Daily Archives: July 19, 2014

Questions about Prayer: What Is the Importance and Value of Group Prayer?

 

Group prayer among Christians is important and rewarding. It has been this way from the beginning of the church. In Acts 3, when the disciples by the power of the Spirit were preaching and thousands were being saved, the church had a plan, and they carried it out in community. “And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42, NASB). Group prayer was important in the early church as something that bound them together as they carried out the Great Commission.

In Acts 4:31 group prayer is noted again, “And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” God gave boldness to the whole group in their witness, in response to their prayer. They needed this power, as they were facing persecution.

In Acts 6:3–4, “But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. But we will devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” Prayer was one of the highest priorities of the church leadership.

The Holy Spirit is always praying in and through us “through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26), and Jesus taught the importance of personal prayer in secret in the inner room (Matthew 6). But group or corporate prayer has a place as well. Group prayer knits believers together and encourages the burdened. When a group of believers pray together, the result is unity, humility, thanksgiving, confession of sin, intercession, and discovery of God’s will.[1]

 

 

[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Marriage: What Are the Biblical Solutions for Solving Marriage Problems?

 

Marriage is the most intimate relationship two human beings can experience, second only to a relationship with God. Marriage brings out the best and the worst in most people, as two separate individuals struggle to live as “one flesh” (Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:8). At the root of most marriage problems is selfishness. When one or both partners choose to live as though his or her needs deserve top consideration, conflict results.

There are specific verses that address behavior of both husbands and wives. Some of those are 1 Peter 3:1–8, Colossians 3:18–19, and Titus 2:3–5. Although not addressing marriage directly, Philippians 2:3–13 is an excellent recipe for resolving marriage problems. This passage tells us to adopt the attitude Christ demonstrated when He set aside His rights and privileges as the Son of God and come to earth as a humble servant. Verses 3 and 4 say, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” When that exhortation is applied to marriage, almost any obstacle can be overcome.

Certainly, seeking counsel from a pastor or Christian marriage counselor is a biblical thing to do (Proverbs 19:20). Getting counseling is an excellent way to clear misconceptions about marriage roles, to see a situation from another viewpoint, and to distinguish between God’s standards and those of the world.

Ephesians 5:21–33 gives specific instructions for both husbands and wives. A husband is to love his wife “as Christ loves the church and gave Himself for her” (verse 25). Such self-sacrificing love creates an atmosphere in which a wife can more easily submit to her husband’s leadership. When a husband is committed to demonstrating love for his wife, and a wife is committed to graciously allowing her husband to lead, the marriage will work.

It is also wise to pay close attention to the verses just before the specific marriage instructions. Verses 18–21 say, “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”

Notice all the commands that precede the marriage instruction. All Christians are to

* refuse to get drunk * be filled with the Spirit * encourage each other * sing hymns and songs of praise * have an attitude of continual worship * live in a spirit of gratitude * submit graciously to each other

We miss vital truth when we skip straight to the marriage instruction without applying the practical guidelines in the preceding verses. When each spouse applies those truths to his or her personal life and strives to make his or her relationship with the Lord the primary focus, marriage problems take a back seat. When two committed Christians purpose to seek God’s heart and follow His will no matter what, there is no problem that they cannot work through.[1]

 

 

[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Relationships: How will I know when I have found the perfect spouse for me?

 

The Bible does not address how to find the “perfect spouse,” nor does it get as specific as we might like on the matter of finding the right marriage partner. The one thing God’s Word does explicitly tell us is to make sure that we do not marry an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:14–15). First Corinthians 7:39 reminds us that, while we are free to marry, we should only marry those who are acceptable to God—in other words, Christians. Beyond this, the Bible is silent about how to know we are marrying the “right” person.

So why doesn’t God spell out for us what we should look for in a mate? Why do we not have more specifics about such an important issue? The truth is that the Bible is so clear on what a Christian is and how we are to act that specifics are not necessary. Christians are supposed to be likeminded about important issues, and if two Christians are committed to their marriage and to obeying Christ, they already possess the necessary ingredients for success. However, because our society is inundated with many professing Christians, it would be wise to use discernment before devoting oneself to the lifelong commitment of marriage. Once a prospective mate’s priorities are identified—if he or she is truly committed to Christ-likeness—then the specifics are easier to identify and deal with.

First, we should make sure that we are ready to marry. We must have enough maturity to look beyond the here and now and be able to commit ourselves to joining with this one person for the rest of our lives. We must also recognize that marriage requires sacrifice and selflessness. Before marrying, a couple should study the roles and duties of a husband and wife (Ephesians 5:22–31; 1 Corinthians 7:1–16; Colossians 3:18–19; Titus 2:1–5; 1 Peter 3:1–7).

A couple should make sure they know each other for a sufficient amount of time before discussing marriage. They should watch how the other person reacts to different situations, how he behaves around his family and friends, and what kind of people she spends time with. A person’s behavior is greatly influenced by those he keeps company with (1 Corinthians 15:33). They should agree on issues such as morality, finances, values, children, church attendance and involvement, relationships with in-laws, and employment. These are areas of potential conflict in marriage and should be carefully considered beforehand.

Finally, any couple considering marriage should first go to premarital counseling with their pastor or another trained Christian counselor. Here they will learn valuable tools for building their marriage on a foundation of faith in Christ, and they will also learn how to deal with inevitable conflicts. After all these criteria have been met, the couple is ready to prayerfully decide if they desire to be joined together in marriage. If we are earnestly seeking the will of God, He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5–6).[1]

 

 

[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

PREACHING CHRIST

Samuel at Gilgal

Charles H. SpurgeonC. H. Spurgeon:

“I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified unless we preach what is nowadays called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the Gospel and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the Gospel… unless we preach the sovereignty of God in his dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah. Nor do I think we can preach the Gospel unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of his elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend the Gospel which allows saints to fall away after they are called.” (“Christ Crucified”)

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I’ll be on Fox News on Sunday to discuss epicenter on fire. Gaza War Update, Day #12. ISIS warns Christians in Iraq: “convert or die.”

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Fox-logo(Washington, D.C.) — On Sunday, I am scheduled to be interviewed by anchor Shannon Bream on the Fox News Channel around 1:35pm eastern.

We will discuss the latest developments in an epicenter on fire, particularly the Israeli war with Hamas in Gaza. Hopefully, we’ll also be able to touch on the carnage in Syria, the ISIS ultimatum to Christians in Iraq of “convert or die,” the Islamist threat to Jordan, and the P5+1 decision to give Iran nuclear negotiations four more months.

Please tune in, if you can. If there are any changes, I’ll let you know via Twitter. Thanks.

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GAZA WAR UPDATES — SATURDAY, DAY #12:

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Ten Simple (But Critical) Questions to Consider in Marriage Counseling

BCC Staff Note: On weekends we like to highlight for you one of our growing list of free resources. This weekend we highlight a resource article by Dr. Jeremy Lelek in which he discusses Ten Simple (But Critical) Questions to Consider in Marriage Counseling. This article originally appeared at the Association of Biblical Counselors’ website. You can read the original resource here.

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Exposition of Jonah Series Table of Content

The Domain for Truth

Note: I’m in a church retreat this weekend and will be delayed in responding.

We have spent several months going through an exposition of the book of Jonah.  Last week we finally finished our ten part series of outlines!  My prayers are that they edify God’s people and evangelize the Lost.

Here’s the table of content to the series:

Part 1: Do you think you can run away from God?

Part 2: Are You running from God and Evangelism?

Part 3: Don’t Just Say You Believe

Part 4: A prayer responding to God’s Grace Part 1

Part 5: A prayer responding to God’s Grace Part 2

Part 6: Did Jonah Repented?

Part 7: Parallel of Jonah and Peter

Part 8: How do you respond to God’s mercy?

Part 9: Compassion in Evangelism

Part 10: Jonah and the Rest of the Bible

Jonah and the Whale Carlo Antonio Tavella

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CARM: Joyce Meyer’s teaching

It is absolutely necessary that we, Christians, use biblical discernment when supporting any preacher and/or teacher of the gospel. It is irrelevant whether or not we like the person, think the person is a good speaker, or if the person says things that are uplifting. Instead, we must be as noble as the Bereans. …

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CultureWatch: Ex-Homosexuals Offering Truth and Hope

There is nothing that the homosexual lobby hates more than the reality of ex-homosexuals. Just as Islam cannot stand anyone who leaves the religion, treating them as apostates worthy of death, and just as any ex-atheists are treated like the plague by other atheists, so too are any former homosexuals.

The militant homosexual activists pour out their greatest hatred, scorn and derision (which they seem to have huge supplies of) on anyone who dares to celebrate his freedom from the dangerous homosexual lifestyle. They absolutely go ballistic when a person bravely and courageously renounces this dead-end lifestyle and moves on to liberty and freedom, wholeness and life.

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God Saves ‘Gays’: 29 Freed from Homosexuality by Jesus Christ Testify in New Film

(CN) — Over two dozen men and women have come forward in a newly-released film to testify that they found hope and freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ.

And Such Were Some of You is produced by Master Life Ministries and Pure Passion Media, led by Dr. David Kyle Foster, who turned from homosexuality 34 years ago through the truth of the gospel. The title of the film is a direct quote from 1 Corinthians 6:11, which follows a passage warning that those who practice sin—such as homosexuals, fornicators and adulterers—will not enter the Kingdom of God. It adds, noting in the past tense, “And such were some of you, but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

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Obama Laughs, Fist Bumps Crossdresser for Saying He Has Sex With Men

AUSTIN, Texas – Barack Obama recently laughed and fist bumped a cashier who moonlights as a crossdresser after he joked with the president that he has sexual relations with men.

The Austin Chronicle reports that Obama visited the Franklin Barbecue on Thursday during his visit to the Lone Star State, a popular restaurant in the city that was backed up with its characteristic long line upon his arrival.

As Obama made his way to the front of the line to pay for his meal, he was met by cashier Daniel Rugg Webb, who also works as a comedian and musician, and at times dresses as a drag queen. Webb lamented to reporters that he had not donned his “sequins” the day that Obama visited the restaurant.

“Equal rights for gay people!” he declared as he emphatically slapped the counter.

“Are you gay?” Obama asked.

“Only when I have sex,” Webb replied.

He tells the Austin Chronicle that Obama then began laughing and offered his fist, saying, “Bump me.”

The two exchanged a fist bump, which was caught on camera by New York Times reporter Doug Mills. The photograph shows both of the men smiling as Obama reaches over the counter to show his support for Webb.

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End Times Prophecy Headlines: July 19-20, 2014