23 September 2009

Vision Of You

Resting In God

O God most high, most glorious,

The thought of thine infinite serenity
cheers me,
For I am toiling and moiling, troubled
and distressed,
but thou art for ever at perfrect peace.
Thy designs cause thee no fear or care
of unfulfilment,
they stand fast as the eternal hills.
Thy power knows no bond,
thy goodness no stint.
Thou bringest order out of confusion,
and my defeats are thy victories:
The Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
I come to thee as a sinner with cares and sorrows,
to leave every concern entirely to thee,
every sin calling for Christ’s precious blood;
Revive deep spirituality in my heart;
Let me live near to the great Shepherd,
hear his voice, know its tones, follow its calls.
Keep me from deception by causing me to abide
in the truth,
from harm by helping me to walk in the power
of the Spirit.
Give me intenser faith in the eternal verities,
burning into me by experience the things I know;
Let me never be ashamed of the truth of the gospel,
that I may bear its reproach,
vindicate it,
see Jesus as its essence,
know in it the power of the Spirit.
Lord, help me, for I am often lukewarm and chill;
unbelief mars my confidence,
sin makes me forget thee.
Let the weeds that grow in my soul be cut
at their roots;
Grant me to know that I truly live only
when I live to thee,
that all else is trifiling.
Thy presence alone can make me holy, devout,
strong and happy.
Abide in me, gracious God.

17 September 2009

What is Your Mouth Displaying?

What is the one thing on our body that causes the most trouble? Think about this for a moment, what happens when:
You stub your toe
Pinch your finger
Bang your head on something
when you see someone who looks out of place (different)
When your with friends privately or publicly
When your at work each week
When you make a mistake
When you hear bad (upsetting) news
When your in the car
When your at the church
When you are alone with your thoughts 
Jesus said "The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks". Luke 6:45. We read in James letter to believers scattered due to persecution about this very important issue of the tongue (James 3:1-12). Think about it for a moment usually 9 times out of 10 we end up using our tongues to get ourselves in to hot water, which means more trouble then we bargained for (we call this foot in mouth disease). Instead what we should be doing is keeping our mouth silent with a peaceable spirit through the help of our Lord. Again remember what our Lord and Savior said "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid". John MacArthur says “the tongue is YOU in a unique way. It is a tattletale that tells on the heart and discloses the real person. Not only that, but misuse of the tongue is perhaps the easiest way to sin". How does the Bible describe the tongue? We find in scripture the tongue is variously as: Wicked, Deceitful, Perverse, Filthy, Corrupt, Flattering, Slanderous, Gossiping, Blasphemous, Foolish, Boasting, Complaining, Cursing, Contentious, Sensual, Vile and the list is endless, but from these examples it doesn't sound good. See the tongue is a great concern for James and it should be for us as well. This small muscle is capable of many things; It can be used to build up and it can be used to tear down. The use of the tongue is another test of living faith, "But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works". James 2:18. I have 2 questions for us today. Are you displaying proper use of the tongue? Or Are you always using your tongue to do evil ? The only way to find the answers to these questions is through the word of God. The first thing we need to look at is the tongues capability to cause harm, not only to ourselves, but to others as well.
1. The Tongue is Capable of Corruption
Is your tongue constantly being used for evil? What do you mean being used for evil?
1. Is it being used to Gossip?
(Prov 16:27-28) A worthless man plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.
2. Is it being used for Complaining?
(Num 21:4-5) From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food."
3. Is it being used for Selfish Gain?
(2Tim 3:1-5) But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
4. Is it being used for Corruption?
(1John 2:15-17) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

5. Is it being used for Perverse Talk?
(Jude 1:4) For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.
6. Is it being used for Blaspheming our Lord?
(Luke 22:63-65) Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, "Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?" And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.
We MUST always be cautious of our tongue and especially how we are to use it. Its amazing how something so small can cause so much damage to yourself and the people around you. Look at what James said, the tongue is evil and full of wickedness (v8) we must have self control; we must have disciplined lives with the leading of the Holy Spirit; we must be genuine in our speech. Turn over to what James says in 3:2 "For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body". Now this does not mean perfection as in sinless perfection! It means perfect in the sense of MATURITY! Again it's like what James said earlier in his letter 1:3-4 "for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing".
So as we continue do you display any or many of these characteristics? Because if you do you need to check to see where you stand in the Lord Jesus Christ. Why I say that because the genuine believer will not contradict his or her profession of faith, by regular use of unwholesome words. Jesus said you will know them by their fruits (Matt 12:33) "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.
So what is the importance of the Tongue? Why does it get so much attention in the Bible? Because it is suppose to be used for: Praising, Worshipping, Prayer, Building up, Encouraging, Teaching, Communicating Love.
2. The Tongue is Intended for Edification
We are to edify, strengthen one another with love for each other, so that we grow in our walk with Him (Jesus Christ) who is far more important (precious) to us. Edify (means) "the act of building" (oikos, "a home," and demo, "to build"); this is used only figuratively in the NT, in the sense of edification, the promotion of spiritual growth (lit., "the things of building up"). The tongue must be used for the purpose of good not evil, we must bridle our tongues. Bridle (means) "to lead by a bridle, to bridle, to hold in check, restrain;" it is used metaphorically of the tongue and of the body. You can see the passion of James in this text (verse 10) "From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so". We must use it for good, not evil. How do I know that I'm using my tongue for good? 
1. Is it being used for Praising?
(Heb 13:15) Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name.
2. Is it being used for Worshipping?
(Rev 7:9-12) After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen."

3. Is it being used to Encourage?

(1 Thess 5:12-15) We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
4. Is it being used to Communicate Love?
(Rom 12:13-15) Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
5. Is it being used for Sincere Prayer?
(James 5:16) Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Owen Feltham "All men will be Peters in their bragging tongue, and most men will be Peters in their base denial; but few men will be Peters in their quick repentance." The tongue is small and is capable of so much, may we always use it for what it was intended for: To bring our Lord the Glory He so greatly deserves; to help, care for one another through edification and prayer. We are to bridle our tongues; we are to look to God (Holy Spirit) and His sovereign power to overcome or tame (bridle) the tongue; we must live disciplined lives under the authority of what the scripture says. 
The Tongue is Capable of Corruption it's full of evil and poison. The Tongue is Intended for Edification, we are to speak only that which is good and praise worthy. When God transformed us by His sovereign grace, He gave us the capacity for a new redeemed Holy Speech, and remember He expects us as His children (His righteous children) to speak ONLY that which is HOLY and RIGHT "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person". Col 4:6. Paul goes on to say "let NO corrupting talk comes from our mouths (Eph 4:29-30). Always remember a hateful heart is an unconverted heart and it CANNOT and WILL NOT produce loving words or works. Jesus said "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits". Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles Matt 7:15-16. A loving heart is a regenerated heart and it CANNOT and WILL NOT produce hateful words or works "a healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit". Matt 7:18. So How do we answer the 2 question mentioned earlier? Are you displaying proper us of the tongue? Are you always using your tongue to do evil ? The answer "you will know them by there fruits". Can you leave here today and know that my (Mike, Your Name) tongue is being bridled by the power of the Holy Spirit. Or is it untamed and evil, full of hate and sin, a tongue that is full of the world and all its desires and pleasures to fill oneself. Do we have a tongue that is bitter like salt water?Or pure like fresh water? Only you can answer those questions, because I can't see the heart! But He can! To Him be the glory for His goodness and patience with sinners like us. Stop before you hurt someone or better yet yourself.  


15 September 2009

The Cup of Christ

Read Luke 22:39-44,and see for yourself the great love we have in our Savior for such a fallen and broken sinful world. A Savior who humbled Himself on the CROSS for sinners like you and me. To Him be the glory for such a great salvation

10 September 2009

Have You Counted the Cost?

In today's world people follow someone or something that catches their attention. Basically we are followers of those who have gone before us, or those who have achieved what we want to achieve.
You can tell yourself, that not me, but your only deceiving yourself. We live in a society that needs to follow others; we live in a society that wants to be like everyone else. Take for example: 
Hair styles
Popular Religious Movements
Causes (wwf, peta, gay movement, feminist movement, and so on) 
Peers ( Co-workers, school mates, friends and neighbors) 
Our post-modern world says "we must have what everyone else has" (We call this Jonesin') We just want to fit in. Why? Because we love the attention of others; or we look to others for acceptance. The Question I have for you and I would be: Who are you going to follow? Is it going to be the World? Or Is it going to be the Lord Jesus Christ? Maybe to help you answer that question we need to understand what the word follow means.
Follow (means) To go after or behind; to walk, ride or move behind, but in the same direction. Soldiers will usually follow a brave officer. To pursue; to chase; as an enemy, or as game. To accompany; to attend in a journey. "a follower, or "companion" (from the prefix a, here expressing "union, likeness," and keleuthos, "a way;" hence, "one going in the same way"), is used (a) frequently in the literal sense, e.g., Mat_4:25; (b) metaphorically, of "discipleship," e.g., Mar_8:34; Mar_9:38; Mar_10:21. It is used 77 times in the Gospels, of "following" Christ, and only once otherwise, Mar_14:13.
So who are you going to follow now that we have a proper definition of this word? The reason I ask this question, Jesus said, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matt 7:13-14) He also said "....... Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (Mark 8:34). Are you willing to deny yourself for the sake of Christ? Leaving everything behind, to follow the One who gives you life anew every day. This doesn't mean you sell everything and move into a cave all alone and become a monk. It means are you willing to die for the sake of Christ. If some was pointing a gun to your head and said "renounce Christ, and you will live" Are you willing to say to this person as Martin Luther did before the Diet of Worms " I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen." Are you willing to deny yourself even if it means death or persecution from others. He is worthy to be followed for what He has done. Think about for a moment. What if Jesus said "forget these sinners" and went back to Heaven to leave us to our guilt, shame and the wrath of God. He had ever right to do that! But He chose to face: opposition, hatred from the people He came to save. Why? To show us how valuable He really is, and what it really means to follow Him. Jesus went to an old rugged cross to take our wrath (punishment) to please the Father on our behalf. He denied Himself so that we could have life with Him for all eternity. See to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, is going to cost you something. Let me rephrase that, it's going cost you your life! Are you willing to do that? Are you willing to die for the name of Christ? D.L. Moody said "If He laid down His life for us, is it not the least we can do to lay down ours for Him? If He bore the cross and died on it for me, ought I not to be willing to take it up for Him?" If you are a Christian; a servant of the Lord; a disciple of the Lord; a follower of the Lord, you will continue to follow until either He calls you home, or until your last breath on this earth. To deny ones self is to completely surrender to follow Christ until the end, not part of the way and turn back, because times got too tough for you to handle. Jesus said "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Luke 9:62. Don't be like Lot's wife who loved this world more than God. She looked to the world and all it had to offer and counted the cost, which was her soul. I (Mike Andrews) have counted the cost and I will follow by faith in the Lamb of God. Again remember what Jesus said ".....If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works." Matt 16:24-27. Have you done it? Better yet are you going to do it? For today is the day of salvation! What are you waiting for? You may never see tomorrow. The final thing I want to hear for you and me is "well done, my good and faithful servant" We follow Christ out of love for Him and His glory. Not because it's the fad (trend)of the week, the religion of chose, or a crutch to get us through. But because Christ is extremely valuable to me and you. I've counted the cost; I've done the research; I've considered the consequences, and they all lead me in one direction, Christ Jesus my Lord. To deny oneself is to live for Christ every moment of every day. Its not a job but a lifestyle. As the late great Charles Spurgeon once said "My brethren, let me say, be like Christ at all times. Imitate him in "public." Most of us live in some sort of public capacity—many of us are called to work before our fellow-men every day. We are watched; our words are caught; our lives are examined—taken to pieces. The eagle-eyed, argus-eyed world observes everything we do, and sharp critics are upon us. Let us live the life of Christ in public. Let us take care that we exhibit our Master, and not ourselves—so that we can say, "It is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me." As Paul said "for me to die is gain" that's my prayer for all of us. I look forward to one day being with Him, where I can gaze upon the Lover of my soul; the One who loved me and you, with an everlasting love, because He is worth far more than the cost. To Him Be the glory! 

07 September 2009

Don't Waste Your Life (Piper/ Lecrae)

Are you wasting your life for the Kingdom of God? What are you living for?

Help Wanted

Are you looking for a job in your church? Because there is a problem that we are seeing more and more in our local churches, the lack of service in the body of Christ. Everybody has ideas (or opinions) on how to do things, or better yet, want things done in the church/community but don't want to help or do their part in the body of Christ. They would rather complain/gossip about it to others instead of helping and loving one another. Serving our local churches SHOULD always be a pleasure, not a burden, because of what Christ did for you and me. We always need to remember that Jesus, set the bar when He washed the disciples feet in the upper room. This action by a holy God should always humble us to do our very best towards one another and most of all Him. We must have that same servants heart as our Lord Jesus, in order to grow in our Christian walk. Listen to what Jesus said "....'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' Matt 22:37-39. If you love yourself (which I think you do) then we are to show that same kind of love to others. How do I do that? With a servants heart that seeks the interest of others over self. Look in the first chapter of Philippians, Paul ‘s desire was to be with Christ, but he also had a passion for the believers in Philippi (21-25). We must have that same passion to help others grow in there faith and to make it a desire to please the Lord with a servants heart. Even in Paul’s absence he wanted them:
1. To stand strong
2. To stand firm
3. To stand boldly for the precious Gospel of Christ Jesus our Lord

Again Paul, did not consider this a hindrance in his Christian walk, but a joyful opportunity to serve the Lord through serving others. Serving others:
1. Helps us to encourage the weak. (Isa 35:3) "strengthen the weak hands, And make firm the feeble knees"

2. Helps us to be edified by the Word (Eph 4:15) "but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head- Christ"
3. Helps us to serve one another (Rom 1:12) that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine. (1 Peter 1:22) Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,
4. Helps us to grow in a Christian walk (Matt 5:6) blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled"
5. Helps us most of all to Glorify the Lord
(Eph 5:27) so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
Are you still looking for a job? Because we need your help Christian desperately!... Apply Today! 

St Andrews Aquarium Trip

' This was taken on our trip to St Andrews Aquarium in New Brunswick. The kid's had a blast looking and touching some of the sea creatures. We were unable to take pictures of the sea ray and the sturgeon fish ( sturgeon by the way are massive fish! They were at least 8 to 1o feet long) , but it was too dark in the tank to take pictures. The amazing thing as we walked around the aquarium is the details God puts into His creation, this is absolutely amazing. As the Psalmist said "By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast"Psalms 33:6-9. What an amazing God were serve; praise His holy name among the earth. He is the name above all names, worthy of our praise". Let me ask you: isn't He worthy of our praise? Every day is a new day that He gives us by His grace and mercy. Our hearts should always sing with praise for His love for sinners like you and me. To Him Be the Glory!

06 September 2009

Cleanse Me

A wonderful song that speaks to the heart.

Search me, O God, and know my heart today;
Try me, O Saviour, know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin and set me free.
I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy Word and make me pure within.
Fill me with fire where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire to magnify Thy name.
Lord, take my life and make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine.
Take all my will, my passion, self and pride;
I now surrender, Lord in me abide.
O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee;
Send a revival, start the work in me.
Thy Word declares Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessings now, O Lord, I humbly plead

04 September 2009

Be Specific

"How often have we prayed something like, "O Lord, be with cousin Billy now in a special way"? Have we stopped to consider what it is we're requesting? Imagine that you are a parent who is preparing to leave your children with a babysitter. Would you dream of saying, "O Betsy, I ask you now that you would be with my children in a special way?" No way. You would say, "Betsy, the kids need to be in bed by 9 pm. They can have one snack before their baths, and please make sure they finish their homework. You can reach us at this number if there's any problem. Any questions before we go?" We are very specific with our requests and instructions for our babysitters. We want them to know specifics. It should be no different with prayer." David Jeremiah

02 September 2009

What is Salvation? (In 2 Minutes)

Praise His holy name! Salvation is so simple. Why? Because He saved me from myself. Won't you come to Him today? He desires that no one perishes and that everyone comes to Him in repentance and faith in the the only begotten Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

To Him be the glory forever and ever.

Prayer is Serious Business

Prayer is not only serious business, but it’s also an expensive privilege. Why should our prayers be like the cheap temple sacrifices of which Malachi speaks, in Malachi 1:8, when Jesus had to suffer and die just to make the privilege of prayer possible? For believers to enter the Holy of Holies to speak to the Lord cost Jesus His life on the cross. It wasn’t His teaching or His miracles that tore the veil of the temple from top to bottom and opened the "new and living way" (Heb 10:20). The veil was opened because Jesus shed His blood for our sins.
To make light of prayer and take it for granted, to pray carelessly and flippantly, is to make light of the death of God’s only Son. God doesn’t answer cheap prayers. Warren Wiersbe