Thursday, October 12, 2017



Have you ever felt abandoned by God?  Have you ever felt as if God let you down or did not fulfill His end of the bargain?  If honest, most people will admit they have at one time or another.  "I prayed and prayed and God ignored me..."  "I did everything right and then this happened..."  These are just a couple of things we may have thought at some point.

   Before you are too hard on yourself, even Jesus felt abandoned by the Father, "My God My God, why have you forsaken me?!"  Did God really forsake Jesus as He hung on the cross?  Scholars debate, but I look to the resurrection and have to conclude, no, God did not, ultimately forsake Jesus.   

     The biggest complaint I think is when we feel we have done what is right and somehow God owes us for being good.  The very principles of reaping and sowing dictate: "Do good things and good things happen."  

     What if the principles of reaping and sowing work the same way as real reaping and sowing.  You know, you work your butt off in the field and then you wait months for a harvest.  What if, we, in our microwave society, are unrealistic when we expect instant reward for good behavior?  And really, what is good behavior, anyway?  Is good behavior when we sin less than our neighbor or less than we did last week?  These are all questions we must really ponder when we are questioning God's goodness and care.  

     If a farmer's tractor breaks down while sowing his field, he understands that tractors break.  The farmer is still going to reap his harvest in due time, his sowing will be rewarded.  In the mean time, he has to fix his tractor.  If I do, what I think, are good deeds this week and then I get in a car accident, that does not mean I am forsaken by God, it means that while I am waiting to reap my harvest, I happened to have gotten into a car accident.  Life happens and God doesn't promise us exemption from bad days. 

    When life goes awry, sometimes, it is because we have failed to do one of two things:

1. We failed to seek God on a particular matter or decision
2. We fail to heed God's leading after we pray.

     In Jeremiah 40-42 we see the account of Gedaliah and Johannan.  One a good guy and one a bad guy, both come to a bad end because they failed in one of the 2 aforementioned ways.  Geddy, failed to seek God.  Geddy was warned that a guy he thought was a friend wanted to kill him.  Geddy failed to seek God's counsel, trusted the wrong guy and was killed.  God did not forsake Geddy, Geddy trusted his own judgment rather than seeking God.  

    As much as I like to think I have good judgment, as I look over my life, I realize I need to seek God more on decisions!

    Johnny, on the other hand, sought out God and then directly disobeyed the Word of the Lord.  Johnny sought God's advice on traveling to Egypt, God told Johnny no through a prophet and Johnny declared, "that is not the answer God gave!"  Johnny went to Egypt and died.  Was Johnny forsaken by God?  No, he ignored God and things fell apart. 

    The bottom line is, God promises to never leave us nor forsake us and He promises that all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  What God does not promise us is a good day every day.  After all, Jesus never did anything wrong, ever, and He was abandoned by all loved ones, beaten and nailed to a cross.  Now that was a bad day!  Did Jesus feel abandoned by God - He sure did.  Was Jesus abandoned by God - He sure wasn't.  
     Sowing good does not lead to immediate reward, it is a harvest that sometimes takes time.  Failing to seek God and trusting your own judgment may lead to some very poor decisions with consequences and failing to heed God's word to will also lead to consequences you will not enjoy.  None of this constitutes God's abandonment.  God did not forsake me when I had an accident yesterday, I just had an accident...  I trust Psalm 119:90-91 Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast. By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants. 

Thanks for taking the time to read, please feel free to comment below.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


     What is the difference between Christian liberty and sin?  If I approve of it, it's liberty, if not - SIN!  If we are really honest, the subject of sin and liberty is a mine field in which we are willing to throw theological Molotov Cocktails at those with whom we disagree.  The liberty/sin argument is a minefield because most opinion on exactly what constitutes sin or liberty is just that, opinion.  We know without a doubt it is a sin to lie, cheat, steal and kill, but can I get a tattoo, eat pork or smoke a cigarette?  Can I have a beer, can I mow the lawn on Sunday, can I watch an R rated movie?  These are the mine field questions that can blow up a friendship or split a church. 

     Within the halls of American Christianity, there are as many opinions on what is acceptable behavior as there are church buildings.  For some, any music with a syncopated beat is evil, while to others, death metal with God honoring lyrics is sacred.  Unfortunately, our convictions, many times, have more to do with what is acceptable to us than God.  For instance, I happen to like Metal music, so to me, Christian metal is not only a liberty but a major component of my Christian expression. I do not like top 40 music, therefore, I am quick to criticize much of what is played on Christian radio.  Does my taste dictate the divinity of a style of one type of music over another?  In my corrupt heart it does, until I allow the Spirit of God to heal me of my self righteousness. (By healing, I mean convicting my heart and leading me to repentance)

     Great disputes continue to erupt concerning topics such as tattoos, piercings, women wearing pants and Harry Potter.  When your liberty crosses my conviction, you are a heretic.  When your conviction crosses my liberty, you are legalistic.  This is the way of the modern Christian life.  How do we reconcile your liberty and my convictions - and vice versa? 

As always, the answer is found in scripture.  In order to answer the age old question: "is it ok if I...?"  Romans 14 deals with Christian liberty and how it affects those around us. The last half of the last verse of Romans 14 should settle many arguments and should also take much of the guess work out of deciding what is ok for a Christian to do:  Romans 14:23b  For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.  The bottom line is - when in doubt, don't do it.  

     If you want a tattoo, for instance, pray about it and wait to hear from God.  Not everything is for everybody and what God allows in my life, He may not allow in yours.  We are all called to serve according to a God ordained design.  Your design and mine may look quite differently because the ministry to which we are called is different. 

       Be very careful that your liberty does not cause a fellow believer to stumble and be very careful to not allow your convictions to condemn a brother or sister.  What the Bible condemns as sin, condemn, but remember, not everything you do not like is sin.  

Now, go live like Christ and give the devil hell!