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THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Wed 19 Feb 2014, 5:29 pm

Is faith enough?

James 2:14–24

Are we saved by grace through faith alone (see
Eph 2:8–9)
or do we also need good works?

James does not argue that good works are required for salvation. Nor does he 
say that deeds are more important than beliefs. Rather, he insists that 
there
are two kinds of faith—one legitimate and the other illegitimate; “faith … 
made complete” (v. 22) and “faith without deeds” (v. 20). Both are “belief”
in one sense of the word. But legitimate faith goes deeper than “right 
thinking” to “right living.”

Confusion may arise, however, when we recall that Paul writes that we cannot 
earn salvation. He uses Abraham as an example of one who received God’s 
promise,
not through human effort, but through faith (see
Gal 3:6–12).

James also uses Abraham as an example, but his focus and emphasis are 
different than Paul’s. He skips over the futility of human effort to discuss 
the
futility of deficient faith—faith that stops at the intellectual level. Even 
demons have that kind of “faith,” James exclaims (v. 19)!

James’s point, then, is that Abraham exercised authentic faith—demonstrated 
by his actions. Abraham’s deeds earned him nothing, but they proved his 
faith
was genuine: Right faith led to right actions. If he had not trusted God, 
Abraham could never have offered his son—the fulfillment of God’s promise—on
the altar (vv. 21–22). Paul uses Abraham to show that people are justified 
on the basis of real faith; James shows that Abraham’s faith was proven to 
be
real because it worked (compare
Gal 5:6).

So then, we don’t need anything but faith—the right kind of faith—to be 
saved by God. And our behavior will show what our faith is made of, whether 
or not it is legitimate.

Today's reading is from the
NIV Quest Study Bible
by Zondervan

C.S. Lewis Daily

Today's Reading

Aslan turned to them and said: “You do not yet look so happy as I mean you 
to be.” Lucy said, “We’re so afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have
sent us back into our own world so often.”

“No fear of that,” said Aslan. “Have you not guessed?” Their hearts leaped, 
and a wild hope rose within them. “There was a real railway accident,” said
Aslan softly. “Your father and mother and all of you are—as you used to call 
it in the Shadowlands— dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The
dream is ended: this is the morning.”

And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that 
began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write
them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly 
say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the 
beginning
of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in 
Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were 
beginning
Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on 
forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.

From
The Last Battle
Compiled in
A Year with Aslan

The Last Battle. Copyright © 1956 by C. S. Lewis Pte., Ltd. Copyright 
renewed © 1984 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with 
permission
of HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With Aslan: Daily Reflections from The 
Chronicles of Narnia. Copyright © 2010 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Extracts 
taken
from The Chronicles of Narnia. Copyright © C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. 1950-1956. 
All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.


Ron Hutchcraft Ministries - A Word With You
A Word With You
Daily Devotional
Not a Lot of Answers But Plenty of Guarantees - #7016

Little Mark is at that stage. He's about three years old. He's the son of 
our friends, and he's cute...for a while. Until he starts asking all those 
questions!
Guess what his favorite one is? (I'll bet you'll know!) "Why?"

Why is good once, twice, or maybe three times. But with little Mark, every 
answer you give provokes another, "Why?" Pretty soon you'll run out of 
answers
to all the "why' s". I only see him occasionally, and the last time I saw him 
I could notice his father across the room with this amused smile. It was if
he was telling me, "Hey, it's your turn, Ron. I get this all the time." 
Listen, can you imagine a day in and day out, "Why, Daddy?" We might say to 
his
father, "Well, he'll outgrow it." But in fact, we haven't even outgrown 
asking "Why?"

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Not a Lot 
of Answers, But Plenty of Guarantees."

Our word for today from the Word of God. We're in the familiar words of 1 
Corinthians 10:13. "No temptation.. ." it says. Which, by the way, in the 
original
Greek word also means trial or testing. "No temptation (or trial, or 
testing) has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful. 
He will
not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but when you are tempted 
(or tested or tried) He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up
under it."

Now, I find nowhere in scripture a promise of answers to our persistent 
question, "Why, Daddy?" When trouble comes we say, "Why is this happening, 
Father?"
God's tapestry is way too complex to understand with only earth eyes. I 
don't know what trouble or trial you're struggling with right now, and I 
sure don't
know why. But I do know four guarantees that God gives you in the middle of 
your struggle.

Number one: never past the breaking point. We just read it. He will not let 
you be tempted beyond what you can bear. He has never taken one of His 
children
past their breaking point. He knows your limits. He'll take you to the 
breaking point to increase your spiritual weight-lifting strength; to 
increase your
faith; to make you more of an emotional winner and champion. But He'll never 
take you past the breaking point. That's guaranteed.

Number two: never without God's signature. Look at what happened with Job. 
Job suffering all kinds of things, he must have said, "Why, Daddy? Why is 
all
this happening?" But God didn't answer him. But we know this; the Devil had 
to get God's permission before he could touch Job. It's still that way 
today.
If there is a trial in your life, it has been Father-filtered. God has 
signed it before it got to you. He said, "This could make you more like 
Jesus or
I wouldn't let it come into your life." Never without God's signature.

The third guarantee: never without a hope door. It looks like there's no way 
out, but this says God will always provide a way out. You can't see one, but
God has supernatural deliverances that you've never even thought about.

And the fourth guarantee, He guarantees never without God's presence. That 
wonderful verse in Isaiah chapter 43 says, "When you pass through the fire,
I will be with you."

Corrie ten Boom had terrible experiences in a German concentration camp. She 
lost her family there. They were there because of helping to save Jews in
the horrible days of WWII. She said, "There is no pit so deep but God's love 
is deeper still." If you're a child of God who is full of questions about
"why" , your Father understands that. You may not even get the answer to that 
question this side of heaven. But you have your Father's guarantees: Never
past the breaking point, never without His signature, never without a hope 
door, and never without God's presence.

It could just be that you've been weathering life's "why' s" and storms and 
troubles, and you don't have this kind of personal relationship where you 
know
the deep love of God. He died on a cross so you could have that kind of 
relationship with Him to remove the sin that's between you and Him. And you 
could
begin that relationship today by saying, "Lord, I've been without your love 
long enough. I'm yours."

You want to know how to begin that relationship? Let me invite you to join 
me at our website ANewStory.com. It could be page one, chapter one of a new
story for you. From the moment you begin a relationship with Jesus, you have 
His promise that has your name on it. "I will never leave you. I will never
forsake you."

WORSHIP FUNCTION OF THE CHURCH

“…Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will 
worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers 
the Father
seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in 
truth."
John 4:23-24

All true believers recognize the privilege and responsibility to worship 
God. This worship begins when the Holy Spirit enters our being and grows and 
continues
throughout our lifetime. Every believer should worship the Lord privately as 
well as gather together with other believers to worship whenever possible.
We can worship the Lord because of who He is, because of what He has done in 
creation and redemption, and because of all that He has done for us 
individually.

Worship in Scripture seems to revolve around praising God. This is an act of 
the will not necessarily related to how a person "feels" or the immediate
circumstances of life. In other words, we should praise the Lord even when 
things seem to be going wrong. This is an act of submission to His divine 
will
and pleases the Lord (
Psalm 67:3
;
Hebrews 13:15
;
Isaiah 12:1).

Worship is evidently a matter of attitude that may be expressed outwardly in 
prayer, various bodily positions (such as kneeling), singing, dancing, 
clapping
etc. Music plays a very important part in the heartfelt worship of most 
believers. The form of worship should reflect the believer’s cultural 
methods of
showing adoration as long as it does not conflict with biblical guidelines.

Worship in the early church was simply an outpouring of thanksgiving from a 
heart that rejoiced in the Lord in complete disregard of circumstances. This
type of worship cannot be stopped by anyone. A group of Christians in 
hostile surroundings can worship in this simple way without being limited to 
a certain
building, a special time, or a prescribed program.

Worship is basically recognizing and declaring God's glory, holiness and 
worth. An act of worship is an expression of this recognition. The New 
Testament
writers seemed to assume that all people knew how to worship. They give us 
few examples of how the early Christians worshipped. Participation in the 
Lord's
Supper appears to have been their highest expression of worship. As they 
prayerfully remembered Jesus and His sacrificial death upon the cross for 
their
sins, they were worshipping.

There are scriptural references to other times of worship such as Peter's 
prayer (
Acts 4:23-28),
and Paul and Silas’ experience in prison (
Acts 16:23-25).
Pastor Jack Hayford enjoys sharing the story about this as told by his 
favourite African-American preacher. Paul and Silas’ prison cell singing was 
heard
all the way to the heavenly throne room of God. He began to tap his toe to 
the music. And since heaven is His throne and the earth is His footstool, 
that
toe tapping created an earthquake!! !

RESPONSE: Today I desire every aspect of my life to declare God’s glory, 
holiness and worth.

PRAYER: Pray today for Christians in countries like North Korea who rarely 
have opportunity to express openly and publically their worship of Almighty
God.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS)
A daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks

© 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission

November 29, 2013

For a Fresh Start
by Charles R. Swindoll

block quote
Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin. (Psalm 51:1-2)
block quote end

Our Father, in a dry and barren world, where sin is so rampant and society 
is so filthy, we need a fountain of fresh, clean water full of blessing, 
truth,
and strength. We need water that's never bitter . . . always sweet to the 
taste. Most of all, we need You. "Come Thou fount of every blessing."

In a world that has no song to sing and whose stories are often coarse and 
vulgar, we need a song. Teach us to sing Your songs of praise from our 
hearts,
reengaging our minds to things that are pure and holy and good and right and 
just and lovely and of good report.

We are thirsty today, our Father, for the living water. May it do its work 
in cleansing us. May it wash our minds. May it cleanse our motives. May it 
scrub
away the shameful secrets of our private world so that You can lead us onto 
right paths. Admittedly, we are prone to wander . . . prone to leave the God
we love. And only Your cleansing, fresh water of the Spirit can make us 
clean deep within. Make us clean today, our Father. Dig deeply into our 
lives,
and reveal truth. We pray You will find within us no rival, no resistance, 
no pride, no lies. And we now lay before You our very selves. We give 
ourselves
to Your sacred work, to be set apart for Your best use, for Your greater 
glory. In the name of Jesus, our "fount of every blessing," we pray. Amen.

See also Proverbs 20:9; Jeremiah 33:8; Ezekiel 36:25; 2 Corinthians 7:1.

Excerpted from
The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2,
Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sun 16 Feb 2014, 10:41 pm

Just Call Him "Jesus"

It was about to begin – God's plan for humanity, crafted in the halls of 
heaven and carried out on the plains of earth. Only holiness could have 
imagined
it. Only divinity could have enacted it. Only righteousness could have 
endured it.

And once the plan began, there would be no turning back. The Creator knew 
it. The Son knew it. And soon, earth itself would witness heaven's majesty 
alighting
on the planet.

When God chose to reveal himself to mankind, what medium did he use? A book? 
No, that was secondary. A church? No, that was consequential. A moral code?
No. To limit God's revelation to a cold list of dos and don'ts is as tragic 
as looking at a Colorado road map and saying that you'd seen the Rockies.

When God chose to reveal himself, he did so through a human body. The hand 
that touched the leper had dirt under its nails. The feet upon which the 
woman
wept were calloused and dusty. And his tears ... oh, don't miss the tears 
... they came from a heart as broken as yours or mine ever has been.

So, people came to him. My, how they came to him! They came at night; they 
touched him as he walked down the street; they followed him around the sea;
they invited him into their homes and placed their children at his feet. 
Why? Because he refused to be a statue in a cathedral or a priest in an 
elevated
pulpit. He chose instead to be Jesus.

There was not a hint of one person who was afraid to draw near him. There 
were those who mocked him, were envious of him, and misunderstood him. There
were those who revered him. But no one considered him too holy or too divine 
to touch.

There was not one person who was reluctant to approach him for fear of being 
rejected.

Remember that the next time you find yourself amazed at your own failures.

Or the next time acidic accusations burn holes in your soul.

Or the next time you see a cold cathedral or hear a lifeless liturgy.

Remember. It is man who creates the distance. It is Jesus who builds the 
bridge.

God Came Near
This excerpt is taken from
God Came Near.

Have you seen the real Jesus--a working man with dirty fingernails and 
sweaty brow? Travel back in time and relive Christ the Son of God becoming 
man as
God Came Near.
Order God Came Near!

Copyright 2013 Max Lucado. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

C.S. Lewis Daily

Today's Reading

And now we begin to see what it is that the New Testament is always talking 
about. It talks about Christians ‘being born again’; it talks about them 
‘putting
on Christ’; about Christ ‘being formed in us’; about our coming to ‘have the 
mind of Christ’.

Put right out of your head the idea that these are only fancy ways of saying 
that Christians are to read what Christ said and try to carry it out—as a
man may read what Plato or Marx said and try to carry it out. They mean 
something much more than that. They mean that a real Person, Christ, here 
and now,
in that very room where you are saying your prayers, is doing things to you. 
It is not a question of a good man who died two thousand years ago. It is
a living Man, still as much a man as you, and still as much God as He was 
when He created the world, really coming and interfering with your very 
self;
killing the old natural self in you and replacing it with the kind of self 
He has. At first, only for moments. Then for longer periods. Finally, if all
goes well, turning you permanently into a different sort of thing; into a 
new little Christ, a being which, in its own small way, has the same kind of
life as God; which shares in His power, joy, knowledge and eternity.

From
Mere Christianity
Compiled in
A Year with C.S. Lewis

Mere Christianity. Copyright © 1952, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed 
© 1980, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of
HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His 
Classic Works. Copyright © 2003 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights 
reserved.
Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
Follow C.S. Lewis:
CSLewis.com Chronicles of Narnia:

How can we face death with dignity?

Facing the Inevitable

In our society we don't like to talk much about death. After all, our world 
is geared towards entertainment and having fun. Still, every day thousands
of people have no choice but to face the inevitable, and many do so filled 
with fear, which is a common factor among humans wandering on this planet. 
Some
are more than fearful. They are terrified.

Believers aren't immune to this either. A pastor from the other side of 
North America was such an encouragement to my wife when she faced cancer 
last year.
They both had two things in common: my wife's best friend was his daughter 
and they both had cancer. He was a breath of fresh air to my wife, even 
though
he faced the same deadly disease.

The outcome wasn't the same though. My wife was healed, but this faithful, 
devoted pastor faced death, and at one point, he had to admit that he was 
afraid.
How would any of us react when we realize that our organs are slowly 
shutting down?

My mother-in-law also concurred that she was afraid when she was recently 
admitted in a local hospital. But not about death itself. She was afraid 
about
the process of dying, which she would rather skip. This is where we, as 
believers, differ from others. We anticipate going to our Heavenly home, but 
we
are aware of our frailties when going through the process of suffering. 
Death is not was fazes us. It is the suffering that we really don't prefer.

However, we, who are followers of the Most High, have nothing to fear, for 
we know where we are going. Yes, the process may not be quite that 
enjoyable,
but we don't have to face this alone!

Jesus went way out of His way to make certain of this. Born in a manger, He 
was destined to die the goriest death possible: death by asphyxiation. 
Still,
even though He knew about this in advance, He was unfazed by it. Instead He 
concentrated on His ministry of love towards humanity. However even Jesus 
faced
fear. Just moments before his eventual arrest, it is written that: ". . . 
Being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of 
blood
falling to the ground." (Luke 22:44, NIV2)

Jesus truly can identify with what we are going through. Notice that even 
though His own disciples weren't much of an encouragement, as they were 
asleep
while Jesus was facing this terror, He was encouraged from heaven above! "An 
angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him." (Luke 22:43, NIV2)
What humans were unable to do, God did!

Jesus allowed Himself to die on a lonely cross, with the only purpose being 
to defeat death and to open the door to immortality. Being pure, He rose on
the third day, as prophesied in the Old Testament, and confirmed that "Death 
has been swallowed up in victory." (1 Corinthians 15:54b)

Now we can firmly stand facing death and ask ourselves "Where, O death, is 
your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" (1 Corinthians 15:55, NIV2)

Thanks to Jesus, the fear of death is broken: "Since the children have flesh 
and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might 
break
the power of him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil-and free 
those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." 
(Hebrews
2:14-15, NIV2). He stands by us, identifying with us, encouraging us that we 
have truly nothing to fear. We are not alone in this! He stands by our side!
We are going home!

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear 
no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." 
(Psalms
23:4, KJV)

Someone wrote to me recently and shared the following with me: "Thank you so 
much for your prayers for my dad. Today morning at 10:30 AM he left us to
be with the Lord for ever.

I am glad that he is now with the Lord and what died is not him but his old 
age, his pain, his sickness and his suffering. All of this died but my dad
is living with our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of heaven.

I had the privilege of telling him about the Lord and His Kingdom and 
encouraged him to think about heaven before he passed off into eternity. I 
also prayed
with him and as he was gasping in the last stages, he held my hand and slept 
off peacefully to open his eyes in front of our Lord and Savior Jesus 
Christ.
I am at peace with this assurance that I will certainly see him one day with 
the Lord and will be united with him again to enter that land of peace and
praise."

Only Jesus can give us that inner peace and remove the fear that haunts us. 
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and 
petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which 
transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in 
Christ
Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV)

We, as Christians, have a task as well. It's our mission to encourage those 
who need someone to stand by them: "But encourage one another daily, as long
as it is called "Today, " so that none of you may be hardened by sin's 
deceitfulness. " (Hebrews 3:13, NIV2)

It's easy to become discouraged, but as long as we focus on the Christ, the 
One who was victorious over death, fear will evaporate into nothingness. 
After
all, Jesus is our peace: "I have told you these things, so that in me you 
may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have 
overcome
the world." (John 16:33, NIV2)

Jesus did indeed "overcome the world", and we can too, with His help.

I am assured that I will be able to meet this pastor who was an inspiration 
to my wife. What a great reunion this will be when we gather at the banquet
hall of the Most High Himself.

Are you an encourager? If not yet, you still can become one. Make a 
difference and let God transform you into a bright shining star.

Death is not the end, it is just the beginning. Just like a child in its 
mother's womb, when his time comes, that child gets to meet his mother in 
person.
In the same way, we will meet our Heavenly Father in person as well! Wow!

Rob Chaffart
Do you have a Bible question you would like to see answered? Why not
submit it to us.
We have dedicated volunteers who would gladly take the time to find your 
answers.
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely 
give."

Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List

"I would rather walk in the dark with Jesus than to walk in the light on my 
own." Wayne Watson
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sat 15 Feb 2014, 7:48 pm

The sweet and quiet influence of your life!

(J.R. Miller,
"Intimate Letters on Personal Problems" 1914)

"God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life." 1 Thessalonians 
4:7

I know Christians who are not brilliant, who never do any great things--but 
whose lives are so true, so consistent, so Christlike, that wherever they 
go,
they carry in their very presence a bit of heavenly sunshine.

Concerning one of these, a friend said a few years ago, standing by the 
coffin of the young woman who had been called home, "Wherever she went, 
flowers
grew in her pathway, and the air was always sweeter when she entered the 
room." This is true of certain lives, even apart from what they do. Of 
course,
it is the godly life and character, which makes the pleasant face, and which 
gives to the presence its strange power.

May God give you grace always to be a blessing wherever you go, not only in 
the things you do and the things you say--but still more in the sweet and 
quiet
influence of your life.

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair 
and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that
of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which 
is of great worth in God's sight!" 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and 
in purity." 1 Timothy 4:12

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We have published
J.A. James'
challenging article, "
Forgiveness of Injuries" .
Feel free to forward these gems to others who may be encouraged or profited 
by them!

A Word With You
Search A Word With You

Daily Devotional
Young Love, Young Letdown - #7070

On our list of holidays that we all celebrate each year, I have a sneaking 
suspicion there might be at least one of them that was invented by greeting
card companies and florists. In America we call it Valentine' s Day! Florists 
freak out and then they count their shekels the next day. And, of course,
I even did my part by helping some struggling greeting card company. I had 
to of course. I wanted to get one for the woman I love.

And I get to celebrate on that day a lifetime love that God's given me in my 
amazing wife. But occasionally Valentine' s Day gives me a flashback of a 
not-so-happy
romantic memory; back in the day when I was 13 and I knew I was in love. 
Right!

Let's call this junior high heartthrob "Cindy. " I remember combing the 
stores on our little town's main street for the perfect gift for Cindy - 
something
to let her know I had feelings for her. Well, I bought the nicest necklace 
that a few weeks' allowance could afford. It was a heart-shaped necklace. I
wrapped it in this mushy note I wrote, put it in an envelope and I left it 
on her desk in study hall.

The next day she passed by my desk and, as my heart beat loud enough to 
dance to, she silently left an envelope on my desk. There was a brief moment 
of
excited anticipation, followed by one massive letdown. It was the envelope 
I'd given her with my note and my necklace inside. Uh-huh, I was crushed. 
She
had rejected the love gift I'd spent everything on.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Young 
Love, Young Letdown."

You know, God knows how that feels, because He has spent everything on His 
love gift for you and for me. In our word for today from the Word of God in
Romans 8:32, it says, "He did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us 
all." And then in John 3:16 it says, "God so loved the world that He gave 
His
one and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have 
eternal life."

You know, you can put your name in there. That's how deeply personal this 
love is. For example, for me it goes, "God so loved Ron..." (Or put your 
name
in there) that He gave His one and only Son that if (there's your name) will 
believe in Him, then (there's your name again), will not perish but have 
eternal
life."

God knows the feeling of pouring out His love for us and having us just hand 
it back to Him. "Thanks, God, but no thanks. I'm not interested or I'm not
ready." It's not a necklace we're rejecting. It's what the Bible calls "the 
gift of God (which) is eternal life" (Romans 6:23). In short, we are 
rejecting
heaven. Because there's no way to get there except to have every wrong thing 
we've ever done forgiven. And that took Jesus doing the dying for the 
sinning
we've done. Look what He spent on this gift!

Now, for too many, Valentine' s Day and anniversaries are just reminders of 
how disappointing human love has been. Even a great love fails to fill that
gaping hole in our heart. It's just too big for any human to fill. The hole 
in our heart has Jesus' name on it. Here's what the Bible says, "we were 
created
by Him and for Him" (Colossians 1:16). And only He has the un-loseable love 
that will anchor us and finally complete us.

It must hurt God a lot to have spent so much and then us care so little. But 
He's a stubborn lover. He's back again today. He's offering His love to 
someone
who's listening right now. Would you respond to His love? Accept the gift 
that He died to give you. Open your heart and tell Him right where you are 
today,
"Dear Jesus, thank you for the price you paid for me; for my sin. Today I 
give me to You."

And let me encourage you to go to our website if you're at a point of 
wanting to be sure you belong to Jesus. Our address is ANewStory.com. I 
think you'll
find a lot of help there; a lot of encouragement. This could be the day that 
you find the love that you've been looking for your whole life!

EVANGELISM FUNCTION OF THE CHURCH

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name 
of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”
Matthew 28:19

Johan Companjen, President Emeritus of Open Doors International, was 
travelling in the Philippines. Finding it extremely hot in his hotel room, 
he called
for a staff person. “Is the air-conditioning not working?” he asked. “Oh yes 
sir,” the man replied, “It’s working. It’s just not functioning!”

Jesus Christ ordained five functions for His church to be involved in for 
Him. We are to evangelize
(Matthew 28:19
); to disciple or train those who are evangelized (
Matthew 28:20
); to minister or serve people demonstrating God’s love (
Matthew 22:39
;
Ephesians 4:12
); to fellowship together (
Ephesians 2:19
;
Galatians 6:10
); and to worship together (
Matthew 4:10
;
John 4:23).
In the Bible, there is not necessarily a priority order for these five 
purposes. They are all equally important.

Evangelism is one primary function. If we really have come to know Christ as 
Lord and Savior, we will want to share this wonderful experience with those
we love. It sometimes seems hard or embarrassing to share the Gospel with 
our friends and relatives. But if we really love them, and if we really 
believe
that without Christ they will suffer for eternity separated from God, we 
will tell them no matter how oppressive the culture or the political 
situation
may be.

Restrictions on the church cause new creative means of evangelism to arise. 
In a restricted country of Asia, one such creative method is to hire a bus
and invite relatives and friends to a free outing to the beach. Once in the 
bus, the pastor with a hand-held loudspeaker starts preaching to his 
“captive
audience” about the love of Christ. At the beach the sharing and fellowship 
continues…as well as a water baptism for new believers.

In Soviet Russia, a group of Christians took advantage of the funeral of a 
small daughter of one of the members to present a public evangelistic 
witness.
On the way to the cemetery, they stopped every few hundred meters to sing 
triumphant songs of praise. The father of the dead child also gave a clear 
message
of salvation in Christ. Many listeners along the way were deeply touched.

In Vietnam, Pastor Ho Hieu Ha spent over six years in prison for pastoring a 
growing church right under the noses of the unhappy authorities. But he felt
that his imprisonment was not a waste because he used the time to witness to 
others who were also in prison. When he was released, he had led ninety-six
people to Jesus and discipled them.

RESPONSE: I am committed to sharing Christ’s love with others. It is a 
primary function of the church.

PRAYER: Pray for those in restricted environments as they creatively find 
ways to witness about their faith.

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 Thu 13 Feb 2014, 3:07 pm

A Matter of Faith
Are You Searching for True Love?

By Carol Round
Special to ASSIST News Service

CLAREMORE, OK (ANS) -- "For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures 
forever, and his faithfulness to all generations" -Psalm100: 5(ESV).

Illustration from
http://cafefonte.com

"What is love?" was the most searched phrase, according to Google, in 2012. 
Love, the most profound emotion known to human beings, is most often equated
with romantic relationships.

While Valentine' s Day has its origins in Christianity, the custom of sending 
cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts originated in the United Kingdom
in the early 19th century. According to statistics, more than 150 million 
Valentine cards are exchanged annually, over $1 billion dollars worth of 
chocolate
is purchased for Valentine' s Day in the U.S. and approximately 110 million 
roses, mostly red, will be sold and delivered within the three-day 
Valentine' s
Day time period. The day we celebrate romantic love has become a lucrative 
holiday for the card companies, chocolatiers and floral shops.

When I googled the phrase, "What is love," I found articles on the topic, 
ranging from psychology websites to sites on dating. Those were the sites, 
along
with a list of YouTube videos, which came up first in the search results. 
While I found some paid ads at the bottom of each page promoting the love of
Christ, I didn't find any websites or articles concerning biblical love 
until approximately the tenth page of my search results. I wondered what the 
people
who were googling the phrase, "What is love," discovered in their search. 
Did they find the answer they were seeking?

Christian author Phillip Keller once wrote, "Love in a scriptural sense is 
not a soft, sentimental emotion. It is a deliberate act of my will. It means
that I am willing to lay down my life, lay myself out and put myself out on 
behalf of another."

Jesus Praying before His Crucifixion
(www.oliveoiltimes. com)

Isn't that what Christ did for us? Remember the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus 
prayed on the night before His Crucifixion, "My Father, if it is possible,
may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will" (Luke 
22:39). When Jesus went to the cross for us, love became an action, not a 
fleeting
emotion.

I have come to realize humans will disappoint us. Because humans seek to 
love and be loved, we search for meaning and significance in all the wrong 
places.
Only through a personal relationship with our Savior can we experience 
authentic love. Through the priceless gift of God's sacrifice, we can 
finally comprehend
the most amazing truth. We were planned before we were ever conceived in our 
mother's wombs. We were created in His heart. We were wanted. He loved us
before He ever set His eyes on us. "For God so loved the world, that He gave 
His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have
eternal life" (John 3:16).

You don't have to google, "What is love?" Just read 1 John 4:10. "This is 
real love-not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a 
sacrifice
to take away our sins."

------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
Carol Round is a syndicated columnist, author and speaker. She has been 
writing her weekly column, A Matter of Faith, after retiring from a 30-year 
teaching
career in 2005. Her five books include three collections of her columns: A 
Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and By FAITH Alone. In 2012, Westbow Press 
released
her book, Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God with the 
companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. All of Carol's books are available 
through www.Amazon.com

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Today's Devotional

The Stretch

1 Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray continually. (NIV)

Remember, before cordless phones, how those old, curly phone cords could be 
stretched and stretched and stretched? In fact, I recall that when my kids
were small, the four-foot phone cord in the kitchen eventually stretched to 
more than three times that length due to the fact that I was always 
stretching
it to its limit. A friend would call, and during our conversation, that 
curly cord would stretch over to the sink as I washed dishes. It would 
follow me
to the washer and dryer on laundry day, to the back door to let the dogs in 
or out, and over to the living room door to check on the kids in the play 
area.

All this stretching occurred because communication between stay-at-home moms 
was invaluable. Sorrows as well as joys were shared. Problems were discussed
and worked through. Decisions were made. Friendships were forged, and 
relationships were strengthened, all because that old, curly phone cord had 
the ability
to stretch and stretch and stretch.

Learning to pray continually is also a stretch. And yet, the forging of this 
discipline is invaluable when it comes to the results that continual prayer
offers. When we stretch ourselves to include God in everything we think and 
say and do, sorrows are more easily borne; joy is multiplied; decisions are
wiser and less stressful; problems are seen from new perspectives; and our 
relationship with Jesus Christ is strengthened as we discover that He is the
best and greatest friend we will ever have the privilege of knowing.

Prayer: Father God, we thank You for the privilege of prayer: being able to 
speak with You at any time, under any circumstance, in any place. Bless us
daily through the prompting of Your Holy Spirit to stretch our times of 
communication with You, more and more, until it becomes natural to pray 
continually.
In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.

Lynne Phipps <
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada
Thought for Today: A clear conscience is a soft pillow.
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

November 23, 2013

For Endurance in Trials
by Charles R. Swindoll

block quote
"Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD 
your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you."
(Deuteronomy 31:6)
block quote end

Lord, we all remember times of passing through the waters and going through 
the fire---overwhelming tests and furnace-like trials. And we have the scars
to prove it. As those times return, we trust You that the waters will not 
drown us and the fire will not burn us. How faithful You are, Lord, to meet 
us
at every one of life's contingencies . . . how caring and accepting, how 
full of grace and mercy. It is because of Your mercies that we are not 
consumed.

Now, Lord, do a work deep within our hearts. Provide us with fortitude for 
the trials of life---those we're enduring and those on the horizon. Help us
to come to terms with negative attitudes that have been anchors weighing us 
down and stealing our joy. Forgive us for the sour responses that we have 
expressed
and have encouraged in others. Give us eyes of faith to see beyond the 
predictable, beyond the facts and figures. Open us to a whole world of 
possibilities
because You are the God of the impossible. Encourage us, Father, with 
thoughts that send us into our future with hope and joy. And may our 
attitudes become
encouraging and contagious rather than destructive and poisonous.

In the name of the Lord Jesus we ask these things. Amen.

See also 2 Samuel 10:12; Ezra 10:4; Psalm 27:14; Isaiah 43:1-3; Matthew 
14:27.

Excerpted from
The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2,
Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Following God is Not an Easy Road

One of Satan's greatest tools is to isolate believers in their minds from 
other believers around them. He makes us think we are the only ones facing 
such struggles.

Beware of Self-Isolationism

When Satan keeps us from sharing our struggles, bearing each other's 
burdens, and encouraging one another—he has pushed our spiritual lives into 
a potential cycle for constant defeat. He plants thoughts like: "no one else 
has ever faced what I am facing" , or "I am so bad and no other Christian has 
ever done what I have done", or "no believer has ever failed as I have 
failed" .

As we read I Corinthians 10:11-13, it is our introduction to how much we 
need to realize we are all weak, frail, and in need of God's grace.

What David faced, we all face; how David struggled, we all struggle. In 
varying degrees an in various flavors of sin, but we are all made of the 
same stuff. There are no super-saints.

"Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written 
for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore 
let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has 
overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will 
not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the 
temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear 
it."

Most of us who grew up in the twentieth century remember the comic books, 
cartoons, and TV shows portraying the exploits of super-heroes. Those 
superheroes had extraordinary abilities to fight a never-ending battle for 
truth and justice. Fans all over the world therefore idolized them—and loved 
hearing stories of their great feats!

In the 21st century many of these superheroes are coming back in the movies. 
As usual, movies often reflect deeper issues that can lurk in the back of 
our minds. It is easy to slip into a Bible-characters- were-superheroes 
mentality.

Those thoughts can lead to many Christians viewing God's choicest servants 
like David, or Elijah, or Paul as Super Saints.

Continue reading
http://www.christianity.com/ devotionals/discover-the-book-john-barnett/discover-the-book-nov-30-2010- 11641937.html

Perspective, Perspective, Perspective

God; enlighten my eyes… —Psalm 13:3 (NKJV)

So much of our lives are based on our perspective. The way we see things 
definitely determines and drives the way we respond to them.

It's like the two shoe salesmen who were sent out to scout the prospects of 
selling their product in a distant land. Upon arriving, they found that 
nobody wore shoes. The one salesman telegraphed his headquarters that it 
would be a useless venture: "Don' t waste your time, nobody even wears shoes 
over here!" His colleague, however, had a more optimistic outlook: "You' ll 
never believe it! Everybody needs shoes, and there's absolutely no 
competition! "

Perspective, perspective, perspective… it makes all the difference.

We don't know the details behind Psalm Chapter 13. We don't even know when 
David wrote it or what was going on in his life at the time. But we can 
surmise that it was a time when circumstances weren't going his way. 
Everything in life was pressing in and distressing him. And then, halfway 
through this Psalm, he lifts this prayer to God: "Enlighten my eyes." In 
other words, "Help me to see things clearly and with proper perspective. "

It's a prayer that God apparently answered, because by the end of the Psalm, 
David is rejoicing in God's mercy and salvation. What changed? David's 
perspective. Instead of looking at the troubles around him, he began to look 
at God, and it made all the difference. Just as He did with David nearly 
3,000 years ago, God can also give us the proper perspective on our lives. 
When things around us seem discouraging, God is always able to move our 
focus to something encouraging…Him.

Almighty God, set our eyes on You at all times and please protect our 
perspective!

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?

Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Tue 11 Feb 2014, 11:35 pm

RESPONDING WITH PRAISE

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for 
this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The overflow of singing praises amid great difficulties has tremendous 
spiritual power. Paul and Silas set the biblical pattern in the prison in 
Philippi
(
Acts 16).

Helen Berhane spent almost three years in the shipping container prisons of 
Eritrea. In her book Song of the Nightingale, she shares about the first 
time
she and other women were put in an old metal shipping container that was 
very hot and filled with fleas and lice:

Everyone was very despondent, and many of the women were angry. They asked 
me what we should do and I knew they were expecting me to say that we should
shout or bang the container, to let our captors know that we were not going 
to tolerate this treatment. But I remembered… [reading] about how 
Christians,
like nightingales, could not be prevented from singing even in captivity, 
and I suggested that we sing: “We should praise God in spite of the fleas, 
in
spite of the lice, in spite of the heat. We should thank God despite our 
circumstances.†So I began to sing with them, and pray, and share the Word 
of
God from memory.[1]

Pastor Ung Sophal sat in a filthy Cambodian prison badly beaten. His hands 
and feet were chained for five months. “Only my mouth was unchained,†he 
said.

“...So I sang to God in prison all the time. Another prisoner heard me 
singing through a small hole in the wall, so I taught him the song—a bit at 
a time.
He passed it on and soon eight of us were singing.â€

Archbishop Dominic Tang spent twenty-two years in prison in China for his 
faith. He reports:

“Besides my prayer and meditation, every day I sang some hymns in a soft 
voice: ‘Jesus I live for you; Jesus I die for you; Jesus I belong to you. 
Whether
alive or dead I am for Jesus!’ This hymn was taught to me by a Protestant 
prisoner who lived in my cell.â€[2]

RESPONSE: Today I will respond to all the challenges of life I face with 
praise and thankfulness.

PRAYER: Pray that all Christian prisoners around the world will also respond 
to their circumstances as those documented above.

1. Helen Berhane, Song of the Nightingale, ( Colorado Springs: Authentic 
Media, 2009), pp. 36-37.

2. Tony Lambert, The Resurrection of the Chinese Church (London: Hodder and 
Stoughton, 1991), p 179.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS)
A daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks

© 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission


November 21, 2013

For Pure Motives in Service
by Charles R. Swindoll
But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as 
He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now 
there
are many members, but one body. (1 Corinthians 12:18-20)

Father, You made all of us with different personalities, with different 
gifts and responsibilities, and yet You choose to mingle us together in the 
same
body of believers, over which Christ is Head. You provide us endless 
opportunities to give of ourselves, to teach others, to guide the confused, 
to help
those in need, and to carry the burdens of others. As we serve Your people 
and touch the lives of those outside the church, we face great temptations 
to
be in charge, to force others to get in line, to make things more uniform 
and rigid, to get narrow and demanding, to set our expectations too high, to
handle the work of ministry and life in general as if they were secular 
enterprises. God, we need You to keep things fresh and unpredictable and 
especially
to keep us authentic, servant-hearted people who are easy to live with. 
Remind us that You are the Potter and we are the clay.

So give us new hope . . . hope beyond religion, hope that motivates us to 
press on, to serve You with pure motives, strong minds, and humble hearts. 
Thank
You for Your grace, our only hope . . . in Jesus’s name. Amen.

See also Acts 2:44-47; 9:31; 1 Corinthians 11:16; Philippians 2:3-4

Excerpted from
The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2,
Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

© 2013 Insight for Living. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Mon 10 Feb 2014, 10:40 pm

How to Overcome Past Pain and Let Hope into Your Life
Whitney Hopler

Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of 
Pete Wilson's new book,
Let Hope In: 4 Choices That Will Change Your Life Forever
(W Publishing, 2013).

Each new day of your life is a gift from God that He wants you to live 
fully. But if the pain you’ve suffered in your past is still impacting your 
life now, you can’t fully embrace the new life God offers you because you’ll 
be stuck in a frustrating cycle of brokenness that leaves you feeling 
hopeless.

The key to overcoming your past pain is making choices that invite God’s 
hope into your life. Here are some choices you can make to heal from your 
past and enjoy hope from now on:

Transform your pain instead of transferring it. If you don’t find ways to 
learn from your past pain, you’ll likely be doomed to repeat the mistakes 
you made in the past and transfer your pain to everyone with whom you 
interact – from your friends and family members to your coworkers and 
neighbors. So ask God to break the hold that your past has over you and show 
you what useful lessons you can learn from it so you can begin moving 
forward. God is much more powerful than your history, and when you
trust Him, God will start to transform your pain into healing and wisdom in 
your life.

Leave shame behind. Silence the voice of shame in your life so it won’t 
block the healing that God wants to give you. Listen to the Holy Spirit’s 
voice telling you that God loves you completely and unconditionally, 
regardless of what has happened in your past. Even though God knows the 
worst about you, He wants to redeem you anyway. Let go of shame and accept 
God’s invitation to healing.

Overcome your regrets. Holding onto regrets from your past will only lead to 
more regrets unless you break the unhealthy cycle by releasing your regrets 
to God. Realize that it’s pointless to dwell on your regrets, since you can’t 
go back and change your past – all you can do is keep moving forward. Pray 
specifically about each of your regrets while envisioning Jesus on the 
Cross. Leave every one of your regrets at the foot of the Cross as a 
symbolic way of entrusting them to God’s power to redeem
them for good purposes.

Confess that you’re not okay. Don’t waste any more time or energy pretending 
to be fine when you’re really hurting, lonely, confused, or frightened 
because of your past pain. If your pain was caused by some sin of yours in 
the past, confess that to God, repent from the sin, and ask Him to forgive 
you. If your pain was caused by someone else sinning against you, admit to 
God that you need to forgive the person who hurt you, and ask God to empower 
you to do so. Ask God and some fellow believers you
can trust to help you start the healing process.

Pursue healing. Turn to the ultimate Healer, Jesus Christ, to help you heal. 
Seek Jesus’ guidance for every step of your healing journey, knowing that He 
specializes in taking what’s broken and restoring it to how it should be.

Embrace your past. Accept the reality of what happened in your past that has 
caused you pain, without denying it or minimizing its effect on your life. 
Let go of your desire to have life go the way you’d planned it. Surrender 
your past to God, so He will take it and use it for good purposes. Talk 
openly about your past with other people who are struggling with similar 
types of pain, if you sense God leading you to share what you’ve learned 
with them. Doing so can usher hope into their lives as well
as your own.

Choose trusting God over pleasing God. Instead of trying to make up for your 
past failures by working hard with religious rituals you hope will please 
God, choose to trust God’s promise that He loves and accepts you 
unconditionally. Rather than trying to reach God through your own efforts, 
trust in His grace.

Accept God’s surprising gift of radical grace, and be graceful with others. 
Unlike the limited, strings-attached grace that other people (even those in 
church) offer you, God Himself wants to give you completely unconditional 
grace – grace you can count on, no matter what you’ve done in the past. That 
grace is surprising, yet real. God sees past your past sin when He looks at 
you; He focuses on the fact that you’re one of His beloved children. No 
matter how others may label you as a second-class
person due to your past mistakes, God always sees you as a first-class 
person. Express your gratitude to God by following His command to forgive 
the people who have hurt you in the past – relying on God’s help to do so.

Discover the true meaning of God’s will for you. You can free yourself from 
the burden of worrying about aligning your decisions with God’s will when 
you realize that knowing God’s will is simple. God’s will isn’t about 
figuring out specific details about your circumstances, such as which job 
you should pursue or where you should live. Instead, God’s will is simply 
about giving your best effort to loving God and loving people in any 
circumstances. Recognize that God has given you the freedom to make
your own decisions about specifics in your life, as long as you follow the 
basic principle of God’s will, which is to choose the most loving course of 
action while trusting God. Don’t worry that poor decisions you made in the 
past may have caused you to miss out on God’s will for your life. You can 
always get back in line with God’s will for your life when you trust God to 
redeem your mistakes and try to make loving decisions from now on.

Be grateful. Choose to be grateful for all the good gifts that God 
constantly pours into your life. The more you choose gratitude, the less 
power your painful past will have over you.

Overcome fear. You can move past your fear of the unknown and into a hopeful 
future when you ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind each day. Then you’ll 
be able to approach any situation from a faithful perspective. Focus on God’s 
love, which drives out all fear, and you’ll experience more hope in your 
life.

Adapted from
Let Hope In: 4 Choices That Will Change Your Life Forever,
copyright 2013 by Pete Wilson. Published by W Publishing Group, an imprint 
of Thomas Nelson, Nashville, Tn.,
www.thomasnelson. com.

Pete Wilson is the founding and senior pastor of Cross Point Church in 
Nashville, Tennessee. Pete desires to see churches become radically devoted 
to Christ, irrevocably committed to one another, and relentlessly dedicated 
to reaching those outside of God’s family. Pete and his wife, Brandi, have 
three boys. Visit his website at:
www.withoutwax. tv.

Whitney Hopler, who has served as a Crosswalk.com contributing writer for 
many years, is author of the new Christian novel
Dream Factory,
which is set during Hollywood' s golden age. Visit her website at:
whitneyhopler. naiwe.com.

Publication date: October 25, 2013
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sun 09 Feb 2014, 11:53 pm

November 18, 2013
God's Holiness, Our Need
by Charles R. Swindoll

Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones,
And give thanks to His holy name.

---Psalm 30:4

We come before You, our Father, and we acknowledge that it is Your holiness 
that draws us to You. And it is that lack of holiness in ourselves that 
brings
from within us such a hunger to know You better. We affirm with Paul that 
our determined purpose is that we may know Him. That we may progressively 
become
more intimately acquainted with Him. Oh, God, that is what we want. More 
important, that is what we need.

In a culture that's adrift and in a world that's broken, there is something 
about Your character that draws us, warms the coldness of our hearts, breaks
our stubborn wills. And we stand before You, our holy God, acknowledging 
that You are pristine, free of corruption, without a hint of sin or 
transgression.

We are reproved by Peter's words, "'You be holy even as I am holy,' says the 
Lord." The angels acknowledge You by saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord
God Almighty." You are high and lifted up. You have full perspective and 
understanding. Your character is unflawed, and we are lost in the wonder of 
it.
We are caught up in the perfection of Your person.

We've never known a Father like You, as good as our fathers may have been. 
We've never known one so full of compassion and grace and love and mercy. 
Introduce
us again to that this day. Remind us of it again and again, especially when 
we fail and see ourselves so unworthy. Remind us that none of that blocks 
Your
wondrous forgiveness. Thank You. Thank You.

In the matchless name of Jesus, Your Son and our Savior, we pray. Amen.

See also Isaiah 6:1-7; Romans 12:1; Ephesians 1:3-4; Philippians 3:10; 1 
Peter 1:14-16.

Excerpted from
The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2,
Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Devotions by Christine Caine - Undaunted
Read
Habakkuk 3:17-19

The prophet Habakkuk states his commitment to rejoice in the Lord and gain 
strength even when times are difficult and there seems to be no end in 
sight.

Five Important Tools
God knows when we need to be nurtured and healed, refreshed and sustained. 
He gives us five important tools for the journey tools that will help us and
equip us to help others as well.

list of 5 items
1. Comfort in the Church. When you're hurting, going home is the best thing 
to do, and church is the believers spiritual home.
2. Power in Worship and Praise. The beautiful lyrics of the song, Blessed 
Be Your Name by Matt and Beth Redman goes: Blessed be your name on the 
road
marked with suffering, though there's pain in the offering, blessed be your 
name. The weight of grief and the burden of feeling alone spill out as we
lose ourselves in worship and praise. Peace and confidence in the Lord's 
love and care pour in. We magnify the Lord instead of our disappointment. We 
remember
his mercies more than our hurt.
3. Strength in Choosing the Joy of the Lord. Happiness is based on 
circumstances, while joy is based on God's love and faithfulness. Happiness 
is rooted
in positive emotions, while joy is something more. It's a fruit of the 
Spirit (
Galatians 5:22; 23),
something that God divinely gives us through the power of his Holy Spirit. 
Joy is like a medicine when our hearts are sick and the pain seems 
unbearable.
4. Wisdom of His Word. God's Word is full of his promises to us, and when we 
read it, we're reminded of them. The psalms, in particular, have helped me
through heartache because in them are some of the most pure and honest heart 
cries ever written. God has a plan and purpose for my life, as he does for
each of us, beyond this moment of disappointment. We need not be passively 
resigned to the problems in life. We need not give up and stop fighting for
what we believe in; there is always hope, and as long as there is hope, we 
can move forward and bring others with us.
5. Love of Family and Friends. A friend will help us move forward through 
our disappointment and into God's promises. When we can't see anything but 
the
fog of grief, a friend can help clear the way, help us laugh, bring a 
smile and like medicine the mirth helps us heal.
list end

Point to Ponder
Disappointment is inevitable for you and everyone else. It's part of life. 
But God has given you tools to help you move past the disappointments you 
encounter
and on to a joyous and productive future. You aren't alone in your sadness, 
God has given you something to work with.
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sat 08 Feb 2014, 11:42 pm

Flower Power

Our yearly vacation to Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada, the largest fresh 
water island in the world, could not come soon enough. The island is so 
welcoming
and beautiful. One day as I was walking along the rock formation by the 
water's edge, I saw something that I have since been pondering: a delicate 
purple
flower growing out of the rock. As I came closer to inspect, I saw the 
flower's stem protruding out of a tiny crack in the rock, and I wondered how 
such
a thing could be possible. The flower seemed to have pierced through the 
rock, an object so hard that no one could break it with their hand. But at 
the
same time, the stem of the flower could easily be broken. I am sure that 
there is a scientific explanation for this phenomenon, but to me, it is a 
miracle
of God's creation and power.

I am thinking that somehow a tiny seed lodged in that very tiny crack and, 
in time, pierced and grew in the rock, and reached its petals towards the 
sun
to capture the rain that made it grow into the beautiful, bell-like flower.

Have you ever noticed how a tiny flower can pierce through asphalt? This 
frequently happens in our driveway: a fragile, wild plant pushing its way 
through
asphalt.

This phenomenon made me think of our individual lives when trials come our 
way. Sometimes, we feel like the burden is too much to carry, just like a 
depth
of asphalt, a heavy rock, or a confining crevice that we find ourselves 
struggling to get out of, longing to breathe some fresh air. It is at times 
like
these that we need to call out to our Creator, Who will help us and save us. 
He may choose to remove the situation that we may find ourselves in, or to
take us away from it. But if not, He will grant us the strength, peace, 
power, and endurance to push through whatever we are going through at that 
moment.
And we, too, with God's help, will pierce through the asphalt, like that 
tiny flower, and grow and shine as God's light illumines us.

James 1:2-4 ? Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, 
consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith 
is tested,
your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance 
is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. (NLT)

Prayer: Creator God, You show us miracles every day; grant us to see them. 
Help us to remember to call on You when we are faced with trials that put us
into a depression or a feeling of hopelessness that we can't come out of. We 
thank You for listening and raising us up to shine Your light to others. 
Amen.

Rosemary Hagedorn 
Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada

Thought for Today: Shadows prove that the sun is shining.

Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Fri 07 Feb 2014, 11:58 pm

Discarded People

God calls us to change the way we look at people. Not to see them as 
Gentiles or Jews, insiders or outsiders, liberals or conservatives. Not to 
label.
To label is to libel. "We have stopped evaluating others by what the world 
thinks about them" (
2 Cor. 5:16
NLT).

Let's view people differently; let's view them as we do ourselves. 
Blemished, perhaps. Unfinished, for certain. Yet, once rescued and restored, 
we may
shed light, like the two stained-glass windows in my office.

My brother found them on a junkyard heap. Some church had discarded them. 
Dee, a handy carpenter, reclaimed them. He repainted the chipped wood, 
repaired
the worn frame. He sealed some of the cracks in the colored glass. The 
windows aren’t perfect. But if suspended where the sun can pass through, 
they cascade
multicolored light into the room.

In our lifetimes, you and I are going to come across some discarded people. 
Tossed out. Sometimes tossed out by a church. And we get to choose. Neglect
or rescue? Label them or love them? We know Jesus’ choice. Just look at what 
he did with us.

This excerpt is taken from Outlive Your Life.

Does God still free hearts, minds and bodies from the ravages of sin and 
poverty? The answer is yes! He does it through you.


Fools for Christ
by Ryan Duncan, Crosswalk.com Entertainment Editor

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose 
the weak things of the world to shame the strong. –
1 Corinthians 1:27

I was leaving the grocery store and had just started my car, when I was 
approached by a man pushing a stroller. I assumed he was going to ask for 
directions, but it turned out that couldn’t have been further from the 
truth.

"Hey man, I really need some help. My daughter and I just got evicted from 
our apartment." He proceeded to rattle off his story as I listened 
uncomfortably. He had contacted Social Services but they wouldn’t be able to 
help him until tomorrow. His wife had left when things got tough. He was 
afraid of losing his daughter. He'd found a cheap motel to stay in, but he 
still needed seventeen dollars to pay for the room.

Now, several things began to buzz through my head as he talked. The first 
was how I didn’t trust a thing he was saying. In Asia, I’d seen female 
beggars use their children to garner sympathy from passing strangers. In 
South America, older men would hold Bibles or crosses, not because they were 
Christians but because it encouraged people to give more generously. 
Everything about his story felt rehearsed, staged, right down to the toddler 
in his stroller.

The second thing was that the man had said he needed $17, which was the 
exact amount I had in my wallet. I had been hoping to use that money to grab 
a lunch out or maybe see a movie, but could I really justify being so 
selfish if this guy really needed it? I considered giving him a few bucks 
just to make him go away, but withholding the rest didn’t seem any better 
than giving him nothing. It felt like I was trapped between two choices, 
would I be stupid or heartless. Eventually, I considered what
Christ would have me do, and handed over the money along with my best 
wishes.

I don’t know what became of that man. Maybe he was telling the truth, maybe 
he was lying, and to be honest I don’t really care. God has called us to 
love, and you cannot love others if you are afraid of looking foolish. 
Remember what the Bible says in the book of Matthew,

“’You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I 
tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right 
cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take 
your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one 
mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn 
away from the one who wants to borrow from you.’” – Matthew 5:38-42

Intersecting Faith and Life: Consider this: Love is like dancing, you'll 
never do it well if you're afraid of how you look.

Further Reading
1 Corinthians 4
Crosswalk.com

The Reality of Revelry

Verse:
2 Samuel 22:1-7

Recommended Reading

Exodus 15:1-21
;
Psalms 18
;
Luke 1:46-55
;
Acts 16:16-40

?Music is an outburst of the soul.?

While this expression came from 19th-century English composer Frederick 
Delius, it could easily describe King David?s attitude toward worship.

The people around David probably grew accustomed to his musical outbursts. 
After all, it was King David?much to the chagrin of Saul?s daughter?who 
?[danced] before the Lord with all his might? (2 Samuel 6:14). Moreover, 
David wrote many of the psalms. We can imagine the shepherd-king in his 
bedchamber at night strumming his harp and composing another song to the 
Lord. Yet David was hardly a soloist in the family of God.

The whole Bible reverberates with the songs of people so enraptured by God?s 
work that their day-to-day lives gave way to melody. Moses and Miriam 
harmonized praise after God had led his people out of Egypt (see Exodus 
15:1?21). Solomon crooned his way through Song of Songs, celebrating the 
marriage relationship between a husband and wife. Isaiah offered a prophetic 
song from the coming choir of the new Jerusalem (see Isaiah 26). Mary, when 
told that she would give birth to the Son of God, lifted
a song to the child?s Father in heaven (see Luke 1:46?55). Paul and Silas 
shouted their praise, and God split the walls of their cellblock (see Acts 
16:25?26). The Bible is full of the songs of God?s people.

What does this Biblical legacy of song say about us? We sing, as Moses, 
David and Mary sang, because God is worthy of song. When David opened his 
song (see 2 Samuel 22), the attributes of God came streaming out of the king?s 
mouth so quickly that he barely formed sentences?my rock, my fortress, my 
deliverer, my shield, my salvation, my stronghold, my refuge.

Like David, may we be so overcome by the knowledge of God that our natural 
response is to burst forth in song. May we sing from a heart-knowledge of 
God?longing after him with our greatest affections and deepest desires.

To Take Away

? When in your life have you so keenly sensed God?s presence that you could 
have burst forth into song?
? How would you describe or rate your heart-knowledge of God?
? What steps can you take to deepen your delight in the character of God?

This devotion is from the
NIV New Men's Devotional Bible
by Zondervan. Used with permission.
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 06 Feb 2014, 11:44 pm

November 15, 2013

Overcoming Unfair Treatment
by Charles R. Swindoll

The LORD is righteous within her;
He will do no injustice.
Every morning He brings His justice to light;
He does not fail.
But the unjust knows no shame.

---Zephaniah 3:5

Dear Lord, we want You to find a yielded and quiet spirit within us. To make 
that happen, we need You to come in like a flood. Occupy us like water 
filling
empty spaces. Occupy reserved portions of our lives where anger is festering 
and the secret places where grudges are being stored. Sweep through the 
houses
of our hearts . . . don't miss one room or a single area---cleanse every 
dark closet, look under every rug. Let nothing go unnoticed as You take full 
control
of our motives as well as our actions. Deep within our hearts, sweep us 
clean of blame and revenge, of self-pity and keeping score. Enable each one 
of
us to be big enough to press on, regardless what unfair treatment we've had 
to endure. Take away the scars of ugly treatment and harsh words. Keep us 
from
licking our wounds. Forgiveness comes hard . . . but it's essential. Help us 
forgive, even those who never acknowledge their wrongdoing toward us. Give
us peace over turmoil, and erase the memories that keep us offended. We need 
fresh hope to go on! We ask this in the name of Him who had no sin and did
no wrong but died, the just for the unjust: Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

See also Leviticus 19:15; Romans 12:19; Colossians 4:1; 1 Peter 2:20-24.

Excerpted from
The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2,
Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
© 2013 Insight for Living. All rights reserved worldwide.
Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List

Look Up!
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning I will direct 
it to You, and I will look up.
Psalm 5:3

Recommended Reading
Psalm 5
The phrase "look up" occurs four times in the Bible (NKJV), and it conveys 
four different truths. In Psalm 40:12, the writer was so discouraged by 
looking
around him that he found it difficult to look up: "Innumerable evils have 
surrounded me; my iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to 
look
up." But Mark 8:25 says Jesus helps us look up, even when we can't see 
straight. Referring to the blind man of Bethsaida, Jesus put His hands on 
the man's
eyes "and made him look up." Our Lord offers the same encouragement to us, 
especially in these Last Days, for in Luke 21:28, Jesus said, "When these 
things
begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption 
draws near."

So we can say with the psalmist: "My voice You shall hear in the morning, O 
LORD; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up." Whatever
is happening in your life today, look up. When we turn our eyes heavenward 
and celebrate what we see, our hearts will overflow with joy.

"Behold the Lamb of God," and always behold Him. Look to Him; look up to 
Him, and follow where He leads the way.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read-Thru-the- Bible
Romans 4-7
David Jeremiah' s Website info@davidjeremiah.org
TURNING POINT WITH DR. DAVID JEREMIAH

The Widow with the Two Coins

Her character: Though extremely poor, she is one of the most greathearted 
people in the Bible. Just after warning his disciples to watch out for the 
teachers
of the law, who devour widows' houses, Jesus caught sight of her in the 
temple. He may have called attention to her as a case in point.
Her sorrow: To be alone, without a husband to provide for her.
Her joy: To surrender herself to God completely, trusting him to act on her 
behalf.
Key Scriptures:
Mark 12:41-44
;
Luke 21:1-4

Her Story

With Passover approaching, the temple was packed with worshipers from all 
over Israel. The previous Sunday, Jesus had created a sensation as he rode 
down
the Mount of Olives and into Jerusalem, mounted on a donkey. A large crowd 
had gathered, carpeting the road with palm branches and shouting: "Hosanna 
to
the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna 
in the highest."

Some of the Pharisees, scandalized that Jesus was being hailed as Messiah, 
demanded, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"

"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."

Stung by his words, the teachers of the law began to plot how they could 
break the law by murdering him at their first opportunity.

Days later, after warning his disciples to watch out for the teachers of the 
law who preyed on widows for their money, Jesus sat opposite the temple 
treasury,
in the Court of the Women. The place was crowded with people dropping their 
offerings in one of the thirteen trumpet-shaped receptacles that hung on the
walls. But Jesus had eyes for only one of them. He watched as a widow 
deposited two small copper coins, less than a day's wages.

Quickly, he called to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow 
has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of 
their
wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live 
on."

No one else would have noticed the woman. But Jesus, with eyes that

penetrated both her circumstances and her heart, recognized the astonishing 
nature of her gift. Her gesture was a sign of complete abandonment to God.

Without faith, she wouldn't have offered her last penny, believing God would 
care for her better than she could care for herself. But there is yet 
another,
more subtle aspect to Her Story. How easy it would have been for her to 
conclude that her gift was simply too meager to offer. What need had God for 
two
copper coins anyway? Surely they meant more to her than they would to him. 
Somehow she must have had the grace to believe in the value of her small 
offering.

Maybe God, in a manner of speaking, did need what she had to offer. Perhaps 
her gesture consoled Jesus a short time before his passion and death. She 
had
given everything she had to live on; soon, he would give his life.

The story of the widow and her two copper coins reminds us that God's 
kingdom works on entirely different principles than the kingdom of this 
world. In
the divine economy, the size of the gift is of no consequence; what matters 
is the size of the giver's heart.

Her Promise

God's promise of provision is nowhere more evident than in this story of the 
widow who gave all she had. She had no one else to rely on—only God. That's
true of us as well, isn't it? Regardless of our financial situation, whether 
we are financially well off or constantly skimming the bottom, we have no
one else to rely on. Our true security is not in our belongings or our bank 
accounts, but in God alone. And he has promised to provide.

Today's devotional is drawn from
Women of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture
by Ann Spangler and Jean Syswerda. Visit
AnnSpangler.com
to learn more about Ann's writing and ministry.

MORE AND MORE LIKE JESUS
by David Wilkerson
[May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011]

“The children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face
shone: and Moses put the veil upon his face again, until he went in to speak
with him” (Exodus 34:35). A person’s countenance is the outward expression
of what is in his heart. When the revelation of God’s glory was made real to
Moses, it changed his very look!

Paul testified, “It pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb,
and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him”
(Galatians 1:15-16).

Paul was saying, “I have within me much more than some doctrine somebody
thought up, more than just a head knowledge of Christ. I have a revelation of
who Christ is—a revelation of His grace, mercy and love. And this revelation
has become the very source of all I am and do. It’s the very essence of my
life!”

The revelation of God’s glory is indeed wondrous. Yet many have turned that
very revelation into a license to sin. Jude describes people “turning the
grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our
Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4).

According to Paul, such people sin “that grace may abound” (Romans 6:1).
They are saying, in essence, “If God loves to express Himself through mercy
and forgiveness, then I’m going to give Him every opportunity. I’m going to
sin and let Him keep loving me, so that grace will flow. What a testimony to the
world that will be. I’ll be an object of all that love coming down from
heaven.”

Such people are easy to spot. Their countenance gives them away. Isaiah spoke
of Israelites who “provoke the eyes of his glory. The [look] of their
countenance doth witness against them” (Isaiah 3:8-9). The prophet was
saying, “Your sin witnesses against you in your very look. Whatever is in
your heart is going to reveal itself in your countenance.”

On the other hand, even the rankest of sinners can tell when you have “been
with Jesus.” How can they tell? You look like no one else to them! They say,
“You’re different. You carry yourself with a humble assurance and nothing
about you seems hidden. You’ve got no secretiveness and you don’t seem to
carry any grudges or bitterness. If you did, I’d know it. Your life is an
open book!”

Sin, however, wears a certain look. No smile can cover it up and its voice has
the sound of emptiness—the echo of a sounding brass, a tinkling cymbal.

Those who have appropriated the glory of God are being changed every day. Their
countenance is becoming more and more like that of Jesus!
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Wed 05 Feb 2014, 10:33 pm

Ron Hutchcraft Ministries - A Word With You

A Word With You
Search A Word With You

Daily Devotional
The 'Always&# 39; Person - #7010

It really bothers me when I go into the next room for something and I can't 
remember why I went in there. So, as long as I keep having birthdays - and
I hope I do - this memory thing is going to be getting worse and worse I 
think. That's what they say. Now, my wife's grandfather? He lived to be 93 
years
old, and frankly there wasn't much that he remembered near the end. She 
called him one day and she told him who it was, and he didn't say much. And 
then
she said, "Granddad, this is your granddaughter. " And then she said, "I love 
you." Well, it seemed like he was almost embarrassed. He said, "I...I don't
know you." He's thinking, "Who is this strange woman calling this old man 
and telling him she loves him?" That was pretty tough for my wife, because 
she
was very close to her grandfather. They lived right next door. She was as 
much a part of their family as she was of her parent's family. Well, she 
bounced
back, though, and she gave her granddad one more reminder. Then we found out 
the one memory that the years had not erased.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The 
Always Person."

My wife told her Granddad the day that he couldn't remember who she was, 
"Well, Granddad, let me just say one last thing to you, 'Jesus loves you.'" 
All
of a sudden Granddad' s whole tone of voice changed, and with conviction he 
said, "Now Him I know!" Well this One who had walked with Granddad through 
most
of his 93 years was still real to him when he couldn't remember anyone else.

King David would have understood that. Our word for today from the Word of 
God comes from that familiar passage, the 23rd Psalm beginning at verse 1. 
"The
Lord is my Shepherd I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green 
pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. He guides me
in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. And even though I walk 
through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for You are 
with me.
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." The Lord, basically David is 
saying, He is life's one 'always&# 39; person.

Our daughter got very sick when she was a little girl. We were in this 
little mountain town an hour from the hospital. She had to go to that 
hospital,
but my wife and I were both so sick we couldn't take her. So a friend took 
her to this strange hospital and they admitted this little girl. She's in 
this
strange town; she's got no Mommy or Daddy with her. It was pretty sad.

When I was finally able to get there she said, "Daddy, I was really lonely 
and scared in this hospital room. But I put my Bible on the stand next to 
the
bed and I knew Jesus was there. Even when your Mommy and Daddy can't be with 
you, Jesus is with you." That's right. Or when your husband or wife can't
be with you, or your family, or your friends, or your spiritual leaders. 
When you can't even remember the people you love, Jesus is with you.

I have to ask you, are you sure you belong to this Jesus; the One who said, 
"I will never leave you or forsake you"? He's the only one who can make that
promise and keep it forever. And you've lived long enough to know that other 
people disappoint you. They leave you, they turn on you, they move away, 
they
die on you. We need an 'always&# 39; person, and there's only one. You say, 
"Well, how can I be sure I belong to Him?" Well, listen to John 1:12 in the 
Bible.
"To as many as believed in Him, to those who received Him, He gave the right 
to become the children of God."

You do it by invitation. You don't know Jesus automatically just because 
you're religious or you went through the right rituals or you know a lot 
about
Him or you hang out in Christian places. You've got to believe in Him. And 
that is total trust like a drowning person grabbing a lifeguard, and you're
trusting Him to remove that sin-wall between you and God; the death penalty 
you and I deserve for running our own lives. Coming to that cross where He
died and beginning a God relationship. Telling Jesus, "I' m pinning all my 
hopes on You."

If you're not sure you've done that, and you want to be sure you belong to 
Jesus - the "always" person - would you meet me at our website? It's 
ANewStory.com
and you'll find out there how to begin.

My wife's grandfather had the personal closeness of Jesus every season of 
his life right to the end, right through the valley of the shadow of death. 
Don't
wait any longer to begin this forever relationship. The earlier you start, 
the better you're going to know your one "always" person.

God is not in the Coincidence Business
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth

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

Friend to Friend

I’ve already mentioned this week how much I love the book of Ruth. Divine 
providence is behind every twist and turn in the story of Ruth—the famine 
that led the family to Moab, the marriages to Moabite women, the deaths of 
Elimelech and Naomi’s two sons, the lifting of the famine in Bethlehem, 
Naomi’s return to her homeland, Ruth’s gleaning in Boaz’s field, Boaz’s 
notice of Ruth, the refusal of the next in line to be Ruth’s 
kinsmen-redeemer, and Boaz and Ruth’s subsequent marriage. The string of
events are strung like pearls on the thread of God’s providence and secured 
in place with the knot of His love.

Have you ever noticed such a stringing of events in your own life? My 
friend, Gayle, experienced one particular series of events that were most 
definitely orchestrated by God. She started having trouble with her knees in 
her early thirties. Chronic pain in her right knee sent her to the doctor’s 
office on a regular basis for cortisone injections. Because Gayle’s mother 
had joint pain in her knees for most of her adult life, Gayle resolved 
herself to the same fate—arthritis. The doctors never X-rayed
or performed an MRI to diagnose the problem but prescribed treatment 
according to symptoms and a family history of joint pain.

One night, after five years of cortisone injections, Gayle, her husband Joe, 
and another couple attended their college alma mater basketball game. On the 
way home, Gayle twisted around in her front seat to face the couple in the 
back. As they chatted, she noticed an 18-wheel semi-trailer truck’s 
headlights rapidly approaching their car. Surely he’s going to stop, she 
thought. But before she could even warn the other passengers, the truck 
plowed into the back of their car at 55 miles per hour. Because
of Gayle’s position, her knees were smashed into the dashboard.

The driver of the truck had fallen asleep at the wheel and never even 
applied the brakes before impact. Gayle and Joe’s car, a heavy Lincoln 
Continental, was totaled, but no one in the car was hurt except Gayle. Her 
knees were black, blue, and swollen within a couple of hours.

When Gayle went to the doctor the next day, he decided to take an x-ray to 
make sure there were no broken bones. “Gayle,” he said, “I don’t know how to 
tell you this, but you have a slow growing tumor in your right knee.”

“A tumor? How long has it been there?” she asked.

“Well, this is a very slow growing type of tumor which has probably been 
there for several years. The pain that you’ve been experiencing in the past 
has most likely not been due to arthritis, but due to the tumor causing the 
bone to expand as it grows. We’re going to have to remove it right away.”

“I can’t do it right away,” she answered. “I have a two-week counseling 
course that I’m going to next week. I’ve been on the waiting list for two 
years, so this tumor is going to have to wait. You did say it was 
slow-growing, correct?”

“Yes,” he answered, “but I wouldn’t wait a day longer than necessary. You 
are a very lucky, young lady. If you had not been in that car accident, we 
may have not found the tumor until it was too late.”

Gayle smiled. Luck had nothing to do with it. God was in control.

Gayle did go on the counseling seminar. On the last night, 750 committed 
Christians gathered around her and prayed for her knee. The next day, when 
the doctor went in to remove the tumor, he was amazed to find that this 
slow-growing tumor had rapidly begun to shrink.

“Once again,” the doctor said as he showed Gayle the new pre-op X-ray of a 
much smaller tumor, “you are a lucky girl. The tumor was smaller today than 
it was two weeks ago.”

Once again, Gayle knew luck had nothing to do with it. She then shared with 
the doctor about the 750 people who had prayed for her the night before.

Many times when something seemingly bad happens in our lives, we need to 
remember that God is the director of the drama.

We may not understand the “whys” or the “what-fors” but we can trust in the 
God who controls it all.

Kathy Collard Miller said it so well: “Nothing that happens to the child of 
God is a coincidence, and when we look at every situation and encounter as 
God-directed, we will more easily fulfill His plan. This knowledge should 
also make each of us feel needed, valuable, and important: We are fulfilling 
God’s purposes for His kingdom.”

Just when it looks life has spun out of control, God stops the spin, picks 
up the broken pieces, and creates a beautiful mosaic—a work of art which He 
had planned all along.

Let’s Pray

Lord, I am so thankful that there are no coincidences in my life, but only 
God-incidences. Open my eyes to see You at work. Don’t let me miss Your 
fingerprints on the pages of my days.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
Scan Ruth chapter 2 and see how many God-incidences you can find.

Can you think of a time when what seemed like a coincidence turned out to be 
God working in your life?

Can you think of a time when something that seemed bad at the time turned 
out to be something good?
I’d love to hear your answers to either one of those questions. Let’s talk. 
Click over to my
Facebook page and share your answer. Girlfriends in God

November 13, 2013

Putting Down Pride
by Charles R. Swindoll

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes 
and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the 
world.
---1 John 2:16

Now, our Father, in the simple, plain terms of sinners, we thank You for 
using for your glory those of us who are given to ugly pride and controlling 
dominance.
We also thank You for finding ways to reduce our pride, either through Your 
Word or through our experiences. I thank You that we can still be who we are
while we are engaged in exalting Christ and bringing ourselves in line with 
Your desires for our lives.

As You rip from our hearts the self-satisfaction that we would love to cling 
to, Father, and, as we bleed within, remind us that nothing we surrender 
goes
unrewarded. Remind us that as You reduce us and crush us, You make us anew. 
You help us point our lives to the Savior. Give us satisfaction in the 
roles
You have placed us, and help us not to worry about being in some place of 
authority. Ultimately, exalt the name of Christ in our lives. At the same 
time,
use Your Word and Your Spirit to humble us, enabling us to see our pride for 
what it is.

We praise You for Your work through Jesus. Amen.

See also Psalm 75:5; Proverbs 8:13; 29:23; 2 Corinthians 5:12.

Excerpted from
The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2,
Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide
© 2013 Insight for Living. All rights reserved worldwide.
Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

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Today's Turning Point
Wednesday, November 20

What Manner of Man!

He said to the paralytic, "I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to 
your house." Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the 
presence
of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never 
saw anything like this!"
Mark 2:10-12

Recommended Reading
Mark 2:1-12
When your mind turns to Christ, rejoice first in who He is -- His person, 
His divine and human natures, for He is both God and man. Then think of what
He has done -- His work. Visualize as best you can the scene when He created 
the heavens and earth. See Him entering the world as a baby, becoming a 
miracle
worker, wielding His power over wind and weather, over sickness and sorrow, 
over death and demons. Remember how He died for us, rose again, ascended to
heaven, and will soon return in glory. Think, too, of what He does for us 
each day -- the blessings He pours into our lives, the way He is interceding
now for us as our Great High Priest.

Listen to Today's Radio Message
Sometimes we're too busy to consider Him as we ought. Take time today to 
ponder anew the person and work of Christ. If we really think on these 
things,
we'll be like the people in Mark 2 who "were amazed and glorified God, 
saying, 'We never saw anything like this!'"

Most men are notable for one conspicuous virtue or grace -- Moses for 
meekness, Job for patience, John for love. But in Jesus you find everything.
J. Oswald Sanders

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Acts 20-21
TURNING POINT WITH DR. DAVID JEREMIAH
David Jeremiah's Website

Going Deeper
Thursday, November 21, 2013

“Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and 
mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in 
the
way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately 
the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John.” – Acts 
18:24-25
NKJV

Apollos seemed to be the ideal minister. He clearly loved God and had a 
passion for the Gospel. He had received sound training and was a good 
teacher.
He was “eloquent” and “taught accurately the things of the Lord.”

Apollos had a calling, and his ministry had positive impact. Yet, when Paul’s 
friends, Aquila and Priscilla, heard him, they knew something was missing.

The Bible says that, despite his background and his impressive credentials, 
Apollos still had an incomplete knowledge. Specifically, “He knew only the
baptism of John.”

The Bible describes how Aquila and Priscilla “took him aside and explained 
to him the way of God more accurately.” There were vital things even this 
great
leader of the early Church needed to learn.

In many ways, all of us may be able to identify with Apollos. How easily we 
can seem sure that we are right. We can feel confident our interpretations
are complete and correct. We can assume we know everything we need to know.

But this story is a reminder that it’s possible to be a strong 
Believer—theologically trained and even an effective communicator—and still 
lack some key
elements of truth. In spite of our zeal, we may be missing something and may 
still have more to learn.

Today, remember the importance of staying humble before God. Stay on guard 
against pride. Always be eager to listen, hungry for more of God’s truth. Be
sensitive to the Holy Spirit, open to correction and willing to receive new 
insights. Keep seeking God and a deeper knowledge of His Word.

Today's Inspiration Prayer
Father, I know there is so much more You can teach me. I am ready to study 
Your Word and hear more from You. Forgive me for pride. I submit my life to
You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Reading: Acts 18

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November 12, 2013
Living the Truth
by Charles R. Swindoll
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart 
of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one
another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; 
just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. . . . Whatever you do in 
word
or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to 
God the Father. ---Colossians 3:12-13, 17

It's as though You have written these words to us today, Father . . . 
indeed, You have. Though they date back to the first century, they fit the 
twenty-first
century like a well-tailored garment. They touch every aspect of our being. 
Your words address our position in Christ and our practice on earth. They 
specify
our struggles without overlooking the important, positive side of 
compassion, love, forgiveness, patience, humility, and gentleness. How we 
long to live
as we say we believe. How far short of that we often fall. And we realize it 
again even this day, as we recognize the straight line of truth so clearly
marked in Your inspired Word---God-breathed , preserved, and now provided for 
us in our language. Help us to live according to Your standards, day in, day
out.

As You do soul-surgery in our hearts, may we allow the scalpel of the Spirit 
to pierce whatever area needs to be addressed. May each of us open ourselves
to it. Guard us from hypocrisy. Few things are more detestable than a phony 
Christian! May we speak truth today. More important, may we live truth 
today.
May we declare it to others in a way that makes sense. May Your Spirit take 
it from there and drive it home. May our lives and theirs be changed as a 
result
of it.

It's in the name of Jesus Christ we offer our words of prayer. Amen.

See also Psalm 1:1; 89:15; Hosea 14:9; Ephesians 4:15.
Excerpted from
The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2,
Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Peter's Gospel of Changed Lives

Christ's complete forgiveness and restoration takes the bitterness and sting 
out of our past sins?and makes them a memory of God's grace. That complete 
restoration to ministry is why I say that Peter is one of the greatest 
examples of God's grace, loving us even when we sin and fail Him. Peter is 
perhaps the greatest witness to the new beginnings that Christ offers, 
because he learned that?

list of 1 items
? JESUS IS IN CONTROL OF ALL THE EVENTS SURROUNDING MY LIFE.
list end

Whether Peter was out in the middle of the storm sinking in a fishing boat (
Matthew 14)
or in the courtyard of Caiaphas?Jesus is completely in control.

The same is true when you sit alone in the broken down car, the emergency 
waiting room, or lay in bed during long and sleepless nights over your job, 
your marriage, or your children. Jesus is in control of all the events 
surrounding my life.

Another lesson that Peter had to learn, and one that can also deeply impact 
our lives is that?

list of 1 items
? JESUS WANTS ME TO KNOW THAT HE IS WATCHING ME IN MY DARKEST HOURS.
list end

Luke 22:61 "And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered 
the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you 
will deny Me three times."

list of 4 items
? Jesus knew exactly where Peter was in that courtyard.
? Jesus heard each of Peter's denials.
? Jesus felt every one of Peter's fears.
? Jesus was interceding and saving Peter to "the uttermost" (
Hebrews 7:24-25).
list end

Peter learned another powerful lesson?

list of 1 items
? JESUS WANTS ME TO REMEMBER HIS WORD IN MY DARKEST HOURS TO GIVE ME HOPE.
list end

Luke 22:61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the 
word of the Lord, how He had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you 
will deny Me three times."

The crowing rooster was a tool God used in Peter's life. That rooster 
reminded him of Christ's words.

Jesus had already given His Word to Peter; the outcome was already sure. He 
says Peter when you turn away from your sin, when you come back to me, when 
you get converted?then you will be a tool in my hands!

So one last lesson Peter needed to learn was that?

list of 1 items
? JESUS PROMISES US A LIFE OF NEW BEGINNINGS AND OFFERS US COMPLETE 
FORGIVENESS AND NO CONDEMNATION.
list end

It was the miracle of the cock crowing at that exact moment that also 
reminded Peter of God's Word; but the cock crow signaled that a new day was 
dawning, for after all, that is what the rooster's call means each day.

Peter had a new day, a new beginning of hope because he was remembering and 
trusting in what Jesus had said.
Continue reading
http://www.crosswalkmail.com/uhcpqmhfpypshcfdsgbkzsvzhmscwbbcynhzqqdwnmgyhmq_fsjjsbgsbhbr.html

ASK NOW!
by Carter Conlon

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall
be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh
findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).
Interestingly, near the end of His life on earth, Jesus also said, “Hitherto
have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may
be full” (John 16:24). Notice that Jesus was speaking to His disciples at the
Last Supper, so to hear that they had asked nothing until this time must have
been somewhat perplexing to them. After all, the very essence of discipling is
a master/student relationship— one of asking and receiving. The fact that the
disciples left their nets and began to follow Jesus was the basis of the
relationship. They asked, and He answered and gave them what they needed.

What Jesus was actually telling them, however, was that an unprecedented time
of hardship was imminent. You and I know that Jesus was about to be taken
captive and as a result, all the disciples would flee. He was essentially
saying, “You are going to be afraid, and a sense of loss and sorrow will try
to fill your hearts. But I will be with you to give you an inner strength only
available to those who are willing to do My work in the earth.” You will see
this thought very clearly presented to the disciples in portions of chapters 13
through 18 in the gospel of John. “As you walk in the pathway that I have
prescribed before you as My Body, you are going to have hope, vision, and joy.
Up to this point you have not asked for what is really yours. But now, if you
are willing to ask, you will receive all that you will need.”

In Matthew 25:4-8, Jesus gave an illustration of the day of Christ’s return.
The five wise virgins took oil in their lamps, but the five foolish virgins had
no oil. When the crisis hit, the foolish said to the wise, “You seem to see
something that we don’t see. You stand here saying, ‘Behold the
Bridegroom,’ yet we see nothing but darkness and calamity. Give us some of
your oil!” Yet, tragically, they asked too late.

Beloved, it is very hard to get the resources that Christ is willing to give
once the calamity hits. Remember Noah’s day! Before the floods came, God
closed the door of the ark and sealed Noah and his family inside. Imagine when
the rain started and people outside began banging on the door. They could not
enter because the ark had been closed—the time of asking was over; the time
of getting needed strength was past.

Ask Jesus now for the things that you need!
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Fri 31 Jan 2014, 10:14 pm

THE WELLSPRING OF OUR WORSHIP
by David Wilkerson
[May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011]

Moses could worship even though he wasn’t full of hope for Israel. He knew
the people were bent on backsliding—that they were hiding the golden idols
they had brought from Egypt. Even though Moses had persuaded God to spare them
after their idolatry of the golden calf, now he must have thought, “How much
longer will God put up with their secret lust and murmuring? When is His
patience going to run out?”

It could seem here that Moses’ pleading on Israel’s behalf was more
compassionate than God’s feeling for the people. But the truth is, God had no
intention of destroying these people. He already had all His promises for them
in His mind.

No, this was a “mercy test” for Moses. The Lord was asking His servant,
“How are you going to represent Me to the people? Will it be as a vengeful
God who is full of judgment only? No—I am merciful, long-suffering, always
ready to forgive My people.”

Here was the revelation! And it set Moses’ heart at ease. Indeed, while he
was still worshiping, he began claiming and appropriating the glory God had
revealed to him: “God’s mercy will see us through! He is long-suffering,
and He will forgive us. What a glory this is! What comfort, what hope!”

Immediately, Moses began praying, “And he said, If now I have found grace in
thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a
stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine
inheritance” ( Exodus 34:9).

This passage proves unmistakably that the revelation of God’s glory is an
integral part of worship!

The revelation of God’s glory should be the wellspring of all our worship. We
ought to regularly lay claim to His glory, testifying, “Lord, I know You’re
holy and just, and You won’t wink at sin. But I’ve also seen Your glory and
I know You’re not out to destroy me.

"You don’t condemn me in my struggles. On the contrary, You show me how
loving and long-suffering You are toward me. I know I deserve rejection. I’ve
failed so often, I should be cast aside completely. But You reveal to me that
You are merciful, gracious, tenderhearted!


"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are you ways my ways," saith the Lord.
Isaiah 55:8

Posted by Dean Masters
Day 19 Theme: Patience and Hope
Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the 
vines…yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation– 
Habakkuk 3:17-18

What a wonderful encouragement from such a dark and discouraging prophecy!

While the prophet Habakkuk struggled with the fact that God was going to 
send a terrible and decimating judgment on rebellious Israel, he eventually 
came to realize that God is sovereign. Although His chastening may not feel 
good, or yield immediate fruit, it is always right and good and it is always 
His prerogative to allow it.

Habakkuk ends the record of his struggles with this great declaration: 
although suffering may come, although pleasures and provision may run dry, 
yet I will rejoice in the Lord. The Lord, not my surroundings, is my 
salvation!

Habakkuk’s profound response to the horror he and his people are about to 
face is, quite simply, faith in God. It is faith which does not depend on 
circumstances

to be sustained. It is faith which does not require prosperity or 
mental/emotional acuity to persist. It is faith which is able to say when 
the storm clouds gather, “Thy will be done.”

Habakkuk had come to know that God was beautiful. And he could see that 
whatever God had for him was the very best. Only true faith can say that. 
Only true faith can see God as “the God of my salvation” when joyful 
deliverance seems so elusive and God Himself so distant. May that faith be 
yours today.

Listen to the
Baptist Bible Hour (BBH)
broadcast on OnePlace.com.

Today's Turning Point
Friday, November 15

A Day of Giving Thanks

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for 
you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Recommended Reading
Ephesians 5:18-20
As an experiment, consider giving God thanks "in everything" for a solid 
day. Give thanks, not repeating "Thank you, Lord" with every breath all day 
long,
but in every event or occurrence. Every time something new happens -- phone 
call, flat tire, unexpected bill to pay, compliment, criticism, injury -- 
ask
this question: "What is there in this situation or event that provides a 
reason to give thanks to God?"

Many people have misread 1 Thessalonians 5:18. It doesn't say "For 
everything give thanks," it says "In everything give thanks." There are many 
challenging
things that happen in life for which we don’t naturally, even 
supernaturally, feel thankful. But when we consider that God is our Father, 
that He knows
the number of hairs on our head (Luke 12:7), and that the days of our life 
are planned by Him ahead of time (Psalm 139:16) -- it stands to reason that
there are no accidents with God. We know that God is able to use even the 
difficult things in life for our good (Romans 8:28), to conform us to the 
image
of Christ (Romans 8:29).

If you have a hard time seeing a reason to thank Him for something that 
happens, do the next best thing: Ask Him to show you.

No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.
Ambrose

Read-Thru-the- Bible
Acts 10-1
TURNING POINT WITH DR. DAVID JEREMIAH
David Jeremiah' s Website
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 30 Jan 2014, 10:52 pm

November 11, 2013

Living Life to the Fullest
by Charles R. Swindoll
Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the 
opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with 
salt,
so that you will know how you should respond to each person. ---Colossians 
4:5-6

Our desire, Father, is to be fully present---all there---wherever we are. We 
want to live to the hilt every situation we believe to be Your will. You 
have
placed us in the twenty-first century, with our specific families, in our 
particular neighborhoods. May we live here, now, fully, completely, 
passionately.
In our occupations, may we fulfill wholeheartedly our calling there as well. 
You have given us the joy of the fellowship of the saints in a local church.
May we make the most of every opportunity to welcome others into it.
Lord God, deliver the body of Christ from becoming a museum full of aging 
memories---dusty, dull, irrelevant, and out of touch. At the same time, keep
us attached to our past---to the great truths of Your timeless Word and to 
the great music of the ages. In all of this, may we stay in touch with our 
world
today. The needs are enormous and numerous. Help us know how to build 
bridges across the moat that separates us from a needy world, so that we 
become a
point of comfort and authenticity, a place of hope, a harbor of relief, and 
rescue for those who have lost their way.

In Jesus's name we pray. Amen.

See also Psalm 31:23-24; 119:1-2; Proverbs 3:5-6; Matthew 22:36-39.

Excerpted from
The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2,
Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

The Sacrifice of Thanks-sharing
Glynnis Whitwer

"Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, 
that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect
doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased."
Hebrews 13:15-16
(NASB)

Enough. That's what I have. Really, more than enough.

More than enough clothes in my closet. Food in my fridge. Shoes spread on 
the floor. Cans in the cupboard.

My children have books, warm jackets, tennis shoes, pencils, and 
opportunities for more. I have clean sheets, soft pillows, a kitchen table, 
and indoor
plumbing.

My husband and I have never taken our provisions for granted. Every day we 
are thankful for the blessings of our home and family. Yet eight years ago 
we
were increasingly aware of what
Luke 12:48
b tells us, "When someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be 
required." (NLT) We felt an obligation to do something more with our 
blessings.

So in 2005 our family of five put a plan in place to share what we had. We 
had enough home, enough time, and enough love. Our gratitude to God for His
blessings couldn't be kept to ourselves any more. We started with some 
rearranging. Two of our three sons moved furniture around so they could 
share a
room, Then we bought two little white beds, pink curtains, and some dolls. I 
bought matching calico comforters and guessed at sizes of dresses.

After months of planning to share what we had, two little orphaned sisters 
stepped off a plane gripping the hands of their new daddy and walked into 
our
hearts and homes.

They wore "African suits" bought from the place of their birth, brightly 
colored dresses that hung on tiny bodies. So proud they were to own their 
first
new pieces of clothing, wanting to greet their new family in their best. As 
we wrapped our arms around these little girls, our family of five became 
seven.

As weeks turned into months, and typical family issues mingled with trauma 
from our daughters' pasts, we learned God's call to share isn't always easy.
Oh, at first it was great, before the first blush of excitement wore off. 
But the magnitude of sharing our lives with two wounded little girls was 
harder
than we ever imagined.

When worry about the future threatened to overwhelm me, God quietly reminded 
me that He didn't ask me to have the answers. That's His job. My job is just
to share what He has given me–my love, my home, my life–with two 
not-so-little girls now who call me Mama. With a heart of thankfulness, and 
an open hand
of generosity. That's all He's asking me. That's what blesses Him.

God's Word confirms what pleases Him.
Hebrews 13:15-16
teaches us that we must link thanksgiving with sharing. But it also says it 
will be a sacrifice: "Through Him then, let us continually offer up a 
sacrifice
of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. 
And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is 
pleased."
(NASB)

As we walk together as a family, we continue to learn that showing thanks to 
God involves sharing, and sharing involves sacrifice. God still calls us to
share out of our abundance, and it still involves sacrifice. But when we 
share our lives, our homes, our money, our hearts, our skills, and our time 
as
an outpouring of thanksgiving, God is pleased.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your generosity with me. I don't deserve Your 
favor, and my heart overflows with thanksgiving. Help me to show my 
gratitude
through words and actions that are pleasing in Your sight. In Jesus' Name, 
Amen.
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Wed 29 Jan 2014, 9:59 pm

 Do You Know What Time It Is? ? 
Sermon 10 of 21 from the The Transformed Life (Romans 12-16) series by Dr
Ray Pritchard, Keep Believing Ministries
Text: Romans 13:11-14 
January 2007 ? ?This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is;
time is running out? (Romans 13:11 NLT). 
All of us are slaves to time. We wear wristwatches with quarter-hour beepers
to keep us on schedule. We have digital clocks in our car and alarm clocks
on our nightstands. Many of us have Blackberries or Palm Pilots or some
other high-tech computerized personal assistant. Lots of people keep a
Daytimer nearby so their can keep track of their appointments and
responsibilities. 
I ate lunch with a man who put his cell phone on the table beside him when
we sat down at the restaurant. And in case his phone didn?t work, he had a
beeper and a pager attached to his belt. All to ensure that he stayed on
schedule and didn?t miss any important messages. Not long ago, while waiting
at an airport for my flight to leave, I decided to study the faces of the
people hurrying past me. I was struck by something that wouldn?t have been
true fifteen years ago. At lest half the people had cell phones clued to
their faces, and some people who appeared to be talking to themselves had a
Bluetooth for hands-free conversation. 
Time is money. Researchers tell us that time is the new currency. Today time
is more important than money. People will spend money to save time whereas
an earlier generation raised during the Depression would spend time to save
money. In a world where most of us feel stressed out, we value our free time
more than a few extra dollars in our pocket. 
How much time do you have left? No one knows for sure. I spoke with a friend
whose cancer is in remission, but the doctors told him that his cancer would
almost certainly come back. They planned to do a bone marrow transplant but
they won?t unless the cancer does come back, which it probably will but they
can?t be sure. So my friend doesn?t know whether he is living or dying or
both. 
How Much Time Do You Have Left?
Life is so uncertain. No one knows how long they have to live. However, the
statisticians have figured out the average life expectancy for people of
every age. There is a website called Death Clock that will tell you how long
you will live according to the charts. It even gives you a projected date of
death. I entered a few dates to see what it says about a few well-known
people: 
Tiger Woods?October 11, 2049 
Tom Hanks?April 20, 2030 
Arnold Schwarzenegger?May 11, 2021 
Donald Trump?March 25, 2020 
Paris Hilton?April 30, 2060 
Billy Graham?August 18, 1992!
That means that Dr. Graham has outlived his projected date of death by
almost fifteen years, for which we can be thankful.
Then I did it for myself. Here is what I discovered:
Ray Pritchard?July 8, 2025
That takes your breath away if you think about it. I realize that date is
based only on certain mathematical calculations, but it is sobering to think
that if it is correct, I have less than twenty years to live. Some may say
this is morbid, but I think it?s the ultimate reality check. Psalm 90: 12
says, ?Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.?
Martin Luther said we should live with the day of our death constantly
before our eyes. It keeps us from the ultimate folly?thinking we will live
forever and therefore giving us excuses to put off doing what we know we
ought to do. 
At least once a week I receive an email that has this statement at the
bottom: ?Life is short. Eternity is significant.? How true that is. 
Coming Soon!
Our passage forces us to face this issue head-on. Paul challenges his
readers to ?understand the present time? (Romans 13:11 NIV). Do you know
what time it is? It?s time to wake up! Why? ?Because salvation is nearer to
us now than when we first believed? (v. 11). That?s a reference to the
Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus is coming, and each day brings us
closer to that great world-shattering event. 
In light of that, Paul tells us to wake up, put off the deeds of darkness
and put on the armor of light. The long night is fading away, the sun is
peeking over the eastern horizon, Jesus is coming soon!
Christian, do you know what time it is? It?s time to wake up and get
dressed!
In light of the return of Christ and the lateness of the hour, how should we
then live? Our text suggests three answers to that question. 
I. Something We Must Know
?Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from
sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The
night is far gone; the day is at hand? (vv. 11-12a). 
What ?time? is Paul talking about in verse 11 and what ?hour? does he mean?
He means that this present age is sinful and dark and ultimately passing
away (Galatians 1:4). It won?t last forever (1 John 2:17). Colossians
1:12-13 uses the image of darkness and light in many places to explain what
happens when someone becomes a Christian. They are transferred from the
kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. Do you know what being saved
is like? It?s like living in the darkness for twenty or thirty or forty
years and suddenly the lights come on. 
What time is it right now? Check your watch and see. Now read verse 11 again
and answer the question.
What time is it? It?s time to wake up. You sleep at night. You don?t sleep
during the day. All of us understand what that means. It?s hard to sleep
during the day. It doesn?t feel right. It?s not natural. Day is for waking
and working; night is for sleeping and dreaming. 
Why does Paul say that the long night is over and the day has come? Because
the coming of the Lord is at hand. How near is it? Very near indeed. When
Billy Graham preaches on the Second Coming, he often tells the story of a
grandfather clock whose chimes rang every hour, once for one o?clock, twice
for two o?clock, and so on. One night the clock malfunctioned, causing the
chimes to ring thirteen times. A little boy heard it and raced through the
house yelling ?Get up, everyone get up! It?s later than it?s ever been.? How
true that is. It?s later than it?s ever been, and in 2007 we?re closer to
the coming of Christ than ever before.
That?s not just rhetoric. The situation in the world has become so unstable
that catastrophe could happen at any moment. A week ago secret plans were
leaked alleging that Israel plans a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Iran?s
nuclear reactors. A recent survey reveals that 60% of Americans expect a
major terrorist strike on our soil this year. An equal number expect
terrorists to unleash a nuclear or biological weapon somewhere in the world.
Before you write that off as uninformed public opinion, consider this fact.
Since 1947, a magazine called the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has kept the
?Doomsday Clock,? a symbolic clock to show how close we are to global
catastrophe. As the situation in the world gets better or worse, the hands
of the clock are set closer or further away from midnight. Since 2002 the
clock has been set at seven minutes till midnight. This Wednesday the clock
will be re-set for the first time in five years: 
The major new step reflects growing concerns about a ?Second Nuclear Age?
marked by grave threats, including: nuclear ambitions in Iran and North
Korea, unsecured nuclear materials in Russia and elsewhere, the continuing
?launch-ready? status of 2,000 of the 25,000 nuclear weapons held by the U.S
and Russia, escalating terrorism, and new pressure from climate change for
expanded civilian nuclear power that could increase proliferation risks.
Christian, do you know what time it is? It?s closer to midnight than we?ve
ever been, and it?s also closer to the coming of Christ. The survey I
mentioned earlier said that 25% of Americans believe there is a good chance
that Jesus will come in 2007. That was on my mind last week when we were in
the check-out line at Wal-Mart. I looked and saw a rack of tabloid magazines
One of them contained a list of predictions for 2007. In the lower
right-hand corner it said, ?Jesus Returns in Great Glory.? It even predicted
that he would return in October. I think the writers don?t believe that. To
them it?s just a gimmick. But for those who do believe the Bible, there is
another side to all this. No matter what their intentions, that article
reflects the instability of this world and the yearning for something better

Christian, do you know what time it is? It?s later than it?s ever been.
II. Something We Must Put Off
?So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light
Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not
in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy? (vv.
12b-13). 
Those who understand what time it is will put off the deeds of darkness. He
compares that with the ?armor of light"?a reference to the new life that
Christ gives us. It?s like taking off your pajamas in the morning and
putting on fresh clothes before you go to work. 
Coming to Christ is like waking up after a long night?s sleep. Just as you
don?t wear your pajamas to work, in the same way you don?t ?wear? the dirty
clothes of the old life. All that passed away the moment you became a
believer. 
Six Deeds of Darkness
Our text specifies six particular ?deeds of darkness? that the believer
should put off. The first is called ?orgies.? That should be
self-explanatory, but perhaps it will help to know that originally this word
was used for public parties given in honor of someone who had won a great
victory. Later the word referred to all-night parties that included
drunkenness, sorcery, drug use, and every form of sexual
immorality?including adultery, fornication, homosexuality, pedophilia and
pornography. These things are forever ?out of bounds? for the Christian. 
The second deed of darkness is ?drunkenness,? a sin that even the heathen
abhorred because it showed a lack of self-control. How many people have
fallen prey to the lie that they need alcohol to relax, or forget their
problems, or loosen up? Alcohol is a tricky liar. Sometimes people drink
because they feel they have to fit in or prove they belong to the group.
I?ve even heard of Christians who drink in order to help them reach people
for Christ. While we can?t make hard and fast rules about alcohol, we can
say with absolute confidence that using alcohol as a narcotic or an
artificial stimulant or in order to loosen your inhibitions is strictly
forbidden by God. 
Then Paul mentions ?sexual immorality.? Actually, the Greek word means ?beds
? which is why the King James Version used the term ?chambering.? It refers
to the immoral activity that takes place in the bedroom. This rules out all
forms of sexual immorality, no matter how tame they may seem to be. Many
things happen in the bedroom under cover of darkness that ought not to
happen at all. 
The fourth deed of darkness is called ?sensuality.? Scholars call this one
of the ugliest words in the Greek language. It refers to brazen, shameless
sin. The word is aselgeia. The person who commits this sin has a seared
conscience. He not only sins but he does it publicly and then brags about it
This term especially applies to those people who parade their immorality
down main street, who in the name of ?freedom? and ?tolerance? brag about
their perversion. 
Then Paul mentions ?quarreling.? This speaks of unhealthy competition, a
desire to be number one at all costs. The final deed of darkness is
?jealousy,? which is another word for envy?anger at the success of others or
anger at your failures when compared with others. These two sins of the
hearts?hidden though they may be?have no place in the Christian life. They
belong to the darkness you left behind the moment you came to Christ. 
The night is fading away, and with it the need to wear the rags of the old
life. Christian, it?s time to change your clothes. Throw away those deeds of
darkness and put on the armor of light!
III. Something We Must Put On
?Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to
gratify its desires? (v. 14). 
What do well-dressed Christians wear? They wear the Lord Jesus Christ. What
should you wear to work tomorrow morning? After you put on your outward
clothes, make sure you put on Jesus! What should you wear to class this
week? The answer is Jesus! How about what you wear to the store or to the
prom or on vacation or while you are just hanging around the house? Put on
Jesus! He?s always appropriate for every occasion.
Put on his holiness. 
Put on his beauty.
Put on his humility.
Put on his purity.
Put on his compassion.
Put on his wisdom. 
Put on his forgiveness.
Put on his righteousness.
Put on his zeal.
Put on his patience.
Put on his love.
Clothe yourself with Jesus early in the morning and you will be well-dressed
all day long.
But there is one thing you need to know. Christ must be in you before he can
be on you. He must live in your heart as Lord and Savior before you can take
him with you to work. It?s not enough to know about Jesus; you must know him
in your heart and trust him as your Savior and Lord. 
Do you know Jesus? Does he live in your heart? Have you trusted him as your
Lord and Savior or are you still trusting in the filthy rags of your own
good works to take you to heaven? Without Jesus you can never get rid of the
deeds of darkness that cling to you. Until he comes in you will live in your
sin because you have no other choice. But when Christ comes in, everything
changes. 
?I?ve Known Jesus All My Life?
Every Thursday night I lead a men?s Bible study in Tupelo. Last week a
retired pastor joined our group. At one point we discussed how Christ came
to break Satan?s hold on us caused by our fear of death. Down deep in the
human heart there is a fear of death that Satan uses to keep us enslaved. He
plays upon our fear of death to keep us in the chains of sin. That?s why the
Bible says the sting of death is sin (I Corinthians 15:56). When the unsaved
die, they die with their sins still upon them, like a heavy burden, a vast
weight bearing them down to hell. Often they die miserable, angry,
frustrated, and fearful because they don?t know what to do with their sins. 
Reflecting on the many funerals he had conducted, the retired pastor
remarked that when a loved one dies, you can tell the Christians from the
non-Christians because the non-Christians have a ?restlessness? about them,
but there is peace in the heart of those who believe in Jesus. That comment
was very timely because a man who had attended the Bible study died a couple
of weeks ago. He had been diagnosed a month or two before with cancer?and
now he is gone. One of his close friends said, ?He wasn?t afraid to die. He
was ready when the Lord called him home.? That?s the difference that Jesus
makes. What do people do who don?t know the Lord? Death is hard enough to
face if you are a Christian, but it is intolerable without the Lord. And yet
every day countless thousands march into eternity with the leaden weight of
sin hanging around their necks. 
Years ago I visited a woman who was over ninety years ago and facing serious
surgery. On the day before the surgery I visited her hospital room and found
her sitting up in bed reading Romans 8. So I took the Bible and began
reading some of those soul-stirring verses at the end of the chapter: 
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or
persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ? No, in all these
things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am
convinced that neither death or life, neither angels nor demons, neither the
present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor
anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of
God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35, 37-39 NIV).
When I finished, I prayed with her and got up to leave. As I did, she said,
?I?m not sure what the doctors are going to do tomorrow. I guess they will
just go in there and do whatever they want.? Then she added, ?But it doesn?t
matter. I?ve known Jesus all my life. I accepted him as my Savior when I was
10 years old. I can?t remember a time when I didn?t love him.? 
Christian, do you know what time it is?
It?s later than it?s ever been.
The death clock is ticking for all of us.
Christian, do you know what time it is?
It?s the dawning of a new day.
It?s time to put off the deeds of darkness.
It?s time to put on the armor of light.
It?s time to take Jesus with you everywhere you go.
It?s time to get serious about your faith.
It?s time to stop sleepwalking though life. 
Look! Do you see the first rays of dawn? The night is almost over, the sun
is rising. Jesus is coming soon. 
Have patience, child of God. Your Savior is on the way.
Take hope, defeated Christian. The Lord is at hand.
Be encouraged, suffering believer. The trumpet will soon sound.
Keep believing, struggling saints. Your salvation is nearer than when you
first believed.
Christian, do you know what time it is? It?s time to wake up and get
dressed! 
RELATED BOOK
Stealth Attack
Scorched earth tactics and cruel hatred are the characteristics of your
spiritual enemy. Protect yourself against Satan?s plan to destroy your life.
 
May the Lord bless and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon
you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you
and give you peace.  Numbers 6 24-26 
Maranatha: Even so, COME Lord Jesus!

From the Desk of Rev. Joe Diaz 111
Boldly proclaiming the word of God
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Wed 29 Jan 2014, 9:58 pm

Do You Know What Time It Is? ? 
Sermon 10 of 21 from the The Transformed Life (Romans 12-16) series by Dr
Ray Pritchard, Keep Believing Ministries
Text: Romans 13:11-14 
January 2007 ? ?This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is;
time is running out? (Romans 13:11 NLT). 
All of us are slaves to time. We wear wristwatches with quarter-hour beepers
to keep us on schedule. We have digital clocks in our car and alarm clocks
on our nightstands. Many of us have Blackberries or Palm Pilots or some
other high-tech computerized personal assistant. Lots of people keep a
Daytimer nearby so their can keep track of their appointments and
responsibilities. 
I ate lunch with a man who put his cell phone on the table beside him when
we sat down at the restaurant. And in case his phone didn?t work, he had a
beeper and a pager attached to his belt. All to ensure that he stayed on
schedule and didn?t miss any important messages. Not long ago, while waiting
at an airport for my flight to leave, I decided to study the faces of the
people hurrying past me. I was struck by something that wouldn?t have been
true fifteen years ago. At lest half the people had cell phones clued to
their faces, and some people who appeared to be talking to themselves had a
Bluetooth for hands-free conversation. 
Time is money. Researchers tell us that time is the new currency. Today time
is more important than money. People will spend money to save time whereas
an earlier generation raised during the Depression would spend time to save
money. In a world where most of us feel stressed out, we value our free time
more than a few extra dollars in our pocket. 
How much time do you have left? No one knows for sure. I spoke with a friend
whose cancer is in remission, but the doctors told him that his cancer would
almost certainly come back. They planned to do a bone marrow transplant but
they won?t unless the cancer does come back, which it probably will but they
can?t be sure. So my friend doesn?t know whether he is living or dying or
both. 
How Much Time Do You Have Left?
Life is so uncertain. No one knows how long they have to live. However, the
statisticians have figured out the average life expectancy for people of
every age. There is a website called Death Clock that will tell you how long
you will live according to the charts. It even gives you a projected date of
death. I entered a few dates to see what it says about a few well-known
people: 
Tiger Woods?October 11, 2049 
Tom Hanks?April 20, 2030 
Arnold Schwarzenegger?May 11, 2021 
Donald Trump?March 25, 2020 
Paris Hilton?April 30, 2060 
Billy Graham?August 18, 1992!
That means that Dr. Graham has outlived his projected date of death by
almost fifteen years, for which we can be thankful.
Then I did it for myself. Here is what I discovered:
Ray Pritchard?July 8, 2025
That takes your breath away if you think about it. I realize that date is
based only on certain mathematical calculations, but it is sobering to think
that if it is correct, I have less than twenty years to live. Some may say
this is morbid, but I think it?s the ultimate reality check. Psalm 90: 12
says, ?Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.?
Martin Luther said we should live with the day of our death constantly
before our eyes. It keeps us from the ultimate folly?thinking we will live
forever and therefore giving us excuses to put off doing what we know we
ought to do. 
At least once a week I receive an email that has this statement at the
bottom: ?Life is short. Eternity is significant.? How true that is. 
Coming Soon!
Our passage forces us to face this issue head-on. Paul challenges his
readers to ?understand the present time? (Romans 13:11 NIV). Do you know
what time it is? It?s time to wake up! Why? ?Because salvation is nearer to
us now than when we first believed? (v. 11). That?s a reference to the
Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus is coming, and each day brings us
closer to that great world-shattering event. 
In light of that, Paul tells us to wake up, put off the deeds of darkness
and put on the armor of light. The long night is fading away, the sun is
peeking over the eastern horizon, Jesus is coming soon!
Christian, do you know what time it is? It?s time to wake up and get
dressed!
In light of the return of Christ and the lateness of the hour, how should we
then live? Our text suggests three answers to that question. 
I. Something We Must Know
?Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from
sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The
night is far gone; the day is at hand? (vv. 11-12a). 
What ?time? is Paul talking about in verse 11 and what ?hour? does he mean?
He means that this present age is sinful and dark and ultimately passing
away (Galatians 1:4). It won?t last forever (1 John 2:17). Colossians
1:12-13 uses the image of darkness and light in many places to explain what
happens when someone becomes a Christian. They are transferred from the
kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. Do you know what being saved
is like? It?s like living in the darkness for twenty or thirty or forty
years and suddenly the lights come on. 
What time is it right now? Check your watch and see. Now read verse 11 again
and answer the question.
What time is it? It?s time to wake up. You sleep at night. You don?t sleep
during the day. All of us understand what that means. It?s hard to sleep
during the day. It doesn?t feel right. It?s not natural. Day is for waking
and working; night is for sleeping and dreaming. 
Why does Paul say that the long night is over and the day has come? Because
the coming of the Lord is at hand. How near is it? Very near indeed. When
Billy Graham preaches on the Second Coming, he often tells the story of a
grandfather clock whose chimes rang every hour, once for one o?clock, twice
for two o?clock, and so on. One night the clock malfunctioned, causing the
chimes to ring thirteen times. A little boy heard it and raced through the
house yelling ?Get up, everyone get up! It?s later than it?s ever been.? How
true that is. It?s later than it?s ever been, and in 2007 we?re closer to
the coming of Christ than ever before.
That?s not just rhetoric. The situation in the world has become so unstable
that catastrophe could happen at any moment. A week ago secret plans were
leaked alleging that Israel plans a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Iran?s
nuclear reactors. A recent survey reveals that 60% of Americans expect a
major terrorist strike on our soil this year. An equal number expect
terrorists to unleash a nuclear or biological weapon somewhere in the world.
Before you write that off as uninformed public opinion, consider this fact.
Since 1947, a magazine called the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has kept the
?Doomsday Clock,? a symbolic clock to show how close we are to global
catastrophe. As the situation in the world gets better or worse, the hands
of the clock are set closer or further away from midnight. Since 2002 the
clock has been set at seven minutes till midnight. This Wednesday the clock
will be re-set for the first time in five years: 
The major new step reflects growing concerns about a ?Second Nuclear Age?
marked by grave threats, including: nuclear ambitions in Iran and North
Korea, unsecured nuclear materials in Russia and elsewhere, the continuing
?launch-ready? status of 2,000 of the 25,000 nuclear weapons held by the U.S
and Russia, escalating terrorism, and new pressure from climate change for
expanded civilian nuclear power that could increase proliferation risks.
Christian, do you know what time it is? It?s closer to midnight than we?ve
ever been, and it?s also closer to the coming of Christ. The survey I
mentioned earlier said that 25% of Americans believe there is a good chance
that Jesus will come in 2007. That was on my mind last week when we were in
the check-out line at Wal-Mart. I looked and saw a rack of tabloid magazines
One of them contained a list of predictions for 2007. In the lower
right-hand corner it said, ?Jesus Returns in Great Glory.? It even predicted
that he would return in October. I think the writers don?t believe that. To
them it?s just a gimmick. But for those who do believe the Bible, there is
another side to all this. No matter what their intentions, that article
reflects the instability of this world and the yearning for something better

Christian, do you know what time it is? It?s later than it?s ever been.
II. Something We Must Put Off
?So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light
Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not
in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy? (vv.
12b-13). 
Those who understand what time it is will put off the deeds of darkness. He
compares that with the ?armor of light"?a reference to the new life that
Christ gives us. It?s like taking off your pajamas in the morning and
putting on fresh clothes before you go to work. 
Coming to Christ is like waking up after a long night?s sleep. Just as you
don?t wear your pajamas to work, in the same way you don?t ?wear? the dirty
clothes of the old life. All that passed away the moment you became a
believer. 
Six Deeds of Darkness
Our text specifies six particular ?deeds of darkness? that the believer
should put off. The first is called ?orgies.? That should be
self-explanatory, but perhaps it will help to know that originally this word
was used for public parties given in honor of someone who had won a great
victory. Later the word referred to all-night parties that included
drunkenness, sorcery, drug use, and every form of sexual
immorality?including adultery, fornication, homosexuality, pedophilia and
pornography. These things are forever ?out of bounds? for the Christian. 
The second deed of darkness is ?drunkenness,? a sin that even the heathen
abhorred because it showed a lack of self-control. How many people have
fallen prey to the lie that they need alcohol to relax, or forget their
problems, or loosen up? Alcohol is a tricky liar. Sometimes people drink
because they feel they have to fit in or prove they belong to the group.
I?ve even heard of Christians who drink in order to help them reach people
for Christ. While we can?t make hard and fast rules about alcohol, we can
say with absolute confidence that using alcohol as a narcotic or an
artificial stimulant or in order to loosen your inhibitions is strictly
forbidden by God. 
Then Paul mentions ?sexual immorality.? Actually, the Greek word means ?beds
? which is why the King James Version used the term ?chambering.? It refers
to the immoral activity that takes place in the bedroom. This rules out all
forms of sexual immorality, no matter how tame they may seem to be. Many
things happen in the bedroom under cover of darkness that ought not to
happen at all. 
The fourth deed of darkness is called ?sensuality.? Scholars call this one
of the ugliest words in the Greek language. It refers to brazen, shameless
sin. The word is aselgeia. The person who commits this sin has a seared
conscience. He not only sins but he does it publicly and then brags about it
This term especially applies to those people who parade their immorality
down main street, who in the name of ?freedom? and ?tolerance? brag about
their perversion. 
Then Paul mentions ?quarreling.? This speaks of unhealthy competition, a
desire to be number one at all costs. The final deed of darkness is
?jealousy,? which is another word for envy?anger at the success of others or
anger at your failures when compared with others. These two sins of the
hearts?hidden though they may be?have no place in the Christian life. They
belong to the darkness you left behind the moment you came to Christ. 
The night is fading away, and with it the need to wear the rags of the old
life. Christian, it?s time to change your clothes. Throw away those deeds of
darkness and put on the armor of light!
III. Something We Must Put On
?Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to
gratify its desires? (v. 14). 
What do well-dressed Christians wear? They wear the Lord Jesus Christ. What
should you wear to work tomorrow morning? After you put on your outward
clothes, make sure you put on Jesus! What should you wear to class this
week? The answer is Jesus! How about what you wear to the store or to the
prom or on vacation or while you are just hanging around the house? Put on
Jesus! He?s always appropriate for every occasion.
Put on his holiness. 
Put on his beauty.
Put on his humility.
Put on his purity.
Put on his compassion.
Put on his wisdom. 
Put on his forgiveness.
Put on his righteousness.
Put on his zeal.
Put on his patience.
Put on his love.
Clothe yourself with Jesus early in the morning and you will be well-dressed
all day long.
But there is one thing you need to know. Christ must be in you before he can
be on you. He must live in your heart as Lord and Savior before you can take
him with you to work. It?s not enough to know about Jesus; you must know him
in your heart and trust him as your Savior and Lord. 
Do you know Jesus? Does he live in your heart? Have you trusted him as your
Lord and Savior or are you still trusting in the filthy rags of your own
good works to take you to heaven? Without Jesus you can never get rid of the
deeds of darkness that cling to you. Until he comes in you will live in your
sin because you have no other choice. But when Christ comes in, everything
changes. 
?I?ve Known Jesus All My Life?
Every Thursday night I lead a men?s Bible study in Tupelo. Last week a
retired pastor joined our group. At one point we discussed how Christ came
to break Satan?s hold on us caused by our fear of death. Down deep in the
human heart there is a fear of death that Satan uses to keep us enslaved. He
plays upon our fear of death to keep us in the chains of sin. That?s why the
Bible says the sting of death is sin (I Corinthians 15:56). When the unsaved
die, they die with their sins still upon them, like a heavy burden, a vast
weight bearing them down to hell. Often they die miserable, angry,
frustrated, and fearful because they don?t know what to do with their sins. 
Reflecting on the many funerals he had conducted, the retired pastor
remarked that when a loved one dies, you can tell the Christians from the
non-Christians because the non-Christians have a ?restlessness? about them,
but there is peace in the heart of those who believe in Jesus. That comment
was very timely because a man who had attended the Bible study died a couple
of weeks ago. He had been diagnosed a month or two before with cancer?and
now he is gone. One of his close friends said, ?He wasn?t afraid to die. He
was ready when the Lord called him home.? That?s the difference that Jesus
makes. What do people do who don?t know the Lord? Death is hard enough to
face if you are a Christian, but it is intolerable without the Lord. And yet
every day countless thousands march into eternity with the leaden weight of
sin hanging around their necks. 
Years ago I visited a woman who was over ninety years ago and facing serious
surgery. On the day before the surgery I visited her hospital room and found
her sitting up in bed reading Romans 8. So I took the Bible and began
reading some of those soul-stirring verses at the end of the chapter: 
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or
persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ? No, in all these
things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am
convinced that neither death or life, neither angels nor demons, neither the
present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor
anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of
God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35, 37-39 NIV).
When I finished, I prayed with her and got up to leave. As I did, she said,
?I?m not sure what the doctors are going to do tomorrow. I guess they will
just go in there and do whatever they want.? Then she added, ?But it doesn?t
matter. I?ve known Jesus all my life. I accepted him as my Savior when I was
10 years old. I can?t remember a time when I didn?t love him.? 
Christian, do you know what time it is?
It?s later than it?s ever been.
The death clock is ticking for all of us.
Christian, do you know what time it is?
It?s the dawning of a new day.
It?s time to put off the deeds of darkness.
It?s time to put on the armor of light.
It?s time to take Jesus with you everywhere you go.
It?s time to get serious about your faith.
It?s time to stop sleepwalking though life. 
Look! Do you see the first rays of dawn? The night is almost over, the sun
is rising. Jesus is coming soon. 
Have patience, child of God. Your Savior is on the way.
Take hope, defeated Christian. The Lord is at hand.
Be encouraged, suffering believer. The trumpet will soon sound.
Keep believing, struggling saints. Your salvation is nearer than when you
first believed.
Christian, do you know what time it is? It?s time to wake up and get
dressed! 
RELATED BOOK
Stealth Attack
Scorched earth tactics and cruel hatred are the characteristics of your
spiritual enemy. Protect yourself against Satan?s plan to destroy your life.
 
May the Lord bless and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon
you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you
and give you peace.  Numbers 6 24-26 
Maranatha: Even so, COME Lord Jesus!

From the Desk of Rev. Joe Diaz 111
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Wed 29 Jan 2014, 9:54 pm

Who Is Your Strength?
By Anabel Gillham

Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from
ourselves, but our adequacy is from God. - II Corinthians 3:5

They will be held guilty, they whose strength is their god. -Habakkuk 1:11

God's characteristics -- His immutability, His omnipotence, His omnipresence
His omniscience -- were, of course, available for me and to me, but I was
holding up pretty well with my own immutability, omnipotence, omnipresence,
and omniscience.

You see, I had performed all my life to gain acceptance from others, and I
had really been quite successful. I always looked to Anabel as the "author
and finisher" of my strength.

Omnipotent

I was powerful. I could do it! In fact, I used to say that by the time I was
22 years old I had learned two things very well: 1) I can learn; and 2) once
I know how, I can do it. Nothing was too difficult for me to undertake. Oh,
I might hesitate to accept the task of washing windows on the Empire State
Building, but then out of my mouth would come the all-too-familiar words: 
Of course, I'll do it."

Omniscient

I was wise. On the Dean's honor roll. Who's Who. I knew what I needed, what
I wanted -- and I had the tenacity to keep performing until I got it. That
didn't wane as I became a part of the "real" world, either. I left college
with my tennis racquet under my arm and a tank filled with self-sufficiency.
I moved away from the protection of my loving parents, the familiar streets
of dear old Poteau, and the comfortable life of home. I didn't have a
placard around my neck, but it was emblazoned in my thought-life: I can do
it!

Omnipresent

I was on the scene -- God wasn't. His omnipresence didn't impress me all
that much. I needed physical proof of His presence, and I didn't have it. So
I depended on the strongest person I knew . . . Anabel.

Immutable

As far as being immutable -- unchangeable -- I was able to meet life, to
roll with the punches and change if it was needed. I was in control. Why
should that change? I was certainly not going to stop performing.


God's constant presence?
God's wisdom?
God's power? 

Those attributes weren't doing me one whit of good, and since my own
strength was what I depended on, by definition my strength was my god.

Let's just say that my attitude was, "I'll call You if I need You, God." And
I never really thought through that Mindset. You see, what I was saying
(ignorantly . . . Thankfully) was this: "God, I have learned to do this,
this, and this quite well. I'm still working on this one, but You're helping
me and pretty soon I'll get the hang of it. Now this one is still real hard,
but if You'll just keep working with me I'll eventually conquer it, too; and
then guess what, God? I won't need You at all!" (How presumptuous of me!)

After years in an unhappy marriage, after having a profoundly retarded son,
after financial frugality that seemed to take the joy out of life, after
dealing with the unpleasant people that I couldn't control or make go away .
. . I began to need Him. I began to realize, for the first time in my life,
that my strength was not working. My life was changing me from "the leading
female role" to an introverted behind-the-scenes stagehand. In fact, I
pretty much lost all interest in going to the plays. The performer was about
at the end of her ability to perform!

Then I came across Habakkuk 1:11, and it was as real to me as Saul's
encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. That came, of course, after
years of performing and after more pathetic years of failing. But even then
there was still enough life in this strong woman to "kick at the goads!" I
couldn't kick much longer, though. I was just too tired of trying.

Well, today I have a new verse, a new theme song: The woman who has come to
know that You are her strength is a woman who is blessed (Psalm 84:5-7).

I've come to know this, but it was a very difficult lesson for me to learn.
I had played "god" for a long time and was loathe to give up control. I was
so sure of my ability. But God, through His patience and wonderful guiding
hand in my life, brought me to the point where I can say very comfortably
with Paul, "Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as
coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God" (2 Corinthians 3:5).

Who is your strength?

O God Most High, I repent of those many times when pride was the despicable
attitude that I displayed. Lord, teach me to despise pride as You do. Stir
in my heart a growing appreciation of humility. I desire to be clothed with
humility. I humbly seek You afresh that I might live by the grace of the
Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.? 
?  
May the Lord bless and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon
you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you
and give you peace.  Numbers 6 24-26 
Maranatha: Even so, COME Lord Jesus
From the Desk of Rev. Joe Diaz 111
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Wed 29 Jan 2014, 9:04 pm

DO THE WORK OF AN EVANGELIST
by Gary Wilkerson
I am a pastor, and my hours are filled with the work of my calling. But lately
my heart has been stirred to do the work of an evangelist. Recently I asked God
to open doors to five people during the coming week so that I could witness to
them about Jesus. That very day I was sitting with my family in a restaurant
when an elderly man walked by and placed his hand on each of our shoulders as
he passed. It was a tender gesture and I reached out to talk to him.

The man?s name was Skip and he was eighty-five years old. He told us his wife
had just been disabled by a stroke. ?We?ve been married all these years, and
now she?s lying in bed at home,? Skip said. ?I?m overwhelmed with the
work of caring of her. I just came out to get a little break.? When I asked
if we could pray for him, Skip?s eyes welled up. He had been waiting to hear
someone tell him that God cared.

Later that week, I shared the love of Jesus with a homeless teenager. Within
days I had had meaningful, powerful encounters with others. Prayer not only
opens doors powerfully but it opens our eyes to the needs at our very
doorstep?and to God?s desire to meet those needs.

In each of our communities, people are ready to see a faithful church act on
its belief that God desires to free people from every prison. They want to know
there is hope for their despair. The Lord is ready to move as a result of our
prayers; now He needs us to move forward in faith to see His power transform
lives.

I urge you: Keep praying earnestly?for your loved ones and for everyone you
meet. God may have already moved in their lives, even though you don?t
realize it. So when you hear a knock at your door, be faithful to open it.
Jesus is ready to amaze us all with His saving, delivering, transforming love.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are you ways my ways," saith the Lord.
Isaiah 55:8

Mark and the God of The Second Chance

You may have had an incredible or horrible past year—but whichever it was, 
God declares that we start today brand new in Christ. This reality is 
emphasized as the calendar starts over; communion also is a constant 
reminder of this promise—but as we will see today, the Gospel by Mark is 
from start to finish the Gospel of New Beginnings!

"What can God do with me if I have failed Him?" As a pastor I hear that or 
something like it, so often. Is there an answer to believers who are less 
than perfect? Yes! Failure for a believer is only a temporary condition; for 
the lost it is permanent.

Have you ever failed, quit, or walked out on an assignment from God?

list of 3 items
• We serve the God of the second chance, a Lord so gracious that His 
strength is made perfect in our weakness (
II Corinthians 12:9).
• He is the God of new beginnings (
Lamentations 3:23).
• And the life we have in Christ is just a series of new beginnings! (
II Corinthians 5:17)
list end

That is comforting for me. The longer each of us live the more aware we are 
of our imperfections, failures, shortcomings, and sins—aren't we?

So today as we look at this New Year before us, we have our first choice to 
make as believers: wait until we are able to perfectly minister (never) or 
get started now and serve as we grow and are shaped by the Lord.

Mark's LIFE is encouraging

FIRST, we see that God wants to use ordinary people to serve Him. It is 
ordinary people who fear; it is ordinary people who fail. And that is just 
the kind of people that the Lord wants to use. The question is do we want to 
be used? God wants to do extraordinary things with ordinary people so that 
He - the Lord, will get all the credit for what is done.

SECONDLY, we see God wants to use those we might call failures to serve Him. 
Before Mark wrote this Gospel he was a drop out from ministry. Paul was so 
upset that he was willing to lose his partner in ministry than take someone 
he thought was a quitter along on the 2nd Journey.

Continue reading
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Tue 28 Jan 2014, 3:56 pm

November 9, 2013

The Lord Is Near
by Charles R. Swindoll
I called on Your name, O LORD,
Out of the lowest pit.
You have heard my voice,
"Do not hide Your ear from my prayer for relief,
>From my cry for help."
You drew near when I called on You;
You said, "Do not fear!"
---Lamentations 3:55-5

Our Father, we find relief in knowing that You're here. We talk to You as 
though You are sitting right next to us. For indeed, though we cannot see 
You,
by faith we believe You're here. You bring us such relief in life, our 
Father. We would be so lonely without You. The nights would linger 
interminably; the pressure would be more than we could bear. The tests would be 
incalculable were we on this journey alone. But thankfully we're not.

You are here with us. And You are in control. We ask You to take every part 
of that which makes us who we are . . . our temperaments, our personalities,
our gifts, our drives, our ambitions, our dreams, our failures, our hopes, 
our sorrows, our disappointments, and everything that makes up life for us.
Take whatever we have, take whomever we love, take us wherever You find us, 
and let it all be set apart to You.

We ask You to take care of those people and situations that are beyond our 
ability to fix or change. Relieve our minds of the worry of it all, because,
like thorns and briars that encroach upon a lovely garden and finally choke 
out its blooms, these things have a way of choking us so that we are unable
to hear what You have to say.

We trust You to answer our prayer. In the merciful name of Jesus our Savior 
and our tender God we pray. Amen.

See also Job 5:17-18; Psalm 94:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8.

Excerpted from
The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2,
Copyright ? 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Mary Padgett Ministries, Inc.
A Word In Due Season
VICTORY IN THE MIDST OF STRESS

Scripture:  II Corinthians 4:8-9  "We are troubled on every side, yet not
distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not
forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed."

Paul faced many discouraging circumstances in his life and ministry, but he
maintained an overcoming faith that brought him through to victory. 
Regardless of what happened, Paul did not allow himself to become distressed
to engage in despair, feel forsaken, nor be destroyed.  He absolutely had
no 'quitting sense', and time after time he refused to give up when
adversity challenged him.

You would think that Paul, a special and chosen vessel of the Lord who was
destined to write nearly three-fourths of the New Testament and go on great
missionary journeys, would be exempt from trials and tribulations.  If he
truly was in the will of God, it seems that things would be working out
better for him.  But we see him being stoned, imprisoned, suffering
shipwreck, battling religious leaders, and encountering all kinds of major
conflicts.  He was constantly under some sort of pressure, yet was never
stressed over it.  Paul had learned early on that all things would
eventually work out for his benefit because he loved God and was called to
fulfill the purposes of God.

Sometimes we think that we should be exempt from adversity when we make a
decision to serve God or give ourselves to the ministry, but like Paul, we
discover that just the opposite is true.  When we turn from the world and
start walking towards God, we are no longer walking with the enemy but
against him.  Thus we face him head-on and find ourselves in great conflict.
We are troubled on every side and are tempted to give in to the stress and
despair of our circumstances.  Persecution comes and we feel rejected and
forsaken.  The enemy of our soul is working towards his goal to destroy us
with this mind set.  Yet, it's in these times of conflicts and hard places
that we are schooled in faith and our character is tested for the Master's
use.  Like Paul, when we come to the place where we are troubled on every
side, we must make a choice.  We can either give in to the strategies of the
devil or stand against him and refuse to be stressed, despaired, forsaken,
or destroyed. 
We invite you to visit us online at www.widsonline.com
Contact by email : mpadgettministries@msn.com 
Copyright ? 2014 Mary Padgett Ministries. All Rights Reserved
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Mon 27 Jan 2014, 12:36 am

First Instinct
By Skip Heitzig

Worry is a huge problem. As used in the Bible, the word worry means to 
divide the mind. You know what that’s like: You try to focus on something 
but other things steal your thoughts away. It’s difficult to grab hold of 
God’s promises and walk in the Spirit when your mind is torn and divided.

Paul tells us, “Be anxious for nothing” (see
Philippians 4:6-7
. That’s a command, and it’s such a strong one that it would be best 
rendered “stop worrying about even one single thing.” He is echoing Jesus, 
who told us not to worry about our life, or what we will eat or drink or 
wear (see
Matthew 6:25-34).

Paul’s prescription for this problem is to replace what you’re worried 
about, those thoughts that consume your mind, with communication with God. 
Replace your fears, worry, and anxiety with prayer.

The word prayer is sometimes translated worship. When something bad happens, 
is our first instinct to stop and worship? No, usually we rush the throne of 
God and spout out the problem. But if we were to pause and to make our first 
trained instinct to worship God—to think about who we’re addressing and what 
He’s capable of, and give Him praise and honor—that would change our 
perspective!

Paul’s second word, supplication, means strong crying—begging God. 
Typically, that’s our first instinct. And the Bible says “Good! Pour out 
your heart to the Lord; make supplication.”

And the third is thanksgiving. Learn to thank God not just for the things 
you’ve prayed for that He has answered, but even when you pray for something 
and it doesn’t happen. “God, I’ve learned that You know better than I do. 
You know best. I’ve learned to trust You. You’ve brought this into my life 
because You want to mature me. Thank You.” Give God thanks because He is 
still God, and He knows what He’s doing. Learn to make that your first 
response.

In the story of the ten lepers that Jesus healed (see
Luke 17:11-19
, only one came back to thank Him. That’s only ten percent. I wonder, with 
all the blessings God has given us, if only ten percent of the time we say, 
“God, I just want to thank You.” It may not be our first instinct, but it 
can become our learned instinct.

Only then come our requests, and the promise we have is the peace of God. 
Remember this: The peace that you experience (or don’t experience) as a 
Christian is related to the giving of thanks to God. I would even say that 
your peace is directly proportional to your ability to give thanks to God 
for the things He brings to your life.

Are you a peaceful person? I bet you thank God a lot. Are you an ill-at-ease 
person? I bet thanksgiving isn’t on your menu a lot of the time.

Charles Spurgeon said he would rather be blind, deaf and dumb than to not be 
thankful to God. So let’s make thanksgiving a habit, not only at this time, 
but throughout the year—our learned instinct.

Copyright © 2013 by Connection Communications. All rights reserved.
For more from Skip Heitzig, visit
ConnectionRadio.org,


Are You Listening?
by Ryan Duncan, Crosswalk.com Entertainment Editor

The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. –
Proverbs 12:15

It’s common to hear Christians say, "Speak the truth with love," but what 
about listening? I once read the story of a young man who was struggling 
with a number of problems. He was depressed, his faith was waning, and his 
parents eventually convinced him to sit down with their Church's pastor. The 
day of the appointment, the pastor walked in and, before the young man could 
even open his mouth, began to speak about "How the grace of God was 
sufficient for all things."

"By the end of the meeting I knew a lot about him and what he believed, but 
he knew absolutely nothing about me," the young man would later recall. 
Sadly, one of the most overlooked commands in the Bible is that we are to 
listen to others. Too often, in our zeal to share the word of Christ with 
others, we end up trampling them in platitudes and redundant scriptures. But 
listening can be a powerful tool. Listening builds understanding, diminishes 
fear, and can be comforting in a time of sorrow.

Look at this passage from the book of James,

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, 
slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about 
the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth 
and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, 
which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive 
yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do 
what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a
mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what 
he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that 
gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, 
but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does. –
James 1:19-25

Listening is the first step in acting out the scriptures, not speaking. The 
Church has the potential to do so much good in the world, to share the love 
of Christ with so many people. However, in order to do this we must first 
stop talking, sit quietly, and get to know them. We need to hear their 
stories, understand their hurts, empathize with their anger, and then, when 
they have nothing else to say, that is when we speak our truth. It's time to 
start using our ears before we use our words.

Intersecting Faith and Life: Have you been listening to others? Take a 
moment and consider how you are reflecting Christ.

Further Reading

Proverbs 17:28

November 8, 2013

Acknowledging Our Weakness
by Charles R. Swindoll

block quote
For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the 
power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because
of the power of God directed toward you. ---2 Corinthians 13:4
block quote end

Our Father, we all struggle with weakness. We're reminded almost every day 
that we don't have it all together. We need You. We have heartaches and 
disappointments
that haven't gone away . . . the grief of broken relationships, illnesses, 
and recent deaths. We invite You to enter in, Lord. Enter into all of that 
on
our behalf. Through Your presence may we find relief and release from that 
which has bound us, tied us up within. We're able to take only so much, and
sometimes we come to a virtual breaking point. In our times of physical and 
emotional weakness, we need Your comfort and Your strength.

We are also stalked by sin. We need Your grace. Sin has taken a terrible 
toll on the human condition. And though we are well-versed in every possible 
way
of ignoring it or explaining it away, today we come to terms with it. Surely 
we have failed or fallen in some area just this week, and the ache of that
nags us and troubles us---some needless words, some outburst of anger, some 
lingering resentment, or some caustic response. Lord, thank You for the 
blood
of Christ that keeps on cleansing us from all sins, including these. Forgive 
us, our Father. Remove from us the enemy's desire to make us ashamed and to
drag us under the load of that failure. May we remember that in Your grace 
You not only forgive, You wipe the slate clean. Thank You that You know our
weakness and love us nevertheless.

In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

See also Romans 8:26; 15:1; 1 Corinthians 1:25; Hebrews 4:15.

Excerpted from
The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2,
Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide

© 2013 Insight for Living. All rights reserved worldwide.
Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sun 26 Jan 2014, 1:28 am

Rotten Fruit
by Ryan Duncan, Crosswalk.com Entertainment Editor

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge 
others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be 
measured to you. –
Matthew 7:1-2

During my time in college, I met another student who considered himself a 
very devout Christian. In terms of practice, this student couldn’t be 
criticized for his dedication. He read the Bible each morning, attended 
chapel like clockwork, and never broke a rule during his time at the 
university. In terms of spirit though, he represented the worst Christianity 
had to offer. He was proud and judgmental, always calling out others on what 
he considered to be “sins”.

When guys got together to play a game of Halo, he accused them of putting 
videogames before God. Once, when a guy kissed his girlfriend goodbye on the 
cheek, he railed for an hour about sexual immorality. When one girl stood up 
to him and told him to mind his own business, he called her “deaf to the 
Holy Spirit.” Things finally hit a major low one night at a Bible Study 
where, after being ignored by some of the other members, he declared that a 
prophet like himself was wasting his time with these
reprobates. He left the university shortly after, and no one was sad to see 
him go.

Now, the reason I’m writing this isn’t to shame him, God knows I’ve done 
plenty of stupid things in my time too. What bothered me though was the fact 
that, despite much evidence to the contrary, this student was certain he was 
doing the right thing. In fact, there are many so-called Christians who do 
and say terrible things, all in the name of God. In cases like these, it’s 
vital to remember what Matthew wrote about bearing fruit.

“By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn 
bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, 
but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad 
tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut 
down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of 
heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who
is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not 
prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many 
miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, 
you evildoers!&# 39;” – Matthew 7:15-23

At some point, every Christian needs to look at their life and examine the 
fruit they’ve been harvesting. Are there bushels full of harsh words, proud 
actions, and vindictive thoughts, or does their bounty include selfless 
gestures and a gracious heart? Remember, God will judge us by what we sow in 
the hearts of others, be careful you’re fruit isn’t rotten.

Intersecting Faith and Life: Take a moment to examine how you have been 
treating others. Are you truly approaching them as Christ would?

Further Reading

Luke 6:31

FREEDOM IN FAITH

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
John 8:36

During an SSTS seminar in Central Asia, we listened to testimonies of the 
participants who were mostly from Muslim background. We asked how long they 
had
been followers of Jesus. The majority answered, “Nine years.”

When we asked how they had become believers, they shared that there was a 
vicious religious civil war in their country nine years earlier. It had 
shown
them the true colors of Islam and they turned to follow Jesus for the 
reasons listed below:

1. LOVE

Jesus of the Bible teaches and exemplifies love and compassion.

2. WORSHIP

They were attracted to the Christian love of singing and worshipping God 
with praise and joy!

3. FORGIVENESS

Jesus shows how to forgive our enemies – feed them and give them water to 
drink.

4. JESUS’ LIFE

Jesus’ teachings and His example are very attractive.

5. WOME

Jesus holds women in high esteem.

6. FAITH

Jesus claims to be the way, truth and life. Salvation in Christ is by faith 
alone. No works or rituals or rules can save us.

7. TRUTH

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is “Good News” because He is the Truth. The 
Gospel is based on Truth.

8. LIBERTY

Christian expression is based on freedom and liberty in Christ. The Bible 
teaches the basis for such liberty.

These eight positive principles are a powerful affirmation of the uniqueness 
of Jesus Christ.

RESPONSE: Today I will appreciate the uniqueness of the Gospel and Jesus my 
Savior.

PRAYER: Pray today that many more Muslims may come to faith in Jesus and 
follow Him fully.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS)
A daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks

© 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission


The Amazing Eyes of Jesus Christ

"His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like 
a flame of fire."

-Revelation 1:14, emphasis added

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to personally look into the 
eyes of Jesus Christ? When most people think of Jesus, they immediately 
picture His eyes of compassion-perhaps as the Good Shepherd carrying a lamb, 
or of Jesus tenderly cradling a little child on His lap. There's no doubt 
about it: Jesus cares deeply about His children!

Consider these different ways that the eyes of the Lord so lovingly watched 
out for His children: Hagar experienced Christ's eyes of compassion (Genesis 
16:1-13); Joseph experienced Christ's purifying eyes of consecration 
(Genesis 39:1-9); David experienced Christ's ever-present eyes of comfort 
and confidence when he felt alone and fearful (Psalm 139); the disciples 
experienced Christ's calming eyes of rescue (Matthew 14:22-33); and Peter 
experienced Christ's sad eyes of chastening when he tried
to live in his own strength (Luke 22:54-62).

When we are troubled, Jesus says, "Look up! See My eyes of compassion and 
concern for you." He longs for His children to keep on looking into His eyes 
so that He can guide and care for us.

All of us, adults and children alike, are easily drawn to Christ's eyes of 
compassion, but we should never forget that He also has eyes of fiery 
judgment. When Jesus stood before the Apostle John, John was so afraid that 
he "fell at His feet as dead" (Revelation 1:17). What he saw revealed that 
the eyes of Jesus were ablaze with an otherworldly glow, a fire that nothing 
can stand before. For just a moment, consider what it means to have 
laser-like eyes:

A laser is a beam of coherent or focused light. Sunlight is incoherent and 
unfocused light of many wavelengths, and going in every direction. A laser 
is light of one wavelength and direction. Thus a laser can focus the energy 
of light to a point bright enough to melt and vaporize steel, rock, or any 
other material we know of on earth. A laser works a million times faster and 
more powerfully than a nuclear explosion.

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November 7, 2013

Fighting Against Self-Focus
by Charles R. Swindoll

block quote
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind 
regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out 
for
your own personal interests, but also for the interests of 
others. ---Philippians 2:3-4
block quote end

Our Father, we who operate in such selfish realms often find ourselves 
preoccupied with stuff of our own. We focus on messes we've made back in the 
yesterdays
of our lives, consumed with fears of tomorrow, knowing our propensity toward 
messing things up and uncertain about where this will lead. And then, of all
things, in this ever-present now, we find ourselves again preoccupied with 
what someone may think . . . or say or do or how we will look in their eyes.

Deliver us, Father, if only for today, from our preoccupation with self. 
Help us to envision You as King, the very essence of life---God over all; 
God
who forgives all messes, who understands all frustrations, who calms all 
fears; King who reigns over our lives supremely. Because we have come to the 
cross
and met You on Your terms, Lord, may we understand that Your will is really 
best, even when we cannot explain it, understand it, or for that matter, 
defend
it. You're King. You're the Monarch, the Master. We're the servants. You're 
the Potter, we're the clay.

Whatever it is we are dealing with today, quiet our spirits. Bring Your 
presence to our immediate attention. May it eclipse everything else. May 
Your sovereignty
reassure us and Your hand on our life humble us.

In the great name of Your Son, Jesus, our King, our Lord, and our life. 
Amen.

See also Proverbs 23:6; Matthew 23:25; James 3:14, 16.

Excerpted from
The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2,
Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 23 Jan 2014, 10:36 pm

AM I WORTHY?

Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 10:38

Helen Roseveare was an elderly missionary to Congo, Africa when I was still 
very young. I remember her holding the audience of ten thousand university
students spell-bound and then in tears at Urbana ’76. Her life story is a 
testimony to the grace of God portrayed in the 1989 movie, Mama Luka Comes 
Home.

She is often asked by young people what she suffered for Jesus. Her simple 
answer is, “During the Simba uprising in the Congo, I was raped twice. 
Government
soldiers came to my bungalow, ransacked it, and then grabbed me. I was 
beaten and savagely kicked, losing my back teeth through the boot of a rebel 
soldier.
They broke my glasses, so I could not see to protect myself from the next 
blow.

“Then one at a time, two army officers took me to my own bedroom and raped 
me. They dragged me out into a clearing, tied me to a tree, and stood around
laughing. And while I was there, beaten and humiliated and violated, someone 
brought out the only existing hand-written manuscript of a book I had been
writing about God’s work in the Congo over an eleven-year period. They put 
it on the ground in front of me and burned it.

“I asked myself, Was it worth it? Eleven years of my life poured out in 
selfless service for the African people and now this? The minute I expressed 
that,
God’s Holy Spirit settled over that terrible scene and He began to speak to 
me.”

‘“My daughter, the question is not “Is it worth it?” The question is, “Am I 
worthy?” Am I, the Lord Jesus who gave His life for you, worthy for you to
make this kind of sacrifice for Me.’ And God broke my heart,” Helen 
continues. “I looked up and I said, ‘Oh Lord Jesus, yes, it is worth it, for 
You are
worthy!’” She concludes, “When you ask the right question, you’ll always 
know that He is absolutely worthy of anything you can give Him or do for 
Him!”

Phil Callaway of SERVANT magazine once asked her, “Did you ever struggle to 
forgive those men?”

“No,” she replied. “There was no sense of bitterness or even anger. I was 
overwhelmed by the sense that God was graciously using me in His purpose. 
All
He asked of me was the loan of my body. The consequences were His. A year 
later when I returned to Congo and met the man who had humiliated me, I 
realized
that I did carry some resentment and I wasn’t sure I had forgiven him. But 
God led me to accept from Him the forgiveness that only God can give, and He
gave me His peace again.”[1]

Helen returned to Congo after all the above and continued her life of 
service for Jesus among the African people.

RESPONSE: Today I will ask the right question, “Is Jesus worthy of the 
sacrifices He asks me to make?” Then I will answer affirmatively and take up 
my
cross and follow Him!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for the wonderful trophies of grace, like Helen 
Rosevere, who encourage us in our walk with You who are truly worthy.

1. Phil Callaway, “Is it worth it?” Servant (Issue 85, 2010), p.11.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS)
A daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks

© 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission

SPIDER SILK VIOLIN STRINGS

Shigeyoshi Osaki makes violin strings out of spider silk and claims that – 
in the right hands – they produce a beautiful sound.

His latest creation is making waves among musicians who praise the sonorous 
quality of the spider silk violin strings for their ‘soft and profound 
timbre’.

His passion for the violin inspired him to create something with a musical 
twist. Thousands of the tiny strands are wound together and produce a strong
yet flexible cord that is perfect for the instrument claims Prof. Osaki.

Osaki, professor of polymer chemistry at Nara Medical University has been 
working with spider silk for 35 years. “Spider silk strings can have all 
sorts
of applications in our day-to-day lives,” he said and suggested the material 
be used for surgical sutures and for bulletproof vests.

Osaki once produced a rope spun from spider silk that he said could 
theoretically support a 600 kg (1,300 pound) weight. As many as three 
hundred female
Nephila maculata spiders provide his raw materials.

Spider silk is widely regarded as the strongest natural thread known, at 
least half as strong as steel thread of the same thickness, and much more 
elastic.

Source: Yomiuri News

Much stronger than steel threads or spider silk is the cord of love God 
gently uses to draw his own to Himself!

I led them with cords of kindness and love.

I did not lead them with ropes.

I lifted the heavy loads from their shoulders

(Hos. 11:4, NIRV).

The cords of a man are such as parents use in leading weak or young 
children. It is the opposite of rough ropes which men employ in taming or 
breaking
wild and unmanageable animals.

God’s bands of love are very tender and strong.

Oh! Would we but respond to such incredible tender love!

David Verwey

JAPAN MISSION
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Wed 22 Jan 2014, 5:33 pm

November 6, 2013
For Finding Rest in God
by Charles R. Swindoll

On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.
---Psalm 62:7-8

Our dear Father, we are grateful for the rest that is found in Christ. Our 
souls were like waves crashing against a shoreline, and our lives were in 
tumult
and disarray, confusion and chaos. And then You rescued us. You brought us 
forgiveness and relief, and You introduced us to a wonderful four-letter 
word
that has become for us a lifeline for survival: rest. Thank You for the 
peace that accompanies this rest. Thank You for the freedom from worry. 
Thank You
for carrying the weights that we used to carry on our own shoulders, for 
giving us literally thousands of promises that become ours to claim, to grow 
in,
and to be comforted by.

Father, You have the ability, being who You are, to know each need in each 
heart, each concern in each mind. So we pause and release to You those 
things
that have plagued us long enough. We give them over to You now. In doing so, 
we invite the Spirit of God to plow the soil of our souls so the seed of 
God's
Word can be sown, take root, and be watered in time so as to produce 
spiritual abundance.

We commit these valued moments to You, resting in You. And may this allow us 
to be lost in wonder and love and praise. In Jesus's name, amen.

See also Genesis 2:2-3; Joshua 21:44; Psalm 22:2-3; Hebrews 4:9.

Excerpted from
The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2,
Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Find Hope in Christ's Majesty

Common Causes for Cave Times

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but 
not in despair.

-2 Corinthians 4:8, emphasis added

As a pastor, biblical counselor, and a follower of Christ for over forty 
years, I am convinced that feelings of abandonment are very common among 
believers, no matter how mature they might be in the Lord. Both the apostles 
John and David knew what it was like to feel alone and in desperate need of 
Christ's presence. Look at David's opening words in Psalm 13:1-2: "How long, 
O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from 
me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having
sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?"

David experienced many such cave times, and it is likely that we will also. 
What are some common causes of cave times-those periods in life when we feel 
utterly abandoned by others as well as God?

Cave times may start through a protracted illness that seems to never end, 
when strength never comes, when future plans fade, and so does hope. If hope 
is lost, uncontrolled emotions can wreak havoc not only in the ill person's 
life but also in the lives of his or her family.

Another common cause for feeling abandoned is a sudden loss of income, when 
financial needs become difficult, and eventually seem overwhelming. This 
type of trial can place a great deal of stress on a marriage and family. So 
can a demanding and unreasonable boss, a grueling and unending schedule, or 
a jealous, spiteful, and injurious coworker. Wayward children also cause 
immeasurable pain to believing parents, as does an alcoholic or abusive 
spouse, or unsaved family members.

Usually, times like these make us feel that no one really cares about us. So 
more and more we start to feel rejected by others, which then starts the 
downward spiral into thinking that God has abandoned us as well. David 
experienced such a depth of feeling abandoned that in Psalm 13 he cried out 
to God as if he could no longer hang on.

Amazingly, there is little said or written in Christian literature about 
helping believers who feel abandoned by God.

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Mon 20 Jan 2014, 8:42 pm

CHECK THE VITAL SIGNS
by Jim Cymbala

Prayer is the source of the Christian Life, a Christian lifeline. Otherwise, it
is like having a baby in your arms and dressing her up so cute—but she’s not
breathing! Never mind the frilly clothes—stabilize the child’s vital signs.
It does no good to talk to someone in a comatose state. That is why the great
emphasis on teaching in today’s churches is producing such limited results. 
Teaching is only good where there’s life to be channeled. If the listeners
are in a spiritual coma, what we are telling them may be fine and orthodox, but
spiritual life cannot be taught.


Pastors and churches must get uncomfortable enough to say, “We are not New
Testament Christians if we don’t have a prayer life.” This conviction makes
us squirm a little, but how else will there be a breakthrough with God? 

If we truly think about what Acts 2:42 says—“They devoted themselves to the
apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to
prayer”—we can see that prayer is almost a proof of a church’s normalcy.
Calling on the name of the Lord is the fourth great hallmark in the list. If my
church or your church is not praying, we should not be boasting in our orthodoxy
or our Sunday morning attendance figures.

My wife, Carol, and I have told each other more than once that if the spirit of
brokenness and calling on God ever slacks off in the Brooklyn Tabernacle, we
will know we are in trouble, even if we have 10,000 in attendance.

During countless Tuesday night prayer meetings I find myself encircled by the
sacred sounds of prayer and intercession filling the church and overflowing
from every heart present. As the meeting edges to a close, I overhear mothers
petitioning for wayward children, men asking God to please help them find
employment, and others giving thanks for recent answers to prayer. I can’t
help but think, “This is as close to heaven as I will ever get in this life.
I don’t want to leave here. If I were invited to the White House to meet some
dignitary, it would never bring the kind of peace and deep joy I sense here in
the presence of people calling on the Lord.”



"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are you ways my ways," saith the Lord.
Isaiah 55:8


 *Bubbling Over With Jesus*

Volume 14 Number 222

Today's Author: Pastor Bill

Scripture: James 3:11a
"Does a spring of water bubble" NLT

Matt and his mom, while in the hospital, saw an older women sitting by 
herself. Matt said, "Mom that woman looks very sad, I think I'll wheel 
myself over
and just talk to her."

Matt did just that. He introduced himself and found that the lady's name was 
Mary. Matt learned that she was alone and her dad was having heart surgery.
They talked for a long while until it was his turn to get ready for surgery.

Just before leaving Mary asked Matt about his hospital stay and he said he 
had been ill since he was 7 years old. She asked him, "How do you keep 
going"
and he said, in a loud clear voice that just bubbled out of him "JESUS" as 
he was wheeled off to surgery.

Mary had a tear run down her face as Matt left.

After surgery the lady was gone and Matt asked, "Mom, do you think Mary will 
find JESUS?"

Mom said, "Yes Matt, she just did."

Prayer: Father help me to bubble over with Jesus for others to see and 
respect. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

Financial support for the Philippine Crosses at What's Up at ccm?
Click Here

Pastor Bill Team Prayer:

Father please bring 1........... .. 2........... .. 3........... ... into your 
kingdom.

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

Copyright (c) 2013

Pastor Bill - Christian*Cyber* Ministries
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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Mon 20 Jan 2014, 8:36 pm

Max Lucado
Today's Quote:

Keep your eye steadily fixed on the infinite grandeur of Christ's
finished work and righteousness. Look to Jesus and believe, look to
Jesus and live! Nay, more; as you look to him, hoist your sails and
buffet manfully the sea of life. Do not remain in the haven of distrust,
or sleeping on your shadows in inactive repose, or suffering your frames
and feelings to pitch and toss on one another like vessels idly moored
in a harbor. The religious life is not a brooding over emotions, grazing
the keel of faith in the shallows, or dragging the anchor of hope
through the oozy tide mud as if afraid of encountering the healthy
breeze. Away! With your canvas spread to the gale, trusting in Him, who
rules the raging of the waters. The safety of the tinted bird is to be
on the wing. If its haunt be near the ground--if it fly low--it exposes
itself to the fowler's net or snare. If we remain grovelling on the low
ground of feeling and emotion, we shall find ourselves entangled in a
thousand meshes of doubt and despondency, temptation and unbelief.

Jesus Knows How You Feel

Remember when you sought a night's rest and got a colicky baby? Remember 
when you sought to catch up at the office and got even further behind? 
Remember
when you sought to use your Saturday for leisure, but ended up fixing your 
neighbor' s sink? Take comfort, friend. It happened to Jesus too. In fact, 
this
would be a good time to pause and digest the central message ...

Jesus knows how you feel.

Ponder this and use it the next time your world goes from calm to chaos.

His pulse raced. His eyes have grown weary. His heart has grown heavy. He 
has had to climb out of bed with a sore throat. He has been kept awake late 
and
has gotten up early. He knows how you feel.

You may have trouble believing that. You probably believe that Jesus knows 
what it means to endure heavy-duty tragedies. You are no doubt convinced 
that
Jesus is acquainted with sorrow and has wrestled with fear. Most people 
accept that. But can God relate to the hassles and headaches of my life? Of 
your
life?

For some reason this is harder to believe.

Perhaps that's why portions of this day are recorded in all the Gospel 
accounts (
Mark 6:1-51
;
Luke 9:1-27
;
John 6:1-21).
No other event, other than the Crucifixion, is told by all four Gospel 
writers. Not Jesus' baptism. Not his temptation. Not even his birth. But all 
four
writers chronicle this day. It's as if Matthew, Mark, Luke and John knew 
that you would wonder if God understands. And they proclaim their response 
in
four-part harmony:

Jesus knows how you fee

This excerpt is taken from In the Eye of the Storm. Ever wondered if God in 
heaven can relate to you here on earth? In the Eye of the Storm takes you 
through
what Max Lucado calls "the second most stressful day in the life of our 
Savior
Copyright 2013 Max Lucado. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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