Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Matthew 23:25
Paul observed that the carnal man cannot understand spiritual things. Why? Because he lacks spiritual discernment (1 Cor. 2:13-16). Unfortunately, in this letter to Christians, he lamented, “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people, but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1). The Corinthian conundrum is our challenge today.
Bill Bennett’s observations in his 1990’s best seller, “The Book of Virtues,” is more applicable than ever. “I submit to you that the real crisis of our time is spiritual.” Furthermore, Bennett asserts “A human being without faith, without reverence for anything, is a human being morally adrift.”
Our culture is morally adrift. We shake our heads and wonder “what happened?” “Why?” And “how can we fix it?” William Barclay’s explanation of the Corinthian passage provides some insight. He points out that the carnal man is driven by material needs, physical desires and worldly values.
“A man like that cannot understand spiritual things. A man who thinks that nothing is more important than the satisfaction of the sex urge cannot understand the meaning of chastity; a man who ranks the amassing of material things as the supreme end of life cannot understand generosity; and a man who has never a thought beyond this world cannot understand the things of God. To him they look mere foolishness.”
Then he offers his sobering warning and significant admonition, “It is easy to become so involved in the world that there exists nothing beyond it. We must pray to have the mind of Christ, for only when He dwells within us are we safe from the encroaching invasion of the demands of material things.” –Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
The book of Revelation describes Jesus as “the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world” (13:8 NIV). 1 Peter 1 points to “the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (v. 19) and says that “he was foreknown before the foundation of the world” (v. 20).
In other words, before God made the world, his Son was already a sacrificial lamb for the sins of the world.
Romans 5:8 makes this fact plain: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” “While we were still sinners”—before we had done one thing to earn God’s forgiveness, Jesus died for us.
Here’s the point to understand: Jesus chose to die for you before you committed your first sin. He knew your forgiveness would cost Him His life, but He chose to create you anyway. And every other person in human history with you.
There is nothing we can do to earn such love because it was decided before we even existed. His redeeming grace is like a house you build for your grandchildren before your children are born. It is like a soldier who dies for a country that does not yet exist, but his death helps create.
Would you have a second child if you knew that child would murder your first child? We are God’s second children. And He chose to make us, and His first child chose to die for us, anyway. Jim Denison
— o —
You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first, and call whatever you hit the target.
Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
I’m supposed to respect my elders, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one now.
— o —
Abortion Clinic CEO Compares Abortion to Removing a Mole or Getting a Root Canal.
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
We have given place to the accursed thing of materialism. We have made the mistake of putting prosperity, security and comfort ahead of the spiritual ideals upon which our nation was founded. Billy Graham
Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us. Thomas Paine
Jesus warned people about worrying about their possessions. For Jesus, greed is not only greed of money, but excessive anxiety over it. Tim Keller
There is no mess in your life that God cannot use for ministry. Ken Whitten
Whenever you stop being thankful in your spirit, you begin to push God to the perimeter of your life. David Jeremiah
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We need to conquer the fears that cripple our faith. Kelly Knouse
If something is not answered in Scripture, it’s something you don’t need to know. Bob Sprinkle
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment. James Jay Horning