Statement of faith

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
- Warren

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Quiet-Time Reflections

Week of: October 7, 2013                       
Sharing by: Pam Crawford

Ephesians 4:17-24
“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

If you think it's ok to steal you WILL take from another. If you think it's ok to use foul language you WILL drop the “F” bomb as a form of natural talk. If you think it's ok to have an affair you WILL cross the line. If you think its ok to view violence and sex, you WON’T turn the TV channel or leave a theater  If you think it's ok to live with someone outside of marriage you WILL embrace cohabitation. If you believe marriage is about being with whomever you want, you WILL be an advocate for same-sex marriage. If you think it is your right to do with your body whatever you darn well please, you WILL align to a pro-choice viewpoint. If you believe it is ok to tear down others with your words, you WILL engage in slander. If you believe you have a right to hold onto hurt, you WILL not work to forgive others as your Heavenly Father has forgiven you. The list could go on and on.  

"What you believe is how you will behave." - Charles Stanley

This week my thoughts are directed to those of us who claim to be of the Christian faith. As a fellow believer I am concerned over how many people appear to be falling into the trap of tolerance and the acceptance of a philosophical and non Biblical viewpoint. What I hear being spoken out there, and the things that I see posted on social media sites these days seems to indicate a shift from standing upon the solid foundation of God’s Holy Word; to throwing oneself onto a pile of shifting sand. We don’t want to rock the boat so we scurry away from standing upon the truth like little red ants. Friends this is dangerous ground!

Although the content of this devotion is lengthy, please don't be tempted to discard or stop short of reading it in it's entirety. We are in a battle that we must be prepared in.

We are now living in a culture that is on the cusp of proclaiming Christianity as the enemy of America. Christians all over this great land are struggling to stand on solid ground and they are compromising what is clearly taught in the word of God. They are doing this for several reasons. First, it is out of sheer ignorance. Many Christians admit they have never even read the Bible let alone stand on what they would find inside of it. Second, Christians don’t want to ruffle feathers. We have bought in to the enemy’s deceptive lie that there are two things you don’t engage others in, politics and religion. My question would be “how is this working for us?” The political arena is having a “free for all” at our expense and the Christian religion in America is now becoming the proclaimed enemy. Brothers and sisters you better brace yourself, I am afraid we have not seen the worst of it.

It is time to wake up dear Christian family. Listening to a homily or a sermon on a Sunday morning will not be enough to stand up against the enemy of your soul. Satan comes to “kill, steal and destroy” (John 10:10) and if you look around our world today you will have to admit he’s gaining a hefty portion of ground. Christian families are being destroyed at an alarming rate through divorce, relational conflict, addictions, and financial stresses. We don’t look any different that that of a faithless society. We continue to abort babies in the name of a women’s right to do what is best for her life. And now in the year 2013 many Christians are embracing a sector of immorality in the name of our civil rights.

Tragically many Christian leaders are watering down the Gospel message so as not to offend anyone. I wonder how many have stopped long enough to consider that when they do this; they are actually offending God himself. The Gospel is more than “God loves everyone and you can come as you are.” Although this is true, God does love what He has created and you can come as you are; in Christ, you cannot stay as you are! When we invite Jesus to live in our heart, the beginning of true Christianity, we begin a new journey that includes personal transformation. You can not end the same way you began. To give the Gospel without the message of repentance is deception (Acts 2:38-39). We are called to turn from our wicked ways (2 Chronicles 7:14) and obey God.

When we claim Christianity; we are in essence saying that we believe in God and we believe in what He inspired others to write down over 2,000 years ago. We should understand it was given to teach, correct, and rebuke us when we’re off course (2 Timothy 3:16). To move forward in genuine faith we must know what we believe. We must respond to it through our actions and be ready to defend God’s Word at all cost. If we don’t, we will fall prey to heresy as we embrace the teachings, opinions, doctrines and philosophies of this fallen world. Christians are to be aligned with Christ through the Word of God and a personal surrender.

Heresy( any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs, customs, etc.

The truth is, one cannot defend that of which he does not understand. With the help of the Holy Spirit we can gain wisdom and insight for the battle ahead. If you place your faith in Christ, God will help you every step of the way. He will help you understand His Word and when you are willing, He will empower you to obey it. May I say here that there is no better time than the present to do a U-turn to get onto God’s path?

Take a listen to a warning found in the Book of 2 Timothy chapter 3 before we end. It might sound a bit familiar to you, listen carefully. “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self control, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them ( 2 Timothy 3:1-5).”

We are living in a culture that is filled with many spiritual dangers. There is a constant temptation to compromise our morals and that of which we value in order to be part of the in crowd. No one wants to be on the outside looking in. It takes God’s wisdom, courage and His power to stand firm in our convictions and to confront wrongdoing in the face of opposition. When you discover something is misaligned with the Word of God, believer, take up your position. Stand firm and uphold truth always with a spirit of genuine love and concern. Get on solid ground and defend your Creator, not this culture! In the end dear friends, the culture loses.

Revelation 22:12-16
“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright morning start.”

DIG DEEPER: Watch "False Doctrine" by Dr. Charles Stanley

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