From: [[url=mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]email@example.com[/url]] On Behalf of John Waddey
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2007 2:47 PM
Subject: [fortify_your_faith] A Lesson to Fortify Your Faith - 09/15/07</font>
<font color=black face=arial> HEARTFELT RELIGION
Today we offer biblical teaching that will clearly point out that faithful Christians do in fact enjoy genuine heart-felt religion. They need not be searching and experimenting with the ever-changing fads of the religious world to have a deeply spiritual faith and life. This lesson is needed because the promoters of change keep plunging deeper and deeper into the jungle of error as they search for something new and different to satisfy their jaded souls. Please share this lesson with others in Christ. You have my permission to forward, duplicate or use in bulletins or papers any or all of these lessons.
- <font size=5>HEARTFELT RELIGION</font>
<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman> In the postmodern world of the 21st century, emotion is in and reason is out. Feelings trump facts as wandering, famished souls reach out for something spiritual and eternal to cling to.
The latest fad in the world of denominationalism is "contemplative spirituality." Those who are children in mind and faith are seen in darkened rooms with lighted candles, hoping to find God. Others are heard chanting their one word mantras, such as "Jesus," repeated 300 times. They are searching for "silence" or the "thin line" where God might be found. Others are strolling through their labyrinth with heads bowed, reaching for the unknown God. Some are sitting on an isolated hill or in a deep forest glade hoping to find God. Multitudes are reading books on Contemplative Spirituality, flocking to Emergent Churches, attending seminars and lectureship to hear speakers weave new a tapestry of faith made up of Hindu and Buddhist, New Age and Medieval Catholic practices advertised to make a postmodern soul find God in his heart.
Across town a small band of Christians worship and go about their daily activities, rejoicing in their faith which is truly a heartfelt experience.
- They love the Lord God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30).
- From the day of their conversion to the present they obey from the heart that form of teaching given by Christ (Rom. 6:17).
- When they sin and fall short of God's expectations their hearts are filled with godly sorrow which works repentance in their lives (II Cor. 7:10).
- When they assemble to worship on the Lord's Day, they "make a joyful noise unto Jehovah" and serve Him with gladness (Ps. 100:1). Their mouths praise God with "joyful lips" (Ps. 63:5).
- When they present their gifts and offerings to God, they cheerfully do so (II Cor. 9:7) and are blessed.
- When they pause to remember the great sacrifice of their Savior on Calvary, their hearts are filled with tender memories and thoughts that often stir their deepest emotions and bring tears to their eyes (I Cor. 11:23-25).
- When sacred Scripture is studied and taught they rejoice in the way of His testimonies (Ps. 119:14). His Word they lay up in their hearts that they might not sin against Him (Ps. 11:11). They are quickened and strengthened by His Word (119:25, 28). They long for His precepts (119:40). His Word provides them spiritual light and guidance for their life's journey (119:105, 130).
- They experience the "peace of God which passeth all understanding" (Phil. 4:7), not only while in worship, but in every day and every experience of their lives.
- They rejoice in the Lord always (Phil. 4:4).
- The Holy Spirit in their lives hearts sheds the love of God in their hearts (Rom. 5:5).
- The indwelling Spirit provides them moral and spiritual strength (Eph. 3:16). They find they can do all things required of them through him that strengtheneth them (Phil. 4:13).
- They come to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge and are filled unto all the fulness of God (Eph. 3:19). This enables them to love humanity including their enemies (Matt. 22:39; 5:44). They love their families and their fellow-Christians and live to serve them.
We plead with all those who have been enticed to seek happiness in the mystical fountains of paganism to come back to Jesus, the only reliable source of "living waters" (John 7:38). </font>
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now