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Friday, December 10, 2010

No Nudist In The Kingdom: Part Six Colossians 3:8-9

In parts 1-5 we looked at items in 1 Peter 2:1-3 that we are to "put off" or better translated as "take off" as in taking off a coat and laying it aside. And we discussed how the Lord always gives us something better to put on when He has us take something off. Therefore not leaving us Spiritually naked.
In the last part (part 5) I mentioned I would share on the Armor of God, but I've decided to continue the line of items to take off before doing so.
Going to Colossians 3:8-9 we read, "But now you must also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds." NKJV
Paul is telling believers that since we are Christ's and not belonging to the world anymore we are to do away with the things that mark us as worldly. We have already covered malice so I will touch on the rest of the items in these verses.
Anger in this verse is a noun. It is that thing in you that causes hatred. We may not act on it, but it preoccupies our thoughts. We cannot look at anything else without it tainting the way we believe or feel about it. This will lead to wrath, which is the anger acted out. Anger full-blown. Vengeance that is pent-up and then loosed. It is a horrible thing for a Christian to have on him or her.
Blasphemy is speaking of something or someone with intent to injure. Blasphemy has been understood as relating to the divine. We are to put off any speaking that would injure the Lord or the Kingdom of God. One example is that of calling something holy that is not and calling something unholy that is. That is blasphemy!
Filthy Language is the thoughts that we put into words that are filthy in nature. A Christian has not excuse to use this type of speech. The use of foul words that show, not only a lack of respect for the one being spoken to but also a lack of proper manners and intelligence. Three things Christians should excel in. We are to put it out of our mouths or speech.
And we must not lie to each other. Christians need to be truthful with each other. Now this is a touchy one. Some Christians pride themselves in being up-front and brutally honest. We need to use a little common sense in our truth telling. If we cannot tell the truth and leave a fellow Christian corrected and uplifted, then we need to just keep quite.
Prayer: Lord, help us to take off all actions and attributes that do not bring Glory to Your name and Kingdom. Give us the right attitude to live and the right words to speak. Amen

Monday, November 15, 2010

No Nudist In The Kingdom Part Five

"Therefore, laying aside all malice, and all guile, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking (gossip), as newborn babes desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious." 1
Peter 2:1-3 NKJV

Therefore putting off all evil speaking. Here is another No-brainer
in the Christian life. What a sad-sad testimony for a Child of God to speak evil of another or tell an obscene joke. In this verse some translations just say gossip, but the truth is, all evil speaking is sin to the Lord. The Bible tells us that this is hard to control in our natural state. James writes," Forwe all stumble in many things. If any one does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man able also to bridle the whole body.......Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell........But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessings and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so." James 3:2-10
Here we see that for a Christian this should not be. As a Christian living by
his or her old nature, they cannot control their tongues. It is humanly
imposable. A lot of this evil speaking can come from the former sins mentioned in this verse Malice, guile, hypocrisy, and envy. If we put off these things we should be able to cease the gossip and evil speaking of others. But I'm afraid to say that many of us have these problems. I confess I also struggle with these. In the workplace I find it easy to speak against a
supervisor that does not do things the way I think they should be done. Or a co-worker that has done me wrong and I open my mouth against him to others. Only by walking in the Holy Spirit can we overcome this curse of the tongue. And as the old saying goes," If you can not say anything good, don't say anything at all." How tiring it is to hear someone who does nothing but complain about others. Confess up, you hate to see them (us) coming. "Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh" James 5:16 This includes all evil speaking.

I shared at the beginning that when the Lord tells us to put off or take off
something, Him gives us something to put back on. He will not leave us naked. So I will continue with the Armor of God in Ephesians.

Prayer: Lord, forgive us of our evil speaking and gossip. We pray that we will walk in your Spirit and you will guide us in how we are to speak. May our speech only glorify you. Amen

Friday, November 05, 2010

No Nudist In The Kingdom: Part Four

"Therefore, laying aside all malice, and all guile, hypocrisy, envy, and all
evil speaking (gossip), as newborn babes desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious." 1
Peter 2:1-3 NKJV

Therefore putting off envy. What person does not know that envy
(also translated as jealously) is bad.

This green-eyed monster (or demon if you wish) has done terrible things through those whom he affects. In verses Matt. 27:18, Mark 15:10 shows that envy in religious leaders had Jesus Christ crucified. It may sound small compared to other sins, but it leads to much larger things, things with eternal consciences.

Paul gives Titus some very good advice for the other leaders. He tells them to remind everyone that before they were in Christ they had envy (among other things) and now that they are heirs according to the hope of eternal life, or saved and made ready for heaven. Titus 3:1-7
Romans 1:29 teaches that the practice of being envious is worthy of death. That sounds pretty rough, but again look what it leads to Christ being crucified. We need to take off envy. It is easy to see others rise in position
at work or Church and envy rise up in us. But we are to put our trust in the
Lord for everything we need. "But seek the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added to you". Luke 12:31 If we trust Him, then we would not be troubled when others are put ahead of us or get recognition. If we do this we may not get much here on earth but we are promised that we will be heirs of the Kingdom. Just trust Him and put envy far from us.

Prayer: Lord, forgive us of our envy. Forgive us for not trusting in you to lift us up. May we only seek to please you and not man? May our trust and lack of envy bring Glory to your name? Amen

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No Nudist In The Kingdom: Part Three

"Therefore, laying aside all malice, and all guile, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking (gossip), as newborn babes desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious." 1 Peter 2:1-3 NKJV

Who has not heard this line, "I'll never go there, that Church is full of hypocrites." Most people believe hypocrisy is from the Greek word meaning acting. In this verse it means, "dissimulation." Meaning to cover up what you really are. If you are one of those who fill that all Churches are full of fakes who believe one thing and do another, I first say to you that there is no way that you know all the Christians in one particular fellowship, much less all the groups in your area. So you are making a discussion that will have eternal consequences for you and your family with lack of knowledge.
Now for those of you that believe in Christ and have chosen to follow Him, take off the hypocrisy and walk the talk you profess. See how you affect others by what you say and do. This is a subject that even the non-believer with no religious training at all knows is wrong. For a matter of fact when most of us hear this subject we turn up our eyes for we are beating again the proverbial dead horse.
Today the names Pharisee and Hypocrite have become synonymous with usage. See Matthew 23:23, Mark 12:15 and Luke 12:1. Although a Pharisee is a picture of a hypocrite in the Bible they worked hard at preserving the scriptures and traditions of the Jewish faith which we get our root beliefs, But, Jesus said in Matthew 5:20 that our "righteousness is to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. We should work hard in the faith, but do as we say. What people hear and see of us is to be what we are. And if we are truly walking with the Lord, they will see Him instead of us. So take off and put aside hypocrisy. Let others see the new clothes the Lord has given us.

Prayer: Lord, forgive us of our hypocrisy. Forgive us for not being what we say we are and for not doing what we say we do. Help us to show you to others. Clothe us with your truth in our lives that will point others to you. Amen

Thursday, October 14, 2010

No Nudist In The Kingdom: Part Two

"Therefore, laying aside all malice, and all guile, hypocrisy, envy, and all
evil speaking (gossip), as newborn babes desire the pure milk of the word, that
you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious." 1
Peter 2:1-3 NKJV

In part one of this series we looked into malice which we are told to lay aside
and as mentioned," taking off and laying aside in order to run or work". Now we
will look at "guile". The Greek word here is "dolos " which literally means
"deceit," deceit with the intent of harm to another. Where as malice was "deceit
in order to get ahead." Guile is deceit to harm another.
In the New Testament we see Phillip bringing Nathanael to Jesus and Jesus
calling him a "man without guile." A man that would not harm a flea, as the
saying goes. Although he belittled Jesus because he was from Nazareth, he did
so without the intent to harm Him. It is hard to believe this is possible, but
Jesus sees the heart of a person. (John 1:43-51)Paul states in 2 Corinthians
12:16 that he had caught the Corinthian Church with guile. Paul tells the
Thessalonians that their preaching to them was not deceitful. (1 Thessalonians
2:3) Peter says in 1 Peter 2:22 that Jesus left us an example that while He was
suffering guile/deceit was not found in Him.
What does this all mean for us? In our Christian lives we are not to be
deceitful so take off our garment of guile. Don't do or say anything deceitful
with the intent of harming or "getting back at someone." This goes for not
"doing unto others as they have done to you." Surely we would not harm anyone
without cause. But we may be tempted to give the hurt back to those who harm us.
We are to take off guile and replace it with forgiveness. In times past on the
job I have been wronged by co-employees and even management, but I am not to
look for a way to get-back at them and it is not my job as a Christian to teach
them a lesson. I have in some jobs been discriminated against because of my
race. I wish I could say," that I was a man without guile."
As I put off all these old-natured attributes, I will put on the new garments
given me. (To be revealed in upcoming post)

Prayer: Lord, forgive us of the sin of guile. Forgive us of our deceitfulness to
harm another person made in your image. Help us to forgive others as you forgave
us. Clothe us with your wisdom to do our jobs and to live in a way that pleases
you. Amen

Monday, October 04, 2010

No Nudist In The Kingdom: Part One

"Therefore, laying aside all malice, and all guile, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking (gossip), as newborn babes desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious."
1 Peter 2:1-3 NKJV

Taking a look at the first verse in this passage we see that the Lord is telling us to "lay aside" some negative attributes in our lives. The phrase, " lay aside" pictures in the Greek as taking off and laying aside in order to run or work. Before going into these attributes I would like to express that when the Lord has us take something out or do away with something, He always gives us something better to put on or take up.
In Zechariah 3:1-5 we see the High Priest Joshua standing accused before the Lord in filthy clothes with Satan standing as an accuser. The Lord orders that the filthy clothes be removed and new ones put on.
A special note here is that filthy rags are a symbol in the Bible as our own righteousness and not the Lord's or better explained, our attempt to be good enough for God by doing things ourselves. (Isaiah 64:6)
In the parable of the wedding feast in Matthew 22 people are brought in from the highways and byways to come to the Kings marriage feast. One person is kicked out because he was not wearing marriage clothes. These people were poor and did not have marriage clothes, so where did they get them? Surely the King supplied them to each of the guest. But one did not receive the clothes offered him and was thrown out because he thought himself good enough. In the parable of the prodigal son the father has a new robe put on the wayward son when he returned home. The Lord always gives to replace what we give up for Him.
In this post I will deal with the first attribute, malice. Malice is being deceitful in order to get ahead. It's like cheating in a race. Stepping on people in the workplace to advance yourself. We are to put this away and do not do it.
How about doing a bad job training a new employee so that you could protect your job. Surely it makes sense not to tell the newbie everything they need to know so you continue to look good and advance as the smarter one and harder working. That is not how things are to be done in the Kingdom of God.
Take off this filthy garment and trust the Lord to clothe you with something much better.
Prayer: Lord forgive us of the sin of malice. Forgive us of our plots and scheming to get ahead instead of doing our best and trusting you with the results. Clothe us with your wisdom to do our jobs and to live in a way that pleases you. Amen

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What About Bryan: a true story

Bryan started as a temp. Working on the dock were I worked. Like allot of the guys there he was rude and rude, but a hard worker. he migrated from Vermont to Dothan by way of working as a carny (someone traveling with a carnival). He quickly became disliked by the others by showing a know-it-all attitude and making a habit of breaking into others conversations when he wasn’t asked. Speaking as if he knew exactly what was going on and how to do whatever was being discussed. He always had a story to go with every situation, bigger and better than the one told before. He was quickly branded a liar. People in the south take great offense of this especially if the person is from up north. His speech was no worse than the other guys were. Using GD, MF as if they were all one word and could be to be used more than once a sentence.
I saw a need in Bryan and decided to befriend him. And when the opportunity came try to lead him to the Lord. First of all I did not join in on the jokes and trash-talk that was heaped his way. The others made a habit of twisting every word he said to make it seem he was lying and called him stupid and dummy to his face. Break-time became a bash-Bryan party. Second, Anytime I needed help from a dockhand, I grabbed Bryan to get him away from the rest of the crew and just tried to be nice to him and show him a little respect. But it seemed the more I was nice to him the more know-it-all and smart-mouthed he became to me. He became very hard to work with.
Then one day he did not show up for work. We all though he had skipped town or was in jail. The guys continued to talk about him even after he was gone. I had failed to find a time to speak with him about the Lord, but in my heart I was relieved that the strain of trying to befriend him was gone.
After about a week or more I was greeted at work with, "Hey, Wayne your buddy is back and they hired him full-time". I knew exactly whom they were talking about. Although I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, I was glad I would get a second chance to witness to him. While he was gone I was involved with a discussion group on the internet about the best way to witness at work and the prevailing answer was to just live your witness and be an example. They told me that tracts and straightforward witness was to judgmental and did not work. So I was glad to get another chance.
Again I tried to befriend him and help him out. He returned just as cocky because now he was fulltime and thought, "I must be as good as I think I am". He quickly became the bunt of jokes by continuing to be a know-it-all smart-mouthed food and cigarette bumming creep. But I knew the Lord loved him just as much as He loved me and He could do something great with Bryan.
Anyway, on his first day back he came in mouthing off to me and I started to reply with a quick comeback when I felt inside to remain quit. He then looked on the break table and saw a Bible lying there amongst the newspapers and candy wrappers left by the other workers. He picked it up and asked me if it was mine. When I said yes he asked if he could look at it. Of course I told him yes and when he cracked open the pages he quickly laid it down as if it reminded him of something he didn't want to remember. It was time to go back to work so we all took off to our jobs.
After he grew worse in appearance and conduct I tried to get alone with him and try to share the gospel with him. But the opportunity never came or I did not try hard enough.
Then one day he got off the phone and told me that he had lost the hotel room he was staying and did not know were his wife was. As we were leaving for the day he turned to me with a smile and said that he would have to sleep under the Reeves Street bridge tonight and that it was to late to make it to the rescue mission. Seeing that it looked like it was going to rain that night I told him of a place near our church were he could stay and be out of the rain and cold. Not to mention it was a very dangerous neighborhood, mine. He stated that he didn't mind. He like sleeping out doors and he already knew some of the guys who would be there. He talked as if he was going to a party and was well satisfied with the way he wanted to live. So I said no more. I had passed under that bridge many times and never noticed any signs of homeless people sleeping there. And I look.
That was the last time I saw Bryan. The guys at work told me that they saw his picture on the news after a couple of days. It turned out that he was an unregistered sex offender. The news report said that he took a job near a daycare, which was against his probation. Not registering as a sex offender in our area is a very serious crime. I'm afraid even when he gets, he will not stay in Dothan since his picture will be mailed to everyone within a three mile radius of were he lives.
This is a true story and I wanted to share it because:
1. Was my "witness" by being an example enough for him to make a decision for Christ on his own later if the Lord lead?
2. Did I miss an opportunity to confront (with love) him with the gospel?
3. Will anyone or I else continue the witness?
4. When I stand before the Lord, will I have to give account for this failure? Is his blood on my hands?
If number four is true. Then I can repent because I know the grace and forgiveness that the Lord has in abundance. It is sad that Bryan did not hear about this before he left. All he knows is that Wayne is a nice guy who goes to church and reads his Bible.
I heard Joyce Myers say on the radio the other day, "We are here to impact not influence". How so true this is.
(this is a repost)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Net Is Cast: Part 2

"Also the Kingdom of Heaven is like a net that was put into the lake and caught many different kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled the net to the shore. They sat down and put the good fish in baskets and threw away the bad fish. It will be this way at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the evil people from the good people. The angels will throw the evil people into the blazing furnace, were people will cry and grind their teeth with pain." Jesus asked His followers, " Do you understand all these things?" They answered, "Yes, We understand." Matthew 13:47-51 NCV

In the first post by this title I shared how the internet should be used by Christians to reach out to the lost. You may ask "how can I do this?" I would like to offer some suggestions.

Any person with a connection can start a blog (weblog: online journal open to public viewing or private) and share Christ in a very real way. Here is how to start.

First choose a host:
blogspot.com (easy to use and my favorite, very popular)
homesteadblogger.com (easy to use, designed for homeschoolers and homesteaders)
today.com (easy to use and one I recommend)
christianblog.com (good blog with christian content, but you can not double post content from another blog, even if it is yours)
bravernet.com (has adds and not user friendly, but free)
myspace.com (allot to it)
Most of these have templates you can use to design your blog. not must HTML needed to get started.

Second, after starting a blog and getting about 5 to 7 post written by yourself. And about seven days old at least, sign up on a traffic generator site.
Try these:
blogexplostion.com (one I use the most)
blogmad.com (good traffic but not to user friendly)
blogsoldiers.com (start for the military, but open for public, easy to use)

These generators work this way, you sign up, surf member blogs. You earn "credits" for the amount of blogs you view. These credits are assigned to the blog you choose and for each credit you get a viewing by another blogger who is surfing the same way. You can also buy credits from the TG. Some TG have games to play that earn you more credits if you desire. You will need to try to post weekly at the least so that you will always have fresh content to view.

You may wonder what you could possibly write about.
What ever you are interested in sports, pets, gardening, tech stuff, the list goes on and on. Write about what you love and tie it to Christ as a witness.

One idea I have is to do a blog called Rev.Tech. and write about technology that
makes it possible for prophecy of the Bible possible (ex: mark of the beast). Book reviews, music reviews, politics etc...

If you need some help, contact me at: wayneb363 at yahoo dot com

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Net is Cast

"Also the Kingdom of Heaven is like a net that was put into the lake and caught many different kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled the net to the shore. They sat down and put the good fish in baskets and threw away the bad fish. It will be this way at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the evil people from the good people. The angels will throw the evil people into the blazing furnace, were people will cry and grind their teeth with pain." Jesus asked His followers, " Do you understand all these things?" They answered, "Yes, We understand." Matthew 13:47-51 NCV

Jesus speaks this parable or illustration. In the last days a net will be cast out. This I believe is a prophecy of the now internet. Never has there been a form of communication that makes it possible to reach the whole world at one time. With wireless networks everyone can be hooked to the grid and be in touch watch news as it happens on the other side of the world.

A lot of people see the internet only with it's evils. Porn, gambling, and identity theft. But the Church may be missing out on what God has allowed to be setup for His work. A great net cast to catch the good and the bad fish.

According to the prophecy or parable when the net is full, when the time is ready it will be pulled in and the good fish are separated from the bad fish, the end is here.

Now the question now that you may ask is," Who are the good and who are the bad fish?" The world view today is that although a person has done evil all his life he may still be basicly good and the little good will override the bad. Therefore all mankind is basicly good. So who sets the standard of "Good", a benchmark of Godliness.

Mankind needed an example. God could not find one in man. That's what the whole Old Testament is about. God let man try, but they could not do it. So, being a loving God he choose to make Himself a man and live among them. He becomes a real man and still remained real God. Something only a true God could do. He lives a human life under all the restrictions that man lives under naturally. And when the time came Him offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for man's sins. He brought Himself back to life to show man that He had this power to defeat death. All mankind had to do was:

Receive the forgiveness He offered

Put their total trust in Him as God

Just as He put the worlds sins on Himself, man must put His Holiness on themselves.

This would make them "good" fish.

Now back to the "net". The internet was put in place by God using man. The church has neglected this resource for social and spiritual change for enough years. It is time for pastors and saints to use this end time opportunity to reach out to the world.

Church, do not be afraid of the evil that is on the internet but overcome it with the truth of the Gospel of Christ. This is not about which church has the coolist website or about showing the world that we are web savy. The point is to reach the seekers out there and show them the truth of Christ. And when the net is pulled in, they will be with the good fish in Christ and not the bad fish in hell.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Examine Your work

" But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another" Galatians 6:4

Have you ever been involved in your work or some activity and the thought crossed your mind, "Why should I do extra? No one will notice." In my current job I find it coming up again and again. Then I came across this verse-Galatians 6:4. In context with the rest of the chapter or verses 1 through 5 we are being instructed to help those who are weak and have fallen. Bear each other's burdens. Don't think too highly of yourself. And take responsibility for yourself and your brothers in Christ.

The above verse tells me that I need not worry if others notice my work. I should be able to take the fact that I did a good job with the best of my ability as my only reward. It is easy to state this, but a lot of times I have to work on this attitude. The best way I've found to adjust my thinking is to see my labor as my responsibility and none other. This would show my employer that as Christians we can be trusted to get the job done. And in turn maybe hire other believers or better yet, become a believer themselves.

Monday, July 26, 2010

On God's Time

In this post I would like to offer some hint of the way
we should conduct ourselves in the workplace. So that
we may not damage the witness we desire to be. The one
thing that never ceases to amaze me is how a believer
who is trying to please God and witness to his
co-workers can habitually show up for work late.
Employees and employers know that this will sometimes
happen, but I have noticed that some Christians make a
habit of dragging in late almost everyday. You can
rely on them always to be there, but in their own
time. I had one older brother tell me years ago that
when he was younger his boss started work at a certain
time but had him coming in 30 minutes earlier. When he
asked his boss why, he answered that he could count on
one thing about him. That was that he would be late
everyday at least 30 minutes. That put him at work on

Do we seriously believe the Lord is pleased with this
attitude? How would we feel if all of our prayers and
blessings from God where always late. Our witness of
God would be like this: "My God answers prayers all
the time. Always late, but hey, better late than
never. Right?"

This attitude of serving our employer at our own convenience
usually spills over into the church. I find it easy to
make it late to services. Surely it's different than
work, I don't get paid to go to Church (Or do I?) But
lately I've seen that it's not a matter of distraction
that keeps us tardy but an attitude that we're get
there when we get there. The whole world moves around
us and "if " we make it at all, those waiting should
count themselves blessed that we did.

I cannot picture the Lord Jesus as being late for
anything. He was accused of being late for Lazarus but
they found out different. God the Father told Him to
wait on arriving in Bethany, but I'm sure He was never
late getting to the carpenter shop or the synagogue.
The whole life of Christ was spent being on God the
Father's time and not His own. If we are to walk as
Christ walked, should we also live our lives on God's
time and not our own?

And remember; "Servants, obey in all things your
masters according to the flesh, not with eye-service,
as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing
God. And whatever you do, do it as to the Lord and not
to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive
the reward of the inheritance; for you serve (work
for) the Lord Christ." Colossians 3:22-24

This is a re-post from 2005

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Our Biblical Employee-Employer Relation

"Exhort(employees)servants to be obedient unto their own
(bosses)masters,and to please them well in all things; not
answering again;not purloining,but showing all good
fidelity;that they may adorn the doctrine of God our
Savior in all things."

Titus 2:9-10 teaches us quit a few things about how we
are to treat our bosses and employers and why.
First we are to be obedient or submissive to those
over us at work. Even if we do not like what we are
told to do. We are to do it without talking back or
grumbling. It is a shame for a professing Christian to
be reprimanded or released because of being
Second, We are not to steal from our employers and
to work honestly. Although this is common sense if we
think about it, how many of us has took from our
employers. Office supplies, product or clocked-out
early. Taking what wasn't given to us. Taking it
believing we earned it or really deserved to have it.
And third, which brings us to the whole reason that
the Lord is concerned about how we live our lives at
work. It is the Lord's plan for us to be an example of
the transforming power of the Word of God. Power to
transform an unprofitable servant named Onesimus to a
more profitable servant for his master Philemon. And
the Apostle Paul believed eventually profitable to
himself and the cause of Christ.
I would paraphase this verse as so:
"Teachers, encourage workers to be obedient to
their bosses. Make them happy they hired you. Do what
you are told without talking back or grumbling. Do not
steal from them. Give them a honest days work for a
honest day's pay. Doing this so that you will be an
example of the transforming power of the Word of God
in all that you do."

Also read Eph. 6:5-8 and the book of Phileman
(This is a repost from 2004)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jesus' Hot Topic

A couple of weeks ago as I was preparing to share at our Church service, I was moved to focus more on the guys who attend that are in the OIC program. Since I can only attend every-other weekend due to work, I saw that these guys come and go quickly. Some I may only get one chance to share with. So I decided from now on to be sure I share as if it was the last message I was going to get to do.
I conduct the weekly Communion part of the service. We do it every Sunday in order to try helping the Church grow together. So during this portion I am allowed to share some with the group.
Anyway, I was wondering what to share. Something that if I was only allowed one more time. I decided the least spoken message of today was on Hell. And if I was really concerned about these guys I would make sure they knew the truth on the matter.
I had done a previous post on Hell intitled:"The Hell You Say."
Preachers today seem to do more preaching on self-help and subjects for the seekers. No messages that might upset or offend the potential Church going and hopefully tither. This is just a lose observation. I am sure there are a lot of Churches that are preaching the truth. They are the ones that are shrinking in size.
Enough rambling, We used to say Hell was a hot topic but not anymore although Jesus spoke of it more than He spoke on Heaven. It was His Hot Topic. Now we hear of popular preachers saying that Hell is only the absence of the presence of God. Or that in the end all will be saved.
There are a lot of passages on this subject. I did not go through all the verses and related interpretations on the subject, Soul sleep, purgatory and such. I felt the end result was the best way to go. I am using the TEV, a very simple easy to read translation. Not good for real study, but an easy read for those not accustomed to the other better translations.
"Then the Devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of fire and sulpher, were the beast and the false prophet had already been thrown; and they will be tormented day and night, for ever and ever." Revelation 20:10
Then death and the world of the dead were thrown into the lake of fire. (This lake of fire is the second death.) Whoever did not have his name written in the book of the living was thrown into the lake of fire." Rev. 20:14-15
As you can see it plainly says that Hell is hot and forever.
Now the main argument I hear is," How could a loving God send people to Hell?" and to me the most stupid statement in the world, "I could not spend eternity with a God that sends people to Hell." (second stupid question, “Why can't the government do something about the gulf disaster?")
I pondered these questions at work and realized! The problem is that people today don't think they deserve hell. People do not think they have done anything that would warrant spending eternity suffering in Hell. When I was born again, I realized, I DESERVED HELL! And from there I received forgiveness and a new life in Christ.
Until people see how lost they are, they will never see the need for Christ.
I also pondered, what sin would warrant this penalty of eternal suffering. Surly there is no sin that was committed in a person's lifetime that would take an eternity to pay for in Hell. Then it came to me, there is one sin. The sin of not excepting Jesus' free gift of deliverance.
Picture this if you will. The creator of the universe comes down to live with man. Shows mankind Himself. Submits to torture and death to bridge the relationship between Himself and mankind. Offers new life for eternity for anyone who receives it. And there are those who hear, but WILL not believe. It's not that they can not believe. The Holy Spirit gives us the faith we need. We can not believe on our own. But these choose NOT to believe. They have turned down all that the loving creator has offered. They have chosen Hell. We Christians like to quote the verse:
"Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Psalms 37:4 KJV
This verse works both ways. We will get what we chose. A true Christians’ only desire is the Christ. The non-believers desire is to have nothing to do with Christ or not to have Christ's control over them. They will get what they desire, eternity without Christ. They problem lies in that in the end there are only two places to go, Heaven (City of God) or Hell (the bottomless pit, lake of fire etc...)
Picture this if you will, when Christians are resurrected they will be given eternal bodies. So will the non-believers. Eternal, can not be destroyed. They have chosen eternity without Christ so they have only one place to go. To the lake of fire.
if you have ever nearly drowned in water. Head goes under. No place to plant your feet. Swallowing water. Now picture: Head going under in fire. Burning but not consumed. Swallowing fire but not dying. Not place to plant your feet. That is Hell.
This is really gruesome and no wonder we do not like to speak of it. Be careful of preachers that do preach it with a smile on their faces. But if we really believe this and truly care for the lost we will tell the truth.
Search the scriptures for yourself.
Your eternity hangs on what you believe or not believe.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Poured Out

“Then He (Jesus) took the cup, gave thanks to God, and gave it to them. “Drink it, all of you,” He said; “for this is my blood, which seals God’s covenant, My blood poured out for the forgiveness of sins.” Matt. 26:27-28 TEV
As I was preparing the communion elements for the Sunday service, I read these passages in order to see what the Lord wanted me to share during the communion part of the service. The phrase, “My blood poured out for many,” stuck out. Later at the church building while filling the little cups I noticed that while I was pouring the grape juice from the little Pyrex measuring cup, I would run out and have to refill it.
Jesus when He offered Himself as an offering for all mankind, He gave all that He had. All that was needed.
To be a real disciple we must pour ourselves out for Him in service and devotion, not worrying that we may also give all with nothing else to give. For when we are empty in His service, He fills us up again.
In our service, communion time is a great opportunity to be refilled.

During the early church years the Romans killed many Christians because they believed they were cannibals by eating Christ’s body. Later during the middle ages, Christians were killed because they DID NOT believe they were eating Christ’s body. Some may say that the communion service means nothing to them and that it is just a part of the church service.
How dare we partake of communion and it not mean anything? Whether you believe it turns to Christ’s body or not, whether it saves or is just a symbolic ritual.
Do it in remembrance of Christ and what He did and do likewise. Allow ourselves to be poured out in Jesus name.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stand By Me: 2 Timothy 4:18

"The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly Kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen"
2 Timothy 4:18 NAS
Paul wrote these words after noting that at his first defense, "no one stood by him". v.17 Have you ever really felt alone? And you just needed someone to defend you. Not give excuses for your sin and mistakes, but to just stand by you as you try to get free. Although Paul's only addiction was the Word of God, he states that the Lord stood by him when he needed that someone. He is saying that if you will seek the Lord's will in your life, He the Lord will stand by you.
The Lord has also promised in
Hebrews 13:5 and 6,"Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never desert you , nor will I ever forsake you ," so that we confidently say, "The Lord is my helper , I will not be afraid . What will man do to me ?"
Choose this day not to deal with you problems alone. And if there is no one around to help, trust in the Lord to Stand By You.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mover of Men and Mountains

Been off a little on the blogging. I’ve been working rotating shifts and my hours of awake-time has been funny. I’ve been trying to get some work done at the Ark Christian Ministry Center here in Dothan. Our number of volunteers have dropped off and there is just to much to do around the thrift store and such.
So to get back into the groove of blogging I wanted to do a post on one of my favorite Christian Leaders, R.G. LeTourneau.
I came informed about Mr. LeTourneau through a book I found entitled, ”Mover of Men and Mountains”.
The book was thrown away next door when an elderly couple passed away and their children put all their books and unwanted items out by the road. Well seeing a garbage bag full of books only made me giddy. There I found this first edition and autographed copy of “Mover of Men and Mountains”. When I started reading it I could not put it down.
The book chronicles the life of Mr. LeTourneau and the lessons learned. Here is a quote that will explain more than I can write.
“If there is no logical explanation of my development of the digger, there is a theological one, available to all of us, including the weakest. By accepting God as your partner, no limit can be placed on what can be achieved. But God is no remote partner, satisfied if you go to church on Sunday and drop some religious money - the small change that goes to church - on the platter. He isn’t overwhelmed if you read the Bible once in a while and obey the Golden Rule. That isn’t active Christianity, but just half-hearted way of getting along. When you go into partnership with God, you’ve got a Partner closer and more active than any human partner you can ever get. He participates fully in everything you let Him do, and when you start putting on airs, and thinking you’re doing it with your own head and steam, he can set you down quicker and harder than a thunderbolt. There’s nothing dull about being in partnership with God.”
If you are not in business and are thinking this does not apply to you than you are wrong. He is speaking of “servantship” (hey, this word is not even in my spell check, but I added it) the missing factor in allot preaching today. It’s giving over the control of our lives to Christ. Governing our lives by His rules and His words with no promise of blessings and riches. Just doing it because He desires it and He knows best.
They payback, if you can call it that since we are the ones in debt, is unspeakable. Not a burdensome servant hood since our burdens are lifted and He says His burden is light. Not a dull servant hood for He will fill your life with exploits. A servant hood so amazing that knowing you can leave at anytime, you wonder, “why would you?”.
Yes, Mr. LeTourneau found the secret to the Overcoming Christian Life, not confessing and proclaiming, but living and walking. And being made a Mover of Men and Mountains.
For more info on R.G. LeTourneau see these sites.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._G._LeTourneau Wikipedia Bio
http://www.letourneau-inc.com/about/RG_bio.htm LeTourneau Inc
http://letourneau.org/index.php LeTourneau.org
http://www.letu.edu/ LeTourneau College

Spacial Note: the autograph in my book has the verse reference Matt 6:33 onder it.
"But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Boynton Beach Martyrs

In this April 2010’s of Christianity Today there was an article about two men shot to death in Boynton Beach, Fl. for witnessing on the streets. This surprised me because I had not heard of this before. Why I was surprised I do not know. So I looked it up and here is what I found.
Back in January 2010 two Christian men were witnessing on the streets and stopped to witness to one young man, the young man received a cell phone call and after answering it shot the two men while they were walking away.
There are rumors that the incident was gang related, but according to West Palm Beach News the killer reported to the police that he shot them because they were preaching to him.
Stephen Ocean (second Pic) and Tite Sufra (first Pic) were two young Christians with some reported spotted backgrounds before coming to Christ. A lot has been made of their past and how it may have ended in the cause of their deaths. We being “born again” as new creations like the Bible says, our past is behind us but I can tell you from experience the past has a way of catching up. Until the world we live in comes under the rule of Christ, it will always be so. We can not sow weeds and pray for a crop failure.
But I did not want to get into this or the fact that if two Muslims were shot CNN (Fox did have a small spot buried) and all the networks would be all over it. I wanted to share with you that we need to keep these people in our prayers. You may not like the street corner preacher on his bull horn and you may think he is wasting his time and giving all “good” Christians a bad name. I’ve done street ministering in the 80’s and 90’s and I’ll tell you there will be a special place in Heaven for them all. If you know of a group that is involved in this ministry, see what you and your Church can do to help. Get on their email mailing list. Take them some boxes of tracts (with your church address on them) Take them some cold water or heck just yell out your car window that you are praying for them. Do something that you feel the Lord would do instead of criticize.
I hope to go back to the streets again. I may be posting more on this and posting updates on a local ministry called “Street Lights” to bless them. Watch for “Street Lights Updates”.
But let’s remember the two young men that gave their lives.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Is Anyone Called to Witness on the Streets? by Larry Rosenbaum

In my last message, I gave statistics that have shown, in a dramatic way, the spiritual decline that has taken place in the U.S., especially among youth who claim to be “born again” Christians. The majority of these youth, while claiming to be certain of going to Heaven because of a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, do not believe that Jesus lived a sinless life on this earth or that it is impossible to get to Heaven by good works. According to pollster George Barna, while 9% of Americans have a biblical worldview, less than ½ of 1% of Americans aged 18-23 have a biblical worldview.
This lack of a strong Biblical foundation in many Christians reflects itself in their attitudes towards evangelism. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Christian youth spend millions of dollars on “mission trips” that involve work projects and food distribution, but no mention of God’s plan of salvation. In the U.S., countless Christian youth are involved in giving out food to the homeless and similar “ministries” that don’t involve talking about Jesus. Many Christians, it seems, believe that people will be saved if we pray for them and live a good life in front of them. They think there is no need to share the gospel with unbelievers.
As our nation becomes increasingly hostile towards Christianity, Christians are looking for new methods of “evangelism” that will avoid any possibility of being rejected or persecuted. Perhaps, they think, if Jesus and the apostles had used our new “evangelism methods,” they would never have been persecuted. I often hear from Christians that not everyone is called to witness on the streets. Sometimes, however, I wonder if anyone is called or, rather, if anyone is responding to God’s call. I’m exaggerating, of course. There is a small group of Christians who faithfully witness with us. And there are other Christians witnessing throughout the country. But the laborers are indeed few, and they seem to get fewer each year.
Last April, in an attempt to recruit Christian youth to work with our ministry, I went on Facebook. Almost every day, I have been adding young Christians from Bible colleges and other Christian groups to be my “friend.” I now have over 7000 friends, most of whom are under 30. Occasionally, I let them know about our ministry house. Less than 10 have expressed interest, and, so far, none has moved in. I certainly did not expect all 7000 Christians to respond to my appeal. All we need are three or four Christian men to live in our house. But, so far, we have not found one. As far as I know, there is no other house like the one we have, where Christians can live with others who are interested in doing street evangelism. Most Christians who want to witness on the streets find it hard to get other Christians to join them. A few people may come one week; nobody the next week.
Eventually, street witnessing teams tend to die because they lack consistent involvement from Christians. By having a core group of Christians who are committed to witnessing on the streets regularly, and who hold one another accountable to this commitment, we have been able to maintain a regular street outreach for over 30 years in San Francisco. One reason that it is difficult to get Christians to do street evangelism is the hardness of many people’s hearts towards the gospel. If I could guarantee a Christian that every time he witnessed at least one person would be genuinely saved, we would have no lack of workers. There are witnessing “methods” that can get a lot of people to “say sinner’s prayers.” Unfortunately, when we try to follow-up on these people, we find that few who recite these prayers are truly converted. It is far more satisfying to us to witness to a person who really wants to get saved, than to someone who is hardened to the gospel message.
But are we witnessing to make ourselves happy or to obey God and reach the lost? It is hard for us to walk by faith and trust God to use our witness to work in people’s hearts. We want to see results, and we can’t see what God is doing in someone’s heart. I haven’t given up on Facebook. It is a great way to let thousands of Christian youth know about our ministry and encourage them to witness for Jesus. In the past, I would call churches and Bible colleges, and try to set up meetings to share about evangelism and about our ministry. Almost all would say no. A few times, I have had an opportunity to speak to Christians at a Bible college chapel. The Christians who attended, it seems, soon forgot about us. We saw no response from any of these meetings. With Facebook, I can invite almost every Christian in a Bible college to be my friend, and continue to share with them about our ministry, and about evangelism. But it seems that the task of finding a few Christian youth to join our ministry will be harder than I originally thought.
Please pray for us that God will give us guidance in this matter, and meet our need.
Larry Rosenbaum

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Become Untangled

"Thou therefore suffer affliction as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth, entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, because he would please him that hath chosen him to be a soldier." 2 Timothy 2:3 & 4 Geneva Bible 1599

My wife and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. My daughter gave me a copy of Richard Wheeler's Lee's Terrible Swift Sword. I devoured it immensely and greatly enjoyed it. The book chronicles the first victories of the Confederacy and the factors behind them. The blunt of it was that Lee's army was able to out maneuver the Union army because they did not have as many supply wagons to keep up with like the Union did. Johnson and Burnside were very concerned that their troops were comfortable and content. Lee knew that victories made troops comfortable, not food, clothes, shoes, etc… Lee would have supplied his troops better if he could have, but he wasn't going to let the lack of it slow his army down. It wasn't until northern leaders who knew what it took to win came into control, that the South's victories became few and far apart.
When I read this, I thought of the verses above that show that we are a Spiritual Army. And these things we must know:

1. Flesh beings are not our enemies but the fouls in the spirit world.
2. We are chosen and our only pleasure will be in our calling.
3. You will know a good soldier because he will only want to please his Commander.
4. The only way to victory is to focus on our mission and do not become entangled with worldly pursuits.

These are the characteristics of a good soldier of Christ and you may feel that you have no calling in this area of Spiritual life.
Rest assured that a soldier knows when he has been chosen. Most Christian don't see that most of their lives is "Basic Training" and the more we buck the training and fail to enter into our calling, the more dissatisfied we become.
So you can just go abut your life and adjust or join in the Battle for the minds (soul) and spirit of those under attack.

Spiritual Warfare Ref: Eph. 6:14 -17; 1 Thess. 5:8; 1 John 5:4 -5; Romans 16:20;
Gal. 5:24

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Robert E. Lee

Wanted to repost this article I orginaly did on 1/19/08 reminding everyone of a special day Jan. 19th

Happy Robert E. Lee's Birthday (Jan. 19th 1807),
Just wanted to remember one of the greatest leaders in US history on his birthday. My family tree is full of confederate soldiers, quite a few who made that long march from Appomattox back home. I would like to share the story of a news article that I've seen. It mentions a distant relative of mine. Second Cousin Four Times Removed Henry Harris Sasnett. The article tells how Henry acting as a scout for the south entered a confederate camp and was took prisoner. The solders thought he was a spy. After some time they called the Sr. Officer of the camp and he questioned him about the charge. After determining that he was innocent and a southern scout, the officer asked him to join him for a meal. Then they went their separate ways until the end of the war. Later in Jacksonville, Fla. the two meet again and Henry gave the officer a pair of new boots.
The officer later wrote Henry a thank you note for the boots. I saw a copy of this along with the news article. The note was sign Robert E. Lee.

This speaks of the character of the man. In the book "Christ In The Camp" by J. Williams Jones, Jones did a chapter on the General and wrote how he was an advid writer. He wrote everyone he could think of with thank you notes. This is amazing knowing the time he did not have to waste.
I saw a History channel doc one day (DVD I got for Christmas) and how the general was not beat but gave up to save lives. I seems his army was out of food and every train shipment that came to them was full of weapons but no food. He was commanded to retreat into the mountains and wage "Guerrilla War". This was something the Union was afraid would happen. This would prolong the war for years to come and cost many-many lives. He choose to surrender and help bring the war to and end. I believe He listened to the commander-in-chief of heaven and obeyed. Another story on the doc was that after the war. In the Va. church were many leaders attended. The blacks still sat in the back, but one day as the Pastor called people forward to receive communion, an elderly black man came forward and stood at the alter. After a couple of minutes awkwardness a gray haired gentleman came forward and stood beside the black man and took communion. The gentleman was Robert E. Lee. Then others came. General Lee spent the rest of his life trying to heal the division of North and South.

To our beloved General, Happy Birthday. You lost all you had, but gained a place in history and hearts.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Mind Your Own Business: 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

King James Version
11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

The Message
Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You've heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurls. we want you livinging in a way that will comand respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.

The Amplified Bible
11 To make it your ambition and definitely endeavor to live quietly and peacefully, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you;
12 So that you may bear yourselves becomingly, be correct and honorable and command the respect of the outside world, being (self-supporting,) depend­ent on nobody and having need of nothing.

On sharing of these verses we should know that Paul was trying to teach non-jews how to live a christian life. Mostly Greeks who before had a lose lifestyle. Like the early colonist of Jamestown (USA), some wanted to just enjoy their new freedoms and soak it all in. The story of Jamestown sayes that Capt. Smith told all of them that if they did not work they did not eat. This really came from the Bible. He's not talking about people who want to work and can not find a job, but those who see work as beneth them. I have been in management and have had those we've hired, work really well until they were eligible for unemployement benifits and then started being late every day and worked really bad. Forcing me to fire them.
These verses encourage us to work and mind our own business. All for the purpose of having a good witness to those who do not share our beliefs. The work Christ does in us should produce the perfect worker.
Some may ask, how does this become a witness for the Lord. When you do your best and your boss gives you a compliment, you will be able to reply,"It's because of Christ in me that I can do what I do". That will bring glory to God.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Wanted: Heavy Metal Christians

"You have cause for great joy in this, though it may have been necessary for you to be troubled for a little time, being tested in all sorts of ways. So that the true metal of your faith, being of much greater value than gold (which, through it comes to an end, is tested by fire), may come to light in praise and glory and honor, at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:6-7 BBE

Are you going through things that are really stressing you out. Take comfort. There is a reason for all of it. The Lord uses trials in our lives to strenghten us. Just like you can't purify gold or any other metal without fire or heat, we will be useless without trials to make us pure.
The fires in our lives also reveal what kind of metal our faith is made of. Fire or trials bring out the worst leaving the best.
God is looking for those purified by fire and walking holy before Him.
God in it's purest form is still tanted. That's why it is yellowish. It is never pure. You can only get it to .999 percent. (Before the fall of man gold was transparent like glass. Like it is mentioned in Heaven. "Streets of gold transparent like glass".) Our faith however is worth more to the Lord than all the gold making the streets of Heaven. So He will purify for Himself and it will bring you great joy.

Rejoice in your troubles and will yourself to see the big picture. The outcome of your testing. Heavy Metal worth more than gold. Your Faith.

For the record: "Where in ye greatly rejoice, through now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perisheth, through it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:6-7 KJV

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Temp#43: Shut-My-mouth

I've been dealing with the reason as to why I have been moved from job to job in the last ten years. I somehow felt that there was more that the Lord was trying to teach me or mold me.
Then one day I came across this verse in my reading.

"Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and innocent, children of God without fault in the mist of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the Word of life......"
Phillipians 2:14-16

I took a hard look at myself and saw that I did not smoke (anything) with the guys. Talk about getting laid the night before. Try to talk using as many vulgur words in one sentance as possible. Steal as much from the warehouse as I could get away with. I saw a fault in me that I felt had caused me grief in every job I've had. I can't seem to quit complaining about work and management. I've been in management I didn't think anyone talked or complained about me, but I complained about co-workers and spoke ill of them many times. In this way I was no different than the others. I was not the light that the Lord wanted me to me. Being a light means that we are different than the others. Like night is from day. And more than just different, a light that shows the way out of darkness.

We may not be able to reach perfection,but we can become blameless and innocent like this verse says. That means that we may do wrong without knowing it and become blameless but we should not become guilty by doing thinks we know is wrong. And the reason for this is not to earn our way to heaven or even the presence and favor of the Lord, but to become the witness that the Lord wants us to be of His goodness.

So my next thing I need to work on is to do the logical thing. As we say in the south, "Shut my mouth."