John Wesley on Holiness

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Holiness Unto the Lord?

As a Nazarene, holiness is something that we promote and totally believe in with everything that we are. In this past week, this thought has been on my heart: where is the holiness today among God’s people? In the church today, so much of the world is a part of the church and God did not intend for it to be this way. People are more concerned about sound, music, and other petty things instead of the altars being empty, the prayer room never used, and God’s people idle in their concern for souls.

A pastor one reminded me that “Busyness is not holiness”. We need to be busy working for the Lord, but we also need to be having an intimate walk with the Lord so that our busyness for Him is fruitful.  Remember without God we are nothing. Holiness stems from our relationship from Christ. As we draw nearer to Christ, the world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

So are we living Holy unto the Lord? It is a question we all need to answer personally. If not, seek the Savior to be immersed with His Spirit. He is faithful and will find those who seek him.

Do We Replace the Bible and Prayer?

I have had a thought on my heart this week. So many of us want to learn about the things of God. We seek different books that talk about topics concerning the Lord and we read them. But how many of us consult the Bible on a daily basis? How many of us read books on prayer but yet never pray? I believe this is something that happens all to often in the world today. We cannot get a better book about Jesus than the Bible. It is inspired of God and contains everything that God wants us to know about Himself on this earth. There isn’t a better book that talks about prayer than the Bible. Throughout its text, we see great men and women of faith praying and seeking God.

I notice that personally, I stay better on track during prayer time if I know what I am praying for. I have a list that I add and delete requests off of all the time. This helps me stay on task while I pray for the needs of others and myself. I love also following the daily lectionary when I read from the Bible each day. It really helps keep my mind set on the things of God and gives me a great reading plan that follows the church year. What do you do that helps you in prayer and reading the word? Leave a comment telling us as I’d love to hear them.

We find in 2 Tim. 3:16-17 the goal for the Word of God. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NASB). I am not saying at all that other books about the Lord are not good. But we need to come to the Bible more than we need to go to other books about the Bible. One time, Billy Graham was asked about one regret that he had in his life. He stated that he wished he read the Bible more than he read books about the Bible. I pray as we walk this journey of faith that this is not a regret that we have.

In closing, seek the Lord daily through His Word. Seek in daily in prayer. We do this the best through God’s Word, the Bible. God wants to connect with us in an intimate way and hear our hearts cry. He loves us so much that He gave His all so that we can have this opportunity. The question is this: are we willing to take advantage of this opportunity?

God’s blessings to you all!

Pastor Charles

Christianity Today: Louis Farrakhan’s Jesus Is Not Our Jesus

Experts say don’t be misled by Nation of Islam’s Christian references—on Facebook or elsewhere.

KATE SHELLNUTT AUGUST 30, 2017 3:15 PM

Image: Facebook

More than 1 million Facebook users have watched Louis Farrakhan proclaim that the living Jesus will save him from death, and that he will pay a price for his former teachings as the leader of the Nation of Islam.

Yet what seemed to some Christian outsiders like a move toward biblical repentance was, according to expert observers, actually a common tactic in Farrakhan’s messaging: using Christian language to apply to the African American movement’s own theology.

“It sounds like, because he used Jesus, that he’s talking about the biblical Jesus,” said Atlanta preacher Damon Richardson, who was born and raised in the Nation of Islam but found Jesus—the Christian one—at 16.

“I’ve got pastors and friends who are sharing the video, saying, ‘Hallelujah, praise God for this conversion,’ and they are not doing the research.”

Farrakhan gave his remarks earlier this month at a Washington church where he has guest-preached for decades, and posted a clip on Facebook which has been viewed by more than 1.3 million people. The 84-year-old minister said:

I thank God for guiding me for 40 years absent my teacher. So my next journey will have to answer the question. I’m gonna say, I know that my redeemer liveth. I know, I’m not guessing, that my Jesus is alive. I know that my redeemer liveth and because he lives I know that I, too, will pass through the portal of death yet death will not afflict me.

So I say to the devil, I know I gotta pay a price for what I’ve been teaching all these years. You can have the money, you can have the clothes, you can have the suit, you can have the house but, me, you can’t have.

His language rings familiar for churchgoers. But Richardson, an urban apologist speaking on Facebook in response, said the clip offers a lesson in the importance of using sound hermeneutics—including understanding how a message was originally intended and received.

Farrakhan restructured the Nation of Islam in the 1970s following its longtime leader and his mentor Elijah Mohammad, who died in 1975. He ultimately declared Mohammad as a new savior sent from Allah.

“When he says, ‘I know that my redeemer lives,’ this is a reference to the fact that he believes Elijah Mohammad, while physically absent, is physically alive,” Richardson said. (This is a shift in the Nation of Islam’s theology, since founder Wallace Fard Muhammad was originally seen as the savior and was even honored with a holiday called “Saviours’ Day.”)

“When [Farrakhan] says, ‘I know I’m going to have to pay a price for what I’ve been teaching all these years,’ this is not a denouncing of the teaching. This is an affirmation that he believes what he has been teaching is right,” Richardson said. “The price is death, imprisonment, or some sort of persecution for exposing the identity of the devil, who the Nation of Islam teaches is the white man.”

Even after Christians’ due diligence on Farrakhan’s latest remarks reveal that he has not moved away from his own teachings, they can continue to pray for him and all in the Nation of Islam, said apologist and church planter D. A. Horton.

The Nation of Islam began as a black nationalist and Islamic movement to “teach the downtrodden and defenseless black people a thorough knowledge of God and of themselves.” In a 2000 interview with CT, theologian Carl Ellis described the Nation of Islam among several groups with “a theology based on the historical core cultural issues of African Americans—dignity, identity, significance, empowerment—along with various doctrines that claim God is black and the white man is the devil.”

Though its numbers aren’t as high as during the 1960s and 1970s, the group under Farrakhan continues to have a presence in major cities and a closer relationship with some black churches who ascribe to black liberation theology, according to Richardson.

“His relationship with the black church has grown over the year because of his tendency to use Scripture and Christian language,” Richardson said in an interview with CT. “It’s the skin of the truth, stuffed with a lie.”

Farrakhan has made hundreds of references to Jesus over the course of his ministry and incorporated God’s son in his teaching, including attributing the light shining from the east (Matt. 24:27) to Elijah Mohammad.

Many Nation of Islam speakers also follow the “language, symbols, and rhythm of black church culture” in their style, according to Washington pastor Thabiti Anyabwile.

“It is definitely a deceptive means that the Nation of Islam will use to lure unsuspecting Christians,” said pastor Ernest Leo Grant II, who has written about the need for a new approach to defending the Christian faith in the inner city.

Grant, who leads Epiphany Fellowship of Camden, New Jersey, listed the Nation of Islam, along with Moorish Science Temple of America and Black Hebrew Israelites, as the top sects offering urban African Americans an alternative to Christianity.

Farrakhan in particular “is known for appropriating and transposing Christian terms to make them more appealing,” Grant said. “Evangelicals should be concerned about the Nation of Islam in general because they are causing some to fall away.”

Christian rapper Sho Baraka spoke on The Calling podcast about his own upbringing in the Nation of Islam, and the need for theological training to address similar cults and sects that appeal to African Americans.

The growing field of urban apologetics—with an eye toward poverty, justice, diversity, violence, and a city’s cultural distinctives—has worked to train leaders to serve that mission.

“Sadly, in the black community, we have conceded these issues either to liberation theology or to black nationalist groups like the Nation of Islam,” Christopher Brooks, a pastor in Detroit where the Nation of Islam began, told CT in 2013. “There needs to be a strong evangelical voice in our urban areas that says, ‘Here is what the gospel has to say about justice.’”

Update

Hello Everyone,

It has been a long time since I have posted on my blog. Things are going well but time has been short. I am planning on getting back on track with the blog and adding content from others as well as myself. I will be scheduling it ahead of time so that there is regular content.

Just a quick thought today from God’s Word as we are still in the midst of the Easter Season. I love the angel as she tells Mary to GO and tell the others that He has risen from the dead. That word GO is significant as it tells us to move forward, to press on. She did as the angel instructed and became the first person to proclaim the Gospel of Christ in its fullness. It goes to also show that women have a significant role in the church and that we must support them in their ministry in the church. In the church of the Nazarene, it would not have been the church that we are today without great women of faith standing up and ministering in the early days of the Nazarene denomination. The message that He is alive is what we are to go with today to all the world and proclaim. Remember, the word go is a command, not an option.

I hope you will all continue to tune in as I put a bunch of new content on here. I am going to write a lil thought on my mind each week and place it on here too. It will be like what you just read above. I hope to get some more in depth studies on here also moving forward.

Blessings In Christ,

Pastor Charles Wells

Are you Depressed?

I Write I write when I’m overcome with emotion. Whether I’m floating on air or tumbling over a cliff, I write. I’ve done a lot of writing in the past couple of years, not because my joy “overfloweth,” but because my tears do. My husband asked me

Source: Are you Depressed?

New Series Coming!

Good Morning Friends,

After my post the other day, I have decided that I will be writing a series on depression, anxiety, and things of this nature over the next several months. I will hopefully be starting to post this series in the fall, as it will take much research and prayer. There are so many out there struggling and I hope my story can be an encouragement to your heart that you are not alone. God is with you and I am there to help however I can.

I will also post articles and resources over the next several months that I hope will be a blessing to you. I just feel the Lord leading me in this way and I will be obedient to Him and write this series, praying that He uses it mightily for His glory.

Blessings in Jesus,

Pastor Charles

Sharing My Heart

I am writing this morning on what God has placed on my heart. I love doing this because I hope that it will minister to someone and tell them that they are not alone in the fight. What am I talking about? I am talking about the major depression and anxiety that I suffer with each day. Yes, some days it is good and some days it is horrible, but my friends I have hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. Many days, He is the only person that keeps me going.

The struggle feels like this: Imagine that you are in the bottom of a pit. There is no rope, no ladder, no nothing to help you out. You are scratching and clawing on the sides, trying to get out but to no avail. This is what my depression feels like many days. It makes me wonder why do I even try? It makes you wonder if there will ever be a way out of it. Why doesn’t someone throw down a ladder to help you up?

Depression is not sin. It does not mean that you need to pray more or have more faith. Depression is a real condition that needs treated by professionals. I thank God for doctors and medication that have helped my depression. If you have depression, seek help and tell others, especially those who are closest to you.

Why do I write this? I hope nobody takes this and uses it against me because I feel I can minister to so many who are in this fight as well. You are not alone. God is with you and will sustain you, even in the darkest of days. I write this because I am willing to put myself on a limb just to help one other person. People have such a stigma about depression but it is very commonplace in our society today.

In closing, I must tell you hang in there. Better days are ahead. Place your trust in God and he will give you peace and joy, when you think it is not possible. I love you all and please feel free to reach out to me if you need help in this fight. I am here to help and support you!

How Christians Can Experience Deeper Rest | Article | Theology of Work

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Source: How Christians Can Experience Deeper Rest | Article | Theology of Work