MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

The Biggest Problem Facing America Today

August 16th, 2016 Viewed 854 times

America is a country in crisis.  Not a week goes by that we do not hear about some atrocity committed in different places within our borders.  People are dying from acts of nature and acts of other individuals, and one wonders how much more this nation can take.

But this country’s biggest problem isn’t the character of the individuals running for office, immigration, or any of the other issues of the day.  The biggest problem is that its people need a Savior.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most powerful thing in the world.  Stronger than any man, more powerful than any nuclear device.  The power that raised Christ from the dead is the same power available to the believer.  It’s the power that is available to every believe, and it is a transformational power.

It is this power that changed Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus from a persecutor of the church to one of its greatest proclaimers.  It allowed many men and women to endure fierce persecution, more brutal than anything that ISIS has done, and one day it will be triumphant over the whole world.

It is the duty of every believer not to force Christianity upon a nation or people, but to proclaim the Gospel.  That is part of what makes Christianity so different.  It is a free gift– something that’s offered but should not be forced– though some down the years have tried.  There’s never a command for a believer to kill those that do not believe, only to walk away– sometimes knocking the dust off their feet to let God decide what to do with that place.

This is something that we should do, regardless of who is in the government or who is running for government.  If we would do that, and the Spirit would work, we would see serious change in this nation.  Without, we seem destined for fracture.

Are Wives to Blame if Husbands are Unfaithful?

July 23rd, 2015 Viewed 1137 times

 

In the wake of the hack on the adultery seeking website with a famous name, many are talking about cheating– the last taboo in a land that seeks all sorts of sexual deviancy proclaimed as acceptable.  And one adulteress tries to make the case that she actually has helped marriages!

It reminds me of many passages in the book of Proverbs that talk about how serious adultery is.  Nothing good comes from adultery, from being unfaithful, and from not following after the wife of your youth.

How To Live Victoriously In This Evil Age

June 9th, 2015 Viewed 822 times, 1 so far today

windowslivewriterprayformypastor-c8adsay-your-prayers4.jpgLori Alexander gives us this:

Ephesians 4 is a great chapter to study in how we are to live victoriously in this evil age and explains why man is so evil without Him. First of all, God has given preachers, prophets, teachers and others “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Therefore, make sure you are listening to preachers and teachers who teach the Word without watering it down in any way. Find a strong, biblically-based church and always beware of false teachers.

God’s purpose in this is so we are not longer like babies in our thinking, but mature believers in Christ able to easily discern good from evil. Then we will be able to speak the Truth in love to others who are beginning to wander from the faith or are in outright rebellion to God’s ways. Our purpose is to become like Jesus, since He is the head of the church, our Savior, and Lord! [Living Victoriously in this Evil Age]

Hell is for Real

April 3rd, 2015 Viewed 1175 times, 3 so far today

One of the phrases that has stuck with me since my time at Bob Jones University is one that was sort of a question and answer phrase:

Speaker: The most sobering reality in the world today is that…

Response: People are dying and going to Hell today.

Some in modern Christendom have decided that Hell is not real, that all make it to Heaven.  They are shrinking from this reality because this reality is inconvenient and, frankly, difficult to accept.  How can a loving God send people to a place of eternal torment?  The answer is that in order to be good, He must be just.  That justice does not allow for sin to be excused without a substitute.

On this Good Friday, as we remember what Jesus has done by shedding His blood on the cross and taking the punishment of our sin on Himself, let us remember that there is a punishment for sin– death and Hell.  Let us remember the call, that there people that are dying and going to Hell today, and that we are tasked with the mission to reach them with the Good News of redemption.

11 Questions to Ask Your Wife

July 8th, 2014 Viewed 1269 times
This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series The Complete Husband
737353: The Complete Husband
The Complete Husband
By Lou Priolo

The best way to get to know your wife is to talk to her.  But instead of asking her about the weather, try instead to ask her things that build your relationship– intimate questions.

In the second chapter (entitled Back to School for the Rest of My Life!) of our book, the author suggests 11 questions that we can ask our wives to get to know them better.  Warning, these are not for the faint of heart:

  1. If you could change three things about me that would make me more Christ-like, what would you change?
  2. Do I have any other annoying mannerisms or irritating idiosyncrasies that you would like to see me change?
  3. How does it make you feel when I… (name something that you know displeases her)?
  4. What goes through your mind when I… (name something that you know displeases her)?
  5. What do you want from me that I’m not giving you at the moment I… (name something that you know displeases her)?
  6. What specifically would you like to see me do to change in this area (name something that you know displeases her)?
  7. On a scale from one to ten, how would you rate our marriage?
  8. What would it take to make our marriage a ten?
  9. What is your opinion about?
  10. What personal goals do you have for your life?  How may I help you achieve them?
  11. Do you have any needs or desires that you believe I ought to be meeting or fulfilling better than I do?  What are they?

He then goes on to tell us to add further questions of our own.

One thing’s for sure, if you start with these questions I’m sure your wife will say some interesting things!


The link above is an affiliate link. I get a portion of the proceeds if you choose to purchase it (though the price does not change). I was not paid to write this post.

I Wish She Came With an Owners Manual

July 6th, 2014 Viewed 920 times
This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series The Complete Husband
737353: The Complete Husband
The Complete Husband
By Lou Priolo

Guys, let’s face it. There are some times that you wish she came with an owner’s manual. Something that would tell you all kinds of things about her:

  • Proper care and maintenance.
  • How to read her emotional meters.
  • Ways to make her run at optimal efficiency.
  • What to do when something goes wrong.

The truth is, she does come with a manual, it just needs to be extracted and written down:

The reason that you’ve never seen it is because it’s tucked away in her heart. Deep down in her heart is all the personal information you need to understand and nurture your wife according to the Bible.

Conclusion

July 5th, 2014 Viewed 729 times, 1 so far today
This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series The Modern Christian

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Husbands and wives, when you were dating you wanted to find out everything you could about your significant other. You would give them presents wrapped in their favorite color, jewelry in their favorite color metal, and maybe bring them their favorite treat. There was no bounds, and you prioritized that person over everything—work, school, family (just ask them!).

While Jesus does not want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, He demands that kind of passion—that He is the center of your life and that you will seek Him and His glory first and foremost. That you will repent of your sin, turn and follow Him wherever that leads.

May I encourage you—spend time in God’s Word, and as you do, look at it like that love that you had (and hopefully still have!) for your spouse. Look for ways that you can please Him, and don’t let the culture, what others may think, etc. get between you and giving praise and glory to your Savior.

Don’t get trapped in the lies of the world, that this is the best that it’s been. This world is not our home, and the best is yet to come.

 


Image by Indigo6811 used under Standard Restrictions

But Did I Share the Gospel?

July 5th, 2014 Viewed 742 times, 1 so far today

This post starts out like a cute story we as parents are all too familiar with…

Just yesterday, I asked my son to clean his room. As most ten year olds do, he bantered back and forth with me, “Maaaaaa, it’s summmmmer”, and “Maaaa, I cleaned my room yesterday!” Finally, when I mentioned the upcoming consequence, he begrudgingly ran upstairs, shut the door, and from my knowledge did what he was supposed to do.

About an hour later, I heard him running down the stairs and in all excitement, approached me with his hand outstretched and a smile on his face… “Mom, look at what I made for you!”

Lo and behold there it was- a marvelously handmade “Starburst ” rainbow loom bracelet that he had been trying to master for weeks. First, I told him how beautiful it was and thanked him, then I walked up the stairs, opened up his door, and peered into a room that hadn’t been cleaned.

I yelled down to my son, and asked him to come upstairs. I questioned him why he didn’t clean up his room, like I had asked. He replied, “Mom, I was too busy making you a bracelet.” I looked at him and said, “Grant, I love that you made me this bracelet, but you weren’t obedient to what I wanted you to do. You served me the way you wanted to serve me, rather than doing what I asked.”

Then I stopped dead in my tracks.

What was her revelation?  Find out at But Did I Share the Gospel?

Jesus Calls Us to Follow Him

July 4th, 2014 Viewed 928 times
This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series The Modern Christian

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Jesus cuts through all of the noise of the modern culture and calls us to see things from His perspective.  In Matthew 8:18-27, we see that Jesus has just wrapped up a sermon and is preparing to leave for a different place.  At this point a variety of men show up to ask to follow him, which has some pretty interesting results.

Wherever You Go

The first individual, a scribe, comes up to Jesus and asks to follow Jesus wherever He goes.  He probably figured that Jesus would be quite impressed that a religious scribe was going to join him, and figured hearing some kind of encouraging words.  Instead he heard:

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

Jesus tells the man that he will not have the comforts that he’s used to.  Now, we don’t know if this was enough to turn the man around so that he didn’t follow Jesus, but we know that Jesus was stressing that this would cost him his comfort.

The world today tells us that there are certain things that we must have, certain expectations to have a good life.  The world would call us insane if we gave up that which we could have to follow Christ, and yet God wants all of us, not just a part.

Can I Bury My Dad?

A second man comes up to Jesus and wants to follow him; however, he needs to go and bury his dad first.  Jesus responds:

And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”

Basically, Jesus is saying “let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead.”  Tough words.  Now, we’re not sure whether the man’s dad was already dead or on death’s doorstep, so we don’t know how long the wait was, but Jesus was again making the man choose the culture or radical abandonment to Christ. Regardless, the culture told him that it was right to go bury his father, Jesus was saying that it was more important to follow Him than the cultural practice.

The question for us is, do we let the culture dictate our obedience to the Word of God?  Whether it’s what we allow to entertain us, where we eat, or how we dress, whom do we let dictate how we will behave or what we think about?

If what God says and what the culture says are two different things, whom should we follow?  Whom do we follow?

Can I at Least Say Goodbye?

In Luke 9, the last of our gang of three approaches Christ and wants to follow after him, but only after he bids his family farewell.  Jesus responds:

Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Jesus startles us by saying that whomever starts to do the work and then looks back is unworthy of the work.  This harkens over to one of the most difficult passages of Scripture (for me anyways) where Jesus says that there are some that have done things in Jesus’ name and yet He still tells them to depart, for He never knew them.

It also seems to echo what Jesus said in Luke 14:26-27 where Jesus tells those following that it they don’t hate their family and don’t take up our cross daily, we’re not worthy of Him.  Matthew Henry has the following to say:

They must be willing to quit that which was very dear, and therefore must come to him thoroughly weaned from all their creature-comforts, and dead to them, so as cheerfully to part with them rather than quit their interest in Christ, v. 26. A man cannot be Christ’s disciple but he must hate father, and mother, and his own life. He is not sincere, he will be constant and persevering, unless he love Christ better than any thing in this world, and be willing to part with that which he may and must leave, either as a sacrifice, when Christ may be glorified by our parting with it (so the martyrs, who loved not their lives to death), or as a temptation, when by our parting with it we are put into a better capacity of serving Christ.1

Jesus is not Asking Us to be Good Versions of the World

It’s easy as believers to get caught up in thinking that we need to be good.  We refrain from behaviors on which society frowns.  We also like to have people look at us as individuals that are “good” and that are admirable.  However, this is the antithesis of what it means to be a follower of Christ.

I’m not saying that we should not be growing closer to God in our daily walk.  I am saying that the closer that we get to God, the greater our awareness of how far we fall short should be.  In Isaiah 6, when Isaiah got close to God his response was to realize that he was undone.  Paul, as he got closer to God, went from being in sin to the Chief of Sinners.

Whenever a believer stops seeing the great debt that he owes God that was paid by Jesus’ blood, and starts to believe that he is good because of his righteous living, he is falling into the same trap Even fell into– pride.

Jesus calls us to set aside what we could be under the world’s power to be what we can be under His.  He wants us to reach the lost, and understand that we  will struggle with sin.  He wants us to take His Word wherever we go– but not just to tell someone what they need to know to pray a prayer, but to disciple them so tha tthey may grow in Him.

Above all, He wants us to give Him glory.  The Bible, this world, our lives– it’s all about Him.  Our salvation is all about Him.  We give Him glory when we are so attuned to Him that we instinctively do what He wants.

How can we do that if we’re concerned about what Modern society thinks?


Image by Indigo6811 used under Standard Restrictions


  1. Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: Complete and unabridged in one volume (1876). Peabody: Hendrickson. []

Who Are You Telling About Jesus?

July 2nd, 2014 Viewed 772 times

The Ordinary Pastor’s Daughter calls it like she sees it:

I was putting my daughter (4) to bed. We were talking about how I was going to visit a family member. She asked me if this person loved Jesus. I told her that I do not think that she is a Christian. Then I invited her to pray with me for her salvation. She complied. Then she sat up, pushed her curly hair back and said, “You know what, you should also go and tell her about Jesus right away. Prayers are good but you need to tell her about Jesus Daddy.” I told her that she was exactly right and that I would.

 

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.