Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

09
Oct
18

Signing Off

Since 2010, I have been writing this blog just about every day. That totals up to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 posts. Many of you have been here with me since the very beginning. I thank you for reading these thoughts each day. The time has come, though, to bring this blog to an end. Through some self-reflection, soul searching and conversations, I have come to realize that while these daily thoughts can be helpful, they can also hinder. As a pastor, I want to help people follow Jesus. My personal mission statement is to help everyone within my sphere of influence grow in a relationship with Jesus Christ. My favorite quote of all time is by George Eliot. He said, “What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?” As I move forward, I think that I can fulfill each of these in different and possibly better ways. So for now, I want to leave you with this verse:

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. – 2 Corinthians 13:1 (NIV)

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08
Oct
18

Getting Even Plus

When someone hurts us, our first instinct is to get even with them. We want revenge! Jesus addressed this in the Sermon on the Mount. He said:

You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. – Matthew 5:38-42 (NIV)

Here’s the problem with revenge. Rarely is it eye for eye. It’s two eyes for an eye. We don’t want to just get even. We want to get even plus. Jesus turns this thinking upside down and says that we need to go the extra mile by returning evil with kindness instead of revenge. Jesus expects His followers to be different from the world. That means that instead of revenge, we respond with love.
07
Oct
18

The Most Important Thing

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana. This message is based on John 13:34-35.

05
Oct
18

Promises, Promises

I’ve heard people try to convince others that their word is true and they’ll say something like, “I swear on a stack of Bibles ten feet tall!” or “I swear on my grandmother’s grave!” Jesus said that we should be known for honesty so we don’t have to do that. He said:

Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. – Matthew 5:33-37 (NIV)

The best way to convince someone that you’re telling the truth is to be someone who tells the truth. So in your dealings with people today remember that honesty truly is the best policy.
04
Oct
18

Disposable Marriages

We live in a society where we throw things away quite readily. It seems like nothing lasts or they don’t make things like they used to. From TVs to computers to cell phones, we don’t expect things to last. Down in Atlanta, Georgia, they threw away a sports stadium. The Georgia Dome was less than 25 years old before they threw it away in favor of a new stadium. This lack of permanence even makes its way into our marriages. Jesus addressed the topic of divorce in Matthew 5. He said:

It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. – Matthew 5:31-32 (NIV)

The Bible says that God hates divorce. I’ve seen friends go through so much pain because of divorce that it helps me understand why He hates it. To our modern ears, Jesus’ words may sound harsh. I think He wants us to think about our commitments before we throw away our marriages. We made solemn vows before God and asked Him to bless our marriages. We need to honor those vows and do whatever it takes to stay married before we lawyer up and divorce our spouses.
03
Oct
18

Sin Is Deadly

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus addresses various aspects of the Law and points us to the heart of God’s commands. When it comes to lust, He says that we should go to great lengths to avoid adultery. He said:

If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. – Matthew 5:29-30 (NIV)

Too often we downplay the seriousness of sin. In reality, sin is deadly. Sin is what sends people to Hell. Sin is what sent Jesus to the cross. What do we do? We will mess around with sin and tiptoe up to the line of sin to see how far we can go. What we should be doing is taking ten steps back from the line of sin and draw a new line. We need better boundaries when it comes to sin. If we mess around with sin, it means that we don’t understand grace. Grace is free for us, but it cost Jesus His life. Let’s not take it for granted by messing around with sin.
02
Oct
18

The Heart Of Adultery

In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He quotes the Law of Moses and expounds on it. He gets to the heart of the Law. As humans, we think we can keep the Law outwardly and we’ll be OK. In reality, our obedience to God’s commands has to go beyond the surface to our hearts. For example, Jesus talks about adultery. He said:

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. – Matthew 5:27-28 (NIV)

Uncontrolled thoughts and pornography addictions are as much adultery as is a physical affair. We need to clean up our thought lives. When we allow our thoughts to run wild, we are at risk of an extramarital affair. Adultery doesn’t begin in the bedroom. It begins in the heart and in the mind. It’s not just men who are guilty of it, either. In this sex saturated society, everyone is at risk of unbridled thoughts that lead to adultery. So let’s get our thoughts under control before that happens.



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