The Cross of Christ Cancels Boasting

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Galatians 6:4, May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 

We're living in the day when people like to boast about what they have done. I remember the days when Muhammad Ali boasted, "I am the greatest!" In actual fact, he WAS the greatest boxer of all time! However, his boast of greatness at boxing could not prevent him from acquiring Parkinson's disease. His boast of greatness did not give him a relationship with Jesus Christ.

People today, including Christians, boast of many deeds and attributes. But all of this utterly pales in comparison to what Jesus Christ accomplished.

The apostle Paul was a man of extraordinary intellect and accomplishment in his sphere as a Jewish leader. After encountering Jesus, Paul had the good sense to boldly declare that he would boast in nothing except the cross of Jesus Christ. Paul was not speaking of the physical object on which Jesus was crucified.

The cross is the place where sinful self died. The cross of Christ is no longer the instrument of Christ's death, but the spiritual reality of our changed (or crucified) lives because if His death, burial and resurrection.

The cross is like a filter that helps us daily sort out all of the things that defeat us.

The cross is like a memorial that stands to reminds us of the One who fought and won THE strategic battle that saved our lives forever!

The cross is not something that we wear around our necks, but the truth of a redeemed life on display for the world to see.


Getting Your Sharp Edge Back On

Saturday, September 24, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Getting Your Sharp Edge Back On
by Bryan Hudson, Th.B., B.S., M.S.

“If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom produces success.” Ecclesiastes 10:10

Since a dull ax requires great strength, sharpen the blade. That's the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed. Ecclesiastes 10:10 (NLT)

If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success. Ecclesiastes 10:10 (NIV)

We are living in a season where Christian ministry is going fourth at every turn. In the midst of all of our activity and abundance, we still see a wilderness full of lost souls, broken lives and misplaced sheep. We see believers who feel tired, but they don’t know why. Many people are living out of balance, they experience…

•            Goals without grace
•            Stress without relief
•            Zeal without balance
•            Work without play
•            Producing without partaking
•            Relationship without reciprocity
•            Battles without hope
•            Forces without faces
•            Need without supply
•            Introspection without direction
(List from message by Charles Simpson)

Like an ax that has lost its sharp edge requires many strikes to cut what a sharpened ax can cut in a few strikes, dullness requires more energy, more strength. It is not that you may lack strength. It is this: The strength you have is limited in duration. 

The solution to the problem with the dull ax is not only found in sharpening it. The solution is also found in exercising wisdom in how we use our “edge.”

For an ax, it’s all about the cutting edge. The handle and shape of the whole ax is designed to make the best use of the edge. Solomon lived long enough, had experience enough success and enough failures to be able to distill life down to simple statements of reality. How many of you know that Solomon was not talking about axes and lumberjacks? How many know that he was talking about his life and life in general.

“Wisdom brings success.” Sharp edges become dull through use. We need wisdom to understand what it means to “sharpen the edge.” The NIV suggests that “skill” is needed for sharpening or knowing how to use the edge.

From a knife sharpening guide: “Maintaining Your Edge”
A properly maintained knife is sharp. A dull knife can be dangerous because you will apply much more pressure than you would with a sharp knife and your hand will be much more likely to slip.

 A honing tool will realign the edge and also bring to the surface the carbon molecules that provide most of the cutting action. Frequent honing is essential and will keep your knife cutting like new for months.
 Use your honing stool virtually every time you use your knives. 

A.   We need insight on spiritual diligence and preparedness. We need to be sharpened and honed through wisdom.

1.    Without that insight, we find ourselves living with a sense of drudgery rather than with sense of adventure and purpose.

a.   One cannot imagine that a chef would enjoy his work as much if he used dull knives everyday.
b.   The best athletes don’t try to get ready to compete just before the event. Boxes train intensely for weeks to be ready for a single fight.

2.    The apostle Paul likened us to soldiers in 2 Tim. 2:3-5.
      You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.  And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

3.      We should think about how key words inspire our attention and action.

a.    Ax – The instrument of service; our lifestyle
b.    Edge – The cutting edge— the action edge; What we actually do in the Kingdom of God; our gifts and unique contribution to  God’s purpose
c.    Wisdom - Ability to make proper choices and reach proper conclusions and decisions; Shrewdly aware and subtly resourceful; Using the proper means and procedures in attaining an end; Knowing how to restore and maintain your edge.
d.   Sharpen: Raise the level of your skill and effectiveness

B.   Wisdom provides skill and sharpness in many ways. Paul imparted these principles to Timothy:
      1 Tim. 4:6 If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. 7 But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. 8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach,[a] because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11 These things command and teach.12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit,[b] in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

Sharpening Stones:
1.     Be a doer of the Word because slothfulness produces decay (Eccl. 10:18)
2.     Prayer: Individual, corporate
3.     Worship; John 4:23
4.     Fellowship: Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 John 2:7
5.     Preparation: 2 Tim. 2:15, 1 Cor. 14:12
6.     Accountability: Heb. 13:7, 17
7.     Faith: 2 Cor. 5:7 (“He who observes the wind shall not sow...” Pr. 11:4)
8.     Teaching & Training: Sunday School, Bible Study, Firm Foundation Institute, etc.


Is it Time for an "Edge Check?"

Thursday, September 22, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Ecclesiastes 10:10 If the ax is dull, And one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom brings success.

The next time you find yourself whacking away at a tree or some other endeavor, and it does not yield, change or "fall," it may be time for an Edge Check.

An unsharpened life, like an unsharp ax, will not "cut" or bring the desired results. In this condition, more effort does not produce more results. It only makes one more tired.

Worship, reading/doing the word, fervent prayer, and walking in love will put a sharp edge back on our lives. This is part of the "wisdom that brings success"---and you won't feel so TIRED all the time!


Furniture in a Field?

Thursday, September 15, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Prov. 24:3 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; 4 through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.

It has often been said that "Knowledge is Power." According to Proverbs, knowledge can fill "rooms" with many wonderful things, which may be desirable.

But knowledge alone is not enough.

Can you imagine a room full of things without a house? How useful would it be to arrange furniture on an empty lot? Knowledge without wisdom and understanding looks like furniture in a field, without structure and purpose.

Wisdom is the ability to know what to do and where to do it. Understanding is about knowing the meaning of things.  Knowing the "what, where and why" of life MUST come before simply having stuff.

So, it looks like the POWER is really found in possessing wisdom and understanding!

As always, the Word of God teaches us the best way to live!


Love and Faithfulness

Thursday, September 08, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Prov. 3:3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Love and faithfulness are two great virtues in life.

Love is the quality of giving yourself to bless others without selfish motivation. God is love. And love never fails.

Faithfulness is the quality of being steadfast and reliable. Faithful people never fail to show up with love, ready to act.

Love and faithfulness should be demonstrated outwardly because we cultivate it from the heart.

This, more than ambition, brings favor with God and man.


Keep in Step With the Spirit

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Galatians 5:16, I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 
One important key to living a victorious and godly life is not focusing on “not doing” wrong things, but focusing on “Walking in the Spirit.” William Barclay's translation reads, “Keep in step with the Spirit.”
We should not willingly permit conflicts between the desires of the "flesh" and the desire of Spirit of God. This creates a condition of spiritual stagnation and distraction, resulting in not being able to "do the things that you wish." The "flesh" can be defined as, "the entire human nature without God." 
We are born of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit indwells us. Many of us have been filled with the Spirit. However, if we are not Spirit controlled, then we are flesh controlled, or carnal.
Everyday, remember to "keep in step with the Spirit" and everything else will work out fine!


God's Benefits Package (Message)

Sunday, September 04, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


Psalm 103:1, Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases

 Link to audio/video/podcast of message from August 28, 201: