Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Phony Prophet

February 22, 2012

A Phony Prophet

by Charles R. Swindoll

Read Acts 13:6--12

This was no time for Paul to be tolerant or passive. We live in a culture that virtually deifies tolerance. One lady recently said to me with a broad grin, "I love everybody; I even love the devil." I call that "tolerance gone to seed." Make no mistake, we're not to love the devil, nor are we to love everything everybody does. Christ commands us to love people, even our enemies, but that doesn't mean we shrink from standing up for righteousness.

Paul didn't back off an inch. I can see the hair stiffening on the back of his neck as he showed his spiritual teeth and growled,

"You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord? Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time." And immediately a mist and a darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking those who would lead him by the hand. (Acts 13:10--11)

When he had to be firm, he stepped up. The result was magnificent. Stunned by the obvious display of God's power and Paul's emboldened response, the pagan official believed, and we can almost see the door to the Gentiles opened wider.

You may face similar opportunities to confront enemies of truth. They come in a number of different forms. Some are more insidious than others. My advice, when the opposition against the truth is this severe, based on Paul's model, is that you confront it. Leave the results with God. Step up and speak out in the name of the Lord. Be certain of His protection. Don't rush in. Pray for wisdom in the choice of your words before saying anything, and then speak boldly. The results may not be as dramatic as what happened in Cyprus, but the Lord will honor your faith. The few times I've had to stand this firmly against wrong, the Lord gave me a sense of near-invincible courage.

When you stand for God, you stand with God. He's got your back. So you can stand with confidence.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Be Prepared Get Into the Ark"

"GET INTO the ARK"-by David Wilkerson. John Owen, the great Puritan preacher, spoke the following Message to his congregation on April 9, 1680: "You know that for many years, without failing, I have been warning You continually of an approaching calamitous time, and considering the sins that have been the causes of it. I have told you that Judgment will begin in the house of God; that God seems to have hardened our hearts from his fear, and that none knows what the power of his wrath will be. In all these things I have foretold you of perilous, distressing, calamitous times. These all now lie at the door, and are entering in upon us." God did send his awful judgments on that society. John Owen lived to weep over a flaming holocaust that engulfed London. Yet, before he ever saw a single one of these calamities take place, Owen faithfully cried out from his pulpit, "I am going to show you how we ought to deport ourselves in and under the distressing calamities that are coming upon us, and may reach, it may be, up to the very neck." Beloved, we're living in just such a time as Owen's. And in times like these, there is only one response to the coming storm. "The just shall live by faith!" Owen admonished his people with tears, "Get you an ark-prepare an ark for the safety of you and your families." Then he added, "The ark is Jesus Christ. There is no other way, no other ark-for Isaiah, the prophet, said of our Lord, 'And a man [Christ] shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadows of a great rock in a weary land.' That is our ark! Blessed are they that trust only in him. I know of no safety, no deliverance, in the trials and afflictions coming upon the earth, but in believing Christ as our only refuge." We may see dangers on all sides, including a devil and his principalities who want to drown our faith in doubts. But we have a fiery guard of angels surrounding us and a God who is under oath to carry us through any disaster we may face. So let me ask you, do you want to face the coming storm with quiet confidence and peace of mind? Then die today to all your own ways and means of saving yourself and commit the keeping of your life wholly to God's care. He's your good, loving Shepherd-and he is faithful to see you through all! Fix your eyes on Jesus. He alone is our hope. SOURCE -

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"AccordingtotheBook": SIX THINGS GOD CANNOT DOby Stan Butler...



by Stan Butler

: SIX THINGS GOD CANNOT DO by Stan Butler God is sovereign. We say and believe that God is sovereign and although the word “sovere...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Push

An excerpt from

The Push

by David McNally and Mac Anderson

The eagle gently coaxed her offspring

toward the edge of the nest. Her heart quivered

with conflicting emotions as she felt their resistance

to her persistent nudging.

"Why does the thrill of soaring have to begin

with the fear of falling?" she thought. This ageless

question was still unanswered for her.

As in the tradition of the species, her nest was

located high upon the shelf of a sheer rock face.

Below there was nothing but air to support

the wings of each child.

"Is it possible that this time it will

not work?" she thought. Despite her fears

the eagle knew it was time. Her parental

mission was all but complete.

There remained one final task ... the push.

The eagle drew courage from an innate wisdom.

Until her children discovered their wings, there was

no purpose for their lives.

Until they learned how to soar, they would fail

to understand the privilege it was to have been born an

eagle. The push was the greatest gift she had to

offer. It was her supreme act of love.

And so, one by one, she pushed them and ...


Trusting God in the Shadows

Trusting God in the Shadows by Charles R. Swindoll
Read Acts 11:25; 2 Corinthians 12:2--6
I want to dispense a fresh supply of hope. To help accomplish that, let me suggest four principles. They may mean more to you later than now---in a time when God leads you to wait in the shadows.
First, when God prepares us for effective ministry, He includes what we would rather omit---a period of waiting. That cultivates patience. As I write these words, it occurs to me that I've never met anyone young and patient. (To be honest, I've not met many old and patient folks either.) We're all in a hurry. We don't like to miss one panel of a revolving door. Patience comes hard in a hurry-up society. Yet, it's an essential quality, cultivated only in extended periods of waiting.
Second, as God makes us wait, hiding us in His shadow, He shows us we're not indispensable. That makes us humble. One major reason the Lord removes us and has us wait in His shadow is to remind us we're not the star attraction. We're not indispensable. That realization cultivates genuine humility. I'm convinced Paul never once questioned God for having His hand on Peter and Barnabas, rather than on him. In a time when most gifted individuals would have been volunteering at the revival headquarters, Paul willingly remained behind the scenes. All the while waiting for his time---correction, God's time.
Third, while God hides us away, He reveals new dimensions of Himself and new insights regarding ministry. That makes us deep. What we need today is not smarter people or busier people. A far greater need is deeper people. Deep people will always have a ministry. Always. God deepens us through time spent waiting on Him.
Fourth, when God finally chooses to use us, it comes at a time least expected, when we feel the least qualified. That makes us effective. The perfect set-up for a long-lasting, effective ministry begins with surprise. "Me? You sure You don't want that other person? She's got great qualifications and obvious gifts. You may want to talk to her." That's the idea. It's refreshing, in this highly efficient age, to find a few who are still amazed at the way God is using them.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ladybird Carpet Care

Ladybird Carpet Care

A married lady was expecting a birthday gift from her husband.
For many months she had admired a beautiful diamond ring in a showroom, and knowing her husband could afford it, she told him that was all she wanted. As her birthday approached, this lady awaited signs that her husband had purchased the diamond ring.
Finally, on the morning of her birthday, her husband called her into his study.Her husband told her how proud he was to have such a good wife, and told her how much he loved her.He handed her a beautiful wrapped gift box.
Curious, the wife opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the wife's name embossed in gold. Angrily, she raised her voice to her husband and said, 'With all your money you give me a Bible?' And stormed out of the house, leaving her husband.
Many years passed and the lady was very successful in business. She managed to settle for a more beautiful house and a wonderful family, but realized her ex-husband was very old, and thought perhaps she should go to visit him. She had not seen him for many years. But before she could make arrangements, she received a telegram telling her that her ex-husband had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to her. She needed to come back immediately and take care of things.
When she arrived at her ex-husband's house, sudden sadness and regret filled her heart. She began to search through her ex-husband’s important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as she had left it years before.
With tears, she opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. Her ex-husband had carefully underlined a verse, Matt 7:11, 'And if you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father, who is in heaven, give what is good to those who ask Him?'
As she read those words, a tiny package dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a diamond ring, with her name engraved on it -- the same diamond ring which she saw at the showroom. On the tag was the date of her birth, and the words.'LUV U ALWAYS'.
How many times do we miss God's blessings, because they are not packaged as we expected? I trust you enjoyed this. Pass it on to others.
Do not spoil what you have, by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.
IF YOUR GIFT IS NOT PACKAGED THE WAY YOU WANT IT, IT’S BECAUSE IT IS BETTER PACKAGED THE WAY IT IS. ALWAYS APPRECIATE LITTLE THINGS; THEY USUALLY LEAD YOU TO BIGGER & BETTER THINGS.'The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart