Archive for the 'Victor’s Articles' Category

I read a devotional recently (see below) and I have found it very helpful.  Too often in our lives we talk to each other about others rather than having the love and courage to talk to the people who may have offended us, who are sinning, or perhaps need encouragement.  Especially if we feel that the other person has wronged us, wouldn’t that be even  more reason to talk to them?

Paul tells us in Galatians,

Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. (Galatians 6:1)

Good points to consider. Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Worry & Stress

Worry and stress seem to be a constant adversary to the people of faith in the age in which we live.  We are concerned about our jobs, paying the bills, our relationships, our children, our churches, our fellowships, our vehicles, and more and more.  There is so much uncertainty in our world, especially in the United States, these days.  How do we fight against worrying like everyone else?

Here are some straightforward words from Francis Chan’s book “Crazy Love” (page 42):

“Worry implies that we don’t quite trust God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 - Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  14 Let all that you do be done in love.

Hey all, you may enjoy reading 1 John today during your devotional time.  I noticed this morning a common phrase of John that will be helpful for our own lives and as we are discipling others – “by this”.  It says a lot of who the children of God are/aren’t as well as gives us some defining characteristics of God.  For example:

1 John 2:3-5 – By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.  4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;  5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:
1 John 3:10 –By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.
1 John 3:16 - We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
1 John 3:18-19 – Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.  19 We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him
1 John 3:24 – The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
1 John 4:1-3 – Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;  3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
1 John 4:9 – By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
1 John 4:13-15 – By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.  14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.  15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
1 John 4:16-17 -  We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.
1 John 5:1-2 - Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.  2 By
this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.

I was struck when I watched this again last night.  Hit a little too close to home I guess.  But isn’t this a sad reality of the (at least much of the American) church?  If what Scripture says is true, the believer is infused with next-age, Christ indwelling, power.  What does that mean the church is capable of doing in service to our God and Lord?  But yet so many remain in their comfort zones, out of fear of being stretched.  This isn’t what we’re called to do brothers and sisters.

Consider the following:

Matthew 28:18-20 – And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

I have read these verses countless times.  I am encouraged by these verses seeing that the one who has been given all authority in heaven and on earth is the one who will be with us even to the end of the age.  This is the one who is saying “Go…”  What an amazing context to the great commission!

This article is helpful and insightful. Has some good wisdom that our blog could gain from.  Here’s a highlight:

Sometimes, lives are wrecked by “Business Traveler Mentality.” This is the belief that “the rules of home don’t apply when I’m on business trips.” People make really horrible decisions on the road they’d never make at home because, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

Often, we Christians suffer from that same line of thinking when we get online. We’ll tweet things we’d never say to someone’s face. We’ll comment on Facebook statuses in ways we’d never do in “real life.” We’ll push buttons and pick fights on comment threads and message boards. We’ll gossip and tear down people as if maybe “Love your neighbor” actually says, “Love your neighbor, except if you’re online.”

We recently finished a series in our fellowship relating to the parable of the sower and bearing fruit.  We spent the last two weeks looking at the works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit which Paul outlines in Galatians 5.  As we finished our time together last night detailing the fruit of the spirit, a brother approached me and asked the following:

I was thinking about my grandmother as we described each of those things.  She exhibits all of those.  And she is an admitted atheist. How does that work!?

Can someone without the holy spirit produce the fruit of the spirit?  A couple quick thoughts:

wherever you are on your journey with the Bible, watch this.

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