Thursday, September 1, 2011

SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER 2011

lwcfLiving Word

Christian Fellowship

“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving...” Psalm 26:7

Vol. 20, No. 9   September   2011

It is amazing to me what people use as excuses for the Lord or for disobedience to His Word.  I know it is tough in life.  I have experienced some pretty difficult times, and in it all I have cried out to the Lord for HELP because it was just so difficult.  But through it all I found most of my agony was because of something I was experiencing.  Yes, the Lord brought me through and delivered me, but still it was about my agony and my suffering. 

We are just too spoiled to understand what Peter meant when he wrote, “Greatly rejoice though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through many temptations; that the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ; whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:6-8).

Let me give you a true example: “I know of a Christian who was in solitary confinement for years and experienced much hunger and pain.  Sometimes he was aware of Jesus asking him, ‘Is it too difficult for you?  Shall I ease your lot?’ Again and again he replied, “Please, Jesus, see to others.  I can bear it.  I’m all right” [The Midnight Bride, by Richard Wurmbrand].

Oh, God will we ever have that mentality?

That should be the mentality of the Bride of Christ.  She can carry her cross without making multiple demands upon her beloved. 

There is so much more that can be done for this world if we would get and keep this mentality.  I don’t think any of us has suffered that much.  So let Jesus help someone who really needs it!

 

In Christ, 

Pr. Steve

Giving of Yourself

 Mat 6:24 (KJV)  “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

Jesus preached against the love of money more than any other message.  We have changed it to get the most money we can. This is the most challenging issue of the Christian Church today – our love of mammon and the fierce independent spirit that comes with it. Jesus said, “It is impossible to serve both God and money.” [Mammon = money, wealth, treasures.] 

One of the things the Lord is dealing with in this time is total and complete obedience to Him.  This is the only way to love Him and for Him to reveal His true love to us.

There are two powers at work in the world: the power of love that leads people to associate with others and the power of death that separates people and leads to the destruction of the fellowship of love.  This power of death poisons humanity, making it corrupt.  It covets and isolates.  It attacks all that holds life together. 

We recognize that not all who call themselves “Christian” are connected.  In fact, in the phrase “I am a Christian,” the word “Christian” has come to be a form of “religious” terminology that  has nothing to do with the coming kingdom of God to this earth.  God is not looking for a world organization that names itself after Christ Jesus.  God is not looking nor does He need the institutional church to have all the money.  Such a church has denied the very name and meaning of Christ Jesus. 

Nobody can serve two masters.  Nobody can serve God and mammon.  The god of this world blinds us from the true gospel message.   It is a god of greed and possessiveness and it stands opposed to the kingdom of unity and love.

When mammon rules people’s hearts, it means they depend on their income and finances instead of on God.  This is what makes mammon evil.  If we are dominated by it, then there is a spirit of rebellion operating in our lives. 

The deepest human relationships are not based on mammon, but on the Spirit of Christ.  None of us can live in isolation because we all depend on one another for our survival. The love of God can only manifest when it flows freely from spirit to spirit and from heart to heart, leading us into fellowship one with another.

The devil seeks to rob us of heart and spirit and God.  Money reduces human relationships to lusts.  It destroys the highest human goals.  It becomes a power that in the end destroys all true fellowship.

The love of money and the love of Christ are mutually exclusive.  Where mammon rules, the personal will is stronger than the will of God to share and support.  The struggle to survive becomes stronger than the spirit to help others.  Self-denial is considered no longer necessary to live a “godly” life. 

Mammon never motivates people to work for the greater good.  It enslaves them to circumstances.  It is a lying spirit of weakness and death both spiritually and naturally. 

Jesus, the Prince of Life, declared war on this spirit and so must we declare war on it.  When our hearts are opened to see God, we will no longer be controlled by what mammon demands.   When our hearts are set on the Kingdom of Righteousness, we no longer live to become wealthy.  Instead, we begin to experience the true freedom and peace from above that unites us one to another.

Mar 10:17-22 (KJV)  “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?  (18)  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.  (19)  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.  (20)  And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.  (21)  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.  (22)  And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.”

Don’t let your money rule your decision-making or your way of life.

When Jesus entered the temple with a whip, He was not beating the people.  He was showing contempt for money.  His Father’s house belonged to God, not to the god of this world.

Jesus’ attack on the order of mammon brought Him to his death. But who won?  After Jesus’ resurrection, the people did not sit around waiting to become rich.  What did they wait for?  Another Spirit!  A spirit of freedom, love, and the order of God’s Kingdom.  This waiting for the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is what birthed the church--a fellowship of work and goods in which everything belonged to God and the people could hear and understand what to do with what they had been given in life.  They had the freedom to give to the full extent of what their hearts told them. 

The church has succumbed to the process that destroys life.  Generation after generation has to be raised up who will offer what they have and who they are without reservation.  Each new godly generation must declare war on mammon and learn how to give generously.  In doing so, they become the spiritually rich in this world.

The spirit of mammon can be overcome only through love one for another.  When we love others the way God loves us, we will be free from the god of this world. That freedom and love will release the power of God to bring forth the Kingdom in its fullest measure.

1Co 13:3 (KJV)  “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”

When we are free from mammon, we will give our lives to profit the Kingdom of God.  We will not compromise with our time and our talents to take what we want and give the left-overs to God.  Remember, “He who seeks to save his life will lose it” (Luk.17:33).

 

-Pr. Steve

 

CrossI am going to be sharing with you thoughts from my journal over the past few years. This is to show you how the Lord has brought about His Word in my life to minister to you and to show you how real this walk can be. Please read and understand by the Spirit about ...

. . . My calling as a pastor


Pastor’s Journal 2010

Sept. 3:   “You have been confronted with many obstacles to try and stop you.  But each time you have determined to find a way to keep going.  This is what I want with my people in this day.  They must keep going no matter what.  The enemy will throw everything at them; and if they give in, they will be defeated.  Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.  Your prayers are being answered.”  [Psalm 74 speaks of the constant harassment of the enemy.]

Sept. 4:  “You are more than a conqueror.”

Sept. 6:  “You are obedient to the call.  Your steps are ordered of Me.”

Sept. 8:  “Praise the Lord all nations.  Glorify Him all peoples.  For great is His faithful love to us.  The Lord’s faithfulness endures forever, Hallelujah.” (Psm 117)

Sept. 9:  “For the Kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ will your testimony be established.”

Sept. 11:  “Care for the flock of God, not only of compulsion, but willingly and eagerly.  Be an example to the flock and when the chief shepherd shall appear, you will receive a crown of glory.”

Sept. 15:  “You have My face, My hands, and My heart”.

Sept. 17:  “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they  might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” (Isa 61:3)

Sept. 20:  “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  No one who serves as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of everyday life.  I endure all things for the elect, so that you may obtain salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.  If we endure we will reign with Him.  Don’t fight about words, it is not profitable.  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God.  Empty words spread like gangrene.   Purify yourself so you can be set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.”  (2 Tim 2)

Sept. 22:  May the Lord bless you from Zion.

Sept. 24:  “…. Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded,  … and they shall come again from the land of the enemy”  (Jer 31:16).

Sept. 30:  “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

 

 

 Faith or Fear

 Some people who deliberately practice being optimistic believe that thinking positive thoughts will cause them to have a good attitude.  That optimism is a great mental assent, but it will not be sufficient if the core of the person is lacking.  The core is lacking whenever people count on their own strength and abilities instead of abiding in God and His Word.

Pro 3:5-8 (KJV)  “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  (6)  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  (7)  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.  (8) It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.”

Too many times people who read the Word of God still tend to fall back upon their own natural reasoning when attempting to apply His Word to their lives.  Our capacity to comprehend and/or apprehend the things that God is trying to show us is greatly hindered unless we abandon our desires and demands and let Him reign.  Each new day is full of surprises, and with each surprise direction from God can be found.  But most of the time we miss the direction because we have not been in the practice of following God’s directions during the normal or non-surprising days.

Mat 14:27-32 (KJV) “But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.  (28)  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  (29)  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  (30)  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  (31)  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?  (32) And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.”

When we follow the Lord daily, our faith will be increased by the things we encounter.  We may feel as if we have failed some tests, but we will soon understand why we had to endure the prior circumstances as the test of our faith in Christ is shown in new-found strength.  FDR said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”  But the truth is, “We have nothing but fear if our faith in God has not been tried.” 

Rom 14:22-23 (KJV)  “Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.  (23) And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”

Brethren, it is evident that this nation in which we live has made up its mind to make its own decisions and to lean upon its own understandings rather than to follow the directions of the Lord.  But we as individuals can still follow the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, believing by faith that our obedience will make a difference in our lives and for this nation.

1Co 2:1-5 (KJV)  “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  (2)  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  (3)  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.  (4) And my speech and my preaching was  not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:  (5)  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”                  

 

-Kurt Thurston 

 

Quotes:

 “Christians don't tell lies – they just go to church and sing them.”

- A. W. Tozer

 

 

"To the degree that I'm willing to submit to God, He is able to change and conform me to the image of Christ."

- Dr. Jerry Benjamin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The greatest glory Jesus brought to God was not when he walked on the water or prayed for long hours, but when he cried in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and still continued to follow God's will, even though it meant isolation, darkness and the silence of God. Thus, we know that when everything around us fails, when we are destroyed and abandoned, our tears, blood and dead corpses are the greatest worship songs we have ever sung."

- Ziya Meral

 

 

 

 

"God did not save us to make us happy, He saved us to make us holy."

- Dr. Jerry Benjamin

 

 

 

"One of these days some simple soul will pick up the book of God, read it, and believe it. Then the rest of us will be embarrassed."

-Leonard Ravenhill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Next course from Christian Life Educators Network -  Richmond Center:

 

Character Determines Destiny by Dr. Jennie Newbrough

Character Determines Destiny is a study of the definition and dynamics of

personal character including character strengths and weaknesses and an

understanding of how character choices shape the life and future of an individual.

Personal examination as well as biblical case studies will be applied.

October 6-8, 2011 

 

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