Author Archive

Proverbial Thought

Okay, so I have great news!

Starting this Sunday, April 1 (specifically designed to start on April Fools’ Day) a new blog is officially launching: Proverbial Thought!

An online friend was inspired to start this blog, because there is very little available in terms of devotions and commentary on Proverbs. This is a site sharing some insights into the book of Proverbs, and there are contributions from various people from all over the place. For some crazy reason, this dear brother in the Lord thought I would make a great contributor!

I suggest that all of my regular, semi-regular, and random readers head on over to Proverbial Thought and sign-up right away! You will not want to miss what these guys have to say! (You might enjoy even what I have to say!) There is a new passage every single day!

What are you still doing here? GO!

Much love in the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ,


Who quotes from Philemon?!

The other day my wife was looking for a card for her Secret Sister at church. They were able to grow a little closer to each other over the months before the big reveal … last night, as of this posting. Her Sister has been through some tough emotional times, as of late, so she wanted the card to express love, joy, and encouragement. I helped her look, and we were pleasantly surprised to see that it had a quote from Philemon. I told her “You have to get that one. Who quotes from Philemon?!” It was also a beautiful card that expressed the intent. But it got me into thinking that perhaps my little series over the previous three weeks is not quite over, so I am going to quote from Philemon.

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.

Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I appeal to you on the basis of love. I then, as Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
Philemon 6-11

For starters, how do we understand “every good thing we have in Christ”? It is by actively sharing our faith. I recently re-readTortured for Christby Richard Wurmbrand. People who are persecuted for their faith get caught primarily through witnessing to others. They also understood the peace and joy of Christ in any circumstance.

This leads to the next question: What is the best way to be active in sharing your faith?

See my previous posts (here, here, and here, as well as my re-blog of someone else’s post) for more detail, but I think I can sum it up in a few sentences.

We must live by a standard above that of this world. We must be willing to share in not only the joys of others but also the pains, trials, and difficulties of others. We must be willing to die for others in the hope that they will know the truth. Of course, we must tell others the good news of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and all that this message entails. (Grace, love, forgiveness, and peace indeed are prominent, but there are also commands and warnings)

But I cannot tell you to do this. Christianity is not about just following a bunch of rules. Following Jesus is not about just praying and being nice. “Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do . . .”

It takes a commitment, a desire to know and love and grow in the knowledge of and love of God. “. . . yet I appeal to you on the basis of love.”

I have seen people throughout the church bicker and complain about each other and those outside of the Church. I have seen people throughout the church refuse to forgive and hold grudges. I have seen people throughout the church hate.

What good is using the authority of Christ to command if it could cause more sin and push more people away from God.

I can tell you until I am blue in the face that you need to forgive, love, and help others, but if you do not have that love in you it will never work.

Instead, I plead with you:

Seek God. Ask for the love of Christ to grow within you. Ask for the peace of Christ to grow within you. Ask for the grace of Christ to grow within you.

Only then will you be able to love others as they need. Only then will you be able to bring others to Christ.

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 03/25/2012

To repent means to turn away from something and toward something else. Ask yourself:

  • Have I repented or simply sought forgiveness?
  • Have I truly turned away from my sin?
  • Have I turned to God or my own strength?

repentance for You

i want to turn away.
i want to look towards You.
i want to leave behind
everything untrue.
i will turn from evil.
i will clean my hands and heart.
i will give myself for
You, set apart.
i do not want of this world.
i do not want what they can give.
i do not want anything
but the life You live.
i will not give up my heart.
i will not devote me to sin.
i will not allow the things
of this world within.
i turn from my desires.
i turn from my old fate.
i turn so that i may see
Your Holy, Loving Face.

Taken from deeper words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 48.

I Would Take Her Thorn – Reblog

My wonderful wife helped me by sending me this entry from The Better Mom. It goes perfectly with the topic this week. Enjoy.

I Would Take Her Thorn

March 21, 2012  By Kara Chupp

Her shoulders rise and fall as
she shuffles towards me.
Backpack is dragging with more
weight than usual.

A hard day at school.
She tries to smile.
Tries to say…
Hi Mom
But the words are choked out by
a sob that snatches them–

My own eyes start to sting.
My own heart starts to pound.
Pulse with pain.
For this child that I love
So deeply.

This child whose hurt
I would rub clean,
Wash clear away if I could.

I pull her near,
A little tighter.
Whisper my love,

I pray she will feel His love,
A little stronger.
That He will speak His love to her,
His perfect love.

I know He’s using these hurts to draw her to Him.
But I would take her thorn if I could.

I can thank Him for the pain that has pulled me closer.
But thank Him for her hurt?
For her tears?
I want to grab her and run–
Her far away from all of these 10-year-old-heartaches.

But I know–
That He knows her.
He made her.
He loves her.
That all this helps her find her footing
In Him.

So…I will be thankful.
For the hurt that makes her more compassionate.
For the struggle that makes her more persistent.
For the pain that makes her need Him

Will You Go To Hell for Me?

So far, I have discussed how the Church is failing and how we can reach out to others. [Cool-voice-over voice] And now for the conclusion:

I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
Romans 9:1-5

There is a movie called “The Second Chance” and stars Michael W. Smith. One of the boys in the movie joins a gang, and there is the traditional “If you want to leave the gang, we will beat you to within an inch of your life” talk. The pastor of The Second Chance Church reaches out to this young man, and it eventually leads to his wanting to leave the gang. When he went to tell the gang he wanted out (keep in mind that this boy has yet to become a believer in Jesus Christ), he arrived to find out that another young man from the church had taken the beating for him putting him in the hospital.


The other young man had such a love for others that he willingly and gladly paid the price for someone who had yet to believe.

Actually, it reminds me of another story about God becoming a man and dying for the sins of the world.

It also reminds me of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand’s story. (Seriously, check out the story.)

But for now, and to keep this short, can you relate with the Apostle Paul?

Do you love others so much that you wish you could lose your salvation for their sakes?

Do you love other believers enough to suffer for their sakes?

Do you love God enough to live out the love shown through the cross of Christ?

Would you take the punishment for someone you do not even know if would it bring them to the knowledge of Christ?

Would even if there was no guarantee? Even if they mistreated you?

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 03/18/2012

Winning others for any cause takes good leadership. Usually, the best way is servant-leadership. Here is one idea of what leadership can look like:

What is leadership?

What is leadership?
First, let go and let God

Give up and let God in control

Second, grab hold and let God

Let God guide your life
Take control through Christ

Third, step up and let God

Find friends in Christ
Help each other move
Grow in God together

Fourth, step out and let God

Move out of your comfort zone
Take a friend with you
Reach out to those without
Talk with them about Christ

What is leadership?

Trusting God
Sharing His Word
Loving on others
Diving headfirst
Running towards God
Bringing others

Taken from deeper words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 47.

Will You Go Through Hell with Me?

Last week I started this mini-series with “Will You Go To Hell with Me?” It is not enough to know what the Bible says, we have to live it out. It is not enough to say “Jesus is Lord,” we have to show it. It is not enough to talk about love, we have to share it.

Part 2:

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
Jude 17-23

Some of the people I mentioned last week fit the first couple verses’ warning. Some of these people are in conservative churches. Some are in liberal churches. Some in “mainline” churches (Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal, etcetera) and Catholic churches have been around since before the vast majority of denominations and churches ever existed up through today. This is not a new thing, but the evidence seems to be pointing ever more toward us being close to the end. Either people are not showing love, or they are showing the wrong kind of love.

(On an interesting sidenote, Harold Camping, who predicted the world would end last year with Christ’s return, last week publicly repented of his sin of claiming to know the hour and day of said Return. Bravo, Mr. Camping, for owning up to your sins; and praise You, Father, for working in all things!)

People may be stupid, but, individually, people are also really smart. They frequently know when someone is not being real with them.

Here is a rebuke:

Stop offering to pray for people;
Stop telling people you feel for them;
Stop feeling sorry for them;
Stop giving money to them …

Unless you are willing to love them and walk with them in their pain.

At the Rock & Worship Roadshow, Jason Dunn of Hawk Nelson said (of the children from Compassion) “If you look at these pictures and feel guilty, then we ask you not to sponsor one of these children. The Apostle Paul told us that if we are not acting out of love, then everything we do is worthless. You should sponsor a child only because a love inside of you is compelling you to help them.”

This can be true for every other area in which we must show love for others.

The only way we Christians, we followers of Christ, can “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear” is if we climb into the fire with them. We show them we care by walking through their pain and sadness with them. We show them we care by experiencing their hurt, doubt, hatred, and fear with them.

They know when we are just saying “I want to help you,” because they see us not helping.

I am just as guilty of this as the next guy.

And those who are living it out probably will never read this, because they are picking up the slack for the rest of us. This means that our brothers and sisters living out their faith are just as much in need of our love and support! Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself” includes Christians and non-Christians, family and strangers, friends and enemies.

Spread the Gospel by being Jesus’ hands and feet … and mouth and shoulder and shirt for runny noses and blanket and socks for cold feet and shoes for hurting feet and legs for the weary.

And do not think you are doing it by yourself and in your own power. There is no way we can climb into the flames to reach others and get back out with help. (Perhaps someday I will share a dream I had about this)

“To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”
Jude 24-25