Category Archives: God

We Can Fail Forward or we can Remain in the City called Regret!

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We Can Fail Forward or we can Remain in the City called Regret!

  I John 1:9

                                                        

 Okay, you sinned!  You have been plagued with a daily visitor.  He has visited your heart and mind every day since you sinned.  He reminds you that you are worthless; that your life is now irrelevant, and absolutely unable to be used of God again.  The visitor’s goes by the name of Guilt. 

The truth is, as you would readily admit, is that you are guilty.  You have committee the sin against God.  There is no covering the sin.  You have acknowledged this sin. You are not proud of it,and even wonder how it could had happened in the first place.

However, what Guilt does not want you to recognize, is that once you went to God seeking His forgiveness, that God has already forgiven the offense.  Our text makes this clear from  I John 1:9.

Unfortunately, many people, including those in the Christian family, will not let you forget what you have done wrong.  There will be articles written; Facebook posts printed; Tweets dispatched to remind the world of what a failure you have become.   Even though they claim for themselves, the forgiveness that God has for all believers, when it comes to another Believer, they seem to slam the door of grace shut!

 So my advice to you, should you find yourself expecting to find grace, from those living in the “Grace is for me and not for you neighborhood” is simple.  If you’re holding out for the universal acceptance and grace from this community, I’m afraid that you will be holding up in your room for a very long time.   While is it wonderful whenever others accept that God has forgiven you, you cannot, and must not allow another’s treatment of you to negate what God has already given to you: forgiveness. 

 

How Can and Should we Face Failure?

 

1.   First, we must CONSIDER our sins and failing.  The Bible speaks of this in Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:   And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  The word for search means “to ransack.”  It carries the idea of a thief breaking into your home and going through every area of your house to search for valuables.   We must invite and the cooperate with the Holy Spirit, as He searches our hearts to reveal that which is offensive to a holy God.  No attempt of a cover-up, like many governments and people are prone to do.   Complete cooperation with the Holy Spirit. Once our sins have been revealed, we may now go to God to confess our sins.

 

2.  Second, we must completely CONFESS our sin and failing to God.   We cannot compromise the sin.  We must admit that we had sinned against God and perhaps to others. 

 

  • Jeremiah 33:8: And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.

 

 

3.   Next, we are required to CAST-AWAY our sins.    Proverbs 28:13 says: “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

 

Create an Environment where You are not Placing Yourself in an Area of Temptation.

 

If a person’s sin was drinking, then one might want to write down the things which could lead him to the cesspool of sin and make a commitment to God to avoid these areas of temptation. .    It would be wise to stay away from liquor scenes.  Simply turn the channel when they appear in a commercial or in a TV program.  Avoid any connection with liquor at all costs. You might need want to stay out of restaurants that serve it; avoid parties that would make it easily available to you.

 

The Principle of Replacement

The Principle of Replacement is found in the Book of Ephesians Chapter Four.  We are to replace lying with truthfulness; stealing with giving; anger with kindness; unforgiveness with forgiveness; bitterness with dealing with the offense we have with another, before going to sleep at night.   

The practical application would be to replace the sinful, old behaviors with new positive, Biblical habits.  This is how we will get victory over that which has caused us failing and sin in the past.

  • An encouraging verse to every Believer that has failed is:  Proverbs 24:16, ‘For though a righteous man may fall seven times, he rises again.”

 

  •  Listen, EVERYONE FAILS God at some point, and perhaps even frequently.  What we need to remember is that we do not have to stay down.  As Goldsmith said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising each time we fall.”

 


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Bearing Spiritual Fruit: God’s Desire for Every Believer

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Bearing Spiritual Fruit: God‘s Desire for Every Believer

Pastor Brock Evans, Pittsboro Baptist Church, Pittsboro, Indiana USA

John 15:8 says: “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.”

                                     God Desires that Every Believer Bear Much Fruit

Christians often miss the greatest blessings of their standing in Christ, as well as the entire purpose for this standing in Christ. John chapter fifteen tells us what God’s will for the Believer is. Jesus informs us the purpose of this unique standing is that God’s Children is “to bear much fruit” and His purpose in this will is “My Father glorified.”

We would say as Christians that we want this will to bear fruit to the effectual pure motive that the Father is glorified. The mechanics of such are not produced by our own ambition or faithfulness but by His workings in our lives. There is a process or formula for this “fruit bearing” and it is found in the immediate preceding text.

The Process God Uses in Enabling the Christian to Bear Much Fruit

1.    The text makes it clear in the first few verses that all fruit is the product of the “true vine.” This “true vine” is of course Jesus Christ. This does not simply mean doing things in Christ’s name or for His cause but doing them within the specific bounds of His will. It is a surrender not an ambition. The vine will produce if we are connected to it. If we are in Him we are connected to it. This fruit is the evidence of true salvation not the means of true salvation.

2.   It is important to understand that “without me you can do nothing.” This does not mean that we set forth and then pray for God to sanction it. It is not the equivalent of a building permit. Christ wants to be the architect of our lives from the very first blue prints. We cannot get off the ground without His plans for us. We submit to His plans instead of the opposite. Jesus Christ is not looking for people with a great plan but people with a great obedience to what He can do.

3.    I would point out the key to an often misinterpreted verse that is taken out of the text, and then interpreted without consideration to its principal standing. It is verse seven which says “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” We see here a strict stipulation to prayers answered concerning this fruit bearing.  It is not only “abiding in Him” but also Him “abiding in you.”

This does not just mean seeking Him in prayer and the word but being connected to Him by Holy Spirit guidance. It is as if you and Christ have the same will and therefore the same specific desires which produces “much fruit.” These requests are the very heart beat of God. They are not mystic but specific. This is how the Father is glorified. He is glorified because of the magnanimous way He has produced every aspect of the fruit in our lives. We must continually decrease in order to produce this fruit. We must submit to grow. We can’t make this happen. We can only surrender to what He wants to make happen through us.

Has the Father been able to produce fruit in your life? What do you think hinders Christians from bearing ‘much fruit” on a consistent basis?

COURAGEOUS: Living your Life without Fear

Fearful Woman

 

 

Fears, we all have them.   Some are beneficial; many are crippling.  I am not referring to the type of fear which prevents you from walking up to the Lion’s cage in order to pet it; or to walk in the middle of your major interstate during rush hour.   Those fears are beneficial.

I am Focusing on the Fear of Failure!   If it were not for God using Brother Dave Hyles, I might never of answered the call to preach.  I listened to his message over 30 years ago entitled:  “We must have Revival in America.”  I listened to that message 25 times in a six day stretch.   I had such a fear of failure, that God spoke a different truth to my heart each time I listened.   I finally answered the call in spite of my fear of public speaking.

 

God is Aware of our Fears and has provided the Answer as we Face it

Many are asking silently right now, “Can God REALLY help me?  Will God help me as I Face and Fight my Fears?”   The solution is found in the Bible and in our total submission to doing whatever He wants us to do!  You may be thinking, “I am not ready for this kind of commitment.”  Can you not see that everything you have tried has failed to remove the fears, or even allowed you to operate successfully up to this point?

 

 

 

1.      Revelation of your Fears to God.     The disciples, as we, were commanded by God to spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  However, they faced a real problem, they were frightened.   Just as millions of Christians have this fear of sharing the Gospel, these men, who wanted to, simply could not due to their fear.       Acts 4:29, 31:    And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.    Prayer changed Everything for them!

 

2.      Responsibilities neglected because of your fear.  What responsibilities have you neglected because of the destructive power of fear?   Go ahead and list them.

            a)      I will not teach or preach because of my fear of public speaking.

            b)     I will not attend Church because of my fear of crowds.   My own Mother had a fear of crowds which prevented her from enjoying many people and events.

            c)      I will not share my faith because I am afraid that I will not know what to say or that they may wish to argue with me.  The list could go on, but be specific.

 

3.      Recognition of the power of Love.   I John 4:18 says, “Perfect love casteth our fear.”   What does this mean?   Love is a far greater emotion than fear!    Consider the story I have shared hundreds of times to help people overcome fear.   Love will lead a hundred and something lady, who only days earlier stood on her table-top because she saw a mouse ; will stand between her son or daughter and a pack of ravenous wolves.   Love is the emotion which leads us to do the right thing in spite of our fears. 

 

4.      Review Scriptures on fear to provide you the courage to act in spite of you fears. 

Psalms 56:4;    64:1;     78:53;    115:  11, 13

 

If we will do that which we fear most,  we will have conquered fear!

Facing Your Fears in Witnessing

   “If I only had some courage,” the lion in the Wizard of Oz often said.  Can you identify?  Can you relate to him?  I certainly can.  In both Jr. and Sr. high school I nearly hyper-ventilated during public speaking classes.   God understands how real the emotion of fear is to humans.  He even recorded 365 “Fear Nots” in the Bible to help us Face our Fears.

Recently, a 69-year-old lady contacted me to share her remarkable story of “Facing her Fears” in the sharing of her faith.

This dear lady signed up for my International Tract Challenge: Going Global with the Gospel.” Distributing tracts to people was not something she had been accustomed to doing. She did place tracts in envelopes, but not handing the tract to an individual.

There are three facts to know about this Christian lady to appreciate her story. First, she loves the Lord and wants to please Him in all that she does. Second, when she makes a commitment to anyone, including God, she takes it seriously. Recanting on her commitment is never an option. Third, although I do not know her exact weight, she cannot be much over 100 pounds, if that.

On one particular day she had sat down to eat. As she was eating her meal, the Holy Spirit spoke to her heart about giving another customer a gospel tract. She did what a lot of us have done when God speaks to our hearts, she became fearful. I am not certain as to all the emotions which permeated her mind, I can only surmise. What will she think of me? Will she turn me away and embarrass me in some way?

She decided to honor her commitment to God, and bravely walked up to the table in obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and offered her the tract. The lady graciously accepted it. Good experience!

What I believe to be later in the day, she visited a local fast-food drive through restaurant. Again the Spirit of God prompted her to offer the Gospel Tract to the lady at the first window. She looked at this lady who by sight intimidated her. She began to reason with God and herself. “Yes, she is intimidating. But what is the worst she can do TO me? She certainly would not beat me up? She will not yell at me.  Okay God, I will once again Face my Fears and offer her the tract.” As she pulled up to the window, true to her word, she offered the worker her tract. The lady accepted it, scanned the from page of the tract and then leaned out of her window as much as she could and spoke these words. “Miss, I would like to thank you for caring about me and others in passing out your religious material.”

Armed with a huge smile she proceeded to the second window and gave this worker a tract which they also graciously accepted.

Later this same day, God once again spoke to her heart about passing out a tract to a man. Once again the fear arose. She silently prayed and “Faced her Fears” yet again. Again, the tract was kindly received.

Her final comments to me were: “Thank you for the International tract Challenge! God has convicted my heart about witnessing and to continue passing out tracts.”

What is my point? We all have fears in trying new tasks. Yet those that grow in their spiritual lives are the ones that take their fears to God, asking Him to provide the necessary courage to obey His leading and commands.

Fearful Woman

My next article will be on this subject:      How to Biblically Face your Fears.     This will be published on Monday.  In the meantime, please read Acts chapter 4 and take special notice of the verses dealing with subject of fear.

What has been the fear which you have fought much of your life?

www.JimKilgoreMinistries.com

Boring Bible Time? Simple Steps to Transform Your Bible Time from Endurance to Enjoyment!

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A 2012 survey found 90 percent of churchgoers had a strong desire to please and honor Jesus Christ with their lives.  However, when asked how often they read their Bible, the following answers emerged: 

  • 19%  responded “Every Day”
  • 18%  said “Rarely or Never”
  • 25%  specified they read the Bible “a few times a week”
  • 14%  said they read the Bible “Once a Week
  • 22%  said “Once a Month” or “A Few Times a Month.”

This past week I was asked by 10 – 12 Christians to teach them how to study their Bible.  They were all trying to read their Bibles daily, but felt frustrated with the results.  Their minds were continually drifting; they could not remember what they read; they did not feel as though they were growing.    

Does the above describe your “private time” with God and His Word?

 

 If so, it does not have to remain this way.  There is hope.    There are several good ways to read one’s Bible that are very effective.  However, I will share a way in which I have studied my Bible for years during my Personal devotions.       

This method is not earth-shattering, but it is a simple, structured method that keeps me focused on reading and recording certain facts during my Bible time.  It is offered here to you to lead you enjoy rather than endure this daily time with the inerrant, infallible Word of God!

 

1.      I start with a time of Prayer.   I use the acrostic PRAY to keep me focused.

 

  • Praise God for Who He is and for What He has done for me!  At times I will even sing a few hymns or choruses.
  • Reflect upon my sins and Repent of each one God reveals to me.  Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
  • Ask God to meet the needs and desires of others and then for myself.   Matthew 7:7encourages us to ask of our Father:   “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
  • Yield myself to God’s will.    My attitude is, “Father, show me what you expect of me and I will obey.”

 

2.      As I read, I pause several times to Meditate upon what I am reading. 

      

   I practice the following three steps during my time of meditation:

 

  • I VISUALIZE:   This is where I place myself in the passage or story which I am reading.  I see myself as part of the crowd.

 

  • I PERSONALIZE:   For example, if I just read John 3:16:  For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”    Here is an example of how I personalize this great verse on God’s love for the world.

For God so loved the world (ME), that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever (that if I) believeth in him (that I) should not perish, but have everlasting life.

  • I SCRUTINIZE:    Look for the second part of this article coming in a few days.

 

 You have some solid steps to transform your time alone with God this week.   I ask that you use each phase I listed in this article.    However, you will NOT want to miss the Scrutiny stage as it reveals what I search for every time I read my Bible each day.  I use this method regardless of studying for a message or for my personal devotional time.  

The Bottom Line:  I enjoy this time; I am engaged during my Bible study;   and I benefit each day!

 

 

I Want to Live the Victorious Christian Life: Signed: Tired of Living in Defeat!

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Living the Abundant Christian life is undoubtedly the greatest need for many Christians. Perhaps even you are reading this to find out what a Life of Victory is all about. The good news is that Jesus has freely offered the Abundant Christian Life to EVERY Christian. Jesus said in John 10:10: “…..I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

What exactly is this abundant life Jesus has offered to me?

The Abundant Christian Life is one of continual Victory! It is one which has the following Characteristics:

1. You will know blessings such as “Specific Answers to Prayer.”
James 5: 16 – 18 says: “…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” Elijah was living the type of life Jesus was referring to. He experienced power with God through prayer, and what a prayer it was!

The Person Living in Victory Will Receive Regular Answers to Specific Prayers

2. You will receive fresh insights from your time alone with God.

You will find yourself saying often, “I have never seen this before as you study you Bible. What fresh insights have you discovered lately from your Bible reading? A few this week for me were:

* The Devil will leave after we resist him, BUT he will come back (Luke 4:13).
* David fought the giant Goliath by himself, but he needed others to help him defeat the other giants. There are some battles that we can fight alone, but many times we NEED the other Christians to help us as we fight the battle.

3. You will begin gaining victory over sin in your life. You can and should be getting victory over sin in your life. You do not have to say yes to every temptation and commit sin. The tragedy is that most Believers do not put up much of a fight. Most have no idea how to use the “Armor of God” and in what particular situation. (Another study soon to arrive here).

4. You will experience great Joy. Psalm 16:11 says: ” Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” God desires that you have “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (I Peter 1:8). You can have joy in spite of adverse circumstances; in spite of another’s treatment of you; in spite of the economic condition when you are living in victory.
Psalm 51:12 says: “Restore unto me the JOY of Thy salvation…” We can get the joy back into our lives! It comes through Prayer and spending time in the Presence of God.

Are you living in Victory or in Defeat? Defeat brings the following characteristics: Discouragement; Fear; a Critical spirit; an Unforgiving spirit; Envy; and a life committing the same sins over and again.

This life can be yours by sincerely doing the following:

1. It begins with SALVATION. Romans 10:13 promises you that: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

2. SIN must be dealt with each day. I John 1:9 promises the Christian: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Confess means to agree with God against your sin. Ask His forgiveness sincerely, and Jesus WILL forgive ALL your sins!

3. SUBMISSION to the Scriptures. This is Obedience to the Bible.

Which life do you want to live? The choice is Yours!
Email me under the contact tab and I will get in touch with you to help with Knowing How to go to Heaven or How to get started living this life of Victory!

An International Challenge: Going Global with the Gospel

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I want to challenge 650 Christians, from at least 25 Countries, to pass out 5 tracts each day during the month of July.    I look forward to hearing that Representatives from across America and the World, are signing up for this soul-winning endeavor.  Will you commit to getting the Gospel of Jesus Christ out to your City, State, and Country?

This is a deep passion and burden which Our Father has spoken clearly and decisively about to me.  Romans 10:1:  “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.”

I am extremely confident the spiritual results will be staggering.  This would mean a minimum of 100,750 lost souls receiving the Gospel in their very hands – and in only 31 days! 

Do we believe the time is short?  Do we believe that Jesus could come at ANY moment?   If so, this is our opportunity to join a focused effort with Believers all over the World in handing God’s plan of Salvation to those who are one breath away from hell!

Daily, I remind myself that I am living in the final years of my life.  What I need to do for Jesus Christ, I MUST do NOW!   Will you join me?

Just think, Christians from different countries, speaking different languages, teaming up in an earnest effort to distribute the Gospel.  We WILL see the hand of God upon this missionary enterprise.  Souls WILL be saved!   This is your opportunity do something which is far greater than yourself!

I would love to publish a brief testimony of your soul-winning experiences for the purpose of Glorifying Jesus, (Matthew 5:16) and to encourage those who are new at witnessing.

Please email me to sign up today.  I will NOT share your social information with anyone.

The information I will need in your email is: 

1)   Name

2)   Email Address

3)   City,  State,   Country

Matthew 28:18-20.   Will you sign up now? Will you pray DAILY for this soul winning effort today?

* I will in turn email you a simple, easy to use “Tract Tracking” spreadsheet. 

JimKilgoreMinistries@gmail.com

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