January 31, 2006 at 7:39 pm | Posted in News, Random | Leave a comment

Note: You don’t have to invite friends to join the Frappr! map, although Advancing His Kingdom certainly encourages you to do so! =P

After getting some e-mails from some of you, and having readers all over the world, I thought I would break down and get a Frappr! map. So join the group, and tell the world that you read Advancing His Kingdom.

Check out our Frappr!


My House Shall Be…

January 28, 2006 at 7:32 pm | Posted in Character in Today's World, Christianity | 4 Comments

In order to allow the readers to read this post, and comment, I’m going to keep this on top.

What is prayer? That seems like a simple enough question with a simple enough answer. However, if we really look into it, we find that it’s more important and maybe complicated than we think. It involves more than just bowing our heads before every meal, and kneeling by our bed before we get up or go to sleep. How powerful is it? What does it do? How often should we do it? 1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV instructs us to,

“Pray without ceasing;”

. “Now, come on,” you might say, “I’ve got a lot on my mind sometimes, and I’m sure God would want me to concentrate on what I’m doing, so I can do it with excellence.” Absolutely! This doesn’t mean that we have to continually be talking to God. What we need to do, is look at this scripture in context. So,

14Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. 16Rejoice evermore

What are these scriptures? They are instructions, in how to live our lives. So going on ahead to verse 17, “Pray without ceasing”, and looking at it in context…it’s a life style. Our lives should be living prayers to God. Princeton’s Wordnet Dictionary defines “prayer” as: “the act of communicating with a deity”. We need to walk (walk as in live our lives) in such a way that we have open communication with the Father, so that we can hear when He’s speaking. For instance, there is a story told, (a true story, happened to a lady at our church), of a woman who was driving home late at night. She was tired, it had been a long day, and she wanted to go home. She was driving by a grocery store that was closed, with a lone car in the parking lot, when she felt the Lord speak to her.

“You’ve got to be kidding, Lord!” But the urge was unmistakable. “I can’t do that! I’ll look like an idiot! I mean, if you had told me to go stand on one foot, that would be different. But I can’t go stand on my head in front of that soda machine!” So she kept on driving, arguing with God. Unfortunately she was so entranced in trying to prove to God that He was wrong, that she missed her turn, and had to go back. As she passed the grocery store once again, she felt the same urge, the same voice, telling her to do the same thing. She gave in. “Alright Lord. I do NOT understand it, but I’ll do it.” So, she pulled into the parking lot, got out of her car, walked over to the machine, and did a headstand. As she did she wondered how long she was supposed to do this, when a lady jumped out of the car, with a gun in her hand, and tears streaked across her face. She dropped the gun and ran up to the lady on her head and starting sobbing again. “I’ve had a horrible week. I lost my job, my husband died, and my daughter is in jail. I was going to commit suicide. I told God, that if He was real, and if He existed, to have somebody stand on their head in front of that soda machine. I never would have believed it. Now I have something to live for.” Something like that wouldn’t have happened, if that lady had not been living in a state of open communication with God. God speaks to us in a still small voice. In this world of busy rushing, and noisy work, do we live our lives so that we can hear when God speaks to us? As demonstrated by that story above, and by many others, prayer is powerful. It saved that lady’s life. Not only that, but prayer is an effective weapon for tearing down strongholds. Prayer is powerful. James 5:16 NIV says,

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. It can heal, it can drive out demons, it can do much. Prayer is also important, Jesus said, “It is written: ‘My house shall be a house of prayer.” He didn’t say, “My house shall be a house of worship.” Or a house of missions. Or a house of evangelism. Or a house of Sunday morning instruction classes. He said a house of prayer. And guess what?

“…your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God…” -1 Corinthians 6:19.

You are to be a house of prayer. In conclusion, and aside from a specific petition, living our lives as a prayer, is powerful and effective. Because that’s what God’s house is designed to be. And when we strive to make God’s house what it was designed to be, God is in the house. So go, live your life in a powerful and effective way. Live your life in a state of constant prayer. God bless!

An Extra Power: Not Of This World

January 3, 2006 at 9:01 pm | Posted in Character in Today's World, Christianity | Leave a comment

Now in that last post, I was pretty hard on those that aren’t redeeming the time, and I gave a really big challenge that was somewhat, impossible. I mean, to constantly redeem the time, to be a good steward, and not to waste any moment, word, or thought is indeed a rather large challenge. However, my challenge didn’t stop there, it went another step further, calling young Christians to be bold, and witness Christ’s love for us. I’m not talking only about street evangelism, although that is a big part of it. But something along the lines of street evangelism. After leaving you with that huge challenge, and telling you that you were here “for such a time as this”, what do you do now?
I wanted to touch on an issue that is somewhat controversial in the Christian church. The Holy Spirit. But how controversial can that be, right? Very much so. Does He exist? Does He still work today? If not, why not? There are many questions and I want to look at what the Bible says about it.

First, is He real? Of course. As early as Genesis 1:2 we are told that,

“The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters…”

In 1 Samuel 10:10, talking about Saul, we are left with the picture of,

“The Spirit of God came upon Him in power, and he joined in their [the procession of prophets] prophesying.”

Sound like the Holy Spirit? Luke 24:49 says,

“I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

And in John 20:22-23 Jesus says,

“Receive the Holy spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

How do you receive something that doesn’t exist? You can’t. So we can see from the scriptures that the Holy Spirit is real.
Next, does He still work today? This is where the controversy comes in. Most Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is real, indeed it’s hard to be a Christian and not believe that. And most believe that we have the Holy Spirit. But are His gifts still available? Were they only for the disciples, because they walked with Jesus? That’s inconsistent with scripture however, and I want to look at those scriptures. I’m going to organize this in a fashion that is more Q & A, as though an anonymous person were asking questions. This will be slightly different however, because some of the points from Mr. Anonymous, will be just that. Points, not questions.

1.) The gifts of the Holy Spirit were only for the disciples.
There are two things that I want to point out with this.
First of all is the fact that this has no Biblical backing. Nowhere in scripture are we told that the Holy Spirit left the earth. Nowhere does it say that the Holy Spirit is only for the disciples. Or that His gifts are now null and void because the finite disciples died.
Second, in 1 Thessalonians 5:19-20 we are told,

“Do not put out the Spirits fire. Do not treat prophecies with contempt.”

What Paul means by this is that we should not ignore or toss aside the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In this instance he specifically mentions prophecy. In 1 Corinthians 14:49 he talks about speaking in tongues. Sometimes, spiritual gifts can cause a division in the church. The reason is because they can be so powerful against the enemy; that he tries to do what he can to stifle them. As a result, many Christians try to smother them. I’ll address this in a minute. But this scripture is telling us, not to stifle the Holy Spirit’s work!

2.) We have everything we need in the scriptures. The Holy Spirit lives in us, and all the revelation we need, we can get from the Bible.
Absolutely. We can get all we need from the Bible. But since when does God only want to give us only what we need? God longs to give good gifts to His children, not just what is necessary for them to survive! Ephesians 1:13 says,

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are in God’s possession—to the praise of His glory.”

He is a deposit, that guarantees our inheritance. He’s a sign. He’s given out of love.

3.) Well the letters containing that information were written to the churches specifically.

Once again, two responses.
First, I don’t see that in scripture. Maybe it was a typo or something, but I haven’t read a scripture where it says, “The information contained in this book can only be used and applied by the person or people group it is addressed to.” So if someone could point out where it says that it is only to the church in Corinth, or the church in Ephesus, that’d be appreciated.
Second, then what about the rest of each book? Even if I were to accept that statement as truth, what about the rest of the book? For instance, the book of 1 Corinthians was addressed to the church in Corinth, so does that mean that the definition of love given in 1 Corinthians 13 is only applicable to those in Corinth? Or only to those that were in Corinth? Let me ask another question, how much of the Bible was written to us? None of it was addressed to us specifically. I mean, there is no book of 1 Marshall, or 1 Americans. It was written along time ago, but that doesn’t nullify what it says. God’s word never returns void, and it’s not bounds by time either. So it retains it’s validity through time because it’s not bound by time.

I think one of the main reasons that people in churches nowadays is because a lot of times, it gets messy. It threatens our ideal of what we think church should look like. We want to be in and out of church by 12:00 so we can go out to eat, and then head home in time to watch our favorite football team play. We don’t want people to get offended, and we don’t want anything out of the ordinary. We just want a quiet little church service that follows a schedule, so that everybody is happy. God doesn’t always work that way. God takes the ugly stuff out. And on top of that, a lot of times His schedule looks a lot different than ours.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I like football just as much as the next guy, perhaps even more, (GO COLTS!) but I think we need the Holy Spirit. That’s the only way we are going to be able to change the world. It’s not enough to Do Hard Things™, Do New Things, and Redeem the Time. All that is great, but without the power of the Holy Spirit, it won’t have the effect that it could. Yes, the disciples changed the world by doing new and hard things, by redeeming the time, but they also had the power of the Holy Spirit. We’re not any different. If we want to change the world, we can only do that through the power of the Holy Spirit.

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