Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

I have something on my mind that really bothers me, and I wonder if any one else feels the same way?  What is Christian fellowship anyway?  I would think that Christian fellowship would be when Christians get together for some social event and the topic of discussion would always turn to Christ.  After all we are all one in the body.

Have you noticed that when professing Christians get together for a time of fellowship there seems to be something missing? At least that is how it has been with me.  I’ve noticed that there is not a lot of talk about Christian things.  Oh, we talk about each others jobs, and families.  We tell each other of something funny that has happened recently.  Mostly it seems people talk about their troubles and all the illnesses and problems others are going through.  Is this gossip? And, we joke around and say clever things. We don’t usually even talk about ideas. But, most of all  Christ is left out.

Time and again, I’ve noticed that no one mentions Christ, or the Bible, or God.  People don’t seem to share the things of Christ and I wonder why?  After all, we are suppose to be different, (and we are) so it would seem that we would want to share things that have to do with Christian living.  Or, something that the Lord has done for us lately.  Do we just take Him for granted?

I’d call this fellowship and not Christian fellowship.  It seems to me this is no different than how unbelievers fellowship.

Anyway, I’d like to know if anyone else has noticed this and if anyone has any suggestions to  turn this around.  I need your input and advise.

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Fear of Fear” by Bonnie Lord is my latest ebook available online. If you’d like to get a free copy, click on the icon in the box toward the bottom of this blog site. Read more about it on the  Ebooks page

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bible2s

Pastor Bob O’Leary has given us many wonderful sermons over the past few years and I would like to share many of them with you.

The first ones I’ve put up are on the Book of Colossians.  This book was written by Paul the Apostle to correct the false teaching that was infiltrating  the church. 

The theme of Colossians is the complete adequacy of Christ as contrasted with the emptiness of mere human philosophy.

Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”

As you listen to these sermons I guarantee that if you take them to heart and put them to work in your own life you will see growth in Christ.

Click here to listen to our Audio Sermons

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February2008 037

Do you realize that God has plenty to say about how we live our Christian lives?  He wants us to obey Him in every area.  We will look at the Bible and see some of the scriptures that shows us that.

2Co 13:5 NASB  Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?

God tells us to examine ourselves to make sure we are truly Christians. If we have Jesus Christ in us, then we are a new creation.  We should be able to look back on our lives and see a transformation since we were saved. 

The way our lives become transformed is by the study of the Word.  We can then apply it to our lives as we live in obedience to it.  That changes us.

God talked about obedience back in the Old Testament.

Deu 7:9 NASB  “Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;

God is faithful and keeps his promises, and lovingkindness.  But, note, it is to those who love Him and keep His commandments. 

Neh 1:5 NASB  I said, “I beseech You, O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,

Here the Psalmist says that he delights in God’s commandments and actually loves them.  Can you say the same?  Psalm 119 is an awesome Psalm.  It would be good to go ahead and read the whole thing.  There is so much in it about God’s Word and how it is sweet as honey.

Psa 119:47 NASB  I shall delight in Your commandments, Which I love.

Here Christ tell’s us that if we love Him we will keep His commandments.  That is the acid test of our love of God.  Do you love Him?  Do you obey Him?

Joh 14:15 NASB  “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

Look at this next verse.  It is wonderful!  If we keep God’s commandments it shows that we love Him.  It says, if we love Christ we will be loved by His Father.  Not only that, but Jesus will love us and actually disclose Himself to us.  Yes, He does that as we read and study the Word.  He allows our minds to be opened to take in and understand what He wants us to know.

What a privilege it is to be loved by Jesus and God.  What a privilege to have a personal relationship with the creator of the universe!  (If we obey Him.)

Joh 14:21 NASB  “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

Again, “if” we keep His commandments, we will abide in His love.  Jesus Himself set the example as He obeyed His Father’s commandments, even to death on the cross.  Could we do that? 

Joh 15:10 NASB  “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

When we love God and obey Him, we also know that we love other believers in Christ.  God’s love is this:  We keep His commandments, and they are not burdensome.  In other words, we are pleased to keep them.  The older I become as a Christian the more I see the wisdom in God’s commandments.  They are given to us for our own good.  The only thing that could keep us from obeying them is our own pride.

1Jn 5:2-3 NASB  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.  3  For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

And to say it again.  We show our love of God when we obey Him and follow His commands. 

2Jn 1:6 NASB  And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.

I pray this little study in obedience has helped you realize that you are not your own.  He is our Lord and has every right to command us in our walk.  He owns us; He died for us; He paid the penalty of our sins.  We are His and as such we must bow the knee to his Lordship over our lives.  If He tells us something is wrong that we are doing we’d better pay attention. 

Trust and obey, for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

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Beautiful Snow 

In the early part of the Civil War, one dark Saturday morning in the dead of winter, a young woman, twenty-two years old, died at the Commercial Hospital, Cincinnati.  She had once been beautiful and the pride of respectable parents.  Highly educated and accomplished, she might have shone in the best society.  But she was stubborn and willful and would not listen to warning.  She played with fire and called it “fun”.  One day she awoke to find herself ruined by a fatal mistake which she could not erase.  She was fallen.

She spent the rest of her young life in disgrace and shame, and died poor and friendless, a broken-hearted outcast.  Among her personal effects was found in manuscript, the poem, “Beautiful Snow” which was immediately carried to Enos B. Reed, editor the the National Union.  In the columns of that paper, on the morning following the girl’s death, the poem appeared in print for the first time.  When the paper containing the poem came out on Sunday morning, the body of the victim had not yet received burial.  The attention of Thomas Buchanan Read, one of the first American poets, was soon directed to the newly published lines, and was so taken with their stirring pathos, that he immediately followed the corpse to its final resting place. 

Such are the plain facts concerning her whose “Beautiful Snow” will be long regarded as one of the brightest gems in American literature.

Beautiful Snow

Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow,
Filling the sky and earth below,
Over the housetops, over the street,
Over the heads of the people you meet.
Dancing–Flirting–Skimming along,
Beautiful snow, it can do no wrong.
Clinging to lips in frolicsome freak,
Trying to kiss a fair lady’s cheek,
Beautiful snow from heaven above,
Pure as an angel, gentle as love.

Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow,
How the flakes gather and laugh as they go,
Whirling about in maddening fun,
Cheering the heart and dispelling the gloom.
Chasing–Laughing–Hurrying by,
It lightens the face and sparkles the eye.
Rollicking dogs with a bark and a bound,
Snap at the crystals which eddy around.
The town is alive and its heart in a glow,
To welcome the coming of beautiful snow!

How wildly the crowd goes swaying along,
Hailing each other with humor and song,
How gay are the sleighs, like the stars flashing by,
Are bright for a moment, then lost to the eye.
Ringing–Swinging–Dashing they go,
Over the crest of the beautiful snow,
Snow that’s so pure when it fall from the sky,
That it makes one regret that it’s fated to lie
And be trampled and muddied by thousands of feet,
‘Til it blends with the horrible filth of the street.

Once I was pure as the snow, but I fell,
Fell like the snowflakes from heaven to hell;
Fell to be trampled as filth of the street,
Fell to be scoffed at, to be spit on and beat,
Pleading–Cursing–Dreading to die,
Selling my soul to whoever would buy,
Dealing in shame for a morsel of bread,
Hating the living and fearing the dead.
Merciful God! have I fallen so low?
And yet I was once like the beautiful snow.

Once I was fair as the beautiful snow,
With an eye like a crystal, and heart like its glow,
Once I was loved for my innocent grace,
Flattered and sought for the charms of my face.
Father–Mother–Sisters–All,
God and myself I have lost by my fall.
The vilest wretch that goes shivering by,
Will make a wide sweep lest I wander to nigh;
for all that is on or above me, I know
There is nothing so pure as the beautiful snow.

How strange it should be that this beautiful snow,
Should fall on a sinner with nowhere to go!
How strange it should be when the night comes again;
If the snow and the ice struck my desperate brain.
Fainting–Freezing–Dying alone,
Too wicked for prayer, too weak for a moan,
To be heard in the streets of the crazy town,
Gone mad in the joy of the snow coming down!
To be and to die in my terrible woe,
With a bed and a shroud of the beautiful snow.

Helpless and foul as the trampled snow,
Sinner, despair not, Christ stoopeth low,
To rescue the soul that is lost in sin,
And raise it to life and enjoyment again.
Groaning–Bleeding–Dying for thee,
The Crucified hung on the cursed tree,
His accents of mercy fall soft on thine ear.
“Is there mercy for me?  Will He heed my weak prayer?”
O God! in the stream that for sinners did flow,
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

 

 

 

 

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This is a wonderful Christian hymn.  The words are true and comforting even today.  Jesus Christ did it all and he did it all for you and me.  Amazing!


Philip P. Bliss (1838-1876)
Words: Phil­ip P. Bliss, 1876. This is per­haps the last hymn Bliss wrote be­fore he died in a train wreck. He sur­vived the in­i­tial crash, but was killed try­ing (un­suc­cess­ful­ly) to res­cue his wife. The lyr­ics were found in his be­long­ings af­ter the ac­ci­dent.This song is one of the first ever re­cord­ed on a phon­o­graph. George Steb­bins made the re­cord­ing dur­ing a dem­on­stra­tion of Thom­as Ed­i­son’s new in­ven­tion in New York C­ity.Music: James Mc­Gran­a­han, 1877 (MI­DI, score).
James McGranahan (1840-1907)

I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His wondrous love to me;
On the cruel cross He suffered,
From the curse to set me free.

Refrain

Sing, oh sing, of my Redeemer,
With His blood, He purchased me.
On the cross, He sealed my pardon,
Paid the debt, and made me free.

I will tell the wondrous story,
How my lost estate to save,
In His boundless love and mercy,
He the ransom freely gave.

Refrain

I will praise my dear Redeemer,
His triumphant power I’ll tell,
How the victory He giveth
Over sin, and death, and hell.

Refrain

I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His heav’nly love to me;
He from death to life hath brought me,
Son of God with Him to be.

Refrain

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 Oct2007 011

October’s beauty!

Have you ever thought of yourself as a slave to Christ?  I hadn’t until recently.  I thought more of myself as a servant of Christ.  Like a helper at times.  But a slave, no.

As I began to think about this I realized that we can be slaves to many things.  Who or what are you a slave to?  Anyone or anything that controls us owns us, and we are slaves to them. 

Some could be slaves to alcohol, money, lust, sex, pornography, smoking, sports, illegal drugs, pot, television, work, or fear, worry, and anxiety.  Those are just some of things we can be controlled by.  We can also be a slave to people; our husbands, our children, our friends. 

On the other hand we should be a slave to Christ.  However, the Bible tells us we cannot serve two masters.

Matthew 6:24 NASB  “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

So there is the problem.  Who or what do we serve? 

When we become a Christian we do not any longer have to be a slave to fear.  God adopts us into His family.  He takes care of us from then on.

Romans 8:15 LITV  “For you did not receive a spirit of slavery again to fear, but you received a Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba! Father!”

It is the same with the other bondage’s that we find ourselves in.  When we turn our lives over to the Lord as our Lord and Master, then we no longer have to be a slave to anyone or anything. 

Rom 6:6 NASB  knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;

The Greek work “Doulos” in the Bible is often translated as servant.  It should be slave.  It does make a difference.

A servant is one who has a choice.  They worked for wages and could quit at any time.  A servant can do what he wants and is free to make his own decisions. 

But a slave is bought and owned.  He is to do the will of his master.  He has no rights and cannot do as he pleases.

1Co 7:22-23 LITV  For the one called while a slave in the Lord is a freed man of the Lord. And likewise, the one called while a free man is a slave of Christ.  23  You were redeemed with a price; do not become slaves of men.

You see when Jesus died on the cross for the payment of our sins he bought us with his own precious blood.  He now owns us and the Word says we are to become a slave of Christ.  That is an awesome thought!

In the Bible, Paul saw himself as a slave of Christ. 

Rom 1:1 LITV  Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ, a called apostle, separated to the gospel of God,

Gal 1:10 LITV  For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I would not be a slave of Christ.

Paul is talking to Timothy here.  He refers to Timothy as a slave of the Lord.

2Ti 2:24 LITV  But a slave of the Lord ought not to quarrel, but to be gentle towards all, apt to teach, forbearing,

When we see ourselves as a slave of Christ our whole attitude changes.

  • We realize we have been bought and are not our own.  We can then die to “self.” And, let that part of us go.
  • We need to be always available and ready to serve our Master.
  • We need to make sure we don’t get caught up with trying to serve two masters.
  • We need to pray and keep close to our dear Lord.
  • We need to be dependent on Him for all things.  He will supply all our needs according to His riches in Glory.  (Philippians 4:19.)
  • We need to realize that God may allow trials and troubles to come into our lives, but they are to discipline us and grow us to be more like Him.  They are for our good.
  • And, we need to know that everything good that comes our way is from God Himself. 

We’ve truly been blessed when we come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Master. 

  • He has made us a child and heir of God and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ.  (Romans 8:14-17) 
  • We are an ambassador for Christ, (II Corinthians 5:20),
  • a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a citizen of a holy nation, a possession of God (I Peter 2:9),
  • and a holy temple of the living God. (II Corinthians 10:5)

We will actually rule and rein with the Lord in Heaven some day.  Isn’t that truly amazing!  What a Savior!  What a Master!

That is only a few of the blessings God bestows upon us.  And to be honest none of us deserve any of it.  I’m truly happy to learn that I am a slave to Christ! 

Scripture taken from NASB  New American Standard Bible and LITV Literal Translation of the Holy Bible

Note: For more teaching on the subject of slaves for Christ you can go here to John MacArthur’s web site. 

http://www.gty.org/Products/DVDs/8280-321

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