January 14, 2010

Mighty to Save - Isaiah 63:1

Morning devotional by Charles Spurgeon.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

By the words “to save” we understand the whole of the great work of salvation, from the first holy desire onward to complete sanctification. The words are multum in parro: indeed, here is all mercy in one word. Christ is not only “mighty to save” those who repent, but he is able to make men repent. He will carry those to heaven who believe; but he is, moreover, mighty to give men new hearts and to work faith in them. He is mighty to make the man who hates holiness love it, and to constrain the despiser of his name to bend the knee before him. Nay, this is not all the meaning, for the divine power is equally seen in the after-work. The life of a believer is a series of miracles wrought by “the Mighty God.” The bush burns, but is not consumed. He is mighty to keep his people holy after he has made them so, and to preserve them in his fear and love until he consummates their spiritual existence in heaven. Christ’s might doth not lie in making a believer and then leaving him to shift for himself; but he who begins the good work carries it on; he who imparts the first germ of life in the dead soul, prolongs the divine existence, and strengthens it until it bursts asunder every bond of sin, and the soul leaps from earth, perfected in glory.

Believer, here is encouragement. Art thou praying for some beloved one? Oh, give not up thy prayers, for Christ is “mighty to save.” You are powerless to reclaim the rebel, but your Lord is Almighty. Lay hold on that mighty arm, and rouse it to put forth its strength. Does your own case trouble you? Fear not, for his strength is sufficient for you. Whether to begin with others, or to carry on the work in you, Jesus is “mighty to save;” the best proof of which lies in the fact that he has saved you. What a thousand mercies that you have not found him mighty to destroy!






Reference

Meyers, R. (2006). e-Sword. The sword of the Lord with an electronic edge (Verson 7.8) [Computer software].

January 9, 2010

Christian Leaders: The Difference from Yesterday and Today

This morning I attended a discipleship development/leadership training session this morning at the church where I am an intern for pastoral ministry.

Our group consisted of six men whom the pastor had felt God had wanted the pastor to train and develop as future leaders in ministry.

Phil Morgan, Senior Pastor at First Assembly of God in Brookfield, CT had asked us to read the first five chapters of the book, Spiritual Leadership - Principles of Excellence for Every Believer by J. Oswald Sanders before this morning's session.

I thank God for the pastor's obedience to His direction concerning this and for his willingness to invest himself into the lives of other men, for the advancement of the kingdom and for the glory of God. He's actively living Matthew 28:19-20 and 2 Timothy 2:2 as all pastors should.

We were discussing what leadership is and what some examples of it were and one of the guys made this comment, which I've revised a little bit and added to it myself too, but the substance of what was said is still there.
The difference between today's Christian leaders and the early NT church leaders: one seeks fame, popularity and blessing, while the other sought only to glorify God through winning souls to Christ. Money and #'s seem to motivate one in ministry (today) over humility and servanthood (then). One is like Jesus, the other, like Judas.

My friend Rick Silvera added, "When last have you heard this verse claimed..."I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God," (Colossians 1:24-25).



"The spiritual leader is focused on the service he and she can render to God and other people, not on the residuals and perks of high office or holy title," J. Oswald Sanders.


Reference

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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