Thursday, 29 November 2007
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
This is a piece by a great Bible teacher I respect so much, Charles R. Swindoll. We must take serious look on the issue of integrity in our lives today, especially in the face of things crumbling right before our eyes in the church. The whole story is from his book: Charles R. Swindoll, “A Battle for Integrity,” Insights (March 2003): 1-2. Copyright © 2003. Read it all here
A Battle for Integrity
by Charles R. Swindoll
I must tell you that I have been troubled regarding the face of things in our country and within the family of God. My major battle has had to do with one word, one concept. My battle has to do with integrity.
In our nation—and in the church—there has been a falling away, a breakdown, and a compromise in integrity. Recent headlines have taught us that the boom of the 1990s was built on a foundation devoid of integrity. But compromise isn’t limited to CEOs who greedily sell out their employees or to pork-happy politicians. All too often we find a moral laxity behind our pews and, even worse, behind the pulpit.
Let me define what I mean by integrity. Webster’s tells us integrity means “an unimpaired condition.”1 It means to be sound. The Hebrew word for integrity, tom, also means to be complete or solid.
So he shepherded them according to the integrity [tom] of his heart,
And guided them with his skillful hands. (Psalm 78:72)
Integrity is completeness or soundness. You have integrity if you complete a job even when no one is looking. You have integrity if you keep your word even when no one checks up on you. You have integrity if you keep your promises. Integrity means the absence of duplicity and is the opposite of hypocrisy. If you are a person of integrity, you will do what you say. What you declare, you will do your best to be. Integrity also includes financial accountability, personal reliability, and private purity. A person with integrity does not manipulate others. He or she is not prone to arrogance or self-praise. Integrity even invites constructive and necessary criticism because it applauds accountability. It’s sound. It’s solid. It’s complete.
Integrity is rock-like. It won’t crack when it has to stand alone, and it won’t crumble though the pressure mounts. Integrity keeps one from fearing the white light of examination or resisting the exacting demands of close scrutiny. It’s honesty at all costs.
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
However, the main thing is not condemning anyone, but to start praying for ourselves. We must give heed to God's Word as our standard without making money and fame our focus in this life. I wonder how all the inconsistencies in their living enumerated here will be explained. It pays to live according to God's principles and mortify the flesh. I wish we as church leaders learn from all these.
Paula White & Randy to Divorce: Big Business Church to Blame?
|By Lynda Johnson |
Aug 27, 2007
Randy and Paula White were the founders and co-pastors of Without Walls International Church, one of the largest "mega Churches" in the country. They are divorcing and announced it to their congregation last week. Did the big business of the church cause the split of this couple?
Lillian Kwon of the Christian Post writes that he Whites preach a prosperity message and notes that critics say their message of prosperity were at the expense of humility and family values. "Too many ministries have become big business. That message is desecrating the church today," said Without Walls church board member Alick Clarke, adding that he was disturbed to learn that with revenues at $40 million last year, the church was $22 million in debt. "That's just not right."...
Read it all here!
and here and here
Friday, 23 November 2007
"Peter said, “We’ve left our homes to follow you.” “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, will be repaid many times over in this life, and will have eternal life in the world to come.”" (Luke 18:28-30)
Peter and the other disciples had paid a high price for following Christ. They even paid the ultimate price after Christ's ascension! Here Christ reminded Peter (and us) that following Him has its benefits as well as its sacrifices. Are you worried about what you have to give up in order to say yes to Christ? All of us has to pay this price at a point in our Christian walk, but take courage in the promise of the Master that their is always a short term and long term reward for every sacrifice you make. Trust the Master to deliver on His word. He's NEVER failed to do that!
Sunday, 18 November 2007
Friday, 16 November 2007
"........"Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?".................You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.' "Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy." Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth." (Mark 10:17-23)
He wanted to be sure. He needed assurance. He did not want to leave anything to chance. He wanted to know the barriers that may possibly keep him out of the Kingdom of God. He came wondering what he could do, but left seeing what he was unwilling to do, the barrier he is not yet ready to remove. his barrier was his love for money and material possession directly contravening the 1st commandment.
What is that barrier that is keeping you from completely turning your life over to Christ? Think about it this weekend.
Thursday, 15 November 2007
"“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”" (Mark 9:23 NLT)
"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." (Mark 9:23 KJV)
Christ's statement here does not mean that can automatically obtain anything we want if we just think positively. but this is a statement that once again buttresses the power, ability and willingness of God to overcome the obstacles in our lives when we put our trust and faith in Him. By faith, we can have EVERYTHING we need to serve God!
Tuesday, 13 November 2007
Lack of vision often results in loss of life. We see this illustrated in many ways in God’s creation. Some may prefer to call it instinct, but God has placed within the many species of His creation an instinct or vision to preserve their lives. We see it in the birds, as they begin their migration into warmer climates. Some God given instincts warn them to fly south, and if they do not do so, they could perish.
In the realm of the spiritual, we need a vision of what it means to be lost and without Christ in the world. We need to see lost sinners as those for whom Christ died. And we also need to see the power of God onto salvation to everyone that believes – that is, the power of God to save everyone who would believe in Christ’s sacrificial death on the Cross, and we need to let that vision motivate us to share the Good news of salvation that they might believe and be saved. God has made us His witnesses, and we have an awesome responsibility to tell people about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Lord, give us vision, lest we perish.
Tuesday, 6 November 2007
God created the universe as a play-pen for His people. What an amazing statement to make. Yet I believe with all my heart that the Bible leads us to this understanding. Some people think the Christian life is not fulfilling. Most people are so “me” focused that they think all of the Christian life should be all about them. But what about God? What about God’s story? What does God get out of saving us? How would we live life differently if we viewed suffering through God’s eyes?
God has been gracious and good to man from the beginning of time. This goodness is portrayed in God’s love letter – the Bible. The Bible is God’s love letter to you. When God was writing the Bible, He was thinking about you! The purpose of the Bible is revelation. We must understand that God’s perspective of our world is that our world is fallen. Although God is the glorious One. He planned to share His glorious world with man.
Thinking about the creation that God has made forces us to think of the powerful Creator behind it all. Knowing that God created the earth for His glory and man’s enjoyment is quite a perspective to see. This should encourage us to become better stewards of the awesome privileges that God has granted us. We can view our life situations differently because we know that God is in control. In other words, when we cannot see God’s Hand, trust His Heart.
The creation proves that His actions are glorious, gracious and good. God’s command to Adam and Eve – to have dominion – revealed that His actions were glorious, gracious, and good (Genesis 1:26).
The world we live in is fallen because of the sin of Adam and Eve. However, there are times when we ignore God’s warning and do not trust His heart just as our great ancestors. The fall should cause us everywhere to turn to Him and repent. We should long for the restoration of the creation intended for us to enjoy. This should bring a sense of satisfaction to us. When you have an opportunity to exalt Him, do so with all your heart.
In everyday life don’t expect anything from the world. Anticipate the day when Christ comes to set up His Kingdom. Think about the creation, think about the creator, and think about the promises of God. Become a better steward over what God has given to you. View your life situation differently because you know that God is in control even when He is silent.
Questions to ponder: How are you preparing for the life to come? Has Satan lied to you? Has he tricked you making you think that God is not good? Or has he tricked you to think that God is good but not good enough?
Monday, 5 November 2007
Paul knew the Lord. At least, the level of knowledge he had was enough for him to commit his whole life to God and His cause, endure sufferings of all sorts, taught others about God and ready to die for what he believed. That is what it means to be a disciple. To know God means:
1: To have an intimate love relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. This relationship is real, personal and practical. You cannot claim to know the Lord when you are not close to Jesus. You cannot claim to know God when you do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. He is the Way to the Father. You must receive Him as your personal Lord and Saviour. We daily come close to Him through personal Bible Study and prayer.
2: To obey God's commandments. We are to obey the Word of God we know. If we know Him, we will eschew evil. We cannot be living in apparent sins and claim that we know Him. You cannot be living in enmity with your neighbors and claim that you know Him. Some people argue and debate the Word of God trying to justify themselves. You can win your arguments with men but the truth remains that you do not know the Lord if you continue in your sins. If you know Him, you will obey Him. You obey because you know He loves you and has your best at heart. The knowledge of God must affect the way we live our lives. If you have obedience problem, you have love problem and definitely have relationship problem.
3: To trust Him completely. If you know God, You trust Him. You can entrust your life into His hands and go and sleep because you know He is able to keep and protect your life. We trust because He is faithful and trustworthy. He is able. God is love, His will is always best. His directions are always right because He is all-knowing and He can enable you to do His will because He is all-powerful. You trust Him because He can take care of the remaining rest of your life.
You experience peace and freedom when you put your trust in the Lord.
Paul said, "I know whom I have believed..." Can you say that confidently?