Our society is blindly chasing after freedom.......financial freedom, freedom from sadness, we're on a quest for spiritual truth - yet, these pursuits leave most of us on an endless treadmill. The truth is, life changing freedom is available to all who have the answers to life's most important questions. What is the purpose for which I was created? How do I get to know my Creator? How do I live in wholehearted freedom? God did not design His creation to survive--but never really live. The aim of this book is to set people free through Biblical truth; offering clear succinct answers. The Gifts of Freedom will bring its readers hope, encouragement, joy and their purpose in life. Will you choose to learn about, receive, unwrap and use these wonderful gifts?
A compelling view of two competing religious visions---one of "creation" and the other of "empire"---that run throughout the Bible. "A remarkable offering for those who care about the interface of power and faith with all the threats and seductions that go with it. . . As I read, I felt overwhelmed, both by the mass of data and by the cunning of interpretation. I could not put it down, and expect to continue to be instructed by it.---Walter Brueggemann "Howard-Brook undertakes what few dare anymore: an introductory primer for the whole Bible...This book invites disciples to `connect the dots', in order to recover our ancient, anti-imperial identity, and to embrace a radical faith and practice that are personal and politica."---Ched Myers "Howard-Brook illuminates how ancient empires exercised control and manipulation of people not simply by political and military means, but also through the religion of empire. Throughout he makes clear that the core message of the God of creation is to call people out of empire, to refuse to cooperate with the forces of destruction and domination today."---Richard Horsley "Will become a classic for communities that seek first to receive the gracious gift of God's alternative future to Empire."---Jarrod McKenna "If we who sojourn in America are to be a community that can both name and resist the lure of Empire, we need a story more powerful than the story called America. Wes Howard-Brook knows than the Bible tells such a story. May its story be ours as we're set free from our imperial imaginations to dream with our Creator of a new world here and now."---Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
Now You Can Lead the Women in Your Church on a Journey of Fellowship and Fun! In America today, Christian churches are held together through the prayer and service of women--yet many of these women are overwhelmed and in need of a break so that they can reconnect with the Lord. That's why Focus on the Family has combined the best features of women's ministries and created these new resources to give women of all ages a chance to get together for quality time with each other--and with God. The essential principles in this guide were specially selected to help you lead a ministry that comprises women from different generations and backgrounds. Even if you've never led a group before, you can successfully start, run, and grow a women's ministry with the step-by-step guidelines in this manual. Help the women in your church join together for a journey of laughter and growth in Christ.
This book reveals vital information through the word of God and the importance and urgency of the Kingdom which is the ministry of Jesus and how we as believers are to live and function in the earth realm. There are chapters which focus on the Kingdom including; how to have a Kingdom Mind-Set, understanding the Kingdom-Connectors (five-fold ascension gifts), realizing your role as a Kingdom Carrier, submitting to your Kingdom Assignment, and utilizing Kingdom Wealth to serve and bless others. The revelation of Gods word will ultimately change your life and perspective on how you look at the Kingdom after reading this teaching tool. Jesus is coming back for his bride the church. Are you saved! Are you ready!
Book Ii in the Series of Power Pack for Preachers Including Test Booklet
Author: Dr. Ronald Sanders
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
A series of teachings used to impart understanding of Gods Word into the heart of Gods people. Youll be exposed to the limitless possibilities of God, finding a depth of the word available to believers. These studies have changed my life and how I view God, understanding walking in the Spirit, and activating faith in Christ Jesus. Ive created "Power Pack for Preachers" series to equip the body of Christ with an understanding of the anointing, for those whore serious about achieving greatness in Christ Jesus! Dr. Ronald Sanders PhD
Have you ever heard people say, "I could never be good enough to get into heaven; I've messed up too many times"? Well, they're exactly right! On our own, we can do nothing to get into heaven. Even if someone is "righteous" in many people's eyes, the Bible tells us that our righteous acts are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). So how can we get into heaven since we are sinful and God is sinless? Sinful people aren't allowed into heaven, are they? No, but forgiven people are! God, in the most sacrificial act in the history of the world, sent his sinless, perfect, only Son to die on our behalf--even though we are sinners--so we can spend eternity with him. Life in heaven is a free gift! The Bible calls what God did an act of grace. The word "grace" means gift. Salvation from our sins is freely provided by a God who loves us despite our sinfulness. "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). You cannot earn, learn, or deserve salvation. It is not a goal to achieve, but a gift to receive. Salvation is rooted in the mercy of God, not the merit of mankind. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). But there is a problem... We are all sinners. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Every person has broken God's commandments. Though you may be a "good person" in the eyes of others, you know in your heart there is something wrong. We often fail to do the things we really should, and we do the very things we shouldn't. We "fall short" of God's high standard, which is perfection. Jesus said, "You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). But no one is perfect! We have all sinned and therefore cannot save ourselves by simply living a good life. The very best we can do is not enough. Because God is holy, he must punish sin. God cares about you to the extent that he is expressing his love to you right now. But he is holy, totally unique, and without sin. It's our sin that separates us from God's love. His righteousness demands that something be done about our sin problem, for God says that he "will by no means clear the guilty" (Exodus 34:7). God cannot simply dismiss sin or admit sinners into heaven because that would violate his own holiness and break his own law. So, God had a dilemma. How could he love us and at the same time judge our sin? The answer is the greatest news ever shared. God solved the dilemma in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God's unique Son who came from heaven to earth to reveal the love of God for you. He is more than just a man, though he was fully human. Jesus was not merely a man of God, but was the God-man--100% God and 100% man. The Bible declares that "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:1, 14). The ultimate demonstration of Jesus' deity is the cross and resurrection. In that great act of love by dying on the cross, Jesus paid the price for our sins and purchased a place in heaven for us that he now offers as a free gift. He took our place of judgment, and the wrath of God that burns against sin fell on him: "For our sake [God] made [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God"(2 Corinthians 5:21). What does all this mean? Man can receive God's forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. The Bible boldly declares, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). Only by belief--faith--can we know God's love and forgiveness. Saving faith involves a choice to turn from whatever you may have hoped would save you and instead place your complete dependence only upon Christ Jesus to save you from the consequences of your sin. Faith means that you trust in Christ--nothing more, nothing less, nothing else--for your salvation. If you've never considered yourself good enough for heaven, all you have to do is accept God's gift of grace that he gives through the sacrificial death of his Son. Then let Jesus' righteousness pay for all your sins in full! Are you trusting in Christ alone for your salvation? If you desire to have this certainty of salvation, you can receive Jesus Christ right now by expressing your faith through a prayer like this: Jesus, I am a sinner and I need to be saved by your grace. I turn from trusting in myself, and I look to you who alone can forgive and save me. I know that you died on the cross for my sin, that you were buried, and that you rose again so I can have everlasting life. Come into my life, Christ Jesus, and make me the person you want me to be. Thank you for saving me. Amen. Did you really mean what you just said? If so, let's see what Jesus says about what you have just done: "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has everlasting life" (John 6:47).
To Be a Christian By J.I. Packer and Lane Dennis What does it mean to be a Christian? What is essential for Christian faith and life? How can we know Jesus Christ and experience the full love of God through him? How can you become a child of God, anchored in the full reality of unquenchable joy, beginning in this life and ever increasing in the life to come? It is possible to know about these things, however, without actually knowing them personally in one's life. In order not to miss what God is offering you, it is imperative that you receive Jesus Christ as your own Savior and Lord--if you have not already done so--and commit yourself to him to be his life-long disciple. There is no more important thing in life that you could ever do--both for the sake of this life and immeasurably more for the life to come. And when you have received Jesus Christ as your own Savior and Lord, to know that you have done it, so that you can go on from there, knowing the fullness of joy as a child of God both now and forever. To be a Christian is a lifelong personal commitment to Jesus Christ, but it begins with becoming a Christian in a deliberate conscious way, much like being a spouse begins with taking marriage vows. Being a Christian is a process of advance from that point. As you continue with Christ, with his Father as your heavenly Father, his Holy Spirit as your helper and guide, and his Church as your new family, you will constantly be led deeper into your born-again calling of worship, service, and Christ-like relationships. You need to know from the beginning that God creates human beings for the purpose of knowing him, loving him, and enjoying a deep friendship with him. But no one naturally fulfills this purpose. We are all out of step with God. In the words of the Bible, we are sinners, guilty before God and separated from him (Romans 3:23). Life in Christ is, first and foremost, God's taking living action to remedy our dire situation (Romans 5:8). The key facts of this divine remedy--which the Bible calls the Gospel (meaning "good news")--are these: 1. God the Father sent his eternal Son into this world to reconcile us sinners to himself, and to preserve and prepare us for his glory in the life to come. 2. Born of the Virgin Mary through the Holy Spirit, God's son (whose human name is "Jesus") lived a perfect life, died a criminal's death as a sacrifice for your sins, and rose again from the grave to rule as Christ (meaning "the Anointed One"), reigning on his Father's behalf in the Kingdom of God. 3. Reigning now in heaven, Jesus continues to draw sinners to himself through the communication of the Gospel here on earth. 4. By the Holy Spirit, God enables us to turn wholeheartedly from our sinful and self-centered ways (repentance) and to entrust ourselves to him, to live in union and communion with God (faith). Our natural condition could not be more desperate and urgent. In spiritual terms, our sin and self-centeredness is the way of death, and fellowship with Christ is the way of life now and forever. As the Apostle Peter said when her proclaimed the Gospel on Pentecost morning: "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself (Acts 2:38-39). God the Father calls us to himself through his Son. Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 4:16). As we come to the Father, through Jesus Christ his Son, we experience and know and grow in the unconditional and transforming love of God. God the Son calls us to believe in him. We may understand a great deal about Jesus, but that is not the same as personally believing in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We can attend church services and do many good things without knowing the risen Jesus. Knowing Jesus as Savior and Lord means personally believing in him, surrendering our lives to him, and living as his joyful followers. God the Holy Spirit enlightens our minds and hearts to believe in Jesus, giving us spiritual birth and life as we believe and trust in him. Our loving Father will "give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him" (Luke 11:13). As we place our faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us and wonderfully provides us with the power and gifts for life and ministry as Jesus' disciples. To live faithfully as Christians, we must rely upon the equipping and enabling power of the Holy Spirit. In a way beyond our grasp, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are revealed as equally one God and three Persons. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are near to us at all times and will hear us whenever we pray with sincerity, truly meaning what we say. God calls us to enter into continual repentance and faith in Christ. And the way to enter into life in Christ--today and forever--is to pray a prayer like this (preferably in the presence of a mature Christian): Lord Jesus Christ, I confess my faults, shortcomings, sins, and rebellious acts, and ask you to forgive me. I embrace you, Lord Jesus, as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for your atoning death on the cross in obedience to your Father's will, to wash away my sins. I enthrone you, Lord Jesus, to be in charge of every part of my life, and I ask you to indwell and empower me with your Holy Spirit, so that I may live as your faithful follower from now on, in this life and forever with you in heaven. In Jesus name I pray these words with all my heart and soul, amen. If you have prayed the prayer above "to be a Christian," we would encourage you to visit the GoodNews.org website, where you can read the Bible free and find many helpful materials for your new life as a Christian. Excerpted from To Be A Christian: An Anglican Catechism. Used by permission of the Anglican Church in North America.
The Greatest Chapter in the Bible Adapted from Why I Love the Apostle Paul by John Piper By John Piper The greatest chapter in the Bible is Romans 8. Why? Because Romans 8 spells out all that God is for us in his Son, Jesus Christ. Romans 8:32 says, "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" What are the great obstacles between us and everlasting happiness? One obstacle is our sin. We are all sinners (Rom. 3:23), and the wages of that sin is eternal death (Rom. 6:23). Another obstacle is the wrath of God. If God is justly wrathful toward us in our sinful guilt, then we have no hope of everlasting happiness. When Paul calls Jesus God's own Son, the point is that there are no others like him, and he is infinitely precious to the Father. The point of Romans 8:32 is that this love of God for his one and only Son was like a massive, Mount Everest obstacle standing between God and our salvation. Here was an obstacle almost insurmountable. Could God--would God--overcome his cherishing, admiring, treasuring, white-hot, infinite, affectionate bond with his Son and hand him over to be lied about and betrayed and denied and abandoned and mocked and flogged and beaten and spit on and nailed to a cross and pierced with a sword, like an animal being butchered and hung up on a rack? The unthinkable reality that Romans 8:32 affirms is that God did it. He did hand him over. God did not spare him. In this passage Paul is saying the most unthinkable thing: God handed over his Son to death. "This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God" (Acts 2:23). God himself handed over his Son. Nothing greater or harder has ever happened. Or ever will. Therefore, God has done the hardest thing to give us everlasting happiness. He did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. What does this guarantee? Paul puts it in the form of a rhetorical question (that means a question he expects us to immediately answer correctly): "how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" "All things" is not a promise of a trouble-free life. Four verses later Paul says, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." (Rom. 8:36) Instead, "all things" means all things we need to be eternally happy in God. Since God did not spare his own Son, all things will work together for our good (8:28), we will be glorified (8:30), and nothing, not even persecution or famine or danger or death, can separate us from the love of God in Christ (8:35-39). Paul said, "All the promises of God find their Yes in [Jesus]" (2 Cor. 1:20). That is because the Father did not spare his Son. He did it so that all things--all these promises--would be absolutely certain for those who trust him. I have fought all the battles of my life with the promises of God--battles against fear and lust and greed and pride and anger. Battles for courage and purity and contentment and humility and peace and love. All of them by the word of God--the promises of God. Behind every one of those battles is the logic of heaven: "I did not spare my own Son; therefore, my promise to you cannot fail. I will help you. Go. Do what I have called you to do." This promise isn't just for me. It's for anyone who reads it and receives, by faith, Jesus Christ as their Savior, their treasure, their hope, and their joy. If you want to receive Jesus Christ as your treasure today, thank God right now that you have this desire. It is a wonderful gift. Then call out to him in prayer and tell him what is in your heart. Perhaps with these words: O God, I believe that Jesus Christ is your Son, and that you have opened the eyes of my heart to see the truth of Christ and my great need for him. I see that I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I see that Christ died for sinners and rose again. I see the wonderful promise that all who believe in Christ receive this forgiveness and eternal life. So I do believe, and I appeal to your mercy to save me from my sin, and welcome me, as you promised, into eternal life with you. Put your Spirit within me, I pray, and give me all the help I need to follow Jesus as Lord, and obey his teachings. Please lead me to a Bible-believing church where I can grow in faith and with others who love Jesus. Amen.