Monday, September 28, 2009

Debora, six years, congratulations!

worship with fear

Mercy means nothing to a person who is not convicted by The Holy Spirit,
the same with God’s love, forgiveness and holiness.
They appear like pearls before the swine. Matthew 7:6
Every man is guilty before God.
Fatalism eliminates man’s sense of guilt , but it cannot remove man’s fear.
A fatalistic person, or nation, cannot experience genuine worship,
only ritualistic, impersonal religion.
Jesus said to the Samaritan woman that true worship has nothing to
do with the geographical location where you worship.
It’s a far deeper issue.
“The hour is coming and now is when true (genuine, one who cannot lie)
worshippers will worship the father in spirit and truth
for the father is seeking such to worship him.” John 4:23-24
Genuine worship has the element of fear in it.
It’s the right kind of fear that motivates us to worship.
It is the knowledge of God, the fear of the known.
It’s not the fear punishment , but the fear of consequences.
Christ already has been punished for all our sins past, present and future.
Pastor Schaller illustrates the difference of these two kinds of fear with
the following example.
If there is a snake in your house, but you don’t know where it is,
you experience fear that is based on ignorance. That’s not the kind of
fear that would lead you to worship.
The second type of fear can be illustrated by a railroad track.
You look at the track; you know when the train is coming and
you keep yourself away from it.
This is a fear that is based on knowledge.
This is the way how God wants us to worship.
It’s a life-style worship.
It’s a personal relationship that matures as we grow in our knowledge of him.
“Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints
There is no want to those who fear him.” Psalm 34:9

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pray for our youth groups in Baku!

from salvation to salvations

The widow in I Kings 17:12 had a sad philosophy in life.
She had nothing but death waiting for her.
As she was gathering sticks in order to prepare the last
meal for her and her son she met with a man of God, Elijah.
The prophet asked for water and bread.
She only had flour and a little oil for their last meal.
Her plan was to eat once more and die.
That’s the testimony of life in us.
We want to live.
Even in our darkest moments we still are willing to prepare
a meal and enjoy some more these precious moments that
God has given us.
Elijah invites her to a life of faith by requesting her to invest
her last crumbs in him.
Out of her last bread he was ready to take something.
It sounds almost like asking for money from a blind beggar’s hat.
she believed and miraculously her bin of flour was not used up,
nor did the jar of her oil run dry. A miracle, a new life,
the excitement of a new hope till her son all the sudden, dies.
What is this?
I thought that God wanted to bless her.
She reacted. She was angry at the man of God and ready
to return to her old philosophy of desperation.
Now she had an endless supply of flour but no-one to feed.
She had a miracle and a tragedy in the same time.
Yes, her son was raised from the death and this testimony has
a happy end.
I think that most of our happy ends will be waiting for us
only in heaven.
Now we are growing from miracles to miracles and from
salvation to other salvations.
We have not arrived yet.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Neither do I condemn you.

Whatever you do or don’t do (enough) in the plan of God
will always be accused one way or another.
In Revelation 12:10 the Devil is identified as the Accuser,
who day and night accuses the elect to God.
Why is he doing it?
Is it his bitterness or his concept of justice that strives him to
these endless projections on believers’ minds?
Why does God allow it?
Well, why was he allowed to access this universe in the first place?
He is here and he is not quiet.
He has filled the atmosphere with accusations.
Some of them are based on facts, most of them are just master-minded
manipulations of half-truths that fit man’s soul like a glove.
If you are careless and respond to these accusations a little, they
will flood your whole being with darkness in no time.
The saying “guilt has very quick ears to an accusation”
is well known in the kingdom of darkness.
Believers who have never been taught the marvelous grace of God
can easily be influenced by all kinds of religious demands
that might bring more business yet no faith rest into their lives.
Advice number one, “Don’t accept any accusations.”
Advice number two, “ Don’t become a part of any accusation.”
Get right with God daily, but don’t let the Accuser run your life.
Jesus was sinless and he was accused more than anyone else
ever. He always defended his disciples , even when they were
seemingly wrong.
Ephesians 1:6, John 8:11, Romans 8:1, I John 3:20, Hebrews 10:10

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

filthy rags

endless washing

It’s a bit strange.
Whenever I see a laundry-line I’m encouraged in my faith.
To me the fact that man is all time washing something
is a clear evidence of the existence of God.
We clean up constantly our houses, wash our clothes,
take showers endlessly, why?
It’s not natural.
I’m sure the evolutionists have a lot of theories about this.
They cannot explain guilt without recognizing man's relationship
with the Creator.
Man is trying to wash his guilt away.
Even though many don’t admit it openly every man has
a strong sense of something not being right in his life.
He continues to wash his body and brush his teeth , but he
cannot find a way to wash his soul.
One man was explaining to me how difficult but wonderful
it is to fast. “At the end you have this wonderful feeling that
you really have done something right.”
I asked him if he had ever read the Koran.
He said, of course.
I asked him , what is the name of the first Sura in the Koran?
He didn’t know.
He had nothing more to tell me.
I remember the first time when my soul was washed.
I Cor.6:11
I was born again.

The old hymn says it all:
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Now by this I’ll overcome—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
Now by this I’ll reach my home—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Glory! Glory! This I sing—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
All my praise for this I bring—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

visiting friends

His character revealed

It’s all about influence.
Who is influencing whom and how much?
When we speak about believers, we can say,
that we all make disciples, good or bad ones.
The Bible teaches that every believer is a spiritual priest.
I Pet.2:9
We have learned to honor this principle of believer priesthood
by respecting people’s privacy.
How can we make disciples, if we are not allowed
to influence them?
I believe that we should not make decisions for other people
nor let them make us run their lives. God desires to lead
people individually. But I also believe in influencing people.
That’s what relationships are all about.
This doesn’t work well without a healthy system of accountability.
Sometimes we lack this in our voluntary based operations.
Usually a volunteer is less committed to the work than the one
who is officially responsible and controlled by the payroll.
Whatever our status might be we should not deceive ourselves
into some kind of neutrality.
Neutrality is a close partner of passivity.
Their company is working day and night.
We are called to express God’s character to others.
That cannot go wrong.
God’s character can be revealed with our life-style, attitudes,
words, works, decisions, priorities and commitments,
but mostly it is revealed in our relationships.
Isn’t this what Jesus said, “By this shall all know that you are
my disciples, if you love one another as I have loved you.”
John 13:35
It’s impossible to love without influencing one another.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

if you sleep too much, your socks might walk away... pic by Niyazi Bilgen

it's a personal issue

When people loose their motivation in life they stop caring.
They stop caring about right and wrong.
They stop caring about themselves, the way how they look,
what they think, how they behave.
They could care less what others are thinking or what they
are in need of.
When believers loose their spiritual motivation the same
thing happens. Things don’t touch nor move them anymore.
They become nominal Christians, good people who are actually
nothing more than backsliding soldiers who are sleeping right
in the middle of the battle field.
They are good people, but they are asleep.
This kind of passivity can be traced back to a lack of motivation
which is directly related to one’s personal relationship with God.
You might be busy in running around from one religious activity
to another, but do you ever talk to God?
Do you hear from him? Do you have any questions to him?
Our spiritual motivation comes from fellowshipping with God.
Other believers can teach you and encourage you , but they cannot
hear from God for you. God wants to speak with you personally.
What good is it, if you can answer all the questions, but cannot
say, ”I prayed and God answered me?”
In order to fellowship with God we need to “Exercise ourselves
toward godliness” I Tim. 4:7
We come to him “Gumnoz” , naked, without holding anything
in our hands. Close you cell phone, turn off your computer and
lift up your empty hands.
He will fill them with a lot of motivation.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Deborah and Immanuel are a blessing for us, we just love them!

learning new things

I heard that the Eskimos have 43 different words for snow.
That means that they know something that we don’t now.
Yes, I agree, if have a snow problem I would ask an Eskimo.
But, most of us don’t.
We continue fighting the snow with our limited understanding.
After all, the Eskimos probably don’t speak English.
And they don’t live among us.
That’s probably the reason why they have so much time to think
about snow.
Learning new things makes life interesting.
It keeps us alive.
Unfortunately many people stop learning anything new after
they get their first salary. They become non-thinkers, consuming
machines that can be stopped only by an earthquake or a
heart attack.
In the Bible School we were taught to think with God.
I’m forever thankful to those men who gave their time to teach us.
Without the thoughts of God the world is so empty.
Last night, after walking home from our humble little meeting
I said to someone, ”This was the most important event in Istanbul
tonight. We spoke the words of God.”
“This is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off.
It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven
and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
Nor is it beyond the sea , that you should say, ’Who will go over
the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart,
that you may do it.” Deuteronomy 30:11-14
What a call!
What a privilege.
I can’t wait to see what God has in his curriculum for us today.