Prayer Matters!

“Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the Kingdom. If you may have everything by asking in His Name, and nothing without asking, I beg you to see how absolutely vital prayer is.”

C. H. Spurgeon

The scope of prayer
Through prayer there is no problem that can’t be solved,
no sickness that can’t be healed, no burden that can’t be lifted,
no storm that can’t be weathered,
no devastation that can’t be relieved,
no sorrow that can’t be erased,
no poverty cycle that can’t be broken,
no sinner that can’t be saved,
no perishing that can’t be rescued,
no fallen that can’t be lifted,
no hurt that can’t be removed,
no broken relationship that can’t be mended,
no difference that can’t be resolved,
no hindrance that can’t be shaken,
no limitation that can’t be overcome,
no mourning that can’t be comforted,
no ashes that can’t be that can’t become beauty,
no heaviness that can’t be covered with the garment of praise,
no thirst that can’t be quenched, no hunger that can’t be filled,
no dry ground that can’t be flooded,
no desert that can’t blossom,
no congregation that can’t be revived,
no preacher that can’t be anointed,
no church pews that can’t be filled,
no church leadership team that can’t become ‘one,’
no community that can’t be Christianised and
no nation that can’t be transformed.

Question of the week?-Derek Wadsworth

Still having fun after all these posts?  I am……So I would love to hear from you.

What is on your mind in regards to your faith?  Faith Traditions you grew up with? What you believe today?

Once I receive your responses- I will compile them and share some of our findings each week.

Stay Strong and Share the Truth of Christ!!!

Derek

 

 

 

Halloween-More than candy?

Tradition

Halloween is one of many modern observances that we have inherited from our fathers, yet is not rooted in scripture. For me, the fact that it is not rooted in scripture is all the evidence I need to not observe it. But I do recognize the value in looking at the history of the ‘unholi-day’ and seeing if it is rooted in idolatry.

A little History

According to various Encylopedia’s, the origins of this holiday are of demonic origin. Listed below are some quotes.

Encyclopedia.com’s Electric Library:

Halloween Pronounced As: halwn, häl- , Oct. 31, the eve of All Saints’ Day, observed with traditional games and customs. The word comes from medieval England’s All Hallows’ eve (Old Eng. hallow=”saint). However, many of these customs predate Christianity, going back instead to Celtic practices associated with Nov. 1-the beginning of winter and the Celtic new year. Witches and other evil spirits were believed to roam the earth on this evening, playing tricks on human beings to mark the season of diminishing sunlight. Bonfires were lit, offerings were made of dainty foods and sweets, and people would disguise themselves as one of the roaming spirits, to avoid demonic persecution. Survivals of these early practices can be found in countries of Celtic influence today, such as the United States where children go from door to door in scary costumes demanding “trick or treat.

Encyclopedia Britannica:

Halloween, also called All Hallows’ Eve  or All Hallows’ Evening, a holy or hallowed evening observed on October 31, the eve of All Saints’ Day. In modern times, it is the occasion for pranks and for children requesting treats or threatening tricks. In ancient Britain and Ireland, the Celtic festival of Samhain eve was observed on October 31, at the end of summer. This date was also the eve of the new year in both Celtic and Anglo-Saxon times and was the occasion for one of the ancient fire festivals when huge bonfires were set on hilltops to frighten away evil spirits. The date was connected with the return of herds from pasture, and laws and land tenures were renewed. The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival acquired sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies, and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature. In addition, Halloween was thought to be the most favorable time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and death. It was the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes.

Encarta Encyclopedia:

Origins, Halloween: Many of the ancient peoples of Europe marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter by celebrating a holiday in late autumn. The most important of these holidays to influence later Halloween customs was Samhain, a holiday observed by the ancient Celts, a tribal people who inhabited most of Western and Central Europe in the first millennium BC. Among the Celts, Samhain marked the end of one year and the beginning of the next. It was one of four Celtic holidays linked to important transitions in the annual cycle of seasons.
Samhain began at sundown on October 31 and extended into the following day. According to the Celtic pagan religion, known as Druidism, the spirits of those who had died in the preceding year roamed the earth on Samhain evening. The Celts sought to ward off these spirits with offerings of food and drink. The Celts also built bonfires at sacred hilltop sites and performed rituals, often involving human and animal sacrifices, to honor Druid deities.

Does this sound like something we ought to be imitating? Do we really want our children dressing up like witches and demons roaming about the streets and demanding offerings from human beings? And worse yet, threaten to bring some unwanted harm on the person if they refuse to give the child (imitating demons) an offering in the form of a treat? The obvious answer to the above questions for any believer in Yahweh is no!

What does Scripture say?

Let’s look at what scripture says about witches:

Exodus 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

Deuteronomy 18:10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto Yahweh: and because of these abominations Yahweh thy Elohim doth drive them out from before thee.

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of Elohim.

So are our we and our children supposed to imitate witches and demonic practices or are we supposed to imitate Yahushua the Messiah?

We read later that Christians took the observance and “Christianized” it. Continuing the MS Encarta Encyclopedia article above:

Origins, Halloween: By the end of the 1st century AD, the Roman Empire had conquered most of the Celtic lands (see Rome, History of). In the process of incorporating the Celts into their empire, the Romans adapted and absorbed some Celtic traditions as part of their own pagan and Catholic religious observances. In Britain, Romans blended local Samhain customs with their own pagan harvest festival honoring Pomona, goddess of fruit trees. Some scholars have suggested that the game of bobbing for apples derives from this Roman association of the holiday with fruit.
Pure Celtic influences lingered longer on the western fringes of Europe, especially in areas that were never brought firmly under Roman control, such as Ireland, Scotland, and the Brittany region of northwestern France. In these areas, Samhain was abandoned only when the local people converted to Christianity during the early Middle Ages, a period that lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. The Roman Catholic Church often incorporated modified versions of older religious traditions in order to win converts. For example, Pope Gregory IV sought to replace Samhain with All Saints’ Day in 835. All Souls’ Day, closer in spirit to Samhain and modern Halloween, was first instituted at a French monastery in 998 and quickly spread throughout Europe. Folk observances linked to these Christian holidays, including Halloween, thus preserved many of the ancient Celtic customs associated with Samhain.

So we see that the roots of this festival are found to be in demonic idolatry. Some Christians tried to “Christianize” it to appease the idolaters, but who really converted who in this situation? It seems to me that it was the idolaters that converted the Christians! Believers are supposed to set the standard, not imitate the world and have a “Christian” version of everything like we see is so common today. In an age where there are Christian rock stars, Christian comedians and even Christian magicians, is it any surprise that the Fathers of mainstream Christianity did such a thing?

Does it Matter?

Does Yahweh say that it is alright to observe the pagan festivals as long as we are honoring Him? Notice carefully what he said to the Israelites before they entered the promised land;

Deuteronomy 12:29 (KJV) When Yahweh thy Elohim shall cut off the nations from before thee, where thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; 30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they are destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. 31 Thou shalt not do so to Yahweh thy Elohim: for every abomination to Yahweh, which he hateth, have they done to their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. 32 Whatever thing I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add to it, nor diminish from it.

What we are really looking at here is Satanism’s influence today:

“After one’s own birthday, the two major Satanic holidays are Walpurgisnacht (May 1st) and Halloween (or All Hallow’s Eve).” The Satanic Bible by Anton Levey page 96, section on Religious Holidays.

But Scripture says:

1 Corinthians 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of Yahweh, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of Yahweh’s table, and of the table of devils.

Let’s stop the mixing of cups and the partaking of two tables. Let’s instead turn unto Yahweh. Clearly, very clearly, it does matter!

What are they Teaching? What are you Learning?-Derek Wadsworth

 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
(Jude 1:3 ESV)

As I sit and reflect on my total being I question: ” Do I love Jesus Christ with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength?”  What does that even mean? Is it a balance of good choices vs bad choices?

Did I choose God or did God choose me?  How can the groups I journey with know for sure….Both have Bible verses and paradigms they filter through.

Philippians tells us “to work our salvation out with fear and trembling.”  I do know it’s NOT about works but we do play a responsive part.

The sense in which we are to work out our salvation in fear and trembling is
twofold.

First, the Greek verb rendered “work out” means “to continually work to
bring something to completion or fruition.” We do this by actively pursuing
obedience in the process of sanctification, which Paul explains further in the
next chapter of Philippians. He describes himself as “straining” and “pressing
on” toward the goal of Christlikeness (Philippians
3:13-14
).

The “trembling” he experiences seems to be an attitude Christians are to
have in pursuing this goal—a healthy fear of offending God through disobedience
and an awe and respect for His majesty and holiness. “Trembling” can also refer
to a shaking due to weakness, but this is a weakness of higher purpose, one
which brings us to a state of dependency on God.

Obedience and submission to the
God we revere and respect is our “reasonable service” (Romans 12:1-2) and brings great joy. Psalm
2:11
sums it up perfectly: “Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with
trembling.” We work out our salvation by going to the very source of our
salvation—the Word of God—wherein we renew our hearts and minds (Romans 12:1-2), coming
into His presence with a spirit of reverence and awe.

I am no closer to any answers but I will press on toward Jesus Christ my Lord!

The Days I Need the Gospel Least and more… -Tim Challies

The Days I Need the Gospel Least and more.

Preach the gospel to yourself! Preach the gospel to yourself every day! I think we are all growing accustomed to being told that Christians need to center their lives upon the gospel and that one of the keys to doing this is to be continually reminded of what is true by preaching the gospel to ourselves every day. I’ve been hearing this for years now and to varying degrees have been practicing it. However, just last week I had a bit of a breakthrough in my thinking about it. (Though this is a breakthrough for me, it is may well be one of those things you have understood for years.)

I have always understood that when I have sinned there is value in preaching the gospel to myself. When I sin I am prone to wallow in feelings of guilt and despair, as if negative feelings are in some way redemptive or as if they accomplish something. How could I fall into this sin again? Would a real Christian ever do something like this? In those moments I can summon the truth of the gospel to reassure myself that because of what Christ has done I am not condemned and cannot be condemned. In those moments I simply recount the gospel—that I am a sinner, that Christ died to take away the guilt of my sin and to give me his righteousness, that Christ has defeated sin and death, that I am a new creation, that my sin is no longer counted against me. There is freedom in apprehending and applying the gospel as a response to my sin.

What I haven’t understood to the same degree is the value of preemptively preaching the gospel to myself. I have heard many people say that there is value in preaching the gospel to myself every day, whether or not I find myself carrying the guilt and shame of sin. I’ve always thought of preaching the gospel to myself as a reactive thing, but Jerry Bridges has helped me to see it as proactive. Here’s why: The gospel does not merely correct bad thinking in the past and present, but also prevents bad thinking in the future. The gospel does not just speak to forgiveness of sins, but convicts me of the value of avoiding sin and reminds me that I now have the power to overcome it.

As I’ve read The Discipline of Grace Bridges has called me to see that I can only love God if I believe that God loves me first. “We cannot love God if we think we are under His judgment and condemnation.” Of course this is why I must be continually preaching the gospel to myself. I cannot truly and freely love God as long as I remain unconvinced of his love for me. For me to love him, I must believe that I am uncondemned and that I relate to him by grace instead of by law. “The extent to which we realize and acknowledge our own sinfulness, and the extent to which we realize the total forgiveness and cleansing from those sins, will determine the measure of our love to God.”

 

This makes the gospel the antidote to the works-righteousness that is always so close at hand, the works-righteousness that tells me that if I just do the right things and avoid the wrong things, I will be acceptable and accepted in God’s eyes. However, when I preach the gospel to myself every morning, I recall to my mind and my heart that I am loved by God, that he relates to me as a father relates to a son, that I am saved by his grace rather than by adherence to any law. This then generates the love that I need to feel and long to to feel and the love that will work itself out in action.

Preaching the gospel to myself reminds me that I am loved and on that basis allows me to love in return. But there is more. Preaching the gospel to myself in a proactive way also generates humility. The gospel reminds me who I am, it reminds me that I am responsible for the death of the Son of God, and it reminds me that I am the recipient of an infinite measure of grace. This must then generate humility. How could I hear such news, how could I see the Son of God slain for me, and respond with anything but humility?

The breakthrough in my thinking is that the gospel has great power when preached proactively. As it reminds me of God’s favor toward me, it gives me the power to live this day overwhelmed by love and grace. As it reminds me of his favor, it generates the humility that allows me to live humbly before both God and man. The days I am convinced that I need the gospel least are undoubtedly the days I need it most