For His Glory

Friday, December 30, 2005

Happy New Year

I just want to let everyone know that I hope they have a happy new year. Although I believe that new year's resolutions are more culturally motivated, I believe that it is good to take this time to think about were we are in our walk with God, and plan accordingly for the new year. I pray that would God bless this coming year with His revealed presence in the lives of those who make up a part of his church at Southside.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Truth about Christmas

Below is the short history and explanation of Christmas and of the use of the word X-mas. I just thought it was very interesting. The more I study about Christmas, the more I see things wrong with it.

The word Christmas comes the Old English word 'Cristes Mæsse' ~ meaning the 'mass of Christ'. Christmas is orginally a Catholic holiday. It is believed that Christ was born on the 25th, although the exact month is unknown. December was likely chosen so the Catholic Church could compete with rival pagan rituals held at that time of year and because of its closeness with the winter soltice in the Northern hemisphere, a traditonal time of celebration among many ancient cultures.


This abbreviation for Christmas is of Greek origin.
It is derived from the word ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, transliterated as Christos, which is Greek for Christ . Originally, in "Xmas", X represented the Greek letter χ. It was pronounced with an aspirated [kh], which is the first letter of Christ's name in Greek. An upper-case χ has the same shape as a Latin alphabet letter X, hence the abbreviation "Xmas".

As origins of the word go largely unnoticed by the larger public, many people believe that the term is often used as a tool by some to "take Christ out of Christmas" as a means of secularization
or a vehicle for pushing political correctness . This notion is greatly disputed.

Source: Wikipedia

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Men as Men; God as God

"I, even I, am He that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; and forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and host feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?" (Isaiah 51:12-13).

Let the text itself be taken as the portion for today. There is no need to enlarge upon it. Trembling one, read it, believe it, feed on it, and plead it before the LORD. He whom you fear is only a man after all; while He who promises to comfort you is God, your Maker, and the creator of heaven and earth. Infinite comfort more than covers a very limited danger. "Where is the fury of the oppressor?" It is in the LORD's hand. It is only the fury of a dying creature; fury which will end as soon as the breath is gone from the nostril. Why, then, should we stand in awe of one who is as frail as ourselves? Let us not dishonor our God by making a god of puny man. We can make an idol of a man by rendering to him excessive fear as well as by paying him inordinate love. Let us treat men as men, and God as God; and then we shall go calmly on in the path of duty, fearing the LORD and fearing nobody else. (Faith's Checkbook - Charles Spurgeon)

Above is the Faith Checkbook's entry for today by Mr. Spurgeon. I read this everyday, but this one stood out to me from some of the recent days. Today, God has used this to bring back to my mind of how foolish I am. Like Spurgeon said in the devotional, the text itself should be taken as a portion today to be meditated on.

This is a simple, yet convicting truth. The fear of man is sin. It is an insult to God. While this is convicting, it is also a blessing of relief by showing that even though I am frail and sinful, God will comfort me and take care of me. What a God we serve!

Let's remember today to treat men as men(or women), and God as God.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Entering Lion's Country

Hello everyone,
The following is something I read today that I thought went very well with the message (Audio/ Text)Sunday. I was wanting to write on this subject but I think the illustration here is very good so I decided to post it instead. Dennis Rainey wrote this:

Entering Lion's Country
(Part One)

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

I've been smelling lion's breath recently, and have nearly gagged at its odious smell. Where have I been? On a lion country safari? In Kenya? Sudan? At the zoo? No. None of these.

Let's just say I've been in lion country.

Pastor and author A.W. Tozer made numerous visits there. In fact, he may have lived in lion country. After a particularly difficult time, Tozer noted the following: "But I will tell you something-it is a delightful thing when you know that you are close enough to the adversary that you can hear him roar! Too many Christians never get into 'lion country' at all!"

After pondering Tozer's observation, I've concluded that we should charge headlong into lion country. You see, "lion country" is territory controlled by the devil. It is the daily domain of the ruler of this world.

Lions in Africa prey on weak, unsuspecting animals and those straggling behind the protection of the head of the pack. Likewise, the devil prowls about trying to deceive (devour) those with weak convictions and naive beliefs. For example, if a Christian refuses to submit to the accountability of other believers in the local church, he will find himself isolated, delicious prey for the crafty deceiver. He may not be able to defend himself when he's faced with temptation.

How does a lion devour its prey? One bite at a time. I wonder at times if twentieth-century Christians have been anesthetized by prosperity and busy schedules while the enemy chews off three-quarters of their legs!

Far too many Christians are being fooled by the enemy. They have been deceived into thinking that run-of-the-mill Christianity is all there is. Jesus Christ may be a part of their lives, but He isn't Lord of their lives.

I know, because for more than 14 years I was the prey of the enemy. I thought I knew what was best for me. I wanted God only as my emergency Savior, when I was in a crisis and needed Him. And if you're like I was, the lion has you in his jaws. -Dennis Rainey

Monday, December 05, 2005

Results of Preaching the Gospel.

"When you preach, people should either get angry or be converted." -John Wesley

When Wesley said that, I dont think he had the "Jesus loves you" Gospel in mind. Too many Christians today are afraid of offending someone with the Gospel, so they soften it up a bit and even put a little sugar on top. My pastor made the statements, true Christian love is finding your joy in the joy of others. Love is being able to cause temporary pain or discomfort for a short time in ones life, in order that future, unspeakable joy can be obtained. (That was my paraphrase, correct me if I'm wrong). The Gospel is offensive. Preaching the Gospel is the result of love for Christ and the person to whom it is being preached. It is not a sales pitch to talk someone into "getting saved." The Gospel is beneficial to both the preacher(anyone who declares the Gospel) and to the person it is being presented. Those who share the Gospel are being obedient. When we get to heaven, not only will we be rewarded for obedience to God, but we will get to see (I am assuming) those that God has saved by using us, experience joy, thus giving us joy. That's love! Getting our joy from their joy.

When we share the Gospel, it is worth the unkind words or actions here on earth when it produces eternal joy. The thing is, in America, unkind words or actions is about all we will get (so far). So personally, I think it is worth the brief discomfort not only for the recepient, but us also.

So why do we not see the Gospel being preached as it should? Well, among other things, I think it is the fear of man. I publicly confess that when sharing the Gospel, the fear of man arises in me and I am praying that God would help me overcome that. I'm praying that God would raise up people locally who proclaim the Gospel boldy! I'm praying that I would be one of them. I'm praying that God would open the eyes of people in the churches around here to the fact that people are on their way to hell, with no hope, all around us, everyday. We have a mission field, the people we see everyday in our small community.

Recently our town had a Christmas parade. The theme was "Lighting the way to Christmas." Catchy theme for a parade with floats that had Chistmas lights all over them. Some of the churches had things like, "Lighting the way to God" or similar phrases. I got to thinking, is that really happening? Are our local churches (including mine) and people (including me) really being a light to show a small town that have hundreds, possibly thousands of depraved people, the way to Christ? My answer? Not alot from what I can see. This is a small town and word gets around, yet I do not hear of any church that has people constantly being genuinely redeemed. I'm quite sure that their are people being saved in Live Oak, and that churches are proclaiming the gospel to a certain extent. The thing is, according to Wesley's quote at the top, I'm not seeing a whole lot of either people getting angry or converted. Because of that, I came to the conclusion that our churches are either not giving the true Gospel (which is both offensive and able to save), or have people who do not care, have the fear of man, or aren't true believers themselves to proclaim it.

With all that being said, the only thing I believe I can do is pray. I am praying that our church would be a city on the hill, the light and salt for Live Oak.

I thank you for the work you are doing in me. I pray that you would raise up people in our town to proclaim the good news of our Lord Jesus, the Christ. May the fear of man be overpowered by the potential joy we have when people come to know you. Lord help us to have the mindset of missionaries in a foreign field even though we live here, because we are foreigners in this world. Let us not waste our lifes with the pursuit of the vain. Help us to boldy follow You.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

"Global Warming"

This is a current headline on Drudge Report and this part of the article just struck me funny. It is talking about how the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic is weaking.

"The powerful ocean current that bathes Britain and northern Europe in warm waters from the tropics has weakened dramatically in recent years, a consequence of
global warming that could trigger more severe winters and cooler summers across the region, scientists warn today."

So because of "Global Warming", there will be colder weather and more severe winters...what a joke.