Monthly Archives: March 2015

What’s Not to Love about a Delightful Little Dove?

DoveI want to show you something that I discovered just this week. A treasure of a truth that is so practical and so refreshing. Especially in light of this discussion that we began last week.

As you will hear in this PODCAST, we are asking a vitally important question, this in light of Jesus’ words to His apostles:

Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.  But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.

Fairly intense words; a rather severe warning, right?

Everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.

So last week and this, we are asking and answering the question:

What does confessing Jesus before men, or acknowledging Jesus publicly here on earth look like?

Or to put it another way:

  • How outspoken are we to be about our faith?
  • How aggressive are we to be in sharing our faith?
  • How forceful are we to push our religion on others?

Frankly, over the years — at countless services, Bible studies, camps, conferences — I have literally been guilted into thinking that I (and YOU) should be VERY outspoken, VERY aggressive, and VERY forceful in sharing our faith with others.

And then I’ve been taught, as a follow-up to that premise, that to fail to share my faith aggressively and forcefully is the moral equivalent of…

Denying Jesus before men,

Putting myself at risk of having Jesus deny me before His Father,

Covering my hands with the blood of our family and our friends because if they die and go to Hell, it is my fault.

To which I must ask, “Really?”

Well, it’s quite fascinating. Really!

Jesus gave this instruction — to confess Him before men — to His men as a part of their training in preparation for their very first missions trip in Matthew 10:32. But Just.Prior.To.That, in Matthew 10:16, Jesus said something else. Something that explains exactly HOW we are to confess Him before men. Something so refreshing that I can hardly contain my excitement.

So please get this picture. A vitally important picture both for His apostles then, AND for us as His followers now.

How outspoken, aggressive, and forceful are we to confess Jesus before men, or to acknowledge Jesus publicly here on earth?

Here’s the answer.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you as you listen.

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Stand Your Ground — What to Do and What Not to Do

Palm-Trees_Hurricane-WilmaWelcome to one of the most practical and profitable passages in all of the Gospels.

As you will hear in this PODCAST, Jesus’ words hit us right where we live.

I mean, this goes right to the heart of who we are as Christ-followers, how we interact with our world, and how the world consequently perceives us.

Given the positive responses of so many of the people at Safe Haven where this message was taught, I know that you will find this most helpful in your own Christian life.

I must admit that I approach this passage quite frankly with a fair amount of fear and trembling. This because Jesus’ words here in Matthew 10 have, at least in my experience, been misinterpreted, misused, and misapplied in a way that has caused enormous damage to the cause of Christ in our world, and unnecessary angst in the hearts and souls of far-too-many sincere and precious Christ-followers.

Yet, at the same time, I do not want to overreact to an extreme by becoming extreme myself. So this is an exercise in a balancing act on my part. I am most happy to have you come along for the ride. One that will be most beneficial, instructive, and inspiring to you. Of that I have no doubt.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you as you listen.

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Alone, But NEVER Alone!

sparrowsSo here’s my question:

If you were Jesus, and you wanted to convey the idea in a way that no one could possibly miss,

That you loved someone…

That you cared about someone more than they could ever even begin to imagine…

That you would be there for that person No.Matter.What…

That in their loneliest moments, when they felt totally abandoned and isolated and detached from everyone, that you were still there for them; that you would ALWAYS be there for them…

That your love and care and kindness towards that person would never change…

That you feel their isolation more than they know…

And that you will be loyal to that person, never to abandon them, never to turn away from them…

But that you are there and will be there now and forever…

If you were Jesus, how would you convey that? What words would you use? What picture would you draw?

In this PODCAST, you will find out. And in finding out, you may never view Jesus in the same way again.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you as you listen.

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What I Wish I Knew Then That I Know Now (A First-Person Rendition)

if-i-knew2As you will hear in this PODCAST, I have now reached a point in my life and ministry where I am easily bemused. Bemused by a question that I get asked more and more frequently.

When I am out speaking at a camp or a conference, often times a young man or woman just starting out in the ministry, or headed for his first ministry, will with furrowed brow and pen poised at the ready ask me this singularly significant question:

What do you wish you knew then that you know now?

Meaning, if I could turn the clock back and start over completely…

What is the ONE THING that you know now that you wish you had known then?

What one lesson have you learned over your now forty-two years and counting of ministry that you wish you had learned right out of the chute, right at the beginning?

Ironically enough, it is the very lesson that Jesus sought to communicate to His men here in Matthew 10, this right at the beginning of their first missions trip.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

HAPPY LISTENING.

And if you are encouraged by this message, PLEASE “Share” a link to this podcast with your family and friends.

God bless you as you listen.

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The Wrath of God

the-wrath-of-godIt is without a doubt THE single most unpleasant topic in all of the Bible. The subject of this week’s PODCAST: God’s wrath.

We discuss it here because here in Matthew 10, Jesus made reference to the iconic display of God’s wrath: the twin-cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

And for good measure, Jesus also referred to “the day of judgment.”

Since Jesus brought it up, we will bring it up — unpleasant or otherwise — providing some Much-Needed-Clarification to an Often-Misunderstood topic.

Upon reflection, I suppose the overarching questions raised by this sobering subject are these:

Is Jesus a gentle Jesus?

Is Jesus a wrathful Jesus?

Or both?

And if both, how does the one (gentle) square with the other (wrathful)? Especially in light of what happened in Sodom and Gomorrah.

My friends, as always, we have a ton to talk about.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you as you listen.

And PLEASE “Share” a link to this podcast with your family and friends.

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