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Post  Admin on Thu 24 Nov 2011, 6:48 pm

Giving Thanks

by Chip Brogden

http://theschoolofchrist.org/articles/giving-thanks.html



"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thess. 5:16-18).

When we stop to reflect upon all that we have in Christ, it is natural and normal to respond with praise and thanks to God. The ones who live in Christ ought to be the most thankful, appreciative, and grateful people in the world - for In Him, and through Him, and because of Him, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3).

None of us are equal in terms of finances, material possessions, and physical health. Some have more, some have less. But spiritually speaking, all who are in Christ have been blessed equally. There is no real difference in the measure of spiritual blessing, power, or anointing among believers: all share in the same Lord Jesus, "in Whom is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:3).

Scripture tells us that in the last days, perilous times will come as "men will become lovers of their own selves... unthankful" (2 Tim. 3:2). Unthankfulness is a symptom of this modern age. People in more prosperous areas of the world are not particularly thankful for their prosperity. Ironically, they have grown accustomed to thinking that the world (or God) owes them even more - a better job, a free or low-cost education, a nicer home, affordable health care, or an even higher standard of living. This entitlement mentality is unhealthy and leads to chronic discontentment and dissatisfaction.

On the other hand, followers of Jesus recognize that we are entitled to nothing. We also recognize that whatever we do have is the result of God's blessing: "What do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" (I Cor. 4:7). It is impossible for a person to be thankful and to be prideful at the same time. Thankfulness to God has the built-in benefit of making a person genuinely meek.

Thankful people are people of prayer. They have needs, and so they make their requests known to God. But even when needs appear to be unmet, and requests seem to go unanswered, they nevertheless give thanks "in all circumstances." Whether they have much, or whether they have little, they are still able to "rejoice always." This may sound like something reserved for super-spiritual, special people, but it isn't. It as an attitude of gratitude that can be learned:

"I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phl. 4:11-13).


If Paul can learn it, then we can learn it, because we have the same Christ Who strengthens us. Being content with what we have, and being thankful for what we have already received, is a first step in the right direction.
What are you thankful for? Share your thoughts...
http://theschoolofchrist.org/articles/giving-thanks.html


I am your brother,
Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Sig
Chip Brogden
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org


THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Post  Admin on Fri 18 Nov 2011, 5:57 pm


Dear Friends,


During last night's Webinar I mentioned "meeting the Lord's Need."

I forget that we have new people who have never heard anything about the Lord's Need and it sounds strange to them. How can the Lord have needs? And how can we meet His needs?

I talk about this in "The Priests of the Lord"...

"
We have to think about the Lord's Need, not in terms of His ability or omnipotence, but in terms of His heart's desire. I do not "need" my wife. I can dress myself, feed myself, and take care of myself just fine. I can exist apart from her. But in another sense I do need my wife, and I do not want to exist apart from her. From a relationship standpoint, from a love perspective, I need her. In the same way, God is God with us or without us. But from the point of view of a love relationship, God has a Purpose, a Desire, and yes, a Need. There is something that will satisfy His heart that only we can provide, and that something is beyond description, except to say it has to do with love."


Read more about it here:
http://theschoolofchrist.org/articles/the-priests-of-the-lord-part-1.html


I am your brother,
Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Sig
Chip Brogden
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org

THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Post  Admin on Sun 13 Nov 2011, 7:47 pm

STRAIGHT TALK ON MINISTRY

From "The Irresistible Kingdom"
by Chip Brogden


http://theschoolofchrist.org/books/the-irresistible-kingdom.html

For most people, the word ministry is used and interpreted in the context of the Church instead of the Ekklesia. When we think of "ministry" we automatically begin to make associations in our mind to things that are religious rather than spiritual; we have become accustomed to thinking organizationally instead of relationally.


Preaching, pastoring, being in charge of the youth group, or doing something connected to Church is considered ministry if it is done on a regular basis. Going out to preach and establish churches in other countries is considered a missions ministry. Whenever someone desires to start anything, do anything, or take over anything connected with Church they may say they feel called to the ministry. When someone goes to seminary they are said to be studying for the ministry. Or perhaps someone will start an organization that is not connected to one particular church, but serves many churches: the organization is still referred to as a ministry. Having a religious program on television is definitely considered a ministry - at least the televangelists think it is!


Perhaps the ministry has nothing directly to do with Church - it could be a food bank, a clothes closet, or a counseling center. It may not even be an organization: it could be something as simple as writing articles, books, newsletters or poems. It could be painting pictures or recording songs and posting them to the Internet. But whatever "it" is, (if a Christian is doing it) "it" is usually considered a ministry - whether it really is or not.
Some of these activities may really be ministry! We are not saying none of them are, but we are saying all of them cannot be. And we would not take the extreme position of saying all organization is inherently evil; disorganization does not automatically render something pure. The real trouble with Organized Religion is not so much the organized part, but the religious part; disorganized Religion and unorganized Religion are just as carnal.


The word ministry is another one of those words that has been diluted with religious overtones; and once a word is overused and misapplied it becomes cheap and applicable to everyone and everything. When a word can mean anything then it means nothing. Just about every word used in connection with ministry has become cheap and devoid of spiritual life: minister; church; apostolic; prophetic; discipleship; pastor; anointing; revival. A person's vocabulary reflects a person's mindset. By continually using these words to describe religious things, the spiritual significance behind them becomes distorted or lost altogether. Some of these terms have been so badly mishandled and abused that they generate a strong emotional reaction when used.

We can choose to use the word ekklesia over the word church but there is no comparable substitute for the word ministry. All is not lost, however. There is still some spiritual truth buried deep within the word ministry. If we can bring that truth back up to the surface perhaps we can redeem it. Unfortunately we will have to remove quite a bit of topsoil before we can find the buried treasure.







Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 B-103THE IRRESISTIBLE KINGDOM

What is the Kingdom of God? What is its nature and character? What is its purpose and reason for being? Where is it? Who may enter it, and how? Who is excluded from it, and why? How is this Kingdom organized and governed? How does it function and operate? What resists it and prevents it from coming? What will it look like when it is fulfilled? What impact will it have on the earth? What are the implications for mankind? And how can we prepare ourselves for it? it?

DOWNLOAD CHAPTER 1 (FREE):
http://theschoolofchrist.org/books/the-irresistible-kingdom.html
THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Post  Admin on Wed 09 Nov 2011, 7:09 pm

Hello Elaine,

We're making some changes to the main update
list that I think you'll appreciate.

I realize not everyone can participate in the
weekly webinars. So we're no longer going to
announce them on the main update list.

If you're interested in the weekly webinars,
visit here:
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org/classes

On this page you can sign up for webinar updates
and you'll still get weekly reminders and
registration links.

This way, we can use the main update list to
focus more on articles and Christ-centered
teachings. Which is what you signed up for.


In Him,


Chip Brogden
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org


P.S. We welcome your feedback and suggestions
for improving. Thank you for the privilege of
serving you.


PO Box 552, Canandaigua, NY 14424, USA
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Post  Admin on Fri 04 Nov 2011, 6:32 pm

Hello Elaine,

I am so excited to announce our language sites are up and running.
We now offer some of our articles in the following languages:

Dutch:
http://theschoolofchrist.org/nederlands

French:
http://theschoolofchrist.org/francais

German:
http://theschoolofchrist.org/deutsche

Spanish:
http://theschoolofchrist.org/espanol

We want to thank all the people who have worked so hard translating
to make this happen! This enables The School of Christ to reach
many people in different parts of the world.

There is still plenty of material that needs to be translated. If
there is anyone who is interested in doing this please let us know.
Thank you so much for your support!


In Him,

Karla Brogden


---------------------------------

THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and
maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based
discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion.

To find out more about us, click here:
http://theschoolofchrist.org/about

You can also connect with us on...
Facebook - https://facebook.com/TheSchoolOfChristOrg
Twitter - http://twitter.com/schoolofchrist
YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/chipbrogden


(c)2011 TheSchoolOfChrist.Org. Permission is granted for
non-commercial (free) distribution provided this notice appears.


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Post  Admin on Wed 02 Nov 2011, 6:24 pm

Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Lord-of-all-email


Hello Elaine,


As a subscriber to our mailing list I first want to say how much we appreciate you being a part of our journey.

Before there was a website called "TheSchoolOfChrist.Org" there was just a pastor and a pastor's wife who had a revelation of Christ in His glory and tried to explain what they saw to others.

When they tried to explain it to the people in their church, the church wouldn't let him preach anymore. So he began to write. Eventually those writings got them both kicked out.

That was us back in 1997. It seems like a million years ago now. Since then I've written a lot of things and I've taught a lot of things.

But lest anyone forgets (especially me), there is only one thing that makes me do what I do.

I've written about the religious system. I've written about discipleship. I've written about spiritual growth and maturity. I've written about the prophetic calling.

All these things needs to be looked at and examined. They have a place.

Yet these issues are like spokes moving outward from a central hub. What is the center? What does it all lead back towards? What is the one overriding concern?

It all comes from, and leads to, one thing: THAT IN ALL THINGS, CHRIST WOULD HAVE THE PREEMINENCE.

It all started with a simple premise. Seven simple words from John 3:30 that describes the purpose and plan of God for all things past, present, and future:

"He must increase, but I must decrease."

Some see this as a simple statement coming from John the Baptist.

I see it as the key that unlocks the door to the greatest spiritual revelation God has ever given to man.

Christ MUST increase. He must. Therefore He will. And He is.

Meanwhile, we MUST decrease. And since we must, we will. And we are.

These simple truths must be re-visited over and over again until they permeate us through and through.

And when things get rough, this is the revelation I keep returning to over and over again.

People ask, "With all the things you have written, what writings do you recommend the most? Or where do you suggest someone new to your writings begins?"

Without a doubt - the articles that focus on Jesus Christ in all His preeminent glory.

That's why I'm publishing them in this book:

"LORD OF ALL
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org/books/lord-of-all.html

In this one volume you'll find the most important, Christ-centered material I have ever produced - plus some new writings never before released.

I am pleased to make it available to you and I hope you will consider making it a part of your personal library.

We are deeply thankful for your prayers and financial support that make The School of Christ possible.

The blessing of the Lord Jesus be with you all.


I am your brother,

Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Sig
Chip Brogden
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org

P.S. "Lord of All" is available for pre-ordering only. Meaning, they haven't been printed yet. But you can order an advance copy now and receive it as soon as it becomes available. They should go out sometime around Thanksgiving.

If you order before Nov. 5, I'll send you the original "Theology of Everything" teaching on DVD. It goes with the book nicely and deals with the same subject matter. This offer is available only to our subscribers, and only while supplies last.

To order the book and get the F-R-E-E DVD, click here:
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org/books/lord-of-all.html
THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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©2011 TheSchoolOfChrist.Org. Permission is granted for non-commercial (free) distribution provided this notice appears.
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Post  Admin on Tue 01 Nov 2011, 11:08 pm

November 1, 2011

Prayer That Avails Much





Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Ibs_med

JAMES 5
THURSDAY

November 1, 2011
8:00 P.M. Eastern


Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Button_registerNow

The cost is free, but group size is limited. You must register to ensure your spot at this Webinar.

Hello Elaine,

Many of us are going through challenging circumstances and difficulties.

James, being the practical man that he is, does not attempt to minimize or spiritualize the trials and tribulations of the saints. In Chapter 5 of his letter, he says if we are suffering, we should pray. If we are sick, we should seek the prayers of others. He encourages us to be patient and don't give up.

The idea of super-spiritual people who never have any problems is an idea foreign to Scripture. Overcoming is not the absence of difficulties, but prevailing in spite of many difficulties.

If you're going through a hard time right now, I think you'll especially benefit from this week's teaching.




Join us online THURSDAY NIGHT (November 3) for the Internet Bible Study as we discuss this (and much more) from the Book of James, Chapter 5.



To reserve your spot, click here:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/744531314


At our Webinars, you'll have a chance to listen, interact, ask questions, and get answers - all from the comfort of your own home or office. Best of all, you'll be encouraged and strengthened in your faith. You don't have to commit to every week, just join us as your schedule permits.

For a complete Webinar schedule, including an archive of previous Webinars and Frequently Asked Questions, visit:

http://theschoolofchrist.org/learn/internet-bible-study-index


Hope to see you Thursday night! Here's the registration link again:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/744531314



I am your brother,
Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Sig
Chip Brogden
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org

THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Facebook Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Twitter Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Youtube
©2011 TheSchoolOfChrist.Org. Permission is granted for non-commercial (free) distribution provided this notice appears.
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Post  Admin on Sun 30 Oct 2011, 6:48 pm



Hello Elaine,


If you're within traveling distance of the Rochester New York area, you're invited to join us for our monthly home gathering next weekend.


Click here to find out more:
http://theschoolofchrist.org/homemeetings




In Christ,


Chip & Karla Brogden
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org

THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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©2011 TheSchoolOfChrist.Org. Permission is granted for non-commercial (free) distribution provided this notice appears.
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Post  Admin on Tue 25 Oct 2011, 6:08 pm

October 25, 2011

Submit to God, Resist the Devil





Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Ibs_med

JAMES 4
THURSDAY

October 27, 2011
8:00 P.M. Eastern


Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Button_registerNow

The cost is free, but group size is limited. You must register to ensure your spot at this Webinar.

Hello Elaine,

We're learning some very practical things from the very practical Book of James.

This week we're focusing on an important aspect of spiritual warfare that is typically overlooked.

We tend to think of warfare as "resisting the devil" but I believe there is a much bigger enemy: SELF!

How do you get out of your own way? How do you defeat yourself in a good way? How do you stop being your own worst enemy?

When we have submitted to God, Self is denied. With Self denied, we can now resist the devil and he will flee. But trying to resist the devil without first submitting to God is a recipe for disaster!



Join us online THURSDAY NIGHT (October 27) for the Internet Bible Study as we discuss this (and much more) from the Book of James, Chapter 4.



To reserve your spot, click here:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/224798362


At our Webinars, you'll have a chance to listen, interact, ask questions, and get answers - all from the comfort of your own home or office. Best of all, you'll be encouraged and strengthened in your faith. You don't have to commit to every week, just join us as your schedule permits.

For a complete Webinar schedule, including an archive of previous Webinars and Frequently Asked Questions, visit:

http://theschoolofchrist.org/learn/internet-bible-study-index


Hope to see you Thursday night! Here's the registration link again:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/224798362



I am your brother,
Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Sig
Chip Brogden
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org

THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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©2011 TheSchoolOfChrist.Org. Permission is granted for non-commercial (free) distribution provided this notice appears.
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Age : 74
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Post  Admin on Thu 20 Oct 2011, 2:50 pm

October 19, 2011

Taming the Tongue





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JAMES 3
THURSDAY

October 20, 2011
8:00 P.M. Eastern


Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Button_registerNow

The cost is free, but group size is limited. You must register to ensure your spot at this Webinar.

Hello Elaine,

Did you ever say the wrong thing and wish you could just take it back and pretend like it never happened?

Words are powerful. Words can bless and inspire, or they can curse and discourage. Our speech can strengthen others or make them weaker.

That's why the Bible says that when a person can control their tongue, they can control their whole body. Our mouth needs to be under control. We need to be careful about the things we say to others. And we know the damage we can cause whenever we "fly off at the mouth".

But the Bible also says that "no man" can tame the tongue. How then can the tongue be tamed? How do we get control of our words?



Join us online THURSDAY NIGHT (October 20) for the Internet Bible Study as we discuss this (and much more) from the Book of James, Chapter 3.




To reserve your spot, click here:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/200265610


At our Webinars, you'll have a chance to listen, interact, ask questions, and get answers - all from the comfort of your own home or office. Best of all, you'll be encouraged and strengthened in your faith. You don't have to commit to every week, just join us as your schedule permits.

For a complete Webinar schedule, including an archive of previous Webinars and Frequently Asked Questions, visit:

http://theschoolofchrist.org/learn/internet-bible-study-index


Hope to see you Thursday night! Here's the registration link again:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/200265610



I am your brother,
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THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Post  Admin on Wed 19 Oct 2011, 11:22 am

STRAIGHT TALK ON PASTORS

From "The Church in the Wilderness"
by Chip Brogden


http://theschoolofchrist.org/books/the-church-in-the-wilderness.html

I had a ministry to burned out pastors when I was still working for a denomination. What a great ministry; there's never any lack of burned out pastors. I would take over their pulpit for one or two Sundays and give them a break so they could take some time off, spend time with their families, go get counseling, or do whatever they needed to do but couldn't take time to do because they were so consumed with running their church. That opened my eyes to a lot of things.

I remember getting a call from a pastor of a medium-sized church, and he wanted to take me to dinner. I agreed to meet him because I was flattered, and I was really looking forward to it because he was someone I considered "successful." His church was growing, they had a nice building, he drove a nice car and had nice clothes. I was struggling with all those things so this man was someone I kind of looked up to. I was hoping I could get some words of wisdom or some ideas that would help me become as successful as he was.

So we met for dinner and things are going well. He seems friendly and I am just on the verge of asking him, "What is the secret to your success?" The words were on the tip of my tongue, and then this pastor broke down right in front me. His personal life was a mess, his church was a mess, and he wanted me to take over his services for a couple of weeks so he and his wife could take some time off and put their marriage back together. I nodded and listened but inside I was thinking, "My God! Here I am looking to this man as an example of success, and he is a nervous wreck." And that meeting taught me something. I learned not to judge success by the outward appearance of things. I saw that pastors are just as clueless as anyone else, but they have to convince themselves and everyone around them that they really have it all together. Most of the time they do not, and you can only be a hypocrite for so long before the whole things takes its toll on you.

I like to teach, and I have a heart for pastors. If it were up to me I would probably be working with burned out pastors. But God had something else in mind. "Leave them alone, Chip - they are blind leaders of the blind, and if the blind lead the blind, they will both fall in the ditch." And God showed me that until a blind leader falls into a ditch, they cannot be healed. He can't have his eyes opened until he realizes he is blind and has no business trying to lead others. My efforts to help them by taking over their pulpit for a week or two was like treating cancer with a band-aid.

Pastors aren't bad people. Pastors, for the most part, are good people who become trapped in a bad system. It's the religious system that is at fault. Yet this religious system was created by people - well-intentioned, good-hearted people who thought they were doing something for God. And now this thing called "Churchianity" has become a monster, a grotesque creation of our own hands, and now we can't control it; IT controls us. It masters us, all the while tricking us into thinking that when we serve IT then we are serving God. The work of the Lord becomes more important than the Lord of the Work.

How far we have fallen from the days when people could look at disciples of Jesus and would notice that they had been with Him. They had been with Jesus. Now we look at religious folk dressed up and going out to eat lunch on Sunday and all we can say of them is that they have been to church.







Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 B-107THE CHURCH IN THE WILDERNESS

What IS this Church that Jesus is building? What does it look like? Do the religious institutions and leaders of today really represent the faith that was first given to us by Christ?

FIND OUT MORE:
http://theschoolofchrist.org/books/the-church-in-the-wilderness.html
THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Post  Admin on Fri 14 Oct 2011, 1:26 pm

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Hello Elaine,

If you're wondering whether or not "Scripture Meditation" is for you, check this out:


"I'm overdue to write you to tell you how these have been helping me. (I wanted to give it some time to make sure it wasn't my imagination!). Before getting them, I was in such a negative rut. I didn't know how to shake it. But almost immediately my thoughts began to be more positive, and the more days I listened to them, the stronger my thoughts (and prayers) have been feeling overall. I can't tell you how many times I have recalled one of the affirmations at a critical time, when a negative thought or fear would pop up.... I can sense these were bathed in prayer. THANK YOU for doing them."



Our Scripture Meditation CDs are designed to help you renew your mind with the Word of God. Just a few minutes a day is sufficient to interrupt the negative thought patterns you're used to thinking so can focus on things that are true, holy, pure, and good.


The VICTORY Scripture Meditation CD is a good program for those needing assurance of God's promises for walking in victory, overcoming obstacles, winning your battles, defeating your enemies, and living as "more than a conqueror"!

To find out more about the VICTORY Scripture Meditation program, click below:
http://theschoolofchrist.org/listen/victory-scripture-meditation-cd.html

Also available: SERENITY, GUIDANCE, and WELLNESS:
http://theschoolofchrist.org/listen/scripture-meditation-cd.html

I am your brother,
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Chip Brogden
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P.S. We're still offering a free meditation CD when you order the Renewing Your Mind teaching. Find out more about it here:
http://theschoolofchrist.org/listen/renewing-your-mind.html
THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Post  Admin on Wed 12 Oct 2011, 4:24 pm

Faith Without Works is... Normal for Many


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JAMES 2
THURSDAY

October 13, 2011
8:00 P.M. Eastern


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The cost is free, but group size is limited. You must register to ensure your spot at this Webinar.
Hello Elaine,

If it is true that "faith without works is dead" (James 2:26), then it explains why many "Believers" never actually become "Disciples." They love to talk and fuss over "beliefs" but they have no practical application for any of it.

Isn't it interesting that Jesus said the world would recognize His disciples, not by their Statement of Beliefs, but by their love? This love was understood to be not in word only, but in word and in deed.


Likewise, Jesus said that we would know the difference between the true and false prophets, not by what they say, but by the fruit they produce - their actions will speak louder than their words. "Beliefs" may make a Believer, but "Actions" make a Disciple.

That's why, in our discipleship course, we teach that the "Action Steps" are the key. Everything else is just theory and philosophy if you aren't going to put anything into practice.

We are educated well beyond our level of obedience already.

Do you want to graduate from "Believer" to "Disciple"? From dead faith to living faith?

Then join us online THURSDAY NIGHT (October 13) for the Internet Bible Study as we discuss this (and much more) from the Book of James, Chapter 2.


To reserve your spot, click here:
[size=9]https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/375922730


At our Webinars, you'll have a chance to listen, interact, ask questions, and get answers - all from the comfort of your own home or office. Best of all, you'll be encouraged and strengthened in your faith. You don't have to commit to every week, just join us as your schedule permits.

For a complete Webinar schedule, including an archive of previous Webinars and Frequently Asked Questions, visit:

http://theschoolofchrist.org/learn/internet-bible-study-index
[/size]


Hope to see you Thursday night! Here's the registration link again:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/375922730


[size=12]
I am your brother,
Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Sig
Chip Brogden
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P.S. These online Bible studies are always offered for free... but a gift of any amount to help defray the cost is always appreciated.
[/size]


THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Post  Admin on Tue 04 Oct 2011, 3:27 pm

October 4, 2011

Doers of the Word






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JAMES 1
THURSDAY

October 6, 2011
8:00 P.M. Eastern


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The cost is free, but group size is limited. You must register to ensure your spot at this Webinar.
Hello Elaine,

This week we begin a new study in a book that some have called "The Proverbs of the New Testament."

We're talking about the Book of James. Filled with practical wisdom and advice, James is an interesting book. Martin Luther once stated he wished that James were not part of the New Testament because he thought James "contradicted" Paul over justification by faith.

Of course, we know that there is no real contradiction in the Bible. James is simply emphasizing the fact that real faith is demonstrated, not by words, but by deeds. We must not be mere hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word!

So where do you find the proper balance between "resting in Christ" and "producing fruit"?

Join us online THURSDAY NIGHT (October 6) for the Internet Bible Study as we discuss this (and much more) from the Book of James, Chapter 1.



To reserve your spot, click here:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/297746634


At our Webinars, you'll have a chance to listen, interact, ask questions, and get answers - all from the comfort of your own home or office. Best of all, you'll be encouraged and strengthened in your faith. You don't have to commit to every week, just join us as your schedule permits.

For a complete Webinar schedule, including an archive of previous Webinars and Frequently Asked Questions, visit:

http://theschoolofchrist.org/learn/internet-bible-study-index


Hope to see you Thursday night! Here's the registration link again:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/297746634



I am your brother,
Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Sig
Chip Brogden
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org

THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Post  Admin on Fri 30 Sep 2011, 6:03 pm

Do you ever wish you could just hit the "reset button" on your life and start over? Well, you can!

Repentance is not just for sinners. It is for anyone who wants to make a fresh start. I try to make a fresh start every morning. This cleanses my spirit and soul and prepares me for the day ahead, without being bogged down or hindered by whatever happened yesterday.

Consider the following:

"Repentance, in its truest sense, is an adjustment of the heart, an adjustment of the mind, the thoughts, and the attitudes of the soul; and this leads (or should lead), to an adjustment in terms of things we used to do that we no longer do, or things we have not been doing that we begin to do. It is a revelation of something that leads to a change of heart, which causes a change of mind, which results in a change of behavior and must result in a change of direction. That is repentance. Not this crying of tears and making of resolutions, only to go out and do the same things over and over again. But repentance is an utter adjustment to God - an adjustment to His Purpose, His mind, His heart, His will."

Read the whole thing and share your experiences here:
http://theschoolofchrist.org/articles/adjustment-to-the-government-of-the-holy-spirit.html

Have a great weekend!

I am your brother,
Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Sig
Chip Brogden
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org


THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Post  Admin on Thu 29 Sep 2011, 10:10 am

September 28, 2011

Crushing Satan!






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ROMANS 16
THURSDAY

September 29, 2011
8:00 P.M. Eastern


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The cost is free, but group size is limited. You must register to ensure your spot at this Webinar.
Hello Elaine,

We conclude our study of the Book of Romans this week with chapter 16, where Paul gives many personal greetings and provides us with some interesting little tidbits to look at.

For example, he says that "the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly" (Rom. 16:20, NKJV). The word "crush" ("bruise" in KJV) means to break in pieces, to tread down, to put under foot and trample as a conqueror, to shatter one's strength. I'll take that promise - how about you?!?

But why "shortly"? Why not right away?



Join us online THURSDAY NIGHT (September 29) for the Internet Bible Study as we discuss this (and much more) from the Book of Romans, Chapter 16.

To reserve your spot, click here:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/803749986


At our Webinars, you'll have a chance to listen, interact, ask questions, and get answers - all from the comfort of your own home or office. Best of all, you'll be encouraged and strengthened in your faith. You don't have to commit to every week, just join us as your schedule permits.

For a complete Webinar schedule, including an archive of previous Webinars and Frequently Asked Questions, visit:

http://theschoolofchrist.org/learn/internet-bible-study-index


Hope to see you Thursday night! Here's the registration link again:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/803749986



I am your brother,
Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Sig
Chip Brogden
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org

THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Post  Admin on Thu 22 Sep 2011, 1:56 pm

September 21, 2011

Receive One Another
ROMANS 15
THURSDAY
September 22, 2011
8:00 P.M. Eastern

The cost is free, but group size is limited. You must register to ensure your spot at this Webinar.
Hello Elaine,

Last week we discussed the tendency Christians have to judge one another over things that seem really important but usually turn out to be non-essential and inconsequential.

There are many occasions where we expect others to be exact duplicates of our own selves, mirroring precisely our belief, faith, practice, opinion, custom, and interpretation before we will consider any kind of relationship with them.

How much easier our lives would be if would look for areas of agreement, and grant leniency to others in differences of opinion!

Like-mindedness, according to Scripture, is not necessarily having the same opinion about everything. When we receive one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, love compels us to overlook some of the things we think we see in others, just as they are compelled to overlook our own weaknesses.


This willingness to receive one another is the essence of Biblical "like-mindedness."

The question is: Are we willing to let go of our own firmly held opinion in order to receive one another as Christ has received us?

Join us online THURSDAY NIGHT (September 22) for the Internet Bible Study as we discuss this (and much more) from the Book of Romans, Chapter 15.
To reserve your spot, click here:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/696492922

At our Webinars, you'll have a chance to listen, interact, ask questions, and get answers - all from the comfort of your own home or office. Best of all, you'll be encouraged and strengthened in your faith. You don't have to commit to every week, just join us as your schedule permits.

For a complete Webinar schedule, including an archive of previous Webinars and Frequently Asked Questions, visit:
http://theschoolofchrist.org/learn/internet-bible-study-index

Hope to see you Thursday night! Here's the registration link again:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/696492922


I am your brother,

Chip Brogden
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org


THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


©2011 TheSchoolOfChrist.Org. Permission is granted for non-commercial (free) distribution provided this notice appears.
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Post  Admin on Sun 18 Sep 2011, 5:49 pm



For your encouragement... CB





MY MOTHER AND MY BROTHERS

by Chip Brogden

http://theschoolofchrist.org/articles/my-mother-and-my-brothers.html


"While [Jesus] was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. Then one said to Him, 'Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.' But He answered and said to the one who told Him, 'Who is My mother and who are My brothers?' And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, 'Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother'" (Matthew 12:46-50 NKJV).

"One of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to [Jesus], 'Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.' But He said, 'On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it' (Luke 11:27,28 NASB).

Those still debating about the organization of "church" have not yet seen the Ekklesia as a family. And so their emphasis is on the proper government of "church": is it a single pastor, or a plurality of elders? What are the relationships between pastors, deacons, elders, and presbyters? What about the relationships between apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers? Or are they for today? What about the women - can they hold a position or not? Where are the lines of authority? Who are we supposed to submit to? Who is our covering? Do we need a covering? And so on.

Many disputes arise as to how "church" should be organized and who should submit to whom. Millions of people have been killed over these disputes, and millions more have been abused - spiritually and emotionally, if not physically. These disputes have been with us for two millennia and have never been resolved to everyone's satisfaction.

The only way to resolve a dispute along the lines of organization is to let go of the earthly altogether and embrace the spiritual reality. But for many (particularly those in leadership) this is simply too much to give up. Some will say, "But there is organization in the Bible." And I would respond that there is a Spirit-and-Truth order in the Bible, but not organization along the lines of a corporate hierarchy, bureaucracy, or benevolent dictatorship. Those are all carnal expressions of carnal men. They are not for the Ekklesia.

If we really saw the Ekklesia we would no longer debate these issues at all. In fact, if we could really see the Ekklesia for what it is - a family - then we will immediately know Who the Head of the family is, who the elders are, what they are supposed to do, who has authority, and who does not. We would no longer be concerned with a corporate structure, but we would simply relate to one another as members of the same family.

The Ekklesia that Jesus is building is a spiritual house of living stones. This Ekklesia is a family, and "of [Jesus] the whole family in heaven and earth is named" (Ephesians 3:15). Which family? The family of believers. Some of the family is in heaven, while some of the family is on earth. In this family, God is Father, and Jesus is the Firstborn among many brothers and sisters (cf. Romans 8:29). When we become a disciple of Jesus we become members of a family, not members of an organization. This is one of the key differences between a living Ekklesia and a dead "church".

That is what Jesus conveys to the people in the two instances illustrated from the Gospels. In the first case His mother and brothers were prevented from approaching Him because of the crowd. The Scriptures say that Jesus was still speaking to the multitudes when someone interrupted His teaching to tell Him that His mother and brothers had arrived and wanted to speak to Him. An ordinary person may have become angry over the interruption, or would have excused themselves from the crowd to go to say hello to his relatives. But Jesus is no ordinary person; He is the Son of the Most High God.

What He demonstrates to them (in word and in deed) is that everyone who does the will of God is His brother, sister, and mother; that is to say, all the members of His family are on equal ground before Him. In this family He plays no favorites, He gives no preferential treatment. He does not have special brothers and special sisters; all are equally precious, all are equally valuable in His sight. Others may argue over who will be the greatest and seek the recognition and praise from man with their title, degree, position, or gifting, but Jesus said, "It must not be so among you" (Matthew 20:26ff). If He makes no distinction among brothers and sisters then we dare not do so.

In the second case, as in the first, Jesus is teaching when someone interrupts Him. A woman calls out from the crowd and blesses Mary, the mother of Jesus. Again, an ordinary person may have been disturbed over this interruption, or might have started talking about how much they loved their mother. But once again, we see the uniqueness of the Lord Jesus, and we touch upon the depth of His wisdom and character.

Certainly Jesus loved His earthly mother. At the same time, with His keen discernment, Jesus perceived that this outburst of emotion was mere sentimentality. Though it was intended as a compliment, it came from the flesh, added nothing to His teaching, and only served to distract the people from Himself. With the benefit of 2,000 years of church history behind us, we can see how this kind of fleshly adulation over the mother of Jesus is, in and of itself, a tremendous distraction from Jesus Himself.

And so, for the benefit of the crowd (as well as for our benefit), Jesus speaks a gentle word of correction, one that honors His mother without idolizing her: "Yea rather..." the King James Version says; that is to say, "True enough, but get your eyes off of the earthly and onto the heavenly. There is a greater blessing to be had, and this blessing is not restricted to one woman, but this blessing is open and available to all who will have it."

How is this blessing obtained? According to Jesus, those who hear the Word of God and obey it are blessed. And this is not surprising, since everything Jesus ever taught makes a plain distinction between people who merely listen to His teaching and those who actually put His teachings into practice. Blessed are they who hear it and keep it; while those who hear it, and do not practice it, are building on a sandy foundation that will collapse the moment they are challenged.

The principle thing in both cases is: what constitutes someone as a true brother or sister? And in both cases the answer is the same: doing the will of the Father; hearing the Word of God and keeping it. Doing the will of the Father is the same thing as hearing and keeping the Word of God. Simple obedience. Doing what the Father wants. Not hearing only, but hearing and doing.

Now the "church" is full of hearers. If we could qualify someone as a brother or sister merely on the basis of hearing then just about everyone would be included. It is common in many circles to address others as "Brother So-and-So" or "Sister So-and-So." Presumably this means that we are all in the same family and we have the same Father. Yet these same "brothers" and "sisters" will never fellowship with anyone outside their little group. Their criteria is narrow - attend the same group as we do, or join the same denomination, and we will be brothers and sisters. This is a good example of hearing what Jesus says, even preaching what Jesus says, and then failing to put into practice the very truth they have just claimed to believe.

Bear in mind that what makes someone a part of this Family is not hearing, or accepting, or believing, or teaching the will of God - it is doing the will of God. Jesus did not call every religious person, "Brother" or "Sister". This was a term of endearment for his true disciples. True disciples take it to heart and put it into practice. "IF you continue in My Word, then are you My disciples indeed" (John 8:31b). IF, IF, IF. What if you do not continue in His Word? Then you are not My disciples, and you are not My brother, or sister, or mother. To be in My Family you have to do the Will of My Father.

What about the others? Jesus would not acknowledge them as brothers and sisters. Why not? Because they did not have the same father. "You are of YOUR father the devil, and the desires of YOUR father you want to do" (John 8:44a). They heard the Word of God. They listened to the law and the prophets every Sabbath day. But they did not do the will of God. In fact, they did not desire the will of God at all; they lusted after the same things their father lusted after, and that did the devil's bidding, not the Father's.

On top of all the other trials and tribulations Paul endured, he mentioned being "in perils among false brethren" (II Corinthians 11:26b), and blamed part of his troubles on "false brethren secretly brought in, who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage" (Galatians 2:4). False brothers! It is a strong word. But this is how false Christs, false apostles, false prophets, and false teachers make their beginning - as false brothers.

So the question that Jesus asked bears repeating today: Who is my brother? Who is my sister? Who is my mother? Certainly not everyone who says, "Lord! Lord!" will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. In similar manner, not everyone who says, "Brother! Brother!" is really a brother. Yet learning how to be a good brother or a good sister is the first thing Jesus wants to teach us. When we are born into this Family that is all we are - a brother or a sister. Every apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, pastoral, or teaching ministry must have, as its foundation, the spiritual depth and maturity of knowing how to "just" be a brother or sister. We skip this necessary preparation at our own peril, and the Family of God suffers as a result.

Jesus says, "I will declare Your Name to My brothers, in the midst of the Ekklesia will I sing praise to You!" (Hebrews 2:12). Nothing brings more pleasure to the Father's heart, and gives our Lord Jesus more reason to rejoice, than to be with His brothers and sisters in the midst of the Ekklesia that He is building. If He is in the midst of the Ekklesia then that is where I want to be. May the Lord confirm this word to our heart. May His Will be done. Amen.


I am your brother,
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Post  Admin on Sat 17 Sep 2011, 4:53 pm



FREEDOM FROM FEAR!
by Chip Brogden

http://theschoolofchrist.org/articles/freedom-from-fear.html


"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love" (I Jn. 4:18, ESV).


Most of our fears are a consequence of not knowing God well enough. Fear comes from uncertainty. If we are confident, secure, and certain about who we are in Christ, and who Christ is in us, then we won't be worried about what the devil might do, and we won't be worried about what other people might do.

Now folks, that's a lot off your plate. Imagine what a relief it would be to just live your life in friendship with God, unaffected by worries and fears about the devil, unmoved by worries and fears about other people - what they might think, what they might say, what they might do.

Think about all you could accomplish if you were truly unafraid. I'm not saying you go out and take foolish risks. I'm saying fear holds us back. God tells us to go but we're afraid to go. God tells us to stay put but we're afraid to stay put. God gives us something to say but we're afraid to say it. God gives us a talent or a gift that will bless and encourage and help other people, but we're afraid we'll make a mistake, or afraid we'll look foolish, or afraid we might fail.

Let me go ahead and allay those fears right now. Let me share something with you that will set you free from fear of failure, fear of making mistakes. I'm still relatively young, but I've been at this for a long time. People say, "How can you know so much and be so young?" I'll tell you why, it's because I've made enough mistakes for three people twice my age. By the time I was twenty I had made enough mistakes for someone eighty. I have failed more times than I have succeeded. I have fallen down, gotten up, fallen down, gotten up, fallen down, gotten up, and sometimes I think God created me to be an example to others of what NOT to do. I'm only just beginning to experience some victories, some successes, some fruitfulness. I've had to learn it the hard way.

But here's what I want to share with you, to set you free from fear of failure, fear of making mistakes, fear of stepping out, fear of stepping up. Here's what God showed me: His plan, and His purpose for my life, is based on my making lots of mistakes. His plan accounts for the fact that I'm going to fail. He already has that factored into the equation. We don't take God by surprise, or derail His purpose, by anything we do or fail to do. His purpose and His plan for your life is not dependent on you never making a mistake. Not only does He know that you will make mistakes, and you will fail, He makes His plans based on the fact that things are going to come along to try and mess up His plans.

Have you ever made plans to do something? Do you plan for things to go wrong, or do you plan for things to go right? Most people come up with a plan and the plan assumes everything is going to go the way it should. But what happens? Something always goes wrong, and then the plan collapses.

For me it happens every Saturday. My wife gives me a little home repair project, and I think it's going to be pretty simple, just need a hammer and some nails and this and that. So I plan to take five minutes to do this simple repair. Then I get five minutes into the project and realize it's worse than I thought, I need a watchamacallit and a thingamajig and I don't have what I need, so now I have to make a trip to the store. They don't have what I need so I have to go somewhere else. Then I come home and the part I thought I needed doesn't fit, I need something larger or something smaller, and now I have to go back to the store again. What should have been a five minute project becomes a five hour ordeal.

Now, do you think God is like that? Do you think He is so foolish as to have one plan that relies upon you and me doing everything perfectly, never making a mistake? Do you think you can make a mistake or fail so miserably that you can outsmart God and thwart His plan for your life?

Certainly we can delay His purpose, and we can bring a lot of unnecessary suffering on ourselves by being willfully disobedient, but if our heart is right and we're doing the best we know how to do then God is able to work everything out for His glory, even our mistakes, even our failures, EVEN OUR SINS. I'm not saying go out and sin, because there are consequences for sin. I'm talking about your past right now. Don't worry that your past disqualifies you, because it doesn't. You can't go back and undo these past mistakes, past failures, past sins. I'm saying don't let fear about your past keep you from loving God now, living life now.

Don't worry about being perfect in the future, because God's purpose for your life is based on you being imperfect. God wants to show the world how He can take anything and bring good out of it, how He can take imperfect people who make mistakes and still do something good with their lives.
That is going to be the history of mankind, we're all going to be amazed one day when we look back and see how God worked all things together for good, brought light out of darkness, and used evil for good.






Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Overcoming1_smThe preceeding article is based on an audio series titled
"Overcoming Fear and Worry: Spiritual Principles for Victorious Living."






I am your brother,
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Post  Admin on Wed 14 Sep 2011, 2:21 pm

September 14, 2011

Judging Others








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ROMANS 14
THURSDAY

September 15, 2011
8:00 P.M. Eastern


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The cost is free, but group size is limited. You must register to ensure your spot at this Webinar.
Hello Elaine,

Have you noticed that Christians tend to be very hard and judgmental towards one another?

When it comes to personal beliefs and interpretations of Scripture, Christians can become extremely dogmatic and absolute about how things "should be" - and woe to the person who does not live up to their narrow viewpoint!

This tendency to judge others is nothing new. It is something Paul deals with in his writings. Where does "discernment", "constructive criticism" and "concern" cross the line into judging and condemning?


Join us online THURSDAY NIGHT (September 15) for the Internet Bible Study as we discuss this (and much more) from the Book of Romans, Chapter 14.

To reserve your spot, click here:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/579408898


At our Webinars, you'll have a chance to listen, interact, ask questions, and get answers - all from the comfort of your own home or office. Best of all, you'll be encouraged and strengthened in your faith. You don't have to commit to every week, just join us as your schedule permits.

For a complete Webinar schedule, including an archive of previous Webinars and Frequently Asked Questions, visit:

http://theschoolofchrist.org/learn/internet-bible-study-index


Hope to see you Thursday night! Here's the registration link again:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/579408898



I am your brother,
Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Sig
Chip Brogden
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org

THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Post  Admin on Sun 11 Sep 2011, 9:49 pm



Hello Elaine,


I wrote the following article ten years ago, not many days following the September 11th, 2001 terrorists attacks on the United States. Today seemed to be a good day to re-publish it and re-visit its truth.

I'm posting the entire article, word for word, and I'm asking you to forward it, word for word, to your family, friends, neighbors, and people that you care about.

It is lengthy. It is lengthy because it was written during a time when people would carefully read and consider lengthy things, unlike today, when messages have to be shorter and shorter in order to get people to pay attention. But some things cannot be contained within a little five-minute sound bite, so if length is a problem for you then just delete it and enjoy the rest of your Sunday.


I believe what I have written is as applicable now as it was then, and in many ways, is even more applicable than ever.

When it comes to 9/11, there are two groups of people in my country. The first group says, "Never forget!" The second group (growing larger all the time) says, "Enough already. It's time to move on." They are tired of re-living this painful event and want to forget about it.

This second group reflects everything that is wrong with my country and with the Body of Christ. We don't learn from history. We don't ponder the dealings of God with us. We have Spiritual Attention Deficit Disorder and can't stop and be quiet long enough to discern the spiritual significance of anything that doesn't directly impact us. We are too mired down by the present to learn from the past, and so we are doomed to keep repeating the same sad history over and over again. Read it now, or read it later when the next catastrophe strikes. Either way, the Truth is as unavoidable as it is inconvenient.


- CB





FROM REVELATION TO REVOLUTION
by Chip Brogden

http://theschoolofchrist.org/articles/from-revelation-to-revolution.html


"Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar...(Joel 2:17a)."

I must admit that I would much prefer reading what someone else has to say about this particular time in history as opposed to writing about it myself. Yet I am compelled to write, due in part to my frustration that no one else seems to be saying the things that need to be said. I do not want to be an echo, but a voice; as such, I am constrained to put forth, as clearly as I can, what the Lord is saying to me. This is done with fear and trepidation, but woe upon me if I do not speak the things which, I believe, the Lord has entrusted to me as a stewardship to the Body of Christ. May God give us grace.


DISCERNING THE PRESENT TIME


For over a year now the Lord has been dealing with us concerning issues related to prayer for God's Kingdom and God's Will, and we have likewise presented these themes to the Body of Christ. We have sensed a call to a higher dimension of prayer than is commonly alluded to, and we have responded to that call - haltingly at first, and more vigorously as time passed. Meanwhile, we have repeatedly called the Church to view prayer, not as a means towards our own ends, but as THE means through which God's End is achieved: and that End is "in the dispensation of the fullness of times to gather together into one ALL THINGS IN CHRIST, whether they be things in heaven, or things in earth, even IN HIM (Ephesians 1:10)."

Last year I began writing a book. As of now it remains unpublished and incomplete. Perhaps people are not ready for it. Perhaps I am not ready for it. Maybe it will never be published. But portions of it have been posted to the website, and here is an excerpt:

"When we begin to pray for God's Will and God's Kingdom we are standing on behalf of the entire Church as overcomers. We are doing two things. On the positive side, we are joining together with God and agreeing with Him, praying in line with His eternal purpose in Christ. "As in heaven, so on earth." On the negative side, we are asking for the elimination of this present evil age, this rebellious generation, and all that fails to give Christ the preeminence - both within the Church and outside of the Church."

I did not release what I had written next, but as I go back and look at it again it seems very appropriate to the season we have entered, so now I will share it with you:

"This [praying for the Will and the Kingdom] is not a frivolous thing. It is calling for a revolution in the way things are. It is commanding all that IS to make room for all that IS TO COME. It is calling for the end of all things pertaining to man, this present world, and the defeated devil. "Thy Kingdom come." In this Kingdom Christ alone has authority and power. Think of the implications. For this to be realized it will mean either the elimination or the subjection of every earthly government to Jesus Christ. It will mean the eradication of every religious institution, denomination, movement, group, cult, false religion, doctrine - anything which fails to give the Son the preeminence, and certainly those things which misrepresent, malign, distort, or bear false witness to the Lord Jesus. It will also mean the abolition of everything pertaining to the kingdom of darkness, every principality, power, and eventually, satan himself. The souls of men that refuse to submit to Christ must also be judged and dealt with once and for all. The Creation which groans and travails in pain must be purified by fire, liberated, and recreated again. We are talking about a major upheaval.

"I wonder if we really grasp the import of this kind of praying. I doubt if we really perceive how critical this sort of prayer is to God's purpose."

Friends, that word was too strong for last year, or last month, but it is dead-on for this present moment. It is the kind of word that will be easily misunderstood and misconstrued, the sort of thing that can get me into trouble with some people, but it accurately reflects what I perceive is happening and is about to happen now.

On September 2, 2001, nine days before the September 11th attack, I wrote the following to our mailing list:

"To get to wherever we are going will require a deeper pressing in to the Lord than what we have experienced up until now. It is too easy to become familiar with the Truth and reduce it down to a system or a teaching instead of Life and experience. It has to be pressed into, taken violently, and held tenaciously so that it will become part of who we are, not a commodity that we purchase at wholesale and distribute to others at retail."

I said all of that to say this: it certainly seems that we are now thrust into a situation in which we will have to put into practice everything the Lord has been saying to us, whether we like it or not. IF WE WILL NOT PRESS INTO THE LORD, HE WILL PRESS HIMSELF UPON US. The Lord has very definitely been preparing us as Esther, bringing us into the Kingdom "for such a time as this", when there is so much at stake. We are shocked and saddened at the terrible events which have exploded onto the world scene, but we are also aware that the Lord has been preparing us spiritually well in advance of this season. He has given us something to say, and a means through which it can be communicated to a large number of believers scattered across the face of the earth. Thus, our own calling and mission has been crystallized by these events, and more than ever we reaffirm our commitment to seek the Lord and bring revealed Truth to the Body of Christ as He quickens us to do so.

If there was ever any doubt before, there is no doubt now: we are at war, and not just in a literal sense, but in a much deeper, spiritual sense. Of course there has always been a war between God and satan, light and darkness, good and evil. We do not want to minimize that. But even more now than ever we are at war between things the way they have been up until now, and things the way they will be. In other words, overcomers will be raised up during these days, and others will stumble. Some will grow in the knowledge of God and get aligned with His Kingdom, and some will become offended and fall away altogether. These are "perilous times" (II Timothy 3:1).

We are in such a time as spoken of by the angel of Revelation 22:10-12:

"Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this Book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be."

We see here a further polarization between the righteous and the unrighteous, a very pressing conflict between those who will stand for God's Will and God's Kingdom, the preeminence of Christ, and those forces at work that would render powerless the Testimony of Jesus by keeping the saints focused on the natural, the flesh-and-blood, the carnal, and the temporal; particularly those elements and factions within the Church itself that do not accurately represent the heart and mind of God, but claim to. Organized Religion claims to represent Christ in the earth, but if that representation is faulty then it is almost as bad as having no representation at all, and in many respects it is preferable to the enemy, for now he is able to distort God as God and reduce Him down to the level of our own vain imagination. The Testimony of Jesus does not consist of what we think or say about Jesus; it is the revelation of Christ as He IN FACT IS. To manifest HIM as He is, in life as well as words, is to properly bear the Testimony. The problem is that the Church claims to have the Testimony of Jesus when they are in fact representing something which is NOT Jesus, but is actually far removed from the revelation of Christ.

We must be ever jealous over the Revelation of Christ and the Testimony of Jesus. Those who know their God will be strong, and do exploits (Daniel 11:32b), while evil men and seducers, in the Church and outside of the Church, will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived (II Timothy 3:13). Thus, because the days are evil, we as the Church must be diligent to watch and pray:

"See then that you walk perfectly and straightly, not as fools, but as wise, and make up for lost time, because the days are evil. No longer be ignorant, but understand what the Will of the Lord is (Ephesians 5:15-17, paraphrased)."

I see three applications for us here:

1. "Walk perfectly and straightly, not as fools, but as wise." A cursory study of the Book of Proverbs tells us quite a bit about a fool, and there are basically two things that characterize a fool - he believes everything he hears, and he speaks everything he thinks. According to this definition, the Internet, the news media, and the Church are full of foolish people. By way of contrast, a wise man does not listen to everything, and does not take anything to heart without deliberating over it first. The way you see the world today: is it based upon what everyone else is saying, or have you heard from God yourself? "Circumspectly" could be defined as "leaving no margin for error; exact." It is not just a happy-go-lucky, "whatever will be will be" walk.

2. "Redeem the time," which I have paraphrased as, "Make up for lost time" could be alternatively paraphrased as "quit wasting time" or "make the most of the time that remains." We have needed an adjustment in our priorities for a long time. We have majored on minor things. The various demands made upon us in an evil day need to be triaged and classified into urgent, important, and not important. We do not have the luxury of doing as we please with our lives. If we mean business with God it will require some upheaval in our schedule and daily "to do" list.

3. "No longer be ignorant, but understand what the Will of the Lord is." We have steadily proclaimed to the Church God's Ultimate Intention of "all things in Christ", which involves a decreasing of all things so that He may increase, thus having the preeminence of all things. I am absolutely distressed at how few saints comprehend this. In an evil day we cannot afford to be ignorant or in the dark as to God's Purpose and Desire. There is enough material on Watchman.Net to keep you occupied in this study for the rest of your life. It is THERE, waiting for you to take full advantage of it. More importantly, the Holy Spirit WITHIN and the Anointing, Who is Christ, is ready to teach us all things, if only we will listen (I John 2:27)! There is no excuse for being willfully stupid or ignorant. Furthermore, if we have not grasped God's universal, strategic Will, we will find it next to impossible to cooperate with His specific, tactical Will for us individually.

Brothers and sisters, it is time to seek the Lord. I believe the urgency of the situation is real. We truly are living in a different world today than we lived in just less than two weeks ago. This is a different world, and a different Church, when the hearts and motives of many will be revealed by the Lord Himself for who and what they are (Luke 2:35). Now a time has come in which we are being weighed in the balance, when things that need to be shaken will be shaken, when silver will be purified from the dross and wheat will be separated from chaff. It is true of the world in general, but I am mostly talking to the Church right now. We just see it more evidently and clearly in the world, but there is much more to be judged within the Church than there is to be judged within the world. These are, indeed, "perilous times" for all concerned.


OUR RESPONSE TO WHAT HAPPENS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN KNOWING WHY IT HAPPENS


Many within the Church are saying, "This happened because. . ." and then they go on to postulate their theories. Some say God did it, some say the devil did it, some say man did it. May I suggest that understanding why it happened is not the issue we should be concerned with. Instead, the Church should be saying, "This happened! Now how are we, as the people of God, going to conduct ourselves? How are we, as the Body of Christ, going to respond to this?" You see, our response to what happens is much more significant than the events that trigger our response.

To illustrate, consider the situation David faced when he and his men returned to Ziklag and discovered their village was burned and all their wives, children, and possessions had been carried away by the Amalekites (I Samuel 30). The Bible says, "David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters." In our grief, we want to know why, and we want to hold someone - God, the devil, our leaders, or our enemies - responsible.

But this is a defining moment in David's life. It is what makes him a king even though he does not yet have a throne or a crown. David could have begun to analyze the situation by torturing himself with paralyzing questions like we have been asking: "Why did God allow this to happen? Is God punishing us for something we have done wrong? Is this His judgment? Is this just a random case of man's inhumanity to man? Or is the devil trying to come against us?"

No! In the midst of his own grief, distress, pain, and uncertainty, the Scripture says, "But David encouraged himself in the Lord His God." This is one of my favorite passages of Scripture, because it lets me know that my encouragement is in GOD, and I am not dependent on someone giving me all the correct answers; I do not have to have someone come along and help me process the situation and restore my faith. I am thankful for encouragement when I receive it, but my strength is not based on the praise or the criticism of man! I do not need a prophet or oracle or minister or pastor or anyone else to analyze and interpret WHY a tragedy occurred. THE LORD IS THE STRENGTH OF MY HEART. And the Lord is your Strength as well, a Rock, and a High Tower.

David consulted with the Lord, and basically told God, "You have my attention! Now what do I do? What's next? How do You want me to respond to this situation?" And the Lord gave David His marching orders, and eventually everything was restored. We are not saying that understanding why things happen is unimportant, only that knowing why they happen is of secondary importance; of primary importance is how we respond to what happens. We can still see the Lord at work in all things, even if we do not have all our questions answered (Job 42:1-6).


GOD REMAINS SOVEREIGN OVER ALL NATIONS, PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE


God is indeed at work among the nations of the world today. Nothing escapes His attention. Every promise God makes to a nation, whether it is for blessing or cursing, good or evil, is conditional on how that nation responds to Him (Jeremiah 18:7-10). God is sovereign, and even though all authority in heaven and earth belongs to Him, He allows the sons of men to have the run of the earth (Psalms 115:16). Yet, this is still within the realm of His authority. He can permit, or He can not permit. He can allow, or He can not allow. When He opens a door, it will not be closed. When He closes a door, it will not be opened. When He determines to bless a nation, you cannot curse it (Numbers 23:11,12). And when He determines to curse a nation, you cannot bless it, or even spare it, without bringing down a curse upon yourself (I Samuel 15:17-19).

So man is free to do as he wills to a certain extent, but God still retains His authority. If necessary, God will intervene in the affairs of men to bring about a major course correction if they get too out of hand. The Flood of Noah was just such an event. So was the confounding of the languages at Babel. So was the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

God personally led the Hebrew exodus out of Egypt, established them in Canaan, ordered their exile into Babylon, their restoration, and the ultimate destruction of their nation in 70 A.D. But Israel is not the only nation God dealt with (Jeremiah 25:15-33). He had quite a lot to say and quite a bit to do with nations like Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Rome as the world's first superpowers, not to mention the countless nations and people groups, such as the Philistines, the Moabites, the Ammonites, the Midianites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Ishmaelites, the Jebusites, the Canaanites, the Ethiopians, the Arabians, and scores of others, too many to name. It should be noted that most of these nations are now extinct, because God will not deal with them forever. Is it not reasonable to think that God is as involved in the nations of this world today as He always has been?

Jesus Himself says that there will come a time in the future when, apart from God's direct intervention, man would totally annihilate one another and destroy all life on earth (Matthew 24:22). So while it is true that God has "given the earth to the children of men" it is also clear that, "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof: the world, and they that dwell therein (Psalms 24:1)." Given the extent of man's inhumanity to man, this should be of great comfort to all of us. Ultimately, GOD IS IN CONTROL.


A RESPONSE IS REQUIRED FROM THE INNER COURT


So where do we go from here? How does this apply to us as Christians scattered among different nations around the world, being the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16)? If we believe the Lord is sovereign among the nations then we must discover what He would have us to say and do as His ambassadors to the particular nation we find ourselves in. Our purpose for writing is not to speak to the political situation, but the spiritual situation. We have done everything possible to communicate to the Church why and how it must leave the outer court and come into the inner court to meet God (The Priests of the Lord). Now do you understand why? Wars and rumors of wars, death, destruction - it is all very frightening, but it all pertains TO THE OUTER COURT; and there is little we, the Church, can do if we meet with the conflict THERE on some carnal, fleshly, and may I say, emotional, zealous, or political level.

Here is our opportunity to see God's Will and God's Kingdom brought forth. The question is: who dwells in the Secret Place of the Most High? Who will go into the inner court, minister to the Lord, and become a friend of God? Who will linger before the Lord with prayer and fasting until these issues are settled? Who will cooperate with God in prayer so that His Will is accomplished in the earth and His Son is revealed?

I am continually drawn to the power of the ONE. God can save by many, or by a few (I Samuel 14:6). Sometimes He will do it with ONE - an Enoch, a Noah, an Abraham, a Moses, an Elijah, a Daniel. "The effectual fervent prayer of A RIGHTEOUS MAN avails much (James 5:16b)." It is good to have prayer chains and to bring the Body together for corporate prayer, we need more of it and it ought to be encouraged. At the same time, God would have us pray as if no one else is going to, in full assurance of faith that if we are in alignment with His Will, His Ultimate Purpose, we cannot help but see our supplications come to pass (I John 5:14,15). We can have a million Christians praying together but if they are praying according to what the "outer court" is telling them instead of the "inner court", it is not effectual. In days to come, if we pray according to the reports we see on television or read in the newspapers we will be misled. True prayer has its source in God, and we cannot pray according to the MIND of the Spirit unless we are praying BY the Spirit and not according to OUR mind (Romans 8:26,27).

"I sought for A MAN among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none (Ezekiel 22:30)." Listen! The land was destroyed, not for lack of a remnant, or a group, but for lack of A MAN. One righteous man (or woman), making up the hedge, standing in the gap before God on behalf of a nation, would have made a difference.

Moreover, to pray in one accord with the Body of Christ is to pray as ONE MAN (Acts 4:24). It is time to seek the Lord, to search the Scriptures, restore relationships with one another, and begin to pray REAL prayers: effectual, fervent prayers that avail much, not "God bless me" prayers. We must be about our Father's business.

What is needed from the Church in this time? A response is required: not an "outer court" reaction to what we see and hear, but an "inner court" response to God Himself, and it must be a response that goes further and deeper than mere human compassion towards the victims, anger towards the killers, and fears about the future. As human beings there is a natural reaction that we cannot help but have when we see catastrophe and death. It is pointless to deny our feelings, or lightly dismiss them. It is even unhealthy to do so. We feel compassion for the victims; anger towards those who perpetrated these acts; desire for retribution against those responsible; anxiety and tension over the general state of things. THAT we would expect from anyone. THAT is flesh and blood, and that is understandable, but that is NOT Spirit and Truth.

Jesus says, "The flesh profits nothing" and "the flesh is weak (John 6:63; Matthew 26:41)." Paul says, "They that are in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:8)." There is a certain bravado about the flesh that gives the illusion of strength, but it profits nothing, and it is weak, and it cannot be pleasing to God in spiritual matters. It is the flesh that says, "We're going to get them!" and "We're going to rebuild bigger and better than before!" Now we give allowances to the Natural Man that he will react as his flesh dictates, but we dare not allow the Spiritual Man to react in this manner, and by this of course I mean the Natural Man as the person without the Spirit of God, and the Spiritual Man as the person within whom the Spirit of God resides.

There is an element which calls itself "prophetic" which operates from the flesh as well, and we must exercise due diligence in making sure the words we proclaim or the words we listen to are truly from the inner court, and not just the shallow, hollow rantings of someone's opinion - even if it is a good opinion. We cannot take the time to listen to someone talk out of their own imagination and then tack a "thus saith the Lord" to the end of it to add credibility to their speech. It sounds right to the outer court worshippers, Scriptures can even be produced that seem to validate what is said, but those who stand before God in the inner court will immediately detect the defilement of the flesh (especially if they dare to challenge the one who so speaks).

Invariably, "prophetic" words from the outer court will be imbalanced, e.g., words of doom will lack grace and mercy, and words of blessing will lack warnings of judgment and calls to repentance. A word of "certain" blessing that does not give any incentive to deny Self and take up the Cross falls short of the mark. A word of "certain" judgment that does not offer a promise to the obedient or give hope to the repentant is either totally false or prophetically immature. A vision of destruction or calamity which is proclaimed as a certain, unavoidable fact fails to take into account that the purpose of the revelation was to inspire us to make intercession against that very thing, to stand in the gap and avert that very destruction we are proclaiming. The failure to understand this constituted the whole problem with Jonah's attitude over Ninevah (Jonah 4). The grace of God intervened in spite of Jonah's objections that it would make "him" look bad when "his" word did not come to pass.

What better way to get the Church to cease praying than to deceive her into thinking that all hope is lost, and the Day of Grace has ended! In the end, Abraham could not save Sodom, but he still prayed: and the fact that he prayed for mercy in the midst of pending judgment is what truly made him a prophet (Genesis 18:17-33).


THE SORT OF PRAYER GOD REQUIRES


We are not the first saints in history to be called upon to pray in this manner. When Japan invaded and raped China in World War II, a Chinese brother named Watchman Nee gave us some perspective that very much speaks to our present situation and call to prayer. He attended a believer's convention, and by accident was seated next to a Japanese brother. The tension was palpable among the onlookers. But brother Nee was unruffled, and when asked to offer prayer, he prayed as follows:

"The Lord reigns. We affirm it boldly. Our Lord Jesus Christ is reigning, and He is Lord of all; nothing can touch His authority. It is spiritual forces that are out to destroy His interests in China and Japan. Therefore, we do not pray for China; we do not pray for Japan; but we pray for the interests of Thy Son in China and Japan. We do not blame men, for they are only tools in the hands of Thine enemy. We stand for Thy Will. Shatter, O Lord, the kingdom of darkness, for the persecutions of the Church are wounding Thee. Amen."

I will admit that when I first read this a few years ago I was absolutely dumbfounded. Only after being educated by the Holy Spirit was I able to understand this kind of praying. It is a fine example of what it means to bring God's Kingdom and God's Will to bear upon the earthly situation. It raises the bar from the natural, flesh and blood, what-I-can-see-and-hear level, and brings us directly into the throne of God to view things from Heaven's perspective. Notice that brother Nee specifically said we do not pray for China, or Japan; we pray for God's Will, for God's Kingdom, for His Purpose, for His Desire in these two nations. The foremost issue for brother Nee is not what happens in China or Japan; of course that IS important, and he was personally impacted by these events, as were the house churches he served so diligently in China. But he was not praying on behalf of his own will or his own work, but on behalf God's Will and God's Kingdom. He had his interests and his concerns, but of greater concern to him was "the interests of Thy Son in China and Japan", e.g., the preeminence of Christ, the enlargement of His Kingdom. Does this not apply to the present crisis?

We repeat: in order to really come before God and get His Heart for our situation we have to be willing to lay down what we want and begin to pray for what He wants. If we do not want what He wants then we are going to have to either change what we want or stop praying. We cannot force God to do what He does not want to do, but we can very definitely prevent God, at least for a season, from doing what He DOES want to do, through prayerlessness, disobedience, or unbelief.


"TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES..."


As we look at the promises made to those who overcome we should see that God is not establishing some new order or special group which enjoys rights and privileges not accessible to the rest of the saints. This is not the establishing of new promises, but a bringing us back to the same exceeding great and precious promises which are potentially true of everyone who is in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). It is not establishing a new foundation, it is calling us back to the foundation which is already laid. That being said, we point out that the difference between those who overcome and those who do not overcome is a difference in their own PERCEIVED position. We all ought to perceive that in Christ we are seated in the heavenly places. We cannot overcome without this perception, this seeing, this revelation. If our perception is earthly, we will remain earthly. If our perception is heavenly, we will overcome.

The moment one's perception shifts from the outer court, the natural, flesh and blood, worldly, and earthly realm to the inner court, that which pertains to the heavenly places in Christ, at that moment one enters into the promises which were there all along, waiting to be realized and taken advantage of. Overcomers represent the means through which God may restore the entire Church to its proper position. Their prayers for the saints and their service to the saints is meant to bring the entire Church to the EPIGNOSIS (full-knowledge) of Christ that the entire Church may rise up and fulfill its destiny as overcomers (Ephesians 4:13). In this present time, if we will come into the inner court and stand before God on behalf of His Kingdom and His Will, then no matter what happens, the Lord will be glorified, His Son will be exalted, and His Kingdom will soon be manifest among the nations.

Our Father: may Your Name be hallowed, may Your Kingdom come, may Your Will be done - as in heaven, so in earth. Accomplish Your Purpose, and establish the Kingdom of Your dear Son in us: individually as disciples, corporately as the Church, and collectively in all creation; that Christ may be All in All. As we seek first Your Kingdom, may all that we need be added to us, whether it is daily bread or forgiveness of sins. Conform us to the image of Your Son that we may live as One Body. Deliver us from evil by raising up overcomers who will have the Revelation of Christ and will bear the Testimony of Jesus, demonstrating the preeminence of Your Son over sin, self, and satan; who overcome by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their Testimony, and the laying down of their lives. The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory are yours. Of the increase of your Kingdom there will be no end; You have given all power in heaven and in earth to Your Son; and through His Name every knee will bow and every tongue will confess to Your Glory. Reveal the glory of Your Son, that we may know Him, and as He must increase, so we must decrease. We do not pray for the United States, or Canada, or England, or France, or Afghanistan, or Pakistan, or Iraq, or Israel - but we pray for the interests of Your Son in these nations, and in every other nation upon the face of the earth, until Your Kingdom is established. Maranatha! Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.


I am your brother,
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Chip Brogden
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org

THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Post  Admin on Thu 08 Sep 2011, 3:49 pm

Learn. Grow. Connect with others.
You're invited to our monthly home gathering!


Hello Elaine,



Do you enjoy the freedom of following Jesus "outside the camp" but wish you could occasionally connect with others making the same journey?


We believe everyone should have a place where they can learn about Jesus and grow spiritually - without having to participate in the religious system.

But we also recognize the need to come together as the Body of Christ to learn how to encourage and support one another in a face-to-face setting.

So starting next month, The School of Christ will begin meeting once a month in our home in upstate New York - and we'd like to invite you to join us for a time of teaching, learning, growing, and connecting with others who are on a similar path towards spiritual maturity.

For full details and "what to expect" if you visit, click here:

http://theschoolofchrist.org/homemeetings

We look forward to hearing from you and hope to see you soon!


I am your brother,
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Chip Brogden
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org

THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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September 7, 2011

Love Fulfills the Law







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ROMANS 13
THURSDAY

September 8, 2011
8:00 P.M. Eastern


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The cost is free, but group size is limited. You must register to ensure your spot at this Webinar.
Hello Elaine,

The Christian faith is based on LOVE - God's love for us, and our love for one another.

But when religion rules our lives instead of love, it's easy to fall into criticism and judgment. Whenever we put rules and regulations before relationship we find the love we're supposed to have starts to grow cold.

Ironically, Paul tells us that the only way we can fulfill the Law is by loving one another. Love always puts the other person first; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the Law.

So how do we keep our love from growing cold?

Join us online THURSDAY NIGHT (September 8) for the Internet Bible Study as we discuss this (and much more) from the Book of Romans, Chapter 13.

To reserve your spot, click here:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/282136106


At our Webinars, you'll have a chance to listen, interact, ask questions, and get answers - all from the comfort of your own home or office. Best of all, you'll be encouraged and strengthened in your faith. You don't have to commit to every week, just join us as your schedule permits.

For a complete Webinar schedule, including an archive of previous Webinars and Frequently Asked Questions, visit:

http://theschoolofchrist.org/learn/internet-bible-study-index


Hope to see you Thursday night! Here's the registration link again:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/282136106



I am your brother,
Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Sig
Chip Brogden
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org

THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Post  Admin on Tue 06 Sep 2011, 11:10 am

The Missing Ingredient

by Chip Brogden

http://theschoolofchrist.org/articles/the-missing-ingredient.html

"And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved" (II Corinthians 12:15).

Besides prayer, no other subject has been talked about more and practiced less than the subject of loving one another. We all know we are supposed to love one another. We have heard it preached a thousand times. But there is a difference between knowing the Path and walking the Path.

I want to speak specifically to the issue of love as it relates to "ministry". That word "ministry" is a loaded word now, and we really need to question someone when they use that word so we can find out what they really mean. I think most people will agree that what passes for "ministry" these days is something very far removed from the ministry practiced in the New Testament. And I am not referring to some kind of method or technique that they practiced. The "missing ingredient" is not something so superficial as meeting in homes versus meeting in buildings. How far we have fallen to think that the secret of New Testament life is found in some way of conducting a meeting.

Leadership exists in the Bible, and leadership exists in the Church. There is no getting around that. Jesus showed us, both in word and in deed, that His idea of leadership is based on service to God and to others. The question we need to ask is what constitutes godly, Spirit-led, Christ-centered, servant leadership? What makes someone a spiritual father? What really qualifies someone as an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, or teacher?

You might say the calling of God is what qualifies someone. Perhaps, but many are called and few are chosen. Many are called but they fail to respond to the call. You need more than a calling.

You might say the gift of God is what qualifies someone. Let me tell you something, brothers and sisters. Gifts no longer register much with me anymore. Gifted brothers and sisters are really a dime a dozen. I am just speaking frankly. Often I will meet people and come away thinking how gifted they are, but they leave me hollow inside. They have a lot of potential but I would not trust them to watch my dog much less watch over people's souls. Many of them claim to be in some kind of pastoral or prophetic or apostolic ministry. But that in and of itself does not qualify a person. I have seen gifted brothers and sisters with absolutely no wisdom, no maturity, and no spiritual discernment make a real mess of people's lives.

You might say revelation from God is what qualifies someone. I absolutely believe that revelation is a necessity for teaching others because you cannot point the way to a place you have never been. But revelation by itself does not qualify a person.

There came a time in my life when I realized I was called, and I was gifted, and God had given me great revelation, but I still lacked something. Now when I was younger I believed that having a calling from God and being gifted by God was all you needed. Then I began to learn some things by revelation and thought that was God's seal of approval upon me.

Even so, I could not get away from the fact that there were then, and there are now, lots of people in the world besides me who are called by God, have spiritual gifts, and enjoy an abundance of revelation. But God cannot trust them in any kind of a servant leadership capacity. They may have a title or a ministry but they are unqualified because they do not have the missing ingredient. I noticed they lacked something, and worse, I lacked the same thing. Eventually I discovered what everyone, including myself, is lacking.

What is the missing ingredient? The missing ingredient is LOVE.

Let me share something to illustrate what I mean. A pastor told me something that happened many years ago between him and his associate pastor. They worked together in the church but fortunately they were also good friends. He said his associate came to him one day with tears in his eyes and told him, "You're the best preacher and teacher of the Word I have ever heard in my life. But you just don't love people." When the pastor shared this story with me he had tears in his eyes, too. It was a powerful reminder to him, and an important lesson to us. We can be called and gifted and full of revelation and still fall short because we are not walking in love with people.

Now we could go to many examples of love demonstrated and love commanded in the New Testament. You know them as well as I do. But when I turn to this little obscure passage in II Corinthians 12 I find something mostly overlooked. Paul writes, "I will VERY GLADLY spend and be spent for you; though the more ABUNDANTLY I love you, the less I am loved." Now that is what qualifies a person. That is the missing ingredient.

Paul wrote this to the Corinthians. You know Paul had more trouble with the Corinthian church than all the others combined. Most people would have quit, but not Paul. Paul has the heart of a father. That is a real apostle. That is a real pastor. We know he was called, we know he was gifted, and we certainly know he had a depth of revelation. We could understand if he felt like he was wasting his time with Corinth and wanted to turn his attention elsewhere.

You see, that kind of thinking has the flesh all over it. I read something many years ago that I accepted at first as wisdom, but have since changed by mind. A man wrote, "Go where you are celebrated, not where you are tolerated." At the time I was feeling very unappreciated so I thought this was sound advice. But God has been gracious to me, and He has helped me to see that this attitude is the whole problem with "ministry" today. We love people who love us, and we serve people who serve us, and we thank people who thank us, and if you scratch my back then I'll scratch your back. What kind of Christianity is this? What if Paul only went where he was celebrated and avoided places where he was just tolerated? What a foolish statement, but this is the prevailing attitude among "ministers" today.

Paul gave us an example to follow. Don't just look at his calling and his gifting and his revelation. Look at his heart of love. He gave all - not just for the Lord, but for the Lord's people. And they were a most carnal, unappreciative bunch of people. Even so, the heart of a father is demonstrated. That is the reason he had authority. I tell you his authority was not in his title, his position, or his status as having founded the church. His authority was not in his calling, gift, or revelation. His authority was in the abundant love he showed.

Make no mistake: I am not there yet. I still struggle with how to be a good brother, much less a spiritual father with abundant love for everyone. I obviously have a long way to go, but now I see the missing ingredient and I am following after love. How about you?

You know, the days of a person just "showing up" to exercise their gift and do their little ministry event are just about over. I have been guilty of that, I think we all have either done it or seen others do it. Is that what Jesus has called us to do? Is that being an example? Hold some meetings, have some talks, shake hands and go home? It doesn't mean a thing if we are not loving one another. It is all tinkling brass and clanging cymbals.

Paul saw himself as a father caring for the needs of his children. He entered right into the heart of God, because that is exactly the way God sees it. That is why Paul was able to love them more even as they loved him less. There is a vacuum of that kind of leadership in the Body of Christ today. We have people who cannot even be good brothers and sisters and yet they aspire to be spiritual fathers and leaders, apostles and prophets and pastors and teachers. Instead of serving people WITH their gift they expect people to serve them BECAUSE of their gift. It is seen in things so seemingly insignificant as the pastor's reserved parking space right by the front door.

In recent months I have prayed, "God, take away my calling, take away my gifts, take away my revelation, but give me a heart of love." Really friends, we have plenty of gifted brothers and sisters. But where are the Pauls and the Peters and the Johns of our generation? Where are the spiritual fathers, the leaders, the elders, the ones giving a godly example to those who follow after? An example is most definitely being given, but all too often it is an example of what NOT to do.

Where are the ones who will very gladly spend and be spent in the service of God and of others - who will love abundantly even when they are not loved in return? One father is worth more than ten thousand teachers.

All you who are called and gifted, hear me. Love is the missing ingredient. Follow after love and the calling, the gifting, and the revelation will find its deepest and fullest expression.


I am your brother,

Chip Brogden
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org


THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


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Hello Elaine,

We've just released some powerful new tools to help you renew, soothe, heal, and strengthen one of God's greatest and most personal gifts of all: YOUR MIND!

When you train your mind to think on God's Word, some wonderful blessings are in store for you -



  • You'll be able to control your thoughts, instead of your thoughts controlling you, which means...


  • You'll be able to relax, to be less stressed, to be more focused and productive;


  • You'll experience more peace and serenity -freedom from fear, doubt, worry;


  • You'll find freedom from negative thoughts, unwanted thoughts, and painful memories;


  • You'll be able to use your mind as God intended it, so that your mind cooperates with your spirit instead of fighting with your spirit.
This is NOT merely a word-for-word collection of Bible verses. These are one-of-a-kind Scripture Meditation CD's (with and without music) that contain powerful affirmations, personalized with just the right about of repetition to feed your spirit and renew your mind - all based on the promises and truth of the Word of God!



We've been listening to these here at The School of Christ and we're really happy to be able to offer them for your encouragement.

Just released: "SERENITY" and "GUIDANCE". Check them out here:

http://theschoolofchrist.org/listen/scripture-meditation-cd.html






I am your brother,
Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Sig
Chip Brogden
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P.S. We have a complete 3-part audio teaching that explains the Biblical principles of renewing your mind and describes the process we used to put together these Scripture meditation CD's. So if you're interested in "why" it works as well as it does, get this teaching - which includes a free sample so you can see for yourself!

http://theschoolofchrist.org/listen/scripture-meditation-cd.html

September 1, 2011

Be Transformed!







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ROMANS 12
TONIGHT

September 1, 2011
8:00 P.M. Eastern


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The cost is free, but group size is limited. You must register to ensure your spot at this Webinar.
Hello Elaine,

Our study in Romans now takes us into some very practical territory. Paul has given us some wonderful spiritual truths about justification, redemption, sanctification, and other big ideas.

With that firmly established, a good disciple always asks: how, then, shall we live? How do we walk this out? How do we put this into practice?

And Paul does not disappoint. Starting with the renewing of our mind, he begins the last section of his letter to the Romans with some very practical, hands-on instruction that is as applicable to us today as it was to the believers in Rome. Because people haven't changed all that much in 2,000 years. We still struggle with the same things!

Join us online TONIGHT (September 1) for the Internet Bible Study as we discuss this (and much more) from the Book of Romans, Chapter 12.

To reserve your spot, click here:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/447722394


At our Webinars, you'll have a chance to listen, interact, ask questions, and get answers - all from the comfort of your own home or office. Best of all, you'll be encouraged and strengthened in your faith. You don't have to commit to every week, just join us as your schedule permits.

For a complete Webinar schedule, including an archive of previous Webinars and Frequently Asked Questions, visit:

http://theschoolofchrist.org/learn/internet-bible-study-index


Hope to see you tonight! Here's the registration link again:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/447722394



I am your brother,
Chip Brogden's Meditations & News Please Join Live Disscussion Online. - Page 4 Sig
Chip Brogden
http://TheSchoolOfChrist.Org

THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST is dedicated to your spiritual growth and maturity through Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-based discipleship that focuses on relationship, not religion. To find out more about us, click here. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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