Friday, October 28, 2016

Peaceful unity promotes the Gospel!

These three verses are very dear to my heart, two are exhortations, the other an edifying encouragement. 

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 
James 3:16

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 
Romans 12:8

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! 
Psalm 133:1

   I enjoy life pleasant and do not like evil- ever. I live a life where being spirit-led is very important to me. I trust the Holy Spirit to lead me in living in such a way that those verses are not just words in a book, but written on my heart and manifested in my life.

I think Bob Yandian is one of the best Bible teachers of our day, and this article is so needed in the body of Christ.

Bob Yandian


If another believer sins against you, go privately and out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector. Matthew 18:15-17 NLT

Jesus tells us that the most important thing is not who is right or wrong in a dispute, but that peace is kept between brothers and sisters in the family of God. In other words, winning your brother or sister is more important that winning an argument.

The “one or two others” mentioned are to be impartial. As impartial observers and hearers, they can make an objective and prayerful decision. Again, the desired result is the gaining of the brother or sister. Settling strife is the honorable conclusion God is looking for.

When issues are settled behind closed doors, the first benefit is to the local body of believers. Because little or nothing is known by others, gossip and discord cannot begin. The next benefit is toward unbelievers. Because strife is not seen, the issue of the gospel can be kept clearly before them, even by those believers who at one time had contention between themselves. The Holy Spirit is involved in the private settling of strife and in the public declaration of the gospel.

When strife and contention become manifested before the world, the issue of the gospel is lost behind the smokescreen of accusations. We are to go into all the world to preach the gospel, but into the closet to settle our differences.

Yours in Jesus Christ,
Bob Yandian

You can visit Bob's website here.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Doing Church

   This post is about an article I just read that a friend put on Facebook. Before you read any more of what I have written, you might want to read this article.

   I wish each of you that just read that article and I were all in a room together so I could hear your responses, and chat about them. The author begs the question, "If a worship service includes no prayer and no Bible reading, can we even recognize it as Christian worship?” 

   It is Christian’s worshipping, but ‘what is the focus of their worship?’ is the real question here. Emotional comfort, being “seeker friendly” so as not to make a visitor or newbie uncomfortable, keeping the “service” within a certain time frame, downplaying accountability, and being entertained and not edified, encouraged and oh never... exhorted are the elements of the average church Sunday morning gathering.  God’s Word, which He exalts above His own name, true praise and worship~ the kind that isn’t just a rock concert goose-bump moment, but the kind that comes from within and generates true change and more intimacy with God, and prayer (quiet earnest talking with God where you give Him time to talk with you), are not the focus anymore. So, worship-... well by definition that means, “adoration”, “to move toward and kiss”, an “act of homage or reverence”, “to make obeisance (expressing deep respect by a courtesy as before a superior~ a bow, curtsy or other similar gesture)” least worshipping God, is not even close here. That “service", gathering, is more about going to church than being the Church. This is not the Church God left us a blueprint for through the writing’s of the New Testament, this a social club with a better agenda than secular gatherings.

   We are to worship in spirit and truth. I will offer a waiver here for my next sentence in regard to some pretty amazing charismatic church services I have been to. Sadly however, it is not often you see Holy Spirit movement in most churches, and a few verses of God’s Word laced into a sermon almost NEVER rightly divides the Word of Truth. If you are comfortable with this, I would want to ask you how much time you spend in the Word and with the Lord in private. I have heard it said that church is for the fellowshipping of believers. That is true, but not the total picture. We are the Church and that means more involvement than some guitar chords, driving drums and lyrics put to music?? that can not be sung by the masses, 3 points in a talk, a speedy prayer when we gather together, and then the quick exit out after superficial socializing so we can get to lunch. 

   True worship, the spirit and truth kind, is very powerful. This kind of corporate worship will feed your spirit, your soul and give you victory therein for your flesh.  Anything that powerful the enemy is going to do whatever he can to destroy it, and he often settles for diminishing just enough to steal and destroy a Christian’s joy true worship brings, and therefore his power.

   Matthew 15: 9 and Jesus’ statement about “vain worship” has gone through my mind while writing this, but while it to a degree fits here I think that is more about men’s doctrine. This issue  probably comes a bit closer to the word “lukewarm". 

   This Tim Challies, while I have not looked at anything else on his blog making it unwise for me to make a blanket statement about him, or his blog, I will say this article is spot on.  I have SO much more on my mind here, but I need to scoot. Tim Challies' article caused me to revisit what I already knew, but to give me a good little boost in the application of  how important it really is to share God's Word, and invest my life in people for the the glory of God. I hope his article caused you to think about, or maybe even rethink "church".  After-all, 

"...whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."
Philippians 4:8

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

God's Word is good, let it be just that!

   Often I see things on facebook, and other places, that sounds very "spiritual", and some of them have some merit. This one I am sharing with you has a completely true statement it in- that being that Jesus came and gave us many, well~ all good things. The most powerful deception comes with a partial truth, and therein is one of my biggest alarm buttons, particularly in the matters of God and His Word. These partial truths that are gussied up with some curtly put paradox, or heart rendering waxing of eloquence are thoughts dropped in the mind of the reader that can, and do, diminish their overall understanding of who God is, what His Word really says, and therefore cripple and diminish the power of that Word in their life. That bothers me, a lot. As children of God we are to be victorious, more than conquerors, blessed, to have peace and joy, and to be prosperous in every area of our lives. That gets compromised when our understanding of God and His Word are compromised in us. I will most likely post on the keeping of the commandment of love before Christmas. I mean after all, it was love that sent Jesus to earth.

   In the meantime, here is a little something that I just spotted on facebook, and felt a post for Honeycomb come on.

   In the overall, eternal picture, it is ALL about what Jesus in His grace, mercy, compassion and love did. Period. But, this statement of Mr. Lucado’s gives far to much room for encouraging a lack of responsibility on us, and is untrue. You don’t have to call it a “list” but Jesus was very clear on these, and other, commandments for us:

So He answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27a

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34      

“...and the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.”  Luke 6:27-28

We are to love God, our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, our neighbors and our enemies. Jesus goes on to tell us to serve, do good, pray for others, care for them, bless them, share the gospel and go make disciples.....  None of these “works” determine our salvation, or God’s love for us. But let’s not put it out there that Jesus came with nothing for us to do.  Negating these things is disobedience and though you can go to Heaven, this disobedience will keep you from going anywhere else God, through the work of Jesus, wants to take you. 

   I post here on this because there is so much of this “easy grace” out there, and it is dumbing down the body of Christ. Why do the words "seeker friendly" come to mind? We ARE to do the things Christ did, the very things He did for us, in essence to love people. Those verses above, and many like them,  were not suggestions, they were commands. I understand that the “letter of the law” kills, and I am the first one up to come against legalism. These commands Jesus gave were not “rules", and a “religion” can not legitimately be made out of them.  They are about our relationship with Him, and the entire purpose of these, and other commands are so that we can glorify God, shine our light before all men so they can see God, and to be blessed and prosper in every area of our life. The finished work of the cross of Jesus gives the promise and the power to walk so, but we must walk in His Word. Period.

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” 
John 14:15

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” 
John 14:23

   This would probably be a good time to say that joy and peace govern my life because I embrace and walk, to best of my ability with God’s grace and help, in His Word. I don’t have to do it, but I would never NOT do it. I love the life I have with Jesus.

“If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” 
John 13:17