Persecution Post – Pakistan

Persecution Post

Just received an email from a good brother in the Lord about what is now happening in Pakistan…

“But in addition, sadly he told me about the situation in Pakistan. The Muslims have taken to kidnapping Christian girls and forcing them with threat of violence to marry Muslim men and of course convert.
I have preached a couple of times in a little village called ______ , and a small Christian church. One of the elders there had 2 of his daughters kidnapped. This is happening from Karachi up to Lahore and beyond. The Christian girls are very afraid.
Please pray for them, and for the Pakistani police that they would not passively allow this stain on their nation.”
– A.C.

Warfare the Sign of Life

Warfare: The Sign of Life

“I have fought the good fight…”
2 Timothy 4:7

The surest sign of the life of God within His own is the unconquerable will to fight the fight of faith. Life is always the antagonist of death. Faith is the adversary of sin. Victory over sin and iniquity is the result of warfare; warfare of the life of Christ Himself. When a heart ceases to fight it ceases to live.

“Fight the good fight of the faith…”
1 Timothy 6:12

We live in a day where “faith” is presented as a legal declaration of victory (regardless of the life lived) rather than the means by which we attain the victory. Paul was ever encouraging the people of God to remain active in the battle, to be diligent in their walk and to grow in the victory of the faith. The writer of the beauty and the power of all the truths in the Book of Romans also wrote this to Timothy… “fight the good fight of faith”! Compromise and concession are the harbingers of spiritual defeat and death. Life by its very nature opposes death and the scriptures declare that the “wages of sin is death”. The life of Christ within withstands evil in all of its deceptive and destructive forms.

The fight of faith is not won in a moment, nor is the crown easily earned, but we have been given the great gift of faith, the blood of Christ and the grace of God to stand in this evil day! It requires a walk of learning, growth and development in the school of His Spirit.

“Blessed be the Lord my strength,
which teacheth my hands to war,
and my fingers to fight…”
Psalm 144:1

Faint not at the battles which assail you; do not lose heart in the intensity of the conflict for we have this promise from God:

“But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you,
and keep you from evil”
2 Thessalonians 3:3

Ω

“The Christian life, then, is a battle,
so sharp and full of danger
that effort can nowhere be relaxed without loss”
Huldrych Zwingli

Brian Troxel

Persecution Post – Peru

Persecution Post

“Wuillie Marcelino Ruiz, an attorney and an evangelical Christian, was wrongly accused of and sentenced to twenty years at the maximum-security Castro prison in Lima, Peru for the crime of “terrorist collaboration” by a special faceless court. Growing up in a close-knit family, his mother’s death during the first year of his imprisonment was a cruel blow for him.

During a visit by an Open Doors team, Wuillie said, “Not everything inside the prison is sadness. Many of our fellow inmates are receiving Jesus Christ as the deliverer of their souls… God is touching the hearts of the authorities in Peru; here in the prison we are not treated so harshly anymore. As the scriptures tell us, we are not confined because the truth makes us free.”

Jesus is the Truth. Truth is on your side. Truth will win over the enemy’s lies. Fill your heart with truth and stand by it. Put on the belt of truth!”

Standing Strong in the Storm

The Strait Gate and The Narrow Way

THE STRAIT GATE & THE NARROW WAY

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
MATTHEW 7:14

Without context, the focus of most Christians becomes the gate. The message presented in many places today is one of being “born again” with little thought of entering the Kingdom of God. Religion likes things simple and easy and the English language plays into this concept very well. However, in the Greek language, there is a whole different thought to what Jesus is saying to us.

“Because strait is the gate, and narrowing (compressing) is the way,
which is leading unto the life, and few there be that are finding it.”
Literal Greek Translation

The Greek tense used here is the Participle mood, best translated here with an “ing” suffixed to the basic verb form. This communicates to us a progressive walk and an on-going sense of growth and development. The narrowing or compressing of the way is the daily experience of all who would find the resurrection Life of Jesus. The leading speaks of following Him with the discovery that death to the outward man is the path to experiencing His life within. Discipleship is the life of the narrowing way, and few there are who choose this path.

Seeing vs. Entering

We hear much of the scripture:

“Except a man be born again,
he cannot SEE the kingdom of God”
JOHN 3:4

However, Jesus goes on in his discourse to Nicodemus:

“Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
he cannot ENTER INTO the kingdom of God”
JOHN 3:5

While many of God’s children are content with seeing the Kingdom, there is a cry within the heart of God that some enter into the Kingdom. There is a pursuit  and a cost involved with this entrance. The narrowing and confinement of the path must be walked in the reality of our hearts. We discover that this way is neither popular nor easy. It is the way of the Cross. It is found in the following of Him, not in the structured ways of men. It leads us into the wilderness where we discover that He came not only to forgive us but to save us from our sins and self-will. Of necessity we must be born not only of water (the cleansing aspect of His life) but also of the Spirit (the empowering aspect of His life) where we find enablement to overcome the issues that bind us. This birthing of the Spirit is also accompanied by the fire of His life to purge the dross and the impurities from our hearts. It is a purifying that no amount of washing will ever accomplish.

The strait gate is the introduction to the Narrow Way. The Gate is not an end in itself as many suppose. It is merely the beginning ever leading us farther on the Narrowing Way wherein we discover the “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of our God.

“We want to reach the kingdom of God,
but we don’t want to travel by way of death.
And yet there stands Necessity saying: ‘This way, please.’
Do not hesitate, man, to go this way,
when this is the way that God came to you.”
AUGUSTINE

It is the broad and easy road which leads to destruction. A crossless walk is the way of the broad and easy way, its end is judgment and misery.

“…for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction,
and many are the ones entering in through it”
Matthew 7:13

Ω

“If you here stop and ask yourselves why you are not as pious as the early Christians were, your own heart will tell you that it is neither through ignorance nor through inability, but purely because you never thoroughly intended it.”
William Law

Brian Troxel

A Word in Season – FB Meyer

Quote for Today

“Creation reveals God’s nature, as the picture the artist. His eternal Power and Godhead are visible in His works. See Rom 1:20. And all things and beings were made through Jesus Christ. Consider Col 1:15-16. The hands of the Son of God wove the blue curtains above us and filled them with luminaries. The seas are His and He made them, and filled them with living creatures. The woodlands are the outcome of His mind, and He filled them with flowers and birds. He taught them to live without care. He filled the tiny heart of the mother-bird with love to her young and blessed her. His are the cattle on a thousand hills. He molded the red earth into His own likeness and made Man. We were made to have dominion. See Psa 8:6-8. Ask Him to put all things, especially all the evil things of your heart, under your feet. The world is good, and if you were good, you would find it so”
– F.B. Meyer

Meditative Moment

Meditative Moment

The reward of discipleship

“And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables” (Mark 4:11)

“Salvation is free
But Discipleship will cost you
your life”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Persecution Post

Persecution Post

“Sister Pasqualita spoke at the “Mexico, I Love You” Congress. She had suffered severe ostracism in her small town in the very southern part of Mexico because she had become an evangelical. Other Christians had already been forcibly driven from the town.

One night a group of her persecutors surrounded her grass-roofed home setting it on fire. As she opened the door, someone fired a gun at her. A co-worker shares her story in his own words:

“When she was sharing her testimony she was crying. She said, ‘I thank the Lord that only twenty-one ammunition bits touched me.’ She had been shot all over her body and even in the neck. She was still able to run and fell into a hole where her persecutors couldn’t see her in the dark. She was losing blood quickly but some other townsfolk who appreciated her testimony somehow took her out through the mob to another nearby town’s clinic. She survived but three other family members in the house were murdered.

“She complained to the Lord saying, ‘Lord, why now that I’ve given you my life and my family am I suffering this way?’ The Lord reminded her of a song that she used to sing very often, ‘I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back.’

“She continued, ‘Then I understood that when I decided to follow Jesus, it was in the midst of any situation, any persecution. My life now belonged to Him. I gained strength in that song. I am preaching again and I am encouraging the rest of the believers that when we decide to follow Jesus there is no turning back.’”

Today Pasqualita continues to be a strong Christian leader and teacher in her community and she still loves to sing, “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back.”

Standing Strong in the Storm