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Monday, February 28, 2005

THE OFFENCE OF THE CROSS: by George H. Morrison

George H. Morrison (1866-1928) assisted the great Alexander Whyte in Edinburgh, he pastored two churches, and then became a pastor in 1902 of the distinguished Wellington Church on University Avenue in Glasgow. His preaching drew great crowds; in fact, people had to line up an hour before the services to be sure to get seats in the large auditorium. Morrison was a master of imagination in preaching, yet his messages were solidly biblical.

THE OFFENCE OF THE CROSS

ONE THING THAT MARKS the ministry of Paul is how he lovingly yearned over the Jews. With a quenchless and intense desire, he prayed that they might be brought into the fold.

Never a did mother so long for the saving of her son as Paul longed for the saving of his countrymen. He was willing to suffer anything or everything, if only his people Israel might be won. It is when we remember that deep longing that we realize what the cross meant for Paul.

For the great stumbling block for the Jews-the offense that made the gospel of Christ smell rank to them-was, as our text indicates, the cross. Take that away, and it would be a thousand times more easy to win the Jews to the acceptance of the Lord.

Say nothing about that, just slur it over, and you would take half the difficulty out of the way of Israel. Yet, in spite of his yearning to see Israel saved, that was the one theme Paul would not ignore. God forbid, he says, that I should glory save in the cross of Jesus Christ my Lord.

There is a great lesson there for Christian teachers, and for all who are trying to advance Christ's kingdom. The more earnest and eager they are to have men saved, the more willing they are to go all lengths to meet them. And that is right, for we must be all things to all men-to the Jews as a Jew, to the Romans as a Roman; but remember, there are a few great facts we cannot yield, though they run counter to the whole spirit of the age.

It were better to empty a church and preach the cross, than to fill it by keeping silent like a coward. It were better to fail as Paul failed with the Jews, than to succeed by being a traitor to the cross.

And that is why I look with such uncertainty on much that the church is trying to do today. Religion can never be a pleasant entertainment. When the offense of the cross ceases, it is lost.
Continue reading

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DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: FORCEFUL PEOPLE #1

The full value of this life can only be got by fighting; the violent take it by storm. And if we have accepted everything we have missed something -- war. This life of ours is a very enjoyable fight, but a very miserable truce. Gilbert K. Chesterton
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Matt 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN NEEDS FORCEFUL PEOPLE
The word forceful means:
Powerful, Dynamic, and Effective. God requires us as Christians, to have this type of attitude today. In essence Jesus is saying that since John the Baptist, the Kingdom of heaven has been forcefully pressing forward towards its goal, and in order to maintain this momentum, it needs powerful, dynamic and effective Christians!

The proposal here is… that before John the Baptist, the Kingdom of Heaven could only be seen in the light of prophecy, but now it is PREACHED and DEMONSTRATED, by people who are pressing into it, with a zeal and eagerness resembling VIOLENCE or DESPERATION, to get rid of SIN and all satanic powers that are trying to destroy God’s people. But we need to stand true against anything that opposes the Kingdom of Heaven and its coming!

The devil will try and subdue us… he does not want us to succeed. Our opponent will try everything in his power to stop us moving forward, but Jesus wants those who are possessed of enthusiasm and the passion for God, to fight the enemy on all fronts, reminding ourselves that... The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Cor 10:4

How do we achieve… this FORCEFULNESS? Tomorrow we will look at implementing the first of four principles, which I believe will help us.

Loving Father, I thank you for your word that helps me to realise that your desire for us is to keep the kingdom of heaven advancing. Help me through the power of the Holy Spirit, to be a warrior for you. In Jesus mighty name I pray. Amen.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

THE 2nd MOST REDICULOUS ITEM OF THE YEAR!

This is really scraping the bottom of the Shroud...

Is this the boy Jesus?

SCIENTISTS have produced an amazing image of Jesus of Nazareth as a boy.Police forensic experts in Italy came up with a computer-generated sketch of a fair-skinned child Jesus with wavy hair and dark eyes, based on historical data and images from the controversial Shroud of Turin... Continue reading

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THE MOST RIDICULOUS ITEM OF THE YEAR!

Once more into the depths of stupidity...

Religious storm over man's exorcism on television
An exorcism has been shown for the first time on British television, provoking outrage from religious groups...
Continue reading

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Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Qualifications for Soul Winning... D. L. Moody

As we get ready to start a new week, what could be better for us, than some encouragement to win souls. As a follower, I am constantly reminded by the Lord Jesus' command... Matt 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

The great evangelist D. L. Moody gives us some tips on how to win souls...

The Qualifications for Soul Winning:
1. Shake off the vipers that are in the Church, formalism, pride, and self-importance, etc.

2. It is the only happy life to live for the salvation of souls.

3. We must be willing to do little things for Christ.

4. Must be of good courage.

5. Must be cheerful. God had no children too weak, but a great many too strong to make use of.

God stands in no need of our strength or wisdom, but of our ignorance, of our weakness; let us but give these to Him, and He can make use of us in winning souls... Continue reading

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The Paedobaptist Gauntlet

Adrian Warnock has a great post on child baptism. He replies to a question that was asked on the subject...Continue reading

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Stone carving says Pope will live

You would have to be "Stoned" to believe it!

A "Stone" can forecast whether the Pope will live! mmmhhh... Continue reading

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Friday, February 25, 2005

"How To Preach Without Converting Anybody"... Charles G Finney

This week we have been looking at some of the old time Preachers on prayer and revival, what an inspiration they have been. Today's article from JCSM is by Charles G. Finney, one of God's greatest evangelists , and as relevant today as ever...

How To Preach Without Converting Anybody

Preach on every doctrine that centers the attention on man rather than Jesus. Teach every doctrine that makes man the center of God's attention rather than God the center of man's devotion.

Tell people only what God will do for them. Avoid preaching about the necessity of a radical change of heart, through the truth revealed to the heart by the agency of the Holy Spirit.

Let your supreme motive to be popular with all people, then, of course, your preaching will be suited for that purpose, and not to convert souls to Christ... Continue reading

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DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: COMING BACK FROM FAILURE #5

Failure is the tuition you pay for success. --Walter Brunell
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John 21:1-25

FAILURE IS OUR KEY TO OUR FUTURE
As we arrive at our final episode of “Coming back from failure” and studying Peter’s dilemma and his outcome, we begin to appreciate that failure is our key to our future.

What is going to happen to John? Peter asks...
John 21:20-22 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is going to betray you?") When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?" Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me."

Isn’t it amazing… Peter is not exactly delighted that he has just been restored to his rightful place, and here he is, questioning the Lord! The old competitive, impetuous Peter is still there, the leader in him wants to take charge!

Sometimes the best people… find it difficult to concentrate on the Lord without interruption, difficult to keep their minds so directly fixed as they should be in following Christ: This causes us precious communion with our Lord, but Peter has a future and Jesus tells Peter to keep looking forward! Forget the past! What a wonderful God we serve!

The future is as bright as the promises of God. -- William Carey

There is a memorial in Israel of where Peter went fishing, but no monument to his failure! We can come back from our failure and have our future serving the Lord with wholeness!!!

Loving Father, I thank you for your Word that helps me to realise, that my failure is the key to my future, and now that I am back on my path with you again, restored to my rightful place as your child, help me to keep my eyes firmly fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith, in whose wonderful name I pray. Amen.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

A "Prayer Tip" from Charles Spurgeon

A "Prayer Tip" from Charles Spurgeon

I like to open the Bible and pray, "Lord God, let the words leap off the page into my soul; make them vivid, powerful, and fresh to my heart."

"How are we to handle this sword of 'It is written'? First, with deepest reverence. Let every word that God has spoken be law and gospel to you. Never trifle with it; never try to evade its force or change its meaning. God speaks to you in this book as much as if he came to the top of Sinai and lifted up his voice with thunder... Continue reading

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FIRE! by E. M. Bounds

FIRE!

Zeal is a contagious, but not a popular, element. Our fathers took their tea piping hot; we take ours iced. Iced Christianity is more popular and tasteful than iced tea. We can endure in our churches enough warmth to take the chill off, but more than this is offensive. We have added many good elements to our preaching, but these cannot make up for the loss of fervor. The average mind can only be moved to action by a flame... Continue reading

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DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: COMING BACK FROM FAILURE #4

Those who have failed miserably are often the first to see God's formula for success. -- Erwin W. Lutzer
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John 21:1-25

FAILURE NEED NOT BE FATAL OR FINAL
One of the greatest truths that we can glean from Peter’s dilemma is that failure is not necessarily fatal or final.

Peter, having faced his failure… was given the opportunity to put matters right with the Master, and now that this was accomplished, was forgiven and restored back to his rightful position as a child of God, a disciple and an apostle, he had risen from the depths of his anguish and had come back from failure!

Now Peter was ready to face his future...
John 21:18-19 I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!" What joy Peter must have felt when he heard those words… “Follow me!”

Jesus informs Peter what lay ahead for him… Previous to being called by the Lord, Peter was the master of his own destiny, but now he was to fulfil God’s plan for his future, he would be taken against his own will and executed, through this he would glorify God by his death.

Tradition records… that Peter was crucified in Rome under Nero around 67/68 AD, and that by his own request was crucified upside down because he considered himself unworthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.

I doubt … if any of us will be called to die for God, but what an honour it would be to fulfil the ultimate sacrifice for Him, as Peter did. Many of us would be so happy to fulfil God’s plans for our lives, after coming back from failure. It is so good to understand, that failure is never fatal or final, once forgiven and restored, our future in Him, will result in the glorifying of our Lord and Saviour.

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.

-- Corrie Ten Boom.

Loving Father, Thank you for your word and the revelation of knowing that coming back from failure need not be fatal or final, but that you have everything under control. I thank you that you have my destiny in your hands. In Jesus’ wonderful name. Amen.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

EXAMPLES OF PRAYING MEN... by E.M. Bounds

This week so many have been encouraged by the the prayer articles I posted from the JCSM Study Centre, so I have included this one on 'Examples of Praying Men'. Whether you are male or female it doesn't matter to the Lord, as long as you have a praying heart!

Oh! that we would see great prayer warriors raised up from among us! My friend Ps. mark Ritchie is one such warrior... he is starting up a 'Prayer Centre' in the Phillipines, maybe we could start there by praying for him, or maybe we could pray for my other dear friend and colleague, Guy Russell who's just been told that his cancer has come back, or for Ps. David Cartlege, who has a significant brain tumour and is due to be operated on this week... Matt 18:19 "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.

Maybe you have other burdens on which you can pray, whatever they are we can start right now and by reading these examples of praying men we will be encouraged to do so;

Examples of Praying Men
The act of praying is the very highest energy of which the human mind is capable; praying, that is, with the total concentration of the faculties. The great mass of worldly men and of learned men are absolutely incapable of prayer. -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

BISHOP WILSON says: In H. Martyn's journal the spirit of prayer, the time he devoted to the duty, and his fervor in it are the first things which strike me." Payson wore the hard-wood boards into grooves where his knees pressed so often and so long. His biographer says: "His continuing instant in prayer, be his circumstances what they might, is the most noticeable fact in his history, and points out the duty of all who would rival his eminency. To his ardent and persevering prayers must no doubt be ascribed in a great measure his distinguished and almost uninterrupted success."... Continue reading

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Prayer Tips from George Müller

Here is another wonderful article on Prayer from the JCSM Centre...

Two "Prayer Tips" from George Müller:
1. Open The Bible Before Him, and Put His Finger Upon That Promise, He would Plead That Promise, and So He Received What He Asked
2. Müller's Discovery Was That After Meditating On Scripture He Was More Able to Experience a Meaningful Prayertime... Continue reading

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DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: COMING BACK FROM FAILURE #3

My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.
-- Abraham Lincoln
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John 21:1-25

FAILURE MUST BE FACED FOR FORGIVENESS AND RESTORATION
In order for us to come back from failure, we need to comprehend that unless we face our failure, we can’t get back on the road to recovery.

In yesterday’s study… we saw how Peter had returned to fishing when he had failed, and how we usually return to the familiar whenever we fail. We realised that this can’t help us, as we endeavour to come back from our failure.

Peter had felt a failure… because he had denied Jesus three times in John 18, but he had taken his first step to receiving forgiveness and restoration by jumping overboard and swimming to Jesus. We learned how God loves to forgive... I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

As Peter walked towards Jesus… he could smell the charcoal from the fire that Jesus had made, and he possibly had a flashback, to the time he had denied Jesus by the fire in the high priest’s courtyard, but he was determined to go on and come back from his failure.

We begin to see a pattern emerging here… this was the 3rd time Jesus had appeared to His disciples since his death, Peter had denied Jesus 3 times, Jesus questioned Peter 3 times and Peter had replied 3 times, and 3 times Jesus committed the care of His flock to Peter. I don’t know the significance of all of this, only to say that when God does something He does it to perfection… Matt 5:48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

All of this indicated… that Peter was being forgiven and restored as a child of God, to his calling as a disciple of God, to his correct position as an apostle of God, and from this time on, the smell of charcoal would not be the smell of failure! Peter had come back from his failure and so can we!

Loving Father, I praise you for your word that helps me to understand, that I need to face my failure in order to be forgiven and restored. I praise you lord, for you are the God of the impossible that makes all things possible. Thank you for my forgiveness and restoration as a child of God, as a follower of Jesus and to make my calling secure. In Jesus mighty name I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

PRAYING TILL WE PRAY: by A.W. Tozer

"Praying Till We PRAY"
Dr. Moody Stuart, a great praying man of a past generation, once drew up a set of rules to guide him in his prayers. Among these rules is this one: "Pray till you pray."

The difference between praying till you quit and praying till you pray is illustrated by the American evangelist John Wesley Lee. He often likened a season of prayer to a church service, and insisted that many of us close the meeting before the service is over.

He confessed that once he arose too soon from a prayer session and started down the street to take care of some pressing business. He had only gone a short distance when an inner voice reproached him...
Continue reading

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DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: COMING BACK FROM FAILURE #2

Failure is an event, never a person. -- William Brown
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John 21:1-25
FAILURE HAS A TENDENCY TO MAKE US TO SEARCH FOR THE FAMILIAR

Failure usually comes when we attempt something out of the norm… i.e., a new relationship, a new business or job, moving to a new place etc., generally something that involves taking a risk. When we meet difficulties and it doesn’t turn out the way we hoped, we tend to go back to what we did before. Peter’s dilemma caused him to return to fishing, he would seek comfort in this.

Sometimes we seek solace for our failures in other areas of our lives… alcohol, drugs or other secret addictions that we had never dealt with in our lives, prior to our predicaments, but there is a way out…
I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. The first step to overcoming failure is to confess our sins and Jesus will restore us, as He forgave and restored Peter.

John recognises the voice of Jesus in John21:7… and Peter jumps overboard and swims to Jesus! This was his first step to receiving forgiveness and restoration. Jesus receives him and provides
breakfast for him, in the miraculous provision of fish and bread. And He will provide for us, when our relationship with Him is repaired.
Rev 3:20-21 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame
and sat down with my Father on his throne.

Life is a leaf of paper white
Whereon each one of us may write
His word or two, and then comes night.

Greatly begin! though thou have time
But for a line, be that sublime--
Not failure, but low aim, is crime.
-- James Russell Lowell.

Loving Father, I thank you for your word that helps me to understand myself, helps me to put my life into perspective. Forgive me Lord, for going back to the things that I was familiar with, wash me and cleanse me. I thank you that you are a God of forgiveness and restoration. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Supporting Pastors Is Good For Marketing

Kevin D. Hendricks has a brilliant post on why... Supporting Pastors Is Good For Marketing...

Recently stats have been floating around the Internet that point to the difficulty of being a pastor, including numbers like the following:
“80% of pastors say that ministry has negatively affected their family.”
“70% say they do not have a close personal friend.”
“37% say they have been involved inappropriately with someone in their church.”
“70% say they have a lower self esteem than when they started in ministry.”
... Continue reading

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DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: COMING BACK FROM FAILURE #1

I have not failed. I've just found 10, 000 ways that won't work. -- Thomas A. Edison
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John 21:1-25

Someone once said... “We grow more through PAIN than through SUCCESS!” This is something that I have found in my own life, and dare I say, probably most of you! I am constantly encouraged when I read of Peter’s struggle in John 21, when he had failed so badly, yet Jesus was able to encourage him to come back from his failure, and get going again.

How did Peter get to the point of failure?
He had left all including home, wife and kids, boat and business, to follow Jesus. Peter had decided to become the best disciple... a born leader! The issue here is not whether Peter can be forgiven... but can he be restored? Can we ever arise from the ashes of failure? Can we ever get back to the point of starting again? If you are called to follow God... you will never be happy doing anything else, we know this from the many testimonies of people who have stumbled in their walk with Jesus.

As Peter went fishing…
Was he thinking of all the good times he had when walking with the Master, was he looking around at the places where Jesus had fed the 5000, where the blind man was healed, where his mother-in-law was healed, where the possessed man was set free in the synagogue, was he thinking of how he had failed Jesus? And then … as he heard the voice calling, it must have been déjà vu experience.

To begin to think with purpose, is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment. -- James Allen

A closer look this week at these events in John 21, will let us see how they can help us return from our failures.

Loving Father, I thank you for your word that can bring healing to me. As I read what has happened to other Christians, I am so amazed by your love and mercy. Grant me the revelation through the Holy Spirit to know that even when I fail, you are there to help me start again. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

PENTECOST by Leonard Ravenhill

Pentecost
Lord Montgomery, that unpredictable British field Marshall, said recently that England went into the Second World War equipped to fight the First World War. This was a polite way of saying that in World War II England was way behind the times in battle equipment and strategy.

When Sir Christopher Wren designed the great St. Paul's cathedral in London, he planned a thing of lasting beauty and unfading charm, but did not order it air-conditioned.

When George Stephenson built his rocket engine, it was not smooth, herculean diesel, but a low-powered hissing machine. In other words, both Wren and Stephenson underestimated the needs of our day, and designed for their day.

Many today have a benevolent patronage of the church of Jesus Christ (or what they mistakenly think is the church of Jesus Christ). These "wise ones" think that the psalm-singing saints are as much out of line with the atomic age as a penny-farthing bicycle would be on a motor-crowded four-lane highway.

Was Jesus Christ guilty, then, of underestimating the need of this twentieth century? Is the Church which Christ founded a cumbersome, slow-moving thing, badly needing a gigantic overhauling and a government subsidy to get her up to date and moving? No! The church does not need state support... (Continue reading)

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Saturday, February 19, 2005

Have We No Tears for Revival?

Have We No Tears for Revival?" by Leonard Ravenhill

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." (Ps. 126:5). This is the divine edict. This is more than preaching with zeal. This is more than scholarly exposition. This is more than delivering sermons of exegetical exactitude and homiletical perfection. Such a man, whether preacher or pew dweller, is appalled at the shrinking authority of the Church in the present drama of cruelty in the world. And he cringes with sorrow that men turn a deaf ear to the Gospel and willingly risk eternal hell in the process. Under this complex burden, his heart is crushed to tears.

The true man of God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the Church, grieved at the blindness of the Church, grieved at the corruption in the Church, grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil. He is embarrassed that the Church folks no longer cry in their despair before a devil-ridden, sin-mad society, "Why could we not cast him out?" (Matt. 17:19). Continue reading...

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Friday, February 18, 2005

10 Things that could land your vicar in trouble

Vicars could be heading for hot water - though not literally - if a new plan to reintroduce trials for heresy succeeds. In theory there are all sorts of things your local vicar might well believe that could spell trouble.

The prospect of heresy trials for Church of England vicars who don't believe key doctrines has been raised this week, following a vote in the church's House of Laity... Continue reading

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Unction! by Leonard Ravenhill

Unction!
The Cinderella of the Church today is the prayer meeting. This handmaid of the Lord is unloved and unwooed because she is not dripping with pearls of intellectualism, nor glamorous with the silks of philosophy, neither is she enchanting with the tiara of psychology. She wears the homespuns of sincerity and humility and so is not afraid to kneel! The offense of prayer is that it does not essentially tie in to mental efficiency... Continue reading

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Obstacles to the gospel winning souls!

Adrian Warnock post a great blog on...

Obstacles to the gospel winning souls
Spurgeon lists the reasons that hinder our efforts in preaching the gospel to win souls.

Indifference" I would far rather have a man an earnest, intense opposer of the gospel than have him careless and indifferent.

"Unbelief" These people are very hard to influence; but I would warn you not to fight them with their own weapons. I do not believe that infidels ever are won by argument; or, if so, it very seldom happens. The argument that convinces men of the reality of religion, is that which they gather from the holiness and earnestness of those who profess to be Christ's followers. " Continue reading...

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DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: Strategies for Growing in God #5

Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you, never excuse yourself. -- Henry Ward Beecher
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2 Pet 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever! Amen.

All of this week we have sought to remind ourselves that growing is essential to our lives! The fact is we should be constantly looking to advance ourselves. We have realised that what is fundamental in our physical is also fundamental in our spiritual lives... we should never indicate that we are “not growing" or "not wanting to grow." Here is the final Strategy that I believe, will assist us, in our growing in God;

STRATEGY FOR ACCOUNTABILITY
Looking to others for Godly Support… Let us delegate ourselves to select relationships characterised by weakness and genuine love. Let us not risk trying to live the Christian life alone!
Prov 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. We need to select people who will help us to sharpen our walk with Christ, someone who can improve our conversations, training, intellect, spirituality, and make our zeal for God stronger.

I had walked life's path with an easy tread,
Had followed where comfort and pleasure led;
And then by chance in a quiet place --
I met my Master face to face.

With station and rank and wealth for goal,
Much thought for body but none for soul,
I had entered to win this life's mad race --
When I met my Master face to face.

I had built my castles, reared then high,
Till their towers had pierced the blue of the sky;
I had sworn to rule with an iron mace --
When I met my Master face to face.

I met Him and knew Him, and blushed to see
That His eyes full of sorrow were fixed on me;
And I faltered, and fell at His feet that day
While my castles vanished and melted away.

Melted and vanished; and in their place
I saw naught else but my Master's face;
And I cried aloud: "Oh, make me meet
To follow the marks of Thy wounded feet."

My thought is now for the souls of men;
I have lost my life to find it again
Ever since alone in that holy place
My Master and I stood face to face. -- Author Unknown

The exhortation is to grow. Let us endeavour to grow in these strategies knowing God gives us the grace and knowledge of Jesus to do so. Grow!

Loving Father, bring someone alongside me so that we can sharpen each other and improve our conversation, training, intellect, spirituality, and make our zeal for God stronger. Help me to put all these strategies into practice that I may grow and meet the ultimate command of my Saviour, to go into all the world and preach the gospel and win souls for Him. In Jesus wonderful name! Amen.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: Strategies for Growing in God #4

Evangelism is the spontaneous overflow of a glad and free heart in Jesus Christ.
-- Robert Munger
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2 Pet 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever! Amen.

We continue to remind ourselves that growing is essential to our lives! We should be persistently seeking to advance ourselves. What is correct in our physical is also correct in our spiritual lives... we should never signify that we are “not growing" or "not wanting to grow." Here is another Strategy that I believe, will assist us, in our growing in God;

STRATEGY OF EVANGELISM
Looking around for God-given opportunities….
Col 4:5 Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Create opportunities by being examples in our walk of faith.

Let us share God's grace… Col 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Especially with those He brings into our lives.

Blunt common sense always characterised the great evangelist D. L. Moody. Once a man rose in one of his meetings to give his experience.
"I have been for five years on the Mount of Transfiguration," he said.
Instantly Mr. Moody interrupted him by the sharp question, "How many souls did you lead to Christ last year?'
"Well, I don't know," answered the surprised man.
"Have you led any?" then came sternly from the preacher.
"I-ah-don't know that I have," said the man.
"Then," snapped Mr. Moody, still more sternly, "we don't want that kind of mountaintop experience. When a man gets so high that he can't reach down and save poor sinners, there is something wrong."

Luke 11:9 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Ask and the opportunity will be given to you.. Seek and you shall find opportunities… Knock and the door will be opened to you… SOULS!

Loving Father, grant me the opportunity to lead someone to Jesus. Help my conversation to be full of your grace, and give me the right words to say to the people you bring across my path, for your glory. I ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus. Amen.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

God lives, as atheism dwindles

An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support – John Buchan.

IN 1960, Time magazine declared God dead. Half the world seemed officially atheist and the rest were expected to soon join.

The tables have obviously turned.

Now, only about 2.4 per cent of the world's population is considered atheist, according to the World Almanac, and the numbers are dwindling.

Meanwhile, spirituality is experiencing a global resurgence... Continue reading

LATEST UPDATE ON BABY JORDAN!

Baby Jordan Is home! Praise the Lord! For the most recent update go to... http://www.jordanzane.com/ for all the details!

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: Strategies for Growing in God #3

Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.
-- Oswald Chambers
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2 Pet 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever! Amen.

Keeping in mind that we said growing is essential to our lives! We cannot ever cease trying to improve ourselves. What is true in our physical is also true in our spiritual lives... we should never indicate that we are “not growing" or "not wanting to grow." Here is another Strategy that I believe, will assist us in our growing in God;

STRATEGY OF FAITH
Looking at our world by way of God's perspective…
Heb 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Faith and hope go together; and the same things that are the object of our hope are the object of our faith. It gives us a confidence and expectation that God will complete all that he has promised to us in Christ.

Believing that God exists… Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. We must believe in the existence of a personal, infinite, holy God who cares for us. We must believe that God will reward us when we earnestly seek Him, knowing that our greatest reward is the joy and presence of God Himself in our lives.

Faith in God makes great optimists. Over in Burma, Judson was lying in a foul jail with 32 lbs. of chains on his ankles, his feet bound to a bamboo pole. A fellow prisoner said, "Dr. Judson, what about the prospect of the conversion of the heathen?", with a sneer on his face. Judson’s instant reply was, "The prospects are just as bright as the promises of God."

-- The Presbyterian Advance.

Mark 11:22 "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. Use His faith, for His perspective, on our world

Loving Father, help me to use your faith and put it into practice in my life. I believe that you exist and I earnestly seek you. I praise and adore you and give you the pre-eminence in my life. In Jesus wonderful name. Amen.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: Strategies for Growing in God #2

The noblest exercise of the mind within doors, and most befitting a person of quality, is study.
- - Sir William Ramsay
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2 Pet 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever! Amen.

Yesterday we said that growing was fundamental to life! We should never ever stop searching for excellence. The same is true in our spiritual life... we should never come to a point of “not growing" or "not wanting to grow." Here is another Strategy I believe will facilitate our growing in God;

STRATEGY OF STUDY
Looking in God's Word for Direction…
Let us find counsel and direction for our lives from the Word of God.
Ps 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. God’s word contains the spiritual principles that will help us avoid many sorrows, pitfalls and tragedies, brought on by wrong decisions and choices; consequently, we must treasure it’s wisdom and steadfastly hold on to its precepts in all life’s situations.

Let us make it a priority of knowing God through the Word…
2 Tim 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

Present yourself to God… as someone He approves of
A worker… who is not ashamed
Correctly understand… God’s word

In a study of the King James Version of the Bible someone gathered the following facts: "The Scriptures contain 3,586,489 letters, 773,692 words, 31,173 verses, and 1,189 chapters. The word 'and' occurs 1,855 times, but the word 'revered' only once. Ezra 7:21 contains all the letters of the alphabet except 'J.' The longest verse is Esther 8:9, and the shortest in the English language is John 11:35."

Knowing miscellaneous facts about the Bible is fine. But far better is the diligent searching of its truths for knowledge. If we study His Word we are approved and directed!

Loving Father, my desire is to grow in grace and knowledge of you. Help me to make the correct decisions for my life, according to your word. Strengthen me to study your word so that I will be approved of you and not be ashamed to correctly understand your word. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Monday, February 14, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: Strategies for Growing in God #1

It is not well for a man to pray cream and live skim milk.
-- Henry Ward Beecher

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2 Pet 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever! Amen.

Growing is fundamental to life! Do we ever stop growing? No not really... I figure we are either growing up, out or older. We never stop growing. The same is true in our spiritual life... we should never come to a point of “not growing" or "not wanting to grow."

High in the Alps is a monument raised in honour of a faithful guide who perished while ascending a peak to rescue a stranded tourist. Inscribed on that memorial stone are these words: HE DIED CLIMBING. A maturing, growing Christian should have the same kind of attitude, right up to the end of life.

Keeping this illustration in mind… Here are some Strategies I believe will help us to grow in God;

STRATEGY OF PRAYER
Looking to God in Dependence
Let us acknowledge how much we need God. Let us express our dependence to Him.
Heb 4:16 So let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive his mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need.

Come boldly… to His throne
Stay there… to receive mercy
Find grace… to help us

R. A. Torrey lamented the average believer's indifference to prayer by writing: How little time the average Christian spends in prayer! We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little... the power of God is lacking in our lives and in our work. We have not because we ask not.

If we want to grow in God, we have to pray!

Loving Father, I thank you that I can come boldly before your throne and receive the mercy and grace that I need. I thank you that your word tells me I can ask for anything in the name of Jesus and it will be granted to me. I give you the glory and praise you for answered prayer. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

BALANCED POSITIVE CONFESSION

During the past week I have been bombarded with so many articles concerning the positive confession doctrine and I would have to agree that these preachers are in the extreme, and many of them are preaching outright heresy.

My problem is that we pay far too much attention to these people, let God deal with them! If Christians are easily fooled by this stuff, then they have a problem in their relationship with Christ. Did Jesus not say that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth? John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

The enemy can distract us by listening or reading about these extremists that we miss the true positive message that God has blessed us with;

We are bought out of darkness into light.
We, who have faith in Christ, come to life… John 5:24 "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

We are brought to faith by the strength of Jesus alone.
Not by our own efforts… Eph 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, sothat no-one can boast.

Not by our own goodness… Phil 3:8-10 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-- the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

But by His wonderful love… Eph 2:4-7 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-- it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Our inheritance is abundant and secure.
He came to give forgiveness… Luke 24:46-47 He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

He came to give us fullness of life… John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

This is what I call BALANCED POSITIVE CONFESSION, and I firmly believe we need to let this positive confession be on our lips, and not allow the enemy to distract us from God's truth!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

HOW TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN.

Dear friend,
NO ONE can become a Christian unless they are “Born Again” by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ says...
You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ John 3:7. The necessity is absolute...you must be “Born Again”, nothing will take the place of the “New Birth”, neither Water Baptism nor Confirmation will take this place.

NO PERFORMANCE of religious rites will take the place of the New Birth. A great many people are depending on the fact that they say their prayers, read the Bible, go to Church, join in the sacraments and perform other duties. None of this will take the place of the New Birth. You can be religious in every teaching and yet be lost to God forever.

CULTURE and REFINEMENT and outward correctness of life will not take the place of the New Birth. The trouble is not merely with our outward life; the trouble is in the heart, in the deepest depths of our inward life. Our attempt to simply reform our outward life will not save us.

Suppose I had a rotten apple, I could take it to an artist and have him paint it until it was the most beautiful looking apple on canvas that you ever saw, and then have him coat it with varnish; but it would just be rotten to the core as ever. One bite into it would be a bite of decay. The trouble is that without Jesus Christ, you are wide of the mark in the heart.

Mere culture, refinement, respectability, morality, is simply a painted coating of varnish on the outside. Change means, going down to the very deepest depths of your being. “Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again.’ John 3:3.

Are you Born Again? Now I think a good many will say, “No I am not. Can you tell me what I must do right now, to be Born Again”... I can.

Our Lord Jesus Christ preached, “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:15. REPENTANCE is turning from sin to God. The gospel message has power in it to revolutionise your life. In the Bible we read, “As many as received Him, to them He gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in His Name.” John 1:12.

WE ARE BORN AGAIN by God’s Holy Spirit, through His Word, the moment we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. When you ask Jesus into your life, He transforms you through and through in a moment! It does not matter to Him if you are the world’s biggest sinner, if you open the door of your heart and let Him come in to rule and reign in your life, you will be made a New Creation by God Himself.

Heavenly Father,
I repent of all the things I have done wrong, my sins. I ask for forgiveness and I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord, and I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead. With my confession, your Word tells me that I am a new creation; I am “Born Again”. I thank you that Jesus is now my Lord and my Saviour. In His Name I Pray. Amen.

If you have said this prayer, please tell someone that you have become a Christian and seek to join a Bible believing Church.

Friday, February 11, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: Faith Walks

Faith is the refusal to panic. -- David Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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Heb 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.

FAITH WALKS AROUND THE ENEMY
God commanded Israel to bring down the walls of Jericho. They were ordered to march around the walls once a day for seven days together and seven times on the last day. The seven priests were to carry the seven trumpets going before the Ark of the Covenant when they marched around the city, and then they should blow them and sound a longer blast than before, then all the people should shout, and the walls of Jericho would fall before them, and by faith the walls came tumbling down.

Josh 6:20 When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city.

This was an immense test of their faith. The manner in which the order was given seemed impossible and would almost certainly expose them to the daily derision of their enemies; the ark would also appear to be in danger. But this was the way God commanded them to capture Jericho, and He loves to do enormous things by small and contemptible behaviour, so that the impossible would become possible!

Israel walking around their enemies reminds us to walk around our enemy in faith
We can demonstrate our faith by our commitment to it, and in no other way. Any belief that does not command the one who holds it is not a real belief; it is only a counterfeit belief. And it might shock some of us deeply if we were brought suddenly face to face with our beliefs and forced to test them in the fires of practical living.

The greatest testimony to following Jesus is not how far a Christian can logically analyse their reasons for believing, but how far in practice they will stake their life on His belief. To believe in Jesus is to believe in someone who will always be far beyond us, who will forever be presenting a new aspect of Himself to us.

Loving Father, I thank you that you are there for me when my faith is tested. Help me Lord, to walk around my enemies and to put my faith into practice, so that in you the impossible would become possible and your name would be glorified. In Jesus mighty name I pray. Amen.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: Faith Walks.

It's easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you're a winner, when you're number one. What you've got to have is faith and discipline when you're not yet a winner.
-- Vince Lombardi
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FAITH WALKS THROUGH TROUBLE
There was a very great danger to Israel because they were being chased by a furious enemy, with chariots and horsemen behind them, steep mountains on both sides, and the Red Sea before them, but our God gave them a magnificent deliverance.

By faith they passed through the Red Sea as if on dry land and when the Egyptians tried to follow them they perished… Exod 14:22-23 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh's horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea.

The waters of the Red Sea would be symbolic of trouble. The waters had potential to hurt the Israelites, but they did not. Their faith in God protected and delivered them from trouble.

Christians will face many troubles and circumstances in their lives
The followers of Jesus, who walk by faith, can accept all circumstances in God… Phil 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

They can thank God whether they feel like it or not… Phil 4:12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

As Christians we know that the grace of faith will help us walk through all the troubles we encounter in life.

Loving Father, I thank you for the grace of faith, which will help me to walk through any troubles that come before me. Help me Lord, to be content in every situation, knowing that I have the power of heaven behind me and the eternal life with Jesus ahead of me. In His wonderful name I pray. Amen.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

NEW UPDATE ON BABY JORDAN!

NEW VIDEO!...Jordan stars in "Totally Tube-less." Praise the Lord! For the most recent update go to... http://www.jordanzane.com/ for all the details!

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: Faith Walks

Faith and obedience are bound up in the same bundle. He that obeys God, trusts God; and he that trusts God, obeys God. -- Charles Spurgeon
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Heb 11:28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

FAITH WALKS IN OBEDIENCE
The writer of the Book of Hebrews speaks in wonderful terms of the faith of Moses. Moses was told to keep the Passover, to celebrate what had happened in Egypt;


Exod 12:23-25 When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the door-frame and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. "Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. Moses was obedient to that command.

Jesus commands us to have Faith
Mark 11:22-23 "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

This command by Jesus was designed to teach us the great lesson that no obstacle should be able to stand before a confiding faith in God. If we are obedient to the Lord and having that faith, there is no obstacle in our lives that cannot be moved.

Loving Father, I thank you for your word that tells me that by faith, I can walk in obedience to your commands. Help me Lord, to have your faith, so that the mountains in my life that are keeping me from being a productive child of God, can be overcome. In Jesus wonderful name I pray. Amen

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: FAITH WALKS!

Attempt something so impossible that unless God is in it, it's doomed to failure. -- John Haggai
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Heb 11:27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.

FAITH WALKS OUT OF BONDAGE…
Ø By faith Moses led the children of Israel out of the bondage of Egypt. It was because he trusted God that he left the land of Egypt and wasn't afraid of the king's anger. Moses kept right on going; it seemed as though he could see God right there with him. When we truly trust God, our faith will be a living faith that will spring alive. Moses trusted God to leave the land of Egypt!

Let us trust Jesus to lead us and walk out of any bondage that may be enslaving us.Isa 14:3-4 On the day the LORD gives you relief from suffering and turmoil and cruel bondage, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended!

I will not doubt, though all my ships at sea,
Come drifting home with broken masts and sails;
I shall believe the hand which never fails,
From seeming evil worketh good to me.
And, though I weep because those sails are battered,
Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered,
"I trust in thee."

Ø It is not our trust that keeps us, but the God in whom we trust who keeps us.

Loving Father, let my trust always be in you, take away any doubt that is in me, help me by faith, to take the hand of Jesus and walk out of my bondage forever. In Jesus name and for His glory. Amen.


Monday, February 07, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: Faith Walks.

Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time. -- Oswald Chambers
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Heb 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

It is so easy to say we believe in God as long as we remain in the little world we choose to live in; but get out into the great world of facts, the noisy world where people are absolutely indifferent to you, where your message is nothing more than a crazy tale belonging to a bygone age, can you believe God… in those circumstances?

Faith is a necessary and valuable quality for us as Christians.
Ø We are saved by faith…
Eph 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from ourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ø We are to live by faith…
Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

This week we will look at some of God's principles that we can adapt into our walk with Christ, that will make a difference to the people around us, as we seek to influence our world for Jesus.

Loving Father, help me to keep my eyes firmly fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, as I earnestly seek to do your will in my life and make a difference to the world I live in, for your glory. In Jesus wonderful name! Amen

Saturday, February 05, 2005

“Do they know me, John?”

Matt 25:36-40 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

I have a Pastor friend who lives in Scotland and many years ago he told me his story;

He was the Pastor of a local Pentecostal Church in one of the bigger cities in Scotland. Life for John was pretty good, his ministry was sought after, his Church was growing and people from all around Scotland were coming to hear his exegesis on the book of Ephesians, which he taught with exceptional skill.

One Sunday afternoon while he was praying, he heard the Lord say to him… “John you are well know and very popular, people from all over Scotland are coming to hear you preach, but I want you to go over to the window and look out.”

John went to the window and looked out, opposite his Church was a large public housing estate where hundreds of underprivileged people lived, most of them were unemployed, and to say that their lives were in difficult circumstances, would be an understatement.

The Lord continued to speak to him… “A lot of people know you, but do these people know me, John?” He started to weep when he realized what the Lord was saying to him, and thus began a new phase of his ministry, of reaching out to the people across the road from his church. Many of them came to know Christ and came into the Church.


It wasn’t a popular ministry, for it was to cause John to suffer repercussion’s from his congregation, who didn’t want the “dregs of society” to spoil a “successful Church.” He was asked to stop this ministry and when he refused, this lead to the denomination withdrawing his credentials.

John suffered a breakdown through all of this, but was later to recover and with the Lord’s help, to plant a new Church with the people the Lord wanted him to minister too. This Church began to grow as John preached the “Full Gospel” and it is now a leading witness in the city. The Lord also sent him around the world preaching the gospel and he still preaches today.


God bless you John, you are truly one of God’s heroes!

Friday, February 04, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: Fellowship with the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is not a blessing from God, He is God. -- Colin Urquhart
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2 Cor 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Paul’s benediction witnesses to the to the New Testament Church’s belief in the Trinity. He prays that the Corinthians may continually experience:

Ø The GRACE of the Lord Jesus Christ; i.e., His nearness, power, mercy and comfort.
Ø The LOVE of God; His Fatherly love with all His blessings.
Ø The FELLOWSHIP of the Holy Spirit; His constant companionship and His encouraging, guiding presence.

Wow! What a blessing! If this threefold reality is our abiding blessing, then our everlasting salvation will be guaranteed!


Loving Father, I thank you for this wonderful blessing, may the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be evident in my life. I ask this in the mighty name of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour. Amen

Thursday, February 03, 2005

UPDATE ON BABY JORDAN

VENT IS REMOVED AND JORDAN IS BREATHING WELL ON HIS OWN... Go to http://www.jordanzane.com/ for all the details!

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: Fellowship with Jesus.

Fellowship with God means warfare with the world. -- Charles E Fuller.
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1 Cor 1:9-10 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

Paul is emphasizing the integrity of the Father here, as he appeals to the people who were causing division in the Church. He clearly tells them that they were brought into fellowship with Jesus, by the Father, who is FAITHFUL to His PROMISES… Phil 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 1Thes 5:24 The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

On the basis of this, Paul calls upon the authority of the name of Jesus and encourages them to be in agreement with the teachings, in order that there would be no division amongst them and that if they complied with this they would be PERFECTLY UNITED in their minds and thoughts.

What a pattern for the Church of today to follow. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all be in agreement with the teachings of Christ? Our fellowship with Him would be so much more appealing and wholesome! What an encourager our God is!

Loving Father, help me to be in agreement with my fellow Christians, in the teachings of Christ, help me to make the effort for perfect unity and I thank you that my fellowship with Him will be richer because of it! In Jesus Name! Amen.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: FELLOWSHIP IN THE CHURCH.

Our love to God is measured by our everyday fellowship with others and the love it displays."
--Andrew Murray

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Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

It was no coincidence that this verse was written in this order; TEACHING leads to FELLOWSHIP; fellowship leads to COMMUNION; communion leads to PRAYER; prayer leads to fellowship with Him.

I once was asked by a friend, what my ‘proficiency’ was in Church Planting (we are in our 12th Church Plant in 20 years), and I replied: “Acts 2:42-47.” These are the verses that have underpinned our ministry. If you have solid teaching (especially the teachings of Jesus), then the rest of the principles follow; resulting in; awe, many wonders, miraculous signs, unity, giving, joy, excitement, sincerity, praise, worship, happiness with all the people, and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved! What a wonderful God we serve!

Loving Father, I thank you for your word that teaches us that fellowship with each other is important. Lord, help me to continue to live out all of these principles. In Jesus’ wonderful name. Amen

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT: Fellowship with Him.

I want the whole Christ for my Saviour, the whole Bible for my book, the whole Church for my fellowship, and the whole world for my mission field. -- John Wesley.
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I John 1:6-7 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

To “walk in the darkness” means to live as the world lives, doing those things that are against God’s Word… in other words, live in sin. Such people do not “have fellowship with him,” i.e., they are not born of God (2 Cor 6:14). Those who have fellowship with God experience His daily grace and live lives of holiness in His daily presence (v7). What an absolute blessing, Praise the Lord!

To “walk in the light” means to believe God’s truth as revealed in His Word and to make an honest and continual effort by His grace, to follow in word and accomplishment. The “blood of Jesus, his son, purifies us from all sin” refers to the ongoing work of sanctification within the believer and the continual purification for our unintentional sins. This constant purifying allows us to have intimate fellowship with God… praise His wonderful name, what a God we serve!

Loving Father, thank you for your daily grace and presence in our lives, through the precious blood of Jesus our Lord and Saviour, enabling us to have wonderful, abundant fellowship with you. In Jesus lovely name. Amen.

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