“Hope that is deferred afflicteth the soul…” Proverbs 13:12
Can I Get a Witness?
As I watched the trial of the century (albeit not an actual trial) I reflected on Proverbs 18:17; “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” (ESV)
Folk Should Know Better
More disconcerting than the actual testimony was the almost giddy speculations coming from people in the news media. You would think that the years of seasoning – necessary to reach the heights of national and international news – they would know better. Are they really that naïve, or are they pushing a carefully crafted narrative on the American people in order to influence them? As frightening as the naiveté scenario is, the narrative one is even worse.
In my work in the Corporate world, we sometimes use the expression “Creative Accounting” to describe bookkeeping that is less-than up-right and honest. A similar thing is happening throughout the Christian world in the arena of Biblical truth. I am saddened by the number of preachers, teachers and others who play loose with God’s Word in efforts to attract crowds or assuage their own guilty consciences. Continue reading “Creative Theology”
The greatest of all God’s commandments was written down by Moses and reiterated by Jesus, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV also Luke 10:27, Matthew 23:37, Mark 12:30-31).
By doing a little linguistic algebra, this Biblical law is not only a commandment but also a test. By looking at what we love with all our heart, soul and strength – in other words what we devote ourselves to – is a sure revealer of who or what we serve.
Let’s begin by looking at who God is and what He is, to us: Continue reading “Who Do You Serve – Really?”
I see it all the time. If you hang around church people, odds are, you do too. I’m talking about FGS. If my experience is indicative, it is one of the most prolific, unhealthy and damaging conditions in all of the Christian community.
Like a chronic health condition we learn to ignore, the signs of FGS are subtle and seemingly benign to those desensitized by years of exposure. To the unconditioned non-Christian or the sensitive believer, however, the manifestations are alarming, confusing, and can result in observer’s attempts to avoid God and His followers completely. Continue reading “FGS: A Christian Plague?”
With the arrival of the last installment in the Jesus Judo series, we come to Humility and Pride. In case you have missed any along the way, all of the parts of this series along with hundreds of other teachings are on my website at www.restorethepaths.com. To make sure you don’t miss any future blogs, please sign-up here.
In this series we have already looked at the first six of the ancient seven deadly sins and the corresponding seven Christian virtues: Chastity / Lust, Temperance / Gluttony, Charity / Greed, Diligence / Sloth, Patience / Wrath and Envy / Kindness. We also provided an Introduction to Jesus Judo and the Law of Opposite Actions at the very beginning. Today we finish up. Continue reading “Fast Forward 2018 – Jesus Judo Part 7: Humility & Pride”
Today we continue our study of Jesus Judo by contemplating the seven virtues and deadly sins that have been recognized by the Church since well before the seventh century AD. Having already discussed, Chastity / Lust, Temperance / Gluttony, Charity / Greed, Diligence / Sloth and Patience / Wrath, we now move to Kindness and Envy. Continue reading “Fast Forward 2018 – Jesus Judo Part 6: Kindness & Envy”
After our brief excursion into Love Land last week in preparation for Valentine’s day, we continue our discipleship training in the area of “overcoming evil with good.” (aka Jesus Judo). So far, we have studied four of the seven virtues and deadly sins recognized by the Church for over a millennium and a half. We have considered Chastity & Lust, Temperance & Gluttony, Charity & Greed, and Diligence & Sloth. Today is all about Patience and Wrath. Continue reading “Fast Forward 2018 – Jesus Judo Part 5: Patience & Wrath”
In our introduction to Fast Forward 2018, we looked at how “Jesus Judo” can be used to turn the devil’s attacks against him. In part 1, we discussed the seven Christian Virtues and seven Deadly Sins that evolved between the fourth and sixth centuries and has been widely recognized in the church ever-since. We began with the first virtue – Chastity – and its opposing sin – Lust. This time we move down the list to number two. Continue reading “Fast Forward 2018 – Jesus Judo Part 2: Temperance & Gluttony”
One the most challenging aspects of Christianity – both to understand and to live out – is what I call, “The Law of Opposite Actions.” It’s one of those topics that, even though I have taught, preached and wrote on it numerous times, never diminishes in importance or urgency. In one of my older blogs, I called it Jesus Judo for Biblical Blessings. While some things are for a season, this message is life-long. I believe it is also one that God has chosen to emphasize in 2018.
You can get more details in the links below, but the basics work like this. Jesus said, “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also… Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High.” (Luke 6:27-29, 35-36)
I am encouraging everyone connected to me, to place a special emphasis on Jesus Judo for the next 40 days. In addition to traditional prayer and fasting for God’s presence, protection and guidance for ourselves, our families, our churches, our communities, our nations and our world, I am also encouraging you to train your mind to think Kingdom rather than culture.
So, when you are talking around the coffee pot in the breakroom, on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or other social media, at school, the grocery store, on the phone or anywhere your life takes you, pray this simple prayer,
“Lord Jesus, what do You want to do in these people’s lives, and how may I assist you in your work?”
Then just listen and do what God says. The answer may come in the form of a scripture memory or an inner knowing of the right thing to do. God may use another person to give you important information. In reality, there are no limits on how God can reveal something to you. As long as it lines up with scripture, you’re good to go. The devil would probably never tell you to show godly love to someone. You will be amazed at how quickly your ears will become open to hear the voice of the Lord and how much your own life will be enhanced when you are in full-service to God and People.
Next, resist negativity and judgment. We know that God sent His only son so that EVERYONE would have the opportunity to be saved. (John 3:16) When we act as ambassadors of the Kingdom, our role is not to judge who can be a part of God’s Kingdom and who can’t – God already invited everyone. Our role is simply to help him spread the word – extend the invitation. He has employed us to help lead people out of darkness into His glorious light. So, for the next 40 days, God is asking you to forgo cynicism and judgment, set aside earthly politics and culture, lay down your negative world-view glasses and instead see God’s ability to redeem and restore everyone and everything. Imagine how different people and situations will be when God finishes His great work.
In the days ahead, I will be releasing specific teachings on how to overcome evil with good – in your personal life and in the culture. Please make sure you are subscribed to my free email list so you don’t miss a single principle that will help you prosper spiritually and naturally in this new year.
May this be your best year yet as you grow closer to God and His creation.
May you have a Joyous and Prosperous New Year!
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