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Value

Over the last couple of months my wife and I have been enjoying going to an auction just about every other Sunday. What is it about an auction that draws people? I think for some it is just watching people. Let’s be honest, some people get caught up in the will to win and pay a crazy amount of money for a tin of buttons just because somebody else was bidding against them.  I have watched Ball jars full of marbles go for insane amounts of money. Maybe they think they found the ones they lost at some point in their lives. I think the truth is that just about everyone is looking for that one great deal. Whether it is something they desire for their own personal want or need or are looking for that opportunity to resell the items to make money.

The trick is to know what things are worth, so you know if your making a good deal or not.

Yet, there are those times you think you are making a good deal but then you get the purchase home and find that it doesn’t work, it is broken, or it wasn’t exactly what you thought it was. We learn from such things, we investigate more, study those items more to make sure we don’t make silly purchases again.

There are some choices, some investments though we cannot afford to miss on.

Jesus poses that same question to us in a spiritual context in Matthew 16:26, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” All of us have a short life span in which we have been given the opportunity to invest into something. What we have Jesus calls our soul. We can invest our soul into the things of this world. We can ignore Jesus and chase after the things that are temporary. We all see it, the selling of a soul for power, prestige, wealth, beauty, and notoriety. The problem is that all of this is temporary. You will lose every bit of these things at some point. Jesus asks, what do you gain if you receive all these things, yet you lose your soul? In the auction of life, this is a poor purchase. What I do know about auctions is that every item that comes up on the block belonged to someone else at some time. What you have forfeited your soul for will also end up belonging to someone else as well.

This does not have to be. Jesus said come to me all who are wear and heavy laden and I will give you rest. That if anyone would call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, they shall be saved. This beautiful gift my friends is something that we can never lose, nor can it be taken away from us. It is the eternal investment. Is there anything that you are working so hard to achieve that is worth your soul?

 



Wasting Away

I’m not sure when it happened. You know that day you get out of bed and the first word out of your mouth is ouch. Maybe it was not a word, but more of a grunt. That day you look in the mirror and your face has started to look like the road map of a major cosmopolitan city. It is then you come to the realization that yes, you are getting older. For me it was when I had a parishioner come to me after a service to let me know that you can buy stuff to fill in bald spots. I really appreciated such wisdom. Yes, I know I have what a lot of guys affectionately call the dreaded crop circle on the top of my head. There was a day I had a beautiful thick mane of hair. Now I have platinum highlights that I did not go to a beautician for. Then comes the day you turn 50. Okay, let’s keep moving with the blog.

The truth is that we cannot keep from getting older. Sure, if you have the money for surgeries and tucks and such you can pay to keep looking younger, but that does not negate the truth that all of us are getting older. If we are not careful, we can begin to get depressed because of this truth that no one can hide from. The Lord reminds us of that many times in His word.

We could reminisce about the good old days and get bummed out. Yet, Paul reminds us of something wonderful in II Corinthians 4:16-17, “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.” The point Paul is making is that yes, we will get older. Our get up and go will get up and go without us someday, but this is all temporary. There will be a day when we will receive new bodies that will never wear out, we will never lose hair, and best of all we will never ever have to diet again. There will be a day that in our glorified bodies we will be able to see the Father face to face. I know that these days have been tough but hang in there. No matter what happens there is a guarantee that better days are coming. Stay faithful and keep your eyes on the King.



Cheap Talk

The more we live the life of a Christ follower the more we should see the stark contrast between how we use to think and live versus how we think and live now. Well, at least there ought to be a contrast between the two lives. Not only should there be a contrast in our lives, but there should be a contrast between how we live and how we deal with life versus everyone else that are lost and without hope in this world.

This is the message that the Apostle Paul has for the church in Corinth in his first letter to them. They knew the right words, all the Christian clichés, yet their words were not matching their walk. There is an old saying, “talk is cheap”.  This means that anybody can spout off some words, but can they follow through?  Will they do what they say?

The sad truth is that we live in a society where there are a whole lot of words being spouted off, but very little follow through. The politicians talk about how they really care about people and want the very best for them and how they seek God and God is first in their lives. They will even say the words “God bless America”. I don’t know about you, but I just don’t see it.

This ought not to be said about us as the church. We know what the Lord has to say about how we are to live our lives. We know the truth of what living a godly life should look like. Many are very good about spouting the truth of God’s word. The truth is that what our society needs is for the church to stop talking and to start walking what we say is truth.

Paul tells us in I Corinthians 4:20, “For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk, but in power.” To quote an old 8o’s song, “We got the power”. The power Paul is talking about is the life changing power that comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that every Christ follower has. This power allows us not just to talk, but to do the walk.

Let me remind you that you have the power to live out a powerful life for Jesus. Do not surrender to the thinking of this godless society and this pagan nation. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, you soldier of the cross. Pick up His royal banner and take back that which belongs to our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ. You can do it because the power of the Living God dwells in you. Do not believe the lies of the enemy. He is a defeated foe. He has no power over us. You have the power.



Chicken

Oh, the good old days of being shamed into doing crazy stunts just for the sake of keeping face with your pals. The friends that would begin to flap their arms and make chicken sounds just because you were a little hesitant about jumping off a second story roof of a house. Then of course there were the times they would double dog dare you to jump your ten-speed bike off a homemade ramp over a creek. I’m just making stuff up now.

Then we become followers of Jesus and we are commanded to live a life without fear. II Timothy 1:7 tells us that we have “not been given a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.” The beauty of this text is that the life we have been commanded to live, that life without fear, sure is a lot different than the stunts our friends tried to talk us into. The Lord commands us to not fear the things this world will throw at us. When you read this the election will be over and hopefully the results will be made known. I know that there are a lot of concerns, and maybe even fear, of what the future holds if certain candidates are voted into office.

My friends, can I remind you that no matter what happens Jesus is still on the throne.  No man can mess up the plans of our God. Jesus reminded His disciples of this when they were in the boat during a storm and they cried out for Jesus to save them. Jesus asked this question in Mark 4:40, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”

Church we cannot afford to operate out of fear. The call is not to shame us into doing, but to being. Let us live the life that brings a smile to our Jesus by living without fear.