Monday, March 29, 2010

Proud Partner

I'm excited to share with you that our lead missionary to Egypt, Safaa Fahmi, was featured in a recent issue of the Christian Standard magazine. His work with CAS was the highlight of the article, "Egyptian Churches Move Toward New Testament Principles." Read it online here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Confessions For Overcomers

My body is a temple for the Holy Spirit, (1Cor. 6:19) redeemed, (Eph. 1:7, Ps. 107:2) cleansed, (1 John 1:7) and sanctified by the Blood of Jesus (Heb 13:12). My members, the parts of my body, are instruments of righteousness (Rom. 6:13), yielded to God for His service and for His glory. The devil has no place in me, no power over me, no unsettled claims against me. All has been settled by the Blood of Jesus (Rom 8:33-34). I overcome Satan by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of my testimony, and I love not my life unto the death. (Rev. 12:11) My body is for the Lord and the Lord is for my body. (1 Cor. 6:13)

I am not just an ordinary man or woman: I am a daughter of the Living God. I am an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus Christ. I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. I am one of God’s people. (Gal. 4:6-7, 1 Peter 2:9) My mind is being renewed by the Word of God. I pull down strongholds. I cast down imaginations and I bring every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor. 10:4, Rom 12:2). I am accepted in the beloved. If God is for me, who can be against me? Nothing can separate me from the love of Christ. (Rom. 8:35-39)

Satan is defeated; the Son of God came in to the world to destroy the works of the devil. No longer will he oppress me. I defeat Satan and all demons by the Blood of Jesus and the word of my testimony not loving my life unto death. I submit to God: I resist the devil and he must flee from me now. (Rev 12:11, James 4:7-8)

No temptation will overtake me that is not common to man, but God is faithful; He will not let me be tempted beyond my strength but with the temptation will also provide a way of escape that I will be able to endure. (1 Cor. 10:13)

I give no place to fear in my life. That which a man fears comes upon him. The fear of man brings a snare, but perfect love casts out fear. I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears (2 Tim. 1:7, 1 John 4:18, Ps. 34:4) The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore I will not fear. (Ps. 27:1, Ps. 46:1-2)

I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe. (Rom. 1:16) I am a believer not a doubter, I have faith towards God. My faith is not in myself or the realm of my feelings, but in a living God who will never fail me nor forsake me. I walk by faith and not by sight. (Heb. 11:1-6) I will be anxious for nothing. He will keep me in perfect peace, for my mind is stayed upon Him. (Phil. 4:6-7, Is. 26:3) I choose this day to love by faith, to walk by faith, and to see with the eyes of faith. I will go from faith to faith, from strength to strength, from glory to glory. (Rom 1:17, 1 Cor. 5:7) I look not to the healing but to the healer; Jesus Christ, my Lord. My body is for the Lord and the Lord is for my body. He took away all my illnesses and carried all my diseases. By His stripes I am healed. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is a work in my body giving me life. (1 Pet. 2:24, Mat. 8:16-17)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Life Can Be Really Shaky

The entire world seems to be moving with earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, Taiwan as well as tremors throughout the world. Our lives are shaky even without the earthquakes due to little issues related to marriage, money, broken health and grief. Our faith in Jesus and His unshakeable Kingdom is vital in surviving all of the quakes, small and large, in our lives.

See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:25-29
Here are a few more key verses for all of us to read to prepare us for what lies ahead.

1 Kings 19
Matthew 28:2
Acts 16:26
Matthew 24
Revelation 11
Revelation 16

The earth and our lives will continue to shake. The question is, do you have a firm foundation?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Seeing Life Through the Eyes of God

Here are a few more powerful verses I encourage you to commit to memory.

"They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong."
Psalm 73:4

"Lord, by such things men live; and my spirit finds life in them too. You restored me to health and let me live." Isaiah 38:16

"At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food." Daniel 1:15

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Great Library

The practices of writing, collecting, and reading manmade documents is as old as man himself. I don’t know if Adam wrote any books but am confident that he had the ability to write. Great scrolls and clay tablets have been found amidst the cultures of Israel, Egypt, Turkey (Hittites), Iran (Persians), Iraq (Babylonians) and many others, including the new world nations.

The Library of Alexandria in Egypt has a mythical image of a scroll that it contained before the building’s destruction, which historians suspect took place between the years 400 and 600 AD. Today the new Alexandria Library is an impressive archeological wonder with a wealth of pictures and other resources. However, it is doubtful that anyone in the world would question the fact that the greatest library on earth now is the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., pictured here. It contains 142 million documents and adds more every day.

A yawn might escape you as you wonder why I am including this fascinating information. The prophet Daniel is our next stop. “But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.” (Daniel 12:4)

Two of the signs of the end times are the ability to travel all over the earth and a rapid increase of knowledge. I am writing this blog from my little writing table in my bedroom. I am surrounded by more technology than most nations throughout history possessed. In fact, my grandfather, who died in 1976, would not be able to name or explain half of the items that surround me. I have the history of the universe at my fingertips. As exciting as it is to have all of this knowledge at the touch of a button, I am reminded that the end of the age is at hand. We must return to Daniel’s writing: “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3)

Winning people to Jesus is all that matters! King Solomon states the facts this way:

“The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one Shepherd. Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:11-14)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tiger and Me!

In Matthew 5:27, we read, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ ”

In this passage Jesus is quoting Moses, who is quoting Jesus. Perhaps this is a little confusing but Jesus is God and Moses got commandments from God. These commandments state, "You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 21:14) and "You shall not commit adultery” (Deuteronomy 5:18). Therefore, in reality, Jesus is quoting himself!

What you are about to read may upset you, yet I hope you will process God’s words. Whether we are discussing adultery or any other sin mentioned in Exodus 20, two key factors must be processed.

The first factor is that without a Biblical worldview, one might wonder why adultery is wrong. If we are a product of evolution, where does any other ethic come from if not from oneself? Through that lens, what Tiger Woods did would not only be OK, it would be good because it was good for Tiger.

Many in our culture continue to distance our nation from her Judeo-Christian roots, yet our entire system of laws and morality are built upon the ethics of the Biblical text. Are Tiger’s actions wrong or right? This question can only be answered properly based on a moral absolute.

Our second factor is the issue of addiction. The term turns everyone into a victim, as though no one is ever responsible for his or her own behavior. Did anyone force Tiger to be unfaithful? Did anyone ever force you to drink, do drugs, or abuse? I do understand that some grew up in more difficult circumstances than others, but we are still missing the key ingredient in all our problems. This ingredient is what God calls SIN!

Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Meanwhile, in Romans 6:23, we read that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The word "sin" implies missing the mark. What mark? God’s mark! Therefore, our surrender to Jesus and repentance is the only hope for wholeness. I am wrong. I have sinned. I am not the victim. I am the guilty party. Sin has wreaked havoc in all of our lives, but the issue is not to analyze my culture but my own choices.

Jesus gently made this statement to a woman caught in adultery that is detailed in John 8:10-11. “Jesus straightened up and asked her, Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? No one, sir, she said. Then neither do I condemn you, Jesus declared. Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Albert Pujols, superstar athlete and St. Louis Cardinal, said it best. “As a Christian, I am called to live a holy life. My standard for living is set by God, not by the world. I am responsible for growing and sharing the gospel.” Pujols’ words were spoken at Manly Night, an annual evangelistic event held in January in a St. Louis, Missouri, high school. In his message, he added, “I can’t think of a greater place to celebrate my 30th birthday than with you guys, sharing my heart and lifting up the kingdom of Jesus.”

The three-time National League MVP said he prefers to live his life for Christ, not for himself. “It would be easy to go out and do whatever I want, but those things only satisfy the flesh for a moment. Jesus satisfies my soul forever.”

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Names of God

We serve an awesome God! He has been given many names and each reveals our Lord in a different way.

I encourage you to prioritize learning the names of God. An extensive list is online here at "Smile God Loves You."