previous method.

Truth is both of those methods are no good and dangerous.

Instead we must correct in love, don’t condone but don’t condemn. We have to teach and show the way through our love. But how do we do that? Let’s go to scripture with two examples.

First let’s see how we show a person Biblical love by looking at what the Bible say love is… 

1 Corinthians 13:
“13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Next let’s look at the example of how Jesus responds in love to the woman caught in Adultery…

John 8:1-11 (ESV)
8 1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”]]

Jesus in a simple sentence explained how to handle a situation such as this. He addresses her sin directly in order to correct her, He chose not to condemn her and told her to “sin no more”. He did not condone her actions and tell her, “Well you’re all sinners”. He also did not call her bad names, shout at her and tell her she was an awful person.

Remember to try and have patience as God has patience with us.

Of course there is a time when you will have to walk away from that type of person, you should always pray for them but eventually there has to be some consequences.

Often people skip right to walking away or bringing severe consequences and in some cases that is the correct method but in many circumstances that is done because it is easier than having to deal with the issue directly.

But even more so the easiest thing to do would be to ignore the issue entirely so you don’t have to deal with it at all.

Think of someone you love, if they were in need of something or struggling in sin would you allow them to suffer or would you help them? Of course you would help them.

But Jesus calls us do something more radical, to love those who hate us.

So help those who hate you and be the light to battle the dark.

Bring love to hate.

Because love, true love is the greatest of all.

Have a Blessed and Loving Week,
Chris

Links…
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%208%3A1-11&version=ESV

God is Easy to Remember

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how it is easy to forget God.

But the truth is if you know God and love God it is even easier to remember Him.

You can remember God in the big moments. When there was a wonderful moment to celebrate or be joyous. But also you can remember Him in a time of grief and sorrow.

God is there in both those types of moments. He will celebrate with you in your joy and He will comfort you in your sorrow.

You can remember God in the small moments. When you chuckled with someone you love. Or just shared a moment with them. How often can you think of a time when you were down in the dumps and out of the blue someone or something provided you with a moment to cheer you up?

God is with you during the big and small moments.

He also provides what you need whether big or small.

If you truly know God and love God you will see Him in your blessings and struggles.

Another way to remember God is through His creation.

Just step outside and gaze upon the world. Look at a beautiful sunset in the evening or see a sunrise in the morning. Look out at the wonderful creations walking the Earth, look at nature. God is an artist.

You yourself are piece of art that He has molded.

He remembers you.

He could never forget you.

You’re easy to remember.

Because He loves you.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

Grace is a Gift

Well with us being close to a week into the New Year and today being the Epiphany the holiday season is officially over.

This week I’ve decided to write about something I struggle with and that is my struggle with grace and being too hard on myself.

It’s very important not to hold yourself to higher standards than God.

He has given you grace as a gift. It doesn’t come with a gift receipt. Don’t try to return it. Accept it.

If you make a mistake, call out to the Lord, ask for forgiveness and focus on the solution not the problem.

God is the solution.

He can and will get you through whatever you’re going through.

When you mess up remember, He forgives you, so forgive yourself.

God is greater than all, He knows what is best. I’ll say it again don’t hold yourself to a higher standard than God does.

Before I had a strong relationship with the Lord I found myself feeling immensely guilty when I would sin. I would feel so terrible and put so much pressure on myself that I would feel sick from being so hard on myself. I would then abandon having a relationship with the Lord. I would stop reading the Bible and lose focus on the Lord.

This of course just led to more sin and unhappiness.

It was only when I truly gave myself to the Lord that I was able to see His grace and allow Him to do His work through me.

My entire life has changed since then and I truly have been able to change.

All thanks and praise to God.

If God is choosing not to punish you, don’t punish yourself.

There may be consequences on Earth for your sin, if they’re trust in God’s will and accept it. But remember ultimately you are forgiven by His grace.

The ultimate punishment you can bestow upon yourself is keeping yourself from God.

Go to Him humbly and let Him change you.

Remember…

Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 I can do all things through [a]Christ who strengthens me.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians+4%3A13&version=NKJV