Who is Your King?

Golden royal crown

“Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” – 1 Samuel 8:19-20

In 1 Samuel 8, we see the people of Israel approaching Samuel to ask God for a king. This doesn’t seem like a big deal. All the other nations had kings, Israel was under constant attack, and Samuel’s sons had become corrupt judges who did not walk in the ways of the Lord. Someone looking at the situation from the outside could see how their plea for a king was warranted. The only problem was that they already had a King: God. In verse 7, the Lord says, “for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.” The people failed to recognize that God was their King, that he was sufficient, that he was their security, their protection, their justice, and their peace. Israel looked to the outside world and saw that other nations gleaned their confidence and security from a king, and therefore Israel sought to become like the outside world. Despite Samuel’s warning (1 Samuel 8:10-18) of impending oppression from the very king they sought, the people still insisted.

Who is your king? Who reigns over your life? Where do you turn when you feel threatened? What do you look to when injustices seem to be happening all around you? Who or what do you put confidence in when the difficulties of life become too much? Do you look to God as your conquering King or do you look to the world around you? It’s easy to become like the Israelites. It’s easy to look at the world around us and reason that we should find our comfort and security in the same way. We look to money, possessions, relationships, education and success to provide us with the security that can only be found in the King who already reigns over us. We try to replace God as king of our lives. We even boldly ask Him, as the Israelites did, to provide us with these God-replacements. We ask God to provide us with the amount of money that would make us comfortable or with the relationship that would make us feel loved. We ask Him to put into power the political leader who makes us feel the most at ease. We ask Him for the things we think we need to provide us with the sense of security we are looking for instead of resting in the sufficiency of His grace, His love, His wisdom, His presence.

Who is your king?

As we face the uncertainty of the future, let our confidence be in the one and only true King.

Written by Jim Lang: Jim is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 108; Proverbs 16

Daily Quote: If you’re alive, there’s a purpose for your life. Rick Warren

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36 As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

~Romans 8:35-37

The Reckless, Raging, Impatience of G_d

Hand reaching for the cloud in the sky

First, if we continue to picture God as a small-minded bookkeeper, a niggling customs officer rifling through our moral suitcase, as a policeman with a club who is going to bat us over the head every time we stumble and fall, or as a whimsical, capricious, and cantankerous thief who delights in raining on our parade and stealing our joy, we flatly deny what John writes in his first letter (4:16)—‘God is love.’ In human beings, love is a quality, a high-prized virtue; in God, love is His identity. Secondly, if we continue to view ourselves as moral lepers and spiritual failures, if our lives are shadowed by low self-esteem, shame, remorse, unhealthy guilt, and self-hatred, we reject the teaching of Jesus and cling to our negative self-image. ~Brennan Manning, The Furious Longing of God

The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;

you shall never again fear evil.

“Fear not, O Zion;

On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:

let not your hands grow weak.

He will rejoice over you with gladness;

The Lord your God is in your midst,

a Mighty One Who will save;

He will quiet you by His love;

so that you will no longer suffer reproach.

He will exult over you with loud singing.

I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival,

Behold, at that time I will deal

and renown in all the earth.

with all your oppressors.

And I will save the lame and gather the outcast,

and I will change their shame into praise

At that time I will bring you in,

before your eyes,” says the Lord.

at the time when I gather you together;

for I will make you renowned and praised

among all the peoples of the earth,

when I restore your fortunes

before your eyes,”

says the Lord.

~ from Zephaniah 3

Oh beloved, it is true. And we cannot even begin to comprehend it. Any way we try to grab ahold of this is to fall off into some sort of downgrading of G_d, or a false uplifting of ourselves. But, for us to not begin to see it, is to miss the very heart of our King.

G_d is Reckless.

Oh, you may very well say: “How dare you! G_d is perfect. He is infinitely patient. He is utterly holy. How could you use such a messy – and fallen – word in describing the Almighty!” And… you would be right. Perhaps it is the foolishness of a writer like this one, who has come to the end of his theological rope, to say that G_d is reckless, and impatient.

Or, is it really all of us who get it wrong?

The infinitely Perfect One who has bought us with His blood, has an agenda. He is about the work of making us like Himself. And this process, in the normal human being, is terrible. It involves the actual killing of a man that he might come alive as a wholly new creation.

And then, He doesn’t even slow down. He goes about crushing down all the old defenses our flesh had against Him. He rips our lives to shreds. He disorients us as He sets us on the paths of Life in Him. And to make things even more difficult, we find that our old ways become miserable if we even think about going back to them.

He seems to be in a terrible hurry.

He is.

G_d knows the end our lives from the beginning. He fully understands that our tiny little temporal existence is but a few clicks of a clock. We really do sprout up like late spring grass, only to be burned up in the wildfires of a hot summer. And so, this One who inhabits eternity has quite a clear picture of what needs to be done before our process of sanctification is complete.

But there is more.

Can we see it? G_d is in Love with you. He is absolutely delighted at the prospect of having you Home with Him one day. He is exultant over the prospect of sharing His Life with you forever. He is – quite actually – more excited about Heaven, and you being in it, than you are. And, as True Love does, it breaks down any barriers to that Love being consummated!

So, are you looking forward to exploring His Life and Love and Heart in the Kingdom? This fool of a writer is. But, only recently have i come to realize that my desires for Him are NOTHING in comparison to the furious longing He has for each of us. Tonight is your night beloved. Time to see Him for who He is.

Makala_FF 2016Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 107; Proverbs 15

Daily Quote: The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand-new creation. Not to make people with better morals but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in ever greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies, and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love. This, my friend, is what it really means to be a Christian. ~Brennan Manning, The Furious Longing of God

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36 As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

~Romans 8:35-37

You Were Created for so Much More!

African American man reading.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

The book of Romans packs a plethora of wisdom and discernment that clarifies many doctrines. I realized that it’s a concise version of the Bible and it is not for the faint hearted. I studied chapter-by-chapter, verse by verse and was blessed beyond measure of the revelation that God gave me. A good book to study if you are looking for meat. Let’s look at this one verse.

And we know: A lot people like to separate and unpack the doctrines of election and free will. But and the end the day We Know. And since we know we can rest assured that rest of this verse pertains to us. Who knows? Those who put their faith in Jesus Christ know.

Who love God: Are you a Lover of God? Simple answer; “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”(Jesus) For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3)

All things work together for good: Are you resting that God is working it out?

Let’s let the Bible answer this!

“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. (Psalms 119:67)

“It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn your decrees.” (Psalms 119:71)

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:1)

Who are called according to his purpose: Do you fully understand the Call on your life?

It is an effectual call, from self and the world to God, Christ, heaven, as our end; from sin and vanity to grace and holiness, as our way. This is the gospel; that the love of God, ruling in the hearts of those who once were enemies to him, proves that they have been called according to his purpose.

God is very clear and intentional about the call on your life. He has created you for good works and indulging in pointless sin does not help accomplish His divine will. Yes, there are liberties and yes, the grace God is flawless, but is it wise to use our God given privilege for its intended purpose? God bless you saints. You Were Created for so Much More!

Juan Mendez_FF 2016Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick. 

 

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 106; Proverbs 14

Daily Quote: No one can get Joy by merely asking for it. It is one of the ripest fruits of the Christian life, and, like all fruits, must be grown. ~Henry Drummond

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36 As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

~Romans 8:35-37

Who Can Imagine Life Without Worry? Part #2

Young man suffering depression sitting on ground street concrete stairs

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” ~Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)

When I was with you last I was going on about freedom and how important it was for us to understand that Jesus came to set us free from sin. I also said I would get to “the most universal of all addictions” which is summed up in one word…worry. Worry is a verb that, according to The American Heritage Dictionary, means to feel uneasy about some uncertain or threatening matter; be troubled. Be troubled…hmm somehow I remember a story about a king-wanna-be saying he was troubled when a bunch of dudes showed up in his throne room and told him about a King that had been born. His worry leads him to what history calls “The Massacre of the Innocents.” Anyway…

Worry is something that gets done by us all in some way, shape or form. It can happen in the smallest way just as much as it does in the biggest. 20th Century theologian, John Stott comes right out and says that “worry is waste—a waste of time, thought and nervous energy.” Worry is so engrained into the human condition that we justify its existence much like other addictions however Jesus made it a point to address this “universal addiction” when He gave His Sermon on the Mount. He begins the dialogue with this key phrase, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)

Then Jesus will tell folks not to be anxious about their lives, what they’ll eat, what they’ll drink, and what they’ll wear. Now during those Roman Empire times dem’s was some everyday “where’s it gonna come froms” and now this guy says don’t worry about it ‘cos even the birds get fed by the hand of God. ALRIGHTY THEN…but Jesus doesn’t leave them hanging on thread, AU CONTRAIRE, He gives the straight up deal right here, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33) So basically it is matter of perspective. Doom along the horizontal and hope in following the vertical.

Now don’t go sitting there thinking that I am advertising a worry-free Gospel and that I think this Christian life should be free of it, once again I say AU CONTRAIRE because there are things we can take worry or anxiousness to. We should take thought

for each other especially for those who we call brother or sister. We can be concerned for the things that are of The Church (that doesn’t include carpet color, wallpaper style or should there a chicken dinner versus a potluck dinner). We can be concerned for the eternal salvation of loved ones or the lost in an unsaved world but as with everything there are limits…” All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.” (1 Cor 10:23)

That about does it for me today but I am not completely done covering the universal addiction of worry. Next time I am with you I would like us to spend some time gleaning why Jesus made it a point to tell those in attendance during His Sermon on the Mount why being anxious in our everyday lives stunts our growth of faith. Until then why not take a look at Matthew Gospel 6:24-34 and see for yourself why Jesus would have use consider the issue of serving two masters. I think it is plausible to think that He knew that people had an enslavement to material security (we still do, don’t we?) and He came to give us assurances that set us free from stuff that has no eternal value. Bottom line…if it serves no purpose in eternity it is eternally useless. Amen?

Chris Hughes_FF 2016Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

 

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 105; Proverbs 13

Daily Quote: “God never intended His people to become prisoners to worry. Such an unbelieving, energy-draining addiction strangles our faith and makes us unable to bear fruit.” —Charles Swindoll.

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36 As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

~Romans 8:35-37

Where Were You 15 Year Ago Yesterday?

New York Harbor

“God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in time of trouble.” Psalm 46:1

So for those of you who are old enough to remember the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, my guess is you can tell me exactly where you were and what you were doing.

I was working as a delivery boy for the pharmacy up the street and delivering a prescription that day and walked in to deliver a prescription and can still here the lady screaming, “The President’s been shot!”

On September 11th, I was in my office at America’s Keswick when my wife called to tell me about the first plane to hit the World Trade Center. Our staff went to the lobby to watch the horrific footage as the events of the day unfolded.

We gathered together the staff and the men of the Colony of Mercy in the Raws Dining Room and on our knees cried out to the Lord for our nation and all the families impacted by this tragedy. Several of the men cried out to the Lord at that moment, repented of their sin and were converted.

In the early afternoon we planned a time of worship and prayer for our Keswick family and on the way to conduct the service I received the news that Board member, Don Peterson and his wife, were on Flight 93 and lost their lives when that plane crashed. 9/11 became very real and personal.peterson

Months later we learned that when the rescue workers arrived at the crash site in Shanksville, the only visible things at the site were a tire and a Bible. A Bible? Could it be? No – impossible! But it was. It was Don Peterson’s Bible. And tucked inside was his list of men he was praying for – men who were residents of the Colony of Mercy.

pbible

We remember today that in the midst of horrendous moments, tragedy, unexplainable events – that God is not far off and uninvolved. Psalm 46:1 reminds us that even when the earth shakes and its foundations are crumbling, God is there. He is there to be our refuge and strength. He is an ever-present help in our time of trouble.

I don’t want to ever forget what took place on September 11, 2001. Lots of lives were taken and families destroyed for a lifetime. It’s a good reminder

of another life that 2000+ years ago that was sacrificed on a hill in Israel – He gave his very blood so that you and I could be free from the power and bondage of sin and death. Jesus Christ paid for your sin and mine. May we never forget.

There’s not too many days that go by that I don’t think and Don and Jean Peterson. The legacy of their lives continues not just at the Flight 93 memorial in Pennsylvania, but every time someone views the Bible picture and theirs, people remember their sacrifice. We must never forget.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 104; Proverbs 12

Daily Quote: Our real freedom from sin and the bondage to sin is found in our enslavement, both body and soul, to Christ, the Lord of all. ~Spiros Zodhiates

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36 As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

~Romans 8:35-37

Still, Like Water

Empty footbridge over the lake
It is only with total humility, and in absolute stillness of mind that we can know what indeed we are. ~Terence James Stannus Gray

be still.pngI beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ~Paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Romans 12

Oh beloved, it is true. There is so much of us that has to go. And most of it is stuff within us that is all to precious to us. The list of things to be jettisoned is long and wide and deep:

The right to pleasant circumstances.

The right to be accepted.

The right to be successful.

The right to my possessions.

The right to be rescued from my circumstances.

The right to see results.

The right to know the specific will of God.

The right to understand my circumstances.

The right to be proven right.

The right to be loved.

The right to have a mate or children.

The right to be used by God the way I want to be.

The right to live in the place I choose.

The right to the job I want.*

Our rights in general.

And this, is the pain of death that is going on inside of us. Though we have already died with Christ, there is so much programming and tapes that need to be cut. There is so much garbage in the waste bins of our emotional makeup.

This fool of a writer is not good at this.

There are so many times, where i really feel the need for people, especially those close to me, to realize that my life is being poured out for them. I have made so many mistakes in the past; ruined so many things and people and circumstances, that i get hurt when people don’t see that i am finally getting it right after 45 years of getting it wrong.

He must increase, but I must decrease. ~John, The Prophet, in John’s Gospel 3

What to do?

Absolutely nothing.

The reality is truly that we have given our lives as a living sacrifice to our King. And if our King deems that our lives be poured out over rugged terrain and mixed with the dust of the earth. Quite simply brothers, we need to come to a place where we realize that a living sacrifice does not give orders back to the One receiving the sacrifice.

Can we see it though? There is an upside. It is here, in complete stillness and surrender that we finally begin to get some clarity on where we are supposed to be going with our lives. We finally get to the place where we can here Him speak… And when we do, we truly find another thing we have been looking for all the while: We hear Him tell us how much He Loves us. We hear Him saying how proud HE is of us. We hear Him telling us that HIS grace is sufficient, and that all is well.

So, are you going through the pains of death to your own self? This fool of a writer does. And just when he thinks the thing is dead, The Holy Spirit shows me some more things that need to go. However, what i have learned is something that may be of benefit to you. I have never – not once – regretted letting go of anything. EVERY time i have let go of some little thing, He has poured more goodness and freedom into my life than i could ever have imagined.

Tonight is your night beloved. Time to be still.

Makala_FF 2016Written by Makala Doulos: Makala  is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.

*this list is from another, unknown author

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 101; Proverbs 9

Daily Quote:  What then are we afraid of? Can we have too much of God? Is it a misfortune to be freed from the heavy yoke of the world, and to bear the light burden of Jesus Christ? Do we fear to be too happy, too much deliver from ourselves, from the caprices of pride, the violence of our passions, and the tyranny of this deceitful world? ~ François Fénelon

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.~Romans 8:33-34

Shine Jesus Shine!

Beautiful nature at morning in misty spring forest with sun

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

I still can remember the excitement on the first day of school when I was able to wear my new school clothes. We didn’t have a lot of resources and those were the few times I could have a new article of clothing to show off. I couldn’t imagine having those new garments and not displaying them on those first days. Or to have a precious piece of jewelry and keep it in a drawer.

Moreover, what a tragic to have the answer to all the world’s problems and not share it. This is how I am when I’m in mixed couple with nonbeliever and have no desire to share the gospel. I’d like to believe that I’m absent minded because the alternative is that I don’t care that much about people souls.

Jesus is the light in a very dark world. People are hurting, others are confused, while many are fighting a losing battle to satisfy an empty void with the pleasures of this world. Furthermore, there are lost soul needing regeneration. Lets shine the light of Jesus. This week challenge yourself with the question; Am I being a light? Than do something intently to reflect that light?

 

Juan Mendez_FF 2016Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 100; Proverbs 8

Daily Quote: “Never let the presence of a storm cause you to doubt the presence of God.” ~Craig Groeschel

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.~Romans 8:33-34

Who Can Imagine Life Without Worry? Part #1

braveheart
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)
 
Although the movie “Braveheart” had its inaccuracies concerning the life of that infamous Scotsman, William Wallace, the one quote that stood out for me was “They may take our lives but they’ll never take our freedom!!” and then they go into battle. The word freedom has become a precious commodity to all of humankind. Many wars have been fought for this idea of freedom. Over time however, man has polluted freedom as a privilege by the decree of one constitution or another instead of treating it as it was intended to be…a gift given to us by God. Now don’t go getting’ all nutso with me by Americanizing it, freedom is a gift from God period!
 
The formula is simple, God made us with minds so we can think freely, He made us with hearts so we could love freely and He made us with wills so we could obey freely. Our God wants us to be able to choose the way we should go instead of putting a ring in your nose and dragging our fanny perpendicular’s down the road. Now nothing can please The Father better than choosing Truth, the life that is found is Jesus and to freely obey and worship Him BUT there is a downside to this gift of freedom. The freedom to reject all this and hit the dead end of freedom out of control.
 
In the 8th chapter of John’s Gospel we find Jesus trying to explain what will actually bring freedom to the Jewish nation but in their typical “that’s certainly not us” fashion they fall back on being children of Abraham and therefore absolved of any connection to evil to which Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.” (John 8:34) This is the same mindset that beleaguers Christendom today. Most pew warmers are content to say “that’s certainly not us” all based on agreeing with a Pastor’s sermon, writing a tithe check and just being in God’s House. That’s all fine and well but it ain’t enough.
 
The truth here to understand is that Jesus Christ came to set us free and we can find His job description in Isaiah 61:1-2a. But if really you wanna see freedom in action turn to Luke 4:16-21. Jesus walks into a synagogue in Nazareth, is handed a scroll, rolls it open and points right at the prophecy of the “favorable year of the Lord”, then sits down and says, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Now when I went looking for the “truth” about myself I found this web thingy called Truthfinder and when I plugged in my name in I found that I had 6 possible criminal records and if I gave them about thirty bucks I could get the complete report. I think I’m keeping my loot.
 
I’m not saying that there aren’t a possible 6 criminal records bearing my name but what I am saying is that Jesus Christ came to set me free from that payment because the bottom line is I ain’t got enough to pay for the actual sin nature of those records. If I were to use my “go to” for an answer I’d find myself in James 2:5, “Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?” So why bother with Truthfinder in the first place? Anyway…
 
There is a lot more to say about freedom but I’m outta time today. Bet you’re wondering why my title ain’t matching the content of this Freedom Fighter, well I’ll be getting to it, don’t you worry about that. Until then I ask you to think about something today and it is a quote that comes from an 18th century French philosopher. Jean-Jacques Rousseau said that, “Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” Sad…but true. When I am with you again we’ll cover what Charles Swindoll calls “The most universal of all addictions.” Hopefully it hasn’t got that much of a hold on you. Amen?
 
Chris Hughes_FF 2016Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 99; Proverbs 7

Daily Quote: “The Constitution may be, as Gladstone said it was, the noblest document ever struck off by the mind of man. But we must remember that there are countless thousands of Americans who use it merely as a place to hide when they are caught in some act of iniquity. Liberty as used by the founding fathers meant freedom to do good; many today conceive it to mean freedom to do evil, and they work it for all the traffic will bear.” — A.W. Tozer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.~Romans 8:33-34

How to Communicate With Millennials – Part #2

Using smart phone
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

Good morning, friends. I trust that you had a good weekend and that you are prepared for this new week.

Last week I started a dialog with you about communicating with millennials and I want to continue to share my heart with you.

Millennials are a unique generation. They are the largest demographic alive right now and have become a powerful part of today’s work force.

What I am not saying is that one generation is more important than others. What I am saying is that the millennial generation is here to stay and we can choose to either ignore them and be frustrated, our we can learn about them, embrace them and encourage them to be the men and women God desires them to be.

I personally believe that if we think it through, we have the opportunity to equip a group of people who God could use in incredible ways to reach the world for Christ.

This generation are not pew sitters. They are not interested in talking about whether or not we need Hymnals or sing off the wall. They are not concerned about carpet colors, pews or no pews, dress code, and tons of other things that have been issues with other generations.

What they are interested is in DOING SOMETHING. They are not about getting bogged down in policies and committees that are going to spin their wheels and never get anything done. If there is a house near the church that has burned down, they want to get down and dirty and provide ministry to the family – practical ministry from childcare to actually helping rebuild the house.

They will not just give money to an organization – they want to make sure that their resources are going to be used for what the organization is raising the money for.

They are interested in substance not fluff. Churches and ministries that are going to reach this age group need to learn that they have watched their grandparents and parents flounder from church to church because they are looking for the newest and best. They have watched their families dabble with “Christianity-is-for-Sunday” lifestyles, when everything else is up for grabs. They have watched their families divorce, use drugs and alcohol, and this new generation is asking how faith and life connect.

They are leaving what I call the “dog and pony show” churches to be a part of more liturgical settings where form and substance are a part of the worship experience.

They are more interested in depth to the preaching vs. shallow fluff and stuff entertainment preaching.

They are interested in being mentored. My generation, the infamous Baby Boomers could care less what our parents thought – we had all the answers and didn’t need advice or counsel. This generation wants to ask you questions, do the research, and then make their decisions. They may not take your counsel, but at least they have asked for it.

Because of their intuitiveness with technology, they have the unique ability to get things done with greater efficiency. They have embraced the technology with the ability to get stuff done. It’s pretty cool to watch them in action.

I am out of words. More next week. Thanks for hanging with me on this subject.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 98; Proverbs 6

Daily Quote:  “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.~Romans 8:33-34

Idolatry of the Preacher 

Open bible on table with bookmarks in pages

The life wrought in Christ is one of tremendous worth and elevation. We who have yielded to the Lordship of the Son of Man are commanded to conduct ourselves in such a way that the harmful things at enmity with God, no longer infiltrate our lives. A terrible plight on the Body of Christ is that of the idolatry found amongst its members. It manifests itself in many different ways, all equally grieving to the Spirit of God. When a shepherd of a flock is esteemed higher than God by the people of God, this is idolatry. The theocracy established by the Scriptures becomes perverted and the divine order of operation is undone. This will always result in great detriment to church and greatly affect the power of its people.

With the eyes of its people fixed on the pastor rather the LORD, the church will never be satisfied in its pursuit of spirituality. They will in effect be drinking for broken cisterns rather than from fountains of living water. This will permeate each area of their lives sapping them of the fruit of the Spirit and by consequence, preparing them for the works of the flesh. The longer we live there the more our salt will loses its saltines and therefore, be good for nothing but being trampled under the feet of men. How poor and unfulfilling is the man who looks to his sinful brother to be his god.

Yes, it is surely true that we are to honor our pastors with a special reverence but God forbid we worship a person rather than our Creator. Remember that they are but men, pray for them to continually point the people God has given them to our Saviour. Stay rooted in the Scripture, be a Berean, always check what is taught for yourself. Ask questions, join a small group, pray, pray and pray. You would do well to take heed and lastly, ask of God to reveal Himself to you in a deeper way. Trust that when you see Him for who He is, mere men will no longer impress you the way they once did and “the things of earth will grow strangely dim.”


Written by Troy Fink:
Troy is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is an Urban Missionary at New Hope Philly in Philadelphia.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 94; Proverbs 2

Daily Quote:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, 

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.

-Helen H. Lemmel

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? ~Romans 8:31-32