It’s Hard to Imagine

It is hard to imagine the sin bearing event of Christ on the cross. I mean I am just thinking of the many times I as an individual have already sinned and it is not unreasonable knowing I will sin in the future.

I mean not just sins of commission and omission.

Thought, word attitude. It must be in the millions. He bore my sins on the cross. Then the countless billions of others…Jesus has to be God in the flesh we could never be saved because no one could bear all that filth.

Not A Loser

Satan is always trying to make you feel like a LOSER. After all, we do so many things wrong. That is why there are three components to your testimony.

THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB
THE WORD OF YOUR TESTIMONY
LOVING NOT YOUR LIFE EVEN TO DEATH.

IT IS ABOUT HIS TESTIMONY IN YOU! Remember: you are going to have to wash your robes all the time. When you blow it-GO TO God and ask his forgiveness. He delights in repentant hearts!

YOU ARE A VALID WITNESS. It is not about how people can preach or talk better than you. You are a person that God is working for, in and through. You are strategically placed where you are so you can be a light for the gospel.

YOU NEED GRIT IN YOUR TESTIMONY. When you say, no matter what I will serve the Lord even if I die in the attempt. It makes you near unbeatable. That is a radical witness.

A True Portrait of Christ by Martin Luther

In order to have faith you must PAINT A TRUE PORTRAIT OF CHRIST.

The scholastics caricature Christ into a JUDGE AND TORMENTOR.

But Christ is NO LAW GIVER.

He is THE LIFE GIVER.

He is the FORGIVER OF SINS.

You must believe that CHRIST MIGHT HAVE ATONED for the sins of the world with ONE SINGLE DROP OF HIS BLOOD.

INSTEAD, HE SHED HIS BLOOD ABUNDANTLY in order that He might give ABUNDANT SATISFACTION for our sins.

Here let me say, that THESE THREE THINGS:

FAITH, CHRIST, and IMPUTATION OF RIGHTEOUSNESS are to be JOINED TOGETHER. FAITH TAKES HOLD OF CHRIST.

GOD accounts THIS FAITH for RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

Listen to Him

“…a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.” (Mt 17:5).

God is saying no different today. It is his Son’s voice we should be hearing, the only voice worth listening to.

We will hear what the Lord God will speak and HE SPEAKS CHRIST the LIVING WORD OF GOD the TRUTH PERSONIFIED and …he comes to us with GRACE ON TOP OF GRACE.

Here God the Father from the realm of his most excellent glory. He SPEAKS in the presence of MOSES AND ELIJAH who embodies the spirit of the law and the prophets.

They were speaking of his coming death in Jerusalem.

THE LAW seen in MOSES was on STONE TABLETS exposed and convinced people of sin and showed their utter ruin because of sin.

THE PROPHETS seen in Elijah had the Spirit of Christ in them testifying spoke of salvation BY GRACE that should come to us through the suffering and glory of Christ.

CHRIST ALONE LOVED BY GOD THE FATHER IS NOW THE VOICE WE HEAR AS WE READ AND STUDY SCRIPTURE.

GOD the Father establishes here that it the by grace alone, through CHRIST alone that we can be saved. The grace of God reigns in our hearts through the IMPUTED righteousness of Christ and the grace of God came ABUNDANTLY in God’s dearly loved Son.

LET GOD BE TRUE

The problem with most evangelicals these days is that they have a form of truth and a form of godliness so that is why they’re focused on good manners and presentation rather than truth. Because they have been duped with the belief that how they are saying the truth will make it more effective so this is probably why they slather a thick sugary icing of entertainment on everything they do. They want the truth to be more palatable than disagreeable.

These Evangelical Goldilocks want to say things just right and things that they presume are true and biblical with just enough love, humility, or graciousness to make it “more” true. They are so much in love so much the praise of man. They believe that things can’t be true unless you say it just right or do a lot of good things to earn people’s trust.

This premise is ridiculous because they have forgotten that the truth can stand ALONE no matter their character or how polite and courteous they are. The Bible says “Let God be true and every man a liar.” That means every sinner before they came to Christ had no credibility with speaking the truth. They were liars because they rejected God’s truth. So those who used to be liars are now under the obligation to speak the truth are not qualified by their manners or etiquette to speak the truth because of the fact that in and of themselves God had once called them liars.

Thus every man and woman’s credibility has been lost in and of themselves. The obligation to preach the Christian scriptures is absolutely necessary for anything we would say in and of ourselves lacks any credibility and cannot help anyone.

Our credibility is correctly explaining the truth. That is where our energies and labor should be focused so that we will not be ashamed. Only the word of God is the absolute truth! Jesus says to the Heavenly Father, “Your Word is truth.” Only Jesus is the truth personified because he said that “he is the Truth” Therefore, we are obligated as former liars to speak the truth of God’s Word in a Christ-centered manner. That is our ONLY credibility according to God and makes us reliable and trustworthy.

IF we refuse to preach God’s Word as is, clearly then we are once again called liars and false witnesses. BUT God remains true and since he is the God of truth who has sent forth “the spirit of truth” into the hearts of his real people who will proclaim Scripture as true and Christ as true.

That is why we must speak scripture clearly distinctly-credibility.

Prayer For Missions

This is a prayer from various scriptures for world wide missions and evangelism that I wrote and I plead you would pray with me.

Lord Jesus, we long for you to ask your Father to give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession!

And the entire earth will belong to you. All kings will bow before you, and all nations will serve you!

King Jesus, You are the ever living One able to intervene and save the lost masses of this planet for all time and eternity!

They will come to God through You alone and in the day of Your power, Lord Jesus,You shall have multitudes of willing, loyal subjects, among all peoples, kindred’s, tribes, nations and languages.

Oh LORD demonstrate your holy power before the eyes of all the nations. Let all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.

Now show them your power; show them your might. At last they will know and understand that You are the LORD!

Your realm will stretch from sea to sea and from the ends of the earth and your people will live undisturbed, for you will be highly honored around the world and you will bring salvation to the farthest corners of the earth!

Brother Stephen S. Gibney

THE TRUTH IN LOVE

Speaking the truth in love means:

The truth needs to be spoken, the clear, unvarnished truth of scripture. It represents things as they are.

The truth spoken in the original language means “truthing in love” it is seen as walking or holding up the plain truth of scripture in Calvary love or agapao love (3 John 4).

The truth must be spoken without a sour, unfeeling disposition and a genuine concern and love for others spiritual welfare.

The truth has a goal of maturity of the hearer which has for its model Jesus Christ who is the truth (John 14:6).
The truth is necessary because we are members of one body and when one part is infected all are in danger of being hurt (Eph. 4:25).

Stephen Gibney

Born at the Wrong Time

“Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.”  (1 Cor. 15:8 NLT).

When Paul was converted after Jesus had already ascended back to heaven and the Lord appeared to him.

Paul is the first example of believers today. We, like him, learn about Jesus after the resurrection as opposed to the other apostles, who learned about Christ before the resurrection.

How often have I seen this scripture in a different light and felt that because of what’s happening in modern Christianity today that I and the few like me were born at the wrong time. Things have changed since the time I was converted forty years ago.

The marketing consultants for idiotic churches and their gutless spineless preachers have changed everything in Christianity and left the Scripture and the Holy Spirit out. Their ideas are laughable and ridiculous.

It used to be Baal’s boys versus Elijah. And in that case is easy to see who is right and wrong. But today the Hananiah’s on their concert stages are opposed to the Jeremiah’s. They have a form of godliness and know how to rationalize their beliefs.

It leaves you feeling like you were born at the wrong time because nobody seems to be listening to scriptural teaching. When you confront them with the scripture they treat you as though you are religious or old school. It’s not just technology or even style of music, that’s always changing. But when the message of Christianity changes it is no longer the biblical and historical Christian faith.

You realise it’s been the same in every time period when apostasy and heresy become the practice of the day those called to the preach the unadulterated Word of God are looked at as strange and irrelevant.

What’s worse I know my weaknesses, ineptitude and sins and feel unqualified in and of myself. I draw comfort from the scripture that says “our sufficiency is of God.” (2 Cor. 3:5) and pray I can make a difference all the while feeling like I am born at the wrong time.

Let Me See Your Face

I have met people who look down all the time. I knew a Pastor who when he preached never looked at the people due to a traumatic experience in his life. I felt bad for him. It is time to make eye contact with the Lord. It is time for his church to stop looking down and looking up to Christ.  

He says to her, “Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely.” (Song 2:14). Look to Christ when you are depressed and, “be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” (Psalm 31:24).  

Lift up your eyes to the Son of God when you are anxious, he can quiet down the storms on outside and the fear on the inside. Lift up your eyes to Jesus on the Cross when you feel guilty and ashamed and see him bleeding to forgive your sins.

What will happen when I look up. You will see his face. His smiling face.  Have you not heard over and over again in the Benediction “May the LORD bless you and protect you; may the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you.” (Num 6:24-25)?  You have his blessing, favor and love. God says, “When they were discouraged, I smiled at them. My look of approval was precious to them.” (Job 29:24).  Many people in Shepherd of the Valley are saying, “Who will show us better times?” Let your face smile on us, Lord. (Ps 4:6)   When King Jesus smiles at you, “there is life; his favor refreshes like a spring rain.” (Prov 16:15).  God is going to give you your smile back, “The help of my countenance and my God.” (Psalm 42:11; 43:5). You have been so sad, Oh my friend you will smile again.

Vision Casting is Not Biblical

Vision casting is not a biblical teaching.  Every time the religious marketers use Proverbs 29:18 it is misquoted. Here is what it says, “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.”

This passage is talking about the revelation of God in the Scripture and His law as given to us. When people reject the teachings of the Bible then they cast off restraint.

The Pastor is not to be a visionary leader using a corporate business model but is a shepherd who feeds and nutures the his congregation with wholesome, Christ-centered biblical teaching.

The congregation is taught to “aggressively defend that unity and vision” that comes from the prophetic vision of the Pastor.  Sadly, that means when people question biblically what is going on then they are marginalized, attacked and even evicted. 

The end result is that you no longer go to church to hear God’s Word but to promulgate the Pastors so called vision (and what is scary) is that people seem to have more of a loyalty to the “vision caster” instead of loyalty to Christ and the Bible.