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The Best Way To Live The Christian Life 

How To Live The Christian Life -- Secrets Revealed -- Be A Better Christian Today http://c8b8765a6oh87u18keiffo0yeh.hop.clickbank.net/

 

 
 
Tags:  How To Live The Christian Life  Christian Life 
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Published:  January 10, 2012
 
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Slide 1: ==== ==== Important Christian Affirmations -- A Must For ALL Christians -- CLICK BELOW http://c8b8765a6oh87u18keiffo0yeh.hop.clickbank.net/ ==== ==== It was a beautiful Thursday night in Chicago just before 7 p.m. I was walking into the "Super Maximum Security" division of the Cook County jail * one of the most notorious county jails in the United States. As a chaplain, I have been preaching there once, twice, and sometimes three times a week for the last 18 years. It's an absolutely incredible place. On 96 acres, it's the largest county jail in America. It's a city within a city. There are 10,000 men and 1,500 women locked up behind hundreds of thousands of tons of cement and steel. As many as 100,000 men and women will be processed through the jail each year. It has an underground tunnel system connecting 10 of the 11 divisions. It has almost 4,000 full-time employees, and its own hospital. When the first division was constructed in 1929, it included a small room with one piece of furniture - the electric chair - they call it the "Ice House." In 1931 Al Capone became one of its most notorious inmates. In 1971, blues legend B.B. King recorded an album there appropriately titled: B. B. King - Live at Cook County Jail. And, in 1996, the Back to God Hour produced a television special there entitled: Back to the Streets. It featured our ministry. SUPER-MAXIMUM SECURITY "Super max" is where they keep the highest-bond and no-bond inmates. Here you will find the most violent men charged with the most heinous crimes. Division 11 is also the newest addition to the jail. At a construction cost of more than $100 million, it's huge, it's all white, and I call it the Taj Mahal. Each block is air conditioned, and furnished with a colored TV. Every inmate gets "three hots and a cot," and the best police protection money can buy. Ironically, they also get a piece of cake or a cookie on their dinner trays! Once inside, I take the elevator up to the third floor to the security office in order to sign in and pick up my I.D. badge. Security officers will then arrange to have the men escorted to the chapel. On special occasions, we have had as many as 1,200 inmates in the gymnasium for chapel! Exiting the elevator and approaching the security office, I spy an officer sitting at his desk; I have not seen for some time. That's because they are transferred from division to division every year or so just to "shake things up." I have known this particular officer for the last 18 years, and every time I run into him (he's like a Mack Truck) he's taken every opportunity to insult me personally, to mock Christianity, and to openly mock God! I have met some characters over the years as you might imagine, but this man is in a class by himself. As I'm approaching the security office, he sees me and I see him. As I walk in, he stands up and assumes the stance of a weight lifter about to try out for the world's record. You know, leaning slightly forward, arms hanging down slightly curled in, flexing his muscles; sort of like a turkey spreading its wings to show off. In a loud voice, with his eyes fixed on me, he barks at the two officers across the room:
Slide 2: "THE CHRISTIANS ARE HERE; CALL OUT THE LIONS!" Without hesitation, but rather sheepishly at first, I replied, "Sergeant, I'd like to remind you that it was 2,000 years ago that the Roman Empire was feeding Christians to the lions, and we have the incredible perspective of being able to look back over 2,000 years of recorded history and what do we see?" Getting louder and bolder I said, "There are more Christians alive at this moment than the total number of people that made up the Roman Empire over its entire 500-year history, AND THE LIONS AND TIGERS ARE ON THE ENDANGERED-SPECIES LIST. WE'RE NOT AFRAID OF LIONS; BRING 'EM ON!" I looked at him, and his jaw dropped. I looked at the two officers in the corner, and their mouths were open so wide they could have eaten a banana sideways! The sergeant, slightly discombobulated, broke the silence and ordered the officers to, "Call chapel!" So, what is the point of this story? Simply this: WHEN YOU'RE RIGHT ABOUT GOD, AND YOU'RE RIGHT WITH GOD, YOU NEVER HAVE TO BE INTIMIDATED BY THE WORLD, THE FLESH, OR THE DEVIL HIMSELF. AND, IT'S OKAY TO GET EXCITED ABOUT JESUS! As an interesting follow-up to that story, that officer is now my best friend at the jail. He actually goes out of his way to help us bring more men to chapel. Best of all, he now asks me questions about the Bible! THE FEAR OF MAN IS IDOLATRY Idolatry is rival worship. Placing any created thing before the Creator is spiritual adultery - an abomination to God. In James 4:4 this indictment was handed down by God Himself: "You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." God couldn't be clearer when in Isaiah 51:12 He says: "I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who will die, and of the son of man who is made like grass?" I don't mean to brag, but I'm not afraid of grass at all. In fact, I cut the grass at home. Honestly, I wouldn't be afraid if there were a whole bale of hay right behind me! God is saying, in essence, "Let's look at this in perspective. A man may live for seventy or eighty years, and then he dies like grass. I am the God who is, the God who was, and the God who always will be, without beginning and without end. I AM the eternal, self-existent One. Why are you afraid of a man who will die? A man can't save you, and a man can't condemn you. Only I can do that." THE NAME OF JESUS CAN CLEAR OUT A ROOM FASTER THAN ANY OTHER NAME IN THE WORLD You can mention the name of any other so-called religious leader, and nobody gives a flip. Why is
Slide 3: it that the name of Jesus has so much power? All He did was say things like, "Love your enemies. If your enemy is hungry, feed, him. If he's thirsty, give him a drink. If he takes your shirt, give him your coat, too." Well, Jesus also said, "I am the light of the world." The reason men hate Jesus is because the light exposes the darkness and men love darkness rather than the light. Light and darkness are metaphors for good and evil. Just hearing the name of Jesus brings the conviction of sin! The main reason people reject Christianity is not because they can't believe; it's because they won't. It's a matter of the will, not the intellect. They know that becoming a follower of Jesus Christ would require a radical change in their lifestyle. In John 7:17, Jesus said: "If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself." Many people make up wild excuses in their minds. Some believe if they became Christians, God would immediately ship them off to Africa as missionaries! But in most cases, the real issue is not, "is Christianity true," but "what would my "friends" think if I became a Jesus freak or a religious fanatic?" That's the fear of man vs. the fear of God in a nutshell. Jesus put it in perspective better than anyone before or since in Mat. 16:26: "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" THE FEAR OF MAN ON A LARGER SCALE Chicken Little was a little chicken who made the big time with a prophecy of doom and gloom. Her mantra was straight and to the point: "The sky is falling!" Well, with the possibilities of nuclear Armageddon and World War III, and the realities of terrorism, the Middle East War, corruption in government and business, the collapse of the US economy, earthquakes, famine, floods, droughts, fuel shortages, pandemics and emerging diseases, violence in the streets, immorality, organized crime, broken families, unsaved loved ones, unemployment, apostasy in the church, Christianity becoming criminalized, and much more, I understand why "we the people" are very concerned about the future. Humanly speaking, we have great reason to be troubled. But, spiritually speaking, we have even greater reason not to be. In John 14:1-3, Jesus Christ said: "Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." Understanding this verse in its historical context gives us the power we need to experience the peace it promises. The disciples of Jesus were sure that He was the answer to all of their problems. He could give sight to the blind, feed thousands with just a couple loaves of bread and a few fish, and even raise the dead! In this light, they were sure that not only was Jesus going to overthrow the Roman Empire, but they were going to rule the world with Him! The disciples were already arguing with each other over who was going to sit on His right hand and on His left in the
Slide 4: kingdom! Suddenly, the dream began to turn into a nightmare. Jesus began to tell them things that were deeply troubling. Incredibly, He began to speak to them of His own death! Then, point-blank, He said, "One of you will betray Me." Each man must have been haunted by the distinct possibility that he was the impostor. Then Jesus told them, "I am leaving, and where I am going, you cannot come." Then, Jesus looked at Peter, their leader, and said, "Before the cock crows, you will deny Me three times." That is the background for Jesus' statement in John 14:1-3. Here is the redemption factor: WHILE THE DISCIPLES HAD GREAT REASON TO BE TROUBLED, THEY HAD EVEN GREATER REASON NOT TO BE. THE SAME HOLDS TRUE FOR YOU AND ME! In John 16:33, Jesus said: "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." LET'S PUT IT INTO PERSPECTIVE Think of some of the things that have caused you to experience fear in the past. How about the sound of thunder? When it is close enough, it can be so loud it really scares you. That is how God got Martin Luther's attention. Have you ever experienced an earthquake or a man wielding a gun? How about when you see a policeman in your rear-view mirror, and your speedometer tells you you're over the limit? Does that scare you? Well, if these things put fear into our hearts, how much more should a thinking person have a positive fear and reverence for Someone who is so holy and pure He dwells in unapproachable light, and has the power to speak the universe into existence and it becomes reality? So, how do you overcome the fear of man? here are some action steps to get you there. 1. Proverbs 29:25 says, "The fear of man is a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted." The word translated Lord in out English translation of the Bible is YHWH In Hebrew, this word is a name. It consists of four consonants, YHWH (pronounced yood hay vav hay), and no vowels. It represents the most holy and proper name of God. Theologians call it the Tetragrammaton. To the ancient Jew, this name was so feared and revered they dared not even speak it, for fear of breaking the third commandment. This commandment states that "he who takes My name in vain will not go unpunished" (Ex. 20:7). As a result, the true pronunciation has been totally lost, but the meaning has not. It comes from the same root as the "I Am" of Exodus 3. Here, God appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave him his commission to deliver the Israelites. Moses, fearing even his own people would not believe him, asked God, "Who should I say sent me; what is Your name?" At this point... God said to Moses, "I am who I am"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I am has sent Me to you."' Exodus 3:14
Slide 5: "I Am" is a repetition of the verb "to be." It means the Eternal, Self-Existent One; the God who is, the God who was, and the God who always will be, from eternity past, to eternity future, without beginning and without end! So, point number 1 is to develop an eternal perspective. What you believe determines how you behave. Imagine I had two buckets. One is filled with fresh, clean, cold water. The other is filled with gold and diamonds. You may choose one. Obviously, you would take the gold! But what if I see you in the desert, crawling on all fours dying of dehydration? The gold won't do you any good at this point. You'll take the water! Here is the point. Someday soon you will stand before God. For many people who had little or no time for spiritual things in this life, such as prayer, Bible study, and giving etc., will realize then that loving the things of this world were vain. Jesus asks, "What would a man be profited if he gained the whole world and lost his soul?" Action step number 2 is: Read the Bible until the Bible begins to read you. The better you know the Word of God the better you know the God of the Word. Action step number 3 is: Walk with wise men and you will become wise! That is found in Proverbs 13:20. Find a good church where the pastor knows how to explain Biblical truth in a manner that is relevant and interesting and where the worship is inspiring! Read great books. Do not waste your time but invest your time learning and improving. I leave you with this illustration called GRANDMA'S DUCK. Steve Farrar, in his excellent book, Finishing Strong, tells a story that goes something like this. A boy and his sister went to visit their grandparents in the country. Grandpa gave his grandson Billy a slingshot. In the woods Billy tried, but missed everything he shot at. On his way home he spotted grandma's pet duck in the backyard. He picked up a rock, fired at the duck, and bulls-eye, right in the head. Grandma's duck was dead. Looking both ways, he grabbed the duck, ran into the barn, and hid it under some hay. He walked back in the house just in time to hear grandma call for sister Sally to help with dinner. Sally called back and said, "Billy's going to help with dinner tonight, Grandma!" Billy looks at Sally, and Sally whispers, "I saw what you did to Grandma's duck!" After dinner, Grandma asks Sally, "Would you please help clear the table dear?" And Sally replies, "Billy's going to clear the table tonight Grandma." Billy looks at her, and without speaking, she moves her lips and says, "Remember the duck!" So, Billy clears the table. Well, the same thing happened with the dinner dishes too. Finally, Grandma looks at Billy and says, "Okay, Billy, what's up between you and Sally?" So, with tears in his eyes, Billy tells his grandmother what happened to her pet duck. The grandmother says to her grandson, "It's okay, Billy; I was looking out the window and I saw the whole thing. I knew you didn't mean to kill my duck. I was just wondering how long you would let your sister make a slave out of you." How long will you allow the fear of man to make a slave out of you? As long as you are afraid to get real with God, you'll never know the freedom, the joy, and the rest He has prepared for those who love Him. Here is something you may have never considered before. To love the God who created you is the most normal, natural, sane, rational, intelligent thing a human being can do. If someone were to say to me, "You mean you're one of those 'Jesus freaks'"? I would say, "You mean you're not?" Remember, when you're right about God and you're right with God, the children of light need never be intimidated by the children of darkness.
Slide 6: Visit my web site for more information and helpful resources at http://www.voice-wilderness.org. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Philip_DelRe ==== ==== Important Christian Affirmations -- A Must For ALL Christians -- CLICK BELOW http://c8b8765a6oh87u18keiffo0yeh.hop.clickbank.net/ ==== ====

   
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