All posts tagged: Christian

Rolling Up your sleeves


1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. The idea “of preparing for action” is much like the phrase “rolling up your sleeves.” God is calling us to roll up our sleeves and get to work on the most important thing in life – our faith, our relationship with him. Two thoughts from 1 Peter 1:13 1. Prepare you mind for action. Be Sober. This means to take a serious look at life. There must come a time in the life of every person when he or she must ask the hard or most important questions. What am I doing with my life? Where will I go if I were to die today? What is the meaning of all of this, God, Jesus, this world, church, suffering, my faith and christian life etc…? Am I on the right track? Am I sober? Am I right with God – am I growing as I should – is …

Christmas Wars: Then and Now


Originally posted on Veracity:
The “War on Christmas”? Are we missing something here? Perhaps a look at church history might help. It is that time of year again, December, when Christians in America face an annual existential crisis: Do you wish people a “Merry Christmas”… or not? I must confess that I am not crazy about fighting amongst the shopping hordes at the mall, and the year after year pressure of finding the right gift can be really stressful. Sure, shopping online helps a teeny bit, but what I am talking about here is a more fundamental cultural anxiety. Increasingly over the past few years, I have heard Christians grumble throughout the month of December over how “they have taken Christ out of Christmas!” I have read angry letters in the local newspaper complaining how store operators are greeting customers more and more with the shallow and inadequate “Happy Holidays”. Where have the traditional nativity scenes at the community fire station gone? Have a “Joyous Winter Solstice”? What is that all about? Folks. Let’s face…

7 Scriptures to look up before you shout “legalism”


There is a growing group of Christians today that want nothing to do with any kind of restriction from scripture or common sense Christian values in matters of faith and life. Any objection to the kind of movies they watch, the kind of music they listen to, the way they dress, the jokes they tell, getting wasted, the use of curse words or inappropriate language is usually seen as being “legalistic.” The problem here is, I think, we want to be mere men, but we are not mere men. We want to be like everyone else, but we are not everyone else. We want to be normal, but we are not normal. We want to be ordinary, but we are not ordinary. God made us and called us to be extraordinary. And instead of letting scripture shape the way we live, we water it down a little for culture to have a little wiggle room around truth. But it is important to understand that the things we watch and listen to have profound effects on us. Like my spiritual father used to say, “what goes in …

10 Signs that show you have fallen from Grace


You deliberately tolerate and fall into sin. You could care less about the will of God You do not trust God, the scripture nor the church You are completely isolated from everything. That includes God and His people You have an unhealthy pursuit of money and material things You are vengeful and unwilling to forgive  You have no desire for worship, prayer, obedience and church fellowship You no longer feel His presence, hear His voice, or fear Him You demand perfection of others Yet, you are longing, deep down inside you, for God to do something about all the above because you feel helpless He is doing something about it…. right here, now! Earnestly fervently Jesus is calling, calling oh sinner come home.

listening: a greater service than speaking.


Christians, especially ministers, so often think they must always contribute something when they are in the company of others, that this is the one service they have to render. They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking. Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God either; he will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God too. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life, and in the end there is nothing left but spiritual chatter. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (New York: Harper & Row, 1954), pages 97-8.

Fallin


There you go again… you did it. You promised God that it will never happen again. But there you go again… dealing, sniffing, lusting, gossiping. You told yourself it was all over. But there you go again… angry, grumpy envious, sensual. You have fallen. Well, it is not okay, but it’s okay. “Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” So get up! Commit again… Try again… Quote: Chinese Proverb Video: Trip, born William Lee Barefield III

How to Excel in Pleasing God


In this first letter to the Thessalonians Paul begins in chapter 1:4 by recounting how the gospel – preached with the Holy Spirit’s power and full conviction – had touched and transformed the lives of many. This transformation was so plain to Paul that he declared in 1 Thess. 2:1 that “our coming to you was not in vain” and how in 1 Thess. 1:9, “they had turned from idols to the living God.” He calls them imitators of God in 1 Thess. 1:6, and boasted about how their testimony had gone forth not only in their immediate surroundings, but also to far away places (1 Thess. 1:8). Paul also called them his hope and joy, the crown of exultation, and glory (1 Thess. 2:19, 20),  and broke out in ecstatic praise when he got news that they were doing great in their walk with the Lord even though he had not visited to impart what he thought they were lacking in their walk with the Lord. Even after hearing how great they were doing – Paul still continued to pray for them to increase and abound in their walk with the Lord. He admonished …

Beyond Information to Transformation


Let me begin with a status update from my spiritual father’s Facebook page. He wrote: Reading through Jeremiah and Lamentations in the One Year Bible [really gasping for air].  GOD’s tolerance for dirty living was at “0.”  And my “take away?” 1.  Clean living is valuable. 2.  Clean living’s got to be “on our radar.” 3.  Clean living has to be a from the “inside–out” deal. GOD — please — take GT beyond information to transformation. In this Facebook status update I would like for you to notice just one phrase. Forrest says, “Take GT beyond information to transformation.” For those of you who do not know Pastor Beiser, he is my spiritual father. And he leads a thriving church in San Francisco. This phrase, “beyond information to transformation,” has been one of the driving forces of his life and ministry, at least since I’ve known him. Making disciples  is what he lives for. So, how do you lead people beyond information to transformation? Here are a few suggestions: 1. Pioneer a yearning lifestyle Let your people see your devotion. Don’t …

Prayer Knows No Bounds


Faith, and hope, and patience and all the strong, beautiful, vital forces of piety are withered and dead in a prayerless life. The life of the individual believer, his personal salvation, and personal Christian graces have their being, bloom, and fruitage in prayer. God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers are deathless. They outlive the lives of those who uttered them. Prayer is of transcendent importance. Prayer is the mightiest agent to advance God’s work. Praying hearts and hands only can do God’s work. Prayer succeeds when all else fails. Prayer honors God, acknowledges His being, exalts His power, adores His providence, secures His aid. Prayer puts God’s work in His hands-and keeps it there. Prayer is our most formidable weapon, the thing which makes all else we do efficient. It is hard to wait and press and pray, and hear no voice, but stay till God answers. The possibilities of prayer are found in its allying itself with the purposes of God, for God’s purposes and man’s praying are the combination of all potent and omnipotent …

The “Coca-Cola-nization” of the world


And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthian 3:18 There is a quest for transcendence, a recognition that the human spirit will never be satisfied by the material order. It’s the main reason for the collapse of Euro-Marxism. Marxism was offered as an ideological substitute for religion, and Marx confidently predicted that religion would wither away and die. But the human spirit cannot be satisfied with the material. As Jesus said, quoting Deuteronomy, “The human being doesn’t live by bread only but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Theodore Roszak, although he lived and wrote before the New Age began, wrote about this. He couldn’t bear what he called the “Coca-Cola-nization” of the world. He hated the pseudoscience that claims to explain everything, and he couldn’t bear the undoing of the mysteries. When science gets its hand on something, there are …