High Standards, Higher Grace

At Men’s Prayer Breakfast on Saturday we planned on discussing Matthew 5-7 but in the end we didn’t even get through Chapter 5 because there is so much to unpack.

One point that was brought up was the difficulty of doing a lot of what Jesus is saying.

During the discussion it came to me, “high standards, higher grace”.

We do have high standards to follow as Christians but the Grace of God far exceeds are failures.

This does not give us a license to sin or ignore God’s commands.

No it should give you hope and more reason to follow God’s commands. Because while God’s standards are high it’s not just His grace that is higher but His love and His mercy.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Matthew Chapter 5:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205&version=NIV

Discerning If You Heard From God: Test Three

The third and final way to test if you’re hearing God is the one I’ve been teasing as the most important. Did what you hear contradict scripture?

This is unbelievably crucial. 

God is NOT a hypocrite. 

God does NOT contradict Himself. 

Study the Word of God and make absolutely sure that what you think you’re hearing from God goes along with the Bible. 

Sadly an example I’ve heard a few times is when a person is in sin they say, “I feel like God told me He wants me happy”.

That is completely unbiblical and God would never do that.

God is not calling you to sin or live against His Word. He doesn’t have a new message that will change scripture. 

Matthew 24:35 (ESV), “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” 

God’s Word is eternal and He is calling you to righteousness, repentance and submission to His Word. 

If God speaks to someone it will coincide with His Word not go against. 

If you’re unsure if what you hear is Biblical than you need to read your Bible. 

Remember John 1:1 (ESV), “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” 

The Word of God is the most important way to test if you’re hearing from God. 

That’s the bottom line. 

Study His Word and you will hear from God every day no matter what. 

Have a Blessed Week, 
Chris 

Discerning If You Heard From God: Introduction

A common question I see asked is, “How do I know if what I heard is from God?” Today I am going to begin discussing answers to this question.

Originally I thought this was going to be just this week’s entry but I’ve come to realize this is a loaded topic so I am going to make this my next series. 

I want to start this off by saying, this entry will not be set out to prove any type of stance on the Gifts of the Spirit. I do not label myself anything in that department, this is not from a Pentecostal’s perspective or cessationist perspective. I am not going to even lay out my beliefs. All I am doing here is addressing those who are wondering about ways to test what they have heard to see if it is from God. I am going to give three different ways, they’re many more I am sure but I will be giving just the three. The third is the most important. 

Now when it comes to “hearing God” there is a lot of different ways people think they’re hearing from God. It can be on their own through their mind in prayer, through a dream, plenty of other ways I’m sure as well. 

And of course through the Bible! Yes, the Word of God. Read that first and foremost. That is your best bet if you want to hear from God. Many times reading scripture has given me the answer I needed. 

Sometimes you get messages from other people, whether it be a subtle confirmation on something you have been praying about, a more bold proclamation from someone claiming they have a message from the Lord (this of course you certainly want to test). I really could go on and on. 

Whether subtle or bold, we should, “test all things” like scripture says but do so with a gracious and loving heart. Not out to debunk a message but also not out confirm something just because you want it to be from God. 

Also look out for vagueness, if you hear in your mind or from someone else something like, “Good things are coming your way” or even, “Troubles are coming”. That is true no matter what, that is far too vague to know if it is from God. 

The following three weeks (with a break for Labor Day) I will be discussing the three before mentioned ways to test if what you’re hearing is from God with examples to help. 

I hope this helps those who need it. 

Have a Blessed Week, 
Chris 

So What Are You Going To Do About It?

My Pastor yesterday preached a great sermon yesterday on Isaiah 1:1,10-20. There is a lot I could unpack as there is a lot that stood out to me but the truth is I want to focus on one part at least for now.

A little note on my Pastor, he likes to stay informed. He listens and reads to all different sides of an issue to understand things. During the sermon he mentioned how people love to call into radio programs and complain, they get very worked up and angry. They complain, vent and complain some more. One particular radio host likes to ask the caller at the end of their rant, “Now what are you going to do about it?”

I don’t know who that radio host is or what they believe but what a great question to ask.

We get upset, angry, grieved about the sins of the world and we are justified in those emotions. There is so much evil, pain and sorrow in the world.

But after thinking about these things lets ask ourselves, “Now what are you going to do about it?”

What we need to do about it is follow Christ and live a self sacrificial life of servitude to God. Spreading the Gospel not just in our words but in our actions. Love people, take care of people, tell them about their savior.

Because the true answer to the question, “Now what are you going to do about it?” is what God wants me to do about it.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – Isaiah 5:1-7

Tuesday – Psalm 82

Wednesday – Hebrews 11:29-12:2 (Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16)

Thursday – Luke 12:49-56

The Broken Cross

When I was in high school a friend of mine who was a fellow Christian gave me a cross. It was green and made of glass. I loved it, the color was my favorite, the cross felt so nice in my hand.

I wore it every day and everywhere.

One day at the favorite local hang out spot (the arcade) I was playing a game called Dance Dance Revolution. After the game was over, I noticed my cross had fallen from my neck and shattered.

I was heartbroken, there was no fixing the cross. My friend later asked me where the cross was? I had to solemnly tell him the news. You could tell he was disappointed.

He got over it quick because quite frankly his life had one tragedy after the other. It was a hard and cruel life.

Years later he now openly mocks God and faith on Facebook.  

The broken cross he gave to me ended up being a metaphor for what was to come, his faith would be broken.

It grieves me to think about and sadly of all my friends from high school I can think of only two who are believers in Christ.

Even worse they’re not just unbelievers but many of them bash God and hate Jesus Christ.

It breaks my heart.

I often times feel hopeless for my high school friends. But then I remember there is hope.

Hope in Jesus Christ.

Because truly in high school, I was broken. That broken cross could serve as a metaphor for me. I was vile, deep in sin. Filled with hatred and pain. I was completely shattered and seemed to be unfixable.

But then Jesus truly saved me from myself.

I owe all to God.

All glory to God!

Praise His Name.

Have a Blessed and Hopeful Week,
Chris

The Story of Christmas

Christmas in July?! With Christmas in July being marketed more and more. Why not post the meaning of Christmas for Throwback Thursday?

The Good Word

Christ Born of Mary

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed [a]wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a [b]manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in…

View original post 345 more words

What is Loving?

I was once told that a post of mine was the opposite of what my blog was supposed to be. They said I was being judgmental and unloving for telling people the Truth that is found in Christ

In reality Jesus said He was, “The Way, The Truth and the Life” and “That no one comes to the Father except through Me”.

The truth is not judgmental. Telling someone they’re an atheist or a muslim or anything else and then proceeding to tell them about themselves that is judgmental. But telling someone they’re a sinner in need of a savior that is just truth. We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God.

Now on to the “unloving” part. Since Jesus declared Himself to be the “Truth” not telling someone about Jesus would be unloving because not telling the truth is lying and that in itself is an unloving thing to do.

Most importantly Jesus is the savior of the World. Imagine if you were in a fire and were saved, you now know the way out of the fire, would it be unloving to tell people the way out? Or would that be the most loving thing to do. The least loving thing to do would walk away and say, “well that is my way out of the fire. They’re many different paths to getting saved from the fire”.

That would be awful!

The world right now is trying to tell us Christians to do exactly that. They’re telling us to embrace everyone with “love” but its fake love desired to gratify the flesh.

Do the most loving thing you can do, tell someone about Jesus, He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Have a Blessed and Loving Week,
Chris

Daily Scripture Reading
Monday – Hosea 1:2-10
Tuesday – Psalm 138
Wednesday – Colossians 2:6-19
Thursday – Luke 11:1-13

God and Baseball

Decided to go a little lighter for Throwback Thursday this week. This is a fun post I wrote about baseball and God from 2019. I remember how much I enjoyed writing this entry.

The Good Word

Summer is officially here so it’s the perfect time to write an entry combining two of my biggest passions.  Today I’m writing about God and Baseball.

When something occurs on the field that seems miraculous or like justice is occurring in favor of a wronged player or team people often times like to use the term, “the baseball god’s”. When these things happen I prefer to say God is a Baseball fan.

Rather than discussing memorable Baseball moments there is a quote and a joke I love that I want to discuss.

First the quote, “Baseball is like Church. Many attend few understand.” -Leo Durocher, Hall of Fame Baseball Manager.

I think that’s a brilliant quote and it is very true. In church many do attend but often times miss the point of the Gospel or misquote the Gospel to get a point across that fits their view.

I know…

View original post 542 more words

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…

View original post 94 more words