Behavior is the family’s glue – not feelings

If feelings solely drive our family relationships then we will fail in our responsibilities to each other, and our family bonds will feel more like ball-and-chains.

So:

  • The Lord teaches husbands to love their wife (Ephesians 5:25); this isn’t feelings alone – it’s action.
  • The Lord teaches wives to submit to their husband (Ephesians 5:22); this isn’t feelings alone – it’s action.
  • The Lord teaches parents to raise children according to godly guidelines (Ephesians 6:4); this isn’t feelings alone – it’s actions.
  • The Lord teaches children to respect their parents (Ephesians 6:1); this isn’t feelings alone – it’s action.

Feelings waiver, wilt, wander, wish and become wily even within families, but listening to God is always beneficial for all.

This is why actions that please the Lord take precedent over feelings that may feel pleasing to self…because pleasing self can end up peeling us away from what’s truly important. But then again, that’s exactly why following Jesus makes for some crazy glue when it comes to the family. EA

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” (Colossians 3:18-21)

Spend Your Time Wisely

What’s the time? It’s always short!

Not only because we’re mortal, but because most of us are busy: jobs, kids, school, house maintenance, hobbies, helping others, family events, and, last but not least, our obligations to God and the church.

Add in the other time-consuming things that you can think of in your life and we can all understand why something has to give in our schedule.

But our spiritual obligations shouldn’t be forced to pay the price by swapping eternity for the temporal time budget. Remember, the things we purchase with our time don’t come with a return-receipt.

So keep these thoughts in mind the next time you have to decide whether you’re going to spend your time on the temporary world or the everlasting spiritual. Use wisdom. EA

redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16)

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

Add it up and see what you get

Taking Luke 3:23 into account and then adding 3 ½ years to that (due to the number of Passover’s celebrated afterward), Jesus lived approximately 1,278 days – or 30,672 hours – for the Father during his time of public ministry.

Think about that, then add up the hours you spend serving God and see what you get. EA

So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”” Luke 2:48-49

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Out with the Old then In with the New

It’s that time of the year when people want make resolutions to do something new…or do they want to stop doing the old?

Doesn’t it make sense to say out with the old, then in with the new? For how can we create new habits without getting rid of the old ones? Or at least how could the new habits be of any benefit unless we quit the old ones?

This is why before … :

  • we can experience a new birth (Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. – John 3:5)
  • we can be given a new heart and mind (For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.Hebrews 8:10….see Ezekiel 36:25-27 also)
  • we can enjoy a new future (Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. – Colossians 3:2-4)

…we must repent of the old… :

  • way of living (Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.Colossians 3:5-6)
  • way of thinking (And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.Romans 12:2)
  • fate we were heading for (And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.Luke 13:2-3)

After all, if we don’t make room for the new resolutions by clearing out the old habits then how can we expect to see any difference in our life? Unless we see a difference for the better the wrong thing becomes more resolute! This is why we must clean out the old of 2015 before we bring in the new of 2016.

Happy New Year! EA

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

What happened?

Walking on water and changing water to wine.

Lifting up the dead and opening the eyes of the blind.

Healing the sick and feeding thousands with a handful of food.

What happened when all of this was done?

The miraculous and supernatural? No doubt!

But beyond these elements there was also the testing of hearts.

Some saw the miracles and an opportunity to make it big in the world. But Jesus’ desire was for the miracles to reveal how big Israel’s opportunity was to get right with God.

What do we do with the blessings that God sends our way? EA

I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:10)

Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone. … Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”” (John 6:15, 26-27)

Calvinism, Christmas and Theological Incompatibilities

I’m sure that most people who follow a Calvinistic based theological point of view have never thought about it, but Calvinism and Christmas (and by Christmas, I’m talking about the whole gifting-giving aspect of the holiday) are just theologically incompatible.

One, acting right is expected if we want to stay off the naughty list – no excuses. There goes Total Hereditary Depravity.

Two, asking for what we need/want is necessary to getting it. There goes Unconditional Election.

Three, buying gifts for complete strangers is a common deed that is done. There goes Limited Atonement.

Four, there are people who always willingly leave their gift sitting under the tree. There goes Irresistible Grace.

And five, gifts come with responsibilities – abuse them and you can lose them. There goes Perseverance Of The Saints.

Now, all analogies break down at some point (and by that I’m talking about gifts that people give compared to the gift of God’s salvation), but I hope you can see how the accepted simple concepts of man’s gift-giving reveals how unreasonable Calvinistic theology really is in relation to gifts from God.

Maybe this is why poinsettias are the flower of the season instead of TULIPs. EA

Brethren, I speak in the manner of men…” (Galatians 3:15)

Don’t Break The Bank!

Ah, it’s that time of the year when we show people how much we love them…by spending money on them!

I miss you Thanksgiving.

Now I know when it comes to gifts, it’s supposed to be the thought that counts. But I also know that any gift, no matter how thoughtful or thoughtless it may be, costs money. So there’s no way around it when it comes to buying gifts for other people – we’re going to have to spend the green.

But there’s still the question of how much are we going to spend compared to how much do we have to spend?

Here’s where I would like to make a suggestion or two when it comes to avoiding overspending this holiday season:

  • don’t pay for Christmas in July
  • don’t let your eyes get bigger than your wallet
  • don’t worry about what the “Jones’” have under their tree
  • and buy a kid (or anyone else for that matter) a bank instead of breaking it for them.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe there’s a huge blessing in giving needed gifts (Acts 20:34-36). But I also believe the bank account shouldn’t be in red on December 26th because of what was spent for December 25th. EA

There is desirable treasure, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders it.” (Proverbs 21:20)

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