Catch! Live! Impart!

 

Want to change your world for Christ? Then consider this:

CATCH the passion for God and the knowledge of the Holy from extended time alone with Him, or from people who are infected with Jesus Christ. Get around those who are impassioned with being used of God to make a difference in this tired world. Keep in mind that “it is easier to cool down a fanatic than to liven up a corpse.”

You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.” (1 Thessalonians 1:5b-7)

LIVE — Prayerfully delve into the Scriptures with the anticipation and trust of a child at Christmas time. Dare to unconditionally live out the truth God reveals to you from His Word. Respond sensitively to the conviction and leading of the Spirit. Claim and appropriate God’s promises to release you from life’s bondages: The fear of man, the love of money, the lust of the flesh, the desire to impress others; a wounded or embittered spirit; the ruts, the familiar, the safe… perhaps even the traditional. (James 1:22; Romans 8:14; Hebrews 6:11, 12; Romans 8:2; Psalm 34:4; Proverbs 29:25; 1 Timothy 6:6-10; 1 John 2:15-17; Hebrews 12:15; Matthew 15:8, 9)

If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you freeIf the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:31b, 32, 36b)

Allow the Spirit to lead you into areas that demand trust and stretching. Be prepared to be surprised by the goodness of God upon your life. That is because God loves to bless those who dare to take Him seriously! (Acts 4:31; 1 Corinthians 2:10-12; 1 Samuel 3:9; Psalm 30:5)

The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him… ” (2 Chronicles 16:9b)

IMPART — As Biblical truth becomes living reality, pass it on to others. That is fish for men. Engage and infect people’s lives with yours. Take it a step further by making a sustained investment of your life into theirs. Embrace missionary martyr Jim Elliot’s impassioned heart-cry, “Lord, make my life a crossroad in the life of everyone I encounter.” (Matthew 4:19; 2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Corinthians 16:14)

QUESTION: Today, is your life “business as usual,” or is there a fire burning in your soul? If the fire is flickering close to extinction, ask yourself what root issues need to be reexamined? What changes need to be made? Jesus’ word of encouragement may be timely:

A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” (Matthew 12:20a)

 

The Fisherless Fishermen

Adapted from a story told by Luis Palau.

“‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.'” (Matthew 4:19)

There was a group called “Fishermen’s Fellowship”. They were surrounded by streams and lakes full of hungry fish. They met regularly to discuss the call to fish, the abundance of fish and the thrill of catching fish. They got excited about fishing.

Someone suggested they needed a philosophy of fishing. So they carefully defined and redefined fishing and the purpose of fishing. They developed fishing strategies and tactics.

Then they realized they had been going at it backward. They had approached fishing from the point of the fisherman and not from the point of view of the fish. How do fish view the world? How does the fisherman appear to the fish? What do fish eat and when? These are all good things to know.

So they began research studies and attended conferences on fishing. Some traveled far away to study different kinds of fish with different habits. Some got Ph.D.’s in Fishology. But none had yet gone fishing.

So a committee was formed to send out fishermen. As prospective fishing places outnumbered the fishermen, the committee needed to determine priorities. A priority list of fishing places was posted on bulletin boards in all the Fellowship halls.

Still, no one was fishing. A survey was launched to find out why. Most did not answer the questionnaire but from those who did respond, it was discovered that some felt called to study fish, a few to furnish fishing equipment and several to go around encouraging fishermen.

What with meetings, conferences, and seminars, others simply didn’t have time to fish.

Jake was a newcomer to the “Fishermen’s Fellowship”. After one stirring meeting of the “Fellowship,” Jake went fishing. He tried a few things, got the hang of it and caught a choice fish. At the next meeting, he told his story, was honored for his catch and was then scheduled to speak at all the “Fellowship” chapters to tell how he did it.

Soon he began to feel restless and empty. He longed to feel the tug on the line once again. He cut the speaking, resigned from the Board and said to a friend, “Let’s go fishing.” They did just the two of them and they caught fish.

The members of the “Fishermen’s Fellowship” were many, the fish were plentiful, but the fishers were few.

QUESTION: When was the last time you and I did some serious fishing for men? What are we waiting for? After all, Jesus did say, “‘Come, follow me… and I will make you fishers of men.'”

The Next Time You Are Down In The Dumps

The last few days were rather gray days in my mind, I felt like I was down in the valley. On the outside, everything seemed fine to others, but I knew another reality. Then this delightful meditation came along. Hope it will benefit some else and brighten your day.


Struggling with your worth as a person…

Or despairing of life…

Or nursing your wounds over being hurt, shunned, or put down,

Do a reality check as to just who you are in the eyes of God:

  • GOD HAS ALWAYS LOVED YOU – FROM ALL ETERNITY:

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3b) (See Psalm 103:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; James 1:18)

  • GOD HAS ALWAYS PLANNED TO CHOSE YOU FOR HIMSELF:

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” (Ephesians 1:4) (See 1 Peter 2:9; Deuteronomy 7:6, 7; 14:2)

  • GOD THOUGHT ENOUGH OF YOU TO SPILL HIS SON’S BLOOD TO RESCUE YOU:

You were redeemed from the empty way of lifewith the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:18b, 19) (See Psalm 74:2; Hebrews 9:12-14)

  • GOD CONSIDERS YOU HIS SOLE POSSESSION:

(He) gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:14) (See Acts 15:14; Deuteronomy 4:20; 14:2)

  • GOD HAS INVITED YOU INTO HIS FAMILY TO BE A JOINT-HEIR WITH HIS SON, JESUS:

We areheirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” (Romans 8:17b) (See Luke 12:32; Galatians 3:29; 4:7)

So take heart, my fellow struggler – and heir. True, “we must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22) But take comfort in knowing that Jesus is returning to take you with Him:

They will see the Son of Man comingwith power and great glory. When these things begin to take placelift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:27b, 28)

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

Here Are Three Steps To Building God’s Word Into Your Life

My favorite chocolate bar is M& M. Why? Because for me it represent two important words: Memorize and Meditate Scripture. The foundational Bible verse for my Blog site is Revelation 3:20 “Jesus is at the door waiting to be invited in for an intimate time with a believer. It’s a ‘daily appointment’, ‘some personal time’, or many like to call it a ‘Quiet Time’. Nothing new, from the beginning of time, daily God seek company with Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden. This morning I came across a meditation written by John G Butler that fits so well with the basic philosophy of my blog.

John G Butler, ‘Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals’

  1. MEMORIZE IT

As a newly born again teenager, I got started on consistent Scripture memory. Nothing has so powerfully affected me spiritually as this difficult but life-changing discipline. Here are three reasons for doing it:

  1. To transform your mind in order to live out God’s will: “Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
  2. To help you win the spiritual battle over sin and Satan: After 40 days of fasting and prayer, Jesus was tempted by Satan. In all three instances, He won over the Enemy by quoting Scripture that was appropriate to the situation, “Jesus answered, It is writtenit is writtenit is written… ‘” (Matthew 4:4, 6, 7) If Jesus deemed it necessary to utilize the Scriptures in this manner for spiritual victory, how about you and me?!
  3. To equip you to help others spiritually: Ever have the experiences of fumbling with your Bible in trying to find a verse? Memorizing key Scriptures supplies you with the tools to intelligently and powerfully minister God’s Word to others. “The Scriptures are the comprehensive equipment of the man of God, and fit him fully for all branches of his work.” (2 Timothy 3:17 — Phillips Translation)

 

II. ANALYZE IT (or Meditate)

Years ago, I remember reviewing a pre-med student’s memory verses. He had them down cold! Boy was I impressed! Then I began asking him what the verses meant, and he didn’t have a clue! So, as you are in the process of memorizing a verse or passage, ponder and mull over its meaning in your mind. Dig out its definition by studying it in its context.

III.PERSONALIZE IT

While you are memorizing Scripture, ask God where and how He wants you to change in applying its truths to your life. Someone once said, “God did not give us the Scriptures to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives.”

Every person I know who is dead-serious about his walk with God has made an earnest effort to memorize God’s Word.

QUESTION: Did you, this morning, open the door to Jesus? Did you take time to read the Bible (God’s own word)?

 

Prayerful Meditation on The Scriptures

I personally enjoy Prayerful meditation on the Scriptures. The rewards are very real. It’s a channel used by the Holy Spirit to teach us deep lesson. Dwight Hill in his book ‘Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals’. offer five suggestions.

  1. Meditation on the Scriptures should not be viewed as a method or system, but as an attitude: Faith, openness, reverence, expectation, and supplication.

This people draw near to me with their wordsbut they remove their hearts far from me, and their reverence for me consists of traditions learned by rote.” (Isaiah 29:13 nasb)

  1. Meditation can actually be quite difficult at times. Thus, we should not judge its value on how

Let me understand the teachings of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders.” (Psalm 119:27)

  1. It is only if we have a heart fixed on obeying God without reservation that a little effort goes a long way. When we are resisting Him through disobedience or compromise, no amount of effort can produce the desired result.

I have more understandingfor I obey your precepts.” (Psalm 119:100)

  1. In our pride, we don’t want to be beginners. In truth, we will never be anything but beginners. Given the challenge in learning to effectively utilize meditation for spiritual growth, we would do well to recognize the need for a mature mentor.

Whatever you have learned or receivedfrom me, or seen in me – put into practice.” (Philippians 4:9)

  1. Often, what first seemed easy and rewarding suddenly becomes utterly impossible. We struggle with inner confusion, coldness, and lack of confidence. We find concentration difficult. Our imagination and emotions wander – or run wild. We often feel dry and desolate. Repugnant fantasies buried deep within us take over. We totally lose interest in spiritual matters.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I doFor what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:15, 19)

So don’t give up, because God promises you that “the path of righteous people is like the light of dawn that becomes brighter and brighter until it reaches midday...” (Proverbs 4:18) (GW)

 

 

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.

I’m Not Giving Up!

Last Monday, as I was talking on the phone with a friend in Windsor it was snowing. I ask him what the temperature down his way was; I truly didn’t like the answer, a sunny and a beautiful 18C. I taught of giving up the North and move down South. Many things in life can provoke us to give up! Maybe it is unemployment, financial loss, infidelity in marriage, death of a loved one, etc.

Centuries before Jesus Christ, the nation of Israel was in a terrible shape, the future didn’t look too bright. Soon the nation would go into captivity (bankrupt), the enemy was exulting with Israel downfall. Yet, God was not done with his people. God is in the business of encouraging those who trust in Him. God did come to his prophet Micah to reassure him. If your world seems to collapse, remember that God want’s to come to you and reassure you. Micah was so uplift that he wrote these delightful words, “But me, I’m not giving up. I’m sticking around to see what God will do. I’m waiting for God to make things right. I’m counting on God to listen to me (Micah 7:7)”.

Do you feel depres? Do you feel like giving up, out of touch? Please, don’t give up! Remember, God is an expert to turn around desperate situations. Nothing is too hard for Him! Remember that discouragement is the Devil’s best tool. When I get this tool into a man’s heart, the way is open to plant anything there I may desire.”

Don’t give up! Obey Jesus telling you“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11: 28)