There are some things which just don’t mix together.Ask the residents of the Gulf Coast states how well water and oil mix following the tragic accident in the Gulf of Mexico.The states along the coast are suffering huge losses due to the recent oil spill; we will feel the fury of this mess for generations to come.
Oil and water do not mix well and it is just as futile to try mixing light with darkness.It cannot be both light and dark simultaneously.In the spiritual realm a person who is a Christian cannot walk in the Light while dragging one foot in the mire of darkness.It just won’t work that way.It is all or none, one way or the other.We have read from the Gospel of John that the verdict is in:Light doesn’t mix with darkness!Christians are being persecuted in some countries where religious intolerance prevails.How would you like to live in a country where you are denied the right to practice your faith openly, every day?Many of our GospeLines family don’t have religious freedom and must hide their Christian faith from the dark side of the government where they live.
Sherry, Minister of Prayer and Praise for GospeLines Ministries, received a prayer request this week from one of those countries where Christianity is forbidden.
This is an urgent prayer request.
Please pray for (name withheld), my wife, as she is visiting her mother in another town.
She feels dizzy as she sits up, and her head feels like circling around.She vomited thrice yesterday.
There are witch doctors that are hired by the Moslem opponents of the ministry to destroy our family. They have their 'mintra' (black magic reciting) against us, but we have the blood of Christ.
Black magic is a way of life here in Pakistan. There have been repeated spells on our lives, in the past years.
Thank you for your prayers.
The greatest enemy of the Light is the sinister notion that we shouldn’t be overly concerned about the global demise of Christianity, and we shouldn’t be worried that by 2025 Christians will no longer be the largest religious group in the world.In my country darkness is creeping closer every year under the disguise of openness and diversity.Beloved, I urge you to pray for those Christians in nations already overtaken by darkness, and for those countries like the USA which still have the chance to turn back the shadows of evil.When the sun sets and darkness has hidden the Light, it will be much more difficult to reclaim the dawn than it would be to prevent it from being snuffed out in the first place.
“The Night is Coming”
Bleak, black and icy comes Night’s damp fingers
With uncertainty and restlessness it starts.
Gradually, gracefully, almost unknowingly
You are seduced by the subtleness of its darkness.
Sing out, O Night.You have waited the Day!
You’ve grasped in your fingers the things in your way.
But beware of the Morning; watch out for Daybreak.
Then you must hide, your life is at stake!
GospeLines Prayer:Father, open our eyes to the darkness around us; renew our passion for seeking the Light and for leading others to share it with us.
A few weeks ago, I was introduced to a wonderful young lady who asked to meet with me.A little puzzled at the request I suggested she contact me in a week or so when our schedules permitted.
We arranged to have lunch and to my surprise, she asked me to be an informal mentor.I was taken aback; wondering what I could possibly offer.Since I had never been given the opportunity before, admittedly, I was a little concerned.
As we eased into the conversation, we talked about our respective positions, our strengths, challenge areas and told each other a little about ourselves personally.She finally highlighted the fact she feels anxious and overwhelmed regarding a particular assignment -- one where she will have to plan and execute a conference that is relative to her work group.
Since she’s relatively new to the group, she feels at a disadvantage and since she hasn’t planned anything of this magnitude previously, she was very worried as to where to begin and how to plan such an event.And, she’s anxious because the person who had the responsibility previously dropped a binder on her desk, but has not been helpful.
The light bulb went off when she revealed that someone she knew recommended me since I have planned and executed a number of events in my years at the company (and in my other life.)She was seeking my expertise in an arena I knew well.I sat there, humbled and thankful for an opportunity to share my knowledge.(You never know who is observing you because I barely know the person who recommended me.)
Once we put a plan into motion regarding meeting on a bi-weekly basis, I suggested we meet with two other dynamic women who plan huge events as well.We can learn from each other and incorporate our “plans” to ensure that my mentee is successful.
At the end of our initial discussion, we both realized we had been worried about different aspects of our meeting for different reasons.When I awakened the next morning I thought of (and subsequently sent to her) the following passage Philippians 4:6-7.I am confident that we will both be victorious because we know who’s in charge of our destiny.
Prayer:Father, I was concerned while treading uncharted waters.I felt a sense of relief when You brought that passage to mind.I had no reason to worry; it was part of Your plan for my personal and professional growth.
Thank You for believing in me and allowing me to stretch beyond my comfort zone.We are both blessed by knowing and loving You and have every confidence in our abilities because You are with us in ALL things.I am joyful in that knowledge.
The message of John the Baptist would be unsettling today:“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near!” (Matthew 3:2)Who preaches repentance anymore?We hear about the forgiveness of God all the time, but repentance comes before forgiveness.Pulpits echo the sweet grace of a loving God who extends the olive branch of love and hope, but few will pave the way for it by preaching the hard-core gospel of repentance.Why is that? There has never been a time like this, when the message of repentance is needed like it is now.Our day is similar to the time of John the Baptist.
Rev. Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994) was an English evangelist who focused his ministry on prayer and revival.Like John the Baptist, he believed that our world needs the message of repentance.Ravenhill told about a friend who saw a bumper sticker which said, “Jesus is coming and He is as mad as hell.”Those crude but true words dramatically point to the prophecy of 2 Thessalonians chapter 1, that Jesus is coming in flaming fire in judgment of the world.Is He a God of hope, love and forgiveness?YES!But we must not make light of the terrible judgment for sin which is to come, and for which repentance is its only remedy!
True repentance is a change of direction, an “about face,” and a “forward march” in the other direction.It is intentional; a decision of the mind and heart which unequivocally changes lives forever.People may learn to appreciate God through the gospel of prosperity, and they may feel good when they hear about God’s matchless grace.In fact, they may even learn to “become a better you,” and how to “live up to your potential.”But until we repent of our sins we will never know the God of our salvation!
A Gospel preached without repentance is no gospel at all, and bears likeness to every other spiritual movement in the world today.A recent survey told that our world is more spiritual than ever before, but people do not necessarily believe everything in the Bible is true.In fact, many do not believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation, even though they may attend a “Christian” church.
Will God give us another John the Baptist for such a time as this?Pastor, will you be the one to lead us from the muck and cause the nations to turn from our wicked ways?If you are the one, then unashamedly preach the Gospel of Repentance to your city; become the man of God you were called to be in Jesus name.If you are a church member, please share this article with your pastor.Let us begin a global movement that will both inspire and call to repentance those who are unbelievers.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, your admonition reminds me of something I heard evangelist Billy Graham say in 1965, “The church is the greatest mission field we have.”Give us more like John the Baptist who will raise the dead nations with the message of repentance.Amen and amen.
≈ Devotional for Thursday, June 17, 2010
Erosion is the gradual wearing away, breaking down and weakening of something - usually leading to its destruction.
Geologically speaking, erosion depends on such things as the amount and intensity of precipitation, temperature, wind speed, and storm frequency.
What about spiritual erosion?
Has there been rain and storms in your life?Have those storms caused you to weaken in your love for the Lord and His Word?Things can get pretty “hot” in this life as we struggle with day-to-day problems.Sometimes life’s storms seem to never stop - they come at us when we are unprepared and weak.They cause erosion…
Satan is constantly attacking God’s children. His attacks usually come gradually and slowly - He wants to erode away your spiritual life.
Your prayer life fades away, little by little; you turn to God less and less and rely upon yourself more and more.
Your time in the Word grows less and less; your memory of the Word and your knowledge of the Word decreases.
What about Church?“Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord's coming is getting closer.” (Hebrews 10:25 - CEV)
A little at a time; step by step; Satan entices us away from the Lord. He uses the storms of the world to wear us out over an extended period of time; we backslide a little at a time.
“Then he will blaspheme the High God, persecute the followers of the High God, and try to get rid of sacred worship and moral practice.” (Taken from Daniel 7:25 - The Message)
We must remain steadfast!Jesus has told us that “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 - NLT)Jesus did not leave us alone to face Satan and the tribulations of the world.He gave us the victory!He gave us the Comforter - the Holy Spirit:
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you.” (John 14:26-28 - KJV)
He is coming back… soon!Let’s fight the erosion and hold on to what we have in Christ.Let’s fight those who would erode and distort His Holy Word.
Let’s hold fast until He returns...
Be made new in the attitude of your minds and have the same attitude, purpose and humble mind that was in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 2:4-7)