Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Do You Recognize Him?

"The incarnation is the irruption of God into human history: an incarnation into littleness and service in the midst of overbearing power exercised by the mighty of this world; an irruption that smells of the stable. The Son of God was born into a little people, a nation of little importance by comparison with the powers of the time. He took flesh among the poor in a marginal area—namely, Galilee; he lived with the poor and emerged from among them to inaugurate a kingdom of love and justice. That is why many have trouble recognizing him." ~ Gustavo Gutierrez 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Said the Robin to the Sparrow...

“Said the robin to the sparrow,
‘I should really like to know,
why these anxious human beings rush about and worry so.’
Said the sparrow to the robin,
‘Friend I think it must be
That that have no Heavenly Father,
Such as cares for you and me.’”
~Author Unknown

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pride Versus Humility

“The difference between pride and humility is this: Pride is the manifestation of a slave that is perpetually trying to prove that he has value. Humility is the manifestation of king that already knows he has value and has nothing to prove." ~ Justin Stumvoll 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

What Do You Want to be Saved From?

“Lukewarm people don't really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin.” ~ Francis Chan

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Where Is Your Treasure?

"We have lost all our possessions, but we still have our faith in Jesus." ~ an Iraqi Christian

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. ~ Matthew 6:18-20 (NIV)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Are You Living at Large (part 3)

Where are the "at large" places in our lives?  Where, in our thought life, our actions, our relationships, even our ministries, are we living outside of Him?  They're there, no matter how hard we try to ignore them.  Will we keep coming up to the truth, or will we, at last, really enter into it?  To live at large from Him is to be a Kingdom fugitive.  It's a life on the run, from Him.  Let's stop running from Him, and run to Him.  Let's go  "off line."  Living at large no longer.

Are You Living at Large (part 2)

"Jesus said that the Holy Spirit leads "into all truth."  Not up to truth, but into it.  How many of us have heard His voice speaking into such areas of life need, felt the conviction that His voice brings, resolved that we were going to act upon it, enter into it, yet in the end, remained in the exact same spiritual place?  We come up to the truth, but we don't enter into it.  We have good intentions, awareness of the need, even of what He desires for us, yet, a little time passes and there we are, still wrestling with the same problem, the same lack, the same sin.  We go on living at large, outside of, His will, His way, and His life.  We've gotten very comfortable there, and if we can deal with the occasional tweak of our conscience, we can eventually come to the place where we don't hear His voice, His truth at all.  We become hardened to it.  Small wonder then that so many of us can return to church services week after week, "hear" the same word preached and taught week after week, and yet continue to live at large from Him.  Just like the world."  ~ Pastor Gary O'Shell

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Are You Living At Large?

"I was struck by Jesus' words in John 14:18, "He is the Holy Spirit Who leads into all truth.  The world at large cannot receive Him, because it isn't looking for Him and doesn't recognize Him."  We who consider ourselves "believers" would understand those "at large" to be ones who are without Him, unbelievers.  Rarely, if ever, would we see ourselves as such.  Yet in reality, in how many life areas, are we living "at large" from His Life, His Spirit, His Way?" ~ Pastor Gary O'Shell

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Don't Worry...

"Don't worry about being effective. Just concentrate

on being faithful to the truth." ~ Dorothy Day

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christians Love

"The more I listen to people around me talk about their experience with Jesus Christ and with religion, the more I realize as well that what drives people away from Christ is the Christian who does not know how to love. A string of cruel words from a Christian can destroy another Christian." ~ Anne Rice

Monday, December 8, 2014

Refresh Us

"We don’t have to convince an unwilling God to come and refresh us with His presence. He’s for it. But, He cannot be manipulated. But when sincere hearts who know they cannot do His work nor His will without Him, humbly pray, He will answer." - J. Edwin Orr

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Don't Hold Back

"Today, this week, as we come before Him, what do you want, expect to hear?  Good words?  A "nice" sermon?  Something that may strike a note, but transform nothing, or, do you, I, come yearning for the voice of fire?  A voice that will release the symphony of His Life to and into us?  Haven't we held back long enough?" ~ Pastor Gary O'Shell

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Has HE Taken Hold of You?

"We need today to hear and heed His voice of fire, and we need it at every level in the church.  We know well how to come together to plan, to talk, to come up with new methods and means, and to discuss the needs of the culture and how to meet them, but it's not more analysis that we need, it is the hearing and receiving of His voice of fire.  A voice that doesn't just resonate in our spirits, but literally takes hold of us in the center of our being.  As long as we seek to keep our distance from Him, fearing the fire, we will never have the life, individually or corporately that only the voice of fire can bring." ~ Pastor Gary O'Shell

Friday, December 5, 2014

Intimacy with HIM

"Deuteronomy 5 relates how the Lord called Moses to Himself and spoke to him while the people lingered at a distance.  Twice we're told that the Father spoke with "a voice of fire," for His Presence was literally blazing before them all.  The people feared that voice and held back, while Moses alone came into His presence, into the power of His voice of fire.  Today, maybe more than ever before, we in the western church need to hear, receive, and be transformed by His voice of fire.  We've kept our distance long enough.  Like the people did with Moses, we've been satisfied to allow others, pastors, teachers, those who speak with prophetic voices, be the ones who hear what God has said and is saying now, and then bring to us His words.  Few of us truly know what it is to hear Him speak d, irectly to us.  We've never developed such an intimacy with Him in our "devotional time," and so it's no surprise that when we come together in worship, we hear so little.  Our emotions may be moved, but too often, our hearts never are.  Our spiritual senses are dulled, and so, as Jesus said, "we hear, but don't hear."  We hear the words that the Father, that Jesus, that the Holy Spirit is saying, but we have little or no understanding of what He means in those words.  They touch our ears, but not our hearts, and so, we remain unchanged." ~ Pastor Gary O'Shell