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

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?

Tuesday Rambling 1.24.17 – Spiritual Growth Challenges

Tuesday Rambling: things that challenge our spiritual growth.

  • How we handle the high points. Do we take too much credit?
  • How we handle the low points. Do we repent and restore fellowship with God when we sin or do we simply soldier through to the next opportunity?
  • Do we focus on making disciples? Does someone wake up this morning and say __your name here__ is discipling me?
  • Many other great things can fill our time. Jesus called us to make disciples.
  • Who knows or is hearing the gospel as a result of knowing you?
  • What strategy do you employ when weakness or temptation strikes? Do you have verses or truth you speak to Satan in the midst of his attacks? See Matthew 4:1-10 for reference.
  • How would God say your relationship stands based on how much He hears from you? How well does He know the struggles and successes, concerns and worries which affect your life?
  • No one drifts to spiritual growth. If you find yourself drifting, it probably means drifting (however slowly) away from God.
  • What intentional action steps can you take, today, to draw closer to Jesus?

Tuesday Rambling 1.17.17 – As Inauguration Day Approaches

Rambling concerning believers and the upcoming presidential inauguration:

  • Believers: Please know your overt support for President Trump could harm the possibility of stronger relationships with other believers.
  • Believers: Please know public statements against President Trump could harm the possibility of stronger relationships with other believers.
  • Scripturally, political power is not a key or necessary component for the movement of the kingdom of God. Often, the kingdom advances in spite of political kingdoms who oppose believers.
  • Sometimes, the witness of believers stirs the hearts of political leaders. Sometimes, God hardens the hearts of political believers.
  • Our eyes, hearts, and affections should stay fixed upon Jesus, the Lamb of God, who died in our place. He is the King above all kings.
  • This situation requires a tight rope of balance.
  • We must admit facts, such as: 1) The harsh rhetoric used in his campaign brings fear from those already marginalized that further marginalization could happen 2) The moral character (or lack thereof) of our incoming president should cause believers great concern.
  • Said another way: if we had concern for the moral compass of our outgoing president, we can’t pretend that somehow this one is better simply due to a certain set of campaign promises we might like to hear.
  • To those opposed to President Trump, please know many have tried to live peaceful and quiet lives under President Obama whose social policies directly contradicted the teaching of Scripture in many areas.
  • We also must admit that not all who voted for trump voted in agreement of his character and everything he represents.
  • One of the goals of praying for our leaders, Scripturally, pins our effort in prayer to our desire to live peaceful and quiet lives in godliness and holiness.
  • This little article about praying for leaders may help.
  • Whatever your feelings about this inauguration, please check your emotion, act in love, and consider the perspectives of others.

Tuesday Rambling 1.10.17 – Complete, Total, Rambling

Total Rambling. On Tuesday, what else might you expect?

  • Go Clemson! Not the best game ever, but hard fought and nice to see Alabama lose.
  • Woke up to a “no school” day today. I always think of and pray for those seriously inconvenienced by a sudden day of no school. Know a snow day instantly puts kids in Akron at risk for safety (perhaps staying home too young) or food (for many schools provide the only meals they get).
  • Meryl Streep – her words at the Golden Globes show what is wrong with our culture. Differences no longer represent different ways of thinking, they represent divisions which breed a condescending attitude to those with whom you disagree.
  • More on Streep: listen I don’t watch MMA as it’s just not my thing. But I’m not going to make categoric statements about those who do. President-elect Trump may not have my personal support or enthusiasm, but it doesn’t mean I won’t pray for him, hope he will grow in obvious areas of weakness, and serve us as well as he can.
  • Think about what your “disagreements” do to your approach to those with whom you have difference.
  • Have you blown your resolution already? God’s grace can prevail. But why not try again, especially in pursuit of worthy goals or improvements?
  • When it comes to resolving to change, the fruit of the Spirit is perseverance!
  • Has the excitement of the new gadget from Christmas worn off? If it hasn’t, it will at some point. Give thanks to God this morning for all He’s done! Giving thanks will prevent our emotions from dictating our outlook.
  • Sin. It plagues me. It plagues all humans. God Himself has made the sacrifice for our sin. If you never have, the Bible tells us we can approach God’s throne with confidence because of Jesus’ sacrifice. Wow! Come to Jesus and seek forgiveness. He will grant it. Don’t delay!