Go and make Disciples...

Matthew 28:18-20

Is being nice really worth it?

People who are “nice” actually never take a hard stance because they do not want to offend any parties.  When someone tells me that they do not want to say “no” because that would not be nice, they seriously need to rethink what moral values mean to them.  Values means that you’re investing your character into a set of beliefs, and anything outside of your values would warrant an immediate “no” as a response.  This does not mean that you ignore what others have to say or that you just say no to everything, but it does mean that you have taken into serious consideration who you are as a person and how that person you have become identifies with something that transcends you as a person.  Thus, having your identity in Christ and identifying with Him will immediately place you at odds with those around you.  It’s your choice whether you want to be “nice” or someone who understands that God’s grace will suffice.  

The line between.

The line between wisdom and foolishness is an interesting dynamic.  

In our minds it is hard to distinguish between wisdom and foolishness because we usually do not think about what we do.  Maybe we do something and it started out with the right intention, but it ended up turning into something we did not expect.  

It becomes harder when someone tries to teach us wisdom because our natural instinct is not to submit or listen.  So if the line between wisdom and foolishness is so thin, then how do we stay balanced by not tipping over to foolishness?  Or how do we stay grounded by not judging those who lack wisdom and are not like us who pursue Christ?  

Your balancing rod or act is the Word of God.  Immerse yourself.  Better yet, live it out so that those who see will understand what you believe.  

The line between only becomes difficult when you refuse to accept the anecdote.

Physics

I always fall but I’m never down 

Reason being, I’m safe and sound.  

When it’s tough and Life’s a mess 

Stay on my knees, time to fess.  

This broken state makes me complete

He says He loves me, press repeat. 

Tug-a-war

A lot of my posts have been on self-reliance and this analogy will also be on that subject.  

First.  

You ever seen two men having a tug-a-war with a rope?  To save their pride, both of them struggle to pull the other man over to his side.  

Second.  

But what if you were playing tug-a-war with God?  You can’t ever pull God over to your side and as you struggle, you begin to realize that you’re pulling so hard that your hands are battered, bruised, and bloodied.  Slowly, God pulls you closer to Him and then He asks, “Show me your hands.”  And as you look down at your battered, bruised, and bloodied hands, He says, “Look at mine.  My hands were pierced so that you wouldn’t have to pay the penalty of death.  No longer do you have to be the savior and rely on yourself because I came to save and seek those who are lost.”  

Show me your hands.  

The Way Out of sin…

or so we think.  

Humanity has a way with delving into the unknown without, well…knowing.  What drives us is the insatiable desire to find answers.  However, sometimes when we do find the answers, we are not satisfied with the results.  

Everyone wants a way out, but not everyone wants The Way Out.  The Way Out is Christ…but people prefer to find their own exits.  I mean, who doesn’t want to keep their options open…right?  

The Way Out points to TWO.  Meaning, in order to have a relationship there needs to be TWO people.  In order for people to stand firm, they need to rely on someOne other than themselves.  

Thus, the ability to resists requires TWO and not one…and so The Way Out is Christ.  

AR

Allergic Reaction vs. Almighty Remedy.

Basically cleaning through the backyard and starting having an allergic reaction.  There were thorn bushes and weeds everywhere.  At first glance the task was not one that I wanted to undertake, but I realized that something had to be done.  

In the same way, when we clean up our lives of sin at first it can be daunting.  Letting go of the past and preparing the way for the future is a lot of hard work.  Maybe sometimes you reach out to throw something away and you prick yourself (thorns on a rose branch) and you think…what’s the big deal anyways, my sin never hurt anyone.  But if you were to invite someone into your life, they would find themselves in a mess!  

Even though there might be some hard work ahead of you, trust that God has the remedy for your situation.  

Fun Facts

Prayers are dangerous.  

Wrote out this prayer and then stuff happened after I prayed this prayer…lol I guess God knew what was coming next.  

Lord may Your grace sustain (2 Corinthians 12:9) and prepare those who strive (1 Timothy 4:10) to live for Your name. We know that we have to work hard (1 Thessalonians 2:9) to achieve what You ask of us, so take away our lazy hearts (Psalm 51:10) and replace them with diligent and persevering minds (Romans 12:2) that we may push forward towards the finish line (Philippians 3:13-14).

Heavy Weapons Training

People ask me all the time, “Why do I have to read the Bible?”  

When people enter the army, everyone is required to do weapons training: the new recruits, the cooks, the medics, the intelligence officers, everyone.  Can you imagine if there was a surprise attack on an U. S. military base and the cooks, medics, and intelligence officers couldn’t use their weapons?  I suppose the cook could throw a pot or knife, the medic could cut with a scalpel or give them free bandages, and the intelligence officer could throw a laptop or give information to the enemy.  Everyone needs to know how to use a rifle because that is the basic weapon for every soldier.  

In the same way, the word of God is the sword of the Spirit and we should be familiar with wielding it.  A soldier would not be seen without his rifle because he knows it would put him in a life-threatening situation.  Similarly, Christians should know that without the word of God it is much harder to resist and defend against temptation.  

Just look up Matthew 4:1-11 and tell me how Christ countered the Devil: with the sword of the Spirit.  

The Day After…

Sundays are the best days.  

Essentially it’s the day where God is glorified while man testifies.

But…the day after can be a completely different story.  

I usually teach and occasionally preach on Sunday and during the times of proclaiming the Word, God moves.  It’s an amazing feeling watching God touch the hearts of those in the congregation and seeing people come to Him.  It’s also a terrible feeling when I fall into sin the next day simply because I’m caught up with myself.  

There is no easy way out.  I’m trying to learn how to best persevere without shedding self-inflicted tears. 

Matter of convenience?

It was interesting going through the Gospels and reading the similarities through them all.  Yet this time, something stood out.  For the Pharisees’ and Sadducees’ it was a matter of convenience when it came to allegiance.  In Luke 20:19-26, they were trying to catch Jesus in a trap but it was not like they wanted to pay taxes anyways.  If they could only find one thing, one small thing against Him, then they could have their evidence to kill Him.  

In Matthew 17:24-27, Jesus told Peter to pay the tax for both of them.  This was because Christ did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17).  He was not there to cause chaos but to bring His message of truth.  However, in Luke 23:2, the leaders of the Jewish nation presented a false claim because they could not find anything wrong with Christ.  Here they said that He did not pay the tax, but that is clearly false because in Matthew 17:27 Peter pays for himself and for Christ.  

Additionally, in John 19:15, the Jews state that they have no king but Caesar.  This is ironic because they themselves despised tax collectors (tax collectors would usually be listed with other sinners Luke 18:11; 19:6) and thereby also despised the government that taxed them.  

In brief, the Jewish people studied the word but were not filled with intimate knowledge of Christ.  In the end, they killed the very Person who came to save them.  When it was convenient for them they would side with Caesar, and when it was convenient they would grumble and complain about the economic oppression from the Roman government.  

Likewise, do we run to the world when it is convenient and then blame God for the circumstances in our lives?  Do we search for joy in all the wrong places and then think that others have it way better than we do?  Christianity is meant for those who have a strong mind, men and women who do not easily sway from one side to the other.  Don’t make Christ a matter of convenience, follow Him in obedience.