Senin, 19 Desember 2016


Hasil gambar untuk Food For Thought

"A pharisee is hard on others and easy on himself, but a spiritual
man is easy on others and hard on himself."
-A.W. Tozer

"Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire
must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ..."
-A.W. Tozer

"Nowhere can we get to know the holiness of God, and come
under His influence and power, except in the inner chamber. It
has been well said: "No man can expect to make progress in
holiness who is not often and long alone with God."
-Andrew Murray

"Do not strive in your own strength; cast yourself at the feet of
the Lord Jesus, and wait upon Him in the sure confidence that
He is with you, and works in you. Strive in prayer; let faith fill
your heart-so will you be strong in the Lord, and in the power
of His might."
-Andrew Murray

"Thou must be emptied of that wherewith thou art full, that thou
mayest be filled with that whereof thou art empty."

Food For Thought

Hasil gambar untuk Food For Thought
Food For Thought 
by George Davis 

In 1949 the communist revolution marked the end of all missionary efforts in 
China. All foreign missionaries were expelled. After the communist takeover 
the Chinese government bitterly attacked the Church in China, driving  it 

For 25 years China was closed to any outside "Christian" influences. Little 
information filtered through the tight-knit bamboo curtain. All remaining 
Christian leaders were rounded up wholesale and were either imprisoned or 
killed outright. Everything that was considered "Christian" was destroyed, 
church building, bibles, hymnals, everything. For 25 years a holocaust far 
exceeding that, inflicted on the Jews by Nazi Germany, ensued. It is 
estimated that about 27 million died during this purging. 

In 1978 Deng Xiaoping came into power and China opened her borders once 
again. The western world stood in breathless anticipation. What would they 
find in the aftermath of such a horrible slaughter? Missionaries from around 
the world stood ready, poised in anxious intrepidity. Would there even be 
one surviving believer? Nothing could have possibly prepared them for what 
they were about to see! 

After 25 years of horrendous persecution the missionaries returned to find 
that the church in China had not been obliterated, as many had feared, but 
that they had grown in number from the estimated one million believers 
before the 1949 revolution, to about 30 million. The contrast was amazing! 
What had caused such unprecedented growth? How could this be? Not only  had
they grown numerically but they had grown spiritually. The tales of their 
devotion to Christ are nothing short of inspirational. Most bewildering is 
the fact that this unparalleled growth occurred without the aid of any of 
those things that are thought to be essential in denominational  churches 
today. Without the aid of professional pastors/priests, church buildings, 
bibles, Sunday-school materials, homilies, hymnals and mass gatherings,  the
Church in China has grown numerically and spiritually to be the most 
victorious expression of Christ's Church on the earth today. By all 
accounts, nothing like it has existed since the early Church. The very gates 
of hell could not prevail against her! 

Makes you think doesn't it? 


Follow Your Hunger

Follow Your Hunger
(En Español)

Today too many Christians have lost their hunger for God. Instead of coming into the Lord's presence hungry for more of His fullness, our thoughts are held hostage to worldly pursuits and fleshly distractions. At best, we are merely curious about spiritual realities, but not truly hungry.
Let me tell you a story that illustrates what I mean. We had a little dog named Sophie. Sophie loved people food. To her, eating people food was the culinary equivalent of entering the Kingdom of God. She loved our food. She even had a Bible verse that she claimed in faith: "Even the dogs feed on the crumbs" (Matt. 15:27).
When my wife and I shared a meal, Sophie would sit at our feet, squint her eyes, and stare at us (she thought squinting made her cuter). Any food that fell to the floor instantly vanished into her mouth. No matter how much of her food she had already eaten, she was always hungry for ours.
Our home had a small, fenced-in yard outside our porch where Sophie played. Although the fence surrounded the area, there were gaps where the pickets didn't quite reach to the ground. If Sophie wanted, she actually could squeeze under the fence and get out, but she normally had no reason to try. Occasionally she would get curious and go as far as the gate and stand there a while and look out, but she didn't leave the yard.
One day, though, my wife decided to feed a few slices of stale bread to the birds that nested on the other side of the fence. When Sophie went out an hour later, she immediately noticed a human food smell in the air, which she tracked to the bread. In less than a heartbeat she found a little gap under the picket fence, flattened herself to the ground, and then shimmied through the fence to the bread on the other side. It was gone in less than a minute.
My point is this: hunger will take you where mere curiosity would never go.
My friend, God is looking for hungry people. Blessed are they who hunger. He is seeking people who are truly seeking Him. Indeed, He has bread from Heaven for us, and it is eternally satisfying. We cannot afford to settle into the routine of a fenced-in reality, not when God has eternal food prepared for us. Let us, therefore, follow our hunger as we pursue the presence of God.
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by Gary Wilkerson
(Nov 21, 2016)

Judgment - I am not accustomed to writing messages on this
subject, and you may be surprised by this one. I prepared it with
great reservations; in fact, it took me far beyond my comfort zone,
even though I am dedicated to preaching the whole counsel of God.

Right now I am compelled to speak because of something I see
happening in our culture. I have grown convinced that America
now stands on the brink of one of the most extreme judgments it
has ever faced. And in this bleak hour God has something to say
to His Church that may begin to turn the tide.

When I grew up, it wasn´t unusual to hear this kind of difficult
message in the denomination my family was part of. Occasionally
I heard my father preach on the subject of judgment. What I´m
talking about is a prophetic message (although my dad was
adamant about not being called a prophet). He said he was a "watchman."


These days I better appreciate the messages my dad preached
and the anguish they caused him. I know he spent hours
wrestling with God over the difficult sermons he delivered. As a
pastor, I appreciate A. W. Tozer´s lesson that God loves to speak
to the man or woman who loves to listen. Yet I fear the church
has lost that practice. God wants to speak to us about our family,
our marriage, our life´s direction, but our ear is inclined less and
less to His voice and more to the world´s.

The Bible calls this condition a famine of the Word of God (see
Amos 8:11) - a lack of knowledge of God and His ways. In times
of chaos He will use the famine to get our attention and He has
my full attention right now! And if He is speaking hard messages
about society to grace-oriented pastors such as I am, it tells me
He is up to something.


© 2016 World Challenge. All rights reserved. PO Box 260,
Lindale, TX 75771-0260, (903) 963-8626

"This Time I Will Praise the Lord"

"This Time I Will Praise the Lord"
(En Español)

We cannot pass through life without getting hurt. Pain and disappointment in this world are inevitable. How we handle our setbacks, though, shapes our character and prepares us for eternity. Our attitude is the pivotal factor determining the level of our protection from strife. Regardless of the hardships we have faced, and in spite of the mistakes we have made, the end of our lives can either be full of praise and thanksgiving or full of misery and complaint. In the final analysis, what we have experienced in life will be as rich as the desires we have had fulfilled or as painful as the things we regret.
The Bible tells us, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick" (Prov. 13:12). Deep disappointments in life have a way of never leaving us; they enter our hearts like fire and then harden into our nature like lava. Setbacks can leave us cautious about new ventures and suspicious of new friends.
Our woundedness restrains our openness. We are fearful that we will be hurt again by new relationships. Gradually, unless we learn to handle heartache correctly, we can become embittered and resentful cynics. We lose the joy of being alive.
The Source of Fulfillment
It is our own desires and the degree of their fulfillment that produce either joy or sorrow in our lives. Even basic desires for marriage or friends can enslave us if they consume our attention. Are these desires evil? No, but if having our desires fulfilled is the main reason we have come to Christ, it is possible our lives simply will not improve until our priorities change.

Have no doubt, the Lord is concerned about fulfilling our desires, but to do so He must turn our hearts toward His grace. Indeed, the reason we are alive is not to fulfill our desires but to become His worshipers.
The quest for personal fulfillment can become an idol; it can develop into such an obsession that we are living for happiness more than living for God. Thus, part of our salvation includes having our desires prioritized by Christ. In the Sermon on the Mount, He put it this way: "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself" (Matt. 6:33-34). God wants to, and will, satisfy us beyond our dreams, but not before He is first in our hearts.
A wonderful example of this can be seen in the life of Leah, Jacob's first wife. Leah was unattractive, unwanted, and unloved by her husband. Jacob had served Laban, Leah's father, seven years for Rachel, who was Leah's younger sister. On their wedding night, however, Laban put Leah in the nuptial tent instead of Rachel. Although Jacob actually did marry Rachel a week later, he had to work another seven years for her. So Jacob had two wives who were sisters.
The Scriptures tell us that Rachel was loved by Jacob, but Leah was hated. Yet we also read that "the Lord saw that Leah was hated . . ." (Gen. 29:31 KJV). We must understand this about the nature of God: the Lord is drawn to those who hurt. "The Lord saw . . . Leah." What wonderful words! In the same way water descends and fills that which is lowest, so Christ reaches first to the afflicted, to fill the lowliest and comfort them.
The Lord saw that Leah was unloved. He saw her pain, loneliness and heartache. Leah, though unloved by Jacob, was deeply loved by the Lord, and He gave her a son. Leah's reaction was predictable. She said, "Surely now my husband will love me" (v. 32).
Worse than living your life alone is to be married to someone who hates you, as was Leah. How Leah wished that Jacob would share the love he had for Rachel with her. Who could blame her? Leah's desires were justified. She had given Jacob a firstborn son. In her mind, if the Lord could open her womb, He could also open Jacob's heart. But the time was not yet; Jacob still did not love her.
Twice more Leah gave birth to sons, and each time her desire was for her husband. She said, "Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons" (v. 34). Yet Jacob's heart still did not desire her.
For Leah, as well as for us, there is a lesson here: you cannot make another person love you. In fact, the more pressure you place upon others to accept you, the more likely they are to reject you instead. Leah's concept of fulfillment was based on attaining Jacob's love, and now her problem was worsening. Not only was she unattractive to Jacob, but also her jealousies were adding to her lack of loveliness.
Three times we read in this text that the Lord saw and heard that Leah was unloved. He saw her affliction. Through all her striving for Jacob and her disappointment with her marital relationship, the Lord was tenderly wooing Leah to Himself.
As Leah became pregnant a fourth time, a miracle of grace occurred within her. She gradually became aware that, while she had not been the focus of her husband's love, she was loved by God. And as this fourth pregnancy drew near to completion, she drew nearer and nearer to God. She became a worshiper of the Almighty.
As she gave birth to another son, she said, "This time I will praise the Lord" (v. 35). She named that child Judah, which means, "praise." It was from the tribe of Judah that Christ was born.
Leah had been seeking self-fulfillment and found only heartache and pain. But as she became a worshiper of God, she entered life's highest fulfillment: she began to please God.
It is right here that the human soul truly begins to change and enter God's stronghold. As Leah found fulfillment in God, He began to remove from her the jealousies, insecurities, and heartaches that life had conveyed to her. A true inner beauty started growing in Leah; she became a woman at rest.
Likewise, we each have character defects that we are reluctant or unable to face. Others have seen these things in us, but they have lacked the courage to tell us. Both physically and personally, these flaws in our nature are what leave us feeling anxious and threatened.
It is not counsel or classes on success or self-esteem that we need; we simply need to discover God's love for us. As we begin to praise Him in all things, we simultaneously put on the garments of salvation. We are actually being saved from that which would otherwise have destroyed us!
Disappointments and heartaches cannot cling to us, for we are worshipers of God! And "God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God" (Rom. 8:28). If we continue to love God, nothing we experience can ultimately turn out harmful since God takes all we pass through and, in His redemptive power, works it for our good

The Tree of Life
You will remember the verse we quoted, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick" (Prov. 13:12). The verse concludes with, "But desire fulfillment is a tree of life." As our desires are fulfilled, we are fulfilled. Since it is the fulfillment of our desires that fills us with satisfaction, the secret to a rewarding life is to commit our desires to God.

Let Him choose the times and means of our fulfillment, allowing the Lord to prepare us for Himself along the way. The truth is that in ourselves we are incomplete; but in Christ we have been made complete (Col. 2:10).
You say, "That's easy for you to say. You have a wonderful wife and family. You are blessed. But you don't understand my problems." Yes, I do. My wonderful marriage was very difficult for the first few years. We struggled with many things in our relationship. My wife and I both came to the place where we were unfulfilled in each other. But, like Leah, we both looked to God and said, "This time I will praise the Lord." In fact, we named our second child the very name Leah gave to her fourth -- Judah.
For us, as for Leah, our lives were turned around as we chose to delight in God. As we became His worshipers, He began to work on our hearts until we were not only more pleasing to Him, we were also pleasing to each other! What I am relating to you is the very thing that saved and blessed our marriage!
Psalm 37:4 reads, "Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart." As you delight in God, you change. The negative effects of disappointment and grief fall off. As love and joy from God begin to fulfill us, our very souls are restored and beautified. Yes, delight yourself with Jesus and your self-destructive tendencies will actually begin to vanish. Christ will beautify your life from the inside out.
The Outcome of Leah's Life
What happened with Leah? Well, the long years came and went. In time, Rachel and then Leah died. Jacob, on his deathbed, spoke to his sons: "I am about to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave . . . which Abraham bought . . . for a burial site. There they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah, there they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there I buried Leah" (Gen. 49:29-31).

Jacob had buried Leah in the ancestral place of honor! Oh how those words, though few, imply so much! They tell us that God had, in some marvelous inner way, beautified this afflicted one with salvation. After Leah found fulfillment in God, God gave her fulfillment in Jacob. We can imagine that over the years inner peace and spiritual beauty shone forth from Leah; Jacob was knit to her in love. It is not hard to imagine that when Leah died, she left smiling, with the praises of God upon her lips.
Become a worshiper of God! As you surrender your desires to Him, as you put Him first, He will take what you give Him and make it beautiful in its time. He will take what has been bent and imbalanced within you and make you stand upright in His light and glory.
Therefore, this day speak to your soul. Tell the areas of unfulfillment within you that this time you will praise the Lord!

Lord, I am a Leah, unlovely and always seeking the love of those who have rejected me. How foolish I have been. How blind. There is no love, no fulfillment in this life apart from You. You are the tree of life that satisfies all desires; You are the healer of my heart. I love You, Lord Jesus. Amen.

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Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, I Will Be Found by You, available at
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Hasil gambar untuk TROUBLEMAKERS in the CHURCH
by David Wilkerson

We need more troublemakers in the church! I pray that every
member of the body of Christ would become a troublemaker! We
need an army of troublemakers who have become so full of the
Holy Ghost they will stir up and trouble New York City and every
other city around the world; trouble their wicked institutions -
challenge the established dead churches - trouble the leaders,
the mayors, the city councils, the community leadership! In other
words, we need Holy Ghost troublemakers moving in the Spirit,
proclaiming the kingship of Christ so effectively that whole cities
are stirred!

Paul and Silas were two the world's biggest troublemakers! The
Bible speaks of "men that have risked their lives for the name of
our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 15:26, NAS). Paul, Barnabas, Silas,
and Timothy were such men, walking in the power of the Spirit.
As seen in Acts 16, when the Holy Ghost forbid them to speak
the Word in Asia, they obeyed. When they tried to go to Bithynia,
but the Spirit would not permit them, they went instead to Troas,
under the Spirit's direction. Paul then had a vision of a man
calling them to Macedonia, so they set out immediately to
Philippi, the chief city of Macedonia. When they arrived, a fortune
teller followed them about, crying, "...These men are the servants
of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation"
(Acts 16:17). After enduring it for many days, Paul turned and
"...said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ
to come out of her. And he came out the same hour" (Acts 16:18).
Suddenly the whole city was in an uproar: this fortune teller was
apparently a big tourist attraction, but now she was healed and
praising the Lord!

Paul had upset the status quo. He had challenged the devil who
had been having his way for years. The slave-owners of the
delivered woman then dragged Paul and Silas into the market-
place to stand trial before the city magistrates. The charge was,
"...These men... do exceedingly trouble our city" (Acts 16:20).
"And the multitude rose up together against them: and the
magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them
into prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks" (Acts 16:22-24).
It looked as though Satan had won. The new converts must have
been stunned! But all the power of God is with Holy Ghost
troublemakers! "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and
sang praises unto God... and suddenly there was a great earth-
quake, so that the foundations of the prison was shaken: and
immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands
were loosed" (Acts 16:25-26). The jailer, seeing what had
happened, even fell down before Paul and Silas, saying "...Sirs,
what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30). Those city officials
and religious leaders went to bed thinking, "We did it to them!
That's the last we will hear of those vagabond troublemakers. We
really shut them up and scared them!" But what a commotion the
next day! I can imagine sergeants knocking on the doors of the
mayor, city council members, and the religio us leaders, telling
them, "Quick! Get down to city hall - we've got a big problem!"

In a state of shock, the officials probably responded, "What? An
earthquake? The prison doors opened? Their chains all fell off?
They didn't even try to escape? The jailer joined their faith?
They're Romans?!?" Now, they were really afraid. It was a crime
to beat Roman citizens (Paul and Silas were both Romans).
"What do you mean they won't budge from our jail? They demand
what? For us to come down and apologize and escort them out
of jail? " And they came... and brought them out... begging them
to leave the city" (Acts 16:39).

I love it! Here they were, not flaunting their spiritual authority, but
merely acting as ambassadors of King Jesus. As they had
witnessed Christ's power being mocked, Paul and Silas now
wanted that little riverside prayer group to see how God manifests
His power to those who stand up against the forces of hell. They
went directly to the house of Lydia - and what a meeting that
must have been! I would think Paul told that house group, "See!
The devil can rage, the powers that be may threaten - but God
has all the power! God will stand by you if you take a stand!"

I preach a great deal on prayer and I believe in the effectual,
fervent prayer of the righteous. But praying alone, praying by two's
and three's, or even in a large prayer meeting will not alone shake
a city! Elijah was a man of powerful prayer, but it was more than
his prayers that shook Ahab's kingdom and enraged Jezebel: He
called the false prophets to Mount Carmel and challenged them.
Jezebel had slain God's prophets and led Israel into apostasy
and the horrible idolatry of Baal worship - and no one had
challenged her! Seven thousand believers had not bowed, but they
were silent, unknown, and afraid. So along comes Elijah, the
troublemaker! Ahab called him "the troubler of Israel!" (1 Kings
18:17). Elijah ended up at the Brook Kishon with a sword in his
hand, slaying hundreds of Baal's false prophets "in the name of Jehovah."

Elijah was not a polite gentlemen with the devil and his crowd.
While "...they leaped upon the alter... Elijah mocked them
[derided them]" (1 Kings 18:26-27).

The church of late has cowered before the powers of darkness
due to the lack of holiness, for the Scripture tells us, "...The
righteous are bold as a lion" (Proverbs 28:1). Some will say, "But
Jesus was meek - He never opened His mouth or resisted when
they took Him to be crucified!" But that was because the hour
of darkness had come, the hour He was to be given into the hands
of the enemy. He was not silent in the temple when driving out
the money-changers. He was not silent when calling religious
leaders serpents - blind guides - whited sepulchers - a brood of
vipers (see Matthew 23). He even told some boldly that Satan
was their father!

Many churches today are full of silent, gentlemanly diplomats,
not wanting to make waves! Nobody wants trouble! So the devil's
kingdom goes unchallenged. We have more than enough smiling,
mousy Christians!......



Hasil gambar untuk sin

"The recognition of sin is the beginning of salvation."
- Martin Luther

"Many mourn for their sins that do not truly repent of them, weep
bitterly for them, and yet continue in love and league with them."
- Matthew Henry

"Have you ever stood on the same plot of ground with the publican,
crying--God be merciful to me a sinner?"
- William Tiptaft

"Repentance is as much a mark of a Christian, as faith is. A very
little sin, as the world calls it, is a very great sin to a true Christian."
- Charles Spurgeon

"To do so no more is the truest repentance."
- Martin Luther

"Repentance is more than just sorrow for the past; repentance is
a change of mind and heart, a new life of denying self and serving
the Savior as king in self's place."
- J.I. Packer