Wednesday, September 30, 2009

2 Timothy 3....What a word for today!

"But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty." 2 Timothy 3:1

Paul wrote this to Timothy so he could be prepared.
Here we are in the 21st century and how true this word is for Christians today.
There is difficult times going on right now for thousands of believers everyday. Around the world there are believers being beaten, in prisoned, and killed for what they believe. I would call that difficult! We here in America are only for the most part experiencing verbal difficulties at most, yet while we call that suffering people are being persecuted around the world.

"For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power." 2 Timothy 3:2-5

Now this describes the United States doesn't it? It also probably describes other parts of the world. Yet for the sake of where I live I will use the United States as an example.
Lovers of self! How many times do we hear the statement? Just believe in yourself, love yourself. And then we are told not to be hard on yourself.
Self is our new god! As it was in the beginning. It is all about me and me alone. But not so in the kingdom of God. We are to crucify ourself! We are to deny ourself and not be a lover of self.
The world is full of selfishness. The kingdom of God is full of selflessness!

Lovers of money! Need I say more? What caused the financial collapse in the U.S.? For the most part love of money.
I am probably one of the last generations to grow up learning to be respectful to your elders, to be courteous and thankful. Yet today when you go out people are for the most part rude, ungrateful and slanderous. You hold the door open for someone and they give you the look of cursing! Or they walk on through without acknowledging you at all. It is like we owe them.
Now it is not for us as believers to return that kind of behaviour to them.
In the news today there is the subject of the street gang who killed the young man who was trying to help another person from being attacked. Brutality, recklessness and treacherous.
They took pleasure in what they did.
Where do you get your pleasure?
We are to be all for the Lord or nothing at all.

In todays society even in the church people are denying the power of God. They don't believe in miracles, they don't believe the gifts are for today etc.
So in turn we turn and self in order to accomplish what God has called us to do. Becuase again we deny His power.

So what does the word say we are to do with people like this?

"Avoid such people." 2 Timothy 3:5

We are to avoid those described above, because they are not of God.
That doesn't mean we are not to pray for them and continue to love them. Just don't get involved with what they are doing, because we can fall back into those trappings if we are not careful.

We are living in this day and age! We need to be ready in season and out! We must be willing to do what God has called us to do and be ready for the difficult time that is already promised.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

How desperate and hungry are you for God to move again?

"In Massachusetts Village of Northampton, a black gowned Congregational minister of God knelt in prayer. He was burdened for the 1100 souls of the little town who, he was convinced, were afllicted with the deadly spiritual disease of the day." Excerpt from the book America's Great Revivals The story of Spiritual Revival in the United States. 1734-1899

That man was Jonothan Edwards. The man who preached "Sinners in the Hands of an angry God."
Whatever your thought is on whether we should use the law or not in our preaching and presenting the gospel is not what I am concerned with.

The point that I am trying to convey is first and foremost he was so desperate for God to move upon the lost souls that he knelt down and prayed.

Here is a description of the condition of the day in 1734.

"The conditons that pressed Jonothan Edwards to his knees that Sunday seemed black indeed. Gone was the God-fearing generation that had settled the land.
The new generation had forgotten God. Immorality, debauchery, self-interest ruled.
Few worried about the next world. Even those who held to the externals of religion had lost the heart of it."
Pg. 6 of same book.
Does that describe what is happening now in our nation and world?
A resounding YES!
They adopted what was called the "Halfway Covenant".

Meaning as long the people would assent to the doctrine of faith and weren't scandalous in life they would be allowed to continue fellowship etc.

Later George Whitfield came onto the field. He preached in meetinghouses, barns, fields and from wagons. Every place he preached people were convicted of sin and driven to the foot of the cross.
He didn't use gimmicks!
He first prayed and then was led by the Holy Spirit.

Ministers were being converted in the Whitfield meetings.
Ministers who were never converted!
We have that today. We have men in the churches preaching the gospel of which they themselves haven't been converted by yet.
"Whitfield spoke so vigorously against the practice of sending unconverted persons in the ministry."
Another issue of that day was the influence of the colleges among the children.
Which was not a good influence.
Something we are experiencing today.
Our children go to college thinking they are Christian and come out indoctrinated by the non believing professors.
"Eastern colleges were rife with the skepticism of the age. Lawlessness ruled on the Western frontier."Pg. 26"
There were few churches, few praying people.

The established churches, most of whom had sided with England in the struggle for independence, had lost their influence."

"The ministers were agreed on one thing---a revival was desperately needed. What shall we do about it?they asked themselves.
The only answer: PRAY!

They issued a "circular letter"calling all of the people to pray for revival.

That started in January 1795. In November of that year the prayers were being answered!

We need God and we need to be on our knees crying out for revival.
I am not talking about these so called revival meetings where once a year a church brings in a special speaker and they meet for a week and nothing changes.
No, I am talking about a fullfledged truth revival that only God can send using His Holy Spirit!

It doesn't have to be an orchestrated effort as the Lord will do what He wants!

He doesn't need men to jump in and take over.

No, He wants us to humble ourselves and if necessary fast, but for sure PRAY without ceasing!

My question is this: Who's with me?

Who is willing to take time out of each day and truly cry out for the Lord to move amongst His people in this world?

Who is hungry and desperate enough to wait on the Lord?

I am going to be bringing this issue up as often as I feel led.

This is something I feel the Lord has put on my heart to push and press into!Tarry, Tarry, Tarry!
Until the Lord comes!Come Holy Spirit rain down on us!

This is something the Lord has been burdening me about and we need to get serious again!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Men we need to be praying!

"I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling." 1 Timothy 2:8

Gentlemen, it is time to pray! It is time to take up the mantle that God has put upon us as leaders of our families! It is time to stop the quarreling and bickering! It is time for us to stop cowering down and start rising! We need to be less prideful and more humble!
We need to be about our Fathers business!

For years I have been a strong advocate of praying. I have longed to see God move among His people and take us to that next level of His glory.
Yet in most of my Christian life it has been the women who have been the delegated prayer warriors. While the men did other things.
Why is it that few men want to get together and pray? Why is it easier to get men to a golf outing or a barbque than it is to get them to a prayer meeting?
Why is it that the men have left their first love to chase after other things?

We want revival without sacrifice. We want to see people saved without first plowing with prayer.
We want the gifts without doing the work.
Adam wasn't there when Eve needed him! Where are we when our ladies need us?
Where are we when the women come together to pray?
Our role is to be head of our families! The head and not the tail.
I am hungry for more of God and I know it is going to take more than just talk. It is going to take more than just going and handing out tracts. It is going to take more than feeding the hungry, clothing the poor and preaching the gospel.
It is going to take all of us to come together and pray to the Lord.

In the book of Acts the disciples were in the upper room until they were indued with power.
Were they just hanging out planning their next move? No, they were praying and fasting.
Another area where we are weak is in fasting.
Prayer and fasting go hand in hand.
We need to be willing and hungry enough to do it as led by the Lord.

Most all of the revivals in the United States were led by men who were hungry!

Those revivals were birthed out of prayer.

I am not saying the women don't have a role in any of this. I am saying that it is usually the women who have taken up the mantle that God delegated to the men.
Great women of God have travailed through prayer and many other things throughout the years.
Yet in this day and age there seems to be very few men who are willing to sacrifice!
We make excuses on why we can't come together and pray. We may say well that worked for the culture back then, but we are in a different culture.
Then change, REPENT!
It is going to take a sacrifice of our time to get together and watch God move!
Are you willing to do what it takes to come together with others and pray for the move of God that we so desperately need?
Are you willing to sacrifice the time it will take to get together with your family and lead them in prayer?
For those who are single are you willing to sacrifice your extra pleasures in order to see God move?
Please hear me in this and know that I just want to see revival in our time.
I want to see the Spirit move and people being saved.
I want to see men on their knees crying out for more of God!
Our wives and children need to see us men on our knees being real!
Again for the single men out there, you want to impress your lady? Then be a man and get on your knees and cry out to God in prayer.
Go to the back of your bibles and look at the concordance under pray, prayer and prayers.
See how many references there are to be praying for one another.
Be all you can be in God's army!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

God, The Government and Our Role as Christians

I would like to start this off by saying there has been a lot of things being brought up concerning the issues stemming from our government from Christians.

I was one of those people. I got carried away as I always do in the political situation going on.

I had a brother in Christ call me out on this in a gentle way. Of which I truly accepted as correction in love.

So that said, I would like to present something for us all to think about. Some of what I will say may not go well with many. But I am not here to patronize anyone. I am here to give glory to my Creator and Saviour. I am here to present somethings that I feel the Lord has put on my heart.

I hope to point out the Christians role in government, and explain why I feel the United States is not and never was a Christian nation. I will try and present the Sovereignty of God in all that is going on in our lives and what we are told to do about it.

First the soveriegnty of God in government.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this." Isaiah 9:6-7

So there you see the sovereignty of God! The government shall be upon His shoulder! And of the increase of His government (the body) and of peace there will be no end....In the end we shall overcome because He already has.

What is our role in our government? Now I am not saying a Christian shouldn't run for office or vote! Hear me on this, if you are living in the United States then that was ordained of God also. So take advantage of our freedoms to vote and run for public offices.

Yet what I am about to go with this is, we are not to slander anyone not even our enemies.

"But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you." Luke 6:27-28

We are also to be subject to the governing authorities granted to an extent of them not telling us to stop preaching and proclaiming. Yet Paul in the book of Romans explains what our role is concerning the governing authorities.

"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (more sovereignty of God) Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, (God's sovreignty) and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will recieve his approval, for he is God's servant for your good." Romans 13:1-4

"Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this if the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people." 1 Peter 2:13-15

So if we are doing good then we should not fear the government as God is in total control. Yet He uses the authority to pass earthly judgment to those who are doing bad. The governing authority carries out God's wrath on the earthly realm on the wrongdoer.

I am not advocating that we not continue to assemble with each other or stop evangelizing if the government makes that illegal. Because that is a mandate from God.

There are many men and women who are in jails across the world for evangelizing and meeting while it is illegal in their nations. Yet God is blessing them and they are enduring through to the end, because of who their real Father is. So if we get jailed for doing what God has told us then we are in His will. We are to be peaceful about it and not war with the governing authorities if they come for you.

"But Peter and the apostles answered, 'We must obey God rather than men." Acts 5:29

We as Christians need to be careful of what we say to each other and about others. We are not given authority to slander others.
"Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." Colossians 4:5-6
What I wrote above is just a small amount of scripture discribing our role and the government.
Now to tackle the issue of whether the United States is a Christian nation or has it ever been.
I would like to say what the founding fathers did was to use the bible to establish the rule of law for our nation. Does that make it Christian? No! Because this nation is made of wretched people who need a Saviour. Not every person in the nation at any given time was or is a Christian.
To be a Christian nation shouldn't it be nothing, but Christians ruled by Christians? Look at the Islamic nations. There is no doubt those nations are Muslim. They are ruled by the Koran and by Muslim leaders.
Our leaders are not all Christian. Christians are not even of this world, so why would God want to put His stamp on a nation that is not of His world? Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world."
We have mistakenly been led to think that this nation is a Christian nation and in turn we have weakened the church. In doing so we don't evangelize or preach the truth like we should be doing. A lot of people assume just because they are born to Christian parents that they are automatically Christian. Or just because they are born in the United States that they are Christian.
We should never label ourselves a Christian nation. We who are Christian know who we are and where we live. I could move to another country and yet that doesn't make it a Christian nation.
Yes the forefathers used the bible to make rules, law and government. But they also used the bible to justify slavery. They also took a people group and forced them onto reservations. Our forefathers weren't here first. This country was a pagan country.
God has blessed us who live here, but we can't justify the blessings and curses put on Israel as our own if we don't follow Him as a nation.
Those of us who are the Saints of God are individuals who dwell in a country and are ambassadors of the world.
We must be kingdom minded and not earthly minded.
I love the United States and am not being "unpatriotic" for what I am saying. I am just trying to be honest about an issue that stems from pulpits of which can't be justified by the scritptures.
Now we are called to evangelize, pray and disciple. If this was a Christian nation then that should have already been finished, but it's not and we still have work to do.
So pray for the government, don't be divisive and reach the lost.