Devil

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    Unity Assassins Unity Assassins

    Unity Assassins

Unity Assassins

Scripture is right when it says in Psalm 133:1 (ESV) —1Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! [1] If you have every played on a sports team, been in a family, church, or work place with strong unity and harmony you know how good and pleasant it can be.  But Jesus Himself also reminds us that The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…( John 10:10 NET) Our enemy wants to destroy anything that is good and pleasant in our lives including unity.  When the devil attacks a relationship, marriage, church or any other institution or group he frequently attempts to demolish our good and pleasant unity first.  I believe he does this with what I will call “unity assassins.”  In this post I will discuss six of these unity assassins I see at work throughout life and would love for you to add to this list in the comment section. Pride and Arrogance- I have seen this assassin at work in the lives of Pastors, Priests, Teachers, Deacons, Doctors, Lawyers, Housewives, children, adults, the young, and old alike.  I have on more than one occasion seen these assassins at work in my life as well.  Anytime pride and arrogance are allowed to run lose it always leads to diminishing unity. If you don’t believe me read Proverbs 16:18. Un-Forgiveness- Forgiving those who hurt us is never easy so frequently we refuse to forgive.  When we choose this route any unity we have is at risk. Un-Forgiveness will destroy the unity of a family, friendship, for fellowship in a church. Me-itus or selfishness- This deadly unity assassin is easy to spot but often hard to stop. In Philippians […]

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    Church Members, Here Are 10 Ways to KILL Your Church Church Members, Here Are 10 Ways to KILL Your Church

    Church Members, Here Are 10 Ways to KILL Your Church

Church Members, Here Are 10 Ways to KILL Your Church

In the recent past I have not been sharing many post from other bloggers.  But after reading through this one today I felt the urge to pass it on.  The message Dr. Tejado shares here is right on the money.  As a Pastor I have seen each of these ten things at work not only in my own ministry but in many others as well.  These things are not the only things that kill churches but they are certainly some of the main ones and as he mentions in this post the devil has not changed his tactics much over the last generation.  Are you killing your church without even knowing it?  Read below to find out… click here to view the article on churchleaders.com which is where I found it. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ By: Dr. Tejado W. Hanchell (TWH PhD) I have the awesome privilege of serving a church that has been around for over 80 years. In those 80 years, the church has only had four senior pastors. While our congregation has had its share of struggles over the years, we are pleased that we have survived! Considering the staggering statistics on church mortality in America, we are grateful to God for still standing strong. Some researchers suggest that between 3,500-4,500 churches close their doors (or die) each year. That means that in the time since our congregation was founded over 80 years ago, over 300,000 churches have died! I suspect that most church “deaths” occur for a few simple (and oftentimes avoidable) reasons. Recently, one of the senior members of our congregation — who has been there for all 80 plus years — handed me a church newsletter that was written in 1959. As I delicately […]

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    The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3 The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3

    The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3

The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3

Over the last three weeks I have been presenting some of the main purposes of God’s church.  As I travel around and speak about the Uncommon Church I am always surprised to learn how many churches don’t understand what the most basic and fundamental purposes of God’s church are. So these posts have been my effort to share nine of them.  In my first post I talked about the purpose of producing disciple, providing resources, and proclaiming the gospel. In my second post I talked about the church’s responsibility to propel missionaries, present proof, and practice holiness.  Today I would like to briefly discuss the last three. To Pray- Every Christian knows that they are suppose to pray, and most of us do.  But I am talking about focused corporate prayer here in this post.  I believe that God hears all of our prayers but He does something special when a church practices uncommon prayer together. In my book The Uncommon Church I talk in detail about the power of uncommon prayer.  When the body of Christ unites together in prayer many wonderful things happen.  We see this in scripture in places like 1 Thessalonians 5:25 when Paul urged the church to pray for him and his companions.  In Acts 12 we see an amazing miracle in the form of a prison escape for Peter and we learn that the church was gathered in prayer for him during his captivity. As individuals we must pray, and as a church body we must pray as well.  Churches should make it a priority to unite their minds and hearts in prayer! To Protect- 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that our enemy is a predator on the prowl!  Like […]

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    I will worship… I will worship…

    I will worship…

I will worship…

  Come! Let’s bow down and worship! Let’s kneel before the LORD, our creator! —Psalms 95:6 NET I believe that everyone worships something in life.  There is a great deal of worship going on in our American culture today, sadly most of our worship has nothing to do with spiritual things.  We are quick to worship fame, athleticism, TV, bank accounts, vehicles, and many other material things.  In the church we have reduced the word “worship” down and defined it as the 20 minutes of singing that takes place before the sermon.  I firmly believe that this is indeed worship in most cases, however there is certainly more to worship than this. Jesus Christ said You are to worship the Lord your God and serve only him (Matthew 4:10).   This is the way I want to worship in 2013.  I know that there are three things I must do if I want to worship God this new year. First I must be present, I have to show up, I must prepare to worship!  Life is not easy, it’s full of curve balls and tough days.  If I don’t wake up each day with worship on my mind I am certain to be distracted by the devil.  It was after all Satan who came and tempted Christ by saying. “I will give you all these things if you throw yourself to the ground and worship me.” (Matthew 4:9) Scripture records that Jesus’ response was swift and firm,  “Go away, Satan! (Matthew 4:10).  Christ did not consider the offer, weigh the odds, or think about how to respond.  He was fully focused on worshiping God and only God, so all other offers would be rejected.  Like Christ […]

Is The Devil In Your Church? (Day 41 1Thessalonians 3:5 NET)

“So when I could bear it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter somehow tempted you and our toil had proven useless.” (1Thessalonians 3:5 NET) Have you ever stopped to consider if the Devil was actively involved in the life of your church?  For some reason many church leaders and church members have incorrectly assumed that just because the church belongs to God the devil will leave it alone.  They are wrong!  In fact, if you stop and think about it the very thing that makes us feel safe in the church from the devil’s attack are actually what makes the church vulnerable.  The church is more likely to be attacked because the devil is opposed to all things that are Holy, right, pleasing, and praiseworthy.  This is why he wants to destroy your church.  Others know he is there, they see him working but they refuse to confront the issue or admit that there is a problem, once again incorrectly assuming that the devil will just get tired and leave.   The fact of the matter is, the devil is either in your church or trying to get in. Scripture declares that he was present and at work in no fewer than 7 New Testament churches. Paul also indicated that there was a good possibility that he was at work in an eighth church as well.  We read about that church today in The New Testament Challenge today, it was the church in Thessalonica. Below is a list of the churches we know the devil attacked. 1)   Jerusalem Acts 5:1–10 2)   Corinth 2 Cor. 2:1–11 3)   Ephesus 1 Tim. 3:6–7 4)   Smyrna Rev. 2:9–10 5)   Pergamum  Rev. 2:13 […]

Fresh Meat…

 Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  1 Peter 5:8 NIV I get so excited when someone gives their life to Christ.  Whenever that happens I always remember what it was like when I first committed my life to the Lord.  I was so excited, felt so good, and was so ready to take on the world.  Do you remember what it was like when you made that commitment?  As a member of the family of God we get excited when those we have been praying for, and witnessing to, come to know our Lord and Savior as their own.  But how does the devil feel about it?  It dawned on me the other day as I met with a new believer who had given their life to Christ the previous Sunday at our church, that our enemy is excited too.  Sure he is mad, frustrated, and angry over losing another small battle in this huge war against good and evil, but a new convert is fresh meat and another opportunity to kill, steal, and destroy another life. Over the past nine years our church (Cowboy Fellowship) has seen over 1,000 first time professions of faith made through our worship services and outreach events.  I have seen many of these men and women grow into strong, vibrant, healthy disciples.  I have also seem many run the race for a short time and then fall away.  Others seem to become distracted, discouraged, and disoriented within days of their conversion. The one thing every new believer I have personally dealt with has in common is immediate attacks from our enemy.  After all, they are fresh meat and the sooner […]

Get off my back…

People frequently express a sincere desire to rid their lives of the negative presence of evil. I have heard many people over the years say things like, “I just want the devil to leave me alone,” or “I wish Satan would just get off my back!” When I encounter such people, or when I find myself feeling the same way, I am reminded of a period in the life of Christ when the Devil was riding his back. This came at the end of a 40 day fast in the desert when Satan came and tempted Jesus 3 times. Each time Jesus rebukes the devil’s proposition with scripture while, and at the same time, remaining wholeheartedly devoted to His Father and mission. The third and final temptation reads: Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Matthew 4:8–11 NIV We love verse eleven which says “Then the devil left him and the angels came and attended him.” because we desire the same result in our life as well. However, we are unwilling to swallow the command issued in verse ten which makes verse eleven possible. In the previous verse Jesus took a stand once again for God and did not give an inch. He said “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” The […]

You Can Count on Satan…

 Did the title of this post catch you eye?  It should have, but the fact is you can count on Satan…to make your life miserable!  The Bible says he wants to kill, steal, and destroy you, and I promise you can count on that!  We have been talking about “How To Waste Your Life” this past month at Cowboy Fellowship.  So far we have looked at Worry, Doubt, and Fear.  If you have missed any of the messages you can listen or download them by clicking here. Today while I was reading I came across the following commentary and I thought I would post it.  I think it will help you understand just how crafty, and dangerous our enemy really is.  Believer’s Bible Commentary : Old and New TestamentsThe serpent that appeared to Eve is later revealed to be none other than Satan himself (see Rev. 12:9). Those who seek to “demythologize” the Bible believe that this account of the fall is allegorical and not literal. They cite the talking serpent as proof. Can the story of the serpent’s deceiving Eve be accepted as factual? The Apostle Paul thought so (2 Cor. 11:3). So did the Apostle John (Rev. 12:9; 20:2). Nor is this the only instance of a talking animal in Scripture. God gave a voice to Balaam’s donkey to restrain the madness of the prophet (Num. 22), and the Apostle Peter accepted this as literal (2 Pet. 2:16). These three apostles were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write as they did. Thus to reject the account of the fall as literal is to reject the inspiration of Holy Scripture. There are allegories in the Bible, but this is not one of them. […]

Is The Devil In Your Church?

For some reason many church leaders and church members have incorrectly assumed that just because the church belongs to God the devil will leave it alone.  They are wrong.  In fact, this makes the church even more likely to be attacked because the devil is opposed to all things that are Holy, right, pleasing, and praiseworthy.  He wants to destroy your church I promise.  Others know he is there, they see him working but they refuse to confront the issue or admit that there is a problem, once again incorrectly assuming that the devil will just get tired and leave.   The fact of the matter is, the devil is either in your church or trying to get in. Scripture declares that he was present and at work in no fewer than 7 New Testament churches. Paul also indicated that there was a good possibility that he was at work in an eighth church as well.     1)   Jerusalem Acts 5:1–10 2)   Corinth 2 Cor. 2:1–11 3)   Ephesus 1 Tim. 3:6–7 4)   Smyrna Rev. 2:9–10 5)   Pergamum  Rev. 2:13 6)   Thyatira Rev. 2:24 7)   Philadelphia Rev. 3:98)  Thessalonica- 1 Thess 3:5- He knew that “the tempter” (i.e., Satan; cf. Mt 4:3) had been at work among them and that God permits the enemy this activity. What Paul did not know about the Thessalonians, however, was whether or not the tempter’s solicitations had been successful, making his work and that of his colleagues “useless.”1    If he attacked and attempted to destroy these churches why would he not attack yours?  The fact of the matter is, the devil is at work and he will destroy not only individual believers, but the churches that seek to honor God as […]

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