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Updated: 2016-07-14T19:34:27.561-04:00

 



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2010-03-21T13:49:20.056-04:00

Every day I watch as our Christian values are attacked and we are expected to make compromises in order not to offend anyone. We live in a country where being politically correct is more acceptable than being biblically correct. As a result most people in the faith have become sugar coated Christians who are afraid of offending anyone and disturbing the balance of things. Behind closed doors most Christians will proclaim their disgust but when faced with it in public they will simply keep their mouths shut or go along with society. Our Christian mind set is that we need to be compassionate and understanding to everyone and we should not say things which are hurtful, but nothing could be further from the truth. Let us take a lesson from Paul. Did Paul ever compromise his faith in order to not offend anyone? Did Paul ever put aside his beliefs in order to fit in better with society? I think we all know the answer to these questions. I have become completely disgusted with the path that our country is on and from this point on I refuse to remain silent in a politically correct society when it contradicts Christianity. Evolution is openly taught in our public schools and colleges as being a universal truth. God has been kicked out and replaced by Darwin. A theory has replaced truth because accepting the truth means having to face the fact that all are sinners and need Jesus. Mainstream society does not want to believe that their own means are hopeless without the salvation of Christ because that would mean they would have to change the way they live their lives. As Christians we have stood by and let this happen and we have no one to blame but ourselves. We live in a country where the officials who govern are elected by the people and as a people we are electing Atheists, Agnostics, Pagans, and a myriad of people whose values are flawed and do not properly represent our own beliefs. In a country that was founded on Christian ideals and beliefs we are getting farther and farther away from what our founding fathers fought for. Amazingly this is something we could have prevented had we elected the right people to properly speak for us. The end result is a country that with each law passed is not just walking away from God, but running at full speed.Each time we walk out or doors we are surrounded by people of all races and of all beliefs. The United States has become the largest collection of people from all countries and all religions. Daily we come in contact with Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Wiccans, Scientologists, Evolutionists, Atheists, Agnostics, Homosexuals, and the list goes on and on, but as Christians we are the only ones who are forced to compromise our beliefs and if we don’t then we are called “Hate Mongers” and “Narrow Minded”. No one is more persecuted in this country than true believing Christians and as such we are expected to simply keep our mouths shut and go along with society. When does it end? When do we start to stand up for what is right and refuse to go along blinded like a sheep led to the slaughter? How long will conforming Christians be able to hold onto their faith before it becomes so watered down that it vaguely resembles Christianity and they lose themselves completely in a politically correct world that has rejected God.Seventy six percent of Americans identify themselves as being Christian. I use the word identify because only thirty eight percent attend church on a regular basis. Most Americans identify themselves as being Christian simply because they were raised Christian, but never practiced their faith or either they have strayed from their faith. Out of the thirty eight percent who attend church regularly, how many of those do you think are actually God fearing Christians and how many do you think are going to church just to go through the motions. I have met people who go to church regularly but in their private lives they live as far outside of Christian values as any non-Christian in society. One of the fastest gro[...]



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2009-10-31T12:25:07.447-04:00

Technological breakthroughs once reserved for double "O" agents in the James Bond films of the mid century are now coming daily by the dozens. We are living in a time when society cannot keep up with the latest and greatest. If you buy a cell phone today, tomorrow there will be another one that is smaller and provides more options. If you purchase the state of the art computer, in a month it will be outdated.

In addition to technology improving our way of life through entertainment, we are also seeing inventions that will make our daily lives easier, but we are trading something in exchange for this freedom.

I have formed the habit as most people have in the past few years of using a nice little invention to the point of abuse. I am talking about caller identification (caller i.d.). When the phone rings the first thing I do is check to make sure I recognize the number so that I am not blind sided by a telemarketer or someone trying to solicit money for a timeshare in some remote island the used to use for testing nuclear weapons. But, lately I have started to abuse this small little led display on the back of my phone. Now if I see someone call and I simply do not have the time to answer the phone I will let the answering machine pick up and I will call them back later.

As I was looking at the caller i.d. the other day I wondered what I would do if the call showed up as "Jesus Christ 777-7777". Would I pick up or would I let the answering machine get it? I would like to think I would pick up the phone with the excited enthusiasm of a young child opening a present on Christmas Day, but I know there have been many times in the past and sadly to say even now that I hear the call of the Lord and do not answer.

It is ridiculous to attribute the call of our Lord to the telephone, but how many times have you avoided His call and just thought to yourself, "I'll return His call later"? Sometimes in our lives we are in situations of shame and we are too afraid to answer for fear that He will be disappointed with us. And the hardest call of all to answer is the initial call when He is calling to invite us into a relationship with him. For many this is the hardest call they will ever have to answer. They expect a voice of reprimand on the other end, but instead they find a voice more soothing and loving than any they have ever heard in their lives, and they are assured that they are welcome and the sins of their past are forgiven.

As Christians we put more stress on ourselves and we are harder on ourselves spiritually than God is. We complicate our spiritual lives to the point where we are afraid to speak with Him because we are ashamed.

I tell you now, if your Faith Phone is ringing, answer it. If this is the first time your phone has rung then it is the most important call you will ever receive. No matter where you are in your spiritual life, do not be afraid to answer His call it will make all the difference in the world. Don't delay; there will come a time when your phone wont ring anymore and I pray that you wont let this opportunity pass you by.

"For many are called, but few are chosen."

Matt 22:14




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2005-03-02T22:14:43.203-05:00

In the second persecution in the Book of Acts, Peter and the Apostles are brought before the council for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Did we not strictly command you not to teach in his name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”

But Peter and the other Apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

Hearing this outraged the council and they wanted to kill them, but a Pharisee named Gamaliel stepped in to calm them down. He had Peter and the other Apostles sent from the room so he could speak with the council in private.

And he said to them: “Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men. For some time ago Theadus rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing.
After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed.
And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it – lest you even be found to fight against God.”

Today the number of Christians is in the hundreds of millions and rising. Gamaliel in his wisdom knew that nothing of God could be destroyed and we are now seeing proof of this today. Over the centuries many religions and ideals have formed and have been swept away by the winds of time. But Christianity has flourished and spread throughout the entire world, reaching all who have a mind to hear it.
This is yet further proof that Christianity is not an ideaology started by men and ending with men. It is a fact that has been from the beginning and will be to the end.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”
- Jesus (Revelations 22:13)



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2005-02-27T21:04:14.473-05:00

I overheard a group of people talking this evening and their conversation caught my attention. One of the young men was talking about how he had changed his ways because of God. He was telling the others the things in life he had given up and the things that he now did for God on a daily basis. As I listened I began to realize, often is the thought of the new believer that there is something we must do to please God. Many are still under the belief that by acting good we are doing that, which is commanded of us.

I listened to as much of the conversation as I could before I had to throw my 2 cents in and this is what it amounted to.
I proceeded to tell them, “There is nothing you can do to please God aside from worshipping Him and giving thanks for your salvation through the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross. Our vain attempts to please Him only push us farther away from the understanding of the truth. It is only when we stop trying (or give up) that He is truly able to be apparent in us. We must first be removed so that His light can be seen in us.” I told the young man to simply stop trying to do what you think God wants you to do and let Him do what He wants to do through you.
This is a strange concept, one that I have still not fully grasped, but I do find it works. When I truly surrender my will and allow Him to take over completely, I find that I am closer to Him than I ever am when I TRY to be a good disciple.

After I finished talking to them I sat there a few more minutes and listened to the conversation revert back to its original topic. It seemed I hadn’t gotten across to them, but then I realized something. It is a very hard thing to accept. It is hard to accept that nothing more is required of us than to simply believe. As humans we feel the need to “do” and not just “be”. It amazes me that so many are content to be lazy in life, but work so hard in their faith. Trying to earn your salvation is not faith. Don’t take me wrong, I know that “faith without works is dead,” but I am not talking about that. I am not telling anyone not to put their faith into action. I am saying that as humans inhabiting an inherent sinful body, we cannot possibly hope to be good little Christians by our own effort. The Spirit is given to us not only as a comforter, but also as a guide in life, that He may live through us. If we allow Him to live our lives for us we cannot fail, but if WE try to live our lives for Him we will fail every time.



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2005-02-07T21:07:06.173-05:00

(6)“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, (7)rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

(8)Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:6-8)

We are to “walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith.” It doesn’t say that He will walk in us or be built up in us, because He already is. Often times as Christians we pray for a sign from above, we pray for Christ to fill us with His Spirit, but His work in us is complete. When we became believers He came into our lives, washing away our sins and filling us with His Spirit. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is always with us, but we are not always with Him. Therefore Paul is reminding us that we must walk in Christ Jesus and be well established in our faith. By walking in the faith Paul means, letting the Spirit live for us. By taking ourselves out of the equation God is free to do His will in our lives.

The old cliché, “Misery loves company” is as true today as it ever was. People seek to steal joy from others and destroy that which they do not understand. Until their eyes are opened they will not see the truth and they will continue to exchange the truth for lies. Through science and reasoning they try to disprove God, making Him out to be an imaginary friend for adults. In their pursuit for knowledge they have been blinded to the truth. All the knowledge in the world will not replace God and all the wisdom of the ages cannot replace the truth. But no matter how high your intellect, at the end of the day, we’re all just sinners in need of salvation.





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2005-01-24T17:57:48.173-05:00

“Are you going to heaven?”
“Yes.”
“How do you know?”
“Because I am a good person. I don’t think God would send a good person to hell.”

Amazingly enough there are still these people in the world. They believe they can purchase a ticket into heaven simply by being a good person. Even more now than ever before people are following this line of thought. They are either too afraid of offending someone or they just dont want to exhaust the time and effort of believing in God, so instead they decide not to believe in one particular religion or another and they simply believe they are good they will get into heaven.
Unfortunately these people are in for a rude awakening.

I am not politically correct when it comes to God and I do not make excuses for my faith. I am here to tell you the truth. Good deeds will not get you into heaven. I don’t care if you are the kindest, gentlest soul who has ever walked this planet. If you do not believe in the one true God and His son Jesus Christ, you are not getting in. It’s as simple as that. The price that Jesus paid he paid for us all. He paid the price so we don’t have. God took man out of the equation when he wiped our sins clean for us with the blood of Jesus Christ.

I am writing this because of a recent interview I saw on “The O’Reilly Factor.” Mr. O’Reilly was interviewing Dr. Tim Lahay and Mr. Jerry Jenkins (the authors of the famous “Left Behind” series). During the course of the interview Mr. O’Reilly asked Dr. Lahay if a good person could get into heaven. Dr. Lahay replied with a simple ‘no, not if they didn’t have Jesus in their lives’. Apparently this was not the answer Mr. O’Reilly was looking for and he wanted to debate on the subject. Mr. O’Reilly like so many others in our society today has a problem with a Christian claiming that Jesus is the only way to God and therefore the only way to heaven.
We are living in a world where various religions are accepted openly and freely, that is unless you are a Christian. Tell someone you are a Buddhist and they seem fascinated, but the second you say to someone, “Have you heard about Jesus?” the conversation is over. Our faith does not suit today’s generation because we do not allow that you can believe what you want. It is much easier to not believe in God, live a good life and hope that is enough (just in case there is a heaven).
On the other hand we have those who are genuinely confused because there are so many faiths out there, they are not sure which one is the real. So many of us started out like this, but the people I am referring to are the ones who would rather stay in the dark than exhaust the effort to educate themselves and learn the truth. It is easier to stay in the world, blind to the ways of God than it is to actually search for Him.

I will close with this simple verse:

“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
- Jesus (John 14:6)




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2005-01-16T21:15:01.496-05:00

It’s easy to look at someone who is strong in Christ and forget that they also began as a baby in the Lord. When we trust in the Jesus and accept Him as our Lord we are automatically saved but we are not automatically full of faith. In our day and age our faith is tested daily and sometimes to the point of failing us. We are faced with trials and tribulations, sorrows and disappointment more times than we can count. Often times our faith pulls us through and other times we question whether our faith is in vain. My faith (or lack there of) used to be a great stumbling block for me. I felt that I did not have sufficient faith to pull me through and as a result I felt like a bad Christian. As I turned to scripture for help in my daily life God lead me to examine his servant Peter a little bit closer. Peter is said by many to be the greatest of the apostles and the Catholic Church believes that their Pope is a direct descendent of him through apostolic procession. According to the Catholic Church, he is the rock upon which Christ has built His church. We must take a closer look at this man and realize he wasn’t always the mighty Christian that he became. In the beginning he was weak, unsure and his faith was lacking. In essence he was just as we are when we begin our journey. And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matt. 14:28-31 Many times as Christians we are able to deal well with situations in our lives, but sometimes we reach a point where it seems hopeless, our faith falters and we cry out, “Lord save me!” Just as He did with Peter he does with us as well, “immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him.” It doesn’t say that eventually He reached out to help him, but immediately. When we cry out to Him, He is faithful to help us, to save us from the mess we find ourselves in. As we move on in Peters walk with Jesus we see on the night of Jesus’ capture by the temple guards, Peters faith falters once again. Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.” But he denied it before them all saying, “I do not know what you are saying.” And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.” But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!” And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.” Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly. Under persecution for associating with Jesus Peter was fearful for his own life. His faith was weak and he denied Jesus, not once but three times. It is interesting to note the degree to which he denied him, “Then he began to curse and swear.” Fear had taken its grip on Peter and cast a black shadow over his faith, but when he realized what he had done he began to weep bitterly. He wept because he knew that his faith was weak and had caused him to deny Jesus. As we move into the Book of Acts we see a whole new Peter. We see a man whose faith can heal the sick and even resurrect the dead. Was it the Holy Spirit he received on the day of Pentecost that strengthened his faith or was i[...]



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2005-01-05T23:25:47.186-05:00

Rising from the middle of the desert like a mirage emerges a city, an unlikely spot for a metropolis. An oasis of metal and glass, forming structures adorned with neon lights and billboards. I am witnessing the modernization of a culture that only 12 years ago was free (in part) of the material things of this world. It is not uncommon in our culture to see KFC or Taco Bell but in a world that is deeply rooted in its religion it looks very out of place. Much like the United States you can see where God is slowly and methodically being replaced by greed. In the U.S. we have kicked Him out of our schools, our businesses, our courts and many have kicked Him out of their homes. At this rate, it wont be long before He is kicked out of the churches? Replacing Him with science the U.S. has turned their backs on the very foundation that our freedom was built upon. In a Middle Eastern country far from my home I am witnessing the same thing happening. I went to a mall the other day that is bigger than any I have seen in my home town, and the sad thing is it was only one of 3 malls in a 10 mile radius and even more than this it was the smaller of the 3. In the span of 12 years I have been to this country close to 10 times and I have been witness to the birth of capitalism and the death of God (or Allah as they call him). A country once strong in its faith (misguided as it may be) is turning away from its very foundation and I cannot help but think about my own country. It saddens me to think that there will be a day soon when I will not even be able to worship God in my own home. It will be a crime to share the story of Jesus Christ with anyone, and as Christians we will be forced into hiding. If you think this won’t happen, then I have to tell you, “It’s already happening!” The world is moving ahead and leaving God behind (or so it thinks). Its time we wake up and see what’s happening in the world around us. So many are in the world, but how many actually take a step back to look at the big picture. I do not want to be Chicken Little running around saying, “The sky is falling!” but Prophecy is being fulfilled every day. The revelations of the Holy Spirit are given to us as a warning of trials and tribulations ahead, and a promise that a New Hope will follow with the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. I do not claim to know when and I am not claiming that it will happen soon, only that I am seeing the world changing and it scares me that so many do not. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come. – Jesus (Matt:24:6-14) But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the oth[...]



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2005-01-04T07:09:16.110-05:00

Lets take a look for a moment at a tribe in the farthest reaches of the rainforest. There are still people to this day who have not been influenced by outsiders, who have not been exposed in any way to the gospel. What’s interesting to note is these same tribes that have not heard the gospel all believe in a god of some sort. They worship gods in the form of creatures or humans and often erect statues to worship. Is it coincidence that all mankind has a desire to worship a deity? God is at the very core of humanity and our subconscious knows what our conscious often denies; that there is a Creator.
All cultures worship God in one shape or form, unfortunately most do not know God or his son Jesus Christ.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
For since the creation of the world His attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man – and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Romans 1:18-23

We are exposed to God daily. Every time we look in the mirror, or gaze upon the face of a child we are seeing His handy work. Every sunset and sunrise we see was, created by Him for us. Only a Creator could design an environment that is so delicately balanced, that the slightest change could eliminate all life on earth.

There is a Creator, and everyone throughout the world knows Him, whether they accept Him as God or not. Mankind searches for God in all cultures, because we are all seeking to fill the hole in our souls that can only be filled by Him.

I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
- Jesus (John 14:6)




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2005-01-01T02:41:54.173-05:00

Each New Year brings its own new problems into the world.  More wars to be fought, more sorrows to endure, more hunger, more poverty, more natural disasters, more hatred at the hands of men and women everywhere.  Everything new under the sun, but there is one thing that doesn't change; the unwavering promise that God is with us.  The knowledge that He will never forsake or leave us is anchored in our being.  We are born again into a new creation.  We are filled with a higher understanding; a more acute knowledge of good and evil; we see things in a new light.  The blinders are taken from our eyes and we begin to see the world as it really is. 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.         II Corinthians 5:17

We need to awake from the spiritual slumber, which has overtaken us, and remember that we are no longer our old selves.  Sin is the nature of man, and it will always be with us, but as Christians, it shouldn't be the driving force in our lives.  In this New Year we need to strive to be better Christians.  Take hold of the promise that has been given to us as Christians and be led by the Spirit and not by our own desires. 

While losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising more, watching less television, spending more time with the kids, working harder, and a myriad of other things are good resolutions, but lets face it, ninety percent of all resolutions are broken within the first month.  With the help of the Holy Spirit let us make this our New Year's Resolution:

Therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.          Colossians 3:12-13

Happy New Year and God Bless!





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2004-12-30T05:55:48.430-05:00

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.  And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.  Acts 2:2-6 The day of Pentecost, a day which is still celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter.  This was the day which the Apostles were told by Jesus would come when he told them to wait for the comforter that He would send to them.  This miraculous moment in Christian history is often taken completely out of text.  The Pentecostals refer to this as the reason they believe someone isn't truly filled with the Spirit until they speak in tongues.  As we will see by further investigation into the Bible, this argument does not hold up. When the Spirit fell upon them it was for the purpose of getting across the message of Jesus Christ to a large crowd of people from many different countries that spoke many different languages.  Everyone heard the gospel in their own language so they could understand and as a result three thousand people were baptized.  If you have ever been privilege to witness a baptism it is a very emotional thing and I can't even imagine being a witness to three thousand being baptized.  That must have been an awesome day. Another gift of the Spirit is however what is called the "Speaking of Tongues," where the Spirit speaks through you to the Father.  This is in the heavenly language, which is not understandable except by God or by one who is an "Interpreter of Tongues."  This language is often thought to be the language, which was spoken on the day of Pentecost.  Throughout the rest of the book of Acts we see others that are saved and when the Spirit comes upon them they begin speaking in tongues.  This premise has led many to believe that when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives it is marked by the speaking of diverse tongues.  Now we get to see where this is an inaccurate statement. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.  But one and the same Spirit works all these individually as He wills. I Corinthians 12:4-11 Apparently this was a problem in the early church just as it appears to be today.  There are many who will try to make you feel like you are not been blessed by the Spirit unless you speak in tongues.  As Paul clearly tells us here there are many gifts of the Spirit and no one person will possess them all.  Paul starts this message off with these words: Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: Unfortunately when it comes to our faith ignorance is still running rampant. Through studying and prayer we should be seeking to eliminate the ignorance in our lives and once this is accomplished we can seek to[...]



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2004-12-27T04:24:02.786-05:00

I had something prepared for today but as I was reading "The Normal Christian Life," by Watchman Nee, I was so amazed by something that Watchman Nee said I had to make it todays post.  I have to admit, when I first began reading this book I almost put it down and never picked it up again.  Watchman Nee is very intellectual in his approach to his faith and it takes having to read a paragraph 2 or 3 times in some cases before I can totally grasp what he is trying to say.  I think that anyone would enjoy this book if they were to give it a read, just be prepared to put more thought into it than you would with any other book you might read on Christianity.

The following paragraph hit home on something that I have struggled with my entire Christian life.  It is self explanatory so I will not add my 2 cents.  I hope you enjoy it and it helps you as much as it has me.

God Bless,
Chris

At the beginning of our Christian life we are concerned with our doing, not with our being; we are distressed rather by what we have done than by what we are.  We think that if only we could rectify certain things we should be good Christians, and we set out therefore to change our actions.  But the result is not what we expected.  We discover to our dismay that it is something more than just a case of trouble on the outside - that there is in fact more serous trouble on the inside.  We try to please the lord but find something within that does not want to please him.  We try to be humble, but there is something in our very being that refuses to be humble.  We try to be loving, but inside we feel most unloving.  We smile and try to look very gracious, but inwardly we feel decidedly ungracious.  The more we try to rectify matters on the outside the more we realize how deep-seated is the trouble.  Then we come to the Lord and say, "Lord, I see it now!  Not only what I have done is wrong; I am wrong."




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2004-12-20T10:09:19.623-05:00

For we all stumble in many things.  If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.  See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.  The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. (James 3:2-6) Imagine a world where people actually think about what they say before they say it.  If everyone would take the time before they spoke there would never be anything said out of anger, jealousy, spite, or any emotion.  In this chapter James is trying to relate to us how dangerous the tongue can be, how detrimental it can be to you and to those around you.  We have all said things that we have regretted, in fact we have all said something that we still regret to this day. By simply learning to control what we say instead of being overcome by emotion and blurting out the first thing that comes to mind we can save ourselves and others a lot of unnecessary pain and discomfort. The very nature of man is sin, sin dwells at our very souls.  It is the inheritance passed down to us from Adam and Eve.  Paul says in Romans: For I know that in me (that is in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (Romans 7:18-20) Paul is explaining that our human nature is sin.  When we are born again into a relationship with Jesus Christ we must condition ourselves to overcome our sinful nature.  Part of this is controlling the members of our body, the most disobedient of which is the tongue.  James goes on to say in chapter 3 that 'no man can tame the tongue,' and he is absolutely correct.  Taming the tongue would be taming our sinful nature and this is something we cannot do.  Like the old saying, "A leopard cant change its spots."  Neither can we change our human nature, but we can control it.  By doing something as simple as thinking before we speak we take away the power of sin over our tongue.  I want you to really think about how powerful a tool the tongue is for sin.  Think about the things that you say today.  Every time you gossip about someone, curse or talk about something that you have no right talking about I want you to be aware of it.  Think of the old cliché, "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all."  If you spend today concentrating on how many times you say something you shouldn't have said you will be amazed.  Probably half the conversations you have in a day could be eliminated and some days you might find that if you hadn't said something you shouldn't have said you probably wouldn't have talked all day. Be careful of what you say, and be mindful of how it affects others. God Bless. [...]



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2004-12-15T07:49:23.123-05:00

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of Peace.

No, this is not the lyrics to the popular sixties song, it is taken from the third chapter of Ecclesiates. It is important to remember when we are going through troubles in our lives that there is a time for everything and a purpose.

On a personal note I had to leave my home last sunday, I had to leave the woman that I love very much and the life that I have come to be very comfortable in. This chapter in Ecclesiastes came to mind and as I was flying across the Atlantic ocean late on sunday night. They have been a comfort to me and I pray that they will be a comfort to you in your times of need. I know from faith that nothing is coincidence, all things happen for a reason. Whether or not you choose to believe it there is a greater power working in our lives, that power is God. Although He allows us to make our own choices(freewill) He still places us where He needs us. I have been out here only 2 days but already I have found a good Bible study and I pray that I will be able to contribute to this group.

I ask for your prayers while I am gone and I would like to make this post open to comments for anyone to post a comment(anonymous or not) for any prayers that you may need in your life. On this same note I would ask that everyone pray for those who need prayer in any comments they may have left.

I apologize for being more personal on this post rather than evangelical but I felt the need to share with everyone what has been going on with me for the last couple of days and to ask for your prayers that I may have a safe journey and discover God's will for me while I am here.

God willing, barring any real emergencies or internet problems, I will post new updates every monday, wednesday and friday while I am away.

God Bless,
Chris

P.S.- Megan, I love you very much and will be home before you know it.



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2004-12-09T11:15:20.966-05:00

Then the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" Now my question is, "Have YOU considered Job?" Undoubtedy you have heard sermons concerning Job and maybe even read the book of Job, but have you really stopped to consider Job? Job suffered greatly at the hands of Satan with but one instruction from God, that Satan could not take his life. Job lost everything, his children, his flocks, his harvests, everything that he had spent his life building and everything that God had given him. His body was plagued by boils and open sores; his friends and even his own wife thought he was a fool for hanging onto the hope that God would save him. Job never lost his trust in God and never turned his back on Him. Many Theologians and Biblical Scholars believe that God does in fact turn His back on us from time to time in order to strenghten us in our faith. And we rejoice in the hope and the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. (Romans 5:2-5 NIV) Consider for a moment a mother and her newborn baby. I have seen shows on television that show by a mother blowing in her babys face and then dunking him under water the baby can hold its breath and swim for a period of time. Of course the mother would not leave the child under for to long because eventually the baby would run out of air and drown, but she leaves the child down long enough that he may learn to swim. I like to attribute this to how God is with us sometimes. He lets us go on our own until he sees that we need picking up. It is during these times in our lives that Satan will attack us the most, trying to convince us that God has abandoned us, that we are not worthy of God so He has left us. Satan is right about one thing; we are NOT worthy of God, but God has justified us through faith in His son and our Lord, Jesus Christ. These times of suffering can be difficult for anyone, even your most steadfast Christian, but if we persevere we will be that much stronger for going through it. It is during these times we need to run to God with open arms and praise Him for all that He has given us and all that He does for us in our lives and if our faith comes through our sufferings, God will reward us just as He did Job. And the Lord restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:10) Because Job never turned his back on God throughout all his sufferings and temptations, God gave back double to Job. Job's faithfulness brought him through his sufferings and he was greatly rewarded. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11) ( I encourage everyone to read Hebrews 12:1-13) As Paul states in Hebrews, suffering is not something that anyone likes. At the time you feel as if you can never make it through and all hope seems lost, but we have one promise that we can take comfort in and that is; God will never put us in a situation that He knows we cannot bear. He is faithful to us to protect us and to watch over us just as a loving father should do. He will never let us be tempted beyond which we can handle and cause us undue suffering. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is fait[...]



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2004-10-20T11:19:53.333-04:00

In the mornings I like to go through the internet and visit news sites to keep current of world events. I read an article the other day and the more I think about it the more aggravated I become. The article concerned a church which was allowing openly gay people to be clergy. Now I don't plan on saying the name of the church or which denomination, but it was a proclaimed Christian church. Before I get further into this post I need to say one thing. I do not have a problem whatsoever with homosexuals. If this is the life you choose to live that is fine, its your decision and I am okay with that. Its not my lifestyle but this is what our country is; a mix of individuals. With this said I will move on. I have studied the Bible and I truly believe and others with me that homosexuality is not acceptable. If you are a Christian and truly filled with the Holy Spirit then you will keep yourself from sexual immorality and not continue living the way you lived before accepting Christ. "But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will jusdge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you." (I Cor 5:11-13) I have heard the arguments presented by the homosexual community considering homosexuality in the church. "Jesus took away the old laws." "Sodom was destroyed not because of homosexuality but because the men wanted to rape the angels." "The sexual immorality that Paul talks of is prostitution not homosexuality." These are all arguments that I have heard and I have investigated on my own. I am not attacking the homosexual community. As I stated above, I have no problem with homosexuals in general. What I do have a problem with is the church flexing to become more politically correct. This is my point. Because we have become a politically correct nation, the church is expected to conform to society. WRONG!!!! The church does not conform to society or accept individuals simply because this is what is acceptable to everyone else. I do not apologize for my faith and I most certainly do not apologize for God. It is time the world stops trying to be politically correct and become more biblically correct. We are given a clearer understanding of what God thinks of homosexuality in the book of Romans. "Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." (Rom 1:24-27) I am not trying to take this out of context, the chapter is talking about God's wrath against the world of unbelievers but these paragraphs point out something. Paul is clearly saying that homosexuality is unnatural, indecent and a perversion. If this is true then a person who is homosexual and becomes a believer should abandon this lifestyle. Homosexuality is not acceptable to God so why should it be acceptable to us as Believers? As believers we are so eager to be loving of everyone and this is a good thing but we should'nt jeapordize our[...]



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2004-10-14T12:05:10.706-04:00

When the Lord called me to be a Believer, I felt such a joy that I wanted to share it with everyone. Over the years I have found that wanting to share my happiness and the good word of Jesus is a hard thing to do. The Spirit guides us and gives us direction when we are talking to others and are not sure what words to say, but if the heart of the one you are talking to is closed, nothing you say will get through to them. Paul tells us in (I Cor 1:18)

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

It pains me that everyone cannot feel the hope and promise of the Lord Jesus Christ and it frustrates me when they turn a deaf ear to the message. I understand though, I was once in the same position as many are today; lost in the wilderness.
God calls us to Him, not Him to us. He has given us free will and allows us to make our own decisions.

"Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." (I Cor 1:22-24)

Although Paul wrote this some 2000 years ago it still stands true today. There are those who rely upon their own wisdom to save them. They think through the study of science they can solve anything. I believe this is true, but I also believe that the greatest scientific mind in the world has the knowledge of an infant when compared to the infinite wisdom of God. We cannot hope to attain through our own understanding the innermost workings of the universe, much less the mind of God. It is through faith in Jesus Christ and what he did for us on the cross that we are saved, not by our own understanding.

With all these things in mind it is not to say that we should not preach the Gospel to others, on the contrary we should tell everyone the good news, but if we dont convert everyone we should not feel badly. The Spirit moves in us to tell others and even if they are not converted on the spot you never know what may happen down the road. God make take the seed you planted and with tender care and watering the seed may start to grow. A seed was planted within me years before I was saved and I look back at the ones who helped to plant it and I am forever grateful to them. They have given me a gift that I cannot repay.

To quote a popular saying,"Give the gift that keeps on giving."
The world needs a blood transfusion, so give the gift of life through the sharing of the Gospel and the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.





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2004-10-14T14:29:20.620-04:00

When the world seems to be dragging me down I take great comfort in the writings of Paul. Paul was the author of many of the books of the New Testament and his letters to the churches offer much insight into the type of man he was. He was a "Man on Fire" for God and was unwavering in his pursuit of become Christlike and turning others into strong Believers. Paul had struggles and pains to overcome, writing many times from prison, but the whole time giving praise to God that he was able to suffer for Christ. He was beaten both physically and mentally for his faith and yet he still went on, only to be martyred in his later life for his beliefs. The degree of his faith makes me ashamed that I even dare call myself a Believer. Often times when faced with adversity I crumble under the pressure, but the important thing is that I pick myself up again and keep on going. In our lives we will continue to face trials and tribulations, and it is important how we react to them, but what is more important is that we do not concede defeat. The world may win some battles, but we need to win the war. In my reading last night I came across a passage written by Paul to the the church in Corinth and I wanted to share it with you. It shows the love that Paul has through Christ, but it also shows the toughness and character of Paul. In the following verses Paul is describing to the believers in Corinth the hard life the Apostles must face in order to show them how good they have it. We should do well to heed these verses ourselves and be thankful for all we have. On the same note to do what we can to grow stronger and model our lives after the lives of the Apostles. "Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have become kings - and that without us! (The riches and kingdom Paul is refering to is riches and kings through the saving grace of Christ, not literal riches and kingdoms.) How I wish that you really had become kings so that we might be kings with you! For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men! We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hand. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world. I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me. For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church. Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have, For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?" (I Cor 4:8-21) It's amazing how strong Paul is in reprimanding the church. He knew that there was wrong-doing going on within the chu[...]



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2004-10-12T11:57:06.900-04:00

A couple of days ago I received a visit by two young men. As elders in the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS), they were on their missions work and canvasing the neighborhoods in my area. At the time I knew little to nothing of the beliefs and teachings of the LDS so I offered to read the Book of Mormon and talk with them again in a week. During my week of reading I did some investigating into the LDS and what I found completely disturbed me. Their teachings and beliefs are akin to Christianity mixed with Freemasonry. Joseph Smith their founder taught in some of his other writings that God was merely a man on another realm who acieved Godhood and furthermore teaches that we likewise can become Gods. He goes even further to state that there are more Gods than he could even begin to count. Well, the Bible and my faith tells me that there is only ONE God and there will only BE ONE God. To say that we can become Gods is blasphemous and an insult to our creator. The most disturbing thing about the LDS is the conviction and the faith of its members. They truly believe that their religion is absolutely correct and if you do not adopt their beliefs and masonic based rituals you will be damned to Hell for eternity. At the age of 19 these young men are sent out into all the world as part of the LDS missions. As a result of these missions their church is rapidly growing with over a million believers world-wide. The alarming rate at which this false doctrine is growing is staggering. As christians we should be doing our part to counteract this religion. Although they claim to be the true faith and Jesus is their Lord and Saviour, they are poisioning the truth. I encourage everyone to study up on the LDS and to prepare yourselves, and if a Mormon comes to your house be prepared to do what you can to educate them on the truth and help them to escape the false religion in which they have poured out their faith. Many Mormons have been raised into the LDS by their parents, grandparents and other elders in their families. Just as many of us were raised into the beliefs of our parents. Since many of them have not heard the truth I believe that we as Christians need to help to educate them. If you turn them away you never know if you could have saved them or not. We should be educating all those around us on a daily basis about the truth and Mormons are no different, if anything they need our help more. I see the ever growing numbers of Mormons as a sign of the End. I do not want to discuss my beliefs concerning the End Times as many others do, because I do not want to sound like Chicken Little running around yelling "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!", but I do want to write what the Bible tells us concerning false prophets and false teachers and let you decide for yourselves. "But there were false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the soverign Lord, who bought them - bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Thier condemnation has long been hanging over them, their destruction has not been sleeping." (II Peter 2:1-3) "Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord. But these me[...]



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2004-10-09T15:43:08.396-04:00

Through the years and even recently I have found that anger is a tough thing to control. Of all the human emotions love and anger are probably the toughest emotions to control. Anger seems to well up at inopportune moments and it takes a great deal of self control to keep from blowing up. Someone cuts you off in traffic, a teller at the supermarket was rude to you, or any number of things we encounter in our daily lives. Not only is it important how we handle these things for our own spiritual growth but also how we handle them in front of others. As Christians the world constantly has us under a microscope and it is important that we walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

The question is; how can we get our anger under control?
Jesus told us that he would send us a comforter (The Holy Spirit) to guide us in our ways. The Holy Spirit helps us in our daily lives to overcome the obstacles of the world which Satan places in our path. When we let go and let the Spirit lead us we find that the obstacles that used to look like mountains placed before us, are no more than mere pebbles which we can step over. It takes time, prayer and patience. Even Paul struggled with sin in his life, and declared himself at one point a "wretched man".

"When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:21-25)

Praise God for giving us the strength to overcome the ways of the world and giving his only son Jesus to take away our sins.

So we see that we are not alone. When we come face to face in our daily lives with evil and the anger begins to well up we have the grace of God to get us through.

"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you." (James 1:19-21)

His word is our armor and our defense in an age of ungodliness and a world that has given itself over to evil. Hold strong to the word of God and He will bring you through the snares of the world.



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2004-10-07T08:38:58.370-04:00

Our life is unmanageable without God in it. We cannot possibly begin to understand or to live the way that He has planned for us. Only when we turn our lives completely over to Him can we begin to see the wonderful things that He is doing in our lives. Sin has separated us from God and our soul longs to be reunited with Him. This is often misunderstood and many live out there entire lives without ever finding the truth. They jump from one thing to another trying to find justification and meaning in a life that has none without Him. There is nothing in the world that can ever replace God and when we try to do so we fail. We subsequently move on to the next thing hoping we will find our meaning in life. Worldly things will never fill the emptiness we feel inside. We cannot replace the sadness with money, entertainment, objects or lusts of the flesh. These simply give us brief moments of happiness and when they have lost their appeal we eagerly seek our next fix. God wants nothing more than to love us, and for us to love Him. He wants us to place all of our trust and hope in Him and He will give us that which we most need and desire, a life of happiness and meaning. The world can never fill the void that we feel in our lives. God is the source of our love and happiness. He will provide for us in all of our needs, spiritually and physically. The biggest pitfall of Christians is not seeing the work of God in their lives immediately. God works according to His own calendar and we cannot hold him to ours. Everything is according to His time. This is something that is very difficult to understand, but if we endure to the end and allow things to be done in His time then we find not only are our prayers answered but they are often greater than what we expected. He gives us what we need and this often doesn’t coincide with what we want. Father knows best. “For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.” (Romans 3:25) Through faith in Jesus Christ we are given the promise of everlasting life. Through his blood we are forgiven of our sins. Washed away are our transgressions and we are born into a new life, a life of happiness with God. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice that we may know God and not be separated from him by our sin. What a wonderful life we have when we trust in Jesus and know the Father, but He tells us that this will not be an easy life all the time. We will be persecuted for our faith in Him and we will constantly be under attack from Satan and the lusts of our flesh. “But those who endure to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:13) To experience the wonderful glory and everlasting life that God offers we simply have to trust in Jesus. “Each of you must turn form your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38) The very moment we turn our lives over to God and trust in His son Jesus Christ our lives will never be the same. Once Jesus comes into our heart we are a new creation, the lives that we used to live are now gone, our sins have been washed away and we are forgiven. The Holy Spirit has become our guide, our new super-conscience. The Spirit convicts us and leads [...]



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2004-10-14T15:37:43.376-04:00

"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32) The teachings of Christ are many and I cannot hope to get into all of them in this one post, but I do wish to cover one topic today and that is what Jesus said about the greatest commandments of all. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Wow, that is a powerful statement. To say that all the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. At first glance these commandments seem very easy, but if you have ever tried to love someone who has wronged you then you know these are not as easy as they sound. I hear the expression 'Hate the sin not the sinner,' all the time, but I don't agree with that. As humans with human minds it is often difficult for us to separate the two. We see people according to what they do. If this guy killed someone and went to prison, he is a murderer. It doesn't matter that he may have come to know God through Jesus Christ while he was in there, the second we know what he did he is automatically labeled a murderer. We must push away from our prejudices and learn to truly love one another for just being a wonderful creation of God. Everyone may not return your love and kindness but its just as Jesus says; "But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." (Luke 6:35-36) Here Jesus tells us how we should treat our enemies. He didn't say it would be easy, only that it is what we must do. Only when we come to fully understand the first commandment and put it into practice can we hope to develop a heart that is open enough to love our neighbor. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the commandment that we must strive for. When I was first saved I thought that 'Love the Lord,' was no problem, I can do that, I already love Him. But, did I truly love Him? No. I fell back into my old ways within a few months of being saved and I backslid so far it took me 2 years to come back to Him. Learning to love God and give Him your entire heart, soul and mind takes some time and dedication. Giving your heart to Him doesn't mean that you truly love Him, truly loving Him means giving Him everything you have not just your heart. There is a big difference from what I call "Spiritual Puppy Love" and true love. Spiritual Puppy Love is the people you see that are just saved and they are so full of joy and happiness and they love God one minute and the next thing you know they have fallen back into their old ways without even blinking an eye. Loving God is a learning process for all of us. I try to give praise to God every second of the day and I try to put Him first in everything I do, but there are those moments when I get upset and in the midst of my anger I push God out of my mind. I have finally reached the point in my walk with Christ where I can control my anger a little better and turn my mind back towards Him, but it still takes a little effort. Our human minds like to hold onto anger, we like to dwell on it, but if yo[...]



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2004-10-14T15:36:38.643-04:00

Christ came to make disciples to himself. He wants us to follow him and strive to become like him. He does not want our religions with our hollow prayers and half-hearted rituals. He wants you entirely and completely as a living sacrifice to him. Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1) I look at many churches today and see how they are lukewarm. Jesus tells us in Revelations 3:15-16, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I am about to spit you out of my mouth." If Jesus came today, how many churches and Christians would he find that are lukewarm? I think that fits about 80% of the Christian world. Of course this is my guesstimation and probably wouldn't hold up to real statistics, but I am not here to talk about statistics. You know what they say,"70% of all statistics are wrong." :o) Jesus, loves us and he died for us and with the knowledge of this Truth we cannot live our lives as we so wish. We can no longer go about our day, only bowing our heads at the supper table, the bedside at night or Sundays and holidays to acknowledge him and give praise and thanks to him. Our days should be filled with praise and honor, our minds always focused on him. If our minds are not on him then they are on things of this world. "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other." (Matthew 6:24) Which one do you serve God or the world? I want to be able to say that I lived a life holy to him, that I used every opportunity to bring praise and glory to his name. That I sought to bring as many as I could to know him through his son and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If you are hit by a bus today and have to stand before God, what will you say to him when he asks you, "What did you do with the life that I gave you?" "Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.' His master replied, well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness! The man with two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.' His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many. Come and share in your master's happiness! Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scatter[...]



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2004-10-14T15:33:52.026-04:00

"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:33)

God knows our very needs, more so than we do. We think we know what our needs in life are and this is when problems begin to arise in our lives. Our lives become unmanageable; days seem to get worse and worse until we find ourselves in a hole that is so deep we can barely see the top in order to climb out.

Take everything to God and give it to him. Seek Him in all that you do and He will never lead you astray.

"I will never leave you, nor forsake you." (Joshua 1:5)

Take comfort in these words and know that if you follow him with all your heart and all your soul He will always you lead you down the path of righteousness.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)