Sunday, March 31, 2013
Blessed are you who are weeping. In due time, you will be laughing. –Luke 6:21
Spiritual growth can be painful, but comes with lasting joy.
If you follow me you carry a cross. – Matthew 10:38
It's not an easy road, but it's worth it.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
If one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the missing one till he has found it? How delighted he is then! He lifts it onto his shoulders, and home he goes to call his friends and neighbors together. “Celebrate with me!” he cries. “I have found my lost sheep.” – Luke 15:4-6
God's heart is that none should perish.
Love your enemies. And pray for those who persecute. Matthew 5:44
Love, because He first loved you.
Posted by Cheryl Brodersen
Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented." And Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him" (Matthew 8:6-7).
The centurion from this story recognized the "authority" of Jesus when he made his request to Jesus. What Jesus spoke happened. Those whom Jesus touched were healed. Those to whom Jesus spoke were moved. The centurion knew the importance of authority. As a man under authority, he was able to command others.
The centurion recognized that the authority of Jesus came from a greater authority-the authority of heaven. God was in Christ. The works that Jesus did were of God. Jesus represented God so thoroughly that He could say to Philip, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9).
Jesus' words were the words of authority. He did not speak the word of man, but the words of God. His words carried the omniscience of God. His words were not merely philosophies about life or perspectives on life, they were life! Each word was God-breathed.
The authority of Jesus is available to us today through the Spirit of Christ. To be women of authority, we must be women under the authority of Christ. We must seek to speak His Word rather than our own. We must seek the supremacy of His will above our own. Haven't you ever thought to yourself, "If only this generation could see Jesus! He is the embodiment of what the world craves in the recesses of their soul"? Our world needs Jesus. Therefore, we must submit to His authority that we might present Him to this dying generation.
The centurion's insight and belief in the power of the Word of Christ was seen as "great faith" in the eyes of Jesus. Consequently, his servant was healed by his faith. Jesus further blessed the centurion with a public commendation the promise of heaven and a seat with the patriarchs in the kingdom of heaven.
Don’t use oaths, whether ‘by heaven’ or ‘by earth’ or by anything else. When you say yes or no let it be plain ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. – Matthew 5:34-37
Sometimes we use our words to gain the approval of others. 'Yes' or 'No' is much safer.
But seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. - Matthew 6:33
Prioritize the Kingdom and God will take care of the re
By Dr. Andy Woods
Sugar Land Bible Church
I remain astonished at the number of emails I receive from individuals who do not believe that the rapture is a biblical doctrine. Such people seem to have the idea that the whole rapture concept is manufactured by popular, sensationalistic prophecy teachers in their attempt to sell books and make money. Thus, they contend that this rapture doctrine has no biblical justification whatsoever. In order to demonstrate the rapture is truly a biblical doctrine, I am commencing a series of articles on the "Doctrine of the Rapture of the Church." This series will have two major parts. First, we will focus on the "what?" question as we ask ourselves, "What is the rapture?" The two major passages we will use to answer this question will be 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. Second, we will focus on the "when?" question as we ask ourselves, "When is the rapture?" By "when?" we have no intention of assigning a date for the rapture. Such an effort would be fruitless since the Scripture fails to assign a specific date for this event. Rather, by "when?" we simply will try to answer the question "When will the rapture take place relative to the impending seven-year tribulation period?" What Is the Rapture? In order to answer this question, ten truths about this important event will be discussed. The first four truths come directly from 1 Thess. 4:13-18. These verses say:
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.The Rapture Is an Important Doctrine First, the rapture is an important doctrine. Many give the impression that the rapture is some kind of secondary doctrine that need not be given too much attention. We are often told that we should focus on the "big ticket" theological items such as the Virgin Birth, the Vicarious Atonement, the Trinity, Salvation by Faith Alone, and the Deity of Christ. Only after these doctrines are mastered should we then consider or contemplate the doctrine of the rapture. Along these same lines, many contend that the rapture is certainly not something that a new believer should give too much time or attention to. Such thinking was foreign to the mindset of the Apostle Paul. Interestingly, the Thessalonians were new believers (1 Thess. 1:9). In fact, a very short period of time exists between Paul's planting of the Thessalonian church on his second missionary and his writing of the two epistles to them. There were no more than six months to a year between these two events. Thus, the Thessalonian epistles differ from Paul's letter to the Philippians where a little over ten years had elapsed between Paul's planting of the church at Philippi, on his second missionary journey, and when Paul finally wrote to that church during his first Roman imprisonment. The point in all of this is that although the Thessalonians were new believers, Paul never hid the doctrine of the rapture from them. On the contrary, he openly disclosed this teaching to them along with many other doctrines. In his letter to the Thessalonians, before more fully developing the doctrine of the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul briefly mentioned this doctrine in 1 Thessalonians 1:10. Paul obviously believed that the rapture is a foundational doctrine because he mentioned it immediately after discussing other basic doctrines such as the Holy Spirit (1:5) and conversion (1:5, 9). He also mentions the rapture doctrine (4:13-18) just after and before discussing other basic Christian truths such as sanctification (4:3, 5:23) and the dimensions of man's nature (5:23). Evidently, in Paul's thinking, the rapture was just as important as these other truths and deserved the same level of treatment and understanding.
Friday, March 29, 2013
By Chuck Smith
Remember that one day your works will be judged—and the only kind of works that God will accept are those motivated by love. Don’t try to serve God out of a begrudging sense of duty. Paul the apostle said, “For the love of Christ compels us” (2 Corinthians 5:14). The compelling love of Jesus Christ within works in such a way that we no longer look upon our service as a sacrifice. We look upon it as a privilege, as a joy, as a blessing. What fun to be able to do things for our Lord who loves us so much. You see, the Lord does not long for our service; He longs for a growing, loving relationship with us. God simply wants a loving relationship with you.