Posts tagged ‘discipline’

On Your Knees

Again today I heard a preacher talk about how hard it is during this pandemic. With the Stay at Home Order, people are becoming impatient, staring at the four walls.

Then we listened to our own Pastor who asked when was the last time anyone was so awestruck by God that they fell on their face in humility and fear and adoration.

God wants to bring the Church to its knees in humble obedience, but instead Christians are standing tall and shaking their fists at government, police, bylaw officers, even bishops and other leaders who encourage we live out care for our community and help to stop the spread of the virus that is killing people. And, yes, at God for not magically taking all this away because we told the Almighty Creator to do so – pronto!

I cannot be the only one who sees God at work in mighty ways, and making it possible for believers to grow (and to name only a tiny few examples:

  1. I am making a worship video every week, and that was not even on my radar before all this happened;
  2. tiny congregations streaming onto the internet and people around the world being touched;
  3. in our own congregational online worship we had a couple from another city lead one of the songs, unheard of when things were “normal”.

I do not want a return to “normal”! I want us to have learned about getting out into the world, of sharing in ways that most Christians hadn’t even considered.

This pandemic didn’t happen “accidentally”. The western Church, especially, has become lukewarm, at best. Where is our obsession with Good News, servant heart, humble community and practice of the deep, God-like love shown by Jesus?

To those who are praying that the “suffering” stop now, learn from it, let The Spirit teach us wondrous things, let us once again become beacons of light in a world deep in the shadows of despair.

“We also brag when we are suffering. We know that suffering creates endurance, endurance creates character, and character creates confidence. We’re not ashamed to have this confidence, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5 God’s Word Translation©).

Sure, there are things I would like to do, like visit with family, but why should my selfish desire be the focus of my waking hours. Enough self-centred self-pity, demand to be in control human thinking.

I choose to delight in knowing God is at work, that I can protect people around me by following public health orders, that I have more time to pray for others than ever before, that I can encourage others.

As a family we are in deep grief, and that is just the time to show my love for others. I will not act like a devil in brazen disregard for others and with a lust for personal satisfaction above all social responsibilities.

I will never bring glory to God, show the love of Jesus or live by the wise counsel of The Spirit if all I want is what I want.

God inspires faith. I will trust God.
God gives hope. I will live in hope.
God is love. I will love others more than myself.
“And the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Who Has Bewitched You?

Since our assembling has been cancelled for awhile all over the world, I decided to write out some notes for the adult Bible study I teach which was to happen this Sunday morning. Then I felt led to share it with you. May God bless you through The Spirit, whether or not I live up to expectations.

“You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you…? (Galatians 3:1).

Paul writes to believers. Clearly believers can be deceived and led away. (Read Pilgrim’s Progress for an extended study on this issue.)

An important spiritual discipline is discernment. Consider 1 John 3:1-3, for example. (“…test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world…”)

Why do we fall for deceptions?

We are tempted when anyone teaches we will be rewarded for what we do. FALSE (Grace means God rewards us because that is what God does.)

We are tempted when anyone teaches we need to help God get things done. FALSE (Grace means God works through us, all glory to God.)

We are tempted when anyone teaches that God is incomplete, evolving, reacting to our needs. (Grace means God is complete and reliable, Who knows our ‘needs’ before we even ask, and so God is already filling our ‘needs’ and is not surprised by our intercessions or requests.)

We are tempted when anyone teaches that we can figure things out, like arithmetic to calculate our bank account, or systematic theology which describes what God is really like in human terms. (Grace means God’s ways are not our ways. “Greeks [secular thinkers, in our terms] demand knowledge and Jews [spiritual practitioners, in our terms] demands signs [and wonders]. But we preach Jesus crucified and risen, a joke to the philosophers and a blasphemy to the religious people.”

If all you focus on is Jesus and the cross, if the Bible is your only filter to read religious writings, and if The Spirit is the only unquestionable guide on your journey, you are situated to resist the deceivers.

Something Worth Living For

God does not offer us salvation to make us feel good, either emotionally or physically. Read more…

Die To Live

I’m alive so I get to die one more day. Read more…

Lent Work

“A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart” Proverbs 21:2 Read more…

Exceeding the Pharisee

The plague of the Pharisees is an easy trap to fall into as Christians if we are not watchful, and the very reason we were told to be careful of their leaven. A little leaven over time can leaven the whole lump leaving us thinking we are moving in the right direction. Read more…

Christmas Customs Coming

As Christmas approaches many people repeat family customs passed on over generations. Some are good, of course. Read more…

For God’s Good

“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God—those whom he has called according to his plan” (Romans 8:28 God’s Word©). Read more…

Discipline Leading to More Wisdom

Whoever ignores discipline despises self,

but the person who listens to warning gains understanding.

The fear of the Lord is discipline {leading to} wisdom,

and humility comes before honor” (Proverbs 15:32-33 God’s Word ©). Read more…

Discipline Leading to Wisdom

If I begin my thinking and actions with love, heavenly love, not emotional love, then what I end up doing may end up honourable. Read more…