As we approach this Easter, it is my desire to take a special online journey with you through the passion week of Christ beginning with the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. That will be the subject of my Palm Sunday message. You can join us for that message at watchGBC.com at 10:30am (EST). Monday through Friday, I will post a video right here on my blog, at watchGBC.com and at our Facebook page. These videos will track the events of the passion week and give a brief devotional thought. I hope this journey will encourage you and motivate your love for Jesus Christ.
One of the highlights of the year for me is revival meetings. There is something very special about gathering together with other believers to sing, pray, be challenged by God‘s Word through preaching and to seek God for personal and corporate revival. I have found that not all believers see the need nor will take the time to engage in revival meetings.
Some wonder, “Why a revival meeting?” Don’t we already have enough to do in life? True! There is a lot on our calendars. We are busy. Home, work, sports, friends all have space on our calendars and then there are our devices that deceptively suck hours of our time out of our days. Some will say in frustration and excuse, “I just don’t have any time this week for revival, Pastor!” May I have a moment to challenge your thinking.
Ephesians 5:16 tells us “Redeeming the time because the days are evil.” Paul was encouraging believers, who lived in days that were against God, to buy back time from being wasted on temporal pursuits and invest it in what was truly, eternally important. More important than anything else in our lives, is our walk with God and that walk being revived (reset or refreshed…whatever the need). Who you are with God is more important than who you are with your family, your coworkers and your friends. Your walk with God is more important than any program, than any project or pursuit. When we walk with God as we ought, we are the best spouse, the best employee, the best friend and the best child. Everything flows from my walk with God. Perhaps that is why Solomon challenged his son to “Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.“ (Proverbs 4:23)
Make the time by setting aside things that are not as eternally important as your walk with God. If a few Facebook friends don’t get a like from you, will that really matter in eternity? If you miss a ball game, your favorite TV show or your child misses a sport practice, will it matter in eternity? If you miss some sleep in order to gather with other believers to be under the preaching of the Word, will you regret that in eternity?
No one has time, we all have to make time for what is truly important. Our walk with God and the preaching of God’s Word for revival is truly important.
Sheila and I are celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary, and it is amazing to us how fast the time has flown. It literally seems like yesterday that we were getting to know each other, planning our wedding and honeymoon. Now we are looking back on a decade of marriage!
Today, as I reflect, I am reminded of the sweetness of a life following Jesus. I remember back to when marriage was a dream. God had to teach me a lot about waiting on Him. He taught me that if I would trust Him, He would intersect my life with the woman He created just for me. God did just that! I will never forget the day I first realized Sheila was the one for me. I saw a real, genuine, godly and fun loving young lady. That was about twelve years ago now. I have learned many lessons over these years. Here are a few of them.
- God is good all the time.
- God knows exactly what we need and can be trusted completely.
- Following God will always lead to the greatest blessing.
- Marriage is a journey—it keeps getting better as long as Jesus is the center.
- Any problem can be overcome with God’s help.
- Marriage is one of the greatest gifts God gives.
- God’s provisions are always on time and just enough.
- The Bible’s instructions can be trusted no matter what.
- Communication is one of the most essential keys to a harmonious marriage.
- Chocolate is always appropriate.
Disney and the Gay Agenda
Disney has been in the center of some controversy over its decision to include a gay scene featuring Josh Gad as LeFou in the newly released Beauty and the Beast (released March 17th). The opposition was voiced especially via social media and petitions. One of the petitions created by Life Site News gave the message to Disney, “Children’s movies are no place for promoting a harmful sexual political agenda, one that offends the deeply-held beliefs of countless parents and families.” The New York Times responded to this opposition with the article, “‘Beauty and the Beast’: Disney’s $300 Million Gamble.” Even the New York Times saw such a move as a dangerous one for a company that claims to be family oriented.
If any people wonder if this is a casual move on Disney’s part, it is not. Bill Condon, Beauty and the Beast’s director, is quoted as saying the movie includes “A nice exclusively gay moment.” He goes on to share that Disney deals with the opposition by ignoring it. The point is, Disney has no intention of changing. In an interview, Condon was asked about his feelings toward the Bible and what he would do when he finds one in a hotel, “I wish I could say I’m like Ian McKellen and immediately go rip pages out of the Bible, but there don’t seem to be Bibles in the hotel rooms I stay in these days.” The obvious fact is, Condon has no respect for God’s Word and defiantly chooses to promote agendas contrary to it. Furthermore, it is evident that Disney will continue to promote whatever agenda is in vogue even if it causes them to lose supporters for a time.
We must realize that this is not new for Disney. Disney has been a kind of Trojan horse, seeming to uphold traditional, moral, family values, when in reality, they have been doing just the opposite. During 1994, Disney opted to begin granting health insurance benefits to homosexuals. This move was a declaration of approval for the gay lifestyle. Their annually hosted “gay days” at their theme parks further confirms this. Disney has well earned the public reputation as a promoter of the homosexual lifestyle.
What Does the Bible Say?
God designed marriage to be between one woman and one man, and it is honorable. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” Nature itself reveals that this is God’s design for companionship and procreation. Man will give account for every distortion of this sacred institution. (Romans 1:26-27, 32)
Shock of Bible Believers
However, even with Disney’s blatant defiance of Biblical principles, I am often more amazed at the shock expressed by born-again believers concerning the decisions of this and other secular organizations to promote anti-biblical agendas. There is shock over Starbucks not promoting Christmas on their cups. There is shock that Target would want to publicly jump on the transgender bathroom bandwagon. Currently, there is shock that Disney would take an old story, reshape it, and use it to promote a sexual political agenda. The list could go on, but I think you get the idea. We sometimes are stunned at the fact that the lost act like the lost.
A Secular Company and Biblical Values
This is what is most astonishing about this issue–not that Disney is failing to uphold moral values, but that believers are surprised at it. You see, the Bible gives us several truths about the lost that show us that they simply do not have the ability to understand or uphold Biblical values.
I Corinthians 2:14 says, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Those without Christ do not understand Biblical truth and do not make their decisions according to it. We are reminded in Ephesians 2:1 that before salvation, we “…were dead in tresspasses and sins.”
We were spiritually separated from God in active lawlessness and defiance against God. Every lost person is in that exact position of defiance against God’s laws. I John 3:8 shows us that they continuously sin and side with the god of this world—Satan.
“He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.” While we all mourn the declining morality of so many in our society, we must remember that they do not have the ability to uphold Biblical values—they are lost. That is the job of Bible believers.
Christians point their fingers at the lost and expect them to act like believers and follow God’s Word. They won’t. That’s why we have been left here. God has told us to be salt and light. He has commanded us to go and preach the Gospel to every creature. They will not stop acting against God until they personally know God through a relationship with His Son Jesus. That’s where we come in.
May we as Bible believers be ever ready to share Jesus Christ everywhere we go.
You have heard that humans are creatures of habit. What is habitual often takes place with little thought or at least fresh thought. It is very easy to allow this to happen in our church attendance. Whether it is the weekly services or a special set of revival meetings, we can go, sit and listen with little thought of preparing ourselves to receive with meekness the engrafted Word. Before you rush off to church this morning, would you take a moment to think about what you are doing. Think about what God wants to do in your heart. Think about what you want God to do in your heart. As you think about it, consider doing the following.
- Pray—give God permission to work in your heart by the power of His Word.
- Expect—anticipate that God will give you something awesome from His Word.
- Commit—resolve to respond in obedience to all that God shows you in His Word.
- Act—choose to immediately practice what you have been taught from His Word.
Remember, every time you walk into church and hear biblical preaching, it is a blessing and a gift from God. Don’t take it for granted. Think about it!
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. —2 Chronicles 7:14
Nothing warms the heart of a parent more than to have their son or daughter come to them and talk openly; to come on their own and make a wrong right. So it is with God. When I read 2 Chronicles 7:14 I hear the heart of our Heavenly Father being poured out. I hear the earnest desire to bless and help. I also see what stands in the way of His blessing. Let’s think about it.
We live in a country that is running from God. From the highest office in the land to the lowest citizen, we see the marks and mindset of lives lived in rejection of the one true God. However, believers cannot point all the fingers out at the people and leaders of our nation. The church is running from God. The evidences of this fact are seen in the instability of believers, the lack of unity, the forsaking of basic Christian doctrines and duties, the acceptance of many worldly philosophies and ideals, the casual approach to a daily relationship with Jesus and the fear to stand for His name. Many scoff at the desire and prayer revival. They say it is not possible, we are in the last days. I believe that there has never been a day in which we need to see the God of Heaven to revive His people. I believe He longs to do just that but we must humble ourselves and seek His face. This means we must turn from seeking many other things and seek Him.
Would you take sometime to pray, humble yourself and seek God’s face? Would you pause and give God your attention? Would you ask Him to revive your heart, to give you a fresh awareness of who He is and what He desires to in your life? Would you let God have control of your life? If you will God has promised in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.“