The Plumbline

24 06 2007

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you–unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…”
(1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Every doctrine that is not embedded in the Cross of Jesus will lead astray.christoncross.jpg
Oswald Chambers

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Who’s He To You?

23 06 2007

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
(Revelation 2:4,5)

If I let my work to get between my heart and the Master, it will be little worth. We can only effectually serve Christ as we are enjoying Him. It is while the heart dwells upon His powerful attractions that the hands perform the most acceptable service to His name…True, he may preach a sermon, deliver a lecture, utter prayers, write a book, and go through the entire routine of outward service, and yet not minister Christ. The man who will present Christ to others must be occupied with Christ for himself.

–C.H. Mackintosh, Genesis to Deuteronomy: Notes on the Pentateuch, p155; quoted from Heartcry! Life Action Ministries’ Journal on Renewal and Spiritual Awakening, Spring 2007





Warring For Peace

19 06 2007

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
(Ephesians 4:29)

About 20 years ago, I said something impromptu to the new members lined up across the front of the church. As we received them, the Holy Spirit prompted me to add, “And now, I charge you that if you ever hear another member speak an unkind word of criticism or slander against anyone—myself, an usher, a choir member, or anyone else—that you stop that person in mid-sentence and say, ‘Excuse me—who hurt you? Who ignored you? Who slighted you? Was it Pastor Cymbala? Let’s go to his office right now. He’ll apologize to you, and then we’ll pray together so God can restore peace to this body. But we won’t let you talk critically about people who aren’t present to defend themselves.’

“I’m serious about this. I want you to help resolve this kind of thing immediately. And know this: If you are ever the one doing the loose talking, we’ll confront you.”

To this day, every time we receive new members, I say much the same thing. That’s because I know what most easily destroys churches. It’s not crack cocaine, government oppression, or even lack of funds. Rather it’s gossip and slander that grieves the Holy Spirit.

–Jim Cymbala, pastor Brooklyn Tabernacle





Looking For Signs

19 05 2007

“Watch out for false prophets! They dress up like sheep, but inside they are wolves who have come to attack you.  You can tell what they are by what they do. No one picks grapes or figs from thornbushes.  A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. Every tree that produces bad fruit will be chopped down and burned. You can tell who the false prophets are by their deeds.”
(Matthew 7:15-20, CEV)

Before we follow any man we should look for the oil on his forehead. We are under no spiritual obligation to aid any man in any activity that has not upon it the marks of the cross.dead-tree.jpg

–A.W. Tozer

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deception.

–Machiavelli





Can You Say That With A Straight Face?

13 04 2007

“For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.”
(1 Corinthians 4:9)

“In the splendid palace chapel a stately court preacher, the cultivated public’s elite, advances before an elite circle of fashionable and cultivated people and preaches emotionally on the text of the Apostle, ‘God chose the lowly and despised’–and nobody laughs.”

–Soren Kierkegaard
Spiritual Writings of Soren Kierkegaard, Orbis Books, 2003, p. xix