VIDEO Build With the Word

So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. Acts 20:32

At the reading of a Will, an attorney reads the last Will and Testament of the deceased to family members and beneficiaries. In addition to specifying inheritances, the deceased might also write final thoughts: desires, priorities, and hopes. A person’s last words are often a summary of what they considered most important.

When the apostle Paul wrote his final letter to young Timothy, his priority was clear: “I charge you…. Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:1-2). As a young leader, Paul reminded Timothy how best to build up the Church—by preaching and teaching the Word of God. Paul’s reasoning? There would be many who would use false teaching to tear down the Church (verses 3-4).Only the truth of the Word can build up and make the Body of Christ strong.

Building the Church relies on building church members. Build yourself up daily by studying the Word of God.

The best way to revive a church is to build a fire in the pulpit. D. L. Moody


Last, Last, Last Words – pt. 3 – Acts 20:32-38

Serving the Least

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

His name is Spencer. But everybody calls him “Spence.” He was a state track champion in high school; then he went on to attend a prestigious university on a full academic scholarship. He lives now in one of America’s largest cities and is highly respected in the field of chemical engineering. But if you were to ask Spence his greatest achievements to date, he wouldn’t mention any of those things. He would excitedly tell you about the trips he makes to Nicaragua every few months to check in on the kids and teachers in the tutoring program he helped establish in one of the poorest areas of the country. And he’d tell you how enriched his life has been by serving them.

“The least of these.” It’s a phrase people use in a variety of ways, yet Jesus used it to describe those who, according to the world’s standards, have little or nothing to offer us in return for our service. They are the men and women and children the world often overlooks—if not forgets completely. Yet it’s exactly those people Jesus elevates to such a beautiful status by saying, “Whatever you did [for them], you did for me” (Matthew 25:40). You don’t have to have a degree from a prestigious university to understand Christ’s meaning: serving “the least” is the same as serving Him. All it really takes is a willing heart.

By:  John Blase

Reflect & Pray

Who comes to mind when you hear the phrase “the least of these”? What’s something you could do for them?

King Jesus, I’m afraid I make serving You harder than it is. Your words are clear—You call me to the least and the littlest, perhaps in Nicaragua or maybe in my neighborhood. Give me courage to serve.

Ignoring God

Psalm 81:8-16

Most of us dislike being ignored. We feel frustrated and overlooked when our concerns are disregarded, especially by loved ones. Yet this is often how we treat the One who loves us the most—the Lord.  He is always attentive to every detail of our life, but we’re often too distracted by our own interests to think about Him.

Our God—who formed each of us in the womb and gives us life, breath, and all we have—deserves our full attention. Sadly, a majority of the world ignores Him, but those of us who have received His divine mercy, forgiveness, and grace should make Him our top priority. 

Distractions come in many forms. Usually it’s the pleasures and cares of this world that cause us to forget about God. We’re so busy pursuing our own desires and agendas that we fail to stop and consider what pleases Him.

To change this trend, we must learn what the Lord desires for us, as revealed in His Word. When we begin to think the way He does, we’ll see our life through a filter of Scripture and have a desire to please Him.

Bible Authority

“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6)

The Bible is unique among all books. Not only is it different in its form, structure, and history, but it takes the position of supernatural superiority to all other communication. It insists on total accuracy for its content and absolute obedience to its commands. No other book is so demanding. The whole of the Bible abounds with the teaching that it has “given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

It is the word of God the Father. Jesus made it clear: “I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak” (John 12:49).

It was confirmed by the Holy Spirit. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).

It is the source of faith and salvation. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23).

It is not to be changed. “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:2).

It is the instrument by which “a young man [can] cleanse his way…by taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalm 119:9). It is to be reverenced and obeyed, “for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psalm 138:2). “Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4). HMM III

Not asking for Anything

I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. —Psalm 116:1-2

I think that some of the greatest prayer is prayer where you don’t say one single word or ask for anything. Now God does answer and He does give us what we ask for. That’s plain; nobody can deny that unless he denies the Scriptures. But that’s only one aspect of prayer, and it’s not even the important aspect. Sometimes I go to God and say, “God, if Thou dost never answer another prayer while I live on this earth I will still worship Thee as long as I live and in the ages to come for what Thou hast done already.” God’s already put me so far in debt that if I were to live one million millenniums I couldn’t pay Him for what He’s done for me.

We go to God as we send a boy to a grocery store with a long written list. “God, give me this, give me this, and give me this,” and our gracious God often does give us what we want. But I think God is disappointed because we make Him to be no more than a source of what we want. Even our Lord Jesus is presented too often much as “Someone who will meet your need.” That’s the throbbing heart of modern evangelism. You’re in need and Jesus will meet your need. He’s the Need-meeter. Well, He is that indeed; but, ah, He’s infinitely more than that.   WMJ024-025

Father, forgive me for so often just coming to You with my grocery list. You’ve been so faithful; You’ve given me so much; You’ve blessed so richly. I realize my incredible debt to You, and I simply worship at Your feet. Amen.

Tozer on Christian Leadership

How Artistic and Musical God Is!

…teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. —Colossians 3:16

I remember as a young Christian when I got my first awful, wonderful, entrancing vision of God. I was in West Virginia in the woods sitting on a log reading the Scriptures….

I got up and wandered away to have prayer by myself. I had been reading one of the driest passages imaginable from the Scriptures where Israel came out of Egypt and God arranged them into…a diamond-shaped moving city with a flame of fire in the middle giving light.

Suddenly it broke over me; God is a geometrician, He’s an artist! When He laid out that city He laid it out skillfully…and it suddenly swept over me like a wave of the sea: how beautiful God is and how artistic and how poetic and how musical, and I worshiped God there under that tree all by myself. You know after that I began to love the old hymns and I have been a lover of the great hymns ever since. WMJ023-024

Holy Father, Holy Son, Holy Spirit

Three we name Thee;

Though in essence only one,

Undivided God we claim Thee,

And adoring bend the knee

While we sing our praise to Thee. HCL006

Tozer on the Holy Spirit.

Knowing Jesus

Colossians 2:2-3

What an astonishing thing that we can know Jesus! This is an age of specialists, when men devote their lives to the pursuit of special departments of knowledge. One learned professor will give fourteen hours a day for forty years to the study offish, another to the study of birds, and yet another to that of bugs. Another, more ambitious, devotes his life to the study of history and the rise and fall of nations, and yet another to astronomy, the origin and history of worlds.

But to know Jesus Christ is infinitely better than to know all that has been learned or dreamed of by these professors, for He it was who made the worlds, and “without Him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3).

Personally, I am inclined to think that to know Edison would be worth more than knowing one or all of his works, and so to know Jesus Christ is the first and best of all knowledge.

The knowledge of the naturalist, the astronomer, the historian, may be of passing value, but in due time it will be antedated and fail. But the knowledge of Jesus Christ is of infinite value and will never pass away. It is profitable for this world, and for that which is to come, and only by it does a man come to the knowledge of himself, without which it would be better never to have been born.

In this knowledge of Jesus is hidden the germ of all knowledge, for Paul tells us that in Him “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). Am I eager for learning and knowledge? Let me then constantly seek to know Him, and in due time, in this world or in the next, I shall know all that is of value for me to know.

In this knowledge lies true culture of both head and heart, especially of the heart. How then shall we come to the knowledge of Jesus?

We must utterly and forever renounce sin and seek forgiveness for past bad conduct. But we must not only renounce our sins, we must also renounce self. Jesus gave Himself for us; we must give ourselves for Him.

This knowledge, to be maintained, must be cultivated, which is done by communion with Him. Secret prayer must often bring the soul face to face with Him, and the Bible, God’s record of Him, must be daily, diligently and lovingly searched and faithfully applied to daily life. Thus shall we know Him.

Samuel Logan Brengle, Heart Talks on Holiness

VIDEO Complete and Effective Divinity

If we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection… —Romans 6:5

Co-Resurrection. The proof that I have experienced crucifixion with Jesus is that I have a definite likeness to Him. The Spirit of Jesus entering me rearranges my personal life before God. The resurrection of Jesus has given Him the authority to give the life of God to me, and the experiences of my life must now be built on the foundation of His life. I can have the resurrection life of Jesus here and now, and it will exhibit itself through holiness.

The idea all through the apostle Paul’s writings is that after the decision to be identified with Jesus in His death has been made, the resurrection life of Jesus penetrates every bit of my human nature. It takes the omnipotence of God— His complete and effective divinity— to live the life of the Son of God in human flesh. The Holy Spirit cannot be accepted as a guest in merely one room of the house— He invades all of it. And once I decide that my “old man” (that is, my heredity of sin) should be identified with the death of Jesus, the Holy Spirit invades me. He takes charge of everything. My part is to walk in the light and to obey all that He reveals to me. Once I have made that important decision about sin, it is easy to “reckon” that I am actually “dead indeed to sin,” because I find the life of Jesus in me all the time (Romans 6:11). Just as there is only one kind of humanity, there is only one kind of holiness— the holiness of Jesus. And it is His holiness that has been given to me. God puts the holiness of His Son into me, and I belong to a new spiritual order.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The Christian Church should not be a secret society of specialists, but a public manifestation of believers in Jesus.  Facing Reality, 34 R


Romans 6-7 – Skip Heitzig

Imperfect Plans

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

I was exploring a library on the bottom floor of a new community center when an overhead crash suddenly shook the room. A few minutes later it happened again, and then again. An agitated librarian finally explained that a weight-lifting area was positioned directly above the library, and the noise occurred every time someone dropped a weight. Architects and designers had carefully planned many aspects of this state-of-the-art facility, yet someone had forgotten to locate the library away from all the action.

In life as well, our plans are often flawed. We overlook important considerations. Our plans don’t always account for accidents or surprises. Although planning helps us avoid financial shortfalls, time crunches, and health issues, even the most thorough strategies can’t eliminate all problems from our lives. We live in a post-Eden world.

With God’s help, we can find the balance between prudently considering the future (Proverbs 6:6–8) and responding to difficulties. God often has a purpose for the trouble He allows into our lives. He may use it to develop patience in us, to increase our faith, or simply to bring us closer to Him. The Bible reminds us, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21). As we submit our goals and hopes for the future to Jesus, He’ll show us what He wants to accomplish in us and through us.

By:  Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Reflect & Pray

How do you respond when your plans don’t work out or when your expectations are unmet? What might God want you to learn through those experiences?

God, I believe You’re in control of everything. Help me to live wisely in this world, committing all my plans to You.

Sunday Reflection: The Temptation to Sin

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.

When the ancient Israelites camped by Mount Sinai in Exodus 32, Moses went up the mountain to meet with God. Days turned into weeks, and the people grew restless. So they asked Aaron—the man in charge while Moses was gone—to create a new deity for them to worship. Aaron gave instructions to collect the jewelry they had brought out of Egypt, and once it had been melted and formed into a golden calf, he built an altar where the people could worship it.

It was a brash move, given the miracles God had already performed for the people. Yet how many times have we similarly lost patience when waiting on God? We might not build an actual idol or a physical altar, but there are many times when we choose to turn elsewhere for comfort and answers. These modern idols can take many forms, and some that are even neutral or positive become harmful when put on a pedestal.

Think about it
• Can you remember a time when you had a need but sought its fulfillment from something or someone other than God? How did that turn out?

• What are some ways you can be better prepared next time the temptation comes up?