Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. James 4:13–14 (ESV)
Why is it so important that Jesus be your Lord and Savior?
Here is one of the most clear ways of understanding this. We are all sinners for the Bible says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. We also know the problem is self is our God. Paul in writing to the Romans wrote, “ but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” (Rom 2:8) So, it is clear that there are two issues for all of us – sin and self.
If my only problem was sin, all I would need is a Savior.
If my only problem was self, all I would need is a Lord.
Jesus as Savior solves our sin problem.
Jesus as Lord solves our self problem.
So, today make sure you have repented of sin and self and are following Jesus as Lord and Savior.
This is my 500th post! Woohoo! I have not posted since May 1. Here is why. I took some time off from everything but my wife and family. It was a great time but life does not exist in “off”. One of the things that I needed to find out while I was out was prompted by a question Francis Chan poses in Multiply.
When you pick up the Bible and begin to read it, what is motivating you? Are you driven by guilt? Do you have a desire to know God more fully? Are you looking for arguments against other perspectives? Are you looking for material for a Bible study or sermon?
I have the responsibility and privilege to teach several times a week so this question pricked my heart. Why? Why do I study the Bible? Is it to just get material to preach and teach on. Is it always for someone else? So, in my time away I watched this. Here is what I found.
I love God and His Word. It was so refreshing to read and study with nothing to prepare. It was good to know that God was speaking into my spirit and my situations. I read God’s Word and He refreshed me. He gave me great days with my wife. So, I will spend some time posting to the blog again and I hope you missed me.
Kids ask questions. Sometimes they ask so many questions it gets on your nerves. Growing up we all were told that there were no stupid questions. It did not take long to learn that was not true, though it sounds good in theory. We were also taught to ask questions as we read an article, magazine, book or paper. Those questions are Who? What? When? Where? and Why?. This list might have changed in the last 30 years but it still remains pretty solid. As I turned 50, I realize the continued importance of asking “Why?”
Why? Why was I born? Why do people act like they do? Why do I act like I do? Why should I change? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why?
WHY? WHY? WHY?!
The answer to why sometimes begins with “so that”. I thought about “Why?” and the Bible. Why should we do what it says? In the New Testament alone “so that’ occurs 251 times. You want to know WHY you should live by biblical precepts, principles and truths? Let the Bible speak for itself. Start looking for the “so that” as you ask why and you might just get your answer.
WHY ASK “WHY”? “SO THAT” you get your answer after the “SO THAT”.
If you want people, you will have poop. If you don’t want poop, you have no people.
Let’s go to the farm. Okay, you see that barn way over there? Go over there and open the door. What does it smell like? If it smells like poop, there are animals in the stalls. If it smells clean, there are no animals in the stalls. The animals are what gets the work done. The mule pulls the plow. The horses are ways of transportation. They also poop in the stall. I don’t think anyone likes the smell of a barn full of animals and poop. So if you want to get the smell out, you have got to get the poop out. If you want to get the poop out you have to get rid of the animals.
So, here is our lesson. People are messy but it is people that get things done. Solomon put it like this.
Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.
Proverb 14:4 (ESV)
Winter time, putting on my coat and rabbits taught me much about how systems work as a child. My wonderful mother would be helping me, as her baby boy, put on my coat before going out into the cold. As I would raise my arm to put it in the sleeve, she would say, ” Hold your rabbit!”. If I did not hold my rabbit, it would run up my arm every time. Translation? If you don’t hold the cuff of your shirt sleeve, you sleeve runs up you arm. A simple lesson on how systems work. You probably hold your rabbit without even knowing it.
How this helps me today?
When life gets tough and I’m trying to make it through safely, I must hold onto what I believe or things will get out of place.
If I don’t hold onto the truth that Jesus Is A Big Deal, He shrinks in my life practice and things get out of order.
If I don’t hold to the truths of Scripture, the rabbits (things that tend to run where they don’t belong) of my life run, so I must hold on to them so my life don’t get screwed up.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV)
There is one place I go when I need to find peace. It’s a place where I can get my mind off the matters of this world. It’s a place I can go where where I can focus, learn and grow. It is a place that puts peace back into my soul. It is a place where everything seem right. It is a place where I can look deep into life and come away satisfied. It is a place I don’t totally understand but I understand it enough to know I need to go there often. It is a place where all opinions are irrelevant. It is a place that undoes me then puts me back together. It is a place that hurts me in order to heal me. It is a place that reminds me I am not God and who is God. It is a place that takes away fear. It is a place I should go to more often but find myself walking past it too often. Do you have such a place? Everyone needs to find this place! I think if you go there you will find what I have found. Continue reading