Making Jesus Central

We exaggerate trivial things like the fact that people do not wear suits to Church forgetting the very reason we are there in the first place. Sadly Often how true the quote becomes of us!!

Reiterations

So much “godliness” teaching seems to make Jesus an afterthought.  It’s a system of willpower and self-improvement with an occasional nod to Jesus.Micah J. Murray

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On How Women Should Dress for Worship

Reiterations

How does a woman discern the sometimes fine line between proper dress and dressing to be the center of attention?  The answer starts in the intent of the heart.  A woman should examine her motives and goals for the way she dresses.  Is her intent to show the grace and beauty of womanhood?  Is it to show her love and devotion to her husband and his goodness to her?  Is it to reveal a humble heart devoted to worshiping God?  Or is it to call attention to herself and flaunt her wealth and beauty – or worse, to attempt to allure men sexually?  A woman who focuses on worshiping God will consider carefully how she is dressed because her heart will dictate her wardrobe and appearance.John MacArthur (born in 1939).  Comment on 1 Timothy 2.9.

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You gotta stand…

You gotta stand for something or You’ll fall for anything!!

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear

Self-Righteousness

Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. ~Jesus!

As long as you are on this side of heaven, you need to repent. We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Nothing good dwells in us. Men who walked with Jesus recognized their need for repentance and so did the prophets. The psalmist says that if He had cherished sin in His heart, the Lord would not have heard Him.

So when Our Savior says that Heaven will rejoice over one sinner who comes to repentance than over 99 righteous persons, sarcasm is what He has to offer. Paul in his epistle to the Romans said, “what I want to do do, I don’t and what I do not want to do, I do” This is not something that stopped happening to Him after he wrote the letter. It did not mean the the fight was over. NO!! On the other hand, it helps us recognize that we mess up and ought to repent day after day. (1 John 1:8-9). Repentance goes on till the day we enter eternity, the day we are completely free from sin. So in this portion of Scripture, Our Lord is hitting at the self-righteous Pharisees and Scribes who thought themselves worthy because of their public acts of virtue like sounding bells before giving alms, praying on top of their voices, fasting and making it a show and the alike thus not recognizing their need for a Savior.

It bothered them so much that a mighty man who was performing all those miracles like never before, who spoke the word with all authority, who said He was the son of God, kept company with the people they assumed to be the worst- tax collectors, prostitutes etc and unlike themselves, the self proclaimed righteous!

Christ did not come for the good. On the contrary, just like it is the sick who need a doctor, He came to save the bad. (Luke 5:31-32). He is the perfect one through whom we attain righteousness, the mediator, the Great High Priest who, right now is seated at the right hand of the father pleading and making intercession on behalf of all the destitute who have recognized their need for Him. On behalf of Prostitute, thieves, murders, adulterers and the alike so He can change their stories. On behalf of people with a broken and contrite heart. On behalf of people like me who recognize that apart from Him, we are nothing and therefore cling to Him for salvation.

Well, this is not a place for people who are fairly good, who have their “good” acts ready to defend them, who think themselves righteous like the Pharisees and Scribes, but rather for the meek, who mourn over their sinfulness. No wonder they will see God!!

Faithful is the word and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ came into this world to save sinners of whom I am for Most!

On Self Esteem

Many people struggle with a low opinion of self while so many others are too blinded to see the doom that comes their way because of a high opinion of self. We all at some point want to take glory for something we or have. We want to fill good about it. This in most cases results in what is popularly known as self-esteem, a word used to cover up the “harsh” word “Pride” in the Christian circles today. The Web definition of self-esteem is

a feeling of pride in yourself.

For a christian, the desire to have a high opinion of self or rather pride in oneself should be one that never crosses mind. This should be something we all hate and have nothing to deal with. I’ll tell you why;

Our Lord hates Pride!!                                                                                             Pride (high opinion of self)  is what caused Lucifer to set himself in opposition to God in heaven, and to rebel against God’s authority. Pride is what caused the fallen state of mankind, when Adam and Eve disobeyed the Lord in the Garden of Eden. In fact, pride is one of the seven sins referred to as “deadly sins’

Scratch behind every sin and you will find pride. People steal from others because they believe they deserve to have what the other party has. Do you see the pride there. Adultery happens because on the parties think they deserve better. Count them all, lying, killing, cheating etc and you will find that the root of the sin is Pride.

Today the gospel of being preached is that man is fairly Good and God is so gracious. Pride has caused the true gospel to be watered down because man wants to feel good about the SUPPOSEDLY good things he does forgetting that nothing good dwells in him and what he also call good has bad in it(motives). Jonathan Edwards, the great theologian said;

All of our Good is of God, through God, in God.

God is the source, cause, and author of our good, the means and mediator of our good, the end, object and cause essence our good.

What I make from that is all the glory goes to God and not to me for any virtuous acts I  perform. As long as I think that I am fairly good, I will not fully grasp the essence of God sending His Beloved and begotten son to die and on my behalf. Obscurity will cover me. Let every man come before God, stripped, knowing that He is indeed inadequate and that nothing good dwells in Him and then He will get to appreciate firmly hold onto what God has to offer. This is not possible for a man with a high opinion of self but rather one who is low in spirit. The Pharisees, because they thought themselves good, had the audacity to pray to God with their heads, bragging about all the good they had done. Today that may not be the case, but a lot of false humility is one of the major attributes the  century christian carries- in that they always go around saying they are humble, but you hear pride even in that statement.

Be sure of this, So many people with a low opinion of self- low self esteem will make it to heaven but not even one proud rustic will enter Heaven. The gates of heaven are low, you must enter them crawling!!

For one to full grasp the meaning of the cross, they must carry a low opinion of self. The beauty of that is, I get to know that I am all I am because of Christ and His great price. This truth alone is enough to help me sail in this depraved world knowing that eternity in heaven awaits me. It helps me depend on God!

I’ll end with the words of Charles Spurgeon;

For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.’ – Ps 84:11

“Grace is what we need just now, and it is to be had freely. What can be freer than a gift? Today we shall receive sustaining, strengthening, sanctifying, satisfying grace. He has given daily grace until now, and as for the future, that grace is still sufficient.

If we have but little grace the fault most lie in ourselves; for the Lord is not straitened, neither is He slow to bestow it in abundance. We may ask for as much as we will and never fear a refusal. He giveth liberally and upbraideth not.

The Lord may not give gold, but He will give grace: He may not give gain, but He will give grace. He will certainly send us trial, but He will give grace in proportion thereto. We may be called to labor and to suffer, but with the call there will come all the grace required.

What an ‘end’ is that in the text — ‘and glory!’ We do not need glory yet, and we are not yet fit for it; but we shall have it in due order. After we have eaten the bread of grace, we shall drink the wine of glory.

We must go through the holy, which is grace, to the holiest of all, which is glory. These words and glory are enough to make a man dance for joy. A little while — a little while, and then glory forever!”

Pray. Do not stop Praying!

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Pray Pray Pray

Prayer is as natural an expression of faith as breathing is of life
~ Jonathan Edwards!

One theologian said that 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.