Monday, March 30, 2009
The video below is a great apologetic example when one of the "intellectuals" ask you a question that seems so daunting. See how just a minor shift in the question brings the unbeliever back to the main issue...them giving an account to God for what they have done with the time He has gifted them.
If you have questions or comments please be sure to post below or email me directly.
Friday, March 27, 2009
1Pe 1:7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
The mark of a maturing Christian isn't an easy street lifestyle but that when the trials come (and they do for all of us) there is great rejoicing. The world would say that is the most foolish thing but the truth of God always trumps the worlds broken and false system. Worldly psychologist would tell you that you need at least a year of counseling at $100.00 per hour but God cuts right to the chase.
Now I see a few things prevelant here and in light of other scriptures that may bring light to this passage.
- RESOLVE that you will be in a trial if you are not already in one. We are to live sober minded and in so doing know that life can take a quick left turn at any moment.
- REALIZE that God will not give you more then you can handle (1Cor 10:13) and that He has graciously given you the fellowship of one another to help in the trials (Gal 6:2)
- RESIST the temptations of the devil, sin and self. Too many times we don't look at the good that God is accomplishing but look to the pain that it takes to accomplish His good and perfect will.
- REACT in a manner pleasing to God (Col 1:10) thus not giving sin a foothold in your trial. God tells us to always give thanks for that it His will (1Thes 5:18).
- REJOICE in the fact that God is working your salvation out in you (Php 2:12) and that He is shaping and molding you more into the image of Christ and that the good work He began He will continue (Php 1:6).
I hope that this will give you a Godly perspective as you go through your day.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Haven't all of them been taught by someone, some school, some religious routine to come up with their life's frame of reference? How about you? Who has given you the words of life to live by and how have you fashioned your life around what others have taught?
When Jesus was gathering a big following of many goats He unleashed one of the hardest sermons for the Jews to hear and understand. After hearing it this is what took place:
Joh 6:66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.
Joh 6:67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, "Do you want to go away as well?"
Joh 6:68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,
Joh 6:69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."
The question for today is where are you? Notice it doesn't say that they no longer believed Him but that they no longer walked with Him. They went on to go back to living from the frame of reference that they were comfortable with, the one that they had known - even though they had seen miracles and Jesus had taught as no other person had ever taught.
Can you say as Peter says "To whom shall we go?" Peter recognized that Jesus and Jesus alone had the words of eternal life...do you recognize that? Are you living in such a manner or are too many things and distractions getting in the way of hearing His voice? Then notice the progression that Peter says.
- We have believed - when you hear the Words of Jesus do you believe? Do you appropriate His words as the only thing you can gauge as truth or is He brought down to just another good guide for our lives.
- Then Peter says we have come to know...one of the most often asked questions is how can we know? Jesus makes it clear how we can know that we know that we know that He is whom He says He is.
Joh 14:21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him."
Here is a promise directly from the mouth of the one that gave us life. If we love Him and keep (obeys) his Words then He will manifest Himself to us. The greek for manifest can also be defined as exhibit, disclose, declare or show. It is a promise of God that when we are in obedience to Him and His words, He shows Himself to be whom He says He is.
I came across this video and it ask the question what else must God do for us to trust and obey?
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
by Patricia Raybon
The Word of God is crystal clear on what to do in a national crisis. Throughout the Bible, He spells out the four things a nation and its people must do to experience healing: humble ourselves, pray, “seek His face,” and turn from our sinful ways. That’s what God specifically told Solomon, the king of Israel, in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14.
In a lesser-known biblical scenario found in the book of Jonah, the very same prescription for national healing was given by God and resulted in dramatic restoration. When the powerful Assyrian city of Nineveh (now located near modern-day Mosul, Iraq) faced destruction, Nineveh’s king followed very single one of these four healing remedies.
When he heard the Lord’s warning from the prophet Jonah, he completely humbled himself in the way ancient people did: he tore off his royal robes and covered himself with sackcloth, even publicly sitting in an ash heap (Jonah 3:6).Next, he issued a royal decree calling all his people to repent of their “evil ways,” fast from food to seek God, and “urgently” pray for mercy. The king also issued a national decree for everyone to “call urgently on God” (3:8).
“Who knows?” he said. “God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish” (3:9 NIV). Indeed, in that story, when God saw their humility and how they genuinely turned from their evil ways, He had compassion on them and did not bring the destruction upon them He had warned them of (3:10).
These steps, borrowed from Nineveh’s story, can guide and inspire us to effectively pray for our nation in the coming months ahead.
1) Be still before God.
Choose to quit spinning in circles about the “Wall Street meltdown,” the “impending economic catastrophe,” how the political race will turn out—or even about your own family’s financial future. Instead, as Psalm 46 exhorts us to do, we should be still before the Lord (v.11) and acknowledge His sovereignty, even in times of trouble (v.1). Each day, take time out to get quiet and turn your attention solely on God, focusing on His amazing presence and breathing in His rest, peace, and wisdom. Consider this promise: "They who dwell in the secret place of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty" (Psalm 91:1). The result? Refreshment, renewed vision, and more powerful prayer.
2) Seek God wholeheartedly.
Commit your worries and concerns to God and instead, put your energy into seeking His face (1 Chronicles 16:11; Psalm 105:4). Doing so changes our focus from the news, the crisis, and ourselves, and turns it back to the Lord. As we humbly seek Him, we’ll begin to recognize that He is already taking care of us, providing His answers to our problems. Matthew 6:33 is key to a healthy perspective: when you “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” before anything else, He will meet your other needs.
3) Commit to forgiveness with humility.
Jesus said: "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." (Mark 11:25). When you humbly turn from the sin of unforgiveness against others, you not only glorify God; you free yourself to receive His answers to your prayers. Ask the Holy Spirit to remove vengeful, bitter, or antagonistic feelings about others from your heart, and look to Jesus’ ultimate forgiveness on the Cross—and the healing He offers.
4) Completely turn away from sin.
If you have a hidden fault – one you know is offensive to God – now is the time to turn from it for good. Focus today not on what sins Wall Street executives committed; instead, examine your own life and reconcile with the Lord. Consider His words to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:13: “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
5) Get up and get busy serving others.
Put some “feet” to your prayers. First, ask God to give you His compassion for others. Consider His attitude toward the city for which Jonah had nothing but disdain: “Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?” Use this time of national crisis to help your neighbor. Ask God to show you someone else’s needs that you can meet. After all, praying is not just about asking; it’s about how we live.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Lam 3:22 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. Lam 3:23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
Psa 5:3 In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.
Mar 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
We see that the morning was a special time of prayer for the saints and even Jesus. It was a time to hear God's voice and to seek His face. Each day we exert so much energy doing the normal tasks of life and many times gloss over the need to seek the Lord. When we get to the judgment seat of Christ we may look back on our lives and see so many missed opportunities because we were so preoccupied with the vain and meaningless.
The Lord does not leave us ignorant of how to prioritize our lives...the problem for most of us is that His priorities are not ours. I don't know how I will be able to one day gaze into the eyes of Him who created and sustained my every breath and at the same time know that I never was willing to seek Him.
Mat 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you
As the Lord has been pressing in upon my life and dividing asunder between my soul and spirit is has been at times painful but freeing. I have personally seen how much of what I do is centered around me, my comfort, my happiness, my fulfillment, my desires...and at the same time with my mouth calling out to Him as Lord but in actuality giving Him the leftovers. It is time we seek Him and love Him with all of our body, all of our mind, all of our soul and all of our strength. Not because we will get some reward but because He is worthy.
Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven...
Heaven is not so much of a place we go but it is an eternal relationship with the one who created, died and loved us so much. Jesus is life (John 11:25,14:6) and in Him we live and breathe and have our place and without Him nothing would be. Now because of this let us heed what the book of Colossians says:
Col 3:17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
2Co 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. ) and are sealed with the Holy Spirit and take upon us the name "Christian" we are prompted and moved to serve others. Wherein we were once consumed with our own interest now we are consumed with the building up and spiritual welfare of those that are "the least of among us"
Now if that does not define your "Christianity" there question must be asked and answered: Am I willing to serve as Christ served? Am I willing to pour my life out as an offering to God, for His glory, in the service of others. Christ gives us a specific warnings and promptings to go out and love and serve one another, the question remains: Am I willing?
Luk 10:27 He answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.
If you were able to test your thoughts, words and deeds how would you measure up to what has been called the two greatest commandments? I have heard it said many times that the Bible is so profound and so deep in its theology but at the same time the words of Jesus are so clear and concise. Do I love my neighbor as I love myself...probably not. I am always on my mind, what I will wear, what I will eat, what I have to do next, what my finances are dictating, what is on TV, what I have to do at church etc. Now Jesus didn't just tell us to love our neighbor but gave us examples of what that love and service would look like:
Luk 10:33 But a Samaritan on his journey came up to him, and when he saw the man, he had compassion.
Luk 10:34 He went over to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
Luk 10:35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, 'Take care of him. When I come back I'll reimburse you for whatever extra you spend.'
Joh 13:13 You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am.
Joh 13:14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.
Joh 13:15 For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you.
Joh 13:16 "I assure you: A slave is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him.
Joh 13:17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
We know these stories well and have probably heard them taught many times yet the greater question is how does my life look in light of the truth of God's Word. Am I a hypocrite? Professing to love Christ and His people and His creation but not putting feet to the faith I so abundantly profess? Do I care what my life looks like in view of Christ pouring His life out to show and be a living example of? I should care...it's of upmost importance:
Mat 25:41 Then He will also say to those on the left, 'Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels!
Mat 25:42 For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink;
Mat 25:43 I was a stranger and you didn't take Me in; I was naked and you didn't clothe Me, sick and in prison and you didn't take care of Me.'
Do you believe the words of Jesus? Do you care enough to make a change today? Do you care enough to cleave to the Holy Spirit in contrition and ask for direction? Or are you too filled by the things of religion and the world to take the time to serve the one that you profess to love?
Monday, March 2, 2009
6 Words that pack so much of a punch especially when the mirror is placed in front of our lives. So many times we can complicate the simple yet radically profound message of scripture and need to get back to some of the basics. Jesus was asked the question "which is the most important commandment?" and in the radical simplicity of Jesus He sums up the matter as this...
Mar 12:30 AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.' Mar 12:31 "The second is this, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
In other parts of scripture we have have specific instructions that tell us to make disciples or be His witness (Mark 16:15), help the needy and sick (Mar 9:41, Luk 10:30-36), and to give generously to the work of the gospel (2Cor 9:7).
Now as we hold the mirror of the Word of God up to our own lives and step back to see if our lives paint the picture that Jesus spoke of, what do we see? Many times when we go to prayer our mind is so consumed by the things of the world it crowds the voice of God out and we cannot get past the tethers of this world. Jesus warned about this in the parable of the sower in Mark 4 when He said:
Mar 4:18 "And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word,
Mar 4:19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
God desires each of us to bear fruit and the greatest question as we look at our lives is this:
Am I bearing fruit for God?
Oh, that we would stop entertaining ourselves with all the stuff that will turn to dust or that moth and rust will destroy and start bearing fruit for the God that loves us so much that He continuously makes intercession on our behalf (Heb 7:25). I am guilty of being so fascinated and caught up in the things of this world that the fruit that God would have me to bear, I do not. The things that anger me are not righteous things but earthly. The things that peck away at my time are of my making and not the Lords...
Forgive me oh God and create in me a pure and clean heart, unfettered to the things of the world. Lord, I know I want to love you but am I willing? Holy Spirit show me where I am not and cut away any of the garbage that I have heaped up in my life, no matter the cost.
I leave you with lyrics to another modern day song that is so good by Derek Webb.
‘cause the truth is i need you
just like the air i breathe
just like a freight train needs the tracks beneath
so i’d rather suffer my whole life and be this rich man’s wife
if loving you means suffering