Jonah: Running from God

Why do we think we can run or hide from God? Why would we want to?

Everyone knows the story of Jonah and the big fish. But what is the message God is trying to tell us? What does this teach us about God? This is not just a story to tell your kids. It is God’s truth about people, about sin, about repentance, about righteousness, about mercy. Jesus used the same power described in this account while here on earth. He also referenced this historic event to describe His death and resurrection though which we can have salvation by believing in Him.

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Joel: Warnings and Prophecies

God often starts a prophecy with a warning, but He also offers hope and blessing. God wants His people to do the right thing, to turn to Him, to be blessed. But sometimes, people are stubborn and it takes drastic measures to get their attention. Actions result in consequences. Ever wonder why there is so much chaos and so many troubles in this world? Perhaps we need to turn to God. Perhaps He is trying to get our attention.

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Sin, Righteousness, Justification

In the previous post, we went through Romans 3:23-25 and discussed some of the words (grace and faith) used that are critical to the gospel and to explain their meaning.  Here we will look at some others that are not very common in today’s vocabulary: sin, righteousness and justification. Continue reading “Sin, Righteousness, Justification”

Tolerance vs. Being Judgemental

There is a lot of talk about being tolerant in today’s society.  What does that mean? When Jesus said, “Judge not” what odes that mean?  And what is the context of it?  As Christians, we are to love all people.  Does that mean to accept what they are doing even if we know biblically it is wrong?  How do we talk to that person without being judgemental?  What does it mean when someone says, “love the sinner, hate the sin?”  Why is this offensive to some people?  Where do we draw the line between being self-righteous, judgemental, or “fruit inspectors” and being tolerant and compromising?

I had a person talk to me about churches and she was looking for a good church that isn’t “holier than thou” as she put it.  We both agreed that God is a loving God and we are saved by grace.  She talked about tolerance.  I mentioned that some churches are too tolerant (and compromising) and do not want to teach about sin.  We parted ways when she asked me my stance on gay marriage.  She said churches should be tolerant and welcome all people.  I agreed we are to welcome all people, including homosexuals.  But, we are also to teach the truth and Romans 1 is very clear on this subject.  She told me that I almost convinced her to come to my church until we talked about gay marriage.

So, how do we handle these touchy issues?  Most people will quote Matthew 7:1 to basically tell Christians to mind their own business.  I think many times they are right.  We are also to share God’s word.  I believe we must show God’s truth (we must teach and learn all of scripture, not just the part we are comfortable with), but our attitude must be in a loving manner but without compromising our faith and belief. Continue reading “Tolerance vs. Being Judgemental”

Grace Abuse

Previously we talked about God’s grace and the promise that through God’s grace we are saved by faith not by the things we do.  It is what Christ did for us, taking our sins and paying for them by nailing them to the cross.  So does that mean if we accept God’s grace and trust in Jesus that we could do whatever we want?  I would say yes and no.  Yes, we are free.  But, we are free from sin and if you have truly accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, you are changed.  You are a new creation.  Your old self has died and you now live for Him.  Your desire should be aligned with God.  You no longer want to do the sinful acts of your previous self.  The Holy Spirit will live in you and will guide you.  Now you can live by the Spirit and not by your flesh.  If you do not see these changes, if your desires remain the same, you have to question the sincerity of your acceptance of God’s grace.  You need to be reconciled to Him.  It does not mean that you will never sin or your flesh will never creep in and tempt you.  It will.  There will be a battle.  But remember that you are victorious because of the blood of Christ. Continue reading “Grace Abuse”