Please Stop! Just Please Stop!

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22 Things Christians Need To Stop Doing…Now! by Chuch Tate

Christian preachers are often talking about the “mission” of God’s people, and this is absolutely right. Christians have a lot to do in this world, and our task to make disciples and take the gospel to the nations is immediate and apparent. But there are also other things that we should seek to cease in our lives. Here, Chuck Tate gives us 22 key things and attitudes that we need to cut out of our lives.

1. Quit expecting the world to like you. Jesus said it would hate you (John 15:18-27, Matthew 10:22).

2. Quit throwing your own teammates under the bus.

“We’re called to build each other up, not tear each other down. In fact, Jesus said that our love for each other proves to the world that we are really His true disciples (John 13:35, 1 Thessalonians 5:11).”

3. Quit gossiping.

This includes sharing “juicy prayer requests” with no intention of actually praying (Psalms 34:13, Psalms 101:5, Ephesians 4:29).

4. Quit replacing prayer with “good vibes” and “positive thoughts.”

No. Just no. Prayer moves the hand of God and the hand of God moves the world. “Prayer is much more effective than making someone feel warm and fuzzy inside. By the way, I’m not saying positive thoughts and good vibes are wrong (and they do make you feel good), I’m just saying prayer trumps them both (2 Corinthians 1:11, Philippians 1:19, Ephesians 6:18, James 5:16).”

5. Quit saying repentance isn’t necessary. It is. Jesus said so.

“And just so you know, there are 53 references to repentance in the New Testament. Now go repent (Matthew 5:17, Acts 3:19, Romans 2:5, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 John 1:9).”

6. Quit saying that the “portions of the Bible that make you feel uncomfortable” are irrelevant and nothing more than dated writings.

“All 66 books, 1,189 chapters, and 31,102 verse are the inspired Word of God. So the next time you think about throwing out the Old Testament, just remember that Jesus quoted it numerous times in all four gospels (John 1:1-4, John 1:14, 2 Timothy 3:16).”

7. Quit expecting unbelievers/non-Christians to understand the Bible and/or to live like Christ.

“It’s hard enough for Christians to live like Christ and it’s impossible to do so without Him (until the blinders are removed) (2 Corinthians 4:4, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 5:24-25).”

8. Quit acting like the Great Commission (Go into all the world to preach the gospel) is the Great Suggestion.

“It’s a command. Go already (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15).”

9. Quit thinking that it’s OK to be silent about your faith.

“Yes, it’s just as important to represent Jesus by how we live, but someone can’t respond to the Good News without hearing it … and they can’t hear it if no one opens their mouth (Matthew 10:27, Romans 10:14-15).”

10. Quit being more passionate about your political affiliation than your relationship with Jesus.

“If 99 percent of what you post on social media consists of bashing government officials and presidential candidates—you’re doing more damage than good (Romans 13:1-7, 2 Chronicles 7:14).”

11. Quit using the Bible to beat the “hell” out of people.

“That doesn’t work. Ever. I don’t care if you’re right—if you’re a jerk, nobody is listening. Love wins! (No, I don’t mean the book by Rob Bell.) (1 Corinthians 13).”

12. Quit your legalistic rants, knee-jerk reactions, and judgmentalism.

“You’re turning people off. You’re making good news bad news. Jesus befriended sinners. Try it and great things will happen (Mark 2:17, Luke 5:27-32, 1 Timothy 1:15-16).”

13. Quit calling yourself a Christian if you believe there are multiple paths that lead to salvation.

“Jesus said that He’s the only way to heaven. If you don’t believe Him, you’re not a Christ-follower (John 14:6, 1 John 2:4).”

14. Quit living like everybody’s going to heaven and nobody’s going to hell.

“Jesus died so the whole world could be saved, but He said the path to heaven is narrow and few find it. And for the record, He preached more about hell than heaven … but He did it without using a bullhorn and manipulative scare tactics. (Matthew 7:13-14).”

15. Quit acting like you’re better than those who don’t know Jesus.

You’re not (Luke 18:19, Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11-13).

16. Quit criticizing loving believers who take a biblical stand for godly morals.

“Jesus didn’t call us to be politically correct. Develop some backbone. And yes, I said wimp. And yes, I will repent for calling you a wimp (Acts 4-6).”

17. Quit pointing out the speck in your neighbor’s eye while ignoring the plank in your own eye.

“By the way, I can hardly see my computer as I type this because of the log in my own eye (Matthew 7:3-5).”

18. Quit being a jerk, period.

“Whatever your position is (on anything), if you can’t communicate it in love, you’re a clanging cymbal and your message is worthless. So yeah, I probably shouldn’t have called you a wimp in No. 16 (1 Corinthians 13).”

19. Quit defending sin. Quit hating sinners.

“These are equally important. Oh yeah, and lose your critical lens (Psalm 97:10, Matthew 22:37-39).”

20. Quit using the phrase “he who’s without sin cast the first stone” out of context.

“The next thing Jesus said was, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:1-11).”

21. Quit using grace as a license to live however you want.

“Jesus is grace, so don’t trample Him under your feet (Romans 6:1-2, 1 John 2:4, Hebrews 10:26-31).”

22. Quit using the phrase (when inviting people to church) “come as you are” if you’re going to complain when they start showing up (Mark 2:17, Luke 5:27-32).


Thank you for visiting and reading our post. God bless you!

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Why God Closes Doors By Sarah Martin

DOOR CLOSED

I sat with my computer on my lap and Google at my fingertips. Surly this search would come up fruitful and all of my heart troubles would be alleviated by one confirmation from the ever knowledgeable, all knowing search engine. I typed in this phrase into the little box with the eyeglass…

When God shuts a door, He opens a window.

After years of seeing this phrase on those cutesy little posters with kittens perched on windows, I was for sure this tidbit of wisdom was straight up truth from the Bible. Right? Weren’t there songs in the 90’s on our mixed tapes that assured us that when we sat in front of a closed door, God would absolutely open a window of bigger and better opportunities?

My friend Google kindly dropped the news to me… “When God closes a door, He opens a window” is not, in fact, in the Bible. I’m not sure what concerned me more: that this well-known Christian cliché was not in the Word or the fact that I had no good reason for my season of camping out in front of that proverbial closed door.

Three months prior, I sat dreaming and planning and creating my agenda. As I made moves to set these dreams and plans into motion, I abruptly received “no’s” or “not right now” or “no way!” The echo of those doors slamming in my face rings in my ears to this day. After a couple of months and a hurt heart, I couldn’t help but recognize the Lord was doing something here. I wasn’t sure what He was up to but I knew this was pivotal moment in my life and in my understanding of who He is. You see, I’m am really good at kicking doors open and making things happen. At the beginning of my closed door season I stood ready with my super cute cowboy boots ready to kick the doors open and make my dreams and plans come true. But when my “feet” grew tired of kicking to no avail, I surrendered.

Lord, I get it. You have me in front of a “no.” I will sit here and wait. I will not pop my head up to peek around for that open window in which I was for sure you would open right now. Have your way. I surrender.

That one prayer changed it all. God showed me that what He would do IN me during this season of waiting is of more value than what He would or would not do WITH me. I found freedom in that moment to lay my dreams and plans and agenda in front of the closed door and began to seek after God. I mean, really seek after Him through His word and through intentional prayer and worship.

Have you found yourself with the echo of closed doors –– “no’s” and “not yet’s” and “no way!”? Can I take a moment to encourage you straight from experience? Embrace it! Take some time to prayerfully ask God…

What do I need to learn about YOU during this season of waiting?

What do I need to learn about myself in front of these closed doors?

What do You need to root out in my heart and in my spirit to prepare me if and when You say “Go!”?

I timidly asked these questions, too. When we are licking our wounds from closed doors it certainly isn’t fun to go deep with the Lord and seek out the greater purpose. Our Father knows our hopes and dreams. He also has a greater Kingdom purpose and plan and in His sovereign ways, the Lord melds the two together all the while holding our tender heart. Our job is to sit, wait, and obediently trust His ways. This is the Scripture that convinced me this inward work is just as exciting and valuable as my hopes and dreams––what God would hopefully do WITH me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”(John 15: 5-11)

As I abided, sat ever close to Jesus, He did His work in me.

Sometimes the pain was unbearable. Oh but His gentle hand. All in love…

He rooted out pride.

He rooted out my obsession with control.

He rooted out pride some more.

Simply abide. Take some time to soak in His truth. Sit with Jesus in prayer and allow God to use your season of waiting to take you to a new level of faith, trust, love, mercy, joy…whatever it is that He is doing IN you. It will be so worth it. Trust me. I’ve been through it and made it to the other side. I’m better for it and so will you be, my friend!

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GOD THE JUST BY JONATHAN FEHR

Background

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!” Isaiah 30:18

A good friend of mine — only 24 — was recently diagnosed with an aggressive and rare form of lung cancer. He has never smoked.

Where is the justice in this?

Sometimes, bad things just happen; I’m sure many of us have experienced situations we’ve deemed to be unfair. Yet the Bible tells us — promises us — that God is still just.

So how do we reconcile the words of the Bible with situations we deem to be unjust, like the situation with my friend? One thing that stands out to me in the verse above is the word “wait.” Note that the verse says “The Lord longs to be gracious to you…” It is clearly His desire to bring justice and to bring it quickly. Yet He’s waiting, and He has told us to wait, too.

All through Scripture, we get a sense of waiting: the earth cries out for restoration; the martyred saints cry for justice; the psalmist asks how long, oh Lord. God is not only just, but He is also good. And in His goodness, we must trust that His timing is better than ours. Even though our situations may be unbearably hard, God has called us to be patient and to wait on Him to bring justice in its proper time.

Although it is not easy, we can trust that no matter how hard our situation, our waiting will not be in vain; “God is a God of justice. Blessed are those who wait for Him!”

Dear Jesus, help me to remember Your goodness, even when times get hard. Please bring about justice in Your timing, and help me to be patient and to endure in a way that honors You. Amen.

TAKE ACTION

Search Scripture for examples of others who had to wait for God to bring about justice. Do you think it was better that they needed to wait? Reflect on how you would have felt in those situations, and ask God to give you patience while you wait for justice.

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I KNOW GOD HATES ME!

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I KNOW GOD HATES ME! YOU CAN’T TELL ME ANYTHING DIFFERENT BECAUSE MY LIFE REFLECTS HIS HATRED TOWARDS ME…

SOUND FAMILIAR?

Well, believe it or not, you’re not the only one who feels this. In fact, one of the people in this world who was supposed to be closest to God, His actual Son, asked a similar question when He was hanging from a tree, dying. He cried out into the Jerusalem air, “My God, My God, Why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46 KJV). Even Jesus, God’s very Son, wondered where in the world God was!

If that isn’t enough, several of the writers of the Bible suffered from depression and anxiety, wondering why they couldn’t feel what other people were feeling. Take Paul for example. Paul, who was once known as Saul, actually killed Christians back in his day. He must have really thought God hated him. But even after he began having a real relationship with God, proving that God didn’t hate him, there were times when God felt a million miles away from him, too. Paul describes this feeling in his letter to his friends in Corinth: “It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us.” (1 Corinthians 1:8-10 MSG). So even world-famous Paul felt like God had turned His back.

Jesus asked it. . . Paul asked it. . . and now you, too, are asking where in the world God is and why He seems to hate you! So you’re not alone! I’ll even be so bold as to say that if more Christians were honest with you, even some of your friends, they would say that they’ve had times of doubt in their lives. David, the guy who wrote Psalms, goes on and on in many places with things like “Why, O LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1). And David even had people all around him, telling him that God hated him and wouldn’t help him out. In Psalms 3:2, the people in his life said, “God will not deliver him.” So not only did David feel like God had deserted him, but even his friends were in agreement.

You’re probably thinking right now, “Then there is no hope! God really does hate me.” But wait! There’s more! Remember Paul, who talked about how terrible life had become for him? Well, in the very next sentence, he said, “As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally — not a bad idea since He’s the God who raises the dead! And He did it, rescued us from certain doom. And He’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing” (2 Corinthians 1:9-10 MSG). And David; he couldn’t stop going on in the later chapters of Psalms about how much God had provided for him. “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer” (Psalm 18:2).

And who can forget perhaps the most well-known story of the Bible? Even Jesus, who on Friday was asking where God was, was resurrected from the grave on Sunday, just three short days later! We all go through times in our lives where we think God hates us, or at the very least, must have had enough of us. But I’m here to tell you that what you’re feeling, it’s just that: a feeling! It will go away, like a stomach ache or the flu. God made a promise to us thousands of years ago, and to solidify it, He wrote it in a book that hasn’t changed since day one.

The promise He made is simple: “Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing — nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable — absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us” (Romans 8:35, 37-39MSG). There’s no way that God hates you, because He told everyone on earth then and everyone who would ever be born that nothing. . .absolutely NOTHING could take God’s love away, not even the worst thing imaginable!

So you ask “why does God hate me?” And I have an answer for you: He doesn’t. If you want to really know what it means to be loved by God, and I mean really know it, it couldn’t be easier. No friend, boyfriend, wife, or mother will ever make you feel the way God can with just His love for you. And the way to obtain His Love is simple! All you have to do is ask!

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HOW TO MAKE YOUR HOME A LOVING HOME | BY DAYAN MASINDE

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1. “Get married”

In a generation where many are opting to co-habit, and living by the ‘Come-we-stay’ option; choose to get married. There is security in officially getting married, both of you feel most safe to give your all in the home. In a co-habit arrangement it is easy to walk away, easy to sometimes feel threatened, easy for the person who pays the rent or the bills more to make the other feel unwanted.

2. “Keep the bedroom warm”

The bedroom is the epicenter of the home, the mum and dad determine the climate in the house. All the other rooms are a reflection of the bedroom; if the bedroom is warm, the whole house will be warm. Handle your business well in the bedroom.

3. “Hang family photos”

Family photos allows every one in the family to reflect. When things are tough, looking at smiling photos of your family will inspire you to put effort in your valuable family. Sometimes we forget what is important, photos remind us. Display also plaques with loving quotes to remind every one what the family should stand for.

 4. “Eat together”

People connect best when having a meal, that is why most dates happen where eating is involved. Use the same practice as a family. At the dinning table, love happens, people laugh and talk.

5. “Work on communication”

Listen to each other, let no one – mother, father or even the smallest child feel locked out or chocked. Too many children grow quiet and withdrawn when the dad or mum gets home.

6. “Don’t argue in front of the kids”

Yes, you and your spouse will have moments you disagree; but never let the kids witness you two fighting. Shield your children, take these serious conversations and confrontations to the bedroom and solve them there, come out as a united team.

7. “Pray together”

A family that prays together loves together. Prayer softens and warms hearts. Do it together, not alone.

8. “Command your morning”

Start each morning on a high and positive note, speak life and love that sets the tone for the day.

9. “Dance”

Pump up the volume, dance and laugh. Act silly, home should be fun.

10. “Play some good music”

People have different taste in music, but as often as possible, you as the father or mother, play good and positive music. Play love songs, spiritual music, inspirational music; your children will remember you for that. Many people find love through music.

11. “Have movie nights”

Yes, you and your spouse are busy. But set aside at least one night a week or two weeks to sit down as a couple or family and watch a movie; preferably a movie your children will like and you as the adult you make yourself enjoy. The number one thing children long for is time with their parents. Just two hours of watching something together will show a lot of love.

12. “Entertain visitors”

Hosting visitors brings out the best in you, it challenges you to be more alert about your home because when it’s always you and your spouse and children you can get too comfortable. When people visit you, you feel proud of your home and project love. Visitors cause us to analyze our home.

 

13. “Play games”

Play competitive games as a family; whether video games, computer games, outdoor games or board games. Games unite us if we play them together, avoid games played alone.

14. “Decorate the house together”

When giving the house a make over or moving into a new house, let the taste and needs of every one in the family be put into consideration. The house should be a haven for each one.

15. “Kiss as mum and dad”

Kissing is an act of love. Let the children witness mum giving dad a kiss and dad planting kid-friendly kisses on mummy.

16. “Hug often”

As a family, set the tradition of hugging and showing affection. A hugged up person feels at home. Many people are grumpy and a warm hug will calm them.

 

17. “Do house chores together”

Yes man, chores are not for women alone. Do things as a team, divide chores; assign responsibilities to the children too. People feel they are part of something they are responsible for.

19. “Say I love you”

How do you expect your home to be loving if you refuse to say loving words?

20. “Celebrate special days”

Birthdays, Anniversaries, Graduation days, the return home from a long period of travel, the coming back home from being admitted in hospital, holidays; all those are moments you can use to unite the family.

 

21. “Go out on dates”

Leave the house sometimes and go out on a date with your spouse or as a family, when you come back home you will have plenty to remember and smile about. Dates break the monotony of being boxed in the house day after day.

22. “Sometimes turn off technology”

Technology is good, but also a threat to the quality of relationship in the home. Sometimes turn off the TV, the computer, the tablet, the phone and have quality family time.

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The 8 Most Dangerous Christian Prayers

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The 8 Most Dangerous Christian Prayers

There are certain prayers as Christians that we should be careful of praying. Not saying we shouldn’t pray these prayers for we should. What we are saying is be aware of what you’re praying for and be ready for the outcome…

1. Teach me humility.

After you pray this Christian prayer for humility, be ready for people to badmouth you, slander you, and drag your name through the mud. If you pray for humility, be ready for false accusations, for that “skeleton in the closet” to be revealed, or for people to belittle you and talk down to you as if you were inferior.

The only way to learn humility is to be placed in humbling situations, so if you pray for humility, be ready!

2. Teach me patience.

If you pray for patience, get ready to be surrounded by the most annoying people you have ever met. Get ready for your car to break down when you are late for an appointment. Get ready your children to go bonkers. Get ready for prayers to not get answered. Get ready for setbacks, roadblocks, and pitfalls.

Just like with all the other Christian prayers on this list, God teaches us patience by taking us through trying times.

3. Lead me wherever you want me to go.

One way this Christian prayer is often prayed is with the words, “Here I am, Lord, send me.”

Usually when we pray this Christian prayer, we think that God is going to send us into high profile ministry positions, places of honor and glory, and opportunities to be heard. This is why ministry leaders almost never “feel the leading of God” to go to smaller ministries and places of lesser significance. God always seems to “call” pastors and ministry professionals to bigger churches, richer ministries, and positions with greater power.

While I do not deny that God sometimes leads people in these directions, I think that more often than not, God wants to lead us downward, but we refuse to go. Of course, this does not mean that we will stay in the gutter if God leads us there. God may very well lift us up out of the gutter to a place of prominence, but when He does so, He gets the glory instead of us.

That’s why this is such a dangerous Christian prayer. We want to be used by God for great things in His kingdom, but God’s path to greatness usually does not mirror what we had in mind. God’s path to greatness usually leads to prison, death, and the gates of hell.

Also (and this fits with #1 above), when we pray this prayer, we will often be faced with a choice between two ministry positions, one that leads to honor, glory, and fame, and one that leads to obscurity and insignificance. Though the temptation is to choose glory and honor, such decisions may actually be a choice to follow Jesus downward into humility.

I once heard Francis Schaeffer say in an interview that if given the choice between two ministry positions, we should choose the one with less fame and glory.

4. Help me understand the plight of the poor.

This Christian prayer is like asking God to make you poor. Yikes! How can you understand the plight of the poor unless you become poor yourself?!

So do you like your nice house, your two cars, your steak dinners, and your Caribbean vacations? Don’t ask God to help you understand the plight of the poor.

5. Make me more like Jesus.

In one way or another, this has been a constant life prayer of mine. A couple years back, I realized that this prayer ruined my life.

I had my life all figure out, and it was all going according to my perfect plan. Then I started praying this prayer. Before long, all my hopes and dreams lay shattered around my feet. I often tried to pick up the pieces and glue everything back together, but God would come through with His baseball bat and smash it all to hell (almost literally… all of my plans and dreams deserved nothing more).

When you pray to be like Jesus, God will begin to break down, burn away, and slough off anything and everything in your life that does not look like Jesus. This sounds nice until you begin to experience it. The purification of our life may be with God’s refining fire, but it sill burns!

6. Give me more faith.

Christians like our beliefs in nice, neat packages. But life is not like that, and neither is life with God.

When Christians pray for God to give us more faith, we are likely to enter into some of the difficult and doubt-filled times of our lives. You will begin to question everything you have never known and everything you have ever believed. You may even begin to doubt God’s goodness and maybe even His existence.

This is not bad. Embrace the doubts. Understand that if what you believe it true, it can stand up against all questions. Truth does not fear a challenge. There is no other way for your faith to grow than for your faith to be tested.

7. Give me victory over sin and temptation.

Christian prayerHow do you think victory comes, except through ever-increasing cycles of temptation? Sure, God does not send the temptations, and He never allows us to be tempted with more than we can bear, but if we pray for God to give us victory over sin and temptation, this is the same thing as asking God to strengthen us so that we can stand up under greater and greater temptations!

So if you pray this Christian prayer, be ready for an onslaught of all the wiles of the devil.

8. Please help my annoying neighbor/coworker come to Christ.

This is a great Christian prayer. Except guess how God is going to help your annoying neighbor or coworker come to Christ? That’s right. He’s going to use you.

I once heard a story of a Bible study group who decided to make a prayer list of all the people they “disliked” the most, and then pray for these people every week as part of the Bible study. Over the course of the next ten years, all but one of the people on that list became believers, and almost all of them became Christians because the members of that Bible study showed grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness to these “annoying” people.

Have you prayed any of these prayers???

Article by Jeremy Myers
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