Monday, December 24, 2012

Our Lord Remembers Us


“Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem:
“This is what the Lord says:
“‘I remember the devotion of your youth,
how as a bride you loved me
and followed me through the wilderness,
through a land not sown.'"
- Jeremiah 2:2 -

Christ delights to think upon His Church.

He loves to look upon her beauty.

From all eternity His delights were with His people.

Many a time before His incarnation, He descended to this lower earth in the similitude of a man.

On the plains of Mamre (Gen. 18), by the brook of Jabbok (Gen. 32:24-30), beneath the walls of Jericho (Jos. 5:13), and in the fiery furnace of Babylon (Dan. 3:19, 25), the Son of Man visited His people.

His soul delighted in them.

His heart longed after them.

Never were they absent from His heart.

He had written their names upon His hands.

We may often forget to meditate upon the perfections of our Lord.

But He never ceases to remember us.

Let us chide ourselves for past forgetfulness.

Let us pray for grace to bear Him in the fondest remembrance.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

God's Ways


He stood and measured the earth;
He looked and startled the nations.
And the everlasting mountains were scattered,
The perpetual hills bowed.
His ways are everlasting.
- Habakkuk 3:6 -

What God has done at one time, He will do yet again.

Man's ways are variable, but God's ways are everlasting.

There are many reasons for this comforting truth.

(1) God's ways are the result of wise deliberation.

God orders all things.

Nothing happens that He doesn't know.

(2) God's ways are the outgrowth of His immutable character.

God's attributes are fixed and settle.

Unless God Himself can undergo change, His way must remain forever the same.

Is God eternally just, gracious, wise, tender?

Then His ways must ever be the same.

(3) There is nothing from without which could reverse the divine ways.

Nothing can stop God from marching forth for the salvation of His people.

(4) God's ways are the manifestation of the eternal principles of right, and therefore can never pass away.

The true and the good have about them a vitality which ages cannot diminish.

Let us go to our heavenly Father with confidence.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in Him the Lord is ever gracious to His people.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

God Delays Answering Prayer


Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
Blessed are all those who wait for Him.
- Isaiah 30:18 -


God sometimes delays in answering our prayers.

God has His reasons for keeping us waiting.

Sometimes it is to show His power and His sovereignty.

We are made to know that it is His right to give or to withhold.

But more often, the delay is for our own good.

Sometimes we are kept waiting to quicken and to increase our desire.

We are made to see our necessity more clearly, and to seek more earnestly.

Sometimes we are kept waiting because there is something wrong in us that needs to be removed.

Our views of the gospel plan may be confused.

We may be placing some reliance on ourselves, instead of trusting simply and entirely to the Lord Jesus.

Sometimes we are kept waiting so that God may fully display the riches of His grace to us.

Let not despair make us silent.

Let us continue in earnest supplication.

God knows our needs.

And He knows when to give us.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

God Knows, And He Provides


Your congregation dwelt in it;
You, O God, provided from Your goodness for the poor.
- Psalm 68:10 -


God anticipates our needs.
 
And out of His fullness, He provides from His goodness for us.
 
We may trust God for all our necessities.
 
God knows all we need.
 
God knows all the requirements of His poor wandering children.
 
And when those needs occur, His supplies are ready.
 
It is goodness He has prepared for the poor in heart.
 
It is goodness, and goodness only.
 
We are poor and needy.
 
And God has thought of us.
 
And He has the exact blessing which we require in store for us.
 
Let us believe our good Lord.
 
Let us plead with Him and obtain His fulfillment.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thr Right Men


Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen. (Zechariah 1:20)

In a vision, the prophet Zechariah saw four terrible horns.

The prophet asked the angel, "What are these?"

The angel answered, "These are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem."

The prophet saw before him the powers that had oppressed the church of God.

There were four horns; the church is attacked from all quarters.

The prophet felt dismayed.

Suddenly there appeared before him four craftsmen.

The prophet asked, "What are these coming to do?"

These are the men God sent to break those horns in pieces.

(1) Our God will always find men for His work, and He will find them at the right time.

The prophet did not see the craftsmen first. The horns came first, then the craftsmen.

(2) Our God always finds enough men.

There were four horns, and so there must be four craftsmen.

(3) Our God always finds the right men.

There were not ordinary men. They were the right men for the right work!

Let us rest assured in God that when the horns grow troublesome, the craftsmen will be found.

The Church may be weak. But God will raise up the right people to shake the nations from the darkness of sins.

Let us abide in Christ and be faithful to Him.

God, in His right time, will raise up for us people who will defend and bring victory to His Church.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Praise The Lord, All My Soul


Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
(Psalm 107:8)


If we complain less and praise more, we would be happier, and God would be more glorified.

Let us daily praise God for His common mercies.

Let us thank God for our eyes to see, for health and the strength to walk, for the food we eat, for the clothes we wear.

Let us thank God that we are not cast out among the hopeless, or confined among the guilty.

Let us thank God for liberty, for friends, for family associations and comforts.

Let us thank God for everything we receive from His hand.

We deserve little, but are plenteously endowed.

Let us daily praise God for His redeeming love.

We have been redeemed from the power of our corruptions.

We have been uplifted from the depth of sin.

We have been led to the cross of Christ.

Our shackles of guilt have been broken off.

We are no longer slaves.

We are children of the living God.

Oh! Let us not be silent.

Let us praise God for Who He is.

Let us praise Him for what He has done for us.

Praise the Lord, all my soul.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Serve the Lord Daily


For Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen. (Esther 10:3)

Mordecai was a true patriot. Exalted to the highest position under King Ahasuerus, he used his eminence to promote the prosperity of Israel.

He was a type of Jesus, who, upon His throne of glory, seeks not His own, but spends His power for His people.

Every Christian should learn to be a Mordecai to the church, striving according to his ability for its prosperity.

Those who are placed in stations of affluence and influence, should honor the Lord in high places, and testify for Jesus before great men.

Those who have close fellowship with the Lord, should plead daily for the weak of the Lord's people, the doubting, the tempted, and the comfortless.

Those who are well instructed by the Lord, should teach others the things of God.

Let us seek the welfare of God's people and cease from living to ourselves.

Let us serve the Lord and minister to His people.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

God's Sovereign Will


For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.
(Romans 9:15)

The Lord has the right to give or to withhold His mercy according to His own sovereign will.

The Judge of all the earth has a right to spare or condemn the guilty.

Men by their sins have forfeited all claim upon God. They deserve to perish for their sins.They have no ground for complaint.

It is foolish to talk about the right of men to be saved or to talk about discriminating grace.

The Lord is not bound to save us.

If He chooses to save us, it is His own free act of undeserved goodness.

There is no more humbling doctrine in Scripture than that of election.

Let us adoringly rejoice in it.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Let Us Rise, For Christ Had Risen


"that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,"
(Philippians 3:10)

The doctrine of Christ's resurrection is exceedingly precious. It is the chief cornerstone of the Church. It is the foundation of our salvation. 

But to know that Christ has risen, and we have fellowship with Him by possessing a risen life, is even more precious.

The experience of fellowship with the risen Savior is even more lovely than the doctrine itself.

Let us believe that Christ had risen from the dead. Let us sing of it, and let us have fellowship with Him.

Let us know Him, and the power of His resurrection.

Let us rise, for the Lord had risen.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ascribe The Glory To God


O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul; You have redeemed my life. (Lamentations 3:58)

Observe how positively the prophet speaks. He speaks of it as a matter of fact not to be disputed.

Let us shake off those doubts and fears which so much mar our peace and comfort, and speak with the clear, melodious voice of full assurance.

Observe how gratefully the prophet speaks. He ascribes all the glory to God alone! He does not ascribe his deliverance to any man, including himself.

Observe how joyful the prophet seems to be while he records the Lord's mercy.

Let us seek after a vital experience of the Lord's lovingkindness, and when we have it, speak positively of it, sing gratefully, and shout triumphantly.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Inner Life Of A Believer


A garden enclosed
Is my sister, my spouse,
A spring shut up,
A fountain sealed. (Song of Solomon 4:12)


The inner life of a believer conveys  the idea of secrecy. It is a spring shut up. No one can reach it except those who knew the secret entrance. There is a mysterious life within a believer which no human skill can touch and know.

The inner life of a believer conveys  the idea of separation. It is a fountain sealed. It is owned by a proprietor. The chosen ones of God are separated by the possession of a life which others have not.

The inner life of a believer conveys  the idea of sacredness. It is a spring kept for Jesus. He has God's seal upon him.

The inner life of a believer conveys  the idea of prominence. It is that of security. If all the powers of earth and hell could combine against it, it must still exist.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Strengthen Us, O God


Your God has commanded your strength; Strengthen, O God, what You have done for us. (Psalm 68:28)

Let us beseech God to continually strengthen us.

God is the Author and Preserver of our faith.

Our faith can only live by being sustained with the oil of grace from God Himself.

And God who made us Christians will maintain us by His Spirit.

Let us go to Him for the grace and strength we need.

Why faint when we can be strong? Why suffer defeat when we can conquer?

Let us earnestly pray to Him, "Strengthen, O God, what You have done for us."

 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Parable Of The Sower


Matthew 13:1-9

Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea.

Great multitudes came and gathered around Him.

Jesus got into a boat and began to speak to them.

He spoke many things in parables.

He told them the parable of the sower.

The sower sowed the seeds...

Some fell by the edges of the road. The birds came and devoured them. The seeds had no opportunity to grow.

Some fell on stony places. They didn't have much earth for proper root system. They sprang up too early. They were scorched when the sun was up. They withered away.

Some fell among thorns. The thorns sprang up and choked them.

Some fell on good ground. They yielded a crop. Some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

*******

Some of us have few opportunities to hear and consider the Word of God.

Some of us do not count the cost before we accept the Word of God.

Some of us are troubled by the things of this world and live a defeated Christian life.

And some of us continue to look up to God and live a fruitful Christian life.

Many today have called themselves Christians.

But not all are growing and flourishing.

Some are struggling and falling behind.

Some are backsliding and ready to perish.

And some don't even know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

Which are you?


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Light Shines In The Darkness


In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:1-3)

Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles.

He had written to Theophilus before, most probably the Gospel according to Luke. In that book, he had written an orderly account about the Lord Jesus Christ, to convince Theophilus of the certainty of the Gospel of Christ.

The Gospel of Luke is about all that Jesus began to do and to teach. It is about the coming of the Kingdom of God. It is about the work of salvation through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary. It is about the work of the Holy Spirit in relation to our Savior. It is about faith and devotion to Jesus Christ, and the Cost of Discipleship. It is about the great Commission. It is about the fulfillment of the OT prophecies. It is about the love of the Father.....

The Lord Jesus Christ was taken up to heaven after His suffering and death on the Cross, after He had conquered death and Satan's hold of our lives. The Lord Jesus Christ was taken up to be with God the Father in Heaven.

The world is coming to the end.  The last Judgment is approaching. The Lord Jesus Christ will come again in Glory. He will triumph over all His enemies.

Meanwhile, the Holy Spirit is with us, guiding us into all truths, bringing us the blessings of Heaven, helping us in our spiritual battles, protecting us, teaching us, comforting us, proving our faith genuine, ......

Church leaders are to continue the work. The people of God are to be gathered. The Church of God is to be  established. Light must continue to shine in the Darkness. Missionaries all over the world are making disciples. The night of darkness is coming, when no one can work.

Light penetrates Darkness.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Wait On God


Be still, and know that I am God. 
- Psalm 46:10 -

We are to cease striving.

We are to let God intervene in our situation without our interference.

We are not to push things out of our way.

We are not to protect ourselves.

We are not to strike back.

We are to put our hands down.

We may feel defenseless and vulnerable.

But God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

We must stop struggling and wait on God to do His work!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Jesus Is The Way


I am the way, the truth, and the life. 
No one comes to the Father except through Me. 
- John 14:6 - 

Jesus is the only way to know God.

Only through Him can we get to heaven.

Jesus is the Son of the living God (Matt. 16:16).

He is the ultimate spiritual authority.

He proved it with His death and resurrection.

We need not look for any new path of salvation.

We just have to know about Christ.

Jesus is the only One who can provide spiritual certainty.

He will take us all the way to heaven.

Let us be found ready and waiting for Christ's return.
 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jesus Manifested In Us


Always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, 
that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 
- 2 Corinthians 4:10 - 

 In our times of need, we saw Jesus in friends.

Sometimes others can see Him in us too.

Paul spoke of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).

He confessed: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20).

But Paul also understood that different circumstances can be opportunities for the life of Jesus to be manifested in our body (2 Cor. 4:10).

Let the indwelling Christ express His love through us by meeting other person’s needs.

Real love is helping others for Jesus’ sake even if they can never return the favor. 
 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hope


But if we hope for what we do not see, 
we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. 
- Romans 8:25 -

Hope is a powerful motivator.

What we love, we pay attention to it.

But what we hope, we motivate ourselves in that direction. We see to it that it happens the way we want.

When hope is beyond our control, we will still pray for it, wish for it, or worry about it.

Hope is a longing, a desire, or an expectation of fulfillment.

It can be passive or intensely active.

It can be for evil or for good.

Let us be sure we have the right hope.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Be Faithful


So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food,
that it was pleasant to the eyes,
and a tree desirable to make one wise,
she took of its fruit and ate.
She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
- Genesis 3:6 -

The first humans failed their test of faith. They trusted what they saw rather than believing what God said. They chose to walk by sight rather than by faith.

Humanity has followed this example ever since.

What were the consequences of faithlessness?

Adam and Eve's sin of faithlessness destroyed the close relationship they had with God.

Adam and Eve chose to follow the faithless Satan rather than the faithful God. Satan persuaded them to focus on what they could see rather than what God said.

The strategy was so successful that Satan has consistently used it on humanity.

Be faithful because God is faithful.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Be The Channel Of Grace and Truth


From the fullness of his grace
we have all received one blessing after another.
- John 1:16 -

Love that goes upward is worship; love that goes outward is affection; love that stoops is grace.

Christ came down from heaven.

The Apostle John describes Jesus’ glory as “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

The greatest in the kingdom of God is the one who serves.

Grace is Christianity’s best gift to the world.

Let us be like Jesus, full of grace and truth.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Well Prepared


You also be ready,
for the Son of Man is coming at an hour
you do not expect. (Matthew 24:44)


We must prepare ourselves spiritually.

We must put on spiritual armor to protect ourselves from spiritual attack (Eph. 6:10-20).

We must prepare our minds for holy living (1 Peter 1:13).

We must be prepared to answer questions about the reason for the hope we possess (1 Peter 3:15).

We must be ready for the promised return of Jesus (Matt. 24:44).

How well prepared are we for what lies ahead?

Let’s ask the Lord for His help and guidance.

Spiritual victory comes only to those who are prepared for battle.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blessed Beyond Measure


Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,
but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests,
but also to the interests of others.
- Philippians 2:3-4 -

We are blessed beyond measure.

Some of us are blessed with riches, power, and fame.

Some of us are blessed with sons and daughters.

Some of us are blessed with opportunities and privileges.

Each of us has our gifts, our calling and our personal endeavor.

Let us not forget to focus on the needs and interests of others.

Let us develop this biblical attitude of love, humility and selflessness.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Media Lies


Blessed are you when people insult you,
persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil
against you because of me. (Matthew 5:11)

Unchecked disinformation through the media etc against a target group often happened.

Those targeted are robbed of their good reputation and the right to answer the accusations made against them.

If disinformation is disseminated long enough, it may ignite a chain reaction of bad events.

Let us work for truth and quash all attempts at disinformation against Christians everywhere.

Let us pray for brethren suffering from lies and untruths.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Enduring Persecution


Acts 9:16
“I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

These are the words of Jesus to Ananias when Saul of Tarsus had an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.
Though Saul, who became the Apostle Paul, resorted to flight several times in his missionary work, he did not try to avoid persecution as a life style practice.
In 2 Corinthians 11:23-27, Paul outlines and describes the repeated persecution he had endured for Christ.

The Bible and history are replete with examples of those who in the will of God refused to flee but stayed and endured the persecution to the point of self-sacrifice and even martyrdom.

Fleeing is not the only option when persecution strikes.
There are times when God’s will is for us to stay and face the music!

Let us stay in tune with God’s Spirit
so that we will know what responses He wants us to make.

Help me Lord to be aware of Your purposes
in the events and challenges of my life.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Spiritual Boldness


Psalm 84:2

My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.

Christian believers confess Jesus as Lord of their lives
and receive the Holy Spirit.

They then talk about their new relationship with God,
with their family, relatives, and friends.

The Holy Spirit gave them words and power to speak.

Some ultimately receive Jesus as their Saviour and Lord.

Unless we are filled with the Holy Spirit,
we will have great difficulties
fighting the spiritual warfare.

Only with the Holy Spirit’s help can we be bold.

Let us pray that we may be bold in our faith.

Let us rely on the Holy Spirit to make us bold in our witness.

Oh Lord,
my soul, my heart, my flesh,
cry out to You
for the filling and power of Your Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Forgiveness


Matthew 6:14-15

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their sins,
your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Forgiveness is one of the most powerful actions
that Christians can perform.

The world doesn’t understand the ability or reasons to do this because it is most unnatural in the world.

Besides, there is pain to be overcome because behind every act of forgiveness lies the wound of betrayal.

But there is far more pain,
emotional, social, and physical damage done
when we do not forgive.

What separates Christianity from other religions?
One of the first things is forgiveness!

Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive a brother who sinned against him. He thought he was magnanimous when he suggested seven times! Jesus replied, “…not seven times, but seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:22).

Jesus then shared a parable about a man who, after much pleading for mercy, was forgiven for much and yet would not forgive another person who owed him little. In the parable, the master threw the man into jail to be tortured until he paid back his large debt. Then came the conclusion: “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart” (Matthew 18:35).

Let us forgive others who hurt us
because God has commanded it and
because our own forgiveness depends on it.

Oh Lord,
give me a spirit of forgiveness toward others who hurt me,
just as You have forgiven me.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fill Me Up Lord


Psalm 42:1

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.


God can use persecution to draw people closer to Himself.

In great suffering you discover a different Jesus than you do in normal life.

Pain and suffering bring up to the surface all the weak points of your personality.

You are too weak to mount your usual defenses; you just have to gaze at what you are really like.

You come face-to-face with how awful you really are.

You see all the horrible things you have done; all the horrible things you are.

You keep seeing yourself again and again.

But just as you are about to collapse into complete despair and self-loathing, and probably die, an incredible realization will burst into you.

It is this: Jesus loves you even right then, weak, helpless and broken, empty and sinful.

Even in that state, He loves you, and Christ rushes in and fills you, and the filling is so great because you are so empty.

Thank You Lord that You fill us when we are truly empty.

Oh Lord,
Help me not to hide my real condition
from myself and before You.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Your Heroic Spiritual Ancestors


Hebrews 11:39

These were all commended for their faith,
yet none of them received what had been promised…

Who is your heroic spiritual ancestor who first brought you the Bible?

When the Bible comes into a culture, it is a threat, and is often opposed. It takes men and women to risk all to bring it to us.

It will be nice if we can have a clear idea of who first brought the Bible into our country.

Let us thank God for our spiritual ancestors who brought His Word to our land.

Oh God, use me also to bring Your Word to needy people.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wrestle In Prayer


Colossians 4:12-13

Epaphras, who is one of you
and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings.
He is always wrestling in prayer for you,
that you may stand firm in all the will of God,
mature and fully assured.
I vouch for him that he is working hard for you
and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis.

Epaphras wrestled in prayer. He prayed as a warrior. God uses this prayer to open doors.

What does praying as a warrior entail?
  • Discovering God's will. When we make plans, we must pray according to God’s will. The Spirit knows what Satan is intending. God will reveal it to us and warn us if there is any danger.
  • Concentrated prayer. We must pray in a concentrated way, and for a long time. There was much sin in our lives. We must pray long and often in order to break down the barriers between God and us.
  • Prayer of sacrifice. Whatever we do each day, let us begin with prayer. By sacrificing ourselves and applying ourselves to praying as a warrior, God will open the hearts of people and break through their thinking. This helps us to conquer evil with good. This helps us to combat the evil in our society.
Epaphras remained faithful to Jesus Christ until the end.

He was a prayer warrior.

Let us pray as a warrior.

Thank You, Lord,
for the example of Epaphras
in the hard work of wrestling in prayer.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Gift Of The Holy Spirit


Luke 11:13

If you then, though you are evil,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father in heaven
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

God, through the Holy Spirit, raise up and equip leaders for His church.

We must be prepared to accept the leadership of the Spirit and of those through whom God chooses to minister to our church.

As Christians, we are given the Holy Spirit.

We can pray directly to the Lord through the Holy Spirit.

We can understand a passage of Scripture under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

We can survive victoriously in whatever circumstances by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

We can also let the Holy Spirit use us to touch the lives of others and minister to their needs.

There is no authority on earth that can destroy our relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Let us thank God for the gift of His Holy Spirit.

Oh Lord,
use me today through Your Spirit
to touch the lives of others and minister to their needs.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

God Has Not Forgotten His Children


Psalm 13:1-2
How long, LORD?
Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

This was the cry of David when God punished him.

He prayed for God’s forgiveness. He prayed that God might restore him.

And God did forgive him and restore him.

God has not forgotten His children.

When we pray earnestly, God will answer us.

Where we love and follow the Lord Jesus, there is always hope!

God does not forget His children!

He will forgive us and restore us!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Power of God's Word


Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active.
Sharper than any double-edged sword,
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow;
it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.


Jesus is our best example of dependence on the written Word of God. He quoted scripture repeatedly.

When Satan tempted Him in the wilderness, He quoted scripture in answer to each of Satan’s demands (Matthew 4:1-11).

Jesus based His teaching on the Old Testament Scriptures and referred to them frequently for historical examples. It can be said that Jesus authenticated almost every book in the Old Testament by quoting from it at least once as divine authority!

It is especially interesting to note how Jesus used the scriptures after His death and resurrection. While walking with some followers on the road to Emmaus, He began “with Moses and all the Prophets” explaining “…to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself" (Luke 24:27).

The central place scripture held for the early church is evident throughout the book of Acts. Scripture was used to explain the events of Pentecost (Acts 2:16-21), to identify Jesus as the Messiah (2:25-28), to determine their reaction to persecution (4:23-26), to state the church’s position in the face of persecution (7:1-53), to preach Christ (8:29-35), and to determine how to accept Gentile believers (15:13-21).

There are literally hundreds of examples of New Testament Christians and the writers of the epistles using the Old Testament Scriptures to prove their positions.

In fact, it is so basic to sound biblical teaching that it is still common in evangelical circles today.

The Bible is our true source of divine knowledge!

Let us treasure God’s powerful and living Word today.

Thank You Lord for the power of Your Word!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Breaking The Covenant


Deuteronomy 28:15-68

God pronounced blessing upon blessing, if the people of Israel would remain faithful to Him.

His promises were extravagant, a reflection of His pleasure in doing good on behalf of those who love Him.

But the 14 verses describing blessings in the first part of chapter 28 are followed by 54 verses describing the most heart-rending curses imaginable.

God goes to extra lengths to warn the Israelites of the dangers of breaking the covenant.

The ravages of sin are severe!

This section of Deuteronomy sets up the next few hundred years of Israel’s history and gives the background for why the people will eventually be led into exile.

The House of Israel had broken God's Covenant!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Walk By Faith


Numbers 13:26–14:12

By nature we are sight-walkers, not faith-walkers.

We tend to have confidence in what we can see and know.

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The Israelites feared what was unseen and unknown, even though success had already been promised to them.

The whole nation, apart from Joshua and Caleb, refused to journey toward the Promised Land because they were intimidated and afraid.

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Not only did the Israelites not go forward, they wanted to return to Egypt, the place where they had been enslaved.

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We sometimes idealize our past and want to go back because we fear the future.

But that isn’t faith.

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God is always calling us forward.

He is always assuring us that He is with us for our good.

Let's Walk by Faith.

Don't Walk by Sight!


Friday, June 1, 2012

Moses Face To Face With God


Numbers 12:1–16

In the previous chapter, Moses expressed a desire for all of God’s people to be able to prophesy, a desire echoed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:1–5.

The ability to hear God and speak forth His thoughts and purposes was not to be limited to a select few.

But when Miriam and Aaron, Moses’ siblings, attempted to downplay Moses’ unique relationship with God and elevate themselves, they were disciplined.

In this case, there were normal prophets (Numbers 12:6), and then there was Moses, who spoke to the Lord face to face (Numbers 12: 7–8).

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Astonishingly, this is the kind of relationship we are urged to pursue.

In fact, we are offered an even better one (2 Corinthians 3:12–18).

We are being transformed into Christ’s image and given an invitation to seek the Lord’s face freely.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Ten Plagues In Egypt


Exodus 9:1–10:29

Water turned to blood? Frogs and gnats? Boils and hail? Total darkness?

These plagues, starting in chapter 7, seem strange to us and foreign to our experience.

But they weren’t chosen at random.

Though we might not always be able to discern it, the God of omniscience does nothing without design.

In fact, as we look closer at the various plagues, we see that they struck at the heart of the many gods worshiped by the Egyptians, directly undermining the credibility of various false deities.

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Today we make into gods things like wealth, power, beauty, talent and intelligence.

There’s nothing wrong with these things, but when we worship them, they become cruel masters.

God redirects us back to love for him above all else.

Remember the ten plagues in Egypt.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Joseph Forgave His Brothers


Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.
(Genesis 45:4–8)


Joseph’s brothers were guilty on all counts.

They had plotted to kill their brother Joseph and then sold him as a slave.

They had cut him off from the family, ending his life as he envisioned it.

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There was no making up for it.

There were no excuses.

They were all guilty.

But they still had one hope: forgiveness.

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Joseph forgave his brothers.

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Joseph declared one of the most profound theological truths of the Bible: God had been sovereign over the whole matter.

Joseph was able to see God’s purposes and be free of bitterness.

Lesson: When we are wronged, we need to look to see how God can bring good from it. God can and He will.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
(Romans 8:28)

Then we need to forgive and let God work out His purposes.

Joseph forgave his brothers.

Let us forgive one another.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Resist Temptation



Genesis 39:6–18

Joseph is a good example of the fruits of righteousness.

When he resisted Potiphar’s wife, it looked as though he set himself on the road to ruin.

In reality, he set himself on the road to being Pharaoh’s second-in-command over all Egypt.

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If Joseph had given in to the temptation before him, he would have failed the moral test of leadership.

Joseph demonstrated to God that he could be trusted, that his character was suited to the role he would step into as a leader.

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When we face temptation to do wrong, we need to resist and to do what is right.

There is more at stake than meets the eye!

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Devoted Mother


Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8)

Motherhood involves a life of sacrifice, commitment, and faithfulness.

A devoted mother would give everything she has for her children and husband. Besides, she is also their tower of strength.

The Apostle Paul reminded the Thessalonian church that the apostles could have become a burden to them. Instead they treated the new growing church gently, like a mother caring for her little children, willing to give everything, even their lives.

Just as a devoted mother cares for her family, we must continue to reflect the example of the Lord Jesus Christ in sacrifice, commitment and faithfulness.

Let us support one another
in our struggles with life’s issues.

Let us help one another
to live a life of
sacrifice, commitment, and faithfulness.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Morning Has Broken




Monday, May 14, 2012

Fix Our Eyes On Jesus


The letter to the Hebrews was written to first century Jewish background believers who were being severely persecuted.

Some were even considering giving up their faith in Jesus.

The unknown author penned about the superiority of Jesus over anyone else and everything else.

He slowly built his case to culminate in the great faith chapter. In that chapter, he pointed out that some great men and women of faith lived to see the fruit of their faith while many others—also men and women of faith—died prematurely because of persecution.

Now in chapter 12, the author made his critical statement or main point of the letter.

How do we walk by faith? We walk by faith by keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus! Not fixed on our problems or difficult environment of opposition.

Jesus was the pioneer and perfecter of faith. He endured opposition to the point of crucifixion.

We will follow His example and we will patiently endure because of the joy we know that is yet to come.

Fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Noah's Ark


Faith is believing in what God has said, not merely hoping for something.
It is rooted and grounded in God’s purposes and promises.
God told Noah to build an ark and save his family and the animals from the coming deluge.
Noah believed God.
He was obedient to what God had said.

He took God at His word and acted accordingly.
That’s faith.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Greatest Is Love


And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Disciples Worked Together



All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:4)

Passage

The disciples worked as a team. Each one was busy doing his or her part!

God saved us to serve Him; we are not to sit down doing nothing!

Every task in the Church is vital to its success. No task is unimportant or small.

And we must play our part for the success of our Church!

Response

Am I doing what God wants me to do?

Am I doing all I can do?

Prayer

Lord, use me in Your Church! Amen.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Disciples Were United In Power


They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.(Acts 2:3-4)

They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. The unity of the early church came about because they were all right with God and filled with the Spirit of God.

This unity produced amazing results: They preached the same message (2:11); they believed the same things (2:41-44a); they carried the same burdens (2:44b-45; 4:34-35); they loved the same things (2:46-47).

One of the problems in the modern church is that the members are in all different stages of spiritual development. Some are saved but immature. Some are saved and growing. Some are saved and Spirit-filled. Some are not even saved. This diversity makes for difficulty in the family.

There is no way around diversity. But God’s will for us every single saint is to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). We are to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit control us, we will walk together in His power for His glory!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Disciples Were United In Prayer



They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (Acts 1:14)

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The disciples prayed together.

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They prayed with one another.

They prayed for one another.

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Nothing builds unity in a church any more than carrying one another’s burdens to the Lord in prayer.

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There is a bond that develops between people who pray together!

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When we pray for others, we are less focused on ourselves and our own problems.

We begin to care for one another!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Disciples Were United In Purpose



Acts 2:4-5

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They waited on the Lord together.

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This same trait should mark our church.

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"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel" (Phil. 1:27).

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We are a team!

We are to work together for the glory of God, carrying out His will in the world.

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We each have different functions.

But we should all have the same goal!

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We may have different ideas.

But once a consensus is reached, we should break out of our huddle and stand together!

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The disciples waited on the Lord together!

They were a team!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

We Need Another Pentecost



Acts 2:1-8

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The day of Pentecost refers to a Jewish feast held 50 days after the second day of Passover.

It was called Feast of Weeks (Ex. 34:22; Deut. 16:10), and Feast of the Harvest (Ex. 23:16).

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Pentecost is a day of thanksgiving to mark the end of the grain harvest. It is a holy Sabbath day.

2 loaves of bread made from the new wheat, and 2 yearling lambs were waved before the Lord as a thank offering, praising God for His grace in giving them a good harvest.

People were expected to attend this feast.

They were required to offer a free will offering to the Lord.

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The Lord Jesus was with His disciples for 40 days. Then He ascended back to Heaven. 10 days after ascension, and 50 days after resurrection, the words of Joel (Joel 3:18) and John the Baptist (Matt. 3:11) were fulfilled during the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:3).

On this day, the Lord began to harvest the lost souls of the world through His church.

Amazing things took place that day. Many miracles happened!

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We cannot duplicate the events of the day of Pentecost.

We cannot go to Jerusalem, enter the upper room, and wait to be filled with the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit has already come, and baptized every person who is saved (1 Cor. 12:13).

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We cannot duplicate the miracles of that day.

The miracles are God’s doing.

We are foolish if we spend our time seeking the spectacular.

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But we can duplicate the conditions that existed among the people of God on that day.

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We want to see the Lord move in our midst in power and glory in our days, just as He moved in those days.

We need another Pentecost!

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We need to create an atmosphere like the one that existed in the church on that day, and see God move in power among us in our days.

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One of the striking characteristics of the early church in the day of Pentecost was that they were together with one accord.

They had one mind!

These early disciples, all 120 (Acts 1:15), were united in their desire to seek the face of the Lord (Acts 1:14)!

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If we want the Lord’s presence and power in our days, then we must walk together in unity.

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We need another Pentecost!

We need a move of God in our days like the early church enjoyed in those days.

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But, if that is to happen, there must be unity among God’s people.

Let’s try to see and understand how the early church was so united.

Let us follow their example.

Let us have another Pentecost!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Reasons For His Ascension



They were looking intently up into the sky as He was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:10-11)

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As the disciples watched Jesus depart into Heaven, they were confronted by angelic messengers.

They were told that Jesus would return in like manner.

The disciples came off that mountain and got busy doing what the Lord had called them to do!

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The world is going to Hell.

We too must be busy sharing the gospel.

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When Jesus returned to Heaven, He returned to accomplish several specific ministries for the people of God:

He Ascended As The Crucified One. He returned bearing in His body the marks of the cross. He went back as the crucified Lamb of God. He had accomplished redemption on the cross for all who will believe in Him by faith. He returned with His Own blood to present in Heaven as the perfect, eternal, once for all atonement for sin.

He Ascended As The Conquering One. Three days after He died, He arose from the grave in absolute victory! He had invaded the territory of the enemy, ransacked his position, spoiled him, and returned in victory to His Own City!

He Ascended As The Consoling One. When He returned to Heaven, He sent His Spirit into the world to indwell, fill, guide and comfort His people. He sent the Holy Spirit to bring gifts to them. And His gifts make their service to Him possible!

He Ascended As The Confessing One. He confesses His people before the throne of God. He is our Mediator. He is our Advocate. He expresses our heart and our needs before the throne of grace.

He Ascended As The Confirming One. His presence in Heaven is the guarantee of our presence in Heaven some day! He ascended into Heaven as our forerunner!

He Ascended As The Coming One. He would return in the same manner. When He comes the next time, it will be to receive His people unto Himself and take them to Heaven.

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We will see the Lord Jesus in His glory in Heaven.

Some of us may even see Him when He returns in the clouds above to take us home with Him!

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Praise God for His ascension and His work in Heaven for us!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Majesty Of His Ascension



“After He said this, He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid Him from their sight.” (Acts 1:9)

For the disciples who witnessed Jesus and His ascension back to Heaven, it was an event of majesty.


The King of Kings was returning to His rightful place in Heaven at the Father’s right hand.

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It Was A Heavenly Event.

It was supernatural.

The Lord Jesus had no problem overcoming the Laws of Nature while He ministered on earth.

He walked on water, healed the sick, raised the dead, and fed great multitudes of people with small amounts of food.

His ascension was merely another instance of His power as God.

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It Was A Holy Event.

A cloud hid Him from their sight.

His glory was waiting to reclaim Him!

His glory had been allowed to surface once on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-9).

He was received up into His glory once again!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Mystery Of Jesus' Ascension



Then they gathered around Him and asked Him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority. (Acts 1: 6-7)

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The Apostles knew nothing of Jesus’ going away.

They thought He would establish His kingdom immediately.

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They weren’t alone in their belief.

No one anticipated the ascension of Jesus back to Heaven.

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It Was A Mystery To His Prophets.


The prophets knew nothing of this great event.

The Jews could not conceive of a Messiah Who would die on a cross.

They were expecting a King Who would reign in power and liberate the people of Israel.


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It Was A Mystery To His People.

While Jesus was ministering in the midst of His people, He spoke of His ascension on several occasions (John 6:62; 7:33; 14:28; 16:5; 20:17).

But none of the disciples understood just what He was saying.

They could not grasp the thought that Jesus would be going away.

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Jesus' ascension was a mystery to everyone!

The Time For Good Bye



Acts 1:9-12

The time of Jesus’ earthly ministry had come to a close.

He stood with His disciples on the Mount of Olives, just outside the city of Jerusalem.

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It was from this mountain that He had descended, on the back of a donkey, into Jerusalem for His triumphal entry into that city.

It was at the foot of this mountain that He gathered with His men in a place called Gethsemane to pray the night He was arrested.

It was from this garden that He had been taken away, arrested, tried and crucified by the Jews and the Romans.

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This was the time for “Good-byes”.

Jesus was getting ready to ascend back to Heaven from which He had come.

He was leaving His men behind.

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This must be an exceedingly difficult moment for His disciples.

They were about to watch the One they had loved, served and worshiped go away.

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They had been with Jesus through the good times and the bad times.

They had watched Him exercise the power of deity to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cause the lame to walk, the deaf to hear and the blind to see.

They had seen Him raise the dead, and walk on the water.

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Now, they were about to watch Him go away.

Surely their hearts were breaking as they listened to His final words and waited for the moment they would be parted from Him.

It was parting time.

It was time to say good bye!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

We Must Acquire The Right Power



“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

If our message is to be accepted; if our methods are to be successful; if our mindset is to be right; we need the help of the Holy Spirit.

The disciples were promised that the Spirit of God was coming, and when He came, He would fill them with God’s power (Luke 24:49).

When that power came on the day of Pentecost, those terrified disciples, who had been hiding from the Jews in fear, became bold preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:1-21). When they preached the Gospel, 3,000 souls were saved (Acts 2:41).

What made the difference? It wasn’t their eloquence. It wasn’t their oratory. It wasn’t their delivery. What made the difference was the power of God on their lives!

That same power is available to us today! If we are going to have the power of God on our witness, our words and our works, we must get our lives in the kind of shape the Lord can bless and use. We must be like the early church (Acts 2:42-47). When we do, we will see the Lord pour out His power on our witness to the world.

We desperately need God’s power on our lives and on our church. We will never enjoy His unction and power until our hearts are right with one another and with Him.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

We Must Have The Right Mindset



“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

The witness to Jesus is to testify to the whole world!

That is a big task, so Jesus breaks it down for us.

We are to begin close and move out!

Our mission field is anywhere lost people can be found! Anywhere sinners can be found, there is a need for the Gospel and the Gospel witness.

Most of us will never go to the ends of the earth, but we can serve in our Jerusalem. We can witness to our families, our friends, our co-workers, total strangers, to anyone we meet, and anywhere we go.

We are to always be on mission for Jesus, telling a lost and dying world that Jesus saves.

Everyone we meet is either a believer, or they are in need of the Gospel!

Let’s tell them about our Savior!

Let’s share the glorious news that Jesus saves and will save all who will come to Him by faith (Rev. 22:17).

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It is our individual responsibility to share the Gospel with the world.

We Must Share What We Know



“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Jesus called His people to tell others the truth about Him. We are to be the ultimate witness to the truth. We are to lay down our lives for the truth. We are to be Christian martyrs if need be.

We are to tell what we know and what we have seen to be true about Jesus.

We have some great examples in the Bible: Peter at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-41); Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26-39); Paul before King Agrippa (Acts 26:1-31); The Blind Man before the Sanhedrin (John 9:10-12; 15-17; 24-27; 30-33). These great witnesses just told what they knew!

And that is all the Lord wants us to do (1 Pet. 3:15)!

We are to share the Truth about Jesus!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sharing The Right Gospel Message



Acts 1:8

Jesus told His men that they were to be His “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

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Here is Jesus Christ, crucified and resurrected from the dead, and about to ascend into Heaven.

He could have talked about anything in the world. But His last words were a command and a commission to share the Gospel.

If sharing the Gospel was that important to Him, then it should be equally important to us! We are to be found keeping the main thing the main thing as we move through this world.

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As Jesus’ Gospel witnesses, we must share about Jesus! Jesus is to be the sole focus of our Gospel message. We are to tell the world all about Him.

We are not to talk about us, our lives, our beliefs, our denomination, our church, or our favorite preacher. None of these things have saving power! Only His Gospel message can save the people (Rom. 1:16)!

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We are to share the full message of the Gospel (1 Cor. 15:3-4; Rom. 10:9-10; 13; John 3:16; Acts 16:31). We are to tell the message of His love, His death and His resurrection. We are to tell the world that Jesus will save anyone who comes to Him by faith!

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Our sole mission is to point people to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only hope the world has for salvation (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Acts 16:31).

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We must share the right Gospel message.

Only the Gospel message of Jesus can save the people!