Sunday, July 14, 2013

Christ is Our Life

Rom.12: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

How many of us sat under preachers that railed against smoking and drinking and dancing and they used those verses as their foundation? How tragic it is that so many believers have an earthly perspective on things which is often the same perspective as unbelievers have. Although it may be that George Zimmerman did not break any of man’s laws, is that what we derive comfort from as followers of Jesus? A teenage boy raised in a domestic mess is now dead and he was doing nothing wrong. Go ahead and embrace all your law and order mantras if that is what gives you solace, but I feel a real sense of tragedy.

What if Zimmerman was a believer? What if he carried a taser instead of a gun? What if did not call that boy an expletive? What if as a believer Zimmerman had asked the boy if he needed a ride to wherever he was going? And how deeply tragic it is to see believers and unbelievers alike pounce on the fact that Trayvon Martin had traces of marijuana in his blood. If that was the criteria for being deserving of death I should have been shot forty years ago. I sold drugs to high school kids. But I have used this tragedy in order to convict us on a higher spiritual issue.

You see, the “What would Jesus do?” church phrase seems to end at the barrel of s gun. Our calling as His followers is not to beat the law and order drums. Those who do that are already legion. Our calling is redemption. And sometimes that means we are going to be vulnerable. But so often the world supplies the narrative and the parameters and the church participates on the world’s terms. This case should once again wake us up to see just how fallen the world is and just how incongruous our faith is with what the world practices.

But the Zimmerman issue represents a deeper and more profound issue about which most of the church is willingly and pleasantly ignorant. The winds of this world’s perspectives blow with incredible strength. They are both open and clandestine and carry an influential weight that captures the mind and heart with partial truths and earthly logic. The evil force behind these winds is incredibly clever and uses all kinds of leverages in order to draw people into embracing the fallen perspectives of this world. The church has been called to a life which is not of this world, and yet so often we have distilled it down to the avoiding of cigarettes and beer and profane language.

And if you are against abortion and gay marriage you are comparatively a mature and surrendered follower of Jesus. That, of course, is measured by comparing ourselves with ourselves but it has no Scriptural or spiritual validity. People are influenced and even controlled by imagery and information. And in these days of multiple televisions with hundreds of channels with 24 hour programming, and with the incredible spread of all the many social media technologies, the average person’s mind can be altered and controlled simply by the amount of disinformation to which he exposes himself. And not only does he expose himself to fraudulent information streams, but most enjoy and are even addicted to it. This includes those who profess Christ.

This issue of affecting and infecting the hearts and minds through the senses cannot be overstated. And it isn’t just embracing what the world says is “conservative” and rejecting what the world says is “liberal”. It goes far deeper than those safe monikers. Truth as understood through the Scriptures is sacred and yet it cannot be just printed upon a Hallmark card and used to prove our orthodox spirituality. The church has come to love its doctrinal statements and has long since given up any sacrificial pursuit as it pertains to applications of those truths.

The life in the Spirit which not only follows Jesus but allows He Himself to live through us as divine conduits is not sedentary and stagnant. It must continue to grow in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is not just some innocuous phrase which is meant to elicit “amens” from the pews or fit neatly into a clean and organized systematic theology. When John the Baptist declared, “He must increase but I must decrease” he was uttering a statement which profoundly captures the very essence of our lives. And if we truly examine the life and ministry of Jesus we must see just how He lived and spoke with such a distinctiveness that was at odds with what even religious people had come to believe. And His teachings were incompatible with the ways of the world.

But today the church has learned to embrace both the teachings of Jesus and the teachings of the world. And since they are at odds with each other then just what is the church embracing? In essence the church is embracing itself and not Jesus. And given that we all wear western glasses and we see and understand things with a western bias, the Scriptures have been taught through that same bias. But the tension between what we believe and practice and live as opposed to what Jesus actually taught would be unbearable. So the church has slowly but surely changed the interpretation of the message of Jesus in order to alleviate any spiritual tension. And so what we have today is the Christianity of man and not the Christianity of Christ and it feels oh so good.

Oh how it must grieve the Spirit of God when He sees what has become of the entity that still calls itself “the church”. He is called the Spirit of Christ and He knows with eternal knowledge and experience who is the Son of God. It was He who impregnated the virgin with the incarnate Christ in Nazareth. And yet now He finds a church consumed with itself and walking in the ways of the heathen. And even worse He hears a church teach lies and claim they come from Him and the Redeemer.

But where is that transforming power which frees the mind and the heart from the teachings and even the perspectives of this fallen world? Where is that powerful renewing of the mind which takes the written revelation of Jesus and empowers the new man to see things as He sees them? How can we be a friend to the ways of the world and a friend to Jesus as well? This life that follows Jesus is not just so we can find a voice that directs the moral compass of a fallen culture. No, this is a life which crucifies our former lives in all their fallen glory and allows a new creation to burst forth which has no relation to the former. And permeating everything within this new life is Jesus and His gospel redemption. Everything else must be residual.

Who carries a cross anymore? Who endures persecution with patience and even rejoicing? Who allows the world to battle out their own wars while we quietly and with humility go about our Father’s business? These are the issues which must define us as believers or they openly indict us. There cannot be two masters. In Christ there cannot be any competitors nor can there be a ameliorating between the fallen and the sacred.

It is time we seek and pursue a fresh revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. It would not be so we can enlarge our volume on Christology. This kind of seeking requires a sacrifice and a self denial which is foreign to the western mindset and the western church. It will bring affliction as well as great glory. It will lead to repentance as it leads to a greater freedom in Christ. It will open our eyes as to this present world and open our eyes to eternity. It will establish the Lordship of Christ in our hearts and minds, and this kind of revelation will change us forever. This is what we need. This is what the Spirit calls out for us. This is not just to give us some life adjustments. He must be our life.


michael said...

I was thinking along the same lines this morning as I was going over the book of Daniel. Oh that we would come to understand these things and there is no way but as you have represented the way; that is it is sacrificial and a life of sacrifice, that once commenced, dark spiritual opposition abounds against it. We get confused as to why most of the time though. We must learn about these dark forces of evil and their intended purpose. As we do a settled peace consumes our spirit and soul even as our flesh cries out squealing like a stuck pig!

Here are a couple verses from Daniel chapter 5 and 6 that underscores what the Apostle Paul was praying when praying for the Ephesians.


I have heard of you that the spirit of the gods is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you. ... Then Daniel answered and said before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another. Nevertheless, I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation. (Daniel 5:14, 17 ESV)


Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. (Daniel 6:3 ESV)


When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. (Daniel 6:10 ESV)

When you don't have Internet access, TV or radio to distract you you might develop a prayer life like what we read there with Daniel! Just saying ...?; in any event these examples, Daniel and his three companions "while living in the world", Babylon, they were not caught up in it just in it not "of" it.

We read about the attitude we should adopt seeing we've been adopted to adopt it! We must first present ourselves as Romans 12:1-2 indicates. From there as we mature in this self-sacrificing spiritual life we then can realize what Paul was praying here:

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:15-21 ESV)


For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, (Ephesians 3:14-20 ESV)

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

I wondered about what the strong delusion would be, which is to be sent in the last days. To the church here in the West, I wonder if the delusion is racial superiority. I used to think that the delusion would be new ageism, or false doctrines or perversions of all sorts

I wonder if the strong delusion will be 'racial purity'. I hope not. But in our history, I don't think the church which claims it's the true church of Christ, has ever embraced the smugness of white superiority like it has today. Many in the church follow the false wolves in sheep's clothing who claim that unless the church steps up and puts a stop to the traditional values, it won't survive. They're gullible and don't seem to realize there is a subtle trend by politically-motivated christian leaders. We're constantly being fed the lie that unless we save our traditional lifestyles, christianity will be wiped out, and this is a lie. church leaders care more about keeping the upper hand in every dominion, lording it over minorities and others who are a threat to their lifestyles. And the church follows s these dangerous leaders, believing the leaders have the church's best interests at heart.

All I can do is cling to Christ, who IS and HAS to be the center of my life, or else I'd be in a continual state of hopelessness and defeat; and I do feel a sense of tragedy, like Pastor Rick (listening to gloating and rejoicing from the results of the Zimmerman trial, by self-professed christians, no less).


Anonymous said...

Dear reader, are you a person who has become consumed with yourself? Do you sense that you are still walking in the ways of the heathen? Are you currently lapping up the lie of living submitted to no one but yourself and foolishly claiming it comes from the Redeemer, Lord Jesus?

Have you not heard that Jesus, the sinless Son of God, has transforming power which can free the mind and the heart from false teachings?

Dear readers, all unsaved people need a powerful renewing of the mind which takes the written revelation of Jesus and empowers people to see things as He sees them.

Because Lot's wife was ensnared to the world when God's judgment came it was too late for her. Likewise all the contemporaries of Noah apart from his family were ensnared by the temporal attractions of the world in which they lived. What had they done wrong? None of these people had surrendered their their lives wholeheartedly to the LORD Almighty.

Dear readers, your commitment must be uniquely to Christ Jesus, for He as God is uniquely LORD.

Let's praise the great Creator, for Only God Himself can open our eyes to a pure walk in Christ and the beautiful reality of a future eternity trusting, obeying and prospering in the company of God Triune!

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Rick, with a contrite heart I finally realize what you are trying to say. When the bullet left the end of that barrel Treyvon was condemned death, the scales were set to weigh his young life in the balance and it was set to judgement against him. Treyvon was sentenced to the eternity of seperation from God. If God sees every sparrow that falls from the sky, how much more does He grieve for those that never heard the Gospel and fall from His sight.

I am guilty of not telling some I know or met about Jesus and His saving grace. I have been working on that. I have these light afflictions, but I have not suffered unto death. But through each affliction I look for the lesson from the Father to learn.

I am a servant, a soldier and an intrument for Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. This is not something you can do just one day a week or one Wednesday night for an hour or so. It is 24/7, 365. I am either fully committed or not, there is no in-between and I can not sit on the fence and watch the rodeo, I have to participate.


Anonymous said...

I think we have to understand that only the LORD can give us a pure desire to pray to Him.

Access to television, radio and the internet is a wonderful blessing from God that everyone can and should desire to profit from. Let's use these great technologies to study the life and words of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God. Dear readers, a wise man doesn't run away from the best technologies in the world when he knows the magnificent things he can do with them when God is powerfully with him.


Rick Frueh said...

Amen, Joel.

Anonymous said...

Only almighty, gracious God knows definitively who are His and who are not.

Shannon said...

Christ Jesus IS the life of the believer, as His Spirit is indwelling one who is born again.
We are growing in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ for He is the one giving us desire for His Word.
There are so very many distractions the world and satan use to keep our mind occupied and preoccupied which is the only tool/weapon satan can use against those of us who are born again having His Spirit.
Even those with good intentions may be useful tools of the enemy, keeping us busy with the news of this world. This all keeps one from the study of the Word of God.
Unless we have His Spirit we don't even know we are hungry and starving for the Word, instead are finding satisfaction in the activities of this world.

We get too busy and too worried about the things of this world.
1 Peter 5:5-8
verse 8, "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."

The Lord is in complete control and is allowing/disallowing all for His purposes and His glory.
Psalm 46:10,11
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, 'My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.'From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.

Isaiah 55:8,9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD."As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

The born again believer is in the world but not of the world and is being led by the Lord to receive sustenance and satisfaction from the Word.


Anonymous said...

Reading everyone's comments here and getting so much out of each, Michael, Reine and Joel.

I just pray that we brothers and sisters who all comment here on occasion can (per Rick: "seek and pursue a fresh revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ") in our own communities, right where we are. As ungodly as our neighborhoods and cities have become, I just pray the Lord gives us the supernatural strength only He can give to endure and sharing to others in these deceitful times.

Joel, I totally understand "the light afflictions" you mention, and how it can be a wedge in trying to reach people - I've been there and here with syndromes, fatigue, allergies, low immunity, chronic pain, etc. - If they had a name for it in the dictionary, my picture would be next to it. I know, after my successful cancer surgery last Spring that the Lord is SO merciful, and I am so thankful. But it's true, like Joel said, with each affliction, something from the Father can be learned. And I'm guilty too, Joel, of not telling some I know about Jesus. Like a car, I need a new overhaul.


Shannon said...

Question for J:

Have our "neighborhoods and cities" ever been godly?
Since true righteousness is only to be found in Our Sinless Savior Jesus Christ, all other "godliness" is only from out of the flesh as the source...This equates to "self" righteousness or godliness, does it not?

Psalm 14:3 "...There is no one who does good, not even one."
Romans 3:10 "as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;"


Anonymous said...

Jackie, I have learned that the "wedge" that keeps us from witnessing to others is put there by us. When you start doing what Jesus asks us to do you immediately come up on Satan's radar. And when the Holy Spirit starts to convict the ones you are witnessing to then Satan comes in and the "afflictions" bother us and we start focusing on the affliction instead of the work we are to be doing for Jesus. It says in "Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". Do we really believe that or is this verse just one you throw out there when things are going our way. Do not put your focus or thought on these light afflictions, they are only for a while. When reading about Paul and his affliction He makes no mention as to what it is or what it is doing to him. Only that it is a thorn in his side. Paul went to God three times asking Him to remove his affliction and God refused Paul. Satan is doing the same thing to us in these situations and we need to go to the Father and ask Him to strengthen us to keep us doing what Jesus commands us to do. I have for some time now been praying that the blood of Jesus covers me when I am ill. Because I know that Satan does not want me where I am currently at and that is witnessing and teaching to those that Satan has caused some considerable mental and physical damage.

God can do astounding things with a weak vessel, man on his own can do nothing in weakness, I know, I am weak. It is all about Jesus and nothing else. Praise Jesus in all things.

I remember your bout with cancer I am so thankful to God you are still with us.


Cherie c. said...


Please don't start. Your question is unnecessary.

Cherie c.

Cherie c. said...

To All,

borrowed this from the Thirsty Theologian blog:

Out of Our Love and Mercy

Sibbes exhorts us, in short, to bear with, as much as possible, the flaws of others, knowing that the best of us have faults that others must tolerate.

Men must not be too curious in prying into the weaknesses of others. We should labour rather to see what they have that is for eternity, to incline our heart to love them, than into that weakness which the Spirit of God will in time consume, to estrange us. Some think it strength of grace to endure nothing in the weaker, whereas the strongest are readiest to bear with the infirmities of the weak.

Where most holiness is, there is most moderation, where it may be with out prejudice of piety to God and the good of others. We see in Christ a marvellous temper of absolute holiness, with great moderation, in this text. What had become of our salvation, if he had stood upon terms, and not stooped thus low unto us? We need not affect to be more holy than Christ; it is no flattery to do as he doth, so it be to edification.

The Holy Ghost is content to dwell in smoky, offensive souls. That that Spirit would breathe into our spirits the like merciful disposition! We endure the bittemess of wormwood, and other distasteful plants and herbs, only because we have some experience of some wholesome quality in them; and why should we reject men of useful parts and graces, only for some harshness of disposition, which, as it is offensive to us, so grieveth them selves?

Grace whilst we live here is in souls, which as they are unperfectly renewed, so they dwell in bodies subject to several humours, which will incline the soul sometimes to excess in one passion, sometimes to excess in another.

Bucer was a deep and a moderate divine; upon long experience he resolved to refuse none in whom he saw, aliquid Christi, something of Christ. The best Christians in this state of imperfection are like gold that is a little too light, which needs some grains of allowance to make it pass. You must grant the best their allowance. We must supply out of our love and mercy, that which we see wanting in them.

—Richard Sibbes,

sisterly love to you all.

Shannon said...

My comment to J was in all sincerity, Cherie. There have been several questions raised on this blog and yet there seems to be an issue or a singling out when I raise a question. May I ask you Cherie why?

Annette said...

Well spoken, Pastor Rick. This post searches the heart. Thank-You.

Anonymous said...

Shannon, When we study Psalm 1 we learn that there are the righteous and the unrighteous!
As soon as the LORD saves someone they belong to the congregation of the righteous.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Just responding to Shannon about your question. I was in a 'weak' moment while I wrote, and didn't communicate my point through; of course, I do know we are all sinners and not living in a godly world.

I think I was trying to refer to today's generation, which lives with almost no fear of God. I recall in my parents and grandparents generations, that they were not what we see today in 2 Tim. chapter 3. Of course they sinned, but the shamelessness and lack of fear of God is worse in these days, and unthankfulness, disobedience and disrespect to parents and cursing and defying God has increased and there aren't too many places of refuge to turn to. That was my point.


Shannon said...

Yes Reine, the blessed ones are those born again of His Spirit, converted from unrighteous to righteous...His righteousness indwelling.
Jackie's comment concerned me that it would confuse the readers on the blog to think "neighborhoods and cities" have the potential for being "godly".

Thank you Jackie for clarifying. Yes, Paul wrote his letter to Timothy warning that the last days would be characterized by ungodliness...2 Timothy 3:13 "...evil will wax worse and worse."


Cherie c. said...

I'm not singling you out, and before we have debated this. You come across a confrontational in your questioning. Almost like you have a need to point out something of error with commentors without taking into consideration what they may be trying to say. You seem to be pointing out error instead of asking for clarification. You have been that way towards me as well. Whether or not you want to accept it, you are confrontational even in your sincerity. I know you won't believe this, but I am telling you because you are a sister in Christ and your lack of charity (love) is absent in your conversation. If I didn't care about you I would let it go. Sometimes to demostrate our love for one another we must keep out thoughts and comments to ourselves. Not lie, just keep silent. You stress the Holy Spirit in the life if a believer. So let Him do the correcting. I'm not saying you are unloving, just that your conversation lacks it.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Shannon's comments are helpful, respectful, probing and very often soundly Bible-based! Let's enjoy learning from each other. Let's be more patient with each other, for only Our loyal LORD can bless us with His gracious gift of true love!

Cherie c. said...

Please excuse double negative in prior post:

your conversation lacks love

Do you really think believers would think that neighborhoods and cities are godly? Come on Shannon, do you really think believers are that naive or Scripturally ignorant? You're scaring me. n =/

Without a doubt you know Scripture, but your view of some brothers and sisters seems skeptical and there is at times good reason to be so, but dear Shannon, it seems to be more often than not. I know this mode of communication can make it difficult to really illustrate our hearts on the matter at hand, but if we use the right words, or phrase a question or comment in a way that is edifying, then we can eliminate coming across as superior, and or, to put it plainly, mean. I am guilty of it too.

You have much knowledge to share and although at times I disagree with you, I learn a lot from you too, and I appreciate your efforts.

I am expecting you to take this the wrong way like you have before, but I hope this time you won't. You may not feel the same dear sister in Christ, but I love you anyway. =D

I am asking for prayers, even though it may sound kind of weird. I am a human resource consultant, and instead of fighting to get out of my work, I have started to view it as a mission field. Anyway, I have a new client in NY and I am a bit nervous about going there, we have usually gone as a group but tomorrow it is just me and my employee, who is my son. Please pray for me because it is on the 6th floor of a building, and I don't do well in highrises due to altitude sensitivity. Yes, I know, another health issue to deal with. This client will only be until the end of they year, God willing, not saying that as in desperation, but because I try not to be presumptuous when it comes to my life because it belongs to the Lord. I will be doing some hiring for this client and other HR functions, but this client is, let's just say, as all of us in need of a savior. Rough around the edges. I really disdain foul language and lately it seems like many of my clients use it every other word in a sentence and it really hurts to hear it. Yes, I could have turned it down but it seems that I need to start sharing the Lord more, and what a great way to do it. Show patience and love and perhaps when they ask me a question, they usually do sensing something different about me, this will give me the opportunity to share the Gospel. That something different is, I am convinced, is the Holy Spirit. I usually don't have to say a word. Love to see the Holy Spirit at work. I am not taking credit for His work at all. And sometimes it works against me, and other times, well, the cursing stops, and they calm down and apologize to me???? I say nothing unless I am asked because I will not lie. I do lose potential clients but most of the time I don't. Praise God. It is just sometimes I am not sure if it is right. Please pray that I do not dishonor the Lord, that is most paramount to me. Things just don't happen, God is in everything we do.

Love to all my brothers and sisters in the Lord. Stay cool, stay safe, stay in the Word.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Cherie c. said...

So often we miss this when it comes to our brothers and sisters.

Colossians 3:13-16

13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

May God grant us the courage to follow His Word this day to each other in the Body.

To my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus,

Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I will shut up now. =D

Cherie c.

Shannon said...

I apologize, Cherie and all readers on this blog, if my approach appears confrontational to you. My intent when posting a question is an attempt at sharing what the Lord is teaching me through His Word.
If you are not blessed by my thoughts and questions, you have choice of ignoring me, if you so choose. This would not offend me.
As we know, the masses were offended to the point of hatred of Jesus Christ and crucified Him. He said HE is THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life. This offended and angered those. His Way is exclusive, not inclusive.

The world of professing believers enjoys a false "love" that does not care for the spiritual welfare of others. They do not want to offend or be offended by Truth, i.e. "Can't we all just get along and agree to disagree?" Unity, ecumenicalism is very popular in the world of churchianity today. It's called Democracy.
There is so much false teaching today and a little leaven spoils the whole lump so that is most of my concern.


Shannon said...

Confused as why you gave me Psalms 1? Thanks


Cherie c. said...

You can throw my words of sisterly love back in my face, but it is you who will be hurt by it, not me.
I wrote this long rebuttal, but I'd rather let the Word of God speak for me.

1 Corinthians 13:1

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Excellence of Love

13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

John 13:34
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Romans 12:10
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;

I think your apology is disingenuous at best. But it is my guess that you reserve your love for those who agree with you and those who do not are game for attack.

2 Corinthians 13:5
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?

Or perhaps you have forgotten these verses:

Galatians 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Ephesians 4:2
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

Colossians 1:11
Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

Colossians 3:12
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

1 Timothy 1:16
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

"for a pattern". That means an example for us to follow. Jesus gave us His example. Loving someone will not send you to hell or make you a fool. It will however, show the love of God through you. Just saying.

Cherie c.

Kelli Baker said...

It's a shame that this is happening again or maybe the wound has never really healed?
Reminds me of what Pastor Bill has said about the game King of the Hill this case, who wants to be the Queen of the Hill?

Evelyn S said...

I am not understanding the statement "A teenage boy raised in a domestic mess." True his parents are divorced as is the case with multitudes of people today, including Christians. His parents, throughout this tragedy, although divorced, have stood together and only wanted justice for their son. His older brother seems to be a responsible young man attending college. Even after the verdict his mother prayed to God for strength, she seems to be a Christian and a praying woman and no doubt she has prayed for her sons' salvation. So who's to say that when this young man was murdered that he went to be with the Lord? I believe that God hears and answers prayers and He is merciful. We have no right to judge this young man, no more than when Jesus was confronted by a group who caught a woman in the act of adultery. God is the final Judge.

Cherie c. said...

Okay, you win. Peace.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shannon, after I read your commentary in which you listed verses from Psalm 14:3, Romans 3:10 and Romans 3:12 I felt it was important to mention Psalm 1 to further complete the LORD's teaching about righteousness.

What you wrote was correct and very well linked together!

May the LORD continue to increase your love for Him and His eternal word!

Kelli Baker said...

It is not about winning but the denying of one self and being used by the Lord for His purposes. Being ministered by the Lord involves corrections, encouragement, etc. We can be so quick to respond to a correction because of pride without reading the instruction. Correct teaching/sound doctrine is what ministers to the fellowship of the saints. We know not all are called to be teachers 1 Corinthians 12:29 . We know a little false teaching spoils the whole lump. Galatians 5:9
The body of Christ has a purpose but we can desire something more than what the Lord has designed for each of us and our frustrations can be because we are fighting against the Lord and His plan. We should be desiring: Not my will but Your will be done.

2 Peter 3:18 KJV
But grow in the grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Cherie c. said...


Did you not read what Shannon wrote? Of is it because you two share a Pastor that you can just ignore her mean spirit?

Please don't tell me about being encouraging. All Shannon has done is attack Jackie for a few miss written words and then spit in my face. So please direct your "correction" towards her not me.

So I guess you completely missed every Scripture I quoted? Okay.

Cherie c.

Shannon said...

Thank you, Reine once again for the mention of Psalm 1. Yes agree that it fits alongside of the verses brought out.
I'm so very grateful for His grace poured out giving the desire to
love reading and studying of His Word.
A blessing to read your post.

Thanks In Him,

Kelli Baker said...

Jackie and Shannon have discussed their issues and there doesn't seem to be any problems, correct?

So you would like for me to direct my correction to Shannon and not you? Okay.

Number 1:
Was not speaking directly at you when I made the comment about corrections and encouragement but for all those in the body of Christ. We all can use correction when wrong and as well as encouragement, no?

Yes, looked at all the scriptures that you gave to Shannon. For one and for now have a question in your use of regarding Galatians 5:22 and what does it mean to you and why did you give this to Shannon?

Shannon and I met on another Christian discussion website about 5 years ago and found out we are like-minded. If Shannon wants to elaborate on this will let her do so ...

Cherie c. said...

I am thoroughly disgusted with myself to have allowed myself to react the way I did. Can we say flesh?

Well, if all Shannon and Kelli can do is find errors in everything, attack people but call it correction, than all I can do is pray and warn others to beware. But I will not allow them to get me to a point where I react from a fleshly perspective instead of a biblical perspective.

I can however direct the brothers and sisters here to other blog posts of Pastor Rick's where they have not only attacked me, but Michael and a few others all the while claiming it is for correction. Not so. It is to attack. If you do not agree with them expect to be blasted. If you do not find who they like or the sites they like, your cup of tea, expect to be attacked. That it seems, all they do here on Pastor Rick's blog.

Use discernment when you are reading their comments. You will also notice they come and go so you never really know when you will be blind sided.

Their behavior is similar to those who are in the walled church that I came out of. I must caution you if you are to engage them in conversation.
Kelli says it is all about denying oneself, but neither one of them has denied themselves to refrain from "correcting" someone without love. They claim the Bible, but demonstrate otherwise. The Word says to, as I posted earlier:

14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

They are famous for apologizing and then as they continue in their apology attack again. You can read it for yourself.

Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, not only are we to be vigilant when it comes to the enemy, but the enemy working through those who profess to know the Lord.

In these last days it will become more and more prevalent. You can tell when someone is not in the Faith by their fruits, as the Word says. Constant questions that they feel are bringing about correction and then when you disagree or say something they do not agree with, you are attacked. They usually work together too. There is no way for a believer to have the Holy Spirit and still be confrontational. That is not the Spirit of God. And they usually post the same message.

Cherie c. said...

The Word says we need to be truthful in our exposing of those who look to cause division in the Body for the wrong reasons. If I have said anything that is contrary to the Word, please correct me. But since I used Scripture and in context, I don't think I am in error, thus far. I also said the things I said, for the most part with love for Shannon and Kelli who claim to be believers only to have them throw it back in my face.

Again I say again, you can read the posts and comments for yourself then judge. Yes, we are to judge.

John 7:24
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

Acts 16:15
And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

Their posts remind me of Romans 2:1

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

They are very subtle about it too.

My question is why don't they follow Romans 14:10?

Romans 14:10
But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

I have been corrected on this blog, but never in the manner these two do. I do not have enough ego to think I know it all or that I am always right. I am not afraid to say when I have made a mistake or done something I ought not. You have seen my comments and confessions. I do not judge using my own mind because I know I will get it wrong every time, and when I do I am not so proud as to not ask for forgiveness.

I use the Word of God to judge others in the Faith, not the world because I was once them, but only those who profess.

I refuse to dishonor the Lord anymore with this. I am getting off his merry go round which is what trying to reason with them has become.

Peace to you my brothers and sisters and beware. Those who seek to cause you to allow your flesh to rise up, is not about sharing the Gospel or encouraging the brethren. We are called to expose those who do these things. We don't have to follow false doctrine or speak lies to be out of the Will of God or be in danger of hell. Knowing our weaknesses, the enemy uses whatever methods will cause us to live by the flesh. And that goes for using people too. What is sad is when you try to help someone recognize that this may be the case, you are attacked worse. So I am convinced, with history from this very blog, that they are not out to fellowship, they are out to cause hurt and doubt. Some of you may think I am being mean in writing this, but you know me. I don't know if Pastor will post this, but in the event he does, I know I am taking a chance on being attacked further. Be that at it may, I am compelled to do this because I saw Jackie get attacked and this has to stop. If they do not like what is written here why do they come? Because some people need to cause hardship. But I am joyful as the Word says to be in all affliction.

Love to all my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus,
yes, Shannon and Kelli too. I pray they repent and stop attacking in the form of questions. The enemy knows who is weak in the Word and he used a question to trap Eve into doubt. I know for sure I will be attacked for using this example to illustrate that questions posed in the manner they use causes the one being questioned to become doubtful, and in turn say something they would not have but do because they feel the need to explain themselves. I cannot explain it any better, all I can do is hope you see what I am trying to say.

I am taking this to you brothers and sisters because the Word of God says to after all else fails.

I hope you do get involved to help put an end to their ways towards the brothers and sisters here at this blog.

Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Shannon! eep delving deeply for truth and sharing your encouraging spirit with us.

May Our wonderfully gracious LORD continue to use you to inspire His saints to treasure His word more and more.


Cherie c. said...

This discourse is over. Thank you.

Cherie c.

Shannon said...

Sister Kelli,
As I read your posts and so many others I find myself asking the LORD to teach/correct me through them. The LORD has given each believer various roles within the Body of Christ. As we are learning through our teacher, Pastor Bill, the people the Holy Spirit is doing His work in/through, are the gifts spoken of. I've been so blessed by Him since He drew us together, yes approximately five years ago now. He knew I needed true sweet fellowship with another one born of His Spirit, one who He would love me through His Word, even enough to correct me where needed. I had, as many of us, been struggling with false teachings for so many years and was not growing through His Word at all...until the Lord, through His Spirit, led me out and to you and Pastor Bill Klein and others. I am finally receiving the Word taught in Truth, actually being ministered and blessed. The LORD, He is so Gracious!
You had asked Cherie why she used Galatians 5:22 in her response to me. I as well am curious as to why.The definition of "agape" love has been so mistaught that we many times don't understand what "agape" love is. This is sacrificial love. Giving up my self-interest for the sake of someone else's spiritual growth. This may be painful to the flesh. Teaching/correction from His Spirit is painful, as a Father disciplines/chastens his child. The LORD works through other believers "loving" us, correcting/teaching us, through them. This is unity. This unity is His "faith" within one believer to another believer....Romans 1:17 "For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "But the righteous man shall live by faith."
The false church of professing believers loves according to the world's definition. It feels good to our flesh but doesn't care for one's "spiritual" well-being. Look at the definition of "agape" love through the sacrificial act of GOD, sending Jesus Christ, God's Only Begotten Son, to die for me, in my place, the death I should die.
This act is the definition of "agape". GOD loved me so much that He, for my spiritual well-being, sacrificed, gave up His Son, Jesus Christ, for me! Oh how it must have pained GOD to do this! But this is True Love!
The Lord is growing me in the grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 2 Peter 3:18. He is using Kelli, and all my brothers/sisters to do this. In order for this to happen...

John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Anonymous said...

Hi brothers and sisters. Reading "Christ is Our Life" edified me. Then Michael wrote and if edified me, and I took something from his post, that I should decrease my TV and internet access, to have an increased prayer life.

Then Reine edified with her post. I just love to read everyone's comments, as I draw something new to add to my life in Christ. I love the quoted scriptures as well. And Joel, I so appreciate Joel for his honesty and love of winning souls, and drew something inspiring from his post.

Then Shannon wrote, and edified with scripture, and agreed with how the world is preoccupying christians with getting too busy and worrying about the things of this world.

Then I posted again from my heart, but putting doubt in Shannon's mind that I am not aware that the world has always been ungodly. At that point, I had no intention of answering because it was just a small point that she clarified with scripture.

Then my sister Cherie felt to come to my defense. I really appreciate that since I was bulled when I was a kid at school. But, there is no real contention here. We are christians in progress, and we sometimes sense that a person is not being honest and sometimes likes to provoke. But I don't want to insert myself in what Cherie and Shannon have to sort out for themselves. I think we, as women, all of us, have a need to nurture each other and when a slight is perceived, we have to get it out in the open. SOmetimes it's a good thing, and sometimes it's not.


Shannon said...

Thank you Reine! I so want to be a blessing and encouragement to other brothers/sisters.

For so many years I've struggled with 2 Peter 3:18
"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...."
I want to grow. What does this admonition by Peter mean? If we are not learning through the proper teaching of His Word in context, we cannot grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Our knowledge would only be head knowledge and of the flesh and the world as the source, not His Spirit, THE Source, giving us understanding,
1 Corinthians 2:14 " The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned."

Anonymous said... grieves me when I come here and read comments that insert my name without any intention on my part. I just don't know whether I should keep quiet or insert something here.

My deceased mother had a personality disorder that caused great great torment to my sister and I. My sister has been through 3 marriages and broken relationships, has difficulty making friends. I, on the other hand, reacted differently, married 34 years, but felt emotionally disabled and afraid all my life. My mother, probably could not control her mental impulses and did very cruel things to us. Maybe this was a learning tool that I drew from, where I think I can discern those who are provocative and pick fights from a mile away. I always ran away from these kind. But, after having been saved, I knew the Lord wanted me to learn to speak when it's appropriate, and to refrain from speaking when appropriate, and I know I still have to learn, I jump the gun and do things now and ask later. And I am certain every reader here goes through this. Many of us haven't arrived in that area, because we all suffered with contentious parents, or we may have been bullied so much by family or situations that we still feel the pain, and need honesty. My son says, "honesty, don't believe the hype". (LOL)

As carnal humans we use it and it doesn't get received gracefully. Or we offer it ungracefully and someone gets offended.

I just hope that the ladies here who are feeling hurt by comments and misunderstandings find comfort knowing that we all make mistakes. My weakness is explaining in type what's on my mind, I blame it on my French-Canadian heritage. I'm OK with anyone asking me questions. But, while it's true that some have a need to "pick" out something of one's comment and draw conclusions, is hurtful. I'm a little surprised that Shannon didn't know me well enough to know I am a born-again christian who has read the bible throughout several times, and am versed enough to know that we all sin, and that our world has been tainted by the original sin and that our communities since time began have been ungodly. I confess, I did feel bad about that question, and felt bad enough that I wasn't going to respond. I've been there, done that. But, Shannon, I'm not offended.

But these things are nothing compared to the glory of Christ. I love you all and realize you all are experiencing the refining and sifting. I am being sifted as well, every day, if that makes sense. I guess I mean He refines all the dross out of us nuggets of gold.

I agree with Cherie that we sometimes write things and there's a subtle sense that someone wants to provoke. My experience though, taught me that if I ignored the taunts and manipulations from my mother and said nothing, she would just stop for a while and I could enjoy peace. Although the ignoring of all those taunts finally came out when I became an adult and had what one would call a nervous breakdown. So, keeping it all inside isn't good either.

All I know, JESUS is Lord!!!

Hope my sharing here did not offend anyone. I love and appreciate you all.


Anonymous said...

Dear J,

Your comment was spot on and I can relate to your past experiences. God Bless you :)


Anonymous said...

You are a wonderful blessing to all who read your words, Jackie. JESUS truly is Lord!!!

Dear friends, this sacrificial agape love that Shannon mentions and imparts is very resilient.

"Love is not easily offended." - 1 Cor 13

I remember before the LORD saved me how easily offended I was. Once I had decided I was deeply offended that was it. The relationship, if it was not vital to me, was over.

As the years elapsed I realized I had thrown away a lot of potential friendships and lost a whole heap of jobs largely because of my own stupidity!

Dear friends, being questioned about our commentaries isn't something to be offended about. We should find it a joy to bring increased clarity into the discussion.

Let's all pray for increased patience and perseverance, so that we can even more precisely glorify the LORD.

Reine Gnade

Shannon said...

Thank you for 1 Cor 13:5 Reine. Very good! "Love", God's agape love in the believer, is not easily offended.

Shannon said...

Correction is actually a loving act. When a brother/sister corrects us this is love in action. If anyone makes a false statement pertaining to the Word it needs to be corrected whether our flesh is offended or not. The Spirit within is grateful for the correction, as correction of the Spirit grows us towards maturity. Those He loves He chastens....the same as a father to a son...
Today, it seems, it is common that if a believer corrects another, it is considered provocation and unloving :( How sad for the Body of Christ. This affects all of us.

Anonymous said...

2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Good to see that you are blossoming on this blog with your contributions, Shannon. I totally agree with you that correction is a loving act. Truly when a brother/sister corrects us gently, with a desire to glorify the LORD, this is love in action!

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Reine, I would like to fellowship with you through email also. If I am not mistaken, you are a woman, correct?