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Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

Pyromaniacs blogger Dan Phillips hit what I needed to read in a comment of a recent post on Charismatics…all credit to him and NOT to me, but I have to quote this comment completely:

“Everyone has good days, bad days. Sometimes you feel close to God, sometimes you don’t. The feelings are not God talking to you. There is no Scriptural warrant to turn your eyes away from the (hel-lo?) Word of God to reading tea-leaves, feelings, chicken-livers, or events. That message was so clear that an admitted non-Christian emailed me that he got it.

So, suffering Christian who is walking with the Lord to the best of your knowledge of Scripture, your experiences of trials and treachery and pain are not God telling you that He has rejected you. Look to Jesus, look to God’s word. Jesus saves, signs and portents don’t. Stand on Him and His Word.

And, despairing Christian who knows the same gloom and darkness of Spirit — in spite of walking in faith and obedience — which David, Luther, Spurgeon and countless others knew, those feelings are not God telling you He has rejected you. Look to Christ, look to God’s word. Jesus saves, He is what matters — not how saved or loved you feel.

God rejected Job’s comforters then, and He rejects them now. Supposed Christians will tell you (as you see here) that your tragedies are some sort of extra-biblical revelation, or that (as here) if you admit your suffering aloud there’s something wrong with you, and maybe you need drugs.

The truth: you can suffer while loved by God, and while in the will of God (1 Peter 1:6; 2:20-25; 4:16-19). Fix your hope completely on God’s mercy at Christ’s return (1 Peter 1:13). Your trials will turn to joy and glory (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

Never lose sight of Him.”

http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2010/09/good-news-from-far-country.html

Good post too….

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 (Acts 11 from Bible Gateway NIV version)  19Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. 20Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. 22News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. 25Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. 27During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) 29The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. 30This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

Why would I want to disassociate myself with the term “Christian?”  These disciples did everything I would hope to do as a believer in Christ, a disciple.  They preached and shared the gospel, they took care of those in need within the body, they spent time hearing good teaching, they supported each other. Moreover, they had the Holy Spirit, they had faith. They are the ones called Christian, what gives people the idea that those persecuting them were the ones who labeled them as such?  Maybe it was the name given by Romans…but it has stuck for a reason. 

It seems to me the seeker friendly style churches miss something when they refuse to use the name Christian.  They say they want to have numbers added to them, they want to meet the needs of others and serve in love, and yet don’t call themselves Christian?  Those who were called Christian in Antioch had it right, so I’d rather associate with them and not rename myself just to make those around me who don’t believe in Christ more comfortable. 

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With all that is happening in my sweet America, it’s time to remember what really matters.  Jesus came as a gift to save sinners and God is in control.  He knows the past, present, and future and I am so glad. 

Even though the date we celebrate the birth of Christ is not likely his actual anniversary of birth, I still love to commemorate his birthday with a cake.  So that’s what my children and I will do today, as well as get our house prepared for tomorrow.  I fully intend to retell the Christmas account to my family, and to focus on the gift of Christ rather than all the negative that the world gives us.

Merry Christmas to you.  Prayers for a wonderful New Year.

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We’re doing a verse by verse of Revelations in our Sunday School classes at church.  All the children are also studying this in their classes (except the youth for some reason, I think I’ll have to find out why not because I would love for them to be on the same page as the rest of us but they are talking the Sermon on the Mount so that’s good too).  We’re in the sweeping overview stage right now, and so we’re not in real depth yet. 

Despite the depth, it’s not your usual yada yada yada study of Revelations.  Typically, in my past, we would study this in small groups or have a quick sermon or set of sermons for a few weeks.  There was always a timeline, there was always discussion about the future.  There were even scary movies at camp.  Anyone out there subjected to those B (or C or even F) movies about the end of the world where they were cutting off people’s heads?  I recall a guy with dark hair and eyes was the main character, and as a little kid this whole thing scared me.  Kids were talking about end times and saying there were micro chips in Proctor and Gamble products. 

With my experiences with Revelations in the past, I have avoided the book.   I did read it several times on my own as a teen/young adult, but then rarely go back to it anymore.  I thought it best for me to focus on things I could grasp better.  I heard Hank Henergraff’s more recent comments on the book, and am not sure I agree with the bits I’ve heard from him.  Is it that he believes it has ALL happened already?  Not sure, but I know he’s marketed a fictional book about it.

Our assistant pastor was different in his initial presentation of Revelation.  Nothing was sensationalized, there’s not an ad outside the front of the church for the series.  There was really not much announcement the study was coming.  It’s just a study like any other study, and it’s being treated as such.  We’re in the first part of the book, so I am not sure but do doubt the charts will be coming. 

The best thing I’ve heard the pastor say, and he says he’s going to remind us over and over again, is the answer to the question, “what is being revealed in Revelations?”  Hmmmm.  How to answer this one?   He made it very clear that to find that answer you have to READ it.  Open your bible, read the first words.  You’ll find, as I did, the book’s main purpose not the future revealed, not the scary judgement revealed, and not the end times revealed.  It is the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Yet again, Christians (or so called Christians) and especially the secular world misses the point.  The point is to reveal the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It shows His magesty, His dominion, His sacrifice, His love, His judgement, His glory.  He is worthy.  He alone is worthy.  It’s not an oracle for us to see the future, it reveals His plans as the ruler of the universe, but it’s not about the plans.  It’s about HIM.  The pastor did such a good job explaining this, it’s shocking to me how I’ve missed the obvious all along.  How many people have died early deaths because they read too much into that book?  So many cults twist it to place their leaders into it.  So many people search the newspapers for proof they are living in some special time and that the anti-Christ is coming.  Books are sold, and men propped up.  Who is the book supposed to glorify and prop?  The Lamb that was slain, that’s who!

I am looking forward to getting into this book and not missing the obvious any more.

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Friends, say this, “I am a living stone” and “I am a priest”

Turn to your neighbor and say, “you are my priest.” 

Congratulations pastor, you just had a sexual predator, who is not one of God’s elect say he is a living stone and declare he is someone’s priest.  There’s also a thief, a liar, and a mother who beat her child just before service.  Even some out there are nice in our eyes, but are still sinners and have just said they are someone else’s priest.  Now, if that sexual predator has become regenerated and has turned from his wicked ways and is saved, that’s a different story.  However, making a mixed congregation repeat after you can be dangerous.  There may be a delusional person out there who now believes they are something they are not.  Scary.

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I really thought this was a great sermon today. It was also communion Sunday.

Last week, a couple in the USA seeking political asylum was being deported. They had come from a South American country (I hope I recalled it right) and were threatened by drug runners. Their children were threatened. They had to do something, so they came to the United States. They ended up in the church I attend now, and though they were not Christians before, became believers and followers of Christ. They go into an unknown situation, and have an opportunity to possibly witness to others.

A woman in our church has been battling Leukemia. Though she has so far conquered cancer, the treatments have rendered her immune system worthless and she also struggles with the new marrow attacking her organs. She was really struggling in the hospital last week with a lung infection and then later hallucinations. Her husband updated the congregation. He is weary, his family is sad, and his wife is weak. They trust in the Lord for their strength, and know he is in control of life and death. They have been on an emotional roller coaster ride for several months (maybe two years). It’s been horrible for them, they have really suffered.

The sermon today was given especially because there is great suffering going on in our church. Christians go through trials, but nothing compares to the sufferings of Christ. We can know that all our sufferings are not for nothing. They do not save sinners, but we can be given grace and mercy…we can show God’s glory in our sufferings.

Here is the sermon, it’s worth a listen:

http://www.cside.org/podcast/cside.xml

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Just take a look at this “Tribute to Bob Buford.” I didn’t watch them all, but fast forwarded to Bill Hybels (20 minutes). He uses the account of the “Rich Young Ruler” to make a point. The point I hear (and even my 9 year old picked up on it without my help) is that Bill Hybels thinks he could have “done it better” than Christ with the rich young ruler. To some it might be subtle, but to me it is obvious and quite disturbing.

Oh, and as a bonus at the end of the clip, my daughter noted “Look, all those books and no bibles.”

http://www.leadnet.org/tribute25.asp

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