Welcome to the P.J. (Pastor J) Sound Theology Blog

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Finding Stregnth in the Season...

Colossians 1:11-16

1:11 May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully
1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.
1:13 He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son,
1:14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;
1:16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers--all things have been created through him and for him.

As I read today's text for reflection show above, I began to think about all of the concerned parents and loved ones whom have already began calling me with Christmas worries. Already some of us are overwhelmed trying to afford the perfect gifts, others in despair about where the food for Christmas dinner will come from, still others nervous about families gathering under their roof for weeks at a time and the drama that comes along with it.

Friends whatever is stressing you out this season find strength in the scripture above, which reminds it's God's glorious power that enables us to stand and be strong. Even now for those who believe God is making us strong! Can you feel it? The press on beloved and watch how strong God will prove to be. Cast your cares on the Lord!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Misplaced Faith...!

1 Timothy 6:3-19

6:3 Whoever teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness, is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words. From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling among those who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.

Recently I watched the HBO series show Boardwalk Empire, and during this episode a concerned mother over her daughter's recent diagnoses of Polio goes to the church and offers the Priest a large amount of cash money with many jewels. After some discussion about repentance and faith the priest takes the gifts on behalf of the church. Later on in the show the mother goes to the hospital to see her daughter and finds out her condition is even worse than originally thought. She ask the doctor in charge did his daughter pray for her daughter, and I said WOW!

How misplaced can our faith be? The mother gives the priest money and ask the doctor for prayer? Sometimes we think money can buy us out of everything, when truly it's our faith that can enable us to make it through anything! I began to think of how many times I have done some similar things in my life and have placed my faith in people, institutions, and even things, instead of God. Friends and family I encourage you to keep your faith invested where it belongs. Where it is beneficial to all, everything made with human hands will fall away and fade! Faith in God will never fall void.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Making Preprations...

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

9 However, as it is written:“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”
the things God has prepared for those who love him

Today as I have been reading the news paper and watching CNN it seems as many people around the world have given up hope! The stark contrast is that many other people around the world have decided to take up arms, sit in, demonstrate and make change happen immediately. Both sides have their own point of view but this thanksgiving season as I am making preparations for thanksgiving celebrations, I stumbled upon Paul's 1st letter to the Church in Corinth and verse 9 has reminded me that it's God who makes the preparations for us.

So I situate myself in the middle of the demonstrators and those who have given up hope on fellow humankind understanding that God has a plan for all of us, and it's God's plans that matter, it's God's plan that we should live into! This season what are you making preparations for? Who's making preparations for you? As you and I enjoy this holiday season, let's take time out to be thankful for the people we prepare for, as well as those who prepare for us!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Season of Investing, are you willing?

"The Church’s one foundation, Is Jesus Christ her Lord, She is His new creation, By water and the Word. From heaven He came and sought her To be His holy bride;With His own blood He bought her And for her life He died." This great hymn of the Church speaks to the investment of God through Jesus Christ for humankind. Indeed during the time of Christ a severe investment needed to be made for the ultimate atonement of all, and these words pinned by Samuel J. Stone paint the picture for us whenever we stand to sing The Church's One Foundation!

Now the Church the church finds itself in a season of change and transitions, now the church effected by the perils of society must understand that this current season must be a season of investment and growing of God gifts exponentially! God is calling the CHURCH to speak to our Culture, communities, family, friends, and even next door neighbors. Now is the time to grow the God given gifts of the Church that the Holy Spirit gives to individuals for the purpose of glorifying God. Therefore the leaders of the Church must equip the people in the use of their gifts. We must help the people to understand the same point that Jesus uses in the parable for reflection of today, which is if we are not growing God's ministry we are no good to anyone. Friends now is the season of investment and growth, if we do not jump on board, then we are no good to anyone, and can easily be discarded. Are you willing to invest? I pray that you are, come lay your gifts before God, and let God do the rest!

Matthew 25: 14
“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them.
15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ 21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ 22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ 24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ 26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Who's to judge?

All good evangelism is ethical, but the question is whose ethics are moral for all creation. Psalm 119 reminds us that if we place God's word to live in our heart (our moral / ethical center) than we will not sin against God or fall to far from God. Jesus in the gospels reminds us that sin comes from our heart, and it's this point of departure that I ask whose ethics and morals are good to follow. With so many different beliefs and religious practices in our society who is to judge?

Speaking for myself as it pertains to Psalm 119, I find myself wanting, trying to live according to God's will in my life. I let my morality become shaped by the biblical example of the historical Christ. I lve by the fact that I am to love my neighbor which is how I show love to God, this is the word implanted in my heart which grounds me and keeps me from falling away form God.


Psalm 119:1-16

1Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD.
2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart—
3 they do no wrong but follow his ways.
4 You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.
5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!
6 Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands.
7 I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.
8 I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.
How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.

10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, LORD; teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

Friday, October 28, 2011

How Your Faith these days?

Hebrews 11

1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

The writer of Hebrews perhaps Apostle Paul direct the question to us in form of a statement of what faith is. I believe that the writer is secretly asking the reader how is your faith these days? Is your faith confident to the point of assurance that what you can speak truth and it become realized? Are you so confident in your faith that you can step out in the name of justice and know a change will occur? Is your faith strong enough to make the invisible become real and relevant in the world on behalf of God?

How's your faith these days, are you unsure of your beliefs? Are you a person who observes injustice, racism, sexism and oppression but say's and does nothing? Are you still searching for your confident voice which comes from living out your faith in the world? Then look no further and find your faith in life of Jesus Christ. Jesus life and death reminds us that we must challenge the opressive and unfair social systems, as part of our faith journey. It's only by making the invisible visible to those who can not see that we do the work of God. Our personal mission should be to start small and daily open the eyes of the world while at the same time leaning on God to increase our faith, confidence, and assurance.

Remember even the twelve disciples did not start off ready to give their life for Christ, but their faith grew daily. So can ours, therefore let today be the beginning of your new journey. Do a faith check and daily ask yourself how are you living out your faith this day?