Monday, November 30, 2009


Days of Praise
The Saints
November 30, 2009
"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are
at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 1:1)
In the opening salutations to the churches at Rome, Corinth, Ephesus,
Philippi, and Colosse, the apostle Paul addresses the "saints" in those
churches—a term essentially synonymous (as in our text above) with
"the faithful in Christ Jesus." The Greek word (hagios) is also translated
even more frequently as "holy." Evidently "saints" are "those who are
holy." For example, just three verses later Paul speaks thus of believers:
"He hath chosen us in him |Christ| before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy |same word| and without blame before him in love"
(v. 4).
This immediately raises an obvious question. Paul's rebukes to the "saints"
in these churches (especially Corinth) certainly would indicate that the lives
of many in them were anything but holy! How can sinners be called holy?
The answer to this problem must be, of course, in the fact that Christians are
"saints in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:1), not necessarily saintly in behavior.
It is a wonderful truth that God deals with us, not in our sins, but in Christ.
In His sight, we are even seated "together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus"
We have surely been "blessed . . . with all spiritual blessings in heavenly
places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3), and it would surely please Him if we would
seek to become as holy in our practice as in our position. "I beseech you
therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a
living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing
of your mind,that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect
, will of God"
(Romans 12:1-2). HMM
Institute for Creation Research | 1806 Royal Lane | Dallas | TX | 75229

Thursday, November 26, 2009


"What should be the focus of Christians on Thanksgiving?"

The original thanksgiving celebration was held by the Pilgrim settlers in Massachusetts during their second winter in America in December, 1621. The first winter had killed 44 of the original 102 colonists. At one point their daily food ration was down to five kernels of corn apiece, but then an unexpected trading vessel arrived, swapping them beaver pelts for corn, providing for their severe need. The next summer’s crop brought hope, and Governor William Bradford decreed that December 13, 1621, be set aside as a day of feasting and prayer to show the gratitude of the colonists that they were still alive.

These Pilgrims, seeking religious freedom and opportunity in America, gave thanks to God for His provision for them in helping them find 20 acres of cleared land, for the fact that there were no hostile Indians in that area, for their newfound religious freedom, and for God’s provision of an interpreter to the Indians in Squanto. Along with the feasting and games involving the colonists and more than 80 friendly Indians (who added to the feast by bringing wild turkeys and venison), prayers, sermons, and songs of praise were important in the celebration. Three days were spent in feasting and prayer.

From that time forward, Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a day to give thanks to God for His gracious and sufficient provision. President Abraham Lincoln officially set aside the last Thursday of November, in 1863, “as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father.” In 1941, Congress ruled that after 1941, the fourth Thursday of November be observed as Thanksgiving Day and be a legal holiday.

Scripturally, we find things related to the issue of thanksgiving nearly from cover to cover. Individuals offered up sacrifices out of gratitude in the book of Genesis. The Israelites sang a song of thanksgiving as they were delivered from Pharaoh's army after the crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 15). Later, the Mosaic Law set aside three times each year when the Israelites were to gather together. All three of these times [Unleavened Bread (also called the Feast of the Passover) (Exodus 12:15-20), Harvest or Pentecost (Leviticus 23:15-21), and the Feast of Ingathering or Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-36)] involved remembering God’s provision and grace. Harvest and Tabernacles took place specifically in relation to God’s provision in the harvest of various fruit trees and crops. The book of Psalms is packed full of songs of thanksgiving, both for God’s grace to the Israelite people as a whole through His mighty deeds, as well as for His individual graces to ea ch of us.

In the New Testament, there are repeated admonitions to give thanks to God. Thanksgiving is to always be a part of our prayers. Some of the most remembered passages on the giving of thanks are the following:

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:6).

"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men" (1 Timothy 2:1).

Of all of God’s gifts, the greatest one He has given is the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. On the cross of Calvary, Jesus paid our sin debt, so a holy and just Judge could forgive us our sins and give us eternal life as a free gift. This gift is available to those who will call on Christ to save them from their sin in simple but sincere faith (John 3:16; Romans 3:19-26; Romans 6:23; Romans 10:13; Ephesians 2:8-10). For this gift of His Son, the gift which meets our greatest need, the Apostle Paul says, "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15).

We, like the Pilgrims, have a choice. In life there will always be those things that we can complain about (the Pilgrims had lost many loved ones), but there will also be much to be thankful for. As our society becomes increasingly secular, the actual “giving of thanks to God” during our annual Thanksgiving holiday is being overlooked, leaving only the feasting. May God grant that He may find us grateful every day for all of His gifts, spiritual and material. God is good, and every good gift comes from Him (James 1:17). For those who know Christ, God also works everything together for good, even events we would not necessarily consider good (Romans 8:28-30). May He find us to be His grateful children।


Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Psalm118 : 1 Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;His love endures forever. 28 You are my God, and I will give you thanks;You are my God, and I will exalt You. 29 Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;His love endures forever.
Thanks for the Harvest

Be Blessed This Thanksgiving

From your Family at Inspiration Books East


On July 4th We Celebrate Our Independence

At Thanksgiving We Celebrate Our Dependence ....

Though the pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts, they still set aside a day of thanksgiving. May God bless you just now..!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Jesus' Love Letter

Jesus' Love Letter for you!

Different people:
God You are amazing. I believe that he is my saviour. He suffered for us when he did not have to. God Gave up everything he loved tyo gain our love and i believe that is true. If you do not that i am sorry but i will pray for you. Just Know that no one is a mistake for God chose us when he created the Earth. God Created you and he is you True Father
God is a loving God and an awesome God!!! With every breath that I take I am thankful that he still lets me take it. For I know that he is the one breathing in me. If it wasnt for him I know that I wouldnt be the person that I am today. Without God I know that my life would have nothing but chains. I am free from my chains that Satan has tried to bestow on me. I am free with the love and power of my Lord Jesus Christ and the love of my Father God. I love you Jesus and God. AMEN
This is undoubtably the most beautiful expression of how much we really do mean to God. If anyone ever doubts that the Father does not love them...PLEASE listen to this with an open heart and let it forever change your life. You are truly a blessing to this world for putting this on YouTube, rjanezel. May God keep you and yours in His loving arms; and may He truely bless you with all the riches of heaven.
Everything that was said in the video is true. Having a relationship with Father God is the greatest relationship that anyone can possibly have. I'm sorry that you don't have that relationship, but I will pray for you
YES LORD Iwant to be ur child please enter in to my life and forgive me for all my sins show me like a father should show a child wat to do and guide me n every step
This is a very beautiful letter, it touched my heart, God bless you all!
Baruch Ha Shem Adonai Yeshua! (Hebrew) - Blessed be The Name of our Lord Jesus! (English
Wow...Wow!! this video is so true. I loved every single word written and said. Wow! Thank God for people who still believe in God. Thank you so much for such a beautiful video. Amen! This message was so very very wonderful and meaningful......
It is the BEST love letter Ever!!
I am Amazed by Gods love! There are no words to describe how I feel! He's simply the BEST.


JOHN 316"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.[g] 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."[h]

Monday, November 23, 2009


Glorify Thy Name (worship video w/ lyrics)

Simple worship video we use at church I do not own the songs or the lyrics !
You Are My King (worship video w/ lyrics)

You Are My King (Amazing Love)

How Great Is Our God

Here I Am To Worship
I Can Only Imagine

I Can Only Imagine (with lyrics) – MercyMe
Open the Eyes of My Heart (worship video w/ lyrics)
Simple worship video we use at church I do not own the songs or the lyrics ! Pastor Loram


One in


or Coffee?

The danger of replacing the Lord’s Table with a coffee bar.

It's very difficult for many contemporary Christians to recognize how much we have been shaped by the consumer culture in which we live—it is in the air we breathe and the water (or coffee) we drink.

Consider that in many churches the coffee bar has displaced the Lord's Table as the place where real community happens. Due in part to the neutralizing of sacred space that has been popular since the 1980s, churches began removing or deemphasizing the Lord's Table and introducing coffee bars. Without doubt the desire has been to build community by offering people a culturally familiar setting to engage one another. But we must ask: What formative message does a coffee bar convey?

A coffee bar mostly carries the values of our culture. We've come to expect coffee bars to offer a number of choices to meet our desires (decaf, tea, hot chocolate), and the setting is one of leisure and comfort. We usually gather in affinity groups. We sip the beverages not because we're thirsty but because we're conditioned to want them.

By contrast, what does the Lord's Table convey? It is a symbol of sacrificial love that breaks down cultural divisions and barriers of affinity. It reminds us that life is about being chosen by the Lord for interpersonal communion rather than choosing to consume stuff, and it reminds us we are called to take up our cross rather than seek personal comfort.

Both the coffee bar and Lord's Table affirm community, but the kind of community they affirm differs significantly. Churches with coffee bars may have to work harder to ensure they are fostering community around the values of Christ rather than casual consumerism.

At the same time, there is no guarantee that a church that prominently displays the Lord's Table and forgoes coffee will automatically model unity, pastoral care, or break down cultural and generational cliques. It's particularly hard when we engage the Lord's Table privately or solely with our friends and loved ones.

A congregation I served restructured its space to celebrate Communion with greater intentionality. One Sunday after the sermon, the congregation proceeded to the fellowship hall to celebrate the Lord's Supper around large, circular tables. We were encouraged to intentionally sit with people with whom we didn't normally associate and to share with those at our table what the Lord's sacrifice meant to us personally. After each person shared, everyone was to break bread from the loaf provided and dip it into the Communion cup at the table. This process was to continue until everyone had shared.

One woman came to me several weeks later and said that this had been the most meaningful celebration of Communion she had ever experienced. She was grateful the church had restructured its space to move us beyond our comfort zones of associating simply with the people we already knew.

In this example space, and how we utilized it, became a medium for communicating the values of the gospel and deconstructing the values of our consumer culture.

Read the full article at

Paul Louis Metzger is professor of Christian theology & theology of culture at Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, Oregon.

November 23, 2009


Capitolul 1
11De aceea ne rugăm necurmat pentru voi, ca Dumnezeul nostru să vă găsească vrednici de chemarea Lui, şi să împlinească în voi, cu putere, orice dorinţă de bunătate, şi orice lucrare izvorâtă din credinţă,
12pentru ca Numele Domnului nostru Isus Hristos să fie proslăvit în voi, şi voi în El, potrivit cu harul Dumnezeului nostru şi al Domnului Isus Hristos.

Capitolul 2
13Noi însă, fraţi preaiubiţi de Domnul, trebuie să mulţumim totdeauna lui Dumnezeu pentru voi, căci de la început Dumnezeu v-a ales pentru mântuire, în sfinţirea Duhului şi credinţa adevărului.
14Iată la ce v-a chemat El, prin Evanghelia noastră, ca să căpătaţi slava Domnului nostru Isus Hristos.
15Aşadar, fraţilor, rămâneţi tari, şi ţineţi învăţăturile, pe care le-aţi primit fie prin viu grai, fie prin epistola noastră.
16Şi însuşi Domnul nostru Isus Hristos, şi Dumnezeu, Tatăl nostru, care ne-a iubit şi ne-a dat, prin harul Său, o mângâiere veşnică şi o bună nădejde,
17să vă mângâie inimile, şi să vă întărească în orice lucru şi cuvânt bun!

Capitolul 3
5 Domnul să vă îndrepte inimile spre dragostea lui Dumnezeu şi spre răbdarea lui Hristos!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Touch Me...

If I am your child... Please touch me.

Persist; find ways to meet my needs.
Your goodnight hug helps sweeten my dreams.
Your daytime touching tells me how you really feel.

If I am your teenager... Please touch me.
Don't think because I'm almost grown,
I don't need to know that you still care.
I need your loving arms; I need a tender voice.

If I am your friend... Please touch me.
Nothing lets me know you care like a warm embrace.
A healing touch when I'm depressed assures me I am loved,
And reassures me that I'm not alone.
Yours may be the only comforting touch I get.

If I am your life's partner... Please touch me.
You may think that your passion is enough,
But only your arms hold back my fears.
I need your tender reassuring touch, To remind me
I am loved just because I am me.

If I am your grown-up child... Please touch me.
Though I may have a family my own to hold,
I still need Mommy's and Daddy's arms when I hurt.
As a parent the view is different; I appreciate you more.

If I am your aging parent... Please touch me.
Hold my hand, sit close to me, give me strength;
And warm my tired body with your nearness.
Although my skin is worn and wrinkled, It loves to be stroked

Don't be afraid.

Please Touch Me!

~Author Unknown~
MountainWings A MountainWings Moment
#1091 Wings Over The Mountains of Life

Friday, November 20, 2009


It's Not Just About `Me and Jesus'

Next time you got to church try not to think about me and God. Think about us and God instead.

Why? Because that's how the early Christ­ians thought, and it may be the main reason that they triumphed over Greco- Roman paganism in the face of overwhelming odds.

Historians are trained to rely on primary sources before turning to the secondary reflec­tions of contemporary scholars. Consider the following first-hand observations about Christ­ian community from Roman antiquity. We will begin in the fourth century and work our way back to the New Testament.

Our first witness is a real piece of work. His name says it all: Julian the Apostate. His uncle was Constantine. the first Roman emperor who professed allegiance to Christianity. Julian rejected Jesus and converted to paganism. He became emperor in AD. 361. Julian then em­barked upon a mission to turn the Roman Empire back to pagan religion.

Here is an excerpt from a letter Julian wrote to a pagan buddy. Julian recognizes that in his efforts to resuscitate paganism he must first figure out why the Christians have been so successful. His explanation for the rise of Christianity (he calls it "atheism") is crystal clear:

Why do we not observe that it is the Christians' benevolence to strangers, their care for the graves of the dead and the pretended holiness of their lives that have done the most to increase atheism? When the impious Galileans support not only their own poor, but ours as well, all men see that our people lack aid from us!

In Julian's eyes it was Christian social soli­darity - not Christian theology - that attracted hoards to the Jesus movement. Monotheism did exert some appeal to persons paralyzed with fear in the face of a multitude of gods and goddesses, spirits and demons. For the most part, however, it was not Christian beliefs that encouraged thou­sands to endure social ostracization and risk state persecution by joining the Jesus movement, as the church proceeded to spread like a holy fire throughout the Roman world. It was Christian behavior. It was Christian community.

Our second ancient witness, Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage (c. A.D. 250), put it like this, in what is our first surviving commentary on the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples:

Before all things, the Teacher of peace and Master of unity did not wish prayer to be offered individually and privately as one would pray only for himself when he prays. We do not say: 'My Father, who art in heaven,' nor 'Give me this day my bread.' nor does each one ask that only his debt be forgiven him and that he be led not into temptation and that he be delivered from evil for himself alone. Our prayer is public and common, and when we pray we pray not for one but for the whole people, because we, the whole people, are one.

Cyprian sure makes a whole lot of that little pronoun "our," which occurs again and again in the Lord's Prayer! I cannot help but get the impression that this towering North African church leader and martyr would have been more than a little hit puzzled by our preoccupation in our churches with Jesus as a personal Savior.

The Apostle Paul would have been, as well. Yes, Jesus was Paul's personal Savior. And He is mine and yours, as well. (No Biola professor would dare to challenge that eternal truth!) But Paul just doesn't seem to be as consumed with all this "me and Jesus" stuff as we are in evangelical America.

Again, it's all in the pronouns. In his letters, Paul refers to Jesus as "our Lord" - that is, as the Lord of God's people as a group - 53 times. Only once, in contrast, does the expression "my Lord" appear in Paul's writings (Phil. 3:8). This speaks volumes about the priorities of the great apostle. Paul's overarching concern in his ministry went far beyond the personal spiritual pilgrimage of his individual converts. Paul's driving passion was to establish spiritually vibrant, relationally healthy communities of believers in strategic urban set­tings throughout the Mediterranean world.

And those Christian communities ultimate­ly turned the Roman Empire on its head - just like Jesus promised they would: "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

So, next Sunday in church, try to not to think so much about me and Jesus. Think about us and Jesus instead. Then perhaps the men, women and children in our world will know that we are truly His disciples.

Joseph Hellerman (M.Div. '84, Th.M. '87) serves as a professor of New Testament language and literature in Biola's seminary, Talbot School of Theology. This article includes portions excerpted from his forthcoming book, When the Church Was a Family: Jesus' Vision for Authentic Christian Community (Broadman & Holman).
Posted also on

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Catalin si Ramona - Aleluia
Catalin si Ramona Lup - Scumpa Vesnicia
Catalin si Ramona Lup - In fata tronului
Catalin si Ramona Lup- Plec
Catalin si Ramona Lup - Si tu nu stii

Monday, November 16, 2009



Col. 1:20 "through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross;"

Eph. 2:13-14 "But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one."MUST BE PRESERVED

In seeing what the Scriptures have to say about unity, I was impressed to see that it is something that we have already been given.

Of course this passage refers to the barrier between Jews and Gentiles. But if God brought these two diverse and hostile groups together, is He not also able to achieve it among us? We are one in Christ. Unity is ours, bought for us with a great price.

The Lord Jesus Christ prayed for unity on His last night before His death..

John 17:21 "that they may all be one,…that they also may be in Us." He desired a oneness for us that would be just as He and the Father are one. Those who have believed in Him are in Him. If we are IN Christ & the Father, we must already have unity.

The truth of unity that we already have is that we all make up one body, that is the body of Christ. I Corinthians 12

"Now you are Christ's body and individually members of it." 1 Corinthians 12:27.

1 Cor. 12:18 "But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired." 1 Cor. 12:12, "For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ."

By placing us in the body as He desires we automatically have unity.

But that unity must be preserved.

Ephesians 4:3 "Being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

What does preserve mean?. The Webster's dictionary defines preserve as

1. to keep alive or in existence.

2. to keep safe from harm or injury.

3. to keep up, maintain.

. Christ bought us unity, He desired it for us and God designed it.

But who is keeping unity alive? Is unity safe in your church?

We recently took a tour of Kartchner caverns in Arizona, just south of Tucson. Before entering we were shown a short film on how the caves were discovered and why they were so zealous to preserve them. How zealous, though, wouldn't sink in till we started the tour. The tour guide filled us in on all the regulations. They seemed a bit extreme to tell the truth. He coached us on how not to touch the curb, with neither foot nor knee. This, he explained, would leave germs. All infected areas are marked with a red flag and at night these spots are cleaned with a bleach solution for 3 feet in each direction. "how can you tell when someone touches it?" Don't worry, he said, I'm watching your every move. Further instructions were that sun glasses could not be placed on the head nor hooked to your shirt.(they might fall off when you are leaning over the railing) They must be placed in a pocket., Jackets when removed cannot be tied around the waist. You must roll it in a ball holding it in front of you, being sure not to let any sleeves flow loose. When we heard how moist it was inside (100% humidity), we thought that this would be trouble for Sarah who is allergic to mold. In fact, the cave was probably the easiest place for her to breath. Why? Because the enemy for this cave is mold, all the protective measures to preserve the natural environment meant eradicating all presence of mold. It was probably the most mold free place Sarah has ever been. The other enemy is for it to become dry. A dry cave is a dead cave. We actually entered two separate chambers where the door behind was closed before the one in front. In one chamber, we walked through a fine mist that helped to kill harmful substances. At first, this all seemed uncomfortably inconvenient and exaggerated. But that was only because we hadn't appreciated the results of all this hard work. When I walked through that cave knowing that it was essentially untouched and unchanged, that I was seeing something pristine, just as God had created it, I was moved by the awesomeness of it all. Curiously, almost everyone working there had been involved in the early stages of the development. They had invested their lives in this one common goal and they were thrilled to be a part of it. Suddenly, I found myself grateful to them for what I had considered unnecessary restrictions on my comfort.

That's our problem isn't it? We don't like being inconvenienced. We resist restrictions placed on our personal freedoms. "If it feels good let me do it. Who are you to tell me not to?" So it happens that though we have already been given unity in Christ, we don't show it. We haven't learned to appreciate the sacrifice and beauty of it, so it doesn't thrill us. We've got to see the value of the goal in order to invest all our effort.

Ephesians 4:3 makes it very clear that we have a responsibility to preserve what already exists.

Is unity alive in your church, is it safe?

The rules at Kartchner caverns seemed extreme, but letting down their guard could spell destruction. Unity in the church seems just as vulnerable, susceptible to destructive forces. Why is that?

Well, one reason is that we can't identify unity.

We accept a distorted version. Two common distortions are equality and uniformity. When we fail to truly understand unity, we are side-tracked in preserving the wrong thing. Recently I came to realize that what I had been protecting was equality, not unity. By preserving equality, we are in fact wanting blessing to be spread out evenly among all the members. Being a twin, I was a big proponent of this since childhood. Accepting this distortion destroys unity. It leads to constant comparison and jealousy and division.

1 Cor.12:24-25. "But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another."

Another distortion is uniformity.

How much effort do we spend trying to preserve a "uniformity" in our churches instead of unity? Is there room for disagreement about secondary issues, or is there a "no tolerance" policy on differing views? Do you surround yourself with people who act and think like you and just politely choose to now work with the "difficult ones"? We merely produce a false sense of unity by creating a church of uniform people, or avoiding the challenge of working with people we don't like. Romans 15:1 clearly shows that there were two groups of people in the church, the weak and the strong. Precisely because the opinions of these two groups were so different, effort at preserving unity was needed.

"Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions." Romans 14:1.

Is unity alive in your church or are you side-tracked into preserving the wrong thing? To preserve unity we must keep it safe.

But often we are found attacking it. Why?

Because we confuse the enemy.

Have you ever sat in a group of sisters in Christ and seen one fight against another as if she were her enemy? Have you ever attacked another with your own words? Have you plotted revenge? Have you spread your version of the misunderstanding in order to gain sympathizers? Does the thought of that person cause a burning inside you? If it has happened to you (as it has to me), you have confused the enemy.

Think about it. Christ is in that person, He is NOT your enemy. My true enemy is the sin in my own life, my own flesh. What a difference it would make if we would apply the same energy in attacking the sin in our own lives that we use to attack others who might oppose us.

Rom. 12:17-18 "Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge."

Is unity alive in your church, is it safe?

v We fail to preserve it when we don't identify it properly.

v We put it in danger when we confuse the enemy and attack our brother or sister in Christ.

But perhaps the biggest force destroying unity is ME (self love.)

Our society has grown to be so self-absorbed, so preoccupied with ME, that a proper biblical self-perception is becoming replaced by the world's norm.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss wrote in her book "Lies Women believe and the Truth that sets them Free",

`We are constantly looking out for ourselves, deeply sensitive to our own feelings and needs, always conscious of how things and people affect us. The reason some of us get hurt so easily is not because we hate ourselves but because we love ourselves! We want to be accepted, cherished, and treated well. If we did not care so much about ourselves, we would not be so concerned about being rejected, neglected, or mistreated.'[1]

Here are some verses that can give us a biblical view.

Rom. 12:16 "Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation."

Rom 12:10 "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor"

Rom 15:2-3 "Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. For even Christ did not please Himself;"

Phil. 2:2-3 "make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself."

Have you ever memorized any of these verses? Choose one now and set yourself to do it. The antidote for self-love is humility. True humility like that of Jesus as described in this litany of humility.

O Jesus! Meek and humble of heart, hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed,

From the desire of being loved,

From the desire of being extolled,

From the desire of being honored,

From the desire of being praised,

From the desire of being preferred to others,

From the desire of being consulted,

From the desire of being approved,

From the fear of being humiliated,

From the fear of being despised,

From the fear of suffering rebukes,

From the fear of being falsely accused,

From the fear of being forgotten,

From the fear of being ridiculed,

From the fear of being wronged,

From the fear of being suspected,

Deliver me Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I,

That others may be esteemed more than I,

That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease,

That others may be chosen and I set aside,

That others may be praised and I unnoticed,

That others may be preferred before me in everything,

That others become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should,

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

(A litany of Humility)

v Identify unity correctly,

v identify the true enemy and

v identify yourself biblically.

Be diligent to preserve unity. Up to now we have looked at what can destroy unity in the church. Now we are going to look at how we can preserve it.

For that we will return to 2 key passages, Ephesians 4:1-3 and Colossians 3:12-14. They will show us four things that we should do.

Eph. 4:2 "Showing forbearance to one another in love".

Col. 3:13 "bearing with one another"

The first is "forbearance" or "bearing" with one another. The idea is of putting up with each other.

Bill MacDonald in his commentary of the NT defines it this way,

"making allowance for the faults and failures of others, differing personalities, quirks, habits and idiosyncracies"[2]. He says that forbearance is about not taking offense.

"to bear with one another" is to swallow the insult, ignore it, suffer it, whatever it takes.

Can you imagine how many problems would go away by simply practicing this one thing? But we refuse to accept being offended because it hurts our pride.

RC Chapman a 19th century pastor, teacher and evangelist in England gives us another perspective on being offended.

"If I have been injured by another, let me think to myself – How much better to be the sufferer than the wrongdoer!"[3]

v What are you doing to keep unity alive?

v Do you need to be more forbearing?

Now the second thing you can do. Colossians 3:12 gives us a list of virtues that we should "put on". Some commentaries use the word "graces" instead of virtues. I like this word because it reminds me that only God in His grace can produce these attitudes in my life. They are:

Ø compassion, (tenderheartedness, a heart ready to be stirred)

Ø kindness,: benevolence in action

Ø humility,: "A genuine humility that comes from associating with the Lord Jesus" "makes us conscience of how small we are and makes us able to view others as more important."[4] Bill MacDonald.

Ø gentleness "the attitude that submits to God's dealings without rebellion, and to man's unkindness without retaliation."[5] Bill MacDonald

Ø patience: Self-restraint, steady response in the face of provocation. To endure suffering wrongfully in silence"

What are you doing to keep unity alive in your church?

When you get dressed on a Sunday morning, are you checking to make sure that you've put on these graces?

The third thing God asks us to do is found in Col. 3:13

"Forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you."

Does anyone suddenly feel like we just got to the base of half dome?

Whoever has a complaint against anyone. Does that mean that I am never justified in holding a grudge?. So I guess if I wasn't able to show forbearance, and became offended anyway, here is the second check point. Are you struggling with resentment towards someone? Is there someone that you know you should forgive, but you just can't let it go? That phrase "just as the Lord forgave you" pretty much rules out anything you could say to justify holding a grudge, doesn't it? "But" you might say, "Amy, you have no idea how much that person hurt me." You're right, I may never understand. But I know Someone who does.

If you are struggling in this area, I would recommend reading a good book on forgiveness, perhaps invest in one a year.

In my opinion forgiving someone else is the hardest thing to do. And yet it costs me relatively nothing to free another from their debt. On the other hand, it costs our Lord a great deal.

v What are you doing to keep unity alive?

v Do you need to forgive someone?

This one is far too important to put off. Take that person every day to the cross of Christ until you can see "paid in full" stamped on his sins.

To preserve unity we need to

1st show forbearance,2nd put on the graces, and3rd be forgiving.

The fourth way is in the next verse.

Colossians 3:14 "And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity."

Love is the final touch, the cement that joins it all together.

What is the standard for loving enough? I may think that I am pretty loving of others most of the time, how about you? What was the most loving thing you did this week?

Amy Carmichael wrote a book with the simple title "IF", and in that book she uses the phrase `Calvary love'. I would like to read just a few of her writings.

"If I can easily discuss the shortcomings and sins of any; if I can speak even in a casual way of a child's misdoings then I know nothing of Calvary love."

"If I cast up a confessed, repented and forsaken sin against another, and allow my remembrance of that sin to color my thinking and feed my suspicion, then I know nothing of Calvary love."

"If I do not give a friend the `benefit of the doubt', but put the worst construction instead of the best on what is said or done, then I know nothing of Calvary love."

"If I feel injured when another lays to my charge things that I know not, forgetting that my Sinless Savior trod this path to the end, then I know nothing of Calvary love".[6]

v What are you doing to keep unity alive?

Do you take offense easily? Are you missing compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness or patience from your wardrobe? Are you refusing to forgive someone? Do you know anything of Calvary love?

We are called to be diligent to preserve unity. Is unity safe in your church? What are you doing to keep it alive?

What happens when we keep unity alive in the church?

Earlier I said that we needed to see the value of the goal, or we won't give the effort needed. There are two positive outcomes of unity.

John 17:23 "I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me."

The world takes notice. Unity is a precious witnessing tool, one we forget to use. The world sees who Christ is and how much God loves them.

Rom 15:6

"grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus; that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Imagine the beauty of working together for His glory. Can we get excited about this, enough to put it into to practice?

Ephesians 4:3 "being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Is unity alive in your church, is it safe?

What are you doing to keep it alive?

Pray fervently for unity.

And the next time it depends on you, choose to keep it alive.

[1] DeMoss, Nancy Leigh, Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free, p. 70

[2] MacDonald, William, Believer's Bible Commentary, p. 749

[3] Peterson, Robert L. and Alexander Strauch, Agape Leadership, p.41

[4] MacDonald, William, Believer's Bible Commentary, p.748

[5] Ibid।

[6] Excerpts from Carmichael, Amy, If, Part Two

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