A person can hire out just about anything these days. I don’t have money to hire out much, but I DO
like to hire my son to mow my lawn and my daughter to wash my car. I have some friends who actually have an
assistant that lives in their house and takes care of just about everything for
them. I read not so long ago that a man
doesn’t even have to go out and buy gifts for his wife (or girlfriend)
anymore. There are services who will
find out what she wants, buy it, wrap it, and drop it off for him! Whether fortunately, or unfortunately, no
matter how much money they have, there will still ALWAYS be a few things folks
will have to do for themselves! One of
those things will forever be drawing close to God. It doesn’t matter to God if your whole family
is close to Him, or if your entire household goes to church, prays, or even
sends Him money. Your assistant, nor
your parents, nor even your wife or husband can draw close to God for you! Whether on the day of judgement or right this
very day, God wants to know if YOU have PERSONALLY accepted His Son as Lord and
“…choose for yourselves this day whom YOU will
serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Emphasis mine) Joshua 24:15
I’m a Christian man, and with God as my witness, I do everything I can to keep my mind pure and free from thoughts that would not glorify Him. Unfortunately, doing everything “I” can is often not enough. I suspect that as long as I have red blood pumping through my veins, I’ll need God’s help to master this one! Men are visual creatures, and everyone knows it. Just look at the magazine rack next to the check-out stand at your local grocery store. Sex sells, and men are buying! Women learn this very young, and they’re buying, too! How many billions of dollars worth of make-up, perfume and tight-fitting tops do you suspect American women bought this year alone? Many of the young (and mostly unchurched) women I work with are driven by a need to “look good” or worse to “look sexy” to get a boy’s attention. There’s almost no limit to how much skin they’ll show–how much cleavage is too much cleavage? I sit in counseling sessions with men, both young and old, and can tell you I have yet to meet one man who wasn’t struggling with some level of guilt over lusting with his eyes. I struggle too! Just the other day, a young woman stepped up beside me in a grocery store wearing one of the thinnest and tightest blouse I’ve ever seen in public. With all the subtleness I could muster, I forced my head the other way and mumbled Job 31:1, a verse that’s become oh too familiar to me over the years.
“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.” Job 31:1
Young men… even if you never spend a cent on a dirty magazine, or browse an explicit website, lusting with your eyes is just as much a sin. This is a struggle you’ll fight until the day you die… You won’t stand a chance without God’s help every step of the way. Make a covenant not to sin with your eyes!
Young ladies… consider carefully any stumbling block you put before your brother. Is the way you dress a quest for attention, or an attempt to glorify God in all you do?
When I ask that question I usually get responses like, a
sailor, a crook, a slave trader, the guy who discovered America, etc. Since I don’t normally send out my
“Thought4Today” on holidays, I always take this opportunity to
celebrate Columbus Day in a new and exciting way. You may grow angry as you read these words
from Christopher Columbus’ own pen. Why
are our Christian roots being methodically concealed and destroyed?
By Christopher Columbus
At a very early age I began to sail upon the ocean. For more than forty years, I have sailed everywhere
that people go. I prayed to the most
merciful Lord about my heart’s great desire, and He gave me the spirit and the
intelligence for the task: seafaring,
astronomy, geometry, arithmetic, skill in drafting spherical maps and placing
correctly the cities, rivers, mountains and ports. I also studied cosmology, history, chronology
It was the Lord who put into my mind ( I could feel His hand
upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the
Indies. All who heard of my project
rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me.
There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit,
because he comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy
scriptures, a strong and clear testimony from the 44 books of the Old
Testament, from the four Gospels, and from the 23 Epistles of the blessed
Apostles, encouraging me continually to press forward, and without ceasing for
a moment they now encourage me to make haste.
Our Lord Jesus desired to perform a very obvious miracle in
the voyage to the Indies, to comfort me and the whole people of God. I spent seven years in the royal court,
discussing the matter with many persons of great reputation and wisdom in all
the arts; and in the end they concluded that it was all foolishness, so they
gave it up. But since things generally
came to pass that were predicted by our Savior Jesus Christ, we should also
believe that this particular prophecy will come to pass. In support of this, I offer the gospel test,
Matt. 24:25, in which Jesus said that all things would pass away, but not his
marvelous Word. He also affirmed that it
was necessary that all things be fulfilled that were prophesied by himself and
by the prophets.
I said that I would state my reasons: I hold alone to the sacred and Holy
Scriptures, and to the interpretations of prophecy given by certain devout
It is possible that those who see this book will accuse me
of being unlearned in literature, of being a layman and a sailor. I reply with the words of Matt. 11:25: “Lord, because thou hast hid these
things from the wise and prudent, and hath revealed them unto babes.”
The Holy Scripture testifies in the Old Testament by our
Redeemer Jesus Christ, that the world must come to an end. The signs of when this must happen are given
by Matthew, Mark and Luke. The prophets
also predicted many things about it.
Our Redeemer Jesus Christ said that before the end of the
world, all things must come to pass that had been written by the prophets.
The prophets wrote in various ways. Isaiah is the one most praised by Jerome,
Augustine and by the other theologians.
They all say that Isaiah was not only a prophet, but an evangelist as
well. Isaiah goes into great detail in
describing future events and in calling all people to our holy catholic faith.
Most of the prophecies of Holy Scripture have been fulfilled
already…I am a most unworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for
grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolations since
I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvelous presence.
For the execution of the journey to the Indies I did not
make use of intelligence, mathematics or maps.
It is simply the fulfillment of what Isaiah had prophesied. All this is what I desire to write down for
you in this book.
No one should fear to undertake any task in the name of our
Savior, if it is just and if the intention is purely for His holy service. The working out of all things has been
assigned to each person by our Lord, but it all happens according to His
sovereign will even though He gives advice.
He lacks noting that it is in the power of men to give him. Oh what a gracious Lord, who desires that
people should perform for Him those things for which He holds Himself
responsible! Day and night moment by
moment, everyone should express to Him their most devoted gratitude.
I said that some of the prophecies remained yet to be
fulfilled. These are great and wonderful
things for the earth, and the signs are that the Lord is hastening the
end. The fact that the gospel must still
be preached to so many lands in such a short time–this is what convinces me.
From the Introduction to the Book of Prophecies written by
Since man first took to sinning, we’ve been great at finger
pointing. It’s as if we think pointing
the finger at others will cause the eye of justice to gaze elsewhere. As a Christian, I know I’m not to judge my
brother, but the sinful part of me still wants to look at my own sins on a
sliding scale. If someone else is
sinning too, my flesh wants to believe that must ease the depravity of my
sins. Nothing could be farther from the
truth. Fortunately, for true justice,
God’s eye is not fooled by the antics of man.
One day a group of religious leaders that felt attacked by Jesus’
righteousness went and caught a woman committing adultery. While it’s also interesting that they only
chose to bring the woman, Jesus immediately saw through their schemes. They weren’t questioning Jesus because they
believed He was the Son of God. They
were trying to trap Him–wanting to judge him guilty of injustice. In the end, they were the ones left judged
“They were using this question as a trap, in order to
have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the
ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up
and said to them, ‘If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to
throw a stone at her.'” John 8:6-7
While it’s not a sin to lovingly point out a brother or
sister’s sins in an attempt to bring them back into the fullness of God’s
grace, it is never to be done without first looking at ourselves and our
Did you ever think about this? You can share God with as many people as
humanly possible and there would still not be any less of Him. He’d still have just as much time to spend
with you and just as much love to go around.
It’s kind of like that old Doritos commercial, “Eat all you want…
we’ll make more!” Don’t be like
some of the religious folks of Jesus’ day.
They were angry that Jesus was inviting others to come and spend
eternity with Him. As with most parties,
heaven definitely bears the inscription, “The more, the merrier!”
“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ
Jesus.” Galatians 3:26
Do you ever get the feeling God isn’t listening to your prayers? Do you often wonder if you’ve done something bad enough the Lord no longer favors your requests? Have you considered, even momentarily, that God will not come through for you in time? If you answer yes to even one of these questions, then the good news is you’re human. Even people of strong faith (some who walked with Christ on this Earth) lacked faith from time-to-time. When Jesus’ friend Lazarus was ill, He was detained for days in his attempt to go to Lazarus. Before He got there, Lazarus died. In the end, however, and even in your own prayer life, the better news is that God’s timing is perfect. What’s more, His love is sure regardless of what may be going through your head, or your life. For those who pray in the name of Jesus Christ, God not only hears you, but will always act in your ultimate best interest–no matter how things seem. Sure, clean up your thought life or the things you’re up to He would not approve of and your walk with Him will grow stronger… But, don’t ever start to doubt his love, no matter how grim the circumstances.
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. “But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” John 11:21-22
Was Jesus a good man?
Many in the world today, including those of other than the Christian
faith, would say, “yes” to that question. In fact, Jesus was a good man. But that’s not why the religious leaders of
His day wanted Him killed. They wanted
Him killed because He performed miracles they believed were powered by the
devil, and because He had the audacity to face them and tell them the
truth. They were members of a lost race,
and He was the long awaited cure! In a
word, they wanted Him dead because He claimed to be God in the flesh!
“The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking
for false evidence against Jesus so they could have him put to death. But they did not find any, though many false
witnesses came forward… The high
priest said to him, ‘I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of
God.’ ‘Yes, it is as you say,’ Jesus
replied.” Matthew 26:59-60a and
Now the big question comes to you. Was Jesus God in the flesh? If not, then neither was He a good man! As many have put it before me… He was either Lord, a liar, or a
lunatic! No other option remains.
Through the years since the apostles each left to be with
our Lord, we’ve had many changes in the church of Jesus Christ. Some were for the better, but just as
certainly, some of the migrations our theology has taken are troubling. The one I’ve been pondering for the last few
days is what a seminary professor would call the “total depravity of
man.” Basically, it’s the
understanding that man without God is an utterly hopeless soul. I use the word soul, because for generations
some pastors and teachers have failed to teach our “souls” are also
sinful. Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big
deal, but it is. We hear plenty about
the evil “flesh,” but what about the rest of us? For many, this errant belief has given rise
to the thought that if it wasn’t for our “fleshly desires”, we would
be OK before God. If that were true,
then everybody would immediately be reconciled to God the moment their body
died. This is not true. The truth is every part of us is sinful. Whether you define a “person” as
body, soul and spirit, or some other way–all of the parts are singularly and
completely hopeless without the Blood of Christ.
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot
kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body
in hell.” Matthew 10:28
The power of suggestion is an amazing thing. I’m not a psychologist or even an elementary
practitioner of the science. I do, however, remember being led astray by all
types of crazy suggestions by the young people I grew up with. Young people today face even more of an
indoctrination of devilish ideas, and not just from other young people. Teachers, professors, people of other
religions, and even some sections of the Christian church are busy giving young
people a fire-hose dose of whatever they think about God. They make suggestions that make itching ears
feel good. “A God that won’t judge
you!” for example. Be very careful
about who you take suggestions from, and weigh everything with the Scriptures
before you consider it factual.
Yes, this is what the
Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:
“Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the
Lord. Jeremiah 29:8-9
Those of the Jewish faith, some of other religions, and even
some Christian denominations still consider some foods “clean” and
“unclean” based on Old Testament Scriptures. I’ve read up on this a little, but being a
Christian living in the Church Age (after the birth, death and resurrection of
our Lord, Jesus), we now have a better understanding of many of the principles
God was trying to teach us in the Old Testament. There were many burdens the Lord laid on
people to teach them that they, as sinners, could never completely obey and
obtain a righteousness of their own.
They were “unclean” inside even when they practiced every
religious doctrine. We can give thanks to
God for the understanding we gain from the Old Testament Scriptures, and give
more thanks we are now free from the burdens of the Law. We can also give Him praise we are made clean
not because of what we do or do not eat, but because of His incredible Grace!
He went on:
“What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come
evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice,
deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a
man ‘unclean.’ Jesus of Nazareth (Mark