Billy's Blog
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January 29, 2019, 2:27 PM

Love God=Do Right

According to a 2016 Gallup poll 89% of Americans claim to believe in God. In the same year two-thirds of American men were found to be obese and an even higher percentage of women were found to be obese. 

Why do I list these two statistics? We can say we believe in God, and we can say that we believe that we are overweight. The unfortunate thing is that neither belief necessarily drives us to action. How many of us who struggle with weight are really doing anything about it? How many of us who say we believe in God are doing anything about it? 

When Jesus defined love for him he said, "If you love me keep my commandments." John 14:15. That's pretty simple. If you really believe in God and love him then do what he says. Do right. 

James writes something that really makes me think. He writes in James 2:19, "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder." James 2:19

The demons, the angels of Satan, believe so much in the reality of Almighty God that they shudder in fear when his name is spoken. They know exactly who he is. When you and I merely believe without any action to change our lives and be obedient then we are on the same level as demons. I know that sounds bad, but isn't it true? 

And I'm really writing to people who profess to be Christians. In 1 Corinthians 5:12 Paul says that it's none of his business to judge those outside the church. Christians should not be surprised that people that don't claim to be followers of Christ don't act like it. People who are not Christians are not supposed to act like Christians. Stop waiting for this to happen. What Paul is saying is that we should judge those inside the church. People who claim to be Christians ought to act like Christians. 

When we start to do right and live right and start being obedient this is when we can be the light of the world. 

Did you notice that Jesus uses the word, light, to describe his followers? This means that we are a contrast. The dark world needs to see hope in the middle of despair. They need to see some light in the middle of the darkness. Ultimately we want to bring people to THE light of the world, Jesus Christ, but first they must see our light. They must see a contrast in this world of tragedy and despair. 

This week I had a conversation with a young man who had some terrible tragedy in his life. His wife of 16 years had died of cancer leaving him a single dad of two boys. His brother had killed himself, and his new girlfriend had overdosed on painkillers. This all happened within a three year span. He was a very nice man, and we had a good conversation. I asked him if he had a church, because he had grown up going, but he said he struggled to believe after all of this. He was immersed in darkness and hopelessness. This young man needs some hope. I hope to help him find a church and some people that can give him some hope. 

If I can guide him to you someday will he find hope in your life? He's not looking for perfection, but he might just be looking for someone that takes God serious. He might just be looking for a stark contrast to the darkness he's currently living in. Could you be that person that gives him a glimmer of hope? 

Be that glimmer of hope by not just saying you believe but actually living like you do. 

January 22, 2019, 9:51 AM

Simple truth, powerful message

I love simple truths that have a powerful message. 

Carpe Diem...seize the day. Isn't it a powerful message? 

Semper Fi...always faithful. 

Just Do It...well, just do it. 

There's one of these powerful but short statements in the Bible. 

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

This passage is short but powerful. You ever noticed that we can be our own worst enemy? We can lie to ourselves and tell ourselves that we are doing great when we are not. We can believe our own doom and gloom predictions and quit something before anything negative has ever happened. We have convince ourselves that whatever we are doing is too hard and we just give it up. We need someone to sharpen us. 

I love the story of Moses in Exodus 17. I'm just going to put a part of the story here and let you read it. 

So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. Exodus 17:10-13

God could have defeated this army in many ways, but he chose to do it this way. It was a teachable moment for Moses and for everyone there. We can't do it alone. We need others to help us. 

When's the last time your arms got tired so to speak? I have moments like this all the time. Maybe I've had a particularly tough week and nothing seems to be going right. I may be working harder than I've ever worked and trying so hard but nothing is working. I just want to give up and go do something else. But I have people in my life who help hold up my arms. They are there for me when I just get tired and want to quit. They are my iron sharpening iron. 

You and I were never meant to be taking this battle on we call life  by ourselves. One of the great things about the church is that we are an army. We aren't one guy taking on the world we are an army. We are an army of people working together to take on our greatest enemy, the devil. We are here to pick each up and have each other's backs. 

This is a simple message, to sharpen one another, but when you commit to this it will give you the strength you need to win. 

January 17, 2019, 9:03 AM

What Really Changes

We see a sun rise and we see a sun set. We see it high in the sky at noon and low in the sky in the evening. The sun appears to come up and then go away. Although this is what appears to be happening we know that it's not really what happens. The sun never moves. The Earth is rotating giving the appearance that the sun is moving. It's all about perspective. 

In life it seems that God is moving. Sometimes he seems very close to us and sometimes it appears that he's far away. Sometimes it feels that he's completely gone and has forgotten about us. Although it appears this way we need to be reminded of real truth not just our perspective. 

In Malachi 3:6 God said, "I. the Lord, do not change." 

In James 1:17 it is said of God, "with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." 

Psalm 33:1 says, "The counsel the Lord stands forever..."

Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ i the same yesterday, today and forever. 

The truth is that God doesn't change or move...we do. 

We are fickle people. One day we are happy the next day we are sad. One day we are content the next day we are dissatisfied. One day we are full of faith the next we are in doubt. We change all the time, but God doesn't change. 

Jesus promised his disciples that he would never leave them or forsake them. We must hold onto this promise. This promise has nothing to do with our circumstances. You may FEEL like the promises of God aren't being fulfilled in your life, but feelings betray us all the time. Feelings aren't based upon truth. We must hold onto truth. This is why we must be reading our Bibles. We must fill our minds the truth about God, because Satan is a great liar. 

The Bible tells us in John 8:44 that lying is the native language of Satan. He wants you to believe that God has moved away from you. He wants you to believe that God has forgotten about you. He desperately wants you to believe that God no longer cares about you so that you will seek love and acceptance somewhere else. It's a place you'll never find. 

Hang in there. God is for you. He is always there. Do not trust your feelings...they will misguide you. Stay in God's Word. Be reminded daily of the promises of God that are true and do not change. 

January 11, 2019, 9:09 AM

One Anothering One Another

The Lone Ranger is a lie. While I love the Lone Ranger, and there's actually some truth to at least the basics of the story, he was not the LONE Ranger. He had, Tonto, his trusty sidekick. 

We are not meant to do life alone. We are not meant to serve God alone. When Jesus sent his disciples out he sent them out two by two. He did this because he knew that doing this alone would not work. 

In the New Testament there are about 59 "one another" passages. These are statement like love one another, teach one another, encourage one another, and build one another up. While these all may be different they all have one thing in can't do this alone. To fulfill these commands you must be in relationship with someone else. 

One of the best ways you can do this in the church is through small groups. When the early church got started it was rapid growth. The first day of the church, the Day of Pentecost in Acts 1 and 2, there were 3,000 saved. Acts 2:47 says that more were being added to the church DAILY, and in the first 20 years of the church there were about 100,000 followers in Jerusalem a city of about 250,000. 

One the ways the church grew so rapidly is that they met house to house. They met in small groups. 

This is where true growth happens. Andy Stanley one of the greatest missions of the church is to be "one anothering one another." In other words, we are to be fulfilling the 59 one another statements in the Bible. We can't do all of these just in a large group setting on Sunday morning. We need to be in smaller groups where we can get to know each other and have the time to do this. 

I hope that you will make it a priority to join a small group. I know that everyone is so busy, but if you want to grow in your faith this is a must. I hope that you will prioritize your life to be growing in your personal walk with God. 

December 31, 2018, 10:45 AM

Do Right, Treat People Right

Did you like pop quizzes when you were in school? I know I didn't. It's pretty tough to just be given a test without having a chance to study. Jesus was given a 636 question pop quiz in Matthew 22. Some of the religious leaders were once again attempting to test Jesus and trip him up when they asked, "what's the greatest commandment in the law?" Jesus didn't have any time to prep for this question but he knew the answer. He actually quoted Moses. Jesus said,  “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39

Love God...meaning be obedient to God, do what he says. Do the right thing. 

Love people...treat other people how you want to be treated. Treat people right. 

At Lancaster Christian Church we have taken this as our mission statement. Think about it. If you do these two things right on a consistent basis, do the right thing and treat people right, you'll be doing pretty good. This is a great way to live your life and a great way to start off the new year. 

I encourage you to invest in yourself to be able to do these things better. What kind of disciplines or habits would help you do the right thing? Here's a your Bible, spend time talking to God, be around godly people, attend church, get into a small group. What would help you treat people better? Consider this...think about what it's like to be someone else. Try to walk a mile in someone else's shoes. The Golden Rule sounds pretty unto others as you would have them do unto you. That's a pretty good way to live. 

These are the two greatest commandments we have, because these two cover most everything else. If we focus on these two as we wake up every morning the rest of the commands will fall into place. The same is true in the lives of the collective church. If we do these two things, love God and love people, our church will be doing a pretty good job of preaching, teaching, and serving others. 

So make 2019 a year of doing right and treating people right. It might just be your best year ever. 

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