A Song by The Barn Again Gang


See the perspectives of Jesus ON His mother's side


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Responding To Opposition And Persecution

Responding to Opposition and Persecution

Founders Ministries exists to work for the recovery of the gospel and the biblical re-formation of local churches. They have a myriad of ministries that are given to that two-pronged effort, including a
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It is impossible to live a faithful Christian life without experiencing opposition and persecution. Jesus promises his disciples that in this world we “will have tribulation” (John 16:33), and Paul warns Timothy that “all who desire to live a godly live in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Given this inevitable reality, how then are followers of Jesus to respond to such treatment?
Jesus clearly answers that question when he says, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44) and “bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:28). This is what apostles teach, as well. “Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse” (Romans 12:14); “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9).
It is natural to become defensive or combative when mistreated, but the way of Christ calls us to respond with humility and love. As we remember our sin and what we actually deserve, we are humbled. As we remember our opponents and what they actually need, we desire to see them blessed.
Two examples stand out in my mind as illustrating this kind of grace at work. The first comes from a fascinating scene in the life of King David. When his son Absalom usurped his throne, David was forced to flee Jerusalem. Early in his journey Shimei confronted him and his entourage by throwing stones at them and cursing David, “Get out, get out, you man of blood, you worthless man! The LORD has avenged on you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned, and theLORD has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. See, your evil is on you, for you are a man of blood” (2 Samuel 16:7–8).
Those words had enough truth in them to pierce David’s conscience. One of his mighty men, Abishai, wanted to decapitate that “dead dog” Shimei, but David, reminded of his own sin and God’s sovereignty over even these events, refused to allow any vengeful response and to leave the matter with God.
The second example comes from the life of George Whitefield, the 18th century evangelist who was greatly used in the Great Awakening. He was often abused by opponents, even having rotten fruit and dead cats thrown at him on occasion. Perhaps nothing wounded him more deeply than to be vilified in the name of Christ by fellow ministers of the gospel. He describes one such occasion that took place on a Sunday morning in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1740.
In the morning, I went to church, and heard the Commissary [representative of the Bishop of London] preach. Had some infernal spirit been sent to draw my picture, I think it scarcely possible that he could have painted me in more horrid colours. I think, if ever, then was the time that all manner of evil was spoken against me falsely for Christ’s sake. The Commissary seemed to ransack church history for instances of enthusiasm and abused grace. He drew a parallel between me and all the Oliverians, Ranters, Quakers, French Prophets, till he came down to a family of the Dutarts, who lived, not many years ago, in South Carolina, and were guilty of the most notorious incests and murder.
How would you have responded to being singled out, lied about, and scorned in such a way in a Sunday morning sermon? Whitefield’s response shows us the way of Christ.
To the honour of God’s free grace be it spoken, whilst the Commissary was representing me thus, I felt the Blessed Spirit strengthening and refreshing my soul. God, at the same time, gave me to see what I was by nature, and how I had deserved His eternal wrath; and, therefore, I did not feel the least resentment against the preacher. No; I pitied, I prayed for him; and wished, from my soul, that the Lord would convert him, as he once did the persecutor Saul, and let him know that it is Jesus Whom he persecutes. In the evening, many came, I was informed, to hear what I would say; but as the Commissary hinted, that his sermons should be printed, and as they were full of invidious falsehood, I held my tongue, and made little or no reply.
This is precisely the way that our Lord responded when he suffered to accomplish our salvation. In doing so he has provide us with an example of how we who follow him are to respond. “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).
Christians must remember that our Master secured our salvation through suffering and crucifixion. The path that we are called to walk as we work out that salvation in our own lives is no different. As servants, we are not above our Master. By the grace that comes from our Lord, we can learn to live by faith in him so that we do not respond to opposition and persecution in the same way as those who do not know his grace. As we do so, we demonstrate that there is a power greater than our own strength at work in our lives and provide a platform for the source of this power to be proclaimed with persuasive credibility.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Now I Know.....Now I Understand

                                      NOW I KNOW.......NOW I UNDERSTAND

I consider myself the biggest underachiever in the world. Although we were not actually well off but struggling, I started out in life with a lot of promise. I was very serious in my studies and my family looked at me as a great deliverer. After school, I landed a good job at the biggest company in the Philippines where everybody looked at me as a trailblazer. But somewhere along the way, controversy hit me and I found myself resigning because I stepped on somebody's toes and those toes belonged to a company bigwig. I drifted from one company to another hoping to land a bigger and more prestigious job than my previous employment. But alas, fate must have conspired to bring me down. I was saddled by life threatening sicknesses right and left which rendered me ineffectual in my job and was forced to retire early in life. My life made a turnaround in 2000 when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior and became born again. Although I became stronger and more resilient in life, the spiral downward dip in my life continued until I was left with nothing in life. I was confounded and asked the Lord the reason for it. Later on I found the answer to my questions. The Lord brought me down to the lowest level because He wanted me to serve Him. I know my vocation in the Christian ministry is to teach. And that's what I am doing now. I now look for the welfare of others disregarding my own. I remember the words I told my audience in a Bible study in a very depressed area before. How miserable will you be if you are living a miserable life now and later on become more miserable in the afterlife because you failed to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior. We have to make every effort to achieve the condition that "none should perish." Every soul is valuable and people who live wanton lives never knew what awaits them. Now I know....now I understand.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

6 Critical Truths To Understand About Anger

6 Critical Truths to Understand about Anger

Mark Altrogge
Mark Altrogge has been senior pastor of Saving Grace Church of Indiana, Pennsylvania, since 1982. He has written hundreds of songs for worship, including “I Stand in Awe” and “I’m Forever Grateful.” Mark an
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The Bible has a lot to say about anger.
I don’t mean righteous anger, the kind of anger we can experience toward injustice or evil but sinful anger. Many times we may feel we are “righteous” in our anger because someone wronged us. Anger often involves our sense of justice. But it’s very easy to slide into sinful anger, hatred, and bitterness. Here are some Biblical truths and principles that God has used to help me make progress in conquering my own sinful anger.
Anger is not caused by other people or our circumstances. It comes out of our own hearts.
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. MT 15:19
No one else can make you angry. Circumstances don’t cause your anger. Anger is your own sin. David Powlison says our hearts are like sponges. If I squeeze a sponge and black ink comes out, it might seem that the squeezing caused black ink to come out. Yet I might squeeze another sponge and have clear water come out. So, it was not the squeeze that caused the ink to come out, but ink came out because that was what was in the sponge. The squeeze merely revealed what was there in the first place. Other people and circumstances can “squeeze” our hearts and if anger comes out, it is because that’s what was in our heart.
Anger is caused by our own unfulfilled desires.
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. JA 4:1–2
James says our own “passions”—cravings and desires—cause all our quarrels and fights. We desire and do not have; so, we murder, fight, and quarrel. In other words, we want something and we don’t get it; so, we get angry. Whenever you are angry ask yourself, “What is it that I want right now that I’m not getting?” Once I told my kids to go to bed and heard them wrestling and throwing things upstairs. When I went up I said, “You’re making me mad,” to which one replied, “But you have said no one else can make you mad.” I said, “You’re right. You are disobeying me, which tempts me (squeezes me), and it is my anger, my sin.” When I went downstairs I asked myself, “What do I want that I’m not getting?” My answer: I wanted to relax. I wanted kids who always perfectly and immediately obeyed. I wanted to watch TV, not oversee bedtime.
Anger won’t make anyone do the right thing. 
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. JA 1:19–20
Many times we think anger will motivate others to do the “right” thing. Parents think anger will make their kids do the right thing, or act “righteously.” But anger won’t produce the righteousness of God. Anger might make kids outwardly obey, like little Pharisees, but it won’t change their hearts. Anger won’t produce inward righteousness in our spouse or coworkers. Anger does no good.
Anger toward another person is murder of the heart.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brotherc will be liable to judgment; whoever insultsd his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” MT 5:21–22
We tend to downplay the seriousness of anger. “I was just venting” or “letting off steam.” But Jesus said anger is murder of the heart and a violation of one of the 10 commandments. It can make us subject to the very hell of fire.
Anger makes things worse. 
A harsh word stirs up anger. PR 15:1
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife. PR 15:18
Not only does anger fail to produce righteousness, it makes things worse. It stirs up anger in others. It stirs up strife. It has the opposite effect to what we are desiring.
Anger opens the door for Satan
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. EPH 4:26–27
When we “let the sun go down on our anger” or fail to deal with it in a timely fashion, either by asking forgiveness, forgiving others, or working things out with them, it opens the door for Satan to tempt us to bitterness, revenge, slander, and a host of other sins. Cain’s anger at Abel led him to kill his brother. Anger is serious. We must deal with it quickly.
These truths have helped me numerous times when I’ve been tempted to anger.  I’m not saying I’ve conquered it and I never sin in anger. But by God’s grace, understanding these things has helped me make progress. I hope you, too, will find God’s Word and Spirit help you make progress in overcoming anger.

Mark Altrogge has been senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, Pennsylvania, since 1982. He has written hundreds of songs for worship, including “I Stand in Awe” and “I’m Forever Grateful.” Mark and his wife, Kristi, have four sons and one daughter. Find out more on his blog, The Blazing Center.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Crosswalk.com Daily Inspirations

Crosswalk.com Daily Inspirations

Learning to Breathe - Girlfriends in God - February 2, 2016

February 2, 2016
Learning To Breathe
Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth
Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness. (1 Timothy 4:7b, NASB)
Friend to Friend
Before our first child was born, my husband and I took a series of classes to prepare us for childbirth. I vividly remember being told by my Lamaze instructor that while in labor, I would need to breathe through each contraction. She would give us instructions like: “Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth” and “When you inhale, allow your belly to expand first, then your chest.” She told us that the way we breathe would affect the way we would experience labor.
We spent a lot of time during those week-after-week classes learning how to breathe in a whole new way. We were taught that the breaths we would take during labor would need to be purposed and controlled. They required discipline and were not like natural breathing. So I practiced and I practiced the special breathing techniques in preparation for when the labor pains came a-knocking.
When the day arrived to welcome my firstborn son, Preston Miles Smith, into the world, I learned what a discipline breathing through contractions really is! There were times during labor that I felt like holding my breath instead of breathing. Times when the pain was so intense that my natural response was to scream instead of to breathe. Yes. This type of breathing was surely a learned behavior, a purposed discipline. And on the other side of this purposed discipline, in spite of all the pain endured, I was blessed to experience the wonderful joy of life.
I’ve labored through many hard life experiences since my child birthing days. I’m sure you have too. There are times when circumstances press us in waves, contractions of life that are seemingly endless. When the waves of trials hit our heart and home, the spiritual discipline of trusting God helps us to breathe through the squeeze of each pressure. I like to call it faith-breathing. When we hunker down and put into practice the act – the discipline – of faith.
But what do we mean by “the discipline of faith”? Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).
Just like I learned to breathe in preparation for going through labor pains, Christians learn to breathe through life pains when we implement spiritual disciplines in our lives like prayer, fasting, journaling and Scripture reading. They are purposed disciplines that bring joy and strength. The more we pray, the more we grow in intimacy with God. The more we read and know the Bible, the more we understand God’s will and character. We see over and over again that He is good, faithful, compassionate, loving, gentle, just, holy, righteous and trustworthy in all things. We are encouraged and spurred on by the faith of others. We learn to faith-breathe!       
The flames of fire have heated up and refined my faith on many occasions! Life is filled with challenges. God is always with us and will help us breathe through the difficult situations we face. He allows us to go through trials as a part of our refining process. Struggles send us running to God for help, for faith, for strength, for protection and direction. They are often pregnant with pain. Bursting with heartache. If we yield them to God, He uses to rid our lives of trust-barriers like fear and doubt, and to bring glory and honor to him. There are many life contractions that hurt us, but there is no earthly pain that can diminish the hope of our salvation. We must simply breath – continue practicing those spiritual disciplines that bind us to the heart of God.
Trusting God takes discipline. We don’t always feel like it. It’s not always what we want to do. It’s not natural. At times we feel overwhelmed and want to soul-scream. If we always acted on our feelings, our lives would be chaotic messes. As in childbirth, there finally comes the time of deliverance where what is birthed forth to joy is directly the result of the very pain we have gone through.
Let’s Pray
Dear Father, please teach me to breathe! Strengthen me through life's hard labor experiences and help me to practice the disciplines I have learned through your Scriptures. When I feel like screaming through the pain, help me to breath by reading and memorizing your Word, fasting and praying, and meditating on your Truth. Thank you for the strength you will give me as I trust in You.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Now it’s Your Turn
Read over the verses below and write them on note card and review them until they are committed to memory.
“…all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27b).
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)

Walk Through The Bible

A Season of Need: Maintaining a Heart that God Blesses

by Walk Thru the Bible

Greg had prayed for God's blessings and favor when he got out of college, and God had certainly answered. Greg had been given a beautiful family, and his career had taken off dramatically. He rose from entry level to executive in the short space of seven years, and people in the industry began calling him flattering things like "wunderkind" and "prodigy." He had proven himself capable beyond his peers and wise beyond his years.
So Greg began to lead seminars and write books about the keys to his success. His already-generous income more than doubled from his international speaking fees. He became widely recognized as a "how to" expert, a motivator, and a life coach. A few best-sellers later, his family was able to buy several homes in several countries. He was credited with more talent and skill and ingenuity than anyone around. Yes, he was truly a self-made man.
But self-made men eventually suffer the consequences of poor construction, and a series of misfortunes left Greg virtually bankrupt. His books ended up in bargain bins, his seminars were suddenly "cliché," and his family hardly knew the man who had always been too busy to spend time with them. And Greg found himself exactly where he began when he was fresh out of college: on his knees asking for Gods blessings and favor.
It's a common dynamic, isn't it? We ask God for help, and he gives it. The Holy Spirit fills us with himself, and then we take credit for his gifts. Once we experience success, whether in the big-ticket items like career and family or the smaller victories of life, we develop a sense of independence. We start patting ourselves on the back for being so competent or wise or well-positioned. And then when our mini-kingdom crumbles, we fall on our knees again and ask God for help.
That's how it was for Solomon. He began his reign with a sincere plea for God's wisdom and favor. Somewhere along the way, that sense of dependence began to erode. The turning point in his life, although there were earlier signs, seems to be after the temple and palace were built. Over the course of years that it took to build those landmark structures, his focus on God's glory seems to have evolved into a focus on his own glory. And things were never the same again.

Friday, January 22, 2016


                                      ASSURANCES OF SALVATION

After we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior and became born again through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, how can we be assured of full salvation and eternal life with the Lord? The following are the assurances of that salvation:

1. John 3:16- "For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
2. Philippians 1:6- "Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
3. Romans 9:9 - "That if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."


                                     WORK IN PROGRESS

The moment we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior and became born again through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we become works in progress in the Lord. It means we are being renewed day by day by the Lord until we reach the whole measure of the fullness of Jesus Christ. Then we become the reflection of God in this evil world. We become channels of His divine blessings to mankind. The Lord promised this in Philippians 1:6, "Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." We may be experiencing so many obstacles and hindrances on our way to the kingdom of God but this promise assures us of full salvation on the day of Christ return on earth.