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God’s Shalom

I normally do not post the entire article from someone’s site. This one is really short, so I have posted all of it here.

This was written by John over at Dancing in the Darkness. I encourage you to check out the rest of his site as there is much more great material there. The original post is located here on Dancing in the Darkness. While you are there, let John know you liked something he wrote and check out his other great articles.

Freshly laundered cotton. A guitar skillfully played. Moss on old stone. God’s shalom is given in a thousand different ways, and yet each one is a gift. May I rest God in the thickness of your mercy.

In the substance of your love may I abide. Let me not rise from this safe place too soon. You are found in stillness God. In silence your voice rings clear. Still us, noisy as we are, to know you.

Though wild winds rattle my windows and walls. Though storms shake me. You are my foundation God. Your hold on me is my hope. My peace is in your presence God. I am calm when you are close. Winds wail and waves rise but I will cross this lake with you.

Where truth is told, justice is possible. Where light shines, healing can flow. Naked before God, unhidden, we find rest. God is the reality that earths my expectations; his purpose the hope that holds my attention. Ground of my being, anchor me in love, in mercy, in grace, in forgiveness. Like an ancient house undergoing renovation; a painting restored; an antique sideboard made new: you renew the good in us God.

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To Gospel or not to Gospel

I read a post today by a friend of mine in the blogging world that got me to thinking, or trying to think anyway. Bryan over at http://chiefofleast.com/ posted an article he reblogged from reformedbaptistfellowship. This was an article on today’s preaching in the church, or lack thereof. You can see Bryan’s repost here.

Why is today’s preaching so different? Not all preaching, there are many good preachers of the Word yet, lest I be barbecued for saying otherwise. There is however a decline in quality teaching of the Word of God today…why?

Many churches teach a feel good theology. They teach that Jesus loves you, well that is true and a good thing to teach. What about the rest of what God has to say? These types of churches only teach the “nice” parts of the bible, you know the parts that are easily palatable. This is doing a huge disservice to their congregations.

Many other churches teach that God wants to give you all good things; this is totally reprehensible. God does not want to give you the world and everything in it, what would you need Him for then? (If we had all things, we would be busy enjoying them instead of where our true enjoyment should come from…God) Why then are we not all rich? Drive nice cars and have all the toys? This is called prosperity gospel teaching, and it is very damaging. Suppose you are a fresh new Believer…and you are taught in this kind of church. You are taught that you just pray enough, ask properly, and Walla…God your sugar daddy in heaven will give you all things. What happens when you don’t receive many of things you asked for, and after this has happened for a few years? People are going to become disillusioned and walk away from Christ, that is a terrible thing to happen because they were improperly taught and their false expectations were not met. No blame on God for this, the blame and the shame belongs to the one(s) teaching a false gospel.

Today’s churches need to come back into preaching the way God intended it to be done. I don’t presume to speak for God, but some things are just blatantly obvious.

God did not say anywhere in the bible that He would give us everything we want, people take verses in the bible out of context and make theses verses say what they want to hear.

An example of this is 2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know what our Lord Jesus Christ gives freely, that though He was rich, for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.”

This verse has nothing to do with money and possessions. This verse is actually teaching that our true “wealth” comes in the form of our spiritual blessings in Christ. Yes Paul was talking in the surrounding verses about real money, but he was talking about giving it away, not lining our own pockets with it! The coming kingdom is not going to be about money, and being a disciple of Jesus is not about how much money and you can have and how many toys you own.

Another verse taken out of context, John 14:13-14 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

But wait…that looks like Jesus is saying He will give us all things. It looks that way because that is the part prosperity gospel teachers choose to use. The whole verse reads this way…

13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Now John 14:13-14 has a whole new meaning! Jesus will do anything for us that brings glory to the Father, context always matters! What we ask for must be within the will of God, not for our own selfish gain.

I abhor the teaching of the prosperity gospel so much; I can’t state it in words. God would never be ok with this teaching…ever! Life with God on this earth is so much better than without Him, but the best God has to offer is yet to come…eternal life with Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”

The best is yet to come; we don’t even comprehend what that is…He did not tell us. We only know that we will be with Him as we are forgiven our sins and adopted as His children.

Next time, part two which finishes this article on the Word and teaching it.

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The Beautiful Cross of Christ

Crucifixion of Jesus on a two-beamed cross, from the Sainte Bible (1866)

We have received an amazing gift; words do not begin to describe it, yet I try.

We all sin, we do things wrong. We don’t treat others right, we don’t do things we know that we should. We have anger towards others, and it is not gone in a day. These things and so many more are sins.

You may think that your sins are not as bad as that guy down the street…he is really something. I’ve got news for you, God sees us all the same way. Whatever sins you and I have committed, doesn’t matter. You see, it only takes one sin…just one to incur the penalty for sinning. That penalty is death, not physical death although that will happen…I mean spiritual death, separation from God.

We were (or if you don’t know Christ are) God’s enemies because we sinned. But even though we disobeyed God and were His enemies, He made a way out for us. We sinned; we caused the problem through our own actions. The Lord in His gracious mercy gave us a way out.

Jesus who was God in the flesh, died on the cross, you see that was the solution to the problem WE caused! Think about it…we caused the problem by disobeying God, and He in effect took away our death sentence by dying for us…that should have been you and me on that cross.

Jesus Christ, a sinless, perfect, beautiful, loving, caring, human being…who was also God. This God/man…chose not to avail Himself of His vast power as God. Instead He came here and lived life as a man, a very special man, but a man nonetheless.

Christ chose to suffer the same things that we do in life, He did not have to. He chose to suffer through the pain on the cross, He didn’t have to.

He chose to die, no one could have killed Him…He was and is God.

Crucifixion is one of the most, if not THE most painful, horrible ways there is to die. The scourging done before hand often left a person half dead already. Scourging was a severe beating with strips of leather attached to a pole of some kind, the leather strips also had items in them that ripped into the skin and muscle and did horrific damage.

Jesus, in love, suffered this for me, and for you…that we may have life, because He suffered and died. Yes Christ rose from the dead never to die again…but let us not ever forget that He did die, He did suffer actual separation from the Father. Jesus also had to take all the sins of the world upon Himself, and suffer for them.

What A God, what a love for us!
Who are we that we are to be loved so deeply?
Who are we that God Himself steps down from heaven, and pays for all our sins?

We are God’s children…that’s who we are.

The following is a beautiful song by Jonny Diaz called, Beauty of the Cross

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES9lK1NEy9s&feature=related


At the cross I find the beauty
Of Your matchless grace
At the cross I see a King
Who died to take my place

It’s the moment that
You made me clean
And pardoned my soul

Amazing grace that I would be allowed
Unto Your throne
Not by my own will
But solely by Your will alone

I’m unworthy of this love
You have shown to me
I see my desperate need

The beauty of the cross is that
There’s One who has redeemed my soul
Beauty of the cross is that I’m finally free and letting go
Beauty of the cross is that Your grace has found me just as I am

Not by my own works
That I may boast or I may come
But simply through Your son
The sinless and exalted one

Only through the cross that
I’m made clean to draw near to
You Draw near to You, draw near to You

Saved so that
You would receive
All glory due Your name
Everlasting God from age to age
You never change

A true love story
Remains for all eternity
That all the world would see

The beauty of the cross is that
There’s One who has redeemed my soul
Beauty of the cross is that I’m finally free and letting go
Beauty of the cross is that Your grace has found me just as I am

My sinful soul could only be
Redeemed by the blood of a sinless King
So you came to the world that You had made
Conquered sin on the cross and You rose from the grave

The beauty of the cross is that
There’s One who has redeemed my soul
Beauty of the cross is that I’m finally free and letting go
Beauty of the cross is that Your grace has found me just as I am

The beauty of the cross is that
There’s One who has redeemed my soul
Beauty of the cross is that I’m finally free and letting go
Beauty of the cross is that Your grace has found me just as I am

Yeah, just as I am

That’s the beauty of the cross

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ETERNITY – a message from an illiterate man

πίστις:

An inspiring message of hope, a changed man…by the power of God!

Originally posted on ChristianBlessings:

Harbour Bridge photo used by permission:Christopher Gilbert - www.lamppostmedia.net

Harbour Bridge photo used by permission:
Christopher Gilbert – http://www.lamppostmedia.net

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the centre of a great fireworks display each New Year’s Eve.  For the 2000 event, an extra spectacular display finished with the word ‘Eternity’ blazing its span. Images of this spread throughout the world via the internet.

WHY was this word emblazoned on Sydney Harbour Bridge?  Did it commemorate an important person, one of the rich and famous, or a great achiever?

NO.  IT WAS IN HONOUR OF AN ILLITERATE DRUNKARD.

Let me introduce ARTHUR STACE.

Born in Sydney, Australia in 1884, to alcohol addicted, poverty-stricken parents, Arthur was neglected. He spent his time stealing milk and bread and searching for food in garbage cans. His schooling was almost non-existent. He could not read or write. He became a State ward at 12. He was sent to jail at 15. In his 20s he…

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Am I In Jesus? (Re-post)

It’s been a busy week, and I haven’t had a chance to write a post for Gospel Apprentice. When this happens, I usually repost something from the archives. This is one of those times. Our son, Eric wrote this in February, 2010. I will only add this:

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
3 John 4

By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel

Here’s the post:

The following post was written by our youngest son, Eric van Baarsel. Thanks, Eric for contributing to Gospel Apprentice!

The most important question you can ask yourself in life is, “Am I in Jesus?” So, what I want you to do right now is ask yourself, “Am I in Jesus, and if so, on what do I base my answer?” My biggest fear is if someone thinks they know Jesus, but in reality they don’t know Him. Jesus said, “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you…’ ” (Matthew 7:22-23) Please don’t be one of the many who this will happen to on the day when you stand before Almighty God! So, my goal in this article is to give you a better understanding of who Jesus Christ is, who you are, and finally what He did for you.

First, we must try to get a glimpse of who Jesus is. Jesus is the Son of God and the world was created through Him (John 1:10). He is part of the Holy Trinity, God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus was sent into this world and was born from the virgin Mary, so we see Jesus is fully God and also fully man at the same time (Matthew 1:18). Jesus experienced many of the same things we do. He had and loved friends and family, felt hunger and pain, joy and happiness, shed tears and knew sadness. And even “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15b) Jesus never sinned once and was completely blameless.

This is a really great article by Terrie’s son Eric (Terrie is the person who has the blog site) from Gospel Apprentice. This is an in-depth look at our walk with Christ, are we really “in” Christ or not?  Are we abiding in the Holy and perfect God, or marking time on our way to heaven…or are we truly saved at all?

To finish reading this repost on Terrie’s site from her son, please head over to, http://gospelapprentice.com/2012/04/25/am-i-in-jesus-re-post/

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ONECRY PRAYER SUMMIT

πίστις:

One Cry prayer summit, great way to pray for our country. Get involved!!

Originally posted on On Faith and Writing:

This information came from OneCry.com:

Join the OneCry Prayer Summit

The OneCry Prayer Summit will be a live, participatory radio event starting on the National Day of Prayer and continuing throughout the month of May. The focus will be on prayer for revival and spiritual awakening within the North American church and weaving Scripture, meditations, worship, and reflections throughout. Listeners will be able to engage and participate through live chatting and social media.

Hosted by Moody Radio and in partnership with many others passionate about spiritual awakening, we’re excited to bring you this  live radio event beginning on the National Day of Prayer and continuing  Thursdays in May.

Prayer Summit Dates

May 3 (8 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET)      

May 10 (8 p.m. – 9 p.m. ET)

May 17 (8 p.m. – 9 p.m. ET)

May 24 (8 p.m. – 9 p.m. ET)

How to Listen

Listen live right…

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ONECRY PRAYER SUMMIT

ONECRY PRAYER SUMMIT

This information came from OneCry.com:

Join the OneCry Prayer Summit

The OneCry Prayer Summit will be a live, participatory radio event starting on the National Day of Prayer and continuing throughout the month of May. The focus will be on prayer for revival and spiritual awakening within the North American church and weaving Scripture, meditations, worship, and reflections throughout. Listeners will be able to engage and participate through live chatting and social media.

Hosted by Moody Radio and in partnership with many others passionate about spiritual awakening, we’re excited to bring you this  live radio event beginning on the National Day of Prayer and continuing  Thursdays in May.

Prayer Summit Dates

May 3 (8 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET)      

May 10 (8 p.m. – 9 p.m. ET)

May 17 (8 p.m. – 9 p.m. ET)

May 24 (8 p.m. – 9 p.m. ET)

How to Listen

Listen live right here at OneCry.com or see if there is a radio station in your area carrying the OneCry prayer summit.

*  *  *  *  *

More information can be found here.  If anyone would like to do another day of fasting and prayer to coincide with the National Day of Prayer, leave a comment below.

This was originally posted on Drusilla Mott, you can see the original post here. Thanks to Drusilla for posting this on her site!

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CHRISTIANS AND SIN – Pt. 4

Part 1 of this 4 part series can be found here.

Part 2 can be found here.

Part 3 can be found here.

* * * * *

Galatians 5  “16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  17  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” 

In the verses following Paul goes on to compare the fruits of the flesh with the fruits of the Spirit, and then says:

24  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  25  If ye live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Romans 6  “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  …. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  12  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  13  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

This is the fourth in a series written by Drusilla Mott over at Drusilla Mott. Excellent series written on believers and sin, and why we don’t have to be held captive to sin’s power. We all sin, but that does not mean that sin needs to hold sway in our lives, rather we can through the power of the Holy Spirit and His leading live a life that glorifies Christ.

To finish reading this excellent series of articles, please head over to http://drusillamott.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/christians-and-sin-pt-4/ While you are there, let Drusilla know you enjoyed her article! Check out the rest of her site as well.

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SEATED WITH CHRIST

     


by Neil Anderson


Ephesians 2:4-6 
God . . . made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus
The New Testament clearly reveals that Christ’s power and authority over Satan and his kingdom have been conferred to those of us who are in Christ. In Ephesians 2:4-6, Paul explains that when Christ was raised from the dead, those of us who have believed in Him were also resurrected from our condition of spiritual death and made alive “together with Christ.” It’s only logical that the head (Christ) and the body (His church) should be raised together.
Furthermore, when God seated Christ at His right hand and conferred on Him all authority (Ephesians 1:20, 21), He also seated us at His right hand and conferred on us through Christ all authority because we are “together with Christ.” The moment you receive Christ, you take possession of what God did for you 2000 years ago. Your identity as a child of God and your authority over spiritual powers are not things you are receiving or will receive at some time in the future; you have them right now. You are a spiritually-alive child of God right now . You are seated in the heavenlies with Christ right now . You have power and authority over the kingdom of darkness right now . We have the authority because of our position in Christ, and we have the power when we are filled with the Holy Spirit.
Paul also related this life-changing truth in his letter to the Colossians: “In Him [Christ] you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority” (Colossians 2:10). Notice again that the action is past: We have been made complete. When? At the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. And since Christ is the God-appointed head over all rule and authority, and since we are seated with Him in the heavenlies, we have the authority and power to live responsible lives.
Prayer: Father, help me want to live responsibly, to claim my position as Your child, and to grow to full stature in You.