Archive for October, 2003

In this passage the Apostle Paul gives us a couple of excellent messages we need to take to heart. He is talking about sexual idolatry with in the church. He states we must cast out those who claim to be part of the church but do not wish to live within the righteousness of Christ. He also goes on to say we must not judge those outside of the church based upon their idolatry life. I believe these are excellent messages for us to know and apply. First, we must help and encourage each Christ-follower to keep their lives pure and clean. Only a pure and clean life (authentic and integrous) can be a witness to the world. Only a life that is in the process of becoming like Jesus can show others there is a better way. Second, the church must not understand those who are not Christ-followers cannot be judged the same as those who are. You should not expect someone who does not hold your value system to follow it. We must instead live in authentic community with them so they will see the better way and wish to become part of it and live as authentic Christ-followers.

Dear Jesus,

You are the better way. You are the way of authenticity, integrity and community. Thank you for creating standards for a better life and real life. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to live this life in community with you. Thank you also for giving everyone an opportunity by calling us to live in community with those who are not following you. Thank you for reserving the judgment of those who don’t follow you to yourself. Instead you have called us to be salt and light, not judge. I love you and thank you. Amen.

1 Corinthians 1:18-19 states – For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

These worlds speak so much about the world we live in. We have decided there is not one belief system which will provide salvation to all. We have decided that each individual can find their own way to God. It is really amazing that we think so much of ourselves that we believe we have the ability to make these kind of decisions. In truth, we have decided there is no truth. It is not actually possible to have individual truths with each having its own salvific value. No belief exists which has a god with this intent. Even universalistic religions get around the issue by creating multiple gods or some unseen, uncaring force. Our God is the creator God. He sets up the relationship and gives us ample opportunity to enter into this relationship. I understand people don’t want to be told how to interact or reach God. Humans like to make their own rules. However, the very nature and definition of deity requires to control to be out of our hands. This may sound foolish to hose who do not want to believe, but for me it is liberating and fulfilling. I am always aware of an amazing relationship I have with God who reveals himself through his Word, not my own musings of god.

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for being. Simply put, your existence give me meaning and value. Thank you for loving me enough to create me, give me boundaries and opportunity for fellowship with you. Help me to seek you out each and every day. Help my love for you be and expression of love to the whole worlds. Amen.

Just like many other people, I like to travel. I would enjoy going all over the world to see new places, meet people who see the world differently and to simply broaden my horizons. However, I also enjoy coming home. It is time people start coming home to God. Many, including myself at one time in my life, have left God’s kingdom to try and do things our way. We may have had some success, but in the end we realized the only way to true happiness is to come home. In God’s arms we can find true meaning. Our lives have value when we are in the will of God. Please come home all of you who have never been in God’s home since your birth. Please come home all of you who were once in God’s family, but decided to go your own way. Just come home.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Lord, thank you for creating a place in your arms I can call home. Thank you for letting me in your house even though I am not perfect. Thank you for loving me enough to let me stay with you even at the times I am failing you the most. Help every person to truly seek you and find you. I love you. Amen.

Israel was a land created by and blessed by God for his children – the Nation of Israel. They were called to be a people after his own heart. At first they were and they prospered greatly. However, they soon turned from God’s ways. They still succeeded greatly in the early phases of their idoletrous life. This is the it seems to always happen. Often the foundations for failure and decrease is being laid during the times of growth and prosperity. Israel was no exceptions. Their success caused them to no see there need for God. They believed they could rely on their own strength, army and wealth. However, this is simply not possible. The things of this world my seem like they are filling your wants and needs, but in fact they are failing you little by little. The failure is purposely slow so you will not realize you are in a troublesome situation until it is too late.

Dear Heavenly Father,

You are the wonderful provider and conqueror. You are the wonderful prince of peace and almighty God. I will never b e able to completely comprehend or grasp your ways. Thank you for helping my fruit to increase even as I draw closer to you. Thank you for helping me to stay away from those evil foundations which would cause the decrease and failure to come quickly. Thank you for loving me so much to keep me from going back to Egypt. I love you. Amen.

By George David Denson

Two men walked along the Emmaus Road
One early Easter morn —
Their minds confused,
Their contenance downcast,
Their hearts asunder torn.

A stranger drew near to them
On this most fateful day —
To them words of understanding,
Comfort and courage,
The stranger did say.

Intently the two men listened
To this stranger on Emmaus Road —
As He taught them the Scriptures,
To them was given a rebirth,
Of faith and hope.

Stay with us till the new day dawns,
Was their most pressing plea —
Teach us the right path of peace,
And our brothers and sisters,
We will truly lead.

Today, two peoples, Jews and Arabs
Are fighting an endless war —
The Emmaus Road Stranger,
Continues to faithfully walk,
Their blood-stained shores.

The Emmaus Road Stranger
Is the Risen Christ of Galilee —
For all people to walk,
In lasting peace,
He silently, but fervently pleads!

One of the first rules I ever learned in politics was, “Dance with the ones that brung ya.” This rule was coined by Tip O’Neil to get across the point that you need to be loyal to those who helped you win the election. Hosea 5-8 is a divine example of this principle. God has pronounced judgment on Israel because they have forsaken the way of the Lord. He has already sent the prophet Hosea to warn them, but they are unwilling to listen. Essentially, they are refusing to “dance with God.” Since God is the creator of all, omnipotent, omniscient, etc. it becomes vitally important to follow him. We would all do well to take Tip O’Neil’s rule of politics and apply it at a much higher level – our whole life.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your wonderful mercy and grace. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to become part of your dance of life. Thank you for creating us for companionship with you. Help me to live my life in your will. Help me to serve you humbly each and every day. You are the God of gods and the Lord of lords. I love you. Amen.