Pastor's Words for Living

Living the Gospel - Peace

How will the gospel affect my life today?
 
Peace
 
Life is chaotic, out of control, stressful, even absurdly disjointed.  The human heart craves shelter and rest from the avalanche of anxieties bombarding it every day.
 
The peace portrayed in Scripture is an exemption from the rage and havoc of war, which often characterizes this cursed world.  Peace is the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, no matter what it may be.
 
Romans 8:6 says “to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”
 
The source of this peace is Christ.
“Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  - Romans 5:1
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”  - John 14:27
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.”  - John 16:33
 
Continual and direct access to this peace is available for the Christ follower through the Spirit.
“The fruit of the Spirit is … peace”         - Galatians 5:22
 
How can I activate His peace in my life?
§ By love for His law
“Great peace have those who love your law”  - Psalm 119:165
 
§ By trusting Him
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”  - Isaiah 26:3
 
§ By being filled with the Holy Spirit
“The fruit of the Spirit is … peace”  - Galatians 5:22
 
§ By rehearsing the truth of His peace in my mind and allowing His peace to rule my heart and life
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts”  - Colossians 3:15

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Living the Gospel - Joy

How will the gospel affect my life today?
 
I choose JOY
 
“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
                                                                                                                                               -       John 15:11
To be filled to the brim and overflowing in the awareness and gratitude of God’s incredible grace.
 
What is the key to being full of joy?
 
Psalm 73:28 “it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge (shelter), that I may tell of all your works.”
 
How will I make the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all His works?
 
By being intentional in these three ways …
1.    He is the song in my life … I will set the tune, the lyrics, my heart upon Him
 
2.    He is the satisfaction for my longing … not the applause and approval of others; not circumstances; not things … In Him I will be perfectly satisfied
 
3.    He is the subject on my lips … I will make much about Christ in every conversation
 
 
 

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A Wake Up Call For Those Of Us In The Bible Belt?

I love Russell Moore.  He has a contagious spirit and communicates clearly, effectively and compassionately.  His most appealing characteristic may be his willingness to speak honestly to popular opinions and cultural traditions.  It is imperative for those of us who profess Christ as Savior and Lord to acknowledge critical truths about our culture, country, and the Church.  Russell Moore is a man who understands and embraces this challenge.  Take a few moments and consider the words of this dear brother in Christ.  You will be blessed.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324769704579010743654111328.html

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The Intolerance of the Tolerant Just Keeps Getting Better

Our society has serious issues.  Self-importance, entitlement, and a lack of intellectual honesty when thinking about ourselves leave us without much opportunity for solving our issues.  I continue to be incredulous at the attitudes and behaviors that pass for reasonable and educated thought today.

Last week I shared an article with you that reported how a preacher was arrested in Britain for proclaiming the gospel in public.  We have all witnessed the absurdity swirling around the George Zimmerman trial and acquittal.  There seems to be no end to the illogical in modern culture.  A new example seems to break onto the scene every hour.  

Today I read an interesting story of a successful newspaper columnist who has admitted she believes in creation.  The reaction that she has received is remarkable.  People have responded with anger and insults because she dares to believe in creation, and this implies that she believes in a Creator which is the real problem I suspect.  They will not accept that someone of intelligence can or will believe in a divine being that created everything.  Yet, it is the people who believe in creation that are called intolerant, while those who boast of their tolerance practice intolerance.

http://www.worldmag.com/2013/07/former_nyt_columnist_admits_to_believing_in_creation

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The Intolerance of the Tolerant

Recently, our mission team to Senegal experienced a polite reprimand for preaching the gospel without finding a way to acknowledge Mohammed as a true prophet and for not being students of the Koran.  It was basically a random slap of the wrist from some "concerned" citizens who obviously wanted to silence the gospel message from going forth in their community.  Islam thrives in arenas where optional viewpoints and beliefs are not genuinely tolerated.  Even with this informal pushback, Christ followers appear to have more freedom to proclaim the gospel in Muslim countries than in our own western culture.

This week I ran across this interesting article that confirms the aggressive attempt in supposedly, pro-Christian society, to silence morality and particularly Christian truth.  It's well worth the read and offers us all something important to put at the top of our prayer lists.

http://www.worldmag.com/2013/07/american_street_preacher_arrested_in_london_for_hate_speech

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