BEFORE YOU SIN

Things to Think About When You Are Tempted to Sin:

You are about to hurt the people who depend on you.

You are about to become addicted to sin—to take a step toward bondage-enslavement to sin.

You are about to give Satan and others a means of accusation. (like a handle on your back when you try to move forward)

You are about to damage or destroy your testimony for God and your personal reputation.

You are about to discredit your God. Our private sin is an open scandal in heaven.

You are about to forfeit eternal rewards.

You are about to break your enjoyment of fellowship with God. Your purpose in life, your joy, delight, and satisfaction in life, your continued ability to defeat sin require fellowship with the Lord.

Ken Pierpont

Surprised by Love

How do you see religion? Burden or blessing! From this morning quiet time with the Lord. Written by Hannah Whitall Smith from her book “The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life”.

I  am surprised at the lowliness though happiness of religion. I can see now that my ideas of it were too gloomy as if the Redeemer were a hard taskmaster and His servants became unwilling slaves, working only for the sake of the reward or because of the fear of the punishment. And now when I find such love, such joy, such beauty it astonishes me. I trust I am grateful for it but the remains of the old fears still cause me to be expecting the crosses and the unhappiness. Perhaps it is the way with many young Friends (Quaker) to look upon Christ’s religion as one of austerity and gloom, but how different the truth is. His service is a service of love. His yoke is easy. His burden is indeed light—lightened and made easy, even if hard and heavy, by the help of love.
I have read that the Shepherd first carries His sheep in His arms while they are weak and trembling—but afterward, when their strength increases, He sets them down to walk amid the thorns and rocks of the way. Surely He is carrying me in His arms now, weak, unworthy to be called one of His lambs, yet trusting in Him. I am deeply and peacefully happy, believing that “he is my Shepherd, and I shall not want.”
—Journal, 1851
Hannah Whitall Smith and Melvin Easterday Dieter, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life: The Unpublished Personal Writings of Hannah Whitall Smith (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

Inside Out

I must clean up the inside of the cup and the platter, before I begin to cleanse the outside. I think there is great danger that beginners in the work of salvation, and I in particular, might trust too much to what they do and what they profess, paying no attention to the essential work of inward purification or at least leaving it only partially accomplished, while they forget that God never did, nor ever can, accept offerings He has not required, offerings made in our own will and way and time, proceeding from unsanctified and hardened hearts. John Barclay says, “Obedience is better than sacrifice: and it is not our simply doing what is good that pleases God, but the good that He wills us to do,”
And the prayer of my heart is, “Oh my Father! that You will keep me in the hollow of your holy hand, teaching me just what you want me to do; and giving me enough strength to do what you want me to. You know that it is hard for me to learn to wait until your time for deliverance comes; therefore, don’t withdraw from me until patience has had its perfect work and you see that all murmuring and rebellion are gone forever.
Oh, if I could not trust in you, my Father, my soul would faint under the burden that presses on it. You are able to change every disposition of my heart, and to conform me wholly to your blessed will. Oh! then, I humbly beseech You, lay your hands on me and save me, for truly there is no help, nor hope but in you!
—Journal, 1849
Hannah Whitall Smith and Melvin Easterday Dieter, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life: The Unpublished Personal Writings of Hannah Whitall Smith (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

The Prayer of a Seventeen Year Old Quaker Girl

Oh my Father! stretch out your all powerful arm in mercy and free me from the bonds of sin and death which hold me fast! You see that I am tired of trying to be good, that I don’t really try to resist the temptations of the evil one with all my might. And you know that my whole nature rebels against following you and serving you. But, oh Father! strengthen my feeble knees, put a new and holy faith in my heart and bring down my haughty nature to the very dust. You are my only refuge; therefore, listen, I pray you, to my prayer.
I am haughty and full of pride. I shrink from the suffering which I know is waiting for me. I look almost with disgust on the narrow, narrow path which I see lying out before me. I feel that I can never consent to become nothing for your name’s sake. But you, Oh Lord! are able to drive away all pride from every heart. Oh won’t you purify and wholly sanctify my heart and make me willing to become the very least of your servants that you may have all the glory and honor and praise for ever and ever world without end!
—Journal, 1849
Hannah Whitall Smith and Melvin Easterday Dieter, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life: The Unpublished Personal Writings of Hannah Whitall Smith (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

Are you “BUSY”?

Satan called his team for a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his evil angels, he said, “We can’t keep the Christians from going to church. We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can’t even keep them from forming an intimate, abiding relationship experience in Christ. If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to their churches, let them have their conservative lifestyles.

“But steal their time, so they can’t gain that relationship with Jesus Christ. This is what I want you to do, angels. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day! How shall we do this shouted the angels? ‘Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,’ he answered. ‘Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6 – 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles.’

“Keep them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, soon, their home will offer no escape from the pressures of work! Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice. Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive. And see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.

Go ahead, let them be involved in soul winning. But crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Christ. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause. It will work! It will work!”

This Christmas season let’s not forget the essential: enjoying family and friends, but let’s focus on the essential meditating on what God did 2000 years ago.

1 John 3:16 (NLT)
We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us.

Two Options For A Follower Of Christ

 

As a follower of Christ, I have two options as to how I will live my life:

1. By the “clock” — That is, manage my life by such external forces as my

Commitments

Appointments

Schedule

Goals

Activities

2. By the “compass” — That is, lead my life by such internal values as my

Calling

Vision

Values

Mission

Direction

Our struggles come when we sense a gap between the clock and the compass; when what we do doesn’t contribute to the values we hold most dear. To help determine whether you are a slave to the clock or are guided by the compass, take a few minutes to prayerfully evaluate and answer the following questions:

  • What is my calling in life?
  • What is my vision?
  • What are my core values?
  • What is my mission in life?
  • What is my direction?
  • Can I defend how I answered the above questions Biblically?

It is God’s intention that we are guided primarily by our inner “compass” when it is based on the leading of the Spirit in accordance with the truth and authority of God’s Word:

Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposely and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17 – Amplified)

QUESTION: If your life is managed primarily by the “clock,” rather than led by the “compass,” what changes do you need to make at this time?

Dwight Hill, Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals.Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals.

Four Corporate Goals Of A Christian-Based Company

 

The business world can be challenging for Christians business people.

Many adherents of Christ in the world of business see little correlation between living for Christ and dealing with the harsh realities in the marketplace. Thus, they have concluded that commerce is a nasty affair, but someone has to do it. Computer Management and Development Services (CMDS), (Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA) is demonstrating a healthy merge between Christian values and the business realm. Their four corporate goals are:

TO HONOR GOD

“We believe that our Christianity is something that is a part of all we do. Therefore, we commit ourselves to operate CMDS within our understanding of Christian ethical and moral beliefs. We believe Christ should be honored by all that we do and say.”

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” (Col. 3:23)

TO DEVELOP PEOPLE

“We believe that people employed by CMDS are our most important asset. We commit ourselves to pay fairly, treat one another honestly, and promote development of the individual. We believe that people we work for are also important and commit ourselves to training them in the operations of the system, treating them honestly, and assisting in the development of the individual in any way we can.”

We do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus sake.” (2 Corinthians 4:5b) (See Matthew 22:39; Luke 6:31; James 2:8-16)

TO PURSUE EXCELLENCE IN SERVICE

“Service is our most important product. We recognize the importance of service to our customers and commit ourselves to responding promptly to requests and/or problems. We will continue to refine and improve our products. Only by providing an important service to our customers will we continue to exist as a company. We commit ourselves to excellence.”

Then God looked over all that he had made, and it was excellent in every way… ” (Genesis 1:31 – Living)

TO MAKE A PROFIT

“We recognize the need to make a profit in order to operate a viable business. We are nonetheless committed to meet goals one, two, and three and will sacrifice a larger profit in order to meet these goals.”

A man called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money The manwent at once and put his money to work and gained five more… ‘Master, he said, you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more. His master replied, Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things…‘” (Matthew 25:14-21 – selected)

QUESTION: Have you determined to personally incorporate Biblical values into your marketplace practices?

Dwight Hill, Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals.