Christian

Faith

Child Like Faith

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By Michael Hume

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Galatians 5:6 This is the sum of life. The purpose and the rewards all hinge on this.

“Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews11:6 Before I began a day by day personal friendship with Jesus, I did not know how to reach God and to hear from Him actively. That came after I accepted Jesus as Saviour, started praying and began reading the Bible. I did not know how to please God, but now I know that when He opens up a season of faith, and I go forward with Him, He is pleased with me. Before my faith life, at no point did God ever say that He was pleased with me.

“We walk by faith not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7. Natural sight is prone to a lot of input. It can be confused by Satan, by telepathic messages from the deceiver and worldly, it can be afflicted by unbelief and doubt, or self can clutter our view. Satan always tries to put his view into your mind and heart. The only thing to look at is what God is saying and doing. By reminding yourself of what God said before, His promises to you and how to go about the faith life. This makes faith active and real in the present.

Abraham “Did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” Romans 4:20,21. Abraham was given promises by God and even when unbelief came, at another level was his faith. He believed what God said would come true, and chose to ignore the unbelief. That is what we also should do. Constantly remind ourselves of God’s promise, give Him glory all along the way and even more when the promise materialises.

Michael Hume. Christian since 1987. Believe the Bible in original form is true, and in a daily personal relationship with Jesus. A freelance writer. Copyright belongs to author.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITER

Trustworthy

2---06

@creationswap/ Zach Fonville

Inspired by Rev 7:9-12

 by Ennis Smith

James 5:12 (NIV)Above all, my brothers, do not swear-not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.

How many times do we let ourselves down? How many times do we disappoint the ones we love? Each year, millions of people make new-year resolutions destined to failure. Every day, parents make promises to children but renege, for a myriad of reasons. We make promises we have no real intention of keeping. Each broken promise diminishes our trust in ourselves. When we lose trust, we lose faith.

James tells us to keep it simple. Promises are not necessary, to bind a decision into action. We need to have a transformation in our way of thinking. Romans 12:2 says, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The power of “Yes” should become the binding word. Conversely, the power of “No” should also be a definitive answer. Anything other than “yes” or “no” is the work of the evil one.

The world teaches us, it is perfectly okay to recant on a promise, because they’re broken every day. But, as Christians, we need to hold ourselves to higher standards. Jesus never had to promise anything. His word was his bond. When He said “Yes,” it was done. When He spoke “No,” it was undone. Today, let your “Yes” and “No” speak to the truth of your character. Let these small words prove your trustworthiness.

Today’s writer lives in Lincoln Park, MI with his wife and children.  Contact

He Lives in Her

Jesus Christ

photo: @creationswap/krystainJaskula

By: Arlene Price

In her heart-felt laughter
In her eyes that softly twinkle
In her loving hug
In each well-earned wrinkle

In the sweet words she offers
of both comfort and of praise.
In her grace and humbleness
In her righteous ways

In her simple prayers
In her healing touch
In her faith so mighty
In her abundant love

In her every footstep
trod on life’s demanding road.
In the souls she’s brought to God
through the Truth she told.

Christ lives in her heart
His Word sings in her soul
His message is fresh upon her lips
She’s glorious to behold!

__________

Arlene Price©2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Free to reprint and share, but copyright information and links must be kept with poem.

http://www.blackeybaptistchurch.wordpress.com
blackeybaptistchurch@gmail.com

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In Chains for Christ – By Pastor Gary Earls

 

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@creationswap/MarianTrinidad

Chains, are we talking about some kind of spiritual analogy? Does this mean that at one time we were in bondage to the world, the flesh, and the devil, and now have become the bondservant of Christ Jesus with all that might entail? Sure, but what if we were called to endure physical chains because of our faith?

“What?” you might say, “that doesn’t happen anymore, we live in an enlightened and tolerant age where people respect each other’s beliefs even if they don’t agree with them.” Tolerant, I love that word. This is one of the great new buzz words that are bandied about in our culture like a beleaguered ball in a tennis match. So many well meaning people use the words tolerant, or intolerant for that matter, to set apart or distinguish those who’s attitude or modes of thought don’t seem to fit with the general approach of the current society having to do with what people believe. The Wikipedia Free Online Encyclopedia defines intolerance in a social or political sense as,

…the absence of tolerance for differing viewpoints or the people who express those viewpoints.

The thing I find interesting about the above abbreviated definition is that intolerance is considered a personal affront simply because it is not only the rejection of a person’s views, but it is also a rejection of the person as well. Now I most certainly believe that we are to respect differing opinions, yet what if the opinions are in absolute antithetical relationship to the very values that are the foundation of the Christian faith. Do these opinions then invalidate what we believe? The words tolerance and intolerance seem to me to have some sort of unspoken agenda driving them, albeit many times unbeknownst to the one speaking the words. Could it be that when someone claims that we are intolerant because our faith causes us to hold certain principles which set us apart from the societal norm, that the person that casts the word does not tolerate what we believe? How circular is that? We are deemed intolerant because we don’t believe what someone else believes yet they in turn refuse to believe what we believe. How does this make us intolerant? The logic escapes me.

Now let’s take this a step further. The danger in getting what we believe from the society we live in rather than an eternal truth is that you blink and people are going to think differently yet again. Will they now contend just as vehemently that what they believe is correct even though it may be in positional opposition to what they believed previously?

What if the whole of a society claims a truth to be a truth? Does that then make it truth? What if in ten years the whole of a society believes the opposite? Is the original truth no longer truth and the truth now maintained valid? If this were the case certainly humankind would have destroyed itself by now. The history books are filled with purges and persecutions based on a self-imposed mandate of a society aiming to cleanse itself of those that don’t fit the norm of that social order at the present. We look back on those accounts and say “thank God we’re not like that now” but who says we aren’t. That certainly is a naive view of the nature of humankind.

The point of this whole thing is what if the general societal trend becomes anti-Christian? Would that then make our faith unsubstantiated? What if our faith is seen as a danger to society in general? What steps would society take to deal with our intolerance to purge us from its midst?

You see, we are no danger to them if we don’t preach Christ, we are no danger to them if we don’t evangelize, but what if we do, and the very fact of our practicing our faith becomes an offence. What if our Pastors are accused of hate crimes simply by the fact that they are quoting Bible verses? This is not fantasy, it has happened. Prejudice and persecution against the Christian faith is rampant in many parts of the world. It is the very real experience of those throughout the earth that are now in chains for their faith, in chains for Christ Jesus.

Listen to the Apostle Paul.

Php 1:12-14 12
But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
NKJV

Those that live in the United States have been insulated from what has become the norm in many other countries. We go to our churches, and we hold our seminars. We follow after one wind of doctrine or another, one teacher or another, one trend or another and yet have no depth. Will the strength to stand be there when we need it if indeed the times come? Will the prosperity gospel, which is not a gospel at all, truly give substance to our faith if a time of persecution comes? How long have we been told that the Lord will retrieve us before the Great Tribulation? Tell that to our brothers and sisters that labor under persecution, torture, and death in North Korean prison camps where the tactics employed equal that of the death camps of World War Two, in severity if not in numbers. But I suppose you could say that if what so many claim is true, that the Nazi death camps didn’t really exist, certainly it must not be happening in North Korea either.

For a substantial time the Christian church of World War Two Germany, either supported Hitler, or simply turned its head. Will we continue to do the same? Thank God for men such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer who chose to take the stand that cost him his life.

The following verse has been contextualized to mean empowerment to fulfill our own desires.

Php 4:13
13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
NKJV

Yet the Apostle wrote the letter to the Philippians while in chains for Christ not really knowing if the outcome of the trial would result in execution or release.

We have an obligation to stand with those in chains or under threat of death, those that are our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers in Christ. What of those in North Korea, or Saudi Arabia, Iran, Somalia, Maldives, Yemen, Bhutan, or Viet Nam? How about Afghanistan, China, Eritrea, Uzbekistan, or Sudan? The list can go on. How about the USA?

“Oh” you say, “that could never happen here”. Well neither could 911. Additionally why should we be forced to be tolerant of those that don’t tolerate us? Forgiveness, which the Bible teaches, is not the acceptance of a wrong done but simply the refusal to hold the person that has done the wrong as guilty in our eyes. Why? It is clearly because we have been forgiven of so much more and did not deserve the blood of Christ, which obtained for us the forgiveness of our Father God.

What are we to do when subjugation comes in the subtle guise of tolerance? What if we refuse to bend, will then the pressure become more overt? Must we be forced to accept all that our faith declares is wrong to find a place in the current social scheme? There is an overwhelming undercurrent of prejudice in that mode of thinking.

We live in an increasingly pluralist society where all beliefs are seen to been equally valid but no one belief is ever to be seen as exclusive? Yet if we dare to investigate further we will find that all beliefs claim exclusivity. Certainly Islamic belief claims exclusivity. If the fundamental tenets of a faith are mutually exclusive to other faiths, certainly that faith is exclusive in its essential nature. Why is it then that Christianity is the only faith that is presently maligned in the USA for being intolerant? Why is it then that it is acceptable to shred the Christian faith on a sitcom under the pretense of humor but the writers would never dare to do the same using another belief? Why is it OK to remove a Nativity scene from a Middle School during the Christmas season when the Koran was not deemed offensive? How have we become so skewed in our thinking? It’s not my purpose to denigrate the belief of another but to hold to mine in the midst of a society that condemns me simply because I do.

We must be willing to stand for Christ, we must be willing to be placed in chains for Christ, and ultimately we must be willing to die for Christ. We must also be willing to stand with those that are suffering for Him on a daily basis or our faith is useless. Why? Because a faith that is fundamentally weak and found lacking in commitment is no faith at all.

Believe, stand, and resist, or the ground swell of cultural change will swallow you and the faith that you hold dear. Believe and stand for your children or their legacy will slip from between their fingers and they’ll be consumed.
Stand because Christ is worthy!

Pastor G

Pastor G has been a missionary in the Philippines where he taught in a Bible School training Filipinos for ministry as pastors. He hosts a small church fellowship, and an active internet ministry.
Please copy article in its entirety with author credit & link to the site RisenScepter.org

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

 

Dare To Be a Real Christian

Take the Dare!

Jeremiah 7:23 (NCV)

23 I also gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Do all that I command so that good things will happen to you.

Do you remember the day you were saved? How did you feel? What motivated you? Why did you decide that this was the path for you? Remember the lost feelings and how you finally found salvation. Remember your relief in knowing your sins was forgiven and you would never have to face life’s challenges alone. Remember the love you felt from those around you, the acceptance, and the power of the moment. Re-capture those feelings and those reasons again. If you haven’t been serving God – only going through the motions – then you need to realize God has a purpose for you and he’s waiting for you to call on Him to get started

Somewhere along the way, you may have gradually, unintentionally lost your focus. You became passive and uninterested, putting your energy into worldly interest and daily problems. Yes, you called on Him during times of real trouble, but not daily. And you occasionally go to church, to make an appearance. Your enthusiasm has become excuses. You devotion has become practically non-existent, but yet you call yourself a “Christian” when asked. You think you are bound for Heaven, so why do anything more.

Today dare to be the Christian you ask God to make you that day you were saved. Ask Him to renew in you your passion and to reveal to you your purpose. Look for ways to help the needy, the lost, and the poor in your community or in the world – think big even if you do small things at first, dream big knowing there is no limit what God can do through you, focus on God at all times. Remember to be a Christian is to be “Christ-like” not “Man-Like” or” Woman-Like”, it is to be so much more than what you thought you could ever be! You cannot be too busy for God, get busy helping God and He will get busy helping you!

He will take those problems that take up your time and solve them every one, meanwhile you must put your focus on doing his work and not those problems – release them to Him so you might be released. Why would you want to be the prisoner of the world around you when you have the opportunity to be so much more? You have talents, love, skills, knowledge that is needed by your church and your community. The more you give of yourself the more your receive from Him – more blessings, more time, more love, more money, more everything – you are provided for and taken care of when you stop holding back what He has given you to give to others.

If you are afraid you will not have time for fun or just cannot have fun while being a Christian – well, I’m here to tell you how wrong you are in that way of thinking. Some of the most precious, fun, memorable moments are those when I knew I was doing what God wanted me to do – not what I  wanted to do. If you think you have nothing to offer, you do – you have love, mercy and knowledge. Be creative and use whatever you have, even if it’s just a smile or a helping hand.

Here is your challenge:

Dare to give of yourself before you give to yourself.

Dare to look for the needy, poor, and lost around you. Pray you will be led to them, so you can help them.

Dare to let go of your problems and let God handle them, so you will be free to handle what He has planned for you.

Dare to spread His word, so all the people you encounter know the wonders he has bestowed upon you.

Dare to praise Him for all you have, for all you are able to do, for all you can do for Him.

Dare to stop complaining, making excuses and blaming – instead stand up and accept responsibility for what God has in store for you to do – ask Him for guidance and support, and go forward with confidence.

Dare to learn your bible by reading a chapter per day and studying its meaning. Don’t just read it – apply it and share with others.

Dare to pray for all those who need his healing, salvation and guidance. Watch in awe as those prayers are answered. It’s truly incredible!

Dare to put the “Christ” back into being a “Christian” and then the next time someone ask if you are a Christian you can say “yes” with confidence – you really are “Christ-Like”, because you are walking the walk and talking the talk.

It’s not always easy letting go and letting God take the lead, we want to be in control and we want our will to be done, but if God is telling you to do His work, it’s time for you to listen; and if you don’t know what His work is, then it’s time for you to pray about it – and I guarantee you will get the answer. Telling God you don’t have time, you don’t know how, you are afraid to do it wrong or worrying about what people will say will lead you away from everything you wanted so much for yourself the day you were saved – and once again you may find yourself lost.

Just pray and He will direct you. As I write this I know it’s His directive and His will that moves my hand. How can I be so sure you ask? it’s my lunch break, I went three places trying pick up a Wi-Fi connection on my iPad, but the connections didn’t show up on my iPad at all – yet they showed up on my phone – which was odd – no, there’s nothing wrong with the iPad. I wasn’t able to use my phone as a connection, since I’m low on data usage for the month – which rarely happens. So, a little frustrated – I sat in my van and ask “What do you want me to do Lord?” and the answer came immediately “Write!”…I had no idea what to write, so I jotted a few bible verses on paper, but suddenly I just turned to a new, blank page and wrote what you are reading here, no prior plan or topic, nothing related to the verses I jotted down – He took me in His direction to do His will. So if you have been directed to read what is written here, perhaps that too is His will and His direction for you. So move into action – you have received the message –  and dare to save yourself from yourself!

God Bless!

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

A Living Sacrifice

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Author: Arlene Price (indirectly J)copyright©2013