Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Master or Mastered

You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am . . . . I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master . . .—John 13:1316
To have a master and teacher is not the same thing as being mastered and taught. Having a master and teacher means that there is someone who knows me better than I know myself, who is closer than a friend, and who understands the remotest depths of my heart and is able to satisfy them fully. It means having someone who has made me secure in the knowledge that he has met and solved all the doubts, uncertainties, and problems in my mind. To have a master and teacher is this and nothing less— “. . . for One is your Teacher, the Christ . . .” (Matthew 23:8).
Our Lord never takes measures to make me do what He wants. Sometimes I wish God would master and control me to make me do what He wants, but He will not. And at other times I wish He would leave me alone, and He does not.
“You call Me Teacher and Lord . . .”— but is He? Teacher, Master, and Lord have little place in our vocabulary. We prefer the wordsSavior, Sanctifier, and Healer. The only word that truly describes the experience of being mastered is love, and we know little about love as God reveals it in His Word. The way we use the word obey is proof of this. In the Bible, obedience is based on a relationship between equals; for example, that of a son with his father. Our Lord was not simply God’s servant— He was His Son. “. . . though He was a Son,yet He learned obedience. . .” (Hebrews 5:8). If we are consciously aware that we are being mastered, that idea itself is proof that we have no master. If that is our attitude toward Jesus, we are far away from having the relationship He wants with us. He wants us in a relationship where He is so easily our Master and Teacher that we have no conscious awareness of it—a relationship where all we know is that we are His to obey.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Koran book burning is not Christian

I came across an interesting article, of all places, from the Christian Institute in the UK. The Christian Institute exists for “the furtherance and promotion of the Christian religion in the United Kingdom” and “the advancement of education”.
The Christian Institute is a nondenominational Christian charity committed to upholding the truths of the Bible. They are supported by individuals and churches throughout the UK.
They believe that the Bible is the supreme authority for all of life and they hold to the inerrancy of Scripture. They are also committed to upholding the sanctity of life from conception. 
Here is the article by Colin Hart, Director of the Christian Institute:
In today’s news there is confusion over whether Pastor Terry Jones of Florida in the US will go ahead with his planned burning of Korans on the anniversary of 9/11.
Whether he does or he doesn’t, his Koran-burning idea is wrong, provocative and dangerous.
Like many, I am concerned about the growing influence of militant Islam. I am concerned that a militant Islamic belief in political domination is a threat to the liberty of us all. But the answer isn’t the burning of books.
If copies of the Koran are burned by those who claim to be ‘Christian’, will this encourage Muslims to read and consider the Bible? Hardly.
It will almost certainly make it more dangerous for Christians living in Muslim-majority countries. And our brave servicemen serving in Iraq and Afghanistan will also be put at greater mortal risk.
The Bible tells Christians: live at peace with all men, as far as it depends upon you. In a democracy we can debate, we can protest, and we can seek to persuade. But we must not deliberately provoke anger or violence.
The Koran-burning idea is Mr Jones’ and he must take the blame for that. But the media has handed him a global megaphone, and they must take the blame for that. Given the media storm, it is understandable that President Obama and General Petraeus spoke out.
I have no doubt that there are elements within the secular media who are secretly delighted that a “Christian Pastor” has made such a monumental error of judgment.
Mr Jones is an obscure and eccentric Pastor from a small church in one corner of the US. Yet the media has given him a worldwide platform and hardly missed an opportunity to call him an “evangelical” Christian almost every time.
Well, let me be very clear. Mr Jones’ Koran-burning plan is not consistent with the evangelical Christian faith that I –- and millions around the world –- follow.

We are in "bad" times and don't really know it!

We’re told, Don’t protest the Ground Zero mosque. Don’t burn a Koran. It’ll imperil the troops. It’ll inflame tensions. The “Muslim world” will “explode” if it does not get its way, warns sharia-peddling imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. 
Do you know when the “Muslim world” isn't ready to “explode”?
Our President says we are not at "war" with the Muslims. But are we?
As Christians, we are at war with anything that is against the God of Abraham, are we not?
But the Bible tells us that the battle is the Lord's. If we stay true to His word and trust Him, we have nothing to fear, not even fear itself.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Am I A Fountain Of Blessing?

John 4:13-14 (KJV) 
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 

Jesus makes it clear that He is not talking about water in Jacob's well. Rather, He is making a contrast, you see. Today the crowds are going to the water holes of this world, seeking satisfaction. They also are constantly looking for the physical, not the spiritual satisfaction. But now Jesus has created a desire in this woman's heart for the spiritual water.
The picture our Lord describes here is not that of a simple stream of water, but an overflowing fountain. Continue to “be filled” ( Ephesians 5:18 ) and the sweetness of our vital relationship to Jesus will flow as generously out of us as it has been given to us. If you find that His life is not springing up as it should, you are to blame— something is obstructing the flow. Was Jesus saying to stay focused on the Source so that you may be blessed personally? No, we are to focus on the Source so that out of us “will flow rivers of living water”— irrepressible life ( John 7:38 ).
We are to be fountains through which Jesus can flow as “rivers of living water” in blessing to everyone. Yet some of us are like the Dead Sea, always receiving but never giving, because our relationship is not right with the Lord Jesus. As surely as we receive blessings from Him, He will pour out blessings through us. But whenever the blessings are not being poured out in the same measure they are received, there is a defect in our relationship with Him. Is there anything between you and Jesus Christ? Is there anything hindering your faith in Him? If not, then Jesus says that out of you “will flow rivers of living water.” It is not a blessing that we pass on, or an experience that we share with others, but a river that continually flows through us. If we stay at the Source, closely guarding our faith in Jesus Christ and our relationship to Him, than, there will be a steady flow into the lives of others with no dryness or deadness whatsoever.
Is it excessive to say that rivers will flow out of one individual believer? Do you look at yourself and say, “But I don’t see the rivers”? Through the history of God’s work you will usually find that He has started with the obscure, the unknown, the ignored, but those who have been steadfastly true to Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

We Need Revival!

Last week, a historical meeting took place at the Lincoln Memorial rally in which the talk show host Glenn Beck reached back into history and touched on a familiar theme, Revival.
What would a genuine revival look like and how did those that have transformed America several times in the past get started? Earlier revivals were not created from the mobilization of large crowds. They occurred when people did something infrequently observed in modern times: humbled themselves, and most of all, PRAYED!
All of the “great awakenings” in American history, along with revivals in other countries—had one thing in common. They all began with what the late revival historian J. Edwin Orr called “a concert of prayer.”
The 1857 revival  began when two men working on Wall Street decided to meet once a week on their lunch hour to pray for revival. They soon decided to meet daily. There was no advertisement of the meetings. Other men soon joined them. The group grew so large they started meeting at night in churches and invited their wives to participate.
Revival came like a brush fire, exploding not only in New York City, but also up the Mohawk River and down the Hudson, into Appalachia. According to, from February to June 1858, “around 50,000 people a week were added to the church—in a nation whose population was only 30,000,000. Across the Atlantic another million were won to Christ by 1865. . . . Ulster saw 100,000 converted, Scotland 30,000, Wales 100,000 and England 500,000.”
Besides prayer, another characteristic of the 1857 revival and all other revivals was genuine repentance and a confession of personal guilt before a holy God. Anyone familiar with the Old and New Testaments knows that humbling one’s self before God gets His attention faster than any earthly pursuit or agenda.
Modern evangelicals, so preoccupied with who is in the White House or which party controls Congress, might benefit from studying the results of the revivals. As Orr tells it, not only did the 1857 revival have a profound social impact on America, it also dramatically affected every society it reached. Following the revival of 1905, crime virtually disappeared in London. The police had little to do, so they formed quartets and sang at the revival meetings.
Dwight L. Moody wanted to teach Sunday school at a local church, but was told by its superintendent that the church already had 16 teachers too many. The superintendent instructed Moody to “get some boys off the street” and “take them to the country. . . . They will be your class.” That was the beginning of a ministry and missionary work that lasted 40 years.
Revivals don’t ratify the earthly aspirations of humanity, including selfish political agendas. They are about glorifying God. Too many modern Christians have it backward. In a real revival the Lincoln Memorial event would have been a result, not an attempt to cause a revival. People would have assembled who had already repented in private. They would not have bemoaned a decline in American “morality,” but instead have fallen on their knees (or faces) and cried out in genuine repentance and humility.
On his blog, Dr. Russell Moore, dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., writes: “Too often, and for too long, American ‘Christianity’ has been a political agenda in search of a gospel useful enough to accommodate it. There is a liberation theology of the Left, and there is also a liberation theology of the Right, and both are at the heart mammon worship. . . .”
What passes for American Christianity today is increasingly counterfeit. It appears more focused on a transient earthly kingdom, rather than a heavenly eternal kingdom. That is idolatry and violates the First Commandment: “Thou shall have no other gods before me.”
When Christians obey that Commandment, and humble themselves, only then might revival follow.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Iran May Take Over Persian Gulf

Have we passes the point of no return?
Dr. Mordechai Kedar, an expert on Arab politics and Islamic Fundamentalism at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies warns that Iran may be planning a full takeover of Persian Gulf states. He is also concerned that Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon may try to build a nuclear reactor similar to Iran's Bushehr reactor, and obtain atomic weapons that could be used against Israel.

In a blog post which appeared on News1, Dr. Kedar says that there are several reasons that pressure is building between Iran and the Arab states in the Persian Gulf:

Firstly, Arab states in the Gulf believe that Iran's saber-rattling and aggressive statements towards Israel are actually a decoy, aimed at shifting the focus from its real purpose, a full takeover of the oil and gas-rich Persian Gulf. Kedar says that the Arab states remember Iran's takeover of three Persian Gulf islands, and also its claims that Bahrain belongs historically to Iran. 

Secondly, Arab states assess that Israel and Iran will not attack each other, since each side is fearful of the outcome of such attack and its necessary counter-attack. Iran, says Kedar, knows that Israel has 200 - 300 nuclear warheads, which could wipe out all of its major cities. On the other hand, Israel, says Kedar, is concerned about the Iranian arsenal of long-range missiles in Hizbullah's possession, which are far more accurate that those the Hizbullah used in the 2006 attack against its southern neighbor.

Thirdly, in recent years, tens of thousands of Iranian citizens have immigrated to other Arab states in the Gulf. Kedar says that Arab leaders fear that many of these ex-Iranians are actually sleeper cells, who, when activated, could supply Iran with the necessary intelligence information to successfully stage an attack on Arab Gulf states. Kedar brings evidence that the Iranian sleeper cell concept has credence, citing the call of an Arab minority organization in Iran which called on Arabs in Gulf states to cooperate with their local authorities in order to expose Iranian sleeper cells in their countries. These words, says Kedar, came after several Iranian cells were in fact exposed in Kuwait, cells which planned to attack Kuwait's top military echelons in the event of a U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran. This led to the replacement of Iran's ambassador in Kuwait, says Kedar, who Kuwaiti authorities believed was the mastermind behind the sleeper cells. Kedar warns that even Israel should be wary of Iranian sleeper cells among its own foreign worker population.

Kedar adds that the purpose behind Iran's revealing of its new unmanned plane last week, was to warn Arab Gulf states not to dare help Israel or the U.S. in an attack on Iran, or to let Israeli or U.S. jets fly over their air space. Such an unmanned plane, says Kedar, could potentially enable Iran to hit any major target in the Gulf states, and Iran's message to those states is clear: "do not cooperate with an attack on us."

Finally, Kedar warned that the next dangerous threat against Israel could be a Hizbullah attempt to imitate Iran's nuclear ambitions, by building a nuclear reactor in Lebanon, similar to Iran's Bushehr reactor. Kedar says that Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah must be overjoyed that the Bushehr reactor went operational without being attacked by Israel or the U.S. and that this must encourage him to pursue the building of a similar reactor in Lebanon, purportedly under the guise of the need to generate electricity, but for the actual goal of building nuclear warheads for use against Israel.

Dr. Kedar finishes by saying that it is a grave error to underestimate one's enemies.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Do You Think?

For some time now, the Bushehr nuclear reactor has occupied my thoughts. This was a big step towards Iran becoming a nuclear power. Why did we let them do it? Why did we not tell Israel to bomb it? Why did the Israeli Foreign Ministry published a statement proclaiming the move "unacceptable," and not do anything about it?

In an article in the Jewish World Review Caroline B. Glick ask the question, “So why did we accept the unacceptable?”

Israel is still hoping that the US will discover — before it is too late — that it must act to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power in order to secure its own interests.

Caroline Glick, along with others, are saying that Israeli officials explain that the reactor isn't the main problem. The main danger stems from the uranium enrichment sites. And anyway, they explain, given the civilian character of the Bushehr reactor; the fact that it is under a full International Atomic Energy Agency inspections regime; and the fact that the Russians are supposed to take all the spent fuel rods to Russia and so prevent Iran from using them to produce weapons-grade plutonium. 

Another question seems to be raised from all of this, “just where do the Americans" stand on Iran as it declares itself a nuclear power and tests new advanced weapons systems on a daily basis.

from all these reports, the reason seems to be that Israel lacked the international legitimacy to strike Bushehr to prevent it from being fueled last weekend.

From an article by former Clinton Administration National Security Council member Bruce Riedel, (a Senior Fellow in foreign policy at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy of the Brookings Institution, a former CIA Analyst, a counter-terrorism expert, and an author) titled, "If Israel Attacks," Riedel says that an Israeli military strike against Iran will be a disaster for the US. In his view, US is better served by allowing Iran to become a nuclear power than by supporting an Israeli attack against Iran.

Oh, by the way he is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, one of the seven groups that work hard to make our nation a Socialistic type nation.

He writes, "The United States needs to send a clear red light to Israel. There's no option but to actively discourage an Israeli attack."

But, could it just be that God’s hand is in this, according to Jeremiah 49:38. Remember, Israel is God’s time-piece. It doesn’t matter what man does, it is what God says.