Welcome!

Hi there! My name is Kelly. I'm a mother of 4 and a grandmother of 13 now! I've lived all over the country and even in Hawaii. Right now, I'm currently in Southeast Missouri. Throughout my adult life, I've wanted to find a forum of some sort that encourages other Christian women. I've found wonderful craft blogs, weight loss sites, motherhood sites, book clubs, etc. So I am going to try my hand at a blog that contains a little bit of everything. Grab a cup of coffee and let's chat!!

Contact me by email at coffeecupchristianity@gmail.com or at urlinia@yahoo.com

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Spiritual Warfare

"The moment a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and receives God's Holy Spirit, that person is instantly and literally translated from the kingdom of darkness of this world into the kingdom of God's light by God's Holy Spirit of truth. The Apostle Paul describes this process as the "mystery" revealed, which is "Christ in you" the hope of glory.
Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Col 1:27 to whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
God rescued us from the power and bondage of the world, the flesh, the devil, and supernaturally.
Principalities, Powers, World Rulers of Darkness, and Spiritual Wickedness in Spiritual Warfare
Our Spiritual Warfare is Against "Principalities, Powers, World Rulers of Darkness, and Spiritual Wickedness in High Places"
What are the meanings of these terms?
A special note: The purpose for this teaching is that we may begin to understand the goodness of God as opposed to the evilness of the devil. These two parameters are often blurred and confused, whereby evil is wrongfully attributed to God, the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Understanding the goodness of God is first and foremost in spiritual warfare, in order to build the kind of faith that will move mountains and fulfill God's promise of victory in our lives.
The Apostle Paul tells us to put on our spiritual armour because our battle in this world is a "spiritual" one. A warfare that involves the trickery and power of the devil, as opposed to a human battle. Even though human beings will certainly play a role in line with the schemes of the devil, they are being used by these entities for the purposes of accomplishing evil. Evil spirits are the true power behind those who oppose the things of God (knowingly or unknowingly).
1 - Prepare Your Heart for Spiritual Warfare
The battlefield or realm in which our spiritual warfare takes place is in the mind of every believer in Christ. We wrestle, or strive and struggle in our minds against world systems, the flesh or the carnal nature, and the devil. The mind encompasses our thoughts (imagination, reasoning, and intellect) as well as our emotions and will. In all of these aspects lie the very heart of an individual. By our thoughts and feelings we determine our will and purpose for our lives. As Christians, we seek to live by the truth and power of God because they are our assurance of God's promised victory in each and every situation in life, and we are not ignorant of the reality of evil, and the destruction that surrounds our world on a daily basis. It is in this process that we will encounter a very real spiritual struggle in our thoughts, emotions and will because the adversary knows that these areas are directly related to. . .
2 - The Spiritual Armor of God
"And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.” (Luke 22:31)
The Spiritual Armor of God in Spiritual Warfare
When Christians make a commitment to trust their lives to the promises and power of God, they are still living in hostile territory that presently is under the influence and power of Satan, sin, and a fallen world. This leaves the Christian at a disadvantage, in which we are cautioned in God's Word to put on the whole spiritual armor of God, because like it or not, we are in spiritual warfare. As Paul has revealed to us, the true nature of this battle is against supernatural evil. The purpose of the armor of God is to equip us with the power of God, in order to stand against the evil schemes and deception of the devil, who has blinded the minds of those who believe not.
The power of God is released, as we utilize every piece of the armor of God against evil spirits, who are labeled by Paul as principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness on high. We are asked to prepare ourselves as soldiers in spiritual warfare, because as a forbearer of God's truth and power, Christians and God's work are targets of the devil for destruction. The intense hate of the devil, and his devil spirits against God's creation is unimaginable, but nonetheless real, he is cruel and merciless; however, he cannot defeat God, and therefore he uses trickery and deception to defeat believers, or draw them into vulnerable positions. Some of these positions are: fear, doubt, confusion, condemnation, temptation through pressure or pleasure, spiritual blindness, pride, affliction or persecution, intended to frustrate the purposes of God through His people. He is cunning and attempts to oppress us in our weakest areas (through our thought life or other people and circumstances), in which the "unaware" are led into chains of depression and other forms of bondage.
The Apostle Paul tells us that we actually wrestle against these forces of evil; Many times we will find ourselves in a literal struggle from within and without, described by Paul as hand to hand combat (direct contact) in order to overcome them. However, this wrestling is spiritual, in which the devil and his demons will take many forms in order to attack or distract us in our thought life, and disarm our faith and the power of God. If we believe their lies, then they succeed in gaining their foothold. The devil and his evil spirits have the power to manipulate the realms of the world and the flesh, in an attempt to obstruct God's truth. God has not left us defenseless, and as we will see, He has provided us with a greater power, providing everything we need to stand.
3 - Evil Angels Cohabitating with the Women of Genesis? Fastening the Belt of Truth in Spiritual Warfare.
Are the "sons of God" in Genesis 6 fallen angels?
Since it is God's light that dispels the darkness, then as part of our spiritual warfare it is important to work through even some of the most controversial and difficult Scriptures, at least to the best of our ability. Otherwise, we can easily be misled and mislead others into superstitions and other false beliefs of spiritual consequence. For example, if we believe that God sends evil spirits to afflict His people in order that they may grow spiritually, then why resist the devil since it is God's will? If we believe that everything that happens to us is God's will, then why pray for deliverance since it is God's will? When we reflect on these ideas, we begin to realize the implications and significance of fastening the belt of truth, as we know, the devil's greatest weapon is "deception."
4 - Abiding Under the Shadow of the Almighty in Spiritual Warfare.
Perhaps there are some of you who are struggling with the same issue as part of your personal spiritual warfare; I would think that some of us may find ourselves dancing with devils because we are still holding on to or trusting in the arm of the flesh. The flesh I'm speaking of is the fallen nature that we all have to deal with as Christians. The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh and this is a very real struggle and a part of our daily spiritual warfare. If you are concerned about your spiritual condition, then the Lord is working in your heart and is drawing you to Him. Listen to the sweet voice of the Lord Who said,
Isa 30:21 "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left."
5- The Power of Praise in Spiritual Warfare
Psalm 149: 5-6, "Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand."
The Main purpose for writing this post is to emphasize the power of praise in spiritual warfare, an expression of one of the highest forms of faith, prayer, and worship, and described in God's Word as a "two-edged sword" for the saint.
Isa 59:19 " . . . When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him."
1Pe 5:9 Whom [devil] resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
A Prayer of Petition for the Lord’s Help! “The effectual and fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (Ja. 5:16),”
Psa 34:7 - The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
Important Principles Learned
Aside from verbalizing the name and blood of Christ, declaring the Word of God and equipping ourselves with the whole armor of God, below is a summary of some of the most important principles I learned in spiritual warfare.
1. If you are unsure if God is directing you in a certain situation, then ask Him for a sign (silently in your mind not verbally). He always confirms His guidance.
2. Remain diligent and watchful against the schemes of the devil, especially after winning a victory, this is when you become the most vulnerable.
3. One remarkable technique the devil uses is to get us in the flesh. He wins these battles and is his means of distracting us by catching us in a snare. We cannot lean on our own understanding, or give in to our emotions, or fight back with our carnal nature. We need to stay on track and trust God in these situations. We become more skilled with practice. When we fail we don't dwell on our failures, but we learn from them.
4. The devil has his minions all over the world, we may even meet one or two on a bus, a train, or a street corner. Remember that the eyes are the mirror of the soul. One might encounter an evil that doesn't reflect anything we know of a human soul. Pray and praise God for His protection and move on, and if need be rebuke that presence under your breath using the name of Jesus Christ.
5. Always look to God and not your circumstances.
6. Don’t be surprised if a disproportional number of misunderstandings occur in some social situations.
7. I would suggest not telling anyone what the Lord is planning to do in your life, because then, you just told the devil too!
8. Always be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit within.
9. When you feel that you are under an attack “praise God,” praising God in faith is a two-edged sword in your hand.
10. When your not sure if you are under attack, or if there is really an evil presence, then praise God and if there is an evil presence you will know it in some way.
11. Do your best and trust God to do the rest.
12. Every worrisome thought that crosses your mind, give it to God in prayer and let His peace rule your heart!
13. Understand that God’s power is according to the situation at hand, if you are experiencing great power then you are also experiencing a great task.
http://battleinchrist.com/

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bereans in a World gone crazy.

We are Bereans. Which means we diligently search Scripture to see if what's being said, taught, and circulated is of God's Word. We talk about Biblical doctrines, current events, End times prophecies, false teachers, and a myriad of other Biblical things. That being said....

If you have a question for us, (and no question is silly or wrong), we will do whatever we can to find you a Biblical answer, one that is aligned with what the Bible says. If it offends you, then I suggest you hit your knees and pray, pray, pray. God's ways are not our ways.

We don't compromise, lie, or even sugarcoat the truth for the sake of someone's ego or pride. When we give you an answer, it is from the Bible...God's Word. It's not our job to convict you, that's the Holy Spirit's job. It's not our job to save you, that's the Holy Spirit's job. And it's not our job to draw you to God or convince you to believe God's Word. That's the Holy Spirit's job.

We are commanded to spread the gospel to all the nations. That's it. We plant the seed, God waters it, and the Holy Spirit makes it grow. We are committed to sharing with as many people as we can. So, if you feel offended, hurt, get angry, or sad at the answers that you receive, I just want to remind you of this: The spirit of offense, anger, and depression are all from Satan. Don't let Satan rule your mind or your heart. Those belong to God. We love you all. In Christ, Kelly Rickman

Saturday, April 5, 2014

"Sit, Walk, Stand" by Watchman Nee

Preface to the Fourth Edition

Compiled from the spoken ministry of Mr. Watchman
Nee (Nee To-sheng) of Foochow and first published
in Bombay, Sit, Walk, Stand continues to stir
the hearts of readers with its arousing message.
Although through successive editions the book has
been slightly expanded, all the source material dates
from a single period—the spacious days of evangelistic
witness in China just prior to the Japanese war,
when the author and his fellow Christians enjoyed a
liberty in the service of God that is rare today. A
message which expresses at once their triumphant
assurance in the finished work of Christ and their
humble sense of the high qualities called for in his
servants has a fresh relevance for us now, when
Christian work everywhere is on trial. May God give
us grace not only to heed its challenge but to find
ways, while there is time, of applying its lessons in
our own sphere of opportunity.
Angus I. Kinnear
London, 1962


Introduction


If the life of a Christian is to be pleasing to God, it
must be properly adjusted to him in all things. Too
often we place the emphasis in our own lives upon
the application of this principle to some single detail
of our behavior or of our work for him. Often we
fail, therefore, to appreciate either the extent of the
adjustment called for or, at times even, the point
from which it should begin. But God measures
everything, from start to finish, by the perfections
of his Son. Scripture clearly affirms that it is God’s
good pleasure “to sum up all things in Christ . . . in
whom also we were made a heritage” (Ephesians
1:9-11). It is my earnest prayer that, in the discussion
that follows, our eyes may be opened afresh to
see that it is only by placing our entire emphasis
there that we can hope to realize the divine purpose
for us, which is that “we should be unto the praise of
his glory” (1:12).



We shall take as a background to our thoughts
the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians.
Like so many of the apostle’s letters, this
epistle falls naturally into two sections, a doctrinal
and a practical. The doctrinal section (chapters 1 to
3) is concerned mainly with the great facts of the
redemption which God has wrought for us in Christ.
The practical section (chapters 4 to 6) then goes on
to present us with the demands, in terms of Christian
conduct and zeal, that God is making upon us in
the light of that redemption. The two halves are
closely related, but it will be seen that the emphasis
in each is different.


Then, further, the second and more obviously
practical half of the letter may again conveniently
be subdivided according to its subject
matter into a first long section from chapter 4:1 to
6:9 and a second and much shorter section from
chapter 6:10 to the end. The first part deals with
our life in the midst of the world; the second with
our conflict with the devil.
Thus we have, in all, three subdivisions of the
Epistle to the Ephesians, setting forth the believer’s
position in Christ (1:1–3:21), his life in the world
(4:1–6:9), and his attitude to the enemy (6:10-24).
 

We may summarize as follows:
 

Ephesians
 

A. Doctrinal (Chapters 1 to 3)
1. Our Position in Christ (1:1–3:21)
B. Practical (Chapters 4 to 6)
2. Our Life in the World (4:1–6:9)
3. Our Attitude to the Enemy (6:10-24)


Of all Paul’s epistles, it is in Ephesians that we find
the highest spiritual truths concerning the Christian
life. The letter abounds with spiritual riches, and yet
at the same time it is intensely practical. The first
half of the letter reveals our life in Christ to be one
of union with him in the highest heavens. The second
half shows us in very practical terms how such
a heavenly life is to be lived by us down here on the
earth. We do not here propose to study the letter in
detail. We shall, however, touch on a few principles
lying at its heart. For this purpose we shall select one
keyword in each of the above three sections to
express what we believe to be its central or governing
idea.
 

In the first section of the letter we note the
word sit (2:6), which is the key to that section and
the secret of a true Christian experience. God has
made us to sit with Christ in the heavenly places, and
every Christian must begin his spiritual life from
that place of rest. In the second part we select the
word walk (4:1) as expressive of our life in the world,
which is its subject. We are challenged there to display
in our Christian walk conduct that is in keeping
with our high calling. And finally, in the third part
we find the key to our attitude towards the enemy
contained in the one word stand (6:11), expressive
of our place of triumph at the end. Thus we have:


Key Words in Ephesians


1. Our Position in Christ—“SIT” (2:6)
2. Our Life in the World—“WALK” (4:1)
3. Our Attitude to the Enemy—“STAND” (6:11)
The life of the believer always presents these three
aspects—to God, to man, and to the Satanic powers.
To be useful in God’s hand a man must be properly
adjusted in respect of all three: his position, his life,
and his warfare. He falls short of God’s requirements
Sit, Walk, Stand, if he underestimates the importance of any one of
them, for each is a sphere in which God would express
“the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on
us in the Beloved” (1:6).


We will take, then, these three words—“Sit,”
“Walk,” “Stand”—as guides to the teaching of the
epistle, and as the text for its present message to our
hearts. We shall find it most instructive to note both
the order and the connection in which they come.

The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, . . . raised him from the
dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly
places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and
dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this
world, but also in that which is to come” (1:17-21).
“And raised us up with him, and made us to sit with
him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus: . . . for by grace
have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory”
(2:6-9).
 

“God . . . made him to sit . . . and made us to sit
with him.” Let us first consider the implications of
His word “sit.” As we have said, it reveals the secret
of a heavenly life. Christianity does not begin with
walking; it begins with sitting. The Christian era
began with Christ, of whom we are told that, when
he had made purification of sins, he “sat down on the
right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).
With equal truth we can say that the individual
Christian life begins with a man “in Christ”—that is
to say, when by faith we see ourselves seated together
with him in the heavens.
 

Most Christians make the mistake of trying to
walk in order to be able to sit, but that is a reversal
of the true order. Our natural reason says, If we do
not walk, how can we ever reach the goal? What can we
attain without effort? How can we ever get anywhere if we
do not move? But Christianity is a queer business! If at
the outset we try to do anything, we get nothing; if
we seek to attain something, we miss everything.
For Christianity begins not with a big DO, but with
a big DONE. Thus Ephesians opens with the statement
that God has “blessed us with every spiritual
blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (1:3) and
we are invited at the very outset to sit down and
enjoy what God has done for us; not to set out to try
and attain it for ourselves.
 

Walking implies effort, whereas God says that
we are saved, not by works, but “by grace . . . through
faith” (2:8). We constantly speak of being “saved
through faith,” but what do we mean by it? We mean
this, that we are saved by reposing in the Lord Jesus.
We did nothing whatever to save ourselves; we simply
laid upon him the burden of our sin-sick souls. We
began our Christian life by depending not upon our
own doing but upon what he had done. Until a man
does this he is no Christian; for to say, “I can do nothing
to save myself; but by his grace God has done
everything for me in Christ” is to take the first step in
the life of faith. The Christian life from start to finish
is based upon this principle of utter dependence upon
the Lord Jesus. There is no limit to the grace God is
willing to bestow upon us. He will give us everything,
but we can receive none of it except as we rest in him.
“Sitting” is an attitude of rest. Something has been
finished, work stops, and we sit. It is paradoxical, but
true, that we only advance in the Christian life as we
learn first of all to sit down.
 

What does it really mean to sit down? When we
walk or stand we bear on our legs all the weight of our
own body, but when we sit down our entire weight
rests upon the chair or couch on which we sit. We
grow weary when we walk or stand, but we feel rested
when we have sat down for a while. In walking or
standing we expend a great deal of energy, but when
we are seated we relax at once, because the strain no
longer falls upon our muscles and nerves but upon
something outside of ourselves. So also in the spiritual
realm, to sit down is simply to rest our whole weight—
our load, ourselves, our future, everything—upon
the Lord. We let him bear the responsibility and cease
to carry it ourselves.
 

This was God’s principle from the beginning.
In the creation God worked from the first to the
sixth day and rested on the seventh. We may truthfully
say that for those first six days he was very busy.
Then, the task he had set himself completed, he
ceased to work. The seventh day became the Sabbath
of God; it was God’s rest.
 

But what of Adam? Where did he stand in relation
to that rest of God? Adam, we are told, was
created on the sixth day. Clearly, then, he had no
part in those first six days of work, for he came into
being only at their end. God’s seventh day was, in
fact, Adam’s first. Whereas God worked six days and
then enjoyed his Sabbath rest, Adam began his life
with the Sabbath; for God works before he rests,
while man must first enter into God’s rest, and then
alone can he work. Moreover it was because God’s
work of creation was truly complete that Adam’s life
could begin with rest. And here is the Gospel: that
God has gone one stage further and has completed
also the work of redemption, and that we need do
nothing whatever to merit it, but can enter by faith
directly into the values of his finished work.
Of course we know that between these two
historic facts, between God’s rest in creation and
God’s rest in redemption, there lies the whole tragic
story of Adam’s sin and judgment, of man’s unceasing,
unprofitable labor, and of the coming of the Son
of God to toil and to give himself until the lost position
was recovered. “My Father worketh even until
now, and I work,” he explained as he pursued his
way. Only with the atoning price paid could he cry,
“It is finished!”
 

But because of that triumphant cry, the analogy
we have drawn is a true one. Christianity indeed
means that God has done everything in Christ, and
that we simply step by faith into the enjoyment of that
fact. Our key word here is not of course, in its context,
a command to “sit down” but to see ourselves as
“seated” in Christ. Paul prays that the eyes of our heart
may be enlightened (1:18) to understand all that is
contained for us in this double fact, that God has first
by mighty power “made him to sit,” and then by grace
“made us to sit with him.” And the first lesson we
must learn is this, that the work is not initially ours at
all, but his. It is not that we work for God, but that he
works for us. God gives us our position of rest. He
brings his Son’s finished work and presents it to us,
and then he says to us, “Please sit” (ch’eng tso). His
offer to us cannot, I think, be better expressed than
in the words of the invitation to the great banquet:
“Come; for all things are now ready” (Luke 14:17).
Our Christian life begins with the discovery of what
God has provided.
 

The Range of His Finished Work

From this point onwards Christian experience proceeds
as it began, not on the basis of our own work
but always on that of the finished work of Another.
Every new spiritual experience begins with an
acceptance by faith of what God has done—with a
new “sitting down,” if you like. This is a principle of
life, and one which God himself has appointed; and
from beginning to end, each successive stage of the
Christian life follows on the same divinely determined
principle.
 

How can I receive the power of the Spirit for
service? Must I labor for it? Must I plead with God
for it? Must I afflict my soul by fastings and self-denials
to merit it? Never! That is not the teaching
of Scripture. Think again: How did we receive the
forgiveness of our sins? Paul tells us that it was
“according to the riches of his grace,” and that this
was “freely bestowed on us in the Beloved” (1:6-7).
We did nothing to merit it. We have our redemption
through his blood, that is, on the ground of what he
has done.
 

What, then, is God’s basis for the outpouring
of the Spirit? It is the exaltation of the Lord Jesus
(Acts 2:33). Because Jesus died on the Cross my
sins are forgiven; because he is exalted to the
throne I am endued with power from on high. The
one gift is no more dependent than the other upon
what I am or what I do. I did not merit forgiveness,
and neither do I merit the gift of the Spirit. I receive
everything not by walking but by sitting down, not
by doing but by resting in the Lord. Hence, just as
there is no need to wait for the initial experience
of salvation, so there is no need to wait for the
Spirit’s outpouring. Let me assure you that you
need not plead with God for this gift, nor agonize,
nor hold “tarrying meetings.” It is yours not because
of your doing but because of the exaltation of
Christ, “in whom, having also believed, ye were
sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” This, no
less than the forgiveness of sins, is contained in “the
gospel of your salvation” (1:13).
 

Or consider another subject, one that is a special
theme of Ephesians. How do we become members
of Christ? What fits us to be parts of that Body
which Paul speaks of as “the fullness of him”? Certainly
we never arrive there by walking. I am not
joined to him by effort of my own. “There is one
body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in
one hope of your calling” (4:4). Ephesians sets forth
what is. It starts with Jesus Christ, and with the fact
that God chose us in him before the foundation of the
world (1:4). When the Holy Spirit shows us Christ
and we believe in him, then at once, with no further
act on our part, there begins for us a life in union
with him.
 

But if all these things become ours by faith
alone, what then of the now very urgent and practical
matter of our sanctification? How can we know
present deliverance from sin’s reign? How is our “old
man,” who has followed us and troubled us for years,
to be “crucified” and put away? Once again the secret
is not in walking but in sitting; not in doing but in
resting in something done. “We died to sin.” We
were baptized . . . into his death.” “We were buried
with him.” “God . . . quickened us together with
Christ.” (Romans 6:2-4; Ephesians 2:5, kjv). All
these statements are in the past (aorist) tense. Why
is this? Because the Lord Jesus was crucified outside
Jerusalem nearly two thousand years ago, and I was
crucified with him. This is the great historic fact. By it
his experience has now become my spiritual history,
and God can speak of me as already having everything
“with him.” All that I now have I have “with
Christ.” In the Scriptures we never find these things
spoken of as in the future, nor even to be desired in
the present. They are historic facts of Christ, into
which all we who have believed have entered.
“With Christ”—crucified, quickened, raised,
set in the heavenlies: To the human mind these ideas
are no less puzzling than were the words of Jesus to
Nicodemus in John 3:3. There it was a question of
how to be born again. Here it is something even
more improbable—something not only to be
effected in us, as new birth, but to be seen and
accepted as ours because it has already been effected
long ago in Someone else. How could such a thing
be? We cannot explain. We must receive it from
God as something he has done. We were not born
with Christ, but we were crucified with him (Galatians
2:20). Our union with him began therefore
with his death. God included us in him there. We
were “with him” because we were “in him.”
But how can I be sure that I am “in Christ”? I
can be sure because the Bible affirms that it is so, and
that it was God who put me there. “Of him [God]
are ye in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:30). “He
that establisheth us with you in Christ . . . is God”
(2 Corinthians 1:21). It is something accomplished
by him in his sovereign wisdom, to be seen, believed,
accepted, and rejoiced in by us.
 

If I put a dollar bill between the pages of a
magazine, and then burn the magazine, where is the
dollar bill? It has gone the same way as the magazine—
to ashes. Where the one goes the other goes
too. Their history has become one. But, just as effectively,
God has put us in Christ. What happened to
him happened also to us. All the experiences he met,
we too have met in him. “Our old man was crucified
with him, that the body of sin might be done away,
that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin”
(Romans 6:6). That is not an exhortation to struggle.
That is history: our history, written in Christ before
we were born. Do you believe that? It is true! Our
crucifixion with Christ is a glorious historic fact.
Our deliverance from sin is based, not on what we
can do, nor even on what God is going to do for us,
but on what he has already done for us in Christ.
When that fact dawns upon us and we rest back upon
it (Romans 6:11), then we have found the secret of
a holy life.
 

But it is true that we know all too little of this
in experience. Consider an example. If someone
makes a very unkind remark about you in your
presence, how do you meet the situation? You compress
your lips, clench your teeth, swallow hard, and
take a firm grip upon yourself; and if with a great
effort you manage to suppress all sign of resentment
and be reasonably polite in return, you feel you have
gained a great victory. But the resentment is still
there; it has merely been covered up. And at times
you do not even succeed in covering it. What is the
trouble? The trouble is that you are trying to walk
before you have sat down, and in that way lies sure
defeat. Let me repeat: No Christian experience
begins with walking, but always with a definite sitting
down. The secret of deliverance from sin is not
to do something but to rest on what God has done.
An engineer living in a large city in the West
left his homeland for the Far East. He was away for
two or three years, and during his absence his wife
was unfaithful to him and went off with one of his
best friends. On his return home he found he had
lost his wife, his two children, and his best friend.
At the close of a meeting which I was addressing,
this grief-stricken man unburdened himself to me.


“Day and night for two solid years my heart has been
full of hatred,” he said. “I am a Christian, and I know
I ought to forgive my wife and my friend, but though
I try and try to forgive them, I simply cannot. Every
day I resolve to love them, and every day I fail. What
can I do about it? ” “Do nothing at all,” I replied.
“What do you mean? ” he asked, startled. “Am I to
continue to hate them? ” So I explained: “The solution
of your problem lies here, that when the Lord
Jesus died on the Cross he not only bore your sins
away but he bore you away too. When he was crucified,
your old man was crucified in him, so that that
unforgiving you, who simply cannot love those who
have wronged you, has been taken right out of the
way in his death. God has dealt with the whole situation
in the Cross, and there is nothing left for you
to deal with. Just say to him, “Lord, I cannot love
and I give up trying, but I count on thy perfect love.
I cannot forgive, but I trust thee to forgive instead of
me, and to do so henceforth in me.”
The man sat there amazed and said, “That’s all
so new, I feel I must do something about it.” Then a
moment later he added again, “But what can I do? ”
“God is waiting till you cease to do,” I said. “When
you cease doing, then God will begin. Have you ever
tried to save a drowning man? The trouble is that his
fear prevents him trusting himself to you. When
that is so, there are just two ways of going about it.
Either you must knock him unconscious and then
drag him to the shore, or else you must leave him to
struggle and shout until his strength gives way before
you go to his rescue. If you try to save him while he
has any strength left, he will clutch at you in his terror
and drag you under, and both he and you will be
lost. God is waiting for your store of strength to be
utterly exhausted before he can deliver you. Once
you have ceased to struggle, he will do everything.
God is waiting for you to despair.”
My engineer friend jumped up. “Brother,” he
said, “I’ve seen it. Praise God, it’s all right now with
me! There’s nothing for me to do. He has done it all!”
And with radiant face he went off rejoicing.
 

God the Giver

Of all the parables in the Gospels, that of the prodigal
son affords, I think, the supreme illustration of
the way to please God. The father says, “It was
meet to make merry and be glad” (Luke 15:32),
and in these words Jesus reveals what it is that, in
the sphere of redemption, supremely rejoices his
Father’s heart. It is not an elder brother who toils
incessantly for the father, but a younger brother
who lets the father do everything for him. It is not
an elder brother who always wants to be the giver,
but a younger brother who is always willing to be
the receiver. When the prodigal returned home,
having wasted his substance in riotous living, the
father had not a word of rebuke for the waste nor a
word of inquiry regarding the substance. He did
not sorrow over all that was spent; he only rejoiced
over the opportunity the son’s return afforded him
for spending more.
 

God is so wealthy that his chief delight is to
give. His treasure-stores are so full that it is pain to
him when we refuse him an opportunity of lavishing
those treasures upon us. It was the father’s joy that
he could find in the prodigal an applicant for the
robe, the ring, the shoes, and the feast; it was his
sorrow that in the elder son he found no such applicant.
It is a grief to the heart of God when we try to
provide things for him. He is so very, very rich. It
gives him true joy when we just let him give and give
and give again to us. It is a grief to him, too, when
we try to do things for him, for he is so very, very
able. He longs that we will just let him do and do and
do. He wants to be the Giver eternally, and he wants
to be the Doer eternally. If only we saw how rich and
how great he is, we would leave all the giving and all
the doing to him.
 

Do you think that if you cease trying to please
God your good behavior will cease? If you leave all
the giving and all the working to God, do you think
the result will be less satisfactory than if you do
some of it? It is when we seek it ourselves that
we place ourselves back again under the Law. But the
works of the Law, even our best efforts, are “dead
works,” hateful to God because ineffectual. In the
parable, both sons were equally far removed from
the joys of the father’s house. True, the elder son was
not in the far country, yet he was only at home in
theory. “These many years do I serve thee, and yet
. . .”: His heart had not found rest. His theoretical
position could never, as did the prodigal’s, come to
be enjoyed by him while he still clung to his own
good works.
 

Just you stop “giving,” and you will prove what
a Giver God is! Stop “working,” and you will discover
what a Worker he is! The younger son was all wrong,
but he came home and he found rest—and that is
where Christian life begins. “God, being rich in
mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us . . .
made us to sit with him in the heavenly places, in
Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6). “It was meet to
make merry and be glad!”



Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois
Christian Literature Crusade, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
Visit Tyndale’s exciting Web site at www.tyndale.com
TYNDALE and Tyndale’s quill logo are registered trademarks of
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Sit, Walk, Stand
Copyright © 1957 by Angus I. Kinnear. All rights reserved.
Previously published in 1957 by Gospel Literature Service, Bombay,
India.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Hal Lindsey Report 3/21/14

This week on 'The Hal Lindsey Report'
Sharia law is the legal system derived from the Koran and other writings held as holy by Muslims. It is an oppressive, and sometimes barbaric, set of rules and practices that enforces the role of Muslim men in a male-dominated Islamic society.

It treats women, children, minorities, and non-Muslims as second-class citizens at best, and possessions, "domestic animals," or enemies at worst.

Without fail, societal observance of Sharia law ushers in general oppression that can only be described as a supernatural darkness. For a nation to accept Sharia as its governing influence means regression to a primitive view of life that does not recognize the intrinsic value of each human being as the unique creation of a Creator God.

Severed hands and feet, backs and buttocks laid bare and bloody by the lash, stonings to death, decapitations, genital mutilations, tongues carved out, noses sliced off of faces, acid thrown in faces, and the list goes on. These barbarous acts are not the stuff of fiction, they are punishments proscribed by Sharia law. And their use is practiced in too many countries in the world today.

It absolutely dumbfounds me that women's rights advocates in "enlightened" western nations tacitly approve, by their silence, the utterly barbaric attitudes of Islam and Sharia toward women and children. The same goes for LGBT activists who brazenly try to force their agenda on every person in our society -- where they are already accepted and respected -- yet clam up like rag dolls when it comes to opposing the practices of Muslims.

Some even imply they prefer Islam to Christianity. Of course, they voice those opinions while safely ensconced in a Christian society where they are loved and accepted for who they are. By the way, when a nation falls under Sharia law rule, the gays are the first to feel the wrath of its enforcers.

And in a society that strictly observes Sharia, non-Muslims, even if they receive the protection of the state, are forced to pay a tax (known as 'jizya') just for not being Muslim. Plus, they live under a strict curtailment of their rights and privileges. And if they refuse to pay up, they are either run out or executed.

No, I'm not making this up. This is real. And it is what Muslims want when they say they want an Islamic society under Sharia law. And most importantly, it's not only what they want for themselves, but for everyone else, too, Muslim or not.

This is where Egypt was headed before the military stepped in and removed the Muslim Brotherhood. This is where certain parts of Africa and the Middle East are today. And this is where a city in Syria now finds itself.

The Syrian city of Raqqa, population nearing a quarter-million, was taken into the control of a rebel faction known as "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL). It is so brutal that even al-Qaeda has disowned it. The rebels established Sharia rule. Now, under threat of death, Christians in Raqqa have to pay a tax of $1,000 per person. Poor Christians are required to pay only $250. They cannot pray in public, build new churches, or carry weapons (and they're on the frontlines of a civil war). The Christians cannot even ring church bells. And they must report any hint of threat to the Muslim powers in charge.

ISIL says that if Christians refuse to abide by these rules, "Nothing will remain between them and ISIL other than the sword."

This second class status for non-Muslims is called "dhimma." The Christians in Raqqa are living in "dhimmitude."

Did you know that "dhimmitude" is coming to a nation near you? You may think that Islam is confined to the "Middle East," but 62% of all Muslims live OUTSIDE the Middle East. The last time I checked, 62% constitutes a majority. That means the majority of Muslims live in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and North America. In fact, some analysts predict that certain European nations will be predominantly Muslim as soon as 2050.

Lebanon was once known as "the Switzerland of the East," and Beirut as "the Paris of the Middle East." In 1926, it was 86% Christian. Today, Lebanon is 34% Christian, 66% Muslim. Though it is slowly starting to rebound, the last few decades have seen Lebanon and Beirut completely devastated by civil war as the Muslims have sought to cleanse it of all Christian influence.

"Multicultural" European governments are seeing the same results because they have allowed almost unimpeded immigration from Muslim nations. Now, as violent demonstrations erupt in the capitals of Europe, with Muslims demanding the implementation of Sharia, they are reeling.

Though Paris has been the most prominent city rocked by these cultural convulsions, England has seen its share. Yet, unbelievably, the British are continuing to lead the Western world down the path of Sharia-compliancy. The government has promoted Sharia-compliant financial bonds and allowed the establishment of 85 Sharia courts.

What about North America? Well, there are no official Sharia courts here, yet, but theVancouver Sun points out that the major sources of immigrants to Canada are Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Iraq. In those countries, more than HALF of Muslims agree with the concept of "honor killing." That's a Sharia-accepted practice where the male members of a family are allowed to murder female members whom they perceive to have "disgraced" the family.

Can you imagine a Christian father murdering his daughter because she was seen holding hands with a boy? And doing it legally?

Folks, this is real. This is now. This is where denial of Jesus Christ and our Judeo-Christian values leads. This is what politically correct "multiculturalism" yields. Isaiah lamented the fate of those "who call evil, good, and good, evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness...." (Isaiah 5:20) Is there a better description of Sharia law or an Islamic state? God, through Isaiah, pronounced "woe" upon them.

The curtain is now falling on the Age of Grace. The ancient prophets of the Bible predicted horrible conflicts in the times we are approaching. Make no mistake, those conflicts are taking shape across the world as I write these words.

That's the bad news. The good news is that if you have been genuinely born again, you won't be around to see the really bad stuff happen. We'll be with Jesus Christ in our new heavenly home.

Make sure you're ready to go when He calls.

Don't miss this week's Report here Sunday.
God Bless,

Hal Lindsey

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Roman's Road

There are so many interesting and life changing things we learn in the Bible every single day. There has been so much talk lately about Bible Prophecy being fulfilled before our eyes, Amillennialism, Preterism, Apostasy, and others, but we're not talking about the one thing that Christ asked us to talk about... How to become a Child of God. 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. God doesn't want ANY of His children to go to Hell. Everyone needs salvation because we have all sinned.

Romans Road to Salvation

Romans 3:10-12, and 23
As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” ... For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus Christ died for our sins. He paid the price for our death.

Romans 5:8
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. We receive salvation and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:9-10, and 13
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved ... For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Salvation through Jesus Christ brings us into a relationship of peace with God.

Romans 5:1
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.

Romans 8:1
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:38-39
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Responding to Romans Road
If you believe Romans Road leads to the path of truth, you can respond by receiving God's free gift of salvation today. Here's how to take a personal journey down Romans Road:

Admit you are a sinner.
Understand that as a sinner, you deserve death.
Believe Jesus Christ died on the cross to save you from sin and death.
Repent by turning from your old life of sin to a new life in Christ.
Receive, through faith in Jesus Christ, his free gift of salvation.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lazy American Christians

Ok, going to hop up on my soapbox here for a few:

American Christians just sit back on their pews, steeped in their traditions and NOT on the Word of God. Don't they understand that outside these borders people are suffering, being slaughtered, raped, and murdered all because of their belief in Jesus?

America Christians have become lazy. We have had it so easy with all our freedoms, rights, and "entitlements". What have you done for God lately?

Americans are slowly losing our freedoms, rights, and "entitlements", and when we have completely turned into a socialist/communist country, What are you going to do then?

Don't you understand that we are supposed to be the Christian example to the rest of the world? That's why America was "born". Gosh, it's so frustrating to see that fields are ripe with the harvest and to know that most of it is going to rot because there aren't enough workers willing to work the fields. GRRRR.....

/steps down off her soapbox now....and cries for the lost.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Defeated Christian

My thoughts: Being a Christian, we hear a lot of catch phrases designed to describe our walk with Christ in a quick and easy way, such as "I am living for Jesus!" "Jesus lives in me!" or "I am walking in Victory!" But what does it truly mean to "walk in victory, or live a victorious life"? To walk in Victory is to live a life of habitual victory over sin as we wait for the Rapture. With that victory comes joy, power, and a peace that surpasses all understanding. I pray for that peace every day.

You've seen it or even experienced it: The Christian who tries and tries but even after 5, 10, 20 years of being saved, still hasn't been able to overcome that one sin in their lives. Instead it gets hidden away or it's pretended that it's not even there. They feel like they are not a good enough Christian because that one sin hasn't been conquered. So, they try harder, volunteer more, prays longer...yet, that doesn't seem to help either.

Why do we fail at all our attempts to be a "good Christian" and instead carry a heavy burden of guilt and failure around on our shoulders weighing us down? But...you say the Bible commands us to be perfect (Matt 5:48); to be Holy (I Pet 1:15); and Pure (Heb 12:14 and I John 2:1). And boy, don't we try? And when it feels like your walk with Christ has become mechanical, your prayers don't seem to reach God, you can't remember what you just read in your Bible, we continue to believe the lies of the devil who keeps prodding us on, "come on, you can do better, try again!" Satan enjoys watching Christians work themselves ragged trying to become the "Perfect Christian". He will do everything in his power to confuse us, mislead us, cloud our minds, and bring difficulties our way in an attempt to keep us from the truths of the Bible.

"I want to do what's right, but I can't help it! The sin is stronger than me!" Does that sound familiar? In Romans 7, Paul gives the perfect description of the defeated Christian. "13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin."

1- There is NO condemnation under sin: ? huh? What does that mean? To condemn: to pronounce judgment.
2- We are not sentenced to an Eternal Death because of our sins.
3- Jesus already died for our sins...our past sins, our present sins, AND our future sins.

That realization helped me to understand that Christ had already had that covered and there wasn't one single blessed thing I could do to add to or take away from that Gift.

Stop trying to live perfectly. It is HUMANLY impossible. You cannot live a Christian life. Only Christ can. Trust Christ to live His life through you.

1- Strive to die daily to sin. The Holy Spirit is our source of Power. Once we are in the spirit we no longer have any obligation to the flesh. Flee from sin, do not seek it out.
2- The more you seek God and study His Word and get to know Him, the more you will trust Him. The more you trust Him, the more you will have Victory through Christ.
3- Heb 10:23 God is faithful in keeping His Promises.

The question we should ask ourselves is NOT whether we can live a Victorious life, the answer to that is NO, but whether Jesus can make me holy, keep my holy, AND give me victory...and the answer to that is a resounding YES!

Do you trust Jesus enough to let Him live through you?