Monday, 30 September 2013

Proverbs 27:6

My dear hubby and I went to the movies on Saturday and were pleasantly surprised with a wonderful film  directed by Ron Howard. We are not auto racing fans, however the movie "Rush" really caught our fascination. It is a story based on the real life rivals Niki Lauda and James Hunt and what took place in the Grand Prix Championship of 1976.There were several good things that could be said about this film, but this isn't going to be a movie review. There was one scene in particular in which methodical and practical "Niki Lauda" tells the playboy "James Hunt" that James needs to stop his partying and get on his game. He advises "his enemy" that it is wiser to listen and learn from your enemies than it is to only look for kisses from false friends. It was a paraphrase of Proverbs 27:6 which says:

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Your real friends would tell you the truth, and if necessary, make it sting with it's bluntness so that the truth will hit home. Those seeds can then do their work to cause a person to realize their situation honestly, because we can be very good at lying to ourselves about it. I often read blogs which garner many "friends" who love to "love" the blogger with all kinds of "kisses" (compliments), but as Christians are we called to be flatterers? Or must we weigh all things by the word of God? When someone who calls him or herself a Christian just goes on and on about him or herself with rarely (if ever) a nod to Jesus, is that something we should encourage and fawn over? It may seem like a minor or trivial issue, but it actually goes to the heart of what is at stake. Paul goes on and on about the deceitfulness of our flesh, and of all the dangers that the enemy wants to entice us with. Did he waste his time in doing so? Was there no reason to consider such dangers? Is the foolishness of such idolatry of self worthy of  our attention at all?

Today's "gospel" centers on self, and it is no gospel. It is all about what Jesus can do for me, and about how I want to interpret the Bible myself, and about how the Holy Spirit in ME might be telling me something different than He tells everyone else...really? I've even seen those who claim to be Christians, claim to not be for the self-centered "Christianity" and still only talk about themselves and their own experiences, as if that is the most important thing in the world. What should we then say to such a person? Would it be faithful to encourage such behavior? Or should we encourage them to talk more about Jesus and what He TRULY is all about instead? What would Jesus do?

Some things that I have been pondering much about lately, and praying that the Lord Jesus shows me the way to honor Him in all things by being true to His word, and not just a flatterer.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Amazing Grace

Acknowlegement of Sin

From Joseph Alleine's "A Sure Guide to Heaven":

"When He (the Lord) works convictions. O do not stifle them, but join in with Him, and beg the Lord to give you saving conversion. 'Quench not the Spirit.' Do not reject Him, do not resist Him.Beware of stifling convictions with evil company or worldly business."

How often to we stifle His convictions of our sinful inner thoughts? How often do we excuse ourselves with "Oh well, everyone thinks these things" or "At least I'm not as bad as  (fill in the blank)." No, we should always take these straight to the throne room, and realize our terrible sinfulness in gratitude of a forgiving God. Let us not go to the pharmacist, or psychologist, or well-meaning friends for comfort, who will only condone the selfish and evil promptings, or medicate them away with things that hinder the Lord's process of cleansing us from all unrighteousness. Let us hold fast to Jesus instead, knowing that it is His goodness, not our own, which means anything, and everything. When we feel conviction, let us not shrink away from the fact that we are full of darkness in need of the light that wants to enter in to remove that darkness to fill us full of His light. Instead let us embrace that fact that we are nothing without His goodness enlightening our dark habitation.

When we feel the weight of our unrighteousness, let us not try means of elevating ourselves into a righteous mindset, but let us remember that "none are righteous, no not one" except Jesus. When we want to "think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think" let us remember that "God alone is good and every man (and woman) is a liar" which of course includes myself, and no one wants to deceive me more about my own goodness than I myself do. Jesus is the only cure. Whenever we feel the weight of guilt and unrighteousness, it is the righteousness of God that will sustain us, as we admit our guilt and thank Him for His love and mercy.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Dr. Jay Klopfenstein

I had the privilege and pleasure of going to The Metropolitan Bible Church in Ottawa yesterday with my husband, and his aunt and uncle. They had a guest pastor who they were hoping to vote into being their senior pastor, Dr. Jay Klopfenstein. I found a Vimeo of a previous visit he made there, in May of this year. This is an AWESOME sermon:

Dr. Jay Klopfenstein: A Case for Spiritual Insomnia from Metropolitan Bible Church on Vimeo.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Aha Moment

Joh 17:1  These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
Joh 17:2  As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Joh 17:4  I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
Joh 17:5  And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
Joh 17:6  I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
Joh 17:7  Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
Joh 17:8  For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
Joh 17:9  I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
Joh 17:10  And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
Joh 17:11  And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
Joh 17:12  While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
Joh 17:13  And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
Joh 17:14  I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Joh 17:15  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

Every once in a while I have one of those "aha moments"...and what is REALLY COOL is when my husband and I have one together. This happened while at church a few months ago. Our pastor, Kent Clark  was speaking on what Jesus went through on our behalf, and then made a startling comment. He said that Jesus did not give Himself to us but gave Himself to the Father and then the Father gave those whom He had chosen to the Son. My DH and I both almost jumped up out of our seats and looked at each other and said "wow!" Pastor Clark, or rather the Holy Spirit through pastor Clark delivered a powerful word that hit us both right at the same time.

So often we hear about Jesus offering Himself to us, and that is completely incorrect. He offered Himself to the Father. If the Father rejected His sacrifice, it all would have been for nothing. But the Father accepted Jesus' sacrifice for our sins. THAT is the defining moment, when the Father accepted the sacrifice and out of that the Father gave to the Son those whom He had chosen.

 Heb 9:14  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Heb 9:15  And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.