Because He Loved Me

 we loveIf someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?  -1 John 4:20
New King James Version

What concerns God is whether a person is actually and practically following Him with his mind, actions, words, time and energy. This proves to Him whether one sincerely loves the truth or merely sees his religion as an intellectual profession or social occasion.

Our deceitful mind can find multitudes of ways, reasons and excuses to avoid confronting the real issue of life—overcoming, allowing God to form and shape us into His image. Knowing this very well, Satan works to involve the intellectually inclined among us in pursuits that though they may involve religion and are stimulating and challenging, have little or nothing to do with overcoming. The issue, however, becomes so “big” that God’s focus is lost under the ever-growing mounds of research.

He distracts others through conspiracy theories. Though these things may be occurring at least to some extent, and though people reason they are “watching world news,” it is not preparing for God’s Kingdom. It becomes so “big” in their minds that they are nearly consumed by it—it is all they can talk about!

Jesus said what is in the heart comes out the mouth. Where is there room for God in the heart when this other pursuit is crowding Him out? Are these people in danger of being swept away by the flood? I have noticed that people involved in this gradually become very suspicious and cynical of others, especially those with some authority. Satan subtly destroys the fabric of trust that any institution—be it a relationship, family, church or nation—must have to function.

The Day of the Lord is not yet upon us, but we are in the headwaters of the flood that is swiftly approaching. The flood of deception is a precursor of more physically persuasive tactics designed to deceive the whole world into accepting the lie. But for now, Satan is surely concentrating primarily on God’s called-out ones.

God is permitting a sifting to take place. Paul uses the word “delusion” in II Thessalonians 2:11, indicating a “wandering out of the way.” Does that not happen to people who are confused and have lost direction and motivation? They wander. They drift. They get tossed about in the winds and currents. But the love of the truth will keep a person clear-minded, focused on the right areas of life and motivated to overcome. And this will lead God to save them.

We need to examine honestly what receives our time and attention. We need to evaluate truthfully what is the focus of our lives. This will reveal whether we love the truth or merely profess to. Those who only profess to love it will be the ones sifted by the flood now swirling around us.

Jesus cried out in John 7:37, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” Brethren, this is our salvation. He says He is the way, the truth and the life. Now is the time to dig deeply into His Word to make that foundation sure. And let’s truly live and build upon what we find there! — John W. Ritenbaugh

TAKING OWNERSHIP OF GOD’S BUSINESS

Ms. Nothing:

Was talking about this with a friend and brother today …so I decided to re-blog. It is still a valid lesson for the Church I b elieve

Originally posted on Seated in High Places:

We in Christ are servants of the LIVING God who is the creator of all. We are also stewards of Kingdom affairs as they pertain to the Body of Christ. Most of us can recall the stories in the Word of bad and good stewardship. Matthew 25:26 tells us of the lazy steward, Luke 16 of the shrewd and dishonest steward and Matthew 20:1-16 is the story of the grumbling workers hired by the rich land owner.

Usually when speaking to people who are in the Church on the subject of stewardship… we hear this,
“I am a good steward over all that God has blessed me to OWN. I take care of MY house, MY belongings and I give back to the Church from MY income I receive from the job He has blessed me to have.” This in my view can not be deemed as stewardship and I…

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Quotes on Being a Disciple

Ms. Nothing:

Good food for the thoughts!

Originally posted on Broken Believers ♥:

Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Take the words of Jesus and let them become the Supreme Court of the Gospel to you. –John G. Lake

Some wish to hear the word of God, others wish to receive it.–Anonymous

Understanding is the reward of obedience. Obedience is the key to every door. –George MacDonald

In the spiritual life only one thing produces genuine joy and that is obedience. –Richard Foster

The level of our obedience is most often determined by the behavior standard of other Christians around us. –Jerry Bridges

Many Christians have what we might call a “cultural holiness”. They adapt to the character and behavior pattern of Christians around them. As the Christian culture around them is more or less holy, so these Christians are more or less holy. But God has not called us to be like those around us…

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No Time To Love

self improvement

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” ~Luke 6:37
Sometimes we get so high up *in our SMALL minds* that we began to take pleasure in looking down on everyone else. It seems that we forget that we are only sitting so high up because Jesus loved us so much when we were down so low and He died to pay the price for our deplorable deeds. If we would only come down and see ourselves for an honest moment and the wretchedness that He has delivered us from, BUT how can we see this when we are busy looking down on others lost in the arrogance of our self-righteousness?

I fear that often we feel that we are so well saved, that we forget that it was not we who saved ourselves. We become smug looking down upon anyone who would stumble, with great disdain and derision. We become so *omni-something or other* we really begin to see ourselves as faultless and without spot or wrinkle. We become white-washed tombs as we walk on the path of the Pharisee. We have been given no power to save or condemn any person; we have only the power to Love and that we can only do perfectly by His Omnipotence through the Holy Spirit.
Mother Teresa said it best, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

The Desire of God’s Heart is the Priority

cc_starfish
The Bible promises: Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

Now many Christians will tell you that they have delighted in the Lord and loved Him faithfully and yet their desires have not been met. The house is in need, the children need clothes and food, the car is on the fritz on and on and on. When they look at those outside of their Faith and see them prosper in these things. Many just give up.

I challenge you to read that verse and REALLY see it Spiritually. Now if I truly delight in the Lord then whatever it is that DELIGHTS HIM becomes the desire of my heart. His heart’s desire will be the ONLY desire of my heart. Amen?

Jesus Is NOT Our Ticket for Bigotry!

Ms. Nothing:

This blogpost will be forever timely in this world… and I wish that was a lie!

Originally posted on Seated in High Places:

How do Christians justify ugly hatred and prejudices? Its sad when those who claim Christ do so jealously, holding on to Him stingily with a miserly greed. UNWILLING to share Him with the neighbor who does not live on the right side of the tracks. Or the one who does not look quite upstanding. Being ashamed to call the one who has a different ethnicity brother/sister. Deciding in their wicked hearts who is worthy of Christ!
Jesus did not die for Republicans, Democrats, conservatives or liberals alone. The Sacrifice of God has nothing to do with your hatred for gays, blacks, whites, Muslims or Mormons. If we are under the impression that Jesus is our little trophy or the mascot for our little cause… it is time to fall on our knees before God with a sincere heart and ask Him to reveal to us the purpose of Cross and…

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The Busy Unproductive Church

We-have-gone-from-being-fishers-of-men-to-being-keepers-of-the-aquarium
Luke 19:10  ~”For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Church membership does not decline because it’s that season and it’s happening everywhere. Nor do the numbers decrease as some will swear due to the “great falling away” that is prophesied in Scripture. Many congregations are thriving and growing. Some congregations grow to the point of population over-flow and new Church congregations have to be planted. The reasons that many church congregations fail is due to where our energy is focused.

The first things you will find in a thriving congregation is corporate praise, worship and prayer. Not just in little side ministries but as a congregation. The very heart beat of the congregation is Christ.  When this excitement is found in a congregation, it has the same effect as when the Lord walked the Earth; the people just wanna get out there and tell somebody about Him, just like the Samaritan woman at the well.

John chapter 4 says she ran to share the Good News with the people in her town. Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, Jesus stayed and taught them for 2 days and they said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

A thriving church will not wait for a lost and dying world to find it… it will go out excitedly lifting Jesus to a lost and dying world and the result will be the same as when the woman shared the news… it will be Jesus Himself who draws them to Himself.

A failing church is very very busy… and very very unproductive. The congregation spends countless hours doing ministry business within the four walls of the sanctuary without ever going out to reach the community.  If we are all believers inside of the four walls… what do we accomplish for the furthering of the Kingdom by setting up endless committees, planning perpetual fundraisers, installing officers to oversee the committee’s officers and one another… not to mention endless meetings about the state of our congregation, our committees and our ministries.  How will we be fishers of men if we are too busy minding the aquarium?

Even Jesus let it be known that “the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  He was never busy heading up and establishing temple committees. We must get out and get busy while it is still daylight left, because no one can work in the dark.
I found this chart it is a good indication of where our congregations stand.
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