"The key to understanding the Bible is to look for Jesus in the Bible. Jesus is the hero of the Bible. If you read the Bible and don't find Jesus, re-read it! The Bible has one hero, His name is Jesus; one villain, that is Satan; one problem, that is sin; one solution, that is salvation. That is what the Bible is all about." -Dr. Adrian Rogers

Monday, December 26, 2011

How Did You Celebrate?

I had a wonderful day yesterday celebrating the birth of the King of kings and Lord of lords with my family. I hope you did, too. But the best part of the day was when I was able to slip away from it all and meditate on what Christmas really means. You see, Christmas is not about family, friends, or the exchanging of gifts; Christmas is the celebration of the beginning of the miracle that Christ came to perform in you. And I am so glad He came all those many years ago!

I have many wonderful Christmas memories of my own, but there is one Christmas memory that I heard shared a few years ago that just really stuck with me. It was the story of Mandisa’s favorite Christmas memory. She said that there was one Christmas when she was unable to go home to be with her family, so she spent the day in her apartment by herself. She said that she spent the day reading the Christmas story and just praising Jesus. How wonderful! I think we all need that time alone to reflect on just who He is to us.

If you have not already, find a quiet place a just spend some time praising Him and thanking Him for the miracle that is your life. And if you do not yet know Him as Lord, I pray that you will come to do so before the day comes to an end. I can promise you upon the authority of the Word of God that, if you will repent of your sin and trust Jesus alone to save you, He will save you today and keep you saved forever.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

But I am so thankful to be able to say that it does not end there. Christmas is not just a celebration of the birth of Christ; Christmas is a celebration of the reason for His birth. Jesus came so that He could pay the price for your sins and for mine. He lived a perfect life, and then died on an old, rugged cross for the sins of the world.

I love these lyrics:
Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorns
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born
I pray that this Christmas you will choose to receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. If you will repent of your sin and trust in Jesus alone to save you, He will save you today and keep you saved forever.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thought for Today: The Family Unit

Dale Evans, who was the mother of nine children, said the following: “I think big families are wonderful and together can withstand fire, flood, anything. We need more big families in this nation—where people band together in a common good.”

I wholeheartedly agree with her. The family unit has disappeared in America, and words cannot describe how unfortunate that is. This nation truly does need more big families who love one another and care for one another the way families should.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Political Rant

I planned on using a different commercial to illustrate my point; however, this one will have to do. It really, irritates me to see politicians bashing one another like this. But before I get any deeper into this “rant,” I want you to know that I am just using Rick Perry’s commercial as an example. This is not a personal attack on Rick Perry. I just felt the need to write something to get us all thinking about what really matters when electing the new president, whoever he may be.

It may just be me, but if someone wants my vote, he must tell me more about himself than he does the other candidates. I want to know about why he thinks he would be a good president; not why he thinks the other candidate would not be good a president. To me, the ideal presidential candidate will tell me all he can about himself, and forget about all the other candidates in the race.

This behavior also says something about a candidate’s character. I want to see a man of impeccable character in charge of this great nation. The ideal presidential candidate does not see himself as being worthy of being the president of the United States. The ideal presidential candidate esteems others more highly than he does himself. We should think twice before electing a man who does not respect the other candidates.

Lastly, the way a presidential candidate runs his campaign shows how he truly feels about the American people. If he truly believes that it is about “we the people,” he will allow the people to decide who the better candidate is. But a fair and balanced decision can only be made if each candidate is open and honest about himself. So presidential candidate, you worry about you, and let the people decide who they want to be the next president of the United States.

The former pastor of our church used to say, “Boldness is not rudeness.” When a candidate resorts to bashing the other candidates, he is not showing his strength; he is showing his weakness. In the end, the most courageous candidate is the one who admits that he is no more worthy to be elected than any of the other candidates. This is what I truly believe. And this is what I will keep in mind when considering who to vote for come November 2012.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thought for Today: Molded By Trials

For the last several days, I have been reading The Cowboy and the Senorita: A Biography of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. It really is a fascinating book because it was written about two fascinating people. A couple days ago, I came across a very interesting quote contained in the book that I thought was well worth sharing.

Dale Evans, who had recently lost her two-year-old daughter, said these words: "God's love, His compassion, and unfailing kindness do not prevent Him from shaping us in ways that at the time are painful indeed. But the pain of the shaping is always matched by the Master Potter's skill in healing the wound."

Friday, December 16, 2011

My Yearly Seasonal Rant

Everyone who knows me knows that I simply cannot stand Santa Claus. And my children—when I have children—will never receive so much as one gift from him. They will never sit upon his lap in the mall, or send him so much as one letter. You will never find a replica of him in my house, either. As you can imagine, I have had many people ask me why I have such a bitter hatred for the mythological man with rosy red cheeks who wears a large red suit and travels around the whole world in one night to bring every child great joy, so I thought I would take the time today to explain to you the answer to that question.

Simply and very bluntly put, Santa Claus is a lie straight from Hell that was designed to confuse children about the true meaning of Christmas. Sadly, many parents—including many Christians—have never come to this realization. I grew up receiving gifts from Santa. But after a conversation with one of my high school teachers, I began to question whether or not Santa is really as harmless as he seems. That was when I thought long and hard about the song “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” After all, everything there is to know about Santa Claus is written in that song; therefore, if I was going to find anything wrong with Santa Claus, that is where I would find it.

My teacher explained that “He sees you when you’re sleeping/ He knows when you’re awake/ He knows if you’ve been bad or good” makes Santa equal with God. He made a very good point. After I got to thinking about it, I realized that Santa Clause is not just an attempt to take Christ out of Christmas; Santa Claus is an attempt to do away with a higher moral being altogether. Santa Claus is an entirely atheistic idea, really. I was able to come to that conclusion by reading the last part of that verse of the song: “So be good for goodness sake.” Did you get that? Santa Claus is teaching children to be good just for the sake of being good. But who is to say what is good without God? If it is humanity that defines right and wrong, what is right and wrong can change. However, God never changes, and neither do His standards.

We need to be teaching our children that they should be good because God said so. Our children need to know that they are to obey their parents because God said so. They need to know that it is wrong to lie and to steal because God said so. Fornication, adultery, murder are wrong because God said so. Our children need to know that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). We are all one hundred percent morally accountable to God, and that is what we need to be teaching our children.

I love Christmas! Christmas is the celebration of the birth of my Lord, my Savior. When I have children of my own, I want to use this time of year to teach them that Jesus was born to live a sinless life and then die on an old, rugged cross for their sins. I look forward to teaching my children that—despite what everybody else says—Christmas is not a time for family, friends, or giving; Christmas is a time for honoring the One that gave His life for us.

I pray this post has provided you with information you needed to know what Christmas is all about. And I earnestly pray that this post will cause you to reconsider whether or not your children should receive any gifts from Santa Claus this year. I am here to tell you today that your decision will impact their lives forever.

As always, if you do not know Jesus Christ as Lord of your life, I pray that you will come to do so today. If you will repent of your sin and trust Jesus alone to save you, He will save you today and keep you saved forever.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Stable Influence

One of my former teachers posted this to facebook a few days ago, and I thought it was well worth sharing.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mercy and Justice for All

God exercises His mercy by upholding His justice.
-Michael Ramsden

Today, I want to address a verse that I think is vastly misunderstood. Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” If you are a born-again believer, you no doubt love that verse. But do you know what it means? Isaiah 53:5 is not a verse about grace; it is a verse about justice.

It astounds me how many people—even in the church—do not understand what the cross truly means. Jesus did not die on the cross just to prove His love for you. However, that is what many people think, and it is sad. Isaiah 53:5 is all about Jesus taking your place. Let’s just say He became you. The modern church teaches that Jesus died because He loves you; and because of that, you can go free. No. God is a holy, just, and righteous God, and He will not, cannot allow the guilty to go free.

Yes, the cross was an act of love, but the cross was also an act of justice. At that moment, Jesus became you, and God poured out His wrath upon your sin. Second Corinthians 5:21 says, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” We say Jesus died “for” us, but that word “for” could have many different meanings. Perhaps a better way to say it is this: Jesus died in our place. Justice was paid for your sin on the cross.

Adrian Rogers used to tell a story about the about the first time Robert G. Lee visited Calvary. The guide asked if anyone in the group had been there before. Dr. Lee raised his hand. The guide asked him, “When were you here before”? Dr. Lee replied, “Two thousand years ago.” He understood the true meaning of Isaiah 53:5. My friend, don’t rest in mercy; rest in justice. You no longer have to pray for mercy, because your sin has already been paid for. When you slip up, just say, “Father, I was wrong. But by the blood of Jesus, my sin has been forgiven. Thank you, God!”

If you do not know Jesus Christ as Lord, justice has not yet truly been paid for your sin. You can go free, but you have to choose to go free. Until you admit that you have sinned against God and truly do deserve to go through what Jesus went through on the cross two thousand years ago, you cannot be saved. But if you will repent of you sin and trust Jesus alone to save you, He will save you today and keep you saved forever.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Thought for Today

It matters not what religion a presidential candidate is a part of. If he is not trusting in Jesus and he does not let his faith in Him lead this nation, he is not worthy of being the president of the United States.