My Cross is too heavy!

If you have been a christian for any length of time you’ve read, or heard read  “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”  What if your cross is to heavy? Every time you look at it you think I can’t do it, I can’t carry it, I’m to weak and wounded.

How do we face such a situation? Believe me these situations will come, pretending they won’t is foolish.  In fact you maybe there now struggling to pick up a cross that seems to get heavier, and heavier by the second. There is an answer you know. We find it in the Life of our Lord who also had a cross to pick up. His was a literal physical weight. (Though our emotional, and physical problems can be just as heavy.)

We find the answer in a couple of different places.

First here in Luke 23:26  As they led him away, they seized Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country. They placed the cross on his back and made him carry it behind Jesus.

The second is here in Mathew 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Jesus couldn’t carry His cross because He was to weak and weary, so let me ask you this, why are you trying to carry yours? Jesus is our Simon of Cyrene the difference is that Simon was forced to carry the cross, and Jesus longs to carry it for you.

Why not go to Him in prayer crying out to Him when you feel the weight, and let him take it for you. Don’t try to take it back! He has strength to carry what you can’t.

One more quick thing

While writing this I remembered that David Wilkerson has already said this far better than I did so here is the link to His article.

http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/node/1349

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Marriage Reconsidered

I’ve been thinking of marriage lately, or more to the point the purposes of God behind it. So I guess in a way… I am reconsidering marriage. I started this reconsideration not because of the current redefinition of marriage, but rather because I am working on a wedding ceremony with a young couple. (Man and Woman)

As I reconsidered marriage I began to see more clearly a scriptural view point on marriage, and since the Bible is the rule of faith and conduct for all mankind, regardless of whether they accept it as such or not. (We do not decide the validity of the law of gravity but all of us on earth live under it’s rule, and so it is with God’s word). We do not have the right to decide it’s validity and all mankind live under it’s rule.

So with this in mind I began a thoughtful reconsideration of marriage in light of God’s word. I asked for guidance in prayer, and then started my journey. By the way it’s not finished, my journey I mean, I’m still reading, meditating, and praying for the ability to communicate what I’m learning.

So far I’m realizing that as Christians we often hold marriage in a low regard. because of this our views are often contrary to the intent and purposes of God’s for the marriage covenant. We leave the covenant of marriage as if it’s a temporary contract that can be forgotten, and done away with.

Yet, this is not God’s intent at all. As a matter of fact, It more often than not shows the hardness of our hearts toward God and His word.

I realize that divorce can be a complicated and messy issue. However, I also know that it is often easier to get a divorce than stay and work on the marriage. But this series is not about divorce per say. It’s more about God’s Biblical will for marriage.

I’m not sure how long this series will be, nor am I completely sure of what it will look like. I just feel the need to share some thoughts upon Marriage and God’s purpose for it, and then maybe…just maybe provide some insight and direction for those of us who want to reach for God’s best in our marriages.

Growing up

I originally wrote this for about 83 friends of mine who belong to a men’s group on Facebook. I decided to re-post it here because I believe we need it. TGBTG

1 John 3:2 Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that whenever It is revealing we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is.

I read the above verse and was reminded about something. I don’t know about you but I can remember thinking when I was a child. ” I can’t wait until I grow up.” I had no idea what I would look like, be like, or act like, yet I couldn’t wait for it.

John is telling us that in Christ we are little Children. He also say’s what we will be is not yet revealed. Just like when we were literal Children what we would become was yet to be revealed. We couldn’t rush growing up into adulthood then, and we shouldn’t rush our spiritual maturity now.

We need to learn spiritual maturity day by day, and not try to rush it. We can slow down and learn the lessons of growing in Christ once. Because the church is full of rushed growth people that are ineffective for the kingdom of God. They suffer, their families suffer, and the Church suffers.

I have advice for you. Grow up physically and be a mature adult, but spiritually don’t rush it. Go through every phase of your walk with Christ and allow our heavenly Father to develop into you the nature and character of Jesus Christ.

Then and only then will we see God just as He is

Scripture is quoted from NET Bible

Doubt can’t kill us!

1 John 5:4 because everyone who has been fathered by God conquers the world.  This is the conquering power that has conquered the world: our faith.
I read this and was reminded of something I read last night from the puritan writer William Gurnall. This is from his book “The Christian In Complete Armour”.
Here is what he say’s about faith and doubt in the midst of trials.
“When you are in the midst of testing, do not give up in despair. Faith is a dogged grace! Unless your soul flatly denies the power of God, this courier-faith-will beat a well worn path to the throne. Doubt cripples but does not incapacitate faith. Indeed, even as you are disputing the mercy of God and questioning in your mind whether He will come to your rescue, faith will make it’s way, if haltingly into His presence. And the message it delivers will be, “If you are willing you can make me clean!””

Doubt can wound us, cripple us, and leave us battered, however it can not kill us unless we abandon the belief that God is indeed for us in-spite of what the circumstances we face seem to indicate.

The only thing that can really destroy our faith is our abandonment of God and His purposes. A real man of faith will go into the presence of God and cry out for the bread of life until he receives it. Just like this man in Jesus’ parable:

Luke 11:5 Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 11:6 because a friend of mine has stopped here while on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 11:7 Then he will reply from inside, ‘Do not bother me. The door is already shut, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 11:8 I tell you, even though the man inside will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of the first man’s sheer persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
11:9 “So I tell you: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.

If you are in the midst of trials, then begin to cry out in the power that conquers the world your faith until you have your answer.
Scriptures are from the NET

It’s both!

 

1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue but in deed and truth.

I read this and couldn’t help but think about both of our political parties. The Dem’s claim to care about people and focus on the deed, the Repub’s claim to care about people so they speak what they claim is truth, however true love is both deed and truth.

They are both liars because neither truly love the people and it shows in their actions. However God shows us how to love in deed and truth through Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus loved the people by speaking truth, healing the sick, and ultimately doing for the world what they could never do for themselves.

Reconcile them to the Father by the greatest love act any one could do. Laying down His life for us. Praise God!!!

Imagine what Christian homes would look like if each of us would take the above verse and apply it to our lives daily ! How would the gospel spread if we applied it daily to those around us! Let’s love others by speaking truth, and then doing the deeds of love.

Skip the Beer

While watching a talk show one morning, I saw country music artist Thomas Rhett singing his song “Beer with Jesus”. As I listened to the words I couldn’t help think as he sang the chorus “You don’t have to wait for the answers to the questions you are asking, because Jesus answered them already.”  Allow me to parody how this conversation might go in a question answer format.

 Q: How’d you turn the other cheek, To save a sorry soul like me?  

A: Because I love you, Listen to my  word. John 3:16 “For this is the way 36  God loved the world: He gave his one and only 37  Son, so that everyonewho believes in him will not perish 38  but have eternal life. 39  3:17 For God did not send his Soninto the world to condemn the world, 40  but that the world should be saved through him.” My love for you drove me to turn the other cheek and lay down my life and pay the penalty you deserve.

 Q: Do you hear the prayers I send?

A: Yes, I do hear them especially the ones you whisper when you don’t think any one can hear. I hear your prayers, see your tears, and long to save your soul if you would only believe in me.

 Q: What happens when life ends?

A: That’s an easy one. When you die if you have believed in me as the Lord of your life repented of your sin (Repentance is turning from your sin and walking in my ways) then you join me in heaven. If not then you are judged for your sin an sent to hell. Again hear my word: John 3:18 “The one who believes in him is not condemned. 41  The one who does not believe has been condemned42  already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only 43  Son of God”.

 Q: And when you think you’re comin’ back again?
A: I’m not telling you this. I am coming back so get your life right and be ready. Because after my return for the Church, and the 7 years of tribulation there will be no repentance and you will be eternally condemned. Mankind will be judged and punished for sin. My grace is here and now so repent and believe.

 Q: How’d you change a sinner’s heart?

A: I shed my blood and apply it to their hearts when they repent of their sin and believe in me. At that moment they become new! All of what they have done and what had been done to them is washed away and they are new creations! HAHA! Listen to my the words I spoke through Paul:  “So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away 32  – look, what is new33  has come!” 2nd Corinthians 5:17 I love doing this! It’s so much fun!

 Q: And is heaven really just beyond the stars?

A: Don’t worry about where heaven is just worry about getting there.

 Q: What’s on the other side?
A: Heaven or Hell.

 

 Q: Is mom and daddy alright?

A: They are fine, they want you to be with them here.

 

 Q: And if it ain’t no trouble tell them I said hi.
A: No trouble at all.

The end.

I’m of course making up the end, however I believe Mr Rhett would be better off to skip the beer and pick up his Bible, and so would we.

Again this is a parody of what might take place during this supposed conversation. I take a strong stance, and believe Christians should not drink because of the appearance of evil it gives.

Thinking differently, and acting differently.

God loves you ans has a wonderful plan for your…have you ever heard some one say a phrase like that while trying to evangelize some one else? I’ve heard it, used it, and am quite tired of it. Most people who are not Christians have heard it too.  We live in a day and age where people are skeptical of these types of catch phrases.

The other day I was in a store, and saw a gospel tract lying on a shelf. It was designed to look like a thousand dollar bill. I thought interesting, I wonder how many times that the person who left this, has left it for a tip for a waitress on a busy Sunday morning. (I know a little cynical) My point is this. We need to stop using canned, overused, and weird tricks to reach those who are not Christians.

Rather what  we need is to think and act differently when it comes to reaching those who are not yet Christians. I know some are thinking, that the old methods are the best. Well maybe they once were, but they aren’t now. As a NASCAR fan I don’t want to see my favorite driver in a car from the 1980’s running Daytona with the cars of today. It would be silly to think he would be competitive. Why do we insist on running the race for souls in such a way?

Listen, people today don’t care how much you know unless they see how much you care. So instead of sharing the gospel first, and your life second, share your life first, and weave into it how your decision to follow Christ has changed it. Ditch the presentations, and get real with them about Jesus and His saving, and changing power in your life.

Here’s an idea.

How about the next time you go to a real nice dinner you ask the server if they have a need in their life that you can pray over before your meal. Then instead of the 15-20% you should be tipping,  give 30%. That way you show you care about them physically, and spiritually.