U.S. and others shun refugees
U.S. and others shun refugees
U.S. and others shun refugees
Book of John – A Different Life, Jesus saw this from a Kingdom perspective, we should too. Holy Spirit break down the barriers of my heart and I Give you my whole heart to invade. Live extravagantly in me!!!
Chapter 1: a different FLESH, Word became the word
Chapter 2: a different TEMPLE, now in human form
Chapter 3: a different BIRTH, born again of spirit
Chapter 4: a different WELL, Drink of Me
Chapter 5: a different SABBATH, Lord of the Sabbath
Chapter 6: a different WATER, WALK ON IT
Chapter 7: a different HEART, living water flowing from it
Chapter 8: a different SIN, that can be forgiven “Go and sin no more”
Chapter 9: a different HEALING , Motivated by Love and compassion
Chapter 10: a different SHEPERD, Guide, Guard and govern me
Chapter 11: a different DEATH, Resurrection and life
Chapter 12: a different WORLD, One that can see the light
Chapter 13: a different COMMANDMENT, Of Love
Chapter 14: a different HELPER Comforter, come along side
Chapter 15: a different Vine and Vineyard
Chapter 16: a different SORROW turned to JOY
Chapter 17: a different ABIDING, I in them, You in me, “I AM” in them
Chapter 18: a different KINGDOM, Not of this world
Chapter 19: a different CROSS, Not of Shame But of LOVE
Chapter 20: a different GRAVE, Empty
Chapter 21: a different LOVE, Feed, Tend and Nurture my sheep
By Arthur Brown
Much of my career has involved working with young people participating in ‘risky behaviour’. This included drug use, gang membership, reckless riding of stolen motorbikes, etc. As a youth worker my role was to understand what motivated them and hopefully seek ways of reducing the risk of serious harm.
Jesus’ teaching to love your enemy continues to confound the majority of humanity – even those who claim to follow Jesus. Throughout history, societies and nations generally depersonalise the enemy, categorizing them as ‘other’, whereby ‘other’ represents all things evil and in opposition to their own values and identities. It is easy to do this with ISIS, given their barbaric activities.
However, what happens when we realise that the enemy is increasingly coming from within? When the enemy is made up of individuals with names, with families, with tragic histories and experiences that some of us might actually…
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Question: “What does it mean to ‘count the cost’ (Luke 14:28)?”
Answer: In Luke 14, Jesus lays out the terms of discipleship. There were great crowds following Him. Everyone loved the miracles, healing, and free food. Jesus was cool, the talk of the town, and the latest fad. But He knew their hearts. He knew they desired the benefits of what He did rather than an understanding of who He was. They loved His gifts, not the life He was calling them to. So He explained what it takes to be one of His followers:
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26-33).
Jesus said a lot in those simple illustrations. He quickly put an end to the idea that He offered some kind of welfare program. Although the gift of eternal life is free to anyone who asks (John 3:16), the asking requires a transfer of ownership (Luke 9:23; Galatians 5:24). “Counting the cost” means recognizing and agreeing to some terms first. In following Christ, we cannot simply follow our own inclinations. We cannot follow Him and the world’s way at the same time (Matthew 7:13-14). Following Him may mean we lose relationships, dreams, material things, or even our lives.
Those who are following Jesus simply for what they can get won’t stick around when the going gets tough. When God’s way conflicts with our way, we will feel betrayed by the shallow, me-first faith we have bought into. If we have not counted the cost of being His child, we will turn away at the threat of sacrifice and find something else to gratify our selfish desires (cf. Mark 4:5, 16-17). In Jesus’ earthly ministry, there came a time when the free food stopped and public opinion turned ugly. The cheering crowds became jeering crowds. And Jesus knew ahead of time that would happen.
Jesus ended His description of the cost of discipleship with a breathtaking statement: “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). “Renouncing” may mean we give up something physically, but more often it means we let go emotionally so that what we possess no longer possesses us. When we become one of His, we cannot continue to belong to this world (1 John 2:15-17). We must make a choice, for we cannot serve both God and Mammon (Matthew 6:24). The rich young ruler, when confronted with that choice, turned his back on Jesus (Luke 18:18-25).
Suppose you learned that you had been given an all-expense-paid condo on a beach in Tahiti, complete with airfare, a car, food, and a maid. You could brag about your new lifestyle, plan for it, and dream about it. But until you pack up and leave your current home, the new life is never really yours. You cannot live in Tahiti and your current hometown at the same time. Many people approach Christianity the same way. They love the idea of eternal life, escaping hell, and having Jesus at their beck and call. But they are not willing to leave the life they now live. Their desires, lifestyle, and sinful habits are too precious to them. Their lives may exhibit a token change—starting to attend church or giving up a major sin—but they want to retain ownership of everything else. Jesus is speaking in Luke 14 to those with that mindset.
We cannot earn salvation by lifestyle change or any other good deed (Ephesians 2:8-9). But when we choose to follow Christ, we are releasing control of our lives. When Jesus is in control, pure living results (1 John 3:4-10; 2 Corinthians 5:17). In Jesus’ parable of the sower, it was only the soil that allowed the seed to put down roots and bear fruit that was called “good.” If we are going to be disciples of Christ, we must first count the cost of following Him.
Interesting read. I think that it is time for the new missionaries to arise and start a fire that will blaze a trail to ends of the earth.
The modern missionary movement didn’t start with a bang. The great missionary to India William Carey may be dubbed its father, but he was himself a child, a product, of missionaries of the previous century, men like David Brainerd and John Eliot. But the moniker fits, because Carey did leave a massive legacy. In the ensuing decades, thousands of Protestant missionaries were sent to field around the world.
Similarly, if the modern missionary movement is going to die, it is unlikely to do so by gunshot. No one will lay an axe to the root of the tree. Instead, we will one day discover the leaves have browned and the branches are brittle from drought. I think there is good evidence that the modern missionary movement is in fact coming to a close, and I’ll try to show you some dry leaves.
What would it even look like if the modern…
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Aleppo | An ISIS jihadist has recently converted to Christianity after being left for dead near the Eastern border of Syria where he was finally rescued by Christian missionaries from the region, reports the Aleppo Herald this morning.
The man, that has miraculously survived multiple gun shot wounds after an altercation between ISIS and Syrian Army forces, was rescued by members of the Saint Dominican Catholic Presbytery of Ayyash hours after the conflict had erupted.
The members of the Christian organization wanted to give the man a proper Christian burial and carried him over 26 kilometers before the man miraculously came back to life as he was believed to have died from his wounds.
As the man came back to his senses, he reported to priest Hermann Groschlin of the visions he had whilst in the afterlife, an event that profoundly changed the 32-year old jihadist and eventually led to his conversion to Christianity days later.
“He told me that he was always taught that to die as a martyr would open him the Gates of Jannah, or Gates of Heaven” recalled the priest. “Yet, as he had started to ascend towards the light of the Heavens, devilish entities, or Jinns he called them, appeared and led him to the fiery pits of Hell. There he had to relive all the pain he had inflicted upon others and every death he had caused throughout his entire life. He even had to relive the decapitations of his victims through their own eyes”, images the jihadist claims will haunt him for the rest of his life, admits the priest.
The young man claims he was brought back to life moments later and eventually converted to Christianity days later, believing he had been misled throughout his religious life under the worship of Allah.
The young man, who’s wounds have surprisingly healed in a very short time, has chosen to live amongst the members of the Catholic presbytery who rescued him from the desert and hopes his story will help other ISIS fighters change their ways and convert to the one and only true God, the priest told local reporters.
This is for Christians. I say this again, this is for Christians. If you are not a Christian, this might sound crazy, but I do want to challenge you that you might find some reason from these thoughts.
Surely most of us are highly concerned about radical Islam, especially since 911, the Boston bombing, the London attacks, and now the attacks in France. Let’s not forgot that most of the western news coverage is focused on western societies and that most of the atrocities in this world go unnoticed. This week a Muslim radical group killed around 2,000 people in Nigeria in one attack. 2,000! Did you even hear about it? Whole non-Muslim villages are being wiped out in Iraq and in Syria. More Christians are being murdered for their faith than any time in human history. And it’s not just from Muslims. It’s estimated 70k Christians are in labor…
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