Friday, February 29, 2008

Stop Just Smelling the Coffee

Coffee with God is one of life's joys. My wife does not drink coffee, but enjoys the smell of coffee brewing early in the mornings. Last week she gave me a new coffee maker that is supposed to provide a better tasting coffee. I wonder what brand of coffee maker God has up in heaven.

Nothing goes with a fresh brewed cup of coffee any better than a Psalm. Today's Psalm speaks volumes to today's Christians. David writes. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” I do not dispute God, and I understand that unity within the body is good and pleasant, but boy-oh-boy is it rare. When Christians move beyond being benchwarmers and get involved in the decision-making and leadership roles of the church, they seem to become adversarial. People with personal agenda's and personal issues become willing to destroy the local congregation of believers in order to get their own way, or just to do it their own way.

Recently, I said to a Christian, “I do not believe you love your pastor or your church. If you did, you would not work against your pastor, and you would get with the program of your church.” Church members get upset if they are told to follow the rules and guidelines established for the betterment of the whole congregation, believing that their “work” or “faithfulness” somehow” means they can by-pass the established guidelines. People, who love their church, do everything within their ability to follow the rules and guidelines. Therefore, from here on when you see someone disrespecting your pastor or failing to follow the established rules of their church, tell them to get with the program or get a new church, because you love your Lord, your pastor, and your church and their ungodliness is damaging the unity. It's time for Christians to stop just smelling the coffee, get a big hot cup and enjoy your relationship with God. Coffee smellers never enjoy the taste, or perhaps just don't like the taste. I suppose the enjoyment of coffee is a lot like our relationship with God. You have to develop the taste for it.

That is today's brew! I need another cup.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

With Faith Comes Responsibility

The acceptance of Faith in Christ brings a huge responsibility. First Timothy 1:9-10 reminds us that the Law is provided for the evil doers, not for the righteous. As I sit here at my desk, cup of coffee in hand, God and I discuss what Timothy is saying and I weigh His communication against the news of this day.

God says that we as Christians have a very big responsibility. Just as He has provided us salvation through Jesus Christ, He has also provided us sound doctrine and the Gospel through great men and women of faith. This sound doctrine and the Gospel was committed to the Apostle’s trust, and then to Paul’s trust, all the way through Christendom to us. As Christians, we are to carry sound doctrine and the Gospel message throughout the world, to all peoples, as we run the race of life.

Does this have an effect on current news, yes! It means that as you and I go into the ballot booth to vote, we must take our faith with us. As we look at the candidates, we must consider who best represents this sound doctrine of our Faith. It is not about who is electable, but who is most sound in the doctrines of our Faith. What has a person gained, if he gains the office and loses his soul? I must vote for the person of sound doctrine and who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, even if the world considers that person as unelectable. What have you and I gained if we elect a person to office who does not have sound doctrine? America get’s what America deserves, and Christians over the past fifty years have done a very poor job at shouldering the responsibility of carrying the touch of sound doctrine on our leg of the race of life. So God and I challenge you to take up the touch and run the race with sound doctrine.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Trying to go to Heaven with prejudice of heart.

Good Morning God. This sure is a great cup of coffee. I was just remembering when I received a letter of thanks from the Grand Cyclops of the KKK. He was thanking me for working with the white youth of the community. For near twenty years now, God, I have worked with people of all races and cultures and have a real heart for multicultural ministry. My good friend, Rev. Dennis Hall, once asked me what event transformed my life. You know God, as I reflected on his question, I came to realize that this is what you do in the life of every Christian.

God, it appears to me that this is exactly what John is addressing in First John 2:9-11. I am theologically convinced that if the Church is to ever win this world for you that it must first seek forgiveness for the prejudice that separates it so severely on Sunday mornings, lest the multitudes of churchgoers miss heaven altogether. Our churches are not only segregated by race, culture, and traditions, they are divided by denominational blindness. God, I am reminded of the Presbyterian Church down the street that refused to participate with a Baptist church I served as pastor. One of the elders told me that they would only participate with three other Presbyterian churches, and that they sure would not participate with a Baptist church. God, I am convinced that if we have a personal relationship with you son Jesus, that You will convict us of all prejudice in our lives, and lead us to seek your forgiveness and repentance. Prejudice knows no racial boundaries and no race or culture has a monopoly on it, but it is of this world and not of God. America’s churches have proven this by the development of denominational prejudice.What do you think, God, am I on target? Can a believer in Jesus have prejudice in his or her heart and get into Heaven?

Get yourself a cup of coffee and share your thoughts.