Why Standing Stones?

Why Standing Stones?

In ancient Israel, people stood stones on their end to commemorate a powerful move of God in their lives. It was a memorial to something God spoke or revealed or did. Often these standing stones became reference points in their lives. Today, we can find reference points in the written Word of God. Any scripture or sermon can speak something powerful into our lives, or reveal something of the nature of God. In this blog I offer, what can become a reference point for Christians, taken from God's ancient word and applied to today's world.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Guest Post: Dan Canonge: Belize City, Belize

Editors Note:  This year I decided I wanted to treat my readers to other preaching, by using a number of "Guest Posts" from other pastors.  Some of them will be in audio form and some will be in printed form.  these are being posted in the form they come to me, except when someone sends me their sermon notes and I have to flesh them out.  This week our guest post is by Dan Canonge, who pastors in Belize City, on the island of Belize.  Dan is also a missionary from the United States.  We are pleased to post this sermon entitled, "Mastery Over Self."  You can find more information about the Potter's House Church in Belize City on their website, www.belizepottershouse.com or Dan's personal website, www.danstacklebox.wordpress.com

Mastery Over Self

Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.

Does anyone purpose in their heart for life or ministry to end up in ruin or failure?  Probably not. I believe most of us do intend for our state of being to end well. So why do so many start off well and end up with great loss. Obviously there could be a host of reasons and excuses. In 2 Peter 1:5-11 we are strongly encouraged to GIVE ALL DILIGENCE, and ADD to our FAITH some CHARACTER VIRTUES that will help and aid us through our walk in this world.
The word of God discerns man’s heart. In that one of our human weaknesses is to NEGLECT areas of life that we may not think important. READ the text
2 Peter 1:5-6
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,

GIVING ALL DILIGENCE or pay attention, give yourself, initiate this because in the natural we will neglect our character. What type of person have you become? What type of person does the Word of God say you should become? What type of person do you want to become? Human nature is naturally inward. We tend to always think how others make us feel or what others do to us. Not considering that maybe we are the one's lacking something in our own character. God cares about our lives here on earth so he warns us of the dire consequences of neglecting our character.

2 Peter 1:9
For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 

I call it Spiritual Amnesia. These are some consequences to neglecting character.
  1. Loss of Vision- you can lose focus to where you are going and why you made the decision to get saved in the first place.

  2.  Forget  What Jesus did for you - This is tragic! It will play  out in your character. Revert to the old man.
The Result: Bad (sinful) decisions are made about money, relationships, work, how you spend your time. Not having self-control has the ability to affect every area of life.

I realize that in our text there is a whole list of things we are to work on and add to our faith. For the sake of this blog post let's key in on a virtue that I think is instrumental to undergo a character change "SELF CONTROL".  This virtue is something we really must get a handle on because this is going to color every area of our life.  From handling money, emotions, sexual purity this virtue is desperately needed to make righteous decisions. Other words for SELF CONTROL are TEMPERANCE and MASTERY over SELF.
It is possible to be a born again Christian with bad character! I believe this is one of the chief reasons why people struggle with the same problems. Take for instance someone who is in debt. Invariably they believe if they could have just a little more money they would fix their problem. This is a false hope if they lack the virtue of SELF CONTROL. What they will do when they get more money is usually spend more and increase their debt or get more loans thus compounding the problem. It reminds me of a quote that I heard from Winston Churchill. Someone had approached him and suggested that education is the key in changing society. But Winston Churchill understanding human nature said "If you educate a crook that sleeps in empty box cars of trains all you will do is educate him to steal the whole train." Because unless their inner person is changed they will choose according to what they are. 

Some trials God will allow for the devil to tempt you, but then there are the ones that we MAKE FOR OURSELVES by making poor decisions.

In conclusion I want to leave you with this encouragement of " The Spirits Help".

2 Tim 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 

In 1 Sam 22:1-2 it says that David when he escaped to the cave of Adullam that 400 men that were distressed, in debt, and discontent surrounded themselves to him. David who is an Old testament Christ type began to spiritually impart something into these men that resulted in the changing of their reputation and character. We read later on that these men became the mighty men of David. One of these choice men had the ability to defeat up to 800 foes in battle. Do you see the contrast? Physically these were the same men, but a spiritual transformation began to take place as they rallied their lives around David. Likewise when we get saved and follow Christ Jesus we have the same potential.

We read in Luke 8:35 of the Gadarene demoniac. After he has an encounter with Jesus, he was delivered from a legion of evil spirits and redeemed by the Holy Spirit. The bible documents that part of the noticeable change of this mans life was that he was now in his right mind. Here was a man who was controlled by Satan and could not be brought under control or tamed by any man. It is written that he would break chains and fetters. Thus this man was in a constant rage until Jesus brought him under the dominion of the Holy Ghost.
We can be encouraged because the promise of the Holy Spirit's help. In one bible version it says a "disciplined mind" brought under the dominion of Holy Spirit. This does not mean that the Spirit will it do it for you. What it means is that God has cleared the path way for us and now we must begin to build upon it.
These verses give us confidence that we can have a victorious Christian walk if we will pay attention to our character. How encouraging it is to know the will of God for our lives.

2 Peter 1:8 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

2 Peter 1:10 Therefore brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

(c) Dan Canonge 2012:  used with permission

Friday, June 15, 2012

Guest Post: Marty Carnegie, International Evangelist

Sermon Title:  The Hope of Nations

This sermon was presented to the conference body at the Tuscon International Bible Conference of The Door Christian Fellowship.  The conference is a gathering of Pastors and disciples from all over the world who share the vision and direction of the Christian fellowship Ministries.  Pastor Carnegie has pastored Churches in Jamaica, England and the United States.  He is currently an International Evangelist, preaching the good news of salvation all over the world.

A powerful and dynamic preacher, Pastor Carnegie is a favorite throughout our fellowship.  His travels are documented on his blog, Marty Carnegie's Blog, Preaching Jesus Christ to the Nations."  http://www.martycarnegie.blogspot.tw/

The Hope Of Nations

Nations rise and fall based on their relationship with God.

Text:  Proverbs 14:32-34

 Proverbs 14:31-34 (NKJV)
14:31 He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy. 32 The wicked is banished in his wickedness, But the righteous has a refuge in his death. 33 Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding, But what is in the heart of fools is made known. 34 Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people.

(c) Marty Carnegie 2012: used with permission