VIDEO What it means to give witness to the name of Jesus, even to the point of martyrdom

Feb 15, 2015

This video is about what Orthodox Christian priests had to endure in the Pitesti prison in communist Romania. I cannot recommend this any more strongly. God bless them and their powerful witness to God grace. It’s like watching an interview with the ancient Christian martyrs. Exactly like it.

https://lifeondoverbeach.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/what-it-means-to-give-witness-to-the-name-of-jesus-even-to-the-point-of-martyrdom/

Not Again! – Do Not Quench the Spirit

Not Again!
pslam 25 5 lead me

God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. —2 Thessalonians 2:13

As I was reading the text message on my mobile phone, my temperature started to rise and my blood began to boil. I was on the verge of shooting back a nasty message when an inner voice told me to cool down and reply tomorrow. The next morning after a good night’s sleep, the issue that had upset me so greatly seemed so trivial. I had blown it out of proportion because I didn’t want to put another person’s interest before my own. I was unwilling to inconvenience myself so I could help someone.

Regretfully, I am tempted to respond in anger more often than I would like to admit. I constantly find myself having to put into practice familiar Bible truths, such as “Be angry, and do not sin” (Eph. 4:26) and “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4).

Thankfully, God has given us His Spirit who will assist us in our battle with our sin. The apostles Paul and Peter called it the “sanctifying work of the Spirit” (2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2 niv). Without His power, we are helpless and defeated; but with His power, we can have victory.

I’m grateful, Lord, that You are at work in me. I want You to change my heart; please help me to listen and to cooperate with You.

For help with anger issues, read When Anger Burns at discoveryseries.org/cb942

The growth of a saint is the work of a lifetime.

By Poh Fang Chia

Do Not Quench the Spirit
footprints beach

Do not quench the Spirit. —1 Thessalonians 5:19

The voice of the Spirit of God is as gentle as a summer breeze— so gentle that unless you are living in complete fellowship and oneness with God, you will never hear it. The sense of warning and restraint that the Spirit gives comes to us in the most amazingly gentle ways. And if you are not sensitive enough to detect His voice, you will quench it, and your spiritual life will be impaired. This sense of restraint will always come as a “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12), so faint that no one except a saint of God will notice it.

Beware if in sharing your personal testimony you continually have to look back, saying, “Once, a number of years ago, I was saved.” If you have put your “hand to the plow” and are walking in the light, there is no “looking back”— the past is instilled into the present wonder of fellowship and oneness with God (Luke 9:62 ; also see 1 John 1:6-7). If you get out of the light, you become a sentimental Christian, and live only on your memories, and your testimony will have a hard metallic ring to it. Beware of trying to cover up your present refusal to “walk in the light” by recalling your past experiences when you did “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7). When-ever the Spirit gives you that sense of restraint, call a halt and make things right, or else you will go on quenching and grieving Him without even knowing it.

Suppose God brings you to a crisis and you almost endure it, but not completely. He will engineer the crisis again, but this time some of the intensity will be lost. You will have less discernment and more humiliation at having disobeyed. If you continue to grieve His Spirit, there will come a time when that crisis cannot be repeated, because you have totally quenched Him. But if you will go on through the crisis, your life will become a hymn of praise to God. Never become attached to anything that continues to hurt God. For you to be free of it, God must be allowed to hurt whatever it may be.

The main characteristic which is the proof of the indwelling Spirit is an amazing tenderness in personal dealing, and a blazing truthfulness with regard to God’s Word. Disciples Indeed, 386 R

Oswald Chambers

An Invitation to Intimacy

Genesis 12:1-8

God, the Creator of the universe, chooses us. And when He does, His purpose is not simply to save us from eternity in hell. His love goes beyond that. He wants an intimate relationship with each one of us. Building this intimacy requires . . .

Commitment. God pledged that He would make Abraham into a great nation. He asked the future patriarch to demonstrate his allegiance by obeying the command to leave home for an unknown land. The Lord’s commitment to us is clear. He rescued us from sin through His Son Jesus, sent the Holy Spirit to live within us, and promised us eternal life. Our pledge is obedience in both inner attitude and outward action.

Clear Communication. To develop an intimate bond, two people will express deep thoughts and feelings, and they’ll also listen carefully to one another’s words. God speaks to us through Scripture about Himself and His plans, and He also stands ready to listen (Psalms 10:17). The time we spend praying and meditating on His Word reveals our commitment to communication, which includes listening, speaking, and understanding.

Openness. God speaks honestly about who we are, the condition of the world, and the only solution: Jesus Christ. He willingly tells us the difficult truths about ourselves but also encourages and affirms us in our efforts to follow Him. Our part consists of being honest with Him about our thinking, actions, and emotions.

Salvation is only the first step of life in Christ (John 3:16). Have you accepted the invitation to intimacy with God?

Stewards of Mysteries

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.” (1 Corinthians 4:1)

“Minister” was the Bible translators’ choice for the Greek word huperetes, which literally means an “under-oarsman.” It most frequently is applied to officers of various kinds. “Steward” is the somewhat more familiar term, translated from oikonomos, which is the “house-law” for any enterprise that is large enough to require “officers.” The first denotes an authority under a higher authority that is exercised within legal boundaries (Luke 16:1 and Romans 16:23).

These descriptive titles can apply to Christian leaders, but they are also standards that all followers of Jesus Christ are to emulate. We are of the “household of God” (Ephesians 2:19) and every man serves each other as “good stewards” of God’s grace (1 Peter 4:10).

The limitation and exercise of authority demanded of the Corinthian readers was to “minister” and “steward” the “mysteries” (plural) of God. A practical dilemma is to select where each of us will serve with our time, talents, spiritual gifts, and resources. The primary place is, of course, the local church (Acts 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:1).

Additionally, we are expected to give offerings (Acts 20:35; 24:17) to kingdom works that instruct in and clarify those mysteries of God. The Institute for Creation Research deals with the mystery of those early Genesis accounts that are so critical and controversial in our day. We are “stewarding” the nature of the Godhead’s triunity (Colossians 1:12-16; 2:2), which displays the invisible character of God (Romans 1:20).

Today’s unique requirements in our secular and scientific culture necessitate a concentration of specially trained stewards who can refute the efforts of those who deny the mysteries of God. We encourage your participation with us. HMM III

Man Centered Christianity

Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and me majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. —1 Chronicles 29:11

Christianity today is man-centered, not God-centered. God is made to wait patiently, even respectfully, on the whims of men. The image of God currently popular is that of a distracted Father, struggling in heartbroken desperation to get people to accept a Savior of whom they feel no need and in whom they have very little interest. To persuade these self-sufficient souls to respond to His generous offers God will do almost anything, even using salesmanship methods and talking down to them in the chummiest way imaginable. This view of things is, of course, a kind of religious romanticism which, while it often uses flattering and sometimes embarrassing terms in praise of God, manages nevertheless to make man the star of the show.

Lord, take me to my knees in worship. Then let me go to share You, our great and majestic God Who deserves our worship. Amen.

The Glory of the Cross: Atonement and Forgiveness

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:4

Never make any mistake about this—the suffering of Jesus Christ on the cross was not punitive! It was not for Himself and not for punishment of anything that He Himself had done.

The suffering of Jesus was corrective. He was willing to suffer in order that He might correct us and perfect us.

Brethren, that is the glory of the cross! That is the glory of the kind of sacrifice that was for so long in the heart of God! That is the glory of the kind of atonement that allows a repentant sinner to come into peaceful and gracious fellowship with his God and Creator!

It began in His wounds and ended in our purification!

It began in His bruises and ended in our cleansing!

That painful and acute conviction that accompanies repentance may well subside and a sense of peace and cleansing come, but even the holiest of justified men will think back over his part in the wounding and chastisement of the Lamb of God.

A sense of shock will still come over him!

A sense of wonder will remain—wonder that the Lamb that was wounded should turn his wounds into the cleansing and forgiveness of one who wounded Him!

How Do We Know Him?

I know whom I have believed. 2 TIMOTHY 1:12

I must ask this question in the context of today’s modern Christianity: “Is it not true that for most of us who call ourselves Christians there is no real experience?”

We have substituted theological ideas for an arresting encounter; we are full of religious notions, but our great weakness is that for our hearts there is no one there!

Whatever else it embraces, true Christian experience must always include a genuine encounter with God. Without this, religion is but a shadow, a reflection of reality, a cheap copy of an original once enjoyed by someone else of whom we have heard.

It cannot but be a major tragedy in the life of any man or woman to live in a church from childhood to old age and know nothing more real than some synthetic god compounded of theology and logic, but having no eyes to see, no ears to hear—and no heart to love!

O Lord, I pray for the people in churches who may think they are Christians because they were raised in a religious environment. What a tragedy it would be if these men and women are not truly saved. Lord, I pray for each one, that they will receive Christ into their hearts.