America is no longer a Christian nation. I don’t mean that there are not plenty of Christians in America. What I mean is that our leaders and our neighbors are no longer basing their decisions on biblical truths. To deny that is to deny reality. The America with the Bible as her belt and the buckle in the South is no more. So what does this mean for our churches?
The apostles were tasked with selecting someone to replace Judas, who had betrayed Jesus and subsequently hanged himself. In their selection process we gain an insight into the reason for the selection: the need to have another witness among the people.
And this reason gives us an insight into the focus of their witnessing.
Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection. Acts 1:21-22
The apostles were not focused on the fact that Jesus was a great teacher, or that following Him meant a better lifestyle, or that He was a pretty nice guy. They were witnessing to the fact that Jesus is God, that He had risen from the dead, and that He had walked among them, alive, and ascended miraculously back into Heaven.
To them, the truth that Jesus is God the Savior was an overarching, all encompassing, wonderful, powerful truth.
May our witnessing have the same focus.
As church leaders, we often preach and teach our people about having fellowship with God. But how many of our people really know what we mean by that? Do we really know what we mean by that? What is our fellowship with God?
Whenever I tell people we are adopting, I usually get two types of responses: very excited and somewhat interested. Whatever group you fall into, I thought I would take a moment to explain why we are adopting and why we fall into the “very excited” camp. This list is not exhaustive, but these are nine great reasons why we believe in adoption (and maybe you should too).
When I was a child, I wondered about eternity and time (I was a weird kid). And I would get frustrated because I could not logically come up with an answer to this: if God existed before time, going all the way back as far as one can go, with no beginning, how did He arrive at the point in time to begin creation? In other words, if there was no starting point, how would you arrive in the present? If the past is infinite, the present would never be arrived upon. My little brain could not comprehend this.
In Hebrews 4:12, the Bible describes itself as being alive. Yes, alive as in living. It is this facet that gives the Bible its inexhaustible nature. But what does this mean, “alive” or “living”? How can a book be alive?
Let me give you an illustration: suppose you had a choice of spending every day for the next 50 years with your spouse vs. spending every day for the next 50 years with a stuffed animal.
After awhile, you would grow very bored with one (insert marriage jokes here) and fall more and more in love with the other. What is the difference?
The difference is that one is alive and one isn’t.
Things that are alive hold our attention much better than things that aren’t. That’s why we have pet dogs and not pet cement bags. Thats why we have warehouse grocery stores exclusively for pets. You won’t see a store of that size anytime soon catering to the care of your stuffed animal.
Living things engage us in ways non-living things do not. There is something about life.
There is something about God’s Word that makes it different from any other book in my library – life. Because of this, people can devote their entire lives to studying and learning the Bible, never exhausting its resources.
Living things communicate, respond, interact with us.
The Bible is alive, and it speaks to us and teaches us as if it were a living, breathing instructor before us.
What in the world is going on? At the time of this writing, the world seems to be imploding. Israel and Hamas are engaged in an increasingly tense war. ISIS Islamic troops have taken control of much of democratic Iraq. On top of that, my own country has basically opened its borders freely to every nation on earth, no questions asked. What is happening?
I enjoy reading Ann Coulter’s columns. Agree or disagree, she is entertaining and always clearly defends her position. But her latest column is off base. Coulter questions in her most recent post, titled “Ebola Docs Condition Downgraded to Idiotic”, why Dr. Kent Brantly, an American missionary, chose to go to Africa to combat the Ebola outbreak when there are people suffering in America. She makes the argument, through sarcasm, that there is much to do in America – why leave home?
You don’t just say something affirming to your child one day. You give them your affirmation, in that moment, to carry with them forever.
You don’t just give your spouse a gift on her birthday. You give her a memory that she will carry with her eternally.
You don’t just take a long weekend to spend with your parents. You give them quality time that will be remembered perpetually.
We are eternal beings.
The things we do that are birthed in but a moment will live on without end.
You do not walk among mere mortals. Be careful how you exist.
My appreciation for Thomas Jefferson has forever been altered. I recently complete the book by John Meacham titled Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power. Jefferson has long been my favorite “founding brother” (as Joseph Ellis would term it). This book served to solidify Jefferson’s lofty state in my mind.