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If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. John 14:14

If we are not careful, our carnal mind will play tricks on us through this passage. It will – ever so subtly and most often subconsciously – encourage us that this promise is for anything we want – as long as we attach Jesus’ name to the request.

So, let’s take a moment before we go on – just to be sure we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. When Jesus said, “If you ask anything…”, He was clearly not talking about a bigger house, another car in the garage, or a change of eye color. We can work hard and afford these things (and many more) but attaching His name to it will not make one bit of difference.

Of course, no one would think to use Jesus’ name in such a selfish way. The problem is: A lot of our thinking is subconscious; and we take a lot of our thinking for granted. Sometimes, we simply don’t think; at least not in this way. Most would agree (myself included) that we pray with His name attached, not really considering what it means to invoke His name.

I wonder if Jesus ever thinks, “Is that really what you want to be asking for?”

Prayer with Faith

Most of us, when we think about it, know that prayer must include faith. We may say, “That’s right! We must pray with faith in Jesus’ name.”

I hate to be the one to tell you, but that’s still missing the mark. It is not even faith in His name (i.e., “Jesus”) – as powerful as that name is – that makes the difference.

Stay with me; this will make good sense soon. Read the rest of this entry »

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To hear sound doctrine is not enough; for hearing without doing produces self-deception (James 1:22), and a house that will not stand in the storms of life (Matthew 7:26-27).

To have faith in what we hear is not enough; for faith without works is dead (James 2:26).

To work – even supernaturally – is not enough; for only those who do the will of the Father will enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 7:21-23).

How do we know the will of the Father? We ask Him; AND we wait patiently for the answer.

The sufficiency for these things is not in ourselves; our sufficiency is from God (2Corinthians 3:5).

For this, there are conditions: Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow after Jesus (Luke 9:23), obey His commandments (John 14:15), abide and bear fruit (John 15:2), etc.

The sufficiency for this is not something given to us as an empowerment of our life – something we own and control. It comes from the Life that is now present and reigning within us. Read the rest of this entry »

Summary

  • The parables of Matthew 25 are very clear about the Final Judgment of mankind. Neither mentions the word “faith”, or “believe”.
  • John 3:16 must mean something more than many (most?) are being taught.
  • Paul encourages us to judge ourselves; Peter, that we would make our call and election sure.
  • Is it wise to presume about any of the qualifications found in these parables?

In a previous article, The Sky is Falling!! Again?, we proposed that – in speaking about the signs of His coming and the end of the Age, Jesus strongly encouraged His disciples (including us) to avoid deception, endure to the end, resist being troubled; and, above all, be prepared.

Continuing His discourse, Jesus explains what that preparation looks like. He also highlights the rewards for preparing; and the consequences of failing to do so. With that in mind, take all the time you need to read Matthew 25… prayerfully and carefully. Then, please prayerfully consider the following.

The parables of Matthew 25 are very clear about the Final Judgment of mankind. If you have enough oil you will get in to Heaven. If you properly invest the talent that has been entrusted to you, you will get in. If you feed, clothe, etc. the brethren of Jesus Christ, you will get in.

If you fail at these, you will be shut out, cast into outer darkness (where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth), and cursed to the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. In simpler terms: You will go to Hell.

I know this is challenging to many. Jesus said – right there in John 3:16 – that God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son; that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Nothing there about bringing enough oil to the party, being a wise investor, or ministering to the brethren.

At this point we must ask ourselves a few questions: What does believing in Jesus mean? Does it include the requirements of Matthew 25? Is what we know as “faith” enough for salvation; without oil, or return on invested talent, or ministry to the brethren? Is faith without works dead (i.e., ineffectual for our salvation)? How will our faith be judged? Read the rest of this entry »

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2

Our minds have an appetite – for stimulation. The parallels to our body’s appetite for food are interesting.

If I never tasted chocolate ice cream, I would not have an appetite for it. There was a time when I craved chocolate ice cream. As I grew older, I had to give it up (or buy new pants).

It took a while for me to lose my craving, but with discipline, it eventually went away.

Furthermore, developing an appetite for healthy food is difficult for some. It takes time (and discipline), but eventually our bodies begin to appreciate broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, etc.

Our mind functions in much the same way. Somethings we think about are poisonous (like artificial sweeteners are to our bodies). Other things take up attention that should be directed elsewhere.

Developing new interests requires discipline – particularly when replacing those that we have had for a long time. It is nothing short of transformation by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). It depends on the work of the Holy Spirit – our Transformer (2Corinthians 3:18).

Here is one example:

I used to enjoy listening to sports talk radio. Every time I got in my truck, that is what I would turn on. My mind had quite an appetite for sports news.

Some time ago – perhaps a year or so – I began listening to sermon podcasts when driving to meetings. Now, that is what I naturally turn to. My appetites have changed.

I know what you’re thinking: Who wants to listen to sermons all the time? That’s what my mind used to tell me, too. It took a while – and some discipline – but all things are possible through Christ Jesus.

It is important to recognize that we are in process. I still listen to sports talk radio – like I eat chocolate ice cream: Rarely and in the Lord’s moderation.

So, in the event that you too would like to change your mental appetite, here are some of the greatest sermons from the last 100 years (found on sermonindex.net).

Ten Shekels and a Shirt by Paris Reidhead

A Call To Repentance by Vance Havner

A Grain of Wheat by Major Ian Thomas

Blessedness of the Unoffended by T. Austin Sparks

Man’s Petty Kingdom by Art Katz

Men Marked by the Presence of God by Paul Washer

Kingdom of God is Not in Words by A.W. Tozer

Christ Magnified In Our Bodies by Leonard Ravenhill

The Apostate Church In America: The Cappuccino Church by E.A. Johnston

God bless you with a mind set on things above.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

The desire of my heart is to help Christian Leaders find joyful, Spirit-filled ministry; and to be used by God in building houses that will stand in the storms of life (Matthew 7:24-25). I believe that is God’s purpose in this blog (I am just a pen).

Many times, the best way to disciple someone is to share a resource with them. It is cost and time efficient. Many times, others share the truth in ways that are beyond my gifting. This is one of those times.

So, in the hopes of your encouragement and edification, I offer to you a link to Ten Shekels and a Shirt (once the webpage opens, click the title, and then “open”, to start the audio).  You will notice that this sermon is from a website – sermonindex.net – that promotes genuine Biblical revival, by offering some of the best sermons of the past 100 years. I promise, you will enjoy this one immensely.

I suspect you will want to listen to others, after you have heard from Paris Reidhead. You can do that through their website and their podcast channel. Let me now if you need help setting that up.

I also hope and pray that you will pass this sermon on to those you are discipling.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

todd-whiteI recently viewed an encouraging movie put out by Todd White, called Lifestyle Christianity. This is not a plug for the movie (though I do recommend it); nor an endorsement of Todd White, per se.

This article is an observation – perhaps a revelation – from the life of Todd White, as portrayed in the movie.

TW is known for his evangelistic healing ministry. At least that is how I know of him. However, TW is not so much about healing people as he is about doing what God will do with someone that is radically obedient, and continually responsive, to God.

TW is simply going where he is sent, to do what he has been given to do. The difference in his life and mine (or yours?) is not His evangelistic approach, or the opportunities he has to heal people – as cool as that may be.

The thing that impressed me most is TW’s simple passionate desire to connect people with God. In the process, he lets his light shine before men in ways that glorify his Father in heaven.

Here is the revelation: We must be careful not to box God into a particular manifestation and method.  Connecting people with God can happen, supernaturally, in an unlimited number of ways and places. Read the rest of this entry »

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