Archive for blog

Natural or Spiritual Thinking? Dedicated to my brother

For four years I studied in two different higher educational settings.  These studies were almost entirely in the secular realm and dealt with natural thinking.  God gave us our ability to reason, but reasoning without God, the Bible and the help of the Holy Spirit often leads to all manner of wrong think and ultimately wrong actions.  That is where I ended up at that time in my life.

Generally, natural or secular or even liberal thinking usually concludes that the correct party or politician or government is the cure-all for every problem.  On the other hand, spiritual thinking sees the Christian church and Christian ministries as the answer for most of the ills of society.  Now, it is quite easy to find huge government waste in multitudes of different programs,  The Christian realm is not without its faults, but for the most part funds used to help people by a Christian ministry are much more likely to meet real needs than huge government programs.

Let’s look at a clear case in point where the results have been measured: education.  Very clear studies have been done comparing children in secular and Christian schools.  By the time children in Christian schools are in middle school, they are much more than a grade ahead of those in public schools.  Why is that?  There are probably a variety of factors involved, but the one I believe is most important(and I taught in Christian middle schools for five years) was Bible study and prayer.  When God is brought on the scene, the atmosphere changes, and the Holy Spirit goes to work to help students.  When parents, teachers, students and administrators pray, educational advancement occurs.  What is amazing is that the average cost per year for students in a Christian school is less than half of what it is in a public school.  I rest my case.

Note: Even though this blog was written awhile ago, I decided to dedicate it to my brother who recently passed away.  Most of his working life he spent teaching in a Christian school.

Postscript: This blog is in no way meant to denigrate those godly, righteous teachers who are working in secular education.  Almost certainly they are doing the best they can with their hands tied, so to speak, in terms of bringing biblical values into the classroom.

Motives And Purposes

What motivates you?  Is it some particular activity you enjoy?  Is it a particular purpose?  All of us have motives that drive us, but I wonder how many of us have examined our own motives or the motives of others.

Let me give you an example.  There is a religious group that continually condemns racism.  On the exterior that looks positive.  However, because the group is predominately of one minority, the motive of that condemnation is to get more members and to keep the members it already has.  In fact, in that particular religious group the leadership has condemned other ethnic groups in a kind of reverse racism.  Motives are not always easy to discern.

What is important is to try to keep our own motives and purposes pure.  Only with God’s help, the Bible and the Holy Spirit can we begin to face our own flaws and overcome them.  Motives matter because God judges the heart and why we do what we do not just outward performance.

New Age Or New Birth

We have a very clear choice to make as stated above.  Let us look first of all at what is meant by the New Age.
The New Age encompasses numerous belief systems, but can usually be summed up in the following way.  We are all part of a huge universal soul or cosmic soul that makes up both living organisms and inanimate ones.  What we say or do according to the New Age affects this cosmic soul, but what or who are you in essence praying to?  Since you are part of this universal soul you are essentially praying to yourself.  I am praying to myself to solve the myriad of problems around me.  Now, how many people do each of us know who has it all together and can solve the toughest problems on the earth?  If we are honest, we’ll admit none of us can fix even ourselves or even those closest to us much less the world.  My praying to or, if you will, through myself does little or no good.
Now, let’s look at the New Birth.  The premise behind the New Birth is that I am a sinner in need of help from someone outside of myself.  That help was sent by God from heaven in the form of baby Jesus.  Jesus grew up and willingly went to the cross to die for our sins.  Our faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross connects us to Father God and releases the Holy Spirit into our lives.  It is that connection which also releases God’s grace and power to overcome whatever we are facing if we participate in staying connected through Bible reading, church attendance, Christian media, etc.  I am not praying to and/or through myself to change bad situations but praying in Jesus’ name to Father God who created the universe.
If you have not already done so, choose the New Birth and confess to God that you are a sinner in need of forgiveness.  By faith, accept Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for your sins.

Banish Liars…

Recently, in two different directions I have had to deal with big time lying.  What happens when you confront a liar?  They just lie some more or say they don’t recall what they said or some such words.  Even in the face of two witnesses they can maintain their innocence.  So what do you do in a relationship that is going nowhere fast?

You can take the conversation to a higher authority and let them be the judge: in a business that may be a boss, in a family that may be a parent.  As a Christian we can even go before the throne of God in prayer and plead our case.  If Jesus is our Savior, he is also our attorney in heaven.  If our cause is just, we can trust the God of the universe to vindicate us and bring enduring justice.  This may not happen overnight, but trust that God has the final say.  Forgive the other person as God forgives each of us and leave it in God’s hands.

Is Heaven For Everyone?

I heard this story on Christian television awhile ago.  Suppose you lived in a middle class neighborhood with your family and someone you didn’t know came to your door and asked to live with you.  Would you let them in?  Because you have no idea who the person is and because you would want to protect your family, you would almost certainly close the door on them.  Similarly, God only lets people into heaven whom He knows.  Heaven is a perfect place and if God let people in who have not built a relationship with Him, then heaven would be anything but perfect.

But what does it mean to know God?  All of us have sinned according to the Bible and all of us deserve hell.  It is only because of what Jesus did on the cross to take away our sin that any of us have a hope of heaven if we believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  Jesus made it very clear when He said, “No person comes to the Father(God) except through me.”  There is only one door into heaven, not numerous doors as the New Age belief system attempts to get us to believe.  Jesus is that door, and not just a mental assent of Him as Savior, but as the Lord of our life to whom we look for direction on a regular basis.

Life Source Or The Source Of Life

What we worship is extremely important because what we worship we eventually resemble.  Many today worship a life source which we all have.  It might also be labeled soul power.  If you set your mind or soul on a goal, you can accomplish great things.  However, can our own greatness or our own soulish desire bring about spiritual good?  For the most part no because we are leaving out the source of life.  We are simply building our own kingdom.

Jesus Christ is the source of life.  It is he who knows what can bear good fruit.  It is only Jesus who can reveal to us our true motives and aims.  It is Jesus who can lead and guide us through the Holy Spirit and the Bible to actually accomplish true lasting spiritual good.  Without Jesus we are living in the dark realm of the unredeemed soul.

God’s Way Or The World’s Way

Choices matter.  Our decisions here on earth have eternal consequences.  If you, like I have, have made Jesus Christ your Savior and Lord, then one day in heaven we will come before God for the white throne judgment.  At that time we will be rewarded for what we have done on earth.  Now, this isn’t some divine payday that lasts a limited time, but a reward that will go on for trillions and trillions of years.  When we make righteous choices instead of worldly one, that will be rewarded.  When we share the Gospel or give finances to further the Gospel, then that will be rewarded.  Jesus’ words saying, “Well done thou good and faithful servant,” are words I hope we all want to hear.  Choices matter!

What You Focus On Most You Become

Proverbs in the Bible makes clear: “As a person thinks in his or her heart, so is he or she.” What you most focus on you will become. If our focus is positive, then what will eventually manifest will be something good and vice versa. If our focus is fear-based, then that fear will probably show up sooner or later. If our focus is faith-based on a promise in the Bible, we can trust that God, who does not lie, will bring it to pass. Of course, we must do our part in this to bring it to fruition. If we are believing for finances, for example, and are not out looking for a job or getting the proper training to get the job we want, then our focus is misguided. James in the New Testament states that “faith without works is dead”. This principle applies to every area of our life.

Unplugged

Spiritually speaking, there are two sides to the word unplugged, one positive and one negative. Let’s look at the down side first.

Unfortunately, many people have unplugged from God and the Bible. Instead of taking directions from the small, still voice of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God in the Bible they follow personal whims and fancies. What looks good in the natural realm catches their attention and off they go. Proverbs clearly delineates this approach to life: “There is a way that seems right to a person, but that way leads to death(spiritually).” There is a world of difference between following God’s Word and what appeals to our carnal mind.

The positive side of our title word unplugged begins when we decide to cut off from the multitudes of media-related connections that draw us away from God. If we are influencing our world and pointing others to God through our media-related connections, that is great. However, if our media connections are dragging us into Hollywood’s morass of immorality, then it is time to unplug.

In Light Of Eternity

Several years ago I attended a graduation at a Christian school where the principal gave a message loosely based on a popular Christian song entitled “Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing.” What is the main thing? Jesus Christ and Him crucified and risen again. If the message of salvation through faith Jesus Christ is not apparent somewhere in our daily life, what we are doing has little if any eternal significance.

« Previous entries