Category Archives: Commentary

The Implication of The Lost Sheep


This is How Much God Loves You!

 Luke 15:4-7 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. 

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It’s Your Call, Don’t Waste It


It’s Your Call, Don’t waste it!
Your call is irreversible,
God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable – Romans 11:29
It is for Men and Women,
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble. – 2 Peter 1:10 
Fix your thoughts on Jesus,
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. – Hebrews 3:1
And live your life worthy of your call.
I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. – Ephesians 4:1 

What We, the Church, Can Learn from the Airlines


The Gospel Message of the Airlines
The airlines have a critically important message to share with each and every traveler and they don’t want anyone to miss it.  For this reason, the flight attendants act out their message, this same message is spoken over the PA system, the message can be read on a card with pictures located in everyone’s seat pocket and it can also be viewed on a video screen on longer flights.  Their message can save lives and they know how to deliver it well and how to appeal to all of our senses.  Of course I am referring to the safety instructions.
 
Our Pastors also have a critically important message to share, we do as well.  In fact, it is infinitely more important than the airlines message. We need to deliver this message so everyone hears it, sees it, feels it, smells it, sings it, prays it, meditates on it, breathes it, loves it, lives it, abides by it and tastes it.  
 
  • It’s already in our pew bibles and our bulletins so we can read it.  
  • It’s in our songs so we can sing it, ponder it, tap our feet to it and feel it.  
  • It’s in our prayers so the Holy Spirit can massage it and God can answer it.  
  • It’s in our statues, art and stained glass windows so we can adore it.   
  • It’s in our creeds so we collectively can voice it. 
  • It’s in our scripture readings for our contemplation, consideration, cogitation, meditation, pondering, rumination, deep thought, musing, deliberation, study and further reflection.
 
So what is the “it”, what is the critically important message the church needs to share?  It is the Gospel of course.
 
But getting back to those airline safety demonstrations, here’s the thing, I know how to buckle a seat belt.  I’ve done it 84,680 times.  So I tune this part out.   You do as well.   Unless I am flying Southwest because some their flight attendants are creative and they make even the mundane seat belt demonstration interesting, insightful and colorful.  And so it is with the gospel, I have heard this message enough times to save all the people in China, about 3,016 to be close to exact.  So if we follow Southwest Airlines technique, our Pastors and Worship leaders need to inject the creativity that our great God has instilled in them into their preaching and in their worship planning and preparations.  In fact, I pray that the Holy Spirit sparks a flame 🔥 in you and your whole ministry team, revitalizing and rejuvenating your thoughts, ways and means.  May he fill your mind with exuberance for the word and bless your tongue to preach the word purely and with passion.  May he use your gifts to excite your people for their savior and may his kingdom grow prolifically as a result of his gifting, his blessings and his grace, need I say not yours.  I know this is possible because even after hearing the Gospel 3,016 times, my current Pastor brings it to life for me week after week.  But sorry, he’s not amazing, God is. 
 
Isn’t it interesting that our final reward isn’t money, power, fame, success or admiration.  It’s praise, worship and rest.

The Road Less Traveled


“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, 
I took the road less traveled by, 
and that has made all the difference.” 
– Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

I am not  a fan of choices; choosing schools, doctors, stocks, political candidates, churches 💒, when to retire, model of car 🚗; are you picking up what I’m putting down?

I am glad that I do not have to choose a God for there is only a one, actually three in one – Father, Spirit, Son.  As a matter of fact, He chose me first.  Moreover, His Word gives clear direction, leaving little to choice.

The road less traveled is in fact a narrow road.  But this crooked road has been made straight.  You need not find it on your own, you need to be led to it.  Jesus will show you the way or someone like me, or a friend, or a Pastor might say something that the Holy Spirit himself can use to get you pointed in the right direction.  Unfortunately, these days it is the road less traveled!

Seeing God in Creation



Look at the simplest flower 🌻, there is just such elegant beauty there. The vivid color combinations, the intricate edges, the complex textures, the petals, the patterns, the stamen, the pollen, the filament, the anther, the lobes, the connective, the microsporangium, the gametophyte, even the androecium; the list is endless. Can you imagine how this flower 🌺 would come to life under a microscope 🔬? It would be breathtaking. To quote Chris Tomlin you would get “lost in wonder.” Turn the flower over and notice that even the underside is exquisite.

Now look at man’s finest garment, say the most expensive, glorious garment hand stitched for a king. Look at it under the microscope 🔬 . What do you see? My guess is that it looks like burlap. Turn the garment inside out, what does it look 👀 like? A mess? Yes, of course it does with all those loose threads and unfinished edges.

How can anyone look 👀 at a flower 🌺 and not see the hand of an incredible creator? How is this ever possible? I don’t get it.

Trees!



There is an oak tree in my hometown that is so majestic and beautiful that I often make it a point to take a slight detour on my way home from work to gaze at God’s masterpiece in awe and wonder. This monstrous oak is over 450 years old according to the nearby plaque but the local folks will tell you it’s between 200 and 250 years old. Only God knows for sure. The tree has several sprawling limbs that are bigger than most tree trunks as they stretch out horizontally and touch the ground in a few spots.

Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. – Psalm 96:12 

One Another


ONE ANOTHER

This is what Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton should be doing to one another to gain our respect. This is also a guide for how we all should act towards one another.

Teach and counsel one another:
He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. – Colossians 1:28-29

Instruct one another:
I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. – Romans 15:14

Carry each other’s burdens:
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2

Love one another:
This is my command: Love each other. – John 15:17

Confess to one another:
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. – James 5:16

Pray for one another:
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. – James 5:16

Live in peace with one another:
Live in peace with each other. – 1 Thessalonians 5:13b

Do what is good for one another:
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. – 1 Thessalonians 5:15

Encourage one another:
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. – Hebrews 3:13

Spur one another on towards love and good deeds:
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, – Hebrews 10:24

Be kind and compassionate to one another:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. –  Ephesians 4:32

Forgive one another:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. –  Ephesians 4:32

Submit to one another:
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  – Ephesians 5:21

Accept one another:
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. – Romans 15:7

Friends and family should follow these “”one another” scriptures!

Friends pray for each other.
Friends confide in one another.
Friends empathize with each other.
Friends help one another.
Friends do not gossip about each other. (Gossip separates the best of friends – Proverbs 16:28b)
Friends are sincere and loyal to one another.
Friends trust each other. (An honest answer is the sign of true friendship – Proverbs
24:26)
Friends enjoy time with one another.
Friends accept each other’s weaknesses and imperfections.
Friends are good medicine.
Friends enrich our lives.
Friends celebrate good times and support in difficult times.
Friends prevent loneliness.
Friends are quick to ask for forgiveness, and ready to be forgiving.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! – Philippians 2:5-8

Can you imagine a world where we all abide by these scripture verses?

L❤️O❤️V❤️E


I was recently traveling with a colleague who has two young girls.  As we sat together in an airport lounge his two girls contacted him via FaceTime and I overhead the youngest say to their father “I want to talk about loooovvvvvveeeeee!” Leave it to a six year old missing her daddy to be so blunt.

This love between a father and his child is precious, but it got me thinking about God’s love toward us.  Actually, I think about this often.  Because…

Love is a positive force
Love changes lives
To know God is to know love
Love describes God perfectly
Love is on the move because God is on the move
Jesus is the living proof that God is love
God’s love is unusually real
Love gives us dignity and worth

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. – 1 John 4:9-10 & 16 

Here is one of my responsive readings on love:

M: Love is patient
C: It is not hurried

M: love is kind
C: It is not harsh, rough or hurtful

M: It does not envy
C: It knows no other Gods

M: it does not boast
C: but only in Christ

M: it is not proud
C: It is humble

M: It is not rude
C: It is polite, refined and civil

M: it is not self-seeking
C: It is thoughtful and compassionate

M: it is not easily angered
C: it is understanding and sympathetic

M: it keeps no record of wrongs.
C: it forgives

M: Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
C: Jesus is the truth and the truth is His native language.

M: It always protects
C: never endangers

M: always trusts
C: never doubts

M: always hopes
C: never fears

M: always perseveres.
C: Love never fails.  It always succeeds. 

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. – Eph 3:14-19