One of the characteristics of a true believer (Christian) is “kindness.” The writer of Proverbs described “a worthy woman” not only as kind, but that she taught kindness, “And the teaching of kindness was on her tongue. She looks well (out of kindness and concern) to the ways of her household” (Proverbs 31: 26-27). The fruit of the spirit is “kindness” (Galatians 5:2). So the question is: Are you kind? Do people know you are a true follower of Christ by your kindness?
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Facts are out there, but the majority of people do nothing with them, not even the government, many organizations nor even ministries worldwide. Facts, especially concerning the estimated 160 million orphans worldwide. All types of laws of have been passed, but it is more difficult to adopt today than 20 years ago. There are missionaries, movie stars, celebrities, football players and others “making people aware” of the human trafficking and drug problem. Governments have been petitioned and laws have been passed, but what good has it done? Look at the United Nations. We quote them a lot, but they live in falsehood, corruption, and deceit. Our hope, therefore, is not in the government, or the United Nations, but in God. Yes, our “hope is in God!”
“How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God” (Psalm 146:5, nasb). We need to pray for thousands to confront this need with the gospel and compassion.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
June 6-8, 2012
More than 1300 participants were involved in this year's Purpose and Passion Conference held at Greenhill Christian Fellowship in Manila, Philippines. The gathering represented more than 600 churches. Several books were placed inside bags and distributed to each participant on the last day of the conference. An optional Life Application Study Bible (LASB) seminar was conducted at a special evening session. Each of the 300 participants received an LASB. All conference attendees received three full meals a day, in addition to morning and afternoon snacks. Medical, dental and optical check-ups were provided for those interested.
Friday, October 26, 2012
by Paul Tauges
It is our conviction that every Christian should be an active member of a Bible-teaching local church. As believers in Christ, we are members of His body and must discipline ourselves to be actively involved in ministry as a way of life. Here are some specific reasons why you should be a committed member of a solid, Bible-teaching local church.
1. You follow the pattern set forth in the New Testament. Although the word “membership” itself is not used the principle is present in the New Testament. For example, most of our NT books are letters that were written to specific groups of people who had chosen to identify themselves with Christ and each other. The word “church” is almost always used to refer to a specific group of people who in some way had committed themselves to serving the Lord and one another in the same ministry location. Numbers were known (At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together)...So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls...But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. – Acts 1:15, 2:41, 4:4), rolls were kept (A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man. – 1 Timothy 5:9), servants were selected (So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. – Acts 6:2-5), discipline was practiced (For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves. – 1 Corinthians 5:12-13), worship was corporate (Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? – 1 Corinthians 14:23), and shepherds knew for whom they were responsible (Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. – Hebrews 13:17). If you are a part of the body of Christ by virtue of repentant faith in Jesus Christ then you should want to make that association visibly known through church membership.
2. You have a greater opportunity to use your spiritual gifts. At the moment of your conversion the Holy Spirit came to live inside of your body (Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? – 1 Corinthians 6:19). When He did this, He brought along the spiritual gift(s) that He sovereignly chose for you to possess for the blessing of the church (But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. – 1 Corinthians 12:7, 11). As we use our gifts, we are being good stewards of the manifold grace of God (As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. – 1 Peter 4:10). Can you use your spiritual gift without joining a church? Yes, but in most churches many ministry opportunities are limited to church members only. This is as it should be. Unity in doctrine, purity of life, and submissive accountability to one another and leaders are necessary for a healthy Christian life. The process of becoming a member also gives the existing leadership the opportunity to discern one’s agreement in doctrine, ministry purpose, and goals; thus enabling them to know where best you may serve.
3. You become a more committed part of a spiritual family. Joining a local church demonstrates a certain level of commitment. It shows that you want to be more than a bystander, that you want to be involved in ministry in a more significant way. Joining a local church is like entering into a covenant relationship with other believers in order to love them as an active part of a spiritual family (Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. – 1 John 4:7). We also need the spiritual oversight and soul care of faithful shepherds (Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. – Hebrews 13:17).
4. You ensure a balanced Christian life. By nature we all have the tendency to gravitate toward extremes. God’s design for the church—as a multi-faceted body whose members are interrelated and interdependent—provides the ideal atmosphere for balanced Christian growth. As we sharpen each other, our continual contact with other believers promotes balance. In his book, Spiritual Disciplines within the Church: Participating fully in the body of Christ, Donald Whitney writes, “No one develops the proper spiritual symmetry just by listening to Christian radio, watching Christian television, or reading Christian books. You can’t get this kind of maturity merely by participating in a group Bible study. Unless you’re an active part of a local church, your Christian life and ministry will be imbalanced.”
5. You avail yourself of the wisdom of a multitude of counselors. God never intended for us to live our lives independent of others, or “above” them. He desires for us to develop relationships of accountability with other Christians. According to Proverbs 11:14, in the abundance of counselors there is victory. The local church is a great place to find wise counsel and direction from spiritual leadership and older, more mature believers (But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us. – Titus 2:1-8). These relationships will help guide you in the many decisions that you face in life so that you may discern God’s good and perfect will.
6. You experience the joy of serving others. God has re-created us in Christ Jesus for the purpose of bringing glory to Him by bearing fruit (For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them – Ephesians 2:10. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. – John 15:2). The fruit of the Spirit is primarily manifested in our relationships with others (But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23). Believers are to follow the example of Christ the Master Servant (For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. – John 3:15). By joining a local church, you are agreeing with God that one of the ways to bear fruit in the Christian life is by serving others.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
1. Be devoted to one another. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor (Romans 12:10).
2. Giving preference to one another. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor (Romans 12:10).
3. Be of the same mind toward one another. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation (Romans 12:16).
4. Accept one another by withholding judgment. Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. (Romans 14:1).
5. Accept one another by showing deference. Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. One man has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. Let not him who eats regard with contempt him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind. For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself. (Romans 14:1-5, 7).
6. Esteem [highly regard] one another in love. One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind (Romans 14:5)
7. Build up one another. So then let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another (Romans 14:19). Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
8. Counsel one another. And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able also to admonish one another (Romans 15:14).
9. Serve one another by showing deference in matters of liberty. For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another (Galatians 5:13).
10. Bear one another’s burdens. Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).
11. Be gentle with one another. With all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love (Galatians 6.2)
12. Be kind to one another. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32).
13. Speak truth to one another. Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another (Ephesians 4:25). Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices (Colossians 3:9).
14. Submit to one another. And be subject to one another in the fear of Christ ( Ephesians 5:21).
15. Show compassion to one another. And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12).
16. Bear with inherent sinfulness of one another. Bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you (Colossians 3:13).
17. Forgive one another. Bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
18. Use Spirit-filled, Word-saturated music to teach and admonish one another. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God (Colossians 3:16). Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19).
19. Comfort one another with the hope of Christ’s return. Therefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
20. Encourage one another. Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
21. Live in peace with one another. And that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another doing (1 Thessalonians 5:13).
22. Speak good for one another. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all men (1 Thessalonians 5:15).
23. Encourage one another to forsake unbelief and hardness of heart. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13).
24. Stimulate one another to spiritual growth. And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).
25. Encourage one another by faithful participation in your local church. Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25).
26. Confess sin to one another. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much (James 5:16).
27. Pray for one another’s spiritual and physical healing. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much (James 5:16).
28. Be long-suffering and patient toward one another. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). With all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love (Ephesians 4:2).
29. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. Be hospitable to one another without complaint (1 Peter 4:9).
30. Serve one another. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God (1 Peter 4:10). For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another (Galatians 5:13).
31. Act in humility toward one another. You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is apposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).
32. Show holy affection to one another. Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ (1 Peter 5:14).
33. Participate in the holy walk with one another. But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
34. Refuse to become resentful toward one another. For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous (1 John 3:11-12).
35. Give sacrificially to meet one another’s needs. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? (1 John 3:16-17).
36. Fight fear together by growing in love. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love (1 John 4:18).
37. Walk in truth together. Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth (1 John 3:18). And now I ask you, lady, not as writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another (2 John 1:5).