On New Year Resolutions

It is that ime of year again when everyone begins to think of ways inwhich they need improve in the coming year. Common ones are: losing weight, getting in shape, quite smoking or drinking, talking to some long lost friend, etc. But what happens 3 weeks into the new year? We all give up on those aspirations and sit in defeat thinking that we are bound to an eternal state of normalicy and the status quo.

But what if our failure to follow through was not because we were doomed to a rut in life, but rather that we are not focusing on the right area? Could it be that we simply focus on to many areas all at the same time, thus nothing gets accomplished because of the sheer amount of work required to change every little thing?

Alvin Reid wrote an excellent article discussing the danger in decieving ourselves with false resolutions and promises. He suggests instead that we evaluate certain areas of our life and focusing on one or two things.

It is an challenging and worthwile read.

– JB

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Merry Christmas 2009

Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken awayHis judgments against you,
He has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
You will fear disaster no more.
Zepheniah 3:14-15
NASU
In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, ” Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ” This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
” Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
Luke 2:8-14
NASU
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
John 1:14, 3:16-17
NASU
♦ ♦ ♦
May the year 2010 be one of great growth in your walk with the Lord. I pray that this next year prepares you to stand for the truth of the gospel in a way that you never have before.
Merry Christmas from Solid Anchor Ministries!

Brief Thoughts on Peace

With Christmas less than 1 week away, I can’t help but feel a little depressed this Christmas season. Christmas has become so entirely wrapped up in commercialism and materialism, that the true celebration is seldom remembered. This is a season meant to point people to Christ and yet it doesn’t. Among the glitz and glamor, we lost sight of the Savior. The star of Bethlehem is hidden in our array of fancy blinking lights. The song the angels sang drowned out by Christmas Holiday Music that glorifies man and things rather than the Savior.

This season is supposed to celebrate the peace that Christ brought. Yet, this was not a peace to be placed between men but rather placed between God and man. We seldom think of the true meaning of the manger. The Christmas story does not stop at the manger and wise men. NO! That was merely the beginning of a beautiful series of events that would win peace between man and God. The true meaning of the manger is that of the Cross. Christ becoming man did not save us; though it was necessary. Christ became man in order that he might pay the punishment that was rightfully ours. (Hebrews 2:17) You see, the Peace that Christ brought was not that of safety or security, as we often want to interpret it. Rather, he came to establish peace, thus restoring the relationship between God and Man. (Romans 5:1, 1 John 2:1)

This peace that Christ brought, though, is severly distorted by man. Year after year, man’s message of peace on earth is proclaimed. Yet, Christmas is one of the most unpeaceful holidays in the book. Black Friday, which marks the beginning of the Christmas season, is notorious for Greed, Selfishness, Anger, Bitterness, Envy, Coveteousness, Materialism, Lying, and sometimes even Murder. What a way to start the season of peace! Here is an article that demonstrates just that.

Furthermore, this season of peace is also viewed as a time to indulge ones self to the point of excess. Rather than writing a long section on this area, I thought that this Video would do enough to summarize what I am talking about. Perhaps you have seen it lately. We must note at this point, though, that Christians are just as guilty of the mockery of Christmas as the rest of the world.

Perhaps our celebration during Christmas demonstrates our true heart attitude. Have we wandered so far that we too place no value in the meaning of the manger? A reformation of our celebration needs to occur.

I hope that you begin to evaluate your own celebrations and truly seek the Lord on this one. It is far too easy to get mixed up in the world during this season and forget that we are to point people to the true message of Christmas.

My Frustration with False Teaching

2 Timothy 3:5 “holding to the form of religion but denying its power. Avoid these people!”

One of my biggest frustrations with the 21st Century American church is the sheer amount of false teaching within it. The problem lies not only in those spreading a false gospel, but also in those people who follow them. They are just as Scripture says: “For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will accumulate teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths.”

We are living in an age when apostasy is rising and false teaching abounds. In our day and age, the gospel is stripped of its power and it is being supplemented with some of the most erroneous teachings I have ever heard.

For example, this evening I heard a pastor state to his congregation that the Gospel of Jesus Christ stands in opposition to other ‘truths’ and that everyone needs some level of spirituality to get through life. He went on to state the Paul gave Christ as 1 answer to all of life’s problems!

DID I MISS SOMETHING!? Where is this in Scripture?

If this is what he really believes, and his confession of postmodern thought suggests that he is, than he is wasting his time. If Christianity is nothing more than a mere crutch to get someone through life, what is the point!? He has turned the gospel into a mere fairy tale or antidote in which the purpose is nothing more than to make people feel better about their fallen nature! I submit to you that this man, who claims to be a pastor, is ashamed of the very gospel that saved him (if indeed he is saved).

I am with Paul when I say that I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ because it is God’s Power for salvation to everyone who believes!

Has the church fallen so far off the straight and narrow that we only seek that which helps us to feel better about ourselves? What has happened to us that we allow this straight out heresy day in and day and say nothing!? Is the Gospel of Christ nothing more than something to smile at and take so lightly that distortion of it means nothing?

Brothers and Sisters, the time has come for us to eradicate this out of the church and to start being that Light in the Darkness that shows people the way and that Salt of the Earth that makes people thirsty for God!

In the coming months, I will challenge you to stand with me and begin removing the veils of deception that are blinding the church. No longer can we sit in silence as the church dies of cancer.

Begin Praying for a Revival

Jacob