Archive for power

Bad growing areas

Posted in following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2010 by rylanreed

If you would like to read the first part of the series, you can go to Thrown seed.

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 talks about The Parable of the Sower and the different areas of where the seeds fell, and then an explanation of what those different areas are in personal terms.  Three of the areas the seeds fell on were not good soil, but destructible soil that made the seeds wither, die, or not grow at all.  The seed, is the gospel of Jesus Christ; and the different soils are the different ways people interpret the gospel and “receive it”.

                         Here is what Jesus said in Matthew 13:18-23″18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

So many times we feel the need to look down on Christianity as a whole, or specific people that have tried to share the great news of who Christ is and what a person’s life could be with Christ in charge. When looking at statistics of who accepted Christ or who even listened, some can get frustrated as to how the application of the “Product” or the gospel was presented and try to find different ways of going about it.  It is good too keep up to date with the different trends of each culture that we are apart of, but to suggest that we can do anything differently is a complete dishonoring of our great God. 

How should we look at this passage then? We should look at it through God’s eyes and His power.  It’s not what we can do better or how we can do better, because all of that is in God’s hands. He made the soil and everything else around it, and He is the one that knows who will accept and who won’t.  What we should be doing is looking at the farmer spreading the seed and follow in the same way.  We should be spreading the seed every where and not being picky on who we talk with and who we pass by each day. 

Matthew 28:18-19a “And Jesus Came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations”; Mark 16:15 “And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”

Advertisements

Prayer

Posted in following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2009 by rylanreed

“If any of you should ask me for an epitome of the Christian religion, I should say that it is in one word- Prayer. Live and die without prayer, and you will pray long enough when you get to hell.” Spurgeon

It is so true, because that is one of the main ways we talk and communicate to God.  If we are without that connection to God Most High, then we will start to depend on our abilities and thoughts, which is not a good tactic in this life.  Continue to trust in Him and ask for everything that you know you are lacking, not just money and happiness, but for a better knowledge of Christ and a stronger love for Him.

Prayer is not getting something FROM God; it’s doing something WITH God. The challenge is to develop a prayer life that is more about God than you  A helpful way to do this:

Pray “Father, I adore you…” Finish the phrase with reasons we have to adore God.

Pray “Jesus, I love you…” Finish with reasons we have to love Jesus.

Pray “Spirit, I need you…” Finish with reasons we need the Holy Spirit.

(taken from Judy Brower)

Pray about who God is, and what He means to your life. Pray for Jesus to cleanse the sinful parts of your body and your thoughts and mouth; pray that Jesus would show you more of your sin and help in giving you new parts and a new spirit. Pray for wisdom and guidance so that you can be able to live your life for God in and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Pray not only for yourself, but also pray for others. Pray for Salvation for those that don’t know Christ; pray for those that are Christians but are not living their lives for Christ, that they would see their sin and turn from it; pray for strength to those that are Christians, that they would live and work through the power of the Holy Spirit. And then pray for specific prayer requests as well. There can never be enough praying, and God will never have a full capacity, that would not allow Him to receive anymore prayers, He is always open for them and willing to listen.

Why seek Jesus?

Posted in books, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2009 by rylanreed

Other than the fact that He is the only saving grace that we have, He has also been through everything possible in a life time, that we could go through, and definitely not as bad as Jesus had it.  This is a quote from The 3:16 Promise Book by Max Lucado:

Why seek Jesus’ help with your challenges? Because he’s been there. To Nazareth, to Galilee, to Jerusalem. But most of all, He’s been to the grave. Not as a visitor, but as a corpse. Buried a midst the cadavers. Numbered among the dead. Heart silent and lung vacant. Body wrapped and grave sealed. The cemetery. He’s been buried there. You haven’t, yet. But you will be. And since you will, don’t you need someone who knows the way out?

In Hebrews 4:14-16 it says this:

Jesus the Great High Priest: 14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

We can be able to look to Him for our comfort in everything cause we know we have someone that has been through it all and can and will carry us through what we are going through right now or down the line.  1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

“He himself hath suffered being tempted.”  Hebrews 2:18

It is a common-place thought, and yet it tastes like nectar to the weary heart—Jesus was tempted as I am. You have heard that truth many times: have you grasped it? He was tempted to the very same sins into which we fall. Do not dissociate Jesus from our common manhood. It is a dark room which you are going through, but Jesus went through it before. It is a sharp fight which you are waging, but Jesus has stood foot to foot with the same enemy. Let us be of good cheer, Christ has borne the load before us, and the blood-stained footsteps of the King of glory may be seen along the road which we traverse at this hour. There is something sweeter yet—Jesus was tempted, but Jesus never sinned. Then, my soul, it is not needful for thee to sin, for Jesus was a man, and if one man endured these temptations and sinned not, then in his power his members may also cease from sin. Some beginners in the divine life think that they cannot be tempted without sinning, but they mistake; there is no sin in being tempted, but there is sin in yielding to temptation. Herein is comfort for the sorely tempted ones. There is still more to encourage them if they reflect that the Lord Jesus, though tempted, gloriously triumphed, and as he overcame, so surely shall his followers also, for Jesus is the representative man for his people; the Head has triumphed, and the members share in the victory. Fears are needless, for Christ is with us, armed for our defence. Our place of safety is the bosom of the Saviour. Perhaps we are tempted just now, in order to drive us nearer to him. Blessed be any wind that blows us into the port of our Saviour’s love! Happy wounds, which make us seek the beloved Physician. Ye tempted ones, come to your tempted Saviour, for he can be touched with a feeling of your infirmities, and will succour every tried and tempted one.   C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening; Evening, October 3.

Thrown seed

Posted in following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2009 by rylanreed

Most people might know the parable of the seeds and the sower.  It was probably said to you in Sunday School or something like that, and it was all nice and cutesy like.  I am going to look at this paragraph in two different ways, and hopefully will bring a little insight into some-one’s life.  one will be about the differences between the four and specifically one grouping, and the other will talk about how we can use that parable in our lives today. In Matthew 13, as well as Mark 4 and Luke 8, there is an interesting parable told by Jesus about why some people’s lives are wasted and unreachable. The parable sort of goes like this in the condensed version: A farmer goes out to seed his fields and there are four different places that the seeds get thrown too; on the path, on rocky ground, among thorns and then on good soil.  the short interpretation would be that we give in either to fleshly temptations, the pressure of the world or to the enemy; and then finally to God.

The first seed that fell on the path and were eaten by birds, are this kind of a person Jesus said, “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.” (Matthew 13:19) In South Africa, these would be the people that believe in ancestral worship or in creation and not a creator, or those that just believe in other religions.  It could also be the people that focus hole heartily on school work and making good grades, or wanting to do the things that they want to do and not caring too much into the future. Their focus is on something totally wrong and different than what it needs to be and Satan uses that for his benefit.

The second seed that fell on rocky ground, springing up really quick, but without any substance,  wilted and died are these kind of people Jesus said, “As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21yet he has no root in himself, by endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.” (Matthew 13:20-21) In South Africa, these would be a lot of people that might lean towards prosperity gospel or students not wanting to offend a westerner that has come over 10,000 miles to tell them something important.  They might receive it with joy and get excited, but then the trial comes and is placed on their laps, giving them a choice to show others and Christ that He is their all. To often, the opposite happens and they fall back into the way they had been living before, because it was either easier or comfortable.

The last, or unfruitful, seed that fell among the thorns and choked them out, are these kind of people Jesus said, “As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22) In South Africa, this might be a combination of the last two where people feel that things happen by chance and they are the one’s that control their own life and lifestyle. They are also concerned with the world and worldly things, wanting more of power, money, fame, and attention; too the extent that it overtakes their minds and hearts and nothing can really get to them except something drastic.

I will try to explain what these three different seeds mean to me and how they relate to the big picture, but the people dipicted here are a lot of what we deal with each and everyday. Not to say that these people are only found here, they are all over the world and especially in the great country of money, the United States. We are still called to try and reach them, but the greatness of it all is that it doesn’t totally depend on us for their salvation.

Fightin sin pt. 2

Posted in following Jesus, God, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2009 by rylanreed

If you would like to read the first part in this two part series, you can go here.

Here are the lyrics from Tedashii‘s new album Identity Crisis,  song entitled Make War:

[Intro:] ~John Piper~

I hear so many Christians, murmuring about their imperfections, and their failures, and their addiction, and their shortcomings. And I see so little war!…  Murmur, murmur, murmur. Why am I this way?…  Make War!

[Verse 1:] ~Tedashii~

Bang with me/ba-bang bang, ba-bang with me/ No more playing games man/cause this thing can get risky/So man if you in Christ/TAKE UP!!/your cross quickly/Stand fearless on the front line/time to come with it/Do the right thing/WAKE UP!!/and lets get it/I ain’t even in the ring/they throwing bows like Riddick/Persistently attacking me/they’re even in the back of me/It’s either fight or loose my life and I can’t take this passively/So what you think I’m bout to do/I’m bout to do what I can do/Trust the ONE who got me through/and fight like it was after school/Never giving up/steady, standing on the battle field/Feet firm to the ground like I stepped on Chappel Hill/Flesh feeling frisky, sin persuades and tempts me/Satan cheers me on/guilt followed by conviction/It’s the same ol’ trap/and we fall like we defenseless/Work your senses/grow in wisdom/stand firm and be relentless/

Hook:

I MAKE WAR!/Cause sin never sleeps/It’s got me in a trance/you can see it in my dreams/I MAKE WAR!/Man I beat my flesh/To the death/every breath/like I beat my chest/I MAKE WAR/sun up/I MAKE WAR/sun down/I MAKE WAR/time in/I MAKE WAR/time out/I MAKE WAR/against lust/I MAKE WAR/Against pride/I MAKE WAR/ Against me/I MAKE WAR/Until I die/

[Verse 2:] ft. ~Flame~

Do you even have a clue/What happened to you when He died/When that tomb got rolled/ when He rose in the sky/I think we emphasis sin so much/That it makes us paralyzed/And glorify struggle so much/That it makes us terrified/And de-emphasize the fact that we have been sterilized from our own lives and thus/We gotta snap out of it/We ain’t in no straight-jacket/We free/When Jesus died in our lives something strange happened/He gave us power/Yeah I know that we sinners but since He rose He’s renewing the image of God in us/Now, we gotta start making war/Now we can start saying no/To them fleshy impulses that Jesus Christ is paying for/Now we can start taking the lead/Just like the Dalai Lama and start going all out like a suicide bomber/Whatever the sin is we gotta go go go harder/By His grace no time to waste and just just just like there’s no tomorrow/

[Hook:]

[Verse 3:] ~Tedashii~

I’m a Christ representer, fit to stand and deliver/Cause a lot of my believers struggle with their agenda/So I dropped this on an ADAT/just so you could come play back/A hit to be encouraged that rocks you with truth from, way back/So listen up to it ASAP/like you do a Lecrae track/I’m spittin’ written visions to put on heads like a wave cap/Sinning, nawl we don’t play that/cause that’s the way that as slave act/I’m filled with the Spirit so tell them dog this is pay back/As you begin to copy the carbon copies of Christ/And conform to His written image you should be shinning a light/If you not, why is that?/Is it fear that’s been grippin’ you/cause you scared they’ll be dissin’ you/Flipping birds while that spit at you/If you not, why is that?/it don’t matter so bump it/perfect love cast out fear and He ain’t save us for nothing/his is a privilege (privilege)/your life to give to Him (give to Him)/so stand firm for Him dawg and lets get it in/

[Hook:]

Fightin sin pt. 1

Posted in books, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2009 by rylanreed

“Let not one of them escape.”   1Kings 18:40

When the prophet Elijah had received the answer to his prayer, and the fire from heaven had consumed the sacrifice in the presence of all the people, he called upon the assembled Israelites to take the priests of Baal, and sternly cried, “Let not one of them escape.” He took them all down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. So must it be with our sins—they are all doomed, not one must be preserved. Our darling sin must die. Spare it not for its much crying. Strike, though it be as dear as an Isaac. Strike, for God struck at sin when it was laid upon his own Son. With stern unflinching purpose must you condemn to death that sin which was once the idol of your heart. Do you ask how you are to accomplish this? Jesus will be your power. You have grace to overcome sin given you in the covenant of grace; you have strength to win the victory in the crusade against inward lusts, because Christ Jesus has promised to be with you even unto the end. If you would triumph over darkness, set yourself in the presence of the Sun of Righteousness. There is no place so well adapted for the discovery of sin, and recovery from its power and guilt, as the immediate presence of God. Job never knew how to get rid of sin half so well as he did when his eye of faith rested upon God, and then he abhorred himself, and repented in dust and ashes. The fine gold of the Christian is oft becoming dim. We need the sacred fire to consume the dross. Let us fly to our God, he is a consuming fire; he will not consume our spirit, but our sins. Let the goodness of God excite us to a sacred jealousy, and to a holy revenge against those iniquities which are hateful in his sight. Go forth to battle with Amalek, in his strength, and utterly destroy the accursed crew: let not one of them escape.  (Evening, C.H. Spurgeon July 17)

Oh, how I hate sin only after the fact of me doing it, which is usually more of a convicting feeling rather than one of remorse and wanting to fight the sin right from the start.  Why can’t I hate sin before the fact of it happening, when I totally know what the outcome will be and how I will be feeling about the sin in my life.  Only through God’s grace, mercy, strength, and power will I be able to beat the sin that is so prevalent in my life.  If I ask of Him and hide under His mighty wings, can I be able to start living a holy life devoted to Him.  I am still a sinner and will always sin til I die, but hopefully as I grow older the sins will start to decrease in their consistency and power.

Keep striving to fight sin in and through the power of Jesus Christ.  When we seek and savor Jesus for who He is and what He has done for our lives, helps us better want to live our lives for Him and not to satisfy our self-wants and desires.  Strive for Him to be glorified and you will be fighting sin along the way.

All about the truth

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2009 by rylanreed

…If religion means anything to us, it means everything- Horatius Bonar

I would have to say “If truth means anything to us…” because in this day and age religion is so different in terms of how things are run than centuries ago.  Some Christians think it best to sugarcoat the gospel and make things seeker friendly for those that are looking for something better.  If we give them that, and that’s all they know, its not the true gospel and somewhere down the line in their life they will stumble upon the true facts and might fall off because of the lies and fibs that were given to them earlier on.  we need to give everyone the true gospel so that they can be able to get the whole picture of who God is instead of just one little part.

Here is an excerpt from John Piper on why being truth-driven is so crucial: 2) Not Loving the Truth Is Eternally Ruinous — 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 – “They will perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.”

“There is a tendency in this age to throw doctrinal truth into the shade. Too many preachers are offended with that stern truth which the Covenanters held, and to which the Puritans testified in the midst of a licentious age. We are told that the times have changed; that we are to modify these old (so-called) Calvinistic doctrines, and bring them down to the tone of the times; that, in fact, they need dilution, than men have become so intelligent that we must pare off the angles of our religion, and make the square into a circle by rounding off the most prominent edges. Any man who doth this, so far as my judgment goes, does not declare the whole counsel of God. The faithful minister must be plain, simple, pointed, with regard to these doctrines. There must be no dispute about whether he believes them or not. He must so preach them that his hearers will know whether he preaches a scheme of freewill, or a covenant of grace — whether he teaches salvation by works, or salvation by the power and grace of God.”

Excerpted from C. H. Spurgeon’s sermon #289 “THE MINISTER’S FAREWELL

Published in NPSP Vol 6, Year 1860, pg. 25, Acts 20:26-27