The Weight of Finality


“The day of the Lord is near for all nations.  As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.”            -Obadiah 1:15

The book of Obadiah is only a chapter long and is often overlooked, but let’s discuss if for a second through the lens of our own context.

This announcement given by Obadiah whose name literally means “servant of God” is not just for the people of Edom, it is for us as well.  The Edomites were proud over their own security as a nation and that of their might, but they also lorded their power and gloated over the Israelites.  Obadiah’s warning to the Edomites also included a warning for all nations as well.  



Jesus is preaching the greatest sermon this earth has ever heard or will ever hear (The Sermon on the mount) and he makes this statement: 

Matthew Chapter 5 –

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[h] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.


Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

There is a weight of Finality:

God’s love for humanity, even people we cannot stand, far outweighs our capacity to love them…but that is no excuse.  We are to love and the consequences of that love is that the world is impacted for the better.  Secondly God can shine through us.  

The day of the Lord will come to us.  The real question is what will the weight of that certainty be for us when it does?  

-Just a thought for today.


What Parents aren’t saying to their kids


Like it or not our culture and society is progressing.  Progressing where, well that remains to be seen.  But if the trends are any indicators where we’re going may not look so good.  I don’t mean to sound all ‘doom and gloom’ here but what exactly are parents teaching their kids these day?  And on the flip-side what are they not saying to their kids?

History Lesson:


How and who teaches our kids makes a world of difference.  Don’t believe me?  The Warlords in Africa understand this notion.  Why do you think they abduct young boys and recruit them for their armies?  He who controls the youth controls the next generation.  Right or wrong (and that last example is most definitely wrong) the principle is still constant and true.  Who is responsible for instructing the youth of our next generation?  The Parents!!!  But what are the parents not saying any longer?

Here’s a list of a few things they aren’t saying: 

1.  NO!

Discipline has become inconsistent at best.  Children are allowed to do more, stay up later, eat whatever they want and parents aren’t telling their children ‘NO’.  Let me make a confession.  As a parent of four children I think I know a little bit about kids.  And if we as parents don’t tell them no when we know what is best for them they will begin to craft their own ideals and notions of right and wrong.  I am the parent!  You are the parent and we have to set boundaries for our children especially when they are young and in the formative stages of life!  I’m not saying it’s too late for teenagers if you’ve never said ‘no’ to your child, but much of a child’s understanding of right and wrong begins when they are young.  Say no, not just to say it, but when it applies to situations and circumstances that may endanger your child, when they act up or push the boundaries…have the guts to be consistent and say no.  There are far too many lazy parents in our world today who just don’t have the time to tell their children no.  Be a better parent than that!

2. Wait!

We live in a fast paced, fast food society.  Everything is based on instant gratification. But what is that teaching our children?  Good things don’t come to those who wait, no good things come to those who get it now!  Whatever ‘it’ is get it, why wait?  This applies to purchasing items that are beyond our financial means, eating foods in over indulgence, and even sexual pursuits.  Parents, we have got to step up to the plate and tell our children to wait!  Don’t let them make decisions based on what their friends are doing or what modern media is telling them is okay.  Have ‘the talk’ with them.  Get involved in their lives and remind them that God does have a plan for their lives…and some of it involves waiting.

3.  I love you

Let me be clear on this point, many parents are saying the words ‘I love you’ but they’re not backing it up with action.  If you love your child don’t just say it be involved in their lives, actually listen to them as they share with you their day.  Be available to them so that they have someone to come and talk to.  They say body language is sometimes more important than actual verbal language at times.  So put the tablet, cell phone, or laptop down and actually make eye contact with your child!  Let them know that you love them by paying attention to them!  Parents we cannot afford to be selfish when it comes to sharing our love with our kids.  We only have them for 18 years of their life and then they go out into the world on their own.  Make it count, help them show love in the same respect by being there and being attentive to them.

4. Your choices matter!

Start young with this!  Make sure they understand what consequences are for both good and poor choices!  Instruct them properly and help them to weigh out their choices in this life.  We are witnessing a whole generation of young people growing up in a world where no one is responsible for the consequences of poor decisions.  How does that happen?  It starts at home.  If the parent can’t admit wrong doing or own up to bad choices, the child learns from this as well.  The child has learn to blame others for their mistakes, to ignore the consequences and to just do what makes you happy.  Parents we have to be adult enough to show our children how to admit wrong doing, and to help them make better choices in their lives.  It’s not a weakness to admit that we were wrong at times.  Doing so displays something that is lost in our society today: integrity and courage.

5.  Love the Lord with all your heart and serve Him first!

I understand many do not live in Christian homes, but for any parent out there who attend Sunday School as a child or still goes to church today this is one of the most fundamental building blocks for any child’s development!  Without knowledge of God’s love and our reciprocation in word and deep we stand to lose an entire generation to ignorance and faithlessness.  Understanding that God is real and that His love saves us has to be at the forefront of our children’s development.  I’ve heard it said that it’s not our job to get our kids saved, I offer an contrary view.  It is our job to point our children in the right direction and to instruct them in the ways of God!  If we feel ill-equipped then I think we’re doing it right.  It won’t be easy but when our children see faith in action through us the Bible lessons about God and our relationship to Him will be that much clearer!


Parents I cannot stress it enough, we cannot omit these important instructions from our children’s development!  The dangers in our society today are very real.  We are facing the possibility of an entire generation blind to faith and lost in sin.  We must instruct our children.  We must take the time.  We cannot afford to be selfish with our time and our knowledge of God.  Don’t dismiss this as just another alarmist, get involved with your children, tell them no, tell them to wait, help them to learn to make better choices in life and that consequences do exist.  Lead them and point them to God…make sure that you also display in word and deed these same principles and attributes in your life!

-Get on with it!




It’s been around for a while, but I think the significance of this four letter acronym should be explored.  “You only live once” is what it tells us.  What does it mean?  People have used it as a hashtag signifying & justifying poor judgement and bad decisions with this excuse “you only live once”.   There is even a ‘YOLO’ clothing line that has been started.  We’ve gone from ‘Just Do It’ and ‘No Fear’ to ‘YOLO’.  Hmm…it seems to me that what culture is telling us is that it’s okay to do what you want, when you want, where you want because you only live once.

I recognize that everyone makes mistakes in this life but if we don’t learn from them and acknowledge that we’ve made them we run the risk of never growing and maturing.  As a Christian I don’t believe that I am going to live just once and then nothing, I believe that there is an eternity and that this life we live leads us to the next, and what we do here and now counts…it matters!  So if I adopted  ‘YOLO’ as my philosophy , what I’m saying essentially is that the only thing that matters in life is the ‘here and now’.  The problem with that is that it doesn’t account for the consequences.  For example if someone sleeps around aren’t they more likely to contract an STD than someone who waits until marriage?  If someone starts smoking and burns through at least a pack a day aren’t they opening themselves up to a slew of medical problems down the road the worst being cancer and death?   I could add so many more examples of choice = consequence here but these are just two examples.

YOLO isn’t really a new phrase, it’s just wrapped in new packaging.  Some have taken scripture out of context as well when they quote passages like “Let us eat and drink,” you say, “for tomorrow we die!” Isaiah 22:13 (NIV)  The meaning behind it has been eliminated and taken to mean ‘well what the heck, we can do what we want because we know we’re all going to die someday’.  

I’m not too keen on living that way because I recognize that one day each person is going to have to account for the life that we’ve lived before the Father in heaven.  That doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy life, on the contrary God has given us this life for enjoyment and pleasure but we ought to recognize that He also wants us to include Him in our lives.  When we forget consequences and forget about the future, we lose focus on what is at stake.

One of my favorite bible verses is a good guide for each of us in how we ought to live.
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 (NIV)  If we are walking humbly with our God we will enjoy this life so much more than the emptiness of comes knocking on our doors after we have lived it up and gone down roads that we now regret.  

On the plus side, perhaps there is merit to ‘YOLO’…perhaps you can take this phrase to mean ‘hey you only live once in flesh and bone so make it count, do what you can to live a godly life and glorify the Lord in your living’!  I think if I were to embrace YOLO that is what I would take it to mean.  Will I make it count?  Can I live a God pleasing life?  Can I help lead others to Him along the way?  ‘YOLO’!

-Just a thought for today!

Here’s some humor for your Monday:


“What Do I Stand For?” F2 = −F1 Action = Reaction…Choice=Consequence


“…and that in consequence of their fall (Adam and Eve) all men have become sinners, totally depraved, and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God.” (The Doctrines of The Salvation Army, Doctrine #5)

“We believe in the immortality of the soul; in the resurrection of the body; in the general judgment at the end of the world; in the eternal happiness of the righteous; and in the endless punishment of the wicked.”  (The Doctrines of The Salvation Army, Doctrine #11)

What do I stand for?  This is the question I’ve been asking and trying to answer all week…

Thus far we’ve explored: Selflessness over selfishness; God’s Justice & Social Justice.  These are fundamental areas of a Christian life.  So let me throw some fuel on the fire, so to speak…when we recognize what it is we are standing for, where our ideologies lay and are guided by specific principles in our lives we must begin to recognize that Isaac Newton’s third law of action-reaction applies to our spiritual lives as well.


Isaac Newton’s 3rd Law – Action/Reaction:

When a first body exerts a force F1 on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force F2 = −F1 on the first body. This means that F1 and F2 are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction.

Did you catch that?  Just kidding, unless you’re really into physical laws and laws of mechanics you might not understand this definition…here’s the definition that I understand:  “To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.” 


In our world, morally speaking, this reaction is called consequences.  Everyone who makes choices both consciously and sub-consciously will find that there are consequences to each and every choice we make.   All too often, however, in our world today many people have chosen to ignore these consequences by blaming other people for their mistakes, or simply running away from the consequences.  Adam and Eve, as I’ve mentioned before faced God’s justice in the garden because of the choice they both consciously made:  Action (Choice)  = Reaction (Consequence).

Similarly, if we continue by this line of reasoning we come to a junction in the road that brings us to ultimate consequence.  Everyone whole heartedly embraces and understands that all humanity will one day face death…as it’s been said, it’s inevitable like taxes.  We will one day die.  It is quite sad to consider those who are Atheists who believe that there is no further existence after death…that this is all there is to this existence.  In the Christian perspective, we believe that our souls do have an afterlife and that within this afterlife there is heaven and there is hell.

As I’ve stated before some people have a difficult time facing this reality and that God would eternally punish those who reject Him.  But as I’ve mentioned before if our action is to purposefully and willfully turn our backs on God, then the eternal consequence of such an action is the reaction which leads the soul to eternal separation from God.  Hell is a real place!  Hell will be inevitable for some people…and I am not the judge, never will be and I’ve never claimed to be.  But if we are to embrace such a reasoning as an afterlife and the notion of heaven, then ought to understand that there is such a place as hell.


Here’s are some closing thoughts on this for today:

1) Own up to your actions!

You and you alone are responsible for the choices that YOU make…I am responsible for the choices that I make!

2) Consequences are real!

If you make a poor choice the consequences are yours.  If I make a poor choice the consequence is mine.  Not someone else’s.  Stop blaming others when consequences come that we don’t like that are based on our poor choices.

3) There is always a right and better choice!

God doesn’t simply want a relationship with us, He want to transform us to become like His Son Christ on our spiritual journey!  He doesn’t want us to remain the way He has found us.  He wants us to choose Him every time in our daily lives.  This means consider the consequences of our actions, consider the path that we wish to take and also consider God knows what He is doing!  Choose Him, and His path…it won’t be easy but His path is right!

4) Believe in Eternity and live for God’s kingdom in the here and now! 

If we choose His path, His direction in our lives, we not only fall in step with His will but we recognize that life is so much more than just this human experience.  Eternity is so much longer and lives are at stake.  We must be Christ’s ambassadors in our world!  We are called to this higher calling to not only look forward to heaven, but to introduce Christ to those who have yet to believe and add to this heavenly family on this journey.

What do I stand for?  What do you stand for?  I will own up to my choices…I will face the consequence of my poor choices and strive, with His Holy Spirit’s help, to live a Holy life in word and in deed!

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