WHAT’S GOD GOING TO DO THROUGH ME?

Tony Hale recently gave an interview about his approach to comedy, art and faith. During that interview, he shared about how he initially came to Hollywood as a young Christian with grand ideas—”What’s God going to do through me?”—only to realise that the person who truly needed to change and grow was himself. Listen to his testimony in this video. In this 11 minute interview, Tony reveals some deep and important truths. Truths I needed to be reminded of, and perhaps you do too. Let me know if it was worth your time.

 

CHOOSE TODAY WHO YOU WILL SERVE

God is in control of our circumstances but He left us in charge of our choices. In these “last days” our daily life choices are crucial so that we live our lives by the grace of God, in His strength and to His glory. Tomorrows regrets are today’s wrong choices. These thirty Biblically based life principles provided by Peter Rahme (Inner West Baptist Church, Chullorah) will help you choose wisely and well, so you wholeheartedly serve our deserving Lord.

It is crucial you let the indwelling Holy Spirit play His role as your counsellor, comforter and teacher concerning all thirty of these Biblical principles. Let Him direct your choices and you will be able to do all thirty, without Him you will do nothing pleasing to the Lord.

  1. Today I choose to experience Forgiveness from God (and others) and express it freely to othersrather than hold on to bitterness.
  2.  Today I choose to be Grateful to God (and others) for His amazing grace, rather than be angry at Him (and others) for almost everything that seems to go wrong in my life.
  3.  Today I choose to extend Love and Grace to my family and friends rather than being critical of them.
  4.  Today I choose to exercise Mercy towards my family and friends rather than being condemning of them.
  5.  Today I choose to experience Peace with my family and friends rather than being contentious with them.
  6.  Today I choose to make Restitution with others, rather than take revenge on them.
  7.  Today I choose to be set Free, serving God and othersrather than be under the bondage of the spirit of ententitlement.
  8.  Today I choose to learn from and let go of the pastrather than being held back by it.
  9.  Today I choose to live in the presentrather than miss out on it.
  10.  Today I look forward to the future rather than worry about it.
  11. Today I choose to accept responsibility for my own action and behaviour, rather than blame others for theirs.
  12. Today I choose to come clean with my painful memories, rather than camouflage them with a fake smile.
  13. Today I choose to be Humble and Reasonable in the way I treat others, rather than be proud and arrogant in the way I mistreat them.
  14. Today I choose to be careful not to re-offend and be much better at understanding, rather than be easily offended at the slightest misunderstanding.
  15. Today I choose to be comfortable in my own imperfectionrather than look to find faults in others.
  16. Today I choose to lift people up and have fun, rather than put people down and making fun of them.
  17. Today I choose to be able and willing rather than stubborn and unwilling.
  18. Today I choose to be positive, exploring ALL the options available to me rather than negative opposing ANY opportunities presented to others around me.
  19. Today I choose to be proactive in going forward rather than reactive and getting nowhere.
  20. Today I choose to be productive getting things done rather than busy doing things and getting nothing done.
  21. Today I choose to be a User Friendly person rather than a person who is User of Friends.
  22. Today I choose to function according to my design rather than exist in a dysfunctional state of failure.
  23. Today I choose to function at an Interdependent level rather than a Co- dependent one.
  24. Today I choose to focus on the Us and What Is rather than ME and What if.
  25. Today I choose to focus my effort, energy and emotion on doing my best rather than being the best.
  26. Today I choose to make my priority in my business is to serve the people rather than sell a product.
  27. Today I choose to do life for the betterment of all rather than the detriment to any.
  28. Today I choose to connect and contribute rather than control and be contentious.
  29. Today I choose to take the necessary action to do my life goals rather than talk needlessly about doing them.
  30. Today I choose to give and receive rather than grab and run.

JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON

 Jesus said, ” I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” John.16: 28
Image result for picture of Jesus born in a mangerJesus Christ – the Son of God set aside His heavenly mansion and royal throne for an earthly manger and a crown of thorns. His mission; a once- for- all rescue mission, to provide for us His beloved creation, separated by sin and alienated from Him, a way back into a right relationship with our Heavenly Father. A way out of the trouble initiated by Adam’s sin, and in touch with His grace and mercy.

With you and I weighing heavy on His loving heart, Jesus Christ – the Christ of God crossed over eternity and came down to humanity, calling all to repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. He challenges the hearts of those who will listen and hear His word and changes the lives of those willing to learn and heed His will.

The souls that believe His lips and receive His love will enter into an everlasting relationship with Him and the servants who reach out to the world and preach the gospel will enjoy His eternal rewards.

Those who call upon His name to be saved will be counted righteous and considered justified having their adamic debt and its sinful deed totally cancelled, and completely taken care of.

Offering forgiveness of sin and a home in heaven to whosoever will come, Jesus Christ – the Word of God went forth with love and truth, proclaiming the best good news ever – the gospel of our salvation and of the grace and peace of God.

Once received and believed, sinners are transformed to saints. Taken seriously and trusted sincerely, ordinary lay people are turned into extraordinary leaders. The Lord of glory and the creator of mankind brought with him His kingdom, which knows no end from heaven above to hearts within.  He is the ultimate reality in whom we find true meaning and from whom we draw full comfort.  He will replace your meaningless existence with His meaningful living if you would only let Him.

Ready to shed his blood and willing to sacrifice His life, Jesus Christ – the Lamb of God reached out to you and I – His fallen creation to:

  • redeem our spirit from the penalty of sin.
  • reconcile our relationship with the living God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • restore our fellowship with the heavenly Father, and reunite us back into His loving arms.
  • resurrection with a new body and eternal life in a new heaven and new earth

 God invites you NOW to take his hand and take a long walk with him from earth to eternity. This lifetime offer is open to all and whosoever will may come and partake of His amazing grace, unconditional love and tender mercy. Do it today.

modified report by Peter Rahme – Grace Through

DEATH IN ADAM, ALIVE IN CHRIST

“Sin came into the world, through one man (Adam) and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” Romans 5:12

God’s love conquers all: “For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.Romans 5:17

We may not like this crucial truth about God and sin, but we live in a universe that has been corrupted by the effects of the curse placed upon creation by God the Creator, due to the disobedience of the first man, Adam. Death is an intrusion upon God’s creation due to sin. 

Satan, the Prince of this world, has blinded the world to the reality of this truth with the lie of EVOLUTION and there is no God. The truth of Noah’s worldwide flood and God’s judgement of mankind has also been removed from history with the lie of EVOLUTION.

In Genesis 1:31 God’s word tells us, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” In the Genesis creation narrative, we see the Hebrew word for good used six times, and then the author summarises the entirety of creation by using a term for “very good”, to drive home the point that no evil or death is found anywhere in all of creation! Here, we find a major theological truth; you cannot have death before the fall of Adam!

What amazing love, God the Father sent His son, Jesus, to pay the penalty of our sin so that we can be restored into a right relationship with our Him, but only if we are prepared to acknowledge and repent of our sin and accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. If we do, God the Father then sends the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer to be comforter, counsellor and teacher so we are capable of living the Christian life.

Jesus reversed the curse by his perfect obedience, taking upon himself the due penalty of sin, which is death, for all who believe in him. Jesus faced the ultimate fiery trial of death, and he was the only man who didn’t deserve it, as he was perfectly obedient to the Father and totally righteous, without sin. This is grace in fullness, and amazing love!

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19. Christianity is the only basis for true love, trust and compassion. The Bible tells us that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9. Once believers are saved by grace from sin, the process of sanctification occurs, the Holy Spirit takes control of our hearts, and we die to the flesh and are reborn by the Spirit of God. We are now able to fully understand what love is. We are able, though not perfectly, to have compassion, and serve others out of gratitude for what Christ has done for us. This is why we can heed the command of Christ in Matthew 5:44–45 to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.”

People who claim to be atheists, to be consistent with their beliefs, would have a nihilistic worldview. They could never truly know the love or compassion imparted by the Spirit of God. What took place recently at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas , when a church family gathered in a small church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was massacred by Devin Patrick Kelley, is a horrible tragedy performed by someone who was living out his worldview.

THE MARTYR’S OATH

 Would you be prepared to declare the following creed. During the coming Tribulation, it may cost you your earthly life to do so.
The Martyr’s Oath – I AM A FOLLOWER OF JESUS.

Click here to download the manuscript – TheMartyrsOath-1

I believe he lived and walked among us, was crucified for our sins, and was raised from the dead, according to the Scriptures. I believe he is the King of the earth, who will come back for his church.
As he has given his life for me, so I am willing to give my life for him. I will use every breath I possess to boldly proclaim his gospel.
Whether in abundance or need, in safety or peril, in peace or distress, I will not—I cannot—keep quiet. His unfailing love is better than life, and his grace compels me to speak his name even if his name costs me everything. Even in the face of death, I will not deny him. And should shadow and darkness encroach upon me, I will not fear, for I know he is always with me. Though persecution may come, I know my battle is not against flesh but against the forces of evil. I will not hate those whom God has called me to love. Therefore, I will forgive when ridiculed, show mercy when struck, and love when hated. I will clothe myself with meekness and kindness so those around me may see the face of Jesus reflected in me, especially if they abuse me.
I have taken up my cross; I have laid everything else down. I know my faith could cost me my life, but I will follow and love Jesus until the end, whenever and however that end may come. Should I die for Jesus, I confess that my death is not to achieve salvation but in gratitude for the grace I’ve already received. I will not die to earn my reward in heaven, but because Jesus has already given me the ultimate reward in the forgiveness of my sins and the salvation of my soul.
For me to live is Christ; for me to die is gain.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

 

BIBLICAL LOVE REPROVES ANYTHING CONTRARY TO GOD’S LAW

Biblical love involves reproving that which is contrary to God’s law. Love speaks the truth even when it is unpalatable. Love corrects and rebukes; and the willingness to rebuke false doctrine is even listed as one of the qualifications required for eldership! (cf. Titus 1:9) Love hates all that is contrary to good. And since love itself is defined as an attribute of God Himself (cf. 1 John 4:8: God is love), anything that contradicts His teachings and commandments is unloving. Consistent with this definition of biblical love, those who promote homosexuality and transgenderism in the name of ‘love’ are actually unloving. Likewise, one of the most loving things a Christian can do is to warn others of God’s coming wrath (Romans 1:1824–27) and to call them to repentance.

“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” Proverbs 27:5-6

Forgiveness of sins and eternal life are available to every person who repents of sin and trusts in Christ alone as Saviour, Lord, and supreme treasure. We deny that the Lord’s arm is too short to save or that any sinner is beyond his reach”.6 Or as the Apostle Paul taught:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, … nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, …will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9–11)

Paul includes homosexual behaviour as a serious sin. But Christians—including those who were guilty of that—are transformed. They are no longer slaves to sin, but have been forgiven, made a new creation by the indwelling Holy Spirit. He is our counsellor, our comforter and teacher. As we submit to the will of God, He will renew our mind, and give us a mind that seeks after the things of God. We are not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. We are no longer to walk as unbelievers do, in the futility of their minds, and who are darkened in their understanding due to their hardness of hearts, and who have given themselves over to sensuality (cf. Ephesians 4:17–19). Instead, we are called to conform our values and our thoughts to the Word of God—to put off our old self, and to be renewed in the spirit of our minds in true righteousness and holiness (cf. Ephesians 4:22-24); being renewed in knowledge after the image of our Creator (cf. Colossians 3:10). We are not to engage in hermeneutical gymnastics, twisting the Word of God to fit our agenda. Instead, we are to approach Scripture with humility, submitting our entire lives, mind, and even moral values to God’s word.

 

PLEASE SPEAK THE TRUTH ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY, PLAINLY AND WITH LOVE

A MESSAGE FOR ALL CHRISTIAN LEADERS: Let us stop dancing around the greatest spiritual and moral challenge of this generation, and let us do the right thing, regardless of cost or consequence. We owe it to God. We owe it our kids and grand-kids. And we owe it to those who identify as LGBT, says Dr Michael Brown host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program

Let us stop dancing around the greatest spiritual and moral challenge of this generation, and let us do the right thing, regardless of cost or consequence. We owe it to God. We owe it our kids and grandkids. And we owe it to those who identify as LGBT.

At this critical time in history, we’ve got no business dancing around these life-and-death issues, issues which affect people we love. We’ve got no business playing games with words, trying to be so subtle that no one understand us, working so hard not to offend that we fail to warn and save. We’ve got no business being unclear when God’s Word is so clear, and we’ve got no business calling ourselves representatives of Jesus when our hearts don’t flow with His love.

Just consider what’s happening in our society today.

Drag queens are reading stories to our two-year-old children in libraries.

Kindergarteners are learning about being trans.

Middle-schoolers are encouraged to come out as gay without their parents knowing. College students have to share their PGPs (Preferred Gender Pronouns) at the start of each semester (as in, “I’m Shannon, and my preferred gender pronouns are ze and zir.”).

Business colleagues have lost their livelihoods because they could not in good conscience participate in a same-sex “wedding.”

And we’re afraid to be direct and clear because we don’t want to offend someone? How is that strategy working?

In Ontario, if your child identifies as transgender and you don’t affirm and support them, they can report you to their school, which can report you to the government, and your child can be taken from you to be raised by others. This is now the law in Ontario!

Yet we’re afraid that if we speak up we’ll lose some tithing members? What kind of compromise is this? Are we mercenaries or are we men and women of God?

Things have gotten to the point where boys and men are competing against girls and women, smashing records and winning competitions because they identify as females. But we don’t want to rock the boat just in case one of our friends or family members is transgender.

How about speaking the truth in love – with tears, with compassion, and with care, but without compromise? True compassion is not silent. True compassion warns.

There’s a reason some of us have been sounding the alarm for years, despite the vilification that comes our way and despite the doors of ministry that shut in our face. We’ve seen where this was going and we’ve known that the price to pay for silence is much greater than the price to pay for obedience. Do we still not see the handwriting on the wall?

Our society is now celebrating menstruating “men” and glorifying pregnant “dads”who plan to breastfeed their kids, yet we don’t want to rock the boat. My friend, the boat is ready to capsize!

One California college is dealing with a credible threat of violence from a 46-year-old male student who identifies as a woman and is upset because there are no urinals in the women’s restrooms. As a local website reports, “She also noted how walking around on Southwestern’s campus in a bra or panties for three days has opened her eyes to having the brain of a woman…but having male anatomy.”

This is sickness and madness, yet rather than raise our voices like a trumpet and teach clearly about gender and sexuality and marriage, we retreat behind our safe sermons and soft words. In the process, we hurt people far more than we help them.

I was speaking at a conference last year when the conference organizer stated that a famous American pastor now supported same-sex “marriage.” Because I had this pastor’s contact information, I texted him, asking him how he would respond. He replied, “I don’t support this. Please ask him to correct it.”

I was glad he responded like this, but that only begged the question. Why was there any confusion to start? Why did the conference organizer, himself a careful theologian, get this pastor’s position so wrong?

Some of you are loud and clear when speaking about these issues in private but warm and fuzzy when speaking about them in public. To what purpose? To help whom?

I fully understand that most of us these days have loved ones who identify as LGBT, and we care for them deeply. As expressed very powerfully in a blog post by Rebecca K. Reynolds, “There’s a huge difference between speaking of gay people categorically and speaking of your gay friend, Christine, who was brutally abused by her uncle for two decades and now feels nauseated every time she smells a man. It might be possible for me to walk with an evangelical swagger and act like an expert when postulating about the first category, but the second is a real person whose story brings me to my knees.”

That is a perspective we must carry in our hearts, and when people ask me about me about reaching out to the LGBT community, the first thing I tell them is to ask God for a supernatural baptism of love for them. Love reflects the heart of God. Love reflects the life and death of our Savior. Love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:7).

But love doesn’t compromise. If it did, it would no longer be love. That’s why Reynolds could also write, “Do I think sex outside of marriage is wrong? Absolutely. Do I believe in the sanctity of male-female marriage? Yes.

“Do I also sometimes kneel beside my bed and weep for my abused friends by name–friends who seek relief in ways that don’t align with God’s word? Yes. I do.”

Oh, that all of us would have such hearts!

And that brings me to the last reason why we must speak the truth in love to our congregations and followers.

If we don’t lovingly warn that gay couple in our church about the wrongness of their relationship, we have their blood on our hands.

If we don’t tell that lesbian-identified teenager that God did not make her gay, offering her real hope in Jesus, we are contributing to her demise.

If we don’t urge that husband not to leave his wife and have sex-change surgery, telling him we’ll get in the trenches and stand with him for his marriage, he can point to us on judgment day: “They never told me it was wrong!”

So, I’m pleading with you as a fellow-leader and fellow-elder and fellow-servant. Let us stop dancing around the greatest spiritual and moral challenge of this generation, and let us do the right thing, regardless of cost or consequence. We owe it to God. We owe it our kids and grandkids. And we owe it to those who identify as LGBT.

Just this week I received an email from a woman named Nadia who used to be “married” to another woman. She wrote, “Hi Dr. Brown! First I want to thank you for having the courage to speak the truth in love on various unpopular topics, especially marriage and sexuality. Your teaching helped me find freedom in my own life.”

Let us help others find freedom as well, the freedom that comes by knowing the truth (see John 8:31-32).

So from the depth of my heart, in the strongest way I know, I urge you once more: Please join me in speaking the truth in love. The Father will be glad as you do.

Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Transformation. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

 

CHURCH AS GOD INTENDED IT TO BE

Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California, was drawing around 5,000 people and growing in 2010. But Francis Chan felt the megachurch he founded was not as God intended it to be.

Francis Chan, a bestselling author who heads We Are Church, speaks at the Facebook headquarters in California, June 22, 2017.

“I got frustrated at a point, just biblically, Chan said. “According to the Bible, every single person in the church has a supernatural gift that’s meant to be used for the body. And I’m like 5,000 people show up every week to hear my gift, see my gift. That’s a lot of waste. Then I started thinking how much does it cost to run this thing? Millions of dollars!”

“So I’m wasting the human resource of these people that according to Scripture have a miraculous gift that they could contribute to the body but they’re just sitting there quietly. … [T]hey just sit there and listen to me.”

Moreover, he felt the church wasn’t following God’s command to love one another — attendees would simply greet each other for 30 seconds and mainly hang out in cliques once a week.

“I was like, ‘God, you wanted a church that was known for their love. You wanted a group of people where everyone was expressing their gifts. … We’re a body. I’m one member, maybe I’m the mouth. But if the mouth is the only thing that’s working and … I’m trying to drag the rest of the body along, chewing on the carpet …”

His decision in 2010 to leave Cornerstone — which he started in his living room — came as a shock to many, including fellow evangelical pastors. In his announcement to the congregation at that time, he said he had been feeling a restlessness and stirring to let go of the megachurch and take on a new adventure.

He also indicated that he was wary of being “comfortable.”

In his talk at Facebook last week, he offered more details about why he made that decision to leave, including a desire to get away from the pride he began to feel as his book, Crazy Love, became a bestseller and as he became a popular sought-after speaker.

“I freaked out during that time in my life,” Chan recalled. “The pride … [going to] a conference and seeing my face on a magazine … and hearing whispers … and walking in the room and actually liking it.”

At one point, Chan felt convicted and realized he became everything he didn’t want to be. “Everything you (God) said you hated, that’s me right now,” he realized. “I gotta get out of here. I’m losing my soul.”

Chan stressed to the Facebook group that God hates pride and that one can easily lose humility.

Today, Chan leads a house church movement in San Francisco called We Are Church. There are currently 14 to 15 house churches, he said, and 30 pastors (two pastors per church) — all of whom do it for free. Each church is designed to be small so it’s more like family where members can actually get to know one another, love one another and make use of their gifts.

“We’ve got a few hundred people now and it costs nothing,” Chan explained. “And everyone’s growing and everyone’s having to read this book (Bible) for themselves and people actually caring for one another. I don’t even preach. They just meet in their homes, they study, they pray, they care for one another. They’re becoming the church and I’m just loving it and realising that these 30 guys [are] leading this and the women as well.”

The people who join include “guys coming off the streets, out of prison to doctors and people that work here (Facebook) or Google,” he said.

He’s hoping to double the number of house churches every year so that in 10 years, there would be 1.2 million people in We Are Church. And, he reiterated, it’s all free.

How would he compare the megachurch he once led to the current house church movement?

“This one guy put it like this: It’s like being adopted rather than being in an orphanage,” Chan said. “Church the way I was doing was like an orphanage. Here’s just a bunch of kids with one leader. And rather than saying ‘No, you know what, we’re going to put you in a home and these guys are going to actually know you and love you and care for you.’

“It’s just like family.”

Recalling a sober moment he had while at Cornerstone Church, Chan said he baptized a kid from a gang but that kid later left though he was quite involved in the church.

“One of my friends asked him, ‘Hey, how come you’re not at Cornerstone anymore?’ He said ‘I didn’t understand church. When I was baptised, I thought that was going to be being jumped into the gang where it’s like 24/7 they’re my family, because I didn’t know it was just somewhere we attend on Sundays.”

When Chan heard that, he said it made him sick.

“That makes me so sick that the gangs are a better picture of family than the church of Jesus Christ. I can’t live with that. … We’re going to do something different.”

While Chan said he loves what he’s doing now, he admitted that it wasn’t easy and that his former gig at the megachurch was easier in some aspects.

“Some days I think it was a lot easier when I could just preach, go back and drive off in my car and leave all of them like I will today,” he said to laughter among the Facebook employees. “I don’t have to care for your issues, you know? … I’ll never see you again.

“This is easy. But you have this circle here and you’re in each other’s lives and no offence, it’s not this Facebook — I can just put up what I want about myself. That’s kind of like the way church was. It’s like let me just show you this one side on Sunday morning and let me just show you the best pictures of me and my greatest accomplishments.

“But when it’s family, it gets messy. And you start finding out people’s dirt. Just like you know about your brother and sister every Thanksgiving. It’s messy because it’s family. That’s what Christ wanted. And so we fight for it. And it’s been a blast.”

As for what he does with all the money he earns through his bestselling books, Chan said he gives it all away.

He had prayed to God years ago, saying he was frustrated with the rich people in church who only give 5 to 10 percent of their money to church while living off millions. He prayed that God would either raise up a new generation of rich people who would actually live for eternity and give all their money away or make him rich.

“I’ll give it all away to show that you’re better than all of that,” Chan remembered praying. So when he surprisingly made a million dollars the next year through his book and continued to make more over the following years, he signed it all over to a charitable gift fund “so that I can’t even touch it. I can’t even buy lunch with the money … I can only give to charity.

“It’s been the best thing. Now I spend my days going and looking where are the needs around the world and how can I contribute to it?”