disciple

What time is it?

Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten about the “Mexican Standoff” series, I have been quite ill over the past month and am just now starting to recover. Earlier today I was reading one of Paul Washers sermon transcripts and this quote really stuck with me…..

It is though with one hand God is holding back His justice against this world and with another hand He is pleading for men to come, but one day both hands will be dropped. You know that don’t you? ~ Paul Washer

I realised that for almost 2000 years this world has had the Gospel of Jesus Christ; from the apostles, missionaries, evangelists, preachers, teachers and every Christian man and woman who has proclaimed, defended and shared it with the lost throughout the world. Paul brought it to Spain, Peter brought it to Rome, Philip to Asia Minor, Wesley, Whitefield, Judson and Gardiner to the Americas. There are very few places left on Earth where God’s Word has not been heard and every day His people are risking their lives to reach them with the truth so that they may be saved. Thank God that even in the most hostile nations tens of thousands of people are still coming to faith in Christ Jesus.

True Christians can clearly see the wickedness of the world today, the increase and acceptance of sin, many being led into false teachings, the rise of false prophets…..we shouldn’t be surprised of course, we’ve had almost 2000 years notice. We are looking for the coming of the day of God and a day where all this wickedness ends but don’t forget on that day both hands will be dropped; the unsaved will be without excuse as Gods justice is unleashed.

Now more than ever it’s time to stand firm, never be deterred in doing the work God has given you, the world won’t like it, they’ll oppose you, mock you and even persecute you for they also know the time is short. Even as Christians our lives here are still like a vapour, gone in a moment, so please don’t waste an opportunity, we’ve had 2000 years already but our work isn’t done until the Lord calls us home.

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent?…..
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. ~ Romans 10:14-17

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” ~ Mark 16:15

A Contrite Heart

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. ~ Psalm 51:17

We don’t know the author, the timing and the purpose of many of the Psalms however with Psalm 51 we know the author, King David, the timing, after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba and arranged for husband Uriah to be killed in battle and the purpose, to repent and seek God’s forgiveness.

In this Psalm we see David truly broken, the man described in 1 Samuel 13:14 as “after God’s own heart” has committed a heinous sin against God and has been confronted by Nathan the prophet with a word from the Lord…. “You are the man!” Why have you despised the word of the LORD by doing evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword” Although David’s sins were forgiven, he was told that the son he had with Bathsheba would die because of what David had done.

The phrase I’m going to focus on here is the “contrite heart”, when I first read this Psalm years ago I didn’t know what contrite meant; it has such a powerful Hebrew meaning “crumbled, crushed, broken, bruised, beaten to pieces, destroyed”. At first it’s hard to believe that this is what God wants from us, we often think of God only accepting what is perfect, without blemish or complete. However no man, saved or unsaved has those qualities in him. When we first come to Christ or whenever we seek forgiveness, only a broken Spirit and a contrite heart are acceptable.
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On Stony Ground…..

“The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. “Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. “Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. “Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” – Luke 8:5-8

This is one of the few parables which is found in Luke, Mark and Matthews Gospel books, I believe that it’s importance was repeated for a very good reason, both applicable among the disciples of Christ’s day as well as among the modern disciple of today. All Christians (especially young ones) need discipleship, it is not an optional extra of the Christian life but an essential. In the wild, lions will pick off the young and the weak among their prey, our enemy who prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8) is no different, those who are weak in their faith, knowledge or discernment are easy pickings for the enemies lies and deception.

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