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RANDOM THOUGHTS

Christianity In Crisis

Due to the wide spread teaching and belief that the grace of God in Christ somehow diminishes or even eliminates the force and requirements of the eternal moral law of God, most who call themselves "Christians" today are in grave error and seriously deceived.

The teaching that by simply believing in Jesus Christ we are not bound or required to obey the scriptural principles of righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God because we are "covered by the blood of Jesus" and therefore, it doesn't matter how we live our life or if we continue to sin, is nothing but total rebellion against God.

"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord; I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."
(Hebrews 8:10)

God's laws are based upon righteousness, holiness and obedience to Him. Second to our faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ for our sins, our behavior is absolutely critical in determining our place in eternity. Simply put, those who live unrighteous, unholy and disobedient lives will not be in God's Kingdom. You can say you "believe in Jesus" all you want, but your behavior will determine your eternal destiny.

Are you allowing God to write His laws on your heart and mind today? If so, then you are walking in righteousness, holiness and obedience to God. If not, then you are still living in your sins and God is going to judge you accordingly if you do not immediately repent and turn to Him with a whole heart and allow Him to begin writing His laws on your heart and mind so that you too will be one of His people and He will be your God.

Is Christ Your Life?

" When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3:4)

So what exactly does it mean for "Christ to be your life"? How about this:

"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." (Mark 12:30)

Or as Oswald Chambers put it, "God the King of my heart, God the King of my soul, God the King of my mind, God the King of my strength; nothing other than God...the sovereign preference of my person for God. The love of the heart for Jesus, the life laid down for Jesus, the mind thinking only for Jesus, the strength given over to Jesus, the will working only the will of God, and the ear of the personality hearing only what God has to say."

Is this the desire of your heart Dear Reader? Is your personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ the most important relationship in your life? Is He more important to you than anything or anybody else in your life? Or have you "received the grace of God in vain"? (See 1st Corinthians 15:10)

Are You Ready And Prepared?

Many of God's prophets are saying the same thing right now--America is going to be attacked. Everything is in place and ready to happen any day now, perhaps at any moment. The sense that something bad is about to happen* is almost palpable. Like Pearl Harbor, it will be a surprise attack and will happen on a day just like any other. Only this time the bombs will be nuclear. Coming soon to a city near you. Maybe even your city.

Thus, our only hope is to repent and turn away from all of our sin, self-seeking and worldliness, and seek the Lord with all of our hearts while He still may be found.

As Jesus said, "Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." (Luke 13:5)

"What will you do in the day of punishment (visitation), in the ruin (devastation) that will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help, and where will you leave your wealth?" (Isaiah 10:3)

*11/20/09--According to a recent poll done by Wenzel Strategies (a public opinion research and media consulting firm), 65 percent of Americans expect a bomb attack on American soil within six months.

Has Jesus Ever Touched You?

"And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun..."
(Matthew 17:2)

"...and a voice from the cloud said, 'This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." (Matthew 17:5)

"...Jesus came and touched them..." (Matthew 17:7)

"And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only."
(Matthew 17:8)

If you are a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, there will come a time in your life when Jesus is transfigured before you and God will speak to you by His Spirit and say, "listen to him". Then, at that moment in time Jesus will come and touch you and the eyes of your spirit will be opened and you will see "no one but Jesus only"; and He will become all that matters to you for the rest of your life.

As the song says:

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace."

Which Group Are You In?

In the Old Testament (Judges, Chapter 7), God told Gideon, who had an army of 32,000 men, that he had too many men for Him to destroy the enemy with, so He told Gideon to send all the men home who had "fear and trembling in their hearts". As a result, 22,000 men promptly went home.

Then God told Giedeon that he still had too many men to do battle with, so He told Gideon to take his men down by the waters edge and of those who lapped the water with their tongue like a dog or kneeled down to drink with both hands to send them home, but to keep those who lapped the water with only one hand.

The point being these men were not ready and alert for battle as the enemy could sneak up from behind while they were carelessly kneeling down to drink. Whereas, the men who lapped the water with one hand, while keeping their other hand on their sword, were ready and alert should the enemy try to sneak up from behind.

Thus, 9,700 more men were sent home leaving only 300 men out of the original 32,000 for God to use in battle. Incredible.

Isn't it interesting that God doesn't have to do things in a BIG way? He doesn't need, or even want, a large number of people in order to accomplish His purposes in the lives of men and women. Quite unlike the way most churches today think and do, huh?

So which group are you in when it comes to you serving God? Do you have fear and trembling in your heart because you are afraid of what your friends might say or think about you if they know you are a Christian? Or are you afraid that God will require you to "give everything up" for Him?

Are you a careless, luke-warm Christian, who is more interested, if you are interested at all that is, in what God can do for you than what you can do for Him?

Or are you totally in and committed to God no matter what happens to you in your life, no matter what it costs you? Does He mean everything to you, even more than life itself? Can you say as Job did, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him"?

If so, God wants to use you for His purposes in order to bring the life of His Son Jesus Christ to someone He dearly loves and wants in His Kingdom.

Are You A Professional Christian?

According to Oswald Chambers, "Professional Christianity is a religion of possessions that are devoted to God; the religion of Jesus Christ is a religion of personal relationship to God, and has nothing whatever to do with possessions. The disciple is rich not in possessions, but in personal identity."

"A man's life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses."
(Luke 12:15)

"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him..."
(Philippians 3:8 & 9)

"Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." (Luke 9:58)

Do we honestly believe we deserve more than the Son of Man had?

How To Be Like Jesus

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross." (Philippians 2:5-8) (emphasis mine)

Who's Kidding Who?

Jesus said, "Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:27)

He also said, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples." (John 8:31)

And, "...in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians." (Acts 11:27)

Using basic logic then, if A equals B then B equals A. Or, a disciple is a Christian as a Christian is a disciple.

Thus, it would appear, according to the Scriptures referenced above, that one can only be a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, a Christian if you will, if one takes up his cross (denies himself) and follows the Lord and continues in His word.

The question then is: if one does not do these things, is one truly a Christian and/or disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ?

As Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord', will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
(Matthew 7:21)

True Or False?

The Gospel as it is taught today: Christ died for me, therefore, I go scotfree. I am "saved by grace" and, as a result, when God looks at me, even when I sin, He only sees Jesus because I am covered by His blood; so it really doesn't matter how I live. Besides, none of us are perfect, we are all going to sin.

The Gospel as it is taught in the New Testament: Christ died for all and took away the sin of the world, and by my individual identification with His death I can be made free from sin and have His righteousness imparted to me. Now, not later.

"He (God) made Him (His Son) to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." (2nd Corinthians 5:21)

"...put to death therefore the deeds of the flesh..." (Romans 8:13)

"Awake to righteousness and sin not." (1st Corinthians 15:34)

"...perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2nd Corinthians 7:1)

And the Lord Himself, who "saved you by grace", said, "You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)

It is true that we are "saved by grace" according to Scripture. But Scripture does not teach, or even imply, that it is OK if we continue in our Adamic ways and sinful nature. To be "saved by grace" is not an excuse for sin! If we are truly born again, viz., "born of God", we are supposed to be a "new creature", our behaviour is supposed to change from unrighteousness to righteousness. Otherwise, we are not truly born again, nor are we "saved by grace". If we are truly born again and "abiding in Christ Jesus" then, according to Scripture, we will no longer sin because His seed remains in us and we cannot sin.

"Whoever is born of God does not commit sin; for His seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (1st John 3:9)

As Oswald Chambers said, "It is not Christ for me unless I am determined to have Christ formed in me."

Did Jesus Die In Vain For Us?

Jesus said, "You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you..." (John 15:16)

What a privilege! What an honor! What a blessing! If so, then what are any of us doing chasing after the world and living the typical American life, striving to get ahead, always wanting more money to buy more stuff, bigger TV's, bigger houses, newer cars, savings accounts, investments; seeking better paying jobs with more security, retirement accounts and "benefits"; going where ever we want and doing whatever we want whenever we want; leaning to our own understanding instead of acknowleging Him in all of our ways and diligently seeking and trusting in Him with all of our hearts to direct our lives?

Why do we treat Jesus like He is Santa Claus serving only to give us what we want and bless us no matter what we do? Isn't it about time we start giving Him what He wants instead? After all, here's a news flash for you: it isn't about us. It's about Him. It's ALL about Him. Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. He is our King and, as such, we are supposed to bow our knee to Him. Instead, we treat Him like He is supposed to bow His knee to us. How totally impudent and insolent we are towards Him. Who do we think we are? Read the type in bold at the top of this page again and let it sink in real good because He does indeed deserve the reward for His suffering. He most definitely deserves those for whom He died.

Jesus said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." He also said, "I have called you friends." (John 15:13 &15)

Therefore, ought not we do the same thing that our friend, our Lord, Saviour and King, did for us, namely, lay down our lives for Him?

Jesus would say to us today, "I did not die for you so that you could live your life according to your wants and desires. You are mine! You have been bought with a price! I laid down my life for you! By my death I redeemed you to my Father. Now what are you going to do for me?"

Hint: Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." (Luke 9:23)

So there you have it. If you want to be called by His Name, if you want to be His disciple, do you really have any excuse for not doing what He has said, for not laying down your life and following Him?

As Our Lord Himself said, "Whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matthew 10:38-39)

Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice

Obedience to His word is all that God requires of us. If we will walk in His ways and keep His commandments, He promises He will be our God and we will be His people.

"This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." (Joshua 1:8)

"My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: for length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee." (Proverbs 3:1)

"...and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36:28)

Are You In Or Out?

Our Lord prayed for us, "I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world." (John 17:15-16)

"In the world, but not of it." Does this describe you? Is your heart's desire to be like Jesus and live your life in a manner that is pleasing only to Him?

And what was the Lord's purpose in praying for us in this manner?

"...that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me." (John 17:21)

A Very Great And Precious Promise Of God

"I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules." (Ezekiel 36:24-27)

Are You A Sinner Or A Saint?

Is your basic disposition one of self-realization--that which Oswald Chambers refers to as, "my claim to my right to myself"? If so, then your basic disposition is one of sin.

This statement should come as no surprise to anyone. After all, Scripture tells us we were all "born in sin and shaped in iniquity" (Psalm 51:5). But the point is, according to Oswald Chambers, "The disposition of sin is not immorality and wrong doing, but the disposition of self-realization--I am my own god." And, "Sin is a fundamental relationship; it is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, deliberate and emphatic independence of God."

Unfortunately, we were all born with a sin nature which renders us "dead in our trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1) and unable to do anything about it. But God can.

Again, quoting Oswald Chambers, "In the Cross of Jesus Christ God has redeemed the whole human race from the possibility of damnation through the heredity of sin. God nowhere holds a man responsible for having the heredity of sin. The condemnation is not that I am born with a heredity of sin, but if when I realize Jesus Christ came to deliver me from it, I refuse to let Him do so, from that moment I begin to get the seal of damnation."

"And this is the judgment, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." (John 3:19)

Nevertheless, God still loved us even while we were His enemy! As Oswald Chambers said, "The revelation of the Bible is not that Jesus Christ took on our fleshly sins, but that He took upon Himself the heredity of sin which no man can touch. God made His own Son to be sin that He might make the sinner a saint."

"For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." (2nd Corinthians 5:21)

Now think about that for a very long minute Dear Reader, think long and hard about the love of God manifest to you through His Son Christ Jesus, and if it doesn't fundamentally change your life and make you love God more than ever and want to live holy and righteously, you are probably not changeable.

Football: A Metaphor For The American Way Of Life

Are you a football fan(atic)? If so, you are one of countless people in our country who go absolutely crazy over this incredibly violent and worldly sport. All across America, from the Pee Wee League to the NFL, interest in the game of football is cultishly HUGE and, for a great number of people, including Christians, it is nothing short of idolatry.

In light of this, the following excerpt from "Our Portrait In Genesis", by Oswald Chambers, is particularly relevant, pertinent and needful for God's people to prayerfully consider:

"The first civilization was founded by a murderer, and the whole basis of civilized life is a vast, complicated, more or less gilded-over system of murder. We find it more conducive to human welfare not to murder men outright, we do it by a system of competition. It is ingrained in our thinking that competition and rivalry are essential to the carrying on of civilized life: that is why Jesus Christ's statements seem wild and ridiculous. They are the statements either of a mad man or of God Incarnate. To carry out the Sermon on the Mount is frankly impossible to anyone but a fool, and who is the fool? The man who has been born again and who dares to carry out in his individual life the teaching of Jesus. And what will happen? The inevitable result, not the success he would otherwise have. A hard saying but true."

"Come out of her, my people..." (Revelation 18:4)

"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1st John 2:15)

"Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." (Colossians 3:2-3)

" He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,...who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking on evil, he will dwell on the heights..." (Isaiah 33:15-16)

"Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways." (Psalm 119:37)

As Oswald Chambers said above, "A hard saying but true."

Something to ponder and pray about. Amen?

Does This Speak To You?

"For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them." (Deuteronomy 7:6-9)

Are Ye Able?
by Earl B. Marlatt

Are ye able, said the Master, to be crucified with Me?
Yea, the sturdy dreamers answered, to the death we follow Thee.

Are you able to relinquish purple dreams of power and fame,
To go down into the garden, or to die a death of shame?

Are ye able, when the anguish racks your mind and heart with pain,
To forgive the souls who wrong you, who would make your striving vain?

Are ye able to remember, when a thief lifts up his eyes,
That his pardoned soul is worthy of a place in paradise?

Are ye able when the shadows close around you with the sod,
To believe that spirit triumphs, to commend your soul to God?

Are ye able? Still the Master whispers down eternity,
And heroic spirits answer, now as then in Galilee:

Lord, we are able. Our spirits are Thine.
Remold them, make us, like Thee, divine.
Thy guiding radiance above us shall be
A beacon to God, to love and loyalty.

The Secret To Being A Disciple

"His mother said to the servants, 'Do whatever he tells you.'" (John 2:5)

That's it. Do whatever Jesus tells you to do. It's that simple.

God's Wonderful Plans For His People

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord..."
(Jeremiah 29:11-14)

Our Goal Should Be The Rest Of God

And just what is the "Rest of God"?

Just as, "...God rested on the seventh day from all his works." "So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his." (Hebrews 4:4 & 9-10)

So how do God's people enter the "Rest of God"? Perhaps the following is a guide:

"He hath shown thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." (Micah 6:8)

"Let us therefore strive to enter that rest..." (Hebrews 4:11)

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