Inspirational Christian Blogs

Join us for inspiring words from today's best Christian authors


2 Comments

THE VALUE OF COUNSEL


by Neil Anderson

August 28

Proverbs 11:14
Where there is no guidance, the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory

No one person has complete knowledge, and everyone has a limited perspective on the truth. God has structured the church in such a way that we need each other. I have made some dumb decisions that would never have been made if I had consulted someone. However, some people will only consult those who agree with them. That’s a sign of immaturity.

At the same time, the counsel of others does have to be weighed. There is a fascinating account in Acts 21 where the Holy Spirit seemed to be warning Paul not to go to Jerusalem. Disciples in Tyre “kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem” (21:4). Then a prophet named Agabus gave a visual demonstration by binding himself and saying, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt [Paul] and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles'” (21:11).

Everyone began begging him not to go. “Then Paul answered, ‘. . . I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.’ And since he would not be persuaded, we fell silent, remarking, ‘The will of the Lord be done!'” (21:13, 14).

Was the Holy Spirit guiding the disciples and Agabus? The information was mostly true, but the conclusion of the disciples wasn’t. The Holy Spirit wasn’t trying to prevent Paul from going; He was preparing Paul for the coming persecution. Paul was right in not wanting to take the easy way out.

The missionary Hudson Taylor went against advice, and circumstances nearly destroyed him. But he, more than anyone, opened up China to the gospel. Sometimes people can tell you the truth, but they draw selfish conclusions. Sometimes we need to ascertain our own motives as well as those of the people we seek counsel from, for our motives can be in error as well. The value of counsel is to get an unbiased opinion from a spiritually sensitive person which you can add to the recipe of ingredients God is giving to guide you.

Prayer: Lord, grant me the patience to gather information and seek godly counsel for my decisions.


2 Comments

Flesh vs. Spirit, part IV

god stuff 4

Hebrews 4:15 (NAS): For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

Matthew 16:24 (NAS): Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must DENY HIMSELF, and take up his cross and follow Me.

Romans 9:6-8 (NAS): For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

 

Homosexuality is a huge debate these days; should they marry, shouldn’t they marry? The problem is that we’re focused on the sin (flesh) which leads to condemnation instead of the God (Spirit) who brings freedom. Instead of God’s holy people acting in outrage, condemnation, bigotry, and hatred (all equally sin), God’s royal priesthood should be led by Holy Spirit in our conduct. We need to deal with the nature of the flesh which is hostile against God instead of individual sins. To be tempted by anything ungodly (homosexuality or anything else), is NOT sin lest Christ is a sinner.

Since Christ established that temptation alone is not sin, we must address the nature of hostile flesh as a whole. For one who desires to “take up his or her cross and follow Christ,” they must actually deny any desire that is set against God. Old and New Testament Scriptures speak against homosexuality, therefore, any person who is tempted by homosexuality must understand that they must deny the sexual urges so as to truly follow Christ. It does not mean that they suddenly desire the opposite sex, but rather that they choose the way of Christ over their natural urges; they choose to be a eunuch unto God as written in Matthew 19. In this, it isn’t a matter of homosexuality vs. heterosexuality, but unholy vs. holy.

This is where we need to understand how to “count ALL as loss” considering the magnitude of the Kingdom of God. Counting all as loss debunks the whole “God wants me to be happy” theory. I can’t think of one account where God directs us to fulfill the desires of our flesh so as to be “happy.” That theory was born in the flesh and is death; it has zero to do with holiness. Imagine if we all did whatever we wanted, whenever, however, to whomever. This is not merely an issue of morality but of holiness.

God’s people led by emotions of any kind are not in obedience to Christ. Those operating in hatred, wrath, gossip, malice, rage, perversion, thievery, gluttony, etc. – the same rules apply. If you love God and desire to follow Him, your “cross” is giving up whatever fleshly temptation you may have that is against God. If we would begin to teach holiness instead of hatred and condemnation, I’d imagine that we’d all walk closer to God!

Whatever your temptation, God is sympathetic. He understands. He has no desire to shame you, but to heal you from the inside out. The flesh will always desire that which is contrary to the cross and the Kingdom of God. Don’t be surprised or ashamed in your temptation (whatever it is), but in it, walk away from it toward the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

 

I Peter 1:16: Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy.

 

Philippians 3:8 (NAS): More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.

 

Stay tuned for next week’s Flesh vs. Spirit! If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.

Peace and blessings,

 

Alexys V. Wolf

www.thefierysword.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

http://thefierysword.wordpress.com/


2 Comments

Flesh vs. Spirit, part III

god stuff 4

Romans 7:24-25 (NAS): Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the BODY of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

 

Romans 8:1-2 (KJV): There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

 

Romans 9:6-8 (NAS): For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

 

In the above verses, we read, “body of death,” “the flesh is hostile toward God,” “the mind set on the flesh is death,” and “those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” DEATH and HOSTILITY are the themes of flesh, but LIFE and PEACE are the themes of Holy Spirit. The sooner God’s Kingdom heirs understand this, the sooner we’ll walk in the freedom Christ died to grant mankind.

Many versions of the Bible, including my favored NAS, remove the part of, “…who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” found in Romans 8:1-2. It’s crucial to regain this missing link because otherwise, “saved” people can’t understand why they continue to sin, or why they continue to feel condemned when Christ said there is no more condemnation.

Anything of the flesh is DEATH – no exceptions.

Anything of the Spirit is LIFE – no exceptions.

Simply dealing with individual sins such as lying, addiction, homosexuality, theft, greed, malice, gossip, malice, hatred, so on and so forth, is errant in so much as the sins themselves have become the focus. Since “all have sinned” there is no way anyone has the right to point at a neighbor’s spec with planks in our own eyes! God’s people are to correct fellow brethren, but most don’t understand how to correct properly. Correction led by the flesh simply breeds more death!

The Bible is clear that the afore mentioned and more are in fact sins and we shouldn’t give way to them, but the Bible also always redirects to Holy Spirit leading and dying to the nature of the flesh as a whole – this can only come from a Kingdom mindset. All are born naturally in sin therefore we shouldn’t be surprised when we are drawn to sin of any kind. The shame and condemnation are not in the temptation, but in the acting on the temptation. People act on the temptations because we simply aren’t following the lead of Holy Spirit because we don’t understand the Kingdom of God.

Holy Spirit and His Kingdom should be our focus, not the sins. The, “do this but don’t do that” is worthless instruction if we’re not taught to understand how to be led, not by the flesh, but by the Spirit of the Living God. The “do this but not that” is based on law – you know, that thing no one can fulfill – and Christ fulfilled the entirety of the Law in His death, burial and resurrection. When we base instruction on law, it’s formulated merely from a morality stance and anyone can easily find their happy “grey areas” and feel justified.

 

Hebrews 4:15 (NAS): For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

 

Stay tuned for next week’s Flesh vs. Spirit! If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.

 

Peace and blessings,

 

Alexys V. Wolf

 

https://www.thefierysword.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

http://thefierysword.wordpress.com/

 


2 Comments

THE COUNTERFEITS


by Neil Anderson

 

August 5

John 8:24 

Unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins
 
In assessing counterfeits to Christianity, no criterion is more important than the Person of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote: “I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough” (2 Corinthians 11:3, 4 NIV ).
 
Other religions may talk about Jesus, but they present Him in another way than He is presented in Scripture. They may talk about the same historical Jesus, but not about the Son of God, the Alpha and Omega, and the great I AM. Jesus said, “Unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sin” (John 8:24). If you believe in Jesus in any other way than how He is presented in the Bible, you will receive an altogether different spirit instead of the Holy Spirit and an altogether different gospel instead of the gospel of grace.
 
The counterfeit spirits which are at work in the cults and the occult are nothing like the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you” (John 16:13, 14). The Holy Spirit always leads us back to Christ.
 
The counterfeit gospel is not a gospel of grace because the blood of bulls and goats will never take away sin, so you are left with a gospel of works. But the real Jesus died for our sins, the Spirit of truth has come, and we are marvelously saved by grace.
 
Prayer: Lord, I want to be so filled with the knowledge of Your truth that I may quickly recognize and turn from all counterfeits of the gospel.


Leave a comment

We Serve an Amazing God- Life Update

Wow. God is good! I spent the last week at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. For those of you who don’t know, I am a Moody student. I am part of the First Year Online Program. We had orientation this last week. Let me tell you, I met about 40 amazing new people. Actually, more than that. Everyone from staff to student made such an impact on me this week! It’s amazing how God can build a tight-knit community with people who didn’t know each other a few days before. We all clicked as soon as we met. I loved every minute of my time on campus. I really didn’t want to leave. I can’t wait to reconnect with everyone I met! We are all hoping to be studying on Chicago’s campus next year! Pray for all of us as we study this year! 

Sorry for such a short post, but I just wanted to give my readers a quick update! 

Love in Christ,

Austin


Leave a comment

Flesh vs. Spirit, part II

god stuff 4

“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please (Galatians 5:17, NAS).”

 

Self-discipline is a huge part of spiritual warfare. We have been given authority over demons, absolutely, but too often we focus more on that than learning to simply discipline our bodies so as to “make them a slave” as did the Apostle Paul (I Corinthians 9:27). After all, the first place one should take authority is over their own temple.

Time and time again we read that self-control is an attribute of the fruit of the Spirit. Just because we’re tired, angry, sad, mad, stressed, or whatever, does not give us license to sin. In fact, it’s in these tricky situations that God is actually at hand. He allows us to be tested so as to reveal to us our remaining ungodliness – not for condemnation, but for further refinement. God is not punishing us, He is perfecting us.

First, we need to correct an untruth. Many say, “Followers of Christ have two natures.” This is false. God’s people have one nature – God’s – Holy Spirit. Though we (the spirit) temporarily dwell in a compartment made of flesh, its nature does not belong to us. It’s like living in your house; you are not the house, you merely dwell there temporarily. If the house is old and creaky, that does not me you have to be. You must upkeep the earthen temple in which you dwell, but it isn’t who you are. It’s our downfall when we think, “Well, that’s just who and how I am. I can’t help it when I act this or that way.” Likewise, if it’s our downfall, it’s equally the downfall of the Kingdom of God because we represent the King and His Kingdom.

Secondly, emotionalism will always dictate “do whatever makes you feel better.” Truth will dictate the polar opposite. When I walk with God, I choose self-control when otherwise I want to use profanities, lash out at someone, or anything of the like. When I give in to emotionalism and conduct myself in a fleshly (evil) manner, I cease walking with God. Everyone’s trigger point is different and we need to be aware of what they are and purpose to surrender them to Christ.

It’s simply being pro-active by knowing who we are in Christ and allowing Christ to overrule the flesh in everything. No one has perfected this, I certainly haven’t, but we need to purpose to strive toward the mark of Christ choosing to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ always and in everything. When we falter, repent, receive forgiveness and begin again. His mercies are new every day! 

 

For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin (Romans 7:14-25, NAS).”

 

Stay tuned for next week’s part III! If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.

 

Peace and blessings,

 

Alexys V. Wolf

www.thefierysword.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

http://thefierysword.wordpress.com/


2 Comments

Two Kingdoms

god stuff 4

“…there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The KINGDOM OF THE WORLD has become the KINGDOM OF OUR LORD and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever (Revelation 11:15, NAS).”

 

“For He rescued us from the DOMAIN OF DARKNESS, and transferred us to the KINGDOM OF HIS BELOVED SON (Colossians 1:13, NAS).”

 

We must first acknowledge that there are two kingdoms: God’s and Satan’s. Ultimately, we know that the Kingdom of God will reign supreme over all darkness – the world kingdom – Satan’s kingdom reigning currently on earth. By accepting Christ’s redemptive blood through repentance, people are able to transition from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God. This is the broad picture, but what about the more detailed picture that involves we who dwell on earth?  To whom does the earth belong?

  • GOD?

 

“The earth is the LORD’S, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it…(Psalm 24:1-2, NAS).”

Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it (Deuteronomy 10:14, NAS).”

  •  SATAN?

 

“…the devil has come down to you…he has a short time (Revelation 12:12).”

“…now the ruler of this world will be cast out (John 12:31, NAS).”

“in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel…(II Corinthians 4:4, NAS).”

  • MAN?

 

“The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s: but the EARTH hath He given to the children of men (Psalm 115:16, KJV).”

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth (Genesis 1:28, NAS).”

 

This can be tricky if we only look at these Scriptures individually. Ultimately, the earth belongs to God as everything in existence does because He is the Creator of all – the seen and the unseen. He is the “owner.” As the owner, He gave rule over the earth to man through Adam. Adam and his descendants were ordained to rule as “acting manager” in a manner of speaking. However, as manager, he had the authority to give management over to someone else – and so he did. Through Adam’s sin, he inadvertently gave the management to Satan, the prince of the power of the air, aka the god of this world.

A common phrase among people is, “I went/am going through hell.” This is because currently, Satan’s domain is the earth. When he was cast from heaven, God said “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth!” – yet all is not lost. We, God’s ambassadors from the Kingdom of heaven, are clearly to usher heaven down to earth! This hasn’t been happening much because of lack of understanding of God’s Kingdom, but it’s time to learn from whence and from whom we originate.

 

“The devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him ALL the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only (Matthew 4:8-11, NAS).”’”

 

Satan could not have offered Jesus something he did not already possess. Satan took possession when Adam legally gave it to him in the Garden of Eden. God gave authority to Adam, therefore by all legal rights, because of Adam’s fall, the earth is currently run by Satan.

After the flood, God made covenant with Noah hence giving back all legal ground over the earth to man. As time passed, mankind grew more and more evil, in turn handing the earth back to Satan. It wasn’t until Jesus came in the lineage of King David that, by conquering death and the grave, authority was given to Jesus.

Now all who receive Christ as their Lord, King, and Savior have within them the One who holds the authority. God gave Jesus authority and Jesus gave authority to the Church – those who accept Christ (mankind). Through redeemed man, the Kingdom of God can reign on earth as it should have been in the beginning. God owns the earth, the earth is Satan’s dominion for now, but we who walk according to the Spirit instead of the flesh, we can take back what God originally gave to Adam. We must of necessity allow Holy Spirit to overtake us (the individual and collective body) so as to allow the Kingdom of God to come down to earth.

As Dr. Myles Monroe points out in his teachings, when Adam sinned, because he was the visible manifestation of the invisible kingdom of heaven, technically, he committed treason. He lost both his relationship and his kingdom. Dr. Munroe states: “Adam was a king without a kingdom. A ruler with nothing to rule.” God’s holy people need most desperately to discover a Kingdom mindset, how God’s Kingdom government works, and then turn and rule the earth through Holy Spirit so as to overthrow Satan and the hell he regularly ushers. The time is now to take back the earth!

 

I hope you’ll come back next time. If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.

Peace and blessings,

 

Alexys V. Wolf

www.thefierysword.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

http://thefierysword.wordpress.com/