Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Sexually Tolerant Culture

Depending on your view point America is either evolving into a greater and more tolerant society or nose diving into moral oblivion.  Gradually, behaviors once thought socially taboo is now societal norms.  Fornication is two unmarried people who are sexually active.  Once there were laws on the books that were enforced to deter such a lifestyle.  The same goes for co-habitation, homosexuality and adultery.  One by one these laws have been reversed or no longer enforced.  As a result, pornography, incest, sexual trafficking, prostitution, rape have become dangerous and perverted spin offs of our sexually tolerant culture.  Truly we are living in the most sexualized period of American and world history.    
This new reality does not negate the eternal truth of choices and consequences.  Yes, millions celebrate as our nation, along with many others, progress morally.  However, my heart fears the coming day when the price must be paid for the moral path we have taken and then, cheers of joy will become tears of sorrow.         

I make a call for people to turn to Jesus and away from the rising tide of these new moral norms.  The legality, societal acceptance, and persuasive argument for them can easily sway you and me to go-along and join the swelling crowd. 

Jesus once spoke of the wide and narrow roads, both with very different journeys and destinations.  He said, “The gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14).  The wide road is filled with crowds pleasuring themselves without restraint.  The narrow road has few people because it is hard to turn away from the strong worldly appeals and walk in holiness before God.  Even so, for those who persevere, the reward is eternal life. 

What path do you choose?  If you want real, lasting life then pack up and send off your old ways.  However, realize it cannot be done on mere resolve with temptation all around.  You need to start with a new heart and mind.  Only Jesus, through His death and resurrection can give you the change and power to become a new man or woman.  Call on Him in faith right now and may He be your hope for today.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Does America Need God?

During September 1861 President Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation calling for a national observance of "public humiliation, prayer and fasting." Why? Months earlier the Union troops came under fire at Fort Sumter sending the teetering nation into a bloody civil war. Lincoln discerned the days ahead would be long, dark and critical for the future of America. He urged his fellow countrymen to offer "fervent supplications to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States, His blessings on their arms, and a speedy restoration of peace." The President knew he needed power and wisdom beyond himself. He knew only the God of heaven and earth could save his divided nation.

Lincoln’s approach to a national crisis is much different than the modern era. Today’s leaders respond to a crisis by urging citizens to "rebuild", "not quit", promising to "bring justice" and "whatever resources are needed." It is a response that trusts in the people and government to overcome with no mention of the need for God or the problem of evil.

During these times it appears motivational and inspiring to urge people onward reminding them of the pioneering, self-reliant American spirit in our country’s history. Even so, is that really our best way to respond to tragedy, natural disasters, war, crime, economic turmoil and political divides?

One army faced great odds as they lined up for battle yet they succeeded. The reason for their success was based on who they trusted in. The Bible says "The men of Judah prevailed, because they relied on the Lord" (2 Chronicles 13:18). Almighty God is the one who raises up nations and allows them to crumble. We think too highly of ourselves if we believe America’s future rests in our hands alone. It reveals a national arrogance. The Scriptures say, "For God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:6). During crises we do not need God’s opposition, rather we need His grace. 

There is only one being who is powerful enough to rescue America, Almighty God. When our nation faces crises may our leaders and a humble remnant bow before the Most High with unwavering faith and seek His intervention. May God Himself be our nation’s hope for today.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

What is a Real Man?

Tony Fadell was the architect of something you have probably heard of – the iPod.  Under the direction of Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, Fadell and his team developed the new technology.  What was the purpose for this industry-changing gadget?  According to Jobs, it was to put “1,000 songs in your pocket”.   

The God of heaven and earth is the architect of human beings making them male and female, and He wants to put a purpose in every man’s heart.  God has created men for a much higher calling then what we observe in society.  First, there is the TV-sitcom guy.  He is portrayed as lazy, lacking character and more interested in being entertained than anything else.  Then there is the work-all-the-time guy.  This type of man is viewed as a workaholic, highly driven and finds his personal worth tethered to his occupation.       

God called it “good” when he made the man and into the fabric of his being He built an instinctive desire to protect, provide and lead.  However, that is to be carried out within the framework of two very important commandments.  Love God and love others. 

This is where men get side tracked and draw some valid criticism.  The TV-sitcom guy thinks life is about his fun, and the work-all-the-time guy, his career.  In neither case is there a humble attitude of love through service to those whom the man has been given responsibility for.   

God has a vision for every man.  It is discovered through Jesus, the standard for all men.  He was the hardest working man of His day, and during a time of crisis we saw the heart of this man’s man.  It was the moment He suffered and died on His cross.  He willingly laid down His life for the sake of others.  Men are called to live the same way.  Regardless if a man is married or single, he is urged to observe the attitude of humility that spills out of this Scripture “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).       

Jesus has pioneered a new path for all men.  Turn to Him and aspire to become the kind of man He was and still is today.  May He be your hope for today and model for genuine manhood.    

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Commencement Wisdom

During May over six million students are expected to graduate from high schools, colleges and universities.  These teenagers and twenty-somethings will reach a milestone and have a new beginning for themselves.  If you know of a graduate here are a few pieces of commencement wisdom to pass along.       

Rejoice and celebrate your achievement.  Years have been invested to get to this point.  Do not let it slide by without enjoying the moment.  Celebrate!     
Resolve to never give up.  There were challenges in reaching this day and there will be challenges tomorrow.  Researchers say that there will be over 20% of high school students and over 40% of college and university students who will never reach graduation.  You did.  You overcame.    
Recall the people that helped you make it. No man is an island to himself. Thank the people who helped you along the way. Henry Ward Beecher once said, "Gratitude is the fairest blossom, which springs from the soul.”
Release the heartache connected with the journey. Your celebration may be bittersweet. Maybe a loved one or close friend has passed away and their absence is heart-wrenching. Maybe there is some relationship conflict sucking the joy out of the air. When you receive that diploma or degree, vow to release the pain and step into the future. 
Remember Almighty God. A wise King once said, “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). It is very easy to forget God when we are young. A sense of adventure, a desire to question and the journey towards independence can all lead there. Yet, He has a way of keeping us in-check. It is often found in those times of adversity when our determination and ability cannot fix the situation. We realize we are at the mercy of time, chance or others. God uses these moments to teach us that we need the intervention of someone outside of ourselves – Him. 

As you reach this milestone, be resolved to depend upon God with all your heart.  He is real and trustworthy.  May you become a follower of Jesus, God’s only Son, and may He bring you hope for today and your future.