Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Day 75 - Do Not Muzzle the Ox

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 222
         
Michael’s book is available through:

Abiding Life Ministries International
Littleton, Colorado
(303) 972-0859       www.abidinglife.com

Notice:  this email is part of a BLOG, called Living Life With a Capital “C”Why a blog?  So that many can receive these thoughts in an easy manner.  If you are not getting these weekly postings via an email, go to the website: www.leemccm.blogspot.com …in the top right corner there is a place to register to receive each post.


In this hurried and hectic day and time (often brought on by our crazy decisions) we find ourselves far too often spending too little “time apart” with the Lord.  I appreciate Michael’s thoughts on this issue…



DAY 75

Do Not Muzzle the Ox


Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain. --Deuteronomy 25:4

We are commanded not to muzzle the ox, a passage applied to the fact that a workman is worthy of his hire. However, in talking with many believers, I believe that it also can apply to our spiritual lives in a different way. In many of the countries that I visit, the people are working seven days a week. In Asia they are only now thinking of reducing to six-day workweeks. In the West, the cost of living has gotten to the point that both husband and wife must work, often only passing by one another sometime during the day. These situations have spiritually muzzled believers. We are not given the time of refreshing before the Lord that we need. We are not allowed to eat of the Lord. It is not right. Every believer needs to take time away. If Jesus took time apart, then we, His disciples, surely need it. Time apart with the Lord is not a luxury but a necessity.

One summer I finished my travels with a total of five days off from January to July; only a day here and there between trips did I have in which to prepare for the next trip. In the end I could not hold a cup of coffee without shaking. I took two weeks in the mountains to do nothing but pray. The tremors stopped, I was energized, and I was fresh in the Lord. I am seeing this as something every believer needs, not just half an hour in the morning but a few days away from others. I know that thought may be shocking to those who cannot imagine doing anything without their mates. However, everyone’s place is in the hub of life with the Lord alone; it would be good for them to remember that wives or husbands first and foremost belong to the Lord. Concentrated time with Him will change everything. Everyone needs time to step back and watch what falls apart; those things were of man, and everything that stays is of His making. Believers would find that they can continue working if they are not muzzled.

Yellow – VIP, Very Important Point      Green – IT, Incredible Truth        
Red – GP, Greatest Promises
Turquoise – UR, Unfathomable Riches           Pink – PV, Priceless Victory



Michael gives me some very critical points that I need to be careful to take heed of:
1.  I NEED to take time away.
2.  My time apart with the Lord IS NOT a luxury but a necessity.
3.  Time apart, including some “days,” and not just some “minutes” each day.
4.  Concentrated time with the Lord changes everything.

Then, Michael draws attention to something I, along with others, need to become more aware of…and look for: “watch what falls apart; those things were of man, and everything that stays is of His making.”  Wow!  Easy to observe.  Why would it be difficult to acknowledge?

Through it all, I do not want to be “muzzled” to any extent that it would keep me from working as God leads…



To access ALL past weekly blogs, go to Living Life With a Capital “C” by logging onto www .leemccm.blogspot.com 

NOTICE: another blog on Michael Wells’ book, Sidetracked In The Wilderness, called Getting Out of the Wilderness.  You can access by logging onto www.leemcchristianministries.blogspot.com


Lee McDowell Christian Ministries
(twitter) @bleemc67    (email) leemccm@gmail.com

P.O. Box 633244   Nacogdoches, TX 75963              936-559-5696

Friday, January 13, 2017

Day 69 - Does Life Matter?

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 221
         
Michael’s book is available through:

Abiding Life Ministries International
Littleton, Colorado
(303) 972-0859       www.abidinglife.com

Notice:  this email is part of a BLOG, called Living Life With a Capital “C”Why a blog?  So that many can receive these thoughts in an easy manner.  If you are not getting these weekly postings via an email, go to the website: www.leemccm.blogspot.com …in the top right corner there is a place to register to receive each post.



Isn’t it amazing that circumstances have become the dictator to so many of whether life is good, life is bad, or life matters…we have just had another presidential election in America, and the result has led ½ to say “good,” ½ to cry “bad,” and untold numbers in the midst of the “bad” to think that perhaps life doesn’t matter…who knows what they will do…

Michael draws a contrast to life in man’s world, and Life in God’s realm…well, amen.



DAY 69

Does Life Matter?

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. --I Corinthians 10:31

I often hear sermons wherein the listeners are admonished to live for the future. The argument is that all we possess, anything we have ever done, or any illness that has overcome us will not matter in heaven. In fact, the worries, hurts, and disappointments of today are not even to be considered in light of the great someday when we will be in heaven and all of God's promises are revealed. All that will matter in heaven are the things of heaven. However, the goal in life when this emphasis is embraced becomes "hanging in there," just toughing it out until heaven. Consequently, this emphasis leaves some of us believing that the daily components of life simply do not matter. The contention that life is misery was continually told to one struggling fellow; he was assured that if he would just hang in there until heaven, relief would then come. Finally, he made what would seem to be a quite logical leap as expressed in his suicide note. In light of how he perceived that teaching, he simply decided to bypass the struggle and misery of daily living and go directly to bliss.

Some emphasize knowledge as the end goal of the earthly, daily experiences of life. That is, every situation in life is to teach us something. If we are faithful to learn, we go to heaven having become experts at living on the earth. However, the understanding of how to live on earth would not appear to be of great practical value in heaven, and who among us maintains that learning the hard way from our experiences is appealing? Do we relish a continuing education course that instills firsthand knowledge from such hardships as watching a loved one die, observing a child on drugs, hearing the news of an unfaithful mate, or losing a job? Just how will all of this knowledge help in heaven? If life is to teach, many believe they have already learned enough. Is life just an endurance test?

Others have declared that the purpose of life is doing. "It matters not what you believe; what do you do?" When things get tough, they assert, the tough get going. The adversities in life are meant to separate the sheep from the goats, the successful from the failures, and the weak from the strong. Every event in life is a challenge, but they maintain that man can get the job done. They will keep every command and despise those who do not. The interesting thing is that their definitions of success are always contrived to reflect the scope of their own abilities, and the problem is that if life presents one adversity that cannot be mastered, then what was the purpose of overcoming the previous thousand? I have consistently found that it only takes three questions to discover what any particular doer cannot do. I have seen many half-built bridges around the world; construction was going so well until some one thing hindered, but that one thing was the most important thing. Is the purpose of life's circumstances to see how much we can overcome? 

I listened to an old man in Ukraine as he related his prison experience of twenty years, followed by another seven for refusing to renounce Christ. He told of miracle after miracle that took place during his incarceration. My spirit leapt within me, for I was so encouraged with hope by the testimony. I could not bring myself to say that all of his suffering was bad, for he had been led to participation in Life in new and wondrous ways. "And as for you, you meant evil against me, {but} God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive" (Genesis 50:20). When it is revealed that "all things" work together for the good of those who love Him, we come to understand that nothing is meaningless. A flat tire, the rebellious child, empty pockets, a lost inheritance, or the death of a loved one all move me toward Life. Paul understood. "Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not" (Romans 12:14). When God, in His love, mercy, and grace, decides to move me near, the problems line up one behind the other. They step forward one at a time until I give up and turn to Him. Once in His lap, I so enjoy myself that I look back at the problems and thank God for them. 

We believers do not have to fear that when lying on our deathbeds we will have to say, "Life was meaningless." We did not know which car to buy, so we prayed. We did not know what to do for the child, so we prayed. We were suffering with ill health, and we prayed. We were rejected by family, so we prayed. None of the mundane or miserable circumstances of life were meaningless to us when they propelled us into the Father’s presence.

Yellow – VIP, Very Important Point      Green – IT, Incredible Truth        
Red – GP, Greatest Promises
Turquoise – UR, Unfathomable Riches           Pink – PV, Priceless Victory



Life as a Christian matters…because God designed it to be Christ’s Life living through His children.  Colossians 1:27.  Galatians 2:20.  Well, amen.

Michael points out great Life verses such as 1 Corinthians 10:31, Genesis 50:20, (Romans 8:28, “all things”), Romans 12:14…and, of course, Michael always points us to “Life on the Mount” (Matthew ch’s. 5, 6, and 7).

With Christ living His Life through us, no circumstance of life is meaningless…but, propelling us into the Father’s presence…thank you, Michael, for pointing us to the unfathomable riches of the Life of Christ once more.



To access ALL past weekly blogs, go to Living Life With a Capital “C” by logging onto www .leemccm.blogspot.com 

NOTICE: another blog on Michael Wells’ book, Sidetracked In The Wilderness, called Getting Out of the Wilderness.  You can access by logging onto www.leemcchristianministries.blogspot.com


Lee McDowell Christian Ministries
(twitter) @bleemc67    (email) leemccm@gmail.com

P.O. Box 633244   Nacogdoches, TX 75963              936-559-5696

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Day 68 - Does God Have a Sex Drive?

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 220
         
Michael’s book is available through:

Abiding Life Ministries International
Littleton, Colorado
(303) 972-0859       www.abidinglife.com

Notice:  this email is part of a BLOG, called Living Life With a Capital “C”Why a blog?  So that many can receive these thoughts in an easy manner.  If you are not getting these weekly postings via an email, go to the website: www.leemccm.blogspot.com …in the top right corner there is a place to register to receive each post.


If you ever spent much time (well, maybe just even a little time!) with Michael Wells you knew he had a great sense of humor…one that was always testing your thought processes.  Today’s writing is spot on with that!



DAY 68

Does God Have a Sex Drive?

For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. --II Chronicles 16:9

Does God have a sex drive? Maybe a better question would be, “Why does God give man a sex drive?” There are few things within man as dangerous as the sex drive, which has been the cause of untold misery and suffering. Why, then, knowing the misuse that would come about, did God give man such a desire? Man is made in the image of God, and therefore, understanding God can come from looking at man, just as looking to God can bring understanding about man. As we look at man the legitimate question can be asked, “Does God have a sex drive?” The answer is an astounding, “Yes!” However, we must define the sex drive properly. Its purpose is actually the pursuit of intimacy. This is why those addicted to sex will never find satisfaction, for they are attempting to fulfill the craving for intimacy through the repetition of a physical act. Sex without intimacy is nothing more than feeding the flesh a junk-food snack, which brings only a very temporary physical satisfaction. The question, then, becomes, “Does God have an intimacy drive?” Yes!

I was joking with some of the young men in a Bible school and telling them I knew that as they entered the lecture hall, their eyes were moving to and fro in the hope of making eye contact with one of the young women. If that happened, they would get encouraged and next begin to pass by the girl on a frequent basis in anticipation that perhaps the fleeting glance was something more. If that effort were rewarded, they would have the confidence to talk to the girl, ask her out, and begin to woo her. One day they would be quite excited if the young woman told them that she had chosen them! It is the drive for intimacy that causes all such behavior.

Now multiply the sex drive times one hundred, call it the drive for intimacy, and you will begin to get a picture of the drive for intimacy that exists within the love of God. His eyes search to and fro for the one who will meet His glance. If our eyes meet His, he begins to woo us, and one day we choose Him! God’s drive for intimacy is so great, and yet it is constrained by our choice. He does not practice spiritual rape. We must choose Him, desire Him, and respond to His advances. How often we hear how man thinks that God does not love us! That is foolishness! 

Through God’s drive for intimacy, He wants to conceive something in our spirit, not our mind, will, or emotions. “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20). We stand enthralled at a virgin birth where Christ was formed in Mary. However, He has been birthed in us, also. A conception, in the love of God, has taken place in every child of God. When the sex drive is defined properly as the drive for intimacy, we understand both God’s heart and man’s need for intimacy. Satan does not have a creative bone in his body; he must watch to see what God is doing and then tempt us with something that is off. We see this clearly when Moses was with the magicians that could only attempt to duplicate what God did first. Therefore, when God creates the drive for intimacy, Satan sees the opportunity for perverting it and offers man the possibilities for physical activity with the exclusion of intimacy. The problem with a lone physical act’s not bringing the desired expression of intimacy yields a drive for sex that is quite animalistic and unsatisfactory. There is no need to discuss where it goes from there. Sex as expressed in the world is simply off!

Yellow – VIP, Very Important Point      Green – IT, Incredible Truth        
Red – GP, Greatest Promises
Turquoise – UR, Unfathomable Riches           Pink – PV, Priceless Victory



Today’s text has been one of my most favorite (and most often quoted) verses for almost 35 year…almost from the first year I was Born Again.  I don’t remember who first pointed out this verse to me, or how I came to know of its existence, but I guarantee you it was not addressed in the manner Michael has now done so!  LOL!  And I never thought of it as such…just relished that God was looking for someone whose heart was completely His…and I want His Soul in me to be the heart I am operating in, and to experience His strength.

Now, if you read and re-read today’s writing, Michael has hit upon a major point of

God’s love for man, and also reveals one of the missing elements of life for multitudes (“intimacy”), just as “relationships” have gone missing somewhere along the way.

The pursuit of intimacy.  The importance of choice, desire, and response.  The conception and birth in every child of God.  All of these draw our focus to reveal the explicit intimacy that our Heavenly Father’s heart has for us.

Michael gives us an incredible truth that we must not miss, nor ever forget: Through God’s drive for intimacy, He wants to conceive something in our spirit, not our mind, will, or emotions.  He HAS (in every Born Again Believer) conceived this intimacy IN OUR SPIRIT, not in our SOUL (mind, will, or emotions).  Beautiful!

So, today, I choose to move in intimacy with God in my Spirit (I use and emphasize the capital S because at my being Born Again the original Adam spirit was crucified with Jesus, and I do possess His Spirit now and forevermore).  Well, amen!




To access ALL past weekly blogs, go to Living Life With a Capital “C” by logging onto www .leemccm.blogspot.com 

NOTICE: another blog on Michael Wells’ book, Sidetracked In The Wilderness, called Getting Out of the Wilderness.  You can access by logging onto www.leemcchristianministries.blogspot.com


Lee McDowell Christian Ministries
(twitter) @bleemc67    (email) leemccm@gmail.com

P.O. Box 633244   Nacogdoches, TX 75963              936-559-5696

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Day 214: One Praise Before An Event Is Worth 1,000 Afterward

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 219
         
Michael’s book is available through:

Abiding Life Ministries International
Littleton, Colorado
(303) 972-0859       www.abidinglife.com

Notice:  this email is part of a BLOG, called Living Life With a Capital “C”Why a blog?  So that many can receive these thoughts in an easy manner.  If you are not getting these weekly postings via an email, go to the website: www.leemccm.blogspot.com …in the top right corner there is a place to register to receive each post.



Isn’t it amazing that man can come up with ideas about “life” when God has never mentioned any such thing, and in reality ONLY Jesus can bring Life!  Michael takes a very familiar scripture, often quoted (usually just a small portion), and people take off as if they have the secret to “life”…



DAY 214

One Praise Before An Event Is Worth 1,000 Afterward

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find {Me} when you search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found by you,” declares the LORD. --Jeremiah 29:11-14

I believe it! He has plans for me. Everything is working toward those plans; nothing is working against me, for He is for me. I believe that His plans include a future and a hope. I believe that He is listening to me. I believe that I have sought Him because He first sought me, and I believe that I have found Him. But today I cannot see it! It seems dark. It feels empty. It looks like a reversal. What am I to do? This is the testing of my faith, because I know He has never disappointed me. Therefore I will praise Him! It is in this darkness that my praise means the most to Him. In this time of darkness before the fulfillment, one praise offered to God is worth one thousand after the promise is received. Today if you have no job, praise God! If your marriage and family are not working out, praise God! If you have found yourself once again in defeat, praise God! If physical ailments have led to spiritual defeats, praise God! One praise before the trial ends is worth one thousand after it.

Yellow – VIP, Very Important Point      Green – IT, Incredible Truth        
Red – GP, Greatest Promises
Turquoise – UR, Unfathomable Riches           Pink – PV, Priceless Victory



In my introductory comment I left the idea incomplete…here is more: …and they really don’t BELIEVE what they have just said (quoted).  Take for instance, New Year’s resolutions…there is nothing in the Bible about these…a man-made “plan” for their life to get better.  How many follow through on these resolutions?

Most people, even Christians, do not truthfully BELIEVE God has a plan for their life…they do not live like He does.  We have a tendency to say some “spiritual” things, then go off as if we never even thought of them, much less believe them!

Michael exhibits his BELIEF in what God has said in Jeremiah 29:11-14 by admitting that even when “today” doesn’t “show” the truth of the text, he praises God anyway!  Every test of our “faith” is really a test about what we BELIEVE about God…what He has said, what He is capable of doing, etc., etc., etc.  It is not what we believe about us, or our capabilities, or our circumstances.

And Michael makes a declaration that we ought to meditate on, check our “faith,” and then be honest with ourselves as to what we really BELIEVE, and whether it has been turned into FAITH by God.  Look at it again: because I know He has never disappointed me.  How many of us have passed this test in ALL situations?  We can BELIEVE in one thing, and God has given us His FAITH to solidify it…then turn around and be an UNBELIEVING Believer in the next thing.

Now listen…Michael gives us a great LIFE foundational truth: One praise before the trial ends is worth one thousand after it.  It’s just like “faith” and “fact”…faith must come before, fact is afterward.  It is not faith if it is afterward.  Anybody can “praise” God AFTER the fact.  A Believer is the only one who can BELIEVE GOD (and PRAISE Him) BEFORE the trial ends.



To access ALL past weekly blogs, go to Living Life With a Capital “C” by logging onto www .leemccm.blogspot.com 

NOTICE: another blog on Michael Wells’ book, Sidetracked In The Wilderness, called Getting Out of the Wilderness.  You can access by logging onto www.leemcchristianministries.blogspot.com


Lee McDowell Christian Ministries

P.O. Box 633244   Nacogdoches, TX 75963              936-559-5696

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Day 66 - Do The Strong Have Something That You Do Not?

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 218 
         
Michael’s book is available through:

Abiding Life Ministries International
Littleton, Colorado
(303) 972-0859       www.abidinglife.com

Notice:  this email is part of a BLOG, called Living Life With a Capital “C”Why a blog?  So that many can receive these thoughts in an easy manner.  If you are not getting these weekly postings via an email, go to the website: www.leemccm.blogspot.com …in the top right corner there is a place to register to receive each post.


Another calendar year is coming to an end, and the pundits in the news are recapping all the accomplishments that “great” people have done or made happen in 2016.  Haven’t heard any spiritual accomplishments or effects mentioned at all.  In this day’s writing, Michael addresses a great “spiritual accomplishment” that GOD has worked in every Believer’s life…the “effects” are beautiful!



DAY 66

Do The Strong Have Something That You Do Not?


. . . to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit. --I Corinthians 12:9

I said something to a pastor that gave me great joy. “Do you realize, Brother, that none of the great preachers have anything that we do not?” It delighted me to know that this man had everything that other “great” men had; he was just as good a preacher, just as gifted from the Spirit, and he had a great faith. What he did not have is something, sadly, possessed by many of the greats; he did not have appealing flesh. He was preaching from the cockpit of an old airplane that had been assembled onstage for effect, and he was performing miracles desirable to the flesh. He was not an overly attractive man; it was obvious that in the flesh he did not have everything the “great” men do, but he was not striving to be great in any sense.

I love the Spirit, and, in a sense, I love the flesh, for both are the great equalizers. In the Spirit we all have the same gifts and there are no “great” men. In the flesh, the “great” men are not any better than the “poor no-hopers” to whom they are ministering. It is great!

Yellow – VIP, Very Important Point      Green – IT, Incredible Truth        
Red – GP, Greatest Promises
Turquoise – UR, Unfathomable Riches           Pink – PV, Priceless Victory



I never will forget the first time I heard from Romans 8:11 that the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is living inside me!  Wow!  That about blew my mind!  That has been one of the astounding truths that have given me great confidence and great power, and great freedom, in day-to-day life.

Another is the tremendous truth that of the “gifts” that God has given me to live out certain things He has for me to do.  Wow!  And some gifts that all Believers, including ME, have been given.  Woweee!

Now I like to pay particular attention to “words,” and two statements that I want to give attention to for you: (in the scripture text), “to another faith by the same Spirit,” and (in Michael’s writing), “he had a great faith.”  Do you see it?  Faith, biblical faith, is a gift of God to Believers.  And as Michael points out, this preacher had the gift…not something the man had worked up, paid for, done anything for.

Unbelievers do not, and cannot, have this gift of faith.  Now here is the irony for us as Christians…we can live “in the Spirit,” and all Believers are the same.  But when we live “in the flesh,” we are not the same as Believers who are living “in the Spirit”… but are the same as Unbelievers who live ONLY “in the flesh.”  In this sense, the “Strong” DO have something I DON’T WANT!  May God deliver me from choosing to live “in the flesh,” and may I choose to live “in the Spirit” all the rest of my days here on earth!!!

So, in 2017, it will be exciting to watch how God, “who has begun a good work” in me, “will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)



To access ALL past weekly blogs, go to Living Life With a Capital “C” by logging onto 

NOTICE: another blog on Michael Wells’ book, Sidetracked In The Wilderness, called Getting Out of the Wilderness.  You can access by logging onto www.leemcchristianministries.blogspot.com


Lee McDowell Christian Ministries

P.O. Box 633244   Nacogdoches, TX 75963              936-559-5696

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Day 234 - Remember the Bell Ringer

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 217
         
Michael’s book is available through:

Abiding Life Ministries International
Littleton, Colorado
(303) 972-0859       www.abidinglife.com

Notice:  this email is part of a BLOG, called Living Life With a Capital “C”Why a blog?  So that many can receive these thoughts in an easy manner.  If you are not getting these weekly postings via an email, go to the website: www.leemccm.blogspot.com …in the top right corner there is a place to register to receive each post.



What would Christmas be without the bell-ringers?  Every year the folks from the Salvation Army are at the store’s front doors…ringing and ringing and ringing…and people walk by and drop something in their bucket.  Listen to Michael’s illustration of a great truth to see what kind of “giving” you and I are practicing…



DAY 234

Remember the Bell Ringer


Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.
--Philippians 2:5, 6

Imagine going into a grocery store where the clerk rings up the sale, puts your hard-earned money into the register, and then places your groceries under the counter and asks you to leave without them. How would you respond? I imagine that most of us would throw a fit, screaming at the injustice of paying but receiving nothing. There might even be an ensuing fight. 
           
In contrast, imagine walking by the Salvation Army bell-ringer at Christmastime and putting $20 into the bucket. Would you be upset if the bell-ringer gave you nothing in return? Not at all, for you give to the bell-ringer a gift from the heart, expecting nothing in return. 
           
Sad to say, very little giving within many Christian homes has its origin in the goodness of a heart turned toward Christ. When a good deed is done for another and anger occurs because of lack of response, the reaction proves only that the action was not done from the heart without strings attached. It reveals that whatever was paid was done so with the expectation of receiving something in return. This kind of giving is bondage that yields no joy. Giving is a delight if we desire nothing in return. I pray that God would give us bell-ringer marriages.

Yellow – VIP, Very Important Point      Green – IT, Incredible Truth        
Red – GP, Greatest Promises
Turquoise – UR, Unfathomable Riches           Pink – PV, Priceless Victory



Christmas is not only known for the bell-ringers, but for the giving of gifts to family and friends.  The question is: does our giving have its origin in the goodness of a heart turned toward Christ?  Or, do we give with strings attached?  Even the tiniest little piece of a string???

Michael states that “Sad to say, very little giving within Christian homes has its origin in the goodness of a heart turned toward Christ.”   So, perhaps the question I must ask myself: Does any of my giving to family and friends all during the year have its origin in the goodness of a heart turned toward Christ?  Does my giving bring me the delight Michael speaks of…the delight if I desire nothing in return?

I join Michael in praying God would give me a bell-ringing LIFE.  May that carry over into a bell-ringing marriage, family relationships, fellowship with neighbors, and interaction with strangers…etc…



To access ALL past weekly blogs, go to Living Life With a Capital “C” by logging onto www .leemccm.blogspot.com 

NOTICE: another blog on Michael Wells’ book, Sidetracked In The Wilderness, called Getting Out of the Wilderness.  You can access by logging onto www.leemcchristianministries.blogspot.com


Lee McDowell Christian Ministries
(twitter) @bleemc67    (email) leemccm@gmail.com

P.O. Box 633244   Nacogdoches, TX 75963              936-559-5696

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Day 62 - Discipline Versus Punishment

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 216
         
Michael’s book is available through:

Abiding Life Ministries International
Littleton, Colorado
(303) 972-0859       www.abidinglife.com

Notice:  this email is part of a BLOG, called Living Life With a Capital “C”Why a blog?  So that many can receive these thoughts in an easy manner.  If you are not getting these weekly postings via an email, go to the website: www.leemccm.blogspot.com …in the top right corner there is a place to register to receive each post.



One may wonder why I have selected this day’s writing to use for this week’s blog…just 4 days away from Christmas!  Well, this is the time that folks check the “naughty or nice” list, isn’t it?!?  I will let you in on a secret: I will be doing an EXTRA post on Saturday evening, right into your stocking hanging onto your computer!

Michael provides us with an interesting discourse that speaks to as great a truth as there is in all of Scripture…take a look…



DAY 62

Discipline Versus Punishment


Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? --Hebrews 12:9

Church discipline has often baffled me, for it seems to be much more church punishment than discipline. A man was trapped in sin, but he repented; a year later when he told the church leadership of his experience, they disciplined him. He had moved past the sin, yet they punished him and stripped him of his position. I think that his experience may be common, because many seem to have no understanding of the purpose of church discipline, for which I will offer an explanation. We fall out with God before we fall out with one another or fall into sin. Sin is the cobweb, but the falling out is the spider. We need not go for the cobweb when we can go for the spider. If brothers or sisters have fallen out with God, they will begin to walk in the flesh and infect the whole body. We must discipline them. We need not punish them, since sin and punishment are one and the same; the moment they started sinning, they started punishing themselves. What they need is the discipline of falling back in with God, of spending time with Him, of listening to Him, and of being loved by Him. Pull them aside and discipline them by seeing that they spend time with Him and urging them away from all that would distract from Jesus. Steer them away from leadership, giving them time to listen to the good Shepherd; let them be disciplined while falling back to Jesus. Once this is done, all is complete. No longer bring up the failure; whatever it was is not as critical as the fact that they were deceived into falling away from the abiding presence of Jesus. There will be the odd time when we discover that the persons never really wanted Jesus and they do not want Him now. They do not need to be put out of the fellowship, for God has already done that. Just agree with what He has done and wait. If they fall back into Jesus, they will then be welcome.

Yellow – VIP, Very Important Point      Green – IT, Incredible Truth        
Red – GP, Greatest Promises
Turquoise – UR, Unfathomable Riches           Pink – PV, Priceless Victory



Many sincere Christians have no idea that “discipline” and “punishment” are two different actions.  In fact, the more legalistic one is, the more the possibility diminishes of that one knowing the difference.

Don’t you just love the scripture text for this day’s writing.  Look at the three things that set the stage for Michael’s discourse:
1. our earthly fathers were given to instruct, correct, chastise us…i.e. “discipline” us.  Steering us down life’s path, instead of punishing us, is father’s role.
2. the writer of Hebrews speaks of a time when the children “respected” their fathers for doing what is mentioned in #1.
3. part of the earthly father’s role is to steer his children to be “subject” (submit ourselves) to our Heavenly Father’s control.

Michael shows us how this type of “parenting” should play out in a church, with the leadership steering the people through such difficult situations.  Wouldn’t it be great if the following were a part of the church culture of our day:
1. 100% of the members have heard of such teaching.
2. there was respect for leadership in most churches…especially as God teaches.
3. the threat of lawsuits wasn’t keeping most church leadership from going down this path.

Respect for fathers, respect for pastors & elders, respect for law officers, respect for others, respect for property, and the “fear of the Lord” is missing in most places today.  What a tragedy.



To access ALL past weekly blogs, go to Living Life With a Capital “C” by logging onto www .leemccm.blogspot.com 

NOTICE: another blog on Michael Wells’ book, Sidetracked In The Wilderness, called Getting Out of the Wilderness.  You can access by logging onto www.leemcchristianministries.blogspot.com


Lee McDowell Christian Ministries
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