Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Children of God are Evident

By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
1 John 3:10 ESV

One Command, Two Commands

In many Christian circles the relationship between faith and works seems to be an interesting topic to fight over. Some say we are saved by faith and if you add anything after that sentence you are on your way to the bad place. Others say, “Faith, schmaith. What you believe doesn’t really matter, what matters is that you are doing something for the kingdom. The first readers of John’s letter were living in a situation where this topic was of first importance. But there is a third way to view these things.

And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. (1 John 3:23)

Rejected With A Flair

Gracious Lord, we have indeed sinned in many and grievous ways. Left to ourselves we would be but dust on the ground. But you are a God who delights to forgive your people and so we come to you now asking that you would forgive us our sins. We know that if we were to come clothed in our own righteousness we would be rejected with a flair, but we come instead in the name of Jesus our redeemer, our holy one. We come to you in Jesus name and ask that you would please forgive us for our wandering, our drifting, and for our outright rebellion. Amen.

Strolling Over A Cliff

The Bible tells us that Jesus is Lord over all. This does not mean there aren’t other authorities in our lives, but it does mean that they are not absolute and they are not going to be able to do anything for us eternally. They can, however, affect us eternally because everything we face can be a test, or temptation to either draw nearer to our Lord, or to fall away from him. If we are told to follow someone who is asking us to sin, we are forced to choose between two authorities. Will we follow Jesus and obey God? Or will we obey the lesser authority and disobey God?

Sometimes this antithesis is obvious. For example, if your boss were to tell you to cheat one of your customers, this is clearly a violation of the law of God. Or suppose you saw one of your friends wearing a really great pair of new shoes and you want a pair just like them. So you covet your friend’s shoes, or the money he has that allows him to buy great shoes, and thus you sin against the law of God.

From Everlasting To Everlasting

Oh God, you are our God, the God of our salvation. Please hear our prayers and our praise this morning as we come to you in the Name of Jesus our conqueror. Please gather and deliver us from among the nations. Our own nation has gone adrift and is rapidly succumbing to the false idols of power and empire that other nations before us have followed. They resemble their idols and we are well on our way to doing the same. Please deliver our nation and give us repentance, reformation, and revival that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.

You are blessed O  LORD, you are the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! And so we worship you now in Spirit and in truth. One God, father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Knowing and Obeying Are the Same Thing

Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 Jn 2:4-6 ESV)

The Issue of Imigration

This came from my Uncle Irvin Pentoney. I don't know whether it is one of those internet myths or not, but it made a lot of sense to me either way and so I thought I'd put it on my blog. I know I don't usually put political things on my blog. This is because politics is not our savior, Jesus is. And since that is true, I've been specifically interested in talking about the savior. Every once in a while, however, something comes along that needs to be posted in as many places as possible and this is one of them. So here you go.

Dear Editor:

So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren't being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.

 Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.