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Archive for May, 2013

Excellent tool:  Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ produced a list (PDF) years ago which ” contrasts characteristics of proud, unbroken people whom are resistant to the call of God on their lives with the qualities of broken, humble people who have experienced God’s revival. Read each item on the list as you ask God to reveal which characteristics of a proud spirit He finds in your life. Confess these to Him, and then ask Him to restore the corresponding quality of a broken, humble spirit in you. ”   Here is the list in chart form courtesy of Feeding on Christ.

Proud, Unbroken People Broken People
1. Focus on the failure of others 1. Are overwhelmed with their own spiritual need (Matthew 5:3, 7:3-5, Luke 18:9-14)
2. Are self righteous; have a critical, fault finding spirit; look at own life/faults with a telescope but others with a microscope 2. Are compassionate; have a forgiving spirit; look for the best in others (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:12)
3. Look down, in a condescending spirit, at others 3. Esteem all others as better than self (Phil. 2:3, Rom. 12:10)
4. Are independent; have desires for everyone else to meet own personal needs 4. Are dependent on God and His grace; recognize others’ needs and seek to meet them (2 Cor. 3:4-6, Phil. 2:4)
5. Always manipulating circumstances to maintain control; must have everyone do it their way 5. Surrenders control by giving freedom for others to do or see things differently (Rom. 12:1-2)
6. Have to prove they are always right 6. Are willing to yield to the possibility that they could be wrong, and thus, yield the need to always prove they are right(Rom. 15:2)
7. Claiming personal rights 7. Yielding personal rights (Eph. 5:21)
8. Display a demanding spirit 8. Have a giving spirit (Rom. 12:13)
9. Self-protective of time, rights, reputation 9. Are self-denying (Luke 9:23)
10. Desire to be served 10. Are motivated to serve others (Matt. 20:26-28, Phil. 2:20-21)
11. Desire to be a success 11. Desire to be faithful to make others a success (John 3:30)
12. Desire for self-advancement 12 Desire to promote others (John 3:3)).
13. Are driven to be recognized and appreciated Have a sense of unworthiness; are thrilled to be used at all; eager for others to get credit, honors and awards (I Tim. 1:12-16)
14. Cringe when others in the same field are praised, wishing it was them 14. Rejoice when others are lifted up (Rom. 12:15)
15. Think ‘the ministry is privileged to have me!’ 15. Think ‘I don’t deserve to serve in this ministry (2 Cor. 4:7)
16. Think of what they can do for God 16. Know they can offer nothing to God, and seek for God to work through them in His power (Phil. 3:8-9, Titus 3:5)
17. Feel confident in how much they know 17. Are humbled by how much they have not learned and wish to learn (Phil. 3:12, Prov. 1:7)
18. Are self conscious 18. Have little concern with how others view them (Gal. 1:10)
19. Keep people at arm’s length 19. Risk getting close to others; are willing to take those risks for the sake of love for others (2 Cor. 6:11-12)
20. Are quick to blame others 20. Accept personal responsibility; can see and acknowledge personal failure (Matthew 7)
21. Are concerned with being ‘respectable’ 21. Are concerned with being real (2 Cor. 4:3-5).
22. Are concerned about what others think 22. Know all that matters is God and what He knows (I Cor. 4:3-5)
23. Work hard to maintain image and protect reputation 23. Die to own reputation (Phil. 3:7, Rom. 14:7)
24. Find it difficult to share their spiritual needs with others 24. Are willing to be transparent with others (2 Cor. 1:12)
25. Want to be sure no one finds aout about their sin Are willing to acknowledge and confess one’s sin; brokenness is the ultimate sign of personal success (Ps. 51:17)
26. Have a hard time saying, ‘I was wrong. Will you forgive me’ Are quick to admit fault and seek forgiveness (I John 1:9, James 5:1)
27. Deal in generalities when confession sin 27. Deal in specifics (Ps. 51:17)
28. Are concerned about the consequences of their sin 28. Are grived over the root of their sin (Ps. 51:5)
29. Wait for other party to come and ask forgiveness in a conflict 29. Take the initiative to be reconciled; gets their first (Matthew 5:23-24)
30. Compare themselves with others and feel deserving of honore 30. Compare themselves with God and feel desparate for mercy (Luke 18:9-14)
31. Are blind to their true heart condition 31. Walk in the light of true knowledge concerning their own hearts (I John 1:6-7).
32. Do not display any spirit of repentance, because they don’t need it 32. Continually display a spirit of repentance, sensing their need for fresh encounters with God and the filling of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5;18), Gal 5:16)
33. Spent time reading these words and wondering if _____________ was reading it 33. Thanked the Lord for using words on the internet to bring brokenness to their lives.

 

 

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Ravi Zacharias speaks at UCLA to a packed auditorium:

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From Frontline Missions:

For eleven straight years, North Korea has maintained its reprehensible reputation of being the nation most hostile to the Gospel.  This Communist nation resists any form of religion except the state religion of Juche,which glorifies human self-sufficiency and results in the cult worship of Leader Kim Jong-Il (who died two years ago) and his son, the new Leader Kim Jong-Un.

In recent days, two North Korean Christians were killed for the sake of the Gospel.  One was shot at the border as he courageously returned to his country after receiving Bible training in China.  The other believer died from torture in one of the despicable prison camps reserved for enemies of the state.  An estimated 70,000 Christians of all ages have been interned in these harsh prison camps, where Communist doctors conduct poisonous experiments on them with chemical and biological weapons.

In addition, this week Kenneth Bae, an American citizen detained in North Korea in November, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for “hostile acts.” Bae is a Christian and was in North Korea to feed starving orphans when he was arrested.

Please intercede on behalf of these dear suffering believers, who endure abuse and torture for their faith in Christ and who take great risks for the Gospel’s sake, knowing the Word of God is not bound.

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Elisha notes spring is inevitable

“This has been the week when the color of life has changed. We have been watching closely, knowing it was coming. A few days ago buds were forming on the trees, and branches, though still brown, had subtly changed shape as bud concealed blossom. Every spring, though expectant, there is always the delight of one day waking up, looking out, and life has changed color.

What yesterday was barren is today fresh, green, flowering, altogether new.

I was commenting to a neighborhood friend that even though I always know spring is coming and the process has begun, it always seems so sudden when the landscape changes and, one day, the trees are adorned in flowering buds. “Well,” my friend mused, “it was never a question of if, it was always a question of when.

My mind replayed her words. It was never a question of if, it was always a question of when.

And this is, according to Elisha, an analogy about “The Inevitability of Sanctification

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Does anyone truly understand the message of the cross apart from brokenness, contrition, repentance, and faith? To repeat rather mechanically the nature of the transaction that Christians think took place at Golgotha is one thing; to look at God and his holiness, and people and their sin, from the perspective of the cross, is life-changing.

— D. A. Carson, The Cross and Christian Ministry (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Baker Books, 2003), 64

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David shares Ten Reasons to Be Involved in a Church

1. Church involvement is evidence that you’re a Christian in the first place. It also helps keep you from abandoning the faith. According to the author of Hebrews, the antidote to developing an “unbelieving heart” that leads you “to fall away from the living God” is to “exhort one another” (Hebrews 3:12-13) — an activity that occurs most prominently in the church.

2. Gathering with a church encourages believers to love others and do good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25).

3. A church is the main venue for using your spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-31). God has given you abilities and talents intended to help other Christians. If you’re not involved in a church, others are being deprived of what you have to offer.

4. A church helps you defend Christianity against those who attack it. When Jude told the early Christians to “contend for the faith” (Jude 3), he directed his instruction toward a group of believers, not a scattering of lone-ranger Christians. Answering challenges from coworkers, friends and family members is always easier when you can ask fellow church members for help and wisdom.

Click for the rest of Ten Reasons to Be Involved in a Church.

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A word for all you who attend a church this week where the Bible will be preached:

It’s Wednesday, and Sunday is coming.

Many preachers are still recovering from this last Sunday, where they poured out their hearts and souls to present the Sacred Writings – and Jesus in them (Luke 24:27) – for their church families. And now they are preparing for yet another Sunday. They are digging in, pondering the text, writing notes and scribbling pictures, praying for the Spirit to illumine their minds and apply the text to their own hearts and lives. They are looking for Jesus, and his Gospel. They are thinking of how it might apply to their people. They are assembling potential illustrations. They are doing it all in the midst of a dizzying array of other demands upon their time and office.

I wonder, how are you preparing?

So often I think people walk into the meeting place on Sunday morning, thinking that the responsibility for hearing from God in the Sacred Text is the job of the preacher. While there is some truth to that (he must study to show himself approved unto God, a workman that must not be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth), the listener has a grave responsibility.

Now click over to read the rest of Matthew Molesky’s “Let the Word Dwell In You.”

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R. C. Sproul has an article about an OT story about two priests who offered strange fire–an incident which costs them their lives.  In “Strange Fire”, R. C.  answers questions such as:  1) Why was it strange fire?  2) Did God act too harshly in killing these new priests  3) and did God do anything previously that would have tipped them off to such judgment?

Here’s a choice quote:

One aspect of the modern church that most saddens and concerns me is that believers are no longer encouraged to have a healthy fear of God. We seem to assume that the fear of the Lord is something that belonged to the Old Testament period and is not to be a part of the life of the Christian. But fear of God involves not simply a trembling before His wrath, but a sense of reverence and awe because of His glorious holiness.

Even though we are living on the finished side of the cross, the fear of the Lord is still the beginning of wisdom (Ps. 111:10a). God is still a consuming fire, a jealous God (Deut. 4:24). When we come into His presence, we are to come as children, as those who have been reconciled, but there is to be a godly fear inspired by respect for the One with whom we are dealing.

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Jesse Johnson offers six suggestions here of how Christians should respond to homosexuals in the workplace. The comment section is very interesting as well.

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Oh that the Christian reader would seriously consider these twelve things:

There is nothing that the great God hates–but sin.

There is nothing that He has revealed His wrath from heaven against–but sin.

There is nothing that crucifies the Lord of glory afresh–but sin.
There is nothing that grieves the Spirit of grace–but sin.

There is nothing that wounds the conscience–but sin.

There is nothing that clouds the face of God–but sin.

There is nothing that hinders the return of prayer–but sin.

There is nothing that interrupts our communion with God–but sin.

There is nothing that embitters our mercies–but sin.

There is nothing that puts a sting into all our troubles and trials–but sin.

There is nothing that renders us unserviceable in our places, stations, and conditions–but sin.

 
There is nothing that makes death the king of terrors, and the terror of kings, to be so formidable and terrible to the sons of men, as sin. And therefore under all your sorrows and sufferings, crosses and losses–make it your great business . . .
to arm yourselves against sin,
and to pray against sin,
and to watch against sin,
and to turn from sin,
and to cease from sin,
and to get rid of sin,
and to stand forever in defiance of sin!

HT: REF21

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