The Same?

Welcome to James Kilby dot com

There are a lot of ups and downs in a life, and the Christian life is no different.  I find a lot of young people have a serious misconception about this simple fact.  They somehow think that God is powerful and loves them when things are going well, and that somehow He’s either no longer powerful, or doesn’t love them anymore when things seem to be going poorly.  If you’re going through some rough times then maybe it’s a time of discipline, or maybe it’s a time of testing and growth, but two things for sure:  God is still God, and God is still love!  If you are experiencing troubles, you can be sure that God still loves you, too!  Are my children (my own flesh and blood children) any less “Kilby” when I’m disciplining them?  Are they any less loved?  Certainly not!  And you’re no less Christian during the tough times in life.  Soooo… when God is doing amazing things and everything seems to be going well, write it down, then go back and read what God did for you when times get tougher–The same God is still ultimately in charge of everything!  This too shall pass!

“The LORD’s right hand is lifted high; the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!  I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.  The LORD has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death.”   Psalm 118:16-18

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er

Jim@JamesKilby.com

Posted in Encouragement

Fear Is Not From God

What keeps Christians from sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others?   Is it that they’re just selfish?  Maybe they’re too busy?  Maybe they want to, but they don’t know how.  All of those things may be true, but I think fear is the #1 reason.  Fear of rejection!  It’s the number one fear in the world.  And where does it come from?  God’s word says that “fear is not of the Lord.”  I guess that only leaves one place!

“On the evening of the first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for FEAR of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!'”  John 20:19  (Emphasis mine.)

Fear will paralyze us every time.  And the Holy Spirit is the only thing that can drive it out!

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er

Jim@JamesKilby.com

Posted in Encouragement

Selfish?

 

Christ gave freely of everything He had, up to and including His life.  As Christians we’re simply asked to do the same.  Yet, many who know of God’s goodness and grace through a personal relationship with Jesus simply will not share the gift with others.  Such action (or inaction) shows the believer’s heart for what it truly is–selfish.  The selfishness is fueled by pride, the one thing our Lord needs us to get over before He can use us for even the smallest thing.  Pride has no business in the believer’s heart.  Ask the Lord to cleanse it and He’ll use you to cleanse others before you know it.

“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 10:8)

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er

Jim@JamesKilby.com

Posted in Evangelism

Teachers Beware!

Sunrise on a hill

Although we should all strive to become mature in our faith so that we can teach others, we must also understand that doing so changes the way the Lord looks at us.  He can use us to grow others, but if we are then unfaithful in the way we speak, or teach, then we will be judged more harshly than a new believer.  And it’s not just how we speak when we’re teaching that gets us… it’s how we speak all of the time.  We must set the standard for other believers, and be a model Christ follower for those who are not.

“Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.”  James 3:1-2

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er

Jim@JamesKilby.com

 

 

Posted in Christian Living

Good or Bad?

I get the impression from many Christians that they think God doesn’t keep any record of the mistakes they make in life.  Sure, the Scriptures tell us that in Christ we are found righteous, and that God puts our sins as far as the East is from the West, but that is true of the sins we committed in ignorance while we were lost.  It does NOT apply to those we commit after we know better!  This errant belief can often be used to justify all types of sinful behavior.  The obvious thinking is that since a person is “saved” then they can get away with murder.  Two points here…. first, if you don’t want to please the Lord, then the Holy Spirit is not in you–it’s an automatic reaction for a sinner who’s been saved by grace to want to honor God.  And second, there WILL be an accounting for the sins we commit after we are saved.  God is not so dense that some perceived loophole will keep Him from giving each of us exactly what we deserve… Even those who are “In Christ” will shed tears on that day!  Do not confuse the “Great White Throne of Judgment” (where some will be sent to hell) with the “Judgement Seat of Christ” where His followers will be held accountable, both for good and for bad done in His name.

“So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it [after we die].  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”  2 Corinthians 5:9-10

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er

Jim@JamesKilby.com

Posted in Christian Living

Disciples?

There are at least a few hundred different ways to approach Christianity, but I would like to highlight three I often see.  The first is the church-goer who doesn’t bring a bible to church, has no real interest in moving forward in his/her faith, and who probably doesn’t even know the Lord.  The second is the person who studies the Scriptures, takes copious notes during services, can argue just about any theological point, but never really seems to reflect much of the character of Christ.  And the third is the person who I’ll call the “disciple of Christ.”  They are actively engaged in the practice of Christianity, always learning, but also doing what the Scriptures command each and every day.  When it comes to the a true and active faith, the “observer” and the “learner” are left out in the cold.  Jesus is looking for disciples, plain and simple.

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Jesus of Nazareth (Luke 6:46)

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er

Jim@JamesKilby.com

Posted in Christian Living

Justice and Mercy?

Although we often claim to know God and His ways, the way we go about things often prove us wrong.  Many believe that God requires them to do all types of good deeds, celebrate certain holidays, fast during special times, go to church, etc., etc…  It’s not that God does not want those things, but He is more concerned about our motives.  Far too often we do them to try to get favor from God, when, if we’ve given our lives to Jesus, we’ve already gotten His favor!  Then, just when we think we’re doing great with the whole “good deed thing,” we’re sinning like crazy with the way we oppress others, gossip, hate, slander… I think you get the message.  What God wants is for us to listen to Him, and to do what He says with the right motives toward Him AND the right motives toward others.  It’s not our fasting (giving up food or other things) that He wants… it’s for us to treat others with justice and mercy.

Then the word of the Lord Almighty came to me:  “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned… was it really for me that you fasted?  And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves?’…  And the world of the Lord came again to Zechariah:  “This is what the Lord Almighty says:  ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.  Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor.  In your hearts do not think evil of each other’… But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears.  They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit… So the Lord Almighty was very angry.  “‘When I called they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the Lord Almighty.”  Zechariah 7:4-13

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er

Jim@JamesKilby.com

Posted in Christian Living

A Sin Against Christ?

The Scriptures tell us to love God, and to love others.  Often loving God is evidenced by our love for others, and the opposite is also true.  Although we may say we love God, if we don’t love others (especially other believers), we are proven liars by our actions.  In loving new believers we need to be extremely careful that we don’t cause them to stumble by our actions, our advice, or our false interpretations of Scripture.  To do so not only hurts them, but it hurts all members of the Body of Christ.  It is actually a sin against the God we claim to love.

“When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.”  1 Corinthians 8:12

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er

Jim@JamesKilby.com

Posted in Love

Horoscope?

Although I always get plenty of mail when I broach the subject of horoscopes and other fortune telling disciplines, I simply cannot avoid the issue.  Many who write me claim that reading their daily horoscope is “just for fun” and “means nothing to them,” but many also quickly admit that they read it more religiously than the Scriptures, and even consult it more often than they pray to God.  With a growing fascination with mediums and spiritists in the media, I’ve also seen a similar growth in young people seeking them for advice.  For a Christian there simply is no excuse for having “fun” with the tools of demons and devils.

“When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God?  Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?  To the law and to the testimony!  [basically, to the Bible–the Word of God]  If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.”  Isaiah 8:19-20

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er

Jim@JamesKilby.com

Posted in Christian Living

God’s Plans?

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I like to plan things. There’s something about the act of getting a vision of how things should be, putting all the plans together to make it happen, and then orchestrating the final outcome that really fits well with my gifts/talents. It’s bad enough that when things don’t go the way I planned, the “organization freak” in me starts to get irritated. After the irritation comes, I can get flat out frustrated, and even angry. If there’s someone who I believe is unduly helping with the frustration, they can meet my wrath, too! No doubt the scriptures have much to say to me, and folks like me, who like to be in complete control. God can use the gifts in us (after all, He’s the One who put them there) but HE is the one who works things together for an ultimate plan far greater than we can ask or imagine. I often wonder if maybe “I” am the one frustrating His plans with my inability to remember that “my plans” are only valid if I’m doing His work, His way and on His timetable! Just because I don’t seem to understand the greater plan that’s going on, doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening!

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er

Jim@JamesKilby.com

Posted in Faith