Posts belonging to Category Christian Success
WAR – What Amazing Results
If your children follow your instructions at the first directions, tell the rest of us your secret. If time on your job is filled with daily happiness and joy, tell me where I can get an application. If your marriage has only seen blissful moments, please start a support group to help those of us less fortunate. In my life, there are falls, scrapes, bumps, bruises, and even collisions. Yes, in my blessed Christian life, these difficulties occur. Encouragement can come when you least expect it. At the prompting of my sister, I went to see War Room.
Many of us have a favorite gospel or Christian song that speaks a message in the midst of a trial, confusion, or even temptation. We can pull out that tune on phones, other digital listening devices, or if you are old school like me, you might even have it tucked away on a CD. However, finding a movie with faith-based messages is a bit more challenging.
The Kendrick Brothers have worked hard to fill the void of limited Christian movies released to mainstream audiences. If you have not seen Facing the Giants, Fireproof, or Courageous, I encourage you to find them on a computer movie site or DVD. If are waiting to see War Room, do not let this one get by you. The plot line is believable. The characters are engaging. The message is timely. Most important, the catalyst of the movie hinges on the following scripture:
“But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:6 NIV
After seeing the movie, I began immediately thinking. My inner room? As depicted in the movie (for most of us today), an inner room is usually a closet. My inner room? Where will I put my shoes? Where will I put my winter clothes? Where will I put all that extra junk that I never use anyway? I have made space for my sewing stuff. I have made space for my computer and teaching stuff. Recently, I even reorganized closets to make more space for my clothes. But now, I am instantaneously stuck as to where to put Jesus. How many of us struggle to make room in our lives for Jesus spiritually let alone given Him physical space in our homes? Some will argue to the symbolic nature of an “inner room.” That is one of those debates I will let you hash out with Jesus yourself. As for me, I am not worried when attuning myself to directions given in the Bible. I am going to repurpose my war tactics (and space) to employ the greatest strategy (prayer) ever created against the most critical confrontation (Satan) ever experienced to see What Amazing Results are to come.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Hebrews 11:1-3
Then they (ordinary people) asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent (believe in Jesus).” John 6:28-30
Paul writes, I have declared to both Jews and Greeks (everyone else) that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. Acts 20:21
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:12-13 AMEN!!!
Christ Has Arranged New Growth Everyday
A wise person once said, “Insanity is doing things the way you have always done them and expecting things to change.” This is crazy. Our American culture has come up with many euphemisms to indirectly point the finger at crazy. Things like, “ He is a few quarters short of a dollar.” Or, “She is a few slices short of a pizza.” One of the most profound catapults to change is remembering that we cannot do things as we have always done them. To get to that next level, one needs to push through. One needs to hang on. One needs to be bold. And most importantly, we must put our trust in the hands of an almighty God. It is crazy not to change when you just might be:
- a few tests short of a testimony
- a few scriptures short of a message
- a few prayers short of a breakthrough
- a few tears short of a cleansing
- a few sermons short of an understanding
- a few connections short of a relationship
- a few hymns short of a hallelujah
- a few releases short of peace
- a few communions short of a remembrance
- a few confessions short of eternal life
- a few repentings short of a change
Most of us have reached that point where a certain aspect of our life needs a complete overhaul. Setting your sights on making that change can have a daunting effect. For example, our intentions are to save for retirement on a regular basis. Maybe, the alarm is set for that new early morning workout. Or, we plan to be faithful in our daily prayer and meditation time. But alas, we don’t reach the desired goals as we thought we would. Change is hard work. Having a support while going through the change process strengthens one’s resolve during the journey. The change guided by Christ will create the best transformation. When the naysayers come along (whether they be outside or inside your head), remember the greatest advocate to your change is as close as a whispered prayer.
Let the Christ within you be the driving force for change.
Matthew 18:3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. –New International Version
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord (Jesus); let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. Psalm 95:1-3
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5-7
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The Lord (Jesus) is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. Psalm 28:7a
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2
Help me, Lord my God; save me according to your unfailing love. Psalm 109:26
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17
I’ve been going thru a study by Ray Comfort called “The way of the master”. It’s a great course on how to evangelize. In this study, he points out that modern evangelism produces on average 85% – 90% backsliders. One does have to ask…why are there such a large number of backsliders?
Modern Evangelism basically says “Accept Jesus and he will give you comfort…he will help you with your addiction…he will heal you of your sicknesses…your fears, your loneliness, he will heal your marriage, etc. In other words…”Jesus will improve your life”!
Many times, alter calls are given after message on the above topics are given on any Sunday sermon. People then come forward and give their lives to Jesus to get help with their issues.
Another message you hear a lot is “God loves you and he has a wonderful plan for your life”.
Let’s tackle some needed questions:
1. What’s wrong with the above evangelistic approach?
Even though it is true that Jesus is our comforter, our healer, our helper and much more, that is not why Jesus came and gave his life on the cross…and it is not the true gospel. Ray points out that hurting people respond to messages on specific subjects like addictions or sickness and in a sense give Jesus a try. They’ve tried drugs and alcohol which have not helped so why not give Jesus a try. Then, when they don’t see a change in their situation, they give up on Jesus. They were false converts from the start.
2. Does the reason one comes to know Jesus matter?
If I gave my life to Jesus to help me with my struggling business…or heal my sickness…or help me with my drug problem…my fears…my financial problems or any other issues people struggle with, would I be saved? Is that what Jesus came to save me from? The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT. I tried to think back about 30 years and think about the reason I gave my life to Jesus for? I came to realize that I might have accepted Jesus for the wrong reasons as well. Bottom-line…the above reasons are NOT the reason one should accept Jesus as their Savior.
3. God has a wonderful plan for your life. Is this message true?
That message is NOT true as most of us would understand it that phrase. God does have a wonderful plan for those who accept Jesus as their Savior, however, that plan is more about the next life than this life. In this life, Christians have just as many trails…maybe even more than Non-Christians. Just think about the recent school shooting where the killer asked about their religion and people who said they were Christians were shot in the head, Non-Christians were shot in the leg. Or how about all the Christians who are being beheaded for their Christian beliefs in the Middle East or all the other millions of people who died for no other reason than they were Christians? How is that for a wonderful plan? In my mind, the wonderful plan concept is taken out of context. Even Jesus said “In this life you’ll have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome this world. John 16:33
4. What is the main message of the gospel? The main message of the gospel is that we are all sinners and deserve God’s just punishment and that is hell. However, (the good news) Jesus came and died for each one of our sins so we can be redeemed and spend eternity with him in heaven. Ray points out something very important. Unless, we’re confronted by the law (The 10 Commandments), we don’t really understand the magnitude what Jesus did. The law is like a mirror. It makes us aware of sin. (Rom 3:19). The bible says that the gospel is considered foolishness by the world, because they don’t believe they have sinned or done anything wrong. Only once confronted by the law are we made aware that we have broken his commandments and fallen short of his standard.
The 10 Commandments of God. (Exodus 20:1)
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor thy father and thy mother.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. 1
0. Thou shalt not covet.
Many of us, even people who call themselves Christians try to justify themselves by saying that yes, they have sinned but it was no big deal because overall they are pretty good people.
Go ahead and take the test and see if you pass the good person test.
You and I have violated the 10 Commandments. We might think that lying and stealing or taking the name of the Lord in vain is no big deal but that flip attitude is a FATAL error. God says in Rev. 21:8 “all cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Bottom-line, we are NOT Good. If you’re still trying to justify yourself, most likely, you are NOT saved. Get right with God!
The Good News! There is hope for me, for you, for us. God made a way for us to be forgiven. The question is, how do you access this forgiveness? God loved us so much that he sent his own son to suffer and die in our place, taking on our punishment for you and I so we can live. It is very simple…you broke the law and Jesus paid the fine. Then Jesus rose from the dead and defeated death. The bible says…if you repent – turn away from your sins – and place your trust in Jesus Christ as your savior, God will forgive you and grant you everlasting life. He will change you from the inside out and will make you a new person in Christ. Salvation is a gift from God. You cannot earn it, because it is impossible to earn it.
Pray this prayer. “Dear God, I confess that I’m a sinner and that I need your forgiveness. I’m truly sorry for my sins and humbly ask you to forgive me and cleanse me. I believe that Jesus died on the cross in my place and that he rose again for my salvation. In faith I accept from you the gift of eternal life, and, with your help, I promise to serve you as long as I live. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen”
It is important to follow through if you were serious about your decision. Make sure you read your bible and find a good church. If you need help doing that, email us. We’ll be happy to help.
Also see Hell’s best kept secret.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These (trials) have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Though you have not seen him (Jesus), you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:3-9
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, Galatians 3:26
Have you ever claimed to be someone you were not?
My cousin Sandy and I did. I mean who could blame us? When you live in a family who has a member lost in the Bermuda Triangle or one who uses KFC buckets as lamp shades, you yearn for some form of normalcy. There were candidates on our list of families to join, but there was one that stood out above all the rest, so we joined them. In March 1975, Sandy and I became Osmonds.
You might ask “how exactly did this work?” Well for us it really wasn’t that difficult. We already knew everything about them and it was a natural fit, given our entertainment abilities. When we began claiming that we were Osmonds there were some things we needed to do to make this apparent. Right away, we began referring to each other as Osmonds. I would hang up the phone and my mom would ask me who I had been talking to and my reply would be, “Sandy Osmond.” Then Sandy and I needed to let the rest of the world know who we were claiming to be. So, on our Saturday morning shopping trips we made it a point to have casual conversations about the family while standing in line to pay for our lip gloss. We would say things that only Osmonds would say, like “Oh my, we better hurry so we won’t miss our plane to Los Angeles! Donny and Marie will be so upset if we don’t make it to rehearsal.” Then lastly, in order to make our claim real we had to put it down in writing. No longer did I write Debbie Arnold in the upper right hand corner of my math assignment, instead I was Debbie Osmond.
This is where our claim of being Osmonds ended. You see, Parent/Teacher meetings don’t go so well when your Dad walks in and Mr. Jones the math teacher calls your dad, “Mr. Osmond”.
Regardless of mine and Sandy’s entertainment abilities, claiming to be an Osmond didn’t make us an Osmond! Jesus made some claims about Himself. In John 8:58 He called Himself “I AM”. Only the one true God who created the Heavens and the Earth could call Himself “I Am”. It describes the Holy One who has always been, who is and who will always be. When Jesus used this name, He was telling everyone that He was God! You know what? The Pharisees hated Him for it. The Pharisees understood from Exodus 3:14 that God called Himself “I Am”. God said to Moses, “I am who I am.”And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” Imagine the religious leaders of the day not only accused Him of blasphemy for this they eventually had Him crucified for it. They refused to believe that Jesus was “I AM”. People still do this today, including many other religions. We need to be wary of any religion or church today that denies that Jesus is the “Great I Am.”
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect (believers throughout time) and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness—in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time. Titus 1:1-2
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:5-6
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:5-6
This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:9-10
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 1 John 5:11
www.nuggetsofwisdom.us … spread the Word
There are many times in our lives when we are desperate for God to give us a breakthrough. We keep on telling ourselves that every day is the same but it’s not the whole truth. Because our minds are informing us that our breakthrough won’t come. Again, every day will be the same. Whatever you are struggling with in your Christian life, prayer is still the key for change. God had answered Hannah’s prayer and He will answer yours as well. Why? You are a child of God full stop. Let’s us turn our attention to Hannah’s prayer. She was troubled. Hannah had desperately wanted a child. You maybe troubled and you may desperately want a job, a house, a wife or a husband etc. For years Hannah prayed for a child. Nothing happened in that area except that her husband loved her dearly. He gave a double offering to the temple for Hannah. Hannah husband other wife would ridicule her relentlessly when they visited the temple annually. She must have felt humiliated by her husbands other wife who had children. This time Hannah was at her wits end. It’s was the final straw. You may find yourself in a cul de sac or in a dead end job with no prospect. You have told yourself will I lose my faith in God? Nothing is happening. I can’t bear it no more. Why is God blessing everybody except for poor old me? I have a degree in History, then why am I struggling financially to obtain a good job to pay my bills? The answer is still prayer. Hannah prayed to God with everything she got. She focused her prayer entirely on God. She set her mind, body and soul on God in prayer. She was so desperate for God to give her a breakthrough that she lost herself in prayer. Eli thought she was drunk. She was deeply troubled. Hannah was pouring out her soul to the Lord. Eli granted her wish through God. Don’t you know that God can supply your breakthrough through others? It is God who holds the earth resources and it is He who brings you success. Hannah held onto her faith during the toughest period of her life. She knew that prayer to God was the key.
In Luke 18:1-6 we read, Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!”
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
God gave Hannah a son who turn out to be a great prophet. No one could have imagined that someone as great as Samuel was coming out of a desperate woman’s prayer. Samuel changed the spiritual lives of a nation. Like Hannah, you can pour out your soul in prayer to God and something beautiful will come out of your prayer that will change the lives of many and your life.
Author of ‘Your Change is Coming’, a free eBook from www.Smashword.com