Posts Tagged ‘seeker’

As I ponder the Greatness of God and His Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ, I wonder just how many Christians understand His Great Work in their lives?  As a Christian I am often reminded by the Holy Spirit how much Jesus suffered for my Redemption.  As an individual Christian living within the Body of Christ and struggling to build His Kingdom as the Spirit prods me, I have a sense of His Divine Presence in my life. Here are some of my thoughts recently to try and illuminate my hearts devotion this past week.  It is better to understand than to be understood!  Better to Love than to be loved! Better to pray than to worry!
It is better to Trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man!  It is better to do what Gd says than to simply know what He says! It is better to give than receive.  Better to be kind than to be bitter. Better to be smile than to frown.  Better to have something in the next life than to have everything in this life!  Better to forgive than become bitter!  Better to repent than to be able to define repentance!  Better to have a contrite heart than one that is proud!  Better to keep my mouth shut than to offer a sacrifice of fools!  Better to be Thankful to God than to Grumble and complain!  O Divine Master help me to sow love where there is hate. Where there is doubt, faith.  Where there is distrust, Honor!  Where there is division, unity!  Help me to sow in Righteousness and Reap your Unfailing Love!  Help me to comfort the neglected. Bring Truth where there is deceit! Where there is stress, bring Gospel of Peace!  O Jesus, help me to see that your Grace is more than sufficient for my weaknesses!  Give me a strong desire to seek the lost!  Proclaim Freedom to the captives!  To stand strong on your Mighty Word!  Help me Jesus to forgive as you have forgiven me!  Help me to Love what you Love and hate what you hate!  May I reflect your Image in the way I live my life, not just in my words!  May the Wellspring of Living Waters flow freely from my life!  O Gracious and Merciful Savior, make my life a witness of your Glory!  Fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may not forget your Word or your Power!  Help me to Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness so I will be Filled!  Grant all who read this the ability to forsake themselves and Trust in Christ Alone for  Eternal Life!  Eternal Joy! Eternal Bliss!  All in the Name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God! Amen!!

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So many in our society are addicted to illness!  Why is that statement being presented in this devotion?  Take a look around.  Look at the hospital emergency rooms.  Look at your Doctors office.  Look at our Nations focus for the last decade, if not longer, in the political realm!  Where’s my healthcare?  I am entitled to healthcare!  I am an American and I have a right to healthcare!  Vote for me and I will give you the right to healthcare, rants most politicians.  My concern is not so much political as it is Spiritual.  As a Christian I am told in the Word of God that dependence upon Christ alone for Salvation is not an option but a requirement!  Christ paid for our sins on the Cross of Calvary!  God’s Salvation by  Grace was given to all who would put Faith in Christ Blood and believe that Christ was Raised from the dead!  Thank God for His Mercy and Grace!  Is that all?  Is that the only thing God did for us through His Son?  Saving our souls from sin, death and the Devil?  Absolutely not!  Did you know physical healing was given as well?
Listen to what the Bible says concerning healing through Christ.  Ps 103:2 “Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits– 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.”  How about this verse; “1Pe 2:24 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”  What about the many verses in the Gospels where Jesus brings healing and then tells the recipients, “your faith has healed you.”  Let me say right here that I am not saying you don’t have faith if you go to your doctor!  What I would like to point out here is that Christian’s should seek healing for their physical needs first at the feet of Jesus!  Cry out to Him when an infirmity comes upon you!  Have faith that He has healed you.  Don’t pray for healing and then start doubting, Believe that you have received healing!  Have you done that before seeking a Doctor’s advice?  I can testify to many who have received healing without the aid of technology!  Yes, I know that God has bestowed knowledge and Wisdom to mankind concerning our bodies.  But I cannot and will not believe that God wants us to rely upon Doctors for our healing!  He wants to touch you and heal you mentally, physically and spiritually!  How many times have you got sick and never ask Jesus to bring healing?  How many times has God healed you through Doctors and you never acknowledged His Divine healing?  God wants us to be dependent upon Him!  Has your Church Pastor preached and obeyed Scripture concerning healing?  Listen to what the Bible says; James 5:14 “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”  Do you believe this passage dear Christians?  Do you believe in Divine healing or not?
Listen to what Paul the Apostle says concerning our remembrance of the Lord’s Supper. 1Co 11:23 “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.  30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.”  Could it be that many Christians have a sickly attitude because of their irreverence for Christ?  Weak and sick in verse 30 sure seems to point to Christians infirmities as the result of unworthily partaking of the Body and Blood of the Lord.
To address this further I will attempt to point out a powerful comparison from the Old Testament and its fulfillment in the New.  Notice this passage from Isaiah 53 which directs our attention to the coming of Christ in the future and Suffering for all humanity.  Isaiah 53:4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”   Now compare that with Peters proclamation.  1Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”  Did you here what the prophet and Apostle said concerning the work of Jesus the Messiah?  Isaiah says He took our infirmities (sickness) and by His wounds we are, present tense, healed; whereas Peter’s proclamation was (have been) past tense, healed.  Wow!  We as Christians have healing in Jesus broken body before we even get sick!  That sounds like the best healthcare plan I ever heard and it is a Promise from God, not a politician!  Next time you get sick consider these passages and cry out to Jesus in Faith for healing.  If the infirmity remains then seek Doctors advice! Always seek God first and give Him the honor due His Name! Amen

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Many things are happening today that should cause Christians to pause and take note. The Church for instance. Just stop and ponder a moment about the changes that has come over the past 20 years. As I share a few thoughts and make a few observations, please pray concerning what you are reading. First thing I would like to do is define the word contemporary. 1. existing, occurring, or living at the same time; belonging to the same time. 2. of about the same age or date. 3. of the present time; modern: a lecture on the contemporary novel. For the task at hand, modern, will fit best for this devotion. It is obvious that modern Churches have some pros and cons. First the positives. Contemporary praise and worship songs can be very uplifting and Christ honoring. They seem to have a more upbeat tone than some of the traditional hymns which can stir some emotion into the worship. This is not to say that emotionalism is all good but does seem to honor Christ when He Commanded us to Love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Modern Churches with modern worship services can be very Glorifying to Christ and can lead many to Christ as Savior.
Secondly the negatives. Contemporary praise and worship can become idiolatry just as traditional. If the worshiper is getting a high and is focused on the entertainment value, then to much emotion can certainly lead the worshiper to commit idiolatry by getting a boost of adrenaline instead of focusing on Glorifying God with their all!
Now lets look at Preaching the Word of God. Worship is important and preaching is part of that worship. The problem comes when Preaching contemporary messages. So many Churches have abandoned Rock solid Bible Preaching for some hybrid modern seeker friendly social club! Not offending anyone or making people feel comfortable seems to be the standard. I recently read an article about this very subject and would like to share. The title speaks volumes: Most Christians Cannot Explain their Faith, Says Apologist. Here is the article.
The faith of most Christians, even that of many pastors, will not stand up to intellectual scrutiny, according to renowned apologist Josh McDowell.
This is a concern because pastors’ inability to present biblical truth comprehensibly and relevantly has led to children from Christian families leaving the church, research has shown.
In the United States, the age at which nearly all such children leave church has decreased to 18 years.
Not even the children of many successful ministers are spared.
McDowell made his comments at a recent networking dinner among various men’s ministries organized recently by Men-in-Covenant. MiC is the men’s ministry of Covenant Evangelical Free Church.

He recalled speaking with the pastor of one of the largest U.S. churches, a man known for his expository preaching. Confiding in him, the pastor said their church was losing its youth right after high school graduation.
In his 50 years of ministry, McDowell has asked several thousand pastors and leaders how they could be certain Jesus Christ said “I am the truth” and not one of many truths or a truth.
“Not one person has ever given me an intelligent, biblically-based answer,” said the author of The New Evidence that Demands A Verdict.

During the past six years, he asked hundreds of Christians and leaders why they see themselves as Christians. Again no one gave him an “intelligent” answer. In the past 17 years, he has asked over 4,000 pastors, leaders and parents why they believe the Bible is true. A mere six “came close to giving an intelligent answer,” McDowell noted.
“If anything is based upon truth, it’s the Christian faith,” he said. “Christians who do not know why they have faith or believe have a very difficult time expressing themselves to others.
“The saddest thing is people come to me and say, ‘What’s the answer?’”
“I say, ‘There’s no answer… There are hundreds of answers.’”

Most Christians, even some pastors, don’t even know one. On the other hand, the apologist said he could give 50 reasons for his belief that the Bible is true. Ninety-five percent of Christians gave disappointing responses when asked why they believe Jesus is the Son of God.
Asked why the Bible is true and historically reliable, Christians replied that it was what they had been taught by their church or parents.

A common response that most Christians gave to both questions was that it is “what I believe.” McDowell responded: “That’s voodoo thinking. Where did we ever get that crazy idea that something is true just because we believe it?
“If that is true, then there will never be heresy. Everybody would be right.”
On one occasion, 13 youth pastors at a large convention were unable to reasonably answer the apologist’s question.

Finally one young person stood up, walked toward him and told him he knew the answer. The young man promptly held up his Bible and said, “Because I believe it.”
And to McDowell’s dismay, all the youth pastors applauded him.
McDowell said, “Young man, do you know the difference between you, me and the majority of Christians in the world?
“To you, it is true because you believe it. For me, I believe it because it is true.” Another response the apologist received was: Because I have faith.
He commented, “Where did we ever get the crazy idea that faith makes something true? That’s idiotic. That’s so unbiblical you can call it heresy.
“God doesn’t use faith to create truth. He uses truth through the Holy Spirit to create faith.”
Christians, the apologist stressed, are called to explain their faith when asked. They are set free by the faith in the truth, he expressed, referring to John 8:32.

Yet others say Christianity is true because Jesus changed their lives.
Even this will not stand up to intellectual scrutiny, McDowell argued.
“Lies change lives; cults change lives,” he said.
To make such an appeal is “not the essence of Christianity,” the author emphasized.
McDowell said: “We owe it to ourselves, we owe it to our children, we owe it to our neighbors, we owe it to the lost, to tell them not just what we believe but why do we believe it.”

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There seems to be some confusion in the minds of millions, if not billions, about who Jesus Christ is and what He has done. Many have tried to articulate the Life and Works of Jesus Christ in hopes of dispelling misconceptions about His Character. I am not qualified, nor claim to be, a Theologian. I would however like to talk briefly about my Savior’s Ascension. The Ascension is when Jesus rose to the right hand of His Father in Heaven. Here is one Biblical account; Acts 1:9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.
11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” 1. Why did Jesus go up there? 2. Does His Ascension point to His second Coming? 3. Why is this important to Christian doctrine? These questions shall be briefly answered. The Bible best answers the questions. 1). Isaiah 53:12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Ok, so the Old Testament prophet said He would bare the sins of many and will make intercession for them or on their behalf. Wow what a Truth that is, that the Son of God not only took my sins upon Himself and paid the penalty, but now He is praying for the repentant sinner. The New Testament also says this; Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died– more than that, who was raised to life– is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 2). The Bible also says in the text of the Ascension that our Lord will Return the same way He went up. Daniel 7:13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. We did not see His Ascension but we will see Him descending! Jesus spoke of this in Matthew 24:30. “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.” Also in Revelation 1:7 “ Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.” He went up and is Coming back down. Are you ready? 3). This teaching is important to Christianity because of the Great Work Jesus did for you and me. We need to point people to the Jesus who Died on a Roman Cross, was buried in a borrowed tomb, He was Resurrected from the dead and He Ascended and is Coming back soon! We dare not forget His Ascension which points to His Coming! There are millions and billions on this planet that need to hear this message. The Blood of Jesus has no power to save unless the sinner repents and turns to His Mighty Works! Jesus is Coming soon, turn to Him now if you have not done so already.

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It is amazing how many intellectual Atheist cannot define evil. I do not intend to belittle any, only to stimulate thinking. By definition, I am not very knowledgeable of the origins of Atheistic thought. Nor do I claim the desire to understand every thought from every Atheist. Let me ask a few questions for which most Atheist try to explain away. Does evil exist? Define evil please? Ok, here are a few secular definitions; 1. morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked: evil deeds; an evil life. 2. “extreme moral wickedness.” Now here is an Antonym–righteous. Secular definitions-1. characterized by uprightness or morality 2. acting in an upright, moral way; virtuous. Now who sets the parameters? What is right and what is wrong? Can man set these parameters? Who says the murder is wrong? Who says sleeping with another mans wife or husband is wrong? Who says stealing is wrong? Is not Murder evil? How about the evils of Adultery? The evil of taking something that does not belong to you. To say that mankind and his behavior evolves through the millennia is absolutely illogical. With this train of thought, one day murder will evolve into giving life, adultery will be what gives strength to marriage and stealing will evolve into charity. What is Atheism? Definition of Atheism: 1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God. 2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings. Is this logical? To believe there is no belief? An Atheist told me some time back that faith is believing in something that you know does not exist. Wow that redefines logic. The end of Faith is the aspirations of many Atheist’, which in turn would be the end of Atheism. Only suggesting that there is something Greater than the Intellect of mankind! What is the mathematical percentage that everything that is known just happened? God does exist. Jesus did die on a cross and was raised from the dead! With man, this is impossible, but we are not talking about man are we? By the way, I am not telling anyone how or what to believe. That is your free will choice!

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What is Faith?

Charles Spurgeon:
What is this faith concerning which it is said, “By grace are ye saved, through faith?”  There are many descriptions of faith; but almost all the definitions I have met with have made me understand it less than I did before I saw them.  I say it is better to have faith than to be able to explain it.  We may explain faith till nobody understands it. I hope I shall not be guilty of that fault. Faith is the simplest of all things, and perhaps because of its simplicity it is the more difficult to explain.
What is faith? It is made up of three things – knowledge, belief, and trust.  Knowledge comes first. “How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” I want to be informed of a fact before I can possibly believe it. “Faith cometh by hearing”; we must first hear, in order that we may know what is to be believed. “They that know thy name shall put their trust in thee.” A measure of knowledge is essential to faith; hence the importance of getting knowledge. “Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live.” Such was the word of the ancient prophet, and it is the word of the gospel still. Search the Scriptures and learn what the Holy Spirit teacheth concerning Christ and His salvation. Seek to know God: Hebrews 11:6  “For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” May the Holy Spirit give you the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord! Know the gospel: know what the good news is, how it talks of free forgiveness, and of change of heart, of adoption into the family of God, and of countless other blessings. Know especially Christ Jesus the Son of God, the Saviour of men, united to us by His human nature, and yet one with God; and thus able to act as Mediator between God and man, able to lay His hand upon both, and to be the connecting link between the sinner and the Judge of all the earth. Endeavor to know more and more of Christ Jesus. Endeavor especially to know the doctrine of the sacrifice of Christ; for the point upon which saving faith mainly fixes itself is this – “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” Know that Jesus was “made a curse for us, as it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” Drink deep of the doctrine of the substitutionary work of Christ; for therein lies the sweetest possible comfort to the guilty sons of men, since the Lord “made him to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Faith begins with knowledge.
The mind goes on to believe that these things are true. The soul believes that God is, and that He hears the cries of sincere hearts; that the gospel is from God; that justification by faith is the grand truth which God hath revealed in these last days by His Spirit more clearly than before. Then the heart believes that Jesus is verily and in truth our God and Saviour, the Redeemer of men, the Prophet, Priest, and King of His people. All this is accepted as sure truth, not to be called in question. I pray that you may at once come to this. Get firmly to believe that “the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s dear Son, cleanseth us from all sin”; that His sacrifice is complete and fully accepted of God on man’s behalf, so that he that believeth on Jesus is not condemned. Believe these truths as you believe any other statements; for the difference between common faith and saving faith lies mainly in the subjects upon which it is exercised. Believe the witness of God just as you believe the testimony of your own father or friend. “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater.”
So far you have made an advance toward faith; only one more ingredient is needed to complete it, which is trust. Commit yourself to the merciful God; rest your hope on the gracious gospel; trust your soul on the dying and living Saviour; wash away your sins in the atoning blood; accept His perfect righteousness, and all is well. Trust is the lifeblood of faith; there is no saving faith without it. The Puritans were accustomed to explain faith by the word “recumbency.” It meant leaning upon a thing. Lean with all your weight upon Christ. It would be a better illustration still if I said, fall at full length, and lie on the Rock of Ages. Cast yourself upon Jesus; rest in Him; commit yourself to Him. That done, you have exercised saving faith. Faith is not a blind thing; for faith begins with knowledge. It is not a speculative thing; for faith believes facts of which it is sure. It is not an unpractical, dreamy thing; for faith trusts, and stakes its destiny upon the truth of revelation. That is one way of describing what faith is.
Let me try again. Faith is believing that Christ is what He is said to be, and that He will do what He has promised to do, and then to expect this of Him. The Scriptures speak of Jesus Christ as being God, God in human flesh; as being perfect in His character; as being made of a sin-offering on our behalf; as bearing our sins in His own body on the tree. The Scripture speaks of Him as having finished transgression, made an end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness. The sacred records further tell us that He “rose again from the dead,” that He “ever liveth to make intercession for us,” that He has gone up into the glory, and has taken possession of Heaven on the behalf of His people, and that He will shortly come again “to judge the world in righteousness, and his people with equity.” We are most firmly to believe that it is even so; for this is the testimony of God the Father when He said, “This is my beloved Son; hear ye him.” This also is testified by God the Holy Spirit; for the Spirit has borne witness to Christ, both in the inspired Word and by various miracles, and by His working in the hearts of men. We are to believe this testimony to be true.
There are, no doubt, many at this hour in Hell who understood the doctrine of faith, but did not believe. On the other hand, not one who has trusted in the Lord Jesus has ever been cast out, though he may never have been able intelligently to define his faith. Oh dear reader, receive the Lord Jesus into your soul, and you shall live forever! “He that believeth in Him hath everlasting life.”

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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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