Wednesday, June 25, 2014


What kind of life is the Christian called to?

Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Matthew 5:48

We are called to PERFECTION!

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Romans 8:29


12 His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church),
13 [That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality WHICH IS NOTHING LESS THAN THE STANDARD HEIGHT OF CHRIST’S OWN PERFECTION), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him.
Ephesians 4:13 Amplified Bible

We are to continue to grow as Christians!When can we stop growing?


1. Lighten up
- In the interests of wanting to emphasize God's great love and forgiveness toward us, we often  
  neglect the importance of these verses or completely disregard them!
- We tell people that the New Covenant is about not taking the Christian life too seriously. Jesus paid
   it all so concepts like sin, obedience and holiness belong to the Old Testament.

2. Legalism
- The Pharisees required many rituals and rules which were beyond God's laws.
- In some cases, their rules and traditions actually negated God's laws!
- Some churches demand instant holiness and perfection as a proof of salvation.

It is important to realize that, although God does not require instant perfection and holiness, He does demand that His children grow in them!

14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:14-16

It is not a sin to be imperfect but it is a sin to be stay there!

We understand that we must apply great effort, diligence, perseverance and discipline in so many areas of life in order to grow and be successful. We apply these to education, exercise, careers and relationships.

It is a great mystery why we think these apply to every area of life except Christianity!

Very often, we teach that our walk with Christ should always be a "fun" and "happy" experience but the New Testament has much to say about the pain of discipline, persecution and suffering.

If you are growing, it will require discipline! Often that discipline will be painful!

5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives."
Hebrews 12:5-6

God disciplines every true born-again Christian to cause them to grow!

The writer of Hebrews tells us plainly that if God is not disciplining us, we are not really children of God:

8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.
Hebrews 12:8

He also tells us that the end result of discipline is growth:

11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:11

My son Chris quoted one of his pastors:

The wisdom you have today will not be enough to get you through the trials that come tomorrow!

What steps will you take today and in the days, weeks, months and years to come to grow in Christ?

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014


If we are to truly understand the difference between the Old and New Covenants, we must clearly see an often neglected biblical truth - that GOD IS IN US!

26 The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.
27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory.
Colossians 1:26-17

3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that THROUGH THESE YOU MAY BE PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2 Peter 1:3-4

For IT IS GOD WHO WORKS IN YOU both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Philippians 2:13

No - God is not in everyone but He is in all true born-again believers!

We shrink away from this truth because it can so easily be abused. False religions believe in a "divine spirit." Some believe we all have some kind of "divine spirit" within us. There are "spirit guides," "spirit animals" and ghosts of dead relatives which speak to people. Some may be pure imagination, delusions, hallucinations or any combination of those. Others are very real but not of God!

The problem is not that a spirit is guiding us but that the spirit is often the wrong spirit. In reality, it is a manifestation of Satan!

This should not detour us from seeking the true spirit guide, the Holy Spirit which is from God!

13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come
14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 
John 16:13-14

Notice some things Jesus said about the Holy Spirit:

1. He is the Spirit of truth!
  • His very nature is truth!
  • Other spirit guides lie to us or tell us half-truths. They may be able to tell us some true facts but their  end-game is to lead into lies.
2. He will guide into all truth!
  • He will not always tell us what we want to hear but in the end he will lead us into truths which will bless us, save our lives and lead us toward heaven!
  • The devil has a "credit card" mentality. his goal is to lead us toward pleasure and blessings now but will later result in eternal debt!
3. He does not speak on His own authority but only speaks what He hears!
  • The true Holy Spirit is in perfect unity with the Father, the Creator of the universe and with the Son, Jesus, the Savior of all who believe!
  • He will never lead us in conflict with the Word of God, the Bible!
4. He will glorify Jesus!
  • He will always glorify Jesus as God and as equal with God!
  • He will not acknowledge Jesus as merely a great teacher or prophet but as the One True Son of God!
We miss out on so much if we relegate the work of the Holy Spirit to the past!

Dynamite can be very useful to remove large stumps, to harvest rock in quarries or to demolish buildings. It can also be extremely dangerous and must be used very carefully by trained personnel.

In a similar way, the Holy Spirit can bring great power to our Christian lives. However we refrain from interacting with Him because of the dangers of misuse. Many have led others astray by claiming that God spoke to them. Many abuses of prophecy have guided believers in the wrong direction.

Dynamite was used in many advances that we enjoy today. If the dangers would have moved the innovators who built roads, railroads, etc to stop using dynamite, these advances would have never taken place.

The point here is not to defend the use of dynamite but to encourage interaction with the Holy Spirit of God!

Just because there have been abuses and misunderstanding does not mean that there is no hope for us to safely be led by the Spirit!

We must learn to hear accurately and carefully, comparing what we "hear" with the written Word of God! We should also take into account what others say about God but not necessarily be locked in to what others believe. In the multitude of counselors, there is safety! (Proverbs )

If we take our time and learn to hear the still, small voice and witness of the Holy Spirit, we will enter in to a whole new level of intimacy with God.

We should never allow those who carelessly seek the Holy Spirit to their own hurt to deter us from seeking Him in a humble and careful way!

He is the True Divine Spirit who wants to live within us and communicate His will and ways to us on a regular basis!

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