Episode 106

Disciple Up #106
Finishing Well
By Louie Marsh, 5-1-2019

1  I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2  preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3  For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4  and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5  As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 6  For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8  Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:1-8 (ESV)

14  Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say? And from where did they come to you?” And Hezekiah said, “They have come from a far country, from Babylon.” 15  He said, “What have they seen in your house?” And Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.” 16  Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD: 17  Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the LORD. 18  And some of your own sons, who shall be born to you, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” 19  Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?” 2 Kings 20:14-19 (ESV)

The article that I read from: https://world.wng.org/2019/04/it_is_well

The Finish Line by Steve Taylor  –

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Episode 105

Disciple Up #105
Dealing with Discouragement
By Louie Marsh, 4-24-2019

Everyone gets discouraged sometimes.

Job felt discouraged with his wife and friends.

1  Then Job answered and said: 2  “I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all. 3  Shall windy words have an end? Or what provokes you that you answer? 4  I also could speak as you do, if you were in my place; I could join words together against you and shake my head at you. 5  I could strengthen you with my mouth, and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain. 6  “If I speak, my pain is not assuaged, and if I forbear, how much of it leaves me? 7  Surely now God has worn me out; he has made desolate all my company. Job 16:1-7 (ESV)

Elijah became discouraged with life’s circumstances & himself.

4  But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” 1 Kings 19:4 (ESV)

Jeremiah felt angry and discouraged with God

1  I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath; 2  he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light; 3  surely against me he turns his hand again and again the whole day long. 4  He has made my flesh and my skin waste away; he has broken my bones; 5  he has besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation; 6  he has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago. 7  He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has made my chains heavy; 8  though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer; 9  he has blocked my ways with blocks of stones; he has made my paths crooked. 10  He is a bear lying in wait for me, a lion in hiding; 11  he turned aside my steps and tore me to pieces; he has made me desolate; 12  he bent his bow and set me as a target for his arrow. 13  He drove into my kidneys the arrows of his quiver; 14  I have become the laughingstock of all peoples, the object of their taunts all day long. 15  He has filled me with bitterness; he has sated me with wormwood. Lamentations 3:1-15 (ESV)

Peter felt discouraged with himself, his theology & God.

69  Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70  But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” 71  And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72  And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 73  After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74  Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75  And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:69-75 (ESV)

21  But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Luke 24:21 (ESV)

How to Deal with Discouragement

 Check Yourself

  • Check My Ego
  • Check my physical condition
  • Check my relationship with God
  • Check my relationships with others
  • Reconfirm or reorient and then reengage and get going!

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Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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104

Disciple Up #104
Is Easter Pagan?
By Louie Marsh, 4-17-2019

Webpages sited in the podcast:

https://christandpopculture.com/no-easter-isnt-pagan-either-a-very-d-list-saints-holiday-sequel-the-gritty-reboot/

 

https://jerome23.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/eostre-never-existed-why-easter-is-not-a-pagan-holiday/

http://www.koshabq.org/2012/03/09/celebrating-eostre/

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Episode 103

Disciple Up #103

Cultural Coercion

By Louie Marsh, 4-10-2019

Article From Christianity Today: https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/april/barna-pastors-social-issues-speaking-religious-freedom.html

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Episode 102

Disciple Up #`102
Life Lessons From Jeremiah – Faith Comes From the Heart
By Louie Marsh, 4-3-2019

John Stott’s book on the Sermon on the Mount that I mentioned last week but failed to put the URL up for:

https://amzn.to/2UgbPr2

TEACH THAT GOD WANTS OUR FAITH TO COME FROM THE HEART:

Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.” “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh— Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert who cut the corners of their hair, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart.” Jeremiah 9:23-26 (ESV)

HOLD LEADERSHIP TO HIGH STANDARDS –FAITH OF THE HEART:

Woe is me because of my hurt! My wound is grievous. But I said, “Truly this is an affliction, and I must bear it.” My tent is destroyed, and all my cords are broken; my children have gone from me, and they are not; there is no one to spread my tent again and to set up my curtains. For the shepherds are stupid and do not inquire of the LORD; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered. A voice, a rumor! Behold, it comes!— a great commotion out of the north country to make the cities of Judah a desolation, a lair of jackals. I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Correct me, O LORD, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing. Jeremiah 10:19-24 (ESV)

But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deut. 4:29

Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. Deut. 4:39

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deut. 6:5

Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.  Proverbs 19:21

My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.  Psalm 119:112

I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.  Psalm 119:32

I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.  Ezekiel 11:19

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, Eph. 1:18

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

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

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 1 John 3:21

RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT: Dwight L. Moody Said? Or maybe not?

TEACH THE NEW COVENANT WE HAVE IN CHRIST – LIVING HIS WORD

The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. You shall say to them, Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Cursed be the man who does not hear the words of this covenant
that I commanded your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be my people, and I will be your God, that I may confirm the oath that I swore to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day.” Then I answered, “So be it, LORD.”
And the LORD said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: Hear the words of this covenant and do them. For I solemnly warned your fathers when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Obey my voice. Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart. Therefore I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not.”
Jeremiah 11:1-8 (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 99

Disciple Up #99
Wounded by the Church, Pt. 3
By Louie Marsh, 3-13-2019

Very common problem –

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/february/wounded-church-harvest-bible-chapel-elders-resign-mars-hill.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/03/08/amid-a-wave-of-church-hurt-one-boston-pastor-tries-to-repair-christians-relationship-with-god/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.baf5369876bf

Focus on ASSESSING my wounds,

3  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:3-4 (ESV)

 You are blessed if you are spiritually poor or mourning, but only if you KNOW that! Without a real, honest, frank self assessment you are in real trouble!

 3  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5 (ESV)

The real hope here is that when we see it, admit it and turn to God for help, HE WILL HEAL US AND HELP US TO GROW THROUGH THIS EXPERIENCE NOT JUST GO THROUGH IT.

Closing Promise:

26  He confirms the word of his servant and fulfills the plan of his messengers. He says about Jerusalem, “It will be inhabited.” He says about the cities of Judah, “They will be rebuilt.” He says about their ruins, “I will restore them.” Isaiah 44:26 (GW)

Restoration: Rise From the Ruins

Step Two: Fight to Forgive

By Louie Marsh; 4-28-2013, Parker AZ

 FORGIVENESS IS…

 1) What GOD HAS DONE for me in Jesus.

 22  That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23  But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24  but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25  who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. Romans 4:22-25 (ESV)

Forgiveness (what God has done for us in Christ) is a gift given to us by God. In Christ our sins for forgiven immediately when we repent and cry out to God, because of the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and His resurrection. We are declared forgiven and right with God in an instant.

This has to be the starting point for any discussion of forgiveness for the disciple of Jesus, because our forgiveness is motivated by and modeled after Jesus’ forgiving of us.

9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (ESV)

This forgiveness from God continues to be active in our lives to continue to cleanse us from our sins as we ask Him too.

So God’s forgiveness to me is in two parts or sections, or has two sides to it. One is immediate when I’m declared righteous and a forgiven status with God is credited to me through Christ’s account.

Secondly the blood of Jesus continually cleanses us from the guilt of our sins. We know this continues because John wrote that verse in the present tense, which means continual action. The blood of Jesus continually washes us clean when we turn to Him – Hallelujah!

2) DIVORCING MYSELF from the pain.

Original Word: ἀφίημι, aphiēmi

(1) send off or away, let go (MK 4.36); (2) as a legal divorce (1C 7.11); (3) abandon, leave behind (MT 26.56); (4) of duty and obligation reject, set aside, neglect (MK 7.8); (5) of toleration let go, leave in peace, allow (MK 11.6); (6) of sins or debts forgive, pardon, cancel (LU 7.47)

47  Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7:47 (ESV)

11  (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:11 (ESV)

Its things like this that just make me love the Bible! Who would have ever thought that you could translate a word forgive in one place and divorce in another!

So the first thing that forgiving consists of is letting go. To send off and away from us the pain, hurt, anger, remorse, guilt, etc that is associated with the issue in question. Or to put it another way, and this is how I often think of it, DIVORCE YOURSELF FROM THE PAIN.

3) DISMISSING the hurt and pain.

Original Word: ἄφεσις, aphesis

Usage Notes: denotes “a dismissal, release” (akin to A, No. 1); it is used of the remission of sins, and translated “forgiveness —Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words

77  to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, Luke 1:77 (ESV)

Another powerful image, one that supports the first one as well. It doesn’t’ mean dismissing in the sense of belittling it, saying “Oh it’s not that bad.” No it means I am to Let it go, turn it loose, and keep turning it loose until it’s gone! I’ll come back to this image later..

4) RELEASING God’s grace into broken circumstances.

Original Word: χαρίζομαι, charizomaiUsage Notes: “to bestow a favor unconditionally,” is used of the act of “forgiveness,” whether Divine, Eph. 4:32; Col. 2:13; Col. 3:13; or human, Luke 7:42, 43 (debt); 2 Cor. 2:7, 10; 2 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:32 (1st mention). Paul uses this word frequently, but No. 1 only, in Rom. 4:7, in this sense of the word.—Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words

You may have noticed this word contains the word Charis – or Grace! Now there’s some good news. Grace is unearned, unmerited favor from God. That’s what we pass on to others each time we forgive.

 God wants his grace to active in every situation and every human heart, but it won’t be and can’t fully be there until I begin to forgive. Then I release it or inject it into myself and the situation.

32  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)

Note again our forgiving is modeled and motivated by Christ’s forgiveness of us.

FORGIVENESS IS NOT…

 1) Forgiveness is not…

Approving or diminishing sin

  • Enabling sin
  • Denying a wrongdoing
  • Waiting for an apology
  • Forgetting
  • A onetime event
  • Trusting – built slowly, lost quickly
  • Reconciliation – it takes two – “do your best to be at peace with all men…”

  FIGHT TO FORGIVE…

So forgiving means I let go of my anger, resent, and all ill feelings towards those that hurt me.

5  Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. 6  For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, 7  so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8  So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. 9  For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. 10  Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11  so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 (ESV)

The Two Hand Method:

One Hand –– LORD FILL ME WITH THE SPIRIT

  • The Other Hand – LET THE PAIN GO TO GOD

 6  Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6 (ESV)

29  For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. Colossians 1:29 (ESV)

21  For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:21 (ESV)

Learning to forgive takes time – a lot of time – and is always accompanied by pain. Its part of following Jesus, and like much else in the authentic spiritual life is often painful.

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Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 98

Disciple Up #98
Wounded By the Church, Pt. 2
By Louie Marsh, 3- 6-2019

Very common problem –

My Personal Story: Don’t focus on blame – focus on responsibility and YOUR responsibility in particular. Get on with fixing that instead of futilely trying to fix blame – let God do that.

DO NOT buy into the Victim Culture! – Rom. 8:37 “…we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us…”

Three Don’ts:

  • Don’t DEMAND MY (OR OTHER’S) rights
  • Don’t focus on WHAT I’VE LOST
  • Don’t let my ANGER OR PAIN drive me

14  Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15  See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; Hebrews 12:14-15 (ESV)

Three Do’s:

  • Focus on WHOSE you are.

1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

Whose am I? My self? My family’s? My culture’s? Or JESUS’?? 

You know what the right answer should be to that question. What you need to do now is to find out if the REAL answer and the RIGHT answer are the SAME answer!

  7  For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8  If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Romans 14:7-8 (NIV)

  • Focus on OBEYING God’s Call.

18  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19 (ESV)

2  to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3  to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. 4  They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. Isaiah 61:2-4 (ESV)

God’s Call on All Disciples: To Proclaim…

  • The Good News
  • Liberty to the Captives
  • Sight for the blind
  • The Lord’s Favor & Judgment
  • To comfort those who mourn
  • To strengthen them to maturity
  • To restore what has been devastated

3  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4  In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. Hebrews 12:3-4 (ESV)

You have to keep working for the Lord through this process. He will bring healing and understanding to you through the work you do for him.

 Right now there are people here who aren’t doing anything and others who are doing far too many things. Those of you not really engaged need to step up to those doing too much and say, “Hey, I’ll take that.”

 Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 97

Disciple Up #97
Wounded By the Church, Pt 1
By Louie Marsh, 2-27-2019

Very common problem –

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/february/wounded-church-harvest-bible-chapel-elders-resign-mars-hill.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/03/08/amid-a-wave-of-church-hurt-one-boston-pastor-tries-to-repair-christians-relationship-with-god/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.baf5369876bf

My Personal Story: Don’t focus on blame – focus on responsibility and YOUR responsibility in particular. Get on with fixing that instead of futilely trying to fix blame – let God do that.

 The CCR Story and My Response

Restoration: Rising From the Ruins Again

Remember Whose You Are

By Louie Marsh, April 14th, 2013

Christ’s Church on the River, Parker AZ

Three Don’ts:

  • Don’t DEMAND MY (OR OTHER’S) rights

38  “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39  But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40  And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41  And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42  Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. 43  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:38-45 (ESV)

This runs against our fallen human nature. We want things to be “right” or “fair,” and can easily justify fighting for that. TALK ABOUT MY “RIGHTS” FROM 2 YEARS AGO, AND MY DECISION NOT TO PURSUE THEM.  But what does God say?

19  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20  To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:19-21 (ESV)

When I fight for my rights or others, I am pushing God aside and in effect saying, “I got this Lord, don’t worry about it.” But Scripture says we are to leave this to God, for only God knows what is ultimately right and He and He alone is the one judge.

34  And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. Luke 23:34 (ESV)

This is the ultimate example of not fighting for your rights. Here is the great act of evil ever committed on planet earth.  How does Jesus respond? Not by claiming his rights, but by in effect saying, “Father, release these people from the consequences of their actions. No consequences Father, just another chance for them to get right with you.”

Don’t focus on WHAT I’VE LOST

19  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)

I lost my job, possibly my career, many friends, my house.  And that struggle became a revelation when I realized what it showed was not how bad they were, but that my heart was in the wrong place.

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Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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