Subscriptions
Monthly Archives
Monday
Apr252011

Images that Stain 

My wife will tell you I am the sloppiest eater alive.  For some reason, I eat like every meal will be my last, so I'm into it.  However, in the process I dump food on myself, and I know it will stain. Grease, butter, oils, are all bad, and for the most part my eating experience always leaves a stain.  (any suggestions? besides, don't eat) 

Stains always remind us of previous meals, but there is a stain of the heart or in the brain that is much worse.  I remember a preacher years ago talking about images that stain the brain. Sexual explicit images will stay with you for years, and sometimes they never leave your brain.  Sexual images are everywhere today, and you can't seem to escape them even if your extremely careful in where you go or in what you watch. According to one report, pornography has edged out featured films in the percentage of internet downloads.  Pornography downloads from the internet rule the charts for downloads at 42%, other statistics show that featured films are at  41%, 15% TV shows, and animated films are at 2%.  Now think about how much brain staining is going on, and how much of this pornography will influence weak men to go and try to live out their fantasy's with an unsuspecting woman.  (I have advocated for years all woman should be trained in firearms, and carry a gun, just in case a pornography user tries to get cute)

Every week you see some young girl whose been abducted by someone around the country, and they usually end up dead.  Do you think there is some correlation? I do! I think we are poisoning ourselves and we don't care.  Human trafficking has replaced drugs as the number one income for drug cartels. Why?  Because the audience is broader, and it's easier to market women in most communities than it is to sell drugs. Woman are shipped like cattle to all parts of the United States with the promise of a better life, and all they ever get is enslavement to the sex trade. We have 400,000 Churches in America, just think if we used the resources in those churches to battle the human traffickers, what a difference it would make. Most church goers don't even know what's going on in their own communities, let alone the preachers telling them how to get involved and make a difference.  Take a moment and watch this link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlNdl_xi-hg

In fact this brief paragraph from Crosswalk.com sums up the problem.

Could half of Christian men have a problem with porn, as so many of the statistics say? Porn is reported to be a 12 billion dollar industry in the U.S… 50 percent of men viewed pornography within one week of attending a Promise Keepers stadium event… 54 percent of pastors said they viewed porn within the past year in a Pastors.com survey… in a 2003 Focus on the Family poll 47 percent of respondents said porn is a problem in their home.

So why all the silence in the Christian community?  Good question.  Why not ask your church leadership. If the Church is going to make a difference in our world, it has to start talking about it, and start some action to get clean. This problem with staining the brain with sexually explicit images is affecting everyone. Several ministries have been established in your community to help people get clean and stay clean, do you know who they are? I have a link to one of those ministries in my community.   

It all starts with a few stains we allow in our lives, and it keeps us from being honest and truthful...K 

 http://www.puritycoalition.org/home.html

Friday
Apr222011

What, Think for Myself? 

I was out among the inhabitants of Minneapolis and St Paul at a local mall today. (one of the members of my family needed new underwear)  As I walked around looking at people shopping I was thinking about the events that happen on this day in history.  The Church calls it Good Friday when an innocent righteous man died on a cross.  Now at the time, I suppose it was not a big deal, because a lot of people were crucified by the Romans.

However, this time it was different, this man Yeshua/Jesus was a man whose life was lived to help others, what could He have done for Him to desire such a painful, disgraceful death as crucifixion?  Good question.

If we thought this through on our own, it would seem unfair, unreasonable, and His family should receive some kind of remuneration for His untimely death. But the scripture tells us that His death was planned even before the foundation of the world.  God knew that humans would be so far out of control concerning their lives, that it would take involvement from the Creator to help them out. So instead of lowering the bar on sinfulness, and giving everyone some kind of pass, God decided to fix the problem of free will gone bad, once and for all. He would bring a substitute atonement for sin for all humans, and it require God giving Himself as a sacrifice worthy of a substitutionary atonement for all human kind. 

God doesn't make mistakes, He is perfect and His plans are perfect, so when Jesus went to the cross it was His perfect plan. In exchange we who escaped the penalty of sin received forgiveness, a pass, a pardon, restoration of all privileges with God, once and for all time. Such a deal!  

Now what would anyone  pass on such a deal?  What would you give in order to get a pass to live forever with God in paradise?  You mean to tell me that your skeptical mind is keeping you away from the deal of the centuries?  You're willing to take your chances that there is something else out there that has a better result than this?  You have got to be kidding?  How in the world can anyone in their right mind choose not to accept such a deal?  God takes all your sinfulness, (sinfulness is what we do to God and breaks relationship with Him) and removes all of it, every bad thing you ever thought, did, or are going to do, and gives you a free pass.  This free pass entitles you to enter into an everlasting paradise with God, with nothing owed, nothing down, and all you have to do is accept His plan. This is a no brainer, a slam dunk, how is it that so many people reject this deal?  Can't they think for themselves?  Can't they see that this kind of deal is insane to pass up?

It is my belief that we let others do our thinking for us, and because others of influence in our lives have concluded that the Good Friday plan is not for them, they have influenced people like you not to accept it. This is plainly in my opinion, INSANE.  

Happy Resurrection day, ........keep it honest and truthful.....K

 

Thursday
Apr212011

My Feet? Why Do You Want to Wash My Feet?

Good question, why the feet?  This is the Thursday prior to when Jesus was brought to a mock trial for being a righteous man, and in John 13, we read this:

5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.  6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?”  7Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”  8Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”  9Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”  10Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.”

Why the feet?  It was what slaves did to the guests of their masters, to wash the dust from their feet.   I suppose today we would equate this act with people who clean public bathrooms, a job that requires a certain amount of humility. 

Jesus was a great communicator, he used stories to tell about God's values, and principles.  He enacted principles like this act of washing the feet to illustrate that even the great, the most powerful, the most intellectual person can bow themselves in service to others.  This is precisely what this story tells us.  That the God of the Bible served people by humbling Himself to wash their feet.  Now, this wasn't the end of the illustrations of serving people. In just a few short hours from the time He washed feet, He would be hanging on a cross serving all of humanity with a gift of eternal salvation.  This is the God of the Bible, not the narcissistic being that atheists say God is, the kind of God who wants all the attention.  Atheists tell us that God is a being who beats and pounds out punishment in order to get His way. 

Here is an illustration of their thinking. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGkgmU9vG_o&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Now, I share that with you because this is the kind of thinking that distorts a loving caring God and twists His intentions to mean something completely different from what the Bible teaches.   God created man with a free will, and it was this free will that made him do evil things by rebelling against God. God not only came to remedy this problem, He came to show the nature of God through the actions and words of Jesus Christ. The only person who could twist the life of Christ into a self serving narcissistic would the the ultimate narcissist, Satan. Satan always wanted to be worshipped by God's creation, so he created his own form of worship, called addiction. Satan hates the cross, and hates the resurrection, because it defeats his control over people.  Jesus Christ, God's only son, demonstrated how love wins by serving others by sacrifice and the first feet He would wash would be those who do not believe in Him. 

 The late Keith Green died in July 1982 but the message of his song, "The Easter Song" still rings clear today. It is a great reminder that the God of the Bible is a God who life was sacrificed for you and for me. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3kc1jDahU4&feature=relatedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3kc1jDahU4&feature=related 

 Until Good Friday........keep it honest and truthful.....K

Wednesday
Apr202011

Full of What? 

I was at breakfast recently and a friend said, 'grace without truth, is a grace without substance.' He quoted this verse from the gospel of John. 

 

 

John 1:14

14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth

So what do you think about that?  Does grace have to be based upon truth or can grace stand alone?

The same could be said of faith.  Does faith in Christ require anything but faith?  Good questions. There are people who have faith in faith itself.  I am not sure that faith in faith has really any substance.   I think grace is the same.  You can say, "I am living in God's grace and forgiven," but at the same time not willing to give up a sinful lifestyle, are you then really living in God's grace?    Again, the substance of grace is not grace, it is the person of Jesus Christ.   Jesus extends grace to you because He loves you, and has forgiven you. As a result of this forgiveness we can be free to live for Him, free from the entanglements of sin. It is at this point that both faith and grace have substance in the reality of truth being lived out. 

So we could say that both grace and faith, need truth to make them valid.  Here is another example that illustrates my point. Many say just pray, and God will answer.  What do you do with this verse that tells us God ignores the prayers of those who ignore His instruction?  In Proverbs 28:9 we read:

 

9If one turns away his ear from hearing the law even his prayer is an abomination.

God will not be mocked, and He knows the intention of the heart. Faith without truth, or grace without truth, are only concepts without substance of Jesus Christ being the focal point.  The substance of both faith and grace is the person of Jesus Christ, and without Him you don't have what the Bible teach about faith or grace.  In the verse above, it says, Jesus came full of grace and truth, the one validating the other.

So until next time, may the grace and truth of God's word keep you honest and truthful.

K   

P.S.  By the way, I always like to have a penultimate video, a trusted speaker/teacher.  Here is the testimony of C. J. Mahaney. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYVO2-2ndg4

Tuesday
Apr192011

Why Is Grace So Hard To Accept?

To some of you this may not be an issue, but too many of us are not gracious receivers. In other words, we don't like compliments, are surprised when people really appreciate what we do, or it is hard for us to talk about ourselves.  I believe receiving Gods grace falls under this same category, "it is hard for us to accept."

God's grace is based upon His relationship with us, in fact, Jesus told us that everything God ever revealed to human kind was based upon relationship.

Matthew 22:38-40

38This is the great and first commandment.  39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  40On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

These two commandments are the foundation for all the Law and the prophets.   God's grace is a relationship too, it's based upon what God wants from us, to love Him, and to love others.  How's that for theology?  Our great institutions of higher learning can't get much better than that, Jesus narrowed the study of God (theology) down to two simple statements. 

Grace is one statement. God loves, so He gives us Grace. It doesn't really matter whether or not we receive or accept well, what matters is what God does.  God does grace. We don't deserve it, we can't earn it, we can't store it, we can't inherit it, it is a free gift every day from God.  Ancient Israel under the leadership of Moses during the Exodus story in the Bible, was feed every day a supernatural food known as 'Manna."  God provided it every morning as a provision for each day. Today God provides a daily "manna" portion of grace so that our lives can be enriched by knowing God is watching over us, gracefully. 

I thank God for His rich gift of grace. If there is one thing you need to understand about the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is this: "It is based upon God's grace!"  Dr John Macarthur in a short video clip explains it best.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZuVt7qWO80

In this season of remembrance of what Jesus did for you and for me, it's all about God's grace..

Now that's keeping it honest and truthful.....K

 

 

Facebook Twitter Vimeo Rss
Connect with Larry Kutzler