Sunday, September 30, 2012

Jude's Exhortation

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. - Jude 1:20-21 NASB Jude is a beautiful and practical letter containing most precious direction for the believer. These instructions are valuable to believers on a very basic and wonderful level: Building yourselves up - We are to be constantly growing and building both ourselves and each other up in the truth revealed in the Bible. Praying in the Holy Spirit - Moment by moment fellowship with the Holy Spirit causes us to be in constant connection with the Lord God. Keep yourselves in the Love of God - "Keep" here has the idea of keeping our eyes constantly fixed of the amazing love of God that was demonstrated for us by Christ at the Cross (Romans 5:8, 1 John 3:1) Waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ - When the Lord returns for us in the Church it will be to receive, not what we deserve (death and hell), but eternal life. We grow, individually and as a church body, as we heed Jude's instruction. As we grow in the Word of God, as we pray in the Spirit, as we focus upon God's amazing love, as we anxiously await the Lord's return, we are being transformed into the very image of Jesus Christ. In Christ, and in Christ alone, God has provided everything that we need for life and godliness. Rely upon HIS resources!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Salty Language

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. Colossians 4:6 NKJV "Salty language", as a modern idiom, is something that we strive to avoid. In our culture it can mean language that is crass or crude. This was not at all what our speech being "seasoned with salt" meant to Paul. In the first century salt was a must. It was a preservative as well as a way to make otherwise bland or boring foods exciting and delicious. What is it that is meant to "season" the believer's language? Grace. The unlimited, unmerited favor of God provided by the completely adequate work of Christ is to characterize our every spoken word. This is not just the words that we say, but the very way in which we say those words. It can be easy when discussing dealing with situations in life for our speech to be come out putrid, rotten and tasteless. However, as we behold the Lord, and rest in His Holy Spirit our words will bring about the wonderful salt seasoned life, love, grace and peace of one who is walking with the Lord.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Good Investments


Time has been called the great equalizer.  Regardless of your station, or your wealth, or your talents we still all get the same amount of hours in a given week.  What decides the type of person that we become is what sort of investments that we make with that time, and the way that we make those investments.  Regardless of the many things that we must invest time in, like work, or home-care, and financial chores there is one investment that we cannot afford to miss.  The investments that we make in the spending time in the word of the Lord are those that will endure forever and ever.  When we understand the value of that investment we will not struggle nearly so much to make it.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Single Minded

Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. - Romans 15:5-6 NASB

Humans can be united by many things: a cause, a common fear or need, a common interest or hobby.  Christians often seek unity around things that are really not central to our faith.  We may look for unity around the same things the world seeks unity around.  The unity of believers is based and built upon the person and work of Jesus Christ.  Christ, and Christ alone, is a worthwhile basis for the unity of believers.  In this way alone can we experience the unity of the faith that Paul writes about so frequently.  Only as we pursue Him are we able to have "one mind" and speak with "one voice" as we are called to do.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Tongue

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit. 
Proverbs 18:21

A careless word can do a great deal of damage.  It is remarkable how much trouble a quick tongue can cause.  Whether we open our mouth to be funny, or to defend ourselves we need to measure our words carefully.  James wrote truly when he said, "So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!" (James 3:5)  It has been said that a simple word is like an arrow that reaches its target the moment it leaves the bow of our mouth.  I cannot count how many situations in my life would have been improved had I remembered James' words: "This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger..." (James 1:19) To date I have never had to apologize for a thing I didn't say.