Monday, December 24, 2012

Christian's Privileges


I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. - John 10: 9 -

Jesus is the entrance into the true Church.

He is the way of access to God Himself.

Jesus gives to the man who comes to God by Him four privileges:

(1) He shall be saved.

No one can be lost if they take Jesus as the door of faith to their souls.

Jesus is the only door.

Blessed is he who rests all his hope upon the crucified Redeemer.

(2) He shall go in.

He shall go in among the family of God, participating in all their honors and enjoyments.

He shall go in to the King of kings.

(3) He shall go out.

He shall go out into the world in the name and power of Jesus.

He shall bear witness to the truth, to cheer the disconsolate, to warn the careless, to win souls, and to glorify God.

He shall go out as God's messenger in His name and strength.

(4) He shall find pasture.

Having made Jesus his all, he shall find all in Jesus.

He shall lack nothing.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Unfaithful Servant


They are unfaithful to the LORD;
they give birth to illegitimate children.
When they celebrate their New Moon feasts,
he will devour their fields.
- Hosea 5:7 -


Here is a sorrowful truth.

We are the beloved of the LORD, redeemed by blood, called by grace, preserved in Christ Jesus, accepted in the Beloved, and on our way to Heaven.

But we are unfaithful to the LORD.

We are found to be unfaithful in the matter of vows and promises.

We have forgotten the happy time, the springtime of our spiritual life.

Oh, how closely we clang to our Master then!

But now, we are unfaithful to the LORD.

Prayer has oftentimes been slurred.

It has been short, but not sweet.

Brief, but not fervent.

Communion with Christ has been forgotten.

Instead of a heavenly mind, there have been carnal cares, worldly vanities and thoughts of evil.

Instead of service, there has been disobedience.

Instead of fervency, lukewarmness.

Instead of patience, petulance.

Instead of faith, confidence in an arm of flesh.

As a soldier of the cross, there has been cowardice, disobedience, and desertion, to a very shameful degree.

We are unfaithful to the LORD.

We have sinned against Him terribly.

Oh LORD! Forgive us.

Oh! Let us not sin again!

How shameful it is to be unfaithful to the LORD who never forgets us.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Peace And Rest


My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation,
In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places,
- Isaiah 32:18 -


Peace and rest belong only to God's people.
 
The God of Peace gives perfect peace to those whose hearts are with Him.
 
Before the fall of Adam, God gave him the garden of Eden as his quiet resting place.
 
When the flood swept away the guilty race, the chosen family was secured in the resting place of the ark.
 
When the destroying angel struck the first-born of Egypt, the people of Israel rested safely in the blood sprinkled habitations.
 
In the wilderness, under the shadow of the pillar of cloud, and the flowing rock, the weary Israelites enjoyed their sweet rest.
 
At this hour...
 
We rest in the promises of our faithful God.
 
We rest in Him whose words are full of truth and power.
 
We rest in the doctrines of His word.
 
We rest in the covenant of His grace.
 
Nothing can invade or destroy our shelter of peace and rest.
 
The person of the Lord Jesus Christ is the quiet resting place of His people.
 
Let us draw near to Him and enjoy the return of peace to our spirits.
 

Monday, December 10, 2012

One With Christ


As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.
- 1 Corinthians 15:48 -


The head and members are of one nature.
 
Since the members were mortal, therefore the Lord Jesus died.
 
Since the glorified head is immortal, therefore the body is immortal too.
 
As is our loving Head, so is our body, and every member in particular.
 
A double union of nature is for the closest communion.
 
Let us not forget the infinite condescension of the Son of God in exalting our wretchedness into blessed union with His glory.
 
It is in Christ that we can say to God, "Abba, Father".
 
Let us occupy our thoughts with this glorious and heavenly honor of union with Christ.
 
We are special people.
 
We are one with Christ.
 
 

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Beauty Of The Church


You are all fair, my love,
And there is no spot in you.
(Song of Solomon 4:7)

The Lord's description of His Church is wonderful: You are all fair, my love.
 
The Church is pure.
 
She is washed in Christ's sin-atoning blood.
 
She is clothed in Christ's meritorious righteousness.
 
In her, the Lord sees holiness, glory, and perfection.
 
The Church is lovely.
 
Her deformities of sin are removed.
 
A meritorious righteousness is given to her.
 
Actual beauty is conferred upon her.
 
The Church is superlatively beautiful.
 
"O Fairest among women." (Song of Solomon 1:8)
 
Her real worth and excellence cannot be rivaled by all the nobility and royalty of the world. 
 
The Church is beautiful in the eyes of the Lord.
 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Rebuke With Love


You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord. ‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. (Leviticus 19:16-17)

Tale-bearing injures the teller, the hearer, and the person concerning whom the tale is told.

Whether the report is true or false, we are forbidden to spread it.

The reputations of the Lord's people is very precious. We should be shameful to help the devil to dishonor the Church and the name of the Lord.

Many glory in pulling down their brethren, and raising themselves.

Let it be our rule and our personal commitment not to speak evil of any man.

The Holy Spirit, however, permits us to censure sin, and prescribes the way to do it.

It must be done by rebuking our brother to his face, not by talking behind his back.

Let us love our brethren but not condone their sins. Let us rebuke them with love and pray for a changing of their heart.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Do What Our Hand Finds To Do


Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going. (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

There are many things which our heart desires to do which we never do. We are content with forming schemes in our heart, and talking of them.

But if we want to be found eminently useful, we must carry out what our hand finds to do.

Let us not wait for opportunities. Let us just do the things we find to do, day by day.

We have no other time in which to live. The past is gone. The future has not arrived. We only have our present time.

Let us not wait until our experience has ripened into maturity before we attempt to serve God. Let us endeavor to serve God now, and do so with our might.

No man serves God by doing things tomorrow. If we want to honor Christ and be blessed, it is to do it today.

Whatever we want to do for Christ, let us do it with our heart, our soul, and our strength.

We may be weak. But we can seek God's help. Let us proceed with prayer and faith.

And when we have done what our hand finds to do, let us wait upon the Lord for His blessing.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Complete Fellowship With Christ


If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
(1 John 1:6)

When we were united by faith to Christ, we were brought into complete fellowship with Him.

We were made one with Him.

His interests and ours became mutual and identical.

We have fellowship with Christ in His love. What He loves we love.

We have fellowship with Him in His desires. What He desires, we desire.

We have fellowship with Christ in His sufferings. We suffer when He suffers.

We have fellowship with Christ in His joys. We are happy when He is happy.

Christ's glory awaits our complete fellowship with Him.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Enter The Hiding Place


The rock badgers are a feeble folk,
Yet they make their homes in the crags;
(Proverbs 30:26)

Our best security is in the Almighty God. He alone will guarantee our safety.

Blessed be the name of the Lord! In Him we find our delightful resting place.

Let us run to the Lord Jesus Christ, whatever our present grief may be.

The Lord Jesus Christ feels for us. He consoles us. He will help us.

In Jesus the weak are strong and the defenceless are safe.

We cannot make for ourselves a refuge.

But the Lord Jesus Christ has provided it, his Father has given it, and his Spirit has revealed it.

Let us enter the hiding place, and be safe from every foe.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christ Is Everlasting


Your throne is established from of old;
You are from everlasting.
(Psalm 93:2)

Christ is everlasting. His throne is forever and ever. Let us rejoice in Him, the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Jesus always was.

The Word was in the beginning, by whom all things were made.

Jesus is for evermore.

Jesus is not dead. He lives to make intercession for us. Let us resort to Him in all our times of need.

Moreover, Jesus ever shall be.

He lives to purge us from all iniquity. 
He shall cheer the dying saints.

When we enter heaven, we shall find Him there.
And through eternity, He shall still remain the perennial spring of joy, and life, and glory to His people.

Jesus always was, He always is, and He always shall be.

He is eternal in all His attributes, in all His offices, in all His might, and willingness to bless, comfort, guard, and crown His chosen people.

 Christ is everlasting.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wait Patiently For The Lord


Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” (Lamentations 3:22-24)
 
One important aspects of knowing God's will for us is to wait for the Lord.

We are to be silent before Him because we seek His wisdom.

We are to wait patiently. We are to do so trustingly, in a spirit of expectation.

But there are difficulties: we lack patience.
  • We consistently react against our life as pilgrim, and want to have many things.
  • We are unwilling to bow to the sovereign providences of God in our lives; we want things our way.
  • We lack faith in the goodness of God.
  • We are too easily influenced by the attitudes of the age in which we live: we want instant Christianity.
 
But God is good. He is patient with us, and He cares for us.
 
God longs to bless us, but He has His own place and time to act.
 
Let us learn to be wait patiently on God. 
 
God knows what is best for us, and He has His own timetable.
 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Abide In Me


Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. - John 15:4 -

We began to bear fruit when we came to Jesus and cast ourselves on His great atonement, and rested on His finished righteousness.

Have we declined since then? Let us draw near to Him, because it is from Him that all our fruits proceed.

When have we been the most fruitless? It is when we have lived farthest from Him, when we have slackened in prayer, when we have departed from the simplicity of our faith, and when we have forgotten where our strength dwells.

We have nothing out of Christ.

The more we depend upon the grace of God in Christ, and wait upon the Holy Spirit, the more we shall bring forth fruit unto God.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

God Is By Our Side


Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it. 
- Genesis 28:16 -

Jacob had learned it.

His father Isaac had blessed him and told him to find a wife from among his mother’s family (Genesis 28:1-4). He followed that directive and traveled toward Haran.

As Jacob slept, the Lord came to him in a dream and said, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.” (Genesis 28:15).

When Jacob awoke, he knew that he had heard from God. He said, “Surely the Lord is in this place” (Genesis 28:16).

Confident of God’s presence, Jacob committed himself to following Him with his life (Genesis 28: 20-21).

We can also take comfort in the truth that God is with us.

Let us follow God with our lives.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bear Much Fruit


By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit. 
- John 15:8 -

As Christians, we put our faith in Christ.
We live our lives to God, in a way that is pleasing to Him.
We sow and bear much fruit.
Often, we don’t realize it.
Often, it comes when we least expect it.
But it comes, and means so very much to us.

As Christians, we change life.
Our own life is changed, so are the lives of others.
We don’t know how, but they happened,
And great joy fills our hearts.

As Christians, we bear fruit all our lives.
Each of us have a story to tell.
It is a story of grace and truth and love...
That God the Father loves us,
And send His Son to die on the Cross for us.

As Christians, we live to please God,
And we bear much fruit.
We don’t know when the Lord will call us Home.
But we live faithfully to God every day.
A fruitful harvest always requires a faithful life.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Word of God


It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, 
but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” 
 - Matthew 4:4 - 

Nothing can compare to the Bible.

It is the Word of God.

It is our guide in all matters of life.

We must be grateful of the Bible.

In it we learn of God and find guidance and direction for our lives.

Let us love God’s Word, and eagerly dig into its pages.

The Bible is like a lighthouse; with it, we are going in the right direction. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Jealousy Kills


For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, 
are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 
- 1 Corinthians 3:3 - 

The self-destructive emotion of jealousy had the potential of tearing apart the Corinthian church.

These believers had received the gospel but had not allowed the Holy Spirit to change their hearts.

As a result, they became jealous of one another, which led to a divided community.

Paul identified their jealousy as a sign of immaturity and worldliness.

These believers were not acting like people who had been transformed by the gospel.

*******

One of the clearest indicators that the Holy Spirit is working in our lives is our contentment and our thankfulness for what we have.

Then, instead of experiencing jealousy, we are able to genuinely celebrate the gifts and blessings of others.

The remedy for jealousy is thankfulness to God.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Withhold No Correction


Why do you . . . honor your sons more than Me, 
to make yourselves fat 
with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people? 
- 1 Samuel 2:29 - 

We don’t know what the high priest Eli was like as a father when his boys were young. But he failed to properly deal with their behavior as grown men serving in God’s temple. They were selfish, lustful, and rebellious, putting their own needs ahead of God’s Word and the needs of the people.

At first, Eli rebuked them but they would not listen. Instead of removing them from service, he looked the other way and let them continue in their sin.

As a result of his sons’ sins and because Eli honored his sons above the Lord (1 Sam. 2:29), the Lord warned Eli that his family would suffer judgment (1 Sam. 2:34; 4:17-18).

As Christian parents, we have the responsibility to lovingly discipline our children. Failure to discipline our children is a failure to love them.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

God Alone Is Good


You are my Lord, my goodness is nothing apart from You.
- Psalm 16:2 -


There are plenty of good things in life. But they will soon be gone. Even the best of them can afterward leave us feeling empty and regretful.

Only God alone is the ultimate good in our life.

The Psalmist in Psalm 16 said God is our preserver (v.1), our total goodness-giver (v.2), our counsel and instruction (v.7), and the One who makes known the path of life and fills us with joy in His presence (v.11).

Very often we let the lesser goods eclipse our acceptance of the everlasting goodness of God in our lives. But the fleeting nature of the lesser goods will ultimately disappoint us.

Only God alone is truly good!
Never settle for second best.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

God's Grace


The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son,
who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
- John 1:14 -

Grace is God’s best gift to the world.

It is the practical outworking of our lives; grace changes us from within.

With God’s grace,
  • we appreciate better God’s gifts to us.
  • we make room for others to make their own choices and decisions.
  • we learn to agree with those who disagree.
  • we become more mature.
We learn to avoid legalism, expectations, traditionalism, manipulation, demands, negativism, control, comparison, perfectionism, competition, criticism, pettiness and a host of others.

We also learn to avoid pride, fear, resentment, bitterness, an unforgiving spirit, insecurity, fleshly effort, guilt, shame, gossip, hypocrisy, and many more.


Friday, September 7, 2012

The Hidden Entrance To Sin


Blessed is the man who endures temptation. —James 1:12

The temptation to sin and do things that dishonor our Lord haunts us all.

We are all capable of turning our testimony for Jesus into a sham.

We are all vulnerable to temptation.

How do we avoid giving in?
  • We must acknowledge the universality of temptation (1 Cor. 10:13).
  • We must recognize the dangerous results of giving in to sin (James 1:13-15).
  • We must keep accountable to fellow believers (Eccl. 4:9-12).
  • And we must plead with God for help not to fall (Matt. 26:41).

Only God’s grace and power can keep us from falling and pick us up when we do.

Each sin has its door of entrance.

Let’s keep that door closed.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Love Our Enemy



But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… Matthew 5:44

It is most difficult to love our enemies.

But we are to seek another person’s highest good, even when mistreated.

The only method of destroying our enemies is to love them into being our friends.

Let us pray for them, and ask God to bless them and save them.

Life should be sweet, not bitter.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Have Peace With God


We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom also we have access by faith
into this grace in which we stand.
- Romans 5:1-2 -

The Bible is about the Lord Jesus Christ and why He died.

God had provided access to His love through the Lord Jesus Christ.

We believe and receive Jesus’ salvation from our sin.

The Bible and God’s love aren’t off-limits to anyone.

Let us receive His forgiveness today.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Appealing to Legal Rights


Acts 22:25

As they stretched him out to flog him,
Paul said to the centurion standing there,
“Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen
who hasn’t even been found guilty?”

The scriptures illustrate responses to persecution in 3 primary ways:
  • To flee when it occurs
  • To stay and endure, persevering through the challenges.
  • To appeal to our legal rights for protection from a needless beating.

Let us speak out against
injustice and discrimination of brothers wherever it occurs.

Thank You, Lord,
for brave brethren who stand for justice and truth.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Salt Of The Earth


Matthew 5:13
You are the salt of the earth.
But if the salt loses its saltiness,
how can it be made salty again?
It is no longer good for anything,
except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

You are the salt of the earth. This is a statement of fact. We are to be what God has made us to be.

Christians are to take their stand for God in the society.
That stand for good renders society
infertile for the growth of evil and ungodly influences.

Christians are to live and work in places where their influence may be felt. The light that is in them can then be most fully manifested to others so that they may see that the light of real Christian goodness. It is a light not of this world but from God, and may in consequence be led to give honor and praise to its Giver.

Let us resolve to live our lives for Jesus in a way that will positively salt our community.

Help me, Lord,
to stand for the good
and be a salty influence for You
in the world around me.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Forgiveness


Luke 23:34a

Father, forgive them
for they do not know what they are doing.

Forgiveness is to be given even when it is not asked for.

On the cross, forgiveness was one of the first words of Jesus.
The soldiers doing the crucifying had not asked for forgiveness,
but Jesus realized their need of it.

Forgiveness can only be truly accomplished in the power of the Holy Spirit. But when given, it communicates most powerfully the love of God. And we are called to be like God, to bear God’s family resemblance.

Forgiveness is a personal transaction that releases the one offended from the offense. The forgiveness required by the scriptures is more than detached or limited forgiveness; it is full and complete forgiveness in which there is a total cessation of negative feelings toward the offender and the relationship being restored has the possibility to grow.

Let us show Christ’s love
by forgiving those who do not even ask for forgiveness.

Let us burn hatred and
spread the flame of Christ’s love.

Oh Lord,
may I be like You,
and through the power of Your Holy Spirit,
forgive completely those who bring offenses against me.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

God Refining Fire


Malachi 3:3

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver;
he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.
Then the LORD will have men
who will bring offerings in righteousness…



It sounds easy to say we will always forgive others.

But what happens in your heart when it happens to you?

Can you accept the terrible consequences when it happens to you?

But know this: God's hand is behind every event of our lives. And there is a purpose to everything God does. It is just that it takes us time to see God’s hand in it all.

Everything in our lives is part of God’s plan. God’s refining is at work in us!

Let us live in the awareness of God’s refining plan for His Kingdom’s expansion.

Oh Lord, purify Your Church and help me to accept whatever consequences this will have.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Word of God is Life


Isaiah 40:8

The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures forever.

The Word of God is life.

The Word of Life changes the lives of many people.

Many found the Lord Jesus Christ by reading the Word of Life.

Depression lifted; recovery and healing begin to transform lives.

Christian people begin to meet in small group and share; more healing and mercy.

Oppositions and persecutions await God's people.

Some are imprisoned and tortured because of their faith.

Some are told to stop their faith and sign an agreement that they will not read the Bible.

But, because of the Holy Spirit’s assurance in them, they are ready to face anything…

Christ is my life.

For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Phil. 1:21).

They are always thinking of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What an honor for them to share His affiliation.

Their souls rest in God's perfect peace.

They begin to spread the Word of God; it is the Word of Life.

More and more people come to faith in Christ!

They undergo more severe torture, for months, and years...

There is no part of their body without pain...

Why are they paying so big a price?

Why don’t they just renounce their faith and live a peaceful life?

“To me, the Word of God is life!”

Let us honor and prize God’s Word and build our lives upon its everlasting promises.

And, let us pray for those in prisons around the world who pay a huge price for loving God’s Word.

“To me, the Word of God is life!”

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mystery of God's Will


Ephesians 1:9

He made known to us the mystery of his will
according to his good pleasure,
which he purposed in Christ…

We want to know the mystery of God’s will for our life.

Job asked about the “why” of suffering. In the end God invited him to see a bigger picture than his suffering.

If we lift our eyes wider and let our gaze roam over the whole universe, we will see that creation is filled with God’s beauty and grace.

Let us learn to value the mystery of God’s will. It enables us to feel God’s love fully revealed in Christ.

The victorious and triumphant Christian life is not of suffering and death and feelings of abandonment.

It is not the cry of "why?" and "where are you?" to God when circumstances are crushing us.

God is always greater than our understanding of Him.

There will always be mystery about Him that causes us to fall down in awe and worship.

This mystery keeps causing struggles in our life.

We are to learn to live in faith with the mystery of God’s will.

We are not called to solve the mystery, but to enter it.

Let us learn to value the mystery of God's will because it enables us to feel God’s love.


Thank You Lord that
though the world around us is full of mystery,

it is also full of Your beauty and grace.
Help me to trust in You and
value the mystery of Your Will for my life.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spirit's Voice


John 16:13
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes,
he will guide you into all the truth.
He will not speak on his own;
he will speak only what he hears,
and he will tell you what is yet to come.

Let us listen to the Spirit’s voice before making decisions and plans.

Oh Lord,
help me to listen to Your Spirit’s direction in my life
since He will direct my steps.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Precious Pearl


Matthew 13:45-46

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like
a merchant looking for fine pearls.

When he found one of great value,
he went away and sold everything he had
and bought it.”


Let us appreciate the Bible we have and commit ourselves to learning and living from it.

Let us pray for Christians everywhere who are still waiting for their first copy of God’s Word.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Task Prayer


James 5:17
Elijah was a man just like us.
He prayed earnestly that it would not rain,
and it did not rain on the land
for three and a half years.


There is fellowship prayer. There is task prayer. Both are important forms of prayer.

Task prayer is terrific labor and takes much energy.

It is closest to intercessory prayer.

It is a very focused prayer about an intense need.

Here are some characteristics of task prayer:
  • It has a clear goal; it is very focused.
  • It uses simple words.
  • It mobilizes all the emotion in our heart.
  • It is persistent (Luke 18:1-8).
When we have an intense need, we will usually practice task prayer.

Oh God, help me to have
the faith, persistence and emotion
of Elijah when I pray.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Effective Prayer


Joshua 1:1–9

God made some extravagant promises to Joshua. He knew that Joshua would face fierce enemies and overwhelming obstacles and therefore would need to remember these assurances in tough times.

*******

We too need to be able to hang on to God’s promises.

*******

Praying Scripture back to God is a valuable tool to assist us in our spiritual growth — “reminding” Him of His promises, as it’s sometimes called.

Repeating the assurances of God’s Word in prayer elevates and guides our requests.

By praying God’s words back to Him, we have assurance that we are praying effectively.

Let us remind God of His promises!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Remember History


Deuteronomy 1:1–2:23

Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.

Here, Moses reviewed the history of the wanderings of Israel for a new generation poised to enter the Promised Land.

*******

Moses reminded them that their parents had rebelled against the Lord.

Moses reminded them that their parents had missed out on the promises of God.

Moses reminded them that their parents had been condemned to die in the wilderness.

*******

God’s punishment can be avoided if we remember our history.

It was not just for the Israelites who were about to enter the Promised Land.

It is also for everyone who heeds God’s message.

Remember Your History!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Dead And Hidden In Christ


For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
(Colossians 3:3)



Christians do not need to fear and plead for their own cause.

They are dead in Christ.

Their lives are hidden with Christ in God.

*******

But unbelievers are in danger.

They are dead in their sins.

They are not spared from eternal destruction.

*******

As Christians, we are to pray for unbelievers among us.

God had forgiven our sins in the past.

We are to pray for unbelievers that God may not let them perish in their sins but bring them into Himself.

*******

The fact that Christians are dead and hidden in Christ should make them bold to proclaim the gospel truth even in fearful situations.

Oh Lord,
Help me to trust You in times of fear and challenge.
Allow Your Spirit to take control of every situation.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Passover Meal


(Exodus 13:3–10)

The spiritual truths that God wants us to remember are often memorialized in a ceremony.

It frequently involves a meal.

The Passover meal and the Festival of Unleavened Bread are filled with symbolism.

It is designed to commemorate the deliverance of the Israelites out of Egypt.

*******

God never wanted the people of Israel to forget what He had done for them.

*******

The New Testament counterpart is the Lord’s Supper.

Here, believers eat a ceremonial meal to commemorate the deliverance of God’s people from sin.

It is also filled with Passover symbolism.

*******

When we observe communion, we celebrate a meal that has been observed in unbroken succession for two thousand years.

We are celebrating the Passover.

We are celebrating Communion with the Triune God and His people.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

God Prepares His People


Genesis 50:15–23

God’s will is often fulfilled in strange ways.

Joseph’s dreams as a teenager indicated that he would rule over his brothers.

Little could he have imagined that the road to his destiny would include their trying to kill him and then selling him into slavery, his spending time in prison, and eventually his rule in the nation of Egypt.

Those experiences built into Joseph the character qualities and the wisdom he needed for his calling.

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God works the same way, preparing us for our calling.

He uses our circumstances and experiences to shape us into the person He wants us to be.

Oh Yes, God Has A Great Plan For His People!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fighting Materialism


Jesus looked at him and said,
"How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
(Luke 18:24)


Here are some suggestions to fight against materialism:

  • Be ready to face up with our feelings about money: our fear, insecurity, guilt, pride or envy.

  • Stop denying our wealth; we are well blessed.


  • Confess our fears and temptations to one another.


  • Apply God promises to our financial situation.


  • Help one another to face the money problems.

  • Consider to help the poor and the needy.

  • Give with glad and generous hearts. Letting go of money destroys the sin of greed.

Let us commit ourselves to living a simple lifestyle and not give in to materialism.

Oh Lord, I want to follow You all the way. And I want to be obedient as You direct and instruct.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Women Who Fear God


Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
(Proverbs 31:30-31)


Evangelism is an important function of the church.

It is important that we share our faith with others.

Godly women play an important role in teaching others what they have learned.

They can teach others how to study the Bible better, how to know God better, and how to be a true disciple of Jesus.

They can reach out to others and tell them all the good news they have in their hearts, and the good hope that is in them.

Throughout the centuries God has equipped many women to help fulfill the function of evangelism.

Let us honor women who fear God and who share their faith with others in need of help.

Let us pray for more women to be able to effectively share their faith and train others too.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Don't defy the armies of the living God!


1 Samuel 17: 1-58

Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, defied the armies of Israel.

King Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified; they fled from him in great fear.

For 40 days, Goliath came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.

David heard it. He was unhappy. He wanted to kill Goliath. He wanted to remove this disgrace from Israel; Goliath had defied the armies of the living God.

David had defended his father’s sheep. He had killed both the lion and the bear. He was convinced that Goliath would be like them.

Goliath came closer to David and saw that he was just a boy. He despised him.

Goliath moved closer to attack David. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, David slung it and struck Goliath on the forehead. The stone sank into Goliath’s forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

David triumphed over Goliath with a sling and a stone. Without a sword in his hand he struck down Goliath and killed him.

Lesson: Don't defy the armies of the living God!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

God's Grace, Mercy, and Peace


When we walk with the Lord God,
in Truth and in love,
God's abundant grace, mercy, and peace
will be given to us (2 John 1: 3).
May God help us in our trials and temptations;
May we have victories over the evil ones,
as we seek to serve God all the days of our lives.
Amen.

Live And Love In The Truth


God's Truth lives in us.
Let us live and love in God's Truth.

- 2 John 1:1-2 -

Saturday, May 12, 2012

God Is Trustworthy


God is true to His word.
God can be trusted.
God promised that He would never destroy the earth with a flood again.
He set a rainbow in the sky as a sign of His promise.
For thousands of years, God has been true to His word.

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Sometimes we get discouraged during the tough times in our lives.
Let us recall the promises of God.
Let us remember the rainbow.
God is trustworthy.
He is always true to what He has said.

Remember The Rainbow

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Live In Peace And Holiness


Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy;
without holiness no one will see the Lord.
(Hebrews 12:14)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Parable Of The Wicked Vine-Dressers


Matthew 21:33-46

Passage

This parable was about the Jewish nation who had enjoyed the special care and goodness of God for centuries.

God had given them good laws. God had favored them above other nations. But they still rejected Him.

God had sent the Old Testament prophets and John the Baptist to them. But they tortured and killed them.

God then sent His Son to them. But they did not respect His Son! They murdered the sinless Savior!

God finally rejected the Jewish nation. The Kingdom is given to other nations! It was given to the Church!

Response

Let us respect the Son of God by obeying Him, and by giving Him first place in our lives.

Prayer

Oh God, help me submit to Your Son, and serve Him only! Amen.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

By God's Authority!


Matthew 21:23-32

The chief priests and elders confronted Jesus in the temple and questioned Him about His authority. – “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?”

Jesus told them that He would answer their question if they first answered His question.

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His question was about the ministry of John the Baptist. – “John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

They refused to answer Jesus.

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They knew that if they acknowledged that John’s ministry was from God, Jesus would ask them why they had refused to believe him.

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John had pointed the people to Jesus.

He had told them that Jesus was the promised Savior.

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The chief priests and elders knew that if they denied the validity of John’s ministry, they would incur the wrath of the people who acknowledged John as a prophet.

They refused to answer Jesus’ question.

So Jesus refused to answer their question.

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Jesus then told them a parable of 2 sons.

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The father told his 2 sons to work in his vineyard.

The first refused.

But later he put matters right with his father, and went to work in the vineyard.

The second appeared to obey his father, but failed to do so.

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Jesus asked the chief priests and elders, “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

They answered correctly, “The first.”

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Jesus then took up His question about John that they had refused to answer.

He told them that the tax collectors and the prostitutes were entering the kingdom of God before them, because they believed John the Baptist. They were like the first son!

But those who had plenty of outward religion were like the second son. They did not believe John the Baptist, and they refused to repent of their sin!

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How about us?

Are we like the first son, or the second son?

Do we gladly submit ourselves to the authority of the Lord Jesus over our lives?

Or are we just outwardly religious and lost?


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Believe What We Pray


Matthew 21:18-22

The Lord Jesus stayed in Bethany, 2 miles outside of Jerusalem.

This is a fig-growing area.

Bethphage means ‘house of figs’.

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They returned to Jerusalem the next day.

Jesus saw a fig tree which stood out for its rich foliage.

It should have had its early crop of small figs from the previous year’s shoots.

These would have been ripe and ready for eating.

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Jesus was hungry.

But He found nothing but leaves on the tree.

Jesus cursed it.

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The barren tree provides a solemn lesson.

Israel, planted by God and cared for as no other nation, was barren and was ripe for judgment.

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It is also a solemn lesson for us.

We must question ourselves if our religion is all outward show, but bear no fruit!

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The disciples marveled that the fig tree withered so soon after Jesus cursed it.

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Jesus told them that if they had faith and did not doubt, they could do similar miracles.

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Faith is essential when we pray.

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Great faith was linked with moving mountains.

This is an encouragement to trust in God when we pray.

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But this is not an encouragement for selfish prayers.

"Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4)

It is important for us to take delight in the Lord .

Then our desires will be God-centered rather than self-centered.

Then God will answer our prayers, since we ask according to His will.

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us."
(1 John 5:14)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Den Of Robbers


Matthew 21:12-17

The Jews had become so corrupted in their religion that the temple precincts were more like a market-place than a place of worship.

The priests sanctioned those animals or doves that they deemed acceptable for sacrifice.

A Jew could bring his own sacrifice, but this was not practical for those pilgrims who had traveled hundreds of miles.

Those who had permission to sell sacrificial animals were obliged to pay a generous commission to the temple authorities.

Animals and birds were sold at about 80 times more than their true value.

Male Jews were obliged to pay a half-shekel temple tax (Matthew 17:24-27; Exodus 30:13).

And it had to be paid with Jewish coins.

Roman coins were inscribed with the head of the Roman emperor whom the Romans worshiped as a god. Theses coins were strictly forbidden in the temple building.

The money-changers charged exorbitant exchange rates.

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Religion was used as a means of fraud!

The precincts of the temple which had been consecrated for the worship of God had become little more than market place.

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The Lord Jesus drove out all the traders and overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold doves.

He quoted the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah saying, “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’ (Matthew 21:13; Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11).

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The blind and lame came to the Lord Jesus, and He healed them.

The children, taking up the words they had heard from the multitude, cried out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David! (Matthew 21: 9, 14-15).

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The chief priests were very angry.

They rejected the holy Son of God.

They were more at home in their ‘den of robbers.’

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We long for revival.

But when the Holy Spirit comes in power, shallow religion is exposed and cleared out and it is painful.

Let us be sure that our Christianity is living and real.

Let us make the house of God into a house of prayer, and not into a den of robbers!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Who Is This?


Matthew 21:1-11

The Lord Jesus reached the Mount of Olives near the city of Jerusalem.

He sent two of the disciples to bring Him a donkey with its colts.

The animals could have belonged to a follower of the Lord Jesus.

The man responded immediately to the disciples’ words, “The Lord needs them”.

There is a lesson for us: We must respond immediately to needs in God’s work which we are able to meet.

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The Lord Jesus went into the city of Jerusalem, riding on the young donkey.

There are two reasons why.

  • It was to fulfill the Scripture. The events were foretold by the prophet Zechariah. The waving of the leafy branches from palm trees is associated with joy (Leviticus 23:40). The Lord Jesus was welcomed as the messianic King, fulfilling the Old Testament prophecy (Zechariah 9:9).
  • He went to Jerusalem to die. He did not go secretly into Jerusalem to avoid being arrested. He went openly because it was God’s time for Him to go to the city. He went to Jerusalem to die on the cross as a sacrifice for sinners. He died as the Lamb of God to take away sin.

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The entry of the Lord Jesus into the city of Jerusalem made such an impact that the Passover pilgrims asked, “Who is this?”

The multitudes answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee”.

The people acknowledged that the Lord Jesus was no ordinary man. He was a prophet. But they did not see Him as the King who would save sinners through His death on the cross.

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How about us?

Do we only acknowledge the Lord Jesus as a prophet?

Or do we know Him as our personal Lord and Savior?

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Who is This?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What Do You Want Me To Do For You?


Matthew 20:29-34

The two blind beggars saw what the scribes and the Pharisees failed to see.

They saw in Jesus the Messiah promised in the Old Testament.

When they addressed the Lord Jesus as the “Son of David”, they were giving Him the title of the Messiah.

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The two blind beggars had never seen Christ’s mighty miracles.

But they had strong faith in His power and His willingness to heal them.

This is the pattern for us when we pray.

We should always come to the Lord, trusting in His power and willingness to answer our prayers.

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The two blind beggars had a persistent faith in Christ.

They did not give up when faced with discouragement.

When warned to be quiet, they cried out all the more.

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Despite all the hustle and bustle of the crowd, the Lord Jesus stood still and called them to Himself.

He asked them, “What do you want me to do for you?”

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The two blind beggars did not ask for wealth so that they would no longer need to beg.

Their greater need was for sight.

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The Lord Jesus gladly granted them their request.

They were healed immediately.

And they began to follow Him.

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Lessons:
  • We must believe in Jesus as the promised Messiah.
  • We must have strong faith in His power and willingness to save us.
  • We must have a persistent faith in Him too.
  • We must remember to bring our greater needs to God in prayer.
If God loved us so much that He did not spare His own Son Jesus, but gave Him to die for us, then He will surely grant the prayers of those who love Him and obey Him.

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The Lord Jesus stopped and called them. "What do you want me to do for you?" He asked.

"Lord," they answered, "we want our sight."

Sunday, February 5, 2012

You Do Not Know What You Are Asking


Matthew 20:17-28

The Lord Jesus predicted His death and resurrection for the third time (Matthew 20:17-19).

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James and John and their mother came to the Lord Jesus with a request. They wanted to sit either side of the Lord Jesus in Heaven. They wanted the best and the most exalted place, little wonder that the other disciples were moved with indignation against them.

The Lord Jesus answered them, “You don’t know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”

His cup was one of appalling suffering but James and John insisted that they were able to drink of such a cup.

They did suffer for the Lord Jesus! James was killed by Herod Agrippa I (Acts 12:1-2). John, who lived longer than any of the 12 disciples, spent the end of his life in exile (Revelation 1:9).

There is no easy way to blessing and fruitfulness in the Christian life. Those who would know Christ best will also know the fellowship of His suffering.

When James and John made their request to the Lord, He said to them, “You don’t know what you are asking”. We often do the same thing when we pray. We may ask God to give us a position in the church which would be disastrous both for us and for the church. We may ask for things which would only hinder our walk with the Lord.

Our heavenly Father delights to hear our prayers, but we do not always realize the implications of our requests being granted. It is for our good that He doesn’t always say, “Yes,” or answer us in the way we expect.

We must beware of seeking power for ourselves. Selfish ambition and pride have wrecked many a church!

Jesus said that the way to true greatness lies in humble service. If we deny ourselves and take up our cross, selfish ambition will be kept in check in our lives.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

The Lord Jesus is our great example. Let us follow Him.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Don’t I Have The Right To Do What I Want?


Matthew 20:1-16

The Lord Jesus Christ likened the kingdom of Heaven to a landowner who hired laborers for his vineyard.

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The landowner agreed to pay the first group of workers the normal daily rate of a denarius for their 12 hours labor.

Others were taken at 9.00 am, 12.00 midday, 3.00 pm, and 5.00 pm.

They agreed to work for what the landowner considered right.

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Those who did less than 12 hours work were delighted to receive a denarius each.

Those who had worked the full day, after seeing the generosity of the landowner, expected to receive more than the agreed rate.

They murmured against the landowner when they too received a denarius!

They had worked the full hours, and had toiled in the burden and the heat of the day!

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The landowner pointed out that he had done them no wrong for they had agreed to that wage.

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In the kingdom of Heaven, God’s rewards for our service are all of grace.

Like the landowner, God would say, “Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money?”

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There are some lessons for us here:
  • We must beware of envying other believers when God appears to bless them more than He blesses us.
  • We must remember that reward is an extra incentive for us to serve the Lord.
  • We should count it a wonderful privilege to serve God who has graciously saved us from our sins.
God do have a right to do what He wants with His rewards to His people!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

With God All Things Are Possible


Matthew 19:23-30

The disciples were exceedingly amazed at the comments of the Lord Jesus Christ as He warned them that riches were a great hindrance to any who wanted to go to Heaven.

The Lord Jesus Christ said that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (24).

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The disciples asked, “Who then can be saved?”

The Lord Jesus Christ reassured them with a glorious truth: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (26).

No one is too hard for the Lord to save!

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The Lord Jesus Christ very soon demonstrated this truth to his disciples when he saved Zacchaeus, who was very rich and also a chief tax collector (Luke 19:1-10).

Tax collectors were generally wicked cheats.

As far as many Jews were concerned, they were beyond redemption.

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We must never lose heart when we encounter people who are hardened or indifferent to the message of the gospel.

The Lord Jesus Christ is able to melt the hardest of hearts.

He is able to save the vilest sinner.

He can easily break the chains of sin which enslave people!

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We think, ‘Impossible,” but Scripture says, “with God all things are possible.”

Let us persevere in prayer and in evangelism!

The Lord Jesus Christ has many a surprise for those who wait upon him.

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Peter began to speak about their commitment in following the Lord Jesus Christ.

He asked, “Therefore what shall we have?”

The Lord Jesus pointed out to him that no one is the loser for following him (27-29).

He said, “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit everlasting life.”

And this promise is for everyone!

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Earthly treasures and pleasures may be sacrificed, but what can compare with God’s blessing upon us, with eternal life and treasure in heaven?

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Come to the Lord God today and put our trust in Him.

With God all things are possible!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

He Went Away Sorrowful


Matthew 19:16-22

The young man who came to the Lord Jesus Christ was rich.

He was esteemed in religious circles.

He was a ruler, probably an official in charge of the local synagogue (Luke 18:18).

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He asked the Lord Jesus Christ, “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

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He might have sincerely felt that he had kept the Ten Commandments.

But he was ignorant of the state of his own heart.

He forgot that he had sinned and broken God’s commandments from a very early age!

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His wealth was a great idol in his life and a proof that he was guilty of breaking the first commandment.

He also failed to understand that salvation is by grace alone and his good works couldn’t save him.

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Had he given away his wealth, it would have been an evidence of his repentance and trust in Christ.

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He was wealthy and religious, but these things did not meet his deepest need.

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He wanted eternal life, but he also wanted to hold on to his possessions.

His wealth was his god.

His riches meant more to him than his religion.

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He went away sorrowful because he was not willing to face up to the cost of following the Lord Jesus Christ.

This involved getting rid of anything that had become a god in his life.

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Some thoughts...

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Becoming a Christian is more than making a decision for Christ.

It means taking up the cross.

The cross is a symbol of self-denial, of shame, of suffering, and of death.

We must die to the old selfish life if we want to be disciples of Jesus.

We must embrace his lordship.

If He is not Lord of all, he is not Lord at all!

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Many have turned away from the Christian faith disillusioned because they find the cost of following the Lord Jesus Christ too great.

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There is a price to pay for treasure in Heaven.

But what blessing is enjoyed by all who truly follow Christ!

There is a greater price to pay for refusing to follow Christ.

It is an eternity of separation from God!


Friday, January 6, 2012

Celibacy & Children Ministry


Matthew 19:11-15

The Lord Jesus had so stressed the solemn commitment involved in matrimony that the disciples wondered if it were better for a person to remain single.

The Lord Jesus pointed out that some do not get married because they were born eunuchs (they have some defect at birth) or have been physically castrated by other man.

There are others, however, who choose the single state for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.

These verses do not sanction the compulsory celibacy of those who serve as ministers in the church or for pressure to be put on young people to take vows of celibacy.

If a person chooses to remain single, it is their personal choice and should never come from group pressure.

Whether single or married, we should always seek to glorify God in our lives!

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The Lord Jesus always had time for children, but the disciples would have sent them away.

We must never despise children or work among the young.

Those of us who are parents have the great privilege and solemn duty to train our children by teaching them the word of God.

We are to show them how Scripture is applied to everyday life in the home, and teach them how to pray.

We are to be a godly example to them.

The Lord Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Gospel work among children in Sunday School and other activities is very important because we are receiving children in Christ’s name.

Most children are ignorant of Bible teaching and do not know the message of the gospel.

If we are serving Christ in teaching children His word, persevere.

There is a great joy, blessing and reward in such work.

Remember, children need to be saved from their sins too.