Monday, March 14, 2016

Why is the "Church" getting trampled in America?

Jesus made a statement that the American church should consider. "You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless." (Matt. 5:13, NLT). 

While many Christians are in an uproar about the Supreme Court decision that same-sex couples should have the same legal rights of marriage as heterosexual couples, how many are on their knees confessing the sins of the American right? Could it be that the decision of the Supreme Court is a result of the failures of the American church to fill its ordained role of salt and light in every community?
What about you? Have you considered what Christ expects from you as you go about your daily life? Jesus continues His work on Earth through His people. Are you worthless? Or are you the expression of God incarnate in your community?
- originally published on Linkedin

Be A Light

So when I face opposition or discomfort, I want it to be removed. This could be a problem. I have been called to be light in my present environment.

 Image result for Matthew 5:14-16

Jesus made it clear that those who follow Him will experience opposition (even deadly opposition).

Image result for if they persecuted me they will persecute you

A light is brighter in the contrast of darkness. I think the song lyrics "carry your candle, run to the darkness" is a correct mindset. When Peter and John experienced opposition, they met with fellow believers to pray. Rather than asking God to remove the opposition, they asked God for boldness. Obviously the right choice because God made His presence known by shaking the building.

Image result for acts 4:31

I should not expect the devil and his children to be pleasant and happy about my mission or the kingdom of Shalom to which I belong. When opposition increases, the light increases. I need to amp up my efforts. God help me! Phil. 2:13

Image result for philippians 2:13

I receive His blessing when I am a peacemaker. He tells me it will be hard, but I should be excited about experiencing opposition. I am a subject of the Greatest King. That is enough for me.

Image result for Matthew 5:9-12

Friday, October 9, 2015

Those People

So this Jew is having an awesome time in the temple patting himself on the back. I think he was close to dislocating his shoulder. "God, I am so glad I ain't like that dude over there. He is a traitor. He not only works for our oppressors, but he robs us just to pad his bank account. I'm sure you are about to zap him. But I am totally doing the right stuff. I'm about as good as it gets. I know you are going to give me the hook up!"

Jesus told this story to communicate a different point. But I want you to see that you could be this guy just by having the "those people" attitude. I'm not going to list who "those people" are because I would miss the ones that are on your "those people" list. "Those people" are the ones that you feel uncomfortable around, the ones you avoid, the ones that you look on with judgment and distrust, the ones that you make assumptions about and don't understand.

Here's the thing. Jesus calls us to love "those people". It requires something of us. We will have to get close to them. Eat with them. Have them come to our homes. Go to their homes. We must get involved in their world. We must get dirty and hurt. That's how it works to love like Jesus.

If you think you are religious and are in good standing with the "man upstairs", I wonder if you have considered getting close enough to "those people" until they are no longer "those people" but rather people with names and stories that cause you to cry with them. You ain't cool with God until you are cool with "those people".

Sunday, October 27, 2013


I work in a State Correctional environment. Trouble is the word that best describes such an environment. What is funny is that Jesus describes the world this way, "In this life you will have trouble" (John 16:33). The good news is that He continues to tell us to take courage because He has overcome the world.

This sounds great!! But life is too hard. The writer of Hebrews meets this head-on. He shows that the only way to overcome is by faith (Chapter 11). In Chapter 12 he tells us that we have all the heroes of faith and the example of Jesus, who by the way is the source of our faith and the one who makes our faith more mature, to encourage us in the fight. Then, he punches us in the gut with this phrase, "you have not YET resisted to the point of shredding your blood" (12:4). I think it's saying - suck it up, stop whining. Life is going to be hard. We have found ourselves in the battle. The question is, how we are going to respond to the battle?

In this life you will have trouble...TAKE HEART ...He has overcome the world for us!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Psalm 46

“God will help her at break of day.” (Ps. 46:5b). This phrase has significant imagery attached to it. The Psalmist made many references to God’s faithfulness in his writings. This particular phrase most likely refers to a specific event in Israel’s deliverance from Egypt.
Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived. Exodus 14:27-28  

David uses an event that is imbedded in the Israelite psyche. He gives this event as support for his opening “God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble (Ps. 46:1, HCSB)”. Literally translated, “a helper in times of trouble he is found [to be] greatly.”

The break of day is a metaphor for God’s deliverance. Three other times the Bible refers to it (Ps. 30:5, Is. 17:14; 37:36). In Psalm 30, we are assured that God’s discipline is momentary (“weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning”), but that His favor lasts for a lifetime. Isaiah records a mighty deliverance in an impossible situation. “Then the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies!” (37:36).

God is the refuge of all who are in a relationship with Him. When life is overwhelming, when we feel like there is no hope, we must never forget Who He is! He is the God who controls everything by His word. All things are at His Command. “Yahweh of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.Selah” (Ps. 46:11, HCSB)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Goal of Ministry

According to the Westminster Shorter Catechism, the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. I agree. My highest desire and aim should be to pursue God until I am consumed by Him. The difficulty is in the practicality of these statements.

In Luke 9:23-25, Jesus explains that I must crucify myself rather than be dedicated to myself. It is through interaction with people and relationships that I realize my weakness and my poverty (and theirs). It is through these that I am given an opportunity to exercise and grow. It is through these that I learn to crucify the flesh and submit to the work of the Holy Spirit in me. The more submissive I become, the more His fruit will grow in me. In John 15, Jesus tells me that I must abide in Him in order to bear fruit.

God does not need me. I need Him. However, He invites me to join His work. Being active in His work and His Kingdom is the catalyst or the avenue by which He changes me. The highest goal of ministry is to know Him deeper than ever before. The by-product of knowing Him deeper is that He will be glorified and His kingdom will expand.

Friday, May 3, 2013

5 Words For Discipleship

Submission - in (1) my relationship to Christ and (2) my relationships with others. To make Jesus Lord is to submit to a process that goes against my nature. A deep trust in Christ allows me to look after the needs and well-being of others rather than living from a self-centered perspective.

Discipline - While it is Christ who does the work in me, I must discipline myself to engage with Christ and others in ways that build relationship. I must discipline myself to cultivate and maintain a submissive attitude. I must continue in the growth process and be patient with the failures and weaknesses of myself and others.

Relationship - Key to all the other words of Discipleship. The primary relationship that informs the way I "do" all other relationships must be the one that I have with Christ. If I do the reverse, that is, allowing the way I "do" all other relationships to inform the way I relate to Christ, then I will experience spiritual sickness and will continue to experience relational dysfunction with the body of Christ.

Process - I chose this word because of Romans 12:2 where Paul uses the Greek word from which we get the word metamorphosis. Paul also speaks of God's will for believers is that they conform to the image of Christ (Romans 8). I must remember that transformation takes time. I must submit to the process no matter how long it takes. I must be patient with others and accept them as they are no matter where they are in this process.

Identity - Discipleship becomes easier when I embrace my identity as a beloved child of God. The circumstances and people in my life must not be allowed to define my primary identity. Secondary identities come and go. This can create identity crises if they are allowed to be primary identities. I must be first a child of God in every circumstance and every relationship.