Friday, July 15, 2011

Christ Is The Perfect Role Model:

In support of His call for us to be trustworthy, Jesus commits Himself to being our role model. Even though the disciples know the value of trust, they are human and subject to lapses; they were in the company of Jesus for about three and a half years, and witnessed an unbroken trust from Christ. Jesus kept every promise that He made to them.

Every leader needs a role model: Look at the distinction between a hero and a model.

A Hero – is a person who shows you who you can be.
A Model – is a person who shows you what you can do.

At an early age we might call our models heroes. Our heroes may be fictitious characters or eminent persons whom we do not know.

An editorial in Life Magazine years ago extolled Dag Hammarskjöld, Pope John X11, and Albert Schweitzer as heroes of the twentieth century. After reviewing their individual achievements, the article concluded with the statement that they shared one quality in common because they chose to be good first, they became great later. Though never meeting them, in someway they could conceder heroes of mind. Their book and those written about them showed the value of seeking to be good rather than great.

Every leader needs a role model: Role models are persons who exemplify a quality of/in life one desires to reciprocate. In human relationship, especially between leaders and followers, there is no higher value to be modeled than the quality of trust.

For example, Dr James Gregory served as the president of Spring Arbor College. In addition to his administrative duties, he taught Greek homiletics and philosophy. Not only did students stand in awe at his towing intellect but found themselves thirsting for the Spirit of God which exuded from his teaching and his preaching.

Maybe he was to gentle and gracious to be a good administrator but when he disciplined the student body for pranks and etc. the student felt that they betrayed his trust. When Dr. Gregory died he left several of his personal items for some of the students. His doctoral cap & gown, his leather-bound, gift-edged copy of Thomas a Kempis’s classic devotional The Imitation of Christ and his well read edition of C.S Lewis’s autobiography, Surprised by Joy. Even more important that the items are the values they communicated. Dr. George left the legacy of academic excellence, spiritual devotion and a joyful witness. In him we say the Spirit of Christ.

Once trust is established and maintained through some testing, other values will follow. For this reason, Jesus makes trust the quality of the life that He will exemplify for His disciples.

Because He is the model of our trust, we can be trustworthy.

Carl Mathis: author of “Life is what you make it – seven steps to moving forward.” Allow Carl Mathis to motivate/inspire you with his Christian words of encouragement. Go here now http://www.carlmathis.com

Monday, July 11, 2011

How Can I Know That I'm Not a Christian? (By Michael McKinley)

In II Corinthians 13:5, the apostle Paul commands his readers: Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

OK, that seems straightforward enough. But what does it mean to examine yourself? What should you be looking for? How do you know whether or not you are "in the faith"? What is the "test" that we might fail? I wrote Am I Really a Christian? in order to try to help answer these questions.

Well, we should all hope that we pass "the test" (again, Paul's words, not mine!). And Scripture gives us a few things to look for that would indicate that in fact we are not "in the faith". A few examples:

You're not a Christian if you don't believe true doctrine: By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. (I John 4:2-3)

You're not a Christian if you enjoy sin: Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (I John 2:4-6)

You're not a Christian if you don't persevere: They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. (I John 2:19)

You're not a Christian if you don't love others: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (I John 4:7-8)

You're not a Christian if you love your stuff more than you love Jesus: And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. (Luke 9:23-24)

Now, none of this is to say that our obedience somehow earns our salvation. But these are fruits of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit that the authors of Scripture clearly expected a Christian to be able to discern in their lives.

Pastor Michael McKinley"
Guilford Baptist Church
1001 Ruritan Circle
Sterling, VA 20164

What is a great way to start a spiritual conversation on Monday morning? By Michael McKinley

All Christians should be looking for ways to engage in spiritual conversation with others with hopes to talk about the gospel. Yet, many struggle to see when those doors are open or how to try and open them. Here is one easy way to engage others in a possible spiritual conversation that I was taught many years ago and has proven quite effective when asked at the right time. The only caveat is it has to get asked on Monday. The question is…

“What was the sermon about yesterday?”

You would be amazed at some of the responses I have gotten over the years. Responses have varied from a joyful response of a good, fruitful sermon heard by a grocery clerk to a tearful confession of skipping church from a bank teller. There is the common reaction of the awkward silence of shock from someone blindsided by the question. Of course, if you try to engage this way, you will eventually be asked the same question back and you’d better be ready to respond. Pastors, you have no excuse not to remember the sermon you just preached the day before.

So then, if you read this post in time, try it today. You may experience a very encouraging conversation with a fellow believer in Christ. You may remind a straying church member of their disobedience of forsaking the assembly (Heb. 10:25). Who knows, God by His grace may just open a chance to share the gospel with someone as you recount the faithful Word preached to you or by you the previous Lord’s Day.

Friday, July 8, 2011

THE KEY OF PERSISTENCE (Sheldon D. Newton)

The key of persistence and perseverance is vital if you desire to be successful in any endeavor. Many of us give up too quickly. We give up right before our breakthrough occurs, right before victory. While it is true that it is not easy to stay with something, amidst all of the distractions and challenges which attempt to deter us from our course and focus, it should be noted that those who develop stick-ability usually get much more than what they were after. This particular key to success is really the ideal for those who have a passion and deep desire to see our goals realized. No one can obtain and maintain success without it. To be persistent simply means to stay with your goal, pursuing it with a focus and relentlessness that will not accept defeat or give up, until that desire is attained.

When we make up our minds that we will have something that is worthwhile, not breaching the laws and principles of God, and bringing hurt and damage to our fellow-men, and we gain the information needed for the achievement of that goal, and we put pen to paper and devise a workable plan of action, which can be implemented immediately, all that is then needed is the mastering of procrastination, and the elbow grease of work, which recognizes no such thing as defeat, refusing to quit until we get to that place called there.
Over and over, this particular statement is being proven all over the world. People are applying these keys of success and they are winning in life, right in the middle of what some refer to as the worse recession of our time.

They have faith in God. They believe in the talents and abilities He has bestowed upon them. They have asked Him for a plan, a purpose, something worthwhile to pursue. They have received an idea, an impulse, a dream. They have put pen to paper and mapped out a strategy. They have made that plan do-able. They implemented that plan, and, with minds made up that with God, nothing is impossible, they have persevered and found that their breakthrough and BIG MOMENT came, right as they reached what they thought was the end, and they decided, against their feelings, people’s opinions, and how things appeared, to go one step further. IT WORKED. They became successful. They won.

It was not that these people never faced any challenges. They did. It was not that they did not discover hurdles in their way. They jumped over them. Some of them, most of us, even tripped over the hurdles, and had to go back to the starting line. (At least that’s how it felt). But the true winner never quits.

PRINCIPLES WORK FOR WHOSOEVER WILL WORK THEM. This is also true about the key of persistence. So do not give up or cave it.

You may have to tweak your plans. You may have to chart another way to your destination. You may have to make revisions here and there. But do not give up on your dream. Whatever God has placed within your heart to do will prove to be an asset to, not just your welfare, but the welfare of others as well. Let this become your focus. You are not just persisting for you, but for your family, your friends, or others who need what you have to offer. So stay in the game.

If you will pray, and if you will stay, and if you remain strong, and if you sing a song, and if you run and if you keep on keeping on, and if you do right and stick to your pursuit day and night, one day, somehow, someway, you will see, the things you fought for will come to be.

Sheldon D. Newton

www.sheldondnewton.org

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A MESSAGE TO THE PRAYER WARRIORS OF GOD’S KINGDOM

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, from the Eastern to the Western coasts of this planet called earth, from the North unto the South, peace be unto you all, and may the mercy of God keep you safe while I am so for away from you. I was in the spirit while I was in prayer, and God revealed this unto me for you all. I was instructed to send you this letter to let you know that God see the desire you have in your hearts to engage in battle against your enemy in prayer, I urge you my friends by the knowledge and wisdom of God which He gave unto me, that you take heed to the words in this letter. These few words I send to you. Use them wisely when you face the forces of your enemy in prayer. These words I give to you.

To the churches from the East to the West, and to the North and the South, I urge you to pray for each other with sincere loyalty. Remember that we all have the same enemy who desires to kill steal and destroy the faith we have in our lord Jesus Christ. Pray earnestly with words and deeds as Christ has commanded you to do. Hold up those in pray who are weak, and remember to pray for the poor and the less fortunate in the distant countries. Remember the African Continent, the Middle Eastern, and all the rest of the countries. The Americas and the West Indies, all unite in prayer against the evil forces in high places. Christ commends you to pray for all people as He had prayed for you. And also remember to.

Pray for those who are mourning and in distress that they may hold to their faith in troubling times. Encourage one another and do not let the craftiness of the serpent deceive you and turn you away from prayer. I urge you to pray for the younger brothers and sisters that they turn to God and not the things of this world. Partition God for our youths, that they honor their mother and father, and respect their elders. You who are prayer warriors should lead and be an example unto the church that others may follow. Keep the faith, for our lord soon return.

Pray for our leaders in authority that they may do what is right in the sight of God. Remember the Presidents, the Prime Ministers, and the Kings and Queens of this world. Pray for God’s wisdom, knowledge and understanding, that it will be imparted to them that they may govern in accordance with the law, which God has set forth. You who are prayer warriors must keep the pray continually moving till the end of time. And also,

Pray for our leaders in the church that they also may do what God commanded them to do. Hold on to each other and pray for one another; remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (Matthew 18:20 NIV).

Unite and stay close with each other, that’s where you strength is. Fellowship in prayer and teach those that are ignorant in the knowledge of pray.

My loyal colleague, do not neglect to visit the sick and prayer for all who needs help, as Christ said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45 NIV) as servant of Christ you are commanded to prayer for the sick.

Carl Mathis author of Life is what you make it - seven steps to moving forward
For more from Carl Got to http://www.carlmathis.com