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.
This week’s Throwback Thursday post is from October 2018. I would have added a few things in this post if it was written today but I’m going to leave that out. The point of these throwback posts is to see how I have grown as a writer and to share old posts with new followers of my blog. Thanks to everyone who read this blog back then and today.
4 Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), 3 He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. 4 But He needed to go through Samaria.
5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples…
People will always make excuses for telling lies, they call them white lies but lies are lies. Lies are not only sin but they’re just like sin, both lying and sin just lead to more and worse lies and sin.
The Bible calls Satan the “Father of Lies” don’t be his child be a child of the Good Father, be a child of God who not only speaks the truth but is the Truth.
I have a story to prove the goodness of truth and faithfulness of God.
A man was in prison unjustly, a prisoner of the faith. He and his fellow prisoners decided to attempt to stage an escape, the prison itself was on an island so they decided to little by little find wood and build a boat. After a long time they finally had a boat ready that they hoped could get them to freedom.
They managed to sneak out but when they came around a corner there were two guards. One of them asked, “Are you trying to escape?”
The man knowing it was a sin to lie decided to be faithful to God’s word and said, “Yes.”
The guard said, “Good, so are we. Let’s go.”
The two guards led them out of the prison. They got on the boat and fled.
However the story doesn’t end there. You see when they got out to sea, a storm came and began to knock the little boat around But as it turned out the two guards were also sailors. The guards navigated the storm and they made it to freedom.
The man said if the guards weren’t with them they would not have survived.
All glory to God.
You see the truth can and will set you free (in some instances in more ways than one).
So be in truth, be in God and have a blessed week, Chris
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.
The world will never let you forget your mistakes.
They will be constantly brought up to you, people will resent you for your past. You will always have that blemish in people’s minds.
Heck in the middle of a mistake the world won’t even let you stop it. They will remind you that shouldn’t have done it in the first place. It doesn’t matter that you immediately tried to fix what happened.
But with God it is the opposite.
God will forgive you.
God won’t resent you, God won’t forsake you.
He asks you to repent and when you truly change your ways God won’t bring up your mistakes.
The Bible says in Micah 7:19, “He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our[a] sins into the depths of the sea.”
And in Psalm 103:12, “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”
Of course there may be earthly consequences for your actions and that is a part of the repentance process. But to God once your repentance is complete, that is it. He loves you and will not hold your sins against you.
His grace and His sacrifice is sufficient for you.
Even if the entire World hates you as long as God loves you can be joyous.
Because He is enough.
Have a Blessed Week, Chris
Below I have attached the online service of Heritage Baptist Church
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.
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.
This past Saturday we in American celebrated Independence Day. A day where we celebrate our freedom but the truth is many in this country and in the world are not free no matter what type of country they live in or what type of government they have.
In reality true freedom comes from God.
Only He provides you with true freedom.
Freedom from sin and destruction.
Freedom from this world that hates what is good and loves what is evil.
Atheist don’t believe in God of course, however if you ask them if there was a Hell would they go to it after they die, it is very rare to hear them say, “yes”. Usually the answer is “no” and filled with many reasons as to why they wouldn’t and most importantly that they believe themselves to be a “good person”.
Well the truth is being a “good person” doesn’t make you good, we all allow others to suffer around us and we constantly do the wrong thing. We may all strive to be a good version of a person but we can’t say that we are overall “good”. That alone goes to God.
Only He is righteous and good.
We can only be righteous through Him.
We are all sinners.
*Psalm 53 1-3 says, “The fool has said in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity; There is none who does good.
2 God looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. 3 Every one of them has turned aside;
They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good,
No, not one.”
Now this of course relates to David’s time and to Israel but we can also use this as guidance to the world we live in today. We all struggle to do the right thing and many times have our own motives. Can we truly say that we do “good” or at least as “good” as we should?
We as Christians know we are sinners and we must humble ourselves to the Lord. We recognize God is so merciful to us all despite the lack of mercy we on this earth show to each other. Religious or not we all can do better.
When we do make mistakes there is usually an earthly consequence, we could go to jail, ruin a relationship, lose a job or even smaller consequences like just make someone upset or lose out on something you wanted to enjoy. The type of consequence doesn’t matter, the main focus is that there is consequences.
But what about spiritual consequences? We know the wages of sin is death** but what about after death? How can you make up for all your collective sins, mistakes and bad things you have done?
Well God made a plan for us all to be redeemed, it was through the Son, Jesus Christ. He died so our sins could be forgiven and we could have eternal life with the Lord. But you have to accept Jesus’s sacrifice as your atonement for your own sins.
If you don’t than you will have to take on the spiritual consequences.
So to the Christians out there that is why we must spread the Gospel to the world and pray that people’s hearts our opened to God.
I know sometimes it can be hard to talk to others about faith especially when you are attacked or mocked or ridiculed. I saw a picture that really inspired me it stated, “Atheism is a temporary condition” then pointed out every knee shall bow. We know this from scripture.
In Philippians 2:10-11 it says, “10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” ***
So my Christian brothers and sisters have confidence in faith and be bold and spreading the Gospel because in the end God wins and we will spend eternity with Him. And since we all strive to be “good people” then we as Christians need to follow God’s will and be a part of His salvation plan by helping those around us learn about the Lord so hopefully they can be saved as well.
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.
Philippians 4:13New King James Version (NKJV)
13 I can do all things through [a]Christ who strengthens me.