Archive for Salvation

I’m a Christian poem

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2010 by rylanreed

I’M A CHRISTIAN

When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not shouting “I’m clean livin’.

I’m whispering “I was lost,” Now I’m found and forgiven.

When I say…”I am a Christian” I don’t speak of this with pride.

I’m confessing that I stumble and need CHRIST to be my guide.

When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not trying to be strong.

I’m professing that I’m weak and need HIS strength to carry on.

When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not bragging of success.

I’m admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not claiming to be perfect,

My flaws are far too visible but, God believes I am worth it.

When I say… “I am a Christian” I still feel the sting of pain,

I have my share of heartaches …So I call upon His name.

When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not holier than thou,

I’m just a simple sinner who received God’s good grace, somehow.

~Maya Angelou~

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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.

His Remembrance

Posted in books, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2009 by rylanreed

“And I will remember My covenant” Genesis 9:15

Mark the form of the promise. God does not say, “And when ye shall look upon the bow, and ye shall remember my covenant, then I will not destroy the earth,” but it is gloriously put, not upon our memory, which is fickle and frail, but upon God’s memory, which is infinite and immutable. “The bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant.” Oh! it is not my remembering God, it is God’s remembering me which is the ground of my safety; it is not my laying hold of his covenant, but his covenant’s laying hold on me. Glory be to God! the whole of the bulwarks of salvation are secured by divine power, and even the minor towers, which we may imagine might have been left to man, are guarded by almighty strength. Even the remembrance of the covenant is not left to our memories, for we might forget, but our Lord cannot forget the saints whom he has graven on the palms of his hands. It is with us as with Israel in Egypt; the blood was upon the lintel and the two side-posts, but the Lord did not say, “When you see the blood I will pass over you,” but “When I see the blood I will pass over you.” My looking to Jesus brings me joy and peace, but it is God’s looking to Jesus which secures my salvation and that of all his elect, since it is impossible for our God to look at Christ, our bleeding Surety, and then to be angry with us for sins already punished in him. No, it is not left with us even to be saved by remembering the covenant. There is no linsey-wolsey here—not a single thread of the creature mars the fabric. It is not of man, neither by man, but of the Lord alone. We should remember the covenant, and we shall do it, through divine grace; but the hinge of our safety does not hang there—it is God’s remembering us, not our remembering him; and hence the covenant is an everlasting covenant. C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening, Evening August 13

What a great thing to grasp, that we don’t have to remember all the time or try and remind God of what He told us with the convent of old.  He remembers and will always remember, not letting one of His children out of His sight and out of His controlling, comforting hands.  We don’t have to do anything, and we didn’t DO anything to deserve this, since us and this world is all for the glory of God and His covenant allows us to be apart of His plan for world redemption.

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.

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

Shout to Him pt. 1

Posted in books, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2009 by rylanreed

Exodus 3:9 “Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them.”

“are we crying out for God to hear our(and our brethren) plight?  Or do we try and work things out by ourselves and when they go bad then we get mad at Him who could have given us’…the way out.” Unknown Author

When situations come up, do we go to God for our help, or is it more of the fact that we just rely in our self and maybe others as well.  I know I have fallen into the trap of trying to do things on my own, or depending on others to help or comfort me in different situations, but it usually don’t work out to well and I feel incomplete.  Well, God (if I can use an illustration) is the ball that fits exactly into the circle hole of your heart, so snug that when He comes into that place He will never leave it again.  If you turn and look to Him when you need the strength to get through some situation or get wisdom to do something, He is there and willing to help if you just rely in Him.  He has the power and strength to give you, because He is all powerful and all mighty.  This is what Spurgeon says in his Morning and Evening devotionals, July 8 Evening:

“Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.”  Psalms 28:1

A cry is the natural expression of sorrow, and a suitable utterance when all other modes of appeal fail us; but the cry must be alone directed to the Lord, for to cry to man is to waste our entreaties upon the air. When we consider the readiness of the Lord to hear, and his ability to aid, we shall see good reason for directing all our appeals at once to the God of our salvation. It will be in vain to call to the rocks in the day of judgment, but our Rock attends to our cries.

“Be not silent to me.” Mere formalists may be content without answers to their prayers, but genuine suppliants cannot; they are not satisfied with the results of prayer itself in calming the mind and subduing the will—they must go further, and obtain actual replies from heaven, or they cannot rest; and those replies they long to receive at once; they dread even a little of God’s silence. God’s voice is often so terrible that it shakes the wilderness; but his silence is equally full of awe to an eager suppliant. When God seems to close his ear, we must not therefore close our mouths, but rather cry with more earnestness; for when our note grows shrill with eagerness and grief, he will not long deny us a hearing. What a dreadful case should we be in if the Lord should become forever silent to our prayers? “Lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.” Deprived of the God who answers prayer, we should be in a more pitiable plight than the dead in the grave, and should soon sink to the same level as the lost in hell. We must have answers to prayer: ours is an urgent case of dire necessity; surely the Lord will speak peace to our agitated minds, for he never can find it in his heart to permit his own elect to perish.

Psalm 34:17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.

Jesus Film SA!

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, God, South Africa Stint with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2009 by rylanreed

Saturday night was my first time helping out with the Jesus Film.  It was shown on the outskirts of Pretoria to, I guess you could call it a township, but it really wasn’t, more or less just people living in tin shacks trying to get by.  The place they lived was a grassy field, with a small area in the middle that someone had chopped down to the dirt.  One side had Zimbabweans living together and the other side had South African living together, speaking Northern Zutu, and they both hated each other.  There was also such a stark contrast from where these people were living and how they were living, to the surrounding area.  Up on a hill, there is a giant Church, Dutch Reformed, that can hold from 5000 to 7000 people.  We drove through their parking lot to get to the field where we set up the film, and you can see it clearly from where we were at during the night.  Behind this huge Church, from left to right, can be seen a very large suburben population, and I was told that it was the riches suburb in all of Pretoria.  On the other side of the Suburb, there were two malls that were both fairly expensive and were expansive in nature.

To see all of that and the money that was probably put into all of those structures, and then look at the men and women who were milling around in this field, not having anything to do except drink and smoke, made me think twice about the times that I complained about the smallest of things and not relying in God.  It also put a hurting on my heart thinking that these people could see all of the beautiful building and everything around them, but for the most part the people around them didn’t even notice or care about them.  I spent most of the night praying for the surrounding area, that God would put on some of the people’s hearts to come and be of service to these people that didn’t have anything at all.

Out of the 100 or so men and women that were there, probably 50 or so of them prayed the prayer and then we were able to share with them what they did and what to do next.  Please pray that they did not just pray the prayer becuase the person next to them prayed it.  Pray that God spoke through the video and them being there, so that they truly felt a call to become a child of God.  Pray that they would believe what they said and that others would be able to come to them and help them grow.  Pray that God was used in a might way that night and that those that prayed the pray would share with others about what God did to them and that they could get bibles in their native language or even in english, that they could continue to be taugh by God through His word.

Hopefully I can put some pictures up here in the next week or so…