A Rebel or Not?

biker jesus

I have read some views about Jesus that leave me questioning who was the rebel. Would Jesus have ridden a Harley? Would He be a 1%er? We imagine that Jesus was a rebel, but I am beginning to see Him as being radically the only one who was not a rebel.

“Here is the judgment. Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light. They loved darkness because what they did was evil. “Everyone who does evil things hates the light. They will not come into the light. They are afraid that what they do will be seen.  But anyone who lives by the truth comes into the light. He does this so that it will be easy to see that what he has done is with God’s help.” (John 3:19-21)

Jesus alone abides by God’s law. He was a loner as He stood against the corruption in His day. He did not conform to the expectations of any culture, but chose be an example of faithfulness to the moral law – even unto death. He died for the good of all citizens. I cannot see Jesus as anything but the only example of holiness that we must conform to. He is the law and the truth, so how can he rebel?

Beware False Teachers

comforting lies

You have wearied the LORD with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”  (Malachi 2:17)

Is God’s love unconditional or does God love us despite ourselves? Certainly salvation is based on condition of faith (a gift from God) by the saving grace of Jesus. I have a hard time with the teaching that we are all okay or that we can go on in sin once we have accepted Jesus (the God loves us so why worry attitude). What is the purpose of being “born again” if nothing changes? Are we not to be disciples of Jesus? Are we not to obey everything he taught us? (Matthew 28) Why then do we chose to obey some and disregard others?

If the posted speed limit is 15 km/hr and we drive at 30 km/hr because 15 km/hr seems too slow, we will get a speeding ticket. If we judge a law not worth following, we will be judged by that very law. So it is with God’s laws.

The Lord’s Prayer says “give us this day our daily bread” and reinforces Proverbs 30:7-9 “Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.(Proverbs 30:7-9)  Yet many of us view wealth as a sign of favor.

Be careful in what you hear and even more careful in what you teach. Make the understanding of Scripture a priority so that you will be able to judge truth.

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Burglarized Again

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Our meeting place was burglarized again. Some things taken were expensive and important to our ministry and other things had no real value. It is absolutely due to the area we are located and I have no doubt that whoever did this is a slave to the stronghold of addiction. We are where God wants us to be ministering to His people, so please pray for the person or persons who did this. Pray that God would break those chains that hold them so they may be freed from whatever drives them to commit crimes.

Addiction is a social and medical problem that leads to criminal activity. I would add that it is also a spiritual problem. Our focus should not be on punishment, but on healing and restoration.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3626407/ is a site that details the cost and effectiveness of methadone treatment in Ontario $99,491,000 per year in 2010. With new clinics opening every year, I am sure the cost is much higher today. If our strategy on addiction is working, why do we need more and more clinics? I am by no means an expert or even claim to understand the medicine behind addiction, but the evidence increasingly shows that what we are doing is ineffective. Please pray for those who are trapped in addiction and for a solution that works.

adict

Really, Boys, Really?

bullies

How do you define “real men”? Some would say you need to ride a certain type of motorcycle and have a certain attitude. You have be someone who idolizes Sons of Anarchy. It seems absurd to me that someone else should hold up an image and expect me to live up to their imagination of manhood. Implying that anyone who does not buy into their philosophy is not a real man, they use bully tactics to enlist members (real men).

I am not saying that there are not some who would genuinely fit their model. What I am saying is that there are many real men who would not!

If you hold yourself to be the yard stick, then your measure is way off. Anyone who thinks he has defined manhood will surely be surprised by a man who does not fit in his definition. As Christ is our model and he cannot be placed in a box, manhood in Him defies packaging.

Everyone Does as They Please

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Not long ago my grandson called me on the phone and proudly announced, “I am a soccer player.  I have a uniform and soccer shoes and everything!  Come watch my game.”  My wife, Brenda, and I hurried to the car and rushed off.  We arrived just in time to see two teams lined up in position on each side of the center line and identify Jay, who was waving wildly at us.  The referee placed the ball, stood back and blew his whistle.  All the children on the field including both goal tenders rushed forward into what can only be described as a beehive of activity that resembled a scrum.  The swarm moved around the field with no particular direction until somehow the ball ended up in the net at which the players on both teams cheered and celebrated.  None of the players understood the game and they all did as they thought best.

Watching them play brought to mind the Book of Judges that echoes several times, “In those days Israel had no king and everyone did as he pleased.” Today we have once more embraced the philosophy that we should all be allowed to do as we please. We even demand that others celebrate our choices. Our politicians focus on short term goals to get elected and keep an eye on surveys, promising to give us what we want. In the end there really is no leadership and everyone does as he sees fit.

Political correctness calls for us to follow the rule of tolerance. To be tolerant means not to express disagreement, for if you do then you are being intolerant. That said; if your view is different from what is the expected by the few who have sway, you are branded, ridiculed and treated as an outcast and intolerant. No one can say that anyone is wrong for fear that that we break the new rule: “Everyone can do as they please.”

What is Truth

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In John chapter 18 verses 37 & 38 we read:

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked.

To this very day we continue to ask, “What is truth?” Some see truth as relative, that is what is true for me may not be true for you. Political correctness would say all is truth. Buddha would say that the object is to have no desires at all.  Can all opinions be truth? By that, I mean in the end there can only be one truth.  If a claim is false, then truth exists, and if a claim is true, the truth exists Truth is unchangeable. It is impossible for truth to change. Believing something is true does not make it true.

C.S. Lewis wrote, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

The Road Ahead

 

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I have come to realize that there is more road behind me than what lies ahead. Even if you set off without a destination – we all arrive at the same end of the road. If this is all there is, the best a man can hope for is to eat, drink and enjoy the fruit of his labor.

However; we all sense that there is more. We talk about the “forever chapter”, riding the roads in heaven and seeing old friends. Eternity is in our hearts and on our minds – especially as we start to run out of road. Life seems to pass so quickly and there is no time for regret.

If you live like there is no eternity and life has no hope, you’d better be right. I believe there is a hope for life after death. There are roads yet to ride on in an eternal existence and I pray you will be riding with me. I believe Jesus is our road captain and that He has made a way for us to follow.

A New House

old shackWhen thinking about our comfortable home, we realize that there could be many improvements. We could have a gym or fitness room, a music room with a grand piano, a library would be nice, oh, and a sound proof play room that is child safe. Do we tear down the old house and start planning or do we want to see the plans first and estimate the cost.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ (Luke 14:28-30)
Sometimes I feel that society is wanting to tear down what we have without counting the cost. How will the changes in our way of life affect us? In a desire for freedom will we risk peace? Will the need for security cost rights? The biggest question that seems to be left unanswered is: Is this going to be better?

April Fool’s

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April first has taught me a lot. Here are a few things:

  • people who say they were just joking, probable were not
  • I have learned to doubt and not be so trusting
  • jokes can get carried away
  • some people will wait a whole year to get even or do one better
  • some people have no limits

The greatest lesson I learned is that the most dangerous cons are the ones we play on ourselves.

  • There is no God
  • God is love and since Jesus died for all, I can continue to sin
  • God has changed His view on things
  • We all worship the same god (gods)
  • There is no hell
  • I’m okay
  • The Bible is boring and irrelevant because it is outdated, so I never read it.

We attribute things to the bible that are just not in it. We read one verse without reading the whole context and judge by our view of what it means. We are easily conned by false preachers because they tell us what we want to hear or we are turned off because we can see through the lies. The most dangerous of all is that we make moral judgements based on how we feel.

Stop living in an April Fools’ world and earnestly seek the truth.

Whose Fault Is It?

not my fault

Have we become so soft that we cannot take responsibility for who we are and what we do? I have met so many people living life on the “lay-away plan:” in and out of jail so often their cell should have a revolving door. Social workers tell them they have been let down by the community. Lawyers plead that they had no chance for a better life because of their background. They all give the same message; “It isn’t your fault!” Your Dad went to jail and your Mom raised the kids as a single parent, your Mom lost your home and bank account because she couldn’t pay the mortgage, you moved to low cost housing and lived under the wrong influence with the wrong crowd. You had no choice but to become a criminal – it’s not your fault. What they are saying – in a nice way (because they have your best interest in mind) – is that you are a looser with no hope of being anything else. What choice did you have? So just accept it and keep on keeping on. It is that thinking that keeps social worker, lawyers and others all employed.

The key to the jail door is hope. You are worth more than they say. Break the cycle by taking responsibility and admit that you have done wrong and are without excuse, ask God to cleanse you of your wrongs, and go to a bible believing church. God offers hope and strength to break the cycle. He loves us despite of what we have done and he has paid the penalty through Jesus.

Don’t let anyone take your hope away or say that you can’t be anything but an offender by nature. You are so valuable in God’s sight that Jesus sacrificed himself for you. Stop buying into excuses. Grow a moral backbone and start by admitting, “I am at fault.”