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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Trusting God when prayer is not answered…

Posted by Gary on September 12, 2014

Stand firm in faith, believing that what Jesus said is true, although in the meantime you do not understand what God is doing. He has bigger issues at stake than the particular things you are asking of Him right now. (Oswald Chambers: My Utmost for His Highest September 12)

Are you being unfair to someone?

Posted by Gary on July 31, 2014

…if we love someone, but do not love God, we demand total perfection and righteousness from that person, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive; yet we are demanding of a human being something which he or she cannot possibly give. There is only one Being who can completely satisfy to the absolute depth of the hurting human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. (Oswald Chambers: My Utmost for His Highest July 30)

What wolves?

Posted by Gary on March 22, 2014

Matthew 7:15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

When one surveys the landscape of American Christianity today primarily through discussion and comments on social media, one is left wondering if anyone believes the warning Jesus gave us in Matthew 7:15. You can sample such a discussion on Dan Gaffney’s Facebook page here.

What Jesus intended us to hear cannot be mistaken. As always, Jesus speaks clearly and frankly. Jesus has warned us that that there are false prophets and that these prophets are wolves (who by the way, eat sheep). So deceptive are these false prophets, they actually appear to be one of the sheep they are determined to devour.

If we took Jesus seriously, we would weigh carefully the teaching and example of every person who claims to be Christ’s messenger using the infallible measuring rod for such examination, the Word of God.

But what we find increasingly is that people, yes, I am afraid many Christians included, have no willingness or intention of examining, weighing and passing judgment on those who seek to influence the destiny of their eternal soul or the souls of  others.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Taking inventory as Father’s Day draws near

Posted by Gary on June 1, 2012

It’s funny what you think about while you wait for a medical procedure to start. As I waited for one the other day Harry Chapin’s, “Cats in the Cradle” started playing in my mind. Why? Who knows, but I am one who believes that as things come to mind, especially things that challenge it is wise to ponder.

Father’s Day is soon to be upon us. On that day millions of fathers will receive cards and gifts which is all very nice. I am always grateful for the homemade cards I receive from my children and my wife always gives me an encouraging card and nice present. Of course the purpose of Father’s Day is to recognize fathers and let them know we are grateful for them and we should be.

We all know how this works, everyone is told that they are a great father on father’s day. Every father is loving, every father is involved and every father has filled their wife’s and children’s lives with great memories. At least that’s what the greeting cards all say. But is it actually so with us?

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Like Christ or like the world?

Posted by Gary on May 26, 2012

There should be an utter difference between the Christian and the non-Christian….The New Testament regards that as something absolutely basic and fundamental; and, as I see things at the present time, the first need in the Church is a clear understanding of this essential difference… But it has become blurred; the world has come into the Church and the Church has become worldly.

We have been told that we have to make the Church attractive to the man outside, and the idea is to become as much like him as we can. There were certain popular priests during the first world war who mixed with their men, and smoked with them, and did this, that, and the other with them, in order to encourage them. Some people thought that, as a result, when the war was over, the ex-service men would be crowding into the churches. Yet it did not happen, and it never has happened that way.

… When the Church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it. It is then that the world is made to listen to her message, though it may hate it at first. That is how revival comes. That must also be true of us as individuals. It should not be our ambition to be as much like everybody else as we can, though we happen to be Christian, but rather to be as different from everybody who is not a Christian as we can possibly be. Our ambition should be to be like Christ, the more like Him the better, and the more like Him we become, the more we shall be unlike everybody who is not a Christian. (Martyn Lloyd-Jones: From the Introduction to “The Sermon on the Mount)

Scenes and characters from Pilgrim’s Progress-Mr. Shame

Posted by Gary on May 21, 2012

“Therefore, thought I, what God says is best, is indeed best, though all the men in the world are against it.”

On Christian’s journey to the Celestial City he finally finds a companion to travel with by the name of “Faithful”. As they first meet, they recount their individual journeys, the events and people they have met with.

Faithful mentions that while in the Valley of Humility (this being the process of God humbling a person so that they may be saved) he met a Mr. Shame. One might think in the Valley of Humility this Mr. Shame was a person who had come to know shame for his own life and actions but Faithful points out quickly that his shame is not in regard to himself but that he seeks to make Christians feel ashamed of their religion.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

The Peter in me

Posted by Gary on March 29, 2012

Matthew 26:56 “Then all the disciples forsook him and fled.”

Peter’s three-time denial of Jesus is as well known as any event in the Bible save the crucifixion and resurrection itself. To be fair to Peter you will note from the passage above that all the disciples forsook Jesus and fled. We tend to rake Peter over the coals for his unfaithfulness and not without justification. Though all the disciples said they would die for Jesus, Peter did distinguish himself and say that even if the rest of them would cave in, he never would:

Matthew 26:33-35 But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” All the disciples said the same thing too.”

Christian, certainly you know that there are many times that you and I are like Peter right? There are times when you and I don’t want others to know that we are one His disciples right? Let me guess, you never do this right? Have there been times when you have had opportunity to speak about Jesus and for Him and you did not for fear of what someone would think about you? Have there been times when Christ’s truth needed to be declared and you kept silent because you  were afraid of others? Are you as willing to have others know you are Christ’s as you are to have them know who your favorite sports team is or who your favorite singer is? Do you declare Him like you do the Yankees, Phillies, Bono or Elvis?

If we are honest we will acknowledge freely that there is much of Peter in us. Let us remember though, that after Pentecost and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Peter and the other Apostles were very different men, bold, brave and faithful. May God by His Spirit make us like them.

Please take a moment to read these thoughts from Charles Spurgeon’s “Morning and Evening” that I came across this week. They will humble you and challenge you: WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

An encouragement/reminder for Kirk Cameron

Posted by Gary on March 6, 2012

I wanted to take a moment today in the midst of all the furor to encourage my brother Kirk Cameron (no, we’ve never met). I am grateful for the faithfulness to God’s truth Kirk demonstrated during his recent interview with Piers Morgan. It takes faith and the courage faith produces to speak truth in these days as America becomes Sodom.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Put these on…Psalm 2 and understanding the world

Posted by Gary on February 27, 2012

imagePsalm 2 “Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!” He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

“I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.'” Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”

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If you are like me, you look at the world everyday and are very concerned. Everyday more and more of our freedoms are taken away and the United States government is increasingly hostile toward Christians.

We are killing our offspring and government is encouraging us to do so. Sodomy is fully out of the closet and now in the military and those of us who insist that a man lying with a man is a sin against God are labeled as hateful and bigoted. It will not be long and pastors will be told that they cannot preach the Word of God in regard to the sins our government loves. Mark it, days of persecution are drawing near.

Why are these things happening? I’m sure you’ve wondered. Can I ask what answer you have arrived at? Your estimation of what is happening in the world is determined all-together by the lenses through which you look…

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

A great hospital

Posted by Gary on January 20, 2012

Mark 14:27 “All of you will desert Me,  Jesus told them.”

“We see in this verse, how well our Lord foreknew the weakness and infirmity of His disciples. He tells them plainly what they were going to do. “All of you shall desert Me.” 

Let us take comfort in the thought that the Lord Jesus does not cast off His believing people because of failures and imperfections. He knows what they are.

He takes them, as the husband takes the wife, with all their blemishes and defects, and, once joined to Him by faith, will never leave them. He is a merciful and compassionate High priest. It is His glory to pass over the transgressions of His people, and to cover their many sins.

He knew what they were before conversion: wicked, guilty, and defiled; yet He loved them. He knows what they will be after conversion: weak, erring, and frail; yet He loves them.

He has undertaken to save them, notwithstanding all their shortcomings. And what He has undertaken He will perform.

Let us learn to pass a charitable judgment on the conduct of other believers. Let us not set them down in a low place, and say they have no grace, because we see in them much weakness and corruption. Let us remember that our Master in heaven bears with their infirmities, and let us try to bear with them too.

The Church of Christ is little better than a great hospital. We ourselves are all, more or less, weak, and all daily need the skillful treatment of the heavenly Physician. There will be no ‘complete cures’ until the resurrection day.”

  (J. C. Ryle, “The Gospel of Mark”)