Edwards’ Thoughts On Spiritual Pride

31 01 2007

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
(Philippians 2:3,4)
“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.”
(1 Corinthians 10:12)

Spiritual pride is very apt to suspect others; whereas an humble saint is most jealous of himself; he is so suspicious of nothing in the world as he is of his own heart. The spiritually proud person is apt to find fault with other saints that they are low in grace, and to be much in observing how jonathan_edwards.jpgcold and dead they are, and crying out against them for it, and to be quick to discern and take notice of their deficiencies, but the eminently humble Christian has much to do at home, and sees so much evil in his own heart, and is so concerned about it, that he is not apt to be very busy with others’ hearts; he complains most of himself and cries out of his own coldness and lowness in grace, and is apt to esteem others better than himself, and is ready to hope that there is nobody but has more love and thankfulness to God than he, and cannot bear to think that others should bring forth no more fruit to God’s honor than he.

–Jonathan Edwards

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Making The World Wonder

29 01 2007

And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common;
and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,
praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

(Acts 2:44-47)

 

andrewmurray.jpgWhen the world sees a church from which selfishness is banished, then it will acknowledge the Divine mission of Christ because He has wrought such a wonder: a community of men who truly and heartily love one another

–Andrew Murray
1828-1917





Prayer Changes Me

26 01 2007

“Prayer–secret, fervent, believing prayer–lies at the root of all personal godliness.”
William Carey

“Prayer changes things,” people say. It also changes us. The latter goal is the more imperative. The primary purpose of prayer is to bring us into such a life of communion with the Father that, by the power of the Spirit, we are increasingly conformed to the image of the Son…

None of us will keep up a life of prayer unless we are prepared to change. We will either give it up or turn it into a little system that maintains the form of godliness but denies the power of it—which is the same thing as giving up.

–Richard Foster
Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, p57





A Serious Gospel

25 01 2007

The Gospel is not a free offer to anyone. It costs–it costs your life.

Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:34-35)

Those who preach a gospel absent of this demand, preaches no gospel.

Question: Who did Jesus say the following words to? “And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

Answer: Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said…” (Luke 14:25)

This is the “pre-evangelism” of Jesus, if someone wants to use that term. Can you imagine the seeker and ejesusinice.jpgmergent leaders using this as pre-evangelism? Rather, what we see is contemporary leaders speak in front of “large crowds,” appealing to creaturely-centeredness. Jesus’ language of cost and self-denial is conveniently left out.

Jesus functioned on the truth that we heard this past week, “What you win them with is what you win them to.” I.e. If you win them with the demands of self-denial of the gospel, you will win them to commitment and authenticity. If you win them with a phantom gospel with nothing more than self-improvement and a God who is subjected to their terms, you win them to self-deception and unregenerateness.

–Alan Kurschner





Wanted: Seers!

24 01 2007

“Where there is no vision the people perish.”
(Proverbs 29:18)

 

We need a baptism of clear seeing. We desperately need seers who can see through the mist—Christian leaders with prophetic vision. Unless they come soon it will be too late for this generation. And if they do come we will no doubt crucify a few of them in the name of our worldly orthodoxy.tozer_crop1.jpg

–A.W.Tozer





Hostage To Hate

23 01 2007

“For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps…”
(1 Peter 2:19-21)

People ask me what the hardest part was of being a hostage. The hardest part was that I saw what I was really like.

In the jungle I came face to face with the Gracia I didn’t want to see, a me that I didn’t want to believe existed. I saw a hateful Gracia. (There were days when I hated those Muslims for what they were doing to us, for what they were putting us through.) I saw a covetous Gracia. I saw a despairing Gracia. I saw a faithless Gracia. We may look together on the outside, and we mayburnhams.jpg have props that hold us up and keep life going well for us…but God sees our insides. He remembers that we are dust, and He’s on our side when we are weak and needy. God didn’t wait for me to get my act together in the jungle. Even when I complained to Him for allowing me to be there for so long, He started working in my heart.

Jesus said to love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who despitefully use you. Maybe Muslims haven’t seen a lot of love from Christianity down through the ages, but it can start with us here today. We can hope against hope that God will use some of us to make a difference in the lives of some of these deceived, lost people.

–Gracia Burnham
(Gracia and her husband Martin were missionaries to the Philippines when they were taken hostage by a Muslim terrorist group in 2001. During a rescue attempt, her husband was killed in a firefight between Muslim extremists and Philippine troops)





Plea For A Brother

21 01 2007

“Remember the prisoners as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated since you yourselves also are in the body.”
(Hebrews 13:3)


Brother in Chains: Mua Say So
Location: Vietnammua-say-so.jpg
Arrested: April 2003
Days Imprisoned: 1387

In 2002, police and militia burst into Mua Say So’s home and beat and tortured his four married brothers in front of their families. His younger brother, Mua Bua Senh, died after he was beaten twice mercilessly. Seeking justice for his brother’s murder, So tried to petition the government. He photographed his brother lying in the coffin along with a sign that said, “Beaten to death because of following the gospel.” Because of this action, he was later arrested and charged with the murder. During his hearing in April 2003, Mua Say So was sentenced to three years in prison for murdering his brother and for falsely accusing the police. He lost his house, and his wife fled with their children to a safe area.

While in prison, he has been forced to break rocks for construction projects. He also has had to plant vegetables. The prisoners are given only two meals a day, consisting of two bowls of rice with vegetables and salt. Families that are able take food to the prisoners to supplement their diet and maintain their health.

Mua Say So is not allowed to pray over his food. The police told him if he would deny God, he would be released. He continues to stand firm in his faith, following Jesus.

–taken from Steve Camp blogsite, CampOnThis, Thursday, January 18, 2007