“For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” –Romans 1:20 Technology is amazing these days. Before it conked out on me, I was in love with my GPS in my car. I could plug in my address, my destination, and it would give me turn-by-turn instructions on how to get there. Did I still get lost? Of course. But the GPS was almost always correct in it’s calculations. This, to me, is how I look at the book of Romans. I have read this book through several times, and it never ceases to amaze me just how much wisdom and direction and life is packed into it! What Romans does is much like a GPS-it spells out the life of a Christian from beginning to end. From the initial address of who we used to be, to the end destination of what to do withContinue reading »

The other day I was discussing the world situation with a colleague at work and when I mentioned sin and the devil, he almost dropped his coffee. “You don’t actually believe in the devil, do you? That belief has long ago been proven to be false. It’s stuffy and has only served to scare people into church.” I smiled and shrugged. “Of course you’re free to believe whatever you want, but if you think that evil is not more than a miscommunication between people and can be easily overcome by carnal reasoning, you’ll have another thing coming.” There is so much more happening than we can see with the naked, fleshly eye and although we don’t want to spend too much time looking at the works of Satan, denying his existence is not a wise thing to do. *** Not too long ago there were still wild horses roaming around the prairies and wolves were a real threat. Horses were considered a delicacy by most wolves and were often followedContinue reading »

How long will you limp over your choice? – 1 Kings 18: 21   A powerful question put forth by the Prophet Elijah to the people of Israel was in regard to their waffling between their faith in YHWH and following the pagan religions of the Canaanites. From the time of Moses, YHWH was to be the ONLY GOD of Israel. Yet, throughout the years they regularly slipped into apostasy, the worship of other gods. Each time they would slip the punishment would be greater than before. Each nation who was allowed to oppress them was stronger than last. Finally, Elijah put the challenge to them and to us. His question resonates from nearly one thousand years before Christ to the modern day. Elijah knew that faith involves commitment and, often, risk. Faith is dynamic and is manifested in decisive action. He condemns the tepid and weak faith of Israel. This was not monotheism, the belief in one God. It was a corruption, called Henotheism. Henotheism is maintaining the beliefContinue reading »

Grace. . . through one man, Jesus Christ – Romans 5:17 The modern English word “grace” is often understood as something quite different than what was meant by the Biblical authors. Often, modern ears hear the connotations of “charm” or beauty of movement. While these aspects are certainly true, the core meaning of the word is based in the power and favor of God. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word for grace was “hanan”. It refers to the act of giving favor, allowing a request, or the manifesting of kindness and compassion. To give “hanan” or favor was an act of benevolence. From the beginning, whether in reference to this favor coming from God or man, the one who is giving such favor is under no obligation to do so. In the Christian Scripture, we see an expansion of this term. In Greek the term is “charis”. Herein is where the definition gets expanded and carried through to modern times, as in the profane usage of the word it gathers the connotations ofContinue reading »

Faith or Doubt Matthew 14:31-32 (NKJV) And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. When you doubt you are not showing faith. Faith is believing God without wavering, without doubting, and without questioning what He says. It is taking God at His Word and believing that what He has promised He is able to deliver. Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV) “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. Faith is belief with strong conviction; firm belief in something for which there may be no tangible proof; complete trust in or devotion to God. Faith is the opposite of doubt. Faith is possibly the single-most important element of the Christian life. Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) states ,But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarderContinue reading »

“Samson, . . . who by faith . . . did what was just” – Hebrews 11:32   Samson, known for his invincible power, unshorn hair, and betrayal by Delilah, delivers a challenge to all who profess faith in the Living God. Samson, not recognized by many, had a powerful sense of mission and a dynamic, though elemental, faith. His adventures were many and his exploits have survived the ages in the memory and imagination of humankind. Yet, he always attained his greatest successes when he acted in a way that was fully under the authority of God’s will and guidance. Samson killed a lion with his bare hands (Judges 14:6). He despoiled 30 men to settle an unfair loss of a wager (Judges 14:19). He burned the crops of the Philistines (Judges 15: 4-5). He battled the Philistines in an escalating exchange of aggressions (Judges 15: 8). He carried off the gates of Gaza (Judges 16: 1-3). While these feats of prowess were impressive, and certainly garnered the attention ofContinue reading »

Karen grew up in Washington, D.C. with Joanne, Charles and Nelson — three friends who, for years, were in her inner circle of buddies. They had much fun together in their neighborhood and surrounding communities. Two of their favorite things were music and going to the movies. Times when they’d meet to just “shoot the breeze,” the friends would join others sitting on the side steps of the movie theater. Yes, indeed, those steps have history with the quartet buds. Time progressed and the inner circle friends grew up, got jobs, and family member growth. Nelson moved to North Carolina. Joanne got addicted to heroin and spent time incarcerated. Charles and Karen did their things, etc. There came a point when the quartet lost touch with one another. More than ten years went by with no contact. One day Karen went online to attempt to locate her childhood friends. Her search bore no fruit. About two years later, Karen tried online again. She found an address for Charles. Karen sentContinue reading »

Perky Simone is on her honeymoon with Kirk, the man who she met in church a year ago. She married him even though more than a few signals came from the Lord that it wasn’t a God-approved union. Simone convinced herself that it couldn’t have been the Lord who’d advised her against Kirk. The two of them have had nothing but pleasurable times since becoming a couple. Kirk is tender, respectful and considerate of Simone’s needs and desires. He wines and dines her and gets on swell with her family. They love him. Day three of their honeymoon, Kirk’s true colors surface. After a late night supper, the newlyweds return to their hotel room. Out of the blue, a piercing slap lands on Simone’s cheek. Stunned, she places her hand on her face as she backs away in fear. Tears leap to Simone’s eyes. She screams out, “What’s the matter with you, Kirk?” He snarls, “I saw how you looked at that man at the table next to where weContinue reading »

We Live In a World of Darkness 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NKJV) Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? This world and this world’s kingdoms are under the domain of Satan (Ephesians 6:12). Satan is presently called the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Even Jesus refers to this world kingdom belonging to Satan (Matthew 12:26) Because of the fall of man and because of this act of disobedience all mankind has a sinful nature. Romans 5:12 ( NKJV ) Therefore, through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned. The devil comes to steal, kill, and to destroy. Satan is not your friend, but he pretends that he is, and he will do whatever it takes to keep you from God. We once were of this world and a friend with the devil. But now we belong to God and are aContinue reading »

“You must understand that a person is justified by his works and not by faith alone” – James 2:24 With this powerful statement, James defines the type of faith to which Christians are called and, in a practical sense, our responsibility in our own redemption. Paul has already laid a strong and lasting foundation for James when argues that we are justified through faith (Romans 3:21-31). Many critics who would degrade Christianity have tried to depict this as a contradiction, thereby trying to nullify the Christian message of faith in Christ Jesus. This is not the case! Paul argued for the power of faith over the power of the Law in attaining Salvation. Judaism of the the First Century, of which Christianity was a part, was a legalistic religion and held that salvation, the freedom of the power of sin and death, came from perfect observation of the Law-The Torah, which they saw as having the ultimate religious authority because they saw it as being a gift from God which containedContinue reading »

Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the children. Children are not so complicated and not as prone to doubt and scepticism as the grown ups are. Children just believe. They have faith and trust that their parents will take care of them and as a result their hearts are not full of bitterness, doubt and hardness. Once a soldier in the army of Napoleon incurred the wrath of the mighty emperor and was thrown into the dungeon. There he was, lost and forgotten by friend and foe, in a cold and lonely prison cell. In his desperation he grabbed a stone and carved on the wall the words: “Nobody cares.” However, a few days later he noticed a tiny plant, sprouting out between two stones in his jail. The poor soldier was fascinated by the life that sprung up in his cell and decided to give the plant a little of his daily water. The little plant grew fast and reached out for the light that shoneContinue reading »