“In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:11-14
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” Romans 8:16-17
These verses confirm that it is only those who repent, believein Jesus and His sacrifice on The Cross, they receive and are sealed with the Holy Spirit.
“And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” 1 John 2:17
“If you know that He is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of Him.” 1 John 2:29
“He will render (repay) to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” Romans 2:6-8
These three verses truly verify that it is only those that do the will of God and practise righteousness are granted eternal life.
“But, O Lord of hosts, who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind,…” Jeremiah 11:20 (ESV)
“For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.” Psalm 66:10 (ESV)
“the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:7-9
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
Note: the above four verses makes it clear that God tests the hearts and minds of true believers.
Faith is what is so very precious to God. And that is why God has to test people to find out if they have genuine faith. That is the biblical truth of the matter.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of the One having called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.” 1 Peter 2:9
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
Once you enter in the Light of Christ, where everything has meaning, everything is important, everyone has purpose, then, and only then, can you truly love others and live a life that is pleasing to God. We become keenly aware of the importance of obedience to God and how we perceive and care for others. This is not simply a gospel of “being nice” but a deep knowledge that the devil is “playing for keeps.” We must view people as souls either on the path to destruction or walking the straight and narrow. We are not permitted to “cross the road” or “look away” when we see someone taking a beating by Satan. Like the Good Samaritan, we are to GET INVOLVED.
Remember, when Jesus sent out the 70 disciples “to heal the sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.” they returned saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” Luke 10:9,17
Jesus told them not to rejoice in this fact but rejoice instead that their names are written in the Book of Life (Luke 10:20), He nevertheless acknowledged the fact that devils MUST obey them. This is TRUTH! When passionate Christians wake up in the morning, Satan should literally SHAKE IN FEAR. We should be a daily reminder to him that his days are numbered. Sadly, how many of us believe and act out this TRUTH!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, It is time for your army of spiritual warriors to be released. Let us not be bound up with things of this earth but let us set our sights on Your Heavenly Kingdom. Let us never forget the One who died for us so that we may win the spiritual battle with the enemy of our souls. Already, we are seeing more of our brothers and sisters in Christ being martyred for their faith and we know from end times prophecies, that in the last days before Jesus returns that will only increase. Help us to be fully cognisant of the sacrifices that will need to be made. Please send the power of Your Holy Spirit afresh this Pentecost to equip us so that we may be courageous warriors in Your service.
What an inspiring story behind this song. ” I have decided to follow Jesus”. Listen to this short video and be inspired or at least challenged.
It tells the story of a family in the Garo tribe from Meghalaya, then called Assam in India, who faced persecution just because of their faith in Jesus Christ. The lyrics are based on the last words of a Garo tribesman.
May I suggest you share it widely amongst family and friends.
Paul tells us our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God. He also tells us not to be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Why? So that we will know the perfect will of God for this day and the days ahead.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1
To be transformed, not only do I need Jesus, His blood sacrifice and the Holy Spirit, I also need the Word of God.
Jesus, in His prayer to His heavenly Father said:
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. ” John 17:17
This is how we transform our mind, with the Word of truth. It is only then, we will hear from God, perceive correctly the here and now, and knowwhat God has for us to do today.
Our love for Jesus must be such that our hearts desire is to pray this prayer for all of those that God leads us to, or brings across our path. We must never forget God is the one who chooses – “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13
“Jesus, you have brought this person to me, please help me to show them who You are. Also, I know, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, You are able to transform whatever their deficits are into victories, Holy Spirit show me the part I am to play in their journey with you.
Is it true that God chooses people to have eternal life and yet we must believe to have eternal life? Why are we urged to believe when it is God who gives us the faith?
“Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honour and another for dishonour? Romans 9:18-20
The answer to this paradox is unknown: it is a mystery but Scriptures tell us both are true. Hence, it is imperative we are led by the Holy Spirit moment by moment. The old hymn says it all: “Trust and obey, for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”
Another great message from Francis Chan on living the Christian life. It’s a continual battle, spiritual warfare. It’s so easy to sew to the flesh, to give in to earthly desires,, but remember the following verse of Scripture – we can fool family and friends but not God when we do so. God is not mocked.
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:7-10
We all sin, even Francis and certainly me, but as Francis Chan points out God is merciful and when we sincerely repent and turn back to Him He forgives and forgets. Giving up is not an option, it is the overcomers that inherit the Kingdom of God.
Nothing you do in this life matters apart from what you do for God.
Like never before, Christians are being challenged by God to honour Him by standing up for their belief in Him.
Jennie Finch and Jelene Hinkle are to be commended for their stand which invariably costs from a worldly perspective. I am sure it was not there motivation, but they have built up treasure in heaven which is eternal (Matthew 6:19-21)
Olympic athlete and Dancing With the Stars contestant Jennie Finch refused to perform to a popular new Janelle Monae track, citing her Christian faith and desire to honour God. The song, “Make Me Feel,” is sexually suggestive and was deemed to be a “little too risque” for the athlete.
According to the Kansas City Star, Finch was struggling with the song all through rehearsals until she finally made a phone call to producers saying she was not prepared to dance to such a sexually charged track.
“It’s not what I’m about. I need to follow who I am and stand up for what I believe in,” Finch explained on the hit show.
Last year, a Christian soccer star, Jaelene Hinkle, withdrew from the United States Women’s National Team after the team decided to swap out their normal jerseys for LGBT Pride jerseys in international matches.
Hinkle withdrew from the United States soccer roster in June citing “personal reasons.” This came at a time where she was called to play in international games versus Sweden and Norway.
United States defender Jaelene Hinkle 19 and midfielder Carli Lloyd 10 and defender Kelley O’Hara 5.
Hinkle’s resignation from the team came two weeks after the U.S. men and women’s national teams announced that they would be wearing LGBT pride jerseys in support of the June pride month.
It is important to remember what Paul told the Corinthian church:
“I was with you in weakness, in fear and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:3-4
Every believer has within them the potential to release kingdom power in their sphere of influence. The keys:
1) Believe you have the right to His power
2) Understand how to use His power
3) Be willing to release it when He directs you to.
Millions of Christians have been taught that salvation is enough, simply a get-out-of-hell-free promise. Do kind works and pray for the rapture.
Some do recognise the existence of Holy Spirit power and are willing to release it at His direction, exactly as Jesus taught in John 14:12, “Truly, truly I say to you, he who believes in Me will do the works that I do also. And he will do greater works than these because I am going to My Father.”
Jesus gave His disciples training in how to properly release Heaven’s supernatural power on earth.
Holy Spirit will guide you, ask Him. (Matt. 7:7, Luke 11:9).
Holy Spirit will teach you. (John 14:26).
Fortunately, in these last days, we are seeing a return to church as described in the Book of Acts. Check out Torben Sondergaards website Last Reformation and Francis Chan YouTube videos. Also my website http://www.powerpointsermons.net for videso and sermons.
Simple missional forms of church were normal in the first century – and are proving relevant for today. Here are some insights on the early church taken from the New Testament. 1. All NT churches met in homes, 2. There were multiple churches in each community that loved on its people, 3. All members of the church participated, 4. Church was not a building Christians went to or a denomination they belonged to. Christians were church in their community. 5. Households provided natural leadership for home churches, 6. Paul did appoint ‘overseers’ to foster these networks. These were mature believers, not given to power seeking – but encouragers, able to facilitate disciple making and the planting of new churches, 7. They were relational communities – eating, serving, sharing. Christians shared in Sabbath fellowship, Communion, Scripture reading and prayers. There is no tension over culture or ethnicity. 8. They were ‘zero dollar’ – but high cost church plants. First century believers shared faith with family, friends and neighbours, inviting them to their homes. High cost because it is a sacrifice of time and energy to share faith with family and social networks. Offerings help with rent, food for someone who has lost their job or a struggling family. Maybe to assist school expenses for a single mum or support another church start up. 9. Church structures are simple and Holy Spirit directed. No hierarchical structures, 10. Churches easily reproducible. Disciples made disciples and baptised them and in turn they made disciples. 11. They are the best environment to hand on faith.
A pastor in India who was known for long five- to six-hour prayer sessions was found beaten, tortured and hung to death from the rafters of his church, parishioners said. The murder has deeply shocked the congregation.
Morning Star News reported on Sunday that the body of pastor Gideon Periyaswamy of Maknayeem Church in southern India was found early Saturday morning. His death comes after he had complained about Hindu extremists.
Pastor Azariah Reuben, a close friend of the 43-year-old victim, said that Periyaswamy converted from Hinduism 25 years ago, and has served as pastor in Adayachery for more than 12 years, becoming known as a “prayer warrior.”
“The local Hindus were not happy with growing Christianity,” Reuben said. “They had several times tried to stop the ministry.”
PASTOR IN THE U.S.A
Kenneth Copeland’s ministry announced last Friday the acquisition of the “debt free” jet, which hit the market with a $36 million price tag in 1998. The ultra-long-range business jet can accommodate up to four crew members and 14 passengers in an executive configuration, according to Gulfstream. It is unclear how much Copeland’s ministry paid for the jet but A V Buyer says they currently have the lowest priced Gulfstream V on the market priced at just under $6 million.
“Father we thank you so and I’m asking you now sir, according to your word, bless our partners beyond measure. Yes, in the name of Jesus. For you said in 2002, ‘I’m sending you new partners who are very strong financially and they will obey me.
And I will increase your longtime partners and they will obey me,” Copeland, 81, said in a prayer of thanksgiving for the new jet.
“And you will not come short. And you will not fail. And you will not lack. And you will not come behind and you will not be diminished. Praise God,” he said of his donors.
To build Christians that will stand strong and stay the course, leaders will need to not only to teach sound doctrine, but even more importantly, be a godly example and live a sanctified life of fidelity to the truth, thus helping to mature the saints. Ministers and especially pastors/shepherds will, like leaders in the Book of Acts, need to share their lives with their flock, and therefore, teach more by their life example perhaps than anything else.
In Jesus’ parable (Matt. 7:24-27) He uses a storm, signifying the pressures, hardships and trials of life, as well as the persecutions we will suffer for the gospel, as a measuring gauge for how solid our foundation is. And what is our foundation based upon? Jesus taught us that it is based upon doing His sayings. Obedience is the issue. “”Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). Obedience, not lip service, is what God requires.
Have you ever thought about what gives us the strength and fuel to obey God? Why are some people obedient and some are not? Why are some doers of the Word and some are not? Why do some people stay faithful to God and remain true while others do not? Why do some start this Christian race but never finish? What is it that causes us to endure to the end (Matt. 24:13)?
I would like to suggest that it is the fear of the Lord. Obedience to the Lord is not only proof of your love for Him (John 14:21), but also of your fear of Him. There’s been an emphasis on love, although we’ve fallen short of the full counsel of God in that area, too, but there has not been nearly as much of an emphasis on the fear of the Lord. It takes both of them to produce a strong constitution in your Christian life. Notice in the following two different translations how the love of obedience in Jesus was rooted in the fear of the Lord. They are identical. Or a better way to say it would be that the manifestation of the fear of the Lord is obedience to His Word and His commandments.
“And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:3 ESV
“He will delight in obeying the Lord.” Isaiah 11:3 NLT
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; Proverbs 24:3
If we build our lives and homes on the true wisdom and knowledge of God that comes from the foundation of the fear of the Lord, we need not fear the storm, because we will stand.
Paul’s Great Desire
One of the apostle Paul’s greatest burdens was this very thing: that the people He ministered to would stand firm in their faith and remain obedient to God even in the midst of the troubles and persecutions of his day. Other New Testament writers shared the same burden.
Paul’s great desire was that the people he taught would not falter under pressure, lest his work be useless or his labour be in vain. Notice his great concern for the Thessalonian saints (1 Thess. 3:1-9). He had warned them of the troubles that would soon come. In his farewell speech to the Ephesian elders, he warned them of the same troubles (Acts 20:25-31). To the Galatians and the Hebrews he did the same, warning them not to turn back to the Law. He was preparing them for the storm and the persecution they would receive from preaching the cross and paying the price to follow Jesus. Warnings are such a large part of the Scriptural admonition that Paul and the other New Testament writers gave to the churches. Today there is a glaring absence of these warnings in our preaching.
Here are some more scripture warnings: Matthew 7:15, 10:17, 24:4-5, 24:11-13, 24:24; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 12:1, 15; Acts 20:29-31; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10:12, 11:3; Galatians 6:7; Ephesians 5:6, Philippians 3:2, 18; Colossians 1:28, 2:8; 1 Timothy 4:16; Hebrews 2:1-3, 4:1; 2 Peter 1:10, 3:17.
Fellow minister and preacher, how well are you preparing yourself and your people for the storm? Are you teaching them the whole counsel of God or catering to itching ears? Are you including the warnings in your preaching? Are you preaching on only the goodness and mercy of God, or do you also preach on His severity, wrath and judgments? Are you only preaching on the love of God, or do you place emphasis on His holiness too? Do you ever preach on sin and repentance? Are your concepts of the love of God and the grace of God accurate and in accordance with Scripture?
If not, then Paul warns, we may be guilty of the blood of men: “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not keep from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. …. Therefore watch, remembering that for three years night and day I did not cease to warn everyone with tears” (Acts 20:26-27, 31).
Make sure you are preparing yourselves and those whom God has entrusted to you for the storm. Oh, how much stronger our churches would be if we included these things in our preaching and teaching and living them out before the people!
Torben in Australia in November, baptising them in the name of the FATHER, THE SON and the HOLY SPIRIT.
I believe we are seeing an emergence of the church as it was in the Book of Acts, with the POWER Jesus said, would be evident when the Holy Spirit came UPON the disciples at Pentecost.
The disciples had already received the Holy Spirit when Jesus breathed on them as recorded in John 20;22. The word Jesus used here for breathed is the same word God used when he breathed life INTO Adam. This is when the disciples were born again of the Holy Spirit but after this event Jesus tells them to do nothing until the Holy Spirit comes UPON them at Pentecost in POWER. We all know that when the Holy Spirit came UPON them in power what happened 3,000 were added to the church day one. There are two events here, and God wants you to experience both: 1. Are you born again? and 2. Have you received the baptism of the Holy Spirit?