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Archive for February, 2009

3 Lies of Satan

February 28, 2009 Leave a comment

From Genesis 3 and Matthew 4 when Satan tempted Adam & Eve (who failed) and Jesus (who succeeded!):

1) You can do anything you feel like doing! Obey your appetites!

2) You will not have any consequences for your selfish choices!

3) You are your own god and you do not have to answer to anyone!

Thankfully, Jesus answered each temptation with the Word of God and did not fail like Adam and Eve.

If Jesus combatted Satan with the Word of God, how much more do we need to know and use God’s Word to overcome the enemy?

-Mark (learning the Word of God so I can overcome the enemy)

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A Successful Missions Conference!

February 27, 2009 Leave a comment

What a great 2009 Missions Conference we had this week!

First, we had a Kenyan Pastor preach in the Sunday morning worship service and it was powerful! This man is a true Kenyan and will return to his country in the next few years. In the meantime, he and his wife and children are “missionaries” to the United States (if you understand what I mean). They are teaching us a lot about Who God is.

Second, we had a missionary to Venezuela for the past 14 years speak to us on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings! This lady was extremely knowledgeable and encouraged us all to be more prayerful and aware of the need to share the Gospel worldwide.

By God’s grace, we truly were changed as a result of the past few days. We are thankful to these persons for challenging and encouraging us to endeavor to keep the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20.

-Mark (thankful to pastor a church that REALLY values missions!)

People are being RESCUED!

February 26, 2009 1 comment

The joy of being a part of this ministry is that we get the privilege of watching God reconcile LOST people to Himself. They become “found” as He leads them to Christ as their Savior and Lord.

Recently, we’ve had 3 people who were truly saved and converted to Christianity by God’s grace!

Praise the Lord for producing His fruit through His ministry!

-Mark (delighted to be a part of God’s saving grace knowing to Him belongs ALL glory, honor, and praise!)

What To Do with “Self”

February 25, 2009 Leave a comment

The world often teaches people that they need more self-control but that’s not what the Bible teaches.

The Bible teaches that SELF is NOT the source of control. Self is NEVER the source of power for control.

Instead, self is the OBJECT to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the SOURCE of control that directs self. In the Bible, the “self” is also called the “flesh” and Romans 8:8 tells us that those who are in the flesh “cannot please God.”

What pleases God is Holy Spirit filled, directed, and empowered living which ALWAYS is in perfect agreement with true, biblical principles.

Christians are to yield themselves to the Holy Spirit’s leading and not fulfill the desires of the flesh. Self is to be under the control of the Holy Spirit at all times. That’s what we biblical counselors promote – Holy Spirit led living in accordance with God’s Word.

-Mark (biblical teachings make more sense to me daily)

“You make everything glorious!”

February 24, 2009 Leave a comment

While I’m on this “David Crowder Band” kick, in the song, “Everything Glorious,” one of the lyrics says:

“You make everything glorious, and I am Yours – what does that make me?”

The answer: glorious! God clothes us in His righteousness just as He clothed Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 with the skin of a slain animal.

If God makes everything glorious by His redeeming power, then that makes us glorious as He wraps His righteousness around us through Christ!

We still struggle with the presence of sin but the POWER of sin is defeated. We now belong to God as His dear children. The Holy Spirit indwells us and enables us to choose rightly in a way that please God.

-Mark (amazed and thankful that God sees me as righteous and glorious through Christ Jesus my Savior!)

“YOU never let go!”

February 23, 2009 1 comment

A song by The David Crowder Band called “Never Let Go” has a lyric that says, “You never let go, never let go, never let go” which is addressed to God (“You”).

That verb “let” has meaning in the past, present, and present perfect verb tenses. In other words, the Lord has never let go of us in the past, is not letting go of us now, and will never let go of us in the future. How awesome is that?

Post a response about how God has never let go of you in your past!

-Mark (praising a sovereign God Who knows ALL things and has ALL of the power to do something about it)

An “insanity” plea?

February 22, 2009 1 comment

One of my biggest concerns about secular psychology is that it promotes a “victim mentality” where individuals who are responsible for their actions claim irresponsibility. This problem spills over into many aspects of our lives – like in the legal arena. For example, in a court of law an “insanity” plea has been misused because of the influence of secular psychology upon our culture.

I heard someone say recently that a woman who either conspired to kill or did murder her own child should enter an “insanity” plea in court due to her “abnormal behavior.”  Their reasoning is that she “must have some type of psychological problem because no mother would do such a thing.” Wrong! Sadly, many mothers and fathers have acted similarly throughout the course of history in a sinful, fallen world.

It saddens me greatly when I hear this type of comment because the person is deceived and minimizing the power of sin and selfishness. A biblical worldview that acknowledges “sin” is the ONLY view that makes sense. We are all capable of acting “abnormally” when we are selfish, fail to confess our sins, and fail to take responsibility for our sins before Almighty God!
 
People go to any length to cover their sins up. That’s when their actions LOOK insane but they are quite aware of what they are doing. Many of her actions seem to indicate that she was “covering her tracks” which means she knew what she was doing was wrong. She knew that her “abnormal behaviors” were wrong so she has attempted to cover it up and is deceptive about many things. She is aware of right and wrong though she is acting in a bizarre manner.
 
I do not know if this particualr woman is guilty of committing murder or not. Certainly her actions in this particular case qualify as sins of omission – neglecting her God-given parental duties from Deut. 6:4-8 and Eph. 6 (and other passsages). According to the Bible, there are 2 responses to sin: to cover it up OR to confess it and forsake it -see Prov. 28:13. Those who confess AND forsake their sins will obtain MERCY.
 
This particular case is sad indeed but what saddens me most is this idea of an “insanity” plea because others perceive her as not acting in a “normal” manner. (By the way, who’s standard deems something to be “normal” or not? This person was not utilizing the Bible as their standard so how can they say what is “normal” behavior?)
 
I’m not a lawyer but my understanding of the “insanity” plea is that it originated when someone did something illegal but was unaware that it was illegal – like when someone who is mentally retarded commits a crime but is not capable of comprehending it is wrong due to a REAL physiological condition (like brain damage).
 
Nowadays, this “insanity” plea gets tossed around for any crime that doesn’t make sense to casual observers in an attempt to set a guilty person free. It is bizarre behavior but it is sin and not a psychological problem in many cases. But that’s the core problem with the majority of psychological labels – they re-classify sin and take the responsibility OFF of the offender. The offender often attributes some unproven disorder to be the cause of the “abnormal” or “insane” behavior but there it is only speculation since no real medical tests are performed. What chemicals were out of balance in this woman? They cannot tell you because she simply sat down with a psychologist for a verbal interview and he/she determined that she is suffering from some psychological label – thereby excusing her murderous thoughts.
 
Bottom line: It’s dangerous to diagnose “sin” as “sickness.” A biblical worldview reminds us that sin must never be minimized. Whether she committed the crime or not, her bizarre behaviors afterwards simply display a “self-centered” heart caught in the trap of serving selfish desires.
 
When we hear about a case like this, we must all be reminded that without God’s grace in our lives, we could all act in a similar manner IF we continue to DENY our sin, cover it up, and fail to CONFESS it like this mother.  Sin has powerful consequences when it is allowed to continue. Thankfully, we have an answer for sin in our Lord Jesus Christ when we confess and forsake (or repent) for those sins!
 
-Mark (grateful for God’s truth which makes sense of life in a Fallen world -Gen. 3 – when we understand “sin” is not a “sickness”)