Church & Family Jan & Feb 2013 A Free Publication Propagating Gospel & Promoting Christian Ministries around the World.
But, they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40: 31.
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CONTENTS: Church & Family Jan - Feb 2013
1. Has Your Faith Been Hijacked? By Toni Babcock
2. God’s Plan For You
By Tony Babcock
Church & Family Church & Family magazine is a FREE family magazine dedicated to provide educational and inspirational reading for the spiritual growth of Christians. Our goal is to propagate Gospel to the World as Jesus commanded us to do so in Matthew 28:19.
Copyright ©All rights reserved to Church & Family Media. Published bi-monthly. Print and digital copies are distributed to Churches and Chrsitians. To submit articles or poetry, email to: ChurchFamilyMedia@gmail.com. All submissions are subject to editing and will not be returned. For information on how to place an ad in Church & Family, please contact at ChurchFamilyMedia@gmail.com. Church & Family Media does not endorse the products or services of any advertiser in this publication and is not responsible for any claims made in advertisement. Every effort has been made to publish this magazine accurately. Church & Family magazine cannot and does not guarantee the accuracy of the information appearing in this magazine or the complete absence of errors or omissions, which occasionally occur. Should you discover an error, please report it to us promptly. Church & Family magazine assumes no liability for damages arising from errors or omissions in the listings. Any price, special offer, or discount appearing in an ad is included at the request of the advertising business, which is solely responsible for the content of the ad and the obligation, if any, of fulfilling of such offers.
The Blahs By Dr. James Dobson
5. His Way or My Way By Emmanuel Parakati
6. Mon Berger By Dr. Subha Kumpaty
7. Revealed Yet Hidden From Daily Devotions, Moody Bible Institute
8. If You Can’s Speak The Truth in Love, Be Quiet. Please! By Dr. Joe McKeever Acknowledgements: We extend our special thanks to the authors who contributed their articles and also many Christian websites that provided treasure of knowledge to publish this magazine.
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Church & Family called Gil for short. Although Skippy and Gil are a world apart in both philosophy and belief, somehow they have found themselves on the same By Toni Babcock plane with the same mission: invade the cockpit, take over the controls, here are two hijackers on the loose and hijack the plane with as many who have been infiltrating high places souls as possible - not by force but by ever since the church began. craft.
Has Your Faith Been Hijacked?
Imagine this scenario: You are co- Gil plans to take over control of the piloting an airplane, safe in the cockpit plane through the use of his persuasive with God the Holy Spirit and a large speech, his high credentials and his powerful personality. Once he maneuvers his way into the cockpit, he will make you feel guilty if you do not allow him to take full control of the plane. He suppresses the Holy Spirit’s influence on your life, making himself preeminent in your thoughts. Gil is banking on the presumption that it will be more important to you to be liked and accepted by Gil than to listen to the Holy Spirit’s warnings. control panel. There are several people you are transporting to their destiSkippy plans to take over control of the nation; friends, co-workers, family etc., plane through the use of cheap grace all people God has placed in your life and loose living. Once he maneuvers to influence for the gospel of Jesus his way into the cockpit, he will grieve Christ, so that one day by the grace of the Holy Spirit and tell you it doesn’t God they will co-pilot their own planes. matter if you do the same because “we are not under the law but under Two individuals on the flight have a segrace.” He will attempt to convince cret plot in mind to hijack the plane, you the rules of flight don’t matter, fly though neither one is aware of what any which way and you’ll get to your the other plotter has in mind. Their destination all the same without a names are Antinomian, nicknamed scratch. “You’ve got your free ticket Skippy, and Lee “Gil” Eizer, who is 4 Church & Family Magazine
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Church & Family to heaven,” he’ll say, “so forget about dom in Christ anywhere outside of his belief system he doesn’t understand it”. and becomes threatened and suspiThis mock flight illustration serves to em- cious. phasize the two major enemies of the gospel: antinomianism and legalism. Since Moses gave the Law, and Christ Although a world apart in their oppos- gave man the Gospel, the world has ing views, each possesses the power to been full of folks named Gil and annul the victory of the cross of Christ Skippy. Both the true antinomian and and ruin your testimony. Protect your true legalist “clothe” themselves in their faith from a hijacking by either “Gil or own trappings. The antinomian borSkippy” by understanding their pitfalls. rows upon grace as a cloak for his sin, and the legalist borrows upon law to Skippy the Antinomian skips over all the clothe himself in his own righteousness. verses in the Bible that call him to put If you learn to recognize the trappings his faith to the test. He turns a deaf ear and tactics these “hijackers of faith” when the Holy Spirit tries to convince use to sabotage your walk with the him of any truth that contradicts how Lord and your testimony, you will go a he chooses to run his life. It appears his long way in protecting yourself from foremost spiritual concern is salvation from the penalty of sin, but certainly their pitfalls and achieving true maturnot the power. II Corinthians 5:15 is a ity in Christ. foreign concept to Skippy, (how we should no longer live for ourselves but About the Author: for Christ who died for us and rose again). Skippy foments against the Toni Babcock cherishes her times spent in the north woods, and enjoys weaving her experiences into her idea of “works” salvation, but short stories. She also uses the medium of Christian strangely, it is people just like Skippy essay to communicate spiritual truths in engaging ways. who point to their own works instead of Publishing good tidings of peace and salvation is what Toni wants to accomplish with her writing. Jesus’ when their lack of faith is exposed by the Savior at the Last Day, In 2001 Toni was awarded an honorable mention for her memoir Silver Strands Weave a Golden Memory (Matthew 7: 21-32). entered in the Writer's Digest 2001 Writing Competition. Later, she was awarded honorable mention for Red Bird's Song, a short story entered in the Children's Fiction category of the 76th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition (title was changed to "A New Song for Red Bird" in 2011). Two of Toni's travel memoirs were featured in separate issues of the Boundary Waters Journal as well as her poetry, and two of her memoirs were featured in Minnesota Memories, an anthology of collected works of Minnesota writers. Toni also produced a book of memoir titled Pause in Mid-flight for family and friends, and helped write Bible curriculum for her church's Sunday School department.
Gil the legalist takes an opposite tack but with the same goal – to usurp the authority of Christ and make himself the primary authority. He may fall into a rigid performance trap and become a slave to his own set of rules and expectations. He may impose his own rules and expectations on others when the Lord hasn’t put those rules or expectations in place. If Gil spies free5
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Church & Family believe on Him. He is not interested in beating you Toni Babcock down. In fact He said he didn’t come here to conDo you live your life feeling demn us but to save us! bad about yourself and confused about what God ex- Think of Jesus as the perpects from you? Are you fect Counselor, better than frustrated and hurt by what any other counselor on appears to be insurmount- earth, because He is. He able circumstances? Do knows how frightening the you stuff your negative feel- world can be, and how diffiings down deep and won- cult it is to live according to der why you can’t stop feel- His will, but He doesn’t ing depressed? Do you feel want this reality to discourlike you are wrestling age you and cause you to against some invisible foe despair. He said that in the that is working against you? world we would have tribuIf you do, understand that lation, but to be of good you are not alone. A lot of cheer, because He has people feel messed up, overcome the world. confused, bottled up and hurting these days. The Jesus holds the power - the good news is, Jesus came power that can enable you into the world to lift up bro- to be forgiven and live a life ken and hurting people just that pleases Him. No other like you. He is calling you to counselor on earth has that kind of power! Living a new
God’s Plan for You
life that pleases God is part of His plan for you. All who believe on Jesus Christ were part of his plan even before they knew how to believe, so be encouraged. There are two important parts to God’s plan for you. The first part is understanding Jesus calls you to trust in Him by believing that he died on the cross for your sins and rose again. He is calling you to believe that by His grace through faith, your sins are covered by His blood and you are forgiven. His promise is, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16 KJV.) The second part is to understand what it means to live for Him. In the Bible we are told “...He died for all, that they who live should henceforth not live unto themselves, but unto Him who died for them and rose again,” (II Corinthians 5:15 KJV). He wants us to understand that Jesus did much more than to reserve a place in heaven for those who would believe in Him. He died and rose again to empower people to live for Him; to overcome destructive patterns in their lives, and to honor His Father in heaven.
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Church & Family Not 10 suggestions
Envision what it would mean if you truly believed you were bought by the blood of Jesus. You would believe your sins were forgiven because of His great sacrifice for you on the cross! You would gladly give God what rightfully belongs to him—namely, your heart. You would cease any arguments with God you once had. When you believe in His great love for you, He will no longer seem like an enemy, but a Friend who has provided for your every need.
But what if you don’t believe Christ bought you for Himself? It will enable you to continue to live as you please, without regard for His great love for you! Do you want unbelief to shut Jesus out of your life? If you turn away from Jesus, it Most of us know about Ten Commandments. might mean you will never be inclined to They are God’s instructions for a safe, secure, hear His voice again! free and fulfilling life and a blueprint for a peaceful and prosperous society. They are not Believe the good news of the gospel! a list of “Thou shalt nots,” but are in fact God’s Believe once and for all, ‘Yes—I am guide to a truly fulfilling life. They are not blood-bought—Jesus died and rose God’s way of preventing us from having a again to live His life in me!’ Then say to good time. They are designed to protect us, the Lord, “Jesus, forgive me for the un- our families and our communities. They are a belief that has shut you out of my life. I guide to transform the way we think, what we accept your forgiveness for all of my do and how we live. sins! Take my life this moment - it belongs to you. Fill me with your Holy Jesus Christ simplified them into two great Spirit. From this day forward, make me principles: loving God and loving each other. into the person you want me to be, in Je- He made this clear when someone asked Him, sus Name.” Amen. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus responded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all About the Author: your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second Toni Babcock cherishes her times spent in the north is: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” woods, and enjoys weaving her experiences into her Jesus is the key to life, liberty and pursuit of short stories. She also uses the medium of Christian happiness. essay to communicate spiritual truths in engaging ways. Publishing good tidings of peace and salvation is what Toni wants to accomplish with her writing.
Source: The Good News
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Church & Family Books of the Month We are happy to present these fantastic resources to assist you in your spiritual growth and Christian life. They are all available on ChristianBook.com and also on Amazon.
Deep & Wide By Andy Stanley 192 Pages
The Bondage Breaker By Neil T. Andersn 308 Pages
Jesus Calling By Sarah Young 400 Pages
One Thousand Gifts By Ann Voskamp 237 Pages
The Way By Adam Hamilton 144 Pages
Scouting The Devine By Margaret Feinberg 224 Pages
Firebird By Brent McCorkle & Amy Parker 32 Pages
The Sacred Echo By Margaret Feinberg 224 Pages
not a fan By Kyle Idleman 224 Pages
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Church & Family Creative Romance, writes, "Dating and romancing your spouse can change those patBy: Dr. James Dobson terns, and it can be a lot of fun. There's no QUESTION: My wife and I love each other very quick fix to a stagnant marriage, of course, but much, but we're going through a time of apa- you can lay aside the excuses and begin to thy. We just don't feel close to each other. Is date your sweetheart." In fact, you might want to try thinking like a teenager again. Let this normal, and is there a way to bring back me explain. the fire?
Recall for a moment the craziness of your dating daysâ€”the coy attitudes, the flirting, the fantasies, the chasing after the prize. As we moved from courtship into marriage, most of us felt we should grow up and leave the game playing behind. But we may not have matured as much as we'd like to think. In some ways, our romantic relationships will always bear some characteristics of adolescent sexuality. Adults still love the thrill of the chase, the lure of the unattainable, excitement of the new and boredom with the old. Immature impulses are controlled and minimized in a committed relationship, of course, but they never fully disappear.
ANSWER: This happens sooner or later in every marriage. A man and woman just seem to lose the wind in their romantic sails for a period of time.
This could help you keep vitality in your marriage. When things have grown stale between you and your spouse, maybe you should remember some old tricks. How about breakfast in bed? A kiss in the rain? Or re-reading those old love letters together? A night in a nearby hotel? Roasting marshmallows by an open fire? A phone call in the middle of the day? A long-stem red rose and a love note? There are dozens of ways to fill the sails with wind once more. If it all sounds a little immature to act like a teenager again, just keep this in mind: In the best marriages, the chase is never really over.
Their plight reminds me of seamen back in the days of wooden vessels. Sailors in that era had much to fear, including pirates, storms, and diseases. But their greatest fear was that the ship might encounter the Doldrums. The Doldrums was an area of the ocean near the equator characterized by calm and very light shifting winds. It could mean certain death for the entire crew. The ship's food and water supply would be exhausted as they drifted for days, or even weeks, waiting for a breeze to put them back on course.
Well, marriages that were once exciting and loving can also get caught in the romantic dol- QUESTION: Tell me why it is inevitable for drums, causing a slow and painful death to the couples with good marriages to go through "flat spots" or "the blahs," and can you offer relationship. Author Doug Fields, in his book 9 Church & Family Magazine
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Church & Family more advice about what to do when those times come?
favorite music played on the stereo. We felt like kids again.
ANSWER: Romantic love is an emotion, and as such, it has a way of coming and going. Emotions tend to oscillate from high to low to high, etc. One of the best ways to regenerate "that lovin' feeling" in the down times is to talk about the time and place when passion ran high. Do you recall those days when you just couldn't wait to see each other, and how each minute away seemed like an eternity? RRecalling those moments together is one way to regenerate what you felt before.
The next time you feel that you're losing that closeness you once shared, try talking about your memories of earlier days and revisit the old haunts, sing the old songs, tell the old stories. It's the best bet to rekindle the sparks of romance that first drew you together. To keep a marriage vibrant and healthy, you simply have to give it some attention. Water the plant, place it in the sunlight, and it will grow. If you put it in a cold dark corner, however, it is likely to die.
Even better than talking about them is reexperiencing them. My wife and I celebrated a recent wedding anniversary by exploring what we called our "old haunts." On a single evening, we went to the Pasadena Playhouse, where we had our second date; we ate at the same restaurant for dinner, and the next week we visited the Farmer's Market where we used to stroll on lazy summer evenings. We talked about warm memories and relived the excitement of those days. It was a wonderful reprise.
With a little effort and creativity, you can keep the fireworks in your marriage . . . even when the Fourth of July has come and gone.
Another suggestion is to return regularly to the kinds of romantic activities that drew you together in the first place. You need to put some fun and laughter into your lives, which otherwise can get dreary and oppressive. A few years ago, Shirley and I found ourselves in that kind of situation where we had almost forgotten how to play. We finally got fed up and decided to do something about it. We loaded the car and headed for a winter wonderland in Mammoth, California. There we spent the weekend skiing and eating and laughing together. One night we built a fire in the fireplace and talked for hours while our
From The Complete Marriage and Family Home Reference Guide c. 2000 Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, IL
About Dr. James Dobsonâ€™s Family Talk Ministry Mission Statement "To help preserve and promote the institution of the family and the biblical principles on which it is based, and to seek to introduce as many people as possible to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Specifically, the focus of the ministry is on marriage, parenthood, evangelism, the sanctity of human life and encouraging righteousness in the culture." Website: www.drjamesdobson.org/home
RESOURCE LINKS 1) Dr. James Dobsonâ€™s Family Talk Website 2) Listen to the Dr. James Dobsonâ€™s Family Talk Radio Broadcasts 3) Dr. James Dobson Books and Resources 4) Family Talk on Social Media 5) About Dr. James Dobson
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Support www. DrJamesDobson.org/home
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Church & Family QUOTABLES From Twitter
(https://twitter.com/ChurchFamilyMag) God's promises are like stars. The darker the night the brighter they shine.
Just because you Love The Lord doesn't mean that you hear from Him!
By Gods Post
By Pastor L. Zeigle
God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, & of sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
The more we think we know, the harder it is for us to see any view but our own. By Joyce Mayer
Thereâ€™s something you learn from helping other people with their dreams that prepares you for your own.
When fear (Satan) knocks, let faith (Jesus) answer the door.
By Bishop TD Jakes
By Joel Osteen
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Church & Family His Way or My Way By Emmanuel Parakati
Most of the time, we are guilty of running ahead or away from God, and doing things in our own way rather than His way. We all know that it is beneficial to follow God instead of our self-centered desires. But, why would anyone choose one’s own way over God’s way? Basically, it is because of two reasons: spiritual ignorance and willful disobedience. Most of us heard the story of an old lady who used to live by selling goods going around the places. Every day when she comes to a certain intersection of many roads, she tosses a stick up into the air and decides whichever the way the stick points when it lands. One day a man saw her tossing the stick into the air: once, twice, and three times. He asked her, “What are you doing and why are you tossing the stick so many times?” She said, “ I am asking God to show me which way to go.” Looking at her curiously, he said, “But why did you toss it up three times?” She replied, “Because the first two times He showed me wrong direction.” When we don’t like God’s way, we need to pray and He will give us a humble heart. Psalm 25: 9 says: “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.” God always shows us the right way, if we ask Him with an open and obedient heart. Essentially there are only two ways: His way or your way. If you are tired of doing things in your way, it is better to ask Him in prayer to show you how to do in His way. Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth and the life.” If we are lost, it is better to depend on Jesus who is the ONLY way. 13 Church & Family Magazine
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Church & Family functions in some way as a stand-in for God. The slow, patient way in which he revealed himself to his brothers makes for a great story, but should also teach us Read Genesis 45 something about God Himself. We also see how Joseph prefigures Jesus Christ. As readers we get great satisfaction from Through him, salvation comes to his family, Egypt, and the rest of the world. Through the story in Genesis 45, as the confusion and fear of Joseph’s brothers is resolved in him, forgiveness and healing is extended to those who have betrayed him. a joyous revelation. But if we think of this story in the whole context of Genesis, we notice how unusual this story is. Something The noted early Christian Gregory of Nazianus noted that God’s preferred pedachanges here: a cycle gets broken. gogy is often to “reveal Himself gradually.” Joseph’s revelation to his brothers mirrors From the beginning, sin pulled apart God’s way with us. Only when the desAdam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Ishmael peration of his brothers reached its height and Isaac, Jacob and Esau, and then could they see the effects of their sin Jacob’s sons. Of all of them, Joseph had (Gen. 44:33–34). Only after the darkness of the best case for revenge, and he rechapters 42 through 44 could Joseph see jected it. When we see such a dramatic and make his great declaration: God inexample of love overcoming pride and tended all of these tragic events for good anger, we know God must be involved. (50:21). And yet, curiously, it seems that God has little visibility in this chapter.
Revealed Yet Hidden
That conclusion would be too hasty. We saw in chapters 39 and 41 how Joseph
With permission from Moody Bible Institute: Daily Devotions. Visit www.Moody.edu and support www.todayintheword.com.
Music of the Month
Burning Lights By Chris Tomlin Audio CD
WOW Hits 2013 By Various Artists Audio CD
The Struggle By Tenth Avenue North Audio CD
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Church & Family Mon Berger
life now and after.
Not only is Jesus the souverain berger, the grand berger, He is also the bon berger. Just like they say bon voyage, He is the bon (good) Shepherd. In The Gideon International’s La Bible welcomed me fact, it was not Peter, not Paul, not even John who to the pages of Scripture while I stayed at the Holiclaimed this title for Him save Jesus Himself. Jesus day Inn in Quebec City, Canada one weekend in said emphatically: Je suis le bon berger (I am the October 1998. My vocabulary of French was initigood Shepherd, John 10:11,14). What characterizes ated instantly as it had parallel text with English. I the bon berger? He gives His life for the brebis found myself enjoying the berger while I have never (sheep). In the French, it is more powerfully put: He tasted any burger in a quarter century of my “time” pours His life for the brebis. This is a clear reference in the United States till this day. From that “berger” to Jesus’ substitutionary death for encounter, I have a fresh feeling and sinners on the cross. Some calf a special recollection whenever my was put to death and its flesh was eyes fall on the signboard of the fast processed to feed you physically food restaurant, BURGER KING. I (hamburger), but the bon berger promise, you will too, after reading gave Himself to quicken you and this article. resurrect you spiritually! Jesus makes a point that He knows His I am told there are a variety of bursheep and is known by His sheep. gers that you could buy at the Burger That sort of sweet communion King and at other fast food places. indicates that the berger is good Cheese burgers are very common indeed. while the attraction item is the ‘double cheese’ burger sold for a few Topping it all, the bon berger is more cents. To help both Americanalso mon berger. Recalling the ized Indians and the Indianized famous verse from the Davidic Americans, there seem to be poetry, L’Eternal est mon berger: ‘chicken’ burgers as well, apparently je ne manquerai de rien, you to satisfy religious confinements or solve cholesterol know what I am writing about. This beautiful verse problems. Many folks buy ‘vegetable’ burgers in(and the psalm in its entirety) was experienced to its stead of hamburgers. Suffice to say, burgers are fullest extent by my grandparents and my parents, edible and let me leave the decision of which burand now it is my experience as well. The Lord, Lger to feed yourselves with, to you, the honorable Eternal, Jehovah, is (not just was but is) my (and our) body-owners. Shepherd. I (and we) shall not want/lack (Psalm 23:1). While it is important to know Jesus progresThe berger I would like to recommend to you is Jesively as the souverain berger, the grand berger sus, the real berger. BERGER is the French equivaand the bon berger, I pray that none would stop lent for the English word ‘shepherd’. My dear friend (arret, my addition to French vocabulary!) there but Peter cites Jesus in his first epistle (5:4) as the soumove on to experientially knowing Him as his/her verain berger. This refers to Jesus being the Chief, Shepherd. My joy will have new heights if only I second to none, the sovereign Shepherd. And hear from you: “L’Eternal Jesus est mon berger”. I when He appears, the elders (pastors) who pattern look forward to that bliss any time, on any day. after Him will receive the crown of glory resembling amaranth (Greek: does not fade away) flower. When you go past a BK (Burger King) next time, reDear pastors, how marvelous to receive the appremember the BKK, the berger who is the King of ciation characterizing eternal life from the souverain Kings. May be, you can introduce the bon berger berger! as you step in and order a hamburger. When you do, send a note to Church & Family on what hapThe Lord Jesus is titled by the Hebrew writer as the pened. Gratefully enjoying mon berger, grand berger (great Shepherd), 13:20. He is the grand berger because our relationship with God About Author: Dr. Subha Kumpaty teaches at Milwaukee Almighty is channeled/funneled through His blood, School of Engineering and lives in Elkhorn, WI with his dear the blood of the everlasting covenant. The cheese wife, Hephzibah and their remarkable daughter, Grace. He burger will satisfy your hunger temporarily, all right, teaches mechanical engineering as God-bestowed work to but the taste of the grand berger will satisfy you for- excel in and writes a personal monthly newsletter Glitches and ever: I mean it, lasting satisfaction guaranteed for Grace to keep up with God’s doing in his life.
By Dr. Kumpaty
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Church & Family If you can’t speak the truth in love, be quiet. Please. By Dr. Joe McKeever “Speaking the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15)
Face book members are well acquainted with the way some who call themselves Christians can be brutal in the way they present truth to the world. Their words are usually on target but their spirits are harsh and unloving. They defend the biblical family but damn anyone with a different point of view. They affirm the right of the unborn to live while consigning the “pro-choicers” to the farthest reaches of Hades. They hear that someone is making a film or writing a book or giving a speech against Jesus as Scripture presents Him and they lose their Christianity attacking such blasphemers. Such people do more damage to the Lord’s cause than good. Speaking truth while skipping the love is not a new phenomenon. While Paul and his colleagues ministered in the city of Philippi, a slave-girl followed them around, calling out, “These men are servants of the Most High God! They proclaim to us the true way of salvation!” Anything wrong with that? Nothing other than the fact that she was demon-possessed and notorious in that city (see Acts 16:16ff). Paul was eventually fed up with her shenanigans and cast the demon out and silenced her. (In the process of becoming whole, she also lost her gifts of fortune-telling which had lined the pockets of her owners. That set off a chain of events which the Lord used to reap a great harvest in the city.) In the Lord’s “message to the church at Ephesus” in Revelation 2, He said, “I know your deeds and perseverance, and that you cannot endure evil men.” They despised the unsaved. “And, you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false.” They had a passion for defending the truth. “Nevertheless,” Jesus said, “I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (Revelation 2:4). How serious a matter was this? The Lord said, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the works you did at first, or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place–unless you repent” (2:5). If you persist in doing God’s work without love, Jesus told them, He would cancel their franchise. They might still operate and even call themselves a church, but He would no longer show up. This is a serious matter indeed. 16 Church & Family Magazine
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Church & Family The Lord happens to be particular as to who tells others about Him and how they do it. But forget about trying to make certain Christians see that. Tell them they are harming the work by their caustic attitude and they accuse you of caving to the enemy, of being a peoplepleaser, of valuing the approval of men more than God. Some are so caught up in proclaiming the truth, they have forgotten to love. Truth and love work well in harness with each other. Love keeps truth from being harsh and bitter. Truth keeps love from being mushy sentimentality. Truth without love is demanding, unyielding, ungracious, and perfectionistic. It proclaims law and rules, demands rigidity and uniformity. Love without truth is soft and pliable–cotton-candy mushy and sickening sweetness without providing anything substantial. Love cries when it sees someone hurting but has nothing with which to pick them up. The newly minted Apostle Paul is a prime illustration of truth without love. When he first arrived in Jerusalem preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, Paul was gifted and eloquent, fiery and anointed, attention-getting and truth-proclaiming. (Acts 9:20-31)
The only problem is that Paul was enraging the very people he wanted to win. Instead of wanting to know his Saviour, Paul’s audiences wanted to kill him (9:23,29). After the disciples slipped Paul out of town and away from his enemies, we read: “Then the churches….had peace and were edified” (9:31). It does not speak well of your ministry if everyone is glad when you finally leave town. Clearly, Paul had some growing to do. This would require time, quietness, and seasoning. We may assume–we’re arguing more from silence here–that this was what the Lord had in mind by allowing Paul to return home to Tarsus (9:30) and leaving him there for an indefinite period. Only after a revival broke out in Damascus among Jews and Gentiles both, did it occur to Barnabas that this would be the very place where Paul’s calling would fit perfectly. “Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to see Saul” (Acts 11:25 is one of the pivotal sentences in the history of this small planet). Now, it’s a different Saul (Paul) who enters Damascus to work with the other disciples and reach out to the unsaved. For a year, he and Barnabas worked with that church and brought many to Jesus. From all we see in their relationship, the biggest clue of the change in Paul is that he put himself under Barnabas, all the way into the first missionary journey, at which time the Holy Spirit began moving the trainee to the forefront (in Acts 13:7, they are called “Barnabas and Saul; in 13:13,it’s “Paul and his party”). The three epistles bearing the name of John are eloquently written essays on truth and love. Here are a few snippets…. –from The First Epistle of John: “He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause of stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness…” (2:9-10) Do you see how truth and love are twin forces here?
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Church & Family “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue (only), but in deed and in truth” (3:18). We speak the truth in love (see Ephesians 3:15) and we love in truth. They are twin forces. “This commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also” (4:21). We are not allowed to love the Word while ignoring our brethren; this is not an option. –from the Second Epistle of John
It is not enough that I know the truth, love the truth, and preach the truth. Unless the love of Christ dwells in me and flows from me, my words are as “sounding brass or a clanging symbol” (I Corinthians 13). Unless the love of Christ fills me and anoints all that I do, my deeds are unprofitable and lifeless. Unless His love has transformed me and governs all that I do, my gifts of sacrifice are rejected by Him and worthless of any eternal value to me. “The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5).
“This is love, that we walk according to His commandments” (vs 6). This is an echo of the Lord’s teachings from the Upper Room (John 14:21,23,24, and 15:10,14). The Lord wants no disciple who professes love to Him while disobeying. To obey is to love. “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds” (vs. 10-11). Our expressions of love must be governed by a devotion to truth. –from the Third Epistle of John “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (vs 4). “We therefore ought to receive (Christian workers who need our support), that we may become fellow workers for the truth” (vs. 8). IN CONCLUSION….
“Dear Lord, teach me thy truth, then wrap that truth in thy love. Give me thy love, then sharpen that love by thy truth. I pray this that thy work may go forward and my life may count for Thee. In Jesus’ name. Amen.” About the Author: Dr. Joe McKeever Dr. Joe McKeever was called into the ministry in 1961 at West End Baptist Church in Birmingham; earned master of theology and doctor of ministry degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. After five years as Director of Missions for the 100 Southern Baptist churches of metro New Orleans, Joe retired on June 1, 2009. He loves to do revivals, prayer conferences, deacon training, leadership banquets, and such. If you’re on Facebook, visit him there at: https:// www.facebook.com/joemckeeversr. His website is: www.joemckeever.com/wp/
Family First One of the first things God created was a family. He got Adam and Eve together and blessed them to multiply. In Gen 7:1, the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family…” The word “family” is mentioned about 250 times in The Bible. God created the family and it is the place where precious lives are taught the ways of God both by word and example. It is the place where love, forgiveness, respect, tolerance, and so many other values are learnt both by children and adults. It is also the best place where a child learns to investigate, discover, appreciate, and get answers to myriads of life questions. Sometimes, we think it’s OK to be a little less disciplined, kind, or patient at home. But it is a wrong way of thinking because home is a place for compromise and comfort. We need to make an extra effort to respect, pray, encourage, love and live at peach with every family member. It is the Lord who will continue and preserve generation after generation providing His protection. Psalm 102: 28. 18 Church & Family Magazine
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Church & Family
United Marriage Encounter/ Marriage Encounter Support Foundation is seeking a committed Christian for full time Executive Director with strong organizational leadership, interpersonal communication skills and has an intrinsic desire and passion to build and strengthen marriages. Forward your resume and cover letter to Task Force Chair Couple: email@example.com, no later than March 8, 2013.
Crown College, MN is looking for Vice President for Student Development who reports to the President. Applicants are expected to hold a minimum of a Master’s degree in student development/student affairs or a related field and have at least five (5) years of experience in student development and/or Christian higher education. Send resume, cover letter and a brief summary of Christian experi—————————————- ence and current relationship Casa de consejeria y Salud with Christ to: Integral, Inc., a faith based firstname.lastname@example.org. —————————————community organization is seeking full time and part time Bethany Christian Services in Recovery Counselors. Bache- Washington is seeking Branch lor’s or Masters degree in Director who will provide dyChemical Dependency, Psynamic leadership in planning, chology, Social Work, Counsel- managing and directing its ing, Human Behavior, Pastoral staff and operations in WashStudies, Sociology or any other ington and Oregon. MSW or related field with minimum MA/MS in related discipline one year clinical experience in with five years of experience in a health or human service social work or related work agency. Salary is based on with two years successful mandegree and experience. agement and supervisory exEmail resume at perience preferred. Contact email@example.com. rinfinger@keystone-executive—————————————- search.com or visit Gordon College, Wenham, www.keystone-executiveMA is looking for Director of search.com. —————————————Counseling Center who will work under the direction of The Moody Bible Institute is Vice President for Student Life. seeking Director of Financial Masters degree in Psychology Aid who reports to the Vice or Social Work or Counseling is President for Student Services. required and licensing is reTen years of financial aid exquired. Send resume and perience and a bachelor’s cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. degree is required. Contact Tim Fuller, Credo VP at: —————————————- email@example.com.
Camps & Retreats Camp Brookwoods is a wellestablished camping program for young people ages 8-16 in an exceptional outdoor environment located at 34 Camp Brookwoods Road, Alton, New Hampshire. Starts in June and activities are educational and exciting with lots of fun. Contact at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: 603-875-3600
————————————— Pleasant Hill has summer camp and year round retreat facility for children, youth and families. Pleasant Hill is a Christian camp to provide a safe and exciting recreational camp program that integrates Biblical truth into daily camp life and leaves a lasting positive mark on each camper that attends. It is located in Perrysville, OH. www.phoc.org.
————————————— Compass Wilderness is to proclaim and demonstrate the message of Christ through experimental education in nature and believe that when body is challenged and the mind is tested, the spirit is encouraged and growth occurs. Compass Wilderness offers rock climbing, rappelling, rafting, hiking, backpacking, mountaineering and camping opportunities to push beyond fear and into self realization. Visit: www.CompassWilderness.com
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Moody Bible Institute
From The Word. To Life. Moody Bible Institute 820 N. LaSalle Blvd Chicago IL.60610
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