It’s Your Choice, I Won’t Force You!
God never resorts to brute force to get us to do anything. He is love. Love doesn’t force another’s will or it isn’t really love. If you want the best description in the Bible on what God’s love looks like, read 1 Corinthians 13. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. God isn’t like us. He doesn’t think like us or act like we would. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9.
If God intervened every time someone hurt another person, would you and I have freedom of choice? Would be free? No, we wouldn’t. We have already seen in previous articles that we human beings have a sinful human nature that makes us naturally evil. We are born in rebellion to God and his government. If we trust the bible, we know that God is all powerful and all knowing. There is nothing that is impossible for God and there is nothing that he can learn since he already knows everything there is to know about anything. Now let me ask you this, if you were God and you were faced with beings you created who are in direct rebellion to everything you stand for, what would you do? Would you put up with this? Would you intervene? If so, how? Read More
One of the most common misunderstandings people have about God is on the question of suffering. If God is such a loving God, why is there so much suffering in the world? Why do innocent people suffer? Why does it often seem like the evil people in the world seem to get blessed while the good people get cursed? If God is so powerful and so great, how can he sit by and allow all of this suffering to continue? Why doesn’t he do something about it?
All of these questions are good questions. They are logical questions. There is only one problem with them though. They come from the limited perspective of the human being and not from God’s perspective of love AND justice. Answering the question of suffering is more complicated than it might at first seem. We’ll take a crack at it but if I don’t answer your questions fully, please consider leaving a comment below and we can explore it in more detail. Read More
Are you aware of all of the blessings in your life right now? As I think about my life I have much to be thankful for. God has given me a loving wife that I find attractive in so many ways. He has given me three children who bring me joy every day and who are in good health. He has given me a nice home out in the country surrounded by beautiful views. I am in good health and I have the wonderful privilege of working full time for God. How about you? What are you thankful for?
Who is getting the credit for the good in your life?
Now ask yourself this. Who is getting the credit for the good things in your life right now? You or God or someone else? “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” – James 1:17. God should be getting all the credit. If it wasn’t for Him, we wouldn’t even exist. We wouldn’t continue to live. There are many bible texts that tell us that God is responsible for everything we have in our life. Read More
Yesterday I had a couple of great conversations with two different godly men about the role of men as fathers and husbands. As I thought about it, I realized I haven’t written about this very important topic. We are facing a crisis of enormous proportions. The family has been under attack by Satan for at least a century. One of the greatest attacks has been on the men and their roles and responsibilities. Unfortunately, when men are left to themselves and not properly mentored or challenged, they have a huge tendency towards being passive. We too often abdicate our role as the leader of our families. We also don’t stand up and fight as protectors of our wives and children. We fail to realize that as our spirituality as men go, so goes the spirituality of our family. As men have pulled out of their responsibilities and simply passively forced their wives to fill the gap their families have suffered, society has suffered and so have the churches.
Where’s the Challenge and Danger?
By and large, church has been feminized. The feminine graces of love, grace, kindness, gentleness are emphasized but the manly characteristics like courage, faith, challenge, persecution and war are de-emphasized. Christianity isn’t for wimps. Real men are needed who will stand up and be counted. Churches need to find their voice in society. Challenging men to stand up and fight for God is part of the solution.
Next chance you get, take time to pay attention to how boys and girls play. Most boys play with swords and play fight, go exploring, build forts, dig holes, have races, go to play war and things like that. What are girls doing? They are usually playing house, playing marriage, playing relationships and things like that. When girls play with boys they will often play some of the games the boys play but they will also influence the boys to play the games that interest them. Read More
Everyone sooner or later comes face to face with their own mortality. Whether this comes through the death of a close friend or relative or through a personal health crisis, sooner or later almost all of us will have to face the question, What happens when we die? Is this it? Is my life a random event in a random world in a vast expanse of time? Have I left a mark on this world? Does any of it matter? Does God exist? Will I see my loved ones after I die? These and many other questions inevitably start banging around in our head. Let’s take a few moments to consider what the Bible has to say about death. It may just surprise you since most people don’t even realize that many beliefs held dear by many are in fact not based on the bible but other, non-biblical sources. Read More
If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time you have experienced the highs and lows that come with walking with the Lord. Most of us start on a high when we first accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour. Our lives have changed for the better. We have found a purpose in life. The emptiness in our hearts has been filled by the presence of the Holy Spirit. We have a burning desire to share what God has done for us to every person we can. We are on fire!
Don’t Worry… It won’t last!
It doesn’t take long for new Christians to bump into more seasoned Christians who will then warn them with something like, “Don’t worry, it won’t last.” Or, “You’ll see, your passion will cool down after a while and you’ll be like the rest of us.” This often discourages the newbie Christians but at this stage it is hard for the new Christian to believe that they will ever be anything but head over heels for Jesus. Then it happens. BAM! Sometimes suddenly, oftentimes subtly, they find themselves not so excited or they find that they don’t sense the presence of God like they used to. Read More
For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” – Romans 2:24
The Bible isn’t short on naming sins. You can find lists of sins in more than one place like in Romans 1:29-31 and Galatians 5:19-21. These and other lists reads like it could have come from any modern newspaper describing the happenings of any typical news cycle.
“They are full of every kind of sin, evil and ungodliness. They want more than they need. They commit murder. They want what belongs to other people. They fight and cheat. They hate others. They say mean things about other people. They tell lies about them. They hate God. They are rude and proud. They brag. They think of new ways to do evil. They don’t obey their parents. They are foolish. They can’t be trusted. They are not loving and kind.” – Romans 1:29-31 NIRV