Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Friday Feature 5.29.15 – Abuse and Easy Forgiveness

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The topic eludes our understanding. So, no surprise at the curiosity this week over an article with this title:

Josh Duggar and the Problem of Easy Forgiving

Monday’s most clicked link turns into Friday’s Feature article most weeks here at my blog. So, after you’ve read through the featured article, see a few of my own thoughts:

 

It’s hard to organize many thoughts on this, so a few bullet points will suffice:

  • Victims in these situations will often take years if not the rest of their lives to process and deal with these types of events.
  • We don’t often know how to care for victims well because it just makes us uncomfortable and we want “normal” to return.
  • I do believe people who commit these acts can move on with their lives in a healthy way. But repentance must be a part of that path.
  • Without true repentance, the application of the grace of God, it’s all a show.
  • Hope. Hope for both victims and abusers alike. No situation befalls us as humans that proves more overwhelming than the hope we find in the cross of Jesus Christ.
  • Many criminals living life sentences have found full freedom in Jesus – we must believe this is possible for them as much as it is for the victims.

Think. What are your attitudes toward abusers and victims? What does the word “repentance” mean when you hear it?

Act. Condemn wrong. Show love. Give space and time. Encourage healing. Point to Christ.

Think and Act 5.27.15 – Jesus

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With a title like that, I doubt this will be one of my most popular posts.

But I’ve thought a lot about Jesus lately, which is probably something you’d encourage your pastor to do.

So here goes: Do you ever wonder what Jesus would think of Christianity in 2015? Specifically, what He would think of American Christianity in 2015?

Well the answer to that question would depend on many factors including Bible knowledge, background, travel experience, age, etc. And obviously, I can’t adequately treat all those factors in a simple blog post.

But I can orient your thinking to Jesus. Consider these five things about Jesus as you consider your relationship to Him (if you’re a believer) and what you think about Him (if you don’t believe).

1. Jesus died to forgive. Are you able to forgive yourself? What about others? Do you seek to lead people to God’s forgiveness? This means sin fills us, which needs forgiveness only God can give. Is your sin a problem only God can solve?

2. Jesus is truly just. Do you find yourself taking His place as judge? Do you forget sometimes that He is more qualified to judge than you are?

3. Jesus taught about hell. Hell is not a joke, a punch line, a cuss word, a threat, or any other thing our feeble minds make up. Jesus talked about it as a real place where unbelievers will spend eternity. Does this influence your attitude about sin?

4. Fakers made Jesus really angry. People who sought spiritual control, leaders who led for themselves, and those who in general played religion like junior high self-esteem building experiment drew Jesus’ anger the most. Do you have real, vibrant, relationships with believers? Does your path of growth include learning how to work together past faults, overcoming sin, increasing in honesty and vulnerability?

5. Jesus IS God. We should seek to be like Jesus because Jesus was completely and fully God. It’s a challenging filter in a Christian climate that blurs so easily due to structures, organizations, and moral dilemmas of the day.

Think. In what ways does Jesus get lost in your Christianity?

Act. Reading the Gospel accounts on a regular basis will keep us in close contact with Jesus’ character and desires for our lives.

 

Tuesday Rambling 5.26.15 – Seasons of Life

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Ecclesiastes 3 talks about seasons of life. Today’s rambling focuses on that theme.

  • Does change present serious difficulty for you?
  • Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a time for everything. We should have a theology of change.
  • It’s important to pay attention as seasons of life develop, shaping us and giving opportunity for growth.
  • It might be most important to pay attention during seasons we don’t like.
  • Example: grieving doesn’t feel good, but if we’re not careful we can waste the season thinking God doesn’t like us.
  • We may not like war, or plucking up, or the end of our favorite seasons.
  • We must remember we don’t choose the seasons. God controls them and we can respond in healthy ways, seeing His handiwork shaping us through varying seasons.
  • Enjoy the good seasons. The good times shouldn’t just put us on edge wondering when the next bad thing will happen.
  • Laugh, seek, build up, love. Keep silent, speak. These show relationships, discernment, listening, loving.
  • Embrace depth. Know the good, grow in maturity.
  • Identify the seasons. Seek God. Ask Him to show you all He has for the seasons you find yourself in as they come and go.

Monday Challenge 5.25.15 – Abuse and Easy Forgiveness, Memorial Day, Character

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Good Memorial Day morning! I hope you enjoy your day today, thankful for all we have.

Memorial Day

This piece about Memorial Day will make you think.

Question: Have you thought of soldiering this way?

Abuse and Easy Forgiveness

Short article, great points in reply to the Duggar scandal.

Question: Do you have an understanding of the dark part of human nature?

How You Play the Game

Very challenging thoughts from a trusted source.

Question: Are you susceptible to think an easy way exists?

Your Resume Vs. Your Funeral

On which set of virtues do we most often focus?

Criticism Vs. Compassion

Well, which is easier for you?

 

 

Friday Feature 5.22.15 – Singing Old Hymns

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Click this article entitled Vintage Worship to see the most clicked article from Monday’s post.

Go ahead and give it a read. No matter your perspective on worship new and old, it will make you think.

After you’ve read it, check out a few of my own thoughts:

1. New isn’t bad, but it can be.

No, new isn’t bad. I don’t think the article suggests it is. It’s just when we only value new and next that we forget.

2. Belief in Jesus is about not forgetting.

God has always wanted people to remember. The Passover’s intention was to remind the Israelites of God’s glory. Communion? “Do this in remembrance of me”, said Jesus.

So, when it comes to worshiping Jesus, why would we not remember the faith of saints before by using their music?

3. Not all songs are good songs.

Shady theology? Tough to sing? Words that don’t fit? You could make the same argument for old songs as well as new songs. I like this article because it challenged us to get away from camps such as “old” or “new” and to think Biblically.

Songs should helps us declare the glories of God. Scripture should anchor our musical worship as we draw close to God through singing.

Think. Are you opposed to older hymns? Why?

Act. Even if it’s only personally, embrace the music of generations that have come before, showing gratefulness that they did!