DISCOURAGMENT vs SELF-ABSORPTION

DISCOURAGMENT vs SELF-ABSORPTION

Let say a person involve in her Christian ministry come to you and say that he thinks he should take a Sabbatical from her ministry because feeling tired or unmotivated any longer.

What would be your answer? The natural answer would be, ‘yes, I understand, you been involved for many years, a little break would not hurt. Unfortunately, rarely did I saw these people getting involved again.

What would be a more Biblical way to answer them?

Lately, I was greatly encouraged by John Piper counsel. He wrote, “We find ourselves not energized for any great cause, but always thinking about the way to maximize our leisure and escape pressure.” The problem is not exhaustion cause by the work, but a person can gradually become so SELF-ABSORPTION that he doesn’t have any resources for God’s work. Isaiah 58: 10-11 mention when people focus on helping others they will be “like a well-watered garden”. Jesus also mentions “rivers of living water that will flow out of the individual life.” God has made us to flourish by being spent for others, not on ourselves. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Pipers add, “My point is that one of the causes of some people’s darkness is a slowly creeping self-absorption and small-mindedness.” [1]

Before you feel like taking a sabbatical take time to examine what motivate you.

[1] John Piper, When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2004), 227.

Loving the Scriptures

An anonymous Christian said one day “When I was filled with the Spirit, I loved the Scriptures so much that if I could have gotten more of the Word of God inside of me by eating it, I would have eaten the Book. I literally would have taken and eaten it—leather and everything—if I could have gotten more of the Book inside my heart.”

Well, you don’t get it by eating it, but the Word of God is sweet to the Spirit-filled person because the Spirit wrote the Scriptures. The spirit of the world does not appreciate the Scriptures—it is the Spirit of God who gives appreciation of the Scriptures. One little flash of the Holy Spirit will give you more inward, divine illumination on the meaning of the text than all the commentators that ever commented.

It 1727 the Moravians who were quiet people, like you and me, but they waited and prepared their hearts, and one morning, suddenly, that which they called “a sense of the living nearness of the Savior, instantaneously bestowed,” came upon them.

Now, when the Holy Spirit is allowed to come with particular intimacy in a human soul, He never talks about Himself, but always about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Count Zinzendorf wrote that the small group of 75 German Christians arose and went out that building so happy and joyful that they did not know whether they were on earth or had gone on to heaven. The historian says that, as a result of that experience, within twenty short years those Spirit-filled Moravian Christians did more for world missions than the entire Church in all of its parts had done in 200 years. It made missionaries of them.

The New Testament speaks of the sense of “wonder” among the early Christians. The Church in our day seems to have lost this. I remember that Dr. R.R. Brown, of Omaha, once said to me, “God is so good to me that it frightens (amaze) me!”[1]

[1] A. W. Tozer, The Counselor: Straight Talk About the Holy Spirit from a 20th Century Prophet (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 1993), 149.

What is the Gospel of God?

In accordance with the Father’s good pleasure, the eternal Son, who is equal with the Father and is the exact representation of His nature, willingly left the glory of heaven, was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin, and was born the God-man: Jesus of Nazareth. As a man, He walked on this earth in perfect obedience to the law of God. In the fullness of time, men rejected and crucified Him. On the cross, He bore man’s sin, suffered God’s wrath, and died in man’s place. On the third day, God raised Him from the dead. This resurrection is the divine declaration that the Father has accepted His Son’s death as a sacrifice for sin. Jesus paid the penalty for man’s disobedience, satisfied the demands of justice, and appeased the wrath of God. Forty days after the resurrection, the Son of God ascended into the heavens, sat down at the right hand of the Father, and was given glory, honor, and dominion over all. There, in the presence of God, He represents His people and makes requests to God on their behalf. All who acknowledge their sinful, helpless state and throw themselves upon Christ, God will fully pardon, declare righteous, and reconcile unto Himself.This is the gospel of God and of Jesus Christ, His Son

 

The price of freedom

I try to be as positive and optimistic as possible, yet the Creator also teaches us to be cautious and alert. Alertness is exercising my physical and spiritual senses to recognize the dangers that could diminish the resources entrusted to me. Thomas Jefferson said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance”. Apostle Paul under the leading of the Holy Spirit gave us a very serious warning in 2 Timothy 3:5 “Avoid these people!” Whose people was he describing in in those first five verses? I find that the author H.A. Ironside summarize it very accurately. “In 2 Timothy 3 the Holy Spirit is describing conditions in the professing church in the last days! There are twenty-one outstanding features in this prophecy of church conditions in the last days. Paul challenge you to look about you and see if these are not the conditions that characterize a great part of Christendom today—no reality, no power, yet much profession. The Church which began as “the pillar and ground of the truth,” is, in this twenty first century of its existence, “seeking” the truth, thereby acknowledging they never yet have found it!”[1]

In His Sermon on the mountain, Jesus said that a <Tree is identified by its fruit>. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15 Remember Jefferson advice “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance”. How to keep your freedom?

Two simple questions will help you;

Do you guard your daily time with the Lord and His Word?

Do you ask God for daily guidance and find His will?

Let me rephrase them, “Do you pray and read the Bible daily?”


[1] H.A. Ironside, Timothy, Titus, and Philemon (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1947), 220

Pilgrimage

A pilgrim is a traveler who is on a journey to a holy place. Usually, this is a physical journeying (often on foot) to some place of special meaning to the believer of a particular religious belief system. The great Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca (now in Saudi Arabia), is obligatory for every able Muslim. In the spiritual literature of Christianity, the concept of pilgrim and pilgrimage may refer to the experience of life in the world (considered as a period of exile).  Wesley Granberg- Michaeson describe it well, “Pilgrimage is as much about the journey as the destination. The point is not simply to get somewhere, but to expect that the process itself will reveal unexpected discoveries (serendipity), test and nurture spiritual strength, build new relationship along the way, and strengthen our exercise of faith. The pilgrimage of Christianity in the world today requires attentiveness to whom we meet,  openness to new understandings, unwavering trust that the Holy Spirit continues to prepare the way, guiding us into all truth.”[1]


[1] From Time Squares to Timbuktu, Wesley Granberg- Michaelson, Ed. Eerdmans, 2013. P.6