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We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10

You can download the Nextdoor app and join your neighborhood newsfeed. Be careful of those trying to debate with atheists that’s nonproductive.

Look for Christian groups you may want to join. Maybe prayer groups etc. Meet people there. They encourage you to start your own group. Here’s where you can share your intentions of wanting to start a home Bible study/worship group.


Invite people you connect with in the other groups to join your group.

One of our families is moving to East TN in March. You can reach out to Keenan McClure on our church website https://www.beingchurchfl.org

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John A. Broadus (1827-1895) was a founding faculty member and the second president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He later wrote the enduring classic, A Treatise on the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons

A. T. Robertson called him "one of the finest fruits of modern Christianity." Charles Spurgeon deemed him the "greatest of living preachers." A. H. Newman described Broadus as "perhaps the greatest man the Baptists have produced."

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With regard to true forgiveness and true repentance, I forward this amazing account from South Africa. This unusual but short story could be shared with your group and carefully considered together. 

In a few days, I will publish a short article by Nigel Lee, the man relating the story. It concerns the coming victory of the church. Did I say victory? Affirmative.

     The Sovereignty of God in the Salvation of My Father’s Slayer

In April 1994, I was invited to fly round the world and expound the Lord's Prayer in the U. S. A. during September. Having acquired the plane ticket, as an only child I was much looking forward to visiting my parents in Barrydale (near Swellendam in South Africa) on my way from Australia to America.

However, in July 1994, my father (almost 86) was robbed and left for dead in his home. My mother (having lost her mind and the use of some of her bodily functions) was permanently hospitalised. One week after being assaulted, my father died in hospital and went to be with the Lord.

Upon my arrival in South Africa in September, I headed for Swellendam (where my mother is still in hospital). There, I was amazed that the police had apprehended a young man in connection with the death of my father, and that the young man had signed a statement alleging that he alone had attacked my father. I also learned that my father, before dying, had given a description to the police of the young man (which description is altogether in harmony with the appearance of the accused) and that the latter was being held in jail precisely in Swellendam, while awaiting his preliminary trial just one week after my own arrival there.

I immediately contacted the jail, requesting permission to come and speak to the accused (of whom it is alleged that he had killed also someone else even before attacking my father). The police warmly supported my request, but informed me the accused had the right to refuse to see me. He, however, being told who I was, agreed and even requested to meet with me.

On the 15th of September I went to the jail, where I was told to surrender my camera and tape-recorder and any firearms I may have been carrying. I was escorted to a room where three armed policemen and their officer were doing clerical work. One minute later, the accused was brought through the door into the room and stood there in front of me.

He was a strongly-built medium-sized man, answering exactly to the description given by my father to the police. He stood there, just looking down at the ground. I silently prayed to God for guidance as to what to do next. Then I got up from my chair; addressed him politely by his full name; greeted him with a handshake; thanked him sincerely for granting me the interview; and requesting him to sit down before I again did so.

I then said: "Mr. W., are you getting enough to eat here?" He replied: "Yes, thank you." I said: "Have you peace of mind here?" He replied: "Sir, I am very unhappy. I have been praying to God in my cell for the last three nights, but it's as if my prayers bounce back off the ceiling and don't get through."

I then said: "Mr. W., I am the only child of the old man who was left for dead behind the front door of his house in Barrydale on the 10th of July whom you are accused of having assaulted. I had been looking forward to spending a week with him in September but as you can see this is now impossible." The young man nodded; looked down; and said nothing.

I then continued: "Mr. W., my father was not a Christian many years ago - but there came a time in his life when he turned from his sins and received Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. That is why he is now in heaven, and waiting for me to join him.

"I assure you Mr. W., that if you make your peace with God – whether you die right now of a heart attack; or are to be put to death for murder; or die naturally later on – you too will go to heaven. I also assure you that my father, whom you are accused of having murdered, will then be the first to welcome you there. However, Mr. W., if you do not repent and if you die in your sins, I assure you that you will spend eternity in hell-fire and damnation forever!

"Mr. W., whether you repent and become a Christian, or you harden yourself and die in your sins, know for sure that if found guilty by the court I would want you to receive the maximum penalty.

"I will plead no leniency whatsoever for you, even if you become a Christian, but I am offering you everlasting life in heaven after you die, if you will repent and come to Jesus.

"Mr. W., three men died on a little hill called Calvary. Two were guilty robbers; but the One in the middle, the Lord Jesus, was innocent. Robbers, as you know, include those who go around beating up old people and leaving them for dead after stealing from them. Both of those robbers jeered at the innocent Jesus crucified between them.

"But then one of the robbers repented, turned to the other, and said: 'We are being condemned justly. For we are receiving the punishment due, for our deeds. But this man (Jesus) has done nothing amiss!' Then the penitent robber said to Jesus: 'Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!' So Jesus said: 'Truly, I tell you, today you shall be with me in paradise!'

"Mr. W., do you not see yourself as one of those two robbers next to Jesus on Calvary? Will you die in your sins and go to hell like the impenitent robber? Or will you, like the other robber, repent of your sins; receive Jesus as your Lord; and be assured by Him that you will go to heaven when you die?

"Mr. W., if you wish, I will leave this jail right now. But if you prefer, I would be privileged to show you right now how you too can become a Christian. Which is it to be?"

Mr. W. then tried to look in my eye. He said: "Sir, would you please show me how to become a Christian?" I then realised that the four policemen in the room had all put down their pens; had stopped working; and were straining their ears, listening to us. So I said: "Officer, could you kindly get us a Bible?"

The officer went galloping out of the room, and immediately returned with a Bible and put it on my lap with great respect. I opened it at John 3:16, and asked Mr. W. if he could read. When he so indicated, I handed him the Bible, and asked him to read it. Loudly and clearly, he read it out, and then said: "I am too big a sinner!" But I replied: "Mr. W., it says here: 'whosoever'; and that includes you too, if and when you put your trust in Jesus."

The atmosphere was electric. All in that room felt the awesome presence of God the Holy Ghost. The silence was terrifying. Then I said: "Mr. W., will you come to Jesus?" He replied: "I will!"

So, two wicked hell-deserving sinners, Dr. Nigel Lee and his father's slayer Mr. W., then went down on their knees in that jail together. I put my arm around his shoulder, and prayed first. I thanked God for our meeting; (re)confessed all my own fresh sins to the Lord; and then asked Him to have mercy on Mr. W., for Christ's sake.

Mr. W. then prayed. He said: "Lord, I'm a miserable sinner! Please don't let Satan destroy me! I am sorry for all my sins. Forgive me, for the sake of Jesus who died for people like me!"

We then got off our knees. I assured him: "Mr. W., if you really meant that, you are now my brother. In that case, here is my right hand of fellowship. I will help you in any way I can. Here is my address in Australia. If you write to me, I promise to reply to every letter you may write, for the rest of my life. When is your trial?"

He replied: "Thursday 22nd September." I promised to pray for him on that day (when I would be overseas), that justice would be done and that he would continue to receive God's grace whatever the outcome. I then again shook his hand and left the jail to the astonishment of both the grateful police and the bewildered convicts there who just kept on staring at me in amazement.

Driving back to Barrydale, I praised God and sang His Psalms the whole time – realizing anew that God is not dead but very much alive on this great planet earth. For God had revived my soul – and, I trust, those of all in that room in the jail.

Four days later, I visited the jail again. This time Mr. W. was waiting for me with a smile. He had been reading the Bible since I last saw him, and claimed to have peace. I urged him to speak to the other prisoners about what had happened to him; to tell the full truth at his trial.

I also urged him to work and witness for the Lord for the rest of his earthly life (be it short or long). He then prayed for both of us; thanked God for my visits; and boldly asked the Lord to bless me wherever I went (that same day to England, and thereafter to America).

God heard his prayer. In London, the Lord spoke powerfully even through my there relating the above events. In America, the effect was electrifying, and the tape-recording of my account is spreading and producing enquires and results. I used it there, as an illustration, while preaching on the fifth petition in the Lord's Prayer: "And forgive men their debts, as we forgive our debtors!"

My fellow sinner, how stands it with your soul? Are you certain you are right with God for time and eternity? For Jesus assures us: "If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses!"

O that God would melt the heavens and come down, and touch and revive His hard-nosed children here on earth! Do you have the certainty that all your sins have been forgiven, for Christ's sake? If not, settle this matter forthwith!

Sincerely in the Lord's service, from a sinner saved by grace,

     F. N. Lee

source

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Hoping to connect with others close to my area who would be interested in a home church.  Saturday nights.   Any suggestions on how to connect with other believes who want to leave the corporate church? 

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thank you for sharing this

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Do we really have a complete Jesus perspective each day and each minute? Is it truly Christ-centered and others-directed? Or is it an abbreviated version about our own happiness and validation?

Here is a fine essay which demonstrates the broad range of true spirituality. It's needed today because selfish me-centered pietism has become widespread. 

Judging from his nameplate, the author was a judge himself and a member of British Parliament.

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 i love the scriptures you shared, we must do what God calls us to do. mathew 7;24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain fell, the torrents raged, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because its foundation was on the rock.…  what you have shared is true, we are called to ministry all of us, and to fully co work in every area of ministry. blessings from kenya

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merry chrismas, thank you for posting this need here for prayers, support, counsel, the world needs the word of God, both in word and in print, we need to reach out to the lost, God has not changed his word, Jesus said God ye, reach out with the gospel, baptize and disciple in name of the Father ,Son and Holy Spirit. much darkeness has fallen in the hearts of many, believer have become faint, each day, the world is crowding into believers heart, but let us keep and trim our lights at such atime, let us make disciples without tire. let us reach out to the fields, the harvest is ripe with fruit and corn,  so that we can gather it to the stores. am praying for you, their many ways to do this, you can pray, give, encourage us in writing, or come to us physically in the mission field in kenya, you can share our testimonies and give your word / testimonials on our behalf. please also apart from reaching. training . am also agospel musician, here is my youtube channel link, as well, pray for me, help me help other with similar gifting and talent, teach me , counsel me ,, and as well connect me with like minded believers who also deal with worship and praise or produce gospel music, i use my talent to reach out and encourage others and help with their needs, here is my youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy9dZd604An69uezQ4pWTHg

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The Gospel and the Holy Spirit is the possession of every member of the Church, thus the NT grants a certain qualified access for every member to the Church’s authority structure.  This is evident in the following ways:

1).  Every member has the “ministry” of reconciliation, 2 Cor 5:18.  The Great Commission is the responsibility of every member of the Church.

2).  “Ministry” belongs to every member, not leadership, Eph 4:11–12.  Leaders prepare the saints for the “ministry.”

3).  The church was responsible for the selection of its leaders in Acts 6:6; 14:23 (see side bar #2). The standards to which leaders must attain are tested by every member of the church, 1 Tim 3:1–7.; Titus 1:6–9.  Even in the selection of the replacement for Judas, the nomination of the two candidates came from the gathered group of believers (Acts 1:15, 23).

4).  Church discipline ultimately rests in the hands of every member of the church, Matt 18:15–17.  Pastors and elders may lead in such matters, but the final word in discipline was given to the church. We also note the prominence of “you” (pl.) as in “you all” in the instructions Paul gives about a case of discipline in 1 Cor 5:2, 7, 12, and 13.

5).  Every member is responsible for the church’s order and doctrine.  “Examine everything carefully” (1 Thess 5:21) was not addressed to just the leaders in Thessalonica, but to the whole body.  So also the command to “test the spirits” (1 John 4:1) was given to the entire church, not just the leaders.  A negative expression of this is the churches of the last days that will “accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires” (2 Tim 4:3).  The church’s teachers are accumulated by the church, not appointed by someone from outside the church.

6).  Every member has a ministry of oversight, literally “bishopping,” (Gk, episkopountes) in the church, Heb 12:15.

7).  Every member is called to some aspect of teaching the Word of Christ in the church, 1 Cor 14:26; Col 3:16 Heb 5:12.

8).  Every member is called to the Church’s service identity, Eph 4:12.  Although the Church’s diakonia to itself and the world is organized and overseen by the deacons as extensions of the elders, every member possesses the Church’s identity.

     The Source of this ground-breaking gem? Mark R. Saucy


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blessings and greetings

i do hope you are doing good.

we are praying for you. please pray for us and if possible assist us to empower our housechurch gatherings with bibles.

we have many born again believers in our housechurch with bibles. this is great hindrance for their growth spiritually.

we have 100 housechurch gatherings each with averagely 30 believers. this house church share 1 or 2 bibles at most, i have a big burden and concern over this kind of life.

i have managed to buy some few bibles from my return from music, but this is not enough, they are only very few, compared to the need.

giving each believer a bible is a big inheritance to them, both here on earth and in heaven. please kindly allow yourself to pray for us and ask God regarding this burden.

God bless you

yours faithfully             

william and virginia getumbe

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Jesus did say that the harvest was great. And this used to be the predominate view concerning God's plan for his creation.

Open this old book at read the first few chapters. What naturally complements the great harvest is the issue of the harvesters. The point of this book is that every Christian can take part in this eminent victory. Take part as the Kingdoms of this world become the Kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ. 

The work is not just for the 'clergy' or the 'ordained' or the 'called'. It's not that we must - it's that we are allowed and honored to lead others to the Water of Life.

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Love seems to require a response. Jesus inquired of Peter: Do you love me? OK, then I have a task for you. Feed my lambs. In 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, there is much said about actions and feelings. And a warnings of not missing the one thing - charity. 

My own dad seldom told me he loved me. But he was very affectionate and a great provider, father, and husband. I think many men in the WW2 era felt that if they had to tell you they loved you - they had somehow failed.

I remember him and others saying: "It's not how high you jump but how you live when you hit the ground." He had seen Europe flattened and, I think, became emotionally detached sometimes by that horrific experience. 

I also remember Jesus telling others: "if you love me... keep my commandments. Of which the greatest, coincidently, is love.

It is not my own view that we should hold back on verbal expressions of love. Still it takes more than words. Many will say in that day: Lord, Lord (a term of endearment), we prophecies in your name, we did miracles in your name... All which was not enough.

Having said this, we surely agree with this essay and we must avoid merely going through the motions of what we think a believer in Christ should look like.

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This is a insightful piece. We printed it and shared it yesterday. Thanks to Steve for writing it and Glen for posting it.

The Lord says, "My son, give me your heart". The natural man says, "Lord, here are my good works. Please accept them so that I can become your son and remain in your family."

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DEVOTION TO CHRIST 

One thing is needful.  Luke 10:42

Devotion to Christ is the outmoded relic of yesteryear's religion. We are satisfied with this situation. Like the five thousand of old, if we may merely eat of His loaves, we are content. Indeed, receiving from His hand is our chief delight, but He is not.

Our belly has become our god. Success, prosperity, and fulfillment are the ignoble objects of our waning devotion. We will sacrifice, in measure, to obtain His benefits, using Christ Himself as the means to our own selfish ends.

It is imagined that He will help us perform our will: that He will hasten to fulfill our decrees. And when He has done His part, we toss Him aside, forgotten, as we bask in what we have used Him to obtain.

Formerly the church had sung, "Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest; now Thee alone I seek, give what is best." Now it chants, "Abraham's blessings are mine."

We are no different than the church of Laodicea who thought themselves to be rich, increased in goods, with need of nothing. It sickens Christ still.

We struggle in order to gain for self. Answers are demanded while wisdom is despised. Solutions are eagerly sought but the Savior is not. Provision is pursued with no thought for treasure in heaven.

And if God can assist us in our quest, we are willing to use Him to get what we want. But the great men of both covenants were not so engaged.

Moses said to the Lord: “Let me know Your ways that I may know You” -Ex.33:13. Paul exclaimed: “That I may know Him” - Phil.3:10.

In fact, this is what eternal life is made of. It is the Lord Jesus Himself who said so. “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” – Jn.17:3.

We gauge eternal life by our confession, He, by our communion. We are unlike our God. We neither know Him nor are particularly concerned to do so. Many other things occupy us.

A distraction is that which interferes with our concentration. Concentration is focused thought and attention. When distracted, the object of our devotion is set aside for that which is of lesser significance. Yet we are willing to entertain the interruptions that so readily clamor for our recognition.

Distractions may not be positively evil; they may in fact be good. Serving the Lord is nothing to be shunned. But Martha was “distracted with much service” -Lk.10:40.

Service to the Lord became an encumbrance. It diverted her heart from its true and worthy focus. Doing something for God replaced communion with Him. Martha was willing to tolerate distraction, Mary was not. Martha spoke, Mary listened.

The Marthas of the world wish their voice to prevail. They will presume to command the Lord and expect Him to comply. “She came up to Him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Then tell her to help me’" - Lk.10:40.

Martha imagines that her Lord is just like she is, but He is not. He is unknown by her. His heart remained veiled to her hurried footstep. “Worried and bothered about so many things” - Lk.10:41 was the true assessment of her service. Irritated insistence upon her own way testified to her lack of devotion to the Lord Jesus.

The coming day of Judgment will reveal many things done poorly. For some, it will show a few things done well. Fewer still will have a testimony of having done the one necessary thing in all of life.

“One thing is necessary” -Lk.10:42. Here is a definitive statement of what is essential. This must be done; all else is optional and, at best, secondary.

We do not live this way. Devotion to Christ is not the compelling passion of our souls, yet it is the only truly necessary thing. Nothing else truly matters.

But we have not opted for this. We have chosen the foolish part which shall be taken away from us. “Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her” -Lk.10:42.

It will abide with her throughout everlasting day. She will carry this into eternity. Devotion to Christ is the only portion that a mortal soul will not have taken from him when he leaves this earth.

It is eternal life. Knowing the only true God is necessary; nothing else in all of life falls into this category.

The categories are but two: necessary and unnecessary. Devotion to the Lord Jesus is all one will find in the first category. Everything else in life will be found in the second.

This is a shattering reality to any honest heart. To this busy and superficial generation, it will only significantly trouble them when standing naked before the God they have not known.

Devotion to the Lord Jesus cannot begin then. Eternal life, knowing God, can only have its origin here on earth. It is the exclusively necessary thing now in this life.

This is not religious fiction. Christ Jesus who spoke it knows whereof He speaks. The final verdict on all of life's activities is that one thing has been necessary all along.

You have been told. The Lord Jesus has said it Himself. Search through the vast array of activities, distractions, and delusions that comprise your life. What have you found there that qualifies as necessary?

All is vanity. If nothing essential and hence truly worthwhile is discovered, all is loss. The tragedy of an irrelevant and wasted existence will overwhelm you in a single horrifying instant. In a blinding flash of clarity you will realize that one thing had been necessary all along.

But retrospect will not save us then. Devotion to the Lord Jesus is a matter for the moment, and every moment thereafter, here upon earth.

Dear reader, you are worried and bothered about many things. They will be taken from you. They have no lasting value.

They can neither rescue you at the Judgment nor satisfy you in the present. One thing is necessary.

Disturbed as we may be by this, few of us will do anything about it. We may guiltily redouble our efforts to attend church, but we will not become devoted to Christ Himself. We may vow to pray more often, but this will soon fall by the wayside. We remain void of devotion to the Lord Jesus.

There are two main reasons for this. First, we do not believe that He is worthy. Second, we do not believe that we are as evil as we are. These are the roots of the matter.

The Lord Jesus sees us; He is watching. He knows not only what we do but why we do it. He gazes into our very hearts. “He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing” -Mk.12:41.

All is open and laid bare before His all-searching eye. He saw their acts of devotion; He also saw what no one else did, He saw who was truly devoted.

“Many rich people were putting in large sums out of their abundance. A poor widow put in all she owned, all her living” - Mk.12:41-44. He knew the coins of each.

He knew what remained in the purse, and what didn't. The rich reserved portions for self, the widow abandoned all for the Lord.

How much is He worth? This is the fundamental question when assessing devotion. Of what value is the Lord Jesus to us?
The worthiness of the object dictates the terms of the investment. And money is surely not the point of the discussion, for the 

Lord Jesus said: “This poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury” -Mk.12:43. No calculator can quantify the devotion of a heart that is wholly abandoned unto Him. Nor can one count up the inestimable value of Christ Jesus the Lord, “precious in the sight of God” -1 Pet.2:4.

Grasping the immeasurable greatness of the Lord Jesus Christ will determine the greatness of our devotion. Without this, even thirty shekels of silver can be imagined to be a “magnificent price at which I was valued by them” -Zech.11:13. The rich in the Temple fared better than this in their own estimation. Even so, combined, theirs could not equal two mites.

To the widow, the Lord was worth all. Her life was of no account in her mind. That she would entrust to Him who was worth all. He would attend to all her needs.

This is the secret and the mystery of devotion. The Lord is worth all. Nothing is to be withheld; nothing remains clutched to the bosom of self.

Who is the Lord Jesus Christ to you? Of what value is He? Is He worthy of a total and complete devotion in an abandonment of self?

You answer, "Yes"? Have you told Him so? Have you brought your two mites? Has everything passed from your hand into His? 

He is still sitting and observing. He is seated now in the true temple which the Lord built, and not man. He sees beyond the
surface, He sees your heart.

One thing is necessary. The Lord Jesus has a question for you:

“But who do you say that I am?” -Mt.16:15. You must answer this by your life, and not only with your lips.

Our devotion is sickly because our thoughts of the Lord are beggarly while our esteem for self is highly inflated.

We love little because we have been forgiven little. We are not that bad in our own estimation. We have some sins to be sure, but the extent is minimal we imagine. And so, we remain loveless and devotionless.

“Which of them will love him more? Simon answered and said, ‘I suppose the one whom he forgave more.’ And He said to him, ‘You have judged correctly. He who is forgiven little, loves little’” -Lk.7:42,43,47.

The estimation of our own guilt determines our response to the Lord Jesus. Simon was actually no better off than the harlot, except in his own deluded conceits.

It is not that one must wallow in horrible crimes in order to be devoted to the Lord Jesus. What is needed is a clear perception of the nature and reality of our own sinfulness.

The woman wept in acute bitterness over her wretchedness. The Pharisee reclined with Jesus thinking to himself that all was well with him.

She was painfully conscious of her condition; he remained in delusion and darkness. The woman judged herself, the Pharisee judged her and the Lord Jesus both, but not himself.

He imagined that he needed nothing. The truth is that he was a hypocritical son of **** [Mt.23:15]. Actually, he was a blind fool full of self-indulgence [Mt.23:17,25]. If he would see himself clearly he would know that he was a whitewashed tomb full of all uncleanness and soon to be damned [Mt.23:27,33].

But he did not think of himself in this manner. He therefore did not weep. He did not kiss the feet of the Lord Jesus. Neither was he forgiven; neither did he love.

He thought much of himself and little of the Lord. He was devoted to his religion and his place therein, but he was not devoted to God.

Tearless saints lack devotion to the Lord Jesus. When have you last wept over the abysmal blight of who you truly are in the corrupt depths of your inner self? Do you kiss His feet as the sinner you are, or recline at His head in self-generated acceptability?

You may not congratulate yourself that you are not like others. You are, and worse. Doubting this, you shall never be justified or cleansed from your desperate evil. Lk.18:9-14.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” -Ps.51:17.
According to the dictionary, contrite means "broken down with sorrow for sin; humbly and thoroughly penitent." What does it mean to you?

Judas kissed the Lord, but not His feet. He felt remorse, but shed no tear. He had a form of godliness, but denied the power thereof. He had the appearance of a disciple, but was not. “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish from the way” -Ps.2:12.

Tears and kisses are not optional. One abides a Simon, or worse yet, a Judas, in their absence. There is no forgiveness apart from them. You will love but little, if at all.

One thing is necessary. Devotion to Christ is not an added element to our existing religion; it is the one indispensable foundation for all that is built upon it. Lacking this, our religion is a vapor and delusion.

Those who venture all for the Lord Jesus will not be understood by the devotionless multitude: they will not be by fellow disciples either. The lack of practicality of such "extremism" will draw the disapproval of the unconsecrated. It always does.

“The disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, ‘Why this waste? For this might have been sold for a high price and given to the poor’" -Mt.26:8,9.

They were very expedient, conservatively calculating. The sum of their calculations was that man takes precedence over God, that needs preempt worship, and that ministry eclipses communion.

“Jesus said, ‘Let her alone’” -Jn.12:7. There is something that transcends service and charity. It is the one necessary thing He prizes. “The Father seeks such to be His worshipers” -Jn.4:23. 

He is seeking not for better servants, but for worshipers, for lovers, for tear-stained cheeks, for lips pressed to nail-scarred feet, for costly vials emptied upon a thorn-crowned head.

He is seeking for those who will pour out every precious thing in their possession upon the Son of God: to do so because He is worthy due to the excellence of His glory.

This is the essence of gospel response. It is what the Lord has been seeking even from before time immemorial. “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love” -Eph.1:4.

Holy, in love: isn't this what it means to know God? Is this not what eternal life is, and ever will be?

But those who are forgiven little love little. Those who withhold for self do not value Christ. Those who are occupied with activities do not chose the good part. And those who focus upon the ever-present poor will always ask: “Why this waste?”

Why, indeed? Because there is nothing better that one can do. There is nothing else that is truly required. Those who love little call it waste. He who loves His own to the uttermost calls it necessary.

“Wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her” - Mt.26:13. What she did is what the gospel demands.

The conclusion of Paul's gospel is to “present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice” -Rm.12:1. This is what she did. All that she had, she gave. What it cost her was of no concern. What others thought did not turn her away; He was worthy. This is what filled her heart, which in turn filled the house with the “fragrance of Christ unto God” -2 Cor.2:15.

Kept to herself, the ointment did no good to any: neither to her, the poor, nor the Lord Jesus. Kept to yourself, of what benefit are you?

One may well ask of you, ''Why this waste?" Why are you wasting on Self that which ought to be entirely poured out upon the person of Christ? What is He worth to you?

Others have gone to great lengths for lesser gain. The queen of Sheba traversed from afar to hear, firsthand, the wisdom of Solomon. She saw him and spoke to him of all that was upon her heart.

She perceived the wisdom of his words and the splendor of his house. She sat at meat with him and tasted of his table. His servants were blessed and their amenities fine.

When she gazed upon his ascent to the house of God, “there was no more spirit in her” -1 Kings 10:5. She was overwhelmed. She confessed that she did not believe the word she had heard in her own land. She had thought less of Solomon than he was worthy of. When her eyes were opened, the realization rushed upon her that “the half was not told me” -1 Kings 10:7. So great was he, so magnificent, grand in wisdom, and glorious in riches; there was none his equal.

Her mouth could contain it no longer. Praise pealed from her lips. Riches poured from her hands. Spices: rare, fragrant, exhilarating aromas, wafted their delights throughout the house of Solomon. “Never again did such abundance of spices come in as that which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon” -1 Kings 10:10.

Solomon was glorified. He was delighted. And the queen was blessed from his abundance [1 Kings 10:13].

Dear reader, “behold, something greater than Solomon is here” -Mt.12:42. The Lord Jesus exceeds Solomon as the sun does a match, as the sea a dewdrop. He is greater and He is here.

You have heard of Him by the hearing of the ear. His Word has reached you in your land. But what of you; have you arisen to come to Him, to seek His face, to hear His wisdom?

When you see Him as He is, when you perceive the glories of His house and the blessedness of His servants, as you gaze into 

His face and feast at His table, and behold His ascent to His Father's house, there will remain in you no more spirit.

You will confess that you have not believed the Word you heard in your own land. You will realize that you have thought Him to be far less worthy than you had ever imagined. You will abhor yourself in dust and ashes.

Then your tongue will be loosed in praise and your hand will relax its grip on all you have clutched to your bosom. Gladly all will be given.

The insignificance, foolishness, and pride of your heart will be seen in the light of His glory. And you will bring forth spices uncountable. You will become devoted to the Lord Jesus.

You will have tasted of the one necessary thing. He will be glorified and pleased. You will be blessed from His bounty.

But you must arise and come. You will not be devoted to Him staying where you are. You must come to where your tears will cascade upon Him, where your lips will meet His feet.

He cannot be anointed from afar. His Word will not be heard amidst the bustle of your activities. You must come to His feet, both to hear and to weep. It is there that you shall discover the one necessary thing.

Some of you will come; some of you will not. It is because of this that I must tell you one other thing about the Queen of Sheba. “The Queen will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here” -Mt.12:42.

She was compelled by the greatness of that king of peace to seek him earnestly. At all costs and with glad sacrifice she came to see his face, hear his wisdom, and behold his glory. It was a great expenditure for a lesser reward.

She will condemn this generation. Her very life will bear solemn testimony to the wickedness of hearts in not arising and seeking the Lord Jesus Christ.

This queen will be there, as will you, at the Judgment. The King will ask you, "Do you see this woman who came from the ends of the earth? How far have you come in pursuit of the one necessary thing in life, devotion to My Son, the Lord Jesus Christ?"

Many will be speechless on that day, but not the Queen of the South. She will turn and ask, "Why this waste?"

One thing is necessary.

   ~Steve Phillips


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      HI all, 

Young folks are not taught much history any more. Likewise, good literature is becoming more and more scarce unless you dig around for it. As far as I can tell, this poem has not been shared on the internet. 

That aside, many of the Lord's servants are becoming tired lately - even afraid. So, here are words to strengthen our feeble hands. As we continue in the power of Christ alone.

But you brothers, be not weary in well doing. 2 Thess 3:13  KJV. And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right. 2 Thess 3:13. NIV


   The Husbandman


Religion WHEN advancd in pow'r,

Will make you HUSBAND every hour.


'Twill make MEN strive with all their might,

And therein FIND a sweet delight.


If there were NOUGHT besides that pay

Christ gives TO cheer us in our way;


Should we not DO the best we can?

For there's NO such reward from man.


Shall others WORK, and not regard

Their strength TO get a small reward?


Whilst we TURN slugs, and loiter thus?

O that THEIR zeal might quicken us.


Why are our HANDS, and feet so slow,

When we UNTO our business go?


How can we THEN Christ's pay expect,

And yet the CHRISTIANS work reject,


If this, then ALSO that embrace 

Them both; IF not, we both disgrace.


Some if THEY could these two divide,

'Twould PLEASE them well, with Christ to side


But if they MAY not, then it were 

As good CEASE pleading, they'll not hear:


Rouse up  FROM sloth, my soul betake

Thee to thy WORK, no cavils make.


O strive, AND try Saints say that even,

The pain they TAKE, hath much of heaven.


But yet THEIR best wine's kept till last,

Their rest, and EASE comes all so fast.

          John Flavel


Now read the capitalized words in each line down the page for a 'secret' message in timely rhyme. 

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The Mayor of Toronto penned a scholarly work on the fascinating subject of church finance. Former Mayor, that is, and one of the best treatments on the subject, I might add. 

Beaty is obviously a man of advanced learning and also held a seat in the Canadian Parliament.

This book would be better titled: Not Paying the Pastor. Therefore some readers will not care for it. But can they refute it?

Here's the point: The harvest is still great. And all power in heaven and in earth is Christ's. We must employ every kind of church in the days to come.

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    Hey there readers,

Here is an old letter which turned up in an old box. It hasn't seen the light of day in more than 20 years. I just took it from the envelope...

We must be very careful in making predictions about the future. Things do not always go the way we suspect. They usually do not, in fact. What is certain is that bad news will outsell good news.

On the other hand, a large amount of space in the Scriptures is devoted to the subject of prophecy and to future events. Some estimate the prophetic content as high as 20%.

Gene Edwards was not alone in his faulty pre-2000 speculations. Others wrote similar books decades before him.

He considers himself the founder of the organic church movement, by the way. He has written several books on the subject. 

So, we can learn from his mistakes. We all make them.

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Hey friend, the site Email app and the Messenger app essentially do the same things. Both are not needed and having both adds to the complexity of the site.

Just use the Messenger app as it has been greatly improved. It even does video chat. 

If anyone needs to recover their old site emails, just let me know and I will make it possible for you to recover them.

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Hey, where is the email button for messages? I am logged in but still can't find it. Thanks.

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Are you sure? I have read many years that there is nothing whatsoever to do. Simply "be". Or just "be the church".  :)

Such sentiments are well intended and like many errors they have an element of truth. Yes, the church is the people - not the building. And yes, we can only obey God by his strength and Spirit in us.

Let's prove all things and whatsoever we DO - DO all to the glory of the Lamb.

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Most of us receive more notifications than we want or need. To cancel email notifications just tap the UNSUBSCRIBE button at the bottom of any email from house church network.

We desire to be a blessing to others, not a nuisance. 

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Thanks Cyndi, for adding these important comments. Thank God we do have the Scriptures to test all teachings.

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This is good. These are aspects of Paul's writings that many today ignore. They claim that God does it all, and there is nothing left for us to do. I for one admit that warfare is frightening, but at the same time God is with us, in us and for us, giving us the victory as we participate with Him!

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The apostle Paul drew three comparisons to illustrate what it is like to live as a believer. He likened himself to a fighter, a runner, and a soldier.

First, he said he was like a fighter: “I have fought the good fight . . . ” (2 Timothy 4:7). The idea Paul was conveying was a potential fight to the death. This reminds us that the Christian life is a conflict. Once you enter into this new relationship with God, you discover that your adversary, the devil, will try to undermine you. It is a spiritual battle, and thus we need to use spiritual weapons.

Paul also compared himself to a runner. He said, “I have finished the race . . . ” (2 Timothy 4:7). The word he used for “race” described an event with obstacles in it, more like getting through an obstacle course. There were numerous hurdles and obstacles that Paul had to deal with in his life, and Paul was saying he had completed that race.

Finally, Paul said he was a soldier: “I have remained faithful” (2 Timothy 4:7). In the original language, this statement carries the meaning of having guarded the faith as an armed soldier would guard his post against enemy attack. Paul was saying that he had not strayed from the truth of God’s Word, that he lived it out.

So have you been winning or losing in the struggle against the adversary and personal sin? Have you kept pace in the race of life, or have you slowed down? Have you guarded and kept your faith in the way that you live and tell others.

Let’s make it our aim to be able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.”

Greg Laurie, Finishing Well

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As always, we do not make blanket endorsements of anyone or for any organization. Nor for any "ism". 

Let's just follow Jesus Christ and his word and leave it to others to define themselves by extra-biblical terminology. Because for every "ism" there are many confusing variants.

So your milage may vary. That said, many of these free books look very worthwhile to me. You?

https://store.americanvision.org/collections/free-ebooks

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Jesse, something I might have failed to mention in the original article is the testing process. Paul wrote in an letter in the bible that we should test all things. My personal journey of questioning and testing the bible, book by book started in my childhood.

Much of why I believe what I believe is from trial and error. When I ignored what God was teaching me through the bible I learned much from each experience. Later, through dialog with others as you have mentioned I continued in the process.

At 70 years of age I am now to the point of allowing the words of the bible to test me.

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Amen!

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David, thanks for adding these thoughts. I appreciate your willingness to respect the convictions of others. I would like to add that I did not come by my beliefs about the bible without years of careful and thoughtful consideration. However it was the work of God in my heart that was the most convincing.

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Jesse, I understand your point about people reacting to the misuse of scripture. I however think the best reaction is the correct use of scripture. I also agree with the importance of understanding the process of canonization. Sadly, not many people want to invest the time.

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