Tag Archives: Christians

Peace Established. Hostility Destroyed.

We need to remember previous verses:

1 v.3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

1 v.13-14 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

2 v.1-12 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ,alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

When reading through Ephesians there are some important words that come up. Specifically in this case, the word “but”. This is now the second time it has come up and if we look back in vs.4 we will see how important it is. Imagine, if that “but” was not there. And that was it. What if there was no “But God” in Ephesians?

We have remember who we once were before Christ. We should never forget but now that we are in Christ, we have been brought near to Him. We were once separated, strangers, and alienated from the one who cares for us and is in control of all things. But for those who have received Christ, we have been brought close to him. Important thing to see is that the reason we have been brought near is not because of anything we have done or will do. It is not because of a priest, a prayer, communion, nothing. It was only because of Christ and His blood that was poured out on the cross. That’s it! Only the blood of Jesus can bring us close.

More specifically it says that Christ was our peace and is our peace. Those who are far from God are not at peace with God and will truly never have peace unless they are brought close to Him through the blood of Jesus Christ. Christ became man so that He would proved and be the peace between God and man. This also made those of us who are close to God, through the blood of Christ, one with God and broke down any barriers that were dividing us from God and creating hostility. So, when Christ provided peace between man and God, He also provided a way to become one with Him. When God looks at those who have come close, He sees the blood of His Son, which kills any hostility and brings true peace.

This peace that Jesus brought was not just for a certain people group, or a certain class of people. This peace is meant for all who are close and all who are far. People that could be close could be those who are under the preaching of the Word every week and active in their church but yet have never been brought close to God, through the blood of Jesus Christ. Those who are far off could be someone who knows nothing about God and has no interested in knowing about Him. Some could be far off who were once appeared close to God but yet as life moved on and trials came, they are now far from Him. Many of us could easily think of people in both these categories. Those who are close, yet are far off. Those who are far off, yet have know thought or knowledge of Him. And those who were once close, but yet are now very far, proving they were never truly close to begin with.

We have been brought close to God, through His Son, who provided peace and destroyed the hostility between God and man, and He is inviting those who are close and those who are far away to truly come near and receive peace.

My mind wanders and aches for those who I know that are far. Bring them to yourself O God of Peace!

We need to remember 1 v. 13-14 when reading 2 v. 18. Because being drawn close, the peace, being one with Christ, we now have access by the power of the Holy Spirit, through the Son and what He did for us, to worship and praise God for what He has done, for who He is, and for what He is going to do for rest of our human lives and also the rest of eternity!

Ephesians 2:13-18 ESV

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Remember my past…

We need to remember the verses before:

2 v.1-10 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. ButGod, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

I don’t like dwelling on the past when it comes to my life. Even though there was a lot of great things that happened and majority of my life was good and pleasurable. But for some reason I am easily reminded of the hurt and pain that happened to me and the hurt and pain I caused in others. The moments of deceit and and evil things I did when no was around. Out of all that was “bad”, the worst is the broken relationships with people I knew throughout life. Not all of what went wrong in the different friendships I had was 100% my fault, but for some reason it’s hard not to think like that. The question, what if?, always resonates through my head.

As a follower of Christ, we are called to remember and not forget our past and where we came from. Ultimately, for the purpose of pushing and making us rely more on Christ. This remembering should bring us to the time before Christ or times where we were wandering from Him. Before Christ we were alienated from the promises of God. We were strangers in God’s land. We had no direction, no hope, and even if we thought we did, we did not have God, thus life was artificial and the sustenance of life, left us empty.

I have felt like a stranger before. Mostly in the hockey arena, walking into a dressing room full of guys that I did not know and they did not know me. Even better, was when it was a smaller dressing room and not a lot of space left for me to put my stuff down and change. Everyone forgets how to speak and they all just look at me and I am looking at them. Ultimately, this is reminding me to remember life without Christ. Alienated, a stranger, having no hope, and totally without God while living and satisfying the flesh by the desires of this world.

If we look back over what we have already read, we can see another glimpse of what we were like before Christ. We were alienated, a stranger, had no hope, without God, against God, orphaned, un-forgiven, un-redeemed, Satan’s, headed for destruction, blind, poor, dead and a child of wrath.

O how lost we were before we gained Christ! O how lost we would be if we gained the world and all that is in it! A slave of sin we once were, now a slave of God!

Ephesians 2:11-13

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In Christ…

In Christ, I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing.

In Christ, I was chosen before the foundation of the world to be made holy and blameless before God.

In Christ, I was adopted as a son for the purposed of doing His will.

In Christ, I have been redeemed through His blood, which forgives my sin, by His grace, so that in the fullness of time, all things in Him will be united.

In Christ, I have an inheritance, which was predestined by Him, so that, I who hope in Him with praise His glory.

In Christ, I am sealed by the Holy Spirit when I believed in the Truth, the Gospel, to which guarantees our inheritance.

Ephesians 1:3-14

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25 Early Christian Characteristics/Norms

  1. Early Christians loved, studied, kept, and copied Scripture. This love for Scripture usually was stained in their blood, as most died defending the faith.
  2. Early Christians were called “atheist” because they worship unseen god.
  3. The spread of the Gospel was mostly carried out by normal everyday people as they travelled throughout the land. Yes, the apostles did great work, but most of the missionary work was carried out by countless and nameless Christians who for different reasons-persecution, business, or missionary calling-traveled from place to place taking the news of the Gospel with them.
  4. Interpretation of Scripture was done allegorically.
  5. Early Christians did not consider themselves followers of a new religion. All their lives they had been Jews, and they still were. This was true of Peter and the twelve, of the seven, and of Paul. Their faith was not a denial of Judaism, but rather the conviction that the messianic age had finally arrived. Early Christians did not reject Judaism, but were convinced that their faith was the fulfillment of the age-long expectation of a Messiah.
  6. Communion did not focus on the death of Jesus, it focused on the resurrection of Jesus and His victory by which a new age had dawned.
  7. Two days were set aside for weekly fasting. (Wednesday and Friday)
  8. Early Christians were not only persecuted by the Romans, but mostly by Jews. Jews looked at Christianity as a simply another heretical sect. Read Acts 18. This helped the Gospel message to spread as Christians had to scatter throughout the land.
  9. When Christians were blamed for the fire that Nero started, Tacticus, a pagan historian of the time, did not believe that Christians set the fire and disapproves of Nero’s “refined cruelty.” Tacticus even says, Christians “were not being destroyed for the common good, but rather to satisfy the cruelty of one person.”
  10. Early Christians were considered “haters of humankind” because they did not take part in social activities that were entwined with pagan worship. In Roman eyes, you are supposed to love the culture and society.
  11. The distinction between Jews and Christians was not clear in the minds of Roman authorities, thus both Jew and Christian were persecuted for following any “Jewish practices.”
  12. Early Christians viewed martyrdom as being chosen by God and as a gift from God.
  13. Early Christians were not specifically killed for being a “Christian,” but for not praying to other gods, burning incense before the image of the emperor, and cursing Christ. Christians, by the mere fact of being such, were not committing any crime against society or against the state. Therefore, the resources of the state should not be wasted in seeking them out. But, once accused and brought before the authorities, Christians had to be forced to worship the gods of the empire, or face punishment.
  14. Early Christians in the second century were not constantly persecuted. Sometimes they were persecuted in some areas of the Empire, and not in others.
  15. Because of 13, above, to have a good relationship with your neighbor was very important. If any believed the evil rumors (as there were many) about Christians, they would be accused, and persecution would break out. For this reason it was very important to show that those rumors were untrue, and to give pagans a better and more favorable understanding of Christianity. This was the task of the apologists.
  16. Some rumors created by insufficient knowledge of pagans:

Christians had a meal together called the “love feast.” Also, Christians called each other “brother” and “sister” and there were many who spoke of their spouses as their “sister” or “brother.” Pagans then took these two facts and came up with the idea that Christian worship was an orgiastic celebration in which Christians ate and drank to excess, put the lights out, and vented their lusts in the indiscriminate and even incestuous unions.

Communion is referred to as the body and blood of Christ (also He came as a baby). Thus, pagans came up with the idea that Christians concealed a newborn in a loaf of bread, and then ordered a new “Christian” to cut the loaf. When this was done, they all joined in eating the warm flesh of the infant. The new “Christian” was then forced to remain silent about what took place.

  1. Pagans thought Christianity was a religion of barbarians who derived their teaching, not from Greeks or Romans, but from Jews, a primitive people whose best teachers never rose to the level of Greek philosophers.
  2. Some questions that early apologist had to answers:

Why can you not see your god?

If pagan gods are false, why fear them?

Why not worship them, even if one does not believe in them?

If Jesus was truly the Son of God, why did He allow himself to be crucified?

Why did Jesus not destroy all His enemies?

What could the purpose of such a visit to earth by God?

What would happen to Christians whose bodies were destroyed by fire, eaten by beasts, or by fish?

What will God do with those parts of matter that belonged to more than one body?

  1. All Christians agreed that the worship of the gods, and everything related to that worship, must be rejected. This included civil ceremonies, military service, and the study of classical literature, which were all entwined with immorality, pagan and emperor worship.
  2. Some Christians believe that nothing good could come from pagan philosophy and stayed away from anything that had to do with the pagan culture. Others, like Justin Martyr, claimed that there were several points of contact between Christianity and pagan philosophy. Such as:

Supreme being which every other being derives its existence

Eternal life beyond physical death

  1. Early Christians talked about in the address To Diognetus:

Christians are not different form the rest in their nationality, language or customs… They live in their own countries, but as sojourners. They fulfill all their duties as citizens, but they suffer as foreigners. They find their homeland wherever they are, but their homeland is not in any once place… they are in the flesh, but do not live according to the flesh. They live on earth, but are citizens of heave. They obey all laws, but they live higher than that required by law. They love all, but all persecute them

  1. Even though Christians refused to worship the emperor, and even while persecuted by the authorities, they continued praying for the emperor and admiring the greatness of the Roman Empire.
  2. Early Christians were pro-life. Non-Christians, if a woman has a female baby, it was not considered a daughter, unless the father declared the baby his daughter. If the father did not declare the baby his daughter, the baby was set outside in the elements to die.
  3. Early Christianity was able to grow more and more, thanks in part to evangelism by the common folk, and different plagues that came during the first couple centuries. While people with money, doctors and pagan temple workers, were able to flee the plague stricken areas, a high percentage of people were left behind. For the Christian, they had no fear of death and were more than willing to help treat those who were sick. The results of this aid by early Christian saw a high conversion rate of pagan worshippers to Christianity.
  4. In pagan worship and culture, it was completely normal to share your spouse and children with other people. Adulterous, homosexual, and pedophilia acts were totally acceptable during this time especially in pagan temple worship. Christians were known for sharing everything they had, except their spouses (heterosexual) and children.

 

Some Reading:

Getting to Know the Church Fathers by Bryan Litfin 

http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Know-Church-Fathers-Introduction-ebook/dp/B00B85428M/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420057300&sr=1-2&keywords=bryan+liftin

The Story of Christianity: Volume 1 by Justo L. Gonzalez

http://www.amazon.com/Story-Christianity-Justo-L-Gonzalez-ebook/dp/B00JOGB2DU/ref=sr_1_sc_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420057367&sr=1-2-spell&keywords=early+christianity+gonzals

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Why do tyrants from Haman and Hitler to Hamas and Khamenei want to “annihilate” the Jews?

Annihilation.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

German Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his personal representative Rudolf Hess, right, during a parade in Berlin, Germany, on Dec. 30, 1938. (Photo by AP/Haaretz) German Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his personal representative Rudolf Hess, right, during a parade in Berlin, Germany, on Dec. 30, 1938. (Photo by AP/Haaretz)

(Tampa, Florida) — Why do tyrants throughout history want to “annihilate” the Jewish people?

With Jews around the world celebrating the biblical holiday of Purim this past weekend — and in light of the release of my new novel, The Auschwitz Escape, tomorrow — I addressed this question last night as I taught from the Book of Esther at Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida.

Some notes from my message:

From Haman to Hitler to Hamas to Khamenei, evil men throughout history have not simply opposed or disagreed with the Jewish people.

Again and again they have used the language of “annihilation” and they have pursued policies to accomplish this diabolical mission.

HAMAN — Consider what the Bible teaches about this evil Persian leader sought to do in ancient times.

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Family Structure Study by The Witherspoon Institute

This study is ground breaking as it disproves “the “no differences” claim—the claim that children raised by parents in gay or lesbian relationships fared no worse and in some cases better than children raised by intact biological parents. On the contrary, the children of these households, on average, did worse than children raised by their biological, still-married parents.” I can confirm this as an education major because in two of the texts book I use for class proudly present the above claim.

Some quotes from the book Adolescence by Ian McMahan:

“Children of gay and lesbian parents are just as mature and well adjusted, on average, as children of heterosexual parents”-(Golombok et al., 2003; Patterson, 2006) (Page. 169)

“Comparisons of adolescents living with parent couples who are same sex and other-sex show similar levels of self-esteem, school achievement, functioning with peers, involvement in romantic relationships and problem behaviors.”-Wainwright & Patterson, 2006, 2008; Wainwright, Russell, & Patterson, 2004) (Page. 169)

“The huge majority of children of gay or lesbian parents, over 90%, develop a heterosexual orientation as adults. This is essentially the same percentage as in children raised by heterosexual parents.”-(Baily & Dawood, 1998; Golombok & Tasker, 1996; Gottman, 1990; Tasker & Golombok, 1997) (Page 169)

What is being said by this study by the Witherspoon Institute, is that this claim of “no difference” is not true, and children actually do worse in these environments of gay and lesbian relationships. There is also damage done to a child when they are in a single parent home, divorced home etc. When you view the study you will see the above quotes hold no water when it comes to comparing them against the study that has been done. What makes this study ground breaking is that it is the first  scientific statistics that have been produced that show the negative affect of same sex marriage/relationship on the child.

For the Christian, the plan cannot be to remain silent on issues like this. With legislation that is being passed, the state is setting itself up in opposition of Christianity. There is a thinking that we can just remain silent and do our own thing. That is not good enough for the LGBT group. They want the Christian to be in full support of their way of life, or you will be labeled as a bigot or homophobic. There is no you live your life and I live my life with the LGBT crowd. God created marriage between 1 man and 1 Female. Anything other then that, will have serious short term and long term affects on adults and children.

Please go to www.familystructurestudies.com to view this ground breaking and shocking data researched by The Witherspoon Institute.

 

 

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Let the Little Ones Come to Me! Social Justice Gone Awry by Dr.Peter Jones

The evangelical church is increasingly aware of the need to witness to Christ in acts of mercy, especially since some evangelicals in the past spoke almost exclusively of individualistic and future salvation. In reaction, some today are adopting “orthopraxy” (right action) as their main emphasis, downplaying or even abandoning “orthodoxy” (right belief). But good works and sound belief cannot be separated. Alas, instead of a biblical balance, we face the serious danger of a new form of the old “social gospel,” which turns the Christian faith into a system of salvation by works, Jesus into a mere example, like the Buddha, Socrates or Lao Tzu, and Christianity into one variant of interfaith good will. But orthopraxy alone cannot preach the gospel. We as redeemed sinners must “confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord.”

A further danger lurks—that Christian good works can be recuperated by movements of pagan utopianism. A case in point.

In January 2013 World Vision (WV) sent an Easter funding appeal to those sponsoring needy children. WV began as an evangelistic ministry of Bob Pierce, a powerful preacher whom I heard preach when I was just a lad in my hometown in Liverpool in an evangelistic crusade. Since then, I have noticed many changes. The cross featured on all WV literature morphed into a twinkling star. I began to wonder. At the WV booth at a recent pastors’ conference, we were asked to fill packages with good things to be sent abroad. When I asked why there were no Bibles in the packages, I was told that they couldn’t know which language to include! My concern increased.

This Easter appeal included a card to be sent to deprived children in faraway places, with the WV tagline “Building a better world for children.”  There was no good news of resurrection, rather pictures of animals teaching moralistic lessons to “bless children.” Children, like sheep, should “stay close to the family and friends you know…” but no mention of staying close to Jesus the Good shepherd. Children are like deer: “The deer is sure-footed…be confident in your abilities, like the deer.” No mention of the soul, like a thirsty deer, panting after God. The card only lacked the Easter Bunny! This is not an absence of Gospel. This is an anti-gospel—learning morality from nature and being successful from within ourselves, without depending on the Creator and Redeemer of nature.

In an accompanying letter, the president, Richard Stearns, explains: “We’ve been careful to design the card…so that it won’t compromise the safety of children or World Vision staff in countries where Christianity is restricted.” For “safety reasons,” not only is the Gospel absent but a subtle counter-gospel of self-improvement is proposed. The physical safety of Christians in hostile countries is important, but for a Christian organization, eternal safety and preparing for God’s “better world” of the new creation is surely of even greater concern.

The Christian WV recommends that churches work with secular United Nations-approved social justice NGOs, like  InterAction where another worldview is being incubated—not secularism, but a new version of ancient paganism, blending “enlightened spirituality” with “social action.” The goal is “world transformation” to create a pagan “non-dual” (no Creator) utopia. The Lucis Trust (originally the Lucifer Trust!), an occult Theosophist group in charge of the spiritual heart of the United Nations’ Meditation Room since 1952, now announces their version of a better world: “uniformity of beliefs is unnecessary…shared spiritual experience and collective service may offer a better hope for achieving global synthesis.” “Beliefs” are dismissed. Meditative “spiritual experience” and “collective service” are in. How many well-meaning evangelicals are following like “sheep,” unaware that totalitarian paganism, by this agenda, now seeks control of the planet?

This growing movement, deeply tied to evolution, “cannot be halted,” says ex-fundamentalist Michael Dowd. An “evangelical naturalist [who is] no longer a supernaturalist,” because “God is not a person,” Dowd goes on: “As we integrate the Great Story of evolution…we will see a worldwide spiritual revival… a new era of peace, sustainability, health, and prosperity….the end of war, democracy for all, eradication of hunger, and education for everyone. Freedom. Opportunity. Global friendship…These dreams are at our fingertips now.”

Christians cannot dig wells in Africa without telling thirsty sinners of the wells of salvation. They cannot speak of blessings without speaking also of the curse of human evil. Children must hear the difference between the Lie and the Truth in order to place their trust in Jesus as their only Savior, and we must obey the Savior’s command: “Let the little ones come to me.”

Dr. Peter Jones is Director of truthXchange, and Adjunct Professor of New Testament, as well as Scholar in Residence, at Westminster Seminary California. He has written The Gnostic Empire Strikes Back (1992), Spirit Wars (1997), Gospel Truth/Pagan Lies (1999), Capturing the Pagan Mind (2003), Cracking DaVinci’s Code (2004, co-author, James Garlow), Stolen Identity (2006) and The God of Sex (2006). Peter Jones is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America, and is married to Rebecca Clowney Jones. They have seven children and twelve grandchildren.For recreation, Dr. Jones enjoys playing jazz piano and golf.

For more articles written by Dr. Peter Jones please visit http://www.truthxchange.com

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Jason Collins

Discussion on homosexuality in the NBA

NBA centre Jason Collins became the first active male pro athlete in North America to openly come out. Chris Broussard did a great job talking about homosexuality, and I think all Christians need to take lessons from him. He did a great job sharing the TRUTH in LOVE.

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April 30, 2013 · 10:09 am

Hope in the midst of evil

2 Timothy 3 ESV

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambresopposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.

You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you,continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete,equipped for every good work.

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Book Review: Authentic: Developing the Disciplines of a Sincere Faith by James MacDonald

To be honest I went into reading this new book by MacDonald with a lot of baggage. There has been a lot of information come to life with how Harvest is doing, and how MacDonald has been leading. My prayer as I began to read this book was that I would not let that distract me from the heart of the book. I was able to read this book without being distracted by different things I had learned over the recent months. I believe that MacDonald should stick to writing books, more than anything he does. His book Authentic was a great book overall and I would recommend it to anyone who asks me about it.

Image

I really enjoyed this entire book. MacDonald did a great job going through Matthew 23 and talking about the “7 Seven Habits of Highly Hypocritical People.” Jesus is rebuking the Pharisees because of how hypocritical they were.  It was great to be able to work through each one of those and examine my own life, and make changes that need to happen. He digs into prayer and talks about if we are really supposed to be repeating, word for word, the Lord’s Prayer or was Jesus giving us an example of what we should be focusing on when we pray? He dives into a spiritual discipline that even I didn’t know a lot about before I read about it in his book, and that discipline is fasting. MacDonald breaks it down so that it does not seem like this monstrous thing to do. MacDonald also knocks out any misconceptions we have about fellowship. It seems the word “fellowship” is being abused and misused, and people are beginning to develop a false sense of what true fellowship is. James sets the record straight.

I really like the usage of scripture and how he made sure scripture was bolded so it stood out. Sometimes in books I find myself skipping over the scripture, but for some reason I read every word of it because it was bolded and stood out. I really appreciated the break-down of Matthew 23, the Lord’s Prayer, and fellowship. Overall I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought. James MacDonald is a great writer, and I think he should focus more on writing than anything else.

I did not like how often MacDonald referenced Harvest Bible Chapel. It seemed about half way through the book that there was a reference to his church almost every other page. I did not understand why he put in random facts about their church, like its 1 million square foot worship center, or how many people they have come out, or the fact that they have a part time ministry person keeping attendance of every person that attends. In the chapter about prayer I did not agree with the fact that we have to pray in Jesus’s name because we are already in Jesus Christ through salvation. I did not think it is necessary to finish our prayers, “in Jesus name, amen.” He just goes a little extreme about how to finish a prayer. I didn’t understand why they omitted a sentence about MacDonald’s tattoo on the back of the book. I didn’t understand why there was no one endorsing this book.

I really hope that God continues to bless James MacDonald and Harvest. I do also pray that he would answer some of his critics with clear answers and step up to the plate on some very serious theological issues concerning money and the Gospel.

I was given this book by Moody Publishers for the purpose of this review

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