Archive for February, 2013

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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