PUNCH LIST (def.) = A list of those items that remain outstanding (or undone) and must be completed to finish a job and receive final compensation. Applied to the Christian life, no Christian can die with a punch list intact and expect to get to heaven. IOW: we must finish our punch list (1Co 9:24; 2Ti 4:7-8; Rev 2:23 w/26 w/3:2). The below items represent those things your pastor believes to still be on some of his people’s punch list:
The biggest reason there is so much feminization, role reversal and even gender confusion today, is b/c men have vacated – or abused their position. They are instead acting more like women.
God calls men to repent of this and instead to “act like men” which means ditching their skirt-like (woman) behavior: You don’t cry when you get picked on, don’t get your way or things are scary, fearful or rough (that’s “man-suicide”); you don’t mope, panic, fall apart, let fear paralyze you or keep you from going forward or doing the right thing; you don’t vacillate in your convictions or beliefs; you don’t become fickle in your commitments or throw temper tantrums; you don’t get angry at the righteous when they rebuke or correct you; you never feel sorry for yourself, play the victim, make excuses- or decide to quit when faced with adversity – especially the adversity caused by your own sin.
(According to David’s words in Psa 51), those who have been forgiven (or who are truly repentant), demonstrate it by drawing closer to the covenant community and speaking openly of their failures as means to dissuading others from following down the same path.
This means coming to the light – i.e. being transparent and open w/your life versus being weird and aloof.
We are commanded to imitate God/Christ in everything we do (1Joh 4:17 “As He is, so also are we in this world”).
Which means the excuse, “I don’t know what to do” will not work come judgment day. We are instead to always be asking the question WW God, Jesus – or even Paul do? (since he was an imitator of Christ – 1Co 11:1) and follow suit in our actions.
And if we don’t know what they would do, then we need to go to God’s Word and figure it out. Again, we are commanded to imitate – not ignorate!
Those who get saved can essentially be divided into two groups – sponges and shields: 1) sponges are those who are super excited to learn everything they can, be around the saints as much as they can and change wherever they need to change. It’s all positive and they can’t wait to have their lives maximized for Christ.
2) shields are those who are excited and eager to learn and be with the saints – and even change, but only to a degree. They have limits in respect to all three things due to loyalties/commitments in relation to their old life (whether it be biological family or traditions or hobbies etc.). They guard the continuation of those things in their life like a shield. God wants us to be sponges and stop being shields.
Satan is looking for people who wander aimlessly through life, whose heads are not in the game (1Pe 5:8). Which means we need to make sure that is not true of us (too many causalities have been the result of this very thing – people not having their head in the game).
What having your head in the game looks like: Constantly being aware/assessing your current situation/mission/purpose and what that situation/mission/purpose requires. It means (also) recognizing that what in one minute may be okay, in the next is not. IOW: if you are awake, you are on the field of play (and wb judged –no breaks, no time-outs. Every waking action or lack thereof is a winning play or a losing play).
- Stupid is as stupid does.
This saying comes from (the movie), Forrest Gump. A person is identified/judged by what they do – not what they want to do or be, think or feel they are.
IOW: stupid is [identified] as [or by what the] stupid [person] does (Pro 20:11).
The solution to stop being stupid/making stupid decisions: Take the time to determine the context in which something is being communicated, to understand the principle being communicated (i.e. This is the only way to develop critical thinking skills).
- Hell is paved with good intentions.
Too many people in this church still live under the idea that God will be lenient with us even though we fail, as long as we had good intentions or genuinely wanted to do the right thing. But once again, that is not the case.
Which means we don’t want to get caught in that evil lie. Good or genuine intentions to do the right thing (to be obedient to God) but then failing most of the time temptation comes, ends in the same place as the person with bad intentions.
(Mat 21:28-31) = Notice the son w/bad intentions is the one in Jesus’ parable who is approved by God – not b/c of his intentions but bc he ultimately obeyed (versus the son w/good intentions but dropped the ball).
- Watch your mouth.
The two people that listen most to the words that come out of our mouths are God and ourselves. Which means two things:
1) Everything you say can (and will) be used against you by God on judgment day if what you say is not correct or righteous (Mat 12:36-37),
2) Everything you say is programming your brain and body to think and act accordingly since we are “self-programmed robots” (i.e. we are programming ourselves by what we say).
Hence the reason that people who are always pessimistic or tend to always use words like “I can’t” or “I don’t know (or know how)” end up being very debilitated people, people unable to get very far in life. That again, because what you say your brain listens to (or believes) and programs you accordingly (Pro 23:7).
So watch your mouth. What you say, you will believe and be affected by.
This (of course) becomes most important in relation to morality or truth — especially since studies have also shown that how we recall or speak about past or present events is only taken from the original event the first time we recall it. All recollection after that goes only as far back as the last time we remembered or recalled it.
Which means if we did not portray things or people accurately, then what gets perpetuated –and what we perpetually believe, is a lie –or constant slander of other people. So once more, watch your mouth.
You do not have the right to your opinion unless your opinion lines up exactly with the evidence –which means being able to supply the evidence when questioned (or changing that opinion once conflicting evidence is presented) (“two or three witnesses” – Deu 17 and Mat 18).
We must be people of truth all the time and it does not matter the subject (e.g. theology, health/nutrition, sports, etc). Slander and gossip is not relegated to one field or certain persons only. And all of it is serious sin before God (e.g. “That person/company does shoddy work [but possess no hard evidence to prove it]”; “Tom Brady and the Patriots were only good bc they are big cheaters” [again no evidence]”; “your church is a cult” [not bc they can prove it biblically, but bc it’s not what they believe]; “that person committed this sin or is lying or is unrighteous” [w/o possessing the necessary evidence]; “I disagree w/pastor or pastor is wrong” [once more without the evidence and more bc you don’t like what he said]).
- Beware of the earth-wind-water-fire people.
Earth-wind-water-fire = What ancient people used to believe made up everything in the universe (e.g. rabbit = 2 parts earth, 6 parts wind, 4 parts water, 1 part fire).
Life (and solving the problems of life) is often so complicated that it cannot be boiled down to something so simple as believing that everything in the universe is made up of only 4 elements.
People who think this way today (“earth-wind-water-fire people”) are not only suffering the Dunning-Krueger effect (everything that can be known I can fit on my three/four neural pathways), but also very dangerous since they are unteachable (to expanding their understanding) and tend to view anyone who teaches/believes things as more complicated as untrustworthy (“they make it more complicated to look smart”).
As a result, these people are the ones who often end up rebelling against God’s ordained authorities (since they believe they are the true smart ones and everyone else is just confusing things).
We therefore must not only beware of such people – but avoid becoming them ourselves.
(Pro 18:2, 12:15, 26:12; 2Pe 3:16-17) = Not everything can be boiled down to something simple. There are spiritual truths that are complex and require patience and perseverance in teachableness to truly understand. Hence why (2Ti 4:2 “preach the word w/great patience and teaching”).
Signs that you may be/becoming this way = You think any explanation that takes more than 15 minutes is just somebody trying to look smart; You think pastor makes things too complicated or is a blow-hard taking way too long to explain something; You attempt to boil the complex things pastor teaches into something simplistic rather than growing in your learning on that subject; Your way of dealing w/people who are in sin: tell them they are in sin and to knock it off; Your advice to every Christian brother or sister on living the Christian life is always the same simplistic (“one size fits all”) formula (“read your bible and pray to keep the devil away”). IOW: you refuse to get to know people and recognize the genuine diversity or complexity that exists among them that may require a different or nuanced approach/prescription. Instead, it is, “what is good for the goose is good for the gander” (i.e. if it works/is good enough for me it will work/is good enough for you).
CLOSING CONTEMPLATION: YOLO!!!
IOW: no second chances to get it right. You need to get it right in this life (NOW!) if you want to make it to the next. And it won’t happen by accident. Without a committed plan, you are planning to fail. And failing is what you will do if you leave any of the items we discussed on your punch list. GET TO WORK!