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

Tuesday Rambling 2.28.17 – I Wonder…

Another Tuesday means more rambling:

I wonder…

  • …what would happen if believers honestly and openly shared their struggles in healthy ways.
  • …why God created spiders and snakes at all.
  • …what eternity with Jesus will really be like.
  • …what would happen if no one gossiped anymore.
  • …what things I really worship instead of just enjoying them.
  • …why Thin Mints are so good.
  • …how much stronger churches would be if all believers really took sin seriously.
  • …if the Indians can take the final step this year and end baseball title suffering in Northeast Ohio.
  • …how God will shape me and use me in the next five years.
  • …what opportunities God might give me today to serve Him or share my faith.
  • …what would happen if we ever stopped wondering.

 

Tuesday Rambling 2.21.17 – One Way to Heaven

Good morning all! Rambling today about a relationship with God:

  • At our church Sunday, we studied Acts 4:11-12, which say this:
  • “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
  • I entitled my sermon: “No Other Way”.
  • If you don’t know much about the Bible, Jesus’ claim is exclusive: He is the only way to heaven.
  • Hear John 14:6: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'”
  • Think back to the beginning of the Ten Commandments, given soon after God’s mighty work of parting the Red Sea.
  • Exodus 20:3 says this: “You shall have no other gods before me.”
  • God’s desire is unopposed worship; He calls men and women to worship no other.
  • So the question: why is Jesus the only way to heaven?
  • Some objections: God is selfish, arrogant – why can’t those of other faiths or other belief systems go to heaven?
  • Think: how does God show His work to humans?
  • God’s mightiest works require power humans could never explain nor mimic. He parted the Red Sea. He created the cosmos. He controlled the solar system at Jesus’ birth. He controlled the sun in the book of Joshua. Jesus performed work after work, healing and even raising people from the dead.
  • Think Jesus himself: killed, yet risen to life, spending six weeks on the earth as a resurrected human, then ascending to heaven.
  • I desire no god who fits within human explanations. I am willing to worship God who has displayed His power and might and who thus demands my complete and exclusive allegiance.
  • Some questions: What if it’s true? What if God really does things this way? What if He is the only way? What if He communicates His love through Jesus Christ His Son and you really can find forgiveness and the hope of heaven through Him. But only through Him?
  • Before believing something else, I’d check these claims out first. Turns out, they hold up very well under examination.
  • Don’t delay: put your faith in Jesus Christ today. Turn away from your sin. Trust that Jesus’ death is the only thing that will pay the debt you owe to God for your sun. Believe in Him and gain eternal life.
  • Don’t reject Him. Those who reject Jesus will suffer in the absence of God forever.
  • There is only one name. The name of Jesus Christ. Turn to Him!

Tuesday Rambling 2.14.17 – What Human Love Won’t Do

Valentine’s Day rambling:

  • Human love won’t satisfy.
  • Human love won’t last.
  • I’m not trying to douse a day of romance, but let’s be realistic.
  • Boyfriends, girlfriends, even spouses across the land today will express disappointment with someone for failing to “do well enough” on Valentine’s Day.
  • The root of that lies in relying on humans for fulfillment.
  • Does the right gift need to be bought or received for love to be expressed or for romance to be kindled?
  • If it does, what does that say?
  • Human love won’t provide consistency. Sex is an extreme physical expression of love, but certainly doesn’t last. Friendship can prove fickle, likes and interests and mood coming and going.
  • Better for us to check our level of commitment, our decision to love no matter what.
  • The Greek word for that type of love is agape.
  • After all, the New Testament uses that word more than any other to describe the love God has for us and the love He calls us to display.
  • God perfectly loves human beings who trust Him, not relying on their performance to prop up His love.
  • Even if humans practice this well, forgiveness will still happen from time to time.
  • Human love can never do what God’s love does for us. Don’t make the mistake of expecting it to do just that.

Tuesday Rambling 2.7.17 – We Must Be Saved!

Ramble. Set. Go.

  • The language “Get saved” or “I got saved” may make some uncomfortable.
  • But, the Bible uses the language.
  • Example: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8)
  • Example: When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:25-26)
  • Example: And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31)
  • Perhaps you have other favorite verses with the word “saved” in them.
  • The truth remains: Before God, our souls find themselves in peril.
  • The cause of this danger is our sin. Not just somebody else’s who might have it worse than we do.
  • No. OUR sin. All of us sin. The penalty is an eventual physical death and eternity apart from God in a real place called hell.
  • No comparing to someone else. Comparing yourself to God, and understanding the seriousness and consequence of sin.
  • So, we must be saved.
  • As the verses show, we cannot save ourselves. We need grace (something we don’t deserve). We must respond in faith (trusting in what we can’t see).  Only with God is this possible.
  • Yes, God paid the price. Jesus died for our sins. Believe in him today, and be saved.
  • AND… let this motivate you, if you already believe. Do those you love and care for need to be saved? If we believe these basic truths, ask yourself how much you desire God’s rescue for those in your life who stand in danger before God!

Tuesday Rambling 1.31.17 – Questions to Ask Yourself About Refugees

Good Tuesday morning. Today I am re-posting the content from an article I wrote in November 2015. Then I’ll add some fresh rambling at the bottom.

Questions to ask yourself about refugees:

  • Am I aware of what the Bible says about refugees? What Biblical texts will I use to form my views on what I think should happen?
  • How do my desires as a believer compete with my love of country?
  • What is the proper balance between fear of what might happen and my call as a believer to minister despite potential risk?
  • Am I willing to listen to anyone (especially fellow believers) who has a different point of view than mine?
  • Is the potential loss of my life in a terror attack the worst thing that could happen if believers were ministering to and the Spirit was converting many refugees?
  • Do I have a proper and historical understanding of the loss of life as it relates to the advancement of God’s kingdom?
  • What is the proper balance between compassion, security, fear, and love?
  • Is it somehow “unChristian” to NOT want to be blown up? (credit Kevin DeYoung from 2015 for this one).
  • How much is fear driving my view of this situation?
  • Do I trust God’s sovereignty over the sovereignty of a nation or nations right now?

Added 1-31-17:

  • Do I think President Trump’s sovereignty trumps God’s?
  • Do I have a healthy balance between theology and action?
  • Do I BOTH have Gospel-rooted beliefs about refugees AND stand ready to care for them?
  • Which is more important: standing for truth or opposing the president?
  • Do I REALLY know the facts about President Trump’s travel ban?