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Archive for the tag “Evangelism”

Are we saying its not the right time?

are we saying its not the right time

Let’s face it, we all have lots of things to do, have all kinds of pressures, some of us are bombarded left, right and centre and find ourselves in more times than we care to imagine – frustrated.

So how can we encourage one another to seek God in the midst of all of this?

Encouragement I believe is the right word because when we look inside ourselves I think we can admit that we are discouraged, if left unattended, we stop our devotional time with God.  Encouragement is the tool God has given us to motivate one another, turn ourselves around, pick up our tools and continue the work we had begun in our journey of adventure.

Unfortunately, we find ourselves not there.

It seems that instead of reaching the lost world for Jesus, investing in missions, interceding, giving…we have found our hope and strength and encouragement in the building up of our wealth.  Then we have moved on to displaying that wealth in the homes we live and the decor displays our passion for luxury.

What we have failed to see is that the harder we work for ourselves, the less we have because we have ignored our spiritual calling.  The exact same principle is true in the reverse.  When we put God first, He will provide for our deepest needs.  In other place of priority that we put Him in, all our efforts are futile.

Caring for our physical needs while ignoring our relationship with God leads only to ruin because you will find that material possessions do not satisfy.

Our problem lies in confused priorities.  Jobs, homes, vacations, and leisure activities may rank higher on our list of importance than God.  When is the right time to become unconfused?  When is the right time to connect with our relationship with God?

 

 

 

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God is jealous over those He loves

Being-Jealous-of-Gods-Generosity-300x199It is this very important passion of God that allows us to completely trust Him and enable us to put ourselves into the palm of His hand.

I know that jealousy is usually associated to sin as this characteristic is usually teamed up with control, selfishness and narcissism.  God’s jealousy is more like unconditional love, the exact opposite of what we see in ourselves when we experience jealous thoughts.

Mess with one of God’s children and He says that it is better if you were to tie a millstone around your neck and throw yourself into a river.  That brings up another word – vengeance.

For us, this is not an option.  God keeps the option of vengeance for Himself alone.  Even though He furiously will destroy His enemies, He is slow in getting angry.  Arouse Him and His power is incredible and mess with Him and find that exacts out the justice with little room for forgiveness.

If we are afraid of natural storms – hurricanes, cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis – imagine when God gets engaged.

A word of advice – if you are going to mess with a follower of Jesus, consider yourself messing with God Himself.

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Do you feel strengthened and helped?

kindergartenI find it amazing that the OT is filled with the wonder and amazement of God directly involved with His people and yet we somehow have difficulty understanding the movement of God or at least our NT world is quite different.

Sure we have Jesus who came, actually, who was sent by God to share the good news, and when He left, the Holy Spirit has remained behind and He has some very specific tasks to accomplish.

What about the angels that were so often described in some of the spiritual battles of the OT – have they disappeared in our NT world?

As a young child I remember stories vividly described by missionaries around the world – they saw angels involved and their lives were spared because of the presence of God’s messengers.  Maybe I am just not in the right circles anymore, because the missionaries today talk about microeconomics, building churches that look like mosques, creating orphanages and hospitals, water/food/medicine being of prime importance and evangelism that includes a normal attendance at church conferences of thousands upon thousands of people.  I just do not hear about angels anymore.

But my OT stories thrill me as do my NT stories and I know that angels play a key part in my life.  I believe that they are fighting a war that I cannot see, that there are adverse influences bearing on me from all around and that there is an angel that stands with me.  Can I prove it?

No, but I know it.

I know I have been strengthened.  I know that there is someone on my side confirming.  I know that I am being both served and defended and that certain affairs of mine have been taken care of.  These things happen by design and not by chance.

If evil spirits wish to do me harm then it just makes sense that angels come and direct and change those evil intentions.  They enable me to freely, with full liberty and encouragement, move along the narrow path and stay true to my calling – regardless of the doubts and hesitations that might creep into my mind or the objections that come across my path.  So wherever there is a movement or an influence by an evil spirit, their adversary is an angel of God.

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God’s favour will make others jealous

Let’s face it, most of us work in an environment where we probably associate with a lot of individuals who would not call themselves followers of Jesus.  Yet here we are, looking for God to give us favour, and wisdom and blessing in all that we do.

Before long we are working more efficiently and capably than all the rest.

We gain the attention of those in position of authority and earn a place of respect.  We have just realized that one of the best ways in influence our employers is to work hard.

Before long, the others will start to look for things in your life to criticize.  When they can’t, they will criticize your walk with God.  Here is some bad news – in a Christian ministry they do the same.  In fact, when you bring God into your work world, they say that you do that because you are not very good at what you do and are trying to draw the attention away from your lack of knowledge and tune it to something else.

Actually, they may have a point – I am not really good at what I do – God has granted incredible favour for me to be as good as I am and in my desire to glorify and honour Him, if this is what they see – well then maybe I can admit they are right.

My role is to remember that God is in control and if there be any need , He will fight my battle for me.

 

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Showing off

I am not too sure about why we need to be something bigger than we really are – but there seems to be a pressing need to do so because there are so few who are disciplined enough to not go here.

The problem with bragging is that as you brag about something at one event or more, you need to be prepared to brag about something else at the next few events, and that continues until you have made a complete fool of yourself.

There also seems to be a lifestyle that goes along with showing off – so there needs to be a lavish lifestyle that also needs to grow in order to maintain the increasing demand to show off more than what the next person can do.

Add to this the change in attitude that overtakes you.  You start believing in your own malarkey and start thinking that you are actually a somebody because of what you have done or what you own.  In fact, God might be at this point, a non-factor.

Once God is a non-factor, than the boundaries that have kept you safe and sane start disappearing.  Drinking, smoking, drugs etc. can become your next best friends along with a new set of sexual partners.

The journey started with one step, then another, then another.  There are signs along the way, but you choose to make them insignificant.

What does it take for God to get your attention?

How much does He care to arrest you and bring you back into the reality of the direction you have taken?

I have heard Him do such things – they are amazing testimonies.  I have also heard of those who continue to reject Him even though He has His loving arms around them and they die in their misery.

Am I going to far with such a simple issue of showing off?

Probably.  I get pretty intense fairly quickly.  I find in life that I need to have boundaries and that disciplining myself in the areas of my weakness helps keep me on the narrow path.  Bragging is something I really enjoy – impressing others give me a certain high.  So I am very careful to give others praise and always try to find a way to bring God into the picture.  I know, deep in my heart, that I am a nobody.  But filled with the Spirit of God, saved by grace, I am a child of the King of Kings, joint heir with Christ, and will reign with Him.

If I am to reign, I need to act like one with responsibilities and maturity in my task on hand.  That means that showing off is not the direction I am to take if I want to grow my leadership skills.

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I will stand against you

Further to my conversation with my friend about evil…it may seem that evil has the upper hand, it may seem that to do harm to others is much more profitable, it might seem right to take and not to give and it may seem that God is just a spectator – looking from a distance – but understand this.

There will come a day and a time when we will be held in account for the responsibilities and stewardship of what God has given to us to do and be.

On that day, a day that He has already chosen, if we are found not in His favour, if our actions are bringing harm to the followers of Jesus, to the poor, to the children, to those who are suffering and to many other matters that He so deeply cares about, His compassion and mercy, along with His Holiness and His insatiable appetite for justice, will cause Him to make a stand.

So when we are encouraged to pray and to ask God to raise up a standard, trust me, the very gates of hell will not be able to stand against Him.

It may seem that this will be a bad day for those who have decided to totally reject God, and it is.  At the same time it is a day of peace and joy for those who have asked God to intercede for them.  The blessings of God as a result of our asking and His standing are incredible.

 

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No permanence apart from God

I have to admit that from time to time, men of God who I have admired for years, all of a sudden go south in pretty much every area of their life – affairs, love their money, come up with weird theology and somehow seem to fall apart in their walk with God.

Should I be surprised?

When we lose our first love, when we forget that we are what God has made us, when we lose sight that this is not our home, I think that we step away from the foundation that comes when we serve God.  In fact, maybe that is why God gave, in so many different ways, the number one command – love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and with all your mind.  When that passion is lost and other loves seem to take over, the slippery slope towards a lost relationship with God has begun.

I love missions and have started posting thoughts about missions and am excited about the number of people viewing my site.  I recently was given two quotes – one blew me away the other made me cry.  Let me share them with you.

Nate Saint, 19 days before he was killed by those he was trying to reach with the gospel said, “God renew our vision of the lost and our responsibility to them… If God would grant us the vision, the word sacrifice would disappear from our lips and thoughts; we would hate the things that seem now so dear to us; our lives would suddenly be too short, we would despise time-robbing distractions and charge the enemy with all our energies in the name of Christ.”

When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the ship captain tried to turn him back, saying, “You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages.” To that, Calvert replied, “We died before we came here.”

May our hearts each morning be renewed in our service and love for our Saviour.

 

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So you think you are blessed…

Funny thing about blessings…what we think are blessings anyway…maybe they are not…does that make sense?

I run into people everyday who say they are blessed and they specifically say they are blessed because they love Jesus.  However, in their love for Jesus, they ignore Him, never give heed to anything He has said, have no regard for others who believe and follow Jesus and ask them for a copy of God’s love letter – the Bible – and they bring out the big family Bible from the living room because that is the only Bible they have in the house.

What is our preoccupation to measure blessing with riches, ease, a lifestyle or any thing at all that can be measured?

I feel that our thoughts of blessing is going to send us straight to wrong place at the end of our time here on earth.  That fear is based on at least three different stories.  One is of a man who gains so much wealth, that he tears down his old barns to build newer, bigger ones to contain his wealth and in telling the story, he is described as a fool because that very night he was going to die and had to give an account of his soul.

Another story involves those who have served faithfully, preached in Jesus’ name, cast out demons and when they were shut out of heaven they were banging on the doors asking Jesus to let them in and He looked over and said that He did not know who they were.

The last story is the rich man who let beggars eat off the floor of his dining room.  When he died, he ended up in hell and the beggar that ate off his floor was in heaven.

If we are blessed, it’s only because we are called to be a blessing to others.  I pray that our hearts realize the seriousness of responsibility and that we do not rest in our spirituality because of our wealth or ease of lifestyle.  Let’s not be surprised on that day we approach the throne of God – may our only goal be to have our names written in the Lamb’s book of life and do whatever else necessary to keep away from anything that would blot our name from that book.

 

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Are children still punished for their father’s sin?

I think this thought became popular among the Jewish people – was it not the priest, who at Jesus’ scene with Pilot, declare that may His blood be upon us and our children?  They just did not get it then and some today still do not get it.

Children were never punished for their father’s sin at any time – there were consequences of their father’s sin that passed from generation to generation – but not punishment.

We often suffer from the effects of sins committed by those who came before us, God does not punish us for someone else’s sins; and we can’t use their mistakes as an excuse for our sins.

Each person is accountable to God for his or her actions.

That goes both ways, I meet people in churches all the time who think they are going to heaven because their parents were such awesome people.  Well the bad news is that is not the case.  You have righteous parents perhaps, but you are still separated from God because of your sin – your one and only task is to return to the God of your parents and follow Him.

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Idol worship in our hearts

I think that we can be followers of God or worshippers of something else, but we can’t be both.

Can you imagine being in love with something or someone else more than Christ, and yet you proclaim Jesus as Lord in your life.  The issue of course is that He is Lord of parts of our life, but not all of it.

So then it comes down to what percentage of our heart have we given to the Lord?

Maybe more importantly, what percentage of our hearts need to be given to Him in order to guarantee entry into heaven.

Even when we have not given the Lord our hearts, we still act like we need and want Him – we still go to Church – we still hand in prayer requests – and if your church has this, we still go down to the front of the church for special prayers — all the while only looking to meet our own needs and no desire to give any more of our hearts to God.

How do you think God feels when He sees you worshipping another and then come looking for a message from Him – what kind of message do you think you will hear?

God must be so close to not giving an answer.

God in His great love will deal with each of us individually – maybe I should say personally.

I am sure its one thing to worship something or someone else and then quite a form of foolishness to pretend you are a follower of Jesus and asking for God’s help.

 

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