Ponder A Little (Blog)
A blog that ponders the questions of Christianity, Christ and God's love for mankind.
|Posted on November 9, 2018 at 12:35 AM|
I’ve always been told that Satan likes to attack us the most, at our weak spots… areas in our lives where we tend to fail again and again. Perhaps in our spending habits, or personal bitterness, or misplaced priorities, or a tendency to gossip or a critical spirit. The list goes on. We all have sins we are most prone to succumb to.
But recently I heard a pastor teach the opposite. He said that Satan is most likely to attack us at our strengths, not our weaknesses. Why? Because our strengths lead to pride. So, he said we need to beware of our successes because it is in those successes that we are most likely to forget God (J.D. Greear)
Pride can be so subtle, can’t it? Nobody tends to see themselves as being prideful. Yet with a closer, more honest look, we all know that we have experienced times of personal, sinful pride.
Do you know why God does not bless many of us with wealth? Because with prosperity most people become self-sufficient. Clearly God often tests each of us with times of adversity and those times are hard but we usually make it through. However, the test of prosperity is not so easy for many. It is this test that most of us will fail. Because prosperity makes life easy. So, we don’t need God and we quickly forget about Him.
Thank God today for a life that is not easy and keeps you dependant on Him, seeking Him and loving Him!
|Posted on October 31, 2018 at 11:05 AM|
God doesn’t call the brave. He makes brave the called!
God doesn’t need your abilities. He needs your availability!
Time and time again the Scriptures speak of ordinary people that God made great! Men like unheard of Gideon, shepherd boy David, mistreated Joseph, fishermen from Galilee and an orphan named Esther.
God made leaders out of stuttering Moses, denying Peter, adulterer David, youthful Jeremiah and persecuting Saul.
Even a woman named Deborah, a prophetess, God equipped to lead the Israelites in battle, while the leader of the army, Barak, would only go to war if she went with him.
God repeatedly teaches us in the Bible that it is not about who we are - but about who He is!
God says He will never leave us and with His power we can do great things. We all face fears. But do we live daily with the full realization of God’s promise to always be with us? Do we ever need to be afraid if we fully believe in His presence and amazing power in our lives?
When you hear God’s calling, you will experience fear. Be ready for it and respond to it with courage grounded in the assurance of God’s promise to be with you and the realization that God is always bigger than our fears!
Ask God what He is calling you to do because God has placed a calling on each of our lives. Most of us choose the easy path. We stay in our comfort zone and fail to live out God’s calling. And then we miss out on God’s perfect plan for us. But it’s never too late!
Step out in faith and obedience to God’s voice!
|Posted on September 27, 2018 at 1:20 PM|
Christian author, Gary Chapman, writes the following in his book, “The Love as a Way of Life”:
In the later centuries of the Roman Empire – and the early centuries of the Christian era – the once-proud empire suffered a series of setbacks. Wars, waves of invasion by Germanic tribes, and devastating epidemics led to a fractured, failing society.
In the face of terrible conditions, political elites and their non-Christian priests fled the cities. T he only functioning social network left was the church, which provided basic nursing care to Christians and non-Christians alike, along with hope that transcended death. Even pagans acknowledged that early Christians were as kind to their neighbors as they would be to family. What made the church so powerful during that time was not artful persuasion but serving others with love….
As history shows, entire cultures can change as a result of the Christian community practicing the love of Christ.
Ponder how you can influence your community by practicing the love of Christ through random acts of kindness. Then begin!
|Posted on September 22, 2018 at 3:20 PM|
The Bible repeatedly tells us that God is a jealous God. What does this mean? Isn’t jealousy a sin.? So, if God is holy and perfect, how can He be jealous?
There is a righteous jealousy just as there is a righteous anger.
The answer to this conundrum is found by looking at the context of the use of the word in the Bible. When God describes himself as jealous in the Bible, it is when his children, the Israelites, chose to follow other gods and worship idols.
Jealousy is only a sin when it is over something that does not belong to us. As believers, we commit our hearts and lives to God. And we belong to Him. He is first in our lives and the object of our primary devotion. God is jealous for our love that belongs to Him.
So, when we mix up our priorities and put other people or things or goals at the top of our list, God becomes jealous. When we make for ourselves earthly idols in place of God, He has a righteous jealousy for us to come back to Him.
God’s jealousy is actually a rich display of His endless and devoted love for each one of us!
God is jealous for you! Are you jealous for Him?
|Posted on September 16, 2018 at 7:45 PM|
I recently read the book, “Jesus Outside The Lines”, which gave me a fresh perspective of Jesus and how he related to the culture of His day that was strongly opposed to His message. Jesus did very well at what I and many Christians today find so very difficult.
Daniel Darling said, “A certain ugliness accompanies the way evangelicals often do cultural engagement. It is a gospel-free, score-keeping partisanship long on fear and short on hope.”
Modern society with multiplying and widening cultural divides can be disheartening for the evangelical Christian. How do we introduce the gospel in such an anti-Christ environment? It seems difficult at times to co-exist in a world that sometimes opposes the core of our being so strongly.
So, as Christians we sometimes choose to seek safety in our little cocoon of Christian fellowship. But is this what Jesus did? Reading our Bibles, we learn that Jesus made a habit of socializing with the unbelievers and the sinners. His words and actions are full of love, not divisiveness.
Even within Christian circles, opposing views on politics, money, the poor and worship are held, and divide us as believers. Division was never the way of Christ. Jesus led with compassion. It is, indeed, possible for two Christians to hold opposing views on a topic without either of them compromising their faith.
In his book, “Jesus Outside The Lines”, Pastor Scott Sauls addresses these ongoing conflicts of our modern day, resulting from people choosing sides. Sauls asks, “Is it possible to profoundly disagree with someone and love that person deeply at the same time? Is it possible to hold convictions and simultaneously embrace those who reject your deep convictions?”
His answer in the book, is an overwhelming, Yes! He encourages the believer to, without compromising his faith, try to understand the thoughts of those with differing views to establish healthy communication. He encourages compassionate dialogue, not critical. Sauls uses countless Scripture to present his conclusion that we can, in fact, lovingly co-exist in a society full of people with opposing views. After all, that is exactly what Jesus did.
Sauls, courageously and compassionately challenges even difficult subjects in his book, like sexual ethics and the reality of hell. There is no Christian compromise in this book, only Christ-like compassion!
Christian Ethicist, Andrew Spencer says, “This book represents the beginning of a deep conversation that needs to happen in the gospel community whose ideas are increasingly demonized.”
I wholeheartedly recommend this book for any Christian who chooses to be more and more Christ-like in their everyday interactions with both believers and non-believers that Jesus deeply loves.