Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Religion?

Not too long ago, I saw a friend's statement on Facebook that read, "I believe in God, but religion is EVIL!" And I recognized the sentiment from when I was about the same age. And, as much as the sentiment is right, the statement is wrong.

In Acts 26:5 Paul says,"Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee." The word translated as "religion" from the original Greek speaks of a worship in reverence instead of mere ritual. And yet the Pharisees were known for ritual. The problem is not the robes & the ceremonies & the rituals, but the heart.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Let's Do It

There's an interesting article at http://www.lifehack.org on “engagement”. It's titled “You Want Engagement? Then Start Being Clear”, written by Clemens Rettich. It's related to business management, but it applies to the Christian walk & Christian leadership, as well. Mr Rettich suggests that “engagement” occurs when workers (or, in our case, believers) are fully involved in what they are doing. He indicates that there are three components necessary for engagement to occur.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How's Your River?


A Pastor friend of mine, in commenting on the previous devotional, mentioned Jeremiah 17. Many of us consider verses 7 and 8 without taking it in the context of verses 9 & 10. And God's full thought includes all four verses.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Empty or Full?

My thought for today is based on Philipians 4:12. It says, “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” On the surface, it seems pretty clear. Paul says he knows how to want and how to be full. But there's really more to Paul's statement than meets the eye.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Fate of a Nation

Many people quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 when they're discussing the state (or fate) of a nation. It says, "If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. " And the usual commentary leads to the conclusion that the nation, as a whole, is headed in the wrong direction. And the whole population is at fault, needing to change. In truth, that whole concept is 100% fallacy! Read the verse.

First, it says "My people", referring to them being God's people, not claiming to be God's people nor being such in name only.

Second, the verse says they "are called by My name". Not playing being Christian, lukewarm, but no fruit. Instead, those recognized by their faith as belonging to God. In other words, the true Christian church.

We say that God is merciful & gracious, then would have Him expect unbelievers to understand the waywardness of their ways without any help in understanding. Because it's an easy way to avoid the responsibility that this verse says the church really has. It's not the people, it's God's people that need repentance, that need to show leadership in guiding the nation, that need to become humble, pray & call upon Him.

Father, help us to be who You would have us to be. Amen!