Archive for November, 2007

Leprosarium Hold-out

Monday, November 5th, 2007

While visiting a leprosy hospital, a preacher encountered one man with a glowing love of Jesus. This patient told the preacher, “When I first came to this hospital, I was the angriest, bitterest man here. But one man from the village nearby came every day to visit me and bring me food.” (In our part of the world, hospital food is usually of poor quality.)

The man said that at first he threw the food back in the visitor’s face. “He’d come out and offer to play cards with me, but I shouted at him to leave me alone. He wanted to talk to me, but I refused to answer. Still he came day after day. Finally the leper asked, “Why do you keep coming to see me, when all I ever show you is bitterness and hatred?” The man replied that it was because of the love of Christ.

The preacher asked the leper, “How long did he come to see you before you gave your heart to Christ?”

“Every day for 13 years.”

It’s All Relative

Monday, November 5th, 2007

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.” –Philippians 3:7–

When you become a Christian, one of the more notable changes is that you will give up many of the things you once did. Of course, this depends on your lifestyle prior to your conversion. But for many of us, a dramatic change will take place.

I have heard people share their stories of how they came to Christ and the great sacrifices they made to follow Him, saying things like, “I had a great life… I went to parties… I had so much fun… But I gave it all up for Jesus Christ, hallelujah! I left it all for the glory of God!”

When I hear statements like that, I feel like asking, “What are you talking about? You gave it all up? What did you give up?”

If they were to look at those things honestly and realistically, they would come to the same conclusion that Paul did. He said, “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord . . . ” (Philippians 4:7–8).

Paul was saying that the stuff that used to be so important, the stuff he once valued so highly, meant nothing to him now in relation to the excellence of the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

It’s a good idea to periodically ask ourselves, “Is this thing that I am doing slowing me down or speeding me along? Is it building me up spiritually or is it tearing me down?” If it is a weight, then we should lay it aside.

Focused Attacks

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

“And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.” –Mark 4:15–

Temptation comes to everyone, but the enemy focuses many of his attacks on those who are young in the faith and those who are making a difference in the kingdom.

Temptation comes to everyone, but the enemy focuses many of his attacks on those who are young in the faith and those who are making a difference in the kingdom.After our conversion the devil is there, tempting us to doubt our own salvation. He whispers in our ears, “You think you are saved? You think Christ really came into your life? Are you crazy?” This is just a tactic the enemy keeps recycling again and again.

Temptation comes to everyone, but the enemy focuses many of his attacks on those who are young in the faith and those who are making a difference in the kingdom.After our conversion the devil is there, tempting us to doubt our own salvation. He whispers in our ears, “You think you are saved? You think Christ really came into your life? Are you crazy?” This is just a tactic the enemy keeps recycling again and again.The Bible tells us that when we are young in the faith, we are especially vulnerable. We see in the parable of the sower that young believers are immediately attacked. Jesus said, “And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts” (Mark 4:15). He is there to attack those who are young in the faith.

Temptation also comes to those who are making a difference in the kingdom of God. First of all, he doesn’t want you to come to Christ. But once you have made that commitment, his next strategy is to immobilize you, to get you to compromise yourself and be ineffective. He doesn’t want you to be a threat to his kingdom.

If you want to make a difference, if you want to reach people who don’t know the Lord, then don’t expect a standing ovation in hell. The enemy won’t take it lightly. He will attack you. You had better expect it. Brace yourself for it, and pray for other believers, whether they are new in the faith or are already making a difference.