Tag Archives: Discipleship

Who Do You Love ?


I John 4:7-8 (KJV)

7     Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

8     He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

In the First General Epistle of John, we are told of the nature of love and challenged to love some who might seem to you to be “unlovable.”  If we don’t have love, John asserts, we do not have God in us!  This is why I have a hard time accepting the so-called Christian-based hate groups.  I am confident that John would agree, if you “hate” or persecute those who worship differently than you, you do not know God!  If you go out of your way to make it difficult for others, you do not know God!  Love is not like that, hatred is.

We need to reexamine our motives in all areas of our life, to see if it is love-based or some other agenda.  Compare the scriptures to see if your brand of “love” shows God shining out from the center.

I am writing this blog after suffering several medical setbacks, and I feel like I am approaching my former condition.  I intend to resume regular blogging soon.  Therefore, all comments, pro or con will be appreciated.  Please feel free to open up…

Thank you and special thanks to our Father.

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Sixteen Reasons Why I Love You*


*with apologies to Connie Francis for taking her song title.

Jesus taught us through the Gospel to love one another in many ways. Following are some of them. We love one another because God loves us and because of the benefits of love over indifference.

Matthew 22:39 (KJV)

39  … Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Matthew 5:44 (NAB)

44  But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you,

Matthew 22:37 (NLT)

37  Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’

Matthew 3:17 (MSG)

17  And along with the Spirit, a voice: “This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.”

Matthew 5:46 (MSG)

46  If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that.

Matthew 6:4 (MSG)

4  Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.

Matthew 18:17 (MSG)

17  If he still won’t listen, tell the church. If he won’t listen to the church, you’ll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love.

Luke 6:36 (ETRV)

36 Give love and mercy the same as your Father gives love and mercy. (Mt. 7:1-5)

Mark 12:33 (GW)

33  To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as you love yourself is more important than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

John 8:42 (ASV)

42  Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I came forth and am come from God; for neither have I come of myself, but he sent me.

John 10:17 (ASV)

17  Therefore doth the Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again.

John 13:34 (ASV)

34  A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

John 13:35 (ASV)

35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

John 15:13 (ASV)

13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Acts 15:14 (ETRV)

14 Simon Peter has told us how God showed his love for the non-Jewish people. For the first time, God accepted them and made them his people.

Acts 20:24 (TLB)

24  But life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about God’s mighty kindness and love.

Which are your favorites? And which ones do you need to work on?

Only His Enough is Enough


This is actually a selection from a women’s reading plan (you-verse Bible).  But I think it is good for all of us. Tell me what you think.

When was the last time you took a spiritual inventory?

“I’m pretty good most the time.” Except I hid the last piece of birthday cake in the back of the fridge so I could eat it.

“I know Him pretty well.” Even though the only prayer I’ve uttered of late is, “Please let no one find that piece of cake.”

“I almost always practice self-control.” Need I say it? Cake.

“I stick to most things I start.” Except for that Bible study that kind of petered out (pun intended).

“I try to be like God.” But cursed at that driver who cut me off.

“I’m kind and loving to others.” Or at least when they are to me.

But here’s the trouble with that kind of thinking: it gets you stuck. And God doesn’t want us stuck, He wants us to grow. He wants us to move forward. He wants us to be useful and fruitful. He wants us to make every effort to know Him better every day.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith. (1 Peter 1:5, NIV) Add goodness. (v. 5) Do what you know to be right. Add knowledge. (v. 5) Study the word. Pray without ceasing. Add self-control. (v. 6) Control your will and operate in the Spirit. Add perseverance. (v. 6) See His tasks through, even when it’s hard. Add godliness. (v. 6) Let others know to Whom you belong in your conduct. Add mutual affection and love. (v. 7) Give your time, talents and lives for others.

When we keep adding to our faith inventory, when we pursue Him more and more, when we are never willing to say, “That’s enough. I’m good.” we will confirm our calling and election.

We will confirm His gift of redemption and promise of eternity.

We will say, “Lord, only you are enough.”

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Morning and Evening Devotional for June 29th


StJohnsAshfield StainedGlass Simeon
StJohnsAshfield StainedGlass Simeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Morning Verse

“Them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.” 1Thessalonians 4:14

Let us not imagine that the soul sleeps in insensibility. “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise,” is the whisper of Christ to every dying saint. They “sleep in Jesus,” but their souls are before the throne of God, praising Him day and night in His temple, singing hallelujahs to Him who washed them from their sins in His blood. The body sleeps in its lonely bed of earth, beneath the coverlet of grass. But what is this sleep? The idea connected with sleep is “rest,” and that is the thought which the Spirit of God would convey to us. Sleep makes each night a Sabbath for the day. Sleep shuts fast the door of the soul, and bids all intruders tarry for a while, that the life within may enter its summer garden of ease. The toil-worn believer quietly sleeps, as does the weary child when it slumbers on its mother’s breast. Oh! happy they who die in the Lord; they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them. Their quiet repose shall never be broken until God shall rouse them to give them their full reward. Guarded by angel watchers, curtained by eternal mysteries, they sleep on, the heritors of glory, till the fulness of time shall bring the fulness of redemption. What an awaking shall be theirs! They were laid in their last resting place, weary and worn, but such they shall not rise. They went to their rest with the furrowed brow, and the wasted features, but they wake up in beauty and glory. The shrivelled seed, so destitute of form and comeliness, rises from the dust a beauteous flower. The winter of the grave gives way to the spring of redemption and the summer of glory. Blessed is death, since it, through the divine power, disrobes us of this work-day garment, to clothe us with the wedding garment of incorruption. Blessed are those who “sleep in Jesus.”

Evening Verse

“Howbeit, in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that He might know all that was in his heart.” 2Chronicles 32:31

Hezekiah was growing so inwardly great, and priding himself so much upon the favour of God, that self-righteousness crept in, and through his carnal security, the grace of God was for a time, in its more active operations, withdrawn. Here is quite enough to account with the Babylonians; for if the grace of God should leave the best Christian, there is enough of sin in his heart to make him the worst of transgressors. If left to yourselves, you who are warmest for Christ would cool down like Laodicea into sickening lukewarmness: you who are sound in the faith would be white with the leprosy of false doctrine; you who now walk before the Lord in excellency and integrity would reel to and fro, and stagger with a drunkenness of evil passion. Like the moon, we borrow our light; bright as we are when grace shines on us, we are darkness itself when the Sun of Righteousness withdraws Himself. Therefore let us cry to God never to leave us. “Lord, take not thy Holy Spirit from us! Withdraw not from us Thine indwelling grace! Hast Thou not said, ‘I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day’? Lord, keep us everywhere. Keep us when in the valley, that we murmur not against Thy humbling hand; keep us when on the mountain, that we wax not giddy through being lifted up; keep us in youth, when our passions are strong; keep us in old age, when becoming conceited of our wisdom, we may therefore prove greater fools than the young and giddy; keep us when we come to die, lest, at the very last, we should deny Thee! Keep us living, keep us dying, keep us labouring, keep us suffering, keep us fighting, keep us resting, keep us everywhere, for everywhere we need Thee, O our God!”

Morning and Evening.

Sons & Heirs


Daryl Face shot 3

Galatians 3:26-29 NKJV

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

There is no room in Church doctrine for self assertion.  We all have equal status.  E. Stanley Jones, the great missionary to India once said that in every case where he found trouble in a church, it was a problem of self assertion.  It was a group asserting themselves against a person, or another group. Sometimes it was a person asserting themselves over another person, etc.  This prideful practice is a form of “who shall be the greatest.”
This attitude cannot be reconciled to the Gospel of Christ.  It is contrary to “whoever will seek to be first, shall be last.”

What part of “We are all one in Christ” do these people not understand?  I want to say that I do not consider myself to be superior to anyone else in the Kingdom of God.

My prayer for you today is that you will put behind all prideful aspirations and become least in His kingdom.  The last thing the Kingdom needs is another Master!  That position is taken.  But the Kingdom of God is in dire need of servants.  May God bless us with the heart of a servant!

Pastor’s Corner….coffee anyone?


Another masterpiece by pastordustinbutler. This is why I awarded him the very inspiring blogger award! Check it out…..

Windborn Church

For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.

–Psalm 33.4,5

There are so many wonderful verses in Scripture about how just God is. As part of His character, He cannot but be just, it is who He is. Justice flows from Him, it is the foundation of His throne (His reign, and sovereignty and kingdom). Because justice reflects who God is, what is unjust is contrary to who God is, contrary to His faithfulness and love. Accordingly, our starting point to understanding justice is the character of God.

 

  • Claim—God is just and His justice is perfect and faithful and trustworthy, because that’s who He is!

  • Data—Psalm 33.4,5; 97.2; 111.7; Isaiah 28.16,17; 30.15-18; 33.5,6; 42.4-9 (just to name a few).

  • Warrant—to say that God is just is to say we…

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Psalms…The Prayer Book of the Bible


Daryl  In his book of the same title, Dietrich Bonhoeffer talks about the Psalms as the prayer book of the Bible.  He talks about Jesus praying for forgiveness of sin and remarks how that must seem strange to some of us, because He was sinless.  But Paul explains this to the Church at Corinth:

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)
21  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Quoting Bonhoeffer, “…not for the sake of his sins, but for the sake of our sins, which he has taken upon himself, does he pray for the forgiveness of sins”  Now we can pray the Psalmists prayer: Psalm 17:3 (NKJV)
3  You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tried me and have found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.

Now we can pray in unison with Christ and the Psalmist “You have tried me and found nothing.”  All Thanks to Jesus.

Romans 8:1 (NKJV)
1  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

What a release to be able to approach the throne of God with no guilt or shame, because Jesus bore it all for us.  My prayer for you today is that you will realize the love Christ has for you and replicate it (through the power of the Holy Spirit, our divine helper).  Also that you may know salvation and have the sweet release from all guilt.  That remedy can only come from living in the Spirit.  This is a good start toward true discipleship…praying His word back to Him and living like you believe it.

Discipleship Defined…


The good thing about being a disciple of Christ is that it costs nothing to join. (salvation is free by grace through faith). No other power or creation can snatch you out of God’s hand. When you progress from a novice believer to a true follower of Christ, i.e. following the Great Commission, etc.; then you realize it costs you everything. Christ gave everything for you and you give everything for Christ, doing the things He would do if He were still walking the earth. Of course, we often fall short, but He is right there to say (as He said to Peter), “Do you love me?” (I say “yes”) Christ replies, “Feed my sheep!” And He has given us the Holy Spirit to help us do that, because as John 15 informs us, we can do nothing without Him. (Vine & branches discourse). In other words, He understands our weakness, picks us up and equips us to go on. He totally understands how we are! The alternative of cheap grace and not being able to begin to express our love for Christ, it seems rather hollow. Why wouldn’t one want to go beyond the basic believer status and commit to being a disciple of Christ. For whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Christ’s sake will find it. It makes no sense to hold back. Earthly pursuits have temporal value, but service to Christ has eternal value! My prayer for all of you is that you will give your all for Christ, thereby “saving” your life and returning eternal value.