Wednesday, December 17, 2014

All about God

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” -- Revelation 4:11
We live at at time when our entire society is being reworked to be political correct. Our world revolves around mankind, giving him honor and glory for everything that exists. Every great accomplishment in life is attributed to the wisdom and skill of humanity. To put it simply, "It's all about man". 
As we read todays passage the message is very different. God, and God alone created all things. No matter where we turn, everything that is exists by the will of God. His plan and purpose is behind every star that shines and every breeze that brushes across the meadow. To put is simply, "It's all about God".
How do you greet each event in life my friend? Are you focused on yourself and how you can impact your world for your honor? Or are you overwhelmed with the works of great men and women and seek to be like them? Remember that the Lord alone is worthy to receive glory and honor and power, for "In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). To put is simply, "It's all about God".

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Reputation

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God." -- Revelation 3:1-2
Have you ever purchased something because of the name on the product? Were you then disappointed by the lack of quality, surprised that the name didn't carry the same dependability that you once knew? It is sad but true that many great companies have lived long, just on their legend. Their reputation said one thing, but the reality was very different.
Jesus spoke to the Church of Sardis as the one who knew the heart. He knew their works, but he also knew their spiritual quality. They couldn't sell him on their name, because he knew the truth of who they really were down deep. They had a reputation of being alive, but they were dead.
As believers, Jesus called this church to "wake up" and strengthen what remained. How about you my friend? Have you slipped into the daze that lives on your past achievements while asleep at the present spiritual wheel? Remember... a reputation is only as good as its living reality.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hold Fast

"But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel... Only hold fast what you have until I come." -- Revelation 2:20, 25
Some things change at a very slow rate and age is one of them. We would never accept certain conduct when we were younger, but now we just adjust. There was a time that we would go into action in the face of injustice, but now we put up with it rather than fight. We may not agree, but we tolerate.
The church of Thyatira was commended for her "love and faith and service and patient endurance", and that her latter works exceeded the first. It's good to stay the course over time, but what wrongs do we slowly come to accept? We may work hard, but are we as willing to pay the price for righteousness in our later days as when we were young? Have we reached the point of toleration?
Have you suffered from a slow drift my friend? Has the crisp conviction of youth yielded to the soft acceptance of age? Why fight City Hall you say, and then leave the battle to the younger brethren. Remember, Jesus IS coming and he expects us to "hold fast" and not give in to toleration!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Great Expectations

"The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place..." -- Revelation 1:1 
When my sons were born I knew the day would soon arrive for them to launch out on their own. The years have passed so very quickly and that day has come. While I am talking about 31 and 27 years respectively, they were not long at all. Great expectations overwhelmed me.
When the word "soon" is read there are skeptics that believe these events should have already come to pass. There are also those who seek to spiritualize the passage and suggest it already happened over time in the hearts of believers. But the word is quite simple in its meaning and filled with great expectations.
As the years pass for you my friend, are you filled with hope? Does the revelation of Jesus Christ make the time pass quickly? Are you living with your heart and mind focused on the future? Soon and very soon, we're going to see the King. So live your life with great expectations.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Fire Snatcher

"But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit... snatch others from the fire and save them..." -- Jude 20, 23
When the house goes up in flames and fire-fighters arrive, you hope they are in good shape. If someone is caught in the house and needs to be rescued, you hope the rescue team is skilled and well trained. People's lives depend on those who are always ready to save the day. The best fire-fighter is a prepared fire-fighter.
In the face of eternity there are souls in danger of fire every day. They need someone who is well trained to "snatch' them from the flames. But too many believers have allowed the "good life" to eat up their time and energy. When the alarm rings they aren't ready to help. The best fire-snatcher is a prepared fire-snatcher.
The emphasis of verse 20 is to build oneself in the faith. If you hope to snatch others from the flames, you need to be skilled and trained. Are you spending time every day in the Word of God and in Spirit led prayer? Do you practice these disciplines so that you're always ready? Remember, the best fire-snatcher is a prepared fire-snatcher.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Hospitable Spirit

"Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God." -- 3 John 5-6
Walmart had a great idea when they hired people to greet shoppers at the main entrance. The majority have a friendly smile and make me feel very welcomed. While there are some greeters who seem to be bored with their job, most are quite sincere. Even though we are strangers, a hospitable spirit goes a long way.
Along those same lines, my wife and I were visiting a church some time ago while on vacation. We were given a happy and pleasant greeting by a friendly usher. While there were very few others that said hello, we will never forget that kind usher that welcomed us upon arrival and gave a very fond farewell as we left. Even though we were strangers, a hospitable spirit went a long way.


How do you treat visitors at your church? Do you go out of your way to greet them with a warm welcome? As you reach out to new faces this Sunday, be sure your love is sincere and your spirit is worthy of the Lord. Remember, even though you are strangers, a hospitable spirit goes a long way.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Accessory

"If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work." -- 2 John 10-11
In the legal community there is conduct called "Accessory" that is considered criminal. By definition an Accessory is "a person who assists in the commission of a crime, but who does not actually participate in the commission of the crime as a joint principal". Guilt follows the action with criminal charges and legal ramifications. Basically, anyone who is an Accessory shares in the evil work.
When it comes to spiritual matters we often lose our clarity of thought. John saw the need to give instruction on this point, as unwarranted tolerance seemed to run rampant. Time has not remedied the matter, since tolerance is the way to go for many contemporary believers. While social crime is a serious matter, spiritual heresy endangers the eternal future of the soul. John made it clear with the words, "Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work."
Know what you believe my friend, and stand firm in your faith. Take notice of those who have perverted the doctrines of the faith and do not condone or encourage them. You will notice that this teaching comes in the same letter that speaks about loving the brothers. The command to love one another is well established, but do not welcome those who would lead others astray from the truth or you will share in their wicked work as an Accessory.