By Lisa Liedenfrost
Here is an example of a king that did it right when faced with danger and fear.
“It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat” (vs 1). The king is told of the precarious situation in verse 2. He gives his reaction, which was fear (who wouldn’t), then his immediate action of going to seek God and getting everyone else to seek Him. “And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah” (vs 3).
Verse 6 Starts his prayer to God. The first part of his prayer is a series of rhetorical questions that is stating Who God is, focusing on His attributes of power and might. “O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?” He then states God’s past actions of faithfulness to them, their connectedness to Him and His promises to them. “Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, ‘If disaster comes upon us- sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine- we will stand before this temple in Your presence and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save'” (vs 7). read more…
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“People change because they make decisions in the details of their life.” Winston Smith
It becomes incumbent on us then, if we are to help people change, to help people recognize those choice points and help them to make godly choices in the future. Windows of Opportunity is a way to do just that.
In the course of their lives people make choices all day every day. The Bible tells us that these choices are based on what the person wants and grounded in who they are at the heart level (Jas. 4:1-3; Luke 6:45). Because what is in our heart determines what we think, do, and say, it is important, if we want to help people change, to help them see that what they are doing is simply the outworking of what is in their heart. This is why the Bible commands us to circumcise our hearts (Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Jer. 4:4). If we want to have new life, we need new hearts. read more…
You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice (Exodus 23:1-2).
I was in a classroom in college, listening to a debate between a local pastor and a profligate philosophy professor. After a particularly exciting exchange between them, the professor finally said, “What makes you so confident in what you are saying about God and the things of God?” The pastor slowly stood up, and in a very quiet and bold voice said, “I’m confident because I know him.” The professor just sat down. He had nothing to say. I was blown away. What an incredible answer! What a great gift. That is exactly what our great God has called us to. To know him, to worship him, to share him and his knowledge with others.
The announcement in Deuteronomy 6, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” is followed quickly by, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (v. 4, 5). What glorious announcement and command! The command tells us what we must do in the light of who it is we are dealing with, but it is also an invitation to relate to the living God. “Come and worship the only God there is!” Or “Hey, there’s one God! And he is inviting us to know him, to love him, to follow him, and to be like him! It doesn’t get any better than this!” read more…
The Scriptures are clear that man has a certain amount of knowledge about God and a kind of knowledge about God which comes from man’s observation of the natural world (Rom. 1:18-20). He also knows the difference between right and wrong because God has written that information on his heart (Rom. 2:15). What this means for counseling is that no matter who comes into my office I know that they know that God exists, that God has standards and, even to a huge extent, what those standards are. I don’t need to prove God’s existence, I can safely assume it. I don’t need to argue about what is sinful and what is not. I can safely presume that it is true. I don’t need to pretend that God does not exist, I can simply assume it and move on in the counseling or evangelism process from there. read more…
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead (Acts 17:30-31)
…”that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.” (Romans 10:9–12)
A week later George made another appointment to visit with Pastor Jones.
“Hi George, Pastor Jones began. “Before we begin today, let’s pray. Father, thank you for George and for what you’re doing in his life. Please glorify yourself as we talk and bless George with new things to live for and to do for your glory. Amen.”
“Amen!” added George.
“Wow, George, it’s been a long time since I’ve heard such a spirited amen. What’s going on with you?”
“Well, after our time together last week, I went home and began reading in the Gospel of John, like you said to do. It was amazing. I learned so many things, I don’t even know where to begin. I guess the main thing I learned is that Jesus isn’t a mean, nasty ogre in the sky. He is a loving and sweet man, with a lot of care and concern for his people. It was amazing to see that he died for his people, that I’m one of his people, and that God raised him from the dead.”
“Wait a minute,” interjected Pastor Jones. “Some of that isn’t in the book of John.” read more…
Pastor Jones was sitting in his office, one Monday morning, trying to get over the previous weekend. Two services in the morning and one in the evening, with guests for lunch really takes it out of a guy. At about half past ten, Pastor Jones’ secretary buzzed him with a message that George wanted to know if he had time to visit. “Thank you,” Pastor Jones said, “send him in.”
“Hi, George, what can I help you with?” Pastor Jones began.
“How much time do you have?” began George. “I really have a problem and I need your help.” read more…
I have other things to write about, but it appears to me that the Lord doesn’t have other things for me to write about. I don’t mind because this is actually a subject that gives me full opportunity and scope to preach the gospel. But be forewarned, this opportunity is actually an opportunity to preach a scandalous gospel. But that is all right also, because that is actually the only kind of gospel there is.
What we need is a prodigal gospel. So what we should do is confront and answer the lie, and then pivot to declare a gospel that overflows the banks of respectability, and then overwhelms and drowns all the sinners who like to live there. And when it drowns them, they come up out of the waters of baptism smelling different.This scandalous gospel has to be declared in a world that loves lies and distortion. A friend just shared with me something apropos from Swift that was in the Wall Street Journal today — “Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect.” The twittermob has been circulating numerous untruths, among them that Steven Sitler is a child rapist. He was actually convicted of one count of Lewd Conduct with a Minor under 16 years of age (Idaho Code 18-1508). He has also been accused of raping and/or molesting his son, which no knowledgeable person is even alleging. If the consensus of the mob gets its way, then some court will try to make Katie Sitler choose between her husband and her son. They don’t even know that this is what they are yelling for — that’s one of the lies. I could go on, but will refrain for the present. There is a time and a place for answering lies with truths, but there is also a time for answering lies with the Truth, the living Truth, the personal Truth. read more…