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Posts Tagged ‘support’

We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him.

They are the people he called, because that was his plan.

– Romans 8:28 (New Century Version)

It is all due to His plan.  he has a plan and things work out in accordance with His plan.  Anything outside of His plan is outside of His will.  That’s how it works out with God.

God wants something, though.  He desires it both from us and for us.  In essence, God wants something for us and from us.  God wants us to be a blessing and to be blessed.  God wants us blessed, and God wants us blessing others.  God wants us getting all that He has to offer us.  God wants us giving all that He gives to us to offer to others.

Maybe you are having a problem getting what God wants for you because you refuse to give what God wants from you.  I know it sounds cold, but it’s a reality.  You cannot get what you need or want because you have not released what God has told you to give up or give away.  Maybe you need to make a change for the better and get back with God’s plan that it in His will.  That would get you back to the point where all things work together for good.

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 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.
  -Titus 2:1 (ESV)

There is nothing that comes naturally to us in this new life.  Our rebirth as children of God leads us to enter into a new life with a blank slate.  We are to put off the old man who has lived within us for so long, so that we may put on the new man who is to be developed and nurtured within us as new creations in Christ.

Sometimes it works.  At other times, it just doesn’t work.  We fail when we fail to rely upon the Holy Spirit.  We tend to not mature as steadily when we focus more on what we will get out of it or gain from it rather than simply submitting to the will of the Spirit.  We lose out when we lose sight of the unveiled mysteries that God has revealed to us through His Word and by His Holy Spirit.

Paul admonishes Titus to teach what is “sound doctrine.” In doing so, he shares with Titus how to lead multiple generations in ministry.  He offers a strategy for incorporating the people by empowering his people to teach one another in the Christian life.

Titus is to “exhort and rebuke with all authority”(Titus 2:15 ESV).  He, as the pastor and spiritual leader of the church, is to lead, guide, direct and provide the means for the older men to minister and mentor the younger men as well as the older women to do the same for the younger women.  In essence, according to Paul’s instructions to Titus, everyone has a role to play within the ministry of the church, ministering to each other in unity.

Read Titus 2 in its entirety.  Read through it, then study it.  See what God asks of us as believers when it comes to ministering to one another.  Pray over it.  Subject yourself to pastoral authority for the good of all concerned.  Do not simply go along to get along.  Give of yourself, sharing your experiences and lessons learned.  Let God use you to minister to your brothers and sisters so that the entire body of Christ will be strengthened in “sound doctrine.”

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“I fear there are some who preach with the view of amusing men, and as long as people can be gathered in crowds, and their ears can be tickled, and they can retire pleased with what they have heard, the orator is content, and folds his hands, and goes back self-satisfied.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. – Colossians 2:8 (NIV)

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. – 2 Timothy 4:3 (NIV)

Oftentimes, the warning of sound doctrine is shared with ministers and pastors, even missionaries, upon ordination.  Hands are laid upon these individuals and they are anointed and appointed for service.   As leaders, those teaching the Bible and indoctrinating new believers into the faith, you will see the importance of sound doctrine serving as the foundation for all that you teach others.  I think we all get that, too.

As the worship leader…?

As the choir director…?

As the minister of music…?

Yep. Yes. Yeah. Uh-huh.  Yep.  You better believe it, brothers and sisters.  We at least owe God that much when say that we are ministering in His Spirit in what we call praise and worship.  Our praise and worship selections should minister to others beyond sounding good and making others feel good.  The selections better speak of how good and how great God is to us.

Let us not fall prey to the trap of appealing to and impressing people.  We do not want to send mixed signals in the house of God.  We want sound doctrine to go along with strong voices and skilled instrumentation. 

If it isn’t biblical, how can it be part of your praise? If God doesn’t do that or do that the way that we’ve been singing it, how does that fit into our worship? We need to get with the church staff and leaders who know the Bible better than us, then assemble the music department from top to bottom so that we can teach how to minister through music and song, praise and worship, with a biblical base and a sound doctrinal foundation.  Someone other than just the drummer and piano player ought to research the songs being played throughout the service.              

It is about worship.  It sets the stage for the Word to be preached.  It ushers souls to the point of readiness to receive the Word through preaching.  It is vital to the weary soul who needs to have his or her hardened heart to be broken up and softened in order for the Word to take root.

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Keep Count in 2012

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? – Luke 14:28 (KJV)

In 2012, you had better keep count of some things.  You should keep count and keep track throughout the year. Look back at how God answered prayers and provided for you thus far, holding on with hope for Him to continue to grant you such blessings of grace and mercy in 2012.

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Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. – Proverbs 15:22 (NIV)

Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. – Proverbs 11:14 (KJV)

Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. – Romans 14:1 (NIV)

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. – Romans 15:1 (NIV)

People are in need.  People need comfort.  People need counsel.  People stand in desperate need of shared words of both comfort and counsel.

Incident #1:

A family finds itself victims of random burglary and ends up behind in bills and other matters.  The wife attends church, but the husband doesn’t come any longer.  They are split on approaching the church for help.

What do you think that they are in need of from other believers? Counsel? Comforting words?

Incident #2:

A parent discovers that her only child has shown signs of mental illness.  She is a woman of faith and a prayer warrior.  However, she seems to be at the end of her rope with the school administration pressuring her to have her daughter tested and the other parent both absent and not involved at all.

What is this woman in need of from her brothers and sisters in Christ? Counsel? Comfort?

We can go about things the wrong way.  We can make assumptions due to unmet expectations and all sorts of other junk that we put into things.  We need to be able to offer counsel to one another.  We need to be able to offer words of comfort to one another, too.

Let’s be honest and just keep it real.  We need to meet people at that point of their need.  If they are weak, let us build them up.  If they are out of line, let us bring them back into line.  Let us do it in such a way that they are better off rather than beaten down.  Give them words of comfort.  Share words of wisdom.  Offer wise counsel.  Comfort those whose hearts are weighed down with worries and weariness.

  34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35 (NIV)

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Powered by Prayer

 And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
(Matthew 6:7-8 ESV)

 But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
(Luke 5:16 ESV)

 

Jesus described prayer for His disciples.

Jesus participated in an active prayer life.

Jesus prayed.

Jesus expects us to pray.

Jesus also showed His disciples the power of prayer.

 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
(Mark 11:12-14 ESV) 

Consider what happened within Jesus before his words escaped from His lips.  Try to get a mental picture of what He through before you try to guess about what came out of His mouth.

And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:21-25 ESV)

Jesus shared about the power of prayer.  He pointed out the importance of faith, belief and expectations.  He spoke on the power of prayer and how we all can be powered by prayer.

Prayer Resources:

The above resources offer some support for prayer.  Prayerfully and hopefully, these are of some help to you. 

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3Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.
4Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

Truly, this psalm hits home for a lot of us.  Let’s keep it real.  We can do that.  Right?

Keeping it real, we know that we have some deep-rooted contempt for certain folks.  You know, we may have it in for rich folks, other-colored folks, same-sex folks, can’t-get-enough-of-whatever folks, and countless others.  We just may not be able to identify well with them or all of the baggage that they bring. 

It’s really not about them.

Yep.  I said it.

It’s really about you.  I guess I should say us, but let’s stay on you for a minute.

. . . we are exceedingly filled with contempt. . . exceedingly filled with the scorning…and with the contempt

Why ask someone else: “What’s your problem?” when some reflection and examination will reveal the problem-holder in a second? Look at our language when we speak of ourselves.  We tend to come up short when it comes to coming clean about our stuff and owning our own issues.  Let your “I” message be about how you will handle your problem with others and deal with your own contempt for others.

This psalm pointed out that those who were at ease and the proud were targets of the contempt of the faithful.  The faithful sought the right resource.  They called upon God to have mercy upon us in a repetitive phrase in both verses 2 and 3.  It demonstrates the realization that God who sits high in the heavens is watching over his own children. 

Let us go to God and seek His mercy upon us as we seek to be delivered from our own contempt.  We want God to purge and purify us.  We want God to cure and cleanse us.  We ought to know that we cannot deal with this on our own.  We need His mighty hand.  We need His awesome power.  We need God to work on our behalf.

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