Thursday, December 5, 2013

Live Dead.

Romans 8:36 "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered sheep to be slaughtered." 

1 Corinthians 15:13 " I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily." 

Acts 20:24 "However I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task that the Lord Jesus has given to me--the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace."

Christians around the world right now are giving up their lives, their wants, their desires, their safety in order to live in Christ. Some are living in places to preach to a people that have never heard of the story of Christ. Some are being put in jail for not renouncing Christ as Savior. Some are tortured, some are losing loved ones. Some are sacrificing any semblance of comfort in order to live in a place that must be touched by God. In Fox's Book of Martyrs, John Hullier, a devout Christian was tortured for his beliefs: "He went meekly to the stake, and being bound with a chain, and placed in a pitch barrel, fire was applied to the reeds and wood; but the wind drove the fire directly to his back, which caused him under the severe agony to pray the more fervently" (258).

These things are still happening today. People have not stopped giving up their lives in order to live. This book that I'm reading right now, Live Dead, is a fantastic illustration of a group of missionaries who are giving up their lives on a daily basis to reach the Arab world. They have given up everything in order to follow God's commands for their lives.

Are you living dead today? Have you given up everything to follow after the path that Christ has laid out for you? Are you living dead in your prayer life? 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says "Pray without ceasing." James 5:16 says "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." What are we doing as a nation when we cry out for change, for better things to happen and there is no action behind it? To live dead is to die to our own desires. We must be in prayer constantly. We must be studying our word often. We must be seeking out God's will in our lives. God doesn't just have an overall plan for your life, he has a day by day blueprint of what he needs you to accomplish. So what do you think He's asked you to do for the day? Bring your flesh under the control of God, and find your life by dying.

Whatsoever Things are True
Philippians 4:8

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fear Factor

2 Timothy 1:7- "For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

Do you remember watching the show Fear Factor? There are tons of gruesome episodes where there are men and women alike doing disgusting things. I remember seeing episodes of people eating insects, being trapped in glass cases with snakes, and doing other various things that I would never even come close to attempting. It's amazing what people are willing to do!

But do you know what also intrigues me? It's that the same people who talk about attempting some of the scariest things (Fear Factor stunts, sky diving, hang gliding), are also the people who are afraid to do things like speak about the gospel of Christ. Or make a right decision.

We might not live in a television show constantly, but we do face a lifelike Fear Factor on a daily basis. I can tell you the bravest man in the world, and tell him to go talk to a group of complete strangers about Christ, and his mind turns to fear.

We all face fear. It's a natural part of our daily routines. Sometimes, we are afraid to make the right decisions in front of other people. We sometimes are afraid of what people think about us. Sometimes we are afraid to offend people by speaking the truth for others to hear. But when we look at the show of Fear Factor, the point of that whole thing is people who are overcoming their fears. We must learn to do the same.

"But there isn't money involved like in the show!" Hah! That's what you think. 1 Corinthians 9:25 says, "All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize." So tell me about this priceless venture again?

Do not be afraid. Do what is right. God is always with you. He will never leave you, nor forsake you. "treat every day as though it were your last--one day you will be right." -Ray Comfort.

Whatsoever things are true
Philippians 4:8

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Bumper Sticker Philosophy

Have you ever seen those videos that show the size of the earth, and then portray that next to mars, next to the sun, next to the largest star, next to the galaxy, so on and so forth? It's a pretty big place out there. Our place of residence looks like nothing compared to the enormous galaxy that stretches beyond our imaginations. And God, He holds it all... in the palm of His hand (Isaiah 40:12).
Though we are well aware of His glorious awesomeness, there are thousands of people who seem to take God's whole existence and shrink it down into...

"A good God wouldn't allow my family member to die." 

"My God doesn't condemn. My God saves." 

"Well, maybe that's a sin for you, but God hasn't directly told me not to do that yet, so I'm fine." 

"Just because God convicts others to stay out of violent movies and video games, doesn't mean that he has for me. God knows I can handle this stuff." 

... A box. 

It's what I like to call, "The Bumper Sticker Philosophy". The bumper stickers purpose is to take a very broad purpose and put it into a very small sentence to advertise to people. And sometimes, us Christians do this in our walk with the Lord. 

We take God's very broad message of love, and we boil it down, and boil it down, until it can fit on a bumper sticker for us to live by. 

Some people will live their lives around the "Jesus Forgives" bumper sticker, and they will decide that they don't need to live righteously because God will forgive them for their sins when they ask for it anyway. 

Some will live by the, "Just Believe" sticker, where people feel like their salvation goes as far as believing and you're done. 

Or the, "Do good to outweigh the bad" sticker. These people live with the hope that their good works will outweigh their bad deeds on judgement day. 

Maybe the, "Go to church" sticker. When people believe that going to church makes them a Christian, when in reality that makes you as much as a Christian as you walking into a garage makes you a car. 

Don't boil your relationship with Christ down to a Bumper Sticker. We don't want to sell God with our philosophy, we want to live Christ out and shine Him to others. We don't want to be like those sales people in the Progressive commercials who go out trying to convince others to buy their product, but they aren't buying it themselves. If we want others to follow Christ, we have to be 100% in on Christ ourselves. And this means that we are dedicated to following Him in love and servant-hood. 

Stop wearing the bumper sticker and get in on the real relationship. 

~Whatsoever Things are True
Philippians 4:8   

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Purity Tactic

Matthew 5:8, "Blessed are the Pure in heart, for they shall see God." 

Purity Rule no. 1
Don't have sex before marriage.

Purity Rule no. 2 
Keep your hands off of the opposite gender. 

Purity Rule no. 3 
Don't watch pornography. 


"Why do you Christians create rules that they refuse to follow themselves?" A frustrated teenager asks in indignation. "I saw online the other day that more 'Christians' are divorcing their spouses than non-Christians! Obviously your little purity tactics aren't working very well." 

We've been given a pretty rough name, ladies and gentleman.... 
Is our "little purity tactic" failing? Are we no better than those who are not God's children? 

I remember sitting in a youth group lesson on sex and dating when I was thirteen and watching all of these Christian teens giving their testimony about how they had just recently stopped their sexual intimacies with their girlfriends or boyfriends. It had been tough, but God helped them through. Then, growing up, I watched as one after another, the teenagers that I looked up to fell into this same thing. What was happening? I didn't know what to think. These people were breaking all of the purity rules that were set in place! All of the youth group, parent, bible rules on not touching each other, or telling dirty jokes were just thrown out of the window. 

It's true, purity has become a under-cooked issue in a lot of hearts, but inevitably, we will all fight this battle. Once, I heard a woman tell me you will fall if your idea about purity was to just: not have sex. She said that your goal must be to please God, and then you will not fall. This is one of the truest statements I've ever heard. 

Purity needs to be defined a little bit first, because it is a very misconstrued idea. When Christians take on the view that purity is kept in order to be able to give yourself to your spouse on the marriage night, then we miss the mark completely. Purity is so much more than relationships and abstinence. There are several forms of purity. 

1. Purity of the mind. 
2. Purity of words.
3. Purity of lifestyle. 

You see, we cannot live a life pleasing to God's standards unless we possess three forms of purity. When we practice purity of the mind, not only are we avoiding thinking about sexual things, but we are building a wall to protect ourselves from ANY unclean thing! Because purity is cleanliness. And we can't have cleanliness if we are involved in dirty things. This applies to Purity of the mind. You cannot think pure things if you are putting in dirt and grime. (Video games, movies, music, bad friendships) I'm not saying that all video games are of Satan, but I am saying that if you are involved in something that does not glorify God's standards in the Bible, then you are not keeping yourself pure from the world.

Purity of words is speaking truths and (obviously) cleanly things. If you want to keep your words pure, then we have to keep our heart pure. Which (like above) means to stay away from ungodly things. If you put dirt in a cup and then pressure wash that cup, what will come out? Dirt right? Right! So if we're putting dirty things into our heart, then dirty things are going to come out of our mouths. 

Purity of lifestyle is to live according to God's word, which is the most pure way of living that we could have. If we were to wear shirts with secular things on it, wear revealing clothing, not guard our mouths, not guard what we go to see, not guard anything on the outside... people are going to notice. People watch Christians, and if they see that you aren't pure in your lifestyle, then you lose your witness because you aren't any different from them. 

All of these pure things, if put into practice, will lead you closer to the Lord. And if you are close to the Lord, then you will not be tempted to do the hated things of the Lord. Keep yourselves clean. Drop evil with the Lord's help. Ask and you will receive. He won't let you struggle alone. You can be pure if you truly want to please the Lord. I'm praying for you all. 

~Whatsoever Things Are True
Philippians 4:8

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Bible IS Specific

If there is one thing I've learned throughout my relationship with Christ, it's that God is not into the whole "wide road" thing. The road to heaven is truly narrow just like he says.

I've just read an article that blew my mind away. A New York Times opinion piece talked about a man named Jeff. Jeff is a born and raised Southern Baptist man, who eventually became gay. ( Frank Bruni (writer of this column) writes: "But has [The Bible] been translated correctly? Interpreted the right way? Are they timeless verities or — more logically — reflections of an outmoded culture and obsolete mind-set? And if all of the Bible is to be taken literally, shouldn’t Christians refrain from planting multiple kinds of seed in one field or letting women speak in church or charging interest to the poor?
“You can twist the Bible any way you want,” Jeff told me, adding, “We overemphasize sexual morality, as if God puts a premium on what we do in the bedroom over what we do at the bank.”
After reading this article, I am put in a state of unease as I read countless articles of people who feel the same as Frank and Jeff. People truly do think that the Bible is outdated and interpreted in the wrong way. Let me give you a couple of scriptures that puts this argument at rest.

Hebrews 3:18 says "Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever."

Malachi 3:6a says, "I the Lord, do not change."

If people truly believed in these verses, then the Christian population of the world would be drastically different. This blog post is not just to talk about homosexuality, but of the specifics in the Bible.

First off, the Bible:

Is without error. (Psalm 12:6)
Is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16)
Does not change with time. (Matthew 5:18)
Is eternal. (Psalm 119:89)
If all of this is true... then some believers are in big trouble. God does not change with time, and this means his standards are not going to change either. Sure, we don't have to offer sacrifices every time we sin anymore. But this is only because the perfect sacrifice was offered so that we could have a way to be delivered from sin.

I don't know how many times I have heard from people's mouths, "I don't believe that the whole Bible is relevant anymore. People were stoned because they disobeyed their parents, so why is it accepted now?"

Well, just because people put up with this stuff today doesn't mean God does.

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20)

The last time I checked in the Bible, it read that God hated sin. He will not let sin go unpunished. It is true that sin has become a normal thing in this day in age, but when is the last time you heard that God thought it was okay to stab someone because someone said something mean about your mom? If one of God's morals have gone down the drain, then by golly, all of them should. And since that is not the case, then we still face a God that has not changed.

If God's morals have not changed, then his commands and laws have not changed either. Not in:

Homosexuality (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Lying (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Stealing (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Adultery (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Using His name as a cuss word (Exodus 20:7)
Preaching (Mark 16:15)
Setting good examples (Titus 2:7)
Guarding our tongues (Proverbs 18:21)
Treating others with respect (Matthew 7:12)
Forgiveness (Matthew 5:16)
Love (1 Corinthians 13)
All of these things are just a small glimpse at His will on our life. Yet we treat these like things we should try to do. The last time I checked, the Bible verses that I just listed didn't have anything to do do with the words, "I would prefer if you did this..." or "maybe you should try this..." God says grounded words like, "Go." "Do." "Do not." "Be." "If you don't, then..." These are not suggestions. God's words are commands which are usually followed by warnings. Take 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 as an example:

 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[a] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Don't treat the Bible like many Christians treat it. These are not suggestions! These are warnings, commands, and a guide through this tough life. It's not meant to harm, it's meant to keep you from an eternity of death. Take God's words into account. Don't try to follow, give up all you've got to follow. It's the end times. We can't be messing around in sin when Jesus comes back. Don't be asleep. Be vigilant and awake.

~Whatsoever Things Are True
Philippians 4:8

Monday, February 4, 2013

Wisdom, a persons best friend.

Job 28:17 "Gold and crystal are not as valuable as wisdom, and you cannot buy it with jewels of gold." 

A Diamond is a girl's best friend.

You don't need friends, you just need money.

Making money is the art to happiness.

I've heard these quotes stated many times as jokes, and things that are just repeated for the fun of it, but in reality, people really do believe that these things are true. Some woman truly do "befriend" the diamond, and lots of people truly do live their life in the hope of working hard and becoming rich.

The bible says nothing about it being a sin to work hard for your future. In fact the bible says that we need to work hard. And sometimes we will be blessed with money that we are to take care of and use the way God wants us to use it. Yet, people look at money as the most valuable thing to be lusted after. Making money has become more important than investing in wisdom.

According to the bible, wisdom is one of the most valuable things that we could ever possess. It is worth more than jewels, riches, or any material thing.

Wisdom is the voice that helps you through decisions. Wisdom is the knowledge we have when we search the scripture. Wisdom helps us through tough situations. Wisdom is invaluable. But, we spend more than half of our life working for money instead of seeking wisdom.

We must seek wisdom. We must value wisdom more than money. If you live your life without wisdom, then you will have a hard life.

How can you come by wisdom? The first step is to ask the Lord for it. He doesn't hold back things from His kids. He will grant you wisdom if you truly want it. Pray for wisdom every day. Second, study the scriptures. It's hard to pass a test when you don't know the material. Same with wisdom. It's hard to have wisdom when you don't read up on it. Third, put it into practice. "Fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Proverbs 9:10.

Always seek the Lord above anything else (the first commandment), and you will be on your way to gaining wisdom and an awesome relationship with your father.

~Whatsoever Things Are True
Philippians 4:8

Monday, January 14, 2013

Our Calling

Matthew 5:14 - You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

In the bible, we are called to be many things.

  • Salt of the earth (Matt 5:13)
  • Light of the world (Matt 5:14)
  • Fishers of men (Matt 5:19)

All of these things make a difference or can be shown brightly to the world. Salt was used as a preservitive to make sure things didn't go bad. So we are called to preserve this world. The the light is so that people can see the way in the dark. So we're called to lead people into God's presence. Fishers are to catch and bring in nets. So we are called to go out and witness to the masses.

These are our callings as a Christian. Examine yourselves. Do you think that you represent one of these?

Do you help preserve the lives of others?
Do you shine in the darkness?
Do you real people in for Christ?

Examine yourself, and remember your calling as a Christian. Go into all the world and preach the good news (Commandment, not a suggestion).

~Whatsoever Things Are True
Philippians 4:8