August 3, 2020

What I Read Today;

Hebrews 8; Acts 6; Amos 4; Psalm 34; 1 Chronicles 15; Genesis 37

In Genesis 37, Joseph gets a glimpse of what God has planned.  God will sometimes give us a vision for what he’s going to do.  But that vision is incomplete. He doesn’t give us the whole story. 

We think we have it all figured out and then something goes wrong.

We doubt ourselves and our understanding of what it is that God is calling us to do.  

While Joseph was correct, his family would bow down to him, Joseph didn’t understand what God was doing.  Joseph had some training to go through.  He had some struggles to live through.  It wouldn’t be until that was over that he would be placed in his royal position.  Joseph had to come to realize that God was putting him there not to exalt himself, but to save lives.

We have to realize that God’s plans are perfect and his timing is not ours.  

August 2, 2020

What I Read Today:

Hebrews 7; Acts 5; Amos 3; Psalm 33; 1 Chronicles 14; Genesis 36

The Pastor who married my wife and I was an incredibly gifted man.  He had a bubbly personality and could preach a sermon like very few.  He was dynamic. 

He was moved to a different church by our denomination and replaced with a man who was not as dynamic.  His personality was the opposite of his predecessor.  The congregation began to decrease.

The problem wasn’t what the new pastor was preaching.  His sermons were from the same Bible and were biblically correct.  His bible studies were also biblically correct.  

The problem was his personality.  He just could not be the same dynamic preacher as his predecessor.  He didn’t have that gift.

The problem was the congregation not the pastor.

Hebrews 7 vs. 22-28 tells us what our focus needs to be on.  Our focus in worship is supposed to be about Jesus our great high priest.  It’s supposed to be a celebration of the actions Jesus took to save us.  But what our focus has become about it how entertained we are during worship.  Worship has become about what we get from the preacher not what we give to God.

That’s a problem.

We need to work in our congregations to remind people that the focus of our worship is Jesus.  The focus of our worship is praising the one who sacrificed himself for our salvation.  The focus of our worship is hearing the word of God and learning more about the man from Galilee and the God who loves us!

That is what worship should be about!  Don’t you agree?

August 1, 2020

What I Read Today:

Hebrews 6; Acts 4; Amos 2; Psalm 32; 1 Chronicles 13; Genesis 35

Hebrews 6 vs. 13-20 tell us we can anchor our faith to two timeless truths.  

First, God cannot lie.  

Second, because God cannot lie, we have hope in the promises that Jesus made to us.

So when Jesus said to us, “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 ESV, we can put our faith in the bedrock that Jesus keeps his word!

When Paul says this in 1 Timothy 2:3-5, “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” ESV, which means that God’s desire is for all to come to him.  It doesn’t matter how far you’ve fallen or how fast you’ve run away.  God’s love will outrun you.

God’s promises are forever!  Our victory is secured!

July 31, 2020

What I Read Today:

Hebrews 5; Acts 3; Amos 1; Psalm 31; 1 Chronicles 12; Genesis 34

I’ve spoken before on my concern over biblical illiteracy.  Hebrews 5:1-14 and 6:1-12 layout the problems that are associated with biblical illiteracy.

There’s an old saying that goes like this, “If you don’t believe in something, you’ll fall for anything.”

Over the years, I’ve heard things like the following:

  • The Senior Pastor of A large congregation near Kansas City, KS said that in his opinion in spite of what Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13,  Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6:9  and 1 Timothy 1:10 he now believes homosexuality is no longer a sin.  It’s 2020 after all.
  • I’ve had a senior official in a large church body tell me that the idea that God will send people to hell who don’t believe Jesus is the only way to heaven just can’t be true.  I guess Jesus was kidding in John 14:6.
  • We’ve seen several Pastors from large churches ignore God’s exhortation to work with civil government during a pandemic and on several occasions witnessed outbreaks within their own church. I guess Romans 13 was a suggestion.
  • On both sides of the political aisle our church leaders ignore admonitions from Psalm 94:20, Proverbs 28:15 and 29:12 when they follow leaders like these:
    • In 2016 I  watched several conservative church leaders endorse a man for President who has had multiple wives, bragged about his philandering, and had questionable business deals.  The only conservative I heard question them was Max Lucado.  What happened to the rest?
    • On the other side of the aisle, liberal church leaders are rushing to endorse candidates who oppose passing a law that says, if a child is born alive during an abortion you can’t kill it. 
    • Pardon my french but, what the hell?  

These are folks who should know the Bible better.  Yet somehow they seem to have lost the message or compromised the message to fit an agenda.  Now if the ministers of large groups of people don’t know the scripture well enough to understand, how in the world will the people who attend their church understand it?

Folks we have to work to get people back into God’s word.  We have to drop to our knees and ask God to lift the veil that covers the scriptures to people in our society.  We need to pray for pastors who will preach the word and not just follow the society on a social agenda.

Will you join me in this fight?

July 30, 2020

What I Read Today:

Hebrews 4; Acts 2; Joel 3; Psalm 30; 1 Chronicles 11; Genesis 33

Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” ESV

We’ve seemingly forgotten how powerful the scripture is.  I say that because we seem to be more and more reliant on technology, music, and programs to keep our churches relevant.  Now all of those things have a place.  But it is the scripture that should be the primary tool we use to teach, preach, and study God’s heart.  

Here are some don’ts when it comes to attending worship.  Don’t focus on your pastor’s flashy rhetoric.  Don’t go to church for the entertainment value of the praise band.  Don’t go to church to “feel” the presence of the “spirit.”  

Instead, focus on hearing the word of God.  Then when you go home spend time studying what was preached.  Spend time looking at the words of the scripture that were spoken.  

Let the word of God fill your heart and mind.  That’s how you worship!