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His Cursing, Our Cleansing

I am sure you are familiar with the popular song Amazing Grace written by John Newton, an English poet and Christian in the 18th-19th century who was a former slave trader. The first stanza of the song reads, "Amazing Grace! how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch; like me!" You and I are the "wretch" in that song, worthy to only be condemned and tossed into the fiery pits of hell because of our sinfulness in the presence of the one true holy God; Newton was very keen on this notion because of his past as a slave trader. The Lord would be just to send any one of us to damnation; it is as if every one of us are walking on doors which are ready to swing open, dumping us into the pit where the worm doesn't die. If you are reading this, then obviously God hasn't done that to you. But why? It is because of His mercy that keeps the hinges on those doors from swinging open. Mercy is about not getting what we do deserve. But then there is also grace...
When Jesus…
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God, Be Merciful to Me, A Sinner!

When it comes to the powerful parables told by our Lord Jesus Christ, one that sticks to me is found in Luke 18:9-4, known as "The Pharisee and the Tax Collector." Back in Jesus' day, the Pharisees were the religious elite among the Jewish people and we read throughout the gospels how Jesus confronts them for being outwardly religious but spiritually dead on the inside (cf. Matt 15:8; Mark 7:6). In this particular parable from Luke 18, the Pharisee thinks he is doing just fine by God and even thanks God that he is not a wretched sinner like tax collectors. Although there may seem to be a kind of righteousness in the words of the Pharisee, the tone is undergirded with an unhealthy pride and failure to recognize one's own sin nature (cf. Rom. 3:23). The tax collector, on the other hand, is very aware of his sinfulness and spiritual poverty and cries out to God for His mercy to be upon him.


In our day, there is a pride that stems from many who profess Christianity and …

Friendship Evangelism?

"Live your life in such a way that people ask you why." "People don't care about what you believe until they believe you care."
I've been guilty in believing such concepts. I've even heard these teachings from fellow ministers of the gospel. Yes, Christians are called upon in the Bible to be both friendly, relational, and live exemplary lives, but those things certainly do not replace the biblically-sound teaching of the clear verbal expression of the gospel message. Anything that adds to the Word of God is to be preceded with caution.
Christians, don't ever believe into the lie that you need to establish a relationship with someone before being "allowed" to minister the gospel of Christ to them. That is a pitfall teaching of American Evangelicalism called "Friendship Evangelism" and it is NOT biblical. This kind of "evangelism" leads most to try to make others around them "see Jesus" in them, rarely ever leadi…

When Love is Genuine

You want to be loved? You want to love someone? These desires lay within the core of every human being. An issue, however, is that we often hear about others' desires to love or be loved and they seek it in the wrong way or find it in the wrong places: the young man who thinks he can win a woman's heart by buying her nice things; the woman who quickly gives herself physically to a man who then leaves her shortly thereafter; the person who thinks becoming physically attractive is the key to attracting others into a loving relationship; the list goes on.

This desire to love and be loved, however, also extends beyond the intimate relationship between a man and a woman. It also pertains to extended family members, friends, and even in the work place. People naturally try to determine in their own mind what love is and what it looks like. Unfortunately, our ideas are influenced by social media, movies, and what we see others doing. Much like all facets of life, the Bible provides …

Christmas Joy

Do not allow the usual holiday hectic schedule and activities rob your joy of celebrating the birth of your Savior this Christmas season. Whether it's the shopping, the traveling, the gatherings, or whatever else, turn your eyes to Jesus Christ.


This time of the year reminds me of when I was in the Middle East. Being in a foreign land with a vastly different culture and religious ideals, I often wondered about what my friends and family were doing back at home and I yearned to be with them, especially my wife and children. I remember looking out into the desert, praying to God that He would fill them with His presence, producing the joy of celebrating the birth of our Savior.  It seems though, at that moment, joy sprung up in me; all of a sudden, my melancholy state turned in a well of great joy, since God reminded me of the reality of my Redeemer, Jesus Christ. There I was, in a part of the world which is often hostile to people like me, praising my Lord for His wonderful gift …

God Makes a Minister

"God doesn't call those who are equipped, He equips those whom He calls." It is not the intellect of a Christian that makes him ready to serve God, but rather the power of God working within that person. Although I generally encourage formal education if the opportunity presents itself, it merely supplements the gifts given from God. Sadly enough, there many churches in the world that will not accept a pastor to lead them unless he has a seminary degree. A seminary education doesn't make a minister of the gospel; the calling from God and the church body to confirm this calling is what makes a minister of the gospel. Of course, we read that God uses people from varying educational backgrounds, considering Paul who was a "Hebrew of Hebrews" and a "Pharisee" (Phil. 3:5), while Apollos was "an eloquent man, competent in the scriptures" (Acts 18:24). Yet, we read in Acts 4:13 that no matter the education of those whom God calls for His purpos…

Cheap Grace

About two weeks after the Lord saved me from my sins, my pastor confronted me one day and said,"You know, now that you're a Christian, you better clean up that mouth of yours." I was immediately convicted by this; by the grace of God, I was finished using foul language a few weeks afterward. This was one of my first tastes of the pure life that God desires for me to live. I see, however, many who profess to be Christians and still strongly sound the bell of worldliness. The Holy Spirit, of course, works at different speeds when it comes to sanctifying people, but there still is evidence...if indeed the Spirit does reside within a person. These people are not new to the faith, but rather proclaim to have a faith in Christ without any transformation. Such people have "cheapened" grace by simply wanting to escape the fires of hell and nothing more. Does God just save people to save them with also allowing them to live their lives as the world leads them? Most cer…