“The principal danger of the 20th Century will be a religion without the Holy Spirit, Christians without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and a heaven without a hell.”
General William Booth
I read this quote from John MacArthur here. I started agreeing and then realised how far apart we are in diagnosing, and thus finding a solution. I have no problem agreeing with a lack of discernment and the shallowness of spiritual maturity in general. People do not know the Scriptures, they do not pray, they do not study. But then I know people need to experience and encounter God – they need the supernatural today. All through the Bible the story is of men and women, great and small, who have their lives transformed by meeting with the Living God rather than the dead gods of the surrounding nations. They do not need a set of assertions about God they need to know God and understand him. Spirit and word.
One more factor in the abysmal lack of discernment today is a growing deterioration of the overall level of spiritual maturity in the church. As knowledge of God’s truth ebbs, people follow popular views. They seek feelings and experiences. They hunger for miracles, healings, and spectacular wonders. They grope for easy and instant solutions to the routine trials of life. They turn quickly from the plain truth of God’s Word to embrace doctrines fit only for the credulous and naive. They chase personal comfort and success. The brand of Christianity prevalent in this generation may be shallower than at any other time in history.
– John MacArthur
CJ Mahaney in a recent post said this:
I try to read a lot but unfortunately I forget a lot, too. (Did I mention how discouraging this is?) But over the years I have read many unforgettable sentences and paragraphs that have made a lasting impact on my thinking and on my ministry.
Is reading worth the time investment when so much is forgotten? John Piper says yes.
In a message long ago (July 12, 1981) he said this:
What I have learned from about twenty-years of serious reading is this: It is sentences that change my life, not books. What changes my life is some new glimpse of truth, some powerful challenge, some resolution to a long-standing dilemma, and these usually come concentrated in a sentence or two. I do not remember 99% of what I read, but if the 1% of each book or article I do remember is a life-changing insight, then I don’t begrudge the 99%.
Read, but not to remember everything. Read because that 1% that you remember has to potential to change your life.
I love Christian hope. I know the world thinks of being hopeful as a form of wishful thinking, but Christian hope (Gk. elpis) has substance and certainty to it. I was preparing for a study on 1 Timothy 1 where in verse 1 Paul says,
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
One of the commentators I read quoted Donald Guthrie as saying of Christian hope in this context,
“The word ‘hope’ used in a Christian sense conveys an element of absolute certainty; an element usually lacking in the modern usage of the word”.
My old mentor, Bob Gordon, said that faith is for the present and hope is for the future. Combined with love what an incredible trinity we have guiding us forward towards heaven.
In the work of teaching and training people one of my greatest joys in when a student gets the idea and runs with it for them self. Jeevan Kumar was with us in Kodaikanal and then for six months in Siliguri. Now he preaches and teaches at churches in his home state of Andhra Pradesh as well as running teaching schools for a week or two at a time often using material he was taught whilst with us. The first photo is of him graduating top of his class after training here in Siliguri, the remaining pictures below are of one of his most recent efforts – sorry about the quality they were taken using the camera on a mobile phone.
Please pray for Jeevan, India needs men of God like him.
I read this piece about Conversation Etiquette Mistakes here
In summary the list is below. I wonder how many you come across each day, and, if you actually consider it poor etiquette?
No.10 – Changing the topic to suit your own interests
No.9 – Checking your phone
No.8 – Not knowing your audience
No.7 – One-upmanship
No.6 – Talking from your seat
No.5 – Cursing
No.4 – Looking over their shoulder
No.3 – Not introducing the participants
No.2 – Monopolizing the conversation
No.1 – Interrupting