Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Embraced deception called SERVICE- Revised



For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
There is much talk today from countless pulpits across the country and around the globe that greatly grieve the work of the Holy Spirit; the talk of “spiritual gifts” and it’s relation to “SERVICE”.
“In the well-defined purpose-centered atmosphere of the postmodern church, discovery and development depend more on human plans and management formulas than on faith in God and the silent work of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps that's why Pastor Warren suggests,
"Begin by assessing your gifts and abilities. Take a long, honest look at what you are good at and what you're not good at. Ask other people. Paul advised, 'Try to have a sane estimate of your capabilities.' [Romans 12:3b, The Message Make a list. Ask other people for their candid opinion.... Spiritual gifts and natural abilities are always confirmed by others."
They are? What if your spiritual gift has nothing to do with your natural talents or personal preferences? What if God gave you gifts that would show His exceeding greatness, not yours? In stark contrast to Pastor Warren's view of spiritual gifts, the apostle Paul said,
"I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Did you hear that? God uses weak but faithful believers who will demonstrate His power, not their own talents. In fact, our own talents are often the opposite of our spiritual gifts. History shows us how some of God's most powerful messengers served in total weakness, all the more demonstrating the amazing power of the Holy Spirit.  Now as then, many of His servants come to Him as quiet, shy introverts who would fear speaking their name in a group and would shudder at the improbable thought of ever speaking in front of a group.”  Excerpt from- ‘Spiritual Gifts and Community Service’ By Berit Kjos - July 2004
Berit Kjos nailed it biblically! Since when did Christ command us to do the work ourselves or rely upon our own strength to accomplish anything He’s required? Since when did our “spiritual gifts” have anything to do with serving those around us and being responsible in ourselves for the work of the Lord? Is it not by HIS POWER AND MIGHT? It’s ALWAYS been about JESUS; to compromise for the sake of “church growth” is wrong! Service or not there is little to no emphasis on Salvation in Christ alone for fear of scaring away the crowd. This talk of SERVICE is nothing more than a glorified rally for the Antichrist false global religion volunteers. Remember Jesus said, And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.” Matthew 10:21 Precisely what’s being FORMED!
Those who practice such guile are doing just as the word says. “…deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ…” Sadly, very few within these church walls care enough to seek the Lord actually know that this is the exact opposite of Christ. The Word continues- no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness…” Jesus Himself knew when Satan was trying to tempt Him, lie or deceive Him. He wants us to be aware also, and it’s only possible through His Holy Spirit. Jesus said, And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”John 14:16-17
To the born again, spirit filled - Christ follower, who has and does daily die to self:
Service is about our Love to Christ and His Spirit grants us a desire to do that which is pleasing before God. If He is not our first Love; we have strayed too far, and thus resulting in selfish ambitions that don’t necessarily regard Him as our initial reason in doing.  
“Beware of anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ," wrote Oswald Chambers. "The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him.... “Are we being more devoted to service than to Jesus Christ?" If so, we have lost our first love...” Berit Kjos
Below is an excerpt from”Walking with God” The Andrew Murray Trilogy on Sanctification
                I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; ...” Revelation 2:2-5
“In His work for us Christ gave us before and above everything His love, the personal tender affection of His heart in our work for Him and He asks us nothing less. There is such a danger of work being carried on, and our even bearing much for Christ’s sake, while the freshness of our love has passed away. And that is what Christ seeks. And that is what gives power. And that is what nothing can compensate for. Christ looks for the warm loving heart, the personal affection which ever keeps Him the center of our love and joy. Christian workers, see that all your work be the work of love, of tender personal devotion to Christ Jesus.”-Andrew Murray
“We love him, because he first loved us.”1 John 4:19 Just as Christ first loved us; it is purely by His love IN us that we are able to serve others.
Is it not the foolish things in this world that God uses? Is it not the weak He chooses to be glorified in and through? “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:” 1 Corinthians 1:26-28 If we rely on what we think we do well then we are far from relying upon His strength, and instead placing focus upon self once again. Aren’t we commanded consistently throughout the Word to rely not upon ourselves, but rather to let go of the world and white knuckle grip the Living Word of God; faithfully carrying our cross! Let the Word of God be the foundation to which all things are compared to! All things else will lead you away from the straight and narrow and permit you to place the spotlight upon self. Jesus deliberately told us what was required to be His.“…If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
SELF or THE CROSS – It’s a choice we all must make. Ask yourself, what is the purpose of this service? Am I being used in a way that screams GOD IS WORKING THROUGH me for HIS GLORY or am I relying upon my own strength for my gain? All the more reason to seek the Lord’s face in prayer and His Word! If we don’t know the Truth we cannot know nor recognize the false counterfeit which is so blatantly horrific within the church today!
It’s time to get back to the basics… BACK TO OUR FIRST LOVE- JESUS! In Him all intentions are pure as well as all glory is rightly His! AMEN!
“If we give God service it must be because He gives us grace. We work for Him because He works in us.” C.H. Spurgeon

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Embraced Deception called SERVICE


For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

There is much talk today from countless pulpits across the country and around the globe that greatly grieve the work of the Holy Spirit; the talk of “spiritual gifts” and it’s relation to “SERVICE”.
“In the well-defined purpose-centered atmosphere of the postmodern church, discovery and development depend more on human plans and management formulas than on faith in God and the silent work of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps that's why Pastor Warren suggests,
"Begin by assessing your gifts and abilities. Take a long, honest look at what you are good at and what you're not good at. Ask other people. Paul advised, 'Try to have a sane estimate of your capabilities.' [Romans 12:3b, The Message]  Make a list. Ask other people for their candid opinion.... Spiritual gifts and natural abilities are always confirmed by others."
They are? What if your spiritual gift has nothing to do with your natural talents or personal preferences? What if God gave you gifts that would show His exceeding greatness, not yours? In stark contrast to Pastor Warren's view of spiritual gifts, the apostle Paul said,
"I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Did you hear that? God uses weak but faithful believers who will demonstrate His power, not their own talents. In fact, our own talents are often the opposite of our spiritual gifts. History shows us how some of God's most powerful messengers served in total weakness, all the more demonstrating the amazing power of the Holy Spirit.  Now as then, many of His servants come to Him as quiet, shy introverts who would fear speaking their name in a group and would shudder at the improbable thought of ever speaking in front of a group.”  Excerpt from- ‘Spiritual Gifts and Community Service’ By Berit Kjos - July 2004
Berit Kjos nailed it biblically! Since when did Christ command us to do the work ourselves or rely upon our own strength to accomplish anything He’s required? Since when did our “spiritual gifts” have anything to do with serving those around us and being responsible in ourselves for the work of the Lord? Is it not by HIS POWER AND MIGHT? It’s ALWAYS been about JESUS; to compromise for the sake of “church growth” is wrong! Service or not there is little to no emphasis on Salvation in Christ alone for fear of scaring away the crowd. This talk of SERVICE is nothing more than a glorified rally for the Antichrist false global religion volunteers. Remember Jesus said, And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.” Matthew 10:21 Precisely what’s being FORMED! Those who practice such guile are doing just as the word says. “…deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ…” Sadly, very few within these church walls care enough to seek the Lord actually know that this is the exact opposite of Christ. The Word continues- no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness…” Jesus Himself knew when Satan was trying to tempt Him, lie or deceive Him. He wants us to be aware also, and it’s only possible through His Holy Spirit. Jesus said, And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”John 14:16-17


To the born again, spirit filled - Christ follower, who has and does daily die to self:
Service is about our Love to Christ and His Spirit grants us a desire to do that which is pleasing before God. If He is not our first Love; we have strayed too far, and thus resulting in selfish ambitions that don’t necessarily regard Him as our initial reason in doing.  “Beware of anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ," wrote Oswald Chambers. "The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him.... “Are we being more devoted to service than to Jesus Christ?" If so, we have lost our first love...” Berit Kjos


Below is an excerpt from”Walking with God” The Andrew Murray Trilogy on Sanctification
                I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; ...” Revelation 2:2-5
“In His work for us Christ gave us before and above everything His love, the personal tender affection of His heart in our work for Him and He asks us nothing less. There is such a danger of work being carried on, and our even bearing much for Christ’s sake, while the freshness of our love has passed away. And that is what Christ seeks. And that is what gives power. And that is what nothing can compensate for. Christ looks for the warm loving heart, the personal affection which ever keeps Him the center of our love and joy. Christian workers, see that all your work be the work of love, of tender personal devotion to Christ Jesus.”-Andrew Murray
“We love him, because he first loved us.”1 John 4:19 Just as Christ first loved us; it is purely by His love IN us that we are able to serve others. Is it not the foolish things in this world that God uses? Is it not the weak He chooses to be glorified in and through? “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:” 1 Corinthians 1:26-28 If we rely on what we think we do well then we are far from relying upon His strength, and instead placing focus upon self once again. Aren’t we commanded consistently throughout the Word to rely not upon ourselves, but rather to let go of the world and white knuckle grip the Living Word of God; faithfully carrying our cross! Let the Word of God be the foundation to which all things are compared to! All things else will lead you away from the straight and narrow and permit you to place the spotlight upon self. Jesus deliberately told us what was required to be His.“…If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

SELF or THE CROSS – It’s a choice we all must make. Ask yourself, what is the purpose of this service? Am I being used in a way that screams GOD IS WORKING THROUGH me for HIS GLORY or am I relying upon my own strength & talents? All the more reason to seek the Lord’s face in prayer and His Word! If we don’t know the Truth we cannot know nor recognize the false counterfeit which is so blatantly horrific within the church today!

It’s time to get back to the basics… BACK TO OUR FIRST LOVE- JESUS! In Him all intentions are pure as well as all glory is rightly His! AMEN!

“If we give God service it must be because He gives us grace. We work for Him because He works in us.” C.H. Spurgeon



For the full article quoted from above by Berit Kjos go to:
http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/04/5-purpose-gifts.htm

Monday, October 10, 2011

9 Blessings IN Christ


“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:3-14

There is none other worthy to be praised than God alone. His love is unending and His rewards cease not! He’s not only chosen and predestined us to be His Beloved, but He’s gives us so much more! How could we even fathom anything more than this?
Here are 9 Spiritual blessings we are given by being IN Christ:

1.      In Christ He has chosen us (v.4)

a.      And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

b.      “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.” Deuteronomy 14:2

c.      “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Mathew 22:14

d.      “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” John 15:16

e.      “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:29

2.      Adopted into His family (v.5)

a.      “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” John 1:12

b.      “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” 1 John 3:1

3.      Bestowed upon us His grace (v.6)

a.      “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10

b.      “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.“ John 1:17

c.      “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Ephesians 4:17

d.      “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,” 2 Thessalonians 2:16

4.      We are redeemed (v.7) “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace,” Ephesians 1:7

a.      “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Hebrews 9:12

b.      “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:” 1 Corinthians 1:30

c.      “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” Colossians 1:14

5.      We are granted wisdom and insight to His future Will and plan (v.8-9)

a.      “Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:” Ephesians 1:8-9

b.      “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” Colossians 1:27

6.      We are reconciled unto Him (V.10)

a.      “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Romans 5:10

b.      “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled” Colossians 1:21

7.      We’ve been made His treasure (v.11)

a.      “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Romans 8:17

b.      “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:” Exodus 19:5

8.      We are granted the Holy Spirit (v.13)

a.      “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” Ephesians 1:13

b.      “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” 2 Corinthians 1:22

9.      We are ASSURED of our Salvation (v.14)
                a.      “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of                    the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:14

b.      “And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” Hebrews 10:21-23

 What an astounding list of blessings! All available IN Christ! Apart from Him we are nothing, nor can we do anything… much less, expect anything from the Living God. He is faithful and full of Love for His children! Most of all we read this phrase: “according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself”. It is pleasing to Him to bestow upon us these things. It’s always been His plan to restore us to Him; which is why He gave us Jesus! Such perfect HARMONY IN Christ! He never intended on making “another” way. His flawless Son, impeccable plan and beautiful blessings that stem from His overall design are uncomparable to anything this world offers. Have you tasted His goodness and these received His unending blessings? Riches far beyond our comprehension and they’re all made possible in JESUS!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Praise in Prison


Acts 16:19-40 gives an account of Paul and Silas imprisoned for sharing the gospel, for teaching the things that Jesus commanded. They were stripped and beaten, publically ridiculed, rejected and sentenced to prison. There are a number of things they could’ve done such as retaliated or groaned and complained against their accusers! Instead, they chose to pray and praise God! “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” (v25) Even though they were persecuted for Christ they praised OUTLOUD!
So what happened? “And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.” exclaimed, “Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.” (v27-28) It was this very moment that the keeper fell to his knees and accepted Christ as LORD of his life! By Paul and Silas praying and praising; giving God all the glory for their trials that this man came to accept Christ. He was SAVED! Paul & Silas could’ve been full of anger at the Lord for where they were, but instead they REJOICED!

These chains of events were all temporary circumstances these men of Christ HAD to endure. The Lord God wasn’t punishing them for doing what was right; rather they sustained their afflictions for the purpose of sharing their testimony! This could’ve been a test by God, allowing these measures to happen. There are countless reasons we endure pain, affliction, persecution and so on. Paul said, “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” 1 Peter 1:6-8  
Our response to things we face makes all the difference too! ”Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19 The Lord was pleased that they chose to rejoice in the midst of what could’ve seemed unfair! How many times do we look at our situations and immediately begin to blame God?  Do we honestly pray and praise the Lord the moment difficulties arise? Do you understand that He has a greater purpose for that which we withstand?  “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:2  
This situation for Paul & Silas was a testimony unto the Lord! Will you boldly stand in the midst of adversity and REJOICE that the Lord is not only using the things you face to build your faith and reliance upon Him, but ALSO TO SPEAK TO THOSE AROUND YOU!

“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.” Psalm 57:7

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:2-4

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Life unto life or death unto death?


“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:14-17
When Jesus died on Calvary the earth became comprised of two groups; those of Life unto life (those who have accepted Jesus as Lord) and those of death unto death (those who reject Christ).The moment Christ gave His life on the cross; it became the ultimate display of God’s infinite sovereignty. Choosing Christ means life everlasting while rejecting Him meant eternal damnation and separation from God!

Old Testament laws required meat/animal sacrifices “burnt offerings made by fire” for a covering of their sins. There was a specific sacrifice for all things done! All were done unto the Lord God and to Him it was a sweet savor. The problem was it was not cleansing, only a covering. God being sovereign and divine gracefully gave His Son Jesus to be the ultimate sacrifice; doing away with animal sacrifices as Jesus was the Lamb without spot or blemish (sinless), and it would be through His shed blood that all humanity could have the opportunity for redemption and total cleansing from sin!

His shed blood is the sweet smelling aroma that allows God to look upon those in Christ. Why? It is the beautiful aroma of grace, love, sacrifice, mercy and forgiveness! “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18. Our sins are no longer held against us… “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Proverbs 103:12. The stench we once carried has been exchanged for the precious blood; that priceless sweet smelling aroma!

Those who reject Him carry a stench of sin, self and the world that is completely offensive to the nostrils of the One True Living God. We know that sin equals death, and the Word says, “For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.” Proverbs 8:35-36. How many actually think of their actions against God as sin & death? Very few! Death in any form, however simplistic or horrific, creates a horrid smell over time of rot and decay. Spiritually, it is sin that separates us from God!

Point to ponder: To what is the aroma you carry? No amount of incense, perfume or cologne can cover the stench of worldliness, self, rot and decay! Only the Blood of Christ can cleanse; which brings life, liberty, peace and forgiveness. Do you carry Life unto life or death unto death?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The GREAT Masquerade


Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matthew 7:15. Just what is a “masquerade”? Definition: “A masquerade ball (or bal masqué) is an event which the participants attend in costume wearing a mask.”
Recently I began to ponder (once again) the dissoluteness of our culture, the church and the combined state in these last days we are in. It was brought to my attention. Prayerfully searching this out, and grasping the reality and magnitude of such depravity is gut wrenching and heart sickening!!! Look at the state of the “modern” church! Lies, hypocrisies, meditations, and witchcraft have seeped deep within the church walls. Many Bible believing Christians have fallen prey to the underlined tactics of the enemy.
Today’s modern church spiritual deception has become the great masquerade! Let’s take a look at a few things that have crept in…
Emergent Church- offers: Questions as the new answers. Maybe as the new yes. Doubt as the new faith. Indecision as the new plan. A journey as the new destination.” Dr. Peter Hammond, Post Modernism and the Emergent Church
Prosperity theology or gospel (also known as the health and wealth gospel) is a Christian religious belief whose proponents claim the Bible teaches that financial blessing is the will of God for Christians. Most teachers of prosperity theology maintain that a combination of faith, positive speech, and donations to Christian ministries will always cause an increase in material wealth for those who practice these actions. Prosperity theology is almost always taught in conjunction with continuationism. ~Wikipedia.org
Dominionism Theology- “The Gospel of Salvation [according to dominionism] is achieved by setting up the “Kingdom of God” as a literal and physical kingdom to be “advanced” on Earth in the present age. Some dominionists liken the New Testament Kingdom to the Old Testament Israel in ways that justify taking up the sword, or other methods of punitive judgment, to war against enemies of their kingdom. Dominionists teach that men can be coerced or compelled to enter the kingdom. They assign to the Church duties and rights that belong scripturally only to Jesus Christ.”~ Sarah Leslie, Dominionism and the Rise of Christian Imperialism
Pantheism &Panentheism- Pantheism~ God is all things. The universe and all life are connected in a sum. This sum is the total reality of God. Thus, man, animals, plants, and all physical matter are seen as equal. The assumption all is one, therefore all is deity. Panentheism~ God is in all things. In panentheism God is both personal and is also in all of creation. It is a universal view that believes God is in all people and that someday all of God’s creation will be saved and be one with Him. – Lighthousetrailsresearch.com
Universalism- The belief that all humanity has or will ultimately have a positive connection and relationship with God. (Glossary of A Time of Departing)
Ecumenism or oecumenism mainly refers to initiatives aimed at greater Christian unity or cooperation. It is used predominantly by and with reference to Christian denominations and Christian Churches separated by doctrine, history, and practice. Within this particular context, the term ecumenism refers to the idea of a Christian unity in the literal meaning: that there should be a single Christian Church. The word contrasts with interfaith dialogue or interfaith pluralism aimed at unity or cooperation among diverse religions and referring to a worldwide 'religious unity' by the advocacy of a greater sense of shared spirituality. The word is derived from Greek οἰκουμένη (oikoumene), which means "the whole inhabited world", ~ Wikipedia.org
A WORD OF CAUTION:
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.Roman 1:26-32
“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” 2 John 1:9
Sadly the state of the church is in trouble! Those who know the TRUTH of God’s Word must expose that which is false and warn those who are prey! WE ARE ALL PREY! Jesus said, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”Matthew 24:24 So, when invited to this great masquerade ball, be prepared! BE GROUNDED in the Word of GOD! You cannot know the lies, if you don’t first know the TRUTH. This is a small list of what’s entered into many churches. The enemy, the father of lies (John 8:44) has conglomerated enough material worldwide to please anyone and allow him/her to walk in any direction. Something for everyone? YOU BET!
Jesus also said, Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16 The Masquerade Ball may be beautifully enticing, but it is spiritual DEATH to all who partake.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Quiet time with the Lord


"And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;" Isaiah 32:17-18 Quiet time with the Lord is vital in our walk with Him! Praising Him all the more for making this time possible! It is here that we rest; we're renewed and rejuvenated to continue to fight the good fight! Christ is our peaceable habitation!

I have a little picture by my coffee pot that reads, “Make time for quiet moments, as God whispers quiet moments.” I’ve kept it there for years. It’s my reminder each and every day to give the Lord His time. When I rush out of bed straight into the day without quiet time with Him, my whole day seriously falls apart!

Why is time spent with Him so vital? It is here that we grow! All relationships require TIME! The more time we give Him, the stronger our faith grows! It is in the stillness we can hear His voice. He tells us, “Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10. If we are busy right off are we acknowledging Him and basking in His presence? A lop-sided relationship doesn’t work. It’s through prayer we commune with God and by His Word that we are able to know His will.

How can anyone be an effective soldier without listening to the commands of their leader? Our commander in Chief is the King of kings and Lord of lords… He is our Abba Father. He grants us consolation, peace, wisdom, strength, endurance, joy… just to name a few! Time spent with Him is important in every aspect of our lives. There is nothing that He cannot do for us! He requires every ounce of our being!

When our prayer life is under attack, which mine have been the last few weeks, it affects every area of our lives. It is our direct streamline communication with our Daddy God! I’ve experienced technical issues the last couple weeks with the internet, phone & fax. Not being able to communicate on a regular basis with our business contacts can have detrimental consequences! Same thing holds true. If we don’t communicate, walk and talk with God regularly, it will stunt our growth, we can become distraught and we lose focus on our main goal and objective… JESUS! Praise God we don’t have to rely on man to be heard by our amazing God. All it takes is a pure heart before Him and He hears. In His time He answers! He’s ever ready to receive your voice before Him. Take all things to Him big and small and TRUST He has your best interest in mind!

Just as it isn’t enough to eat one meal a week for our physical bodies, we need to feast at the Lord’s Table on a regular basis as well. We must feed our spiritual man with the Word of God. It is the Bread of Life! Talk with Him, spend time with Him in prayer on a regular basis as well as seek Him in the Word. It will make all the difference in your day! I know it does mine!  I don’t know about you, but my Lord God is my best friend, always near, He’s my lover and my LIFE! Without Him I’m incomplete! If you don’t know this longing yet, I pray you soon will. No other is as satisfying!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Counting the COST of Discipleship



There are very few who understands what it truly means to follow Christ. Those of us, who fully get it, understand there is no other option!

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:23-26

To carry our cross requires every ounce of our being, time, attention, sacrifice of our will to accomplish the Lord’s Will regardless of what others say, think or do against us. After all, it is Christ they reject not us. It means letting go of the temporary fulfillments of the flesh, our own desires & plans to completely trade it for all God is and offers. It is being ready and willing at all times to share with all people the life transforming message of Jesus Christ.

Considering the COST:

“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26-33

Jesus gave us two examples here of one who began a great work in building a tower, but didn’t take in consideration the cost, with not enough means to complete the task. The other is a king who plans an attack, but doesn’t take in consideration the number of his army verse his enemy. Neither sat down and looked at the bigger picture.

Jesus is saying, we must keep Him first and foremost above all we hold near and dear. He is the first priority! Loyalty to Him above all people in our lives and things we desire is absolutely PARAMOUNT! Not an easy choice, especially in the day and age we live in. Society teaches we ourselves are to be number one. What Jesus teaches us couldn’t be more opposite. It’s easy to live for self over Christ, but it’s the first He requires we sacrifice.

"This is the true life of faith. Not according to what nature sees or thinks to be acceptable, do I live, but according to what Jesus says and would have. Every day and every hour I confirm the wonderful thought, “Not I, but Christ” (Galatians 2:20). I am nothing, Christ is everything. “You are dead,” and no longer have power, or will, or honour, “your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). Christ’s power and will alone prevail. Christians, cheerfully deny that sinful wretched self so that the glorious Christ may dwell in you." -- Andrew Murray

I’ve made the commitment whole hearted to follow Christ, I’ve counted the cost and I surrender all I am to His purpose, glory and gain. It is no secret what He requires of you. Will you too count the cost and carry your cross daily?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Seed & the Sower


"Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." Matthew 13:18-23

Let's take a good look at each type of soil and the roots it produces.

*The way side: Are those who are totaly unresponsive to the Gospel of Jesus. They don't care to hear so the let it go in one ear and out the other. Or they hear, but don't believe. Quickly disregarding the message.

*Stony ground:  is a shallow hearted person or one who acts on impulse, is one who hears the Word, accepts it quickly and emotionally receives with joy. Since the seed fell on ground where no roots can form, the seed is quickly taken away by the enemy. Their so excited to follow Jesus, but haven't counted the cost. They believe for a time, but as soon as opposition and persecution come they let go as quickly as they received.

*Among the thorns: This individual accepts the message in part. They like what they hear, but aren't willing to let go of the cares of the world. They are overtaken by their own desires and lust. They receive the truth, but are quickly overtaken by the world and it's ways. (Worldliness and materialism) Not willing to part with the past, they cling to what they know over the unseen, inevitably their roots are choked out by the thorns. Attempting to serve two masters the challenge becomes too difficult and the half hearted commitment it quickly dies.

Good Ground: This is the believer who hears, understands and accepts, fully counting the cost and willingly lets go of the former life with honest eager anticipation of following Christ. The soil allows the roots to grow deep, which in turn allows them to bear fruit. Fruit is evidence of a true conversion. They are hungry for the Word of God! This person allows the Holy Spirit to come in and begin to mold them into the image of Christ. They take the message to heart and apply it, they live by faith. Each obstacle, challenge and opposition met is an opportunity for they faith to grow. They are drawn to service by the Lord's calling and humbly accept the responsibility os sharing the gospel message with all people at any cost.

How can we be sure the seed of "LOVE" was planted on good ground in our hearts?

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matt 7:20-23

GOOD FRUIT = GOOD GROUND!!! Point to ponder... what kind of fruit do you produce? Can others see Jesus in you, your attitude, actions, speech, dress etc. OR do you blend in with everyone else in the world? If you are His, He WILL be evident in your life. Going to church won't save you, praying a prayer one time won't save you, depending on others belief in Jesus won't save you... only trusting Him with your life in every aspect... If you have made that commitment to Him, be sure to trust Him, talk with Him, read His Word, be around those who love Him as much as you do!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hungry for More of Jesus ~ Study


Hungry for More of Jesus

By David Wilkerson

Study by Michelle James

Chapter 1- Feeding on Christ



Section1 – The Bread of God

Read Amos 8:11-12 What is “spiritual drought”: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Read John 6:33 what is the Bread of God?

______________________________________________________________________________

Read John 6:57 In order to have life we must ___________________________

How often should we partake? _______________________________________

Honestly, how often do you? _________________________________________

Describe your thought/vision of today’s “modern” church: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



“Worship from unclean lips is actually an abomination to God. Praise that flows from hearts full of adultery, lust or pride is a stench in God’s nostrils. Christian banners held high by sin stained hands are nothing more than arrogant flauntings of rebellion” ~ David Wilkerson Pg. 15

Where does TRUE praise stem from? ______________________________________________________



What happens when we partake of the Bread of God? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Section 2 – The Holy Remnant

Why do we observe the Lord’s Supper? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

How does Wilkerson describe a “holy, levitical priesthood that’s rising in the land?” Is this your desire? Why or why not? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What is one of the biggest distractions for Christians today? How?

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Read: Jeremiah 2:11, 13

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

“We need to ask ourselves honestly: at whose table will we be seated at when the Redeemer comes suddenly to Zion?” ~ Wilkerson pg. 18



Section 3—Bread of Strength

What has the Lord given us to strengthen us? ______________________________________________________________________________

How was Jesus sustained daily? ______________________________________________________________________________

Our secret to strength: Read John 4:32-34 & John 6:27

How long should we feast at the Lord’s table? ____________________________________________







“Don’t grieve with Christians who have forsaken my table. Don’t weep with them or let their problems burden you. They do not pray anymore or read My Word, though they waste hours recklessly on themselves. They have forgotten Me day after day. They will go on hurting until they return and eat the Bread that I have provided to heal and strengthen them.” ~Holy Spirit to David Wilkerson

Why do you think he/we are told to do this? ____________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
Read Deuteronomy 8:16

Why did God keep the people humbled?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

“What we ate of Christ yesterday will not supply our need for today. We must admit we will starve spiritually and become weak and helpless without a fresh, daily supply of Heavenly Bread. We must come to the Lord’s table often. We must be diligent to keep the feast?” ~ Wilkerson

God wants to satisfy you – your hunger for Christ, but are you willing to feast at His table regularly?