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Will The Five Pillars of Islam get me into heaven?

Question: "Can keeping the Five Pillars of Islam get me to heaven?"

Answer: Because God is just, He will punish sin – regardless of how well you keep the Five Pillars.

As a Muslim, you long to reach paradise after you die. But as a sinner, how will you escape God’s judgment? You may think, “My faithfulness in keeping the Five Pillars may outweigh my sins. Hopefully, God will admit me to paradise.”

You strive to keep the Five Pillars of Islam. Five times a day you kneel toward Mecca. The creed (shahadah) often forms on your lips. You bring no bread or water to your mouth during the daylight of Ramadan. You are saving up money for the pilgrimage to Mecca and are freely giving alms to the poor.

But still you question, “Is keeping the Five Pillars enough?”

Your conscience convicts you of failing God’s standard of holiness. How could the holy God accept to paradise someone stained with even a little sin?

Only one sin caused the first man’s downfall. Adam’s sin was not a “big sin” like adultery, murder, or blasphemy. By eating the forbidden fruit, Adam brought the curse of sin and death into the world.

Shall we escape? We who have dishonored our parents, lied to our neighbors, or cheated our customers (Exodus 20)? We sin routinely by putting selfish interests ahead of loving God (Matthew 22:36-40). We proudly overlook or excuse our sins. But God does not overlook or excuse any sin. He will judge every thought, word, and deed (Ecclesiastes 12:14; Matthew 12:36; Revelation 20:12-15).

God is a righteous Judge. Even on earth, a judge must punish sinners. A judge cannot pardon someone who has stolen just because the criminal claims to visit the mosque every Friday and fast during Ramadan. If sin goes unpunished, the law would be disregarded, and God would be dishonored.

God is the just Judge and will not let sin go unpunished, regardless of how well you keep God’s laws or how many good deeds you do. Keeping the Five Pillars cannot get you to heaven. You are a sinner according to God’s Word (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8).

The punishment for our sin is death—eternal death in hell. Our rightful home is hell. We need God’s mercy. But how can God be both merciful and just?

The Bible explains how God’s mercy fits with His justice: “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in [God’s] sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it–the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Romans 3:20-22a).

Keeping the law cannot get us to heaven. Instead, the law reveals our sin. God’s justice requires eternal death in hell for sin, but His mercy provides eternal life in heaven through faith in Jesus. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

As the eternal Son of God, Jesus is one with God the Father. God sent His Son to earth to become man, but Jesus never ceased being God. Born by the power of the Holy Spirit to the virgin Mary, Jesus didn’t inherit Adam’s sin nature. Jesus is called the second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22). While Adam’s one disobedience brought the curse of sin on the world, Jesus’ perfect life brings the hope of paradise to those who trust in Him.

Jesus took the punishment for sin—death—by dying on the cross on behalf of believing sinners. Then, Jesus rose from the dead, showing He conquered sin and death.

Don’t try to take care of sin on your own. Turn from sin in repentance and turn to Jesus in faith (Luke 24:46-47; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:21-31; Galatians 3:6-14). God forgives believing sinners and gives them eternal life in heaven.

God may be working in your heart, showing you your sin and need for Jesus. Receive God’s gift of eternal life! Trust Jesus as your crucified Savior and follow Him as your resurrected Lord!

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/five-pillars-Islam.html#ixzz3C27QTrWR
 

Ever have feelings of hopelessness? discouragment? distress?

Sometimes, when life is not exactly as we hoped it would be - we begin to despair ..
or lose hope, have deep feelings of hopelessness  .. become disheartened .. discouraged .. deeply distressed, .. and we anguish internally about our situations ..  which lead us to unhappiness, despondency, depression ... feeling very alone and lonely.

Philippians 4:19-20 (NIRV) .. 19 My God will meet all your needs. He will meet them in keeping with his wonderful riches that come to you because you belong to Christ Jesus. 20 Give glory to our God and Father for ever and ever. Amen.

Every need we will experience in life is already met in Christ Jesus .. By His power, God has prepared blessings to fill each of our needs in His perfect timing. The biggest mistake we tend to make is that we do not need Jesus Christ .. we can handle it all on our own .. or better yet, we tend to listen to Satan tell us in our doubts - Why Turn To Jesus, You're Nobody .. Jesus does not have time for you .. or your problem. JUST REMEMBER THIS .. Satan is The Father of Lies! .. No Exceptions .. No Matter How Good He Tries To Make Things Look!

Sometimes, when life is not exactly as we hoped it would be, we begin to despair ..  We think that we must have certain things in a particular time frame .. but the Lord Our God - knows better. Sometimes a need in our life, whether it is physical, spiritual, relational, emotional, or financial - it may exist because the Lord Our God - is trying to get our attention... trying to have a conversation with you or me ..

He wants us to focus on Him so that He can correct our thinking .. or maybe change the path we are on .. God Our Father desires that we experience abundance .. but He knows we cannot enjoy blessing until He has been allowed to work in our life. Think of yourself as a part of the "fruit tree" .. maybe part of the "tree of life" ... we must be pruned according to God's Word .. and sometimes the cutting back and pruning hurts .. but it is always followed by a more bountiful harvest.

Think about this, as a result of modern scientific discovery - Scientists have shown that the main shoot dominates a plant's growth principally because it was there first, rather than due to its position at the top of the plant. The discovery helps explain why pruning encourages plants to thrive.

At other times, the way we approach God may be what hinders His promised blessings. Perhaps our prayers reflect feelings of inferiority and insecurity, though as members of God’s family, we have absolutely no reason to come crawling like a beggar to our Father. He wants His children to come with confidence, anticipating the blessings He longs to give! .. if you tend to doubt this in any way .. please spend some time here at .. http://www.iaskgod.com/the-lords-prayer - and learn what Jesus Taught His Closest Friends when they asked Him? - Lord teach us To Pray?

Do not misunderstand ... We can expect blessings, but we cannot dictate when or how or what they should be. God knows what’s best and is intently interested in our well-being. And while He does not promise ease, God is certainly steadfast in providing us spiritual comfort and meeting our every need. Look in anticipation; He will do something far beyond what you could have imagined. Learn more about Who God Is .. what are His Charachter Traits ..

Learn meanings of God's Name here: http://www.iaskgod.com/content/names-god

Who Is Jesus .. What Difference Can His Name Make Today?

Jesus is the “image of the invisible God.”

Who is this Jesus? It’s a question that has been asked by countless individuals for more than two millennia. And, to be sure, it is the most important question that can ever be asked — or answered. How would I reply? ... He is The ONE who "was" .. and "IS" .. and The One Who Is to come again.

Some will say ..  “He’s my Savior.” But is He more? ..  “Well, He’s the Lord.” But is He more? .. Yes, He is far more indeed. Jesus did something for us that had never been done before: He enabled us to see the Father in a new way. In Colossians 1:15, Paul explains that Jesus is the “image of the invisible God.”

No one has ever looked upon the face of the Almighty. In the Old Testament, some people found themselves in His presence, but they were never able to look fully upon His glory. For example, even Moses, who is described as God’s friend (Ex. 33:11), could not look directly at Him. At best, he had the opportunity to look upon “God’s back” as the Lord passed by. But Moses never saw His face (vv. 18-23).

However, Jesus came to bridge the gap between the Father’s pure, holy glory and mankind’s sinful nature. As God’s “image,” Jesus is the exact, flawless replica — the perfect reflection — One In Being .. with His Father. Therefore, Jesus could say, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

How do we know what the heavenly Father is like? .. By knowing Jesus. He is the only full expression and explanation of God. Now are you prepared to answer the question?

Then ask the Father to reveal His Son to you in a fresh way today.

The Bible .. and "Prophetic Wars" .. are we witnessing this today?

Most prophetic scholars have long believed that the next great end time war will be the War of "Gog & Magog" ..  that is described in Ezekiel 38 and 39. This, for example, is a Biblical Prophecy of War that many believe will start when Russia invades Israel with certain specified allies - all of whom are Muslim nations today. This is not some part of "Ripley's Believe It or Not" .. but what God says in the Bible ..

The FACTS OF LIFE TODAY .. some folks with "NO JESUS"  ... as a part of their beliefs ..

The Islamic State (IS)Arabic: الدولة الإسلامية‎ ad-Dawlah l-ʾIslāmiyyah), formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL /ˈaɪsɪl/) or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS /ˈaɪsɪs/),is a Sunni jihadist group in the Middle East. In its self-proclaimed status as a caliphate, it claims religious authority over all Muslims across the world and aspires to bring much of the Muslim-inhabited regions of the world under its political control, beginning with Iraq and Syria and territory in the Levant region, which includes Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and an area in southern Turkey that includes Hatay. It has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia, and has been labeled by the United Nations and Western and Middle Eastern media as a terrorist organization. The United Nations has accused the Islamic State of committing "mass atrocities" and war crimes.

Do a "double-take" today .. read two different Biblical Versions ..

THE REALITY OF  .. "KNOWING JESUS" ... Colossians 1:15-20 (NASB)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Colossians 1:15-20 (NIRV) .. Christ Is Far Above Everything

15 Christ is the exact likeness of God, who can’t be seen. He is first, and he is over all of creation. 16 All things were created by him. He created everything in heaven and on earth. He created everything that can be seen and everything that can’t be seen. He created kings, powers, rulers and authorities. Everything was created by him and for him. 17 Before anything was created, he was already there. He holds everything together. 18 And he is the head of the body, which is the church. He is the beginning. He is the first to be raised from the dead. That happened so that he would be far above everything. 19 God was pleased to have his whole nature living in Christ. 20 God was pleased to bring all things back to himself because of what Christ has done. That includes all things on earth.

We may not know all there is to "KNOW" .. about all that is hapening in our world today .. but one thing for sure that we do "know" about JESUS is this .. http://www.iaskgod.com/content/thought-conditioner-2

 

 

 

Take inventory of your thought life .. and do something to change negatives.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.”
(2 Corinthians 10:4, NKJV)

TODAY’S WORD .. a message from  from Joel and Victoria

Scripture tells us that there is a battle going on in our minds. Our thoughts dictate our actions. That’s why the enemy will do everything he can to get you thinking in the wrong direction. Sometimes, it’s not our own thoughts that are holding us back; sometimes it’s that we’ve believed the negative things that other people have spoken. Those words are like seeds. If you dwell on them long enough, they’ll take root and become reality.
In life, there will always be people telling you what cannot be done, speaking negative things. Too often we latch on to those negative words and develop what the scripture calls a “stronghold.” That’s a wrong thought or action that keeps us from God’s best. The way you break those negative strongholds is by rejecting the lie, forgiving the person, and embracing the truth of God’s Word. In other words, you have to choose to delete that negative file in your mind.

Today, why don’t you take inventory of your thought life? Ask yourself, “Where did these thoughts come from? Do they line up with what God says about me?” Break the negative strongholds and embrace God’s truth so you can be all that God has called you to be!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, today I choose to reject negative thoughts. I choose to reject lies from the past. I break every stronghold through the power of Your Word and embrace Your truth which sets me free in Jesus’ name. Amen.

LOOK HERE FOR DAILY HELP ..  http://www.iaskgod.com/content/thought-conditioner-gems

IS LOVE .. just another word .. or much more?

Looking for "love" .. in all the wrong places? LOVE .. LOVE .. just another word?

Today we tend to call many things "love" .. when they are nothing more more than lust, sex, mis-guided infatuations .. some say a force of nature .. yet so many seek after it - and as much as we may want it - we can not command it, demand it, or even take it away from those that freely give it to us ..

THINK ABOUT IT  .. we can't control it any more than we can command the moon and the stars and the wind and the rain to come and go according to our whims and desires - BUT WHO CAN? .. Love is bigger than you and I .. we can invite love, but we cannot dictate how, when, and where love expresses itself. You can choose to surrender to love, or not, but in the end love confronts us - unpredictable and irrefutable. Love is free. It cannot be bought, sold, or traded. You cannot make someone love you, nor can you prevent it, for any amount of money. Love cannot be imprisoned nor can it be legislated. Love is not a substance, not a commodity, nor even a marketable power source. Love has no territory, no borders, no quantifiable mass or energy output.

So many in today's generations .. and some past ones too - equate "love" to "sex" .. One can buy sex partners and even marriage partners. Marriage is a matter for the law, for rules and courts and property rights. In the past, the marriage price, or dowry, and in the present, alimony and the pre-nuptial agreement, make it clear that marriage is all about contracts - But as we all know, marriages, and personal relationships - Work Best When Love Is The Guide. Sexual stimulation and gratification, whether by way of fingers, mouths, objects, fantasy play, whips and chains, or just plain intercourse - can certainly be bought and sold - BUT LOVE .. TRUE LOVE .. can not be bought and sold.

"Love bears all things" (1 Cor. 13:7).

Love confronts sin but protects the sinner. In 1 Corinthians 13:7 Paul mentions four qualities of love that are closely related: bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, and enduring all things. That might sound like love is indiscriminate and accepting of anything that comes along, but "all things" in that verse is qualified by the context. Love rejects jealousy, bragging, arrogance, and so on (vv. 4-6), but it bears, believes, hopes, and endures all things that are within the parameters of God's Word. "Love bears all things" speaks of love's willingness to cover sins and protect sinners from further harm.

That's opposite our tabloid-mentality society in which gossip is big business and people seemingly have an insatiable appetite for exposes and "true confessions." Love seeks to protect, not expose. It confronts and disciplines sin but never broadcasts failures or wrongs. It feels the pain of those it loves and is willing to take that pain upon itself when necessary—as Christ did when He suffered for our sins.

In the Old Testament, the mercy seat was the place where the blood of atonement was sprinkled to cover the sins of the people (Lev. 16:14). That covering prefigured the perfect covering of sin that Christ brought through His death on the cross (Rom. 3:25-26). All who trust in Him are forever covered with the mantle of God's love.

You cannot cover sins in the redemptive sense, but you can help protect and restore its victims. Proverbs 10:12 says, "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions." First Peter 4:8 says, "Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins." When you hear of someone's sin, what is your first reaction? Do you think the worst of him or even gloat over his failures? Or do you expect the best and want to protect him from further exposure, ridicule, or harm? Are you willing to confront sin when necessary and even help bear the burden that person might be carrying? How you react indicates the quality of your love.

Suggestions for Prayer .. Thank God for covering your sins with the blood of Jesus and commit yourself to loving others in a way that truly bears all things.

No one goes to the Father .. except through Jesus

You know .. when you are looking and searching .. asking .. crying .. debating within yourself .. seeking to what is "right" .. are you seeking the way of this world .. OR THE WAY .. The TRUTH .. and The LIFE?  .. Recall Jesus' Words .. I am the WAY .. The TRUTH .. and the LIFE and no one goes to the Father .. except through me ..

1.Trust that God is working everything in your life for your good.
“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

2.Believe that our heavenly Father is in control of everything.
“The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all” (Ps. 103:19).

3.Accept that the Lord’s ways are higher than ours.
“‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isa. 55:8-9).

4.Refuse to make quick judgments in the midst of a crisis.
“Thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, ‘In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength’” (Isa. 30:15)

5.Focus on the Father instead of the crisis.
“O our God . . . we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You” (2 Chron. 20:12).

6.Avoid dwelling on the pain.
“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence” (Ps. 42:5).

7.Recall past crises and the opportunities that followed.
“They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my support. He also brought me forth into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me” (2 Sam. 22:19-20).

8.Let go of your anger immediately.
“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity” (Eph. 4:26-27).

9.Submit yourself to God’s will.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Pr. 3:5-6).

10.Demonstrate a spirit of gratitude.
“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18).

11.Determine to view the trial as a chance to see God at work.
“The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the LORD” (Lam. 3:25-26).

12.Refuse to listen to unscriptural interpretations of your situation.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. . . . The wicked have laid a snare for me, yet I have not gone astray from Your precepts” (Ps. 119:105, 110).

13.Remain in constant prayer, listening for the Father’s instructions.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2).

14.Do not give in to fluctuating emotions.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Ps. 73:26).

15.Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.
“Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him” (Ps. 37:5-7
).

Thanks to all this from an email from Dr. Charles Stanley

Common threads of Ferguson, MO, ISIS Radicals and the Middle East?

What is the common thread between the events of Ferguson, Missouri and the ISIS fighters and uprisings in the middle east?

Maybe we should consider some common threads .. that surround the "death of one person" .. whether Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. -- or American journalist James Foley beheaded by a "jihadist" madman --- and even the "death of Jesus Christ on the Cross" ..

First of all .. each event, according to some is .. controversial .. mirrors the world in which we live .. sends a Message To America .. is yet another warning sign to many  ...  requires more than just "surface thought" and must be deeply looked into ... has some asking questions and seeking answers to some basic questions about life .. demands and outcrys for "judgement" ... someones "civil and God-Given rights" have been violated ... a "sorrowful mother" looked on in horror at the events ..

Death may leave a lot of questions unanswered for men .. BUT NOT GOD!  ... and God Is Not Dead ... and the events of the world in the Middle East, Israel, Gaza,  Saudi Arabia, Washington, DC or Ferguson, Missouri .. do not escape the ONE Who "was" .. and "is" .. and IS TO COME AGAIN!!

Watch and Listen to the NEWS .. there seems to be such "disorder" .. no one really "in control" ...

YET THERE "IS" ... don't you find it "ironic" that Bill Clinton made the term "IS" so famous ... and the I.S.I.S. is now wanting to be called "IS"  .. but as you carry this thought to it's final analysis .. There "IS" Only One Lord Over All .. only one "Most High God" .. only one "all Sufficient God"  .. Whose Only Begotten Son - paid our sin debt in full! - His Name Is JESUS of Nazareth!

You see, the reality is in God's Words ... "Love rejoices with the truth" (1 Cor. 13:6). Love never compromises God’s Word. Think about what Paul speaks about -- a list of things that love does not do: become jealous, brag, act arrogantly or unbecomingly, seek its own, become provoked, keep track of wrongs suffered, or rejoice in unrighteousness. Now he comes to the first of five things love does: "Love rejoices with the truth" (v. 6)... The contrast in verse 6 is between love's inability to rejoice in unrighteousness and its joy when truth prevails. "Truth" refers to God's Word, which is the standard of righteousness. Paul could have said, "Love doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with righteousness," but he went beyond the mere deeds of righteousness and addressed its standard and motive.

BOTTOM LINE .. whether in the Middle East Deserts of Iraq or Africa .. or Ferguson or St. Louis, MO  -- Love won't tolerate false doctrine or sinful behavior, but it rejoices when God's Word is taught and obeyed. The psalmist said, "O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thy commandments make me wiser than my enemies. . . . I have more insight than all my teachers . . . . I understand more than the aged. . . . I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Thy word. I have not turned aside from Thine ordinances, for Thou Thyself hast taught me. How sweet are Thy words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! From Thy precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way" (Ps. 119:97-104).

That's the testimony of one who rejoices in the truth - but have we heard any of this from the desert madmen .. the Radical Muslims .. the street thugs and demonstrators in Ferguson .. from the Whitehouse in DC .. WHERE HAVE YOU HEARD THIS TAUGHT ..

Often Christians are willing to compromise sound doctrine for the sake of loving others. They believe that doctrinal precision is somehow divisive and unloving. But Scripture says, "This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. . . . For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you might not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward" (2 John 6-8).

Biblical love always operates within the parameters of God's Word and spiritual discernment (Phil. 1:9-10). The most loving thing you can do is live according to biblical truth. Doctrinal compromise simply diminishes the quality of love and plays into the hands of the evil one.

Suggestions for Prayer
Ask God for wisdom and discernment to keep your love within its proper biblical bounds .. and let's ASK GOD for His Mercy on all those that sew such turmoiul in our lives ..

For Further Study .. think on this .. Philippians 1:9-11  (NIRV)

9    I pray that your love will grow more and more. And let it be based on knowledge and understanding. 10 Then you will be able to know what is best. You will be pure and without blame until the day Christ returns. 11 You will be filled with the fruit of right living produced by Jesus Christ. All of those things bring glory and praise to God.

Leading The Way's Iraq Update - Learn The Real Truth

realistic Christain view about what is happening in the middle east

Current World Events - Iraq ISIS, IS, Iran, Middle East, Muslim Extremeists, The Real True Islam, The Arab World .. if you want to get a better and realistic Christain view about what is happening in the middle east .. The Muslim Brotherhood, and what you can expect in days, weeks to come ..  

In Leading The Way's Iraq Update, Dr. Michael Youssef and Joshua Youssef discuss the Biblical significance of the persecution and political turmoil taking place in Iraq, how we as believers can respond, and what Leading The Way is doing in the region.

http://www.leadingtheway.org/en/web/guest/world?prefCountryId=US

What can we do?

The Secular Media ..

Surprising Opportunity and Big Surprises Scare Some People

Surprising Opportunities

Do you like surprises? Some people don’t like unexpected opportunities and events because they feel out of control and insecure when receiving them. They want to be able to prepare, to have everything just as they like it, and to continue pursuing their goals without interruption. Unfortunately, that’s just not the way life is. A great deal happens daily that is simply beyond our control. Though this may make us feel anxious and vulnerable, we must realize that this is the manner by which God teaches us to rely upon Him.

A surprising encounter

Moses learned this firsthand. He had been on the west side of the desert in Midian for forty years, tending his father-in-law’s sheep and going about his daily life as a husband and father. Perhaps this is what he thought he would do for the rest of his life, having left Egypt far behind without any desire to return.

However, this changed once he saw something extraordinary blazing against the backdrop of the rugged, mountain landscape (Ex. 3). It was a burning bush that was not consumed. Even more astounding was that when he went to investigate the strange sight further, the Lord told him that he was standing on holy ground before the King of kings.

Can you imagine Moses’ amazement—his outright shock to be standing in the presence of Almighty God? He had never seen, heard, or experienced anything like this.

Yet this astonishing display was not without purpose. The Lord’s message to him was life changing, and He wanted this shepherd to take it seriously. God called Moses into ministry as the deliverer of the Hebrews, who were being held in bondage in Egypt. It was an assignment that would test everything within him. This is why this event was undeniably remarkable. It was an encounter Moses could never forget or question. It was 100 percent, cast-in-stone, indisputably real, and the knowledge of it would carry him back into the nation he least wanted to see again—Egypt. 

A brilliant reminder

At times, the Lord will call you and I to some unexpected assignments. He doesn’t do it to destroy or consume us. Rather, He has certain goals and plans in mind for us, and He will sometimes make us aware of them in astounding ways so that they are undeniably affixed to our hearts.

God appeared to Moses in a burning bush. This became a visual reminder to the shepherd that by signs and wonders the Lord would deliver Israel from Egypt’s grasp. He said, “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. . . The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the sons of Israel from their midst” (Ex. 7:3, 5). Moses understood that the task would not be simple or easy, but the burning bush was a brilliant reminder that God was able to accomplish all He had promised. 

A wonderful opportunity

Likewise, the Lord has a good plan and purpose for everything He does in your life, and the surprising ways He speaks to you are meant to demonstrate what He will do through you. Like Moses, you cannot plan for or manipulate how the Father will speak or what He will communicate. All you can do is embrace what He says wholeheartedly.

Perhaps He is seeking to make you aware of His holiness, love, power, and wisdom. Or maybe He wants to demonstrate His great love for you by doing something very special in your life. Whatever the case, one thing is sure: The more dramatic the visitation, the more awesome the task He is calling you to. And like the burning bush, His call does not come to consume you, but to shine His glory through you in a wonderful way you never imagined possible.

Therefore, your challenge is to accept God’s surprise visits with obedience and faith. So today, pray that whenever the Lord calls you to an assignment (and He will!) you will respond in a manner that honors Him and brings Him great glory.

Thanks to Dr. Charles Stanley's Daily Messages ..

Becoming an Effective Minister .. or Helpmate .. or Lover

Becoming an Effective Minister .. or Helpmate .. or Lover

1 Corinthians 13:4 (NIRV) - 4 Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not want what belongs to others. It does not brag. It is not proud.

Love is the key to effective ministry.- In 1 Corinthians 13:4 Paul says, "Love does not brag and is not arrogant." We often equate bragging and arrogance, but in this passage there is a subtle difference. The Greek word translated "brag" emphasizes prideful speech or actions; "arrogant" emphasizes the attitude of pride motivating those actions.

The prideful attitudes of the Corinthians were evident in several areas. In 1 Corinthians 4:18-21 Paul says, "Some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant, but their power. . . . What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod or with love and a spirit of gentleness?" (1 Cor. 4:18- 21). Apparently, some thought they no longer needed his instruction. "After all," they reasoned, "we've had the best teachers—Apollos, Peter, and even Paul himself (1 Cor. 1:12)—so what need do we have for more instruction?" The fact was, they had just enough knowledge to inflate their egos, but they were woefully ignorant of love (1 Cor. 8:1).

It was arrogance that led the Corinthian church to condone gross immorality: "It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife [incest]. And you have become arrogant, and have not mourned instead, in order that the one who had done this deed might be removed from your midst" (1 Cor. 5:1- 2). They were too prideful to confront and correct that situation, so they bragged about it instead. Even pagans wouldn't tolerate that kind of behavior!
That's a tragic picture of people so blinded by pride that they refused to discern between good and evil. Consequently, all their spiritual activities were counterproductive. They were gifted by the Spirit and even flaunted their gifts, but lacked the love that transforms a gifted person into an effective minister.

Learn from the Corinthians' mistakes. Never settle for mere spiritual activities. Let love motivate everything you do. Then God can honor your ministries and make them truly effective for His purposes.

Suggestions for Prayer
Ask God to make you a more effective minister and to protect you from the blindness of arrogance.

For Further Study
What do the following proverbs say about pride: Proverbs 8:13; 11:2; and 29:23?

 

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