Global Impact – Dr. Claude Alexander

When I relocated from Connecticut to North Carolina, I was in search of a church to attend and I knew the Lord chose The Park (University Park Baptist Church). There I experienced growth in Christian character that still puts a smile on my face.

Dr. Claude Alexander is a preaching prince. He is articulate, theologically astute, and well versed in the Holy Scriptures. If you are seeking an intellectually spiritual lift, this is the man to listen to.

Enjoy!

TD Jakes – Kill the Bull

Bishop TD Jakes is one of the most prolific and controversial preachers in 2014 Christendom and although many of us can debate theological differences we can agree that Christianity is about Christ the God-man not theological schisms in the body of Christ.

I attended this service and I must admit, this is one of my favorite sermons. Enjoy!

Don’t Take Lot with You

“So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.” Genesis 12:4

Twelve years ago in the midst of adversity I took a leap of faith, left Connecticut and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. With no offer of employment, family, or friends in the said destination, I quit my job and stepped out on the word of God. Reflecting on past decisions I made one big error: I never left the people behind. Keeping contact with them caused me to be ensnared by the unexpected and it was like fighting to take off an invisible straight jacket.

Reading the call of Abram in Genesis 12 I recognized the problem. God called me not “we” and being very curious I wanted to know the meaning of the name Lot. The Hebrew translation is “covering” or in my case taking Lot was more like a security blanket.

What can we glean from Abram’s experience in taking Lot?

1. Lot was a hindrance.
“And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered and the souls they had gotten in Haran.” (1)
God spoke to Abram, not Abram and Lot. God’s call and promises for each of us should not be regarded as community property. Where God calls us is not where he calls Lot and them. The journey requires we have sufficient. Extra only slows us down.

2. Lot brought contention.
“And there was strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle.”(2)
When we continue to associate with Lot, we remain connected to all those associated with his company. Taking time out to play peace keeper among those who are just in it for the ride is exhausting and time consuming.

3. Lot’s presence was inconvenient.
And [Chedorlaomer and the allied kings] took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.”(3)
Consequently Lot’s real estate decision resulted with him being in the crossfire of the battle of the five kings. Had he consulted the Lord, or better yet, had he stayed in the Ur of the Chaldees, Abram would not have needed to bail him out when he got into trouble.

When the Lord calls us to do something, He speaks to us and us alone. So let us be strong, of good courage, and not bring Lot with us in our pursuit of God’s will for our lives.

References
1 Genesis 12:5
2 Genesis 13:7
3 Genesis 14:12

Blinded to the Truth- Part II

Scripture: Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (St. John 14:6)

Scripture Context: St. John 14

In a biblical context the verity and/or historicity of the scriptures is not predicated or defined by one’s perceptions, beliefs, or understanding. In other words the Word of God is what it is. Be it the existence of God to the return of Jesus Christ. It is not a matter of debate but an acceptance of an unseen reality that has unfolded and will continue to unfold.

I am confident many will ask what is truth and how do you know truth when you see it. That question is neither unique nor deep as Pilate asked the same. Many not all Westerners are absolute thinkers and surprisingly one would think the concept of truth to be concrete and absolute; however, factor in America’s multiculturalism (early settlers to ongoing immigration) and there are multiple philosophies, worldviews, belief systems and such the like interpreting truth as subjective and relative. So let us define the word truth.

The Oxford Desk Dictionary and Thesaurus

Truth- (n.) Quality or state of being true; what is true. Veracity, truthfulness, verity, correctness, accuracy, authenticity, fact. Reality, truism, rule, law, principle or gospel.

Biblical Definition (Greek)

Truth (Aletheia) The unveiled reality lying at the basis of and agreeing with an appearance; the manifested, or the veritable essence of matter. The reality pertaining to an appearance.

There is a difference between the two definitions. The Oxford explanation focuses on things that are circumstantial and visibly evident. The biblical meaning concentrates on the realness of reality and the very essence of it made visible. When Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life” he wasn’t saying he is a symbol of truth but the very spirit of it. In other words, Jesus is the unseen reality come in the flesh (1) and to accept him is to receive truth. This is the result of redemption Christians are afforded in Christ Jesus.

When God tells the prophet Malachi “I am the Lord I change not” (Malachi 3:6) that means his word is immutable. What God says will not change and it is not subject to changing world views, fleeting impressions, and short lived successes.

Rest assured when the truth of God’s word comes into question, it is never our responsibility as Christians to provide signs, wonders, and scriptural amendments. That is a form of temptation to test God and prove him evil. Our job is to direct the skeptical to the scriptures and the burden of proof will always rest upon the Lord.

Reference
1. I Timothy 3:16

Blinded to the Truth- Part I

Scripture Text: St. John 8: 32
Scripture Context: St. John 8

“And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

There was a lady who was caught right in the middle of adultery and according to the law, the self-righteous rulers said the woman should be stoned. Eh, hem. Correction. (In my Harry Potter’s Hermione voice) Well, according to Leviticus 20:10 it specifically states “…the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” Therefore, it is not just the woman but both parties should be put to death!

Of course Jesus being the masterful prophet knew this was a trap to accuse of him being an outright liar so he squashed all that nonsense and told them “he that is without sin among you, let him cast a stone at her.” (1) BAM!

Fast forward a few verses and Jesus makes two points: 1) he is the true light and 2) truth is liberating because it is important to have both light and truth to avoid spiritual darkness. Notably, the religious leaders knew of the law albeit they did not know the law because if they did, they could have easily discerned Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (2) and God sent him into the world not to condemn sinners but to save them. (3)

Now, let’s ponder this for a moment. How come the Pharisees who took so much time to study the law misinterpret it? Because studying scriptures and embracing the truth are not one and the same. When one approaches the word of God with an ulterior agenda it skews God’s word and blinds people to the truth resulting in bondage.

Maybe you are not a Pharisee looking to make a name for yourself or dupe people into believing you are the real deal but Christian beware! There are sayings that sound spiritual but they are nothing but misquotes and blatant lies. Let’s take a look at two examples.

What God has for me is for me.

Truth: If ye be willing and obedient ye shall eat the good of the land. (4)

There is no vault in heaven loaded with gifts for the people of God because our inheritance is spiritual not natural. This is not to say God does not provide us material wealth (and I use wealth as a subjective term) because he does. Suffice to say God’s blessings are conditional and predicated upon our obedience and good stewardship.

I am waiting on God to do XYZ.

Truth: Ye Men of (City, State, Zip code, Country) why stand ye gazing up into heaven? (5)

This is often used to disguise the lack of faith to move forward in God’s revealed will. The scriptures that refer to waiting upon the Lord are about reliance upon God and encouragement not timing. When you know what to do, any time is a good time to put the plans in motion. We chronicle events according to times and seasons be it convenient or not but remember all that is within the Father’s rule will be activated once the Holy Ghost has come to empower you to do his will. (6)

Stay tuned for Part II next week!

References

  1. John 8:7
  2. John 14:6
  3. John 3:17
  4. Isaiah 1:19
  5. Acts 1:11
  6. Acts 1:7-8