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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 5:54 pm

A Christmas Devotional
After Christmas, brand new articles from Mel Lawrenz.

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they 
had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. -
Luke 2:20

At the birth of Jesus, amidst the dirt and straw of a stable, millennia of 
promises, prophecies, and hopes were fulfilled. In the birth of a child, 
that happens every single day all over the world, something happened that 
would change the world. Everything the faithful were anticipating took 
It was the alignment of all that was meant to be. But the birth of Jesus has 
that power and significance only if he really is who he said he was.

The shepherds heard, they saw, and it was all just as they had been told. In 
a perfect conjunction of heaven and earth, God came to earth, connecting the
two for his eternal purposes. Years later, Jesus would tell us in so many 
different ways, I have come into the world as a light (John 12:46); I 
come that they may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10); For 
this reason I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the 
truth, (John 18:37).

When we are sensing the dirtiness of life in this world, we can focus on the 
purity of Christ.

When we feel weak, we can lean on the power of Christ.

When we are ill, we can remember that he is the great physician.

When we are confused, we can turn to his words to get our bearings.

When we are damaged, we can remember that he said that he would not break a 
bruised reed nor snuff out a smoldering wick.

When we know we have sinned, we can know his forgiveness.

When we are wayward, we can remember he called himself the way.

When we have been lied to, we can remember he called himself the truth.

When we feel like our energy and our enthusiasm is waning, we can remember 
that he called himself the life.

And so, we can pray:
Thank you Lord Christ for humbling yourself and taking the form of man. 
Thank you for pushing back the darkness of this world and of my life. Thank 
for fully living before us so that we can see just how much life we can 
have. Let me live for the next 52 weeks in the light of your ongoing 
presence and
power in this world. And then let me celebrate Christmas again with joy.

About The Author - Mel Lawrenz serves as minister at large for Elmbrook 
Church and leads The Brook Network. Having been in pastoral ministry for 
thirty years, the last decade as senior pastor of Elmbrook, Mel seeks to help 
Christian leaders engage with each other. Mel is the author of eleven books, 
the most recent for church leaders, Whole Church: Leading from Fragmentation to 
Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 8:01 pm

The Fir Tree
By Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish writer in the nineteenth century who 
penned many stories like the one below. His most famous was "The Ugly 
While the reality of this particular story is questioned even by the author, 
the truth revealed by the tale cannot be questioned. See if you agree.

In a small cottage on the borders of a forest lived a poor laborer, who 
gained a scanty living by cutting wood. He had a wife and two children who 
him in his work. The boy’s name was Valentine, and the girl was called Mary. 
They were obedient, good children, and a great comfort to their parents.

One winter evening, this happy little family was sitting quietly round the 
hearth, the snow and the wind raging outside, while they ate their supper of
dry bread, when a gentle tap was heard on the window, and a childish voice 
cried from outside, "Oh, let me in, I pray! I am a poor child, with nothing
to eat, and no home to go to, and I shall die of cold and hunger unless you 
let me in." Valentine and Mary jumped up from the table and ran to open the
door, saying, "Come in, poor little child! We have not much to give you, but 
whatever we have we will share with you."

The stranger-child came in and warmed his frozen hands and feet at the fire, 
and the children gave him the best they had to eat, saying, "You must be 
too, poor child! Lie down on our bed; we can sleep on the bench for one 

Then said the little stranger-child, "Thank God for all your kindness to 
me." So they took their little guest into their sleeping-place, laid him on 
bed, covered him over, and said to each other, "How thankful we ought to be! 
We have warm rooms and a cozy bed, while this poor child has only heaven for
his roof and the cold earth for his sleeping-place. "

When the father and mother went to bed, Mary and Valentine lay quite 
contentedly on the bench near the fire, saying, before they fell asleep, 
"The stranger-child
will be happy tonight in his warm bed."

These kind children had not slept many hours before Mary awoke, and softly 
whispered to her brother, “Valentine, dear brother, wake, and listen to the
sweet music under the window.”

Then Valentine rubbed his eyes and listened. It was sweet music indeed, and 
sounded like beautiful voices singing to the tones of a harp:

Oh holy Child, we greet thee! Bringing
Sweet strains of harp to aid our singing.
Thou holy Child, in peace art sleeping,
While we our watch without are keeping.
Blest be the house wherein thou liest,
Happiest on earth, to heaven the nighest.

The children listened, while a solemn joy filled their hearts, then they 
stepped softly to the window to see who was singing.

In the east was a streak of rosy dawn, and in its light they saw a group of 
children standing in front of the house, clothed in sparkling garments and
holding golden harps. Amazed at the sight, the brother and sister were still 
gazing out the window when they heard a sound behind them. Turning they 
the stranger-child standing before them. "I am the little Christ child," he 
said. "I wander through the world bringing peace and happiness to children.
You took me in and cared for me when you thought I was a poor child, and now 
you shall have my blessing for what you have done."

A fir tree grew near the little house; and from this the Christ-child broke 
a twig and planted it in the ground. He looked directly at Valentine and 
and said, "This twig shall become a tree, and shall bring forth fruit year 
by year for you."

No sooner had he done this than he vanished, and with him the choir of 
angels. The fir-branch grew and became a Christmas tree, and on its branches 
golden apples and silver nuts every Christmas.

Such is the story told to German children concerning their beautiful 
Christmas trees, though we know that this is only a fable. The real 
Christ-child can
never be wandering cold and homeless in our world, because he is safe in 
heaven by his Father’s side; yet we may gather from this story the same 
which the Bible plainly tells us--that to anyone who helps another person, 
it will be counted to them as if he had done it to Christ himself. "In as 
as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto 

Family Moment

Kindness. When you think of that word, what picture comes to mind? Who or 
what do you think of? What have they done or said that has made you feel 
and that you mattered?

Every day, we have the chance to represent Jesus to anyone God brings our 
way. We can be kind in what we do, what we say, even in our body language 
eye contact) to others who may just want to see if their lives matter to 
other human souls.

Ask family members how they best express kindness.

Now, ask them how they can improve a little bit more in being kind to 

An Advent Prayer

Dear kind Lord, thank you that kindness is part of your character from which 
we can learn. You were kind to everyone who needed kindness. You reached out
to touch those who needed your touch; you said the right words to those who 
were hurting; you showed by every action in your life that people were more
important than anything else on earth. Help us to learn from the examples 
you set for us, but help us to learn this lesson best. We want to be kind to
others, for in doing so, we show we are being kind to you. In Jesus’s name, 

Today's Advent reading is from
25 Days of Christmas
by Greg Johnson. Greg Johnson is the author of more than 20 books. He is 
President of WordServe Literary Group, a Denver-based literary agency that 
servesmore than 100 authors (www.wordserveliterary.com)

Hark! The Herald Angels!

Are they [the angels] not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for 
those who will inherit salvation?
Hebrews 1:14

Recommended Reading
Hebrews 1:10-14
Angels appear six times in the biblical story of Christmas. First, Gabriel 
visited Zacharias in Luke 1. Then he paid a visit to Mary. An angel appeared
three times to Joseph. And the sixth (and perhaps most awesome) angelic 
appearance was over the shepherds' field when an innumerable multitude of 
assembled the greatest mass choir in history.

Listen to Today's Radio Message
But don't think angels are limited to the Christmas season. The Bible 
contains 234 passages about angels, and there are references to angels in 39 
of the Bible. The range of angelic activity spans the Scripture from Genesis 
3:23 to Revelation 22:16. Nor is angelic activity limited to Bible times.
The Bible teaches that angels are active today in the lives of God's 
children, transporting blessings to our lives, delivering us from judgment, 
us in danger, guiding us in unseen ways, and watching over the events of our 
world. So in addition to all the carols you'll sing about angels this 
don't forget another song -- the old African-American spiritual that says, 
"All night, all day, angels watching over me

David Jeremiah' s Website http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx
Turning Point's mission is to deliver the unchanging Word of God to an 
ever-changing world.
Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah
Copyright © 2013 Turning Point for God. All rights reserved.
Turning Point, P. O. Box 3838, San Diego, CA 92163

Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List

The Unfinished Story of Christmas 
¦when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels
When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all
them that believe 2 Thessalonians 1: 7, 10 

The Jesus who came the first time is coming again, and Christmas is not
complete without the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The incarnation without
the coronation would be like east without west. It would be like an
engagement without a marriage. The story is not complete until Jesus comes

You may have thought that this was a good Christmas for you but, friend, I
want to tell you the best is yet to come! The Heavenly Father has so much
more in store for us when Jesus comes again. 

You see, we get all wrapped up in the little baby, the baby that was born,
and we then go beyond the birth of the baby, saying, Yes, He came to die
for our sins†(thank God He did that), but I want to remind you that the
First Coming of Jesus and the Second Coming are linked together. 

The Christmas Story in Luke 1 and 2 speaks not only of the Jesus who
redeemed, but the Jesus who reigned. Not only Jesus who came the first time,
but Jesus who is coming the second time to sit upon the throne of His father
David, to rule over the house of Jacob forever and ever. 

Imagine for a moment what your life would be like without the Resurrection,
the Rapture, and the Second Coming of Jesus. The most glorious fact of the
past is that Jesus came the first time. The most glorious fact of the future
is that this Jesus is coming again. The one sure hope of this jittery old
world is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. 

Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers. 

© 2013 Love Worth Finding Ministries | PO Box 38300 - Memphis, TN 38183-0300

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 26 Dec 2013, 11:46 pm

The Innkeeper
Lori Ciccanti
Luke 2:7 “ And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in 
swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for 
in the inn. (KJV)

Although Scripture does not specifically mention him, the manager of the inn 
was responsible for turning Mary and Joseph away on the first Christmas 
Have you ever wondered what type of person he was? For years, I pictured him 
as a mean, cold-hearted, and worldly sort of individual. Then one day, while
reading through my Bible study lesson, I was challenged by the following 

"What do Christians have in common with the Bethlehem innkeeper?"

Now I had to re-evaluate my judgment of the innkeeper' s character. It is 
certainly feasible that he did not refuse Mary and Joseph, but sent them to 
barn; it was just a simple case of "no room". My previous impression that he 
was not even concerned about a young mother about to give birth may have 
quite wrong.

Yet in one way or another, I think that we can all relate to the innkeeper' s 
story. Many times, we also shut God out in the cold without ever realizing
it. We become so preoccupied with trivial matters; even as we celebrate the 
Lord's birth, He sometimes gets left out. Unfortunately for the innkeeper,
he never knew that it was God's Son whom he turned away.

Christmas or not, it is business as usual for most of the world. 
Nevertheless, as for the innkeeper, this special day may come to those who 
are not seeking
it. Hence, how can we, as believers, take this opportunity to share the glad 
tidings of our faith with others? Moreover, in what ways can we make more
room for Jesus in our personal lives?

Prayer: Father, we thank You for the precious gift of Your Son Jesus. May we 
always have room for Him in our hearts so that others will see His love 
in us. In Christ's holy name, we pray. Amen.

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Tue 24 Dec 2013, 1:30 pm

A New Thing – Magi

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.

Matthew 2:9-11 (NIV)
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they 
had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place 
where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On 
coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed 
down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him 
with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

In this part of the Christmas story, one new thing is a star that moved to 
show the magi where to find Jesus, the King they were looking for. Another 
new thing is the magi bringing expensive gifts to a child who was not of 
noble birth.

The magi brought their gifts but what can we give to Jesus? He wants us to 
give him our lives. He wants us to surrender our lives to Him as our gift to 
Him. The magi brought their gifts one time. We must have that one time we 
give our lives to Him but then we are to give ourselves to Him every day. He 
has told us how we can do that:

Matthew 25:34-36 (NIV)
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed 
by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the 
creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, 
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you 
invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you 
looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Many people think of helping people especially around Christmas time but 
these people are around us all the time. By helping them out during the rest 
of the year we are also giving to Jesus. So our gift to Him isn’t just once 
a year but day by day. May we live as David Grayson who is quoted here:

I sometimes think we expect two much of Christmas Day. We try to crowd into 
it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year. As for me, 
I like to take my Christmas a little at time, all through
the year. And thus I drift along into the holidays- let them overtake me 
unexpectedly- waking up some fine morning and suddenly saying to myself: 
"Why, this is Christmas Day!"

By Dean W. Masters

Owner of the Master's List.
We would love you to join us. Just send a blank message to:

masterslist- subscribe@yahoogroups.com

If you would like to receive only the messages that I write, please send a 
blank message to:
DeansSundayNews- subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Unedited redistribution approved

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 6:36 pm

What I Want for Christmas

“So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a
new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the
substance is of Christ.” - Colossians 2 :16-17 NKJV

I have always believed in the promise of Christmas. There has always been
something special to me about this time of the year, going back to my
earliest days of childhood.

What is it that we love about Christmas, once we get past the initial

I think it is the sense of wonder, beauty, and anticipation. It is the
music, the look of surprise on a child’s face, and the amazing food. It’s
the companionship of family and good friends. It is also the absence of
strife and meanness (that is, with the exception of the crowds on “Black

But how often does Christmas really deliver on its promises? A little bit
here and there, but by and large, it ends up being the endless drone of
mind-numbing ads on TV. It is the friction and pressure that comes when we
are obligated to purchase gifts for people we barely know. It is the
expectation put on us by others and sometimes even ourselves.

Then there is that big post-Christmas letdown—the letdown of expectations
that can never really be met. We were not able to give what we really wanted
to give, or what they really wanted to receive. Or you yourself did not get
what you had hoped for. Then there are those bills that come due . . .

So what is Christmas at its worst? It is a crass, commercial, empty,
exhausting, and very expensive ritual that drags on endlessly for months at
a time.

What is Christmas at its best? It is a glimpse of things to come–the beauty,
the worshipful music, the adoring angels, the love, the warmth, the promise,
the hope…all things promised to us in a life to yet come.

You see, Christmas is a promise. It is a promise that has not yet been fully

Christmas cannot be all that we want it to be. It’s only a holiday.
Christmas cannot bring harmony to your home. Christmas cannot bring peace on
earth. Christmas cannot bring happiness.

But Christ Himself can do all of this and more. That is really what we are
longing for deep inside.

list of 4 items
• Not Christmas, but Christ.
• Not merriment, but the Messiah.
• Not goodwill, but God.
• Not presents, but His presence.
Anything or anyone short of this will disappoint. But God never will.

That’s what I want for Christmas–Jesus Christ.
Copyright © 2011 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas
Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

December 16, 2013
The Giving Gift
Amy Carroll

"They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to
share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the
future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life."
1 Timothy 6:18-19

It was time to decorate for Christmas. As I set up my new artificial tree, I
pondered what to do with the old one. It still had lots of life in it and
rather than donating it to an organization, our family wanted to add a
personal touch and show love to a specific family.

We wanted to put into action what we're told to do in
1 Timothy 6:18-19,
"They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to
share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the
future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life." (ESV)

When I went to my volunteer job at the domestic violence shelter the next
week, I asked the manager for a suggestion. "I' d like to donate our
Christmas tree to a mom who has just completed the shelter' s program and moved into
her own home," I explained. The manager gave me a woman's name, and my
husband Barry and I made plans with her for delivery.

On the night we were to meet Robin* and her children, Tasha* and Nathan*,
Barry and I loaded the car with anticipation. We drove to her neighborhood
and hauled the tree and bags of lights onto the porch. Before we could fully
knock on the door, it was flung open to reveal the twinkling eyes of excited
"I didn't expect a big tree!" Robin exclaimed. "I just thought it would be a
little one to set on the table!"

Tasha and Nathan literally danced around the room as Barry set their tree up
and showed them how to put lights on it for the first time. While they
decorated, Robin told me about her hopes and dreams for a safe future for her and the

As we drove away, my husband and I reflected on this truth; it truly is more
blessed to give than to receive. It's a glimpse of God's image in each of
us. We are created by a Father who delights in giving to His children.

That night, we didn't just give a Christmas tree and some lights. We shared
an evening of friendship, laughter, and joy. And gave the gift of time. We
brought the love that only Jesus can give us for those we don't know.

The Christmas season is a time we focus on giving gifts and doing good to
others, but I want to emulate God's giving and goodness all year long. That
starts by focusing on the way He gives. It's an overflow of His character and an
example of how He calls us to share what we have with others.

God gives lovingly. (Exodus 34:6)
God gives freely. (James 1:17)
God gives abundantly. (Psalm 132:15)
God gives wisely. (Romans 16:27)

As you're running errands, look to see who you can bless with a kind word or
a cup of coffee. As you're putting up your decorations, think about whose
home you could bring some festivity to. And as you pause during your day,
remember who you can give the gift of prayer and encouragement to. Let's all
develop our giving gift by giving more like our Father and by being a
blessing to others!

Lord God, You are my example for how to give good gifts. Please give me Your
heart to be generous and a blessing to others. Help me be mindful of the
and to give carefully to ensure my gift is a blessing. In Jesus' precious
Name, Amen.
elated Resources:
Amy Carroll's blog
for some practical tips and creative ideas for giving good gifts to those
who need it this holiday season.

The gift of God's Word and devotions by women living in the trenches
alongside you is always the perfect gift. Order a copy of the NIV Real-Life
Bible for Women for a friend or family member by
clicking here. http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/

Reflect and Respond:
What do you have that you could share this Christmas season?

What steps do you need to take before you give to make sure the gift is a

Power Verses:
Matthew 7:11,
"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your
children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those
ask him!" (NIV)

2 Corinthians 8:7,
"But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in
complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you
excel in this grace of giving." (NIV)

*The names are fictitious in order to protect the safety of our friend and
her children.

© 2013 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 2810


He is - Father to the orphans
He is - Comfort in the storms
He is - Hope to the Hopeless
He is - Shelter to the worn!

He is - Help for the helpless
He is - Seeking for the lost
He is - Healing to the hurting
He is - Our Saviour at great cost!

He is - Bearer of our burdens
He is - Strength for the weary
He is - Gentle with the anguished
He is - Close to the teary!

He is - Kind to the friendless
He is - Shepherd of the sheep
He is - Gentle with the frail
He is - Keeper of the meek!

He is - The Word of God
He is - Home for the homeless
He is - Peace in the Storm
He is - Our hope in distress!

He is - Deliverer of the captives
He is - with us from the start
He is - Soon Coming King
He is -The Song in our hearts!

He is - My Intercessor
He is - Everlasting Father
He is - Drawing us closer
He is - The Living Water!

He is - Rescuer of the Dying
He is - Captain of the Host
He is - The Resurrection and the Life
He is - To those who love Him most!

He is - My refuge and Strong Tower
He is - The Bright and Morning Star
He is - The Lily of My Valley
He is - With me from afar!

Mary Ann Trott
September 30th, 2012

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Fri 20 Dec 2013, 11:22 pm

Ron Hutchcraft Ministries - A Word With You

A Word With You Daily Devotional
Bare Feet, Boots and a Man In Blue - #7026

Like most Americans, I just about O.D. on the news. No matter what it's
about! It could be news about elections, some economic cliff, or eruptions
in the
Middle East. It's all important, but it's not exactly in the "joy to the
world" category.

So I absolutely loved the feel-good story out of New York City that went
viral across Facebook last Christmas. It was about the friendly policeman
the freezing homeless man. And it had "Christmas Story" written all over it.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Bare
Feet, Boots and a Man In Blue."

In case you missed it, a young police officer, on patrol in Times Square,
came upon a homeless man, sitting barefoot on the sidewalk. It was a "two
of socks" night for the officer and even then his feet were freezing. He
couldn't imagine a man sitting there barefoot all night. So the man in blue
inside a nearby store and bought the homeless man a $100 pair of boots with
his own money. When he gave those boots to that barefoot man, well, you can
imagine the joy.

It would have been one of life's invisible acts of kindness except for a
tourist with a cell phone camera. She was so moved with what she was
she snapped a picture, which has now been seen by millions of people. Maybe
because it was the Christmas season, that poignant scene triggered a
to something my personal Hero did over and over again. It's one of the many
things that makes me love Him. That would be Jesus.

The incident I remember took place when Jesus was entering a town,
surrounded by crowds anxious to see Him. The Bible says there was a blind
beggar who
had heard that "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." Much to the aggravation of
the people around Jesus, he started shouting loudly, "Jesus, have mercy on

A lot of annoyed people there told him in no uncertain terms to shut up. Or
"shutteth up" (sounds more Biblical). So he just shouted louder. The blind
man was a nuisance. He was an embarrassment; they had a "celebrity&quo t; in town.
Then two little words that tell me so much about Jesus, and they're our word
for today from the Word of God. Two words: Luke 18:40; "Jesus stopped" .
Nobody else stopped, but Jesus did. Not for the mayor. Not for the
Not for the ministers, but for the miserable. The guy everyone else walked
by or walked over. That's who Jesus stops everything for. And the first
that blind man ever saw was the face of Jesus. Because Jesus did what only
He could do; He gave that man his sight.

The Bible's filled with stories of people nobody would stop for except
Jesus. Marginalized people like blind Bartimaeus. Obnoxious people like
Condemned people like the woman caught in the very act of adultery. Even the
hardened criminal on the cross next to His, in His agony Jesus answered the
thief's cry for mercy and guaranteed him heaven.

For 2,000 years, Jesus has been stopping for the lonely, the losers, the
lost. And letting them know that someone knows their name. Someone hears
cry. Someone really loves them. And it's God's one and only Son. He sees me;
He sees a world lost in sin, away from God, headed for an awful eternity.
And He does what no one else could do. What no religion could ever do. He
pays for my sins with His blood. In the words of the Bible, "He was wounded
bruised for our sins. He was beaten so that we might have peace; He was
lashed and we were healed!" (Isaiah 53:5).

You know, Jesus stopped for me when my soul was destitute, when my soul was
doomed. Like the hymn says, "Once I was lost, but now I am found. I was
but now I see." Look, He might be passing your way today. He knows your
name. He knows your scars. He knows your sin, and He died for it. He's
your direction. Why don't you grab His hand today to begin your personal
relationship with the man who loved you enough to die for you.

Listen, if you want to know how; if I could possibly help you, would you
check out our website ANewStory.com and join me there? Let Jesus do for you
only He can do.
Creative Commons License
© Ronald P. Hutchcraft • Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.
"A Word With You" by Ronald P. Hutchcraft is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 United
States License.
Based on a work at
www.Hutchcraft. com/A-Word- With-You.

Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc. · P.O. Box 400 · Harrison, Arkansas 72602 ·

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 19 Dec 2013, 10:10 pm

My Most Memorable Christmas
By Catherine Marshall. Marshall (1914 - 1983) was a noted Christian writer
perhaps best known for her novel Christy.

We spent Christmas 1960 at Evergreen Farm in Lincoln, Virginia--the home of
my parents. With us were my sister and her husband--Emmy and Harlow
their two girls, Lynn and Winifred. It meant a typical family occasion with
our three children, Linda, Chester, and Jeffrey, along with Peter John who
was then a senior at Yale. Five children can make an old farmhouse ring with
the yuletide spirit.

For our Christmas Eve service, Lynn and Linda had prepared an improvised
altar before the living room fireplace. Jeffrey and Winifred (the youngest
lighted all the candles. Then with all of his family gathered around him, my
father read Luke’s incomparable account of the first Christmas. There was
carol singing, with Chester and Winifred singing a duet, "Hark, the Herald
Angels Sing," in their high, piping voices. Then my mother, the storyteller
of the family, gave us an old favorite, "Why the Chimes Rang." She made us
see the ragged little boy creeping up that long cathedral aisle and slipping
his gift onto the altar.

Then she said, "You know, I’d like to make a suggestion to the family. The
floor underneath the tree in the den is piled high with gifts we’re giving
one another. But we’re celebrating Christ’s birthday, not each other’s. This
is His time of year. What are we going to give to Jesus?"

The room began to hum with voices, comparing notes. But Mother went on, "Let’s
think about it for a few moments. Then we’ll go around the circle and each
of us will tell what gift he will lay on the altar for Christ’s birthday."

Chester, age seven, crept close to his father for a whispered consultation.
Then he said shyly, "What I’d like to give Jesus this year is not to lose my
temper anymore."

Jeffrey, age four, who had been slow in night training, was delightfully
specific. "I’ll give Him my diapers."

Winifred said softly that she was going to give Jesus good grades in school.
Lynn’s was, "To be a better father, which means a gift of more patience."

And so it went... on around the group. Peter John’s was short but
significant. “What I want to give to Christ is a more dedicated life.” I was
to remember
that statement five years later at the moment of his ordination into the
Presbyterian ministry when he stood so straight and so tall and answered so
"I do so believe.... I do so promise...." Yet at Christmas time, 1960, the
ministry was probably the last thing he expected to get into.

Then it was my father’s turn. "I certainly don’t want to inject too solemn a
note into this,” he said, “but somehow I know that this is the last
I’ll be sitting in this room with my family gathered around me like this."

We gasped and protested, but he would not be stopped. "No, I so much want to
say this. I’ve had a most wonderful life. Long, long ago I gave my life to
Christ. Though I’ve tried to serve Him, I’ve failed Him often. But He has
blessed me with great riches--especially my family. I want to say this while
you’re all here. I may not have another chance. Even after I go on into the
next life, I’ll still be with you. And, of course, I’ll be waiting for each
one of you there."

There was love in his brown eyes--and tears in ours. No one said anything
for a moment. Time seemed to stand still in the quiet room. Firelight and
played on the children’s faces as they looked at their grandfather, trying
to grasp what he was saying. The fragrance of balsam and cedar was in the
The old windowpanes reflected back the red glow of Christmas lights.

Father did leave this world four months later--on May first. His passing was
like a benediction. It happened one afternoon as he sat quietly in a chair
in the little village post office talking to some of his friends. His heart
just stopped beating. That Christmas Eve he had known with a strange
that the time was close.

Every time I think of Father now, I can see that scene in the living
room--like a jewel of a moment set in the ordinary moments that make up our
For that brief time real values came clearly into focus: Father’s gratitude
for life; Mother’s strong faith; my husband’s quiet strength; my son’s inner
yearning momentarily shining through blurred youthful ambitions; the eager
faces of children groping toward understanding and truth; the reality of the
love of God as our thoughts focused on Him whose birth we were

It was my most memorable Christmas.

Family Moment

Think of all the memories we’ve had as a family during Christmas through the
years. What memories do you count as the best? Why?

How could this family make our memories even sweeter than they already are?

An Advent Prayer

Father God, show us how precious each family member is this season. Teach us
to number our days so that we might honor you and love others. Give us anew
appreciation of how unique and beloved each of us is to the others. Amid the
things that bother us the most, let us not lose sight that you have made
family what it is. Help us rest in your wonderful plan that we should go
through life together for all of the days we have breath. We’re grateful,
our hearts are filled with love for you and each other. Amen.

Today's Advent reading is from
25 Days of Christmas
by Greg Johnson. Greg Johnson is the author of more than 20 books. He is
President of WordServe Literary Group, a Denver-based literary agency that
more than 100 authors (www.wordserveliterary.com).

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Wed 18 Dec 2013, 5:34 pm


And Joseph went up from Galilee, from Nazareth, to the city of David, in
order to register, along with Mary, who was with child. And it came about
that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.â€
Luke 2:4-6

Caesar Augustus gave a decree that a census was to be taken. The law touched
the most common of people in the most obscure places. It reached Joseph and
Mary at a most inopportune time, tucked away in Galilee. Mary was nine
months pregnant. Nonetheless, a journey to Bethlehem became necessary so
that they might comply with the law and register for the census. Did they
strain against such news? I would think so. Was God in it? Absolutely.

Prophetic words from ages past foretold that a Savior would arise out of
Bethlehem. God used Caesar’s mouth, a census, and a difficult journey for a
pregnant woman to fulfill prophetic words.

God is in the ordinary events of my day, too. When I am hit with
unemployment, sickness, an unexpected move out-of-state, I can despair
thinking that God has turned His back momentarily and that I am just being
tossed by the wind. Little do I know that these events are like the ‘census’,
steering me on to the next thing God has for me. The seemingly catastrophic
event is a rudder “ getting me to Bethlehem. I can't see it at the time but
I need to remember that my trust in God need not be shaken.
Not then, not ever.

Oftentimes, I have cried out, I can't believe this happened to me!Yet,
where I am, and who I am today, have depended on those unexpected events. I
have absolute confidence in You, God. In Jesus name, Amen

For more from Christine Wyrtzen and Jaime Wyrtzen Lauze, please visit

Welcome to the Illustrator
Today's Bible Verse:
"For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon
his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting
Father, Prince of Peace." ( Isaiah 9:6)

By Answers2Prayer

Christmas Through A Zimbabwean Child's Eyes

Children in Zimbabwe are no different from their counterparts around the
world when it comes to Christmas. They are full of anticipation and hope.

As children from the city, we spent most of our Christmas holidays in our
ancestral village, having travelled a long distance to be with extended
and to partake of all the good food prepared for us. Christmas was also a
time to wear new clothes to church.

I remember as a child meeting a young village boy on Christmas morning while
I walked home from church with my aunt and sister. He lived with his mother,
grandmother, and two younger siblings and attended the village school. He
was barefoot but running really fast, and as he approached us, he slowed
and we exchanged Christmas greetings. He stopped, and with a great deal of
excitement, he shared his Christmas story with us. They had run out of salt
on Christmas Day! So he had been sent to borrow some salt from a neighbour
for his grandmother. It is common in Zimbabwe for families to send their
to a neighbour for a cup of sugar, corn meal, or salt.

We girls from the city marvelled at the simple joys of Christmas that
brought forth such excitement in him. His daily chores on Christmas Eve were
no different
from any other day. He let out the cows from the cattle pen, fetched
drinking water from the communal well and gathered firewood before joining
other children
for a bath in the river. Come evening, they went around the village sharing
the joy of Christmas through song. On Christmas Day, he helped his mother
grandmother prepare an elaborate Christmas dinner. He always wished for
relatives from the city who would bring all sorts of goodies for him and his
to enjoy.

On the other hand, Christmas in the village for my sister and me was a mere
adventure that was quickly forgotten once we were back in the hustle and
of the big city. This young village boy, who had very little, looked
content, happy, and bubbling with energy and joy. He was to us the real face
and spirit
of Christmas.

One congregation that I know of has started an initiative that aims to
replace consumption with compassion by urging its members to consider
donating one
quarter of their Christmas budget towards the building of a village well.

Jesus reminded us of our responsibilities towards each other when He said:

"You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its
saltness be restored?" (Matthew 5:13a NRSV)

Prayer: Gracious Lord, create in us a new heart for You to dwell in. Bless
all the children around the world now and at Christmastime. May Christ's
a gift of life to mankind, remind us of Your unconditional love and grace.
In Jesus' name, we pray, Amen.

Margaret Zondo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Mon 16 Dec 2013, 9:21 pm

A New Thing – The Shepherds

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.

Luke 2:10-17 (NIV)
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of
great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a
Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign
to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel,
praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace
to men on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone
into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and
see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So
they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in
the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what
had been told them about this child,

It was not a new thing for an angel to appear with a message but one thing
was new in the message that the single angel brought to the shepherds. The
message an angel had brought in the past had been for one person or one
group of people. This message was the Good News for all the people. Another
new thing in this account is the baby being found in a manger.

What did the shepherds do when they heard what the angel said? They trusted
the message and did what the angel told them to do. They looked in the
mangers of Bethlehem until they found a baby. After that, they went out
praising God and telling everyone what they had seen and Who they had seen.
They did not know any theology but just what had been told to them and what
they had seen. That is what they told others

This message is a message for all peoples. Like the shepherds, we need to
tell all peoples the Good News of Jesus Christ. WE need to tell them just
what we know. WE don’t have to know all the whys and wherefores, we just
need to tell them what we have been told and what we have experienced.

I saw the results of a survey on a Christian web site of atheists about what
might reach them. The one thing they thought might turn them to Jesus Christ
was testimonies of Jesus and how He has worked in someone’s life.

Jesus commands us to go teach disciples. This may be a new thing god wants
you to do.

May we obey what the psalmist has told us to do:

Psalm 9:11 (NIV)
11 Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations
what he has done.

By Dean W. Masters

Owner of the Master's List.
Unedited redistribution approved

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sun 15 Dec 2013, 9:42 pm

by David Wilkerson
[May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011]

The disciples had no idea what was in their hearts but Jesus did, and He
brought them to a place of testing that exposed it all. He told the twelve to
get into a boat and cross the sea, knowing full well that a storm would soon
envelop them.

Now, these men thought they were trusting followers of the Master. After all,
they had seen thousands fed with just a handful of fish and a few loaves of
bread. So, as they stepped into the boat, they probably thought they would
never doubt Jesus again.

It is one thing to see miracle-working power in your pastor’s life, and quite
another to experience it for yourself. Now, as the winds began blowing and the
waves rose higher, the disciples’ test came. Soon the boat filled with water,
and the men started bailing as fast as they could. In just minutes, however,
they knew their ship was going to sink.

Listen to what emerged from these men’s hearts in their time of testing:
“Lord, don’t You care that we’re all about to die? We’re going down!
Help us, Jesus. Are You God or not? Don’t You care about us?"

Jesus’ very own disciples were tempting Him! Indeed, they spoke almost the
very same words to Jesus that the Israelites had spoken to Moses: “They
tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?” (Exodus 17:7).

Yet, all along Jesus knew what He was doing. He could have commanded the winds
and waves to cease long before they did. Such power was always present in Him.
But, instead, He allowed His disciples to be tested in a literal, life-or-death

“His disciples went down unto the sea, and entered into a ship, and went over
the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.
And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. . . . They see Jesus
walking on the sea . . . and they were afraid. But he saith unto them, It is I;
be not afraid. Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately
the ship was at the land whither they went” (John 6:16-21).

Isaiah 2:11 Human pride will be brought down,
and human arrogance will be humbled.
Only the LORD will be exalted
on that day of judgment.

Welcome to the Illustrator
Today's Bible Verse:

"While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave
birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in
a manger, because there was no guest room available for them." (Luke 2:6-7)
By Answers2Prayer
No Room 4 You. Christmas for the Broken-Hearted, Part 1

In our day and age, especially in the Western world, pregnant women don't
need a reservation to deliver their baby. They are welcomed to a special
of a hospital, and are well cared for. Imagine being in Mary's shoes. No one
had room for her and the delivery day was imminent! Jesus truly was not
on our planet. At His birth, or even throughout His entire life (See John
1:11). Instead of a sanitary room, delivery had to take place in a manger,
animals being the only witnesses.

But then, in life there are many places that make us feel unwelcome. Some
places only welcome us if we have the necessary funds, like amusement parks
kids. Have you ever noticed how small the layout of the admittance gate is?
Narrow is the road to admittance! Notice also the fence with barbwire on the
top that surrounds the entire park, just like a prison. And we are supposed
to have fun in such circumstances!

Scrutiny is tough as well: no ticket, no entry, no matter how desperate you
are. If you have a ticket, you still have to go through security. First a
detector, followed by a manual security check. Are we truly welcome in
amusement parks?

On the other hand, Jesus did not come to earth to have fun, but to save, so
that we could experience eternity in true peace and happiness. No fence and
barbwires required! Still to be born in a manger was his only reception in

How different Bethlehem is today. It now has about six large, comfortable
hotels, which are a low-priced alternative to lodging in Jerusalem. There is
now room in Bethlehem!

But even though the rooms are much less expensive than in Jerusalem, there
is a hidden cost: Bethlehem is completely enclosed by the ill-famed security
fence, a bit like the Western amusement parks. No taxi will drive you there.
You have to disembark and walk through on foot in hot, sweltering weather.
Luckily the checkpoint is operated by bored young soldiers who seem more
interested in their phones than anything else. No one has any trouble
through, especially tourists.

Once through, you find yourself surrounded by men offering their services as
tour guides and taxi drives all at the same time. That's where we become
confused. It's true that a ride is the best way to get to know Bethlehem,
but if you don't know where you are going, you may end upon a very long,

Like anywhere in the Middle East, prices have to be negotiated before taking
services. If you have no experience with that, you are in big trouble!

One of the thrills of taking a ride is that the driver will tell interesting
stories of his own. That's where you start to appreciate the culture.
a visit to the Church of Nativity is a must, an impressive edifice
containing a peculiarly small door (Maybe in reference to Matthew 7:14),
where a gold
star is embedded on the floor to indicate the exact spot where Jesus was
born. It seems the stable has changed into an immense church! Unless this is
the right spot . . .

Outside the church you find yourself in Manger Square where you will find
restaurants, cafes, guesthouses, an information centre, and let us not
a mosque. Beyond Manger Square is the Old City, typified by cobblestone
streets (My favorite!), lined with numerous souvenir shops, and eventually
end up in the bustling Arab market.

Interestingly enough, many Palestinians are concerned about having a
negative reputation abroad. But truly they have nothing to worry about. Most
are eager to give a warm welcome to anyone they encounter. Quite often
tourists are invited for tea or coffee (Sorry no Sprite!) By shopkeepers,
you can truly get to know the friendliness of these people who love to chat,
or if you so desire, to entertain deep discussions. True it's good for
but more often than not, tourists find themselves invited at the homes of
these shopkeepers and are introduced to other friends as well.

Strange that in a place where there was no room for Jesus, hospitality is
the norm today. Anyone would feel right at home there. Maybe they have
something from the One who was born in a manger . . .

Rob Chaffart
Who will you invite for Christmas?
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 12 Dec 2013, 9:14 pm

What Day Was He Born?
The Day Jesus Was Born

Someone has said, "This coming December 25th most parents will be lying to
their children about old St. Nick. Some of us will be celebrating the birth
of our Savior. But was he really born on this day? Was Jesus really born on
December 25th? Virtually every month on the calendar has been proposed by
biblical scholars. So why do we celebrate his birth in December?

The tradition for December 25th is actually quite ancient. Hippolytus, in
the second century A.D., argued that this was Christ's birthday. Meanwhile,
in the Eastern Church, January 6th was the date followed. But in the fourth
century, John Chrysostom argued that December 25th was the correct date and
from that day till now, the Church in the East, as well as the West, has
observed the 25th of December as the official date of Christ's birth.

In modern times, the traditional date has been challenged. Modern scholars
point out that when Jesus was born, shepherds were watching their sheep in
the hills around Bethlehem. Luke tells us that an angel appeared to "some
shepherds staying out in the fields [who were] keeping watch over their
flock by night" (2:8).

Some scholars feel that the sheep were usually brought under cover from
November to March; as well, they were not normally in the field at night.
But there is no hard evidence for this. In fact, early Jewish sources
suggest that the sheep around Bethlehem were outside year-round. So you can
see, December 25th fits both tradition and the biblical narrative well.
There is no sound objection to it.

Now admittedly, the sheep around Bethlehem were the exception, not the rule.
But these were no ordinary sheep. They were sacrificial lambs. In the early
spring they would be slaughtered at the Passover.

And God first revealed the Messiah' s birth to these shepherds--shepherd s who
protected harmless lambs which would soon die on behalf of sinful men. When
they saw the baby, could they have known?

Continue reading

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 12 Dec 2013, 9:12 pm

'In the Accessible Church'

By Tait Berge
Special to ASSIST News Service

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (ANS) -- When someone using a wheelchair shows up at
church, how do you respond? Do you know what to do, how to act, what to say?
Do you feel awkward? My pastor at International Anglican Church in Colorado
Springs, felt awkward. Now he says his congregation wouldn't be complete
my being part of our body.

Tait Berge with his service dog

I was born with cerebral palsy. However, in many respects, my life story
really began when I was 23. I had been living in an apartment two years and
community college for a journalism degree. Whatever obstacles my disability
presented I overcame with hard work and determination.

But 1996 was different. I started to ask questions such as "Why am I here?"
"What&# 39;s the purpose of my life?" and "Why did God give me this disability?"

Through Bible study and prayer, I discovered my disability wasn't a mistake.
My first major encounter happened after reading Exodus 4:11: "The Lord said
to him, 'who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute?
Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord?'"

I cried when I read those words. When realizing God knew me before I was
born (Psalm 139) and had a plan for my life (Jer. 29:11), I began letting go
my tough guy, get-through- anything attitude and gave my life to Him. That
was when I knew beyond any doubt He had ordained my disability.

I use a wheelchair, my speech is difficult to understand, and yet Jesus says
I'm supposed to give glory to God. This blows my mind. I often struggle
a physical disability, and have depressive episodes and anxieties. Yet God
uses my disability for His glory?

I don't understand it, yet my friends at church tell me it's true. When
hearing me sing, they say they sense the Lord's presence. When seeing me in
for communion, my priest says God is with me and thinks the church wouldn't
be the same without me. The church is more complete when people with
become part.

Book cover

This is the back-story of my latest book, "In the Accessible Church." At the
urging of my wife, I wrote it to show how my church not only accepts my
but also encourage me to live my faith.

I write about my earliest memories of attending church with my family and
finding a new church home after several years attending a larger church. I
my years at the larger church, but wanted something fresh. It had been the
hardest and best decision of my life.

What I have is a community who loves Jesus, worships authenticity, and
serves faithfully. The people at International Anglican Church from the
start accepted
me with open arms as their own. I'm able to be the man God made me to be.
There's nothing I can't do there. I'm a reader. I teach Sunday school. My
is not the issue-the Lord Jesus is.

My readers say they love the last two chapters where I write about the nuts
and bolts of having someone affected with disability attend a church. It's
always a partnership. The disability should always be secondary. That
person-in a wheelchair, blind, or has a developmental disability-is a child
of God.
He or she needs the love of Jesus Christ and is affected by the same disease
you have, which is sin.

Because of their need for a savior, people affected by disability need
access to churches. That doesn't mean buildings or programs or a perfect
I'm perfectly happy parking my chair by the pew or reading from the pulpit.
I also don't advocate for big disability programs. A successful disability
ministry is where people affected by disability serve.

This book is for church leaders who believe the Lord loves people with
disabilities, but might not be aware people with disabilities have so much
to offer.
I am sharing my experience to encourage and teach churches how to
incorporate people with disabilities into the workings of church. It is
important for
people with disabilities to serve and not just be served. This book will
help leaders see how the body of Christ is more complete when including
The body of believers at my church has not only taken me in as one of their
own, but also encouraged me to become a better disciple. They don't see my
disability. They see a fellow Christian. My friends don't help me out of
duty. They do it out of love.

My book is available in print though Amazon and Lulu or as an eBook on the
Barnes and Noble's Nook and iBook formats. The read is quick. The message is
simple. Yet, hopefully this message will inspire you and your church family
to help fulfill the Great Commission to an extremely overlooked people
the disabled
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
Tait Berge is the Church Relations Director for Mephibosheth Ministry (
www.mephiboshethmin istry.org) ,
an organization that encourages churches to include people with special
needs in their congregation. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in
Leadership and
Ethics from Nazarene Bible College. Born with cerebral palsy, Tait believes
the Lord ordained his disability. He knows the Lord is using it to glorify
Him and prays He will continue to use Tait in mighty ways. Tait lives in
Colorado Springs and attends International Anglican Church (
www.iac-cs.org) .
He has written three books. Please visit
www.taitberge. com
for more information about Tait and his ministry. He can be contacted by
e-mail at
taitBerge510@ comcast.net
See all ASSIST News articles at www.assistnews.net
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
This story is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily
reflect the views of the ASSIST News Service or ASSIST Ministries.
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
** You may republish this story with proper attribution.
Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Wed 11 Dec 2013, 8:52 pm

Love Worth Finding Ministries
If You Keep Your Eyes on Jesus…

“And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart
shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.”
John 16:22

When I was a boy and living on the Florida coastline, my brother and I were
a little disappointed when a hurricane passed us by because of the
we experienced leaning into the wind and tasting the salty air! I can
remember waves sometimes reaching fifty feet in the air. What a sight! But
did you
know there has never been a storm to move the ocean floor?

There will be storms that will course across the surface of our lives with
raging torment, but the child of God can know a deep-down joy that nothing
take away. If you keep your eyes on Jesus, He will bring a joy that no man
can take from you.

Oh, thank God for the steadfastness of His power, love, and mercy. Is your
joy full in Christ today despite the winds of adversity
Today's Message
Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.

© 2013 Love Worth Finding Ministries | PO Box 38300 - Memphis, TN 38183-0300
The email address this message was sent from does not accept replies. If
you would like to send a comment, challenge, prayer or praise, please visit

May God continue to strengthen and encourage you by the Love Worth Finding
Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List

Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand in
the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our
Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and
authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25
Revealed to Shepherds, Hidden from Herod

“And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven,
the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and
see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us
” Luke 2:15


What is the great need in the world today? Is it information? We’re
drowning in a sea of information. If information is what we need, God would
have sent an educator. Is it technology? If technology had been the need,
God would have sent a scientist. Is it money? Do you think your problems
would be solved if you had more money? If money were the need, God would
have sent an economist. Is the need more leisure? Maybe God should have sent
an entertainer.

No. Our great need is salvation. And so God sent a Savior.

I’m amazed (and blessed) that He sent the message to humble shepherds. Old
Herod, the King, never did quite get it. He never did understand. But humble
shepherds understood the message. Why? Because “God has hidden these things
from the wise and the prudent and has revealed them unto babes.” (Luke


Do you want to understand who Jesus Christ is today? Then lay your
intellectual pride in the dust, come to Him and say, “Lord, reveal this
truth to me.” Sing it and follow it: “O come let us adore Him, Christ the

Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.

© 2013 Love Worth Finding Ministries | PO Box 38300 - Memphis, TN 38183-0300

The Wonder in His Name

“…and his name shall be called Wonderful…” Isaiah 9:6


What is in the name of the Lord Jesus? There is wonder in His name. Do you
stand in awe of the Lord Jesus Christ? Or have you become oblivious? Do
you not get excited when you think of Jesus? If you don’t, you’ve lost the
wonder. You have calluses on your soul.

Oh friend, Jesus is wonderful. Wonderful in His birth. Wonderful in His
life. Wonderful in His teaching. Wonderful in His miracles. Wonderful in
His death. Wonderful in His resurrection. And yes, wonderful in His
second coming. His name is wonderful.

I heard of a man riding on a train one time, looking out the window. He was
saying, “Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful”. And the
man sitting next to him asked, “Why do you think everything is wonderful?”
He said, “I’ve been blind and I’ve just had surgery and I’m seeing things
that I had long since forgotten how beautiful they are. And they are
wonderful to me.”


Friend, if Jesus is not wonderful to you, open your spiritual eyes. See just
how wonderful Jesus is. There is wonder in His name.
Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.

© 2013 Love Worth Finding Ministries | PO Box 38300 - Memphis, TN 38183-0300

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sat 07 Dec 2013, 12:27 am

The Humility of Being Human
by Katherine Britton

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in 
very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 
but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in 
human likeness." -
Philippians 2:5-7

I'm a Christmas carol snob, I guess, as I scorn most songs written in the 
past 30 years. I do have notable exceptions, however, when the lyrics go 
beyond the kitsch of "All I Want for Christmas Is You" and other such 
piffle. We have more than enough American Christmas songs, but there's 
always room for a thoughtful reflection in the canon of carols. So yes, I 
make an exception for the CCM favorite "Welcome to Our World." Here are some 
of the lyrics:

Hope that you don't mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long awaited Holy Stranger
Make yourself at home
Please make yourself at home

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect Son of God
Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world

So many Christmas songs focus on the joy of the season, and rightfully so. 
It's a joyous time, both culturally and spiritually. But occasionally I need 
to view the holiday from a different perspective - that is, from the 
viewpoint of heaven. From God the Son's perspective, becoming human was - to 
put it mildly - a huge demotion. Christmas began with an act of submission 
and humility on the part of the Son. The Creator consented to become one of 
the creation, with all of our blood, sweat, and tears.
From the heavenly perspective, the Incarnation arrived with sorrow, as part 
of the Godhead separated himself physically from the Father. Christmas 
signals an arrival into our world, but a departure, however brief, from a 
greater world.

Jesus's demonstrated humility is just one of the reasons the Incarnation 
should inspire such awe in us. Yes, the Incarnation dignified a downtrodden 
humanity. But the Incarnation also required sacrifice we can't begin to 
describe. All this before the ultimate shame of the cross.

The Puritan Thomas Watson meditated on Christ's humility with these words:

"He came not in the majesty of a king, attended with [a bodyguard], but he 
came poor; not like the heir of heaven, but like one of an inferior descent. 
The place he was born in was poor; not the royal city Jerusalem, but 
Bethlehem, a poor obscure place. He was born in an inn, and a manger was his 
cradle, the cobwebs his curtains, the beasts his companions; he descended of 
poor parents.... He was poor, that he might make us rich.... He lay in the 
manger that we might lie in paradise. He came down
from heaven, that he might bring us to heaven."

Intersecting Faith & Life: As you consider the joy of this holiday season - 
whether you're anticipating the unwrapped smiles, lighting the Advent 
wreath, singing carols, making cookies, or whatever - take time to consider 
the counterpoint. Our joy is Christ's first sacrifice.

Tactics for the Thirsty Soul

Psalm 42:1–11

Recommended Reading:
Psalm 63:1–11; Luke 22:39–46

Isn’t it amazing how the Bible talks about the soul? Scripture not only 
portrays what the successful, victorious and satisfied life feels like, but 
Word also offers many examples of people who battle for their faith and grow 

In this psalm the songwriter longs deeply for God. Taunted by his enemies, 
his soul knows deep despair and turmoil. But rather than caving in to the 
of adversity, the desperate follower cries out to God. How does he wage this 

First, the songwriter honestly expresses his feelings to God. Rather than 
denying his pain, he pours out his soul (see
Psalm 42:4)
and brings his frustration and sense of abandonment to God (see verse 9). 
Second, he engages his own memory. The songwriter recalls blessed times of 
with the people of God (see verse 4), and—more significantly—he remembers 
God himself (see verse 6). Third, the songwriter talks to himself. Or, 
more accurately, he addresses his own soul. He repeats the refrain: “Put 
your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (
Psalm 42:11).
Although his adversaries taunt him and continually tell him lies, the 
psalmist aggressively counters their negative slurs with his own message of 
in God.

Finally, note that the songwriter wrote about his struggles. The fact that 
his words still exist today indicates that he battled for his soul by giving
expression to his grief and hope.

If you’re engaged in a battle to make your faith real and are growing tired 
of the conflict, don’t give up the fight. Long for God. Thirst for him. If
you feel comfortable doing so, record your struggles on paper or in a file 
on your computer. When you pursue God, Scripture promises that you’ll find 
Pray for God to flood your soul with relief. And don’t forget to challenge 
yourself in the same manner of the psalmist in
Psalm 42:6
To Take Away
list of 3 items
• Do you ever long for God so much that you feel yourself dying of thirst to 
experience his presence and refreshment?
• Have you ever “preached” to your own soul? If you were to do so now, what 
would you say to yourself?
• When have you sensed relief from your thirst for God? How can you repeat 
that experience?

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 05 Dec 2013, 1:00 am

Search Carefully
Karen Ehman

"Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About 
that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 
is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have 
come to worship him.'"
Matthew 2:1-2

Our family has a tradition we've kept running for over 20 years. Every 
December, we pick a night to enjoy barbecue chicken pizza and peppermint 
stick ice
cream. Then we pile in our old tan Buick and venture off to look at the 
area's Christmas lights. A snow flurry is always a plus and makes the bright 
dance in the distance.

When our kids were young, they'd each pick a story character to look for in 
the decorations. They'd keep a running tally of what they saw amongst the 
displays. Kenna might look for snowmen, Mitchell for reindeer. And Spencer 
loved to discover a green Grinch or two. Whoever picked the most frequently
spied character won a small prize.

Our family tradition evokes sweet memories for this mom. However, there was 
one troubling aspect of our yearly adventure. No matter how hard we 
we rarely discovered a nativity display with the Christ child lying in a 

Yes, secular characters brought giggles to our wide-eyed, pajama-footed 
children, but the main person of the holiday—the whole point of 
Christmas—was seldom
to be found. We did locate a few homes that displayed a nativity, but we had 
to search diligently for them.

As we go through December we, can easily be inundated with responsibilities. 
While trying our best to "get it all done," it is easy to miss the Christmas
Child. We scurry and scamper to put on a big bash while practically ignoring 
the One whose birthday it really is.

Let's purpose that this year we'll search for Jesus carefully and diligently 
just as the wise men did in
Matthew 2:1-2:

"Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About 
that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 
is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have 
come to worship him.'" (NLT)

These wise men left their daily duties, homes, and studies and went out of 
their way, traveling many, many miles on camelback through the dry desert, 
find Jesus. Like these men, we need to break away from our routines and 
busyness to take time to look for the Christ Child.

It might mean stopping in the midst of shopping to sit quietly in our car, 
praying that God will help us center our thoughts on Jesus more than holiday
tasks. Or perhaps it will require us to put down our to-do list in order to 
pick up our Bible to read and absorb the account of Jesus' miraculous birth.

However it looks, let's search carefully for the Christ Child. He's there in 
the middle of the hustle and bustle. When we find Him, let's not keep the
wonder of His love to ourselves. We can share it. Serve others. Bless 
intentionally. And lift our eyes (and those of our children too) off of 
and on to the real reason for Christmas.

Dear Lord, help me to intentionally seek and find You just like the wise men 
did. May I share the love You give with those I encounter this season. In
Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources
Do You Know Jesus?

Need a fresh dose of peace in the midst of the Christmas craziness? Sign up 
for Karen Ehman's free resource
From Chaos to Calm: The LET. IT. GO. Christmas Challenge.
For five days you will be emailed biblical encouragement and practical ideas 
to help make your holidays less about stressing and more about blessing!

Everyday Confetti
is a new book from Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer, to be released in 
January. Pre-order your copy from Proverbs 31 Ministries and you will be 
sent a
free PDF with great organizing tips.

Reflect and Respond:
What fond traditions do you have of Christmas as a child? How can you build 
new traditions today that center on Christ and teach others to do the same?

Grab your kids or some friends and head off on an adventure of blessing. 
Call a homeless shelter or nursing home to ask what needs they have, whether 
be coats, blankets, food, cheer, etc. Whatever you do, leave a handwritten 
note for the recipient that declares, "Jesus came to earth briefly to live 
us so that we could go to heaven to live forever with Him. Merry 

Power Verses:
Jeremiah 29:13,
"You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." (ESV)

Luke 2:11-12,
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ 
the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in
swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." (ESV)

© 2013 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31. org

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sun 01 Dec 2013, 8:29 pm

The Last Days
by Sarah Phillips
"And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth 
distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, 
men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; 
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son 
of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things 
begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption 
is drawing near."
Luke 21:25

Most of us don't love to wait. We want to get on with things. Tie things up 
neatly so we can move on to the next thing. We often forget that in some 
cases, the opportunity to wait is an expression of God's mercy.

You see, this Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. It came quickly this 
year. I was so busy preparing for Thanksgiving, I almost forgot about 
Advent. Thankfully, our reliable pastor will be decked out in purple this 
Sunday, scripture readings and hymns ready to go.

Advent isn't really an event so much as a season set aside to wait for an 
event. We can choose how we want to practice Advent. We can see it as a 
burden, an afterthought, or a hindrance. Or we can see its greater 
application to all of life. We can recognize it for what it is: a reminder 
to stop, clear away some of the normal "stuff" of life, and remember that 
throughout our life here we are waiting for something big, something that 
needs our attention and preparation: The second coming of Christ.

Many times I've heard fellow Christians express the desire for the day to 
just get here already. Can't we just end the wars and suffering… the 
waiting… and get on with Christ's return? Many pick apart the Scriptures, 
looking for details, for signs, that Christ is coming soon. Groups form and 
debates rage about the finer details of the end times.

While I am sure God appreciates our interest in and desire for his arrival, 
I am not so sure we really know what we're asking for when we say we wish he 
would hurry up and appear.

Think about it. Are we really ready? Is the world really ready? If you had 
to stand before Christ tomorrow, would you be ready? I don't mean "ready" as 
having correctly predicted the dramatic events that would unfold during the 
end times. I mean would your life reflect service to him? Love of him? 
Submission to him?

Mine wouldn't. At least not to the extent that it should. I'd like a few 
days, or um decades, to straighten things out. And to the best of my humble 
abilities, help a few more of those living in the dark find the light.

Suddenly, waiting doesn't seem too bad. God's plan to give me and the rest 
of the world a little more time doused with a lot of his grace doesn't seem 
so frustrating.

After reading the above dramatic passage from Luke at an Advent Sunday 
service past, our pastor did not delve into prophecy or speculation about 
the last days. He backtracked a little, and instead opted to focus on the 
here and now. He challenged us to avoid the "drowsiness&qu ot; that comes with our 
everyday cares and concerns. He challenged us to become disciplined people, 
Christians whose lives are truly transformed by Christ instead of by the 
seductive "spirit of the age." He held up examples of fellow
Christians who came before us and conquered their own contemporary 

He reminded us that we will each have our own "last day" even if our lives 
here do not witness the Last Day.

That's what Advent is really about… grace today for whatever may come 
tomorrow. It's about God's incredible patience and love for children who 
have much to learn and need plenty of precious time to allow for stumbling 
along the way. As for the final days, set aside the speculation and leave 
that to God's perfect timing. He'll know when we're ready.

Intersecting Faith & Life: A disciplined prayer life opens our lives to 
God's transforming graces. Set aside a little extra time every single week, 
from now until Christmas, to spend time in prayer.

Further Reading

Jeremiah 33:14-16

Psalms 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14

Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Fri 29 Nov 2013, 6:05 pm

Lincoln Thanksgiving
Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:46 am (PST) . Posted by: "Dean Masters" It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon
the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in
humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to
mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy
Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose
God is the Lord.

We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to
punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that
the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a
punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end
of our national reformation as a whole people?

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have
been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in
numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which
preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and
we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these
blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to
feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to
the God that made us.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently
and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole
American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of
the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are
sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of
November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who
dwelleth in the heavens.
--Abraham Lincoln - October 3, 1863

Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 28 Nov 2013, 12:34 am

Facing a Crisis of History
Luke 12:49-57
Jesus told His disciples that He had not come to bring peace, but division. 
He told them that He was bringing a baptism of fire to the earth, warning 
the crowd to flee the wrath to come.

This was the great moment of crisis in history. It was a time of urgency 
that swept the earth with the appearance of Jesus. Jesus' coming to this 
planet in the fullness of time was a time of division, judgment, and 

It was a time of personal choosing, when eternal destinies were at stake. 
Everyone who encountered Jesus had to make a choice, to stand with Him or 
against Him. Thus, since the time of Jesus' first appearance, the world has 
been gripped in a kind of crisis that will continue until the last great 
crisis, the last judgment.

How do men encounter Jesus today, thus facing their own crisis of history? 
Jesus is in heaven, but men and women encounter Him through His people, the 
church. The church is His body and His herald. The fiery baptism Jesus came 
to bring fell in one sense at Pentecost to ignite the tongues of His people 
so that they might bring the crisis of decision to all men.

Knowing these things should make us urgent in our proclamation of His name 
and make us insistent that the generation of our day be exposed to the Lord 
of lords.

Coram Deo: Living in the Presence of God

What are you doing to proclaim His name to this generation? Pray about the 
role God would have you fill.

For Further Study

Luke 12:49-53: "I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were 
already kindled! But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how 
distressed I am till it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to give 
peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on 
five in one house will be divided; three against two, and two against three. 
Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against 
daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against
daughter-in- law and daughter-in- law against her mother-in-law. "

The mission, passion and purpose of Ligonier Ministries and Dr. R.C. Sproul 
is to help people grow in their knowledge of God and His holiness. For more 
information, please visit
or call them at 800-435-4343.
© R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved.


Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 
must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking 
James 1:2-4

James, in his letter to the early Christians, lists the qualities that many 
kinds of trials develop in us.

She stood outside the doorway of the church intrigued by the love and joy 
displayed by those inside. The missionary had asked her to come in, but she 
politely declined. This was a hostile area in the Philippines, and her 
father had strictly forbidden her to have anything to do with “those 

Unknown to the little Filipino girl, the missionary was praying fervently 
for her soul. Finally one Sunday morning, the little girl accepted the 
to attend the Sunday school class. There she also opened her heart to Jesus 
and became a child of God. The missionary presented her with a beautiful 
dress, representing the fact that Jesus had washed all her sins away.

The next Sunday the little girl was nowhere to be found. Concerned for the 
girl, the missionary travelled to her home village. Arriving at her home, 
found the young, new believer lying in the dirt. Her white dress was torn, 
filthy, and soaked in blood. The girl’s father hadn’t shared the missionary’s
joy in his daughter’s new-found faith. In a drunken rage he had beaten her, 
repeatedly kicked her, and left her to die.

The missionary gently lifted the fragile girl and carried her back to the 
church where a doctor rushed to help. But there was nothing he could do. He 
the ragged dress and cleaned her up, but her injuries were too severe. The 
missionary stayed with her, trying to comfort her during her final hour.

Upon regaining consciousness the little girl made an unusual request. She 
insisted on holding in her hand the white dress the missionary had given 
They explained that it was torn and soaked with blood and dirt. With the 
simple faith of a child she whispered, “I just want Jesus to know that I was 
to bleed for Him.”

RESPONSE: Today I acknowledge that struggles and trials are exactly what I 
need in my life. Without them, I would be crippled. I would never fly!

PRAYER: Lord, cause my suffering to make what I really believe to be evident 
to others.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS)
A daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks
© 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Mon 25 Nov 2013, 11:34 pm

Always Be Ready to Give an Answer 
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an
answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with
meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15 

Be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your faith. In
seminary, we call this “apologetics.” Contrary to what you might think, this
does not mean you are to apologize for your faith! Instead, “apologetics”
comes from the Greek word that means “to give a defense, as in front of a

Can you defend your faith? It is not enough for you to demonstrate your
faith; you must also defend your faith. If you ran into someone who was
dying, and he asked you to share your faith with him, could you? You need to
be ready. 

You need to also be reasonable. You need to study God’s Word and know what
it says about salvation, sin, heaven, and hell. Are you ready? 

If not, get ready today. There’s no better time. 

Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers. 

© 2013 Love Worth Finding Ministries | PO Box 38300 - Memphis, TN 38183-0300

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Mon 25 Nov 2013, 1:20 am

This is too hard for me!
(Alexander Smellie, "The Hour of Silence" 1899)

"Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram 
caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and 
it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name 
of the place: Jehovah-Jireh- -the Lord will provide!" Genesis 22:13-14

And what does He provide?

The Lord will provide BREAD when I am hungry. It seems natural to begin 
there. He has a care for my body as well as for my soul. He is certainly not 
that I should have wealth or distinction or the means of indulgence and 
display. But, if I trust Him, I shall get enough for comfort--if not enough 
plenty; enough to rid me from unworthy worry--if not enough to free me from 
wholesome dependence and continuous faith. Every modest and present need, He
is sure to satisfy.

The Lord will provide HELP when I am helpless. Is it the discipline of my 
own inner life? Is it to escape this enticing world? I am sufficient for 
of these things.
Sometimes my road is rough,
sometimes it is steep,
sometimes it is dark,
sometimes it is slippery.
My heart whispers discouragement, and says, "This is too hard for me!" But, 
when I come to the place, I find that God Himself has solved my 
and puts to flight my fears!

Best of all, my Lord will provide SALVATION when I am burdened with sin. It 
was a lamb for sacrifice which Jehovah-Jireh prepared on the bare summit of
Moriah. And in fullness of time, on the green hill of Calvary, close beside 
mount Moriah--a better Lamb died by divine appointment and made 
for my iniquity! In the presence of such a sacrifice, how full my joy should 
be! Jesus, the precious Lamb of God . . .
breaks every fetter,
unbars every door,
forgives every debt!

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sun 24 Nov 2013, 12:03 pm

Global Prayer Digest People of the Day
Youth in Iran
Oct 18, 2013 01:00 am

Today's Devotional
2 Timothy 2:2 "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many 
witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach 
This principle of personal multiplication is the key means of creating a 
movement. Paul intended that church planters should be trained through the 
of personal multiplication. As Paul trained Timothy to establish new 
churches, Timothy was to equip others to do the same. The same situation 
today in Iran. There faithful witnesses are usually in their 20s, and they, 
like young Timothy, are sharing Christ with others!

Pray that the Holy Spirit will empower reliable Iranians to share their 
faith for generations to come.

Today's People Group
“No jobs, no spouse, and no political voice-these are the raw ingredients of 
youth frustration,” according to Elam whose mission is to strengthen and 
the church in Iran and beyond. Young people between the ages of 15 and 29 
make up 35 percent of Iran’s population, and 70 percent of them are 

The problem is not a lack of education. Iran’s youth are well educated and 
Internet savvy. With just a few clicks they can see what their peers in 
countries are enjoying. With no jobs, most can’t marry or leave home. Their 
frustration is often manifested in politically motivated violence, drug use,
and illicit sex. When no future beckons, the young often decide to extract 
as much pleasure as possible from the present.

But there is another choice, and many are turning to Jesus Christ. They are 
disillusioned with their religious system and the empty promises of 
leaders. Jesus promises to meet their basic needs, give them inner freedom, 
and something to live for. The churches are growing, and many of the 
are young, some of whom have grown so swiftly in their faith that they are 
already leading fellowships of people in their 20s and planting churches.

Pray that the current church planting movement among Iran’s youth will 
affect all people groups in their nation. Pray for physical and spiritual 
for believers in a society where it is deemed both criminal and traitorous 
to be a follower of Jesus Christ.-JS
See: (http://www.elam.com/articles/Youth-Frustration-/)
Learn more at
Joshua Project.
read more
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|Copyright © 2013 U.S. Center for World Mission, All rights reserved.
Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List

Bad Rap, Bad Advice
By Skip Heitzig

Life isn’t fair, as Job discovered. He lost his children, his position, and 
his health. This is a guy who was at the top of the heap in riches, but now 
he’s sitting on top of a heap of ashes, scraping himself with broken 
pottery. It’s at this point that his wife steps in to give him some advice. 
“Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse 
God and die’” (Job 2:9).

I believe Job’s wife has suffered at the hands of many a scholar and many a 
preacher, myself included. She’s gotten a bad rap.

I think she’s been treated unfairly because most people miss that little 
word “then” in verse 9. And it’s important. After all, these weren’t just 
Job’s kids that died, they were hers as well. In one day, this woman lost 
ten children, and her husband is diseased with no hope for his future. That 
would devastate any woman, any mother, any wife. THEN she blurts out what 
she feels as her husband is suffering and she’s not able to help him.

Of course, that doesn’t take her completely off the hook. Blaspheming God is 
never a good idea under any circumstance, and Job rightly rebukes her. When 
she says, ‘Curse God and die,’ she doesn’t know that this is exactly what 
Satan said Job would do if God took away all that Job had: “He’ll curse You 
to Your face” (see Job 1:11, 2:5). So when she says, ‘Curse God and die,’ 
Satan and all of his demons are cheering.

Here’s the principle: Good people can give bad advice. And this is a great 
example of that. In fact, I’ll take it a step further: Satan can work 
through people dear to you.

When Jesus told his disciples that He was going to go to Jerusalem to suffer 
and die, Peter’s immediate reaction was to say, “Far be it from You, Lord” 
(Matthew 16:22). Peter was a well-meaning friend, but his advice was bad. 
And Jesus rebuked him because the reason He came to the earth was to die on 
the cross.

On the other hand, Abraham heeded Sarah when she told him to have a child 
with her handmaid because she couldn’t conceive. When we’re suffering and 
somebody very close to us gives us well-meaning but bad advice, we are 
tempted to listen to them because we love them. The temptation is more 

The point is, people do not always have a divine viewpoint. They may love 
you, they may mean well for you, but they may not always think like God 
thinks. There’s only one source for a divine viewpoint—and it’s not a 
preacher, or a counselor, or a Christian book. It’s THE book, the Bible. God’s 
Word is the divine viewpoint for all of life.

No matter what advice you get, make sure to filter it through the truth of 
His holy Word!

Copyright © 2013 by Connection Communications. All rights reserved.

What Are You Thankful For?
by Ryan Duncan, Crosswalk.com Entertainment Editor

“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with 
thanksgiving.” –
Psalms 69:30

A while back, there was an episode of The Simpsons in which the family is 
celebrating Thanksgiving. When the time came to say grace, Bart Simpson 
bowed his head and said,

“Dear God, we paid for all this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing.”

The first time I saw this clip on TV I remember feeling a mix of emotions. 
On one hand, I was angry that such cynicism was being shown toward God and a 
day celebrating thankfulness. On the other hand, I couldn’t help but relate 
to Bart a little. I was at a time in my life when everything seemed out of 
control. I had no money, my life felt like it was stuck in neutral, and my 
future was looking pretty bleak. Why should I be thanking God for anything?

If you’ve ever been in my situation, I want to point you toward a passage of 
scripture that helped me put things in perspective,

“On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. 
And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a 
distance and lifted up their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on 
us." When he saw them he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the 
priests." And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw 
that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell 
on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a
Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 
Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 
And he said to him, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.’” –
Luke 17:11-19

It’s easy to spend our lives worrying and obsessing over the problems of 
life. It’s also easy to overlook a blessing in times of need, or forget to 
be thankful when troubled times have been put to rest. Be sure you don’t 
become one of the nine lepers, who were so happy to be cured that they 
forgot who cured them. This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to spend time 
remembering what God has done in your life.

Intersecting Faith and Life

Whatever your situation may be, count your blessings and take a moment to 
thank God for them.

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Fri 22 Nov 2013, 11:11 pm

by David Wilkerson
[May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011]

The apostle Paul says, “I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last,
as it were appointed to death [handed over to death]: for we are made a
spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men” (1 Corinthians 4:9).

Simply put, when godly saints full of the Christ-life are led into death
situations, it's never a private matter. Scripture says we are on display to
three different intelligences: angels, devils and humankind.

At times you may feel all alone in your struggle, but you are not involved in
some secret battle taking place in a dark corner. On the contrary, three realms
are watching you with great interest. Devils are watching you, angels are
watching you, and people are watching you. And they are all wondering, “How
is this servant of God going to respond to his trial?”

What are such spectacle-trials all about? Why must we go through these deaths?
What is in us that God is after? Our heavenly Father knows that certain
unredeemed areas in our lives hinder the full manifestation of Christ's life in
us. He knows our stumbling blocks, our fears, our ambitions, our
lusts—everything that blocks a full shining forth of Jesus. So He allows us
to be put into “death situations” to rid our hearts of these hindrances.

If your hindrance is a fear of man, God may lead someone into your life whose
presence paralyzes you with fear. Everything that person says or does adds to
your fear, until it becomes unbearable. 

I have seen such fear cause physical pain to God's saints. Some have ended up
hyperventilating over the "hard person" in their life, literally losing their
breath. Why does God allow such a man or woman to become involved in your life?
It happens because your loving Father is handing you over to death. He's telling
you, “Your fear of man hinders the precious flow of the Christ-life in you,
thus it cannot produce life in others. This fear in you must end. You have to
die to it!”

Your cry to Him may be, “Lord, get me out of this!” But God responds, “No
I'm going to let death do its work. I have arranged all of this so the life of
Jesus might be manifest in you!”
Isaiah 2:11 Human pride will be brought down, 
and human arrogance will be humbled. 
Only the LORD will be exalted 
on that day of judgment.

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 21 Nov 2013, 11:54 pm

Posted by: "Dean Masters" Read
1 Corinthians 12

The apostle Paul describes the spiritual gifts given to the church by God 
and administered by the Holy Spirit.

Gifts and Fruit

It is sobering to realize that the fruit of the Spirit did not include how 
well I could preach or how effective I was at giving altar calls. Nowhere in
the Bible could I find a Scripture that said, “By their gifts you will know 
them†(trust me, I searched the whole Bible). I realized that there could be
no doubt that I had been examined by the Lord and found lacking. Deep within 
me, I came to accept the fact that I had a long way to go in my spiritual
walk. We all have areas relating to our soul muscle that need to be 

I had obvious gifts in my life—and I put them to good use in a growing 
church. I took all too seriously
1 Corinthians 12:31,
which tells us to “eagerly desire the greater gifts.†Now that’s not 
necessarily a bad thing, as the gifts of the Spirit are given by God to 
the Church, but when we seek them at the expense of the deep and often 
unseen internal work of God, that’s when it becomes a problem. In my case, 
externally I was moving in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, my soul couldn’t 
sustain me. The fruit of the Spirit were absent in my life, and as a result,
my world fell apart.

Sadly, all too often I hear of destinies that have been sabotaged because 
Christians have been focused on developing the gifts of the Holy Spirit in 
lives rather than seeking the fruit. They have mistaken a gift given to them 
by God, which they have done absolutely nothing to merit, as evidence of 
maturity. They have convinced themselves that the manifestation of the gift 
is an accurate measure of their success as a Christian. They could not have
been more wrong.

When the gifts of the Spirit on a person’s life are greater than the fruit 
of the Spirit in a person’s life, that life will begin to crumble. The 
of an unbalanced life may be health issues or an inability to have close 
relationships, depression, addictions, eating disorders, promiscuity, 
and so much more. This kind of fruit is the outcome of a weak soul muscle.

But here’s the great news: As we grow in relationship with God, and our soul 
muscles gain strength, we have God’s power working within us to bring about
our transformation into the image of Christ that each one of us—and, more 
important, God—desires.

Point to Ponder

God has given us great and wonderful gifts. As we grow in our commitment to 
Christ and the fruit of the Spirit become manifest in our lives, these gifts
play out beautifully on God stage.
Undaunted by Christine Caine
Today's reading is adapted from
The Core Issue
by Christine Caine

October 12, 2013
For Generating a Gentle Spirit
by Charles R. Swindoll

block quote
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become 
boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. Brethren, even if 
is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a 
spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not
be tempted. Bear one another' s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of 
Christ. ---Galatians 5:25-6:2
block quote end

We are very thankful, Father, that in the process of our spiritual growth 
You remind us of the importance of gentleness: Your Word not only instructs 
in what we're to do, it also shows us how to do it. We remember what Paul 
wrote to the Thessalonians . . . he gently dealt with them as a mother with 
nursing child. Help us, Father, to have that kind of gracious, gentle 
spirit---especially those of us who tend to be impatient with others who are 
as quick on their feet . . . or those of us who are healthy and lack 
compassion for others who are not as strong . . . or those of us who find 
in accomplishments but lack empathy for others who are not as productive. 
It's so easy for all of us---if not verbally, at least in our minds---to 
to look down on others, to complain and to compare. May we, through Your 
Spirit's power, become more like our gentle Savior, who promised, "My yoke 
easy and My burden is light." Like our Master and Lord, may our encounters 
with others be easy and bring light. Meet our needs in a very special way, 
our need for a gentle and quiet spirit.

In the name of Your gracious Son. Amen.

See also Matthew 5:5; 11:29-30; Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Thessalonians 2:7.

Excerpted from
The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 1,
Copyright © 2010 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
Share with a Friend
© 2013 Insight for Living. All rights reserved

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Wed 20 Nov 2013, 11:32 pm

Faith Like a Little Child
by Debbie Holloway, Crosswalk.com Family Editor

"Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a 
child will not enter it at all"
(Mark 10:15).

Most of the times I have heard this quote from Jesus used, it has been a 
reminder to have simple faith. Christians tend get caught up in theological 
squabbles, and when it gets intense usually someone will chime in at some 
point with a reminder that the bottom line is to have childlike faith.

And while obviously divisiveness is to be avoided among brethren, sometimes 
I think we forget what children are actually like when we use the phrase 
“childlike” to describe desired attitudes or attributes. As someone who been 
around children my whole life, I’ve recently had some thoughts on relating 
this verse to the truth about how (most) children behave.

1. Children require relationship.

If a child is told to do something with no context or established 
relationship, it is very likely said child will simply be scared, angry, or 
will even fight. Each one of us is on the journey to build a relationship 
with God through Christ, but we are each at a different step in the journey. 
To expect someone without a relationship with God to “have childlike faith” 
with what they’re struggling in would be a silly as expecting to convince a 
stranger’s child to do something they did not want to do.
Children know less than adults, naturally, but children will very rarely 
follow you instructions unless they know your face.

2. Children never stop asking questions.

Unfortunately, being told to have faith like a child is often a response 
given to a hard question. Kind of a wet blanket, huh? But it’s so misguided, 
because children naturally ask a million questions a minute! Now obviously 
as they grow older they learn tact (and often learn from endless shushings 
to ask fewer questions), but innately, children are open to learning and 
want to learn. They want to know the stories behind traditions, the logic 
behind chores, and they want to rip the mystery off why
we do things the way we’ve always done them. If we are to “be like a little 
child,” we must never lose our drive to ask questions.

3. You must earn the trust of children.

When I was a very young child, a man in my church body used to make a habit 
of teasing and tickling the children in the congregation. Most children 
liked him and didn’t mind his antics, but I was an incredibly sensitive 
toddler – one who rarely felt at home away from my mother’s arms. I needed 
my personal space, and very much resented the intrusions of this 
(admittedly, very well-intentioned) parishioner. At one point when he 
accosted me, I am told by my family that I calmly ordered him to “never
touch me again.” He had not earned my trust with his particular brand of 
playfulness, and therefore I was not OK with him being inside my bubble. 
(*disclaimer: don’t worry, I grew out of this sensitivity. This poor man did 
not remain my arch-nemesis! )

This phenomenon can be seen every Sunday morning when children are dropped 
off in the nursery and crying fits ensue. Is it because they are bad kids? 
Of course not! It’s because they have itty bitty reasoning capabilities, and 
all they know instinctively is that they’ve been dumped into the arms of 
someone who has not earned their trust.

And yet so often we, as adult Christians, are asked to put our trust in the 
hands of pastors, teachers, or specific caricatures of God before they have 
actually earned our trust. If we raise a concern with how a pastor leads a 
congregation, or with how someone in position of leadership interprets the 
Bible, we are far too often shushed and told to just trust, follow, and 

But if we are to be like little children in God’s Kingdom, surely we ought 
to place our trust where trust is earned! We should be telling each other to 
look for fruits of the spirit, look for love and truth, and follow those 
roads. If someone feels discomfort, pain, or abuse from a source of 
authority, telling them, “you must have childlike faith,” is quite a faulty 

Intersecting Faith and Life: How does the metaphor of God as “father” and us 
as “children” help us learn how to think of him, and interact with each 
other? What does accepting the Kingdom of God “like a little child” look 
like to you?

Further Reading

Luke 18:17

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sat 16 Nov 2013, 11:14 pm

God isn't fair!
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to 
our iniquities. Psalms 103:10 (NKJV)

If there was ever a sentence or scripture in the Bible that you should 
highlight, circle, and underline, it's this one! If there's one truth to 
walk away from God's Word with, it's that He hasn't dealt with us according 
to our sins.

Let's refresh our minds of this fact: When Adam sinned in the Garden of 
Eden, he brought on horrific consequences to each of his descendents. By 
disobediently partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and 
Evil, he set himself and the race that would flow from him at irreconcilable 
odds with Almighty God.

Sin entered into the human condition, and from that point on, mankind would 
no longer fall into the "innocent" ; category of heaven's ledger but instead 
into the "guilty" category. In fact, the Bible describes us as "enemies of 
God" and "children of wrath" (Romans 5:10, Ephesians 2:3). Whether we saw 
ourselves that way or not, that's how God viewed us in our sinful 
condition—a rebellious race deserving of eternal punishment.

This backdrop is what makes Psalm 103:10 so indescribably amazing. As guilty 
as we were and as deserving as we were to receive judgment, God determined 
not to give us what we earned. He determined not to punish us according to 
what our sins deserved, which was a hopeless fate beyond human description.

No, instead He did something we did not and could not deserve. He sent His 
perfect son to absorb the shockwaves of our sin and completely cover them in 
His righteousness. None of this was "fair" in the strict sense, and we can 
be glad that God wasn't fair to us, but went way beyond fairness by being 
way more gracious than we deserved.

Thank you, Lord, for being "unfair" towards us when it comes to the 
unfathomable grace You've poured upon us.

Think about it…

What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?
Preaching Daily
Resources by pastors for pastors from Preaching.com

The Thumbtack of Faith
By Toby J. Sumpter | Oct 12, 2013 12:00 am


At bottom, the difference between faith in God and all other alternatives is 
a choice: to believe or not to believe. But this is no blind leap of faith.

Faith is not irrational.

Faith is not insanity.

Faith is not stepping into the void.

Faith is sanity.

Faith is choosing to see what is actually there.

Faith is the choice to embrace life, the world, God.

Certainly, faith is not exhaustive knowledge or complete understanding. 
Faith believes certain things that are unseen. But we do not believe the 
things based on nothing. Faith is not a shot in the dark. Faith is not a 
good guess.

Faith sees the stars and gapes in wonder. Faith sees a little baby in her 
mother’s arms and blinks back tears of astonishment. Faith sees even evil, 
atrocities and aches with revulsion. But these realities do not add up to 
nothing. They are parts of a story, lines in a poem, and the punch line is 
a good and loving Creator, and a world bracing with beauty, slashed and 
cracked with evil and sin.

That’s not a stretch. That’s right there in your face, every day.

Suppression Insanity

That means that the choice to not believe, the choice to turn away from God 
is the suppression of these truths (Romans 1:18). In other words, it is not
a rational decision. It is a form of insanity.

But to say that refusing to believe in God is insanity is not the same thing 
as saying it is not understandable. It is an understandable mistake. It’s
understandable because it’s the kind of decision that requires telling the 
truth. And truth telling has a way of shining light into the corners of 
lives that is highly uncomfortable. This is why our rejection of the light 
is often multilayered. People build complex psychological and emotional 
to the truth. They are still culpable. They are still responsible, but it’s 
understandable because there’s sin down in those corners. It’s dark down 

The Creator

To admit that the world has a Creator is to admit that this world has a 
reason, a purpose. To admit that there is a Designer is to admit that there 
a moral order, a functional order, a right and a wrong, a better and worse 
way to live life. To admit that this world was created is to admit that you
have a responsibility for how you have treated others, how you have lived. 
And the standard for judging your actions is not you. It’s outside of you. 
everybody knows instinctively that they have fallen short of the glory they 
were made for.

So for many, it’s simply unthinkable to believe in God, to believe in a 
Creator. It’s unthinkable because that would demand thinking certain 
thoughts that
might lead to other conclusions that would eventually imply guilt and 
responsibility for that guilt. It’s easier to maintain a vague guilt, a 
vague notion
of nobody’s-perfect, and all against the infinite void of evolutionary 
chaos, which keeps everything sufficiently blurred — we can’t be certain who’s 
at fault, so don’t worry about it too much.

As it turns out there’s a pretty sizable army of these relativistic warriors 
at the moment. The universities are filled with English and Philosophy 
that function as the drill sergeants for this host of guilt-soothers. And 
the science labs serve up the mysteries, the sacraments of unbelief, 
that students practice scientific methodologies without actually pressing 
them into the corners. Pretend the world is ordered. Pretend that logic is 
Pretend that observable phenomena communicate the grace of certainty.

But not too much.

Don’t Ask

Don’t ask questions about where it all came from. Don’t ask about beauty. 
Pretend that the little baby in its mother’s womb is just a mass of 
It could be a tumor. And if you feel that you are a woman trapped inside a 
man’s body, that’s okay too. No matter that the only scientifically 
phenomenon is the fact that you’re a sexual predator. We will pass laws, and 
soon you will be able to use whatever locker room you like.

This is insanity, and that’s why faith has the upper hand. Faith is honest 
about the world. Choosing to believe the latest version of your 
science textbook, choosing to believe the high priests of atheism, choosing 
to believe in vague evolutionary relativism is choosing not to see, choosing
not to think, choosing to ignore what is right there in front of everyone.

We don’t know which chapter of the story we’re in. We may have another fifty 
or two hundred years of this kind of cultural insanity. But be assured, we
are not playing on equal footing. It’s not like we all squint into the void, 
and some of us believe in God and His Word and His way of life and some of
us squint into the void and say it’s a lot more complex and muddled and who’s 
to say?

No, we’re not squinting into the void. We’re looking at waterfalls gushing 
with life. We’re watching the sun sink into a vast ocean, bleeding with 
We’re watching the magical glory of a woman, making another person inside of 

A Fortress of Balloons

Which means the citadels of unbelief are a facade. We’re not up against a 
fortress of steel, we’re up against a fortress of balloons. And though they 
down at us through peer-reviewed spectacles, using words like ‘reason’ and 
‘logic’ and ‘studies-show,’ we can pull out the thumbtack of faith.

Faith sees the world as it actually is. Faith sees the beauty. Faith sees 
the glory. Faith sees the art, the story, the goodness, and yes, faith sees 
evil in the face of it all and knows that something has gone wrong and we 
have all become part of the problem.

But when the gospel comes, when Jesus comes, He isn’t talking about some 
other universe, some kind of alien heaven. He’s talking about this world. He’s
talking about this beautiful place, and He’s come to forgive our sins, to 
heal the brokenness, to raise the dead, to restore the glory. And faith sees
that. And that’s how faith overcomes the world (1 John 5:4).

How to Step Out in Faith to Help Change the World

Whitney Hopler

Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of 
Caroline Barnett' s book,
Willing to Walk on Water: Step Out in Faith and Let God Work Miracles 
Through Your Life
(Tyndale House, 2013).

The pervasive problems of our broken world – from poverty to crime – can 
seem overwhelming. But God can and does use individual people to help solve 
the world’s problems. You are part of the miracle that God is looking for to 
help change the world. If you make yourself available to God, He will work 
through your life in miraculous ways to bring healing and hope to people in 

It all starts with taking the step of faith involved in saying “yes” when 
God calls you to follow Him. Stepping out to do what seems impossible can be 
scary – like trying to walk on water – but God will help you keep walking 
because everything is possible for Him.

Here’s how you can step out in faith to help change the world:

Start by simply finding a need you can help meet close to home. Look around 
your local community and notice problems that especially bother you and 
motivate you to want to do something to help solve. Pray about those 
problems, asking God to direct you to the one He most wants you to deal with 
right now. Once you’ve identified a specific cause, plan a simple way to 
start working on it. Among the many possibilities: babysitting for a single 
mom in your neighborhood, mowing the lawn of a local elderly
person, giving rides to the grocery store or medical appointments to someone 
you know who doesn’t have a car, mentoring a student in need, volunteering 
at a local homeless shelter or hospital, or participating in a local food 
bank drive.

Look for needs you can help meet throughout the world. Look beyond your 
local community to the greater world and consider what needs God may be 
leading you to help meet there. Research an area of injustice that makes you 
particularly upset – from hunger to sex trafficking – and ask God to guide 
you to specific ways you can take action to help alleviate that injustice, 
such as by supporting charities that are working for that same cause or 
contacting legislators to work for law changes that relate
to your cause.

Keep your motives in check. When you think you sense God leading you to 
serve in a specific way, check your motives by asking who it will help, who 
will receive glory, and why you believe you should do it. Then spend some 
time studying the Bible to see if your desires line up with what God’s Word 
says about God’s love compelling you to serve others. Afterward, if you feel 
at peace, move forward boldly to use your influence and initiate positive 

Trust God to give you whatever you need to do the work He calls you to do. 
God will provide what you need to accomplish whatever tasks He wants you to 
perform. Trust Him to do so one day at a time. Since God’s provision comes 
after you start walking in faith, go ahead and keep taking steps of faith, 
expecting God to give you everything you need along the way.

Incorporate service into your life. Be assured that God won’t call you to 
serve others at the expense of other areas of your life; He will help you 
develop a habit of serving others in ways that fit well into your other 
commitments (such as to your family and your job). Make your goal simply 
being faithful in your particular season of life, and ask God to show you 
what that looks like. Determine which activities are and aren’t priorities 
for you. Then evaluate and eliminate the current activities
that don’t contribute to what matters most to you. Also be sure to make time 
regularly to unwind and recharge by doing activities you personally enjoy; 
that will help strengthen you so you can keep serving others well.

Consider how you might partner with others to serve together. Contact other 
people in your community (from other churches to government agencies) that 
are working for the same cause you’re working for and figure out how you can 
best work together.

Walk with confidence. Place your confidence in what God can do for you, 
rather than in what you can do for God. Stay focused on God and His 
unlimited power instead of on yourself and your own limited efforts; 
remember that anything is possible with God. Don’t let feelings of guilt, 
shame, brokenness, fear, insecurity, and regret over your sin make you feel 
unworthy to serve others as God leads you. Instead, make a habit of 
confessing and repenting of your sin so you can walk confidently with the
forgiveness and grace that God will give you when you do. Remember that God 
loves you completely, and that no one other than God should decide your 
value. Also keep in mind that the only qualification you need to serve 
others is an ability to love God and other people.

Expect to be blessed yourself when you answer God’s call to bless others. 
God – who is a loving father, not a harsh taskmaster – notices and 
appreciates your efforts to serve people in need. God will bless you while 
He is blessing other people through your work serving them. When you serve 
others, you can learn to: stand firm and steady, stop complaining, remember 
God’s goodness, get a better perspective, stop feeling entitled, leave the 
past behind, believe that God will take care of you, always
be teachable, and respect your leaders.

Fear only God. You don’t need to fear anything or anyone except for God 
Himself. Fearing God means having a healthy respect for His awesome power, 
and doing your best to honor and obey God in everything you do and say. When 
you fear God, He will give you the peace you need to overcome any lesser 
fear, so you can keep stepping out in faith as the Holy Spirit leads you to 
change the world for the better.

Adapted from
Willing to Walk on Water: Step Out in Faith and Let God Work Miracles 
through Your Life,
copyright 2013 by Caroline Barnett. Published by Tyndale Momentum, an 
imprint of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Ill.,
www.tyndalemomentum .com.

Caroline Barnett has a passion for inspiring women of the church to find 
their God-given cause. In her role at the Dream Center in Los Angeles, 
California, Caroline has changed people’s lives through a wide range of 
outreach ministries -- from starting a food truck ministry that currently 
feeds more than 50,000 people each month to founding Project Prevention, a 
program designed to keep impoverished families together. Caroline is married 
to Dream Center founder and New York Times bestselling author
Matthew Barnett; they live with their two children in Los Angeles. I'm part 
of the Career Network Ministry and would like to add you to my professional 
network on LinkedIn.

Whitney Hopler, who has served as a Crosswalk.com contributing writer for 
many years, is author of the new novel Dream Factory, which is available in 
both paperback and ebook formats. Visit her website at: whitneyhopler.naiwe.com.

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