En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Archive for April, 2009

Revival?

Posted by Scott on April 29, 2009

“It’s often said that the Christian church in America needs revival. But this doesn’t necessarily mean ever-bigger tents with tens of thousands of us swaying back and forth, singing songs, giving speeches, and getting pumped up—and then going home and watching television. America’s real revival and genuine rebirth will be much less dramatic in the beginning. We might never even realize exactly how it came about. But it can happen, and we must pray that it will.
How will it come to pass? It’ll happen, dear friends, when we all simply go to our rooms, close the door, take a deep breath, and take a good, long, hard, honest look at ourselves. And then, quietly and humbly and fervently, we ask the living God for help, for insight, for direction—for salvation.”
  -David Kupelian “The Marketing of Evil”

Reminds me of this verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Four things we must do individually & Corporately:

1) Humble ourselves by admitting that we have sinned individually & Corporately
2) Ask God for forgiveness of this sinfulness in our lives and the the actions of the country
3) Seek the face of Almighty God – yearn for God more than life itself – complete devotion to our Sovereign God
4) Repent of our sins by making a complete change of behavior and actions in our lives

Only God brings revival when He so desires. I believe the times are right for it as people are desparately seeing the emptiness in their lives that “stuff” brings about. The emptiness of sin, indulgences, wanting more-more-more…it is all empty apart from a relationship with Jesus Christ that is pure and holy. The calling has been made for His people to return to a life of holiness, a life that is far different than that of the world. We must stop tip toeing around the Word of God and watering it down calling it “love”. We are to boldly proclaim the Word of God unabashedly. We are to be both the light and the salt of the earth…yet we look like, act like and talk like the rest of the world…trying to use new modern techniques to pursued people to “come on in, we will not offend you, what would you like to hear, you want a 10 minute sermonette, ok you got it, oh, you dont want to hear about your sinfulness, well, ok, because you already know you sin, right, so we will just talk about how to have a better hotter sex life, how to cook more healthy, how be positive and make more money and so on”…repentance is a changing of this, a turning away from this. Jesus said it simply and best “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near!” I can only imagine this in a very stern loud voice…not the sissified image most people portray Jesus in today. He is mighty and powerful to the falling down of the strongholds around us. I will introduce you to my Jesus:

Revelation 19:11-16

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is call Faithful and True. With justice He judges and makes war (read this again). His eyes are like blazing fire and on His head are many crowns. He has a name written on Him that no one knows but Himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following Him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter’. He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written:

KING OF KINGS
and
LORD OF LORDS.

That is my Jesus…He is coming soon in power, might, and strength of pure white beyond what anyone can imagine. He is not coming softly and gently with His hands folded together in a non-offensive way like the sissified pictures and movies you have seen as many would like you to believe…this time He is coming to end all of this and bring about the judgement of those who would not believe in Him and make Him their Lord. The time He is coming and maybe sooner than anyone thinks, for His chosen people…those who have authentically given their lives to Him, many of those people you make fun of on a daily basis because their hate for sin in their own lives is so strong they seem weird to you. Many will say on the day of judgement “But we called you Lord, we believed on your name, we did all these great things in Your name, we went to church every week, we served by passing out meals to the homeless, we went across the world to help people with aids, we did all this in your name…” and Jesus will sternly say “Depart from Me, I never knew you”. You see, folks, Jesus does not necessarily care about all the “stuff” we do…that is merely the work of a Believer, but He wants us to know His Father in heaven…that is why He really came, so that we can be introduced to His Father and get to know Him intimently and if we know the Father we know Jesus. Jesus wants us to spread the gospel around the world that is untainted by human mishandlings…passing out a plate of food is not the gospel. The gospel is the good the news that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior…that He died so that we can be saved and know God the Father. We cannot know God the Father apart from accepting the Son, Jesus as our Lord and Savior and believing that He rose from the grave and is alive today…it simply does not work any other way. He is the ONLY WAY to the Father…Jesus is the ONLY WAY to God! Don’t be found lost at the day of His coming.

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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What if…?

Posted by Scott on April 25, 2009

What if you could read minds? What if you knew the winning lottery numbers one day early? What is you could live forever? What if you were breathing your last breath right now? What if you had already eaten your last meal? What if you had your conscience for a reason? What if you knew what the reason was? What if it were a beacon – a warning of an impending doom? What if justice were not corrupt, but something true – something eternal? What if the standard for life were a perfect Law you already knew? What if in the stillness of a silent moment you know you had broken that law?

What if life is really a test, a series of choices, in which only one choice really matters? What if we ignore the inner warning light which pulses when we lie, steal or lust? What if even our hatred is counted as murder? What if pain and pleasure are only shadows of greater sensations to come? What if there is a Heaven? What if there is a Hell? What if there is a just Judge who knows even our thoughts? What if He holds us accountable for every thought, word, and deed? What if our idea of justice is only a shadow of something coming – where the prison times are eternal and no bond can be posted once the sentence is passed? What if death is the fine for breaking an eternal Law? What if someone paid that fine for you? What if Jesus Christ is that person? What if He defeated death by rising from the dead? What if you could turn from your sin, put your faith in Him and live? What if He gave you your conscience yo point you to Him?

Every second two people die… What if this is your second? check it out and see @
www.WhatIfCard.com

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How to Ask & Receive Everything You Ask For!

Posted by Scott on April 22, 2009

Have you ever asked for something from your parents when you were a kid and did not get it? Isn’t that a bummer? As a kid you just had it all figured out in your head that what you were asking for was a great thing and your motive had to be pure, but in the end you got shot down.

Well, in John 14:12-18 we find Jesus telling the audience that He will do whatever we ask in His name. Now, that is music to our ears isn’t it? This is what we have been waiting for…just ask in prayer, add “in the name of Jesus” to the end and wham-bam get ready to receive, right? Wrong! If this was the truth then the Scriptures would be no more than a book of magical phrases we need to memorize in order to get the mighty Genie out of the bottle to do our beckoning. The Scriptures tell us about how to ask properly and receive whatever we ask for, but it may not be how we think.

In this passage of Scripture we find three things evident for the life of a Believer to be true and powerful. We need to recognize that our activity is borrowed from Christ, our authority is on loan from Christ, and we even borrow His deity. The activity is that Christ works through us to accomplish His will…we are not doing the will of the Father, but Christ is working out this will through us in His power. By what authority do we set out to accomplish His work? The authority Christ has as a part of the Trinity, the Son of the living God, as God, as our Lord, and the savior of His lost sheep.

Borrowing Christ authority is where I want to camp out for a moment. We find a promise here in that whatever we ask for in the name of Jesus, He will do it. Wow! Could that be so broad with no strings attached? Could it be so simple? Well, there is a condition…”in My name”. We are to ask in the name of Christ. But what does that mean? Ray Stedman said “To pray in the name of Jesus has a very special significance that has become lost to many Christians over the years because of our tendency to practice Churchianity rather than Christianity”. He is right. We have too often placed “in Jesus name” at the end of our prayers with no more meaning than “Sincerely Yours”. This simply will not work.

To ask for something in Christ name means we are asking by His authority, based on His character, by the power He has given to us upon our acceptance of Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus has loaned out His authority to us to ask anything. What is this anything? Ray stated it well “We are to ask in the realm and scope of His work, His character, and His will”. Whatever Christ is wanting to accomplish here on this earth, He will do through His people. So, we must be in tune or aligned with our heavenly Father on a daily basis and understand what He is trying to accomplish on this earth is to further the kingdom of God for all eternity…which is to ultimately bring God glory. So, whatever we ask is NOT going to be for ourselves, our own selfish ambitions, our own accomplishment and desires…it is going to be whatever is furthering the kingdom of God and bringing Him greater glory which is for our greater good. “Ask” in that context and you will always receive it. Jesus’ promises are not void or empty, but many times our asking is hollow and prideful not getting any further out than our breath can go before falling to the ground below. Ask in genuine oneness with our sovereign God and your asking will not go out in vain. Jesus’ goal, to bring glory to the Father, which is accomplished through us by lending us His authority in the asking. This is how we can receive anything we ask for.

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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What is Eternal Life?

Posted by Scott on April 22, 2009

I read a verse of Scripture this morning in context of course, but John 17:3 jumped out at me like I had never seen it before….isn’t that how it works much of the time? We can read a verse of Scripture all our lives, but one day it seems to be brighter than it was the previous 30 years.

The question was posed “What does a Christian mean when he testifies that he has eternal life? Now, that seems easy enough doesn’t it? I mean, could it be “living forever”, “nothing but existence, going on and on forever”, “life on cloud nine playing our golden harp”? “Is it our spirit just living eternally on earth through regeneration after regeneration, but not individually”? Lots of possibilities, lots of stuff we have been taught throughout the years. The answer to the question, however, is found in that very verse of John 17:3 as told by Jesus himself. Our tendacy is to think of eternal life as a quantity of time, but Jesus is telling us it is a quality of relationship in our heavenly Father, the One true God.

Eternal life starts here with the knowledge of an etermal Person, God, with intimacy of communion and fellowship with this Person of God. Think of marriage for a moment. What is marriage? Is it cooking, cleaning up after someone, having children, tv, three square meals a day? No, marriage is that intimacy in knowing that other person called our spouse. Eternal life is much the same way except much greater than our imagination can fathom.

The larger picture, however, is the results of knowing God. This result of really knowing God for all eternity is an intimate fellowship or communion with God which gives us a life meaningful, rich and enjoyable that does not start in heaven, but right here on earth…it will be perfect when we finally with our Father in heaven someday. To know God means the end of lonliness forever. Think about that for a moment….before you knew God, what was the prevailing thought…for many it is lonliness. But this new found eternal life found in Christ abolishes this eternal lonliness. By knowing God intimately, we can share our joys and sorrows with Him, He sympathizes with our hearts desires….there is no other quality of life that can compare to this. The benefits of knowing our God in this way goes far beyond all the limits and boundaries our feable minds can imagine. “Knowing God is fullness of enjoyment, the richest of experiences, the enlargement of life beyond our ability to imagine.” This knowledge of God broadens the entire perspective of life and we can begin to really life for the first time in our earthly lives.

“God is our ultemate reality and we are inteded to know Him and experience Him on a daily basis. When we do so, life becomes vibrant, exciting, and awesome.” Stedman

A story Billy Graham always told was about a Scotland woman in this pastor’s parish who was behind on her rent and going through very difficult times. The pastor got together with other members of the church and took up a love offering for her. The pastor went to the ladies door to give her the money but never answered. One day the pastor ran across the lady in the market and told her he had come by to give her the money to help pay her rent up. She stated, “Was that you at the door, I thought it was the landlord.” You know that story teaches a profound lesson to us as Believers. Jesus stands at the door and knocks wanting this intimate relationship with us. He wants us to experience what real eternal life is. But many of us are afraid to open the door for Him to step into our lives beyond our mere salvation and have fulfilling communion with Him.

Eternal life, is to know God intimately and completely forever.

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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Listen to Sermons!

Posted by Scott on April 22, 2009

A wonderful little article excerpted from one of George Whitefield’s sermons. In this sermon he exposited Luke 8:18 where Jesus said, “Therefore consider carefully how you listen.” These pearls of wisdom will help you listen to sermons in a way that will bring great blessing to your soul. Or as Whitefield said, “Here are some cautions and directions, in order to help you hear sermons with profit and advantage.”

1. Come to hear them, not out of curiosity, but from a sincere desire to know and do your duty. Not to enter His house merely to have our ears entertained, and not have our hearts reformed, must certainly be highly displeasing to the Most High God, as well as unprofitable to ourselves.

2. Give diligent heed to the things that are spoken from the Word of God. If an earthly king were to issue a royal proclamation, and the life or death of his subjects entirely depended on performing or not performing its conditions, how eager would they be to hear what those conditions were! And shall we not pay the same respect to the King of kings, and Lord of lords, and lend an attentive ear to His ministers, when they are declaring, in His name, how our pardon, peace, and happiness may be secured?

3. Do not entertain even the least prejudice against the minister. That was the reason Jesus Christ Himself could not do many mighty works, nor preach to any great effect among those of His own country; for they were offended at Him. Take heed therefore, and beware of entertaining any dislike against those whom the Holy Ghost has made overseers over you.

Consider that the clergy are men of like passions with yourselves. And though we should even hear a person teaching others to do what he has not learned himself, yet that is no reason for rejecting his doctrine. For ministers speak not in their own, but in Christ’s name. And we know who commanded the people to do whatever the scribes and Pharisees should say unto them, even though they did not do themselves what they said (see Matt. 23:1-3).

4. Be careful not to depend too much on a preacher, or think more highly of him than you ought to think. Preferring one teacher over another has often been of ill consequence to the church of God. It was a fault which the great Apostle of the Gentiles condemned in the Corinthians: ‘For whereas one said, I am of Paul; another, I am of Apollos: are you not carnal, says he? For who is Paul, and who is Apollos, but instruments in God’s hands by whom you believed?’ (1 Cor. 1:12; 2:3-5).

Are not all ministers sent forth to be ministering ambassadors to those who shall be heirs of salvation? And are they not all therefore greatly to be esteemed for their work’s sake?

5. Make particular application to your own hearts of everything that is delivered. When our Savior was discoursing at the last supper with His beloved disciples and foretold that one of them should betray Him, each of them immediately applied it to his own heart and said, ‘Lord, is it I?’ (Matt. 26:22).

Oh, that persons, in like manner, when preachers are dissuading from any sin or persuading to any duty, instead of crying, ‘This was intended for such and such a one!’ instead would turn their thoughts inwardly, and say, ‘Lord, is it I?’ How far more beneficial should we find discourses to be than now they generally are!

6. Pray to the Lord, before, during, and after every sermon, to endue the minister with power to speak, and to grant you a will and ability to put into practice what he shall show from the Book of God to be your duty.

No doubt it was this consideration that made St. Paul so earnestly entreat his beloved Ephesians to intercede with God for him: ‘Praying always, with all manner of prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and for me also, that I may open my mouth with boldness, to make known the mysteries of the gospel’ (Eph. 6:19-20). And if so great an apostle as St. Paul needed the prayers of his people, much more do those ministers who have only the ordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit.

*Not sure where this came from, but George Whitefield wrote the bulk of it.

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