“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” – Romans 1:21
How did they become futile in their thinking and foolish in their hearts? Not by denying that God exists, they can’t do that. It says quite clearly that they knew God. But how did they become futile in their thinking and foolish of heart? By not thanking God.
Mistakenly, we think that people are grumpy and ungrateful because of their unbelief. But the opposite is true. Grumpiness and ingratitude leads to unbelief. Ingratitude leads to futile thinking and a foolish darkened heart.
We have it all backwards. We want to lecture and instruct – but our mission in the world ought to be gratitude.
Christ commanded us to disciple the nations by teaching them about Christ, and we project our modern theories of education and psychology onto this. We think outreach in its various forms is a matter of head knowledge or behaviorism. We strenuously attack atheism, liberalism and Darwinism while instructing the masses in an ethic of noism. But the root problem of disbelief is ingratitude.
Jesus taught by example. On the night that He was betrayed, the eve of his trial and brutal execution, Jesus held up the loaf and He gave thanks. Broken hearted and teary eyed at the door of Lazarus, as the rolled away the stone Jesus lifted his eyes to heaven and said “ Father, I thank you….” Rejoicing in the Father’s abundant provision, he lifted up the single loaf and fish and gave thanks. Jesus taught by example and so should we. In the midst of excruciating circumstances. In the face of loss and tragedy. In the grip of miraculous blessing. Jesus was grateful. Continue reading “Gratitude is the Serious Business of Heaven”
In Genesis, God says that it was not good that man was alone. Adam, upon meeting His wife, spoke the first recorded words of man – a poem: “this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” Essentially, this woman is me.
Husbands, it is better that you are married. But we have to understand that marriage is not the reward for responsible men – marriage is the means for God to make responsible men. Without your wife you are incomplete.
And that completeness isn’t like icing on the cake. It’s not about having a cook or a housecleaner or extra income or something pretty clinging to your arm as you go about impressing everyone. A wife completes you because she brings into your life all the glorious qualities that make men higher beings than the animals, as well as, hardening us into creatures that are images of Christ. Marriage is the oven for soft clay. Marriage is a long obedience in the same direction and God uses it to shape men into little Christs.
Gentleness, Patience, kindness, self-control – all the things you need to handle the weaker vessel. And the weaker vessel is the weaker vessel like gold is the softer metal. Gold is soft so that it will be malleable –able to be shaped, molded and altered by the forces applied to into adorning objects of Beauty.
You are that force. So, by learning to shape that gold you are being shaped into a gentle, patient, kind, self-controlled craftsman.
Continue reading “Wives of Gold and Their Craftsmen”
There is something we need to address in parts. Something that is difficult to hear, difficult to receive and against the spirit of our age. Against the pop theology so prevalent in the modern church, but it effects our fellowship with the living God and our day to day lives.
We pray and we feel like God doesn’t hear us. Prayer can be a source of doubt. The outrageous promises of Jesus in Prayer receive indignant uncertainty from most of us – mystified frustration from the rest. Continue reading “Why Won’t God Hear My Prayer?”
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:1-11 ESV)
A series on love, Part 1
Col. 3:14 “…put on love…”
Are you known in your circle of friends and relations as a Christian? Do the people at the supermarket where you shop and the club where you work out and the people on your commute look at you and know you are a Christian?
Should they? In the OT the people of God were known as the people of God because of their dress (tassels, beard curls, cloth and cut of their robes, etc.) They were also known by their behavior amongst outsiders and by their speech. How are the NT believers known as the people of God if all of the clothing and purity laws have been fulfilled in Jesus?
Paul instructs us to put on love like you put on a robe. Jesus said love would be the identifying marker of Christians. Love is our livery.
What is a livery? Continue reading “Love is our Livery”
God requires his children to be long suffering and patient. It is not righteous to seek vengeance, especially for minuscule affronts that have more to do with vanity, like insulting speech, but it is also not righteous to stand idly by while people assault your wife, oppress sojourners or victimize the fatherless, the widow and the marginalized. Often there is confusion about what God requires of us in the New Covenant. Jesus is referred to as the Prince of Peace, and yet He says he comes with a sword.
Matthew 10:34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
Ultimately, in the cosmic war between God and His enemies, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, for we fight against the principalities and powers of the air. Yet, Christ did not rebuke his apostles for having swords. He did rebuke them for how and why they used them. Converted Centurions were not told to lay down their weapons. Jesus instigates a war within us against sin, while declaring peace between God and ourselves. Jesus provides peace between the nations, but peace that comes at the culmination of the antithesis. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Continue reading “Two Swords are enough for the Prince of Peace”