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Archive for October, 2011

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
– Mark 10:45 (NIV)

Outreach is delivered best personally.  Jesus showed us a personal example of conducting outreach, demonstrating before delegating.  Jesus showed the way.

He called us to serve as ambassadors in His name.  He wants those who know Him personally to introduce others to Him.  He wants us to invite others to join us in union and fellowship with the Lord.

We ought to be one of the active ingredients in the recipe that saves souls.  Our connection with Jesus Christ should serve as a major factor in how we connect others to Jesus Christ.  We proclaim Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.  Since He is so good to us, we should readily share Him with others.

Download one of Life Path’s e-books today and let your light shine!

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21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
   if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
   and the LORD will reward you.
– Proverbs 25:21-20 (ESV)

27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.
– Luke 6:27-28 (NKJV)

As a Christian, you have some options.  You do as the Lord says or not. 

That sounds crazy.  I know it does. 

It doesn’t make any sense, though. I know that it doesn’t make one bit of sense.

However, that is how some brothers and sisters choose to live out their daily lives.  They wear the label of a Christian, but they live without Christ as Lord in their lives.  There are some who are glad and overjoyed to be saved, but surely don’t want to miss out on anything that the world has to offer and reject His sanctification.  They want restoration without repentance.  They want salvation without the Savior.  Don’t even bring up sin, “backslider” or any term related to sinfulness.

We have some real choices to make.  They are some tough choices, too.

Jesus didn’t make it sound any easier, either.

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?– Luke 6:46 (KJV)

In other words, the Lord simply wants to know what’s up with that.  He wants to know why do we say this and we don’t do what He says.  Why call Him “Lord,” if you do not mean it or intend to even act like it? Why? What’s up with that?

Either we live righteous by doing as He says or we live by doing what we think, feel and imagine to be “right” to us based on a variety of things in and on our agendas.

22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
-Matthew 7:22-23 (KJV)

We have some choices to make.  Let’s do all that we can to make the choices that lead to paths towards His righteousness and nothing less.

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In Times of Trouble

If you give up when trouble comes, it shows that you are weak.- Proverbs 24;10 (NCV)

You can accept it or reject it, but the Word is pretty clear on it.  When trouble comes, you need to act.  What you do during times of trouble makes a difference.  You can cave in, collapse or simply call it quits. 

What does it say about you?

What does it say about your character?

What does it say to others, especially when you are a believer?

And he said unto me My grace is sufficient for thee for my strength is made perfect in weakness…
– 2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)

God’s grace is sufficient.  In other words, what God supplies us is just the right amount that we need when we need it.  It is sufficient.  We get strengthened in our own weakened state because of what the Lord provides us.  We do not build ourselves up in some mysterious spiritualistic manner.  We do not tap into something that fuels us and fortifies us beyond what God has endowed within us through His Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God indwelling within us.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.- Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

We are strengthened as the Lord provides us strength.  We become empowered to endure us the Lord strengthens us.  We could not take all that comes upon us when we try to withstand the slings and arrows of this world.  We must endeavor to do more and to become stronger through Christ the Lord.

Look to the Lord for your strength.  Let Him have His way with you.  Submit your entire being to Him and let Him let loose upon you and unleash all that He has for you.  He is able.  He is able to do more than you can think or imagine.  He is able to do it.  Believe in Him.  Believe Him at His word.

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us – Ephesians 3:20 (KJV)

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12  Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:
13  therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.
14  And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters’ vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.

Isaiah 30:12-14 (KJV)

Being broken is a circumstantial condition.  We feel broken due to the culmination of our circumstances.  Based on what has transpired, we feel a sense of brokenness.  We even take on the state of brokenness by taking personal ownership of living shattered and fragmented lives as badges of our broken lives of torment and terror.  We live as broken men and women.

I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel. – Psalm 31:12 (ESV)

We do not have to live that way.

You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. – Psalm 139:3 (NIV)

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains. – Psalm 107:14 (NIV)

O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains. – Psalm 116:16 (NIV)

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. – Psalm 147:3 (NLT)

I wrote Broken Pieces out of my own agony and pain.  As I look back at it, I realized that what I penned in pain was not just for my own sake.  I published this collection and Lamentations in the Storm as I wandered through a deep fog of misery and melancholy much like Broken Pieces.  Both poetic works reveal that we do not have to live broken lives once god has set us free.  These poems and prayers express the depth of life in despair and how faith can carry you through in order to endure through life’s trials.

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All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness– 2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)

We are called to inspire the others around us, especially those within the church.  We do so when we teach, preach and train those within the church to live by the Word of God and do God’s will through good works.  We are endowed with such gifts to inspire others to do what God calls them to do.

We give inspiration in some major ways:

  • Education
  • Edification
  • Exhortation

The people under your spiritual leadership should learn the way of the Lord through the Word of the Lord.  You are called to teach them, to equip them for the work, and to strengthen them in their faith as they learn to do good works.  That comes with the calling.  It is the responsibility of the leader to ensure that those within their own flock are equipped for the work of the ministry

That is exactly what Paul was sharing with both Timothy and Titus.  We call them the pastoral epistles today.  They reveal how Paul was trying to teach these two newly appointed pastors on their jobs.  He wanted them to be certain to teach the people as they should be taught.

As spiritual leaders, we need to be sure to ensure that people are: educated, equipped and empowered by the Word of God.

Have you made sure that your people have been educated?

Have you take even precaution to ensure that your people have been equipped properly with the right training?

Have you exhausted your resources of time and energy to make certain that every member under your leadership has been empowered to do what needs to be done within your ministry?

These are the types of questions that we need to ask of ourselves in order to strengthen the body of Christ in the Word of the Lord.  Use some of Life Path’s training materials to help with equipping your ministry.  Also, check out some of the inspirational poetry offered on our storefront as a means of kicking off your ministry meeting or a focal point for a Bible lesson in Sunday school.  Use all of what is available to you to inspire those who serve under your leadership.

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Master the Spin | Bruce Jackson | Blog Post | Red Room.

How well can you spin your own story? Do you offer memorable or motivational memoirs? Do you get real creative with your creative nonfiction? How well do you spin?

This link will lead you to a creative challenge that only a writer could love.  Enjoy yourself!

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Holiday: “A day of festivity or recreation when no work is done.”

Break it down further.  Holiday is derived from the term “holy day.”  Look at it.  It even looks like a compound word.  However, Halloween is even derived from a compound word: “Hallowe’en” or “All Hallow’s Eve.” It marks the evening leading into All Saint’s Day (“All Hallows Day”).  It originally started out about saints and mass related to those who are held in purgatory.  Originally, All Hallows Day was preceded by All Hallows Even. 

Or was it really?

The expansion of Christianity throughout the world was primarily done through the missionary work of the Roman Catholic Church through exploration and colonization.  Part of how the church spread to indigenous people of colonized lands was to utilize existing celebrations and convert the celebrations into Christian holy days.  Halloween was originally a celtic festival of Samhain, called a “festival of the dead.” Combined with mythology and folklore, this special time of the year dates as far back as Roman mythology and the goddess of fruits and seeds. 

Let me give you an “old farm boy” interpretation like my Grandpa Harvey would say it.  What it has to do with is the belief that the fertile soil would be at the discretion of the gods, so the people paid homage to the gods and the dead so that the winter season would not leave the ground unfertile when it came time to plant.  Folks believed that the gods gave the dead dominion over the land in the coming of winter and took every precaution to stay in good standing per se with the dead spirits that might haunt the land or even take the innocent children.  Thus, costumes were introduced to disguise the children in order that the evil spirits would not take them away.  The “treats” were about sacrifices that would please and satisfy the evil spirits.

So fast forward to today.  It’s not a religious holiday at all.  However, churches throughout the nation, even the world, have adapted the holiday in similar fashion to Christmas pageants and Easter celebrations.  It is used for evangelism, outreach and children’s programming.  The modern church has put a positive spin on the occasion.  Use “Tracts for Treats” as a way that you can evangelize within your community during this time and on that day.  Offer input and comments here at this blog so that we can update and upgrade the evangelism guide that has been a timely reminder for us reaching the world through the Word.

Download: Tracts for Treats

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