I suppose we all have enough trouble understanding and obeying the basic truths that we know, and that are clearly laid out for us in Scripture. So why worry about things that aren’t even mentioned? Let’s just love God and each other and everything’ll be alright.
Trouble is, we make assumptions about all sorts of things that aren't mentioned in the Bible. Back in February, we dug into some of these assumptions that we make about relationships, the animal kingdom and food. Click here
Continuing in that vein, here are a couple more:
Remembering Jesus with Bread & Wine
Clearly, we are instructed to remember Jesus in His sacrificial death. This is so that we can never forget His great love expressed by His willingness to lay down his life for us. This should spur us on to greater love for Him each time we honor Him this way.
This (bread) is my body, broken for you. Do this to remember me. After supper, he did the same thing with the cup: This cup is my blood, my new covenant with you. Each time you drink this cup, remember me. [1 Cor 11:24b-25 The Message]
So, there’s no doubt that we are to do this; but when, where and how often? With a meal at home or only in a ‘holy’ place? Annually? Weekly? Monthly? Daily? On just some special Sundays? (Seems to me we should remember Jesus in this manner more often than we do.) The only thing we know about the timing is when we are to cease from doing it: when Jesus returns for His church. [1 Cor 11:26]
And who may administer this morsel of bread and sip of wine? Only a priest or a pastor? Or may we do it ourselves?
Recently, for one solid year, Donna and I took bread and wine in simple communion with the Lord every day; it was part of our our morning prayer time. I had some health issues and Donna stayed home with me that whole time. Perhaps, as I heard a preacher once say, “There’s healing in the cup.” (I’m doing much better these days.)
There’s only one reference to retirement in the Bible: at age 50, the Levite priests were to stop their ministry of manual labor—the frequent heavy lifting required in the moving of the titanic Tent of Meeting—during the 40 years they wandered around in the desert. Upon reaching their half-century, each priest was to leave the muscle work to younger men, and remain in service by being available for light duties and advice. [Num 8:23-26]
So why is retirement such a big deal today in just about all career occupations? That Big Day becomes either ‘pie in the sky’—rocking the grandkids . . . chasing golf balls in paradise—or a day to be feared. It's as though retirees have reached their ‘Use-By’ date, feeling as though they're officially devalued and basically useless.
Elderly Simeon of Jerusalem, was obviously too old for the work force. He was longing to head off to heaven, but couldn’t until the Messiah showed up. One day, while he was ‘in the Spirit,’ he went into the temple right at the time young Jesus was being presented to the Lord by his family. Old Simeon’s big moment had arrived! He blessed the Christ-child—and His parents—freeing himself to pass on to his reward. [Luke 2:25-35]
Around the same time, 84 year-old Anna, a widowed prophetess, spent all her time in the temple, serving day and night. She instantly discerned the great event that was happening right before her eyes, and gave thanks to God for the coming of Jesus. [Luke 2:36-38]
Like Simeon and Anna and the Levite priests, there is no retirement from a productive and active life; elders should be sensitive to what God is saying, looking for opportunities to pass along wisdom to the next generations. [Psalm 71:18]
We could go on and on considering other topics about which Scripture is silent, or at least a bit unclear on; such as:
*Church buildings (should we still be meeting in homes?)
*Denominations (are they part of God’s plan for the church?)
*How much should Christians give? (10%? Less? More?)
*Should those who live by faith, ask others for support?
*What does true worship sound like? Is it in your ears or in your heart?
It is His Will . . . Poet Unkown
. . . That I should cast my cares on Him each day
He also tells me not to cast my confidence away
But Oh! how foolishly I act, if taken unawares
I cast my confidence away and carry all my cares.
[1 Peter 5:7 & Hebrews 10:35]
Mountain Tops & Valleys Bob Heil
The victories that bring God the greatest glory are not fought on the mountain tops, but in the valleys. It gives Him far more joy that your heart stays with Him, even in the hard places, than that He was able to do a miracle through you. The mountain tops are where God’s power is manifest. The valleys are where your faithfulness and trust are manifest.
Reasons we need Renewal William Booth
- Religion without the Holy Spirit
- Christianity without Christ
- Forgiveness without repentance
- Salvation without regeneration
- Politics without God
- Heaven without hell
Discernment & Humility Charles Spurgeon
Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.
"We are never, never so much in danger of being proud as when we think we are humble."
Margy Fox writes from New Zealand, in response to April’s eTouch:
I always look forward to your heart-sharing. It's so interesting about the Double Calls you found in your grandfather’s old Bible. Also interested in what you said about Love in Galatians. I have a little verse in the margin of my Bible:
The Fruit of the Spirit is Love . . . (expressed in joy, peace, etc)
Joy is love singing
Peace is love resting
Patience is love enduring
Gentleness is love's touch
Goodness is love's character
Faithfulness is love's habit
Meekness is love's self-forgetfulness
Self-control is love holding the reigns.
From Dannie Hawley, missionary in Africa:
I am so relieved to read your post, Donna (April eTouch). My heart has been grieved that Christians can so easily criticize one another. Never has there been a time in history when we need to support one another more than today.
Sept 4-Sept 10 - A Family Gathering, Kansas City, USA:
Kids Together, Encountering God
We believe that no child is too young to encounter God. This year at YWAM Together 2016, we have partnered with the International House of Prayer Children’s Equipping Center that will host a Kids and Teen Track.
- These equipping tracks are designed to encourage, teach and equip children and teens to be devoted disciples of Jesus.
- The tracks are available for kids and teens whose parents are registered and attending YWAM Together.
- There will be three separate tracks; a Pre-School Track (ages 3-5), a Kids Track (ages 6-12) and a Teen Track (ages 13-17).
If you haven't registered for the conference yet, please register your children under general registration and also register them for the Children's Track by clicking here! For more information on schedule, activities and registration for your child, please go to our website (www.ywamkc2016.org).
Over the past couple of weeks, God has been showing me that many of His sons and daughter’s are losing their effectiveness for the Kingdom, because of offences they carry. It’s a huge hindrance to hearing from God. I have also asked God to examine my heart.
As Albert Zehr (a dear friend), writes in his booklet on offence, much insight can be gained from understanding the meaning of the Greek word standalone, from which the English word offence is derived. It was used to describe the part of a trap where the bait was attached. If the prey took the bait, it would set off the trap, and the ‘taker' becomes the victim.
Offence is one of the primary baits that Satan uses to entrap believers. We as believers, when we take the bait, can then become angry, resentful and critical, bringing division and sometimes, rebellion. We are robbed of our joy, peace and intimacy with God, from which comes our ministry. Many relationships that were once close have been devastated because offences and lack of trust keep on being carried. We all make mistakes, so let’s not have higher expectations on each other than God does.
In the end times, many will be offended. We are seeing that the intensity of God’s move is being accelerated, so there will be a greater tendency for misunderstandings. The enemy knows his time is short and he can twist words. What I say may not be what you hear, because of lack of trust; perhaps you have been offended by what I may have said or done in the past, and I may not even been aware of it.
Another person, or perhaps God Himself, took action or made a statement which is contrary to our desires or expectations. Potential for offence is much greater with those we love and are close to. Religious people are easily offended. Prophetic people can easily be offended because the apostolic leaders don’t listen to them or take a certain action which to them, seems appropriate. There are so many examples we could use, for example, when someone has an offence towards a leader—even if that leader is highly regarded—only the weaknesses and failures of that leader are noticed; and your words about them will negatively affect others.
We must forgive. If we don’t, we place ourselves in a state of unforgiveness—a condition that shuts us off from God’s forgiveness. [Matt 6:14-15; Matt 18:35] When we are unforgiving we become unforgiven, and when we are unforgiven we cannot find the grace to forgive.
When in a state of offence we can easily be deceived. The secret in dealing with offence is trusting the sovereignty of God—DON’T TAKE THE BAIT of being offended! The Christian life is walking in forgiveness and not being ensnared by the bait of offence.
The Monkey Trap: cut a small hole in a coconut (just big enough for for his hand), add a few peanuts and the monkey will reach in, grab the nuts—and never let go of them! Trapped.
Live in worship and the Word, and offence cannot take root. Physical and mental illness may be linked to carrying offence. When we are offended we tend to be subjectively attached to our pain, and our discernment becomes clouded by self-vindication and anger in our hearts.
Then, out of the heart the mouth speaks. [Matt 15:18] Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble (or be offended). [Ps 119:165]
Do not pick up other people's offences, or take sides. We must keep our eyes on Jesus, and whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. [Phil 4:4-9] Ask God what He feels about the situation, and how to respond, and not to react.
The Christian life is walking in forgiveness and not being ensnared by the bait of offence.
My friends I could share so many of my own personal examples, but I encourage you to read John Bevere’s book, “The Bait of Satan”; or order Albert Zehr’s booklet on Offence; it's just 12 pages and is offered** free to the body of Christ to be used as the Lord directs.
It is not under copyright. I encourage you to order it and copy it, using it to help others to be set free from the trap of offence . . . by believing truth and applying that truth from God’s Word. Our response to offence determines our future.
Let’s not let anything hold us back from being in God’s army and getting prepared to be the Bride of Christ. [Rev 19]
My heart is to see Jesus’ prayer in John 17, to be answered. It will never be answered, if we carry offence.
Love and Blessings,
**You can order the booklet directly from Albert at this email address or write to him at:
Canada V4N 2G7
I so honor this man of God for freely making available what he has received from the Spirit, and from God’s Word. When ordering the booklet send a gift, especially if you are going to copy it and teach others.
July 10-July 16 - Sighisoira, Romania: with Mariette Louw
July 25-July 30 - Skjærgårdsheimen, (Kristiansand) Norway: CANCELLED
July 31-Aug 06 - Champagne, France: with Carl Tinnion, Leader, YWAM, UK
My brother—a bit of a stirrer when we were kids—used to say to my Dad, “We should give thanks for the food, after we eat.” (Perhaps he was implying that sometimes dinner might not be good enough to be thankful for!) Some Christian—and other—traditions actually do give thanks before and after a meal. That seems like a good practice.
But sadly these days, seldom do meals end for everyone at the same time—if indeed they start together. Busy, busy, busy . . . no time to enjoy one another with good conversation around good food.
When we start a meal by giving thanks, we’re blessing God for His provision, and being grateful for those responsible for growing it and the cook for putting it all together so that it looks and tastes good.
I hope we’re all in agreement that we should be thankful for our ‘daily bread.’ Okay, now we’re going to move to a sensitive place. After some good ‘tucker’ (as the Aussies say), what happens next? Well of course, digestion follows with all its amazing twists and turns, ending in elimination. The great equalizer. The final solution and satisfaction.
Hey! This process is something for which we should be enormously grateful—we all know what it’s like when there’s a holdup in the system! Jewish people are known to be just as thankful for a daily ‘output’ as they are for the enjoyment surrounding the original intake.
. . . In everything give thanks . . . [1 Thess 5:18a]
Till next time, cool runnings,
The Small Print
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