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Beware of the Lure of the World

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17).

Scripture Reading: 1 John 2:12-21

John wrote to help his readers avoid the disaster of being lured to destruction by the world.

1) The world against which John warns us.

John uses the term “the world” more than all the other New Testament writers combined. He uses this term seventy-nine times in his gospel and twenty-three times in 1 John. This term has at least three different significations in the writings: (1) It is used of the world of nature, the created order, the material universe (John 1:10; I John 4:17). This world, with its changing seasons, majestic mountains, restless seas, and verdant fields, is a thing of beauty and is to be acknowledged as such by Christians (Ps. 8, 19). (2) It is used of the whole human race thought of as a world fallen into sin and in need of redemption. This world God loves (John 3:16); He feels its burdens and is sensitive to its needs (I John 2:2; 4:9). (3) It is used of unbelieving, pagan society thought of as a rebel order embodying the influences and forces hostile to God (I John 5:19; John 14:30; 15:18-19; 16:30). John saw this world ranged in opposition to the people of God and threatening their very existence on the earth. It is this world which the Christian is not to love.

2) The appetites of the world.

The lust of the flesh.
We are warned against living solely for the gratification of our earthly nature. Here the word “flesh” stands for our human nature as corrupted by sin. “Lust” refers to the unlawful and sinful desires produced by our lower nature. We must not live merely for the satisfaction of the appetites of our lower nature.

The lust of the eyes.
We must guard against living for and loving that for which our eyes crave, that which brings satisfaction and gratification to the eye. Temptation often comes to us through seeing that which appeals to the lower nature and that which would bring gratification to human pride.

The pride of life.
We must guard against that which makes a contribution toward the proud display of life. We must not live for vainglory and for the vain grandeur that the world has to offer. We must not live for the glamour of a pretentious life.

3) The devil’s offer of the world.
In our Lord’s temptation experience, the devil offered to him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them providing he would fall down and worship him (Matt. 4:8-10). Jesus resisted this temptation and declared that one must worship God only and nothing less than God.
The devil uses the world today to tempt the children of God in an effort to lead them to spiritual destruction. Perhaps the following considerations can assist us in rejecting his offer of the world to us.

The world is perishing.
The words of our text declare it. The world is not permanent. It will not last forever. Only those who do the will of God will abide forever.

The world does not really satisfy.
The securing of wealth, the enjoyment of pleasure, or even the earning of honor do not satisfy the deepest hungers of the human heart.

The world is something that you will leave behind you at the day of death.
You cannot take the world with its appetites and ambitions with you to heaven. The treasures of the world are not the treasures of heaven.

The world is dangerous.
That is the whole point of our text. We need to recognize that the world would capture our imagination, monopolize our energy, and lead us away from God.

Now in Conclusion

This world is not our home. We are only passing through. We must beware lest we fall into a trap set for us by the devil. Slowly but surely he would use the world as bait to lure us further and further away from the will of our loving Father.
It is in the world that we serve God and seek to win people to faith in Jesus Christ. It is not the will of our Lord that we be taken out of this world at this time but rather that we should live in this world a victorious life of worship, witness, and service (John 17:15-17).

God bless you all, Pastor Mike

Note: I just want to thank all of you for your comments, goodies, and emails from the last Bible blog. It has been a very busy week keeping me away from Spark People!! In His Service, Pastor Mike

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MA_DIDDLES 6/16/2012 1:56AM

    Pastor Mike
This Blog brought a lot of questions to my mind. Maybe, you can help me out.

If Satan offered Jesus all the Kingdoms of the World, then they are his to give. What are Kingdoms, if not Governments? Has there been a Kingdom/Government in over 6,000 years that has been just to man?
You say, Jesus resisted this temptation and declared that one must worship God only and nothing less than God. Is that Almighty Jehovah God?
Why do people seem to shy away from using Gods name. It use to be in the Bible over 6,000 times and someone decided it should be removed because of some superstition. I understand there is a newer King James version that has replaced itover 6,000 times...long over due..

I don't believe the Earth will be totally destroyed either, but it will take years to clean it up after Armagadon and make it new again. The World Governments will be destroyed and Gods Kingdom/Government will replace it. The Bible says the meek and the righteous will inherit the Earth.

I don't believe we die and go to Heaven either. Eccl 9:5&10 Ps 146:4
Gen 3:19
What would be the purpose of a ressurection, if we all died and went to heaven?
I believe we are kept in Gods memory till the time of the ressurection and judgement. There probably are a selected few that go to Heaven to learn Gods ways and to be part of His Kingdom as Teachers/Rulers/Elders for those of us that didn't understand it our first time around. God created this Earth for a purpose and being God doesn't change, I think he will keep that purpose and the righteous and the meek will inherit the Earth.

The pride of life.
We must guard against that which makes a contribution toward the proud display of life. We must not live for vainglory and for the vain grandeur that the world has to offer. We must not live for the glamour of a pretentious life.

This kind of sounds like our Military (a product of our Government)that we make hero's out of and celebrate several days a year.

I am still a Bible Student trying to make sense of it all. I think you make more sense than most Preachers I have listened to. I have to do more research on the dying and going to Heaven. I would like to believe Gods word as truth. We die, we go to the ground, we know nothing at all. It was the serpant satan that instilled that lie in us. You positively will not die, so we think we go to heaven and live with God. Well, back to more reading in search of Bible Truths.
I am trying to Worship God in a way He wants to be worshipped and not in a way man worships Him. Look at the pagonism at Christmas and Easter time, but thats another whole Blog to consider.
Way past my bedtime.. MA

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BOBBIENORTHERN1 6/15/2012 1:01PM

  We are in the world but not of it.

I think because I was in my early forties before coming to Jesus that I can testify more so then others that there is not one thing in this earth or on this earth or of this earth that can satisfy like Jesus satisfies my being. Deep within me He lives and fills me with Himself and leaving me completely satisfied in Him.

This world is so elusive and ever changing but our Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever.

We can count on Jesus and His Word which is Jesus and there is nothing in this world that we can depend on at all.

Yes, that devil tries his best to trick us and deceive us and lure us into getting bedazzled with the things of the world.

The lure of the flesh is very strong but He that lives in me is stronger then he that is in the world.

As long as we are in these bodies of flesh there will be a struggle but there is nothing impossible to him who believes in Jesus.

Yes, PastorMIke your blogs are a true life source for so many of us sparkers and we would be lost without them.

I thank you for being so faithful to keep on blogging the truth.

Faithfullness is the life blood of Christiananity.

Jesus was faithful all the way to the cross, where would we be without His faithfullness to His calling???

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YATMAMA 6/14/2012 7:29PM

    Bless you for taking time to post here even when life demands so much of you elsewhere. Thank you. You do us such great service here on SparkPeople and you are appreciated. Father, help us to be focused upon your kingdom and your will here on earth so that it will be performed in this world as it is in heaven, our true home. In Jesus' name.

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SHARIO2 6/14/2012 3:20PM

    Thanks once again for a wonderful message Pastor Mike!

Eve was the first to fall to temptation; Lust of the flesh - she saw that the tree was good for food; Lust of the eyes - she saw the fruit was pleasant to the eye; The Pride of Life - she saw it was a tree to be desired to make one wise. Because Eve was deceived and didn't obey her authority she fell for Satan's lies and Adam ate out of love for Eve and thus sin and death entered into the world.

Praise God for His saving grace!

I love that song "This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through. My treasure is laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me through Heaven's open door and I can't feel at home in this world anymore"

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ROTTLADY 6/14/2012 1:23PM

    I pray daily to recognize even Satan's smallest temptation .We are surrounded by it and also by people who try and suck our energy and goodness out of us.Your blog is like a Sunday service to help keep us on track and to guide us to God and Jesus our savior.

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ROSEMARDORF 6/14/2012 12:52PM

  .What an awesome blog!! I really enjoyed reading this! Satan is always trying to decieve us. Our God is so much stronger than satan! I thank God for eternal life with him. God Bless You, Pastor Mike!! Thank you so much
for taking the time to feed us spiritually!! Have a great day!!

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SANDRA2BSKINNY 6/14/2012 10:24AM

    emoticon emoticonfor the heart felt blog. I love your inspiration and use it in my life everyday.

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7WORSHIPS 6/14/2012 4:00AM

  Thanks for another inspiring blog. Sometimes it is hard to remember that the world is not our home. I praise and thank God for using you to give us this important reminder. God bless you always. emoticon

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UNSTOPPABLE_ 6/13/2012 11:57PM

    Pastor Mike,
I pray every day that I will focus on the Good Lord...Earthly pleasures only distract & lead me from where I need to be. This was a wonderful lesson & I thank you for posting it today. I think that my life is too filled with busyness & sometimes I don't take all the time I need to spend time with the Lord. Thank you for bringing this to my attention before I strayed.

Hugs, Teresa

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BOVEY63 6/13/2012 8:30PM

    Wonderful blog Pastor!

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DEFIANTVEGAN 6/13/2012 6:57PM

    Pastor Mike,

Definitely something that needs reminding although I live everyday knowing that this world and life is temporal and I don't focus on the things of the world especially material.

When all that happened recently I feel humiliated and when I think about it feels so ugly inside to be done in such a manner not sure if you remember all of it but many people I would say from his ex laugh that it was short lived yet to try to return back to his past without me being gone sometimes can be unbearable.

I know that vengeance is his and this world is temporal I'm not in an area as that circle or him and my path will never cross I believe so makes life easier and I truly feel that God is making my stronger and this might be the tip of the iceberg or even a molding experience I have to condition my mind and say all for his purpose and really life is easier every day because I know the world is faulty, man is fails you, and because of sin I have an understanding.

Thank You Pastor just puts me in that place of comfort because this is not where it ends for me. Hallelujah!!!



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KAYDE53 6/13/2012 3:55PM

    I think your words sum it up: "this world is not our home." If we think it is, we're in for a rude awakening at the end of our life. It's so easy to get caught up in it, but I want to keep my focus on that eternal home that's waiting for me, if I keep in the service of the Lord!!

Comment edited on: 6/13/2012 3:56:20 PM

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PRESBESS 6/13/2012 3:17PM

    As usual Pastor Mike, a most excellent, heart churning blog. I love it. Thanks for allowing God to use you for His glory!

Keep it up!
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KDRIS73 6/13/2012 2:33PM

    Wow, I have to say I didn't expect to see this blog on Sparkpeople... I just started this site today to try to cut some pounds/inches and this little unexpected tidbit in the middle of the day was refreshing and uplifting. Thanks for the short study.

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VISUALLYRICS 6/13/2012 2:32PM

    Excellent warning reminder. This world is a mine of emoticon Zones.
..a reminder to me to be properly armed and filled with the Holy Spirit.

God Bless you! ~ Laura

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The Challenges before Us

Saturday, June 09, 2012

“And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it” (Num. 13:30).

Scripture Reading: Numbers 13:26-33

The story of Moses sending the twelve spies into the Promised Land is one of the most thrilling incidents in the Bible. Their report, split ten to two, may well be a parallel of today’s church members. Would we say that only two out of twelve are really faithful Christians?
When the ten gave their report, they created such confusion in the camp that it was with great difficulty that Joshua and Caleb were able to get the floor to present the minority report. Their faith in the power of God and his ability to help people should inspire Christians everywhere to dedicate themselves completely to the Lord and trust him for the results. I see six wonderful challenges in the report of Joshua and Caleb.

1) The challenge of cooperation-​“Let us.”

Working together is the key to success in any endeavor.
The job is too great for a few, so “let us” do it together-​teamwork.

Cooperation made Pentecost possible.
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1). What if that had been in our day when the 120 had gathered in the Upper Room? The record would be something like this: “The meeting was called for the first day of the week, but so many things interfered, that of the company of 120 only 40 could be present. Peter and his wife had bought a cottage on Lake Galilee and were away from the hot city over the weekend. Bartholomew had guests and, of course, could not come. Philip and his family had been up late the night before and overslept. Andrew had a business conference about a new fishing boat. James had to stay home and cut the grass.” Result? No Pentecost!

2) The challenge of activity-​“Go.”

Cooperation says, “Let us go.”
There is action-​something to be done. It was Sunday morning in the Doe household. The parents were not interested in the church and its program, but they wanted their son to have the advantage of the church’s activities. The mother had dressed little Joe for Sunday school. On the way out, he paused in front of his dad as he sat before the TV in his sweats and T-shirt, coffee in hand. “Dad, may I ask you a question?” “Sure, son,” he replied. “When am I going to get old enough not to have to go to church either?” The father hesitated a moment then said, “Wait a minute, son, and I’ll go with you.” Without a doubt, that was the right answer-​“Go.”

Look into another home:
A little girl with shining eyes and face all aglow said, “Daddy, it’s almost time for Sunday school. Let’s go.” “Oh no,” said Daddy, “not today. I’ve worked hard all week, and I must have one day of rest. I’m going down to the river where I can relax. The fish will be biting today. Now run along; don’t bother me. We’ll go to church another day.” Months and years roll by, but Daddy no more hears that plea, “Let’s go to Sunday school.” Those childhood days are over, and Daddy is growing old. Life is halfway through when he finds time to go to church. But what does his daughter say? She says, “Not today. I stayed up late last night, and I just have to get some sleep. Besides, I look a fright.”

Should parents insist that their children go to Sunday school?
Yes. How do you answer Junior when he comes to breakfast Monday morning and announces rebelliously, “I’m not going to school today”? Junior goes! What about when he comes in dirty and says, “I’m not going to take a bath”? Junior takes a bath! How do you answer when Junior gets sick and says, “I’m not going to take medicine.” Junior takes it! Why then are some parents timid in the area of their children’s spiritual guidance and growth? Are you going to let your child wait and decide what church to go to when he is old enough? Quit kidding! You didn’t wait until he was old enough to decide whether he wanted to go to public school or until he made up his mind whether he wanted to be a clean or healthy person. What should you say when Junior announces that he does not like Sunday school or church? Just be consistent. “Junior, in our home we all attend Sunday school and church, and that includes you.” Your firmness and example here will furnish a bridge over which youthful rebellion may travel into rich and satisfying experiences in personal Christian living.

3) The challenge of advance-​“Up.”

One of the greatest challenges America has ever had is before us now — ​winning the world for Christ.
The world is becoming more pagan each year. The challenge to total commitment to service for Christ is before us.

To go “up” means work-​lots of it-​and I believe that Christians are capable of it if they set their minds to doing it.

4) The challenge of urgency-​“Now.”

Years ago a prominent American Christian asked a native Chinese, “Why has Christianity lost to communism in your country?”
The studied answer was, “Because the Communists have a philosophy, a program, and a passion.” They believe in something, they plan how they may appeal to others, then they work with a passion, even to giving their lives. Christianity has the first two-​a philosophy and a program, but tragic beyond words is our absence of passion. The apostles had it: “Beaten . .they departed . .rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for [Jesus’] name” (Acts 5:40-41).

Our philosophy is infallible truth.
Our program is divine. Our passion is such that we have to plead for our members to attend worship regularly on the Lord’s Day. If one-third of the members agree after high-pressure preaching to give 10 percent of their income, we count it success. No wonder so few members lead anyone to Christ in their lifetime. When our passion for Christ and his cause is sufficient to produce the practice of “he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matt. 10:39), then Christianity will overcome the world.

Somewhere among your acquaintances there is someone who has not taken Christ as personal Savior.
Somewhere in our busy lives we have promised ourselves that sometime we will invite that someone to come to our church. But we have put it off or have forgotten that promise. For some of us, time is running out. Someday it will be too late to speak to that person about becoming a Christian. Either we may be gone or that someone may die before accepting Christ as Savior. Let us talk to that someone today and invite him to come to church and to Christ. “Let us go up now.”

5) The challenge of conquest-​“Possess the land.”

Isn’t it wonderful to accomplish something-​to get it done?
Most church members who find fault, who are unhappy, who find so many things to clutter up their lives, who stir up trouble, and the like have themselves to blame. They make excuses when they ought to make good.

It is easy to quit, but it is often difficult to keep on going when the going is tough; that makes a real man or woman. Joshua and Caleb said, “Let us go possess the land.”
My Spark Friends, let us enter on a spirit of conquest for God. Let us resolve that with his help we are going to do our share in reaching people. Let us not be making excuses when we ought to be making good.

6) The challenge of ability-​“We are able.”

The ten spies said, “They are too big for us. We can’t do it.” Joshua and Caleb answered, “We are able, for we have God on our side.” What do you say?

Now in Conclusion

The experiences of Joshua and Caleb and the subsequent results of entering the Promised Land should inspire all of us to trust the Lord to do what he promises. Victory is ours.

God bless you all,
Pastor Mike

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLMOMX2 6/21/2012 3:02AM

    What poignant blog. We all need to heed these words of wisdom. As a parent who insisted my children went with DH and I to church each week, I am please to see mighty warriors for Christ developing in my teens.

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SHARIO2 6/14/2012 3:36PM

    Wow - thanks for yet another great blog Pastor Mike! Love your example. Too many children say they don't want to "push" their children. Do they let their children play in the middle of a busy street? I think not! Out of love and desire for what is best for their children they teach them not to run into the busy street. So should they, out of love and desire what is best for their children, teach them that there is no option - Sunday mornings (and for some Sunday nights and Wed nights) is church time.

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ROSEMARDORF 6/14/2012 1:07PM

  This blog is great! Thank you so much for writing the way it is!! Yes we must
tell people about salvation before it is too late!! I really enjoyed this!
So many great things in this blog!! Thank you Pastor Mike!! God Bless you!
Amen!!

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BOBBIENORTHERN1 6/14/2012 8:40AM

  I read DefiantVegan's comment on how she took the last word of all the parts of your blog and came up with:

Let us go up now possess the land we are able.

What a heaven sent revelation she got from your blog and she then shared this.

I just love reading the hearts of people who share so much about our Lord and how He is working in all of their lives. It is so eye opening to me.

Your blog was just so complete and inspiring for me.

The one thing Jesus has taught me He is passionate. Not just plain passion but white hot ever smouldering passion.

His passion for living and life and love and grace and truth and mercy just thrills me and drives me onward and upward trying to share with all people who will listen just how deep and passionate and loving and caring our Lord and Savior Jesus is.

He is pure passion.

Where would we be without passion?

We would be complacent, lazy, luke warm.

Jesus Himself tells us He will spew us out of His mouth if we are just luke warm. He would rather us be hot or cold but luke warm is sickning.

Our love walk needs to be heated up to get deeply passionate for living the way Jesus is passionate for living life to the fullest abundantly till it over flows with Him Love Himself.

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SCTRACKER 6/12/2012 6:54PM

    Thank you for sharing this message. We must have a passion for God and His Word to share it effectively with friends and family. It is through that passion that we receive the Joy of the Lord and that others can see the fruit of it in our lives.

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YATMAMA 6/12/2012 4:07PM

    We could study for a lifetime and not glean all the gems in this passage of Scripture. How alive the Word of God is!! Thank you for sharing this, for breaking it down into bitesized pieces that we can chew upon and savor, making these truths our own so that we can implement them into our everyday journey as we take one more step toward capturing our own enemies and subduing our own land. Blessings to you!!

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SLIMLILA 6/11/2012 12:39AM

    Just as I stared to read your "sermon" the message came to my mind that I don't recall hearing the gospel at the new church I have started attending. But your message came across loud and clear. It is even hard to find a church where a good god message is preached nowadays. This is 2 in this small community I have tried and nothing.. I guess when you start out on Gospel Hall and Fundamental Baptist, and then Pentecostal, you really do have to "let us go up now " and search for a place and people where the word is still preached.

Thank you and God Bless you, Pastor Mike

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KAYDE53 6/11/2012 12:25AM

    What an exciting challenge!! It's true many of us have lost our fire & passion which we had at our at the beginning of our conversion. We let the busyness & cares of this world prevent us from "possessing the land". I want to be in that minority with Joshua & Caleb!! Thanks for this timely reminder & challenge!!

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CHRIS3874 6/10/2012 9:05PM

    You know with all of the trials and setbacks I have experienced (and in fact several accidents that had they turned out differently could have been FATAL) I can't help but think my fate is in someone else's hands. That's why I try to trust in God. Thanks again.

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UNSTOPPABLE_ 6/10/2012 4:50PM

    This lesson just topped off a wonderful day of worship. Pastor Mike you always amaze me with your lessons for they always relate to something happening in my life right now. I am so Blessed that God gave me you. You have helped, encouraged & taught me so very much...Thank you for being a the man of God that really does work for the Lord...I am blessed because of that.


Hugs, Teresa

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BOVEY63 6/10/2012 4:49PM

    Victory is ours - Amen!

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DEFIANTVEGAN 6/10/2012 4:25PM

    Thank You Pastor,

Love how you broke it down you never fail to do that and be expository.

I got the last word of every Subject and it says:

Let us
go
up
now
possess the land
we are able

IF you read it like this: Let us go up now, possess the land; we are able.

It speaks of desire, strength, power and faith.

we are able because of Jesus what he has done for us we should be able to do all things. He loved us first so why not give back. ( go to Church, spread the Gospel and dedicate ourselves to Jesus.

Thank You Pastor for the message I truly enjoy them and really feel I get so much out of them.

I'm having my evaluation on Monday and I'm hoping that the Inspector General see's that I do my work, I'm sincere when I say something and if he brings up his secretary problems that I'm having and how she harasses me that he will believe me.

Thanks for your prayers Pastor Mike.

emoticon

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VISUALLYRICS 6/10/2012 2:51PM

    Such a passionate blog!! Thank you!

The 10 spies had excuses...but I'm glad Caleb had none.
“Let us go up now.” - perfectly said.

If my life is not passionate about Jesus, and His directing in my life, then I am useless. He is my Love, my Life, my all consuming Passion. May I never forget Jesus. His name is enough. What a name! JESUS!
With purpose, I will allow myself to be spent for the Lord. He is committed to me...He gave ALL for me.

Thank you again for being God's Ambassador!


in His love, Laura

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SANDRA2BSKINNY 6/10/2012 11:12AM

    Thank you Pastor Mike for the wonderful blog I do love reading all your blogs they are so important to me.

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LUCINDARW 6/10/2012 11:09AM

    Thank you for your message. I always enjoy reading your blog and refresh my memory on the bible stories. Lucinda

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BAKER1009 6/10/2012 8:42AM

    Great blog, thank you Pastor Mike!

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EBLOOMING 6/10/2012 1:51AM

    You said it well, Pastor Mike!! “We are able, for we have God on our side.” What do you say? I say yes to God. It is a daily challenge. emoticon The Victory is His.

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SONYALATRECE 6/9/2012 11:22PM

    Thanks be to God for His word which never returns void.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Therefore, I choose to let my faith in Him guide my steps and words.

Keep on preaching the Word, Pastor Mike!

~Sonya

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On Knowing a Church by Its Fruit

Monday, June 04, 2012

“By their fruit you will recognize them” (Matt. 7:20 NIV).

Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:15-23

Jesus once said that people are like trees: they can be judged by their fruit. “Are grapes gathered from thorns or figs from thistles?” he asked. “So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. .Thus you will know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:16-20 RSV).
“Fruit” is more than outward acts; it is inner motives relentlessly showing themselves in the course of time by word and conduct. Fruit grows slowly, but it loudly proclaims the tree. Thus, the test is one of inner and outer Christlikeness proved by time-​the eyes of Christ being the judgment. “Fruit” is a major term in the New Testament, and while it includes works, it must never be equated with outward works. The tree is judged good or bad according to the kind of fruit it produces. The bad tree is not a rotten one, but the wrong kind. The word is used in the parable of the net in Matthew 13:48. The bad fish are not diseased, but the wrong kind, inedible.
These words of Jesus about the danger of false teachers are somewhat surprising. We might have expected him to say, “You will know them by their beliefs, their interpretations of texts, their fidelity to creeds. Or you will know them by the company they keep or the way they baptize.” But not so. He said we could distinguish the false prophet from the true one by his fruit, by the temper he displays, by the spirit that he manifests, by the character that he reveals, by the deeds that he does, by the life that he lives. Paul wrote to the Galatians, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (5:22 RSV).
A man who prides himself on his orthodoxy but is uncharitable, bitter, and hard is a dangerous man. Certainly we should attach importance to right beliefs, but keep in mind Jesus’ warning, “Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy [preach, teach] in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers’ ” (Matt. 7:22-23 RSV).
People are like trees, Jesus said; they can be judged by their fruit. Churches are people, and if people are like trees, so are churches. We know them by their fruit. Great churches produce great fruit, and by examining the fruit, we learn about the church. Our Lord’s church is a world-embracing fellowship of those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and seek to be his followers. The church exists to be the carrier of the gospel of Christ; a church is or is not a church in the fullest sense to the degree that its members are faithful to this mission.
To be a carrier of the good news of Jesus Christ is a many-sided task. It takes many forms and requires that many channels be opened. How can we know if a church is becoming what our Lord expects? By its fruit. What fruit, then, does a good church produce?

1) The first fruit of a good church is worship.

A church announces its worship times, and we usually refer to these times as worship services, a rather odd use of words in the opinion of some people who define the words as somewhat opposites and say that a person cannot do one while doing the other. As I see it, the words worship and service are not contradictory-​they go together properly. A Christian congregation unites in a “service” of worship not primarily to serve themselves and go away feeling better after “getting a lift,” but to serve and honor God. This by no means excludes the call to the service of others, which, beginning at the house of worship, should extend out into daily life in the workplace and home. Yet it is quite different from worship as a psychological exercise, the inducing of a meditative mood for a pleasant feeling of well-being. The Greek word leitourgia, from which the word liturgy is derived, though it can be applied to any corporate service of worship, is itself derived from words that mean “public work.” Not only does this suggest that the worship of God is a form of service, but the word for “public” suggests that the whole people of God-​ministers, choirs, and congregations alike-​are to do something about it.
Regrettably, the worship service of the church for some people is nothing but a strange interlude between getting the children ready for Sunday school and cooking the Sunday dinner, or between reading the newspaper and taking an afternoon nap. It is the process of sitting back and watching the ministers and the worship band perform. And when this is the case, we judge the worship service as we judge a motion picture or a baseball game. Is it a good show or isn’t it? Has it been entertaining or hasn’t it? Did we like the players or didn’t we? And when the service is over, it may have been a pleasant meeting, a helpful talk, or a clever performance; but it certainly has not been worship.
The thoughtful Christian regards the worship of the church as both an attitude and an act. It involves an attitude of awareness, a conscious entrance into the presence of God as “the personal Spirit, perfectly good, who in holy love creates, sustains, and orders all.” But it is more than attitude; it is action, too. It involves adoration of God’s glory and thanksgiving for God’s will. It involves confession of one’s own sins, petition for one’s own needs, and intercession for others.

2) A second fruit of a good church is evangelism.

Evangelism is the battle for souls and central loyalties. It is what Jesus intended when he told his disciples to let their light so shine before all that others might see their good works and give glory to their heavenly Father. It is what Jesus intended when he sent them out with the command to “preach as you go” and when he commissioned them to “make disciples of all nations.” It is what Jude meant when he urged the early Christians to “contend for the faith.”
Evangelism is telling the truth about God with a persuasiveness designed to win people to his fellowship. It is proclaiming the glad tidings of Jesus Christ in the hope of helping people to understand that the victory over sin, which people could never win for themselves, is daily being won for them by one who was crucified long ago.
Evangelism takes many forms. There is a place for mass evangelism through the voice and appeal of a Christian evangelist who views this as his particular calling, providing it is done with integrity and without hysteria. Evangelism is also a quiet pastor in a church service, a teacher in a Sunday school room or at a social, a parent talking to a child, a workman talking to his friend, a college student chatting with her peers, or young people sharing their thoughts and feelings-​with a view to winning people to a commitment to Jesus Christ the Lord. Evangelism is the outward probing of the church as the church invades the world with the good news of God’s love.

3) A third fruit of a good church is education.

It is a major function of a church to appropriate, understand, and transmit its Christian heritage, applying the eternal truths of the gospel and the funded wisdom of the past to the contemporary needs of persons. The major source of this Christian heritage is the Bible, and many churches try to make the study of the Bible as comprehensive and helpful as possible through the work of the Sunday school.
Christian education involves the stimulation of human growth in its highest and noblest forms-​the enlightenment of the mind, the kindling of the heart, the drawing out of the real person. The tragedy is that often such programs are devoted to entertaining trivialities or to themes that are wholesome in themselves but have no basic Christian rootage-​such as sports, flower arranging, or quilt making. The fruit of education coming from a good church provides an opportunity to see and understand the world as God has made it. It requires probing after truth, rejoicing when truth has been found, and gladly sharing with others both the riches of the gospel’s past and individual contemporary discoveries that tell us that God is still at work among his people.

4) A fourth fruit of a good church is service.

James put it this way, “If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So, faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (2:15-17 RSV). Henry Drummond said, “To grow up in complacent belief that God has no business in this great groaning world of human beings except to attend to a few saved souls is the negation of all religion.”
The church has no right to ignore human suffering and need. When it sees injustice, it must rebel; when it confronts deprivation, it has compassion. Wherever human need exists unmet, a church too proud to try to meet it is dead. The need may be to improve poor housing conditions, or to help a person find a job or get legal counsel, or to help a child feel wanted. In other words, we are to give a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name.

5) A fifth fruit of a good church is fellowship.

Some would say that fellowship should come first, but I think the last place is its rightful place-​not because it is unimportant, but because it is quite superficial unless its roots are in the soil of worship, evangelism, education, and service. We can have fellowship in almost anything we do, from climbing mountains to collecting antiques, but the only fellowship that marks a great church is the fellowship of men and women who are doing the Lord’s business through that church.

Now in Conclusion

According to these fruits, what can we know about our church? Is it a good church?
There are some blossoms on the trees; and if warmth of concern and sunshine of work, prayer, and cooperation are provided, good fruit can be harvested.

God bless you all,
Pastor Mike

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARIO2 6/14/2012 3:41PM

    Dear Pastor Mike,
I wish I would have read this blog about 14 months ago! Thankfully we realized what was going on with the church I attended and the new pastor. Sometimes new isnt good and sometimes change isnt progress. I am so thankful for the loving church family and Pastor that we found last Sept and I am amazed at how much my husband and I have grown since then! God is good!

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BOBBIENORTHERN1 6/13/2012 7:44PM

  This is such a good blog and more pastors should read this.

I don't go to church.

I don't make any excuses I just don't go to church.

I read the Word of God, I stay in communion with Jesus and Holy Spirit who both connect me to Father God and pray.

I fellowship woth other believers but just not in church.

Holy Spirit leads me and teaches me about my personal walk and shows me where my heart and spirit and soul need repairs and they will know us by the love that we have one for another.

How do we love our fellow believers?

The world will judge us by how we love and treat and care one for another.

Comment edited on: 6/13/2012 7:47:49 PM

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PRAYINGSUZIE 6/10/2012 1:31AM

    Thank you. I am searching for a new church because of lying and deception from my pastor and fellow members. At first I was devestated at leaving my church but God has given me strength. I am so glad that you shared this blog.

Suzie

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YATMAMA 6/9/2012 6:37PM

    After spending a few years in full time ministry (as residential staff at a Teen Challenge center, involved in street evangelism, crisis intervention, and prison ministry), I was deeply wounded by a pastor who lost his way. I turned from the church, informing God that I loved Him but I'd had it with His kids. I stayed away far, far too long ... which is just what Satan wanted. Being part of a body of believers is so important for SO many reasons. These are excellent earmarks of what a good church should be. I encourage those with no church home to start visiting churches, prayerfully, and see if the peace of God settles upon you, measuring the church, its beliefs, and its activities against what Scripture says a church should be and do. Plant yourself and grow roots. You will not find perfect people because churches (and pastors) are no more than flawed, fallen man, forgiven by grace, covered by mercy, filled with hope. If you do not feel the peace of God, move on, shake the dust from your feet, and try again. And again. And again. Don't stop until you find the exact spot where God wants to use you, to feed you, to further the kingdom through you.

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BEARSFANNDENVER 6/9/2012 7:38AM

    Pastor Mike,

Thank you for sharing this! You said it so well:

“Fruit” is more than outward acts; it is inner motives relentlessly showing themselves in the course of time by word and conduct. Fruit grows slowly, but it loudly proclaims the tree.

Blessings,

Mela
nie in Denver, CO






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VISUALLYRICS 6/8/2012 3:03PM

    Wonderful blog, Pastor!

Each sign of a Fruitful Church is important. Right now, 5# has been a little overdone & 2# has been underdone. My heart is for ministry & God has been directing my heart towards challenging evangelism. Our Youth need Jesus....and the inner city needs to be reached. I recently stepped down from a group that was having a lot of FUN as well as worship and praise & prayer....but it would take up hours of time......
The Lord directed me instead to step up into more ministry with our Youth.

As a younger mother of 4 ...I don't have Tons of time, but the time I DO have needs to be redeemed for the Master's use. I just don't have lots of time for extra fellowship. and that's okay. Perhaps after my younger ones are grown...Lol!! and have finished their education.

Let me be used effectively for God's Kingdom...right where He plants me. And there ARE seasons of planting & transplanting....Lol! I am seeing how true this is.

So appreciate your prayers that I am walking right where He wants me to, Laura


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2BE-MY-BEST 6/7/2012 10:02PM

    You covered the subject very good. I think of the Church as the people and not the building itself. It is like that saying if we make great family's then we will have great communities and if we have great communities then we will have a great Town, State, Country. Same with the Church if each individual worked on being there best the whole group would be better. Sometimes we have to pray and ask God, to show us the sin in our life that we can't see sometimes. Repentance begins with awareness.

I agree not all sins are acts , but there is also the sin of omission like you mentioned about helping others when it is in our power to do something and not just say I will pray for you.

If we spent more time Judging our own life than trying to find the faults in others we could have a personal revival . Church Revivals are for born again believers who need to prune their trees as in the song "Just a closer walk with thee".

emoticonLord send a Revival and let it begin in me!

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SARAHTAIT 6/7/2012 10:20AM

    Amen and Amen....I am searching for a church home....just so sad at my old church after losing my husband last year that I felt the need to move on...so now I know exactly what to look for.

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DEFIANTVEGAN 6/6/2012 3:38PM

    Pastor Mike,

What a great sermon Pastor. I love this: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (5:22 RSV).
A man who prides himself on his orthodoxy but is uncharitable, bitter, and hard is a dangerous man.

I'm definitely going in the right direction I'm being spiritually attacked at work by a secretary that has never had my best interest because I do some of her work and she likes the idea that she sits on a higher title then the lesser.

So she likes to give the lower level a hard time unfortunately that's where I fall in. We've been counseled and I made a promise to ignore and I've done that but she continues to make slurs as she passes me when I am doing my job or just walking in the hall.

Our counseling session apparently has not worked and she is persistent and has others giving me hard time. Well yesterday and the day before I was on the hot seat and then by the end of the day my estranged husband decides to send an email saying hes going to call the Inspector General (boss) on my feud with Margaret (IG's secretary who's giving me a hard time)

Apparently he doesn't realize that my boss knows about it as he made the counseling session months ago to end this. My husbands upset because I've moved on and I'm focusing on the Lord. So he is trying to get a rise out of me. What a coincidence that all this is taking place and he decides to bring that up when I'm actually right in the middle of it again. Satan is really at work but he will not win this battle.

My only discernment is it's spiritual warfare because I'm reading my Bible daily and I'm staying focused.

OK now back to this message you couldn't be more spot on than anything they way you break it down. My husband is one of those who would critique the choir and would mention that the music is key to get the congregation involved and focus with music as it is soothing and prepares the soul for the message followed by a prayer then message then a prayer again.

Definitely many have made it just a ritual to go to church and fellowship and get caught up with socializing. Unfortunately it's the church today.

I'm on a different walk and trying to focus at this time fellowship is not on my mind I want to prepare my heart and mind on the Word and my purpose before fellowship. I definitely see your reason behind making it the last thing.

Please pray for me I usually don't ask but a little prayer for the bully Margaret at work and her partner in crime so to speak Kathy. I have a evaluation coming next Monday and I'm sure what was not to be brought up (complaints) have surfaced because I couldn't take it anymore it might just stir a different direction and will affect me as they are saying I'm the one starting it when I am not.

Sorry for the long response.

emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/6/2012 3:40:24 PM

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ERIN1957 6/6/2012 5:19AM

    I loved this Pastor Mike, thank you!

I have been to churches where the fruit flies were so thick I couldn't stay. ..for wanting to swat them :D

As well, one bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bunch. I can never allow one person to make me judge the lot.

It seems when there are wonderful fruit bearers, their pollen can help so many that are struggling or new little sprouts, too.

In Him,
Erin

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VICIOUS421 6/5/2012 11:49PM

    emoticon

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BOVEY63 6/5/2012 6:23PM

    Your blogs and lessons encourage us to bear the best fruit we can. Thank you!

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DOTTIEJANE1 6/5/2012 5:51PM

    Thanks for this blog. I have been church shopping and may have found the one . We just completed a LifeFocus /Spiritual Gifts Awareness Seminar .Some were a little surprising to me , but an very rewarding class. Thanks for this timely blog. May God continue to bless you as you surely bless us . Dottie


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SANDRA2BSKINNY 6/5/2012 2:43PM

    Thank you for the wonderful Sermon this just what I needed to read.

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UNSTOPPABLE_ 6/5/2012 12:48PM

    What a wonderful lesson & I took notes so I would keep it all straight. As usual, Pastor Mike, you gave me what I needed at the right time. Thank you for being such a good fruit!

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SCTRACKER 6/5/2012 11:20AM

    Thank you! Since we, the body of Christ, are the church we need to hold this up in front of ourselves and examine ourselves. My prayer is that my life produces good fruit and that I am obedient to God's Word. If we each did this our churches would be filled with the power of God.

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BAKER1009 6/5/2012 7:41AM

    Very interesting blog Pastor Mike. Thanks for sharing.

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TRACYZABELLE 6/5/2012 7:13AM

    sometimes where there are thorns they need extra attention to become easier to handle!

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CBEVNOW 6/5/2012 12:50AM

    Thank you for this, very good sermon. It has a lot to think about.My church grew so big i believe it lost its purpose of loving and gratefulness for the older members who helped build it. I am a member and have been for about 20 years, but i am church shopping for a smaller church.
Being active in my church, teaching Mothers Day Out.Volunteer, Bible School etc, for all these years. Yet when i got sick and missed several Sundays, not even my Sunday school teacher called or told any one to my knowledge how sick i was, no cards and no one came to see me, after all these years. I think they forgot the purpose of Jesus Love. MY opinion any way.

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KAYDE53 6/5/2012 12:03AM

    These are very good fruits to look for in a church & I believe I go to a church that has all of these to some extent. Of course, there is always room for improvement, and that is what we should be diligent about doing, God's work!

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NELLIEC 6/5/2012 12:01AM

    This has inspired me how to pray for one of my daughters and my DIL who are at odds since the DIL has separated from my son.

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CHRIS3874 6/4/2012 11:19PM

    Thanks again for a wonderful sermon.

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Since the Church Is of God

Thursday, May 31, 2012

“He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will” (Eph. 1:5 RSV).

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:3-10

In one of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts cartoons, Lucy shouts, “Do you understand?” Linus puts his hands over his ears and says, “Yes. I understand! You don’t have to yell at me!” Lucy reflects. “Perhaps you’re right. . Perhaps I shouldn’t yell at you so much, but I feel that if I talked to you quietly as I am doing now [and again she shouts], you’d never listen!”
This is reminiscent of generations of robust, aggressive, evangelical Protestant preaching. The practice of “laying the truth on the line” and turning up the volume is not to be downgraded if done with integrity. Most of us have heard the story of the preacher who wrote on the margin of his sermon notes, “Weak argument-​get louder here.” Christianity is more than something to be preached and something to be heard. Kierkegaard pointed this out: “Christianity, by becoming a direct communication, is altogether destroyed. It becomes a superficial thing, capable neither of inflicting wounds, nor of healing them.”
We who have been redeemed through Jesus Christ are the church of God, and therefore it is our responsibility to go beyond “turning up the volume” when presenting God’s Word. When we become Christians, we step into a sacred community where we are to serve others. The church is of God, not of human origin.

1) Since the church is of God, we should not resist self-examination.

The quaint old church on Main Street or in the suburbs, U.S.A., is facing many crises. The church has been a captive church swallowed up in a middle-class culture. Often it has acted as if its sole task is to do whatever the world wants done and to do it on the world’s terms. Afraid to live in terms of its own integrity, the church adopts what has been called a “flirtatious response,” trying to con the world into noticing its presence by all kinds of tricks.
In Robert Bolt’s drama A Man for All Seasons, the concluding scene has the Common Man step to the edge of the stage just after the godly Thomas More has been beheaded for defying for conscience’ sake the wrathful Henry VIII. The Common Man says to the stunned audience: “I’m breathing. . Are you breathing, too? . . It’s nice, isn’t it? It isn’t difficult to keep alive, friends-​just don’t make trouble-​or if you must make trouble, make the sort of trouble that’s expected.”
Here is our problem, at least in part. Any trouble the church has caused modern society is the kind that is expected, like passing resolutions at conventions. Jesus came to bring a sword, but we have been busy pin-pricking. Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers in the temple, but we have only hinted gently that they might be offending God. Lukewarmness often is considered virtuous; economic and social application of the gospel is sometimes rejected as subversive, as though communist inspired. Ministers, in far too many instances, have unwittingly sold out in the defense of an oppressive status quo and then wondered why their members ask, especially before the new wears off, “Have you heard our fine preacher?” Our Christian fathers in the first century did not flinch at the charge that they “upset the world”! What heirs we have turned out to be! We cannot bring ourselves to upset the apple cart, let alone the world.
Self-examination is necessary for the church in each generation. Some good and exciting things are taking place now as a result of such reflection. More good things ought yet to come.

2) Since the church is of God, it must learn and remember what God wants it to be.

The New Testament records the early Christians’ convictions about the purpose of the Christian life, community, and witness. It is more of a shout of joy than a closely reasoned theological argument. It invites people to come and see what God has done in Jesus Christ.
In the opening sentences of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he is refreshing the memory of his readers of their joy in their newfound faith, and then he gives this reason for it. “[God] destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ . . for he has made known to us . . [his] plan for the fulness of time, to unite all things in him” (Eph. 1:5, 9-10 RSV). God is summing up all things in Jesus Christ; he is bringing all things into clear focus in him. All things, as they are brought into their true relationship with him, also are brought into their true relationship to one another and so into an all-embracing harmony.
These early Christians meant business when they said they had found God in Christ or had been found by God in Christ. The one whom they called Lord was Lord in fact as well as name, not only of their lives but of the entire universe. Such a saving experience and such a sense of mission ushered them into a community, the church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The church is not a chance creation of a group of people who happened to make up their minds that they wanted to stand for certain things. They found a mission for living and the strength to carry that mission to the ends of the earth. We belong to the church not simply when our names are on the membership book but when we feel deeply a part of the power of the love of God that brings all things into focus in Jesus Christ.

Now in Conclusion

When you choose Christ in such a way that he truly becomes the center of your life, you put yourself in the sphere where you not only act but are acted upon. This kind of living is not passive. It goads you to your best and haunts you at your worst. It summons you up into what you could be and to forgive what you have been. It invites you to compassion and brings pain upon you. It bids you laugh at your own insignificance; it gives you a sense of your own importance. It calls you into the lives of the unlovable; it enables you to get along without their love. It drives you to the heart of sorrow; it puts you alongside joy as well. Since the church is of God, be a part of it.

God bless you all,
Pastor Mike

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARIO2 6/14/2012 4:38PM

    Don't serve people - serve God. If you serve people you will be hurt and then you will quit. When you serve God you will continue to help people even when you are hurt by them - because it isn't them that you serve and you aren't doing it for your glory or for their response. You are doing it for God's glory and for their good no matter what their response.

1 Corinthians 10:31 "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

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BOBBIENORTHERN1 6/6/2012 9:50AM

  Daily I ask Holy Spirit to examine me and show me truth that He can transform me to be what He wants me to be.

I have learned so much through Jesus and have changed and been transformed so much through Jesus that I have no choice but that He is the center of my universe and the world's universe He is lord over and of.

He ministers to us each new day so that He can fill us to over flowing with His goodness, love, truth, mercy and grace so that we can splash the over flow over to all others that we come into contact with each new day.

This life is not a game it is for real and can be real and beautiful for and through Jesus or deadly and ugly because of the evil one of old the devil.

With Jesus my life really is an awesome adventure each new day.

He sets up divine appointments with new people all the time in my life so that I have the chance to share my Jesus with them.

Thank you PastorMike for a blog that was another surprise for me to read because it was not what I expected.

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2BE-MY-BEST 6/5/2012 3:11PM

    As I read this blog I thought to myself how many Preachers and even laymen when preaching , teaching or just witnesses are afraid to stand up for what they truly believe for fear of being disliked. Even churches on the whole are more worried about being popular with others than if what they teach is right on with God. Take the issue of Gay Marriages etc .

This blog bought this verse to my mind. 2 Timothy 4:3: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. I am thankful that you are one Preacher who will tell it like it is.
You will stand on the word of God, even if you stand alone. God Bless. Paulette



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MI-ELLKAYBEE 6/4/2012 2:26PM

    Knowing you is a deeply rewarding gift. Thank you for loving us.

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PURPLELVR7 6/4/2012 9:22AM

    Love it as always, really makes you think. Thanks

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YATMAMA 6/3/2012 8:19PM

    This was so so so so good, Pastor Mike. I have shared the last paragraph with several friends and have printed it out so that I can be reminded of it often. Yes and amen, Brother. Yes and amen.

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ERIN1957 6/3/2012 10:54AM

    So many of the modern churches want to draw in many, but some have lost the message with being entertainers or want to put on a show. Or the flavor of the month of anything goes, all goes. Never trying to step on toes or offend any group or any bad choices.
Especial large now in the media with the presidential election at bay. Money at play and the anything goes again.
I stand back and watch so much anger directed at the churches, even fighting amongst themselves. People leaving churches they have attended all their lives because of "new" doctrine, new rules and getting away from the true teachings; the Word of God. I am sad to see this all. This of all times is our time, the Christian time to join together and get back to the beautiful WORD and stand strong together.
Thanks Pastor Mike another great teaching!
In Him, Erin

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ROSEMARDORF 6/1/2012 1:47PM

  Wonderful blog Pastor Mike!! You always seem to know what I need to hear!!
I am so thankful you are a Pastor who tells us just like it is!!
Thank you Pastor Mike!! Keep them coming, Please! Hugs!! God Bless you and yours!! So very thankful to have you as a Friend!!

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UNSTOPPABLE_ 6/1/2012 1:12PM

    How wonderful that you taught this lesson. We were trying to do some changes in our church without losing sight of what our church is. It seems that you always teach about something that is going on in my life. God really did put you in my life & I'm so glad He did.

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SANDRA2BSKINNY 6/1/2012 1:00PM

    Wonderful blog my favorite line also is..."It summons you up into what you could be and to forgive what you have been."

I have been forgiving myself more. Thank you for the wonderful message.

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KAYDE53 6/1/2012 12:01AM

    Thanks for another thought provoking blog!! I certainly don't want to live a passive life; I do want to live up to what I can be through Him!! Amen!!
I like the line, "It goads you to be your best and haunts you at your worst." It really does, I know both those feelings very well!! Thanks!

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CHRIS3874 5/31/2012 11:02PM

    thanks again

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DEFIANTVEGAN 5/31/2012 5:37PM

    Pastor Pastor Pastor MIke

Awesome Sermon I love it it's so true we are a worldy & a luke warm society I see it time and time again most don't want to convict the lost or even challenge the luke warm.

As I read your Conclusion my eyes filled up and I was choked up, I see myself growing and how different I'm seeing myself and how I desire to correct when I just lightly step out of line with my thoughts and frustrations. I sometimes want to pray God teach my husband a lesson but then I catch myself and I say guide him and protect him.

It's so hard to do but the feeling inside is so beautiful Pastor and I'm sitting here just eyes filled with how much I want to be filled with love and forgiveness in all things that is my desire.

Thank You Pastor it's not all about just being tolerant which is not the right thing you can disapprove and be passive at the same time but there is away to do it in love.

Awesome my cup runneth over. I read another message from a co-worker who preaches to elderly and it was awsome. I'll shall post it as a blog.

Thank You

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BOVEY63 5/31/2012 5:19PM

    A truly wonderful blog Pastor!
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BAKER1009 5/31/2012 1:47PM

    Wonderful blog.
My favorite line, "It summons you up into what you could be and to forgive what you have been."
I forgive myself for what I have been, and keep looking forward to what I can be!

Thanks Pastor Mike!!
Hugs,
Beth

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How Christian Is Your Home?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16).

Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:12-21

As we consider the Christian home, we face the peril of accepting a part for the whole. Could it be possible that some of us have accepted a counterfeit for the genuine article? We also need to be cautious lest we accept a substitute for a genuine Christian home.

1) What is a Christian home?

Is it a home that merely maintains high moral standards?
Is it a home where all the members believe in the existence of a supreme being?
Is it a home where all of the family members are listed as church members?
Is it a home where everyone goes to church every Sunday?
Is it a home where all of the family members have been converted?
Is it a home where religion is a form to be maintained and a duty to be carried out that produces no glow to gladden the heart or grace to sustain the spirit?
Is it a home where there are certain moral restrictions imposed on the children?
We are using the word Christian as an adjective rather than as a noun. An adjective is used to “denote a quality of the thing or to specify a thing as distinct from something else.” When the word Christian is used as an adjective, it denotes a quality that is distinctive about the noun to which it is attached. When we ask, “How Christian is your home?” we are referring to a home that is distinctively different.

2) How would you define a Christian home?
A Christian home has been defined as having at least the following three characteristics.

A Christian home is a home where Christ is known, trusted, and obeyed.
It is a home in which Christ lives as Savior, Lord, Friend, and Teacher.
The husband loves his wife sincerely and steadfastly even as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25).
The wife reverences her husband and recognizes him as the head of her household (Eph. 5:21-24, 33).
The children respect and obey their parents in the Lord (Col. 3:20).

A Christian home is a home where the husband and wife love each other sincerely and steadfastly.
The vows they made before God and the state on their wedding day are treated as an unconditional commitment to each other as long as life lasts.
The love that should prevail between a husband and wife will manifest itself on the sexual level, the social level, and the sacrificial level. God gives his smile of approval to the romantic attraction of the husband and wife for each other. The husband and the wife should conduct themselves so as to maintain the respect and appreciation of their companion. If married love is to reach its highest level, it must be characterized by a spirit of sacrificial self-giving on the part of each to the other and for the other.

A Christian home is a home where there is a creative relationship between the parents and the children.
The husband and the wife have a spiritual responsibility to help each other to be the best Christians they possibly can be. In turn they have a responsibility to provide spiritual nurture and encouragement to their children as well as provision for their material needs. The parents must not delegate to the church the sole responsibility for the spiritual training and discipline of their children. Parents must recognize their responsibility for the spiritual training and discipline of their children.
Children need to recognize that they have a responsibility to God for assisting in making the home Christian. It is the will of God that they respect and obey their parents. If they would be pleasing to their Lord, they must recognize the authority of their parents. Children need to overcome their inherent tendency to be selfish and to put forth an effort to grow toward spiritual maturity that involves responsible action within the home.
If there is a generation gap that exists, it is a two-way gap. It can be bridged only when both parties put forth an effort to communicate with each other.

3) Making the home more Christian.
To maintain a creative relationship between parents and children, we will need three gifts and activities.

We need the gift and activity of faith.
Faith in God (Heb. 11:6).
Faith in self.
Faith in each other.
Faith in the future.

The gift and activity of hope.
Hope based on the goodness and faithfulness of God.
Hope based on character and commitment to Christ.
Hope based on the presence of God in the hearts of others and in our own hearts.

The gift and activity of love.
Three Greek words are used to communicate the nature of love. Eros refers to sensual or sexual love. This type of love is emotional and instinctive. While it may be selfish, it also can be pure, genuine, and noble between a husband and wife who love each other sincerely and steadfastly. Philia is social love, or brotherly love. It is based on the worth detected in another or on similarity of interest and feeling. It means “I sincerely like you.” Agape is sacrificial, self-giving love, the Calvary kind of love. It always puts the best interest of the other ahead of the interest of self. All three of these types of love are in the plan of God for the Christian home.

Now in Conclusion

If we want to have faith, hope, and love in abundance, we need to let Jesus Christ dwell in our hearts and in our homes as Savior, Lord, Teacher, and Friend. He will assist and encourage us.
Yours can be a Christian home if you will trust and obey Christ and if you will love your companion sincerely.
If there is one in your home who does not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, then trust him for guidance and help as you seek to give your Christian witness and as you seek to lead that one to know your Savior as Lord and Master.

God bless you all and thank you for all of your wonderful comments to my blogs!!

Pastor Mike

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARIO2 6/14/2012 4:52PM

    Wow - this is so good! Thanks again Pastor Mike!

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BOBBIENORTHERN1 6/5/2012 4:58PM

  This blog took me completely by surprised. I don't know what I was expecting but it wasn't what I read.

I don't have a husband and all my children are grown and were grown by the time I came to Jesus.

But Jesus is my life and my life is Jesus.

I do my best to let His love and grace and truth shine through me so as to let them see how much I have been transformed by Jesus.

I have two children of mine that make fun of me and call me phony and don't believe that I have changed but that is to be expected.

And they keep doing things to get me to respond the way that I used to respond and I just ignore what ever it is.

Anyways, a very surprising blog that has given me a different perspective on being a Christian home and I have to thank you so much for this PastorMike.

I am so glad that our Lord knows that we are all so different and all come from very different circumstances and lives and homes and experiences.



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DOTTIEJANE1 6/2/2012 9:24AM

    I thank you for this blog as we all need to aware of this . May GOD BLESS YOU . Dottie

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YATMAMA 5/30/2012 6:34PM

    They shall know we are His by the love we show to one another. I think for me, that's the description of a Christian home, one where love flourishes: love to and from the Lord, love to and from one another, and love in all it's fullness, with practical outreaches, to the world around us. Thank you for such an important message.

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ABETTERSOUL 5/30/2012 8:34AM

    I am continually working at making my home a "Home" that Jesus abides in and feels "right at home"...if you know what I mean.

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PEARLS8 5/30/2012 1:18AM

    I really loved this sermon emoticon emoticon

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BAKER1009 5/29/2012 10:30AM

    Thank you Pastor Mike for another wonderful blog. I appreciate the time you take to share these with us.

Have a blessed day!
Hugs,
Beth

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VICIOUS421 5/28/2012 11:46PM

    emoticon

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2BE-MY-BEST 5/28/2012 9:28PM

    I bought a Gospel CD many months ago that makes one ponder if their home is as Christian as it should be. The name of the song is "What would you do if Jesus came to your house?" Like your blog it is good food for thought.

emoticon If Jesus came to your house to spend a day or two If he came unexpectedly I wonder what you'd do When you saw him comin' would you meet him at the door With arms outstretched and welcome to your heavenly visitor Or would you need to change some things before you let him in Like burn some magazines and put the Bible where they'd been Oh I know that you'd give your nicest room to such an honered guest And all the food you would serve to him would be the very best And you'd keep assuring him that you were glad to have him there That serving him in your home was a joy beyond compare But what about your family conversation would it keep up its normal pace And would you find it hard each meal to say a table grace Would you be glad to have him stay forever on and on Or would you sigh of great relief when finally he had gone You know it might be interesting to know the things you'd do If Jesus came in person to spend some time with you .What would you do what would you do if Jesus came to spend some time with you?

Of course we know that Jesus , is with us everyday and we should be mindful of his presents. I like that song above because it does make us stop and think if our homes are as Christian as they should be.



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JUDITH316 5/28/2012 5:39PM

    Amen, this Bible Blog is both "Right On Target and Inspiring". Thanks for sharing these truths from God's Word, you are a rich blessing in which I thank God. Keep the Bible Blogs coming. We so appreciate you, and the timely Bible Truths you bring to us each day. THANK YOU...

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ROTTLADY 5/28/2012 2:48PM

    Thank You for an uplifting message to remind us in ways to have a more Christian Home. We need our homes , churches and communities to reflect these values.Once a month all of our churches city wide come together and meet to help each other with projects and ways of helping those in our community.We live as one big family and need to show love and respect for each other and how much we cherish God's word.
Blessing Holly

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JANEYINMADTOWN 5/28/2012 2:38PM

    We strive to maintain a Christian home but are lacking in some areas. But what is important is that we love the Lord God and work to obey his word.

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FLMOMX2 5/27/2012 4:50PM

    Right on target. Thank you

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SANDRA2BSKINNY 5/27/2012 2:41PM

    Very uplifting blog my oldest son needs to read this. Thank you Pastor Mike for posting.

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UNSTOPPABLE_ 5/27/2012 1:48PM

    As usual, Pastor Mike, a wonderful lesson. Thank you for going into detail about a Christian home.

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BOVEY63 5/27/2012 12:14PM

    We should all strive for the Christian home.

Pastor, could you please pray for my Godfather (discussed him in my last blog) who is still in ICU after an accident that took the life of my Godmother. Thank you!

Comment edited on: 5/27/2012 12:15:31 PM

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D-ABBY 5/27/2012 12:04PM

    Excellent! Thank you.

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ERIN1957 5/27/2012 7:11AM

    Joshua 24:15, comes to mind.
Yes, we are a Christian home. Our doors are not open to all, as in our home we can share with others of Christ Jesus, but our home is not for argument in judgment of who He is in us. Our home here on this earth is our shelter from the outside trying hard to get in to breakdown our walls. Here we can rest in Him, so His strength will carry us strong amongst all that comes against Him who lives in us, out there. Our home is open to all that need comfort and love, but the enemy is sent away. We stand strong in our beliefs and will not allow evil to come in.
"...choose for yourself this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

Thank You for allowing me to stand in agreement with you!
Thank you for your wonderful sharing of our Lord!

In Him,
Erin

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PANFRIEDTROUT 5/27/2012 12:01AM

    good blog Pastor

you remind me of what our senior pastor said many times ..... "Love isn't a feeling, it's a commitment." it took me years to understand that.

i think i need to work on the "self sacrificial" part toward my non*believing husband

hope you're having a great weekend!

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LESLIESENIOR 5/26/2012 11:57PM

    What a relief to know that He, not I, is the Holy One. Love, trust, and faith in Him.......Life saving!

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MI-ELLKAYBEE 5/26/2012 11:39PM

    Beautiful, motivational and uplifting - as you always are! emoticon

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KAYDE53 5/26/2012 11:34PM

    Amen!!! We have tried to make our home a Christian home, and this is a good reminder of what it should be!! emoticon

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CHRIS3874 5/26/2012 9:28PM

    thanks for the reminder. Its easy to slip up.

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PURPLELVR7 5/26/2012 9:03PM

    Great blog as always - thank you for sharing

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DETERMINEDLOSER 5/26/2012 8:15PM

    Thank you for your blog today. I enjoyed reading it.

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VISUALLYRICS 5/26/2012 8:07PM

    Lovely blog....enriched with Godly guidance.
Thank you so much for this blog. I truly value my own upbringing...and am amazed each day at my own little home where Christ is the head.

God Bless you and have a wonderful Memorial day!

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DEFIANTVEGAN 5/26/2012 7:32PM

    Pastor,

Thank you for this as I read each question and statements I my eyes watered and I can surely say some of those answers I had no control of or did I. Could we all be better in our walk? of course we can.

I even wonder about my relationship would it have been different, probably not because I know my husband but I know I could have made better choices.

I know I'm working on many of those things it's not spontaneous sometimes they take work and I'm happy to say I'm doing just that.

Reading my Bible Everyday
Definitely need to pray more.
I'm having discussions with my daughter in making better choices.
I'm trying to show a phileo side and also an Agape side.

Thanks Pastor for your convicting sermon I think I'm going to print out some of those questions and put them up somewhere so I can remind myself daily.

I definitely have all those mentioned on my mind to have a rooted and grounded spiritual walk.

God Bless Pastor and Have a Wonderful Memorial Day!

Hugs,

Annette emoticon emoticon emoticon

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I*AM*BLESSED 5/26/2012 4:49PM

    emoticon

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NELLIEC 5/26/2012 4:42PM

    And it is very hard to have a Christian home where only one of the parents is a Christian!

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