September 28, 2020 – Expel the Wicked

What I Read Today;

1 Corinthians 5; Matthew 21; Isaiah 29; Psalm 80; Ezra 5; Exodus 40

Paul’s letter to the Corinthians is not a hope filled dialogue. Quite frankly he’s dealing with some extremely difficult issues that have surfaced within the congregation. Sexual immorality is at the top of the list. Paul speaks forgiveness in nearly everything. But in this matter he demands expulsion.

In the past 20 years we’ve seen a real problem in the church bubble to the surface. Sexual exploitation and misconduct by clergy and church leadership. The church seems to have been caught flat-footed by the problem.

This morning I opened my Facebook feed and staring right at me was the arrest of a Pastor in a neighboring community for being involved in a child sex exploitation ring.

I think we’re past the point of sugar coating things on this issue. Any clergy member who is engaged in sexual misconduct must be removed from the pulpit and not allowed to return.

I understand that this is harsh, but the damage to souls that is occurring must be dealt with.

I believe that people can change and that there is forgiveness for all sins. However, as David found out, there also must be a consequence for the severest of sins. A person who has abused the trust and harmed the most innocent and weakest, physically, among us should never be allowed back in a pulpit. Period.

September 28, 2020 – Opposition

What I Read Today;

1 Corinthians 4; Matthew 20; Isaiah 28; Psalm 79; Ezra 4; Exodus 39

Ezra and the rest of the remnant that has returned to rebuild Jerusalem are nearly done with their work. The walls are up, sacrifices have resumed, and the temple is under construction.

Now the opposition begins.

It’s what always happens when people come together in God’s name and begin doing good works. At first no one minds. In fact their might even be some praise. But the minute things go “to far” the opposition begins. Once people begin to have life changing experiences, non-believers will begin to attack.

Satan can’t have God’s people winning battles. So just when things are going well, bam, he begins to attack.

When the attacks begin, recognize that Satan is not going to go quietly. It’s just not going to happen. In those moments remember that Jesus is smiling, because he’s winning!

September 27, 2020 – Divorce

What I Read Today;

1 Corinthians 3; Matthew 19; Isaiah 27; Psalm; 78; Ezra 3; Exodus 38

In Matthew 19 vs. 3-9, Jesus tells the Pharisees something they don’t want to hear. He tells them that divorce is wrong.

Like our society today, the Pharisees liked the idea of throw away marriage. It didn’t matter that the discarded wife would likely be forced to live with her parents for the rest of her life, or worse yet, live a life begging for food or in prostitution.

Today, infidelity and divorce have caused problems that we are only now coming to grips with. Statistics show the children of broken homes do worse in school and have more psychological problems, than children of who’s parents didn’t divorce.

Statistics also show, broken homes are more likely to be in poverty.

Yet, we can’t seem to learn that God’s design was for our benefit. We’ve decided that cheap sex and no responsibilities are the way to go. The havoc we’ve created is beyond belief.

Now, because so many are divorced in our society, the church has decided it’s not a sin to divorce your spouse.

Well I’m sorry folks, but God’s word say’s that, with the exceptions of abandonment and infidelity, divorce is wrong.

As a society it should be our goal to reduce divorce rates. If we don’t, I worry about what our society may become.

September 26, 2020 – God’s Rescue Mission

What I Read Today;

1 Corinthians 2; Matthew 18; Isaiah 26; Psalm 77; Ezra 2; Exodus 37

I love to watch the videos on Facebook of stray dogs being rescued.  Watching a frightened dog growl or whimper and try to hide from his rescuers is heartbreaking to me.  When the rescuers finally capture the animal, some continue to try to escape; others lash out. Still, others cower in fear.

Then as the animals receive food, comfort, and love, you see a slow transformation take place.  Over time they become filled with joy.  They grow to love the one which they previously lashed out at.  Soon the animal transforms into a happy, loving dog who finds a home.

God is thought of by many as a cruel taskmaster.  A God who emphasizes rules and obedience over grace and mercy.

In Matthew 18:10-14, Jesus describes God as being on an eternal rescue mission.  A mission whereby he’s seeking out the strays on the street.  He sees us cringing in the corner of our lives where we are lashing out at God, hiding from God, or running away from God.  God lovingly reaches out to you and me, trying to bring us into his arms.  When people allow God into their lives can be transformed into his children.  We can leave the pain of the past behind us.  We can focus on the joy of a heavenly father who wants only the best for us.

To those of the world who continue to run away, God’s message to them is this; God wants all of us to come into his loving arms. 

September 25, 2020 – A Day Is Coming!

What I Read Today;

1 Corinthians 1; Matthew 17; Isaiah 25; Psalm 76; Ezra 1; Exodus 36

Our lives can seem like a constant struggle. We see so much hate and anger on the news. Cities burning, countries at war, famine and hunger all around us.

But A Day Is Coming!

As we age we see our physical health deteriorate. We can no longer do some of the things we did when we were younger. We face individual health issues. We struggle to pay the medical bills and wonder how we can go on.

But A Day Is Coming!

We live through the pain of seeing our loved ones pass on. We struggle as we see our children fight with diseases. We witness our nation tearing itself apart over this pandemic.

But A Day Is Coming!

In Isaiah 25 vs. 6-9 we hear God make this promise to you and me:

On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. In that day they will say,“Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” NIV

God promises that a day is coming. A day when we will see his face. A day when our tears will be no more. A day when our struggles will be over. So when you are struggling remember this:

A Day Is Coming!