Monday, August 23, 2010
I have repeatedly heard the wrong interpretation of Jesus 'knocking on the door of sinner's hearts'. This wrong interpretation leads to a wrong understanding of the Gospel. I found this piece from 'founder and perfecter' helpful...
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
The Wrong Application: If you have never accepted Jesus into your heart to be your personal Lord and Savior, know this: Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart, asking you, begging you to let him in. If you have never done that before in your life, I want you to pray this prayer with me. Just repeat after me. “Lord Jesus…”
The Problem: In chapters 2 and 3 of the book of Revelation, Jesus is dictating letters that are to be sent to the churches of Asia. This particular portion is written to the church in Laodicea, a church with a reputation for well-being. By all appearances Laodicea would be a church where Jesus had been invited in a long time ago. Jesus is not knocking on the door of anyone’s heart, but knocking on the door of the church.The Right Application: The reason that Jesus is at the door knocking is because the church has effectively removed Jesus. He is no longer present at the church and they are only keeping up appearances. Jesus is highlighting the irony that a church with a reputation of spirituality is a church where he needs to knock on the door and wait for it to be answered. Therefore, today we must recognize that outward growth and spiritual reputation can be present when Jesus is not. We need to bring Jesus back into our church by preaching the gospel and performing works that are worthy of the gospel of God.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— (Ephesians 4:17-20 ESV)We are looking again at Ephesians 4:17-20. In this short study we will look at the concept of spiritual blindness and the progressive “hardening” or “callousing” over of the heart toward God and His truth as men seek to center everything in self to have their worship and religion be Man Centered instead of where it should be, and is in the hearts of those truly Regenerate, God Centered. Oh yes, I do recognize that all of us must grow from spiritual infants into maturity and that we follow false teachers and bad doctrine, but God will not keep those who are His in this darkness forever, but will do what it takes to draw them out even if it means they become ejected from their home church for example. I have have heard forms of that from so many of you that I have lost track of the number and I no longer doubt that this is God’s doing for He did it to me as well.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
We really need very little
(James Smith, "The Way to Be Wealthy and Happy!" 1859)
"The lions may grow weak and hungry--but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing." Psalm 34:10
Those who seek the Lord may be sick, or poor, or tried, in a variety of ways; but the Lord will send them supplies, OR give them the grace of contentment, so that they shall not lack any good thing.
We really need very little--therefore the apostle says, "If we have food and clothing--we will be content with that!" 1 Timothy 6:8. And again, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said: Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
"They shall not lack any good thing." That is, they shall not lack whatever is really good for them at the time--and under the circumstances. Whatever will promote their holiness and happiness--shall certainly be conveyed to them.
Those who seek the Lord are sure of necessary supplies, for four reasons:
First, the Lord is ABLE to supply them. "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof." He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think!
Second, the Lord DESIRES to supply them. "Like as a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. He knows our frame--He remembers that we are dust."
Third, the Lord has PROMISED to supply them. "The Lord God is a sun and shield, the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly." "My God shall supply all your needs, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Fourth, the Lord ALWAYS HAS supplied them. Look at Jacob, at David--and at all who have already arrived in glory. If the question, put by the Lord Jesus, to His disciples, when they returned from their missionary tour, on which He sent them without purse or bag, was put to them: "Have you lacked anything?" Every one of them would readily answer, "Nothing, Lord!"
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (Ephesians 4:11-14 ESV)There is little doubt that there are some in leadership positions in the visible church that are there because of their natural abilities rather than the fact that God has gifted them to lead His people. If the latter were the case, they would not be leading their followers into apostasy as the passage I placed at the top of this post clearly states. Those gifted by God to be true leaders in His Church have the role and responsibility to do what? They are to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of Got, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Why?
read on here...