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Showing posts from May, 2017

Nice Dirt

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Haven't we all made statements like this:
Wow... you should read this person's books--they are awesomeYou should watch so and so's videos--She is really anointedI want to go to that person's church--He is an outstanding preacher
We say these things because we are mistaken.  We have fallen in the error of thinking a good harvest is determined by the seed--not the soil. 
What I mean is this: Jesus told his followers a story about a farmer scattering seed. There are four types of soil--but only one type of seed.  The condition of the harvest is determined not by the seed, but by the soil.  Jesus explained it like this.  The seed is the Word of God. The four types of soil in the parable represent people's hearts and their relationship to the seed!  The most successful harvest is defined by Jesus in these terms: "And the seeds that fell on good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God's word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest." …

Who Am I?

Who am I?
I am not what I do…I am not what I have…I am not what others think of me.  That thinking creates a ‘false-self.’  I am who Jesus tells me I am.  I am who the Bible declares I am.
Society, my culture, and the devil wants me to live in my false self.  I need to reclaim my true self.  Henri Nouwen:  “The spiritual life requires a constant claiming of our true Identity.”  Life strips us of our identity.  Ministry strips us of our identity.  Satan strips us of our identity.  People strip us of our identity.  Circumstances strip us of our identity.  
Who does the Word of God declare that I am?  

Ephesians 1:1-14
I am blessed in the heavenly realms I am united with Christ I am loved by God I have been chosen in Christ to be holy I have been adopted into God’s family through Jesus Christ I give God great pleasure. I am a recipient of God’s grace outpoured on me because of Jesus—God’s son. I have been purchased out of my sin and sinful life I am showered with God’s kindness
Because I have been uni…

My Rights

One of the things I sense I need to guard myself against--and I would encourage you to take personal inventory of--is entitlement.  We are an entitlement culture.  We have our 'rights'.  We are protected by the law.  This comes at us over and over again, in all sorts of ways.
So, this morning I read about Paul's rantings in 2 Corinthians 11, where he goes into a somewhat defensive mode.  I'm sure you've read this portion: ..."I have been whipped times without number...Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes."
Wow--where is entitlement in that scenario?  How would I react if I were beaten with a rod thirty-nine times because I preach Jesus Christ?  About a month ago, I stood on our city hall steps in St Thomas and preached about Jesus--with a microphone!  No boos.  No beatings.  No challenges.  No jail time.  Nothing!  As a matter of fact--the crowd was quite civil and supportive.
Paul--we know from the Acts narrative--had a worship…