Month: December 2015

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)

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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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You have 24 hours to…

Odds are that the vast majority of you who are reading this have more than 24 hours to live.

But what are you going to do with the 24 hours that you have?

Are you going to…

  • give a word of encouragement?
  • mend broken bridges?
  • help someone in need?
  • turn off the TV to read God’s word?
  • put down the phone to read God’s word?
  • serve the church the way you’re called to?
  • live like you had 24 hours to live?

You’re going to do something over the next 24 hours.

It’s up to you to do what needs to be done (James 4:13-17). EA

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)