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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Knowledge of the Holy

Currently I'm reading the book The Knowledge of The Holy by A. W. Tozer.  I'm nearly done and I'd highly recommend the book.  The book attempts to address the attributes of God and their meaning in the Christian life.

Every chapter is extremely quotable.  In fact, the reason I wanted to read this book is because other authors I enjoy incessantly quote Tozer and I find each quote to be brillant.  That being said I really enjoyed one quote in particular:

"We can hold a correct view of Truth only by daring to believe everything God has said about Himself."

He goes on to say:

"God's being is unitary.  He cannot divide Himself and act at a given time from one of His attributes while the rest remain inactive.  All that God is must accord with all that God does."

What Tozer so brilliantly states is that God is God all the time.  He can best be described as Himself.  We, as finite humans with finite minds, can only understand God by viewing His attributes.  This leads us into a grave misunderstanding of who God is.  We think, "Is God merciful in this situation or just?  Is God loving or is He sovereign in this?  Is God good or is He holy here?"  God is never one and not the other.  The answer is always "yes!"

That is incomprehensible for us.  We can't be completely faithful in full strength to every attribute of ourselves so we believe God can't either.  But here's the kicker... we are not like God and God is so completely unlike us.

Isn't that wonderful?

Again, I'd recommend The Knowledge of The Holy by A.W. Tozer to you.  It's so refreshing to take a new and better look at who our God is.  So, pick up the book and focus on the beauty of the essence of our Great God today.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Proverbs for Graduates

Congratulations to the high school and college graduates!  Over the past few weeks I've been to parties where I was asked to write down words of wisdom.  Here are some words from the wisest man in history, King Solomon.

"Hatred stirs up dissension,
but love covers over all wrongs"
Proverbs 10:12

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom."
Proverbs 11:2

"Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates correction is stupid."
Proverbs 12:1

"A mise son heeds his father's instruction,
but a mocker does not listen to rebuke."
Proverbs 13:1

"All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty."
Proverbs 14:23

"Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisors they succeed."
Proverbs 15:22

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and your plans will succeed."
Proverbs 16:3

"Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent,
and discerning if he holds his tongue."
Proverbs 17:28

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are saved."
Proverbs 18:10

"Listen to advice and accept instruction,
and in the end you will be wise."
Proverbs 19:20

I could go on.  In fact, read Proverbs and you will find more wisdom.

My advice for you is to seek the Lord, seek knowledge and surround yourself with wise people.  Search for good friends wherever it is you are going.  Find a good church and become friends with those older than you.

Congratulations graduates and search for the wisdom of God today.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Acts 26- Passion and Truth

Take time to read Acts chapter 26.

In this chapter Paul presented his case before King Herod Agrippa.  Paul did this because Governor Festus thought Paul was innocent but he didn't know what Paul was innocent of and Paul had appealed to Caesar.  So, since Agrippa was familiar with Jewish law Agrippa heard Paul's case in order to have something to write to Caesar.

In presenting his case Paul simply gave his testimony.  I believe we can learn an important lesson from this retelling of Paul's testimony.

First, the Truth of the Gospel is logical.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

We Christians have given up.  We've said that non-theism is logical and you have to have immeasurable faith to believe the Gospel.  This just isn't true.  The Gospel is logical.  Let's look at this in Scripture.

"At this point Festus interrupted Paul's defense. 'You are out of your mind, Paul!' he shouted. 'Your great learning is driving you insane.'

'I am not insane, most excellent Festus,' Paul replied. 'What I am saying is true and reasonable."
Acts 26:24-25

I'm not going to spend time defending the complete logic of the Gospel, but we can clearly see that Paul declares it to be true and reasonable/logical.

Next, passion in of itself is useless without Truth.

The Jews were passionate "they earnestly serve God day and night." (verse 7).  The Jews had passion and followed through on that passion but it was wasted.

Paul, before his conversion, was passionate.  He went around killing Christians in his passion.  We went of multiple journeys killing Christians passionately, but that passion was wasted.

Paul after his conversion was passionate.  He went around spreading the Gospel no matter what the cost and it was worth it.  He was no longer acting under the authority of the chief priest; he was working under the authority of King Jesus.

Passion without the Truth is worthless.  The Truth without passion is impossible because the Truth will make us passionate about what matters.  If you are passionate now but don't bring the Truth of Jesus in that, please stop and fill your mind with the Truth.  If you know the Truth but aren't passionate about it, please look at the Truth again and see the beauty of it because if you do you can't help but be filled with passion.

We possess a powerful, logical Truth.  We must share it with passion.  Be filled with passion and Truth today.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

An Introduction

I usually don't do this type of writing.  I've done it once before but it's not my forte.  That being said, today I had a daydream while driving that I'd like to share with you.

In my dream I was dead.  I'd been dead for a long time and I was in heaven.

While in heaven I was standing by the banks of the River Jordan when I saw my daughter crossing.  She made it across to the shore and I ran to meet her.  I hugged her and excitingly welcomed her to heaven.

"Hey Beautiful, can I give you a tour?" I asked.

"Of course, Dad." She replied.

I took her on a tour of heaven.  I introduced her to her Great-Grandpa and Great-Grandma Ray because she had never met them.  I introduced her to Esther, Ruth, David, Paul, John and Mary.  I took her on a walk down the streets of gold until we reached the crystal sea.

Finally, it was time to do what I was most excited to do.  Something I had been waiting to do for a long time.

"Beautiful, I want to introduce to Jesus." I said beaming inside.

"Don't be silly," she replied with a goofy yet warm grin. "you already introduced me to Him a long time ago."

"... as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

I know that this was just a daydream but it is a dream I hope comes true for me and my family.  I want to be a father, when the time comes, that introduces his children to Jesus early and often.  I want to lead my family to the Author of Life.

For those of you that are parents, I ask you to introduce your children to God early and often.  For those of us that aren't parents we need to prepare ourselves for the task of introducing our children to Jesus today.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I Am Who I Am

Here's a good question Moses asked God.

"Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is His name?' Then what shall I tell them?'

God said to Moses, 'I Am Who I Am.  This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I Am has sent me to you."
Exodus 3:13-14

Many scoff at Moses' question.  "What do you mean who is God?  He is God that's who He is."  But I think it is a great question.

A. W. Tozer says in Knowledge of the Holy, "It is highly significant that the first word was the Word."  Meaning, our words about God are significant.  We don't want to misrepresent the most important entity in the universe and beyond the universe.

Tozer also says in the first chapter of Knowledge of the Holy, "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us."

So it begs the question: What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of God.  Complete this sentence for me.  God is...

Please comment on this post because I think it will be great discussion and edifying.  In a word or a few words, what is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of God today?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Red Light Prayers

I just got back from a screening of the documentary Nefarious: Merchant of Souls.  The film documents human trafficking across the globe and in my country.

This sin is unbelievably ugly and rampant.  This sin is disgusting and yet so prevalent.  We must do something about this evil.  If you don't know anything about human trafficking I strongly encourage you to do some research.  You'll be surprised quickly.

The folks who made the movie I watched highlight three ways to combat human trafficking.  They are: prayer, awareness and giving.  Prayer because God is in control and only He can change hearts and save souls.  Awareness because this evil will continue if light is not shed on it.  And giving because the need is so great and where we put our money is often where we put our heart.

According to Free the Slaves, 27 million people are enslaved in the world today.  Many of them are enslaved into prostitution.  According to the U.N., human trafficking is a $32 billion industry annually.  According to UNICEF, nearly 2 million children are involved in the international commercial sex trade.

These stats are staggering but we can do something about it.  The prayer, awareness giving model can help.

I want to invite you to join me in a simple way to change the world.  I'm stealing it from a man I heard speak from the organization Exodus Cry.  It's called Red Light Prayers because of course we think of red light districts.  Let's you and I not waste time at red lights.  When our cars get to a red lights instead of complaining, let's say a Red Light Prayer.

Here's mine: "Sovereign Lord, you are in control of everything.  Rescue one of your daughters from slavery and prostitution today."

That's it.  If I'm a light longer I can pray longer, but that simple prayer is one I can pray even while having a conversation with a passenger.  So, let's do this.  I'm not asking you to commit to doing this for the rest of your life.  I challenge you to do this for the rest of May.  Please try it with me and let's see what our awesome God does because He can do anything and everything.

Join me in praying Red Light Prayers this month.  Spread the word.  Let's participate in God's justice today.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Colombian Prostitution Scandal

Unless you've been living under a rock you've heard about the Secret Service's sex scandal.  Secret Service agents hired prostitutes while preparing for the President's trip to Colombia.

The reaction to this news has been an inditement on our society I think.  I'm not saying that this story proves that our society is full of sex-craved maniacs.  No, I'm saying it is an inditement on our eyes.  We don't see this story in the correct light.

Jay Leno and every other late night host has had a field day with this story.  Laughing at their jokes is not an evil thing by any means.  The jokes are pretty funny, but they show that we miss the point.  Sure it is kinda funny that a Secret Service agent tried to pay $28 for an $800 service... if the service was something like cleaning his car.  The story is so absurd that it is funny... unless you realize that this story isn't absurd at all.  This story is similar to one being told every single day around the world and in our communities.

Dania Suarez was one of the prostitutes involved in this sex scandal.  Playboy and Hustler are now vying to have this beautiful Colombian woman pose nude for them.  I'm sure an interview would accompany this photo shoot.  But look at how this story is being covered.  The New York Daily News said, "Suarez... is looking to sell her body - again- to the highest bidder."  These prostitutes (there were 20 involved) are being painted as willing participants in the industry.  Most prostitutes are not willing participants.  Most prostitutes are either physically enslaved or enslaved by their perceived/actual lack of options.

We have completely missed the point of this story.  We need not glamorize prostitution.  As a former prostituted woman once told me, "There is no Pretty Woman."  We need to change our eyes as a society.  Look at this story the way God does.

I invite you to come to watch the documentary Nefarious next week (May 11) at 6:00 at Grace in Waverly.  I'm sure that when you see the movie you will be unable to look at this prostitution scandal in the same way again.  I encourage you to check your eyes in regard to this story today.