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2018

December 14

“Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?" - Exodus 4

Let me start by saying this....God's ultimate will and intention (from the beginning) was that mankind would never experience sickness or death, but because of the fall, a season of both is necessary. The purpose of this, however, is not to discuss the infinite sovereignty of God.

The purpose of this is to address something that we have control over....our perspective.

You see, we view illness and death as evil, but they are not. Inconvenient, yes. Painful, yes. Evil, no.

God is sovereign over everything. Jesus has absolute authority in Heaven and on earth. And, here in Exodus 4, God unashamedly takes the credit for illness. Undoubtedly, many in the church today would have a hard time connecting this passage to a wellness Gospel. Nonetheless, this is what God said and meant contextually.

So, I say that to say this....

Maybe we need to correct our perspective on sickness and death. I contend that sickness and death are not evil in and of themselves. Sickness awakens me to my need for a healer. Sickness humbles me and shows me how weak and helpless I really am. And death will allow me to experience life (as God intended it) for the very first time. The day of my death will be the greatest day of my life!

The truth is, we need sickness and death. Consider the angels before their fall. They were in a perfect environment with no sickness and no death. And what happened? Pride happened. Lucifer was filled with pride and no longer saw a need of God. He rebelled, was cast out of Heaven and 1/3 of the angels went with him.

I suggest, given the same environment, that mankind would do the same thing. Unfortunately, due to the fact that angels are solely spiritual beings, they only had one chance to choose God. They know nothing of grace or mercy because the debt of their sin was never paid for.

Why?....because angels are spiritual beings and, therefore, don't have bodies containing blood that can die physically. Thankfully, we do have bodies that contain blood, get sick and die, because God, in His great love for us, inhabited a human body, took our place upon the cross and paid our debt of sin. He died in our place!

So, I thank God for my health to serve Him, but I thank Him for sickness and death as well. I can truly be thankful in all things.

December 4

Border protection & immigration.

Many of my friends have very strong views on border protection and immigration laws. Many of these people disagree with me....and this got me thinking. How can so many of my friends have such differing views on this subject? What am I missing here? Is there more that must be considered?

You see, the interesting thing is that many of my friends acquire their stand on immigration (and many other subjects) from the Bible, as do I. Shouldn't we have the same beliefs? Since we don't, who is right and who is wrong? Maybe no one.

Jesus commands us to be "gentle as doves yet shrewd as serpents". It isn't easy to be gentle and shrewd. I can be one or the other, but being both is difficult (and spiritual). Many of us lie on one side or the other and we find ourselves in opposition with each other. But, we're both attempting to obey Jesus. We're both on the same team. Don't forget that.

So, what gives? Well, the issue is motive. And, the issue is motive because that always points to the heart. Jesus always made issues about the heart. He told the religious leaders of His day that they looked good from the outside, but their hearts were wicked. He also said that you could commit murder and adultery in your heart.

So motive is the issue. The same act can be both right and wrong given the motive behind it. For example, you can work diligently to honor God and be generous, which is good and Godly. Or, you can work diligently because you're greedy, which is not good or Godly. You get the point.

You may recall Jesus often asking people why they did the things they did. He asked the crowds why they sought after Him and why they labored for things which perish. Again the issue is motive.

So, what's your motive in your stand on immigration? Is your motive good and Godly. Do you wish to open the borders to help the marginalized? Do you wish to secure our borders to protect the innocent? Or, is your motive evil? Do you support closing our borders because you are racist and full of hate? Check your heart because that's what matters most.

Lastly, if you're a Christian....

Love your brother or sister, even if their views are different than yours. After all, their views may be born from a good heart with Godly motive.

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You..." - John 17:20-21

"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” - John 13:35

January 15

Why did God give us the ability to procreate?

He could have created every human at once in the same way he created Adam, but instead, He gave us the great blessing of having children. I think at the heart of this is God’s ultimate desire…To express and reveal his great love for mankind. You see, children give us perspective for God’s love, so that we can better understand it. I would have a very hard time understanding how much God loves me, but then I had my own children and it became increasingly clear. I love them as much as I know how to love. I love them so much that I would willingly die so that they could live.....And that is just what He has done for us.

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” - John 15:13

January 10

Atheism?

"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence." - Richard Dawkins

Many atheist and critics of Christianity use faith against those who believe and follow Christ, as if we believe in God, the Bible and the claims of Christ simply by blind faith. Well, for the record, that is not the case.

I believe in God because of the evidence.

I believe in the authority and accuracy of the Bible because of the evidence.

I believe the claims of Christ because of the evidence.

I am a skeptical, logical, realist, Christ follower.

It is illogical and willfully ignorant for an educated person not to believe these things. In truth, science is a great defender of theism. Scientist know that life only proceeds from life and that there is no way for life to exist apart from One who can create life. Scientist know that our universe had a beginning and inorganic matter is not capable of "choosing" to exist. Scientist know there had to be an a first uncaused cause by something existing outside of the physical, temporal realm (God). No honest scientist can believe in Darwinian Evolution, because there is absolutely no evidence for it and Darwinian Evolution contradicts proven science, ie. thermodynamics, biogenesis, genetics, etc.

The problem is not a lack of information.

The problem is a heart condition, but it can, thankfully, be remedied by God. You see, He will enforce the heart position you choose to take. Humble yourself and submit your life to Him and He will soften your heart and further reveal Himself to you. Harden your heart and resist Him and He will harden it even more, which is actually an act of grace to lessen your accountability and judgement.

So, I do not believe in God, the Bible and the claims of Christ by faith.

I do, however, follow Him by faith. He doesn't always give me the whole picture. In fact, the Apostle Paul wrote that "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known." You see, walking with God, trusting God....these will always require a degree of faith.

If you want to believe in God, submit and surrender to Him. Then you'll not only believe in Him....you'll know Him. It won't take long and you'll believe in satan too.

January 8

God has a plan for my life?

Every Christian wants to know the plan of God for their life, but often view it as a grand, specific, future event. I have certainly been guilty of this. With this thinking we are easily discouraged and dismayed, not seeing these grand events unfolding in our lives in our expected timing.

The plan of God, however, is not a grand, specific, future event, but an ongoing, perpetual plan that unfolds day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute, often leading to grand, specific, future events.

What is God's plan for your life?

It's right in front of you, right now. Be faithful. Don't despise the "small things", but trust and obey, minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day. Then someday, God will use you in a grand, specific, future event and you'll once again see that He is completely sovereign over all things, yet intimately acquainted with every detail of our lives. I am truly blown away to know that I get to be a part of God's plan to redeem mankind, but I must remember that my part doesn't happen later....it's happening right now.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6

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