Memorial Day(s)

The day ran out on me yesterday and before I knew it, it was gone. After preparing for a birthday party at our pool for one of our granddaughters and then the party itself, it was very late before everyone finally got away. By that time I had gone as far as I could go and decided to wait until this afternoon for the weekly post so that I would have a clear mind. 

What I had on my mind all week was the upcoming Memorial Day and how so very thankful we all ought to be for being born in this great country, in spite of all its problems. In addition to that, how grateful we should be for those who were willing to pay the ultimate price to insure we continue to have the freedoms that have been afforded us over the past two hundred plus years. I believe most of us do not truly realize the magnitude of the sacrifice that these heroes provided for those freedoms. I can only speak for myself but I know that I am not as thankful as I should be and seem to forget about these great Americans until I’m reminded again when this time comes around. So let’s pause right now and say thank you God for emboldening these men and women to give their lives for the sake of freedom!

But also at this time I’m reminded of the One who paid the ultimate price by a horrible death on a cruel cross to pay a sin debt for us, because He loved us so much. For Jesus to lay aside His glory and come to this earth and be born to live as a man was a sacrifice in itself. Then to live on this earth and be tempted such as we are was another sacrifice He made. But, thank God, He refused to yield to any temptation and lived a perfect life without sin so that He could become that perfect Sacrifice required by the Father to make a way for us to be reconciled to Him. So even more should we be thankful for what Jesus did for us at Calvary and we should be constantly reminded that without Him there would be no hope for us or any man. So I say again let’s pause right now and say thank you God for your great salvation plan and give us the courage to keep sharing the wonderful news of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord. To God be the glory and honor forever and ever! Amen.

Life & Death Reminders

This week I have again been reminded of some of the fundamental truths of life that, without certain events taking place, I would have surely missed them. As we journey through this life we get so caught up in the everyday details that we fail to recognize some of  the more important things that God wants to teach us. But He has a way of using things outside our normal routines to do just that or, at the very least, remind us of the truths that we have almost forgotten. And He has done that for me this past week.

Here is truth number one. Physical death is imminent unless our Lord returns. This week Reassurance had the opportunity to minister to someone who has been advised that they have a terminal illness and time is short for them. But as we shared our time and our music with him, I was reminded that we all are terminally sin sick and only Jesus has the cure. And we need to be about the business of sharing that cure with others. And this leads me to truth number two.

Truth number two is this. Life is precious and time is valuable. This week we attended the Honors Day ceremony for the graduating class that our grandson is a member of. And next week will be Graduation Day for all of them. But as I watched the presentation of awards and scholarships it was obvious that these kids were excited that this part of their journey was ending. But I wondered to myself if they realize how precious life is and that the way they use their time will have a major impact on their successes and yes, even their failures. In a way, life is just beginning for them and they all have their own dreams of how they want life to be. I was reminded that many years ago I was in the same position as they are but little did I know that events in my life would alter the course I had chosen. God certainly had other plans for me and I’m so thankful that He intervened in my life to direct me on the path He had for me. I hope and pray that these kids, and especially our grandson, will allow Him to do the same for them.

Some of us are growing and some of us are fading but we still have lessons to learn and a great teacher to share His truths with us. And for that we should be thankful. To God be all the praise and honor and glory forever and ever! 

Whosoever Will

I have noticed a disturbing trend that is beginning to occur on social media, especially Facebook, and I want to make everyone aware of it. In the last couple of months I have read posts by several people that seem to be using the social media to push their obvious favorable view of reformed theology. For those of you who are not familiar with that term, I’m actually referring to Calvanism. Some of the posts are certainly for a the purpose of trying to convince someone that it is the only acceptable theology in today’s world because it is the only true theology. Some of the posts have been out of sincere ignorance that they would be a help to someone else. And the fact is, I have not heard one person voice any rebuttal or read one word of rebuttal by anyone. I don’t know if it is because it is so subtle that others are not seeing it or that those who do see it don’t consider it a problem. But for the record, it is a problem for me.

I’m not one to carry on a debate on social media or debate theology at all because it serves no real purpose. But I’m certainly opposed to anyone who uses social media to prey on people who may not be knowledgeable of the scriptures and thus are misled by that person’s post. And for that person I say that you need to study God’s Word in its entirety and in context instead of hanging your hat on a few verses in one book of the Bible. 

I agree with the words of one our local pastors; “When you remove whosoever will from the gospel, you have just perverted it.” And friends, a perverted gospel is becoming more common place. I believe the Bible teaches that Jesus died for all, shed His blood for all, paid the sin debt for all, and desires that all men come to Him in faith and repentance. But all men have a choice to make because He did that. When a man rejects Christ he has brought condemnation on himself and becomes without excuse. Jesus paid it all!

I am so thankful that my parents raised me to believe that John 3:16 says it all. I am so thankful that other folks in my life reinforced the same gospel and the good news became real to me. I am so thankful for a godly Sunday School teacher that told us the story of His death on the cross because He loved us so much. And I thank God that he spoke to me as young boy and I said yes to His call. His precious gift of salvation came to be a reality in my own life.

So if I seem to be frustrated and on the defensive you can understand why. God desires that all men come to Him but knows that all won’t. So I don’t won’t to hear about unconditional election, limited atonement, or irresistible grace. I just want to hear “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life”. And that is the true theology. To God be the glory forever and ever!

He’s Everywhere!

Tonight’s post is coming live to you from Desoto, Missouri, a small town just south of St. Louis. Becky and I are on a weekend getaway, something we very seldom get to do. We spent most of the day today at Six Flags walking around and watching all the young folks enjoying themselves. Later in the afternoon we went downtown St. Louis and made a short visit to the Gateway Arch. It has been nearly forty years since we first saw the arch and it still remains an unbelievable engineering feat. Man has accomplished many things that on the surface seem to be impossible but we must not forget that the talents and abilities along with the knowledge are simply gifts from God. He is the creator and sustainer of all things and all that we are and all that we have and all that we do that is good comes from His bountiful grace. Man has accomplished nothing on his own!

Later in the evening we had dinner at a local restaurant the specializes in Mexican food and it was as good as any we have had anywhere. And as we were driving back to the condo we saw a beautiful site that most people have never seen. We actually saw what is commonly called a shooting star and it seemed we could almost reach up and touch it. As it fell it left a train in it’s wake and it was extremely bright. We had never seen anything quite like it before. And as I watched it finally disappear, the thought came to me that God had placed every star in place and named them one by one. And when one falls it is not without His knowledge and even his direction.

With all of this said, I know you are not that interested in our short vacation excursion but there is a point to all of this. As we watched those people at the amusement park today, we saw God’s handiwork in each one of them. As we gazed at that mighty arch this afternoon we saw God’s willingness to bless folks with abilities to perform great things. And as we watched that star and the beautiful trail of its final voyage we saw God’s hand in control of HIs universe. In other words, when we stop and look around us, we will see Him who is Lord and Master over all. He’s everywhere!