Saturday, March 26, 2011

Decreasing to Increase For His Purpose

He must increase, but I must decrease —John 3:30

If you become a necessity to someone else’s life, you are out of God’s will. As a servant, your primary responsibility is to be a “friend of the bridegroom” (John 3:29). When you see a person who is close to grasping the claims of Jesus Christ, you know that your influence has been used in the right direction. And when you begin to see that person in the middle of a difficult and painful struggle, don’t try to prevent it, but pray that his difficulty will grow even ten times stronger, until no power on earth or in hell could hold him away from Jesus Christ. Over and over again, we try to be amateur providences in someone’s life. We are indeed amateurs, coming in and actually preventing God’s will and saying, “This person should not have to experience this difficulty.” Instead of being friends of the Bridegroom, our sympathy gets in the way. One day that person will say to us, “You are a thief; you stole my desire to follow Jesus, and because of you I lost sight of Him.”

Beware of rejoicing with someone over the wrong thing, but always look to rejoice over the right thing. “. . . the friend of the bridegroom . . . rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:29-30). This was spoken with joy, not with sadness-at last they were to see the Bridegroom! And John said this was his joy. It represents a stepping aside, an absolute removal of the servant, never to be thought of again.

Listen intently with your entire being until you hear the Bridegroom’s voice in the life of another person. And never give any thought to what devastation, difficulties, or sickness it will bring. Just rejoice with godly excitement that His voice has been heard. You may often have to watch Jesus Christ wreck a life before He saves it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A one world currency coming to your neighborhood.

China, Russia, India, Brazil and many other countries have been calling for an international one world currency for quite some time. Throughout the world, it has been the United States dollar that served as the base currency in world trade. In fact, it has been the United States that has stood in the breech preventing a world government from forming since after World War II. But since the past Bush Administration through the current Administration, sovereignty in the United States is on the decline from a policy point of view, and the one world order is coming into focus at a faster rate than ever before in history. The United States is not only part of this juggernaut, this Administration is leading it.
With the events happening in Libya, I believe we are seeing the coming together more definite of a one world government system.
Revelation prophesies the rise of a one world government under the Antichrist. Revelation 13:16, 17 says,
"And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or on their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell save that he had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
It starts with a one world currency. Something to think about.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Christian Perspective on Islam

I posted this article back in October 2010, and reposting to look and see if anything is any different. You decide.

For some time, I have been thinking about President Obama's speech to the Turkish parliament after he had taken office as President. He declared: “The United States is not, and never will be, at war with Islam.” He went on to say that “our partnership with the Muslim world is critical not just in rolling back the violent ideologies that people of all faiths reject, but also to strengthen opportunity for all its people.”

The President also spoke of his “deep appreciation for the Islamic faith.” Here is the statement in context: "I also want to be clear that America’s relationship with the Muslim community, the Muslim world, cannot, and will not, just be based upon opposition to terrorism. We seek broader engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect. We will listen carefully, we will bridge misunderstandings, and we will seek common ground. We will be respectful, even when we do not agree. We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country. The United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans. Many other Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim-majority country — I know, because I am one of them."
In light of all of this, what is the true nature of the threat civilization now faces from radical Islam? Foreign policy analyst Tony Corn bravely addresses that question in “World War IV As Fourth-Generation Warfare,” published in an issue of Policy Review. Corn explains the struggle in terms of a conflict within Islam itself: The challenge confronting the West today is at once less than a full-fledged clash of civilizations and more than some unspecified war on terrorism: It is first and foremost an insurgency within Islam, which began in earnest in 1979, and for which the West remained, at least until 2001, a secondary theater of operations.From 1979 on, the revolution in Iran, the invasion of Afghanistan, the re-Islamization from above in Pakistan, the surge of Saudi activism in the Broader Middle East and the concurrent marginalization of Egypt within the Arab world (following the Camp David accords) combined to give birth to a qualitative and quantitative change of paradigm whereby pan-Arabism — the main movement in the Middle East since 1945 — was supplanted by pan-Islamism.

Thus: The West is at war with a new totalitarianism for which terrorism is one technique or tactic among many. .While specific forms of government vary in the Islamic world, this general understanding holds true. Unlike New Testament Christianity, Islam is essentially a territorial religion including all lands under submission to the rule of the Qur’an. Furthermore, if the United States is to be understood as a Christian nation in the same sense that most nations in the Islamic world consider themselves to be Muslim nations, then America is at war with Islam.

We do face a great civilizational challenge in Islam. Islam is, in effect, the single most vital competitor to Western ideals of civilization on the world scene. The logic of Islam is to bring every square inch of this planet under submission to the rule of the Qur’an. Classical Islam divides the world into the “World of Islam” and the “World of War.” In this latter world the struggle to bring the society under submission to the Qur’an is still ongoing.

This ambition drives the Muslim world — and each faithful Muslim — to hope, pray, and work for the submission of the whole world to the Qur’an. Clearly, most Muslims are not willing to employ terrorism in order to achieve this goal. Nevertheless, it remains the goal.

Islam and the West offer two very different and fundamentally irreconcilable visions of society. While we are certainly not a nation at war with Islam, we are a nation that faces a huge challenge from the Islamic world — a challenge that includes terrorism, but also a much larger civilizational ambition that remains central. Anyone standing in Istanbul, the historic seat of Ottoman power, should certainly recognize that fact.

As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and a minister of the Gospel, my primary concern about Islam is not civilizational or geopolitical, but theological. I believe that Jesus Christ is indeed, “the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” and that no one comes to the Father but by Him [John 14:6]. Salvation is found only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Gospel of Christ is the only message that saves.

I can agree with President Obama that Islam has produced cultural wonders, but I have to see it more fundamentally as a belief system that is taking millions upon millions of persons spiritually captive — leaving them under the curse of sin and without hope of salvation.

For Christians, regardless of nationality, this is the great challenge that should be our urgent concern. Our concern is not mainly political, but theological and spiritual. And, all things considered, Islam almost surely represents the greatest challenge to Christian evangelism of our times.

Our Greatest Evils As A Nation

There is no doubt, no matter how you look at things, we are living in a time like none other. To think other wise is burying your head in the sand and hoping you are in a dream of some kind.

As I look around I wonder what is the greatest evil we have to confront as a nation?

Some evils are with us for so long they become part of our decaying and—to people who see it for the first time—ghastly cultural furniture. The more we hear about same-sex marriage and the more we see same-sex couples kissing and marrying on the news, seem to find peace with a political settlement on the matter. 

We are now at 38 years of nationally legalized abortions. Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, our laws have sanctioned the killing of over 50 million people. The test of any society is surely how it treats its weakest members. Babies in the womb—the faceless, the nameless, and the most completely dependent on the care of others—are surely the touchstones of our selfishness or our decency.

Could it be that there are two great threats to America: abortion and the breakdown of marriage.

There is no denying the family is the foundation of society. By it, we form the next generation into citizens or criminals, social assets or social liabilities. There is no substitute for this “little platoon.” But we are working it away, entertaining it away, defining it away. The American family is suffering a thousand cuts from every direction—from tax policy to divorce law.
We have an urgency  to identify the bloody stain of abortion and the faltering of our families as serious threats that are in every way comparable to the curse of slavery in the 1860s and the threat of Japanese invasion in the 1940s. (Thankfully, abortions have been declining since their peak in 1990, but we still lose 1.2 million children a year.)
We must strengthen and protect marriage and family with as much tenaciously as we now protect waterways and wildlife. 
Can we pull ourselves out of this mess? Perhaps we will. But we will not do it as long as we continue to turn our back towards God. A nation is fundamentally a moral community. If we do not take proper care of our children, both in and out of the womb, there may not be a country to live in that we recognize as America.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The birth pangs continue!

Today, Japan suffered the worst earthquake in many years. What seismologists call a great earthquake, one of 8.8 magnitude on the Richter Scale, has hit the coastline of Japan causing a catastrophic tsunami in Japan and affecting more than 20 Pacific Rim nations bringing about much death and destruction.

The initial earthquake, felt as far away from the epicenter of the quake as Beijing, China, brought with it a tsunami with waves over 20 feet high and traveling at around 500 miles per hour which is a natural disaster and in the early stages hitting the coast of Japan with no advanced warning. In the wake there has been a 6.2, 6.3, 6,6, and a 6.7 aftershocks.

I believe we are coming close to the times that are told about right at the time of the rapture of the church. We may never know the amount of death and destruction that has happened as a result of the massive earthquake and the tsunami that followed.

This most recent earthquake in Japan is the greatest earthquake in that nations history and the seventh most powerful earthquake ever recorded in history.

The word "earthquake" is used 19 times in the Bible, 13 times in the prophetic passages of the Word of God. In the Olivet Discourse, the most profound prophetic message ever given, a message preached by Jesus Christ on the Mount of Olives three days before He was crucified, when the Lord said that earthquakes in many different places would be a sign of His Second Coming (Matthew 24:7). In the prophetic book of Revelation, the word "earthquake" is used seven times between Revelation 6 - 16. The great earthquake in Revelation 6:12 is the sixth seal judgment happening in the first half of the seven year Tribulation period. Near the midway point of the Tribulation, there will be a number of earthquakes that cause great damage and death and they are foretold in Revelation 8:5 and 11:13,19. The greatest earthquake to ever hit the earth will happen at the end of the Tribulation period when Babylon, modern day Iraq, will be destroyed (Revelation 16:18).

I believe that what we are seeing is Bible Prophecy being fulfilled.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Interesting thought about prayer

This article by Michael Reynolds entitled I don’t pray caught my attention.
I don’t pray because I don’t have enough faith, I allow myself to be distracted by things that ultimately don’t matter and because I’ve put myself at the center of the world.
Sure. I do pray probably more often than the average person. And yes, I do plenty of the “bless this food we are about to eat,” “please make this a good day,” “please solve my cash flow problems,” “please help my neighbor get a job,” “please cure my friend’s cancer,” “please help my friend’s marriage,” and “please keep my kids safe” variety of petitions.
Those flow freely. This is good. But I know that God wants so much more from me…a real intimacy and an authentic relationship with Him. He wants me passionately seeking out time with Him.
This seems to be the main problem with this generation we live in. We have books lining shelves that instruct us how to prayer. We have prayer journals that we don't keep up. We read lists of prayer request every day. But are we really "praying" for these needs. We go to "prayer meetings" and we pray for everything that maybe we shouldn't be praying for.
Knowing God is the most important element in learning to fellowship with Him through prayer. But do we really "know" Him, or do we "know of" Him. There is a vast difference.
1 John 1:3-4 (KJV) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 
Exodus 33:13 (KJV) Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.  

Moses was asking for the same thing that Paul did in Philippians 3:10, "That I may know him...." It is the same thing that Philip meant when in John 14:8 he said, "...shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us." 
I believe every child of God has a desire to know God. 
Moses knew that he needed the presence of God with him. He knew that he could not make it on his own.

And neither can we make it on our own. That is where the moments that we spend in prayer are more important than anything else; not really asking for anything, but getting to know God. As we "know" God, than we understand what we need to ask "in His Name."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

We Are Loosing Our Reverence For God

Being in the presence of the "Holy."

Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus,
by the new and living way that He has inaugurated for us, through the curtain (that is, His flesh). . . —Hebrews 10:19–20

As we look for the soon return of Christ and the rapture of the Church, we cannot forget that we need to live "holy" lives and be a witness for Christ.

But, in the time we are living, our generation seems to lacks a sense of wonder and reverence toward God. Everywhere we look, we want to bring God down to our level, or in other words, down to the commonplace.

He is God, and though we have direct access to Him as His children, we ought never to forget that this access was purchased with the precious blood of His only Son. No one who truly understands this ever enters God's presence without a sense of 'holy awe.' No one who comprehends the incredible price paid at Calvary ever takes his relationship with God for granted.

There is no way that we will ever understand God and the way He relates to us unless we first comprehend a true sense of His holiness and His demand for holiness among His people. If we are in God's presence, we are on holy ground! We must never act as if it were God's purpose to make us successful. It would be preposterous for us to become impatient when God does not answer our prayers when and how we think He should! He is God, we are not!

When we meditate on the price Jesus paid to give us access to the Father, we will come to treasure our prayer times with Him. Worship will become a privilege that we seize with gratitude. Scripture will be dear to you as you strive to be holy in all that you do.

2 Corinthians 7:1 (KJV)
1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 

1 Peter 1:13-16 (KJV)
13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 

If you have lost your wonder of the incredible gift of salvation that has been given to you, there is only one thing you can do.  You need to take a trip back to the cross and witness your Savior suffering for you.
How priceless God's gift of salvation is!