Author Archives: Douglas

What Is Forgiveness?

forgiveness1“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” – Colossians 3:12-14

Forgiveness is a decision. It’s an act of will to release a person from the obligation that resulted when they injured you.

Unforgiveness sounds like this: “You owe me! I’m going to make you pay by hating you, by slandering you, by returning in kind, by recruiting other people to my bitterness. I’m holding this over you!”

Here’s forgiveness: “You don’t owe me. I’m not trying to get even. I’m not looking for a chance to pay you back. God didn’t make me that way. I choose to forgive.”

You say, “James, I can forgive today, but I know by Thursday I’ll have that thing back on my back again.” I understand that. Get this: forgiveness is a crisis and a process. The first thing you have to do is see your unforgiveness as sin. You have to acknowledge that God’s not going to forgive you if you don’t forgive others. You’ve got to have that crisis. You’ve got to stop explaining, defending, holding onto it, cherishing, and reviewing it. You’ve got to say, “I don’t want this for my life.”

The crisis means, “I choose to forgive. I’m letting it go.” But the process means, when the painful matter comes into your mind again, you promise yourself to maintain the following process: “I won’t bring it up to the person; I won’t bring it up to other people;” and most hard by far, “I won’t bring it up to myself anymore.”

Someone said to me, “James, I can’t help myself. As soon as I see the person, Bam! My mind goes right to that thing.” That’s why forgiveness is a crisis and a process. In the crisis you decide, in the process you live it out.

Now, here’s a key: When you fail in the process you have to return to the crisis. When you find yourself flashing back to unforgiveness, realize you failed in the process. You’ve got to return to the crisis. You’ve got to get before the Lord and say, “God, forgive me. I want to be a forgiving person and here I’m holding this again, Lord. Help me again. I commit afresh to let it go.”

Crisis/process. Over time you’ll let it go and you’ll be a lot happier because of it.

 

Pastor James MacDonald ~ Walk in the Word

 

 

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Daily Devotion ~ Charles Spurgeon

CharlesSpurgeon2

The fatherhood of God is common to all his children. Ah! Little-faith, you have often said, “Oh that I had the courage of Great-heart, that I could wield his sword and be as valiant as he! But, alas, I stumble at every straw, and a shadow makes me afraid.” List thee, Little-faith. Great-heart is God’s child, and you are God’s child too; and Great-heart is not one whit more God’s child than you are. Peter and Paul, the highly- favoured apostles, were of the family of the Most High; and so are you also; the weak Christian is as much a child of God as the strong one.

“This cov’nant stands secure,
Though earth’s old pillars bow;
The strong, the feeble, and the weak,
Are one in Jesus now.”

All the names are in the same family register. One may have more grace than another, but God our heavenly Father has the same tender heart towards all. One may do more mighty works, and may bring more glory to his Father, but he whose name is the least in the kingdom of heaven is as much the child of God as he who stands among the King’s mighty men. Let this cheer and comfort us, when we draw near to God and say, “Our Father.”

Yet, while we are comforted by knowing this, let us not rest contented with weak faith, but ask, like the Apostles, to have it increased. However feeble our faith may be, if it be real faith in Christ, we shall reach heaven at last, but we shall not honour our Master much on our pilgrimage, neither shall we abound in joy and peace. If then you would live to Christ’s glory, and be happy in His service, seek to be filled with the spirit of adoption more and more completely, till perfect love shall cast out fear.

Charles Spurgeon

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What is Prayer?

prayerhandsAn excerpt from
A Time for Prayer
by Lance Wubbels
What is prayer?

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened (Matthew 7:7-8).

For anyone who has put his or her faith in Jesus Christ, prayer is “communion with God.” Through the cross of Jesus, the barriers to a relationship with God our Father were removed. When we begin to trust God and turn from our sin, He comes into our lives to begin a new relationship of love with us (Romans 8:9-10; John 14:23; Revelation 3:20; 2 Corinthians 13:5). Through prayer we actually experience a relationship with God, and the quality of our prayer life correspondingly determines the quality of our relationship with God.

Prayer is talking with God.

Prayer is listening to God.

Prayer is enjoying the presence of God.

Prayer is not simply saying words or repeating religious formulas. Jesus warned His disciples not to make meaningless repetitions of words when we pray (Matthew 6:7). There is a lot of what gives the appearance of prayer that never reaches God. For example, “The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself” (Luke 18:11). Perhaps the reason was that “If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable” (Proverbs 28:9).

God is looking for heartfelt relationship. Our faith and love toward God will lead us to recognize His presence with us, to talk with Him, to listen to Him, to sense Him. This is prayer. We express our thanks, our faith, our love, our hopes with God in prayer, and we receive from Him answers, assurance, guidance, peace, strength, power, revelation of who He is and what He wants to do (Matthew 7:7-8; John 16:13; Philippians 4:6-7; Ephesians 1:17-18).

The late E. Stanley Jones, missionary and preacher, wrote:

“Prayer…is the opening of a channel from my emptiness into His fullness.”

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Demise of DOMA ~ Wrecking the Constitution

The Challenge of Secularization
Our society continues drifting into the morass of secularization, in which nothing is sacred and everything is disposable. Such as the traditional view of marriage, or the life of an unborn, unwanted child. The rapid pace of secularization should give Christians cause for alarm, and ought to renew in us a desire to proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven to our neighbors.

The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview Website

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Bible Knowledge~Do You Know Your Bible?

Bible

Bible Question: How many chapters, verses, and words are in the Bible?

Bible Answer: The following answers your question and includes information about both the Old and New Testaments.

 

Old Testament

Chapters – 929

Verses – 23,214

Words – 622,771

New Testament

Chapters – 260

Verses – 7,959

Words – 184,590

Bible Total

Chapters – 1,189

Verses – 31,173

Words – 807,361

The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119, and the middle and shortest chapter is Psalm 117. The middle chapter of the Old Testament is Job 29 and the middle chapter of the New Testament is Romans 13. The middle verse of the Bible is Psalm 118:8.The middle verse of the Old Testament is 2 Chronicles 20:17, and the middle verse of the New Testament is Acts 17:17. The above information was provided by the The Open Bible.

Conclusion: Is it not amazing that God used about 40 authors to write the Bible, and yet the flow of the Bible is consistent and unchanged? It all points to Jesus Christ. The prophecies point to Him. The miracles He performed remind us that He is God. His teachings were amazing, and His control of nature was real. The entire Bible is about Him. It is about our God.

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Satan’s Plan ~ Is it happening in your life?

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Pastor Spotlight ~ Dr. Tony Evans

tony-evansShort Audio File You’ll Love, of Dr. Evan Telling it Like it is With Christ!

Dr. Tony Evans is one of the country’s most respected leaders in evangelical circles. As a pastor, teacher, author and speaker, he serves the body of Christ through his unique ability to communicate complex theological truths through simple, yet profound, illustrations. While addressing the practical issues of today, Dr. Evans is known as a relevant expositor. New and veteran pastors alike regard him as a pastor of pastors and a father in the faith.

The first African-American to graduate with a doctoral degree from Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), he served as an associate professor in DTS’ Pastoral Ministries Department in the areas of evangelism, homiletics and black church studies. He continues to serve DTS on the Board of Incorporate Members. Dr. Evans holds the rare honor of serving as chaplain for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks over the last three decades, the longest standing NBA chaplaincy on record. He also served as chaplain of the Dallas Cowboys during the Coach Tom Landry years.

Through his local church, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, and national ministry, The Urban Alternative, Dr. Evans promotes a Kingdom agenda philosophy that teaches God’s comprehensive rule over every sphere of life as demonstrated through the individual, family, church and society.

This philosophy connects biblical spirituality with social responsibility. Dr. Evans teaches that the church, not the government, is the best social service delivery system since it is closer to the needs of the people, offers the largest potential volunteer force, has facilities for impact programs, and provides a moral and spiritual frame of reference for making right choices.

At the heart of this vision is the use of church and school partnerships to effect spiritual and social change in communities. Dr. Evans’ outreach initiatives offer a foundation for ministering to a society in chaos with the goal of restoring every area of life under our Savior’s rule. For more information on this nationwide ministry, visit NCAASI.org.

Dr. Evans has written over 50 books, and numerous booklets. Some of his most well-known books are The Battle is the Lord’s, No More Excuses, and The Kingdom Agenda. Some of his most recent books include Marriage Matters, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and Oneness Embraced – an autobiographical account and intimate look at unity, African-American history, the church and social justice. Oneness Embraced is scheduled for release in February, 2011.

Dr. Tony Evans is married to Lois, his wife and ministry partner of 40 years. They are the proud parents of four: Chrystal, Priscilla, Anthony, Jr., and Jonathan as well as proud grandparents of ten: Kariss, Jessica, Jackson, Jesse, Jr., Jerry Jr., Kanaan, Jude, Joel, Kelsey and Jonathan II.

Dr. Tony Evans Ministry Site

 

 

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“How to Become an Athiest” by Ray Comfort

RayComfortThere are two main hard and fast rules for anyone who would like to become an “atheist.” If you are tempted, beware. It’s not an easy thing to do.

The first rule is to ignore design in nature. You will see it everywhere—from the planets, to the atoms, to the seasons, to the design of the human body, to the design of the birds and the bees, flowers, fruit, feet, and even fungus. And, of course, the amazing human eye. Everywhere you look and everywhere you can’t look, you will see design.

Now here’s the hard part: ignore your God-given common sense. Admit that everything man made is manmade, but be uncompromisingly adamant that everything in nature came from nothing, with no Designer. Once you have set aside your acumen to do this, crown yourself as being intelligent. Very. Then find other atheists who will confirm that you are indeed intelligent.

The second rule is to “believe.” This is very important, because if you let doubt in, it will let in fear, and that can be a scary thing when the issue at stake is a place called “Hell.”

Believe that you are right in your beliefs. Believe that evolution is indeed true. Believe that it’s scientific. Believe that there are no missing links, and believe that Richard Dawkins knows what he is talking about.

Believe that you are related to an ape, and therefore you are not morally responsible because apes have no moral absolutes. Believe that your conscience was given to you by your parents and society, and not by God (always use a small “g” for God, if possible).

To grow as an atheist, you will need to learn believers’ language—phrases like, “There is no creation,” “Evolution is a proven fact,” and the powerful “Flying Spaghetti Monster” argument. Learn the fine art of cutting and pasting quotes, and responding to evidence with “Straw man!” That means you won’t have to respond to anything challenging.

All this will give a perception of intelligence. Never question evolution, and don’t think for yourself.

Do these things, and you will be able to call yourself an atheist, or even a “new” atheist. How cool is that! Well, I should say, as much of one as you can be called one. No one can be a true atheist because you need “absolute knowledge” to say that there is no God. So until you are omniscient (like God), you will just have to do with pretending to be one.

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What the Bible Says About Heaven and Hell

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Ten Ways to Encourage a Brother or Sister in Christ

encourage
First Thessalonians 5:1–11 tells us that Christ died for us so that we can live together with Him. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up . . .”

It is crucial that we encourage our brothers and sisters in our small groups, where we “live together with Him.” Here are some specific ways to do so:

1. Write an encouraging letter (Paul to Timothy).
2. Share how God has dealt with you in your life—your personal testimony of overcoming and growth (Paul’s testimony in Acts 22).
3. Offer your supportive presence, even when you do not understand (the women at the cross).
4. Affirm another person’s worth by doing kindness when he hurts (Jesus in Matthew 25—feed the hungry, visit the prisoners, clothe the naked).
5. Absorb another person’s problems into yourself (pay his debts—Paul with Onesimus; the Good Samaritan).
6. Rejoice with another in his successes (Acts 5:41).
7. Jump in and help someone else actually complete a job (John and Peter with Philip in Samaria).
8. Stand up for a brother or sister, defending that person when others disparage him or her (Barnabas for Paul).
9. Pray (Paul for the Romans).
10. Review with a brother or sister the record of God’s involvement in our past and present so he or she can get the future into perspective (Paul to the Philippians, and on the shipwreck).

Courtesy of the Navigators

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