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The Alex McFarland Show-109-5 Things You Don't Have to Pray About as a Christian

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
May 14, 2024 12:00 am

The Alex McFarland Show-109-5 Things You Don't Have to Pray About as a Christian

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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May 14, 2024 12:00 am

On this week's episode of the Alex McFarland Show, Alex delves into five essential actions for every believer. These practices are rooted in scripture and guide us on our walk with Him.  If ever there was a time for believers to band together and evangelize to the world, it is now!

5 Things Every Christian is to Do:

  1. Tithe - Honor God with our tithes and offerings.
  2. Witness - Be an evangelist for Christ.
  3. Have daily quiet time in prayer and  the Bible.
  4. Serve the body of Christ with the gifts God has given each  of us.
  5. Be in church on the Lord’s Day.

 Thoughts from Alex on being a Christian:

  1. Be stewardship-oriented.
  2. Be oriented in the body of Christ, the church.
  3. Be supernatural oriented.
  4. Be kingdom oriented.

Scriptures:  

Malachi 3

1 Corinthians 15, 3:2, 12:1-20

Mark 16:15

Psalm 63:1-8

Hebrews 10:25

Links:

Alex McFarland

Ask Alex Online alex@alexmcfarland.com booking@alexmcfarland.com

Book: 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity

Book: Witnessing Without Fear

Book: Out of the Salt Shaker and Into the World

Book: The Master Plan of Evangelism

Send us a Text Message.

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The spiritual condition of America, politics, culture, and current events analyzed through the lens of Scripture. Welcome to the Alex McFarland Show. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the famous Christian leader during the time of the Holocaust, said, quote, if your Christianity hasn't cost you something, you need to make sure that you really are a Christian.

Hi, Alex McFarland here. In this message on today's program, I want to talk about five things as a Christian that every believer should do, five things you don't even have to pray about. And I began to share this message with great care for the Church worldwide, but especially the Church in Europe and America. You know, in 1955, Billy Graham preached in England, and several million people came out, and there were more than 200,000 people that walked an aisle to make a decision for Christ. And Billy Graham, upon concluding some of his great meetings in England, said that he believed Britain was on the eve of a great spiritual awakening, and they really did have that much in the 60s and part of the 70s.

But today, England, as you may know, is just so populated with Muslims, and it's been said that in London, the number one name for baby males is some variation of Muhammad. And here in America, so many churches are plateaued or declining that if ever, if ever there were a time that we need the Church to be at her best, and to really be that body of born-again believers banded together for the purpose of world evangelization, that time is now. That's what the Church is. The Church is not just for socialization, although it can be a great tool for getting to know people. The Church is not just a place to comfort you. The Church is not just this silent chapel where you can go and meditate. No, the Church, and every local church, is a group of born-again believers, banded together for the purpose of world evangelization. I was recently consulting with a church that has been through a lot of trouble, and frankly it's a church I don't know will survive. And they brought me in to do an evaluation and give some recommendations, and I love to do that and do my best to try and help, although a good percentage of the time they don't really like what I have to say, because people will say, we want to grow as a church. And I'll ask, really? Oh, absolutely. Alex, that's why we have flown you across the country.

Tell us what we can do, how to improve. But then when you make the recommendations that are biblical straight out of New Testament Christianity, you very often find pushback that maybe they don't care as much about being a New Testament thriving church as they care about preserving something, I don't know what, but something. And it reminds me of the old saying, we know what we like, and we like what we know. And if ever, and I'm appealing to every Christian, mindful of the fact that we'll all stand before Christ one day, and we'll all give an account for what we did with what we had in the window of opportunity, the time entrusted to us to make a difference. Because, think about it, life is a gift, salvation is a gift, strengths and abilities are gifts from God, and we'll talk about that in a moment. But also, a window of opportunity to make a difference. And do you know time itself is an issue of stewardship? And we really ought not waste it, because time is a non-renewable resource. Money? It's bad to lose money, but if you lose money, you can get more money.

But you can't get any more time. And so churches, especially churches that are struggling, they dare not waste time. So when it comes to the things that make for thriving Christianity, and it comes to the attributes that make for a thriving church, that is doing what the church is supposed to do, which is put some points on the scoreboard for Christ's Great Commission, let's talk about some of these things. And I'm going to give you, and I believe it's from Scripture, and I believe that history is well-documented, that these are the things that make for thriving Christian lives and fruitful, healthy churches. These are things you don't even really have to pray about, because it's overtly mandated by the Word of God.

And I'll tell you what these things are. Number one is tithing. If you're a born-again believer, we need to do what the Bible says and honor the Lord with Thy substance. You know that in the Old Testament, the nation of Israel, they were to tithe ten percent of everything, and that's what the word T-I-T-H-E means, a tithe. Now, if you earn a salary, I would encourage you to tithe off of the gross, not the net. God deserves at least as much as the IRS and more, but there are tithes and there are offerings. Every now and then in churches, it'll say, you know, we're going to receive God's tithes and offerings, because an offering is something above and beyond the tithe. And Billy Graham said this, and this is a brilliant quote, Billy Graham said, A checkbook is a theological document, because it will tell you who and what you worship. That's really true. Tithing is not a financial issue, primarily.

It's a trust issue, and a heart issue. And I realize, maybe in church you think, well, you know, but I can't afford to tithe, not to be trite or speak in clichés, but this is true, you can't afford not to tithe. And I would say, and I just want to testify to the goodness of God, when Angie and I got married, our combined income was not $20,000 a year. And we were just starting out and, you know, just the rent on our first apartment, $350 a month, 35 years ago. It was a lot.

I mean, really. And yet we got married and we went to this place we were renting. We had not left on our honeymoon, but we stopped at the house and we laid hands on our checkbook. And we prayed, and we said, Lord, if you would help us, this is yours, and we're going to do our best to handle it. And I'm so thankful that 35 years of marriage, that I have a wife that believes in bold giving. And I want to say this, that you tithe your way to prosperity.

You really do. And I know a lot of Christians, they don't like to talk about prosperity, but look, the Bible said, it is God that giveth the power to get wealth. God is our source. God is our provider. And, you know, churches are struggling, Christians very often are struggling.

I believe it was Adrian Rogers, the great pastor at Bellevue, who said, quote, no church ever had a money problem, only a faithfulness problem. And it's certainly not the faithfulness of God. God is faithful. But the Bible says, and read Malachi 3, that we are to give, and it will be given good measure, pressed down, shaken together. God will pour it into our lap. And so let me encourage you, folks, let me encourage you. And you really don't have to pray, should I tithe?

No. It's been said that a Christian under grace should at least do as much as an Israelite under the law. People say, well, tithing is old covenant.

Well, you know, Jesus said that he had not come to abolish, but to fulfill. And so tithing is still, I believe, an appropriate part of what a Christian is supposed to do. And we should tithe and give and trust God for our increase, and he will give that. Well, when we come back, we've got to take a brief break, but we're going to continue talking about five things Christians should do that they don't even have to pray about. And it will bless you and continue to grow you and your church if we'll do these things.

Stay tuned. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert. Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. By collaborating with like minded organizations like the Family Research Council, the Family Policy Alliance and My Faith Votes, we mobilize by providing practical tools you can use to impact your local community.

As Christians, we are called to make disciples of nations. Together, we can change the course of our country for good. Join Truth and Liberty to connect with believers and organizations who not only want to see a change in our nation, but a community that is actually doing something about it. Join us online for our broadcast and subscribe for relevant updates on our Web site, TruthAndLiberty.net. He's been called trusted, truthful and timely. Welcome back to the Alex McFarland show. Welcome back to the program.

Alex McFarland here. We're talking about several things that really every Christian should do that you don't even have to pray about. It's just part of the healthy, obedient Christian life. And as I said in the first segment, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who ultimately would die at the hands of the Third Reich, and of course he wrote that very famous book called The Cost of Discipleship. You know, our friend and colleague Eric Metaxas has written many books.

Eric is very prolific. But I think the book for which Eric Metaxas will probably be most remembered is his book Bonhoeffer, which I would encourage you to read. But Dietrich Bonhoeffer, he said, you know, regarding obedience to Christ, and as 1 Corinthians 15 says that we are to daily take up our cross, Bonhoeffer said, when Christ calls a man, he bids him, come and die. Hopefully you'll not die a martyr's death, but at least we should die to our agenda, our carnality, our selective obedience. And Bonhoeffer, as I said before, said, if your Christianity hasn't cost you something, well, you need to make sure that you really are a believer. Now we've said that every Christian, you don't even have to pray about it, but, you know, pray that God will increase your faith, pray that you'll be disciplined in your giving, but every Christian is to be a tither. But then secondly, every Christian is to witness and share the gospel.

And as we've said many times, the word witness is really the Greek word martyr, martyrios. Now, hopefully not like Jim Elliot or missionaries of whom we've read, hopefully you won't die as a martyr killed for the sake of the gospel, although that could happen, and it's happened throughout history. But we are to die to our silence. We are to die to our disobedience. We are to die to our lack of compassion. You know, Charles Spurgeon said that Christ died for sinners, and we the church are to live for sinners.

What did Spurgeon mean by that? Well, we are to live to see people get saved. And, of course, we've given many verses about Mark 16, 15, how the Lord Jesus said that we are to preach the gospel to every creature. And I think a lot of times people have the idea, well, some have, quote, the gift of evangelism. You know, I remember as a young believer, I was just very concerned with people that were unsaved.

And if they were to die, they would spend eternity in hell, apart from Christ. Listen, I was the most awkward, shy, socially backward person, but all I wanted to do was to, at least once in my life, see someone come to Christ, lead somebody to the Lord. And, listen, it's not pretty, but I do love to tell people about Christ.

And I really prayed, and I was like, Lord, I wish I could lead somebody to Christ. And there's some books. Let me recommend three books, and I cannot overstate how good these are. And you know our rule at Alex McFarland Ministries and Truth for a New Generation.

We don't recommend a book that we ourselves have not read at least once. So when I recommend these books, they really... it's from the heart and it's from experience. And these books helped me learn how to be a witness for the gospel. And I know, like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3, 2, one sows and one waters and one reaps the harvest. And I know whenever I've led a person to Christ, there were people that God worked through to cultivate the soil and sow the seed. Sometimes you simply sow a seed. And sometimes you do see someone accept Christ.

But you don't even have to pray about it. You are to be a witness. Three books that hugely helped me in this regard. One is the book Witnessing Without Fear by Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade. And then another book, oh my goodness, if there ever were a modern-day classic, this is it, by an interesting name, Rebecca Manley Pippert.

P-I-P-P-E-R-T. Out of the Salt Shaker and Into the World. Google this book. It is a classic. And then, here's a book really for the church, and I would encourage every pastor needs this book. And it's by Robert E. Coleman, C-O-L-E-M-A-N. The Master Plan of Evangelism. I promise you, this book will revolutionize your church. Paul Washer, a Christian leader, said this, quote, The world is not so much hardened to the gospel as it is ignorant of the gospel, because the gospel is not being preached. And you say, well, my pastor in our pulpit preaches it.

Good, I hope that's true. But there are people all around us that do not know the death, burial, and the resurrection of Jesus for the sins of the world, and we receive that forgiveness by faith in Christ. We are to be a witness.

And just think about it. Your obedience in just telling people, well, I'll pray for you. You know, God loves you.

We surely do need Jesus these days. You can sow a seed, and God will help you, as my friend Mark Mittelberg says, God will help you develop your evangelism style. And then thirdly, something that every Christian needs to do, that you don't even have to pray about, it is God's will, that you daily have quiet time. And by that I mean spending some time in God's Word and in prayer each day.

Folks, this will revolutionize your life. Your emotions, I even think your emotions, your fulfillment, stability, calmness. Psalm 63, I would encourage you to read that entire Psalm, but it says, O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee. I like to get up early and have some time in the Word. You know, we've said it many times, if you read three chapters a day, five on Sunday, you'll read the entire Bible in one year. But let me encourage you, every day for 10 or 15 minutes, and it will make the rest of your day so much better, and you say, well, I can't get up early.

Well, go to bed earlier the night before. And maybe you're a nighttime person, and you want to close out your day with some devotional time, but there are so many books. I love Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon, and there are some modern language editions of that, if the Elizabethan vernacular is a little challenging.

Streams in the Desert, that's a great book. And then, of course, there's Our Daily Bread, or Open Windows. But Psalm 63, speaking of having a quiet time with the Lord every day, O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee. My soul thirsts for thee. My flesh longs for thee in a dry and thirsty land where no water is, to see thy power and thy glory. So as I have seen thee in the sanctuary, because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. We'll come back to this, but we've got to take a brief break, but we're talking about the things that every Christian should do. You really don't even have to pray about it, but it will revolutionize your walk and your Christian growth.

Stay tuned, we're back after this. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert. Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. Over the last several decades, it's been my joy to travel the world talking with children, teens, adults, people of all ages about the questions they have related to God, the Bible, Christianity, and how to know Jesus personally. Hi, Alex McFarland, I want to make you aware of my book, The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity, and how to know Jesus personally. In my book, The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity, we interviewed hundreds of children and parents and families to find out the questions that children and people of all ages are longing to find answers for. In the book, we've got practical, biblical, real-life answers that they have about how to be a Christian in this modern world.

My book, The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask, you can find it wherever you buy books or at resources.afa.net. Welcome back to the program. We're talking about five things that every Christian should do that you don't even have to pray about. And before we conclude this series of thoughts, I do want to encourage people to go to the newly redesigned alexmcfarland.com website. My tour schedule is on there. Even as we speak, we've got major events this month in Arkansas, a major Truth for New Generation in Texas. We've got a national conference we're working on for the fall of 2025. And then, of course, our seven summer camps. And let me say a big thank you to all of the people that have been praying and giving to grow this ministry. We just hired a new director of development, an amazing young man named Jonathan McNabb. And we are asking God to provide $20,000 this month just for our camps.

We'll have 1,200-plus teenagers in summer camps this year. And we talk to them about God and country. And we're trying to, as I often say, woke-proof America's youth. So thank you for praying for us.

Thank you for giving. And let me encourage you, together we can make a difference. This is about evangelism and seeing revival come to our land, seeing America saved. And the only hope of that is an awakening and the church to win the lost, stand for truth, fight back darkness. And folks, we must stand against wokeness. As Charles Jefferson, a minister 100 years ago, said, that we are to stand against the insanity and delusions of the hour. Well, that's part of our job in the 21st century now. So thank you for helping us.

And you can learn all about what we're doing at alexmcfarland.com. Well, we said that every Christian, you don't have to pray, should I do this. No, if you're a born-again believer, you should be a tither.

You should be a witness. We are to spend quiet time in God's Word and prayer each day. And number four, we are to serve the body of Christ in our area of giftedness.

Now what does this mean? Well, this presupposes that we are to know our spiritual gift, and we are to use our gift. Let me encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 12, 1-20. Very famously, it says, concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. And it goes on, and it says there are varieties of gifts, but one Holy Spirit. And verse 7 of 1 Corinthians 12 says that to each believer from the Holy Spirit is given a gift for the common good, for the glory of God and the growth of the body. And there are spiritual gifts, utterance of wisdom, utterance of knowledge, faith.

And yes, in verse 9 it says, gifts of healing by the Holy Spirit. To another, the working of miracles. To another, prophecy.

And that is proclaiming God's Word. Discernment of spirits, the ability to distinguish. I've met Christians that it's uncanny how discerning they could be to read another person, not in the sense of judgmentalism or taking advantage of somebody, but understanding. And then there are gifts, 1 Corinthians 12, 10. It says various kinds of tongues. To another, the interpretation of the tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each believer individually as he wills. And of course, 1 Corinthians 12 goes on, and it says that we are one body in Christ, one Holy Spirit, baptized into one body.

And it says that the foot can't say, you know, because I'm not a hand, I don't need you. You know, those verses, I'm sure, that we are to be, as verse 20 says, many parts, yet one body. And I would grant, very likely, most of the people hearing this broadcast in your churches, you've probably never taken a survey and discovered what your spiritual gift is. Most Christians, if they do know their spiritual gift, it's just by life and the journey of being a believer. I really think churches should have, through opportunities for service, and then there are many spiritual gift tests, that people, and this should happen in the teenage years or even late childhood, whether it's serving or encouragement or teaching or administration.

Some people are very organized. There are spiritual gifts. And we should know what our gift is and our strength. Listen, I'll never be on the finance committee, and math is not my strong suit. I know how to live within our means and spend less than we take in.

But, you know, money and P&L sheets, that's not my area of giftedness. But you all have a gift if you're a born-again believer. And I think we all have an obligation to know our spiritual gift and to be using it.

Now that presupposes, number five, every Christian. You don't even have to pray about it. You should tithe. You should witness.

You should have a daily quiet time. You should serve, which presupposes that you know your spiritual gift. But then number five, you are to be in church on the Lord's Day. Now that presupposes that you are plugged in with a local fellowship, a church. Every believer should be a part of a church.

I love how Tony Evans says it. You know, we're not to be Lone Ranger Christians. We're not to be spiritual vagabonds.

And so many people say to me, well, I just visit around. But then find a church to plug in. Because you're supposed to, in knowing your spiritual gift and using it, you need to be in a church where that can happen. Now I realize the state of the American church, not all, but in much of the church, it's a mixed bag. And rather than pastors that are seriously about New Testament Christianity and the Great Commission, in many a church it's slapdash, very unorganized. In many a church it's just kind of a show. And they're just, you know, the local motivational speaker kind of pastoring.

And that's unfortunate. But Hebrews 10 25 says that we are not to forsake the assembling together. We are to be a part of a church.

And if there is no good church in your area, well, pray about starting one. But back to Psalm 63 that I mentioned in having a daily quiet time. Early will I seek thee. Psalm 63 1-8 concludes, it says, To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen in the sanctuary.

Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. We are to gather. For corporate worship, individual worship, we are to gather in the sanctuary. And I know 90% of our Christian life is lived and carried out outside the walls of the church, of course. But we are to be in church. And I think a real big part of the reason that the church in the USA is not as effective as it has been or could be is because of just the loss of an ethic of churchmanship. And we certainly need to have and model and breed within our kids a value of the local church. So finally, doing these things, I want to give you four thoughts.

And this is for all of us, myself included. As an individual Christian, be stewardship oriented. Be body oriented.

We are to be a part of the local body of Christ because we are in the global body of believers. Be supernatural oriented. Don't be satisfied just for what you can accomplish in life in your own strength. Understand that we carry within us the power of God's Holy Spirit and in fact God's Holy Spirit himself. So life for the believer should include prayers and answers and victories and yes, miracles. Things that only God can do. Be supernatural oriented.

And then be kingdom oriented. And hey, any time a lost sinner gets saved, that's a miracle. Any time a prodigal comes home, that's a miracle.

Any time a dead, dying church gets revived, that's a miracle. So let's do it. Robert Moffat, famous Bible translator, he said, listen as we close, we shall have all eternity to celebrate our victories, but we only have one swift hour before the sun sets in which to win them.

Life is short. Let's give it all for Jesus. Alex McFarland Ministries are made possible through the prayers and financial support of partners like you. For over 20 years this ministry has been bringing individuals into a personal relationship with Christ and has been equipping people to stand strong for truth. Learn more and donate securely online at AlexMcFarland.com. You may also reach us at Alex McFarland, P.O. Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina 27404. Or by calling 1-877-YES-GOD1.

That's 1-877-YES-GOD1. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you again on the next edition of the Alex McFarland Show. So visit the website AlexMcFarland.com and look for the section that says, Ask Alex Online.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-14 02:20:27 / 2024-05-14 02:31:32 / 11

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