Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Long Church Fight

In 1054 AD The two main parts of the Christian Church had been squabbling for years and then the fight began. The Greek speaking Greek Orthodox and the Latin speaking Roman churches could not settle their differences and excommunicated each other. The each declared that they were the only true church. It was not the first church fight nor was it the last.

The fight lasted for almost a thousand years when Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI met in Jerusalem and thawed things a little. In May Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis also met in Jerusalem fifty years later and settled the fight. They removed the excommunications and lifted the Anathemas directed at each other and made peace.

Perhaps if these ancient theological enemies can love each other so can some of the newer splits in the church. The United Methodist have started their fight and may split so we can pray that they will heal the wounds. Many other church groups have split over the years over truly tiny differences of opinion like having musical instruments in the worship service or not.

I pray for the unity of the church every day! Will you join me?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Living in Grace

When Paul wrote to the Church in Corinth, in second Corinthians Chapter eight verse 1-7, he spoke to them about the Generosity of the Christian Churches in Macedonia. It seems that the First Christian Church in Jerusalem was in trouble and needed help. Now the Christian churches in Macedonia were made up of mostly poor people with big hearts and they lived Gracefully.

But they had a generous spirit for they were rich in love. They gave Paul money to take to Jerusalem to help them in their time of need. They understood the stewardship of graceful living. This may be the first evidence of Christian outreach. Paul encouraged the wealthier First Christian Church of Corinth to be as generous. The told them of the First Christian Church of Macedonia, "... Begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in the ministry to the saints.

And not merely as we expected; they gave themselves first.” Our stewardship is one of first giving ourselves whole heartily to Serving Jesus the Christ. Gracefull living in God’s presence. The second is to accept our personal ministry as part of our gift and take action on it as a high priority to notice Lazarus.

People need to beware of worshipping Jesus as the professing of your faith in Him as Savior of the World and then on the other hand blaspheme Him by the actions and evidence of your daily life with poor stewardship. Witness with Grace FULL living in the presence of others.

Monday, June 16, 2014

For the Love Of

I heard it once again when a man in a group of people I was standing near said: “The bible say that money is the root of all evil.”

How often do people mis-quote the bible with great self assurance. He likely had heard one of his parent say the same thing and never bothered to look it up. I told him and the group, “That is not exactly how the bible states it.” I Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.”

Paul never condemned money itself rather the love of money or greed for riches leads people down the path of evil. Some people will do anything for money. The other side of that coin is that the proper use of money can provide all kinds of blessings. Paul goes on to tell Timothy to be rich in good works and to be generous with God's gifts. It is really the focus of our lives that matters most and it is always a choice between doing good and doing evil. One can make a good deal of money and be OK if there is a love of God as the life focus and then the money is a blessing used for blessing others.

If your life focus is on acquiring money for the sake of having lots of money then you are tempted to do anything necessary to build up your supply of wealth. At that point you are driven to destruction of your soul. Meditated on the sixth chapter of first Timothy and seek the things that are good and pure.