NOTE: I want to thank so many of you for your kind notes and prayers; they truly do sustain me. I dedicate todayâ€™s devotional to John Haskins and Gregg Jackson, two men who are battling the worldliness of the church and the cancer it has become. It was they who sent me the videos below.
I was recently asked what the purpose of our Sunday school program is at our church and I answered to help our members attain a biblical worldview. A biblical worldview gives Christians the right perspective, a biblical lens if you will to see the world with Jesusâ€™ eyes. We must always look upon all we see with eternal eyes. I have shared with you a few times my admiration for the late Leonard Ravenhill. In a video I received yesterday, I for the first time heard spoken his words I so love to read. Here is an excerpt from the video:
â€œI think again of a statement Dr. Tozer made to me once. He said weâ€™ll hardly get our feet out of time into eternity and gaze on eternity that weâ€™ll bow our heads in shame and humiliation and say, â€˜My God look at all the riches there were in Jesus Christ, and I come to the Judgment Seat almost a pauper.â€™ Master forgive and inspire us anew. Banish our worldliness; help us to ever live with eternityâ€™s values in view. Said that great man who birthed that revival â€“ â€˜God stamp eternity on my eyeballs.â€™ You know if we canâ€™t live as a different breed of people on this earth, we have no right to live here.â€
The great man Ravenhill speaks of is Jonathan Edwards whose fiery sermons began the First Great Awakening. Edwards used to pray over and over again, â€œOh God, stamp eternity on my eyeballs.â€
Oh but most of us look at this world not with eternal eyes but with pragmatic eyes. We look upon the political landscape across America and say, â€œYes, I must do a great work today in convincing voters that although this is not best, it is good and good will do.â€ I am tired of good; good is not great and good is not my best.
Imagine sitting before a prospective employer as he or she interviews you for the job and you are asked, â€œWhat is your one great attributes as an employee?â€ Some might say, â€œI’m a complete team playerâ€ and that might go over well. But what if you told the interviewer, â€œI am very pragmatic; I accomplish a lot. Now I donâ€™t always do the best job, but I do a good job which allows me to complete more projects. I can do many good jobs instead of just one great job.â€
Would that person hire you? Would you hire you?
As Ravenhill said we have no right to live here if as Christians â€œwe canâ€™t live as a different breed of people on this earth.â€ Jesus was once asked, â€œWhat shall I do to inherit eternal life?â€ Do you remember our Lordâ€™s answer to the rich young ruler? Letâ€™s revisit this scene:
â€œNow a certain ruler asked Him, saying, â€˜Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?â€™ So Jesus said to him, â€˜Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: â€œDo not commit adultery,â€ â€œDo not murder,â€ â€œDo not steal,â€ â€œDo not bear false witness,â€ â€œHonor your father and your mother.â€™â€™ And he said, â€˜All these things I have kept from my youth.â€™ So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, â€˜You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.â€™ But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, â€˜How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.â€™ And those who heard it said, â€˜Who then can be saved?â€™ But He said, â€˜The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.â€™ Then Peter said, â€˜See, we have left all and followed You.â€™ So He said to them, â€˜Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.â€™â€(Luke 18:18-30)
What are your riches? Is it your career, your house, your boat, your motorcycle, your standing in the community? On what do you place value, so much so you are unwilling to give it up for the eternal riches that are found in Christ Jesus?
Beloved, if the only difference between me and my unsaved neighbor is that I go to church on Sundays and he goes to the beach, then I am not a different breed of people; I am just a churchgoer.
Dear Christian the church is so much like our government. Radical Islam is at war with America and has said so and yet the United States has refused to acknowledge as much because we donâ€™t want to offend Muslims. Satan is at war with the Church and we donâ€™t acknowledge this because we are too busy being consumers instead of holy saints for the Kingdom of God. We are in a holy war and we have lost so much ground that if I did not know the power of God and have read His record then I would despair for our future.
We need holy men of the type Paul Washer speaks of in this video. My dear brother in Christ, will you put down the PlayStation controller and pick up your sword? Will you drop your softball bat and pick up your sword? Will you lay down your TV remote control and pick up your sword? Will you stop settling for â€œgoodâ€ and aim for Jesusâ€™ best?
Do you not know that it pleases Satan when we settle for good instead of great? Is it not clear to you that it is a tool of Satan to make moderation of religion the norm within the church, to not preach of sin and salvation all the time? We do not need a sermon like Edwardsâ€™ â€œSinners in the Hands of an Angry Godâ€ we need Osteenâ€™s â€œYour Best Life Nowâ€.
I am currently reading C.S. Lewisâ€™ â€œThe Screwtape Lettersâ€ (of which some of you say you could not get through, to which I say get back to it!), and in letter #9 Uncle Screwtape instructs his young nephew Wormwood how to introduce moderation to the Christianâ€™s life:
â€œIt all depends on whether your man is of the desponding type who can be tempted to despair, or of the wishful-thinking type who can be assured that all is well. The former type is getting rare among humans. If your patient should happen to belong to it, everything is easy. You have only got to keep him out of the way of experienced Christians (an easy task now-a-days), to direct his attention to the appropriate passages in Scripture, and then to set him to work on the desperate design of recovering his old feelings by sheer will-power, and the game is ours. If he is of the more hopeful type your job is to make him acquiesce in the present low temperature of his spirit and gradually become content with it, persuading himself that it is not so low after all. In a week or two you will be making him doubt whether the first days of his Christianity were not, perhaps, a little excessive. Talk to him about â€˜moderation in all thingsâ€™. If you can once get him to the point of thinking that â€˜religion is all very well up to a pointâ€™, you can feel quite happy about his soul. A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at allâ€”and more amusing.â€
Are you settling for good enough? Are you sowing to your flesh or to your spirit? This question is of eternal consequence! Paul said:
â€œFor he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.â€ (Galatians 6:8)
Beloved, are you reaping corruption or everlasting life?
Are you a different breed of people?
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Copyright Â© 2010 David Jeffers