Friday, September 26, 2008

The Mind of Christ

1 Corinthians 2:16 -- "But we have the mind of Christ."

Thinking is powerful.
Thoughts are powerful.
Thoughts influence everything about us.
Thoughts can be good or bad; God-pleasing or God-displeasing.
As a Christian, one born again and indwelt supernaturally by the Spirit of God, I do not have to think thoughts that dishonor God. I have been set free by the Lord Jesus Christ. I am no longer a slave to my flesh or to Satan. I can think on things that are noble and praiseworthy, thoughts that are pure and lovely. I can resist, by the Power that is within, the enemy who seeks to undo me and destroy me. The enemy, Satan, is a loser. He lost at Calvary -- my sin debt was paid in full. He lost on the third day when Christ rose again -- and now He has secured and given to me new life. This is the gift of salvation -- Jesus, my Righteousness.
In this war, the beaten enemy continues to fight. As I have received God's indescribable gift, I also have a responsibility. To gird up the loins of my mind; to keep my mind in gear; to keep my eyes focused on the prize, on the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. I must stand, and stand firm against the wiles of the devil, I must resist the devil, flee from immorality and walk as Jesus walked. Oh how I need His grace -- His strength -- His wisdom -- His peace -- His presence. May I pray and seek Him every moment, every day -- "Father lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from the evil one. For Thine is the power and the glory forever and ever."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Habakkuk? Who is that? Isn't that an odd name for someone? How often have you heard a message, a sermon, a lesson, from the Biblical book of Habakkuk?
I once had an OT professor at LU say, "Wouldn't it be embarrassing to get to heaven and meet a guy named Habakkuk and have to admit, 'hey,I've heard of you, but I never took the time to read your book in the Bible.'"
Habakkuk actually has a lot of great things that we must learn and cling to -- it is indeed the Word of God. It is valuable and authoritative.
Today i think about Habakkuk 2:4 which reads, "Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith." It is the last part of this verse that is so meaningful today.
I went to the hospital, or surgery center, today to be a with a family whose loved one was having surgery. When I went into the waiting area, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a lady sitting by herself, and had in her hands what looked like rosary beads. I just moved on and sat with the family i was there to see. I realized later that I had sat down right behind the lady with the beads.
We began to talk, I and the family i was there to see. We talked about life. I made the comment that life was ultimately in the hands of the Lord our God. Man could say this or that, machines and tests might show this or that, but our lives were in the hands of God.
We started talking about various folks who have been visiting our church, and it was mentioned that one gentleman was a Roman Catholic. I said that was fine, but that when I preached I tried (with God's grace and the Holy Spirit's power) to convey that being saved was by faith in Christ alone. That "unless one is born again they cannot see the Kingdom of God." I said that I was afraid that many people, Catholics included as well as everyone else, lived under the false belief that we could earn God's favor by doing good works, and going through certain rituals and keeping some sacred rites.
The truth is, as stated in Habakkuk 2:4 is that we are saved, justified, declared right before God by faith and by faith alone, in Christ alone.
The lady behind me with the rosary beads jumped up and said "I appreciate much of what you have said, but I am a Catholic -- I teach school, I go to church, I am praying the rosary for my husband . . . and I trust Jesus." I said "Well that is great, but it is faith in Christ alone that saves us -- not any of these other rituals. We must trust Christ. He alone is our Savior."
About that time we were called to see the doctor as the surgery was complete. I left this dear lady with the message that "I pray that you know the truth; for the truth is what sets you free."
I pray for many of my friends and neighbors who might be trusting in anything other than Christ to get to heaven. It is not Jesus plus anything. Jesus paid it ALL. On the cross it was He who said, "It is finished." The price for my sin and yours was paid, in full.
"In my hand no price I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Shaken To The Core

The Wall Street Journal reports to day that the US financial system has been "shaken to its core."

Which makes me wonder . . . where and in what do people place their trust, their faith? I guess many believe that everything will just go on as normal . . . forever, at least until they die.

This world offers NO guarentees. Only ONE is eternal, the Alpha and Omega, the one, true God. He is faithful and true. Read His Word, the Bible. Oftentimes His people, the ancient Israelites, sought to place their trust in armies and riches and in their own wisdom -- guess where that got them?

Whenever we ignore God, refusing to acknowlwedge Him and trust him and look to Him for salvation -- we fail. As individuals and as nations, I am afraid.

I think we are reaping what we have sown. God does not play games. May we trun from our wicked ways, acknowledge Him and serve Him, may we come humbly before Him, may we seek Him and may He hear our prayers, forgive our sin and heal us. (2 Chron. 7:14)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where Were You?

Today, September 11 2008, marks the seventh anniversary of that day "the world stopped turning."
Do you remember where you were that day?

I was in my office at Woodalnd Baptist Church preparing for a funeral that i had that morning -- for Wilma Joyner. Wilma was a unique person, a character to say the least. One of her peers told me that when they were all in elementary school, on the first day of school, the teacher decided right there and then to make a statement -- she would take all the boys outside and whip them. He added that indeed the teacher did this -- spanked all the boys -- AND Wilma. She never married -- no man could have ever contained her. She worked hard as a banker and she played hard -- enjoying this life. She also knew and loved and was thankful to the Lord for all of her blessings. Yes, this was to truly be a homegoing and a celebration of her life.

While at my desk the phone rang. It was Mrs. Liz, would I like her to come down to the church and keep the nursery for the funeral? I said it didn't matter, I didn't foresee a whole lot of children coming to the service, but she was welcome to if she wanted. Then she said, "have you seen the news this morning?"
"no," I said, "what's up?"
She said, "a plane has struck the World Trade Center in New York, and then another one. They're saying it could be a terrorist attack."

I hang up and ran home to turn on the TV. What I saw is forever in my mind. Peter Jennings of ABC News was broadcasting. Showing the pictures of the burning towers. Talking about the fire and rescue underway. Then a live shot of the first tower collapsing. Unimaginable. I remember standing there in front of the TV with my mouth open.

Everyone was shocked. Scared. What's next? Why? Who? All of those innocent people. Oh dear God.

May we never forget.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Hot, Fresh, Now

One thing that I cannot understand (among a multitude of others) is why the stock of Krispy Kreme doughnuts is so low. I remember back when the company went public, and the price was like $50 a share -- it was hot. Now if you look the price is like $3 a share. Why is this? I don't know why?
When you can get a dozen (12) of the best doughnuts in the world for $5.99 it is simply a mystery why they are not setting the world on fire. Of course we go to the store in Greensboro, and every time I go there is a line. Are we the only people, we here in the Carolinas, who appreciate Krispy Kreme? The ones at Myrtle Beach are always busy too.
Think: what is not to like? Dough. Fried. Drenched with sugar. And when they are HOT, FRESH they literally melt in your mouth.
Forget trying to sell Kool Kreme. Forget trying to hawk fancy coffee drinks. You sell the best doughnut in the world. Market it as such.

Check them out.