Category Archives: Paths of Life

Celebrating His Coming: Thoughts for the 2nd Week of Advent – Day 4

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. -Matthew 3:7-9, KJV

It is not enough to come from a Christian (or Jewish) home.

With Jesus’ first Advent, it was mostly the religious leaders who refused to change, because they “knew it all” about faith.

As we await Jesus’ second Advent, it is not enough to have grown up in church or attend church regularly. It takes repentance and a willingness to actually listen to the teachings and commands of Jesus, to show love and compassion to others and commitment to God’s truth.

Do not trust in your ancestry or upbringing. Do not rely on the faith of your parents, siblings, or friends. Turn to Jesus for yourself, and believe.

Saving God, do not let me rely on my own knowledge, skills, or history. Give me a passion for You, Your Word, and Your Church.

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Not About Politics, But There Are Sides

An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked. –Proverbs 29:27 KJV

I was ready to write about politics, and angry partisanship. And this verse certainly can speak to partisan politics.

However, I just want to speak the truth:

There are only two sides in this historical and eternal battle: with God or against Him (Matthew 12:30).

There are no other ways or sides, and this leads to many people seeing Christians, and by extension God, as narrow-minded (which is true, to a point – Matthew 7:14), even evil, for saying not everyone is good or can get to God their own way.

But, if Jesus truly is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, then there is no other path to God (John 14:6).

If you do what God calls evil, you are a wicked sinner. But if you repent of your evil ways (change the way you think and act – Romans 12:1-2) and believe Jesus died for your punishment to cover your wickedness and rose again to life, then you are on His side (Acts 2:38-39).

To refuse the leading of the Holy Spirit to believe in Christ is choose to be against God (Matthew 12:31, John 8:44).


A True Prophetic Vision

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law. -Proverbs 29:18, ESV

A prophet declares the word of the Lord. In that sense, pastors and evangelists are prophets!

But we tend to hear the word “prophetic” and think “telling the future.” There certainly is an element of this, but we must remember the the other part of prophecy: revealing what is hidden … not just the future, but in our lives.

Most importantly, prophecy reveals God’s expectations.

Therefore, a good pastor and evangelist remind people that God has set His expectation for how we are to live (summed up in the Ten Commandments, which are summed up as “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself”), and that we will one day be judged by how we have done. More specifically, we will be judged by whether or not we followed God’s Son, Jesus.

The prophetic vision we have is that God has a standard, as modeled in Jssus, and He will be coming back to the earth in judgment.

If we neglect to teach and remind this world of this, people will throw off restraint and wantonly sin, either because they see no need for a Savior (“We’re basically good!”), or because they see grace giving them license (“We can do whatever we want, because God forgives!”)

We are either going to be judged guilty by how we rejected Christ or how we defiled Christ.

Only by believing in and emulating Christ’s sacrificial work – allowing His cleansing blood to cover us with forgiveness and grace to live a life of forgiveness, grace, and love – will we be ready for His imminent return.


Leaving a Murderer Alone

A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him. -Proverbs 28:17, KJV

It may seem like this verse is saying “Leave a murderer alone,” but we must remember that proverbs tend to speak on truths, not necessarily declare truths.

Rather, what Solomon was saying is more akin to “Avoid the violent person who refuses to change.” It does not mean that person should not be imprisoned or otherwise punished, but do not try to change the person.

That may seem like a strange thing for a Christian to say. Hear me out.

We can not change a person. Only God can do that. We can pray for God to change them, but it is His to do.

In fact, that was a big reason Jesus came, and it points to the ultimate truth of this verse.

Jesus shed His blood and sent the Holy Spirit to change us. If a person refuses the Holy Spirit and denies Jesus’ sacrifice (the full definition of “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit”), they remain under the wrath of God and responsibility for Christ’s blood being spilled. They are still on their way to the pit, to eternal death.

There is nothing else we can do after telling them the truth of the gospel.

Share the truth, but do not force the truth on them.


Am I jumping to conclusions?

Image result for jump to conclusionsUh oh! Here we go.

How often do I jump to conclusions about what I saw or heard? Way too often. More than I like to admit. Probably much more than I actually know.

It is wise advise to not assume and take time to discover what is really going on. Maybe it is what I thought. It is entirely possible that it isn’t what I thought.

God is God. He is the only one who knows for sure. It will be up to Jesus to be the final judge and clearly not up to me.

“Don’t jump to conclusions — there may be
    a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.” ~King Solomon

Source: Proverbs 25:8

The main theme of the sayings in this section is the nature of conflict and the way to avoid or resolve it.

  • Do not rush into public conflict, certain that right is on your side, nor if you make it a private matter, reveal all your sources; either way you may end up humiliated (8–10).
  • Don’t lose your self-control, or you may find you have lost everything (28).
  • Don’t be put off from speaking the truth in love and resisting evil but be careful how you do it.

What is good leadership?

AgendaGod has a goal for me. My job is to focus on it.

Some times my thoughts wander off when I am praying and meditating. They move away to my “agenda” and what I believed I should be focused on.

The Messiah Jesus has His own agenda. Better to follow it. Jesus directs my thoughts where He wants them to go. My heart is in His hand. It moves according to His direction.

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The Message I Shall Repeat

He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour. -Proverbs 21:21, KJV

Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor. -Proverbs 21:21, ESV

Sometimes I feel like all I do is repeat myself.

But with the words of Life, it is good and proper to have things repeated.

Case in point, there is only one way to find righteousness, and it is summed up in the [two] Greatest Commandment[s]:

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”
Luke 10:27

Jesus also tells us,

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness
Matthew 6:33a

“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
John 14:6

If you truly desire life, righteousness, and honor, seek God through Christ. It is His righteousness gifted to us through His sacrifice on the cross and imputed by the Holy Spirit that brings these rewards.

And I will repeat it all my days.