Who is online?
In total there are 12 users online :: 0 Registered, 0 Hidden and 12 Guests :: 2 Bots

None

[ View the whole list ]


Most users ever online was 111 on Thu 12 Dec 2013, 2:28 am
Latest topics
» Shooting on Las Vegas Strip kills more than 50, hundreds wounded
Yesterday at 10:53 pm by Admin

» ISRAEL VIDEO'S
Yesterday at 10:23 pm by Admin

» PROPHESY NEWS WATCH
Yesterday at 10:16 pm by Admin

» FRANCIS FRANGIPANE MINISTRIES
Yesterday at 10:11 pm by Admin

» Delrifkah: HEBREW SAGE MIGHT SAY.
Yesterday at 9:54 pm by Admin

» THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters
Yesterday at 9:40 pm by Admin

» HEAVEN LETTERS
Yesterday at 9:38 pm by Admin

» GOSPEL FROM ASIA
Yesterday at 9:35 pm by Admin

» My Manna
Yesterday at 9:29 pm by Admin

» World Famous Journalist Who Exposed Clinton Foundation Crimes Found Murdered
Yesterday at 7:41 pm by Admin

» THE CLARION PROJECT
Yesterday at 6:11 pm by Admin

» Gen. John Kelly: ‘Stunned’ After ‘Empty Barrel’ Frederica Wilson Politicized President’s Phone Call
Yesterday at 6:07 pm by Admin

» WORLD ISRAEL NEWS
Yesterday at 6:05 pm by Admin

» Daily Disciples
Yesterday at 6:02 pm by Admin

» WORTHY NEWS
Yesterday at 5:58 pm by Admin

» Ps 10-25
Yesterday at 4:27 pm by clark thompson

» NUGGET Today's Devotional
Thu 19 Oct 2017, 9:30 pm by Admin

» +Dev+ Michael D. Inman
Thu 19 Oct 2017, 9:27 pm by Admin

» Meditation Chip Brogden
Thu 19 Oct 2017, 9:23 pm by Admin

» ALERT: Hillary Caught In Major New Fraud Scandal
Thu 19 Oct 2017, 9:09 pm by Admin

Navigation
 Portal
 Index
 Memberlist
 Profile
 FAQ
 Search

THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Page 1 of 40 1, 2, 3 ... 20 ... 40  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin Yesterday at 9:40 pm

Today's Turning Point with David Jeremiah
Today's
Turning Point
Thursday, August 31
Casting
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.
1 John 4:18

Recommended Reading
1 John 4:17-21
Most fishermen know all about casting, but some take it very seriously. In
1881, the first casting championships took place in the outskirts of London;
this event led, over time, to the founding of the International Casting
Sport Federation. Today, the Federation organizes championships around the
world
for all ages. Casters are judged by distance and accuracy.

Listen to Today's Radio Broadcast
Christ-followers know a lot about casting too. Psalm 55:22 says, “
Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you.” Proverbs 22:10
says, “
Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave.” Ecclesiastes 11:1 says, “
Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.”
Ezekiel tells us to
cast away our transgressions (Ezekiel 18:31). Jesus told us to
cast out our nets for a catch (John 21:6); Paul told us to cast out the
works of darkness (Romans 13:12); and Peter told us to
cast all our care on Him, for He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

The apostle John, who was, after all, a fisherman, added a special word in 1
John 4:18. We should remember how much God loves us, he said, and that love
will cast fear from our hearts. “Perfect love casts out fear.”

The chains of love are stronger than the chains of fear.
William Gurnall

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Ezekiel 23 – 24
TURNING POINT WITH DR. DAVID JEREMIAH
David Jeremiah's Website


Five Stages Toward Making Worship a Habit
"I can't make it to the services because of my work schedule … well maybe
sometimes, but I can't go on Sundays."

"I get up early all week; Sunday's the only chance I have to sleep in."

"It's so hard to get everyone dressed and ready to go on time."

"There are so many things happening on the weekends, we don't have time to
go to church."

"I really do want to go, but something always gets in the way, Satan must be
really working overtime to keep me from church."

Haven't we all heard these excuses for not going to church? I can relate to
the Apostle Paul's lament in
Romans 7:15
: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but
what I hate I do" (NIV). Regular worship attendance is a lifestyle made up
of
several habits which can be changed just like others. For most families,
altering the Sunday routine is a major lifestyle change. Understanding how
people
change can help you move from where you are now to where you know the Holy
Spirit is leading you.

People change in five stages: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation,
action, and maintenance. Before becoming a Christian a person is in the
precontemplation stage. Seeing no need to change, there is no intention of
changing. People who are seeking Christ or who have just become Christians
are
in the
contemplation stage. They're thinking about changing, but haven't decided
yet to change. Whether we're aware of it or not, we weigh the pros and cons
whenever
we consider making a lifestyle change. What will be the consequences?

The third stage is preparation. People in this stage have made some early
efforts and are collecting information. New Christians are in the
preparation
stage of making changes in their Sunday morning habits. Unfortunately, even
mature Christians get stuck here. We can't move on to the action stage until
we've first determined what it will take to change.

When a person has decided to change and determined what it will take, he or
she is ready for the
action stage. At this point it's important to remember everything learned in
the preparation stage.

The last stage is maintenance. Perhaps many of the more mature Christians I
mentioned really aren't stuck in the preparation stage; they just haven't
reached
the maintenance stage. With any habit change, it's easy to get discouraged
when you "fail." People often give up on a diet when they slip up and regain
a couple pounds. In the same way, missing a few Sundays is no reason for
giving up on regular church attendance. This is sometimes called relapse.
But
it's not relapse unless you never go back to your efforts to change the
habit.

Are you and your family trying to make worship a habit? At each stage of
change, there are things you can do to help make worship a more significant
part
of your lifestyle. You must at least be at the contemplation stage or you
wouldn't be reading this article. Start with prayer; ask the Holy Spirit to
help
you with this lifestyle change. Paul says in
Romans 8:26-27
, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what
we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans
that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of
the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with
God's will" (NIV).

List the advantages and disadvantages of regular worship. What are the
consequences of changing? Or of not changing? Reviewing these lists will
motivate
you when you're tempted to give up on making changes in your lifestyle.

As you move into the preparation stage, gather the family together and
brainstorm. What is hindering you from making regular worship a part of your
Sunday
routine? For every obstacle, discuss at least one solution. For example, if
getting everyone dressed in time is a problem, lay clothes out the night
before.
Turn the television off to avoid distractions and have simple breakfast
items ready. Get to bed early enough on Saturday night and set the alarm. If
Sunday
just doesn't work, consider finding a Saturday night service. Be creative!

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

As a family, make a plan. Now you're ready for the action stage. Put your
plan to work. Don't be disappointed if you don't have immediate success
every
week. Any lifestyle change takes time. After all, you're changing many
habits all at once. And for a family, you're changing the habits of several
people.
With any change it's good to make short-term and long-term goals. If you're
only going to church occasionally now, you might want to make going to
Sunday
school and church three times a month for three months a short-term goal and
regular attendance a long-term goal.

At the end of three months, reevaluate your plan and make any necessary
changes. Challenge yourself even more. Offer to serve in your church in some
way
and make another short-term goal. Everyone likes a reward and I think habit
and lifestyle changes should be rewarded. When you've met your goals, reward
yourself and your family in some small way, perhaps with brunch after church
at a favorite restaurant. You will find that rewards are built in when it
comes to making worship a habit.

As you meet your short-term goal, and make a new short-term goal, you are
entering the maintenance stage. It's easy now to let down your guard. You've
changed your habits and made a lifestyle change that includes regular
worship. But what if job changes, vacation plans, or illness conflicts with
worship
times? What if one Sunday after another, life just seems to get in the way?
Don't worry about it; just start your lifestyle changes again the following
week. Remember, it's not relapse unless you never go back to your efforts to
change a habit or lifestyle.

Cherry Pedrick is the coauthor of The OCD Workbook Second Edtition
, The Habit Change Workbook (also in Polish), The BDD Workbook
(also in Polish), Helping Your Child with OCD (also in Chinese), and
Loving Someone with OCD: New Harbinger Publications;
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Anxiety Disorders: Lerner Publications.
You can visit her website at
CherryPedrick.com.

Reasons to Surrender

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

As we learned yesterday, God tells us to surrender our lives to Him. This is
no small task. All our plans, every desire we feel, each entitlement that
once seemed our right--everything is put aside in order to make way for our
King’s will. But perhaps you have wondered why God can ask this of us.

The Lord has every right to demand that we give Him our all. First,
Scripture teaches us that He is sovereign--the King and Ruler over the
entire universe.
As a result, we are under His authority, whether we choose to submit or not.
Next, through His death and resurrection, Jesus saved us from our sin and
its consequences. Therefore, we are indebted to Him more than we could ever
repay. And finally, He sustains us; we should consider each breath and
heartbeat
a gift from Him.

Undoubtedly, God is entitled to ask that we yield our life to Him. At the
same time, surrender is in our best interest. The Father promises that
following
Him leads to hope and an established future. Psalm 31:19 states, “How great
is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You . . .” So,
while He is the Almighty One with all authority to demand our life, He
promises to care for us and to do what will benefit us most.

Are you willing to put yourself aside in order to follow Jesus? His way is
best, and it offers hope, joy, and peace. We will not always like everything
He chooses at the moment, but He promises to work all things for good. Will
you trust God enough to hand the reins over to Him?

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please
visit
www.intouch.org .
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. (c) 2016 All Rights
Reserved.

Standing on the Edge of the Red Sea
View this email in your browser

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness
shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be
removed,
saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.”
Isaiah 54:10

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Sometimes the grandest revelations come through confrontation. Why did God
bring the Israelites to the Red Sea? That they might have a confrontation
with
Him and discover His greatness and deliverance.

Many times the things we think are tragedies and problems are God’s way of
drawing us to Himself. God shuts
this door; God shuts that door…it seems that there’s no way out.

But we must cling to the fact that God makes Himself known to us in the
storm and He plants His footsteps in the sea.

ACTION POINT:
Are you standing at the edge of your “Red Sea”? Have you stopped to consider
that this could be your Father drawing you to Himself by the only way He
knew
He could get your attention? The God who parted the Red Sea and stilled the
surface of Galilee is the One Who is your Shepherd.

Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.
. May God continue to strengthen and encourage you by the Love Worth
Finding devotions.
Copyright ©️ 2017 Love Worth Finding Ministries, All rights reserved.

The Hardest Prayer You Can Pray
by Liz Kanoy, Crosswalk.com Editor

“Jesus said, ’Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing’”
( Luke 23:34 ).

The context of this verse occurs when Jesus is being crucified. Though He
was innocent, He carried His cross alongside two criminals to the place
where
they would be crucified, called The Skull (Golgotha). On the cross, the Son
of God--situated between two sinners deserving of death--spoke to His Father
and said, ’Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing’”
( Luke 23:34). This was and is the worst crime in the history of the world;
the only innocent Man to live on this earth, the only Man undeserving of
death
and punishment was put to death in the most humiliating and unfair way ...
and He said what?

This prayer was directed toward the taunting crowd, religious leaders
happily observing His death, apathetic Roman soldiers placing bets for His
clothing,
and the criminals on either side of Him. Could you forgive someone for a
terrible crime simply because they do not know God? This is the hardest
prayer
anyone can pray. To forgive someone undeserving of forgiveness; to forgive
someone who does not even recognize their need for forgiveness.

Could you pray this prayer for terrorists, for killers, for gunmen, for
bullies, for family members who hurt you deeply, for friends who stab you in
the
back, for co-workers who use you, for any number of circumstances that cause
you or someone you love pain.

On my own, I know I cannot pray this prayer--for I am far too angered by
injustice, by acts of evil, by selfish deceit. But with the Holy Spirit as
my
Helper and my Advocate, I can seek to grow in this prayer. To see people as
not just wrong or evil but incredibly lost ... and to pray most of all for
God to make Himself known to them, for He is the One whom all wrongs are
ultimately committed against.

Jesus forgave those who murdered Him not only on the cross but also in their
hearts. He saw their state of lostness and just as He had compassion on the
crowds who surrounded him during his ministry he had compassion on His
persecutors.

Intersecting Faith and Life: If Jesus is our utmost example for Holy living
according to God’s will, then we can follow His example even in this--the
offering
of forgiveness to those who persecute us. Let us pray for our persecutors
and our enemies that they might know the love of God and the freedom of
forgiveness
and grace.

Further Reading:
Acts 3:17
Acts 13:27
Acts 14:16
Acts 17:30
Acts 26:9
Check out fantastic resources on Faith , Family , and Fun at
Crosswalk.com !

Ron Hutchcraft Ministries - A Word With You
A Word With You
Miracles With Damaged Goods - #7999

As Lenny left our headquarters, I said, "Man, you have really made a
difference around here!" He really had. A company that was getting rid of a
lot of
office furniture donated about a dozen desks to our ministry, and we were
thrilled to get them! Good desks, but well, not exactly beautiful desks.
They
were all scarred and beat up, and on the surface they didn't look
particularly useful. In fact, the company that donated them actually was
getting ready
to discard them before they learned about our need. So, here in a storage
area were all these ugly desks...until Lenny got his hands on them. One by
one,
he went to work with his magic touch and he slowly restored their original
beauty. By the time he was done, it looked almost like we had just gotten a
shipment of expensive new desks.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Miracles
With Damaged Goods."

As our amazing desk restorer stood in my office with hands so stained that
they actually looked like they'd never be clean again, I thanked him for the
amazing difference he'd made. He just broke into a big smile and he said,
"Oh, I love doing this."

I know someone else like that. His name is Jesus and He, too, is in the
restoring business. It took His hands being stained with His own blood to
make
His restoring work possible. But as He looks at countless scarred and
undervalued lives that He has restored, I believe He says, "Oh, I love doing
this."
And He would love to do it for you.

There's a simple, five-word promise Jesus made that might mark for you the
possibility of a fresh new start. That promise is in our word for today in
the
Word of God in Revelation 21:5. Jesus said, "Behold, I make all things new."
Did you get that, "All things new"? That may be exactly the kind of miracle
you need right now. Because, like that office furniture we received, life
has left you pretty beat up...scarred, maybe deeply scarred. You feel
broken-useless.
You've never been able to answer that haunting question, "Why am I here?"
You're carrying a lot of regrets over things that, well, you wish you had
done
differently. You carry a lot of pain from things that have been done to you,
and things you've done to others.

But then there's Jesus, the one who makes all things new, but at a very high
price-to Him that is, not to you. He said at the Last Supper as He broke a
loaf of bread and handed it to His friend, "This is My body, which is given
for you." (Luke 22:19) He was broken so you could be fixed. He paid for your
sin on the cross so you wouldn't have to. That's what was happening on that
horrific cross when He died. And in dying for your sin and then coming out
of His grave, He broke the power of the thing that ultimately causes all the
scars, and the regrets, and the hurts-the spiritual cancer called sin. And
with hands that bear nail prints from His sacrifice for you, He reaches out
to you and says, "I will make all things new." The promise of the Bible in
2 Corinthians 5:17 is this, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation."
That could be you.

The Bible says He will restore what sin has taken from you (Joel
2:25)...that He will "bind up the brokenhearted." He'll, "release the
prisoner from darkness."
He'll, "exchange the ashes of your life for beauty." And then the Bible
says, "...He'll turn a 'spirit of despair' into a 'garment of praise'."
(Isaiah
61:1-3) You don't have to be defined any longer by your pain or by your sin.
You can now be defined by who you belong to forever-to Jesus Christ, God's
Son, the King of all kings. Your life-changing relationship with Him begins
when you come to Him and you say, "Jesus, You're my only hope. You died for
me. Forgive me. Change me. I'm Yours."

I want to be sure you belong to Him. That's why we've got our website.
That's really what it's for, and I want to urge you to go there and check it
out
as soon as you can today...ANewStory.com.

Because of Jesus, who is the Master Restorer, your life doesn't have to be
more of what it's been for so long. No, see, He makes all things new, and
right
now He is waiting to do that for you.
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc. · P.O. Box 400 · Harrison, Arkansas 72602 ·
USA

Welcome to the Nugget

September 7, 2017

Eat Dessert First

By Answers2Prayer
Subscribe Unsubscribe
Devotionals
Contact us

"What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits
his soul."
(Matthew 16:26).

My wonderful daughter made me a red velvet birthday cake this year using her
own special combination of creativity and love. It was huge and I cut myself
the biggest piece. With the first bite I closed my eyes and smiled. It was
so moist and sweet. The butter cream icing on top was delightfully thick. It
had countless calories and it was so delicious without being necessarily
nutritious. I didn't mind, though. I savored every bite and added a few
scoops
of ice cream as well. My sons and I polished off every bit of it. When we
were done our bellies were full, our souls were satisfied, and dinner was
still
four hours away. We had followed that wise saying of a happy existence:
"Life is short. Eat dessert first!"

I have spent way too many years of my life putting off the desserts I was
given until everything else was done. Like far too many people in our
society,
I thought that work came first, duty came second, and joy was somewhere way
down the list. It took me a long time to see God's simple truth that: "We
work
to live but we live to love." Without love, without laughter, without joy,
without goodness, without all the simple pleasures life can bring, our
existence
becomes a dull and miserable journey.

Thankfully, I finally realized that when you put love first in your life,
everything else tastes so much sweeter. Don't put off the simple joys that
life
can bring. Don't put off the beautiful love that you can give. Eat dessert
first! Give your kids hugs before homework. Jump in the leaves before
bagging
them. Dance on the floors before sweeping them. Do random acts of kindness
and goodness. Play with your dogs. Pet your cats. Watch the sunset. Give
thanks
to God. Shine your smile. Spread your sunshine. And share your love with
everyone. You will be amazed at how wonderful life will be when you "Live to
Love"
while you "Work to live."

By: Joseph J. Mazzella
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely
give."


He left Heaven for us!

( Thomas Brooks , "The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures")

"If anyone would come after Me--he must deny himself and take up his cross
and follow Me." Matthew 16:24

Let the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, work us into a gracious
willingness to embrace sufferings for His sake, and cheerfully and
resolutely to take
up His cross and follow Him.

Did Christ suffer, who knew no sin--and shall we think it strange to suffer,
who know nothing but sin?

Shall He lie sweltering under His Father's wrath--and shall we cry out under
men's anger?

Was He crowned with thorns--and must we be crowned with rose-buds?

Was His whole life, from the cradle to the cross, made up of nothing but
sorrows and sufferings--and must our lives, from the cradle to the grave, be
filled
up with nothing but pleasures and delights?

Was He despised--and must we be admired?

Was He debased--and must we be exalted?

Was He poor--and must we be rich?

Was He low--and must we be high?

Did He drink of a bitter cup, a bloody cup--and must we have only cups of
consolation?

Let us not think anything too much to do for Christ,
nor anything too great to suffer for Christ,
nor anything too dear to part with for such a Christ, such a Savior--who
thought nothing too much to do, nor too grievous to suffer--so that He might
accomplish
the work of our redemption!

He left Heaven for us--and shall not we let go of this world for Him?

He left his Father's bosom for us--and shall not we leave the bosoms of our
dearest relations for him?

He underwent all sorts of sufferings for us--let us as readily encounter
with all sorts of sufferings for Him.
~ ~ ~ ~
"Fellowship with Christ!"
Charles Spurgeon, helpful 44 minute sermon!
Grace Gems (choice ELECTRONIC books, sermons & quotes)


Anne Graham Lotz - God Is Active in Big Ways
God Is Active in Big Ways
He counts the number of the stars; He calls them by name.

Psalm 147:4, NKJV

Astronomers estimate there are more than 100 billion galaxies. And each
galaxy has more than 100 billion stars! And each of those hundreds of
billions
of stars was personally hung in space by the Creator Who has not only
numbered them all but knows each of them by name! The very first words of
Genesis
tell us, “In the beginning, God created the heavens. . . .” I can’t conceive
of any activity much bigger than that!

What big things are you facing? A big decision about a career change or a
child’s schooling or a marriage proposal? A big commitment like buying a new
house or beginning a new job or becoming a new parent? A big responsibility
such as caring for elderly parents or supervising an office staff or being
the sole provider for your family?

God is active in big ways!

Blessings,
Copyright ©️ 2017 AnGeL Ministries, All rights reserved.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 12 Oct 2017, 11:08 pm

Does Prayer Change God’s Mind?
by Kimberly Carroll

“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces
wonderful results.” -
James 5:16(NLT)

Following the tragic death of a dear friend, I often felt speechless when I
tried to pray—as though my heart and mind had shut down completely. For 8
months,
I pleaded with my entire being for Him to heal my best friend. But He chose
to call her home instead. In my grief, I couldn’t help but wonder whether my
prayers were in vain.

When we pour out our hearts to God in earnest prayer but receive an outcome
opposite of what we hoped for, we might wonder:
Does prayer change God’s mind?

Disclaimer #1: Christians across the world dedicate their lives to questions
of this nature and have yet to reach a consensus. While Christians agree
that
prayer has powerful effects, whether it changes God’s mind is debatable.

Disclaimer #2: Although it’s important to critically examine questions like
this to arrive at Biblically-sound and educated beliefs, we can never fully
know the mind of God. His ways are far more infinite than anything our human
minds could possibly conceive:

“Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it
is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!” Romans 11:33
(NLT)

The Theological Debate

In Across the Spectrum
by Gregory Boyd and Paul Eddy, the authors compare differing viewpoints held
within the spectrum of evangelical Christianity. During the authors’ debate
of freewill, one argument suggests that throughout Scripture, “a great deal
of what God does in the world is influenced by whether his people pray.”

In a subsequent chapter regarding the degree of God’s foreknowledge, a
similar argument states:

“Scripture describes God’s character as unchanging (Mal 3:6), but it never
teaches that God is unable to change in
any respect (e.g., his intentions, experiences) … And it teaches that God
sometimes
chooses not to change his mind (Num 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Ezekiel 24:14
; Zechariah 8:14) but never that he cannot change his mind.”

Most people agree God does not always change His mind in response to
prayers.

But is it true that some prayers of God’s people in the Bible did influence
His decisions?

A Look at Scripture

Throughout the Old Testament, the Israelites repeatedly turned away from God
and angered Him to the point that He threatened to destroy them. In
desperation,
Moses intervened on their behalf and pleaded with the Lord to withhold the
destruction He had planned. Time and time again, God answered Moses’ prayers
with mercy and chose not to bring about the destruction He had threatened.

For example, in Exodus 32 the Israelites created a golden calf and
worshipped it in place of God. The Lord in his fury threatened to destroy
His people

(Exodus 32:10). Moses threw himself at God on behalf of the Israelites,
pleading for Him to relent:

“Change your mind about this terrible disaster you have threatened against
your people!”
(Exodus 32:12 NLT).In his unfailing mercy, “the Lord changed his mind about
the terrible disaster he had threatened to bring on his people”
(Exodus 32:14 NLT).

What would have happened if Moses had not turned to God in prayer?

“So he said he would destroy them—had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in
the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them” (Psalm 106:23
NIV).

Even the Psalms imply that if Moses had not pleaded for God’s mercy on their
behalf, the Israelites would have been destroyed. But God in His
faithfulness
responded to Moses’ pleas and spared His people.

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

Like the Israelites, the people of Nineveh also experienced God relenting
from His plan of destruction after they turned towards Him:

“When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil
ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had
threatened.”
Jonah 3:10 (NLT)

With both the Israelites and the Ninevites, God chose to spare them in
response to human prayers and repentance. This decision on God’s part to act
a certain
way
because people cried out to him is, I believe, a recurrent theme throughout
the Bible.

Similar examples of God choosing to relent from His plans in response to the
prayers and sufferings of people are seen in
Numbers 11:1-2; Numbers 14:12-20
; Numbers 16:20-35, Numbers 41-48; Deuteronomy 9:13-14
, Deuteronomy 18-25; Judges 10:13-18, Judges 11:1-33; 2 Samuel 24:17-25
; 1 Kings 21:27-29; 2 Kings 13:3-5; 2 Kings 21:27-29; and
1 Chronicles 21:15.

In both the Old and New Testaments, God responded in mighty ways to the
prayers, petitions and needs of His people. He provided incredible military
victories
against impossible odds, sent rain in the midst of droughts, created food
during times of famine, freed slaves from bondage, healed the sick,
delivered
people from demonic possession, and raised the dead back to life.

Had His people not cried out to Him in prayer, would the outcomes still have
been the same?

The more I study the character and actions of God throughout the Bible, the
more I believe it demonstrates that God changes His mind and plans in
response
to the prayers of His people as He sees fit.

Intimacy with God as the Highest Goal

We serve a God who cares deeply for His creation and longs desperately to be
in relationship with each of us. Prayer is essential to that relationship,
for it is the method by which we talk intimately with Him.

Dr. Gregory A. Boyd, in his book “ Letters from a Skeptic
,” explains it this way:

“It’s not that God needs our petitions to be informed or empowered to do
anything…But because a loving relationship with Him is His highest agenda
for
us, He constructs the order of things such that a loving relationship with
Him will be facilitated. And thus He ordains that some things will only be
done
through prayer.”

In other words, because God’s ultimate desire is for us to live in a loving
relationship with Him, and because prayer is the means he created in order
for that relationship to exist, God might very well determine that some
things will only come to pass through prayer.

Ultimately, it’s not about God giving us what we want. It’s about
communicating with our Creator and living intimately with Him.

When God Doesn’t Change His Mind

With all that said, however, we will experience times when God answers our
prayers with a “no” for reasons beyond our understanding.

But in the words of Dr. Boyd, “…Far more important than knowing the
mechanics of answered prayer is knowing that God’s on your side even when
the prayer
is unanswered."

Regardless of whether we believe prayer changes God’s mind, if we trust that
God is sovereign and that His love always prevails in the end, we can trust
that our prayers are not in vain and He is at work redeeming all things—even
things that look like unanswered prayers in this life.

Image Credit: Unsplash.com

Kimberly Carroll is a military spouse, mother of two, and graduate of UNC
Chapel Hill. She has a heart for the weary and broken-hearted, holds tightly
to her eternal hope in Christ, and wants nothing more than for her life to
be an outpouring of God's never-ending love to those around her. On her
blog,
Kimberly discusses mental illness, grief and the importance of never giving
up. Follow her blog at
https://kims88. wordpress.com .

avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sat 07 Oct 2017, 6:27 pm

What “One Little Word” Will Fell Satan?
Bryce Young / August 19, 2017
What “One Little Word” Will Fell Satan?

What is that “one little word” that will fell Satan?

The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! His doom is sure.
One little word shall fell him.

Somehow it took me about twenty years to realize that I had no idea what
Martin Luther was talking about in this line in “A Mighty Fortress Is Our
God.”
Now, a confession: I am a Baptist, not Lutheran — I’m willing to admit there
may be a real, mystical meaning of the “one little word” that only Lutherans
can understand. But probably not.

The identity of this word should matter to us. Most Protestant churches
still sing this “Battle Hymn of the Reformation” regularly in worship. It
does
little good to know that a single word will take down the raging Prince of
Darkness if we have no idea what that word is. So, what word might Luther
have
in mind?

“Jesus”?

When I was a little kid, the only act of spiritual warfare I knew was simply
to say out loud the word “Jesus.” Somewhere, I picked up the idea that
demons
scatter when you mention Jesus’s name
. Maybe Luther’s one little word was “Jesus”?

While it may be a popular and catchy idea to mention “Jesus” for protection
against Satan, the Bible doesn’t specifically commend that approach. The
demons
themselves are not afraid to say Jesus’s name — they even talked directly to
Jesus, knowing exactly who he was (Matthew 8:29; Mark 5:7).

The common idea that “Satan flees at Jesus’s name” may come from the
narratives in the Gospels and Acts where demons are cast out “in the name of
Jesus”
(Mark 9:38; Acts 16:18). It is repeated in a well-known worship song: “The
Enemy, he has to flee at the sound of your great name.”

But we know from the Bible itself that demons feel no fear simply at the
sound of Jesus’s name. Some “itinerant exorcists” adopted this verbal
formula
of simply citing Jesus’s name only to be driven out by the evil spirit
“naked and wounded!” (Acts 19:13–16). It is clearly not the mere sound of
those
two syllables that commands Satan, but the authority from God that lies
behind them (Mark 1:25–27).

Jesus’s name is not a magic spell used to take down evil spirits.

Jesus, the Word of God?

Perhaps Luther meant the Word, Jesus himself (John 1:1). While it is
certainly true biblically that Jesus will be the one to finally destroy the
devil
in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10), it’s probably not what Luther refers
to here.

It is unlikely that Luther would refer to Jesus, the ascended King reigning
now over every name in heaven and on earth, as a
little word (in Luther’s German, wörtlein). Indeed, “the Word was
God.”

Ultimately, our hope of victory against Satan’s schemes is secured by his
final destruction, but more than that, we have hope
now. Even while Satan prowls this earth like a lion (1 Peter 5:8), we are
not at the mercy of our supernatural foe. “His rage we can endure” now,
before
his destruction, by another word.

That Little Word

Martin Luther actually identified the word he had in mind, the one little
word to fell our foe:

“Devil, you lie,” . . . Dr. Luther sings so proudly and boldly in those
words of his hymn, “One little word shall fell him.” (“Against Hanswurst”)

Speaking of himself in the third person, Luther says that the one simple
proclamation that defeats Satan is the simple verdict “Liar.”

Satan is a “liar, and the father of lies” (John 8:44). From the very
beginning, Satan has twisted and contorted the truth of God into a lie
(Genesis 3:1).
And from the very beginning, Satan’s favorite lie has been to declare
“unclean” what God has made clean, to declare “guilty” those whose sins God
has covered.

There’s nothing Satan wants more than to eat away your faith in Jesus. Satan
wants nothing more than for you to forget who you are in Christ. Over and
over, the Bible warns us not not play games with this devouring, roaring
beast of a being. His rage we can
not endure if our strategy is just to disregard him.

The Word of Faith

The text Luther most likely had in mind was Revelation 12:10, where John
writes that “the accuser of our brothers [who is Satan; 12:9] has been
thrown
down, who accuses them day and night before our God.” So there is an
accusation, a lie — Satan speaks “guilty” against the ones God has redeemed.
It’s
the same lie that Satan always speaks to God’s people (Zechariah 3:1).

The answer to this age-old lie is not to repeat Jesus’s name like a mantra.
Nor is it simply to remind ourselves that Satan’s days are numbered. The
answer,
for Luther and in the Bible, is to believe the truth, the gospel. The answer
is to believe the promises of God, that in Christ you are justified (Romans
5:1), clean (1 Corinthians 6:11), holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4), loved
by God (Colossians 3:12), a branch saved from the fire (Zechariah 3:2).

The one, little word against Satan — “Liar!” — is the word of faith. When we
take all of Satan’s lies, his accusations, his reminders of our sins and
place
them in the blood-sealed file marked “Lies,” it is a profession of our faith
in Christ’s promises over against Satan’s accusations. This word is “the
victory
that has overcome” not only the world, but Satan himself (1 John 5:4).

We Tremble Not for Him

Satan is the grim Prince. He is deadly. He is a devouring, fearsome dragon
(Revelation 12:9).

But he is nothing against “the victory that has overcome the world — our
faith” (1 John 5:4). We tremble not for him because every one of his
accusations
— “guilty,” “condemned,” “unrighteous” — are shown to be nothing but lies
before Christ.

So, the next time you sing Luther’s hymn, sing these words with all the more
confidence and joy in Jesus. Say with Luther, “I admit that I deserve death
and hell. What of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on
my behalf.
“His name is Jesus Christ.”
The Final Divide: Eternal Life or Eternal Wrath
John Piper / August 19, 2017
The Final Divide

When your life is over on this earth you will either meet God in eternal
wrath or eternal life.

Listen Now
Desiring God
PO Box 2901
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Copyright ©️ 2017 Desiring God, all rights reserved


Remember Your Baptism
by Liz Kanoy, Crosswalk.com Editor

"And Peter said to them, 'Repent and be baptized every one of you in the
name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive
the
gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children
and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to
himself.'"

- Acts 2:38-39

Three years ago on Pentecost, I attended my godson’s baptism. The pastor
encouraged parents and godparents to remind their children and godchildren
of
their baptisms often. He also encouraged all believers to continually
remember their own baptism and to remember what baptism means for those in
the body
of Christ.

When I was baptized at 23, the pastor prefaced my baptism by saying “there
is nothing magical about this water,” and he was right. There is no magic in
the water and the water itself will not change you, but there is
extraordinary power and hope in the One who makes baptism possible - the One
who baptizes
in the Spirit and transforms the heart.

Whether you lean toward infant baptism or a believer’s baptism
theologically, Christians can all agree that baptism is a symbol of eternal
hope in Christ.
For Christian parents their baby’s baptism is a symbol of their promise to
raise the child to know and love God. For believers, baptism is a symbol of
the lasting hope they possess and a reminder of the promise that has been
fulfilled.

Remember your baptism, but don’t just remember the day or the act - remember
the gospel of Jesus Christ, which gives purpose to all baptisms. Remember
that the Lord called you to Himself, and He chose you by name - not by any
merit of your own but by His free gift of grace.

Throughout the Bible, we can see that God chose people whom we might
consider not so deserving - polytheists, murderers, adulterers, harlots,
liars, and
all other sorts of sinners and sins combined. His point in showing us the
flaws of the people He chose is to remind us that no one is deserving. He
can
give mercy to anyone He chooses because all have fallen short of His glory,
and no one can be justified and sanctified apart from Jesus.

When you remember your baptism, remember that you were nothing and God made
you new. You were without hope, but He called you His own. He has adopted
you
as His child and heir. Remember the sin that caused the world to fall,
understand the consequence of sin for every human being, and realize your
continual
need for the perfect Savior who lived and died and rose for all who would
believe.

Intersecting Faith and Life: Thank your Savior Jesus Christ for your baptism
today, thank Him for the baptism of all those in the body of Christ and
those
in the covenant family, and pray for the baptism of many more--for no one is
without need of grace and no one is beyond God’s reach.

Further Reading
1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Peter 3:21; Colossians 2:12; Galatians 3:27;
Mark 16:16
What is Baptism? Is Baptism Necessary for Salation?

Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List


Members without a Club
by Shawn McEvoy, Crosswalk.com Managing Editor

I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but
through me.
John 14:6

"I don't respect [believers] who don't proselytize. I don't respect that at
all. If you believe that there's a heaven and a hell, and that people could
be going to hell, or not getting eternal life, or whatever, and you think,
well, it's not really worth telling them this because it would make it
socially
awkward... how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How
much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is
possible,
and not tell them that? I mean if I believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that
a truck was coming at you, and you didn't believe it, but that truck was
bearing
down? There's a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important
than that."

Wow, great words. Completely sums up what's at stake with Christian
evangelism, and why it's so important, not to mention commanded. Who said
that? Famous
pastor? Leading revivalist? World-traveled evangelist?

An atheist. One who later in the same speech will say, "I know there's no
God," and "religion does a lot of bad stuff," but who was nonetheless
touched
by a genuine gesture that a simple, normal, respectable gentleman made in
giving the gift of a Gideon Bible.

The atheist in question is Penn Gillette, of the famous magic act Penn &
Teller. You can check out his story of being offered a Bible following one
of
his shows
on YouTube .

I am sure Mr. Gillette and I - and you - disagree on a lot of things. But
he's so right about this. Our pastor was recently addressing some of the
tough
questions about Christianity in a sermon series, including the one about
"how can Christians claim to know the true way; aren't all ways equally
valid?"
And he settled on our verse today -
John 14:6
- which is always our beloved starting prooftext for how Jesus himself
stated that no other way would work.

While that is blessedly true, our pastor suggested we have tended to invert
(if not pervert) the subtlety of Jesus's message here. That is, we've
behaved
like we're privileged members of an exclusive club, one that has all sorts
of rules to keep others out. One that gets to tell them how wrong they are.
One that should be full of joy and open arms, but is instead full of stern
sobriety and pointing fingers. One that nobody would really want to join
anyway
, even if it were a club, which it isn't.

For one thing, we're on a journey toward perfection rather than cloistered
in a cozy clubhouse, and in the same chapter Jesus told his followers that
the
many rooms in his Father's house were being prepared. We aren't living in
them yet. Our clubhouse is not our current home. We have merely started the
trip,
and yet...

We forget where we come from.

Christianity is flawed in part because it is full of losers - yes, those who
have humbly admitted their own shortcomings and acknowledged The Answer is
found outside themselves. My own father - before his conversion - said he
viewed Christianity as a crutch for weak people. "Exactly," was my response.
"But realize, Dad, that also means you're saying it exists and has real
value just as a crutch does." Christ did not come for the healthy, but for
the
sick, the weak. That's us whether we admit it or not. We have no claim to
exclusivity. The message of John 14:6
, similar to how eloquently Mr. Gillette put it, is that anyone is welcome
for
INclusion, provided they... what? Please us? Donate? Stop being so mean? No.
They must simply believe. Our job is to tell them that truck is bearing
down,
politely and sincerely... to give the Bible and to read it ourselves... to
model a life not based on legalism or even moralism, but on the joy of every
day's opportunity along the narrow road and the freedom we have to choose to
follow it or not... to preach the gospel and, when necessary, use words to
do so.

When Jesus told His followers that He was the way and the truth and the
life, it was a statement of
comfort. He had just told them He would be leaving, but that if they had
seen Him (and they Had) then they had seen the Father, and that "you know
the
way to the place where I am going."

Intersecting Faith & Life: Comfort others with this verse. There are a lot
of hurting people in this world who point to this text as the source of
their
conundrum with Christianity. Remind them that we're not about keeping people
out, evoking a membership privilege or condemning them to a more dire fate.
Let God do His job. Our own part has so little to do with do's and don'ts,
and everything to do with sending out party invitations via grace, freedom,
and acceptance. I was lost, and someone pointed me to this road. Many others
had tried before, but their words finally took hold and my eyes were opened
to see it was indeed the right road. Pure blood was shed for you as it was
for anyone who would accept it, repent, seek forgiveness, know joy. Here's a
Bible. Won't you read it and join us on our merry Way?

Check out fantastic resources on Faith , Family , and Fun at
Crosswalk.com !


Do Women Have to Show They are Christians with Their Clothing?
Debbie W. Wilson

The woman’s long black dress flapped in the wind as she strode toward us
revealing a split that ran from her left ankle to her rib cage. Underneath,
her
slender figure and black bikini bottoms winked at us. Shocking? No, she
strolled a beach.

In Israel, a young woman in a long white dress caught my eye at a historic
sight. Her sheer lacy overdress also revealed a slender figure and black
undergarments.
In this setting her outfit screamed, “Notice me.”

Heavy long dresses and veils clearly identified the Muslim women on my visit
to Jerusalem. Long black coats, prayer shawls, and black hats identified the
men from the strict Hasidic Jewish sect.

Do women have to show they are Christian with their clothing? If so, what
does that look like?

In addressing this topic, Paul wrote, “And I want women to be modest in
their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not
draw
attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or
pearls or expensive clothes”
(1 Timothy 2:9 NLT).

Modest, decent, and appropriate…

The Need for Modesty

In Little Women, Big God
I wrote, “God created women to appeal to men, but using sexual attraction
against a man is ugly. Designer Jessica Rey cites research where Princeton
performed
brain scans on men looking at women dressed in various levels of covering.
The scans showed that when some men look at a scantily dressed woman, the
part
of their brains that deals with thoughts, feelings, and intentions shuts
down. Analysts from National Geographic concluded that bikinis cause male
brains
to see women as objects or as something to be used, not as people to connect
with.”

What’s Appropriate?

In Genesis 38, Tamar covered herself with a veil when she seduced her
father-in-law. That sounds modest. “
But she was dressed in temple prostitute attire . Temple prostitutes wore
veils to create the illusion that the sexual act was taking place with the
goddess
being worshipped. Just as red lights have been used to signify areas of
prostitution, Tamar’s veil identified her as a temple prostitute.”

To avoid sending the wrong message, Christ’s followers must dress not only
with appropriate modesty but also with suitable awareness of our culture’s
interpretation
of symbols.

While our culture calls moral standards outdated, God values sexual purity.
“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any
kind of impurity,… because these are improper for God’s holy people… For you
were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of
light”
(Eph. 5:3, 8).

Did you catch the reason we seek purity? God calls us holy! We are children
of light. God gave us new natures that, like Jesus, want to please Him. If
we see ourselves as He sees us our dress will reflect it. If we don’t see
ourselves that way, we need to learn about our identity in Christ.

Modesty doesn’t mean drabness. Look at the beautiful colors and patterns God
chose for rainbows, flowers, fish, feathers, and fur. Dull and boring doesn’t
convey godliness.

Love and Respect

Jesus said the greatest commandments are to love God with all your being and
to love your neighbor as yourself. Love guides us even in what to wear.
Modesty
shows respect for:

• Myself—as God’s child (Phil. 2:15).
• God—as His ambassador (2 Cor. 5:20).
• Others—by not being offensive, seductive, or distracting (Phil. 2:3).

Dressing seductively invites the wrong kind of attention. God’s children
aren’t needy.

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

Some women hope a frumpy exterior will make them invisible to men. Accepting
femininity, instead of denying or flaunting it, shows respect to the Creator
of genders.

Clothes for Every Believer

Too often we focus on externals while the Bible focuses on the heart. We
sometimes use the term
habit to describe clothing associated with an action. A nun’s habit and a
riding habit tell something about those wearing them. Choosing the right
attitude
should come before selecting the perfect outfit.

“For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe
of his righteousness”
(Isaiah 61:10).

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves
with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”
(Colossians 3:12 NIV).

The religious teachers in Jesus’ day created many rules. Yet their human
laws didn’t make them holy. They crucified God’s Son while keeping their
laws!

Paul said this about man-made rules, “If you have died with Christ to the
world’s way of doing things, why do you let others tell you how to live? It’s
as though you were still under the world’s influence. People will tell you,
‘Don’t handle this! Don’t taste or touch that!’ All of these things deal
with
objects that are only used up anyway. These things look like wisdom with
their self-imposed worship, false humility, and harsh treatment of the body.
But
they have no value for holding back the constant desires of your corrupt
nature”
(Colossians 2:20-23 GW).

Love Sets the Limit
The Bible says where the Spirit of the Lord is, there’s liberty (2 Cor.
3:17). It also says not to let our freedom cause our brother for whom Christ
died
to stumble
(Romans 14:13-20). God gives us freedom to express our unique personalities,
but makes clear it is better not to wear anything that will cause a brother
to fall. Love produces freedom that protects.

Debbie W. Wilson is an ordinary woman who has experienced an extraordinary
God. Drawing from her personal walk with Christ, twenty-four years as a
Christian
counselor, and decades as a Bible teacher, Debbie speaks and writes to help
others discover relevant faith. She is the author of
Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break
. Share her journey to refreshing faith at
her blog .

What Jesus Really Said about Poverty
by Jesus’ Economy

by John Barry

In Jesus, God came as a poor man, lived as a poor man, and died as a poor
man. He is good news to the poor. And as such, Jesus cared deeply about the
impoverished.

Being What We Believe

What we do with our beliefs is as important to Jesus as what we believe.
Jesus is about complete commitment to loving him and others. Jesus loves
belief-filled
actions, as his saying to a wealthy young man shows: “If you would be
perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have
treasure
in heaven; and come, follow me”
(Matthew 19:21; see 19:16–30 ESV). The man walks away sorrowful. Jesus then
says his famous:

“Truly I say to you that with difficulty a rich person will enter into the
kingdom of heaven! And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go
through
the eye of a needle than a rich person into the kingdom of God”
(Matthew 19:23-24).

Jesus’ disciples then ask, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looks at them and
says: “With human beings this is impossible, but with God all things are
possible”
(
>Matthew 19:25-26). Jesus is not suggesting it is impossible for a rich
>person to enter the kingdom of heaven, or be saved—He is saying it is only
>possible
with God. And for God to enter a person’s life they must be open to Him
entering.

Many of us are just like the rich young man. Out of one side of our mouth we
speak allegiance to Jesus, but out of the other side we’re speaking
allegiance
to the trappings of wealth. I know, because the rich young man asks the same
questions I would ask. Look at the events that prompted Jesus to make his
statement about the wealthy:

“And behold, someone [the rich young man] came up to him and said, ‘Teacher,
what good thing must I do so that I will have eternal life?’ And he said to
him, ‘Why are you asking me about what is good? There is one who is good.
But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments!’ He said to him,
‘Which
ones?’ And Jesus said, ‘Do not commit murder, do not commit adultery, do not
steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and your mother, and
love your neighbor as yourself.’ The young man said to him, ‘All these I
have observed. What do I still lack?’”
(Matthew 19:16-21).

Jesus is clearly frustrated and perhaps even offended: “Why are you asking
me about what is good?” The man is asking the wrong question. He doesn’t ask
how he can follow Jesus, or what it means to be a disciple—or what good
thing he can do for the world on behalf of a good God. He asks, “What must I
do
so that I will have eternal life?” If we’re honest with ourselves, isn’t
that the question many of us are asking God today? Jesus is unsatisfied with
that
question.

Eternal life (salvation) is God’s great gift, but it’s meant to be a gift
that prompts action. It is meant to give us purpose.

When I was confronted with the reality of the story of the rich young man, I
again asked another question that he asks: “Which [commandments]?” Jesus
cites
to the man all the relational Ten Commandments, and in doing so, basically
implies, “All of them.” The man tells Jesus he has observed these and then
asks,
“What do I lack?” It is this question that gets to the root of the issue.
Jesus tells the man that he lacks self-sacrifice for others—he lacks giving
to
the extent that it is painful to him. He lacks an ability to put aside his
wealth for the sake of the gospel. Wealth is meant to bless others—plain and
simple (see
Genesis 12:1-3 for an example). It is not for hording, and it will—if not
given up, when God prompts you—keep you from fully experiencing the
blessings
of God.

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

But do not fear, fret, or worry—instead, pray. Remember: “With human beings
this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

What Jesus Would Say to Us Today

Put simply, when we apply Jesus’ sayings today, they look like withdrawing
from any relationship, occupation, event, or thing that stands between you
and
following Jesus—permitted that you can do so while still honoring the
commandments Jesus tells the rich young man to keep: “Do not commit murder,
do not
commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your
father and your mother, and love your neighbor as yourself”
(Matthew 19:18-19).

Jesus has called us to join him in His work—to believe in it with all we
have. The cost may be hard to bear or understand at times, but when it’s put
in
the perspective of all that Christ has done for us—dying for our sins—it
seems like very little.

Jesus’ Currency and “Owning” the Problems of Poverty

The currency of Jesus’ kingdom is different than ours. Jesus’ economy is
based on self-sacrifice and His currency love. For Jesus, belief and actions
are
one and the same—you cannot have one without the other.

The more I reflect on the problem of poverty—and what Jesus had to say about
it—the more I realize that we own the problems of the impoverished as much
as they do. Our inactions have created many of them. We—all of us—are at
fault for the state of our world. But we can also join Jesus in changing the
state
of our world.

If Jesus believed that belief is about action, why don’t we? Why have we not
dedicated ourselves to bringing true discipleship and love to others, when
it’s what Christ told us to do? What good is belief without it offering true
hope?

God has asked us to demonstrate our belief by bringing good news to those
who feel hopeless. We are called to drop everything for Him—what is He
calling
you to drop for Him? This is Jesus’ view of the economy. He envisions what
the world could look like and calls us to join God in the process of making
that vision a reality. It’s about exchanging the currencies of this world
for the currency of love.

An adapted/modified version of this article was originally published by "on
faith"/"faith street" as "
Five Sayings of the Homeless Jesus ."

John D. Barry is the CEO and Founder of Jesus’ Economy

When You Expect More from the Church
Gina Smith

You walk into the church and quietly find a place to sit. You purpose not to
make eye contact with anyone because you really don’t want to make
meaningless
small talk, nor do you want to get into any kind of in depth conversation.
You just want to be left alone. The fact that you even showed up today feels
like a big accomplishment.

Life has been so hard lately and you feel like no one has been there for
you.

Sitting quietly, you observe others as they make their way down the aisle.
One by one they find a place to sit and settle in for the church service.
One
by one, as you see them walk by, you are reminded of the ways you have been
let down. Thoughts begin to fill your mind and take away the desire to even
be in church at all!

If it wasn’t time for the service to start, and the kids weren’t settled,
you would just get up and go home. You are so discouraged. You expected more
from this church. You expected more from the Church.

The Church. It can be a confusing place at times. You walk through the front
doors expecting people to somehow be different than the outside world. You
expect loyalty, friendship, sensitivity, and an extended hand. You expect
compassion, fellowship, support and to feel included rather than excluded.

You expect more than what you are experiencing. You feel like walking away.

But what if everyone chose to walk away just because they are disappointed
and disillusioned with the Church? What if everyone gave up. There would be
no one left. And you know what? If that happened, there would probably be
at least one person (if not more than one!) who walked away because they
felt
disappointed by YOU! Yes. You. Because as much as we want to believe we don’t
act like “those hypocrites in the Church”, we do. I do. We have all let
someone down in one way or another. It can’t be avoided.

So what do we do?

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

Stop expecting more. BE more.

It must begin somewhere. And when we decide that we are going to stop
sitting there reminding ourselves of all the ways we’ve been let down, and
choose
to
be MORE than what we see. MORE than what we’ve been. Then we will begin to
see the people, who we feel have let us down, through eyes of grace. We
will
begin to see how we have also let others down. And we will begin to purpose
to look for ways to strengthen the Church.

Stop expecting more. BE more.

How can you reach out and strengthen the Church today?

This article originally appeared on GinaLSmith.com
. Used with permission.

Gina Smith is the author of Grace Gifts: Celebrating Your Children Every Day
, and writes at her personal blog GinalSmith.com
She has also been featured on HSLDA'S
Homeschool Heartbeat Radio. She has been married to her husband Brian for 29
years and they have 2 adult children


No Weeping in Heaven

I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard
in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress. -
Isaiah 65:19

In heaven the glorified do not weep, for all outward causes of grief are
gone. There are no broken friendships, nor unfulfilled longings in heaven.
Poverty,
famine, danger, persecution, and slander are unknown there. There will be no
pain to distress us, no anxious thoughts of death or bereavement to sadden.
Those there do not weep, for they are perfectly sanctified. No evil heart of
unbelief prompts them to depart from the living God; they are faultless
before
His throne and fully conformed to His image. Well might they stop mourning
since they have stopped sinning. They do not weep, because all fear of
change
is past. They know that they are eternally secure. Sin is shut out, and they
are shut in. They are safe in a city that will never be taken; they bask in
a sun that shall never set; they drink of a river that will never run dry;
they pluck fruit from a tree that will never wither. Countless cycles may
revolve,
but eternity will not be exhausted; and while eternity endures, their
immortality and blessedness shall endure with it.

They are forever with the Lord. They do not weep because every desire is
fulfilled. They cannot wish for anything that they do not have. Eye and ear,
heart
and hand, judgment, imagination, hope, desire and will-all the faculties are
completely satisfied; and although our present ideas of what God has
prepared
for those who love him are imperfect, still we know by the revelation of the
Spirit that the saints above are supremely blessed. The joy of Christ, which
is an infinite fullness of delight, is in them. They bathe themselves in the
bottomless, shoreless sea of infinite blessing. That same joyful rest awaits
us. It may not be too long before the weeping willow is exchanged for the
palm-branch of victory, and sorrow's tears will be transformed into the
pearls
of everlasting bliss. "Therefore encourage one other with these words."1

1 1 Thessalonians 4:18

Family Bible reading plan

verse 1 1 Samuel 15

verse 2 Romans 13

Name above All Names

By Alistair Begg & Sinclair Ferguson

Jesus Christ has been given the name above all names, the highest seat of
honor, the right to reign and rule. Yet the busyness of our lives and the
diversions
of this world often distract us from knowing the most important person we
could ever know. Perhaps we need some help to see Jesus afresh.

In this thoughtful study and worshipful reflection, two influential pastors
draw on decades of pastoral experience in order to guide us through the
whole
sweep of Scripture and examine seven key qualities of Jesus’s identity and
ministry:

• Jesus as the True Prophet
• Jesus as the Great High Priest
• Jesus as the Conquering King
• Jesus as the Seed of the Woman
• Jesus as the Son of Man
• Jesus as the Suffering Servant
• Jesus as the Lamb on the Throne

Name above All Names helps us to see and meditate on the incomparable
character of Christ--a spiritual exercise that enables us to readily respond
to the
exhortations of Scripture, to focus our gaze upon the King of kings, and to
better understand just how great Jesus really is.

Click here to learn more about Truth For Life

From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright (c)
2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good
News

No Weeping in Heaven

I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard
in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress. -
Isaiah 65:19

In heaven the glorified do not weep, for all outward causes of grief are
gone. There are no broken friendships, nor unfulfilled longings in heaven.
Poverty,
famine, danger, persecution, and slander are unknown there. There will be no
pain to distress us, no anxious thoughts of death or bereavement to sadden.
Those there do not weep, for they are perfectly sanctified. No evil heart of
unbelief prompts them to depart from the living God; they are faultless
before
His throne and fully conformed to His image. Well might they stop mourning
since they have stopped sinning. They do not weep, because all fear of
change
is past. They know that they are eternally secure. Sin is shut out, and they
are shut in. They are safe in a city that will never be taken; they bask in
a sun that shall never set; they drink of a river that will never run dry;
they pluck fruit from a tree that will never wither. Countless cycles may
revolve,
but eternity will not be exhausted; and while eternity endures, their
immortality and blessedness shall endure with it.

They are forever with the Lord. They do not weep because every desire is
fulfilled. They cannot wish for anything that they do not have. Eye and ear,
heart
and hand, judgment, imagination, hope, desire and will-all the faculties are
completely satisfied; and although our present ideas of what God has
prepared
for those who love him are imperfect, still we know by the revelation of the
Spirit that the saints above are supremely blessed. The joy of Christ, which
is an infinite fullness of delight, is in them. They bathe themselves in the
bottomless, shoreless sea of infinite blessing. That same joyful rest awaits
us. It may not be too long before the weeping willow is exchanged for the
palm-branch of victory, and sorrow's tears will be transformed into the
pearls
of everlasting bliss. "Therefore encourage one other with these words."1

1 1 Thessalonians 4:18

Family Bible reading plan

verse 1 1 Samuel 15

verse 2 Romans 13

Name above All Names

By Alistair Begg & Sinclair Ferguson

Jesus Christ has been given the name above all names, the highest seat of
honor, the right to reign and rule. Yet the busyness of our lives and the
diversions
of this world often distract us from knowing the most important person we
could ever know. Perhaps we need some help to see Jesus afresh.

In this thoughtful study and worshipful reflection, two influential pastors
draw on decades of pastoral experience in order to guide us through the
whole
sweep of Scripture and examine seven key qualities of Jesus’s identity and
ministry:

• Jesus as the True Prophet
• Jesus as the Great High Priest
• Jesus as the Conquering King
• Jesus as the Seed of the Woman
• Jesus as the Son of Man
• Jesus as the Suffering Servant
• Jesus as the Lamb on the Throne

Name above All Names helps us to see and meditate on the incomparable
character of Christ--a spiritual exercise that enables us to readily respond
to the
exhortations of Scripture, to focus our gaze upon the King of kings, and to
better understand just how great Jesus really is.

Click here to learn more about Truth For Life

From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright (c)
2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good
News

13 Scriptures to Meditate on When Your Future Is Uncertain
by Mark Altrogge

At one time or another, all of us will face times of uncertainty.

Maybe you graduated from college and have no idea what you will do this
coming January. Perhaps you just lost your job. Or you’ve just moved to a
new area
where you know no one. Maybe you’ve just started a new job and feel
overwhelmed at the challenges that loom before you. Maybe you’re single and
wonder
if you’ll ever get married. Your life may even be so uncertain you don’t
know where your next meal will come from.

The reality is that none of us are secure in this world except in Christ.
Nothing is certain. We aren’t guaranteed our next meal. We aren’t even
guaranteed
our next heartbeat. Even when we feel secure, we are incredibly fragile and
completely dependent on the Lord for every breath. But when we are
particularly
tempted about the future it is important for us to meditate on these bedrock
truths. My suggestion would be to copy these verses and put them somewhere
so you can see them regularly, like in your Bible or on your fridge. Even if
you only meditate on the first three or four, God will use his word to
encourage
your heart.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare
and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel
you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8

Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man
of peace. Psalm 37:37

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not
also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32

Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the LORD all
the day. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
Proverbs
23:17-18

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are
sweet to your taste. Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it,
there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 24:13-14

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we
drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these
things,
and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the
kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to
you. Matthew 6:31-33

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which
God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them
eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of
my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no
one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. John 10:27-29

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have,
for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the
rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall
not be
burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:2

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts
in you. Isaiah 26:3

I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous
forsaken or his children begging for bread. Psalm 37:25

Solid Joys Daily Devotional | Desiring God

Solid Joys: Daily Devotionals from John Piper
Shadows and Streams
By John Piper

May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works,
who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they
smoke! I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my
God while I have being. May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice
in the Lord.
(Psalm 104:31–34)

God rejoices in the works of creation because they point us beyond
themselves to God himself.

God means for us to be stunned and awed by his work of creation. But not for
its own sake. He means for us to look at his creation and say: If the mere
work of his fingers (just his fingers! Psalm 8:3) is so full of wisdom and
power and grandeur and majesty and beauty, what must this God be like in
himself!

These are but the backside of his glory, as it were, darkly seen through a
glass. What will it be to see the Creator himself! Not his works! A billion
galaxies will not satisfy the human soul. God and God alone is the soul’s
end.

Jonathan Edwards expressed it like this:

The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be
satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than
the most
pleasant accommodations here. . . . [These] are but shadows; but God is the
substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but
streams; but God is the ocean.

This is why Psalm 104 (verses 31–34) comes to a close like this, with a
focus on God himself. In the end it will not be the seas or the mountains or
the
canyons or the water spiders or the clouds or the great galaxies that fill
our hearts to breaking with wonder and fill our mouths with eternal praise.
It will be God.

Copyright ©️ 2017 Desiring God, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have asked to receive updates from
Solid Joys.


Anne Graham Lotz - God Is the Potter
View this email in your browser

Share
Tweet
Forward

God Is the Potter
You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the
work of Your hand.

Isaiah 64:8, NKJV

The principle that suffering leads to glory is illustrated in Scripture by a
vivid description of clay on the Potter’s wheel – clay that was once
cracked,
shattered, and broken, clay that was totally useless and ugly. The Potter
took the clay and broke it down even further, grinding it into dust then
moistening
it with water before He put it on His wheel and began to remake it into a
vessel pleasing to Himself. The cracks and chips and broken pieces
disappeared
as the clay became soft and pliable to the Potter’s touch.

But the clay was still soft and weak, the color dull and drab. So the Potter
placed the vessel into the fiery kiln, carefully keeping His eye on it as
He submitted it to the raging heat. At a time He alone determined was
sufficient, the Potter withdrew the pot from the furnace. The blazing heat
had radically
transformed into a vessel of strength and glorious, multicolored beauty.

You and I are just little clay pots destined for glory!

Blessings,

Copyright ©️ 2017 AnGeL Ministries, All rights reserved.

avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sat 07 Oct 2017, 6:26 pm

What “One Little Word” Will Fell Satan?
Bryce Young / August 19, 2017
What “One Little Word” Will Fell Satan?

What is that “one little word” that will fell Satan?

The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! His doom is sure.
One little word shall fell him.

Somehow it took me about twenty years to realize that I had no idea what
Martin Luther was talking about in this line in “A Mighty Fortress Is Our
God.”
Now, a confession: I am a Baptist, not Lutheran — I’m willing to admit there
may be a real, mystical meaning of the “one little word” that only Lutherans
can understand. But probably not.

The identity of this word should matter to us. Most Protestant churches
still sing this “Battle Hymn of the Reformation” regularly in worship. It
does
little good to know that a single word will take down the raging Prince of
Darkness if we have no idea what that word is. So, what word might Luther
have
in mind?

“Jesus”?

When I was a little kid, the only act of spiritual warfare I knew was simply
to say out loud the word “Jesus.” Somewhere, I picked up the idea that
demons
scatter when you mention Jesus’s name
. Maybe Luther’s one little word was “Jesus”?

While it may be a popular and catchy idea to mention “Jesus” for protection
against Satan, the Bible doesn’t specifically commend that approach. The
demons
themselves are not afraid to say Jesus’s name — they even talked directly to
Jesus, knowing exactly who he was (Matthew 8:29; Mark 5:7).

The common idea that “Satan flees at Jesus’s name” may come from the
narratives in the Gospels and Acts where demons are cast out “in the name of
Jesus”
(Mark 9:38; Acts 16:18). It is repeated in a well-known worship song: “The
Enemy, he has to flee at the sound of your great name.”

But we know from the Bible itself that demons feel no fear simply at the
sound of Jesus’s name. Some “itinerant exorcists” adopted this verbal
formula
of simply citing Jesus’s name only to be driven out by the evil spirit
“naked and wounded!” (Acts 19:13–16). It is clearly not the mere sound of
those
two syllables that commands Satan, but the authority from God that lies
behind them (Mark 1:25–27).

Jesus’s name is not a magic spell used to take down evil spirits.

Jesus, the Word of God?

Perhaps Luther meant the Word, Jesus himself (John 1:1). While it is
certainly true biblically that Jesus will be the one to finally destroy the
devil
in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10), it’s probably not what Luther refers
to here.

It is unlikely that Luther would refer to Jesus, the ascended King reigning
now over every name in heaven and on earth, as a
little word (in Luther’s German, wörtlein). Indeed, “the Word was
God.”

Ultimately, our hope of victory against Satan’s schemes is secured by his
final destruction, but more than that, we have hope
now. Even while Satan prowls this earth like a lion (1 Peter 5:8), we are
not at the mercy of our supernatural foe. “His rage we can endure” now,
before
his destruction, by another word.

That Little Word

Martin Luther actually identified the word he had in mind, the one little
word to fell our foe:

“Devil, you lie,” . . . Dr. Luther sings so proudly and boldly in those
words of his hymn, “One little word shall fell him.” (“Against Hanswurst”)

Speaking of himself in the third person, Luther says that the one simple
proclamation that defeats Satan is the simple verdict “Liar.”

Satan is a “liar, and the father of lies” (John 8:44). From the very
beginning, Satan has twisted and contorted the truth of God into a lie
(Genesis 3:1).
And from the very beginning, Satan’s favorite lie has been to declare
“unclean” what God has made clean, to declare “guilty” those whose sins God
has covered.

There’s nothing Satan wants more than to eat away your faith in Jesus. Satan
wants nothing more than for you to forget who you are in Christ. Over and
over, the Bible warns us not not play games with this devouring, roaring
beast of a being. His rage we can
not endure if our strategy is just to disregard him.

The Word of Faith

The text Luther most likely had in mind was Revelation 12:10, where John
writes that “the accuser of our brothers [who is Satan; 12:9] has been
thrown
down, who accuses them day and night before our God.” So there is an
accusation, a lie — Satan speaks “guilty” against the ones God has redeemed.
It’s
the same lie that Satan always speaks to God’s people (Zechariah 3:1).

The answer to this age-old lie is not to repeat Jesus’s name like a mantra.
Nor is it simply to remind ourselves that Satan’s days are numbered. The
answer,
for Luther and in the Bible, is to believe the truth, the gospel. The answer
is to believe the promises of God, that in Christ you are justified (Romans
5:1), clean (1 Corinthians 6:11), holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4), loved
by God (Colossians 3:12), a branch saved from the fire (Zechariah 3:2).

The one, little word against Satan — “Liar!” — is the word of faith. When we
take all of Satan’s lies, his accusations, his reminders of our sins and
place
them in the blood-sealed file marked “Lies,” it is a profession of our faith
in Christ’s promises over against Satan’s accusations. This word is “the
victory
that has overcome” not only the world, but Satan himself (1 John 5:4).

We Tremble Not for Him

Satan is the grim Prince. He is deadly. He is a devouring, fearsome dragon
(Revelation 12:9).

But he is nothing against “the victory that has overcome the world — our
faith” (1 John 5:4). We tremble not for him because every one of his
accusations
— “guilty,” “condemned,” “unrighteous” — are shown to be nothing but lies
before Christ.

So, the next time you sing Luther’s hymn, sing these words with all the more
confidence and joy in Jesus. Say with Luther, “I admit that I deserve death
and hell. What of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on
my behalf.
“His name is Jesus Christ.”
The Final Divide: Eternal Life or Eternal Wrath
John Piper / August 19, 2017
The Final Divide

When your life is over on this earth you will either meet God in eternal
wrath or eternal life.

Listen Now
Desiring God
PO Box 2901
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Copyright ©️ 2017 Desiring God, all rights reserved


Remember Your Baptism
by Liz Kanoy, Crosswalk.com Editor

"And Peter said to them, 'Repent and be baptized every one of you in the
name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive
the
gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children
and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to
himself.'"

- Acts 2:38-39

Three years ago on Pentecost, I attended my godson’s baptism. The pastor
encouraged parents and godparents to remind their children and godchildren
of
their baptisms often. He also encouraged all believers to continually
remember their own baptism and to remember what baptism means for those in
the body
of Christ.

When I was baptized at 23, the pastor prefaced my baptism by saying “there
is nothing magical about this water,” and he was right. There is no magic in
the water and the water itself will not change you, but there is
extraordinary power and hope in the One who makes baptism possible - the One
who baptizes
in the Spirit and transforms the heart.

Whether you lean toward infant baptism or a believer’s baptism
theologically, Christians can all agree that baptism is a symbol of eternal
hope in Christ.
For Christian parents their baby’s baptism is a symbol of their promise to
raise the child to know and love God. For believers, baptism is a symbol of
the lasting hope they possess and a reminder of the promise that has been
fulfilled.

Remember your baptism, but don’t just remember the day or the act - remember
the gospel of Jesus Christ, which gives purpose to all baptisms. Remember
that the Lord called you to Himself, and He chose you by name - not by any
merit of your own but by His free gift of grace.

Throughout the Bible, we can see that God chose people whom we might
consider not so deserving - polytheists, murderers, adulterers, harlots,
liars, and
all other sorts of sinners and sins combined. His point in showing us the
flaws of the people He chose is to remind us that no one is deserving. He
can
give mercy to anyone He chooses because all have fallen short of His glory,
and no one can be justified and sanctified apart from Jesus.

When you remember your baptism, remember that you were nothing and God made
you new. You were without hope, but He called you His own. He has adopted
you
as His child and heir. Remember the sin that caused the world to fall,
understand the consequence of sin for every human being, and realize your
continual
need for the perfect Savior who lived and died and rose for all who would
believe.

Intersecting Faith and Life: Thank your Savior Jesus Christ for your baptism
today, thank Him for the baptism of all those in the body of Christ and
those
in the covenant family, and pray for the baptism of many more--for no one is
without need of grace and no one is beyond God’s reach.

Further Reading
1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Peter 3:21; Colossians 2:12; Galatians 3:27;
Mark 16:16
What is Baptism? Is Baptism Necessary for Salation?

Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List


Members without a Club
by Shawn McEvoy, Crosswalk.com Managing Editor

I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but
through me.
John 14:6

"I don't respect [believers] who don't proselytize. I don't respect that at
all. If you believe that there's a heaven and a hell, and that people could
be going to hell, or not getting eternal life, or whatever, and you think,
well, it's not really worth telling them this because it would make it
socially
awkward... how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How
much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is
possible,
and not tell them that? I mean if I believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that
a truck was coming at you, and you didn't believe it, but that truck was
bearing
down? There's a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important
than that."

Wow, great words. Completely sums up what's at stake with Christian
evangelism, and why it's so important, not to mention commanded. Who said
that? Famous
pastor? Leading revivalist? World-traveled evangelist?

An atheist. One who later in the same speech will say, "I know there's no
God," and "religion does a lot of bad stuff," but who was nonetheless
touched
by a genuine gesture that a simple, normal, respectable gentleman made in
giving the gift of a Gideon Bible.

The atheist in question is Penn Gillette, of the famous magic act Penn &
Teller. You can check out his story of being offered a Bible following one
of
his shows
on YouTube .

I am sure Mr. Gillette and I - and you - disagree on a lot of things. But
he's so right about this. Our pastor was recently addressing some of the
tough
questions about Christianity in a sermon series, including the one about
"how can Christians claim to know the true way; aren't all ways equally
valid?"
And he settled on our verse today -
John 14:6
- which is always our beloved starting prooftext for how Jesus himself
stated that no other way would work.

While that is blessedly true, our pastor suggested we have tended to invert
(if not pervert) the subtlety of Jesus's message here. That is, we've
behaved
like we're privileged members of an exclusive club, one that has all sorts
of rules to keep others out. One that gets to tell them how wrong they are.
One that should be full of joy and open arms, but is instead full of stern
sobriety and pointing fingers. One that nobody would really want to join
anyway
, even if it were a club, which it isn't.

For one thing, we're on a journey toward perfection rather than cloistered
in a cozy clubhouse, and in the same chapter Jesus told his followers that
the
many rooms in his Father's house were being prepared. We aren't living in
them yet. Our clubhouse is not our current home. We have merely started the
trip,
and yet...

We forget where we come from.

Christianity is flawed in part because it is full of losers - yes, those who
have humbly admitted their own shortcomings and acknowledged The Answer is
found outside themselves. My own father - before his conversion - said he
viewed Christianity as a crutch for weak people. "Exactly," was my response.
"But realize, Dad, that also means you're saying it exists and has real
value just as a crutch does." Christ did not come for the healthy, but for
the
sick, the weak. That's us whether we admit it or not. We have no claim to
exclusivity. The message of John 14:6
, similar to how eloquently Mr. Gillette put it, is that anyone is welcome
for
INclusion, provided they... what? Please us? Donate? Stop being so mean? No.
They must simply believe. Our job is to tell them that truck is bearing
down,
politely and sincerely... to give the Bible and to read it ourselves... to
model a life not based on legalism or even moralism, but on the joy of every
day's opportunity along the narrow road and the freedom we have to choose to
follow it or not... to preach the gospel and, when necessary, use words to
do so.

When Jesus told His followers that He was the way and the truth and the
life, it was a statement of
comfort. He had just told them He would be leaving, but that if they had
seen Him (and they Had) then they had seen the Father, and that "you know
the
way to the place where I am going."

Intersecting Faith & Life: Comfort others with this verse. There are a lot
of hurting people in this world who point to this text as the source of
their
conundrum with Christianity. Remind them that we're not about keeping people
out, evoking a membership privilege or condemning them to a more dire fate.
Let God do His job. Our own part has so little to do with do's and don'ts,
and everything to do with sending out party invitations via grace, freedom,
and acceptance. I was lost, and someone pointed me to this road. Many others
had tried before, but their words finally took hold and my eyes were opened
to see it was indeed the right road. Pure blood was shed for you as it was
for anyone who would accept it, repent, seek forgiveness, know joy. Here's a
Bible. Won't you read it and join us on our merry Way?

Check out fantastic resources on Faith , Family , and Fun at
Crosswalk.com !


Do Women Have to Show They are Christians with Their Clothing?
Debbie W. Wilson

The woman’s long black dress flapped in the wind as she strode toward us
revealing a split that ran from her left ankle to her rib cage. Underneath,
her
slender figure and black bikini bottoms winked at us. Shocking? No, she
strolled a beach.

In Israel, a young woman in a long white dress caught my eye at a historic
sight. Her sheer lacy overdress also revealed a slender figure and black
undergarments.
In this setting her outfit screamed, “Notice me.”

Heavy long dresses and veils clearly identified the Muslim women on my visit
to Jerusalem. Long black coats, prayer shawls, and black hats identified the
men from the strict Hasidic Jewish sect.

Do women have to show they are Christian with their clothing? If so, what
does that look like?

In addressing this topic, Paul wrote, “And I want women to be modest in
their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not
draw
attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or
pearls or expensive clothes”
(1 Timothy 2:9 NLT).

Modest, decent, and appropriate…

The Need for Modesty

In Little Women, Big God
I wrote, “God created women to appeal to men, but using sexual attraction
against a man is ugly. Designer Jessica Rey cites research where Princeton
performed
brain scans on men looking at women dressed in various levels of covering.
The scans showed that when some men look at a scantily dressed woman, the
part
of their brains that deals with thoughts, feelings, and intentions shuts
down. Analysts from National Geographic concluded that bikinis cause male
brains
to see women as objects or as something to be used, not as people to connect
with.”

What’s Appropriate?

In Genesis 38, Tamar covered herself with a veil when she seduced her
father-in-law. That sounds modest. “
But she was dressed in temple prostitute attire . Temple prostitutes wore
veils to create the illusion that the sexual act was taking place with the
goddess
being worshipped. Just as red lights have been used to signify areas of
prostitution, Tamar’s veil identified her as a temple prostitute.”

To avoid sending the wrong message, Christ’s followers must dress not only
with appropriate modesty but also with suitable awareness of our culture’s
interpretation
of symbols.

While our culture calls moral standards outdated, God values sexual purity.
“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any
kind of impurity,… because these are improper for God’s holy people… For you
were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of
light”
(Eph. 5:3, 8).

Did you catch the reason we seek purity? God calls us holy! We are children
of light. God gave us new natures that, like Jesus, want to please Him. If
we see ourselves as He sees us our dress will reflect it. If we don’t see
ourselves that way, we need to learn about our identity in Christ.

Modesty doesn’t mean drabness. Look at the beautiful colors and patterns God
chose for rainbows, flowers, fish, feathers, and fur. Dull and boring doesn’t
convey godliness.

Love and Respect

Jesus said the greatest commandments are to love God with all your being and
to love your neighbor as yourself. Love guides us even in what to wear.
Modesty
shows respect for:

• Myself—as God’s child (Phil. 2:15).
• God—as His ambassador (2 Cor. 5:20).
• Others—by not being offensive, seductive, or distracting (Phil. 2:3).

Dressing seductively invites the wrong kind of attention. God’s children
aren’t needy.

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

Some women hope a frumpy exterior will make them invisible to men. Accepting
femininity, instead of denying or flaunting it, shows respect to the Creator
of genders.

Clothes for Every Believer

Too often we focus on externals while the Bible focuses on the heart. We
sometimes use the term
habit to describe clothing associated with an action. A nun’s habit and a
riding habit tell something about those wearing them. Choosing the right
attitude
should come before selecting the perfect outfit.

“For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe
of his righteousness”
(Isaiah 61:10).

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves
with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”
(Colossians 3:12 NIV).

The religious teachers in Jesus’ day created many rules. Yet their human
laws didn’t make them holy. They crucified God’s Son while keeping their
laws!

Paul said this about man-made rules, “If you have died with Christ to the
world’s way of doing things, why do you let others tell you how to live? It’s
as though you were still under the world’s influence. People will tell you,
‘Don’t handle this! Don’t taste or touch that!’ All of these things deal
with
objects that are only used up anyway. These things look like wisdom with
their self-imposed worship, false humility, and harsh treatment of the body.
But
they have no value for holding back the constant desires of your corrupt
nature”
(Colossians 2:20-23 GW).

Love Sets the Limit
The Bible says where the Spirit of the Lord is, there’s liberty (2 Cor.
3:17). It also says not to let our freedom cause our brother for whom Christ
died
to stumble
(Romans 14:13-20). God gives us freedom to express our unique personalities,
but makes clear it is better not to wear anything that will cause a brother
to fall. Love produces freedom that protects.

Debbie W. Wilson is an ordinary woman who has experienced an extraordinary
God. Drawing from her personal walk with Christ, twenty-four years as a
Christian
counselor, and decades as a Bible teacher, Debbie speaks and writes to help
others discover relevant faith. She is the author of
Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break
. Share her journey to refreshing faith at
her blog .

What Jesus Really Said about Poverty
by Jesus’ Economy

by John Barry

In Jesus, God came as a poor man, lived as a poor man, and died as a poor
man. He is good news to the poor. And as such, Jesus cared deeply about the
impoverished.

Being What We Believe

What we do with our beliefs is as important to Jesus as what we believe.
Jesus is about complete commitment to loving him and others. Jesus loves
belief-filled
actions, as his saying to a wealthy young man shows: “If you would be
perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have
treasure
in heaven; and come, follow me”
(Matthew 19:21; see 19:16–30 ESV). The man walks away sorrowful. Jesus then
says his famous:

“Truly I say to you that with difficulty a rich person will enter into the
kingdom of heaven! And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go
through
the eye of a needle than a rich person into the kingdom of God”
(Matthew 19:23-24).

Jesus’ disciples then ask, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looks at them and
says: “With human beings this is impossible, but with God all things are
possible”
(
>Matthew 19:25-26). Jesus is not suggesting it is impossible for a rich
>person to enter the kingdom of heaven, or be saved—He is saying it is only
>possible
with God. And for God to enter a person’s life they must be open to Him
entering.

Many of us are just like the rich young man. Out of one side of our mouth we
speak allegiance to Jesus, but out of the other side we’re speaking
allegiance
to the trappings of wealth. I know, because the rich young man asks the same
questions I would ask. Look at the events that prompted Jesus to make his
statement about the wealthy:

“And behold, someone [the rich young man] came up to him and said, ‘Teacher,
what good thing must I do so that I will have eternal life?’ And he said to
him, ‘Why are you asking me about what is good? There is one who is good.
But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments!’ He said to him,
‘Which
ones?’ And Jesus said, ‘Do not commit murder, do not commit adultery, do not
steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and your mother, and
love your neighbor as yourself.’ The young man said to him, ‘All these I
have observed. What do I still lack?’”
(Matthew 19:16-21).

Jesus is clearly frustrated and perhaps even offended: “Why are you asking
me about what is good?” The man is asking the wrong question. He doesn’t ask
how he can follow Jesus, or what it means to be a disciple—or what good
thing he can do for the world on behalf of a good God. He asks, “What must I
do
so that I will have eternal life?” If we’re honest with ourselves, isn’t
that the question many of us are asking God today? Jesus is unsatisfied with
that
question.

Eternal life (salvation) is God’s great gift, but it’s meant to be a gift
that prompts action. It is meant to give us purpose.

When I was confronted with the reality of the story of the rich young man, I
again asked another question that he asks: “Which [commandments]?” Jesus
cites
to the man all the relational Ten Commandments, and in doing so, basically
implies, “All of them.” The man tells Jesus he has observed these and then
asks,
“What do I lack?” It is this question that gets to the root of the issue.
Jesus tells the man that he lacks self-sacrifice for others—he lacks giving
to
the extent that it is painful to him. He lacks an ability to put aside his
wealth for the sake of the gospel. Wealth is meant to bless others—plain and
simple (see
Genesis 12:1-3 for an example). It is not for hording, and it will—if not
given up, when God prompts you—keep you from fully experiencing the
blessings
of God.

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

But do not fear, fret, or worry—instead, pray. Remember: “With human beings
this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

What Jesus Would Say to Us Today

Put simply, when we apply Jesus’ sayings today, they look like withdrawing
from any relationship, occupation, event, or thing that stands between you
and
following Jesus—permitted that you can do so while still honoring the
commandments Jesus tells the rich young man to keep: “Do not commit murder,
do not
commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your
father and your mother, and love your neighbor as yourself”
(Matthew 19:18-19).

Jesus has called us to join him in His work—to believe in it with all we
have. The cost may be hard to bear or understand at times, but when it’s put
in
the perspective of all that Christ has done for us—dying for our sins—it
seems like very little.

Jesus’ Currency and “Owning” the Problems of Poverty

The currency of Jesus’ kingdom is different than ours. Jesus’ economy is
based on self-sacrifice and His currency love. For Jesus, belief and actions
are
one and the same—you cannot have one without the other.

The more I reflect on the problem of poverty—and what Jesus had to say about
it—the more I realize that we own the problems of the impoverished as much
as they do. Our inactions have created many of them. We—all of us—are at
fault for the state of our world. But we can also join Jesus in changing the
state
of our world.

If Jesus believed that belief is about action, why don’t we? Why have we not
dedicated ourselves to bringing true discipleship and love to others, when
it’s what Christ told us to do? What good is belief without it offering true
hope?

God has asked us to demonstrate our belief by bringing good news to those
who feel hopeless. We are called to drop everything for Him—what is He
calling
you to drop for Him? This is Jesus’ view of the economy. He envisions what
the world could look like and calls us to join God in the process of making
that vision a reality. It’s about exchanging the currencies of this world
for the currency of love.

An adapted/modified version of this article was originally published by "on
faith"/"faith street" as "
Five Sayings of the Homeless Jesus ."

John D. Barry is the CEO and Founder of Jesus’ Economy

When You Expect More from the Church
Gina Smith

You walk into the church and quietly find a place to sit. You purpose not to
make eye contact with anyone because you really don’t want to make
meaningless
small talk, nor do you want to get into any kind of in depth conversation.
You just want to be left alone. The fact that you even showed up today feels
like a big accomplishment.

Life has been so hard lately and you feel like no one has been there for
you.

Sitting quietly, you observe others as they make their way down the aisle.
One by one they find a place to sit and settle in for the church service.
One
by one, as you see them walk by, you are reminded of the ways you have been
let down. Thoughts begin to fill your mind and take away the desire to even
be in church at all!

If it wasn’t time for the service to start, and the kids weren’t settled,
you would just get up and go home. You are so discouraged. You expected more
from this church. You expected more from the Church.

The Church. It can be a confusing place at times. You walk through the front
doors expecting people to somehow be different than the outside world. You
expect loyalty, friendship, sensitivity, and an extended hand. You expect
compassion, fellowship, support and to feel included rather than excluded.

You expect more than what you are experiencing. You feel like walking away.

But what if everyone chose to walk away just because they are disappointed
and disillusioned with the Church? What if everyone gave up. There would be
no one left. And you know what? If that happened, there would probably be
at least one person (if not more than one!) who walked away because they
felt
disappointed by YOU! Yes. You. Because as much as we want to believe we don’t
act like “those hypocrites in the Church”, we do. I do. We have all let
someone down in one way or another. It can’t be avoided.

So what do we do?

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

Stop expecting more. BE more.

It must begin somewhere. And when we decide that we are going to stop
sitting there reminding ourselves of all the ways we’ve been let down, and
choose
to
be MORE than what we see. MORE than what we’ve been. Then we will begin to
see the people, who we feel have let us down, through eyes of grace. We
will
begin to see how we have also let others down. And we will begin to purpose
to look for ways to strengthen the Church.

Stop expecting more. BE more.

How can you reach out and strengthen the Church today?

This article originally appeared on GinaLSmith.com
. Used with permission.

Gina Smith is the author of Grace Gifts: Celebrating Your Children Every Day
, and writes at her personal blog GinalSmith.com
She has also been featured on HSLDA'S
Homeschool Heartbeat Radio. She has been married to her husband Brian for 29
years and they have 2 adult children


No Weeping in Heaven

I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard
in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress. -
Isaiah 65:19

In heaven the glorified do not weep, for all outward causes of grief are
gone. There are no broken friendships, nor unfulfilled longings in heaven.
Poverty,
famine, danger, persecution, and slander are unknown there. There will be no
pain to distress us, no anxious thoughts of death or bereavement to sadden.
Those there do not weep, for they are perfectly sanctified. No evil heart of
unbelief prompts them to depart from the living God; they are faultless
before
His throne and fully conformed to His image. Well might they stop mourning
since they have stopped sinning. They do not weep, because all fear of
change
is past. They know that they are eternally secure. Sin is shut out, and they
are shut in. They are safe in a city that will never be taken; they bask in
a sun that shall never set; they drink of a river that will never run dry;
they pluck fruit from a tree that will never wither. Countless cycles may
revolve,
but eternity will not be exhausted; and while eternity endures, their
immortality and blessedness shall endure with it.

They are forever with the Lord. They do not weep because every desire is
fulfilled. They cannot wish for anything that they do not have. Eye and ear,
heart
and hand, judgment, imagination, hope, desire and will-all the faculties are
completely satisfied; and although our present ideas of what God has
prepared
for those who love him are imperfect, still we know by the revelation of the
Spirit that the saints above are supremely blessed. The joy of Christ, which
is an infinite fullness of delight, is in them. They bathe themselves in the
bottomless, shoreless sea of infinite blessing. That same joyful rest awaits
us. It may not be too long before the weeping willow is exchanged for the
palm-branch of victory, and sorrow's tears will be transformed into the
pearls
of everlasting bliss. "Therefore encourage one other with these words."1

1 1 Thessalonians 4:18

Family Bible reading plan

verse 1 1 Samuel 15

verse 2 Romans 13

Name above All Names

By Alistair Begg & Sinclair Ferguson

Jesus Christ has been given the name above all names, the highest seat of
honor, the right to reign and rule. Yet the busyness of our lives and the
diversions
of this world often distract us from knowing the most important person we
could ever know. Perhaps we need some help to see Jesus afresh.

In this thoughtful study and worshipful reflection, two influential pastors
draw on decades of pastoral experience in order to guide us through the
whole
sweep of Scripture and examine seven key qualities of Jesus’s identity and
ministry:

• Jesus as the True Prophet
• Jesus as the Great High Priest
• Jesus as the Conquering King
• Jesus as the Seed of the Woman
• Jesus as the Son of Man
• Jesus as the Suffering Servant
• Jesus as the Lamb on the Throne

Name above All Names helps us to see and meditate on the incomparable
character of Christ--a spiritual exercise that enables us to readily respond
to the
exhortations of Scripture, to focus our gaze upon the King of kings, and to
better understand just how great Jesus really is.

Click here to learn more about Truth For Life

From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright (c)
2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good
News

No Weeping in Heaven

I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard
in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress. -
Isaiah 65:19

In heaven the glorified do not weep, for all outward causes of grief are
gone. There are no broken friendships, nor unfulfilled longings in heaven.
Poverty,
famine, danger, persecution, and slander are unknown there. There will be no
pain to distress us, no anxious thoughts of death or bereavement to sadden.
Those there do not weep, for they are perfectly sanctified. No evil heart of
unbelief prompts them to depart from the living God; they are faultless
before
His throne and fully conformed to His image. Well might they stop mourning
since they have stopped sinning. They do not weep, because all fear of
change
is past. They know that they are eternally secure. Sin is shut out, and they
are shut in. They are safe in a city that will never be taken; they bask in
a sun that shall never set; they drink of a river that will never run dry;
they pluck fruit from a tree that will never wither. Countless cycles may
revolve,
but eternity will not be exhausted; and while eternity endures, their
immortality and blessedness shall endure with it.

They are forever with the Lord. They do not weep because every desire is
fulfilled. They cannot wish for anything that they do not have. Eye and ear,
heart
and hand, judgment, imagination, hope, desire and will-all the faculties are
completely satisfied; and although our present ideas of what God has
prepared
for those who love him are imperfect, still we know by the revelation of the
Spirit that the saints above are supremely blessed. The joy of Christ, which
is an infinite fullness of delight, is in them. They bathe themselves in the
bottomless, shoreless sea of infinite blessing. That same joyful rest awaits
us. It may not be too long before the weeping willow is exchanged for the
palm-branch of victory, and sorrow's tears will be transformed into the
pearls
of everlasting bliss. "Therefore encourage one other with these words."1

1 1 Thessalonians 4:18

Family Bible reading plan

verse 1 1 Samuel 15

verse 2 Romans 13

Name above All Names

By Alistair Begg & Sinclair Ferguson

Jesus Christ has been given the name above all names, the highest seat of
honor, the right to reign and rule. Yet the busyness of our lives and the
diversions
of this world often distract us from knowing the most important person we
could ever know. Perhaps we need some help to see Jesus afresh.

In this thoughtful study and worshipful reflection, two influential pastors
draw on decades of pastoral experience in order to guide us through the
whole
sweep of Scripture and examine seven key qualities of Jesus’s identity and
ministry:

• Jesus as the True Prophet
• Jesus as the Great High Priest
• Jesus as the Conquering King
• Jesus as the Seed of the Woman
• Jesus as the Son of Man
• Jesus as the Suffering Servant
• Jesus as the Lamb on the Throne

Name above All Names helps us to see and meditate on the incomparable
character of Christ--a spiritual exercise that enables us to readily respond
to the
exhortations of Scripture, to focus our gaze upon the King of kings, and to
better understand just how great Jesus really is.

Click here to learn more about Truth For Life

From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright (c)
2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good
News

13 Scriptures to Meditate on When Your Future Is Uncertain
by Mark Altrogge

At one time or another, all of us will face times of uncertainty.

Maybe you graduated from college and have no idea what you will do this
coming January. Perhaps you just lost your job. Or you’ve just moved to a
new area
where you know no one. Maybe you’ve just started a new job and feel
overwhelmed at the challenges that loom before you. Maybe you’re single and
wonder
if you’ll ever get married. Your life may even be so uncertain you don’t
know where your next meal will come from.

The reality is that none of us are secure in this world except in Christ.
Nothing is certain. We aren’t guaranteed our next meal. We aren’t even
guaranteed
our next heartbeat. Even when we feel secure, we are incredibly fragile and
completely dependent on the Lord for every breath. But when we are
particularly
tempted about the future it is important for us to meditate on these bedrock
truths. My suggestion would be to copy these verses and put them somewhere
so you can see them regularly, like in your Bible or on your fridge. Even if
you only meditate on the first three or four, God will use his word to
encourage
your heart.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare
and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel
you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8

Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man
of peace. Psalm 37:37

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not
also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32

Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the LORD all
the day. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
Proverbs
23:17-18

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are
sweet to your taste. Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it,
there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 24:13-14

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we
drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these
things,
and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the
kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to
you. Matthew 6:31-33

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which
God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them
eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of
my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no
one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. John 10:27-29

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have,
for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the
rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall
not be
burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:2

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts
in you. Isaiah 26:3

I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous
forsaken or his children begging for bread. Psalm 37:25

Solid Joys Daily Devotional | Desiring God

Solid Joys: Daily Devotionals from John Piper
Shadows and Streams
By John Piper

May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works,
who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they
smoke! I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my
God while I have being. May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice
in the Lord.
(Psalm 104:31–34)

God rejoices in the works of creation because they point us beyond
themselves to God himself.

God means for us to be stunned and awed by his work of creation. But not for
its own sake. He means for us to look at his creation and say: If the mere
work of his fingers (just his fingers! Psalm 8:3) is so full of wisdom and
power and grandeur and majesty and beauty, what must this God be like in
himself!

These are but the backside of his glory, as it were, darkly seen through a
glass. What will it be to see the Creator himself! Not his works! A billion
galaxies will not satisfy the human soul. God and God alone is the soul’s
end.

Jonathan Edwards expressed it like this:

The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be
satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than
the most
pleasant accommodations here. . . . [These] are but shadows; but God is the
substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but
streams; but God is the ocean.

This is why Psalm 104 (verses 31–34) comes to a close like this, with a
focus on God himself. In the end it will not be the seas or the mountains or
the
canyons or the water spiders or the clouds or the great galaxies that fill
our hearts to breaking with wonder and fill our mouths with eternal praise.
It will be God.

Copyright ©️ 2017 Desiring God, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have asked to receive updates from
Solid Joys.


Anne Graham Lotz - God Is the Potter
View this email in your browser

Share
Tweet
Forward

God Is the Potter
You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the
work of Your hand.

Isaiah 64:8, NKJV

The principle that suffering leads to glory is illustrated in Scripture by a
vivid description of clay on the Potter’s wheel – clay that was once
cracked,
shattered, and broken, clay that was totally useless and ugly. The Potter
took the clay and broke it down even further, grinding it into dust then
moistening
it with water before He put it on His wheel and began to remake it into a
vessel pleasing to Himself. The cracks and chips and broken pieces
disappeared
as the clay became soft and pliable to the Potter’s touch.

But the clay was still soft and weak, the color dull and drab. So the Potter
placed the vessel into the fiery kiln, carefully keeping His eye on it as
He submitted it to the raging heat. At a time He alone determined was
sufficient, the Potter withdrew the pot from the furnace. The blazing heat
had radically
transformed into a vessel of strength and glorious, multicolored beauty.

You and I are just little clay pots destined for glory!

Blessings,

Copyright ©️ 2017 AnGeL Ministries, All rights reserved.

avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Mon 25 Sep 2017, 12:14 am


Loneliness Is Longing for Relationship with God
By Rick Warren

“It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18 b NIV).

What you often call loneliness is really homesickness for God. You’ve just
never recognized it. You were made to have a personal, intimate relationship
with Jesus Christ, a relationship that God is dying to have with you. In
fact, his Son
did die so you could have it. Nothing is ever going to compensate for
that -- no person, no experience, no drug, no success, no thing, no
possession. Nothing
is going to fill that aching hole in your heart that God created for
himself. He wants you to know him.

How do you get to know God?

1. Open your life to Jesus Christ. Say, “Jesus Christ, I want to get to know
you. I want to learn to love you the way you loved me, even before I knew
it. I want to have a relationship with you.” You were made for a
relationship with God -- not a religion of fear, rules, regulations, and
rituals, but
a relationship where you talk to God all the time and he works in and
through you. That is the antidote to your deepest loneliness.

2. Join a church family. We weren’t meant to be Lone Ranger Christians. Find
a spot where you can get involved. Join a small group where other people get
to know you and where you find the support network you need when you’re
going through those tough times. Take a chance. Take a risk. Join a small
group.

The real reason so many Christians are lonely is because they’re sitting
when they should be serving. All around us is a world full of people who are
lonely
and waiting to be cared for. That elderly person who hasn’t had a visit in
two years. That teenager who is all messed up and wonders, “What am I going
to do with my life?” That single adult who goes home every night to a lonely
apartment. That widow who has just buried her husband. That employee who
heads
for the bar every night after work because there’s nothing else to do.

The world is full of people waiting to be loved. Stop saying, “I don’t have
any friends!” and start saying, “God, who can you use me to minister to? Who
can I show your love to?” If all you do is commit yourself to being a friend
to lonely people, you’ll live a significant life. That would be a valid,
worthy
life goal. Get involved in ministry.

You will go through lonely times in your life, but you’ll never go through
it alone if you have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.



Ron Hutchcraft Ministries - A Word With You
A Word With You
God Has an Important Announcement - #7977

Our plane was racing down the runway, preparing to take off from Nashville.
I was so exhausted, I was already drifting off into la-la land. Then came
those
jolts as the front wheels left the ground. The team member who was with me
said, "Have you ever felt anything like that?" I said, "No." And I dozed
off.
I wouldn't sleep for long; the flight attendant suddenly was announcing that
we had blown a rear tire on takeoff and we were heading back to Nashville.
For the next 45 minutes or so, we were circling the area, burning up as much
fuel as possible for what could well be a crash landing. I called my wife
from the plane. I asked her to get people praying. My team member joined me
in committing this whole situation to the Lord. The flight attendants went
into emergency mode to begin to prepare us for the landing. They
demonstrated how to brace for the landing. They had us pull out our
emergency instruction
card from the pocket in front of us; something they had asked us to do
before we took off; something hardly anyone did. But as the attendant began
her
briefing she prefaced it with a simple exhortation, "This time I want you to
really listen." We really did!

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "God Has
an Important Announcement."

I'm very thankful to God for the way He answered prayer and brought our
crippled aircraft in safely for a welcome from an armada of emergency
vehicles
and personnel. I was impressed with how the crew had prepared us. I was
impressed with the way we all listened. And why did they have our total
attention
the second time when they reviewed those exits and evacuations? It's
obvious, because we were in a critical situation now; because the
information could
be life-or-death.

Our word for today from the Word of God, Hebrews 2:3. "How shall we escape
if we ignore such a great salvation?" God has been trying to communicate
life-or-death
information to some of us for a long time. That word "salvation", that's not
just a religious word. That's serious stuff. Salvation is how to get out of
a plane that might be on fire; how to get out of a burning building. But
like those passengers on that flight, we don't pay much attention to
salvation
information until we're suddenly in a critical situation...until we finally
realize that what we do with this could be the difference between life and
death.

God is used to people, as it says here, "ignoring such a great salvation".
Maybe He's been trying to get your attention with the most critical
information
you will ever hear - that we're under an eternal death penalty for running
our lives our way instead of God's way. And that His one and only Son,
Jesus,
absorbed all your sin and all the hell of it when He died on the cross, and
that your only hope with God is putting your total trust in Jesus, like a
person
in a burning building would pin all their hopes on the rescuer who came to
save them.

You've heard that news before, and maybe you've even accepted it with your
head. That's what I did with the rescue information from that flight
attendant
the first time around. I got it with my heart though when I realized my life
could depend on knowing and acting on it.

For you, ignoring what God has done to save you puts you in the danger zone.
Maybe it's been that God has even shaken things up recently. He's asking for
your attention before it is eternally too late. He says, "This time I want
you to really listen". This isn't just some religious belief you sign up
for.
This requires an action step of making Jesus your personal Savior. If you
haven't done that - if you've been putting that off - consider this God's
emergency
call to make your peace with Him.

I believe there's someone listening right now who's saying, "I don't think I
should risk one more day without the Savior." Are you ready to begin this
life saving relationship, to open your heart to Him? Tell Him that right
now. I want to help you, in every way possible, make sure you belong to Him
before
you hit the pillow tonight. So go to our website - ANewStory.com. That's
what it's there for.

God simply says, "How will you escape if you ignore such a great salvation?"
Especially after what it cost. It cost God's one and only Son His life!
Please,
don't ignore this any longer. Your life - your eternity depends on it.
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.

Don't Idolize the Past

Oh, that I were as in the months of old. - Job 29:2

Many Christians are able to view the past with pleasure but regard the
present with dissatisfaction. They look back upon the days that they have
spent
in communing with the Lord as being the sweetest and the best they have ever
known; but as to the present, it is as if they were smothered by a heavy
blanket
of gloom and dreariness. Once they lived near Jesus, but now they feel that
they have wandered from Him, and they say, "Oh, that I were as in the months
of old." They complain that they have lost their evidences, or that they no
longer have peace of mind, or that they have no enjoyment in the means of
grace,
or that their conscience is hardened, or that they are no longer as zealous
for God's glory as they once were.

The causes of this mournful state of things are many. It may arise through a
comparative
neglect of prayer, for a neglected closet is the beginning of all spiritual
decline. Or it may be the result of idolatry. The heart has been occupied
with
something else, more than with God; the affections have been set on the
things of earth instead of the things of heaven. A jealous God will not be
content
with a divided heart; He must be loved first and best. He will withdraw the
sunshine of His presence from a cold, wandering heart. Or the cause may be
found in self-confidence and self-righteousness. Pride is busy in the heart,
and self is exalted instead of lying low at the foot of the cross.

Christian, if you are not now as you "were . . . in the months of old," do
not be content to simply wish for a return of your former happiness, but go
at once to seek your Master and tell Him your sad state. Ask His grace and
strength to enable you to walk more closely with Him; humble yourself before
Him, and He will lift you up and allow you once more to enjoy the light of
His countenance. Do not sit down to sigh and lament; while the beloved
Physician
lives there is hope; there is a certainty of recovery even for the worst
cases.

Family Bible reading plan

verse 1 1 Samuel 1

verse 2 Romans 1

Name above All Names

By Alistair Begg & Sinclair Ferguson


Handling Difficult Circumstances

Philippians 3:8-11

The apostle Paul understood how to handle tough circumstances. Even while he
was confined in a prison cell, he kept his eyes on Christ and trusted firmly
in the Savior. Therefore, despite being in chains, he was able to celebrate
the Lord’s work in his life. In fact, the epistle he wrote from jail to the
Philippians was filled with rejoicing (1:18; 2:18; 3:1).

Focusing on Christ is neither a natural reaction nor an easy one. Our
instinct is to dwell on the situation at hand, searching for solutions or
stewing
over the pain and difficulty. As a result, troubles look scary and overwhelm
us with a sense of defeat.

However, fear and defeat cannot live long in a heart that trusts the Lord. I’m
not saying you’ll forget what you’re going through, but you can choose to
dwell on His provision and care instead. He is the Deliverer (2 Cor. 1:10).
He is the Healer (Deut. 32:39). He is the Guide (Prov. 3:6). The believer
who lays claim to divine promises discovers that God pushes back negative
emotions. In their place, hope, confidence, and contentment take up
residence
(Phil. 4:11). You aren’t going to be happy about a difficult situation, but
you can be satisfied that God is in control and up to something good in the
midst of trouble.

The Lord’s principles and promises don’t change, no matter how severe or
painful the situation is. Focus on Christ instead of the circumstances--God
will
comfort your heart and bring you safely through the trial. Then you can
answer Paul’s call to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil. 4:4).

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please
visit
www.intouch.org .

Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. (c) 2016 All Rights
Reserved.


How I Know That It’s Never Too Late
CHRYSTAL EVANS HURST

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 (NIV)

Twenty-five years ago, I held a newborn baby in my arms.

She was beautiful, tiny.

Mine.

And I was young -- 19 to be exact.

I was a unmarried teenage mom and a sophomore in college. The year of my
daughter’s birth was one of the most difficult years of my life. It was
hard --
very hard.

A positive pregnancy test set off a string of new realities in my life, one
of which was a strong feeling of a lack of worth. I had messed up and
disappointed
the people I loved. I was on my way to being “mom” in a season of life where
I planned on being a kid. I was no longer the “good girl” I’d once tried to
be.

I wondered, sometimes out loud, Does God still love me?

Pain mixed with a little shock, a ton of remorse, and lots of uncertainty
left me feeling unlovable, unredeemable and out of God’s good graces.

I knew He loved me, but didn’t feel it. Instead I felt alone, in the dark
and cold.

During one of those lonely moments, I reached for my Bible and searched for
reassurance of God’s love for me. I believed God loved me no matter what,
yet
I just needed
proof. I needed a reminder to rest in and rehearse so I wouldn’t forget or
doubt the reality of His love in my life.

I wrote one verse down on a sheet of notebook paper. That one verse became
two, then five, then over time became two pages of Scripture to remind me
how
God loved me.

I kept those notebook papers with me at all times -- folded in my pocket or
my purse or my backpack as I went to class.

Over time, I’ve learned to believe God’s love for me is unconditional. While
He does indeed desire for me to obey His Word and walk in righteousness, His
acceptance of me does not ride or die on whether or not I measure up.
Consequences ebb and flow with my choices, but His everlasting love does
not.

As I rehearsed those verses that represented a lifeline to His love, I
learned to believe in His love for me in a very deep and real way. And the
more
I understood His love, the more I wanted to live a life that exemplified the
love I desired to offer to Him in return, just as our key verse reminds us:

“We love because he first loved us”
(1 John 4:19
).

I recently dug out those pieces of paper. They’re still intact, though they’ve
yellowed with time. As I held them in my hands, I was overcome by the gift
of God’s love to an imperfect person like me.

Not only does God love me unconditionally, He loved and always loves me
first. God doesn’t wait on me to come to Him ready with everything together
or
with all my ducks in a row. He’s loved me -- and continues to love me -- to
live the life of the girl He created me to be.

Since those college days, I have had my fair share of hard times. But one
thing hasn’t changed.

I know He loves me. And I’ve learned more deeply over time to believe in my
value to God and trust what He thinks of me, regardless of where life has
led
me thus far. I understand more about how He wants me to live my life,
knowing He has made me beautiful, strong and powerful in Him.

As long as I still have breath in my lungs, it’s never too late to choose to
live her life ... the life of the girl who feels lost. Or forgotten. The
girl
who’s made mistakes.

Or the life of the girl who simply needs to stop wasting time and move
forward with what she knows she should do.

How do I know it’s never too late to know the love of God? Because it wasn’t
too late for me.

And here’s what I know -- it’s never too late for you to seek His Word, His
face, His heart and His hopes for the life of the girl in you.

Dear Father, sometimes I struggle to believe You love me and You can redeem
my story and life, however it’s played out thus far. I want to be exactly
who
You created me to be. Give me the confidence to believe in Your love for me
and Your plan for my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Romans 5:8
, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still
sinners, Christ died for us.” (NIV)


Mercy in Misery
By Skip Heitzig

When I was growing up, my dad used to say, "You know, son, the Bible says
God helps those who help themselves." But when I finally started reading the
Bible, I found out that it doesn't say that anywhere. In fact, the Bible
says that God helps helpless, downtrodden people. "[God] delights in mercy,"
the
prophet Micah wrote
(Micah 7:18 ).

Did you know the word mercy appears close to 300 times in the Bible? If it
pops up that many times, that tells me it's a priority. Certainly one of
Jesus'
most distinguishing characteristics in His earthly ministry was His mercy
toward people who were hurting. Now, the Roman world in which He lived was
not
big on mercy; it glorified courage, strength, and justice. But into that
merciless world stepped a merciful Savior, who we see in
John 5
heal not only a miserable man's body, but his spirit as well.

Let's read about it: "After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus
went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool,
which
is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great
multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of
the
water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up
the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water,
was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who
had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and
knew
that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, 'Do
you want to be made well?'"
(John 5:1-6 ).

It doesn't take much to imagine the sight and the smell of these people
wasting away by the pool of Bethesda, waiting for the movement of some
subterranean
spring to bubble up, brought on by the actions of an angel, as the story
went. These people were totally desperate and helpless.

And Jesus, the text tells us, saw a man lying there. Among throngs of
people, Jesus' eyes rested on one individual man who He knew had a disease.
The point
is this: mercy begins by how we see people. I often find myself asking God
to keep me sensitized to what I see, because I see a lot of suffering as a
pastor.
Matthew 9
says that when Jesus saw the multitudes, "He was moved with compassion" (v.
36)--with mercy.

What Jesus saw at the pool of Bethesda then informed what He did: "When
Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that
condition
a long time, He said to him, 'Do you want to be made well?' The sick man
answered Him, 'Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is
stirred
up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.' Jesus said to him,
'Rise, take up your bed and walk.' And immediately the man was made well,
took up his bed, and walked"
(John 5:6-9 ).

Pop down to verse 14 for a moment: after Jesus healed this man, He "found
him in the temple, and said to him, 'See, you have been made well. Sin no
more,
lest a worse thing come upon you.'" What could possibly be worse than
thirty-eight long years suffering from a debilitating disease? I'll tell you
what:
eternal suffering as a result of unrepentant sin. Disease robbed this man of
the best years of his life, but unrepentant sin would rob him of eternity.
Jesus loved him enough to confront him with this truth.

And that's mercy. Mercy is ultimately shown by preaching the gospel and
caring for broken souls, not just broken bodies. There's no other message
like
the gospel that can bring healing.

Showing mercy isn't easy, but it's imperative. If you follow the One who is
merciful, it naturally follows that you will show mercy to others. So ask
the
Lord to change your heart, if it needs changing in this area. Learn to
notice those who are hurting around you. Reach out not just physically, but
spiritually
as well, knowing that God doesn't help those who help themselves--He helps
those who can't. And praise Him that He does.

Copyright (c) 2017 by Connection Communications. All rights reserved.


We need more sermons in shoes!

( Theodore Cuyler )

"Live such good lives among the pagans, that . . . they may see your good
deeds and glorify God!" 1 Peter 2:12

"Whoever says he abides in Him--ought to walk and conduct himself in the
same way in which He walked and conducted Himself." 1 John 2:6
(Amplified version)

We need more sermons in shoes--men and women going up and down the roads of
life preaching Christianity by their imitation of Christ!

The demand of the day is for a higher standard and style of Christian life.
Every follower of Christ must represent His religion purely, loftily,
impressively--before
that multitude of "Bible-readers" whose only Bible is the Christian!

"The true test of religion, is in the street. It lies in the common walks of
life--even more than in the worship of the sanctuary. The test of our
religion
is not the regular manner in which we go to church, or the way in which we
read our Bibles, or any elaborate religious ritual we perform. Its test is
the
kind of people it makes us--the kind of life it produces in us."

"A fine illustration of the worth of Christian character was seen in a
teacher of one of the government schools of Japan. His contract was that he
was
not to teach Christianity--and, so far as
words were concerned, he kept it faithfully. But all the while his
life was so blameless and beautiful--that it did the work without words. As
evidence of this, forty of the students, without his knowledge, met in a
grove
secretly, and signed a covenant to forsake idolatry--for the religion of
their teacher. Some of them are now preaching the gospel in their native
land."

"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and
praise your Father in Heaven!" Matthew 5:16

"That you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a
crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the
universe!"
Philippians 2:14-15

"So that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior
attractive." Titus 2:10

"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of
love--just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us" Ephesians 5:1-2


PresbyCan Daily Devotional

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Today's Devotional

Down In The Dumps

Sometimes, when situations arise over which I have no control, and I feel
particularly overwhelmed, retreating to the comfort of my bed is wonderful.
It
is especially nice if I am having a good dream. In our dreams, we escape
from pain and suffering and reality.

Depressed people do not want to get out of bed, because they do not want to
face the problems that they have internalized for whatever reason, or they
are enduring an illness either in themselves or in a loved one. We long for
something to heal us from the deep hole into which we have sunk and from
which
we sometimes find it impossible to escape.

We need a sense of purpose. We need our inner being, our life, and our
hearts filled with something, in order to replace the emptiness that has
infected
us and affected us negatively.

Jesus knows what we are going through. He has been there. Jesus suffered so
much that His sweat was mixed with blood dripping down His face as He
anticipated
being nailed to the cross.

Luke 22:43-44 – Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him, for
he was in such agony of spirit that he broke into a sweat of blood, with
great
drops falling to the ground as he prayed more and more earnestly. (TLB)

Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes all things to work together for
good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His
purpose.
(NASB)

Is any of us feeling down in the dumps? Do we feel that life is too hard to
bear? There is help. Jesus can fill this void in our lives.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You baptized Your Son with a purpose: to share Your
love for all of mankind and to reconcile sinners to You. Fill our emptiness
with Your love. We thank You for equipping doctors and psychologists with
wisdom and discernment in order to help the oppressed and mentally
challenged.
Grant them empathy and love as they minister Your healing and serve Your
children today. Amen.

Rosemary Hagedorn < rosyhagedorn@gmail.com >
Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada


PresbyCan Daily Devotional

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Today's Devotional

Down In The Dumps

Sometimes, when situations arise over which I have no control, and I feel
particularly overwhelmed, retreating to the comfort of my bed is wonderful.
It
is especially nice if I am having a good dream. In our dreams, we escape
from pain and suffering and reality.

Depressed people do not want to get out of bed, because they do not want to
face the problems that they have internalized for whatever reason, or they
are enduring an illness either in themselves or in a loved one. We long for
something to heal us from the deep hole into which we have sunk and from
which
we sometimes find it impossible to escape.

We need a sense of purpose. We need our inner being, our life, and our
hearts filled with something, in order to replace the emptiness that has
infected
us and affected us negatively.

Jesus knows what we are going through. He has been there. Jesus suffered so
much that His sweat was mixed with blood dripping down His face as He
anticipated
being nailed to the cross.

Luke 22:43-44 – Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him, for
he was in such agony of spirit that he broke into a sweat of blood, with
great
drops falling to the ground as he prayed more and more earnestly. (TLB)

Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes all things to work together for
good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His
purpose.
(NASB)

Is any of us feeling down in the dumps? Do we feel that life is too hard to
bear? There is help. Jesus can fill this void in our lives.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You baptized Your Son with a purpose: to share Your
love for all of mankind and to reconcile sinners to You. Fill our emptiness
with Your love. We thank You for equipping doctors and psychologists with
wisdom and discernment in order to help the oppressed and mentally
challenged.
Grant them empathy and love as they minister Your healing and serve Your
children today. Amen.

Rosemary Hagedorn < rosyhagedorn@gmail.com >
Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada


It Looked Better in My Head
by John UpChurch, Crosswalk.com Contributor

“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

Your calling looks better in your head than in real life. Inside, safely
tucked away in your synapses, the visions of what God wants to do through
you
come with puppies, double rainbows, and guilt-free cheesecake. It’s amazing
how perfectly our brains can sand down the obstacles ahead, plaster over the
voices of dissent, and generally build a future much like the highlights
from someone else’s life.

With such a build-up, it’s easy to see why we get disappointed. After all,
stories like these are all over:

· The country preacher has a vision to reach rural America with the
gospel, to burn so brightly that a whole community is changed. But the
church
never grows. He sees nothing dramatic happen and finally moves on.

· A woman faithfully loves and serves her unsaved coworkers for
years. She pours hours of prayer into the thing, hoping that at least one
will
really absorb what she’s been sharing with them. But all she seems to take
with her when she retires are the pictures from her cubicle.

· A Christian missionary community, after years of serving the
poorest in their adopted country, finally has a breakthrough when a local
leader
professes faith in Jesus. Days later, militants attack the area and murder
the new convert, his family, and many of the missionaries.

And maybe something like that has hijacked your calling, too. You started
out strong, pushing forward even when turbulence hit. You just knew God
would
work all things together for your good, and you had that verse,
Romans 8:28
, firmly planted in your noggin (and maybe scribbled on a Post-It Note on
your mirror--just to be sure).

But along the way, the future you had imagined became more and more distant
from the slog-it-out reality. You doubt that God was ever really in the
thing
to begin with, and, so, you try to forget that something ever happened, that
something got you excited and charged up in the first place.

Don’t write off your calling just yet.

The thing about God is that He’s big, really big. And He sees much farther,
clearer, and better than us. From our perspective, we can’t always see
progress.
But usually that’s because we’re trying to see the land ahead from a valley.

Intersecting Faith & Life: The truth is that we may not see progress in the
short-term, maybe not even in our lifetime. But we’ve been called to
faithfully
serve where Christ puts us. We get bogged down when we imagine that all our
service and work should produce results that we can experience. Our joy
comes
from seeing things happen, and not so much the serving.

But God never promises that we’ll see what He’s up to--at least, not while
we’re camping here on earth. He’s called us to look out “for the interest of
others,” both believers and the unchurched. Whether we see something happen
or not.

For Further Reading
1 Corinthians 12
Ephesians 4
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 21 Sep 2017, 3:57 pm

The Dark Cloud

2 Chronicles 6:1 (NCV)
1 Then Solomon said, “The Lord said he would live in the dark cloud.

Psalm 18:11 (NASB95)
11 He made darkness His hiding place, His canopy around Him,
Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.

Many people, even Christians, go through what they feel like are dark
clouds. Trouble seems to come from all sides. WE might feel lonely,
depressed, in despair, in agony or one of many different feelings. We don’t
know why we are going through these circumstances and may want to give up
but we can take comfort that God will be there in our dark clouds. Just
because we are in a cloud doesn’t necessarily mean that God has left us even
though we may feel like He has at the time. Jesus himself told those of us
who belong to Him that He will never forsake us. Take heart, the clouds will
vanish in God’s time. Until that happens, let God refresh your soul through
knowing He loves you, through prayer, Bible study and meditation. We need
these more in these times in the clouds than when we have blue skies.

When we are in the dark cloud we may not know why we are there but, like C.
H. Spurgeon, we may find out later how this time can be used by God:

Spurgeon once tells of how he was utterly depressed in spirit and soul,
discouraged, and failing in health. Just before leaving for a recuperation,
he preached on “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The experience
was so sad that he wished it would never happen again.
Afterwards, a man come to see him. Spurgeon described him later as “one step
away from the insane asylum,” his head bulging, his hands nervous and his
spirit totally depressed. The man told Spurgeon that after hearing his
sermon, he felt that Spurgeon was the only one who could understand him and
so he had come. Spurgeon comforted him as best he knew how from his own sad
experience.
For five years, Spurgeon did not see the man. But “just last night” (he was
delivering the above lecture to students at the College), “I saw him: it was
like night and day. He was completely changed.” Spurgeon concluded that he
was willing to undergo hundreds of such experiences now that he knew God
permitted it to happen so that he could know and sympathize with people
under similar predicament.
-taken from Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations

by Dean W. Masters

Losing Our Bearings - A message from Dan McNerney.
During the past two years, I have been invited to speak in a wide variety of
church settings in many different parts of our country. Recently, a number
of these engagements have taken place in what is commonly called the "Bible
Belt," where church attendance is still high -- but so are emotions of anger
and fear in regard to Muslims or people radically different from the
majority culture. In one such setting this summer, when I was teaching on
the similarities
and differences between Islam and Christianity, a middle aged man stood up
and said, "Pastor, I know what you are trying to do, but I am sorry, I moved
to this town purposely with my wife and children a few years ago to be in a
place where we could be surrounded by people like ourselves. I do not want
a Muslim anywhere near me. What I say probably does not sound so good, but
that's where I am at." As I stood there at the podium, I applauded this man
for his honesty and I continued with my teachings from the Gospels. By the
end of the weekend seminar, this man had made a 180 degree change. He joined
a chorus of other people from his church who came up with the idea of
inviting Muslim students to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners in their
homes this
fall and winter. He said that being reminded of the teachings of Jesus had
softened his heart.

This honest man represents so much of America today, not just in the Bible
Belt, but in every state in our union. American Christians are sadly
spending
an increasing amount of time on social media, religiously listening to their
televisions and forming spiritual and emotional opinions from the secular
news sources of their choice. Secularism is growing at a rapid rate in our
country, surrounding churches and practicing Christians as never before.
Technology
now offers us opportunities to be bathed in images and people talking to and
making impressions on us 24 hours a day. Christians are filling their minds
with words and images from the world, not from the kingdom of God, to the
point where they can hardly distinguish between the two.

We are at a moment in history when we need to remind ourselves that the
world has its own prince, its own kingdom, which is incredibly alluring,
seductive
and cunning. It is not the same as the kingdom of God. In fact, God's
kingdom is slowly coming to earth to replace the kingdom of this world.
These two
kingdoms are in opposition to each other. Think about it, every time you say
the Lord's Prayer, you are reminded of this fact: "Thy kingdom come, thy
will
be done, on earth as it is in heaven." The kingdom of this world is often
crass, self-serving, power hungry, cynical, in love with money, violent and
divisive.
And, on a daily basis, it is recruiting you to join its cause. If Christians
are not careful, they will find themselves espousing values of the world,
not knowing how much they are in opposition to the kingdom of God. The only
thing that can keep you from falling into this trap is making time to listen
carefully and often to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Recently, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook announced that
his company has a new mission statement. He now envisions and wants Facebook
"To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer
together." He says, "Facebook is now about community-building and not just
connecting
with friends." In recent interviews, Mr. Zuckerberg says he sees the world
changing with less people going to church and joining other older
established
community organizations. He thinks Facebook can fill that gap and create the
new kind of community people need. Oh really? Can Facebook create the same
kind of community the Church of Jesus Christ has for the past 2000 years?
Can an organization that celebrates self-promotion, self-importance,
self-aggrandizement,
and image glorification, at a distance, ever replace face-to-face gatherings
of humble, praying, faithful people getting together to break bread, share
stories and resources, read the Word of God, look at each other in the eye,
and bind up each other's wounds through the loving grace of God? It is up to
faithful Christians today to answer this question.

Jesus instructed his disciples to get together often; in fact, many of them
lived together. He did not say, stay in your own rooms and relate to each
other
through a collection of images. He did not say, walk down a street, sit on a
donkey, or eat a meal at a restaurant with your head buried in some kind of
communication device. He said, forgive someone who owes you money, pray for
those who persecute you, love people radically different from yourself,
judge
not or you will be judged, give away a second shirt if you have two, love
those who hate you, turn the other cheek, reconcile with your adversary on
the
way to court, listen before speaking, wash each other's feet, because the
last shall be first and the first last.

Koreans, Chinese, Brazilian and Nigerian missionaries are sending themselves
as missionaries into the Western world, as never before. They know that in
the United States, Europe and Canada especially, secular society is making
major inroads into Christian community, heavily influencing how people
think,
drawing them further and further away from the teachings of Jesus. For this
reason, Nigerian missionaries have started new churches throughout the
United
States, now numbering in the thousands. Some African mission organizations
hope to establish a church in every city in the United States in the near
future.
They hope to revive the American Church so that people are not tempted to
leave worshipping God and satisfy their need for community in unhealthy and
ungodly
ways; so that the kingdom of the world does not choke out the kingdom of God
in North America.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the people in Philippi, the following words;
"Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is
just, whatever
is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any
excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these
things.
Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and
seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:8-9) In
other
words, our minds should be filled with grace, not rancor. Our first impulse
should be to serve quietly, not call attention to ourselves. We should be
ambassadors
of reconciliation, not divisiveness and anger. We should not allow spirits
of fear or anxiety to rule our lives. As followers of Jesus, we need to be
incredibly
vigilant as to how the messages of the world might be slowly creeping into
our lives and into our daily thoughts. The earmarks of our lives should be
faith,
hope and love.

Many media sources today are providing non-stop commentary on everything
that moves; and we are eating it up. We are becoming a society that fears
silence
and prizes chatter. If we do not make an image of ourselves and send it to
someone, the moment might not have value, or so our thinking goes. Clearly,
we are racing towards creating greater internet community, but at what cost?
We are uncomfortable with silence because we are uncomfortable with
ourselves.
In our subconscious, we reason, if there is no God, then we are truly alone,
and that frightens us to death.

We are now in September, the beginning of the new "school year:" it is when
people are most inclined to join a Christian community, or seek a greater
understanding
of Jesus, his teachings, and his Church. What if this year, you would allow
yourself one hour a week to sit still in a church service and just listen to
what is being said about the life of Jesus; or take 15 minutes a day to read
and pray through one of the Gospels on your own? We are in constant need to
renew our minds in the grace of our Lord. No one ever said it better than
the Apostle Paul when he wrote the following to the Romans; "I appeal to
you,
therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your
bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your
spiritual
worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God -
what is
good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:1-2)

If you feel as if somehow you have recently lost your bearings, don't panic.
There are may people in our country who feel the same way. But, there is a
way home. And, this way is through the words of Jesus. If we listen to him,
he will lead us safely to his calm waters -- to his peaceful kingdom in our
hearts and minds.


The Emotions of Faith

“‘Serving the Lord with all humility and with tears ... remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.’ ... They began to weep aloud and embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him.” Acts 20:19-37 NASB

It can be easy to think of Paul as a scholar. A spiritual and intellectual giant. Yet in his last visit with leaders of the Ephesus church, Paul revealed an emotional side of his nature.

He spoke about serving the Lord “with all humility and with tears” through times of testing. While obeying God, he felt the pain and struggle of each test. Then, he showed how much he cared for the Ephesians by admonishing them “with tears” and telling them about trials they would face. These were the words of a man of passion and emotion, who cared about these people as they knelt together, prayed, and wept aloud.

We must avoid the tendency to allow our emotions to control our lives, but the Bible encourages us to understand that there is a place for emotion. There are times when we need to express our struggles and frustrations, our concerns and feelings, and to be emotional about our faith. Even for strong men like Paul.

We, too, might feel the need for emotional release when we are stretched beyond our limits, when we struggle, or feel severely tested. When we see great needs and feel compassion for others. When we experience an inexpressible elation in the Spirit.

Remember that God has given you emotions for a reason. Seek to be controlled by the Spirit, but, as He leads, do not hold back your emotions. Tell Him how you really feel. Allow Him to stir your heart with concern for others. And care about your own faith, and fate of the world.

Prayer

Father, stir me with emotion about the things that concern You. Give me a passion for Your Word and for souls. Set me on fire with a burden to serve You. In Jesus’ name. Amen. Pray that Inspiration Ministries’ staff would have a spirit of compassion for the Lost.
Extended Reading
Acts 20

Talent
August 8, 2017

Read: Romans 12:1-8

So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all
the others. (v. 5 NIV)

My wife loves to crochet. She’s done blankets, beanies, boot cuffs, and
more. As rewarding as the finished product is, her favorite part is seeing
pictures
of people wearing and enjoying her creations. Whether it’s for a friend, a
customer, or a family member, she loves to personally put these creations
together
for each person to use. However, a crocheted creation sitting in a box just
takes up space.

God gave you a talent. He might have given you more than one gift. He’s made
each of us differently with a specific purpose in mind. But more
importantly,
God gave us each a gift so it can be used for his church.

When we don’t put our talents to use, not only do we suffer, but so does the
body of Christ. Scripture reminds us that we’re interconnected. Each of us
“belongs to all the others” (v. 5 NIV). We need each other! Let’s be sure
not only to put our talents to use, but to identify and help others to do
the
same.

Using your talents for God’s glory won’t always go as we plan, but it’s far
better than the certain failure of not using them. It’s also a great way to
depend on God! —Joel Plantinga

Prayer: Lord, thank you for giving me a talent. Help me to discover and
deploy it for you and others. Amen.

Words of Hope, 700 Ball Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
616-459-6181 woh.org

Witness
August 10, 2017

Read: Acts 1:1-11

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you
will be my witnesses. (v. 8)

A couple years ago I served on a jury. The trial wasn’t anything like the
ones you see on TV or in the movies. The people all seemed pretty normal and
just shared what they saw as it related to the case. In that moment
something struck me: being a witness is fairly simple. You share what you
see and answer
questions to the best of your ability. The only thing you have to be is
credible and authentic. Those were the witnesses I believed, and through a
series
of them I and my fellow jurors came to a verdict on the case.

Two things apply to us as Christians. First, we witness in power. We are not
on our own. With the Holy Spirit living in us, each of us is uniquely and
divinely empowered to be Jesus’ witnesses in our world. Second, the call to
witness isn’t a suggestion. It’s a command. The witnesses in my trial weren’t
volunteers; they were legally required to be there. God has done a miracle
in and around us and calls us to obediently tell the story as only we can.
Faith
that walks is also a faith that talks, bearing witness to the grace and love
of Jesus. Think about how God has revealed himself to you and start telling
others about it! —Joel Plantinga

Prayer: Holy Spirit, help us to be sensitive to your leading and obedient to
your calling to bear witness to your work in and around us. Amen.

Words of Hope, 700 Ball Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
616-459-6181 woh.org

Ron Hutchcraft Ministries - A Word With You
A Word With You
How to Get Into a Closed Heart - #7974

Over the years, I've had the privilege of meeting a lot of men and women who
work in law enforcement and man do I appreciate and respect them. Some of
them have helped out with security at events where I've spoken. In one city,
I met some pretty impressive guys who worked on a SWAT team; those guys were
sent in as rapid assault teams in those particularly dangerous situations.
Bobby was one of them. They called him "The Slammer." Sounds like someone
from
the World Wrestling Federation. But they call Bobby that because he's the
one who takes out the door when they're raiding a residence. And looking at
how
he's built (I mean, I think his arm is bigger than my waist) you can see
they picked the right man for the job. If you want a door removed, "he da
man!"

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How to
Get Into a Closed Heart."

That often can be the toughest door of all to get open-the door on a closed
heart, maybe you can think of somebody who's got one right now, especially
if that heart is closed to Jesus. That's really hard. Somewhere in your
personal world, there's a person whose only hope for this life and the next
life
is Jesus. But so far, their heart seems closed to Him. Key words: so far.

Our word for today from the Word of God demonstrates a powerful work that
God does that changes the closed heart equation. Paul had just landed in his
new mission field of Europe, in the town of Philippi. Near the river, he and
his team met a successful businesswoman named Lydia. And Acts 16:14 says,
"The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message." Paul found a door
God had already opened. But, then, he of all people would have understood
the
power of God to open a heart. After all, was there ever a heart more closed
to Jesus than his heart when he was Saul of Tarsus-a hit man against
Christians?
But God showed up in a way he couldn't ignore and, in a moment, slammed open
that locked and bolted door.

It's important for you to remember why you are where you are. Jesus has
positioned you there to give the people there a chance to know Him; to have
a chance
at heaven. You are that chance. But maybe you've been intimidated or
frustrated by closed doors in your community, in outreach opportunities, in
individual
hearts. Maybe even in the heart of one you care about very deeply. Here's
some good news: the Lord who opened your heart knows exactly what's needed
to
open theirs so He can do His life-saving work through you. My friends on
that SWAT team don't wait for the door to open, they go to the door before
it
opens, believing that their "Slammer" will get it down.

That's what you have to do. You can go to the door with your personal Hope
Story, with the story of Jesus and let God do the rest.

The Bible makes clear that the Father is the One who draws them to Jesus
(John 6:44), that God will literally give you the words when it's time. Paul
asked
people to pray that "whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me"
(Ephesians 6:19). That's a good prayer. The reason you can dare to open your
mouth
and tell them about the man who died for them is this: it's not about you.
It's all about Him. You show up and let Him do His life-saving thing through
you.

Here's an empowering prayer from Colossians 4:3-4, "Pray that God may open a
door for our message ... pray that I may proclaim it clearly." Every day,
pray what I call that three-open prayer: "Lord, open a door" (that's like a
natural opportunity to bring up your relationship with Jesus), then "Lord,
open their heart," and then "Lord, open my mouth!" And by the way, you don't
need to say, "If it be Your will." It is!

God's going to provide an opportunity, God's going to open a heart, God will
convict of sin, God will give you the words, and God will draw them to
Jesus.
It may not happen all at once, but it may never happen if you don't go to
the door and give them a chance to hear what Jesus can do. Jesus has come to
where you are to rescue people you know, and He's inviting you to go in with
Him. I can tell you this, you will never do anything more important in your
life!
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc

PresbyCan Daily Devotional

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Today's Devotional

The Cat

John 9:35 – Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him,
he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" (NIV)

My neighbours were going away, and they asked if I would drop in daily to
feed their cat, Riley. I told them that I would be happy to look after him.

The first two days, Riley greeted me happily. On the third day, it took me
twenty minutes before I found him upstairs hiding under a table. He looked
frightened
and stressed. The fourth day, I couldn't find him at all. I e-mailed his
owners to see if they knew of any special place that he might be hiding.
They
couldn't think of anywhere, and they were worried about him. I told them
that I would go back over and look again, and if I found him, I would bring
him
to my house for the duration of their holiday. After an extensive search, I
discovered him jammed into a very dark narrow spot. Pulling him out, I put
him into a cat carrier, collected all his gear, and took him to my place.
Within a few days, Riley was his contented, old self.

Riley became scared and depressed after his owners left him alone. He
probably felt abandoned and thus withdrew, hiding himself away, not
understanding
what had happened or why.

In John 9:1-34, we can read the story of a man born blind, whom Jesus
healed. After he was healed, the Pharisees, the church leaders, did not want
to believe
in this miracle. When they discovered that it was true, and when he
testified that it was Jesus who had healed him, they became angry and
ultimately threw
him out of the temple. How devastating this must have been for this poor
fellow to be tossed out, abandoned. But when Jesus heard about this, He went
and
found him. He also revealed to the man just Who He was. He was more than a
prophet; He was the Son of Man. The man embraced this truth and worshipped
Him.
He was no longer an outcast but a follower of Jesus.

What might have happened to him, I wonder, if Jesus had not taken the time
to find him and draw him to Himself?

Many people today, like the man from this story, suffer abandonment or
rejection for various reasons and from various sources. Much like Riley the
cat,
they become frightened and depressed. They often withdraw and hide
themselves away, perhaps feeling that it is their own fault or that they
can't trust
people again. If any of us knows someone like this, I pray that we might be
like Jesus and take the time to go and
find them and reassure them of both our love and the Lord's eternal love for
them. For in so doing, like Jesus, we, too, may become instruments of
healing
and restoration.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that You found us and drew us to Yourself. May
we, like Jesus, be willing to seek out those whom we know may be suffering
from rejection and sorrow. Through the power of Your Spirit, may we be used
as instruments of healing and restoration in their lives. In Jesus' name, we
ask. Amen.

Lynne Phipps < lynnephipps@hotmail.com >
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

We are the hands and feet of Jesus

“When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to
practice hospitality”—Romans 12:13 (NLT).

Newspaper photos, social media posts and live TV coverage depicted the
devastation. Those viewing the destruction left in the wake of Hurricane
Harvey
could only imagine what the Texas victims were experiencing. For those of us
who have experienced the aftermath of a hurricane, the reality is familiar.

However, anyone who has either viewed or experienced a disaster like this is
familiar with the sacrifices of those who respond to the call for help. As
responders poured into the southeastern Texas areas hardest hit, I marveled
once again, not only at the sight of trained rescue workers, but the
volunteers
who leave their jobs, homes and family to provide assistance to those
affected by the flooding.

Stories continue to reveal those moments when all hope seemed lost. Then,
someone who refused to give up, showed up and answered the call for help.

I listened to TV coverage as victims and rescuers were interviewed. One man,
a volunteer rescuer, paraphrased

1 John 3:17, which states, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a
brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God
be
in that person?”

Looking out for the needs of others is a constant theme and reminder for us
throughout scripture. Philippians 2:4 says, “Let each of you look not only
to his own interests, but also the interests of others.”

At times like these, I wonder why it takes a disaster to bring people of all
races, religions and backgrounds together. Helping others was what Jesus did
on a daily basis. He was never too busy or too tired to answer a cry for
help, whether Jew or Gentile.

In the aftermath of this emergency, I’ve also been touched by the outpouring
of love from children across the nation. Youngsters from as far north as
Maine
and as far south as Florida have raised thousands for the disaster relief
through lemonade stands and bake sales.

We become the hands and feet of Jesus when we reach out to those in need.
Well-known Bible teacher and author Beth Moore tweeted the following during
the
rescue efforts: “Right now in Houston, Texas the hands of Jesus have wet
vacs and saws in them and the feet of Jesus are walking in water wearing
rubber
boots.”

St. Teresa of Avila once wrote the following: “Christ has no body now but
yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through
which
he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to
do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours
are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

Will you be the hands and feet of Jesus?

(As I wrote this column, Hurricane Irma was headed to Florida. Will we
witness the hands and feet of Jesus in the aftermath?)

I always love hearing from my readers. Please feel free to email me with
your thoughts about this post and please feel free to share this post with
others.
Thank you for subscribing.
If you need a speaker for your women's event, please check out my website at
www.carolaround.com or email me at carol@carolaround.com.

For more inspiration, visit my blog at carolaround.com
Copyright ©️ 2015 Carol Round, All rights reserved.


Welcome to the Nugget
bible

August 10, 2017

Five Mistakes that Bring on Regret
By Answers2Prayer

I woke up, and while still in bed, I stretched and yawned one night during
my visit to Ecuador. As I pondered about the time, I had no way to find out.
My cell phone didn't work--no connection. Unlike here in the States, there
was no land line phone to use to call for time.

Most of you who are sighted, would glance toward your phone or clock and
know the exact time. Not so for this blind gal.

Surely it must be morning, I thought. So, I started my morning routine. But
before getting dressed, I realized it must still be the middle of the night
as I heard no birds singing.

Have you done the same? We all do it, don't we? We take action and begin our
routine at the wrong time. Even worse, we forge on without checking God's
timing. Without consulting His will. And without seeking His guidance.

Then when we're in the middle of the journey, things begin to fall apart.
That's when we try to hide our regret, and, with a sorrowful look, we ask
God
for His input, His help and rescue.

Jesus told that very story in Luke 15
. He relates how a young man chose to follow the recipe for bitter regret
marinated in foolishness. And often we do, too. We go through these five
stages:

We follow our own intuition, our wisdom and whims. "....the younger son got
together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his
wealth in wild living" (Luke 15:13).

Later, we evaluate the situation and scratch our head, wondering how we got
there.
"After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole
country, and he began to be in need"
(Luke 15:11).

We scramble, looking for an answer. "So he went and hired himself out to a
citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs"
(Luke 15:15).

We recognize our bad timing, our mistakes and our pitiful ending. "When he
came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to
spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my
father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against
you'"
(Luke 15:17).

The glorious good news is God welcomes us back: "The son came back home
and...while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled
with
compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed
him" (Luke 15:20 ).

The father delighted in the son's return. God does the same. No matter the
foolish path, the sad mistakes, the pitiful choices, we can always, always
come
back. God will run to meet us, throw His arms of compassion around us and
give us the kiss of forgiveness.

What regret still nags at you today?

Janet Eckles

If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home
for more inspiration.

Announcement:

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed
for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a
righteous
man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request to
prayerrequest@answers2prayer.org and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt
18:20:
"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."
(NIV) Hallelujah!

©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely
give."

Anne Graham Lotz - Radical Love
View this email in your browser
Radical Love
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his
friends."

John 15:13, NIV

We love others

who meet our needs,

whom we get along with,

who make us feel good,

who do things for us,

whom we like.

In essence, our first concern is for our own well-being and having our own
needs met, and we love others in proportion to the extent they fulfill those
purposes. Our second concern is that others respond positively to our
overtures; if they don’t, we refuse to continue to love them. But Jesus
outlined
a radically different kind of love – a love that puts the needs and
well-being of others before our own to the extent we would sacrifice our
time, our
energy, our money, and our thoughts in order to demonstrate it. We are to
demonstrate it to others whom we may not like or with whom we may be
incompatible
or who respond negatively or who may never do anything for us in return! Now
that’s radical!

Blessings,

Copyright ©️ 2017 AnGeL Ministries, All rights reserved.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 16 Mar 2017, 11:46 pm

Mortgage
"Dean Masters"
"Who gave himself for our sins." Galatians 1:4.
Years ago King Charles V was loaned a large sum of money by a merchant in
Antwerp.
The note came due, but the king was bankrupt and unable to pay.
The merchant gave a great banquet for the King.
When all the guests were seated and before the food was brought in-
- the merchant had a large platter placed on the table and a fire lighted on
it.
Then, taking the note out of his pocket, he held it in the flames until it
was burned to ashes.
The king threw his arms around his benefactor and wept.
Just so, we have been mortgaged to God.
The debt was due, but we were unable to pay.
Two thousand years ago God invited the world to the Gospel feast, and in the
agonies of the cross-
God held your sins and mine until every last vestige of our guilt was
consumed.
"In gratitude I kneel before You, my Lord Jesus Christ."


Please Make the Pain Go Away
Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do
not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 , NIV)

Friend to Friend

As the basketball game heated up and the man-to-man coverage got up close
and personal, he took an elbow to the ear. Seconds later his world went
silent
on the trauma side. Stunned, he continued to play and pointed to his ear as
he ran down the court telling his coach about the situation.

“I can’t hear in my left ear!”

Wait, what? I read his lips from the stands and wondered if I accurately
interpreted what my son had just communicated. (My stomach did the
I-hate-when-my-kids-get-hurt twist.)

“I think he just told coach that he can’t hear out of his left ear!?” I said
to the friend beside me.

My guess proved to be accurate.

Preston came out of the game and spoke with the athletic trainer. She
listened to the recap of what happened, evaluated his ear, and then allowed
him to
go back in the game since he wasn’t in pain and no bleeding was visible. He
finished the game in an oddly muted reality.

We got home late with our tall, tired teen and decided that we would get him
in to see a doctor if his hearing didn’t come back or improve by the next
day.

Morning did not bring the healing we had hoped for so we headed to the
urgent care.

The doctor listened to the accident recap and then looked inside Preston’s
ear. He saw through the tympanic membrane and quickly identified the source
of the silence: bloody fluid had puddled on the other side of his eardrum
due to the blunt force of the trauma.

The bad news? There was no immediate solution for the hearing loss. An
invasive procedure could be done by a specialist, but wasn’t recommended.

The good news? He said that Preston’s hearing should return and his ear will
eventually heal. His body will absorb the fluids over time. We’d just have
to wait. It could take a few days. Possibly even a few months.

The diagnosis was as much sweet as it was bitter, but honestly we were
hoping for a quicker solution. A speedier healing. A faster resolve.

#mylife

Make the pain go away, Lord! Now. Now. NOW!

I like things to happen right away. {You too?}

When our hearts are wounded from unexpected relationship traumas, we want to
click a simple prayer button and make everything whole and well.

When questions are many and answers are few we want vision for a mile but
often get just enough sight for the next step.

When our over spending choices slash us like falling prices, we try to throw
a little sanitizing scripture on the gash of our debt and get out of it in
the microwave minute of extended credit.

But life doesn’t work that way. Freedom doesn’t work that way. Quick faith
fixes are not a biblical guarantee. Healing often takes time... and
sometimes
it doesn’t look like we want it to look. The way we
think it should look.

Yes. God does sometimes rescue and bring us healing immediately, but He’s
not obligated to. He’s God, He’s able, and He’s sovereign. Remembering this
helps
me to trust Him when life gets scary and stressful.

I think on this and a barrage of questions flood my mind.

Are there really life-impacting lessons to be learned in this lingering?

What if God wants to use the strains, stains and disappointments we face to
refine us – restore us – strengthen us – and to draw us to His side in the
desperation?

What if God’s plan is to teach us to know Him in new ways as we struggle to
hear, to hope, and to heal?

What if instant healing or quick answers would rob me of greater depth?

If these “what if” wonderings are on point then I’m all for the waiting.
Because I really do want to be a woman of depth. Don’t you? Isn’t that what
faith
is all about? The assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things
not seen?
(Hebrews 11:1 )

If I always get what I hope for right away and can always see clearly, then
how will my faith grow?

While Preston waited on his healing I prayed that the lessons we learned
would be rich along the way. In the waiting of each trial, you and I will
grow
in faith as we lean in closely to listen to the whispers of the One who is
compassionate, faithful, and trustworthy.

Let’s Pray

Lord, Please forgive me for the times when I tell You how to fix me. You are
the all-knowing One. You are the all-powerful One. You are the God of all
wisdom, grace, compassion and strength. I need You, Lord, and I choose right
now to trust the plan of healing You have for me and for my loved ones.
Thank You, Father.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn

Read Hebrews 11 and take a walk down history’s holy halls of faith.
Write a “by faith” statement for your life. What would you like to be
written about you in the archives of humanity?
Seeking God?
GirlfriendsInGod.com

"Crucified with Christ" || 03/10/2017
images/WOH_Logo_Default_small
images/WOH_Logo_Default_small
Having trouble reading this email? View it in your browser.

Crucified with Christ
March 10, 2017

Read: Galatians 2:17-21

I have been crucified with Christ. (v. 20)

This is a much-loved verse. But we forget that this is part of what Paul
said to Peter on the day Paul had to publicly excoriate Peter for his
hypocrisy!
Peter had waffled on a very important issue. He allowed some people to think
that maybe we had to do something on our human end of things to add to the
saving work of Jesus. And since this was the same teaching many in Galatia
had embraced, this anecdote about Paul’s confrontation with Peter was very
much
to the point.

For Paul, once you put down the word “grace,” you are allowed to put only
one thing after it: an exclamation mark! “Grace!” Not “Grace and . . .” Not
“Grace
plus . . .” Just “Grace!” And the reason is the way our salvation comes to
us: through the cross. That radical sacrifice tells us that sin is such a
big
problem, nothing we could ever do will solve it (or even solve it a little).

We get crucified with Christ, Paul claims. We die with him. Our whole self
dies with him. There is nothing of our selves left to contribute to the
effort.
Once we also rise with Christ, we don’t even live anymore—only Christ lives
in us so that everything we do in our lives afterward is also all Christ all
the time! So don’t focus on what you do, Paul writes. It’s all Jesus. So
rejoice in that and be glad! —Scott Hoezee

Prayer: Amazing grace, how sweet that sound is to us, O great God!


-------

http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info/viewtopic.forum?t=4733
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 10:09 pm

Anne Graham Lotz - Humble Submission
View this email in your browser

Humble Submission
Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the
disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there."

Matthew 26:36

The betrayal and arrest of Jesus was preceded by an extended time of prayer
in the Garden of Gethsemane. When He stepped out of the garden to present
Himself
to His enemies, Jesus had been alone, praying and agonizing for hours,
wrestling with the will of His Father for His life, sweating what seemed to
be great
drops of blood in His effort. Throughout His agony He received the personal
ministration of angels who helped Him to renew His strength, and He overcame
the supreme temptation of the enemy to defy God’s purpose, choosing instead
to go to the Cross. His humble submission to His Father’s will must have
given
Him a mantle of power that cloaked Him for the nine-hour journey that would
take Him through six different trials, the inhumane cruelty of physical
torture,
the ultimate rejection by those He loved, and the climax of His own
crucifixion and death on a Roman cross.

How is it that you and I think we can make it through the grueling journey
of life without that same humble submission to the Father?

Blessings,

Copyright © 2017 AnGeL Ministries, All rights reserved.

A Journey Through the Desert
by Sarah Phillips

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the
devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was
hungry.

Matthew 4:1-2

Sometimes it's not what’s in our lives troubling us most. It's what we must
do without. It's the gaping hole that won't be filled.

Feeling a sense of lack, of deprivation, is often referred to as a “desert
experience.” Desert experiences can take on many forms – spiritual,
relational,
and physical. When we hit a period of dryness in a particular area of our
lives, we instinctively think something must be wrong with us. “Perhaps if I
pray more and become holier, I’ll feel God’s presence again.” Or “If I
acquire more financial skills, I’ll finally be able to afford what I want.”
Or “If
I become more loveable, I’ll finally find someone to marry.” So we strive,
trying to fill in the gaps in hopes we can earn the blessing.

In our striving, we may be missing out on an opportunity to grow in our
faith. Sometimes, a desert experience is necessary in order to bear greater
fruit
later on. Some of the greatest Saints embraced desert experiences as
spiritually profitable.

Elisabeth Leseur, a French upper-class housewife in the early 20th century,
spent much time in relational and spiritual deserts throughout her marriage
to her husband, a professed atheist. In her diary, later published as
The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur, she recorded times of "complete
resignation, but without joy or any inner consolation." Later, when
reflecting on
her faith, she writes, "And yet through all these trials and in spite of the
lack of interior joy, there is in my soul some central place, which all
these
waves of sorrow cannot reach." Elisabeth’s perseverance in seeking Christ in
the desert later inspired the conversion of her husband.

In the Bible, periods of physical deprivation often preceded key moments in
salvation history. Moses wrote the Ten Commandments during a 40-day fast (
Exodus 34:28
). And it was after a lengthy fast that Elijah heard God’s still, small
voice (
1 Kings 19:8
). We see in the passage above that Christ literally ventured into the
desert for his own 40-day fast in preparation for what was to come – our
salvation
through His sacrificial death.

Now, I’m not advocating starving yourself or allowing clinical depression to
go untreated. Yet, in the short time we’re here on earth, periods of
darkness
or barrenness – whether voluntary or involuntary -- can be used by God for
great purposes.

Right now we're in the middle of Lent, which is traditionally a 40-day
period when believers purposely descend into the “desert” in order to
contemplate
Christ’s suffering and to hear God’s still, small voice more effectively.
Although I don't love to suffer – in even small ways – God has used Lent to
teach
me that the desert has a beauty all its own. That’s because God values the
sacrifices of His children. Not that he takes pleasure in our pain, but He
uses
lack to refine us and draw us closer to Him so that later we may know joy on
a deeper level, beyond what our five senses can currently discern.

Of course, we’re not meant to live forever in a season of Lent. We know,
with confidence, that after Christ’s suffering and sacrifice, Easter morning
came.
Yet, Lent is a season set aside to remind believers today that we are still
inhabitants of the "Shadowlands," as C.S. Lewis liked to call them. We are
not in heaven, and we have work to do. Though we may experience beauty and
joy in this life, nothing can fully satisfy us except God's plan awaiting us
in the fullness of time.

Intersecting Faith & Life: Decide on one luxury you regularly enjoy and give
it up until Easter. It can be a type of food, a behavior (like watching TV
or using critical words in your relationships), or money (donated to a cause
instead of spent on yourself). In its place, increase time spent in quiet
prayer. If you’re currently having a “desert experience” in your life, be
encouraged by knowing God is near.

Further Reading

Matthew 6: 1 - 6, 16 – 18
Joel 2: 12 – 18
10 Lenten Traditions to Enrich Your Family's Easter Celebration
Secrets to Fasting and Prayer

Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Shattering Illusions"
March 10, 2017
(Jesus said) "The Son of Man must suffer many things ..." (Luke 9:22a).
Read Luke 9:18-22

Jesus' disciples have heard His powerful words and seen many mighty
miracles. They believe He is the promised Messiah. But as soon as Peter
makes his great
confession, Jesus sternly commands the 12 disciples to keep the news to
themselves. The Jewish crowds have the wrong idea about the Messiah; they
think
He will be a great king, driving out the Romans and establishing an earthly
kingdom. Even the disciples are swept up in this dream. Now Jesus begins
shattering
that illusion and teaching them that He came to save the world through His
death and resurrection.

Jesus is fully aware of all the horrendous things He will suffer in
Jerusalem, but He also knows the disciples are not ready for all the gory
facts. So
He draws a veil over the details and simply says, "The Son of Man must
suffer many things."

But the disciples need to know who will cause His great suffering. So Jesus
teaches them that the leaders of His own people-the Jewish high court-will
carefully examine Him and reject Him as their Messiah. They will kill Him
through an act of judicial murder. But Jesus' revelation to the disciples
doesn't
end with His death. He clearly states that on the third day after His death
He will be raised.

At Christmas when you look at the Baby dozing in Bethlehem's manger, this
may not be the life you would picture for Him, but it is exactly what God
had
planned for Him since the very beginning.

THE PRAYER: Almighty God, Jesus was careful to shield His disciples from all
the horrors He knew He would suffer to save us from our sins. Remind me that
You know every detail of my future and give me confidence You will make all
thing work together for my good. For Jesus' sake I pray. Amen.

Today's Bible in a Year Reading: Numbers 1-2; Mark 12:1-27
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:07 am

CONFESS
"He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and
renounces them finds mercy."Proverbs 28:13.
Of the two kinds of sinners in Jesus' day, with whom did he prefer to mix?
The honest ones.
They were the only ones he could help.
As The Living Bible puts today's text, "A man who refuses to admit his
mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he
gets
another chance."
Confession is a fundamental way to healing—physical as well as emotional and
spiritual.
James said, "Confess your sins and faults to one another, and pray for each
other so you will be healed."James 5:16.
As the medics tell us, many of our physical ills are either caused or
greatly aggravated by unresolved inner problems as a result of impaired
relationships,
guilt, anger, resentment, bitterness, hurt, grief, worry, anxiety and other
super-charged repressed negative emotions.
Very often these are the things that make us sick.
Literally,Confessing them, getting them off our chest, and emptying out
these feelings clears the way for the healing of many ills.
So, in many ways some healing at least is a choice.
To confess or not to confess?
That's the choice, as that's an imperative way to healing of some ills.
"Dear God, give me the courage to confess all of my sins, failures,
weaknesses, shortcomings and any super-charged repressed negative emotions,
and[,]
wherever possible, put right every wrong that I have done. And help me to be
a non-judgmental, non-preachy person to whom others feel safe to confess
their
sins and failures. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' Name, Amen."

I Love You Anyway

The fear of rejection may be one of the most basic fears of the human
experience. Dr. Joe Harding tells a heart-warming story of a man who finally
decided
to ask his boss for a raise in salary. It was Friday. He told his wife that
morning what he was about to do.

All day the man felt nervous and apprehensive. Late in the afternoon he
summoned the courage to approach his employer. To his delight, the boss
agreed
to a raise. The man arrived home to a beautiful table set with their best
china. Candles were lighted. His wife had prepared a festive meal.
Immediately
he figured that someone from the office had tipped her off!

Finding his wife in the kitchen, he told her the good news. They embraced
and kissed, then sat down to a wonderful meal. Next to his plate the man
found
a beautiful lettered note. It read: "Congratulations, darling! I knew you'd
get the raise! These things will tell you how much I love you."

While on his way to the kitchen to get dessert he noticed that a second card
had fallen from her pocket. Picking it off the floor, he read: "Don't worry
about not getting the raise! You deserve it anyway! These things will tell
you how much I love you."

Total acceptance! Total love. Her love for him was not contingent upon his
success at work. In fact, just the opposite. If he were to fail there, if he
were to be rejected by his boss, he'd be all the more accepted at home. She
stood behind him no matter what; softening the blows, healing the wounds,
believing
in him, loving him. We can be rejected by almost anyone if we're loved by
one. That's the way families can be with each other.

That's the way God is with us, too! "We love Him because He first loved us."


Ron Hutchcraft Ministries - A Word With You
A Word With You
Ears That Hear What God Hears - #7851

For me, I guess it started with comic books, then the old black-and-white TV
series. Then it graduated to the big screen as the subject of several
blockbuster
movies. "Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! (Yep, you said it
didn't you?) It's Superman!" Now, one of the Hollywood stories of the Man of
Steel in more recent years is called "Superman Returns." His return is from
a five-year absence from earth, and during that time, reporter Lois Lane
writes
a major article called, "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman." She makes
this statement: "The world doesn't need a savior, and neither do I." Upon
his
return to earth, Superman visits Lois Lane and tells her, "There's something
I want to show you." He picks her up and takes her on a flying trip over a
long stretch of the planet. He says, "Listen. Do you hear it?" She hears
nothing. Superman then makes this dramatic statement to the skeptical
reporter:
"I hear everything. I know you wrote that the world doesn't need a Savior,
but every day I hear people crying for one."

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Ears That
Hear What God Hears."

There really is a Savior. Not a fictional one like Superman, but a
flesh-and-blood Savior whom a dying world needs desperately. His name is
Jesus. He hears
every cry of the human heart and He cries. He wants to give you ears to hear
what He hears.

In fact, you may be at a point where God is summoning you to something
higher, much the way He summoned Moses centuries ago. That story, and maybe
in a
sense your story, is told in our word for today from the Word of God. Exodus
3, beginning with verse 1. It tells us that Moses was just tending his flock
of sheep in the desert one day when God showed up in a burning bush. That
morning, Moses woke up a desert shepherd. That night, he went to sleep a
rescuer
for his people. God often shows up in the middle of the routine of our life
and changes the course of our life. He asks, in the words of the Christmas
carol, "Do you hear what I hear?"

God says to Moses: "I have seen the misery of My people...I have heard them
crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their
suffering.
So I have come down to rescue them." God might be saying to you today, "I
have seen the misery of the people you know. I have heard them crying out."
He
hears the sounds of their quiet desperation, their aching loneliness, their
bondages, their bleeding family, their search for meaning. He hears their
pain.
He hears their grief and the past that always haunts them. And He has seen
their awful eternity unless there's a rescue. And Jesus is coming down to
rescue
people you work with or play with, people you go to school with who live
around you.

But here's the "rocker". "I have come down to rescue them" He says, "So now,
go. I am sending you." Jesus is inviting you; He is summoning you, to join
Him in the eternal rescue mission for which He gave His life; to see your
relationships and to see your situation as a divine assignment. You are
being
positioned by the Savior to help the people who are there be in heaven with
you someday. So, how are you doing on the reason you're there?

He wants to give you ears to hear the lostness behind their laughter and the
misery behind their mask. He wants to give you eyes to see what He sees when
He looks at the people you're with everyday-future inhabitants of hell
unless someone introduces them to the Rescuer who took their hell for them,
unless
someone gives them Jesus.

Listen to Him. He's talking to you, "So now, go. I am sending you."
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc. · P.O. Box 400 · Harrison, Arkansas 72602 ·
USA

A Reminder for Your Day: You Are Deeply Loved by an Amazing God
By Debbie McDaniel, Crosswalk.com Writer

“...I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with
unfailing kindness."
Jeremiah 31:3

It's been a full few weeks, so much going on in our nation, in our world.
Stress, tension, and emotions are high. Disagreements and divisions feel
stronger
than ever. Hurt goes deep. Resentments rise high.

Maybe you’re finding that in your own personal life, this new year has
started off tough. Times are hard. Struggles are real. You may find yourself
in
a season of waiting or still grieving from recent loss.

But in all that we face, whatever we find ourselves walking through in our
lives, or in our nation, God constantly sets His reminders in our day...in
the
sky, all around us, this one pervading and overwhelming message:
You are loved.

Sometimes we just have to look up to notice. Stop looking all around at
everyone else, stop looking down at screens, or at every new headline, but
"up,"
to Him.

His message of love is always there. It was written in the clouds recently,
on a beautiful day in Texas. My friend Niki captured it on her phone. Big
white
heart cloud in sunny, blue skies.

Maybe we see it in the rainbow after a storm, or in a colorful sunrise
painted across the horizon.

Maybe we see it in glistening snow, spring rains, or in the majesty of
mountains, and beauty of the ocean.

Maybe we hear it in the early morning songs of chirping birds, or in
children’s laughter, or through an encouraging word from a friend at just
the right
time.

God’s in it all.

Yet often, we may miss it. Sometimes we're just too busy to notice. Or we
take it for granted, or don’t give God the credit. But it doesn't change the
truth that His love is all around, surrounding, protecting, covering, every
hour of every day.

In case you need a reminder today in the swirl of battles and brokenness
around us, God's love is perfect. God’s love is real. It has no end and
there's
nothing we could ever do to make Him stop loving us. He’s drawing you closer
to Himself, in the bright, sunny days, and even through the tough times, in
the heartache and pain.

He is faithful.
He is good.
He is loving.
He is with us!
(Photo by Niki Hombs Photography)

Intersecting Faith & Life: No matter what you’re facing this week, be
confident in God’s unchanging love for you. Choose to look “up” to Him
today. Take
time to notice His gentle reminders of love and kindness that are constantly
surrounding you every moment of every day.

Further Reading:
Lamentations 3:22-25
Romans 8:38-39
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Find more by Debbie at www.debbiemcdaniel.com

Who Cares about Leviticus?
by Katherine Britton, Crosswalk.com Contributor

“You are to be holy to me, because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you
apart from the nations to be my own.” –
Leviticus 20:26

Like most evangelicals, I haven’t devoted much time to parsing Leviticus.
After all, we live under the new covenant ushered in by Christ’s death and
resurrection,
and we’re Gentiles to boot. Leviticus was written for a particular people at
a particular time, and vast sections of the book have been demoted to
historical
curiosities at this point. The fledgling kingdom of Israel – really, a
collection of tribes that had more in common with their pagan neighbors than
today’s

Christian
enclave – were on the other side of history’s turning point. For this
emerging nation the Lord dictated incredibly detailed ceremonial law that
has since
passed away, as we have a new and perfect high priest.

Still, the apostle Paul insists that “all Scripture is God-breathed and
useful for teaching”
(2 Timothy 3:15
). Remember, this is Paul speaking, the same apostle who vilified the
Judaizers for insisting the law must be upheld in its minutae to achieve
salvation,
and who wrote that “no one will be declared righteous in his sight by
observing the law.” The resolution of the paradox might be a bit more
apparent through
the example of Park Street Church in Boston.

Pastor Daniel Harrell convinced 19 members of his congregation to join him
in an experiment in “living Levitically,” despite the drastic changes they
had
to make in their daily living. The group grew out their beards, kept kosher,
cleaned their homes meticulously, observed the Sabbath, and even stopped
wearing
clothes made from blended materials. One of the few exceptions to the
experiment was animal sacrifice, as the group intended not to break any U.S.
laws
while observing the ceremonial ones.

The group found it absolutely impossible to obey every tenet. But the Park
Street Church says that wasn’t the point. Seeing firsthand that they couldn’t
perfectly fulfill the law, they realized the need for grace in a whole new
way. As
Romans 5:20
explains it, “The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But
where sin increased, grace increased all the more.”

Could it be that, in ignoring Leviticus as a whole, we forget how awesome
grace is? True, not every ceremonial law (washing your feet? Wearing blended
materials?) is also a moral law. But God still told the Israelites to keep
it as his law. Reading about the church’s example reminded me of a couple
things:

First, God’s people are supposed to be set apart. The Israelites were
supposed to look different, act different, worship different, and spend
their time
in different ways than the nations around them. It was an integral part of
their calling as God’s people. The manifestations aren’t quite the same, but
Christians have the same calling today.

Second, we aren’t set apart enough. As Park Street Church rediscovered, the
law points out our insufficiencies. Even if the law were just a set of
external
rules, we still couldn’t keep them perfectly. We just can’t measure up to
following the law or Christ’s example.

Third, only in Christ can we find rest from the law and a new identity that
really sets us apart. The writer of Hebrews notes that the law is “only a
shadow
of the good things that are coming.” And yes, the law is a good thing – it
makes us realize how much Christ had to atone for on our behalf. Not only
that,
God has adopted us as sons and daughters through Christ to
really set us apart. And then he gives us the grace to live it. Sure, we’ll
still fall, and that will remind us to run to grace. But the power of the
law
is gone through Christ.

Intersecting Faith & Life: This week, take time to read Hebrews 10
Notice how beautifully Christ not only supersedes the law, but fulfills all
of its demands. That ought to inspire the worship that God desires more than
the Israelites’ burnt offerings.

Further Reading:

Living Leviticus: Who Could Do It? Who Would Want To?

How to Use the Law – Lawfully to Bear Fruit for God

Check out fantastic resources on Faith , Family , and Fun at
Crosswalk.com !

Winter in My Heart

"In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still
angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." (Ephesians 4:26-27)

Where we live we boast we're having a dose of winter if the temperature
drops down into the fifties, which it did last week. Within a few days we
will
no doubt be back with our tropical warm winter weather. But recently, I felt
as if it were winter in my heart, big time.

I didn't realize I was harboring resentment. You could not have gotten me to
admit I was even a smidgeon angry. However....I began to notice thoughts,
and critical remarks on the tip of my tongue, that were less than kind. How
subtle these destructive things are. How casually anger and unforgiveness
can
seep out, like water in a pot that is on a low heat and then boils over.

Fortunately something happened to jar me into reality. I began examining
what was going on inside, heart and head. I’d learned about owning and
taking
responsibility for anger, for making a decision regarding forgiveness of
others as well as self, and how critical that is in a spiritual faith walk.

So, even though I didn't really feel like it at the time, I made the
decision to forgive; also that I would put a watch on what I said. Before
long I began
to notice a difference. The sting of anger was missing; there was a change
in my attitude. A difference in the way I was seeing things, and then,
naturally,
in my speech. Spring had sprung, no longer was it winter in my heart.

It’s good to know we are not out on a limb by ourselves trying to do
something that’s impossible, such as an attitude adjustment. When we make a
decision
in line with God’s word the Holy Spirit is more than willing to help us.
That’s good news.

Sally Kennedy
www.sallyikennedy.com

The Fifth Degree

In the old detective stories the detectives would bring a suspect in. then
one of the
detectives would say to another one, “Give him the third degree.” That man
would then start interrogating the suspect. The other day I heard on an old
radio show where the
detective was going to give someone the fourth degree. Now I am going to
give the psalmist the fifth degree by asking him who, what, where, why and
how:

Psalm 150 (NASB95)
What are we supposed to do?
1 Praise the Lord !

Where are we supposed to do this?
Praise God in His sanctuary ;
Praise Him in His mighty expanse .

Why should we do this?
2 Praise Him for His mighty deeds ;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness .

How do we praise god?
3 Praise Him with trumpet sound ;
Praise Him with harp and lyre .
4 Praise Him with timbrel and dancing ;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe .
5 Praise Him with loud cymbals ;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals .

Who is supposed to do this?
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord .

You heard what he said, Join in:

PRAISE THE LORD!

by Dean W. Masters

Which Jesus Do You Want?
An Easter Reflection

By Chris Pick, Special to ASSIST News Service

JesusandBarabbas1WILLIAMSPORT, PA (ANS – March 9, 2017) -- As we prepare our
hearts this year for Lent, let us go back in our hearts to that Black Friday
nearly two thousand years ago. The Roman Governor Pontius Pilate presented
before the crowd two men: One man named Barabbas and the other Jesus. Pilate
declared: “It is your custom that I free one prisoner to you at Passover!
Which do you choose?”

“Give us Barabbas!,” the angry mob cried.

But why Barabbas? Why did the crowd choose this man over the Messiah? What
did they expect?

It is quite possible that Pilate presented before the crowd two men named
Jesus.

Some scholars believed Barabbas’ real name was “Jesus Barabbas.” The Greek
scholar and early Christian theologian Origen found many early manuscripts
of
Matthew 27:16-17 which referred to Barabbas as “Jesus Barabbas.” And the
name “Jesus” was a common name in first-century Galilee.

So, if Barabbas' first name was Jesus, then the question could be rephrased,
“Which Jesus do you choose?” It's a question that can still be asked today
as we are presented with so many different “Jesus” figures globally. To
some, He is a great teacher. To some, a prophet. To some, He is God’s son.
To some,
a mere man. And sadly to some, just a myth.

Though they may have shared the same names, they were opposites – just as
night is from day.

Jesus Barabbas was imprisoned for insurrection, robbery, and murder. He was
a messiah to his people, a savior, but his way of salvation was through an
armed revolution.

Jesus Christ, on the other hand, was God incarnate -- the long-awaited true
Messiah -- who chose to save the world not just from oppression but from the
one thing that separates us from God: SIN. And He chose to accomplish this
through sacrificial love.

ThePassionoftheChristuse
The people were blinded by oppression, suffering, trials and tribulation to
the one thing that was destroying them from the inside out. They didn't
understand
that their bondage was actually sin. Sin is “death” - not just a physical
death, but a spiritual death (a separation between God and man). In order to
free man from his material bondage, man must first be set free spiritually.

The two men couldn’t have been more different. One was a sinner deserving
death. One was sinless but chose to become sin. In a sense, it was a choice
between
love and power. A choice between life and death.

The Jews expected a zealot warrior-like messiah who would rival the
Herodians and put an end to the Roman oppression and tyranny. They wanted to
force
Jesus to define His mission and work politically. And when Jesus didn't meet
their expectations, He was rejected by the people, handed over to the
authorities,
and finally sentenced to death. The religious elders and teachers of the Law
claimed He was a false messiah and thus dangerous in leading people astray
from the Temple and its teachings.

Like it was two thousand years ago, we are often presented with two Jesus
figures today and left to choose. A different type of Jesus from that of the
Bible is often preached today in churches and across the globe.

The Jesus we often hear preached and taught wouldn't party nor drink wine.
He wouldn't associate with prostitutes, drunkards, politicians, tax
collectors,
etc. Some believe He has changed in two thousand years and is more tolerable
of our sinful selves. And He isn't the only way, the only truth, and the
only
life. And for some, He isn't the one true God.

(Is it any wonder why so many these days reject Jesus or refuse to surrender
their lives completely to Christ?)

The Jesus of this day wouldn't ask us to do anything that makes us
uncomfortable. He meets all our expectations and never does anything
unexpected. And
He answers all our prayers which are formulated correctly.

We often want a Jesus that makes life simple, safe, and comfortable and one
that fits our church denominations. We want a Jesus we can step over. Like
the Israelites in the Old Testament, we believe we can put God in a box and
take Him with us wherever we go – that we can mold Him and shape Him into
the
image we want. We do this in our own churches. In a sense, we create our own
god instead of letting God be God and allowing Him to mold us and shape us
into His image. It’s a control issue -- even in salvation.

We often say that we invite Jesus into our hearts and lives, when in truth
Jesus invites us into His heart and life. And if He doesn't do what we want
or if He asks us to do something that makes us uncomfortable, we seek a
Jesus who gives us what we want and tells us what we want to hear -- much
like
2,000 years ago. I believe this is an issue with the Church today. We have
broken the First Commandment in our hearts and minds by creating a false
image
of God.

In America and many parts of the world, the focus is on being “born again,
because Jesus told that to a man who wanted to know what he can do to
inherit
eternal life. And Jesus explains that to be born again we must believe in
Him: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that
whoever
believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). It
seems simple and comfortable, and so we disregard what Jesus told others who
asked
what they must do to inherit eternal life. To one, Jesus replied, “Sell
everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in
heaven.
Then come, follow me.” (Luke 18:22). In Luke 10:25-28, an expert in the law
tried to test Jesus asking what he must do to inherit eternal life. “What is
written in the Law?” Jesus replied. “How do you read it?” The man answered,
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with
all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as
yourself.’” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you
will
live.”

Empty Tomb useJesus even goes so far as to say we should love our enemies
(Matthew 5:43-48).

Jesus’ teachings all seem backward or upside down from what the world
teaches. But the truth is, it's the world that is backwards or upside down
from the
Way, the Truth, and the Life which is presented before us. In Luke 14, Jesus
teaches that the last shall be first, and the first shall be last – that
those
who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will
be exalted (Luke 14:7-14).

It’s weird for us to think of Jesus as a “scandal,” but it's true. Jesus is
a stumbling block. He declared that He is a stone that makes men stumble
(Isaiah
8:14). All the disciples stumbled over Him because He failed to meet their
expectations – from John the Baptist to Peter. And if we get close to Jesus,
we too will stumble. He will fail to meet our expectations. He will call us
to do impossible things or become what we think we can't become. We will
become
broken. He will break us into pieces so He can put us back together.

We can easily understand how one could stumble over His teachings, for His
teachings are hard to hear and accept at times. For instance, consider what
Jesus meant when he said to count the costs: “If anyone comes to me and does
not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes,
even
their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not
carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:25-27, NIV)

In Matthew's Gospel chapter 8, a disciple who had just lost his father
declares that he will follow Jesus but first wants to go bury his father.
Yet Jesus
told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” (verse 22).

It’s no doubt, we still stumble over Jesus' words and teachings. They go
against the norm of society. After all, He came to free us from a society
which
causes trouble, pain, hardships, etc. Jesus was trying to free this disciple
from pain and from anything that would tie him down. In a world full of
grief,
depression, anger, and selfishness, we find freedom in Christ when we follow
Christ and die to ourselves in service to others. The freedom found in
following
Christ is amazing! We can't focus on our own problems when we are focused on
Christ and the need of others. If we want freedom, we need to follow Jesus
and allow Him to break us and ruin us for society and the world. Only when
He reshapes us to our original state can we find true freedom. It's also
where
we find victory!

In a letter Julius Caesar wrote to Amautius describing his famous victory at
Zela in 47 B.C., he wrote: “Veni, vidi, vici,” which translated from Latin
means “I came, I saw, I conquered.” No doubt, this is what the people wanted
in a Messiah during Jesus’ day. They were shocked when Jesus came, saw
everything,
but surrendered His life to the Father which meant surrendering Himself to
the hands of the Romans and Jews who put Him to death upon the cross. True
victory
is only possible through surrender -- surrendering to Jesus that is. There
is no victory when we strong-arm our plans and take things into our own
hands.
It's something to remember in a day and age filled with protesting. We still
seek a revolutionist Messiah to save us and we allow the problems of the day
to take our eyes off the one true Messiah who came in peace and love -
calling us to surrender our lives to Him.

So, as we prepare our hearts for Easter, which Jesus do you choose?
About the writer: Chris Pick is a singer/songwriter, missionary, and
advocate for the Persecuted Church and Native Missionary Movement. He has
been involved
with several mission projects which have included work in South America,
Africa, Asia, and North America (ministering among the Lakota Sioux at the
Pine
Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and the Mountain Ute Reservation in
Towaoc, Colorado). As a singer/songwriter, Pick’s music has been heard
globally
and charted on many continents in both mainstream, adult contemporary, and
Christian charts. His latest single “Come Back” (featuring Mariah
Hostrander)
as well as the EP “Tragedies & Miracles” (featuring members of Rich Mullins’
old band “A Ragamuffin Band”) are available on iTunes. You can find out more
at
www.chrispick.bandcamp.com
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sat 11 Mar 2017, 11:13 pm

Dark Places
LYSA TERKEURST

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
John 1:5 (NIV)

Do you ever have little places of discouragement that entangle around your
heart? You know in the bigger picture of life things are good. But there’s
this
little dark place. A little black hole. That sometimes doesn’t feel little.

It hangs like a cloud -- blocking the sun, casting shadows.

Maybe it’s an argument you and your husband have had one too many times.
Your relationship is good, but this one topic feels like a black hole.

Maybe it’s an issue with one of your kids. You have an amazing child, but
there is this one behavioral tendency that baffles you, embarrasses you and
causes
you to fear. It feels like a black hole.

Or maybe it’s a recurring frustration with a friend. She’s amazing, but
there’s this one part of your friendship that darkens the collective good.
And
you can’t figure out how to address it. Now it’s happening with more
frequency, and it feels like a black hole.

I know. It’s hard.

Recently I was up at night praying and crying out to God to help me better
process some of the hard situations in my own life.

I asked God to shed some of His light on what I’m struggling through so I
don’t get lost in the darkness of confusion. His voice wasn’t loud or
definitive.
Just a slight shift of my thoughts to be more in line with truth, and I knew
light was defeating my darkness:

Look at all the prayers that have been answered with this situation.

Small changes. The big, grand finale I keep hoping for hasn’t yet come. But
might I notice the beautiful symphony of hopeful notes in the in-between?

Look at the strength I’m gaining in the process.

Every time I turn to God and ask for Him to shed light on my situation, I’m
trading a little of my struggle for a bit of His strength.

Look at the reality that a black hole isn’t a black whole.

The whole isn’t all bad. Yes, there are some issues to address and some
tensions to manage, but I can’t let Satan use this frustration to darken my
outlook.

Jesus reminds us, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will
never walk in darkness but will have the light of life”

(John 8:12 b, NIV). He also assures us in our key verse that darkness cannot
win against light, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has
not overcome it”
(John 1:5 ).

Ask Jesus to shed His light on your situation today. Look at this from Jesus’
perspective. Use truth to do something positive in this area today. Invest
the time to make a little imperfect progress right there.

In the dark place.

That won’t be so dark with a little light cast upon it.

Father God, I need Your light. Light defeats darkness every time. And while
I might not have all the answers to my struggles right now, I am seeing more
hope than ever. Jesus is my light. And because of Him, even my darkest
nights aren’t so daunting and confusing. Thank You for leading me. Thank You
for
loving me. Thank You for lighting the way for me -- day by day. In Jesus’
name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
James 1:17
, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of
the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Do you long to stop living like a slave to your circumstances? Find hope and
freedom as you train your heart to embrace the truth God wants to reveal to
you in Lysa TerKeurst’s in-depth
Bible
study
Finding I Am. Lysa draws from her own painful experiences to show you that
Jesus not only cares about your difficult circumstances, but He also wants
to
step in and see you through them. Order
here today.

CONNECT:
You can connect with Lysa on a daily basis on her
Facebook and Instagram .

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Are there any areas of discouragement in your life right now that feel like
a black hole? Ask God to shed His light on this situation and help you look
at it with fresh perspective. What prayers -- even small ones -- have
already been answered in this situation? What strength are you gaining?

(c) 2017 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.


God washes and scours, trains and nurtures them!

( The Preacher's Book )

Frankincense, when it is put into the fire--gives off the greater perfume.

Spice, if it is pounded and beaten--smells the sweeter.

The earth, when it is torn up with the plough--becomes more fruitful.

The seed in the ground, after frost and snow and winter storms--grows the
thicker.

The nearer the vine is pruned to the stock--the larger grapes it yields.

The grape, when it is most pressed and beaten--makes the sweetest wine.

Linen, when it is washed and wrung and beaten--is so made fairer and whiter.

In the same way, the children of God receive great benefit by
affliction--for by it
God washes and scours, trains and nurtures them.

"Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit!" John
15:2

~ ~ ~ ~

For further reading: J.R. Miller's practical short article, " The Christian
Husband ".

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable,
to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and
lived well. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you ever wondered what Jesus wants to do with you?

“Have you ever wondered what Jesus wants to do with you?”
TWEET THIS

I became a believer as a young boy, and I was certain He’d invite me on a
grand adventure. What was it going to be? I kept my ears open and my heart
ready
for anything.

My childhood church hosted a missionary doctor who’d spent 30 years on an
island in the middle of Lake Chad. This island was home to lepers as they
lived
out their last days. I listened to the doctor speak and wondered,
Are You going to send me to Lake Chad, Lord?

Later in my youth, I heard my dad preach from 1 Corinthians 7
; he taught the passage where Paul said it was better to be single. I
panicked, Is that what You have for me, Lord – a life of celibacy?

I was a teenager when my mom handed me a book about David Wilkerson, a
street preacher who converted Nicky Cruz – one of the roughest gang leaders
in NYC
during the 1950s. David decided to find Nicky and tell him about Jesus. So
he walked right into gang territory and said to him, “Nicky Cruz, Jesus
loves
you.” Nicky and his friends spit on David and slapped him around, but David
was undeterred. As I read about Nicky and his peers coming to know Christ,
I wondered, Is that what You have for me, God? Will I become a street
preacher?

These were all sensational ideas, but what they really came down to was the
question, “Lord, what do You want to do with me?”

Jesus does have something He wants to do with each of us. And while it might
not be as dramatic as any of the above, it will present moments of
difficulty.
For some of you, this thing that Jesus wants to do with you will be harder
than living on an island of lepers, or living a life of celibacy, or walking
into gang territory.

So our question this week is: What does Jesus want to do with us?

Lord, perhaps this feels like a question that hasn’t been fully answered.
Maybe I revisit it at different seasons of my life. What do You have for me
to
discover? Amen.

Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at
OnePlace.com
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Fri 10 Mar 2017, 6:08 pm

PresbyCan Daily Devotional
Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Today's Devotional

Discerning God's Voice

Psalm 119:169 – O Lord, listen to my cry; give me the discerning mind you
promised. (NLT)

One text message can change the course of a life.

She really didn't want to come to church that Sunday night. After all, they
were just showing the movie,
God's Not Dead. But her husband wanted to come, so she obliged. Near the end
of the movie, concert goers in the movie were encouraged to text "God's not
dead" to every contact in their phone. Though she wasn't in the movie, she
felt the urge to text her son who was struggling with an addiction. Little
did
she know that he was about to take another hit. Receiving the text from his
mom at that critical moment changed his mind. She discerned God's voice.

I recently discerned God's voice as well. My wife and I were eating at a
local restaurant. Four highway patrolmen sat at the table next to ours, one
of
whom I was acquainted with. God's Spirit urged me to perform a particular
act of kindness for them. It was Memorial Day, as well as the day that we
were
honouring medical responders, firemen, and law-enforcement personnel. Reason
prompted me to consider the cost; God wanted me to act on His prompting. So
I listened.

God promises believers that we can discern His mind, and the psalmist wanted
to do just that. Unfortunately, I've missed many opportunities because I
either
didn't discern His voice or lacked faith — faith that God would replace the
money that the act of kindness would cost.

God gives us the ability to know the mind of Christ, but it doesn't happen
automatically. Just as keeping in touch with family and friends helps us to
know them, along with their likes and wants, so the same happens in our
relationship with Christ. Through prayer, Bible study, and meditation, we
learn
Who He is, what His desires for us are, and how to please Him. His Spirit
may indwell us, but unless we stay in constant contact with Him, His
Spirit's
promptings will grow fainter and fainter.

Let's stay close to God so that we won't miss the opportunities that He
sends. And when He sends them, let's take a leap of faith, and act upon what
He
tells us to do.

Prayer: Father, give us the wisdom to recognize Your voice and the faith to
obey it. Amen.

Ron Hutchcraft Ministries - A Word With You
A Word With You
Takes a Lickin', Keeps On Tickin' - #7848

It's pretty funny how far some advertisers will go to convince you that you
should buy their product. Years ago, I remember there were some Samsonite
luggage
commercials. They had a suitcase in the gorilla cage, taking every form of
abuse a gorilla could give it. And then there was the one where they threw
it
out of a plane and it survived. But the pioneers of this kind of "hammer it
to prove it" advertising were the makers of Timex watches. Their motto was
really hard to forget, "takes a lickin', keeps on tickin'." I don't remember
all the ways they beat up on their watches, but it seems to me that they
attached
one to a ski boat and one to the underside of a truck that was bouncing
along a bumpy road. They gave it all kinds of hammering that proved the
quality
of their product.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Takes a
Lickin', Keeps On Tickin'."

It may be that you are going through a time when you've been hit pretty
hard, when everything is being shaken. And you're asking the question we all
want
answered in times like these, "Why?" Now you're never going to know the
whole answer until you're with Jesus in heaven. But God does pull the
curtain back
to show you a little of the reason for the hammering you're experiencing.

That's in our word for today from the Word of God in 1 Peter 1:6-7. The
people God is addressing through Peter are people whose entire world has
been turned
upside-down. They have paid for their faithfulness to Jesus Christ by being
persecuted. They've been driven from their homes, their city, they're
scattered
all over the map and some of these folks have probably lost everything.
Here's what God says, "for a little while you may have had to suffer grief
in all
kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith may be proved genuine."

Notice the word used to describe the hurting time, "trials." A trial is a
test that reveals the quality of the product. Like those watches; like you
right
now. No doubt, you have had assignments from God that you've enjoyed more
than this, but God has trusted you with this painful assignment every bit as
much as He gave you those other assignments. Why? To show the quality of
Jesus Christ and your faith in Him.

Every approach, every lifestyle works when things are going well. Anybody
can be positive and joyful and unselfish in good times. That's no test. The
test
of what's real is the hammering times. People saw what those Timex watches
could handle, and they wanted one. People will see what you and Jesus can
handle,
and they may very well want Him for themselves.

If you're struggling to make some sense of this upheaval, remember that God
has sent or allowed it so your faith could be "proved genuine." So how are
you doing with that? Would people who are watching you right now, and
watching your actions and attitude, would they say, "What he has, what she
has is
really real?" If all you believe about Jesus' love and power and hope is for
real, then this could be the greatest opportunity you've ever had in your
life to prove it. Preaching won't convince a lot of people, Christian
beliefs or activities might not, but who can deny the reality of a hope that
is still
there after the heavy blows when there seems to be no reason for hope?

If you can hang onto Jesus, if you could be like Jesus in this pain, you
will prove your faith is genuine first to yourself. You will have the
deepest
confidence in Jesus you have ever had because you've experienced what He can
do when no one else can help. You'll also prove your faith is genuine to the
people who are watching you, whose own relationship with Jesus might depend
on how you weather this beating. And you'll prove the reality of your faith
to God whose waiting to bless you in extraordinary ways. That's what He does
for those who are faithful to Him when there seems to be no reason to be.

So hang on, even if you're getting banged around right now. This is the test
to see whether or not when you're "takin' a lickin", you will "keep on
tickin'."
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc. · P.O. Box 400 · Harrison, Arkansas



New Post on KenBible.com - from Prepare Yourself for Worship
----------------------------------------------------------

from Prepare Yourself for Worship

Posted: 03 Mar 2017 09:55 PM PST

Prepare for Lent

Father, this Lent,
show me the path that Jesus walked,
that I may walk in His steps.

I see His life of love.
I see His beautiful, unbroken relationship with You.
I see His fruitfulness,
His abounding joy and
His unbroken peace
in the midst of self-sacrifice, and
I want to follow.
Wherever He leads me, Lord,
I want to go.
Through repentance,
through temptation,
through self-denial,
I want to walk
with Him
in You, Father.

I will walk the road to the cross,
as long as He
goes before me and
walks with me,
as long as
He leads and
He enables.

This Lent, Father,
show me Jesus.
Make me one with Jesus.

How to Deal With People Who Try to Bring You Down
Carrie Lowrance

We all have people in our lives who try to bring us down. You may have that
one parent that tries to bring you down all the time. You could have a boss
that is always criticizing you. Maybe you have a friend that is very subtle
in tearing you down. It is so easy to get frustrated and angry at people who
act like this. It is also easy to take their words to heart, cause them to
stop us in our tracks, and never pursue the dream that the Lord has planted
in us. As Christians, how should we deal with people like this?

Consider Their Background

Rough Childhood - As we all know, our childhood shapes a lot of who we are.
Sometimes when people have less than loving childhoods (verbal/emotional
abuse)
it is only natural for them to do to others what has been done to them. This
does not make it right. The best thing we can do is try and build up what
has been torn down in them.

Low Self Esteem - Sometimes those with low self esteem will try to bring
down others. They feel they have no worth so therefore they have to diminish
others.
As hard as it may be not to lash back, respond with a kind and loving word.
Point out something they are really good at and let them know.

Poor Choices - When we make poor choices, we suffer the consequences. It can
be hard to look around and see how others seem to ‘have it together’. If
someone
is trying to bring you down in this regard, reach out and ask how you can
help them.

Are They Stuck In Their Own Failures? - Sometimes people get caught up in
their own failures, therefore, they do not want to see others succeed. In
feeling
this way, they feel like they have to discourage everyone around them.

As Christians, we should show compassion in all these situations rather than
getting angry.

A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be kind to everyone, be able to
teach, and be
patient with difficult people. -
2 Timothy 2:24
(NLT)

Remember Our Value & Worth
• We must remember that our worth and value is not in those around us.
• Our value and worth are in the Lord.
• We all have value because we have all been blessed with talents and gifts.
• He has created all of us uniquely and we are all valuable to him beyond
measure.

We Must Turn The Other Cheek And Keep Moving Ahead
• When people try to bring us down we must let if fall on deaf ears.
• We need to continue to pursue the dreams the Lord has placed in us and the
roads on which He is leading us.
• If we are having an off day at work, forgive ourselves for the mistakes we
make, and make an effort to enjoy the rest of our day.
• Listen closely to the Lord’s guidance in our hearts on how to specifically
handle a situation.

Pray For Those Around Us

The most important thing we can do for these people (other than not lashing
back) is to pray for them. Take the time to get to know the people that tear
you down. Get inside their lives, thoughts and emotions. Then pray as
specifically as you can about their situation. Reach out to them and help
them if
you can. If there is something they have always dreamed of doing, encourage
them to go for it. If it is something you know a lot about, offer to mentor
them. If they are suffering from past hurts but don’t know how to get past
it, research some good, Christian therapists in your area and pass on the
information.
If they are struggling with a self-esteem issue, point out all the good
characteristics and talents they have. Compliment them at least once a week
when/if
you see them. You never know what will become of the seeds you plant in
love.

Pray for their salvation. It’s hard to know how to pray for someone when it
comes to this matter. The best way I know to pray in this way, is to ask the
Lord to reveal himself in a way that is unique to the individual. Ask the
Lord to open their eyes, heart, mind and soul in a way that they have no
doubt
that He exists. In a way that would speak specifically to them.

Are you still worried you may not respond as you should? Let’s pray for the
Lord’s help in this matter.

Dear Lord,
Please help me when those around me try to bring me down. Allow me to
recognize the hurts and issues in their lives and how I can be of help to
them. Help
me to keep my natural human tendencies in check and not to retaliate back.
Quietly remind me where my true worth and value really lie. Give me comfort
in knowing that You are leading me on a better path and give me the strength
to continue pursuing it. Please clear my heart of any issues that will
hinder
me from praying for those around me. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

Carrie Lowrance is a freelance writer and author. She has been featured on
Huffington Post, She Is Fierce, Parachute, The Frugal Farmer, etc. She is
also
the author of two books of poetry, one children's book, and she writes her
own personal finance blog at
www.freelancebylowrance.com .

Comfort in Trial

For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we
share abundantly in comfort too. -
2 Corinthians 1:5

There is a perfect balance in this. God in His providence operates the
scales; on one side He puts His people's trials, and on the other He puts
their
consolations. When the scale of trial is nearly empty, you will always find
the scale of consolation in nearly the same condition; and when the scale of
trials is full, you will find the scale of consolation just as heavy. When
the dark clouds gather, the light is more brightly revealed to us. When
night
falls and the storm is brewing, the Heavenly Captain is always closest to
His crew.

It is a blessed thing that when we are most downcast, then we are most
lifted up by the consolations of the Spirit. One reason is, trials make more
room
for consolation. Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. The spade
of trouble digs the reservoir of comfort deeper and makes more room for
consolation.
God comes into our heart--He finds it full--He begins to break our comforts
and to make it empty; then there is more room for grace. The humbler a man
is, the more comfort he will always have, because he will be more fitted to
receive it.

Another reason why we are often happiest in our troubles is this--then we
have the closest dealings with God. When the barn is full, man can live
without
God: When the purse is bursting with gold, we try to do without so much
prayer. But when our shelter is removed, then we want our God; when the
house is
purged of idols, then we are compelled to honor the Lord. "Out of the depths
I cry to you, O LORD!"1

There is no cry so good as that which comes from the bottom of the
mountains, no prayer half so hearty as that which comes up from the depths
of the soul,
through deep trials and afflictions. They bring us to God, and we are
happier; for nearness to God is happiness. Come, troubled believer, do not
fret over
your heavy troubles, for they are the heralds of weighty mercies.

1 Psalm 130:1

Family Bible reading plan

verse 1 Genesis 45

verse 2 Mark 15

Holiness - It's Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots

J. C Ryle wrote this timeless classic on holiness over a hundred years ago,
yet how poignant his words still are for us today. Sadly, we all know how
easy
it is to appear godly in public, while behind closed doors to continue in
our own sin.

This modern English version will challenge a new generation of readers to
live a Christ–like life. Ryle’s timeless wisdom reminds us that holiness
shouldn’t
be cold, distant and unobtainable, but that Christ himself is the root of
our godliness. Be exhorted not to simply settle for half–hearted holiness,
but
to strive to be holy in every area of our lives. Holiness, Ryle argued, was
not simply a matter of believing and feeling, but of doing.


Finding Clear Guidance

Psalms 25:12

How can you be sure you’re making the right decision? Sometimes it may seem
as if God plays hide and seek when we’re trying to know His will, but that’s
not the way He operates. He wants to give us clear direction. The real
question is, What do you need to do to hear His voice?

Clear the pathway. We have two main obstacles that hinder our discernment:
sin in our life and our own strong desires about the situation. To receive
the
Lord’s guidance, we must repent of all known sin and make our desires
secondary to His.

Exercise patience. Sometimes it takes a great deal of strength to stand
still when everything within you is shouting, “Hurry! Time is running out!”
But
if you rush ahead of God, you may miss His will.

Persist in prayer. The Bible
clearly instructs us to keep coming to the Lord with our concerns. As we
continue to pray, He will gradually weed out anything confusing until we
come
to His conclusion about the matter.

Search the Scriptures. The Word of God has an answer for every need, and the
Holy Spirit knows just how to point us in the right direction. I remember
times while I was reading the Bible that a verse jumped off the page and
supplied the exact answer I needed to make an important decision.

So often when we’re faced with a critical choice, all we want from the Lord
is a quick answer. But He delights to meet with us in order to deepen our
relationship
with Him. Don’t let the urgency of your need keep you from enjoying the
intimacy of His presence as you seek His will.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please
visit
www.intouch.org .

Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. (c) 2009 All Rights
Reserved.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Wed 08 Mar 2017, 9:22 pm

The Unnatural
February 13, 2017

Read: Matthew 14:22-33

When [Peter] saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out,
“Lord, save me!” (v. 30 NIV)

In preparation for visiting the Virgin Islands, I bought a full-face
snorkel. I always wanted to enjoy this sport but my cerebral palsy makes it
difficult
to control my breath in water. Snorkeling face down felt unnatural because I
have only swum on my back. While snorkeling I had to remember to rely on my
life jacket, move slowly, and not panic. When I got in trouble, I was
grateful that Dad was by my side to help.

Peter did what was unnatural when he walked on water toward Jesus after the
Lord summoned him out of the boat to meet him on top of the waves. As long
as he focused on Jesus he defied the laws of nature, but when he saw the
wind, he panicked and began to sink. When he started sinking, Jesus
immediately
reached out a hand and caught him.

Peter could never have walked on water by himself, but with Jesus’ help he
did what seemed to be impossible. What is the Lord calling us to do that
seems
unnatural? It might be witnessing to a co-worker, leading a small group, or
helping with the youth group. What he wants us to do may seem out of the
ordinary,
just as unnatural as Peter walking on water or me floating on my stomach
snorkeling. No matter how terrified we are, the Lord will be at our side
making
the impossible possible. —Steve Laman

Prayer: Work in our lives, Lord, and help us to do what seems to be
impossible and unnatural.
TM@MW
Take Me @ My Word
"Behold, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs forth;
do you not perceive and know it
and
will you not give heed to it?
I will even make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert."
Isaiah 43:19 AMP
----------------------------------------------------------

One of the biggest mistakes we can make is assuming God wants us to overcome
an obstacle the same way He led us the last time.

In a world where formulas are valued, why shouldn't we assume a repeat?
Afterall, He does some pretty amazing things. It almost seems apathetic to
not
hope they'd happen again.

Yet (and I'm smiling as I write this), God's ways are so much bigger than
that.

And so much better.

My husband, Matt, is a very skilled masonry contractor. After 30 years in
the business, his handiwork marks many dozens of custom homes and businesses
around the valley.

Matt's also one of the hardest workers I've ever known. His strength,
stamina, and determination often take him far past where others stop.

But this past summer found him in a place he'd never been.

With many thousands of square feet of stone to lay on three enormous jobs,
he needed to hire a number of laborers and masons. Ads were placed, calls
made,
the word spread around, but week after week found him unable to find
workers.
I've often seen Matt do what seemed physically impossible. By God's grace
he'd just work harder and longer. But this time found him beyond what he and
his crew could get done before the looming deadlines.

• We knew God had a plan.
• We trusted His wisdom.
• Mostly, we prayed for eyes to see all He wanted to teach us through this
process.
In gentle, quiet ways the Holy Spirit began to unfold His plan.

Without men to hire, Matt felt led to call other masonry companies in the
valley and subcontract some of the work to them.

On one jobsite, thousands of feet of newly laid stone needed to be washed
and sealed. The Holy Spirit prompted Matt to call a painting contractor and,
again, subcontract the work.

While seemingly unconventional, through this process Matt built valuable new
relationships, supported other businesses, and completed the jobs on time.

I share this for one reason:
I sense the Holy Spirit is shaking up our ideas of normal.
Yes, He has given gifts and skills. He led us with wisdom yesterday.

But today may call for a new way.
He may have a new plan.
He may want to unveil new opportunities and connections and possibilities.

Isaiah 43:19 asks us:
Do you recognize it?
Will you give heed to it?

Don't look for life to continue on as usual. Don't expect the same questions
and solutions as last time.

Ask to see the hidden things and watch God unfold His wisdom and power.

He wants to be known.

Watching with awe and laughter,
~ Amy ~

AmyLayneLitzelman.com
Copyright © 2017 Amy Layne Litzelman, All rights reserved.

Unhappiness: A Tempting Choice?
by Sarah Phillips, Crosswalk.com Contributor

"And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy
Spirit."
Acts 13:52

"Always be happy. I see you out there with your solemn faces and hands
folded like this, and perhaps you think this is holiness. This sad,
solemn-ness
is not really holiness. Always be happy wherever you go; God is good."

These are words spoken by a priest from India at a recent retreat. No doubt,
this priest is well-versed in the theology of redemptive suffering, so his
words gave me pause. What does he mean by this? Is it even possible to be
happy like this?

Later, in a discussion with my father, he mentioned that family counselors
like my stepmother often encounter challenging clients who are married to
their
unhappiness. In other words, these individuals are so comfortable with their
misery and dysfunction (born out of very real hurts, no doubt) they don't
even
want to be happy anymore.

Pondering all this has rearranged some of my thinking on faith
and happiness.

Perhaps you've heard this common saying in Christian circles: "God doesn't
promise us happiness here on earth." From what I've encountered in my
studiesof the Bible and theology, the statement is factual.

I used to interpret this fact as an indication that God just doesn't have
happiness in his plans for some (and I was likely one of those people,
right?).
But as I am reflecting on Fr. Andrew's words and my stepmother's clients, it
hits me. Perhaps God doesn't promise happiness because it's not his place
to give it. In other words, perhaps happiness is part of God's plan, but
it's something we also must choose on our end.

Think about it. Have you ever met that person who "has everything" but isn't
happy? I knew a person like that. He possessed uncommon intelligence. He had
a loving family, wealth, and opportunity. But he seemed gifted at finding
the dark side to everything. And I mean
everything. He suffered from incredible cynicism and depression. Let's put
the possibility of a chemical imbalance aside for a second and ponder this
truth:
God has the power to bless us, but it's up to us to be happy about it.

I don't say these things to cause pain or make anyone feel guilty for not
feeling happy. Trust me, I've had plenty of dark periods where happiness
seemed
like a joke. I firmly believe it's okay to feel unhappy sometimes. Jesus
didn't always feel good either, and it's safe to say there was nothing wrong
with
him.

Still, it's important to remember that there is a danger in wallowing in
darkness for too long. There is a great temptation to become attached to our
sadness,
our victim-hood. Our cross, instead of drawing us closer to life in Christ,
ends up bringing us closer to spiritual death when we do this.

In his book The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis explores this idea that we can
become too attached to our brokenness. He sets up a fictional scenario where
souls
in hell get a second chance at heaven. But they ultimately do not choose
heaven - they can't even
enjoy heaven - due to their excessive attachment to hell.

This seems downright crazy, but it's not any different than the clients my
stepmom sees every week. And it's a very real trap we fall into every time
we
hold too tightly to our hurts and sorrows instead of releasing them to God.

Lewis warns, "If we insist on keeping Hell (or even earth) we shall not see
Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest
and most intimate souvenirs of Hell."

But then what do we do with all the bad things in life? Certainly, we will
feel sorrow and loss - we
should feel sorrow and loss when bad things happen. How then do we avoid
getting trapped by tragedy? How do we let go of the comforts, the "intimate
souvenirs,"
of life's little hells? Lewis has more to say about that, and I will end
here to ponder his words:

"'Son,' he said, 'ye cannot in your present state understand eternity...
That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering, 'No
future
bliss can make up for it,' not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work
backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure
they say 'Let me have but this and I'll take the consequences': little
dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and
contaminate
the pleasure of the sin. Both processes begin even before death. The good
man's past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows
take on the quality of Heaven: the bad man's past already conforms to his
badness and is filled only with dreariness. And that is why... the Blessed
will
say 'We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven,': and the Lost, 'We were
always in Hell.' And both will speak truly."

Intersecting Faith & Life: Have you held on to unhappiness for too long? Is
your sadness, guilt, anger, or bitterness tempting you to sin or obscuring
your faith? Ask God to help you let go of destructive thoughts or behaviors.

Further Reading
1 Peter 1:8
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Mon 06 Mar 2017, 10:46 am



May I Carry You?

Acts 3:1-6 (ISV)
1 Peter and John were going up to the temple for the hour of prayer at three
in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who had been crippled from birth was being
carried in. Every day people would lay him at what was called the Beautiful
Gate so that he could beg from those who were going into the temple. 3 When
he saw that Peter and John were about to go into the temple, he asked them
to give him something. 4 Peter, along with John, looked him straight in the
eye and said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man watched them closely,
expecting to get something from them. 6 However, Peter said, “I don’t have
any silver or gold, but I’ll give you what I do have. In the name of Jesus
Christ from Nazareth, walk!”

In Bible times there was nothing wrong about begging if you could not work.
. In the Jewish laws it is written that Jewish people are to help those
people who cannot work. In the Scripture above the man was lame and could
not work. He had the best
location for a beggar, right outside the temple gate. He would see everyone
that went to the temple to pray. He knew where he needed to go to get the
most help.

Where do you go for help? You might go many places but I would highly
recommend two places. First, go to God. Pray to Him and let Him know what
you need. WE are not to treat God like Santa Claus but He wants to know our
needs so He can fill these needs. The other place to ask for help is in your
church or from other Christians. WE need to help each other.

We find it easier to give money to a cause than to get involved in it. There
may be times when we see someone that needs our help and the Holy Spirit
nudges us to help them in some other way than materially. This is what
happened to Peter and John. The lame
beggar was healed in the name of Jesus Christ. It was the Holy Spirit that
led Peter and John to reach out to the lame beggar that had to be carried to
the temple daily.

In parts of the southern United States you might hear someone ask somebody,
“May I carry you to town?” This doesn’t mean they want to physically carry
you. What they mean is that they are offering you a ride to town. As
Christians, we are to help
others, or carry them. Look for ways to help and be sensitive to the leading
of the Holy Spirit in your daily walk.

by Dean W. Masters

Singing Is the Language of Joy
Ajith Fernando / February 11, 2017
Singing Is the Language of Joy

In a recent season of prayer, I realized that I had become quite overwhelmed
by the challenges and disappointments I face. I wondered, Am I really
helping
those whom I am counseling and mentoring?

I was remembering the many failures I have had in my ministry. I live daily
with the question as to whether my attempt to get Christians in Sri Lanka to
derive all their behavior from the Bible is a losing battle. I also struggle
with my own weaknesses that hinder me from being an effective servant of
God.
I ask myself,
Is it time for me to relax and enjoy a restful retirement?

I realized I needed to get back to focusing on the most important things in
life. So, I decided to switch from intercession to praise, and I went to the
piano to sing some hymns.

Injections of Truth

About every two weeks or so, I spend my prayer time praising God through
singing hymns. I took my favorite hymnbook and proceeded to sing at the
piano.

I randomly started off in a section of songs rejoicing in the security we
have in Christ, and the Lord began to minister to me. I kept getting
injections
of biblical truth through these songs:

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on your side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to your God to order and provide;
In every change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; your best, your heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
–Katharina von Schlegel

Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.
–Frances R. Havergal

Peace, perfect peace—
In this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.
–Edward H. Bickersteth

No one understands like Jesus;
He’s a Friend beyond compare.
Meet Him at the throne of mercy;
He is waiting for You there.
No one understands like Jesus
When the days are dark and grim.
No one is so near, so dear as Jesus;
Cast Your every care on Him.
–John W. Peterson

Fairest Lord Jesus! Ruler of all nature!
O thou of God and man the Son!
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honour,
Thou my soul’s glory, joy and crown!

Jesus is wonderful — so wonderful that all our challenges, disappointments,
and weaknesses pale into insignificance. So wonderful that our hearts leap
for joy over him.

Always, yes always, the main fact that influences our attitude is Jesus. And
he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. No wonder singing is so
important
to Christianity. John Wesley said, “Singing is as much the language of holy
joy, as praying is of holy desire.”

We are on a journey that will culminate in the consummation of the wonderful
salvation we experience here and now. We look forward with eager
anticipation
to the day we will see Jesus. But until then we remain joyful because the
one we will see face to face one day is already overwhelmingly wonderful to
us.

My heart can sing when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a stepping stone
Along a trail that’s winding always upward,
This troubled world is not my final home.

But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.
–Stuart Hamblen

Is this escapism? Are we avoiding our problems by focusing on Jesus when we
are disappointed, rather than focusing on the problem itself? No! We are
preparing
ourselves to face the problems with the right attitude. When the peace of
Christ does not rule in our hearts (Colossians 3:15), we act in ungodly
ways.

• We can panic, resulting in foolish reactions.
• We can compromise, resulting in disobedient reactions.
• We can get too discouraged, resulting in timid reactions.
• We can become bitter, resulting in ungracious and hurtful reactions.
• We can be without forgiveness, resulting in a block to experiencing God’s
love.
• We can let problems overwhelm us, resulting in gloomy, joyless attitudes.

But inspired by the vision of Christ, and empowered by his love in our
hearts, we persevere in sacrificial service to find godly solutions to the
problems
we face.

Revel with Me

We are at peace while we do that because the most important thing in our
lives is this: Jesus is wonderful. He is bigger than all the challenges we
face.
He is right there with us, helping us along and giving us his sufficient
grace. So, may we remember to stop often from our feverish activity to savor
the
Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation he has given us, with all its benefits.

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it,
Where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden,
Setting my spirit free;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,
All-sufficient grace for even me!
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame;
Oh, magnify the precious Name of Jesus,
Praise His Name!
–Haldor Lillenas

Oh, that we would never move away from a life of childlike reveling in the
love of Jesus.

And by the way, the day after that overwhelming morning when God rescued me
through song, I felt as if he suddenly impressed upon me an encouraging
truth:
my failures in ministry are partly responsible for whatever depth there may
be in my ministry. Failure drives me to think, to theologize, to confess
failure,
to battle for the best ways to help people, to battle in earnest prayer, and
to battle for patience and, most importantly, to depend on God’s grace.

My failures have taught me so much more than the few successes I may have
had along the way.

Failure
John Piper / February 11, 2017
Failure

These fatal words, this awful utterance,
A beam where I, impaled,
Would perish painfully in impotence,
Though penitent I wailed . . .

These fatal words, this baleful, tyrant phrase,
Still sieging, had assailed
My soul as spoil, in militant arrays,
And in my tomb prevailed . . .

These fatal words, a warrant for my death,
Had not your love availed,
You struck and cancelled with your final breath,
And in my place travailed.

Since thus were slain these deadly words that day,
And through your hands were nailed,
I will not die, though I must surely say
These fatal words, “I failed.”

Staying Married Is Not About Staying in Love, Part 1
John Piper / February 11, 2017

Marriage is about keeping a covenant — just like Jesus does with his bride,
the church.

Desiring God
2112 Broadway Street NE, Suite 150
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Copyright © 2017 Desiring God, all rights reserved
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sun 05 Mar 2017, 10:20 am



Lord, I Love You, but...

Hebrews 6:10-12

Most of us are quick to declare our love for God, but at times our
reluctance to serve Him tells a different story. Honestly consider whether
you have
ever found yourself saying or thinking, I love you, Lord, but don't call me
to do that!
Or perhaps you served Him, but with a flawed attitude: If no one else will
do it, then I guess I will.
What causes us to be reluctant servants?

Busyness: Sometimes our schedules are so full that there's no space to
follow the Lord when we hear Him calling us to minister in a certain area.
We all
need "margins" in our lives if we want to abide in God's will.

Inadequacy: Perhaps you feel unqualified to serve, and you're thinking,
Surely there's someone more gifted who could do that job. But that's just an
excuse;
the Lord promises to equip those He calls (2 Cor. 3:4-6).

Selfishness: Sacrificial service is never convenient. It may require that we
change our plans, give up our comforts, or even make financial sacrifices.

Lack of love: This is the hardest for us to admit--that we just don't care
enough. Our reluctance to serve others reveals a lack of devotion to the
Lord.
Those who love Christ with all their heart will joyfully serve Him by
ministering to those in their families, workplaces, communities, and
churches.

Are you quick to follow the Lord's leading when a need arises, or are you a
reluctant servant who's preoccupied with your own plans and desires? Any
service
we offer in Jesus' name will not be in vain. You'll experience the joy of
giving and the assurance that the Lord won't forget your sacrifice.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please
visit
www.intouch.org .

Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. (c) 2016 All Rights
Reserved.


Ron Hutchcraft Ministries - A Word With You
A Word With You
Feeling Dirty, Getting Clean - #7847

Years ago, I was at a youth conference where we needed to raise some money
for a camp scholarship fund. So we challenged the kids to buy their
counselor
into this Friday night food fight. Well, the kids found the money all right
pretty quickly! So, Friday night all of us leaders showed up on the field of
battle with the campers watching like sadistic spectators at the Roman
Coliseum. Now, for starters, we got hosed down so everything would cling to
us.
I have to tell you, in retrospect, I'm embarrassed about the food we wasted.
But I'm glad we at least got to pay for a few kids to get to camp.

Well, okay we did it, so I'll tell you about it. Round One was flour. The
campers got their money's worth as we redecorated each other with this
blizzard
of flour, followed by eggs, then fudge sauce. How's your imagination doing
here? Get the idea? The last round was the worst--lard. Yea, from our hair
to
our toes, we were totally gross by the end of this massacre. Our only
satisfaction was at the end when we went after those kids and gave them a
big, gooey
hug. Yeah, it was great! I couldn't wait to get a shower, though, after
that. And I was there for a long time. Ever try to get lard off? Probably
not.
Well, I have never felt dirtier; but clean has never felt better!

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "Feeling
Dirty, Getting Clean."

If you've ever felt real dirty, you know how much you enjoyed that shower
that made you clean again. If only there was a shower that could make us
clean
on the inside, where we carry the guilt, and the regrets, and the dirt of
the things we wish we'd never done, or the things we should have done and we
didn't. Unfortunately, there's no medication, there's no therapist, not even
a religion that seems powerful enough to remove the dirt on our soul.

That's why our word for today from the Word of God is such good news. Acts
3:19, "Repent and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, that times
of refreshing may come from the Lord." Now look at this! All the sins of
your life can be wiped out, erased from God's records forever. God says you
can
be clean; that you can have a new beginning. He is actually offering a
cleansing spiritual shower for those who repent and turn to Him, He said.
That means
you acknowledge the wrongness of what you've done and that you're ready to
turn from your sin-choices and turn to Him for a new beginning.

Look, we all have things we're ashamed of, things we're not proud of, things
that make us afraid of what God will do when we meet Him on Judgment Day.
According to the Bible, the sins of our life will, in fact, make it
impossible for us to ever enter God's Heaven because there is no sin there.
Our only
hope is if somehow God will forgive a lifetime of choices that have left Him
out.

And there's only one place where a spiritual shower like that is available.
It is at the cross of Jesus Christ, the place where every sin of yours was
paid for. You carry all the garbage of your life up that hill, you give
yourself in total trust to the One who paid for your sin on that cross with
His
life, and you leave your sin at that cross forever. You may have started
this day guilty, but you could go to sleep forgiven tonight and finally
clean.
God's promise: "Everyone who believes in Jesus receives forgiveness of sins
through His Name" (Acts 10:43). There is nothing you've done that is so bad
that Jesus did not pay for it on the cross.

Today could be the day you are finally clean. If you've never trusted Jesus
to be your own Savior from your own sin, would you tell Him you're doing
that
right now? Your sins will be erased. He promised. And you'll never carry
them again or face them when you meet God. And the only thing that would
keep
you from heaven can be gone today.

That's why we've put the information at our website--to help you know for
sure how to begin a relationship with Jesus Christ and to know you are
forgiven.
And it is rightly named--that website, ANewStory.com. Would you go there and
begin, for you, a new story?

That day I felt so gross, it was an awesome feeling to stand in that shower
and have all that accumulated junk get washed away. That's what Jesus wants
to do for your heart, right now. It is such an incredible feeling to be
finally clean!

Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.

KenBible.com

New Post on KenBible.com - from Prepare Yourself for Worship
----------------------------------------------------------

from Prepare Yourself for Worship

Posted: 24 Feb 2017 09:55 PM PST

Prepare for Ash Wednesday

Father, we worry and complain about so many things,
but we rarely give even a passing thought to
what is saddest and most destructive
in our entire world:
our sin and
our unrepentant hearts.

Today, Lord, make us conscious of our sin and
its terrible price.
We have turned our back on You, our Creator,
the only Source of all that is good.
We have dethroned You
from our lives and
from our race.
In Your place, we have enthroned our
puny,
perverted,
ignorant,
short-lived selves.
The results have been predictable:
darkness,
chaos,
suffering, and
death.

Father, we own our sin.
It is the one thing in this entire world that is
truly our own.
We face and accept our physical death
as the inevitable result of our sin.
We bow to You, face down,
excusing nothing,
claiming nothing,
clinging to nothing but Your mercy.
We confess and repent, Father.
Have mercy on us.
O God, have mercy!
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sat 04 Mar 2017, 10:30 pm

His Joyful Disciples
February 6, 2017

Read: John 17:9-26

I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the
world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. (v. 13
NIV)

My great-great grandfather was an ornery, opinionated, crotchety old
Dutchman. His favorite pastime was to head to the town square looking for an
argument
from the other Dutchmen. His children left home as soon as they could.
During college my grandfather stayed with him, and to survive, he did
everything
possible just to stay out of his way.

Jesus wants his followers to be joyful instead of crotchety. Just before he
was arrested Jesus prayed his high priestly prayer. He prayed for his
disciples,
and us as followers, to be protected, holy, unified, and to have joy. We
would think that joy would be the last trait on his mind, but Jesus felt
that
having joyful disciples was critical. Why? I think Jesus wanted joyful
followers so he could use them to change the world like he did. Enormous
crowds
followed him. Some came because of his miracles, but mostly people were
drawn to his personality. He was upbeat and compassionate and people could
tell
that he enjoyed life.

Do people enjoy being around us like they enjoyed being with Jesus? Or do we
have a personality like my great-great grandfather, who drove everyone away?
Jesus longs for joyful followers to spread the good news. I want to be one
of Jesus’ joyful disciples, how about you? —Steve Laman

Prayer: Work in our lives, Lord, so we have your joy living inside us
Our mailing address is:
Words of Hope


5 Reasons Not to Observe Lent
Aaron Damiani

Some years ago my fiancee (now wife) and I found ourselves in a church full
of people who observed Lent. With a wedding and honeymoon just a few months
away, we had better plans.

We spent our extra money on a Caribbean cruise, while the spiritual pilgrims
around us were freely giving their non-extra money to support persecuted
Christians
in Nigeria. I was, admittedly, on the “Look Good Naked” diet, renouncing
sweets for the sake of vanity. They were on the Good
Friday diet, fasting from food to dwell more closely with Jesus Christ. I
was feeding my cravings. They were confessing their sins. I was more
obligated,
but they were more free.

After the luster of the cruise wore off, we decided to give Lent a try the
following year. But I was still motivated by self-improvement and a fear of
missing out. Several years later, it has taken some trial-and-error for me
to learn the heart of Lent. Along the way, here are five reasons I’ve
learned

not to observe the season:

1. To slim your waistline.

Lent is not a season for weight loss. Yes, Lent involves a taming of the
physical appetites. But the goal is to cultivate a spiritual hunger for God,
not
a slimmer physique. If you turn Lent into a season of self-improvement, you’ll
miss the greater vision of drawing close to Jesus Christ and becoming like
him. Besides, lenten fasts and fish Fridays are ineffective methods of
losing weight -- if that’s your goal, it’s better to try the Whole 30 diet
and exercise
three times a week.

2. To make God happy.

Sometimes I like to think I can control God, making him happy (or just less
angry) simply by taking up the classic Lenten disciplines of
prayer
, fasting and generosity towards others. At its heart, this is a "hunger
strike" approach to God -- going without food to get the attention of the
prison
warden. I’ve found out the hard way that God does not play along with that
silly game. This will just leave us either proud or depressed: “Why have we
fasted, and you see it not?”
(Isaiah 58:3 ).

3. To cure an addiction.

While Lent is a great time to address the bodily cravings that have enslaved
us, the spiritual journey will not cure addictions. If you feel powerless
to break a dependence on alcohol, sexual activity, gambling, drugs,
overeating or any other vice, seek professional help from a licensed
counselor and
an addiction recovery program in your church or community. The spiritual
benefits of observing Lent with the people of God will be a support and
encouragement
as you walk the road of recovery.

4. To showcase your spirituality or virtue
.

Let’s be honest: Most of us want to be admired for our virtue and recognized
for our hard work. I know I do. But Lent is a time for us to seek a greater
reward: the blessing of God the Father which is ours through the free gift
of his Son Jesus. “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other
people
in order to be seen by them,” Jesus warned, “for then you will have no
reward from your Father who is Heaven”
(Matthew 6:1
). Whether we’re fasting, praying more regularly or giving our money to the
poor, Jesus warns us against showcasing it for “likes.” By all means seek
support
for the journey, just don’t broadcast it for the ego-boost.

5. Because it’s the cool trend.

In all honesty, I fell hard for this one. I started practicing Lent because
everyone at my new church observed the season. Increasing numbers of people
from all walks of life are jumping on the Lent bandwagon. Maybe they are
feeling far from God and want a tangible way to reignite their
spirituality.Or
perhaps they’re feeling adrift in the modern world and want to reconnect
with ancient practices. In any case, don’t join the herd out of a fear of
missing
out. The mystique will wear off faster than the dirt on your forehead from
Ash
Wednesday.

In the last 14 years of practicing Lent, my motives have been all over the
place. But by God’s grace I’ve come to see that Lent is not a forced march
of works-righteousness, but rather a joyful pilgrimage, even better than a
cruise. It’s been good medicine for my autonomy, self-indulgence, spiritual
independence and the painful split between what I know about God and what I
experience of him. At the end of the day, however, Lent is about Jesus --
becoming
closer to him and becoming like him.

Aaron Damiani is the pastor of Immanuel Anglican Church in Chicago’s Uptown
neighborhood and the author of
The Good of Giving Up: Discovering the Freedom of Lent .

Our Final Journey

Arise and go. - Micah 2:10

The hour is approaching when the message will come to us, as it comes to
all, "Arise, and leave the home in which you lived, from the city in which
you
have done your business, from your family, from your friends. Arise, and
take your final journey."

And what do we know of the journey? And what do we know of the country to
which we are going? We have read a little about it, and part has been
revealed
to us by the Spirit; but how little do we know of the realms of the future!
We know that there is a black and stormy river called Death. God bids us
cross
it, promising to be with us.

And after death, what comes? What wonder-world will open upon our astonished
sight? What scene of glory will be unfolded to our view? No traveler has
ever
returned to tell. But we know enough of the heavenly land to make us welcome
our summons there with joy and gladness.

The journey of death may be dark, but we may face it fearlessly, knowing
that God is with us as we walk through the gloomy valley, and therefore we
need
fear no evil. We shall be departing from all we have known and loved here,
but we shall be going to our Father's house--to our Father's home, where
Jesus
is--to that royal "city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is
God."1 This will be our last relocation, to live forever with Him we love,
in the midst of His people, in the presence of God.

Christian, meditate much on heaven; it will help you to press on and to
forget the difficulty of the journey. This vale of tears is but the pathway
to
the better country: This world of woe is but the stepping-stone to a world
of bliss.

Prepare us, Lord, by grace divine,
For Thy bright courts on high;
Then bid our spirits rise, and join
The chorus of the sky.

1 Hebrews 11:10

Family Bible reading plan

verse 1 Genesis 40

verse 2 Mark 10

Holiness - It's Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots

J. C Ryle wrote this timeless classic on holiness over a hundred years ago,
yet how poignant his words still are for us today. Sadly, we all know how
easy
it is to appear godly in public, while behind closed doors to continue in
our own sin.

This modern English version will challenge a new generation of readers to
live a Christ–like life. Ryle’s timeless wisdom reminds us that holiness
shouldn’t
be cold, distant and unobtainable, but that Christ himself is the root of
our godliness. Be exhorted not to simply settle for half–hearted holiness,
but
to strive to be holy in every area of our lives. Holiness, Ryle argued, was
not simply a matter of believing and feeling, but of doing.

Click here to learn more about Truth For Life

From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright (c)
2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good
News
Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187,
www.crossway.org .

Contentment in Fishing

As we learn to overcome our discontentment by remaining in constant
fellowship with Christ, we also realize that our joy in Christ is far too
exciting
to keep to ourselves. In thankfulness and delight, we want to share with
others what God has done in our lives.

In the gospel of Matthew, we see Jesus gathering His disciples. "As Jesus
was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called
Peter
and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were
fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,' Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of
men.' At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he
saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were
in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called
them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him"
(Matthew 4:18-22 ).

The men in this passage were successful fishermen, but Jesus had bigger
plans for them. He said, "Come, follow me...and I will make you fishers of
men"
(
Matthew 4:19
). Jesus did not expect that they would already know how to be fishers of
men. He expected them to follow Him. He was asking them to abandon their
mundane
lives and work for the glory of God's kingdom. He sought their willingness
to drop everything for Him. He asked these successful leaders to become His
followers. He called these decision makers to trust His commands completely.

Today Jesus is still asking His followers to let go of whatever may be
hindering our work for God's kingdom, whether it is our opinions, our ideas,
or
our needs. He is seeking our obedience and willingness to serve Him
wholeheartedly. When we witness to nonbelievers as we live a life of
contentment in
Christ, God can use our testimony for His glory.

Christ does not demand a perfect knowledge of witnessing methods, but he
does demand our service and obedience. He knows that our lifestyle will
speak
volumes alongside our words. Paul told the Corinthians, "Because of the
service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the
obedience
that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your
generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else"
(2 Corinthians 9:13 ).

As fishers of men, we need to remember that the fish around us in the world
are constantly watching us. They notice how we act, live and behave. When we
do not allow God's transforming power to work in us daily, we have no bait
to lure them. Can you imagine what nonbelievers think as they see
Christians
full of bitterness, anger, jealousy, envy, and gossip? Who wants that kind
of life? If they see us as hypocrites full of criticism, the fish will swim
the other way. In order to be fishers of men, we need to model ourselves
after Jesus. We need to obey Him and listen to Him and follow His
directions.

Why did Jesus ask His disciples to become fishers of men? Why not hunters or
harvesters? Jesus was addressing them in the context of how they lived--they
were fishermen. Jesus was asking them to take the talents and skills of
their trade and apply them toward working for God's kingdom. Regardless of
whom
we are or what we do, God wants us to use our resources for His glory. He
wants us to view our neighborhoods and our schools and our workplaces as our
fishing ponds.

What is hindering you from becoming a fisher of men? Do you think you need
to be perfectly prepared with all the right answers and the latest
witnessing
techniques? Jesus never said He only calls the experts--He calls every
Christian to witness for Him. He just wants our willingness--and the Holy
Spirit
will take care of the rest. Commit to God today to become a willing servant
of Christ.

"‘Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever
wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come
to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'"
-Mark 10:43-45

****

Frontline Mission Partners

This month, Leading The Way is launching a new monthly partner program:
Frontline Mission Partners. Become a Frontline Mission Partner today, and
you will
be there with Dr. Youssef and the Leading The Way team on the frontlines of
ministry--proclaiming the Gospel, discipling new believers, and helping the
persecuted.

As a thank you for your new partnership, you’ll receive a free photo booklet
highlighting your impact around the world. Sign up with an automatic payment
method, and you’ll also begin receiving 20% off in
Leading The Way’s online store.

Join the Frontline Mission Partner family and watch as God uses your monthly
gifts to impact the nations for His name.

We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and
around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately
proclaim
uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at
http://www.ltw.org/

Listen to Michael Youssef on Today's Broadcast of "
Leading The Way
" at OnePlace.com

And, lo, I am with you always ( Matthew 28:20 ).

Never look ahead to the changes and challenges of this life in fear.
Instead, as they arise look at them with the full assurance that God, whose
you are,
will deliver you out of them. Hasn't He kept you safe up to now? So hold His
loving hand tightly, and He will lead you safely through all things. And
when
you cannot stand, He will carry you in His arms.

Do not look ahead to what may happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father
who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either
He will shield you from suffering or He will give you His unwavering
strength that you may bear it. Be at peace, then, and set aside all anxious
thoughts
and worries.
--Francis de Sales

The Lord is my shepherd . Psalm 23 :1

Not was, not may be, nor will be. "The Lord is my shepherd." He is on
Sunday, on Monday, and through every day of the week. He
is in January, in December, and every month of the year. He
is when I'm at home and in China. He
is during peace and war, and in times of abundance or poverty.
--J. Hudson Taylor

He will silently plan for you,
His object of omniscient care;
God Himself undertakes to be
Your Pilot through each subtle snare.
He WILL silently plan for you,
So certainly, He cannot fail!
Rest on the faithfulness of God,
In Him you will surely prevail.
He will SILENTLY plan for you
Some wonderful surprise of love.
No eye has seen, nor ear has heard,
But it is kept for you above.
He will silently PLAN for you,
His purposes will all unfold;
Your tangled life will shine at last,
A masterpiece of skill untold.
He will silently plan FOR YOU,
Happy child of a Father's care,
As if no other claimed His love,
But you alone to Him were dear.
--E. Mary Grimes

Whatever our faith says God is, He will be.
Purchase your own copy of this devotional.
Or, catch up on Streams in the Desert in our Archives.

PresbyCan Daily Devotional
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 02 Mar 2017, 10:21 pm

Anne Graham Lotz - Easing Your Burden
View this email in your browser

Easing Your Burden
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves
is born of God and knows God.

1 John 4:7, NKJV

Most of us increase our pain by dwelling on it or by analyzing it. We throw
a pity party and expect others to join us. We spiral downward into
depression,
withdrawing into self-preoccupation. But the way to overcome is not to focus
on ourselves or on the pain, but to focus on the needs of others.

Would you get your eyes off yourself and your problems and your pressures
and your pain and look around? Who do you know who is suffering or
struggling
in some way? What can you do for them? Ask God to bring to your attention
those you can care for. Because as you do, you will find joy in easing their
burden, and in the process, you will ease your own.

Blessings,
Copyright © 2017 AnGeL Ministries, All rights reserved
Our mailing address is:
AnGeL Ministries
5115 Hollyridge Drive
Raleigh, NC 27612.

.Ron Hutchcraft Ministries - A Word With You
A Word With You
As Far As You Can Go Safely - #7846

The Garden of the Gods in Colorado is one of the most beautiful spots in
America. And God has allowed the Navigators ministry to have their
headquarters
right there. My first time there was for a national committee meeting, where
they really worked us hard. But finally someone suggested a hike to the
waterfall.
They told me this was some of the most beautiful, spectacular scenery around
these parts. And being a rookie on the committee, little did I suspect this
was also an initiation. Our walk started out on a nice path that ran next to
this roaring mountain stream, and it was really roaring from the recent
snowmelt
in the mountains. Finally, we walked to this dead-end where there was only a
rock wall in front of us. I said, "Where's the waterfall?" "Over there,"
they
said, and they pointed across the stream. I asked the obvious question, "How
do you get to it?" There was no bridge. Well, they pointed to this narrow
pipe that spanned the stream and they said, "You cross the pipeline." I
said, "You cross the pipeline!" They're expecting me to balance myself on
this
little pipe and walk across this roaring stream? But that was the only way
to get to the incredible beauty on the other side!

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "As Far As
You Can Go Safely."

Standing on the edge of that roaring stream, I realized I had gone as far as
I could go safely and so have you. It may very well be that God has led you
to a point where He is asking you to move beyond where you feel safe. On the
other side are some exciting new discoveries, things your heart really is
hungry for. You're at the pipeline. By the way, I crossed the pipeline and
it was everything they said it would be. And I crossed it a few times after
that, too.

You know, Abraham was at the pipeline in his life. In our word for today
from the Word of God, Genesis 12:1-4: "The Lord had said to Abram, 'Leave
your
country, your people, your father's household, and go to the land I will
show you." Notice His first word to Abram--leave. Leave all your comfort,
leave
all your security blankets and let Me take you into a place I will show you.
What God did in Abraham's life, He does in the lives of all His children.
God brings you to the point where you've gone as far as you can go safely,
comfortably. Now He wants you to cross the pipeline.

God tells Abram what's on the other side. "I will make you into a great
nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a
blessing."
That's pretty spectacular scenery, but not if you stay on your side of the
comfort zone.

The Bible says, "So Abram left, as the Lord had told him" and Abram crossed
the pipeline. I did that day in Colorado. The beauty I saw on the other side
was worth the risk I took. When Abram moved beyond safety, his life took off
like he could have never dreamed. God wants to do something like that for
you. But first you'll have to trust Him enough to cross the pipeline.

But you're looking at the "what ifs" and the "coulds" and a lot of
unanswered questions. And maybe you're holding back from the step that your
Lord is
clearly asking you to take. In a sense, could you be addicted to comfort?
And those who are addicted to comfort, will sooner or later, miss the will
of
God. You might be at the threshold. Remember, this Jesus you follow left the
most comfortable place in all the universe for the most uncomfortable place
in all the universe--the cross. But on the other side, the glory of the
resurrection and the rescue of millions like you and me.

Now that Jesus is asking you to step beyond your comfort zone into a bold
and beautiful place you can only get to one way--by crossing the pipeline.
You've
gone as far as you can go safely. Don't miss what's on the other side. If
you'll look on the other side, that's Jesus beckoning to you to come follow
Him.

Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc. · P.O. Box 400 · Harrison, Arkansas 72602 ·
USA
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Wed 01 Mar 2017, 11:18 pm

Slow in Coming
February 4, 2017

Read: 2 Peter 3:1-18

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.
Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone
to
come to repentance. (v. 9 NIV)

When I was little, my parents bought me a stone plaque that fit me
perfectly. It had a picture of a turtle and these words, “Travel at your own
speed,
your own special way.” The reason why this saying was so appropriate was
because my disability has forced me to be slow. I eat slowly, get dressed
slowly,
and type slowly—one letter at a time.

Ever feel that Jesus is traveling at his own slow speed when it comes to his
return? I feel that way when I hear about mass shootings and terrorist
plots.
Sometimes it is difficult to understand why he is not coming back sooner
rather than later. For those of us who feel that way, Peter has a word for
us.
He assures us that the Lord is not slow in coming. He is delaying his return
so that more people will have time to come to repentance and accept him as
Lord.

Even though I would like to accomplish tasks faster, I have had to accept
the fact that I will always be slow. Even if we feel that Jesus is taking
his
own sweet time in returning, we can understand the reason for his delay.
While we are waiting, let’s proclaim that through Jesus there is hope of
salvation.
—Steve Laman

Prayer: Come quickly, Jesus, but in the meantime help us to proclaim your
salvation to people we meet.

Overcoming Disappointment
by Ryan Duncan, Crosswalk.com Editor

Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our
sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. –
2 Corinthians 1:7

We’ve all been there. It’s that letter from the college you wanted to
attend, saying they are not able to admit you at this time. It’s that person
on the
stage surrounded by people, announcing that first prize goes to the other
contestant. It’s watching all the time and effort you put into something
crumble
away in a matter of seconds. Sometimes disappointment can be more
devastating than tragedy, because it requires you to have invested in the
outcome first.

The Bible
tells us that we should rejoice in our sufferings, but I’d be lying if I
said that what I did every time I was disappointed. Most of the time I just
want
to crawl off and be alone, or I end up angry and resentful. Sometimes I even
find myself arguing with God over what just happened. So, what are
Christians
supposed to respond when faced with disappointment? Personally, I think
there’s only one thing we can do: hope.

The early disciples faced their own share of letdowns. Paul in particular
had his share of troubles in life, but look what he writes in Romans chapter
5,

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which
we stand, and
we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we
rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love
has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given
to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the
ungodly. –
Romans 5:2-6

Sometimes disappointment can’t be overcome, only endured. In moments like
that it’s important to remember that we have hope on our side. Hope in
Christ’s
love, hope for better days to come, the hope to maybe even try again. So
when the storms of life come your way don’t let yourself be troubled,
instead
pick yourself up and remember with God there will always be hope.

Intersecting Faith and Life: Whatever you may be going through remember to
hope in the Lord.

Further Reading

Romans 15:13

A Simple Way to Pray Every Day
Nick Aufenkamp / February 5, 2017
A Simple Way to Pray Every Day

Of all the things Martin Luther is known for, among the foremost is his
dedication to prayer. He is famous for commenting, “I have so much to do
that I
shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” He wasn’t exaggerating,
either. Many of his friends and students could attest that he would spend
several
hours on his knees in fervent, daily prayer — often at seemingly inopportune
times in the middle of the day.

At one point, Luther’s barber and longtime friend, Peter Beskendorf, asked
if he would teach him how to pray. Luther responded by writing Beskendorf a
letter which he called, “A Simple Way to Pray.” Luther’s letter is a gourmet
buffet for all Christians who hunger for more rich and satisfying
prayerfulness.

While I would encourage anyone to enjoy the full buffet, for now I will
simply provide the first course: a simple way to pray by using the Lord’s
Prayer.

Prone to Wander in Every Age

But why should we go to Luther for help praying in the twenty-first century
in the first place? Most of our modern problems with prayer are born of
distraction:
email alerts, Facebook notifications, constantly revolving media. How can
Luther help us with these sorts of problems?

In fact, Luther directly approaches this very obstacle in his letter. Hear
how his words resonate with your own difficulties with prayer:

Guard yourself carefully against those false, deluding ideas which tell you,
“Wait a little while. I will pray in an hour; first I must attend to this
or that.” Such thoughts get you away from prayer into other affairs which so
hold your attention and involve you that nothing comes of prayer for that
day. . . .

We must be careful not to break the habit of true prayer and imagine other
works to be necessary which, after all, are nothing of the kind.

It is strangely encouraging to be reminded that our temptation toward
distraction from prayer for the sake of seemingly “more productive” tasks is
not
unique to the digital age. The problem of our prayerlessness is not simply
with our smartphones or schedules. The problem is with our hearts. So, if we
really want to grow in our prayer life, we must take aim at something much
deeper than surface distractions: our most inward affections and desires.

And this is where the Lord’s Prayer is most helpful.

How to Pray as Jesus Taught Us

First, Luther recommends simply to pray through the prayer once, as recorded
in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 6:9–13). He then says to go back through
the prayer and pray each petition individually:

• Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

• Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

• Give us this day our daily bread,

• And forgive us our debts,

• As we also have forgiven our debtors.

• And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

• For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

• Amen.

Luther exhorts us to let each petition guide our prayer. So, after praying,
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,” we may continue to pray,
“Yes,
Father, it is our great desire that your name would be feared and revered
for who you are: our God, our Creator, the Holy One who, in unthinkable
mercy,
gave your only begotten Son to save us from your wrath upon our sin.”

We can then move to the next petition, “Your kingdom come, your will be
done, on earth as it is in heaven,” and pray, “We know that Jesus is
reigning right
now with authority over all things, and yet we still experience much
brokenness here on earth. Father, bring your kingdom in greater measure
today beginning
in my own heart and pouring out to my home, community, city, nation, and to
the ends of the earth.

Eventually, we move through each petition until we’ve reached the “Amen.” We
might be inclined to think of the Amen as the simplest, least significant
part of the Lord’s Prayer. However, Luther does not dismiss it so quickly.
Instead, he exhorts us to make a bold, powerful, and confident “Amen.”

You must always speak the Amen firmly. Never doubt that God in his mercy
will surely hear you and say “yes” to your prayers. . . . Do not leave your
prayer
without thinking, “Very well, God has heard my prayer; this I know as a
certainty and a truth.” That is what Amen means.

Three Benefits of Praying the Lord’s Prayer

There are probably dozens of benefits to praying to God as God himself
taught us. Here, I will just offer three. Praying the Lord’s Prayer enables
us to:

1. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33).

Personally, I tend toward praying inward-focused prayers that center on my
confession, my problems, and
my requests. Praying the Lord’s Prayer as Luther recommends helps us to seek
a greater awareness of Christ, other people, and God’s broader mission in
our prayers.

2. Discipline our wandering minds.

Our minds drift so easily in times of prayer. One moment I’m praying, the
next I’m thinking about that email I need to reply to. Utilizing the
structure
of the Lord’s Prayer helps me to recognize when my mind has wandered and
helps me remember where to pick up again.

3. Build a fence so our prayers can run wild inside.

As I mentioned earlier, our lack of prayerfulness is chiefly a heart issue.
Some people may push back on this method of prayer, saying that it is too
structured
and therefore restrains the Spirit’s spontaneous leading. In fact, I have
found the opposite to be true.

As someone who has always favored unscripted prayers that express heartfelt
longings and desires, I have not found structure and spontaneity to be at
all
at odds with one another. I am amazed to find that, every time I pray
through the Lord’s Prayer as Luther has commended, my prayers have been
richer, deeper,
and more revealing, and have unlocked affections that are otherwise seldom
seen.

Learning to Desire God as God Desires

Why would Jesus command us to “pray like this” (Matthew 6:9)? Jesus did not
simply provide some words for disciples who had nothing else to say to God.
Rather, the Lord’s Prayer is meant to have a total, shaping effect on our
hearts, helping us to see and yearn for the very things that God himself
desires
— most centrally, to see and experience more of God himself in our hearts
and lives.

Obviously, there’s no silver bullet for achieving the perfect prayer life,
but I have found Luther’s method to be an effective weapon in fighting for a
richer prayer life. Personally, I’ve experienced a renewed sense of
expectancy in prayer, with more excitement and intentionality, and a deeper
love for
Jesus and appreciation for the cross-won gift of prayer. Inasmuch as it has
benefited me, I commend it to you.

With that, I will end where Luther begins: “I will tell you as best I can
what I do personally when I pray. May our dear Lord grant to you and to
everybody
to do it better than I! Amen.”

How Do I Pray the Bible?
John Piper / February 5, 2017
How Do I Pray the Bible?

Copyright © 2017 Desiring God, all rights reserved
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 8:01 pm

Storms

"Now this is what the Lord says— the One who created you, Jacob, and the One
who formed you, Israel— “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called
you by your name; you are Mine. I will be with you when you pass through the
waters, and ⌊when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you.
You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will
not burn you. " (Isaiah 43:1-2, HCSB)

A friend of mine told me he took his family camping. They were not that
experienced in camping so they rented a nice space in a campground and
pitched their tent there. He, his wife and two sons, who were in grammar
school, had a good time for the first day or two. Then about 3 AM a huge
thunderstorm came through the area. There were many peals of loud thunder,
torrential rain and heavy gusts of wind. My friend said he looked over and
saw his older son and wife sitting up, scared with all that was going on
around them. He was concerned that the wind might blow the tent away and
they would all get drenched. The younger son woke up after one loud
thunderclap but then laid back down and went back to sleep.

In the above Scripture Isaiah was prophesying to the whole nation of Israel.
The Northern Kingdom of Israel had already been taken into exile but the
Southern Kingdom of Judah would be taken into exile in the future. God was
speaking through Isaiah to tell his people that He had redeemed them and
brought them to the Promised Land. He said they would have their trouble but
He would be with them during these troubles.

If Jesus Christ has called you by name and you have accepted Him as your
Redeemer, He will be with you no matter what the circumstance. This
Scripture says that there will be some bad times. Jesus, himself, said that
the Christian life would not be a bed of roses as some preach today. He said
there would be storms but He will be with you in the middle of these storms.

The boy who went back to sleep during the thunderstorm shows the kind of
peace that the psalmist wrote about:

"In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me
dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8, ESV)

If you put your complete trust in Jesus Christ He will give you the same
peace no matter what kind of storm you are going through.

by Dean W. Masters
Your Weakness Is Not Meaningless
Jon Bloom / February 1, 2017
Your Weakness Is Not Meaningless

God has given you so many limitations because he loves you.

If you’re like most people, you don’t feel loved by your limitations. You
feel confined, stunted, trapped, and exposed by them. You feel discouraged
by
how weak you are and how many things you can’t do well or at all. You might
even be tempted to resent God for equipping you with what looks like a
stingy
allotment of abilities.

But that’s only because you’re mainly looking at yourself from the wrong
perspective, which is looking too much at yourself.

God gave you your finiteness, your very limited strengths and weaknesses, in
order that you might know and delight in his glorious love for you in as
many
of its manifestations as you possibly can. You are so limited because you
are so loved.

Where We Experience Love Most

Our finiteness itself is not a consequence of the Fall, even though the
corruption that infects it is (2 Peter 1:4). God created humans incredibly
limited
from the very beginning because we were designed to live in world of love.

What do our limitations have to do with love? Just about everything. Because
the way God made us, we always experience love most in the places where
grace
is most needed. This is true both in how we receive love (from God and
others), and in how we give love.

When Do We Love God Most?

Humans always have and always will live only on the grace of God, our
“Maker, Benefactor, Proprietor, Upholder” (
Valley of Vision
, 115). It was true in Eden before the Fall, and it will be true in the age
to come when we are finally free from sin.

But it is especially true in this age where we are such great sinners and in
need of such amazing amounts of grace. In the Father’s giving his only Son
for us in our wretched, undeserving state to die in our place, we have been
loved with the greatest love possible (John 3:16; Romans 5:8; John 15:13).
And our response of gratitude-drenched love to him for his gracious love to
us produces a holy reverberation of love-infused joy between God and us. We
gratefully love God because he so graciously and sacrificially loved us
first (1 John 4:19).

The more we grasp his incomprehensible love for us in our immeasurable need
(Ephesians 3:19), the greater our love for him grows. That’s why the woman
forgiven by Jesus of her great sins had the greater love for God than Simon
the Pharisee (Luke 7:47). Our greatest experience of God’s love for us is in
the place of our greatest need for his grace.

When Do We Love One Another Most?

It’s also true that we experience the most love for one another in the
places of our greatest mutual needs.

When God gave me my strengths, few though they are, his purpose wasn’t to
give me some basis on which to feel good about myself. He gave them to me so
I could have the astounding privilege of loving someone else by graciously
serving them in a place of their need, and then by receiving their grateful
love in return.

And when God gave me my weaknesses, which are legion, his purpose wasn’t to
make me ashamed and discouraged. He gave them to me so I could have the
astounding
privilege of humbly receiving someone else’s love as they graciously serve
me in a place of my need, and then joyfully responding to them with grateful
love in return.

And just like the vertical reverberation of love between God and us, there
are horizontal reverberations of love between us as we extend love to one
another.
And since God is love and all love originates in him (1 John 4:7–8), the
vertical and horizontal reverberations all meld together into one glorious
song
of love to God.

Do you see God’s beautiful design of love in our limitations? The
transactions of love occur in the very places of our various and different
needs. As
John Piper so helpfully says, “Love is the overflow of joy in God that
gladly meets the needs of others” (
Desiring God
, 119). There it is: the dynamic melding of the vertical and horizontal love
of God. God’s glory is revealed when, however imperfectly in this age, we
obey the greatest commandments (Luke 10:27).

A Body of Love

God has given you so many limitations because he loves you. He wants you to
experience as much of his love, in as many ways as possible. And for that to
happen, he must provide you a never-ending river of reasons, and an enormous
range of diverse ways, to receive and give love.

And this is just what he’s done! He has made you a very limited part of his
body, the church, and he places you with other parts that are also very
limited
in different ways (1 Corinthians 12:18, 27). As the interdependent parts
work together, the whole body functions (Romans 12:4–5) and displays the
love
of God (John 13:34–35). Your unique strengths and weaknesses are
indispensible gifts to this body. Without them the whole body suffers
because unique expressions
of God’s gracious love will be missed.

If you’re frequently discouraged over your limitations, it’s an indicator
that you’re looking at yourself from the wrong perspective, and looking at
yourself
too much. You’re not seeing what God sees; you’re likely feeling discontent
from comparing yourself to other people, other parts of the body.

A wonderful treatment for such discouragement is prayerfully meditating on 1
Corinthians 12 and 13. And also it’s likely time to reframe the question
from
“Why can’t I be more like that?” to “What opportunities is God giving me in
my limitations to experience more of his gracious love?”

Because the truth is, you are so limited because you are so loved.

True Compassion Will Cost Us: Refugees, Widows, Orphans
Marco Silva / February 1, 2017
True Compassion Will Cost Us

Our seam-bursting schedules scream for attention. Work deadlines demand,
school assignments summon, and social engagements expand our already
overburdened
loads. Even if we really wanted to, how could we possibly make time to care
for someone in need? Can we really make a difference in that struggling teen’s
life? Do we compromise the safety of our own family if we invite that
stranger into our home for dinner? Can we make any difference in the lives
of refugees,
even as they feel the new threat to their sojourning among us?

Whatever our excuses — and surely we have some good ones — texts like James
1:27 call us as Christians to reassess our priorities:

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit
orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from
the world

Good Deeds with Side Effects

Let’s face it: compassion is always costly. And not just in dollars
dispensed from our bank accounts. Like the list on a medicine label,
compassion has
side effects. Common side effects may include:

• discomfort
• reduced time for recreation
• increased exposure to awkward situations
• feelings of helplessness
• and any number of other inhibitors.

Like the medicine behind the warning label, however, compassion is good for
you. But we have to be willing to invest ourselves. Caring for the hurting
is more than a recurring withdrawal. Helping those in need will require more
than the extra bit of time and effort it takes to pass a granola bar through
your car window to a panhandler. Much good can come from donating money and
offering a handout, but God inspires more. Visiting orphans and widows
demands
more than the swipe of a Visa. Tweeting about refugees is of some value.
Caring for refugees — specific displaced men, women, and children — will
require much more of us.

Biblical compassion compels us to invest in the lives of real people around
us in a way that may cost us much but reaps eternal rewards beyond anything
we stand to lose today.

Good Samaritan, Costly Compassion

In our vernacular, a “Good Samaritan” helps a stranded motorist with a flat
tire or maybe carries a heavy box up a flight of stairs for an old woman.
Lending
a hand is always good, but
the Good Samaritan from Jesus’s parable provides
costly compassion. When Jesus spoke this parable to a predominantly Jewish
audience, Samaritans and Jews hated one another. Jews regarded Samaritans as
apostates headed for hell, and yet, the Samaritan in our parable has
compassion on this Jewish man left for dead (Luke 10:33).

The Samaritan tenderly treated the wounds of his ethnic archenemy. What’s
more, this caring man placed the desperately wounded man on his own
transport
and purchased a room for him at a nearby inn where he continued to provide
care. The Samaritan goes so far as to leave behind two days’ worth of wages
to ensure the Jewish victim of injustice recovers well. The Samaritan moved
toward his enemy in need and painstakingly spent his precious time and money
with no regard for the cost.

And Jesus says, “You go, and do likewise” (Luke 10:37).

God in the Garden

We even see the divine design of compassion in places we might not quite
expect, like Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve first sinned. God clothes them
with
animal skins (Genesis 3:21) and provides for an immediate need. Our minds
can jump through the immediate context to the way this scene foreshadows a
greater
atonement, but let’s not leave Eden too quickly.

Adam and Eve just destroyed the perfection of paradise. And God moves toward
them in compassion. Our first ancestors audaciously disobeyed their Creator,
and yet he cares for their immediate needs. God slaughtered an animal from
his pristine creation to clothe the very pair through whom sin brings death
and destruction all the way down to the present (1 Corinthians 15:22). God
moves toward his enemies in
costly compassion.

Great Need, Grand Opportunity

Acute needs might not greet you at your doorstep, but you are most likely
surrounded by people in difficult, even dire, circumstances.

• Every minute, nearly twenty people become victims of domestic violence
. Thirty-three percent of women and twenty-five percent of men have endured
abuse. More than likely, someone you know quietly suffers domestic abuse.

• In 2014, over 47,000 people died from drug overdoses — more than any other
year on record. According to the
New York Times
, “Death from overdoses are reaching levels similar to the H.I.V. epidemic
at its peak” — and there are no signs of slowing. More than likely, someone
you know quietly suffers through addiction.

• There are more than 400,000 children in foster care , due in no small part
to the
opioid epidemic
. More than likely, your county has children in desperate need of loving
homes.

• The suicide rate in the United States recently hit a thirty-year high
. More than likely, someone you know is at risk of harming themselves —
possibly fatally.

• Even with Trump’s reduced refugee program
, the United States likely will still accept 50,000 refugees in 2017. That’s
more than 130 souls a day. More than likely, you can
make a difference
in the life of someone who may have never even heard the name of Jesus.

This list could lengthen with problems like homelessness or hunger and
poverty
, and that’s just in America.
The global needs are staggering.

Such massive suffering is a cause for lament, but it’s also a call to arms
for the church. When we serve the needs around us, we provide an opportunity
for those sufferers who do not yet know God to turn to him and bring him
glory (Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12). The hurting and suffering around you can
serve
as a bridge to the gospel so that present suffering will give way to relief
in eternal joy (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Go and Do Like God

Jesus carried out the costliest act of compassion, not for his companions,
but for criminals guilty of high treason. How much more should we who were
once
enemies with God (Romans 5:8, 10), who have reaped eternal benefits from God
moving toward us in Jesus, jump at the opportunity to move toward the needs
of those around us?

Compassion will cost us our time, money, and comfort, but we’ll gain
irrepressible joy in serving and not being served (Mark 10:45). We can
imitate God’s

costly compassion by serving the orphan, the widow, and the refugee because
Christ purchased an indestructible treasure for us in heaven beyond anything
we might risk losing in the vapor of this life (Matthew 6:19–20). In fact,
we’ll find that the path of greatest service is the path of maximum joy for
our own souls because, after all, “it is more blessed to give than to
receive” (Acts 20:35).

Desiring God
2112 Broadway Street NE, Suite 150
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Copyright © 2017 Desiring God, all rights reserved
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sun 26 Feb 2017, 9:42 pm

Welcome to the Illustrator
Today's Bible Verse:

"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as
children of light" (Eph 5:8)

By Answers2Prayer
Subscribe Unsubscribe
More Illustrations
Contact us

Give Your Light

The first time I saw Kai, she was sitting in my front yard hugging my dog. I
had just pulled into my driveway and there she was. She stood up, smiled,
and waved. She introduced herself as my new neighbor while she continued to
pet my black Lab, Harley. I liked her immediately but didn't know then what
an impact she would have on my life.

Soon we were not only neighbors but good friends as well. When Kai greeted
you with her high pitched voice you always felt like the most special person
in the world. The deliveryman, the repairman, the other neighbors, and
anyone who came to her door was treated like family.

Kai had four cats but when a stray beagle was injured by a bear, she adopted
the dog and nursed her back to health. Whenever my sons, daughter, and I
visited
her she would welcome us in with a smile, sit us down, and cut us a piece of
cake.

When she found out I loved Hawaiian shirts she gave me a beautiful one that
still hangs in my closet today. She was always helping others, giving to
others,
and encouraging others. She always had a wise bit of advice, a kind word,
and a gentle hug for everyone. No matter who you were you always left her
house
feeling a little better and a little happier.

All of the time I was getting to know Kai, though, she was dying. She had
told me that first day I met her that she was "terminal". She was battling
several
health problems at once and was slowly losing the fight. Her husband Sean
and her owned their own cleaning business, but after a while Kai was too
weak
to work there anymore.

During the last months of her life she grew weaker and had to spend most of
her time in bed. Finally, on a cold, dark, Winter's day her body gave out
and
she died in her home. She was only in her fifties and had left us far too
soon. The day she passed I walked back to my house, closed the door to my
bedroom,
and cried. She had touched my life so much in the brief time I knew her. I
had become a better person because of her and I knew others had as well. I
still
miss her today.

Desiderus Erasmus once wrote: "Give light, and the darkness will disappear
of itself." That is what Kai did. She gave her light. She shared her love.
And
this world was so much brighter because she was in it.

Kai taught me something too: We are all "terminal"...But it is never too
late to give your light.

It is never too late to love without fear and touch others with your
kindness. This short life here is God's gift to you. Make how you live it
your gift
to God.

Joseph J. Mazzella

Announcement:

Do you know someone who is not saved? Are you not sure how to approach this
individual? Why don't you encourage that person to
subscribe to our newsletter
and watch the Lord work on that individual via our newsletter? Doors will be
opened and you will receive the opportunity to share Jesus with that person.

©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely
give."
Never Too Old for Help
February 2, 2017

Read: Psalm 70

Hasten, O God, to save me; come quickly, Lord, to help me. (v. 1 NIV)

“Will you help me please?� As a person living with cerebral palsy I often
have to say these words. Many of the tasks I need help with are skills that
children
learn to do independently, like buttoning a shirt, brushing my teeth, and
cutting meat on my plate. Even though I would love to do these simple tasks
myself,
I have to come to grips with the fact that I will always need assistance.

My dependency on others was brought to mind as I was singing the hymn “I
Need Thee Every Hour.� I wondered, “Do we really need the Lord like I need
other
people to help me get through the day?� The psalmist David surely did think
so. In this psalm he calls himself “poor and needy� and asks God to “come
quickly�
to help him. David was aware that he needed God’s help in dealing with his
enemies. I am sure that he felt that he needed the Lord’s help every minute
of every day for the rest of his life.

You might not need help like I do, but each of us needs God’s assistance
when trouble comes, when facing temptation, in confusion, and in
decision-making.
Reliance on God is a sign of being realistic that we do not have all the
answers, but our all-powerful Lord does. That kind of help we will never
outgrow.
—Steve Laman

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that no matter how old we get we can always count
on you for help.

The Hardest Truth of the Bible
by Colin Smith

They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the
presence of the Lord
2 Thessalonians 2:9

To be shut out from Gods presence and from His power is to be without hope
and without love forever. This is one of the hardest truths in the Bible.
But
heres something Ive discovered the hardest truths can produce the most
tender hearts. If you grasp this most difficult of doctrines, God will use
it
to soften your heart today.

To sustain your faith in a suffering world

He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you
who are troubled... when the Lord Jesus is revealed. 2 Thessalonians 1:6

If you've suffered at the hands of other people, or if someone you love has
suffered at the hands of others, you will face with this question: Where is
God in all this? How can I believe that God is loving and just when so often
good people suffer and those who do evil prosper? This doctrine helps. It
tells you that you haven’t yet seen the end of the story.

God says to suffering believers: “A day is coming when Jesus Christ will be
revealed. Then you’ll see the full measure of My justice and the full
measure
of My love. Use this to sustain your faith in a suffering world.�

To restrain your desire to even the score

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with
everyone. Do not take revenge... but leave room for God's wrath, for it is
written:
˜It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord.

Romans 12:18

Someone hurts you. Your immediate instinct will be to want to hurt them
back. They brought you down, and you find a certain pleasure in bringing
them down.
How do you restrain the desire to even the score?

God will repay, so leave room for His wrath. You dont need to take it into
your hands when you know it is in His. You can leave it to Him.

On this foundation God says, "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is
thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning
coals
on his head" (Romans 12:20). If you dont believe this, youll always be trying to even the score.

To increase your compassion for people who harm you

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
Matthew 5:44

Anyone whos suffered at the hands of another person, as all of us have,
will hear this and say, Love him? Love her? How is that possible?

If the person who harmed you was to see what they did and truly to repent,
you might find it in your heart to forgive them. But if they just go on with
no awareness of what theyve done, or worse, they continue doing the same
thing, it is very hard to have compassion.

Where do you begin in loving this enemy? The Bibles teaching helps. Think
about everlasting destruction in relation to the person who hurt you, and
what
it would mean to be shut out of the light and joy and hope and love of the
Lord forever You would not wish that on your worst enemy.

A deep grasp of this truth will help you to pray for those whove harmed
you. Bitterness cannot survive long when you begin to pray, and youll be
amazed
at the way compassion sneaks in the back door of your heart.

This LifeKey is based on the message God Will Bring Justice for You
by Pastor Colin S. Smith, delivered January 9, 2011, from the series “
Staying the Course When Youre Tired of the Battle
Colin currently serves as Senior Pastor of the The Orchard Evangelical
Free Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He is committed to preaching the
Bible in a way that nourishes the soul by directing attention to Jesus
Christ.


KenBible.com
New Post on KenBible.com - Quit Struggling
---------------------------------------------------------
Quit Struggling
Posted: 01 Feb 2017 09:55 PM PST

Psalm 46
Father, today
I am swept up in so much that I cannot
know,
control,
understand, or
change.

But You are my protection.
You are my strength.
You are with me, and
I am immovable.
I am in You, and
all is peace.

What do you call me to do today?
To quit struggling, and
simply know that You are God.


If You Had Only Known
AmyLayneLitzelman.com
TM@MW
Take Me @ My Word
"Jesus answered her,

If you had only known and had recognized
God's gift and Who this is
that is saying to you, Give me drink,
you would have asked Him [instead]
and He would have given you living water."
John 4:10 AMP (emphasis mine)
---------------------------------------------------------
Sometimes I wonder:

How often we do we miss the voice,
presence, and gift of God
sitting right in front of us?

Like this Samaritan woman in John 4, perhaps you're just going about your
day, doing what needs to be done, dodging issues and confrontations.
Intellectually, you know God is "there". We know He's everywhere.
Omnipresent.

But are you aware of His determined pursuit?
His intentional interference? His pointed question and insight?

Do you credit these nudges to the Holy One, or unknowingly brush Him aside,
thinking it's your own rambling thoughts or strange coincidence?

Too often we imagine ourselves banging on the door of heaven, trying to get
God's attention.

In reality, Jesus stands knocking
at the door of your life.
Everyday. In a million ways.

He purposefully steps into your path, speaking truth, desiring to break
through to your world, that you might recognize and know Him.

That He might change your paradigm.

This has not changed in 2000 years:
He offers Living Words, Living Water, for every area of your life.

Nothing is too big or hard or shameful.
Nothing too small or foolish or insignificant.

He is the answer and He knows it.

Today, may your spirit be alert to the Son of Man sitting on the edge of the
well, asking for a drink. May any awkwardness of that encounter be pushed
aside as you hear His deep desire to give you Life.

May eternity planted within you reach out to the Eternal One.

* * *
Lord, I know You, but may I more You more. May I lean in further. May the
eyes and ears of my heart quickly recognize Your presence and voice.
May Your face be the One I look for in every circumstance and every crowd.

And as I drink deeply of Your Life, may it overflow to all those I meet.
Amazed again,
~ Amy ~
Copyright © 2017 Amy Layne Litzelman, All rights reserved.

God Knows What You Need in Worship
Nick Roen / February 4, 2017
God Knows What You Need in Worship

I love to be in huge crowds.

Whether it’s at a mall, a concert, or a sporting event, I love to consider
the people surrounding me. Oftentimes I stop and wonder things like, “Who
are
they? What is their story? What are they going through right now?� The sheer
number of diverse circumstances and stories is incredible to ponder. Every
soul is unique, and taken together, we seem to make a sort of collective
tapestry of human experience.

A Thousand Different Needs

Corporate worship is similar. On any given Sunday, there are doctors and
farmers, young parents and seasoned grandparents, single students and
married
executives. The gathered body of Christ represents an incredible array of
experiences. Different hopes and dreams, different fears and insecurities,
different
struggles and temptations. No two people in those pews are exactly the same.

And no two people are in the exact same place spiritually. There are those
who are soaring through the highest mountain peaks and those trudging
through
the deepest valleys of life. Some are in need of comfort from the God who
makes us lie down in green pastures and restores our souls (Psalm 23:2).
Others
need to be convicted of their sin by a loving Father who disciplines those
whom he loves (Hebrews 12:5–6). Some feel deeply the love of Jesus. Others
are
struggling in the moment to believe that God is love at all.

One Body, One Spirit

Consider, therefore, the marvel of corporate worship. We come together each
week — this multifaceted mosaic called the body of Christ — and somehow, God
meets us where we are. We sing the same songs, recite the same creeds, pray
the same prayers, and sit under the same Scriptures — with so many different
needs, corporate worship might seem like the most unlikely place where God
could extend us particular help. Don’t we need something more specific to
the
state of our own souls? And yet, God uses these common truths to minister to
our varied hearts in exactly the way each of us requires. How is this
possible?

Every week, a miracle happens. The Spirit of God that dwells within applies
the truth of God’s word to the hearts of his children. By God’s word of
truth,
we are sanctified (John 17:17), conformed more and more into the image of
his Son (Romans 8:29). He takes the same truth proclaimed among us and
applies
it to our hearts in ways that only he can.

He is our Helper who brings to our remembrance the truth of Christ at the
precise moment that we need it most (John 14:26). After all, he knows what
our
hearts need better than we do (Jeremiah 17:9–10), and the Spirit himself
helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26). God’s grace is at work in his
church,
helping them serve in his strength for the glory of Christ (1 Peter
4:10–11).

Filled with the Spirit

God works by his Spirit in a special way in corporate worship, which is why
gathering to sing and worship together is so important. The apostle Paul
described
the corporate singing of God’s people as one of the primary ways the Spirit
of God works in our hearts: “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is
debauchery,

but be filled with the Spirit� (Ephesians 5:18). We are not to be under the
influence of alcohol, Paul says, but rather under the influence of the
Spirit
and his work in our hearts.

Well, what does that mean? How are we filled with the Spirit? Paul says, “Be
filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and
spiritual
songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart
� (Ephesians 5:19).

It makes sense, then, that time after time God comes and meets us in
corporate worship. We sing songs and hymns filled with the truth of God’s
word to
one another and are therefore filled with the influence of his Spirit in our
hearts.

Necessary, Impossible Work

As a worship pastor, I feel acutely our need for the Holy Spirit’s work.
After all, I am just one man and a sinner at that. I think to myself, “There
is
no way on earth that I could hope to minister to each individual need
represented by all those people out there. I wouldn’t even know where to
begin.�
But God does. His Spirit is dwelling in each believer gathered every Sunday.
So, we sing — to God and to each other — in order to be filled with his
influence
and changed by his truth. Thank God that this miraculous work is not left in
the hands of mere men!

So, as we prepare for corporate worship, marvel again at the Spirit who
lives inside of you (2 Timothy 1:14). Rejoice that God knows what we need
and loves
giving good gifts to his children (Luke 11:13). And no matter what is going
on in life, come ready to sing with God’s people that we might be filled
with
the Spirit’s work in our hearts (Ephesians 5:18–19).

He is faithful to meet us, together with his people, right where we are at.

We Will Come to You (Christian Mission to Refugees)
John Piper / February 4, 2017

Fear might drive government policy, but it should never affect Christian
witness to the hurting people of our world.

Watch Now

No Global Mission Without Gods Mighty Spirit
John Piper / February 4, 2017

We are living in the third great era of world history the era of the
Spirit. Our only hope for advancing Gods mission is to lean on the power of
his Spirit.

Copyright © 2017 Desiring God, all rights reserved
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sat 25 Feb 2017, 11:40 pm

Prioritizing Your Work and Rest
View this email in your browser

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of
sorrows: for so He giveth His beloved sleep.”
Psalm 127:2

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
In the book of Jonah, we learn that Jonah reached a place of physical
despondency (see Jonah 4:3 and 8). He wanted God to kill him.

Have you ever reached a place of despair and thought that everything and
everyone was against you and you didn’t know what to do? Maybe you just
needed
to lie down and get some sleep.

Now, that may not sound like the most spiritual thing to do, but we cannot
abuse our bodies without suffering the consequences. And being a child of
God
does not make you immune to physical exhaustion.

ACTION POINT:
Have you ever heard of burn out? Where do you think we got that phrase?
There is enough time in the day to gracefully do everything God wants us to
do.
We must determine what that is—and isn’t. Begin each day with the prayer:
“Father, what do You have for me today? Help me to focus on that, and not
the
distractions.”

Global Prayer Digest People of the Day
A Dead Muslim Woman Raised to Life in West Africa
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser .

A Dead Muslim Woman Raised to Life in West Africa
Feb 04, 2017 12:00 am

Today's Devotional

John 11:25-26, NIV "Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.
The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever
lives
by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”"

Pray for the Muslims of West Africa to put their faith in the resurrection
of Jesus as the beginning of new life for all to enjoy. Pray that they will
put aside their head belief in resurrection, and put on faith in the God of
the resurrection.

Today's People Group

An African worker reported this to Joel News about his work among Muslims.
“Just before dark, the bike broke down in front of a harshly Islamic
community. We tried to fix the bike, but had no success. We heard wailing.
Someone
walking by said, ‘The chief’s wife died, and people are wailing for her.’ We
pushed our way through the crowd to the corpse. I had prayed for the sick,
but never for the dead. I called her by name, asking God to revive her. I
started to feel a weak pulse and warmth in her hand. I continued praying.
The
woman opened her eyes. Everyone started shouting! They were pushing against
me to see the dead woman coming back to life. I kept praying. She sat up and
asked, ‘Water, please.’ All became quiet.”
“I said: ‘We are ordinary people; Jesus did this.’ I told them about God’s
gift of salvation. The chief said, ‘We have a law that nothing Christian
will
be tolerated. I am lifting the ban.’ The whole village gathered and 76 men,
women, and children received their Savior. When we went to check our
motorcycle,
it started immediately! Today the whole region is filled with churches.”

Pray that the spiritually dead among these African Muslims will hear God’s
truth and live. Pray that they will gladly share the Living Savior with
Muslims
who need to know of Christ’s resurrection power.

Learn more at Joshua Project .
Copyright © 2017 Frontier Ventures, All rights reserved.

Ron Hutchcraft Ministries - A Word With You
A Word With You
Hitting People With Your Baggage - #7845

Okay, imagine a train traveling about 1,000 miles and the passengers are
almost all teenagers! I was one of them. You say, "You mean they had trains
back
then?" (Leave me alone!) Yes, they had just been invented. Thousands of us
were on our way to this national youth convention on specially chartered
trains.
And don't you wish you could be a chaperone for something like that? (Oh, a
dream come true!) Well, our train was traveling all night, and I decided I
wanted to beat the morning rush in the bathroom so I got my suitcase and I
started making my way through one car after another to get to the one that
had
a men's room in it. Unfortunately, most of the other people on the train
were sleeping in every conceivable position, including various body parts
hanging
out in the aisle. Here's the picture: dark railroad cars, boy moving down
the aisle with a big suitcase in his hand, trying to keep his balance on a
speeding
train, and bodies hanging out into the same aisle. You get it? Bonk! Clunk!
Uhh! Many unsuspecting sleepers had a rude awakening that night and I was
very
unpopular, and obviously very un-smart. Unfortunately, the problem? My
baggage kept hitting other people!

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Hitting
People With Your Baggage."

That's really not a very nice thing to do. But, sad to say, some of us keep
doing what I did that night on the train; unintentionally hitting innocent
people with the baggage we're carrying.

Maybe you're carrying a load of stress, hurt, frustration, anger, or worry.
It could be that the pain of your past keeps weighing you down. But the
problem
is that your baggage is hurting other people who probably don't deserve it!
What I did on that dark train that night was really selfish. I had to take
care of my needs, no matter how it hurt other people. That kind of choice is
always a selfish one. Especially when you consider that the ones we hurt the
most are usually the people we love the most.

The problem is you have no business carrying your baggage! Our word for
today from the Word of God comes from Psalm 68:19-20. "Praise be to the
Lord, to
God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves."
Wow! Who's supposed to be carrying that suitcase full of stress? Your
Savior!
Who's supposed to be carrying that anger, that frustration? The Christ who
invites us to "cast your care on Him because He cares for you" (1 Peter.
5:7).
And all the pain, all the ugly things that have happened in your past?
Isaiah says of Jesus, "Surely He carried our sorrows" (Isaiah 53:4).

But maybe you have somehow failed to surrender that emotional baggage to
Jesus your Savior. So you keep carrying it, you keep hitting other people
with
it and all it does is alienate people you need. It isolates you from others
as they try to get out of your way. You kill their joy and you infect them
with your attitude.

Your Lord isn't asking you to deny that burden. That's not good. Whether
it's from years of hurt or just the problems of a bad day, He's asking you
to
honestly acknowledge your real feelings to Him. And He's saying, "Will you
let it be My stress, My hurt, My problem?" Talking to Jesus about it isn't
enough.
You have to leave it with Him. And how often? "Daily He bears our burdens."
At least each new day. It's not yours to fix, it's not yours to solve, and
it's not yours to make happen. Today, will you release the tight grip you've
had on your baggage and surrender it to the Savior who's waiting to do with
it what you could never do?

Like a teenage boy I knew on this train once, you've been determined to get
where you're going with this big old suitcase in your hand. And too many
people
are getting hit by it. Wouldn't it be a lot easier without the baggage?
Jesus is just waiting for you to let it go.
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc. · P.O. Box 400 · Harrison, Arkansas 72602 ·
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Fri 24 Feb 2017, 6:30 pm

Love
January 31, 2017

Read: John 15:9-17

These things I command you, so that you will love one another. (v. 17)

If we learn only one thing by following Jesus, it’s that he demonstrated to
the world what love looks like. He called his disciples “friends” and
assured
them that when one gives up everything for one’s friends—even his own
life—that is love.

Jesus also calls us his friends! And he did give up his life for us, just as
much as for his friends in Jerusalem. This is a mystery, just as many things
about God are mysteries.

Some of the last words Jesus spoke on earth were about love, indicating this
was what he thought most about, at the end. Jesus reminded his friends that
love is a verb—an action word. Love is more than affection, more than an
emotion; love is a decision we consciously make. It is a decision to act on
behalf
of another; whether it is adopting a stray dog, rocking a baby, feeding the
homeless, leading a Bible study, or caring for the sick. Love is about
giving
something of yourself, for the benefit of someone else.

Jesus demonstrated what love in action looks like throughout his entire
earthly life and death. As his followers and friends, we are to imitate his
example
by loving one another. There were no conditions to the love Jesus gave to
the world, and there shouldn’t be conditions to the love that we offer
either.
The love of Christ is unrestricted and absolute. Share it with someone
today. —Susan Hetrick

Prayer: Christ, thank you for your amazing love. Teach me to love like you
do.

Racism is not merely a simplistic hatred. It is, more often, broad sympathy
toward some and broader skepticism toward others.
-- Ta-Nehisi Coates

I was in my 20s before I had a friend whose skin color was different than my
own. It wasn’t intentional. I grew up in a lily-white suburb and went to an
entirely white high school. I played college ball in Minnesota, and my team
was almost entirely white. It wasn’t until I played church league basketball
during my seminary years that I met Maurice. Mo and I were the only guys
under 40 in the league, so we guarded each other.

After each game, we’d slump against the gym wall to cool down and talk. As
we became close friends, he taught me to see the world through his eyes. One
day, I invited him to come play ball on a team that went into the prisons.
As we walked inside and the inmates saw Mo, cheers and applause erupted. He
had a lot of friends inside. On the drive home, I asked Mo about his
childhood. He grew up 20 minutes from where I was raised. Twenty minutes to
a whole
new world.

As Mo and I lived life alongside each other, I witnessed injustices in the
way Mo was treated. I was able to see how assumptions and stereotypes
affected
him. This friendship transformed me, all because we were willing to move
toward one another. Mo moved toward me. I moved toward him. We helped each
other
grow.

Now, that’s a long story, but it’s the story of how Jesus wants us to live
and move in our churches and in society. I shared the story of
Luke 7
yesterday: how a Gentile centurion asked a Jewish rabbi for help by sending
a Jewish messenger, because a Gentile and a rabbi weren’t supposed to
interact
– no way, no how. But rather than answer him through a messenger, “Jesus
went” toward the Gentile officer, intent upon entering his home (Luke 7:6
).

This is what we do. This is how we go. We move toward each other because
Jesus, who lives in us, does not discriminate in His love.

Jesus, show me ways to appreciate the beauty of diversity. Lead me in
creative ways to live multiethnically, multigenerationally, and
multisocioeconomically
as I step over imaginary borders and move toward others who are different
from me. Amen
.

Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at
OnePlace.com

Speak Well of Others
by Debbie Holloway, Crosswalk.com Contributor

"The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked
gushes evil" (
Proverbs 15:28 ).

In this age of Internet and social media, gone are the days of the
off-switch for dialogue. Time was, conversations ended. Then, with the birth
of online
discussion forums, they could continue indefinitely (with every word
preserved for all to see). Now that we are chained to mobile devices, the
debates
and exchanges never even have to pause. We may start them at our computers,
but we continue them in the elevator...in the car...during dinner. Even
during
real-life banter with friends and family, fingers fly over smartphones to
contribute thoughts to the discourse of the Internet world.

It's hard to step back once you get used to it. I find it to be a very
love-hate thing; bittersweet for several reasons. On the one hand, I am
completely
amazed and delighted by the ability to connect, share, grow, and learn that
modern technology provides. On the other hand, the ability to tear apart an
opponent with the stroke of a key makes certain biblical mandates that much
harder to follow.

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to
speak, slow to anger”
(James 1:9 ).

“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may
know how you ought to answer each person”
(Colossians 4:6 ).

I believe that graciousness of speech, speaking well of others (even my
enemy or opponent) is something God requires of me. As someone who rarely
shies
away from conversation or confrontation, every day is a battle for me in
this regard. I find myself asking,

Is this a hill to die on?

Is this going to change anyone’s mind, anyway?

Is it even my job to change this person’s mind?

Is this loving? Worth the fuss? Compassionate?

More times than not, recently, I’ve begun to type up a Facebook comment only
to delete it before pressing “post.” Not because I changed my stance or
re-thought
my opinion. Rather, because words don’t die on the World Wide Web – and I
have no second chance at a first impression. Perhaps the fewer cold,
impersonal
words I type into Facebook in the midst of an argument, the fewer tempers
will be lost, fewer hearts will hurt, and fewer friends will feel annoyed,
alone,
or attacked. Perhaps the more I distance myself from the social media
circus, the more I can pay attention to the flesh-and-blood conversations
that might
arise over the dinner table or on the train. Perhaps the less I scroll
through Facebook, the more chances I’ll have to look into people’s faces and
eyes.

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your
old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new
in
the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like
God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off
falsehood
and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still
angry,
and do not give the devil a foothold”
(Ephesians 4:22-27 ).

Intersecting Faith and Life: Before you post anything today on
Twitter , Facebook , or Google +,
weigh your words carefully. Do they provoke edifying discussion, or simply
anger? Do your words match up with the fruits of the spirit (
Galatians 5:22-23 )?

Further Reading

Ephesians 4:17-32
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 23 Feb 2017, 12:30 pm

Your Daily Prayer Devotional Banner
A Prayer against Depression
By John Barnett

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave
you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” -
Deuteronomy 31:8

If you've ever felt trapped, imprisoned, or helplessly caught by life, then
you share the emotions of David in the midst of life in the Cave of Adullam.

lead-me-to-rock

Things had gotten so bad that David makes a confession that is packed with
meaning to us today. In the form of an urgent prayer offered to God, and
captured
for us on paper, David explains that his soul is in prison. The setting is
so graphic, look at it with me in I Samuel 22.

David is in the midst of his life on the run, under immense stress in verses
1-4:

"David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So
when his brothers and all his father's house heard it, they went down there
to him. And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and
everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over
them.
And there were about four hundred men with him. Then David went from there
to Mizpah of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, "Please let my father
and
mother come here with you, till I know what God will do for me." So he
brought them before the king of Moab, and they dwelt with him all the time
that
David was in the stronghold."

David describes this time as when he felt trapped, with nowhere to escape in
Psalm 142. Here in this Psalm written from a cave, David reflects on the
circumstances
all around him that made him have.

When we get depressed, life really does feel like an endless pursuit of
nothingness. Such daily struggles are a far cry from the expectations of
those
who heard this type promise before they became a Christian: "Just get saved
and everything will be great from then on!" But that's not always true, is
it?

Even saved people can go through emotionally imprisoning cave times like
David experienced. Trigger that can start a slide downward emotionally are:
family
conflicts; losing a job; losing a home; moving to a new location under
duress; working with a tough crowd; being betrayed by friends; being wronged
in
a business deal; suffering the sudden loss of a family member, friend, or
finances, and so forth.

Suffering from depression is a very common malady. In fact, although most of
the Bible
is in the major key (saints fearlessly witnessing as churches valiantly
serve against all odds), side-by-side with all those wonderful testimonies
is
the minor key where God's Word contains true glimpses into the weaknesses
and frailties of some of His greatest saints.

“Heavenly Father, please strengthen our hearts, and remind us to encourage
one another when the troubles of life start to overwhelm us. Please guard
our
hearts from depression. Give us the strength up to rise up each day and
fight against the struggles which seek to weigh us down.”

Editor’s Note: The following is an abridge version David's Life in the Minor
Key: Is Depression Sin? by John Barnett.

When a Dream Dies
SHARON JAYNES

“Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the L
ORD! This is what the Sovereign L
ORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to
life.’”
Ezekiel 37:4 b-5 (NIV)

I sat on my porch with my Bible
and a hot mug of coffee. Early morning is my favorite time of day. Just me,
Jesus and a smattering of birds. However, this morning, as I looked out over
my backyard, my eyes landed on a mound of fur nestled in the grass.

I moved in for a closer look. My heart sank as I discovered what appeared to
be a curled-up lifeless baby fawn. Probably the same fawn my neighbor had
seen nursing from its mom the day before. My heart broke. I understand the
circle of life, but
still. A baby fawn lay dead in my yard. Most likely the target of the coyote
I’d seen roaming around.

I couldn’t get close enough to see the wound. Sometimes that is the way of
things. I would have to wait until my husband got home to take care of the
situation,
as I didn’t have the nerve.

All morning long my mind returned to the still form lying in the sun. Hours
passed. At noon I looked out of the window and the fawn remained unmoved. I
couldn’t stand it. I had to know what had happened to it. So I mustered up
my courage and made my way to the fawn. Three feet away. Stop. No signs of
an
attack. I inched closer.

Finally, I knelt down by the beautifully-crafted creature, admiring God’s
handiwork. But I couldn’t see what had killed it.

“What happened to you, little deer?” I whispered.

Suddenly, the fawn’s head popped up! Startled eyes stared into mine. Like a
deer caught in the headlights, I fell back on the grass. Time stood still
for
a moment as we stared at each other in disbelief!

Finally, the fawn sprang to its feet, wobbled a bit and scampered off. I sat
in the grass and laughed and laughed and laughed. So, the fawn wasn’t dead
after all. It had simply found a bit of grass and fallen asleep ... until
almost noon.

After my heart rate returned to its normal pace, God spoke to my heart:
“Sometimes things are dead, and sometimes they just need to be woken up.”

I pondered those words for the rest of the day. I called a friend who was
struggling in her marriage -- in a very bad way. The sort of way that leaves
you wondering if it will survive. I told her the story.

Sometimes things are dead, and sometimes they just need to be woken up.

Sometimes a marriage is dead, and sometimes it just needs to be woken up.

Sometimes a friendship is dead, and sometimes it just needs to be woken up.

Sometimes a dream is dead, and sometimes it just needs to be woken up.

I think of how God told the prophet Ezekiel to speak to the valley of dry
bones: “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word
of
the L
ORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath
enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make
flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and
you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the L
ORD’” (Ezekiel 37:4-6 ).

I imagine Ezekiel felt pretty silly talking to those dry bones. And honestly
sometimes I feel pretty silly obeying God and speaking life into the dry
bones
of some of my situations.

So here’s the word for me and you today.

For my friend struggling in her marriage ...

For my friend who cries for her adult son who walked away from God ...

For my friend who longs to cuddle up with a good husband rather than a good
book ...

Don’t assume the dream is dead. Sometimes it just needs to be woken up.

Dear Lord, Wake me up! Stir my heart. It’s not over until You say it’s over.
I commit to continue to pray for what others deem as a lost cause, for I
know
that there is never a lost cause when it comes to Your power to save, to
deliver, to redeem, to rebuild. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Galatians 6:9
, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will
reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (NIV)

James 5:16
, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Perhaps what needs to be awakened today is the romance in your marriage. It’s
easy for the routine of life to lull marriage into a sleepy slumber. To
celebrate
Valentine’s Day, check out Sharon Jaynes’ new book, A 14-Day Romance
Challenge: Reigniting Passion in Your Marriage.

CONNECT:
Click over to Sharon’s website for a free downloadable: “
25 Ways to Romance Your Husband.


REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Read the verses in Ezekiel 37:1-10
. How do you think Ezekiel felt when God told him to speak to the dry bones?

What would have happened if Ezekiel refused, telling God that it was a lost
cause?

Is there anything in your life that you feel is a lost cause? If so, what is
God saying to you through today’s scripture and devotion?

(c) 2017 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries

Him—Just Him
View this email in your browser

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not
ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able
to keep
that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”
2 Timothy 1:12

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
I heard of a lady who memorized so many verses of Scripture that she quoted
them back to the Lord in praise to His name. When she grew old and began to
lose her memory, she could only remember one verse, “For I know whom I have
believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have
committed
unto Him against that day.” She would quote it over and over.

Soon her memory deteriorated more, and all she could remember was just the
phrase “committed unto Him.” It brought her much comfort. Finally she came
to
a place where all she could say was “Him.”

ACTION POINT:
You can distill the Bible down to that one word, “Him.” Can you tune all of
your life to that one note of praise? Him.

Discover Jesus | Donate | Today's Message
Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.
The email address this message was sent from does not accept replies. If
you would like to send a comment, prayer or praise, please visit us
here
. May God continue to strengthen and encourage you by the Love Worth
Finding devotions.
Copyright © 2017 Love Worth Finding Ministries, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you indicated at www.lwf.org that you
wanted to receive these devotions from Love Worth Finding Ministries.
Love Worth Finding Ministries
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 11:35 pm

Keep Divine Appointments
January 28, 2017

Read: John 4:4-30, 39-41

And he had to pass through Samaria. (v. 4)

Most Jewish people in Jesus’ day despised the Samaritans and would rather
walk
around Samaria, going more than 90 miles out of their way, than walk through
it. Not Jesus. He had a divine appointment with a woman at a well in Sychar.
Their appointment wasn’t about a drink of water, or her marital status. It
was about the pain in her heart.

This woman was an outsider in her village. She was seen as “unclean” and
people avoided her. In our culture “outsiders” might be immigrants, addicts,
ex-cons,
or the homeless. Jesus chose to befriend outsiders. Where we see
differences, Jesus saw
people in pain. Jesus always saw a person’s heart.

While shopping, a woman who smelled like she hadn’t bathed in weeks asked me
about a certain brand of shampoo. Then she told me her son had killed
himself
recently, and she wasn’t coping; she couldn’t sleep, eat, or make decisions.
Most days she couldn’t leave her house. I listened as she cried and talked
about her son. We prayed together, then she smiled and bought her shampoo.
This was a divine appointment. She needed someone to acknowledge her pain,
and
remind her God still loved her.

When you encounter an outsider, do you see them as Jesus would? Perhaps they
need to be reminded they are loved. It could be a divine appointment; be
sure
to keep it. —Susan Hetrick

Prayer: Lord, when you have set divine appointments for me, remind me to see
people as you do.
What to Do When Your Church Isn't Making You Happy
Jordan Sok
My grandfather is a minister, my father is a pastor, and I’ve worked in a
church.
I’ve seen dirt.
After living in four cities and being a part of three church-splits, I have
felt my fair deal of pain. I have felt the confusion when friends begin
doubting
church leadership I have trusted. I’ve felt the anger when people leave the
church without explaining why. I’ve felt the world tip sideways when a
pastor’s
secret life is exposed.
I’ve felt a lot.
But I don’t have to tell you that. The reality is if you are a Christian,
you’ve felt a lot too by now.
You don’t have to be a pastor’s kid to see the underbelly of church
dynamics. Heck, that’s the newsroom’s favorite subject. Scroll through
Facebook, turn
on the news, read a paper.
There’s no way we can’t see it. It’s like we’re holding a magnifying glass
over it all the time.
And we should care about our church leadership. God puts a heavy call on our
leaders. If we find ourselves in a church with a leadership lacking in
character
or Biblical truths, we need to do something about it.
Now that that’s out there, that isn’t what this blog is about.
This blog is about shifting the magnifying glass away from our church
leaders and landing it on our reflection.
Not long ago, I found a church that I thought finally “did it right” only to
watch it end in yet another church split. God used that experience to create
a dramatic shift in my heart towards church. Rather than anger and
bitterness at the church, like I experienced so many times before, I just
felt despair.

I decided I wasn’t going to let myself go through the same cycle I had been
through a million times before. I wasn’t going to dwell on what went wrong
with other people, become bitter, and stay skeptical of future churches.
I was going to dwell on what I could have done differently and trust that
despite the mess, God was still there.
You see, we Christians say that “the church isn’t just a building” all of
the time. And we get that part right, we see it as more than the building.
But
I’m afraid we are still not seeing the full picture. Our actions often imply
the church is only the
pastors
, elders and deacons – and we are just the people that attend.
We are proud to be a part of our church when the church is doing great
things and getting along. But when trouble comes, we take a step back and
watch
the mess unfold like a bad show on Netflix.
We don’t take ownership.
What if instead of focusing on the mess, we focused on what we
could do?
After so many previous church messes, my husband and I made it a priority
when we got married to stick to a church until God literally pushed us out.
We decided if we didn’t like something, instead of complaining or wishing it
was different, we would be the change we wanted to see.
Now, we aren’t doing this perfectly, trust me.
But my attitude and heart towards church is in a completely different place
than it was a year ago. I don’t approach church like a reviewer for Yelp
anymore.

On Sunday mornings, I go to meet God in the mess, not to look for the mess
around me.
That means I am able to truly worship God when the worship leader is
off-tune and I hate the song choices. That means I am able to ask God what
He would
have to teach me that day even when the message bores me and I accidentally
zone out for half of it. That means when I see that the church is lacking in
an area, I don’t have to get frustrated, but I can take ownership and be a
part of the change.
What if instead of visiting churches and leaving if they don’t welcome us
well the first time, we just choose one and stick with it? Then
we take the uncomfortable, awkward first step and decide to begin meeting
people and
being the welcomers?
What if instead of being angry that our church doesn’t serve, we organize a
service project?
What if we were the change instead of the critic?
It could just take one or two people initiating change to create an entire
new culture in the church. Most churchgoers are just waiting for leadership
to tell them what to do.
Be the leaders.
Friend, what bothers you about your church? If your church leadership is
truly following the Lord, can I challenge you to take what bothers you and
pray
about it? See how the Lord stirs your heart. He may be calling you to do
something, or he may be asking you keep praying about it (by the way that is
doing
something, too). He may even change the way you are viewing it all together.
Church leadership isn’t perfect. Our pastors are going to sin. Side note-
isn’t it great that the Gospel they preach about applies to them?
Lets pray for our church rather than rate it’s performance.
That doesn’t mean God will never call you away. That doesn’t mean you
shouldn’t ever question your leadership.
It just means you should question yourself first.

Jordan Sok is a 20-something writer, Christian and newlywed. Her personal
blog
encourages her readers to “embrace the awkward,” because the way she sees
it, a lot of “awkwardness” is simply feeling uncomfortable because something
is out of the norm. And maybe that is a good thing.
Her blog
focuses on a mixture of topics surrounding the 20-something Christian life-
the good, the bad, and the funny. Oh, and the awkward.
Publication date: January 5, 2015


It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize,
accept, and celebrate those differences.
-- Audre Lorde, Our Dead Behind Us: Poems

My friend grew up in the Deep South in the ’50s and ’60s. And in his
childhood church, every member of the deacon board was also a member of the
Ku Klux
Klan. In fact, the Klan’s concepts were taught in Sunday school. When my
friend later went to college and joined a
Bible study, an African-American student sat down to join the group.

“What are you doing here?” my friend asked him.

“I’m here for Bible study.”

Rather than study Scripture with someone of a different skin color, my
friend got up and left.

Like my friend, Jesus was born into intense racial tensions between Jews and
Gentiles. Both groups considered the other one inferior, and interactions
between the two were avoided. Understanding this, the Gospels show us how
very powerfully Jesus spoke against racism with His actions.

In Luke 7
, a Gentile army officer whose servant needed healing sent for Jesus. It’s
easy to miss asking the question, “Why didn’t the officer go to Jesus
himself?”
It was culturally taboo for a Jewish rabbi to converse with a Gentile.
Instead, the centurion sent his Jewish acquaintances to make the request,
Jew to
Jew.

But Jesus didn’t want to talk Jew to Jew. Instead, “Jesus went with them”
(Luke 7:6 ).

The first step to eradicating racism in our churches is to go toward each
other. This external behavior must first manifest internally. While it’s
easy
to spot blatant racism – like my friend’s actions in that Bible study – we
can’t move toward each other until we’re able to spot subtle racism in
ourselves.
Do we stuff people into stereotypes? Do we make assumptions about certain
traits based on skin color? Do we avoid encounters with others from a
certain
race? Do we share racial jokes? Does racism impact our hiring decisions?

Assumptions. Avoidance. Distasteful humor. Discrimination. These subtleties
create chasms and ruin potential relationships, but Jesus wants us to move

toward each other.

Lord, is there any part of my upbringing – perhaps geographical or
generational – that birthed racism in me? If so, reprogram me. Be my bridge
over the
chasm of racism. Amen.

Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at
OnePlace.com
Stuart, Jill, and Pete Briscoe want to show you how you can experience joy,
hope, and peace even in life’s lonely seasons. That’s why they want to send
you their powerful 3-message CD series, Facing Jesus in Your Loneliness . It’s
our gift to thank you for your donation to help broadcast God’s Truth to
the world – so more people can experience Life in Christ!
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 3:27 pm

Epitaphs

The following come from the z-Bottom of Form;z-Top of Form;HTML
Markup;Comment;Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations : a Treasury of
Illustrations, Anecdotes, Facts and Quotations For Pastors, Teachers and
Christian Workers:

In a cemetery a little white stone marked the grave of a dear little girl,
and on the stone were chiselled these words—”A child of who her playmates
said, ““It was easier to be good when she was with us””—one of the most
beautiful epitaphs ever heard of.

Rev. John Henry Jowett once told of a little graveyard beside a church in a
small
village where the memory of a devoted soul, who had spent herself freely and
untiringly in the service of that small community, is enshrined in a brief
and touching epitaph, “She has done what she couldn’t.”
—Eugene A. Hessel

• Epitaph in a churchyard, inscribed by a husband after sixty years of
wedded life: “She always made home happy.”

Some of the epitaphs found on tombstones are chosen by the person before
they die.
Others, like in the examples above, are written by others after the person
dies. The best and true epitaphs are the words spoken about the person after
they are gone.

What will people say about you? May they not say what the bibles says the
people thought about Jehoram:

2 Chronicles 21:20 (NLT)
20 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in
Jerusalem eight years. No one was sorry when he died. He was buried in the
City of David, but not in the royal cemetery.

by Dean W. Masters

United We Stand

Few things are more disturbing than imagining the scene in Cairo, Egypt,
last month when innocent women and children gathered for early morning
prayers
in a chapel next to St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral. A radical Muslim
associated with ISIS walked down the center aisle, interrupting everyone's
meditation,
and detonated a bomb, which killed 25 people including him, while seriously
wounding 49 other Christian worshippers. It is difficult to imagine
something
more diabolical. Radical Muslims are taught that Christians have lesser
value; loving them is not an obligation. In fact, killing them for
justifiable
reasons is a virtue and has no penalty according to more strict fundamental
Muslim teaching. Terrorism is designed to divide and conquer; strike such
fear
and horror in a person's life that unity and peace seem impossible. But, in
Egypt, and around the world, the exact opposite is taking place.
Orchestrated
terror and fear are causing people to become more united.

One of my dreams, and the dream of many of my colleagues in global missions,
is to see greater unity among Christians worldwide, especially among
Protestants,
Catholics, and Orthodox Christians. Too often in history, these great
Christian movements have acted independently from one another. But, I
believe that
Pope Francis is trying to steer Roman Catholicism in an opposite direction,
and so is Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt.
Thankfully,
Protestant leaders worldwide are becoming more open-minded on these
subjects, too. Yet, entrenched bureaucracies, traditions and doctrines do
not allow
these kinds of changes to take place easily or quickly. Sadly, people
usually wait for extreme conditions before espousing moves towards greater
unity.
And such has been the case in Egypt in recent years. When President Morsi
turned a blind eye towards his Brotherhood of Islam colleagues in 2013 and
2014
when 63 churches were burned, Christians in Egypt became united as never
before. The tragic attack on women and children in St. Mark's Cathedral last
month
has accelerated this process even more. Christians in Egypt have
increasingly formed a unified front in regard to loving their enemies,
presenting the
peace of the Gospel in new and fresh ways, and being determined to
demonstrate the power and obligation of Christian unity.

There are many forces at play in our world today, which would love to see us
torn apart. Division and self-righteousness are vying for prominence and
attention.
Earlier this month, I attended a conference in southern California hosted by
many Protestant leaders from Egypt. They were telling story after story of
how wonderful and beautiful Christian unity has become in their country -
after years of suspicion and infighting among themselves. Apparently, a new
interdenominational
group has been formed called the "Mustard Seed Group," which is currently
touring Egypt preaching the Gospel and offering healing services for their
fellow
countrymen who are suffering great economic hardship and persecution from
radical Muslims in recent years. We viewed images of Catholic and Orthodox
priests
standing next to Protestant ministers presenting the teachings of Jesus
together. These Protestant leaders told us that they had never before
experienced
such love and power in the Gospel as when they acted cooperatively with
their Catholic and Orthodox brothers and sisters. Heart-warming stories of
miraculous
healings, signs, wonders, and reconciliation effecting both Christians and
Muslims alike were shared with us. They urged us to take this message back
to
our cities and towns in America - to preach the blessings of unity rather
than division.

One of the last things Jesus taught his disciples, in the upper room the day
before he was crucified, was about the virtues of Christian unity. Jesus
often
talked about the unity he experienced with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
He wanted his followers to experience that same unity but amongst
themselves,
too. He said, "Just as you (Father) sent me into the world, I am sending
them (my disciples) into the world.... I am praying not only for these
disciples
but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray
that they will all be one, just as you and I are one - as you are in me,
Father,
and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you
sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we
are
one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity
that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as
you love me." (John 17:18, 20-23)

The Lord weeps when we retreat to our own separate camps of Christian
tradition and familiarity. How often do you drive in your car, or walk down
the street,
and look at a church different from your own and feel that your church is
superior to theirs? Is that something we can afford to do in American today?
Our country and culture are increasingly becoming starved for the loving,
reconciling, and mercy-filled message of our Gospel. Fear, hatred and
divisiveness
are slowly replacing cooperation, mutual respect and love in our
communities, towns and even within our own families. If Christians in
America and around
the world can learn to cooperate more with one another, they can begin to
tackle together the daunting challenges of increasing secularism, racism,
economic
hardship and religious intolerance. There is tremendous power in the Gospel,
but only when we are one with the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and with one
another.

Christian unity also demands that we seek as much common ground with people
of different religions. Jesus wants us to be generous with our love for all
people. We are to be wise as serpents, but gentle as doves. One of the most
important things I tell audiences and churches today to embrace is how much
we followers of Jesus have in common with Muslims. There is so much common
ground on which we can build
authentic friendships with our Muslim neighbors. We can still maintain the
distinctiveness of our own faith as Christians, but at the same time find
creative
ways to work alongside our Muslim neighbors for the common good of our
neighborhoods. Honest dialogue about similarities and differences, mutual
respect,
and loving our neighbors as ourselves should be hallmarks of all our daily
activities with people of different beliefs and backgrounds.

It has been a while since the American Church has thought so much about
martyrdom. Those innocent women and children in Cairo murdered as they were
devoutly
praying sacrificed more than we will ever know. But, as a result, the Church
in Egypt has never been more unified and powerful. These Egyptians are our
brothers and sisters in Christ. Make sure your local church has an active
global outreach component to its mission program. The Body of Christ is not
only
interdenominational, but also international. We need to be in solidarity
with Christians worldwide, as well as in our local neighborhoods. Say no to
fear,
separation, and denominational pride. Say yes to unity and common ground;
the Holy Spirit will faithfully and accurately sort out the rest. Let us
remember,
now more than ever, these exceptionally wise words of Jesus; "Every kingdom
divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house
divided
against itself shall not stand." (Matthew 12:25b)

Or, as a Greek poet once said, "United we stand, divided we fall."
United We Stand

Few things are more disturbing than imagining the scene in Cairo, Egypt,
last month when innocent women and children gathered for early morning
prayers
in a chapel next to St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral. A radical Muslim
associated with ISIS walked down the center aisle, interrupting everyone's
meditation,
and detonated a bomb, which killed 25 people including him, while seriously
wounding 49 other Christian worshippers. It is difficult to imagine
something
more diabolical. Radical Muslims are taught that Christians have lesser
value; loving them is not an obligation. In fact, killing them for
justifiable
reasons is a virtue and has no penalty according to more strict fundamental
Muslim teaching. Terrorism is designed to divide and conquer; strike such
fear
and horror in a person's life that unity and peace seem impossible. But, in
Egypt, and around the world, the exact opposite is taking place.
Orchestrated
terror and fear are causing people to become more united.

One of my dreams, and the dream of many of my colleagues in global missions,
is to see greater unity among Christians worldwide, especially among
Protestants,
Catholics, and Orthodox Christians. Too often in history, these great
Christian movements have acted independently from one another. But, I
believe that
Pope Francis is trying to steer Roman Catholicism in an opposite direction,
and so is Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt.
Thankfully,
Protestant leaders worldwide are becoming more open-minded on these
subjects, too. Yet, entrenched bureaucracies, traditions and doctrines do
not allow
these kinds of changes to take place easily or quickly. Sadly, people
usually wait for extreme conditions before espousing moves towards greater
unity.
And such has been the case in Egypt in recent years. When President Morsi
turned a blind eye towards his Brotherhood of Islam colleagues in 2013 and
2014
when 63 churches were burned, Christians in Egypt became united as never
before. The tragic attack on women and children in St. Mark's Cathedral last
month
has accelerated this process even more. Christians in Egypt have
increasingly formed a unified front in regard to loving their enemies,
presenting the
peace of the Gospel in new and fresh ways, and being determined to
demonstrate the power and obligation of Christian unity.

There are many forces at play in our world today, which would love to see us
torn apart. Division and self-righteousness are vying for prominence and
attention.
Earlier this month, I attended a conference in southern California hosted by
many Protestant leaders from Egypt. They were telling story after story of
how wonderful and beautiful Christian unity has become in their country -
after years of suspicion and infighting among themselves. Apparently, a new
interdenominational
group has been formed called the "Mustard Seed Group," which is currently
touring Egypt preaching the Gospel and offering healing services for their
fellow
countrymen who are suffering great economic hardship and persecution from
radical Muslims in recent years. We viewed images of Catholic and Orthodox
priests
standing next to Protestant ministers presenting the teachings of Jesus
together. These Protestant leaders told us that they had never before
experienced
such love and power in the Gospel as when they acted cooperatively with
their Catholic and Orthodox brothers and sisters. Heart-warming stories of
miraculous
healings, signs, wonders, and reconciliation effecting both Christians and
Muslims alike were shared with us. They urged us to take this message back
to
our cities and towns in America - to preach the blessings of unity rather
than division.

One of the last things Jesus taught his disciples, in the upper room the day
before he was crucified, was about the virtues of Christian unity. Jesus
often
talked about the unity he experienced with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
He wanted his followers to experience that same unity but amongst
themselves,
too. He said, "Just as you (Father) sent me into the world, I am sending
them (my disciples) into the world.... I am praying not only for these
disciples
but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray
that they will all be one, just as you and I are one - as you are in me,
Father,
and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you
sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we
are
one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity
that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as
you love me." (John 17:18, 20-23)

The Lord weeps when we retreat to our own separate camps of Christian
tradition and familiarity. How often do you drive in your car, or walk down
the street,
and look at a church different from your own and feel that your church is
superior to theirs? Is that something we can afford to do in American today?
Our country and culture are increasingly becoming starved for the loving,
reconciling, and mercy-filled message of our Gospel. Fear, hatred and
divisiveness
are slowly replacing cooperation, mutual respect and love in our
communities, towns and even within our own families. If Christians in
America and around
the world can learn to cooperate more with one another, they can begin to
tackle together the daunting challenges of increasing secularism, racism,
economic
hardship and religious intolerance. There is tremendous power in the Gospel,
but only when we are one with the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and with one
another.

Christian unity also demands that we seek as much common ground with people
of different religions. Jesus wants us to be generous with our love for all
people. We are to be wise as serpents, but gentle as doves. One of the most
important things I tell audiences and churches today to embrace is how much
we followers of Jesus have in common with Muslims. There is so much common
ground on which we can build
authentic friendships with our Muslim neighbors. We can still maintain the
distinctiveness of our own faith as Christians, but at the same time find
creative
ways to work alongside our Muslim neighbors for the common good of our
neighborhoods. Honest dialogue about similarities and differences, mutual
respect,
and loving our neighbors as ourselves should be hallmarks of all our daily
activities with people of different beliefs and backgrounds.

It has been a while since the American Church has thought so much about
martyrdom. Those innocent women and children in Cairo murdered as they were
devoutly
praying sacrificed more than we will ever know. But, as a result, the Church
in Egypt has never been more unified and powerful. These Egyptians are our
brothers and sisters in Christ. Make sure your local church has an active
global outreach component to its mission program. The Body of Christ is not
only
interdenominational, but also international. We need to be in solidarity
with Christians worldwide, as well as in our local neighborhoods. Say no to
fear,
separation, and denominational pride. Say yes to unity and common ground;
the Holy Spirit will faithfully and accurately sort out the rest. Let us
remember,
now more than ever, these exceptionally wise words of Jesus; "Every kingdom
divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house
divided
against itself shall not stand." (Matthew 12:25b)

Or, as a Greek poet once said, "United we stand, divided we fall."

January 2017
United We Stand
Rev. Daniel McNerney
danm@pff.net
Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 8:30 pm

PresbyCan Daily Devotional

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Today's Devotional

The Refuge

Psalm 91:1,4-5 – He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in
the shadow of the Almighty. He will cover you with his feathers, and under
his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and
rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by
day.
(NIV)

This past summer, my three goats, Marshall, Lilly, and Aggie, went on a
holiday of sorts. The community greenhouse project willingly accommodated
them,
as they had large areas of lush grass and other growth to be cleared, and
the goats would be the perfect solution for this project. And they were. But
amidst this opportunity, a problem evolved, which taught me something very
important.

As I went out regularly to check on the goats, I began to notice that they
were losing weight — not much, but definitely some — although they were
stuffing
themselves from morning until night.
What is going on? I wondered.

I knew that the people that I had left them with were taking wonderful care
of them, yet when I checked them again after they had been at the greenhouse
for about six weeks, I was alarmed at how much weight they had dropped, so
much so that I cut their holiday short and transported them home.

Upon arriving in our yard, the goats made a beeline for the barn and stayed
there for the next several days, coming out only to eat and then immediately
returning to their shelter. And then, suddenly, it dawned on me. At the
greenhouse, the goats had only a tent for shelter and not a solid structure
to
feel secure within. Although they were eating well and were diligently cared
for, they didn't feel safe. They were unable to take refuge in a place that
afforded them rest, comfort, and security amidst the terrors of the night
and the onslaught of bugs during the day.

This learning curve reminded me how I am much the same way, apart from my
faith in the Lord. Before I knew God, I was always anxious and afraid,
worried
and distressed about many things which wore me down and tired me out. But
once I came to know Him and learned to trust more and more in the truth of
His
Word and the power of His love, I found a refuge from my worries and stress.
It is not that I don't still sometimes struggle with my own "terrors of the
night", but when I do, I have trained myself to give them over to God and to
leave them there, knowing that I am safe and that He will provide or show
me the best way to go.

Today, if you are feeling anxious or worried, or struggling with your own
"terrors of the night", remember in Whom you dwell: the Lord God Almighty
and
the promises and truth of His Word, the living Christ. Give over your
struggles to Him, and you, too, shall find refuge and comfort under His
wings.

Prayer: Father God, thank You so much that You are our refuge and comfort,
our strength and home. Remind us, through the power of Your Spirit, each and
every day, to give over to You all of our fears, anxieties, concerns, and
worries, that we might dwell and find rest under Your wings. In Christ's
name,
we pray. Amen.

P.S. The goats regained their weight very quickly and will be able to
holiday at the greenhouse again this year, as a proper goat house is
underway.

Lynne Phipps
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada



He's the God who will never let go.
The God Who Will Never Let Go
by Rebecca Barlow Jordan

Someone cut the power, unplugged your hope,

short-circuited your expectations, and left you wandering in the dark.

And questions rise like ghosts in the night:

Is anyone there? Does anyone care?

How long will you stumble against concrete walls,

bleeding from sharp corners that lead nowhere?

No escape to the right, no turn to the left;

No shadows dispelling your fear.

Defying the dark, bruised and broken,

you reach through the rubble,

only to fall again…and again…and again.

You crawl to your knees. Won’t someone please

answer?

The silence is a tomb.

Then with head and heart bowed, pride stripped away,

A crack appears in the seams.

It’s still dark, but you see.

How can that be?

You hear a faint whisper, see a candle unlit,

Taunting, or taking control?

Then you know…you KNOW

He was there all along!

For to Him light and dark are the same.

He’s the One who threw stars into blankets of night,

Whose Son blinded the day!

No need to run now–not ever again.

He’s the God who will never let go.

God’s Faithfulness
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I
go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are
there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I
say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around
me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like
the day, for darkness is as light to you (
Psalm 139:7-12, NIV ).
My Personal Prayer for You

Lord, only You know the ones walking in darkness, whose hopes beg for
restoration. Speak peace and light and joy once again where memories need
jogging
to remember Who You really are, that You are still in control, and that You
will never let one of Your loved ones go. And to those who have never seen
the Light, who run hard from Your presence, Oh, God! Remove the blinders,
crack open the heart too crusted over with pain and darkness. Let them see
You,
know You, love You! Praise God, we can never escape Your right hand of
mercy, grace, and love. You are faithful–always!

Day-votedly Yours,
Rebecca
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 40 1, 2, 3 ... 20 ... 40  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum