Thursday, February 28, 2013

Christ in you.. He's not some secret to be kept ..doesn't want that..

...but He was and is compassionate, and wants us to live as He did. Just filled with His love that ain't passive in regards to others. 

He alone is bright, our hope of glory, our shining light. He's the greatest Reason for you and me to rejoice in and even to go tell about! Yes, He does want that. 

"I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in Me will no longer remain in the darkness." ~Jesus  (John 12:46)

Feelin' determined today, and vertically dependent, and imperfect I am ..but O so accepted! 

Entering His rest and then goin' public with this Person, with this love, with this joy, and with His Message - what a great idea! Arise and shine!

I typed out a quickie-devo for ya and then "took it audio" (ok, so it was early and still dark out. Perhaps better next time)." But Christ was a man of compassion. Let's think like, act like, speak like, and be like Him. Why not?

Monday, February 25, 2013

But.. What Should I Even Ask For?

If ye shall ask any thing in my Name, I will do it. ~ Jesus 14|14john

PRAY for mistreated, persecuted and tortured Christians. Yup, sadly it's still happening to many around the world and might happen a lot more in years to come.  

PRAY for people starving and without any clean water. Basic stuff. Pray about helping those who are already doin' a good job at helping em, and who are sharing the Good News as well.

PRAY for orphans and widows. God doesn't want you or any of them lonely or out in the cold in any way. 

PRAY for your nation's leaders cuz man, you know how they are. They and the people (who perhaps voted em into their positions) all really need it these days.

PRAY for boldness, discernment, compassion, and God's great wisdom. The world really needs to see your witness Church now more than ever.. as individuals in Christ and collectively as His body. 

PRAY for your friends to turn and trust CHRIST TODAY.. then put shoe leather to your faith and gently go talk with em. Ask God to guide you as He so desires to. 

P.S.  Believer, need "community" and some encouragement? Visit here.. or..

At least let em see two things with us.

Church, what do those in the world need to see from us—I mean from our collective witness?

1.) They need to see that in unity we genuinely love one another and that this great agape compassion is also directed towards them as well.

Jesus prayed, "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one.."
The Bible says, "Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace." Yikes, how do we do that? We go to the cross, die (to our own way and fickle opinions..) and to Him who on it demonstrated real love for all. 

When they see this non-selfish type of love, they will indeed be drawn in

2.) Might sound kinda religious, but they also need to see that we are joyously holy because we serve a very holy God.

"For the Scriptures say, 'You must be holy because I am holy.'"

Holy is happy! And both aspects need to clearly be seen with us today, and even thoroughly taught on from the Word. Check out all the passages dealing with these two important topics. 

Me thinks that in North America here, they've heard about God's love pretty often (..can't hear too much about this) from all kinds of so called Christians and others, but in our local churches do they actually hear about sin, about it's non-desirable consequences that God lovely warns us about, or about future judgment ahead and true repentance that cuts to the root..quite as often?

In our chaotic society it used to be illustrated that the family modeled these two wonderful aspects, but with the breakdown of the family, now those living in the world must see these things lived-out in local churches. That's how warm-hearted zealous churches are to shine!

P.S. The Bible speaks more about the spiritual unity needed in local churches than it does about either heaven or hell. Yup, it's way important for all us! One time I was in a church where the associate pastor was small in more than one way. And he maintained a "big church-boss" mentality. Sad. He sadly was a real divider and was one-on-one attacking innocent, hard-working but popular sheep if you will, and then throwing em out the door over non-issues. Over and over again, but he was the heir and a blood relative of the lead shepherd. Both were very ignorant and dim in thinking and both are still there working to wreck havoc on that now much smaller, dried up congregation. There were witness, but still there's no restitution or turning. Not God's will. 

You know, unity is so important that the devil even had his crowd come up with a cult named the "Unity Church" that denies Essential Christian Doctrine. Yeah, I happen to talk to gay and non-gay people here in Dallas quite often who are a part of this aberrant group. Have I heard em talk about sin, repentance, or future judgement or about hell, or dying to their old fleshly selfish nature within? Never. But they are encouraged to be themselves in their ongoing sin ..that is not called that. I say, ditch your sin and be yourself in Christ who is holy. That's for all.  

But you know, believer, how Christian churches are made up of different people from very different backgrounds today, and how none of us are perfect. Ya think? Sure. Therefore even the best of flawed people will at times get into conflict with each other. But, when someone constantly causes disunity in a church, a decent pastor who is out to protect God's flock really needs to humbly, but firmly work with that person behind it all, specifically addressing what's been happening. He needs to prayerfully listen to em with a heart to restore and see if there's something to learn. And if the learning needs to happen on the other end (I mean where the leadership is not blowing it in that case), but isn't at all received by the offender, the pastor simply needs to get rid of the person when they really are in sin as a troublemaker and refuse to repent. With witnesses and in a peaceful manner, not an easy thing to do at all. But a little yeast can leaven the whole lump of dough. 

Meditate upon what God has to say about unity. 

Psalm 133:1 - How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!

John 17:23 - I in them and you in me (Jesus). May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Romans 6:5 - If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.

1 Corinthians 1:10 - I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

1 Corinthians 12:12-26 - The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free-and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Ephesians 4:1-3 - As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:2-6 - Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit-just as you were called to one hope when you were called one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4:11-13 - It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Philippians 2:1-3 - If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

Colossians 3:14 - And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Isn't it time to add to and contend for the faith instead of passively cavein' in minus faith?

Too many believers are absent without leave today because they've been hurt a little or a lot by pushy, manipulative self-seeking leadership in sick local churches. 

Time to get over it and move on with Jesus who heals and restores. 

It's time for them to forgive, move on, advance spiritually, locate and join up with a healthy group of believers where they can put roots downwards and grow strong upwards. 
It's time to wholeheartedly worship the Lord who has never manipulated anyone or been a hypocritical leader for one second.

Some believers are absent without leave today because they've started to desire other things, they are fretting more, and have allowed the flashy but worthless distractions of the world to literally lure em off, and to refocus them on secondary, on pleasurable and on non-important things. The cares of the world have choked em out and they continue to choke em like a crazy vandal does on PCP. Stop allowing this to happen, look to Jesus and grow up.  

"..all too quickly the Message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced" (nlt).

"..the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful" (kjv).

Some believers are absent without leave today because the passion for the Word and for (corporate and private) prayer time has been replaced by time invested in novel information and entertainment intake.  

As this 1st world culture-war of our time heats up further and hotter it is fiercely raging more before our very eyes, yes more and more. And it is truly astounding how many once very dedicated and fairly vocal soldiers of the cross are now silently going AWOL away from where the action is! Stop it. By faith and believing prayer, appropriate and re-ignite authentic revival fire inside of you..that can't stay bottled up inside of you.  

Sure, as we see this worldly society around us plunge further and further into darkness and real debauchery that is flat-out evil and is aggressively influencing peeps in the wrong direction, then we believers need to shine brighter than before instead of less than before. Do we have any fight left in us (I mean the right kinda fight)? Was there a time in your Christian experience where you were more in-love with Christ than you are today? If so.. with all due respect for you.. you are backslidden some. There remains one hope for us and for our great Nation—it's the living Word of God. So let's repent and get back to the Word. 

Biblically worshiping Christ must remain priority one. No excuses. 

Joyously preaching for decisions, and anointedly (new word) teaching God's Word ..I mean thoroughly all the Bible counsels of God.. that really needs to take on much greater importance to us, for we are still His representatives of light and of life. 

How lost are the lost? Might sound hyper-religious, but they are totally hell bound lost, so we must do something. People around us are indeed lost, dead, and in the dark. They are empty—so many still need to hear the Gospel for the first time... far more than the political rhetoric and worthless religiosity etc, but there's an increasing number of "churches" and of so called "believers" who stubbornly refuse to accurately give God's Message out. Wake up. Cast off slumber for good, children of the day.  

I think you already know that there is a lack of urgency, of holy fear, of zeal, of passion and of pure thinking kind of boldness. And I think you know what would remedy this situation in North American or in other Lands as well. 

Too many around us are living in defeat and seem content with that. Too many of us are waiting for the Lord to bail them out, when He is waiting for them to get serious and seek. Too many are reacting in the flesh daily instead of responding in the Spirit daily. 

I say that a return to earnest prayer daily (both alone and not alone..) will help the Church towards earnestly contending for the faith daily. You know that's right. On a football field when a team is losing bad, a smart coach will always motivate em by refocusing all the players on the basic fundamental principles and practices they've already been taught. It's now time for the Church to get back to applying the basics of the Bible. 

Listen to what the prince of preachers had to say about this.  

"Brethren, do something; do something, do something! While societies and unions make constitutions, let us win souls. I pray you, be men of action all of you. Get to work and quit yourselves like men. Old Suvarov's idea of war is mine: 'Forward and strike! No theory! Attack! Form a column! Charge bayonets! Plunge into the center of the enemy! Our one aim is to win souls; and this we are not to talk about, but do in the power of God!'" ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

Personally I used to watch the local and national news more in 2012. I was always curious about what would happen at election time. Perhaps you were too. But lately who can stomach much of it? Of course I want to stay informed some, but it seems better to me now to fortify my walk doing and studying the basics.. and just concentrate on less (the good stuff) better. 

Fear not what is ahead. God has a praying remnant and Bible prophecy must be fulfilled. Be filled with the Spirit and be ready in His readiness. 

I want to add to and edify. I want to diligently sow to.. what is really good for my spiritual life more than ever, because I simply want to be buff spiritually and ready for whatever is ahead. Who can know all the details? 

Does it seem to you that American believers are headed towards some harder times ahead and towards serious persecution? I mean more than they have experienced. It does to me. Its' obvious. 

Believer, it's really no time to go AWOL for any reason. It's not the time to take a vacation away from God. It is time to return from all that, suit up fully (put on all the armor of God in Christ) and humbly report for duty. 

Ask: Lord, what are Your marching orders for me today?   

I certainly don't mean to sound all preachy at ya, but I strongly urge and appeal, " you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints."  Jude 3

If ever there was a time, it is now. If ever there was a people, it is the Church. 
Yes, I want to challenge you to get re-involved in relating to Christ on a more intimate level, in a very simple ardent to-the-point kind of way today. Let's put first things first again, let's insert the big stones into our lives before all the little stones, gravel, and sand goes in.. otherwise the really important stuff won't even fit in later.

Let's get re-interested in the basics again via asking Jesus—yes, in personal fellowship both upwards with the Lord first and then outwards with growing believers in a healthy Christ-exalting church, and in small group Bible studies too….and take part in private and collective church prayer meetings… and then as an outgrowth of such a tight relationship of JOY...let's be very discerning and tactful in simply sharing our faith and testimony story of victory with those who are open to hearing about Him. 

The basics and essentials of our walk..the primary disciplines even..rather than the controversial and periphery things.. need to be placed ahead at the forefront of what we do once again. In no other day gone by has it been more important than now to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. You know what I'm saying and remember how Jesus admonished and commanded, "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need."  

So many around us are given to worldly vanity and worthless religious fluff, but we can see revival start with each of us individually. They sow the wind religiously, and reap the whirlwind. The consequences will land and are now affecting them. 

Many have an intense hunger but have been going after sawdust, but we are there to point them to the Bread of Life, yes, to grain Giver and His grain house. Christ satisfies. When all else fails to, He alone fills that inner void so to speak.  

Brethren, obey and do something with Christ today!

Why go on investing in time-wasting junk? Believer, what kind of overflow would you have left for other thirsty souls around you, if you've not been investing at all in what outlasts it all? I mean in your spiritual life with the Word? 

The farmer that labors must first be partaker of the crop. He can't supply or give out to others if he is or remains famished, malnourished and weak. Ya think?

Monday, February 18, 2013

How Cool! Us Believers—His Jars of Clay Today!

You and me—we be the basic packaging if you will. Him and His great work—that's the beautiful Treasure inside. 

And the Potter is still working on and in us. Ain't finished with us yet. I need to wear a sign that says.. Under Construction. 

I'm lookin' at 2 Corinthians 4:7-15. Have you turned and received Christ by faith? Don't put it off. What He's done for me, He'll gladly do for you (See John 1:12-13, and 3:3). The Apostle Paul said, "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us."

"Help us not to cloud God's glory, nor with self His light to dim; may each thought to Christ be captive, emptied to be filled with Him." —Anon.

P.  Father God, please fill and refill, touch, restore and bless. We know it's not about us, it's about Jesus being exalted and glorified. He so deserves it. We don't want to take any credit for positive stuff done by your power working.. and thereby bring glory to us. It's really about You. We want Your will done, and Your Kingdom to come.. And our's to go. So help me to boldly point to the Word of God with rejoicing, instead of to me today. Guide.. so I will not impede You or Your work in this world. There are so many that are still bound up in spiritual darkness without hope or joy. Make us part of the Solution so we won't become part of the problem instead. Wanna learn to love peeps everywhere n hate sin like You do. Please shine brightly through me. My flesh might not like it at all, but I think it's best that I decrease so that You would increase in and through this simple jar ..all day long. Yes, as You lead us believers on into good works, remind us not to seek our own, or affirmation, or praise, or applause from mere people.... for it's You that we desire to please. God, I just agree with Your Spirit and want to cooperate with Christ more.. far more than I have in the past. In Jesus name, let the brilliance of the great-treasure of Christ in me.. in us.. strongly shine through so that others can clearly see Your Way and follow Jesus. Thanks for keeping and using us Lord. Amen. 

I kinda like this smartphone and tab Bible app. Perhaps you've been looking for a good one? 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

God is certainly not pushy, but He loves hard, smart work...

..from all His servants, as we keep a proper perspective ..even until we get a bit tired.

No prob with that. This is a good witness.  Duh! 

In fact He is working.

It's so cool how every Member of the Godhead has been and is being a good Example for us. 

Jesus, our High Priest and perfect Example-witness of the Father's Message and love said this, "My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I too, am working." John 5:17

And in a context of ministering God's Word to people, the Bible also says, "Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary." Gal. 6:9

Becoming tired from obeying.. you know, from doing good works as the Lord leads you, is different, so be encouraged not to become lazy or to work too much, but to take time out for the Lord and then work hard and smart even if you get tired.

"The world is run by tired men." 

Most souls are won by tired people!

The best sermons are preached by tired men!

The best camps are run by exhausted youth ministers!

The Third World is being evangelized by tired missionaries!

Christian organizations are being run by tired men!

You show me a super Vacation Bible School and I will show you some tired women!" ~ Oswald Sanders

In a world where "lazy" is often reward by the Gov, let that not be you. Ask God to make you a diligent and good example for others. God see everything and you're also being watched by people. So it matters..being a good witness all the time.. in private and in public.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Glad She Asked. Lin Had Some Questions For The Lost Dude In The Bass Pro Hunting Cap.

Lin's a real good listener and she asks excellent questions cuz she likes the surprising stories that follow. Interesting stuff. A silver-haired lady started chucklin' at the Coop cuz she couldn't find her 55 year old husband there. 

A few people looked around to help her. 

When some of the people asked the woman what he looked like, the lady clearly described her husband as the silly one without the arm. 

My wife Liney had already located the guy ..dawning the green camo Bass Pro-Shop hunting cap. Funny conversation followed. 

She carefully asked him how he had lost his arm..."Was it while you were out fishin' somewhere?" And he said "Yes"..which made Lin proceed to ask.."What kind of creature got it?" "Well", the man responded "A long ugly crocodile on the Amazon tore it up" (huh..I thought he'd joke and say a big fat four foot trout.. exaggeration.. but he was tellin' the truth). 

When it happened, he was just thankful to be with another doctor on that river who jumped to his rescue and sewed him up after the crock-attack...and stopped the fisherman from bleeding-out. Literally lost most of his blood that day..and yet they both wereC eighteen hours away from the nearest hospital and town. Took awhile..lots of paddling. There's of course more to the story, but when the two men arrived in town the medical workers were pretty impressed with the wilderness-sew-job. They couldn't believe that this wilde südamerikanische fischer actually lived.. but they still had to remove his limb cuz gangrene had set in. (Me thinks all kinds of fishin' has it's inherent risks, but we're proud of the man cuz he still goes fishing. Nothin' will stop him).    

I say, Keep on fishing no matter what. Lately I've been thinkin' about following the ultimate Fisher (Christ), and going fishin' along with and for Him ..for other people who don't yet know Him. Yeah, it's so good to take part with Him in His Great Commandment and the Great Commission that order. Why? Because... "Jesus called out to them [His followers], 'Come, be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!'"  See Matthew 4:19.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Beloved, why live like a Christian Deist viewing God like He is too far away and not involved in your life?

He is involved, close to you, and really cares more about you than that. 

Got a question for you? Is God actually knowable today.. I mean in a very real personal sense like in the same way that you and I could know each another?

Many say, Naww, ain't possible. He is way too big, far away and too great to be known by man in that sorta way.

In fact deism, theism, and Islam are three views of God that set Him far beyond man's  ability to know Him. Again, I mean in a real meaningful and personal sense.

Perhaps because of hard circumstances that you've been through, you as a believer have been living like a Christian deist who sees God as far away and not gunna get involved in your life and surely won't speak to you, even though you know you are supposed to go speak to Him every day. Please don't see Him like that, believer, even if you have been through some fiery painful or tragic trials of your faith.

So what does God in the Bible actually say? The Bible presents God to us and One who can indeed be known and One who actually desires to be known of us.

Gotta moment to check it out?

"You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:13 esv).

"Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant … I will put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. … for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest …" (Jer. 31:31, 33-34).

"For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings" (Hos. 6:6).

"And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true …" (1 Jn. 5:20).

God says that He is knowable, and you can stand on that all day, all year, and all you're your lifelong. When we see Him the way He really is, and relate to Him as He would like us to, then it won't be long before we experience that renewed joy inside and want to go share the Good News about Him with others.

Going and telling is basically the natural outgrowth of knowing, seeking and worshipping the Lord daily. Yes, witnessing of the Lord and gently leading people into this type of personal fellowship with God is the chief objective of the Christian's Gospel ministry. Christ said this in prayer to the Father, "You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as you have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent" (John 17:2-3). Let's pursue God in Christ and expect Him to make His Scriptures come alive to us. He can speak in different ways, but we need to be open to Him leading us in a most personal kinda way.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It's good to know what you can and can't do. Sure, why waste your time, treasure and talents?

It is not my responsibility to make individuals righteous and then good or happy.

You know that I can't redeem or sanctify even a little cockroach. No mere human tryin' to reform this sinner (me) saved me. And I've also foolishly tried to reform sinners and stiff non-biblical churches before—didn't work. Building relationship is important. I say appeal wisely and then bail on a sicko-church if they hold tightly to their sins. Find an imperfect, healthy one where you can be fed the Word n grow—none are perfect and life is short. 
It is my business to wholeheartedly worship the Lord and to cooperate with Him in making myself good, and also to tactfully share the Gospel and make other people blessed if I can. For sure, as I follow Christ well and allow His Spirit to use me in serving them in areas that they really need and welcome. Jesus examples need-meeting and much more, so He's my focus and that's my business, duty, and responsibility. Believer, it's your biz as well. We all have a part to play so to speak. 
Got an assurance of salvation inside? You my dear friend who are deeply loved, can indeed know beyond any shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life in Jesus Christ. That's His thang. So stop your wrong-doin's, turn, confess, and believe in Him now before you do another thing. 
The Bible says, ".. if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation." Romans 10:9