This won’t be a long dragged out treatise on affection and eternal focus, it’s really a theological gripe stemming from a world-view that I should not fuss over because it is expected.  I recently was forced to watch a hip-hop video that was auto played in my browser by a prominent artist who just released a new song revolving around his desire to live for himself.  He made the statement that if haters laugh, they will stop when the “paper” or money piles up.

Not that we should have no money, but recently I see so many young people leave the faith to pursue the treasures of the world.  It discourages me.  The reason this happens is not because of the churches inability to draw and keep them, but because they never loved Jesus.  Don’t crucify my generalization, but at large, the main stay of people who come to Christ (per se) and walk away were never His.  Those who do walk, or rather step away who are His are drawn back by His grace.  The temptations of the world are strong and highly seductive and many youth and young adults feel empowered to be successful financially and empowered by the prestige of worldly success.  This is the problem we see with the Rich Young Ruler in Mark 10 who desired eternal life, just not enough to give away his true love, his possessions of rot and decay.

I pray that each of us would look around our homes, at our bank statements and realize that there is none that doesn’t have idols.  Even some of my favorite bibles can become idols at times.  However, the reality for the children of God is that they pursue HIM above the world and what they have that is of the world they realize it comes from Him hand for His glory.  Our stewardship of stuff is a clear indicator of our affection toward Christ.  We should pray for God to help us be generous, frugal and focused on eternal glory rather that the glory that comes from men.

Just a minute ago I tweeted a statement that said, “For tha paper chasers, know that if it ain’t scripture paper it might as well be toilet paper… The World is DYING, #ChristAlone 1Jn2:15″  Many people began to comment privately to me in support of the truth behind it.  Money and wealth (paper) is nothing but additives to the dung heap of this dying world.  Pray for yourself and your siblings in Christ and for sure the lost around us that they might see and savor the greatest treasure of the cosmos; Jesus the Christ!

Matthew 7:13-14
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Hebrews 11:36-40
36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy— wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

1 John 2:15-18
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.

Matthew 13:44-50
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it. 47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. 48 When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. 49 So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Let us continue to pursue Christ by means of His marvelous grace.  Thank Him for what we do have, but hold it loosely.  I am very very thankful that my identity is in Christ and not the things of this dying world.

For His Glory by His Grace,

James Tippins

When I began writing online many years ago I had one honest goal: to be heard. What a joke. As I have been peeling through the layers of my life over the last few months, I remember what a wise-fool I have been through the years. The irony of this is that when I started this blog, I named it Being Wise and More Stupid as it was during a life-changing moment for me.

I had discovered that although I thought I knew so much, I realized just how impossible it was for my wisdom to have any effect on life at all. I discovered at that time that I was really only becoming wise in the wisdom of my stupidity, or at least the acknowledgement of it. Looking back over the last five or six years (just a short breath), it has hit me again that humility has not always been one of my strong points. However, God has been faithful to break and mold and measure my heart against His holiness and in turn, I find myself yet in another low but joyous point in my life.

It’s a low point like never before. Not a lowness of spirit or a low point emotionally where I have no hope. It’s not like my depression season where I could not determine any good from anything, it’s a lowering that results from God’s affection and my realizing just how unworthy I am of His grace. This low point, I pray, will get lower and lower, because I truly believe it is where the children of God are supposed to live; broken and humble. Not to say I am humble, which I wish I could be more, but to say that God’s humbling of a man is something that no one can accomplish on his own. Praise be to God for His infinite grace which lowers each of us in His timing.

In this low point I have discovered several key things that might be helpful for others to consider, they surely are for me:

  1. That all that we learn and glean is never enough to place us as experts or “wise” because all true learning and wisdom comes from God so that we have no boast except in the work of the Lord.
  2. That no matter how God uses us in His work, we are not the one’s who deserve the glory or the crown, but rather our lives are owned by Him even before He saves us so there is no boast except in the Lord.
  3. That all believers, no matter how God uses them are His children and are where He desires them to be for His timing.  We are never “better” than another child of God because we have all been given the same grace.
  4. Our affection for the “least of these” is not an obligatory affection because of God’s commands, but a true supernatural love that only God can give.  Maturity is truly measured by our worship to God in all things and our affection toward each other with humility and honor for the Lord.
  5. Just because we understand something does not make us wise, it is only God using that knowledge in His glorious way does it become wisdom and even when it is wise, our hearts try to accommodate room for pride which is of the flesh, so we must be in a continual state of reflection and of course repentance.
  6. As I write and you read this, we might agree with this wisdom in our souls, however, we must always be aware that tomorrow, we might be allowed to see, by God’s grace, just how foolish we are today and thus have relied once again on His never-ending grace.
  7. That there are much more lessons and reflection that could fill the world from God’s people, but we must also go into the world and make disciples of each other for His glory.
  8. That our affections, as much as we “think” Christ is our highest, are often shown differently, even our ministries and worship can become idols.
  9. … for God’s future grace.

As for this low place, I embrace it and look forward to how God might humble me in the next 60 years if I live that long.  As for now, I also stand in the place of JOY because all the growth that God does is a reason for joy.  He is the treasure of our souls and nothing, absolutely nothing can stand in His way nor the way of our affections for Him.  A broken and contrite heart you do not despise oh Lord!

May God continue His plan as He promised He would.  For His Glory,

Pastor James