Showing posts from February, 2019

Keep Your Spiritual Balance!

One of my favorite passages in Scripture is Philippians 4:5b-9.  I have heard countless messages on some portion of this passage but seldom have I heard the passage dealt with in whole.  There are some exegetical keys to understanding the whole text and, unless you use them, you are likely to hear several messages instead of just the one covering the entire passage.  I believe the best title for this passage would be "How to Maintain the Peace of God in Your Life.”  Let me remind you that there are two kinds of peace for the believer in Jesus Christ.  First, we have peace with God when we believe on God's Son as Savior and Lord.  Romans 5:1 declares,

We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

When we become believers in what Christ did for us on His cross the emnity between us and God is removed.  When Christ died for the world He removed the emnity between God and man because of sin.  That becomes reality for each of us when we trust Jesus Christ personally.  But t…

Secure for Eternity

This week in Yangon, Myanmar, we have been teaching a class on the subject of salvation.  It is a deep and thought provoking study.  One of our subjects during this week's theological foray was the concept of our eternal security.  This doctrine demonstrates the fact that once you have trusted Christ as Savior, you are no longer in jeoparady of hell.....forever.  The new birth guarantees believers that when new life becomes theirs, it is no longer within the realm of possibility that the Christian can lose their new found standing with God.  Paul said it like this,
In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it. (Eph 1:13-14)
The real point of Paul's argument here for the Ephesian Christians is the fact that they were, 
sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.
This "sealing" was based upon the Roman pr…

What's Your Passion?

There is a lot of positive talk these days about pursuing your passion in life.  Having grown up in a generation where life often consisted of getting out of bed every day to go to a job that you did not love, I fully appreciate the fact that it really makes sense to do what you are actually passionate about.  However, there must be a caveat to that somewhere!

First of all, we need to make sure that whatever our passion in life is, it is honorable to both man and God.  It makes no sense to pursue passions that are rooted in mere pleasure or vanities.  Oh, it might be fun for a while but it would get old very quickly, and we would eternally regret that kind of  investment.   I've spent many hours with people on their death beds, and I have never known a person to have regrets for not going to more parties or participating in empty lifestyles.  It's always the regrets of not loving their mate more, spending time with children or grandchildren, giving to worthy causes, etc, etc. …

Going To The Place Where Judson Lived

Today I'm beginning the journey to Myanmar (old Burma) to train a group of Chin pastors from the mountain area in the north of the country with other pastors from the area of Yangon.  This marks our seventh year of training among them and our third with this particular group of church leaders.  For those who may be reading who don't know much about Adoniram Judson, let me tell you about him.

He was the first missionary to leave America's shores in 1812 from a Congregational church in Malden, Massachusetts.  He had just secured the hand of his wife Anne Hasseltine two weeks prior with the promise to her father that he would love her, but could not guarantee him that he would ever see his daughter again in this life.  He didn't.

On board ship Judson, while reading his Greek New Testament realized that baptism was for believers only and that his infant baptism was actually no baptism at all.  Upon reaching India, he and Anne were baptized by an associate minister of Will…

What's Most Important?

Jesus told us,

Therefore do not be anxious saying, "what shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or what shall we we wear?"  (Matthew 6:31)

Everyday when we get out of bed and begin a new day we have unlimited opportunities before us as to what we are going to aim at in life.   We can choose to do things the way we have always done them or we can choose new and different ways to both see and live the life given to us by God.

I can remember the days very early in life when I would be thinking only about the stuff of life such as food, shelter, and other life necessities.  I would think about them at work, after work, and even in my dreams.  I could never escape the pressures of the things that constituted life itself.  Had I carried this kind of world-view into later adult-hood I would have remained a willing victim of a lifestyle focused on acquiring things, making more money, and setting myself up for a retirement to come.

What I didn't realize was that none of the things …

The One in Whom You Trust

Trust is a little five-letter word, but it is perhaps one of the most important words in the English language.  From business deals to marriage relationships, trust forms the basis for guaranteeing any possible success in all of life's relationships.  This same axiom also governs our relationship with God.  God challenges all people to trust Him, but this challenge is not like any other challenge from  a mere mortal.  All of us as human beings know the perils of placing trust in someone who cannot be trusted, but that kind of mistrust should not be relegated to God.

The Scriptures assure us over and over again that God not only can be trusted but that His character would not allow God to breach anyone's trust either directly or indirectly.  We are created in the image of God who is perfect and immutable.  Translating that means that given our sinful nature, we desire to trust and be trusted by others but often break our trusts with others because of our sinful nature.

This is…

What Changes for the Christian (part 2)

In the last blog we talked about the effectual changes which take place when a person comes to faith in  Christ.  Why is this an important thing to talk about?  Because many Christians, as well as those who are not, don't understand the implications of Christian conversion.  As a result there are far too many misconceptions and false expectations which accompany Christians in general.

We saw that conversion has the result that:

When a person is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away, behold all things have become new.  (2 Cor 5:17)

Conversion is followed by several new attitudes which mark that new life.  The first is a new attitude about the Savior Himself.  Second, we have a new attitude about sin, and third we have a new attitude about the Scriptures.  But there are three more very important changes which mark every genuine believer in Jesus Christ.

Fourth, a new Christian has a completely new attitude about self.  The apostle explained this issue in his let…

What Changes for a New Christian?

I have often been asked by those who have not yet come to faith in Christ, "What happens when a person becomes a believer in Jesus?"  This is a reasonable question because the fact is when a person becomes a Christian some things will and do change.  A person might wonder if these are changes a person has to make as a result of becoming a Christian?  The answer to that question is emphatically, NO!

Let me explain why.  The Scripture says that when:

"a person is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away, behold all things become new."  (Rom 5:17)

That simply means that a Christian possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.  The presence of God in your life produces in you desires that were not previously there.  Let me give you an example.  One time a little girl was asked the difference since she became a Christian.  She said,  "All I know is that before I knew Jesus I ran toward sin, but now I run from it!"

That's a pretty…