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December 31, 2013, 10:19 AM

So Important


In the words of the Scottish preacher Robert Murray McCheyne, “A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God. A word spoken by you when your conscience is clear, and your heart full of God’s Spirit, is worth ten thousand words spoken in unbelief and sin.”

 

Oh that this would be the goal of all of us who proclaim the word of God. May we remember that we are a vessel through which God chooses to manifest Himself. It is His power, His message, and His character that needs to be displayed. Our job is to come before His throne of grace by the way Christ inaugurated for us. We are to dwell there in His presence much like the widow Anna as she waited day after day for the fulfillment of the promise of God. 




December 16, 2013, 4:49 PM

Big Picture Living


It occurred to me while musing over Psalm 66 that the key to living in the joy of God’s sovereignty is learning to look from His point of view. This chapter in the Psalms is but a small example. In it there is a contrast. There is a call to praise God at all times because He is always good and faithful to His people. He always leads them in triumph. However, if you take a closer look (vss. 10-12) you will see that the people of God will be put through some severe tests. The test the psalmist mentions is quite severe indeed. In the flesh I can’t imagine praising God for putting “crushing burdens on our backs” or letting “men ride over our heads”. Yet this is exactly what the psalmist is doing. Life is not always easy in the kingdom of God.  So what does it mean to look from God’s perspective? Two things we must keep in mind. One, As God’s people, this world is not our home. We are citizens of an eternal kingdom. This life is a disappearing vapor. Two, our purpose here is gradual transformation. Our sin has clouded our vision. It has impaired our judgment. We are born with the inclination to think that in the things of this world we can be satisfied, fulfilled. This vision and judgment needs to be changed if we are ever going to see the glory of God and find pleasure in Him. Testing and suffering cause us to look up, look beyond this temporal world. Times of darkness (misunderstanding, disillusionment, indecision, etc.) cause us to cry to Father like the leper, the paralytic, and the blind cried to Jesus.  These are times of desperation that God allows in our life to refocus us and improve our judgment. He wants us to become dependent on Him so that we may see His glory and find pleasure in Him. 




December 3, 2013, 4:07 PM

Seeking the Right Perspective


At Aydelotte on Sunday mornings we have been seeking the perspective that allows us to see the mighty hand of God, His sovereignty, His faithfulness, His power, His mercy, His generosity. We observed how King David sought God daily and learned to trust Him from boyhood. The days he spent in the outdoors with the his father’s sheep were days in which he marveled at God’s creation, realized God’s tender care, and learned that all strength comes from the Lord. Growing up in a faithful Israelite home provided him with a heart full of stories of the exploits of God and His people. As a result of this history David was well prepared to walk with God as King of Israel.

If we want to have a perspective which allows us to see God we must develop a similar history. We begin by daily seeking His presence. It could mean getting up a little earlier or perhaps staying up a little later. We must call on Him in prayer and listen for Him through reading His word. We must do what we can to stimulate ourselves. For instance, get up an hour and a half earlier than you must for work, make a pot of coffee and get a shower. Find a place that is private and helpful for quiet meditation. Find a reading plan that helps you make Bible reading consistent. Be flexible. Try new methods as needed. Everyone is different. Whatever it takes, get alone with God. Make the effort without giving up and soon your perspective will change.  You will find yourself thinking of God and His glory throughout the day. The Spirit will develop deep convictions in your heart. This conviction is what causes us to live differently. It causes us to seek the things which are above.

Join with us and seek Him the with all your heart. He promises to be found when we seek Him in this way.




November 27, 2013, 7:42 AM

Glorious Testimony


Hover your mouse above this link to Thessalonians and see a sweet testimony (I Thessalonians 1:1-10). WOW! This group of believers really experienced the great power of the Gospel. It is a truly amazing account of how the Gospel is not only the power of God unto salvation, but the power of God unto transformation. God transforms people.

          They were abounding in faith, love, and hope (I Thessalonians 1:3).

*     They received the Gospel with joy in the Holy Spirit amidst persecution.     (I Thessalonians 1:6)

*     They imitated Christ’s godly men, the apostles. (I Thessalonians 1:6)

*     They became examples to all believers in their regions. (I Thessalonians 1:7)

*     They proclaimed the Gospel everywhere they went. (I Thessalonians 1:8)

*     Their testimony: They turned to God from idols to worship the living and true God. ( I Thessalonians 1:9)

*     Their hope rested in the blessed return of their living Savior.

(I Thessalonians 1:10)

          Join with me and meditate on this chapter. Pray for yourself and believers you know. Ask God to renew us in the Gospel so that we too may have this testimony. This is the message our nation needs to see and hear. I pray for us that the glorious Gospel might fill our hearts with joy, transform our lives, and open our mouths with good news.




November 19, 2013, 4:57 PM

The Anatomy of Dissension

 

Take a look at this 

 

Bill Elliff

Fri, Oct 25, 2013

PastorConnect

I have dealt with dissenters in the church for a good portion of my ministry life over the last 42 years. If you are not careful, the whole mission of a church can be hijacked and consumed by the sideways energy dissenters create. It would be just like Satan to create such diversions.

Notice how they plagued the first church (Acts 6 NASB) and how God’s servant responded.

They rise up and argue.

They “rose up and argued with Stephen” (v. 9).

Remember that there were not many more godly men in the New Testament than Stephen. This one chapter describes him as a man “of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom” (v. 3); “full of grace and power” (v. 8); “they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking” (v. 10); and his face looked like that of an angel, even when he was being persecuted (v. 15). What a man to be arguing with and concerned about!

They move in secret.

“Then they secretly induced men to say . . .” (v. 11).

Dissenters love darkness. They are unashamed to utilize darkness to spread their dissension.

They stir up others.

“And they stirred up the people” (v. 12).

Their method is always to gather a crowd to join them in their work of attacking God’s leaders.

They are unafraid to use deception.

“They put forward false witnesses who said . . .” (v. 13).

Since they are unwilling to surrender to God’s truth themselves, they are unafraid to utilize deception for their ends.

They attack God’s men.

“This man [Stephen] incessantly speaks against this holy place and the Law” (v. 13).

As one man said, if you can’t overcome the message, shoot the messenger.

They do their wickedness under the guise of spirituality.

“This man incessantly speaks against this holy place and the Law” (v. 13).

These men came off as great defenders of the faith. In reality, they were opposing the truth of God and personally unwilling to bow to the lordship of Christ. This is the heart of the issue with dissenters.

They hate the loss of their kingdoms and the status quo.

“We have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place and alter the customs which Moses handed down to us” (v. 14).

They accused Stephen of acting against and destroying God’s real work. The very opposite of this was true. In fact, they were the ones who were in opposition to God.

So, how do you handle a dissenter?

“And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of an angel” (v. 15).

Stephen, full of the Spirit, kept on following Jesus and ministering in the Spirit. He was full of God, and his countenance radiated the presence of his Master. He continued to proclaim the truth (Acts 7) in boldness.

He suffered persecution and death at the hands of his opposition, but the end result was that he got to leave this old dissenting world quicker than the rest. Not a bad option!


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