PRAI SE MI NI ST RI ES

October, 2014
Dear Friends,
HAPPINESS OR HOLINESS
I t is wi t h somereservation I offer the following quote asthe introduction to this letter. I have no case against this
person or her husband. I 've never met either one of them.
I do however believe it offers an opportunity for us all to see the stark contrast between the self-centered, self-
serving presentation that is occurring in many of our churches today (some of the largest) and the God-centered
presentation of scripture.
Here is a word-for-word direct quote fromthe platformof America's largest church by Victoria Osteen, wife of
the well known pastor and author Joel Osteen:
" I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we're not doing it for God; I mean that's
one way to look at it . We're doing it for ourselves becauseGod takes pleasure when we're happy. That's the thing that
gives Hi mthe greatest joy this morning. Just do good for your own self. Do good causeGod wants you to be happy.
When you come to church, when you worship Hi m, you're not doing it for God really; you're doing it for yourself
because that's what makes God happy-Amen?"
I 've tried every which way to figure out how she might have said something she really didn't mean or it came out
in a way she didn't intend. I 've certainly made mistakes and misspoken myself.
However, as wi t h scripture we must look at things i n the larger context i n which they are presented. As I
continue to grow and mature in Christ I amincreasingly struck wi t h how important it is to not " cherry-pick"
scriptures out of context to support a personal ideaor agenda. I n fact, I 'mconvinced every false teaching that exists
wit hin the church has been created by and is sustained by unbalanced, out of context i f not fraudulent, scriptural
manipulations.
I f one scrutinizes the context of the afore-mentioned quote you see that there is an obvious and purposed
pattern of self-centered, self-serving presentation both fromthe pulpit and i n written form.
I don't want to pick on this couple further. Their messageof personal promotion, financial prosperity and
scripturally deficient teaching is readily available on TV and at the book store.
I also don't want to highlight them asthough they are the only ones promoting this type of thing. They are
merely representative of a whole culture of confusion wi t hi n the church that has decided (tragically) to serve
themselves rather than serve God; to be subservient to the whims of self-comfort rather than to obey the dictates
of scripture.
Where i n all of scripture would one come to the conclusion that God's greatest pleasure and joy is found i n our
happiness?
Remember—context!
I came across this writing by the lateA.W. Tozier which I found quite refreshing.
" A selfish desire for happiness is assinful asany other selfish desire. I ts root is in the flesh which can never have
any standing before God People are coming more and more to excuseevery sort of wrong doing on the grounds
that they are just trying to secure alittle happiness.
The effect of this modern day hedonismis felt also among the people of God. The gospel is too often presented
as ameans toward happiness, to peaceof mind or security. There are even those who use the Bible to relax them, as
i f it were adrug.
How far wrong all this iswi l l be discovered easily by the simple act of reading the New Testament through once
wi t h meditation. There the emphasis is not on happiness but upon holiness. God is more concerned wi t h the state
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of people's hearts than wi th the state of thei r feelings. Undoubtedly thewi ll of God bringsfi nal happiness to those
who obey, but the most i mportant matter is not how happy we are but how holy."
A.W. Tozier
TOZIER on the HOLY SPIRIT
Wing SpreadPub.
I found i t interesting that i n the concordance of my favorite study bi ble there is but a bri ef offering of scriptures
relating to happiness. There is, however, a large and plenti f ul list of versesreferring to holiness.
M y poi nt is not i n counti ng scriptures, though I thi nk i t offers evidence of God'spri ori ti es. M y poi nt is that
there are loud, i nfluenti al voices all around us who seem to be gaining a larger and larger audience because the
messageoffered appeals to the flesh.
Times are getti ng harder as we approach the last days and momentary gratification and temporal success seem
to appeal to many—more than taki ng up your cross, f ollowi ng Jesusand persevering to the end.
I 'm qui te confident that on that final day when men and women give an account before God, our holiness wi ll
be a much greater consideration than our happiness.
I n Chri st,
Dallas Holm
P.S. I must take this opportuni ty to express my sincere gratitude for your support of this mi ni stry. Your response
has been encouraging. Keep us i n your prayers, the need conti nues....
Visit our web site at: www.daliasholm.com
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