Saturday, March 30, 2013

Worthy Is the Lamb


by: Ron Hamilton

Weep not!  Weep not!  Weep no more.
For one is found worthy- Jesus Christ the Lord:
The Lion of Judah, the Savior the great I Am.
Weep not!  Weep not!  Behold the Lamb!

Worthy is the Lamb!
Worthy is the Lamb!
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!
Worthy is the Lamb!
Worthy to receive power and riches,
Worthy to receive wisdom and strength,
Worthy or honor and glory and blessing:
Worthy is the Lamb!
Worthy is the Lamb!

Fear not!  Fear not!  Fear no more,
For one is found worthy- Jesus Christ the Lord.
So join all creation, and echo the heavenly song.
Sing with the angels- one hundred million strong!

Worthy is the Lamb!
Worthy is the Lamb!
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!
Worthy is the Lamb!
Worthy to receive power and riches,
Worthy to receive wisdom and strength,
Worthy or honor and glory and blessing:
Worthy is the Lamb!
Worthy is the Lamb!

It Is Finished


by: Ron Hamilton

Long ago I saw my Savior 
Bearing shame upon a tree;
Then my heart was touched with sorrow,
For I saw He bled for me.

"It is finished," loud He cried!
Oh, what love for me He died.
In my stead He bled on Calvary.
Once for all Christ rescued me.

Lo, the sky was veiled in darkness;
Sudden trembling shook the ground
As the angry crowd was jeering,
Mocking Jesus all around.

"It is finished," loud He cried!
Oh, what love for me He died.
In my stead He bled on Calvary.
Once for all Christ rescued me.

Then my Savior called to heaven
As I saw His love anew,
"O my Father please forgive them,
For they know not what they do."

"It is finished," loud He cried!
Oh, what love for me He died.
In my stead He bled on Calvary.
Once for all Christ rescued me.

Free salvation now He offers.
Take His gift; Oh, hear His plea.
On the bloody cross behold Him;
Join His shout of victory.

"It is finished," loud He cried!
Oh, what love for me He died.
In my stead He bled on Calvary.
Once for all Christ rescued me.

I Stand Redeemed

by:  Ron Hamilton

At the dawn of eternity, when the midst of time is gone,
When the choir of heaven gathers to begin redemption's song,

I will bow before my Savior in a body new and whole;
Then I'll rise to sing His praises while eternal ages roll.

I stand redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
The price is paid; my debt is gone.
The chains that bound me no longer hold me.
Because of Calv'ry, I stand redeemed.

As I gaze upon my Savior and the wounds He bore for me,
I will sing of His salvation bought with blood upon the tree.
While the host of angels listen to a song they cannot sing,
I will voice my praise to Jesus with the song of the redeemed.


I stand redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
The price is paid; my debt is gone.
The chains that bound me no longer hold me.
Because of Calv'ry, I stand redeemed.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

When Did Idolatry Become Compatible with Christianity?

Great article that all Christians should read: When Did Idolatry Become Compatible with Christianity?

God's Sovereignty vs. Man's Responsibility

Don't worry...this is not going to be a post about where I stand on the Calvinism vs. Arminian debate.  I honestly do not know where I stand on that debate, and I hope I never do.  The way I figure it, I should never ally myself to a title, as much as I should ally myself to God and His word.  I'll let His word speak for itself and do my best to make sure my beliefs match up to it.

So...as I've mentioned before I grew up in a "quasi-fundamental" Christian home.  The reason I say it was "quasi-" is because my Dad called Fundamentalists, "Funny-mentalists."  Dad didn't want to ally himself to that camp because he knew about the legalism that was often associated with it.  In spite of this fact, however, I still had a lot of "Funny-mentalist"/ legalistic ideas being taught to me, or at least I applied what I was being taught in a legalistic way.  I felt like as long as I did my devotions once in a while, prayed once in a while, and went to church for every service, this made me a good Christian and I was entitled to be blessed by God because of the fact that I did all these things.

Most of my years, before going to college, I was taught this.  God used Northland to open my eyes to the fact that my heart needed to change if I really wanted to be more like Christ.  I could not make myself spiritual by changing my outward actions (because I failed at this every time), but real change comes from the inside out.  This change comes only by the sovereign hand of God.  This concept was liberating, and I found my walk with God growing by leaps and bounds.

However, God has been teaching me lately that I also have a responsibility.  I don't just sit back and "let God" and proceed to not do anything because if God wills it, He will make it happen.  The New Testament is filled with commands for a believer to "do" specific things.  These cannot be ignored.

As can be seen in most things in life, there's a delicate balance.  There is reliance on God's sovereignty, and placing our trust in that, but there is also action.  There is the fact that we are called (as Christians) to deny ourselves  take up our cross and follow Him!

I'm so thankful that God has been teaching me this.  My fear pushes me into inaction far to often...God wants me to step out in faith (with reliance on Him!), and watch what He can accomplish through me.

I think about how this will specifically affect my missions trip this summer.  I'm scared...I'm not going to deny that...but is my God not able to help me?  I need to step out in faith and rely on Him to help me..."The God of angel armies is always by my side"...so..."Whom shall I fear?"

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Fed up about prayer...

My impact group leader was talking about prayer a few weeks ago.  One thing he said really stuck out to me, and God has used it to convict me about a struggle I have.

As you've probably noticed from the title of this post, this is about prayer...

The point he made was that every talk we hear someone give about prayer, they start out saying something like, "I know this is something that every Christian struggles with, and I know that I struggle with it big time."  We hear this, and we think, "Oh good, I'm not the only one."  Then our mind proceeds to shut off...because we think that since everyone else struggles with it, that makes our struggle okay.  This comes from our root problem of comparing ourselves to other Christians, rather than comparing ourselves to our Savior...

We're far too content with our faltering prayer life...

So, if our life is be measured against Christ, how are you doing, how am I doing?  I'm failing miserably...

Jesus is God of heaven, and He was always praying to the Father when He was on this earth in human form.

I'm fed up with my life of not talking to my Father...

I don't know what else to say on this matter, because even since God revealed this to me, I've continue to struggle.

I'll just close this post by giving you the words of Jesus' "High Priestly Prayer."

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

John 17 (ESV)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Treasures in Jars of Clay

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.  For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  So death is at work in us, but life in you.
2 Corinthians 4:7-12

What is the treasure that is referred to in vs. 1?  The verses preceding this portion of scripture would tell us that this treasure is the gospel.  We are the jars of clay...Christians...we are broken, insecure, useless pottery.  Yet God chooses to use us...He chooses to use the weak.

The rest of this passage speaks of the death that comes through service to God.  The death to self, or even true physical death that could come from service to God.  By our death, we shine forth the glory if God in our death.  This passage even speaks of what sounds like torture.

We had a speaker in chapel today who is a church planter in Denver, Colorado, and he spoke on this passage.  His name is Jason Janz, and his church is Providence Bible Church and his ministry is ground breaking.  He's determined to create a multiracial church, and he's already well on his way.

He and his family moved into the middle of the 'hood in Denver, Colorado.  The only white family for blocks.  They put their kids into the local public school.  He and his family are committed to living out the gospel in this rough part of the city.

They've encountered many trials, but God grace has continued to overflow and give them courage.  One day, one of his sons was attacked in school by another student with a knife.  He gave him a pretty bad cut, and Jason told his son in tears that he would do whatever it took to get him out of there.  His son responded by saying no...he wanted to stay.

They don't live with a "bubble" mentality of separation from anything that is not Christian.  They go where the pain is...they go where those that are hurting are living.  They live their life radically committed to living for the glory of Christ.

By the end of his message, I was shaken.  My life is marked by great fear...fear about so many things...fear of rejection...fear of being hurt (both physically and emotionally)...

Why do I fear?  The power of the gospel of Jesus Christ came into my life and redeemed me from life of sin, and justified me in His sight.  That power is still available to strengthen me to do His work...and yet I doubt.

I'm far too comfortable with sitting on the side and living a selfish life committed to pleasing myself.

Lord, help me with this.  I can't do this on my own.  I want to be radically committed to serving you...even if it leads to agonizing pain and death...or the rejection of everything that I hold dear.  You are enough God...you give peace where no earthly treasure can.  I give my future to you, oh Lord...

Voice of the Martyrs, country to pray for this week: China

China is firmly committed to economic reform and openness, but economic gains haven’t been matched by political reform or increased religious freedom. The Chinese Communist Party, the world’s biggest political party, maintains strict control over Chinese citizens. Any sign of opposition is swiftly crushed.

Category: Restricted Nation
Religion: Non-Religious 44.4%, Christian 8%
Ideology: Communism
Head of State: President Hu Jintao

While the Chinese constitution guarantees freedom of religion, it protects only what are considered “normal” religious activities. Religious groups and individuals thought to pose a threat to national security or social harmony face severe restrictions, harassment, detention, imprisonment and other abuses. Even churches of the state-supported Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) are sometimes shut down. The government also detained more than 700 Protestants from unregistered churches in 2012 and increased efforts to close “illegal” meeting points and public worship activities. The state-sanctioned Amity Printing Company prints millions of Bibles each year, which are distributed mainly through TSPM churches. All house church meetings are illegal, but some officials overlook the offense in the interest of social harmony. Unregistered Bible schools are also illegal, and many have been closed over the past six months. The only available religious training is through government-sanctioned programs. In the last year, the head of China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) called on government officials to renew efforts to “guide” unregistered Protestants and Catholics into state-sanctioned churches. He also encouraged the break-up of large Protestant house churches into small groups. VOM provides Sunday school materials, supports Bible and Christian literature printing and helps families of prisoners in China.

Daily Prayer Request:
March 1:  Pray for Brother Yang and other Christians blessed through Voice of the Martyrs "Bibles Unbound" program.
March 2:  Pray that house church leaders will resist the pressure to join the state-run church.
March 3:  House churches account for about 90% of China's Christians.  Pray for trained pastors.
March 4:  Pray for Alimujiang Yimiti, imprisoned since 2008 for preaching to ethnic  Uyghurs.
March 5:  Pray for the families of Christian prisoners arrested for their faith.
March 6:  More Christians are imprisoned for their faith in China that any other country.
March 7:  The unregistered Linfen Fushan Church was raided in 2009.  Pray for church leaders who remain in prison.
March 8:  Pray for Christian lawyers who work for justice.
March 9:  Pray for Christian outreaches to the Chinese military.
March 10:  Pray for President Hu Jintao.