Tag Archives: freedom

What we really need

28 Apr

Editors Note:  This was copied from a previous blog entry at a different website dated April 13, 2008.  Hope you enjoy it.

Today I was reading in the book of Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: I had recently done some traveling and have noticed one thing in particular:  We need the Holy Ghost in our lives above everything else!  We pray for more possessions, freedom from our responsibilities, etc, yet many of these blessings actually can become more of a snare than a real blessing so often of the time.  What we really need today more than ever before is for men and women to rise up like Anna in the New Testament who, awaiting the coming of her savior, dedicated her life to prayer and intercession on behalf of her fellow countrymen. We need Christians who know how to pray and that love the practice of prayer, who study their Bible: not to gain some intellectual advantage over their peers, but who with a broken heart search out even the hardest sayings in the Bible, whose hearts cry out like the psalmist David, Search me O God, and try me: see if there be any wicked way in me, anything that might hinder someone from finding and loving you.(pp)  We need believer’s who hunger for God to be seen flowing in and through them more than they yearn for financial success or the praise and adulation of men: men and women of all ages who possess within them a deep and burning desire to see lives changed; who have spent quality time in prayer, and who’s very lives testify against a society that has become absolutely barbaric and shocking in the sins of which it now openly practices, applauds, commits and accepts.

We have programs inside of our churches for everything that so much of the time replaces the original and true reason for Christian fellowship: empowerment.  Every time members of the early church came together the results were always the same: the Holy Ghost filling their hearts with the love and empowerment to win souls, to be kind to their enemies, to pray for their nation’s rebellious leaders (instead of tearing them down), etc.  Do you leave your church excited, bursting inside with the need to tell someone about the love of Jesus Christ? If you don’t chances are there may be something lacking either in your pastors’ personal prayer time or in your own walk with the Lord.  While on a vacation (during which God allowed me graciously to have the time to create this website) I purchased at a fairly reasonable price a new Bible software program that I had been praying for for quite some time.  Although I now have this software I know from experience that this in and of itself cannot magically make me a better Bible student.  I must first ask the Holy Ghost to help me so that:

1) I will not waste time playing with parts of this program that I do not need and am certainly not ready to use.

2) So that He will lead me to share the Scriptures as accurately as I can and with great joy and enthusiasm.

3) To empower my study so that He will cause Himself to remain glorified through the work if my hands, and through all the day.

To much of our time as Christians is spent on performing tasks that we are not really yet ready to handle or do not need.  I think of all the millions of dollars that are spent for things that steal our time away from Christ: especially for temporary entertainment and personal pleasure. I wonder where Christianity would be today if the first disciples instead of fasting and prayer gathered in that upper room for the sole purpose of playing video games  on their desert Sony X boxes and Play Station 2’s and 3’s. Sit and think for a while on how much time we waste.  Why don’t we a Christians put our idols away and pray for a generation of young people that have never known what it is to experience the love of Jesus Christ.  We should compare our lives as the followers of Christ to the writings found in the gospels and other portions of New Testament scripture and not to those that just happen to live and work around us.  How do our lives measure against the words of Jesus and not our western neighbors?  After all, that is how we will be judged at the resurrection.  Remember the words of Jesus “that those that have much, much will be required.”  We in America have more wealth than any other nation on earth.  How will we as Christians be judged who live in it, who consume so much of the resources that God give us on ourselves, in light of the affliction and poverty of those that we see all perhaps by television or the internet all around us.  Have our hearts become that hardened that we are unwilling to even share our bread with those that so desperately need it, not to mention the true bread that we have inside of us; the living Word of God.  Recall especially Matthew 25 where we find the parable of the talents, the wise and foolish virgins, and the parable of the sheep and the goats.  It was not so much what these so called believers did but what they didn’t do that excluded them from them partaking in the marriage supper of the lamb.

Today is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us all do our very, very best for Him.

Quote of the day: Tertullian, one of the early church fathers, wrote: “How beautiful, then, the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in home, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice . . . Nothing divides them either in flesh or in spirit . . . They pray together, they worship together, they fast together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another. Side by side they visit God’s church and partake God’s banquet, side by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another; they never shun each other’s company; they never bring sorrow to each other’s hearts . . . Seeing this Christ rejoices. To such as these He gives His peace. Where there are two together, there also He is present.”

Editors Note#2:  I wrote this very quickly while on vacation and without a whole lot of editing.  Apologize for any mistakes.  John Butzu

copyrightimage-thumb.gif

PDF “What we really need”

Advertisements

Why do Christians love to disagree?

21 Apr

This too was taken off of an older blog… sometime in the spring of 2008.  Hope you enjoy it.

Today I was introduced to a woman who hosts a Messianic Christian talk show program online.  I was hoping to have a nice quiet, edifying discussion about the Hebrew Bible, particularly since she too claims to have a love for the Hebrew language and is  a Jew by birth!  Not the case.  Right away, I knew there was going to be problems basically because of her unwillingness to allow me to even communicate with her without her attempting to control and alter the conversation.  She claims to have studied under different rabbi’s and from I can tell is probably somewhat educated.  Yet while she talked her only agenda it was obvious was to convert me to her beliefs on practicing our faith with the keeping of the levitical, Mosaic law; by observing the different feasts and so forth.  She claims that the early church, both Jews and Gentiles, kept these feasts and we are clearly wrong from scripture not to do the same.  I would have at least listened politely to what she had to say if it had not been for the way that she had said it.  I can remember when I first began studying Hebrew, I felt such a love for the ancient themes and cultures of the Holy land (and still do) and even remember the Holy Spirit leading me to observe the Sabbath on a different day of the week, such as on Saturday.  But what stuck me as being so distasteful was her lack of interest and total self absorption for anything but her own point of view.  I think she may have wanted to check to see if I had been properly circumcised if I had allowed the conversation to continue.  (Please don’t dwell on this point!)  I quickly excused myself and when back to my work.  Ughhh!  There is nothing more stupid in my opinion than for a Christian who willingly and intentionally is comfortable with causing a division over carnal pet doctrines and the teachings of man.  How you know what a person truly is like is not by their words but by their actions.  I don’t care what any one is trying to tell me.  If in their words you sense a readiness or a willingness to cause divisions and strife, watch out!  If during any debate (and there has been a few legitimate debates by Christians in the past usually over a newly learned piece of information) you do not sense above all else a deep and abiding, pure river of love emanating from whomever is heading the discussion, the best thing is probably to excuse yourself politely and walk away.  They are not really after your best interest but their own.  Remember what the apostle Paul had to endure when Jews that had been supposedly converted to Christ came to spy out the liberty and freedom of the churches in Antioch.  Not once did Paul allow their words to have any place in his meetings as they were trying to add to the message of the gospel of faith alone in Jesus; much to their own sense of Jewish traditionalism and nationalism. Man inherently always tries to find a way to spoil the simple truths of the Gospel.  When the crowd on the day of Pentecost cried out in Acts 2 “what must we do to be saved,” Peter’s answer was simple: Repent and be baptized“.   No seven steps to this or three steps to that, no, just a simple acknowledgment of having done wrong and a willingness to want to change. I guess that is why I am also so against much of the “self help” books that are published for and by the church today.  Don’t they read their Bible’s?  Your flesh cannot be altered or improved!  It must be crucified!  Imagine Peter, instead of his recorded sermon in Acts 2 choosing instead to preach a message entitled “Your Best Life Now” or some rubbish of the like.  What a hypocrite he would have been called by the people he had seemingly just converted, as just two chapters later we find him sitting in a holding cell after being arrested for holding a street meeting, preaching and healing a cripple!  Later, they were beaten, kicked, stoned, rejected thrown in prison, delivered from prison, mocked, ridiculed, thrown back in jail, condemned to death, put on crosses, set on fire, and publicly denounced as being stupid and blasphemous: the very rejects of a pagan society!  Their women and children may have been forced to become slaves of the vilest types.  Not what most people would esteem as their best life now by even most third world countries’ standards of living.  Yet this has always been the design and craftsmanship of God, to separate the wheat from the chaff.  What a horrible judgment awaits these false bishops who claim to represent a God they know nothing about!  You could have been raised in church all you life.  It really doesn’t matter.  What does matter is your relationship with God – do you really know Him?  Do you sense His presence when no one else is around, or do you prefer the internet, movies and hours and hours sensual, vile television?  I write these blogs as preparations for messages that one day I may be asked to preach and as well as to hone and develop my skills as a writer and critical thinker.  (Not really, I hardy have time to proof these for grammatical errors as you by now may have noticed!)  But rest assured, my treasures are not in things of this world.  No way!  My treasures are in heaven!

Going back to my conversation with this woman, I can disagree with you but still believe with you and pray for you and most of all love you: even while continuing to disagree with you about nonessential doctrines.  Maybe this observing the feasts was to her an essential doctrine, but them I would have to conclude (as I do) that she is living far from the grace of our God and very near to the bondage that comes with trying to keep the law.  Her life is spent far from the cross at Calvary, my guess would be more like incorporating into her preconceived ideas of learned religion the redemptive work and blood of Jesus Christ.

Please do not be mistaken, even though my flesh felt like pulling away from her in mid-sentence, when I did walk away the Holy Spirit allowed me to feel apart of how much He loves her in spite of the trouble.  She still belongs to the body of Jesus Christ and is loved by the Father.  And he has allowed me to feel that love for her.  So even though we do not agree, if she was willing to “put down the gloves” so to speak” (and by putting her false doctrine away), we would be able to have beautiful communion because of the fact we are still members of the same true church; the body of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Please do not allow your personal views and preferences to cause strife or division toward any other member of the body of Christ.   It is embarrassing.

Quote: “Satan loves to promote disunity, for he knows something that many Christians don’t – God refuses to work in a context of disunity.” (Tony Evans)

“Satan has always been a deceiver and must truly rejoice when any thing is allowed to be elevated higher than the finished work of Jesus Christ, his death on the cross, and thus His payment for our sins.”  (Me!)

Comments, questions, feedback … leave me a comment!


Copyright image

%d bloggers like this: