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Showing posts from February, 2022

Taking up Christianity

    In his book  Spiritual Depression  Martin Lloyd-Jones said that many people in the church that feel like they are not close to God are in that condition because they “are people who decide to take up Christianity instead of being taken up by Christianity.” I like that way of describing it. Christianity cannot be something we just “take up.”   Have you ever used that phrase—take up? Maybe you decided to take up guitar; you strummed it for a few weeks, but the callouses on your fingers got to be too much. You decided to take up painting, but you realized you are no Bob Ross. Many of us have remnants from the things we took up but never mastered. Following Jesus cannot be like a new hobby we decide to give a try.    Before taking up a hobby we need to decide if we are willing to make the commitment. Do I have room in my house to set up an art studio or a grand piano? Am I willing to spend the money on the new camera or the boat with all its accessories? Some people make these decision

What are You Making?

    On a nice spring day a man decided to take his lunch break and go for a walk. As he was doing so he noticed a new construction project taking place, and being the curious sort, he stopped to find out what was being built. He approached the first construction worker he saw and asked, “What are you making?” “Fifteen dollars and hour,” the man said without even looking up.    Not satisfied, he approached the next worker and asked the same question. “I’m making a building.” The man was beginning to get frustrated but he asked one more person his question, “What are you making?” The third worker said, “I’m making a building, a grand sanctuary to house the glory of God. It will be the envy of all who pass it.”   That man was fired because he was supposed to be building a Dunkin’ Donuts, but I like his enthusiasm. We should view everything we do as an opportunity to make something grand for God. Each of the three construction workers answered the same question a different way, and their a

Lily of the Valley

    In 1881 Charles Fry wrote a hymn with this familiar refrain: “He’s the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star, He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.” The line, which also forms the title to the hymn, comes from the Song of Solomon. 2:1 says, “I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.” Lilly of the valley and rose of Sharon have become titles for Christ because of this verse.    Many Christians take an allegorical approach to interpreting the Song of Songs. They say the poems contained therein exist only as a picture of the love God has for His people. Indeed, the Bible frequently uses the analogy of a marriage, with Jesus being the perfect groom, and the church collectively being the bride. I happen to believe the book is meant to be taken at face value—as a beautiful, at times erotic, expression of love between two real people, King Solomon and his first true love, the Shulamite.   With that said, I believe we also have latitude to take the love of this couple

Is Going to Church Enough?

  I believe that being a part of a local church is very important. Obviously some have physical reasons for not being able to attend in person, but there are people who can go that choose not to. There are wonderful benefits to being part of a church body that some miss out on, saying that they do not have to go to church to go to heaven.    The Bible tells us not to neglect meeting together (Hebrews 10:25), so we should make it a priority. On the other extreme are those who think they are going to heaven simply because they go to church. Often I ask people about their relationship with the Lord, and they tell me they go to church. Those are two completely different questions. It is possible to go to heaven without going to church, and it is possible to go to church and not go to heaven. I would not recommend either of those options!    I want to address those that might think their church attendance will get them into heaven someday. Please allow me to point out two occasions in which