Two Ways To Check If You Should Follow A Ministry

One of the toughest things Christian have to do is use discernment when it comes to figuring out if they should follow a certain ministry.

I have a couple of methods I use to determine if I am personally going to follow a ministry. I am going to share those with you today.

First is the ministry “orthodox”? And when I say “orthodox” I mean the Webster’s dictionary version of the word which is, “conforming to established doctrine especially in religion” not the Orthodox denomination.

But how do you do that? Well the first way is obvious read and study the Bible. I know Biblical study takes time and you may need a quicker answer so how about this.

Follow the Nicene Creed,


“We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made;
of the same essence as the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,
and was made human.
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered and was buried.
The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again with glory
to judge the living and the dead.
His kingdom will never end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life.
He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
He spoke through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and to life in the world to come. Amen.”

Please note the term “catholic” means “universal” it is not referencing the Roman Catholic denomination. People often get that confused.

That is a perfect way to start. That way you know if you hear a ministry saying something like, “Jesus isn’t God, He was a created Being made by the Father born two thousand years ago”. You can immediately know that the Ministry who says that is teaching false doctrine and you should avoid them. They’re a lot ministries who just by knowing the Nicene Creed you can write off as they teach things that are not the basics of the Christian faith. Things we call “heresy”. It is very important to know who God is and fundamentals of the Trinity.

The second way I am going to discuss is going to be a bit less popular. Does this ministry produce the Fruit of the Spirit?

What is the Fruit of the Spirit? Well this…

Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version
“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

So if you see a ministry that is hateful, wrathful, angry, arrogant, aggressive, graceless, always picking fights and being divisive without every controlling the tongue then avoid them.

That’s right.

Avoid them.

After all they’re many ministries who can articulate theology and preach sermons without behaving in a manner that goes against the way the Bible instructs. (Click the link below to read more on divisive people and behavior)

You may say, “But Pastor So and So has excellent theology and is a great teacher!”

I ask you, “If that Pastor had such excellent theology then why does he behave in such an unbiblical manner? If that Pastor is such a great teacher than why is he teaching his followers to behave like a sinner and not like Jesus?”

I will leave you with this scripture as the best response to any challenge on this…

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 New International Version
“13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Sources:
https://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/creeds/nicene-creed

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orthodox

https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/1%20Corinthians%2013%3A2

For More:
https://www.openbible.info/topics/divisiveness


Discerning If You Heard From God: Test Three

The third and final way to test if you’re hearing God is the one I’ve been teasing as the most important. Did what you hear contradict scripture?

This is unbelievably crucial. 

God is NOT a hypocrite. 

God does NOT contradict Himself. 

Study the Word of God and make absolutely sure that what you think you’re hearing from God goes along with the Bible. 

Sadly an example I’ve heard a few times is when a person is in sin they say, “I feel like God told me He wants me happy”.

That is completely unbiblical and God would never do that.

God is not calling you to sin or live against His Word. He doesn’t have a new message that will change scripture. 

Matthew 24:35 (ESV), “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” 

God’s Word is eternal and He is calling you to righteousness, repentance and submission to His Word. 

If God speaks to someone it will coincide with His Word not go against. 

If you’re unsure if what you hear is Biblical than you need to read your Bible. 

Remember John 1:1 (ESV), “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” 

The Word of God is the most important way to test if you’re hearing from God. 

That’s the bottom line. 

Study His Word and you will hear from God every day no matter what. 

Have a Blessed Week, 
Chris 

Discerning If You Heard From God: Test Two

Hello everyone, 

Last week we covered one way to test if you’re hearing from God, please feel free to go check that out. 

A second way to test if you’re hearing God is, are you only hearing things that you want to hear? Does everything you hear about yourself, what you want, what is expected of you exactly what you want to hear? Is what you hear in your mind or through others who claim they’re speaking from God just tickling your hears? Are you being drawn away from church or living a Christian life? Is everything you hear about making your life easier? 

For example, if you keep hearing, how wonderful you are and that we are all sinners so don’t feel guilty. Just be you. Things like it’s okay it was only a white lie or a little sin.

That certainly isn’t God.

I am of course not saying God won’t say anything nice to you or offer encouragement or tell you that He loves you but what I am saying if everything you hear is just telling you what you want to hear then that is not from God. Because that is not life as a true Christian. 

Now are you hearing God tell you what you need to change? Is God exposing to your sins and leading you on the path to sanctification? Is God challenging you to serve Him better? To go out and live for Him? Are people telling you things that you need to hear, not just want? Are people drawing you into service to God? Is what you hear causing you to be a better follower of Christ? 

If you can say yes.

That sounds like  messages from the Lord to me. 

Why?

Because that is what we are called to do, live a self-sacrificial life. Constantly walking down the narrow path, serving Christ, suffering and make changes along the way to be the way God wants us to be. Praising Him along the way when blessings come and praising Him when trials come. 

Next week I am going to take a week off but after that it will be my final entry of the series. The most important test. 

Have a Blessed Couple of Weeks, 
Chris 

Discerning If You Heard From God: Test One

The first way I will discuss to test if what you heard is from God is a relatively easy one. Did what you hear come true? 

An example of this, did you think you heard God tell you that you were going to get a certain job you applied for and in the end you did not get the job? Well then what you heard, no matter the source, was not true. Don’t make excuses or come up with reasons as to why it did not come to pass. Simply realize that was not God but either your own mind or someone else’s wishful thinking. 

Let’s not speculate, just trust in the Lord and recognize that was not Him. Don’t feel down about it and don’t condemn someone who misspoke to you. Instead go to the Word of God. Because even if you didn’t hear a word from the Lord, you have the Word of God at your fingertips. Praise God. 

Now on the other side If you hear a message from the Lord in whatever way that was clear and specific and it does come to pass, then praise God it appears the Lord spoke to you. 

Give all the glory to God and keep seeking after Him and studying His Word. 

I know this first entry was brief but I hope it helped. 

See you all next week. 

Be Blessed, 
Chris 

Scripture Reading Plan
Monday – Jeremiah 2:4-13

Tuesday – Psalm 112

Wednesday – Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16

Thursday – Luke 14:1, 7-14

https://www.heritageloves.com/sermon-podcasts

Full God

One of things I’ve noticed people do is they only focus on part of God. 

This is true certainly with the secular and skeptic crowd who want to focus on what they perceive as negative but it is also true of some Christians.

Let’s look at two examples.

On the one hand you have people focusing only on fearing God. They talk of His wrath, judgment and how depraved humanity is but they miss the grace, love and mercy of God. 

The other side you have people who focus so much on God’s love they take advantage of His mercy and grace. There is no fear of God at all and this means you truly don’t love God in return but instead you love yourself.

Now of course they’re other examples but let’s focus on the solution to this instead.

And that is to know God and His Word. Look at God as He is, the Great I am, the creator of the Universe, our King but also the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. 

There is no one greater than God, so love Him, respect Him, fear Him.

Know Him.

If you do you than you will have the full God.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

A Fantastic Article on The Attributes of God…

https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/15-amazing-attributes-of-god-what-they-mean-and-why-they-matter.html

Daily Bible Reading

Monday – Joshua 5:9-12

Tuesday – Psalm 32

Wednesday – 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

Thursday – Luke 15:1-3,11-32

Manipulating the Bible

Having been studying theology the last year and a half I find this post from 2018 more relevant in my life then ever.

The Good Word

This is going to be a short post. It saddens me to see so many manipulate scripture to fit their own narrative of God and what God wants. I know that sounds harsh but when a person points out their favorite Bible verses to prove their opinion of God or how someone should act, it is exactly that, manipulating the Word of God. It is extremely important to take a FULL Bible approach.

Today I saw someone arrogantly “LOL” someone’s comment and post a line of scripture as if God had one line for all situations. The person could have easily found another line from scripture to disprove what she said.

Does that mean the Bible contradicts itself? Absolutely not. God knows that situations are different, the World is not Black and White. That is why you have to get grasp of the full Bible, the full story before you…

View original post 73 more words

My Wife’s Biblical Approach to Chronic Pain

I’ve decided to share something my wife wrote on her Facebook page about dealing with chronic pain, it is short but really speaks volumes. Here it is…

“I have chronic pain but I am thankful that I am finally at a place in my life that I can understand what having this pain truly means. And I also realize that there are many others who suffer more than me and that He endured the ultimate suffering on my behalf. Do I want the pain? No. But I’m okay with it because I know it won’t last forever.”

She also supplied some Bible verses from Romans to go along with what she said…

Romans 5:3-5

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

What a wonderful message.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – Job 1:1, 2:1-10

Tuesday – Psalm 126

Wednesday – Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12

Thursday – Mark 10:2-16

A Follow Up! One Of The Easiest and Hardest Things Christians Can Do Part II

Last week I wrote about how it is easy to focus only others and not self.

However this week I am going to drop the “UNO Reverse Card” and switch it up.

One of the easiest things a Christian can do is NOT focus on the sins of others and faults.

If you read last week’s blog you may be confused or think I am contradicting myself. But I am not, let me explain.

If you see someone in sin or see their faults that are damaging themselves or others and choose to do nothing then you’re taking the easy route.

Why?

Because it is easy to do nothing, even easier than overly focusing on others.

Now one of the hardest things a Christian can do IS focus on the sins of others and faults.

It is difficult confronting people, they’re many reasons and motivations to not want to confront someone and I get there is times when it is not a good idea for you personally to do so but a lot of the times we don’t because it is hard.

It takes bravery, it takes compassion, understanding, patience and love. It takes God to help you do it.

But as I said last week do what is hard not what is easy.

And as always…

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Daily Bible Readings:
Monday – Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22
Tuesday – Psalm 124
Wednesday – James 5:13-20
Thursday – Mark 9:38-50

Love

I’ve written about 1 Corinthians 13 a few times but I think it’s more relevant than ever both in the world and in my personal life.

So here we go…

How often do you hear someone say, “This comes from a place of love.” Or “I love you to death but…”

A lot of times what is said following that opening line is something far away from love.

We see people that behave in a manner that comes off the opposite of love while claiming they’re acting in love.

On the flip side some behave in a manner that is enabling wrong behavior.

So how do we love properly?

Instead of me speaking on this, let the Word of God speak instead.

1 Corinthians 13…

The Way of Love

“13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

2 And if I have (A)prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, (B)so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

3 (C)If I give away all I have, and (D)if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 (E)Love is patient and (F)kind; love (G)does not envy or boast; it (H)is not arrogant

5 or rude. It (I)does not insist on its own way; it (J)is not irritable or resentful;[b]

6 it (K)does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but (L)rejoices with the truth.

7 (M)Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, (N)endures all things.

8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

9 For (O)we know in part and we prophesy in part,

10 but (P)when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

12 For (Q)now we see in a mirror dimly, but (R)then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as (S)I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Have a Loving Week,

Chris

Daily Readings:

Monday – Song of Solomon 2:8-13

Tuesday – Psalm 45:1-2,6-9

Wednesday – James 1:17-27

Thursday – Mark 7:1-8,14-15,21-23

https://www.openbible.info/topics/love

Labels Can Be Burdensome

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how people view the world, primarily how Christians view the world and it’s on going issues.

Despite all of us in the faith following the same Bible and the true and living God we seem to have a lot of different views points on things.

This leads to a lot of anger, frustration, resentment and even sadness in the Body of Christ. We get divided on these worldly topics and even claim that others are less Christian for taking the other side.

Now they’re some clear cut views on issues that as a Christian you should have but I’ve heard some outlandish accusations by Christians against other believers on issues that are not so clear cut. Often they will take scripture out of context to try and fit it into their world view or situation. That is both wrong and dangerous.

Specific examples of this would just be distracting from the point of this entry so instead I’ll focus on why I think this is happening.

It’s because of labels, labels can be burdensome.

Think about it, I’ll use myself as an example.

I’m a white, male, American, Christian who is mostly conservative.

Think about what comes with each of those labels, thoughts, behaviors, opinions. Some of them will contradict with each other and I will most likely look at things differently than someone of a different race, sex, nationality, political ideology or religion.

That’s not even going into upbringing, environment and other factors.

So what do you do about this? How do you not contradict yourself while you try and understand other people who are different than you?

You shed your labels and focus on the Kingdom of God. That may sound easier said than done. Believe me, I know it’s hard. Reading the Bible has convicted me many times, causing me to question my opinion and views.

As hard as it may be, think about how rewarding it would be to try and see the world like God does. How much a relief it would be to be able to have the focus on God?

What if instead of all those labels you can look at things as a child of God?

Redefine yourself. I’ll go first.

My name is Chris, I’m a child of God, a Christian who just happens to be white, who is also a man, who currently lives in the United States.

God help see the world like you.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

Scripture Readings:

Monday – 2 Samuel 18:5-9,15,31-33

Tuesday – Psalm 130

Wednesday – Ephesians 4:25-5:2

Thursday – John 6:35,41-51