Crazy Love

Indians Game

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Psalm 42:1-2 (NLT)
As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.
2 I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?

Lately I have been reading an incredible book written by Pastor Francis Chan, entitled, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed By A Relentless God. The chapter that I just finished was called When You’re In Love, and addressed the previous chapter that talked about being a lukewarm Christian. In this chapter Chan talked said the way to protect yourself from being lukewarm in your relationship with Christ is simply to fall in love with Jesus. As I was reading the chapter Chan makes a statement that simply overwhelmed me. He said, “…you have to stop loving and Christ in order to sin.” Wow, what a hard thing to hear! When you think about it, what Chan says, although hard to deal with, is absolutely true. Think about, when we sin what we are really saying is, “God I love my sin more than I love you!” He goes on to say, “When you are running toward Christ, you are freed up to serve, love, and give thanks without guilt, worry, or fear. As long as you are running, you are safe.” To sin is to run away from God (the name Jonah seems to come to mind), and to love our sin more than God. So what are you doing? Are you running toward God or away from him?

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

 

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Fear Of The Lord

Indians Game

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Proverbs 8:13 (NLT)
13 All who fear the LORD will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech.

The concept of “the fear of the Lord” is not a popular one today. Those outside the church do not want to talk about it because they have a warped concept of God who is supposed to give them everything they want while ignoring anything they do wrong. The church doesn’t want to talk about it because it might scare people away. Basically it is both PC (politically incorrect) and RC (religiously incorrect). Perhaps that’s the reason we are so moral dysfunctional. The problem is that most people don’t understand the concept. Easton’s Dictionary defines it this way, “It is a fear conjoined with love and hope, and is therefore not a slavish dread, but rather filial reverence…A holy fear is enjoined also in the New Testament as a preventive of carelessness in religion, and as an incentive to penitence (Easton, Illustrated Bible Dictionary: And Treasury of Biblical History, Biography, Geography, Doctrine, and Literature, 1897). Notice this definition that it is fear combined with love and hope. We have unbalanced view of God’s character. We focus on his love, but we ignore the fact that the Lord is both a God of love and a God of justice. John Bevere had this to say about the fear of the Lord, “It is the fear of the Lord that keeps us from sin while sin keeps us from intimacy with God The primary manifestation of the fear of the Lord is unwavering obedience to the desires and will of God.” We should fear the Lord both because we fear his justice and because we love him and do not wish to offend him. Unfortunately, we would rather offend God than offend a visitor. Perhaps this is something for us to think about.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

 

Celebrating Azusa

Indians Game

Greetings In The Name of The Lord:

Acts 2:4 (NLT) 

4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

Happy Pentecost Sunday!  In honor of Pentecost I wanted to share a little bit about Azusa Street written by my dear friend and Mentor Dr. Gary McGee. Enjoy

-In the early 1900’s a major revival began in Los Angeles. It became known as the Azusa Street Revival. What the Holy Spirit did there was really quite revolutionary for its time. Here is what Dr. Gary McGee of the Assemblies of God writes about Azusa St.:
According to the Los Angeles Times, a bizarre new religious sect had started with people “breathing strange utterances and mouthing a creed which it would seem no sane mortal could understand.” Furthermore, “Devotees of the weird doctrine practice the most fanatical rites, preach the wildest theories, and work themselves into a state of mad excitement.”
If that didn’t grab the reader’s attention, the article continued by saying that, “Colored people and a sprinkling of whites compose the congregation, and night is made hideous in the neighborhood by the howling’s of the worshipers who spend hours swaying forth and back in a nerve-racking attitude of prayer and supplication.” To top it all off, they claimed to have received the “gift of tongues,” and what’s more, “comprehend the babel.”
Nonetheless, for the spiritually hungry who came from far and wide to receive their Pentecost, “the very atmosphere of heaven” had descended, according to one. A visiting Baptist pastor said, “The Holy Spirit fell upon me and filled me literally, as it seemed to lift me up, for indeed, I was in the air in an instant, shouting, ’Praise God,’ and instantly I began to speak in another language. I could not have been more surprised if at the same moment someone had handed me a million dollars.”
Little could the subscribers of the Times have guessed that in years to come, historians would say that the Azusa Street revival played a major role in the development of modern Pentecostalism—a Movement that changed the religious landscape and became the most vibrant force for world evangelization in the 20th century. Azusa Street became the most significant revival of the century in terms of global perspective. [McGee, Gary]

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

A Mother’s Day Story

Indians Game

Greetings In The Name of the Lord:

Edith Burns was a wonderful Christian who lived in San Antonio, Texas. She was the patient of a doctor by the name of Will Phillips. Dr. Phillips was a gentle doctor who saw patients as people. His favorite patient was Edith Burns. One morning he went to his office with a heavy heart and it was because of Edith Burns.

When he walked into that waiting room, there sat Edith with her big black Bible in her lap earnestly talking to a young mother sitting beside her.

Edith Burns had a habit of introducing herself in this way: “Hello, my name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?” Then she would explain the meaning of Easter, and many times people would be saved. Dr. Phillips walked into that office and there he saw the head nurse, Beverly. Beverly had first met Edith when she was taking her blood pressure. Edith began by saying, “My name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?” Beverly said, “Why yes I do.” Edith said, “Well, what do you believe about Easter?” Beverly said, “Well, it’s all about egg hunts, going to church, and dressing up.” Edith kept pressing her about the real meaning of Easter, and finally led her to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Phillips said, “Beverly, don’t call Edith into the office quite yet. I believe there is another delivery taking place in the waiting room.”

After being called back in the doctor’s office, Edith sat down and when she took a look at the doctor she said, “Dr. Will, why are you so sad? Are you reading your Bible? Are you praying?” Dr. Phillips said gently, “Edith, I’m the doctor and you’re the patient.” With a heavy heart he said, “Your lab report came back and it says you have cancer, and Edith, you’re not going to live very long.” Edith said, “Why Will Phillips, shame on you. Why are you so sad? Do you think God makes mistakes? You have just told me I’m going to see my precious Lord Jesus, my husband, and my friends. You have just told me that I am going to celebrate Easter forever, and here you are having difficulty giving me my ticket!” Dr. Phillips thought to himself, “What a magnificent woman this Edith Burns is!”

In Christ,

Pastor Mark