BE LIKE JESUS

Acts 4:13  And they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ. You have read lives of Christ, beautifully and eloque

Be Like Jesus

ntly written, but the best life of Christ is his living biography, written out in the words and actions of his people. If we were what we profess to be, and what we should be, we should be pictures of Christ; yea, such striking likenesses of him, that the world would not have to hold us up by the hour together, and say, “Well, it seems somewhat of a likeness;” but they would, when they once beheld us, exclaim, “He has been with Jesus; he has been taught of him; he is like him; he has caught the very idea of the holy Man of Nazareth, and he works it out in his life and every-day actions.”

A Christian should be like Christ in his boldness. Never blush to own your religion; your profession will never disgrace you: take care you never disgrace that. Be like Jesus, very valiant for your God. Imitate him in your loving spirit; think kindly, speak kindly, and do kindly, that men may say of you, “He has been with Jesus.” Imitate Jesus in his holiness. Was he zealous for his Master? So be you; ever go about doing good. Let not time be wasted: it is too precious. Was he self-denying, never looking to his own interest? Be the same. Was he devout? Be you fervent in your prayers. Had he deference to his Father’s will? So submit yourselves to him. Was he patient? So learn to endure. And best of all, as the highest portraiture of Jesus, try to forgive your enemies, as he did; and let those sublime words of your Master, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” always ring in your ears. Forgive, as you hope to be forgiven. Heap coals of fire on the head of your foe by your kindness to him. Good for evil, recollect, is godlike. Be godlike, then; and in all ways and by all means, so live that all may say of you, “He has been with Jesus.” — By: Charles Spurgeon

 

Convicting, simple, pure. BE LIKE JESUS.

October Baby – the Movie

October-BabyLast night for our Wednesday ministry time at First Baptist Church Naples we viewed the movie “October Baby”. This excellent movie details the life of a young woman who finds out some radical news about her birth (I won’t give it away, but you should really see it).  The movie is an excellent argument against Pro-Abortion advocates and the complexities of what is seemingly simple and final. Without giving the movie away, I will simply point you to the Plugged-In Online review of it and let you read for yourself:   http://www.pluggedin.com/videos/2012/q3/october-baby.aspx

I was approached out of the blue by a member of our church that seemed rather upset by this movie and the portrail of those who have had abortions. She kept referring to those that are against abortion as, “Those right-to-lifers”. She went on to discuss the situations in which she feels that abortion should be permitted: rape, incest, deformities of the baby, etc.  She claimed it was better for the baby and mother. She said that people don’t know what it is like to walk in the shoes of those that have gone through challenges like those situations she listed off and that they should not impose their convictions on them. The classic argument for pro-choice. Listening to her I found myself actually becoming angry, righteously angry! That is the kind of anger that rises inside of me when I think of people and how they can rationalize the right to MURDER people, little people.

Letting the Lord help me in this situation, I very calmly asked her several questions that hopefully will jar her logic in this:

 

  • Would you volunteer to take the place of the baby that had to die under your conditions? In other words, are you willing to die for your convictions?
  • The Bible is very clear that in Matthew 10:30, “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” God knows everything about us.
  • The Ten Commandments are very clear also about MURDER: Exodus 20:13, “You shall not murder.” Tell me how abortion is not murder?

As I confronted her with the Truth, she began to shy away from her argument for abortion. The Truth is what convicted her, not my argument. The Truth always does. When it says in Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, “, we ALL know that is true. Without doubt we know it is true. That is why we as people of God must stop rationalizing away our sin, the sin of others, and remain faithful to the Truth. Love the sinner, but hate the sin. I know it sounds trivial, old, outdated, but that is the Truth. We must love the sinner but hate the sin. The politicians are NOT the ones that we must look to for our moral compass. They change their opinions, stances and convictions like the wind changes directions on a cool fall day. I will not put my house on that foundation of sand! Remember to always look to the Word of God and Trust in Him. Even though we do not see the end, we must trust in Him. I leave you with this promise from God’s Word:

Matthew 10:19, “When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.”

 

Great day with the Erickson’s Yesterday

I thoroughly enjoyed spending the day with my family and the Erickson family.  What a Godly family that exemplify the values of Christ’s church.  We embarked on an East Coast aventure and I can honestly say that my children never had any conflict with their children. To me that is amazing and a blessing. I look forward to spending more time with them in the future as they become closer family friends. May God bless they Erickson family!

The Election Should Not Surprise Us At All…..

I am beginning to realize that the results of this election do not surprise me at all. The re-election of President Barack Obama is a clear indicator of the direction our country is heading in. What also proves to me that we are headed into a godless direction are the results of the amendments of my state of Florida. Almost ALL of the amendments regarding government support were endorsed (although they did not win due to the 60% rule). Amendments regarding the reduction of government support were voted AGAINST. America is become a country run by the state. Just as Germany did 100 years ago, we are now doing the same thing.  If you couple that with the breakdown of the moral compass of Biblical Christianity, it becomes clearly evident why we elect those with like mindedness. Our country is headed down a path of complete dependence on human intervention and the legacy of of our forefathers is becoming a faint whisper. Instead of relying on God almighty, we are now relying on government systems, grants and “seed” money.  This saddens me tremendously and creates in me a longing for revival in America.

This trend will continue until our country returns to its “First Love”. This downward spiral has already been demonstrated, the results are verifiable and history will not lie. My prayer now is that we as Christians pray. We pray that our country and those that support the constitution do not give up. America is worth saving and is worth fighting for! I still thank my God for letting me live here and pray that in 4 years the tide will turn back to Him.

Yes, it is not surprising. Not surprising in the least.

2 Chronicles 7:14, ” if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. “

Silly Pride…makes us idiots.

C.S. Lewis said it best in his book “Mere Christianity” speaking about “The Great Sin” :

(3) We must not think Pride is something God forbids because He is offended at it, or that Humility is something He demands as due to His own dignity—as if God Himself was proud. He is not in the least worried about His dignity. The point is, He wants you to know Him: wants to give you Himself. And He and you are two things of such a kind that if you really get into any kind of touch with Him you will, in fact, be humble—delightedly humble, feeling the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all the silly nonsense about your own dignity which has made you restless and unhappy all your life. He is trying to make you humble in order to make this moment possible: trying to take off a lot of silly, ugly, fancy-dress in which we have all got ourselves up and are strutting about like the little idiots we are. I wish I had got a bit further with humility myself: if I had, I could probably tell you more about the relief, the comfort, of taking the fancy-dress off—getting rid of the false self, with all its “Look at me” and “Aren’t I a good boy?” and all its posing and posturing. To get even near it, even for a moment, is like a drink of cold water to a man in a desert.

 

Awesome. Pride must die.

Dwelling on what is good….

Philippians 4:8

Making Jesus the center of the puzzle.
Keep Jesus in the center of your mind.

English Standard Version (ESV)

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

In Bible Study this past weekend a member of my group brought up that they had been struggling with dwelling on thoughts that were not joyful or good. Most of them dwelt on the evil in the world today. Much of the inspiration of these thoughts came from news sources which brings me to the body of this post.

I have been on a fast from the news media for the past several months. God laid it on my heart for the reason of focusing in on my church during a time of leadership change. Surprisingly to me I have seen that my thought life has improved substantially since cutting this out. I have realized that I too struggle with the same thing as my friend struggles with; I have an over-active imagination. You see, I have the ability to hear about a story and immediately place myself in that situation as a first person attendee. From there I often will let my imagination run wild and go down paths that are always evil. Uncontrolled thoughts always lead to evil thoughts. I know, that is a very strong statement but I believe it is true.

In Philippines 4:8, Paul writes about controlling your thoughts. Much of the Christian life is about self control under the power of the Holy Spirit or in other words to have self-discipline.  The Apostle Paul spoke to us about dwelling on only good things, not evil things. Have you seen the news lately? If you have, I bet even today you have seen at least 50 % of the stories revolve around some crime or injustice. My question to you is “Why do you let those thoughts and stories occupy your mind?” Another question is why do we need to know about people committing crimes against each other? I could understand news about policies affecting us, new discoveries, changes in weather, etc. but why on earth do we need to constantly hear about the latest affair, murder or robbery?

It is time to change, it is time to take control of our thought lives. Stop filling your mind with junk, and start filling it with Jesus centered concerns. It would be better to dwell on the hope that we could have a God encounter with someone who needs to know Jesus today, rather than dwell on the “why” and “how come this happened”.  We all know why evil is happening (at least those that believe the Bible is true). It makes no sense and wastes precious time to dwell on these things. We must concentrate our efforts on loving those around us with God’s love, reaching the lost for Christ, and living our lives as “salt” in this evil, fallen world. My friends, start asking, “Why am I allowing this to permeate my mind?” with things that you can control. It may be time to shut off the feed of bad news for awhile, if not forever.

Evernote

You should be using Evernote. This application is just a tremendous tool for productivity and organization. First off there is no better way to clip stuff from the web than by using Evernote’s WebClipper. Secondly there is not better way to keep things organized in your notes and documents. It’s cataloging features and meta-tagging system is simply superior. Lastly, it works on everything you own. I don’t have any devices that do not have Evernote installed on them.  If you aren’t using this app, make sure you take a look at it today. You will not be sorry.

The Christian Answer to Situational Ethics

Jesus said it, I believe it:

Matthew 10

Persecution Will Come

16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, 18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. 19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, 22 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

 

We will be given what we need when we need it. Stephen the first Christian martyr knew this, but it still cost him his life. We can’t let fear drive us to compromise our convictions. If we do, then we have let fear be our god, not the Lord Jehovah.

This is a tough subject, but the Bible is not always cozy. Don’t read it the way you want it to be read, but read it with your mind open to accept the Truth…no matter how hard it may be.