Monday, October 31, 2005

Market Thread

It's been a priviledge to be able to keep a progressive record of all that has happened since July, regarding the preaching at the Fredericton market, on Sermonindex. This thread is for the purpose of encouraging the body of believers and letting people know what is happening those mornings of preaching.

You can access the thread here:

Be blessed and if you are ever in the area, come to the market at 11:30am and join us believers as we spread the seed of God's Word to a lost world.

All for Jesus,

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Pure Religion

"He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered." - Proverbs 21:13

One night in prayer, the Lord pressed upon me this Scripture, which rather shook me at the time. I have never 'shut my ear' to the poor and have often been filled with compassion for them and done this deed here or there on their behalf, but, as the Lord Jesus so often does, He revealed to me my neglect in the caring of those less privileged, my unmoved heart and my terrible poverty in my religion (James 1:27). I immediately came under conviction for not doing more than I was able.

There is an awful promise to be considered in this passage. Do we wonder why so many of our prayers remain unanswered and our praying rendered so ineffective? Could it be that we neglect the poor and continue to lavish ourselves in North American normality? The latter part of James 1:27 reads: " keep oneself unstained from the world." In it's context, this accurately defines our sickly condition.

Let us be pricked to the heart! "For as much you do to the least of these brethren, you do to Me." (Matthew 25:40) Am I moved for Christ's sake?

Dear Lord, help me to love others as I love myself.
Let me not live selfishly by filling up on wealth.
May I see You, Jesus, in every soul I see,
May I always remember You hanging on the tree.

Monday, October 17, 2005

How to Escape Doubting Castle

(This is based upon Bunyan's immortal tale)
In the land there stands Doubting Castle, hidden beyond the eyes of the traveling pilgrims. Living inside the castle is the infamous Giant Despair, who takes great delight in the torture and humiliation of all who may be journeying to Celestial City.

So long as the pilgrims remain on the narrow and straight path they haven't anything to fear of the giant and his castle. But the trouble is that the path coincides with a lush meadow, comfortable for the feet and appealing to the eyes. The harsh conditions of the narrow path make the meadow seem even more alluring. An unseasoned pilgrim might easily persuade himself to step into the meadow, convinced the two sods lead in the same direction.

As surely as can be, when the pilgrims enter the meadow there arises a terribly dense storm, full of thick clouds and torrential rain. This makes the vision impaired and in this condition the wandering pilgrims lose sight of the narrow path. In desperation they often run hastily in the direction thought correct, but this leads them farther and farther away from the path itself. In the gross darkness of the storm, the pilgrims most assuredly miss the warning stone left by experienced pilgrims before them.

And thus many a pilgrim stumble upon the Giant Despair, who enslaves and locks them up in Doubting Castle. Despair, who is by now well-advanced in the arts of torment, will press and crush and squeeze almost every ounce of life left in the downtrodden travelers. Hopes of the Great City grow dim. Many pilgrims die in the castle, many bones lie cold and warm in the dungeon of this wicked castle.

But thanks be to our Lord Jesus Christ, whom at the cross gave every person who came that way a key of great importance called Promise. So small is this key that the Giant Despair always overlooks it in his search of their belongings. Though he takes away their weapons and armor, staffs and boots, the Giant, in the purpose of God, misses this small item. And how important it is! As long as the pilgrim forgets he has this key, he is lost and will not escape. But, as many of those trapped in the dungeon remember, they take hold of the Key called Promise and unshackle their wrists and ankles. The events that follow lead them to the outer gate of the castle (for every door in Doubting Castle can be opened, save the outer gate without waking the giant). With a deep breathe the key is turned and the giant is roused. But if the pilgrim be swift and set his face as flint to escape, he can outrun the giant and in doing so cause the felon to collapse over his own two feet! Once the giant is fallen he cannot rise again.

Those who escape Doubting Castle know never to stray from the path again. Almost every pilgrim who has come close to death in the Castle will never return to that place, and their vigor and earnest to reach the Celestial City is strengthened a sure tenfold! Though deadly indeed, the Castle provokes the travelers to diligence.

So if ye be a pilgrim; walk the straight and rocky path
Stray not from the original, nay, give no thought to that!
For if you do you'll run the risk of shackles and of shame
In Doubting Castle, wretched thought, the place of plight and pain.
He who would valiant be then take heed of this stone
And wander not, but fix your eyes on Christ and Christ alone!
And if the path be weary, sore, then lift your head to heav'n
And shout out loud: "O blessed Lord, Your Life, for me, hath given!
I'll run the faster and jump the higher to reach Thou precious Head
I'll look not to the left nor right nor back, but straight ahead."
Come onward! Push forward! You pilgrims in the flight,
To higher plains we run for Him who made our sin stains white!
And when we stand in the city bright our eyes will scare behold
Our blessed Saviour, risen Master... Jesus Christ our Lord!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Book Recommendation: Rees Howells Intercessor

I can't more highly recommend this book. It is in every Christian's best interest to buy a copy of this and read how God took a man and transformed him into a living sacrifice. You will be challenged deeply in your inner man. God is looking for men and women who are utterly and completely dead to themselves and alive through His Son. Let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart. Read this book!

Desperately Needed: Men of God

"And what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthah; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens." - Hebrews 11:32-34

Solomon twice said: "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man." (Proverbs 6:10/Proverbs 24:33) Has this unfortunate verse been fulfilled in our day? I believe what can best sum up the Church of North America is his words "a little folding of the hands to rest". Harmless it seems, yet with deadly consequences. Solomon was speaking of farmers... could we, Christians of all people, afford to ignore this spiritual warning? Shall we again read the Bible and then roll like a hinge on our beds of comfort and ease? How much longer can we safely ignore the warning signs? With much grief I say, poverty has already struck us like a robber. We are laid low in the dust!

Woe and behold! Strength has left us wretched, poor, blind and naked! Does no one see the city is in ruins? An army has already invaded us, dashed our babies on the ground, broken our teeth, scattered our loved ones... and we are so deluded we don't even know we are defeated!? How can we go to church Sunday upon Sunday and pretend all is well? There are more lost people today in the world than ever before in the history of mankind... and at the same time there is less love for God in the Church, less thought for holiness amongst men, less truth being taught to children than ever before, and more people embracing the most ungodly behavior to ever chance this side of eternity.

Christian, do you entertain yourself with violence and sex? Think about that which you are doing! Do you conform to the pattern of this world? Christian, do you die to self or 'self' yourself to death? Conformity, compromise... what about courage and character?

Dear friends, the men of old, Gideon, David, Samuel..., did not receive the promise of God, but in fact, what has been given to us (the new covenant promise) greatly exceeds anything those men ever dreamed of! "And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us..." (Hebrews 11:38-39) So what excuse to we have? We have been entrusted far more than Romans 1:20, and that is a frightful thought. I ask again, what excuse do we have?

We MUST have an attitude change. There is no other option. The time has come for Christians at ease in Zion to acknowledge their folly and sin, and repent, turning to God for chastising and restoring. We must repent, there is no other way. We must humble ourselves and admit that we know practically nothing of being filled with the Holy Spirit, because we know nothing at all of dying to ourselves. Death to self = being filled with the Spirit of God. It is by the Spirit of the living God that we can overcome the power of sin and the corruption of darkness in this world. The ultimate question is not whether it is possible, but whether we are willing for it to happen, which is where the difficulty lies. I fear we are no longer a willing people (Psalm 110:3).

John Wesley said: "Give me men who love nothing but God and hate nothing but sin." Rise up, men of God! Be done with lesser things. There is a battle to be won, there is a Kingdom to advance, there is a darkness to destroy...

Rise up!

Monday, October 03, 2005

What Are You Doing Out There?

An American author in the 1800's was put in jail for 'civil disobedience' because he spoke out against an injustice. A friend visited him in prison and said, "What are you doing in here?", and the author responded, "Friend, what are you doing out there?"

A timely question to ask believers: Are we Christians prepared to stand up for Jesus as the world applies more and more pressure against God and His Word, even when things get hot? Are we willing to identify with Christ in the hour of darkness or will we, like Peter, deny him before the rooster crows? The Scripture says that the night is almost over and the day is almost near... the rooster is almost about to sound the morning cry. (Romans 13:11-12)

We must, at this time, gird up the loins of our mind for action and prepare for ultimate sacrifice. The key to standing strong against the enemy is staying weak before the Lord: total dependence upon God and having no confidence in ourselves (Eph. 6:10). Peter failed because he faced that night strong in himself - Jesus had to teach him a vital lesson. Death to self NOW will prepare us for physical death LATER. Why could Stephen, the first of the Christian martyrs, stand so boldly in the face of certain death, without a concern for his own safety, and unwaveringly proclaim the gospel to his captors? He certainly could have saved his skin! ...Probably without even compromising his faith... but he was already dead. Stephen was martyred long before the stones struck him, for Stephen had already learned the secret of identification with Jesus in His death, thus the act of physically dying became a glorious testament to the glory of God!

Christians, are we prepared to suffer for Christ? "Ye have not yet resisted sin to the point of shedding of blood." (Hebrews 12:4). The discipline of God, spoken of in chapter 12 of Hebrews, breaks our self-confidence, builds our confidence in God, so putting strength in our hearts. Submitting to God's discipline today will result in divine strength tomorrow.