Use It Well

In this fourth part of our series, Simplicity: Finding Contentment in a Busy Life, we get practical. What does it actually look like to live with the simplicity and contentment found only in Christ in some specific situations that everyone faces? We start this week with a situation that is powerful tempting for just about everyone to seek their contentment somewhere other than Jesus. Keep reading to find out where.

Use It Well

By a show of hands, how many of you have heard of Benny Hinn? The televangelist is a longtime peddler of the Prosperity Gospel. The Prosperity Gospel is a uniquely American heresy (that we have unfortunately exported around the world) which holds that God rewards faithfulness with material blessings, that worldly success is an obvious sign of God’s favor. It holds that the contrary is true as well: Poor health and financial loss and the like are signs of faithlessness on our part. If we aren’t seeing the life outcomes we want to see, it is because we don’t believe strongly enough. Hinn’s specialty is healing. His services are filled with him waving a hand in someone’s direction and that person falling over backwards as she is “slain by the Spirit.” In practice it’s pretty wild stuff.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 Timothy 6:3-5

“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

These are some pretty tough words by Paul. He really doesn’t leave much off the table when it comes to calling out those folks who teach doctrine that doesn’t agree with his own which he is confident is absolutely consistent with what Jesus and the rest of the apostles proclaimed. And, given that 13 of his letters got included in the New Testament, I think he has a pretty good case to make that he’s on target. Still and again, these are tough words. What are we to make of them? Read the rest…

Zero G’s

In this third part of our series, Gravity: Overcoming the Weight of Our Stuff, we talk about another way to reduce its pull on us.  Once we know who is the real owner of the stuff we normally call “ours,” what comes next?  Simply put: We have to learn how to use it like He would.  To find out how that is and what we should do about it, keep reading.

 

Zero G’s

We recently watched the Oscar-nominated film, The Martian, starring Matt Damon.  It really was a great movie.  It’s about a team of astronauts who have established a little outpost on Mars.  During their research, however, a wild storm moves in and they have to abandon the post, at which point they decide to begin their year-long return to earth.  In the chaos of trying to get on their escape vessel as the storm rages around them, however, Matt Damon’s character gets separated from the group.  Presuming him dead, the group’s leader makes the agonizing decision to return without him.  I’ll stop the synopsis there so as to not give anything away if you haven’t seen it, but needless to say, the film includes quite a few scenes of the astronauts doing life on their enormous ship.  With the exception of a section of the ship in which they have somehow simulated gravity, all the movements about the ship take place in the weightlessness of space.  In order to film most of the scenes the actors were put on wires or else pantomimed being weightless in outer space while balancing on one foot. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 Timothy 5:4

“But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

What follows here is Paul offering Timothy some advice on how to establish and create guidelines for a program of caring for widows in his church.  There is much to comment on here, but let’s settle now for a few observations on some themes. Read the rest…

Moring Musings: 1 Timothy 6:17-19

As this new year dawns, I am now six months into this venture. It came after a long period of thinking about it, with much encouragement from several sources, most notably my beautiful bride. Thus far it has proved to be more work than I imagined, but also more satisfying. I love to write and this provides an outlet for that. More importantly, you, the good folks who take time out of your day several times a week to read what I have to say, make it possible. Thank you for your time, your thoughts, and your willingness to share when something has struck your fancy. I am looking forward to what the future brings. Happy New Year! Here is 2018’s inaugural Morning Musing. And stay tuned for yesterday’s sermon this afternoon. We’ll talk about how to have the best new year yet. Blessings to you!

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes in the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.  They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

To borrow a bit from an idea that Andy Stanley has been proclaiming for several years, there is nothing inherently wrong with being rich.  The problem is that most people who are rich aren’t very good at it.  Most rich people think their resources are primarily for them.  They think they own them.  They think they can do with them mostly as they please.  If that’s how you are being rich, you’re not doing it right. Read the rest…