The following post is a well written, and incisive comment upon the Christians of today. We should all examine ourselves in the light of God’s truth, evaluate our lives based upon it, and then make whatever changes are necessary. http://realityofchrist.me/2013/01/07/the-spiritual-disease-of-apathetic-christianity/
“ Divine Recompense ”
If I carefully consider others, God will consider me, and in some way or other He will recompense me. Let me consider the poor, and the LORD will consider me. Let me look after little children, and the LORD will treat me as His child. Let me feed His flock, and He will feed me. Let me water His garden, and He will make a watered garden of my soul. This is the LORD’s own promise; be it mine to fulfill the condition and then to expect its fulfillment.
I may care about myself till I grow morbid; I may watch over my own feelings till I feel nothing; and I may lament my own weakness till I grow almost too weak to lament. It will be far more profitable for me to become unselfish and out of love to my LORD Jesus begin to care for the souls of those around me. My tank is getting very low; no fresh rain comes to fill it; what shall l dot I will pull up the plug and let its contents run out to water the withering plants around me. What do I see? My cistern seems to fill as it flows. A secret spring is at work. While all was stagnant, the fresh spring was sealed; but as my stock Rows out to water others the LORD thinketh upon me. Hallelujah!
The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.
I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat…
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking. In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc.. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school… The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about.. And we said okay..
Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Are you laughing yet?
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
Pass it on if you think it has merit.
If not, then just discard it… no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.
My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,
Sometimes what I think we as Christians need to do more of in this world we live in is to be honest and truthful, rather than be religious and self-righteous. I’m sorry, but I’ve read too many posts lately where the authors talk as if they’ve already arrived rather than that they’re on the journey.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ll tell you I’m on the journey. I understand why “Christianity” is under attack, but the truth is that in some cases self-proclaimed Christians bring the attacks upon themselves.
I’d love to sit here at my computer keyboard and write the words, “I’m sin free,” but I’d be lying. I’d love to tell you that I don’t struggle daily with trying to die to my own selfish desires, my own wants and needs, and that I do and make the right decisions without fail, but once again I’d be lying.
I’ve read posts where people claim you can lose your salvation. I don’t know where they get that. If you can lose what God says He has given you through His Son Jesus Christ then He’s not much of a god, and I can understand why people would reject a god who can’t save you completely and totally.
Well, I’m here to tell you that my God can and does. The question isn’t whether my God can and does save me completely and totally? The question is whether I’m going to believe that He can and will, or do I think I can save myself?
Listen, friends, there’s a lot of people, and people who claim to be Christians, that wouldn’t and don’t know any more about God and loving God than an earthworm would know about lasagna.
The fact of the matter is that too many people think that they’re doing God a favor by loving Him. They work themselves to death trying to please Him, and stand up for Him, and try to do His job for Him. They walk around and make long posts about hating the “sin” yet so often it’s the sinner who ends up feeling the hatred.
Let me tell you, I need God. He doesn’t need me. I need Him daily, minute by minute, hour by hour. If I’m left to my own devices I’ll do the wrong thing almost every time, and even when I’m trying to do the right thing I can still mess it up.
I’ll tell you that there’s a lot about God I don’t know nor understand. You ask me how many verses I’ve got memorized, and I’d be having a good day if I could quote more than 3, and I couldn’t give you a theological or historical perspective on the Bible to save my life.
You ask me why the Bible is the Word of God? What proof do you have? Here’s my answer. I know it’s author. I know what I was, what I am, and what I’m becoming. I know that Jesus Christ died for my sins past, present and future, and that every time I look up and around I see His witness staring back at me. I know the Bible is true because I’ve seen it’s truth lived out in my life and in the lives of countless others.
I’ve sinned, and there’s not a day goes by in which I haven’t had to confess my sin. Sin doesn’t mean you don’t know God or that He doesn’t know you. It means you have deliberately, knowingly disobeyed God and His divine law. If anyone tells you that they aren’t guilty of that then you’re either looking at a liar or the Lord Jesus Christ, himself.
There are many “Christians” who will tell you that once you become a Christian you’ll be happy. They’ll tell you that God wants you to be rich. You just have faith and claim what you want in the name of Jesus and it will be yours. You name the lie and you’ll find a “Christian” somewhere who’s either deliberately said it or said it in ignorance of God’s Word. I’m sorry, and I’m sure I’ve offended someone somewhere, but truth is truth, and some people should be offended.
The reason I’m writing this is because I want you to know that God loves you, but you have to receive that love. The truth is that Jesus Christ died for yours sins, but you have to acknowledge and confess your sins, and ask Him to come into your heart and be your Savior. Friend, you cannot save yourself. Nothing you do past, present, or future based upon your own effort will make any difference.
There’s nothing you can do or have done that will separate you from the love of God except for one thing….the sin of unbelief.
Please don’t feel that you’re not good enough…know that you aren’t, and you don’t have to be….Please don’t feel that you don’t need Jesus… You do, and one day you’ll know it…. Please don’t be discouraged by failure…. We’ve all failed, but Jesus never has or will….
Come to Him where you are as you are…
Today as I was listening to David Jeremiah, I heard him say something that made me think, and reflect on, and I’m going to share it with you. “Fear is a form of idolatry.” When we fear the problem whatever it may be we’re saying that the problem is greater than God’s ability to handle it. What problems do you have that are greater than God’s ability to solve them? The way to deal with fear is found in worship and praise. When we recognize God for who He is, and acknowledge that all we experience and know is because of Him, we put our problems, our fears, where they belong…. In His hands.
If you’d like to know more you can click here http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/turning-point/listen/ and click on “When Fear Dominates You” under the month of November.
This post Letter of Love is beautifully written. Take a moment to read this and let it touch you.
“Who has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” 2 Timothy 1:9
THERE is an external and an internal call of the Spirit. The external call is thus alluded to: “I have called, and you refused;” “Many are called, but few are chosen.” This outward call of the Spirit is made in various ways. In the word, in the glorious proclamation of the gospel, through the providences of God-those of mercy and those of judgment-the warnings of ministers, the admonitions of friends, and, not less powerful, the awakening of the natural conscience. By these means does the Holy Spirit “call sinners to repentance.” In this sense, every man who hears the gospel, who is encircled with the means of grace, and who bears about with him a secret but ever-faithful monitor, is called by the Spirit. The existence of this call places the sinner in an attitude of fearful responsibility; and the rejection of this call exposes him to a still more fearful doom. God has never poured out His wrath upon man, without first extending the olive-branch of peace. Mercy has invariably preceded judgment. “I have called, and you have refused.” “All day long I have stretched forth my hands.” “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” He reasons, He argues, He expostulates with the sinner. “Come, let us reason together,” is His invitation. He instructs, and warns, and invites; He places before the mind the most solemn considerations, urged by duty and interest; He presses His own claims, and appeals to the individual interests of the soul; but all seems ineffectual. Oh, what a view does this give us of the patience of God toward the rebellious! That He should stretch out his hand to a sinner-that instead of wrath, there should be mercy-instead of cursing, there should be blessing-that, instead of instant punishment, there should be the patience and forbearance that invites, and allures, and reasons!”-Oh, who is a God like unto our God? “I have called, and you refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded.”
But there is the special, direct, and effectual call of the Spirit, in the elect of God, without which all other calling is in vain. God says, “I will put my Spirit within them.” Christ says, “The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live.” And in the following passages reference is made to the effectual operation of God the Spirit. “Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power.” “The word of God which effectually works in you that believe.” Thus, through the instrumentality of the truth, the Spirit is represented as effectually working in the soul. When He called before, there was no inward, supernatural, secret power accompanying the call to the conscience. Now there is an energy put forth with the call, which awakens the conscience, breaks the heart, convinces the judgment, opens the eye of the soul, and pours a new and an alarming sound upon the hitherto deaf ear. Mark the blessed effects. The scales fell from the eyes, the veil is torn from the mind, the deep fountains of evil in the heart are broken up, the sinner sees himself lost and undone-without pardon, without a righteousness, without acceptance, without a God, without a Savior, without a hope! Awful condition! “What shall I do to be saved?” is his cry: “I am a wretch undone! I look within me, all is dark and vile; I look around me, everything seems but the image of my woe; I look above me, I see only an angry God: whichever way I look, is hell!-and were God now to send me there, just and right would He be.” But, blessed be God, no poor soul that ever uttered such language, prompted by such feelings, ever died in despair. That faithful Spirit who begins the good work, effectually carries it on, and completes it. Presently He leads him to the cross of Jesus-unveils to his eye of glimmering faith a suffering, wounded, bleeding, dying Savior-and yet a Savior with outstretched arms! That Savior speaks-oh, did ever music sound so melodious?-“All this I do for you-this cross for you-these sufferings for you-this blood for you-these stretched-out arms for you. Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest-Him that comes to me, I will in no wise cast out-Look unto me, and be you saved-only believe. Are you lost? I can save you. Are you guilty? I can cleanse you. Are you poor? I can enrich you. Are you low sunk? I can raise you. Are you naked? I can clothe you. Have you nothing to bring with you-no price, no money, no goodness, no merit? I can and will take you to me, just as you are, poor, naked, penniless, worthless; for such I came to seek, such I came to call, for such I came to die.” “Lord, I believe,” exclaims the poor convinced soul, “Help You mine unbelief.” You are just the Savior that I want. I wanted one that could and would save me with all my vileness, with all my rags, with all my poverty-I wanted one that would save me fully, save me freely, save me as an act of mere unmerited, undeserved grace-I have found Him whom my soul loves-and will be His through time, and His through eternity.” Thus effectually does the blessed Spirit call a sinner, by His especial, direct, and supernatural power, out of darkness into marvelous light. “I will work,” says God, “and who shall let it?” (marg. turn it back.)
It’s late so tonight’s post is going to be very short. I’ve been seeing a lot of negativity about our country lately, and it seems to be coming from everywhere. Everywhere I look, a lot of what I read, and hear is all about how bad our country is falling, and how we’re beyond hope, and that we’re doomed. What saddens me is that the majority of people I’m hearing this from are “Christians.”
The thing I want to say is this: what this country needs isn’t more wealth, more democrats, more liberals, more conservatives, more fairness, or more of anything we as people can give ourselves. What this country needs are great people of prayer, people who have a deep-down, soul-stirring, faith and trust in the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, who actually believe and live by what the word of God says.
If you’re praying, and you live and act as if what you’re praying for will not happen, then you’re wasting your time, and God’s. Please friends, take a little time, and give this a little thought. Are you a man or woman of great faith and great trust in God. Answering this question will answer this next one: are you a great man or woman of prayer?
Have you ever had so much on your heart and mind that you just didn’t know what to do with it all? When you tried to express what you were thinking and feeling that it just came out all garbled and nonsensical, and the more you tried to be clear the more obvious it became that you were being anything but “clear?” Have you ever been so excited, so filled with enthusiasm that you just couldn’t hardly contain yourself, and you just had to share it? When was the last time you really felt passionate about something. I’m talking about the kind of passion that’s defined as “boundless enthusiasm.”
When you read the word “passion” what comes to mind? A person, an idea, a thing? When was the last time you felt “boundless enthusiasm” for someone or something? Do you still have it? If not, why not?
It’s amazing the variety of things people can be passionate about. You name it, and there’s probably someone somewhere who’s passionate about it. What is it that ignites passion? Why do some things hold our passion for a lifetime, and some only for a little while? Why is it that some passions die? Why is it that some people go from being passionate about one thing to being passionate about something else, and why is it that some people can’t find anything to be passionate about?
Passions can lead people to other people, places, things, and ideas; some of which are good, and some bad. Passion can make all the difference between those who accomplish little and those who accomplish a lot, and often it’s what we’re passionate about that defines who we are, what we become, and most importantly what we do, and why we do it.
It’s easy to recognize passionate people. You can see it written all over them. Passion shows itself. It moves people to action. Passionate people are difference makers, risk takers, go-getters. They’re the kind of people who would pursue their passion in the dark, who would do it regardless of the outcome, who would sacrifice time, money, effort, whatever it took to do it, and not regret a moment spent in their pursuit of it. Passionate people are fighters, and they’re lovers, and they have no idea what the word “quit” means. Passionate people are above all people of determination and perseverance.
So, who or what are you passionate about, and why? And, when you think of people who are passionate who comes to mind? Now, think about this… “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
As you know, I don’t often write about myself, and if you’ve read me for awhile, you have at least an idea of why I don’t. You know there’s never just one reason for why human beings do anything much as we’d like for that to be the case. Now that I’m looking back on that last sentence, I can tell you I don’t like it, and maybe you don’t either. Still, I’m going to let it stand, but with this caveat, instead of saying “never” I’m going to say “most of the time.” Perhaps you have a better handle on your motivations for why you do things than I do, and if so then I congratulate you. You’re further along on the road to “maturity” than I am. For myself, I can tell you that I often see “self” lying somewhere in the mire of the complicated emotions and thoughts that trigger my actions and reactions toward my life, the world, and the people I encounter in it.
I don’t like seeing it, the “self-interest, the self-absorption, the self-love, the self-hate . . .” but more than these, the one I hate the most among all my many selves, is the one that keeps trying to draw a line; deep, dark, and wide between me and others; it’s the “self-righteous” one that I so often fight major battles with, and too often in my encounters with it I’m the one looking down on the one I’ve crushed underneath the weight of it.
The word “righteous” according to the American Heritage Dictionary means, “Morally upright; without guilt or sin.” I wonder does this definition make you pause as it does me? I guess whether it does or not depends on your definition on what moral is. If you look in the same dictionary, you’ll see that “moral’ means: “Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character.” Read a little further, and it says, “Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous.” There’s two words in the previous definitions that make me think of another word, “loophole,” and it seems to me that’s what so many people in this world are doing. Looking for loopholes.
“Loopholes” are created through the doorways of ‘judgment’ and ‘standards.’ Ever heard the phrase, “shifting morals?” If you haven’t then you’re not old enough to have seen them shift, but ask someone who’s over 50, and I’ll make a small wager that they have. I’d tell you to read back through history, but it’s being rewritten so fast I’m not so sure you’d actually see it unless you were really looking for it.
While you’re thinking about “shifting morals” I’ll lay another one on you. How about “Shifting sand?” Those of you who live by the ocean, a body of water, or are fairly familiar with their Bible no doubt have seen and know the term. Now there’s an obvious connection between the two terms, and one that perhaps isn’t quite so obvious, but no doubt you’ve made that one, too, and it’s in that they both have to do with foundations, and we all know what a foundation is, and what it’s for, and most of us have seen what happens when a foundation isn’t stable.
Without a solid foundation, few things will stand for long whether it be beliefs, buildings, or people. Eventually, everything is put to the test by something whether it be by tsunamis, tornadoes, or the trials, tribulations and temptations brought on by other people. We know people use all kinds of things as the foundation of their lives, but how many of those things can stand up to a fire? I have to tell you I don’t have anything materially that would survive if that were to happen to me, but spiritually I do.
It seems to me that more and more people in this world are choosing to build their own spiritual foundations based upon their own views of what it is to be righteous and moral and yet the judgments and standards used to assess those things are constantly changing. Perhaps that’s why we should look to the one who does not change, and to His word as presented in the “Holy Bible.”