Sunday, June 28, 2015


Back in the days of Genesis, Noah exited his ark after a forty day flood to see a remarkable sign in the sky: a rainbow. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet were painted in the sky as a promise to Noah, to you and I, that God would never again destroy the earth in that way again. As is apparent by the existence of the earth, God has been true to His word.
Color is a common theme throughout the Bible. Blue is named over fifty times, often associated with royalty and riches. Crimson is usually referencing sin. Moses was instructed to use scarlet and purple in the construction of the tabernacle and its detailed adornments. As is true with all things created by God, colors were not created by accident. They each have meaning and a message.
Sadly, the holy beauty of color has been distorted by Godless men. The rainbow, a beautiful symbol of a covenant made by God and kept by God, has been turned into a symbol of man's corruption of love and marriage. Parades fly rainbow colored flags celebrating homosexual relations and love for the same gender - far from the original meaning and symbolism associated with the rainbow painted in the sky for Noah. The rainbow flag waved by man has come to mean nature, healing, spirit, sex and harmony. Seven colors originally associated with God's grace, mercy and love have been twisted to mean whatever man can think up. But one color remains separate, untouched and uncorrupted by man.
The color white stands pure and holy in a world that has lost sight of God, pushed Him out of their lives and completely rebelled against His commands. But the redemption and sanctification of white still pierces through the sin. God is still alive, showering His children with mercy just like He did for Noah and his family.
In Revelations white is used a number of times pointing towards the promise of Jesus' return. Our Lord and Savior is coming back and He's coming with power, strength and glory. For all the attempts of this world to shut-up the Almighty God, He will not be silenced. At the appointed time He will come again.
The date of Jesus' return is not for you or I to know. God has purposely kept the hour of His coming a secret, a mystery to every man. But He has given us the promise of His return and the color white as a reminder that the Savior of the world is set to make a grand re-entrance to claim His own and set right all that has gone wrong.
When you and I look at the rainbow, the messages we receive will undoubtedly be mixed thanks to a culture that embraces sin and mocks God. But we have a color that won't be in that rainbow; a color that outshines the brightest, boldest of flags. We have white. We have eternal salvation. We have a King in Heaven who is watching over us, protecting us and preparing to come again. We have a Prince of Peace and He's coming in robes of pure white.

Friday, June 26, 2015

King of Kings

The past two days have been sad ones for America. The Supreme Court has handed down two major rulings confirming the overwhelming suspicion that many Christians have had about the direction of our country. This nation founded on Christian principles has completely abandoned the truth and authority of God. The very bedrock of our country's establishment has been crushed by the heavy weight of evil and corruption. Sin has entered in and launched an all out assault on all things Godly, Biblical and Christian.
With the ruling of the healthcare law the nation was handed a blow to freedom. The government just grabbed more of our independence, forcing individuals to pay for abortions and medical intervention that they don't believe in nor want to take part in. But now, with this ruling, we answer to the state - a state that is attempting with every law to take the place of God in the lives of individuals.
And then today marriage was formally, legally ripped apart. This day has been building and few court watchers believed the ruling would go any other way, but the reality of the verdict has made it all too real. The God ordained covenant between a man and woman joined together by God for the purpose of honoring Him, procreating and protecting one another, was trampled. The institution of marriage has officially been hijacked by man and turned into a human experiment as disposable as a lease agreement. But marriage has nothing to do with the laws of man. It was created by God, ordained by God and established by God. Marriage isn't a route to tax cuts or a convenience for housing arrangements. Marriage is God's design for the continuation of mankind. Man and woman are to become one to be fruitful and multiple. Men are to love their wives like Christ loves the church, protecting them as the physically weaker of the partnership. And women have the role of being supportive, submissive counterparts to their husbands. Marriage isn't a human invention that can be tweaked by nine robed sinners. Marriage is God's and, even in light of today's ruling, is still God's.
Christians have been dealt a serious blow by the verdicts of the past two days but none of this is to surprise or concern us. What we stand for, the Bible and the truth of Jesus Christ, is not of this world. This world is one of sin but those who are born of the Spirit have died to sin and are aliens in this world. Jesus said in John 17:14 says, "I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world." Truth has been attacked ever since Eve took a bite of the apple because truth threatens Satan and Satan doesn't sit back and relax when threatened. He fights back. And today he was in full-on battle mode. 
The dissolving of Christian principles hasn't happened overnight in America, it happened slowly and steadily. The rationalizing of sin has turned into the celebrating and legalizing of sin. And still there are those of us who cry out, "Abba! Father!" 
To those who weep with me for the future of our country and the lost souls of its citizens I encourage you to take heart; don't despair. God is not done yet. 
"And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death." (Revelations 12:11). This is not the hour for us to back down or give up our beliefs under the pressure of an ever demoralized culture. This is the hour we were made for. Stand up, put on the full armor of God and be strong in His might. Do not fear or shrink back. Speak the truth of the Gospel with love and authority because our land is perishing and hearts are in desperate need of redemption, rebirth and restoration. 
The world will hate to hear the truth but, despite the laws on the record books or the opinions of politicians, truth will reign. God will stand at the end of this age as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. SCOTUS may have a say in the agenda of this land and this nation but those nine lawyers have nothing on God. In the end God will show His mighty rule and He will forever reign. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Falling on faith

There are two ways to fall. One is to fall in failure or, two, to fall on faith.
The first type of fall is accidental and, unless done as part of a theater act, unintentional. No one walks hoping to trip, stumble or somehow end up face flat on the ground. Any sane and rational walker hopes to complete the exercise on two feet and without bumps, bruises or scraped knees. On the walk of life we are all hoping for the same accident-free outcome. We want to make it through college without falling behind; to the alter without falling on our wedding dress or, worse, falling out of love with the man at the end of the aisle. We all want to walk through the ups and downs of relationship woes without falling apart. Parents want to raise their children without having them fall off the straight and narrow path. Falls create pain and pain is never to be desired. So we all try our hardest to avoid the fate of the fallen. 
Yet, many - most - of us will at some point (if not many points) fall. Some people will lose their job, others will lose their children. Marriages will end in divorce and friendships will dissolve in hurt feelings. Sickness will strike and death will separate. The falls of life are too numerous to number. Seemingly out of nowhere, a rock of a circumstance is in our path, tripping up our plans and dreams, sending us cascading downward with nothing to break out fall. 
What if I told you that you could avoid this accidental, traumatic type of fall altogether? It seems almost too good to be true, doesn't it? Well, before you get your hopes up let me clarify a few things. Full disclosure: I am not promising that by eliminating the fall in failure your life will be free of the painful situations and unpleasant circumstances. What I am about to propose will not guarantee your happiness. Marriages will not become immune to arguments and divorce. Children will not suddenly become angelic creatures who never talk back and always take out the trash (without being asked). Nor am I guaranteeing that your job will be "fire proof" or your body "illness proof." What I can guarantee is this, what I am going to propose will transform your attitude and heart towards the very act of falling and whatever stimulus or situation that came about and tripped you up. 
To escape the fall in failure you must learn to willingly and purposefully fall on faith. Embracing this kind of fall means getting down low before anything can knock us to that humble position. You and I are meant to fall but not because we've been kicked, pushed or tripped. We are meant to fall willingly as an act of surrender and obedience before the throne of God. 
Paul, a man well acquainted with struggles and suffering, practiced the art of falling on faith. In Ephesians 3:14 he wrote, "for this reason I fall on my knees before the Father." Paul was speaking of purposely falling. Ending up on the ground, on his knees, was Paul's act of obedience. Nothing caught him off guard that sent him to the ground. He chose that position because in that position he was fully relying on faith to be his strength. He was fully dependent on God when he was at his lowest, even his physical lowest. 
When life throws us a curve ball or sticks its foot out and causes us to trip we do have something to hold onto, something to break our fall: our knees. Even while we are mid free-fall we can decide to make that fall on purpose and that fall one that will land on faith. Sometimes the things that knock us down will come so unannounced that we are indeed mid fall before we realize something has hit us. No matter how last minute the decision, we can choose to land in a position of surrender and obedience that is only possible through an unwavering faith in God. 
For those of us who see the fall before we even stumble, choose to go down gracefully and humbly before God. Fall on purpose. It may seem like a weak and cowardly move but falling on faith is none of the above. To fall on faith is to trust wholeheartedly in the strength, omnipotence and will of God. 
Our strength is never found in trying to stay upright when life serves us a blow or throws a rock in our path. Fighting to stand in the face of such an onslaught will only make our fall more painful. But if we choose to take the fall our knees our spirit will be grateful. The impact won't hurt so much. We will still end up on the ground but it will be a restful position, one where we are cradled, not scrapped, left worse for the wear. 
Today we can choose how we will fall. Falling on faith won't make our lives immune to pain and sorrow but it will unite our heart and soul with our Great Comforter who will carry us through our trials. Learn to love the humble position of being on one's knees because it is there you will find that God will shower you with His strength, love and mercy. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Alone in my Principles

"Oh, there he goes off to his room to write that hit song, 'Alone in my Principles.'"
I can't help but crack up every time Lenny says that line in my all time favorite movie, That Thing You Do. Despite the fact that I've watched the movie upwards of fifty times, that short one-liner never fails to hit my funny bone. It's comical relief is due in part to the impeccable timing and perfect vocal inflection - the hallmark of all humorous one-liners. Lenny, Steve Zahn in real life, has the technique down to a science.
It's been quite some time since I've watched That Thing You Do but I can hear that line in my head as if it were just replayed on my TV a moment ago. I can see Jimmy storming out of the hotel restaurant, presumably up to his room where a new hit single is about to be born. As I watch the scene play out in my mind I am struck not by the comedy or humor of the events taking place but the honesty of the principle. "Alone in my Principles." It isn't necessarily the catchiest of song titles, but it is often reality for anyone who holds firm in their beliefs. The person that won't renounce their convictions or compromise their standards often finds themselves very much alone.
Alone isn't one of those words that conjures up warm and fuzzy feelings. Unless, that is, you are a Mom of five who is getting "alone time" on a Saturday afternoon at the spa. But take that same Mom and turn her "alone time" into a stand for moral principles and Biblical truth. That kind of "alone" doesn't sound like a relaxing day at the spa.
Being alone in our stance for Christ should never surprises us. The day we signed up to be a soldier in the Lord's army, proclaiming Christ and committing our lives to His service, we signed on to a life of standing alone. The ways of the world are not in line with the principles and teachings of the Bible. The world rejected Jesus to the point of nailing Him to a cross. He stood very, very alone. He stood so alone in His principles that He died for the sins of the world at the hands of a mocking crowd. It simply doesn't get any more alone than that.
Before Jesus was crucified He told His disciples and anyone else who would chose to follow Him, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first." (John 15:18). Although in this world we will often find ourselves standing alone we are never truly alone. When we stand apart for Christ we stand with Christ. We have company in our principles and a faithful friend to support us when the world abandons us. We can stand firm knowing that our feet are planted in the unfailing, everlasting truth of God. Standing alone in the world is actually standing right with Christ.
This world and all of its sin and corruption will one day pass away but the Word of the Lord will last forever. Even on days when it feels like you are utterly alone, remember that Jesus is with you. The stance you are taking for truth today will undoubtedly separate you from the wayward world we live in but it will, at the same time, unite you with the eternal Kingdom to come. We are living not for the fleeting pleasures of this world or the sinful ways of wayward living but the glory of Heaven that will never pass away.
Dear Reader, don't be ashamed or afraid to stand alone in your principles. Go off into your bedroom and write a song about it if that helps to calm your anxiety and strengthen your spirit. Go to the Good Lord's Book and find encouragement for the narrow, deserted path you are walking. Cry out to the Lord who has all the power in His hand to carry you through the droughts of lonely days and solitary seasons. In Christ alone you will find that you are never actually alone. The world around you may cause you to feel like an outcast or, worse yet, it might press up against you with hostility and enmity. As you stand alone hold fast to the principles of the Bible, the salvation of Jesus Christ and the eternal glory of the Almighty God.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


No matter who you are, what side of town you were born on or who your Mom is, there is one common experience you and I and the rest of humanity share: waiting. Everyone at some point in their life will have to wait for something. Maybe it is as uneventful as waiting for a train or maybe it is as life-threatening as waiting for a kidney transplant. Be it a wait of trivial importance or a wait of great significance, waiting will strike us all. The challenge of waiting is universal.
Waiting is a common theme in scripture. The Bible was written by men who were well acquainted with waiting and the issue is repeatedly addressed. A favorite and often quoted verse on the subject is Psalm 27:14. "Wait on the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord." As encouraging as those words may be, they are also a bit perplexing. How does one wait on the Lord? The command is given but where are the step-by-step instruction?
Throughout the Bible there is scripture, commands and testimonies that teach us how to wait. In fact, the whole Bible is one big textbook on waiting. From Abraham to Paul, God has been teaching men and women how to wait and documenting it all the while. Pondering the lives of these waiting men and the scriptures given to us in order to guide our waiting, I whittled down the act of waiting into four words. There are a variety of words I could have chosen but in the spirit of sermonizing I picked words to suit the acronym "w-a-i-t."
So, without further ado, a simplification of how to wait.

W....worship. There is no shortage of scripture that tells the believer to worship. The word "praise" is used nearly 300 times in the Bible. Add in worship, rejoice, exalt and glorify and what you have is an entire book HIGHLY suggesting one action: worship God alone. The Bible doesn't say, "worship when you get your blessing" or "worship on Sundays." It says to worship. Psalm 100:2 says, "Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs." There are no stipulations or exceptions on that command. You and I, if we are in Christ and sons and daughters of God, must worship. So, while we wait, let's worship. The time of waiting is actually a perfect time to worship. Not only does it redirect our attentions away from the challenge of waiting but it gives us a new perspective on the very act of waiting. If you decide to be a worshiper in the midst of being a waiter, you might find that you aren't so concerned about the wait after all.

A...anticipate. James wrote, "Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near." (5:7-8). James used a familiar analogy to convey a fundamental principal of waiting on the Lord: wait with anticipation. The farmer waits on his crop, knowing that through the rains and the storms a harvest is being nurtured. During our times of waiting, through our own life storms, something is being nurtured and cultivated in us and in our lives. We have the promise of the good things to come because God said, "I know the plans I have for you...plans for hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11). As we wait on the Lord those promises are being worked out. Like the farmer and his crop, you and I have to wait before the promises of God are fulfilled in our lives. But, just like that farmer, we can wait with great anticipation at the great harvest that will spring forth at the perfect, God-ordained time. 

I....inspire. As Paul was in prison he did a lot of waiting. Prison back in New Testament times had that in common with prison today. There is a lot of time to wait. Paul was waiting to see if he would be released, would live or die, or would ever see his fellow Christian brothers and sisters again. He didn't know. He was waiting to see what God had for his future. Paul didn't let the act of waiting cause him to be a downer or a complainer. Instead, he took the challenge of waiting and turned it into a lesson of inspiration for his fellow believers. In his letters he wrote words of continual encouragement. He used his story of suffering and waiting as a way to inspire others to wait on the Lord. In Philippians 3:20 he wrote, "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ..." The act of waiting in Paul's life inspired others to wait on the Lord with patience and hope. It is amazing how those same words are still inspiring fellow believers today?

T....testify. A command as prevalent in the Bible as worshiping is testifying to the greatness of God and the salvation found in Jesus Christ. While we are waiting we can be sharing that testimony. Our conversation can be focused on our plight and challenge of waiting or those same interactions can be used to testify to the glory of God and the new life bought by the blood of Jesus Christ. "This is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son." (1 John 5:11). Every child of God has a universal story to share, and it is bigger and far more important than our story of waiting. We have the story of redemption, salvation, justification and rebirth! Even while we are waiting that can be the story we tell. Our message of Jesus Christ's gift of salvation will be much more impactful and genuine coming from a life that is patiently waiting in faith. Our unshakable faith in the midst of waiting can be our greatest testimony to the lost who are searching for the One true eternal, everlasting hope.

The act of waiting doesn't have to be time wasted. Waiting is a God-given gift that can be used to bring glory and honor to God. He has a purpose for your waiting. Do you trust that? If you do then live out your days of waiting the way God teaches us in the scripture. Worship Him. Anticipate the goodness He has in store. Inspire fellow believers as you wait. And testify to the greatness of the one you are waiting on.