Friday, May 27, 2011

A Study on James 4:7 - Submit and Resist



I was reading a rather lenghty article yesterday and there were two portions of it that gave me pause and prompted me to study James 4:7 a bit more. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

I use this Scripture in prayer ALL THE TIME! This posture is KEY to victory over anything and everything that we're praying for. The posture of our hearts with the understanding we don't do anything in vain when it comes to being obedient to God's Word.


THE FIRST STEP -- SUBMIT


Evey single one of us has days that test our love and our faith. There are people and moments in life that press all our buttons at once and sometime, if we're not careful, before we know it we can end up doing and saying things we later wish we hadn't.

In James 4:7, God's Word offers us a surefire method to avoid falling into that trap over and over again. It says....
"Submit yourselves therefore to God, Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Now, notice that there is a very critical step that must be taken...before we even begin to deal with the devil. Before we can resist him or rebuke him, before we even have one iota of ability to make him flee, we must submit ourselves to God.

Submission is power. It is how God transfers His way of doing things into our lives. You see, God knows how to handle the devil. If we submit to Him, He will always give us the grace, strength, and wisdom we need to successfully make the devil flee. The flesh always wants what it wants, but the more we learn to lean on our spirit instead of our flesh, the more joyful and peaceful our lives will turn out to be.

What should I submit to God? Submit what you believe. Submit what you speak. Submit what you do. In all three of these areas, submitting ourselves to God requires that we put ourselves second to His way of doing things. It requires us to recognize the areas where we lean to a more carnal mindset.

God challenges us to renew our mind to His Word. How do we do it? By spending time each day putting the Word of God into our spirit. hat's how we grow and mature.

Romans 12:2 tells us: 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.

The word RENEW is translated from the Greek word "anakainĊsis" which means: a renewal, renovation, complete change for the better

So, we should ask ourselves, what do I believe? Be honest. Remember that to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (as we read earlier). If our beliefs are at odds with God's ways, we will need to renew our mind more with the Word so that our thoughts can be elevated.

Romans 8:6 says: For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Once we know what we believe, then ask yourself what do you speak? Remember that sound words bring LIFE - and God's Word contains the soundest words that have ever been thought or spoken. We are setting ourselves up for blessings when we pray to God, submitting ourselves to His ways, and let His sound words come out of our mouth. We are literally drawing life into the situations we are dealing with.

Proverbs 18:21 says: Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Next comes the action - what will you do? We can't just believe and talk, we must act on the Word. In other words, obedience is better than sacrifice. Simply doing what we already know to do. Then, as we read the Word and more of God's wisdom is revealed to us, add to what we know. Go a little further. Do a little more. Our lives will be best when we believe the Word, speak the Word and act the Word. THAT is submission to God.

THE SECOND STEP IS TO RESIST


So if the first step is submitting ourselves to God, then what is the next step? It is resisting the devil. Resisting is about being resolute. It is NOT about fighting, it's about refusing to budge.

You see, just because an emotion rises up doesn't mean we have to follow it to the end. If we submit ourselves to God, we can stop. If not, then our flesh will likely run wild and cause us all sorts of future trouble.

When we make a choice to live according to our spirit, we are making the same choice to resist the devil and our flesh nature when it is lured by temptation.

The devil is already defeated. So, we don't fight him again and again. No, you walk on him! We take our authority by the the horns and resist whatever mess he is throwing our way. We make a quality decision, in the heat of the moment even, to lean to the Spirit of God within us. We choose not to cave to the devil or our base nature, but to instead rise up and line up with the winner, God.

This means we don't have to pray and beg God to get us out - no, He made a way out when He sent His Son to the cross. Now, we just have to realize our authority, use His Word, and enforce the devil's defeat. When we pray, say what God has already done. Say what we want instead of what we currently have. We speak the end result. Every time we do this, we are enforcing satans defeat by reiterating the point that God has already won. We are the victor because we serve the Victor!

John 6:63 says: It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life

Romans 4:17 says: (as it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations" in the presence of Him whom he believed--God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did

Now, this goes against our mind sometimes, but that's OK. The natural man doesn't understand the things of God...but the submitted person does! The submitted person realizes the power of the Spirit and how it can totally affect natural situations.

So, resisting the devil is about refusing to bend to the pressure of anything. It's refusing to budge off of what God already said we could have and do in His Word. Resisting is refusing to allow circumstances to dictate what we believe and how we will act.

God is on our side and if His Word is in our heart, it will come out of our mouth and if His Word is in our heart, it will come out of our mouth - and it will act like a two-edged sword cutting the devil's plans down. It will help us to resist falling into temptation. It will help us to keep our head held high when the attack is on. It will help us to ride out the storm unscathed.

Don't bend to the pressure of time. What we want may not happen today. It may not happen tomorrow. But it will happen! We will receive, if we faint not! Remember that resisting is not doing anything at all - it's an effort, but it is a worthy one because through 1) submitting and 2) resisting, we will see your spiritual victory play out in the natural world.

When we DO God's Word, it is always a win-win situation.

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Father, I ask You to HELP US to submit to You and to resist the devil in every prayer we have before You. HELP US to speak what You do and nothing else. HELP US to KNOW that Heaven and Earth WILL pass away, but Your Word will NOT pass away. HELP US to see ourselves walking in total victory of everything we are praying for because YOU ARE FAITHFUL TO YOUR WORD, in Jesus' Name.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Price of Deception



This article is NOT about the C.I.A. - but it does have to do with the master of deception and one called the "father of lies."

"You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. John 8:44

Deceit - the act or practice of deceiving; concealment or distortion of the truth for the purpose of misleading; duplicity; fraud; cheating. an act or device intended to deceive; trick; stratagem. the quality of being deceitful; duplicity; falseness. Trickery. Guile. Duplicity. Fraud. Trickery.

Deceit is the quality that prompts intentional concealment or perversion of truth for the purpose of misleading.
The quality of guile leads to craftiness in the use of deceit: using guile and trickery to attain one's ends.
Duplicity is the form of deceitfulness that leads one to give two impressions, either or both of which may be false.
Fraud refers usually to the practice of subtle deceit or duplicity by which one may derive benefit at another's expense.
Trickery is the quality that leads to the use of tricks and habitual deception

The 1828 Websters Dictionary has this to say:
A deceiver opperates by stealth and in private upon individuals: an impostor practices his arts on the community at large. The one succeds by artful falsehoods, the other by bold assumption. The faithless friend and the fickle lover are deceivers; the false prophet and the pretended prince are impostors.

The Scriptures tell us that Jesus is not going to come until there is a great "falling away."

II Thessalonians 2:3 & 15
3. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come (the Second Coming of Jesus) unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.
15. Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.


The Strongs Exhaustive Concordance Greek #646 give the meaning to "falling away"=Apostasia which is: a falling away, defection, apostasy, to forsake.

Websters has this o say about "apostasy" = An abandonment of what one has voluntarily professed; a total desertion of departure from one's faith, principles, or party; esp., the renunciation of a religious faith.

I am taking this opportunity to make a declaration of faith, on my own behalf.
I have DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS....NO TURNING BACK, NO TURNING BACK. I CHOOSE God's WORD, and I CHOOSE to be obedient to it. I CHOOSE to say NO TO SIN, the wages of sin will lead to death. I CHOOSE HOLINESS unto the Lord, without which no man will see God. I CHOOSE the LORD for all the Days of my life, in JESUS' NAME.

There are some Scriptures that speak of "enduring to the end" and those ones will be saved.

Matthew 10:22 - And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

Galatians 6:9 - And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap IF we do not lose heart.

Heb. 3:6, 14
6. but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are IF we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
14. For we have become partakers of Christ IF we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.

Heb. 10:35, 36 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise

I Cor. 15:1,2 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, IF you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain.

Heb. 6:11, 12 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Heb. 10:38,39 Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

perdition=the destruction which consists of eternal misery in hell - Strongs Exhaustive Concordance - Greek #684

Colossians 1:21-23 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight-- IF indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Rev. 2:25 But hold fast what you have till I come.

Rev. 3:10-11 "Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. "Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.

Mark 13:13 And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Matt. 24:11-13 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved


Endures=Strongs Concordance - Greek #5278- To hold one’s ground in conflict, bear up against adversity, hold out under stress, stand firm, persevere under pressure, wait calmly and courageously. It is not passive resignation to fate and mere patience, but the active, energetic resistance to defeat that allows calm and brave endurance.

Endure in these Scriptures do not mean tolerating, putting up with, inconvenienced by. It's a very strong word that has to do with warfare, courageous perserverance against adversity.

The ONLY way we would turn away from such a Blessed gift is that we would allow ourselves to be deceived.

I John 2:24 - Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

II Tim. 3:14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

II Peter 3:17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked

I Timothy 4:1 tells us: Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons

We MUST have our lives rooted and grounded in God's Word, so we'll be able to distinguish the difference between truth and what is a lie. Sort of like a bank teller must be able to tell the difference between a genuine bill or one that is counterfiet.

Mark 13:5 says: And Jesus, answering them, began to say: "Take heed that no one deceives you.

II Corinthians 11:13-15 we're told: For uch are false apotsles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. There it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to tbheir works.

We cannot afford to have only a casual accquaintance of God's Word. We've got to be able to distinguish between the holy and the profane.

Ezekiel 44:23 says: And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.

The way this is done, is having an intimate acquaintance with God's Word.

Ephesians 5:6 says: Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

In Romans 1:21 we're told: ...because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

I Thessalonians 5:9 tells us: For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

One of the ways that we invite deception into our lives is found in James 1:22:
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Obediah 1:3: tells us: The pride of your heart has deceived you, You who dwell in the clefts of the rock, Whose habitation is high; You who say in your heart, 'Who will bring me down to the ground?'

HOWEVER the devil will try to bring his deception upon us, one thing we CAN remember is: Psalm 51:10-13: Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.

Remember what God said about His Dwelling Place? Isaiah 57:15 tells us: For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

There's GREAT PROTECTION there. Thank God.

In Titus 1:9-11 we're told: ...holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,
11. whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.

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Father, I ask You to HELP US to know the difference between the holy and the unholy. To help discern every effort to trap us into places that would eventually bring distruction to our lives. Lord thank YOU for HELPING us to remain humble before YOU in that High and Holy place where YOU live with those that are humble and contrite. We CHOOSE YOU, for all the days of our lives, We've decided to follow YOU for all of time. I will NOT be one of those spoken about in the "falling away", I will NOT be deceived, because I CHOOSE the TRUTH OF YOUR WORD. Thank You for putting a guard over my mouth and my heart, and not allowing me to go onto the paths that are not from You, In the Name of Jesus.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sipping Saints



The late David Wilkerson gave this message years ago, and I believe that the power of God's Word speaks now as much as it ever has.

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"Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise" ( Proverbs 20:1 ).

This nation is fast becoming a sodden society of too many intoxicated citizens. Alcohol is now the modern golden calf, and millions of people, young and old, male and female, have been seduced by it.

The teetotaler, the prohibitionists, and all the others who have for years fought against this flood of booze have been laughed out of existence. We laugh to scorn those old-fashioned little ladies who went around smashing barrels of whiskey and shutting down bars and honky-tonks, and taking pledges of abstinence.

We liberated moderns have made it fashionable to drink. It is now considered sophisticated, urbane, cool - to drink socially. Try saying "No" to the airline stewardess who keeps pushing drinks at you from the time you get on the airplane till you deplane. "What do you mean, no drinks?" She looks at you as some kind of kook for refusing free drinks.

People are offended nowadays when you refuse their offer of a complimentary drink. They try to make you feel unneighborly for not joining them, or that you are putting on a "holier than thou" attitude. Even President Carter couldn't keep drinks out of the White House.

"Be not among winebibbers..." (Proverbs 23:20).

To me, the real tragedy is that so many who call themselves "Christian" are now drinking. I call them "sipping saints," because that is how it all begins - one sip at a time.

A recent poll revealed that 81% of all Catholics now drink and 64% of all Protestants. These shocking figures keep mounting higher each month. The permissive attitude toward social drinking is fast creeping even into the most conservative, evangelical church circles.

I have spoken at Charismatic conventions where thousands of "Spirit-filled" saints of God lifted hands in praise and adoration to God - and after being dismissed, numbers of them walk out into the parking lot, open their car trunks and pull out a couple six-packs and pass them around to fellow worshipers. Others order mixed drinks with their restaurant meals, in between the praise sessions. They return to speak with "pickled tongues."

"And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands" ( Isaiah 5:12 ).

The prophet Isaiah has a message for the entire Charismatic movement - in both Catholic and Protestant circles.

"God's people are in captivity to these things because of a lack of knowledge . . . But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness" (Isaiah 5:13-16)..

The prophet Hosea said, ". . . wine and new wine take away the heart . . ." (Hosea 4:11).

This suggests that sipping saints have divided hearts.

Spirit-filled people lay claim to being "kings and priests" unto the Lord. The Bible emphatically states,

"It is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes strong drink, lest they drink and forget the law . . ." (Proverbs 31:4,5).

The writer of Proverbs suggests happy, overcoming Christians don't need wine, that it is only for the depressed and dying.

"Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts" (Proverbs 31:6).

A fine Christian lady wrote to me saying:

"We are good church-going Christians. We love the Lord, and we see nothing at all wrong with serving wine in our home. We drink moderately, and our children are learning to drink under our supervision. They do not overindulge. We have never seen anyone drunk in our home.

"You are simply trying to make us feel guilty and are pushing your fundamentalist morals on us. We were not raised under the legalistic taboos like you evidently were. Frankly? sir, our drinking habits are none of your concern."

God bless that dear lady - but one of these days it will be my business. It starts becoming my business when those teenagers go out with their friends and get stoned.

Just today, one of my students, a converted alcoholic, told me how she became a drunkard. Her parents taught her how to drink moderately. At parties, birthdays, and when company came, everybody took a social drink. It was served at meals. She admired and loved her parents. They despised drunkenness, yet they had a bar in the house.

This young lady started going to teenage parties and began to drink socially with her crowd. That led to drinking in clubs. Soon she was getting stoned in parked vans. Finally, when problems began to pile up, she began to lean on wine heavily. She ended up in a mental institution, a hard-core alcoholic.

That same story is repeated to me over and over again from coast to coast. How many, many times I've heard it, "My parents were considered good Christians. They went to church. But we always served wine or beer at our house. My big brother drank moderately and he was my hero. I drank to be like my parents and big brother, but I couldn't handle it. But they made me think drinking was the thing all good people do."

Am I prejudiced? Narrow-minded on the subject? You bet I am! And I have reason to be. My own brother, a minister's son, started drinking beer moderately - just to be sociable with friends. He wound up a heavy drinker, leaving his wife and lovely children to pursue his habit. Thank God he is saved today and back with his family.

But I sent my brother Jerry with a team of converts to Europe to testify about what Christ did in delivering him from the power of alcohol. The Christians in Europe gladly rejoiced in the testimonies of deliverance from dope and prostitution - but they didn't want to hear a word about Jerry's deliverance from alcohol. Why? Because European Christians guzzle wine and beer like water. It broke his heart.

I have heard all the excuses for the drinking among Christians in Europe - and I can't accept any of them. They blame it on impure water. They talk about it being rooted in their culture and customs. They drink "because they have always done it."

How deeply offended some of the pastors were in Paris, France, when I refused to drink their wine. American missionaries, who themselves easily adopted the European customs, told me I should "do as the Parisians do, while in Paris!" Yet, how deeply offended I was when some of these same ministers were so stoned they couldn't stay awake during my crusade.

There is an alarming rate of alcoholism and heavy drinking in Christian circles in Europe. They do get drunk! They are not all moderate! None of their excuses make it right. And what phoniness for American Christians to drink "only in Europe." They won't touch a drop here in the States, but they think it's "cute" to join the brethren over there in sipping a few!

I am deeply offended by drinking Christians because of the terrible example it sets for young people! This nation is now facing a plague of drinking among teenagers. The two most popular words in school today are "cruising and boozing." Drunkenness is spreading in our schools like a wildfire out of control. Kids tell me that as many as 80% of their class not only drink, but get stone drunk. We face the possibility of having over one million young alcoholics next year.

I've been helping drug addicts for 20 years. But this drinking rage now sweeping our nation frightens me. They drink now because they think alcohol won't"waste" them like drugs! Booze is now the preferred "liquid pot." Everywhere you see teenagers getting stoned, they tell you - "No cops, no parents, no politicians can hassle us now - because they are all doing it, too. We finally found a kick that won't put us behind bars!"

I don't want to get involved in that age-old argument about the Bible and fermented wine as opposed to grape juice. But the more I see of these bombed-out, broken-down, hopelessly drunken young people - the more I am convinced Jesus did not mock that crowd at Canaan's wedding feast with the same stuff that is destroying our youth today.

Christ came to fulfill the law! The law says, "Wine is a mocker . . . whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." Was Christ deceived? Would he have served a drink that would have led to a man leaving a feast drunken to heat up his wife? And in court that man is asked, "How did you get so drunk?" And the convicted man answers, "I went to a wedding feast. Jesus of Nazareth served up a really strong drink. He got me drunk."

I can't conceive that Jesus would mock that crowd and serve a drink that could have been abused if taken immoderately. I believe that elixir Jesus served was the pure juice of the vine - a supernatural punch so full of nature's true blend, it was a unique and welcome change! Would Jesus add alcoholic content to His supernatural drink and make it "bite the cup" when the law said -

"Look not upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright . . ." (Proverbs 23:31)?

That was written by a king who had "given himself over to wine" (Ecclesiastes 2:3). And Christ would have never, never given the guests over to wine that was intoxicating.

Paul knew the law, too. He revered the wisdom of Solomon. Pure juice of the grape is good for the health! It is nutritious. But fermented wine is not more nutritious, according to a doctor friend of mind who is well read on the subject. How could Paul recommend drinking alcoholic wine when the law he respected so warned, ". . . be not among winebibbers..."?

But the real issue is not whether or not the New Testament refers to fermented wine or grape juice. The real issue is the abuse of it that is so prevalent today. Solomon had three thousand wives. At one time, Moses permitted divorce. God winked! But God does not wink when His laws become so perverted and abused. Look where our permissiveness has led us. So-called Christian discos, featuring beer drinking and dancing to Christian music. Rocking, rolling, drinking "Christians."

"...Lest they drink and forget the law..."

We are forgetting the laws of God, the very laws Jesus said He came to fulfill. We now allow a lesbian priest to be ordained in the Episcopal church. Homosexuals not only flaunt their sins, they boldly seek recognition and power within the church.

One million new divorces this year. Ten million kids victims of broken homes. Nude dancing in the church sanctuary. Liberal ministers mock old-fashioned biblical sex standards. They now tell our kids, "Masturbation is a gift from God to relieve your tensions."

And the lawlessness to end all lawlessness, some of our church agencies have been serving as fronts for anti-God, Communistic anarchists seeking to destroy democracy - using the churches' missions money to engage in covert acts of violence.

Do Christians drink because of ignorance? Has no one challenged them by the Word of God? Do these new converts from the Jesus movement drink to prove they are liberated and not under law?

A young lady, a member of a Christian love commune, wrote to me recently and said, "Sure, we all drink. Jesus did; Paul did! The Bible is not down on it. Our leaders drink moderately. They are good Bible teachers and they travel, speaking at youth gatherings." Yes - and I happen to know some of them also smoke. They mix Jesus with their heavy rock music, and only God knows where the compromise ends.

They seem to think that adding the word "Jesus" to anything sanctifies it and makes it all right.

You say - "Don't judge, David! What about the beam in your own eye?"

I am not anyone's judge. I have not set myself up as some kind of spokesman for any group. But Paul said, "We judge those within - God judges those without."

It's time judgment was called for! It's time all drinking Christians were challenged! It's time for the Holy Spirit to expose the looseness, the slaphappy "anything goes" attitude. If it's wrong for my dear converted alcoholics and addicts and prostitutes to drink, even moderately, then it is deadly wrong for mature Christians to drink and set a poor example for them.

And I get very weary and spiritually indignant when drinking Christians come back at me with - "Aw, you're just a fundamentalist, law bound, moral do-gooder. We modern, liberated Christians are free in Christ. We are not under law. We will not be bound by your attacks on our freedom."

That offends everything in me that yearns for godliness and holiness. That offends every young convert whom God has convicted of past drinking habits. And the Bible says -

"But whosoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!" (Matthew 18:6-7).

I refuse to give in to the mounting pressures of worldliness - in the disguise of spiritual freedom! What has happened to us, saints of God - when we can sit idly by and not rebuke the fast eroding morals in the house of God?

I believe in free grace, but not licentiousness. I believe in the imputed righteousness of Christ, by faith. But I also believe the holiness of God demands that we "touch not that which is unclean."

I also believe that smoking ministers are not being honest with God. These "puffing prophets" refuse to practice what they preach. And drinking ministers are a reproach to the name and power of God.

It is not an effort to condemn true ministers of the gospel. But how can we as ministers and parents ask our kids to quit using drugs and alcohol, if we will not clean up our own lives - and set a Christ-like example?

At times, just for a fleeting moment, I think to myself, "Maybe I'm the one who is wrong. Maybe these new Christians who rock, roll, smoke, drink, and who go back to their old haunts to sing, entertain, and perform - maybe they have seen something in God I haven't yet seen. Maybe all these fast changes aren't compromise, but a sign of maturity and growth. Maybe I am too old-fashioned - too out of it to recognize some new thing God is doing."

But then I begin to compare the rollicking, boisterous sounds of their music with the old songs like "The Old Rugged Cross," and "Holy, Holy, Holy." Then I want to cry! I look at them going back into those smoke-filled clubs to entertain the drinking crowd on the pretense of taking Jesus with them, and then I compare them with all the millions of God's people over the centuries from the martyrs on down to the converted addicts and gangs of today, who forsook the world and all its associations to take on the reproach of Christ. I begin to weep for those compromised Christians. I know I am not wrong.

Please don't get mad at me! If you are one of the sipping saints - don't allow your hurt or anger to rob you of the truth. If you find yourself resenting this message of separation - it is probably because God has already convicted you - and He is now wanting you to enjoy complete freedom.

Pray also that God will lay it on the hearts of ministers all over the nation - to take a bold stand in their pulpits against these insidious trends.

Pray for our teenagers! The pressures on them to drink with the crowd are getting worse daily. They need to be encouraged to stand up and resist, lest they be drawn into this whirlpool of drunkenness.

Even if you don't "feel convicted" - abstain for the simple but powerful reason of setting an example for the youth!

"Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things" (Proverbs 23:29-33).

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Father, I ask that Your Word speak clearly to our hearts and that we choose to be doers of Your Word, not just hearers only that we not allow ourselves to be deceived, in Jesus' Name. (James 1:22)


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Used with permission granted by World Challenge, P. O. Box 260, Lindale, TX 75771, USA.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Prayer of Salvation




Do you know Jesus? Have you been thinking about Christ? He's certainly thinking about you. There's something greater than knowing Jesus as personal Savior and that is knowing Him as Lord.
You can have Jesus as your Lord, not just your Savior. When you know Him as Lord in your life He begins to minister graciously in every area of your life.

This is not a religion, because you've had enough religion, the whole world has. This is about a personal committment, a relationship with Jesus. It's a prayer from your heart that you confess with your mouth. When that happens you're praying by faith, and when you pray by faith, faith will bring Christ into your life. It's not a religion, it's a person, and His Name is Jesus.

Romans 10:8-10
8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."


If you are at the point in your life where you are ready to make a personal commitment to follow Christ, all you have to do is reach out to Him now in prayer. He is listening and waiting to come into your heart and help you live a better life. Will you invite Him in now? If you'd like to pray and receive Christ as your Savior, you can use this simple prayer as a guide:

"Lord Jesus, I ask You to come into my life and forgive me of all my sins. I confess my sins before You this day. I denounce Satan and all his works. I confess Jesus as the Lord of my life. Thank You for saving me. I believe with my heart and I confess with my mouth that You rose from the dead. I am saved. Write my name in the Lamb's book of life. Today is my God-day with the Lord Jesus! I pray this prayer to the Father in the name of Jesus. Amen."

Now ask God to lead you to a church fellowship where you can grow and be nurtured in your new life. He'll show you. Also tell someone of your decision for Christ. God Bless YOU!!!!