What I long for

There is deep desire and longing I have. Something I want to see fulfilled in the church that God eventually allows me to pastor.

I long to see people coming to Christ and miraculously delivered from addiction, and all the bondage of sin through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Where we have to empty and fill the baptistery twice a week to keep the water from getting cloudy, and whereeople are receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit and set on fire for witnessing to those around them.

This is my longing.

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Yes, I am exclusive!

I was reminded of this folk tale from India recently and thought about those who say all religions are equal. 

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approach’d the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -“Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”

The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he,
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant 
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

The only person who truly know what an elephant looks like is the person who can actually see the elephant. The point I’m getting at is this: If you say all religions are equal what you are claiming in essence is that you have the ability to see what they don’t. You are claiming to have knowledge that is superior to those who have religion. So your view is really just as exclusive as any religions maybe. Because you claim to have revelation they don’t posses.

I embrace the claim that Christianity is the only way to God and heaven, but tell me what other religion claims to have a Savior who died for his enemies, commands us to love and pursue peace with each other?  

Thanks to Tim Keller! 

Write it down

I’ve decided to post my devotion for today because I believe this is something we should be doing as Christians everyday. I don’t go to see old Oswald or visit any stream in the desert, because I believe only the Bible is the Inspired word of God. I don’t see anything wrong with the daily devotional stuff at all, I just prefer to get fresh bread from the hand of the Holy Spirit. So I use the Bible and journal what speaks to me. So having said that here is my devotion for today the 27th of November 2013.

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Rev. 1:19 “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.”

What is more important to remember a business meeting, or meeting with God? Obviously it’s the latter. This is why you journal. God speaks to you and you write it down just like John. You write it down so you will have it for today, and what will come tomorrow.

That’s what I wrote in my journal today in order to remember the importance of writing down what I’m hearing from God! Because His voice is the most important voice we can hear! So write it down!

It’s not unusual!

This isn’t my usual blog entry, but I felt like sharing it anyway.

Almost ten years ago my immediate supervisor was a woman. She was in my opinion one of the best department managers I have ever had. A great person, strong leader, and level headed she was fantastic to work for.

I remember though, that there was a guy on the stocking crew that had a tremendous crush on her. This was not reciprocated by her, nor encouraged because she is an honorable Godly woman. However it did become the source of numerous jokes from me. Because this guy would go out of his way to speak to her, and ask me if she was coming in, and so on.

Now I love a good laugh! I can’t help it, it’s part of who I am,  its how God made me. So one morning while helping to unload a truck I just happened to mention that she was a huge Tom Jones fan to the guy. This however was not true, but in my mind very funny!

To my great joy this guy would ride by us on power equipment during the stocking process, singing Tom Jones songs. One time it would be “It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone!” the next and perhaps the funniest; was when he sang the song “Whats new pussy cat”  complete with the “whoa! whoa! whoa!”

She new exactly where this came from and she would turn to me and say…”I hate you!” This would always make me bust out laughing! I’m laughing now just remembering it!

My point is this, when we forget how to laugh, we forget how to live. So learn to lighten up and laugh!

By the way She and I still laugh at that guy’s behavior!

 

 

My Cross is too heavy!

If you have been a christian for any length of time you’ve read, or heard read  “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”  What if your cross is to heavy? Every time you look at it you think I can’t do it, I can’t carry it, I’m to weak and wounded.

How do we face such a situation? Believe me these situations will come, pretending they won’t is foolish.  In fact you maybe there now struggling to pick up a cross that seems to get heavier, and heavier by the second. There is an answer you know. We find it in the Life of our Lord who also had a cross to pick up. His was a literal physical weight. (Though our emotional, and physical problems can be just as heavy.)

We find the answer in a couple of different places.

First here in Luke 23:26  As they led him away, they seized Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country. They placed the cross on his back and made him carry it behind Jesus.

The second is here in Mathew 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Jesus couldn’t carry His cross because He was to weak and weary, so let me ask you this, why are you trying to carry yours? Jesus is our Simon of Cyrene the difference is that Simon was forced to carry the cross, and Jesus longs to carry it for you.

Why not go to Him in prayer crying out to Him when you feel the weight, and let him take it for you. Don’t try to take it back! He has strength to carry what you can’t.

One more quick thing

While writing this I remembered that David Wilkerson has already said this far better than I did so here is the link to His article.

http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/node/1349

Marriage a deeper look

Like I said in my last post I’ve been looking at marriage and reconsidering it in light of God’s word. One of the things I’ve noticed is a theme running throughout the Scriptures. I’ve seen it many times before, but lately I’ve been meditating on it. I believe that it reveals a significance to the marriage relationship that we tend to overlook.

The theme of God as the Husband and Israel the adulterous wife is a prevalent theme in the Old Testament. In fact one whole prophetic book is dedicated to this theme, the book of Hosea.

Another Scripture that takes up this theme is Isaiah

54:5 For your husband is the one who made you—
the LORD who commands armies is his name.
He is your protector, the Holy One of Israel.
He is called “God of the entire earth.”
54:6 “Indeed, the LORD will call you back
like a wife who has been abandoned and suffers from depression,
like a young wife when she has been rejected,” says your God.

and another is Hosea 2:19–20 (NLT)

19 I will make you my wife forever,

showing you righteousness and justice,

unfailing love and compassion.

20 I will be faithful to you and make you mine,

and you will finally know me as the Lord.

Then when you go to the New Testament we see the Church as the Bride of Christ. In John 3 we see John the baptist referring to Jesus as the Bridegroom, in Eph 5 Paul talks of the everlasting marriage covenant between Christ and the Church, then in Revelation we see the wedding supper of the Lamb. Clearly God is saying something to us about the importance of Marriage in His word.

We overlook the fact that God choose the intimate relationship that should exist between a husband and a wife as an analogy of His relationship to His people. He is forever faithful to us and we are to be forever faithful to him. Easy divorce is the abandonment of God’s purpose for marriage, and results in a society that has no strength of conviction, nor commitment to promises. The scary thing to me is the fact we see this within the Church. Make no mistake this affects not just our witness, but our relationship with God as well.

Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Is 54:5–6). Biblical Studies Press.

Doubt can’t kill us!

1 John 5:4 because everyone who has been fathered by God conquers the world.  This is the conquering power that has conquered the world: our faith.
I read this and was reminded of something I read last night from the puritan writer William Gurnall. This is from his book “The Christian In Complete Armour”.
Here is what he say’s about faith and doubt in the midst of trials.
“When you are in the midst of testing, do not give up in despair. Faith is a dogged grace! Unless your soul flatly denies the power of God, this courier-faith-will beat a well worn path to the throne. Doubt cripples but does not incapacitate faith. Indeed, even as you are disputing the mercy of God and questioning in your mind whether He will come to your rescue, faith will make it’s way, if haltingly into His presence. And the message it delivers will be, “If you are willing you can make me clean!””

Doubt can wound us, cripple us, and leave us battered, however it can not kill us unless we abandon the belief that God is indeed for us in-spite of what the circumstances we face seem to indicate.

The only thing that can really destroy our faith is our abandonment of God and His purposes. A real man of faith will go into the presence of God and cry out for the bread of life until he receives it. Just like this man in Jesus’ parable:

Luke 11:5 Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 11:6 because a friend of mine has stopped here while on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 11:7 Then he will reply from inside, ‘Do not bother me. The door is already shut, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 11:8 I tell you, even though the man inside will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of the first man’s sheer persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
11:9 “So I tell you: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.

If you are in the midst of trials, then begin to cry out in the power that conquers the world your faith until you have your answer.
Scriptures are from the NET