Sunday, April 28, 2013

Correction is Rarely Easy

If there is anything that I've learned in years of studying the Bible, it's that none of us are perfect. We all still fall so desperately short of God's ideal for us. It's been said that God will allow us to come to Him just the way that we are, but He loves us too much to let us stay that way. Determined not to give up on us, He brings correction into our lives. II Timothy 3:16-17 says that all Scripture is "inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." From this verse we see that God has given us His Word for the purpose of reproving, correcting, training and equipping us.

Understanding all of that, and I don't know of one Christian that would deny it (at least not in my circles), why is it that we find it so hard to accept correction? I don't think any of us would say that we are perfect. Most of us readily admit that we are flawed to the bone. Don't believe me? Ask your family and friends to be honest with you. We all have our shortcomings, faults and blind spots. No sane person would deny that. All that said, why can we not handle correction?

As I look back over my years of ministry and all of the people that God has brought in and out of my life, it saddens me to remember all of those who simply could not be corrected. It didn't matter how I told them. I could be direct. I could beat around the bush for a little while. Take them to lunch. Try to break it gently, etc… It was all to no avail. In the end, the correction was rejected and the relationship lost. An old preacher friend of mine told me one time, "Son, you can pat them on the back ninety-nine times, but correct them one time and they'll hate you forever." Why is that? Proverbs 12:1 says, "Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid." That's some pretty strong language coming out of the Bible! Jeremiah 5:3 says, "O Lord, do not Your eyes look for truth? You have smitten them, but they did not weaken; You have consumed them, but they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to repent."

In the end, I'm forced to conclude that we are simply an arrogant lot. Our American culture has convinced us that we have the right to be right. Proverbs 16:25 says, "There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." The writer of Proverbs also wrote, "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance…" Take that last verse to its conclusion and you arrive at the fact that those who do not and will not except correction do not fear God. How truly sad that is.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

What Does God Think About Homosexuality?

One would think with everything that is going on in the courts and Hollywood that the Bible is silent on the issue of homosexuality. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Explosion in Texas

 This is footage of the explosion at the fertilizer factory in West, Texas. Pray for those folks.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Context is Everthing

My friend is a rather old-fashioned lady, always quite delicate and elegant, especially in her language.  She and her husband were planning a week’s vacation in Florida so she wrote a particular campground and asked for a reservation.  She wanted to make sure the camp ground was fully equipped, but didn’t quite know how to ask about the toilet facilities. She just couldn’t bring herself to write the word toilet in her letter.  After much deliberation, she finally came up with the old-fashioned term “bathroom commode.” But when she wrote that down she still thought she was being too forward.  So she started all over again, rewrote the entire letter, and referred to the bathroom commode merely as the B.C.

“Does the campground have its own B.C.?” is what she actually wrote.

Well, the campground owner wasn’t old-fashioned at all, and when he got the letter, he just couldn’t figure out what the woman was talking about. That B.C. business really stumped him. After worrying about it for a while, he showed the letter to several campers, but they couldn’t figure out what the woman meant either. So the campground owner finally coming to the conclusion that the lady must be asking about the location of the Baptist Church, sat down and wrote the following reply.

“Dear Madam:  I regret very much the delay in answering your letter, but I now take the pleasure of informing you that a B.C. is located nine miles north of the campground, and is capable of seating 250people at one time.  The last time my wife and I went was six years ago, and it was so crowded that we had to stand up the whole time we were there.  It may interest you to know that right now, there is a supper planned to raise money to buy more seats.  They’re going to hold it in the basement of the B.C.  If you do decide to come down to our campground perhaps I could go with you the first time you go, sit with and introduce you to all the other folks. Remember this is a friendly community.”

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Hold Fast to What You Have

In today's study, we continue our look at the church of Thyatira in Revelation 2:21-29.

Monday, April 1, 2013

You Have an Anointing

In today's study from 1 John 2:19-27, we look at what the Bible says about those who leave the fellowship and the anointing of the Lord in our lives.

Getting Colder in Lima