Monday, July 27, 2009

A Legitimate Christian and Sacrifice

What does it mean to be a legitimate Christian?

I don't remember where I got this quote from. I believe my pastor said it. He said "To be a legitimate Christian -- requires sacrifice -- REAL SACRIFICE!

This comes to what I wanted to really talk about which is the word sacrifice and what that means and what it should look like?

Teenagers and kids these days can be very self centered. I know because I work with teenagers who are courtesy clerks at the grocery store and seen kids as I check out parents groceries.. All about me!! Gimme, Gimme, Gimme. They don't know what it means to sacrifice. They think that they are sacrificing when mom or dad takes their, ipod, cell phone, or computer away for a day because they were being punished for doing something wrong. But those selfish kids have no idea what it really means to sacrifice. Sacrifice in the Merriam Webster Dictionary is described as "The offering of something to deity. Something offered in sacrifice. To offer up or kill as a sacrifice."

These are all good definitions but I think the best one I found was this one: "To accept the loss or destruction of, for an end, cause, or ideal."

We have NO real idea what it means to sacrifice for we have never had to do it ourselves. We must be willing to die for Christ. Dieing for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and for the sake of the gospel is the ultimate and real sacrifice.

We have never had to make that sacrifice. Nothing else can come close to that to being sacrifice.

William Tyndale knew what it meant to sacrifice. I found this information on a reliable website. "Tyndale was born in 1490 possibly in one of the villages in Gloucestershire. Tyndale became chaplain in the house of Sir John Walsh at Little Sodbury in about 1521, and tutor to his children. His opinions involved him in controversy with his fellow clergymen, and around 1522, he was summoned before the Chancellor of the Diocese of Worcester on a charge of heresy.

Soon afterwards, he determined to translate the Bible into English and was convinced that the way to God was through His word and that scripture should be available even to common people. Foxe describes an argument with a "learned" but "blasphemous" clergyman, who had asserted to Tyndale that, "We had better be without God's laws than the Pope's." In a swelling of emotion, Tyndale made his response: "I defy the Pope, and all his laws; and if God spares my life, I will cause the boy that drives the plow in England to know more of the Scriptures than the Pope himself!"

Tyndale left for London in 1523 to seek permission to translate the Bible into English and to request other help from the Church. In particular, he hoped for support from Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall, a well-known classicist whom Erasmus had praised after working with him on a Greek New Testament. However, the bishop did not regard Tyndale's scholarly credentials highly, was suspicious of his theology and, like many highly-placed churchmen, was uncomfortable with the idea of the Bible in the vernacular. The Church at this time did not deem that a new English translation of Scripture would be helpful. Tunstall told Tyndale he had no room for him in his household. Tyndale preached and studied "at his book" in London for some time, relying on the help of a cloth merchant, Humphrey Monmouth. He then left England under a pseudonym and landed at Hamburg in 1524 with the work he had done so far on his translation of the New Testament. He completed his translation in 1525, with assistance from Observant friar William Roy.

In 1525, publication of his work by Peter Quentell in Cologne was interrupted by anti-Lutheran influence, and it was not until 1526 that a full edition of the New Testament was produced by the printer Peter Schoeffer in Worms, an imperial free city then in the process of adopting Lutheranism. More copies were soon being printed in Antwerp. The book was smuggled into England and Scotland, and was condemned in October 1526 by Tunstall, who issued warnings to booksellers and had copies burned in public.

Following the publication of Tyndale's New Testament, Cardinal Wolsey condemned Tyndale as a heretic and demanded his arrest.

Tyndale went into hiding, possibly for a time in Hamburg, and carried on working. He revised his New Testament and began translating the Old Testament and writing various treatises. In 1530, he wrote The Practyse of Prelates, opposing Henry VIII's divorce on the grounds that it was unscriptural and was a plot by Cardinal Wolsey to get Henry entangled in the papal courts. This resulted in the king's wrath being directed at him: he asked the emperor Charles V to have Tyndale apprehended and returned to England.

Eventually, Tyndale was betrayed to the authorities. He was seized in Antwerp in 1535, betrayed by Henry Phillips, and held in the castle of Vilvoorde near Brussels.

He was tried on a charge of heresy in 1536 and condemned to death, despite Thomas Cromwell's intercession on his behalf. He "was strangled to death while tied at the stake, and then his dead body was burned".

Tyndale's final words, spoken "at the stake with a fervent zeal, and a loud voice", were reported as "Lord! Open the King of England's eyes." In a strange, but well received, rehearsal, the King of England ordered Tyndale's translation of the Bible to be printed in England and made available in every English church, as well as to the public. Thus, Tyndale's Bible translation became a basis for the unification of the English language, and his sacrifice had not been in vain."

That is what I call REAL SACRIFICE!

So fellow believers in Christ who are out here in the U.S.A. when we go out and share the gospel with others let us remember that the worse it can get for us is people being offended and maybe a little embarrassment. We won't be martyred for our faith like William Tyndale and like Christians all over the world who are martyred for their faith everyday. At least not yet. There will come a day when Christians in America will be martyred for their faith. When that day comes if you are the one asked "Will you deny your faith?" What will you say? Are you truly saved? Would you be willing to say "I'll die for Christ." I hope we are all truly willing to say "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21)

Friday, July 17, 2009

He Is Always There

The sparrows fly in the air
They seem to have no care
For the Lord is watching everything from above
Reigning over with his judgment, grace, mercy and..
His endless care, and love
So what shall we be afraid of
Or what shall we worry about.
For we should trust Him
That he'll take care of us beyond the shadow of a doubt
For the Lord will always be there.
All we need to do is come to Him with humble hearts in prayer

For the Lord hears and answers us when we pray
Whether it be a no, a yes, or a possibly just wait.
He'll never forget about us
And will always hear our plea
As long as we are born again followers and have repented...
Put our faith and trust in Him and believe

So do not fret my friend about today
or whatever might come your way
Be like the sparrows flying high in the air
Who seem to have no care

For the Lord is watching over you
Yes whether or not you can feel it
He's always right beside you
Yes He is always right there
And He's hearing your every prayer.

by: Michelle Miano

I used Matthew 6:25-34 to help me write this poem.

Matthew 6:25-34 says "For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27"And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28"And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30"But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31"Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' 32"For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Friendship Evangelism isn't Evangelism

Oh Blessed be the name of the Lord
Who was and is and will be with us forever more
Blessed be the name of the Lord

When we feel alone
We must remember he is with us
Seated in heaven on his throne

We must not waiver
We must not delay
In preaching the good news that He came
For the day is not far away
The Lord will come back one day

Do we want to be on our bended knees?
Asking, begging our friends to repent please
And because we decided "I'll make them my friend first and just wait."

We will wait...

And then that wait could be too long
And then it's too late
For God can instantly take a life away
Death could be at their front door
You'll regret that day and you would have wished
You would have known before
But now your dear friend stands in judgment before the Lord

And eternity has come for them that day
And by you just thinking "I'll wait another day"
You let friend stray from the narrow gate
And now you can't take back the time or day
It's too late... It's too late.

So don't wait.. Don't wait...
For you may not get another day..
To share with your dear friends
The law and the gospel..
The Good News that He came.

Today is the day..
Go out and share your faith.
Don't wait. Please don't wait.
You don't want for it to happen..
And for it to be too late.

by Michelle Miano

I thought I should share that poem I wrote with you. Sometimes we think if we have friends who are not Christians we should wait "for the right time to come" to share our faith with them. We'll become friends with them and when we've been friends for a while then we think we can share our faith with them. This is known sometimes as Friendship Evangelism which is not really evangelism at all. We get so attached to the friend that we don't want to offend them or make them angry with us. Our feelings become more important then making sure we share the law and the gospel with them. This is so sad. Seeing our friends go to heaven and genuinely repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone to save them should be of the utmost importance. Cause as my poem said you never know when your friend might take their last breath for them and if they are not saved and born again before that time then it will be too late for them. So don't wait for your friendship with someone to grow to share with your friend the most important thing they need to know. Please Don't Wait! Hope this encourages you to share your faith more often.