Thursday, July 31, 2008

More Great Quotes

More GREAT QUOTES

-Sermonindex.net

"The greatest wisdom on this earth is holiness."

- W.S. Plumer

"We fear men so much because we fear God so little. One fear

cures another. When man's terror scares you, turn your thoughts

to the wrath of God." - William Gurnall

"Temptations, when we meet them at first, are as the lion that

reared upon Samson; but if we overcome them, the next time we

see them we shall find a nest of honey within them." - John Bunyan

"Making heaven on earth is our business." - William Booth

"If your faith can't be tested, it can't be trusted."

"When filled with holy truth the mind rests." - C.H. Spurgeon

"If we look carefully within ourselves, we shall find that there are

certain limits beyond which we refuse to go in offering ourselves to

God. We hover around these reservations, making believe not to

see them, for fear of self-reproach. The more we shrink from giving

up any such reserved point, the more certain it is that it needs to

be given up. If we were not fast bound by it, we should not make

so many efforts to persuade ourselves that we are free."

- François Fénelon

"Is what you're living for worth Christ's dying for?"

- Epitaph of Leonard Ravenhill

"One life to live

and soon it will be past.

Only things done for Christ

will ever truly last." - unknown

"Some people complain that God placed thorns on roses, while

others praise him for putting roses among thorns." - unknown

"Actors speak of things imaginary as if they were real, while you

preachers too often speak of things real as if they were imaginary."

- Thomas Betterton

"Pray hardest when it is hardest to pray." - Charles H. Brent

"Don't be afraid of tomorrow -- God is already there." - unknown

"Your character is who you are when no one but God is watching you."

- unknown

"The Sunday morning service shows how popular your church is.

The evening services show how popular your pastor is.

Your private prayer time shows you how popular God is!"

- Leonard Ravenhill

"And When I am dying,

how happy I'll be,

If the lamp of my life

has been burned out for Thee."

- Author Unknown

"The men that will change the colleges and seminaries here

represented are the men that will spend the most time alone with

God. It takes time for the fires to burn. It takes time for God to

draw near and for us to know that He is there. It takes time to

assimilate His truth. You ask me, How much time? I do not know.

I know it means time enough to forget time." - John Mott

"When thou prayest, rather let thy heart be without words, than

thy words without a heart." - John Bunyan

--

Saturday, July 26, 2008

REFUTING THE HERETICS

Refuting the Heretics (Web sites that attack the pretribulation rapture)

Here are a few bible quotes about heretics, false prophets, and those who depart from the faith, and what we are to do about them. This is important because some foolishly refuse to believe that it is possible to fall into error, or that it is impossible for them.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Matt 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many .

Matt 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
The verse in Matt 24:24 is sometimes used to say that it is impossible for the elect to be deceived. But note, it does not give the reason why the elect cannot be deceived. Perhaps the reason it will be impossible to deceive the elect at that time is because the elect will have been raptured, and made incorruptable (1 Cor 15). But right now, all of the elect who are not dead, are still corruptable, and still open to deception. If we, the elect, could not be deceived now, then why would Jesus even bother to warn us about false prophets at all?
2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 Pet 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
2 Pet 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.





Next, we ought to be ready to explain why we believe what we believe when people ask, giving them reasons.

1 Pet 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
And we ought to judge, try, and test to see whether other people are false prophets or not. This is important because many are afraid to judge, but we are commanded to judge and "try the spirits".
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1 Corinthians 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
The oft-quoted passage about not judging applies to hypocrites, not the righteous. When we know truth, we are commanded to judge and help the other to see more clearly.
Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Mat 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Mat 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Mat 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Mat 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
It is utter hypocracy to say "Don't judge me, because judging is wrong." Obviously, the one who says that is judging the other person, too. Therefore, most certainly, the Bible does not teach us that "judging is wrong". Romans 14 is also often used to justify not following the commands to judge.
Romans 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
This does not say that "judging is wrong", rather it says that we are unable and unqualified to judge certain things (and this has no application whatsoever to judging false prophecy and trying the spirits, which we are commanded to judge). Romans14:4 applies to "doubtful disputations", see Romans 14:1. In context of the whole chapter, Christians have freedom do act according to our conscience, as led by the Holy Spirit, and this is supported elsewhere as well. Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12 make it clear that not all Christians are given gifts to do each kind of work, and we are not to judge whether someone should be a preacher, or evangelist, or teacher, or healer, or exercise some other gift for the body of Christ.
Judging in righteousness is difficult. It takes wisdom, discernment, experience, and exercise to detect whether someone is teaching something evil.

Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Yes, we should be able to discern between good and evil, and able to identify false prophets, trying the spirits, giving reasons for our hope, showing our brothers how to cast the mote out of their eyes, judging righteous judgment.




Next, the Bible tells us what we are to do when we finally are able to discover and identify the heretics, the false prophets. We are to fight them (not physically, but with words), rebuke them, reject them, and set them straight with sound teaching.

Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick [141 hairetikos] after thefirst and second admonition reject;
Strong's: 141 hairetikos {hahee-ret-ee-kos'}
from the same as 140; TDNT - 1:184,27; adj
AV - that is a heretic 1; 1
1) fitted or able to take or choose a thing
2) schismatic, factious, a follower of a false doctrine
3) heretic
Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;



Many people erroneously think that someone who is rebuking another does so only out of hate, as they misidentify those who do the rebuking as having a spirit of hate. However, the Bible is clear that to avoid rebuking is to avoid loving, and that those who love will rebuke.

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Proverbs 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
Proverbs 27:5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.



Next, rebuking another often involves name-calling, shaming and embarrassing the other one when exposing his error, often offending him in the process. And yes, it is certainly Biblical to do so.

REPROVE 1651 elegcho {el-eng'-kho}
of uncertain affinity; TDNT - 2:473,221; v
AV - reprove 6, rebuke 5, convince 4, tell (one's) fault 1, convict 1; 17
1) to convict, refute, confute 1a) generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted 1b) by conviction to bring to the light, to expose 2) to find fault with, correct 2a) by word 2a1) to reprehend severely, chide, admonish, reprove 2a2) to call to account, show one his fault, demand an explanation 2b) by deed 2b1) to chasten, to punish

REBUKE
2008 epitimao {ep-ee-tee-mah'-o}
from 1909 and 5091; TDNT - 2:623,249; v
AV - rebuke 24, charge 4, straightly charge 1; 29
1) to show honour to, to honour 2) to raise the price of 3) to adjudge, award, in the sense of merited penalty 4) to tax with fault, rate, chide, rebuke, reprove, censure severely 4a) to admonish or charge sharply

Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites and murderers in Matt 23.
Peter called the people murderers in Acts 2.
Stephen called the Pharisees hard-hearted murderers in Acts 7.





Teaching, (and contending for the faith, rebuking error & refuting heresy), brings in unity, and keeps us from being deceived by false doctrine.
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;



Finally, what is the purpose of the heretics (followers of false doctrine)? To help make the truth known (manifest) by comparison!
1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
I have found that discussing prophecy with those who disagree is the best way to reveal truth. Somebody will certainly learn something!
Agape
Zelma

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More Great Quotes

More GREAT QUOTES
-Sermonindex.net

"The shortest distance between a problem and the solution is the
distance between your knees and the floor." - Anonymous

"In the Irish Revival of 1859, people became so weak that they
could not get back to their homes. Men and women would fall by
the wayside and would be found hours later pleading with God to
save their souls. They felt that they were slipping into hell and that
nothing else in life mattered but to get right with God... To them
eternity meant everything. Nothing else was of any consequence.
They felt that if God did not have mercy on them and save them,
they were doomed for all time to come." - Oswald J. Smith

"As a Christian, I am responsible for the furniture of my mind."
- Frank E. Gaebelein

"Holiness is an impossiblity - without the Holy Spirit." - Anonymous

"It is no sin to doubt some things but it may be fatal to believe
everything." - A.W. Tozer.

"A baptism of holiness, a demonstration of godly living is the
crying need of our day." - Duncan Campbell

"It shall greatly help thee to understand Scripture if thou markest
not only what is spoken or written
- but of whom
- and to whom
- with what words
- at what time
- where
- to what intent
- with what circumstances
- considering what goeth before
- and what followeth."
- John Wycliffe

"Oh, If only once we could be convinced of God's goodness
towards His children and of His desire to reveal Himself to them!
We would no longer seek out own selfish desires. We would not
be so quickly discouraged from pursuing what He is so long to
give us:
Romans 8:32 (kjv) - He who spared not His own Son, but delivered
Him up for us all, how shall He not, with Him, also freely give us all
things?
We only need a little courage and perseverance. Actually, we have
enough of both in our earthly affairs, but none at all in the only
thing that really matters (Luke 10:42)." - Jeanne Guyon

"God can gift people, but it is something else when a man is in
favour with God; when God can say 'For this man's sake, I will
not judge this city or will show favour to this church.'" - Greg Gordon

"In every generation the number of the righteous is small. Be sure
you are among them." - A. W. Tozer

"It is necessary that our sharpest trials should sometimes spring
from our dearest comforts, else we should be in danger of
forgetting ourselves and setting up our rest here." - John Newton

"Live in Christ and the flesh need not fear death." - John Knox

"Grace in the soul is heaven in that soul." - Matthew Henry

"God's choice acquaintances are humble men." - Robert Leighton

Friday, July 18, 2008

JESUS SAID " LEARN OF ME"

"Jesus said learn of me"

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls".

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.Matt11:29,30. I think for
me there is a sense of relief that Jesus actually said that we could take his
yoke upon us. I also think that there is comfort and joy-assurance that
everything is going to be all right. There is no baggage in Jesus's yoke for us. It
is liberating and free. Jesus then says "learn of me"which of course will take
all eternity, but I did make a personal observation in my walk with God. True
sanctification only takes place when I am learning about Jesus Christ. After
all, He is the person that saved me and I will be spending all eternity with
him. It is refreshing to take a new look at Jesus Christ every day. Let me
just say at this point that it is the Holy Spirit's role to point us to Jesus
Christ. John 15:26. Even a glimpse of our Savior is worth it. Zaccheus wanted to
see Jesus. His zeal to listen to his hurting heart in his love for Jesus got
him a front row seat to actually have lunch with the Son of Man. After his zeal
and intimacy with Jesus he just wanted to repent and get right with God and
his fellow men. In other words there was room for only one thing after his zeal
and intimacy with Jesus and that was getting right with God. Zaccheus found a
treasure in the midst of all his sin in the person of Jesus Christ. "For I am
meek and lowly in heart. Jesus is king of kings and Lord of Lords,
Rev.19:16;however,the Bible says His heart is meek and lowly. Matt.11:29. This tells me
I can go to Jesus and talk to him. I believe this is hard for the average
Christian to discover and to take this a little further I do not believe it comes
natural to the child of God. Just read the Gospels of Matthew,Mark,Luke and
John. Jesus Christ had a very open spirit even to his enemies and He was very
approachable. I know there is a theology that when Jesus walked the earth the
Jewish people rejected Him but I want you to think about something. As I read
the accounts, only a handful of high-powered Jewish Pharisees hated him because
they felt threatened. The average Jewish people flocked around him. When Jesus
walked into a town he never had to drum up a crowd. People were just
naturally attracted to Him because they never heard anyone speak with such authority
yet with meekness. As children of the living God our reward is knowing Jesus
Christ. After all if somebody is meek and lowly don't you want to get to know
them? I know I am just a little curious as to who this person is. I was once at
a mini Bible conference and the speaker was good but I was even more impressed
with his character. He was meek and lowly with a soft spoken voice. When he
answered a question it was always in a soft spoken respectful manner. He put
you first. So our family and friend were gathered around him and you could just
see one person just prodding the other person "are you going to ask him a
question? You can go, I have already asked my question. What I am trying to say is
we all wanted to be around him-why? Because he knew the Bible and he was meek
and lowly in his heart. Can you imagine being around Jesus? " And ye shall
find rest unto your souls".If we love Jesus and we are not close to him I think
there is a sense of fear and anxiety and we cannot always put our finger on
it. Jesus did not say you might find rest for your souls, He said you will find
rest for your souls. Why? Because Jesus's yoke is light. Learning of him is
reassuring. Recognizing and realizing that Jesus is meek and lowly will always
leave you resting in your compassionate Savior. He loves us and wants to show
us. He wants to comfort us with His gentleness. Anytime we have true fellowship
with God or our brothers and sisters we will always have to meet in a place
called gentleness. I am talking about true genuine authentic fellowship. If
people want to conduct themselves in a tough way and set other people straight
there can be a mental understanding and maybe emotional fear but we cannot meet
there for true Godly fellowship. This is why Jesus wants us to understand that
he is meek and lowly of heart. This is where he wants to make His connection
with us. If we see He is meek we are going to be meek. Did you ever notice a
child that loves His Father wants to be like him? The meek shall eat and be
satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: Your heart shall live
forever. Psalm 22:26.

Of course if anybody loves God they ought to allow the Holy Spirit to
speak to him through the Bible. If God sees we have a sincere heart (open to
him), His love will become manifested in our hearts.(John14:2).God's love is
comforting. The fellowship of the Spirit is bond-like. We will start to become
more merciful towards others.(Phil2:1). We will be able to walk in love and God
will see this as a sweet smelling savor (Eph5:2). We will understand that
there is no darkness in God because He is the light of the world.1John1:5.

"For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Did you ever notice that
we have such heavy burdens in life that are just so much bigger than us?
Jesus says that He is our Father and He is available to take our burdens as we go
through our problems. The weight of the world is heavy. The compassion of our
loving Savior is light because he wants to commune with us. The answer to our
problems in this world is through the warmth of our loving Savior, Jesus
Christ. Give yourself a chance. Allow the Holy Spirit to open your heart to the
person of Jesus Christ. We can pursue no higher purpose than this.

God Bless Bob D of Pa

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

JUDGE NOT

'Some people!' snorted a man standing behind me in the long line at the grocery store.

'You would think the manager would pay attention and open another line, 'said a woman. I looked to the front of the line to see what the hold up was and saw a well dressed, young woman, trying to get the machine to accept her credit card. No matter how many times she swiped it, the machine kept rejecting it.

'It's one of them welfare card things. Damn people need to get a job like everyone else,' said the man standing behind me. The young woman turned around to see who had made the comment. 'It was me,' he said, pointing to himself.

The young lady's face began to change expression. Almost in tears, she dropped the welfare card onto the counter and quickly walked out of the store. Everyone in the checkout line watched as she began running to her car. Never looking back, she got in and drove away.

After developing cancer in 1977 and having had to use food stamps; I had learned never to judge anyone, without knowing the circumstances of their life. This turned out to be the case today.

Several minutes later a young man walked into the store. He went up to the cashier and asked if she had seen the woman. After describing her, the cashier told him that she had run out of the store, got into her car, and drove away.

'Why would she do that?' asked the man. Everyone in the line looked around at the fellow who had made the statement. 'I made a stupid comment about the welfare card she was using. Something I shouldn't have said. I'm sorry,' said the man.

'Well, that's bad, real bad, in fact. Her brother was killed in Afghanistan two years ago. He had three young children and she has taken on that responsibility. She's twenty years old, single, and now has three children to support,' he said in a very firm voice.

'I'm really truly sorry. I didn't know,' he replied, shaking both his hands about.

The young man asked, 'Are these paid for?' pointing to the shopping cart full of groceries. 'It wouldn't take her card,' the clerk told him.

'Do you know where she lives?' asked the man who had made the comment.

'Yes, she goes to our church.'

'Excuse me,' he said as he made his way to the front of the line. He pulled out his wallet, took out his credit card and told the cashier, 'Please use my card. PLEASE!' The clerk took his credit card and began to ring up the young woman's groceries.

Hold on,' said the gentleman. He walked back to his shopping cart and began loading his own groceries onto the belt to be included. 'Come on people. We got three kids to help raise!' he told everyone in line. Everyone began to place their groceries onto the fast
moving belt. A few customers began bagging the food and placing it into separate carts. 'Go back and get two big turkeys,' yelled a heavyset woman, as she looked at the man. 'NO,' yelled the man. Everyone stopped dead in their tracks. The entire store became
quiet for several seconds. 'Four turkeys,' yelled the man. Everyone began laughing and went back to work. When all was said and done, the man paid a total of $1,646.57 for the groceries. He then walked over to the side, pulled out his check book, and began
writing a check using the bags of dog food piled near the front of the store for a writing surface. He turned around and handed the check to the young man. 'She will need a freezer and a few other things as well,' he told the man.

The young man looked at the check and said, 'This is really very generous of you.'

'No,' said the man. 'Her brother was the generous one.'

Everyone in the store had been observing the odd commotion and began to clap. And I drove home that day feeling very American.

We live in the Land of the free, because of the Brave!!! Remember our Troops of Yesterday and Today!!! A great example of why we should be kind and patient.
Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear. May God's many blessings continue to be with you - ALWAYS!tnjbkar

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thank Him For The Thorns

Sandra felt as low as the heels of her Birkenstocks when she pulled open
the florist shop door, against a November gust of wind. Her life had
been as sweet as a spring breeze and then, in the fourth month of her
second pregnancy, a "minor" automobile accident stole her joy. This was
Thanksgiving week and the time she should have delivered their infant
son. She grieved over their loss. Troubles had multiplied. Her husband's
company "threatened" to transfer his job to a new location.

Her sister had called to say that she could not come for her long
awaited holiday visit. What's worse, Sandra's friend suggested that
Sandra's grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to
empathize with others who suffer. "She has no idea what I'm feeling,"
thought Sandra with a shudder. "Thanksgiving? Thankful for what?" she
wondered. "For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when
he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved her life, but took her
child's?"

"Good afternoon, can I help you?" Sandra was startled by the approach of
the shop clerk.

"I.... I need an arrangement, " stammered Sandra.

"For Thanksgiving? Do you want the beautiful but ordinary, or would you
like to challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the
'Thanksgiving Special'? I'm convinced that flowers tell stories," she
continued. "Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this
Thanksgiving? "

"Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months, everything
that could go wrong has gone wrong." Sandra regretted her outburst, and
was surprised when the clerk said, "I have the perfect arrangement for
you."

Then the bell on the door rang, and the clerk greeted the new customer,
"Hi, Barbara...let me get your order." She excused herself and walked
back to a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an
arrangement of greenery, bows, and what appeared to be long-stemmed
thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped:
there were no flowers.

"Do you want these in a box?" asked the clerk. Sandra watched for the
customer's response. Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no
flowers! She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed. "Yes,
please," Barbara replied with an appreciative smile. "You'd think after
three years of getting the special, I wouldn't be so moved by its
significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again." She said,
as she gently tapped her chest.

Sandra stammered, "Ah, that lady just left with, uh.... she left with no
flowers!"

"That's right, said the clerk. "I cut off the flowers. That's the
'Special'. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet."

"Oh, come on! You can't tell me someone is willing to pay for that!"
exclaimed Sandra.

"Barbara came into the shop three years ago, feeling much as you do,
today," explained the clerk. "She thought she had very little to be
thankful for. She had just lost her father to cancer; the family
business was failing; her son had gotten into drugs; and she was facing
major surgery."

"That same year I had lost my husband," continued the clerk. "For
the first time in my life, I had to spend the holidays alone. I had no
children, no husband, no family nearby, and too much debt to allow any
travel."

"So what did you do?" asked Sandra.

"I learned to be thankful for thorns," answered the clerk quietly.
I've always thanked God for the good things in my life and I NEVER questioned
Him why those GOOD things happened to me, but when the bad stuff hit, I
cried out, "WHY? WHY Me?!" It took time for me to learn that the dark
times are important to our faith! I have always enjoyed the 'flowers' of
my life, but it took the thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort!
You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and
from His consolation we learn to comfort others."

Sandra sucked in her breath, as she thought about the thought that her
friend had tried to tell her. "I guess the truth is, I don't want
comfort. I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God."

Just then someone else walked in the shop. "Hey, Phil!" the clerk
greeted the balding, rotund man.. "My wife sent me in to get our usual
Thanksgiving arrangement. .. twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems!" laughed
Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue wrapped arrangement from the
refrigerator.

"Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do you mind
telling me why she wants a bouquet that looks like that?"

"No.... I'm glad you asked," Phil replied. "Four years ago, my wife and I
nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the
Lord's grace and guidance, we trudged through problem after problem. The
Lord rescued our marriage. Jenny, here (the clerk) told me she kept a
vase of rose stems to remind her of what she had learned from "thorny"
times. That was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems. My
wife and I decided to label each one for a specific "problem" and give
thanks for what that problem taught us." As Phil paid the clerk, he said
to Sandra, "I highly recommend the Special!"

"I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life.." Sandra
said to the clerk. "It's all too... fresh."

"Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me that
the thorns make the roses more precious. We treasure God's providential
care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember that it was a
crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love. Don't resent
the thorns."

Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the
accident, she loosened her grip on her resentment.. "I'll take those
twelve long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke out.
"I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them ready in
a minute."

"Thank you. What do I owe you?"

"Nothing. Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The
first year's arrangement is always on me." The clerk smiled and handed a
card to Sandra. "I'll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe
you would like to read it first."

It read: My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked
You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach
me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show
me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain. Show me
that, through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more
brilliant."

Praise Him for the roses; thank Him for the thorns.

A QUIET SPIRIT THROUGH LOUD CIRCUMSTANCES

Title---'A Quiet Spirit Through Loud Circumstances"

As I went before God so He could give me a message for the day I started to
go into a subject that He just did not want me to get into. I was wondering
why my thoughts were cluttered, the words just did not seem to flow and my
spirit was not being renewed in Him. Sometimes I think when we try and push a
subject it is like shoving a rock off of a mountain. We see the rock but when it
falls we no longer observe it. Remember that verse in 2 Corinthians 3:6
..."not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit
giveth life." For me at least this is the way it works. Pushing would be the
letter of the law. Allowing God to show me would be the Spirit of God. If we
push something and God is not behind it our efforts will lead to flesh. I am
saying all of that to say this, if we want a quiet spirit through loud
circumstances we have to let God show us whatever He so chooses in His timing. Jesus
said..." A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from Heaven."
John 3:27. It was almost as if God was telling me that when He lays a subject on
my heart then He will bless it. Proverbs 15:23 says..." And a word spoken
in due season, how good it is." There are many ways that we can identify a
true friend. If they are trying to speak a good word at the proper time for the
purpose of edifying you then they are a true friend. The Bible says that
Jesus is our friend. "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth
not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends: for all things that
I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." John 15:15. God wants
to speak to us with words spoken in due season, not a word that we are trying
to push or promote. The Holy Spirit makes alive what we are reading, then we
can truly say we just received something from God. If He does not all we
have is the letter of the law. Grace comes alive through the Holy Spirit as we
accept our circumstances (no matter how bad they are) and yield to God's love
covering of our minds and hearts, especially through a timely word that is like
poetry for the soul. By accepting our circumstances I am not saying that we
should not engage in some sort of action or reconciliation if needed. I am
stating that there has to be some kind of settling in our hearts as to where we
are in life. Otherwise we will never have a quiet spirit through loud
circumstances. Our mind, will and emotions long for God's love and peace but we tend
to get in the way because of our problems. There are some circumstances and
things in this world that I will never accept in my flesh but unless I allow
the Spirit of God to work through me, those bad things will probably become
worse.

Many people have heard the motto "You do not want to eat day old Manna." For
those of you not familiar with that phrase this is what it means. God gave
me a word for Monday, now it is Tuesday and we are trying to get the same word
from God that He gave us yesterday. I believe in my case as I approached this
subject it was not day old Manna, it was Manna that was not yet meant to be
digested, if ever. The Holy Spirit knows exactly when to illuminate God's
precious truths to us. He always has a timely word. We just have to be in tune
with our spirits as to what God is saying and where He wants us to go. When
God will reveal this is up to Him. Do not be frustrated by the "when," just be
confident that God will speak to us. This will go a long way in acquiring a
quiet spirit through loud circumstances. Why? Because He is faithful and
will always come through in His perfect timing and show us an aspect of Himself
that will be perfect for us at the moment. Tomorrow is a different day. The
value of Monday's message may not be applicable for Tuesday. God is not going
to keep showing us the same thing over and over again because He is so much
bigger than this. Why doesn't everyone look or act the same? Because God is
too big for that. There are stars in the universe that we are not even aware
of, yet God sees us as individuals with problems and is willing to get down to
our level in the midst of His infinite nature and shows us His compassion.

In my personal Bible study I ask God to speak to me through His Word, quiet
my spirit or give me insight on a particular dilemma. Every time that I try to
crank it up as it were, God just seems to remain silent. This example would
not apply to everyone because people have different personalities that
naturally express themselves in a sanguine form (a happy go with the flow demeanor
that is usually outgoing) to give God the glory. I on the other hand always
get in the way when I approach God this way and as a result by the time I get
finished all that I have is me. I originally came to God so that He could renew
my spirit in Him. When God does this I have a serene spirit in Him through
loud circumstances. I had enough of me and wanted more of Him. Sometimes we
have great intentions but the results are disastrous. In my younger days as a
Christian when it came to speakers, Bible commentaries or books I used to go
everywhere and anywhere. This just simply was not working for me. What I am
about to say will be more difficult for some than others to apply but for me
personally I do not even want to go unless the Holy Spirit is introducing me to
someone or something. Just so that you do not misunderstand please allow me
to give you an example. If I am listening to a preacher and let us just say he
is one hundred percent right in letter and spirit but if that minister is
not where I am in life, there is no sense in me pushing the whole thing. Did
you ever notice in life that we are either drawn or we are not? We are all
coming from different backgrounds and are going to different places.
Understanding this will go a long way so that God can restore our anxious spirit and
replace it with His loving, supernatural peace that will give us Godly contentment.
Please be careful as to where you go or should I say be careful where you
stay because God is trying to build something in our lives that will reflect His
perfect glory. If you feel alienated where you are, that loneliness will
drag you down rather than pick you up. You may have the letter of the Word but
it will be difficult to be guided by the Spirit of God. God desires both the
letter and the comforting guidance of the Holy Spirit of God in our lives.

What about bad circumstances that we just cannot change in our lives? You
may be in a church fellowship that you just do not like but for various reasons
you just cannot leave. Maybe you have a thorn in your life and it is always
lingering over your head or it could even be a stronghold in your life that has
entangled your emotions that is just consumes your very essence. Sometimes
in a manner of speaking we are frozen in our emotions unless God's stream of
living water is flowing through us. It is only at this point that a quiet,
content spirit in the midst of a loud world will enable us to experience true
freedom in Jesus Christ. Frequently because of these ordeals we often feel
alienated, alone, depressed or even hopeless. I wish that I had known most of these
lessons earlier in my life but you know as well as I do that you cannot put
old heads on young shoulders. Just as we have to go through winter to get to
spring, I think it is inevitable that we go from immaturity to maturity. God
has His ways of working this into our lives. This is all a part of God's plan
so that we can see His grace through Jesus Christ, our Lord. We go through
the suffering and the hardship and then we start to trust God.

When we build something we need the proper tools, right? Well, it is the
same thing when we are going through trials. We need to know how to navigate
through it. When we walk right, God can proclaim His excellence in our lives
because we have faith in Him. I also believe that there has to be a decision or
determination inside of us to make peace with the world; however, you have to
understand what I mean by this. Of course as Christians, we are in the world
but we are not of the world. For example if we see something in front of us
and it is not of God we should not even get into it. This is easier said than
done because I have found as people we are highly influenced by what we see or
hear. It just does not seem fair that God would give us a brand new life in
Jesus Christ and at the same time we have all of these temptations around us
to lure us away from God. Well, you know God never said life was fair. He
just gave us His Word so we would be equipped to deal and respond to all of these
Madison Avenue baits that are thrown our way. Please remember this. If it
is not of God it is going to hurt us. You may not feel the influence of bad
spiritual choices right away but the "Bill is coming in the Mail." When I was
growing up I did not know there were bills to pay nor did I even care. I saw
it, I wanted it and I bought it. End of story. I did not want to hear
anything else. I still sometimes fall into that exact same rut. Jesus says "Abide
in Me and I in you."....John 15:4, or there is the verse that says " The Lord
is my Shepherd, I shall not want." Psalm 23:1. What I mean by making our
peace with the world is that I think we have to see the forest for the trees. We
need to see the bigger picture. We have been rejected, harmed, abused and
placed in fearful situations. People tend to say things like "You know it did
not happen to him, it happened to me," or "I am the one going through this." We
tend to internalize this because that is just the way that we are. We take
it personal. As I look back on my life that was my first hand experience to
bad circumstances that affected me. I am still struggling with this but let me
ask you a question. Do you really think that it is the job of life to be
fair? I think we are a little naive if we try to compromise or cut a deal with
life by inwardly or even outwardly expecting fairness. It might happen and it
is certainly my prayer that people by and large can get some breaks if you
know what I mean but it is not the job of life to be fair. I think one of the
problems that we face is sometimes people tend to look towards the world for
love even though it is cold by nature. Sure there are decent persons on this
planet but I think by and large there is not really this connection in life that
people are a neighbor to the other person. If anything, there is a
disconnection and the world sees this as normal. If you look to the world or life in
general for fairness, more than likely you have been hurt in one way or another.
God through His Son, Jesus Christ is the very manifestation of perfect love.
Only He can give us what we truly need or desire. You would think that most
Christians would catch on to this but there is something inside of us that
demands fairness. We are usually secretly defiant when we see something that is
not right but sometimes this manifests itself in the outward realm of life.
Some persons are so low on the Totem Pole that all they can do is accept it or
become fearful, perhaps even bitter.

I suppose we can either look at God in light of our circumstances. That is a
bad idea because we will project all of our problems on God. Or we can look
at our circumstances in light of God, which is a better idea because even
though deep down we understand that life is indiscriminate we are acknowledging
God's Sovereignty in our lives. Most people approach God the first way but it
is when we look at God the second way (looking at our circumstances in light of
God) that we will be able to live above our circumstances. The first
approach will have a cause and effect relationship. The effect is that we will live
under our circumstances. This will crush us because it is too heavy. God
never intended for us to carry this burden. He wants to carry it. The second
approach I believe will give us a sense of Godly peace because what we are
really saying is "God as I look at you, please give me your strength in the midst
of this and that." Looking at our circumstances in light of God is a faith
challenge that will stretch us. It will have positive results. Some people may
have to reverse their minds one hundred and eighty degrees to do this. I am
not saying that our problems will be solved overnight even with this approach.
I am stating that God's perfection will start to work within us in the midst
of an unfair and imperfect world.

I guess what I am trying to convey is that we have to pray to God that He
will bring us to a point where we will accept that life is not fair. I think I
struggle with this point but I realize that as children of God we can only
arrive at this issue through the gentle guidence of the Holy Spirit. If we try to
go there ourselves we will fight rather than rest in God's power.

Were you ever in a crowd and you just saw somebody from a distance and they
were at peace with themselves? It is rare but if you have an eye for this, you
can spot them a mile away. It is almost as if the war from within has been
settled and they are just living their life resigned to the unfairness that
they have been through. You might see it in a person or two but you will have to
look very hard. As I observe people in crowds, I see for the most part a
cordial way to a point but I also spot a lot of resistance. It is the minority
not the majority that have true peace in Jesus Christ. " Mark the perfect man,
and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace." Psalm 37:37.

Once I was talking to a person. He was not a Believer. A Believer is
someone that acknowledges that they have sinned before God, realize they could not
save themselves and accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts as their very own
personal Savior. When anyone does this, God will give them a brand new life in
Jesus Christ. This is a wonderful decision for anyone to make because
eternal life is only found through Jesus Christ. John 3:16. Can you imagine the
joy of spending eternity with Jesus Christ? Anyway, some of my bad
circumstances came up in the conversation and he said "it is what it is." I thought to
myself that was kind of a dry way to respond but in thinking back to what he had
said, he was correct. It is what it is and you know first hand that many of
our circumstances are in embryo. We just cannot do anything to change them.
You have heard the old saying "it is in God's hands now." Well, actually it
never left God's omnipotent Sovereignty. We just felt the weight of what we
were going through. Some people might be saying that our circumstances should
not weigh us down but it is going to happen because we are human. " Wherein ye
greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be ye are in heaviness
through manifold temptations." First Peter 1:6. What we are going through might
weigh a lot but it does not have to crush us because God will carry our
problems as we allow Jesus to give us His yoke which takes the pressure off of us
and puts it on Him. If we never had heaviness would we ever lean on God? By the
way, there is a way to do this. In Phillippians 4: 6,7 it says " Be careful
for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known unto God, " Asking for Godly counsel or making
sound decisions are one thing. Being careful for something (anxious) is
entirely different. Persons tend to overlap the two into one. God does not want
us being barraged with a careful anxious mentality for something or everything
because He knows we will have to carry this. God did not intend for us to be
burdened down with the destructive circumstances of this world. Or maybe I
should say that when it does happen there is a way to properly deal with it.
Being anxious for something is hanging onto a relationship that does not have
anything to do with God. It will harm us. This is not a burden that God
intended for us to carry. This passage is actually saying that if we are careful
for something we really should not even go into prayer because that would be us
holding on to our circumstances. By letting go we pray for everything (as
opposed to worrying) with supplication (acknowledging God as supreme in our
lives) with thanksgiving (realizing that God is Sovereign) with requests (asking
God for something that mean a lot to us). God promises us peace which we will
not even understand and it will guard our hearts and minds against the fear and
anxiety that intrudes upon our soul.

Do you have loud circumstances in your life? Maybe you feel they are
overwhelming or you just simply do not have any control and feel helpless. Please
think about this. We serve a good God who wants to give us His peace and give
us closure through His love but not necessarily closure through our
circumstances. This does not always happen. As I look at my life, I approached many
things wrong and as a result anxiety was the outcome rather than God's peace. I
would like you to consider trying something. When loud, hard, unfair
circumstances surround you, determine to have a quiet spirit about the whole thing.
Believe me, I know this is easier said than done. But if you can resign
yourself to the fact that you may not be able to change what happened, no matter how
bad it is through a serene accepting spirit, God will be in a position to
surround and guard your heart and mind with His peace. Being anxious and jumping
all over the place is just going to make whatever you are going through even
worse.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because
he trusteth in Thee." Isaiah 26:3. I think it is interesting that the prophet
addresses God's peace as perfect. According to this verse if a person truly
has their mind on God, they are trusting in Him. When God's perfect peace
replaces our loud circumstances, the balm of healing takes place in our lives and
we are able to rest in Him.

May God's peace guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Bob D. From Pennsylvania

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More Great Quotes

More GREAT QUOTES -SermonIndex.net

"The weakness of so many modern Christians is that they feel too much at home in the world. In their effort to achieve restful adjustment to unregenerate society they have lost their pilgrim character and become an essential part of the verymoral order against which they are sent to protest. The world recognizes them and accepts them for what they are. And this is the saddest thing that can be said about them. They are not lonely, but neither are they saints." - A.W. Tozer

"it is more important that God be glorified then that I be saved!" A.W Tozer

A foolish physician he is, and a most unfaithful friend, that will let a sick man die for fear of troubling him; and cruel wretches are we to our friends, that will rather suffer them to go quietly to hell, then we will anger them, or hazard our reputation with them. -Baxter, Richard

We need more speaking to God about men, than speaking to men about God. -Mother Cobb

Consider this, Christian: that all your trialsand troubles, calamities and miseries, crossesand losses which you meet in this world are allthe hell you shall ever have!! THOMAS BROOKS

Only when we are captured by an overwhelming sense of awe and reverence in the presence of God, will we begin to worship God in spirit and in truth." - Alistair Begg

John Wesley one day walked to his mother and asked: "Mum, define sin for me". Her aswer was this: "Whatever weakens your reasoning, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes away your relish for spiritual things, in short, if anything increases the authority of the flesh over the spirit, that to you becomes sin, however good it is in itself."

"It is not difficult to say what it is that hardens the hearts. The seed sown by the wayside could not enter the soil because it had been trodden down by the passersby. When the world, with its business and its intrests, has at all times a free passage, the heart loses its tenderness." -Andrew Murray, from the book "The Holiest of All"

Nothing so effectually hinders hearing God's voice as opening the heart too much to other voices. A heart too deeply interested in the news, the literature, and the society of this world cannot hear the devine voice. It needs stillness, retirement, and concentration to give God the heed He claims. -Andrew Murray, From the book "The Holiest of All"

"When alone with God, be alone with Him" -Samuel Chadwick

"There are blessing of The Kingdom that are only yielded to the violence of the vehement soul" -Samuel Chadwick

Great Ravenhill Quotes

Great RAVENHILL QUOTES
-Leonard Ravenhill.

“A popular evangelist reaches your emotions. A true prophet
reaches your conscience.”

“The last words of Jesus to the church (in Revelation) were ‘Repent!’”

“A true shepherd leads the way. He does not merely point the way.”

“Your doctrine can be as straight as a gun barrel—and just as empty!”

“John the Baptist never performed any miracles. Yet, he was greater
than any of the Old Testament prophets.”

“I doubt that more than two percent of professing Christians in the
United States are truly born again.”

“Our God is a consuming fire. He consumes pride, lust, materialism,
and other sin.”

“There are only two kinds of persons: those dead in sin and those dead to sin.”

[Concerning the darkness that has enveloped most of Christendom:]
“When you’re sitting in a dark room, you can either sit and curse the
darkness—or you can light a candle.”

“Children can tell you what Channel 7 says, but not what Matthew 7 says.”

“Some women will spend thirty minutes to an hour preparing for
church externally (putting on special clothes and makeup, etc.).
What would happen if we all spent the same amount of time
preparing internally for church—with prayer and meditation?”

“Maturity comes from obedience, not necessarily from age.”

“What good does it do to speak in tongues on Sunday if you have
been using your tongue during the week to curse and gossip?”

“The only time you can really say that ‘Christ is all I need,’ is when
Christ is all you have.”

“The Bible is either absolute, or it’s obsolete.”

“Why do we expect to be better treated in this world than Jesus was?”

“Today’s church wants to be raptured from responsibility.”

“Testimonies are wonderful. But, so often our lives don’t fit our testimonies.”

[Concerning one of the new “movements” in the church that was
causing a stir among Christians:] “There’s also a stir when the
circus comes to town.”

“My main ambition in life is to be on the Devil’s most wanted list.”

“You can’t develop character by reading books. You develop it from conflict.”

“When there’s something in the Bible that churches don’t like,
they call it ‘legalism.’”

“We can’t serve God by proxy.”

“We must do what we can do for God, before He will give us the
power to do what we can’t do.”

“There’s a difference between changing your opinion, and changing
your lifestyle.”

“Our seminaries today are turning out dead men.”

“How can you pull down strongholds of Satan if you don’t even have
the strength to turn off your TV?”

“Everyone recognizes that Stephen was Spirit-filled when he was
performing wonders. Yet, he was just as Spirit-filled when he was
being stoned to death.”

“If a Christian is not having tribulation in the world, there’s
something wrong!”

[Concerning the fixation that today’s church has with numbers,
with growth at any price:] “The church has paid a terrible price for
statistics!”

“Any method of evangelism will work—if God is in it.”

“Church unity comes from corporate humility.”

“You can have all of your doctrines right—yet still not have the
presence of God.”

“Many pastors criticize me for taking the Gospel so seriously. But
do they really think that on Judgment Day, Christ will chastise me,
saying, ‘Leonard, you took Me too seriously’?”

“If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach
today, He would never have been crucified.”

“You can know a lot about the atonement, and yet receive no benefit from it.”

“If the whole church goes off into deception, that will in no way
excuse us for not following Christ.”

RAVENHILL's MOST POWERFUL BOOK - "Why Revival Tarries".

~SOURCE - http://www.scrollpublishing.com/store/Ravenhill.html