Beloved, this video will draw a burden from your heart into your prayer. So many lost in India, it’s heart breaking to consider. We see such an amazing awakening happening in China, where the church is persecuted for disagreeing with the state run religion. We can see the same increase in harvest there in India! The harvest is plenty, so pray for the workers, dear brethren. And as always, beloved friends, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Beloved, in continuing my week of grounding this blog again, I want to discuss an amazing Biblical testimony that is a prime example of what Wednesday Testimony is supposed to be about. John Mark was a missionary with Paul and Barnabas. You’ve all read, I’m sure, how he chickened out and went back home. This led Paul and Barnabas to split later, when Barnabas wanted to give John Mark another chance and Paul thought it was a bad idea.
There’s so much here, what a rich text we have! Many get discouraged when believers argue or separate. It took several years, and a good deal of time spent with Peter, before Paul and John Mark were reunited in fellowship. There’s going to be times when we disagree, and those disagreements might lead us in different paths. Like Wesley and Whitfield, Paul and Barnabas continued their work, the disunity with one another didn’t mean one had to back down while the other succeeded. I think there’s an important example there, when we find ourselves at a crossroad with a true believer.
We also see in John Mark a clear picture of redemption. He would go on to such boldness as to write one of the four Gospels. We know from early church literature that the Gospel of Mark was written by John Mark based on Peters first hand witness. We’ve all had that moment when we know we need to stand firm, we know we need to witness, we know we need to do the right thing and we falter. It feels like we’ve let down the triune Godhead. We can sit with or head in our hands and consider all Gods done for us, salvation, sanctification, justification, purification…all of the ‘ications’. There’s no doubt that God is good, merciful, gracious, just, loving, righteous, and perfect in all His ways. There’s also no doubting that we are not. The only good thing in me is Christ, all I can boast of is His grace.
Wednesday Testimony is grounded in this truth, that God saves imperfect people. Imperfect people like John Mark can fail miserably and still be used mightily by the God of Strength. I’ve never, and will never, write a testimony of a perfect man. Only one has ever lived, and He didn’t need salvation, He is salvation, He is the truth, the life, and the way. When we hear about these men who were weak, wretched vessels in the hands of the Almighty God, I pray we all find encouragement. When we put our faith in Christ alone, by the grace of God we are saved, and become the weak, wretched vessels God will use today.
I had a difficult time last week, a believer I respected lied to me. It was heart wrenching. They are an imperfect vessel, and so am I. When I place myself in the correct perspective I can look on God’s holiness, and rather than anger or offense feel sorrow for the person who faltered in temptation. I can give grace, because I have received so much grace. This is not to say that we accept sin, or make excuses for sinful behavior, but that we lovingly pray for the believers who have given into the temptation we all feel from time to time. Many of you have been believers far longer than I have, and I welcome your advice on how you handle situations where another believer has lied to you, or hurt you. As Brother Washer likes to say “many of you have forgotten more about the Bible than I’ll ever learn.”
As I continue to get grounded again this week, I look to the elders of the body of Christ. You are blessings to me, and to know you are there and I have the ability to ask, to learn from, to sit at the feet of your wisdom and glen from what you write, is something I ceaselessly thank God for. I pray God uses Wednesday Testimonies to encourage and edify you, dear friends. And as always, my most beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
I love Gods Word, I love Gods people, I love going before His throne in prayer, and I love the beautiful way God can use each of these things to chasten me.
I know that we live in a Christian culture today that sees no value in rebuke. How unloving, they say, a rebuke is. Can’t you just love me where I’m at? Pray for me if you think I’m wrong! Why is this the case? Why do so many calling themselves Christians bristle at a rebuke of a beloved member of the body of Christ, or the chastening of God Himself?
There are only two reasons;
1. They’re false converts.
2. They’re true converts who have spent too much time listening to false converts.
If 1. is the case than we must not begin or end with a rebuke, we must begin and end with the Gospel. To an unbeliever playing church being rebuked will either give them the opportunity to cry victim, or it will give them a chance to prove themselves a Pharisee indeed.
If 2. is the case we must remember that once saved, discernment will follow. Do rebuke this beloved brethren, if you win them over it’s a wonderful thing! If they become angry, continue to pray for them that God would work in them from grace to grace.
In both of these cases there is no fear of God. Gods Word tells us repeatedly, fear God. It says the fear of God is the beginning of wisedom. Pastors don’t preach on this subject anymore, everyone wants God to be their buddy, no one wants to hear of the wrath to come.
I was chastened by Gods Word this morning. This is why I stress starting your day in prayer and study. The beautiful thing about being chastened by God is that His Word doesn’t just show us what not to do, but it tells us why as well. Then when we take it before Gods throne in prayer, the Holy Spirit strengthens us. Don’t fear chastening, beloved brethren, pray for it! God chastens those He loves.
As always, dear brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Today’s twisted scripture is Luke 12:4-5.
There are many that would love to twist Luke 12 to fit the bizarre view of Satan and his demons torturing non believers in hell. There are others who claim, like Joyce Meyers, that Jesus was tortured in hell by Satan and his cohorts. But it’s clear and obvious, in the text that Jesus is not referring to Satan, He’s talking about God the Father.
Why do people want to twist this scripture? Because it’s uncomfortable to tell sinners that God is sovereign. Many want their Christianity without having to seperate from the world. But friendship with the world is enmity with God. Do we so desire the approval of man that we’re willing to twist Gods Word to earn it? Please, friends, do not hide the truth from sinners. Don’t give them the impression that they need to be saved from Satan. Christ died to pay a sin debt we owed, we’re being saved from the judgement rightfully due us, by the Judge of all, God the Father.
The cartoon view of Satan ruling hell, helped along by false teachers, is unbiblical and illogical. God created it, God is sovereign over it, God gave the keys of hell and death to His Son Jesus Christ. We need to seperate ourselves from the false teachers who refuse to tell sinners the truth. On the day of judgement no sinner will thank these people for lying to them. Love the sinner more then you love yourself, love them enough to warn them of the wrath to come.
Sinner, your in the hands of an angry God full of justice. It is appointed once for man to die, and then judgement comes. On that day it will be too late to cry out, and the ‘hell of hell is that it’s forever’ as Spurgeon so rightly pointed out. Repent of your sins, today is the day of salvation, put your faith in Christ alone.
As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
I’m not big on celebrity testimonies, we so often hear the testimony of an actor, actress, athlete or the likes, then watch their lives show no fruit. A testimony is powerful, a life changed is even more powerful, as it demonstrates the grace, mercy, and glory of God. A testimony and life in conflict is powerful as well, it becomes a powerful testimony against God and His people. Often those famous folks that have proclaimed faith in Christ have done so for publicity sake. I don’t think the same can be said for Kirk Cameron. Here is one actor whose life has shown fruit, and given evidence for a change. We do not become perfect when becoming saved, but we will be a new creature. God, in His grace, sanctifies us. Are you being sanctified, friend? If not, if you see no change, if the sin you use to love you love still (like a dog returning to its vomit) then please, work through your faith with fear and trembling. As always, beloved, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.
A while back I wrote about Jonathan Edwards testimony, which you can read here, and at the time I was working my way through his treasured work Religious Affections. It took me a little longer to finish this book due to its length, and dutiful use of the Word. It was well worth the read! It was published in 1746, written by the American theologian who helped kick off the first Great Awakening.
One of the best parts about this book is that everything Edwards (October 5, 1703 – March 22, 1758) speaks of he gives multiple verses to back up. This makes reading the book a lot like having a long, edifying, Bible study with the great theologian. It still has so much relevance in the body of Christ today.
I recommend this book to anyone questioning their own affections for Christ, or those that win souls and wish to better judge whether others are in the faith. This book is in the public domain so it’s accessible in pdf form, audible form, Kindle form, or you can purchase your own copy. As always beloved, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.
Back to testimonies today, and here is a great one to pick back up with! E.Z. was moved by the miraculous power of Gods great grace from being a gangster to a pastor. He is now the president of Living Waters publications. I hope you will be blessed, beloved, to see that God is able!
“I always thought that my good had to out weigh my bad…” Emeal Zwayne