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Mattera Ministries International

As a full-time church minister since 1981, I have had the task of observing the lives of thousands of believers. Consequently, I have come to the conclusion that there are believers in the church who say they are Christians, while, at the same time, espousing value systems that are secular. However, these secular believers are slightly different from what we may identity as a “carnal Christian,” whose ways have to do with the overt sins of the flesh and emotions (read 1 Corinthians 3:1-4). Of these two types, the secular believer, as with “secular Christianity” (which, by the way, is contradictory and, therefore, a misnomer) is more subtle because they are sugar-coated with spirituality and outward peace but have foundations of secular values.

The following are ten signs you are a secular believer:

1. You make major decisions without first determining God’s will.

Many believers are functional atheists because they make major decisions, such as marriage, moving to another region, changing jobs, or changing churches, without hearing from God, getting input from spiritual leadership or searching the scriptures.

2. You care more about what others think than what God thinks about you.

In this “selfie” secular age, appearance, status, and popularity with friends are sometimes pursued more than understanding the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). When we care more about what people think of us than respecting the ways of God, then we are secular.

3. You are led by money not by the Holy Spirit.

Whenever you prioritize money over God’s will, you are secular. This is why so many so-called believers work so many hours; then they rarely have time to participate in a faith community. Jesus said that if we “seek first His Kingdom, then all the other things we seek will be given to us” (Matthew 6:33).

4. You attend church services primarily to socialize.

Secular believers’ primary motivation to attend church services is to meet their friends, while biblical Christ followers’ primary motivation is to meet God in the context of communing with the saints and hearing what the Spirit is saying to the church.

5. You mimic the values of popular culture.

Secular believers espouse the world’s values when it comes to dating, pre-marital sex, dress, popular music, language, etc. This reminds me of the old adage: “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck!” If you internally celebrate the value systems of the world, then you are worldly-minded (secular), not spiritually-minded.

6. God is a mere part of your life.

True Christ followers do not make God a mere part of their lives. Christ is their life! (Colossians 3:1-4).

7. You don’t have a lifestyle of seeking God.

Secular believers may say a quick prayer here and there, usually to bless their secular lifestyle, but they do not consistently seek God’s face in prayer or pour over the scriptures.

8. Your life does not impact others for the Gospel.

Secular believers do not have a burden to win others to Christ. Many have never even won one person for God in the past five to ten years! The reason is because they are so subsumed with this world they do not have a sense of eternity. Sadly, many times unsaved family members, friends, and co-workers are not able to notice the difference between a believer and an unbeliever.

9. You are not making disciples.

There are many people in the body of Christ today who have been saved for many years and have not invested their lives in making even one disciple. If you are not presently mentoring and helping somebody mature in Christ, then you are willfully disobeying the Great Commission Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:19). Just because you have a title of pastor or elder does not mean you are a disciple maker.

10. You do not practice biblical financial stewardship.

It is sad that many in the body of Christ do not believe that their money belongs to God. How do I know? It is because they only tithe and give offerings when it is convenient. They live as if they are the ones in charge of their lives, money and wealth. Even those who tithe should understand that God claims ownership of one hundred percent of their money, not just the ten percent. When you spend your money as if it were your own, then you are not practicing biblical stewardship. You are acting like a secular believer and not like a true Christian.

roberte Mar 18 · Comments: 1 · Tags: teaching

Check out this verse on Bible Gateway
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you have bring tempted he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.(to Tempe)
Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them of our God day and night, has been hurled down.
They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

Part 2

And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, (Neither are you Who has been born of God does not sin because his nature remains in him; he is not able to sin because he has been born of God). And he never tempts anyone else.
Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.
These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to live it gives birth to death.If sin is dead in you? like Romans 6: 1 - 2 Then temptation has no attractions and desire gives no birth, then sin cannot come alive again except by your choice...

He that knows and do what is right and does not do it. Is a sinner... And is not of God but belong to the devil. They choose to sin and do that which was wrong.

Here's my question how dead is your sin.? Have you ever seen a dead man in a cemetery being tempted by sin. NO

roberte Mar 14 · Rate: 5 · Tags: teaching

The party house pt1
Jeremiah 18:1-6
1This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
2“Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.”
3So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel.
4But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
5Then the word of the LORD came to me.
6He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. The lesson at the potter’s house and the response to it.

1. (Jer 18:1-4) Jeremiah visits the potter’s house.

The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: "Arise and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause you to hear My words." Then I went down to the potter's house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.

a. Arise and go down to the potter’s house: As God sometimes did with His prophets, He instructed Jeremiah to learn a lesson through a living lesson, something from daily life.

b. The vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter, so he made it again into another vessel: Watching the potter at work, Jeremiah noticed a lump of clay that seemed uncooperative. The potter decided to start again, making something that seemed good to the potter to make.

i. “Power was manifested in his manipulation of the clay, and pity in his remaking of the marred vessel….The clay was suddenly marred, twisted; it failed to express the potter’s thought….He saw that the potter did not abandon it.

2nd Corinthians 4:7-10

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;
9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.
12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

(2Cr 4:7) A great treasure in such a humble container.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

a. This treasure: The treasure is the greatness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the glory of God made evident through that gospel. It is the very light of God and the light of the knowledge of the glory of God reflected in the face of Jesus Christ. This is the greatest treasure in all creation!

b. We have this treasure in earthen vessels: When Paul considers us as earthen vessels, he isn’t disparaging the body or considering it merely a receptacle for the soul. Instead, Paul simply compares the “value” of God’s light and glory and the “value” of what He chose to put His light and glory into. When you compare the two, it isn’t hard to be amazed that God has put such a great treasure into clay pots.

i. Who is worthy to be a “container” for God’s light and glory? The smartest person isn’t smart enough, the purest person isn’t pure enough, the most spiritual person isn’t spiritual enough, and the most talented person isn’t talented enough. We are all just clay pots holding an unspeakably great treasure.

ii. Earthen vessels: Earthenware vessels were common in every home in the ancient world. They were not very durable (compared to metal), and they were useless if broken (glass could be melted down again). “They were thus cheap and of little intrinsic value.” (Kruse) God chose to put His light and glory in the everyday dishes, not in the fine china.

iii. We almost always are drawn to the thing that has the best packaging, but the best gifts often have the most unlikely packaging. God did not see a need to “package” Jesus when He came as a man to this earth. Jesus was not embarrassed to live as an earthen vessel. God is not embarrassed to use clay pots like us.

c. That the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us: Why does God put such a great treasure in such weak vessels? So that the greatness of the power may be of God and not of us. So that it would be evident to anyone who had eyes to see that the work was being done by the power of God, not the power of the vessel.

i. Why did God choose risky, earthen vessels instead of safe, heavenly ones? Because “perfect” vessels are safe but bring glory to themselves. Earthen vessels are risky but can bring profound glory to God.

ii. In the story of Gideon, it was the breaking of vessels that made the light shine forth and bring victory to God’s people (Judges 7:20). In the rest of the chapter, Paul will show how God “breaks” His clay pots so that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

3. (2Cr 4:8-12) The suffering in Paul’s ministry brought forth life.

We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.

a. We are hard pressed: This has the idea of “hunted.” Paul was a wanted, hunted man because of what he was for Jesus. In Acts 23:12, 40 men conspired together to not eat or drink until they had murdered Paul. Paul knew what it was like to be hunted.

b. Yet not crushed: Living as a wanted, hunted man means terrible stress, experienced every moment of the day. Yet Paul was not crushed by this stress. He could still serve the Lord gloriously.

c. Hard pressed... perplexed... persecuted... struck down: Paul’s life was hard, and it was hard because of his passionate devotion to Jesus Christ and His gospel. Yet look at the triumph of Jesus in Paul’s life: not crushed... not in despair... not forsaken... not destroyed. Paul knew the power and victory of Jesus in his life because he was continually in situations where only the power and victory of Jesus could meet his need.

i. When we talk about suffering like this today, it is easy to think we are just saying “spiritual things,” because some of us live very comfortable lives and do not suffer much at all. Nevertheless, we should remember that everything Paul said about suffering, he said as a man who probably suffered more than you or anyone you will ever meet. This was not a theory of Paul but real life experience.

d. Always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested: Paul, like any Christian, wanted the life of Jesus evident in him. Paul knew this could only happen if he also carried about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus. There are some aspects of God’s great work in our lives that only happen through trials and suffering.

i. By writing always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, Paul meant that he felt as if the death of Jesus was being spiritually worked inside of him. He is saying that the death of Jesus was not only a historical fact, it also was a spiritual reality in his life.

ii. In Philippians 3:10, Paul speaks about the glory of knowing Jesus: that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. Many long to know the power of His resurrection but want nothing to do with the fellowship of His sufferings or being conformed to His death. However, there are certain fragrances God can only release through a broken vial, so Paul rejoiced in knowing both the suffering and the glory. He knew the two were connected.

e. Always delivered to death... death is working in us, but life in you: Paul knew the spiritual riches that he brought to the Corinthian Christians came in part through the death-like suffering he endured in ministry. God made Paul more effective in ministry through his suffering.

i. Sometimes we think that if someone is really spiritual or really used to God they will live in a constant state of “victory” that means life will always be easy. Understanding what Paul wrote here not only tells us that God’s servants may experience death-like suffering but that God has a good and glorious purpose in allowing it.

ii. G. Campbell Morgan tells the story of a great young preacher who was impressive early in his ministry. Once he had the young man to speak at his church, and after the sermon, Morgan asked his wife, “Wasn’t that wonderful?” She quietly replied, “Yes, but it will be more wonderful when he has suffered.” Morgan adds: “Well, he suffered, and it was more powerful.”

f. Death in us, but life in you: Here is the irony. The Corinthian Christians despised Paul because of his great sufferings and because of what they thought was their great lives of “victory.” They did not see that their lives of victory were only possible because God made Paul such an effective servant through suffering.

i. “Very good interpreters think these words a smart ironical expression, by which the apostle reflecteth upon a party in this church who from his sufferings concluded against the truth of his doctrine, or his favor with God.”

Matthew 16:24 (AMP)
Discipleship Is Costly
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].

roberte Mar 14 · Rate: 5 · Tags: teaching

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