Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Man in the Mirror

In Romans 5:20 it says, "The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more." This means that the purpose of the Law as given in the Old Testament was to bring about judgment. Of course, how can there be judgment if we don't know what the rules are. That's exactly what the Law does. It gives us the rules, we realize that we've broken them, and thus, the sin becomes evident to us.

It's been said that the Law is like a mirror. The mirror serves one purpose and one purpose only; and that's to reflect an image. When we look into the mirror (the Law), it shows us who we really are. We can get another mirror, break that mirror or totally disagree with that image that we saw looking back at us. However, that will not change anything.

It is only the grace of God that can change that image and that grace is freely dispensed upon all who would but come and ask.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Faith at all Times

I was listening to Brad Lambert Sunday night at CC Lima and he pointed out this from Hebrews 11 and it struck me and I thought that I would share it with you. When speaking on the issue of faith in vv.33-34, it says, "who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weaknesses were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight." What we see here is that by faith, these giants of the faith that are listed here in the "Faith Hall of Fame" were able to do all of these marvelous things.

However, v.35 turns noticeable corner. It says, "...and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection." Now that's certainly a little different than putting armies to flight and shutting the mouths of lions!

The point is that the same faith that got them through the good times, was also able to get them through the bad. That's encouraging for me and should be for you!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Inward Reality

Paul said in Romans 2:21-22, "You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? (22) You who say, "Do not commit adultery," do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?" Paul in this verse is calling them hypocrites. Why? - Because their walk did not match their talk.

It reminds me of the story of a rather pompous-looking deacon who was endeavoring to impress upon a class of boys the importance of living the Christian life. He asked, "Why do people call me a Christian?" After a moment's pause, one little boy said, "Maybe it's because they don't know you."

Guys, the lost world that we live in wants to see more of our faith lived out in our lives. I always say, "God wants your life and not just your lip." Any one can give lip service to God. Jesus said the same thing in Matthew 15:7-8 when he said, "Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: (8) 'THESE PEOPLE DRAW NEAR TO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HONOR ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME."

In closing, I'm reminded of another example of a lip and not life story. "He made free use of Christian vocabulary. He talked about the blessing of the Almighty and the Christian confessions which would become the pillars of the new government. He assumed the earnestness of a man weighed down by historic responsibility. He handed out pious stories to the press, especially to the church papers. He showed his tattered Bible and declared that he drew the strength for his great work from it as scores of pious people welcomed him as a man sent from God. Indeed, Adolf Hitler was a master of outward religiosity--with no inward reality!

Two Masters

Legend has it that the Mormons always gave Mark Twain a hard time about his opposition to their teaching that a man can have many wives. He was always looking for an opportunity to set them straight. That opportunity came one day when two of them said, “Mark Twain, you are always giving us a hard time about us having many wives.” Then they said, “You give us one scripture that teaches it is wrong for a man to have a dozen wives if he so chooses.” This was the door of opportunity that Mark Twain had been waiting for. He said in a humorous way, “I will be glad to tell you why the Bible teaches you can not have more than one wife.” He said, “It is because the Bible clearly teaches that No man can serve two masters!” No offense ladies. I just found it to be quite funny. :)