Thursday, April 4, 2013

4/4/3

John 16:32 Behold the hour cometh that ye shall be scattered. Chambers: "Jesus was not rebuking the disciples, their faith was real, but it was disturbed; it was not at work to actual things. The disciples were scattered to their own interests, alive to interests that never were in Jesus Christ.
After we have been perfectly related to God in sanctification, our faith has to be worked out in actualities. We shall be scattered not into work, but into inner desolations and made to know what internal death to God's blessings means.
I was thinking last night of all God's blessings to me. He has answered a lot of my dreams: Gym Masters, going to Peru, letting my brother work with me at summer camp, my mom is coming up to visit today.. It's easy to serve God when things are going well and you don't have big problems or concerns. It's easy to love God for His blessings.
There will be these amazing times of joy in your life- when you can truly see what God is doing and how he has lead you in the past. But there will be times of darkness too, and it is important that in these times you don't lose hope. For God is doing a mighty work of transformation in us. He is taking our selfish ways and replacing them with Holiness and love. It will be an identity crisis- self vs Christ.

Have you ever heard of the Prosperity Gospel?
The prosperity Gospel is sadly being taught in many protestant churches today. It's a common spiritual principle- not a Biblical one- but a selfish one.
The Prosperity Gospel says that as spiritual Israel- Christians are entitled to well being. This is interpreted as economic prosperity and physical health.
Because they are made in the image of God, Christians have been given power over creation: their own souls, the material objects around them.
All the wealth in the world will be transferred to Christians before Christ returns, then they will deliver the Kingdom to him.
It also teaches that Jesus lived His life on earth as a rich man, claiming that because Judas was a treasurer, Jesus was rich.
Out of 4 of the biggest mega churches in the country, 3 of them teach a form of the prosperity Gospel. Joel Olsteen teaches the prosperity gospel.
For believers in the prosperity gospel, faithfulness means perfect health.
Prosperity Gospel followers also believe that you can claim what you will for God and He will give it to you.

So what does this matter? And how does it affect you? The prosperity gospel is being taught more and more to Christians these days. You may find yourself believing a few of the lies like "If I'm not experiencing God's blessings, I'm not following Him." Or.. "God wants every Christian to be rich. What's wrong with me? Why am I not rich?" "Why am I not healthy? I tried to follow God and now I have cancer."

The thing is, this world is so messed up. If the prosperity gospel is true then what about Job? And why was there no room for Jesus in the inn? Why was Paul persecuted like so many martyrs in Christian history? Why are children all around the world dying because they don't have enough to eat?
You dare to blame that on God? Or to say their walk with God is not strong enough? We, sinful humans, are not entitled to anything- not wellbeing, not money, not blessings. We are entitled to death because of our sins but because of God's grace we are freed.
Because we choose to live with Christ we must suffer with Him also.
Remember what I told you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. John 15:20

There will be times when your walk with God is full of blessings. There will be times when God calls you to wait patiently on Him, to be still and know that He is God. Finally, there will be times in life when God calls you to struggle, to fight through evil, sufferings, temptations, or persecutioin. God promises that He will be with you through all of life and He can use every situation to draw you close to His character.

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