Lord of Laws

At that time did Jesus go on the sabbaths through the corn, and his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck ears, and to eat, and the Pharisees having seen, said to him, `Lo, thy disciples do that which it is not lawful to do on a sabbath.’ And he said to them, `Did ye not read what David did, when he was hungry, himself and those with him — how he went into the house of God, and the loaves of the presentation did eat, which it is not lawful to him to eat, nor to those with him, except to the priests alone? `Or did ye not read in the Law, that on the sabbaths the priests in the temple do profane the sabbath, and are blameless? and I say to you, that a greater than the temple is here;  and if ye had known what is: Kindness I will, and not sacrifice — ye had not condemned the blameless, for the son of man is lord even of the sabbath.’

– Matthew Chapter 12

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Root Issue

When dealing with problems we can either lop off the branches of issues or we can put the axe at the root of the issue. Most times we are deceived into waging war on branches and then being stunned when they grow right back, never dealing with the root source. When looking at the varied issues with “those who call themselves church” we can make large lists of issues that need to be resolved. For example we can see the error in sinful people, bad doctrine, lack of prayer, hireling pastors, ext., ext., ext…. but this is what I see as the root issue…Continue reading “Root Issue”

DISTRACTED

On the Bright Side, a column I write for the newsletter at work

golden statue

….by Jason D. Goodnight

Have you ever been around someone who was a constant complainer? I’m not talking about you; of course, we are all joyous and perfect ’round here. Truth is, being dissatisfied and complaining can be a contagious and depressing state of being; one which none of us are exempt from. It’s easy for us to see someone do something less that perfectly and immediately point out their mistake. There are some complaining types that love finding faults in situations and in people. It’s become comfortable to them. Everyone around them is sub-par and lesser than. They never have enough, they aren’t happy with themselves, nor are they are happy with their position in life. And it’s always someone else’s fault.

It may shock you, but I have been “that guy”. In fact, I am tempted to be “that guy” most days of the week. I often see all the chores around the house that my wife neglected to do and get agitated with her. Some mornings I clean for an hour or so using my frustration as my motivation. Then when I finally interact with her I act passive aggressive and self righteous. Somehow my hour long cleaning rigor exempts me from recognizing my failures.

Continue reading “DISTRACTED”

Dung

empty-bird-cages-in-the-city-palace-francis-zera

Self inflicted guilt because of sin, and or judging, convicting, or condemning others because of their sin is only beneficial if it’s done to bring them into stronger relationship with Jesus.

Paul counted all his righteousness and benefits of the “perfect” religious upbringing as dung for the sake of knowing Christ. (Phil. 3:8)

This means that Christ is the answer to mankind’s issues. Either the religious, like Paul, or the terrible sinner, like me, both need relationship with Christ.

In our culture we love to spend years making people religious in hopes that they will become intimate with God… The earlier followers of Christ had this same debate. Some folks wanted the New Testament Christians to be circumcised as they came to follow Christ. But the devout saw that this was not the way. (Acts 15)

In these days many aren’t converted unto Christ… their converted unto church and the laws their-in. And we wonder why the church is such a mess…

We have to 1. Follow Christ our selves. So that, 2. We convert people to Him. So that 3. Community is about being spiritual family with one another, not about vain traditions that have no power.

Hill of Beans.

Exposing ourselves to all the right doctrine and right teaching in the world doesn’t amount to a hill of beans if we aren’t willing to put on the type of humility that it takes to walk it out.  

Don’t just hear good teaching, do good teaching. And for Jesus’s sake don’t perpetually read books about Christian living and not live with the  Christ.

books

“Idol in Tow”

“Treasure not up to yourselves treasures on the earth, where moth and rust disfigure, and where thieves break through and steal, but treasure up to yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth disfigure, and where thieves do not break through nor steal, for where your treasure is, there will be also your heart.”  ~ Jesus The Messiah ~  Matthew 6 

Jesus asks us of us hard sacrifices. Sacrifices that contribute to our freedom, and open wide the door to trusting Him.
He asks us the smash our idols that we’ve placed in front of ourselves. He wants us to be free and in right relationship with us.

Yet, we chose our own way with our idol in tow, creating new “christian doctrine” that justifies our actions and explains why we don’t have an intimate relationship with God.

EASTER_AIG_EXECUTIVE

Iron Sharpening Iron

Whatever you do in word or deed do it in the name of Jesus!

And expect that someone else is going to judge you and have conflict with what you did… in the name of Jesus.

Which gives lots of room for us to work through our conflicts using the tools of love, forgiveness, and humility making us all much more like Christ than when we started.

Don’t be mistaken- Christ often leads us into situations that arn’t comfortable, but eventually work for our good.

Because He loves us.

forgive

Afterword

By Bill Ebert

So these words speak to you, but the big question must remain…
Where Do We Go From Here?

Three Things
The Lord spoke to me as I was seeking Him for direction for my life. He spoke to me three days in a row and said the exact same three things. He told me if I were to be “employed” by Him I was to commit to the three things as if it were my very life’s purpose; learning and mastering these as a foundation for my life.

1.Continual Repentance – Not a perfect life but one continually humbled by our weakness and His greatness. Living in such a place of lowliness, teachability and humility that even the slightest misstep is met with a renewed surrender to His voice and will. Walking carefully to never quench His Spirit.
2.Diligent in Prayer – Make abiding and deep prayer a number one priority; praying about every decision, leaning into His voice and direction for each step of life. Be trained in the school of His presence to grow up into perfect hearing and perfect obedience.
3.Obedience Unto Death – Resolve to obey, serve, give at all cost and at no regard for myself but only for the King.

My first response was that these steps were a bit radical but after a few days of meditation on them, I realized they really are what we say “yes” to if we came into His kingdom correctly.

Continue reading “Afterword”

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