Thoughts of John

What is on my mind.

A devotional full of inspiration

index.

 

DeMoss, Nancy Leigh. The Quiet Place : Daily Devotional Readings. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2012. $16.25

The author Nancy L. DeMoss has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman Movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love for the Word and the Lord Jesus are infectious, and permeate her online outreaches, conference messages, books, and two daily nationally syndicated radio programs-Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Her books have sold more than 2,500,000 copies. The Quiet Place is formatted in the usual format for a devotional book. There is the month, day, Bible Reading for the day, and a comment on the reading. The devotional has a reading for the first day of the year to the last day of the year. The comments are all very well written. The author on the June 1 reading takes a look at James 4:10. The comment centers around a proud person verses a broken person. “Proud people desire to be known as a success. Broken people are motivated to be faithful and to make others successful. Proud people are elated by praise and deflated by criticism. Broken people know that any praise for their accomplishments belongs to the Lord, and that criticism can help them become more like Christ. Proud people keep others at arm’s length. Broken people are willing to take the risk of getting close to others. Proud people are concerned about consequences and problems caused by their sin. Broken people are more concerned about how their sin has grieved and dishonored a holy God. Proud people feel worthy of respect. Broken people feel a desperate need for God’s mercy.” I could go on with numerous examples like this one throughout the book. The book is very well written and is perfect for anybody who wants an excellent devotional book. The book was provided to me by Moody Press for this review.

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September 7, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Book Review, Christian, Christianity, family, marriage, Prayer, Religon | Leave a comment

Book Review “How God Makes Men” by Patrick Morley

Morley, Patrick M. How God Makes Men: Ten Epic Stories, Ten Proven Principles, One Huge Promise for Your Life. First edition. Colorado Springs, Colorado: Multnomah Books, 2013. Paperback $14.99.

The author Patrick Morley has ten principles on How God Makes Men. The ten principles are drawn from ten of the Bibles men. The ten men that the author has chosen include Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, David, Solomon, Nehemiah, Job, Peter, and Paul. The whole premise of the book is that if a man will follow the ten stores in the book and allow them to mentor you. Then you will become the man God created you to be (13).

The ten principles that are listed include the following: (1) The principle that is learned from Abraham is that God makes men by showing us how we can believe Him anyway in the face of what seem like impossible circumstances (16). (2) The principle that is learned from Joseph is that God makes men by orchestrating even the toughest circumstances of our lives for a greater good (26). (3) The principle that is learned from Moses is that God makes men by taking us through a humbling process that fundamentally changes the way we think (38). (4) Gideon teaches that God makes men by turning our weakness into strength in such a striking way that only He can get the glory (51). (5) The principle that is learned from David is that God makes men by doing whatever it takes to correct and restore us when we go astray (60). (6) The principle that is learned from Solomon is that God makes men by making it impossible for us to find lasting happiness in any pursuit apart from Him (72). (7) Nehemiah teaches that God makes men by turning what breaks our hearts into a passionate calling to help redeem some broken part of His world (84). (8) Job teaches that God makes men by allowing us to gain through suffering what can be gained no other way (95). (9) The principle that we learn from Peter is that God makes men by a process of calling, equipping, and sending us so we can call, equip, and send others (106). (10) Paul teaches that God makes men by forging us into humble servants who are increasingly surrendered to the lordship of Jesus (120).

Morley goes on to explain in each chapter the story of that particular man that God has used. Then Morley takes the life of the individual along with the principle and applies it to the modern man. You cannot but help see how God changed the lives of the men in the stories as well as how God can use those stores to change the modern Christian man as well.

The biggest weakness of the book is the questions for thought. The questions are more for review than anything else. It would have been better had the questions been an expansion upon the thoughts of the particular chapter. The study questions would also have been better if a little more thought had been placed on them. Even though the questions are weak they are a good starting point. Over all the book is very well written, easy to read, and also the major points of the book are very well explained.

I would recommend the book for any men’s Bible Study. I would also recommended the book as a good book for devotions or even for use as a mentoring tool between a couple of men who want to meet together to grow in their walk with God. I learned a lot from reading the book and I be putting the principles learned into practice. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

March 10, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Book Review, Christian, Christianity, Church, family, God, Holy Spirit, Life, marriage, Peter, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Suffering: Job 1.1-20

 

The fact of suffering undoubtedly constitutes the single greatest challenge to the Christian faith, and has been in every generation. John Stott

Suffering is a Reality

  • We live in a world filled with natural evils…Diseases, Disasters, Death
  •  We live in a world filled with moral evils…
  • All people experience suffering…this includes Christians. Satan intends every type of suffering to sabotage us…God intends every type of suffering to sanctify us.

Why should we study suffering?

  • We want to examine our hearts! Three questions to ask…Have I been saved? Am I prepared to suffer? (Phil. 4.10-13) Am I prepared to die? (Phil. 1.21)
  • We want to equip one another! To stand firm on the Word (Phil. 1.27-30). To spread the gospel in the world (Acts 20-22-24).
  • We want to embrace suffering in our lives, our families and our churches! Experience the sufficiency of Christ in our weakness (2 Cor. 7-10). To share sufferings of Christ on this earth (Col. 1.24). To show supremacy of Christ to all generations and nations (Matt. 24.9-14).

The Sovereignity of God in Suffering (Job 1.20-22)

  • Job’s Suffering: Undeserved (Job 1.1,8); Unexpected (Job 1.13-17); Unimaginable (Job 1.18-19); Always Painful (Job 2.7-8, 2.12, 3.24-25).
  • God’s Sovereignity is over all things both seen and unseen (Job 1.6-21).
  • Our Suffering and God’s Sovereignity: God’s Sovereign design for our lives while on this earth includes suffering (Job 1.21). The sovereignity of God is the foundation of praise in the middle of pain (Job 1.20). His sovereignity assures us that God is in control. At every moment of our suffering God is with us! At every moment of our suffering God is for us! His sovereignity reminds us that Satan has been conquered. His sovereignity reminds us that one day our suffering will be complete.
  • Ultimately, our pain on earth can rightly be understood only from the sovereign perspective of heaven.

Pastor Rickey Le’Mons

May 20, 2012 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Christian, Christianity, Church, culture, family, God, Jesus, Life, marriage, New Testament, Prayer, relationship, Religon, Suffering, Theology, Uncategorized, writing | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lavish Grace

Text Used: Romans 3.22-25; Luke 15.11-32

Definition of Grace

Grace is God’s FREE and unmerited favor shown to guilty sinners who deserve on JUDGEMENT.

Three questions to ask ourselves about grace

1. Do I know the GIVER of grace?
2. Do I understand the GIFT of grace?
3. Do I GRASP the lavishness of grace?

PRELUDE TO GRACE

Genesis 6.5 – The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Isaiah 53.6 – All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Romans 3.10-18 – 10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” 14“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16in their paths are ruin and misery,17 and the way of peace they have not known.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Grace through human ACHIEVEMNT
Grace through divine ACCOMPLISHMENT

PRINCIPLES OF GRACE

1. Grace ACCEPTED by Faith. (Romans 3.22)
2. Grace AVAILABLE to All Who Believe (Romans 2.22-23)
3. Grace AWARDED freely (Romans 3.24)
4. Grace ACQUIRED through redemption (Romans 3.24)
5. Grace ACCOMPLISHED through propitiation (Romans 3.25)

Luke 15.11-32

SHAMEFUL REQUEST:
Luke 15.11-12 – 11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.

SHAMEFUL RESPONSE:
Luke 15.12b –  …And he divided his property between them.

SHAMEFUL REBELLION:
Luke 15.13-16 – 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

SHAMEFUL REPENTANCE:
Luke 15.17-19 – 17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19  I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’

SHAMEFUL RECEPTION:
Luke 15.20-21 – 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

SHAMEFUL REJOICE:
Luke 15.22-24 – 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

SHAMEFUL REALIZATION:
Luke 15.25-30 – 25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’

A LAVISH GRACE FILLED REACTION:
Luke 15:31-32 – 25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’

Take from a sermon by Pastor Ricky Le Mons

March 11, 2012 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Christian, Christianity, Church, family, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Life, New Testament, Prayer, relationship, Theology, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trinity: Sovereignty of God

I. What does it mean that God is Sovereign?

Sovereign — adj. 1 : above or superior to all others; chief; greatest; supreme 2: supreme in power, rank or authority 3: of or holding the position of ruler; royal; reigning 4: independent of all others 5: excellent; outstanding — noun 1: a person who possesses sovereign authority or power; specifically, a monarch or ruler.

A. He is before all things!

Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Revelation 1:8 “/ am the Alpha and the Omega, ” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. “

B. He created all things!

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

C. He upholdsall things!

Hebrews 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

D. He is above all things!

Ephesians 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Isaiah 45:5-12

E. He knows all things!

Psalms 139:4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.

Isaiah 46:10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose, ‘

F. He does all things !

Jeremiah 32:27 “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? Luke 1 :37 For nothing will be impossible with God. “

G. He accomplishes all things!

Isaiah 14:24 The LORD of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand,

Ephesians 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

H. He rules all things!

Daniel 4:34-35 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; (35) all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”

1 Chronicles 29: 11-12 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. (12) Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.

I. He is in control of all things!

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

earthly kings – Pr. 21:1, Rev. 19:16

human events – Dan. 2, 7, Ps. 33:9-11

good angels – Col. 1:15-16, Rev. 4:8

Satan & bad angels – Job 1:6, Eph. 1:21, Php. 2:10

Human decisions – Eph. 1:11, Ro. 8:29-30, Acts 2:23; 13:48

II. How Does God Reveal His Sovereignty to Us?

Through His Titles

SOVEREIGN LORD MOST HIGH ALPHA & OMEGA KINGS OF KINGS LORD OF LORDS

Through His Promises

Romans 8:28-30

Philippians 2:9-11

Through His Story – History

Of Israel – Gen. 37-50:20 (Joseph)

Of the Nations – Dan. 2, 7 (4 Kingdoms)

Through Prophecy – Dan. 2:27, Isa. 44:6-8 NLT

Through Christ

His Birth – Gal. 4:4, Mat. 2:3-6

His Life (fulfilled 100’s of prophecies) – Mat. 4:14; 12:15-21

His Teaching – Jn. 8:48-58

His Death & Resurrection – Jn. 10:17-18

His Ascension & Ultimate Reign – Acts 1:9-11, Rev. 19:11-21, Rev. 19:11-16

II. How Do We Respond to a Sovereign God?

a. Bow before the King of the universe!

Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, (10) so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, (11) and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

*Application = Absolute surrender of all you are and all you have!

b. Believe all that comes into your life is either allowed or decreed by a good God who will use it

for your benefit!

Romans 8.28-29

Genesis 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

*Application = Absolutely refuse to worry about anything!

c. Behold in awe the mystery and majesty of His kind, compassionate, just and sovereign

rule over all that is or will ever be!

Romans 11:33-36 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! (34) “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? ” (35) “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? ” (36) For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

* Application = worship God for who He is, not merely for what He has done!

May 8, 2011 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Christian, Christianity, Church, family, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Life, New Testament, Old Testament, Prayer, Psalm, Psalms, relationship, Religon, Romans, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trinity: Introduction

Introduction:
A.W. Tozer quote: “What comes into our minds when we think about Cod is the most important thing about us.”
“Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, ‘What comes into your mind when you think about God? we might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man. Were we able to know exactly what our most influential religious leaders think of God today, we might be able with some precision to foretell where the Church will stand tomorrow. ”
“It is not a cheerful thought that millions of us who live in a land of Bibles, who belong to churches and labor to promote the Christian religion, may yet pass our whole life on this earth without once having thought or tried to think seriously about the being of God. Few of us have let our hearts gaze in wonder at the I AM, the self-existent self back of which no creature can think. Such thoughts are too painful for us. We prefer to think where it will do more good – about how to build a better mousetrap, for instance, or how to make two blades of grass grow where one grew before. For this we are now paying a too heavy
price in the secularization of our religion and the decay of our inner lives. ”
“The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of Cod until it is once more worthy of Him—and of her. ”

Why Are We Studying About God?

To know God’s glory.

Everything is about the glory of God. We were created for His glory…we are to live for His glory…All that we do is for His glory. Westminster Catechism question 1. What is the chief end of man? Answer: To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever (look at Is. 60.21, Rom. 11.36, 1 Cor. 6.20, 10.31)

To learn God’s Word.
Not what we may have learned from someone else no matter how well intentioned they may be. What does the Bible tell us about God…no preconceived ideas…whether we like what the Bible tells us or not.

To advance God’s kingdom.
Two forks.  (A). To teach others about God.  (B) To show others God through the way we live our life. We live in a day that has made God into our image. God has no problems with consumerism…no problems with sin…He is comfortable with a casual apathetic complacent relationship.

Quote by Charles Meisner about Albert Einstein:
“I do see the design of the universe as essentially a religious question. That is, one should have some kind of respect and awe for the whole business. It’s very magnificent and shouldn’t be taken for granted. In fact, I believe that is why Einstein had so little use for organized religion, although he strikes me as a basically very religious man. He must have looked at what the preachers said about God and felt that they were blaspheming. He had seen much more majesty than they had ever imagined, and they were just not talking about the real thing. My guess is that he simply felt that religions he had run across did not have a proper respect for the Author of the universe.”

What Kind of Journey Will it Be…

Humbling…
“He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. ” (Psalm 25:9, NIV)

“This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.” (Isaiah 66:2, NIV)

Personal…
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. “(John 10:14-15, NIV)

Intellectual…

Emotional…

Can We Really Know God? The reality…

God is incomprehensible.
We can never fully understand any single thing about God.
We can know something about God’s love, power, wisdom and other attributes.
But we can never know His love, power, wisdom or other attributes exhaustively.

The reason…
We can’t know God fully because of both our sinfulness and His greatness. Because of our sin, we are hindered from glimpsing the fullness of God. But even when all sin will be removed from us, we will still be finite and God will still be infinite. For all of eternity we will increasejn our knowledge of Him.
If in pride we want to be equal to God in knowledge, this will depress us.
If in humility we want to live to adore and worship God, this will delight us.

The resolution…
Though we cannot understand God fully, we can understand God truly. So based on Scripture, even though we don’t have exhaustive knowledge of God, we have true knowledge of God. Though God is incomprehensible. He is knowable.

If we cannot know God fully but we can know God truly….How?…

1 Corinthians 2:10-16

Only the Spirit of God knows the fullness of the glory of God.  If we want to know God, then we need the Spirit to reveal Him to us. Therefore, a people who are desperate to know God will be desperate for His Spirit.  If we are not desperate for His Spirit, it is a sure indicator that we have grown content with knowing little about God.  Do we want to know the glory of God? Then let us be a people desperate for the Spirit of God. And when we’re desperate for the Spirit, our hearts will begin to understand God with the very perspective of Christ.

What Happens When God Really gets A hold of us…

Routine religion is no longer tolerable.

We will no longer be able to open the Bible and it just be text we read or a book on the shelf. The Bible will become alive to us.

Prayer will no longer be a monolog or even a dialog between peers…

Casual worship is no longer possible.

Corporate worship will take on a life of its own.

Total surrender is no longer optional.

Can’t serve two masters…no more sitting on the fence. Will no longer be able to sit back and let others do the work. Giving of our time, talent and tithe will be a joy because we realize that what we have belongs to God.

Global mission is no longer negotiable.
3,000 animistic tribes in Africa need to know about this God.
350 million Buddhists in Japan, Laos, and Vietnam need to know about this God.
950 million Hindus in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Maldives need to know about this God.
Over a billion people in China, North Korea, communist nations need to know about this God.
Over 1.3 billion Muslims need to know about this God.

The journey will be humbling, personal, intellectual, emotional, practical and most of all  thrilling!

Questions:
1.    Look at the last paragraph of the quote by A.W. Tozer.
A.    How has the church deflated or downgraded our concept of God?
B.    Now think about Trinity specifically, how has Trinity done this?
C.    How have you done this?
D.    What are the consequences to your family, the church and the world around us when God is not properly elevated to His right position?
E.    What do we need to do to purify and elevate our concept of God?

2.    Look at, “Why are we studying about God…”
A.    What does it mean to live a life that will glorify God?
B.    If everything was made to glorify God…does that mean that God is selfish or self-centered?
C.    How can you, personally, teach God to others?  How can you show God to those around you?
D.    Perhaps a better question would be, “Are you teaching and showing God to the world?” Why not?

3.    Look at section “What happens when God really gets hold of us…”
A.    How has your religion (relationship) with God become routine?  How long has it been
routine? Are you willing for it to continue to be routine?
B.    How is your worship? When you meet corporately with your faith family are you
distracted or focused on God?
C.    Have you totally surrendered everything to God? What are you holding back? Why are you holding onto or not surrendered that area to God? What about your time…have you surrendered your time to God? What about your talent…have you surrendered your talent and service to God to use as He wishes? What about your tithe…have you surrendered your finances to God?  Do you practice the Biblical mandate to tithe?
D.    What can you do to aid in global missions?

Further Study:
1.    Read the following Scriptures and list out how God describes Himself:
Psalm 90.2, Col. 1.17; 1 Tim. 6.16; Rev. 1.8
Gen. 1.1; John 1.3; Col. 1.16
Col. 1.17; Heb. 1.3
Isa. 45.5-12; Eph. 4.6
Ps. 139.4, 6; Isa. 46.10
Jer. 32.27; Luke 1.37
Isa. 14.24; 46.10; Eph. 1.11
1 Chron. 29.11-12; Dan. 4.34-35
Job 4.2: Rom. 8.28

2.    Define “sovereignty”
A.    What are the implications for God’s sovereignty in His church? In your life?
B.    How are we to respond to God’s sovereignty in His church and in our life?

Sermon Notes from Pastor Ricky Le Mons

May 8, 2011 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Christian, Christianity, Church, family, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Life, New Testament, Old Testament, relationship, Religon, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Truth

What is truth? Is truth defined by you? Is truth defined by the Bible? Is truth defined by something greater than yourself? How would you define truth? Leave a comment to the answer of one or all of the questions.

January 31, 2011 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, blogging, Christian, Christianity, conservative, culture, family, liberal, Life, marriage, politics, relationship, socialism, Theology, writing | Leave a comment

Twenty Days of Prayer: Day 20

Scripture

John 12.24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Proverbs 17.3 The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the LORD tests hearts.

These passages describe a vital principle of spiritual brokenness.

Questions for Reflection:

Do you become defensive and run from God’s conviction and breaking? Have you settled into a spiritual “coast” zone? Do you resent physical or emotional hardships rather than embrace them as opportunities to more fully experience Christ? Have you been wasting your sorrows by not seeking God’s lessons within them?

Scripture

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (10) For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Questions for Reflection:

Have you actually placed greater focus on your training or natural abilities than deep daily cleansing and fullness of the Holy Spirit? Are you often guilty of being prepared mentally but not spiritually?

November 3, 2009 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Christian, Christianity, family, God, Jesus, Life, marriage, Prayer, relationship, Religon, Theology | Leave a comment

Twenty Days of Prayer: Day 19

Scripture

Matthew 16:24-25 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (25) For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Romans 6:6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

For all believers, there will be many points we must choose God’s will and way over our own (Isaiah 55.8). Our flesh and natural desires may clamor for one course of action, yet we know God’s wills another. Only as you choose to deny self, and by faith obey God, will you know His glorious power.

Questions for Reflection:

Has God told you to do something and yet you’ve tried to ignore Him? Has God told you to do something you’ve yet to do? Is God telling you to stop something you’re still doing? Is there some point you know you are resisting God’s voice? Have you been unwilling to fully lay family, relationships or work on the altar of surrender? Has God asked you to let go of something that’s really not an overt sin, but it is a hindrance.

November 1, 2009 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Christian, Christianity, family, God, I Peter, Jesus, Life, marriage, Prayer, relationship, Religon, Theology | Leave a comment

Twenty Days of Prayer: Day 18

Scripture

James 1:23-24 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. (24) For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

Questions for Reflection:

Do you often sense God speaking, yet you tend to delay obedience? You don’t actually tell God no, but you put off your obedience. Believers make the tragic mistake of thinking that “considering” obedience is the same thing as obedience.

Seventh Category (Sins of self-rule and self-reliance)

Of all the categories, this one may require the most discernment and revelation from God. In this section, we consider subtle ways the old nature remains undetected and alive in key areas of one’s heart. Beyond question, many believers have uncrucified areas of self that seriously hinder the flow of Christ through their life.

The Flesh – In this section the term flesh denotes our human actions and thought when operating apart from the direct control of Christ.

Dying to Self – In this context, one must be willing to choose to deny (or die) to his own wishes and completely surrender to Christ.

As God sanctifies you in holiness, He will lead you through an ever-deepening process of death to self and life to Him.

October 31, 2009 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Christian, Christianity, family, God, Jesus, Life, marriage, Prayer, relationship, Religon, Theology | 1 Comment

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