Pampered Pets

pampered pets

I sat in the home of my friend. We listened to his children playing in the dry red dirt outside his home in Kenya.

The conversation turned to pets and the expense that Americans go to with their animals. Jewel-covered collars. Coats and shoes. Health insurance. Daycare. Family photos. Willed inheritances. Birthday and Christmas gifts.

He asked, “Why do Americans spend so much money on their animals when there are children in my country starving to death?

How would you answer?

A Tangle of My Failures

insomnia

I awake in the night, unable now to sleep. My mind is a tangle of my failures which morphs by the moment into an unbearable and uncontrollable monster.

“Father, if this is from You, I confess my sin and rejoice in the forgiveness won for me by the death and resurrection of Jesus my Saviour. I turn my mind from who I am to who You are in me and thank You that I am justified freely forever in Him!”

“And if this is of Satan, rebuke him as I resist him and submit myself to You. He is a liar and my mind is that of Christ.”

“Now, sweet Spirit of the living God, I rest in Your presence and thank You for sleep.”

Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin (Romans 4:7-8).

Guilty as Sin

guilty as sin

The name “Satan” means accuser. The Bible describes this spiritual master of rebellion as one of God’s creation who stands before the Almighty’s throne and works as the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10). He does not accuse the unregenerate before God, but only God’s redeemed.

The unsaved are already condemned (John 3:18; 16:11) whereas those who have been born again by the will of God (John 1:13) are free from condemnation (Romans 8:1). But these facts do not deter the Devil. He stands in Heaven and rails against the redeemed, pointing out each sin and demanding God’s justice. For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), then Paul continues, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

While preaching recently, I asked the congregation if they were indeed guilty of sin; were the accusations of the Accuser true? The group was divided. As a child of God, when you lie and Satan accuses you, are not the accusations true? When you take something which doesn’t belong to you, have you not sinned?

Yes, Satan’s accusations against you are very true. You are a sinner, but you have a Saviour who is greater than your sins and the accusations and the Accuser. On the cross of Calvary, Jesus took your sins upon Himself (Romans 6:10; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Upon the cross, Jesus suffered the wrath of the righteous and holy God to the point of death – the death which belonged to you as a sinner. He became your substitute so that you might receive His right standing before the Father.

If your sins are forgiven and you are feeling accused, it is not the voice of God you are listening to, but the Accuser of the brethren (Romans 8:31-39).

Satan’s accusations against you are true. You are “guilty as sin”, but there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1), because Jesus paid the price of His own life to ransom your life and bring full forgiveness. Stop listening to the Accuser and begin listening to your Advocate (1 John 2:1-2).

 

Don’t Hurry; Be Happy

boy and father

I left the store behind a young couple with a boy not even two-years old yet.  His little legs barely held him up.

Mom and Dad were in a hurry.  Dad pulled his son along by the hand, the boy’s tiny legs struggling to keep up. Three little stumbling steps and Dad would drag him three more.  Three more steps and Dad would drag him again.  Each time the boy was dragged along he’d turn, look at me, and smile. His parents never stopped to look at the world from his point of view.

The scene reminded me of when my own son was little, but rather than hurry I held Daniel’s hand and walked at his pace. He was always looking at something: a plant, a bug, his shadow, or usually a car. He’d see a car and ask what kind it was. Ford? Chevy? Toyota? Volkswagon Beetle?

Daniel didn’t know – or care – about the time or a schedule or even our final destination. He was more interested in the journey, learning and enjoying each moment as we moved toward whatever came next. Each was a moment never to be seen again, moments that now I’m desperate to recapture.

Life is too short to hurry.

Father God, teach us to hold Your hand and enjoy the moment.  Teach us to be more like kids.

So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12).

Outing Christians | RedState

A follow-up to the previous blog by Erick Erickson on why Christians must obey the laws of the land.  Click the link here to read the article: Outing Christians | RedState.

Be Blameless | RedState

A great blog about the need for Christians to obey the laws of the land.

Be Blameless | RedState.

If We are Faithless

God is Faithful

One Sunday I walked through the church parking lot and was grabbed from behind and put into a choke hold by my best friend David. He accused me of saying something about him to someone else. I didn’t know what he was talking about. That one act ended our friendship; it changed everything between us.

If we’re honest, we’ve each been unfaithful to God many times over. We’ve chosen others over Him. We’ve acted in ways that bring disgrace upon His name. We’ve rebelled against what we know He’s called us to do. We’ve failed in many ways. Yet God is faithful toward His people … toward you.

In our faithlessness, God doesn’t change His attitude toward us or treat us any different than He did yesterday when we carefully walked with Him. His promise that we hold to by faith is that if we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13).

Your Place or His

Your Place Poster

When someone feels you’ve overstepped the boundaries of a position, they knock you down and put you in “your place.”

Sometimes “your place” is where you are stationed. It may be a cubicle at work, a house, or a seat on the bus.

“Your place” could be the order you fall into in a family, a company, or a group of friends.

There is even a religious movement that designates its houses of worship as “Your Place,” somewhere or something which belongs to that group.

How much better to be in “His Place!”

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness (Psalm 84:10).

Training Pastors in God’s Word

Berean School of Ministry

One of the highlights of my time in Kenya were the two days I spent with the students and faculty of the Berean School of Ministry in the city of Tala.

The school began a year ago when three pastors (Isaac Mathembe, Joshua Mbohdo, and Peter Kaloki) determined to train other pastors to rightly divide the Word of truth. Most Kenyan pastors have no Bible or theological training.

I was humbled to address and encourage these men and women in the Scriptures and then again when I was made a part of the faculty and asked to return and teach. There was a special request to spend 3 months teaching through Romans.

My wife and I are committed to this school and the training of Kenyan pastors to carefully, and with integrity, handle the Word of God. If you would like to sponsor a student’s education, please let me know.

Shine a Light

flashlight in eyes

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound … I once was lost, but now am found; was blind but now I see.

He had no concept of color, light or dark, shape or size, except for what he could touch with his hands. Tony had been blind all of his life.

There were times I inwardly struggled communicating with Tony. He was an intelligent and gifted man, but my ability to describe things apart from what I knew by sight was very difficult.

One day we were working to repair the church organ. Tony had graduated from a school which trained blind people to work on electronics. (Yes! Truly amazing). We were tinkering inside the organ to reach a certain switch. I adjusted the flashlight to a higher power setting to get a better view and asked Tony, “Is this the part we’re looking for?” He laughed. No matter how bright the light, Tony still couldn’t see.

To see, his blind eyes needed to be healed. He had to receive his sight; something he couldn’t gain by freewill or will-power, making a decision, positive confession, or begging. Sight was a gift wholly outside of himself.

The unsaved man is dead in his trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). He is blind to spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14). Sin keeps the unregenerate from seeing the beauty and truth found in Jesus. Unless given sight through divine revelation by the will and working of the Spirit of God, the blind man is forever lost.

You can shine a light in the blind man’s eyes all day long, but only the will of God can make him see.

They do not know nor understand; for He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand (Isaiah 44:18). “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed (Luke 4:18).