I Did It My Way! October 18, 2013Posted by Streim in God's Word~Our Guide Book, Life Lessons From the Word, The Grace of God.
Tags: 1 Samuel, Exhortation, God Almighty, God's Faithfulness, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Joy, Jude, Living in the Real World, Obedience, pastors and church leaders, pride of life, Saul, Study, The Truth
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HE DID IT HIS WAY
The demise of King Saul came after he lost favor with God and his son Jonathan found favor; because Jonathon truly believed the words of the LORD God. Jonathon and one other person, his armor bearer, with no weapons completely destroyed a garrison of the Philistines. That’s impressive!! ( read 1 Samuel 13:19 – 14:16 for the complete story) There is a lot more about Saul and how he conducted himself as the King of Israel, suffice it to say– being tempted and walking head on into sin was the norm for him. Finally, Samuel came to Saul one last time to give him the instructions/commands of the LORD.
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ “ 1 Samuel 15:2-3
Did Saul do as told? Of course not, as we read in 1 Samuel 15:8-9
“He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.”
Saul decided, on his own, to keep the good things of the Amalekites for himself but the less useful things he did as the LORD commanded! How arrogant! Saul’s PRIDE kept him from giving heed to the Lord’s words. Instead he ignored the LORD God’s command and did what he wanted or what the people wanted. His faith in the LORD had ceased to be the guideline for his life. Saul was a man of God at one point, but he lost favor with the LORD because his focus was on Saul! The sin of the PRIDE OF LIFE did him in!
When the pride of life keeps anyone from following the Lord’s commands~~it is like telling God, “I am my own god and I can do things my way” Can you imagine anyone who claims to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord thinking like that? This is happening flagrantly throughout the church today and it burdens my heart deeply. Jude’s one chapter letter speaks volumes (even with such few words) on this subject of keeping the faith!
1 Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ: (we are servants, set apart and preserved for God’s purpose)
2 Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. (God’s prosperity gifts to us!! )
3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (earnestly contend: fight for the truth!!)
4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. [ungodly men in the church (creeping in unnoticed) making God's grace extend to accepting the sin of fornication and denying that Jesus IS THE CHRIST!] NKJV
The first four verses of Jude’s letter are extraordinary. They give us insight into what we see happening today. We’re living in times when multitudes of people are being led astray by men who speak “sweet little lies”, filled with deceit, meant to lead the church down the broad road of destruction. Why? Because the “pride of life” keeps us away from God and His Word and thinking we can live this life our way and still please God. Ask yourself this question Do I know what I believe; why I believe it and what does God’s Word say about it? If for any reason you struggle with any part of this question… go before the throne of the One who gave us everlasting life and in humble prayer ask our Almighty God to help you. And get into the Word!! Read the Word, heed the Word and then seed the Word in truth, everywhere you go. I pray that you read the Word with sincerity, daily, for your own spiritual relationship with our Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. ~Streim~
and the King will say… July 26, 2013Posted by Streim in God's Word~Our Guide Book, Living in the Real World, Seeking Truth?.
Tags: Body of Christ, Christianity, discipleship, friend, George Whitefield, giving, Gospel, homeless people, Jesus Christ, Living in the Real World, news, Obedience, pastors and church leaders, Serving God
Pastor Jeremiah Steepek transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor of that morning. He walked around outside the church for 30 minutes as the people began arriving for the morning worship service. While the church folk began arriving for the service, only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him. He asked people for change to buy food – NO ONE in the church gave him anything, not even pocket change. As he entered the sanctuary he went to sit in the front of the church. Immediately the ushers asked him to sit in the back row. He greeted people as they walked by only to receive glaring stares and dirty looks; as though they were better than him.
As he sat in the back of the church; he listened to the church announcements, several songs from the choir and stood to participate in worship. Then the elders went up to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation. “We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek.” The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation. The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle. The clapping stopped with ALL eyes on him. When he got to the altar, he took the microphone from the elders and paused for a moment then he spoke these words of Jesus written in Matthew 25:34-40
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ ‘The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “
After he recited these words of Jesus, he looked towards the congregation and told them everything he experienced that morning. Many began to cry and many heads bowed in shame. He then said, “Today I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples. When will YOU decide to become disciples?” He then dismissed service until next week.
As George Whitefield said “A true faith in Jesus Christ will not suffer us to be idle. No, it is an active, lively, restless principle; it fills the heart, so that it cannot be easy till it is doing something for Jesus Christ.”
Being a Christian is more than something you claim. It’s something you live by and share with others. Are you part of a gathering… or the Church–the Body of Jesus Christ. ♥ Streim
**A dear sister in Christ shared the original story with me. I have edited, revised and adapted it. I don’t know the original author.**
Is Something Missing in Your Armor? July 9, 2013Posted by Streim in God's Word~Our Guide Book, The Power of Prayer, Time for Sharing, Trusting God.
Tags: A.W. Tozer, being still, concerts, Corrie Ten Boom, Exhortation, fervent prayer, Heavenly Father, Hope, Jesus Christ, life, missions, pastors and church leaders, prayer, retreats, spiritual armor
I read in an article this morning written by K.P. Yohannan, founder and president of Gospel for Asia, he shares an alarming statistic. “Studies show pastors spend about 12 minutes in prayer a day, and the average Christian spends on eight. At the same time, they don’t mind engaging at length other Christians activities, such as… concerts, retreats, charity work. Why does prayer come last on our list of priorities? Could it be that the enemy succeeded to convince us that all those other activities are easier and produce better results than prayer? The truth is the devil knows the Almighty God restricted Himself to act on the prayers of His people.” (Read 2 Chronicles 7:14; John 14:13-14)
When our Lord Jesus Christ lived on this earth in human form… prayer was His highest priority!
(few examples–Matt. 26:41 & 53; Mark 6:46; Mark 14: 32 & 38; Luke 6:12; Luke 9:28; John 14:16; John 17:9,15,20)
We need to do the same. We all know the verses about putting on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6)… however, as you can read for yourself below that the armor needed for our spiritual warfare includes fervent PRAYER for the Church.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
A. W. Tozer said “The neglected heart will soon be a heart overrun with worldly thoughts; the neglected life will soon become a moral chaos; the church that is not jealously protected by mighty intercession and sacrificial labors will before long become the abode of every evil bird and the hiding place for unsuspected corruption. The creeping wilderness will soon take over that church that trusts in its own strength and forgets to watch and pray.”
My prayer for each of you who reads this will ask themselves this question “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” (Corrie Ten Boom). May this post bless you and increase your growth in our Lord Jesus Christ. It definitely has impacted me. ♥ Streim