Friday, March 31, 2017

The Height of God’s Love

By Rick Warren

“For I am convinced that neither death nor 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 that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39 NIV).

There is no place that you can go where God’s love isn’t. You’ll never be separated from God’s love.

Nothing -- no circumstance, no situation -- can separate you, because God’s love is everywhere: “Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39 NIV).

If you want an antidote for loneliness, here it is: You will never be separated from God’s love. The fact is, we do lose loved ones. Even if you’re married, one of you is going to die first, and you will grieve over that.

But if you’re a Christian, God is with you always and forever. You can look to his love for you whenever you feel lonely. I’m not talking about religion. I’m talking about a relationship with Jesus Christ. His love lasts forever, and his love is everywhere.

Talk It Over

• God’s love is high enough to overlook your mistakes. Have you accepted his offer to forgive you and help you start over?
• How do you tune into God's love in difficult circumstances or when you feel lonely?
• What is the difference between religion and relationship?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Waiting for Resurrection

And there was Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre  (Matthew 27:61).
How strangely stupid is grief. It neither learns nor knows nor wishes to learn or know. When the sorrowing sisters sat over against the door of God's sepulchre, did they see the two thousand years that have passed triumphing away? Did they see any thing but this: "Our Christ is gone!"

Your Christ and my Christ came from their loss; Myriad mourning hearts have had resurrection in the midst of their grief; and yet the sorrowing watchers looked at the seed-form of this result, and saw nothing. What they regarded as the end of life was the very preparation for coronation; for Christ was silent that He might live again in tenfold power.
They saw it not. They mourned, they wept, and went away, and came again, driven by their hearts to the sepulchre. Still it was a sepulchre, unprophetic, voiceless, lusterless.
So with us. Every man sits over against the sepulchre in his garden, in the first instance, and says, "This woe is irremediable. I see no benefit in it. I will take no comfort in it." And yet, right in our deepest and worst mishaps, often, our Christ is lying, waiting for resurrection.

Where our death seems to be, there our Saviour is. Where the end of hope is, there is the brightest beginning of fruition. Where the darkness is thickest, there the bright beaming light that never is set is about to emerge. When the whole experience is consummated, then we find that a garden is not disfigured by a sepulchre. Our joys are made better if there be sorrow in the midst of them. And our sorrows are made bright by the joys that God has planted around about them. The flowers may not be pleasing to us, they may not be such as we are fond of plucking, but they are heart-flowers, love, hope, faith, joy, peace--these are flowers which are planted around about every grave that is sunk in the Christian heart.

'Twas by a path of sorrows drear
Christ entered into rest;
And shall I look for roses here,
Or think that earth is blessed?
Heaven's whitest lilies blow
From earth's sharp crown of woe.
Who here his cross can meekly bear,
Shall wear the kingly purple there.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How to Face Your Fears with Faith

by Pastor Jack Graham

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

1 John 4:18

The well-known newspaper column “Ask Ann Landers” has received thousands, perhaps even millions, of letters over the years from people asking for advice. One day, the woman who wrote under the pseudonym Ann Landers was asked, “What’s the number one problem the people who are writing to you face?” She thought for a moment and said, “Fear... people are afraid.”

Fear is as pervasive in our culture as breathing. We who live today are arguably safer than anyone who has ever lived in history. Yet whenever we seem to eradicate one problem, our minds will simply jump to the next one.

This is because fear is inevitable. But as believers, we can choose whether we will fear the right things or the wrong things. As today’s verse tells us, “perfect love casts out fear.” But as we read Proverbs 9:10, we also see that the “fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.”

Fear is good when it’s a healthy respect for something that is bigger than you. But when your fear is focused on things that really have no power over you, then your fear is actually idolatry, because you’re ascribing power to something that’s powerless.

Don’t fear things that are powerless. Instead, have a healthy, fearful respect for God, who is bigger than everything and empowers you to overcome any fear you face!


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Priority of Relationship

by Dr. Charles Stanley

Revelation 2:1-7

Ephesuswas the home of a tremendous ministry. Despite harsh persecution, the church planted by Paul endured opposition, spread the gospel, and was quick to challenge false prophets. But 30 years after the apostle left, John’s revelation included a stern warning for those believers.

Imagine how the words of Revelation 2 must have struck the Ephesians when they read them. After complimenting their service to the gospel, Christ said, “But I have this against you . . .” That phrase was no doubt extremely disconcerting. The Lord warned them that they had left their first love. In other words, all of their work was being done with wrong motives.

Christ called the Ephesians to remember their love for Him and their delight in His salvation. Service is no substitute for an intimate relationship, but modern believers continue to fall into this subtle trap. The commendable things that we do count for nothing unless they stem from a vibrant personal connection with God. Our work can’t be effective or fruitful unless He is in it.

In fact, God is more interested in you and your personal relationship with Him than in a thousand lifetimes of good works. He desires to be the satisfaction and delight of His children so that their service is a result of loving devotion.

There are plenty of wrong reasons to labor for the kingdom. However, God is satisfied only with service motivated by love for Him. He wants those with selfish intentions to return to their first love. In that way, hearts and minds can be renewed, and service to the Lord will be more fruitful.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Love Is a Skill That Can Be Learned

by Rick Warren

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7 NLT, second edition).

Love is a skill that can be learned. In other words, it’s something you can get good at, and that means you get better at love by practicing love.

You may think you’re a good lover, but God wants you to become a great lover, a skilled lover, a master lover. Yet, most people never learn how to love.

You can become an expert at relationships. Wouldn’t you like to become known as a person of extraordinary love? When people speak of how you love others, they might say, “He doesn’t care who you are or what you look like” or “She doesn’t care where you’ve been or what you’ve done or where you’re from.”

The only way you get skilled at something is to practice. You do it over and over. The first time you do it, it feels awkward, but the more you do it, the better you become.

The same is true with love (1 John 4:7). Let’s practice loving each other. The Bible says, “Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all” (1 Timothy 4:15 HCSB).

Talk It Over

• Think of someone you know who loves others well. How can you learn from him or her?
• In what specific ways can you practice loving others well this week?
• What can you learn from Jesus about how to love others?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Winter in My Heart

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sally Kennedy

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Isn’t It Wonderful How God Leads?

George Young was a carpenter. He and his wife were dedicated to following the Lord wherever He led. "He does the leading," they often said, "and we do the following." God led the Young's to the rural Midwest, and they traveled from church to church in revival efforts. Their finances were always tight, but "through the many years, we never went hungry!" as Mrs. Young said years later. "Oh, sometimes we didn't have too much of this world's goods, but... we always had so much of Jesus."

Finally they saved enough to buy a small piece of land on which George built a cottage. Though humble, it was the fulfillment of a life's dream, and when they moved in they dedicated the house to God and sang the Doxology. But some time later, when the Young's were away on a ministry trip, a thug who had been offended by George's preaching set the house on fire. Returning home, the Young's found a heap of ashes. All their worldly goods and cherished possessions were gone.

As George gazed at the ruins, he recounted the precious possessions fire could never destroy - his family, his relationship with Christ, his ministry, his eternal home. There and then, the words of a hymn began forming in his mind. Within a few days, he had written all three stanzas of the great hymn "God Leads His Dear Children Along." The chorus says...

Some thro' the waters, some thro' the flood Some thro' the fire, but all thro' the blood. Some thro' great sorrow, but God gives a song In the night season and all the day long.

Years later, music publisher Dr. Harold Lillenas decided to track down George's widow. Driving to the small Kansas town where she resided, he stopped for directions and was alarmed to hear that Mrs. Young was living in the rundown county poorhouse. Lillenas was deeply troubled that the widow of the author of such a powerful hymn about God's guidance should spend her final days in the poorhouse.

Mrs. Young only smiled and said, "One day God took my sweet husband home. Oh, how I missed him, for we had always served the Lord together. In my heart I wondered, where will God lead me now? Dr. Lillenas, God led me here! I'm so glad He did, for you know, about every month someone comes into this place to spend the rest of their days, and Dr. Lillenas, so many of them don't know my Jesus. I'm having the time of my life introducing them to Jesus! Dr. Lillenas, isn't it wonderful how God leads?"

David Jeremiah

Friday, March 24, 2017


“Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel” (Philippians 4:6-7 CEV).
Recently I received a video clip through one of my WhatsApp groups that is very inspiring to me. In the clip, a man humorously presented a timeless truth about worry by rhetorically asking some questions. Let me try to transcribe part of his presentation: “Do you have a problem in life? No. Then why worry? Do you have a problem in life? Yes. Can you do something about it? Yes. Then why worry? Do you have a problem in life? Yes. Can you do something about it? No. Then why worry?”
The presentation may sound humorous, but it is something that one should ponder about. Why worry for a problem that does not exist? Why worry for a problem that you can do something about? Above all, why worry about a problem that you cannot directly do something about? Then why worry?
That presenter did not complete the timeless truth about worry. One may not worry about non-existent problem, a problem that one can easily find solution to, or most especially a problem that one cannot solve by oneself. However, there are antidotes for worry: prayer and faith. Anyone who can pray to and have faith in God will not worry, but have peace of mind in spite of the problem. There are many biblical injunctions in support of this. Apart from Philippians 4:6-7 (quoted above); Psalm 23:4; 56:3; Proverbs 3:5-6; 12:25; Matthew 11:28-30; Luke 12:24-34; John 14:27; Romans 8:38; Colossians 3:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:16; Hebrews 13:5-6 and many other Bible verses, consider these verses quoted below:
“I tell you not to worry about your life. Don’t worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn’t life more than food or clothing? ...Can worry make you live longer? 28 Why worry about clothes? ...Don’t worry and ask yourselves, ‘Will we have anything to eat? Will we have anything to drink? Will we have any clothes to wear?’...Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today” (Matthew 6:25-34 CEV).
“Our Lord, we belong to you. We tell you what worries us, and you won’t let us fall” (Psalm 55:22 CEV).
“Be humble in the presence of God’s mighty power, and he will honor you when the time comes. God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him” (1 Peter 5:6-7 CEV).
You may not be able to do anything about the problem of your life, but you have a caring God who is ready to listen to you and give you His peace when you pray to and put your trust in Him, then why worry?
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will not worry, but always pray to and put your trust in God no matter the problem of your life.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Jesus Wept

John 11:30-37 (HCSB)
30 Jesus had not yet come into the village but was still in the place where Martha had met Him.
31 The Jews who were with her in the house consoling her saw that Mary got up quickly and went out. So they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to cry there.
32 When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet and told Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died!”
33 When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying, He was angry in His spirit and deeply moved.
34 “Where have you put him?” He asked. “Lord,” they told Him, “come and see.”
35 Jesus wept.
36 So the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”
37 But some of them said, “Couldn’t He who opened the blind man’s eyes also have kept this man from dying?”

Lazarus died and Jesus waited for three days before going to his home. He was very good friends with Lazarus, Mary and Martha. They had seen the miracles that Jesus had performed. Mary and Martha knew that if Jesus had been there he could have healed Lazarus so he would not have died.

Jesus might have been sorrowful for the death of Lazarus and that would have shown His human side. But if He knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead why would He be so sorrowful as to weep? The verses above tell us that He was angry in spirit and deeply moved. Why is this? Why would He be angry in this case? This can be answered with one word:


These people did not fully believe in what Jesus could do. This at first made Him angry then made Him so sad that He wept.

Near the time of Jesus’ crucifixion He wept over Jerusalem because of the unbelief in that city. Many people there had seen what He had done but did not believe He was the Messiah.

Could Jesus be weeping now as he sees what is going on in this world at this time? Does he weep; when we say, “I know the Lord can do thus and so.” But don’t believe he will do it for us? Does he weep when he hears us say that you have to follow certain steps to have him do a miracle for you? We need to believe that Jesus Christ can work and does work in His time and in His way.

May we say, like the father of the demoniac:

Mark 9:24 (HCSB)
24 Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe! Help my unbelief.”

by Dean W. Masters

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Call for Anger

Ephesians 4:26


Interestingly, the Lord actually commands His people to be angry! This may surprise or concern some believers who fail to study the entirety of scripture within context, but the Lord admonished believers at Ephesus to be angry. No doubt this was a call for a righteous anger with a cause, but nonetheless it was a call for anger. Why? The Bible points out that a godly anger can put a stop to sin. According to Proverbs 25:23, “The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.” This directly correlates to the context of Ephesians 4:26 as the surrounding passages speak of ceasing from sin. Simultaneous to the Lord admonishing believers to be angry, He also cautioned them not to let their righteous anger turn into sin.


  • (For children): Nehemiah displayed a godly anger. He drove out Tobiah (an enemy) from the chamber in the house of God, restored the Levites and singers to their proper place in the temple, and stopped those who were working on the sabbath day (Nehemiah 13:7-22).
  • (For everyone): Why would God warn about anger in one verse and encourage anger in another? What kind of anger does God approve? What kind of anger does He disapprove?
  • How could righteous anger turn to sin (Ephesians 4:26)? How could righteous anger eventually give place to the Devil (Ephesians 4:27)?


  • Ask God to help you be angry as He guides.
  • Ask the Lord for a scriptural balance on anger.



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

One Thing Yet To Rise

by Pastor Carter Conlon

There seem to be so many things on the rise in our day. We think about the number of people needing food assistance. The hopeless feeling among so many of our teenagers. The cultural, the social and racial divides seem to be threatening everyday to increase. But the one thing that has yet to rise, has within it the power to change everything around it. It’s the sound of the voices of God’s people, you and I, calling out to Him, for the future of our nation.

For I still believe the words that are written in the word of God in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from the heaven, I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land.”

It’s time to pray.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Don’t Draw Back

by Pastor Carter Conlon

The book of Hebrews chapter 10:37-38 says these words “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”

We all get tired. The human tendency is to take whatever victory that we have, to go home with it and say, “well this is enough.” But you and I live in a perilous time. We have people all around us who are facing today, tomorrow and eternity without God. It’s time for you and I to talk to God about them.

We must believe again that our victory might also become theirs. We must care. We must come back.

It’s time for you and I to pray.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Glorify God in Your Body

1 Corinthians 6:19-20


Far too few believers consider the extent that God cares about what they do in, to, and through their bodies. The reality is that the believer is to glorify God in his body. Today’s passage instructs the saint of God to present his body to God as a living sacrifice. Amazingly, the Bible describes this spiritual sacrifice not as some great spiritual achievement but as a mere reasonable service (Romans 12:1). All true fellowship, consecration, and sanctification originate within one’s heart; however, it eventually works its way out to be visibly seen. A believer deceives himself if he claims to walk with God in sweet communion yet experiences no outward changes visible to mankind. A yielded Christian ensures that no part of his life is off limits to the Lord. He strives to ensure his life, including his body, is a testimony bringing glory to His Saviour.


  • (For children): How wonderful it is that God chose to dwell in man. Therefore, we need to be careful with our bodies (1 Corinthians 3:16-17). Determine in your heart now that you will show forth His praise by obedience (Daniel 1:8; Genesis 39:8-9; 1 Corinthians 9:27).
  • (For everyone): Why is it important that your consecration be a matter of the heart? How can something that begins in your heart eventually work to change your outward behavior?
  • What has changed about you since you trusted Christ? Why have those things changed? Have you changed to please men or to glorify God?


  • Ask God to work in your heart as you study this week.
  • Ask the Lord to help you ensure that nothing is off limits to Him.



Saturday, March 18, 2017


“God has shown you his grace in many different ways. So be good servants and use whatever gift he has given you in a way that will best serve each other” (1 Peter 4:10 ERV).
God may call you out of your comfort zone, but He does so to develop your unique gifts and personalities to serve His good purposes. You honor His creative nature when you permit Him to use you as you are. - Dave Branon

Help me, Lord, to be able to use the gifts You have given me to serve other people and for Your glory.

Friday, March 17, 2017

A People Given to Culture

2 Corinthians 6:17-18


Believers are not to speak, look, think, or act like the world. In every way possible, believers are to remain separate and distinct. Believers saved for any length of time have noticed the drastic shift in what the world defines as acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. For instance, man in general once disdained the idea of tattoos, body piercings, and cuttings in the flesh (Leviticus 19:28). Yet, now these things are not only acceptable but even practiced by believers. The world used to distinguish between men and women, even taking note of one’s hair length (1 Corinthians 11:14-15). Yet these distinctions have been blurred and in some cases eliminated with men attempting to become women and women men. The people of God are not to follow along with cultural shifts, but abide rather in the unchangeable words of God.


  • (For children): Read 1 John 2:15-17. The world loves and accepts tattoos and even thinks paper tattoo transfers are acceptable for children, but what does God say (1 Thessalonians 5:22)? God also does not accept the way the world dresses nor does He want the lines blurred (Deuteronomy 22:5; 1 Timothy 2:9-10).
  • (For everyone): What are some changes you have witnessed in your lifetime? Have these changes made men and women appear more godly or less? Why is it important for you to remain separate from the world and distinguishable?
  • How have the opinions in your home changed from those held by believers a few generations back? Why have they changed?


  • Ask God to protect you from the carnality of this world.
  • Ask the Lord to give you a desire to be different from the world.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Beauty Is Vain

Proverbs 31:30


Increasingly, the world is driven by the desire for more perceived outward beauty. Some people have gone so far as to change everything concerning their appearance in hopes of turning out more beautiful than previously perceived. Beauty, however, is an area where God and man think quite differently. God sees beauty as a matter of the heart, while man thinks beauty involves the putting on of more makeup (2 Kings 9:30), or changing hair color or hair style, or having some cosmetic alteration done to the teeth or body. In the end, the Lord says that man’s idea of beauty is actually quite vain. While men praise outward beauty, the Lord says that “a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.”


  • (For children): God is not impressed by the way we beautify ourselves. He simply wants our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Peter 3:1-4). The Devil was beautiful but rebellious (Ezekiel 28:12-17). So was Absalom (2 Samuel 14:25; 2 Samuel 15:1-12). So are so many in this world.
  • (For everyone): How can one find the proper balance in trying to look neat and clean for the Lord, yet not going to the extreme point of vanity? Have you found that balance?
  • How much of your emphasis concerns your outward appearance? Have you focused upon a change in order to please others? Are you overcome by the need to appear beautiful or handsome?


  • Ask the Lord to help you find balance in this area.
  • Ask the Lord to show you what true beauty involves.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


"You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God" (Exodus 20:4-5 NIV).
"Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces" (Ezekiel 14:3 NIV).
The primitive Africa was full of idolatry. The more I like the African culture, the more I hate its connection with idolatry. I thank God that I have been saved from all these ancestral idols. In Christ, I can be a true African without being idolatrous. However, while I have done away with all the physical idols, what of the unseen idols of the heart? Am I free from them?
God accused the exiled Israelites of idolatry of the heart. Though they were sent into exile because of this sin, they continued in it in the exile. Interestingly, these people still wanted to hear from God, which meant that they probably did not realize that they had set up idols in their hearts against God's will.
I doubt if you still have any physical idol that you are worshipping. Nevertheless, what are the idols in your heart? What are the things that have taken the place of God in your heart? Is it money, occupation, time, sports, pleasure, reputation, position, your children, your spouse, or even your life? Anything you like or love more than God is an idol of your heart. Remove them now and put God in His right position in your heart.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to remove all the idols that are taking the place of God in heart.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

It's All In the Bible

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

We couldn’t help hearing it! This woman had a voice that could be heard at considerable distance and we distinctly heard her say: “I doped it all out from the Bible.”
“Well, at least somebody’s interested in the Bible,” we said to each other.
But as she prattled on it turned out that she had used the records in an old family Bible to establish her claim to part of an estate. These records, introduced in court, had won the case for her.
There was, after all, no indication that she was interested in the Bible — only in those pages between the Old and New Testaments which, in some editions of the Bible, are kept for family records.
Actually she was no different from the masses about us who go about from day to day interested only in the things of this life and ignoring almost completely the things that really matter: God, heaven, hell and their own eternal destiny.
If these people only knew what treasures are to be found in the Bible! Among these are “riches of mercy” (Eph. 2:4), “riches of grace” (Eph. 1:7), “riches of glory” (Phil. 4:19), “riches of wisdom and knowledge” (Rom. 11:33), “the riches of the full assurance of understanding” (Col. 2:2), “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph. 3:8). And the best part of it is that anyone may have these riches simply for the asking:
“For there is no difference… for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him,
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:12,13).

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Cross of Christ

by Pastor Paul M. Sadler

Perhaps you are reading these lines but do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We want you to know that life begins at Calvary! To illustrate consider for a moment the vertical beam of the Cross. It represents the way through which the broken relationship between God and the sinner can be restored. The way is the Lord Jesus Christ. The Savior Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6).
In your heart of hearts you know that you are not right with God. Sin has separated you from the Holy One of Heaven and has made a mess of your life! It’s left you living in fear of death and the judgment to come. I know, I’ve been there! Salvation is not found in what you can do to make yourself acceptable to God, but what He has already done for you at Calvary.
The only way to restore your broken relationship with God is to believe that Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose again the third day (I Cor. 15:3,4). As the song says, “When He was on the Cross, you were on His mind.” The moment you place your faith in Christ’s finished work, you will be forgiven of all your sins: past, present, and future. Keep in mind, too, that the day Christ died all of your sins were yet future.
Nothing in this life is free, someone paid for it! This is also true of God’s provision of salvation; Christ paid for it with His precious blood. Today, God is offering salvation as a free gift to all who place their trust in His Son. When you believe the gospel, the burden of your sins will be lifted. You will for the first time in your life experience “peace with God” through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1). Once this relationship is established, it is permanent because you are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the redemption of the purchased possession (Eph. 1:13,14).
We might liken the horizontal beam of the Cross to our relationship with those around us. Our lives touch the lives of others. God has believers in every walk of life so that those who are still outside of Christ might have the opportunity to hear the good news. This horizontal beam also represents the importance of reaching out to our brothers and sisters in Christ who have yet to see the revelation of the Mystery (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:8,9), which raises an important question: when was the last time you shared Paul’s gospel with a Christian friend?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Love Of Christ

by Pastor Paul M. Sadler

Scripture Reading:
“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” — Ephesians 3:19
The passage before us is a treasure chest of truth. Paul contrasts the spiritual knowledge of the believer (“to know”), with human knowledge (“passeth knowledge”). We are living in a time when a high premium has been placed on intellectualism. Technology is advancing so rapidly that a product is barely to the marketplace before it is obsolete. Human knowledge has progressed to the point where man has now created small micro chips, the size of a pencil eraser, that can store volumes of information. While man glories in his accomplishments in the area of high tech, God is still the infinite One in knowledge overall. I read recently that if man were to build a computer capable of performing the functions of the human brain (memory, reasoning, thinking, functional control, etc.) it would have to be the size of the Empire State Building. How would you like to carry that around on your shoulders? While human knowledge has benefited us all in areas of medicine, science, and travel, man through human wisdom can never know God nor understand the things of God (I Cor. 1:20,21).
Those who are saved, however, have at their disposal a spiritual knowledge that far surpasses human knowledge. Having the eyes of our spiritual understanding opened, we are now able to comprehend the Word of God. It is from God’s Word that we first learned of the love of Christ. It was Christ’s love for us that sent Him to Calvary to die for our sins, to redeem us back to God (Rom. 5:8). His love also keeps us secure, for as the Apostle says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Rom. 8:35). The love of Christ constrains us or motivates us to serve Him. We can never repay what he has done for us, but out of gratitude for what He has accomplished for us we should desire to live for Him (II Cor. 5:14,15). With this knowledge of the love of Christ we can enjoy the fullness of God.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

More Than Conquerors

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

Two boys fight in a back alley. Fists fly. Shouts go up from the other youngsters standing by. “Give it to ‘im! Let ‘im have it!”
Finally one of the two struts away with an arrogant bearing, head and shoulders wagging. He has won!
But has he? Look at him. He has a bloody nose, a black eye and welts on his face and arms. And if looks could kill he wouldn’t even be alive, for while his friends shout his praises, the boy he has beaten gives him a look that says: “Just wait.” He has not won anything except, perhaps, a bitter and lasting enemy.
So it is with the wars that nations wage against each other. Necessary as it sometimes becomes to defend our liberties, our homes, our way of life, by force of arms, seldom does any nation actually win the war. Rather all lose, even the “victors,” as in their “victories” they sow the bitterness and hate which are the seeds of future wars.
It is different, however, with “the good fight of [the] faith,” for the Christian may come out of every battle stronger than when he went in. Only the Christian can say with regard to the heartaches and disappointments, the difficulties and obstacles, that cross his path: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Rom. 8:37).
During Paul’s busy ministry for Christ he suffered a painful “thorn in the flesh,” and “besought the Lord thrice” that it might be taken away. The Lord did not see fit to remove the thorn, but answered Paul:
“My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (IICor. 12:9).
Paul’s response:
“Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me… for when I am weak, then am I strong” (Vers. 9,10).
Let all go well, and we are prone to grow careless in our Christian lives. Adversity, on the other hand, makes Christians lean the harder and pray the more — and therein lies their strength and their victory.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Rightly Dividing The Word

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

It is not enough to use the Bible as a grand book of wonderful sayings from which we may choose what we wish for our inspiration, nor will one who truly realizes that “God hath spoken” ever hold so shallow an opinion of the sacred Scriptures.
“The Word of truth” must be “rightly divided”; for while it is all given for our spiritual profit, it was not all addressed to us, or written about us. Thus one who truly desires to understand and obey God’s Word will seek first to determine what Scriptures are particularly related to him and will study all the rest in the light of these.
Sad to say, however, there are many who fail to give the Book of God the respect and reverence it deserves. They flip it open at random, let a finger light upon the open page and then read the verse indicated to see if perchance they may find leading from the Lord in that way. And if it doesn’t “work” the first time they try it again and again until it does “work.” They use “promise boxes” in the same way, on the basis that “every promise in the Book is mine.” They take passages out of their contexts, “spiritualize” them, and give them “private interpretations.” Finding “precious passages” anywhere at all, no matter to whom addressed or when or why, they place their own constructions upon them and claim them as promises of God to them! To take isolated statements from the writings of men and use them in such a manner would be considered dishonest, but even Bible teachers do it with the Word of God!
The Word, rightly divided, is of supreme importance to the Church at large as well as to the individual believer, and it is because this fact has not yet been sufficiently recognized that we have not experienced the true, heaven-sent revival that the Church so sorely needs.