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10 Expectations of the Judgment

July 15, 2014

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We don’t have to go far or ask very many people to find plenty of assorted ideas about how God’s judgment will work. So many who think they are in the right will find that they have fallen short of what God requires of us.

Even worse, the vast number of people misuse Matthew 7:1 to stop others from pointing out their sins, yet they do not check into exactly how they will be judged in the end. Paul helps us with this by first listing off a number of sins (Romans 1:28-32) and then giving us a list of ten points about God’s judgment. (Romans 2:1-16) If we believe that our God is a righteous God, then there are a number of expectations we need to live by. In order of how Paul listed them:

The Apostle Paul  - Bartolomeo Montagna (1450–1523)

The Apostle Paul – Bartolomeo Montagna (1450–1523)

  • We should practice what we preach or we condemn ourselves (Romans 2:1)
  • We should expect to be judged by God’s word (Romans 2:2)
  • We should not view God’s goodness to sinners to mean He isn’t going to punish their sins (Romans 2:4)
  • We should expect to be judged for our works (Romans 2:6)
  • We should expect to be punished for disobedience (Romans 2:8)
  • We should expect to be held to a higher standard as we gain higher position and responsibility (Romans 2:9-10)
  • We should not expect God to judge based on partiality (Romans 2:11)
  • We should expect judgment based on the commandments God gave us (Romans 2:14-15)
  • We should expect to be judged by New Testament standards (Romans 2:16)
  • We should expect to be judged by Christ (Romans 2:16)

The only assumptions about how we face the judgment that can be made, are the ones listed in the God’s standard. The danger many face is applying another standard invented by men and expecting God to abide by that. We cannot set the standards for God!

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5 Attempts to Explain God’s Love

May 7, 2014

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The Love of God is Powerful!

The Love of God is Powerful!

The Bible says, “God is love.” (I John 4: 8, 16)

Love is much more than an attribute of God – it is the ultimate description of the Divine.

God is omnipotent – all powerful!

God is omniscient – all knowledgeable!

But nowhere does the Bible say, “God is power,” or “God is knowledge.” These are attributes, wonderful and incomprehensible to be sure…

…but what God is, is love.

After all these centuries no better definition of God can be found than to say along with John, “God is love.”

Nobody can explain the spark of life, apart from God.

Our very existence, our very life, is due to God’s infinite love and His “breath of life.” The atheist does not deny God so much as he denies himself.

Life demands the God of heaven to explain it.

1. God’s Love is Incomprehensible

The apostle Paul prayed that we “may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth” of God’s love that surpasses all knowledge. (Ephesians 3:18-19)

The love of God and Christ cannot be fully fathomed. Probably because we could never possess that kind of love. It is difficult to understand how God could do what He did.

Would you die to save the worst sinner you have ever known?

Christ did!

2. God’s love is unconditional

God’s love predates any performance on our part.

…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

He will still love us even if we do not respond to that love in order to be saved.

God waits.

3. God’s love is constant

No matter what happens, God loves you. Look at what Paul said about the strength of God’s love:

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

For I am sure that neither death nor life,
nor angels nor rulers,
nor things present nor things to come,
nor powers,
nor height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8: 37-39

4. God’s love is sacrificial

The greatest verse in the Bible on the subject of love is also the greatest verse on the subject of giving.

Combine the greatest gift of love with the greatest example of love and what do you have?

For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son….. – John 3:16

5. God’s love is compelling

Here is Paul’s instruction and personal testimony:

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all… – 2 Corinthians 5:14

And John’s:

“We love because He first loved us. – 1 John 4: 19

This is the greatest reciprocal relationship of life!

No wonder John says, “God is love.” (I John 4:8, 16)

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4 Reasons God Says “Don’t Worry”

April 7, 2014

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Worry accomplishes nothing.

Worry accomplishes nothing.



Big house.
Fast cars.
More money.

More more.

Doesn’t it seem like it never stops? The more someone has, the more worried he is about obtaining more.

Life is more than stuff. Life is more than food and clothing. (Luke 12:23) Life is a limited resource that we ultimately have no control over how much we are given. (Luke 12:25)

Jesus’ message is clear in Luke 12:22-34 – Don’t worry about the small stuff.

Worry is counter-productive to our dependence on God

God has promised that he will make sure our needs are met. The first thing to disappear when we worry is our trust in God to provide. Next to go is our communication with God – we forget to pray.

Paul told us the things we need are a simple thankful prayer away. There is no need for worry! (Philippians 4:6)

Not only is there no need for worry:

  1. Worry is sinful – it reflects a lack of trust in God (Philippians 4:6. Matthew 6:30)
  2. Worry is wasteful – it doesn’t accomplish anything (Luke 12:25)
  3. Worry is harmful – The science is very conclusive that worry is destructive to our body (Proverbs 12:25a)
  4. Worry is contagious – If someone we trust is worried, it is difficult not to be worried as well isn’t it?

What to do:

Getting our priorities in the right order is the theme of so many lessons Jesus had for us. In this lesson, the Kingdom of God is the object we are to seek first.

The promise we have is this: in the course of getting ourselves ready to meet God, we will accumulate enough of what we need to sustain us along the way. (Luke 12:31-34)

Question: What do you worry about?

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3 Things Jesus Taught Us About Praying

April 4, 2014

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The Lord's Prayer - ca, 1890 - James Tissot (1836–1902)

The Lord’s Prayer – ca, 1890 – James Tissot (1836–1902)

How much prayer is enough?

Whatever the answer to that is, my guess is that we don’t pray enough.

We’re too busy. We don’t really need any help. It feels awkward.

Sometimes it is difficult to know what to say. Maybe we feel what we have to say is inadequate.

When we look at Luke’s account of Jesus’ model prayer, we can learn a few things that might encourage us to develop a better prayer habit. (Luke 11:1-13) Jesus taught us that he doesn’t require it to be a fancy production, but it is more about remembering to do it.

Here’s How to Do It:

From looking at only his six line example, he shows us that God wants a prayer that is…

  • short and simple
  • reverent to God
  • about our basic needs – food, forgiveness, etc.

I know we have heard others give long beautiful prayers that say all the right things. That is intimidating. Luckily, we are not responsible for praying like that – and it may even be sinful if the person is doing it to be flashy!

Be comforted that in terms of content, this is one of those times that less is more!

Here’s When to Do It:

The other thing that Jesus teaches us about prayer in Luke 11:9-10 is to always be asking, seeking and knocking. In other words, we need to get out of the habit of going solo until we need something. The way those verses are worded says that God wants us talking to him all the time.

We all know the usual “good times” to have a prayer: At meal time, bed time, etc. Why don’t we add a new time to our schedule –

ALL the time!

What better way to grow closer to God than to talk to him more often “just because?”



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5 Things We Can Do To Love Others Better

April 3, 2014

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Parable of the Good Samaritan - 1670 - Jan Wijnants (1632–1684)

Parable of the Good Samaritan – 1670 – Jan Wijnants (1632–1684)


Love your neighbor

Equals this:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind

According to Luke 10:27, both are required to inherit eternal life. In fact in Matthew 22:39, it is worded quite clearly:

And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

It’s an astounding thought at first glance. But then – not really. The expectation is for Christians to be kind and loving to other people.

Here’s the Problem:

One of our goals is supposed to be to get people to heaven – to give them the same hope we have.

Collectively, we might need to do a better job at that. We will not win many people over for Christ being less than loving. A less than loving Christian, is not Christian at all.

Once we put ourselves out there, everyone is watching. They are going to make a judgment about our sincerity.

The kind of stuff that hurts us:

  • Gossip – Remember what mother taught. Just say nice things about others.
  • Inconsistency – Mood swings are no good.
  • Unhappiness – The Bible says over and over again to rejoice
  • Selfishness – that self-love is exactly the intensity we are to show toward others
  • Dependability – When a neighbor calls on us, they need to hear “yes” more often. Being true to our word wouldn’t hurt either.

The Fix:

Nobody is perfect. It is unlikely that any of us will get to the point of winning over everyone we meet. We will get a good start down that path if we just clean up some of those hurtful things. My guess is if we work on these suggestions, we can build momentum to do even more:

  • We have to stop being negative about others. The Bible has much to say about gossip and idle talk.
  • Control that mood. Running hot and cold causes people to avoid us.
  • Rejoice! Be happy. Take it from me – It’s a habit.
  • Collect less stuff. Give more.
  • Never go back on your word.

God loves us and expects us to return that love. Part of that love is loving others just as much.

What is the first thing you can do to contribute?

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