Drive!

What is it that drives you?  What is it that makes your heart jump for joy and consumes all of your days?  For most, it’s the pursuit of happiness.  Happiness that they might find for sheer moments, but that never lasts long enough to be worth the chase.  For those driven by the Spirit of God, the desires for material wealth and worldly pleasures are overshadowed by the things of heaven and the work He has given them to do.  I quite often bump into brothers and sisters in the Lord who tell me the Spirit is urging them to move forward with Him, but they just can’t seem to leave this or that behind.  What holds them, though it may seem dear at the moment, is nothing compared to the glory that awaits those who will let go.  Is there something that’s holding you back?  My guess is that it is something that only the sinful nature desires.  Let it go today!

“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”  Romans 8:5

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Through Who?

As a New Testament buff, I find myself looking at the great characters I find there and almost trying to model their faith and deeds. The other day I was talking with a friend about how I often feel like I just don’t have the faith I should, when I told him “The Apostle Paul’s faith was so strong that people touched him with handkerchiefs and then touched others with them and healed them!” Now, that would be awesome, if it were only true! I was right about the actual act of taking things that had touched Paul and having other’s healed through them. But I was wrong in the critical area of who got the credit. Upon re-reading, I found that although Paul was surely no slouch in the faith, it wasn’t Paul who performed the miracles. 

“God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” Acts 19:11 

It was GOD who did the extraordinary miracles, and it was the person touching Paul and then carrying the article to the sick person who had the incredible faith. Paul… He did what he always seemed to do–he set a great example of how a Christian was to live. No doubt that’s why God did things “through Paul” and why the faith of those watching him was able to grow so strong. So… is it you who are trying to do great things, or are you just trying to be faithful to God? If it’s the later, you also will have extraordinary miracles done THROUGH YOU!

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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God Hates What?

Have you seen that guy who carries a big sign to gay and lesbian rallies that reads, “God Hates Fags”?  Sometime ago, a teenage boy wrote me asking if it was true that God hates homosexuals, “because I think I’m gay… and I want to know Jesus, but not if He would hate me for something I can’t seem to control.”  Isn’t it interesting how just a little “hate” goes such a long way?  The truth is God doesn’t hate homosexuals any more than He hates any sinner.  What He hates is sin.  And that means ALL sin, including gossip, slander, laziness, etc.  All of which a non-Christian would still be a slave to.  Sure, sexual sins are considered worse in the Scriptures, but then premarital sex, adultery, and even just thinking sexual thoughts about someone who is not your spouse would be on the same level as homosexual sin.  Those sins (and many others) happen in the church on a routine basis, and often without any remorse at all!  How dare we use the name of Jesus in such a way as to drive away the very sinners He so desperately wants us to reach!  Believe it or not, when I told the young man Jesus loved Him enough to die on a cross for Him, his heart was broken. As we discussed the homosexuality issue, he was even quite interested in breaking free of the bondage it has him in.  Makes you wonder who the “God Hates Fags” guy really works for.  

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”  Luke 6:37

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Regret?

I did some pretty stupid things when I was young.  It started when I was a pre-teen and seemed to continue right into my late twenties.  If I could undo some of my life and do it correctly, I would go back and unhurt some of the innocent bystanders.  Most of all though, I just wish I hadn’t dishonored God the way I did.  As a friend of mine once tearfully wrote in a song, “I wandered through His garden taking things that didn’t belong to me!”  And as the great Psalmist King David wrote to God, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight” (Psalm 51:4a). To hear some Christians give their testimony you’d think they were bragging about their exploits.  That type of testimony rarely marks true repentance.  Repentance is obvious because the soul that bears it is broken before God.  That soul regrets what was done against God.  Frankly, regret is the one thing I find hard to live with as a man who didn’t walk with Christ until far too late in life.  Regret for the things I did, and regret for the things I failed to do.  If you haven’t strayed off the path, don’t let high-sounding testimonies lead you astray.  Regret is something you can do without!

“After I strayed, I repented; came to understand, I beat my breast.  I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.”  Jeremiah 31:19

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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You’ll Buy What?

When I was a pre-teen boy we lived on a farm for a couple of years.  I learned things you just wouldn’t believe unless you’ve had a similar experience.  From helping a cow give birth to killing a chicken for dinner, I’ve done it all!  I also learned that animals can be quite messy and each has its own way of making a stink!  I used to have to shovel out the barn, the chicken coop and, of course, the rabbit, goat and pig pens!  Interestingly enough, I also learned if you get enough manure piled up, people will actually come and buy it from you.  Chicken manure takes top dollar for some odd reason, but people also mix cow manure into their fields as a fertilizer.  Just imagine… people coming to our farm to trade what I’ll affectionately call our “crap” for their hard-earned money.

The world has a similar program…  Take valuable things and make them appear to be worth nothing, and then take “crap” and merchandise it as if it were gold.  And unlike manure, most of the “crap” we buy from the world is absolutely worthless.  Virginity sold for nothing, while purity is mocked.  Life destroyed on the altar of “choice” while true freedom in Christ is considered narrow-minded.  We use our money to build monuments to ourselves (in the form of “stuff”) while others created in God’s image starve within blocks of most of our homes.  We work our entire lives to get money so we can buy “crap” and we scrap what’s infinitely valuable in the process.

“Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?”  James 2:5

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Betrayed?

When Jesus spoke about the last days of life on Earth He was quite exacting in His description of how things would come to an end.  One of the most striking descriptions for me was when He spoke of how believers would be betrayed by those close to them.  I’ve personally felt the sting of betrayal a few times, and I’ll have to admit the ones that really hurt are those who you believe would never do such a thing.  The fact remains that even through tough times like these nothing changes with you and your Lord.  Sure, you’ll be persecuted by those close to you.  Sure, times will be tougher as the last days unfold.  Those times will seem unbearable, but only for a short while.  Then, for all eternity, they’ll be the fondest memories of how we faced persecution for our precious Savior!

“You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.  All men will hate you because of me.  But not a hair of your head will perish.  By standing firm you will gain life.”  Jesus of Nazareth (Luke 21:16-19

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Longing?

Before I ever heard much about God, I knew there was something larger than myself.  Whether I would look at the back of my own hand, or at the stars in the summer sky, it seemed obvious to me there was a Creator.  Later, I would learn this longing was planted in my heart by that very Maker.  He put it there to testify of His great love for me.  Some years after that, I cried out for Him to save me from the disaster I had made of my life–to save my soul from an eternity separated from Him.  I thank God for that great desire He put inside me to know who He is.  I also thank Him that He didn’t forget about me as I turned my back on Him for so many years.  He put that longing in your heart too.  Will you call His name as I did?

“He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”  Ecclesiastes 3:11b 

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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“I Don’t Get It!”

Are you getting anything out of your time in the Scriptures?  Many tell me that the Bible just doesn’t make sense to them.  They read, but nothing really hits them–nothing really changes in the way they think or act.  The truth is that Bible study is just like any other study in many ways.  First, you have to be ready to learn.  If we approach the Bible with an “OK, I’m here — teach me if you can” attitude, we’ll never get anything out of it.  What’s more, we have to involve ourselves in our learning.  Don’t just open the Bible and try to immediately understand writings that are thousands of years old.  Buy a Bible study book and read it along with your Bible.  Purchase a study Bible with notes below the Scriptures and read the notes when you don’t understand something.  Once you get involved, you’ll find that three things happen for sure.  1.  You will know more about God.  2.  You will know more about yourself.  3.  You will know more about yourself and God.  The bottom line:  If you’re not getting anything out of the Scriptures, maybe it’s because you’re not putting anything into it.

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”  Romans 15:4

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Overcome!

Some days the world just kicks you in the teeth.  It’s like you wake up just like every other morning and before you know it, everything’s gone wrong!  Although I must admit most days are an awesome experience for me, I’ve had my share of days I’d rather forget, too!  The world is a tough place to be sometimes, and the people that we run into can often make things even worse.  For a Christian, it’s even tougher.  We face persecution for our faith, plus we have a higher calling to find joy in everything, and all the while we are supposed to be looking for opportunities to grow in Christ and even to share our faith.  If you ever get down, just know this one thing.  It’s Jesus that gives us the power to make it through each and every day.  And it’s Jesus that ultimately will help us overcome the evil we see.

“for everyone born of God overcomes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”  1 John 5:4-5

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Unchanging?

How many times in a day do you say something and then learn that it’s not entirely true?  Have you ever been absolutely convinced of something, only to find out later you were wrong?  That is how life is for mortals.  We make statements and decisions based on the situation we’re in at the moment.  When our point of view changes, we often have to change our opinion.  Sometimes our change of opinion is based on the Spirit of God working in us.  Before I was a Christian I used to think and do all kinds of things that I now know do not honor God.  In a word, I’ve “repented” those thoughts, opinions and actions and have allowed God to change me.  God, however, never changes!  Something He spoke thousands of years ago is just as valid today as it was then.  Things He speaks of the future are equally as perfect.  God’s Word is pure, true, and powerful, perfect, and unchanging!  I pray that in heaven He’ll quickly teach me how to keep my foot out of my mouth, too!

 “For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.”  Psalm 33:4

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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