Monday, May 24, 2010

mighty men visiting from Azerbaijan, Iran and Uzbekistan

It's a beautiful world!

“Consider your ways.” Haggia 1:5,7
God was challenging people to look at themselves.
Everything that they were doing went wrong.
They worked hard, but the earned money went into a bag filled with holes.
I believe that God is inviting us to consider our alternatives.
If we choose not to live a Spirit-filled life, what is our option?
Can you imagine something that this world could offer;
something that could replace the satisfaction that comes from our
fellowship with God. Is it eating, travelling, studying?
Is it working, fame, sex?
Once you have tasted the sweetness of a Spirit-filled life
it will be difficult to find anything that compares with it.
An important part of a spiritual identity is our attitude towards the material
world. It was created for man. Man was not created for it.
When a group of Pharisees questioned Jesus and his disciples
about their violation of the Sabbath day, Jesus said,
“The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27
In other words ,” Sabbath will not exist without man, but man will exist
without Sabbath. Let’s put things into right perspective.”
Sabbath was a servant , not a master.
The whole material world is that way.
It is God’s gift to man. Matter is not evil. It’s good.
Sometimes believers act as if they were more spiritual than God.
Ascetic, anemic life-style is not a sign of a Spirit-filled life.
Freedom is. Confidence in God’s love and plan is.
The three words that P.Schaller chose to describe spiritual beauty,
Integrity, Harmony and Clarity, reveal the essence of a Spirit-filled life.
These can be boldly expressed when we use that what was created to
exalt the Creator.
The world is beautiful, because it’s filled with opportunities
to glorify God.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

like the arrival of a new spring

It's one of those mornings

If you plan to live an average life “doing your best” is enough.
If you are not afraid to step into God’s waters where your foot cannot
touch the bottom, you will end up giving more than your best.
“Doing our best” sometimes has a lazy , fatalistic flavor with it.
It’s far from understanding our identity as “more than conquerors”.
Romans 8:37
Continents would never have been explored and the moon would remain
only a mystical cheese ball in the sky. Man would never even dream
of stepping on it.
The writer of the book of Hebrews deals with this saying,
“You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin…” Hebrews 12:4
With other words, ”Somebody doesn’t like you? That’s not the end of the world.
Didn’t you know that others are being tortured and killed daily in places
where no names are asked.”
When “doing more” is not motivated by guilt, but by a genuine love relationship
with God, ordinary things get glorified and common lives are remembered.
The Holy Spirit wants to lead us out from our own small lives into God’s presence.
Someone exclaimed in a famous writer’s home museum,
“There have been people living here, whose names are attached to famous dates!”
With God this day could become one of those famous dates.
Your eyes have been given the grace to see this morning.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

morning in the orient (detail)

Let the world see grace!

Carnal life is self-destructive.
It doesn’t make sense to anyone, yet, it always finds it’s way .
Unbelievers wonder about it,
”she also, supposed to be some kind of a believer…”
The angels cannot figure it out.
They have seen too much glory to be tempted by the dust.
Jesus said, ”the flesh profits nothing.” John 6:63
No wonder we often feel ourselves empty.
Jesus wasn’t against people enjoying life,
good food and relaxed time with friends.
That’s how he built his church.
He was not trying to fix people’s flesh. He gave them a new life to
be occupied with. The more they tasted the glorious
new life, the less they had time to waste in the flesh.
Our flesh is incessantly hungry, demanding and annoying.
Many believers have achieved a lot of recognition to their flesh
in the world. That keeps them busy and away from the walk of faith.
Some speak about the importance of having a good testimony
to the world, but too often that has nothing to do with the testimony
of God’s grace in their life. They are “good people” in people’s eyes.
If the world doesn’t see that they are good “saved” people,
their testimony only becomes a religious fair show in the flesh.
Galatians 6:12
What the world needs now, is grace, sweet grace.
When we continue worshipping Jesus after all our failures and
embarrassing moments of carnality, the world can see grace.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

"The Lord is my Shepherd." Psalm 23:1

True quality comes from grace.

I like the fact that our testimony to the world is a testimony of grace, not one of
our religious success. We are just like the others, but we have found grace.
That helps us to face financial challenges. It comforts us in the time of sickness.
It strengthens us in relationships. When volcanic ash gets our way, we have grace.
Our neighbor’s water pipes break , the water floods into our newly
renovated living room, but we have grace.
Does the quality of our testimony matter?
True quality comes from grace.
Words that describe a good quality such as clarity, consistency, balance, truthfulness
are all good measurements for grace.
Grace is our brand.
It’s a supernatural quality that performs well in impossible situations.
It’s not us refusing the deal with the roughness of life. It’s really there,
God’s answer to problems.
To me grace is the greatest evidence of the existence of God.
Goodness, self-sacrifice, forgiveness, generosity cannot be just accidental behavior.
They are clearly the fruit of grace. They come from decisions that people
make because they have tasted the goodness of God.
Grace is fantastic.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I was so amused by these pictures!

God's superlatives

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16

“ This describes the superlatives of God’s work.
God - the GRANDEST source of everything good.
so loved – It is love at it’s HIGHEST peak.
the world – It’s the WIDEST object which love can have.
He gave – Giving is the BEST expression of love.
His only begotten son – The GRANDEST gift which could be made.
whosoever – is the GREATEST number that can be comprehended.
believes – the SIMPLEST condition possible.
In Him – the MOST TRUSTWORTHY to believe in.
should not perish – delivery from the WORST fate.
but – the GREATEST alternative to perishing.
have – the GREATEST assurance- it’s a possession, not a hope.
everlasting life – Life of which there can be no longer and no better.”

Richard Wurmbrand

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"but now you are the light in the Lord" Eph.5:8

that stuff is not ours

Why do we do bad things again?
Is it really possible not to repeat our failures?
“A dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly.” Proverbs 26:11
Adonijah, one of King David’s sons, is a good example of this.
He decided to become the king of Israel. He gathered around him
a lot of people and had his own little king making conference.
Solomon was not invited, because he actually had already been
“voted” by God to be the king.
After everything came to the light ( and everything will come to
the light one day)David appointed Solomon as his successor. Adonijah
pleads for mercy in a spectacular and emotional way.
Solomon grants him mercy and tells him to go home.
Happy end, no, a bad new beginning.
Adonijah repeats his folly and asks for the young Shunammite Abishag
to be given to him as a wife.
Solomon responds by sending him to be killed.
Enough is enough.
I believe that Solomon showed God’s character in this.
God shows mercy and continues to do so, but he doesn’t want believers
to hurt more themselves and others.Sometimes He has but one option.
He takes them home.
The main reason why a believer would continue in sin, is that he refuses
to accept his new identity.
Gal.3:9-11, Ephesians 4:20-24 teach clearly that we have been given a new
identity. We are no more “dogs”. That stuff is not ours.
Pastor Love mentioned yesterday in the Grace Hour that people often
ask in a problematic situation ,”What I’m gonna do?”, when a better
question would be,”What I’m gonna believe?”
One of the most important things that we learn in the church is to
recognize our new identity and it’s potential.
There is no limit to that what God can do through our new man.

is there a lion out there?

lions in the road

Yes, true success is found somewhere between workaholism and laziness.
The definition of success demands us to consider the deeper values
behind it.
For some success means a full stomach, for another it means a clean heart.
The world is filled with lazy people.
Actually laziness is a temptation to all.
Lazy people manage to survive, avoiding any major projects in life.
They make it safely to the grave. Maybe even to heaven.
Sometimes laziness is a result of a person giving up.
They have lost their motivation to care for themselves, others, yes, even God.
Gradually a passive person starts losing all his standards from morals
to their appearance and disappear to the masses of the standardized humanity.
If we give in to laziness, we will find ourselves looking for an excuse to leave
the presence of God. God speaks, we yawn.
I have heard people say ,”There is nothing for me to do in the church”, right in
the midst of a revival.
“The lazy man says, “There is a lion in the road!
The fierce lion is in the streets.” Proverbs 26:13
Most of those lions are just in our head.
Little David would say, ”What are you talking about?
Get out there with your stones of grace and knock him down.”
He was not looking for another explanation or an excuse.
He was looking for another stone.
Legalism brings us out of laziness, but only a personal experience of God’s grace
can provide us the inner motivation to initiate godliness.
God has much more stones prepared for all of us.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

audio messages available

For the audio messages from the Greater Grace Church in Istanbul go to