Minggu, 12 November 2017
THE CALL to FORSAKE ALL
by Michael Carl.
"As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his
brother Andrew casting a net into the sea?for they were fishermen.
And Jesus said to them, 'Follow me and I will make you fish for
people.' And immediately they left their nets and followed him."
What did it mean when Jesus strolled the shore of Lake Galilee
and call those men to serve Him without reservation? Well, in
one way or another, it meant a complete surrender to Jesus.
When they heard Him say, "'If any want to become my followers,
let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me'"
(Mark 8.34), they eventually learned that He meant it.
For most of them, it meant dying for the Lord. We all know from
Foxe's Book of Martyrs that all of the original Apostles, second
edition (with Matthias), except John went to a martyr's death.
Thomas, not realising the full impact of what he was saying, said
it correctly when he said in John chapter eleven, "'Let's go back
to Judea so we may die with Him.'"
Yet, we have to ask today, what does it mean when Jesus says,
"'Follow me and I will make you fish for people'"? Is there any
real meaning behind Jesus' own words, "'If any want to become
my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross
and follow Me'" for us today? Do we really believe this or have
Christ's own words simply become a romanticised exercise in a
formulaic religious contemplation for today's 21st Century North
In truth, we have to come to terms with the reality that if we don't
really believe He means what He says in these Mark passages,
then in fact we are denying the truth and efficacy of God's Word.
As one of my teachers along the way said, "We´re professing
believers; but in fact, we´re practical atheists."
The good professor was blunt, but brutally true. When it comes
to obeying the Word of God, we don´t do too well with the
passages requiring personal sacrifice.
Folks, this must change. If we're ever to realise the depth and
beauty of a vital relationship with our Lord, we have to let go and
be willing to trust Him with ALL of His Words.
Are we willing to do that?
If not, then our practical doubts are going to rob us of the very
meat and meaning for which we deeply long.
Let us resolve this day that we're not going to be spectators;
we're going to take a step from the shore, wade in and fully
become "a fisherman".
More GREAT QUOTES
"Churches don't need new members half so much as they need
the old bunch made over."
- Billy Sunday
"Beware, I pray thee, of presuming that thou art saved... if there be
no vital change, no inward godliness; if there be no love to God, no
prayer, no work of the Holy Spirit, then thy saying "I am saved" is
but thine own assertion, and it may delude, but it will not deliver thee."
- Charles Spurgeon
"Revival begins in the individual's heart. Let it begin with you on
your face alone before God. Turn from every sin that might hinder.
Renew yourself to a new devotion to the Savior."
- Lee Roberson
"While others still slept, He went away to pray and to renew His
strength in communion with His Father. He had need of this,
otherwise He would not have been ready for the new day. The
holy work of delivering souls demands constant renewal through
fellowship with God."
- Andrew Murray
"To forsake sin, is to leave it without any thought reserved of
returning to it again."
- William Gurnall
"No matter what the ruin of any life may be there is always a place
to start. There is a place where you must begin. You need to
apologize to someone. You need to go to somebody and straighten
something out. You need to stop some practice that is wrong. You
need to open yourself up to counsel. You need to seek advice. You
need to get some guidance. There is always a first step. That is
where you must begin."
- Ray C. Stedman
When we study what Jesus taught, it is obvious to me that He came to make us "unoffendable." Consider: He says that if someone slaps you on one cheek, offer him the other (Luke 6:29). He said to love our enemies and bless those who curse us (Luke 6:27-28). What He's really doing is showing us how an unoffendable heart of love overcomes all adversity.
We pray, "Lord, I want to change." To answer our prayer, He sometimes must put us in situations that perfectly offend us. The offense itself awakens our need of grace. Thus, the Lord precipitates change by first offending the area of our soul He desires to transform. He does not expect us to merely survive this adversity but to become Christlike in it.
Ask Joseph in the Old Testament: the land of offense became the land of his anointing and power because he possessed an unoffendable heart. He never stopped trusting God in spite of the injustices and trials he faced.
Listen my friends: the destiny God has for us unfolds or withers at the junction of offense. How we handle offense is the key to our tomorrow.
"Those who love [God's] law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble" (Ps. 119:165).
Lord, grant me that new creation heart that can walk as Jesus walked through a world of offenses without stumbling. I want to see everything as an opportunity to pray, everything as an opportunity to become Christlike. Lord help me to interpret offenses as opportunities that lead to transformations. Grant me, Lord Jesus, the pulse and beat of Your unoffendable heart. Amen.
More GREAT QUOTES
"Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved
- Charles Spurgeon
"It´s not our business to make the message acceptable, but to
make it available. We are not to see that they like it, but that they
get it." - Vance Havner
"The first duty of the gospel preacher is to declare God´s law and
to show the nature of sin."
- Martin Luther
"Let´s quit fiddling with religion and do something to bring the
world to Christ."
- Billy Sunday
"God save us from living in comfort while sinners are sinking into
hell." - Charles Spurgeon
"The Jesus that men want to see is not the Jesus they need to
see." - G. Campbell Morgan
"It´s a poor sermon that gives no offense; that neither makes the
hearer displeased with himself nor with the preacher"
- George Whitefield
"It´s a sad and shocking fact that many religious people are in
hell." - John R. Rice
Humility with Faith Equals Breakthrough
When we envision the idea of seeking God with our face down, the picture that comes to mind is one of bowing low before our heavenly Father, and thus it should be. We are approaching Him with abject humility. As representatives of the nations, we are confessing our sins and the sins of our cultures to God, beseeching Him to extend mercy and forgiveness, asking Him to move in His compassion and heal our land.
Yet in the humbling of our souls, let us not discard the reality and power of faith. For without faith it is impossible to please Him (Heb. 11:1-6). Yes, let us bow low, yet let us also stand in faith, for the mixture of humility and faith is a potent fragrance.
According to examples in Scripture, this humble yet audacious faith truly moves the heart of God. Consider the Canaanite woman who answered what appeared to be an insult from Jesus: "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs feed on the crumbs" (Matt. 15:27). Hers wasn't an arrogant reply, but the voice of a desperate woman for her daughter. Jesus’ answer tells me she had the perfect attitude of heart: "O woman, your faith is great” (v.28).
Or recall Elijah as he climbed Mt Carmel and, with his "face between his knees," prayed seven times that an extended drought in Israel might end. The cloudless sky presented the illusion that the Almighty was unmoved by Elijah's intercession. Yet when Elijah's servant reported that there was, in fact, one cloud, a tiny wisp of a cloud the size of a man's hand, Elijah's faith recognized God's answer to prayer. Within a few minutes, this tiny cloud, activated by Elijah's faith in God, was transformed into a massive downpour that ended three-and-a-half years of national drought. (See 1 Kings 18:42-45.)
The Bible has many examples of the power of faith when coupled to humility. If we will see a spiritual outpouring in our land, we will need to stay low in the act of intercession. Yet we will also need faith in the goodness of God. Humility empowered by visionary faith equals breakthrough.
Lord, like Elijah, I too bow low before You. I humble myself before You. Forgive our sins, Lord God, for they are many. Show Yourself mighty against our enemies. Master, even as we bow low before you, we refuse to give up on our nation. Lord, forgive, heal and then empower us to bring the lost to You. Let Your name be exalted throughout the land and Your mercy lifted to the heavens. In Jesus' name. Amen!
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A "PURGE" is COMING!
by David Wilkerson
We are not ready for the coming of Christ! Is this the Church
triumphant? Covetous, divorcing, depressed, worldly-minded,
grasping for materialism and success, competitive, lukewarm,
adulterous, rich and increased with goods, unaware of spiritual
blindness and poverty, pleasure-loving, recreation-minded,
consumed with sports, politics, and power - is this the Church
Jesus is coming for?Simply coping, filled with fear and anxiety,
satisfied only to have good health and happiness?
My Bible says He is coming back for an overcoming Church! A
Church without spot or wrinkle! A people whose affections are
on things above! A people with clean hands and pure hearts. A
people who are looking for His coming! A people with a "new
Jerusalem state of mind."
The question is no longer, "What can my faith get me? What
miracle will He perform for me?" The question now is -"How
shall I stand before Him? How shall I make it at the judgment?"
"... who shall stand when He appeareth?" (Malachi 3:2 KJV)
The question is no longer, "How do! feel - how do! get happiness?
How do I get the desire of my heart?"
The question Is-"Can I withstand that moment when I stand before
the Judgment Seat of Christ? How can I withstand when I've lived
so carelessly, so selfishly, so neglectful of His great salvation?"
The central issue now has nothing to do with this world at all. At
issue is-"HAVE I NEGLECTED CHRIST IN THIS MIDNIGHT HOUR?"
The purge is going to begin in the pulpit! "...He shall purify the
sons of Levi..." (Malachi 3:3 KJV) God is going to accomplish
that by "turning up the heat " God isgoing to make things so hot,
so fiery, so intense, God's men will be driven to their knees! This
isthe fire of the Holy Ghost! It isthe fire of persecution. It is the
fire of tribulation. The fire of unbelievable hardships, ridicule,
gossip, financial problems. He is going to shake everything that
can be shaken! He is going to shake, and scrub, and burn, and
purge - and purify!
No man or woman of God will escape the purging! God is
determined to get all the dross and filth out of us. The purge will
spread from the pulpit to the pew! Get ready, saints! God is getting
ready to expose all sin, all adultery, all foolishness! The Holy Ghost
is going to reprove us of sin. How can you play games when God
puts you in His crucible and turns up the fire? Your Holy Ghost
baptism is going to have some fire put to it now!
Malachi said-"...the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven: and
all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and
the day that cometh shall burn them up..." (Malachi 4:1 KJV)
God also promises to bring down the strongholds of the enemy!
He is going to once and for all let the devil and the world know
who has the power!
If God is about to do all that the prophets predicted He would -
WHAT A GLORIOUS FUTURE JUST AHEAD!
A purged, purified ministry!
A Church that God is calling back to repentance and holiness.
A people washed, cleansed - offering praises in true righteousness.
A revival among our young people! Drug strongholds coming down!
Alchohol and divorce no longer prevalent among God's people.
The sound of prayer-intercession!
A people of God who will discern between the holy and the unholy!
Everywhere, God's people turning again to the Word.
A tested, tried people, once again devoted to the Person of Jesus Christ!
His Person being lifted up to draw all men to Him!
Christ no longer the stranger in our midst, but CROWNED - PRE-EMINENT!
A Pentecost that truly exalts the name and power of Jesus Christ,
the Lord of all.
Sabtu, 12 Agustus 2017
More GREAT QUOTES
"Light means nothing to a blind man." - A.W. Tozer
"Some preachers ought to put more fire into their sermons or more
sermons into the fire." - Vance Havner
"The Bible definitely is infallible, how else could it survive so many
years of bad preaching?" - Leonard Ravenhill
"People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste
our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending
their lives...and when the bubble has burst, they will have nothing
of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted."
- Nate Saint, missionary martyr
"The invasion of the Church by the world is a menace to the
extension of Christ's Kingdom. In all ages conformity to the world
by Christians has resulted in lack of spiritual life and a consequent
lack of spiritual vision and enterprise. A secularized or self-
centered Church can never evangelize the world." - John R. Mott
"The neglected heart will soon be a heart overrun with worldly
thoughts; the neglected life will soon become a moral chaos; the
church that is not jealously protected by mighty intercession and
sacrificial labors will before long become the abode of every evil
bird and the hiding place for unsuspected corruption. The creeping
wilderness will soon take over that church that trusts in its ownstrength and forgets to watch and pray." - A. W. Tozer