“Religion seeks to reform a man; the Cross seeks to crucify him.
Religion never succeeds yet the Cross never fails.” – Chip Brogden
There are seven stages of awareness through which we must pass through in order to bring ourselves out of bondage towards the fullness of Truth and into the life of an Overcomer. The following seven stages describe the spiritual growth of the Christian from sinner, to...
The Sermon on the Mount, as it is commonly known, begins with what some people refer to as The Beatitudes: “Blessed are…”. What follows is a kind of Kingdom Manifesto, some foundational truths that will help us to better understand what life is like in this Kingdom of God.
"Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert" (Isaiah 43:19). "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the...
Repentance, in its truest sense, is an adjustment of the heart, an adjustment of the mind, the thoughts, and the attitudes of the soul; and this leads (or should lead), to an adjustment in terms of things we used to do that we no longer do, or things we have not been doing that we begin to do.
In calling us to come back to the Cross, God is asking us lay down our lives and embrace the Wisdom of death, burial, resurrection, and ascension in order to live as sons and daughters within the Kingdom of God.
The Bible does not promise anyone a world free from difficulties, challenges, trials, and tribulations. At the same time, Jesus does not want His followers to be overwhelmed or stressed-out.
When we stop to reflect upon all that we have in Christ, it is natural and normal to respond with praise and thanks to God. The ones who live in Christ ought to be the most thankful, appreciative, and grateful people in the world – for In Him, and through Him, and because of Him, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." - 2 Cor. 12:9 When my older daughter was just a little girl (maybe 7 or 8 years old) she saved her money and bought a clock for her bedroom. This clock was very unique! Around the face of...
The blessing of the Lord is in being reduced to Christ. Who is blessed? Not the one who is rich in spirit, but the one who is poor in spirit. The poor in spirit possess the Kingdom. Those who are broken are blessed, and those who are blessed are broken.
Children are led by God in a childish way, but as a mature believer the Lord will lead them in a mature way. Over time we are expected to know God’s WAYS as well as His WILL. When we know the ways of the Lord we will speak and move in harmony with His Spirit without having to consciously stop and ask for guidance.
It is unfortunate that after many years of service the Lord still has to call us back to the Cross, yet this is precisely where we should have begun. Although we ought to encourage people to come as they are and trust the Lord for salvation, we must also teach them that they must count the cost and take up the Cross: else they are not worthy of Jesus.
Jesus said that “in the world you will have tribulation” (Jn. 16:33). And since this is the case, we might as well make the best possible use of every difficulty and circumstance we find ourselves in. These difficulties will either makes us better, or make us bitter. Ultimately, the outcome depends upon how we choose to respond.
It is not learning about Christian things or religious things or spiritual things. It is not learning about the Bible. It’s not even learning ABOUT Jesus, it is learning OF Jesus FROM Jesus. Can you see that? Can you see the difference between coming TO Jesus and learning OF Him, versus coming to someone else and learning ABOUT Him?
Since we cannot avoid having tribulation in this world, we might as well make the best possible use of every circumstance we find ourselves in. Begin to see all your temptations, tests, and trials as opportunities for growing, maturing, and learning how to live as an Overcomer.
This is the goal of the disciple of Jesus. But how is that goal obtained? Where does one learn this single-hearted, single-minded devotion? This is what the Holy Spirit intends to teach us through the principles of Increase and Decrease.
Calling Jesus “Lord” does not necessarily mean you have submitted to His Lordship. The proof of His Lordship over you is not in what you call Him; it is in the obedience to what He says…
Just as a drowning man cannot be saved until he stops struggling, so must all who would be saved by Christ. Until you come to the end of yourself Jesus will not intervene. How hard it is for you to stop struggling and give yourself completely into the hand of God.
We cannot make the narrow Way more narrow than it is already, but we can certainly mislead people into believing it is wider than it really is. We dare not make it too difficult; but we should tremble at making it too easy.
Many Christians wonder why their circumstances are so difficult. They wonder why things never seem to go their way. They wonder why everything seems to rise up and challenge them…
What’s wrong with the Church is that Christ is not preached, the Cross is not taken up, and the Self has not died. So if I am to suffer, let me suffer for preaching the foolishness of the Cross.
Most of our fears are a consequence of not knowing God well enough. Fear comes from uncertainty. If we are confident, secure, and certain about who we are in Christ, and who Christ is in us, then we won’t be worried about what the devil might do, and we won’t be worried about what other people might do.
The answer to overcoming and obtaining the victory, reaching spiritual maturity in this age and spiritual perfection in the ages to come, is entirely dependent upon our relationship with this Person. Will we, do we, abide in Him? Is He our dwelling place?
Until and unless we have a holy hatred for evil then we will never overcome it with good. In your life you will always love something and hate something else. The question is whether or not you will love what God loves and hate what God hates, or whether you will love what God hates and hate what God loves.
What does it mean when Paul says this wisdom is hidden? It means this wisdom is not obvious. It is not readily seen. It is camouflaged in such a way that you can be looking right at it and not know it. That is why everyone looks and listens but so few people “get it”. We CAN see it, and we CAN know it, but we must seek it out, because it hides from us.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:1,14). On December 25 each year...
In our daily life we come up against situations that we cannot overcome in our own strength, or with our own wisdom. We need a strength and a wisdom that comes from Above, that comes from Beyond, that comes from Another outside of us and yet rises up from within us....
It is never a question of how to get the Life to flow, or how to get the Lord to move. To tap into the Infinite Supply it is only a matter of being yielded to the Lord and emptied of ourselves. When this happens then the Life will flow of its own accord.
This is a process at work within every man, woman, boy and girl: to bring each of them to the end of themselves so they will embrace Christ and be willing to lay down the tattered, filthy garments of self-centered living in exchange for the righteous robes of the Christ-centered life.
Just like the Law of Increase, the Law of Decrease does not depend upon your understanding, agreement, or acceptance. It must be so, therefore it is so. Just as surely as Christ must increase, so you must decrease.
Once God has determined to do something, is there anything, or anyone, that can resist Him? Is man more powerful than God, or does it only seem that way sometimes?
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do...
Occasionally people write in to ask me for advice because they are worried that they are not really saved. I do not try to convince them that something they did in the past was sufficient; I simply have them make a fresh surrender, and then the question of being saved is settled once and for all.
I think we all start out with a kindergarten-level understanding of prayer. I know I did. I suppose that is natural; unfortunately, too many people remain at that level and never advance beyond it. At first, prayer is all about “me.” My needs, wants, wishes, desires,...
"The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all (Psalms 34:18,19)." "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a...
“I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing” (Romans 7:18a). It is a great day for the Lord when a disciple of Jesus learns this most basic lesson: that in “me”, in myself, in my flesh, dwells no good thing. This is a very difficult thing for...
Most Christians I know want to please God but they also want to please people or please themselves and Jesus said no one can serve two masters. I’m not saying be rude and abrasive and uncaring. Jesus certainly was not rude or mean. But He always pleased His Father. He didn’t try to please people.
"'Do you want to know the truth? The truth is that when you were young, you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are older, you will stretch out your arms and Someone Else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go'. By this,...
Spiritual growth and maturity is the natural result of discovering something new in Christ, reckoning it to be so, living as if it is so (despite all evidence to the contrary), and then seeing our faith rewarded with tangible evidence, spiritual fruit, and practical results.
The principle in John 3:30 is that I must decrease. As surely as Christ must increase, so I must decrease. It must be so; therefore it will be so.
If we share in His death then we will share in His life. How could it be otherwise? What is true of the Vine is true of the Branches that are part of the Vine.
However well Solomon may have started out, and however well he may have lived for most of his life, Solomon did not finish well. He did not end his life on a good note. He ended poorly. He did not just make some mistakes towards the end of his life – he utterly, completely, and totally failed.
Christians everywhere are keenly interested in how to be increased, how to be stronger, how to take authority, how to rise up, how to get more. They look for methods, formulas, and techniques for becoming bigger and better. The Lord has a different approach for us to take…
God does not lead us according to our fears. How easy it is to justify our fears under the pretext that, “This is how we feel led.” Are you really sure about that? Many times we aren’t led by God, we are led by our fears.
"Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps" (I Peter 2:21). If we were to ask a Christian, "Have you accepted the work of the Cross?" Many of them would say yes. If you ask them what the work of the Cross is, they would...
We talk about "one way", but there are really two ways: the broad way which many take, ending in death; and the narrow way which a few take, ending in life. There are two ways presented to us. One way is of man, seems right in man‘s opinion, and leads to death. The...
Paul’s confession and the belief did not lead to this encounter with Jesus; it was the encounter with Jesus that lead to his confession and belief! How quickly we forget – if we ever really understand it at all – that “you have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you” (Jn 15:16a).
This desire to provide people with a positive and encouraging experience creates an unrealistic expectation in the hearts and minds of the audience and congregation who have come to rely on “the ministry” to keep them properly fed.
The Ekklesia enjoys spiritual oneness with Jesus, and so it grows spiritually (and may I say it grows spontaneously) without effort, and is fruitful as it continues to abide in that spiritual oneness that already exists in Christ.