Laguna Niguel Fire 5/11/22
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last
C.T. Studds (Born 1860 in Spratton U.K. – Died 1931 in Ibambi, DRC – Congo)
I pray this week you have reflected on the “Exchanged Life” you now have in Christ….. His life now residing in you! Amazing…….. But remember, “It Will Cost You Everything” (YouTube – 11 minutes) Note: I might suggest sitting down and not driving your car for this message.
As many of you know, after I stepped out of my business due to a car accident back in March of 2020, I have been involved in a lot of deferred maintenance around my home….. Things I neglected for many years (Note: God has allowed us to live in the same home since 1984…… pretty crazy!). Even though I have had many opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with various workers that have been to the house, it has impacted my time in the Word. Why? Being a creature of habit, my time in the Word has always been early morning, but with many of the workers arriving at that time, I put my study time off to the side, thinking I’m going to get to it later. Often times, that doesn’t happen. Trust me, I can find alternative times, but more times than I care to admit, I let my flesh override my will…… ugh!
We all try to be good stewards of what God has given to us, but when do we cross that line and the “cares of the world” enter in and choke out the Word (See Walt’s devotional below – Mark 4:19). Here are a few things I have been thinking about:
With our homes, “how much is too much.” The projects I could come up with are endless…. Project Focused vs. Christ Focused. And like the Photo Above , God could take it all away in a moment.
- When is enough, enough? Do I take Paul’s words in Philippians 3:7-8 to heart?
- “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.” (Note: the Greek word for “rubbish” is skubla…. Direct translation is refuse, manure, etc.)
- What about TV, Internet and Sports? Do any of those interfere with your time with Christ? If so, what should you be praying about?
- Recently I have been discussing with some of the men the inordinate amount of time spent discussing politics and current events. I have asked a few people that were discipled by Walt Henrichsen if they ever remember him “initiating” a conversation regarding politics. In the years Walt discipled me (1993-2016) I can NEVER remember him bringing the subject up. I got the same response from the men I asked that were also discipled by Walt. I guess he took 2 Timothy 2:4 to heart:
- “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” Do we believe this verse? Are you one of those guys that is getting too wrapped up in current affairs? One of the brothers in Arizona said he is going tattoo that verse on the inside of his eyelids 😊
- The list is long, but I will stop here…….
In Your Own Backyard
The opportunities continue to be such a blessing. Here are a couple encounters that happened this past week:
- A guy helping me with some repairs on some metal tubing said he’s a Christian. We had a GREAT conversation. He’s one of those guys that has gone through all the motions, but his relationship with Christ appears to be a bit loose. He loved our discussion and I will be seeing him in a couple weeks
- The alarm service guy had to come over to upgrade the system (3G to 4G) and while shooting the bull with him, he tells me he just can’t seem to get things right when it comes to marriage (3 kids and 2 failed marriages). He told me he was raised in a Christian home, but abandoned the faith years ago. We had quite s conversation, I shared my testimony and I gave him Steps to Peace With God, Are You A Good Person and the book, “How To Be Free From The Fear Of Death. I explained the material and he was so grateful
- On Mother’s Day, Jane & I invited (2) mothers that had nowhere to go along with my younger son John and grandson Ezra who have been visiting. We went to a Mother’s Day buffet and were some of the last people to be seated. When I went back for a bit more food, there was no one in the room except for the (2) servers. I thanked them for their great service, and gave them a tip. That shocked them, but not as much as giving them Steps to Peace With God. They seemed more excited about the Gospel than the money. Here is a photo of the men and a photo of my grandson Ezra as he’s getting ready to confront a goose 😊
Broken and Dependent,
As we have stated so many times, there are only (2) things that will pass into eternity: 1) God’s Word and 2) People. Everything else will burn! Are you holding on to your earthly possessions with open palms?
There is so much I could say regarding these (2) devotionals….. Yikes!
When you read them, ask yourself, “Where do I place myself?”
Not Being Ashamed and The Faithful One and the Faithless Many – Red Book Day 132-133
The purpose of these devotionals is to help you think Biblically
“Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you’re not saved
yourself, be sure of that!”
Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Men, a couple days ago our brother Lyle Brennan put in his daily email the following quote from Jerry’s book, The Discipline of Delusion:
“Much of the modern church is ashamed to mention such countercultural topics as the differing roles of the sexes, disciplining wayward believers for disobedience, and extramarital sex or homosexuality being sins. Yet the Scripture unequivocally teaches these doctrines, and our shame of God’s Word effectively neuters our ministry from the world.” from “The Discipline of Delusion: How Secular Ideas Became the New Idolatry” by Jerry Bangert
Whatever happened to obedience?
“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (John 15:10)
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3)
Sinners In The Hands of An Angry God
By Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
Last week our Friday Group listened to the most famous sermon ever preached in America. One of the brothers in the group had suggested it….. it had been many years since we had listened to it. This particular version is narrated by Max McLean (founder of Fellowship for Performing Arts that recently produced “The Most Reluctant Convert” – the conversion of C.S. Lewis). Max McLean practiced his delivery to be as accurate as possible since Edwards was not a flamboyant preacher, but solemn and controlled. He was not a “fire-and-brimstone” preacher, but a reserved intellectual. The introduction is done by R. C. Sproul.
Jonathan Edwards message was based on the verse from Deuteronomy 32:35 “Their foot shall slip in due time…..” One commentator said of the sermon, “Terror filled the Enfield, Connecticut meetinghouse that summer evening. The congregants shrieked, moaned, and quaked in abject fear. When their ordeal ended, they had just one thought: What must I do to be saved?”
Question: After you listen to it, do you think any pastors you know would be bold enough to play it for their congregation?
Max McLean Reads Sinners In The Hands of An Angry God, YouTube (45 minutes)
A dear brother send me the following. This is very good men…….
Below is a very simple message from Ray Stedman on the concept of repentance, baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit.
What To Do?
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
The Apostle Peter is answering this question, What shall we do? He acknowledges that there is something to be done. When you come to the place where you understand that Jesus is Lord, and that you are out of harmony with all his purposes and his life, then there is something to do. There are two things you need to do, Peter says, and then one thing God will do.
You need, first, to repent. Repent is a word that is greatly misunderstood. Most people think repentance means that you feel sorry, and you begin to cry and weep. That has nothing to do with repentance. You may feel sorry, and you may begin to weep and cry, but that is not necessary, and it does not mean that you have repented. Repent is a word which means to change your mind, to change your thinking. You have been thinking that everything was all right with you and all is well. You have been thinking that Jesus is nothing but a great teacher, or a great prophet, but that he is not the Son of God, and he is not the Lord of glory, the Lord of all the earth; well, think again. Repent — change your mind, get in tune with reality, line up with things the way they really are, is what Peter is saying. You have been kidding yourself, you have been deluded, you have been fooled; well, change your mind. Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God — repent and put him where he belongs in your life.
Then, the second thing, be baptized. Baptism does not add anything to your repentance. It does not make you better. It does not do anything magic for you so that you are suddenly forgiven of your sins. Baptism is the outward declaration of the change of mind that you have experienced within. Baptism is an open identification with Jesus Christ. To be baptized means that you are telling everybody, I belong to him. I follow him. I am one of his. It is a cutting off from the old way of thinking, and a beginning of a new life.
Finally, there is the one thing that God will do. When you repent, says the apostle, you will receive the Holy Spirit. That is, God, the third person of the Trinity, will come and live in you. His work will be to make Jesus Christ real, visible, plain, and close to you, to impart his life to your own. This is what happens when you repent. Peter did not say to these people, When you repent you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and you will speak in tongues He does not promise this, because that is not part of receiving the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit initially came with this symbol, but these are not promised to every individual. The Spirit of God comes into the human heart without any demonstration or sign at all after a change of mind about the Lord Jesus and a willingness to receive him into the heart. On that basis, these 3,000 people received the promise of the Father.
Father, thank you for bringing me to that place of repentance and faith, and thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit who manifests in me and through me the life of the Lord Jesus.
What are two actions God asks of us in order that the Holy Spirit make His home in our lives? Do we celebrate these events as the means of God’s grace and power in and through us? Check Out RayStedman.org/Daily-Devotions
“Salvation apart from obedience is unknown in the sacred Scriptures…
Apart from obedience there can be no salvation, for salvation without obedience is a self-contradictory impossibility.”