God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness

Scripture reading is from the NIV (New International Version):

                                  Romans 1:18-32

 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,
1:19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
1:21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
1:22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images 

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A Prayer for Christian Leaders

People standing on rock formation looking at sunset

Who can you honor today?

Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance.

1 THESSALONIANS 5:12

When you think of a spiritual leader that positively impacted your life, who comes to mind? Maybe it’s a church leader. Maybe it’s a mentor who’s inspired you. Maybe it’s a friend or family member who helped your faith grow stronger.

How would your life look if they weren’t a part of it?

The past few years have been challenging for Christian leaders around the world. Everything we’ve faced, they’ve gone through, too—but they’ve also carried the burdens of people just like us.

What would happen if millions of people across the global YouVersion Community committed to praying for the people who’ve encouraged us?

Let’s find out.

Today, let’s honor the people who selflessly serve us by praying together for them.

A Prayer for Christian Leaders

God,

Thank You for placing Christian leaders in my life who love You and care about me. I have been shaped by their wisdom, compassion, kindness, and selfless love.

Today, I ask that You would show me how I can bless these leaders, just like they have blessed me. Let my gratitude remind them that they are seen, valued, and known.

Encourage them when they feel worn out, and renew their strength when they’re overwhelmed. Give rest to those who need it, and remind them of Your promises. Bless their families, strengthen their ministries, and expand their influence—for Your glory, and their good.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

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Can You Handle the Truth?

 

. . . woe to him who is alone when he falls
and has not another to lift him up—Ecclesiastes 4:10

 

Support and encouragement are crucial for friendship, of course. But by themselves, they aren’t enough—not even close. True friendship requires more. The kind of friendship God intends requires that we look deeper, that we try to see things only friends can see. And it requires that we tell the truth (Ephesians 4:15). So, when friends are stuck or struggling with denial or passivity or sin, true friendship requires that we face awkwardness or embarrassment or fear of rejection head-on, and that we name problems honestly (though gently, too) and make every attempt to challenge and push, rescue and restore (Galatians 6:1-2; 1 Thessalonians 5:14). True friendship requires that we go “all in.” It requires that we be willing to initiate tough conversations, when tough conversations are needed.

The inverse, of course, is that we need friendship like that too. To lead robust, upright lives, we too need friends who are willing to be honest. To lead robust, upright lives, we too need friends who, like God, love us too much to let us to get stuck or struggle on our own. To lead robust, upright lives, we too need friends who are “all in” and willing to initiate tough conversations. We must be intentional about surrounding ourselves with such men . . . and, as hard as it might be, we must be willing to learn how to hear honest feedback without indignation, defensiveness, or counterattack.

 

 

Okay, so what do we do?

 

Have you explicitly empowered any man, or group of men, to search you and know you? Have you let any man, or group of men, know your entire story and explicitly empowered him, or them, to speak honestly into your life? If you haven’t, steel your courage and take that step. It’s one most men will never take.

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A Fight for the Faith Delivered Once for All

You can also read the article on the Firebrand Magazine website
A Fight for the Faith Delivered Once for All — Firebrand Magazine

 

Photo by Joshua Eckstein on Unsplash

Photo by Joshua Eckstein on Unsplash

The searing words of the second paragraph of the letter of Jude both frame and highlight a fight for the Christian faith going on in The United Methodist Church today.  “Dear friends, I wanted very much to write to you concerning the salvation we share. Instead, I must write to urge you to fight for the faith delivered once and for all to God’s holy people. Godless people have slipped in among you. They turn the grace of our God into unrestrained immorality and deny our only master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Judgment was passed against them a long time ago” (Jude 2-4, CEB).

The match was lit to this spiritual powder keg at the very inception of The United Methodist Church. The First Restrictive Rule of the Constitution of the newly instituted church clearly stated (and still states):  “The General Conference shall not revoke, alter, or change our Articles of Religion or establish any new standards or rules of doctrine contrary to our present existing and established standards of doctrines.” Yet concomitant with such a commitment to doctrinal clarity has been great confusion as to precisely what the standards are, what they mean, and how they might in some way be enforced.

The fire was stoked and brought to a roaring blaze with the adoption of the 1972 Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, officially advocating doctrinal pluralismThe resulting theological chaos has lead to a theological instability at the heart of the denomination. Despite a clear re-forming of doctrinal standards by United Methodists in the 1988 General Conference, much of the doctrinal preaching and teaching by United Methodist pastors reflects a vague pluralism tinctured with unitarianism and a rejection of the very notion of a theological standard to which ordained United Methodists must adhere.

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The Mentor
Philippians 1:1 KJV 1900
1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
Paul and Timothy are linked together at the opening of this Epistle. This does not mean that Timothy helped to write the Letter.
He had been with Paul when he first visited Philippi, so he was known to the saints there. Now Timothy is with Paul as the apostle opens this Letter.
Paul was now an older man (Phmn. 9), while Timothy was still quite young.
Thus youth and age were yoked together in the service of the Best of masters.
Jowett puts it nicely: “It is the union of springtime and autumn; of enthusiasm and experience; of impulse and wisdom; of tender hope and quiet and rich assurance.”
Both are described as bondservants of Jesus Christ. Both loved their Master.
The ties of Calvary bound them to the service of their Savior forever.
We are living in an interesting time in history.
For what is likely the first time in the history of the Christian church, generations aren’t worshiping together.
Mentoring is a biblical idea. Although the word “mentor” itself is never used in Scripture, the principles applied when using that terminology are found throughout the biblical text.
We see numerous examples of mentoring relationships taking place throughout the Bible. In some cases, individuals were involved in multiple mentoring relationships.
Sometimes mentoring happened on a one-to-one basis, and in other cases, mentoring took place in a group setting. However, the group was always small enough to listen to, and interact with, each individual. J
Jesus mentored 12, sometimes three and, on rare occasions, one.
Jethro mentored Moses.
Moses mentored Joshua and the elders of Israel.
Joshua mentored the other remaining leaders of his army.
Eli mentored Samuel.
Samuel mentored Saul and David.
David also mentored Solomon.
David also mentored Solomon. Solomon mentored the Queen of Sheba, who returned to her people with his wisdom in the form of Proverbs that applied God’s laws.Elijah mentored Elisha. Elisha mentored king Jehoash and others.Daniel mentored Nebuchadnezzar, who humbled himself before God.Mordecai mentored Esther. Esther mentored King Artaxerxes, which led to the liberation of God’s people.Priscilla and Aquila mentored Apollos, and this resulted in a much-improved ministry for Apollos.And finally, Jesus mentored the twelve apostles who established the Christian church. The apostles mentored hundreds of other leaders, including Paul. Paul mentored Titus, Timothy, and many others. Timothy mentored “faithful men” such as Epaphras. Epaphras and the other faithful men mentored others also, which led to a chain reaction that resulted in dozens of new churches in Asia. Ultimately, this specific mentoring chain is the beginning point of our churches today.
Elisha mentored king Jehoash and others.
Elisha mentored king Jehoash and others.
Daniel mentored Nebuchadnezzar, who humbled himself before God.
Mordecai mentored Esther.
Priscilla and Aquila mentored Apollos, and this resulted in a much-improved ministry for Apollos.
Priscilla and Aquila mentored Apollos, and this resulted in a much-improved ministry for Apollos.
Jesus mentored the twelve apostles who established the Christian church.
Apostles mentored hundreds of other leaders, including Paul.
Paul mentored Titus, Timothy, and many others.
Timothy mentored “faithful men” such as Epaphras.
​from Biblical Success – Faithlife
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Promise of God’s help in time of fear and stress: 

  • Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
  • Psalm 27:1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
  • Psalm 56:3-4: “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?”
  • Psalm 118:6: “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
  • Proverbs 3:25-26: “Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.”
  • Proverbs 29:25: “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.”
  • Isaiah 41:10: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

 

In the margin of your Bible next to Deuteronomy 31:6 write this reference: Psalm 27:1. Next to Psalm 27:1 write this reference: Psalm 56:3-4, and so on until you’ve created a chain of verse references about fear. That way, you don’t need to remember them all; you only need to remember the first one—Deuteronomy 31:6—and it will lead you to the rest. When you find yourself in a fearful moment, turn to Deuteronomy 31:6 and meditate through the whole chain of verses and let the Holy Spirit help you understand what’s going on in your heart and mind (according to 2 Timothy 3:16 and Hebrews 4:12).

“Unless you teach your moods ‘where to get off’ you can never be a sound Christian. . . . A creature like that is a creature dithering to and fro with its beliefs really dependent on the weather and the state of one’s own digestion.” We must not give in to feelings when we pray. We need to concentrate on what we know to be true about God.

C.S. Lewis

 

– David Jeremiah “Making Sense of It All”

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