Friday, September 28, 2012

Today's Sermon

--> Today's sermon:

“Freeloading On Christ” – The number one activity of the happiest people on earth.

"For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ."  Romans 5:17

Overly Cautious

Why does this kind of thing crack me up?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Today's Sermon

Today's sermon:

“A Holy Scrubbing” – What you won’t get just before arrival in heaven, since you—the real you—have already been made holy and perfect through Christ. (Hebrews 10:10, 14)

When I Look At You

It’s true. I’m loony. But I just “discovered” this song while driving late at night and for hours, and I REALLY like it! I was singing it to Jesus over and over again—it has to be about Him. Somewhere after the eighth or twelfth time it occurred to me that the singer might not have Him in mind—it’s crazy.

So I prayed from my heels that the song would one day burst from her heart in realization that Jesus is who she truly wants most. And she can have Him for song. This one.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


1 Peter 3:8  Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. 11 He must turn from evil and do good;he must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer,but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Weekend Warrior"

“Weekend Warrior” – Someone who genuinely and carefully encourages people on Saturday and Sunday, because he knows how confusing and difficult it has been on Monday through Friday.

"He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.  Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 
1 Thessalonians 5:10-11

Friday, September 21, 2012

Today's Sermon

Today's sermon:

“Crap” – Although your mother told you not to use the word, you and the apostle Paul agree that it best describes everything compared to knowing Jesus

Philippians 3:7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Today's Sermon

Today's sermon:

“The Magic Number” – How to get The Reluctant Heavenly Accountant to meet your desire by getting enough people to ask Him to do what He’d rather not (Matthew 7:7-8; James 1:5)

Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Annual Twin Trip

My parents began taking us boys (there are four of us) to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in 1965. Somehow or other, we’ve made it most years since. My mom and dad passed on in 2008, and in a combination of wanting to honor them and because we love fly fishing the rivers, my twin brother, Brent (Washington), and I (Colorado) meet each year for a few days of trout hunting and silly twin shenanigans. We arrived last evening.

Today's Sermon

Today's sermon:

“Sensible Christianity” – Getting your life under control by avoiding the leading of the Spirit (Romans 8:13-17; Galatians 5:16-18)

Rom 8: 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Gal 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Today's Sermon

Today's sermon:

“Holy Housework” – Cleaning up your new heart since God did only a temporary job (Ezekiel 36:26)

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Today's Sermon

Today's sermon:

“Come, Holy Spirit” – How to get the Holy Spirit to “fall afresh” on you, because He’s been so distant and stale lately.

"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you" (John 14:16-17).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Crucifying The Flesh

Question:  “Ralph, how do we crucify the flesh?”

That’s an important question, so my answer reflects it.  First, no one needs to be a highly trained, Christian ninja to do it; this is relative child’s play.  So I’ll try to help you understand the whole deal, which will make it easier—as it should.

From Adam and Eve’s exit from the Garden of Eden, man’s existence has been flesh, not spirit.  We could never live—not from God’s perspective—by or in the flesh.  So God sent Jesus to bring to an end our fleshly existence.  By living a perfect life, dying for us on the cross and rising again, Jesus set us free from a system (Law) and an existence (flesh) in which we could only fail.  (See Romans 8:1-4.)

When we receive Jesus, we are born spirit and receive His nature, and are no longer of or in the flesh—we’re of and in the Spirit.  So while the flesh still hangs around(!), it is no longer us.  We, then, set our hope and focus upon the Spirit, who, in union with us—the new and real us—produces the life of Christ.  And that’s pretty great!

We, the Spirit born, new creation sons and daughters of God, can no longer sin.  The apostle Paul wrote that when he did what he didn’t want to do, it was “…no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh” (Rom 7:17-18).  Flesh is the problem; WE are no longer the problem.  If we believe we are still the problem, we’ll make war on our presumed selves and compound the problem.  Flesh was always the problem, but it is no longer our problem.  We don’t live there!  It isn’t us!  We now live by and in the Spirit. We will never be in the flesh again. (See Romans 8:9-14)

It is my belief then that living by the Spirit means He both produces the life of Christ in us, and He wins the battle that He is having with the flesh.  (You can find all of this in Galatians 5:16-18 and 6:8.)  But to sum up, “our role” in this is to believe what God thinks He has done for us through Christ (crucified us and raised us new), and to offer ourselves to God (Romans 6:13), give our focus to Him (Colossians 3:1-4), or sow to the Spirit inside of us (Galatians 6:8) so that He may produce the life of Christ in us and through us.  This is how I live!  And this is how we now crucify the flesh—we consider it done through Christ, and offer ourselves to the Spirit, who lives inside of us.  And He has a blast!

I don’t pretend that this is always easy.  I sometimes grow weary or distracted or disappointed and, when the flesh offers some hope of control or of satisfaction, I sometimes offer myself to it—and on come the acts or behaviors of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21). But they’re not MY acts; they are ITS acts through me (Galatians 5:19).  Fortunately, the Spirit always captures my attention, turning my thoughts toward Him, and not only is the mind set on the Spirit life and peace (Romans 8:6), but the production of the Spirit begins all over again—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).  And then I get all happy-good, and, sanity restored, gladly offer myself to the Spirit.  You know what that means:  in my experience, the flesh is crucified.


This is a lengthy answer, but your question is important. I hope this helps.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Just Sayin'

The Perfect Ones

A terrible danger today is for Christians—the ones made new, holy, blameless and radiant, and who are right now the happy homes of God Almighty—to listen to a speaker who does not see them the way God has made them in Christ, but who sees them only in the disguised and lowly appearances of this world.  What they hear from the speaker will be worldly, flesh-to-flesh; and confusion, though cloaked in bright lights and smiling faces, will produce frustration and disillusionment.

If, on the other hand, that speaker recognizes them and is at all impressed by the perfect royalty they are, he is going to talk about it.  They can be confident and expectant that what they hear will invigorate who they are—Spirit-born majesty.  That’s the point of getting together!  And when we meet in faith like that—about God and about each other—that’s how the world is changed.

“We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” Colossians 1:28

Monday, September 10, 2012

Home, Sweet Home

When you receive Jesus, He brings all that He is to you—perfect love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control—not eventually, not occasionally, but at all times, at every moment, in every situation. Now. He is the Treasure you’ve been looking for, the Reward for which you long, the Performer you’d like to be. And He is in you. Jesus is the favor you want, the success you were made for, and the glory now in you.

If, just now, you’re suffering or enduring hardship, avoid the temptation to work up more fleshly strength (you’re already exhausted), and beware the thoughts that assign you to the failed scrapheap of humanity. That’s a lie. His glory, the incredible evidence that He lives within you, is best seen through suffering, most obvious in calamity, and most triumphant in hardship. Offer yourself to Jesus. And where is He? That’s where you make the offering—to the inside (Romans 6:12-13), to Jesus who has made you His home, sweet home. He thinks it's just perfect.

So listen for Him, and look for Him there.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Christ In Us

If we keep thinking of Jesus as outside of us, then we’ll think we have to do something to get to Him, to stay with Him and to follow Him. But if we think of Him as He is, happily at home in us, then we’ll look for Him there and find Him—full of life and love and joy. He is the one who got to us and who stays with us; there is no following at a distance, no matter how small.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Looking At Jesus' Home

We have been given life from God.  That life does not show up after we say to Him, “I’m so sorry” + “I’ve learned my lesson” + “I won’t do it again.”  That’s a nifty formula, but it is sin producing, rules-based legalism, not righteousness producing, grace-based Christianity.  We don’t live by a proper confession, a good attitude and a promised commitment.  Have you forgotten that’s not Christianity?

We live because, in Christ, we’ve been given new life and a new way of living—Jesus Himself.  He is God’s life in you and in me.  Peel away all that appears to be me, and you will see Him at home, happy and successful.  For all who have received Jesus, the same is true.  Right?  That’s where I’m looking today.  And that’s life.

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)

Overcome Addictions

I just got this book and I'm REALLY looking forward to reading it. I expect it will quickly make my recommended reading list:

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Watch Ralph

If you’d like to watch a couple of my messages, and if you’re thinking of asking me to speak with your church or group, here’s what I look like and sound like.  Simply click on the link below, and off you'll go.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

No Remembering Sins

"For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more." Hebrews 8:12

The promise that God will not remember our sins anymore doesn’t mean that He forgets. The assurance is much greater than that. To refuse to remember our sins shows how merciful our Father is toward us.

Consider this example: Your finger is a member on your hand. If you were to accidentally cut off your finger, it is possible that somebody could pick it up, pack it in ice and rush you to the hospital with your severed finger. You would most likely be rushed into surgery where the surgeon would seek to “remember” your finger by reattaching it to your hand.

That’s the meaning of the word as used in this verse. You can be confident that your sins have been severed from you through the finished work of Christ on the cross and they will never be “remembered” again. Your sins are gone and you have the personal commitment from God that He will never remember them again.

Walk into this day in the joy of knowing your sins will never be remembered!

(From my friend, prolific author, and much more, Steve McVey.)

Butt Still

As one who writes a lot, this resonates deeply with me. . .perhaps a little too deeply, butt still.