Category Archives: Salvation

Never Rub Another Man’s Rhubarb

Or touch his lady, or take his food, or steal his money, or curse his God.  Beyond the inherent commandments given in the Bible, I take these as serious offenses that elicit grave consequences (not really the rhubarb, that’s just a line from the first Batman movie––take all the freakin’ rhubarb you want). I expect people to respect those particular elements in my life. I must confess though, I have not always followed my own advice. To whomever I have violated in any of these principles, I am truly sorry. I have never claimed to be a saint but that doesn’t excuse me from misconduct. I have been ashamed, as most of you have also, for things that I have done in the past. Though I can’t guarantee avoiding shameful situations in the future, I feel like I have learned enough not to repeat the same errors over again. Thankfully, He has forgiven me and I hope you will too.

If it makes you feel any better, you can have my Brussel sprouts.

Note: Don’t read into this. Those it applies to know who they are. Don’t sucker punch me next time you see me because you deduced from this that I messed with your woman, ate your French Fries, gambled with your money, or cursed your God (if ours is the same God, I love Him just like you do). This is about my conscience, not about your possessions.

The World Is Your Oyster

pearlYou’ve no doubt heard how pearls are formed. They are formed when an irritant like a grain of sand enters its shell. It’s natural response is to create a barrier around that irritant to protect itself. The result, of course, is a polished pearly white stone with little to no blemish.

Likewise, God sent Christ into this world as an irritant, with a message so offensive that the world would put Him to death. Out of that, you were washed clean of your sin and made into a precious gem in the eyes of God. You are a pearl for which He paid the highest price, the life of His only begotten son.

You are valuable to God!

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. ~Matthew 13:45-46

Wash That Gray

Some of you may remember the 80’s jingle for Clairol Hair Care: ۰♫ I’m gonna wash that gray right outta’ my hair ♪۰ Heck, I remember it even though I’m quickly approaching the 36 year mark (real quick–it’s tomorrow). That may not seem all that old to some of you but the gray hairs that appear in my facial and chest hair is a continual foreshadow of things to come (and my wife takes every opportunity to remind me).

Not to sound cheesy but that could have been a commercial for Christ. While the signs of aging are eminent in my body, my soul is as new as eternity is long. Christ came to make me new; to wash out the gray hair, unwrinkle the skin, give me eagle-like vision, and renew the heart of a worn and tattered soul.

Starting to feel old? Take comfort in knowing that your heart is brand spankin’ new if you are in Christ. Go out today and conquer the world––while physically you may be inching toward the grave, spiritually you have just been delivered!

Distressed

Remember the days when buying something new meant getting something virtually flawless. Whatever it was, the expectation was that it have no scratches, no dents, no snags or flaws; it would look brand new, not like someone else’s hand-me-downs. Things have changed, haven’t they? The distressed look is the new new (let that sink in for a second). We buy furniture with marks in the design, t-shirts that are faded, jeans with holes in them, and hair cuts that are sloppy. What’s next, underwear with stains already in them? In all seriousness though, distressed is in.

distressed-furniturepepsivintagedistressed-jeans2cuthcher-hair

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That’s good news for sinners like myself. It’s for our flaws that God gave a new covenant which involved His son being distressed so that we’d be made new. Wow! Christ is the new life. Who ever said the Lord is out of style?

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christ-distressed

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

~2 Corinthians 5:17~

Your Name is Mud: Part 2

Christ was not welcome in his own town (Matt 13:53-58), He was sentenced to the cross by the people to die a brutal death, and His resurrection and claims as the Messiah have been scrutinized since He walked the earth. Christ himself said, “All men will hate you because of me. . .” It should come as no surprise, then, that not everyone, including members of your own family, share your faith; that not all understand your fascination with Jesus; that society gives your Savior little credence; that there are those not interested in the least to try your church or even your God. You will be rejected––persecution is promised in the Bible. Quite frankly, your name is mud!

That’s a pretty bleak outlook unless you know the other half of the equation, “. . . but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” You are in good company if in Christ’s family. He said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Your name may be mud but your soul is washed clean and your salvation clear!

Luke 6:22 Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.

Luke 21:12-19 “But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.”

Interstate J: The Salvation Superhighway

If interstates are the highways for people to go from one state to another, then what do you call the way you use to get from an earthly state to a heavenly state, from unrighteousness to righteousness, from death to life? Jesus Christ, of course––He’s the only way!

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ~ John 14:6

One Way

I went to my folks’ last night to hook up a DVD Home Theater System that I bought them for Christmas. They already had a DVD but a new one came as part of the package. I got it more for the sound than anything else. It just seemed out of place to watch a 42” flat panel High Def TV with the audio capability of a 13” black and white TV––at least that’s the way it seemed.

I hooked the system up using some of the options described in the instructions, including the A/V RCA plugs, the S-Video cable, and the YPbPr components (hang on––I don’t necessarily know what these are either but you don’t need to know to “get” this post). Each way seemed to sacrifice some of the features. I’d get sound from the theater system with one but no sound from the TV speakers, or vice versa, or only stereo sound when playing a DVD. I finally realized what it was that was missing: the gold standard in digital cables, the HDMI. It afforded me the desired audio, but also a digital picture which was impossible to achieve with the analog alternatives mentioned above.

Here’s the point: There was only one way to hook up that TV to harness all of its qualities––that’s with a HDMI cable. Without that cable, the system would be inadequate. No HDMI, no digital picture. It’s the same with Jesus Christ. He is your HDMI cable. Without Him, you are just inadequate. Yeah, there are other doctrines just like there are other cables. And they may even offer some of the same benefits. However, there is only one way to redemption and that’s through Jesus Christ. If you’re going to get hooked up, get hooked up the right way––no Christ, no Heaven.

Jesus answered,

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

~John 14:6