May 21, 2011 Came and Went

“In that day I will restore David’s fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be” (declares the Lord) Amos 9:11 NIV

Yesterday I posted my thoughts on Harold Camping’s now failed prediction of the end of the world on May 21, 2011. (You can read that post HERE). We know that prediction didn’t come true, and most are relieved, but I can’t help but wonder if some are disappointed.

Do you have any broken places in the “tent” of your life? Are you ready for them to be restored? What Camping was promising would have been relief for many believers.

It seems hardly a day goes by that I do not encounter someone going through a struggle in life. That’s among those people inside and outside the church. We are experiencing the heartache and pain of a broken world.

May I offer this as hope as we continue in this path of life: Restoration is on its way! In the meantime, God’s Spirit stands ready to assist you in your time of need!

Jesus is going to return! At the very breath through the Father’s mind, Jesus will mount a great white stallion, whose rider is called Faithful and True, and He will, in a mighty display of His glory, bring victory to the people of God. The broken places will be made whole. Everyone will finally know that there is but One God, and He is Maker and Ruler of all things.

Jesus will come quickly, with a shout, and we will be brought before the Throne of the Almighty, where God will permanently and personally wipe every tear from our eyes. We will be with the Lord forever!

Are you ready for that glorious day? It didn’t come yesterday…but it’s coming!

Scripture Memorization, Week 21

For the next several weeks, the memory verse will be from Romans, looking at what has been called “The Roman Road”. I am not one who believes it takes a formula to be saved, it takes a change of heart, believing in the One God raised from the dead…Jesus…but sometimes a script can help a person process through what seems to be complex information. That’s what the Roman Road has done for many.

Romans has been described as one comprehensive look at what it means to be a believer; from start to finish. If you study this book well, you’ll have a great understanding of who you are in Christ.

Here is this week’s memory verse:

Some Romans Road scripts will not start with this verse, but I always do. It reminds me why I’m willing to share my faith.

Will you commit to memorizing this Roman Road with me over the next few weeks? It could change someone’s life…perhaps even yours!

Friday Discussion: Eternal Security

A recent college graduate from our church sent me an email recently. She’s struggled with her spiritual past. She became a believer early in life, got off track for a while, and now she’s on fire for God, Her dilemma is whether she lost her salvation during that time. She wonders what would have happened to her eternally had she died during her time of wandering. She wanted to know why I believe in eternal security.

I realize I’m stepping in dangerous territory with this discussion question. This issue divides people theologically as much as any other. Some of my closest believing friends would disagree with me here, believing that one can lose their salvation, but I believe in eternal security. I am not a theologian so I look for simple answers.

Here is my quick answer to my friend:

Dear _______,

These are standard questions most people wrestle with at some point in life. Great questions.

Here’s a short answer. I believe in eternal security, because:

  • The Bible says “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you SHALL be saved”…not you might be saved…

  • The Bible says “Do not worry”…How could you not worry if you were constantly wondering if you’ve gone too far…if you had lost your salvation?

  • It takes grace to be saved, why would it take works to remain saved?

  • Works are the result of salvation, not to earn or keep salvation…

  • Was there ever a time when you were “living in sin” when you didn’t “believe”? I’d say probably not…you may not have looked like a believer…but Jesus looks at the heart, not the outward appearance…

  • If we start drawing lines of how to lose salvation, where does the line stop? Could we ever remain saved? It’s just like the law…Jesus even added higher standards…one bad thought…one lust…one hatred…one dishonoring of parents…one idol placed in front of God…and we’re doomed…who then could be saved? Read the rich young ruler story…”What’s impossible for man is possible with God”…

The bottom line though is what difference does it make about what could have happened then? The bottom line is, are you saved now? Which, from watching your heart and life, I believe you are indeed.

Rejoice in your salvation!

Love your heart!

Hope this helps!

God bless,


There is so much more to this issue, but I suspect many others, including me, have wrestled with this same issue.

How would you have answered?

What questions do you have about eternal security?

Does this testimony resemble your own?

Share your thoughts!

10 Commandments: Significance for Today

Have you ever been curious about the 10 Commandments, specifically how we can implement them into our life today? A couple years ago, I wrote a series about each one. I’m a grace guy…if you read this blog much you know that. We are not under the law, but under grace. There are great Biblical principles, however, that these commandments have for us to live better lives today.

Here’s a repost of all of them together…just click on the link:

Ten Commandment Number One

Ten Commandment Number Two

Ten Commandment Number Three

Ten Commandment Number Four

Ten Commandment Number Five

Ten Commandment Number Six

Ten Commandment Number Seven

Ten Commandment Number Eight

Ten Commandment Number Nine

Ten Commandment Number Ten


Which is the hardest for you to keep? Be honest!

What would you add as ways we violate these commandments today or how they have meaning for us still, even in the days of grace?

President Obama at National Day of Prayer

Sadly, I didn’t see this in the news, but I did see it on Ed Stetzer‘s blog and thought is was worth sharing here as well. I’ve asked before about the role of believers in politics. My personal opinion is that Christians need to be influencers in our culture…at every level. Therefore, I think this type speech is important for us to hear. I’m not offering commentary on what was said, but I do believe we should know what the president is saying in these matters.

Watch the video, then share your thoughts:

Don’t Pray Before You Eat

It happened like this…

Cheryl and I were eating at a restaurant…

That’s happened many times before…

There was a large family gathered at a table nearby…

We’ve seen that before too….

The family prayed before their meal came….

That was nice…

We noticed…

Then their food came…

The order wasn’t right…

They were mad…

They made it known that they were made…

Numerous times…

They were just plain rude to the waitress…

We felt bad for her…

Cheryl even apologized for “their” behavior after they left…

It made me wonder….

If you’re going to be a rude customer, should you even bother to pray before you eat?

Aren’t you sending mixed signals?

Just asking…

What do you think?

How Can I Be Sure I’m Saved?

A common email for me is one where someone is questioning their salvation. The typical person is one who has been in the church for a number of years, perhaps even growing up in the church, but, for whatever reason, never quite feels they are saved. Recently I had this kind of question and decided others may have the same struggle. I’m not pretending I have the best answer, but perhaps you need to read it.

Here is my email reply:

Thank you for your email. I don’t know if I can help or not, but I’ll try. I think though, that this may be less complicated than you are making it.

The Bible is fairly clear to me what is required to be a follower of Christ…to be a Christian…to be saved…

John 6:29, John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:9, Romans 10:13….

It takes believing that Jesus is the Son of God, that He lived and died on a cross and rose from the grave, and that Jesus is the only way for a sinner such as you and me to be right with a Holy God.

Do you believe that?

If so, you are saved. Not because I said so or you said so, or even because you feel you are saved or you do not feel you are saved, but because God said so. In my experience, many times when a person doesn’t feel saved, it’s because they are looking too closely at what they have done or haven’t done instead of at what Christ has done. Salvation hangs completely on the finished work of Christ, not on the efforts of man.

I seldom meet non-believers who even question their faith. That seems to be something the devil loves to use against believers…causing us to doubt our salvation. The key may be to accept truth…and convince yourself that what God said is true!  (It is by the way.)  You may have to remind yourself of that truth many times until it sticks.

I’m praying God speaks clearly to your heart that you are saved…that your heart has been changed…and that you are in a right relationship with Him, not by your efforts, but by the grace of Jesus Christ, in whom you believe. Remember also, God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). He measures and weighs our motivation.  If you truly are desiring to be saved, I’d say you have a saving kind of faith…

From what you are telling me, I think you’re in! I don’t believe it takes special words or a special prayer to be saved. I believe it’s what happens when a heart chooses to simply, without reservation, follow Christ alone. There’s nothing wrong, however, with saying a simple prayer if it makes you feel more certain in your decision.

You might pray, “Dear God, I know you love me. I know I’ve done things wrong…I’m a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins and rose from the grave, paving the only way for me to get to you. Forgive me of my sins, come into my heart, and save me. I want to follow Christ with my life. Thank you for saving me.”

Again, use your own words, but be certain your heart is fully open to Jesus!

God bless,

Have you ever doubted your salvation? Are you doubting now?

Are Church Goers Fatter than Average?

I don’t know if I buy into the research of this report, especially in my church where we seem to have an abundance of exercise and health conscious people. But, according to this ABC News report…

Well, just watch for yourself… (After the short advertisement)

Did you watch it? What do you think? Agree or disagree? Is the report offensive to you?

Also, do you think the pastor’s health or lifestyle influences the church in this area? Does the style of church play into this?

Just curious….

For a printed version of this story, click HERE.

3 Benefits of Forgiveness

One of the most frequent issues I deal with as a pastor is the issue of forgiveness. There is so much hurt among people and the tendency is to bottle it up in an unforgiving spirit. It would be easier to hold a grudge, but Scripture is clear we have an obligation to forgive…just as we have been forgiven.

Whenever I address this issue, I get push back from those who say they can’t get over what was done to them. I remind them that the Bible doesn’t say we must forget, but to forgive. There’s a huge difference. It doesn’t even say we should allow forgiveness to be an open door for continued abuse by someone. The goal is to free our hearts by letting go of the anger, bitterness, and frustration with the person who wronged you.

This is not only because God commanded it, but practically speaking, the emotions brought on by failing to forgive begin to control you and serve no purpose to repair the relationship or you. Holding onto the pain certainly doesn’t teach the other person a lesson or make them a better person. Of course, when the other person keeps causing new injury it makes it even tougher, but it doesn’t release us from an obligation to forgive.

Forgiveness brings much to a person’s life:

Friday Discussion: Spiritual Growth

It’s Friday discussion time!

Let’s discuss spiritual growth…specifically yours.

I’m always interested in spiritual growth, because…well…that’s kind of what I do!

Help me by telling me some of your spiritual growth process.

To help you think, consider answering some or all of these questions:

  • Are you closer to God today than you were a year ago?
  • If not, what changed?
  • Is yes, what did you do differently?
  • What helps you most to grow spiritually?
  • Was there a time in your life where you felt the closest to God?
  • Who is mostly responsible, in your opinion, for your spiritual growth?
  • Do you practice any spiritual disciplines, such as Bible reading, prayer, fasting, tithing, etc.? If so, what do you do?
  • What changes would you need to make to grow more spiritually?

Help me out…tell me about your spiritual growth…