The Social Media Gospel

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

With the click of a button, we can reach hundreds or even thousands of people.Social media has created a way to instantly share our thoughts. People share their favorite recipes or a newly discovered restaurant. Others may tell of their vacation. They use it to announce the birth of a new grand baby or an upcoming wedding. There is nothing wrong with any of those things but we have the opportunity to use it for more.

When a friend shares their struggles, we can pray and send a message of encouragement. Social media can also bring opportunities to serve as we hear of friends going through sickness or difficulties. By asking the Holy Spirit to guide us, we can become active witnesses instead of just passive observers. Social media does not have to be a hole of wasted hours.We can intentional in our use of social media and allow the Holy Spirit to work through our posts and comments.

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How much does it costs?

When looking for a new car, we will ask, “How much does this car cost?  When a pastor presents a new ministry he would like to implement, the question that often be asked is, “But what will it cost us?”

A man came to Jesus and asked basically the same question, ““Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Translated: What is the least I can do and still go to Heaven? Make no mistake it will cost you to be a radical follower of Jesus Christ.

In Luke 14:33 when Jesus says “In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” It’s about what we must be prepared do to follow Jesus. It’s about giving up everything, even our very lives for Him. He doesn’t say, “by doing this you will get into heaven”. Jesus clearly teaches that through faith in Him we have eternal life. John 3:16 Through His death on the cross, we have the forgiveness of sins Ephesians 1:7 As His followers, are we willing to place Him in first position and place the most important people in our lives in second place?

Jesus is not something we add on to our lives; He is our life. “for in Him we live and move and exist…’ Acts 17:28 He doesn’t want weekend visitation rights. He wants full custody.

Franklin Graham’s Message to President Obama

Franklin Graham has some bold words about respecting police lives.

The bold evangelist son of Billy Graham took to Facebook this morning after two police officers were shot in Ferguson riots this week.

“Listen up—blacks, whites, Latinos, and everybody else. Most police shootings can be avoided,” Franklin Graham posted. “It comes down to respect for authority and obedience. If a police officer tells you to stop, you stop. If a police officer tells you to put your hands in the air, you put your hands in the air. If a police officer tells you to lay down face first with your hands behind your back, you lay down face first with your hands behind your back. It’s as simple as that. Even if you think the police officer is wrong—YOU OBEY.”

“Parents, teach your children to respect and obey those in authority. Mr. President, this is a message our nation needs to hear, and they need to hear it from you,” he wrote. “Some of the unnecessary shootings we have seen recently might have been avoided. The Bible says to submit to your leaders and those in authority ‘because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account.”

You would think people would agree with Rev. Graham’s point of view. While I expected the liberal media to attack his message,  I never expected church leaders to take him to task. They say he has sinned against and hurt the Body of Christ. Interpreted that means he does not agree with mainline, progressive leaders. But the Word of God supports his comments.

  • Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established...Romans 13:1-7
  • Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 1 Peter 2:13-15

Thank you Rev. Graham for boldly standing for the Word of God.

The Great Escape

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In Acts chapter nine we read a narrative that sounds like a scene from Mission Impossible or a Jason Bourne movie. The newly converted Apostle Paul (aka Saul) was in danger of being assassinated. Fortunately Paul had some friends that believed in him and they devised a plan for his escape.

The Bible often tells of people that we might call “heroes” of the faith. But there are many we often overlook but their deeds were no less important. Such men are found in Acts 9But his [Paul] followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall. (vs 25). The Bible does not mention their names. They were not mentioned in the religion section of the Damascus Daily. But God knows who they and that is all that matters.

You may be serving in an area that does not have much visibility. You may not think your work does not matter much but you are wrong. God sees every good deed you do and He will reward you. Mark 9:41 President Harry S Truman said, It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”  

While holding the rope, they had no idea who was in that basket. They did not realize that this man they were helping would evidently write the majority of the New Testament books. They did not know that Paul was a key figure in reaching multitudes with the Gospel.

Application: You might be “holding-the-rope” for someone in your Bible class. You might be the only one that is encouraging and strengthening that new convert. You might be the only one praying for that fellow worker or student.

It is crucial that you continue to hold the rope!

The Squeaky Wheel

Image result for squeaky wheel gets the greaseAfter sixty-eight years on this earth you learn somethings about people and the church. One of those things I have observed is that the person (or group) who are the most vocal or  most zealous gets our attention.

The old saying that “the squeaky wheel gets the most grease” is an quaint American idiom used to convey the idea that the most noticeable (or loudest) problems (or people) are the ones most likely to get attention. Wikipedia This applies to people in the church.

Being a pastor or church leader can be very frustrating at times. A pastor wants to see his congregation become mature disciples of Jesus Christ but not everyone in the church is willing to make that kind of commitment and sometimes they can be very resistant. Often this becomes the pastor’s focus (squeaky wheel?) trying to change people who do not want to change. One church leader said that there are approximately 10-12% of people who will never change in every congregation.

I have tried to help young pastors not to focus on this small faction. Love them? Yes. Pray for them? Certainly. Minister to them? Yes, where they allow you. But concentrate your energy and focus on those who desire to grow in Christ. Ephesians 4:15  2 Peter 3:18

What’s Missing In Parenting?

In my last post, Read the Manual, we saw that when you violate a Biblical principle there are consequences. Principles are eternal truths that never change with the passing of time or changes in culture. The Bible is our manual for living and it addresses every issue of life: dating, finances, relationships, sex,  justice, helping the needy, etc. God gave use the Word not to control us but to save us from the consequences of making mistakes.

I am very concerned about the condition of families in America. There is no single solution to restoring the family but it is my belief that one of the major problems facing families today is lack of discipline. I am not calling for abuse or dictatorial rule but genuine biblical.  Discipline is not about punishment but rather correcting behavior. There is no love without discipline.”Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.” Proverbs 13:2 

Lack of discipline leads to rebellion. Proverbs 29:15 To discipline a child produces wisdom,   but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.

King David refused to discipline his son, Absalom. Results? David lost his Kingdom. Absalom was killed in battle. David was a great king and soldier but he was a lousy father.

Parenting is difficult, no question, and discipline is not pleasant – “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” but it is necessary.

Read The Manual

Whenever you buy a new product, you receive an owners manual. This manual tells how to safely operate the product. If the productmanual requires assembly, the manual will give you set-by-step instructions how to assemble. Unfortunately, some people think they can ignore the manual and assemble and operate the product without any consequences.

When God created humanity he gave us a manual on how to live ‘safely.’ The Manual consists of two parts: The Holy Spirit which guides us. John 16:13 and God’s Word Psalms 119:105.  When we ignore either, we will have problems.

Sometimes people will ask my advise on a decision and I will tell them what the Bible has to say on the subject. People sometimes tell me they don’t want to hear what the Bible says. It is shocking the number of Christ-followers that refuse to consider living by Biblical principles. Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live. 2 Timothy 3:16.

When you violate a principle of nature, such as gravity, there will be consequences.  And when you violate a Biblical principal, intentionally or unintentionally,  there will be consequences. It is my belief that most of our problems in life result from a violation of a Biblical principle.

Let’s be people of the Word!