On Fire for All Things Christ

Archive for October, 2010

Purpose in Salvation

1 John 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

Propitiation: wrath of God poured on Christ instead of me

Atonement:
satisfaction for our wrong
reconciliation of (between) God and humankind through Jesus Christ

In the doctrine of Atonement, we see the doctrine of God, man and Jesus coming together. We see the need that comes forth and the provision.

I heard this statement above from a sermon. It was the second sermon in two days that I had heard in reference to John 3:16
(one from First Baptist, the other from New River Fellowship). It was the second sermon in one day that I had heard in regards to purpose (one from Tony Evans, the other from the same sermon above from New River Fellowship). (In case you may now be wondering, I heard 4 sermons in 2 days.)

I just wanted to mention that, since it’s been on my heart as to figure out what my purpose is. I thought I knew what it was back in May, but it all turned upside down when things went disarray. As a believer with the revelation of Christ, I want to proclaim Jesus as savior. So, Lord, forgive me for loosing sight of You. Pick me, and I ask that You may give me the strength to tell the nations about You.

As I thought about this earlier today, a song came to mind. So, here are the lyrics to video for you…

God above all the world in motion
God above all my hopes and fears
I don’t care what the world throws at me now
It’s gonna be alright 

Hear the sound of the generations
Making loud our freedom song
All in all that the world would know Your name
It’s gonna be alright

‘Cause I know my God saved the day
And I know His word never fails
And I know my God made a way for me
Salvation is here

God above all the world in motion
God above all my hopes and fears
I don’t care what the world throws at me now
It’s gonna be alright

‘Cause I know my God saved the day
And I know His word never fails
And I know my God made a way for me
Salvation is here

‘Cause I know my God saved the day
And I know His word never fails
And I know my God made a way for me
Salvation is here

Salvation is here
Salvation is here and He lives in me
Salvation is here
Salvation that died just to set me free
Salvation is here
Salvation is here and He lives in me
Salvation is here

Cause You are alive and You live in me
Salvation is here
salvation is here and it lives in me
Salvation is here
Savation is here that died just to set me free
Salvation is here
Salvation is here and it lives in me

Cause You are alive and You live in me
Salvation is here
salvation is here and it lives in me
Salvation is here
Savation is here that died just to set me free
Salvation is here
Salvation is here and it lives in me

‘Cause I know my God saved the day
And I know His word never fails
And I know my God made a way for me
Salvation is here

‘Cause I know my God saved the day
And I know His word never fails
And I know my God made a way for me
Salvation is here

Prayer Powers

So, I moved recently, and now my commute to work is a bit longer. Before, I use to listen to Chuck Swindoll’s Insight for Living while I was in the shower (so, to be honest, I wasn’t really listening) and while I got dressed for work, I would listen to Tony Evans, who is one of my favorite pastors to listen to.

Well, with my longer commute, I now listen to Chuck and Tony as I commute into work. I’ve gradually come to like Chuck’s teachings a bit more. I wasn’t so into them before. But, I suppose God has humbled me in that area a bit. Anyway, last week, Chuck was finishing up his full study over the book of Romans. He was covering how the verses of Romans 16 mention all the people that Paul knew. A sort of prayer list you could say, of all those he knew and thought about.

Well, last Friday, I heard Tony Evans, and he spoke some about prayer. You know what Lord, I really needed to hear that. I was so compelled into prayer. As my Principles of Biblical Teaching teacher taught us. I thought about the “Took” part of Tony’s sermon. Wow, it hit me. How have I let the lies of Satan stop me from prayer? It’s like I’m ashamed of it and I don’t believe in its power.

Just the other day I had complained to my friend about how I feel like my prayers are unheard. Like they are bouncing back at me, not getting through past the clouds that I carry above my  head. And, last week, in our Bible study at the office, we discussed persistence.

Lord, I feel like I’m in battle, but in battle with You and not the enemy. How awful is that? How do I know if I’m being persistent, or if I’m just being stubborn to God’s way?

I’ve prayed for a prayer language. The gift of tongues, and I have not received it. I prayed about it so much, with so much desire, that it was giving me anxiety as to why I hadn’t received. So, I gave up. I said, Lord, I’m not going to continue praying for something you obviously don’t want me to have. (My sarcasm with God has grown tremendously this past month, and that is not good!!) And that’s just one of a handful of prayers that I feel I need desperate answers to. No time to wait Lord, these feel like emergencies!

Anyway, that Friday, after Tony Evan’s message, I felt so empowered. I was ready to take in any prayer request and have the Holy Spirit work through me in all His ways imaginable. I felt on fire for that moment. I think I prayed more that day than I had in a very, very long time. Then on Saturday morning, it hit me. I’m going to apply Swindoll’s message to my prayer life! I’m going to remember all those in my life by prayer for them. I didn’t want to stop praying. I prayed for all the “A” people on my phone book. Then Sunday, all the “B” folks.

I just wanted to pray, with the power of Jesus’ name. There is power in that name you know. And I was ready to use it!! Were prayers answered? I’m not sure if they all have been yet. Maybe God will reveal that later. But, Father, never again do I want to let the lies of Satan keep me from praying to You with power! I know everyday is a struggle. You know what I’m talking about. Persevering is not something I grew up with, so it’s been hard for me to change. But from this day forward, let me persevere into prayer Lord. Give me Your strength, because I will fall in my strength. I need You. Use me in a mighty way! I want to be a prayer warrior for your people. I want to see prayers answered! People healed! Repenting! Coming to the cross! Deliverance! and more. All those things can be through the power of Jesus’ name in prayer. I don’t want to stop writing. I want to keep proclaiming the power in His name. Jesus!!

Funny, I just remembered that the last turn I had in teaching, I taught about prayer. How easily I had let Satan defeat me with his deceit. But Lord, greater are You then he! The power of prayer will prevail!!!

If There’s a God Who Loves You, Where is He Now?

Thanks be to God for His promises, I feel much better today than yesterday. Thanks also to some good friends who helped me through my struggles yesterday. Daddy, may I always recognize Your love. May I not get stuck in the darkness, but press on toward the joy. This song spoke to my heart today…

Before the Morning by Josh Wilson

Do you wonder why you have to,
feel the things that hurt you,
if there’s a God who loves you,
where is He now? 

Maybe, there are things you can’t see
and all those things are happening
to bring a better ending
some day, some how, you’ll see, you’ll see

Chorus:
Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
’cause the pain you’ve been feeling,
can’t compare to the joy that’s coming

so hold on, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you’ve been feeling,
it’s just the dark before the morning

My friend, you know how this all ends
and you know where you’re going,
you just don’t know how you get there
so just say a prayer.
and hold on, cause there’s good who love God,
life is not a snapshot, it might take a little time,
but you’ll see the bigger picture

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
’cause the pain you’ve been feeling,
can’t compare to the joy that’s coming

so hold on, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you’ve been feeling,
it’s just the dark before the morning
yeah, yeah,
before the morning,
yeah, yeah

Once you feel the way of glory,
all your pain will fade to memory
once you feel the way of glory,
all your pain will fade to memory
memory, memory, yeah

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
’cause the pain you’ve been feeling,
can’t compare to the joy that’s coming

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
’cause the pain you’ve been feeling,
can’t compare to the joy that’s coming

com’n, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you’ve been feeling,
it’s just the hurt before the healing
the pain you’ve been feeling,
just the dark before the morning
before the morning, yeah, yeah
before the morning

When I Cry

I was in the grips of despair yesterday. My heart ached so much. I felt alone and unloved.

Often I cry out to God and it seems like I get no response. In turn, I feel unloved and unwanted by Him. Lord, why do You not reach out to me? I constantly feel like I’m waiting for Your answer or rescue. I just want to be loved! Are you holding back Your love because I’ve been disobedient? Please, show me Lord. Reveal my heart, reveal Yourself to me!

As you can probably sense, there are several things battling in my mind and heart. These two songs below caught my attention yesterday. I suppose that is how God answered me, through these songs. Revealing to me who He is.

Cry on My Shoulder by Overflow

You say you’re falling apart
Reached the end of the line
Just looking for your place in an ordinary life
No one calls you friend
No one even knows your name
You just want to feel loved instead of all the pain

You no longer have to say
No one’s listening anyway

Come here and cry on my shoulder
I’ll hold you ’til its over
I’ll rescue you tonight
Let my arms be your shelter
Your hiding place forever
I’ll love you more than life

You’re wearing a frown
Giving up on hope
My heart is reaching out more than you will ever know
Is your burden too much
Is it more than you can bear
I’ll help carry the load if you’re willing to share

You have had some hard times
Had thorns placed in your side
I know about what you’ve been going through
Tears of pain are falling down
It hurts so bad you’re crying out
Your problems won’t last forever
Let me put you back together

 

I AM by Mark Schultz

I am the maker of the Heavens
I am the bright and morning star
I am the breath of all Creation
Who always was
And is to come

I am the One who walked on water
I am the One who calmed the seas
I am the miracles and wonders
So come and see
And follow me
You will know

I am the fount of living water
The risen Son of man
The healer of the broken
And when you cry
I am your savior and redeemer
Who bore the sins of man
The author and perfecter
Beginning and the end
I am

I am the spirit deep inside you
I am the word upon your heart
I am the One who even knew you
Before your birth
Before you were

I am the fount of living water
The risen Son of man
The healer of the broken
And when you cry
I am your savior and redeemer
Who bore the sins of man
The author and perfecter
Beginning and the end
I am

Before the Earth (I am)
The universe (I am)
In every heart (I am)
Oh, where you are (I am)
The Lord of lords (I am)
The King of Kings (I am)
The Holy lamb (I am)
Above all things

I am the fount of living water
The risen Son of man
The healer of the broken
And when you cry
I am your savior and redeemer
Who bore the sins of man
The author and perfecter
Beginning and the end
I am

Yes, I am almighty God your father
The risen son of man
The healer of the broken
And when you cry,
I am your savior and redeemer
Who bore the sins of man
The author and perfecter
Beginning and the end
I am

Apolegetic Apostles

Yesterday, I discovered something. Or, should I say, the Holy Spirit brought me revelation. But, before I get to that, let me first give you some background info for what lead to my revelation…

This semester, I decided to sign up for two classes at a local Bible college. One of my classes is Theology: “God, Christ & the Holy Spirit.” I signed up for the class with great anticipation that I was going to be guided into the depth of knowledge, love and wisdom of the Holy Trinity! Sounds exciting right!! Well, little did I know that my excitement for “Theology Proper” would turn into an unyielding discontent for the study of Theology in general. “You must see your studies as an act of worship,” the teacher mentioned several times within our first meeting. Something I have miserably failed to attain to.

Let me briefly account how my discontent began to fester. First, I found out that our main text was to be an encyclopedia set of books called Systematic Theology. (Which, I admit, I haven’t read a single page of yet.) Secondly, I found out that there are well over 20+ “arguments” that people have against God that I actually care nothing about. Thirdly, most of class time is spent watching videos of scholars, theologians and other intellects debate the existence of God, the source of moral law & values, the purpose of evil and suffering, etc. These three main things, among a few others, weren’t exactly the ways I expected to learn the love and wisdom knowledge I was seeking. Nonetheless, it explains my drudge. (Maybe I should have taken the recommended, but not required Intro to Theology class. I’m sure that would have given me a clue to what I was getting myself into.)

So now, here I am, I’ve made it through five weeks of class, and the Spirit brought me insight. I prayed for God to reveal to me the purpose of why I was in that class, and He is slowly showing me.

Why argue with those with “world views”? Well, it’s a different type of evangelism. No one is too far from God – whether because they are engulfed in sinfulness, or because their logic and views of religion, life, values and morals are too separate from God. We can all be caught by God’s grace. Amen! Christians can help take skeptics from point A to B – cutting away one point (or letter) at a time and ultimately cutting their system down to where the offering of Christ stands wide open. It is a different type of evangelism, that I must say, doesn’t seem to be the way God is leading me to reach out to, but must be available.

Thank you God for opening my eyes to see it. Lord, bring blessing to those who have the intellect for apolegetics and love and logic to evangelize to the lost who must be convinced through logic and argumentative debates of existence. Help them Lord! (As our Ministry professor often says.) Thank you for them. You have humbled my view from just a few days ago. No one is too far from you.

The Benefits of Walking

Written below is an essay from a young boy, Anthony. As I read this, his amazing words, wisdom, bravery and love for the Lord touched my heart, so I am re-typing his essay on “The Benefits of Walking and Running” here for you to read – that you may be touched by it as I have been. Anthony’s struggle with Muscular Dystrophy and walking has made me reevaluate my compassion for others, and even my “walk” with God.

The Benefits of Walking and Running
by Anthony
Download

I was asked today to walk the perimeter of the gym, and I said, “I can’t really do unnecessary walking throughout the day.” Then came the reply, “You can walk two minutes at a time because isn’t that how long it takes you to walk to gym class?” Walk two minutes, rest five minutes. I was then told that I needed to do a report due to the fact t hat I didn’t do the walking. The subject that I was told to write is: the benefits of walking and running. So, here it goes, as seen by me, Anthony.

I believe that walking and running are very important things in life. I was told in third grade that I may not always be able to walk and run because of my disease. I became very upset and depressed when the doctors told me my diagnosis was Duchene’s Muscular Dystrophy. I saw how upset my mother was when the doctor told us, I decided then and there that I would never give in to my disease and I haven’t done that yet. But, there are days when I am tired and even extra walking can wear me out. I am different than other kids at school – running and walking are easy for them and I fight for every step I take.

I was at a football game with my parents, watching my sister cheer and also watching the game. When we all got back to the car, I told my mom I really wish that I could have played football, it looks like so much fun – this is where running is beneficial. My favorite place in Ohio is Hawking Hills. I have been there several times in my life and last year was the last time for me, it was too hard to get back to the car after the long hike we had taken – this is when walking is beneficial.

Other times when running and walking are beneficial is when you want to play basketball, baseball, softball, kickball, hockey, long distance running, hurtles, relay races, etc. These are all things that I would love to do, but this is  not the path that God has set forth for me. Everyone has their cross to bear, and mine  is Muscular Dystrophy. I have learned a lot about people in my 14 years on this Earth. I do understand that walking and running are beneficial in exercising, losing weight, etc. But, walking is much more than that to me.

When people that don’t know me look at me, I understand that all they see is a short, chunky boy who is lazy. I am  heavy and short due to the steroids that I am on. I take 30mg. of steroids every day and I have done this for the last 4.5 years. The steroids keep me healthy, but they also prevent me from growing or even losing weight. I am sorry that my disease made you so upset today, but it is my body and I know what I can handle and what I can’t. My parents have raised me to be polite and respectful to adults, and so I was respectful earlier today, but if you don’t mind me saying, you were hateful this afternoon. I mean just look at the report you gave me to write. I only wrote this report so you could be aware that walking is the most important thing in my life.

Anthony, this report has a much deeper purpose than for just your coach/teacher to be aware that walking is the most important thing in your life. It is also to make me aware that walking is important to you. It also brings an awareness to others about compassion in life and thankfulness for the normal, everyday things we can do, like walking, that others, like you, may not have the full benefit of doing carelessly. You made me think Anthony, and your courage and determination are going to take you to places you have never imagined!

This to me also bring me to my knees in prayer for you, my brother! May God rain down healing upon you! In the name of Jesus, be healed! Let testimony ring out that Anthony is cured! This prayer can raise you, just as Jesus was raised. Today, you will be playing football! You will be running! Running the race for God and so much more! In the glorious, and powerful name of our Lord, Jesus. Amen!

Inspirational Scripture:

John 5:8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

Mark 2
1A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. 5When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Describe God

In my Theology class, our professor gave us a 30 minute class assignment:
Describe God in less than 20 words.

My answer consisted of many attributes and descriptive words, but it was far from complete in trying to encompass the wholeness of God. It really made me think about how to use words selectively to communicate with high effectiveness and precision. I shared this exercise with my friend, Huios, (for more info on Huios, visit my previous post, Bethel). The other day, he sent me this…

Trying to describe God is like trying to describe Love–words are too clumsy and inadequate. This is why guys give flowers to express their love. Describing an infinite subject with finite words is an exercise in futility. When someone asks – describe God – pick a wildflower instead and give it to them. It is much more effective.

Thanks Huios for sharing your thoughts with me.
His spiritual growth has been so amazing and an honor for me to see! Praise God! I’m so proud of him!

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