RSS Robot

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  1. Letter to the Editor from a Former Young Life Leader: “My biblical background was considered a liability instead of a blessing.” LTRP Note: Please also refer to the two articles below this letter to the editor. Dear Editor, I read with great interest the history of how Lighthouse Trails came into being. As you unfolded the story, it was so evident of how the Holy Spirit had been working behind the scenes to put all of […] The post Letter to the Editor from a Former Young Life Leader: “My biblical background was considered a liability instead of a blessing.” appeared first on . View the full article
  2. We often talk about what God’s grace does for us. And, truly, it is abundant. We talk about how greatly we need it in ministry. And we do. But have you ever considered if you might be preventing God’s grace from working in your heart? If you might be blocking its flow in your ministry? Scripture tells us that we can hinder the work of grace. How? 1. Walking in the Flesh We begin our Christian life humbly seeking God, and we begin ministry hungry for the power of the Holy Spirit. But over time, we tend to become self-sufficient. And then, without the intense sense of our need for God, we begin allowing “little” sins of the flesh to linger. It is possible to do even the work of the ministry in the flesh. But as we do, God’s grace is slowly turned from us. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.—Galatians 5:16 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.—James 4:6 2. Unbelief Early in ministry, we have no problem with looking to God in faith, because everything we ever hope to do is obviously out of our reach. But as God begins to bless our efforts and we see some of those early goals reached, we become comfortable without faith. And then we quit believing God can. Sometimes it’s not unbelief regarding ministry goals, but regarding God’s work in our own lives. We quit believing God can change us. Unbelief hardens our hearts, making us unable to receive the grace God desires to give. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.—Hebrews 3:12–13 3. Negative Speech That critical remark that seems so insignificant, the gossip masqueraded as a prayer request, the angry, sharp words…they grieve the Holy Spirit and quench the grace of God. 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. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.—Ephesians 4:29–30 By contrast, a person who is full of grace is also full of gracious words. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth…—Luke 4:22 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.—Colossians 4:6 4. Bitterness It is possible to be in the ministry and harbor bitterness in your heart. It is not possible for God’s grace to continue to freely flow through you when you are holding onto bitterness. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;—Hebrews 12:15 All four of these hindrances to grace boil down to a common denominator: pride. Walking in the flesh is pride because we believe we’re okay without the power of the Holy Spirit. Unbelief is pride because we believe ourselves—our fears or intuitions—rather than God. Negative speech is pride because we think we’re better than those to whom we direct our criticism or anger. Bitterness is pride because we think we are above experiencing suffering. But the good news is that all four of these have a common cure: humble yourself. …be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God…—1 Peter 5:5–6 Do you need God’s grace? Humble yourself before God, and it’s yours. Related posts: 5 Ways to Develop a Spirit of Grace in Your Church 10 Ways to Extend God’s Grace to Hurting People 4 Results of a Grace-Based Approach to Ministry View the full article
  3. “And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.” (1 Kings 8:10-11) This remarkable glory cloud filling Solomon’s Temple at its dedication had also been ... More... View the full article
  4. A Native American Who Wished to Leave the “Old Way” and Follow the Christian Way By Egerton Ryerson Young Written in the late 1800s (author of Stories from Indian Wigwams and Northern Campfires) I was interrupted one day while sitting in my study by the quiet entrance of a stalwart Indian whom I had not seen for a year. I had met him the previous summer in his own wigwam […] The post A Native American Who Wished to Leave the “Old Way” and Follow the Christian Way appeared first on . View the full article
  5. “And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God.” (John 20:28) Thomas has been called “doubting Thomas” because of his initial reluctance to believe in the Lord’s resurrection, but neither the Lord nor the other disciples ever viewed him in such a light. His later ministry, as the first missionary/martyr to India, speaks clearly of his... More... View the full article
  6. Something to Think About – Richard Rohr, the New Age, and Young Evangelical Christians When you consider that Catholic contemplative mystic Richard Rohr once said in an interview that his publisher told him his largest audience was young evangelical Christians, and when you know what Rohr truly believes in and stands for, how can mature Christians stand by and say nothing? Our Christian leaders not only remain quiet on […] The post Something to Think About – Richard Rohr, the New Age, and Young Evangelical Christians appeared first on . View the full article
  7. “For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.” (Psalm 31:3) In this psalm of misery and mercy, we see David’s testimony. “In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness” (Psalm 31:1). His faith was strong... More... View the full article
  8. “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalm 8:3-4) This question has been posed as a rhetorical question by many generations of skeptics, especially in our present generation when the tremendous size of the un... More... View the full article
  9. “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (Psalm 12:6-7) The preservation of the divinely given words of Scripture is incomparably superior to that of all other ancient writings. God has not allowed any of His words to ... More... View the full article
  10. Canadian Pastor Ordered to Allow Gay-Straight Alliances at His Christian Schools By Heather Clark Christian News Network A Canadian pastor is standing firm after being ordered to allow gay-straight alliances to be formed at his Christian schools. According to reports, on Sept. 2, Alberta Education Minister David Eggen sent a letter to Brian Coldwell, the chairman of the Independent Baptist Christian Education Society and pastor of […] The post Canadian Pastor Ordered to Allow Gay-Straight Alliances at His Christian Schools appeared first on . View the full article
  11. Prospective Jurors Conflicted in Trial of Man Accused of Helping Ex-Lesbian Flee Country With Daughter By Heather Clark Christian News Network BUFFALO, N.Y. — Several prospective jurors said that they could not separate their personal beliefs on homosexuality from the nation’s laws on the matter as jury selection was underway on Tuesday in the case of a Virginia man accused of aiding an ex-lesbian turned professing Christian who fled the […] The post Prospective Jurors Conflicted in Trial of Man Accused of Helping Ex-Lesbian Flee Country With Daughter appeared first on . View the full article
  12. The grace of God is an incredible gift. It not only brings salvation (Titus 2:11), but it is the ongoing provision for our Christian walk. It’s a peculiar thing about grace, however: it seems practically every Christian has their “angle” on the best way to use God’s grace—what grace is really all about. Perhaps part of the reason for that is that grace is indeed multi-faceted. It doesn’t only bring salvation, only give Christian liberty, or only produce holiness. God uses His grace at every level in our hearts. It is the ongoing provision for every child of God. In a recent podcast, we looked at how God’s grace is one of the key scriptural motivators of the Christian life. But how do you know if you are being motivated (or motivating others) by grace? Well, here are four specific ways we know that the grace of God works in our hearts: 1. Produces Holiness For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;—Titus 2:1–12 The very grace that brings salvation, also teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldliness and live in a way that is honoring to God. (This truth is given in depth treatment in Grace for Godly Living, available through Striving Together Publications.) 2. Compels Service As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.—1 Peter 4:10 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.—Acts 4:32–33 What gives you the desire to serve when the natural man wants to turn inward in self-focus or self-pity? Grace. What compels a church family to serve one another and the lost even in the unglamorous jobs of nursery care, ushering, helping in children’s classes, or providing custodial assistance? Grace. A pastor or ministry leader can ask all they want for help (and asking is one way to prompt people to receive God’s grace), but without the grace of God at work in someone’s heart, there will be no desire to serve truly as unto the Lord. 3. Encourages Sacrifice But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.—2 Corinthians 9:6–7 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:—2 Corinthians 9:8 When Paul wrote to the Corinthian church and addressed their lack of giving, he repeatedly appealed to them to factor grace into the equation. He spoke of the manifestation of God’s grace in the Macedonian Christians; he reminded them of the other areas where God’s grace had touched their lives; and he told them that God’s grace could enable them to give cheerfully. 4. Enables Endurance And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.—2 Corinthians 12:9 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.—Hebrews 4:16 What enables a Christian to endure the difficulties of life—not just for a week or a year, but over the decades? What gives God’s people the ability to go on when their own strength is depleted? Grace. God’s matchless, all-sufficient, ever-available grace. We could list many more ways that grace works in our hearts than these four. Grace, in fact, is all throughout the pages of Scripture—literally from cover to cover. May it—in evident, biblical ways—be all throughout our lives and ministries as well! Related posts: 4 Results of a Grace-Based Approach to Ministry 10 Ways to Extend God’s Grace to Hurting People The Best and Worst Ways to Motivate People View the full article
  13. “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5) God makes all the difference! There was a time when the whole world was in bondage to sin and death. But God! “But . . . God se... More... View the full article
  14. The Hijacking of the Calvary Chapel Movement into the Coming One-World Religion By Roger Oakland Understand the Times The commentary you are about to read has been written with much prayer and thought. I have not written it impulsively or with ill motive but rather believe God has compelled me to testify of things that have gone unspoken of and hidden in secret for too long. For […] The post The Hijacking of the Calvary Chapel Movement into the Coming One-World Religion appeared first on . View the full article
  15. “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” (Philippians 3:7-8) During the three verses prior to the text for today, Paul had l... More... View the full article