VIDEO A Letter From Dad

A young couple in Australia discover that their unborn child is severely disabled and will most likely not survive. The couple choose not to terminate the pregnancy. Here’s the letter this real-life father wrote to his son.

What a blessing this little one was, and will continue to be for these dear parents. His life of 20 minutes may impact them for a lifetime. Every life counts. Every life is precious. Every life is a gift.

This man shines with the true meaning of being a loving Dad. What a contrast to what our current day culture and society thinks a hero is. This is heroism. This is integrity. This is unconditional love.

We are so precious and each one of us has a special purpose! To declare the glory of God in each day we are given!

Gentle Witness

You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. —Acts 1:8

Years ago, I was hospitalized following a life-threatening, 38-foot fall from a bridge. While I was there, the wife of the man in the next bed stopped to speak to me. “My husband just told me what happened to you,” she said. “We believe God spared your life because He wants to use you. We’ve been praying for you.”

I was stunned. I had grown up going to church, but I had never imagined that God would want to be involved in my life. Her words pointed me to a Savior I had heard of but did not know—and marked the beginning of my coming to Christ. I cherish the memory of those words from a gentle witness who cared enough to say something to a stranger about the God whose love is real. Her words conveyed care and concern, and offered purpose and promise.

Jesus challenged His disciples—and us—to tell others about the love of God: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Through the Holy Spirit our words and witness can have the power to make an eternal difference in the lives of others. By Bill Crowder

I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love,
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do. —Hankey

A caring word can accomplish more than we could ever imagine.

Knowing Jesus vs. knowing about Jesus—what is the difference?

Do you know Jesus…or just know about Him?

Fan magazines help us answer this question. Adoring fans of movie, TV, music, or sports stars buy thousands of dollars’ worth of information, photos, and juicy tidbits. After poring over such material, the fans feel as if they really know their heroes. But do they? They may know certain facts about their chosen hero. They may be able to cite birth date, favorite color, and childhood pets, but, if they were to meet that person face to face, what would the hero say? Does the fan really know the hero?

Jesus responded to this question in Matthew 7:21–23: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” There were people in Jesus’ day who thought they were friends of His because they knew the Law, made strict rules for themselves (and for others), and listened to His teaching. They followed Him, applauded the miracles, and liked some of what He said. But Jesus calls them “evildoers” and states, “I never knew you.”

Today there are thousands who know about Jesus—that is, they know some facts about Him, commit Bible verses to memory, and perhaps attend church regularly. But they have never allowed the facts to become their personal reality. They hold knowledge in their heads without allowing the truth to penetrate their hearts. Jesus explained the problem: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules” (Matthew 15:8–9; Mark 7:6).

We easily substitute religion for a real relationship with Jesus. We often think that, if we are doing “Christian things,” that’s all that counts. We can appreciate the facts of Jesus’ death and resurrection, but until we have made Him our Lord, the facts do us no good (John 3:16–18; Acts 10:43; Romans 10:9). There is a difference between intellectual assent and saving faith. Knowing Jesus means we have accepted His sacrifice on our behalf (2 Corinthians 5:21). We ask Him to be the Lord of our lives (John 1:12; Acts 2:21). We identify with Him in His death and consider our old selves to have died with Him (Colossians 3:3; Romans 6:2, 5; Galatians 6:14; 2:20). We accept His forgiveness and cleansing from sin and seek to know Him in intimate fellowship through His Holy Spirit (John 17:3; Philippians 3:10; 1 John 2:27).

When we repent of our sin and surrender our lives to Him, Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; John 14:26; 16:13). The Holy Spirit comes to live inside us, changing us forever (1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 John 3:9). The facts we knew about Jesus come alive as we get to know Him personally. Let’s say you’ve read that your favorite movie star has green eyes and a dimple in her chin. Those traits are merely facts on paper until you meet her face to face. Then, suddenly, those green eyes are looking at you, and the dimple springs to her chin when she smiles. She tells you about her day, her fears, and her inner thoughts. You may recall that you had heard those facts before, but now you are experiencing them. You knew about her before, but now you know her. The abstract has become concrete. Things you thought you knew start to make sense as you enter into a relationship.

Jesus is a Person. To know Him is to enter into a relationship. The greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength” (Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27). It’s hard to love someone you don’t know. Loving Him starts with surrendering to His plan for your life. That’s what it means to make Him Lord (Matthew 6:33; Romans 10:9–10; Psalm 16:8). The nature of God is so vast and complex that no human being can fully know everything there is to know about Him. But life is about continually seeking Him, learning more about Him, and enjoying His fellowship (Jeremiah 29:13; Philippians 3:8).

http://altruistico.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/knowing-jesus-vs-knowing-about-jesus-what-is-the-difference/

Worship and Praise

“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” (Psalm 138:2)

Praise and worship are widely taught in Scripture but are seldom used to describe the same actions. “Worship” describes an attitude of obeisance and reverence (usually by bowing or prostrating) during a formal act of sacrifice or some other structured observance. “Praise,” especially this word used in Psalm 138, emphasizes joyous thanksgiving, recognizing God’s specific blessing or God’s worthiness in character, power, deed, or authority.

There are only two events recorded in Scripture where the people of God both “worshipped” and “praised” at the same time. The first was at the dedication of the great temple of Solomon. When the prayer of dedication was finished, the fire of God’s glory descended on the temple and entered the Holy of Holies. That awesome event drove everyone to their knees “with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and [they] worshipped, and praised the LORD” (2 Chronicles 7:3).

The other occurred right after Ezra led a remnant back from Babylon. As the people heard the Word read to them for the first time in many decades, they became so convicted of their disobedience that they began to cry and confess their sin. They stood for about three hours and “confessed [same word as ‘praise’], and worshipped the LORD their God” (Nehemiah 9:3).

In neither case did the people jump up and down, clap, or otherwise demonstrate exuberance. They were so overwhelmed at the presence of God that they fell down on their faces! Then they poured out their heart in intimate worship and praise for His lovingkindness, His truth, His name, His being, and His attributes, because God has magnified His Word above all His Name. HMM III

He calleth His own sheep by name and leadeth them

He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. When He hath put forth all His own, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice.—John 10:3,4 (R. V.).

HE only asks thee to yield thyself to Him, that He may work in thee to will and to do by His own mighty power. Thy part is to yield thyself, His part is to work; and never, never will He give thee any command, which is not accompanied by ample power to obey it. Take no thought for the morrow in this matter; but abandon thyself with a generous trust to thy loving Lord, who has promised never to call His own sheep out into any path without Himself going before them to make the way easy and safe. Take each little step as He makes it plain to thee.

Bring all thy life in each of its details to Him to regulate and guide. Follow gladly and quickly the sweet suggestions of His Spirit in thy soul. And day by day thou wilt find Him bringing thee more and more into conformity with His will in all things; molding thee and fashioning thee, as thou art able to bear it, into a vessel unto His honor, sanctified and meet for His use, and fitted to every good work.
HANNAH WHITALL SMITH.

They constrained him, saying, Abide with us

They constrained him, saying, Abide with us. Luke 24:29

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. — Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions? — I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go.

Let my beloved come into his garden. and eat his pleasant fruits. — I am come into my garden. — I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain. Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. — I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. — Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. — The world seeth me no more; but, ye see me.

Revelation 3:20. Song of Songs 1:7. Song of Songs 1:4. Song of Songs 4:16. Song of Songs 5:1. Isaiah 45:19. Matthew 28:20. Hebrews 13:5. Matthew 18:20. John 14:19.

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty. Revelation 4:8

Thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. — Draw not nigh hither; put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground … I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God ot Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. — To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. — I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

As he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. — Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own. — Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. — Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Psalm 22:3. Exodus 3:5,6. Isaiah 40:25. Isaiah 43:3,11. 1 Peter 1:15,16. 1 Corinthians 6:19. 2 Corinthians 6:16. Amos 3:3.