Testimonies, Salvation, #Boundless2015 & The Salvation Army’s 150 Anniversary!

boundless 2015

–More than 15,000 Salvationists (members of The Salvation Army) from about 126 countries met in London, United Kingdom, last week for an International Congress called Boundless 2015. The emphasis wasn’t on social services. The focus was on faithfulness to the living, resurrected Jesus Christ and on His calling to bring His “boundless salvation” to people around the world. Before we can lead others to salvation, we must know if we are saved.

People shared testimonies about how they were saved. Commissioner  Sylvia Cox put it this way: “Your personal testimony is your best story. So tell people how you met God.” 

boundless 2015

Here’s my salvation testimony: When I was a freshman in college, I walked into an informal campus fellowship. To my surprise I heard two different guys share how they had encountered Jesus, been set free from their sin, and been transformed by a passion to love, follow and obey Jesus. I had never heard anything like that before. As they shared I could see the living Jesus in them and I knew that they had something in their lives that I didn’t have. At the end of the meeting I prayed and surrendered my life to Jesus. That was 45 years ago and I have never been the same. I love Jesus with all my heart and the only thing I want to do in life is to follow and obey Him and to do my best to introduce other people to Him.

Do you have a salvation testimony? Can you tell how you met and were transformed by the living, resurrected Jesus? If not, Jesus is still knocking on your heart’s door and wanting to come into your life. All you have to do is to sincerely open your heat to Him and surrender your will to His. Then the living Jesus will enter you and begin to change you from the inside out.

If you do have a salvation testimony, why not write it down in a brief form of a few sentences? Then post it on your Facebook page. Or email it to friends. Or do like a friend of mine and print it out and then give it to people you meet during the day.

There’s power in testimony! If you would like to share your testimony with others, come one Sunday morning to The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry St., Nashville 37207 at 10:45 and we would love to give you the opportunity to briefly tell us how you got saved!

Posted in #Boundless2015, Berry Street, boundless salvation, Commissioner Sylvia Cox, congress, London, Nashville, religion, salvation testimonies, Salvationism, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Good & Evil Personalities Battle For The Human Heart & Brain

Everyday we see good and evil all around us. And if we are honest we see both good and evil inside our own hearts.

Some people say that good and evil are nothing but human judgments — names that we give certain attitudes and/or behaviors. And since humans decided what is good and evil, then we can redefine the concepts anytime we want. This is the basis for situational ethics.

Other people say that the concepts of good and evil are survival mechanisms implanted in human beings through the evolutionary process. Thus our sense of conscience evolved as a mere biological warning system.

Still other people proclaim that good and evil are invisible, impersonal forces (similar to gravity) that work in the world and in and through people.

However, my personal experience doesn’t match any of the human theories of good and evil. Good and evil both communicate with me. My heart and my brain are constantly seduced, tormented, and coerced by evil thoughts, feelings, and desires; and continually wooed, entreated, and warned by good ones. Somehow the epic battle between good and evil is taking place inside of me and I have to make moment-by-moment decisions which side to stand for. Although I sincerely want to choose good, sometimes I lamely fall for evil choices.

My experience matches the Bible which teaches that good comes from the living God and that evil is what resists and/or rebels against God. Thus good and evil are engaged in battle for the human heart and brain. However, they are not just forces like gravity, but are invisible, intelligent beings — God and His angels are good; the devil and his demons are evil. And both sets of intelligent, personal beings are fighting for your soul — the essence of who you are.

So which side will win you over? “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”

Sometimes I ask people to help me illustrate how good and evil work. I will ask one person to play the devil and another person to play God. I ask them each to grab one of my arms and on my word to begin to begin a tug of war. At first they pull and nothing much happens. However, when I begin to pull away from “the devil” I move in God’s direction. Then when I begin to pull away from God, I move in the devil’s direction. (Afterwards I am quite sore.)

People always see the point. In the midst of the battle for your soul, your life will go in the direction that you pull. Regularly resist God and give yourself to evil and evil will consume you. Regularly resist the devil and give yourself to God and He will transform you.

Which way are you pulling? Mostly toward God? Mostly toward the devil? Or constantly back and forth?

good vs evil

Posted in Bible, Draw near to God, He will draw near to you, James 4:7, Quotes, resist the devil, theories of evil, where does evil come from | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No service? Searching for a connection?

Sitting through church without Christ’s inner light shinning in your heart is like trying to use a smart phone with no service. Are you searching for a connection?

no phone service

Revival is when ordinary Christians begin to actively follow and obey the inner light of Christ (the heart promptings of the Spirit) rather than just sitting through church programs.

Experience the Holy Spirit in action. Pick up a signal with us on Sundays at 10:45 am., 225 Berry St., Nashville, TN 37207 at The Salvation Army Berry Street — where instead of listening to a featured talk, ordinary Christ-followers listen to the inner voice of God and then say and/or do whatever He tells them.

Posted in iPhone, let your light shine, light of Christ, light of the world, Nashville, no service, picking up a signal, promptings of the Spirit, revelation, searching for a connection, see the light, spiritual awakening, Tennessee, The Salvation Army, you are the light | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What To Do When Culture Conflicts With The Bible

Bible reading

When I read the Bible, I encounter the living God and He speaks to me; comforts me; calls me, challenges me, inspires me, and strengthens me. I’ve read the Bible almost daily for 45 years and I stand by it as the Word of God. I know that many people don’t believe the Bible; even more don’t read it; and even more don’t obey it — but that’s their right and I respect them and will not harass or condemn anyone.

However, no one and/or no nation has the right to try to coerce or force me into violating my conscience and my desire to obey biblical principles and norms. My first loyalty is to the God of the Bible and His values. My second loyalty is to be kind and loving to others whether they agree with the Bible or not; even if my conscience will not allow me to approve of, participate in, or support some of their activities.

The Jesus Foundation never fails.
–When you humbly build your life on daily following and obeying the living, resurrected Jesus Christ and allowing His Spirit to freely flow in and through you, His supernatural Presence will hold you up, even when everything around you seems to be falling apart.

“Therefore I remind you that you stir up the gift of God, which is in you.’ –2 Timothy 1:6
–If we won’t get ourselves stirred up with passion to daily follow and obey the living, resurrected Jesus Christ now, when will we?

One way to get yourself stirred up is to read the Bible every day for at least 5 minutes. Try it for yourself for 21 days and see what happens in your life.  You will be amazed at the results. Check out 66 Books (That Everybody Needs To Read).

Just about everybody on the planet has a sense that some activities are morally wrong. Love doesn’t try to force people to support the activities that violate their conscience.

Posted in 2 Timothy 1:6, a Christians loyalty, agree to disagree, Bible, Bible believing, Bible belt, Bible stories, Christians, civil disobedience, faithfulness to Christ, gay marriage, Here I stand, Quotes, same sex marriage, staying faithful to the Bible, stir up the gift, Supreme Court, the Bible says | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Religious Form or Forum For Fiery Faith? (The “Blood & Fire” Flag)

Religious form or fiery faith? Let fiery faith leap in the hearts of God’s people and arise in churches around the world!
–We need to be exposed to living, active faith (to real-life testimonials of faith), not just to a timed, tame teaching about faith. Life-changing faith is boisterous, spontaneous and contagious–it is more caught than taught. Real faith is a walk (a holy lifestyle), not just hearing a talk!
–Our society and its media fill us with faith-destroying forces like fear, doubt, disrespect, and disdain for righteousness. They flood us with moral compromise.
–Meanwhile our churches lecture us with watered-down theology and/or religious positive thinking. If we attend, we have no option but to passively sit and look like we’re listening to the lusterless lecture. Is it any wonder that many Christ-followers give up on church altogether and call themselves “Dones“?
–Perhaps church would be much more powerful as a platform for everyday people to present their present-day faith. Maybe we could set aside (or shorten) the sermon and allow ordinary people to show and tell how the living, resurrected Jesus Christ is working in their lives.

The early Salvation Army allowed people to freely testify in their meetings. They called it “firing a volley.” They expected people to be set free from their wrongdoing, cravings, and addictions by the blood of Jesus and the fire of the Holy Spirit. That’s why they put the words Blood & Fire on their flag. The colors represent: Red–the blood of Jesus; Yellow–the fire of the Holy Spirit; and Blue–living a lifestyle of daily following and obeying the living, resurrected Jesus Christ.

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Come, see ordinary people passionately presenting their lively faith to one another  every Sunday morning at 10:45 at The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry St., Nashville, TN 37207.

Posted in church history, simple church, church, nones, preaching, faith-based, hermeneutics, alternative to sermons, What do colors on Salvation Army Flag mean, firing a volley | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where’s The Power (Dunamis) In Contemporary Christianity?

Presence anyone? God’s Presence and power flow in inner spiritual rivers.

–Where is the power in 21st Century Christianity to set captives free from cravings and compulsions; hurts and fears; unbelief and anger? The Bible teaches that we should turn away from powerless Christianity: “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
–Jesus taught: “But you shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto Me.” When we trust in our religious forms and programs, rather than in the active, real Presence of the Holy Spirit; we wind up powerless and unable to influence society — and our culture crumble in front of our eyes.
–Perhaps it is time to turn away from our religious “forms of godliness” and to humbly surrender church meetings to the direct, active control of the Holy Spirit!

Power is not static. Power freely flows from God; it’s not programmed or scheduled by people. The Greek word in the New Testament that is translated into the English word power is dunamis — which also gives us the English words dynamo and dynamite. A dynamo produces a flow of power. Jesus said: “You shall receive power (dunamis —an inner flowing) when the Holy Spirit comes on you.”

dunamis

The 21st Century church desperately needs to release the inner flow that is in individual Christ-followers and to allow that power to manifest itself in church meetings. That inner flow is only released if we “quench not the Spirit.” Referring to the Holy Spirit, Jesus said: “Out of your innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” Rather than shutting down the Spirit’s flow with a form of godliness, we need to release the flow by allowing everyday people to obey the promptings, nudgings, and witness of the Spirit in church meetings.

As people freely flow in obedience to the Spirit, God’s power fills the room with a sense of awe. People are touched at a deep level, comforted, healed, set free, and transformed.

(Experience God’s flow every Sunday morning at The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry St., Nashville, TN at 10:45.)

Posted in Bible, denying the power, dynamite, dynamo, flow, Greek word, having a form of godliness, Holy Spirit, Nashville, out of your innermost being, promptings, Quench not the Spirit, rivers of living water, Salvation Army, Tennessee, you shall be my witnesses, You shall receive power | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just about everybody on the planet has a sense that some activities are morally wrong. Love doesn’t try to force people to support the activities that violate their conscience.

Posted in choice, coercion, courage of convictions, freedom, guilt, love wins, manipulation, marriage, moral choices, morality, quote, right and wrong, shame, violating conscience, voice of conscience | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment