Archives For Christian

 

I have been studying through “Spiritual Leadership” by J. Oswald Sanders and I’ve come across some incredible challenging thoughts. I would like to simply share some of those thoughts with you and with myself as I seek to record some of these key ideas for future reminders.

 

Professor G. Warneck described Hudson Taylor, the missionary pioneer to China: “A man full of faith and the Holy Ghost, of entire surrender to God and His call, of great self-denial, heartfelt compassion, rare poser in prayer, marvelous organizing faculty, indefatigable perseverance, and of astounding influence with men, and withal of childlike simplicity himself.”

 

Vision involves foresight as well as insight.

 

Vision involves optimism and hope. The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty. The pessimist tends to hold back people of vision from pushing ahead. Caution has its role to play. We all live in a real world of limitation and inertia. Cautious Christians draw valuable lessons from history and tradition, but are in danger of being chained to the past.

 

 

 

 

SAEED ABEDINI AN AMERICAN PASTOR IN AN IRANIAN PRISON

J.I. Packer – Knowing God – Selective clips from Chapter 20

To many Christians, guidance is a chronic problem. Why? Not because they doubt that divine guidance is a fact, but because they are sure it is. 

They know that God can guide, and has promised to guide, every Christian believer. Books, and friends, and public speakers, tell them how guidance has worked in the lives of others. Their fear, therefore, is not that no guidance should be available for them, but that they may miss the guidance which God provides through some fault of their own. 

This is me. When it comes down to finding God’s will for my life, to often I am looking for a shooting start to point the way. I know God can communicate but I am anxious that it won’t be obvious and I will miss the direction.

Belief that divine guidance is real rests upon two foundational-facts: 

  1. The reality of God’s plan for us
  2. The ability of God to communicate with us.

Has God a plan for individuals? Indeed He has. He has formed an ‘eternal purpose,’ a plan for the fullness of time, in accordance with which he ‘accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will’ (Ephesians 3:11, 1:10, 11). 

Moreover, Scripture contains explicit promises of divine guidance whereby we may know God’s plan for our action.

‘I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you,’ says God to David (Psalm 32:8)

Earnest Christians seeking guidance often go wrong about it. Why is this?

Their basic mistake is to think of guidance as essentially inward prompting by the Holy Spirit, apart from the written Word. 

This class of problems concerned with what we may call ‘vocational choices’–choices, that is, between competing options, all of which in themselves appear lawful and good. Examples are: should I contemplate marriage, or not? should I marry this person, or not? should we aim at having another child? should I join this church, or that one? should I serve God in the land of my upbringing, or abroad? which of the professions open to me should I follow?

This is me again. I hate having choices. Some people I know love making decisions about everything in order to customize every part of their life. Some want to jailbreak their phone so they can choose so many other options and I personally say I like it the way it is. When it comes to finding God’s will for my life their often seem to many choices and so many turns and in order to avoid having to make a U-Turn I better make the right turn. I like the way J.I. Packer puts this next phrase for life.

The idea of a life in which the inward voice of the Spirit decides and directs everything sounds most attractive, for it seems to exalt the Spirit’s ministry and to promise the closest intimacy with God; but in practice this quest for super-spirituality leads only to frantic bewilderment or lunacy. Hannah Whitall Smith writes of the woman who each morning, having consecrated the day to the Lord as soon as she woke: would then ask Him whether she was to get up or not,’ and would not stir till the voice told her to dress. As she put on each article she asked the Lord whether she was to put it on, and very often the Lord would tell her to put on the right shoes and leave off the other; sometimes she was to put on both stockings and no shoes; and sometimes both shoes and no stockings; it was the same with all the articles of dress…

 

The biggest mistake of all is the failure to grasp that the fundamental mode whereby our rational Creator guides His rational creatures is by rational understanding and application of His written Word. 

The true way to honour the Holy Spirit as our guide is to honour the Holy Scriptures through which he guides us. The fundamental guidance which God gives to shape our lives– the instilling, that is, of the basic convictions, attitudes, ideals, and value-judgments, in terms of which we are to live–is not a matter of inward promptings apart from the Word but of the pressure on our consciences of the portrayal of God’s character and will in the Word, which the Spirit enlightens us to understand and apply to ourselves.

The Spirit leads within the limits which the Word sets, not beyond them. ‘He guideth me in the paths of righteousness’ — but not anywhere else.

 

 

Popes for Dummies

jordantmoody —  March 14, 2013 — 3 Comments

Image

POPED OR POPELESS

All this Poping hooplah has got me thinking about how people arrive at the conclusion for the need of a Pope in the church. I ‘pope’ to give you some answers in regards to the thinking behind having a Pope and what the Bible says about being ‘popeless.’ (Sorry I couldn’t resist)

POPES FOR DUMMIES

The pope’s jobs

The pope has two big jobs:

  • He’s the bishop of Rome, which means he has supreme, full, immediate, and universal jurisdiction all over the world (although the title says “Rome,” the job encompasses the whole Church).
  • He’s the head of the entire Catholic Church. As head of the Church, the pope directs the faithful around the world both directly and through mandates to the bishops who oversee the administrative territories known as dioceses. He also elevates bishops to the rank of cardinal as he sees fit.When the pope teaches a doctrine on faith or morals to the universal Church in his unique office as supreme head, he is held to be infallible, incapable of error. When the pope asserts his official authority in matters of faith and morals to the whole church, Catholics believe the Holy Spirit guards him from error. (quoted from Dummies.com)

So basically ONE MAN is infallible, incapable of error, and thus given authority over the entire universal church. Sounds vaguely familiar to me… I want to say his name started with a J and ended with an esus.

What the Bible says about being ‘Popeless’

Listen to this:

Col 1:14 In whom (Jesus, not the Pope) we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Col 1:15 Who (Jesus, not the Pope) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Col 1:16 For by him (Jesus, not the Pope) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him (Jesus, not the Pope), and for him: (Jesus, not the Pope)
Col 1:17 And he (Jesus, not the Pope) is before all things, and by him (Jesus, not the Pope) all things consist.

Col 1:18 And he (Jesus, not the Pope) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he (Jesus, not the Pope) might have the preeminence.

od has already told us WE DO NOT NEED A POPE in the Bible. (now there’s a thought?!)  Jesus is our pope on high and he is greater than the pope and greater than Moses!

God has already told us WE DO NOT NEED A POPE in the Bible. (now there’s a thought?!)  Jesus is our pope on high and he is greater than the pope and greater than Moses!

Heb 3:1 Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,
Heb 3:2 who was faithful to him who appointed him (not the Cardinals and Bishops), just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house.
Heb 3:3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses–as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself.

When we honor the Pope it is like us honoring a house over honoring the house builder. The house doesn’t have any power or authority it was a created thing by a wise and all-knowing creator. God made the Pope just like you and I and so therefore he is just like you and I, in need of a Savior. The God-Man, Jesus Christ, is that Savior. Jesus is my High Priest and He is the reason I can go confidently before the throne of grace in prayer without any need for a Bishop or Pope to tell me I can or cannot. God listens to me because of the intercession done by Jesus Christ, my High Pope.

Heb 4:14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Put your trust in someone who truly is “infallible and incapable of error”, Jesus Christ. Stop relying in a false elevation of mankind. The Pope will never do you any good in regards to eternity. The only thing he is good at is deceiving you from seeing the TRUE GOD and His TRUE SAVIOR, the God-Man, Jesus Christ.

Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World

Do you relate to God as if he exists to further your selfish ambitions or are you convinced that you exist to glorify him? Are you trying to live without God? Iain Murray describes this way of thinking:

Worldliness is departing from God. It is a man-centered way of thinking; it proposes objectives which demand no radical breach with man’s fallen nature; it judges the importance of things by the present and material results; it weighs success by numbers; it covets human esteem and wants no unpopularity; it knows no truth for which it is worth suffering; it declines to be “a fool for Christ’s sake”. Worldliness is the mind-set of the unregenerate. it adopts idols and is at war with God. 

Are you at war with God?

If not what is your heart like?

You see worldliness is not simply externals but rather a matter of the heart.

For that’s where worldliness is. It exists in our hearts. Worldliness does not consist in outward behavior, though our actions can certainly be an evidence of worldliness within. But the real location of worldliness is internal. It resides in our hearts.

Oftentimes, we seek to define worldliness as anything or anyone involved with today’s culture. But culture is not worldliness. As soon as one mentions this there is often an immediate chance for people to take offense. However, “the conflict often reveals a wrong focus on externals.”

Yes, it is true conduct often reveals the intent of the heart. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” But your judgment of others conduct does not always ring true with the Bible. You pass judgment on someone’s differing external behaviors but you miss the beam in your own eye. When inclined to judge, first stop and check your motives. Is your heart motivated by love? Is your heart motivated with kindness? Is your heart motivated with an intent to restore? If so judge and confront, but if not, back off and get your own heart right first. Worldliness is not a clothing style or a music style but rather it is an arrogant confident love for something that is dying. We must seek to confront those who are loving the world but be cautious not misjudge someone’s “culture” because it is simply not our own.

The idea and quotes came from the below mentioned book.
Book suggestion: BUY THIS BOOK: (click the link for information) C.J. Mahaney’s book called,  Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World

The way a person thinks about God, others, and himself will eventually become clear by the way he acts.

Character in Action

20130301-073642.jpg

Life is choices
Choices have consequences
Make right choices

– Cliff Jenkin

Someone has to say it

jordantmoody —  February 27, 2013 — Leave a comment

What Someone Needs to Say

Albert Mohler has a terrific piece in Christianity Today about the latest tantrum over Tim Tebow. In case you missed it, Tebow backed out of a speaking gig at a prominent Baptist church whose pastor is known for provocative statements and for teaching that homosexual behavior is sinful. We don’t know all the reasons Tebow canceled the engagement, but we do know the pressure to do so was intense. The secular press can be as fundamentalist as any hard core Baptist when it comes to its orthodoxies.

And at present, one of the worst heresies is to be in the same zip code with someone who takes a firm stance on homosexuality. From the Giglio Imbroglio to the Tebow Tantrum, or even the Chick-Fil-A controversy before that, we see the new way our world works. “If you espouse views we deem intolerant,” the logic goes, “or collaborate with someone who does, we will not tolerate you or anything you stand for.” It’s the Ivan Drago approach to cultural persuasion: I must break you.

So someone needs to refuse to be broken. Maybe some famous Christian athlete or actor needs to do it. Maybe a famous academic. Maybe a well known musician or humanitarian. Maybe you will be called upon this week to give account for your faith. Give it time and most of us will need to say something. What we must not do is allow the world to dictate what is and what is not a socially acceptable view on sexuality. The world may do that anyway, but we can at least play a little defense by refusing to play the game on their terms.

The next time—and there will be a next time—some famous Christian is pilloried in the press for maybe, possibly, at some point now or in the past holding to the traditional view of marriage, I hope he (or she) will come up to the microphone and say something like this:

Thanks for coming out today. I’ll try to make this brief and get right to the point.

Some people are really upset because they think I believe God does not approve of homosexual behavior. Well, I’d like to clarify: that is what I believe. Like everyone I believe some actions are good and some are not. We all have some form of morality. Thankfully, on a lot of topics most everyone agrees. Almost everybody agrees that murder is wrong and stealing is wrong and telling a bold-faced lie is wrong. But on other topics, we don’t all agree. That’s part of life. That’s part of being human. We have different views on raising children, on religion, on sex before marriage, on marriage itself, and on a hundred other issues.

I’m a Christian. That doesn’t mean I think I’m better than anyone. In fact, I’m a Christian because I know how bad I am and that I need a Savior. But as a Christian I believe the Bible. I believe God is smarter than I am. I believe God tells us about himself, tells us how to be saved, and tells us how to live in this book. That’s actually what most Americans have believed about the Bible throughout our history. I understand that some people in this country don’t believe in God or the Bible. I understand that some people interpret the Bible differently. But I think the Bible is pretty clear that sex is a gift to be experienced in the context of marriage between a man and a woman. I’m challenged by this teaching too. I am tempted to sin in a thousand different ways, including ways that involve my sexuality. But if God tells me what’s right and wrong in the Bible, I have to trust him. If Jesus is really Lord, then he gets to the call the shots.

I don’t expect everyone in a free country to agree that Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord or that the Bible is the inspired word of God. But in a free country I expect that we can hold to different views without automatically resorting to shame and ridicule. I hope that my fans will understand that we can still root for the same team or watch the same movies even if we believe in some different things. I also hope my critics will try to understand why billions of people all around the world believe what I do about God, the Bible, Jesus Christ, faith, and marriage.

So the short answer to your question is: Yes I do still believe God designed sex for marriage between a man and a woman. And yes, I’m still accepting the invitation to speak. I don’t fault you for you doing your job. And I don’t deny your right to disagree with me in the strongest terms. But I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m not going to let you dictate the terms of this conversation. I’m not going to be intimidated by bad press. And I’m not going to live my whole life trying to prove that I’m something I’m not. It ain’t gonna happen.

I’m a Bible-believing Christian. There, I said it. I’m out of the closet.  I’m not bitter. I’m not on a crusade. I just think it’s time to stand up and say enough is enough. I don’t like making people angry. But I can’t live my life to make you happy.

I don’t think I have anything else to say about the subject. If you want to know what I believe and what Christians are like, I’d be happy to take you with me to church anytime. I hope you all have a great day, because that’s what I plan on having now that this is over.

I don’t know exactly what Louie Giglio or Tim Tebow should have said or done. I’m not privy to all the information or behind-the-scenes conversation. This post isn’t about the past. It’s about what is coming in our future. At some point (and many points actually), Christians need to simply take it on the chin, not back down, affirm the truth, put in a good word for Jesus, and keep on smiling.

  Blog Post from The Gospel Coalition Blog

Read Galatians

jordantmoody —  October 15, 2012 — 1 Comment

Your reading assignment this week (10/15- 10/21) is to read the book of Galatians.

Comment(click on title) on this post to discuss what you are learning or ask questions on what you don’t understand.

We are on Week 6 :  https://hipfellows.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/link-to-the-document/

WEEK 4 ~ MARK 13-16

jordantmoody —  September 30, 2012 — 3 Comments

More information about the passage and details to take notice of but mostly we want you to comment here on this post and let us know what you have learned, noticed, or seen from your study this week from Mark 13-16.

To comment click below (right hand corner) than sign in with any social media site or make your own WordPress.com account to sign in and comment as well. We may have to approve your 1st comment but after that it will appear automatically.

Here are some questions that may help to think about while your reading.

  • Is there any command to obey?
  • Is there any promise to believe?
  • Is there a good example to follow?
  • Is there any sin to avoid?
  • Do I learn anything about God?
  • Do I learn anything about man?
  • Is there anything I can thank God for?