Month: February 2014

One Mind, One Accord

How often do you find total agreement with other people? I often find myself in agreement with others, but not always for the same reason. There are times I can see someone else’s point of view, but I do not agree with their assessment. Just because people laugh at the same joke does not mean they find the same thing funny.

This is one of the many problems plaguing the body of Christ today. I have found myself in different congregations, in different denominations, among friends and strangers, and have discussed some of those differences. If this were a solvable problem, the many denominations of churches would be reduced to one.

Here are some of the more simple separations: Do you believe the Bible is literal, mostly literal, allegorical, or simply spiritual? Do you believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God or do you believe it is a good book, written by men with God in mind, or is it a collection of religious writings meant to inspire, guide, or put people into a position of servitude as a means of control? Do you believe the Bible begins with Genesis and end with Revelation? Do you believe the Apocrypha must be inserted? You see, these questions have already began to separate you from many others. Just as you may believe one of those answers, there are many others who will vehemently disagree with you.

Now you begin to see the importance of the following verses:

Philippians:1:27: Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Philippians:2:2: Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

The church has become divided on homosexuality, abortion, marriage, and race. These are simple concepts in light of God’s word, yet we as the body of Christ fail to get it right. These issues and degrees of separation will not get better with time. As a matter of fact, they continue to get worse and the separation becomes greater. The only answer, in my very humble opinion, must be submission to God’s Word. That seems like a simple enough answer, yet, without proper understanding it cannot be achieved.

Today I simply ask that you pray for the churches. Prayerfully ask for Godly knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Pray for strength to stand strong on truth. Pray for humble submission to God’s word, God’s will and the Holy Spirit. Pray for discernment. Pray for the leaders of the body of Christ, the burden is great for those in positions of authority, as is the judgment they assume in taking positions of leadership.

Proverbs:14:12: There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Proverbs:16:25: There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

When you make a decision, do not seek worldly wisdom. Let God be your guide and seek His wisdom, prayerfully, in His word. If it glorifies God, if it agrees with His word, if it magnifies Jesus, if it separates you from this world, you are on the right track. Seek Him and you will find, ask and it shall be given. To Jesus be the glory!

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Seeking the Kingdom

It is easy to get caught up in the cares of this life, this world. At every turn we are confronted with a new need, whether by necessity or circumstance. When we find ourselves in debt, or for most of us, further in debt, we have a renewed need for more income. We then seek a new job, a better job, or another job.

Should we get sick, we then seek medical consultation. We look for a cure, a medication, or relief from what makes us ill. Perhaps our vehicle breaks down and the better solution is a new vehicle as opposed to sinking money into a sinking ship.

Maybe we just “need” to stay current. Does the possibility exist that, maybe, we need to keep up appearances? Do we create a need before one actually exists? Some of these things can’t be helped, but some of them can. When it comes to these situations or circumstances, who are we trying to please? What is our real motivation? I suppose the real question is this: What are we really seeking? Are we trying to be pleasing to ourselves? Are we attempting to impress? Are we trying to be pleasing to others?

Above all things, we should be pleasing to God. In so doing, we should first and foremost be seeking His kingdom:

Matthew:6:33: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Colossians:3:2: Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

If we will first seek the kingdom of God, He will add other things to us. By first seeking God, all other things become secondary. When He comes first in your life you have given Him the proper place in your life. If you are willing to put Him first, and you are then given those things which you need or desire, He is glorified. If you seek these things and obtain them yourself, you have put yourself above Him.

God only wants what is best for us, and all things work for the good of those who love Him. If having a right relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior is not the priority at the top of your list, you are not seeking Him first. Sometimes, things must be removed from our lives so that our priorities are corrected. There may be times when we do not realize some of those things we desire or “need” are the very things we may allow to put separation between us and our Savior.

We must trust Him. We must lean on His word and not our own understanding. We must walk by faith, not by sight. These are the steps that we need to follow. I will be the first to say that it is easier to say these things than do them, however, experience is still teaching me how true His word is. The more I need Jesus, the less I “need” other things, indeed, the less I want any other things.

Let us this day be more resolute in our pursuit of His kingdom. When these other things are added to us, let us praise the One who has provided. Finally, let us encourage others, let us be examples to others and of the goodness that is God. In all things and at all times give all the praise to Jesus who is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

Numbered days

We have no promise of tomorrow. For some, tomorrow will not find them among the living. So often we take our days for granted. There will come a tomorrow that, we too, will not be found. This is a certainty.

Our life here will end one day, maybe soon. My grandfather had a saying: “Short time here, long time gone”. The older I get, the more I understand, the more I see that to be true.

We live in expectation of tomorrow, in preparation for tomorrow, as though tomorrow is owed to us. Yet, not one of us know what tomorrow holds. Those who have come to the knowledge of Jesus as Lord and Savior, however, understands that He does indeed hold tomorrow. James says this:

James:4:14: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

We are here for a little while, then we vanish away. What is eighty, ninety, or even a hundred years in the context of six thousand years? Of eternity? It is nothing more than a moment. Some days seem long and full of labor, yet those days are here and gone quickly, never to return. We race through time toward an appointment and a promise that will be kept:

Hebrews:9:27: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Every day is another step closer to our appointment with death. After death, there is judgment. Some are racing toward their reward, others are racing toward damnation. For those who have been saved by the blood of Jesus, judgment is for their reward. Those who have declined a relationship with the Messiah have no hope, they will be appointed to wrath, a lake of fire, an eternity of suffering.

Once you leave this life, there is no second chance. We all have loved ones, family members, friends who do not yet have a right relationship with Jesus. Time is short. Let every day we have on this side of eternity be that second chance to reach out, to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, to touch the hearts of those around us. Let today be the day of salvation. Tomorrow may be too late.