The church on its knees keeps the devil on his heels. Lord God, raise up a community of believers saved by Your Grace, who lift Your Name beyond the shadow of the steeple and who love beyond condition. Transform Your Church to be the hand of its Healer in a world yet unreached and underwhelmed by religious form without power. Your Word, (The Holy Scriptures) is The Inspired Revelation upon which the church of this generation must take its stand. Help us to Love our neighbors as if Your Life was given for All.
Matthew 26:59 Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death
May we as the church of the Living Christ never allow ourselves to become confused through our representation of Christ, either intentionally or unintentionally, with the religious establishment of Jesus’ day which deliberately misrepresented Him and denounced him in a shameless promotion of Christ-less religion.
Jesus is the Head of this church. He is its savior. He is the name above every other name. His return is the blessed hope of the church. Christ, through His blood is guarantor of our redemption. He is the singular gift offered to secure our release from guilt and condemnation. He is the First Love of the church triumphant. He is the Gospel. He is the Beginning and the End. He stands center stage. Jesus loves all men. He is exalted!
If there is any other agenda being served in your church, may it be revealed to us through the Word of God and by the Holy Spirit, and may we be led to repent of and forsake it. The Will of God as revealed through the Written Word of God and through the Living Word of God in Christ is the heart of the church’s identity and the foundation and framework for the church’s existence and all of its activities.
Jesus, loved us enough to lay His life down for all people without discrimination and through the purchase of the church by His blood, He owns the church. His identity and His relationship with the church should never be clouded by the Words and actions of His blood bought church! Lord help me.
Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Real numbers may not lie, but they don't tell the whole Truth. God is always Bigger!
2 Kings 6:16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
Sometimes the toxicity in a difficult relationship is not coming from the other party. When its presence is consistently found in our interactions with others it is almost certain that the source lies within us. Jesus Christ is the antidote.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Luke 6:42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Those who find the principles of God's Word to be unconstitutional should understand that the author of those Divine Principles is not an elected official who requires man's legislation or judicial action to validate them.
20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!
Today is tomorrow's yesterday. Live today so that tomorrow you won't have any regrets.
Colossians 4:5-6, "Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one."
Many times I share these postings as a ministry for anyone that may be in need at a given time. I realize that they may be interpreted as being preachy (and if so I am fine with that.) In the day that we live it is apparent that there is a concerted effort of a broad coalition of “offended” and yet “tolerant” souls who have sought to silence the voices of those who subscribe to an “inspired” Bible, as the Word of God, and who believe that it is the authoritative source of Truth - not merely a truth, but The Truth.
Along with those who have a vehement objection to any public expression of Christian faith, there may be those within the church at large who have become more concerned with the church’s image than its scriptural and spiritual integrity. The fear of being labeled, ridiculed, written off, and even prosecuted, seems to have spawned an abandonment of Scriptural Truth among numbers of "believers" and "churches." These truths have provided the bedrock for society.
Others have invested much time in redefining scripture, re-inventing church, and creating God in the image that appeals most in the market place, the campus, the workplace, the church, and on the playgrounds of life. There are those in secular society who have made it their mission to remove God completely and even more troubling is that there are those within “the church” at large who are focused on creating a god that is much more palatable to the tastes of consumers - a lighter, less offensive, an all love, all grace, kind of Jesus - minus the Truth.
Bad representations of Christ in the past do not justify the abandonment of that which is essential. Our methods and the means may change but the essentials must not be watered down, given a lesser place, or disposed of. The revelation of Jesus Christ and the Gospel must not be dumbed down. Without Christ at the Center and the enabling of the Holy Spirit, our message is toothless and irrelevant. We hold the God given revelation of Himself in sacred trust as man’s hope of redemption.
Jesus is Grace and Truth (John 1:14) Grace and Truth are inseparable. Without Grace you have legalism. Without Truth you have licentiousness. Truth is the part of Jesus that most have the greatest difficulty with. The warped conception of grace, held by many, is that Grace is a license to indulgence without conscience or consequence.
If we subscribe to the teachings of scripture without compromise it will consistently bring us into conflict with popular thought or practice. When it does, we must chose not to hate or to defame, and yet we must not abandon the foundational Truth for living found in the Word of God (The Holy Bible.) The view that Scripture is the inspired and infallible Rule of Faith and Conduct in itself is enough to incite the “offended” and yet “tolerant” crowd to take arms. I fully subscribe to the Scriptures as the Inspired and infallible Rule of Faith and Conduct.
Every representation of Christianity is offensive to someone and that should not be a surprise. Jesus was not voted man of the year. He was crucified.
God help us to love righteously. My weakness and my flaws demonstrate my personal need for Grace and Truth. His Truth does not bend, but His Grace breaks my heart so that He can make it whole.
The church must not be silent and it must not go away.
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
John 6:60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”
61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you?
66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”
68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
2 Thessalonians 2:3
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent…….
The start and finish lines are separated by a measurable number of determined steps but the rewards are immeasurable. Run for the prize in Christ, the rewards are incomparably better than the pain. "So run that you may obtain it."
24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! - 1Corinthians 9:24
Jesus came to earth to set people free. He did not come to enslave the masses to the innumerable matrices of religious dogma that wear out the soul and ignite contempt among those who claim Christ. The greater offense is found in the hellish construction of walls built upon a fraudulent claim of authentic Christianity. The weary, the broken, the hopeless, and the lost will never find rest, wholeness, hope, or redemption within the yoke of religious burden, toiling outside the wall of legalistic elitism and exclusion. It is not the mere use of The Name in religious pursuit, it is the Character that resides within genuine Christianity that draws souls.
The legalist delights himself in the volume of gnats that he can strain out while swallowing even more camels. May we, as those redeemed by grace through Christ, offer heaven’s antidote and not hell’s poison to the one who suffers. May we, throw out the life preserver to the one drowning and not a cinder block. May we speak the Gospel as inspired by the Holy Spirit and not simply parrot traditional or trendy religious jargon. People need Jesus and not the web of the overwhelming complexity of contrived religion that is often attached as an addendum to the true Gospel of grace. Forgiveness of sin is found through grace and is received in repentance and saving faith. The Gospel of Christ is much clearer and much simpler than man’s matrix of religion
Matthew 11:28-30 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
Galatians 3:1-3 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
Assumptions often come from preconceptions and predispositions, not always requiring fact or real understanding. They can tend to be harsh and may be formed from limited grace. Assumptions often shape our attitudes and responses to situations and people. When we are predisposed to think negatively of others we tend to be mistrusting and judgmental, expecting the worst and attributing less than noble motives to their actions. When we assume the worst of others we tend to interpret their attitudes and actions (regardless of fact) in a way that will justify our assumptions about them. When we are not maturing in the Love of Christ we tend to think of others with contempt. The Love of Christ within us changes things, beginning with ourselves.
1Corinthians 13:4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Pastor Rick Ritenour