Tag Archives: God

Today Is The Day: No extensions, No loopholes, No Kidding…this time!

So? Did you get your taxes done weeks ago? Or did you procrastinate? Did you get a refund? Or were you waiting until the last second because you owed?

April 15this known as Tax Day. Well, sort of. This year, Tax Day was April 17th…or 18th, or just ask for an extension! Has the IRS gone soft? Well, not really.

You see, the IRS expected 17 million taxpayers to file their taxes yesterday, along with 14 million who were filing for an extension. But due to an online payment issue, millions of taxpayers were unable to pay. So the IRS gave 1 extra day to file.

Of course, as nice as it was of the IRS to give an extra day, they still mean business. And eventually, we have to pay. And if you wait too long, there could be serious consequences.

The idea of “giving an extra day, but still meaning business” reminded me of something Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3: “mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?” Peter responded that God didn’t forget, but He has been saving a day for judgment.

He continues: “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

Did you catch that? Patient. God has given, and continues to give, “1 more day” extensions to humanity. But a day is coming when the “heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.”

A spiritual tax bill is coming because of our sins. And as Romans 6:23 states, there is a steep penalty if we are outside of grace on that day. We can’t earn  forgiveness. Thanks be to Jesus,though, the payment has been made!

Enter into His grace, remain in Him, and receive a tax forgiveness better than the IRS could ever give!

Um, “Thank you,” Richard Dawkins? Well, sort of…

If you know anything about Richard Dawkins, you know that he is one of the world’s most prominent atheist authors. He despises religion. And Christianity has been the target of his wrath more than a few times.

That is why it is surprising that Dawkins might say ANYTHING positive about Christianity. But, in a roundabout way, that is exactly what he just did. And what Dawkins said, though not meaning to be complimentary, speaks volumes.

Dawkins’ recent comments came in response to an article by The Guardian, “Christianity as default is gone: the rise of a non-Christian Europe.” Now, you might think that Dawkins, self-described, “equal opportunity religion basher,” would rejoice at such an article. But, he didn’t.

Ironically, Dawkins noted that Christianity stands as the “bulwark against something worse.” What could be “worse” that would cause Dawkins to want Christianity to stay in Europe? Islam.

Dawkins calls Christianity a, “relatively benign religion.” In comparison, Dawkins says, “If you look at the actual impact that different religions have on the world it’s quite apparent that at present the most evil religion in the world has to be Islam.”

Now, be careful. You might get so entangled in the discussion about Islam that you actually miss the word. He said, “evil.”

“Evil” exists…according to one of the world’s leading atheists. Did you catch that? I know it may seem simple, but it is utterly important.

Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist, believes that life came from nothing. It evolved through random chaos and ‘survival of the fittest.’ Yet he believes in evil. Why? Because morality exists!

And the Judeo-Christian morality that defines his sense of right and wrong comes from the Bible. It is a book Dawkins hates. Yet, and DON’T MISS THIS: The last line of defense against something he calls “evil,” is Christianity!

Dawkins would never want to be associated with supporting Christianity. But, a Europe without Christianity makes Dawkins hope Christianity sticks around a little longer! Will we, one day, see the following Richard Dawkins quote?…

 “Come back to Europe, Lord Jesus…and quickly.”

An Open Garage Policy…And Giving God The Authority You Gave Your HOA

Homeowner Associations (HOA’s) can be annoying, but they are created to protect property values and to provide services for neighborhoods. If neighborhoods have no rules, things can go downhill fast. So, for the most part, we accept their rules. Sometimes, though, overly zealous HOA’s can go a little too far.

For example, recently, a California HOA discovered that a family had been housing another family in their garage. So the HOA took action. Their solution? They demanded that all houses must leave their garage doors open from 8am to 4pm!

Now, I’m pretty sure none of us would like that idea. Residents, of course, voiced security concerns. But they also didn’t want people staring at their stuff all day. After all, don’t we cram stuff in our garages to hide it?

Some homeowners say they will pay the fines and face the consequences. Most homeowners, though, are complying. You see, they signed over their rights. So, the best they can do is to ask the board to change their mind…and live with an open garage door in the meantime.

I wonder if most of us give our HOA power that we don’t even give to God. What I mean is this: What if God expected you to open your life to Him, leave your valuables vulnerable to Him, and to allow Him to peer into your life all day? Would you sign that authority over to Him?

Of course, God doesn’t need permission; he can see through garages and into our hearts and minds. But He wants willing participants. Sadly, most of us forfeit far more authority to human institutions than we give to the sovereign ruler of the universe.

“Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart” (Psalm 44:21). Invite God to rule your life, your home, and possessions. Open your spiritual garage door, not because you were forced by an HOA, but because, as the Psalmist says, “Search me, O God, and know my thoughts (Psalm 139:23).

Will you hand ALL of yourself to Him today?

A Couple of Good Purim Lessons For Everyone

Do you celebrate Purim? Unless you are a Jewish child, or have Jewish children/grandchildren, Purim probably isn’t big on your to-do list today. But even if you aren’t celebrating, or Jewish, we can all learn good lessons from this holiday.

Purim comes from Esther, the last book of history in the Old Testament. It takes place when Persians ruled (mid-400’s B.C.). It is a “rabbinical” holiday, meaning that it was not instituted by God’s command, i.e., Passover, Yom Kippur, etc. Rather, somewhat like the 4th of July, it is a celebration of a great victory.

The holiday gets its name from the plural of “pur” or lots. Haman wanted to kill all the Jewish people because a Jewish man named Mordechai would not bow down to him. “Lots” were cast to choose a day for all Jews to be killed in their towns. Instead, though, by God’s providential care, and the work of Esther, God’s people were saved. A day of celebration, “Purim,” commemorates that victory.

Today, Jews celebrate Purim with:

  • Reading Esther.
  • Giving gifts to the poor – a reminder to help the less fortunate.
  • Festivities: decorations, costumes, food, music, etc.

You might ask, “What does that have to do with me?” Consider two great lessons from Purim…

First, Esther was in the right place at the right time to help people. We are equally in the right place at the right time to do something for God’s glory. What is it? I’m not sure what your calling is, but “for such a time as this” you have a purpose! Read Romans 12 and consider your spiritual gift for God’s purpose.

Secondly, Purim celebrates salvation from certain death. A letter of death was sent and their fate was sealed. God intervened. Today, Christians are also saved from the certain death of sin (Romans 3:23, 6:23). But do you celebrate that fact? Remember to thank God for salvation!

So…you may not be dressing up, celebrating, or eating yummy Hamantashen today, but it is always a good time to review some scripture, remember God’s providential care, and rejoice in His victory!