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to deliver His chosen people Israel…

It is mind-boggling.

Moses.

God never ceases to amaze me.

How He redeems!

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Why is it so “easy” for people who were born into Christian homes and raised in a church all their lives to fall away from God, become apathetic to the Lord, and be complacent in their faith?

One reason is because it is so easy for us to fall into a sense of self-righteousnesspride, and even entitlement! We think that because we have been raised as a Christian, it is “natural” that we should be Christians - namely, that since we attend church every Sunday we should believe in God and thus have salvation. And we think that’s all that matters. This quickly leads us to being satisfied in our spiritual life, thinking that everything is fine and we can live as we please now - and that since we believe in God, God owes us things: love, grace, blessings, material possessions, good grades, nice job, sweet spouse, heaven, etc. Instead of being grateful to God and being filled with thanksgiving, joy, and praise - we instead take it all (God, salvation, love, grace, mercy, etc.) for granted and easily become apathetic and lazy spiritually.

That is why it’s so important for us to preach the Gospel to ourselves daily! We are so forgetful. We forget that our only entitlement before receiving Christ is death and eternal damnation! Anything other than eternal damnation (hell) is great - and God gives us beyond what we could ever hope for: eternal life with HIM!

We are reminded that God the Father sent His Son to become man and take on flesh, to live on earth with mankind and to love on us - and to even die for us! And when we make it personal: that Christ died for me - oh my is it overwhelming!

It is not our righteousness (which is filthy rags - Isaiah 64:6) but Christ’s righteousness that we put on and are clothed with. This is so humbling and leads us to a state of brokenness. We realize again our wretchedness as sinners - yea, enemies of the Almighty God! How unworthy we are, yet how Christ counted it worth it to die for us!

And it emphasizes that it's all only God: God did everything, God loves man, God sent, God lived and lives with man, God died for man, and did and does all these things personally for me. The only response I can have is gratitude and appreciation to GOD.

May our hearts not become hardened like the 9 lepers whom Jesus healed of leprosy and only the 10th one returned to Jesus to thank Him! God cured more than just leprosy within us, yet do we run to Jesus with thanksgiving and appreciation?

The tragedy of ministry is when we work for/serve God but we don’t walk with God - we don’t know God more nor love Him more deeplyIf all we do is produce external fruit, do the right things, say the right words - but our hearts are far removed from the Lord, then we’ve missed the mark, we’ve missed the whole point of why Jesus wants us in ministry in the first place.

Jesus wants us individually to personally grow in Christ and deepen in our personal relationship with Him. As we become more intimate with our Lord, we can’t help but to bless others and share with them that very knowledge of and love for Jesus Christ - so that they too are encouraged, inspired, challenged, and equipped to grow in Christ as well. Ultimately the point of ministry is to grow in Christ, glorify Christ, and make Christ known to others in edification.

What about producing fruit? The great and freeing thing about that - as well as humbling - is that God is the Lord of the harvest. He is sovereign and works and moves in people, producing fruit as He wills. All we must do is be obedient to the Lord and faithful in the tasks He places us/callings He gives us. As Paul said, he may sow the seeds for the plants but God is the One who makes them grow. God does all the work. We are merely His instruments that He graciously uses, giving us the opportunity and privilege to be used by Him - and at the same time sanctified by Him as we see the sanctification of others.

We must preach the Gospel to ourselves daily to be re-centered/re-aligned/re-focused on Christ and to be humbled and humbly walk with our God (Micah 6:8). We must be reminded of why we participate in ministry, what the goal is, and what the whole point of ministry is in the first place. We must submit and surrender to God knowing that we are serving GOD - not to expand our own kingdom, popularity, reputation, fame, earn man’s praise, make a name for oneself, receive recognition, prove oneself, compete with others, etc. - but to expand GOD’s kingdom so that HIS popularity, reputation, fame, praise, Name, recognition, reality, and competence ALONE is SUPREME. Yes, God is supreme - but is He supreme in our hearts, lives, minds; and is He supreme in our ministries?

Ultimately, the main response of the Gospel on our part is repentance: conviction from the Holy Spirit, our confession/admission of our sins, turning away from our sins and instead turning to God and walking obediently and faithfully with Him; and faith: believing in the finished work of Christ on the cross and in Jesus Christ as our Savior (from sin, death, bondage) AND Lord (of our very lives and EVERY aspect of our lives); and worship: as we see how small, weak, sinful, wretched, unworthy, pathetic we are and at the same time how GREAT, awesome, Almighty, gracious, merciful, loving, incomprehensible God is! The Gospel brings us to our knees in agony, groveling before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords - and being embraced by and embracing our Best Friend and Father.

Looking at the Israelites in the Old Testament, it’s almost laughable at how quickly they forget the Lord and turn to idolatry. For example, right after God delivers Israel from slavery/bondage to the Egyptians, sends plagues to punish Pharaoh and the Egyptians, splits the Red Sea for them, protects them from their enemies, and sends them to the Promised Land, the Israelites turn to Aaron to build them a golden calf that they may worship it! They do this while Moses is gone speaking with the Lord and receiving the Ten Commandments - and after Moses went through all the trouble pleading with Pharaoh to let God’s people go in order to worship God!

And yet, I look at my own life, and I see how quickly and easily I turn from God’s Word to focus on myself: my pride, selfishness, greed, self-righteousness, lust, etc. “At least” the Israelites turned from God in a few days’ time or in several years’ time. I, on the other hand, am so fickle as to turn from God in less than a minute’s notice! Though I may not worship a golden calf, I worship myself, no greater than a golden calf. I easily make myself the god of my life, not letting God be God of my life. What a wretched man I am. - But that God still loves me and extends a hand of grace and forgives me… It is too much to comprehend.

This note is a reminder to myself and hopefully to you as well of the absolute necessity to preach the Gospel to ourselves on a daily basis. We should never grow weary of hearing the Gospel. It should constantly amaze us and break us. - Just as God should constantly amaze us and fascinate us. May we never lose that heart to relentlessly pursue Christ and grow in love for, knowledge of, and worship of Him and Him alone.

We are unqualified/unworthy as servants/workers for the Lord/our worthy Master - but we are not disqualified. The one who is unqualified is nothing, but the One who makes us qualified is everything.

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you or God?

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but are you a true worshiper?”

-P. IJ

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The Ice Bucket Challenge and the ALS Association

The self-licensing effect.

Great cause but obviously not the only problem in the world.

Not being cynical or anything but found this article and wanted to share.

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the qualified.

He qualifies the called.”

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is all there is.” (“all there is” is pronounced “or der ‘s” haha)

-Lucky Number Slevin

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Is China Preparing MIRVed Ballistic Missiles?

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11 Lessons from the Church in China

The Church in the West needs to learn.

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Russia Is Doomed

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Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)

Hillsong

This song is beautiful.

I’m a jar of clay, full of cracks and so unbearably ugly.

Yet I have Someone within me: my treasure, Jesus.

May I have more cracks so that Christ shines through even more!

2 Corinthians 4

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Rocket Raccoon
Guardians of the Galaxy

Rocket Raccoon

Guardians of the Galaxy

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Rocket Raccoon and Groot

Dynamic Duo

Guardians of the Galaxy