VIDEO Modern Idolatry – Make War- Killing Sin

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  Colossians 3:5

Colossians 3:1 tells us to “seek those things which are above, where Christ is.” In verse 5 we’re told to put to death the passions that come from below—”fornication, uncleanness, passion, and evil desire.” Then the Lord added the sin of greed or covetousness to the list, calling it idolatry.

That verse changes our view of idolatry. It’s not just bowing down to a small carved statue or a pagan worshiper offering incense at a shrine to Buddha. It’s the act of becoming too attached to the material things of the world—falling more in love with the things on earth than on things in heaven.

This has nothing to do with how much money you do or don’t have—a poverty-stricken person can covet just as much as a billionaire. It has everything to do with what’s at the center of our affections. Is it Christ? Is it things above? Or is it things below?

Make sure Christ is at the center of your life and that your love for Him eclipses everything else!

You don’t have to go to heathen lands today to find false gods. America is full of them…. Whatever you love more than God is your idol. D. L. Moody


Make War- Killing Sin – John Piper

The Reality of God

The Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he [saw] chariots of fire all around Elisha.   2 Kings 6:17

 

In C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, all of Narnia is thrilled when the mighty lion Aslan reappears after a long absence. Their joy turns to sorrow, however, when Aslan concedes to a demand made by the evil White Witch. Faced with Aslan’s apparent defeat, the Narnians experience his power when he emits an earsplitting roar that causes the witch to flee in terror. Although all seems to have been lost, Aslan ultimately proves to be greater than the villainous witch.

Like Aslan’s followers in Lewis’ allegory, Elisha’s servant despaired when he got up one morning to see himself and Elisha surrounded by an enemy army. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” he exclaimed (2 Kings 6:15). The prophet’s response was calm: “Don’t be afraid . . . . Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (v. 16). Elisha then prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see” (v. 17). So, “the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (v. 17). Although things at first seemed bleak to the servant’s eye, God’s power ultimately proved greater than the enemy horde.

Our difficult circumstances may lead us to believe all is lost, but God desires to open our eyes and reveal that He is greater.

By:  Remi Oyedele

Reflect & Pray

What difficult times are you facing? How have you experienced that God is greater than any evil you face?

Thank You, God, for Your faithfulness.

Developing a Tender Heart

Ezekiel 36:22-32

The Lord wants to give each of us a “heart of flesh” so we will be responsive to Him. A tender heart assumes the form He desires, much like a lump of clay that allows the potter to shape the vessel. And to those who have accepted and obeyed previous guidance, the Holy Spirit can continue to give wisdom and instruction.

Resistance to God will cause a hardening, but those who regularly submit to Him quickly address sin and return to the place of obedience and blessing. When we yield to the Spirit’s promptings, our heart becomes increasingly pliable and sensitive to His leading. Then God can give us greater understanding of His Word.

People with a responsive heart tend to stay connected to the body of Christ and seek to build up and encourage others. Such individuals are not only receptive to what God wants to tell them; they’re also willing to listen and be corrected by others.

This week as you read your Bible and pray, open your heart to the words of God. Listen for His instructions, and rely on the Spirit’s power to help you yield. Let Him shape you into a beautiful vessel.

Futile Wrath of Man

“Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.” (Psalm 76:10)

One of the most amazing anomalies in human life is the oft-repeated testimony to God’s grace and power unwittingly rendered by men who would dethrone Him if they could. Biblical examples are numerous.

Joseph’s brothers hated him and sold him into slavery, but “God meant it unto good . . . to save much people alive” (Genesis 50:20). Haman tried to destroy the Jews in the days of Queen Esther; but instead their leader, Mordecai, was elevated to prime minister, and Haman was hanged upon his own gallows. Daniel’s enemies maneuvered him into the lions’ den, but these enemies themselves were later devoured by the animals, and King Darius decreed “that in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever” (Daniel 6:26).

In the awful hour of Satan and the powers of darkness, Jesus died on the cross, but “having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15). “Why did the heathen rage? . . . the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.” Their plans turned to frustration and rage because all they could do was “whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done” (Acts 4:25-26, 28).

Let men be ever so bitter against God and hateful to His people. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church, and the more His enemies rage, the more will God be glorified. The wrath of man can never prevail against the Lord. It will either be restrained in due season or will be turned into praise, for “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). HMM

The Soul in Our Body

But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

—1 Corinthians 12:18

 

Let us review something here that we probably know: the doctrine of the life and operation of Christian believers on earth—starting with the fact that the Christian church is the body of Christ, Jesus Himself being the Headship of that body. Every true Christian, no matter where he or she lives, is a part of that body, and the Holy Spirit is to the church what our own souls are to our physical bodies. Through the operation of the Holy Spirit, Christ becomes the life, the unity and the consciousness of the body, which is the church. Let the soul leave the physical body and all the parts of the body cease to function. Let the Spirit be denied His place in the spiritual body, and the church ceases to function as God intended….

According to the Bible, the whole body exists for its members and the members exist for the whole body. And that, of course, is the reason God gives gifts, so that the body may profit spiritually and maintain spiritual health and prosperity in its service for Jesus Christ in an unfriendly world.   TRA014-016

Lord, I pray today that we in our church might be aware of Your presence, that we might be faithfully exercising the gifts You have given and that we might be a healthy Body that pleases You. Amen.

 

Midwives in the Henhouse

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

—John 1:13

 

I was once a farm boy. I learned that when it came time for eggs to hatch, we did well not to help the process along. The chick that had been helped in its birth could be spotted every time. It was weak, and it walked with a stagger.

But that is what we do with the penitents who want to get right with God. Well-meaning people kneel down with the seeking sinners, find a Bible text and pray away until they see a little sign of life. Then, like eager midwives in the henhouse, they pull the penitents from their shells, dry them off, write down their names as converts—and later wonder why they do not develop.

But when the Holy Spirit brings penitents to the new birth, they bounce out into the world healthy and howling. Their sins are forgiven; their burdens have been lifted! FBR082

The will in man is the point of contact which God acts upon us, and, like the helm and the engine of the vessel, it is the directing and impelling power of life….They greatly err who look for its sphere in the emotions. Its seat is in the will. A clear, calm, inflexible choice is the mightiest element in the life of faith. SI215

 

To One Sorrowing

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

By the time this is in your hands, the first days of stunning grief will have passed. You will take up the threads of each day’s duty, while you face afresh every morning, and take home to your heart every evening, that sense of emptiness which seems almost to swallow up the things that remain.

You must face life—life with that sense of emptiness in it—life with that other life gone out of it. But, my dear child, if God is to be glorified, you must face it in such a way that the shadow lies behind, and not ahead. Your spirit must not dwell in the darkness of the grave, but in the light of heaven. You must not walk through life holding death’s icy hand, but holding to a living faith that, in the very presence of death, warms your heart with a hope that has its kindlings in the everlasting love of the unchanging Father.

Sorrows must come; we know that. We are reconciled even to the thought that to follow Jesus means a multiplying rather than a lessening of our griefs. How could it be otherwise when He was “a Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3 KJV)?

It seems to me that grief is like a furnace—it either refines or destroys; like a mighty wind, it either tears up by the roots the faith of years, or, sweeping over it, leaves it strengthened and established. You must decide which it shall be. The attitude of your soul, not the storm of sorrow that sweeps over it, will determine whether you remain rooted and grounded; the spirit in your heart, not the furnace of affliction through which it passes, will determine whether you come forth as gold.

If now you turn your eyes on yourself, on your loss, on your own broken hopes, you will walk in the shadow. But if you turn your eyes away from yourself to God, you will walk in the light, leaving the shadow behind.

I cannot explain why weeping with another dries my own tears, but it does; nor why sharing another’s load should make me less conscious of my own, but it does; nor how putting out my hand to save someone else from stumbling in their sorrow keeps my foot from slipping, but it does.

Faith is the only soil in which a sorrow planted with bleeding hands and watered by bitter tears could ever spring up to blossom with new hope and joy for you, and to bring forth good fruit abundantly.

Catherine Bramwell-Booth, Messages to the Messengers