Archive

Archive for the ‘Christian Living’ Category

May You Never Look At A Fallen Leaf The Same Again…

October 29, 2013 3 comments

fall-intro

The fall season is one of my favorite times of the calendar year.  It signals a time for children and teens to return to school, a new year for your favorite football team, lower temperatures and a morning crisp to the air, harvesting of apples, just about all things pumpkin at my local Dunkin’ Donuts and my favorite… the breathtaking views of a canopy of leaves in orange, yellow, purple and reds.

Today I noticed that leaves are beginning to show their beauty of colors here in West Tennessee.  As I looked upon one tree in particular I thought to myself, what an awesome God we serve.  Even when God created something to go dormant for a season, He decided to allow the process to be a blessing for our eyes.  Then I thought about  how much a Christian’s life is just like a tree who sheds it’s leaves.  2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

As Christians we are like the trees God has created, but not like the tree of the fall.  We are like trees of the spring!  If you are in Christ your old leaves, old man or self of sin (Romans 6:6), have fallen from you in the waters of baptism and you are now a new tree, or “new creature,” in Christ.

Let me ask you a question.  Have you ever seen your neighbor rake up the fallen leaves or have you been the one who labored removing the old leaves?  Have you ever seen a neighbor or have you ever tried placing those fallen leaves back on the tree from which they fell?  Sounds silly, right!  Of course that sounds absurd.  Once we remove the fallen leaves from our yards we either burn them, cut them up or have them hauled away, never to be seen again.  Sounds like the logical thing to do with leaves that the tree no longer needs.

Since our logical minds are at work answering questions, let’s try answering one more.  If you are a Christian who has repented of sins and has been baptized, have you properly removed your old “leaves” (sins) from your life?  Or are you still picking them out of the waters of baptism and nailing them back to your new creation Christ has created in you?

Friends, Paul wrote in Romans 6:1-6 that a disciple of Christ should not continue in the same sins that “fell off” during your baptism.  In verse 4 Paul writes, “…as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”  Verse 6 says “…our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin“.  The next time we consider taking up a sin and placing it back on our souls (the “new creature” in Christ), please consider the trees of the fall season.  No one in their right mind would pick up the fallen leaves and place them back on a tree that will create new leaves in the spring.  Nor should we as Christians pick up our “old self” and place it back onto the “new creature” Christ has created in us through salvation.

Advertisements

God’s Unending Love

September 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Image

February 14 is a day we call Valentine’s Day.  We use this day to proclaim our love for our friends and spouses.  Some go to great lengths to shower their loved one with presents and/or surprise events.  (Though secretly this writer knows it is all just a big social ploy to spend money on the one you should have been showing love to already without a day to force you into it!)  We use these appointed days to show our love to each other because if truth be told, we do not show the proper respect and love to one another as we should.  Our love often has an addendum such as “you only make me happy when…” or “I would love you more if…”  Thankfully God will never ask us to superficially change who we are to receive His love, only who we live for!

Romans 8:37-39, “37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NASB)  Consider if God’s love was as “on and off” as ours can be.  Where do you think we would stand in His sight, saved or completely drenched in sin?

Thankfully God doesn’t see us as blonde or brunette, pretty or ugly, short or tall, rich or poor.  God only sees one created “in His own image” (Gen. 1:27).  Nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God” (Rom. 8: 39).  Friends may we take comfort that God will never stop loving us.  It doesn’t matter how much you have sinned, He loves you.  It doesn’t matter how bad you disgraced His commands this week, He loves you.  In fact He loves the sinner so much that “He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8).

But salvation doesn’t come to everyone whom God loves. Salvation only comes to those who will receive the Lord’s discipline and will repent from sin and be baptized (Rev. 3:19; Acts 2:38).  Praise our almighty God that He is patient with us and does not judge us on outer appearances and earthly status.  He loves us every day and in every way no matter how others see us.  If you want to give back the unending love your creator gives to you than heed the words of Jesus for your daily life, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15).  Let our love for God be seen in all we do and let us not allow our love for Him ever become cold.

Adam S. Pogue

“Don’t Start What You Can’t Finish”

September 3, 2013 Leave a comment

Image

From the time I began to play baseball and soccer as a child until the time I played football and tennis in high school; I heard a reoccurring command from my parents, “don’t start what you can’t finish.”  This of course was to keep me from starting a sport and trying to quit in the middle of a season.  The older I get the more I appreciate having this life principle instilled in me.  What started out as a principle to apply to sports and generally not being a quitter, I now see as an everyday application to our Christian lives.

In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 we are reminded, “…you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”  As Christians, reflect on this instruction from God.  I encourage you to say to yourself, “don’t start what you can’t finish!”  As children of God who have been washed clean of our sins (Ephesians 2:1-10) we must remember that we are called to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (Eph. 4:1).  In other words we better not start introducing sins into our lives we know we cannot continue doing without falling out of favor with God.

I fear fellow Christians that we often try to see how close we can get to the fire without getting burned.  1 Cor. 10:12-13 reminds us “let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”  God tells us to not even introduce sin into our lives, He tells us to flee from sin and draw near to Him (James 4:8).  So why do we so often think we can dabble in sin or just be around it and not sin?  We should consider how weak our fleshly desires are and remember what our eternal goal is.  If your eternal goal is to stand in the glory of Almighty God why start what you can’t finish?

The next time you are in a struggle between your faith and the temptations of this world I encourage you to consider 2 Cor. 5:15, “and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”  Not a single one of us will ever be perfect in our fight against temptation and sin.  However, as we strive to walk in the light of God, let us remember our savior Jesus and everything that He sacrificed so that we could be forgiven of our sins.  Brothers and sisters in Christ if we want to have a home in heaven we better not start a sin we know we cannot finish!

Categories: Christian Living