Sour, Angry, and Negative
Sour, Angry, and Negative
We are looking at how we make the gospel unattractive. I believe one of the main ways this occurs is when Christians are sour, angry and negative.
Some people live right but they always look like they have spent the night in a bottle of lemon juice.
If you struggle in this area, you need to listen carefully. Your salvation should be the source of great joy, and that joy and happiness should be expressed in your life in a dynamic way.
For example, Jesus said this in John 15:11,
"These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."
And in John 16:22, He said,
"Your joy no one will take from you."
In Romans 14:17, Paul said,
For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Finally, James 1:2 says,
Count it all joy when you fall into various trials.
Joy is one of the hallmarks of the Kingdom of God. Even when we are going through a rough patch, the Bible says we are to be full of joy.
Joy makes the gospel attractive. If you put on a sour face all the time and you have a negative disposition, you will scare people away from church. You make the gospel seem like something people would never want.
Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God.
The Greatest Act of Love
Dr. Charles Stanley
What do you think about when you see a depiction of Christ on the cross? Most of us are overwhelmed by the physical and emotional suffering that He endured—the scourging, beating, thorns, nails, mocking, and shame. We are horrified at the cruelty of the Romans and the hard hearts of the Jewish rulers.
But during the crucifixion, far more was happening than the eye could see. God was carrying out His plan to rescue mankind, providing everything we need for salvation:
1. Redemption.Jesus paid the full price of the debt we owed for transgression: death. His payment set us free from bondage to sin.
2. Forgiveness. God could now release us from the punishment we deserved.
3. Propitiation. Christ’s payment satisfied
the Father by fulfilling His demand for justice while letting Him forgive us.
4. Justification.On the basis of Jesus’ sacrifice, the Lord now declares believers not guilty. Although we will still sin in this earthly life, our standing before God is one of righteousness. This is a legal declaration that can never be reversed.
5. Reconciliation. The sin barrier that separated us from the Father was removed by Christ’s death on our behalf. We’re now God’s children—we have open access to Him and fellowship with Him.
The crucifixion was the only way to rescue lost humanity. If there had been any other way, the cross would have been a grotesque display of divine cruelty. But because so much was at stake, it can truly be called the greatest act of love by both the Father and the Son.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit http://www.intouch.org/.
Balance the Natural and the Spiritual
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
"No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save" (Psalm 33:16-17).
The Bible tells us not to put our confidence in things the world considers to be our protection, defense, or strength. However, the man or woman who does not perform well on the job is left behind in today's competitive world. Not only is this typical of the world at large, but even many Christians promote the importance of identifying our strengths and encourage us to move in them to accomplish God's will. Yet, throughout the Bible, we are discouraged from depending upon our own strengths. Instead, we are urged to rely totally upon the Lord.
God wants us to depend upon Him, and He demonstrates this throughout Scripture. For example, in Judges 7, God wouldn't let Gideon fight against another army until he reduced his own from 22,000 soldiers to a mere 300, so that Gideon could not boast about his army's strength. In Joshua 6, God told Joshua to walk around Jericho seven times and blow trumpets instead of relying upon his mighty army to overpower his enemy. In 2 Samuel 24, God judged David when he counted his troops to determine the size of his army's strength, apparently because David took the census out of pride or overconfidence in the strength of his army.
On the other hand, Jesus instructed the disciples in due diligence through the parable of the builder, who is cautioned to consider the cost before beginning to build. "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish'" (Luke 14:28-30).
Today, bring every project and endeavor before the Lord as you ask for His power and grace to accomplish it using both your natural gifts and the Spirit of God working together.
God, your ways are not our ways. Sometimes we hurt and don't understand why. Sometimes it seems we cannot go on. But we know that your ways are much higher than ours. Help us to trust You, the God of the universe, as You orchestrate the events of life when they seem the darkest. Thank you, God
Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders
Shannon Wexelberg - Joy To The World (Modern variation)
"No, I didn't get my Christian celebrations mixed up. I know it's Easter season and this is known as a Christmas carol. But there are very few lines in this song that relate to Christmas. It's mostly a song about joy, and we should be joyful in the Lord all year long. If you take your mind out of the context of Christmas (and that's OK, bear with me), this is a song we can sing year-round. I see so many people out in the world who are *not* joyful, and do you know why? They don't know the Lord. They have nothing to be truly joyful about. Oh, yeah, they may be having a good time, but that is not true joy, it's an empty, hedonistic, self-centered joy. That's not the type of joy God wants for us.
Anyway, this is a modernized version of "Joy To The World", originally written by Isaac Watts. Shannon added a new chorus. I typically don't like the modernization of traditional hymns, but I'll make an exception in this case. I've probably sung "Joy To The World" 1,000 times in church, and it's nice to have a new freshness." -coolram52
My dearest Lord
Be Thou a bright flame before me,
Be Thou a guiding star above me,
Be Thou a smooth path in front of me.
Be Thou a kindly shepherd that leads me
Today and evermore.
About 10 years ago I attended a small group bible study titled "Jesus The One and Only" taught by Beth Moore. This bible study actually comes with a workbook and video tapes that any small group or Sunday School group can watch together. It was during this bible study that I actually became jealous of Beth Moore. Here was a passoniate woman who truly loved the Lord with all her heart. It was then that I asked the Holy Spirit. What's wrong with me? Why don't I love you like that? The Holy Spirit reply and said. "You don't love me like that because you don't know me." Well that was a lightbulb moment for me. Something was wrong in my faith walk that actually needed fixing. It was then that I set out to find this elusive love for my one and only. Knowing the Lord doesn't require much time or a college degree, it just requires a dedication and resolve to create a relationship with him. Today I can say that I truly love the Lord with all my heart, mind and soul. He is my go to guy when I am in trouble. He is my best friend, my Lord, Savior and King. May the devotionals and songs that you see posted on this blog bring you just a little bit closer towards his wonderful amazing love.
By SIMPLY DIVINE LOVE on Saturday, April 09, 2011