It has dawned upon me after some twenty years of trying to plant and establish the local church, that it is something only God can do. I am no more a church-planter or builder than you are. The Lord is the only one who can really establish anything. It is true that each one of us is given a particular and distinctive calling, but in the final analysis the only worthwhile energy that can be expended with any spiritual effectiveness is that which the Holy Spirit works in us. Unless my work is wrought IN THE LORD, it has no spiritual value. It may have a great deal of social value, or even a great deal of personal value, but it can have no spiritual value.
Paul would have us know, first of all, that anything that is a spiritual work must be done IN THE LORD. He uses this phrase on other occasions, but Ephesians 2:22 gives us some important information concerning the house of God, and how He will accomplish His purpose.
Paul writes “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” First we must catch the significance of the phrase, “in whom.” Paul is insisting that we are being built together “in the Lord.” He is not adding us TO THE LORD; He is building us IN THE LORD together. Read More
Sometimes phrases just stand out on my screen and almost shout at me to think about them. These are "Really?" moments, and the title was one of these. Every day I look through a list of ebooks under the broad umbrella of "Christianity." Usually there are 60 or more and sometimes up to 300. A thumbnail of the cover is shown, the title in large type and some lines of description.
The quickest way to scan the list is by the title. One title, "When Prayer Fails, Try Praise," stuck in my mind and started to concern me. I wondered how many Christians would take it as truth and not see any error there. It is a catchy title, and as an author I know the importance of a good title. Yet I can agree with only two words in it: "Prayer" and "Praise!" I believe in both of those wholeheartedly.
So as the modern generation of preachers would say, let's "unpack" the title and see what it is really saying. Would it be good for all Christians to believe that phrase? Later we will see if that is what the author is teaching.
First let me remind you what is true prayer. I just love to ask for a show of hands in a seminar in response to the question, "Who loves to pray?" And then I quote a few words from Matthew 6:5 about hypocrites, "For they love to pray..." It needs the whole context, of course, but the people laugh and get the point I'm making. Hypocrites love to pray so that others see they are pious and Jesus said that the only reward they get is that of others looking at them. Read More
The apostle Paul, in recounting his ministry to the Christians of his day, said, “I have fully preached the gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:19). I believe that on this website and in my books and spoken ministry I have shared more than you need to know to live a successful Christian life and to maximise your potential for the glory of God.
Just what is this “full” or “complete” gospel of Christ. What is its foundation? I need to remind you that Jesus said He had not come to talk about Himself, but that He came to reveal the Father (John 14:9. The crux of the good news of Christ was actually good news about God. I, too, want to tell you about “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
God is a good God
I believe the basic good news about God that I share is that God is a good God. “God is a good God and the devil is a bad devil. There is no badness in God and there is no goodness in the devil. God is totally good and the devil is totally bad, for God is a good God and the devil is a bad devil”, as Oral Roberts often described it.
Psalm 34:8 instructs us to “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” This is an invitation to get into a relationship with God, to test Him out to see if He is really good. In Psalm 100:5 we are also taught “For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting” (NKJV). Read More