Should we make a mess so allowance can abound?

Closet Nightmare!My wife and I are just starting an “allowance” for our kids, more like a chore incentive program. They do their chores, they earn a little spending money. My 5 year old son was looking for his remote control ‘Mater and said it was at the bottom of his closet, which is a nightmare! I told him not to make a huge mess, his reply: “Its ok, if I make a mess I can clean it up and get some money!” I told him that’s not how it works, you can’t create the mess on purpose just to clean it up and get some money.

Paul said something very similar to the Christians in Rome:

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By no means!

Romans 6:1-2a

 We have a gift of grace from God, but if we sin intentionally knowing that we can ask for forgiveness and He will forgive, we are wrong! That’s not how it works! Just like my son with his intentional mess, we also can’t make an intentional spiritual mess and expect to be forgiven! Of course we will all sin and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23), but if we do our best to walk the Christian walk, and to be Christlike, then God will forgive our sins (1 John 1:5-9).

 

I pray that y’all have a great day!

 

Obligatory Resolution Post

2014 has ended and 2015 has begun: time for new year resolutions! I usually make the same cliché resolutions. You know: eat better, exercise more, blah blah, etc. And like a lot of people I generally make my resolutions known, except for spiritual ones. Why? Is it out of shame? Fear of being made fun of or scoffed at? Or is it because of our society telling me that religion is offensive and to keep it to yourself? I don’t know, but not this year! Here are my spiritual resolutions:

1) Be a better spiritual leader to my family.
2) Read my Bible everyday.
3) Be a more patient father.
4) Pray. Pray by myself, pray with my wife, pray with my kids.
5) Grow closer to God.

Have a great year!

 

 

 

One more, update the pictures in my blog header!

Lego Lessons

-Randy MedlinThis quote is from a lesson by Randy Medlin from the University Church of Christ in Montgomery, AL. In the lesson, Randy likens Christians to legos. They tightly interlock together to make something much bigger and stronger than as individuals, and every single one of them is important.

1 Corinthians 12:12-27

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves[a] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,[b] yet one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Who are “They”?

Misters Merriam and Webster categorize “they” as a pronoun. A pronoun can refer to a specific person, or it can refer to many people.

But who are “they”? Let me introduce to you, “they”.

They are the innocent people in Iraq who are being murdered for their beliefs and their ethnicity.

They are radical Muslims who are murdering innocents throughout the world.

They are Christians, who unlike Christ, are full of hatred.

They are South Americans who are illegally entering the United States of America.

They are the people who make decisions based upon facts that you or I do not have access to.

They are politicians, both decent and corrupt, who make our laws.

They are families grieving the too early deaths of their children.

They are communities who are scared and confused.

They are law enforcement professionals who are trying their best to protect our society.

They are military members fighting to preserve our way of life.

They are guilty.

They are innocent.

They are you

They are me.

We all need the same things: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Today I pray for “them”. From the radical militant Muslims to the American suburbanites. From the homeless veteran heroes to the DC politicians. I will pray for them all because as a Christian, I should love them all, and we all need Jesus (Matthew 5:43-48, Matthew 22:39, Romans 3:23).

In the immortal words of Tiny Tim: God bless us, every one!

God can see in the dark!

All throughout the Bible, people have tried to hide their sins from God.  From the very beginning of creation, Adam and Eve tried to hide that they had eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:8).  Then we see their son, Cain, killing his brother and sidestepping God’s questions (Genesis 4:9).  David, the man after God’s own heart, tried to cover his sin by having the husband of the woman he committed adultery with killed (2 Samuel 11:14-17)!  God saw through all of these people and their lies, and they all received different punishments. From hard work and painful childbirth, to wandering the earth, to the death of an innocent.

As if these weren’t bad enough, there are two dynamic duos in the Bible that lost their lives as a result of their attempted deceits.  First up, Nadab and Abihu.  They were sons of Aaron, the brother of Moses and High Priest.  They offered an offering of fire that God did not approve.  They were then stuck dead with fire for it (Leviticus 10:2).

Next up, Ananias and Sapphira.  They were members of the early Church.  They sold a field they owned and gave part of their profits to the Church.  This would have been a great thing, if only they hadn’t lied about it!  They told the apostles that they gave 100% of the profit to the Lord, but they held back a portion for themselves.  When questioned by Peter, Ananias was struck dead on the spot.  When Sapphira told the same lie, she too was struck dead (Acts 5:1-11).

This message isn’t very uplifting or comforting, but this message is very important: God can see in the dark!  Hiding our sins from the world, from our loved ones, from our brothers and sisters in Christ, from those who look up to us as an example does not work on God!  He knows what’s in our hearts (Psalm 44:20-21, Luke 16:15, Acts 15:8)!

While God does indeed see everything we do in the dark, John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Now that is comforting!

The F-Stop Blues

If you look closely at the lens of a Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera, you’ll see a ring near the base of lens that controls the F-Stop. The F-Stop represents the size of the aperture, or opening, in the lens.  The lower the number, the more light is allowed to enter the camera to create a bright and vivid image.  The higher the F-Stop, the slower the shutter needs to be to get enough light for a full exposure.  If the shutter is too slow the image will be blurry.

Our hearts can act like an F-Stop to God’s light.  If you open it wide, you will be bathed in God’s goodness and can absorb more love and knowledge and grow as a Christian.  But if you close your heart, you open yourself to blurry images of God, leaving yourself vulnerable to underexposure, leading to Satan’s darkness.

James 4:8 – “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”

1 John 1:5 – “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”