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Showing posts from September, 2010

WHEN IN TROUBLE

NOTE:  I dedicate this to several of my close brothers who are in deep trial like my wife and I are today.  We need this Word of encouragement.  We need this confirmation of our position in Christ.  We need to view trouble in the right way today, or we will miss the point, as we have so many times through the years!
WHEN IN TROUBLE A. Brother ©2010 Narrowgate Publishing

“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray.” James 5:13
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:16
Many of those who claim to be Christians today refuse to acknowledge trouble.Many refuse to acknowledge that trial and hardship come into our lives for a purpose.Many believe that it is important to cover up trouble, and to pretend that it doesn’t exist, and so we ignore our own trouble, smooth it over, and we do the same with the trials and troubles that come into our brother’s lives.
In particular, we have many today in the Body of Christ, those who sincerely want to…

WE WHO HAVE MUCH

WE WHO HAVE MUCH A. Brother ©2010 Narrowgate Publishing

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” --Luke 12:48
How much have we been given, in our affluent western cultures?
We have been given incredible riches and freedom.God has given us unlimited access for generations to the Scriptures, and unlimited freedom to spread the gospel.We’ve had massive resources to produce books, and music, and every form of communication—now adding all the electronic media—that can carry the Truth of Jesus Christ to every forgotten corner of not only our society, but the world.
In particular the United States was founded on the basis of freedoms of speech and religion.There were no curbs on our Christian endeavors.There has been plenty of money, and business power, and political clout.And extra time to pursue, after our unprecedented shorter work days due to this very affluence, sharing the Truth of God with other…

PROPHETS OR FARMERS

PROPHETS OR FARMERS A. Brother ©2010 Narrowgate Publishing
“On that day every prophet will be ashamed of his prophetic vision. He will not put on a prophet’s garment of hair in order to deceive.He will say, ‘I am not a prophet. I am a farmer; the land has been my livelihood since my youth.’ If someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ he will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’” Zech. 13:4-6
I am not a prophet.I am a farmer.The Word of God is the seed, and I have been given the task of sowing it.I am not responsible for the increase of it, only the sowing.I am not responsible for the reaping of it, only the sowing.The wounds on my body are the wounds of my Friend, Christ.This is a simple revelation, but one we must listen to.
Too many of us are zealous to do the Lord’s work.The Lord requires us to put off the natural man, and to “put on Christ”, who will do His work in us, and who will advance His work through us without our particular help.The importance of…

MEN OF GOD BEWARE

MEN OF GOD BEWARE
A. Brother ©2010 Narrowgate Publishing
TEXT:1 Kings 12:31-13:32
I ask you to read this entire section before you read what I’ve written here, men.This is a little-known occurrence, yet has great importance for us today.
I’m going to share a few insights God gave me this morning about this man of God and the prophet who lied to him and ensnared him in a sin that resulted in his death.I pray that the eyes of our understanding will be opened by our Father, and that we will take to heart the lessons here for us.
First, note that the man of God brought God’s message forcefully to the King.He was a man of conviction and courage, standing up to the most powerful leaders of his day.He had a message from God and he delivered it, on time, and in the place he was to deliver it.He also didn’t back down when the King became angry, but called on the Lord and the Lord answered right there, withering the King’s outstretched hand.This unnamed man of God is very impressive.And He was obedie…

THE UGLY GIFT

THE UGLY GIFT A. Brother (c)2010 Narrowgate Publishing Christ Jesus comes to us out of the depths of the dark forest that lies in our pathway.He is carrying something, and He sets it down in front of us.It is a present, though one like we’ve never seen before.In all our years of church, our months and weeks of believing in Jesus and participating in the busy life of a Christian, we’ve never encountered a moment like this. We look at it, and give Jesus, who is standing expectantly in front of us, love and hope in His eyes, a puzzled look. He says, “I want you to go with Me today,” and points into the blackness underneath the tall trees.“This is the gift I’m giving you, the gift of discipleship.This means you share in everything with Me from now on.My joys, My sorrows, My love, My sufferings.You’ll become like Me on this Narrow Road.But in order to experience this New Life, you must be willing to come now.” Our sensibilities recoil at the sight of this huge gift, with its ugly wrapping, its …

A SYSTEM THAT PERPETUATES SIN

With another sad revelation of alleged sexual sin by a well-known US Pastor this morning, the Bishop Eddie Long out of Atlanta, who has a huge ministry there, I urge you to read 2 Peter chapter 2.  Why are we surprised, when we have set up this ungodly church system that elevates people based on their talent to preach or sing instead of their proven, humble Christ-like character, including their love and wisdom?  

We have 'bought into' a worldly Christianity that emphasizes all the wrong things.  Christ's power is shown through the weak and lowly, those who rest on Him for all.  His power and glory are in us, His chosen vessels, fragile and emptied of self.  As we are taught throughout Scripture, it is God, not us.  It is Christ's interests that count, not some guy who's managed to enthrall thousands with his fiery preaching ability, or his closet full of tailored suits.
I don't know much about Eddie, and I don't judge his innocence or guilt this morning.  Bu…

JESUS NEVER PLEASED HIMSELF

JESUS NEVER PLEASED HIMSELF
NOTE:The Lord gave me 1 Corinthians 10:23,24 this morning, which says “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.Everything is permissible, but not everything is constructive.Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”Then I opened this from our brother Zac in India.See how the Spirit works in harmony among His people?
A. Brother
WORD FOR THE WEEK26 September 2010 ChristianFellowshipChurch, Bangalore, India http://www.cfcindia.com ------------------------------------------------------------
Jesus Never Pleased Himself
Zac Poonen
In Romans 15:3- it is written about Jesus that"He did not pleaseHimself". He always denied Himself. Thus He pleased the Father at all times.
Pleasing oneself can be done in many areas of one's life - for example, in the area of eating. Consider a situation where, even when you are not hungry, you decide to spend some money to buy some tasty snacks to eat. There is certainly nothing sinful or wrong…

THIS PECULIAR KNOWLEDGE

NOTE:The Lord has involved me in taking care of things this week that ought to have been taken care of years ago.He has told me to share other’s teachings, such as T. Austin-Sparks and Zac Poonen, while He works in me.I’m praying for all God’s people, that we might have this “peculiar knowledge” that only comes by obedience to the Lord in all things—in the midst of suffering or plenty.
THIS PECULIAR KNOWLEDGE By T. Austin-Sparks
"The city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light." Revelation 21:23
Light is not a mental thing: that is to say, it is not just a matter of having a store of mental knowledge. That is not light.
It is possible to have an enormous amount of doctrine and truth and never be luminaries, that is, never register impact upon darkness. Real light is experimental: that is to say, it is the fruit of experience, the experience of suffering.
How have you children of God come to know what you do know of the Lord…

THE FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF THE BODY OF CHRIST

NOTE:  I love the teachings of Zac Poonen, who is Senior Pastor of this active Body for Christ in Bangalore, India.
THE FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF THE BODY OF CHRIST
By Zac Poonen ChristianFellowshipChurch Bangalore, India
Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment just before He went to the cross. They were to love one another as He had loved them (Jn. 13:34). It is this last phrase that makes Jesus' command impossible to fulfill without God's grace.
What is the distinctive feature of the love of Christ? Surely, it is the cross on which He died for us. So when He tells me to love my brother as He loved me, it is a call to follow His example and to die to self in my relationship with my brother. Self-denial is to characterize my relationship with other members in Christ's Body. This and nothing less than this is true Christian love. When we are told that "we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (1 Jn. 3:16), it is not a reference to physical death, but to something far…

STARTING AT ZERO

NOTE:Another powerful word from the Word by T. Austin-Sparks. We need God to raise up brothers like this today, to make us accountable to truths like these at the beginning.We must teach one another these solid starting points.


STARTING AT ZERO by T. AUSTIN-SPARKS
What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift? 1 Corinthians 4:7
There are still a lot of people in this world who think that there is something in man that can contribute to the glory of God and that Christianity is only the bringing up out of man of something that is for the glory of God.
That is a long, long-standing fallacy and lie. It is not true. Call it what you like; it goes by various names, such as 'the inner light' or 'the vital spark'.
The Word of God all the way through is coming down tremendously on this thing. I start at zero, and zero for me means that I can contribute nothing. Everything has to come from God. The very fact …

OUR SPIRITUAL IMMATURITY, PART TWO

OUR SPIRITUAL IMMATURITY A. Brother ©2010 Narrowgate Publishing

“We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored!” 1 Cor. 4:10
As I read through Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian believers, my thoughts center on the Christian churches in America in which I’ve spent my entire life.I think of the situation we are in now, with report after report about the churches detailing the hidden sexual sins of leaders and laity alike, the divisions, the controversies, the immorality, the high divorce rate, the legal problems, the idolatry of money and greed.
Paul’s letter deals with all these things.The Corinthian church problems and sins parallel what we’re going through today.So this letter also gives us great light on why we are experiencing this great surge of sin and compromise with the world.
Paul identifies the root problem.These churches were…
“…worldly—mere infants in Christ…you are still worldly.” 1 Cor. 3:1-3
The root p…