Friday, May 30, 2008

A True Friend In Truth!

Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. (Proverbs 27:6)

Please do not tell me what I want to hear,
Speak the truth loudly and have no fear,
I desire to be so much more like Christ,
So I'll listen and learn and heed good advice.

I don't want "friends" who will pat my back,
And tell me "well done" when I'm off the track,
Just be faithful and stay true to Him,
And please let me know if you see me in sin.

Your gentle instruction might save me one day,
From getting bogged down or leaving the way,
When my eyes close in death and the curtain comes down,
I'll thank God for having such sound friends around!

Your best friend is the one who will tell you the most truth! When you find one… listen to them!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

It Was Just A Little Bite, Wasn't It?

Have you ever read the account of man's fall in the Garden of Eden and thought to yourself, "Man, that seems pretty harsh. One bite of the apple and they are stewed fruit!" It might seem pretty heavy, but judge Eve's actions by the 10 Commandments for a minute and you'll find that she actually broke 8 out of the 10 (maybe 9 if this took place on the Sabbath).

Eve broke the 9th (You shall not lie) when she embellished the truth and misrepresented God's command saying, "and you must not touch it, or you will die.'". According to the Genesis 2 account, God's recorded command was "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

The next commandment to fall was the first (You shall have no other gods before me). When Eve took counsel from the serpent over the counsel of God, she placed the serpent before Him. Is not a god something you look to, turn to or serve? By siding with the serpent, Eve in actual fact became an accuser of God - though not verbally, her unbelief (as demonstrated by her actions) accused God of being a liar or worse, a fool. He either lied to me about eating this fruit and I will not surely die, or he thinks that I will surely die but he really has no idea what he's talking about! Such blasphemous thoughts! (3rd commandment)

Rapidly preceding this was a toppling of the 10th (You shall not covet) for "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom" she decided in her heart - now is my chance to be like God. Is that not the very thing that caused the serpent to fall?

A split second later her hand reached out and "she took some and ate it". This was not her fruit to eat, so by stealing the fruit Eve broke the eighth (You shall not steal).

At the same time I would submit to you that Eve also broke the second commandment (You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them). When she looked, desired and took the fruit, she in effect made the fruit an idol. She looked to it for wisdom and to make her like God, and then she bowed down and worshiped it by eating!

Her very next action was a violation of the sixth commandment (You shall not murder), for when "She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it" she murdered him (not to mention the entire human race that would come out of Adam's seed). The weapon? An apple! You may not agree with that, but by her very actions you can see that she has lost all love for Adam in giving him the apple. She didn't care if he lived or died apparently, and as is says in the scriptures "Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer”

Finally, in all this she broke the fifth commandment (Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you). Her father God, who made her and breathed life into her, commanded her not to eat the fruit and she dishonoured Him by disobeying his commandments.

And I don't think it is by chance that the fifth commandment is also the first with a promise "Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you". Didn't Eve's actions result in them being banished on from the garden and the sentence of death being placed upon their lives?

A little food for thought!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Here I am Lord, Send Me!

I do not know where you’ll have me go,
What I’ll do or say, or who’ll I’ll know,

It’s not for me to second guess,
To forge my own path or seek my own rest,

It’s for your Son I give all to serve,
For you offer me what I don’t deserve,

The riches of grace and mercy be,
Flogged and torn and hung on that tree.

I’m not my own I was bought with a price,
The Treasure of heaven, who poured out His life,

It’s not for freedom sake I’ve been set free,
So here I am Lord – Send Me!

Authored while @ ReachOut 2007

Folks... it's not a matter of am I called, but will I go? If you are a child of God, you have already been sent!

The great commission is not a command to GO, but to preach... As you are going into all the world, PREACH the gospel! So, will you?

Where you are right now is part of all the world. Your street, neighbourhood, workplace, town or city - no doubt there are countless lost souls within your reach. So in obedience to your master, reach out now and start to seek and save those which are lost!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Onto Calvary!

I set my heart on Calvary,
to join my Saviour on that tree,
not to live or to be free,
but die to self and follow Thee!

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? (Matthew 26:24-26)

Two Kinds Of People!

There are two kinds of people. Those who say to God "Thy will be done", and, those to whom God says "Alright then, have it your way!"

- C.S Lewis

There are no other choices! The former leads to a place of brokenness and repentance, the second to destruction. Or do you think that the Lord says without reason in Matthew 21:42-44

"Have you never read in the Scriptures: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes'? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him."

When it is all said and done we DO NOT want to have it our way! Our way is one of darkness. Our way leads to death. Apart from the light of God man can but grope around in the darkness. Lost as a blind man in a dark forest on a night with no moon! He may promote himself to a blind leader of the blind, but they will both fall into the pit.

But, the Lord is full of compassion and mercy. He will give light to those who seek him. He will save those who call upon His name! Question is, will you?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Before The Throne Of God Above!

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!

Words: Charitie L. Bancroft, 1863.

"Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (1 Peter 3:14b-15a)

And what a great hope we have in Christ Jesus!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Western Pulpit!

Poor creatures, at that time, how was our English Bethel [House of God] degenerated into a Beth-Aven [House of Nothingness (of Idols)]. What a film of superstition, and profanes was there then grown over one of the eyes of this our Island! Our pulpits turned as it were into stages; and sadly prostituted to froth and jerks at godliness. As for truly learned, soul searching, soul saving preaching, twas that which most of us either knew not, or scorned. The mode of our then sermons was more to please the fancy, than to pierce the heart; to tickle the ear, rather than wound the conscience, or save the precious the immortal soul.

From the forward to the reader in 'Eighteen sermons preached in Oxford'. [Comments Added]

Isn't it amazing! This short discourse written in 1660 and describing the state of the pulpits of the Church of England in Oxfordshire in the early 1600’s reads much like the sad state of the pulpit today!

Around the world, though it would seem more prevalent in the west, “church” leaders are fattening themselves for the day of slaughter on the souls of lost men and women! Peddling cheap grace and easy believe-ism in the name of numerical success and church growth, they crucify yet again the Son of God.

Preacher, you are to spend yourself and be spent in this one thing: preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified! For in Him is the salvation of all mankind!

If you will not perform this task, if you will not preach the Truth of God – get out of the pulpit for your own sake and the sake of those in your hearing!

Woe unto the shepherds that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith Jehovah. Therefore thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, against the shepherds that feed my people: Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them; behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith Jehovah. (Jeremiah 23:1-2)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Evolution Is Crackers!

Reclining at the table last night I decided to put my four year old on the spot! Taking 5 seaweed rice crackers (each about the size of a small marble) I began a game called "Put" or "Drop".

Without explaining the purpose or rules, and with eyes shut tight each turn, I proceeded to "Put" (lay out the crackers in a loose pattern)* or "Drop" (let the chips fall as they may - so to speak) in a random sequence.

With a bemused look on her face (and probably thinking her dad was a bit crackers) she patiently complied with each request to decide "Put" or "Drop".

To my amazement, not only did she understand conceptually the differences between "Put" and "Drop", but by looking at the effect she was clearly able to distinguish the cause (as evidenced by her 100% success rate).

How is it then, that a four year old can look at a five crackers, ascertain a logical order (or pattern) and correctly conclude "Put", and a planet full of scientists surrounded by an infinite number of examples (from microbiological machines of irreducible complexity to huge sprawling galaxies), foolishly conclude "Drop"? It's Crackers! It doesn't make sense!

How can so many “learned” men and women get it so horribly wrong? We only have to turn to the scripture to find out, for in Romans 1:18-22 we read:

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of human beings who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools!

May God give us eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying!

The God of Truth must teach us the Truth of God or we shall never learn it! - Charles Spurgeon

Lay Hold of Him!

He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.

- Jim Elliot

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Regeneration Fact #1

“A man who is really saved by grace does not need to be told that he is under solemn obligations to serve Christ. The new life within him tells him that. Instead of regarding it as a burden, he gladly surrenders himself–body, soul, and spirit–to the Lord who has redeemed him, reckoning this to be his reasonable service.”

- Charles Spurgeon

How Well Do You Know Your Bible?

Resisting Christ

The extent to which you are not like Christ is the measure of how much you resist him!

- Unknown

Don't Forget Your Toothbrush!

Today, many people will spend more time brushing their teeth than attending to the great need of their own soul! It's a tragic reality! In the next 24 hours around 150,000 people will pass from time into eternity - many of those will go with clean teeth and a rotten soul.

As believers in Christ we are compelled to go into all the world and take the gospel of the Jesus Christ to all people! It is an undertaking that God's love, within the heart of all his children, bids them do! But how? Cleaning teeth I know, but souls?

As a child, I was instructed to brush my teeth for a full three minutes before I went to bed. A small sacrifice of time, but my teeth have thanked me for it! What if you only had three minutes to share the Gospel with a dying man? Would you be ready?

It may be all the time he has left, but if you share the life saving gospel with him and he is gloriously saved by faith in Christ, you will have such joy in your heart knowing that he has passed through death with clean teeth and a clean soul!

If you don’t know how you could even possibly present the gospel to a complete stranger, family member or friend in three minutes, I would encourage you to listen to "Three Minutes To Live" by Ray Comfort.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hold That Thought!

“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” 1Corinthians 2:2

I have to ask the question... what else is there to think of? Seriously! Is there anyone else of greater worth than Christ, or another act of greater importance? Is there anything else worth pursuing on earth or in heaven?

I wish that every pulpit across this country would return soundly to this point! For in Christ and him crucified we see all things!
- We see God's fierce anger towards sin and unrepentant sinners
- We see His Holiness, His Righteousness, His Justice
- We see our wretched and fearful state
- We see our helplessness and utter dependency
- We see the necessity for repentance
- We see His Wisdom, His longsuffering, His Goodness
- We see His Love, His Mercy, His Grace
- We see His Sovereignty and his Power

We have contained therein, the full counsel of God. A clear presentation of the truth! A sound foundation on which to build!

"That this should be the resolution of every minister of the gospel. This is his business. It is not to be a politician; not to engage in the strifes and controversies of people; it is not to be a good farmer, or scholar merely; not to mingle with his people in festive circles and enjoyments; not to be a man of taste and philosophy, and distinguished mainly for refinement of manners; not to be a profound philosopher or metaphysician, but to make Christ crucified the grand object of his attention, and seek always and everywhere to make him known." - Albert Barnes

Folks, this is not just for ministers... this applies to us all. Hold that thought!

Welcome To Romans 1!

You may be asking yourself, why does this world need yet another blog? Well, that's a good question...

Here are a few thoughts about why I have setup Romans 1:

1. To see Christ lifted up before the whole world; whereby all who are lost might find salvation!
2. To encourage and challenge other believers; as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another!
3. To give family and friends a chance to understand a little more of what goes through my mind!
4. To give myself a means by which to pour out that which is poured in!

For all those who stumble upon this blog, by chance or invitation, whether lost or saved, seeking or indifferent… I pray before your dying breath, that God grant you such a revelation of Christ Jesus that you lay all aside to follow Him, and follow hard after Him!