Month: January 2016

5 Days of Spiritual Growth

  

Our business is to present the Christian faith clothed in modern terms, not to propagate modern thought clothed in Christian terms. Confusion here is fatal. – J. I. Packer’

Day 5 – “Where am I in terms of Evangelism?”

  • Matthew 28:19-20
  • Jude 20-23

Your best life now? If this is as good as it gets things are pretty bleak. We must have an eternal perspective to appreciate all that is in this life now, but only as it motivates us to tell others about Christ with the confidence of the life that is to come. That life is eternal!

It is easy to get caught up in living in the now, building our own little kingdoms on earth. So much so, that we lose sight of the bigger picture. That is to preach the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, and then to make disciples out of those who respond…teaching them to observe the things that Jesus commanded.

Why is this important? In doing so, in the same manner as God saved us, we will see others snatched right out of the fire.

Oh Lord, help us to always have an eternal perspective and to keep the reality of hell ever before us. May we be motivated, not out of fear, but out of a love and appreciation for you…that you saved us, and a love and appreciation of others…that they might be saved as well. In Jesus name…amen. 

 

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5 Days of Spiritual Growth

  

There is nothing in this world that can compare with the Christian fellowship; nothing that can satisfy but Christ. • John D. Rockefeller 

Day 4 – “Where am I in fellowship with others?”

  • Psalms 133:1-3
  • John 13:35
  • Acts 2:42-47

We were made to be in fellowship with one another. Community is important to everyone. It is an inate longing deep within the nature of every man and woman. Apart from God, there will always be problems, disunity. It is only God who can put people together in a unity that is good and pleasant.

Imagine what the world would think about God if they saw a pure and genuine example of such unity. How powerful that would be!

Tomorrow, as we continue in our study, “The Church…Pillar & Ground of Truth”, we will see how the fellowship of the early church, grounded in the unity that only Christ can bring, brought favor among ‘all people’. I pray for this type of fellowship in our church.

Dear Lord, help us to be committed to the purity of genuine fellowship, united in Christ alone. May we be so loving and encouraging to one another that others are drawn to a saving knowledge of you. We pray this in the matchless name of Jesus…amen.

Rouse Yourself!

  

I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time. • Charles Dickens

We have an enemy who is relentless and will do anything…anything to keep us from intimacy with God. He hates it when we read the Bible and pray. When we purpose to do so daily…he is even more determined to stop it. 

My heart was stirred greatly last week as I read a quote from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost for His Highest”: 

Rouse yourself up and look to God. Build your hope on Him. No matter if there are a hundred and one things that press, resolutely exclude them all and look to Him. “Look unto Me,” and salvation is, the moment you look. – Oswald Chambers

I want to be all I can be for God. I want to be all He wants me to be. This cannot happen without a life abandoned to Him, a life abandoned to prayer, a life abaondoned to His word.

May we be resolute in our pursuit of God!

5 Days on Spiritual Growth

  

We must never rest until everything inside us worships God. – A. W. Tozer 

Day 3 – “Where am I in terms of worshipping God?”

  • Psalms 29:1-2; 115:4-8
  • Romans 12:1-2

Over 20 years ago I heard a teaching by Jon Courson, a pastor I have the utmost respect for. He was teaching about worship and I can still remember two things he said as if it were yesterday.

First, he told us how the word ‘worship’ comes from a Greek word which means ‘to turn towards to kiss’. It is an intimate term and speaks of turning towards God with great intimacy and tenderness. This is why is is so important that we search our hearts in order that we might have the right attitude in worship.

The second thing Jon said, was that we must be careful to guard ourselves from ever ‘worshipping worship’ As a worship leader of over thirty years and I have sadly watched these prophetic words come to pass.

True spiritual worship takes place when we present our bodies as living sacrifieces. This is the only worship that is holy and acceptable to the Lord. 

Oh Lord, you alone are worthy of all our worship. Protect us from being conformed to this world. Transform us through the renewing of our minds so that we might discern your will, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. May our hearts worship you in the Beaty of holiness. Thank you for making this possible through our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

Don’t forget to pray!

  

O LORD my God, I kneel before you in humble adoration as I set out to face the tasks and interests of another day. Thank you for the blessed assurance that I shall not be called upon to face them alone or in my own strength, but that at all times I will be accompanied by your presence and strengthened by your grace. Thank you that throughout our human life run the footprints of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who for our sake was made flesh and tasted all the different challenges of humanity. Thank you that as I go about my work today, I can be conscious of the spiritual presence of the heavenly host. – John Baillie

An integral part of faithfully reading and understanding God’s word…is prayer!

While we would all agree that this is true, believing it and praying are two different things. The challenge of prayer can be quite difficult, desiring to avoid vain repetition. Somtimes we need a little kickstart, like that first cup of coffee in the morning. “A Diary of Private Prayer”, by John Baillie does just that. 

You can check it out on Amazon. Once you read just a bit of what he has written, you will find great value in thoughtfully writing out your prayers.

I pray that your love and passion for God’s word and prayer will grow stronger with each passing day!

5 Days on Spiritual Growth

  

Your words were found and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart. – Jeremiah the Prophet

Day 2 – “Where am I with God’s word?”

  • Psalms 119:111, 130
  • 2 Timothy 3:1-16

The more I read God’s word, the more I love it. You discover that it truly is alive, penetrating soul and spirit, judging the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts (Heb 4:12).

I love how the psalmist captures the essence of what happens when we read the Bible, ‘the unfolding of your words’. Not just read it, but take it in, ‘eat it’ as Jeremiah the prophet describes. I love how God’s word imparts understanding to a simpleton like me.

The Word is everything we need…it corrects us, convicts us, instructs us in righteousness, and equips us for every good work. And if that were not enough…God’s word ‘completes us’!

Oh Lord, may we delight in your word and allow it to correct, convict, instruct, equip and complete. Your word is our heritage forever. Holy Spirit unfold its truth and bring great understanding to our simple minds. Thank you for the revealing that comes when we read…In Jesus name…amen. 

Give Me Jesus

  

When I write a sacred song, it’s very specific, and there’s no guessing what it’s about. When I do write about God, it is very obviously about God. I’ve always felt it should be that way and still feel that way now. • Fernando Ortega

The primary reason we read God’s word is to know Jesus more, to fall more in love with Jesus, and to grow in a great understanding and appreciation of how Jesus saved us.

Fernando Ortega has ministered Jesus to my heart more than any other songwriter by far. His music exudes Jesus in every way.

I pray that you would love Jesus more as you listen to one of my favorites, Give Me Jesus. This particular renditions was sung at a memorial tribute to Ruth Graham, Billy Graham’s wife.