Thursday, January 26, 2012

Do Our Sins Catch Up to Us in Our Old Age?

Our sins have a way of catching up to us in our age. As we read in the Word of God, “The sins of some men are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after” (1 Timothy 5:24, nasb).

If you and I do not deal with our sins now, they will surely be evident when we get older. Sins such as stubbornness, unkindness and selfishness seem to really hit us as older people.

Recently I was visiting a Senior Care Home about a friend in need. As I was leaving, they asked me if my friend was like another Christian acquaintance of ours whom they had cared for previously. I answered, “What do you mean?”

They responded, “Well, we had so much trouble with Mr. ___. In fact, not only did we have real problems with him, but with his wife when she came to visit!” They went on to say that this Christian couple said very bad things to the directors and staff, were extremely difficult to care for, and were rude and never satisfied.

I felt ashamed that this was the testimony of some of my friends. Even though I had noticed this, especially in the gentleman’s life over the years, I was never in a situation to discuss this with him, but possibly should have.

It is important to not only hear the Word of God Sunday after Sunday in messages from our pastors, but also to obey the Word of God. As we read scripture day by day describing the characteristics of a godly person, we need to immediately confess our sins before God and ask His help in obeying for His glory.

Any offense that we give or criticism that we receive should never be because of our crudeness in speech, and un-Christlike actions, but our only offence should be because of our godly character and in speaking of the cross, the gospel.

So what type of person are you going to be at age 70, 80 and 90? Grumpy? Unkind? Selfish? Stubborn? Or are you going to be a man or woman of God with character qualities which bring glory to God.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hey buddy, can't you be nice?

Recently my wife and I were talking about the many verses (such as Colossians 3) which speak of the characteristics of a Christian which seem to include being Christ-like, loving, kind, gracious, understanding and compassionate. All of these center on the word “kindness”.

Even if you are with people you do not necessarily like being around or in church sitting next to people who “rub you the wrong way”, true believers should be kind. In fact, the scripture even says to love your enemies, to be kind to them, help them, and clothe them.

Many Christians do not open the door for others, they don’t get a chair for those who are older, they don’t let people go first in line, they are selfish and they do not greet people. In fact, they are simply rude!

So how are you doing? Is your relationship with Christ evidenced by your kindness? Or are you just one of those grumpy people whose personality does nothing to draw people to Christ?

You can change! You can trust God today to empower and enable you to live out the “fruit of the Spirit” beginning with “kindness”. You can begin to practice good manners to the glory of God!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tell The Truth No Matter What

The lesson from the dungeon is that if you are going to be a servant of God, you are going to have to tell the truth--the good, the bad, and the ugly--no matter what. And you’re going to have to live with the blast furnace of criticism and opposition.

Witness the integrity of Joseph in this matter. Some people must have looked at him years later and said, "He became the prime minister of Egypt overnight."

No, he didn’t. God was fashioning Joseph for leadership in the crucible of suffering, hammering out his convictions on the anvil of life. And one thing God was teaching Joseph was this: "Joseph, tell the truth. Do what is right, because it is always right to do right." Joseph learned the lesson, and he stood out in the midst of malaise around him.

Just before his death, Paul told his spiritual son and disciple, Timothy, ‘Preach the Word … For the time will come when men will not put up 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’ (2 Timothy 4:2-3, niv).

Calvin says, "All love to be flattered. Hence the majority of teachers, in desiring to yield to the corrupt wishes of the world, adulterate the Word of God."

From Alistair Begg’s Hand of God,Moody Publishers (Chicago, IL, 1999) (p. 106)