VIDEO An Incredible Story Of Kindness

Couple Adopts Dying Neighbor’s 3 Kids, Only To Come Home And Find House Is Completely Different

Audrey, a single mother of three, had to go to the hospital to get some tests done. She asked her neighbor Tisha — a mother of five and a Las Vegas bingo cashier — if her three kids could spend the night at her house.

Tisha and her husband agreed to take the kids for the night, even though their home was cramped enough as it was.

Audrey’s test results came back. She was diagnosed with stage two esophageal and stomach cancer.

Knowing her time was running out, Audrey was desperate to make sure her kids would be taken care of. Though they weren’t even close friends, she took a chance and asked Tisha to be the legal guardian of her children.

Again, and incredibly, Tisha and Kevin agreed. The parents of five opened their hearts and home to raise Audrey’s kids… and help them cope with their mother’s imminent passing.

It wasn’t long after that Audrey passed away.

Who would have ever thought that Tisha’s little-known past had prepared her for taking on such a massive responsibility…

Watch the video below to see the jaw-dropping surprise for Tisha and her newly assembled family of 10, courtesy of the amazing FOX5 Surprise Squad.

 

From:   Little Things, Written By:   BARBARA DIAMOND

by lafayetteangel

An Incredible Story Of Kindness

What Scripture Teaches: Theology And God’s Sovereignty

Bible history truth

A topic that has been the stuff of thousands of years of discussion is not going to get very far in a short article from me. So let me narrow things down right away: here I want to just look at one aspect of this immense subject, and look at it in terms of how we do theology.

Frequently I find believers putting their particular theological position ahead of the plain teachings of Scripture – at least some of them. Sure, they will insist they are being quite biblical, but so often I find that they are willing to ignore clear biblical texts simply because they do not fit in with their favourite theological system.

For example, in response to some recent posts I had written – also about God and his attributes – I had some folks insist that God can do anything. They were adamant about this. Never mind that Scripture teaches that there are some things God cannot do: He cannot lie, He cannot deny himself, and so on.

So too with the issue of God’s sovereignty. This is admittedly a huge and complex topic, especially when discussed in relation to human responsibility. How exactly we are to understand human free will is the subject of much debate, but it, and the sovereignty of God, are both fully affirmed in Scripture – hard as it may be to reconcile the two.

Some believers on the theological spectrum will of course heavily emphasise God’s sovereignty, almost to the exclusion of human freedom. Others will highlight human choice so much, that God almost ceases to be God. As one example, I used to belong to a Christian organisation which at the time was very much steeped in certain types of Arminian theology.

These folks were quite insistent that God never interferes with our free will. They were sure that God could never coerce anyone or cause humans to do anything. These teachers insisted that if something is caused by God, then there is no longer any moral worth in it, because it was not freely chosen or performed. An action is only morally praiseworthy if it is freely chosen.

They also tended to deny divine foreknowledge, and stated that if God does foreknow something, then he causes it to happen, and there is no moral value to it since it is not freely brought about. I had some problems with this way of thinking, and I shared some of the concerns I had.

I pointed out the fact that the most morally-praiseworthy event in the universe (the death of Christ on our behalf) was foretold in numerous prophecies. Thus it was certainly foreknown. So according to the theology of these teachers, it could not therefore be morally meritorious. They never could give me a good response to that objection!

But let’s look at some of the biblical data on this. Is it true that God never intervenes in any way with humans and their choices? While God usually respects the freedom he has granted us, and while we are indeed responsible for the choices we make, there are many passages which speak of God in one way or another intervening in, or even overriding, human choices.

We have plenty of texts which speak about God bringing about his desired ends while the persons involved are still fully responsible for their own choices. They are morally culpable yet God is still achieving his goals. This is certainly made clear in the Joseph story. When he is with his frightened brothers in Egypt, he tells them that God was behind it all. As he says in Genesis 45:4-8:

I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

And as he famously said in Genesis 50:20: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives”.

The crucifixion of Christ is another case of what we call compatibilism: the sovereign purposes of God are somehow very much compatible with human choices. Here are just three of the key texts on this:

-Luke 22:22 “The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him.”
-Acts 2:23 This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.
-Acts 4:27-28 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.

But it goes even further than this: there are quite a few passages which strongly suggest that God at times turns or overrides the hearts and spirits of individuals, or actually causes them to act or think in certain ways. Consider for example the story of Abraham and Abimelech in Genesis 20. As it says in verses 1-7:

And Abraham journeyed from there to the South, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and stayed in Gerar. Now Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, “Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.” But Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, “Lord, will You slay a righteous nation also? Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she, even she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this.” And God said to him in a dream, “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”

God somehow kept Abimelech from sinning. Now that sounds like some sort of interference with his free will. We could also spend some time on a more controversial matter: Pharaoh and his hardened heart. While this warrants an article on its own, suffice it to say that of the many verses on this, three aspects are repeatedly stated: his heart was hardened; Pharoah hardened his heart; and God hardened his heart. Here are just three of these passages:

-Exodus 8:15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said.
-Exodus 8:19 But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the LORD had said.
-Exodus 9:12 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said to Moses.

How all three aspects of this hardening fit together is not fully clear, just as the broader issue of how God’s sovereignty and human responsibility fit together is not fully clear. But once again we have some sort of compatibilism going on here.

Many other passages speak of God causing people to do things. Consider some of the verses which speak about the attitude of the Egyptians to the departing Israelites:

-Exodus 3:21 And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed.
-Exodus 12:36 The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.

Let me offer just a few more such passages without commentary:

-Deuteronomy 2:30 But Sihon king of Heshbon refused to let us pass through. For the LORD your God had made his spirit stubborn and his heart obstinate in order to give him into your hands, as he has now done.
-1 Kings 8:58 May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep the commands, decrees and regulations he gave our fathers.
-1 Chronicles 5:26 So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria (that is, Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria), who took the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh into exile. He took them to Halah, Habor, Hara and the river of Gozan, where they are to this day.
-Proverbs 16:7 When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way,
he causes their enemies to make peace with them.
-Proverbs 21:1 In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water
that he channels toward all who please him.
-Isaiah 19:2 I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian—
brother will fight against brother,
neighbor against neighbor,
city against city,
kingdom against kingdom.
-Jeremiah 24:7 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.
-Jeremiah 51:1 This is what the Lord says:
“See, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer
against Babylon and the people of Leb Kamai.”
-Haggai 1:14 So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God,
-Revelation 17:17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God’s words are fulfilled.

There are many other passages like this. To be fair, we would need to look at each one more closely, checking if all the relevant terms are properly translated, and so on. But one certainly sees a lot of talk about God making or causing people to do things, or turning their hearts, and so on.

I say all this to highlight the fact that often people can let a particular theological grid determine how they read Scripture. It is as if they just cannot see certain passages because it does not fit in with their pet theological stance – be it Calvinism, Arminianism or whatever.

We must let the Scriptures speak, even when it seems there are paradoxes involved, or problems in reconciling various biblical truths, and not force everything into our particular theological straightjacket. The issue of God’s sovereignty is clearly one such topic where plenty of theological grids are being draped over the biblical material.

Better to let the biblical data inform our theological packaging than the other way around.

by  

http://barbwire.com/2017/01/21/theology-and-gods-sovereignty/

God’s Pathway to Success

Joshua 1:7

Too often, Christians shy away from the whole idea of success, thinking, I’ll just be grateful for whatever the Lord gives me. Such misguided believers have confused success with greed and discontent. How can this be?

It is because of the overwhelming obsession with the world’s definition of the term. To most people, the word is equivalent to “wealth” or “power.” If you stopped the average person on the street and asked whether he is successful, there’s a good chance he would start talking about his career or investments. He might even make a passing reference to his “15 minutes of fame.” Most people simply have no other frame of reference for the concept. But these parameters have nothing to do with spiritual success.

The heavenly Father calls His children to live triumphantly. If the pursuit of success were sinful, how could the Lord have made the promise found in Joshua 1:7? Was He promising money? No. Was He promising fame? No. The Lord was promising success.

For Joshua, this would mean military victory, steadfast faith, and the fulfillment of God’s promise to Moses. Joshua was not concerned with money or fame; rather, he was intensely focused on accomplishing God’s plan for him. Armed with the power of the Word, Joshua marched boldly ahead and received the Lord’s blessings. And for that, God called him a “success.”

Do not be confused—the trappings of the world have nothing to do with succeeding spiritually. Your family, relationships, integrity, faithfulness—these are the things that work together as a godly way of measuring success.

The Psalm of Life

“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” (Psalm 91:2)

This marvelous psalm of life and security follows a psalm of frailty and death (Psalm 90) written by Moses, who may have been the author of this psalm as well. For our devotional study today, attention is called to the change of personal pronoun throughout, implying a dialogue between three speakers.

The psalm begins as a godly teacher, or prophet, or perhaps an angel bestows a benediction upon the believer: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1), ascribing the security of the believer to the character of God.

The believer responds to this blessing by avowing his trust in God and in His character (v. 2).

To the testimony of the believer, the first speaker replies, expounding on the former blessing, detailing the protection provided by God (vv. 3-8) and the blessings of that care. Note, “because thou [the believer] hast made the LORD [Jehovah], which is my [the speaker’s] refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone” (vv. 9-12).

At the end, Jehovah Himself responds, confirming all that the speaker has said: “Because he [the believer] hath set his love upon me [Jehovah], therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation” (vv. 14-16). JDM

He ever lives to make intercession

Hebrews 7:1-25

It would be unwise to pass by the story of Melchizedek without noticing its typical meaning. This is fully expounded to us in—

Hebrews 7:1-3

No ancestors, or predecessors, or successors to Melchisedec are mentioned, and the apostle finds a meaning in the silence of Scripture. Some will not learn from what the Bible plainly says; but the apostle could learn even from what it does not say. In Melchisedec the regal and priestly offices were united, and he received his priesthood not by inheritance, but by an immediate divine ordination. In. these things he was eminently a type of our Lord Jesus.

Hebrews 7:13, 14

Therefore our Lord did not receive the priesthood by descent, but, like Melchisedec, his ordination was direct from God.

Hebrews 7:15-17

This is the inspired testimony of David in Psalm 110., where he speaks of the Lord Jesus as his Lord, and salutes him as king and priest.

Hebrews 7:20-22

The priesthood of Jesus therefore deals with sure things which cannot pass away or change, since the oath of God confirms them.

Hebrews 7:23-25

Jesus resembles Melchisedec in being both king and priest, in having no predecessor or successor in office, and in being greater than the Levitical Priesthood. He is a priest for ever by the oath of God, and we who trust in him have this sweet consolation that our Great High Priest ever lives, is always in power, is always accessible, and always ready to perform his office on our behalf.

 

Thou dear Redeemer, dying Lamb,

We love to hear of thee;

No music’s like thy charming name,

Nor half so sweet can be.

 

Oh may we ever hear thy voice,

In mercy to us speak;

And in our Priest we will rejoice,

Thou great Melchizedek.

 

A Time To Forcefully Speak the Truth in Love

Jude 1:23

What does the Bible say about how we should respond to believers who continue to practice sin? If you are personally aware of individuals like this, what steps or action should you take to rescue him or her?

  • What attitude does God expect you to have regarding these people’s sin?
  • What kind of action does God expect you to take to see them delivered?
  • What approach should you take regarding the sin they are living in?
  • What is the proper outlook for you to have concerning their situation?

The answer to these questions is found in Jude 1:23. In this verse, Jude compellingly tells us, “And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire….”

First of all, Jude tells us to “save [them] with fear.” This word “fear” is the Greek word phobos. It suggests a fear or a strong dose of respect for something that is life-threatening, dangerous, or alarming. Because Jude uses this key Greek word, it tells us what kind of attitude we should have regarding sin. Sin is dangerous, alarming, and even life-threatening to a person’s spiritual life. Therefore, sin must not be tolerated, nor should the effects of sin be watered down. In short, we should have no stomach for sin.

Next, Jude 1:23 tells us what action we must take when we find a fellow believer who is getting caught up in sin. This verse tells us that we must act fast to “pull them out of the fire.” The word “pull” comes from the Greek word harpadzo. This is an extremely strong and aggressive word that presents the picture of snatching someone out of a dangerous situation. In fact, it would be better translated to seize.

The word harpadzo is the very word used in Colossians 1:13 when Paul writes, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear son.” That word “delivered” is also from the Greek word harpadzo.

In Colossians 1:13, this word portrays that moment when Jesus Christ broke Satan’s power over our lives and snatched us out of the kingdom of darkness. One Greek expositor says the word harpadzo in Colossians 1:13 carries this idea: “He grabbed us by the back of our necks and snatched us out of danger, just in the nick of time….” This Greek word harpadzo contains passion, fervency, urgency, and action.

 

Because these words are used in Jude 1:23, it could be translated:

“Because of the alarmingly dangerous state that some believers are in, I urge you to take immediate and fast-acting measures to see them delivered and rescued. And if they don’t quickly respond, don’t stop! You need to keep up your sense of urgency until you are convinced that they are rescued and snatched out of the fires of destruction. If you must, go all the way to grab them by the back of their necks and jerk them out of those flames….”

Jude uses the word harpadzo to tell you that sometimes people are so deceived about what they’re doing, they don’t want to change. Even if you tell them that they are headed for trouble, they may not believe it! In these cases, your sweet words and tender pleading with them may not work. That means you may have to get forceful in the way you tell these people the truth. Your words must reach out and seize their hearts.

Think back for a minute to Lot, the nephew of Abraham. Lot got so caught up in the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah that when the angels told him the two cities were about to be destroyed, he wanted to stay anyway! The angels had to take him by the hand and make him leave! They had to forcibly remove him from that situation; otherwise, he would have been destroyed. The angels literally dragged Lot out of the city against his will (Genesis 19:16).

Likewise, we must do everything within our power to snatch people from spiritually dangerous predicaments. Although they may not feel the heat of the fire at the moment or realize the seriousness of their spiritual condition, we must speak forcefully and truthfully to them in order to seize their hearts and set them free.

We’re not in the business of kidnapping people or taking them out of situations against their will. But we are to pray for fellow believers who are caught in sin and don’t realize the dangerous nature of their situation. We must also go to them and do all we can to “pull them out of the fires” of destruction they’re about to release into their lives.

If you know someone who is drifting away from his relationship with the Lord, pray for a door to open that will allow you to speak the truth in love and pull him out of impending destruction. Just think about it—if you were the one about to make a major spiritual error, wouldn’t you want your true friends to speak the truth in love to you? So believe God for an open door. He’ll show you how and when to speak the truth.

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I ask You to give me Your heart for brothers and sisters who are living in sin. Forgive me for the times I have been insensitive to the dangerous nature of sin. Help me to be passionate and fervent in prayer for them and to keep praying for them until their deliverance is complete and they are fully restored. Help me consider the way I would want others to pray for me if I were in the same situation.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I will do everything within my power to snatch people from spiritually dangerous predicaments. Although they may not feel the heat of the fire at the moment or realize the seriousness of their spiritual condition, I will obey the Word of God and speak truthfully to them in order to seize their hearts and set them free. I believe that God will open a door and show me how and when I am to speak the truth.

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Is there anyone in your life right now who comes to mind as someone who is in danger of being consumed in the “fire” of sin?
  2. Realizing the seriousness of sin and deception, how would you want someone to confront you if you were in that person’s situation?
  3. In what ways could God use you to bring the truth in love to this person in order to set him or her free?

 

Doing Something Great For God

 

Most of us would like to do something great for God!

  • Like Billy Graham, or
  • Mother Theresa

We err in our thinking however, by equating “greatness” with bigness or notoriety:

  • Preaching to 100,000 people in a stadium, or
  • Winning the Nobel Peace Prize

Perhaps it is our hope that by doing some great work for God we can quell our sense of inner spiritual hollowness. That somehow a great work for God might help us transcend the mundane sameness of our daily existence. This kind of reasoning is at best, flawed:

 

God’s work, Jesus reminds us, has nothing to do with bigness or notoriety. Rather,

 

The work of God (is) that you believe in Him Whom He has sent.” (John 6:29)

 

THE GREAT WORK OF GOD IS TO BELIEVE GOD: Simple faith that God can be trusted… whatever the circumstances.

  • Into a tough marriage? How’s your faith that God will give you the needed grace?
  • Squeezed in a rough business situation? Are you trusting God for wisdom?
  • Pressured to compromise higher ethical standards to compete? Are you believing God to make up the competitive difference?

It is difficult for us to understand the fact that God simply is not impressed with grandiose Christian activity. What does impress Him is uncomplicated, quiet faith… Faith that stands up amidst the most trying of life’s circumstances. Faith that is evidenced by peace over panic… rest over restlessness.

 

Want to do a great work for God? Then just believe Him. Trust Him. Rest in Him.

 

THE GREAT WORK OF GOD IS TO BELIEVE GOD.