Message: Stopping The Pendulum of Extremes

There is a pendulum that has been effecting Christianity, it’s the pendulum of Extremes. We often take the radical message of Jesus Christ and take it to a human extreme. Where decades ago there was the extreme of “works”, where there was an unhealthy emphasis on doing the right thing and appearing right on the outside. Contrast that with today’s extreme message of radical acceptance of anything and everything. We have a problem, as a church we cannot swing from one extreme to the other, we must remain unmovable on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. There’s a call to be radical, but it’s a call to die to ourselves so that we can be alive in Christ.

Jesus is the one and only answer to stopping the pendulum of extremes. In this devotional given at Ellerslie Mission Society, listen as you go deeper into this topic of extremes and catch a vision for what we must do to stop this out of control swing.

Date: November 1st, 2011
Subject: “Extreme Swings in Christianity”
Approximate Runtime: 21 Minutes
Message: 003 – Devotional -Stopping The Pendulum of Extremes
Message Notes: 003 – Stopping The Pendulum of Extremes – Notes

For God and His glory!

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Continual Growth In Christ

As I’ve pondered what to write this week, I’ve finally decided on a very simple question.

Are you continuing to grow in Christ?

You see, it’s extremely easy to be pleased with how much you’ve grown in the past, and where you are today compared to where you were five years ago. But this is where we can begin to become complacent, we get comfortable with our daily routine, and we walk through each day without much growth in Christ.

Growth in Christ is not constrained to your age or circumstances, following Christ is for anyone who is willing to surrender their lives for Him. Fifty years from now, if I’m given the gift of a long life, it’ll be critical that I’m still growing in Christ. We must be pushing ever harder and further for Jesus. It’s truly an endless frontier for the glory of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.

It’s a privilege to hide away and spend time with the creator of the universe. The question is, will you follow relentlessly after Christ, growing ever closer to Him?

Do not stop, for those who are in Christ; Jesus is your rest (Matthew 11:28), Jesus is your strength (Psalm 28:7), Jesus is your fortress (Psalm 71:3). Jesus Christ is worthy to be pursued with every ounce of your existence. We must not draw back, but rather push forth for the glory due His name!

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Movie Review: Courageous

This is a very rare thing that you’ll here me reviewing a movie and even recommending it, but when a movie carries such a powerful message as “Courageous” does, it needs to be shared.

The message “Courageous” brings, is a message primarily to fathers and men of faith to rise up and be strong to lead their families. It calls men to not settle for mediocrity when God calls them to so much more than simply providing for the families financial needs. The movie touches on many different scenarios for fathers and delivers a powerful message with a great mix of action, humor, and serious moments. It’s no easy task to try and make a full length movie with a great message, while retaining the audiences attention. But over two hours after the movie had started, I found myself wishing it went on longer. This is one of my favorite movies, for the fact that it brings a great (much needed) message, and leaves you challenged to pursue the life God has designed for His people. I would highly recommend you seeing this movie while it’s still in theaters!

May God raise up courageous men and women who will stand for His truth and the importance of family.

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A Call To Anguish

This week, I want to encourage you to watch this Bravehearted Thot. The audio is taken from a sermon titled, “A Call To Anguish” by David Wilkerson, and it awakened and convicted me in many ways. May this challenge you and draw you nearer to God as much as it did for me.

For God and His glory!

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The Believer’s Call to Obey

For the believer in Christ Jesus the way lies clear, it’s a way of unquestioned obedience to our Lord and Savior. The result from obeying is not in our hands, we are simply called to believe and obey.

If I’m preparing to speak on a topic, I always look to pray over the message, study well, and remain open to God’s leading. It’s important that I follow the outline for life set forth in God’s word, for how can I expect God’s blessing if I’m living in defiance of what He’s so plainly set forth. Jesus Christ must be the center of my life, and Jesus Christ must be the center of my message. When it comes time to actually present the message that has been worked on, it’s not up to me to muster up a response from the hearers. My sole responsibility is to obey the leading of God.

Although I want to deliver messages that people will like, it means absolutely nothing unless God is pleased with what was presented. If I water down the truth and throw in some excuses for the flesh to make it more appealing to people, I may end up with an audience that’s enthusiastic about what I just presented. But unless God was pleased with the message, it would be a complete waste.

What I’m getting at is this; we are called to believe and obey, what happens as a result of that is in God’s hands. We must realize that or we’ll burn ourselves out trying to believe, obey, and then (on top of that) look to muster up the results we think should happen. We have a God we can trust, and we must have faith that He will see things through as they should be.

Every area in our lives must be an area of obedience, such as family, finances, relationships, ministries, jobs,  health, parenting, schooling, free time, and many more. When we uncompromisingly obey, we’ve done our part; and now we must trust and have faith that our great majestic and loving God will do what’s best, for the glory due His name.

So relax, results aren’t up to you, simply trust in Christ, walk in His ways, and let Him do His great finishing work in every situation.

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Quote: Christ Working Through You

“Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” The One who calls you to a life of righteousness is the One who by your consent lives that life of righteousness through you! The One who calls you to minister to the needs of humanity is the One who by your consent ministers to the needs of humanity through you! The One who calls you to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, is the One who by your consent, goes into all the world and preaches the gospel to every creature through you! This is the divine genius that saves a man from the futility of self-effort. It relieves the Christian of the burden of trying to pull himself up by his own bootstraps! If it were not for this divine provision, the call to Christ would be a source of utter frustration, presenting the sorry spectacle of a sincere idealist, constantly thwarted by his own inadequacy. If you will but trust Christ, not only for the death He died in order to redeem you, but also for the life that He lives and waits to live through you, the very next step you take will be a step taken in the very energy and power of God Himself.”
– Major W. Ian Thomas

Have you taken the victorious truths of the Bible and applied it to your life? The enemy wants to keep you down and in a state of defeat. But Christ offers victory! We must be as Paul who wrote about dying daily, and yet he lived, yet not him, but Christ lived in him. That must be the same for us today, it must be Christ working in and through our lives; mere human efforts will only fall short of bringing the glory to God that is due His name.

For the glory due His name!

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The Fall of Man and The Wrath of God

Like a roaring avalanche on the side of a mountain crushing everything beneath, was the result of the fall of man. When Adam and Eve first trespassed God’s command and ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. All of creation was now subjected to the curse of sin. Nothing went unaffected from that one choice, earth and heaven alike have borne the weight that this fall caused.

In the beginning, Adam and Eve were in a perfect loving union with God. Life was good, but just as water and oil don’t mix, a holy God and sin don’t mix. Suddenly when sin was invited into the world through the bite of forbidden fruit, the world and God were set at enmity with each other. All of creation was now condemned to fall under the terrible wrath of God.

Some may argue that God is a God of love, and therefore, He cannot hate. As 1 John 4:16 says, “God is love.” But it’s critical to understand that if you love one thing, you must hate whatever is the inverse of the thing you love. For example, you can’t love babies and love abortion. You will either love one or the other, but you can’t love both. It’s the same with God, He is holy and loves that which is good and perfect, therefore, God also hates that which is ugly and sinful.

Now we can understand that God by His very nature hates sin, and consequently the world is under His judgment and wrath. Being under the wrath of God is a horrible problem for humanity; we can’t even comprehend the terrible might of God’s anger kindled against a wicked people.

At this point the argument might be, “but I’m a good person.” This may be true in a human sense compared to all those around you. But when you compare any individual against the holiness of God, our righteousnesses suddenly look like filthy rags. Simply stated, it’s impossible for us to make ourselves right in the sight of God, and in all truthfulness, we deserve the wrath of God.

Now you realize this grim situation, the impossibilities of escape, and the natural disposition you’re in. You’re beginning to see the wrath of God that is stored up for you and the total destruction it holds.

But wait, haven’t you heard? There was one who took the wrath of God upon himself in your place. That’s right, he, though being perfect and without blemish offered himself as the full payment for all your sins. Now your debt has been paid in full, all that’s left is to give your life to the one who gave his life for you. Undoubtedly with tears in your eyes you ask, “Who? Who is it that took my place? I will give him my all, I owe him my life.” My humble reply is, Jesus Christ, the one and only son of God, took your punishment. Now believe on Him and surrender your life to Christ, for He is worthy of all praise.

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