Updated July 9, 2020

All Media lessons accessed here: VIDEO / PODCAST

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Free Power For Change

If you could wave a magic wand over humanity and cure it of hate and worldly ambition, would you do it? Of course you would. This is wishful thinking, nothing to do with reality. But, there actually is a way to re-steer humanity and individuals onto a path towards changing mans will to destroy itself, and it doesn’t cost a thin dime to do so, and its guaranteed.

The Holy Spirit of God is the beautifier and teacher (1 Corinthians 2:13) that can help all individuals of mankind if we let Him. We already know this because He is transforming lives daily as you are reading this. City’s wouldn’t need to abolish police departments. People wouldn’t have to gather by the thousands to force their point across in pursuit of justice. The unlawful ones could be empowered to cease continuing more law braking. And believe it or not, even politics and politicians could reform into truly having their constituents at heart.

How can the Holy Spirit do this? It just takes a decision for Jesus Christ by people of all colors for the Spirit of God to transform societies with the fruits of the Spirit. You see, once one makes this good decision and is baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38, Galatians 3:26-27), the Holy Spirit will be given you to heartfelt change (John 14:16-18), and the free gift of eternal life. You will be transformed as you walk and live in the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25). Its that simple. The Holy Spirit will then help all the more who allow Him to formulate ways of change society has rejected throughout mankind’s ugly side of history.

We hope you take some time to consider the opportunity laid before you because God gives us choices, even the bad and good ones. Enjoy these lessons on what and who the Holy Spirit is, and how He ministers in the life of the new and experienced disciple.

God bless...

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Christianity Requires Thinking


Contrary to the belief Christianity is a crutch or a belief system of “blind faith,” little do our accusers realize, Christianity is a thinking person’s religion. It requires us to use thought and reason for dedicating our time of service to others. It requires we think about our willingness to use gifts God gives each individual Christian according to his or her faith. Our money, our daily walk in life away from our church home during the week. How we treat others requires much thinking in light of teachings in the bible. Christianity requires us to read and think about how Jesus would want us to decide on a matter other than our personal opinion. Ultimately Christianity requires us to think about what apostle Paul called “running the race to win the prize”. That living a life based on humanism and selfishness will not result in winning the prize of heaven on the last day (1 Cor 9:24-27).

When asked by an expert in the Jewish law as to what commandment ranks above all others, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:1-3, which is the passage that Jews use to distinguish themselves from their pagan neighbors. Yet, Jesus added something to it. While verse 5 in the original reads “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your might,” Jesus added the phrase “and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). Jesus put a huge importance on the use of our minds.

Christianity is fact based in history and eyewitnesses play a huge part in its message. The disciple Luke (the doctor) tells us that when he began writing his account of Jesus life to Theophilus, he sought out “those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses” and that he himself “investigated everything carefully from the beginning” to provide the exact truth" (Luke 1:1-4). This means Luke collected the data, thought about his findings and shared them as a fact of history.

Christianity is a literate faith, relying on the teachings of the apostles in the scriptures. Apostle Paul told Timothy to “do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15-16). This required Timothy to work at discerning the text to avoid “babble and lies” that leads to ungodliness.

Thinking and meditating about “worship as a lifestyle” requires daily thought and life decisions utilizing the tool of the word of God. So how does a Christian “think” about his Christian faith in real life terms? Again, the inspired Apostle Paul teaches that people need to “renew their mind” to prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:3). Renewing the mind just doesn’t happen by osmosis, forced feelings or wishing it so. The mind needs to be fed daily with the word of God given us through His Spirit, and prayer (2 Timothy 3:16). Then taken to heart translating godly guidance into practical daily decision making in a way that is right and godly. Here are some examples:

The wife is working late tonight. Without asking will I take the initiative and cook dinner?

If we have ailing relatives unable to care for themselves, will I offer my home and resources to help them?
(Matt 25:45)

My neighbor’s car is broken down with a burnt-out motor starter and no money. Am I willing to make myself available and ready to spend $75 or whatever to get him a new part to fix the car so he can go to work?

A young man needs some funding help to finish his last semester of class in order to graduate. Will I step in and think of his future over mine and help him graduate?

If I have the gift of consoling a person who has just lost their loved one, am I willing to put myself out there and give up my time and emotion to a stranger who is in dire straits over his or her loss? Including the possibility of becoming a part of her life to help her get through the difficult time? Phone calls, visits, meals etc. (1 Pet 4:12-13)

If I have the gift to teach, am I willing to make myself available to whomever needs instruction on the gospel of Jesus Christ when they ask me? Am I willing to defend the gospel to my adversaries when called?


Part of the problem even in some church congregations is, they want to show a big splash, a big bright shiny billboard of good works in the name of God - in a worldly way. What I mean by this, are the splashes done in a way that appears like a TV commercial rather than heart to heart with compassion and understanding? Is it effective, loving and caring or is it circus like and cold? Have they really “thought” out how the style they have chosen may miss the mark? Service to others in our walk with God requires thinking and action in our individual Christian faith from the heart into the mind. And God gives each one of us the tools to do so in a way that helps Him increase His church in this world one soul at a time. Remember, the 12 were discipled one at a time by Jesus, then they set in motion the Lords church beginning at Jerusalem, then into the world.

Jesus and the world are watching.  Are we by faith thinking?
Philippians 2:1-5







Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Are You Racing to Win?


I have had my share of racing motorcycles beginning in my teenage years, through my 20’s and 30’s. And later in my 50’s without much winning success as the reflexes lagged, and the old body just wasn’t built up to withstand the abuse moving along at full throttle. Winning was sweet when it happened. Mentally though I was always focused and determined to do whatever it took to win the race even if I didn’t. After all, what is racing? It’s about winning.

This reminds me of a recent conversation I had with a fellow Christian about paying a bit too much attention to matters of the world. How it can get in the way of our race to win the “imperishable prize” (1 Cor 9:24-25). If we set our sights on worldly (perishable) matters, they can get a hold of us and distract us from what the Lord wishes our sights to be fixed upon. Even Christians being human are easily swayed. I can tell you this is true from personal experience!

The bible teaches us that we are to “Set our mind on things above, not on things on earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Col 3:2-4)

One of the words in this passage is a clue to a Christians response one way or another to worldly matters thrust before him. Will he address it, make it important, or turn away from it in the Lord? That word is “died”. We are constantly reminded by Jesus of having to give up our worldly ways, carry our cross by being long suffering servants of the Lord. And by the apostles in establishing the early church through all the near-death trials and challenges they experienced by faith, apostle Paul even said, “To live is Christ, To die is gain.” (Phil 1:21)

Is paying too much attention to the Coronavirus and all its details, or religious freedoms and the Nations government all that important to the Christian? Or giving it all you got in making sure ones second amendment rights aren’t infringed upon, freedom of speech guaranteed and on and on? Some of these things are precious to us in the United States. But how does being militant in these worldly matters adding to ones walk in Christ to win the prize? Is walking in the Lord in this manner dying to yourself? Is it long suffering that glorifies Jesus by the Holy Spirit? Is it Gods will for you to concentrate much time and resources to try and make a worldly difference? Might I suggest focusing too much on worldly matters can pull one away from winning the prize. Some say, “I have freedom in Christ to focus on these matters, I’m not in danger of losing my salvation.” That’s what the frog said in a warm frying pan. That’s what the hare said to the tortuous. And that’s what God says about not focusing on things from above! God gives us choices.

In motorsports or any other type of racing there is a saying when you finish in second place. It’s called the “first loser.” Let’s not walk in a way that causes us to win at the expense of our salvation. Even the inspired apostle Paul who knew all truth said he could become disqualified (1 Cor 9:27). Let’s walk in a way that glorifies and props Jesus up by the way we serve and suffer for His sake in all that we do as His disciples, lest we become the first loser…

In Christ


 

Monday, March 9, 2020

Son of Man, Son of God


“I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13-14)

    Apparently, this vision was quite surprising to Daniel, but why? When we read this, we know that the “Son of Man” refers to Jesus and the “Ancient of Days” refers to God. Nothing too alarming. Here’s what’s strange about Daniel’s observation. Up until this point in the Bible the phrase “Son of Man” always refers to just that – the son of man, a human. Daniel doesn’t know he’s seeing Jesus. He’s one that looks like the son of man, a human, coming in the clouds and receiving a kingdom from God. This was unexpected. From this point forward through the Bible, that phrase, “Son of Man” is used as a distinction for Christ. We are all a son of man, but Jesus is the Son of Man.

Like the name Son of God indicates his divinity, Son of Man indicates his humanity. The fact that Jesus is called the Son of Man is not an arbitrary fact. He’s called the Son of God 45 times in the New Testament but called the Son of Man 84 times. Why does it matter that Jesus was the Son of Man? What does his humanity mean to the human race?

The Divinity of Christ
Understanding the importance of Jesus’s humanity begins with proving his divinity. Before Jesus became Jesus, Jesus was God. John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” He was more than a heavenly creature. He was more than just like God. Philippians 2:6 explains: “who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God.” Or like other translations read, Jesus did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. His status as God was a matter of fact.

The Humanity of Christ
When Jesus arrives on Earth in the New Testament, something changed. What was Jesus while he was on the earth? Completely God? Completely Man? Was he both? This has been a point of contention from the very beginning. 1 John 4:3: “every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” There’s something a little unbelievable about God becoming a man.

Fortunately, the Bible answers the question for us – Jesus was both the Son of God and the Son of Man. Jesus was a human being born in the flesh. God was given a human body built by flesh and blood just like the rest of us. For us, this is old news, but for people hearing the gospel for the first time this was an earth-shaking truth that turned their world upside down. This is a basic piece of the gospel. God became a man. John 1:14: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Paul says the same in 1 Timothy 3:16: “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh.” God, who had for so long reached out to his people from a distance, delivered himself in the form of a man to live and die among men.

Theological Implications
What did Jesus give up just to be human? Everything. He was the perfect sacrifice. Not just because he was morally and lawfully perfect, but because he gave everything to be the savior. He was the complete sacrifice.

The Perfect Sacrifice
Consider what Jesus sacrificed just to become human. He left heaven, he left his father, and he gave up his divine nature. Jesus sacrificed complete power for this mortal, fragile body. He sacrificed absolute knowledge and all wisdom for the meager mind of a man. He left all his glory behind and humbled himself as a human. Jesus went from being creator and master of the universe to live like the simple son of a carpenter. And then while he was here, we killed him. The Son of God died as a criminal suspended on a cross among thieves.

We could give the whole universe back to God, and it wouldn’t amount to a fraction of what God gave to us. There is no greater sacrifice than when God repressed his divine nature, lived like man, lived under his own law, and died at the hands of his own people. He was the perfect sacrifice which makes him the perfect savior.

The Perfect Savior
Jesus lived the complete human experience: 1) he was made like us, 2) he suffered like us, and 3) he was tempted like us. This is the message of Hebrews 2:17-18:

“Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.”

Hebrews 4:15-16 is even more specific about Jesus’s experience as a human:
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Everything we experience, Jesus experienced. Jesus was in all points tempted as we are. He was prone to pride. He was tempted by material abundance. Because he was a man, I believe he was also prone to desires of the flesh. Jesus had to suppress his desires just like all men are called to do. He knew what it was like to feel emotions beginning to boil up inside his human body. Most importantly, he knew how to restrain himself, even to the point of death.


There could be no sacrifice more perfect for us, no savior more sufficient than the Man, our God, Jesus Christ.