VIDEO D-Day veterans are honored for their service

Jun 4, 2014

In remembrance of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, veterans in France and the U.S. are honored for their brave service. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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What We Do – God’s Assurance

What We Do
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One thing I do . . . I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 3:13-14

When Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert died, a fellow journalist wrote of him: “With all his notoriety, honors, and celebrity, all his exclusive interviews and star-dusted encounters with movie greats, Ebert never forgot the essence of what we do—review movies. And he reviewed them with an infectious zeal and probing intellect” (Dennis King, The Oklahoman).

The apostle Paul never forgot the essence of what God wanted him to be and do. Focus and enthusiasm were at the heart of his relationship with Christ. Whether he was reasoning with philosophers in Athens, experiencing shipwreck in the Mediterranean, or being chained to a Roman soldier in prison, he focused on his calling to know “Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings” and to teach about Him (Phil. 3:10).

While he was in prison, Paul wrote, “I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (3:13-14). Whatever his circumstances, Paul continually pressed forward in his calling as a disciple of Christ.

May we always remember the essence, the heart, of who we are called to be and what we are called to do as followers of Jesus. By David C. McCasland

Father, may I be willing to do what I can with all that I have, wherever I am.

Paul was in earnest over one thing only, and that was his relationship to Jesus Christ. Oswald Chambers


God’s Assurance

He Himself has said….So we may boldly say… —Hebrews 13:5-6

My assurance is to be built upon God’s assurance to me. God says, “I will never leave you,” so that then I “may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear’ ” (Hebrews 13:5-6). In other words, I will not be obsessed with apprehension. This does not mean that I will not be tempted to fear, but I will remember God’s words of assurance. I will be full of courage, like a child who strives to reach the standard his father has set for him. The faith of many people begins to falter when apprehensions enter their thinking, and they forget the meaning of God’s assurance— they forget to take a deep spiritual breath. The only way to remove the fear from our lives is to listen to God’s assurance to us.

What are you fearing? Whatever it may be, you are not a coward about it— you are determined to face it, yet you still have a feeling of fear. When it seems that there is nothing and no one to help you, say to yourself, “But ‘The Lord is my helper’ this very moment, even in my present circumstance.” Are you learning to listen to God before you speak, or are you saying things and then trying to make God’s Word fit what you have said? Take hold of the Father’s assurance, and then say with strong courage, “I will not fear.” It does not matter what evil or wrong may be in our way, because “He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you….’ ”

Human frailty is another thing that gets between God’s words of assurance and our own words and thoughts. When we realize how feeble we are in facing difficulties, the difficulties become like giants, we become like grasshoppers, and God seems to be nonexistent. But remember God’s assurance to us— “I will never…forsake you.” Have we learned to sing after hearing God’s keynote? Are we continually filled with enough courage to say, “The Lord is my helper,” or are we yielding to fear?

by Oswald Chambers

Our Good Shepherd – Worried?

Our Good Shepherd

Psalms 23

Oftentimes in Scripture, God is portrayed in ways that are easy for us to understand. One of the best-known and favorite passages in the Bible is Psalms 23, which begins, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Here, David offers a touching and poignant representation of God by describing Him as a shepherd.

In ancient times, shepherds had a special relationship with their flocks. They spent each day with the animals, guiding their paths, protecting them from danger, and corralling those that went astray. To the sheep, the shepherd was a constant companion, to the extent that the animals actually grew to recognize his voice and, therefore, to respond only to his call.

In Psalms 23, David acknowledges his position as a wandering sheep under the direction of the Great Shepherd. As such, he rejoices because he’s part of the Lord’s “flock” and God is such a gracious, loving Guide.

Because of his assurance of God’s protection and guidance, David was able to boldly exclaim, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me” (Psalms 23:4). This is truly a remarkable statement, because it reveals that while David was aware he would face hard times, he was able to rest in the confidence that God would safely see him through the ordeal.

Just as a shepherd knows his flock, God knows you. Thank Him today for allowing you to graze in the pasture of His blessings.


Worried?

For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. Hebrews 4:2, KJV

Worry can lead to stress, which can result in all manner of negative physical manifestations. But what is the downside of worry from a spiritual point of view? Connecting a number of biblical dots results in a serious conclusion: Worry can be viewed as sin; sin is not pleasing to God; sin can keep God from working in our life.

Several times Jesus used the phrase, “O you of little faith” to describe people who were worried about the future: their physical needs (Matthew 6:30), their physical safety (Matthew 8:26), their inability to find a solution to a problem (Matthew 14:31), and their lack of resources for ministry (Matthew 16:8). In each situation, people were worried about their circumstances and Jesus linked their worry to a lack of faith. The writer to the Hebrews says that “without faith it is impossible to please [God]” (Hebrews 11:6), and Paul wrote that “whatever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). Worry is not from faith, so a lifestyle of worry is certainly not pleasing to God.

If you are worried today, confess it to God and put your faith in Him (Philippians 4:6-7).

Worry and worship are mutually exclusive. John Blanchard


Recommended Reading: Philippians 4:6-7

The Sin of Laziness

“As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.” (Proverbs 26:14)

This is one of the more colorful of numerous colorful verses in the book of Proverbs which rebuke the sin of laziness. Note a few of the others:

“The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns” (Proverbs 15:19).

“A slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again” (Proverbs 19:24).

“The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour” (Proverbs 21:25).

“The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets” (Proverbs 22:13).

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: . . . How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? . . . Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man” (Proverbs 6:6, 9-11).

“As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him” (Proverbs 10:26).

“The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing” (Proverbs 20:4).

The writer of Proverbs had little sympathy for lazy people and their self-induced problems! It seems he continually devised new figures of speech with which to shame them into action. Indolence is a distressing characteristic in anyone, but it is inexcusable in a Christian. “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire. . . . That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:10-12). HMM

An Astonished Reverence

O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. —Psalm 8:1

Then there is admiration, that is, appreciation of the excellency of God. Man is better qualified to appreciate God than any other creature because he was made in His image and is the only creature who was. This admiration for God grows and grows until it fills the heart with wonder and delight. “In our astonished reverence we confess Thine uncreated loveliness,” said the hymn writer. “In our astonished reverence.” The God of the modern evangelical rarely astonishes anybody. He manages to stay pretty much within the constitution. Never breaks over our bylaws. He’s a very well-behaved God and very denominational and very much one of us, and we ask Him to help us when we’re in trouble and look to Himto watch over us when we’re asleep. The God of the modern evangelical isn’t a God I could have much respect for. But when the Holy Ghost shows us God as He is we admire Him to the point of wonder and delight.

Lord, give me just a taste of “astonished reverence.” Let me see You today as You really are and experience that “wonder and delight” of which Tozer speaks. Amen.

Believe That God Is Infinitely Generous

Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord. Psalm 107:43

To think rightly of God we must conceive of Him as being altogether boundless in His goodness, mercy, love, grace, and in whatever else we may properly attribute to the Deity.

Since God is infinite, whatever He is must be infinite, also; that is, it must be without any actual or conceivable limits. The moment we allow ourselves to think of God as having limits, the one of whom we are thinking is not God but someone or something less than and different from Him.

It is not enough that we acknowledge God’s infinite resources; we must believe also that He is infinitely generous to bestow them!

The first is not too great a strain on our faith. Even the deist will admit that the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth, must be rich beyond the power of man to conceive. But to believe that God is a giver as well as a possessor takes an
advanced faith and presupposes that there has been a divine revelation to that effect which gives validity to our expectations. Which indeed there has been—we call this revelation the Bible!

Believing all this, why are we Christians so poverty-stricken? I think it is because we have not learned that God’s gifts are meted out according to the taker, not according to the giver!

Though almighty and all-wise, God yet cannot pour a great gift into a small receptacle!

Do Things Possess Us?

Nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. 1 TIMOTHY 6:17

I think a lot of people in our congregations get confused when some learned brother advises us that we must all join in a fervent fight against “materialism.”

If men and women do not know what materialism is, how can they be expected to join the battle?

Materialism in its crisis form occurs when men and women created in the image of God accept and look upon matter as “the ultimate”—the only reality.

The advice, “We must fight materialism,” does not mean that everyone should get a sword and run after a fellow named Material and cut him down.

What it does mean is that we should start believing in the fact of God’s Creation and that matter is only a creature of the all-wise and ever-loving God! The believer is not deceived into believing that the physical things we know and enjoy are the ultimate end in themselves.

Dear Lord, You are the reality that so many people today fail to see. Make me more sensitive to Your spiritual realm all around me.