Thursday, June 25, 2015

Have you struggled with the swine?

This morning I read the story of Jesus sending the demons into the 2000 swine. (Matthew 8)  I admit that I have not done a long or deep study on the passage, so that may account for my present confusion.

My confusion is this - did Jesus destroy the livelihood of the owners of the swine as a result of doing a righteous thing for the two demon possessed men?  I know that is not the heart of the story, but I do wonder.  What does this event tell us about the working of God?  Does the ownership of the swine not matter to God?

I love these sort of questions because they usually lead to a deeper thinking and understanding of the character of God.  I love Biblical questions that challenge my view of who God is because they normally sharpen the understanding of who God is after meditation.

We should not just skip through thinking about such tough questions.  We should not be afraid of such challenges, or try to "re-form" God into the person we have imagined Him to be - but rather clear our minds  and in faith look at what Christ concerning the pigs and say:  Lord, teach me about your character through this Word of God.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Gospel>Confederate Flag=Remove racial offense

I just want to make a quick comment for the hearts of believers that perhaps grew up in a racially charged environment such as I did.  It is very hard to leave the traditions of racial bigotry behind and move forward in the truths of the Gospel that lavishes love on every tribe, kindred, and nation.

However, we must move on and grow in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that died for Jews and Gentiles alike --- He died for blacks, whites, Indians, Middle Easterners, etc., etc.  Heaven will be filled with people from all earthly ethnic origins.  God is both the Creator of all races as well as the Redeemer of all races.

Racial thoughts of superiority, "Cain's curse", "tower of Babel curse", etc. must be rejected and condemned under the loving truths of Christ's Gospel.

And so we consider the *Confederate Battle Flag flying over South Carolina and on the license plates of some believers.  Is it offensive to those Christ loves?  YES.  Does it erect a barrier to give and live the Gospel?  YES.  Can it divide me from my black Christian brother?  YES

Years ago, a black man came to me and expressed hurt over a confederate flag displayed on another believer's car.  He explained to me what that symbol means to the black community.  He could not understand why a believer would display it on their vehicle.  As followers of Jesus Christ - we have been born again to live the love of Christ.  The Gospel is greater than any nostalgic Southern symbol.  We are first Gospel believers before any other allegiance to this fallen world.

*The Flag that is often called the Confederate Flag is not the flag of the Confederacy; the design was actually rejected as the Southern Confederate flag and became the battle flag of the armies of Virginia under General Lee.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

You know not what a day will bring forth

It is shocking to realize how fragile life is.  One minute you are minding your own business doing the same things day after day after day, and the next minute you are trying to arrange details because your daughter is in A.I. Dupont Hospital with an infection entering her kidneys!

We are thankful that Emma is stabilized today and may even come home, but these occasions cause you to see things that are often taken for granted:

1.  Life can change in a moment - it is great that God is sovereign.

2.  When you are sleep deprived, swirling, whirling and can't pray clearly - the Holy Spirit can, and its OK.

3.  There is great power within us during crisis. - we can do things we never thought we could.

4.  There is power in family when crisis hits - even children become noble when there are great needs.

5.  The power of a mother's nurture, resourcefulness, and strength rises up when her child is in need.

6.  When your child is hurting, love feelings flow from you that are evidence both of being created in the image of the heavenly Father, and the redemptive love of God that has found us.  When you realize the intensity of this love you have toward your little one, you understand how the Father feels about you in a much greater way.

7.  Nothing else matters when a family member is in trouble.  Everything is expendable.