Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Count The Cost

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Luke 14:28

Christianity costs.  When we place our faith in Jesus, it costs us our lives.  We surrender everything to Him.  Don't worry, it doesn't stop there.  Then we pay in our time, our hearts, our lives.  We give all these things to our king.  And it never stops.  But that's not the end.  There's one amazing dividend system with a balloon payment at the end.

As we surrender to Him, he begins to pay us.  Pay us handsomely (He is the king).  He pays us in a love that know no bounds.  Pays us in an over-flow of the Holy Spirit.  He pays us in giving us a purpose and a real life.  Now, don't get confused.  His payment is not material things.  There is no health, wealth or prosperity promised in the Gospel.  God may grant that to some to be used for His glory, but it is not a guarantee.  His payments are spiritual, and they are eternal.  Speaking of eternal, don't forget the balloon payment at the end!

One day we will all stand before a mighty God for our judgment.  The sentence will either be eternity in the presence of our loving Father, or eternity separated from Him.  For those that have put their faith in Jesus, its eternity with Him.  How great is that!  For something so small as everything we have in our short lives on the earth, we get eternity in return.

If only it was so easy to convince ourselves and others that it is so worth it.  I encourage you to take it to God in prayer and ask Him to change your heart.  I know I am.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Itchy Ears

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 2 Timothy 4:3

What do you do when the Word of God is too much to hear?  What I mean is, how do you react to the hard truths in the Bible?  Do you push them aside and ignore them?  Search the scripture and dig?  Ask friends?  Or do you seek something that is easier, more palatable.

When Paul was writing to Timothy, he was warning of a time when the doctrines of Jesus would be too much for men.  So much that they would begin to make up their own "truths" that more suited their flesh.  A great example of this is the "God wants me to be happy" gospel.

This is the gospel that glosses over sins (premarital sex, blasphemy, idols, divorce, homosexuality, etc.) because really just wants us to believe He is real, and then make us happy.  Even though the Scripture specifically shows this "theology" to be false, people still follow it.  They follow it because their flesh compels them to.  They follow it because they would rather have a golden calf, an idol, than the real God.  They follow it because they are deceived.

If there are people in the world who are deceived, who will tell them the truth?  Whose job is it?

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? Romans 10:14  

Monday, January 10, 2011

Proclaiming the Gospel

"We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum."

-- A.W. Tozer

As Tozer said, the Gospel at its core is an ultimatum.At first, that's a harsh and unfriendly sounding statement. Still, it's truth. There is only one way to the Father that does not lead in death. It is through the work and ministry of Jesus Christ.

That's true, right?  So, if there's only one way to the Father, then the message of the Gospel is an ultimatum.  Either you can cast away the lies and believe the truth, or be eternally separated from our Father.  Either accept the gift of eternal life, or suffer the true meaning of death from the Bible.

Death in the Bible isn't what we call death today.  The only "death" we've seen so far is our mortal bodies ceasing to function.  There is much worse coming.  There is a judgment for eternity.  Either with the King, or not.  The "not" is true death.  Never able to approach the giver of our lives.  Never able to feel His love.  Separated.  By our own choice.

Yet, there is today.  Until our last breath we have a chance to enter into a relationship with our Father.  Won't you?  If you are in that relationship now, you have until your last breath to tell many.  Will you?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Here is a great  hymn from the early Christian church.  It's on the David Crowder Band album Church Music as well as others.  What a powerful expression of worship to our heavenly Father!

Hail gladdening light
Of Your pure glory poured
Who is the immortal Father
Heavenly blessed
Oh holiest of holies
Jesus Christ our Lord
And now we have come
To the sun's hour of rest
The lights of evening 'round us shine
We hymn the Father, Son, Spirit divine
Worthiest art Thou at all times to be sung
Oh with undefiled tongue
Son of our God, giver of life alone
Son of our God, giver of life alone
Son of our God, giver of life alone
Therefore in all the world Thy glories Lord Thy own

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Mercies

It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. Lamentations 3:22-24

His mercies are new each day.  What a start to our new year.

When we think about our new year we're glad the old is gone.  Sure, there are some good memories we want to hold on to.  There are also some bad we want to leave behind.  A new year offers us a fresh start.  A new beginning.  That feeling is what Jeremiah was telling us.

Each day when we awake we are blessed by our Father.  His mercies are new.  There is no end to His supply.  No limit to His love for us.  We are His children and He is a Father unlike any we have ever known.  How great it is to think that when we open our eyes our Father is waiting for us.  How great.

The prophet reminds us our hope is to be in the Lord.  Not ourselves, not the world, but the Lord.  It's hard to keep Him first in our minds.  It's hard to believe that He is always enough.  Yet, He is.

Let this new year be a reminder that our Father is with us each day with new mercies.