Doing Great Things

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Originally posted on Sara's Musings:

Make a differenceWhat comes to mind when I ask what you would do if you could do one really great thing in life and there were no obstacles in your way to achieving it? I’ve heard beauty pageant contestants on TV answer that question with things like, “bring about world peace” but let’s get down to things that are more tangible. After all, we all can’t be President of the United States or come up with a cure for global warming, although some folks have gotten rich propagating the latter which I think to them might have been more important then finding a cure for global warming (which is about as tangible as bringing about world peace).

The issue, of course, is in how we define “great things.” In the several decades that I have been alive our society has changed in astounding ways, especially with the advent of technology. We can…

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Testify to Love

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Originally posted on Sara's Musings:

We are the evidenceWhat is it about love that we just don’t get? Oh sure, we may say we have love for our family (maybe, depending on what kind of family we came from) and friends (depending on if they are just the fair-weather type or if they hang in there for the long haul–and not many appear to be in that category nowadays) and maybe we even have a bit of love for others like us (defined, of course, by us and who we choose to give it to), and maybe even some left over for “them.” You know, the “them” we all love to hate, or judge, or mock, or gossip about behind their backs because they aren’t just like us. Or we want something from them that we don’t have (you know, that whole arena known as envy and/or jealousy). So we throw stones . . . .

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Champions Know How to Fail

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Originally posted on The Daily Way:

In His infinite love, God watches as we stumble along the path of life, opening His arms wide again and again to us. However, many believers are stranded along life’s narrow road because they do not know how to recover from failure. Falling into sin and disobedience leads to dangerous territory, yet God wants us to know He is the Great Redeemer. He can transform our most dismal failures into victories.

Sin has dangerous consequences. However, when we do stumble, we must remember that the shame we feel is miniscule in comparison to the love God has for us.

Our guilt should drive us to the Cross where we are reminded of God’s amazing plan of redemption. Real champions know how to get up off the ground and keep going. No matter how strong we are or how determined we are, our faith will be challenged.

Looking at our failures…

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Where The Wind Blows

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Originally posted on Sara's Musings:

I venture to say that many folks in America are familiar with the verse found in John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

However, many might not know that this verse was part of a conversation that took place between Jesus and a Pharisee named Nicodemus, who was a member of the Jewish ruling council (see John 3:1-21). Let’s take a look at the entire dialogue:

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

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Second Time Around

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Originally posted on Sara's Musings:

2nd time around heartAbout three and a half years ago, I wrote a blog post titled, Don’t Lose Your Soul At the Crossroads,” that was deleted with a bunch of other posts I’d written during my first year of blogging. I started this blog in July 2010 and this particular post was written on March 26, 2011. When I deleted all of the posts I had written up to that point in April 2011, I thought I had permanently lost it, but discovered that for some reason I had saved it and another post I wrote a week earlier on a flash drive. They were two of the last posts I wrote before deactivating my blog site.

When I fired my blog site back up three months later on July 8, 2011, I started it with this post written on March 26, 2011 and a second post I had written on…

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My Way or God’s Way?

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Originally posted on The Daily Way:

The song “My Way” is a snapshot of how many people view life. They do not want to be told what to do, scoffing at any suggestion of submission. To many people, freedom means doing whatever they want, whenever they want—but true champions do not share this view.

As David neared his coronation as king of Israel, his life was getting extremely dangerous. King Saul knew David’s popularity was growing—and he begrudged David for it. So much so that he decided he would kill David to end this problem. So Saul set out on a manhunt through the mountains in search of David.

Despite being the object of a heated pursuit, David refused to do things his way. Twice David had opportunities to kill Saul, yet he would not do it. Resisting the urging of a traveling companion, David said, “But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand…

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The Old Cross and the New (by A.W. Tozer)

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via: LAMBERT DOLPHIN’S Library

ALL UNANNOUNCED AND MOSTLY UNDETECTED there has come in modern times a new cross into popular evangelical circles. It is like the old cross, but different: the likenesses are superficial; the differences, fundamental.

From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique-a new type of meeting and a new kind of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as the old, but its content is not the same and its emphasis not as before.

The old cross would have no truck with the world. For Adam’s proud flesh it meant the end of the journey. It carried into effect the sentence imposed by the law of Sinai. The new cross is not opposed to the human race; rather, it is a friendly pal and, if understood aright, it is the source of oceans of good clean fun and innocent enjoyment. It lets Adam live without interference. His life motivation is unchanged; he still lives for his own pleasure, only now he takes delight in singing choruses and watching religious movies instead of singing bawdy songs and drinking hard liquor. The accent is still on enjoyment, though the fun is now on a higher plane morally if not intellectually.

The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts but similarities. He seeks to key into public interest by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the religious product is better.

The new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him. It gears him into a cleaner and jollier way of living and saves his self-respect. To the self-assertive it says, “Come and assert yourself for Christ.” To the egotist it says, “Come and do your boasting in the Lord.” To the thrill seeker it says, “Come and enjoy the thrill of Christian fellowship.” The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current vogue in order to make it acceptable to the public.

The philosophy back of this kind of thing may be sincere but its sincerity does not save it from being false. It is false because it is blind. It misses completely the whole meaning of the cross.

The old cross is a symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human being. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started down the road had already said good-by to his friends. He was not coming back. He was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing; it slew all of the man, completely and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more.

The race of Adam is under death sentence. There is no commutation and no escape. God cannot approve any of the fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear or beautiful to the eyes of men. God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then raising him again to newness of life.

That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it. In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane; we leave it at the cross. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die.

We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.

God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life He offers is life out of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross. Whoever would possess it must pass under the rod. He must repudiate himself and concur in God’s just sentence against him.

What does this mean to the individual, the condemned man who would find life in Christ Jesus? How can this theology be translated into life? Simply, he must repent and believe. He must forsake his sins and then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing, excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let him bow his head before the stroke of God’s stern displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die.

Having done this let him gaze with simple trust upon the risen Saviour, and from Him will come life and rebirth and cleansing and power. The cross that ended the earthly life of Jesus now puts an end to the sinner; and the power that raised Christ from the dead now raises him to a new life along with Christ.

To any who may object to this or count it merely a narrow and private view of truth, let me say God has set His hallmark of approval upon this message from Paul’s day to the present. Whether stated in these exact words or not, this has been the content of all preaching that has brought life and power to the world through the centuries. The mystics, the reformers, the revivalists have put their emphasis here, and signs and wonders and mighty operations of the Holy Ghost gave witness to God’s approval.

Dare we, the heirs of such a legacy of power, tamper with the truth? Dare we with our stubby pencils erase the lines of the blueprint or alter the pattern shown us in the Mount? May God forbid. Let us preach the old cross and we will know the old power. (A. W. Tozer, Man, the Dwelling Place of God, 1966)