Howard Guinness Quote

 “Where are the young men and women of this generation who will hold their lives cheap, and be faithful even unto death, who will lose their lives for Christ’s, flinging them away for love of him? Where are those who will live dangerously, and be reckless in this service? Where are the men of prayer? Where are the men who count God’s Word of more importance to them than their daily food? Where are the men who, like Moses of old, commune with God face to face as a man speaks with his friend? Where are God’s men in this day of God’s power?” Howard Guinness

I originally read this here on the Desiring God blog.

Gone

…but not for good. I shall be travelling in North East India for the next two weeks and so there shall be no posts during that time. I would value your prayers for anointing, wisdom, grace, good health and safety during that time – and also for the process to extend my visa here for another two years which is going on at the moment.

Need I say more?

Matthew 7, Luke 3, Isaiah 58, 1 Timothy 6:

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” And he answered them,“Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”

“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

How effective is your gospel?

Monday morning – as usual I am thinking and trying to set myself on the right path for the week ahead. Consider this: Paul was bold in his faith in, and proclamation of, the Gospel Rom 1:16, 1 Thess 1:4, 5,

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…For we know,brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.

Most Christians would strongly agree with Paul and yet often do not know the liberating power of this Gospel in their daily living. This is where the questions below (originally seen here) come into play. They are great to ask and see if the Gospel is word or power in your life. As you read ask Holy Spirit to draw alongside you and guide you through each question and answer. Repent where necessary, consider habits or lifestyle actions that need to change, praise God for his grace and favour. Remember to draw near to God and delight in his unfailing love for you – we might fail and need to change in God’s mighty power, but his love is constantly poured out towards you.

  • What do you desire more than anything else?
  • What do you find yourself daydreaming or fantasizing about?
  • What lies do you subtly believe that undermine the truth of the gospel?
  • Are you astonished with the gospel?
  • Where have you made much of yourself and little of God?
  • Is technology interrupting your communion with God?
  • Is work a source of significance? How?
  • Where do your thoughts drift when you enter a social setting?
  • What fears keep you from resting in Christ?
  • What consumes your thoughts when you have alone time?
  • When people see how you spend money, do they conclude that God is a priceless treasure, exceedingly valuable above all worldly goods?
  • When people observe your relationship with others, are they alerted to the power of Christ’s forgiveness of you that alone accounts for your forgiveness of them?
  • If you are complimented for some accomplishment, does the way you receive it drive onlookers to give thanks to the Lord?
  • Is your use of leisure time or devotion to a hobby or how you speak of your spouse the sort that persuades others that your heart is content with what God is for you in Christ?
  • Does your reaction to bad news produce in you doubt or fear, or does it inspire confidence to trust in God’s providence?

Are you just like a non-Christian?

Over breakfast I was discussing with one of my daughters how as Christians we will never feel truly comfortable until we get to heaven. My simple reasoning is that the Spirit of God within us is so antipathetic to the ways and the spirit of the world that we can never feel at home until we are with our Lord. We talked about some moral issues, made up a few scenarios and we worked through the difference in how a Christian and non-Christian might perceive and then act in each. It was fun, stimulating and helpful for her in living out her Christian faith.

My thinking then went back to Saturdays post and the final question I posed:

Apart from going to church, being involved in church activities

is there any difference between you and the world around you?

On the Church and Culture blog I read of this research.

According to research from Essex University in England, British people have become markedly less honest in the last decade.  Coupled with this decline in morality is a growing acceptance of dishonest behavior.

For example, in 2000 70% said that an extramarital affair was never justified.  Now, barely 50% would agree.  Only 33% feel lying on a job application was wrong.

Here is the test they used:

Rate your attitude to each of the following activities with one point if you think it is never justified; two points if you think it is rarely justified; three if you view it as sometimes justified and four if you think it is always justified. Be honest.

A. Avoiding paying the fare on public transport.

B. Cheating on taxes if you have a chance.

C. Driving faster than the speed limit.

D. Keeping money you found in the street.

E. Lying in your own interests.

F. Not reporting accidental damage you have done to a parked car.

G. Throwing away litter in a public place.

H. Driving under the influence of alcohol.

I. Making up a job application.

J. Buying something you know is stolen.

According to the authors, a score below 10 suggests you are very honest, 11 to 15 means you do not mind bending the rules but are more honest than average, 16 to 20 suggests you are relaxed about the rules and anything more than 21 suggests you do not believe in living by the rules.

I really hope you scored well (low) on the “test.”

1 Peter 2:11,

“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.”

Are you an alien, does the world think you are strange? The scary thing is how few Christians seem to have any real difference in actions to their non-Christian neighbour. We might have some different values – but our deeds convict us. Maybe the problem is not the temptation we face but the lack of real discipleship undergirding our response.

Two things I need

Monday morning here in Siliguri and I have to set my heart and thinking right for the week ahead. Here goes.

There are two things I long for in my life: To abide in Christ and to walk in the fear of the Lord.

I pray and seek for these more than anything else.

I would like more power, a greater anointing, more fruitfulness, and a few other things too.

I need God. To abide in him every moment of every day. To walk in godly fear into the paths of righteousness that he has prepared.

Abide in me, and I in you… If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you…Abide in my love…

The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil…The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…The fear of the LORD prolongs life…The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom