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Archive for May, 2008

Paul Washer (from HeartCry Missionary Society)

What if the Truth was so powerfully preached that it became offensive to the Christian’s listening and the preacher was never invited back again? Hey!, wait a minute!, wasn’t Jesus offensive to the religious people of His day?

Paul Washer is a missionary to many countries and warns about US Christianity and culture.

I don’t agree with everything Paul Washer says but I agree with most things.

A transforming and Biblical message preached to around 5,000 youth at 2002 Youth Evangelism Conference, Montgomery, Al.

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Do you KNOW the Lord or do you know about him?

There are a great couple of verses towards the end of Job, where Job answers God. You see, Job’s troubles had an end and a purpose. The end result and purpose was to draw him closer to God. What the Devil intended for evil God turned into (rather, planned for) good. Anyways, Job has this revelation…

Job 42:2-6
2 “I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.
Nothing and no one can upset your plans.
3 You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water,
ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’
I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me,
made small talk about wonders way over my head.
4 You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking.
Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’
5 I admit I once lived by RUMOURS of you;
now I have it all FIRSTHAND — from MY OWN EYES AND EARS!
6 I’m sorry — forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise!
I’ll never again live on CRUSTS OF HEARSAY, CRUMBS OF RUMOUR.”
THE MESSAGE

RUMOURS OF GOD or know God, CRUSTS OF HEARSAY or intimacy with the Living God, FIRSTHAND experience or second or third hand CRUMBS OF RUMOUR…

Each one of us needs to have this revelation with our OWN EYES AND EARS of the Father’s love FIRSTHAND.

2 Corinthians 4:6 says
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. NIV

Song of Solomon 4:16
16 Awake, north wind, and come, south wind!
Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread abroad
.
Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.
NIV

Father, open my eyes and ears so that I can see your glory. My heart’s cry is to have deep intimacy with you. Remove any and every spiritual blockage in my life that hinders the eyes of my heart seeing and ears of my heart hearing your call to intimacy and rest in You, in Jesus name, AMEN

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Isaiah 59:19
19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood , the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. KJV

Thoughts:

1) It is not IF the enemy comes but WHEN the enemy comes.

2) The enemy is no match for God. God is always GLORIOUSLY VICTORIOUS!

3) We don’t fight the battle, the Spirit of the Lord fights the battle.

Are we DEAD enough in our SINFUL NATURE to allow HIM to shine through us GLORIOUSLY and VICTORIOUSLY in whatever is going on in our lives and whatever the enemy throws at us?

Lord, forgive me when I am tricked or deceived into giving you less glory that you deserve. Lord, forgive me when self rises up within me and self is glorified above YOU. Lord, help me to walk in the Spirit so I can clearly see what the enemy is up to. Lord, help me to daily die to self, help me to keep the cross at the centre of my being and help me to guard my heart and live completely and humbly for your glory, in Jesus Name, AMEN

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I am overwhelmed by this YouTube video at the moment. This video captures ‘snippets’ of some great Christian preachers preaching about Revival, their Christian observations of the present day church, what it is to be a Christian, and our (sometimes) distorted motivations for Christ. While most of the content it in (I find) is excellent I can’t swallow the way the ‘Mission to Africa’ preacher puts across his point. There are some powerful statements.

Blessings

Steve

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Don’t Look Back!

I have a heap more to say about Lot and his family but there is the chance that I could get ‘blogged’ down 🙂 . I think it’s time to move on but… There is one last verse the Lord has been speaking to me about in Genesis 19 and that is verse 26:

Genesis 19:26
26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

“But Lot’s wife LOOKED BACK” Have you ever seen one of those romantic moments in a movie where the women (or the man) is walking away from the their partner or friend and they have LOOKED BACK with fondness. Well, this is what came to mind when I read this verse. I know there are issues with disobedience here with Lot’s wife but I reckon, at least for myself, there is a Spiritual message here.

Lot and his family were being saved by God’s grace out of a place of GREAT SIN. Can you now see the significance? We are saved and being saved by the grace of God out of a place of GREAT SIN. It’s very important that we do not look back or revisit on our old sinful life with any fondness. What happens when you look back when you are traveling forwards? You stumble! Satan always has, and always will, whisper in our ear and say “LOOK BACK, you’re missing out on something. God hasn’t got your best interests in mind”

In fact, you notice, Lot and his family were RUNNING from that place of GREAT SIN to the place sanctuary and salvation. Likewise, let us RUN towards our place of sanctuary and salvation, ie: to our Heavenly Father , with all haste. Not looking back, but looking forward towards the One who saves.

Hebrews 12:1-2
12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus , the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. NIV

Father, you alone are the One who saves! Thank you for your Son Jesus through whom I have sanctuary and salvation. Help me run towards you and never look back again, in Jesus name, Amen

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In part 3 I will be looking at the remaining verses in Genesis Chapter 19 ie: verses 14-38. However, what has been continually running through the back of my mind is verse 8 (that I haven’t commented on yet) where Lot says to the crowd of men: Genesis 19:8Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.” So let’s read the remainder of chapter 19 with that in the back of our minds and see if there is anything else FAULTY with Lot and his family.

Genesis 19:14-38
14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”
16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”
18 But Lot said to them, “No, my lords, please! 19 Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. 20 Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it — it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.”
21 He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. 22 But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar.)
23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah — from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities — and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.
29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.
30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father.”
33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I lay with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and lie with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went and lay with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.
NIV

So, in the rest of this passage, did you notice anything else FAULTY with Lot and his family? Of course, verses 32 to 36 starting off with “Let’s get our father to drink wine and then lie with him”. The daughters aim was to “preserve their family line” but there means was terribly FAULTY! Just like with Lot in verse 8, his aim was to protect the angels but HIS means was terribly FAULTY!

Now, you have to ask yourself, this is the righteous family that God saved from Sodom and Gomorrah, what’s going on here??? Well, I believe, in both cases, that Lot and his family didn’t get away unscathed in their living in Sodom and Gomorrah. In both cases there was honourable intentions but their application was terribly tainted by the culture.

OK, so here is what the Lord is saying to me in these verses. God saved me out of this sinful world. How have I been tainted by the culture? Like Lot and his family, do I not really notice my sinful ways because I am so entrenched in the culture and numbed by the culture? Are my ways actually very offensive to Him and I don’t even realise it? Am I salt and light in this world or do I have great big blind patches and I am actually wearing this sinful and FAULTY culture?

Lord, search me and remove the things that are unclean within me. Give me eyes to see the stuff that is FAULTY within me so that I can repent and truely be righteous and holy in your sight and salt and light to the world, in Jesus name, Amen.

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Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? continued…

THE OUTCRY!

In Genesis 19:13 the angels said:
“The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.” NIV

In Genesis 18:20 the Lord said:
“The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous NIV

The OUTCRY from whom?

Well, first let’s look at what sort of an outcry it is and then maybe we can deduce who. Looking at Genesis 19:13 & Genesis 18:20 there was a GREAT outcry AGAINST the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. Who would be GREATLY AGAINST the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?

Earlier in Genesis chapter 4 there was a similar outcry in a different setting. Cain had just killed his brother Abel and the Lord had heard the outcry. In Genesis 4:10 the LORD said to Cain, What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. NIV Abel’s blood was crying out or OUTCRYING from the ground. In both Genesis 4 and Genesis 18 & 19 there was a righteous OUTCRYING. In Genesis 4 the righteous OUTCRYING was from the blood of Abel.

2 Peter 2:7-8 gives us another clue as to who was OUTCRYING against Sodom and Gomorrah. In 2 Peter 2:7-8 the Bible says: 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men 8(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— NIV. From this, I believe, in Genesis 18 & 19, the GREAT OUTCRYING AGAINST Sodom and Gomorrah was from Lot.

Thought:
How different is the culture of Lot’s day to the culture of our day? Are we ‘tormented in our righteous souls by the lawless deeds of men’ or have we been seduced into embracing parts of this present culture? In other words, can we see through this present culture that we live in, or have we accepted a compromised life and sin and/or complacency and/or apathy has crept in? These questions aren’t pointing the finger. I can see a numbing of my soul and spirit to the sin of this world. I want to explore this further in Part 3.

(to be continued)

Blessings

Steve

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