Tuesday, October 4, 2011

OCTOBER NEWSLETTER 2011

Living Word

Christian Fellowship

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

Vol. 20, No. 10   October   2011

Do you ever feel as if your mind is going in all directions by itself?  “Where did that come from?”  You think maybe you are losing your mind when it happens too much.  But we are being bombarded with so much hype and false news today it makes our heads spin.

I believe this is part of the enemy’s plan to keep us off balance so we won’t hear and follow the direction of the Lord.  It is not easy to continually be in tune to what God wants for us daily, but we must do what we can to continue  in obedience and follow the direction from our Lord in order not to be trapped by our foe. 

One thing that traps us is our ease of finding something to occupy our thoughts.  This is usually something that makes us feel good and comfortable.  Well, let me suggest that we keep God’s Word before us to comfort our souls and fill our thoughts.  You may not be able to remember all the details of everything you are involved with from time to time, but the Word of the Lord is living and active in our spirits giving us just the direction we need when it is needed.

Remember what Paul told the Corinthians:  “Casting down imaginations and everything that exalts itself against the image of Christ” – against all that causes you to be strong in the Lord and victorious over the enemy and the flesh.  We are not fighting flesh and blood, but spiritual wickedness in heavenly places.  If you don’t fight back, you lose!  Don’t give your place to the enemy.  It is time for you to win and gain back all the Lord has for you.  There are blessings to keep you in a state of victory if you will follow through with God’s plan for your life.  So guard your mind and keep it on the Lord.

 

In Christ, 

Pr. Steve

 

 Healing the Hurt

 Pro 22:15 (KJV)  “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”

We are born fools.  What drives foolishness out? Correction!  How many of you love correction. What does it mean when we don’t get corrected?  You are still a fool.  God has to show us over and over again how foolish we are.  We are told in Revelation 3 that because God loves us He corrects us.  What is the opposite of fool?  A wise man!  What does a wise man do?

Mat 7:24-27 (KJV)  “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:  (25)  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.  (26)  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:  (27)  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

What does the wise man do?  What he hears he puts into practice. What did the foolish man do? He heard but ignored what he heard, or he performed  his responsibility, but not for the right reason.   The foolish person is the one who doesn’t pay attention and follow through with what God says and directs.

Characteristics of a FOOL:

1.       His will - is hard and stubborn; he will not accept correction but will search to prove others wrong.  Have you ever said to a child, “Did you hear me?”  And the child replies, “No!”  In truth, you know the child heard, but claiming not to have heard seems to absolve him of any responsible action. What does a wise man do?  He puts into practice what he hears. Our will doesn’t want to do this. So we have to be zealous to repent in order to continually obey Him. This is a mindset that says, “Show me today, O Lord, where I am self-willed so I can repent and be changed.” The wise man hears the word and puts it into practice. We need to be able to hear the Spirit say to us, “Fool!”  for then we can be zealous to repent.

2.       He trusts his own mind and thoughts – Remember how teenagers seem to know more than adults.  We are no different when it comes from Godly training.  We know more than the leaders. And you may, but you don’t know more than God.  And He uses whom he wants to test your mind, will and emotions.  So if a fool trusts his own mind, what does a wise man do? He trusts God!  Even if those in authority over you make a mistake, God is big enough to train you through it and He is able to correct them.

3.       Fools don’t ask God into a situation. What does a wise man do?  He acknowledges the Lord in everything by asking.  A fool doesn’t ask God’s perspective on things in his life.  He doesn’t see what God sees.  What does a wise man do?  He asks God, “How do you see me in this?”  and “What should I do?”

4.       A fool does something wrong and then blames God. (Blame is the number one reason why we don’t change.)  The fool has an answer to why others make him look bad.  A wise man takes responsibility for the outcome of what happens. He says, “I did it.”

 

FOOL:

·        Stubborn

·        Trusts in his own thinking

·        Doesn’t ask God

·        Blames God for wrongs

 

WISE:

·        Zealous to repent

·        Trusts God

·        Asks God

·        Takes responsibility

How is foolishness driven from your heart?  By correction!

Today we have another problem during this time of transition of the walk of the believer.  Too many have become lame, which means they are not walking upright.  What does scripture tell us about our walk?  It is speaking about our conduct – how you conduct your daily responses to life.

2Sa 4:4 (KJV)  “And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.”

The news had come that Saul and Jonathan were dead, so the nurse quickly ran for her life and to save the child Mephibosheth.  She fell and the child become lame in both feet.

How many times in our life have we had an authority drop us, and it affected our walk? Parents, leaders, those in authority have mishandled all of us in some demeaning manner that injured us spiritually. This can happen through broken promises or miscommunication or misunderstanding from situations in which you didn’t know what to do, but you were expected to know.  Does being dropped  make you want to trust that person again?

Now if you don’t deal with that issue, you will come to the place of a fool and begin to blame God for difficulties in your life. [I have been dropped many times over the years with misunderstandings, but I trusted the Lord enough that He would show me my part and allow me to change so I could trust others.]

Authority in a person’s life is the most difficult to deal with, yet the Bible clearly declares we must submit to godly authority in order to become a wise person and change. Unfortunately, “godly authority” is not always “godly.” How are you going to deal with it?  Be zealous to repent so that healing can come.

1.       Repent for yourself first.

2.       Be able to go to those in authority and talk to them because of being dropped.

Why don’t we do this already? Most of the time it is because we really hurt!  If we are going to get through difficult times, we must deal with hurts that have left us wounded or lame.  Fear will keep you from doing this.  Any unknown is fearful.  But if you are wounded, then you must find healing.  You must be able to walk upright in these days so the enemy cannot stop you. 

-Pr. Steve

 

I 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

 

Oct. 4:  “We are encouraged through your faith, if you stand firm in the Lord.” (1 The. 3:7-8)

Oct. 5:  Let the glory fill the temple!

Oct. 8:  “You must fight back when the attacks come, when they come to your mind, when they interfere with your prayers, or when you are studying.  I say, “Fight Back!” Until my people do this, they will continue to be overwhelmed with thoughts of defeat and wickedness.  My Blood is sufficient to win the battle.  Keep yourself in My salvation and you will be victorious over the schemes of the enemy.”

Oct. 9:  “Many are called but few are chosen.” (Mat 22:14)  You must be prepared!

Oct. 11:  “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong for those whose hearts are completely His.” (2 Chr 16:9)

Oct. 16:  “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.”

Oct. 23:  I know you are  wanting answers to what lies ahead, but this is the time to trust Me.  Rely upon the Holy Spirit’s guidance to direct every step that you take, and know that My will is being accomplished.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.  Lean not to your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” (Pro 3:5-6)

Oct. 25:  The darkness is closing in on a daily basis.  But I will keep myself in the Lord and not turn aside from following and obeying the Spirit of God.  My strength comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.  His fullness is with me.  His light will shine forth, and we will walk in victory by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Oct. 25:  Lord, do not abandon me. My God, do not be far from me.  Hurry to help me, Lord my Savior.  I put my hope in You, Lord.  You will answer, Lord my God.

Oct. 28:  “Many adversities come to the one who is righteous, but the Lord delivers him from them all.  The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their cry for help.  The righteous cry out and the Lord hears and delivers them from all their trouble.” (Psm 34)

Oct. 29: The blood of Jesus has cleansed our conscience from dead works to serve the loving God!  You will receive the promise.

Oct. 30: “If we endure we will also reign with Him.” (2 Tim 2:12)

 

Hear Ye Him

 Recently while preaching, I had mentioned the phrase “Stop, Look, and Listen,” and now I am feeling persuaded to focus on listening.  It is possible to hear someone talking but not really listen to what the person is saying.  When we are listening to someone, we should not be thinking about other things at the same time. We should give our full attention to what the speaker is trying to say.  Just as importantly, we should not try to answer until we are sure that we have the correct understanding of what is being said. 

2Co 10:3-5 (KJV)  “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  (4)  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;  (5)  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…”

We must be able to listen to God if we expect to be able to follow Him. Confusion is a large part of the weaponry the devil uses against the saints of God.  Consequently, if our minds are not disciplined to focus properly, we will find ourselves needlessly losing mind battles; and the end results will have negative effects on our lives. An undisciplined mind can be rendered helpless by something as simple as “Stage Fright” and could easily fall subject to other powers of persuasion.  This information is even more important for accomplishing the right, than it is for keeping out the wrong.   King David, beginning as a shepherd boy when he guarded the sheep from those that sought to destroy them, had built up his faith by winning battles at the direction of the Lord.  The results of that faith were evident when it came time for even greater challenges.

1Sa 17:34-37 (KJV)  “And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:  (35)  And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.  (36)  Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. (37)  David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, “Go, and the LORD be with thee.”

Wait upon the Lord!  Granted, listening to the Lord for direction and instructions may take some time.  While He has no problem saying anything to us,  we have problems hearing Him because our hearts and minds are filled with everything else in life.  When we are not disciplined at listening to the Lord, we will often fall to sleep before we get clarity from Him.  He knows how difficult it is for us, and that is why He instructed us to go into a designated place to pray.

Mat 6:6 (KJV)  “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

Our busy lifestyles and attention deficit are no excuse for slacking in the area of communicating with our Savior and Maker.  Without listening to God, we are bound to fall into the traps of our enemies as well as grow distant from the relationship God desires with us.

Psa 18:32-36 (KJV)  “It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.  (33)  He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.  (34)  He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.  (35)  Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.  (36)  Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.”

-Kurt Thurston  

 

Quotes:

 "The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions."

- A.W. Tozer

 

"An unholy church! it is useless to the world, and of no esteem among men. It is an abomination, hell's laughter, heaven's abhorrence. The worst evils which have ever come upon the world have been brought upon her by an unholy church."

- C.H. Spurgeon

 

"To be right with God, has often meant to be in trouble with men."

-A.W. Tozer

 

 

"Beware in your prayers, above everything else, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. Expect unexpected things, 'above all that we ask or think.' Each time, before you intercede, be quiet first, and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, and how He delights to hear the prayers of His redeemed people. Think of your place and privilege in Christ, and expect great things!"

- Andrew Murray

 

 

 

“If your faith does not make you pray, have nothing to do with it: get rid of it, and God help thee to begin again.”

- Charles Spurgeon

 

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”

– Martin Luther

 

“Too many preachers are more concerned about filling the church building than they are about filling the pulpit.”

-Steven J. Lawson

 

 Next course from Christian Life Educators Network -  Richmond Center:

 

History of Christianity in America II by Dr. Stephen Mansfield

This course introduces and explains the origin and growth of Christianity in America beginning with the American Revolution and ending with the 1980s. Emphasis is placed upon significant events and times as viewed from a

biblical and Christian perspective.

                                                                                                           November 3-5, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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