One day you make an unexpected friend of a previous enemy. It’s happened to everyone of us.

When will we learn? When will we stop pre-judging? When will we give room for the hope of God in others? When will we forgive past deeds so that life can come?

From where comes your next unexpected friend? Life never comes to us as we expect it to be painted. Yet, when will we learn what we already know?

Be wise in Christ toward evil, but do not close the door to hope.


“Ya Da!”

Today’s media is on a reporting frenzy. Every time there is a good deed done, they make a magnificent banner and announce it to the whole world. The people say they are inspired. And more good deeds are sought. Now a celebrity circus comes to town. Who will be next to be bathed in the spotlight of “Good”?

Take a note of this: did anyone hear a trumpet blast from heaven as the leaves sprouted on the trees of winter? On the birth of every child, does anyone hear angels sing a magnificent chorus from heaven? Is any good deed from God heralded like a man heralds his own good deeds?

Yet God alone is purely good, continuous, eternally, majestically. Does anyone see a difference here? Or is it just me?

When we are done doing what good we do, let everyman say, “I have only done what I should”. If you will be like Jesus, reject accolades.

1“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Three Advantages

​    The ones who love God have three things happen to them.
     They are despised on this Earth while they love the one who made them.  Somehow such open love is considered illicit.
     But when they leave this place they go to be with the one they have loved so dearly.  They are ushered into Eternal Joy with open arms.  For they have proved they love him more than these.
     And the third thing that happens to them is most fascinating.  Their name, their words, their actions, are all rolled onto a pedestal called Legend.
     Man is curious.  He will despise and kill his enemy, then he will raise his enemy to Legendary status.  With the same words he uses to lie, he now tells fanciful stories about this one who is no longer among them.  By this, the work of God’s people is multiplied many-fold.
      In these three things, the love of God is greatly glorified.  See how the wisdom of God works to glorify love, life, righteousness, Justice, compassion, grace, and mercy.  And all these things are in the being of his holy and righteous son Jesus!
So be it.

Desire for Cleansing

I have noticed that the more familiar I am with the righteousness of God, the more blatant the wickedness of this world appears.

And the more aware of God’s mercy I become, the easier it is to look past the profane.  It’s not as if I don’t see it any longer, but it’s more like I can more easily ignore it.  Like the man who constantly lives with a barrage of flies, you kinda get used to the irritation.

People can say what they want about Lot.  They can ridicule his choice of dwelling.  But I understand what was written about him; how his righteous soul was tormented, day and night, by the wickedness he saw all about him.

How I wish the American church would put away the soft soap gospel, and bring out the bar of lye.

To the Journey

We have a tendency to trivialize everything.  But we come to own this tendency with good reason.  Absolutely everything we know deteriorates.  Even the compassion of Man is in a state of flux; needs come and go, the sick get better or die, poverty evaporates at the end of its work, hatred goes to sleep when it is tired of destroying.  So even Man’s compassion (what is considered the best Man can offer) rests from its work.

We strive hard, but at the end of the day everything we know is trivial.  Everything we know is in a constant state of repair or deterioration.  Isn’t that why we sleep?

Most people, including myself, tend to apply this trivial mindset to the gospel of Christ.  We can’t help it, it’s in our nature to perceive things as if they are passing.  And without the constant help of the eternal Living God’s Holy Son we would never perceive the gospel as eternal.  It would remain in a mode of choice.  And isn’t that what we see when we look at those who call themselves Christians; constantly making the choice to do (or not to do) Christ-like things.

We need to be reminded that his promises last forever and never change.  That’s why we read the Bible often; to renew our decaying mind.  That’s why we pray, with whatever earnest soul we can muster.  Isn’t that why we are told to encourage one another?

Connected to this is an understanding that has come again to me this morning.  Everything we do is manufactured.  It’s in a constant state of repair.  But a love for righteousness cannot be in a state of repair.  For whatever constantly needs repair is also constantly deteriorating.  Love does not deteriorate, and eternal Righteousness does not fall into the realm of choice.  Let’s be honest, we either love righteousness or we don’t. 

What an amazing place God has created; it is not a place of deterioration, it is a place of potential eternal life.  There can be no better testing of a man’s heart than the state of affairs I have spoken of here.  On top of that, God knows the difference between a manufactured love of righteousness and one that is ingrained and sincere.

This is the nature of salvation.  It is not something that will be.  It is something that IS.  Christ has come, as the great power of God, to redeem the humble of heart.  He has come to teach us eternity.  Imagine that!  The sum of what we know about eternity is the simple word itself.  And without the presence of God, that’s where our knowledge remains.

Every man is encouraged to begin the journey of truth.  The journey is called Christianity.

“Keeping” our Brother

Have Christians coddled one another to the point of eternal death?  Have many gone to the grave destined to suffer eternal loss?  And has the reason been, that no one confronted them in regard to the seriousness of rebellion?

let every man do what he knows the Gospel demands.  If our brother displays a weakness that is inherent from his former life, then let us encourage him towards strength.  Let us fill his mind with the promises of God for those who are faithful.  Let us continually remind him of those who have gone before us through great sufferings.  Let us strive to point out how trivial our sufferings of this day are, compared to that which is to come.  By all means let us encourage such a one.

But let us make a distinction between weakness and rebellion!  Is Christ in us not wise enough to make the distinction?

Coddle weakness in the hopes of overcoming.  But confront rebellion for what it is!  Even our unwillingness to distinguish between the two, is rebellion in itself.  For God has promised us the gift of wisdom, given freely and without judgement.

We do well to point out rebellion as an abomination before the Living God.  We do well to encourage such ones with Holy Terror.  Let us bring a simlatude of the Judgement Day before their eyes.  Let us help them perceive their destiny as eternal death. 

We will most assuredly regret our fear of confrontation.  Gather together the boldness of Christ that lays dormant within you.  Strike out with confidence, and Christ will bless your way.

Jude said these things best.  22 “Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”

But I must also add this.  Do these things with the utmost of godly care.  If the beam in your eye remains, you will not weild the wisdom of God with reliability.  But if you are submissive to the will of God in Christ.  If you have endured the purification offered by the Holy Spirit.  If your own life begins to depict the righteousness of Christ.  You have an obligation to apply these things. 

The putrid reply of Cain is unacceptable.  Yes we are our brothers keeper!  Yes we will be held accountable the death of many.  If you are not willing, then prepare yourself for the rebuke of God.

Amen.  Even so, come Lord Jesus.

By His Grace