VIDEO This biker gang leader who used to earn respect the hard way begged God to let him die…

July 10, 2015

His life began to spiral out of control and one night he decide to end his life. However, his attempt to shoot himself were in vain for God had a different plan for him. As he tries to pull the trigger, the gun never went off. After spending some time in jail and listening to a pastor speak, his life was eventually saved by Jesus.

https://thei535project.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/this-biker-gang-leader-who-used-to-earn-repect-the-hard-way-begged-god-to-let-him-die/

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Desert Places – The Spiritually Vigorous Saint

desert
Desert Places

They did not thirst when He led them through the deserts. —Isaiah 48:21

Dry. Dusty. Dangerous. A desert. A place where there is little water, a place hostile to life. It’s not surprising, then, that the word deserted describes a place that is uninhabited. Life there is hard. Few people choose it. But sometimes we can’t avoid it.

In Scripture, God’s people were familiar with desert life. Much of the Middle East, including Israel, is desert. But there are lush exceptions, like the Jordan Valley and areas surrounding the Sea of Galilee. God chose to “raise His family” in a place surrounded by wilderness, a place where He could make His goodness known to His children as they trusted Him for protection and daily provision (Isa. 48:17-19).

Today, most of us don’t live in literal deserts, but we often go through desert-like places. Sometimes we go as an act of obedience. Other times we find ourselves there through no conscious choice or action. When someone abandons us, or disease invades our bodies, we end up in desert-like circumstances where resources are scarce and life is hard to sustain.

But the point of going through a desert, whether literally or figuratively, is to remind us that we are dependent on God to sustain us—a lesson we need to remember even when we’re living in a place of plenty.

Are you living in a place of plenty or of need? In what ways is God sustaining you?

In every desert, God has an oasis of grace.

By Julie Ackerman Link

The Spiritually Vigorous Saint

…that I may know Him… —Philippians 3:10

A saint is not to take the initiative toward self-realization, but toward knowing Jesus Christ. A spiritually vigorous saint never believes that his circumstances simply happen at random, nor does he ever think of his life as being divided into the secular and the sacred. He sees every situation in which he finds himself as the means of obtaining a greater knowledge of Jesus Christ, and he has an attitude of unrestrained abandon and total surrender about him. The Holy Spirit is determined that we will have the realization of Jesus Christ in every area of our lives, and He will bring us back to the same point over and over again until we do.

Self-realization only leads to the glorification of good works, whereas a saint of God glorifies Jesus Christ through his good works. Whatever we may be doing— even eating, drinking, or washing disciples’ feet— we have to take the initiative of realizing and recognizing Jesus Christ in it. Every phase of our life has its counterpart in the life of Jesus. Our Lord realized His relationship to the Father even in the most menial task. “Jesus, knowing…that He had come from God and was going to God,…took a towel…and began to wash the disciples’ feet…” (John 13:3-5).

The aim of a spiritually vigorous saint is “that I may know Him…” Do I know Him where I am today? If not, I am failing Him. I am not here for self-realization, but to know Jesus Christ. In Christian work our initiative and motivation are too often simply the result of realizing that there is work to be done and that we must do it. Yet that is never the attitude of a spiritually vigorous saint. His aim is to achieve the realization of Jesus Christ in every set of circumstances.

by Oswald Chambers

Two Types of Listeners

Acts 17:10-12

In order for the Holy Spirit to be unimpeded in His work, we must make an effort to hear God when He speaks. It is possible, for example, to “listen” to every word of a sermon, while actually not hearing a word of it. Sadly, there are some vacant attendees like this in churches every week! Their bodies may be in the pew, but their minds are obviously somewhere else. In fact, there are two types of listeners in practically every church in the world: passive and aggressive.

A passive listener
is one who’s present at services—maybe even every week—but just sits in the pew and lets his mind wander. He watches people, notices how they dress and act, socializes with friends, and makes lunch plans. He doesn’t go to church to hear from the Lord. He shows up out of habit, or because the simple act of going makes him feel better about himself.

An aggressive listener, on the other hand, walks into the sanctuary excited about what the Lord is going to say. This Christian has a Bible, notebook, and pen in hand, ready to capture the meat of the message. He scribbles down as much as he can, trying not to miss a single point of the sermon. Throughout the message, he asks himself, How does this apply to my life?

The Lord communicates in many different ways, and when He speaks, we should always listen actively. If you find your mind wandering during worship, perhaps you’re approaching God passively. Ask Him to refocus your thoughts, and decide to be an aggressive listener from now on.

The Shame of Entropy

“I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?” (1 Corinthians 6:5)

The word for “shame” in this verse is the Greek entrope, meaning “turning inward” or “inversion.” It is used only one other time, in 1 Corinthians 15:34: “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” Evidently this special variety of shame is associated with taking controversies between Christian brethren to ungodly judges and also with failing to witness to the non-Christian community. Instead of bringing the true wisdom of God to the ungodly, such “entropic Christians” were turning to worldly wisdom to resolve their own spiritual problems. This inverted behavior was nothing less than spiritual confusion!

The modern scientific term “entropy” is essentially this same Greek word. In science, entropy is a measure of disorder in any given system. The universal law of increasing entropy states that every system tends to disintegrate into disorder, or confusion, if left to itself. This tendency can only be reversed if ordering energy is applied to it effectively from a source outside the system.

This universal scientific law has a striking parallel in the spiritual realm. A person turning inward to draw on his own bank of power, or seeking power from an ineffective outside source, will inevitably deteriorate eventually into utter spiritual confusion and death. But when Christ enters the life, that person becomes a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). Through the Holy Spirit and through the Holy Scriptures, “his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). The law of spiritual entropy is transformed into the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:2). HMM

Church Organization

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee. —Titus 1:5

I am and have been for years much distressed about the tendency to overorganize the Christian community, and I have for that reason had it charged against me that I do not believe in organization. The truth is quite otherwise.

The man who would oppose all organization in the church must needs be ignorant of the facts of life. Art is organized beauty; music is organized sound; philosophy is organized thought; science is organized knowledge; government is merely society organized. And what is the true church of Christ but organized mystery?…

Many church groups have perished from too much organization, even as others from too little. Wise church leaders will watch out for both extremes. A man may die as a result of having too low blood pressure as certainly as from having too high, and it matters little which takes him off He is equally dead either way. The important thing in church organization is to discover the scriptural balance between two extremes and avoid both.

Give us wisdom, Lord, to operate with good organization and wise business practices. But keep us from being so organized that the Holy Spirit has no room to work. Amen.

Self Does Not Die Without Our Full Consent

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Galatians 5:17

The Holy Spirit and the fallen human self are diametrically opposed to each other, for, as the Apostle Paul wrote to the Roman church, “because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

Before the Spirit of God can work creatively in our hearts, He must condemn and slay the “flesh” within us; that is, He must have our full consent to displace our natural self with the Person of Christ! This displacement is carefully explained in Romans 6, 7 and 8. When the seeking Christian has gone through the crucifying experience described in chapters 6 and 7 he enters into the broad, free regions of chapter 8. There self is dethroned and Christ is enthroned forever!

In the light of this it is not hard to see why the Christian’s attitude toward self is such an excellent test of the validity of his religious experiences. Most of the great masters of the deeper life, such as Fenelon, Molinos, John of the Cross, Madame Guyon and a host of others, have warned against pseudoreligious experiences that provide much carnal enjoyment but feed the flesh and puff up the heart with self-love.

A good rule is this: Nothing that comes from God will minister to my pride or self-congratulation. If I am tempted to be complacent and to feel superior because of an advanced spiritual experience, I should go at once to my knees and repent of the whole thing. I have fallen a victim to the enemy!

God’s Saving Grace

Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. GENESIS 6:8

Grace is the goodness of God confronting human demerit. So, grace is what God is—unchanging, infinite, eternal!

This throws light on God’s dealings with men and women throughout the Old Testament dispensations and history. It is certainly the truth, and a proper concept for us to hold, that no one was ever saved, no one is now saved, and no one will ever be saved except by the grace of God.

Before Moses came with the Law, men were saved only by grace. During the time of Moses, no one was saved except by grace. After Moses, before the cross, and after the cross, and during all of the dispensations, anywhere, anytime, no one was ever saved by anything but the grace of God!

We can say this with assurance because God dealt in grace with mankind looking forward to the Incarnation and the atoning death of Christ.

If God had not always operated in grace, He would have swept the sinning human race away. This, then, is the good news: God is gracious all the time, and when His grace becomes operative through our faith in Jesus Christ, then there is the new birth from above!

Thank You, Father, that by Your grace—that is, the death and resurrection of Your Son Jesus Christ—we are saved and restored to a right relationship with You.