Category Archives: From The Pulpit

Bible explains how sin passed down from one man

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Editor’s note: The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Inside The Pew staff.

By Donald Lee
Special to Inside The Pew

Question: I was recently asked, Why is everybody (including babies) paying for the sin of one man (Adam)?

Answer: Because when the one man, Adam, sinned by disobeying God and eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree, he passed the sin nature (or the state of sin) on to every other person born from him and his wife, Eve. So, what this means, is that even though a newborn baby isn’t old enough to perform the act of sin, the sin nature still is passed down to him by his parents (or lineage).

Take, for instance, a baby who is born addicted to crack cocaine because his mother smoked crack while he was in her womb. Just as the “addiction” is passed through the mother’s blood, so it is that the sin nature [or the state of sin] is passed down the lineage of man.

So because of this fact, God’s plan for redemption of mankind (restoring “man” back to his original state of “innocence” and uprightness and fellowship with God) meant that God had to send His Son, Jesus Christ, down here to the earth to suffer the punishment that we all “inherited” from Adam.

Remember what God told Adam in the beginning: The day you eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you shall SURELY die.

What happened? Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, or forbidden tree. So, what was his punishment? He was banned from paradise and he was sentenced to die (even though God’s perfect plan was for Adam and Eve to live forever in paradise).

God’s judgment handed down to the serpent (through whom the devil spoke) was that he’d (the serpent) crawl on his belly and eat of the dust of the ground; God tells the serpent that He’d create “enmity” (which is a natural hatred) between the woman’s “seed” and the serpent’s .

God goes on to tell the serpent that the seed of the woman (He was speaking prophetically about Jesus Christ, God’s sacrificial Lamb, sent here to die for the sins of the world) would bruise his head (the “seed” of the serpent) and the “seed” of the serpent would bruise his heel.

God is speaking prophecy. He’s letting the devil know (through these scriptures) that even though the devil “beguiled”, or tricked, the woman into eating of the forbidden tree, and she in turn gave some of the fruit to her husband, and he disobeyed God and ate it because his wife suggested he eat it, God already has a plan to redeem the “fallen” man (or mankind) back to him.

That plan is by sending Jesus Christ, the sacrificial Lamb and Savior to the world, to earth to fulfill prophecy. In other words, God’s plan was to kill Jesus, the Lamb, and shed His blood (which holds in it the power to wash away ALL sins) so that through Jesus’, the Lamb’s, death, mankind (those who accept Jesus’ sacrifice of His blood to pay the cost of their sins) can live throughout eternity with God.

Man, still must die a literal death (as you know). But instead of going to hell and eternal torment after dying, everybody who confessed Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior before they died (or die) will be (or will have been) “SAVED” from eternity in torment and saved into everlasting life in the presence of God (or BACK in the presence of God, rather).

In other words, everybody who accepts that Jesus sacrificed His life so that they can be “saved” (or “born again”) will have eternal life. And everybody who rejects God’s plan for salvation and who rejects Jesus’ sacrifice will be banished into outter darkness (eternal torment in the lake of fire).

So, from this lesson, you see that God is “fair” and He is “just.” Just like the state of sin [or the very nature of sin] was passed down through the disobedience of one man (Adam), salvation also is passed down through the obedience (or sacrifice) of one Man, (Jesus, who also is referred to as the “Son of Man” or “the Last Adam”).

In other words, just like the only thing we had to do to be guilty of sin is to just be born, the only thing we have to do in order to be made righteous (in Christ) is to just be “born again.” So, by one man (Adam), death passed to ALL men (good men and bad men).

So is it that by one Man (Jesus Christ), eternal life has been made available to ALL men (meaning all of mankind). But in order to be “saved,” or “born again,” a person MUST confess Jesus Christ as his (or her) Lord and Savior.

Romans 10:9-10 (in the Amplified Bible) says Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 5:15 says But God’s free gift is not at all to be compared to the trespass [His grace is out of all proportion to the fall of man]. For if many died through one man’s falling away (his lapse, his offense), much more profusely did God’s grace and the free gift [that comes] through the undeserved favor of the one Man Jesus Christ abound and overflow to and for [the benefit of] many.

Verses 16 through 19 continue to explain how Adam’s sin brought death on everybody, but Jesus’ sacrifice of His life has made it possible that all can be saved and be made righteous.

You very well know that not everybody will accept Jesus’ sacrifice. Those who don’t accept what Jesus did for us will have to pay the price for Adam’s fall. That price, again, is eternity in torment.

So, if you haven’t made Jesus your Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do so. It’s the greatest, most profound, decision you’ll ever make in your life. Accept His gift of eternal life.

 Donald Lee is founder-pastor of Kingdom Living Christian Center in Dallas. He can be contacted at pastordonjlee@yahoo.com or (225) 773-2248. To get a copy of “Married to Commitment,” the profound book on relationships he co-authored, call Xulon Press toll-free (866) 909-2665 or visit http://www.xulonpress.com. Follow Lee on Twitter at @donaldj_lee. Listen to him “live” via teleconference toll-free (760) 466-8123 (code 279498#) for the 10 a.m. (CST) Sowing of the Word on Sundays and 7 p.m. Bible study on Thursdays.

The old man is gone. A new man appears.

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By Grelan Muse Sr.
Inside The Pew

Going to church on Sunday as a kid was always interesting. My family and I used to attend an old wooden church which sat on the hill in Amite, La. We did not have central air to keep us cool, only a box fan. Service got going at 11 a.m. and the time we shared with the Lord and in fellowship with each other was priceless. The only heat that went on at our church was the fire the congregation showed for the Lord.

The old saints would rejoice and all we had was one big drum and a few tambourines to work with. We clapped our hands and sang praises to the Lord such as Payday is Coming After While and It’s Gonna Rain. Then, the spirit of God encompassed us. The young people had to get up and testify as well. We were so happy to do so and tell how good God had been to us that week. I could feel the power moving all around me and others in the room. As a teenager, I didn’t understand everything that was going on, but I knew it was the anointing that destroyed the yoke, and, at that time, the anointing had broken down the strong holds of the enemy. We were so enthralled with the spirit the physical conditions of the church were no longer a concern.

Now I can appreciate what was happening within my congregation. The Bible says we all were born into sin. The experience of falling in love with Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Ghost and being born again in the spirit separates us from sin. Once we allow the Holy Spirit to enter our minds and heart, we can live the life Jesus lived. At this point we are free, and we graciously allow the Holy Ghost to come into our lives. This is why you see adults and teenagers crying like babies because there is no more sin in their lives; they are new creatures in Jesus Christ. We are babes in God’s sight (1 Corinthians 3:1, KJV).

My experience reminds me of the story in Acts 2:1-4 when the Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (KJV).

The old man is gone, and a new man is here. The scripture shows the importance of letting the new spirit come in. I can see God working even as I write this column. I encourage those who have allowed the eternal flame to fizzle out to rekindle it. I pray the Holy Ghost will move in your life once again and bring you closer to the One who loves dearly loves you.

Grelan Muse Sr. is founder of Inside The Pew (@pewnews) and Emanuel and The Mainline Ministries . Email responses to this column to pewnews@aol.com. Follow Pastor Muse on Twitter @gremuse.

 

Bible-based ideas of an honorable husband

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By Peter Caruso
Special to ASSIST News Service

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – Can a woman find a loving and honorable husband? He is more to be desired than wealth or successful career. She will find purpose and fulfillment in their relationship. His love for her is like Christ’s sacrificial love, putting her needs before his own.

Realizing he will never really understand his wife, he strives to have an understanding attitude toward her. He makes it his life-long job to study her; aware that failing to do so hinders the effectiveness of his prayers. His words bring comfort and healing to her spirit, shaping her character by their affirmation of her strengths. He is attentive to her need for companionship, rest and personal fulfillment. He protects and nurtures her as a cherished treasure. He guards her against attacks from others and defends her from self-recrimination.

He works diligently at his career, knowing God rewards those who are faithful stewards. He develops his God-given talents; continuing to learn and refine his skills for the benefit of others. He is watchful for needs he can meet, careful not to seek recognition.

God showers blessings upon him for he prayerfully rules his household well. He resorts neither to dictatorship – giving his family orders, nor spectatorship – being present but uninvolved. Instead he carefully oversees the administration of his home. He guards against allowing friends or relatives holding priority over his friendship with his wife.

He makes his relationship with God his highest priority, above family and career. He seeks to provide leadership filled with God’s wisdom. His manner is gentle, courteous and peaceful. By modeling the Father’s heart he sets the stage for his children’s relationship with their heavenly Father. They know him as consistent-the same at home as before others. He allows for discussion and is willing to yield to others. He is full of mercy and good deeds.

One day his children will honor him, lauding his integrity and righteousness. He will enjoy the character of his grandchildren, observing the multiplication of godliness.

Together with the wife of his youth he will savor the fruit of a life of devotion and friendship with God.

Pete Caruso and his wife, Bev, have served the Lord together for more than 50 years. They have pastored two churches for 35 years. From those churches they sent more than 100 individuals into full-time Christian service. They have preached or taught in 35 countries: They recently coauthored: Keeping It Fresh-A Love that Keeps on Growing based on the Marriage Enrichment Seminars they team-teach. The Carusos continue to teach and preach. They can be contacted at: Caruso@across2u.com or visit their website: www.PeteandBevCaruso.com

Life is so brief, eternity is forever

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Editor’s note: The views in this column are of the author.

By Bill Ellis
Special to Inside The Pew

SCOTT DEPOT, W.V. – The biggest surprise of my life is that all of it is so very brief. The Rev. Billy Graham, speaking of

Bill Ellis

his latest book, “Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well,” is quoted as saying, “All my life I was taught how to die as a Christian, but no one ever taught me how I ought to live in the years before I die.”

We all have an appointment with death. There is an uncertainty about life, but none about death. I regularly read the obituary columns.

Some obituaries speak of hope and eternal life. Others seem to offer no hope. Abner was King Saul’s cousin and a commander in his army. At the death of Abner, King David, sang a lament in which he asked, “Should Abner die as a fool dies?” (2 Samuel 3:33).

Brief sadness comes when I read of all the things a person has done, but not one mention of that person’s relationship to God. Most discouraging are the words that come from a writer who has taken poetic license to an extreme and has a person walking heaven’s streets who left no testimony of ever having a desire to walk with God.

Many years ago, I heard a discussion among mountain men about death. One of them concluded, “As a tree falls, so shall it lie.” A person’s testimony cannot accurately be changed after death.

In the midst of the bereavement at death, there is also bright and abundant hope when a Christian dies. The Christian has hope beyond the grave. Jesus said to Martha, whose brother Lazarus had died four days earlier, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” Do you believe this? (John 11:25-26).

A short time later there was rejoicing. Death had been conquered. Read to the end of that 11th chapter and note these events. Jesus went to the grave of Lazarus and said, “Take away the stone.” Then He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” and then Jesus said, “Loose him, and let him go.”

On March 2, Kitty and I were in Sullivan, Ill., to celebrate the life and death of Don F. Pedigo. Celebrate death? Of course, for “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” and that is the hope of every believer in Jesus Christ.

Lloyd Larson, Frank Mathis, and Mark Ellis recalled fond memories of their association with Don at Peoples Church of God in Decatur, Ill., and remembered him as I do, “a man’s man who dressed well and always wore a smile.”

As a churchman, he was involved with the music and missions of the church as was his family and as a church leader he often served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees and was able to get more done than any board chairman I have ever known. His work and service for the church was highlighted by always taking on any task as a committed, knowledgeable, concerned, and determined leader who stayed with every assignment until it was successfully completed.

Our churches and country need more men like Don Pedigo. I will always be grateful for what this good, gracious and godly man meant to me and my family and thousands of others in our nation and abroad.

Bill Ellis is a syndicated columnist, and convention and conference speaker on every continent. He is the writer of more than 2,000 newspaper and magazine columns, articles and contributions to books.

Author tells fellow believers to ‘Quit Going to Church’

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By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

PLANO, Texas – Bob Hostetler has a message for Christians – quit going to church.

He also tells us to quit saying prayers, quit reading your Bible, quit volunteering, quit enjoying fellowship, and so on.

Bob Hostetler

Hostetler, co-founder of Cobblestone Community Church in Oxford, Ohio, uses the Bible to explain why Christians should improve in these areas in his latest release, “Quit Going To Church.” (ISBN 978-0-915547-70-8, $14.99, 224 pages, Leafwood Publishers)

While all these requests sound a bit far-fetched, think again. This thought-provoking and “pull-of-the-gloves” book is based on the premise that much of how we think and act, a great percentage of what we do today as church-going people, bears a slight resemblance to the way of Jesus and “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3 NIV).

The title of the book and its subsequent chapters issue an eyebrow-raising challenge, showing how many of us have misunderstood and distorted the good news of Jesus and replaced Christianity with something else.

For instance, in the chapter “Quit Going To Church,” he points out that Christians should “stop going to church and start being a church” that resembles the one in Acts 2. What should a church look like? Hostetler said it should be holy (“spirituality” and “being the church”), catholic (“universal” and “all of us together”), and apostolic (“based on the teachings of the apostles” and “provide gift-based leadership”). Furthermore, Hostetler tells readers to shy from the long-held notion by some that going to church makes you a Christian. This portion of Hostetler’s book takes me to James 2:14-26, when James talks about faith and deeds. What are you doing to fulfill Christ’s kingdom Monday through Saturday?

Hostetler contends Christians should quit tithing because the practice is misrepresented in today’s church. Everything we have belongs to God. Therefore, if you truly understand the New Testament church, 10 percent or any portion that man constitutes as tithing is incorrect. Jesus wants His people to surrender all to Him. Not 10 percent, but 100 percent. Everything! (Luke 14: 25-34).

As I read more, I stumbled into another nugget that made me nod my head in agreement. Hostetler tells believers to quit helping the poor and unite with them. The author boldly says, “When Jesus said, ‘You will always have poor among you (John 12:8 NIV), he meant, ‘among you.’ Not ‘on your drive to the office’ … Not ‘in shelters,’ … or in neighborhoods far from your community. He meant among you.”

Sadly, some have swayed from the Christ’s roadmap for His church. Hostetler is attempting to convey in “Quit Going to Church” that traditions and customs were not a part of first century Christianity and it should not have a place in the 21st century church. This straightforward title has nothing to do with “denomination” or who is right or wrong. But, if you believe in Him with all your heart, you would adhere to Christ’s vision for His church.

Learn more about Hostetler at www.bobhostetler.com. To purchase this book, visit Leafwood Publishers.

Muse: Color me white

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By Grelan Muse Sr.
Inside The Pew

BATON ROUGE, La. – When I was a little boy growing up in Amite, La., I can remember the first time I went to school. From day one, it was hard for me. The black kids had to sit at the back of the bus and in the back of the class room. As a kid, I didn’t know what was going on, but I do know that we were treated very badly in and out of the classroom.

The white kids would laugh at us. The black kids were last at everything in school. Sitting in that classroom was one of the

Grelan Muse Sr.

hardest things we had to endure. Fear was a reality for the black kids, for we never knew what was going to happen from day to day. It was difficult to learn in that environment. For some of us, our grades began to suffer, and so we were placed in special education studies. We were looked at as the unlearned kids.

I can recall my siblings and me tell our mother how bad we were being treated. I still recall the pain I felt sitting at the table as I cried to my mother about what was happening at school. As a 6 year old, it was hard to understand why. Day in and day out we went to school feeling this way, being called the “N-word” all the time. I just didn’t understand.

When I got home from school one day, I asked my mother if we had some white paint. She wanted to know why I needed the paint. I told her I wanted to make my skin white so I would not endure the pain of being ridiculed. There were days when I cried because I felt worthless. Sadly, I was starting to hate myself for being black.

At this point, my mother sat me down. She picked up the Bible on the coffee table, and we read scriptures, specifically Matthew 5:44 and John 13:34-35. In Matthew, Christ said, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” (KJV). He echoes this in John: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another./By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (KJV).

My mother asked us to do what Jesus said to love your enemies’ and she gave us a song to sing. The name of the song was, “I’ve Got The Love of Jesus.” When my siblings and I went back to school, we prayed and the song reined my heart and mind. I was able to overcome this situation in the name of Jesus; I still hear that song in my heart. In any situation you might experience, God will empower you to overcome. He will give you joy to overcome.

Grelan Muse Sr. is founder of Inside The Pew (@pewtalk) and founder of Emanuel and The Mainline Ministries (@EMM4Christ). To respond to this column, email him at pewnews@aol.com.

Knowing the difference

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By Pastor Grelan A. Muse
Inside The Pew

When I was a boy growing up in Amite, La., my siblings and I had friends that would come over and play. We would always like to play games, especially with the ones we hadn’t seen in a long time. Calling myself funny, I would love to trick the younger kids. The older buds would not fall for it, but the less experienced children would. The question was, “If you had to believe in someone would it be

Grelan Muse

Satan or the devil?”  My brothers and sisters would stand around that kid looking and waiting for the answer so we all can laugh and talk about it to others.

Not comprehending the difference, the kid would stand there thinking, and he would say “Satan.” We would laugh at the answer provided and every time we seen that kid, we would make fun of him until it was not funny anymore. I believe some of us are just like that kid – confused. They don’t know the difference between loving the things of the world and the love of the Father.

At first, I didn’t understand why we allow our kids to walk around with their pants below their waist, let the youth get tattoos on their body and just about every youth that you see wants to rap. This is the ways of the world. Christian parents are working hard to buy the pants and shirts for the youth to wear, giving them money to buy music and all other things of the world. So this is why one kid kills another for the shoes that is on his feet. Parents cry and tell the youth that they work hard to give them the things they want and they repay them by disrespecting them by talking back and not going to church and getting involved in drugs and alcohol. But there is one thing the Bible says about worldly love. In 1 John 2:15-16, the author says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

When it comes to the Scripture, it is a clear-cut line. Some Christian parents try to keep their children up with the Joneses when God doesn’t want this for anyone. Instill in your children that things of the world are not the true treasures to strive for. Make the Almighty the ultimate gift. Lust of the flesh and eyes divides homes and families. Pride of life drives corporations into the ground. All these misfortunes are not an imagination of one’s mind. These things are not of the Father, and we need to avoid them at all costs.

I go back to the young child back in Amite, La., who was fooled mainly because he didn’t know better. My fellow Christians, don’t be blinded by Satan. Ignorance is not bliss. Stand behind the truth. What might look good isn’t always what it seems. I heard a sermon one time that being a God-fearing person is one of the hardest things. We are bombarded with images and news that takes away from God’s law. What are we to believe? Remember, culture changes. God’s word doesn’t. Amen.

Grelan A. Muse Sr. is founder of Emanuel and The Mainline Ministries Inc.. and Inside The Pew, a nonprofit organization based in Baton Rouge, La. Follow him on Twitter @gremuse.

Football theology for Super Bowl Sunday

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By Bill Ellis
Special to Inside The Pew

It all started in January 1985 before San Francisco and Miami met for the Super Bowl XIX. A story about what I have called “Football Theology” and define as “bad football and worse theology”, was written by Bob Fallstron, sports editor of the Decatur Herald and Review, Decatur, Ill., on Jan. 23, 1986.

In the years that have followed nearly 100 definitions make up my list of football terms that are given a “church twist.” It has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines throughout the nation and other parts of the world, including “USA Today.”

Here are a few of the definitions that have been used. At a Super Bowl party, it could be fun to make up some of your own and by other party participants. I’d sure like to see the new ones you come up with. It is my hope that some of these will bring a smile to your face and I do hope your team wins.

This year, without Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, or Aaron Rodgers, I’ll just watch and enjoy the game with all who attend my party.

Bill Ellis

Here’s my list, smile at least once and enjoy the game.

  • Tackle – when an alert usher does when a child is sneaking out of the service.
  • Fumble – a lousy sermon.
  • Quarterback sneak – Sunday school officers and teachers entering the building five minutes after Sunday School begins.
  • Quarterback – what church members, who believe religion is free, want after putting 50 cent in the offering.
  • In the pocket – where too many church members keep God’s tithe and their offerings.
  • End around – diaper changing time in the nursery.
  • Illegal Motion – leaving before the benediction.
  • Interference – whispering and talking during the sermon.
  • Penalty – what the church gets when its members stay home.
  • Punt – what the pastor does when nothing else seems to work.
  • National Anthem – the choir and congregation doing their best singing “Amazing Grace.”

Thanks for sending to me some of the super definitions you come up with. Have a super day in your church and every day all week long. St. Paul knew a lot about sports, not football, but running and passed these words to all in the game. “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (spectators), let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith … ” (Hebrews 12:1-2). The chapter continues to talk about the discipline and vitality that every athlete needs.

The Bible has a great deal to say about sports, bodybuilding, strength, control and all that enables us to always be at our best. Read it and be amazed by what you discover and learn.

 

Bill Ellis is a syndicated columnist, and convention and conference speaker on every continent. He is the writer of more than 2,000 newspaper and magazine columns, articles and contributions to books. He is also a widely known motivational speaker and pulpit guest who utilizes enjoyment of life and just plain fun and laughter while speaking to high school, university and professional sports teams as well as to business and professional groups of all kinds. His keen understanding of human problems makes him a favorite speaker for youth, parent, and senior adult meetings. He is accompanied by Kitty, his wife, favorite singer, editor and publisher.

 

Lee: Book has reinforced ‘humility, patience’ in me

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By Donald Lee
Special to The Pew

In an interview I did with my former employer, “The Advocate” newspaper in Baton Rouge, about the future best-selling book my friend and prayer partner Bre Eaton and I just released, columnist and pal Terry Robinson asked me an awesome question.

He asked me whether our book, “Married to Commitment,” ministered to me in any way. And if so, what was the one thing that I learned from the book.

My response: “More humility and patience.” The book is about being humble, recognizing that it is God who gives promotions (whether in the workplace or in relationships). And it’s about being patient.

Many divorces occur or many marriages are strained because of a lack of patience on the part of at least one of the two persons. We,

Pastor Donald Lee

generally speaking, get tired of waiting on God to send us our Ruth or our Esther or our Boaz or our Isaac, to the point where we succumb to the pressures of impatience (like Abraham and Sarah did) and we (not God) produce Ishmaels in our lives rather than waiting on God to present us our Isaacs.

Some of the biggest, most recognized, most influential pastors out there today often say: “Most divorces occur over money.” I’ve always contended that “money” was not (and perhaps never was) the reason for so many failed marriages.

I contend that those marriages fail because of “selfishness,” “self-centeredness,” “pride.” This — a selfish, haughty spirit — is the root cause of divorce. The money factor, I argue, is the fruit of the divorce. But the root of the divorce is the self-centeredness factor.

In other words, money, if you will, is (how can I say it?) “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” That one straw, alone, couldn’t do it. But it’s placed on top of all the other stuff.

Successful, new marriages or relationships are birthed from honest, self-evaluations concerning what went wrong in previous ones.

Donald Lee is founder-pastor of nondenominational, multi-ethnic Kingdom Living Christian Center in Dallas. He co-authors “Married to Commitment,” (Xulon Press, $14.99) a powerful book on relationships and commitment. To obtain your copy of the book, visit http://www.xulonpress.com or call toll-free (866) 909-2665. Lee can be contacted at pastordonjlee@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @donaldj_lee. To hear Lee’s sermons “LIVE” via teleconference, call (218) 862-4590 (conference code: 279498#) at 10 a.m. (Central Standard Time) on Sundays and 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

In God’s eyes, underdogs always have their day

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By Pastor Grelan Muse
Founder, Inside The Pew

BATON ROUGE, La. – Another great weekend of NFL playoff action has come and gone. The San Francisco 49ers shocked my New Orleans Saints on Jan. 14 to advance to the AFC Championship Game against the New York Giants on Jan. 22. And, I cannot go without mentioning the Jan. 8 heroics of one Tim Tebow, who led the Denver Broncos to an overtime victory against the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers.

Many felt the underdog 49ers would collapse to the offensive onslaught the Saints orchestrated during the season. In the end, the underdogs had different plans. Forty-niners coach Jim Harbaugh gave his players the greatest words of inspiration before the game. He told his men the team they were not supposed to be in the playoffs. Essentially, the 49ers were cast off. Excuse after excuse was given by naysayers, including the 49ers early dominance of their division, the NFC West.

Now that the dust has cleared, the underdog 49ers is still in the game. Just like the 49ers had their doubters, there are so many people in our society who have been pushed aside. But, God has not. The Almighty will never doubt our abilities. God’s children are not powerless, for it is He who is with us always. In Romans 8:31, it is declared that He is for us, therefore who can be against us. I am sure we all can relate to the story of an individual who overcame obstacles in life despite a sub par start to life. God’s unwavering love is what allows the underdog to keep going.

It is no mystery as to why God finds favor in the underdog. There are endless examples of how God used those who were not expected to push forward to do so. He took care of the Israelites in their despair, made Abraham the leader of nations, allowed Moses to part the Red Sea, used Joseph to save Israel’s sons from starvation, and chose David to be king.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:28-29, “God has chosen what is low and despised in the world, things that are not to reduce to nothing the things that are, so that no person might boast before God.”

Tarry on underdogs! Harsh life circumstances and critics who favor worldly thoughts will never dictate your story. God always has the final say.

Pastor Grelan Muse Sr. is founder of Emanuel and The Mainline Ministries Inc. (www.emmnetwork.org), a Baton Rouge, La., 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, and Inside The Pew. Connect with us @PewTalk on Twitter and @Inside The Pew on Facebook.

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