The Short Takes

The lines between Religion and Politics have always been blurred.  The more religion is allowed to migrate from individual accountability to social mores, the more obscure the distinction becomes.  America, hear “the Lord [as He] roars” or suffer the same consequences as the stubborn Hebrews.
Priesthood of the Believer and the Church Dynamic (a cautionary note to leaders)

Every time you step into Sunday School Class, meet another believer for lunch, attend a committee meeting or have other interaction with believers you are hanging out among the Priesthood.  Each of you are saved by grace with Christ dwelling in you (Gal 2:20).  You are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:16f).  You are adopted by God and are part of the family of God (Ep 1:5).  You are gifted by God so that you can help to build the Kingdom (1 Cor 12).  You have a personal intercessor in Jesus Christ sitting at the right hand of God.  Your destiny is in Heaven where a place is prepared for you (1 Pt 1:3f).  This Priesthood establishes a basic fundamental dynamic of equality and belonging among Christians.  To be sure, gifts vary, commitment varies, but spiritual growth and insights are available to all.  Therefore, leaders must be careful to listen intently, to beware of prideful superiority, to avoid condescension, and be prepared to learn from the old and the young, from the cantankerous and the sweet, from the educated and the ill-spoken.  All are saints in the Priesthood of Believers.   Reborn into unity with one another, not by earthly invitation, but rather by an Act of God.

Reformation and Revival, The Hope and Fear of Islam

Christianity’s reformation, beginning back in 1517, coincided with a Christian revival characterized by a “going back to the Bible” seeking truth and guidance.  Revival has always been about going back to the Bible from Nehemiah and Josiah to the awakenings of Edwards, Wesley and Havner.  Now in the 21st century a new call for reformation is building, not in Christianity, rather in Islam.  Notably this is reformation without revival.  It is reformation based on rational cultural norms.

This sounds good for world peace and prosperity.  However, what will happen when the inevitable comes?  An Islamic revival.  Maybe in a particular mosque or in the person of a few 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generation Muslims.  Just as in Christianity such a revival will be marked by a turning back to the source, for Islam “back to the Quran” to seek truth and guidance.  However, for Islam this does not mean a turn to peace, hope and charity as it would in Christianity.  Unfortunately under Islamic theology revival is a call back to Jihad, Sharia law and destruction of the infidel. (The whole nine yards is in progress)

100% Human, How Can It Be?

Jesus’ humanity was no act.  He laid aside all his Godly attributes (Php 2:5) in order to live as a man.  He did not routinely read minds, or see the future by His own choice.  Even His works and teaching were not from His own power but were from the Father (Jn 14:10 )  He was able to lead a perfect life, to discern what others were thinking and perform miracles because even in His humanity, He always remained in the Father empowered by the Father.  Joseph and Daniel give us a glimpse of what a man can discern and achieve in the Father.  How much more so Jesus!  He maintained a perfect relationship with the Father through prayer, meditation and obedience.  By reaching His full potential while staying within His humanity Jesus showed each of us our own potential.  His example  is clear.  Live, as Christ did, in the grace of God and the power of the Spirit, with a passion for obedience to God’s will.   For more click The Whole Nine Yards.

Who is that “double-minded” man James is talking about? (Js 1:6)

(The one who “will not receive anything from the Lord (v7).”  (Wow, nobody wants to be him!)

He’s a believer, one of the brethren (v2),  part of the fellowship. God still offers him growth opportunities (v3) but pride is a problem (v9-10). He is unstable having his mind on God but also on his own will (v6-7).  How can you tell who is “leaning on his own understanding”?  Well, YOU may be a double minded man…

  • If your prayers are basically “God, here’s what I need you to do”.
  • If you read between the lines of scripture to add a little of yourself into the text.
  • If you think you are starting to get it all figured out.
  • If you think “God is good, All the time”,  (so long as you like the outcomes).
  • If your impatience causes you to say “let’s just do it, I know the way”.
  • If your heart’s desire is anything more than finding God’s will.
  • If your faith is limited to what you yourself can imagine.
  • If you want to do God’s will and think you already know what it is.
  • If you sometimes act like God belongs to you rather than you belonging to God.

At all of these times you are receiving none of God’s wisdom (v6) but rather leaning “unto thine own understanding.”

Three Pillars and a Pile of Stones

The Bible’s content is determined by our Sovereign God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16-17)  All too often His people nefariously determine that the content is inadequate.   One such area of discontent is about church governance.  Lacking a clear prescriptive instruction on church governance some would read a little of their own thoughts into the scripture in order to assemble a “pile of stones” and tout the result as if it were a Pillar of Scripture.  To read more click The Whole Nine Yards.

  • Love  is  vo li tion al  it  comes  from  the  Lord
  • He  gives  it  to  all  of  us  all  we  will  afford
  • We  can  spread  it  around  to  all  we  see
  • Friends  bothers  Hus bands  wifes  even  en(o)mies
  • Love  is  vo li tion al  it  comes  from  the  Lord

For more click The Whole Nine Yards.