Saturday, November 29, 2014

Remember The Blood

I met an old man the other night here in Sumter.  A real friendly fellow.  After we spoke a few moments, I was about to walk off.  He grabbed my wrist and placed something in my hand.  His words were "Always remember the blood of Jesus."  I opened up my hand and saw a little red button that resembled a drop of blood.

That really got to me.  What a powerful reminder.  And a true one. 

Years ago, Jesus Christ was crucified on a Roman cross.  It was a brutal form of execution.  When that happened, He bled.  A lot.

Why should we always remember this?  Well, because of the blood of Jesus...

Our sins are forgiven,
Our souls are saved,
Our lives are changed,
Our futures are bright.

Thanks be to our risen Lord!  He sacrificed Himself and shed His own blood for us.  In doing this, He rescued us from an empty life and a hopeless future.  What a Savior we have in Jesus!

Let's always remember the blood.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Emerson's Good Conduct

My son came home today with a blue ribbon.  It was an award he won at school.  The ribbon read "Good Conduct".  I was proud of my boy and I made sure to congratulate him.

His "Good Conduct" award means this:  He behaves in the right way, and he follows the rules.  Does this mean he's perfect?  No, of course not.  He's a normal young boy.  But overall, he's conducting himself properly.

You know, good conduct matters for us adults too.  God expects us to behave ourselves and follow the rules He has laid out for us.  Publically and privately, we are simply to do what Steven Spielberg's alien, E.T., told Elliot:  "Be good."

Here is some scripture for us all to remember:

Proverbs 21:3 "Do what is right and just"

Galatians 6:9 "Let us not become weary in doing good"

1 Timothy 6:11 "pursue righteousness"

1 Peter 1:16 "Be holy, as I am holy"

The common thread that runs through these verses is this:  Christians, we must behave and be good.  God expects that out of us. 

No, none of us are perfect.  You're not.  And I'm not either.  You and I have failed and made mistakes along the way.  But let's repent, learn from our mistakes, and do better in the future.  

With the guidance of scripture and in the power of God's Holy Spirit, we can grow more and more like Christ.  We can live in righteousness.  And we can reflect the holiness of God to the world.

Yep, it's true.  Our behavior does matter.  With God's help, we can do right and live right.  

So let's get on with it!

Monday, November 3, 2014

My Pregnant Wife & The World Series

13 years ago, my wife was about to give birth to our youngest daughter.  She was in labor in her hospital room and I was in there with her.  Because we had been in there for a while, we had the tv on with the volume turned all the way down.  The World Series was on.

Finally, her doctor walked in.  He was a good guy.  I enjoyed talking with him.  Anyway, when he walked in, he looked up at the tv and said, "Oh yeah, the World Series is on!  Who's winning?"  I told him the score and then we stood there for a minute watching the game and shooting the breeze.  We had a few laughs and watched a few pitches.

Then it occurred to both of us that my pregnant wife needed our attention.  She was the reason we were in there to begin with, and we were losing focus.  So, needless to say, we shifted our attention on to her and the big event that was about to take place.  It was time for our Rachel to come into the world!

Lara and I still laugh about that story today.  I'm glad she's a good sport about it.  It's one event we will never forget.

If we're not careful, we can lose focus with the important things of life.  And that's not good.  Not at all.

In Revelation 2:4 Jesus said this to a church:  "You have forsaken the love you had at first."  He reminded believers they were distracted and not focused on their Lord like they should have been.  They had shifted their eyes away from where they needed to be.

Husbands, don't get distracted by the World Series when your attention should be on your wife.

And, Christians, don't get distracted by the trivial, insignificant matters of life when your attention needs to be on your Lord.

May God help us all to set our hearts and minds where they ought to be.  Matters of spiritual and eternal significance need to be on the forefront of our desires and thoughts.  Let's seek God first, worship God first, and love God first.   Nothing in this world, including the World Series, is more important than that.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Screen Door

I visited this weekend with an older gentleman that I greatly respect.  He's a fine Christian man, and I see qualities in him that I want more of in my own life.  I just look up to him.

At one point during our talk he looked at me and said this about himself:  "You know, David, I have more faults in me than a screen door has holes."  Wow, I did not see that coming from such a great guy like him.  But I admired his humility and honesty.

Even the best people we know have struggles and make mistakes.  They're no different from the rest of us.  We all fall short and sin one way or another.

One of the many things I think we will love about Heaven is this:  There will be no temptation, no sin, and no moral failure.  We won't wrestle with wrong cravings and impure desires up there like we do down here.  Won't that be fantastic?!

Yep, we all struggle in various ways.  And sometimes we get weary from that.  It can get exhausting when the inner war rages on.  But there IS good news:  We won't battle forever.  The fight will one day end.  And better days are coming.

So let's hang in there, keep our eyes on Jesus, and live in righteousness.  When we fail, let's confess it to God and claim His amazing forgiveness.  Also, let's remember that even though we have more faults in us than a screen door has holes, God's grace is greater than our sin, and His work in us is ongoing.