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A Real Yule Log to Deal With

In Matt. 7:3-5 Christ expresses these sentiments:

“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?“Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7.3–5 NAS95

I don't know about you, but I've noticed that people who are most interested in "specks" (you know the legal types and critics to which I refer) are often those who have the most undone business in their own spiritual lives. After all, a person who has dealt with the "log" size and weight of his own sin is a whole lot less likely to be critical and condemnatory to the little specks in others lives. In fact, a person who is really dealing with logs in his own life and sin nature rarely has time, or interest, to deal with the little specks in others spiritual walks. Indeed, one who has dealt with his own "logs" will have great compassion in helping others with their little "specks," for he knows the greatness of his own sin. 

Can i make this conclusion from this passage? A negative, critical, accusative spirit is the hallmark of a church member who has not dealt with the great "log" issues in his own life. Rather than deal with the "logs" by the Word of God and Spirit of Christ and find real spiritual health, they choose to accuse and condemn in an effort to feel better about themselves.

Hang in there struggling brother and sisters. Don't let those brothers and sisters who are born in the "accusative case" get you down. Remember, "when the turkeys agree, it's usually a foul idea." Ha, Ha. 

Merry Christmas - Christ's Joy to You - Pastor M.

P. S. According to this above passage, you have every right and warrant to ask any counselor if he/she has any large besetting sin in their own lives that they have yet to have victory over. Obviously, if they have not taken the "logs" out of their own eyes they "cannot see clearly" to help you with your problems. We need to hold "counselors" accountable in the area of personal sanctification, growth and victory. You can't pass what you don't possess.

2:49 pm est          Comments

Sittin' Around a Cup of Coffee

Met with the men this morning at McD's (what a great Bible Study place! - Thank you, God). We were working through Zechariah, chapt. 11. What a great portion of Scripture to be considering right before Christmas. In that portion of God's Word we read not only of God's judgement for the rejection of Messiah, but we also read of the literal abandonment of Messiah for the betrayal price of 30 shekels of silver (The price for a gored, "pierced" slave, Ex. 21:32). We all marvelled, and exclaimed, that only the living God could write such detailed history in advance. And that is just what Divine, biblical prophecy is - God's History in advance. For He, and He alone, is outside of time, space and history. He is truly omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent!!!

We also noted how God juxtaposed the coming of Christ and His rejection for our sins right up against the coming of the anti-Christ. Though separated by thousands of years, yet butting the prophecies together lets us conclude that there is a direct relationship between the two. In other words, reject the good shepherd and you will receive the evil, wicked, foolish shepherd, the grand socialist. He's coming, and, be he god or devil, the world will receive and love him (rejecting the true Christ (John 5:43), they get the man of sin (2 Thess. 2)).

A passage about Christ's rejection for our sins, in my mind, a great Christmas passage. For He was born in a casket, to die for ous sins, and, remembering His body and blood, yea, receiving His body and blood, we have the real meaning of the incarnation of God (God with us - Isa. 7:14) in this sorry world.

If you get a chance, read Zech. 11, and rejoice in the light God has given you in the marvelous deeds He has done in sending the Son to take away our sins.

A "real" Christmas to you, and, go gossip the Gospel!!! 

4:51 pm est          Comments

It's a Good Thing He Didn't

Was lately ruminatin' (is that a word?) concerning the death of our beloved martyr, Stephen in Acts 7. It really is a profound scene, and  profound message from Stephen all at the same time. Here you have Stephen, under the powerful guidance of the Holy Spirit, demonstrating Christ and His rejection from the pages of the Pentateuch. The message is so powerful, so biting, so clear that they can do no less than rush headlong at him to kill this message off the earth (though, they might have tried repentance!). If you know the story, the final straw for Stephen was his claim to see the Christ, the Son of Man (Dan. 7), standing at God's right hand. That was just too much for professional religionists, and, midst Stephen's cry for mercy on these persecutors, they stone him to death at the Eastern Gate.

Here's the rub: There was the Christ, the Messiah, standing to greet Stephen, as if in a position of honor and sustainment. With just a Word from the heavenlies he could have snuffed these tormenters, but He did no more than to receive Stephen to His bosom (don't get me wrong, if you're Stephen, that's a lot). It was in God's will for Stephen to die at that time. And, let there be no doubt about it, what a loss Stephen was to the early church at that time. 

But, as usual, God is about the meta-narrative, the big picture. There, standing in the crowd, holding the robes, was one named Saul, soon to become our Paul. Had God snuffed that tormenting crowd, Paul also would have been a casualty. Who of us would have desired that? Imagine the 13 or so books of the New Testament that were embodied in that soon-to-be apostle. Imagine the gracious account of our deacon Stephen's death not happening. Imagine the early church not being strengthened by the apostle Paul, so changed by this and other events in his life.

Aahh, I'da snuffed 'em. But God had a better idea. 

He always does. 

Q. Does not the Judge of the all the Earth always do right! (Gen. 18:25).

A. Yes!

11:31 am est          Comments

Bethlehem, An Earnest of Greater to Come (Or, He ain't done yet!)

I know you all know the prophecy of Bethlehem, how in Mic. 5:2 God predicted, spot-on, where His Divine Son would be born. Everyone knew it - it was no secret (Matt. 2!!!). But have you read on, beyond Mic. 5:2, to the prophecy of eschatalogical things to come? You see, Mic. 5:2 is an earnest, a down payment, so to speak, of even greater things to come. And the good news is that God will do it all (Isa. 9:6ff.).

We've got way too many evangelicals building a "kingdom now" and not simply preaching the Gospel of the Cross and Redemption of Jesus Christ. Hey, soup kitchens, spiritual communes and building earthly kingdoms is easy. Try preaching the offensive Gospel. That'll get your world rockin' - You may even get hated (John 15).

Can you handle it?

B'ezrat HaShem (with the help fo the name) - Pastor M. - Psa. 35:10 (cause I've been there!)

 

11:08 am est          Comments


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“ALL THINGS FOR GOOD"

We know

 

that all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 

(Romans 8:28)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“All the afflictions, and all the temptations, and all the oppressions, and all the oppositions, and all the persecutions which befall a godly man, shall work for his good. Every cross, and every loss, and every disease which befall the holy man, shall work for his good. Every device, every snare, every deceit, every stratagem, and every enterprise of Satan against the holy man, shall work for his good. Every prosperity and every adversity; every storm and every calm; every bitter and every sweet; every cross and every comfort—shall work for the holy man’s good. 

When God gives a mercy—that shall work for his good. When God takes away a mercy—that shall work for his good.

O Christian! What though friends and relations frown upon you, what though enemies are plotting and conspiring against you, what though needs, like armed men, are breaking in upon you, what though men rage, and devils roar against you, what though sickness is devastating your family, what though death stands every day at your elbow—yet there is no reason for you to fear nor faint, because all these things shall work for your good!”

—Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, Holiness, the Only Way to Happiness