Archive | August, 2014

Refreshing and Renewing

August 24, 2014

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I have been taking some downtime in August. Right now, I am actually on my first real vacation in a long time and spending it with the brethren at Polishing the Pulpit.

If you are here, look for me!

Polishing the Pulpit

Polishing the Pulpit


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How NOT to Build a House

August 7, 2014

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There are no shortcuts to laying a proper foundation

There are no shortcuts to laying a proper foundation

Since I have moved to Texas, I have heard a lot of radio advertisements about fixing the foundations of houses. The ground here seems to have a tendency to settle over time, causing instability in many buildings

Also, I am amazed at how many houses are gone in Galveston because of hurricane Ike in September, 2008. Years later it is evident where houses used to be – the results of inadequate foundations.

It is very evident how important it is to follow design specifications when building houses in Texas!

In the same way our building foundations are tested by the elements, all of us will be tested by God in his time. Paul uses this metaphor in 1 Corinthians 3:5-17 to help us make sure we are prepared for the judgment.

  1. There is only one sufficient foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11) – People tend to get away from focusing on Christ’s sacrifice and build up around programs and “good” things forgetting to point others to salvation.
  2. He leaves it to us to build up from there (1 Corinthians 3:12-13) – Everything we build will be tested. The good materials will stand. The poor materials will burn away.
  3. The Spirit will be grieved when our “temple” falls (1 Corinthians 3:16-17) – If we are the temple of God, then we need to take care of it like it is his temple.

There are plenty of opinions on the exact meaning of these verses, but one thing is very clear: Christ provides the only authorized specifications for our spiritual foundation. Anything else puts God’s temple at risk.


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The Value of Men’s Wisdom

August 5, 2014

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The sum of human knowledge...

The sum of human knowledge…

If you wonder why the world has become more and more divided over the Bible and God’s existence, Paul explains it quite well:

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:18

He also gives an example from Isaiah 29:14, where man’s “wisdom” has failed God’s test when the Jews faced the Assyrians. (1 Corinthians 1:19)

When we consider the wisdom of men, we can point to a number of examples that it fails in time:

  • The pyramids of Giza are interesting, but a colossal waste
  • Encyclopedias from the 1970’s are almost useless
  • There has never been a permanent government
  • Today’s advanced electronic device becomes tomorrow’s doorstop

And even though Newton’s theories were used to get to the moon, they have been discovered to have flaws.

God’s word has never failed.  It has never been superseded. The more we dig into it, the more we see how solid the wisdom is.

It is full of advice that remains as sound today as it was when it was put on paper.

It is a plan for living well and stress free.

It is the story of our Creator and what he has in store for us.

If we give it its due, its rewards are without limit!

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Contentious Christians

August 4, 2014

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Church divisions hurt the Lord's church

Church divisions hurt the Lord’s church

The thing that weakens the church the most is the people being people.

Paul’s opening comments in 1 Corinthians deal with members grouping up according to who baptized them. The person who immerses us into the water is probably the least important thing about this step toward salvation, but we see that they found a way to make it an issue. (1 Corinthians 1:10-13) Paul taught Christians to unify the church by focusing on the single source of faith. (Ephesians 4:1-7) We often forget to do that.

Paul also gave us a pretty good standard to follow to help us avoid similar situations.

He named names (1 Corinthians 1:11)

Paul told everyone where he heard about the divisions that were forming and showed us the key to avoiding rumors and gossip – Never say anything you wouldn’t want quoted. Paul goes on to deal with their specific problem, but we can use his pattern to solve our own issues.

The only way we will ever come together on divisive situations is to return to God’s word. More and more, we hear language such as “I think,” or “I believe,” or “In my opinion.” In the Dale Carnegie classes about conflict resolution, the participants are taught that these kinds of words never have a place in an argument. The class teaches the students to lead with factual sources.

This is doubly true when it comes to discussing God’s word.

There is only ONE Lord …

The only thing that matters is what HE said.


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