Author Archive

Something Like Scales

Posted: June 29, 2012 by ericrasberry in Uncategorized

“As he neared Demascus…” that is how verse 3 of Acts chapter 9 starts.  I was reading that this morning and I couldn’t get that phrase out of my head.  How many times have I been on my way to “Demascus” and God intervened?  How many times have I been knowingly on my way to do something and God got in my way?  In this account in Acts we know that Paul, then Saul, is on his way to Demascus to continue his persecution of followers of Jesus and before he got there God stopped him in his tracks and his life was never the same.  Every Christian has had a moment where once they were blind and then they could see; every Christian has had their Demascus road experience.  (Side note: I think that the song Amazing Grace has special meaning to Paul)

But I think it’s important to take that encounter and apply it to what the Holy Spirit does to those who he indwells.  We are all prone to wander from God, we are all attracted and drawn away by our own desires and enticed into sin.  Our flesh is constantly at war with the Spirit.  I realized as I looked back at my own life how many times I wandered down the “road to Demascus” and God in his mercy and grace convicted me and I repented. 

I think we all should take a moment to lift a special praise to the Lord for loving us enough to catch us on our way to hurt him and ourselves and renew a right relationship with him.

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M.A.N.

Posted: May 17, 2012 by ericrasberry in Uncategorized

Being a man is one thing, being a godly man is something totally different. 

I want to give you my honest opinion about what God has taught me over the past several years about godly manhood.  Being manly can mean several different things to people; it can mean big muscles, or a big truck, or a big grill on your big deck, or a big office, or a big TV in your big man cave!  However, there are somethings that are not always thought of as manly; like empathy, compassion, humility, sacrifice, loving confrontaiton and so on.  Don’t get me wrong, I want a big truck and a big grill and a man cave someday but they cannot be how I define my masculinity. 

I believe that the truly godly men are not remembered for what they own, or drive, or wear but how they impacted the people around them whether they knew them or not.  Men whos character continues on earth long after they are in the presence of Almight God.  Accomplishments are wonderful and if you work hard for something then I believe you should get recognition for your work, but what good really are those accomplishments?  Are they accomplishments that start of your shelf, then move to the guest room, then move to the closet, then move the attic, then get sold for a nickle at a yard sale?  Or are they lasting impressions on friends, co-workers, strangers, siblings, even parents.  Are they examples of grace and forgiveness that emulated for years and years, are they lifestyles that other Christian men ask the Lord to give them.  Will your personal standards, life verses and quotes be a clear representation of how you live?  Will those things resonate in the minds and hearts of the guys you do life and ministry with or the young people who watch your life?

Are there godly men who have lots of big toys? Yes.  Is there a problem if they are only remembered for the toys they had? Yes! 

Here is the bottom line.  As men who have chosen to die to ourselves and surrender our lives, ambitions, successess, failures, hopes and dreams to Christ we should be inexplicably focused and motivated by eternity.  Everything we do must revolve around the truth of our eternal destination and the eternity of the people we come into contact with.  Colossians 3:2 gets rigth to the heart is says, “Set your mind on things above, NOT on earthly things.”  Here are some of those “above” things; truth, nobility, righteousness, love, admireable things, excellent things, praiseworthy things (Phil. 4:8).

Be a man that speaks the truth of Christ always.

Be a man that demonstrates nobility and respect.

Be a man that is righteous and pure in thought and action.

Be a man that loves the way God loves.

Be a man that admires a lasting legacy and lives to leave a great one.

Be a man that pursues excellence.

Be a man that lives each day as an act of praise and worship to your Heavenly Father.

Be a man.

The Epitome

Posted: February 14, 2012 by ericrasberry in Uncategorized

Image

Jesus is…

R-estoration                    L-iberation

E-nticing                        O-vercoming

A-uthentic                      V-ictorious

L-ife                               E-ternal

 

Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 8:37-39  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

AND WE ARE TO…

Galatians 5:13  For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Ephesians 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

1 Peter 1:22  Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,

The Big Deal…

John 15:9-17 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

I do believe in spooks

Posted: February 2, 2012 by ericrasberry in Uncategorized

It is amazing to me how fear can make us rationalize ourselves out of doing even the simplest of things.  For example, how hard is it to walk through a house?  Not hard at all, you just put one foot in front of the other and walk.  But what if it is a haunted house; it’s dark and creepy and you don’t know what you’re going to see.  I have volunteered for a haunted house in my home town for years, it’s called Scaremare, and we called it a “death house”.  I cannot tell you how many people were waiting in line to walk through a house and got so freaked out and scared by what they MIGHT experience they walked away completely. 

In a way I can understand that sort of fear.  It’s a fear that you can see.  You can hear the people screaming that are walking through the house, you can hear the creepy music, you can see the boarded up windows of the house and the person in the grim reaper costume at the front of the line letting others start their journey through the house, you can smell the gas from the chainsaws and feel the chill in the air.  You have a pretty good idea of what to expect but you don’t know what you will encounter. 

The fear that I wanted to focus on is the fear that comes when we are faced with the choice of either being obedient to what God has called you to do or getting spooked and talking yourself out of it.  I know lots of people who know 100% what God as called them to do but when it comes time to actually do it they put if off with the excuse, “ well I’m not ready yet, I just need more time for God to teach me, but I’m definitely gonna do it at some point”.  There are other rationalizations people use but it all comes down to fear, they are freaked out about stepping out on that limb and being obedient to Christ.  People are fearful for tons of reason, “I’m not smart enough”, or “I need more experience”, or “I’m not good looking enough”, or “what if I freeze in the middle of my talk”, or “what if drop something and when I bend over to pick it up I fart”.  When we are spooked we will use anything as an excuse to fade back into the crowd and stay safe. 

II Timothy 1 reminds us that God did not give us the spirit of fear.  If we experience fear we should channel that emotion and remember that we cannot do what God called us to do without the Holy Spirit moving.  That emotion we have pulsing through us that might stop us in our tracks can be used to humble us, which will help us as we die to ourselves and remember that it is God’s truth, God’s strength, and God’s promise.  Isaiah 55 tells us that His word will not return void, it will accomplish what He wants it to accomplish. 

Scripture reminds us that God has already won the victory, He defeated sin, death and the grave; all we have to do now is be obedient, Jesus already whooped up on the scary things for us.  When we pursue Christ and love Him with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength amazing things will happen.  They may still be scary but use that fear to reinforce your reliance on God.

Has there been a time in your life where you backed away from being obedient to what God called you to do?  How did you feel afterward? 

I challenge you to be bold and courageous for your God, remember that if He called you to do something He will be glorified in your obedience. 

Grace and Peace.