John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress

Second only to the Bible in world publications Pilgrim’s Progress is a must read for “Christians” of all ages. – Mike


American Minute with Bill Federer

John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress – “The monster was hideous to behold…scales…wings like a dragon, feet like a bear…out of his belly came fire & smoke”

 

John Bunyan 

What would it be like to be imprisoned by your government for 12 years just for preaching the Gospel?¹

This was the fate of John Bunyan, author of the world renown book Pilgrim’s Progress.

 

READ MORE

Map of Moscow, Idaho
Moscow is a city in northern Idaho along the state border with Washington, with a population of 23,800 at the 2010 census. The county seat and largest city of Latah County, Moscow is the home of the University of Idaho, the state’s land-grant institution and primary research university.Wikipedia

¹ = Think this could never happen in America; think again it already has. READ MORE


 

OTHER RESOURCES:

The Pilgrim’s Progress: A Guided Tour Teaching Series by Derek Thomas

Today in Church History  Author, John Bunyan

A Picture of a True Minister (from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress)

See our Ministry Document and More Page

The Fool

The fools are easy to spot unless of course you live among them. Oh they look like everyone else and they even spout out the same rhetoric as seemingly the majority of media, but they have a hidden secret. The preach tolerance for all but have no tolerance in them for anyone that opposes their narrow worldview.  

They think we are stupid for our beliefs but quickly invoke God’s name regularly (cursing and such). They are quick to call us (Christians) all sorts of names like bigot, hater, racist, homophobe, and so many more.  Yet they are also the same ones who are first to demand the killing of innocent babies in the womb, (or more recently after birth) assault anyone who differs from their self righteous opinions, yell and scream obscenities at Christians and call them out for doing go works just because we believe differently than them.

The bible has much to say about fools, today’s verse is one of the better known from the book of Psalms (Wisdom books) 

1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. Psalm 14:1

Dice el necio en su corazón:
    No hay Dios.
    Se han corrompido, hacen obras abominables;
    No hay quien haga el bien. (RVR 1960) 

CONTEXT: 
    1. Foolishness is not a issue of bad thinking but of a bad heart
    2. Man is corrupt at his core
    3. Man is incapable of doing good on his own accord

Man will always be and play the fool apart from God. Without the saving blood of Christ to change a man from the old fool to the new creation he is incapable any righteous act on his own accord.

RESPONSE: 

How do we as Christians respond to a fool? The answer of course lies in the Bible this time in the book of Proverbs 26:4-5

 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

I have to admit the first time I read this I was so confused. For those old enough to remember the “Three Stooges” I thought the bible had me doing the Curly Shuffle.

So breaking of my study helps and some language dissection later I realized what was actually being said here was quite sensible:

v.4  Never argue with anyone who is close-minded and arrogant. Do not even pretend to agree or acknowledge their folly unless you wish to be culpable like them. 

v.5  Go ahead and respond to those who have foolish concepts but are not close-minded or above reason. Otherwise he will think you agree with him. 

Most times it is better to walk away and just ignore (do not verbally engage) the person Proverbs 29:20 better we not get involved and start an argument looking the fool ourselves or being drawn in and accused of something worse Proverbs 26:17.  That is not to say be rude and intentionally snub someone but use grace, love and wisdom to not engage in their foolish argument. 

 

Since Before The World Began

Faithrises

abstract background beach color

“In the beginning… the Spirit of God hovered over the waters…”

“… I have loved you with an everlasting love.

Therefore, with loving kindness,

I havedrawn you.” 

“He chose us in Christ,

[actually selected us for Himself as His own]

Before the world began…” 

 -Genesis 1:2 – Jeremiah 31:3 – Ephesians 4:1

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Why I Am a Christian

 

Why I Am a Christian

BY: Bryan Fischer Host of “Focal Point”

Faith in Christ’s resurrection is not blind, rather it is rational and informed.

See the Article at it’s Source: Why I Am a Christian

Church Member

“For a Christian to be a Christian, he must first be a sinner. Being a sinner is a prerequisite for being a church member. The Christian church is one of the few organizations in the world that requires a public acknowledgement of sin as a condition for membership.”

R.C. Sproul, Reason to Believe: A Response to Common Objections to Christianity

Reblogged via Church Member

PURITAN QUOTE(S) FOR TODAY – 22 & 23 June

FOOLS AN FOLLY

The punishment of fools is folly – Proverbs 14:24

Fools make a mock at sin – Proverbs 14:9

Every natural man is a fool. – Thomas Granger

Honor is as fit for a fool and a gold ring for a swine’s snout. – John Trapp

PREACHING AND HEARING

Go thou and hear all that the Lord our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it and do it – Deuteronomy 5:27

A hearer’s life is the preacher’s best commendation. – Thomas Manton

A minister without boldness is like a smooth file. – William Gurnall

Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

Check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent, “Walking with God”, daily devotional. The topics are
SPECIAL AUTHENTICATION and WHAT TO PRAY FOR IN REVIVAL

A Picture of a True Minister (from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress)

Steve Weaver | June 23, 2017 Founders Blog

 In Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan describes a scene in which Christian enters the house of one called “Interpreter” (who represents the Holy Spirit). In this house he is shown many “profitable” things. The first such is a picture which is described as follows:

 Continued at Source: A Picture of a True Minister (from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress)

 

PURITAN QUOTE(S) FOR TODAY – 07 March

SYMPATHY

 And there appeared in the cherubim the form of a man’s hand under their wings – Ezekiel 10:8

 I sat where they sat – Ezekiel 3:15

 I have you in my heart – Philippians 1:7

 It is good manners to be the unbidden guest at the house of mourning. – George Swinnock

 Sympathy is a debt we owe to sufferers. – William Secker

 He [a Christian] is not a wooden leg, senseless of the other members sufferings. – George Swinnock

 Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

Check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent “Walking with God” daily devotional.

Rebuilding a Future Nehemiah Part XV

Author directorfsm@gmail.comPublished on 24/May/2015  

Dedicating Yourself unto the Lord

 Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and set its doors. They consecrated it as far as the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Tower of Hananel. – – – Nehemiah 3:1 (ESV)

So finally after months of prayer and planning, a long journey and a brief rest and reconnaissance Nehemiah starts to build the walls of Jerusalem. Well actually he starts at one of the many gates that surround the city, the sheep gate. We too will come to that point when the time comes to finally begin rebuilding from our brokenness.

Like Nehemiah I would hope you have a solid plan in place, you have taken a few days to rest and reassess the situation before you begin the process of rebuilding. Also like Nehemiah I hope you do not waiver in your cause for Christ and move forward with the righteous plan you have laid out. It is what Nehemiah does next and what I believe we should all be doing in our daily walks that I wish to speak about tonight.

Look at verse one with me again. Did you see what is says they did after they built the gate? They consecrated it. That is they asked God’s blessing on it. The Geneva study bible says: In Hebrew they sanctified it, that is, they finished it, and so dedicated it to the Lord by prayer, in desiring him to maintain it.

Now before anyone thinks I am making some weird new idea notion. I am not suggesting that every time you put a nail in the wall to hang a picture or tighten a loose screw you ask God to bless and maintain that item. That is not what Nehemiah and the men did.

I am absolutely suggesting that you dedicate things to the Lord and ask Him to maintain them. An example we are as many of you know constructing a new church building. We are always asking God to bless the work week, we dedicate it to His glory and when the church is complete we will have a “dedication” ceremony asking Him to maintain it.

The idea of consecrating or dedicating “things” unto the Lord in nothing new it is found from the beginnings of the Old Testament. Cain and Abel’s offerings in Genesis Chapter 4, Noah’s building an altar and offering sacrifices consecrating the end of the flood, or the Passover in Exodus Chapter 12. The significance here is most likely because this is the “Sheep Gate” aptly names because this is where the cleaned sheep would enter into the temple for sacrifice. The priests would definitely want this entrance consecrated unto the Lord and as we will read later it is the only one they dedicate.

One of my favorite bible verses tells us that we should always do all things as unto the Lord: Colossians 3:17 (ESV) And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. As we have seen Nehemiah is a great example of this he consistently goes about his daily affairs in a manner that glorifies God all the while giving thanks to God for each thing. It is this “thing” that is most important for us to consecrate unto the Lord in our rebuilding process; ourselves! It is here in the area of what the bible says about consecrating ourselves unto the Lord that I wish to spend the remainder of our time.

Leviticus 20:7 (ESV) Tells us: Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. That my friends can be a tall order for anyone, especially if you feel the world has the deck stacked against you as it were. Someone who has been broken and is trying to recover from that brokenness is seemingly at a disadvantage. As I am so, so fond of saying read the book. God never ever leaves us hanging. The very next verse He writes: Keep my statutes and do them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you.

Do you see it? We are to consecrate ourselves which is dedicating ourselves unto the Lord God. Live a God glorifying life. But God understands you cannot do it on your own. No he says I am the LORD who sanctifies you. If you get up and try to live for God on your own you’re going to end up working for Satan. You must depend upon God for this rebuilding process and lifelong sanctification (same word as dedication and consecration) to work.

Listen there is no one in this world that is more qualified to help in this process. There is no one in this world more willing to help in this process. I am reminded of a hit song back in the day called Lean on me by Bill Withers. Part of it went like this:

You just call on me brother, when you need a hand

We all need somebody to lean on

I just might have a problem that you’ll understand

We all need somebody to lean on

Sounds good right? Now listen to this:

Psalm 55:22 (ESV) Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

Answer me this to whom would you rather “Lean On? A friend with problems of their own or the ever present, all knowing, all powerful God of all the Heavens and Earth? You would think the choice would be simple.

But the sad truth is some listening to this tonight or reading it on the web will inevitably make the wrong choice. This brings to mind the often misquoted Philippians 4:13 (KJV) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. I hope the inflection in my voice (and bold and light print) was a telltale sign of my meaning. I cannot do all things even with Christ in me for I am not God. Matthew Poole’s Commentary on this verse tells us: we are not to understand it absolutely, but restrictively to the subject matter he had before mentioned in the precedent verses, intimating he could by the Lord’s help use well both prosperity and adversity: or, all those things the Lord called him to and put him upon.

Another area we must be willing and ready to consecrate is our bodies. 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1 (ESV) What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. Dedicating our rebuilding process unto the Lord must include cleaning up our bodies. Whether it is alcohol, drugs, tobacco or unhealthy eating habits whatever is defiling your body which is the temple of the Living God must be made clean. Again for many this is an often agonizing process, but one that can be overcome but the power of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.

            Paul was so serious about this that he practically begs (appeals very similar) in Romans 12:1 (ESV) I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Paul says we worship the Lord God by presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice.

Lastly I wish to look at the importance God places upon each of His chosen people. Look at 1 Peter 2:9-10 (ESV) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

That is some strong language there. Let’s break it down:

  • YOU are a chosen race; elect of God no other way to get there.
  • You are a royal priesthood = immediately we become Co-heirs with Christ that’s Royalty.
  • You are part of a Holy Nation = the body of true believers all worship God
  • For His own Possession = more accurately purchased for His possession
  • Our mission = Simple proclaim the Gospel, telling others how He dragged you out of darkness into the light.
  • I/You were once lost without mercy now mercy abounds.

After all that how could anyone calling themselves a Christian not want to consecrate, dedicate, sanctify themselves call it what you may, unto the Lord. If you are truly born again, regenerated your overwhelming desire will be service to the Lord. All else falls in comparison to the debt we owe. The debt we are incapable of repaying. The love that drives us forward each day as we together with the Lord rebuild our lives in order that we may glorify Him.

If you do not know and understand that love, if you are still lost in the world of selfish sin. I beg you to turn away from those evil ways, repent of your sinful self and let Christ Jesus rule as Lord of your life.

In HIS Service

Mike

Rebuilding a Future Nehemiah Part II

 Trials or Tribulations?

 

            Today is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. I thought it a good opportunity to reflect again upon what many Christians refer to as trials and tribulations.

 

            I have heard and read from many with illness, financial woes, the incarcerated and those with a variety of other problems that they must endure the tribulations that they are going through. That they can with God’s help deal with these great present tribulations, While the sentiments are nice they are somewhat lacking in biblical standing.

 

            As much as I can understand their feelings, I must first caution them that Biblical tribulations are always something one endures for the sake of Christ. Tribulation always equals suffering via persecution.  Even Nehemiah’s situation was not one of tribulation. A trial certainly, but true persecution for God; I think not.

 

            As we learned last week Nehemiah was living as an outcast in the land of his captors. Yet as the King’s cup bearer and trusted servant of the court his life could hardly be described as one of suffering. Although he has a lofty position in the court of King Artaxerxes, he is as a prisoner. He could only do what the King ordered and allowed. He may have been trusted but as we have seen in Ester the Persians probably did not approve of his high post. Finally he is a Jew in a pagan nation much like we all are as Christians in the World today.  Nehemiah must have been in daily conflict. To live as a Jew was greatly different than that of a Persian.

 

            The lesson from last week is this; most Christians today, like Nehemiah, go through trails in their lives. Some are brought upon themselves by illegal, immoral or unethical actions. While others through no direct action of their own (illness, injury, work cut backs, etc.) have equally challenging trials.

 

            I want to take a minute or two to expand on this for a moment. Verse one says:

 

1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,

 

            Do you remember why Nehemiah was in Shushan and not say Bethlehem? He was there as a direct result of the actions of his forefathers. They had broken God’s law and there was a price to pay for such actions. Listen even though Nehemiah was not one of those who had broken God’s law that led to the Babylonians conquering and enslaving the nation of Judah in 586 B.C. he must endure the consequences.

 

              Illegal actions that lead to our imprisonment have consequences not only for us but for our families and friends. While prison is not a fun time for anyone and can certainly be a trial in that it tests us in many ways it cannot be considered a time of tribulation. After all (in most every case) you put yourself there.

 

 

            Marital problems due to infidelity while trying are not a time of tribulation. Nor is the aftermath that while trying and seemingly under persecution (high alimony) again it is a problem of your own making.  Laziness that leads to financial woes cannot be blamed on the economy or anyone else. A man that will not work (at any legal job) to feed his family is not a real man in my book. Immoral acts such as gambling and drinking that lead to family, financial and health issues cannot be described as times of tribulation. Trying yes, but that is everyday life in a fallen and depraved world.

 

            There are many in the world today who face real tribulation. Who daily are persecuted for their faith in Christ Jesus.  We in America are blessed that true persecution has not reached our shores. But be forewarned that day is coming. The actions of a misguided mayor in Houston and the passing of Hate Crime legislation making it seemingly illegal to speak out biblically against abortion, sexual orientation, same sex marriage etc. are bringing the day ever closer.

 

            For real Tribulations in the life of Christians today Voice of the Martyrs is one of the best sites for information. I gleaned the following from a long list:  

 

Egypt – Akhom, was shot during an attack on his Christian neighborhood. VOMedical will help him get the treatment he needs.

 

India – House Destroyed an Orissa victim sits amid what used to be her home. “We are waiting for the next riot. We do not know where it will happen. We know this was a warning, not an end.”

 

India – Imprisoned Indian pastors are imprisoned for their evangelical activity.

 

India – Four young Dalit pastors in India – Shivashankar, Ramiah, Yesuraj and Jeevan – were beaten by Hindu radicals and police and imprisoned. We assisted in their release from the Karnataka jail. They have returned to Bible study and ministry!

 

Indonesia – Before Christmas bulldozers were sent by the Muslim government of Tangerang County to destroy five church buildings.

 

Indonesia – Police tried to protect Christians of the Batak church, but two of the church’s pastors, including Pastor Purba (in the red tie), were beaten by the mob in August 2010. One banner carried by radicals during the protest read, “The Muslim community rejects the building of a church in Mustika Jaya.”

 

Iraq – In 2011, militant Muslims burst into Afanan’s home in Iraq. They locked Afanan and her two children in a room while they tortured her husband. The family was forced to listen to his cries until they ended with a fatal gunshot. VOM is supporting this widow and her children.

 

Laos – Somchi, a young Khmu woman, handed us an unusual package — a burned Bible in a plastic bag. The Bible was still wet from the rain, but we separated and dried the pages. Somchi has underlined many scriptures in her Bible. The most underlined section was around I Cor 9:19. She put a blue asterisk by this verse.

 

Nigeria – Seyi was hit with a machete several times and almost burned to death during Muslim rioting in Nigeria.

 

Nigeria – Monica was attacked by Islamic radicals in July and has already had four surgeries. She is due for another one.

 

Nigeria – Godwin lost his arm in an attack by local Muslims. VOM provided him with a prosthetic arm.

 

Pakistan – When Muslims attacked a Christian neighborhood in Gojra, Pakistan, in 2009, Christians used a cart as a strecher to transport the injured.

 

Vietnam – Pastor Cong’s home was destroyed by local authorities.

 

Vietnam – Who can forget the stunning photo we printed of Vietnamese secret police officers swinging a club at a member of Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang’s Mennonite Church in August 2006? About 50 police officers swarmed the grounds of the house church, beating congregants with nightsticks, nunchucks and electric cattle prods. Pastor Quang was arrested. Today, Pastor Quang, released from prison, is operating a Bible school. Currently, 47 young Vietnamese and tribal youth are studying in the three-year program. The course teaches them a thorough understanding of the Bible, how to use a computer, how to establish a church and qualifies them to serve in full-time ministry. Oh, and secret police are still coming by his church and home.

 

India – VOM helped a woman after Hindu radicals beat her husband and burned her Bible. Christians are attacked in India more frequently than in any other country.

 

            For a look at real persecution and tribulation in the lives of Christians today I recommend you watch the following video. Afterwards ask yourself are you ready to answer the call of God? Are you truly a Christian?

http://www.persecution.com/idop       Leana’s Prayer

In HIS Service