WARNING - Work in Progress

WARNING - Work in Progress
WARNING - Work in Progress

Saturday, October 24, 2015

WARNING PREACHY - 10/25/2015

WARNING PREACHY – 10/25/2015

Colossians 3:1-11

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”  Colossians 3:2
Colossians 3:2 seems to me the heart of the matter in many ways: “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”  The non-regenerate human (the sinner) is focused on just one thing – Themselves.  I remember when I became a Christian I told someone that I was thinking of becoming a missionary to benefit my fellow man. The response was incredulity and I was told “You need to look out for Number One.”  However, though I used to think that way I did no longer at that time.  As a non-Christian I really was ego-centric but once I committed my life to following Jesus I recognized that I wanted to be christo-centric.  And that meant loving my neighbors as well as my enemies.  It was the most drastic paradigm shift in my life.

Christian morality was something that came slowly to me after I became a follower of Jesus.  In fact, it is something that still struggles through my soul.  The reason for this is that my flesh is still focused on me, how I feel, and how I think things should be (even as a Christian).  Ego-centricism is my default position in this life and it is always difficult to consider myself the servant of Jesus as well as mankind.  Yeah, morality is tough business because it doesn’t say to me, that I deserve this good thing or that good thing, it says words like “John, go sacrificially and love your neighbor” or “John, go love your enemy, those who hate you and those whom you hate”.

So go ahead and read the 11 verses of today’s passage.  Maybe you will discover that I am not the only self-centered person in the neighborhood.

“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Col. 3:3).


Sunday, October 18, 2015

WARNING PREACHY – 10/18/2015

Colossians 2:16-23


This was the message on a billboard my church had posted on I-94 a few years back.  Never have I seen a billboard with more responses than that one.  It resonated with people because frankly, we all have grown tired of RELIGION.

But it was not my church who discovered God hates religion, Jesus expressed it first in the Gospels.

Can you guess who in the gospels Jesus liked least, whom he had the harshest words for, and for whom he held the greatest contempt?

If you guessed the prostitute, the druggie, the alcoholic, or the pornographer you would be wrong.  He was not fond (to put it mildly) of religious folks.  People like me - People who often get wrapped up into the church scene and sometimes forget that Jesus died for people, not specific religious practices.  God doesn’t give a flip for the songs that I sing, the instruments I use when I sing them, the type of bible I use, or the denominational flavor of my church.  Actually, he commended the prostitute at the end of Luke 7 for having such great faith.

So go ahead and read the passage this week and you will see that God Hates Religion Too.  And while you read it, you likely just discover why.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

WARNING PREACHY (in JUST 219 words) - 10/11/2015

“I’m a good person, it’s not as if I’ve murdered anybody.”

This is a popular response of people who explain to me why God is happy with them.  The problem is that this reasoning is an attempt to explain why someone is good based on the notion that human action (or inaction) is the qualifier for what “good” is.


See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

As we read Colossian 2:6-15 we learn that a person is not “good” because of themselves but ONLY because of Jesus.  God isn’t much interested in how good a person is, so any argument  which is people based is wrong.

Read the text today – NO REALLY, READ IT!  Take just 60 seconds and read the words and then spend the next few minutes asking God to make them real to you.  I think you might learn how insignificant we humans are in the eternal life equation.

Want to learn how to experience real spiritual life?  It’s not religion but rather a spiritual reality that only the Spirit of God can make happen in our lives.  It’s in this text too.



Sunday, October 4, 2015


Colossians 2:1-5

I don’t know anyone better in this world than my wife.  I know what she will do in most situations and I can actually feel her moods through walls (it’s a bit freaky) but at the end of the day she is still an amazing mystery because she is capable of more love and selflessness and piss-and-vinegar than I can imagine.  So all the while there is nobody I know better than my wife I must admit that I am still in the dark about her in so many ways.  And you know what, I am glad for that as it means the time that we spend together will always be an adventure of discovery.

In Colossians 2:1-5 Paul describes that the God of Creation is a mystery who is known in Christ.  He explains that the followers of Christ are knit together in love and unity which make the realization, understanding, and knowing of God in Christ possible.  And it is this knowledge in Christ that saves us from being tricked by persuasive arguments of this world that seem to make sense.  Paul is telling us that we can know God, that we can find stability in this world of madness.

I have been a Christian over 20 years now and I can attest to this.  The arguments of men make total sense at times.  And there are a lot of them.  I like to think that I know God but I’m guessing that if my determinations in situations differ from your determinations that you would say that I don’t really know God and that you know Him better.  Welcome to the denominational divide.

All the same though, God is known in Christ. 

Jesus taught that if anyone would be his disciple that they would pick up their own cross and follow him.  These are words of sacrifice…  Sacrifice.  Here is a word that seems foreign to me today.  The idea of sacrifice seems as foreign a virtue as honor, dignity, and self-respect today.  However, as foreign as it seems there is no end to the people who claim to be followers of Jesus in our culture.

But God is known in Christ and I submit that Christ is known through self-sacrifice.  Not literal stake yourself to a cross type sacrifice but sacrifice that denies self – which isn’t selfish.  It’s giving up your food so that the hungry can eat (fasting), it is giving your shirt when a man takes your coat, and it is placing one ’s self in harm ’s way  to care of the needy, the poor, the orphan, the widow, the sick, and the helpless.  It is taking in the refugee who has no other place to go and it is not killing the baby in the womb even though the mother’s life be in danger.  Knowing the God of Christ is about the Cross that Jesus sacrificed himself in order to save me and so if I would be his disciple I understand that as I follow him that I too will sacrifice myself to save others.

The rugged and bloodied cross of Christ is the door that allows us entrance to knowing God.  And once we meet him we have a life time of adventure and discovery. 

So do you hear it?  Faintly, in the background of your mind is the theme song from Indiana Jones.  (Da, da da dahhh, dah da da.  Da, da da dahhh, da da, da, Da. Da!)  There is an adventure worthy of Don Quixote waiting for us, an adventure that leads us to meet the God of Creation through Christ.  It’s sure to be a hard and bumpy ride but one that promises to be worth every second.  It is an adventure that will likely kill us, and will likely make us wish we were dead at times, but still, we get to meet the God of the Universe!  Are you kidding me?  What are we waiting for?  The last one there is a rotten egg.