Why did Jesus contradict the Law?

No LawMatthew 5:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. …
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It sounds like Jesus is changing the Old Testament law – You have heard it said .. but I say unto you. But just 11 verses earlier (Matthew 5:17) He said He didn’t come to do away with the Law but to fulfill it. So obviously He would not then proceed to “do away” with it and replace it with His own set of rules. So what is up here?

This passage makes sense when you make a simple change in emphasis in the reading. We tend to read it .. “But I say unto you..” putting the emphasis upon “I”.  But it all makes perfect sense when you put the emphasis upon the “you”.  “I say unto YOU ..”  How can I justify such a change? Continue reading

Ever Feel Helpless – Part 2

Weak as a king?THE STORY
Abner, the commander of Saul’s armies was faithful to Saul’s family even after Saul’s death. But Saul’s family insulted him and he defected to David’s side planning to bring his troops with him. This would have saved many Israeli lives, brought peace to the kingdom and immediately established David as king over all of Israel.

But the commander of David’s army, Joab wanted to kill Abner to avenge the death of his brother that Abner had killed in battle. Without David knowing it Joab deceived Abner and killed him before peace could be established. Upon hearing of this, David says this interesting thing:

THE PASSAGE
And today, though I am the anointed king, I am weak, and these sons of Zeruiah are too strong for me. May the Lord repay the evildoer according to his evil deeds!” (2 Samuel 3:39)

THE APPLICATION
Do you ever feel helpless against evil people or situations in your life? Am I the only one that at times has wished I could stop being a king (Child of God) for just a few hours? “If I weren’t a Christian I could do this and then do that. But as a Christian I have to ‘turn the other cheek’, ‘bless those who do evil to me’, ‘pray for them’, love them.’ UGH! How can a king be so powerless to attack evil?” Continue reading

Should Christians serve in the military?

In honor of Memorial Day and all who served I’m offering this ENCORE POST

Should Christians serve?Some Christians refuse to serve in the military on religious grounds.  So what of those who do serve?  Are they disobeying God?  Let’s look into God’s Word and see what HE has to say.

Note: Because this is such a complex issue and because the topic so deeply impacts the lives of many men and women who are serving in the armed forces, this topic deserves greater attention and this post is much longer than most.

1. What did Jesus say?
John the Baptist and Jesus both spoke to soldiers in an army that was oppressing God’s people.  Certainly, if it was wrong to serve in the military, it would be extra wrong to serve in an army oppressing God’s chosen people and either John or Jesus would have addressed the issue.  Neither John nor Jesus said the soldiers should change careers.  In fact, soldiers specifically asked John what they should do and he never mentions getting out of the military.

Luke 3:14
Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”  He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely — be content with your pay.” Continue reading

Should Christians serve in the military?

Should Christians serve?In honor of Memorial Day and all who served we are offering this ENCORE POST

Some Christians refuse to serve in the military on religious grounds.  So what of those who do serve?  Are they disobeying God?  Let’s look into God’s Word and see what HE has to say.

Note: Because this is such a complex issue and because the topic so deeply impacts the lives of many men and women who are serving in the armed forces, this topic deserves greater attention and this post is much longer than most.

1. What did Jesus say?
John the Baptist and Jesus both spoke to soldiers in an army that was oppressing God’s people.  Certainly, if it was wrong to serve in the military, it would be extra wrong to serve in an army oppressing God’s chosen people and either John or Jesus would have addressed the issue.  Neither John nor Jesus said the soldiers should change careers.  In fact, soldiers specifically asked John what they should do and he never mentions getting out of the military. Continue reading

Christians are incestuous cannibals!

You are guilty!Romans despised Christians because everyone knew they were horridly wicked people who were cannibalistic, incestuous, atheists. It was primarily these accusations that caused even the immoral Romans to despise, persecute and slaughter the “vile” Christians who deserved to perish.

Christians were atheists because they denied the existence of the Roman gods, cannibalistic because at their secret meetings they would eat flesh and drink blood (references to the Communion / Eucharist). And in the perverted mind of the Romans, talk of loving your brothers and sisters could only mean one thing, incest. Christians were evil people who held secret meetings to do the vilest of things and deserved torture and death. Continue reading

Whatever happens? No exceptions?

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Conduct yourselfWhatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.
Philippians 1:27
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What a great passage to commit to memory and use as a motto for life. Whatever happens … good, bad or otherwise … whether I understand it or am totally clueless … whether it is fair or unjust … whether I like it or not … whatever happens as I pass through life may I conduct myself in a worthy manner.

May my actions, attitude, behavior, thought life, that which I look at, that which I think about, those I associate with, everything I do, may my conduct be worthy of the gospel … worthy of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Continue reading

Why so many struggles?

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Struggles strengthen us to soarJudges 3:4
(These hostile enemies of Israel) were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses.
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We know the Lord could easily erase every struggle and make our lives smooth sailing into glory. But He allows it to “rain on the just and the unjust”. Christians get sick, have money problems, relational stresses, auto accidents, are victims in tragedies, on and on. In fact, as one first century accuser said, “You Christians have more problems than the average person. How can you believe a God who takes such poor care of you in this life is able to take care of you in the life to come?” Continue reading

Real Rolex for 20 dollah!

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It looks real.Ephesians 5:1
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.
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“Is that a genuine Rolex watch for $20?” Street vendors in Thailand are known for responding to such questions with, “Same. Same. But different.” It is the exact same … only different. It is an imitation.

The Holy Spirit tells us to be imitations of God. To be the “same, same” as God even though we are “different”.

There are cheap imitations that look good on the outside but their inner workings are not the same. Such fakes won’t last. At the first test, they break. Lord, I don’t want to be a cheap imitation.

The Holy Spirit is not telling us to be fake, to masquerade as something we are not. In fact, He is telling us to be what, in Christ, we genuinely are. We have a new nature, a divine nature. We are new creatures, spiritual beings. We have a new mind, the mind of Christ. Imitate God. Be genuine. Live like what we truly are, born again, drawn from God’s gene pool, “his dear children.”
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1 Peter 1:14, 15
So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.

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13 – Lucky or Unlucky?

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I rolled a 13As I read through the book of Joshua, chapter 13 is one that is tough to read because of the strange names and most of us have little interest in how the land was divided. But, often hidden in chapters like this is a jewel if we take time to look.

You probably know Israel was divided into 12 tribes. Each tribe was named after one of Jacob’s 12 sons. Jacob’s name was changed to Israel and that is why they are called the “Children of Israel”. But did you know there were actually 13 tribes? No, this isn’t some weird new teaching.  Continue reading

The Greatest Miracle in the Bible

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Sad sun“So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped … the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not go down for about a whole day.”                    – Joshua 10:13
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The sun stopped for a day! This is even more miraculous than raising Jesus from the dead. For Moses he stopped some water but here, the sun stopped! Did all the stars and planets stop rotating, too? What of the tides and gravity and all the implications of this complicated cosmic system suddenly grinding to a halt. How about folks on the other side of the planet who had two nights back to back. Absolutely amazing! Why would God do such an astounding thing? Why does it get so little press coverage in the rest of the Bible? Continue reading