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Archive for September, 2005

The Martyr’s Song


1"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:1-3 

 

"No eye has seen,
      no ear has heard,
   no mind has conceived
   what God has prepared for those who love him"
1 Corinthians 2:9

 

Sing oh son of Zion

Shout oh child of mine

Rejoice with all your heart, and soul and mind

 

I’ve been waiting

To dance with you in fields full of colours you have never seen

And I’ve been waiting

To show you a beauty you have never dreamed that’s always been in you

And I’ve been waiting

To see you tremble as you’re embraced by a world saturated with my love

And I’ve been waiting for the day when at last I get to say

My child, you are finally home

 

Sing oh son of Zion

Shout oh child of mine

Rejoice with all your heart, and soul and mind

For you are finally home

 

I’ve been waiting

To watch you realize what all your longing was for

And I’ve been waiting

To show you the thread of grace that ran through all your pain

I’ve been waiting

To let you drink the water of which the greatest joy on earth was just a taste

And I’ve been waiting for the day when at last I get to say

My child, you are finally home.

 

Sing oh son of Zion

Shout oh child of mine

Rejoice with all your heart, and soul and mind

Sing oh daughter of Zion

Cry out oh child of mine

Dance with all the strength that you can find

 

Every tear you cried dried in the palm of my hand;

Every lonely hour was by my side.

Every loved one lost, every river crossed,

Every moment, every hour was pointing to this day,

Longing for this day… 

 

I’ve been waiting

To dance with you in fields full of colours you have never seen

And I’ve been waiting

To show you a beauty you have never dreamed that’s always been in you

And I’ve been waiting

To see you tremble as you’re embraced by a world saturated with my love

And I’ve been waiting for the day when at last I get to say

My child, you are finally home.

 

Sing oh son of Zion

Shout oh child of mine

Rejoice with all your heart, and soul and mind

Sing oh daughter of Zion

Cry out oh child of mine

Dance with all the strength that you can find

For you are finally home

 

Words and music by Todd Agnew and Ted Dekker

 

I have been playing this song over and over and weeping tears of joy and longing. Oh how I long to be home. Oh how I long to run into the arms of my Daddy, my King, my Friend. I want to dance with Him and run through those fields and discover the things which He has prepared for us who are His. Those of you who know me realize that I can neither run nor dance because of disability, so for me the day when I put on my new body, I am going to dance and run with my Lord as I have never run or danced before. There is nothing in this world that compares with our Saviour. Nothing in this world holds me here except that there is so much work to be done. So many souls yet to be reached. Soon, so very soon my brothers and sisters we will all be home. Our King is coming for us.

If you have never known the Lord and His love, my prayer for you is that this day you would come to know and love Him. There is no greater love than His. Many of you are hurting and long to belong and have purpose in your life. You need to know that He gave His life for you. He knows you by name and knew you even before you were in your mother’s womb.

The bible says that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23. There is none righteous no not even one. Romans 3:10. Come to Jesus and ask His forgiveness, believe in Him and confess Him as Lord and Saviour. Salvation that comes from trusting Christ–which is the message we preach–is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, "The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart."9For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. Romans 10:8-1

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

    5He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

    6He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. Revelation 21:1-7

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

 

Who Are You To Judge?


Without a doubt, the most common complaint or accusation we hear from skeptics is that we are “judging” and that as Christians, more the reason we shouldn’t be doing it.  The two ironies that are somewhat humorous at times are the fact that the very skeptics that vehemently accuse us of “judging” commit the very same act as they hurl insults and names at us in their emails and guestbook posts as “hateful”, "hypocrites", “unloving” and the list goes on. Sadly, adjectives of a profane and vulgar manner are often used.  The most grieving side of this is when “professing” Christians use the very same adjectives.  The second irony is I find that many of these very same skeptics attempt to quote scripture to support their reasons for claiming that we, as Christians, are not to “judge”.

What is Fight the Good Fight’s position on “judging” you ask?  Well allow me to answer by addressing the very scriptures that the skeptic commonly uses when writing us.  Perhaps you’re familiar with them…

John 8:7
"He who is without sin among you, let him {be the} first to throw a stone"

Matthew 7:1
"Do not judge"

Well here we have two scriptures that seem to be quite direct.  In fact, Jesus Himself made each statement!  They seem to be saying exactly what the skeptic is trying to tell us however there is one problem.  These scriptures have been isolated from the context in which they were said, thus made to seem as though no one should in fact judge.  Unfortunately, many are under the impression that the bible teaches Christians are not to judge.  In fact, try this – select a handful of people you know, both Christian and not, and ask them “Any idea what the bible teaches about judging – are we allowed to judge people?”  I wouldn’t be surprised if the overwhelming answer would be something like “the bible says ‘do not judge’”.  Again, these isolated and truncated scriptures reveal nothing of the true context in which they were spoken.

Let’s first deal with John 8:7.  Recently we received an email sent to the webmaster email address, which consisted of no subject and when I opened it all that was written was…

“Ya Right! Ye who are without sin cast the first stone!”

It was quite clear to me that this person had a problem with us exposing the many artists listed on this website.  I can understand, that without a proper understanding of John 8:7, how a person can feel this way.  So let’s examine the verse closely and see what Jesus really has to say about judging…

John 8:3-7
3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center {of the court,}
4 they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act
5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?"
6 They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground.
7 But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him {be the} first to throw a stone at her
."

A couple of things to notice are…

How strange that these Pharisees brought only the woman to Jesus – after all they did say they caught her in the very act of adultery – the law of Moses required that both the man and the woman were to be stoned to death – here Jesus is confronted by men having an agenda to simply test Jesus. Keep in mind these are the same group of people (Pharisees) that later plotted to kill Jesus for raising a man from the dead – so are they to be trusted? Imagine if Jesus took their word, which wasn’t worth much, and said stone her – he would have not followed the law of Moses correctly as the man involved should also be brought forward for death. So knowing these men were out to trick Jesus and seeing that they weren’t following the law of Moses correctly – how could he condemn her.

Notice that Jesus reveals to them that He knows they’re up to no good! They are in sin as well (by only bringing the woman and trying to test Jesus). So notice that He does not say don’t stone her or don’t judge her, he basically says go ahead -BUT the one that is going about this without sin (not in a sinful way/having no other agenda but justice) can be the first one to cast a stone.

You see, Christians ARE to judge, the key is that judging is to done in a righteous manner – with all fairness. In fact, notice what Jesus says directly on the issue of judging…

John 7:24
"Do not judge according to appearance, BUT JUDGE WITH RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT."

If only John 7:24 would be the bible verse most remembered when it comes to the issue of judging. It would definitely reduce the number of skeptical comments we receive. As for righteous judgment, please know the judgments made here are done in sincere love and concern for those deceived by Satan’s deceptive devices. We at Fight the Good Fight Ministries research, with great diligence, every quote found on our site and video expose. In fact, in our video, They Sold Their Souls for Rock and Roll, you will find the majority of the quotes which are used to substantiate the artists’ involvement in the occult, etc. come from the artists’ own mouths as we provide, in their proper context, audio and video taped interviews, etc. In fact, these artists do not deny the quotes or their context, which we use to expose them. We are a responsible ministry that gives serious consideration to the consequences of slandering an artist, thus we investigate and research everything ourselves.

Now let’s address Matthew 7:1, the scripture that records Jesus specifically saying “Do not judge. Matthew 7:1 is probably the one scripture that is most often misquoted, truncated and taken out of context in an attempt to tell Christians to stop "judging".

To grasp the true context, let’s take a closer look at Matthew 7:1-5…

Matthew 7:1-5
1 "Do not judge so that you will not be judged.
2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye
."

If you have never read past verse 1, then perhaps you are seeing the true meaning of this verse for the first time. Notice that Jesus did NOT ever say, don’t judge – period. He exhorts us to judge with righteous judgment in John 7:24 and here in Matthew 7:1-5 He says first be sure you’re right with God before pointing out someone else’s sin, thus granting the right to judge.

The correct understanding of Matthew 7:1 is that simple! Verse 5 clarifies and exposes the skeptic’s erroneous understanding of “Do not judge”, by giving the green light, if you will, to judge so as long as it is not done in a hypocritical manner.

Notice here what Jesus says…

Matthew 7:15-16
"Beware the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravenous wolves, you will know them by their fruits…”

Here Jesus Himself is making a judgment of someone then expresses that we will need to make judgments ourselves.

The bottom line is that we, as Christians, are expected to exercise discernment and righteously judge. Now you might be asking why is it that we take the liberty to post the “artists’” names, pictures and details of their religious practices, teachings, lifestyles etc. – the answer, again, is we are simply holding to the commands and guidelines of God’s word…

Ephesians 5:11
Have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness but RATHER EXPOSE THEM.

By Steve Aguilar – Fight the Good Fight Ministries

 

"For there is some danger of falling into a soft and effeminate Christianity, under the plea of a lofty and ethereal theology. Christianity was born for endurance; not an exotic, but a hardy plant, braced by the keen wind; not languid, nor childish, nor cowardly. It walks with strong step and erect frame; it is kindly, but firm; it is gentle, but honest; it is calm, but not facile; obliging, but not imbecile; decided, but not churlish. It does not fear to speak the stern word of condemnation against error, nor to raise its voice against surrounding evils, under the pretext it is not of this world; it does not shrink from giving honest reproof, lest it come under the charge of displaying an unchristian spirit. It calls sin sin, on whomsoever it is found, and would rather risk the accusation of being actuated by a bad spirit than not discharge an explicit duty. Let us not. misjudge strong words used in honest controversy. Out of the heat, a viper may come forth but we shake it off and feel no harm. The religion of both Old and New Testaments is markd by fervent outspoken testimonies against evil. To speak smooth things in such a case may be sentimentalism, but it is not Christianity. It is a betrayal of the cause of truth and righteousness. If anyone should be frank, manly, honest, cheerful (I do not say blunt or rude, for a Christian must be courteous and polite); it is he who has tasted that the Lord is gracious, and is looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God I know that charity covereth a multitude of sins; but it does not call evil good, because a good man has done it; it does not excuse inconsistencies, because the inconsistent brother has a high name and a fervent spirit; crookedness and worldliness are still crookedness and worldliness, though exhibited in one who seems to have reached no common height of attainment." – HORATIUS BONAR (1808-89)

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

 

 

Abortion


Moloch was the national god of the Ammonites, a group descended from Lot that inhabited the land east of the Jordan river before the arrival of the Israelites. His pagan rituals were adopted by Israel in spite of God’s warnings that they were not to worship the gods of the people they had conquered. One of the places that Moloch was worshipped was in Tophet, "in the valley of the son of Hinnom, very near Jerusalem, where the image of Moloch (that god of unnatural cruelty, as others were of unnatural uncleanness) was kept, to which some sacrificed their children, burning them in the fire, others dedicated them, making them to pass through the fire (2 Kings 23:10), labouring in the very fire, Habbukah 2:13. The 12th century rabbi Rashi, commenting on Jeremiah 8.31 stated:

Tophet is Moloch, which was made of brass; and they heated him from his lower parts; and his hands being stretched out, and made hot, they put the child between his hands, and it was burnt; when it vehemently cried out; but the priests beat a drum, that the father might not hear the voice of his son, and his heart might not be moved.

They believed that child sacrifice was necessary to ensure the health and well being of the community.

Today the same thing is still practised in our society although the method is different the methodology behind it is for the most part still the same. Children are being sacrificed for what many believe is their own health and well being through abortion. Life begins at the moment of conception, not at birth.

13For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Psalm 139

I am awfully tired of hearing people getting angry about the killing of baby seals and other animals on which people’s livelihood depends. These same people defend the woman’s right to an abortion. They claim that there would be too many unwanted children. Since when does anyone’s right to live depend on someone else killing them? Killing the unwanted is a monestrous evil. There are so many couples who can not have children who’s hearts ache and have to wait years to adopt because there is not many children to adopt. These children are wanted.

"More than 95 percent of children killed by abortion are killed for reasons of convenience, not incest, not rape, not the physical condition of the unborn, and not the threatened health of the mother." (Alan Guttnacher Institute: research arm of Planned Parenthood, quoted by Charles R. Swindoll.)

Worldwide, millions of unborn babies are killed each year. In the United States, over thirty-two million unborn babies have been killed in twenty-one years since abortion was legalized, and more than 1.5 million are killed each year.

One of the methods that is used to kill the child is called a saline abortion "Salt Poisoning," or the saline method, is used after the sixteenth week of pregnancy. A needle is inserted through the abdominal wall, through the uterine wall and into the amniotic sac. Some of the amniotic fluid is removed and replaced with a concentrated salt solution. The unborn child breathes in and swallows the salt and is poisoned by it. The outer layer of the child’s skin is usually burned off by the corrosive effect of the salt. The mother goes into labour and a dead or dying baby is delivered 24 to 48 hours later.

Others are:

Suction Aspiration This is the most common method of abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. General or local anaesthesia is given to the mother and her cervix is dilated. A suction curette (hollow tube with a knife-0edged tip) is inserted into the womb. This instrument is then connected to a vacuum machine by a transparent tube. The vacuum suction, 29 times more powerful than a household vacuum cleaner, tears the unborn child into pieces which are sucked through the tube into a bottle and discarded.

Dilation and Curettage (D&C) This method is similar to the suction method with the added insertion of a loop-shaped knife (curette) which cutes the baby into pieces. The pieces are scraped out through the cervix and discarded.

Dilatation and Evacuation (D&E) This method is used up to 18 weeks gestation. Instead of the loop-shaped knife used in D & C abortions, a pair of forceps is inserted into the womb to grasp part of the fetus. The teeth of the forceps twist and tear the calcified bones of the unborn child. This process is repeated until the baby is totally dismembered and removed. Sometimes the head of the child is too large and must be crushed in order to remove it.

If you have had an abortion or participated in or performed one or even advocated it, let me put it as bluntly as possible. YOU ARE A MURDERER!!! And when you stand before God you will be judged as such. Judgement is coming and there is no escape except through Jesus Christ. Wake up America! You are guilty of the blood of millions and God is not going to turn a blind eye to it much longer.

Many of you have been carrying so much guilt around in you for so many years because of an abortion you had. It’s time to let go of it and give it to Jesus. There is no sin that He can’t forgive. Your child is not gone, but safe with Him. There can be a day when you can be reunited with that child in eternity, but first you need to recognize that you are a sinner. The bible says that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23. There is none righteous no not even one. Romans 3:10. Come to Jesus and ask His forgiveness, believe in Him and confess Him as Lord and Saviour. Salvation that comes from trusting Christ–which is the message we preach–is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, "The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart."9For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. Romans 10:8-10

God loves you come to Him today and take comfort in Him today.

 

Here are some situations that I would like you to ponder and I will give my answers on them either later today or tomorrow morning:

1. There’s a preacher and wife who are extremely poor. They already have fourteen children, and now she finds out she’s pregnant with the fifteenth. They are living in tremendous poverty. Considering their poverty and the excessive world population, would you consider recommending and abortion?

2. The father is sick with a bad cold, the mother has tuberculosis. They have four children. The first is blind, the second has died, the third is deaf and the fourth has tuberculosis. She finds out she is pregnant again. Given their extreme situation, would you consider recommending and abortion?

3. A white man has raped a thirteen year old black girl, and she became pregnant. If you were her parents, would consider recommending an abortion?

4. A teenage girl is pregnant. She is not married. Her husband to be is not the father of the baby, and he’s concerned. Would you consider recommending an abortion?

What say you? 

Answers

If you said yes to the first case, you just killed John Wesley, one of the great evangelists in the nineteenth century. If you said yes to the second case you just killed Ludwig van Beethoven. If you said yes to the third case, you killed Ethel Waters, the great gospel singer who thrilled audiences for many years at Billy Graham Crusades around the world. And, if you said yes to the fourth case, you killed Jesus Christ.

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

 

In Spirit and Truth


But the time is coming and is already here when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for anyone who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4:23-24 (NLT)

For we who worship God in the Spirit are the only ones who are truly circumcised. We put no confidence in human effort. Instead, we boast about what Christ Jesus has done for us. Philippians 3:3 (NLT)

There is a story of a man who one night had a dream. In the dream an angel escorted him to church one Sunday. There he saw the musicians playing vigorously and the worship team singing with gusto. But the man heard no sound. The congregation was singing but he heard nothing. Finally the minister got up to preach. But the man could not hear him either. In amazement the man turned to the angel and asked him for an explanation.

"This is the way it sounds to us in heaven," said the angel. "You hear nothing because there is nothing to hear. These people are engaged in a form of worship, but their thoughts are on other things and their hearts are far away."

It’s so easy to play church and forget the reason why we are there. It becomes a formula. We come to the service, sing 6 or 7 songs, listen to the message and then go home. All the time our hearts have been far away from Jesus. God created us to worship Him. To have fellowship with Him. He created us as spirit beings. When these bodies we live in die, our spirits will still live on. Worship is communion with our Creator and if we don’t worship Him in spirit and truth our worship becomes ineffective.

I have been involved in music ministry for over 20 years and I am still learning what it means to truly worship God in spirit and truth. It is very easy to let your flesh take over and try to please man instead of God. Worship becomes more of a performance for the congregation than it is a sweet fragrance to the Lord. At times the worship leader can make himself the center of attention and the worship, though it may sound great, can actually become a stench before God. I have noticed that when I lean too much on my flesh, I struggle. Yet when I take my eyes completely off myself, repent and surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit, amazing things can and do happen.

Can you imagine what would happen in our churches if everyone came with repenting hearts and a determination to concentrate not on our problems, but on Christ alone, what would happen? I believe that God would visit us in such a powerful way that our lives and lives of those around us will be changed. Let’s together with God’s help strive toward this.

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

 

Worshipping With All Your Being


When it comes to discussing worship one verse that is used often is John 4:23

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. John 4:23 (NIV)

True worship comes from our entire being. Everything we are gets involved in it. When we truly love someone we want to please that person in every way can. Loving and worshipping God requires these four areas of our lives; Heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Then one of the scribes came up and listened to them disputing with one another, and, noticing that Jesus answered them fitly and admirably, he asked Him, Which commandment is first and most important of all (in its nature)?

29Jesus answered, The first and principal one of all commands is: Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord;

30And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment. Mark 12:28-30 (AMP)

Heart

In the bible the word heart primarily points to the human will- that amazing and terrifying power of choice with which God has designed us. We can see this in verses such as Psalm 119:2 "Happy are those who keep His decrees who seek Him with their whole heart." Paul demonstrates this understanding of the word when he admonishes Christian slaves to do "the will of God from the heart" Ephesians 6:6. The biblical authors envision the heart as primarily as the place where human intention resides.

Although we usually think of the heart in terms of our feeling, in present-day evangelistic settings , we often invite people to "accept Jesus with your heart." By this, we are describing not an emotion but a concrete response of the will. Sometimes in the Bible, the word heart is simply meant to point to the deepest part of the human experience or consciousness. But especially when combined with words such as soul and mind, it is clear that Jesus used the heart in this context to describe our ability to decide and choose.

Soul

Most people in society today, including many believers, use the term soul to describe a nonmaterial reality that comprises the immortal identity of individuals and survives physical death. This is essentially a Greek anthropology and is found nowhere in the Bible. The biblical writers use the term soul in various ways but primarily to describe the emotional aspect of human nature. We see this in passages such as Psalm35:9 "Then my soul shall rejoice in the Lord, exulting in His deliverance." and in Psalm 42:11, "Why are you cast down, oh my soul and why are you disquieted within me?" We see the same idea reflected in our modern use of the term psychological, which is based upon the Greek word for the soul, psuche.

Sometimes the word soul in the bible points to the deeper aspects of human existence. Sometimes it is paired with heart in a parallel structure rather than in contrast. However, when Jesus used the term soul along with mind, body, and heart, He was pointing to the vast range of our emotional experiences.

Mind

In modern culture we tend to think of the mind as a computer- an organ that stores, processes, retrieves information. However, the biblical writers use the term mind to describe not just our ability to process information but also a consciousness that enables us to derive meaning and wisdom from that information. This biblical view of the mind emphasizes "knowing" which is both fact based and rational.

The naive modern assumption that brainpower could somehow solve the deepest problems of human existence has been discredited by the atrocities of the past century. In post modern culture of the twenty-first century there is a tendency to see the mind as a network that connects and interprets the various aspects of human experience and leads us towards deeper meaning. This is very similar to the biblical writers’ use of the term mind. When Solomon asks for wisdom, God responds, "I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you" 1 Kings 3:12. Paul describes Christian unity as being "of one mind" Philippians 2:2 and Christian maturity as gaining "the mind of Christ" 1 Corinthians 2:16. When Jesus calls us to love God with or "mind," He is talking about a cognitive function that leads to us to a spiritual meaning.

Strength

In scripture, sometimes strength refers to personal determination, other times to moral conviction, but it is most often connected to the physical aspect of human existence. Proverbs 20:29 uses the word describe the aging process of the body; "The glory of youths is their strength, but the beauty of the aged is their gray hair." Sometimes lack of physical strength is described; "My strength fails because of misery, and my bones waste away." Psalm 31:10 Even when physical strength is used as a spiritual metaphor, physical images are used ; "But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

When Jesus calls us to love God with all we are, He not only includes our will, our emotions, and our intellect, but He also puts all these aspects of our humanity in the context of our physical bodies. To love God with all your strength means to allow your body to give expression to the thoughts, feelings, and decisions that reflect the response to the whole person of God.

 

Biblical Term       Human Trait       Response In Worship

Heart                   Volitional             What we choose

Soul                     Emotional            What we feel

Mind                    Intellectual           What we think

Stength                Physical               What we do   

 

Portions taken from the book Experiential Worship by Bob Rognlien 

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

 

               

Consider It Pure Joy


A true believer can never expect an easy life without trials or persecution. It is the mark of those who truly follow Christ. If you have it easy and never face difficulties, you need to take a good look at where you are in Christ and whether you really belong to Him. If you are a true follower, a true disciple, you will be an offense and a stench to the world. But to Christ you will be a beautiful aroma..

Here are some quotes and scriptures to ponder today.

Jesus didn’t save you so you could cruise to heaven in a luxury liner. He wants you to be useful in His kingdom! The moment you got saved, He enrolled you in His school –– the school of suffering and affliction. – David Wilkerson – World Challenge, Inc

Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.

"Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets. – Jesus Luke 6:22-23

Envied by some, despised by many, hated by others, often blamed for things I never heard of or had nothing to do with…often sick in body as well as perplexed in mind and embarrassed by circumstances-had not the Lord been specially gracious to me, had not my mind been sustained by the conviction that the work is His and that He is with me in what it is no empty figure to call "The think of the conflict," I must have fainted or broken down. But the battles is the Lord’s, and He will conquer. We may fail-do fail continually-but He never fails. Still, I need your prayers more than ever. – James Hudson Taylor -James Hudson Taylor Biography

You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings——what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. – Paul – 2 Timothy 3:10-12

If all you have found [in Christianity] is advantage, whether it is fun or profit or security, then you haven’t started following Him yet. His way is the way of the Cross. The world can be very hard on those it hates. If it is not hard on you, perhaps it sees nothing in you to hate. But then it doesn’t see Jesus in you, for it hates Jesus with an undying hatred. While your way is still all fun, all easy, all jolly, it is only your way: when you turn from it to follow His way, it will cost. It may cost you everything you have. That is what it cost Him. – Robert MacColl Adams

"When the world hates you, remember it hated me before it hated you. The world would love you if you belonged to it, but you don’t. I chose you to come out of the world, and so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? `A servant is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you! The people of the world will hate you because you belong to me, for they don’t know God who sent me." – Jesus – John 15:18-21

If your reputation is perfectly intact on every front, if you never irritate anyone, if you never make a stir, you might be doing something wrong – or more likely, you’re not doing something right. "Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for in the same way their fathers used to treat the false prophets" (Luke 6:26). The Bible has a crystal clear promise: All who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12). If we never experience persecution, if we never make a single soul angry (as Christ often did), something is probably wrong. – R. Terry

Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

"A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household! – Jesus – Matthew 10:21-25

The acid test of our faith in the promises of God is never found in the easy-going, comfortable ways of life, but in the great emergencies, the times of storm and of stress, the days of adversity, when all human aid fails. – Ethel Bell

"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done." – Jesus – Matthew 16:24-27

If thou art willing to suffer no adversity, how wilt thou be the friend of Christ? – Thomas à Kempis Thomas à Kempis biography and works

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all– how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life– is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Paul -Romans 8:28-39

What cause have they who have an interest in Christ, to glory in their Redeemer! They are often beset with many evils, and many mighty enemies surround them on every side, with open mouths ready to devour them. But they need not fear any of them. They may glory in Christ, the rock of their salvation, who appears so gloriously above them all. They may triumph over Satan, over this evil world, over guilt, and over death. For as their Redeemer is mighty, and is so exalted above all evil, so shall they also be exalted in him, They are now, in a sense, so exalted. For nothing can hurt them. Christ carries them, as on eagle’s wings, high out of the reach of all evils, so that they cannot come near them, to do them any real harm. – Jonathan Edwards – The Works of Jonathan Edwards

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?" So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. – Peter – 1 Peter 4:12-19

So, if you are a Christian looking for an easy ministry in a post-Christian culture where Christians are a minority, you are unrealistic in your outlook. It was not to be so in Jeremiah’s day, and it cannot be so in ours. – Francis Schaeffer – Death in the City (Downers Grove, InterVarsity Press: 1969) 37

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated–the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 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. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 11:32-12:3

A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner, neither do uninterrupted prosperity and success quality for usefulness and happiness. The storms of adversity, like those of the ocean, rouse the faculties, and excite the invention, prudence, skill and fortitude of the voyager. The martyrs of ancient times, in bracing their minds to outward calamities, acquired a loftiness of purpose and a moral heroism worth a lifetime of softness and security. – Anonymous

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars——their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." John – Revelation 21:1-8

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James – James 1:2-4

Amen, Lord Jesus! We wait for you because you alone are our shield and salvation. You are our rock and our fortress. Our deliver. Hallelujah!

Remember daily in prayer your brothers and sisters around the world that are suffering persecution for their faith.

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

 

Hope


Life for many is not easy. We live an average of 75 years on this earth and then that’s it we are gone. In a few generations many of us are forgotten completely. Just a name on a tombstone. King Solomon the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible says in chapter 1 verses 2 to 4 "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever." Then he says chapter 1 verse 14 "I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind." Solomon was one of the richest rulers of his time. He had all anyone could want. All kinds of pleasure was available to him. He tried them all and yet felt empty. Nothing in this world satisfied him. In chapter 12, verses 13 and 14 He ends with this; "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil."

To try keeping God’s commandments in your own strength is impossible. Hebrews 9:27 says; "it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment," So after leading a meaningless life, unable to keep God’s commandments, we are judged. Our destination is Hell. You have to ask the question next. If God is supposed to be a loving God, wouldn’t He provide a way around this? Where is the hope?

I had a dream one time where I was in a prison and about to receive a most horrible punishment. I knew I deserved it and what I faced terrified me. As the torturer was about to carry out my sentence a man stepped forward and said he would take my place.

Now here is the good news. He has provided a hope and escape for you. His name is Jesus! He was God in the flesh and came and lived for a short period amongst us. He was willingly crucified on a cross for you and I. He took all our sins and punishment upon Himself and then 3 days later rose from the dead to show that He had conquered sin and death. (For a good account of His life read the book of John in the Bible). So how can He help you, you ask? First, admit you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says; "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Next confess your sins and ask Jesus to become your Savior. Romans 10:9-10 says; "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved." That’s it! Jesus did it all for you. Your life now has meaning. Tell others what Jesus has done for you today. I recommend now that you find a Bible, start reading it and find a good Bible-believing Christian church.

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!