Thursday, July 29, 2021

Modern Religion Vs The True Gospel

There is much emphasis on numbers these days. This is especially true in churches. Actually, it has been this way in institutional churches for as long as I can remember. It’s all about the numbers. If a group of pastors gather at a meeting or conference it’s going to come up in conversation in short order. “How large is your church?” Or “How many do you have in your church?” I’ve been asked this question every time I attended a pastor’s meeting. 

We like to say numbers are important to the extent that each number represents a soul who will spend eternity in heaven or hell. I agree wholeheartedly with this statement. However, I do not believe I was asked this question, at least in most cases, for such a noble reason. My observation was more along the lines of importance and ego. The more people a particular pastor has in his church the more important he is and the greater his ego. The fewer people you have the less important you are to the work of God.  


I like what AW Tozer said here. I believe he hit the nail on the head. Today’s modern religion has been brought down to mere numbers. Oftentimes in order to get the big numbers it entails a watered-down version of the gospel, worldly music and antics and celebrities. By compromising they can fill a building. 

Preaching and teaching the true gospel to receptive hearts will fill people with God. This is substance for tough times. This will give them victory. This enables them to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. This looks different than the “big worldly churches” that so many flock to. 

I so enjoy the free expression of God’s church in whatever shape or form it takes and wherever it happens. Remember, WE are the church. When we gather, wonderful things happen. It matters not if you gather in a dedicated building, a park, a restaurant, someone’s home or backyard. It’s also important each person gathering has the opportunity to have input should they so desire and be moved by the Holy Spirit to do so. 

I believe, without a doubt, God’s church is an “outside the box” group of believers who love God and love one another. This group of believers desire more of God and to grow in His grace. This group of believers has the true gospel that emphasizes filling others with God. 

Don’t be fooled by modern religion. Don’t become complacent by the modern gospel. Rather, let’s make Jesus the center of all we do. Let’s give Him place to work on us and through us. Let’s put forth the true gospel and see others filled with God. Let’s do it for the glory of God. 

Until next time...enjoy the journey,


Ray

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Friday, July 23, 2021

Running People Away From Church



I wonder how many times people attending an institutional church are made to feel unwelcome? Maybe they don’t know all the man-made rules and regulations. Perhaps they say something that’s wrong but they are unaware of it. Maybe it’s the way they dress. They don’t measure up to others’ expectations. 

How many times have you had someone look down their nose at you? I’ve been on the receiving end of this. I had not been saved too long. I was a product of the church bus ministry. I didn’t look right, act right or even smell right. I won’t even mention how I dressed in those days. I grew up poor. We didn’t even have a car. Many saw nothing worthwhile in me. To some I was just a nuisance. Thank God I didn’t allow people to deter me. My faith and hope was in Jesus.

I could have given up. I could have said, why bother? There are many others in institutional churches all over who can relate to me. There are those who have experienced the same things I have - or even worse - where they worship.

“Church folk” are notorious for running people off from church. This is a sad truth. If they don’t repent of this they will have to give account for each person they ran off. 

Another sad truth is some find far more camaraderie and fellowship from the world than they do the church. The world can be far more forgiving than the institutional church with its legalistic ways. 


Sure it would have been good if the man in the above story had turned his phone down before the service began. It was an accident. He simply forgot. He even felt bad about it. Plus the people “beating him up” over it. Was that really called for? I’ve been in church services where phones have gone off. The attitudes of those in that so-called group of church people chased this man away and right into the accepting arms of the world. 

Take a moment to read the “Lesson” again in the story above. Don’t let this be said about you. I pray it is never said about me. 

Until next time...enjoy the journey,


Ray

Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

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Thursday, July 15, 2021

From One “Bummer” Sheep To Another

      This was posted on a group I belong to  it was verified by several who are shepherds or who work with sheep. There is nothing more for me to add. Please read the story and see the beauty of our relationship with Jesus, the Great Shepherd.

***

    Every once in a while, a ewe will give birth to a lamb and reject it. If the lamb is returned to the ewe, the mother may even kick the poor animal away. Once a ewe rejects one of her lambs, she will never change her mind.

     These little lambs will hang their heads so low that it looks like something is wrong with its neck. Their spirit is broken. These lambs are called “bummer lambs.” 

    Unless the shepherd intervenes, that lamb will die, rejected and alone. So, do you know what the shepherd does? He takes that rejected little one into his home, hand-feeds it and keeps it warm by the fire. He will wrap it up with blankets and hold it to his chest so the “bummer” can hear his heartbeat.

     Once the lamb is strong enough, the shepherd will place it back in the field with the rest of the flock. But that sheep never forgets how the shepherd cared for him when his mother rejected him. 

    When the shepherd calls for the flock, guess who runs to him first? That is right, the “bummer” sheep. He knows his voice intimately. It is not that the bummer lamb is loved more, it just knows intimately the one who loves it. 




      So many of us are “bummer” lambs, rejected and broken. But He is the good Shepherd. He cares for our every need and holds us close to His heart so we can hear His heart beat. We may be broken but we are deeply loved by the Shepherd.

From one bummer sheep to another… I love you! ♥️

Until next time...enjoy the journey,


Ray

Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

Check out my website at www.rayspellbrink.com

Friday, July 9, 2021

Six Reasons Why You Should Trust God


 
We often have difficulty trusting God. Sometimes we can trust Him for the little things. We say we trust Him for the things we control in our lives. It’s like we do things that are within our wherewithal and then give God credit for them. Here’s a news flash - God doesn’t need us to “fix” things for Him so He can have the credit. He doesn’t need us to make Him look good.

He simply wants us to trust Him. All we need to do is trust Him! And before you ask, yes it really is that simple. To prove this point let’s go over these “Six Reasons Why You Should Trust God”.

First, God knows you by name. How cool is that? The King of the universe - the God who created all there is knows you by name!   

Isaiah 43:1 CSB
Now this is what the LORD says- the one who created you, Jacob, and the one who formed you, Israel- "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine.

Second, God will fight for you. He doesn’t leave you to struggle on your own. He will fight for you if only we learn to let him. That includes keeping quiet at times. 

Exodus 14:14 CSB
The LORD will fight for you, and you must be quiet."

Third, God thinks about you often. He knows where you are. He understands what you are going through.

Psalm 139:17 CSB  

God, how precious your thoughts are to me; how vast their sum is!

Fourth, God has plans for you. I have said for years that God has a plan for each of us whether we are young, old or anywhere in between. Sometimes it’s hard for us to see and understand how God can and will use us. However, rest assured, God has a plan for you - and His plans are good. In fact, they’re the best!

Jeremiah 29:11 CSB 

For I know the plans I have for you"- this is the LORD's declaration - "plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Fifth, God is your refuge - your shelter in the time of storm. The storms of life will definitely come. Even as a Christian you will face these storms. But like the old hymn says, “The Lord’s our Rock in Him we hide, a Shelter in the time of storm”. As a believer, you have assurance God is there for us no matter what comes our way.

Psalm 62:6-8 CSB

[6] He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken. [7] My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock. My refuge is in God. [8] Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before him. God is our refuge. Selah

Sixth, Jesus is always with you. Once you believe on Jesus He has promised to be with you until the end of the age. I’d say that’s a pretty good promise from a reliable source - Jesus, Himself. What more could a believer ask for?

Matthew 28:20 CSB

…And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."


Now take and reread these reasons why you should trust God. Become familiar with these Bible passages. They will come in handy in the future. Feel free to come back and reread this blog post during those trying and challenging times you face in your life. Learn to trust God more each and every day. Doing so will change your life forever.

    Until next time...enjoy the journey,

    Ray

    Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

    Check out my website at www.rayspellbrink.com

    Friday, July 2, 2021

    Jesus Gives A Fresh Start


    My path has crossed people who are discouraged and down on themselves for something done in the past. They have prayed to God and asked for forgiveness. Based on the promises of God they are forgiven!  You see, when you come to Jesus things change. You are forgiven. God removes your sin as far as the east is from the west. We are new creations. How cool is that?

    2 Corinthians 5:17 CSB

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!

    The problem is we sometimes have a difficult time accepting we are forgiven. We cannot let the past go. Some tend to dwell on the past and become obsessed with what God has forgiven and removed. Why put yourself through that? Is that God’s intent? Is that God’s best? Absolutely not!

    Sometimes we have so-called “friends” like job had who, after he lost all his possessions, his family and even his own health, stood with him to accuse him of sin. Job knew he had not sinned. Hear this, once sin is confessed it is forgiven and forgotten by God. It’s as if you never committed it. The blood of Jesus is powerful!

    There are times, of course, when Satan or one of his demons will throw things up in your face from your past. If it’s under the blood simply rebuke him or those thoughts in the name of Jesus. 

    Refuse to entertain these things from your past. They will bring you down and steal your joy and victory. We know it’s God’s will to live and walk in victory.



     
    Thank God for a fresh start. Because of His love, His mercies are new every morning! Praise God for that! We all need His grace and mercies renewed every morning. We can shout to God, as Jeremiah did, “Great is your faithfulness!”

    Lamentations 3:22-23 CSB
    [22] Because of the LORD's faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. [23] They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!

    This post seems to go hand in hand with last weeks blog post. If you missed it I encourage you to check it out. God laid these thoughts on my heart three weeks ago so I know they are meant to encourage someone on their journey.

    Keep your head held high. Know who you are in Jesus. Know that you know you are the King’s kid. Do not, by any means, allow the enemy to defeat you in any way. Look to Jesus for that fresh start each day. 
     

    Until next time...enjoy the journey,


    Ray

    Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

    Check out my website at www.rayspellbrink.com