Is Now Good?

DL_PrayForOrlando

By: Tony Alonso

Acts 1:6-7 ESV: So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.”

Is now good? Now seems like a good time. Maybe in the next couple of minutes? How about now? The disciples had their own reasons for wanting Jesus to return: to restore the wrong to right. In light of the events that happened this morning in Orlando and the continued tragedies that happen day in and out, I can’t help asking, “Lord, come now?”

The Jews were anxiously awaiting their Christ. They imagined he would come and bring Israel back to their glory days of King David and King Solomon. When Jesus came, it was during the rule of the Roman Empire and their occupation of Jerusalem. This was the perfect time for Jesus to come and overturn the government with swords swinging. At least it seemed perfect to them. Instead, God had a different plan. A plan that left the disciples scratching their heads and wondering when? The response was not what the disciples had hoped. It is not for them to know. God the Father has fixed this time by his own perfect authority.

This can leave us scratching our heads, too. When we see senseless murders and horrible violence. When we see little girls abducted, gang members riot, planes flying into towers, and terrorists beheading missionaries, we ask, “how about now, God? Is now good?” The answer continues to be, “it is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.”

We can take this two ways. One, can be to get angry and wonder what kind of God we serve, or two, know that we have more time to do God’s will and bring light to this world. There are still more people that are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. More people that need to know about Jesus. It is not time yet because God’s perfect plan is still being accomplished. While tragedies and horrible acts can deflate our hopes, each day should remind us, it is not time yet. There is still more to do, more love to show, more help to give. Take these times, like what happened today in Orlando, Florida, as reminders we are not home yet. Let it inspire you to live out the great commission of making disciples of all nations as we continue to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Is Now Good?

Bold19 – In The End

I try not to browse my social media feeds. While I love to see what family and friends are up to, and enjoy the occasional cute animal video, I can get wrapped up in false teachings. Not the glorification of sin, which is all over, but the subtle feel good statements. The ones that sound great, but are horribly wrong.

I was checking out a friend’s page, when I came across several images with inspirational messages on them. One showed a young man walking an elderly lady across the street and read, “In the end, only kindness matters.” While sweet and an act we should do, the logic was flawed. In the end, kindness is not what matters. Not even close. #fail

When this life ends and we stand in judgement, it will not be in front of a kindness meter. I won’t be crossing my fingers in hopes the weight of my kindness on earth crosses a certain number. I will stand in front of Jesus, my Savior. Judgement will not be based on any righteous act of mine, but on His ultimate sacrifice. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is a gift from God. Not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? (Romans 6:1) No. This is where kindness and many other attributes come in. As a result of being saved, I will be kind, give freely, show love, and much more. Next time you witness a message like this, remember that something meant to be inspirational can still be false and a lie. Guard yourself and be sure to check everything according to the Bible. In the end what matters is Jesus.

Source: Bold19 – In The End

Bold19 – In The End

Bold19 – Life’s Strategy Guide

Psalm 1:2 His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

I am a gamer. First step to recovery is admittance, right? Whether standing in lines for a midnight release, or waking early for the newest download, I can’t wait for latest title. Rarely do I get stuck on a game, but occasionally I need help. This is when picking up a strategy guide or searching websites and videos are vital.

We often glance at our Bible the same way. When a problem arises we open our Bible for answers. When we are sad, we look for scripture to inspire. A tough choice brings us to a crossroad? We consult the Word of God for advice. This is great, but the Bible is not a strategy guide for our life. It is not a book that we only open when we get stuck. The Bible is a book we should meditate on day and night. We should know the words inside and out. Don’t wait for the next time you get lost to search for a way out. Open it right now and see where God will guide you today.

Source: Bold19 – Life’s Strategy Guide

Bold19 – Life’s Strategy Guide

Act As If

James 4:10 – Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.

It was my first day of high school and I was scared out of my mind. Just a few months ago I was at the top of the class. Now I was at the bottom. My new friend shared during orientation that freshman meant fresh meat and seniors were just waiting to eat me alive. I needed a game plan. This so-called buddy of mine told me about three words that would change my life: act as if. He explained the best way to avoid problems was to be on their level. To act as if you were the biggest, baddest, and craziest person in the entire class. Stare them down, take them on, show them you refuse to be bullied. Doesn’t mean it has to be true, just act as if it was.

The first couple of classes went by smooth. But, P.E. was the first integrated class that would have these evil upperclassman. Once the bell rang, I spent the next 6 minutes giving myself the pep talk of a lifetime. Walking into a locker room of towering seniors the trash talk began. I stood my ground and threw out every insult I could think of.

I wish I could tell you I paved the way for future generations. However, it ended badly for me, very badly. Ever see a movie where the small kid gets thrown into a dumpster? Yeah, that became me. I understood two things that day. First, never trust the first person you meet in a high school orientation. Second, a humble approach will get you a lot further as a freshman than an “act as if” approach.

The book of James shares with us a famous passage about humbling our self before God. Which makes sense after all God created us and everything around us. But, that is not the reason he says for us to humble our selves. It is so He can exalt us. I should have gone in to the locker room and kept my mouth shut and let my skills on the basketball court talk instead of my mouth. Then my teammates could lift me up. We can talk all we want about how great we are at this, or how amazing we are at that. But, it isn’t what we say that matters, it is what others say about us.

via Bold19 – Act As If.

Act As If

The Lion’s Den

Daniel 6:16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “may your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!”

There are times I am ashamed of myself. Times when I take a look inside and hate what I see. I get so easily wrapped up when drama gets plastered over the news or the latest gossip in social media. Sure, I have good intentions. I want to make things right. But, at what cost?

Daniel was in the political realm. He dealt with kings and statesmen. Kind of like we do today with principals, teachers, and coaches. Whether these individuals in power are right or wrong, we are to trust God. While Daniel didn’t preach sermons or hold Jesus Rally’s, he followed God with everything he had. He trusted him in every situation. When he was persecuted and thrown into a pit of lions, his faith did not waiver. Through his trust in God, those in power including the king, saw and believed.

When situations happen that you do not agree with. When people act in a certain way that makes you angry. Remember that God is in control and will use you to bring glory if you let Him. Meditate on areas of your life you can rely on God and let His light shine through you. While we can’t change the world ourselves, we know that we can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens us.

via Bold19 – The Lion’s Den.

The Lion’s Den

What’s In Your Feed?

Philippians 4:8

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (This is a part of a letter written to Philippi church from Paul)

Let me ask you a question. One you might not like. What is in your feed? Which pictures fill your Instagram? How many posts on Facebook lift you instead of bring you down? Do the tweets you read inspire? I noticed the more friends I accepted, and the more acquaintances I followed, the worse my mood would be after I logged off. While generations past did not have social media, they did have many distractions. In this letter to the church, Paul urges the Christians to fill their hearts and minds with the positive.

Let’s be real, there are so many areas where negativity can creep into our lives. Social media can be used in amazing ways to spread the Gospel to more places and quicker than ever before. A timely post could lift your spirits and boost your day. But, it can also be an area Satan can use to grab your attention away from God.

Go through your accounts today and decide what brings Glory to God and what doesn’t. Take control of what you see and read. Think about the content that others post and decide if that helps your day or hurts it. You will be surprised how different you feel when you fill your thoughts with what is right and pure.

via Bold19 – What’s In Your Feed?.

What’s In Your Feed?

It Is Written

Luke 4:4

Luke 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

We have all been tempted to sin. Most of the time on a daily basis. Sometimes they are easy to avoid and you can see right from wrong. Other times sin sneaks up and what you thought was a good situation, turns quick.

The term Christian means Christ-Like and for a good reason! Christ (Jesus) showed us first hand how to deal with Satan’s temptation. When Jesus was tempted He did not go off on the devil. He didn’t get into a fist fight. He quoted scripture to put Satan in his place.

The Bible is God’s spoken word turned into the form of a book. Many refer to Bible as the living Word of God because of the power it has in your life. The letters speak to us the same way today as it has generations before us. Everything we need to know to get through temptation and to live for God is located in the typed or digital words. This is why it is so important to not only read the Bible, but to study it, and memorize key parts of it. The next time a temptation arises remember you have everything you need to conquer it. Now speak it!

via Bold19 – It Is Written.

It Is Written