I am having a hard time finding some way to get persecuted at least the kind talked about in this beatitude. It says “Blessed are the persecuted for righteousness sake” which means being like Jesus and I am a long way from that. But, It seems to me that right now most of the persecution, criticism, rejection, and name calling aimed at Christians comes from other Christians. Liberal Christians think conservative Christians have sold their souls for political power, while conservative Christians think the liberals are being used by some enemy to destroy America. That is not persecution, that is just blind stupidity.Read More
Dear Father, Dear Son, and Dear Holy Spirit. This need is so vital and the task so great we will need all three. We must have the wisdom of the Father, the love of the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit on this one. We are pleading for some peacemakers. Our divisions are tearing us apart and frankly I have wracked my brain for weeks trying to find some peacemakers who are trying to help us heal and I can’t find any.Read More
This might have been a very nice way of saying, “Keep it simple stupid.” How could anyone get that out of “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God?” Believe me I did not intend to come up with that concept. I was primed and ready to talk about pure intentions, no ulterior motives and utilize my rarely used devotional side. The old preacher that still lurks inside of me in spite of major efforts to kill him off wanted to talk about hard hearts, selfish hearts, and black hearts full of sin, but I got the old concordance down. The huge blue one…Read More
Grace is loving someone when there is no reason to do so.
Mercy is loving someone when there are reasons not to do so.
I am thankful for the grace God has shown toward me.
I am even more grateful for the mercy I have received.
Jesus was a person of both grace and mercy and paid a price for both. One of the major sources for the criticism he faced and the hatred that ultimately led to His death was the people He loved and befriended. The late John Claypool, one of the most brilliant ministers I have known…Read More
Years ago I stayed awake driving at night by listening to a preacher who was on a nationwide radio broadcast almost every night. He would come on singing a song about there being only one way to God and then say, “If you ain’t got it like I got it, you ain’t got it.” I would laugh, never stopping to think that I could sing the same song and say the same statement, because that is how I saw salvation at that time. I was raised with a set plan of salvation that included well-defined steps one must take to establish a relationship with God.Read More
Someone wrote “if the meek are going to inherit the earth they must get much more aggressive. Usually, when we are studying this beatitude, we spend most of our time trying to define what Jesus meant by the word meek. Most of our definitions try to figure out how to be meek without being meek. The Greek word means humble but even that does not clear up the whole issue because the meaning of words changes over time. When Sir Christopher Wren dedicated a Cathedral many years ago he was told his work was Awful and Artificial and he took that as a complement.Read More
I was pitching at a church camp slow pitch softball game. A bed of red ants had chosen the pitching mound as the ideal place to build their nest, so I had to pitch and stomp dance ants at the same time. I wished I could have communicated with the ants that I really meant them no harm but just did not want them to harm me. It hit me that the only way I could do that was to become an ant myself.Read More
They named it “The Sermon on The Mount” neither title is accurate. It was more of a mound or large hill than a mountain and it certainly was more than just another sermon to be listened to and rehashed over dinner. This was God in human flesh here to reestablish a relationship between Himself and man and to reveal the secrets to real living. He said, “I am come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” Evidently that abundant life is not something bestowed on us automatically. It comes when we follow certain principles and attain certain attitudes in our lives.Read More
Recently I have had conversations with two very intelligent millennials who claimed to be atheist. In both instances, we were engaged in an extended conversation that was not about religion at all. In both cases I was asked why I believed there was a God. They seemed to accept me as a fairly intelligent person and could not understand how I could believe in God and all of the things that seemed to go along with that belief like seven-day creation and a literal flood.Read More
His schedule was extremely tight. He only had three years to transform the world. His task was to reveal the true nature and love of God to a world that had rejected and missed every attempt at that task since man first walked on the earth. Big task. Impossible task. And only three years?Read More