Today I was listening to a pastor on a Christian radio channel and he stated that many pastors today don’t mention the blood of Christ in their sermons. The reason is that they don’t want to offend or upset their congregations by talking about blood in a bloody culture. To some extent, to tickle their ears. Talk about the love of Jesus, but don’t mention His blood. Without His shed blood, Jesus’ teaching has little if any value. It was the expression of His love for people who don’t deserve it. Soon after that I listened to another pastor talk about love. His focus was that love is a choice. I was glad to hear that because that is the focus in my book, Transformation The Servant’s Heart–A Life of Faith. God’s love is reflected through us if we choose to allow it. It isn’t based on feelings, although feelings may occur from the choice of loving God, people, even our enemies. The first pastor said to avoid listening to those who refuse to bring Christ’s blood to the front. Without it, Christianity vanishes and feelings take over. Burn with the love of God and be light in a dark and dismal world.
A recent lesson in our church talked about what James said in his letter about boasting about what we’re planning to do in the future and not including God in the plan (James 4:13-17). I guess he told us that because we are prone to do that very thing. With a small amount of honest thought we all know that we can make all the plans we want, but we really don’t know what is going to happen, even in the next minute. My wife and I have been invited three times to the home of a friend who has been in Israel several times and has developed a study about Eastern beliefs in comparison to the West. Each time has been canceled because of something happening in the family. We concluded that it wasn’t God’s will to have this meeting, at least not at this time. I think about the fight to gain the nomination for the presidency. I believe it’s safe to say that each candidate, Democrat or Republican, has made statements about how they are going to straighten out the problems of our country. Little if anything has been said about seeking God’s will in the process. It seems likely that a few of the candidates have prayed about their gaining the position. How much better it would be if God was included in the process. Seems like those days are gone. I guess I could be criticized by trying to connect church and state, but it is a personal matter. I have my own problems because I make plans on my own. Sometimes they work out; sometimes they don’t. I know what I’m supposed to do. Then do it, James says. James is pretty serious about what he says.
Although my book, Transformation, is not a best seller (I wish), it has done in part what I intended and hoped for. One reader called me and wanted to talk about the content of the book and ended up accepting Christ as his Savior. We have become good friends as brothers in Christ. Another friend, who is serving a life sentence for murder, called the book a “Forever Book” because the content is such that it will never lose its value in the life of a believer. This man has been a Christian for 20 years in 28 years of imprisonment and uses Transformation as a study for other inmates. I am grateful for both of these men. The book has been used in two Bible studies and I’ve been asked to create a study guide for other groups that might want to do the same thing. There are other stories I could tell, but these are the best. My prison friend recently was transferred to another prison because of problems where he was. His new abode is not where he wanted to be and he was discouraged when he found he had to transfer. However, he is ecstatic because he has an opportunity to share the gospel with countless men who need to hear it desperately. I think of Paul, whose ministry was multiplied in prison, even to “Caesar’s household.” I refer to the book as “our book” because without the help of the Lord and several friends it wouldn’t exist. Also, those who have benefited from it are also a part of it.