Cut to the Chase


When you go to church on Sunday morning, will you be prepared?  Or will you go with only a partial clue as to why you’re there?

Wishing is useless.  But I wish that in my forties I had known what I know now.  I had all the right knowledge.  I said all the right things.  And everybody thought I really understood.

So no one took me aside, that they might mentor me.  No one challenged my life.  No one asked me to prove the things I was saying.  So I fell flat on my face and squandered a beautiful gift from God.

I will not blame anyone.  They couldn’t possibly have known how shallow my faith really was.  And frankly, out of the hundreds of people I knew, only two had the things I have now.

When you go to church on Sunday, will you be prepared?  Will you go there to worship the Most High God with everything you have?  Or will you worship him with everything he is willing to give?

There is a statement I wish someone had said to me.  “When you worship the Lord, try to percieve the first worship session in heaven.  Then worship the Lord as if you were not here.”

We are so caught up in the things of this world.  We are so caught up in the things called “Church”.  Mistakenly, we think that if we have banded together with men in the name of Jesus, we have fulfilled a proper worship of the Most High God.

There is so much more I could say about this.  But I’ll bet you have many things to say in regard to this also.  And I have learned that it is so much better when we understand these things personally. 

But I will give this a shove in the proper direction.  What we are looking for is the full power of God in a Christian.  Not just the proper words, knowledge, or timely arrival in the proper place

It might be good to ask someone you can trust, to sit you down and grill you about Christianity.  Submit to all their questioning.  Let them either prove what you really have, or show you plainly what you lack.

It doesn’t matter to me how you respond to these things.  Who am I to order anyone around.  But what you stand to lose is a pittance.  There is no profit at all in being incomplete.  What you stand to gain is immeasurable.  What fully profitable things might be accomplished if you fully belong to God?

You could be like me, and wait until you’re 60 to get a partial clue.  Assuming God will be merciful and let you live that long.  Or you could just cut to the chase today.  What could you be in Christ if you gave everything you had to find out?

I thought it might be good to add the following.  Instead of looking for only one man to grill you about your Christian life, perhaps you want to look for a team of three. 

And who knows, in the process of questioning the three may be grilling themselves.  Certainly a profitable circumstance for all.

Humility is the target.  Profitability to Jesus is the cash flow.

By His Grace

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Happy New Year, Continued


As it was written at the beginning of 2014, let it reappear at the year’s end.

Dear Lord Jesus:

“What is the number or the name of a day,

But an altar of stones along The Way.

A place that is set for the honor of You;

A love that was lived for the Love that is true.”

2014 [2015], what is it but more days to bring glory to our Lord.

A Happy New Year is only found by serving the Lord Jesus.

The Waking of a Christian


“Expose the things that are good.

Entice them with your calling.

The trappings of holy brotherhood;

The glory of God in man.”
_________________________

He wakes with desperation, as if a bugle blew.  He’d slept the sleep of flesh; that necessary portion of man.

But before his eyes are cleared, the chasm of difference appears.  From the realm of dreams to the realm of God, he dresses himself in thoughtful prayer.

The day has dawned like a crack of thunder.  “Now, to the will of my God!”  Let fear assail his fleshly heart.  He intends his soul to soar.

From chaotic dreams to Holy fire, “Purify my heart O’ God!  Your will is first, as You are so.  Teach me and I will do.” 

The response is quick and full of love.  Without effort, the chasm is crossed. 

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2: 8)

By His Grace

Lessons Begun


Things I have begun to understand in the last three days:

Any school boy can understand words, even good words.  But there is a place where good words begin to come alive in a man.  It is the latter which provokes this post.

Lowered eyes that cannot be raised, may be a sign of humility.  (Keyword being “cannot“. Shame can have the same effect.) While eyes that will not lower, often are accompanied by the chin.

________

As a man desires, so he will become.  The man who desires the things of this world, has already attained them.  Even though they are not yet in his hand.  Likewise, with the man who desires the things of Christ Jesus.

________

As a man compares himself to others, godliness leaves him.  While the man who is able to be satisfied with what he has, is capable reaching toward godliness.  The former sins by his comparison.  While the other opens himself to the peace of God.

________

In the matter of godliness: The young man may think he has attained.  But he does not know the extent of what is required.  The old man has begun the journey.  But no man can live long enough to attain all there is to attain.  Continuance for both must be established.

______________________

In summary:  Our dependence on the Holy Righteousness of Christ Jesus does not diminish with our accomplishments.  It only grows stronger the higher we climb on the Mountain of holiness.  Toward the pinnacle, the fall increases.  While at its base, pride remains king.

Woe to those who do not consider these things, for what they lose, no man can count.  And the sadness of their loss will never cease.   For if it is difficult for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?

Yet who can tell where a man may begin?  Those who remain In the Way of Christ may well accomplish great things.  Perhaps the “greatest” has not yet been born; whether of flesh or spirit.

These things have come to me as I have entered 61 years of living.  Why should those of lesser years give up now?  And these things have come to me in a relatively short three years.  What great hope lays, therefore, before my seniors?

It is necessary to encourage one another as the days grow more wicked.  As these things become known, it is not right that we should bottle them up. 

And it is not a righteous thought to believe that others will recognize the truth as they as they see it displayed in us.  Where is the wise word of counsel from those who know?  Laziness and fear are not godly traits.

By His Grace

Strange Companions


Along the way through thickets of thorns

A place was found for rest.

Mid bugs and leaves I made my bed

Though not mansion, was considered best.

They who hate what’s good had jabbed at me

While thorns had torn my clothes.

But in this place removed from sight

His peace was left alone.

All praise to Him who made the leaves

Provided bugs for blessed words bade.

Tis better far to converse with those

Who envy my fleshly grave.