My Kind Of People

Such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus. —1 Corinthians 6:11

Years ago in a worship service, pastor Ray Stedman stepped to the pulpit and read the text for the day: “Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that” (1 Cor. 6:9-11 nlt).

Then he looked up, a bemused smile on his face, and said, “I’m curious: How many of you have one or more of these sins in your background? If so, will you stand?”

There was a young man there who had never been in a church before. He had recently been saved at a Billy Graham crusade and came with fear and trembling to church that Sunday, not knowing what he would find. He later told me that when he heard the pastor’s question, he looked around to see if anyone would stand. At first no one did, but then most of the congregation was on their feet. He said to himself, “These are my kind of people!”

We can all find ourselves in Paul’s list in 1 Corinthians. But when we confess our sin and accept the gift of eternal life paid for by the death of Jesus, we become a new creation saved by grace (Rom. 6:23; 2 Cor. 5:17). By David H. Roper

Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.

A Pattern of Powerful Prayer

Colossians 1:9-14

If someone should ask the question, “How can I pray for you?” would you be able to give a clear answer? Oftentimes we simply do not know what to say. The same thing can happen when we ask that question of friends—frequently we get only a vague answer. Learning to pray for one another does not come naturally; we must be taught.

That is why the Bible includes many patterns for effective prayer. One is found in Paul’s epistle to the saints at Colossae. He prayed that they would be “filled with the knowledge of [God’s] will” (Col. 1:9). The fact that the apostle prayed this means we can come to know what God is doing in our lives. When we understand His will, that knowledge is both satisfying and precious.

Paul’s prayer also included additional requests on behalf of the Colossians. He asked the Lord to bless them with an understanding of what is right. What’s more, he prayed they would walk in a manner worthy of Christ and be strengthened with all power (vv. 10-11). Often, when that happens in the life of a believer, onlookers are attracted by what they see. Some may even come to recognize the Lord at work as a Christian displays the Father’s power to forgive sins and walks before Him in holiness.

These are the specific requests you should make when praying for others. In fact, you would be wise to ask the same things for yourself. And you can count on this powerful prayer being answered, because it is in accordance with the will of God

Christ Will Come Again

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2-3)

The world has not seen the last of Jesus Christ! He was in the world once, but the world would not have Him, even though He had created it (John 1:10). While He was on Earth, He made it clear that He would be returning some day to judge the world.

But here in the upper room, just before His arrest and crucifixion, He told His disciples, for the very first time, that He would be coming for them personally, not to judge them with the world, but to “receive you unto myself.” In the first epistle written by the apostle Paul, this wonderful promise was repeated and amplified: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven. . . . and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

When He comes again, we shall be where He is, forever! In the meantime, the “dead in Christ” are already with Him. At that time, “we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. . . . For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53).

During this present time, He is preparing a place for us in the New Jerusalem which, like Christ Himself, will be “coming down from God out of heaven” (Revelation 21:2). All of this is exactly what we might expect from such a gracious and loving Savior, and He assures us that “if it were not so, I would have told you.” HMM

That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh

That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.—2 Corinthians 4:11.

THE fretting friction of our daily life,
Heart-weariness with loving patience borne,
The meek endurance of the inward strife,
The painful crown of thorn,
Prepare the heart for God’s own dwelling-place,
Adorn with sacred loveliness His shrine,
And brighten every inconspicuous grace,
For God alone to shine.

GOD has a purpose for each one of us, a work for each one to do, a place for each one to fill, an influence for each one to exert, a likeness to His dear Son for each one to manifest, and then, a place for each one to fill in His holy Temple. ARTHUR C.A. HALL.

The surest method of arriving at a knowledge of God’s eternal purposes about us is to be found in the right use of the present moment. God’s will does not come to us in the whole, but in fragments, and generally in small fragments. It is our business to piece it together, and to live it into one orderly vocation. F.W. FABER.

They persecute him whom thou hast smitten

They persecute him whom thou hast smitten. Psalm 69:26

It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! — Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and fore-knowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. — They did spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee? — Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross. — Of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Surely he hath borne our grief, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

Luke 17:1. Acts 2:23. Matthew 26:67,68. Matthew 27:41,42. Acts 4:27,28. Isaiah 53:4.

Ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled

Ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled. Matthew 24:6

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. —Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. — In the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. — Your life is hid with Christ in God.

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting the LORD.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Psalm 46:1-3. Isaiah 26:20,21. Psalm 57:1. Colossians 3:3. Psalm 112:7. John 16:33.