Norman Vincent Peale is known best for his book “The Power Of Positive Thinking.” It is too bad he could not have given an autographed copy to Job. Norman Vincent Peale was the initiator of an unbiblical and man centered psycobabble religion. Peale mentored Robert Schuller and Robert Schuller taught Rick Warren. They are all best known for their deviations from solid Biblical theology. Each of these men built on the man made philosophies of their respective predecessor.
The Apostle Paul was the giant of the New Testament, responsible for writing thirteen epistles, converting a jailor, planting churches all around the Mediterranean Sea, and turning the world upside down. He is indeed the quintessential Apostle.
As we compare these men who are polar opposites, we find that: “Norman Vincent Peale was very appalling, whereas the Apostle Paul was appealing.” Enough said.
Proverbs 17:22a King James Version (KJV)
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:
Yours In Christ, Pastor Steve <><
Much is said about “Deliverance” and “Healing” ministries. As in the case with other doctrine, many charismatic churches and ministries fail with these teachings as well. We pray for people entrapped in sin(s) and in need of healing in our church and ministry ALL THE TIME. Countless people are healed, and guess what? We do not take credit for it, and we give God all the glory. The latest case in point is June Awad and her stage four cancer that has gone into remission. To God be the glory. In like fashion, I have observed countless people who were healed by the Lord after “praying without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17) for the person, and nobody and no ministry received the credit – we simply thanked and glorified the Lord. The pastor I surrendered to preach under, James Bill Grimes, said: “Steven, I believe in faith healing but I do not believe in faith healers.” Well put. If the “Faith healers” had the abilities and powers that they claim, then they should literally live in the hospitals and heal those within.
Enjoy the following devotional by Dr. Henry Morris, Founder of the Institute For Creation Research, who likewise teaches on TRUE deliverance:
by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D. | Jan. 4, 2018
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:13)
Certain Christian workers practice what they call a “deliverance ministry,” but true biblical deliverance is better defined in terms of today’s verse, which, of course, is the last petition in the prayer that Christ taught His disciples to pray. True deliverance is deliverance from evil, whatever form that evil might take, and preservation until God’s kingdom comes. Let us observe several scriptural accounts of true deliverance.
Note that the Greek word for deliverance has the connotation of “rescue,” and this is its first occurrence in the New Testament; that makes its usage here especially significant. That the Lord will indeed provide such deliverance, if we pray for it in sincerity, is affirmed in many testimonies and promises. Burdened with the problems of his old sin nature, Paul cried out, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” But then the answer comes: “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:24-25). Even as his anticipated martyrdom was approaching, Paul could still testify, “The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:18).
Peter also assures us that “the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished” (2 Peter 2:9). He is able to deliver His people from all the evils of this present evil world, to keep them and prepare them for the glory and the power of His coming kingdom, for He Himself is the Deliverance. “As it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer [same word], and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Romans 11:26). HMM
I would suggest that the implications in this brief study are obvious. We need faithful Christians to continue to pray for needs just as they have done for thousands of years. We do NOT need self proclaimed “Faith Healers” and “Deliverance Ministries.” James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Notice how God tells faithful people to pray, who desire not the limelight but to glorify the King of Kings. A “Deliverance” or “Healing” ministry is not sought after by the Lord. GOD IS THE GREAT PHYSICIAN – Glory Be To God And To God Alone. Amen and amen.
All Because Of Him, Pastor Steve <><
During our first pastorate in rural Virginia from 1988-1994, we hosted a fiery Scottish preacher a couple of times a year. His name was John Tierney and he came from Greenville, South Carolina. He preached annually to a series of churches, collecting funds for an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He preached with tremendous power and unction from the Holy Spirit. His motto was – OTHERS. The devotional below from Our Daily Bread has the same exact theme, espoused by 1)a current illustration, 2)the Apostle Paul in Philippians chapter 2, and 3)the ultimate example, in the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:
The Interests of Others
Our Daily Bread
August 24, 2017
Read: Philippians 2:1–11
Bible in a Year: Psalms 116–118; 1 Corinthians 7:1–19
In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests.—Philippians 2:3–4
My friend Jaime works for a huge international corporation. In his early days with the company, a man came by his desk, struck up a conversation, and asked Jaime what he did there. After telling the man about his work, Jaime asked the man his name. “My name is Rich,” he replied.
“Nice to meet you,” Jaime answered. “And what do you do around here?”
“Oh, I am the owner.”
Jaime suddenly realized that this casual, humble conversation was his introduction to one of the richest men in the world.
In this day of self-glorification and the celebration of “me,” this little story can serve as a reminder of Paul’s important words in the book of Philippians: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit” (2:3). People who turn their attention to others and not on themselves have the characteristics Paul mentions.
When we “value others above [ourselves],” we demonstrate Christlike humility (v. 3). We mirror Jesus, who came not “to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45). When we take “the very nature of a servant” (Phil. 2:7), we have the mindset of Jesus (v. 5).
As we interact with others today, let’s not look on our own interests alone but also “to the interests of the others” (v. 4). —Dave Branon
Jesus, You gave us the model of humility when You left heaven’s splendors to become a humble servant on earth. Help us practice Christlike humility in everything we do.
Serve God by serving others.
INSIGHT: Many scholars believe the apostle Paul embedded an early hymn in his letter to the Philippians. Chapter 2:6-11 is comprised of six couplets that seem to lend themselves to an ancient form of singing. These carefully crafted lines show what it means to believe in and follow Christ. In stark contrast to other kings of the world, Jesus gave up the glory and honor of heaven to be crowned with the thorns and mockery of His crucifixion. Instead of using others for His own pleasure, He sacrificed Himself to lovingly come to our rescue.
Christ’s selfless sacrifice impacted Paul. He mirrored what Christ suffered for us when he showed his willingness to suffer for others.
In what ways can we show self-sacrificing love to others? Mart DeHaan
Paul’s Missionary Journey
by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D. | Aug. 3, 2017
“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” (Ephesians 3:8)
The apostle Paul was undoubtedly the greatest missionary of all time. It is well to take note of his missionary strategy, for it was designed to reach the greatest number with the highest efficiency. In the first place, although he by no means neglected his Jewish countrymen, his calling was to all peoples of the world.
As much as possible, he tried to “preach the gospel in the regions beyond” where it had never gone before (2 Corinthians 10:16), “not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation” (Romans 15:20).
He especially concentrated on great cities, particularly the major seaports. He had come from the large city of Tarsus himself, and he preached in the great capital, Rome, and in Athens, the world’s cultural center. Philippi was the “chief city” of Macedonia (Acts 16:12), as was Corinth in Achaia and Ephesus in Asia Minor. Antioch, Troas, Thessalonica—all were great seaport cities. Establishing solid churches in such cities would provide centers for carrying the gospel throughout the world.
In considerable measure, his ministry in these cities seemed to reach people of special ability or opportunity to teach and influence others, such as the philosophers at Athens, the proconsul Sergius Paulus at Paphos, the honorable women of Berea, the school of Tyrannus at Ephesus, and others of like significance.
Most important of all were his writings. Paul wrote half the epistles of the New Testament. He traveled at least 15,000 miles and preached to many thousands of people, but his written words have been read by countless millions over 1,900 years. HMM
There must come with decision for truth a corresponding protest against error. -Charles Spurgeon
So, preacher, you are discouraged and depressed and want to quit! Don’t feel alone; I want to quit every week. You had a split, and half your members left you. Some deacon went home and climbed up Miff Tree and held the greenbacks, trying to starve you out. Man, don’t let them know you are hungry! Eat grass and wild onions and drink branch water. Get up on Sunday smiling and say, “Boy, I’m on such a good diet!” But don’t eat wild persimmons. Don’t let the Devil know you are hungry. Curtis Hutson
Christ has not promised His people a smooth passage, but only a safe landing. In embarking on the Christian life, we are not guaranteed a sunlit sea, but rather are advised of a storm-tossed ocean; and it is far better to be in a storm with Him than in a calm without Him. -W. Graham Scroggle
The apostle Paul was the greatest of all the apostles, and his greatness lay most of all in that he was “in labours more abundant” (II Corinthians 11:23). -John R. Rice
People do not miss church services because they live too far from the building; they miss church because they live too far from God.
You say, “I’ll be a Christian and go to Heaven without a church.” Yes, and you can go to Europe without getting on board a ship or airplane. The swimming is good, but the sharks are waiting for those who take that route. If a man is saved, he should look for a good Bible-believing church right away! -Billy Sunday
His promises are checks to be cashed, not mere mottoes to hang on the wall! -Vance Havner
Let reverence for the laws be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe who prattles on her lap; let it be taught in the school, in seminaries and in colleges; let it be written in almanacs. -Abraham Lincoln
A great many people want to bring their faith, their works, and their good deeds to Him for salvation. Bring your sins, and He will bear them away into the wilderness of forgetfulness, and you will never see them again. -D. L. Moody
You can never get ahead of anyone as long as you are to get even with him.
He who pelts every barking dog must pick up many stones.
Rapper Says “Planned Parenthood Is Modern-Day Eugenics” For Black Americans
Rapper Nick Cannon is doubling down on his comments that Planned Parenthood is bad news for black Americans.
Cannon said the abortion industry is perpetuating a genocide against black people because [it] targets black communities with abortion clinics. Asked to elaborate on those comments, Cannon doubled down and said that Planned Parenthood is modern-day eugenics for the black community.
Previously Cannon called Planned Parenthood “real genocide.”
There Are 76 Percent Fewer Abortion Clinics Open Now Than In 1991
Why Christians Suffer
continued from Part 7…
9)Suffering Teaches Us To Pray
You have heard the saying “There are no atheists in foxholes.” Due to our sinful human natures, sometimes the only time we pray is when our backs are to the wall, and there is no one else to turn to. Pray is our last resort.
10)Suffering Brings Rewards
There is a special reward for those who suffer patiently for Him. Paul tells us in II Timothy 2:12 “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.” We are made perfect through suffering. Steel is iron plus fire. Soil is rock plus crushing. The Christian life is faith plus suffering. It is God’s way of doing things. It is God’s own way of making us what we ought to be. God’s way is through fire, and through the fire He will perfect us.
Christianity does not promise us an easy walk. We will always encounter many trials and tribulations, but if we look to Jesus in faith, He will carry our load. Christianity promises us 1)all the grace of God we need, 2)a peace of mind beyond understanding that only a Christian has, and 3)we know we are heaven bound once we are “born again.” What more can we ask for? Are you suffering? Then thank the Lord for it because it shows you are growing in Christ.
Continued from Part 7… This entire eight part series on suffering is all listed under the category entitled Devotionals/Inspirationals.
An Attitude Of Gratitude
Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered; Thanks for what Thou dost deny!
Thanks for storms that I have weathered; Thanks for all Thou dost supply!
Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure; Thanks for comfort in despair!
Thanks for grace that none can measure; Thanks for love beyond compare.
The Preacher Who Never Failed To Give Thanks
John Gray, a circuit-riding preacher, never failed to thank God for something, no matter how bad the times or how severe the trial.
One day when Gray had had to battle through wind and sleet to his preaching appointment at a distant village chapel, the small congregation waiting for him wondered what he could be thankful for in such weather.
When it came time for prayer, John prayed, “This is a wretched day, dear Lord, no doubt about it; but we thank Thee, Lord, that every day isn’t as bad as this one!”
When Matthew Henry Was Robbed
A man once stole Matthew Henry’s wallet. In reflecting on the incident, Henry said, “1.) I am thankful that he never robbed me before. 2), I am thankful that although he took my wallet, he did not take my life. 3) Although he took all I had, it was not much. And 4), I am glad that it was I who was robbed, not I who did the robbing.” Matthew Henry knew how to make lemonade out of a lemon — how to be grateful despite a bad experience. That is how mature people react in tough times. They learn to be grateful even for small blessings. They realize that ingratitude toward God is the first step toward backsliding from God. We see this in Romans 1. The Apostle Paul described the path people take in departing from God. The first step is an attitude of ingratitude. Paul says, “Although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him.” Ingratitude leads to many bad choices. Even for believers, when we take God’s’ blessings for granted and neglect to give him thanks, we slowly have little time for God, little time for worship, and little time to help others. We become self-centered. Before we know it, we have wandered far away from God, and we wonder what happened to that glowing relationship we once enjoyed with God. That is why we must worship and give thanks to God. Gratitude toward God leads to peace, joy, and satisfaction.
Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer, but richer for having made it. -A.W. Tozer
Habakkuk 3:17-19 King James Version (KJV)
17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19 The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
Psalm 105:1-5 King James Version (KJV)
105 O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.
2 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.
3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.
4 Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.
5 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth…
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 King James Version (KJV)
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
…and one more for the road
You don’t need a bank full of cash to be thankful; Be thankful you have what you do. Don’t envy your neighbors the fruits of their labors; Your fortune rests solely with you. Here’s cause for thanksgiving: The fact that you’re living
Where freedom of enterprise reigns, Where all can aspire to what they desire, Each welcome to what he attains. If you have what’s needed, you can’t be impeded By limits on courage and skill. No blessing is greater, so thank your Creator And ask His guidance and will.
very generous or forgiving, especially toward a rival or someone less powerful than oneself.
synonyms: generous, charitable, benevolent, beneficent, big-hearted, handsome, princely, altruistic,philanthropic, unselfish, chivalrous, noble; More
From the original Latin, the word is derived from magna and animous. When placed together they literally mean large soul.
A character in the Bible shouts out to us for being magnanimous. That would be Barnabas, referred to often throughout the book of Acts. He gave all of his possessions to the Church, hence he really gave them to the Lord, and he did it because he loved God, and not seeking man’s adulation. He trusted the Apostle Paul when no one else would! Hey, like the other apostles, I would have been the last to trust Paul, believing him to be a spy and attempting to infiltrate the church. Praise the Lord for Barnabas and his large soul. Unlike Paul later on, he was quick to forgive John Mark when he abandoned them on a mission trip. What a Godly man.
May I suggest to you that president elect Donald Trump often reveals the same traits. He values loyalty and trust in professional relationships and is quick to forgive. During the Republican primaries, Ted Cruze, Republican Texas senator, said that “No one called The Donald would ever be elected president.” That is typical politics, but there is more to follow. After Donald Trump won the Republican primaries, Ted Cruze spoke on the stage of the Republican National Convention and refused to endorse Trump! He told people to “vote their conscience,” and was promptly booed off of the stage. I thought his political career was over at that point. So what do I learn this morning? Ted Cruze met with Donald Trump for hours at the Trump Tower, and Cruze is being considered as a serious candidate for Attorney General! Donald Trump looked beyond the petty bickering of politics and recognized that Ted Cruze was indeed a man qualified for the job. …And he is. I just learned today that Trump is going to meet another foe in Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney said that Donald Trump was in no way fit to become president, and lacked all of the qualifications. He continued to vilify him further. Mitt was vehemently against Trump’s nomination by the Republican National Convention (RNC), even threatening to challenge it. Now Mitt will also be considered for a cabinet position with this administration. What is truly amazing is that both Ted Cruz and Mitt Romney would claim that they are great moral agents themselves, but at the end of the day, who took the higher road? It blesses my heart to occasionally observe Christian principles carried out in the political arena. We should pray that it happens more often.
New American Standard Bible
“BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” Romans 12:20
<>< Pastor Steve
August 2, 2016
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. —2 Timothy 4:7
Joop Zoetemelk is known as the Netherlands’ most successful cyclist. But that’s because he never gave up. He started and finished the Tour de France 16 times—placing second five times before winning in 1980. That’s perseverance!
Many winners have reached success by climbing a special ladder called “never give up.” However, there are also many who have lost the opportunity to achieve success because they gave up too soon. This can happen in every area of life: family, education, friends, work, service. Perseverance is a key to victory.
The apostle Paul persevered despite persecution and affliction (2 Tim. 3:10-11). He viewed life with realism, recognizing that as followers of Christ we will suffer persecution (vv. 12-13), but he instructed Timothy to place his faith in God and the encouragement of the Scriptures (vv. 14-15). Doing so would help him face discouragement and endure with hope. At the end of his life, Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (4:7).
We too can allow the Scriptures to strengthen us to press on in the race marked out for us. For our God is both a promise-making and promise-keeping God and will reward those who faithfully finish the race (v. 8). —Jaime Fernández Garrido
Heavenly Father, give me strength of character and perseverance to serve you better. Help me not to get discouraged when things get tough but to rely on You to see me through.
INSIGHT: Paul experienced great persecution in the cities of Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. In Antioch, he faced aggressive opposition from the religious leaders (Acts 13:45; 15:1-2). In Iconium, Gentile and Jewish leaders conspired to have him killed (14:4-5). And in Lystra, he was stoned and left for dead (v. 19). Yet in his final letter to Timothy, Paul uses these three cities as examples of perseverance. He recounts these terribly painful events not to garner pity but to remind Timothy of God’s faithfulness during times of hardship and pain. Dennis Moles