Minggu, 28 Maret 2010
A Love From Above
By Dudley Hall www.sclm.org
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. (John 15:9-10)
It is still hard to believe that God the Father loves us as much as he loves the Son. We could maybe be coaxed into accepting that he loves us some because we are recommended by Jesus, but the very thought of being loved the way God the Father loves the Son stretches us beyond credibility.
He said it. If we choose to ignore it, we dishonor him. If we live with some sense of false humility that is only willing to be somewhat loved, we are denying the very grace of God.
Jesus indicates that the key to his life was in abiding in the Father's love. He could not have endured the cruel remarks and desperate circumstances had he not stayed in conscious awareness of the Father's love. He refused to believe his feelings or other's opinions when they contradicted the fact that the Father loved him unconditionally.
He tells us that we must abide the same way. We can experience the love of the Father only as we keep his commandments like Jesus kept the Father's commandments.
What commandments? Is he talking about the Ten mentioned in Exodus? Is he referring to the hundreds of laws the Jews had added to the original Ten? What has Jesus commanded? He said we are to abide in his love. We are to live according to his word which tells us what he has done that elevates us to sons of God. These are not commands given to motivate us to live cleaner and more religiously. They are commands that instruct us in how to access the grace that is ours in union with Christ.
Earlier Jesus had said that all the commandments could be summarized in this: Love God and love others. Now he is revealing how that can be done. As we are aware of the privilege of being connected to the vine we can allow his life to flow through us and actually love God with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves. We have been endowed with a love from above that frees us to do what we could never do apart from the Vine
Jumat, 26 Maret 2010
More GREAT QUOTES
"A western man once visited Samuel Lamb, the leader of a well-
known underground Church in Guangzhou (China). He is a man
of God who has been imprisoned for his faith in Christ for over 20
years. At his departure the western man began to feel a little
uncomfortable but finally said to brother Lamb: “We in the West...
ehh..will pray for you and the Church here in China”. The answer
Samuel Lamb gave was everything but what he had expected.
Brother Lamb replied: “And we will pray for the western Christians
to have more discipline”. - Paraphrased.
"The truths that I know best I have learned
on my knees. I never know a thing well, till
it is burned into my heart by prayer."
"Today, we are living in desperate times. Yet, the Church is not
desperate before God in prayer."
"Courage is fear prayed for."
"The supreme purpose of every true Christian Church, the chief
duty of every Christian minister, the main responsibility of every
Christian layman, is to present to all who may be reached, in the
clearest and most forceful way, the basic facts of the gospel of
Christ and to urge all who hear to make the definite personal
response to these facts which God requires. To this, the supreme
task, every other duty and activity of the Church, must be
secondary and subsidiary." Derek Prince
"The Church has nothing to do but to save souls, therefore spend
and be spent in this work' - John Wesley.
"I look upon this world as a wrecked vessel. God has given me a
lifeboat and said to me: Moody save all you can." Dwight L. Moody
Minggu, 21 Maret 2010
A Thankful Heart - Part 1
By Francis Frangipane www.frangipane.org
The very quality of your life, whether you love it or hate it, is based upon how thankful you are toward God. It is one's attitude that determines whether life unfolds into a place of blessedness or wretchedness. Indeed, looking at the same rose bush, some people complain that the roses have thorns while others rejoice that some thorns come with roses. It all depends on your perspective.
This is the only life you will have before you enter eternity. If you want to find joy, you must first find thankfulness. Indeed, the one who is thankful for even a little enjoys much. But the unappreciative soul is always miserable, always complaining. He lives outside the shelter of the Most High God.
Perhaps the worst enemy we have is not the devil but our own tongue. James tells us, "The tongue is set among our members as that which . . . sets on fire the course of our life" (James 3:6). He goes on to say this fire is ignited by hell. Consider: with our own words we can enter the spirit of heaven or the agonies of hell!
It is hell with its punishments, torments and misery that controls the life of the grumbler and complainer! Paul expands this thought in 1 Corinthians 10:10, where he reminds us of the Jews who "grumble[d] . . . and were destroyed by the destroyer." The fact is, every time we open up to grumbling and complaining, the quality of our life is reduced proportionally -- a destroyer is bringing our life to ruin!
People often ask me, "What is the ruling demon over our church or city?" They expect me to answer with the ancient Aramaic or Phoenician name of a fallen angel. What I usually tell them is a lot more practical: one of the most pervasive evil influences over our nation is ingratitude!
Do not minimize the strength and cunning of this enemy! Paul said that the Jews who grumbled and complained during their difficult circumstances were "destroyed by the destroyer." Who was this destroyer? If you insist on discerning an ancient world ruler, one of the most powerful spirits mentioned in the Bible is Abaddon, whose Greek name is Apollyon. It means "destroyer" (Rev. 9:11). Paul said the Jews were destroyed by this spirit. In other words, when we are complaining or unthankful, we open the door to the destroyer, Abaddon, the demon king over the abyss of hell!
In the Presence of God
Multitudes in our nation have become specialists in the "science of misery." They are experts -- moral accountants who can, in a moment, tally all the wrongs society has ever done to them or their group. I have never talked with one of these people who was happy, blessed or content about anything. They expect an imperfect world to treat them perfectly.
Truly, there are people in this wounded country of ours who need special attention. However, most of us simply need to repent of ingratitude, for it is ingratitude itself that is keeping wounds alive! We simply need to forgive the wrongs of the past and become thankful for what we have in the present.
The moment we become grateful, we actually begin to ascend spiritually into the presence of God. The psalmist wrote,
"Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. . . . Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations" (Psalm 100:2, 4-5).
It does not matter what your circumstances are; the instant you begin to thank God, even though your situation has not changed, you begin to change. The key that unlocks the gates of heaven is a thankful heart. Entrance into the courts of God comes as you simply begin to praise the Lord.
Blessed Lord, forgive me for being a complainer. Help me to offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving in all things. Lord, I come this day to covenant with You. By Your grace, I will be thankful regardless of what my life seems to be. Oh God, remember Your covenant pledge and gather me near to Your heart. In Jesus' name. Amen.