Posts tagged ‘Jesus’

The devil’s Hordes Greatest Defeat

Christus op  kruis - Vlissegem

Christus op kruis – Vlissegem (Photo credit: PhilFlickr2)

 “The devil’s hordes thought, at first, that the crucifixion of Christ was their triumph. 

But their very triumphs, God used for their defeat. 

They thought they had God with His back to the wall,

pinned and helpless and defeated. 

They did not know it was God Himself who had dragged them down to that point. 

He did not conquer in spite of the dark mystery of evil,

He conquered through it.” 

Scottish Theologian James Stewart

 

Biblical Content in the Context of Biblical Emphasis is Our Biblical Imperative

Christ's Resurection from Death

Most of what Christians communicate has Biblical content. Subjects like predestination, grace,love,unity, God’s sovereignty are all typical examples of Biblical Content.

But any time we communicate Biblical Content but neglect Biblical Emphasis, we violate Biblical imperative.

What is Biblical Imperative?

“That in all things, Christ might be preeminent.”

“I am determined to know nothing except Christ and Him crucified.”

To put it another way,

Jesus said,”I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father but by Me.”

The entirety of Christianity begins with the redemption of mankind.
Jesus is the only way to the Father, He is the only truth that leads us to the Father, He is the only life we can obtain with the Father, for we are all already dead in trespasses and sins.

Even discipleship means nothing without Christ.

“I am the Vine and you are the branches, without Me you can do nothing.”

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Preacher.
What could you possibly have to say that would have more meaning or relevance aside from Jesus Christ ?

Free Will Explained Well

wpid-2012-04-28-14.03.54.jpg.jpeg

“God does not choose us because we believe, but that we may believe.”

~Augustine~

“Until God saves us ,we are all like Lazarus. We are dead and unable to even call out to Christ.”

“Christ calls us out of our tomb of death into life.”

The First Christmas Gift – God Came Down To Us

 

Immanuel

 

The First Christmas Gift – God Came Down To Us

Click on this link above to watch an amazing Christmas pageant by Kensington Church in Troy Michigan.

The humorous intro includes NFL ,(American), Pro Football Detroit Lions players Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson.

Following that is ,”The Christmas Song”, an original Jazz/Rock piece by the Kensington praise musicians that about blew me away.

Most or all of this stage performance was recorded live, so the video includes a 1 minute intercession after the initial song.

What follows is an amazing  theatrical story that illustrates how when God came to be with us , He brought life and light into our dark and dead world.

The Bible says that we didn’t understand who Christ,why He came, or what He was doing.

When the story begins, everything is in shades of black, white , and gray.

Interestingly, the color red is used, the color of blood, to symbolize how Christ gave His life in order to give us life.

Then everything bursts into vibrant color to symbolize new life through Christ.

The video is 86 minutes long but can be started or stopped at any point.

If you wonder what Christmas is all about, or if you feel like you have lost the joy for Christmas, this video will help you find your joy.

The pageant is filled with amazing original music and a simple yet profound message.

I recommend watching this regardless of your condition in life.

Whether alone or with family,..

this message is meant for each one of us no matter where we are in life.

God came down to us!

The first Christmas gift was to us!

Why C.H.Spurgeon is Called The Prince of Preachers

C. H. Spurgeon, "The Prince of Preachers&...

C. H. Spurgeon, “The Prince of Preachers” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“A sermon without Christ as its beginning, middle, and end is a mistake in conception and a crime in execution” -C.H.Spurgeon

“Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”
Revelation 22

A sermon may be three points or even five points, but if Jesus isn’t the whole point we are missing the point.

Christianity and Islam – The Basic Fundamentals of Different Fundamentalisms

Map showing the relative proportion of Christi...

Map showing the relative proportion of Christianity (red) and Islam (green) in each country. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The essence of any religion is the fundamental truths it is founded upon.

That would comprise a religion’s Fundamentalism.

A “Fundamentalist”,is one who attempts to strictly adhere to a religion’s fundamentals.

The word fundamental can mean something  good or bad, depending on a religion’s core truths.

The Supreme Doctrines of Christianity and Islam are polar opposites.

“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

” Jesus replied: “‘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.”  (Matthew 22:34-40)

“Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

God wants us to love Him, and has provided the ultimate reason to desire to love Him by loving and giving His one and only Son, Jesus Christ as a sacrifice, the just for the unjust, on the cross. God WINS our love and trust.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”(John 3:16)

In contrast to that, Islam means,”Submit to Allah”, and force is the means Allah’s word, the Koran, imposes.

Free will is forcefully denied by this fundamental belief of Islam.

(Read the following quotes from the Koran)

Qur’an:8:39 “Fight them [who do not believe] until all opposition ends and all submit to Allah.”

Ishaq:324 “He said, ‘Fight them so that there is no more rebellion, and religion, all of it, is for Allah only. Allah must have no rivals.'”

Qur’an:8:65 “O Prophet, urge the faithful to fight. If there are twenty among you with determination they will vanquish two hundred; if there are a hundred then they will slaughter a thousand unbelievers, for the infidels are a people devoid of understanding.”

Qur’an:9:5 “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”

Qur’an:9:29 “Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax in submission.”

Qur’an:47:4 “When you clash with the unbelieving Infidels in
battle (fighting Jihad in Allah’s Cause), smite their necks until you overpower them, killing and wounding many of them. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind them firmly, making (them)captives. Thereafter either generosity or ransom (them based upon what benefits Islam) until the war lays down its burdens. Thus are you commanded by Allah to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving infidels until they submit to Islam.”

Free World listen!! It is clear! Democracy was born out of Christinity’s “Unalienable rights” and the belief that “all men are CREATED equal”. 

Allah demands we all SUBMIT to him. Or die.
Islam is fundamentally tyrannical.

God’s desire is for us is to LOVE Him, and He personally came down to us to die for our sins and defeat death for us.

What more could He do ?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

God did this to set is free from sin and death. Christianity is fundamentally liberaiting.

“If the Son of Man sets you free you shall be Free indeed.”

Different core beliefs, different fundamentals, different fundamentalists.

Additional verses and links

Qur’an Sura 4:34, “Men have authority over women because [Allah] has made the one superior to the other… Good women are obedient… As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them…”

http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php

 

Jesus is The Way – “Romans Road” To Eternal Life – Take The One Way Trip!

Striding on the Roman Road

Striding on the Roman Road (Photo credit: Bods)

“For whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

                                                    – Romans 10:13

Romans 3:10 tells us, “as it is written, THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;” (Romans 3:10 NASB) As the Scriptures say: “There is no one who always does what is right, not even one.” (Romans 3:10 NCV)

The requirement of God is a perfect life. A sinless selfless life. Who has not sinned?

And Romans 3:23 adds, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us,” (Romans 3:23 MSG)

Why does man sin and where did sin come from?

Romans 5:12 states that sin started with Adam, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned– “(Romans 5:12 NASB) Sin came into the world because of what one man did, and with sin came death. This is why everyone must die — because everyone sinned.

(Romans 5:12 NCV) What happens to those who sin?

Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NASB) When people sin, they earn what sin pays — death. But God gives us a free gift — life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Romans 6:23 NCV)

If all have sinned and the penalty for sin is death, what can a person do? How can anyone be saved?

Romans 5:8 tells us how we can be saved from our sin and its penalty, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NASB)

1But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8 NCV)

If Jesus did die for me and was raised from the dead, how does that save me from sin and its penalty?

Romans 10:9-10 is clear, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10 NASB)

If you use your mouth to say, “Jesus is Lord,” and if you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved. We believe with our hearts, and so we are made right with God. And we use our mouths to say that we believe, and so we are saved. (Romans 10:9-10 NCV)

Any one who realizes he can never live a perfect life can be saved.

Romans 10:13, for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” (Romans 10:13 NASB) For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. [Joel 2:32.] (Romans 10:13 AMP)

Salvation is a free gift.

You may be ruled by desires for things contrary to God now. Don’t worry about that, Let Jesus come into your heart and change you. He has the power to change your desires.

Your good works cannot save you. That is why Jesus died for us. Your good works are the result of genuine salvation, not a condition for you to be saved.

Ask Jesus to come into your heart, save you ,and make you His. He is waiting.

Closing the Theological Loop of the Faith and Works Debate.

The Death of Jesus

The Death of Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cruising the blogosphere or Twitter can be very revealing.

It seems you can always find a comment or article by someone expressing concern for an apparent lack of focus on works and holiness on the part of Christians. They almost always quote James 2:17.

 “Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone.”(James 2:17)

And then you have another group who only wants to quote about love.

  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”(1 Corinthians 13:3) 

Both are true. The Answer is in closing the theological loop of the Faith and Works Debate.

Faith without Works is dead.

Works without Love is Nothing.

The only question is; “How do we find this LOVE we need so our works will amount to something instead of nothing?”

This is how,…

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. He is God in flesh and He came here just to save us and make us His own.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus and His cross. Jesus was born to die there. He took our sins on Himself. He was perfect and Holy. Christ alone was worthy to pay our debt.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus and His resurrection from the dead. He conquered death so He alone could give life to all who come to Him in faith, believing Christ died for them and accepting Him as Lord and Savior.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the JOY set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

“We love because he first loved us.”(1 John  4:19)

“Give Me Jesus” – Fernando Ortega – Ruth Graham Tribute” Video – 4 min.

“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” 

~Jesus ~ (Luke 9:25 NKJV)

“…you can have the whole world, give me Jesus….”

To say this tribute video to the life and faith of Ruth Graham, the wife of the famous Christian evangelist Billy Graham, is  moving is an understatement. 

This is one of my favorite Christian songs if not my absolute favorite .

Click the link below.the 

“Perhaps you could know Him today? ” ~Billy Graham ~

16″ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” 

(John 3:16-21 NKJV)         Jesus is waiting now.  Only believe and ask Him. He hears you. 

You Shall Love The Lord Your God

“Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God.” ~MartinLuther~

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.” (Deuteronomy 6:3-6)

We are commanded to love God.

The command is actually the context for the Ten Commandments.

As Martin Luther pointed out,“We do not disobey any of the other commandments until we first disobey this, “You shall love the Lord your God.”

God gave this command in the old testament. God gave Christ, the ultimate reason to love Him, in the new testament.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. ” John 3:16

If an all-powerful, all-knowing God would give everything for, why would you not trust Him and love Him?

He knows suffering, because He suffered.

What more could He do?

Cling to Jesus Christ.

The Sum Total of C.H. Spurgeon’s Theology

jesus_on_the_cross_In_storm

“My entire theology can be condensed into 4 words: ‘Jesus died for me.'” – C.H. Spurgeon —

No doubt that is the main reason Spurgeon is known as ,”The Prince of Preachers”.

This great preacher always pointed others to our Great Savior, Jesus Christ.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

(Galatians 2:20)

This set of images was gathered by User:Dcoetz...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stand You’re Gospel Ground – Don’t Be Moved

Jesus

Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Take your stand on the Rock of Ages. Let death, let the judgment come: the victory is Christ’s and yours through Him.” ~DL Moody

So many subjects and issues seem to govern what Pastors preach.
But only one subject can have lasting impact in this life ,and in the next.

Pastor, if your three-point sermon isn’t about Jesus, you are missing The Point.

Case in point– One particularly hot topic is marriage. To be fair, the Bible covers marriage, and we need to listen to what God says about the Holy union he established between man and women. God made us to uniquely compliment each other physically, emotionally,and so on.

But the Bible has an overall theme of man’s redemption through Christ.

Both the old and most obviously the New Testament reveal Christ and His purpose,the Gospel, as central to all that is written in them.

Jesus heals marriages because He alone makes sinners into saints, and saved sinners make Christian couples.

If the issues that plague secular marriage are as prevalent in the Church it is because the church is filled with unchanged sinners.

If that is true, then you need to ask yourself if three or four Gospel messages per year are enough.
(Selah)

Pastor, you should consider making Jesus and the Great Commission the central theme of every message.

Christ can show you how all subjects begin and end with Him.

“Without Me you can do nothing.”, is an all-encompassing statement.
” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,”is another all-encompassing statement.

Both of theses Biblical truths point to the central truth of Christ’s supremacy.

It really is all about Jesus.

Isn’t it time you plugged your sermons into that power?
The ONLY power to change us forever is Jesus.

Augustine on “Hope has two beautiful daughters” Christian Anger and Courage

“Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.” Augustine

Augustine is of course talking about getting angry at the problem,…and people are not the problem!

The people have a problem,…they need Jesus.

But not everybody thinks they need to be saved.

“From what?”‘they might say.

And that is when we give them the ,”Bad News,” and say, “You need Jesus, without Him you will spend eternity in Hell. ”

How could the truth always be what we want to hear?
It can’t be.Life isn’t that way.

But still, anyone who speaks the truth when needed is showing more love than a dozen people who say nothing simply because they don’t want to ,”be negative.”

Is it love to not say what someone you love needs to hear?

If a bridge is out on a road, would you even think of taking down the big yellow warning sign that reads,”Bridge is Out”, because your opinion is that people don’t want to hear that negative stuff ?

That is just what living without Jesus is like.

Without Jesus, we are on a road that leads to certain and eternal death!

My HOPE is that we all heed this warning and tell others as well.

Christian, find your voice.

Be angry at the way things are!

State the ugly truth of the way things are, even if everyone else chooses to ignore it!

If they are blind and cannot see, that is God’s job to open their eyes.

All you must do is be faithful in telling others.

Then have the courage to tell others how it should be!
That Jesus came to seek and to save what was lost.
That Jesus loved them enough to die for their wrongdoing.
That Jesus rose in victory over death and now offers life to as many as receive Him a Lord and Savior.

Jesus is the bridge to life.
Make the turn.
Heed the warning.
And then…
Put up the Big Yellow Warning Sign.

You might save an eternal life from eternal death.

Jesus! The Savior Of My Soul!

Jesus!

The Savior of my soul,
He is the promise of eternal tomorrows,
the fact that He resides in me,
and the thought that He will never leave me,

He lives in me as the promise of life unending,

A promise that God who cannot lie, has made!

He is the seal of an eternity of tomorrows!

His Spirit in me!
His Spirit teaches me,
His Spirit guides me,

His Spirit changes me,

His Spirit comforts me,
and gives me peace that passes understanding,…

theses are only a few reasons I worship my Jesus.

What Kind of Tone Is Appropriate in Christian Discussion?

 

What Kind of Tone Is Appropriate in Christian Discussion?

I think it depends.

Are you trying to encourage?

Are you exhorting and spurring others on?

Or are you defending the most precious ,life-giving Gospel of the Blood of Jesus and Grace of God from the self-righteousness of moralistic legalists who always demand our own works be tacked on to Christ’s work? (Legalism)

Christians today need to find their voices!

Our insight as to when to speak up and which tone we can use may make the difference as to whether we speak up at all.

Unlike the message we are all getting from our Post-modern world today, God never meant us to keep silent, He said ,”Go and Preach the Gospel.”

A lot of essential Biblical examples stand out in regards to what tone is right and when to use it.

I really think we can learn a lot from this and hopefully develop the ability to speak up in a Godly manner.

God never wanted us to be timid and passive. Too many issues demand our voices!

How about this video that went,”viral”, as they say, and caused an uproar with some of the so-called,”pillars” in Christendom today?

In the video,Jefferson Bethke Kicks the Snot Out of Legalism!

He has a much more subtle tone than Jesus does in Luke 11:44 !

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like graves which are not seen, and the men who walk over them are not aware of them.”

Or Jesus in Matthew 23:13

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”

Just sayin…He’s well below the tone Jesus used to beat down the self-righteous Pharisees of His day!

And Bethke is also doing the Church a service just like the Apostle Paul in the book of Galatians!

Only Bethke is milder than Paul too! Like in Gal.1:6

“If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!”

In fact,Paul was far more direct as he beat down the legalists, and he even,”withstood Peter to his face.” This is the big ,long earful that Peter heard from Paul in front of Barnabas and many others. Galatians 2:11- 21

“When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 1Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

15 “We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

17 “If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

POW!!

Wow! Here that?

Paul got in Peter’s face in front of everybody, to defend the blood of Jesus as the ONLY means to be saved!

So don’t let them make you back pedal Bethke. Take heart!

You aren’t bashing the Church. On the contrary!

If a person loves Jesus and His Bride the Church, then he will defend the ONLY means to establish the Church.

The pure, true Gospel established by the washing and regeneration of the pure, perfect blood of Jesus Christ on the cross is the ONLY way the Church can ever exist.

Your statement  is right in line with guys who have made all the difference when it counted, like Paul, and Luther, and countless others.

Jesus vs. Religion? Jesus always will win!

God bless!

 

The Lonely Sparrow -The Prince of Preachers Reflection on Psalm 102

English: A male House Sparrow in Victoria, Aus...

English: A male House Sparrow in Victoria, Australia in March 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

This stood out in Spurgeon’s commentary on the first part of Psalm 102:

 

Can you relate?

 

“He who has felt himself to be so weak and inconsiderable as to have no more power over his times than a sparrow over a city, has also, when bowed down with despondency concerning the evils of the age, sat himself down in utter wretchedness to lament the ills which he could not heal. Christians of an earnest, watchful kind often find themselves among those who have no sympathy with them; even in the church they look in vain for kindred spirits; then do they persevere in their prayers and labours, but feel themselves to be as lonely as the poor bird which looks from the ridge of the roof, and meets with no friendly greeting from any of its kind,”

 

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

 

 

Psalm 102:1-7

A prayer of an afflicted man. When he is faint and pours out his lament before the Lord.

1 “Hear my prayer, O Lord;
    let my cry for help come to you.
Do not hide your face from me
    when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me;
    when I call, answer me quickly.

For my days vanish like smoke; 
    my bones burn like glowing embers.
My heart is blighted and withered like grass; 
    I forget to eat my food. 
Because of my loud groaning
I am reduced to skin and bones.
I am like a desert owl,
like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake; I have become
like a bird alone on a roof.”

“Verse 5. By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin. He became emaciated with sorrow. He had groaned himself down to a living skeleton, and so in his bodily appearance was the more like the smoke-dried, withered, burnt-up things to which he had previously compared himself.”
“It will be a very long time before the distresses of the church of God make some Christians shrivel into anatomies, but this good man was so moved with sympathy for Zion’s ills that he was wasted down to skin and bone.”
“Verse 6. I am like a pelican of the wilderness, a mournful and even hideous object, the very image of desolation. I am like an owl of the desert; loving solitude, moping among ruins, hooting discordantly. The Psalmist likens himself to two birds which were commonly used as emblems of gloom and wretchedness; on other occasions he had been as the eagle, but the griefs of his people had pulled him down, the brightness was gone from his eye, and the beauty from his person; he seemed to himself to be as a melancholy bird sitting among the fallen palaces and prostrate temples of his native land. Should not we also lament when the ways of Zion mourn and her strength languishes?”
“Were there more of this holy sorrow we should soon see the Lord returning to build up his church. It is ill for men to be playing the peacock with worldly pride when the ills of the times should make them as mournful as the pelican; and it is a terrible thing to see men flocking like vultures to devour the prey of a decaying church, when they ought rather to be lamenting among her ruins like the owl.”
“Verse 7. I watch, and am like a sparrow alone upon the house-top: I keep a solitary vigil as the lone sentry of my nation; my fellows are too selfish, too careless to care for the beloved land, and so like a bird which sits alone on the housetop, I keep up a sad watch over my country. The Psalmist compared himself to a bird,—a bird when it has lost its mate or its young, or is for some other reason made to mope alone in a solitary place. Probably he did not refer to the cheerful sparrow of our own land, but if he did, the illustration would not be out-of-place, for the sparrow is happy in company, and if it were alone, the sole one of its species in the neighbourhood, there can be little doubt that it would become very miserable, and sit and pine away.” 
“He who has felt himself to be so weak and inconsiderable as to have no more power over his times than a sparrow over a city, has also, when bowed down with despondency concerning the evils of the age, sat himself down in utter wretchedness to lament the ills which he could not heal. Christians of an earnest, watchful kind often find themselves among those who have no sympathy with them; even in the church they look in vain for kindred spirits; then do they persevere in their prayers and labours, but feel themselves to be as lonely as the poor bird which looks from the ridge of the roof, and meets with no friendly greeting from any of its kind.”
Heavenly Father,
Turn our hearts toward you in Christ.
Break our hearts with what breaks yours.
Open our eyes to Jesus and everything we are and have in Him!
Save us as a people and a world who needs you.
In Jesus name.
Amen

 

A Sign of The Times

Does anyone still believe politics can save America?

We are way beyond anything politicians can fix.

Many of our politicians need help themselves, so how can they help us?

Jesus is the reason we were blessed.

Only Jesus can save us.

Pastor Mike Says

We have to do something and soon, or God‘s house will surely fall.

Confidence in organized religion hits all-time low in Gallup poll

gallup.com
By Jason White, msnbc.com

Americans’ confidence in religious institutions has hit an all-time low, with only 44 percent expressing a “great deal” of confidence in organized religion, according to a new Gallup survey.

This follows a downward trend since the 1970s, when 68 percent of Americans had a high degree of confidence.

Gallup cites two big blows to confidence in organized religion: 1980s scandals involving televangelists like Jim Bakker and the Catholic sex abuse scandal in the 2000s.

Perhaps as an outgrowth of the abuse scandal, Catholics lag far behind Protestants in their confidence in the church, by a margin of 10 percentage points.

But the scandals of recent decades, and the ensuing lack of confidence in organized religion, are not necessarily affecting…

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Love the Lord Thy God -The 7 Churches Of Revelation

jesusandalostlamb

The only service God will accept is service born out of the first and supreme commandment,

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your mind and all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6)

And God graciously gave us the most wonderful reason to love Him with everything by giving  everything for us, He gave Christ on the cross!

“We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:10)

The Ephesian church in the book of Revelation had become a busy church who no longer served God because they loved with their all.

The tragedy is seen in American society,as well as other countries, as the Christian sphere of growth is shrinking.

Our message is this; Don’t lose heart,but be relentless in giving and calling for the supremacy of Christ in all that we do and with all that is in us!

Nothing is too hard for God!

Jesus, our first,last,and only love!

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

I have written much about the plight of pride upon mankind and Christ’s humility.

But the sum total of my thoughts are contained in this hymn more succinctly and with more clarity than I will ever achieve.

That is why I wish to share it with you.

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

“When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God! All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down! Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.”

Isaac Watts (17 July 1674 – 25 November 1748)

Perfect Freedom – We Are All Slaves to Something – A Sermon by Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church – Manhattan N.Y.

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“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

We are all enslaved to something.

Most of these things are a source of temporary fulfilment.

The obvious ones are sex, alcohol, drugs, and we all know people who are enslaved to such.

But the less obvious things we also seek to find our ultimate identity and fulfillment in are status, achievement, career, relationships, children, spouses, and countless other things that are not at all bad in and of themselves.

We make these things bad for us when we seek our ultimate identity and fulfillment in them in an inordinate way.

Only Christ is worthy of being the source of fulfillment for our deepest desire for identity.

“Why not give yourself to the one who gave Himself  for you?”

Tim Keller

“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

(John 6:35)

Listen to the free audio sermon – click the link below

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/perfect-freedom

Related articles

Original Sin – Muslim vs Christian – 9 Min.

Eternally Secure In Christ – “I Shall Lose None of All”

These are the Words of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

 (John 6:37-40 ,NIV 84,The Holy Bible)

The above words of Christ settle every conceivable scenario a person could imagine for loosing one’s salvation.

ALL the Father gives Jesus Will come to Him.

Jesus will NEVER drive you away.

Jesus SHALL LOSE NONE OF ALL, so that means that if you really know Him you won’t want to leave Him either. NONE of ALL.

EVERYONE who looks to the Son AND believes in Him SHALL have ETERNAL LIFE

Anyone who can see that God has loved them completely is now free to also love God completely in return for His matchless, incomparable love!

href=”https://christcenteredteaching.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/the-secret-ingredient-to-eternal-life/” target=”_blank”>The Secret Ingredient To Eternal Life (christcenteredteaching.wordpress.com)

Final Events – The Signing of a Treaty With Israel Reveals The “Beast” and Day One of the Great Tribulation

 “because they did not receive the love of the truth”

 “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that  Day  will  not  come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

 “Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.

And then the lawless one will be revealed,

whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

The coming of the lawless  one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

(II Thessalonians 2:1-12)

The Secret Ingredient To Eternal Life

mixed

“For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”(Hebrews 4:2)

Many have stumbled to their doom attempting to comprehend the “how” of the saving power of the Blood of Christ.

Faith is that secret ingredient that when mixed with God’s truth in the heart of the sinner results in salvation.

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”

(Ephesians 2:13)

Natural means cannot grasp the supernatural truths of God’s supernatural ways.

Faith is the means to grasp the supernatural truth of God’s salvation for us.

Not My Righteousness, But Christ’s In Me

 

“For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

(NKJV) Matthew 5:20 

That would be bad news for us were it not for the fact that Christ died in our place paid the sin debt of all who believe.

“and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”

Philippians 3:9

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”

1 Corinthians 1:30

“Jesus answered,

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6 

That is why ,”Gospel”, is translated,” Good News”!

Do you believe?

 

” I believe it is without exaggeration to say that the cross, and the passion of God that is bound up with it, are more immense and profound than anything we have ever imagined them to be.” David Bolton

Christ-Centered Christianity

[Listen to post here.]

~ ~ ~

Have you ever woken up from a vivid nightmare in a cold sweat, your heart beating out of your chest, and your mind and emotions reeling from the intensity of the ordeal you just “lived” through?  I have, and it is one of the worst experiences in life.

For some people who have lived through real traumatic life experiences, this can happen somewhat regularly.  The nightmares they tend to have, however, relate not to some subconscious fantasy but to what they have actually lived and suffered through.  This is especially traumatic as they emotionally and mentally “relive” actual events they had previously endured.  How powerful dreams can be in creating and recreating experiences, and to bring us into genuine emotional and mental engagement with them as though they were real.

Memories also work this way, though often they are not quite so…

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What the Church in America Needs – By D. A. Carson

click on the video link below

What the Church in America Needs – D. A. Carson

Christ – The Power and Wisdom From God

1 Corinthians 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. 1:19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 1:20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 1:22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 1:24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 1:26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1:28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 1:29 so that no one may boast before him. 1:30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 1:31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” (NIV)

That thing we call trust

“Only in Christ are we able to say that we are both more sinful and weak than we would like to admit, and yet more loved that we could ever dare to dream.” David Bibee

That thing we call trust.

“O Shepherds, Hear The Word Of The LORD”

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

(Jesus Christ  in the Book of John 10:11)

“Woe to the preacher who would continue to preach the Law to a famished sinner!”

C.F.W. Walther

Ezekiel 34

Shepherds and Sheep

 1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. 6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.

 7 “‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 8 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, 9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 10 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.

 11 “‘For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.

 17 “‘As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats. 18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19 Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?

 20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away, 22 I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another. 23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. 24 I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the LORD have spoken.

 25 “‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of wild beasts so that they may live in the desert and sleep in the forests in safety.26 I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. 27 The trees of the field will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. 28 They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid. 29 I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations. 30 Then they will know that I, the LORD their God, am with them and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Sovereign LORD. 31 You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD.’”

A Letter from A Loving Father to His Son.

http://blogs.palau.org/archives/the-secret-life-of-a-fool-a-letter-from-father-to-son

An excerpt from Andrew Palua’s book. A very good read for anyone regardless of your history or worldview.

Chuck Colson (1931 – 2012) The Authenticity of Christ – “take it from an expert in cover-ups”

Richard Nixon, Time cover April 30, 1973, &quo...

Richard Nixon, Time cover April 30, 1973, "The Watergate Scandal" (Photo credit: cliff1066™)

Today , April 21, 2012, Chuck Colson passed from this life to the next. I will miss his influence and encouragement.
I have listened to Breakpoint for many years now.  Free audio and an average length of 2 or 3 minutes. You can search these by subject.    http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries

“nothing less than a resurrected Christ could have caused those men to maintain to their dying whispers that Jesus is alive and is Lord.”

Chuck Colson

The year was 1973 and President Richard Nixon and the closest members of his administration had been accused of corruption.

At the heart of the cover-up was a brilliant member of the president’s cabinet named Charles Colson.

Colson  became a believer in the midst of this scandal and later would start several successful ministries for the cause of Christ.

The following quote is Colson’s first hand insight on human nature as it relates to cover ups, and adds credibility to the claims of Jesus Christ and His death, burial, and resurrection according to the Bible.

“The Watergate cover-up reveals the true nature of humanity. Even political zealots at the pinnacle of power will, in the crunch, save their own necks, even at the expense of the ones they profess to serve so loyally. But the apostles could not deny Jesus because they had seen Him face to face, and they knew He had risen from the dead. No, you can take it from an expert in cover-ups — I’ve lived through Watergate — that nothing less than a resurrected Christ could have caused those men to maintain to their dying whispers that Jesus is alive and is Lord. Two thousand years later, nothing less than the power of the risen Christ could inspire Christians around the world to remain faithful –despite prison, torture, and death.”

(Charles (Chuck) Colson ,Breakpoint )

Did Not Our Hearts Burn Within Us as He Opened The Scipture? – He is Risen! – Easter Morning Celebration

The Meeting, by Lelio Orsi, 1560-65

The Meeting, by Lelio Orsi, 1560-65 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 
As a Christian, I understand what the question proposed in this passage means.
When you know Jesus and you encounter Him, you experience a love that only He generates in your heart.

Luke 24:13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 24:14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 24:15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 24:16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 24:17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. 24:18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 24:19 “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 24:20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 24:21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 24:22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 24:23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24:24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” 24:25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 24:26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 24:28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 24:29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 24:30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 24:31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 24:32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” 24:33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 24:34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 24:35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

Jesus Appears to the Disciples 24:36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 24:37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 24:38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 24:39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 24:40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 24:41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 24:42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 24:43 and he took it and ate it in their presence. 24:44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” 24:45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 24:46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 24:47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 24:48 You are witnesses of these things. 24:49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Christ’s Crucifixion According to The Prophet Isaiah – 700 Years Before It Happened

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 1 Who has believed our message 
   and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, 
   and like a root out of dry ground. 
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, 
   nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 
3 He was despised and rejected by men, 
   a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. 
Like one from whom men hide their faces 
   he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 4 Surely he took up our infirmities 
   and carried our sorrows, 
yet we considered him stricken by God, 
   smitten by him, and afflicted. 
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, 
   he was crushed for our iniquities; 
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, 
   and by his wounds we are healed. 
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, 
   each of us has turned to his own way; 
and the LORD has laid on him 
   the iniquity of us all.

 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, 
   yet he did not open his mouth; 
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, 
   and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, 
   so he did not open his mouth. 
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. 
   And who can speak of his descendants? 
For he was cut off from the land of the living; 
   for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, 
   and with the rich in his death, 
though he had done no violence, 
   nor was any deceit in his mouth.

 10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, 
   and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, 
he will see his offspring and prolong his days, 
   and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. 
11 After the suffering of his soul, 
   he will see the light of life and be satisfied; 
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, 
   and he will bear their iniquities. 
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
   and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death, 
   and was numbered with the transgressors. 
For he bore the sin of many, 
   and made intercession for the transgressors.

Good Friday-Pslam 22-The First Person Prophetic Account of Christ’s Suffering For Us On The Cross


My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? 

   Why are you so far from saving me, 
   so far from the words of my groaning? 
 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, 
   by night, and am not silent.

 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; 
   you are the praise of Israel.
In you our fathers put their trust; 
   they trusted and you delivered them. 
They cried to you and were saved; 
   in you they trusted and were not disappointed.

 But I am a worm and not a man, 
   scorned by men and despised by the people. 
 All who see me mock me; 
   they hurl insults, shaking their heads: 
 “He trusts in the LORD; 
   let the LORD rescue him. 
Let him deliver him, 
   since he delights in him.”

 Yet you brought me out of the womb; 
   you made me trust in you 
   even at my mother’s breast. 
 From birth I was cast upon you; 
   from my mother’s womb you have been my God. 
 Do not be far from me, 
   for trouble is near 
   and there is no one to help.

 Many bulls surround me; 
   strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. 
 Roaring lions tearing their prey 
   open their mouths wide against me. 
 I am poured out like water, 
   and all my bones are out of joint. 
My heart has turned to wax; 
   it has melted away within me. 
 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, 
   and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; 
   you lay me in the dust of death. 
Dogs have surrounded me; 
   a band of evil men has encircled me, 
   they have pierced my hands and my feet. 
 I can count all my bones; 
   people stare and gloat over me. 
 They divide my garments among them 
   and cast lots for my clothing.

 But you, O LORD, be not far off; 
   O my Strength, come quickly to help me. 
 Deliver my life from the sword, 
   my precious life from the power of the dogs. 
 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; 
   save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

 I will declare your name to my brothers; 
   in the congregation I will praise you. 
 You who fear the LORD, praise him! 
   All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! 
   Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! 
 For he has not despised or disdained 
   the suffering of the afflicted one; 
he has not hidden his face from him 
   but has listened to his cry for help.

 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; 
   before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows. 
 The poor will eat and be satisfied; 
   they who seek the LORD will praise him— 
   may your hearts live forever! 
 All the ends of the earth 
   will remember and turn to the LORD, 
and all the families of the nations 
   will bow down before him, 
 for dominion belongs to the LORD 
   and he rules over the nations.

All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; 
   all who go down to the dust will kneel before him— 
   those who cannot keep themselves alive. 
 Posterity will serve him; 
   future generations will be told about the Lord. 
They will proclaim his righteousness 
   to a people yet unborn— 
   for he has done it.

Better Than Miracles – An Audio Sermon By Dr.Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church – Manhattan, NY.

“The Essence of God is not His power but His love.”

Tim Keller

Redeemer Church Synopsis – 1 Corinthians 13 seems sweet, but in the context of the entire book of 1 Corinthians, it is a sober warning against straying from the Gospel. If a person is gifted—as many of the Corinthians were—then it is frighteningly easy for that person to mistake their spiritual gifts for spiritual fruit. When we serve others in the church, are we serving Jesus or are we serving ourselves? Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Acts 18:9-11; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Matthew 7:21-23.”This sermon is remarkable in that the Pastor identifies the main target audience as his own church staff. That in itself is not so remarkable, but the subject makes it so; that of their own salvation. Keller wants Christians, and those who are trying to understand Christianity, to know who easy it is to place our faith in our own giftedness and the successes we often realize because of them. The real mark of a Christian and Christian character is love. (John 1:17)

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

This sermon embodies so much of what I desire for Christians and non Christians to know.

 Quotes from this sermon;

“Not giftedness but grace, not our accomplishments but Christ’s on our behalf.”

“If you are godly and loving everyone will follow you.”

“Love is the miracle above all miracles.”

“Love, Christian love , is more miraculous than miracles.”

“Don’t get your identity from your ministry instead of Jesus.”

“Love is the essence of faith.”

“The grace in your heart has unlimited potential.”

“What you really need is to give your heart to the Gospel.”

“Love drove Jesus down to us.”

“The more you see the love He showed , the more love will grow in your heart.”

This is another sermon that is worth listening to several times over.

Free to stream online and also downloadable to listen at your leisure.

Click the link below.

Enjoy!

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/better-miracles

Fill Your Lamp With Oil – Before Darkness Falls

“As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)

(The oil mentioned in this parable is God’s Spirit, the source of the all hope, the light of the soul.)

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

  “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Five of them were foolish and five were wise.  The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.  The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.  The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

    “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

   “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.  The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

   “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

   “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

    “Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’

    “But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’

    “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

John 1:4
In him was life, and that life was the light of men.

Christ The King – He Rode a Donkey’s Colt – But Will Soon Ride a White Horse

“Do not be afraid,Oh Daughter of Zion; see, your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” (John 12:15)

Today we celebrate the Triumphal Entry, when Christ came into Jerusalem on the celebration of passover, (also called Palm Sunday), when the Jews would sacrifice a lamb ,”without spot or blemish,” to pay for the sins they had committed in the previous year.

A donkey’s colt was neither tame or considered able to be ridden.

For Jesus to come into Jerusalem in this manner was considered miraculous by those who witnessed it.

The Jews wanted to make Jesus their King, but they did not know that He had come to be their Savior, the lamb of God, without spot or blemish, that will,” take away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

This is the Jesus we know now, the humble servant leader that laid down His life for us, in sacrifice to pay for our sins.

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,” (1 Peter 3:18)

This Jesus calls to us to come to Him and makes it clear that He has done all the heavy lifting.

He only wants us to rest from our own works and to trust His humble gentle heart.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”(Matthew 11:28-30)

But the day is coming when Christ will come down again , only He will show us another dimension to His title of King Of Kings and Lord of Lords.

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“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

   KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:11-16)

The Bible tells us much about each age that has been, and those that are still to come.

For He will come again.

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)

The time to prepare for the age to come is now.

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

(Romans 10:9)

The Centrality of The Gospel – Bible Study Outline by Dr. Tim Keller – Redeemer Presbyterian Church – Manhattan New York

Three crosses mountain. Szydłowiec near Radom,...

Three crosses mountain. Szydłowiec near Radom, Poland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The truth of the Gospel does not fit in any category that preexisted in the human mind.

We think in general terms to varying degrees of God’s provision for our redemption or our own works to hopefully merit our own redemption or some kind of blend of each.

Malcolm Muggerage  said that if God be not God then mankind will worship either power or pleasure, Hitler or Hugh Hefner.

Tertullian said that even as Christ was crucified between two thieves, the Gospel is subject to two world-views that are each born out of mankind’s self-centered tendencies toward power or pleasure.

We call them Legalism and License.

Both are similar in that they are self-centered instead of Christ Centered.

(Tertullian was one of the earliest post Apostle Christian theologians, (160 – 225 A.D.)

This Bible study outline is from one of Keller’s sermons ,and is created by Keller for his church in New York.

The following are excerpts from the full outline.

(The entire outline is available free online at the link at the bottom of the page.)

“The gospel is not the first “step” in a “stairway” of truths, rather, it is more like the “hub” in a “wheel” of truth. The gospel is not just the A-B-C’s but the A to Z of Christianity. The gospel is not just the minimum required doctrine necessary to enter the kingdom, but the way we make all progress in the kingdom.” Tim Keller

“We are not justified by the gospel and then sanctified by obedience, but the gospel is the way we grow (Gal.3:1-3) and are renewed (Col.1:6). It is the solution to each problem, the key to each closed-door, the power through every barrier (Rom.1:16-17). It is very common in the church to think as follows. “The gospel is for non-Christians. One needs it to be saved. But once saved, you grow through hard work and obedience.” But Col.1:6 shows that this is a mistake. Both confession and “hard work” that is not arising from and “in line” with the gospel will not sanctify you–it will strangle you. All our problems come from a failure to apply the gospel. Thus when Paul left the Ephesians he committed them “to the word of his grace, which can build you up” (Acts 20:32)”

“The main problem, then, in the Christian life is that we have not thought out the deep implications of the gospel, we have not “used” the gospel in and on all parts of our life. Richard Lovelace says that most people’s problems are just a failure to be oriented to the gospel–a failure to grasp and believe it through and through. Luther says, “The truth of the Gospel is the principle article of all Christian doctrine….Most necessary is it that we know this article well, teach it to others, and beat it into their heads continually.” (on Gal.2:14f)

“The gospel is not easily comprehended. Paul says that the gospel only does its renewing work in us as we understand it in all its truth.

“All of us, to some degree live around the truth of the gospel but do not “get” it. So the key to continual and deeper spiritual renewal and revival is the continual re-discovery of the gospel. A stage of renewal is always the discovery of a new implication or application of the gospel–seeing more of its truth. This is true for either an individual or a church.”

The two “thieves” of the gospel.

Since Paul uses a metaphor for being “in line” with the gospel, we can consider that gospel renewal occurs when we keep from walking “off-line” either to the right or to the left. The key for thinking out the implications of the gospel is to consider the gospel a “third” way between two mistaken opposites. However, before we start we must realize that the gospel is not a half-way compromise between the two poles–it does not produce “something in the middle”, but something different from both. The gospel critiques both religion and irreligion (Matt.21:31; 22:10).

“Tertullian said, “Just as Christ was crucified between two thieves, so this doctrine of justification is ever crucified between two opposite errors.” Tertullian meant that there were two basic false ways of thinking, each of which “steals” the power and the distinctiveness of the gospel from us by pulling us “off the gospel line” to one side or the other. These two errors are very powerful, because they represent the natural tendency of the human heart and mind. (The gospel is “revealed” by God (Rom.1:17)– the unaided human mind cannot conceive it.) These “thieves” can be called moralism or legalism on the one hand, and hedonism or relativism on the other hand. Another way to put it is: the gospel opposes both religion and irreligion. On the one hand, “moralism/religion” stresses truth without grace, for it says that we must obey the truth in order to be saved. On the other hand, “relativists/irreligion” stresses grace without truth, for they say that we are all accepted by God (if there is a God) and we have to decide what is true for us. But “truth” without grace is not really truth, and “grace” without truth is not really grace. Jesus was “full of grace and truth”. Any religion or philosophy of life that de-emphasizes or lose one or the other of these truths, falls into legalism or into license and either way, the joy and power and “release” of the gospel is stolen by one thief or the other.”

“They are both based on distorted views of the real God.

“The irreligious person loses sight of the law and holiness of God and the religious person loses sight of the love and grace of God, in the end they both lose the gospel entirely. For the gospel is that on the cross Jesus fulfilled the law of God out of love for us. Without a full understanding of the work of Christ, the reality of God’s holiness will make his grace unreal, or the reality of his love will make his holiness unreal. Only the gospel–that we are so sinful that we need to be saved utterly by grace–allows a person to see God as he really is. The gospel shows us a God far more holy than the legalist can bear (he had to die because we could not satisfy his holy demands) and yet far more merciful than a humanist can conceive (he had to die because he loved us)”

They both deny our sin–so lose the joy and power of grace.”

 

Related articles

“Nothing that is God’s is obtainable by money.”- Tertullian

“Nothing that is God’s is obtainable by money.”- Tertullian

“For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s”. ( 1 Corinthians 6:20)

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