Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Some of you may know that I follow the posts from Andrew Strom. I have for quite some time. He has a spiritual sense about him that I can relate to and appreciate. He tends to stand out opposed and ridiculed by some but never at a loss for things to say about Christ. He loves David Wilkerson and the old authors of the gospel. Circuit preachers and many more who have given their lives for Christ. I consider him to be a disciple of our Lord.

So from time to time I re-post his posts here when they are especially pointed in a direction I feel the Holy Ghost is leading me to go. This one today is timely at any time but especially so today. I am hoping that others (namely you) will re-post this as well or at least make mention of it to your friend on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. It is especially dear to my heart since we do live in community and we came from the individualistic ties of the world and the church years ago.

Listen to what Andrew is saying and judge yourself to see if anything in you is touched by this. If so, take some time before God and examine those feelings to see if it is true that you are thinking or acting in an individualistic way. It may be that you don't believe you do but sometimes we become deceived into thinking that we are OK when in reality we are not. It is good to examine yourself daily and let God shine the light in those places that are not always for apparent. Kinda like ticks. But that's another story, for another time.

Here is Andrew post and my Amen.
We live in an utterly individualistic and "self"-oriented age today. I'm sure few would disagree. Every advertisement appeals to 'self' in some way. We are taught from childhood to be completely self-contained, reliant on no-one, living in our own little bubble where we decide exactly what will take place. We are often frightened to commit to any particular group or cause, any particular leadership. The modern man is an "individualist" to the core. "Don't ask me to join or commit! And don't tell me how to live my life!"
But all of this, of course, is the exact opposite of "Body". It is the exact opposite of  Community'. And thus the exact opposite of the true Church. And yet millions upon millions of Christians today (especially in the West) are just as "individualistic" as the next man. Sometimes even more so.
 As noted previously, the very first sentence used to describe the early church says: "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:42).
That is the very picture of a BODY - not a pile of "individualists". They have GIVEN themselves to a group and a cause - a group with real LEADERS who are anointed preachers from God. But it is almost anathema for a modern person to give themselves to any group in such a way. We are far too suspicious and individualistic and un-trusting to ever do such a thing. And thus the question must be asked: Is it even possible to have true "BODY" in our day? Is "CHURCH" (in the true sense) even a concept that we can understand? Or have the media and our entire culture so "individualized" us that true 'Body' is no longer possible?
You know, Christianity is not designed to be lived out by a pack of "individualists". And half-committed "building-attenders" on Sunday mornings are not it either. Christianity is designed to be lived out CORPORATELY - the "Body of Christ" - an entity that can be seen and observed by people - full of the glory of Jesus. A Body that corporately carries all the words and power and love and miracles of the King.
So how on earth can such a "gathering" take place? How can the scattered remnant of today come together to form such a Body? Well, it all starts with the anointed "word". You notice in the above verse that these people gathered around a very specific thing - "The apostles' doctrine and fellowship". It is an anointed apostolic "word" being preached that is a crucial element in all this. From such a 'word' everything else follows and comes into alignment.
But the big question is- Could today's "individualistic" types bring themselves to form a real 'Body' - even if such a word was being preached? Or is individualism so ingrained that even 'apostolic' preaching might not bring this about? These are questions that every one of us should be asking ourselves if we ever hope to be part of a true movement of God in these Last Days.
Blessing to all! - Andrew Strom ( )
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Thursday, May 9, 2013


Recently a good friend was sharing a devotional from Oswald Chambers for May 9th and I wanted to see more about this verse in Proverbs. Mostly because I am concerned for the people of God who have lost their vision or never had it. Just the word vision and its meaning is distant to many in Christian realms. Vision is sometime referred to as imagination or the ability to think outside the box. While "thinking outside the box" may be a good thing in itself there is a larger and more specific meaning to vision that I am concerned about.
"There is a difference between holding on to a principle and having a vision. A principle does not come from moral inspiration, but a vision does. People who are totally consumed with idealistic principles rarely do anything. A person’s own idea of God and His attributes may actually be used to justify and rationalize his deliberate neglect of his duty." Oswald Chambers
 When I became a Christian, rather when I finally saw God for who he is, I was radically and permanently changed in my understanding and actions. It was a deep and inspired action that took place in me and God was the author of that action. He looked into me and saw who I was. He saw in me that which was to be of Him and set His spirit in me. I knew without a doubt that God had touched me. I knew He had planted His Life in me. There was no doubt.

Over the years, I have not lost that vision. I have not always acted in accordance with that vision and found myself in sin against God, repented and came back again. But I have always known Him to be the author and finisher of my faith. It is more than ideals and principals. It is beyond explanation at times, but there is the life of God that leads me on to do those things that please him.

Today, we face the moral decay of our nation and the world at large. Christianity is a joke to most of the world. They see the pretense of many who hold themselves in positions of high esteem and prideful arrogance. Some work for positions of notoriety in the public and church. They set themselves above all those around them. Yet privately they are morally deficient. And then one day it creeps out into the light and they are exposed for who they really are. They are called hypocrites and impostors. They are Christians in name only. They mentally ascent to knowing who Jesus Christ is but they never relinquish their lives to the service of Him. Instead they find a nice little place for Him to hang out in their lives. Not one that is too imposing because that wouldn't work with the life style they want to live in. No, they need to be in control of their lives and can't be bothered with too many things that He may require of them. It just doesn't work well for them.

So there are part-time Christians, social Christians, fake Christians and real Christians. Which is which? Can we judge who is who? Are we allowed to say anything and disturb the unreality of un-Christian lifestyles? Are we not judged for judging?

The world has crept into the church  We are becoming (should I say have become) morally corrupt. We accept the things we should not as being OK because "it's not that bad." Everyone else is doing it. 

How "bad" does it need to be before it is recognized as sin? Or are there some things we are just "judging too harshly"? 

How many cuss words and sex scenes and violent acts need to appear in that movie you sent your kids to see, to be considered "bad"? How much of your wife's or daughter's legs, skin and cleavage need to be exposed to become lewd and sensually inappropriate? How much of the world's music, video games and social networking do you have to consume before it is "bad" for you? How many toys, cars, vacations, clothes, electronics, movies, music and money can you have before is it excessive or "bad" for you and those around you?

I know this may seem over the top and nit picky but where do you draw the line between morally righteous and immorally wrong? Who says what is right and wrong? You? The media? Your neighbors and friends? Ann Landers? or Does God have a place in your life where you know what He thinks about what you are doing and judges your actions appropriate or not, good or bad, profitable or not?

Does your behavior represent that which honors God and gives glory to His nature? Does it line up with the vision God has given you for Life? Is there anything that you know of that says "STOP", "Don't do that!", "Run away!" loudly enough for you to pay attention and comply? Do you see what God sees? Do you hear what He says?
Oswald Chambers says at the end of the devotion for May 9th,
"Once we lose sight of God, we begin to be reckless. We cast off certain restraints from activities we know are wrong. We set prayer aside as well and cease having God’s vision in the little things of life. We simply begin to act on our own initiative. If we are eating only out of our own hand, and doing things solely on our own initiative without expecting God to come in, we are on a downward path. We have lost the vision. Is our attitude today an attitude that flows from our vision of God? Are we expecting God to do greater things than He has ever done before? Is there a freshness and a vitality in our spiritual outlook? "
We need the vision of God for living this life we live inside of the church. We need the vision that God ordains as true and righteous. We need all He has to give us in that vision of who He is and what He does. If not, we will perish. We will become lawless and corrupt as the world around us. It is time to do something about the lack of vision. It is not time to just sit and talk about how bad it is. The vision begins with you and I. We must recapture the vision God has for us.

Proverbs 29:18"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
Where there is no vision, the people perish,.... That is, "no prophecy", as the Vulgate Latin version renders it; and which is often the sense of the word, as the vision of Isaiah is the prophecy of Isaiah; and, in the New Testament, prophesying is often put for preaching; and here vision, or prophecy, signifies the public ministering of the word and ordinances, and want of persons to administer them; no expounder, as the Septuagint version; or interpreter, as the Arabic. 
This was the case in the latter end of Eli's life, 1 Samuel 3:1; in Asa's times, and before, 2 Chronicles 15:3; in the Babylonish captivity, Ezekiel 7:26; in the times of Antiochus, Psalm 74:9; when John the Baptist and Christ first came preaching the word, Matthew 9:36; and now is the case of the Jews, and will be till the time of their conversion. So it was in the Gentile world, before the Gospel was brought into it, Acts 17:30; and so it now is in those places where the seven churches of Asia were; and in all Asia, which once heard the word of the Lord, even all that large country; and now it is not heard at all in it, but covered with Mahometan darkness. 
And this is the case in all Popish countries, subject to the see of Rome, where the word of God is not preached to the people, nor suffered so much as to be read by them; and even in reformed churches, for the most part, only a little morality is preached, and not the Gospel of Christ; so that here the people are perishing for lack of knowledge, Hosea 4:6; and when the witnesses will be slain, who now prophesy in sackcloth, there will he an entire stop put to prophesying or preaching for a while; but, when they shall rise, the earth will be filled with the knowledge of God, through the ministry of the word.
Now, where there is no preaching, men perish in their sins; the word being the ordinary means of grace, of regeneration, conversion, faith, and salvation; without which, men know nothing of Christ, of peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life by him: and where there is preaching, yet it not being of the right kind, there is no spiritual knowledge spread by it, no food for souls under it; they perish with hunger, as the prodigal did, or are in starving and famishing circumstances; no comfort for the people of God, who perish in their comforts under such a ministry, 1 Corinthians 8:11; and poison is spread among others; false doctrine eats as a canker, and destroys souls. Again, where there is right vision and prophecy, or true preaching of the word, and that is despised and neglected, men perish notwithstanding; as the Jews of old, and all deniers and condemners of the word now,Acts 13:41; and this seems to be intended here, as appears by the following clause. 
The word translated "perish" has various senses, which agree with the text. It may be rendered, "the people become idle", or "cease" (s); from the performance of good works, grow dissolute in their manners, and licentious in their practices: or "they become refractory" (t); fierce, obstinate, and ungovernable, and rebel against their superiors: or they are "made naked" (u); stripped of their ornaments; of their privileges, civil as well as religious, which is often the case where no vision is; as well as of all virtue and morality, and of the blessing and protection of God; 
but he that keepeth the law, happy is he: not the moral law, which no man can keep perfectly, but the law of faith. 
It may be rendered, "happy is he that observes doctrine" (w); the doctrine of the Gospel, where it is preached; that attends to it, values and esteems it, receives it by faith, and with meekness; blessed is he, blessed are his eyes and ears; he sees wondrous things out of this law or doctrine, and he hears and knows the joyful sound, which brings salvation and eternal life unto him!