The Abiding Believer

The Abiding Believer

“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:10).  Jesus faithfully obeyed every commandment of His Father and He called that abiding.

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Some Christians think they can pick and choose which commandments of Christ to obey.  If they don’t like what is commanded, they simply ignore it or explain away their disobedience with, “I just don’t see it that way; I don’t believe it like that.”  If people do not like a pastor’s call to be holy, they just leave and go looking for a pastor who will accentuate the positive.  That is why the terrible plague of apathy is sweeping over the church today.  We have been so afraid of works, so riled up about legalism, that we have given obedience a bad name.

How is it possible for a branch in Him not to abide?  Jesus said: “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned” (verse 6).  Can it be any clearer?  Abiding includes rest and responsibility.  It is possible to be in Him, connected to the vine, and not have a flow of life with which to bear fruit.  Abiding has to do with absolute obedience to the commandments of Christ because every branch has a free will—a life force in it.  The branch is not passive; it must draw out the life from the vine.  “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you” (verse 7).  This brings out that the Word is the Father’s pruning knife.  How can any branch bear fruit if the Word of the Lord is ignored, unknown, neglected?

We see the fruits of dryness springing up all over the Lord’s vineyard— adultery, fornication, drinking, drugs— because the pruning process has stopped with so many.  The word of God is His knife, a two edged sword.  The majority of Christians today do not know the Word of God because they do not read it.  It is impossible to bear the fruit of righteousness without His Word abiding in you.  Neglect of the Word is causing barrenness and bringing a terrible withering to God’s people.

The abiding believer is one who loves and fears God, who hungers for the Word and trembles at His power of conviction.  He delights in having the Word prune away all hindrances, prays that the very life and likeness of Christ will be ever-increasing in him, and grows more and more mature in obedience and love.

By David Wilkerson (1931 – 2011)

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Well Meaning Nazis

Well Meaning Nazis

The following is from RC Sproul, Jr.  It is sobering picture of what is happening within the wide defines of Christianity regarding our relationship, acceptance and partnership with Catholics, Mormons, the Emerging Church, etc.  Read and carefully consider the truth proclaimed.

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Well Meaning Nazis

Do you think it possible that there were during World War II Nazi’s that were Christians?  Do you think there were Nazi’s that were committed to the rule of law, even that hoped that the Allies would defeat Germany?  Isn’t it likely that there were men in uniform, in the party, that found themselves there because of sundry social pressures, and not a small amount of confusion and ignorance about what Nazi’s believed?  I would argue that such a truth is self-evident. Given the size of the party, given the confusion of the times, given the propaganda skill of the Nazi leadership there surely must have been at least one genuinely born again Christian that was a Nazi.  And I think, had I been an Allied soldier during that time it would have been my duty to kill him.  Why?  Because he’s a Nazi, a servant and soldier of a regime that declared war against these United States.

If such a view shocks you, you might want to thank Rousseau.  Rousseau was the great engine of romanticism, that worldview that drives us today to believe that forms, oaths, uniforms, formal loyalties mean nothing at all, that all that matters is the invisible recesses of our hearts.  What a man feels is sacrosanct.  What he says means nothing, except insofar as he is speaking about his feelings.  Thus the Nazi can tell us, “I know I am dressed in a Nazi uniform.  I know I have fought for the Nazi cause.  I know I have sworn fealty to the Fuehrer.  But I didn’t really know what I was doing.  I didn’t really know what I was thinking.  Besides, that was then, and this is now.”

popo-315-225Before I shoot the man, I would want to ask him one more question- “Do you disavow your loyalty to the Reich?  Will you now take off that uniform?  Will you come and join the Allies?”  If so, what a cause for celebration.  A brother has been rescued from an evil system.  Kill the fatted calf, bring a robe and a ring.  But what do I do if he replies, “Well, no.  I was raised in the Nazi’s.  And I happen to know there are a lot of people like me, people like you, who believe what we believe, in the Nazi’s.  Why can’t we, Nazis and Allies, work together for the greater good?”  What if he meant every word he was saying?  He is speaking out of both sides of his mouth, and my duty is to believe the solemn oath, the uniform, the salute, not his self-report on his subjective feelings.  One truth, the uniform, will get him shot.  The other truth, his faith, will take him straight to heaven.

Of course this is all moot, because that war is over.  But there are other uniforms, other loyalties, other solemn oaths.  Rome solemnly and irrevocably asked, in the sixth session of the Council of Trent, during the counter-Reformation, that God would damn all those who say a man is justified by faith, apart from the works of the law.  They have not changed that dogma, whether anyone inside the institution actually believes it or not.  And when we enter the Roman fold we swear an oath to uphold and believe all Roman dogma.  When we come to the mass we solemnly salute their system.  When we receive her baptism we put on her uniform.

I am not, of course, equating Roman Catholicism with Nazism.  The Nazi’s, after all, sent six million Jews to their deaths.  Rome, on the other hand, has no concentration camps, no gas chambers.  All she has is a false, damning gospel that sends billions to a lake of fire.  That, not our feelings, not even our friendships, is what matters.

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Our Misplaced Focus

Our Misplaced Focus

From Oswald Chambers:

We look for visions from heaven, for earthquakes and thunders of God’s power (the fact that we are dejected proves that we do), and we never dream that all the time God is in the commonplace things and people around us. If we will do the duty that lies nearest, we shall see Him. One of the most amazing revelations of God comes when we learn that it is in the commonplace things that the Deity of Jesus Christ is realized.

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Don't Waste Your Life

Don't Waste Your Life

My son Justus showed me the following video. He said it has made a profound impression on him… and I can see why. Powerful stuff.

I have included the lyrics for those dinosaurs out there, like me, who find rap a bit hard to follow.

Listen, be challenged, and enjoy.big_lines

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Don’t Waste Your Life
By Lecrae

I know a lot of people out there scared they gone die
Couple of em thinking they’ll be livin in the sky
But while I’m here livin man I gotta ask why, what am here fo I gotta figure out
Waste my life
No I gotta make it count
If Christ is real then what am I gone do about
Everything in Luke 12:15 down to 21
You really oughta go and check it out
Paul said if Christ ain’t resurrect then we wasted our lives
Well that implies that our life’s built around Jesus being alive
Everyday I’m living tryin show the world why
Christ is more than everything you’ll ever try
Better than pretty women and sinning and living to get a minute of any women and men that you admire
It ain’t no lie

We created for Him
Outta the dust He made us for Him
Elects us and He saves us for Him
Jesus comes and raises for Him
Magnify the Father why bother with something lesser
He made us so we could bless Him and to the world we confess Him
Resurrects Him
So I know I got life
Matter fact better man I know I got Christ
If you don’t’ see His ways in my days and nights
You can hit my brakes you can stop my lights
Man I lost my rights
I lost my life
Forget the money cars and toss that ice
The cost is Christ
And they could never offer me anything on the planet that’ll cost that price.

Don’t wanna waste my life, life, life
Don’t wanna waste my life, life, life
Don’t wanna waste my life, life, life
Don’t wanna waste my
Don’t wanna waste my
Don’t wanna waste my life, life, life

Suffer
Yeah do it for Christ if you trying to figure what to do with your life
If you making lot a money hope you doing it right because the money is Gods you better steward it right
Stay focused if you ain’t got no ride
Your life ain’t wrapped up in what you drive
The clothes you wear the job you work
The color your skin naw we Christian first
People get to living life for a job
Make a lil money start living for a car
Get em a house a wife kids and a dog
When they retire they living high on the hog
But guess what they didn’t ever really live at all
To live is Christ yeah that’s Paul I recall
To die is gain so for Christ we give it all
He’s the treasure you’ll find in the mall
Your money your singleness marriage talent your time
They were loaned to you to show the world that Christ is Divine
That’s why it’s Christ in my rhymes
That’s why it’s Christ all the time
See my whole world is built around Him He’s the life in my lines
I refused to waste my life
He’s too true ta chase that ice
Heres my gifts and time cause I’m constantly trying to be used to praise the Christ
If He’s truly raised to life
Then this news should change your life
And by His grace you can put your faith in place that rules your days and nights.

Don’t wanna waste my life, life, life
Don’t wanna waste my life, life, life
Don’t wanna waste my life, life, life
Don’t wanna waste my
Don’t wanna waste my
Don’t wanna waste my life, life, life

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Maintaining the Presence of God

Maintaining the Presence of God

This is exactly what I needed to hear today. It is from the late David Wilkerson.

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God attaches a condition to His presence in our lives and it is found in 2 Chronicles 15.  In the previous chapter, King Asa had led the armies of Judah to a great victory over Ethiopia’s million-man army.  Yet Asa testified that it was God’s presence that had scattered the enemy.

“Asa cried unto the Lord his God, and said, Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O Lord our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. . . .So the Lord smote the Ethiopians before Asa” (2 Chronicles 14:11-12).

As Asa and his armies led the triumphant procession back to Jerusalem, a prophet named Azariah met them at the city gate with this message from God: “Hear ye me, Asa . . . the Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.  Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God.  But when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them” (15:2-4).

Here is the secret of getting and maintaining the presence of God in your life.  The Lord reminded Asa, point-blank, with no holds barred: “Asa, don’t ever forget how you got this victory.  You sought Me with all your heart when you were in trouble and I sent My presence to you.  It was My presence that put your enemies to chase!”

Now Azariah was telling Asa, “Do you remember what the kingdom was like before you came to power?  Everything was out of kilter, with no law, no guidance, no righteous teaching.  Everyone was a law unto himself, doing his own thing!”

This is not a complicated theology.  Anyone can have the abiding presence of the Lord if he or she will simply seek Him for it.

“The Lord will be found of you” (15:2).  The Hebrew word for found here is matsa, meaning “His presence coming forth to enable, to bless.”  In short, this verse tells us, “Seek the Lord with your whole heart, and He will come to you with His presence.  Indeed, His presence will be an almighty power that emanates from your life!”

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