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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rock Higher Than I

Psalm 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

It is amazing to think that God can hear us from where ever we are. Last night I tried to get my wife's attention from across the store. I hollored, and whistled no matter what I did I couldn't get her attention. We finally had to walk all the way across the store and stand right next to her. (It probably wasn't the best thing to yell in the store, but everything )

I'm glad that no matter what situation we find ourselves in and no matter how loud the voice of the world is, God can always hear our cry. In times of difficulty, when life seems to be drowning us, we have a Rock that is higher that we are. We can run to Him. Stand on Him, and have confidence and security.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What's The Big Deal About Christian College? Part 4

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

The 4th benefit of Bible college is the emphasis on the local Church. It is safe to say that secular universities do not emphasize local church involvement. I imagine that secular university dormitories are filled with sleepping college students on Sunday morning. Why, because they were too busy partying the night before, or perhaps they just didn't prepare to make church a priority in their life. I know what some of you are thinking. I'm 18 year old. I'm a man I can make my own decision about going to church. That's true. You can, but if you are going to make the right decision about church attendance and involvement then you won't care if a Bible college requires you to attend and serve. The only people this type of requirement would bother are those who do not want to go to church.

Bible college provides a positive accountability to be involved in church. Some might ask, "What's the big deal about being involved in church?" I'm glad you asked. First of all, church is not my design. Jesus Christ created the local church. Jesus Christ began the local church. He established while he was on earth. He died for it on the cross. He commissioned it before he left, and empowered it on the day of penetecost. He promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. In short, God is working through the local church to carry his message to a lost and dying world. I don't know about you, but regardless of my occupation or field of study, I want to be involved in what God is involved in.

You may have never thought about this before, and I may be the first person to ever tell you this, but it is more important that you are involved in God's local church than it is for you to have a career. Now, while I don't believe you have to choose between the two, there is a clear priority.

A strong Bible college pushes everything back to the local church. That is a big deal. Hopefully by the time you leave for college, you have already determined to be committed to local church attendance and ministry, but if you haven't God will use a strong Bible college to continue to work in your heart about this matter. You will have four more years to allow God to show you how important it is to be connect to a group of believer that are actively fulfilling the Great Commission of Matthew 28.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What's The Big Deal About Christian College? Part 3

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Imagine being born on the little house in the prarie. For those of you too young to know what that is, just imagine being born 200 years ago before they had autombiles and tractors. Now imagine that you grow up to be a farmer, and it is time to plow the field. Remember there is no tractor, so you go out to the barn and pick out two animals to hitch to the yoke and plow the field. Above is a picutre of two animals yoked together. There are 3 donkeys, 2 cows, 4 horses, and a pig. What would be the best choice if you had to pick two? How about using a doney and a pig or a cow and a horse together? I hope you can see it. Neither of those choices would work. The two animals are so different in size, strength, and height. I think that the donkey would end up dragging the pig all around the field. It would work much better if you used two cows or two donkeys, or two horses. It just wouldn't work if these animals were "unequally yoked." Deauteronomy 22:10 outlawed this type of farming practice for the Israelites. In the New Testament, Paul uses this illustration to help us as Chrisitan believers to see the importance of choosing the right friendships, relationships, business parterns, and marriage partners.

Here is another reason why Bible college is so important. Let's imagine you go to U of Z (where ever that is). This university is a secular college where atheism, evolution, and other false teachings are promoted. Let's say that there are 5,000 people that attend the university. What are the chances that you will find a person that is a godly, growing Christian??? Not to good. Better yet, what are the chances that you will ended of marrying someone that cares very little about God, the Bible, and building a relationship centered around these things??? More than likely this is what you would find.

My point is NOT that you could never find another believer at a secualr univeristy. My point IS that you have a far greater percentage of godly candidates for marriage in a Bible college setting. Don't misquote me. I'm not saying that if your a girl every guy on a Bible college campus is a good candidate for marriage. I'm simply saying that there will be more guys that are likeminded about spiritual matters, and this is so very important.

Think about my marriage for a second. What if Mrs. Lahmann didn't like church, teens, the Bible, soulwinning, and helping people? How much do you think I would be able to do for the Lord? Not very much. You might say, "Pastor Matt, but I'm not going to be a preacher." Yes, but don't you plan on having a Christ-centered marriage, raising a godly family, and serving faithfully in a local church that is involved in fulfilling the Great Commission? Okay, then. You may want to think about going to a college where you will find a greater percentage of men/women (whatever your case may be) that are living a godly life.

Again, Bible college is not a REQUIREMENT of the Bible. You don't NEED it to find God's will, but if you are planning to go to college a Bible college offer far more benefits for Chrisitans than secualr universities.

Below is some additional material I found that exapand the application of this passage. This is not an endorsement of other Bible versions, but the materail contained in this link is Biblical and helpful to see a broader application of 2 Corithians 6:14 CLICK HERE

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What's The Big Deal About Christian College? Part 2

Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

In a multitude of counsellors there is safety.
This next principle goes hand in hand with the first. A good Bible college allows you to gain experience living on your own but with some protection. Instead of graduating high school on friday and then moving out on your own on monday, Bible college provides you the opportunity to experience "adulthood" away from home (this is a natural desire that most teenagers graduating from high school have), while still providing godly guidance and safety nets along the way.

Areas of Experience

Keeping A Schedule-You will gain practical experience in scheduling life. Mom will no longer be there to wake you up six times. She won't be there to ensure that you are on time to your classes. This decision will now be your, but you will also have people that will "encourage" you in this direction.

Keeping Your House Clean- I know what your thinking, "I'm 18 years old. I don't want someone telling me to clean my room." Let's face it. This wouldn't be a bad habit to learn.

Paying Bills-During Bible college the bill may be a challenge to pay, but you only have to pay one bill. If you live on yoru

Miscellaneous Life Lessons
-While I was in college, I expereinced getting a job, serving in a local church, fixing my car without my dads help. Getting my own bank account, and many other things. These are practical life lessons that can be intimidating to learn how to handle. That is the blessing of Bible college. You get to grow up slowly with godly guidance. You don't have to do it cold turkey.

Keeping your walk with God-You will also gain practical experience in developing your own individual walk with God. God will use the circumstances of college to grow your faith. Bible college provides a network of godly people that want to help you in your relationship with God. Instead of being out on your own in a city 4 hours from mom and dad, rooming with someone from oklahoma who does not believe there is a God, you could have a prayer captain in your room that will encourage you to walk with God, a floor leader, dorm supervisor, a faculty advisor, coach, professor, and many others who not only walk with God, but want to help you do the very same thing. These people are what the Bible refers to as "Counsellors"

Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

One of God's blessings to us is other godly people who He will use to give us advice from God's word. Bible college is a blessing.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What's The Big Deal About Christian College?

Yesterday, I had the privilege to sit down with one of our teenagers and talk about Bible College. I believe I was able to give her some Bible principles to guide her decision on finding God's will for her life. Over the next few days, I would like to talk about those principles. I believe they will be a help to anyone sincerely looking to find God's will for their life.

Please reserve final judgment until after all the principles have been read. This is just one of them. I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, and/or arguments. I would be glad to try to respond with God's world.

1. Bible college provides a college education with a Biblical foundation for life.
I understand that there are some teachers who work in a secular university that are Christians, but for the most secular college professors are not born again believers. Many times you will find these people to be atheistic and promoting a lifestyle that goes directly against God's word. It doesn't matter how strong you are, these people will have an affect on your faith. Just as a godly teacher/mentor/influence would be a spiritual blessing, ungodly teachers/mentors/influences will be a detriment to your faith. Don't believe me? Listen to what the Bible says.

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

This verse teaches us that we can be spiritually spoiled through

Philosophy which refers to a love of wisdom. It is an exaltation of academic logic and reasoning
above faith. It looks to explain away God logically rather than believe that He is and that he is
the rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Vain deceit carries the idea of empty deception. This is another attempt by the world to
explain away God and give them an excuse to live as if they are their own God. These are
taught in many forms such as evolution, humanism, atheism, feminism, and many other "isms"
that pop up from time to time.

Rudiments of the world are the basic foundational truths that unsaved people operate by. Today we live in a society where people are pressured to believe that absolute truth is unknowable. You can't know anything for certain. Secular universities promote acceptance of homosexuality, immorality, drunkeness, atheism, and many other ungodly practices and beliefs. No where is God emphasized or given a proper place of exaltation.

These philosophies, vain deceits, and rudiments are after traditions of men and not after God's word. I would also say that they are against God's word. The core values these universities are promoting are not after Christ; they are anti-Christ. This is why these places are so dangerous for young people at such a crucial time in their lives. Even in choosing a "Christian" college, you must carefully consider their beliefs and teachings. It is sad to say, but many institutions that have the name "Christian" have departed from teaching sound Biblical doctrine.

As a youth pastor, it is not my goal to see every teenager go to Bible college. My greatest desire is to see teens graduate from our youth group knowing God's will for their life, having a strong personal relationship with God, and being able to find answers for life's question in God's word. You may neeed to read this paragraph again so you don't misquote me.

For further evidence consider Psalm 1 as a Bible reason why Christian young people put themselves in danger by choosing to attend a secular university/college.

Psalm 1:1Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. (this sounds like what you would be doing if you attended a secular college) 2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (this sounds like something you would be doing at a Bible college)3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (this is the blessing and promise God makes for seeking him and staying close to him) 4The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. (this is the end result of education without an emphasis on God)5Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. (more promise if we follow God)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shooting Yourself In The Foot

When I was in high school, I had a football coach that must have said this phrase 30 times a practice. A lineman would jump offsides, and he would respond, “Come on guys; you are shooting yourselves in the foot.” A receiver would drop the ball, to which he would yell, “We’re shooting ourselves in the foot.” Anytime we made a decision or play that hurt our own team, Coach would remind us that we were shooting ourselves in the foot. We were hurting ourselves. The idea was that the opponent is already giving us enough problems and he didn’t want us create more problems for ourselves. I imagine we would have won a few more games if our feet didn’t hurt so much from being shot all the time.
Proverbs talks about the slothful person “shooting themselves in the foot.” Proverbs 21:25 The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labor. Can you see it? Here is a man that is lazy. He doesn’t like to work. The goal of his entire life is to take it easy, have fun, and do what feels good at the moment. The Bible says that this “desire” will be the very thing that destroys him. How? Well, he won’t work so he can’t earn money to buy food and he is too lazy to plant food in order to put something on his table. I know sometimes it’s fun to lay on the couch and do nothing, but remember that relaxed position cannot be your full-time job. You must fight that desire or it will destroy you. Not only will it destroy you physically and spiritually, but it will also make you poor. Proverbs 21:17 He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich. If what you live for in life is “pleasure”, you may find it, but it won’t be exactly what you wanted. Wouldn’t it be great to just be able to stay home from school today and play video games, watch Sportscenter, paint your nails, talk on the phone, and take all the self-quizzes on Facebook? The only problem is you’ll never graduate from high school, no one would ever higher someone who can’t show up to work, and you would have to keep living with your parents until you figured out how to work? There are plenty spiritual reasons why Christians should work hard, but here is a physical reason that should motivate you at least a little bit-money. Not having money is okay, but not having money because you are too lazy to work is a sin. Finally, Proverbs 21:5 states, The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every on that is hasty only to want. Here is God’s answer to those who desire the “Get rich quick” scheme. God promises that the way to plenty is through diligent hard work. God rewards people who are diligent day after day. He doesn’t necessarily make them millionaires, but God will see to it that they have everything they “need”. However, the “hasty”, those who only want to work one day and get paid a million dollars, these hasty people will be want food and shelter before too long.
It’s okay to dream about coming up with some invention that will make you lots of money, but until then work hard and be diligent as a Christian, as an employee, as a student, as a member of your church, and as a member of your family.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What To Do With Your Heavy Load

Proverbs 16:3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

Have you ever had a stressful day? Have you ever had a day where you have been overwhelmed? It seemed like you would never be able to make it through the day. There was too much work to be done, too many people to take care of, too many problems that needed to be solved before the sun set. If you have lived very long at all, you have had a day or two or three like this.

Proverbs 16:3 gives the solution for easy days and hard days. We are told to commit our works to the LORD. The word "commit" means "to roll upon". Imagine carrying around a great big burden on your back. It seems impossible to carry it one more step. It's about to kill you. The Lord wants us to roll it to him. Take it of our back and let him carry it. Rather than stressing out about a situation that we really can't handle or fixed, roll the problem on God's back. God is big enough to carry it. He is all-powerful. He also can fix the problem or help you through the problem.

If we will roll the problem to God's back then our "thoughs will be established" We can go through the day with joy, peace, and assurance, that God is carrying my load and he is working on the situation in a far greater way than I ever could.

Consider the following verses which have the same idea of rolling the weight to someone else.

Psalm 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass .

1 Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

So, how do you roll your problems to God? The answer is simple but it takes some work. Prayer! Prayer is the answer. I can go to God with my problems and then my thoughts can be established because I know God will take care of me and helping me through the day. However, the hard part is being willing to leave the problems with God.

Sometimes we give God our problems like a fisherman. We cast our problems to God and then reel them back in. God wants us to leave them with him. If we will give him our problems, than our thoughts will be established, not in the fact that we will never have any more problems, but that God is working on them better than we ever could.