Stirred not Shaken

August 31, 2009

Blogged Bible Study Galatians 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 8:30 pm

To follow along with all of the Blogged Bible Study entries, go here.   🙂  There is alot of great stuff being written as we go through Galatians, Ephesians and Phillipians, with some wonderful people of God.

Galatians 1:6-10 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

 A different gospel…

The Gospel condemns the religious wisdom of the world.  So many contend for their own religious views, and come up with their own gospel which is no less than offensive to God.  There is a boldness in Paul here that comes through as he is defending his apostolic authority and ministry.  He was a humble man, but one that was not willing to take a back seat.

I can’t really imagine any other reaction by the Galatian congregations then feeling like they had been hit upside the head with these forceful words of Paul.  “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ.”  I can see Paul shaking his head, thinking “Why are they so easily led like sheep to the slaughter house?”  It was the unstable fickleness that astonished him. Apparently it happened “quickly”, a short time after their conversion.  The Greek word metatithemi, means change, remove, turn, become deserters.

Paul makes it clear it is a personal choice.  They may have been deceived and seduced, but they were to be held personally responsible for their choices.  When Paul wrote of their “deserting Him who called you…” he was not speaking of their commitment to him…but their falling away from and turning against God.

“there are some who trouble you…..”  Luke’s account of these intrusive teachers in Antioch have many similarities in Acts 15:1.  There seems to be a few of the new Christians in Galatia what were disturbed enough about the errant teaching that they sent a report to Paul to inform him.  Paul doesn’t appear to have much tolerance for those who would harass, intimidate and threaten the new converts. (5:12)   I’m sure the false teachers explained that they were just attempting to improve on Paul’s presentation of the gospel, yet Paul brings the charge that they are deliberately “wanting to distort the gospel of Christ.”  To distort the gospel is to destroy the gospel.  To modify it is to mutilate it.

When any attempt is made to change the gospel into anything other than the life of Jesus Christ alone, then the essential nature of what is being discussed has been turned from gospel to religion, from grace to law, from faith to works, from God to Satan.  This is what Paul finds intolerable.

Paul makes his feelings very clear in this chapter and I for one intend to heed his warning.  He may be a bit out of step with the modern PC and its epidemic of “tolerance” but he had the discernment of God’s Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, to “test the spirits” (1 John 4:1), and turn away from that which was contrary to the very essence of the gospel in Jesus Christ.  He had the boldness of Christ to “make a defense” (1 Peter 3:15) and “contend for the faith (Jude 1:3), so that people would not be taken captive through empty deception….I pray that we all would have the clearness of the Gospel which is Christ, and take our stand against all of the religious distortion and perversion.

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August 30, 2009

Two weeks from tomorrow….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 9:26 am

My soldier will be home.  It’s been a long year…….

August 28, 2009

It’s a Happy Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 12:32 pm

My son has officially left Iraq.  He will be home September 2nd to Fort Polk, LA.  He will be home, home the 14th.  Thank you Lord…

Leave the sugar coating to the cookies please

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 10:57 am

With many non-Christ-followers in my life, not just on-line, but in my everyday life, I watch them struggle with the claims of Christianity.  And who can blame them?  Our Biblical evangelicalism is at times hollow at best and will not reach people if we are putting our own theology into practice.  If we stick to Biblical evangelism, the critics have little choice but to be silenced.

I used to think that evangelizing to people meant “telling others about Jesus”, which, far too many times meant that I was telling others about myself and how Christianity impacted my life.  Ask someone to define evangelism for you and I think you would discover that they are often confused about the the relationship between their testimony and personal experience, as opposed to that of Biblical witness to Jesus Christ.  Who do you talk about when you try to “convert” someone?   Do you recount facts from the Bible or yourself?  Are you scared to use words such as “sin” and “wrath”?  Chances are the words love, forgiveness and mercy flow with no problem.

Before I can even talk about sharing Christ with others, I have to be very clear about who Jesus is and understand the nature of His saving work.  I have to be able to get it right, before I try to get it out.   I believe in telling people truth in love, but I think it is important to understand what telling the truth is.

You don’t have to be a great theologian to engage in evangelism.  In fact, those who “know” that haven’t “experienced” are really hard for me to swallow.  They just don’t seem to get it, and for that reason alone can lead people astray by not understanding the ministry part of the walk and not experiencing first who He truly is through ministry.   We should however have a grasp on Biblical doctrine, enough to be able to turn in the Word of God, and effectively explain who HE is including topics such as sin, His love, His wrath, His mercy…ALL of Him.  The depth of depravity without Him should be key when explaining our God, and how helpless we truly are without Him.  God is eternal, uncreated, everything that was created was by Him and for Him,  dependent on Him for its very existence.

He alone is immutable, infinite, simple, omniscient and omnipresent.  Complete opposite of creation itself.  He is transcendent, hidden to us, (unless He chooses to reveal Himself  by revelation), and incomprehensible.  He is described in scripture as having infinite measure of the attributes of Holiness, love, truth, righteousness, mercy and long-suffering.

We have to take seriously the effects of the Fall that placed all of humanity under God’s curse.  No one is innocent before God.  There is a wage to be earned by sin…….death.  Everyone born, will die.  We are born with a sinful nature, which makes us hostile toward God, unwilling and unable to do His will.  Sin effects the entire person, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  There is no part within us that is not damaged by sin.  Because of our sinful state, we will not come to God in faith if left to ourselves, how can we?  Then the good news…

God has chosen us.  God has not only determined who will be saved, but how it will happen.  This alone means, that  we need to be concerned about taking the gospel to the ends of the earth…we have to take it to people and teach them that faith is not the one work we have to do to be saved, it is simply the reception of the saving benefits of Jesus Christ.  It is not the assent to the truth of a Christian religion, it is a trust in Jesus Christ.  Scriptures are clear about how sinners come to faith in Christ through the means of the gospel….we are called, regenerated and converted, we exercise our faith in Christ and repentance, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Don’t be afraid in walking through the depravity of who we are before Christ.  To me it is really doing them a disservice, and diminishes what Christ did on the cross.  I believe it is important to state facts clearly , “Jesus said”, “Jesus did”, pray for wisdom, and remember it can take some time.  Our job title is not, Holy Spirit. 🙂

**** This blog entry is evangelism with no sugar…just the way it is.****

We have been warned…

August 25, 2009

Ever laugh and cry at the same time?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 7:12 pm

Paul pressed hard

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 8:23 am

Read this yet again this morning…

Philippians 3:12-14 “12Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.  13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before  14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

In reading this, it really inspires me to go so hard after Christ.  I love how Paul puts this.  “Not as though I had already attained” His passion and pursuit of Christ comes from the dissatisfaction of the way he is.  To me this is saying that in order to press hard into our Holy God, we have to develop a holy dissatisfaction with our spiritual lives.  Look in the mirror and realize, you have not arrived.  Admitting our spiritual imperfection is the start of a true pursuit of God.  There are two classes of  people who are depressed, immobilized and angry…the first group is depressed, immobilized and angry because their behavior has stopped them from having a reputation of being cool and competent, and that is very, very common.  The others, they are depressed, immobilized and angry because their behavior has injured the glory of God, and they are very, very rare.   The second example is essential if we are to grow in Christ.  It’s about feeling bad, and realizing that we possess so little of Christ, the beginning of something wonderful.

Paul tells us to forget the things that are behind…I believe this means anything in your background which hinders your pursuit of God….put it out of your mind.  Person, event, even something wonderful that hangs us up with pride, if it is causing you to stagnate in your walk and ministry, get it gone… 🙂   Is it possible?  You bet it is.  Sometimes battles are won by remembering mercies, but looking back at the things that trip you up with guilt or shame, no.  Give a humble thanks for your successes, make humble confessions for your failures, then leave them there and press on.  Look back for the sake of pressing forward.

I want to encourage you today to know more of the Word of God, grasp a little more of the will of God, look for and find the wonder of God.  Imperfect as we are,  it is important to remember that it is God who is at work in us to do His good pleasure.  It is good to develop a holy dissatisfaction with your spiritual achievements, and to put out of your mind anything in the past that will hinder your pursuit of Him.  I know for a fact I can not run in my own strength, but pursuing God with all of my heart, mind and soul assures me that I can and will know Him deeply.  What else do I need?

August 23, 2009

Judge: Abortionists Must Tell Women Abortion Terminates a Human Life

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 5:57 pm

Judge: Abortionists Must Tell Women Abortion Terminates a Human Life.

Love this!  It’s too bad the rest was overlooked, but it’s a start.   Hope it spreads across the US…..

Cool video…happy Sunday!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 8:26 am

August 20, 2009

Gone for a few…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 5:07 pm

I’m at a conference til Monday….may check in may not…So…while I’m gone, tell me something, or post something (pic, video, embarrassing story) whatever, that will make people laugh.  I love to make people smile and laugh, and could REALLY use some  right now. 🙂   Got a funny story or pic?  Post away!  Have fun…

August 17, 2009

Just a thought…..

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 4:53 pm

Some days, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t form the words I want to say in my prayer time.  Even when I’m in complete silence the words don’t come…today is one of those days.  In those times I have learned to begin by saying our model for prayer from Jesus, The Lord’s Prayer.   As I was praying that this morning, I was struck by those two words “give us”.  It comes very late in the prayer, half way down or so I suppose.

Since these words that Jesus gave His disciples were the pattern for the entire life of prayer, I take it as a word to me to consider my needs second.  Usually I am crying out for help….Give them, protect them, guide the doctor…..but my Jesus has different priorities.  We start by honoring God.  He tells me to hallow His name, pray for His kingdom, seek His will.  Spend half of your prayer time Deb, the first half, putting the Father first.  Jesus was very aware of the human needs that He was sending His disciples to confront.  But I can’t find anywhere where He told them how to ask for God’s aid in a difficult situation.  He said to “worship God.”

This will be my model for the week.  Instead of starting with my problems, I will begin with God’s all sufficiency.  I will focus on the greatness of His very name.  I will ask for His will to be done in all situations, not just my pre-conceived notion of His will.  This morning, as I began to follow His pattern, the panic subsided.  I began to offer up my intercession focused on God.  I will look at my needs through the eyes and heart of God, because I believe that is the reason why, in the prayer that Jesus taught, “give us” comes so late.

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