Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

Deserter Or Disciple?—Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers

Posted on: No Comments

 

 

 By Oswald Chambers

Author of: “My Utmost for His Highest”

Devotion For December 29th

 

“From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.”

John 6:66

When God gives a vision by His Spirit through His word of what He wants, and your mind and soul thrill to it, if you do not walk in the light of that vision, you will sink into servitude to a point of view which Our Lord never had. Disobedience in mind to the heavenly vision will make you a slave to points of view that are alien to Jesus Christ. Do not look at someone else and say – Well, if he can have those views and prosper, why cannot I? You have to walk in the light of the vision that has been given to you and not compare yourself with others or judge them, that is between them and God. When you find that a point of view in which you have been delighting clashes with the heavenly vision and you debate, certain things will begin to develop in you – a sense of property and a sense of personal right, things of which Jesus Christ made nothing. He was always against these things as being the root of everything alien to Himself. “A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things that he possesseth.” If we do not recognize this, it is because we are ignoring the undercurrent of Our Lord’s teaching.

We are apt to lie back and bask in the memory of the wonderful experience we have had. If there is one standard in the New Testament revealed by the light of God and you do not come up to it, and do not feel inclined to come up to it, that is the beginning of backsliding, because it means your conscience does not answer to the truth. You can never be the same after the unveiling of a truth. That moment marks you for going on as a more true disciple of Jesus Christ or for going back as a deserter.

We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future. Salvation is Now!!  1John 5:11-13,   1 John 3:2,   John 17:3

Treasures From The Vine–Except You Abide!

Posted on: 1 Comment

Japan 969_n

 

 

Religion is meant to be in everyday life a thing of unspeakable joy.  And why do so many complain that it is not so?  Because they do not believe that there is no joy like the joy of abiding in Christ and in His love, and being branches through whom He can pour out His love on a dying world.

Andrew Murray, The True Vine

 

Let me learn the lesson.  Abiding is to be an act of the will and the whole heart.  Just as there are degrees in seeking and serving God, “not with a perfect heart,” or “with the whole heart,” so there may be degrees in abiding.  In regeneration the divine life enters us, but it does not all at once master and fill our whole being.  This comes as a matter of command and obedience.

There is unspeakable danger of our not giving ourselves with our whole heart to abide.  There is unspeakable danger of our giving ourselves to work for God and to bear fruit, with but little of the true abiding, the wholehearted losing of ourselves in Christ and His life.  There is unspeakable danger of much work with but little fruit, for lack of this vital relationship.  We must allow the words “not of itself” and “except it abide” to do their work of searching and exposing, of pruning and cleansing, all that there is of self-will and self-confidence in our life; this will deliver us from this great evil, and so prepare us for His teaching, giving the full meaning of the word in in us: “Abide in me, and I in you.”

Our blessed Lord desires to call us away from ourselves and our own strength, to Himself and His strength.  Let us accept the warning and turn with great fear and self-distrust to Him to do His work.  Our life is “hid with Christ in God”!  That life is a heavenly mystery, hid from the wise even among Christians, and revealed unto babes.  The childlike spirit learns that life is given from heaven every day and every moment to the soul that accepts the teaching: “not of itself,” “except it abide,” and seeks its all in the Vine.  Abiding in the Vine then comes to be nothing more or less than the restful surrender of the soul to let Christ have all and work all, as completely as in nature the branch knows and seeks nothing but the vine.

* * *

Abide in me.  I have heard, my Lord, that with every command, You also give the power to obey.  With Your “Rise and walk,” the lame man leaped.  I accept Your word, “Abide in me,” as a word of power, that gives power, and even now I say, “Yea, Lord, I will, I do abide in You.”

Treasures From The Vine—I Am The Vine

Posted on: 3 Comments

Come Follow Me  26274_n

 

Religion is meant to be in everyday life a thing of unspeakable joy.

And why do so many complain that it is not so?  Because they do not

believe that there is no joy like the joy of abiding in Christ and in His love,

and being branches through whom He can pour out His love on  a dying world.

-Andrew Murray, The True Vine

 

I am the vine, ye are the branches. – John 15:5

In the previous verse Christ said: “Abide in me.”  He then announced the great unalterable law of all branch life, on earth or in heaven:  The branch cannot bear fruit “of itself”; “except it abide.”  In the opening words of the parable, He has already said, “I am the vine.”  He now repeats the words.  He would have us understand – note well the lesson (as simple as it appears, it is the key of the abiding life) – that the only way to obey the command “Abide in me” is to have eye and heart fixed upon Himself.  “Abide in me . . . I am the vine.”  Yes, study this holy mystery until you see Christ as the true Vine – bearing, strengthening, supplying, inspiring all His branches, being and doing in each branch all it needs – and the abiding will come of  itself.  Yes, gaze upon Him as the true Vine until you feel what a heavenly mystery it is and are compelled to ask the Father to reveal it to you by His Holy Spirit.

He to whom God reveals the glory of the true Vine, he who sees what Jesus is and waits to do His will every moment, he cannot but abide.  The vision of Christ is an irresistible attraction; it draws and holds us like a magnet.  Listen ever to the living Christ still speaking to you and waiting to show you the meaning and power of His word: “I am the vine.”

 

 

The Mind Of Christ

Posted on: 5 Comments

Prauge tumblr_mg7pqt2XV01r9lm96o1_1280

 

 

The heart of Jesus was spiritual. Our hearts seem so far from His.

He is pure.  We are greedy. He is peaceful; we are hassled. He is purposeful; we are distracted. How could we ever hope to have the heart of Jesus?
Ready for a surprise? You already do.  You already have the heart of Christ. Would I kid you?  One of the supreme promises of God is simply this:  if you’ve given your life to Jesus, Jesus has given Himself to you.
The Apostle Paul explains it in 1 Corinthians 2:16: “Strange as it seems, we Christians actually do have within us a portion of the very thoughts and mind of Christ.”
The same one who saved your soul longs to remake your heart. His plan is nothing short of a total transformation. Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus. Perhaps in seeing Him, we will see what we can become!

 

For The Struggling Christian–You Can Live In Victory

Posted on: 7 Comments

Big Sur rest Used 681x454

The Big Sur


 

                                                        Post By Pastor Dennis Smith

The Problem

The problem the struggling Christian has is not that he/she doesn’t want to obey God.  The problem is that he/she doesn’t know how to live a consistently obedient life.  That is what this book is all about; to help born again men and women find the simple yet elusive truth of how to let Christ live out His life in them.  When this truth is discovered there will no longer be a struggle with temptation.  The only struggle will be to decide if you want Christ to give you His victory over that particular sin.  You still have a free will.  Once that decision is made the victory will be gained through Christ living out His righteousness in the life.

Right now you might be thinking; “What, that can’t be true!”  Or you might be receiving hope that there really is an answer to the struggle you are having.  I pray that you are receiving hope.  After all, the Bible says that “as many as received him, to them gave him power to become the sons of God” (John 1:12).  The word translated power comes from the Greek word from which we get the English word “dynamite.”   There is no shortage of power with God.  The problem is that many or even most Christians don’t know how to let God manifest His “dynamite” power in their lives for victory over every temptation and sin.

 

You Can Live in Victory

 

I want to reassure you from God’s Word that the Christian can truly live a victorious life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  This book is dedicated to helping you under the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment discover that truth for yourself.

The first step in experiencing the complete deliverance Jesus wants you to have over sin is to recognize that you have no power within yourself to obtain the victory.  You must realize that you are absolutely helpless when it comes to overcoming the temptations in your life.  The natural born sinful nature is so strong in you that its power will make you a slave of it unless the power of God delivers you from this slavery.    This is the very point Paul was making in Romans chapter seven.

The natural response of every Christian to God’s commands it to put forth every effort with God’s help to try to obey.  What I want you to realize in this chapter is that your striving to obey will cause to you to fail every time.  You do not have it in you to obey no matter how hard you try.  You don’t have it in you to obey even if you think you can with God’s added power united with your effort to obey.  You must realize that you can do absolutely nothing to live an obedient life as far as putting forth effort is concerned.  This is because of the extremely powerful sinful nature that resides in you.  In stead of you struggling with the temptation you must depend 100 percent on Christ for victory.

In this book I will be emphasizing very strongly the fact that our victory over temptation and sin comes only as we allow Christ to live out His life in us; not by struggling with the temptation.  Our struggle is to maintain our hold on God and keep faith in His promises of victory.  Peter pointed this out when he wrote:

 

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”  2Peter 1:4

 

Peter goes on to tell us that as we partake of the divine nature, which is Christ living in us, we will be growing more and more like Christ.  As we overcome our sinful natures effort to manifest sinful desires we will develop faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.  As Paul puts it:

 

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2Corinthians 3:18

 

It is through Christ living in us by the Holy Spirit that we are moment-by-moment and day-by-day changed into Christ’s image.  Every temptation we overcome by allowing Christ to manifest Himself in that particular area of our life will lead us to be changed into the image of Christ in that area of our life.  That is why Paul writes that we are “changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Since the power of our sinful nature is overcome by Christ living in us, in the next chapter we will consider what Christ has done to break the power of this sinful nature, which wants to make us its slave.

The Big Sur and The Bixby Bridge From Yet Another Vantage Point!

The Viewpoint—Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers

Posted on: 1 Comment

 

 

 

By Oswald Chambers 

Author of: “My Utmost for His Highest”


 

 

 

Now thanks be to God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.

The viewpoint of a worker for God must not be as near the highest as he can get, it must be the highest. Be careful to maintain strenuously God’s point of view, it has to be done every day, bit by bit; don’t think on the finite. No outside power can touch the viewpoint.

The viewpoint to maintain is that we are here for one purpose only, viz., to be captives in the train of Christ’s triumphs. We are not in God’s showroom, we are here to exhibit one thing – the absolute captivity of our lives to Jesus Christ. How small the other points of view are – I am standing alone battling for Jesus; I have to maintain the cause of Christ and hold this fort for Him. Paul says – I am in the train of a conqueror, and it does not matter what the difficulties are, I am always led in triumph. Is this idea being worked out practically in us? Paul’s secret joy was that God took him, a red-handed rebel against Jesus Christ, and made him a captive, and now that is all he is here for. Paul’s joy was to be a captive of the Lord, he had no other interest in heaven or in earth. It is a shameful thing for a Christian to talk about getting the victory. The Victor ought to have got us so completely that it is His victory all the time, and we are more than conquerors through Him.

“For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ.” We are enwheeled with the odour of Jesus, and wherever we go we are a wonderful refreshment to God.

    2 Corinthians 2:14

Are You A Struggling Christian? You Can Live In Victory!

Posted on: 6 Comments

 

 

 

 

 

    By Pastor Dennis Smith

Visit Pastor Smith’s Holy Spirit Website


 

The problem the struggling Christian has is not that he/she doesn’t want to obey God.  The problem is that he/she doesn’t know how to live a consistently obedient life.  That is what this book is all about; to help born again men and women find the simple yet elusive truth of how to let Christ live out His life in them.  When this truth is discovered there will no longer be a struggle with temptation.  The only struggle will be to decide if you want Christ to give you His victory over that particular sin.  You still have a free will.  Once that decision is made the victory will be gained through Christ living out His righteousness in the life.

Right now you might be thinking; “What, that can’t be true!”  Or you might be receiving hope that there really is an answer to the struggle you are having.  I pray that you are receiving hope.  After all, the Bible says that “as many as received him, to them gave him power to become the sons of God” (John 1:12).  The word translated power comes from the Greek word from which we get the English word “dynamite.”   There is no shortage of power with God.  The problem is that many or even most Christians don’t know how to let God manifest His “dynamite” power in their lives for victory over every temptation and sin.

 

You Can Live in Victory

 

I want to reassure you from God’s Word that the Christian can truly live a victorious life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  This book is dedicated to helping you under the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment discover that truth for yourself.

The first step in experiencing the complete deliverance Jesus wants you to have over sin is to recognize that you have no power within yourself to obtain the victory.  You must realize that you are absolutely helpless when it comes to overcoming the temptations in your life.  The natural born sinful nature is so strong in you that its power will make you a slave of it unless the power of God delivers you from this slavery.    This is the very point Paul was making in Romans chapter seven.

The natural response of every Christian to God’s commands it to put forth every effort with God’s help to try to obey.  What I want you to realize in this chapter is that your striving to obey will cause to you to fail every time.  You do not have it in you to obey no matter how hard you try.  You don’t have it in you to obey even if you think you can with God’s added power united with your effort to obey.  You must realize that you can do absolutely nothing to live an obedient life as far as putting forth effort is concerned.  This is because of the extremely powerful sinful nature that resides in you.  In stead of you struggling with the temptation you must depend 100 percent on Christ for victory.

In this book I will be emphasizing very strongly the fact that our victory over temptation and sin comes only as we allow Christ to live out His life in us; not by struggling with the temptation.  Our struggle is to maintain our hold on God and keep faith in His promises of victory.  Peter pointed this out when he wrote:

 

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”  2Peter 1:4

 

Peter goes on to tell us that as we partake of the divine nature, which is Christ living in us, we will be growing more and more like Christ.  As we overcome our sinful natures effort to manifest sinful desires we will develop faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.  As Paul puts it:

 

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2Corinthians 3:18

 

It is through Christ living in us by the Holy Spirit that we are moment-by-moment and day-by-day changed into Christ’s image.  Every temptation we overcome by allowing Christ to manifest Himself in that particular area of our life will lead us to be changed into the image of Christ in that area of our life.  That is why Paul writes that we are “changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Since the power of our sinful nature is overcome by Christ living in us, in the next chapter we will consider what Christ has done to break the power of this sinful nature, which wants to make us its slave.

The Family of God

Posted on: No Comments

Thanks Dick Duerksen For Your Wonderful Photography

 

 

 

 

 

By Pastor Dennis Smith

Check Out All The Inspiring  Holy Spirit Books By Pastor Smith

Sin broke apart the family of God.  The plan of redemption was established to restore this family.  Paul addresses those who have responded to God’s call in their lives in the following way:

“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19).

The Greek word translated “household” is oikeios.  When we become a believer in Jesus Christ we become a member of His family.

Traditionally, we tend to think of church in a larger sense, the corporate or congregational aspect.  We do not tend to think of church in terms of a smaller family.  However, the early church from the biblical and historical perspective was made up of small home fellowships.  These fellowship groups functioned as family.

When Paul describes his own feelings toward the Thessalonica family of God, he expresses the relationship that is to be experienced in the family of God:

“We love you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us” (1 Thess. 2:8, NIV).

These kinds of endearing relationships cannot happen in the larger congregational setting.  If our church activities consist primarily of coming to church on Sabbath morning, greeting our friends, and then returning home, we cannot possibly achieve this level of family relationship.

For example, what if you heard about a family that remained separated from one another during the week and then came together once a week for an hour or two, briefly greeted one another, then sat in rows, and heard someone give a lecture.  Afterward, they went their separate ways until seven days later when they associated “together” by again greeting one another, sitting in rows, and listening to another lecture.  What would you think about that family’s togetherness?  I think you would question if they were really a family.  Most would certainly conclude that their style of family togetherness had much room for improvement.  Amazingly and yet sadly, most Christians seek to be a church family using this pattern of family.

In a healthy family the members know each other intimately.  They know one another’s fears, hopes, dreams, frustrations, and struggles.  In a loving, caring family the members are there to encourage one another with words and actions.

The family of God is to function in the same way.  However, God’s family has one significant advantage over the average family in the world.  God’s family experiences the fruit and gifts of the Spirit functioning in their midst.  God Himself is the One ministering to the family members.  He does this through each member of the family as they continue to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  The intimate relationship with God this daily baptism brings allows Christ to live in and minister through each believer, but this dynamic of family can take place only in the smaller fellowship group setting.

God is the Great Giver

Posted on: No Comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accumulation of wealth is a popular defense against fear.  Since we fear losing our jobs, health care, or retirement benefits, we amass possessions, thinking the more we have, the safer we are!

If there were no God, ‘stuff-trusting’ would be the only appropriate response to an uncertain future.  But there is a God.  And this God does not want his children to trust money.  He responded to the folly of the rich man with the words,  “Do not worry about your life…Do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.”

God is the great giver who “gives us richly all things to enjoy.”  He is the great provider.  The fount of every blessing.  Absolutely generous and utterly dependable.

The resounding message of Scripture is clear.  God owns it all.  God shares it all.

Trust him–not stuff!

Taken from Fearless

Spirit Baptism and Fellowship Groups

Posted on: 4 Comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 A Must Read By Pastor Dennis Smith!!


The baptism of the Holy Spirit and fellowship groups go hand in hand.  Both are necessary for the Christian to grow into the fullness of Christ.  The baptism of the Holy Spirit is essential for the core members of a fellowship group in order for the group to function as God intends.  We see this clearly illustrated in the experience of Christ and the disciples.  The 12 disciples were in a very close personal, group relationship with Christ and one another for three and a half years.  Yet we find them bickering among themselves on the way to the Passover supper just before Christ was to be taken by the mob and ultimately crucified:

“But there was also rivalry among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest” (Luke 22:24).

They had not yet attained the level of loving, committed fellowship with God or each other during those years.  Simply being a part of a fellowship group, of which Christ was the leader, was not enough to bring about the changes necessary for them to grow up into the fullness of Christ.  Later, we find that they were changed dramatically.  What made the difference?  Their receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost made the difference.  From that day forward they, and all others who were present, entered into the genuine Christian fellowship that God desires every believer to experience:

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).  “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (verses 46, 47).

The early church’s fellowship way of doing church cannot happen during the traditional Sabbath morning worship service because of the interrelational dynamics required between Spirit-filled believers.  The only way this kind of fellowship experience can happen is in small Christian fellowship groups.  The traditional Sabbath worship service is important.  The point is, that alone is not enough.

The importance of the Spirit-filled believers fellowshipping together in small groups is demonstrated by two illustrations.  Paul gives us one illustration of the necessity of a continued living connection between believers in his first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 12.  He uses the analogy of the human body to describe the church and its members.  He points out how necessary it is for each body part to minister to the body.  Spirit-filled believers need one another.  They are to minister to one another just as your heart, right hand, eyes, etc., minister to the other parts of your body.  From this analogy it is evident that it is necessary for each body part to remain in close, living connection with the other body parts.  It is the home fellowship groups that enable the Spirit-baptized believer to keep a close, living connection with the body of Christ, which enables members of the body to minister to one another.

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.  But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as he wills.  For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ” (1 Cor. 12:7-12).

Paul also speaks about the body of Christ in Ephesians 4:11-16.

Another illustration of the importance of home fellowship groups can be seen around any campfire.  Think for a moment of a time when you were sitting around a campfire and watching the embers burn.  In order to keep the fire going it was important that you kept the embers close together and occasionally put on new wood.  If a burning ember became separated from the other burning embers it would soon lose its fire and go out.  This clearly illustrates the importance of close Christian fellowship.  In order for the Spirit-baptized believer to keep the “fire” from going out in his life, he needs not only to continually ask God for the Spirit’s infilling (Eph. 5:18), but he must also continually keep in fellowship with other Spirit-filled believers.

 

 Visit Pastor Dennis Smith’s Website To Learn More

What Do You Want?—Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers

Posted on: 3 Comments

 

 

 

 

 

 By Oswald Chambers

Author of:“My Utmost for His Highest”

Devotion For April 27th 

“Seekest thou great things for thyself?”

Jeremiah 14:5

Are you seeking great things for yourself? Not seeking to be a great one, but seeking great things from God for yourself. God wants you in a closer relationship to Himself than receiving His gifts, He wants you to get to know Him. A great thing is accidental, it comes and goes. God never gives us anything accidental. There is nothing easier than getting into a right relationship with God except when it is not God Whom you want but only what He gives.

If you have only come the length of asking God for things, you have never come to the first strand of abandonment, you have become a Christian from a standpoint of your own. “I did ask God for the Holy Spirit, but He did not give me the rest and the peace I expected.” Instantly God puts His finger on the reason – you are not seeking the Lord at all, you are seeking something for yourself. Jesus says – “Ask, and it shall be given you.” Ask God for what you want, and you cannot ask if you are not asking for a right thing. When you draw near to God, you cease from asking for things. “Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.” Then why ask? That you may get to know Him.

Are you seeking great things for yourself? “O Lord, baptize me with the Holy Ghost.” If God does not, it is because you are not abandoned enough to Him, there is something you will not do. Are you prepared to ask yourself what it is you want from God and why you want it? God always ignores the present perfection for the ultimate perfection. He is not concerned about making you blessed and happy just now; He is working out His ultimate perfection all the time – “that they may be one even as We are.”