Fork in the road

News about Solomon’s wisdom and his kingdom seemed to travel quickly to other countries. It is interesting how Queen Sheba traveled with her army to speak to Solomon, just because she had heard about his kingdom and his wisdom. She came to test him and/or to give him hard riddles to answer. After all of her attempts, she was speechless because he was able to answer all of her questions. Through out her encounter, I am sure that Solomon gave credit to God for his wisdom. This probably brought up more questions about God in general. I might be reading into the story a little, but I would bet that every question she had about God was probably answered. As she left Solomon’s kingdom, she was left at a fork in the road spiritually. Should she accept this God or should she continue down her road of serving her god(s) or maybe no god.

The same should be true with us, as we meet people in our everyday lives, we should be a ‘fork in the road’ to people spiritually. They need to hear about Christ and be left with a decision: “Should I accept Christ or do I reject him”. We need to be ready to give a defense about our faith (see 1 Peter 3:15). I have found that many non-Christians have one or two questions about God that trouble them. Well meaning Christians in their past could not answer these questions for them. Usually, once those questions are answered, man-made walls are knocked down and they are left with a decision, “What do I do with Jesus?” There are some that use these questions as a way to heckle Christians, because they have seen that most can not answer them, but there are some that need that wall knocked down so they are able to believe. So hopefully as we live our lives we can be a “fork in the road”, so people will be left with a choice about Christ: Should I accept him or do I reject him?

How about you. Have you accepted him or rejected him?


1 Corinthians 15:1-6 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;


1 Peter 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

The Refiner

I ran across this quote yesterday and I thought that I would share it.

“The refiner is never very far from the mouth of the furnace when his gold is in the fire.”
Charles Spurgeon

It is encouraging to think back upon recent times when thing were less than desirable in my life. It is awesome to know that through those times that I thought God was distant from me, that he was actually right there, drawing me closer to him.

grace and peace

I now pronounce you man and wife

Last Saturday, I performed my first wedding service. It was my little sister’s wedding. She really wanted me to perform it, so I agreed to it. It actually ended up to be a lot of fun to perform. Something that I found interesting was at the rehearsal on Friday night. We went through most all of the service. The vows were said, rings were exchanged, and I pronounced them man and wife. But when they left, they were still not married even though all of the right words were said.

Sometimes as church attendees, one could go through the motions, say the right things, but nothing changes relationally with God. Years ago I headed up an evangelism group that went around door to door inviting people to our church. My first thoughts were that saved people went to church and the unsaved sat at home on Sunday morning. It took one outing to see that nearly everyone went to church, but most of them had no assurance that they would go to heaven. Looking back, my favorite story to tell is the second house that we went to. It was an old lady who answered her door with her arms crossed and a scowl on her face. I invited her to our church and she said that she has attended so and so Baptist church for sixty three years. So I said, “Great! So do you have 100% assurance that when you die you will go to heaven.” She scowled and said, “Don’t know, don’t care.” This lady was unwilling to talk or to take a tract, so we left. Sadly, this poor pitiful lady had spent her entire life in a church, but nothing changed. She did not have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Christians could be guilty of going through the motions. James talks about how we should be a hearer of the word and also a doer of it. It seems that most every “Christian” likes to be a hearer of the word. It seems that they pick and choose what they want to hear. They like to hear about the riches of Christ, that they are blessed, and that they can ask for anything they want.

What about being a doer of the word: pray without ceasing, give cheerfully, preach the word, be holy, rejoice always, give thanks, don’t quench the Spirit, abstain from sexual immorality, be imitators of the Lord, make the most of every opportunity, forgive each other, be anxious for nothing, press on toward the goal, do all things without grumbling and disputing, put on the full armor of God, examine yourselves, stand firm in the faith, flee from idolatry, let love be without hypocrisy, do not be conformed to this world but be transformed, be filled with the Spirit, encourage and build up one another, go into all of the world, and to consider it pure joy when you have trials of every kind.
James 1:22-25 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

Just as I think I can’t go on

Something that I offered for the teens that I work with is an opportunity to publish on my blog their poems, stories, or how God is working in their lives. I’m not sure if I’ll get that big of a response, but my oldest daughter took me up on that offer. This poem is a beautiful picture of God the Father.

Just as I think I can’t go on
By Brittany

Just as I think I can’t go on,
I remember the one who is strong.
He picks me up when I am weary,
And give me new strength, to think more clearly.
When the troubles come, I will not falter,
For I know that I am His daughter.

The Argument of the book of Romans–Application

If one has been justified, their life should be characterized by humility and love (Romans 12:3–21). One should fulfill his role in the body of Christ and not think too highly of himself (12:3–8). The main characteristic of a believer should be the love he has for others (12:9–21). A believer should submit to the authority that God places in charge, even if the authorities are unbelieving (13:1–14). Also, in the area of Christian liberty, one must be humble and not judge other believers. Out of love for the weaker brother, one should relinquish his own “rights”, bring glory to God, and not cause his brother to stumble (14:1–15:13)

The Argument of the book of Romans: Vindication

Though Israel was God’s chosen people, when Israel rejected God, it did not frustrate his sovereign plan (Romans 9:1–29). Paul expresses a lot of grief in this section (9:1–5). He argues that the promise is not for all of Abraham’s descendants. The proof of this is that the child of the promise, Isaac, was the one that was chosen and not Ishmael. Even with Jacob and Esau, who had the same mother and were born at the same time, God chose to show mercy to Jacob (9:6–13). What it comes down to is that God can choose to whom he will grant or withhold his mercy (9:14–18). Israel has been rejected at this time. God is now pursuing others and is providing salvation for them (9:30–10:21). However, God has not cast out Israel, and there is a future for Her (11:11–32). Though this does not make sense to man now, he will in the future see the depths of God’s wisdom and knowledge (11:33–36).

The Argument of the book of Romans: Salvation: Sanctification and Glorification

Sanctification is the process of living a holy life (6:1–14). Once one is justified, he is now dead to sin (6:1–2). He needs to realize that he is a new creation (6:3–10). His desire to live in his old ways should be gone, and he should consider himself dead to sin (6:11). Absolutely, one must present his body to God as an instrument of righteousness (6:12–14). There should be a contrast between one’s new life and his old life, since he has a new Master to serve (6:17–23).

There is a future glorification that a believer is guaranteed, and the present sufferings are not worthy to be compared to it (8:18). All of creation, including believers, groans because it is awaiting the future glorification of God’s children (8:19–25). Even the Holy Spirit groans and intercedes for the believer (8:26–27). Since God is in complete control, the believer has the assurance that God’s plan can not ever be interfered with. Even if the believer has to go through suffering, it is part of God’s plan to bring glory to himself (8:28–30). The one who is justified can not ever be separated from God, because no one can bring a charge against God’s elect. (8:31–39).

The Argument of the book of Romans: Salvation–justification

Since man was in rebellion against God, God reached out to man and provided salvation for him. Only God can provide the righteousness needed to obtain a right standing with a holy God. This righteousness is obtained through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, and man receives this righteousness through faith. This faith does not cancel out the Law, rather it satisfies the legal requirements of it (Romans 3:31).

Faith justification is the only kind possible because it removes any natural advantages (3:27–31). This is not a new teaching, because the Old Testament even teaches faith justification. Abraham was not justified by his works (4:1–8), or by circumcision (4:9–12), or even by the Law (4:13–17). One can only be justified by faith, just as Abraham was (4:1–17).

Justification has many benefits (5:1–11). The one who is justified now has peace with God and a hope in God. Also, he now has a right standing before God (5:1–2). The one who is justified can boast in many things (5:2-11). He can boast in the hope of God’s glory. He can also boast in troubles, because those troubles will bring about perseverance, proven character, and hope (5:3–5). Since God demonstrated his love to a world that was in rebellion against him by sending his unique Son to die for the ungodly (5:6–10), the justified can boast in God, because he is now in a right relationship with God (5:11). Thankfully, since God sent his Son, man’s sin problem is now solved (5:12–21).

Argument of the book of Romans: Condemnation

Paul begins his argument by saying that all of mankind is condemned and that God’s righteousness is needed (1:18–3:20). God’s wrath is being shown to man because they continually reject him (1:18), and the wrath that is coming is definitely deserved (1:19–32). Man even knows within his heart that there is a God, but he still rejects him. The creation is even crying out to mankind, “Look, there is a God” (1:20–21). Unfortunately, man still rejects God. All of mankind is in opposition against God, and man is without an excuse. Since God has revealed himself in the creation, man cannot defend himself (1:20).

Paul continues to argue that all Gentiles are condemned (1:18–32), to which the Jewish audience was probably saying, “Amen.” Then Paul continues to show how the Jews are in just as bad of shape as the Gentiles (2:1–3:8). The Jews even had many advantages compared to the Gentiles, but this just helps show the wickedness of man’s heart. It is interesting how Paul shows that the Gentiles do not have the Law, but they do things of the Law, because the Law is written on their hearts (2:14). The Jews, who had the Law, and the Gentiles, who only knew the Law in their hearts, are both condemned because righteousness does not come from the Law, but from God.

Now that Jews and Gentiles have been shown that they are in rebellion against God, Paul shows that man is helpless unless God intervenes. Paul continues his argument by saying that there is absolutely no one who is righteous or even seeks after God (3:9–18). Man’s only hope without God is to keep the Law (3:19a). Unfortunately, no one can keep the Law fully. The only thing that the Law does is condemn mankind (19b). Without a doubt, the Law can not justify anyone (1:20). This leaves man totally helpless to save himself. He is in desperate need of God’s righteousness. If God does not do any thing to reach out to man, then man will be lost forever.

Tomorrow: Part 2: Salvation

Confusion in Worship

Today in Children’s Church, I taught in Matthew six. The chapter talks about not worrying, but “to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (v.33). I like to have the teaching applicable to even their age, but I was not really sure if at that age there would be many who would have worries. When I asked if anyone worries, quickly most raised their hand. They went on to tell me some of the things that they were afraid of. I went on to encourage them that when they begin to worry they should “seek after God”. It was neat to see how quick they picked up on this. I asked them, “How can we seek after God?” They quickly responded, “Praying, reading the Bible, telling God what is bothering you,….). It is awesome to see it when little children start grasping the deep things of God. Worship is starting to bud in their lives. Maybe we ought to take some lessons from these little children.

In the Old Testament, when Job lost all of his material possessions and even his ten children, he had a choice whether to worship or to curse God. The same thing is true with us, we have the exact same choice that Job had, blessing or cursing. When life throws us unexpected loops, we can either worship or curse God. If we were all honest, at one time or another, we have all cursed God when things did not go our way. Of course it is better to worship and to put our hope and trust in God, but sometimes there is pain, hurt, and confusion in the worship. The confusion is there because our little minds try to figure out what an all-powerful God is trying to do in our lives.


Throughout the gospels, the disciples saw firsthand the accounts of Jesus showing his authority of the wind and the waves. He was able to defy the natural laws (walking on water) and calm a storm. For experienced fisherman to be afraid and struggling during a storm, it must have been intense. Even though the storm was intense, Jesus was able to handle it and calm it. Likewise in our own storms of life He is able to handle our problems and give us inner peace through the storm.


Matthew 6:25-34 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.