Protect This House

“We must protect this house!”

If you’re a sports fan you likely know that this statement comes from an advertisement for Under Armor brand.  This is something that they are using in two different ways to sell their products.  The first is to employ the mind about the importance of a home team being better as they play at home, protecting their home turf and earning the victory; an encouragement to not allow someone to come in and defeat you in your own home.  The second is that their product offers protection for the athlete who is wearing it.

I think we can take this same mindset into our everyday lives as we live as Christians in this difficult world.  Today we face many trials, and I feel that we can adopt a couple different views of this statement into our lives as well.

The first, I feel we can use it to protect the church.  The sacred ground of our home churches will soon be under attack, if they aren’t already.  The Devil wants to attack where he can to try and destroy us, and he would love to take apart God’s house at the seams.  We must be protective of the place where we worship, helping to keep it as the place that people feel they can come and be safe from the attacks of the world.

Second, we must protect our own homes.  Scripture speaks to this is the book of Joshua where we see in 24:15 where it states, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  We must protect our children from the harms of the world (Proverbs 22:6).  Men, you must be the spiritual leader of your home, and women, continue to lead by example, seeking to be like the woman described in Proverbs 31.

The third way we can look at this statement is that our body is “Home” for the Lord.  We must protect this house by striving to take care of our bodies and working to make sure that this “Temple” is pure and glorified before the Lord.  We have to keep ourselves strong in the Lord and serve Him.

How do we protect our bodies?  Look to scripture:

“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (ESV)

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” – Ephesians 5:16-20 (ESV)

Allow yourself to be filled with the Spirit of God and allow Him to work in you today.  You must protect your house, whether it is the church, your own home, or even your own body God must be seen by others in the way you live and carry yourself.

“We must protect this house!”  Is your answer today, “I WILL”?



“To get respect, you gotta give respect.”

I have heard those words a number of times when people are trying to explain to others that giving respect is the way to get respect…that, in many cases, may not be the case.

It doesn’t matter how much respect that you give some people, they just do not give it back.  Does that mean that we should stop giving respect?  NO!

This is where many Christians miss the point, using excuses like, “I’ll respect her when she starts showing me some respect,” or “I will treat him nicely when he stops treating me the way he does.” What if Christ had exercised this type of mentality when it came to saving the world?

He gave His life on a cross to save a lost and dying world…a world that showed him disrespect and chose to have Him placed on a cross as punishment.  Punishment that was unwarranted, punishment that was uncalled for…punishment that was unjust; yet, punishment that saved each and every person who has ever accepted the gift that was given.

Had Jesus reacted in the way that many of us do, he would have turned his back on those he came to save.  Had Jesus felt the way that many of us do, the world would not have received the gift of eternal life…He probably would not have gone to the cross, healed the sick, and helped the oppressed.

Jesus would not have cast the demons out of the possessed man, He would not have healed the prostitute who touched his garment…He wouldn’t have even welcomed Peter back into the fold after his denial that he even knew Christ.

No, the world would not be the same had Jesus acted the way that many of us who claim His name act toward others!

As Christians we are to live as Christ for the world to see.  We are set apart.  We are to be different than the world.  As Christians, we claim a higher calling; a calling that we are responsible for upholding.

Do you respect others?  Do you treat others the way that you want to be treated?  Remember how Jesus treated you, even if you didn’t deserve it, He still felt that you were important enough to show the same respect that He showed everyone, the ultimate sacrifice!

Remember how Jesus treated others, and show respect to all you encounter, whether you think they deserve it or not; because trust me – God thinks they do!

Live Every Moment

YOLO – You Only Live Once

This is a statement that more and more young people have adapted their lives around and is really getting under my skin lately.  It seems that they do not understand that you do only live once, but the final chapter is either Heaven or Hell.

This statement has become a reason to live as they want, not thinking of the consequences of their actions.  They are now living as if they have forever, but seemingly not caring if they meet an untimely end today, putting it in a one word anagram of “YOLO”.

We all want to live a long life, but we are not guaranteed tomorrow.  The truth about this statement comes when we think about our tombstone.  I don’t mean to sound morbid, but think about it with me for a moment.  On your tombstone there will be a couple of different things.  First will be your name, and under your name will be two dates, the day you were born and the date that you passed away.  The most important thing that may be on that stone is not your name or the dates; it’s not even the inscription that is included.

The most important inclusion on the tombstone could be the dash between the dates.  It is vitally important that we live the years of our life with a purpose.  We cannot view life as a You Only Live Once moment in the sense of living how we wish and filling our years with as much material fulfillment as we possibly can; instead we need to spend those years living for Christ, winning folks to His kingdom, and striving to serve Him with our lives.

When all is said and done, this comes down to a faith in Christ, a strong relationship with our families, and pouring our lives into others.  Will your dash be filled with a life that exemplified the love that God has shown you? Or, will your dash be filled with empty fulfillment? Will it be filled with a faith that was unshakeable? Or, will it be a material life that was filled with things that did not help to build the kingdom?

Today, we can choose to fill our lives with Christ.  Today, we can adopt a motto of Philippians 1:21 by saying, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is Gain.”  We can live a life that is heaven minded knowing that we will get there to spend eternity with Christ in His kingdom.

How will you fill your dash?  Choose today to serve Christ and work for heavenly fulfillment today.  You only live forever, will it be heaven or hell when you stand before the judgement?

Letter to American Youth

The Lord has laid this on my heart, and before you dismiss it as not being for you, I encourage you to please read it…

Dear Young Person,

We owe you an apology.  We have failed you.  We have let you down, and now, we don’t know how to handle our failures.  We were supposed to be the example for you to follow.  We were supposed to show you the way to handle life’s difficult circumstances and situations….we were supposed to help you grow and mature…

It breaks my heart to have to write this to you, knowing that we let you down by not being there as your parent, mentor, or friend…it pains me to have to admit that we have failed you and are now blaming you for the situations that you find yourself in because of our lack of guidance.

See, the Bible says in Proverbs 22:6 to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  This is where we have failed you, because we have not trained you to look to God for answers.  We have failed you by teaching you that being destructive and divisive is okay.  We have shown you that attacking others, calling them names, treating them with disrespect, and blaming them for our own shortcomings is the proper way to handle life.

We owe you an apology for not showing you the value of the family, for not being there when you needed us the most…for teaching you that we stand for family values, but only when it pertains to something we agree with, while showing you that it is acceptable to tear our own families apart because we only value the idea of a “Good, Christian home” while allowing alcohol and lust to tear apart our own family.  We haven’t shown you what it looks like to seek God in all issues and allow Him to direct our steps…no, instead we have shown you that leaving when you do not agree with someone is ok….we have shown you to take a stand for what you believe in….but not to listen to others and work toward a solution, just to yell and scream until you get your way….That is not what we were supposed to do….

We were supposed to show you the Love of God…the love that is God….love in general…

We were supposed to be the example…not show you how problems shouldn’t be handled…

Maybe, if we hadn’t been so selfish, you wouldn’t have felt that you needed to act out in many of the ways that you have…

Please forgive us….can we start over? I hope it isn’t too late…

Remember, Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in ALL your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”

In God’s Love,

Someone who Let you Down

A Christian’s Responsibility

As Christians we have responsibility that is given by God in our government. Before you judge this too quickly, let me say that in no way is this a political statement and in no way am I here to tell anyone who to vote for or how to vote on specific issues.

What I would like to do is explore where we should stand as Christians today. We are to take a stand morally, especially when it comes to issues that can effect an entire generation. I hope to shed scriptural light on what we as Christians should stand for and how we can influence a generation in need of Christian example.

1 Peter 2:11-17 gives us instruction on this matter. It states:

“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:11-17 ESV)”

In essence, Peter’s instruction to us is to be in the world but not of the world. We are instructed to be careful of how we carry ourselves and not to rebel against the government but to set examples. We are not to stir up discourse in the world. We are also instructed not to use our freedom as tools for evil. We must be servants of God and with that we must be servants to others.

We are called to honor each other and to love one another. We are also called to fear God and honor the government. We should take a moral stand, and as Christians in America we have responsibility to vote and to be involved in the government through that. We can vote and give our say in who is elected as the leaders in out community and country. We can vote based on our morals, morals that are founded upon scripture, and make a difference in our nation.

In saying this, I encourage you to register to vote. I encourage you to take your stand on our morals today. Let your voice be heard today and encourage others to do the same We must all take a stand together on the moral grounds that we know from the Word of God. Through this we can set an example for a generation that is turning away and seeking satisfaction in worldly desires.

Please consider today the stand that you can take and seek knowledge in voting morally as a Christian. Let your voice be heard and stand firm on the Godly foundation that you have been given.

What are we Doing?

“The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil. When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice. The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” – Proverbs 16:1-9, ESV

This scripture speaks volumes to us, especially in today’s time, and this week I want to issue a challenge to each of you who reads this. There are many things that we do that can keep us from experiencing the blessings of God in our lives, and the unfortunate part of this is that many times we do not see it because we are so sure we are in the right.

I can think of a number of things going on in our society today that speak to this, and honestly, I know there will be some of you who disagree with me on this, but I invite you to please look at this with me and study it yourself. I feel that there are groups today at work in our world who think that there is nothing wrong with what they do, and in looking at scripture we can see why. Proverbs 16:2 tells us that in our own eyes we are fully doing what is right, but God weighs the spirit. In our mind’s eye we are doing what we feel is right, but does the Bible not also tell us to be careful what we show approval for?

There are many issues that we have around us in society today that we need to filter through the Bible to make sure we are not approving something that is wrong in the eyes of God. The unfortunate thing that I see around us today is that we are all guilty of this in some way or another, but we lose sight because our own ways are right in our own eyes, while we spend time trying to correct someone else’s problems because we feel they need correction.

Here is our issue, whatever it may be, we tend to criticize others of the way they are living while we ourselves have things that are hampering our walk. According to what we see in this section from Proverbs 16, all of our steps should be directed by God, not just his or her steps while mine are surely rooted in God. He did not ask us to condemn one another, but to love and respect everyone. Truthfully, according to what we see in verse 3 is that our commitment to the Lord and His ways will establish our plans and actions today. This means that if we focus on His ways, He will direct our steps; if we commit to His ways, our hearts are transformed to His purpose.

This covers all manners of sin…we cannot be on the fence about what God’s purpose and will are in our lives. Whether it be lies, lust, or any other sin that we come across in the world today, it is not our job to allow and show approval for things that God has spoken of in His word. His word gives us clear definitions of what is right and wrong, and the biggest problem that man has today in the world is that we all want to justify our own actions by ignoring what God says, but that can be dangerous. Again, God is clear about His intentions for us in His word. Don’t let your fence riding cause you to miss out on God’s blessing.

“Because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” – Revelation 3:16

When We Sing, When God Sings

Something that has been on my mind lately is what happens when we sing and when God sings. I started studying for a sermon this past Sunday, and as I studied, I started meditating on two sections of scripture that I feel can bring us joy and blessing in our lives.

The first is in Acts 16:25-40 where we see the story of Paul and Silas in prison and the opening words of the section tell us that around midnight Paul and Silas began singing praises to God with the other prisoners listening. These men began praising God in their time of weakness and trouble. They were seeking God and trusting Him through one of the most difficult times they had ever faced.

What do you do when you are facing tough times? Do you trust God and seek Him and praise Him? Do you sing to Him in your times of trouble?

In the next verse we see that there was a great earthquake and the prison gates were opened and their chains loosened. These men trusted God and sang to Him in a time of trouble and the earth shook! But how?

I am offering a theory on what may have taken place during this time, but I want register a disclaimer that this is only one of many possibilities that may have taken place during this time. But in studying the scripture we see that when the Lord returns there will be a loud shout of praise and the earth will shake and graves will open. With this in mind I look back to Zephaniah 3:14-17 for this theory:

“Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: ‘Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.’”

I feel it is highly possible that these words are encouragement to each of us, and feel that Paul and Silas experienced in this moment what happens when God sings. They were singing praises to God, encouraging the other prisoners, and those prayers and petitions made their way to the throne room of heaven. It is possible that God chose to sing along, scripture tells us that God’s voice is like thunder. Again, I am not saying that it is what happened, but isn’t it a wonderful picture, men rejoicing and praising with all their heart and God joining in, singing with them, rejoicing with gladness?

This is what happens when we are obedient to the scripture, when we praise Him, he is faithful to His word. God promises that he will rejoice over us with gladness and will exult over us with loud singing. What an amazing God we serve!

Today, sing in your times of trouble, you never know what will shake the earth and loosen the chains that are holding you back, so sing to your heart’s content. Praise God today for He is good!