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Monthly Archives: August 2011

“Can You Truly Forgive?”

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Today I was able to be involved in a work that was completely new to me… And for that, I thank God.

I was nervous. I was standing outside of the door of the sheriffs department, looking around, I felt quite out of place. I stood their clutching my towel, and waiting on the door to open. Finally the door opened and I began to walk down a long hallway, not sure where to go. I finally reached the end and and the woman behind the desk asked who I was there to see. I gave her the name of a man, then she directed me outside where they had set up a make-shift baptistry. I stood near the baptistry as two guards escorted an inmate to my side. I shook his hand, and asked him if he was ready for the biggest decision of his life. He assured me that he was, and right then and there, I baptized him into the body of Christ.

Side note: This was a perfect example of how the Lord’s church should work together. (1 Cor 3:6) You see, a congregation planted the seed of the gospel into this young mans heart through correspondence. Then they contacted a preacher near the prison, he went with one of the elders and continued the study. Then neither were available to perform the baptism on the scheduled day, so they contacted me. 1 planted, 2 watered, and I merely got to witness another soul being added to the kingdom.

But the purpose of this blog is this.. I shook hands with a man who was guilty of sin (just as I am) was guilty of crimes, and was in prison. A few short moments later, I was able to hug my new brother in Christ, who was spotless, and free from sin. Yes, he must continue to pay for his previous crimes, but in the eyes of our Father, he is a brand new son. One who can one day be in heaven for all eternity.

This got me thinking, If he is now innocent, and pure in the eyes of our father, shouldn’t he be pure and innocent in our eyes as well?

1. Many times we are so bad about Forgiving others.

Statements such as, “You don’t understand, my situation is different” are far too prevalent. I know many Christians today who profess their faith and reliance upon God, however they refuse to let go of the grudges that they have held for so long. Maybe someone has cheated them out of money. Maybe someone has ruined their reputation by spreading false rumors. Maybe someone has… Regardless of the reasons of our neglect to forgive, every time we refuse to forgive, we sin.

Matthew 6:15-“but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

2. Many times we are quick to forget that we ourselves.. Are sinners.

I fear that many times it is easy for us as Christians (especially those who have been Christians for years) to start to feel a sense of “entitlement.” Where we begin to feel entitled to blessings both physically, and spiritually. Sometimes even feeling as though we are entitled to our eternal home in Heaven. We would do well to keep the mind of Paul.

1 Timothy 1:15- “But I received mercy for this reason, that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience for all who were to believe in him for salvation”

It truly was a great experience today. It was something that I will not soon forget. You see, I was reminded that the forgiveness of God knows no bounds. I was reminded that I too used to be a prisoner. (Romans 6:17) I used to be a slave to sin, but because of the grace of God (Ephesians 2) I have been set free from the bondage of sin.

I challenge you, as I have been challenged, to stop looking at the outward man. Stop looking at the “warts” that each of us have. Or more literally the sin problem that each of us have (Rom 3:23). It is time to start refocusing our minds on the beautiful, precious souls. Who, like us, are on need of a loving, forgiving, gracious, merciful God.

Will you talk to someone about this God, today?

In Him,
Troy

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Posted by on August 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

“Are You Doing Yourself Any Good?”

I enjoy going to the gym multiple times a week. When I was in High school, I really got into power lifting. however, after a shoulder injury, and ACL tear I no longer do real heavy stuff. I have been forced to alter my workouts. I go to the gym and do a ton of cardio exercises, and I still lift weights, just not the same as before.

Even though I love going to the gym, there is one thing that I will never understand. I will never understand why some people go to the gym. You see you can look around at the treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, weight machines, free weights, the track, and the basketball courts and all around you, you see people utilizing those facilities trying to better their lifestyle, whether it be to lose weight, gain muscle, or just be healthier. We all have our own personal goals, but that is not what I do not understand…

You see, there is another group of people that I do not understand. It is not uncommon to see someone walk into the facility carrying their “special bottle” full of protein or whatever their choice of liquid, they are wearing the appropriate clothes, and even have head phones in so that you can see that they are serious about what they are doing. But then, they sit down on the bench, near all of the equipment.  They watch others as they exercise, they watch the televisions that are playing, and then… they leave.

It is almost as if they believe that in some way, they have bettered themselves by simply being at the gym. They do not walk a mile, or lift a weight but they were there. And I guess, that was good enough for them.

Even as crazy and comical as this may sound, I see it happen all of the time! Those of you who know me well, know I am going somewhere with this… So here it is.

Spiritually speaking:

Are we doing ourselves any good? You see, merely being at the church building during a worship service, wearing the right clothes, and carrying our Bible so that everyone can see that we are serious will do nothing for us spiritually. What is worse, it is not pleasing to God. I am afraid that many times we fall into this same line of thinking as the above mentioned “athletes” and we fool ourselves into thinking that being “around” the church is the same as being IN the church. or that being “around” good works, is the same as us actually doing good works.

I am no workout expert, but I do know this, If you do not break a sweat, you are not doing much good. If you do not reach a certain heart rate, and maintain that heart rate throughout the course of your workout, you aren’t doing much good. Let me ask you brothers and sisters, are we breaking a sweat spiritually? Are we getting our heart involved in our work? Or do we half-heartedly go through the motions of Christianity?

It is time for all of us to challenge ourselves. It is time for all of us to decide we will not be complacent, or apathetic, and we will not be comfortable merely being “pew sitters.” It is time to get our heart rate up, and break a sweat!

Matthew 9:37- Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;

Revelation 3:16- So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

Colossians 3:23- Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

in Him,

Troy

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

“Am I Dying?”

One of the most powerful statements that I have ever heard coming from the pulpit that continues to shape the way I view myself in my walk with God today is this; “If you are not growing, you are dying.” When I first heard those words, I thought to myself, “can this really be true?” I mean, after all, you will eventually reach a point where you can grow no more, right? Maybe not….

Revelation 3:16- “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of my mouth” (ESV)

I try, not as often as I should, to ask myself the important question, “Am I lukewarm?” More importantly I want to know, does my heavenly Father view me as lukewarm? You see, God hates lukewarm Christianity.  The idea that I have been a Christian for X- amount of years and have taught x-amount of bible classes, preached x-amount of sermons, studied with x-amount of non-christians, or baptized x-amount of people in my lifetime, so I can spend a little time “coasting,” is FAR TOO prevalent today!

It is my hope, my prayer, that I do not become like this. What is more, it is my hope and prayer that you do not either.   

The more I began to think about my spiritual growth from the time I first became a Christian up to the present, it became abundantly clear to me, that I never would have grown in my walk with God, had it not been for the prayers, and support of my Christian Family.

The purpose of this post is a little different than my normal writings. But it is what has been on my heart. I believe in God (John 14:1), I believe in His power (Gen 1-2), and I believe that prayer is a powerful way for us as God’s children to involve our heavenly Father in our lives on a more personal basis(James 5:16).

In keeping with the thought of “Growing In Our Faith” I have challenged myself with two small spiritual challenges recently.

1. I have begun memorizing one verse of scripture per day. (Currently on day 33)

2. I have begun writing articles for the local Newspaper. (In hopes of stirring up interest in the community about the Lord’s Church.)

I share these with you, not because I want praise, (After all, these are two small challenges.) But because I want your prayers. It is time that we get back to being a family of encouragement, encouraging those around us to raise the bar just a little bit higher than they have in the past, in order to please Him.
Also, I want to extend an invitation for you to share your spiritual goals, so that I (and others) can pray for you as well. Please feel free to leave your goals/prayer request in the comment section, or feel free to email me at troyrogers156@aol.com
Romans 15:2- “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up”
in Him,
Troy 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

 
 
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