Wrestling with Change

Disciple Up # 158
Wrestling with Change
By Louie Marsh, 5-6-2020

12  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)

People, other people that is, are the least of our problems most of the time.  Paul focuses here on spiritual struggling but there are other kinds. We are surrounded by and living in a veritable ocean of change. Everything changes all the time and this change never stops!

 

Culture changes, beliefs change, knowledge changes and increases so quickly that no one can keep up with it. The weather changes all the time, your mind changes constantly, your body is going through change until the day you die and even after you die it changes. Everything changes and every change, no matter how small, adds a certain amount of strain and stress to our lives. Some of this is good stress, much of it is bad stress, most of it is hidden stress, that is we don’t recognize we have it, but it’s there none the less.

 

More About Change: https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-7-stages-of-human-development

 

This classification system is somewhat arbitrary, and there is one system which includes conception to birth as the first stage.

However, most agree that the first stage is infancy, representing birth to the age at which speech is in its primary phase, or about the age of 2. The child explores communication and the expansion of emotions.

The next stage is early childhood, extending to about the age of 6 – learning basic skills, including using basic and early interpersonal skills.

Middle childhood expands social skills and learning skills in school, and physical and athletic activities.

Adolescents begins to recognize special relationships and bonding, such as recognizing the basis of significant emotional relationships; selecting other areas of interest to hone one’s skills in these.

Early adulthood includes mating and possible procreation / propagation, selecting career pursuits, expanding recreational pursuits; this lasts from age 20 to 45 years of age.

Middle adulthood lasts from 45 to 65, and completes what is often the most productive years in both work and recreational pursuits, and preparing for the senior years.

The senior years begin at age 65 until death it is thought that in this stage, one works less, enjoys benefits including retirement, greater ability to direct one’s schedule (without working, hopefully) enjoying younger family members, but begins to confront the deterioration of health inevitably associated with advancing age.

Some Examples Of Dealing with Great Change From the Bible

 

18  The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19  These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the people of the whole earth were dispersed. 20  Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. 21  He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. 22  And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. 23  Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. Genesis 9:18-23 (ESV)

 

Noah did this to return to the world before sin entered it? He sinned to return to innocence?

 

https://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/3475426/jewish/Why-Noah-Planted-a-Vineyard-and-Got-Drunk.htm

 

1  Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2  And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3  I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3 (ESV)

 

26  In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27  to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28  And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29  But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30  And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33  and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34  And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 35  And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36  And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37  For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38  And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:26-38 (ESV)

 

Churches Dealing with COVID-19 CHANGES

 

https://lifewayresearch.com/2020/05/01/few-protestant-churches-met-in-person-for-worship-services-in-april/

 

Wrestling with Change

 

  1. If you can’t beat ‘em – join ‘em!

 

  1. Use changes momentum to propel yourself in the right direction.

 

  1. Recognize what needs to be and must be changed in your life.

 

  1. Recognize what cannot and must not be changed in your life.

 

  1. Stand tall and don’t let anything or anyone move you off of God’s will and Word – 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4  The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Psalm 1:3-4 (ESV)

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Episode 155

Disciple Up #155 Show Notes

Will Covid-19 Bring About a Great Awakening

By Louie Marsh, 4-13-2020

Articles Quoted From:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/april/will-covid-19-lead-to-next-great-american-awakening.html

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/april/coronavirus-searches-online-converts-pray-cru-bgea-wmo.html

Greg Laurie’s Website: https://harvest.org/

Global Outreach Day Website:  https://www.go2020.world/

Pray. Pray for 5 people. Pray for healing for those affected by the Coronavirus.

Care. Care for the practical needs of those affected by the Coronavirus. Help out with babysitting, provide meals, go grocery shopping for the elderly or check on your friends and family.

Share. Share the hope you have in Christ. Post a video of your testimony with #go2020 #hopebeyondfear. Text your testimony or share it over WhatsApp, IG, SnapChat, Tik Tok or Facebook.

The Great Awakenings

The First Great Awakening (sometimes Great Awakening) or the Evangelical Revival was a series of Christian revivals that swept Britain and its Thirteen Colonies between the 1730s and 1740s. The revival movement permanently affected Protestantism as adherents strove to renew individual piety and religious devotion. The Great Awakening marked the emergence of Anglo-American evangelicalism as a trans-denominational movement within the Protestant churches. In the United States, the term Great Awakening is most often used, while in the United Kingdom, it is referred to as the Evangelical Revival.

In the 1790s, another religious revival, which became known as the Second Great Awakening, began in New England. This movement is typically regarded as less emotionally charged than the First Great Awakening. It led to the founding of several colleges, seminaries and mission societies.

A Third Great Awakening was said to span from the late 1850s to the early 20th century. Some scholars, however, disagree that this movement was ever a significant event.

My Answer – No.

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Episode 116

116 Disciple Up Show Notes
The Essential Art of Application, Pt. 2
By Louie Marsh, 7-10-2019

Brief Overview of part of last week:

WHY is application so important?

  • This is how to do what the Bible teaches us to do.

 

How Life Change Happens

 

1, My beliefs must change before anything else can,

 

2, My mind changes when I repent. Metanoia = change of mind, turn around, about face.

 

3, I don’t change minds, but God Word can and will!

 

4, Changing the way I act is the RESULT of repentance.

 

HOW CAN I APPLY THE WORD TO MYSELF?

 

  • Study the text – CAREFULLY!

 

  • Discover the timeless truths in the text.

 

  • Carefully compare those truths to your life situation. Find the implications for today.

 

  • Develop a plan to implement those truths in your life today.

In other words – use the Application Bridge.

 Then – Now – Timeless Principles

 Interpretation – Implication – Personalization

 Example: The Trinity (episode 114)

  • Understanding the Trinity deepens my love and worship of Jesus as God in Human Flesh.
  • Understanding the Trinity should help me to see how God works and moves in my life more clearly.
  • Understanding the Trinity should radically change how I look at fellowship. If God is a Community (and He is) then that has to have a huge impact upon how I look at and participate in, community.

Example: Romans 14

Research:

  • Gentile Christians bought cheap, discounted meat from pagan temples, Jewish Christians wouldn’t touch them and believed they were tainted because of the idols.
  • Inline with this apparently some believers shunned meat all together but most didn’t so there was a divide there.
  • Many Jewish Christians believed Saturday was still the Sabbath Day and should be the day believers gathered to worship. Many if not most Gentile Christians felt any day would do.

Principles:

  • We have freedom in matters of Opinion, NOT Gospel.

1  As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. Romans 14:1 (ESV)

  • Don’t judge your brothers and sisters.

4  Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. Romans 14:4 (ESV)

10  Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; Romans 14:10 (ESV)

  • Understand they are trying to honor God by what they do even though you disagree with it.

6  The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7  For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8  For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. Romans 14:6-8 (ESV)

  • Do your research and be fully convinced that you are right, while not condemning others.

5  One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. Romans 14:5 (ESV)

  • We will all be held accountable.

12  So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Romans 14:12 (ESV)

  • Instead of judging focus on helping your brothers and sisters by not putting stumbling blocks in front of them.

13  Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. Romans 14:13 (ESV)

  • Nothing in and of itself is unclean.

14  I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15  For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16  So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17  For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18  Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19  So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Romans 14:14-19 (ESV)

  • Live by faith – honor your conscience.

22  The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23  But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. Romans 14:22-23 (ESV)

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101

Disciple Up #101

Critique – John Stott, Christ the Controversialist

By Louie Marsh, 3-27-2019

Stott’s book (appears to be currently out of print but you can get used ones at this URL)

 

https://goo.gl/gzgrrX

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100

Disciple Up # 100
What Is A Disciple Anyway?
By Louie Marsh, 3-20-2019

DISCIPLE

(1) Usually a substantive (μαθητής, mathētés, “a learner,” from manthánō, “to learn”;

Latin discipulus, “a scholar”):

The word is found in the Bible only in the Gospels and Acts. But it is good Greek, in use from Herodotus down, and always means the pupil of someone, in contrast to the master or teacher

In all cases it implies that the person not only accepts the views of the teacher, but that he is also in practice an adherent. A disciple is a “follower,” someone who adheres completely to the teachings of another, making them his rule of life and conduct.

The word has several applications. In the widest sense it refers to those who accept the teachings of anyone, not only in belief but in life. Thus the disciples of John the Baptist,  14  Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Matthew 9:14 (ESV)

also of the Pharisees, 33  And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.” Luke 5:33 (ESV)

But its most common use is to designate the adherents of Jesus.

  • In the widest sense, 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. John 6:66 (ESV)

It is the only name for Christ’s followers in the Gospels.

  • especially the Twelve Apostles, even when they are called simply the disciples, 1 And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. 2  The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Matthew 10:1-2 (ESV)

In the Acts, after the death and ascension of Jesus, disciples are those who confess Him as the Messiah, Christians, 1  Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2  And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Acts 6:1-2 (ESV)

26  and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians. Acts 11:26 (ESV)

Even half-instructed believers who had been baptized only with the baptism of John are disciples: 1  And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2  And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3  And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” Acts 19:1-3 (ESV)

The disciple of Christ today may be described in the words of Farrar, as “one who believes His doctrines, rests upon His sacrifice, imbibes His spirit, and imitates His example.”

Jesus used the term disciple but never Christian.

To Be Disciple Requires Some Radical Commitments:

  • To Becoming Like Jesus NOT the culture
  • To The Bible As God’s Word
  • To being completely accountable for who I am
  • To take ownership of everything I do
  • To view repentance as a lifestyle
  • To rely on the Holy Spirit

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Episode 75

Disciple Up #75
Life Lessons From Jeremiah Pt 3
Turning From Idols to the Living God
By Louie Marsh, 9-26-2018

Show Intro. – what’s coming up for the next four weeks and Prayer Pilgrimage update.

PART THREE – TURN FROM IDOLS TO THE LIVING GOD.

 Chapters 2-4  – Israel’s history of idolatry

This is ministry to the World

Israel’s history and sin in a nutshellfor my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:13 (ESV)

God’s Call to Repentance:

Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, “ ‘Return, faithless Israel, declares the LORD. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, declares the LORD; I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled against the LORD your God and scattered your favors among foreigners under every green tree, and that you have not obeyed my voice, declares the LORD. Return, O faithless children, declares the LORD; for I am your master; I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.
“ ‘And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.
 Jeremiah 3:12-15 (ESV)

Chapter 5-7:15;  Chapter 26; Chapter 7:16-34

 Empty Form of Godliness

 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Stand in the gate of the LORD’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’ “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, Jeremiah 7:1-5 (ESV)

“Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the LORD.
Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel
. Jeremiah 7:8-12 (ESV)

 This is ministry to the church.

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:1-7 (ESV)

In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from the LORD: “Thus says the LORD: Stand in the court of the LORD’s house, and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the LORD all the words that I command you to speak to them; do not hold back a word. It may be they will listen, and every one turn from his evil way, that I may relent of the disaster that I intend to do to them because of their evil deeds. You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD: If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, and to listen to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you urgently, though you have not listened, then I will make this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.’ ” The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD. And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, “You shall die!
Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant’?” And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of the LORD. When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king’s house to the house of the LORD and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of the LORD. Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, “This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.”
 Jeremiah 26:1-11 (ESV)

We must teach ALL of God’s Word, especially the unpopular parts!

We must do this just in case some might hear and repent.

People will react very negatively to this – don’t let that surprise you.

Prayer Pilgrimage info and vacation update!

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Episode 51

Disciple Up #51
Fruit of the Spirit #1
Love, Gal. 5:16, 18-22
By Louie Marsh, 4-11-2018

Intro – What’s coming up –

55 – 5-9- 1st Anniversary!

Don’t know what I’ll do – if you want to say anything about the impact of this podcast on your life in it’s first year e-mail, put it on FaceBook, etc.

New Series on Fruit of the Spirit – one every couple of weeks – to help with my new book.

“Funny” Love Quote:

“I detest ‘love lyrics.’ I think one of the causes of bad mental health in the United States is that people have been raised on ‘love lyrics.” – Frank Zappa

And, Possibly the Dumbest Thing Ever Said About Love –

Love means never having to say your sorry.

1) To become like Jesus I must CHOOSE SPIRIT over flesh.

16  But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16 (ESV)

  • To live by the Spirit I must CONSTANTLY CHOOSE Spirit over my old nature.
  • For this transformation to happen I must be committed to it 100%.

17  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Galatians 5:17 (ESV)

Greek has one word for both Spirit and flesh. It means a strong desire. God wants to us to be very passionate about our faith, but that passion must come from the Spirit not the flesh, otherwise disaster will occur as we’ve seen so many times.

15  And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. Luke 22:15 (ESV)

2) Real transformation comes when I TRUST GOD’S GRACE, not works.

19  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21  envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love… Galatians 5:19-22a (ESV)

  • The flesh makes me work, as a SLAVE TO MY DESIRES.
  • The Spirit produces change in us as a result of GOD’S GRACE.

4  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6  and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7  so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7 (ESV)

 QUOTES:

“Fruit is always the miraculous, the created; it is never the result of willing, but always a growth. The fruit of the Spirit is a gift of God, and only He can produce it. They who bear it know as little about it as the tree knows of its fruit. They know only the power of Him on whom their life depends”
― Dietrich BonhoefferThe Cost of Discipleship

“A man does not have the character of God if he does not have the fruit of the Holy Spirit.”
― Sunday Adelaja

3) All you need is love?

22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

  • I believe the fruit of the Spirit is
  • The other qualities in this list help us DEFINE what love is.

 4  Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8  Love never ends… 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (ESV)

4) You know you are Spirit filled when you have GROWING FRUIT!

15  Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16  making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18  And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19  addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20  giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21  submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:15-21 (ESV)

GIFTS ARE TOOLS TO USE FOR GOD’S GLORY – FRUIT IS WHO AND WHAT WE ARE!

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Episode 35

Disciple Up Show Notes #35
Should Disciples of Jesus Celebrate Christmas?
By Louie Marsh, 12-13-2017

Dealing with the whole Paganism thing – it’s “tainted” with paganism.

Exampleshttps://www.ucg.org/the-good-news/christians-who-dont-celebrate-christmas-heres-why

I cannot find Christmas in the Bible nor can I find that Jesus Christ told us to observe Christmas. Santa Claus is a lie that some people teach their children every year. For that matter, Christmas is false since it has nothing to do with Christ or His birthday.

“Beyond this, business people, who make most of their income during this time of the year, have increasingly promoted Christmas. Well-meaning people go in debt during Christmas time to give gifts to other people, which in turn motivates other people to give gifts to them. It makes no sense to keep a religious holiday that is not biblical, that Christ never sanctioned, that promotes lying to children, that puts people in debt and that blinds people to what Christ really taught.”

—P.A., Georgia

“It is a historical fact that Christmas is not the day or the season when Christ was born. So why observe a day that is a lie? Most people do not want to admit this fact. For example, how does the use of Santa Claus depict the birth of Christ? How does the Christmas tree depict Christ? Celebrating Christmas violates at least the First, Second and Third Commandments of God’s Ten Commandments. Observing a pagan holiday is a sin. God condemns the worship of pagan gods.

“The Bible does not command people to observe the birth of Christ as a holiday. This day, Dec. 25, is the date that has been observed for centuries as a pagan holiday in honor of the pagan sun god. God commands those who want to serve Him not to observe pagan holidays or any custom that breaks His holy laws.”

—D.S., California

Do you know anyone who worships their Christmas tree? Do you worship it?

What if the first book printed on the printing press hadn’t been a Bible but a copy of the Koran, or the Satanic Bible or the Bhagavad Gita? Would the press and all subsequent books be “tainted” with paganism??

Has it become so commercial that it’s lost it’s meaning?  This is the real question to me.

 Personal story of my thinking on this.

Two Great Quotes relating to this:

C.S. Lewis –

Three things go by the name of Christmas. One is a religious festival. This is important and obligatory for Christians; but as it can be of no interest to anyone else, I shall naturally say no more about it here.

 The second (it has complex historical connections with the first, but we needn’t go into them) is a popular holiday, an occasion for merry-making and hospitality. If it were my business to have a ‘view’ on this, I should say that I much approve of merry-making. But what I approve of much more is everybody minding his own business. I see no reason why I should volunteer views as to how other people should spend their own money in their own leisure among their own friends. It is highly probable that they want my advice on such matters as little as I want theirs. But the third thing called Christmas is unfortunately everyone’s business.

I mean of course the commercial racket. The interchange of presents was a very small ingredient in the older English festivity. Mr. Pickwick took a cod with him to Dingley Dell; the reformed Scrooge ordered a turkey for his clerk; lovers sent love gifts; toys and fruit were given to children. But the idea that not only all friends but even all acquaintances should give one another presents, or at least send one another cards, is quite modern and has been forced upon us by the shopkeepers.
– From “What Christmas Means to Me” in God in the Dock

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

For the great and powerful of this world, there are only two places in which their courage fails them, of which they are afraid deep down in their souls, from which they shy away. These are the manger and the cross of Jesus Christ. No powerful person dares to approach the manger, and this even includes King Herod. For this is where thrones shake, the mighty fall, the prominent perish, because God is with the lowly. Here the rich come to nothing, because God is with the poor and hungry, but the rich and satisfied he sends away empty. Before Mary, the maid, before the manger of Christ, before God in lowliness, the powerful come to naught; they have no right, no hope; they are judged. 
– From God Is In the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

What does the Bible Say?

 5  One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6  The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7  For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8  For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9  For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. 10  Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11  for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” 12  So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. 13  Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. Romans 14:5-13 (ESV)

20  Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. 21  It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. 22  The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23  But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. Romans 14:20-23 (ESV)

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Episode 31

Disciple Up
The Not Always Natural Act of Giving Thanks!

THANKSGIVING DAY PROCLAMATIONS

Washington’s

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor — and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation
October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Ronald Reagan’s Thanksgiving Proclamation
September 27, 1982

Two hundred years ago, the Congress of the United States issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation stating that it was “the indispensable duty of all nations” to offer both praise and supplication to God. Above all other nations of the world, America has been especially blessed and should give special thanks. We have bountiful harvests, abundant freedoms, and a strong, compassionate people.

I have always believed that this anointed land was set apart in an uncommon way, that a divine plan placed this great continent here between the oceans to be found by a people from every corner of the Earth who had a special love of faith and freedom. Our pioneers asked that He would work His will in our daily lives so America would be a land of morality, fairness and freedom.

Today we have more to be thankful for than our pilgrim mothers and fathers who huddled on the edge of the New World that first Thanksgiving Day could ever dream of. We should be grateful not only for our blessings, but for the courage and strength of our ancestors which enable us to enjoy the lives we do today. Let us affirm through prayers and actions our thankfulness for America’s bounty and heritage.

Thanksgiving day isn’t a duty to disciples – it’s an opportunity

Quotes:

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.”  – Harry Ironside

There should be a parallel between our supplications and our thanksgivings. We ought not to leap in prayer, and limp in praise.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Perhaps it takes a purer faith to praise God for unrealized blessings than for those we once enjoyed or those we enjoy now.” – A.W. Tozer

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” – G.K. Chesterton

The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” – Henry Ward Beecher

“The Christian who walks with the Lord and keeps constant communion with Him will see many reason for rejoicing and thanksgiving all day long.” – Warren W. Wiersbe

“Careful for nothing, prayerful for everything, thankful for anything.” – Dwight L. Moody

Praise isn’t always natural

“Why do you complain about me? All of you have rebelled against me,” declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 2:29 (GW)

It can be extremely painful

17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17 (ESV)

Praise at it’s most precious is an act of the will

6  With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O LORD, for it is good. Psalm 54:6 (ESV)

 15  Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Hebrews 13:15 (ESV)

Real Praise Costs Us -often very precious things

But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 2 Sam. 24:24

Real Praise shows in how I act…

25  I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need… 29  So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, 30  for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me. Philippians 2:25,29-30 (ESV)

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Episode 26

 

Disciple Up #26
Discipleship & Relaxation
By Louie Marsh, 10-10-2017

The Old Testament:

And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when He rested from all His work of creation. ~Genesis 2:3

Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. ~Exodus 20:8-10

He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. ~Psalm 23:2-3

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved. ~Psalm 127:1-2

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. ~Isaiah 40:29-31

 Quotes on Rest:

 Source: https://www.christianquotes.info/top-quotes/16-awesome-quotes-about-gods-rest/#ixzz4uJWYPp7h

Rest time is not waste time. It is economy to gather fresh strength… It is wisdom to take occasional furlough. In the long run, we shall do more by sometimes doing less. – Charles Spurgeon

Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord; and our heart is restless until it rests in Thee. – Augustine

Our rest lies in looking to the Lord, not to ourselves.  – Watchman Nee

Source; https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-topic/quotes-about-rest/#ixzz4uJXcDY6I
“Rest is a matter of wisdom, not law.” – Woodrow Kroll

“Everywhere I have sought rest and found it not except sitting apart in a nook with a little book.” – Thomas a Kempis

“In these times, God’s people must trust him for rest of body and soul.” – David Wilkerson

“In place of our exhaustion and spiritual fatigue, God will give us rest. All He asks is that we come to Him…that we spend a while thinking about Him, meditating on Him, talking to Him, listening in silence, occupying ourselves with Him – totally and thoroughly lost in the hiding place of His presence.”- Chuck Swindoll

“How sweet is rest after fatigue! How sweet will heaven be when our journey is ended.” – George Whitefield

New Testament:

 The Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. ~Matthew 11:28-30

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest. ~Mark 6:31

So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest. ~Hebrews 4:9-11

“Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds will follow them.” ~Revelation 14:13

The Disciple Up Low Down – Rest & the Disciple

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