In his book Every Man’s Challenge: How Far Are You Willing to Go for God?, co-author by Stephen Arterburn with Mike Yorkey, Fred Stoeker really puts in perspective. In the third chapter, Stoeker speaks a truth that we often misunderstand. I know it hit me head on. To quote, “You don’t have a right to stay the way you are.” (38) Think about it. When you gave your life to Jesus Christ, you handed over your rights of control to Him. He bought you with a price. 1 Corinthians 6:20 tells us that, “For ye are bought with a price…” That price was Jesus’ very life. “…in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”  “..while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin…” Romans 5:6 & 8, 2 Corinthians 5:21. Romans 3:25 says, “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [appeasement] [for our sins] through faith in his blood…”

As a result of your faith, you now belong to Jesus Christ. That means you are “joint-heirs with Christ” and because of that, sin has no more power over you. “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him…For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:6-9, 14. Did you see that? “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” “…where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Romans 6:1-2, 5:20.

See you do not have to serve sin, because of what Christ did it no longer has power over you. God’s grace is greater than sin. Jesus bought you with a price so you can be with Him and not in sin any longer. He has set you free. When you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you accepted the truth that who He is and His work done for you on the Cross was enough and handed your control over to Him. Therefore, “you don’t have a right to stay the way you are.” You do have a responsibility to be sanctified or to “work out” your salvation, i.e… Stop sinning and be like Christ. Remember what God said? “Be not conformed to this world” but “be conformed to the image of his Son”. Romans 12:2, 8:29.

Andy Catt

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While listening to a song by the Gaither Vocal Band, a thought spurred of an important lesson a veteran in ministry taught me. This lesson is foundational to know and understand. It is a lesson I pray I can fully appreciate and effectively apply to whatever ministry God would use me to lead. The lesson can be simplified into one sentence: ministry is about the purpose not the program. Let me explain. The purpose is sharing the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word, while the program is the organized, fun and creative vessel in which the purpose is delivered. We must remember, though, not to confine the purpose within the program. If we were to do so, it would be similar to showing someone a box with something life changing in it, but only allowing them to see it in the box and never take it out. They would then only revisit this box each time it was presented. We must share the box, or more so what is it, with the intent of allowing God to change the lives of those we share it with, just as he changed ours. This all kind of sounds like evangelism doesn’t it? I believe that is the point. When we lose sight of that, and have the programs being delivered by the purpose, well, it just doesn’t work quite right.

Andy Catt

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Our God is bigger than all our problems, greater than all our failures, more loving than our greatest love, more gracious than our sins, more merciful than we’ll ever understand. Our God is more forgiving than we’ll ever deserve, more just than we can deliver. He is faithful, even when we aren’t. He loves us, even when we fail. He has made us clean, even when we feel so dirty. He lifts us up, even when it seems we have fallen too far. He is there for us and will never leave, even when it seems like everyone else has. He sent his Son to die for us, so that we can be with him. Why is it so hard to follow Him, when he is our answer, our strength, our comfort, our healer, our fortress, our refuge, our forgiver, our caretaker, our Father, our Lord, our King, our God? Often times we are more than willing to serve God and give him our all, but only if he does it for us. If he makes the first move. There have been many times in my life where I was waiting on God to move, when it was he who was waiting on me. In order for God to move in our lives, we have to make a decision to let him and then follow where he takes us.

Andy Catt

I read something the other day that got me thinking. The kind of man I want to be in a relationship. Seeing how I’ve not yet been in one, it’s given me time to realize what I should and want to be.
I want to be a man that treats my girl right. That will seek after God’s own heart, to find hers. That cares for her, and shows her not just tells her. That will encourage and uplift her, and tell her she’s beautiful because she really is. God made her that way, both outside and inside. That seeks to love her and not lust after her. That will view her properly and not as property. That will be a man who fights for his purity and will stand up to protect hers. That will remain loyal to her, as she would be to me. That will be protective of her and that will trust her, as she trusts me. That will be honest with her, communication being key in our relationship. That will not be afraid to be real with her, as she would not be afraid to be real with me. That will pray for her and with her, as she would for me and with me. That will build our relationship on a foundation of Christ first. That will stick to my boundaries to protect myself and her from temptation, speculation, and question. That will be there for her no matter what. That will fight for her and hang on when things get rough. That will spend time with her. That will talk with her. That will be a shoulder to cry on and someone to hold her as she does. That will be someone to hang out and have fun with. That will help take care of her when she is sick and help her feel better when she’s sad. That will be a gentleman and chivalrous to her. That will be romantic. That will make her feel special. That will not be ashamed or embarrassed to call her my girlfriend. That will compliment her instead of flattering her. That will invest in her not just spend money on her. That will treat her with respect, honor, and dignity that she deserves. That will strive to be the man that God has created me to be and will encourage her to be the woman that God has created her to be. That will uphold this vow, to be this man.

Andy Catt

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The Word of Truth

Posted: March 17, 2012 in Christian Living, Theology

by Cornelius R. Stam

From the Berean Bible Society

In Eph. 1:13 the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and believing “the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.” This declaration is substantiated by many other passages of Scripture. Our Lord said: “He that heareth… and believeth… hath everlasting life” (John 5:24). This at a time when sacrifices and baptism were still required for the remission of sins. Even then men had to hear and believe to be saved, for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17). Now, however, salvation is received by hearing and believing alone. Works for salvation are not merely unnecessary; they are forbidden. Today salvation is “to him that worketh not, but believeth” (Rom. 4:5). “For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph.2:8,9). God has changed His dealings with men from time to time down through the ages, teaching one lesson at a time. This is why it is so important to note the dispensational distinctions in Scripture, “rightly dividing the Word of truth.” Once the works of the Law were required for salvation: “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested” (Rom. 3:21) and men are saved solely by faith in Christ, “being justified freely by [God’s] grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24). We are saved, then, as we hear and believe what Paul calls, “the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation” (Eph.1:13), and we are established in the faith as we obey II Tim.2:15: “rightly dividing the Word of truth.”

from The Rebelution Blog 

Written by Philip Hainline, Heidi Reimer, and Maria Reimer at the respective ages of 16, 19, and 17.

A real woman . . . …is glad she’s a woman and rejoices in her femininity, expressing it through her attitude, appearance and bearing. (1 Timothy 2:9-10)

…does not compete for equality with men or chafe at God’s design for male and female, but delights in and understands the importance of her calling to complement man’s role. (1 Timothy 2:11-12, Ephesians 5:22-24)

…values the cultivation of her mind and diligently seeks after wisdom and knowledge. (Proverbs 22:17-21, 2:2-6)

…realizes her imperative need to allow the Holy Spirit to control her emotions and expressions of them. (James 1:19-20)

…does not wallow in self-pity or make a habit of voicing complaints, but radiates cheerfulness and joy. (Proverbs 15:15, Proverbs 17:22)

A real woman . . . …appreciates her father’s protection, and respects and submits to his authority. In so doing, she is preparing herself to exercise the Biblical role in her relationship with a possible future husband. (Ephesians 5:33-6:3, 1 Peter 3:1-2)

…is trustworthy and gains the respect of those around her. (Proverbs 31:11)

…restrains herself from listening to, or participating in gossip, but instead speaks with wisdom and discretion. (Proverbs 11:12-13, 22, 20:19, 3:11)

…encourages and builds up those around her instead of criticizing and tearing them down. (1 Thessalonians 5:11, Ephesians 4:29)

…does not have a nagging, contentious or manipulative manner in which she deals with others. (Judges 16:16, Proverbs 21:9, 19, 26:21)

…is not boisterous or loud in her speech or actions but is characterized by a gentle and quiet spirit. (Proverbs 9:13, 1 Peter 3:4)

A real woman . . . …portrays chastity, modesty and reverence in her manner, and wears the ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is her true beauty. (1 Peter 3:3-4, Titus 2:4-5)

…is not offended by respect shown her through gentlemanly courtesies (opening doors, etc.) but cultivates the differences between the sexes that make her worthy of this deference. (1 Peter 3:7, Mark 10:6)

…seeks to make God her number one desire and the Lover of her soul, knowing that only He can fully satisfy. (Psalm 73:25, Psalm 63:1)

…uses her years of singleness to seek and serve God without distraction, and is content to leave the details of her future to Him. (Psalm 73:25, Philippians 4:11)

A real woman . . . …does not relate to members of the opposite sex in a flirtatious or forward manner, but instead saves all her passion for her future husband. (Thessalonians 4:3-8, Proverbs 6:25, 1 Corinthians 7:1)

…holds her virginity before marriage sacred and will not compromise it for anything. (This one goes for guys too) (1 Timothy 5:22)

from The Rebelution Blog

Lori Hainline & Rebecca Chandler co-authored this list at the respective ages of 19 and 17. Their closing comment: This list is not exhaustive and men like this do exist!

A real man . . . …understands and lives according to the basic purposes for which he was created: to worship, honor, and serve God. (Romans 12:1-2)

…values and carefully handles the scriptures. (2 Timothy 2:15)

…doesn’t pride himself on being knowledgeable in the sinful ways of the world. (1 John 2:15-16, James 4:4, Philippians 4:8)

A real man . . . …isn’t embarrassed to worship God and pray in a group setting. (Mark 8:38)

…is wise, yet humble. (Proverbs 2:1-10, 1 Peter 5:5, Romans 12:16)

A real man . . . …takes leadership in a self-sacrificing way. (Ephesians 5:25-28)

…is kind because, “What is desirable in man is his kindness” (Proverbs 19:22)

…doesn’t try to prove himself but is simply confident as he walks in the fear of the Lord. (Proverbs 14:26-27)

…doesn’t put others down with his actions, attitude, words, or his strength. But on the contrary, he affirms and builds others up (Proverbs 15:4, Ephesians 4:29)

A real man . . . …treats his sisters and mother with as much respect as he would treat a prospective wife. (Matthew 25:21)

…not only respects but appreciates a young lady’s purity and innocence. In our culture innocence isn’t retained by accident. (2 Corinthians 11:2-3)

…values his purity as much as he values a young lady’s purity. He is not ashamed to live and act differently from the world in order to guard himself. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, Ecclesiastes 7:26)

…can look a girl straight in the eye without communicating any impurity. (Proverbs 20:11)

A real man . . . …isn’t ashamed to identify himself with his family (Ephesians 6:2-3)

…is a gentleman. He is polite and shows women honor in everyday things such as opening doors, etc. (1 Peter 3:7)

…has no desire to be gross in order to impress other men. He doesn’t burp, swear, or tell disgusting stories. (Proverbs 13:5, Ephesians 5:4)

A real man . . . …shows by his actions that he loves children. (Matthew 19:13-14)

…is pleasant and expresses joy rather than feeling that it’s masculine to be sullen. (Proverbs 21:29, 1 Thessalonians 5:16)

…doesn’t blame others for his own problems but embraces responsibility. (Proverbs 12:27)

…can accept correction (Proverbs 12:1, Proverbs 29:1)

A real man . . . …is mature in his emotions and his expressions of them. He can deal with the trials of life logically, with wisdom, not on a basis of emotional instability. (Proverbs 14:29, Proverbs 17:27, Proverbs 12:18)

…understands the value of work and is financially responsible. (Colossians 3:23-24, 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, Luke 16:10-11)

…expresses himself with intelligent words rather than using “street talk”. (Proverbs 17:20, Titus 2:6-8, 1 Peter 4:11, Ephesians 4:29)