For Luis Aponte, the Gospel is everything. Watch as this Campus Outreach resource staff member describes the Gospel he stakes his life on.
The power of sin's appeal is that it promises better gods. Now, Satan knows he cannot lead us where he wants to take us, if he stated it like that. Therefore, it is most unlikely that the devil will approach the Christian and say, "Hey, I want to introduce you to a better god than Jesus." Yet, whether he says that or not, the temptation is just that: a promise of someone or something that will care, help, and provide for you better than the Lord Jesus Christ.
Idolatry then is the essence of all temptation. And you can know if something is an idol to you if that something or someone is not caring, helping, and providing for you as you expected. What takes place in your heart when that happens? Is there pain, anger, resentment, turmoil, and loss of joy? If so, then more than likely you have discovered an idol.
An example would be a husband and wife who were experiencing strife. Let's suppose for our illustration that a wife's world is totally out of kilter on the inside; she has no sense of balance, peace, or joy because her husband is not doing for her what she expects. We can rightly deduce that her husband is an idol, even though she may not have feelings for him. She may no longer love him because of the way he treats her, but I insist nonetheless, her spouse is an idol. How is this possible? Well, it's possible because she places her internal well-being, peace, and joy upon her husband. Her life revolves upon his approval of her, his affection for her, and his treatment of her. This is idolatry because we should only look to Christ Jesus for the internal balance of our world.
Let me briefly explain internal balance. Internal balance is inner harmony, steadiness, and tranquility. It does not mean your outer-world, meaning circumstances, cannot be imbalanced, unsteady, and turbulent; however, internal balance does mean that in spite of that turbulence and trouble you maintain your spiritual equilibrium. An example of this is Jesus fast asleep in a boat on the sea when a dangerous storm was raging. You may argue and suggest that Jesus was at perfectly peaceful was because He was peacefully asleep. If that is the reason, then why did the Lord rebuke the disciples, who were awake, for being internally out of whack? Jesus could sleep because He was properly and internally centered in His Father by faith.
Adversity will expose whether or not a Christian is building any part of his or her life on an idol. If you are experiencing any kind of discomfort, it will prove if you are worshipping Christ or an idol. Problems detect whether or not your life is built solidly on the Rock.
Salvation then must not only deliver me from sin's penalty but also from its power, this appeal to worship other gods, "to exchange the truth of God for a lie, and worship and server the creature rather than the Creator." If I am to experience ongoing tranquility, then I must continually put my trust in the truth about God, who He is and what He has promised me. Faith in God is the key to combat the ever-pressing temptation to turn to something or someone who may seem to care, help, and provide better than Jesus.
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With hearts full of gratitude for the Lord?s provision and your support, we are excited to tell you the next issue of RTM Magazine is now available for download in the Apple Newsstand and the Google Play Store for Android.
In the new issue of RTM Magazine, read how:
and how the Gospel ties these stories, and others, together.
Click here to read the November/December issue of RTM Magazine.
Please continue to join us in prayer for the ministry God is doing in and through RTM and for the magazine, as it goes to the nations proclaiming the finished work of Christ, the hope of the world.
The RTM Staff
You may be familiar with Disciples Academy, an interactive website designed to help Christians to disciple others which can also be used as a self-study guide to help you grow in your faith, but did you know the ministry just released a new smartphone app?
Disciples Academy Verses is a resource of Disciples Academy, a division of Real Truth Matters Ministries, and exists to help Christ followers around the world hide the Word of God in their hearts. Equipped with an easy to use memorization plan and review calendar, users can easily practice the spiritual discipline of Scripture memory as their spirits are renewed and cleansed by the washing of water by the Word.
This app is based on memorizing one Scripture per week with periodic, built-in weeks of review. Every fourth week is a review of all previous verses memorized.
It is God's love for us that motivates our crazy love for God and for others.
If all you have is a testimony of God's gracious love the day He saved you, you are not current in your relationship with God. You can't be. Because if you are in daily fellowship with God what is God doing to you? He's loving you. He's filling your love tank. Marriage counseling that tries to motivate spouses to fill up each other's love tank is nonsense. "Husband fill up your wife's love tank and she'll fill up yours." That simply means, "Scratch my back and I'll scratch yours." God is talking about a love so deep and transforming that if they don't fill up your love tank or show you any love at all you are still overflowing with the best kind of love--His.
If all you can tell me about experiencing God's love is your conversion story, you are not in fellowship with Him today. I'm not disputing you got saved; I'm simply saying you did like most Christians after conversion and went backwards into works. You're not living by grace through faith; you're living by your works. God doesn't respond to your works, have you noticed?
When is the last time prayer had power to it? When is the last time the Word of God was alive? You say the Word doesn't speak to you anymore, well, no wonder. "Without faith it's impossible to please Him. Those who come to God must believe that He is and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." It's not what we can do for Him that connects us to God--it's faith. Faith is the only thing He responds to.
You can make promises and pledge your life all you want and He won't respond to any of that if it's not of faith. You can pray every day, eight hours a day, but without faith you're not going to move the heart of God. But when you pray in faith you can pray and God will show up. He responds only to your trust in Him. If you're not looking for God's love daily in the circumstances and problems of your life, then you are not living by faith in the love of God. If you're not experiencing answers to prayers, fellowship, the power and love and grace of God, then your life is normal like everyone else's life, believer or nonbeliever. There's nothing different about your life.
But Jesus says those in His kingdom live solely and completely on the love of God, who is merciful, who loves His enemies, who does good to those who hate Him, who blesses those who spitefully use Him. That's talking about me. Is it you, too? You spitefully use God. You get mad at God because He didn't answer a prayer your way. But what does He do? He keeps on loving you. He doesn't kick you out of His house. He doesn't disown you. He doesn't write you out of His will. He lovingly chastens you and brings you back to Himself. This is the kind of God we serve and when I see Him and trust Him for that, then I can release His love through me to others.
For more: listen, watch, or read the manuscript from Making Disciples.