Posts Tagged ‘Love’

Love Is The Opposite of Control and Dependency-2a

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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

Celebrate  by asking Jesus to come into your heart this very moment!

Today is the day of Salvation!  1John 5:11-13

Jesus will make you just like Him.

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.  1John 3:2, 2 Corinthians 3:18.

And what is Jesus like?

Jesus  is Steadfast unfailing Love, a Love that will hold you together and never forsake you!!

When I thought, “My foot slips,”
your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up. Psalms 94:18

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1John 4:7-8

The facts are that everyone will know that we are disciples of Jesus by the way we love one another!

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”John 13:35

His love is The Gospel! That unfailing Love will draw me to Him and Save me!   John 12:32,  Romans 1:16-17.

 

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

 

 When I thought, “My foot slips,”
   your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up. 

Psalms 94:18 

  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Colossians 1:17  

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;

  2 Corinthians 5:14

When healthy love does not successfully emerge and instead selfishness dominates, dependency is frequently the result.

Love is doing what is good regardless of how one feels. Love is doing what is in the best interest of another and giving of oneself for another. Love is selfless. When we love, we live. When we stop loving, we die. Of course it is the infection of selfishness that is the complete opposite of true love.

Unfortunately all nature is infected with the virus of selfishness. This includes each one of us!! Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23.

Selfishness is the principle of taking, while love is the principle of giving.

And Love Is Other Centered!!  Philippians 2:1-4, 1John 4:8, John 3:16, 1Corinthians 13:5. Matthew 5:43-48, Philippians 2:5-8,12-13.

 

Love heals, while dependency destroys.

Love liberates, while dependency always seeks to control.

Love gives, while dependency constantly takes.

Love is fearless, while dependency is fear-ridden.

Love is interested in another, while dependency focuses on self.

Love is stable, while dependency wavers.

Love is orderly and reliable, while dependency is chaotic and unreliable.

Love is based on principle, while dependency is based on feelings.

Love is consistent, while dependency is inconsistent.

Love is honest and truthful, while dependency is dishonest and deceitful.

Love is patient, while dependency is impulsive.

Love is kind, while dependency is cruel.

Love is forgiving, while dependency is resentful.

Love protects, while dependency exploits.

Love sacrifices self, while dependency sacrifices others.

Love never ends, while dependency never lasts.

Love never fails, while dependency never succeeds.

“Courtesy Dr. Tim Jennings and ComeAndReason.com”

 

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, 1John 3:2, John 17:3

 

He Is Able To Do Beyond All That We Ask or Think Ephesians 3:20-21

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Ansel Adams Photo

 

Exciting Thoughts on Ephesians 3:20

 

GOD IS ABLE TO PROVIDE HYPER ABUNDANCE FOR YOU!!

 1. He is able to do or work, for He is neither idle, nor inactive, nor dead!

2. He is able to do what we ask, for He hears and answers prayer!

3. He is able to do what we ask or think, for He reads our thoughts, and sometimes we imagine things for which we dare not and therefore do not ask.

4. He is able to do all that we ask or think, for He knows it all and can perform it all!

5. He is able to do more…. Than (hyper, beyond) all that we ask or think, for His expectations are higher than ours.

6. He is able to do much more, or more abundantly, than all that we ask or think, for He does not give His grace by calculated measure.

7. He is able to do very much more, far more abundantly, than all that we ask or think, for He is the only God of super-abundance.. There are no limits to what God can do!!

 

What a God!!!! Paul is excited about Him!! His soul and heart seem to be bursting with a desire to praise, and to thank, and to glorify, the God who has creative power and has made such things possible for us!!

 

And our hearts will be also when we begin to grasp the magnitude of God’s everlasting love and what God has done for each one of us!!

PRAISE GOD FOR HIS STEADFAST NEVER-FAILING LOVE!!

Jeremiah 31:3, Psalm 94:18

The Recognized Ban Of Relationship—Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers

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By Oswald Chambers

Author of:“My Utmost for His Highest”

Devotion For February 3rd

“We are made as the filth of the world.”

1 Corinthians 4:9-13

These words are not an exaggeration. The reason they are not true of us who call ourselves ministers of the gospel is not that Paul forgot the exact truth in using them, but that we have too many discreet affinities to allow ourselves to be made refuse. “Filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ” is not an evidence of sanctification, but of being “separated unto the gospel.”

“Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you,” says Peter. If we do think it strange concerning the things we meet with, it is because we are craven-hearted. We have discreet affinities that keep us out of the mire – I won’t stoop, I won’t bend. You do not need to, you can be saved by the skin of your teeth if you like; you can refuse to let God count you as one separated unto the gospel. Or you may say – “I do not care if I am treated as the offscouring of the earth as long as the Gospel is proclaimed.” A servant of Jesus Christ is one who is willing to go to martyrdom for the reality of the gospel of God. When a merely moral man or woman comes in contact with baseness and immorality and treachery, the recoil is so desperately offensive to human goodness that the heart shuts up in despair. The marvel of the Redemptive Reality of God is that the worst and the vilest can never get to the bottom of His love. Paul did not say that God separated him to show what a wonderful man He could make of him, but “to reveal His Son in me.”

But It Is Hardly Credible That One Could So Persecute Jesus!—Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers

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    By Oswald Chambers

Author of: “My Utmost for His Highest”

Devotion For January 28th

 

“Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?”

 Acts 26:14

Am I set on my own way for God? We are never free from this snare until we are brought into the experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire. Obstinacy and self-will will always stab Jesus Christ. It may hurt no one else, but it wounds His Spirit. Whenever we are obstinate and self-willed and set upon our own ambitions, we are hurting Jesus. Every time we stand on our rights and insist that this is what we intend to do, we are persecuting Jesus. Whenever we stand on our dignity we systematically vex and grieve His Spirit; and when the knowledge comes home that it is Jesus Whom we have been persecuting all the time, it is the most crushing revelation there could be.

Is the word of God tremendously keen to me as I hand it on to you, or does my life give the lie to the things I profess to teach? I may teach sanctification and yet exhibit the spirit of Satan, the spirit that persecutes Jesus Christ. The Spirit of Jesus is conscious of one thing only – a perfect oneness with the Father, and He says, “Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.” All I do ought to be founded on a perfect oneness with Him, not on a self-willed determination to be godly. This will mean that I can be easily put upon, easily over-reached, easily ignored; but if I submit to it for His sake, I prevent Jesus Christ being persecuted.

All About Love—A Wonderful Short Story

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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

 

The very foundation of Salvation is grounded in the realization that God’s unmerited love toward us is greater than any other power—including death!!                                                                  Romans 8:37-39, 1Corinthians 15:55-57

Love is not simply about avoiding injurious activities—it is about choosing to purposefully act in uplifting and selfless ways. Nor is it simply about doing what feels good. Rather, love involves doing what is good regardless of how one feels. Doing what is in the best interest of another and giving of oneself for another, love is selfless! When we love, we live. When we stop loving, we die!

A Story About Love

I once had a friend who grew to be very close to me. Once when we were
sitting at the edge of a swimming pool, she filled the palm of her hand
with some water and held it before me, and said this: “You see this
water carefully contained on my hand? It symbolizes Love.”

This was how I saw it: As long as you keep your hand caringly open and
allow it to remain there, it will always be there. However, if you
attempt to close your fingers round it and try to posses it, it will
spill through the first cracks it finds.
This is the greatest mistake that people do when they meet love… they
try to posses it, they demand, they expect… and just like the water
spilling out of your hand, love will retrieve from you.
For love is meant to be free, you cannot change its nature. If there are
people you love, allow them to be free beings. Give and don’t expect.
Advise, but don’t order. Ask, but never demand. It might sound simple,
but it is a lesson that may take a lifetime to truly practice. It is the
secret to true love. To truly practice it, you must sincerely feel no
expectations from those who you love,
and yet an unconditional caring.”

 

 

            The Power Of God’s Love!

 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment, because in this world we are like him.  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  1 John 4:13-21 NIV, John 5:24

This Is Truly The Gospel In Action!!

“Courtesy Come And Reason Ministries”

The Undetected Sacredness Of Circumstances—Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers

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  By Oswald Chambers

Author of: “My Utmost for His Highest”

Devotion For November 7th

All things work together for good to them that love God.

The circumstances of a saint’s life are ordained of God. In the life of a saint there is no such thing as chance. God by His providence brings you into circumstances that you cannot understand at all, but the Spirit of God understands. God is bringing you into places and among people and into conditions in order that the intercession of the Spirit in you may take a particular line. Never put your hand in front of the circumstances and say – I am going to be my own providence here, I must watch this, and guard that. All your circumstances are in the hand of God, therefore never think it strange concerning the circumstances you are in. Your part in intercessory prayer is not to enter into the agony of intercession, but to utilize the common-sense circumstances God puts you in, and the common-sense people He puts you amongst by His providence, to bring them before God’s throne and give the Spirit in you a chance to intercede for them. In this way God is going to sweep the whole world with His saints.

Am I making the Holy Spirit’s work difficult by being indefinite, or by trying to do His work for Him? I must do the human side of intercession, and the human side is the circumstances I am in and the people I am in contact with. I have to keep my conscious life as a shrine of the Holy Ghost, then as I bring the different ones before God, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for them.

Your intercessions can never be mine, and my intercessions can never be yours, but the Holy Ghost makes intercession in our particular lives, without which intercession someone will be impoverished.

Romans 8:28

Grieving the Holy Spirit

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Post By Pastor Dennis Smith

There are things we can do that will grieve the Spirit.  If we do not daily seek Him and cooperate in following where He leads us, our Christian experience will weaken.

God doesn’t force.  When we receive the baptism of the Spirit, He will have a greater impact in our life.  We will feel His prompting more strongly.  He will be daily putting the desire in our heart to obey God.  He will call us to study God’s Word and to pray more.  The Spirit will cause us to begin loving righteousness and hating sin.  However, we are always free to disregard His prompting.  When we do this we begin the process of “grieving,” or “quenching,” the Spirit.  Paul gives practical advice in many portions of Scripture on how to avoid doing this.  These practical counsels to the believer on living the Christian life are intended to help us maintain the fullness of the Spirit in our lives.  Two examples of such counsel are found in the following Bible verses:

“And that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness.  Therefore, putting away lying, each one speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.  ‘Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.  Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:24-32).

“Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.  See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.  Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thess. 5:14-19).

Paul knew that the Spirit of God dwelling in believers would be prompting them to do the things listed in these verses.  If we refuse to yield to His prompting, though, we will be in danger of grieving and quenching the Spirit.

If you find that you have grieved the Spirit, don’t become discouraged!  Ask God to forgive you, and He will (1 John 1:9).  Then ask God in faith to fill you anew with His Spirit, and He will do that, too (Luke 11:13).

David knew God’s mercy.  He had committed the sins of adultery and murder.  He had walked away from the prompting of God’s Spirit in his life when he committed these terrible acts.  Yet when he was convicted of his sin by the Spirit, he turned to God in prayer.  Note especially these words:

“Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with Your generous Spirit” (Ps. 51:9-12).

When we find that we’ve been slipping away from God we must not let another moment go by without confessing our sin, accepting God’s forgiveness, and claiming the promise of the renewing of the Spirit in our lives just as David did.  Then we will be strengthened once again in the “inner” man to be victorious over Satan:

“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:16-19).

We serve a wonderful God.  When we have failed Him, let us remember:

“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy.  He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever.  He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities.  For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.  As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him” (Ps. 103:8-13).

A Powerful Personal Testimony

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Romans 8:28

This Will Encourage Everyone

Kevin Adam’s Testimony

If you’re alive, you have breath. If that breath has ever been taken away, even for a moment, you have a testimony. Our lives are filled with moments of pain or decisions that wipe clean everything but the shell of who we think we are. Like most who’ve been breathing a while, I’ve also been crushed under the weight of God’s course correcting presence. Though it continues to steal my breath, it saves my life and reminds me who He is – the only thing of value that truly exists. And the only thing of value that my life can produce is to share this truth with those who are unsure. Faith comes by the word but the hope made available through it is often seen first in the pain of those who are willing trust God through it. In that respect, here is a brief window into my personal ongoing refinement.

In the fall of 2008, after a decade of hard work, I had a successful business, high income, great investments and no bad debt. By January 09, within 100 days, I’d lost it all, was in overwhelming debt, and my entire financial structure had collapsed squarely on top me and my family. It’s a common story these days, but still uniquely and personally devastating. Ten years of effort left me with nothing it seemed but guilt, fear, and shame. Two years have passed and my journey continues to unfold. Day by day we press through new obstacles, new threats of lawsuits, foreclosures, and various other collection tactics. And with little income, nothing regular, despair is sometimes only inches away from devouring me. As a way to remind myself to hope, I began to express in writing what has sustained me, kept me from suicide, and still encourages me to press on with confidence.

I began my blog with little expectation that anyone else would read it. But people are reading it and sharing it with others who are hurting. And through it God is revealing His will for me to write, even at the expense of leaving my business career dead on the floor. When this trial began, I’d been a believer for 24 years. But not until it happened did I learn the value of suffering or understand that even Jesus had to learn obedience through it. It’s the process for all who are being prepared for the work of the Lord. And it differs for everyone depending on that work. For us, there have been days with no groceries and no way to buy them, days of not knowing where we would live, days of marriage struggles and depression, and even days of seeing family place material wealth above our need. But in these days I learned something astonishing, something that will forever keep me passionately defending and praising our God to all who will listen. I learned that He loves me and made me priceless. I learned that His word is the bread of life that most believers never truly feast on, and I learned that He wants to talk to me every day about my life through that word.

So in my trials I began to study fervently and write from what I learned. The most important thing for a believer is to get close to God so he can hear His voice. This level of intimacy comes through the word by His spirit. By this means we can be led through the trial toward the work He has planned. I’ve seen His mighty hand feed us and clothe us when we could not. He stabilized our finances when we had nothing. Over and over I saw His hand moving at precise moments. But it took steadfastly staying in His word to open my eyes and understand what He was doing and why. God never wanted to crush me, but it was the only way to get the wine flowing from me that He intended for others. So my pain has become my passion and my former idols of fear and pride have become a condemned enemy. I never realized how useless my life was as a man striving in my own effort to sustain a decade of hard work.

Now, through His word, I hear His voice just as the sheep who know the sound of it. After months of living in moments, at my lowest place, God revealed to me that I would now be free to live for Him and His purpose. And while standing in worship one Sunday He said “I will lift you up now” and He did – it would take pages and pages to express the depth and detail of His blessing in this way, so I’ll just summarize it for you. He told me to let go of business, to write and minister instead. He told me He would sustain my family and take care of our needs and He has. He told me He would restore my marriage and clean our hearts from the pain of childhood and He has. He told me that he would speak through me to encourage people when their lives are shaken, and He is doing it!

Finally, I learned that we cannot please God without faith; and real faith, absolute confidence that God will do what He says, comes at a price; the greater the faith the heavier the price. So for those under the heavy oppression of dark circumstances, there is good reason to hope! God is calling you through the pain for something greater and we have to be ready to listen (even though we’d rather not) because the reward is beyond measure. So my chief aim now as a student of God’s word, and fledgling writer is to help followers of Christ apprehend a real and passionate faith through the study of His word, by simple illustration, and regular encouragement. And by this faith they might catch a vision of who God shaped them to become. The mandate He gave me and all who desire to be free is Matt 6:33 “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you”.

Romans 8:28

Big Sur Ocean Sunset

A Blue Rose

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Having four visiting family members, my wife was very busy, so I offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items, which included light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags, detergent and Clorox. So off I went.

I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies and headed for the checkout counter, only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man who appeared to be about sixteen-years-old. I wasn’t in a hurry, so I patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, “Mommy, I’m over here.”

It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged and also startled as he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, “Hey Buddy, what’s your name?”

“My name is Denny and I’m shopping with my mother,” he responded proudly.

“Wow,” I said, “that’s a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but my name is Steve.”

“Steve, like Stevarino?” he asked.  “Yes,” I answered. “How old are you Denny?”

“How old am I now, Mommy?” he asked his mother as she slowly came over from the next aisle.

“You’re fifteen-years-old Denny; now be a good boy and let the man pass by.”

I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more minutes about summer, bicycles and school. I watched his brown eyes dance with excitement, because he was the center of someone’s attention. He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.

Denny’s mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn’t even look at him, much less talk to him.

I told her that it was my pleasure and then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow, and pink roses in God’s Garden; however, “Blue Roses” are very rare and should be appreciated for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if someone doesn’t stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that rose with their kindness, then they’ve missed a blessing from God.

She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked, “Who are you ?”

Without thinking I said,

“Oh, I’m probably just a dandelion, but I sure love living in God’s garden.”

She reached out, squeezed my hand and said,

“God bless you !” and then I had tears in my eyes.

May I suggest, the next time you see a BLUE ROSE, don’t turn your head and walk off. Take the time to smile and say Hello. Why ? Because, by the grace of GOD, this mother or father could be you. This could be your child, grandchild, niece or nephew. What a difference a moment can mean to that person or their family.

The counsel of Jesus is straight forward!

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’   Matthew 25:34,40

One of the Most Important Principles in Reading the Bible

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One of the Most Important Principles in Reading the Bible

By  John Piper

Sometimes readers of the Bible see the conditions that God lays down for his blessing and they conclude from these conditions that our action is first and decisive, then God responds to bless us.

That is not right.

There are indeed real conditions that God often commands. We must meet them for the promised blessing to come. But that does not mean that we are left to ourselves to meet the conditions or that our action is first and decisive.

Here is one example to show what I mean.

In Jeremiah 29:13 God says to the exiles in Babylon, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” So there is a condition: When you seek me with all your heart, then you will find me. So we must seek the Lord. That is the condition of finding him.

True.

But does that mean that we are left to ourselves to seek the Lord? Does it mean that our action of seeking him is first and decisive? Does it mean that God only acts after our seeking?

No.

Listen to what God says in Jeremiah 24:7  to those same exiles in Babylon: “I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.”

So the people will meet the condition of returning to God with their whole heart. God will respond by being their God in the fullest blessing. But the reason they returned with their whole heart is that God gave them a heart to know him. His action was first and decisive.

So now connect that with Jeremiah 29:13 The condition there was that they seek the Lord with their whole heart. Then God will be found by them. But now we see that the promise in Jeremiah 24:7 is that God himself will give them such a heart so that they will return to him with their whole heart.

This is one of the most basic things people need to see about the Bible. It is full of conditions we must meet for God’s blessings. But God does not leave us to meet them on our own. The first and decisive work before and in our willing is God’s prior grace. Without this insight, hundreds of conditional statements in the Bible will lead us astray.

Let this be the key to all Biblical conditions and commands: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13). Yes, we work. But our work is not first or decisive. God’s is. “I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10).

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: www.desiringGod.org. Email: mail@desiringGod.org. Toll Free: 1.888.346.4700.


A Great Short Story “I Have Decided To Follow Jesus”

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“My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

I Have Decided To Follow Jesus

The story of the song is covered in the Book by Dr. P.P. Job and Indian preacher in His book “Why God Why”

An excerpt from the book is given below:

About 150 years ago, there was a great revival in Wales, England. As a result of this, many missionaries came from England and Germany to North-East India to spread the Gospel. At the time, north-east India was not divided into many states as it is today. The region was known as Assam and comprised hundreds of tribes. The tribal communities were quite primitive and aggressive by nature. The tribal’s were also called head-hunters because of a social custom which required the male members of the community to collect as many heads as possible. A man’s strength and ability to protect his wife was assessed by the number of heads he had collected. Therefore, a youth of marriageable age would try and collect as many heads as possible and hang them on the walls of his house. The more heads a man had, the more eligible he was considered. Into this hostile and aggressive community, came a group of Welsh missionaries spreading the message of love, peace and hope of Jesus Christ.

Naturally, they were not welcomed. One Welsh missionary succeeded in converting a man, his wife, and two children. This man’s faith proved contagious and many villagers began to accept Christ. Angry, the village chief summoned all the villagers. He then called the family who had first converted to renounce their faith in public or face execution. Moved by the Holy Spirit, the man instantly composed a song which became famous down the years. He sang:

I have decided to follow Jesus. (3 times)
No turning back, no turning back.

Enraged at the refusal of the man, the chief ordered his archers to arrow down the two children. As both boys lay twitching on the floor, the chief asked, “Will you deny your faith? You have lost both your children. You will lose your wife too.”

But the man sang these words in reply:

Though no one joins me, still I will follow. (3 times)
No turning back, no turning back.

The chief was beside himself with fury and ordered his wife to be arrowed down. In a moment she joined her two children in death. Now he asked for the last time, “I will give you one more opportunity to deny your faith and live.”

In the face of death the man sang the final memorable lines:

The cross before me, the world behind me. (3 times)
No turning back, no turning back.

He was shot dead like the rest of his family. But with their deaths, a miracle took place. The chief who had ordered the killings was moved by the faith of the man. He wondered,  “Why should this man, his wife and two children die for a Man who lived in a far-away land on another continent some 2,000 years ago? There must be some supernatural power behind the family, and I too want that supernatural power.”

In a spontaneous confession of faith, he declared, “I too belong to Jesus Christ!”  When the crowd heard this from the mouth of their chief, the whole village accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior.  This is the power of [God in] demonstration.

 

“I Have Decided To Follow Jesus”

John 16:33, John 15:9, John 17:23