There must come a time where people in North American churches care more about the integrity of the church and the reputation of Jesus and the spreading of the gospel than their own comfort and convenience and opportunity, and even their bank account.

Well that sounds a little self-sacrificial…

Does it?

In countries where Christians are not thinking about their comfort, convenience, opportunity, or bank account–because they’re too busy trying to stay alive or out of jail as they spread the gospel–God’s church is experiencing revival. Revival such that leadership cannot keep up with the growth God is bringing. Literally, their churches are being overwhelmed with such large numbers of people, they are signaling for help, as in Luke 5 where Jesus brings the large catch of fish.

Why?

The care and concern is not for themselves, not self-satisfying, not self-fulfilling, but a spiritual concern for the lost and dying people around them, a brokenness for the people around themeven their persecutors. This changes the way a person thinks and prays and lives. It’s no longer self-centered thinking or praying, but outward-focused, other-people-focused and Christ-focused thinking and praying. This consumes their whole life. Others consume them.

If we want revival in America, we have to care more about others than we do ourselves. We have to care more about people’s spiritual status, their heart, their comfort, their spiritual destination, more than anything else.

It’s good to ask ourselves what consumes me? What do I care more about? Is it others? Is it truly others? 

  • Gossip is a refuge for the insecure.
  • Gossip is the language of a jealous heart.
  • Gossip springs from a heart deficient in love for and trust in God.
  • Gossip reveals the bitter roots of resentment and pride.
  • Gossip promotes a slow spiritual death-by-suffocation.
  • Gossip spiritually impoverishes a church.
  • Gossip never has a reason good enough to justify itself.
  • Gossip makes you an enemy of your brother or sister.
  • Gossip loves to throw doubt and suspicion on another person, often because it’s jealous of that persons opportunity.
  • Gossip is self-serving, validating wrong and unrepentant attitudes of heart.
  • Gossip destroys trust, destroys relationships, destroys unity.
  • A gossiper will claim forgiveness and grace, simultaneously withholding forgiveness and grace from the person who is the subject of their gossip.
  • No single piece of gossip has ever made anything, or anyone, or any church better.

So why, why, why, do so many in the church think there is nothing wrong with it? Why do people justify their use of it, minimize its damage and then, on Sunday, stand and worship in the same space as the people they gossip about?

Some thoughts on prayer

February 25, 2015

When we become too busy to pray, or don’t pray for laziness, we are saying to God, “It’s Ok, I’ve got this now. I know how to build your church. I’ve got everything I need. I’m the one with the strength.”

I read one author who said in America there are thousands of large churches built on the natural–although God-given–talents of men who depend on their own strengths and impress other men with these strengths, but God is not impressed. The author went on to say, if these had been praying men, with praying churches, just think of what God would have done.

On our own, we know very, very little and we have very, very little strength to speak of, muchness boast about.

The great news is we can know our very Great God, and, if we engage our hearts in an endless pursuit of Him, through unceasing prayer, fasting, worship, seeking Truth from His Word, we will see God do incredible things…

And it will have been God, so that no man can boast.

Here are a few notable quotes on prayer…

When man works, man works. When man prays, God works.
~Unknown

Is it not a proof that the Holy Spirit is to a great extent a stranger in the church when prayer, for which God has made such provisions, is regarded as a task and a burden? And does this not teach us to seek for the deep root of prayerlessness in our ignorance of and disobedience to the Divine Instructor, whom the Father has commissioned to teach us to pray?
~Andrew Murray

Praying people are not lazy. Prayer demands will power. Prayer recognizes unfinished business with and for God. Prayer is a battle for full-grown men, fully armed and fully awake to the possibilities of grace.
~Leonard Ravenhill

No man is greater than his prayer life. the pastor who is not praying is playing.
~Leonard Ravenhill

If we do not examine ourselves, we will never truly pray, and our lives will be lived entirely on the surface.
~Martyn Lloyd Jones

One of the greatest tragedies of prayerlessness is unemployed angels.
~Jentzen Franklin

Prayer is the greatest force in the universe. This is no exaggeration. It bears constant repeating… to remember that prayer transcends all other forces.
~F.J. Huegel

If we were truly able to grasp the power of prayer we would be on our knees a hundred times a day.
~Brother Andrew

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
~The Apostle Paul

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.
~The Apostle Paul

Never stop praying, especially for others. Always pray by the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and keep praying for God’s people.
~The Apostle Paul

Be shamelessly persistent and insistent… Ask and keep on asking. Seek and keep on seeking. Knock and keep on knocking.
~Jesus

If you have faith and do not doubt… If you believe… You will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
~Jesus

If My people, who are called by My Name, will pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
~God, our Father