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Archive for September, 2009


God has Manifested Himself! Yet so many do not see. “Genesis 3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

They walked with God, talked with God and enjoyed the Presence of God. What happened to cause blindness and shame? Listen to this argument.   If God is present at every point in space, if we cannot go where He is NOT, why then has not that Presence become the one universally celebrated fact of the world?  The Presence and the manifestation of the Presence are not the same.  There can be the one without the other.  God is here when we are wholly unaware of it. He is manifest only when and as we are aware of His Presence!  On our part, there must be a surrender to the Spirit of God, for His work is to show us the Father and the Son.  If we cooperate with Him in loving obedience, God will manifest Himself to us, and that manifestation will be the difference between a nominal Christian life and a life radiant with the light of His face. Today we see in America Christians who are content with living as the world lives and giving God His due when they feel they need something from Him.  James 4:1-4 “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”

What does this have to do with the Presence of God? James 4:8-10 “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

I am sure that Adam and Eve lived the rest of their lives wanting to get back to enjoying the Presence of God and not just the manifestation of His Presence.  Biblical Christianity teaches us the through the death, burial and Resurrection of  Jesus Christ, He has enabled us to come into a personal relationship with God.  The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is dwelling in the hearts of believers and we do not have to be limited to the manifestation of God’s Presence, we can live in His Presence through the indwelling Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit is His Presence and He is always present with us!  “Oh, may He come to us now and light up the sanctuary of our hearts until they shall shine like the chambers above!… His own immediate, everlasting Presence, Amen!” Tozer

God has Manifested Himself! Yet so many do not see. “Genesis 3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”
They walked with God, talked with God and enjoyed the Presence of God. What happened to cause blindness and shame? Listen to this argument.   If God is present at every point in space, if we cannot go where He is NOT, why then has not that Presence become the one universally celebrated fact of the world?  The Presence and the manifestation of the Presence are not the same.  There can be the one without the other.  God is here when we are wholly unaware of it. He is manifest only when and as we are aware of His Presence!  On our part, there must be a surrender to the Spirit of God, for His work is to show us the Father and the Son.  If we cooperate with Him in loving obedience, God will manifest Himself to us, and that manifestation will be the difference between a nominal Christian life and a life radiant with the light of His face. Today we see in America Christians who are content with living as the world lives and giving God His due when they feel they need something from Him.  James 4:1-4 “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
What does this have to do with the Presence of God? James 4:8-10 “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
I am sure that Adam and Eve lived the rest of their lives wanting to get back to enjoying the Presence of God and not just the manifestation of His Presence.  Biblical Christianity teaches us the through the death, burial and Resurrection of  Jesus Christ, He has enabled us to come into a personal relationship with God.  The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is dwelling in the hearts of believers and we do not have to be limited to the manifestation of God’s Presence, we can live in His Presence through the indwelling Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit is His Presence and He is always present with us!  “Oh, may He come to us now and light up the sanctuary of our hearts until they shall shine like the chambers above!… His own immediate, everlasting Presence, Amen!” Tozer
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Fire!!


The passage of Scripture I want to use for this devotion is found in Jeremiah 1.  “8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.
9 Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth.”
Pascal wrote on a piece of paper a brief account of his experience, folded the paper and kept it in a pocket close to his heart, apparently as a reminder of what he had felt.  Those who attended him at his death found the worn, creased paper.  In Pascal’s own hand it read:
“From about half-past ten at night to about half-after midnight-fire! O God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob-not the God of the philosophers and the wise. The God of Jesus Christ who can be known only in the ways of the Gospel. Security-feeling-peace-joy-tears of joy. Amen.
Were these the expressions of a fanatic, an extremist? No.  Pascal’s mind was one of the greatest.  But the Living God had broken through and beyond all that was human and intellectual and philosophical.  The astonished Pascal could only describe in one word the visitation in his spirit: “FIRE!” ….
What we need among us today is a genuine visitation of the Holy fire of God, the Holy Spirit! So many walking and living amongst us today are living in spiritual blindness, darkness in their souls, lost in a world which hates its Creator and who do not desire the Cross. The way of the Cross is the only way to true enlightenment, forgiveness, peace, joy and love.  Those who try to understand God cannot lest they come by way of the Cross of Jesus.  Their misunderstanding about God leads them to deeper spiritual blindness. Everyone is born physically alive but spiritually dead!  No human can understand the things of God until they are born from above, born by the Spirit’s baptism of fire.  “Nothing can prevent the spiritual rejuvenation of the soul that insist’s upon having it.” Tozer
As Jeremiah received a word from the Holy God and Father, so we today need the same Word. Man is sinful, God is Holy, Mercy is given, Jesus died, Holy Spirit given and now is the time of Repentance. Why is the Church so slothful in it’s message of the Cross today? Answer, God’s way is the way of Holiness which can only come by the way of the Cross. People in the “church” has become worldly in it’s worship. The world’s church has become nothing more than a pep rally for worldlings! The True Church(believers)is about Christ and about emptying ourselves of self. It is about being filled with the Fire that Pascal referred to and which Jesus promised to all that would hunger and thirst for Righteousness. May the fire of Heaven visit us in a fresh way today. Amen

The passage of Scripture I want to use for this devotion is found in Jeremiah 1.  “8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.

9 Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth.”

Pascal wrote on a piece of paper a brief account of his experience, folded the paper and kept it in a pocket close to his heart, apparently as a reminder of what he had felt.  Those who attended him at his death found the worn, creased paper.  In Pascal’s own hand it read:

“From about half-past ten at night to about half-after midnight-fire! O God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob-not the God of the philosophers and the wise. The God of Jesus Christ who can be known only in the ways of the Gospel. Security-feeling-peace-joy-tears of joy. Amen.

Were these the expressions of a fanatic, an extremist? No.  Pascal’s mind was one of the greatest.  But the Living God had broken through and beyond all that was human and intellectual and philosophical.  The astonished Pascal could only describe in one word the visitation in his spirit: “FIRE!” ….

What we need among us today is a genuine visitation of the Holy fire of God, the Holy Spirit! So many walking and living amongst us today are living in spiritual blindness, darkness in their souls, lost in a world which hates its Creator and who do not desire the Cross. The way of the Cross is the only way to true enlightenment, forgiveness, peace, joy and love.  Those who try to understand God cannot lest they come by way of the Cross of Jesus.  Their misunderstanding about God leads them to deeper spiritual blindness. Everyone is born physically alive but spiritually dead!  No human can understand the things of God until they are born from above, born by the Spirit’s baptism of fire.  “Nothing can prevent the spiritual rejuvenation of the soul that insist’s upon having it.” Tozer

As Jeremiah received a word from the Holy God and Father, so we today need the same Word. Man is sinful, God is Holy, Mercy is given, Jesus died, Holy Spirit given and now is the time of Repentance. Why is the Church so slothful in it’s message of the Cross today? Answer, God’s way is the way of Holiness which can only come by the way of the Cross. People in the “church” has become worldly in it’s worship. The world’s church has become nothing more than a pep rally for worldlings! The True Church(believers)is about Christ and about emptying ourselves of self. It is about being filled with the Fire that Pascal referred to and which Jesus promised to all that would hunger and thirst for Righteousness. May the fire of Heaven visit us in a fresh way today. Amen

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Confrontation will kindness is easily said but harder to apply.  2Timothy 4:1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage– with great patience and careful instruction. It is quite natural, and even spiritual, to feel sorrow and heaviness when we see the professed followers of Christ walking in the ways of the world.  And our first impulse may easily be to go straight to them and upbraid them indignantly.  But such methods are seldom successful.  The heat in our spirit may not be from the Holy Spirit, and if it is not then it can very well do more harm than good.  In this as in everything else Christ is our perfect example. A prayerful, face-down meditation on the life of Christ will show us how to oppose with kindness and rebuke with love.  The power of the Holy Spirit within us will enable us to follow His blessed example! “The baptism of the Holy Spirit will always bring a spirit of love…and…sweetness and charity toward all men.” Tozer Most followers of Jesus can quickly preach a passage of scripture without having applied the passage to their own life.  This is hypocrisy and is a gross sin. It is easier to preach to someone than to live by example! Better to live in Christ than to explain to others how they ought to live for Christ.  Actions speak volumes more than words. James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.  There certainly is a time for preaching, rebuking, correcting and confrontation, but living as Christ is always more important!

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Not good or bad, but alive! Romans 8:9 “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” There are religious people who have the name of Christ but whose spirit is the spirit of Adam.  They belong to the old order which perishes, not to the new order of life in Christ Jesus. The point is not that they are good or bad but that they are dead.  Their direction is wrong; they are on their way to the grave, not on their way out of it!  It is not that I plant, but what I plant that matters. A man could plant gold beads for a lifetime and have nothing to show for his trouble.  Christ makes the difference between death and life, always and everywhere.  He is the Prince of life and whatever He touches lives!  The fabled Midas had a magic power which made everything he touched turn to gold.  It is not a fable, but wondrously true and real, that the power to give life belongs to Christ. Nothing He touches can never die and whatever is dead has only to be touched by Him to live again and forever! “We who bear the name of Christ should give ourselves no rest till we are sure we posses the Spirit of Christ…Without that Spirit no man can speak a living word or do an immortal deed!” A.W. Tozer So many people who carry the name Christian seem to be lacking the Spirit of Christ. Their lives are full of sin, depression and live according to the World. Listen to the Biblical evidence and let the Spirit of Christ shower you with Truth and Righteousness. Galatians  5:22-24 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” Remember they which have not the Spirit of Christ do not belong to Him. The proof of our belonging to Christ is not the ability to voice Jesus or quote a Scripture now and again; it is in the proof of the Holy Spirit possessing the believing soul! Not good, not bad, but Alive in Christ. Come to the fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emmanuel’s veins. Sinner’s bunged beneath that flood, loose all their guilty stains.

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I found the article and wanted to share it.  Maybe it will give perspective concerning “Church as usual”.  It is my opinion that a person gets out of Church what they put into it.  In other words you are responsible for your spirituality. Here are a few questions to ponder as you read this article; What if the Church was Biblical? Is your Church obeying the Word of God or pandering to this world?
For years a war was raging inside him, but outwardly the Christian author sat in church and pretended all was well. Now he is ready to reveal his secret – he doesn’t want to go to church anymore.
At the mature age of 65, Dr. Larry Crabb, who has gone to church his entire life, admits he’d rather go to his favorite local coffee shop and read a newspaper than go to church on Sundays.
But perhaps more shocking than the Christian leader’s confession is that he believes he’s not alone and that many of his peers feel the same way.
“I think it is rather a widespread thing among people in my generation,” said Crabb to The Christian Post in an interview. It’s just that people his age, the psychologist explained, are “not comfortable enough” or “maybe not open enough” to share about their dislike of going to church.
In the past year, Crabb said he has shared his problem with going to church to 40 to 50 peers and not one person has said, “My gosh, what is your problem. I love church!”
The people more favorable to church say that they go because they suppose it is a good thing, but they don’t think it is doing for them what it should. On the other end of the spectrum, people respond by describing the church as boring or saying they’re indifferent about attending service.
“Church as I know it usually leaves deep parts of me dormant, unawakened, and untouched,” Crabb writes in his latest book Real Church: Does it exist? Can I find it? . “Maybe it’s familiarly, the predictability of pattern and content that I find boring, superficially exciting at best, where emotions sometimes get stirred that get unstirred by the time I reach my car.”
The book comes out of his effort to write his way through his “disappointment, frustration and concern with church” with the hope that at the end he will know what kind of church God envisioned and the kind of church he wants to be part of.
Crabb emphasized that while he is hungry for spiritual formation, most churches just focus on solving particular social or emotional problems rather than members’ spiritual problems. He described many churches as “self-help clubs.”
Through the chapters of his new book, Crabb discusses the different reasons people go to church and why he should go to church. Then he describes four characteristics that he believes the “real church” would have. A real church would be immersed in the Bible whether it is through the pastor’s sermon, Sunday school, or small group discussion, Crabb said. It would also teach its members that they are designed to be the greatest lover of all time because they are formed in the image of Jesus Christ who was able to love his enemies even as he was being nailed to the cross. Third, the “real church” would have an authentic community where someone would feel completely comfortable admitting to others they are not doing well in their faith. And lastly, an authentic church would be occupied with spiritual mission, such as the desire to help the homeless and feed the hungry, to represent Jesus to the world.“I hope people get away from the idea that God is a genie that you rub a lamp and call it a prayer and you get everything you want. That is not how it works at all,” Crabb said in the interview. “I just hope people would see this is an incredible privilege that there is a vision for the church that is so high and lofty that it is only possible only through people who are fully dedicated to Christ. Hopefully we will get people moving in that direction.”I found the article and wanted to share it.  Maybe it will give perspective concerning “Church as usual”.  It is my opinion that a person gets out of Church what they put into it.  In other words you are responsible for your spirituality. Here are a few questions to ponder as you read this article; What if the Church was Biblical? Is your Church obeying the Word of God or pandering to this world?
For years a war was raging inside him, but outwardly the Christian author sat in church and pretended all was well. Now he is ready to reveal his secret – he doesn’t want to go to church anymore.
At the mature age of 65, Dr. Larry Crabb, who has gone to church his entire life, admits he’d rather go to his favorite local coffee shop and read a newspaper than go to church on Sundays.
But perhaps more shocking than the Christian leader’s confession is that he believes he’s not alone and that many of his peers feel the same way.
“I think it is rather a widespread thing among people in my generation,” said Crabb to The Christian Post in an interview. It’s just that people his age, the psychologist explained, are “not comfortable enough” or “maybe not open enough” to share about their dislike of going to church.
In the past year, Crabb said he has shared his problem with going to church to 40 to 50 peers and not one person has said, “My gosh, what is your problem. I love church!”
The people more favorable to church say that they go because they suppose it is a good thing, but they don’t think it is doing for them what it should. On the other end of the spectrum, people respond by describing the church as boring or saying they’re indifferent about attending service.
“Church as I know it usually leaves deep parts of me dormant, unawakened, and untouched,” Crabb writes in his latest book Real Church: Does it exist? Can I find it? . “Maybe it’s familiarly, the predictability of pattern and content that I find boring, superficially exciting at best, where emotions sometimes get stirred that get unstirred by the time I reach my car.”
The book comes out of his effort to write his way through his “disappointment, frustration and concern with church” with the hope that at the end he will know what kind of church God envisioned and the kind of church he wants to be part of.
Crabb emphasized that while he is hungry for spiritual formation, most churches just focus on solving particular social or emotional problems rather than members’ spiritual problems. He described many churches as “self-help clubs.”
Through the chapters of his new book, Crabb discusses the different reasons people go to church and why he should go to church. Then he describes four characteristics that he believes the “real church” would have. A real church would be immersed in the Bible whether it is through the pastor’s sermon, Sunday school, or small group discussion, Crabb said. It would also teach its members that they are designed to be the greatest lover of all time because they are formed in the image of Jesus Christ who was able to love his enemies even as he was being nailed to the cross. Third, the “real church” would have an authentic community where someone would feel completely comfortable admitting to others they are not doing well in their faith. And lastly, an authentic church would be occupied with spiritual mission, such as the desire to help the homeless and feed the hungry, to represent Jesus to the world.“I hope people get away from the idea that God is a genie that you rub a lamp and call it a prayer and you get everything you want. That is not how it works at all,” Crabb said in the interview. “I just hope people would see this is an incredible privilege that there is a vision for the church that is so high and lofty that it is only possible only through people who are fully dedicated to Christ. Hopefully we will get people moving in that direction.”
I found the article and wanted to share it.  Maybe it will give perspective concerning “Church as usual”.  It is my opinion that a person gets out of Church what they put into it.  In other words you are responsible for your spirituality. Here are a few questions to ponder as you read this article; What if the Church was Biblical? Is your Church obeying the Word of God or pandering to this world?
For years a war was raging inside him, but outwardly the Christian author sat in church and pretended all was well. Now he is ready to reveal his secret – he doesn’t want to go to church anymore.
At the mature age of 65, Dr. Larry Crabb, who has gone to church his entire life, admits he’d rather go to his favorite local coffee shop and read a newspaper than go to church on Sundays.
But perhaps more shocking than the Christian leader’s confession is that he believes he’s not alone and that many of his peers feel the same way.
“I think it is rather a widespread thing among people in my generation,” said Crabb to The Christian Post in an interview. It’s just that people his age, the psychologist explained, are “not comfortable enough” or “maybe not open enough” to share about their dislike of going to church.
In the past year, Crabb said he has shared his problem with going to church to 40 to 50 peers and not one person has said, “My gosh, what is your problem. I love church!”
The people more favorable to church say that they go because they suppose it is a good thing, but they don’t think it is doing for them what it should. On the other end of the spectrum, people respond by describing the church as boring or saying they’re indifferent about attending service.
“Church as I know it usually leaves deep parts of me dormant, unawakened, and untouched,” Crabb writes in his latest book Real Church: Does it exist? Can I find it? . “Maybe it’s familiarly, the predictability of pattern and content that I find boring, superficially exciting at best, where emotions sometimes get stirred that get unstirred by the time I reach my car.”
The book comes out of his effort to write his way through his “disappointment, frustration and concern with church” with the hope that at the end he will know what kind of church God envisioned and the kind of church he wants to be part of.
Crabb emphasized that while he is hungry for spiritual formation, most churches just focus on solving particular social or emotional problems rather than members’ spiritual problems. He described many churches as “self-help clubs.”
Through the chapters of his new book, Crabb discusses the different reasons people go to church and why he should go to church. Then he describes four characteristics that he believes the “real church” would have. A real church would be immersed in the Bible whether it is through the pastor’s sermon, Sunday school, or small group discussion, Crabb said. It would also teach its members that they are designed to be the greatest lover of all time because they are formed in the image of Jesus Christ who was able to love his enemies even as he was being nailed to the cross. Third, the “real church” would have an authentic community where someone would feel completely comfortable admitting to others they are not doing well in their faith. And lastly, an authentic church would be occupied with spiritual mission, such as the desire to help the homeless and feed the hungry, to represent Jesus to the world.“I hope people get away from the idea that God is a genie that you rub a lamp and call it a prayer and you get everything you want. That is not how it works at all,” Crabb said in the interview. “I just hope people would see this is an incredible privilege that there is a vision for the church that is so high and lofty that it is only possible only through people who are fully dedicated to Christ. Hopefully we will get people moving in that direction.”

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Consider this passage of Scripture; 1John 5:3-5 “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” No matter what the circumstances, we Christians should keep our heads. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind. It is a dismal thing to see a son of Heaven cringe in terror before the sons of earth! We are taught by the Holy Spirit in Scriptures of truth that fear is a kind of prison for the mind and that by it we may spend a life-time in bondage. To recoil from the approach of mental or physical pain is natural, but to allow our minds to become terrorized is quite another thing. The first is to reflex action; the latter is the result of sin and is a work of the Devil to bring us into bondage. Terror is or should be foreign to the Redeemed mind! So many people, maybe even some reading this post, do not like to think of a place reserved for the damned. That place of Eternal fire, Eternal punishment, Eternal separation and Eternal suffering. I say to you this place is real even though you may not believe. Whether a person believes or not does not change reality. This is what the devil wants for all mankind. “True faith delivers from fear by consciously interposing God between it and the object that would make it afraid. The soul that lives in God is surrounded by the Divine Presence so that no enemy can approach it without first disposing of God, a palpable impossibility.” Tozer The victory is that the believing soul overcomes low spirits, a sinking heart, whispers of the devil and all the discouragements of this lower world. The Redeemed mind never fears such a damnable place because he knows that Jesus has already given us the victory! We recently sang Onward Christian Soldiers at a worship service. Listen to the words of this victorious song. “At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doeth flee; On, then, Christian soldiers, on to Victory! Hell’s foundation quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers lift your voices, Loud your anthems raise! Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the Cross of Jesus going on before.” The way to sum up this devotion is a quote from D.L. Moody; “Don’t let scoffers laugh you into hell; they cannot laugh you out of it.

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