Showing posts with label Christianity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christianity. Show all posts

God Must Be Loved For Himself



God being who he is must always be sought for Himself, never as a means toward something else.

Whoever seeks other objects and not God is on his own; he may obtain those objects if he is able, but he will never have God. God is never found accidentally. “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

Whoever seeks God as a means toward desired ends will not find God. The mighty God, the maker of heaven and earth, will not be one of many treasures, not even the chief of all treasures. He will be all in all or He will be nothing. God will not be used.

His mercy and grace are infinite and His patient understanding is beyond measure, but He will not aid men in their selfish striving after personal gain. He will not help men to attain ends which, when attained, usurp the place He by every right should hold in their interest and affection.

Yet popular Christianity has as one of its most effective talking points the idea that God exists to help people to get ahead in this world. The God of the poor has become the God of an affluent society. Christ no longer refuses to be a judge or a divider between money hungry brothers. He can now be persuaded to assist the brother that has accepted Him to get the better of the brother who has not.

A crass example of the modern effort to use God for selfish purposes is the well-known comedian who, after repeated failures, promised someone he called God that if He would help him to make good in the entertainment world he would repay Him by giving generously to the care of sick children.

Shortly afterward, he hit the big time in the night clubs and on television. He has kept his word and is raising large sums of money to build children’s hospitals. These contributions to charity, he feels, are a small price to pay for a success in one of the sleaziest fields of human endeavour.

One might excuse the act of this entertainer as something to be expected of a ‘twenty-first’ century pagan; but that multitudes of evangelicals should actually believe that God had anything to do with the whole business is not so easily overlooked. This low and false view of Deity is one major reason for the immense popularity God enjoys these days among well-fed elites in the world.

The teaching of the Bible is that God is Himself the end for which man was created. “Whom have I in heaven but thee?” cried the psalmist, “and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee” (Psalm 73:25). The first and greatest commandment is to love God with every power of our entire being. Where love like that exists there can be no place for a second object. If we love God as much as we should, surely we cannot dream of a loved object beyond Him which He might help us to obtain.

Bernard of Clairvaux began his radiant little treatise on the love of God with a question and an answer. The question, Why should we love God? The answer, Because He is God. He developed the idea further, but for the enlightened heart little more need be said. We should love God because He is God. Beyond this the angels cannot think.

Being who He is, God is to be loved for His own sake. He is the reason for our loving Him, just as He is the reason for His loving us and for every other act He has performed, is performing and will perform world without end. God’s primary reason for everything is His own good pleasure. The search for secondary reasons is gratuitous and mostly futile. It affords occupation for theologians and adds pages to books on doctrine, but that it ever turns up any true explanations is doubtful.

But it is the nature of God to share. His mighty acts of creation and redemption were done for His good pleasure, but His pleasure extends to all created things. One has but to look at a healthy child at play or listen to the song of a bird at sundown and he will know that God meant His universe to be a joyful one.

Those who have been spiritually enabled to love God for Himself will find a thousand fountains springing up from the rainbow-circled throne and bringing countless treasures which are to be received with reverent thanksgiving as being the overflow of God’s love for His children. Each gift is a bonus of grace which because it was not sought for itself may be enjoyed without injury to the soul. These include the simple blessings of life, such as health, a home, a family, congenial friends, food, shelter, the pure joys of nature or the more artificial pleasures of music and art.

The effort to find these treasures by direct search apart from God has been the major activity of mankind through the centuries; and this has been man’s burden and man’s woe. The effort to gain them as the ulterior motive back of accepting Christ may be something new under the sun; but new or old it is an evil that can only bring judgment at last.

God wills that we should love Him for Himself alone with no hidden reasons, trusting Him to be to us all our natures require. Our Lord said all this much better: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

** Written by Aiden Wilson Tozer (A.W. Tozer) **
*** From the Book - "Man: The Dwelling Place of God" ***


THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

Following Peace With All Men



Text: Romans 12:17-21, 14:17-19

As soon as a person confesses his or her sins, repents of them and accepts Jesus as his or her Lord and Saviour, he or she becomes a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17) and is empowered by grace in the Holy Spirit to live a new life of peace with everyone.

Such a regenerated person finds it difficult to retaliate when offended and in as much as it lies in his or her power, he/she lives peaceably with all men. In words and deeds, he/she tries not to offend anyone and is quick to apologize in meekness when someone is wronged.

The Bible enjoins us as Christians to “follow peace with all men, and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). There are many reasons why we need to pursue peace in all our dealings: One, God commands that we live peaceably with all men. Two, it is not good to avenge ourselves as that right solely belongs to God. Rather, we are to promote peace at all times, giving place unto wrath (Romans 12:19).

A third reason is: to live peaceably with our neighbours is to enjoy peace of mind as well. By entertaining no injurious thoughts in our minds towards others helps us to stay healthy most of the time. Whereas, friction, quarrels and bitterness generate high blood pressure and hypertension which in turn impedes the health.

Moreover, in a world wrecked by hostility, hardheartedness and rancor, we shine as light to other people around (Matthew 5:16) when we follow peace with all men despite provocations to do the contrary. Thus, we become a source of encouragement and inspiration to others who find it challenging to live peaceably with their neighbours.

We make a ridicule of Christ, of our Christian profession and faith, and become a hindrance to others who would want to come to the Lord when we do not maintain a peaceable and cordial relationship with our neighbours.

The world is polluted as it is and as such, is in dire need of a different breed of individuals, men and women of clemency and modesty who would live for righteousness, love and holiness in obedience to the commandments of God.

As Christians, the truest evidence of our faith in Christ is in the lives we live both within and without the church. We are the living Bible the world sees and should our daily lives at home, at work, in the street and everywhere contradict the person, nature and character of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, then are we unfaithful servants and false in our devotion.

Beloved, look around you; people are hurting everywhere, people are dying every day; conflicts and wars thrive and the hearts of men brew daily with rage. But who has the unfettered will, might and power to make things right, mend broken hearts and salvage depressed souls?

This one thing I know that there is no other person under heaven given among men than can truly save and deliver from all shackles of sin and sorrow other than Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. But He will only do this through you and me by living peaceably with everyone today and every day.

So let’s walk the talk we preach and profess; shining our godly lights before men that they may see our good works born of faith and love, and glorify our Father which is in heaven.

*** Written by Jacobs Adewale (Admin) ***


THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

To The Lost World Minister Christ




To the lost world minister Christ,
Not just by word, but by life,
Imparting Christ by living deeds
To the poor souls living in strife.

To the lost world minister Christ,
By daily walk making Him known;
Imparting Christ by whom you live,
Share with all men what you own.

To the lost world minister Christ,
The precious One you possess,
Imparting Christ to those you love
As all their gain and success.

To the lost world minister Christ,
The very Christ you enjoy,
Imparting Christ to all your friends
As all their boast and their joy.

To the lost world minister Christ,
Who is your life and your all,
Imparting Christ to all you meet,
All fallen ones, great or small.


THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

The Once-Born And The Twice-Born



Classification is one of the most difficult of all tasks. Even in the realm of religion there are enough lights and shades to make it injudicious to draw too fine a line between men and men. If the religious world were composed of squares of solid black and solid white classification would be easy; but unfortunately it is not.

It is a grave error for us evangelicals to assume that the children of God are all in our communion and that all who are not associated with us are ipso facto enemies of the Lord. The Pharisees made that mistake and crucified Christ as a consequence.

With all this in mind, and leaning over backwards to be fair and charitable, there is yet one distinction which we dare make, which indeed we must make if we are to think the thoughts of God after Him and bring our beliefs into harmony with the Holy Scriptures. That distinction is the one which exists between two classes of human beings, the once-born and the twice-born.

That such a distinction does, in fact, exist was taught by our Lord with great plainness of speech, in contexts which preclude the possibility that He was merely speaking figuratively. "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God," (John 3:3). He said, and the whole chapter where these words are found confirms that He was speaking precisely, setting forth meanings as blunt and downright as it is possible for language to convey.

"Ye must be born again," (John 3:5-7) said Christ. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). This clear line of demarcation runs through the entire New Testament, quite literally dividing one human being from another and making a distinction as sharp as that which exists between different genera of the animal kingdom.

Just who belongs to one class and who to the other it is not always possible to judge, though the two kinds of life ordinarily separate from each other. Those who are twice-born crystallize around the Person of Christ and cluster together in companies, while the once-born are held together only by the ties of nature, aided by the ties of race or by common political and social interests.

Our Lord warned His disciples that they would be persecuted. "In the world ye shall have tribulation," (John 16:33) He said, and "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake” (Matthew 5:10-11).

These are only two of many passages of the New Testament warning of persecution or recording the fact of harassment and attack suffered by the followers of the Lord. This same idea runs through the entire Bible from the once-born Cain who slew the twice-born Abel to the Book of the Revelation where the end of human history comes in a burst of blood and fire.

That hostility exists between the once-born and the twice-born is known to every student of the Bible; the reason for it was stated by Christ when He said, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you" (John 15:19). The rule was laid down by the apostle Paul when he wrote, "But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now" (Galatians 4:29).

Difference of moral standards between the once-born and the twice-born, and their opposite ways of life, may be contributing causes of this hostility; but the real cause lies deeper. There are two spirits abroad in the earth: the spirit that works in the children of disobedience and the Spirit of God. These two can never be reconciled in time or in eternity.

The spirit that dwells in the once-born is forever opposed to the Spirit that inhabits the heart of the twice-born. This hostility began somewhere in the remote past before the creation of man and continues to this day. The modern effort to bring peace between these two spirits is not only futile but contrary to the moral laws of the universe.

To teach that the spirit of the once-born is at enmity with the Spirit of the twice-born is to bring down upon one’s head every kind of violent abuse. No language is too bitter to hurl against the conceited bigot who would dare to draw such a line of distinction between men. Such malignant ideas are at odds with the brotherhood of man, says the once-born, and are held only by the apostles of disunity and hate. This mighty rage against the twice-born only serves to confirm the truth they teach. But this no one seems to notice.

What we need to restore power to the Christian testimony is not soft talk about brotherhood but an honest recognition that two human races occupy the earth simultaneously: a fallen race that sprang from the loins of Adam and a regenerate race that is born of the Spirit through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.

To accept this truth requires a tough mindedness and a spiritual maturity that modern Christians simply do not possess. To face up to it hardly contributes to that “peace of mind” after which our religious weaklings bleat so plaintively.

For myself, I long ago decided that I would rather know the truth than be happy in ignorance. If I cannot have both truth and happiness, give me truth. We’ll have a long time to be happy in heaven.

** Written by Aiden Wilson Tozer (A.W. Tozer) **
*** From the Book - "Man: The Dwelling Place of God" ***


THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

Character Of A Christian



Text: Matthew 5:1-6

Key Verse: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6)

John Hill Aughey, one of the notable gospel ministers, said: “Holiness consists of three things – separation from sin, dedication to God, transformation into Christ’s image. It is in vain that we talk about the last, unless we know something experimentally about the first.”

Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the verse above, pointed out some salient issues about Christian conducts. When a great multitude followed Him, He went to the mountain where He taught them what they should know about true fellowship with God, which obviously would make them enjoy life on earth and in heaven.

Remarkably, Jesus pointed out that nobody would be able to make heaven without being poor in spirit. Heavenly-minded people should not be haughty, but be humble and lowly. They must acknowledge their spiritual wretchedness, bewail their guilt and thirst after God.

For those who mourn for their spiritual state, Jesus assured that they will be comforted and filled with happiness. Their godly sorrow will enable them have true repentance, become watchful of everything they do and continue to depend on God wholeheartedly.

Jesus equally taught of the benefit of meekness, pointing out that those who quietly submit to God and bear all insults patiently would inherit the kingdom of God. Those who are meek would always live peaceably with everybody.

These teachings of our Lord are still relevant to us today. Our desires of spiritual blessings must be earnest. At every moment, we should be friendly with everyone, not being proud or feel that we know more than others.

“Nothing so clearly discovers a spiritual man as his treatment of an erring brother.”


THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ


We Must Be Examples



Key Verse: “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: so that ye were examples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia” (1 Thessalonians 1:6-7)

Now that we have become believers in Christ there are few things that are now required of us, one of those things is to be an example to others; those who believe and to those who do not believe.

We are under a microscope; people are trying to see if we live the life that we proclaim. They are looking to see if we ‘walk the walk’ as well as we ‘talk the talk’. Those in the world are looking at us waiting for us to make a mistake so that they can accuse us of being a hypocrite, but those in the church are looking to us to be an example that they can look up to.

As we begin to mature in Christ those who are babes look to us as an example of how they should live their lives. We must live our lives in holiness and teach those who are young in the faith to do the same. There are several ways in which we must show ourselves as an example to those who believe.

In 1 Timothy 4:12, the Bible teaches us, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” These were the instructions Paul gave to Timothy because he was a young man. Paul instructed Timothy to be an example to those in the church.

We must be as Paul and begin to teach those who are young in the faith how they should live Christ-like. It is during this time we are best able to teach them how to live and to instruct them in the ways of holiness. We must teach them to be an example in word: the things we say will very often show what is in the content of our heart.

We must teach those who are young in Christ that they must allow the Holy Spirit to change their hearts so that their conversation will begin to change. Jesus tells us in Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

Paul then tells Timothy that he must be an example in charity or love. This is important because Jesus said this is the first commandment. In Mark 12:30-31 Jesus tells us, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

We must show them love! We must show that we love the Lord, and we do this by obeying His commandments. We must love our neighbors as we love ourselves; we show this by giving to those who are in need and not being selfish. When God blesses us, we must in turn bless others.

The story of the Good Samaritan is an example of loving thy neighbor (Luke 10:26-37). We must be an example in spirit; this is to say we must be of a humble spirit and to be forgiving. We must also exhibit a spiritual walk with God. Romans 8:14 tells us, “Those who are led by God's Spirit are God's children.” We don’t have to walk around speaking in tongues all the time to show them this; we must show them that we have the faith that God is in control and that we are doing things according to His will.

We must also be an example in faith. People are looking for us to show them that we have the faith to believe God for everything that we need. It is by our actions that they will know that we have faith. If we are looking to get a job, then we should go out and put in applications to get a job and not expect God to give us a job while we just sit around and eat Twinkies all day. God is able to do that if He wishes, but we have to do something to show God that we trust Him to provide for us.

We must show them our faith through our works. James tells us “Show me how anyone can have faith without actions. I will show you my faith by my actions” (James 2:18b). How will those around us know that we have faith unless they see us do something? And we must be an example in purity of heart and in living a holy life.

They will see what we do when we are not at church. Are we just a Sunday morning saint or is that how we live our lives daily? Those who are young in the faith are looking to us to be an example. They are like our children who do what we do so therefore we must take on Christ so that they will know how to live a life in holiness.

Let’s be an example of righteousness and holiness for all to see so that God will be glorified through us! May the God of peace, and the peace and love of Christ be with you always! Amen.

*** Written by Edwin D. Kerns ***


THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

Don't Tell Them Jesus Loves Them




Oh suffering soul, crying out for love
In a world that seldom cares;
See the hungry heart longing to be filled
Much more than our prayers,
And a young girl sells herself on Seventh Avenue
And you hear her crying out for help,
"My God, what will we do?"

Don't tell them Jesus loves them
Till you're ready to love them too,
Till your heart breaks from the sorrow
And the pain they're going through

With a life full of compassion
May we do what we must do,
Don't tell them Jesus loves them
Till you're ready to love them too

Oh, the desperate man
Are we reaching for the souls
That are sinking down in sin?
Oh, cry for the child
We've lost our passion for the lost
And there are billions left to win
And another forty thousand children starve to death today,
Would we risk all we have to see which of them say:

Why have we waited so long to show them Jesus lives
To share salvation's song?
Why have our hearts become so proud that we fail to see
To love them is to love God?

And a young girl sells herself on Seventh Avenue
Hear her crying out for help,
"What will we do?"

*** Song Lyrics by Steve Camp ***


THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ.