Thursday, October 13, 2016


I Was Just Thinking About – ACCEPTANCE.

Most days, a wise friend and faithful servant of the Lord posts helpful tidbits of Christian wisdom on Facebook. Yesterday, he posted: “Every human has something unique to contribute, but each needs the help of others to recognize and use their gifts!”Top of Form As I meditated upon his expressed thought, I commented: “One of the saddest things in a professing Christian group is for someone to feel rejected, unwanted, unneeded and/or passed by. It is a painful and haunting experience for those who have had to endure it.” He noted: “I have seen it, and it's most sad indeed!”

Later on, I was dialoging with a Pastor whose heart is to touch the lives of people without any pre-conditions on his or the Church’s part. He shared about a young couple who desperately need someone to show love and compassion toward them, as well as acceptance of who and where they are. A Church can be a difficult place to find acceptance. It’s alright to attend because “numbers” can be interpreted as growth. However, people attending a Church usually have felt-needs. Too often, there is a lack of interest in “their” need. Sometimes, there can be (and has been) the sense conveyed: “They’re not our kind of people.” Really? Yes! 

What’s wrong with the Church and the professing Christian community when it comes to welcoming strangers or those who may be different? 

Just a few Biblical notations that seem to be forgotten:
Deuteronomy 10:19, “You must show love to strangers, for you yourselves were once strangers (foreigners) in the land of Egypt.”
Romans 12:13, “Extend hospitality to strangers.”
Hebrews 13:1, “Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
Matthew 25:35, Jesus said: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
Romans 15:7, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

Okay, professing Christian, you have these challenging words of Scripture to read, know and do – James 1:22-25, “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves…But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom, and continues to do so—not being a forgetful hearer, but an effective doer—he will be blessed in what he does.”

Professing Christian, how will YOU respond to James 1:22-25? When will you begin to be “doers of The Word and not hearers only”?

Prayerfully – Consider these things with me!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


I Was Just Thinking About - - -

There is considerable opinion about how well a civilization or nation can survive amid the cultural and political pressures of a given period of time. The current political rhetoric about survival of the current Presidency and a different Administration to be elected has one glaring omission – the absence of God in the discussions. The USA has proclaimed for years: “In God We Trust.” The obvious question is – Do we trust in God at all? If we have abandoned God in our culture, can the nation survive His absence? More importantly, if God has abandoned this nation, survivability is impossible.

There is a very sad scene in Judges 16:17-21. It is the account about Samson, his source of strength and the ultimate loss of it. By means of his rejection of God’s standards and purpose for him, he allowed himself to become arrogant, ego-centric and a womanizer. The Philistines wanted to eliminate him as a force to be reckoned with and had Delilah cater to his arrogance, ego and womanizer tendency. It came to a point where he indicated that he loved her and ultimately revealed his heart to her and that led to his demise. She reports this to the Philistines. His head is shaved and he did not realize that he had been abandoned by God. The sad commentary of his demise and situation: “But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.  So the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes, brought him down to Gaza, bound him with bronze chains and he became a grinder in the prison." 

In a similar historical moment, the Lord sent a resounding message by his prophet Amos to the nation of Israel that He was going to abandon them because of their pride and wickedness - Amos 6:11-14, “For behold, the Lord is going to command that the great house be smashed to pieces and the small house to fragments…you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood, You who rejoice and say: Have we not by our own strength taken a nation for ourselves? Behold, I am going to raise up a nation against you, O house of Israel, declares the Lord God of hosts, And they will afflict you…” God would abandon them to their pride, arrogance and wickedness.

That which was true for Samson (Judges 16)  and Israel (Amos 6) is also true for the politicians and people of our day and any nation that has forgotten and abandoned God. In Jeremiah 13:13-27, the pride of the nation is about to lead the people into captivity. One of the indictments against them is stated in verses 24-25: “I will scatter them like stubble that passes away by the wind of the wilderness. This is your lot, the portion of your measures from Me, says the Lord, because you have forgotten Me and trusted in falsehood.”

The message for us is to be warned and to repent before it becomes too late. Ignoring God’s warning(s) will result in His abandonment of this and any nation that has ignored and forgotten Him. 

Prayerfully – consider these things with me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


I Was Just Thinking About – THE LEAST OF THESE.
World Magazine posted an article - October 10, 2016 - about the devastation and hardship caused by Hurricane Matthew. The article headline is: “Storm damage hampers relief efforts in Haiti, Carolinas” by Samantha Gobba. She wrote:
“Hurricane Matthew left the southeast United States soggy and wind-torn over the weekend after devastating southwest Haiti earlier in the week with flooding and 145 mph winds…As floodwaters receded and Haitians could begin to count the bodies, the death toll ...soared to 1,000. Officials began to bury the dead in mass graves in Jeremie, one of the hardest-hit cities. The whole southwest of the country is pretty much destroyed…From towns to mountains, gardens to animals that [were] killed, the people are pretty much stripped away from everything. Everything is gone…Still suffering from the effects of the 2010 earthquake that killed 220,000 people, Haitians also continue to battle cholera…Some worry the flood waters will compound the spread of the disease. Water always is an issue in Haiti…With the storm surge and such, what wells were there have been polluted… Impoverished and fraught with political tension, Haiti recovers slowly from disasters. Seven years after the earthquake…thousands are still living in tents - recovery from Hurricane Matthew will be even more difficult.”
While the United States media places primary emphasis upon the foibles of political candidates, there is near-silence regarding the practical needs of helpless and hopeless people. For the Biblical Christian and Church, there needs to be guardedness that neither slide into similar apathy and indifference regarding the human needs of people.
There is a dramatic scene described by Jesus Christ in Matthew 25:31-46, the separating of sheep from the goats and the determinative factor in that separation. Jesus said to the sheep: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you… For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me. Then these righteous ones will reply, Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will say… when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”
If you are one of His sheep, do you care about the impoverished, devastated, helpless and hopeless people – the least of these? Where does Jesus Christ want your/our focus to be?
Prayerfully – Consider these things with me.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


I Was Just Thinking About – THE LORD’S SUPPER.

A Devotional Reflection – I Corinthians 6:20 – “For you have been bought with a price: therefore GLORIFY GOD in your body.”
In preparing for a Communion Service this coming Lord’s Day, today’s devotional in Get More Strength For The Journey by Joseph Stowell shared the following thoughts that ministered to my heart…

“Think of how wonderful it would be if someone in your world were to see a God sighting by watching your life. Think of it: Each day we have a chance to give someone a God sighting as the attitudes and character of Jesus are seen through us. And, in fact, providing God sightings is God’s intended purpose for our lives, so that all can finally believe that Jesus really lives.”

“In our text, we are told that Jesus paid a great price so that we might live to glorify Him. God’s glory is the manifest expression of all that He is in His all-surpassing, praiseworthy, stunning perfection! And glorifying Him is quite simply showing off the reality of His glorious character in all of our actions, encounters, and attitudes. It’s making the invisible God visible. And He has chosen to make His love, mercy, grace, justice, righteousness, holiness, and every other aspect of His stunning character visible through you and me!”

“So when was the last time you stunned your world by loving someone who is unlovable? By forgiving a deep offense? By choosing integrity over compromise? By serving others instead of serving yourself? By reaching out to the poor and oppressed? By extending grace to an undeserving soul?
What a privilege—we have been saved to provide a few God sightings in our world. Thank God, our King and Savior lives!”

A special friend on Facebook, wrote:
“Any ideas, whether old or new, cannot advance by one who suffers from amnesia; part of the past is needed in the present if it is to reach the future. Ideas need clarity to become positively contagious in order to affect others that can help carry them on! S.L.”

To which, I Responded:
Sometimes – it depends on what one’s past included. Sometimes – there are scars borne by those who were told they were unwanted and would never amount to anything – those who seldom heard the words that emulate the Savior’s love, mercy and grace! That’s a reason why some love the verses in Scripture that begin with – “But God…”

Prayerfully – prepare your heart and life to be all of what Jesus wants and intends for it to be. And – Prayerfully – Consider these things with me!

Monday, October 3, 2016


I Was Just Thinking About – SELF-EVALUATION.
There are different approaches within the Protestant Church for observing The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. The passage that is referred to as The Institution of the Lord’s Supper is I Corinthians 11:23-29, “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: that the Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said: This is My body, which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me. In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying: This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes."
The frequency of this observance varies. Some churches do it quarterly, others monthly, and some each week. I often have wondered about the placement of the Lord’s Supper in a Worship Service. Why is it always at the end of the Service? Is it a ritual that has been adopted along the way? What if the entire Service of Worship focused on the Communion Table, usually with the inscription: “In Remembrance Of Me”? What if the theme of the Worship Service was, in the words of commentator Alfred Plummer: “The Lord's Supper perpetually calls to mind the redemption by Christ from the bondage of sin, as the Passover recalled the redemption from the bondage of Egypt - not just a memorial of my death but the remembrance of all that I have done, and all that I am to you”?
And then, I Corinthians 11:28-29 states the reason for self-evaluation: “Each one must examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. As part of a personal self-examination, my heart and mind are drawn to words of a Hymn written in 1758. Robert Robinson wrote the words to: Come, Thou Fount Of Every Blessing. The Music, Nettleton, of John Wyeth was added for so the words would be sung. As and when one engages in self-evaluation, one stanza encapsulates some context for us:
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
The self-examination should meaningfully include, as a starting point, I John 1:6-10, and Ephesians 1:4-9. May the Lord lead and guide in your life as you seek and desire to be more like The Savior.
Prayerfully – Consider these things with me!