Archive for February, 2011

Speach & Baptism

02/28/2011
Cover of "Ticket to Heaven"

Cover of Ticket to Heaven

Keep your tongue from speaking evil & your lips from speaking deceit. Psalm 34:13

That may sound like a simple thing to do, but how often do we get wrapped up in our own conversations and forget to control our thoughts. Our “filters” if you will. We constantly mean to say all the right things but so often we take the high road and back away from doing or saying what is right. David knew this all too well. Do you think that as a King of a great nation in war times he never regretted a single word that came from his mouth? I guess the beauty is that he served a God that could forgive him and provide him with a better way of expressing himself while still reflecting godliness.

(Peter speaking to the church) “And I remember the Word of the Lord, how He said ‘John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit‘.” Acts 11:16

This is correct, a water baptismal is only the beginning. And we need to make that known to new believers when they enter into the community of our faith. I can’t begin to tell you how many people have this WAY wrong. How many pastors I have heard utilize the tool of baptism in the incorrect manner. Baptism is NOT, I repeat NOT a one-way ticket to Heaven. That is why Jesus said very clearly that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was the more important of the two. While I do agree that baptismal is a wonderful thing, it is more for symbolic purposes. If someone gets hit by a car after giving their life to Christ, but before they are baptised, do they go to Hell? No. Being baptized is something we do to express to our families, friends, and our church along with ourselves of course that we are no longer the same person who went under the water. That we are dedicating our lives to Him who gives life.

Verse of the Day!

(Paul to speaking to Timothy) For there is one God, & there is one mediator between God & men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 1 Timothy 2:5-6

 

God Bless You and Yours

Chris

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Explaining the Trinity

02/22/2011
Holy Trinity by Fridolin Leiber (1853–1912)

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I don’t remember my dreams very often. I even more rarely claim God sent me a message in my dream. But last night (Sunday night) I had a dream of a young brown-haired girl with freckles that looked like someone from my childhood but wasn’t asking me to explain the trinity. She gave a vibe that indicated she already knew about it but wanted me to explain it. So I did. And I am again here, because I feel it is something I am supposed to do. To explain the concept of a Triune God we can refer to one simple verse from the apostle Paul. 2 Corinthians 13:14 broken down as follows

‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all’

~~The grace, is the Lord Himself as the life to us for our enjoyment, the love is God Himself as the source of the grace, & the fellowship of the Spirit is  God Himself as the transmission of that grace plue the love of God for our participation. NOT 3 separate matters but 3 aspects of ONE divine unit.

~~It’s evident that the divine revelation of the Triune God in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is not for theological study only but even more so for us to learn how God in His mysterious and marvelous trinity dispenses Himself into His chosen people, and that we as His chosen and redeemed people may (as indicated in the apostle Paul’s blessing to the Corinthians) participate in, experience, enjoy, and possess the processed Triune God now and forever.
(Don’t forget that all prayers and even guidance where needed on different Bible topics or even about real life can be submitted to the new prayer service offered by emailing WeLiftYouUp@gmail.com )

God Bless

Chris

The Silent Sermon

02/16/2011

This is too beautiful not to share.

A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going.  After a few weeks, the preacher decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.  Guessing the reason for his preacher’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited. The preacher made himself at home but said nothing.  In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs.  After some minutes, the preacher took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone, then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more.  Soon it was cold and dead. Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.  The preacher glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave.  He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire.  Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it. As the preacher reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, ‘Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I will be back in church next Sunday.’

We live in a world today, which tries to say too much with too  little.  Consequently, few listen.  Sometimes the best sermons are the ones left unspoken.

The Lord is my Shepherd —– that’s a Relationship!

I shall not want

—– that’s Supply!

He makes me to lie down in green pastures —-that’s Rest!

He leadeth me beside the still waters —-that’s Refreshment!

He restores my soul — that’s Healing!

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness — that’s Guidance!

For His name’s sake —– that’s Purpose!

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death –that’s Testing!

I will fear no evil —– that’s Protection!

For Thou art with me —– that’s Faithfulness!

Thy rod and Thy staff comfort me —-that’s Discipline!

Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies –that’s Hope!

Thou anoints my head with oil —-that’s Consecration!

My cup runneth over —– that’s Abundance!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life –that’s Blessing!

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord —– that’s Security!

Forever

—– that’s Eternity!

Face it, God is   crazy about you!

(Thanks David)
Chris

Think Happy Thoughts

02/15/2011
A photo of The Thinker by Rodin located at the...

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Thinking happy thoughts may sound simple as pie, but in truth it is not. With so many temptations in the world today, our thought processes consistently become warped. But scripture tells us “wise people think before they act” in Proverbs 13:16. We as christians need to focus on acting only on our most pure thoughts. Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8 ‘Fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, and right’. We need to understand that pure thoughts lead to pure actions. My pastor gave a wonderful sermon on this very topic this last Sunday and you can hear it at sccview.net We learn in Proverbs that ‘as he thinks in his heart, so is he’. The things we want the most define a great bit of our character. We need to focus on tweaking our thought process. If we think like everyone else we will reap the same as them; shame, pain, regret and guilt. God speaks to us through Isaiah by saying “Do not think like everyone else does”. Knowing that it is mentally possibly to “think” yourself sick, we should also note how powerful our thoughts are. They generally are precursors to our behavior. Paul speaks on this again in Romans by saying “Don’t copy the behavior of this world, but let God transform you into a new person”. If you are the type to dwell on things, then divert your thoughts to Godly things, that is my prayer for you today.

God Bless

Chris

What do hormones have to do with destiny?

02/14/2011
Illustration depicting thought.

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Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny. ~ Charles Reade

Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? Do Godly acts, and Heaven is your reward in the end. But for whatever reason, these simple truths seem out of reach. In today’s world temptation, especially sexual temptation is all around us. Here are to more facts we need to be armed with; as our hormone level increases our ability to make good decisions decreases, and, nothing can tempt you without some part of you wanting to follow through with whatever the temptation is. That piece of cake on the counter over there, might be against what your doctor has advised you, but the thought of getting out of your chair and grabbing it is a thought you already had. Remove the cake, remove the thought. It works the same way with sexual temptation, a vast majority of men have some type of internet temptation, I’m not saying get rid of your computer, but a filter like the free one you can download now at www.x3watch.com they aren’t an advertiser of mine but after learning how much good they do, I recommend it. Examining numero uno, is key to resolving temptations. We as christians, MUST examine our lives for impure thoughts and according to scripture “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” in 2 Corinthians 10:5. And further more scripture encourages these self evaluations in Psalm 139:23 by saying “investigate my life, oh God, find out everything about me; cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about”.
Ultimately, when a man sits down at his computer late in the evening or any time for that matter when nobody else is looking, it would be hard to buy in to the corrupt nature of the world after saying a prayer or reading a scripture first. Give it a try, recommend it to a friend that may be struggling. Not in a bossy tone, these things are everywhere and it is easy for us to condemn them as opposed to show grace and a way of escape through grace.

God Bless

Chris

Righteous Rain

02/10/2011
Hosea the prophet, Russian icon from first qua...

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‘Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.’ (Hosea 10:12)

We all need a little righteous rain today, don’t we? Last night we received the snow and I stood outside when I got home from work and marveled at the work of the Lord. Every now and then it is good to do that, just breathe and absorb things that you cannot even imagine creating on your own. I do this a lot also when I feed Christian in the middle of the night. I lay him in my lap backwards and just let him stare at me for a minute. He seems as fascinated with me as I am with him. I sang him to sleep the other night and the only appropriate song I could think of that would soothe him was Mark Lowry‘s “Mary did you know?”. While I sang it to him I started to feel a little overwhelmed. Think about it, the same loving Father of all, that molded and breathed life into his very own son in the womb of the virgin Mary, made time somewhere in is unimaginably packed schedule to make this little bundle of joy that is staring back at me. To go even farther, I have heard in my life that no two snowflakes are alike. That also means that while molding his son and my own much later down the time-line that he handcrafted every single snowflake that has fallen to the ground, the curves, the grooves, the specific temperature of each one. My conclusion, my God is a BIGGER God that the wildest imaginations could conjure up. He is very real, and he loves us very much. Take a little time today to think about the handiwork that you could never achieve…..but he can.
God Bless

Chris

Fruits & Foundations

02/07/2011
SyzygiumSamarangense

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For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:20-23)
~~~~The question “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed?” is what caught my eye this morning. Sometimes I catch myself thinking back to a former life fondly. Though there were good times, death loomed over me regardless of how accomplished or content I felt. My life as a sinner really wasn’t that bad, but short of eternal life what does one really have?~~~~

A good and simple example of bringing forth good fruit would “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, those are the words of Jesus from Luke 6:31. You would truly be amazed of the witness you can give just by being nice to people.

I have spoken at length about laying the proper foundation in your faith life. You would never build your house on sand or in a swamp. If you think about it, having a good foundation and bearing good fruits can be related to one another in a different way. When you plant good seed in fertile ground (foundation) it bears good fruit. Just today, do a simple act of kindness, the fruit could very well end up causing a chain reaction in that person’s life that touches another, then another, etc.

God Bless
Chris