Saturday, August 18, 2007


Have you ever known someone that doesn’t seem to get excited about anything? They believe they have everything they need, have experienced all that life has to offer and life is simply “there.”

Those of us that claim Christ as Savior can’t possibly feel this way. Every day we have the excitement and anticipation of going to be with Jesus in heaven. Every day we come across people in different situations that are desperately in need of the hope of Christ.

Indifference is not the answer. Consider this excerpt from the letter to the church in Laodicea

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! 17You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. 18So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. 19I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. 20“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Revelation 3:15 - 20 (NLT)

Can we really buy something from Christ? I thought salvation and eternal life were free. We purchase these things simply by surrendering our lives to Him. We believe in Christ, accept His sacrifice on our behalf and GIVE Him our life to do with as He will. So, in a sense, we “buy salvation” with the currency of our desires. Then, as our wills merge with His will, indifference melts away and is replaced by love. Love requires action.


Friday, August 17, 2007


Does your boss expect you to be perfect in all ways or is he/she content when you follow the rules and do your job? Do your parents expect you to be the valedictorian of your class or are they pleased when you try your best and respect their wishes?

Many times, we are tougher on ourselves than others are. If you call yourself a follower of Christ, are you depressed because you can’t raise the dead and heal the sick? Or perhaps you believe you are a failure because you don’t have the Mercedes or Porsche the TV preacher said God “wanted to give you.”

God has different standards. Listen to an excerpt from the letter to the church in Philadelphia

“I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me. Revelation 3:8 (NLT)

Notice that the Lord wasn’t concerned that they didn’t have a great amount of strength. He was however, pleased that they had obeyed His Word (the Bible) and did not deny Him (believed Jesus was their Savior and proud to tell others).

All of us would be a tremendous success in the eyes of God if we were to put those two things at the top of our list every day:

  • Obey God’s Word
  • Tell others that Jesus is our Lord and Savior

If I may be permitted to paraphrase the ending of Matthew 6:33,

THEN, everything else will fall into place.


Thursday, August 16, 2007


Did you ever see the exhibit at Disneyland where Abraham Lincoln gave a speech? I thought it was real. It was so life-like. How about those guys in the Haunted Mansion that are singing and their eyes follow you as you go by them; don’t they look real?

Many things have an appearance of being alive. Just because a building has a sign on it that says it’s a church, doesn’t mean that it is “alive” and doing what it is supposed to do for Jesus. Listen to this excerpt from the letter to the church in Sardis

“…He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2‘Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. 3‘So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. Revelation 3:1 - 3 (NASB)

Does your church seem to be “alive” and on fire for the things of the Lord? Or, does it seem to be in a rut just getting together on Sunday morning for coffee, donuts, a few hymns, listening to a sermon and then off to dinner at noon?

Are people coming to know Jesus as Savior in your church? Are missions (home or abroad) an important part of your church’s budget? If not, wake up, the Lord says. Reignite the flame that once burned within you to tell people about Jesus Christ. He is alive and so should we, his followers, be.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007


It is easy in this information age to allow the ideas of others to influence you. It is equally as easy for a person or persons of means to insert themselves into your path in order to influence you.

For example, let’s say you are a Christian and you love to read. In order to buy a book you go to a Christian bookstore either in person or on the internet. How certain are you that the owner of the bookstore is Christian? How certain are you that the author of the book you purchased is a Christian? Their publisher? The marketing people behind the publication? You see what I’m getting at; the only book we can be absolutely positive about is the Holy Bible.

People in bible times were no different, though the amount of information available to them was less than it is now. Listen to this excerpt from the letter to the church at Thyatira:

“I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things. 20“But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. 21I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality. 22“Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds. 23I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve. Revelation 2:19 - 23 (NLT)

The Jezebel spoken of was most probably a woman that was being likened to the one mentioned in 1 Kings 18. That historical Jezebel was the daughter of a Zidonian king (1 Kings 16:31) and educated in the idolatrous practices of her native country. She is known for having introduced the worship of Baal and other idols, maintaining four hundred priests of Astarte at her own expense while the “real” King, Ahab, maintained 450 priests of Baal (1 Kings 18:19). She resolved to exterminate all the prophets of God.

Is there someone in your church who has the “spirit of Jezebel?” Perhaps they are seemingly suggesting things that might improve the operation, but are bypassing the authorities that God has put into place.

We must be on guard against this in our fellowships today. Jesus told us that

…many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24:11 - 12 (NLT)

However, do not despair. You do not have to be doomed to their same fate. Just as He promised to the church in Thyatira,

the one who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:13 (NLT)

Jesus’ actual words to the church there were these:

To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end, To them I will give authority over all the nations. 27 They will rule the nations with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots. 28They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star! Revelation 2:26 - 28 (NLT)

The key words are “obey me.” Remember Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me you will obey my commandments.” There are no short cuts. There are no substitutes. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Men have modified the Word of God to meet their needs, or should I say lusts, throughout history. If someone wants to justify a certain life style, he or she might simply say it is “covered by God’s grace.” Paul answered that in Romans…

Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Romans 6:1 - 2 (NLT)

This practice continued and we read of it in the letter to the church at Pergamum within the book of Revelation…

‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14‘But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. 15‘So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16‘Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. Revelation 2:13 - 16 (NASB)

Balaam was a money hungry false prophet who had a close encounter with the God of Israel, but not close enough. He offered meat to idols and engaged in immorality. The Nicolaitans have been linked to the type of heresy taught by Balaam (Num. 25:1-2; 2 Pet. 2:15 “loved the wages of unrighteousness”), especially the pagan feasts and orgies that they apparently propagated in the first-century church. They were seemingly a class of professing Christians, who sought to introduce into the church a false freedom or licentiousness, thus abusing Paul’s doctrine of grace. (Holman and Parson’s Bible Dictionaries)

What can we learn from this? We cannot modify the Word of God to justify actions that are contrary to His Word. Jesus said if you love me, obey my commandments (John 14:15). If we then are to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind, we obviously shouldn’t do something contrary to His desire for our lives. If we are to love others properly, how could we commit acts with them that God says are wrong thereby causing them to show disdain for God’s desires in their own lives.


Monday, August 13, 2007


When I was a teenager, those I saw living contrary to what the preacher said formed my perception of “church”. If the preacher spoke against “smoking”, inevitably, we would walk outside and somebody would light up a cigarette. As I got older I realized that was rather silly, but also that there are some “in the church” who say they are Christians and are not (as far as I can tell).

‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10‘Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Revelation 2:9 - 10 (NASB)

This passage indicates that there will be times we will “suffer” at the hands of those who are “not.” Our task is not to prove them wrong or to lash out at them but to “Be faithful (to Christ) until death.”


Sunday, August 12, 2007


Sometimes we get so caught up in doing the right thing that we forget WHY we are doing it. As I write this morning, others are listening to David Jeremiah on the television talking about jealousy. He stated something like, ‘If we are jealous of others and their relationship with God and what He is doing in and through them, we have taken our eyes of what He wants to do in and through us.”

It reminds me of denominations that promote their denomination so much that they have forgotten to promote the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ.

‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. 4‘But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Revelation 2:2 - 4 (NASB)

There was a line in the movie “City Slickers 2” by the gruff old cowhand to the yuppie business professional on the cattle drive that I still remember, “Keep the One thing, the One thing.” To me that says, “Keep God in first place in your life.” He is the 'One thing' that is important and we need to keep Him in the first position of all of our thoughts.

Return to you first love, Jesus Christ, for He alone is worthy of our praise.