Friday, 28 February 2014

Sinner's Prayer

Have you seen or read articles which discuss the problems with alter calls and the sinner's prayer? The problems which they cite state, in essence, that it causes a person to believe that it is in their own power to be saved by doing the things and saying the words that will bring about their salvation. As a consequence they believe they have become saved ....and perhaps they are---or perhaps they are not. The "magic" (because truly this is the same as magical thinking) isn't in the saying of words, or the coming forward when told to do so, or by raising of the hand, or what-have-you, to signify to the pastor in charge that you want and need Jesus. The grace of God comes on His terms at the time He chooses, not on our timetable or our terms. He saves us because we do not earn it in any way, not even our asking "earns" this for us. He saves us even while we were His enemies. How is that possible??? Because God is God. That answer may seem too simplistic, and perhaps it is. Have you ever said to your son or daughter "Because I'm your mommy (or daddy), that's why!". Sometimes nothing else needs to be said. End of story. God is good because He is...and He does what He does because He is good, not because we did something that caused Him to act. If anything at all, He put the desire in our heart, and then He drew us to Himself by supplying us with our desiring Him, because it all came from Him. But then why doesn't He do that for everyone? Because then it wouldn't be grace, it would instead be universalism, and universalism is unbiblical. God's grace extends to all, but not all are saved. It's simple, and yet it's complicated...and a sinner's prayer doesn't solve our sin problem, Jesus does.

There it is.

 People put faith in a prayer, or in their faith, or in their works.... in ANYTHING BUT JESUS.

It is Jesus who saves, not ourselves with our wishing and praying. When He has mercy on us, He saves us by His power, not the power of our prayers. The power is of Christ not of ourselves. Too many are putting their faith in the wrong thing (self/works/formulas), but the Holy Spirit will come upon His own in power and reveal His glory, the glory to save even one such as I.

Monday, 17 February 2014

But I'm a Good Person

"The depravity of man at once the most empirically verifiable reality but the most intellectually resisted fact."  --Malcom Muggeridge (and retweeted by DebbieLynne)

I saw this retweeted by DebbieLynne this morning and it reminded me of the book by Mr Muggeridge. I write about that aspect on my other blog. 

Yesterday my husband and I got to visit with Kent Clark in Pontiac, Michigan. We were hesitant to go because the snow was coming down pretty thick and it was foggy to boot. I'm glad we decided it was worth the effort, because it truly was worth that. The topic of man's depravity is Pastor Clark's favorite and most oft revisited, or so it seems. Yesterday was no different in that respect. He again talked about exactly what that means, and how that fact showcases God's grace towards us. He said that the ones least likely to truly understand this fact are the most religious amongst us. They still think that they aren't as bad as so and so, but the fact is they are JUST AS BAD. He reminded us that God can see everything we think we keep hidden from prying eyes, all the dirty thoughts, the pridefulness, the arrogance, the "little white lies", the anger and hatred which are equal to murder (Jesus said that in Matthew ch 5), the ways we fool ourselves into thinking we are better than others (see Luke ch 18) when truly we are even worse than others if we view ourselves like that.

This is Pastor Kent about what is happening in Pontiac, Michigan:

And this is from CH Spurgeon about man's depravity and our inability to come to Him without His drawing us to Himself:

Tuesday, 11 February 2014


  For He (God) says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."   So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
 Romans 9:15-16 (ESV)

Is mercy earned? It seems like many people think that it is, and that God is not fair for only choosing to bring "some" into His kingdom. If He only brought in 1 person who didn't deserve it, that is 1 more than should be there, so is that unfair? And we know there will be more than just 1 person that will be with Him, by His mercy. Such compassion is beyond the kind that we in our flesh can display. We feign affection for people that we just don't like or approve of. Come on, really, tell the truth. The only way I can truly love a person that irritates the "you know what" out of me is if the grace is given to me from the Lord. The rest is just fake, putting on like I "love" this person when truly I can't wait to get away from him or her. But the love of God isn't like that at all. He loved us while we were yet sinners, and completely undeserving of His love and mercy. He can see all the yucky things that we think we keep hidden from prying eyes so well. He washes those whom He has chosen with His own spent blood, the most precious thing He could pour out to us. And yet we still think we somehow deserve it by a choice we made or a sinners prayer we rattled off....? Really?

No, it is NOTHING that we did, or do, that could earn His mercy and compassion. It is because He loves those He chooses, through His grace and mercy. Such a divine goodness is too much for me to fully comprehend, but that doesn't make it any less true.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Guard Your Heart

 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.   But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:12-13  (ESV)

Hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. The worst sin is pride. It caused satan to think he was superior to God Himself, and cause others to come with him and join him in his falling from grace.

If a person is truly saved, changed from the inside, born again, it is impossible for such a one to lose their salvation (Jesus said so)...and some may lose their way temporarily, but will return to Him because He draws His own to Himself (John 6:44) however there are those who have an "appearance of godliness", they appear "good" but it isn't the goodness that comes from God because they deny His power, and we are to turn away from those.

2Ti 3:1  But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
2Ti 3:2  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3  heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,
2Ti 3:4  treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
2Ti 3:5  having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
2Ti 3:6  For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,
2Ti 3:7  always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

However there are warnings in the Bible. There are things to avoid, just as we would avoid anything icky and disgusting and horrid. In the Old Testament there were rules for how to deal with lepers. They had their own area that they had to be in so the healthy would not be in contact with them. They had to remain "outside the camp" until they were deemed cleansed.

I have been reading the Old Testament beginning from the beginning. I'm now in the book of Numbers. There is a scene in the text where Aaron and Miriam stand against Moses, and God punishes Miriam (I wonder why not Aaron? oh well) with leprosy. Moses pleads for Miriam but God says she has to endure the disease for 7 days after-which she