Category Archives: Finding Answers to Stuff Churches Don’t Discuss

Blogging about real-life stuff where we apply God’s guidance

To Be or Not to Be!

“To be or not to be—that is the question!” This quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet meant to ponder whether to live or die. This week’s article is similar, and it addresses ‘being’ in God’s Kingdom: Be and live . . . or don’t be and [spiritually] die. But be what? And what matters more: words or actions; speech or Christianity in motion?

The answer should be obvious, but let’s have fun getting there. Words can be cheap or useless—especially if there’s no accompanying action. It’s more about what we do, not what we say. And if our words don’t match our actions or are venomous, we may keep people from God’s Kingdom by making it unattractive or out of reach!

Don’t say you love—be loving. Don’t say ‘Jesus is Lord’—make Him Lord by devoting all you have and are to Him (this complete devotion is what we confess in Romans 10:9). Don’t throw out a bunch of Christianese people don’t understand and call it evangelism! SHOW them God’s Kingdom through charity, justice, and mercy, using words when it makes sense—and only meaningful terms and relative examples! If you feel adventurous, Google the Letter to Diognetus.

In it, an early first-century Church father (most likely Clement) tells Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ tutor about the behavior of persecuted Christians who lived according to Jesus’ teachings and God’s ways within their communities. The focus was on the behavior of Christians who didn’t isolate themselves but brought God’s Kingdom near to the people in their cultures by ‘being.’ No bullying. No programs. No Chick Tracts. Now, THAT’S an attractional Church!

We, too, can ‘be’ in what I call ‘be-attitudes’ (yes, I meant the pun!).

  • Be truthful. “Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices . . .” (Colossians 3:9)
  • Be charitable.  “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35 – see also James 2:14-26 and Ephesians 2:10)
  • Be just and merciful. “. . . And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
  • Be sexually pure and active in response to God’s gift of life. “. . . For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

In summary, ‘be’ according to God’s desires and live. Be what? Truthful, charitable, merciful, pure, and wholly devoted to God. Now that we know ‘being’ is way better than ‘not being,’ let’s check out what we’re NOT to be as we define and dig into the origin of sin in a multi-part “There’s nothing original about sin!”

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.

Fixed by the Broken

We’re broken. But the Cure for what ails us spiritually has in His roots others who were broken but redeemed, including Gentiles and prostitutes who began looking for love in all the right places. Bad became good. I’ll explain after first correcting a biblical misinterpretation about Jesus’ lineage.

Matthew 1:16 incorrectly identifies Joseph as the husband of Mary in Jesus’ lineage. This Joseph was her father, not her husband. In the original language, he could’ve been her father or husband. But Scripture insists it’s the former. Consider this:

  • The rhythm of Matthew 1:1-17 is “ . . . the father of . . .” So, ending with “. . . the husband of . . .” doesn’t work.
  • Mary’s husband, Joseph, didn’t contribute to Jesus’ bloodline.
  • According to Matthew 1:17, there were 14 generations from Abraham to David (1:2-6, check!), 14 from David to the Babylonian deportation (1:6-11, Jeconiah – check!), and 14 from Jeconiah to Jesus (1:11-16). If Joseph in verse 16 is Mary’s husband, as incorrectly interpreted, then you end up with only 13 generations, and the text is wrong. But, with Joseph as her father in the lineage, the rhythm is consistent, and you get 14 generations.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’d like to focus on the seemingly broken out of which so much good came. One thing I’d like you to get out of this is that we’re never too bad, too broken, to be redeemed by God and used for His good while there’s breath within us. And status and education don’t determine our usefulness in God’s Kingdom!

Prostitutes and Gentiles. Tamar (Matthew 1:3) tricked King Judah into having sex with her by pretending to be a prostitute. Ruth (1:5) was a non-Jew (Gentile) who contributed to Jesus’ bloodline. The Gentile prostitute Rahab from Jericho gave birth to Boaz, the great-grandfather of David (1:6), who committed adultery and murder. But these broken people didn’t stay that way and became mighty in God’s Kingdom. It shouldn’t be any different for us!

The disciples. The earliest disciple-makers and Christian influencers included ruffians, zealots, a tax collector, a cheat, and people with attitude. For instance, Simon rebelled against Roman occupiers, Matthew collected taxes from a disgruntled Jewish population, and Judas Iscariot embezzled money from the disciples’ coffers. And we know about Peter’s temper! Yet, all played a vital role in God’s mission through Jesus.

In summary, God uses the uneducated and simple and turns seemingly bad into good to accomplish His mission to reconcile creation to Himself. What’s next? Well, words without corresponding actions are generally useless. What actions over speech does God desire? Find out in my next blog!

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.

Why Did Jesus Die Anyway?

If I had a dollar for every time I’d heard, “Jesus died to forgive my sins!” I’d be rich! But that isn’t directly why He came; it shouldn’t be our focus! He died to bring us back to His Father, the Creator, not specifically to forgive personal sins: “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God . . .” (1 Peter 3:18).

Our heavenly Father has worked to reconcile with us since the rebellion in Eden. Forgiveness of sin has been just one step in the process. It was, and is, an ongoing benefit of Jesus’ work at the cross done solely for making a way back to God, but it wasn’t the prime directive.

Why die? According to the Lord-servant covenant that God struck with Abram, death was the consequence of breaking it. We owed God, but Jesus paid our debt that began way back in Eden (“Don’t eat or else!”). Why is it important to understand that personal sin forgiveness wasn’t the priority? If we believe Jesus died explicitly to forgive individual sins instead of humanity’s rebellion, then we may feel, as we tend to in the West, that there’s nothing left to do; we owe God nothing.

On the other hand, if we understand that Jesus died to bring us back to the Father, even though the benefits can include personal forgiveness and transformation now, and salvation from His wrath to come, the focus is redirected to Him, not us. It becomes easier to understand that we must discover what He desires in return and then do that! But what do we who belong to God get in return besides forgiveness, transformation, and salvation? The gifts of His righteousness (standard), the Holy Spirit, and life in the coming age. (Acts 2:38; Romans 5:17; John 3:15-16)

Anyway, here’s a brief history of our reconciliation and Jesus’ mission from beginning to end:

  • Our rebellion.
  • Our sacrifices for sporadic forgiveness.
  • Jesus’ permanent satisfaction of our debt through the cross for ALL! (John 1:29; 1 John 2:2).
  • Our hope through His resurrection.
  • Our choosing God through Jesus (making Him ‘Lord’) brings righteousness and the Spirit.
  • Our ongoing repentance brings ongoing forgiveness.
  • Our renewed mind and the Spirit bring transformation and obedience for salvation.
  • Our outcome (if God knows us) will be a resurrection and eternal existence with Father and Son.

In summary, Jesus died to bring us back to God, and all that entails. Death paid off our debt, and resurrection gives us hope. Father raised the Son; He’ll raise the rest of us who are His! In the meantime, righteousness, the Spirit, and ongoing sin forgiveness are rewards for devotion. Personal sin forgiveness wasn’t the objective; transformation is. Since we’re on the topic of Jesus, let’s explore His genealogy and legacy in the next article.

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.

Be Careful Little Eye What You See, Ear What You Hear!

As a little boy, I (and probably many of you!) learned a song that began: “Oh, be careful little eyes what you see . . . Oh, be careful little ears what you hear . . .”

I’ve learned the value of guarding what I see and hear. Take in good things, and good things will likely come out. The opposite is akin to the programming concept of “garbage in, garbage out.” Regardless, the more we take the same things in, the more we become them. Why? Neuroplasticity. The brain remaps itself based on practices and preferences. Feed it garbage, and you’ll likely become garbage in thought and deed. This is likely the case here:

“For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie . . . God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural . . . men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another . . . God gave them over to a depraved mind . . .” (Romans 1:25-28).

 The ears? We listen to what sounds (or feels) good and were warned that people will chase whatever sounds good in the last days (2 Timothy 4:3).

The eyes? Jesus explained in Matthew 6:22-23 that what we watch reflects our inner being: “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. . . .” Pornography and its sexual immoralities. Violence. Gossip. Conspiracies. You get the idea. The eyes and ears can cause spiritual death if we’re not careful.

But there’s a way out. We don’t have to habitually take in what will kill us spiritually. Jesus teaches that we are to remove stumbling blocks—those practices that will keep us from God’s Kingdom: “If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.” (Matthew 18:9; 5:29)

How? We can, like Job, make a righteous deal with our eyes and ears (Job 31:1 NIV) to not “look at anything vile and vulgar.” (Psalm 101:3) Here’s Paul’s advice: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatian 5:17). Discipline yourself to see, hear, and practice good things and live, or choose depravity and die. Let me know if I can help you decide!

In summary, be careful little eye what you see, ear what you hear, to enter the coming age! In the following article, we’ll uncover that Jesus died to make that possible for you.

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.

Elijah – From Elation to Depression

Life can be great; it can be challenging. Ups bring joy, and downs deep despair. Sometimes, it seems as if we’ve descended too deeply to return to the status quo, let alone ascend to joy or elation! If this describes your state of being sometimes, as it can mine, we’re in good company! This week, I’ll introduce you to Elijah, who went from great joy and confidence to deep despair in a hurry.

Elijah lived and prophesied during the reign of Ahab, uttering God’s words to an unfaithful Israel: Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” (1Kings 17:1)

Many of you already know of God’s victory against Ahab, Jezebel, and the prophets of Baal. But, just in case you don’t . . . Through Elijah, God informed rebellious Israel that He would bring drought. And why not? Sometimes, it’s good for entitled people to remember just how powerless they are and how much better off they’d be if they’d honor a relationship with God! Evil Queen Jezebel, who forsook the God of her ancestors (e.g., 1Kings 18:18-19), consorted with prophets of the lesser god Baal (the god of the Canaanites). In a showdown, Baal’s prophets couldn’t coax Baal into consuming a sacrifice with fire despite dancing, yelling, and flesh cutting (1Kings 18:26-29). God’s turn.

No yelling. No cutting. No dancing. Elijah’s prayer was simple, and God’s response instant and complete. Fire from the sky consumed the sacrifice and the water Elijah had drenched it in (1Kings 18:30-39)! Elation for Elijah! But the joy wouldn’t last.

As you can imagine, King Ahab and Queen Jezebel weren’t pleased! They chased Elijah, who ran for days to escape their wrath. Discouraged and tired, he wished he were dead (1Kings 19:4). What a departure from the incredible elation of just a few days earlier when he basked in the glory of God’s victory! But swinging between highs and lows is what we often do as humans as the memories of successes and excellent stuff fade.

God nursed Elijah back to health and spoke to him. In a thunderous voice? No. In the middle of great wind or earthquake? No. The quiet space was God’s medium for parlaying with Elijah (1Kings 19:9-13). Our moods swing, but God is loving, patient, and faithful in responding to His children. You are one . . . right? If you aren’t (or aren’t sure), let’s talk! Regardless, listen carefully as God may speak to you in ways and places you don’t expect!

In summary, be on God’s side to help overcome adversity and deep depression. In the following article, we’ll revisit something many of us learned as kids: “Be careful little eye what you see, little ear what you hear!”

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.

Weed Patrol – Weeds Beget Weeds! Part Two (Sexual Immorality)

In this final Weed Patrol article, I’ll address sexual immorality, which includes incest, adultery, bestiality, prostitution, and homosexuality. God detests these things that blatantly contradict His desires for how we use our bodies. He and others have said as much (e.g., Leviticus 18:6-17 & 23; Hebrews 13:4; 1Corinthians 6:15-16). Although practicing any sexual immorality will earn separation from God, I’ll spend most of this space addressing homosexuality. I honor God and care for people despite sexual preferences that are none of my business … unless practitioners identify as Christian. My job as a teacher and disciple-maker is to pass on truth and model it. Again, this article is only aimed at people inside the church—those who claim to fear God and follow Jesus.

Here are a few ways homosexuality in the church is rationalized:

“Love is Love.” Not quite. Our limited language has one word for love; biblical Greek uses three: lust, fondness, and ‘unconditional’ love. The latter insists upon doing the right thing no matter what we ‘feel’—unlike those who don’t control their passions.

“Homosexuality has always been an accepted lifestyle.” Untrue. It was tolerated in portions of pagan Greek and Roman cultures between grown men and young boys until the latter grew facial hair and were expected to pursue heterosexual relationships. However, most cultures found, and still find, homosexuality repulsive and shunned or outlawed it. This has always been the case (until recently) in Jewish and Christian cultures.

“Biblical homosexuality referred to only rape.” Nope! This is an attempt to redefine an instruction that’s unpalatable to some. Paul calls out male same-sex intimacy—those who “practice homosexuality” (1Corinthians 6:9; 1Timothy 1:10). He reiterates this and addresses similar female behavior and consequences in Romans 1:22-32. By context and definition, the word/act (Greek ἀρσενοκοίτης) is “a male partner in homosexual intercourse.” Force isn’t the issue, only abusing God’s intention for human sexuality. Admonishments against this behavior are found in the Old Covenant (Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13). The undesirable conduct pervasive in Sodom and Gomorrah became the stuff of admonishments by Paul and Jesus’ half-brother Jude: “just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 1:7).

“Sodom and Gomorrah were about being inhospitable, not sexually immoral!” Double nope! In Genesis 19:1-11, men of Sodom sought sexual encounters with angels they thought were male (19:4-5) despite being offered women instead (19:8). Check out all the biblical references in this article (please!). You’ll find that homosexual behavior incited God’s wrath then, as it will at the end of this age.

In summary, if we believe in a Creator, we should behave as He intends. What’s next? Even the godliest folks experience emotional highs and lows! Let’s look at one example in “Elijah: From Elation to Depression!”

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.

Weed Patrol – Weeds Beget Weeds! Part One

Lately, I’ve written about ‘weeds in the church’—faux Christians who destroy it from the inside by introducing, tolerating, and perpetuating what God hates. Allow them to fester, and they’ll breed more weeds who tolerate and rebel, too, until the church’s DNA is damaged and spiritual transformation and purity become nearly impossible. So, it’s critical to recognize them.

In this and the next article, I’ll address certain weedy behaviors. I have no “stake in the game” or animosity toward anyone, regardless of lifestyle. I’m just a well-trained messenger wanting to relay God’s ways and protect His people. Who’s this and the following article for? People INSIDE the church (God will judge those outside (1Corinthians 5:12-13)). They’re for pastors, ministers, and other leaders and disciple-makers who must influence God’s people in love, purity, and morality and protect ‘the flock.’ In the process, we must love people as God loves them, hating ungodly behavior and reconciling practitioners to Him. If you’re outside God’s community, I’d love for you to know Him and for Him to know you! Let’s have coffee together and discuss this further! Now, onto the weeds!

Most weeds are easily recognized. They include people who practice lying, hurting others, stealing, causing division, and feeding addictions (among others):

  • “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
  • “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you . . .” (Galatians 5:19-21)

 These activities are contrary to God’s ways, and God’s got no use for anyone who practices them: “just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:21 – see also 1 Corinthians 6:10)

 But there’s a more dangerous and covert weed (1Corinthians 6:18-20): the sexually immoral believer. God’s clear about how we must use our bodies, even intimately! More on that destructive weed in the following article.

In summary, churchy weeds can breed more weeds and choke the life out of God’s community. This week, I introduced some of them that also make more weeds by breeding bad behavior. These include liars, cheats, thieves, slanderers, gossipers, and others who practice hateful things against their own bodies and other people. In the second part of this final section on “Weeds Beget Weeds!,” I’ll address the most pervasive, covert, and destructive one: the sexually immoral practitioner.

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.

Weed Patrol – Churchy Weeds!

Last time, I re-introduced the concept of weeds (fakes and evildoers) in the Church (Jesus introduced it first!) and explained that we need to recognize a weed to keep from becoming one and putting ourselves into God’s coming wrath. But what are we supposed to do about churchy weeds—those people claiming to be Christian who bring wickedness into our midst and poison us? Let’s see what Jesus and Paul had to say on the subject.

As is often the case today, the Corinthian church tolerated sexual immorality. Paul’s response? Remove the immoral person for their and the community’s sake (1 Corinthians 5:1-13). “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you . . .  God judges those outside. ‘Purge the evil person from among you.’”

And the Thessalonian church permitted slackers (2 Thessalonians 38-15). Paul reprimanded them and instructed the church to expel the lazy people: “. . . Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. . . . If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. . . .” Reconciliation is key here!

Jesus explained in Matthew 18:15-17 that anyone rebelling against God’s righteousness (sinning) who will not accept correction must be sent out of the Christian community: “And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

“Ron! Why were (and are) correction and possible expulsion necessary?” We can’t maintain God’s standards without gentle guidance and correction within the Body of Christ. The spiritually mature must model and execute godly behavior, so others will know how to behave. Why must we identify churchy weeds—people who refuse to adhere to God’s standards? To protect everyone else and present a clear image of Him to the world. Don’t we remove rotten food to protect the good?

Unfortunately, discipline (for correction and reconciliation) is nearly impossible today. Why? First, there are too many weeds and not enough modeling. Second, the church is an open and unmanaged community regularly infiltrated by immoral people who corrupt the Body.

So, how do we remove weediness from within the Body of Christ? Teach godly principles—God’s righteousness, and model godly behavior (to show how to put it into practice: it rubs off!) Privately call out ungodly behavior and guide the rebellious and immoral to better behavior. What if that doesn’t work? Show them the door to protect God’s children.

In summary, we were never to permit or tolerate weeds in the church. It isn’t good for Christianity and presents a tainted image of our Creator. In the last of our Weeds episodes, we’ll explore how weeds make more weeds until they take over the Church!

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.

Weed Patrol – Christian Style!

A lot is expected of pastors. I taught and shepherded but also patched sheetrock and fixed toilets. And I embarked on regular weed patrol from March to November. Why? Because the parking lot was full of cracks that offered freedom to the little critters that resembled green welcome things but weren’t. They would overtake the parking area if I didn’t identify and kill them.

On the other hand, my wife patrols for weeds in our yard. Not so easy! It’s all green, albeit different shades of the stuff. Separating weeds from flowers and grass takes skill and determination. I can tell the difference between green and asphalt, but Joanne can segregate harmful green from good green and irradicate the unwanted (thankfully!). What does effective weed patrol have to do with Christianity? Plenty!

Anyone who practices rebellion against God’s ways invites destruction. You might think that person is easy to spot, but a weed can’t spot a weed, and there are plenty in the Church! Here’s what Jesus said about the subject: . . . “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. . . . So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” (Matthew 13:24-30, ESV).

The weeds are there and destructive. Let me give you an example. Decades ago, a weed named James invaded our church. He said the right things and impressed church leadership but ruined marriages, stole money, and poisoned people. Thankfully, faithful Christ-followers recognized the bad from the good, asked questions, and tested James and his motives. The challenges brought out incredible weediness. He was busted and ousted . . . but not before leaving a path of destruction and pain.

So, true God-fearing Christ-followers must exist with the sinful (even inside the church) until the end of time. But they’re always on weed patrol. They’re in tune with God by the Spirit and know His ways—so much so that they know when something doesn’t belong. They’re so focused on bearing His image and pleasing Him that the weeds become obvious. Be that wary person! Learn your weeds! Learn your wheat—the good stuff of God. Learn to tell the two apart.

In summary, recognize a weed to keep from becoming one. We all know what happens to weeds! In the following article, we’ll go ‘further into the weeds’ as we discuss what to do with churchy weeds.

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.

No Affirmation or Couch Potatoes!

Many Christians live at one spiritual extreme or another that could rob God of the partners He seeks. One supposes that Christians don’t have to do anything but admit Jesus is their Savior and that they are sinners. This dangerous position where most Western Evangelical Christians live produces spiritual “couch potatoes” and flies in the face of Father and Son’s commandments to honor, grow, love, and obey. How did THAT happen? Well, it’s been coming for many decades through gross misapplications of foundational principles such as salvation by grace, a lack of discipleship, bad teaching, and plain self-centeredness. Father and Son know who they are and what They’ve done—They don’t need our affirmation but DO want our partnership!

God seeks partners for reconciling His creation in this age and rulership in the next:

  • “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, . . . Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2Corinthians 5:18-20)
  • “He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS” (Revelation 2:26; see also Revelation 3:21 and 1Corinthians 6:2-3).

The partnership role requires training and transformation through discipleship, which should be each Christian’s highest priority as a disciple and disciple-maker. All else flows from it, from worship to spiritual growth. But statistically, fewer than 20% of churchgoers regularly engage in discipleship or related activities like small groups, Bible study, fellowship, prayer, and accountability (https://www.barna.com/research/state-church-2016/). Additionally, only 14% of today’s Christians appear to represent the actions and attitudes Barna researchers found consistent with those of Jesus (https://www.barna.com/research/christians-more-like-jesus-or-pharisees). The statistics suggest that little discipleship is taking place, and imitation of the One we claim as Savior is even rarer. No spiritually-lazy people are allowed in God’s Kingdom, though!

  • “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away . . . If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. (John 15:2-16)
  • “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’” (Matthew 25:41-43)

In summary, God doesn’t need our affirmation, nor will He tolerate Christian laziness! In my next article, we’ll have fun going on weed patrol, Christian-style!

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.