Don’t distort the Scriptures…. it can lead to your destruction.

14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen – 2 Peter 3:14-18, NASB

People will justify sin any way they can. They will do this in order to get what they want. The “want” here overshadows the “Right”.  When you find yourself doing this, just stop. You will be better off.

A “HEDO” List

Is my TODO list my idol? I believe so, because when I have completed it I feel contentment. That should not be. Todo lists are made up of tasks that we put into our lives. Yes, you may say that many of these tasks were not created by us and that may be true, BUT, many of the items on our TODO lists are our own doing. We fill our lives with a lot of STUFF. I believe it would be best to see our lives as our house and how much stuff we actually have inside of it.

Let’s say we have a house that is 20′ x 30′. Some people may have large houses, some smaller, but every house has a certain amount of space to it. If we have to move in this house, then we have to have space to move in. If I begin to fill this house up with STUFF (i.e. projects, pictures, journal entries, blog posts, computer repairs, laundry, shopping, and on and on and on) the house begins to become un-liveable. Such is the problem with almost everyone of us. We fill our houses with too much stuff. Do we really need that much stuff?

STUFF- it causes us to lose focus on what really matters. And that is another story altogether. What DOES really matter? To me it comes down to a simple answer: Whatever Jesus cared about. What did Jesus care about? The short answer is The Will of The Father. That is an obvious one, but is that all He did? What about eating, living, shopping? Did He care about getting gifts for His loved ones on their birthday’s? Did He care about throwing parties for them? Did He care about making sure His clothes were clean? I am not sure. These are interesting questions.

TODO lists are my main idol (among others I am sure of). I live and die by them daily. Instead of a TODO list, I should have a HEDO list. What does HE want me to DO?

My friend Scott Link has some very good insight on the wisdom of past history. If we heeded the actions of our ancestors and applied what we have learned, it would be possible to reverse the downward spiral. Great post Scott.

Scott Link Media

If you have been reading my blog any time in the last couple of months then you know that I am passionate about reaching younger generations with religious TV and video content. If you’ve been traveling in Christian circles, you’ve probably heard about the books “UnChristian” and “You Lost Me” by David Kinnaman. We are losing an entire generation from the faith.

Scary thought. I was thinking about how bad this would be, trying to imagine what life would be like in a truly post-Christian era. Then I realized, I don’t have to just guess.

What happens when we lose an entire generation?

Read Judges, 1 & 2 Kings, and 1 & 2 Chronicles.

Those books are primarily focused on the leaders of the Israelites and the prophets of God, but you can see some of how their civilization was affected by deviation from God’s path.

Most of the book…

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Is America Headed Down This Path?

Hosea 4

God’s Controversy with Israel

1 Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel,
For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land,
Because there is no faithfulness or kindness
Or knowledge of God in the land.

2  There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery.
They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed.

3 Therefore the land mourns,
And everyone who lives in it languishes
Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky,
And also the fish of the sea disappear.

4 Yet let no one find fault, and let none offer reproof;
For your people are like those who contend with the priest.

5 So you will stumble by day,
And the prophet also will stumble with you by night;
And I will destroy your mother.

6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being My priest.
Since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.

7 The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me;
I will change their glory into shame.

8 They feed on the sin of My people
And direct their desire toward their iniquity.

9 And it will be, like people, like priest;
So I will punish them for their ways
And repay them for their deeds.

10 They will eat, but not have enough;
They will play the harlot, but not increase,
Because they have stopped giving heed to the LORD.

11 Harlotry, wine and new wine take away the understanding.

12 My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them;
For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray,
And they have played the harlot, departing from their God.

13 They offer sacrifices on the tops of the mountains
And burn incense on the hills,
Under oak, poplar and terebinth,
Because their shade is pleasant.
Therefore your daughters play the harlot
And your brides commit adultery.

14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the harlot
Or your brides when they commit adultery,
For the men themselves go apart with harlots
And offer sacrifices with temple prostitutes;
So the people without understanding are ruined.

15 Though you, Israel, play the harlot,
Do not let Judah become guilty;
Also do not go to Gilgal,
Or go up to Beth-aven
And take the oath:
“As the LORD lives!”

16 Since Israel is stubborn
Like a stubborn heifer,
Can the LORD now pasture them
Like a lamb in a large field?

17 Ephraim is joined to idols;
Let him alone.

18 Their liquor gone,
They play the harlot continually;
Their rulers dearly love shame.

19 The wind wraps them in its wings,
And they will be ashamed because of their sacrifices.

Read God’s Word… a lot

Oswald Chambers for July 24, 2012

His Nature and Our Motives

. . . unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven —Matthew 5:20

The characteristic of a disciple is not that he does good things, but that he is good in his motives, having been made good by the supernatural grace of God. The only thing that exceeds right-doing is right-being. Jesus Christ came to place within anyone who would let Him a new heredity that would have a righteousness exceeding that of the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus is saying, “If you are My disciple, you must be right not only in your actions, but also in your motives, your aspirations, and in the deep recesses of the thoughts of your mind.” Your motives must be so pure that God Almighty can see nothing to rebuke. Who can stand in the eternal light of God and have nothing for Him to rebuke? Only the Son of God, and Jesus Christ claims that through His redemption He can place within anyone His own nature and make that person as pure and as simple as a child. The purity that God demands is impossible unless I can be remade within, and that is exactly what Jesus has undertaken to do through His redemption.

No one can make himself pure by obeying laws. Jesus Christ does not give us rules and regulations— He gives us His teachings which are truths that can only be interpreted by His nature which He places within us. The great wonder of Jesus Christ’s salvation is that He changes our heredity. He does not change human nature— He changes its source, and thereby its motives as well.

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The only person in the history of the world that had pure motives is Jesus Christ. We all struggle with motives that are not righteous. We must trust in our advocate Jesus. He covers our sins with His sacrifice and substitution for our sin punishment. Jesus did not come here to show us how to live by only, but also came to tell us that we must trust Him for access to the Father. Jesus has what it takes to fulfill the Scriptures requirements of being our advocate.

I think about the events in the news this week: Shootings in Colorado, trial of Jerry Sandusky, the defaming of Penn State’s Football program, copycat criminals in other states trying to mimic what was done in Colorado, etc.  I think about how depraved the soul of man is. Just how needy we are. It saddens me to think that these people all have never felt the love of Christ live in their hearts or have shunned their faith in Him. What also strikes me though is just how easy it is for us to be led astray. Those that have never accepted Christ may be just 1 step away from falling prey to satan and his evil works. Those of us who have accepted Christ could be one step away from falling from grace and getting wrapped up in an evil scheme of satan. The point I am making is that we must be aware of the attacks of satan. The only way to do that is by being in the WORD of God. That is truly the only way to remain faithful to Him who called us.

Read the Word daily, multiple times a day. Memorize it. Meditate on it. Believe it.

I thank God for my tech team

I really am blessed to have the worlds greatest people to work with. Every week they tirelessly work to bring forth the Word of God and help our congregation to enter into the presence of Jesus. Tonight marked our first worship service with our 4 cameras online.  We FINALLY bought enough tripods for the cameras that we bought back in January. I can’t say enough about these guys and gals and their heart for God.  Keep it up team! God bless you all!

Sandy, Mark, Nick and David
Sandy, Mark, Nick and David

Keep the Light on

Luke 11:33-36
Contemporary English Version (CEV)

33 No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a clay pot. A lamp is put on a lampstand, so that everyone who comes into the house can see the light. 34 Your eyes are the lamp for your body. When your eyes are good, you have all the light you need. But when your eyes are bad, everything is dark. 35 So be sure that your light isn’t darkness. 36 If you have light, and nothing is dark, then light will be everywhere, as when a lamp shines brightly on you.

We must be careful as to what we allow in our eyes. We must be careful what we associate ourselves with. Today we found out about a terrible tragedy that happened in Aurora, Colorado. A deranged (demon possessed in my opinion) gunman killed and injured dozens of people in a movie theater just before the opening of the new Batman movie (Dark Night Rises). It is apparently related to the movie as the man had hair dyed red and called himself the “joker”.

Aurora, Colorado

I read this verse this morning and thought how timely to be able to describe why this man chose to do this terrible act of violence. He let in the darkness of sin and evil, thereby allowing himself to be used to commit these terrible acts. People don’t realize just how easy it is for them to be used as a puppet for the evil one. He can simply pick someone out of the blue that does not have a walk with Christ and use them to do whatever he chooses. We must always remember that when Jesus lives in our hearts He casts out the darkness. Keep very close attention to what you let in your “eye” gate. Don’t watch things or listen to things that you know are against the Lord. Dwell on things that correspond to Philippines 4:8.

Unhewn Stones

Exodus 20:25 If thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.

God’s altar was to be built of unhewn stones, that no trace of human skill or labor might be seen upon it. Human wisdom delights to trim and arrange the doctrines of the cross into a system more artificial and more congenial with the depraved tastes of fallen nature; instead, however, of improving the gospel carnal wisdom pollutes it, until it becomes another gospel, and not the truth of God at all. All alterations and amendments of the Lord’s own Word are defilements and pollutions. The proud heart of man is very anxious to have a hand in the justification of the soul before God; preparations for Christ are dreamed of, humblings and repentings are trusted in, good works are cried up, natural ability is much vaunted, and by all means the attempt is made to lift up human tools upon the divine altar. It were well if sinners would remember that so far from perfecting the Saviour’s work, their carnal confidences only pollute and dishonor it. The Lord alone must be exalted in the work of atonement, and not a single mark of man’s chisel or hammer will be endured. There is an inherent blasphemy in seeking to add to what Christ Jesus in His dying moments declared to be finished, or to improve that in which the Lord Jehovah finds perfect satisfaction. Trembling sinner, away with thy tools, and fall upon thy knees in humble supplication; and accept the Lord Jesus to be the altar of thine atonement, and rest in him alone.

Many professors may take warning from this morning’s text as to the doctrines which they believe. There is among Christians far too much inclination to square and reconcile the truths of revelation; this is a form of irreverence and unbelief, let us strive against it, and receive truth as we find it; rejoicing that the doctrines of the Word are unhewn stones, and so are all the more fit to build an altar for the Lord.

– Charles Spurgeon

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God’s Words are not ours. We tend to make things geometric, symmetrical, etc. That is not always God’s way. In fact it is most of the time never His ways. Such is the Gospel of Jesus. We may try and figure it out and put it into a nice little box of understanding, but that is not always true. Sure those that criticize and mock will say you are believing on blind faith. That we have not substance or evidence for our beliefs. But our faith is not built upon understanding, it is built upon trust. I trust in the one who changed my life. I trust in what He did to rescue me from the pit. I trust in Him who called me to be His own. No one can ever refute my own personal testimony. They can tell me that I have made it all up in my mind. That I simply needed a crutch to fall on. They may even agree that it is ok to have those things. But that is not why I believe. The Gospel is not something to be surveyed and calculated. It is not something to be “figured out”. It is meant to be lived. Trusting in Jesus and obeying His commands are the keys to a Holy and Righteous life. Never forget to always read the Bible with an open mind and an understanding that we will not always figure everything out. That is the glorious thing about that Book. It is living.

— John

Yes…Sarah Kate is a big sister !

Yes, Jennifer is pregnant! We are so excited to be blessed by God with another wonderful child! She is feeling pretty terrible but I guess that is a good thing :). We pray that this child will accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior soon. Of course right now we pray they they grow strong and healthy and that Jennifer delivers 10 fingers and 10 toes on Dec 12, 2012!!! Yes, that would be. 12/12/12 !!!

Praise the Lord Jesus!

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Life’s Not Fair

One of the things I constantly tell my children is that life is not fair. They seem to desire that it be (along with the rest of us), but reality is that it is not. Why is that? I don’t know. I just know that if the Lord Himself was treated unfairly, then we also will be treated unfairly.  No one was treated worse for things He had not done than Jesus. I tell my children this when they feel life is unfair. God gives us the comfort to not feel despair over the fact of un-fairness. His grace is sufficient. He will always treat us fairly and lovingly. We must never forget that.