YouTube video "1000 to 1" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7L5MQ7EgdA
Man, its cold out there. Have you felt it recently?
Double entendre alert. What a double entendre? That’s a phase that has two meanings, one obvious and one less obvious.
Okay, so what did I mean? Well, first its bone chilling cold outside with the rain. But, also, there is a coldness in the hearts of people that are outside.
Maybe you’ve seen the cold snap affecting the south recently. There are thousands upon thousands of people out there without power, with temperatures in the teens. People are laughing at the troubles people in Texas are enduring, because they are viewed as people of a different political disposition. Horrible, I’ve prayed each day for people dealing with this and those laughing.
Also, a guy named Rush Limbaugh died yesterday. And there are people all over the Twittershere and in Faceland celebrating that this guy, who was very popular, suffered from cancer and died. I’ve been praying today the Limbaugh family and for all the people jumping for joy that he died.
Man, its cold out there.
Right now, there is an intensity between people. Whether talking about politics, religion, covid, best candy bar, whatever. Why? Well, I think there are a lot of reasons. I’m really concerned that we cannot have a conversation, disagreement, argument, anything. It’s almost like we hate anyone that is different than us. It’s harder to bring civility back to our public conversations if don’t listen to differing opinions for comparison.
Why are we so cold hearted? Easy answer? Sin. The sin of arrogance, the sin or fearfulness, maybe even a distrust in God and His Word. But how we get out of this is just as important as why we have become like this.
How do we get out this? Humility and sacrifice. Paul talks about this in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
As a Christian, I am expected, by God Himself, to humbly sacrifice my pride, my sense of importance, all of it to reach and connect with others. To the social justice warrior, I will seem to be a BLM supporter. To the atheist I appear as an apologist of atheism.
I am not an atheist and nor am I a social Gospel apologist. I have a job, I am to make disciples for the Master So, if that means my community is confused, disagrees or becomes angry with my lack of spiritual condemnation for the unbeliever, that’s what has to happen.
Why? I need to hear them and, hopefully, help them away from worldly mindsets and draw close to God and His plans. Hoping my sacrifice will create an ability to develop a friendly relationship with plenty of “back and forth” so I can share the joy of the Gospel message.
How much are we to sacrifice? How far is too far? Sorry, there isn’t a gauge that applies to all people. Each of us must pray and allow God to teach us that individually. So, get to work, study the Bible well and get out there. Help the weak become strong in salvation through the love of Jesus. That’s our job, be creative. Be a disciple maker.
In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.
Tough times never last, but tough people do.
Mind over matter.
Hang in there!
We've heard them before. Mottos meant to uplift us and change a negative or destructive attitude. They help…sometimes.
My attitude has a big impact on my immediate surrounding, my wife, my kids, my coworkers, people in other cars, animals, laptops, etc. It would make sense to keep a good attitude all day. Right? I'll feel better, be nicer, more patient, kinder, gentler and so on, with a good attitude.
So why is it a struggle to keep a good, Godly attitude? I mean, the apostle Paul told us the truth in his letter to the Philippians, “I can do all things through Christ who give me strength” Philippians 4:13. So there it is, no reason to worry. But wait, I’m still struggling with my attitude. Why?
Because I’m a sinful cuss.
I have embedded sin deep in my mind, body and soul. Not because I thought it would make me a better, more awesome person, but because I am weak and stubborn. The older I get, the more I understand this truth. The same apostle (Paul) also wrote this encouraging text, “Everyone sins…” (Romans 3:23) and this, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). He even quoted Psalm 14 when he wrote, “No one is righteous, no, not one…(Romans 3:10)
Well, there you go, I guess we should all just give up on trying.
Nope, that isn’t it. Don’t stop trying. Don’t give in to the lie. God is not done here with us. Like rebellious teenagers we have fought with God. But, He has not given up on us. The Lord told His prophet Isaiah, …fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
He is still fighting for us and with us. My job, our job, is to keep trying to follow His lead and be righteous. We can be awesome by wrestling with our own attitudes and actions. It will mean we have work to do. Jesus gave us the heads up, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
There is work to be done on us as we work to make disciples around us. Fear will enter our minds and pollute our soul. We will feel weight of our expectations and responsibilities. But we can carry on. We can be awesome, if we are channeling the words, actions and love of the AWESOME Jehovah God. Don’t fix our eyes on our sins and our past. With a strong Bible reading life we’ll fix our on Jesus, He is the author and perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Do what He and the New Testament writers did. Say things that they said. Make this our mantra and our attitudes will change. Out outlooks will change. We will change. All for the better.
In my never ending quest for enlightenment, I mean memes, I stumbled across this picture above these words. It made me laugh. Is it "high-brow" humor? No, but it made me laugh.
We need to laugh more these days. Seriously, I know what is going on in the medical, political and social worlds. But we need to laugh. I'm a Christian, that means no matter what kind of situation I find myself, I have no reason to fear. My Jesus is right there with me.
Now, that doesn't mean He won't allow me to go through painful times in my life. I have those hurtful and painful days. But I don't need to let that minute, hour, day, week, year, decade, etc make me stop living and laughing.
There have been medical articles talking about the therapeutic nature of laughter. It helps us, a lot. Even God laughs, dealing with our insanity on a daily basis. Psalm 2:4 says, "He who sits in the heavens laughs..."
Now, that's the part of Psalm 2 everyone likes to remember, we like to think of God as a kindly old man lovingly laughing at our mischievous ways. The Psalmist doesn't portray God that way, the rest of the verse says, "...the Lord ridicules them."
Some would be indignant, saying, "What?!? God doesn't mock people." These people should read the whole of Psalm 2. This work shows the difference between the ungodly mindset vs. the Godly. It shows us the picture of the person who will rage against God and contrasts it with the person putting their hope and trust in Him. Psalm 2 can be broken into four parts, or four acts of a play if you will indulge me.
Act 1: The nations rebel. God is rejected and the rebellious people prepare to confront God.
Act 2: The Lord is not worried. He see their plans and is preparing to confront them.
Act 3: The rightful King is inaugurated. The Lord of Lords will overcome all the evil plans of the rebellious people.
Act 4: Honor and obey this King if you want to live.
**Sorry, I know I'm a preacher person, but I couldn't narrow it down to 3 points.
God laughs at us because we are incapable of so much. We cannot topple Him from heaven. We cannot achieve salvation by ourselves. God sees us trying to be Him and we fall very short of that goal. So He laughs.
His laughter should be encouraging to the Christian, though. He laughs to remind us that, as FD Roosevelt once said, "the only thing to fear is fear itself". No scheme of Satan, no threat from that bully, no plan of an enemy is to instill fear in us. God sees all and, through our faith in Him (Ephesians 6:10-17), is our protection.
So go ahead. Laugh out loud. It's okay. When the moments show up to tempt us to give in to fear, don't do it, "...blessed are all who take refuge in Him (God).