Tag Archives: Christianity

Getting of the Starting Blocks

“We must realise that while the new birth is necessary as the beginning, it is only the beginning. We must not think that because we have accepted Christ as Saviour and therefore are Christians, this is all there is in the Christian life. In one way physical birth is the most important part in our physical lives, because we are not alive in the external world until we have been born. In another way, however, it is the least important of all aspects of our life because it is the beginning and then it is past. After we are born the important things is the living of our lives in all their relationships, possibilities, and capabilities. It is exactly the same with the new birth. In one way, the new birth is the most important thing in our spiritual lives, because we are not Christians until we have come this way. In another way, however, after one has become a Christian, it is minimized, in that we should not always have our minds only on the new birth. The important thing after being born spiritually is to live. There is a new birth and then there is the Christian life to be lived. There is the area of sanctification, from the time of the new birth, through this present life, until Jesus comes or until we die.” (Francis A. Schaeffer, True Spirituality, pp4-5)

Not many Christians have gotten of the starting blocks yet. Schaeffer’s insight is spot on. Many are happy to just be Christian. Many are happy to be just born. Many are content with living their “Christian” lives without reaching all the possibilities, capabilities, and relationships. How are you in your Christian life? Are you still a “new born” although you’ve accepted Christ years ago? Are you still in your “infancy” although you proclaim to have come to Christ decades ago? Every moment you live as a Christian, is it a growth from “infancy” to adult hood”? Are you growing out of “me-likeness” to Christ-likeness?

If you want to experience everything good and complete that God has planned for you; all the great and precious promises then you must get out of the starting block of your new birth.

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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in General Blog


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The Absence of Presence

This morning I woke up to an instant message from my cousin. She asked, “No post today?” and she appended a crying icon at the end. She’s one of the subscribers to my blog and she keeps tab on the absence of my presence. After she sent me that brief text it sparked some other thoughts.

Thinking about the absence of presence I began to ask myself these questions about our spiritual conditions. Did you talk to the Lord today? If you didn’t, did you miss the presence of prayer? Did you read God’s word today? If you didn’t did you miss the presence of God speaking to you? Did you practice being like Christ today? Did you miss the absence of a Christ-like presence today?

There are so many things in the Christian life that is crucial to your sanctification and it is often absent from your life. You should miss the presence of that! You should miss the presence of God in all of the forms that he reveals himself in your life and if you are not experiencing him then you need to cry out to him for Paul says that he is not too far from those who want to reach out to him.

Make a decision today not to go another day with the absence of his presence.

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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in General Blog


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Wanted: Healthy Homes

“No church, community, or nation will rise higher that the spiritual conditions of its families. Today our nation suffers from a sickness of the soul because our families are weak. Weak in their knowledge of God. Weak in their convictions about God. Weak in their experience of God. Weak in their understanding of how to love one another. This is not how God intended it. The family is God’s smallest unit in the battle for the soul of any nation. He designed the family as the birthplace and residence of Christianity. It is the place where the knowledge, fear and love of the Lord are taught by parents and learned by children. The family is where character is planted and grown. It is the place where civility and respect are nurtures and cultivated. If the soul of America is to be restored, it will be done one home, one family at a time and in the church we assist that by proclaiming God’s truth for the family.” (Rainey, Dennis: Building Strong Families)

Most Christian families today are not biblical families. By this I mean that the parents are failing miserably at their responsibilities as parents. Today they have abdicated their parental authority and power and by doing so they have ceded that power to the television set, to their children’s friends, to granny and granddad, or to the pastor.

How is it in your home? Can it be said of your home that it’s a healthy home? If it cannot be said then you must identify the illness that exists their and start now, right now, to make it a healthy home.

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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in General Blog


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That’s How the Cookie Crumbles

Have you heard the idiom, “That’s how the cookie crumbles”? It is a slang term, origin unknown from the 1920’s in America. Used to underline a failure of an action, or disappointment in reaching an undesired result, with the additional meaning that the result was not an unexpected one.

For example:
Brad: ” Well, I asked Angelina out, and she told me to go get lost . . ”
Pitt: “Hey, that’s the way the cookie crumbles!”

Christians should never say, “Oh well, that’s how the cookie crumbles” What many don’t realize is that the crumbling of the cookie is controlled by their own actions. Remember what the Psalmist said in Psalm 1, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the Law of the Lord…” The cookie will crumble only when you move away from your Lord toward something or someone of your own desires and will. Moving away from the Lord can be ever so subtle. First there is the walking. Walking is a casual acquaintance with something or someone. This is the first step and the most subtlest. Secondly, there is the standing. This is the next logical step toward intimacy. The relationship with the object of your once casual acquaintance has now moved toward a better level of comfort. The third and fatal step of your faith is sitting. This is the most intimate posture of your relationship with something or someone.

Think about everything habit in your life. I can guarantee that every habit in your life started of with walking. “Walking” is like just tasting alcohol. “Walking” is like just greeting a non-Christian guy or gal. “Standing” is like sipping alcohol. It’s like taking a few gulps of it. “Standing” is like stopping and chatting up the non-Christian gal or guy and even asking him or her out on a date.”Sitting” is like buying a few bottles of beer; having a craving for it and you need its company. “Sitting” is like dating the non-Christian guy or gal. You are intimate with them.

If you were to track down how you got were you are you’ll discover that you’ve walked, stood and sat with the wrong things in life, or, you may discover that you are where you are because you’ve walked, stood and sat with the right things, the God-things in life.

That’s how the cookie crumbles? Nope, it’s crumbling because you made the wrong choices.

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Posted by on January 18, 2012 in General Blog


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Body Building

When your car is broken, you take your car to the garage. When you need a doctor, you go to the clinic. When you need a surgeon, you go to the hospital. When you need new clothes, you go to the mall. When you need plumbing supplies, you go to the hardware store. When you need money, you go work or to an ATM.

But when you need spiritual help, you ask the church to come to YOU, or you ask God to come to YOU.

Why is it that for everything else that you need or want in life you are happy to wake up and go get it but when you need spiritual help you refuse to get up and go get it? I find it strange and unbelievable that Christians are so recalcitrant that they might as well die instead of going for help. It’s unbelievable but it’s true.

I agree that Christianity is not about following formulas to make life work, but there are some organic practices in the Bible that tells us that some things are crucial to our spiritual existence and its longevity. I am convinced from Acts 2:42-47 that when God’s people get together in God’s way around God’s word then God things happen. It is in this context that needs are revealed and they are met through the stronger parts of the body. God’s church is the gym where Christian muscles are built and where the weak become strong. When God things happens then consequentially God’s name becomes known.

Are you making yourself a part of your local church? Are you more absent than present? If you want to experience growth then you must make the effort to go. Go and be blessed!

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Posted by on January 11, 2012 in General Blog


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Old But Not Cold

One stimulant to my faith is the fiery faith of old believers. I am immediately encouraged when I come across believers who are on fire for the Lord in spite of their old age. I sometimes catch myself thinking, “When I get old I want to have a faith like this man or this woman.”

The reason I am encouraged by the faith of the older folks is because most often people start of their Christian lives on all six cylinders. They have all the turbos on and of they race to capture every “trophy” Christianity has to offer. I have found it frequently true that many people start of their Christian life with a spark and end with a sputter. For some of them even a kick-start or a boost just doesn’t work.

At The Phoenix Fellowship, where I pastor, there are a few old folks who are great at stimulating my faith through theirs. I thank the Lord for these godly men and women. They remind me of another old person in the Bible. His name is Caleb. Caleb’s contagious faith is revealed to us in Numbers 14:6-15. Let me remind you of Caleb’s faith. Caleb is reminding Joshua of his allegiance to the Lord when he was a young man, an allegiance which prompted Moses to make a promise that Caleb would one day be a recipient of a piece of the Promised Land (verses 8-9).

Caleb declares this about himself, “Joshua 14:10-11   10 “Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, eighty-five years old!  11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.” Here’s an eighty five year old man who’s still got what it takes! This is Christian maturity at its finest. Spiritual growth and intimacy with God should never wane with the onset of physical advancement, if anything, it should grow with physical advancement. At eighty five years of age “old man Caleb” is still flexing his spiritual muscles. What a picture of faith!

I suppose it’s one thing to flex our spiritual muscles but it’s quiet another matter altogether to put those muscles to good use. Caleb does what most old folks don’t do. In coming to Joshua to claim his “prize” he says this, “Joshua 14:11-12   11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.  12 Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.” Wow! Forty five years later and Caleb is still in peak spiritual condition. Wow! At the age when most people have gone passed the age of retirement and are watering a garden somewhere in their back yard, “old man Caleb”, at that age is ready to take on a mountain. Caleb does not choose an easy, cushy task. He chooses something that will challenge him because he knows who is God is. It is very clear that Caleb knows God in a very personal way. When the frailty of physical advancement should bring doubt and create a barrier for growth and spiritual advancement, Caleb breaks that barrier down by displaying a resolute faith in God.

Here’s what you can learn from the life of “Old Man Caleb”

  1. You must do a spiritual diagnostic of your spiritual life right now. Do you have a sputter after starting of with a spark?
  2. Is your faith, like Caleb’s, a growing one? Look back on your life and check if you have grown.
  3. Are you a mountain conqueror? Do you have such a radical faith in God that you demand the challenging stuff from the Lord?
  4. Notice that Caleb followed the Lord wholeheartedly. With what percentage of your heart are you following the Lord? If God does not own all of your heart then you won’t be courageous to be a mountain conqueror. You most likely will be satisfied even if you didn’t have a prize.
  5. When I look at the life of Caleb there is one characteristic in common about him whether he was young or old. In his youth (forty years) he stood out of the crowd. He felt they could take the Promised Land in spite of opposition. Now, forty five years later he still stands outside the crowd. When the average Christian person would go for the easy victory, Caleb chooses the difficult one. Life will be this way for you too. The question is, “Will you be constant (standing outside the crowd) as you grow older?

Many people today are “old” Christians, but many of those “old” Christians are “cold” Christians. Will it be said of you, that you’re old but not cold?

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Posted by on January 10, 2012 in General Blog


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Final Reminder!

Did you ever see one of those “Final Reminder” letters from a creditor? The alphabets are all in red and they’re printed in bold type as an urgent reminder that a failure to meet the demands of the letter will result in some serious consequences.

Yesterday an elderly gentleman in our community passed away. During my visit there the deceased son was telling me how fearful his neighbour has become. His neighbour was a close friend to his dad. He said to me that this man was filled with dread about death and uncertain about his own life. The presence of death reminds us of the “Final Reminder” that is waiting for every one of us to answer. Time is running and the letter demands a response now.

The letter demands a response from unbelievers, there’s no doubt about that. After all, they need Christ right? But do you know that the letter demands a response from believers too? Believers also need Christ! I believe we’ve come to an era in our Christianity where it seems acceptable to live as any other unbelieving person does. We have insulated ourselves with cliches and favourite verses that give the idea that we’re holy.

The final reminder is sent to believers telling them that a day is coming when God is going to bring all their works into the light and it’s quality will be shown for what it is. I’m afraid on that day many believers will be surprised. Today you have been served with a “Final Reminder”, how do you plan on meeting the demands of this reminder?

Start by responding to it in repentance and begin implementing changes. Do it now, time is running out!

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Posted by on January 9, 2012 in General Blog


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