If someone asked you where they could go to avoid being influenced by a false preacher or teacher, what would you tell them? Would you tell them your church or youth group or small Bible study group is safe from false preachers or teachers? Would you tell them your denomination is a safe place? How about Christian concerts where you get to enjoy your favorite singers and bands? How about Christian conferences where you get to see your favorite speakers and authors?If you think you can point to any place where Christians gather as being a safe-zone from false preachers and teachers, what I’m about to write may surprise you.
Hebrews 10:22, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. When Jesus reached the lands of Tyre and Sidon, He was approached by a Canaanite woman.In Matthew 15 we […]
Today we will be looking at another parable on God’s love. This is a popular parable which can be found in Luke 15:11-32. It is also referred to as the parable of the prodigal son. Here is a quick summary of the parable. A man had two sons. One day, the younger son asked for his portion of his father’s inheritance to be given to him. His father did and the boy traveled to a far country where he squandered the money. Just like everything else, whatever is spent and not replaced, runs out. Left with no other option, he picked up a job to look after swine so he could eat off their food (yuck!). Soon he realized that he had hit rock bottom. He came back to his senses and decided to go back home; planned to tell his dad to make him his servant because he was no longer worthy to be called his son. His dad saw him down the road, ran to him, and made a huge feast to welcome him home.
I had a peculiar thing happen to me yesterday. I admit that I have gained weight over the last several months while being locked in due to COVID-19, some stress in my life, and other medical issues. Gaining weight isn’t peculiar, especially when the nation is in lockdown, what is peculiar is the lady that told me that I was putting on weight, did not offend me. Most people would have been hurt by the observation true or not, but I wasn’t even hurt. I didn’t even realize that maybe I should have been until later.
I don’t know how she avoided being offensive, but I wish I could bottle how she did that.
The world is filled with offensive speech, some of that speech we need to hear, What if, for example, I did not already know that I was gaining weight, or I did not know how dangerous being overweight can be. People around me who know the cold truth could avoid offending me, by keeping their mouths shut, but what would that do? It would cause me to die early via some illness that could have been avoided or at least delayed had I been practicing good diet and exercise habits. While there are some things in this world that none of us want to hear, many of those things we need to hear. We need to hear that there are healthier ways to live, we need to hear about the gospel, we need to hear when our behavior is hurting others. We also need to be careful when we tell these things to others. Being rude just hurts people. When we speak about subject that hurts, we while remaining truthful need to soften the blow however possible. When we feel it necessary to judge, we need to do it with as much love as possible, or we may end up hurting people, more than we are helping them.
Repost from 2016
Tuesday, July 14 probably passes without much fanfare in your home, but the date, Bastille Day, marks the beginning of the greatest organized persecution of Christians since the Emperor Diocletian. This day, the beginning of the French Revolution, also planted the seeds for the murderous ideologies of socialism and nationalism that would poison the next two centuries, murdering millions of believers and other innocent civilians. Between them, those two political movements racked up quite a body count: In Death By Government, scholar R. J. Rummel pointed out that
during the first 88 years of this century, almost 170,000,000 men, women and children have been shot, beaten, tortured, knifed, burned, starved, frozen, crushed, or worked to death; or buried alive, drowned, hung, bombed, or killed in any other of the myriad ways governments have inflicted death on unarmed, helpless citizens or foreigners.
But the first such modern genocide in the West…
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