Archive for the ‘Preacher’ Category

John 8:31 Daily Devotion March 02

Devotion March 02

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.

Jesus was being challenged by some Jewish Pharisees concerning His claim that He is the Son of God. However, Jesus quashed their attempts to discredit Him. He never sought to conceal the truth, even in the face of most fearsome opposition. With greater boldness and determination our Lord declared the truth, even though the Jewish leaders were fuming with anger. The more they opposed, the more He testified.

His answers and assertions were so convincing that some of the Jews who heard Him speak believed at once that He was the Messiah, the Son of God. They received His doctrine. Though many of the Jewish leaders became more obstinate and cynical under His preaching, there were also many who repented and believed on Him upon hearing His irrefutable, cogent and compelling proclamation of truth.

The unbelieving and recalcitrant Pharisees often followed Christ to engage Him in debates, and to denounce His teachings. They also wanted to dissuade the people from following Him. Jesus was fully aware of their intentions. So He said to the believing Jews, what true discipleship means. He said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.”

It is not uncommon that some hearers, being moved by the reasoning and earnestness of the preacher, manifest a great amount of sympathy and even excitement about the truth expounded. However, their enthusiasm soon vanishes, and they are no more to be found among the adherents of Christ. Such fleeting fervour is not the mark of a true disciple.

The true evidence of a genuine disciple of Christ is that he continues in the Saviour’s Word. This is the true test of Christian character. The apostle John said in 1 John 2:4, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” So the apostle also reminds us in 1 John 2:24, “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.” It is to those who persevere in His Word with obedience that Jesus says “then are ye my disciples indeed.” True Christians will always delight in the Word of their Lord; and only such will have the attestation and assurance from the Lord that they are His true disciples.

January 6 – Daily Devotion –

Luke 11:28

But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

Jesus spoke those words in response to a woman who loudly acclaimed the blessedness of Mary, His mother. Her words about Mary were, “Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked” (Lk. 11:27). Jesus neither denies her words, nor reproves her for what she said. In fact, His words “yea, rather” infer that He agreed to the woman’s suggestion that Mary was blessed to bear and suckle such a child (Cf. Lk. 1:27-28, 42, 48), and also wanted to pronounce something more joyous than the honour and privilege of bearing and suckling the Holy Child. Jesus wanted them to possess the greatest, noblest, and purest joy that transcends all other rejoicing of man.

Have you realised that there is no greater blessedness than hearing and obeying God’s Word?  Jesus said, “Blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.” True happiness belongs to those who hear and obey the Word of God. This is a greater blessedness than being physically related to Jesus. He wanted all to know that more than an earthly relationship with Him, they should seek a spiritual relationship that leads to ultimate joy.

True loving relationship with Christ is one’s faithful allegiance to His Words. On another occasion Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (Jn. 14:15). We must not only hear His words, but also obey them diligently. As James wrote in his epistle, “…not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”

Where there is high regard for His Word, there His love, cheer and blessings will flourish. His promises of blessedness to those hear and obey are repeated in the Scriptures. Revelation 1:3 says, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Revelation 22:7 assures, “Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.”

Even if you give assent to His Word with your nods, it would be of no avail unless you hear, believe and put into practice. Blessedness belongs to those who hear and obey His Word. He who hears to believe, and believes to do His Word shall be blessed.

BIBLICAL SEPARATION


8 Spiritual Blessings of

SEPARATION

Every biblical doctrine is a blessing to those who believe and apply it fully in their lives and ministries. Our Lord Jesus said, “Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (Luke 11:28). God’s truth profits everyone who believes and obeys. Isaiah the prophet said, “Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit… O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea” (Isaiah 48:17-18). God’s truth, regardless of differing opinions, if adhered to passionately, will provide great blessings to the soul. They who believe and obey the truth of God’s Word can be expectant of glorious eternal blessings – “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory” (Psalm 73:24).

Every doctrine of the Scriptures is to be received and practised. So, the doctrine of separation, being a clear teaching of God’s Word, must be upheld. Nonetheless, many reject it as an unpleasant, burdensome, useless doctrine. Some refer to it as a “minor doctrine” or “non-essential doctrine”. However, this doctrine is the very channel of divine blessings. Furthermore, it also acts as a shield against errors. To practise the doctrine of separation is to secure the pure and glorious divine blessings for our souls and for our churches.

The Bible records very vividly the blessings that God promised to those who separate themselves from sin, worldliness, false doctrines, false teachers and disobedient Christians.

  1. Separation keeps our souls and congregations from the filthiness of sin. When we practise biblical separation against the sinful pleasures of the world, we will be able to purify and protect ourselves from all the sins of the world. In Ezra 6:21, we have a great example of this – “And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel.” The same truth is found in Revelation 18:4, where a call to separate is given – “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins.”
  2. Separation helps us to be like Christ. In Hebrews 7:26, we are told that Jesus Christ is “such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners”. All Christians are to be like Christ; and to be like Christ, they should separate themselves from sin and sinners, just as Jesus did. Of course, this does not mean we should avoid befriending sinners to share the Gospel. Rather, the practice of biblical separation is calling us not to partake in their sinful activities. To be like Christ in this world, separation is necessary.
  3. Separation from ungodly people and their activities helps us to delight in God’s Word. This is the message that we read in Psalm 1:1-3, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Ungodly friends can often be a distraction and hindrance to a Christian’s obedient life. So separation from close affiliation with ungodly people will rid us of distractions from God’s Word.
  4. Separation helps us to be worthy servants of God. To be a faithful and good minister of God’s Word, we must refuse tolerating erroneous doctrines and philosophies. The apostle Paul’s words to Timothy prove this truth – “If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness” (1 Timothy 4:6-7).
  5. Separation helps us to be delivered from God’s wrath against unrepentant sinners. Revelation 18:4 affirms that separation will deliver us from sin and also its aftermath – “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
  6. Separation assures us that God will receive us. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17). Though the world and compromising Christians may reject us, the Lord will receive us. Romans 15:7 teaches us that whomsoever Christ receives, He receives them to the glory of God. What a blessing it is for those who are separated from sin and false doctrines to know that they are vessels of God’s glory!
  7. Separation guarantees the presence and fellowship of God. To those who will not be unequally yoked with unbelief and sin, the Lord promises that “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (2 Corinthians 6:16).
  8. Separation guarantees the abiding love and care of God. To the separated Christians, the Word of God promises in 2 Corinthians 6:17b-18 that “I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty”. Those who will separate themselves for the glory of God are promised His unceasing fatherly love and care.

Materialistic Pastors

prosperity preachersMen who became pastors for a career, or men who turned their pastoral office into a lucrative business enterprise for self-gain are not God-appointed pastors. They are the minions of the devil.

Preachers who preach for money are exploiters, extortionists and racketeers! The Apostle Peter depicted them as those who “. . . through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgement now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not” (2 Peter 2:3). In the words of the Apostle Paul, they are “. . . men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness” (1 Timothy 6:5).

Those materialistic pastors are more concerned about their own affluence and fame than the spiritual well-being of their flock. Of course, they would fiercely disagree with such a charge. They persuade their hearers to believe that their riches and superstar status are all tokens of their godliness and the divine blessings upon them. Just as Peter said, “they with feigned words make merchandise” of their flock.

Christianity is infested with greedy preachers, who take glory in their materialistic, carnal appearance and agendas. They are drunk with the wine of the world. Every one of them appears to be intoxicated with materialism. They are obsessed with amassing material possessions. They flaunt their wealth, and preach the gospel of wealth.prosperity gospel

Sadly, a great number of today’s churchgoers are very contented with such preachers, because either they are materialistic as their preachers are or too naïve to discern the antics of their preachers. These people are least interested in the biblical truth and holiness. They seek mystic, lovey-dovey kind of experience in the worship. When they are served with what their carnal hearts desire, they blindly follow their materialistic pastors. This dreadful phenomenon in Christianity was predicted by the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:3-4. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

True preachers do not seek a lucrative career; instead they accept a lean life for the sake of preaching and promoting God’s kingdom. Consider the following words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:11–15:

11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? 12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. 13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. 15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.

Faithful Preaching is a Gift from God!

peacher 2 jpgTo the unrepentant, worldly hearers, godly and faithful preachers are boring and uninspiring. They would rather have less of the Bible-based preaching. They prefer less confrontational sermons that would not challenge or upset their worldly lifestyle. So they fancy a preacher who is accommodative of worldliness and less passionate about holiness.

The honour of the office of a preacher is not that people would appreciate it, but that it is appointed by God and adorned by His eternal truth, wisdom, righteousness,  grace, power, redemption and glory.

There is no profession as glorious as preaching. It was made glorious by the Son of God and His apostles. They gave themselves wholly to the preaching of God’s Word.

A preacher is called to be God’s mouth-piece everyday on earth. They speak forth as God’s ambassadors on earth. A minister of the Word is a minister of God on earth.

The preacher, his office, his message and his duty might be things of man’s derision; but they are indeed the Lord’s delight and glory. He appoints and nurtures them. He empowers them by His Spirit that they might fulfill their duty.

The absence of spirit-filled, Bible-oriented preaching is a disaster, worse than the lack of bread and water.

To the godly hearers, good and faithful preachers are a great delight and the major subject of thanksgiving and prayer.

Why “Barking Dog”?

barking dogSeveral friends asked me why I use “barking dog” as my nickname for my profile in the Facebook, MSN, etc.

Just as the profile picture suggests, the idea is taken from Ecclesiastes 9:4 and Isaiah 56:10-11.

God expects pastors to be the barking dogs of their churches. They must bark at every strange, unbiblical doctrine and practice that enter God’s house.

God contemptuously calls some pastors “greedy dogs!” These are pastors who do not sound out warnings against sin and falsehood. These men are greedy men who care more for their own selves than the souls of men under their charge. They let men perish in their sins.

I am a preacher, by the will of God; and I pray that nothing deters or hinders me from this great honour that He has placed upon me. I count it my greatest honour to declare God’s truth to warn His people against everything that lures them away from His glorious truth and holiness. Nothing is more important to me than fulfilling my God-given duty to warn people against sin and error that they may walk in His grace and truth.  So help me God.

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