Monthly Archives: July 2013

Volume Control

 

If I speak with grace of the things I believe,

 

If the words I deliver are from a spirit of peace-filled conviction,

 

If my tone and volume of voice reflect respect for you, and the topic,

 

And yet the words spoken produce violent responses from you, and others who disagree with what they hear,

 

Is it really ‘hate speech’ we need to address, or hate-filled ears that build the wall between us?

 

As strongly as it is my responsibility to speak with grace, and control the volume and vehemence of my words, it is also your responsibility to listen with grace, and control the  peace  –  or wrath  –  with which you respond to what you hear.

 

Volume control goes both ways.

 

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Of Value in the Darkness

They don’t wring their hands.

Don’t cower in fear, don’t shrink away from the challenge.

They embrace it.

Almost, celebrate it.

True candles understand they were created to be a light in the darkness, so when the darkness descends, they begin to anticipate  being soon placed into service.

The light of a candle is useless unless surrounded by darkness.

It is life-giving, direction-providing, darkness dispelling.

Beautiful.

In the same way, when surrounded by darkness, the candle is only of value when willing to be set on fire.

Candles are intended to be functional, not decorative.

In fact, ones that look great on the shelf or in the box, rarely burn brightly.

When darkness hits, a match is struck and applied to the candle.

The flame creates a light that burns from the center of the candle, and burns away the darkness around it.

Jesus calls His true followers “lights” that He intends to put on a stand, on a hill, in bright view of anything and everyone that would be caught in darkness.

As darkness tries to descend, those who wear the Name from their core will be easy to spot. They will be burning brightly, contending against the darkness.

Those who wear the Name for cosmetics, for personal comfort, will also be easy to spot.

They will be banding together in a box.

On a shelf.

Choosing not to risk being burned, or offending the darkness.

They will be….

Useless.


Victory Through Every Battle

 

Some of you are predisposed to alcohol.

Some, to gossip.

Some of you grapple with sexual addiction.

Drug addiction.

Stealing.

Lying.

 

The Word of God tells us that we are born in sin, desperately in need of a Savior.

 

Psychology is telling us the same “part one” of that sentence: some are born predisposed to certain thoughts, feelings, longings. Only, they won’t call it sin. And they won’t tell you that you need a Savior.

 

Because psychology, by it’s nature, is humanistic.

Meaning, it operates from a premise that we’re basically good, what we feel is basically good, and needs to be nurtured.

Tolerated.

Satisfied.

 

The Word tells us that the One Who created us, delicately formed into each of our hearts two critical things. First, a need to be in fellowship with our Creator.

 

Second, the ability to choose for ourselves if we will respect him, or deny Him and try to become our own god, our own creator. The designer of our own destiny.

 

Short term satisfaction and prideful gratification only advances the disease of sin within us.  And make no mistake: it will kill us, if we let it.

 

Humanistic psychology says “I was born this way, I cannot change.”

 

Those redeemed by Calvary say “I was born in sin, and can be set free by the Cross of Christ.”

 

Does that mean that all temptation will be gone?  

 

Not until you see Jesus face to face.

 

We’re told quite clearly from Genesis (“…Sin is crouching at your door; it’s desire is to have you, but you must rule over it.”  Chapter 4) to Revelation (“..woe to the earth and the sea,
 because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short..”  Chapter 12.) that temptations will come as long as we are on the earth.

 

It is up to us to decide if we believe the world (you’ll never be able to conquer it) or the Word (“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”).

 

And, remember, Jesus was tempted in every way just as we are, yet was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

 

The Lover of your soul understands the pull of those things that would destroy Him, and you.  He knows, He cares, He understands……and gives the power to say ‘no’ to the sin that is crouching, taunting,  desiring to destroy.

There may not be complete freedom from the temptation, the pull, the longing, the original sin that crouches and seeks to destroy.

There can, however, be victory through, a conquering over, a winner in the battle that is you  –  hidden in the loving, grace-filled, compassionate arms of the Savior who understands.

 

He has conquered the pull of every single sin your enemy could ever throw at you.

 

Fellowship with your Creator, and victory through every battle is yours.

 

If you truly want it…


Forgiveness

 

If forgiving meant automatically forgetting (both what others have done to us, and pain we ourselves have caused) then my book would have mostly blank pages. Forgiving means we choose to see all people and events through Jesus’ eyes, no longer through our pain. It refuses to allow yesterday’s pain to be added to today’s agenda.