Saturday, April 30, 2016


by C. R. Stam
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph. 3: 14).

When adversity strikes, the world keeps telling us: "Don’t let it get you down," but believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have learned that it is good to let troubles and difficulties get them down -- down on their knees.

A native evangelist in Africa sat outside his hut discouraged and unhappy. Trouble and disappointment had brought "great coldness" into his heart and he seemed ready to give up. The Lord, he felt, had utterly forsaken him. As he sat there, though, his little girl kept nudging him and saying: "Daddy, go inside and pray ." Finally it worked! The evangelist went inside, poured his heart out to God and arose feeling sure that the Lord would see him through.

It is good for us to get down on our knees before God. There is no attitude more appropriate to the redeemed sinner. And as we pray, often falteringly....

"The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
"And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose" (Rom. 8:26-28).

"Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding. shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6,7).

Friday, April 29, 2016


By Pastor Bob Hanna

"There is none righteous, no, not one. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:10,23). Most believers think of these statements in the sense that because we have committed many sins, we must confess them and repent of them in order to attain salvation. In actuality, however, even if it were possible for one never to have sinned at all (which it is not) he would nevertheless be guilty and under condemnation, separated from God and in need of salvation. Most evangelical teaching is geared to pleading with God to forgive us for sins that we have committed. But the most important factor is either misunderstood or overlooked. The fact is that our condemnation is inherited from Adam.

"Wherefore as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: For until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come" (Romans 5:12-14). King David had knowledge of this condition. He said, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Psalm 51:5). As for the plea for forgiveness, this too is misunderstood by the majority of teachers, pastors and evangelists. To beg God for forgiveness is in fact a denial of His finished work of redemption on Calvary's cross. He has already forgiven; we have but to thank Him for it in order to claim it for ourselves.

Our apostle's message is clear: "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians1:12-14). "For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many" (Romans 5:15). "Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift" ( II Corinthians 9:5).

We don't change God's message -- His message changes us.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


 by C. R. Stam
    Man, by nature, is afraid of God. When Adam first sinned, he should have gone immediately to God to beg for mercy and forgiveness. Instead he did just what millions are doing today: he ran and hid from God so that God had to come and look for Him, as it were, calling: "Adam... where art thou?" (Gen. 3:9).

Many people who consider themselves as good, morally, as those about them, or even better, nevertheless feel utterly ill-at-ease in a place of worship, where believers pray and praise God together. This is because in their heart of hearts they know that they have "sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).

Such, however, may come to know, love and enjoy God through faith in Christ. He was Himself God manifested in the flesh, come to earth in love to pay for our sins on Calvary's cross, so that we might have "redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace" (Eph. 1:7).

Concerning those who respond in grateful faith and trust in the crucified, risen, glorified Lord for salvation, the Apostle Paul says:

"Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Rom. 5:2).

Peace with God, and the fellowship which naturally results from this is the most precious treasure the human heart can contain. Yet our fellowship with Him here on earth is but the beginning. Read carefully Ephesians 5:25-27 and see how He took upon Him human form, and died, that He might have us for Himself forever:

"...Christ... loved the Church, and gave Himself for it... that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016



Scripture Reading: I Thessalonians 4:16

Resurrection is only for the body. The only ones who will take part in the raising of these select dead are those who have already been placed in Christ by the baptism of the Spirit of God. To be IN CHRIST is to immediately partake of the Life of God: that is eternal life. The body may become dust before God's program is ready for the Spirit and soul to be reunited.

At this resurrection, the spirit of those who experienced what Paul spoke of---absent from the body, present with the Lord---(No soul sleep there!) will return to earth to see that pile of dust be raised so they can now be once again in the body now made new and be present with the Lord, in their new body.

Resurrection for the members of the Body of Christ has already happened---IN CHRIST! Because He lives, we too shall live! Those who are born once will die twice. Those who are born twice will die once. Eternal life is experienced in the Spirit, at the moment of salvation. Eternal life will be experienced by the mortal body either at this special resurrection, or at the moment of translation. We shall not all sleep, and perhaps this generation will be the one to see this glorious thing happen. Not death, but translation!

IN CHRIST, we have died, we have been buried, and we have been raised from the dead. Our whole life is now on the resurrection side of the grave. Eternal life is not only quantitative, it is qualitative. Resurrection is just one more benefit of being IN CHRIST.

 Give it all to God: your past regrets, your present problems, your future ambitions, your fears, dreams, weaknesses, habits, hurts, and hang-ups. Put Jesus Christ in the driver’s seat of your life and take your hands off the steering wheel. Do not be afraid; nothing under His control can ever be out of control. – Rick Warren

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


    by C. R. Stam

    Most people are surprised when they learn that the Old Testament,though three times as large as the New, does not contain one single promise about going to heaven. God's people, in Old Testament times, looked forward to a glorified earth, with Messiah as its Ruler.

    This was so even when our Lord was on earth and continued to be so through Pentecost. Peter, addressing his kinsmen just after Pentecost, said in essence: "Repent, and God will send Jesus down here" (See Acts 3:19-20), but Paul, in his epistles, says by divine inspiration: "Believe, and God will take you up there."

    This apostle of grace teaches us that God has already given believers in Christ a position and "all spiritual blessings" in heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 2:4-6; 1:3). And he teaches further that at the close of this dispensation of grace "the dead in Christ shall rise" and "we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together meet the Lord... and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thes. 4:16,17).

    Thus it is that Paul, God's special apostle for our day, declares that "our conversation [or citizenship] is in heaven" (Phil. 3:20) and writes of "the hope which is laid up for you in heaven" (Col.1:5). Thus it is that he encourages persecuted saints, saying:

    "Ye...took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing...that ye
    have in heaven a better and an enduring substance" (Heb. 10:34).
    And thus he writes even of death:

    "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were
    dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with
    hands, eternal in the heavens" (II Cor. 5:1).

    " die is depart and to be with far
    better" (Phil. 1:21,23).

We have so much to be thankful for every day.
God continually  provides for all our needs.
 So let’s make Thanksgiving a  year-long celebration.

—David C. McCasland

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Lifetime of Transformation

Let's continue to walk through a lifetime of transformation.

In the message "The Rock of Obedience" we considered our call to hear the words of God AND to "put them into practice" (Matthew 7:24). In fact, we saw that obedience to His Word is an indicator of our eternal position in Christ; "We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands" (1 John 2:3).

Salvation is a work of the Spirit, a "circumcision of the heart" (Romans 2:29), for those who truly believe in Jesus Christ. This miraculous work of the Spirit will always cause a change and will always produce fruit. However, we must balance this truth with the understanding that spiritual change is a transformation which is sometimes painfully slow. Each new creation in Christ is given the Holy Spirit as a guide, but we will spend the rest of our life learning who we really are in Christ and how to "keep in step with the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25).

Even Paul recognized his spiritual maturity was not complete. He had the unique opportunity to receive truths and understanding directly from God; "this is what we speak, not with words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit" (1 Corinthians 2:13), but Paul still fell short of God's glory and had to strive to reach the place Christ desired.
Philippians 3:10-12

"I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me."

Paul knew the goal of his life was to bring glory and honor to God by living in the fullness and power of the resurrection. He knew he was to live a submitted life as one who was born "into an inheritance that can never perish" (1 Peter 1:3-4). But he also knew he had not fully attained this goal.

At the moment of salvation, Jesus "took hold" of our life. Every single day we are given a new opportunity to pick up the pieces and bring Him glory and honor in ALL we do as we "press on toward the goal" (Philippians 3:14). We only arrive at the goal when we are called Home and see Him face to face, when we are fully "transformed into His likeness" (2 Corinthians 3:18). But until that time, we are to press forward in the obedience of worship, holiness, and eternal priorities.

No matter how difficult our current circumstances, how terrible our past mistakes or how seemingly hopeless our future, the only step under consideration is our very next. We must begin today to live as a new

Sunday, April 24, 2016


This is the time of the falling away, when many whose love of God is waxing cold, and is made very clear unto those having an ear to hear, hear [Jhn 10:27-30] what the Spirit is saying to the Church ...
you have made MY word of none effect by the traditions of your fathers; you proclaim that darkness and light are able to fellowship as one, and you call that which is evil good, and via versa, you burden MY people with miracle seeds that are not - you have become politically correct tossed to and fro by/with the winds of the changing social order times as you continue to drink at Jacob's well when a Greater One has arrived; and you hunger and thirst after the dollar bill, and trinkets in error that do not help one to get any closer to God, for Christ in you, the hope of Glory. And you hunger and thirst after men so to be accepted of men who come in having a form of godliness but denying MY power and authority, denying My precepts (the idea {Logos} behind the principles, decrees, commandments given unto you that is do be rooted deep in our heart that I AM desires reign in you) . 

So, don't be surprised: all systems of this world crumble, all answers to all question come short of the glory of God. This is the time of the falling away, when many whose love of God is waxing cold, and is made very clear unto those having an ear to hear, hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church ... you have made MY word of none effect by the traditions of your fathers; you proclaim that darkness and light are able to fellowship as one in the ONE, Repent:

you have become politically correct tossed to and from by/with the winds of the changing social order times as you continue to drink at Jacob's well when a Greater One has arrived;
and you hunger and thirst after the dollar bill, and to be accept of men who come in having a form of godliness but denying MY power and authority, denying my precepts (the idea behind the principles, decrees, commandments given unto you that is to be rooted deep in your heart that I desire reign in you that not one jot nor tittle shall pass away unto all be fulfilled as MY enemies be made MY footstool) . 

So, don't be surprised, and don't be shocked, and surely fear not, of nothing going down; the enemy of our God knows he's defeated and is going about "the church" seeking who he may devour .... Repent: because, in that, seeing that - The kingdom of Heaven is in our very presence .... seek [Mat 6:33] so to know that ye eat of the tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God [[Rev 2:7].
Our decision is to choose you this day whom we will serve .... God, or the promises of vain men being unattainable .. they're all just mouthing off - and don't be shocked, and surely fear not, at nothing going down; the enemy of our God knows he's defeated and is going about "the church" seeking who he may devour .... 

Our decision is to choose you this day whom we as individually the church, the tabernacle of God, will serve .... God, or the doctrines of men .... Repent ....

Saturday, April 23, 2016

I Can Hear the Sound of Rain

No matter how many mistakes you make, God STILL has a plan for your life! Trust in Him that His plan will be restored no matter what you feel like may have "derailed" your life, even if you feel like YOU derailed your life. God is BIGGER!
God Bless you
Michelle ~ I Can Hear the Sound of Rain

Romans 8:35, 38-39
"Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?" ........

"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Rock of Obedience

Let's faithfully allow Him to build our life upon the rock of obedience.
In the message "Laboring In Vain" we saw we must remove ourselves from the construction process and allow God to build every area of our life. We still must put forth effort - sometimes GREAT effort - but we can no longer build according to our own plans or rely on our own abilities; "Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain" (Psalm 127:1).
We also saw one way to ensure God is building is to live according to the truth of His Word and "do what it says" (James 1:22). We cannot serve our Heavenly Father without aligning our life to His Word. At the end of a passage commonly referred to as "The Sermon on The Mount" (Matthew 5-7), Jesus stated the importance of being obedient to His Word.
Matthew 7:24-27
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

In this wonderful mountainside message, Jesus taught about Salvation; "enter through the narrow gate" (Matthew 7:13), but He also taught extensively about basic Christian living - what Paul referred to as being "in step with the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25). Jesus said that both the foolish and the wise man heard His words and set out to build a house, but only one man followed God's design, and only one house remained standing after the storm.
Salvation is never earned by "doing." But true believers will strive to be obedient to what Jesus taught; "If you hold to My teachings, you are really My disciples" (John 8:31). We are obedient because our heart has been transformed and His Spirit now compels us to follow; "We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands" (1 John 2:3). We may stumble and sometimes fall, we may even become frustrated at the frequency of our falls, but if we are a child of God we will continue to get back up and move toward obedience because of who we are in Christ!
Each of us have been given a choice on how to build our life: our way or God's way. We must allow our Heavenly Father to become our Master Builder. As His plan unfolds, we must learn to trust Him with ALL our heart. He promises to work through us to build something eternally beautiful that will weather all storms. But His promise is only applied as we faithfully allow Him to build our life upon the rock of obedience.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
Steve Troxel
God's Daily Word Ministries

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Laboring In Vain

Dear Lord, beginning right now, help us to stop laboring in vain!
As we are "crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20) and live "united with Him in His resurrection" (Romans 6:5), we begin to view more and more of our life through the eyes of God. What we once saw as critically important begins to fade; and what we once neglected, we now begin to see as beloved by our Heavenly Father.

We can no longer build according to our old set of priorities. In fact, when we truly come in full submission to the cross of Jesus, we find we can no longer build anything according to our own design or in our own strength. We discover we must make God the Master Builder of every area of our life or we are wasting precious time, energy, and resources.
Psalm 127:1
"Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain."

Our life goes by so fast and our eternal vision is so very limited. Many of us are frantically building our castle and have failed to see we are building with sand which will crumble with the swell of the next tide. We may be struggling to build in our marriage, children, parents, job, school, friends, or even our ministry. But if we are expending great effort without results which are pleasing to God, we must honestly ask the question: "Who is doing the building?"
Even if our effort meets with apparent success, we must ask the same question and relinquish controls to God. Our greatest projects, if built in our own strength, will one day pass through the fire and be consumed; "the fire will test the quality of each man's work" (1 Corinthians 3:13). The standard of quality is determined by God, not man! It will be a sad day if we find we have spent a lifetime building that which is consumed by fire; "he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames" (1 Corinthians 3:15).
In order for God to properly build, we must first submit to the refining He desires to accomplish. He will mold us into the likeness of His Son as we are fully devoted to loving Him, learning His Word, and applying His Truth as the absolute foundation of our life: "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says" (James 1:22-24).
God is not just the best solution, He is the ONLY solution worth pursuing. Heavenly Father, help us to not waste another moment of this precious life you have given. Help us see where we have taken too much control and give us the strength and courage to turn over ALL to You. Dear Lord, work through us to build what will last for eternity! Beginning right now, help us to stop laboring in vain!
Have a Christ Centered Day!
Steve Troxel
God's Daily Word Ministries

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Being Poor in Spirit

"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3).

If you are poor in spirit, certain characteristics will mark your life.
The Puritan writer Thomas Watson listed seven ways to determine if you are poor in spirit (The Beatitudes [Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1971], pp. 45-48):
1. You will be weaned from self—Psalm 131:2 says, "Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child." When you are poor in spirit you will focus not on yourself but on glorifying God and ministering to others.
2. You will focus on Christ— II Corinthians 3:18 says that believers are " ... with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." When you are poor in spirit, the wonder of Christ captivates you. To be like Him is your highest goal.
3. You will never complain—If you are poor in spirit you accept God's sovereign control over your circumstances, knowing you deserve nothing anyway. Yet the greater your needs, the more abundantly He provides.
4. You will see the good in others—A person who is poor in spirit recognizes his own weaknesses and appreciates the strengths of others.
5. You will spend time in prayer—It is characteristic of beggars to beg. Therefore, you will constantly be in God's presence seeking His strength and blessing.
6. You will take Christ on His terms—Those who are poor in spirit will give up anything to please Christ, whereas the proud sinner wants simply to add Christ to his sinful lifestyle.
7. You will praise and thank God—When you are poor in spirit, you will be filled with praise and thanks for the wonder of God's grace, which He lavishes on you through Christ (Eph. 1:6).
Do those principles characterize your life? If so, you are poor in spirit and the kingdom of heaven is yours (Matt. 5:3). If not, you must seek God's forgiveness and begin to live as His humble child.
Dr. John MacArthur
Grace Community Church

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Mourning Over Your Sin

"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4).

When your sins are forgiven, you are a happy person!
Human sorrow is mourning over some tragic or disappointing turn of events. At such times, believers are assured of God's sustaining and comforting grace (2 Cor. 1:3-4). But when Jesus said, "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." (Matt. 5:4), He was referring to godly sorrow, which is mourning over your sin.
"Mourn" in Matthew 5:4 translates the strongest Greek word used in the New Testament to express grief. It is often used of the passionate lament expressed over the loss of a loved one (e.g., Mark 16:10). David was expressing that kind of sorrow over his sin when he wrote, "When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me:my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah." (Ps. 32:3-4). His grief and despair made him physically ill.
At that point David wasn't a happy person, but the blessing godly sorrow brings isn't found in the sorrow itself, but in God's response to it. As Paul said to the Corinthians, "Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." (2 Cor. 7:9-10). Godly sorrow is the path to repentance and forgiveness.
After David confessed his sin he proclaimed with great joy, "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile." (vv. 1-2). When you understand that your sins are forgiven, you are a happy person!
How do you deal with your sins? Do you deny and try to hide them, or do you mourn over them and confess them? "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." (Prov. 28:13).
Dr. John MacArthur
Grace Community Church

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Evaluating Your Righteousness

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." (Matthew 5:6).
Your relationship with God is the measure of your righteousness.
Righteousness means "to be right with God." When you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you passionately desire an ongoing and ever-maturing relationship with God Himself.
Righteousness begins with salvation and continues in sanctification. Only after you abandon all self-righteousness and hunger for salvation, will you be cleansed from sin and made righteous in Christ. Then you embark on a lifelong process of becoming as righteous as Christ—a process that will culminate when you are in His presence fully glorified (Rom. 8:29-30; 1 John 3:2). There's always need for improvement in this life (Phil. 3:12-14), but satisfaction comes in communing with Christ and growing in His grace.
You can know if you're hungering and thirsting for righteousness by asking yourself some simple questions. First, are you dissatisfied with your sin? Self- satisfaction is impossible if you are aware of your sin and grieve when you fall short of God's holy standard.
Second, do external things satisfy your longings? A hungry man isn't satisfied until he eats. A thirsty man isn't satisfied until he drinks. When you hunger and thirst after righteousness, only God's righteousness can satisfy you.
Third, do you have an appetite for God's Word? Hungry people don't need to be told to eat. It's instinctive! Spiritual hunger will drive you to feed on the Word to learn what God says about increasing in righteousness.
Fourth, are you content amid difficulties? A hungry soul is content despite the pain it goes through because it sees every trial as a means by which God is teaching greater righteousness. If you react with anger or resentment when things go wrong, you're seeking superficial happiness.
Finally, are your hunger and thirst unconditional? The rich young ruler in Matthew 19 knew there was a void in his life but was unwilling to give up his possessions. His hunger was conditional.
Christ will fully satisfy every longing of your heart, yet you will also constantly desire more of His righteousness. That's the blessed paradox of hungering and thirsting after righteousness.
Dr. John MacArthur
Grace Community Church

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Being Filled with Mercy

"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." (Matthew 5:7).
Mercy is a characteristic of true believers.
Like the other beatitudes, Matthew 5:7 contains a twofold message: to enter the kingdom you must seek mercy. Once there, you must show mercy to others.
The thought of showing mercy probably surprised Christ's audience because both the Jews and the Romans tended to be merciless. The Romans exalted justice, courage, discipline, and power. To them, mercy was a sign of weakness. For example, if a Roman father wanted his newborn child to live, he simply held his thumb up; if he wanted it to die, he held his thumb down.
Jesus repeatedly rebuked the Jewish religious leaders for their egotistical, self-righteous, and condemning attitudes. They were intolerant of anyone who failed to live by their traditions. They even withheld financial support from their own needy parents (Matt. 15:3-9).
Like the people of Jesus' time, many people today also lack mercy. Some are outright cruel and unkind, but most are so consumed with their quest for self-gratification that they simply neglect others.
Christians, on the other hand, should be characterized by mercy. In fact, James used mercy to illustrate true faith: "What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,' and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself" (James 2:14- 17). He also said mercy is characteristic of godly wisdom: "The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy" (3:17).
Dr. John MacArthur
Grace Community Church

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Divine Method of Love

John 15:9

As the Father loves the Son, in the same manner Jesus loves His people. What is that divine method? He loved Him without beginning, and thus Jesus loves His members. "I have loved you with an everlasting love."1 You can trace the beginning of human affection; you can easily find the beginning of your love to Christ. But His love to us is a stream whose source is hidden in eternity.

God the Father loves Jesus without any change. Christian, take this for your comfort, that there is no change in Jesus Christ's love to those who rest in Him. Yesterday you were on the mountain, and you said, "He loves me." Today you are in the valley of humiliation, but He loves you still the same. On the hills and among the peaks, you heard His voice, which spoke so sweetly of His love; and now on the sea, or even in the sea, when all His waves and billows go over you, His heart is still faithful to His ancient choice.

The Father loves the Son without any end, and this is how the Son loves His people. Saint, you need not fear the prospect of death, for His love for you will never cease. Rest confident that even down to the grave Christ will go with you, and that up again from it He will be your guide to the celestial hills.

Moreover, the Father loves the Son without any measure, and this is the same immeasurable love the Son bestows upon His chosen ones. The whole heart of Christ is dedicated to His people. He "loved us and gave himself for us." His is a love that surpasses knowledge. We have indeed an immutable Savior, a precious Savior, one who loves without measure, without change, without beginning, and without end, even as the Father loves Him! There is rich food here for those who know how to digest it. May the Holy Spirit lead us into its marrow and fatness!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Consistent Trust

Let's focus on the eternal as we give Him a lifetime of consistent trust.
In the message "Eternal Healing" we saw that God's plan will often allow trials for the purpose of bringing us to a greater understanding of His glory. God's desire is for us to turn our eyes from the things we can see and begin to trust the things which are unseen; "for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18).
This lesson is obviously important as we face extreme hardship, but it's even more necessary as the trials begin to fade. The temporary things of this world (even the good wholesome things) will never satisfy the deep longing of our heart. We will always hunger for more until we place the entirety of our life firmly in the unseen hand of God - the same loving hand which holds all of creation.
Trusting in what we cannot see is the very essence of our faith; "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1). We will never find true contentment and peace until we completely "trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5). Our trust should be consistent and invade every area of our life.
If we say we trust that Jesus Christ, who "was with God in the beginning" (John 1:2), and who, "being in very nature God" (Philippians 2:6) came to die so we may live - "in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" (Ephesians 1:7) - then we must also completely trust that "God works for the good of those who love Him" (Romans 8:28). Saying we trust in Jesus for our eternity without trusting Him to guide and protect us during our daily walk is like trusting in the need for air while refusing to breathe. Both are a false trust and will ultimately lead to death.
Romans 8:32
"He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all - how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?"

God loves us so much that He gave us His absolute best; "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). This love assures us He will give exactly what we require to become sons and daughters who glorify His name. God will not give up on a project which cost Him the life of His Son; "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion" (Philippians 1:6).
When we give God our life through faith in Jesus, we must also trust He will not allow the fire to get hotter than we can stand nor the load heavier than we can bear - He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Let's trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and then focus on what is eternal as we give Him a lifetime of consistent trust.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
Steve Troxel

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Eternal Healing

He is at work in our lives accomplishing a true and eternal healing.
In the message "Godly Compassion" we saw how Mary and Martha watched Lazarus become increasingly sick. They knew the healing power of Jesus and had sent for His help, but by the time Jesus arrived Lazarus had died. The sisters were filled with sorrow and cried out; "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died" (John 11:21,32). At this, Jesus was troubled and compassionately wept with those who had gathered (John 11:35).
Jesus genuinely cared about the sorrow and pain of those who knew and loved Lazarus. But remember, Jesus had intentionally allowed Lazarus to die; "when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days" (John 11:6). And if Jesus really wanted to heal Lazarus, He would not have even needed to be near. When He had healed the royal official's son (who was in a bed twenty miles away), He did so by simply speaking a word: "You may go. Your son will live" (John 4:50).
Yes, Jesus allowed Lazarus to die. For in God's all-knowing plan, the need to strengthen the faith of those around Lazarus was more important than healing his illness.
John 11:40
"Then Jesus said, 'Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?'"

God had prepared a miracle which would cause many others to believe and bring glory and honor to His name: "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me...I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that You sent Me" (John 11:41,42). Jesus then proceeded to raise Lazarus from the dead! "Lazarus, come out!" (John 11:43).
We've all been in bad situations which have caused us to cry out and wonder why God didn't just make things "right." Why didn't He remove the enemy, restore our finances, or take away the hurt? And how many times have we become burdened by the apparent injustice in the world; "I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked...surely in vain have I kept my heart pure" (Psalm 73:3,13).
God has the ability to "fix" every situation, but His plan is so much more; though I confess I do not always understand the process. His plan is for us to know Him and His glory; to trust Him and grow while being strengthened through every trial; to continue to be "conformed to the likeness of His Son" (Romans 8:29). His plan is to prepare us for an eternity in His presence.
We must trust God to refine and strengthen our faith - even if by fires which He did not cause! No matter what trials we face, we must trust that "in all things God works for the good of those who love Him" (Romans 8:28). Our job is to love Him! And, as we do, we must continue to believe that He is at work in our lives (even right now) accomplishing a true and eternal healing.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
Steve Troxel
God's Daily Word Ministries

Friday, April 8, 2016

First Love

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment.” Matthew 22:36-38, NKJV

In the last month I had the opportunity to visit, with my family, the small coastal village named Queenscliff, where my grandparents used to live. It was my Aunty’s birthday and we had a big family reunion, and extended family travelled from all over Australia to attend. It was really wonderful. Queenscliff has always been a very special place to me, apart from the family connections. We used to visit Queenscliff every Christmas holidays. It was while attending a Scripture Union Family Mission (SUFM) there as a child that I first gave my life to Jesus.

My grandparents have long since passed away. As I returned to Queenscliff this month, I had a lot of memories of life when I was young, and thought how simple things were back then. I remembered the day I went into my room at my grandparents home and sat on the bed and asked Jesus to be my ‘special friend.’ We had had so much fun at beach mission, combined with learning about Jesus, that I really wanted Jesus in my life. I came to love Jesus so deeply, and my whole life was impacted by that love. I wanted everyone to know Jesus, and I spent my life committed to that purpose.

Now many years have passed since I first gave my life to Jesus. I have felt the call of the Holy Spirit to return to that first love. Jesus tells us in today’s scripture that loving God is the first and most important commandment of life. It’s not that I have ever stopped loving Him. But I think, with the pressures of life, the hardships and struggles I have faced, my love has needed some revitalisation.

Think back to your first love and when you first came to know Jesus. Is your life radiating that love you had at the beginning? If not Jesus is calling you to return to that first love. I know He understands the struggles we are facing which may have made it difficult. But even in the very presence of those difficulties, Jesus wants to come and pour His love afresh into our spirits, and breathe new life into us, so we might love Him again with all our heart, soul and mind.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for the time in my life when You saved me and revealed Your great love to me. You know there have been difficulties I have faced. But I want to love You again as I did at first. Holy Spirit, would You pour Your love afresh into my spirit, and breathe new life into me so I might love Jesus again with all my heart, soul and mind. Amen. Today's Writer : Lynda Scott

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Time to Stand

"Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.\" Ephesians 6:13, NIV

The verse today is part of the section on the armour of God. It seems strange to think that being able to stand is victory, but it is. To stand in spite of all opposition, all negative thoughts, any sense of failure, and the various attacks of the enemy, is hugely significant.

Many states in the USA have adopted the ‘stand your ground’ law that allows an individual to use lethal force rather than retreat, if they believe their life is in danger. As Christians we have the same rights under God to ask Him to help us, by the full strength of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, to stand our ground against the forces of darkness.

To be able to stand is why God has given us His strength, and why we are to put on His armour. If we’re told to stand, then it’s because we’re going to be attacked. We mustn’t be frightened. We’re to take our positions and remain alert. And we’re not to think about retreating.

When standing we must be certain of the ground we’re standing on. Shifting sands of opinion and feelings are unstable. Slippery and muddy ground that focuses on our own weaknesses, sins and failings will cause us to stumble and fall. So the ground we stand on needs to be solid, secure, and unchanging. So what should we be standing on? Here are a few thoughts to help us. We stand in grace (Romans 5:2). We stand in the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1). We stand in courage and strength (1 Corinthians 16:13). We stand in faith (2 Corinthians 1:24). We stand in Christian unity (Philippians 1:27). We stand in the Lord (Philippians 4:1). We should stand perfect and complete in the will of God (Colossians 4:12).

Today, more than ever, as believers in Christ, we need to take our stand. Are you standing? Are you secure in the knowledge that what you’re standing on will never let you down? Then put on God’s strength and His armour, and stand your ground!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to be prepared to stand my ground against every trick, scheme and attack of the enemy. Help me to know that to stand is victory. Help me to be certain of the ground I’m standing on, so that when that time comes I’ll be found facing the enemy head on and immovable in Your mighty power. Amen. Today's Writer : Philip Asselin

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


“The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock”’” (Ezekiel 34:1-3 NIV).
In less than a month of my sojourn in the United Kingdom, I have discovered many pathetic things about the western world. One of those things is the decline in the number of people that go to church, especially the absence of youth in most of the churches. Many church buildings have become empty and been sold because of this. This has been a great burden to me, and I always ask pastors here what they are doing to bring back the youth into the church. Just of recent, I discovered that I have been asking the wrong question! I met a lady in her early fifties who told me that the last time she went to church was when she was sixteen. I asked her why she stopped going to church and she told me a bitter truth about the church here: the church has become institutionalized and the church leaders are not living by example. She cited some examples of the atrocities that the church leaders were doing then which are becoming worse even today. One of such atrocities she emphasized is the fact most of the church leaders are getting richer at the expense of their congregations. She pointed out that the youth here will continue to abandon the church because the people of the church are not practising what they preach. I had no option that day than to agree with her because I know that she was saying the truth. No wonder, many people (especially the younger generation) are no longer interested in the things of the church.
The indictment of the church leaders by this white lady reminds me of the leaders of the people of Israel in the time of Prophet Ezekiel (see Ezekiel 34). The Lord indicted these leaders because they were self-centred. They did not care about the people that they led. The people were suffering under their watch while the leaders continued to live in affluence. This made the people to wander away in search of care. God was not happy with these leaders and promised to hold them accountable (see verse 10).
Are you a church leader? Are you not at fault also of this indictment? Are you not self-centred to the detriment of people you are leading? Do you care about your congregation? Can your congregation follow your example or you are expecting them to just be following your messages? Do you attract people to the church or are you driving them away from the church because of your way of life?
Well, if you are just a member of a church, the infamous way of life of your church leaders should not drive you away from the church. Jesus Christ is our ultimate role Model. He should be your standard (see Hebrews 12:1-2), not any church leader no matter how highly placed or respected.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Lord, help me not to mislead the people you have entrusted into my care.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day" (Deuteronomy 8:10-11 NIV).
One of the recipients of my weekly messages reacted to the message I sent out last week about the reason why people especially the younger generation no longer go to church in the western world. From his experience for the past eleven years he has been living in this western world, he pointed out that the reason I gave is just one out of hundreds of reasons for the decline in church attendance in the western world. He went ahead to list many other reasons. Most of his reasons bother on the wellbeing of most people in this part of the world. Their problem is how to manage the wellbeing, not the absence of it as it is the case in other parts of underdeveloped and developing world. So, most people in the western world think that they do not need God or the church.
These man’s reasons remind me of Moses' valedictory speech to the people of Israel at his old age that contained warnings. One of such warnings is the one quoted above: do not forget your God when you are at ease. Moses knew that it is easier to remember God when we are in need than when things are going on well with us.
In the same way, the rich man in Jesus' parable in Luke 12:16-21 failed to yield to this warning. He had a bountiful harvest. His possession became his idol and he forgot God the Giver. That day, his life was taken from him, and his possession became other people's possession. Jesus Christ pointed out the meaning of prosperity without God: "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:21 NIV).
Beloved, it shall be well with you! God will satisfy you with many good things. His good promise will surely come to pass in your life. However, will you not forget God when you are satisfied with the desires of your heart? Will you still remember to serve Him with what He has blessed you with?
Do not be like that rich fool nor like most people in the western world. Placing God, the Giver above the gifts is a mark of true achievement. Do not forget your God when it is well with you. Serve and obey Him the more. He rewards.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that your wellbeing will not make you to forget your God.

Monday, April 4, 2016


Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. – Luke 10:21

Jesus is rejoicing. Jesus is expressing gratitude to the heavenly Father. And for what is he thanking God? He is thankful that God is doing God's pleasure.

Most of us struggle with having a joyful, thankful heart like Jesus has here. And when we do get around to expressing thanksgiving to God, it is usually for the things that please or encourage us. But Jesus is thankful that God is doing what seems good in His own sight.

Don't miss the point here. Jesus has just finished pronouncing curses on Chorazin and Bethsaida and Capernaum because of their unbelief. He then instructs his disciples to rejoice that their names are written in heaven. In the context of these contrasting people groups, Jesus then thanks his Father for hiding and for revealing truth as seemed good in His sight.

Jesus is pleased that God is sovereign. Jesus rejoices that God is hiding and revealing the truth according to His own purposes. Jesus is thankful that salvation is ultimately in God's hands and that God has graciously revealed truth to the undeserving and simple-minded, while concealing it from the worldly wise and cunning.

Do you have this spirit in your prayers to God? Are you able to thank Him for His divine and sovereign working, even when it crosses your own desires? Are you able to rejoice in the grace of God to the lowly, the undeserving, the unexpected?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Christian Living

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me – Galatians 2:20

I am dead, but I am still living, Paul says. My old, sinful nature was crucified, put to a slow painful death on the cross of Jesus Christ. And now I live by the vibrant, resurrection power of Jesus Christ.

Paul is writing to the church at Galatia, who had been greatly troubled by the teaching that salvation is, in essence, earned by works. Instead of resting in the grace of God, they had been encouraged to legalism and law service.

Interestingly, when Paul writes to them he does not claim that godly living is not a part of salvation. However, he turns the order around entirely. I am not saved because I am good, Paul says, I am good because I am saved: the life I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God.

This is the essence of Christian living. It is not about a set of rules for us to follow gloomily; it is about a Person for us to follow joyfully. Because Christ loved us and gave himself for us, we then love and give ourselves for him!

Have you felt the sin-crucifying, love-inspiring grace of Jesus Christ in your life? If so, then it will display itself in the way you now live, by the faith of the Son of God.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Decision Making

Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies – Psalm 27:11

This is the first and vital priority in making any decision: is it God's will, is it God's way?

The decisions God prompts us to make will always be in complete agreement with His perfect Word, the Bible. God never leads anyone to live or act contrary to His Word, because His Word is His way for us.

The psalmist prays to be lead in a plain path. This is the only kind of guidance that would do any of us any good, isn't it? If we were required to make decisions according to wisdom we don't have, futures we cannot see, or knowledge that is not ours then we would be doomed to failure.

But a plain path means a path that we can understand, that we can see, that we are able to follow.

Finally, the psalmist asks for plain direction because of his enemies. If you do not recognize that you are facing enemies in every decision you make—small and great—then you are deeply ignorant of the reality of this world.

You have enemy desires in your own heart that are spawned from selfish lust and pride and envy. You have enemies in the spiritual world that seek to draw you away from the path of godliness by any means necessary. Your worst enemies in a particular decision may even be well-meaning friends or family members whose priorities for you are not eternal or God-centered.

How appropriate, then, for us all to pray for God's way to be made plain, in spite of the many enemies we surely will face in the way of Christian living.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Serving Others

Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward – Mark 9:41

We often look for the big, splashy acts of service or devotion by which we can prove our love for God. But Jesus says even the smallest act of service in His name is never missed, will never go unrewarded by God.

Genuine Christian service can be as simple and practical and otherwise forgettable as giving a thirsty saint a cup of water to drink. The person themselves might forget you brought them the water; you may forget the service the moment after you render it (Matthew 25:37); but God will not forget it.

Most Christians are not required to be martyred for their faith, or to be tortured for the sake of Christ. But every Christian is required to die daily to self, to think of others and how the kingdom of God can be served in even the smallest way.

Are there widows in your church whom you could encourage with a visit or phone call? Is there a brother or sister in Christ who has some physical or financial need with which you could help? Is there a young person in your church who just needs a little attention and direction in order to overcome personal insecurities or pressures from peers?

The one who is willing to anonymously serve in the kingdom of Christ shall not lose his reward. Notice, Jesus didn't just say he will receive a reward, but he shall not lose it! There are eternal blessings to each and every practical act of Christian service.