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Odds and Sods

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Odds and Sods

 

Psa. 40. “I waited patiently for the Lord;

          And He inclined to me and heard my cry.

  2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,

          And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.

  3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;

          Many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord.

I delight to do Your will, O my God;

          Your Law is within my heart.”

  9      I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation;

          Behold, I will not restrain my lips,

          O Lord, You know.

 10     I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;

          I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation;

          I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.

“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor. 5:21.

 

Sin is a fundamental relationship; it is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, deliberate and emphatic independence of God.

The Christian religion bases everything on the positive, radical nature of sin. Other religions deal with sins; the Bible alone deals with sin. The first thing Jesus Christ faced in men was the heredity of sin, and it is because we have ignored this in our presentation of the Gospel that the message of the Gospel has lost its sting and its blasting power. !!!

"To escape criticism -- do nothing, say nothing, be nothing." -- Elbert Hubbard.


"Criticism [i.e. constructive criticism] may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." -- Winston Churchill.

“That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts that few can see clearly. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory, but they are not. The fault is in our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find, in another Scripture, that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other. I do not believe they can ever be welded into one upon any earthly anvil, but they certainly shall be one in eternity. They are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the human mind which pursues them farthest will never discover that they converge, but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring.” Spurgeon ???

The love of God toward you is like the Amazon River flowing down to water a single daisy.
-F.B. Meyer

“The real accent in the New Testament is not how human I am, but on how Christian I can be.”- Paul Rees.

Wilson Whineray, considered by many as being the finest All Black captain, said. “If you are a captain and you don’t think you’ve earned your place on merit, you lose a lot of confidence. And as a result, the team gradually loses confidence in the captain.”

* I accepted Christ as my Saviour from the penalty of sin, but I needed to accept Him as Saviour from the power of sin.

I had found in the Lord Jesus a deliverer from the guilt of sin, but I wanted to find in Him a deliverer from the power of sin, and I did not know how to set about it. I went therefore to a “spy” to find out. He was a beloved Christian teacher who must know, I supposed, all about it. But I will never forget my disappointment! After I had told my need, saying that I knew it was because of my ignorance and because I had not taken in the fullness of the gospel that I was in so sad a case, my friend said, “Oh no! You are all right. You cannot expect such a deliverance as you are seeking. All of us are more or less under the power of sin all our lives, and we must not expect the early joy of conversion to last for ever.” I thought my friend knew, and I received his report as final and at once settled down to my condition as being inevitable and therefore to be endured with the best grace I could. But my heart sank as I left the house, and, like the children of Israel, I could have lifted up my voice and cried, so great was my disappointment. Many times in the years that followed would I recall with saddest longing the blessedness I had felt when first I knew the Lord.

So ignorant was I of God’s ways that I in turn became a spy, bringing a bad report of the land to the Christians who came to me for counsel, telling them it was indeed a good land but adding the fatal “nevertheless” of unbelief, that the people who lived in the land were too strong for them, and the cities were walled and very great. Many a one did I thus turn back, causing them to wander with me in the wilderness for many years.

[1]

"Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the LORD' -- and you forgave the guilt of my sin." --Psalm 32:5 (NIV)

"It was a master-stroke of the devil to get the church and the ministry to lay aside the mighty weapon of prayer.  He does not mind at all if the church expands it’s  organizations and her deftly contrived machinery for the conquest of the world for Christ, if it will only give up praying.  He laughs softly, as he looks at the church of today, and says under his breath: "you can have your Sunday schools, your social organizations, your grand choirs, and even your revival efforts, as long as you do not bring the power of Almighty God into them by earnest, persistent, and believing prayer."  R. A. Torrey, How To Obtain Fullness of Power.

To me God’s commands are even more comforting than His promises; for if He commands me to do a thing, I am sure He will give me the power of His Spirit to do it. His commands are not grievous, we are told, but surely they would be grievous if we were unable to obey them.[2]

5709 Augustine’s Improving Prayer

In the early days of his struggle toward the truth, Augustine made a prayer, “Lord, save me from my sins, but not quite yet.” Then sometime after that he prayed, “Lord, save me from all my sins, except one.” And then came the final prayer, “Lord, save me from all my sins, and save me now!” It was when he made that final decision against evil that the victory was his. There is no joy and strength and, for that matter, no peace, like that which visits the soul which has taken an unconquerable resolve against that which is evil.

[3]

From  A.W. Tozer: "Anything God has ever done, He can do now. Anything God has ever done anywhere, He can do here. Anything God has ever done for anyone, He can do for you." Well, that certainly cleanses the air on a Monday morning. ã 10.10.04

Are you experiencing spiritual power or spiritual poverty in your life?

Many people are experiencing poverty. Dr. Billy Graham has said that according to his research, at least 90 percent of all Christians in America are living defeated lives. Others who are in a position to know the spiritual pulse of America have made similar statements.

A life of spiritual poverty is completely unnecessary, and does not glorify God.  The many thousands of promises recorded in the Word of God apply to every Christian. These promises include: assurance of God's love (John 3:16), eternal life (Romans 6:23), forgiveness of sin (1 John1:9), peace, comfort, provision, and many other promises.

Set your goal high.  You may not reach it, but you'll put on muscle climbing toward it!

1.      Give God what's right -- not what's left.
2. Man's way leads to a hopeless end -- God's way leads to an  endless hope.
3. A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.
4. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone.
5. In the sentence of life, the devil may be a comma--but never let him be the fullstop.
6. Don't put a question mark where God puts a fullstop.
7. Are you wrinkled with burden? Come to the church for a face-lift.
8. When praying, don't give God instructions - just report for duty.
9. Don't wait for six strong men to take you to church.
10. We don't change God's message -- His message changes us.
11. The church is prayer-conditioned.
12. When God ordains, He sustains.
13. WARNING: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning.
14. Plan ahead -- It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
15. Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory position.
16. Suffering from truth decay? Brush up on your Bible.
17. Exercise daily -- walk with the Lord.
18. Never give the devil a ride -- he will always want to drive.
19. Nothing else ruins the truth like stretching it.
20. Compassion is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.
21. He who angers you controls you.
22. Worry is the darkroom in which negatives can develop.
23. Give Satan an inch & he'll be a ruler.
24. Be ye fishers of men -- you catch them & He'll clean them.
25. God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
26. Read the Bible -- It will scare the hell out of you.
[4]

 

Called of God

Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. Isaiah 6:8.

God did not address the call to Isaiah; Isaiah overheard God saying—“Who will go for us?” The call of God is not for the special few, it is for everyone. Whether or not I hear God’s call depends upon the state of my ears; and what I hear depends upon my disposition. “Many are called but few are chosen,” that is, few prove themselves the chosen ones. The chosen ones are those who have come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ whereby their disposition has been altered and their ears unstopped, and they hear the still small voice questioning all the time—“Who will go for us?” It is not a question of God singling out a man and saying, ‘Now, you go.’ God did not lay a strong compulsion on Isaiah; Isaiah was in the presence of God and he overheard the call, and realized that there was nothing else for him but to say, in conscious freedom—“Here am I; send me.”

Get out of your mind the idea of expecting God to come with compulsions and pleadings. When Our Lord called His disciples there was no irresistible compulsion from outside. The quiet, passionate insistence of His “Follow Me” was spoken to men with every power wide awake. If we let the Spirit of God bring us face to face with God, we too will hear something akin to what Isaiah heard, the still small voice of God; and in perfect freedom will say —“Here am I; send me.”

[5]

A DISTORTED IDENTITY “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:2, 3).

"If our identity in Christ is the key to wholeness," you may ask, "why do so many believers have difficulty with self-worth, spiritual growth and maturity?" Because we have been deceived by the devil.  Our true identity in Christ has been distorted by the great deceiver himself.

REMEMBER The next time you feel like GOD can't use you, just remember...

Noah was a drunk

Abraham was too old

 Isaac was a daydreamer

Jacob was a liar

 Leah was ugly

Joseph was abused

 Moses had a stuttering problem

Gideon was afraid

Samson had long hair and was a womanizer

 Rahab was a prostitute

Jeremiah and Timothy were too young

David had an affair and was a murderer

 Elijah was suicidal

 Isaiah preached naked

Jonah ran from God

 Naomi was a widow

Job went bankrupt

 Peter denied Christ

The Disciples fell asleep while praying

Martha worried about everything

Mary Magdalene was, well you know …

The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once

Zaccheus was too small

 Paul was too religious

Timothy had an ulcer.

 AND Lazarus was dead!

...no more excuses now.  God can use you to your full potential.

Besides you aren't the message, you are just the messenger.

And one more thing...Share this with a friend or two...

In the Circle of God's love, God's waiting to use your full potential.

1.  God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.

2.  Dear God, I have a problem, it's me.

3.  Growing old is inevitable ...  growing UP is optional.

4.  There is no key to happiness.  The door is always open.

5.  Silence is often misinterpreted but never misquoted.

6.  Do the maths ...  count your blessings.

7.  Faith is the ability to not panic.

8.  Laugh every day, it's like inner jogging.

9.  If you worry, you didn't pray ...  If you pray, don't worry.

10.  As a child of God, prayer is kind of like calling home everyday.

11.  Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.

12.  The most important things in your house are the people.

13 When we get tangled up in our problems, be still.  God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot.

14.  A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.

15 He who dies with the most toys is still dead.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change ...  the courage to change the one I can ..  and the wisdom to know it's me."

Are you the boss or the leader?
by Steve Sileo

The boss. Most people just love to hate 'em! For many, the word alone conjures up images of a controlling power freak.

So what’s so bad about bosses, you ask? Nothing really, unless you act like one! One survey indicates that only 12% of employers are “well liked or well received” by their employees. This means, of course, that up to 88% are not! That’s huge. In March of 2000, The Business Research Lab reports that a whopping 42% of employees had, at one time or another, quit their job because they didn’t like their supervisor. What’s worse is that many pastors and ministry leaders enjoy the feeling of power and control that comes from an “I’m in charge … I call the shots … I’m the boss around here” mentality.

There is a scene that took place in Luke 22 which speaks to this subject. In this account, there was a power struggle going on among Jesus’ disciples. They were discussing who the new “boss” was going to be when Jesus came to power. Knowing this was going on, the Lord began to share some Kingdom lessons about being a great boss, or better yet, a great leader.

Here’s the dialog:

“Within minutes they were bickering over who of them would end up the greatest. But Jesus intervened: ‘Kings like to throw their weight around and people in authority like to give themselves fancy titles. It’s not going to be that way with you. Let the senior among you become like the junior; let the leader act the part of the servant. Who would you rather be: the one who eats the dinner or the one who serves the dinner? You’d rather eat and be served, right? But I’ve taken my place among you as the one who serves.'” (Luke 22:24-27, Msg)

In ministry and in business, those who have management or supervisory responsibilities are recasting their roles from “boss” to “coach.”  In her article “From Manager to Coach” (Training, February 1992), Beverly Geber quoted words managers use to describe their leadership: “director, policeman, task assigner, baby-sitter, fire fighter, scheduler and decider.” These implied a top-down view of leadership aimed at controlling subordinates. Geber writes, “Terms to describe their new roles include: 'coach, trainer, facilitator, delegator, educator'”-- shifting leadership from controlling others to empowering or serving people so that they can do their jobs.

Some may not recognize the difference in values between the worldly “boss” mentality and the biblical “leader” mentality. If someone were to ask me what each typically connotes, I might spell it out like this:

  • A boss creates fear -- A leader creates trust (1 Thess. 2:10-11)
  • A boss serves himself -- A leader serves others (1 Cor. 9:19)
  • A boss aims to make himself successful -- A leader aims to make others successful (1 Tim. 4:6)
  • A boss says, "I" -- A leader says, "we" (1 Cor. 3:5-9)
  • A boss fixes blame -- A leader fixes mistakes (Philemon 18-19)
  • A boss knows how -- A leader shows how (Exodus 18:17)
  • A boss makes work a grind -- A leader makes work worthwhile (Nehemiah)
  • A boss drives -- A leader leads (John 10:11-15)
  • A boss wields authority -- A leader empowers people (2 Tim. 2:2)
  • A boss relies on the power of authority -- A leader relies on the power of servanthood (Matt. 20:25-28)

Before we can create a ministry culture that brings qualitative and quantitative change to the lives others, we must first see the need for God to create in our own hearts a greater commitment to this core value - the ministry philosophy of empowering others to succeed.

“Just as shepherds watch over their sheep, you must watch over everyone God has placed in your care. Do it willingly in order to please God, and not simply because you think you must. Let it be something you want to do … don’t be bossy to those people who are in your care, but set an example for them.”  (1 Peter 5:2-3, CEV)   

A.W. Tozer said it well, “No religion has been greater than its idea of God.” That gem has a corollary: No church is greater than its reverent awe of holy God. He is holy and demands recognition as such. Although most believers know that intellectually, I’m afraid very few realize what that means practically.[6]

Salvation Prayer

Father in heaven,  
I come to you in the name of Jesus.  
I believe that Jesus is your only begotten Son.  
I believe that His name is the only name on heaven and earth by which I can be saved.

I believe that you sent Him for me.
I believe that He died for me.
I believe that His blood covers all of my sins .
And I repent and turn away from my evil past.

Lord Jesus, I give you now ,
All of my heart ,
And all of my life.

I make you boss of my life,
From now on I'm doing things your way!
Come into my life now Lord Jesus and
Fill me with your Spirit .
Please make me a new creation!  

Let it now be known ,
That I am a Christian!  
Let it now be known , 
That I am born-again!  
I am saved ,
I've got the victory!
I am free,
I am alive forevermore!
Heading for heaven !
Denying hell ! 

Let it now be known ,
That I am a child of God .
Thank you Jesus !
Thank you Lord ! 
Fill me now with your Holy Spirit .
Make my life a testament ,
To your saving grace.  

In Jesus Mighty Name  
Amen

Hallelujah!  You are saved!  Welcome to the family of God!  

LSD

Here in northeast Tennessee there is a tourist attraction named Bristol Caverns. I don't know how long ago they were found and opened for public tours, but I went there several times during my elementary school days on field trips. It has the normal stalactites and stalagmites in the different shapes and such that you find in caverns. At one point in the tour the guide asks everyone to look up to see the light coming in from the outside. The guide says that Indians, or should I say native Americans, lived in the cave. When they would go out they would hide the mouth of the cave but if they needed it, they had this hole they could escape through. They might have a wild animal after them or another person so they would not have time to uncover the mouth of the cave so they would slip around the mountainside to the hole where they could escape.

As Christians we have enemies to watch out for. These include the devil and his demons and in some part of the world other individuals. More commonly we have to watch out for other things such as LSD. NO, I'm not talking about a drug:

James 1:14-15 (NASB95) "But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death." [1]

So you see the LSD I am writing about is Lust, Sin and Death. If we know we are tempted in certain things the best thing for us to do is not go near those things. Sometimes this is not possible but we are given this promise:

1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV) "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." [2]

So if you are tempted, don't give in. Call on Jesus and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to help you escape. Then you can rejoice and give all the praise to Jesus Christ:

Proverbs 29:6 (NLT) "Evil people are trapped by sin, but the righteous escape, shouting for joy." [3]

Obedience

In solemn warning, God announced to Adam the conditions of the covenant. Obedience would bring continued life and blessing, disobedience would bring both physical and spiritual death. Here man made the fateful decision in Satan's favour, and death took immediate effect. The death was two-fold:

1.--Physical Death: the dissolution of the physical body. Now denied of the tree of life which was ordained to be the means of sustaining the body in imperishable and non-decaying preservation. So you see now man is subject to exhaustion, decay and the wasting of disease then finally death and commitment back to the dust. When a branch is severed from the trunk of a tree, it may appear to have life for some time, but death set in moment it was separated from the trunk.

2.-- Spiritual death : "in the day that eat thereof thou shall surely die." Genesis 2:17.

The very day that Adam partook of the forbidden fruit in disobedience to Gods gracious covenant, he became spiritually dead. Spiritual death is the separation of the soul from God, the Fountainhead, the source of spiritual life. God withdrew from the soul of Adam, and, spiritually-speaking, life ceased. The seed of Adam, born in his likeness, are said to be born in sin, born spiritually dead. Spiritual death carries even far more dreadful penalty, it is Eternal Death. This is an eternal state of separation from the light and life and the love of God. God loves those who is separated from him in their ruin and shame, but he hates sin, which is the cause of the separation. Taking upon himself the sins of the world by drinking the bitter cup of physical and spiritual death. Glory to his holy name.

When you feel the strain of discipline remember these words:

Thou art oft most present, Lord,
In weak, distracted prayer;
A sinner out of heart with self,
Most often finds thee there.

For prayer that humbles, sets the soul
From all delusions free,
And teaches it how utterly
Dear Lord, it hangs on thee.

If God is at work week by week raising men from the dead, there will always be people coming to see how it is done. You cannot find an empty church that has conversion for its leading feature. Do you want to know how to fill empty chapels? Here is the answer: Get your Lazarus.

Samuel Chadwick, Methodist evangelist and educator (1860–1932)

[7]

STORY: Three people were visiting and viewing the Grand Canyon--an artist, a pastor, and a cowboy. As they stood on the edge each one responded with a cry of exclamation. The artist said, “Ah, what a beautiful scene to paint!”
The minister said, “what a wonderful example of God’s handiwork.”
The cowboy exclaimed, “What a terrible place to lose a cow.”

February 19

As a man does not make himself spiritually alive, so neither can he keep himself so. He can feed on spiritual food and so preserve his spiritual strength. He can walk in the commandments of the Lord and so enjoy rest and peace, but still the inner life is dependent upon the Spirit as much for its after existence as for its first begetting. No man himself, even when converted, has any power except that which is daily, constantly, and perpetually infused into him by the Spirit.

The motivation for action to a believing man is found in the realization that God, for Christ’s sake, has forgiven his iniquities.

[8]

As C. S. Lewis put it, "When you come to knowing God, the initiative lies on His side. If He does not show Himself, nothing you can do will enable you to find Him. And, in fact, he shows much more of Himself to some people than to others -- not because He has favourites, but because it is impossible for Him to show Himself to a man whose whole mind and character are in the wrong condition. Just as sunlight, though it has no favourites, cannot be reflected in a dusty mirror as clearly as a clean one."

Can we for a moment suppose that the holy God who hates sin in the sinner is willing to tolerate it in the Christian and that He has even arranged the plan of salvation in such a way as to make it impossible for those who are saved from the guilt of sin to find deliverance from its power? (SEC, 18–21) (Do we take advantage of this???)

[9]

Sin is the only thing that God abhors. It brought Christ to the cross, it damns souls, it shuts heaven, it laid the foundations of hell.

Thomas Brooks

Wiersbe, W. W. (1997, c1991). With the word Bible commentary (2 Ki 9:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.


The law demands holiness.

The gospel gives holiness.

The law says, Do.

The gospel says, Done.

The law extorts the unwilling service of a slave.

The gospel wins the loving service of a son and friend.

The law makes blessings the result of obedience.

The gospel makes obedience the result of blessings.

The law places the day of rest at the end of the week’s work.

The gospel places it at its beginning.

The law says, If.

The gospel says, Therefore.

The law was given for the restraint of the old man.

The gospel was given to bring liberty to the new man.

Under the law, salvation was wages.

Under the gospel, salvation is a gift.

[10]

Have you ever thought that some day you will never have anything to try you or anybody to vex you again?[11]

Wirt: What do you think is going to happen in the next few years of history, Mr. Lewis?

Lewis: “I have no way of knowing. My primary field is the past. I travel with my back to the engine, and that makes it difficult when you try to steer. The world might stop in ten minutes; meanwhile, we are to go on doing our duty. The great thing is to be found at one’s post as a child of God, living each day as though it were our last, but planning as though our world might last a hundred years.

“We have, of course, the assurance of the New Testament regarding events to come. I find it difficult to keep from laughing when I find people worrying about future destruction of some kind or other. Didn’t they know they were going to die anyway? Apparently not. My wife once asked a young woman friend whether she had ever thought of death, and she replied, ‘By the time I reach that age science will have done something about it!’”[12]

Note: After editing this well-written, well-balanced commentary, I think John Wesley best sums up my position: “I said nothing less or more . . . concerning the end of the world. . . . I have no opinion at all on it: I can determine nothing at all about it. . . . I have only one thing to do, to save my soul, and those that hear me.”

Matthew Arnold once wrote, ‘Nor does the being hungry prove that we have bread.’ Because we know we are sinners, it does not follow that we are saved.”

Mercy means that God does not give us what we deserve, and grace means that He gives us what we do not deserve.[13]


----

[1]           Smith, H. W., Dieter, M. E., & Dieter, H. A. (1986). God is enough (July 25). New York: Random House.

[2]           Smith, H. W., Dieter, M. E., & Dieter, H. A. (1986). God is enough (July 28). New York: Random House.

[3]           Tan, P. L. (1979; Published in electronic form by Logos Research Systems, 1997). Encyclopaedia of 7700 illustrations : [a treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers] (electronic ed.). Garland TX: Bible Communications.

[4]               Aaron  Clark

[5]           Chambers, O. (1993, c1935). My utmost for his highest : Selections for the year (January 14). Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.

[6]           MacArthur, J. (1995). Alone with God. Includes indexes. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

[7]           Wiersbe, W. W. (1997, c1991). With the word Bible commentary (Jn 11:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[8]           Spurgeon, R. C. H. (2000). Daily Help [computer file (electronic ed.) (30). Escondito, California: Ephesians Four Group.

[9]           Smith, H. W., Dieter, M. E., & Dieter, H. A. (1986). God is enough (February 24). New York: Random House.

[10]Smith, H. W., Dieter, M. E., & Dieter, H. A. (1986). God is enough (April 28). New York: Random House.

[11]Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1998, c1997, c1994, c1990). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Originally published: Chicago: Revell, c1990. (May 5). Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.

[12] Interview with CS Lewis.

[13]Wiersbe, W. W. (1997, c1991). With the word Bible commentary (Ps 6:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

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