Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Thanksgiving is next week.  I love Thanksgiving because it's the one time a year I see a lot of my family; plus the food is awesome.  I want to use this blog post to take a quick look at what Thanksgiving is to a Christian, and I'm not talking about the American tradition necessarily.

Psalm 100
"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his,
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations."

This psalm is awesome!  It teaches us about thanksgiving and the phrase "Know that the Lord is God" is the lynchpin of the psalm.

Also, when Christians have Thanksgiving they remember the good God has done for them.  Remember the hymn "Count Your Many Blessings".  Do that.  List and see what God has done; "and it will surprise you what the Lord has done."

I have so many to list that this blog would get ridiculously long if I did, so I wont do it in a blog.  But if you are reading this you are most likely one of those blessings.

Finally, when a Christian celebrates Thanksgiving he/she should look at Deuteronomy chapter 16.  Here Moses writes down God's decrees for certain parties the Jews will have.  These parties sound lavish and awesome, but I don't want to overlook a key ingredient.

During these feast God says, "No man should appear before the Lord empty-handed: Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you."

This means we should present a gift to God at these celebrations.  So I challenge you to do this.  This can mean donating food to a food bank, giving more than your tithe in the offering, etc.  Do something to thank God for blessing you.

I personally packed a shoe-box for Operation Christmas Child.  This is a fun, easy, creative way to give your gift to God and give the gift of God to someone else.  You see Christian living is all about loving God and loving people.  I feel this tradition is an awesome tradition for a Christian Thanksgiving.

So count you many blessings, know the Lord is God and don't appear before the Lord empty-handed.  Love Jesus today.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Matthew 8

This word is such a simple word in our Christian lives.  We say it without thinking.  Really think about what Faith is while you read Matthew chapter 8.

Here are some thoughts on Faith from this chapter.

Jesus sees many people in this chapter; some have Faith, some don't.  Which are you?

The man with leprosy had Faith.  "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean?'  Do you have Faith like this man that God can do anything he wants to do?

The centurion.  "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.  But just say the word, and my servant will be healed."  This man had Faith that God has the power to command.  Do you believe this?  When Jesus heard the centurion's statement, "he was astonished", do you have Faith that astonishes Jesus?

Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law and she got up and began to serve Jesus.  When Jesus fulfills our need prayed to him by faith do we return to Jesus with an attitude of servitude or apathy?

I wont go into those in this chapter that didn't have much Faith because we've seen that side of the coin too much in real life.  But here's a reason for Faith out of the mouth of a demon: "Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?'

Boom!  Even the demons know that Jesus wins in the end and they will be tortured.  How can we not have Faith in the winning team?

Pray for more Faith today.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Matthew 7

Matthew 7 is the final chapter of the account of the Sermon on the Mount.  This chapter is also awesome and packed with good, practical advice.  But in reading it a few things stood out to me.

Jesus begins the chapter (not that he spoke in chapters) by saying, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."  This is the non-Christian's favorite verse of the Bible.  This may be better known than John 3:16 to most of the world.

People hate to be judged, and they should hate being judged.  Jesus is serious when he commands us not to judge unless we like being judged.  Still, I'm bad at this.  I will judge someone based on what they wear.  I'll judge you from the first moment I see you.  I hope this doesn't scare you away, but it's true.  Jesus is commanding me not to judge and I need to listen!

Judging is what non-Christians hate most about Christians.  I get it too.  We become exclusive when we judge... and we should never be exclusive.

However, God is exclusive.  I'm not saying God doesn't love everyone.  He does.  But he is Holy and can't be any other way.  Read this, "Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it".

Some loving God, huh?!  Hell is going to be more crowded with people than Heaven?!  Some loving God!  Yes, he is very loving.  We all deserve Hell, all of us.  It is unfair that any receive Heaven.

Here's the tough thing.  We Christians are called to not judge, and we are told that many people are walking straight to Hell.  What are we to do?  Is it judging to tell them they are wrong, to say 'look out, cliff ahead'?

Jesus leaves us hanging, doesn't he?  He contradicts himself, doesn't he?  No, he doesn't.  The glue that holds these two statements both together as truth is Love.  Love is the difference.  Look at verse 12.  The Golden Rule: "Do to others what you would have them do to you."  When we are discerning whether we are judgmental or whether we are warning others of impending doom, we just need to test it with The Golden Rule.

If you are warning someone out of Love, good.  If you are trying to look superior, don't do it.

For example: if I can't afford nice shirts don't judge me by pointing that out to me.  You wouldn't want that done to you, would you?  If I have dropped mustard on my shirt then tell me.  You would want me to do that for you, wouldn't you?  The heart is the key.

So love people.  Warn them about the penalty of sin and point them to Jesus who can fix them.  Do not judge for judging's sake according to your standard; or God will gladly judge you according to his standard, which is perfection.

Love and do not judge today, but fight for the Truth.