What are stumbling blocks to harmonious relationships? What steps do we take when someone sins against us? In this message, pastor Troy Dobbs of Grace Church in Minnesota speaks on “Confrontation”. This is a practical explanation of Matthew 18, including the motive, process and restorative purpose of church discipline. The video / audio recording with notes is here: http://www.grace.church/message-series/303
It Only Takes a Spark
It was 500 years ago, October 31st, 1517. The fires of the Protestant Reformation exploded onto the scene and began to grow throughout the world. It was an epic re-alignment of Christian theology, as believers began to read the Bible for themselves and discovering that we don’t come through a priest or a church to come to God—we come to Him by faith through Jesus Christ. Imagine that, how powerful truth from the Word of God can be!The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century shook the world! The religious, political, and cultural upheaval that took place splintered Catholic Europe through the teachings of reformers like John Calvin and Martin Luther. But many today don’t realize that the spark of the reformation was a Bible translation. It was the first translation of the Bible into English by John Wycliffe, in 1382.
John Wycliffe was the most famous priest of his day. His brilliant intellect made him a leading scholar at Oxford and a chaplain to the King of England. He fearlessly spoke out against the errors of the popes, the organizational hierarchy of the Roman Church, and the corruption of the clergy in his day. He criticized not only the organization of the medieval church but its theology as well and argued for a return to the Scriptures.
Passion for the Word of God burned in his heart. He knew that if the people in England were to know the truth, they would be set free from religious shackles. Even the Bible itself needed to be liberated, for in the days of John Wycliffe the Scriptures were chained to the pulpit, read only by the educated clergy. Wycliffe reasoned that they must have the Word of God in their own language. Under his direction, the Bible was translated into English for the first time, although the job was not completed by his associates until 1395, eleven years after his death.
This was the era of wonderful inventions, perhaps the most significant of which was the printing press. This enabled the Wycliffe translation to spread. Indeed it did! Wycliffe was known as the “morning star of the English Reformation” because of the life altering Word of God that he faithfully brought into his generation.
Repeatedly condemned and burned by church authorities, copies of Wycliffe’s Bible continued in use for over a century, until printed Bibles took their place. This work greatly influenced William Tyndale who made the first printed translation of the New Testament in English.
Afterwards, it was the Czech priest by the name of Jan Hus who became the “torch” of the Reformation. He actually sparked a war known as “the Hussite war” because of his teaching that only faith in Jesus Christ could set men free! He took the truths of God’s undiluted Word and shook the world. Hus was eventually burned at the stake as a heretic for daring to believe that everyone should read the Bible and believe all that it contained, even when it goes against the doctrines of men.
About a hundred years after the death of Hus, came the theologian and reformer Martin Luther. Many view him as the father of the reformation, when in fact, he simply took the fire lit by Wycliffe, fueled by Hus, until it became a bonfire that is still burning today! How we need a more complete and glorious reformation today in the blood bought church of Jesus Christ.
What began with a Bible translation ended up with a fire that swept over the planet. May it be that our God, the God of endless glory, will once again rekindle in our hearts the fire of reformation! Could it be that another “reformation” is taking place in our generation—moving us closer to the heart of God and the meaning of His words? Our generation needs to come home to the Father, our loving King, and find His touch of tender love and wash in the fountain of His mercy.
May every bondage be broken from off the bride of Jesus Christ until we look like Him and live like Him and love like Him! And may the fear that grips many in the nations today be cast out of our hearts by perfect love! Yes, it only takes a spark to get a fire going. May your Bible reading light that fire within until the world around us is changed.
The Passion Translation Project
Time to Revive offers this resource for multiplying disciples:
Project 52 invites you to experience fifty-two stories from Scripture in a one-on-one, small group, or family setting. It’s a journey through God’s story that will equip you to share it.
For every story, there is a Devotional, Discussion Guide, and a Cartoon to help you learn and share the Story with others. As you journey through this project, you will know the Bible and you will also be equipped to share the One whom the stories are pointing to: Jesus Christ. Jesus says, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31b-32). Just as a student must know what his or her teacher has to say in order to learn, understand, and grow, a disciple of Jesus Christ must be rooted and equipped in the Word of God for all seasons of life. Whether you are journeying through Project 52 as a long-time disciple of Jesus, or were recently introduced to Him, may His word come alive in you and in others as you Share the Story.
Free Conference on personal and ministry renewal
Tuesday, September 26th
7:30pm – Vance Pitman
Wednesday, September 26th
9:15am – Mark Vroegop
1:45pm – Robbie Symons
7:30pm – Jim Cymbala
Thursday, September 28th
10:45am – Daniel Henderson and Jeff Schwarzentraub
BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE 6:4 FELLOWSHIP AND STRATEGIC RENEWAL
Walking with the Wise
This is a giant pdf ebook with thousands of quotes, notes & anecdotes, mostly from Christians, and spanning more than 20 centuries. There are 750 subjects or topics in alphabetical order, from ‘ABIDING IN CHRIST’ to ‘ZION’: a true gold mine of wisdom that will enrich your life, your understanding and your walk! Around 600 authors are quoted; of most of them, their years of birth and death are given: Walking with the Wise
A companion pdf, called Walking 2 helps you navigate the first one. It simply has all 750 subjects listed, without any quotes, but with most of their authors. It makes it easier to quickly select the subjects you are especially interested in, plus see what authors are involved: WALKING 2
With thanks to Jim van Heiningen and New Testament Ministries Unlimited.
“From every town, village, and little hamlet in England, wherever it may be, there is a road to London… and so from every text in Scripture there is a road to the metropolis of the Scriptures, that is Christ. Your business is, when you get to a text, to say, ‘Now, what is the road to Christ?’ and then preach a sermon, running along the road towards the great metropolis— Christ.”
“I believe on the Name of the Son of God. Therefore I am in Him, having Redemption through His Blood, and Life by His Spirit. And He is in me, and all fulness is in Him. To Him I belong, by purchase, conquest, and self-surrender. To me He belongs, for all my hourly need. There is no cloud between my Lord and me. There is no difficulty, inward or outward, which He is not ready to meet in me to-day. I believe I have received not the Spirit of fearfulness but of power and of love and of a sound mind.(2 Tim. 1:7). The Lord is my Keeper. Amen.”
– Handley CG Moule (1841-1920)
Grace Fellowship’s experience with Fermatas in Brazil and fellowship with S.H.O.R. Ministries in the U.S. — and our goal to minister to pastors — led to Grace Fellowship’s first Pastoral Couples Retreat August 22-24. It was facilitated by our board member, Dr. Dan Riley (and his wife, Kathy). The couples had three days and two nights in Pigeon Forge, TN for rest, fellowship, and confidential share & prayer. The first night Dr. Charles Solomon greeted them and Dan gave his Exchanged Life testimony. The second night, after supper together, Dr. John Woodward gave a PowerPoint summary teaching on the centrality of the cross for victory and ministry.
Dan writes, “I really believe we’re on the front of something that’s different from anything I see being done for pastors and wives. I hope this can be the beginning of an expanded ministry to leaders who I think will not only embrace the abundant life, but learn how to effectively share that in the places of influence they occupy. We learned from this launch and will be able to have an even better experience next time.”
A ministry that offers a discounted weekly cabin for pastoral couples is Harvest Ministries. We pray this retreat model will develop into a pattern of fruitful ministry in the years to come!
“Living the D-Life means living a lifestyle of discipleship. Think about it. What if you could successfully equip everyone in your ministry to live a life of discipleship? What if those in your ministry embraced discipleship as a way of life instead of a program?
“This is the purpose of D-Life. When you sign up for D-Life, you place at everyone’s fingertips the power to live a life of discipleship. The Bible and the D-Life Web App are the only tools needed to equip leaders to lead and to multiply D-Groups. D-Groups are discipleship groups of 3 to 8 people that can meet anytime and anywhere. Content on the D-Life Web App includes four years of annual Bible reading plans, weekly study guides for each D-Group, and excellent leadership resources for equipping leaders…”
Dr. Mark Virkler’s books emphasize the value and technique of listening prayer. His course on Living Naturally Supernatural is based on his personal journey from performance – based Christian life and ministry to a grace awakening of his identity in Christ. Here is part of his testimony…
The LIE: “I live” and I focus on attacking the darkness of sin
I began my Christian life trying to be holy by keeping God’s commands, and I discovered it was a dead-end street. First, I couldn’t keep the law (Rom. 7:14-25; Gal. 2:16, 3:21-24, 6:13), and when I failed to keep it, I felt condemnation. It’s like focusing on getting darkness out of a room by swatting at it. It just doesn’t work.
Since it is clear in Scripture that there is no condemnation to those who live in Christ(Rom. 8:1), I realized I was doing something wrong, because I had guilt and condemnation within me a lot of the time. I needed to step out of my “self-consciousness” and discover what it meant to “be in Christ” or to be Christ-conscious. The Bible said this was the key to overcoming condemnation.
I needed to stop picturing myself as a self-contained unit, and adopt the four pictures the New Testament provides for me (a vessel, a temple, a branch and a body – with Christ as the head). In each of these pictures, I am hollow, designed to be filled with and energized by another. I am not a self-contained unit. So it’s time to change my picturing. When I picture reality the way God has designed it, life works. Picturing error messes life up! A picture is worth a thousand words. They are extremely powerful in moving my life forward in Christ or backward into self, sin, and ultimate demonization.
The TRUTH: “Christ lives through me” and I radiate His light
Paul says he is dead and no longer alive. Instead, Christ is living His life out through him (Gal. 2:20). This is a new reality which I need to picture if I want life to work.
When I need to love the unlovable, I simply smile, picture Jesus alive in me, and say, “Thank You, Jesus, for living within and releasing Your love, mercy and compassion out through me. I receive Your life flow and release You to this person” (1 Cor. 6:17; Acts 2:25; Ps. 16:8).
So I’m not looking at myself, or a biblical law which commands me to love, or the weakness of my flesh to keep this law of love. Instead, I am looking at Christ, Who is joined to me. What is He doing? What is He saying? What are His emotions toward this person? Once received (which can be done in moments), I then say “Yes, Lord” to what He has revealed to me, and I do what Jesus is doing. I am NOW radiating Christ’s life into the situation.
So instead of trying to perfectly keep laws, I seek to release a Person Who lives within me. My one and only goal is to see Him present and communicate with Him, receiving His perspective, wisdom, creativity, solutions, anointing and power. These come as I tune to the flow of His indwelling river, the Holy Spirit. I live a supernatural life. I abide in Christ. This is the New Covenant. This is the Christian lifestyle.
The Reality of the New Covenant is Living by the Spirit
This course is offered through Communion with God Ministries.