Monday, March 26, 2007
Peter, James and John were called away from the crowd and taken up into the mountain by Jesus.
There they saw Jesus in away that they had never seen Him. They saw Jesus transfigured before Him.
They saw His divinity...
They saw Moses and Elijah standing with Him.
The Voice of the Law... Moses
The Voice of the Prophesy... Elijah
Standing with the embodiment and fulfillment of both...
In that moment, on the Mountain of Transfiguration the History of God's manifestation and His plan for the future was joined together.
Not many make it to the mountain of Greatness...
The air is thin and the trek is long...
It takes Commitment...
It takes Determination...
It takes Separation...
I want to make the trek to the Mountain of Greatness!
Monday, March 12, 2007
Some of this came from a Richard Whitman post on UPC Pastor's Helper (Oct 2nd, 10:33am)... Thank you Brother Whitman....
The Audio of this lesson can be heard at http://www.oakparkch.org/content/archive.php
Rom 14:10-13 10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
Romans 14:10-13 (AMP) “Why do you criticize and pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you look down upon or despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. And so each of us shall give an account of himself - give an answer in reference to judgment - to God. Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a brother.”
A Fool and His Note
A pastor received an anonymous note with nothing but the word "FOOL!" written on it. The next morning he got in church and said, "I've gotten many notes without signatures before but this is the first time I got one where someone forgot to write the note and just signed his name!"
It is said that when the British and French were fighting in Canada in the 1750s, Admiral Phipps, commander of the British fleet, was told to anchor outside Quebec. He was given orders to wait for the British land forces to arrive, then support them when they attacked the city. Phipps' navy arrived early. As the admiral waited, he became annoyed by the statues of the saints that adorned the towers of a nearby cathedral, so he commanded his men to shoot at them with the ships' cannons. No one knows how many rounds were fired or how many statues were knocked out, but when the land forces arrived and the signal was given to attack, the admiral was of no help. He had used up all his ammunition shooting at the "saints."
Webster defines criticism as “an act of criticizing; to judge as a critic; to find fault; to blame or condemn.”
Fault finding is not difficult
Isaac Murray illustrates this in his story on how a dog hitched to a wagon stopped pulling to bark at a passerby. The boy who was riding in the wagon said, “Don’t mind the dog, he is just barking for an excuse to rest. It is easier to bark than to pull the wagon.”
Build-up not Tear Down
The text tells us not to tear down our brethren through criticism or judgment, as this can pose a serious stumbling-block and cause irreparable damage to their faith.
Among God’s warnings to us in scripture, there are none more somber or serious than His warning to not become a stumbling block to His followers.
6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
We tend to judge others by their actions, while we judge ourselves by our intentions. We cannot rightly judge anyone else, because we do not know the contents of their heart. We should be content to judge only ourselves and seek to bring our own lives in alignment with God’s Word
1 Corinthians 11:31
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
The Profile of a Critical Spirit
• an obsessive attitude of criticism and fault-finding
• seeks to tear others down
• not the same thing as “constructive criticism.”
The only criticism that is ever constructive is that which is expressed in love to “build up,” not to tear down — it is always expressed face-to-face, never behind their back.
The person with a critical spirit usually dwells on the negative, seeks for flaws rather than good. They’re a complainer, usually always upset, and generally have a problem or a complaint about something. They often have little control over their tongue, their temper, and have tendencies for gossip and slander, which Paul said were sins “worthy of death” (Rom. 1:29-32).
What Causes a Critical Spirit?
Negativity - A bad attitude and a negative view of life. A person may have unconfessed sin in their life (Rom. 2:1), or may harbor unforgiveness or bitterness toward someone who may have offended them (Heb. 12:15). The offender may be another, themselves or even God They may have resentment regarding the “hand that life dealt them” or the circumstances they have endured. Because they don’t truly trust God they may even be angry with Him and take it out on life in general.
Insecurity - Criticism is often a subconscious means to “elevate one’s own self image.” By putting others down, they are inwardly trying to feel more important or that “they know more.” Jealousy toward the spiritual victories of others is often the cause of criticism and belittling comments. Popular, talented or gifted people are often the target of such tactics.
Immaturity - Believers must always keep their focus upon Christ and His Word, not man, who will often fail (Heb. 12:2). The young or immature believer who has not progressed very far in their own faith, remain overly dependent upon the faith of those within the body of Christ. Unfortunately, when they begin to notice the flaws in their brethren, subconsciously, this becomes a threat to their own sense of victory. Criticism becomes a reaction of disappointment, because their expectations in others have been crushed.
An Un-renewed Mind - Put-downs, making-fun-of, criticism, sarcasm are the world’s ways of reacting to the faults of people. However, as Christians we don’t behave this way. Our thinking and attitude should be renewed by the Word of God, which teaches us to bear the infirmities of the weak, to love, and show compassion and encouragement (Rom. 12:2).
Satan - As we may realize, the Devil specializes in influencing obsessive behavior. He may use any or all of the above channels, or other techniques, to influence a complaining or critical attitude to stir up turmoil and strife within the body of Christ (Eph. 6:12). We must be on guard that none of us would be used as a tool of the Devil to bring harassment or discouragement upon our brothers or sisters through continual criticism, as the Bible warns us not to “give place” to the Devil (Eph. 4:27). Remember that Satan is specifically called “the accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:10). Are you an accuser of the brethren?
The Ministry of Encouragement
The Bible says that the reason that we are to come together as a church is, not to criticize, but to “exhort” (encourage) one another (Hebrews 10:25). “Cursing the darkness” won’t change anything, but we must light a candle and “expose the light” of God’s Word. By sharing the truth of God’s Word, and encouraging people to live in its truth, people will change. Love and encouragement is a “motivational force.”
If we ever hope to bring improvement in others, we need to become people of encouragement. This is the only attitude that will change people, and our actions and words must be devoted to encouraging the spiritual progress of our brethren.
The Christian’s tongue should never be used for anything but good.
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Dr. David H. Fink, a psychiatrist for the veterans administration, wrote an article entitled, “Release from Nervous Tension.” In his article, he outlined his research into the causes of mental and emotional disturbances.
From over 10,000 case studies, he discovered that there was a common trait with all his patients who suffered from severe tension. They were habitual fault-finders, constant critics of people and things around them. Those who were free from tension, were the least critical. His conclusions were that the habit of fault-finding is a prelude or mark of the nervous, or the mentally unbalanced. Those who wish to retain good emotional and mental health, should learn to free themselves from a negative and critical attitude.
Seven Steps to Recovery from a "Critical" Condition
3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
1. Focus on God not Man
2. Trust in God
2 Cor 10:12
12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
3. Do not compare yourself to others
1 Tim 5:19
19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
4. Do not Receive an Accusation
So many people are ready to receive bad information. They revel in the negative. They believe and pass on the information whether there is proof or not.
I call it having a “Ready Ear.”
25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
6. Be not Conformed to this World
There are whole industries in our culture today that thrive on nothing more than the art of criticizing…
Art Critics… Movie Critics… Fashion Police… Politic Pundits… Tabloid Journalism… Talk Shows… News Cast
7. Be Transformed by the Renewing of Our Minds
Wash your mind with the Word. Strengthen your resolve with the renewing of the Holy Ghost.
The Bible doesn’t promise peace to those who dwell on the faults of others! It says that the Lord will keep them in perfect peace, whose minds are stayed on Him!
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Friday, March 9, 2007
However, the object of our faith never wavers. His power is unaffected by the wind, waves and uncertainty of the hour.
God is a healer... even when He chooses not to heal.
God is a peace-speaker... even when He chooses not to calm the storm.
God is the source of knowledge... even when we do not understand.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Acknowledge Him... Acknowledge that He is God... Acknowledge that His ways are perfect... Acknowledge that He is working for our good, even when we cannot see the reason.
Today, I release my fears and my doubts.
Today, I release my preconceived ideas.
Today, I let you out of the box of my agenda.
My faith is in You Lord!
My Trust is in You Lord!
My life...ministry...family...church...ambitions...are surrendered to Your flow.
Oh God, my God, do with me what You will!
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Sunday, March 4, 2007
Friday, March 2, 2007
The pressure of our culture is pushing us to accept each others differing views. It is striving to convince Oneness Pentecostals to change our doctrine to conform to the view that any path to God is correct.
They have attacked our holiness standards. They have attacked our stringent adherence to the infallible Word of God. They challenge our love for people because of what they term as our “exclusive doctrine.”
However, we will not apologize for the Word of God. We will not bend to the pressure. We may alter our methods but not our message.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
There is coming a day when all will see the truth. As a great light on a hill the true Church of the living God will stand.
The Bible speaks of a day where all will be shaken, so that when the shaking ceases, the only thing that will remain is that which cannot be shaken.
There is but One God. His name is Jesus. Salvation starts with Faith, then Repentance, Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost.
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
"On Christ the soild rock I stand... all other ground is sinking sand."