Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wimpy Christianity

I listen to CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) on the Internet or over the radio...sometimes. I confess, though, that a good chunk of it is a turn-off for me. Why? Because too often the guys singing love songs to Jesus sound so metrosexual. Wimpy. Whiny. Ugh.

Don't get me wrong; the classic hymn, My Jesus, I Love Thee, is an unabashed love song to Jesus. It's also one of my favorite songs. Nothing wrong with that. Still, I want to shake the dudes on the radio and yell, "Man up! Stop sounding like a lovestruck chick!"

Offensive? Well, I mean it. Take some hints from Newsboys who can be tender toward the Lord but not sound so metrosexual about it.

Another thing that bugs me is religious art. How many depictions of angels have we seen that resemble a fairy godmother? Or babies? Give me a break! These are the celestial beings who are supposed to protect the elect? Really? With one POSSIBLE exception angels manifested themselves as men whenever the Bible mentioned the appearance of gender. Yes, I know angels are neither male nor female. But they manifested as men.

Is some dainty little rosy-cheeked cherub going to conquer a demon in combat? The archangel Michael doesn't strike me as a dainty dude. Or the angel with a flaming sword who guarded the entrance to the Garden of Eden. Or the angel that struck down the firstborn of Egypt. Or the angel that...

Man up! It's a dangerous spiritual world out there!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Listen to God and Not Discouragement

The mighty Hebrides revival (of which Duncan Campbell was a servant) broke out because two ladies got hold of God and refused to hear defeat. Do the same.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Surrendering is Harder Than Fighting

the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. (Daniel 11:32a)

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. (Proverbs 16:32 ESV)
Here's my thought for today:
Capturing my heart and forcing its surrender to Christ's will is a greater exploit than capturing a city and forcing its surrender to mine.
I Surrender All
by Van DeVenter & Weeden

All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessèd Savior,
I surrender all.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Too Insignificant To Be Used?

Have you ever felt that you were too insignificant to be used powerfully by God? I'm afraid we in the Church world can give that impression as we elevate some people into superstardom and bypass the rest like unwashed masses. If you think you are a nobody in God's kingdom then please be encouraged by this story, taken from the classic book on prayer, The Kneeling Christian, from an anonymous writer:
Some little time ago, a Chinese boy of twelve years old, named Ma-Na-Si, a boarder in the mission school at Chefoo, went home for the holidays. He is the son of a native pastor.

Whilst standing on the doorstep of his father's house he espied a
horseman galloping towards him. The man--a heathen--was in a great
state of perturbation. He eagerly inquired for the "Jesus-man"--the
pastor. The boy told him that his father was away from home. The poor
man was much distressed, and hurriedly explained the cause of his
visit. He had been sent from a heathen village some miles away to fetch
the "holy man" to cast a devil out of the daughter-in-law of a heathen
friend. He poured out his sad story of this young woman, torn by
devils, raving and reviling, pulling out her hair, clawing her face,
tearing her clothes, smashing up furniture, and dashing away dishes of
food. He told of her spirit of sacrilege, and outrageous impiety, and
brazen blasphemy, and how these outbursts were followed by foaming at
the mouth, and great exhaustion, both physical and mental. "But my
father is not at home," the boy kept reiterating. At length the
frenzied man seemed to understand. Suddenly he fell on his knees, and,
stretching out his hands in desperation, cried, "You, too, are a
Jesus-man; will you come ?"

Think of it--a boy of twelve! Yes, but even a lad, when fully yielded
to his Savior, is not fearful of being used by that Savior. There was
but one moment of surprise, and a moment of hesitation, and then the
laddie put himself wholly at his Master's disposal. Like little Samuel
of old he was willing to obey God in all things. He accepted the
earnest entreaty as a call from God. The heathen stranger sprang into
the saddle, and, swinging the Christian boy up behind him, he galloped

Ma-Na-Si began to think over things. He had accepted an invitation to
cast out a devil in the name of Christ Jesus. But was he worthy to be
used of God in this way? Was his heart pure and his faith strong? As
they galloped along he carefully searched his own heart for sin to be
confessed and repented of. Then he prayed for guidance what to say and
how to act, and tried to recall Bible instances of demoniacal
possession and how they were dealt with. Then he simply and humbly cast himself upon the God of power and of mercy, asking His help for the
glory of the Lord Jesus. On arrival at the house they found that some
of the members of the family were by main force holding down the
tortured woman upon the bed. Although she had not been told that a
messenger had gone for the native pastor, yet as soon as she heard
footsteps in the court outside she cried, "All of you get out of my way
quickly, so that I can escape. I must flee! A Jesus-man' is coming. I
cannot endure him. His name is Ma-Na-Si."

Ma-Na-Si entered the room, and after a ceremonial bow knelt down and
began to pray. Then he sang a Christian hymn to the praise of the Lord
Jesus. Then, in the name of the Risen Lord, glorified and omnipotent,
he commanded the demon to come out of the woman. At once she was calm, though prostrate with weakness. From that day she was perfectly whole.

She was amazed when they told her that she had uttered the name of the
Christian boy, for she had never heard of it or read of it before, for
the whole of that village was heathen. But that day was veritably a
"beginning of days" to those people, for from it the Word of the Lord
had free course and was glorified.
Ma-Na-Si's age wasn't important, or his experience—or himself—but what was important was his God. God used Ma-Na-Si and he can use you, too. Be available.