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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Daily Truth Bible Study Acts 9:22-43 part 4


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In this final installment of this section of scripture, the focus shifts from Saul/Paul back to Peter. Beginning in verse 32, we see Peter traveling. Traveling was not glamorous back then. It was laborious, dangerous, and time-consuming. Surely there were underlings that could have traveled for Peter. However, we will see that Peter was not above person-to-person ministry.

Depending upon where you live, you may or may not have experienced the mega church concept. 3000 members, 40 pastors, 40-acre campus, 3-ring megaplex… all of these are common place in many American cities these days. Call up and ask to meet with the senior pastor and you will be told that he doesn’t do that. One of the junior pastors will meet directly with the public. The senior pastor focuses on strategy, leadership, growing the church’s brand, building the spiritual empire and so forth.

Peter was the senior pastor. He was there in the beginning when Jesus directly gave him responsibility for the church. No man could be more senior than Peter was in his time. Yet, we see Peter directly involved with individuals.

Verse 34 shows Peter reaching out to Aeneas and healing him in the name of Jesus. Peter was careful never to take credit or even appear to take credit for the miraculous. He made it clear where the power came from. The local people saw the result of the healing of the man they had known since their youth. As a result of God’s power on display, many (turned) came to faith in the Lord. The Greek word used for ‘turned’ in turned to the Lord means a conversion of life direction instead of a simplistic turn of curiosity.

Peter’s celebrity could not have produced this conversion. God was working powerfully in His Church.

Next we see Peter was summoned to go to Joppa where a believing woman had died.   Now Peter may have been tired. It may have been the end of a long day. He could have sent an associate or asked for a delay in traveling yet more distance to minster but he did not. He went where he was asked to go. Peter prayed for the woman in private once arriving where the woman lay and God raised her from the dead. The Bible says this event was known all over Joppa and that many believed in the Lord (again, not the casual belief but the life-changing kind).

I am not saying that division of labor or delegation of duties inside the church is wrong. I see the message of this part of scripture as saying that a minister is never larger than his personal ministry. That includes all of us. God has the power and we are to have the availability. None of us are too cool to get our hands dirty, so to speak, with direct ministry. Peter knew this. Paul knew this. They more than any others could have felt they were too senior to get involved but the example they set was one of personal involvement with others when the opportunity presented itself.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Opportunity to Help Haiti


CANAAN ORPHANAGE – A LIFEBOAT TO RESCUE ORPHANS IN PORT AU PRINCE

January 19th, 2010

Canaan has 90 acres of property, intact infrastructure, and over 100 Haitians and some American missionaries living there able to help. Many of the Haitian residence also speak English there as well. This 90 acre Christian community is situated about 1 hour to the north of Port au Prince; far enough from the chaos, yet close enough to be a lifeboat to some. This situation is not much different from the Titanic tragedy – many children (and adults) will die. We need the backing of a large organization to beef up the infrastructure in Canaan and supply them to rescue these children. The more we beef up their infrastructure, the larger the lifeboat. Canaan’s immediate needs are Diesel fuel, communications, and food. HELP! Forward this website to every person you know. Talk to every connection you have. Your connection might be the very one the directly saves lives. We need people to find out about this.

Jim Seidel – President and Founder

Never Thirst Again, Inc.
11411 SW 49 PL
Davie, FL 33330      Phone: 305.877.4494

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Posted by on January 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Daily Truth Bible Study Acts 9:22-43 part 3


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Last time, we saw that Barnabas went the distance to vouch for Saul/Paul and to get him an audience with the core group of Christ’s followers in Jerusalem. Verses 28 and 29 tell us Saul/Paul began moving freely in Jerusalem after gaining acceptance with the others. He was speaking boldly in the name of the Lord to the townspeople. He also took over the role of Stephen whom he had helped to kill and took the message of Christ to the Hellenistic Jews (those Jews who were immersed in Greek culture).

Here is where things get tricky. The Hellenists had no part of Saul/Paul and sought to kill him right out of the starting block. Ok, so let’s discuss this for a moment. Saul/Paul was known by the Jews in Jerusalem. The fact that he had converted to Christianity was no doubt a large amount of the reason he was a target for murder. He had turned against the tide of the culture.

Now, my question is this… shouldn’t Saul/Paul’s celebrity had an impact upon those he was trying to reach? We are told this in our time. We hear people say that certain folks can better be reached by celebrities and sports heroes and etc than by just regular old Christian people.

Saul/Paul had been an unabashed enemy of the Church. Now he was proclaiming Jesus as strongly as he had ever opposed Him. Shouldn’t this testimony have convinced those in opposition to the Church?

Let’s put it this way, celebrity or notoriety may open a door for someone but only the testimony about Jesus will convert a soul according to God’s will and purpose. People do not get saved because a celebrity speaks to them. People only get saved by grace though faith as the result of hearing God’s word and being called by Him.

No amount of celebrity or public curiosity will result in God’s work being done unless God has ordained the person(s) for His purpose. I recall seeing one of Elvis’ step-brothers speak in a church in the 1980s. He was an evangelist who spoke partly about his life with Elvis and preached the gospel. The building was packed out. He preached a pretty good message as I recall and only a message that was faithful to God’s word could produce faith. 

Speaking about a popular subject could fill a building but it would not produce any salvation experiences. The Bible says that faith comes from hearing the word of God.  People may follow a celebrity or sports figure but no one follows anyone into Heaven. Only God can bring a soul into His kingdom.

Saul/Paul was soon escorted out of town by his new friends because of the plot against his life. In this case, God chose to use Saul/Paul in a different place. Saul/Paul’s celebrity status worked against his being effective however, God was not thwarted in His plan. God was planning to use Saul/Paul in a different way. 

We should be careful not to assume certain people and/or processes derive their power from the response given by crowds. God is sovereign and He will complete His plans. It is not what people want to hear that is important. It is what they need to hear that counts… Take it the the bank!

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Posted by on January 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Aid for Haiti…Act NOW!


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Yesterday (Jan 12, 2010) at 5 pm EST, a major earthquake shook Haiti.  As you probably know, Haiti is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere and they were not prepared for an earthquake of this magnitude.

Preliminary reports tell us that much or maybe even most of the houses, hospitals, schools, businesses, and government buildings in the Port Au-Prince area are damaged and/or destroyed. Millions are likely homeless. Thousands could be dead.

The people of Haiti need immediate help. Fortunately, help may get to them more quickly than usual. Many aid groups are already operating in Haiti. With a presence already established, it will be easier for these groups to get supplies to the people.

Send your support donations to these groups. They can reach the need more quickly. Here is a list of groups I have found that have a presence in Haiti already. I know there are other groups. Please research for yourself.

American Red Cross   AmeriCares   Food for Haiti   Save the Children   UNICEF   Doctors Without Borders   USAID  

I am sure there are other groups there as well. Please research and donate immediately.

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Posted by on January 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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How Close is Your Church to Heresy? Take the test…


This is a brilliant post from Chris Rosebrough at Christian Research Network. It challenges us to take a closer look at what we are doing in church and why…

The great adversary of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His church has learned the lessons of HIV and has crafted an almost identical attack against the Body of Christ.  Since, I am one of the early discovers of this pathogen mimicking Satanic attack I have named it the “Ecclesia Immunodeficiency Heresy” (EIH). 

EIH like the HIV virus works by attacking the immune system of the Body of Christ.  Once that immune system is effectively destroyed or rendered powerless then Satan destroys the host congregation by introducing ancient heresies and false doctrines. With  no effective immune system in place to put down these heresies and false gospels, the host congregation comes under the control of the Devil. In the final stages of this disease, the host congregation becomes the breeding ground for Satanic missionaries who are carriers of EIH.  These EIH missionaries are then sent out to other congregations in order to spread this disease around the world and thereby silence sound doctrine and the proclamation of the true good news of salvation by grace alone through faith alone by Christ’s work alone. 

Does your congregation test positive for EIH? Here are some tale-tell symptoms of EIH. 

  1. The pastor has gone from preaching expository Bible sermons to giving relevant self-help informational lectures that meet the felt needs of unbelievers.
  2. You frequently hear the pastor or staff say things like “We do church for the unchurched”
  3. In depth Bible study and preaching are publicly mocked, ridiculed or attacked by the pastor and staff.
  4. Home Group Bible study leaders are unqualified to teach the Bible and end up resorting to asking subjective questions like “what does this passage mean to you”?
  5. Home Group Bible study leaders are instructed to value everyone’s ideas about the Bible and that no ideas are to be condemned or spoken of as if they are false or contrary to scripture.
  6. If you raise doctrinal concerns about what is being taught in the pulpit or in a Home Group Study you are branded a “pharisee” and escorted off the Church’s property by security.
  7. The only people disciplined in the congregation are those who do not give unquestioning allegiance to the pastor’s vision for the church.
  8. When you ask about doctrine the pastor says, “We’re into deeds not creeds.” 

If your church has one or more of these symptoms then it has tested positive for EIH.  

Please, keep in mind that those pastors and teachers who are carriers of EIH may not personally be promoting or believing any heresies.  Instead, they are promoting new ‘innovative’ methodologies and church structures that eliminate and/or effectively neutralize the Body of Christ’s immune system.  The heresies that will kill the congregation will be introduced after the immune system has been neutralized.  EIH’s primary mission is to render the Body of Christ defenseless against the coming heretical attacks.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Daily Truth Bible Study Acts 9:22-43 part 2


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Last time, we saw how the Jews sought to kill Saul/Paul because he was confounding them with the testimony about Jesus being the Son of God. John MacArthur in his commentary on the Book of Acts says that once Saul/Paul had it revealed to him the true identity of Jesus, the entire Old Testament was unlocked to his mind. Remember Saul/Paul had been a pharisee and probably had one of the finest educations a first century man could have.

I can imagine how it must have been for Saul/Paul. He was an authority on the word of God as it existed in his day. Once he knew that Jesus was the One who had been promised in scripture, he doublessly fired away at the Jews with the truth. I have no problem imagining how Saul/Paul could confound the Jews with his teaching. Saul/Paul combined his knowledge gained from diligent study and his salvation given to him by God’s grace through Jesus Christ. The power of God overwhelmed those who would be saved and confounded those who would not.

After escaping Damascus through an opening in the wall, Saul/Paul departs for Jerusalem. Once arriving at Jerusalem, the others of the Way welcomed him with open arms…? No, not exactly! They were afraid of him and rightfully so. He had been a fierce enemy of the Church. And now, the crafty Saul could be seeking to destroy from within what he had been seeking to destroy from without.

The disciples were right to be wary of Saul/Paul. However, Barnabas stood in Saul/Paul’s defense and became a witness for his conversion and ministry. Barnabas went out on a limb but he was confident in what he had seen and heard about Saul/Paul and doubtlessly believed the conversion to be real.

This brings up an interesting point about life inside the church. Somethimes you have to break from the popular view on an issue in order to serve God’s purpose. People have the desire to be liked and appreciated. This is called the need for afiliation by scientists. In order to maintain the approval and respect of others, people quickly become “Yes Men”. Imagine if Barnabas had desired to preserve rank inside his clique rather than to stand for an unpopular but Godly position? He would have missed a huge blessing.

Barnabas did what was right instead of what was popular. He knew Saul/Paul was the real thing and he used his own credibility to gain access for Saul/Paul into the fold.

I’m sure it did not take long before the others were convinced of Saul/Paul’s conversion. The real thing is not hard to recognize. Saul/Paul was not accepted because of Barnabas. He was allowed to be considered because of what Barnabas did. Barnabas served God by using his own credibility to gain access for another whose own credibility would soon be proven.

The thing important to note here is that had Barnabas had no credibility with his friends in the Church, he would have been no use to Saul/Paul and to God’s plan. God would have used someone else. This point should convict each of us. We need to be faithful to God always. We never know when there will be an opportunity to serve God. Be ready!

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Posted by on January 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

What if you had a do-over? Would things be different?


Many movies, books, plays, and games have dealt with the subject of what would happen if you could go back and do your life over again. I can think of at least a dozen things I would do differently. But, really, would your life be different today if you had restarted it and came through a 2nd time?

I say no, it would not be any different at all … at least not for the better. Oh, you may have bought into Microsoft back in the early 80s and became a gazillionaire but that would only have allowed you more money to further debauch yourself. Here is how I got there…

A tiger cannot change his stripes. Proverbs says this (only in a much better way). Only God can cause flesh to appear on dry bones. Only God can save a soul. Despite making good TV, a second chance in life would result the same way as the first chance unless God intervened. Only God can save a soul. And without eternal salvation, what difference would it make if you have 12 chances to re-live part of your life?

For 2010, let’s get back to the future. Eternity lasts a really long time… Do not enter it without being covered by the blood of Jesus.

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Posted by on January 1, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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