Church & Ministry

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Posted 10/1/14 at 11:22 AM | Tyler Duff

Satans Plan for a Broken Marriage

The marriage foundation has been and is under attack by Satan. Statistically speaking we know that almost half of all marriage in the church and out end in divorce. But why? Why would Satan spend time and energy attacking our marriage and the very biblical foundation that they should be built upon? While yes Satan does come to steal, kill, and destroy I believe his plan is deeper than just to cause harm to our physical marriages. But to understand why Satan hates marriage we must take a look at Word of God. Revelation 19:7-9(NASB) tells us “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” Christ is the Bridegroom and we the church are the Bride, the one the He is coming back for. Jesus loves the church as a wife and tells us in Ephesians 5:25 to do the same to our wives. But you may be asking yourself where I am going with this. You see Satan supernaturally attacks our natural so that we will naturally affect the supernatural. By this I mean Satan is attacking the foundation of marriage, and as he has continued to do so for years, we have allowed it to go on and as it has continued to go on divorce has become the norm in our society. So as we become complacent with divorce in the natural we are also become complacent with divorce in the supernatural. We are finding it ok to leave our first love. Today pastors and preachers are leaving the Word of God and are preaching a watered down Gospel that a little sin is ok. That because Grace covers all sin we can go about life and when we mess up its ok because grace abounds. Grace is for when we fall not when we choose to sin. Brothers and sisters we have left our first love and the truth. Instead of preaching the true Gospel of Jesus Christ we preach to appease the ears of man. We preach Easter Bunnies at Easter instead of the Easter Lamb. We preach Christmas gifts at Christmas instead of the gift of Jesus Christ that was given to all men that we may be saved. We must return to the Gospel and truth and preach it without shame. As the separation between the Groom and bride, Jesus and the Church, takes place we can today see the effects of this. We can see that the once strong and uncompromised foundation of marriage is beginning to crumble as today it is ok for a man to be married to a man and women to be married to women. We are becoming ok with the idea that a man or woman can function in a polygamist marriage having more than one wife. We are seeing man and women in marriages leaving it open for sexual relationships outside of the covenant between the two. The youngest age of teen pregnancy is continuing to drop and the abortion rate is rising. Sex is not confined to a marriage of two anymore but is a mere recreational activity to our young generation at hand. These are the effects of leaving our first love. This is what Satan has been trying to cause with divorce in the marriage. But is marriage as we knew it over? I would think not, because as the remnant of God begins to stand up and be a voice crying in the wilderness saying no more the plans of Satan then we can take back what was once ours. We can take back our relationship with our first love. We can take back the Biblical idea of marriage for our kids and grandkids. But we must take a stand and say “Enough is enough.” We must fight for our marriages. We must know that divorce may seem like the fastest and easiest way out but so is jumping out of a window of a tall building. The quickest and easiest ways are sometimes the wrong way. Today we must choose to fight for our physical marriage and our marriage to Jesus Christ. Today we must take a stand!

Posted 9/30/14 at 11:18 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Six Reasons to Live More Simply—and Give More Generously

Photo: Flickr/Beverly & Pack - Creative Commons
Homeless man with dog he rescued.

By Randy Alcorn

Someone has said, “Live simply that others may simply live.” Of course, there is no automatic relationship between my simple living and someone else being rescued from starvation or reached with the gospel. There is only a relationship if I, in fact, use the resources I have freed up to feed the hungry and reach the lost. This itself assumes I will continue to make a decent wage. For if I go off and pursue simple living for simple living’s sake, spending what little I earn on myself, it does no good for anyone else. The point is not merely saying “no” to money and things, but using money and things to say “yes” to God.

How can we live more simply? There are thousands of ways. We can buy used cars rather than new, modest houses rather than expensive ones. We don’t have to replace older furniture just for appearances. We can mend and wear clothes we already have, shop at thrift stores, give up recreational shopping and costly clothes and jewelry, cut down on expensive convenience foods, and choose less costly exercise and recreation. Some of us can carpool, use public transportation, or a bike instead of a car or second car. But these are things few of us will do unless we have clear and compelling reasons. Here are six: FULL POST

Posted 9/30/14 at 10:30 AM | Justin Buzzard

The Reminder on my Wrist

Sometimes I forget important stuff. So, a while ago I tattooed a reminder on my right wrist.

“Tetelestai.” This Greek word is one of the final words Jesus spoke from the cross. We translate this word in English as “It is finished.” This word changed my life.

I’m an achiever. I like to get things done. I need the daily reminder that my identity comes not from what I do, but from what Jesus had done for me. This word/work of Jesus is a constant reminder of who I am: I am an unfinished man with an unfinished life resting in the finished work of Jesus.

Above the word sits an anchor/cross (or you could say, an anchor-cross). Some of the early Christians, while undergoing persecution, disguised the cross as an anchor. The anchor is a symbol of strength (and is used as powerful imagery in Hebrews 6:9) and the cross is a symbol of the center of the Christian faith. My wrist is a reminder that my life is anchored in the finished work of Jesus.

Posted 9/30/14 at 10:13 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

A Text the Legalist Cannot Handle

Photo: Flickr/Eddie~S - Creative Commons

By Joe McKeever

“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities” (Psalm 103:10).

Do everything you can to make sure your church does not put legalists in charge of anything. Doing so is a death sentence for all they touch.

“The letter of the law killeth; the Spirit giveth life” (2 Corinthians 3:6).

The legalist is a self-proclaimed Christian who reduces our duties to God to a list of rules. Legalists delight in the Ten Commandments, of course, but since the New Testament does not codify a list of tasks we must do in order to please God, they do it for Him.

How kind of them to help God out. (I’m recalling an old definition of a legalist. He says, “I know God didn’t require this in the Bible, but He would have if He’d thought of it.”) FULL POST

Posted 9/29/14 at 5:34 PM | Barry Bowen

See You at the Pole 2014 Videos Show Student Prayer

Photo: YouTube screenshot
Student praying at See You at the Pole.

One of my favorite annual events occurred last week. On Wednesday Christian students from around the world gathered to pray at their school flagpoles. The See You at the Pole Facebook page has pictures of participants from ten countries on six continents.

Here are several See You at the Pole 2014 videos posted on YouTube.

Video by Kurt Doerfel
Video blog by Tim Azevedo
Video by Illowa Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Video by Alex Matteson

Posted 9/29/14 at 3:18 PM | Phil Cooke

Seth Godin’s Advice on Nit-Pickers: Pastors and Leaders Need to Read This

Seth Godin

My friend Seth Godin wasn’t writing this for pastors, but when I read it, I realized pastors were exactly the right audience for this piece. Read it through and let me know if you agree. And perhaps more important – if you’ve ever experienced one or more of these types of folks in your church or ministry:

“The pedant (that’s what we call someone who is pedantic, a picker of nits, eager to find the little thing that’s wrong or out of place) is afraid. He’s afraid and he’s projecting his fear on you, the person who did something, who shipped something, who stood up and said, “here, I made this.”
Without a doubt, when the Beatles played Shea Stadium, Paul was a little out of tune. Without a doubt, the Gettysburg Address had one or two word choice issues. Without a doubt, that restaurant down the street isn’t perfect.
That’s okay. They made something.
Sure, make it better, by all means put in the time to bring us your best work. But no, of course not, no, the pedant is not our audience, nor is he making as much of a difference as he would like to believe.” FULL POST

Posted 9/29/14 at 2:53 PM | Tim Challies

All Those Things I Will Leave Undone

I found an old video of my son, a video I did not even know we had. He was two, playing at his grandparents’ house while Aileen and I were at the hospital, waiting for his sister to arrive. He spoke in a little baby voice, talking about his “wittle sistow” who was in mommy’s tummy. It almost broke my heart. Wasn’t it only yesterday that he was two years old? But then how did he get to be six feet tall, and when did he start to shave, and what on earth is he doing in high school? What happened?

Unfinished church sign
Photo: Flickr/djLicious Creative Commons

I consider it one of the great tragedies of life: All those things I will leave undone. All those things I mean to do that I will never do. All those things I will begin but leave incomplete. All those things I long to master that I will not even be able to start. All those things I will actually do, but do partially or badly. FULL POST

Posted 9/29/14 at 12:45 PM | Alliance Defending Freedom

How to Fix the Johnson Amendment

Pastors today may not remember a time when they could preach on political and social issues without fear of their church losing its tax-exempt, non-profit status.

But the current fear among pastors of preaching about candidates or an election was not always so pervasive.

Since the founding of our country, pastors enjoyed the freedom to speak boldly from their pulpit about the most crucial social and political issues of the day. In 1954, however, the carefully manipulated passage of one outrageous piece of legislation – the Johnson Amendment – profoundly undermined this crucial freedom.

Nearly 60 years later, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) convened a Commission to study, among other things, whether the Johnson Amendment should be amended or repealed.

The Commission was advised by panels of representatives from the non-profit sector, legal experts, and religious leaders.

After studying the issue, the Commission recommended amending the Johnson Amendment to restore the constitutional rights of free speech and free exercise of religion to churches and other non-profit organizations. FULL POST

Posted 9/29/14 at 11:52 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Electing Elders is an Evangelistic Act

Photo: Pixabay - Public Domain

By David Murray

I and my fellow elders at Grand Rapids Free Reformed Church have been focusing on elder training over the past couple of months. Part of that involved preaching on 1 Timothy 3v1-7, a sermon that ended up with 10 points (not usually recommended!):

1. The vital importance of these verses: This saying is trustworthy

This passage is the second “faithful saying” and is introduced with the same words as the amazing statement of soteriology in 1 Tim. 1:15, emphasizing the importance of ecclesiology.

2. The huge responsibility in these verses: the position of an overseer

Paul uses “shepherd,” “elder,” and “bishop/overseer” interchangeably indicating that they are three different words for the one office. To “oversee” includes observation, analysis, discernment, guiding, guarding, etc. FULL POST

Posted 9/29/14 at 11:27 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Moderately Important Christianity

Photo: Flickr/Johan Hansson - Creative Commons

By Joe McKeever

“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.” –C. S. Lewis

How important is the Christian faith? Listen to the Lord Jesus in just two of hundreds of similar statements from Him:

–”I tell you, no. But unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3,5)

–”Unless you believe that I am, you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24).

The faith of the Lord Jesus Christ is a life or death proposition.

Of the 100,000 excellent things C. S. Lewis said in his writings, and of the hundreds of memorable quotations we pass along from this brilliant British brother, perhaps nothing is of more lasting significance or greater benefit than the way he sharpened the line between faith and unbelief, between weak allegiance to Jesus and the real thing. FULL POST

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