Sunday, November 30, 2014

Snapshot of Purpose

Ephesians 4 gives an excellent snapshot of what is expected of a Christian.  The ministry of Turn the Tide is focused on giving people the tools they need to "work out their own salvation with fear and trembling".  Together, let's take a look and gain understanding of how to apply the principle's we'll find there.

Basically, this section of scripture gives us 4 area's to concentrate on.  It begins by telling us that we ALL  are called to walk worthy of the calling; we ALL are given grace for the journey and we ALL have a particular job to do within the Body of Christ.

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head,Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

1.  We are to equip the saints;  whenever and wherever we gather with other believers, we should share the knowledge and insights we've gained so they too, can be better equipped to serve.  Likewise, we should be as eager to receive their knowledge and insights that will further equip each of us.

2.  We are to edify, or grow, the Body of Christ; this involves not just adding other people to the Body, though this is most definitely a part of the growth process, but we are to example maturity in Christ to others, so they too will mature in the Spirit.

3.  We are to actively seek UNITY; in the whole Body, not just in our special denomination or group, but to ALL who call upon the name of Jesus as their Lord and Savior, as much as it is in our power and ability we must be fostering unity.

4.  Speak the TRUTH in Love; never compromise, never lie.  Speak the truth to all and everyone, but do so in a gracious, loving way that takes the first three principles into consideration.  Speak the truth so the saints are properly equipped and ready for the Spiritual Warfare that comes with being a believer.  Speak the truth in Love to nurture to maturity.  Speak the truth in Love to both example unity and encourage unity without regard to whatever label we may have put on ourselves in the religious sense.  It doesn't matter if one calls themselves a Methodist or Baptist or Protestant or Catholic.  If they call Jesus Lord they are members with YOU of the Body of Christ and we must seek unity above all else.

Each one of us is an individual, specifically created by God with certain abilities, personality traits and heart desires that are not the same as everyone else.  All of these differences are designed by God to work together to supply the needs of the whole Body, not just a few chosen parts of it.  No one member is of any greater, or lesser importance than any other member.  The ultimate goal is always to glorify God, never ourselves.

With these ideas in mind, how might that change your walk with the Lord?  Click on the comments section and share with us! Thank you and God bless you in your growth!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

All Aboard!


That's the "battle cry" of the missionary Turn the Tide Ministries.

ALL ABOARD!  This train is leaving the station!

Christ is coming - SOON!  No one knows the day or the hour, but we are called to be watching, praying and READY TO GO!

If you spend any time in a Bible believing church or hanging around Christians who take the word of God seriously, you are sure to hear about "The Great Commission".

The very last instruction, recorded in the Bible, that Jesus gave His disciples is found in Acts 1:8:

"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The call to action from the Lord Himself to all who claim Him as Lord and Savior is BE WITNESSES TO HIM.

A fast grammar lesson for those of us who haven't been in school for awhile :-)

to:  a preposition;  
=used to indicate the place, person or thing that someone or something moves toward
=used to indicate the place where someone participates in a particular activity
=used to indicate the direction of something

Then there is the preposition “of” which is often substituted for the word “to” as if they were completely compatibly interchangeable.

Of: a preposition;
=belong to, relating to or connected with someone or something
=used to indicate that someone or something belongs to a group of people or things

=living in or occurring in a specific country, city, town etc

I realize that every translation of the Holy Scriptures is just that, a translation.  I realize that we don't have the "original" theo pneustis (sp.?) that is  the original God-breathed word, but in delving deeper into the meanings of words even as they were translated, we gain greater insight and are then in a place to be led by the Holy Spirit into deeper, more perfect meaning in our manifesting of Gods Word.

In this instance, I love that if we were called to be witnesses "of" Christ, just being a Christian would suffice, for we do belong to and are connected with the Body of Christ simply by virtue of our being "saved" or "born again" or whatever vernacular you use to indicate your Christian state.

But to be witnesses "to" Christ requires ACTION on our part!  That Holy Spirit in you (Colossians 1:27) means you must DO SOMETHING about sharing the witness of Christ and His Salvation Gift with others.  You can't be content to simply know YOU are part of....instead we ought to foster a zealous energy and hold a deep compassion for the state of others that compels us to make this Salvation Gift known to them!

ALL ABOARD!  Time is short, and no one is promised a moments breath beyond the one they are currently inhaling.  Our time on this earth is but a blink of the eye, but ETERNITY?  Those who insist on reason and/or logic to consider Faith in Christ, reason and logic this; there is NO DOUBT every person ever born and who will ever be born will live a certain amount of time and then the body will die.  That is absolute.  The spirit of man was created by God to be an eternal entity.  The question is not "will you have Eternal Life"; you will.  The question that faith and faith alone can answer is:

Will you spend eternity in darkness and torment or -
will you spend Eternity in the Light, Love and Presence of the very One Who Created You in His Own Image?

We can sit still and claim we are witnesses "of" Christ by our belief in salvation or we can get cracking about being witnesses "TO" Christ by our deliberate, motivated actions to share the salvation message with others!

ALL ABOARD! Our dream is to share His Grace, Love and Hope with others.  You can join us.  Pray for this ministry - we need prayer for strength to stay the course until He calls us home.

Send us your prayer requests! (Form is upper left corner of the site)  It is our privilege to pray for you!

Get on board, Christ is coming soon!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Apologetics, debates and atheists

Do you ever feel like you have to "defend God"?

When other people scoff at your beliefs or dismiss them as weakness or fables, it is natural to want to defend those beliefs.

In reality, we aren't so much defending God as we are trying to justify why we believe what we believe.

Right here I’ll stop and make one point very clear; the belief system I am addressing is that of taking Jesus at His word.  That He is, as He declared, the Truth and the ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN.   That God, in the Beginning, Created the Heavens and earth and everything in it.  That our faith must be in Him, not in our church doctrines, our own feelings or the philosophy of others.

Recently on a Facebook post, a well meaning and very polite atheist expressed the opinion that Christianity is as easily dismissed a religion as any other religion practiced on this earth.

I shared some basic Truth, which he, as expected, dismissed or ignored while pressing forward, gearing up for a “fun” debate that would waste out time and perhaps only serve to supply him with some entertainment.

I spoke the Truth in Love and made it clear I would not join him in a debate, as Truth is not open to debate, it STANDS on its own.  Jesus needs no apologies and God certainly doesn’t need me to defend Him. (I did declare I would pray for him, did pray and will continue to pray that the Holy Spirit would deliver him from blindness).

According to the revelation shared by the Apostle Paul, it is both unnecessary and an exercise in futility to spend time on what he calls “endless genealogies” or “vain jangling”. 

Take a look for yourself:

1Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Savior, and the Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;
2 To Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
As I asked you to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that you might charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
Now the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: (unfeigned is ‘not false’)
From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;
1Timothy 6: 20  O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.
Indeed, there are many mysteries that only God Himself knows and we are ignorant of their origins or how they affect our world and our hearts.  God, being God and Creator, is naturally superior to that which He created.  That is difficult for many to accept or comprehend.  They prefer to bring God down to their own level, debate lofty truths that we have no control over as though they did control them, and reject the very premise of a Creator that would make them not completely and absolutely autonomous in their own being.
As if, in rejecting the existence of God, they could actually diminish or dispel His existence and influence upon the earth and the creatures He created.

That’s the biggest problem with every argument I’ve ever heard from one who dismisses the existence of God.  All argument begins precisely with what God has already provided; LIFE.  They live because God made, formed and created man to begin with and gave man free will to choose to worship and trust God the Creator.
I have always had a problem with lies.  It stems from a childhood that was filled with them, and caused me fist clenching tooth grinding frustration that is with me to this day. When I was raising my children, I used to tell them that as long as we had the truth of any situation, no matter how bad or devastating it might be, we could deal with it.
That is the same way I view the Bible.  I may not understand all of it, I may not even want to agree with all of it, but since it is Truth and it reveals nothing but Truth, there is something substantial to deal with whatever the circumstances. 
Those who reject the Truth – and we should understand that Truth is not a “what” but a “Who”- Jesus Himself! – those who reject that Truth have no premise, no foundation to stand on.  So anything they come up with may or may not resemble reason or logic; BUT IT WILL NOT BE TRUTH.
To be sure, faith is a difficult thing.  Centuries of scholars have written discourse after discourse about it, refuting it, defending it and discussing it at length.  One post here can't even begin to deal with the intricacies of faith and I am not going to try.  What I will say is this; you don't have to have rock solid faith in and of yourself when your faith rests on the Rock Solid foundation of Christ.
When we consider faith only from our own perspective, then losing it, if only for a time at different times, is almost a given.  When things are going well faith is easy and strong.  
When the going is hard, the stuff of life deals us a blow or a defeat or failure, if your faith is based on how "good" you are treated, how often you get not just answer to prayer, but the answers you want - if faith is based on anything other than JESUS CHRIST THE SAVIOR, your faith will fail you.
When you recognize that faith in the Truth is based ON that Truth and not your circumstances or your feelings, you discover faith is steady, stable and continually growing stronger in every situation.
Faith is: