I just heard a fabulous message by Pastor David Uth that rang so true.
2 Timothy 2:24-26 says, “And the Lord’s bond-servant [those who know Jesus Christ as savior] must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition; if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive to him to do his will.”
We live in an era where so much biblical truth in our nation is being undermined by massive changes in the culture. Often Christians have responded in a shrill, confrontational way; after all, we are on the side of truth and righteousness.
But is this the way we are to respond? Examine 2 Timothy 2:24-26 again. We are to be ‘kind to all . . . patient when wrong, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition.” We are to correct those who oppose the trust, but with kindness and gentleness that they ultimately may come to know Jesus. People may disagree with our living based on the truth of God’s word, but if we are kind, gentle and loving in how we relate to them, they may be open to the truth about Christ.
As Stephen, the first martyr, was being stoned to death, “he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord do not hold this sin against them!’” And who was there looking on . . . the man who would become the Apostle Paul and the author of the book of 2 Timothy. Stephen was kind and gentle to his opposition, and this profoundly impacted some who participated in murdering him.
Let’s seek to care for people who oppose us and maybe, by God’s grace, some may come to know Christ and be given the gift of eternal life.
This weekend I talked with Jess, a close friend. He was discouraged because when he and his wife celebrated Christmas early the night before, they forgot something.
No, they didn’t forget to prepare a great meal for their children and grandchildren. And they didn’t forget to turn the television off so they could enjoy undistracted conversation among the generations. And they didn’t neglect to exchange thoughtful gifts with one another.
What they forgot was to make Jesus Christ the center of their time together. Jess realized that this year they had missed a priceless opportunity to start the family tradition of elevating the reason for Christmas—the birth of Jesus Christ—Emanuel—God with us.
Jess told me that he couldn’t sleep the night after as he thought of the squandered opportunity and how different it was going to Continue reading Put Christ in Christmas
Bev and I just returned from our first trip to Israel, and those 8 days were a once in a life time experience. Bev had been praying for months that Israel and Iran would resolve their nuclear differences, or at least, put them on hold until we returned. Thankfully,God answered her prayers J
The trip was amazing in many ways—from getting caught in an impressive storm while sailing on the Sea of Galilee to being at the Wailing Wall Saturday evening as the Jews celebrated the end of the Sabbath.
But one the most powerful experiences may surprise you. Located by every front door of every motel room was a small metal cylinder. When we asked our guide what it was, he said, “Well, it contains Deuteronomy 6:6-7, of course.”
It says, “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
The more I thought about it, the more I became convinced this is Continue reading Update from Howard 3.20
Whenever we celebrate Independence Day, I always think of two close friends who gave their lives to helping Americans remain free.
Bob Crosby was my “big brother” during College. He was the upper classman who invested time and money in showing me (a totally clueless freshman) the ropes and helping me not make too many bone headed decisions. He died in Vietnam the year before I was stationed there. It’s impossible for me to say the pledge of allegiance or sing the Star Spangled Banner without tearing up and thinking about Bob and his sacrifice.
The other friend, was a friend to many of you: Larry Burkett. Fittingly, Larry passed away on July 4, 2003. Larry gave his life to helping God’s people be freed from the slavery of debt, and becoming free to serve Jesus Christ. Larry understood that “The borrower is slave to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7), and he was passionate about helping God’s people. In 2000, I was so honored when Larry approached me about the possibility of merging our two ministries into what became Crown Financial Ministries. I miss him terribly, but look forward eagerly to the time we’ll see him once again—in heaven—forever!
As you enjoy time today with family and friends, I hope you can carve some moments to reflect on the most sacrificial gift of all time—the one of Jesus Christ. The sinless Son of God taking our sins upon himself so that we could be completely reconciled to God, and enjoy eternal life. Remember, life is short and eternity is long, and what we do for Christ during our time on earth will last forever.
Love in Christ,
Howard Dayton is the Founder and CEO, Compass – finances God’s way. For more information about Howard, please click HERE.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
My wife, Danielle, and I are currently reading through the book Love and Respect. We have both read this book before but we are now discussing a chapter a week to help us better understand each other’s needs. So far it has been incredibly fruitful.
There have been some great revelations I have received from doing this, but three things have really stuck out to me from reading this book:
- A husband’s unconditional love for his wife reveals his love for Christ.
- A wife’s unconditional respect for her husband reveals her reverence for Christ.
- In the ultimate sense, your marriage has nothing to do with your spouse. It has everything to do with your relationship with Christ.
As someone who does well with simple concepts, these three thoughts really resonated with me. It made me think beyond my relationship with Danielle to other areas of my life as well. One of them being the area of stewardship:
- How I handle what God has entrusted me with reveals my love for Christ.
- How I handle what God has entrusted me with reveals my reverence for Christ.
- In the ultimate sense, how I handle what God has entrusted me with has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with my relationship with Christ.
Many times we tend to compartmentalize our relationship with the Lord- often without realizing it. Our relationship with the Lord is key to every area of our lives; finances, marriages, family, work, etc. I would encourage you to evaluate these areas of your life and see where your relationship with Christ fits in with each. As you strive to put Christ in the forefront of every area you will be able to love, serve and honor the Lord and those around you in a significant way!
Kyle Hasbrouck is the Vice President of Compass – finances God’s way. For more information about Kyle, please click HERE