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!

Thanks for visiting our blog and don’t forget to click the follow button to keep updated to more of our posts…God bless you!

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How Can I Be A Good Christian? By S. Michael Houdman

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Wouldn’t it be great if the Christian life had a check list? A recipe of sorts to provide instructions that we could follow to ensure we were being “good Christians”? Few things in life really work that way. In fact, even recipes followed exactly don’t always turn out. They fail to account for effects of the weather, slight differences in ingredients, variance in oven temperatures, or a number of other factors. And “good” is in the taste buds of the eater. So what does it take to be a good Christian?

Many will say that it means reading your Bible daily, praying at least twice a day, serving at church, tithing, supporting a missionary, evangelizing, and the like. These are all great activities for Christians, but they are not what the Christian life is all about.

A Christian is someone who has been made new in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) and restored to relationship with God. The Christian life is about getting to know God, enjoying Him and bringing Him glory (Isaiah 43:7; 2 Corinthians 3:18; John 17:1–5, 22). It is true that when we know God certain actions will naturally result. Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:14). But before that He said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. . . . Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. . . . This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:1–11). Obedience—living the “good Christian” life—flows from a loving relationship. And obedience helps us remain in God’s love and therefore experience His joy.

Being a “good Christian” is not about performing certain actions. It is about growing in love for Christ and allowing His Holy Spirit to transform our hearts and lives. Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), the recipe-writer and taste-tester for our lives. As we seek to know God and glorify Him, we also get to enjoy Him (Psalm 73:25—26). The good Christian knows God, enjoys God, and grows in grace.

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The Perfect Question to Ask Jesus Each Morning | Rebecca Barlow Jordan

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Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

I don’t always remember, but one of the first questions I like to ask Jesus when I wake up each morning is, “How can I encourage someone today? And who?”

He’s always faithful to answer, often through His Word. One morning after asking that question, I read from Isaiah 35:3–4 (NLT) and found a practical answer. First, “strengthen those who have tired hands.” That might include teachers, hair stylists, moms, writers—and all who use computers, which includes most of us—missionaries, pastors, and parents who spend time “lifting up” the burdens of others.

Next, the passage mentions encouraging those who have “weak knees.” I envisioned grandparents and senior citizens, veterans, and even athletes with wear and tear on their bodies. But the last category, the “fearful,” could probably include everyone. These needed to hear the words, “be strong, and do not fear.”

Sometimes I can offer an encouraging response to a needy e-mail request or blog comment from my Web site. Other times, my phone will ring, and the caller needs a cheerful word. And who can forget neighbors or our family members, who need a hug or a kind word? Even through my prayers, especially as I turn Scriptures such as Ephesians 3:16–19 or Colossians 1:9–12 into heavenly petitions for others, I can pass on His encouraging truths, trusting Jesus to make those prayers a reality.

For me, finding people to encourage is not a problem. Remembering to listen and to follow through with Jesus’s answers is where I need work. And the amazing thing is, when I try to lift up someone else, I’m the one who ends up encouraged.

Faith Step: Ask Jesus to help you encourage someone today. Invite Him to speak through you, and be prepared for His answers.

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What’s in Your Fruit Basket?

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We have a pretty fruit basket that sits on our countertop. It is usually filled with fresh organic fruit. Today, I went to grab a beautiful-looking apple but when I lifted it up, I noticed that it was very light in weight. I looked at the backside and sure enough, it was rotten. It also had corrupted the orange sitting right next to it. Both pieces of fruit had to be thrown away.

The Bible tells us that we are to be careful who we fellowship with. Rotten fruit always corrupts the good fruit. A good piece of fruit never rehabilitates a rotten bunch of fruit. It is always the other way around. Place a good apple in a rotten bunch and it too shall become rotten.

2Cor 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

We, as Christians, are commanded in Scripture to avoid the constant fellowship with unbelievers. We are instead to fellowship with other believers in Christ Jesus.

1Thess 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

We are light in the darkness. We are the salt of the earth and are supposed to be a good example. We are called to show the love of Jesus and to love those who are considered unlovable. But the bible warns us of constant fellowship with the unsaved. We are not called to fellowship with them, lest our own minds become corrupted.

Only Jesus can set men free. Only Jesus can save the unconverted soul. We are to witness, show our light and reach the lost by our love and compassion but ultimately, it is Jesus who will save the soul.

It is not our job to rehabilitate the unsaved…only Jesus can change them—once they get saved. Trying to change your unsaved friend is like trying to patch the hole on the sinking Titanic. If you really want your loved one to change, tell them about Jesus– for He alone can give someone a brand new heart.

Sitting on the phone with your troubled unsaved girlfriend all day long will bring you down spiritually. We are to show the love of Jesus to the unsaved but we are not to grieve the Holy Spirit within us by listening to ungodly conversations.

Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

You will find that as you grow in Christ Jesus, either your unsaved friend will desire Christ Jesus too by the Light they see in you or they will abandon their friendship with you because they desire not the Lord in their own lives. No matter what, we cannot compromise..Jesus must come first in everything we do and say.

Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God

Written by Cobblestone Road Ministries

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‘ARE YOU READY TO MEET JESUS?’

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‘ARE YOU READY TO MEET JESUS?

If you’re not sure; maybe today is the day to ensure you are ready for His return. Repent today by asking Jesus to forgive you of your sins and invite Him into your heart

Acts 2:38 declares the following: Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost

This is not a gimmick, but a bonafide GUARANTEE from the Lord Himself, that if you follow the guidelines of Acts 2:38, you SHALL receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and your place in Heaven is guaranteed

Accept Him into your life today…tomorrow might be too late! Don’t take that chance…accept Him today

If you would like us to send you free literature to help strengthen your walk with the Lord, please visit our website at http://www.blessedmagazine.org/ and request 8 free eBooks to be sent to your email

God bless you!

Written by Missionary Laraine Turner

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Trusting God With No Regrets

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Originally posted by Godfruits(10 Things You Will Never Regret By Putting Your Faith in God)

Put your faith in God! There really isn’t a better life to live by than by His standards! Although life can be filled with many regrets, following God’s righteous path will leave you absent from any feelings of regret. In the life of a Christian, there are some things that you will never regret doing:

1. The Art Of Praying. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

“pray continually”

Prayer is the ultimate communication tool for man and God. Spilling your heart out to your creator will not only bring you peace,  but will also strengthen your relationship with him.

2. Dedicating Your Life To Christ. (Romans 12:1)

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

When you throw away your old personality and put on this new personality – that of a Christian- you are setting a fine example for everyone around you. By dedicating your life to Christ, you are committing to living a life of purpose and love.

3. Enhancing Your Bible Knowledge (Psalms 119:105)

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

God’s Word is an vital source for each and every one of us. It enriches our lives every time we read about God.

4. Being Humble (Philippians 2:3)

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,”

 Jesus was the most humble being to have ever existed. Hailing from the highest position in the heavens, he walked among humans. Imitating Jesus will prove to bring us much benefit.

5. Loving your neighbor. (Mark 12:31)

“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.””

Nothing bad will ever sprout from love. Love is the drive that motivates each and every one of us to better our lives and those around us. If we love our neighbors, no crime would be committed. Instead, we would all be striving towards living in a beautiful utopia.

6. Spreading The Truth About God. (Matthew 6:15)

“But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Nothing feels more rewarding than to bring the good news to the people of the nations. We are messengers of God and will always speak about His grace.

7. Put God In Control Of Your Life (Proverbs 3:6)

“in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight”

Putting God first and in control of your life will probably be the best decision you’ve ever made.

8. Resisting temptation. (James 4:7)

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

By resisting temptation, you are making yourself free from many negative consequences. Temptation leads to sin, which will poison your life. Abstaining from temptation will evade the dangers of unwanted pregnancies, STDs, and many other dangers.

9. Finding Refuge Within God (Psalms 118:8)

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.”

Taking refuge in God will prove to be comforting. If he isn’t already, he is our solid rock that will protect and shield us in our time of need.

10. Holding Fast To The Fruitage Of The Spirit. (Galatians 5)

Jesus said that his Father is glorified whenever we execute the fruitage of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, and self-control is everything we need to have in order to live long and healthy lives.

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