· Churches that are healthy tend to be focused on prayer and seeking what God has for them; they are interested in what God intends and the opportunities that are at hand.

· Unhealthy churches tend not to be focused on prayer, and they seek what they want, ignoring what God and His Word has for them.

We Are To Have the Attitude of Christ! P4

Read and study, 1 Peter 4: 1-11

“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”1 Peter 4: 9-10

Does Hospitality cover your church? Do you use it to help others? 

We are to be fueled and empowered by God’s love, and this includes its fruit of Hospitality, for those who come to our church. If not, we are not getting it. We are not getting what church is about, we are not getting what God’s call is or our purpose in the community.

Let’s look what this means. “Hospitality” specifically refers here to taking in travelers with generosity-not grudgingly or with complaining. In general, since we have Christ’s love flowing in us, it should flow to others around us.

This means we are to be willing to give preference to others, to look out for and look after one another, and to share, with discernment, what God has given us, including our family, home, finances, and food. In the church setting, this means we get beyond “the church is mine” mentality.

“Hospitality” is an attitude of stewardship where we do not own anything because we are merely the caretakers for the real owner, God. He desires us to share His stuff, and we comply out of reverence and gratitude to Him. Thus, as we come along side others, we are to welcome them and act out our faith in real, helpful kindness, generosity, and deeds. This includes providing help and lodging to fellow Christians, helping those who are being persecuted, and helping out in our community (Matt. 25:34-43; Luke 10:30-37; Rom. 12: 3-8, 13: 16:33; 1 Cor. 12:1-7; 1 Timothy 3:2; 5:10; Titus 1:8; Hebrews 13:2; 3 John 1:5-8).

“Use whatever gift” means to practice your spiritual gifts, and realize that the diversity we have is beneficial for one another. It also means being charitable or generous to others with what Christ has given you, and to serve Him without being held back by fear, time, or lack of talent.

“Very words of God” refers to Scripture, the words that God has spoken to us. This means to be careful how you speak and minister as we sometimes speak for God as He uses us!

Hospitality is the turning of our backs on our ‘ownership’ of the church, thinking it is mine and just my self-concerns and facing our neighbors. This will take the surrender of our will to Christ’s. If Hospitality does not take us beyond our pride and ownership mindset, then we have only a club of pride, not a real church infused with God’s love.

Hospitality must be our model for church life. It must flow into us from Christ, and in return, flow out from us to those around us. God’s love is the ultimate power for the Christian. Love is more than a feeling; it has segments and characters to it (John 13:1; 15:13;1 Corinthians 13:3; 1 John).

Love is also a choice, a decision that must be perused and worked on!

 

Do you have the Attitude of Christ?

joy joy

The key to Successful Evangelism

 

The power of the Gospel is given to us and it is our responsibility to heed it.

The key to successful evangelism is the same as in advertising a product in the secular world; you have to “show and tell” others. We as Christians are the product demonstrates of our LORD. We do this by words and by our actions of our Christian character and fruitful and faithful living.

The definitive reason for us to proclaim the Gospel is so that God’s elect in a wicked world may see faith demonstrated and explained, to see the work of the Holy Spirit in salvation, and to have eternal life.

Be the difference, so others can see our Living Lord in the mirror of yourself who reflects Him! To reflect Him, we have to act, think, and be as He has called us (John 5:24; 2 Cor. 5:20; Heb. 9:27).

We Are To Have the Attitude of Christ! P3

Read and study, 1 Peter 4: 1-11

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5 – 8

Why does God not want us to be controlled by the past or to be fearful or cowardly?

Does Love cover you? Do you use it to cover others? We are to be fueled and empowered by Christ’s attitude of love in all situations. 

How? Christian love is the turning of our backs on our self-concerns and facing our neighbors. It is the surrender of our will to His. If love does not take us beyond our self-interests, then we have only lust and pride, not real love! God’s love must be our model for life. It must flow into us from Christ, and in return, flow out from us to those around us.

Why? God’s love is the ultimate power for the Christian. Love is more than a feeling; it has segments and characters to it. Love is also a choice, a decision that must be perused and worked on (John 13:1; 15:13;1 Corinthians 13:3; 1 John)!

What will come from us? “God may be praised.” Here, this means for us to be good stewards, as we are called to live, serve, and do all that we do in life for the honor and glory of our Lord and Savior (Acts 7:38; Rom. 3:2; 1 Cor. 1:26-31; Jude 24-25)!

What does this mean? How will it benefit me and my church? God does not want us to be controlled by the past or to be fearful or cowardly. Rather, we are to learn from our experiences and grow from them, but not be tied to them so they become our identity.

We have been born again in Christ; our old life is old, and it is no longer who we are. Thus, we are to grow closer to Him and be an example to others who are still in the old life without being influenced and enticed by them. Our focus needs to be what is going on now, what God is doing, and how we can contribute to it. Not just what can I get, but what can I learn and gain to be better for His glory?

Take comfort; God does indeed have a plan for you even when you cannot see it. His will for your growth in Him is clear! He wants you to be faithful and good so others can see in you a demonstration model for the new life that they can have too. He gives you the ability, the power, and the strength to endure and to enjoy (Gal. 6:7)! The most important aspect is for us to keep our eyes focused on Christ, with racehorse blinders on to block off the rest.

How can you have a better mindset to learn and grow from your experiences?

What can you do to be on guard against the sins and enticements of others? If you are not, how do you suppose the sins of your heart would break you down and take you over? What can you do about it?

 

Is Calvinism Biblical?

calvinist

Now that I have asked that, did you go to feelings or to Scriptrue? To logic or to personal preference?

Calvinism has been on the surge, as have its opponents. Here is a short article with some good thoughts. Yes, some Calvinists make the ‘emotive’ (emotional based) arguments too, and can turn off people about it, when in fact both sides rarely use and know the Bible in, especially online.

If properly examined, Calvinism, as John Calvin taught, is Biblical, because it is just the logical inverse of Scripture in context by inductive reason. Or just read Romans and if you do not like Paul, read 1 Peter chp 1, if you do not like Peter, then read John chps 14-15. If you do not like John, well you have bigger problems. That is, if one would look to the Book, not to feelings, ideas, personal philosophy, what my pastor said or musings…. You would be ‘Reformed.’

Personally, I do not use the term ‘Clavinisim’ much, as it has too much baggage, because most people never have read Calvin and make assumptions that are not true. And some Calvinists are ‘A holes’ (the main problem with Christianity is a lack of Fruit, Gal 5) as this article points out. I have read Calvin, all of him, and found him passionately powerful and true. Talks more about prayer and devotion to God and personal responsibility over all else. I personally prefer the term ‘Reformed’ and if there is a disagreement, I will not quote Calvin, instead, “let us go to Scripture and reason together, look to contexts and see for yourself….”

Always base theology of God’s Word, not of mens or your feelings…. I am not an apologist for Calvin, I am an apologist to proper reason, logic, when look to Scripture, using proper rules of Induction and Hermeneutics.

What is the main contention point? Calvin placed the emphases on God’s purpose. The Armenians place the emphasis on our choosing and God’s foreknowledge.

I certainly will not solve this debate. Both points are valid to a degree, so we can agree to disagree. But, I challenge you to carefully read and study these Scriptures. I grew up in Reformed churches (Episcopal, Lutheran and Presbyterian) and went to a Reformed Seminary, yet for years I rejected four of the five points. The reason was that I refused to see the evidence, instead, choosing to believe my feelings, what my mentors stated, and interpretation along with popular Evangelical thinking. I also did not read Calvin myself. I knew only what others said of him, and, as we will see, most people do a very good job of misrepresenting Calvin! It wasn’t until through a Seminary buddy (Michael Horton), who kept pestering me to examine the evidence, did I finally and surely come to the logical and clear reformed perspective.

My presumptions were in the way, as were my sources, which were plainly wrong. 

So let us focus on God’s Word. Look at it carefully in its context and lift up the blood of Christ as our final Lord and Mediator.

What to know about Calvinism and where it comes from and why it is Biblical? Here is an article that does not quote Clavin; rather, just takes you to Scripture, shows both arguments and you can see for yourself…>

http://www.churchleadership.org/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=44056&columnid=4541

And here http://theresurgence.com/2012/07/25/5-myths-about-reformed-theology

Do you have the Attitude of Christ! P2

What does it mean to exemplify the attitude and conduct of Christ? What would that look like in your life?

We Are To Have the Attitude of Christ! Read 1 Peter 4: 1-11

This passage also gives us comfort in suffering because Christ Himself suffered. He, who is God incarnate, who totally did not deserve to suffer, suffered on our behalf. He endured great physical, mental, and spiritual pain on our behalf, and exemplified the attitude and conduct we are to have when we go through the tough stuff of life.

Thus the call for us in church leadership is to be focused upon Christ as LORD so to be prepared and equip ourselves for what lies ahead in life. We must have our expectations based on reality and in faith, so when something comes our way-whether it is a blessing or a problem-we can take it, handle it with excellence, learn, and grow from it. Then, in turn, we can pass it on as we lead and pastor His people. In this way you can be a blessing to others because of it.

Consider these key words:

Christ suffered.” Our Lord withstood the full brunt of all human temptations needlessly, yet purposely (Mark 1:12-13, Heb. 2:12; 4:15). He was a man, subject to the power and enticement of sin. He did not need to do this, but for our sake He did. He was fully man and identified with us. He remained sinless and took our sins upon Himself. Now, sin has no power over Him or us other than what we allow on ourselves (Rom. 6:1-10; 8:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 5:14; 1 Pet. 2:22)!

Regard to the Spirit.” We now have spiritual renewal and assurance because Christ has obtained for us victory and triumph over death and sin (Rom. 6:5-9; 1 Cor. 15:25-26).

 This applies to leadership as we are in union with other Christians as we are all bonded to Christ and we may suffer unfairly when we do good. Suffering also bonds and helps form us deeper in Him. It is not to be seen as shame. Rather, it is an honor to serve our King (Rom. 6:1-14; Phil. 2:5-11; 1 Pet. 3:21).

The challenge of leadership from 1 Peter is sin that calls us to the world’s ways. From lust and seduction to chasing a mindless trend so the focus is on what is new and not upon Who and what Christ has done. A Good leader needs to be aware that sin is so enticing we can easily slip anyone off God’s path. Thus, we need to be willing to suffer so sin does not entice us and lead our church off God’s purpose and plan. So, as a leader, we must set the tone and become more guarded against sin because a bigger picture is in our sight-Christ, His example, and our willingness and commitment to lead so others can follow. When we see Christ as LORD and not our personal viewpoints, pride and desires, we will grow, mature, and be prepared for anything! Then our church will grow healthy and secure in Christ.

When something comes your way, whether it is a blessing or a problem, how can you take it, handle it with excellence, and learn and grow from it? What would that do for your congregation?

 How would your walk with Christ grow and in turn be a blessing to your church if you did this?

 

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