O Christian before you go for your marital union,
Check if you’d then still be in God’s communion.
Do not desire courtship with any unbeliever,
Because that one ain’t God’s grace receiver.
Even if someone claims in Christ to believe,
Make sure its not an attempt to deceive.
For many have tricked and have lied,
To get the unwitting victim to them tied.
Discern well before you marry,
Because faith in God you carry.
Discern well before you marry,
Lest you drift in a direction contrary.
Choose a spouse who is good and just,
And helps to build in Christ your trust.
Desire your beloved to be the one that prays,
That from wisdom and truth no one strays.
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
O God the creator of the heavens and the earth, I pray make me strong to resist evil counsel. Just like the wise men called the Magi, who were able to say no to Herod’s wicked scheme towards Jesus the Messiah, let me also say no, be it in action or words towards the Herod’s of this age. Let me be given the wisdom and strength, to know whom not to give into, and also continue to resist their plans of deception and violence. I also ask you to guide me by the Holy Spirit, to watch my steps in the days of evil, and so refrain from doing wrong and causing others unjust harm. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen
Praise be to the Lord God who provides the seed of His word and the faith to work on it. By intercession of Christ Jesus our Saviour we keep ever growing in spirit and knowledge. O Holy Spirit lead us into all truth and keep us away from lethargy and false counsel.
We are called to grow in the Lord God. There are no exceptions to this. No need to worry if others don’t grow as much as you do.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)
Be like Samuel the Prophet who didn’t ignore the Word of God but kept it in all earnest. Samuel’s duty was to grow in the knowledge that God gave him. He didn’t focus on those who didn’t but kept to his task. (Prophet Samuel later in life went on to annoint David as the king of Israel – refer to 1 Samuel 16:1-13 for this). He never gave up his spiritual growth though his mentor Eli’s sons grew in wickedness (Click here if you want to know a lesson about Eli).
And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord.(1 Samuel 3:19-20)
You might not know the future but there may be people who one day will need your help. It might be your own family members who might need counsel on life changing decisions. You may have to cast out evil spirits from the possessed people who turn to you. Or you just have to be a good Samaritan to those in danger. But God knows best what good you are to do. What matters then is whether you decide to grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ. Because that’s the very thing which will help you with doing all the good works that God has set forth before you. By this you can give glory to God and be a good neighbor to those in need.
Suppose you feel upset that others are not growing in the Lord God, then do not despair. You can intercede for them. And wherever possible even directly help them grow. But never be too proud of your growth and so end up displeasing God. Also take care not to slow down on your growth in Spirit. Because neither will it help others grow nor will it give glory to God.
Christ be with you!
*Be careful who prints your wedding programmes.*
A printer was asked to put 1 John 4:18 in a wedding programme but made a mistake and printed John 4:18. Why was it a mistake?
1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear …..”
But John 4:18 reads, “For you have had FIVE husbands before, and he whom you now have is not your husband”.
What is the Difference between a Red Letter Church and a Grace based Church?
The Christian Church has Jesus as the Foundation. It is built upon the Red Letters of the Bible, the words that Jesus Christ Spoke Himself. Build upon that, are the many pillars of Scripture, revealed through Prophet’s, Apostles, Kings, Priests, ETC
The Pillar of GRACE
The Pillar of RIGHTEOUSNESS
The Pillar of JUDGMENT
Altogether these pillars build up the teachings of the Church.
But in many Churches, a problem arises when, the Red letters of Jesus are removed as the foundation of the Church & the Pillar of Grace, is set as the new foundation.
With GRACE being the new foundation of the Church, Some pillars fit nicely on that.
Love & Mercy
Forgiveness & Blessing
Peace & Joy
But other pillars don’t fit so nicely on this Foundation. Therefore those subjects need to be de-emphasized, and rarely brought up.
While other pillars of Scripture don’t fit at all on this foundation.
The Fear of God
Those subjects need to be ignored, disregarded or just briefly mentioned. Those subjects were from the God of long ago, who no longer exists. (Edit: This part as per hyper grace teachings is basically saying the Lord has changed his behaviour in the New Testament times, but reality is that the Bible never says the Lord God has become permissive of sin because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ)
The Sermon topics of the Grace based Church are VERY important topics, that need to be thoroughly covered. But as many people have discovered, it wasn’t that those topics were being covered, it was that other topics were just being ignored. The problem is that anytime you ignore parts of Scripture, it distorts the image of God.
The Grace based church presents the congregation with a Path of Salvation, and a Doorway to go through. The problem is that the path presented is Wider than the Narrow path depicted in scripture. This will result in a rude awakening for some people, who feel secure, yet are not on the RIGHT path.
Jesus taught that the House built on ROCK, does not fall. Therefore if we ignore parts of Scripture when building the Church, then the Church becomes less stable, because it’s missing part of the foundation.
Because Jesus is the Cornerstone of our Faith, His teachings demand greater focus over the teachings of any other. As Jesus even said, “My testimony is weightier than John’s”
But in many churches we see that the Greater Focus is given to the Teachings of the Apostle Paul, over that of Jesus. Which Paul even warned us NOT to do.
In scripture we are told to behold the kindness and severity of God, and God is revealed as both a Lion and a Lamb.
But in the teachings of many Churches, we see this Principle is changed to. Behold the Kindness of God.
The LION is de-emphasized, and most sermons only reveal God as the Lamb. And this causes an imbalance in doctrine.
Put back the Words of Jesus, as the Foundation of the Church. Where the teachings of the Apostle’s and Prophets are built upon the ROCK. Not ignoring any portions of scripture. This is the Church that Jesus Built.
– By Robert Brownell
My note about teachings/letters of the Apostle Paul (call it a disclaimer if you wish):
Generally I wouldn’t put in a note at this point but I felt since the above quote somehow makes a distinguishing mark between the teachings of Jesus Christ and those of the Apostle Paul, so I felt it’s best to clarify this out for you.
To be clear enough; the letters of St. Paul in the Bible are fully part of the Holy Scriptures and are fully inspired by the Holy Spirit. However some people have tried to use that justify elimination of certain key doctrines of the Bible, in fact the very things that Jesus taught! The teachings or letters of St. Paul are not of his own but are of the Lord God who spoke through the Holy Spirit and inspired his letters.
Like I said the letters of St. Paul are inspired by the Holy Spirit, this means that they are to remind us of things which Jesus Christ taught during his ministry on earth and even more revelations of God without undermining the truth of the Gospel.
25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14: 25-26)
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” (John 16:13-15)
Recently I happened to meet a preacher who went a long rant about people who came to his church, got their miracles and then stopped coming to his preaching services. Here’s one such real life example he keeps facing; people who are unemployed came to him for prayers. Then those people get jobs by getting trough the job interviews. These people didn’t earlier get jobs for months. They then come to testify in church, in front of the entire congregation as to how after being prayed over by the preacher, they received their blessings from God and have so got a great paying job. Fast forward this to like three months later and the preacher then observed that many of these who received their jobs miraculously are nowhere to be seen at the church services. In fact now the very jobs they got blessed with are cited as reasons for not attending church, pathetic! This preacher was visibly upset for a moment when he mentioned this challenge he faced but yet after that kept praying for others who are in need of jobs etc.
Then there’s a thing that I too faced. I’d pray for people and they’d get married and but then reduce their church attendance, while there are many other couples who do attend church even after marriage. They then will avoid any religious seminars and guess what; being married is cited as the reason for that. Then few years later when the child is born and is sick, they are in ‘need’ of me for prayers. Only out of concern for the child do I pray for his or her well-being and they recover. After that if I try to contact the parents, they again go non responsive. Utterly ungrateful and opportunistic people!
Due to this, I later on modified my strategy towards such people. Basically, first identify such people and pray for discernment. Then don’t help unless explicitly asked for in a non ambiguous manner. And only then help as usual but expect them to not be grateful later on. So don’t invest too much into them. Instead go on to help the next person God sends in your life.
So what’s my point?
My point is don’t be selfish after getting your blessings. Firstly, honour the Lord God and don’t miss out on praying to him and loving him. Secondly, have regard towards those who prayed for you in your suffering. Thirdly, remember that miracles are not for your selfish agendas but for the glory of God. Finally, don’t make your blessings as an excuse to neglect coming to church nor an as excuse to reduce praying and avoid reading the Bible.
Now to people who still think all they need is a blessing and then disappear from doing their responsibility towards God, well I have bad news for you. You can try to give all the reasons you want but the Lord God knows the deceitful and the good right from the heart. The maker of all hearts knows really well how to judge them and obviously there is a Final judgement that will soon happen. And just to let you know, not every preacher will allow you to take them for granted. Even myself made a strategy as mentioned above. But let share just one strategy which another set of preachers use; don’t grant the miracle unless the person shows interest in continuing in the Word God. Rude as this strategy sounds to the selfish of heart, the good of heart don’t mind this at all.
Let me make it real to you. At a preaching convention, there was a woman in need of a miracle for her baby. Now this preaching was residential over a span of five days. This woman was desperate and was only looking for the preacher to lay hands on the baby so that her child recovers and then she’d immediately leave the convention half way. Signs were already showing up. She was skipping prayers and mentioning the baby as the reason. Arriving late in the preaching hall and citing the baby as the reason. Keeping on saying that she has things at home to attend to and what not. At the time of healing prayers the preacher felt the power of God at work. He prayed and a lot of people received their healing. Now that woman came to him for praying for her baby. But he realized in his mind that if he grants her the healing she will immediately leave the place. So he told her to wait till the final day of the convention. She was reluctant but had no choice.
Before any of you think what that preacher did wrong, please continue to observe what happened next. The preacher kept preaching the Word of God in its fullness and emphasized on believing in the Gospel, repentance from sins, faith for life etc. These are very vital topics in the life of a believer in Christ. Now on the fifth day the woman went back to the preacher and asked him to pray over her baby and this time he asked the Lord God to heal the baby of so and so disease. The moment the woman realized her child is healed she immediately made an excuse in the name of the baby and left the convention. The preacher was smart enough to call her only at the last minutes of the convention. He said he didn’t lack mercy towards the baby but knew in advance that the woman was more interested in the miracle than hearing the Word of God if the baby was healed first. Because he prayed that the baby’s health won’t worsen in those five days but only that the healing would occur last day.
Now, I myself don’t use his method about praying for people but I do get his point loud and clear; some people once they receive their miracle may make excuses to avoid hearing the Gospel, so do whatever you can to stop that.
My advice to those preaching and healing others in the name of Jesus Christ, would be that don’t let people treat you like an MVM. Some people incorrectly feel that they are entitled to all the time and efforts of those who pray for others and they don’t feel grateful towards them. Don’t be an MVM but a true minister of the Word of God. Be a pleaser of God instead of the people.
You might ask what is a “MVM”. It’s called as a Miracle Vending Machine. So again for those preaching healing in Jesus’ name, please remember that miracles are secondary and the glory to God comes first. Ensure that you explain the love and mercy of God as mentioned in Gospel and then pray for healing and miracles for those who come to you. And tell those people who might think the job they will get is due to their own ability then why are they asking you to pray for them? You can also tell them if they want a good spouse in marriage then why are they expecting you to fast for them but themselves don’t want to fast? Obviously, you don’t need to blunt too much but at the same time don’t be anyone’s door mat either especially when you know the gift of healing and miracles are not yours to claim fame for but are of God’s alone who is working through you.
Christ be with you!
But when the Pharisees heard that he [Jesus] had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40)