Commitment…then Intimacy

July 24, 2010 at 2:52 pm (Attitudes, Food for Thought, Purity) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

food-for-thought

Chew on this…

Commitment produces intimate relationships, in that God-given order.  The order God established is not an intimate relationship then commitment.  God shows Himself to you in different ways and allows you to choose Him.  Before there is a solid commitment you do not enter the Holy of holies, into the most sacred dwelling place with our Savior, into communion with His Spirit.  You are not intimate with Him until that most significant step is taken: commitment.

Heather Arnel Paulsen, Emotional Purity: An Affair of the Heart, 2001

…and tell us what you think.

thess-5

Share this Post

Permalink 2 Comments

Systematic Theology on a Cross?

May 19, 2010 at 4:43 pm (Food for Thought) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

food-for-thought

Chew on this…

I once tried to explain “systematic theology” to a Russian pastor of the Underground Church, who had never seen a whole New Testament.  Systematically, I began to explain to him the teaching about the Godhead, about its unity in three Persons, the teaching about original sin, about the Fall, about salvation, about the Church, about the sacraments, about the Bible as infallible revelation.

He listened attentively.  When I had finished, he asked me a most surprising question:  “Have those who thought out these theological systems and wrote them down in such perfect order ever carried a cross?”  He went on.  “A man cannot think systematically even when he has a bad toothache.  How can a man who is carrying a cross think systematically?  But a Christian has to be more than the bearer of a heavy cross: he shares Christ’s crucifixion.  The pains of Christ are his, and the pains of all creation.  There is no grief and no suffering in the whole world which should not grieve him also.  If a man is crucified with Christ, how can he think systematically?  Can there be that kind of thought on a cross?

“Jesus Himself thought unsystematically on the cross.  He began with forgiveness; He spoke of a paradise in which even a robber had a place; then He despaired that perhaps there might be no place in paradise even for Him, the Son of God.  He felt Himself forsaken.  His thirst was so unbearable that He asked for water.  Then He surrendered His spirit into His Father’s hand.  But there followed no serenity, only a loud cry.  Thank you for what you have been trying to teach me.  I have the impression that you were only repeating, without much conviction, what others have taught you.”

~Richard Wurmbrand, 1909-2001, founder of VOM, “With God in Solitary Confinement

…and tell us what you think.

thess-5

Share this Post

Permalink 4 Comments

Seven Steps

February 22, 2010 at 1:25 am (Attitudes, Food for Thought, Purity) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

food-for-thought

Chew on this…

Seven Awful Steps Downward

Step one: Adopting a careless attitude toward sin.

Step two: Giving in to sin.

Step three: Habitually giving in to sin.

Step four: Surrendering to sin.

Step five: Abandoning God for a life of sin.

Step six: Becoming a tool of Satan to temp others to sin.

Step seven: Hell.  And you do not have to die in order to get there.  Hell is character as well as location.  The person who hates everything that God loves is in hell now, and hell is in him or her.

Seven Glorious Steps Upward

Step one: Developing a resistant attitude toward sin—determining that sin will not gain control over you.

Step two: Overcoming sin by faith in Christ.  Successfully fleeing from temptation—saying no to the desire or opportunity to sin.

Step three: A lifestyle of victory over sin.  Habitually saying no to the desire or opportunity to sin.  The strength that comes from one victory helps in overcoming the next temptation.

Step four: Discovering the “abiding life,” the “victorious life,” the “exchanged life.”  It has been termed many things by many different Christians through the ages, but in short, it is a life of intimate acquaintance with the grace of Christ and the empowerment that comes when His Spirit gains full access to your life.

Step five: Entrance into even deeper fellowship with Christ.  It started with your trusting God—now God entrusts His kingdom treasures to you.  You are set apart for His enjoyment and for His service.

Step six: Becoming one whom God calls on to do great and mighty things for His kingdom.  A set-apart existence that values Christ over life itself and is willing even to suffer and die to carry out the King’s bidding.

Step seven: Heaven.  And you do not have to die in order to get there.  Heaven is character as well as location.  The person who devotedly loves everything that God loves is in heaven now, and heaven is in him or her.

Paraphrased from John Stam, missionary/martyr to China, 1907-1934

…and tell us what you think.

thess-5

Share this Post

Permalink 1 Comment

A Law Unto Himself

January 11, 2010 at 7:49 pm (Food for Thought) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

food-for-thought

Chew on this…

The very throne of the eternal God rests upon the inviolability of His own law which is the expression of His divine nature. There can be no tampering with that law, not even by God Himself, in the interest of men who have broken the law. If the salvation of the sinner lies in this direction, as some men suppose, there can be no salvation for anyone. ~Alva J. McClain, Law and Grace, 1967

…and tell us what you think.

thess-5

Permalink 2 Comments

Fire and Light

December 8, 2009 at 4:38 pm (Food for Thought) (, , , , , , , , , , )

food-for-thought

Chew on this…

Remember this.  When people choose to withdraw far from a fire, the fire continues to give warmth, but they grow cold.  When people choose to withdraw far from light, the light continues to be bright in itself but they are in darkness.  This is also the case when people withdraw from God.  ~Augustine

…and tell us what you think.

thess-5

Permalink 2 Comments

True Patriotism

October 12, 2009 at 1:35 am (Food for Thought) (, , , , , , , , , )

food-for-thought

Chew on this…

“Allow me to say that it excites both my wonder and concern, that a Christian minister such as yourself, should think it worth his while to attempt political reforms.  When I look around upon the present state of the nation, such an attempt appears to me, to be no less vain and foolish, that it would be to paint the cabin-while the ship is sinking!  Or to decorate the parlor–while the house is on fire!

When our Lord Jesus was upon earth, He refused to get involved in disputes or politics, ‘Friend, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?’ (Luke 12:14)  ‘My kingdom is not of this world!  If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight!’ (John 18:36)  God’s children belong to a kingdom which is not of this world; they are strangers and pilgrims upon earth, and a part of the Scriptural character is, that they are the ‘quiet in the land’ (Psalm 35:19).

Satan has many contrivances to amuse people, and to divert their thoughts from their real danger!

My dear sir, my prayer to God for you is–that He may induce you to employ he talents He has given you, in pointing out sin as the great cause and source of every existing evil; and to engage those who love and fear Him, (instead of wasting time in political speculations, for which very few of them are competent,) to sigh and cry for our abounding abominations, and to stand in the breach, by prayer, that God’s wrath may yet be averted, and our national mercies prolonged!  This, I think, is true patriotism–the best way in which people in private life may serve their country. ” ~John Newton, excerpt from a letter, era 1725-1807

…and tell us what you think.

thess-5

Share this Post

Permalink 3 Comments

Proud of My Humility?

September 16, 2009 at 1:49 am (Food for Thought) (, , , , )

food-for-thought

Chew on this…

“The degree of humility is to be judged of by the degree of abasement, and the degree of the cause for abasement: but he that is truly and eminently humble never thinks his humility great. The cause why he should be abased appears so great, and the abasement of the frame of his heart so greatly short of it, that he takes much more notice of his pride than his humility.” ~Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections, 1746

…and tell us what you think.

thess-5

Share this Post

Permalink 3 Comments

Rebel without a cause?

March 20, 2009 at 3:00 pm (Food for Thought) (, , , , )

food-for-thought

Chew on this…

Those who never rebelled against God or at some point in their lives shaken their fists in the face of heaven, have never encountered God at all.  ~Catherine Marshall, Christy, 1967

…and tell us what you think.

thess-5

Permalink 3 Comments

Diminishing God?

March 4, 2009 at 6:57 am (Food for Thought) (, , , , )

food-for-thought

Chew on this…

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell. ~C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

…and tell us what you think.

thess-5

Permalink 1 Comment

God gave you a brain…

February 8, 2009 at 1:00 pm (Food for Thought) (, , , , , , , , , )

food-for-thought

Chew on this…

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”

Galileo Galilei

…and tell us what you think.

thess-5

Permalink 2 Comments

The definition of “Obstacle”

January 21, 2009 at 6:38 am (Food for Thought) (, , , , , )

food-for-thought

Chew on this…

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”

– Henry Ford (1863-1947)

…and tell us what you think.

thess-5

Permalink 4 Comments

What you worship

January 12, 2009 at 1:18 pm (Food for Thought) (, , , , , , , )

food-for-thought

Chew on this…

A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

…and tell us what you think.

thess-5

Permalink 8 Comments

Thou Shalt Not Touch

December 30, 2008 at 1:55 pm (Food for Thought, Purity) (, , , , , , )

food-for-thoughtChew on this one…

A man from Yemen was here in the states, working on an assembly line in a food-processing plant and sending money home for his family. When his wife back home gave birth to a baby, news spread quickly throughout the man’s assembly line. Soon his supervisor, who was a woman, came over to offer her congratulations and extended her hand for a handshake. The Yemenese man shrank away, avoiding any touch. Offended, the supervisor asked the managers to implement discipline for the man’s public disrespect. However, a mediator spoke with the man and discovered his conviction: that to even touch any woman aside from his wife was unfaithfulness to his wife.

…and tell us what you think.thess-5


Permalink 5 Comments

Hide and Seek

December 18, 2008 at 5:59 am (Food for Thought) (, , , , , )

food-for-thought

Chew on this one…

“We have been snared in the coils of a spurious logic which insists that if we have found Him [God], we need no longer seek Him.”

~A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

…and tell us what you think.

thess-5


Permalink 5 Comments