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

Tuesday Rambling 3.28.17 – Walking By Faith

Rambling about faith on this fine Tuesday morning:

  • “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1
  • Any relationship with God must have faith as its foundation. To truly trust in the promises of God means you can’t see all the outcomes and results.
  • “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7
  • The opposite of faith is sight. Relying on our own sight means we trust our view better than God’s.
  • Faith requires trust – at all times.
  • Faith often wavers in difficulty; faith comes easily when good times roll.
  • Faith means we trust God’s plans supersede our own – always.
  • Faith means we operate out of conviction God will work in ways we cannot understand.
  • “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. 
  • Without faith we have no relationship with God. Without God, we have no faith. We cannot originate faith – we must ask God for more and more faith!
  • The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” – Luke 17:5. Reading Romans 12 and passages like the ones in Luke 17 will encourage us to ask for more faith!
  • And when we have it we should glorify God for it rather than take credit ourselves!
  • So, for salvation, for heaven, for forgiveness, for everything God gives us, we must ask for the faith it takes to see God’s ways and plans.

Tuesday Rambling 3.21.17 – Heroin and Our Neighborhood

Usually the topic itself would require a bit deeper or more lengthy post. I’ll assume familiarity with the topic.

  • I thought I’d ramble in response to the Akron Beacon Journal article in Sunday’s paper.
  • I’ve heard several different reactions to the article, ranging from anger to understanding.
  • Ranging responses should be expected, but I’d at least say we should wrestle with the facts.
  • Data show poorer neighborhoods have more overdoses. What does that mean?
  • It doesn’t mean heroin has no impact in the suburbs; indeed it does.
  • Nor does it mean the neighborhood should wallow unto death. Many pursue the greater good here in civic, educational, and spiritual arenas.
  • It does mean those who count overdoses can show that more of them happen in neighborhoods where incomes remain lower.
  • I hate to admit that. I love my community and don’t see our family leaving anytime soon.
  • So, I take it as a challenge. How can I strive to help improve life in the neighborhood where I live?
  • I can find out more about ways every day citizens can respond.
  • I can continue to aid those working with recovering addicts or grieving family members.
  • I can pray for the movement of the Holy Spirit, drawing people to fulfillment in Christ rather than drugs.
  • What other thoughts would you add?

Tuesday Rambling 3.7.17 – About Right and Wrong

Tuesday mean time for rambling.

  • Will you teach your children right and wrong?
  • Why? And how will you determine the standards?
  • When it comes to harming someone, do you believe in a boundary? What words are hurtful? What actions?
  • When it comes to personal character, should you cheat? Why or why not?
  • Does it matter if you say things that lack truth? Or blur the lines?
  • Regarding sex, do any boundaries on our behavior exist? Can we absolutely do anything we want with our bodies no matter the ramifications for others or for society? If no, where do you draw the line and why?
  • The bottom line: we all believe in right and wrong. No, the neighbor shouldn’t have loud bumping parties every night. No, we don’t think the neighbor should be able to steal our tools from our shed. Nor do we think a neighbor should be able to kill our pet without any recourse.
  • I’m challenging you to think about why you have morals or why it would concern you to teach them.
  • I believe the structure for right and wrong comes from the fact we have a God who actually created the world and entire universe in which we reside.
  • Simply, having a creator means someone is qualified to govern the creation. Someone outside the creation (God) governs what goes on in the creation.
  • Yes, that’s why we believe right and wrong. And if you don’t believe in an absolute right and wrong, you must admit you believe in some right and wrong and you have to have an explanation for why.
  • Finally, if God governs the creation, then He certainly has the qualifications to govern heaven, hell, and who gets there. He governs our souls, and while he does so with justice, what we also know is that He is a God of great love.
  • He sent his Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Only a God outside the world can come into the world as a human and stay perfect. That’s our hope. I urge you to trust in what His death and resurrection accomplished. He stayed morally pure so we can have the hope of victory over all our wrongs. He rose from the dead to prove He has power over death and the world!

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!