Honor Who?


For the first followers of Jesus, there were many people that they had to know how to get along with just to survive in Roman society. One of the most difficult groups to honor was the Roman government itself. The Colosseum in Rome, Italy stands today not only as a monument to the great gladiator battles of the past but also as a sobering reminder that Christians were literally fed to the lions in that arena. Within that historical context, God spoke through Simon Peter instructing all Christians to show honor — to everyone.

Honor the Lord by the way you live

As followers of Jesus, we are to live our lives in honorable ways. We abstain from the worldly desires that always seem to be battling against us, glorifying God with our holy living and sincere devotion to Christ. Our good works — the ways we serve others and help them — bring honor to the Lord, even causing those who are not yet believers in Christ to glorify God. We realize that we are only temporary residents on earth; heaven is our home!

11 Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you. 12 Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do what is evil, they will, by observing your good works, glorify God on the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:11-12)

Honor the authorities the Lord has placed in your life

The original readers of Peter’s letter living throughout the Roman Empire would have responded the same way that many do today when they hear these words: “honor the authorities.” They would have responded with, “Honor who?!” But the Bible is clear from the first book (Genesis) to the last book (Revelation) that God is sovereign over all of the governments of mankind. Therefore, no matter what government system we live under, our instruction is the same: “honor the authorities.” We are to show honor at all levels government — from the local level all the way to the national level. And this instruction of showing honor extends to all arenas of life: family, education, business, society.

The authorities have a God-given responsibility to protect those under their care. We as followers of Jesus have the responsibility of showing honor. By showing honor, we silence the lies of those who wish to speak evil against us. We are free in Christ, yet this does not mean we should use this freedom to conceal evil actions.

13 Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the Emperor as the supreme authority 14 or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do what is evil and to praise those who do what is good. 15 For it is God’s will that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. 16 As God’s slaves, live as free people, but don’t use your freedom as a way to conceal evil. (1 Peter 2:13-16)

Honor everyone

Honor everyone. Show honor to everyone, even those with whom you disagree about all sorts of things: politics, religion, music style, favorite sports teams, whatever. Honor believers by showing unconditional agape love to all of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Find ways to serve them, sacrifice for them, and show them Christ-honoring love.

Honor the Lord by showing Him holy fear, reverence, and awe. Honor the Emperor. Notice the contrast between these two phrases: fear God, honor the Emperor. This is an important contrast. We are not to fear the Emperor. We are to only fear the Lord, with a healthy, holy, awe-inspiring fear. We honor our earthly leaders, but we eternally honor and worship the Lord.

17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor. (1 Peter 2:17)


Posted by on October 3, 2015 in Uncategorized


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My Favorite Sports Teams

20150929_220512Because people are always asking me which teams I root for, I’ve listed my favorite teams below. After you get past the top two or three teams for each of these sports, I really don’t care who wins. Sports are fun, but I work hard to not allow them to become an idol in my life.

Major League Baseball (MLB)

  1. New York YANKEES
  2. Atlanta BRAVES

Key Points:

  • When these two teams are out of the playoffs each year, I consider baseball season over
  • So if it’s NYY vs ATL in the World Series in the future, I’ll be pulling for the Yanks. Just sayin’

National Football League (NFL)

  1. New England PATRIOTS
  2. New York Football GIANTS
  3. Atlanta FALCONS

Key Points:

  • Love the ways the Pats and G-Men win Championships
  • The Falcons are headed in the right direction

College Football (NCAA)

  1. Notre Dame FIGHTING IRISH
  2. Georgia BULLDOGS
  3. Georgia Tech YELLOW JACKETS

Key Points:

  • Born in Athens GA, so I was literally born a Dawgs fan
  • Since my trip to South Bend in high school which included: a pep talk by Coach Lou Holtz, putting my hand on the “Play Like a Champion Today” sign, going into the locker room before the spring football game, standing on the sideline during the game, and looking up at “Touchdown Jesus,” I’ve been an Irish fan
  • Lots of GA Tech friends, so pull for those guys whenever they’re not playing the Irish or the Dawgs

Who are your favorite teams?


Posted by on September 29, 2015 in Uncategorized


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God’s People

God’s people are blessed to be a blessing to the nations.

1 Peter 2:9-10
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Peter was writing to Gentiles who had come to faith in Jesus Christ. By extension, each of the phrases he uses to describe them is applied to each of us as well. If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, then you are part of:
  • a chosen race — God has chosen us
  • a royal priesthood — every believer serves God, talks directly to Him through prayer, and hears from Him through His Word, without the need of an intercessor
  • a holy nation — God makes us holy and leads us to holy living
  • a people for His possession — we are God’s people
Let’s trace these themes through important verses in the Bible (emphasis mine) —
Genesis 12:1-3
1 The LORD said to Abram: Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing3 I will bless those who bless you, I will curse those who treat you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
Genesis 22:17-18
17 I will indeed bless you and make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your offspring will possess the gates of their enemies. 18 And all the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring because you have obeyed My command.”
Exodus 19:5-6
5 Now if you will listen to Me and carefully keep My covenant, you will be My own possession out of all the peoples, although all the earth is Mine, 6 and you will be My kingdom of priests and My holy nation.’ These are the words that you are to say to the Israelites.”
Galatians 3:6-9
6 Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, 7 then understand that those who have faith are Abraham’s sons. 8 Now the Scripture saw in advance that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and told the good news ahead of time to Abraham, saying, All the nations will be blessed through you. 9 So those who have faith are blessed with Abraham, who had faith.
Galatians 3:14-16
14 The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, so that we could receive the promised Spirit through faith. 15 Brothers, I’m using a human illustration. No one sets aside or makes additions to even a human covenant that has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say “and to seeds,” as though referring to many, but referring to one, and to your seed, who is Christ.
Galatians 3:27-29
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ like a garment. 28 There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise.
Revelation 5:9-10
9 And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because You were slaughtered, and You redeemed people for God by Your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation10 You made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will reign on the earth.
God’s people are blessed to be a blessing to the nations. Because of all the incredible things He has done for us, we…
  • proclaim the praises… — tell someone how good God has been to you
  • of the One who called you… — He called your name, and you responded with faith in Him
  • out of darkness… — you were spiritually lost, but you’re not anymore
  • into His marvelous light… — God has changed your life, and brought you into His marvelous light 

God’s people are blessed to be a blessing to the nations.

  • Once you were not a people,
  • but now you are a people;
  • You had not received mercy,
  • but now you have received mercy.

Find someone this week, from any nation of the world, and tell them this amazing news: they can become one of God’s people too. Through Christ, they can experience salvation, joy and eternal life. Out of darkness into His marvelous light. God will do that for anyone who believes. That’s my God!

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Posted by on September 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


The Cornerstone of Your Life

ALH Title[4]What is your life built upon?

You may try to build your life upon your family history, education or skills. You may try to build your life upon your experiences, fame or accomplishments. You may try to build your life upon your financial stability, good health, or good looks. There are many things you may try to build your life upon.

There is only one thing — one Person — that you can build your life upon that will give you rock-solid stability in this life and the life to come. Jesus is that Rock. Jesus is the Cornerstone. For the follower of Christ, Jesus is your Cornerstone.

1 Peter 2:1-8
1 So rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, desire the pure spiritual milk, so that you may grow by it for your salvation, 3 since you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4 Coming to Him, a living stone—rejected by men but chosen and valuable to God— 5 you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it is contained in Scripture: Look! I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and honored cornerstone, and the one who believes in Him will never be put to shame! 7 So honor will come to you who believe, but for the unbelieving, The stone that the builders rejected— this One has become the cornerstone, 8 and, ‘A stone to stumble over, and a rock to trip over.’ They stumble because they disobey the message; they were destined for this.

The Lord is good. The Bible tells us that we have tasted that the Lord is good (v3). The Lord is very good; He is good at the core of His Being. Everything that He does is good. Because He is good, we desire to be like Him in every way,

Therefore, we rid ourselves of things such as malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander (v1). We grow spiritually by allowing the Lord to teach us, fill us and guide us. Verse 2 uses the analogy of an infant with her mother to describe the way in which the Lord gives spiritual nutrients to us. The Lord is good.

The Lord is alive. In verse 4, Peter describes Jesus as a “living stone.” Jesus is not inanimate or dead — He is alive! He was rejected by men (v4) as Peter witnessed first-hand. Peter was there when Jesus was beaten, mocked and crucified. Peter was there when Jesus died and was buried. Peter was demoralized because he had denied Christ.

But everything changed when Jesus came back to life on the third day! Jesus sought out Peter to restore Him and speak words of forgiveness. A few weeks later, after Jesus had ascended into heaven, the Holy Spirit filled Peter and he began to boldly proclaim the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Peter’s life was changed forever because Jesus is alive!

Jesus was chosen and valuable to God (v4). He was God’s “Plan A” to bring salvation to people, the plan that was in place before the beginning of time. Eternal life is possible because Jesus is alive.

The Lord is a builder. God is the great builder in your life. Here’s a great phrase to remember: no matter where you are in life, God is not finished working on you yet. He’s still building you into the person He wants you to be. According to verse 5, you “are being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Personally, this means that God wants to make your life one of sacrifice and worship to God. Corporately, this means that you are part of an amazing spiritual house of worship, not tied to any physical location. We are a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (more on that next week).

The Lord is the cornerstone of your life. The cornerstone of a building is the first stone put in place, the rock that the entire building depends upon. Builders rely on the cornerstone to make sure that the building is strong and level. The cornerstone helps the building withstand storms. In the same ways, Christians depend on Jesus as the cornerstone of their lives. With Him as their cornerstone, Christians live a life of honor (v7), never being put to shame (v6).

Sadly, many people choose to reject Christ. They stumble over His death and resurrection (v8). Rather than believing in Him, they reject Him (v7). Our prayer for them is that they realize who Jesus really is, turn from their self-focused life, and trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Our prayer is that they would make Him the cornerstone of their life.

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Posted by on September 16, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Your Life is Not Empty Anymore

ALH Title[4]There is something truly life-changing when a person realizes their need for Christ. Life without Christ is empty, no matter how full it seems. One of the phrases that the Bible uses to describe our lives before Christ is an “empty way of life.” Look for that phrase in the verses below.

17  And if you address as Father the One who judges impartially based on each one’s work, you are to conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your temporary residence. 18 For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. 20 He was chosen before the foundation of the world but was revealed at the end of the times for you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
22 By obedience to the truth, having purified yourselves for sincere love of the brothers, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again—not of perishable seed but of imperishable—through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For all flesh is like grass, and all its glory like a flower of the grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the word that was preached as the gospel to you. (1 Peter 1:17-25)

The life-changing and eternity-changing news is that when you come to faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, your life is not empty anymore! According to the verses above, here are seven ways that your life is filled to overflowing:

  1. You have a Heavenly Father (v17)
  2. You have a Redeemer (vv18-21)
  3. You have faith and hope in God (v21)
  4. You have the truth (v22)
  5. You have love for one another (v22)
  6. You have been born again (v23)
  7. You have the Word of God (vv24-25)

Take a moment to reflect on the seven statements above, referencing the verse(s) beside each statement.

  • Which of the statements is most meaningful to you?
  • How does the fullness of your life in Christ give meaning to your life on a daily basis?
  • How will apply these truths to your life today?
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Posted by on September 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Two Practical Ways To Talk With Your Children About The Bible

The Bible has the words of life. It is full of practical wisdom and guidance for living. It teaches us what to believe and what not to believe, what to do and what not to do, how to honor God and follow Him all the days of our lives. His way is the best way.

Parents have the wonderful responsibility to teach the Bible to their children.

“Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”‭‭ (Deuteronomy‬ ‭6:4-9‬)

Here are two practical ways to talk with your kids about the Bible:

  1. Look for opportunities everywhere you go with your kids to talk about a truth or story from the Bible. For example, if you are at a football game, you might point out how God wants us to use our gifts and talents to honor Him in everything we do. Another example is this: if you are at the store buying groceries together, you might talk about how God cares about what we put into our bodies, and how He taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” A third example is when your kids have a big test at school and fear of the upcoming test is gripping them. Remind them of the story of David and Goliath in the Bible and how God helps us to overcome enemies such as fear.
  2. Tell your kids what God is teaching you. As you sit down for dinner or drive down the road, say something like, “As I was reading the Bible this week, God was teaching me this….” And then tell them what God is teaching you. Make talking about the Bible just as normal in your family as talking about the events of the day and the weather.
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Posted by on September 6, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Be Holy!?

ALH Title[4]You talk about impossible tasks. Here are a few that are humanly impossible on your own, without help from anyone or any thing:

  • Swim from California to Japan without stopping
  • Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in one day
  • Read 40,000 novels in one hour
  • Live a life of perfect holiness

Yet, God calls us to holy living. He says it this way:

13 Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. 15 But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16)

No doubt your desires draw you away from holy living. Mine tug on me, and yours tug on you. They try to pull us down. But according to the Word of God (v14), we do not have to conform any long to the desires of our former way of life, the way we were before Jesus changed our lives. There is another way. There is a way to holy living, a life filled with love and joy and grace and hope and goodness and courage and everything God wants our lives to be.

God is holy. In verse 16, we are reminded that it is God Himself who is the Holy One. He is morally pure, perfect in every way. He always thinks the right thoughts, says the right things, feels the right emotions, and does the right things. He is so holy and so good that He is truly the picture of holiness, our example to follow, but humanly speaking we can never attain to His level of holiness. He is all-loving, all-joyful, all-caring and all-everything-that-is-good. And He calls us to be holy like He is holy. Wow.

God reveals the way to holiness. Through Jesus, God shows us the way to a holy life, but it may be different than what you are thinking. See, Jesus was not just a moral teacher who lived an exemplary life for us to try to follow. Rather, Jesus lived a perfect life, paid the penalty for our sin on the cross, and rose from the dead, and when we put our trust in Him as Lord and Savior of our life, He forgives our sin and fills us the Holy Spirit, thereby giving us the resources within us to live a holy life. Jesus lives through us, transforming us from from our old way of life to a life of holy living. It is not by striving that we attain holiness. It is by trusting in Jesus that we are made holy by God (clean, pure, forgiven) and by trusting in Jesus that we live holy lives.

Yes, you can be holy. In 1 Peter 1:13-16, we learn some important truths about holy living:

  • Be focused — set your mind ready for action
  • Be self-controlled –– be serious about living for Christ!
  • Set your hope on God’s grace — trust in Jesus and His grace in your life; your hope for salvation and for holy living is found only in Him
  • Be obedient — one day at a time, truly one moment at a time, ask Jesus to help you be obedient to Him with every word you say, every thought that you think, every emotion that you feel, every action you take (see John 15:1-17)

Being holy is impossible on your own, but with God all things are possible.

Be holy because He is holy.

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Posted by on September 5, 2015 in Uncategorized


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