VIDEO Darci and Jay’s Story: When Hope Is Lost

Sept 24, 2015

The devastation of a miscarriage for Darci and Jay was followed by 9 years of trying to get pregnant again. They went down nearly every path possible, exhausting all their options. Yet through the despair and lost hope, Darci said, “I feel like God is sobbing with me right now. I feel His compassion deeply.” Shortly after they decided enough was enough with pursuing pregnancy options, God granted them the desires of their heart. Thanking God for their baby girl, Jay said, “She will always be a reminder to me that God’s goodness is bigger than my doubt.”

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All Safe! All Well! – The Key to the Missionary’s Work

All Safe! All Well!
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Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

In January 1915, the ship Endurance was trapped and crushed in the ice off the coast of Antarctica. The group of polar explorers, led by Ernest Shackleton, survived and managed to reach Elephant Island in three small lifeboats. Trapped on this uninhabited island, far from normal shipping lanes, they had one hope. On April 24, 1916, 22 men watched as Shackleton and five comrades set out in a tiny lifeboat for South Georgia, an island 800 miles away. The odds seemed impossible, and if they failed, they would all certainly die. What joy, then, when more than four months later a boat appeared on the horizon with Shackleton on its bow shouting, “Are you all well?” And the call came back, “All safe! All well!”

What held those men together and kept them alive over those months? Faith and hope placed in one man. They believed that Shackleton would find a way to save them.

This human example of faith and hope echoes the faith of the heroes listed in Hebrews 11. Their faith in the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” kept them going through great difficulties and trials (Heb. 11:1 nkjv).

As we look out upon the horizon of our own problems, may we not despair. May we have hope through the certainty of our faith in the One Man—Jesus, our God and Savior.

Thank You, Father, for the promise of forgiveness made possible by Jesus. May that promise lighten the darkest of our days.

The hope of Jesus shines brightly even on our darkest day.

By Randy Kilgore
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The Key to the Missionary’s Work
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Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” —Matthew 28:18-19

The key to the missionary’s work is the authority of Jesus Christ, not the needs of the lost. We are inclined to look on our Lord as one who assists us in our endeavors for God. Yet our Lord places Himself as the absolute sovereign and supreme Lord over His disciples. He does not say that the lost will never be saved if we don’t go— He simply says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations….” He says, “Go on the basis of the revealed truth of My sovereignty, teaching and preaching out of your living experience of Me.”

“Then the eleven disciples went…to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them” (Matthew 28:16). If I want to know the universal sovereignty of Christ, I must know Him myself. I must take time to worship the One whose name I bear. Jesus says, “Come to Me…”— that is the place to meet Jesus— “all you who labor and are heavy laden…” (Matthew 11:28)— and how many missionaries are! We completely dismiss these wonderful words of the universal Sovereign of the world, but they are the words of Jesus to His disciples meant for here and now.

“Go therefore….” To “go” simply means to live. Acts 1:8 is the description of how to go. Jesus did not say in this verse, “Go into Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria,” but, “…you shall be witnesses to Me in [all these places].” He takes upon Himself the work of sending us.

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you…” (John 15:7)— that is the way to keep going. Where we are placed is then a matter of indifference to us, because God sovereignly engineers our goings.

“None of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus…” (Acts 20:24). That is how to keep going until we are gone from this life.

Much of the misery in our Christian life comes not because the devil tackles us, but because we have never understood the simple laws of our make-up. We have to treat the body as the servant of Jesus Christ: when the body says “Sit,” and He says “Go,” go! When the body says “Eat,” and He says “Fast,” fast! When the body says “Yawn,” and He says “Pray,” pray! Biblical Ethics, 107 R

OSWALD CHAMBERS

Prayer: Our Time Saver

Psalms 143:5-12

What’s the first thing you think about when you wake up? Are your thoughts instantly focused on the day ahead, or are they centered on the Lord? Although most of us have busy lives and are involved in activities that consume much of our time and attention, the most important and timesaving part of each day is that which is spent in quiet solitude with God.

Yet many of us feel so rushed that we don’t think there’s enough time for the Lord. We immediately jump onto the treadmill of life and then wonder why we’re so frustrated, confused, and dissatisfied. Even if our desire is to follow God, we don’t know where He’s going since we haven’t stopped to get directions for the day. Without daily communication, no one can have intimacy with Christ.

Perhaps the problem is our own human logic. We think spending time reading the Bible and praying each morning will result in having less time and lower productivity. However, when we seek Christ’s direction and wisdom for the day and invite Him to control our lives, He’ll accomplish more through us than we can do by ourselves. He will give us wisdom for good decisions, increase our strength and energy, and free us from time-wasting anxiety.

Ask yourself, Am I too busy for the Lord? If the answer is yes, then you’re denying yourself the blessing of an intimate relationship with Christ. When you make time for Him, He’ll fill you with peace and joy, guide your decisions, grant you wisdom, empower you to obey, make you more productive, and comfort you with His love.

Head of the Church

“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18)

The “head” is both “chief” and “source.” When the Lord Jesus had accomplished the work of reconciliation on Earth, God the Father “put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23).

The church, of course, is the assembly of the Redeemer, constituted and commissioned to do “the work of the ministry,” operating on Earth under delegated leaders (Ephesians 4:11-12). Even though the human focus is the making of disciples (Matthew 28:19-20), there is a constant gallery of “principalities and powers in heavenly places” who need the display of “the manifold wisdom of God” that is only made “known by the church” (Ephesians 3:10).

Although there is a sense in which all of God’s twice-born are spiritually part of a “body” that is “knit together” by the Holy Spirit (Colossians 2:19), our participation is realized in the localized assemblies throughout the earth. One day the entire church will be completely assembled in heaven, a “general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven” (Hebrews 12:23).

Therefore, the head of the Church is preeminent and has all fullness, being the firstborn from the dead. He is “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:21). The mission of the Church, commissioned over two millennia ago, embraces an ageless goal. Ultimately, He will “present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing” (Ephesians 5:27). HMM III

Size Matters Little

And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. —Luke 16:15

To God quality is vastly important and size matters little. When set in opposition to size, quality is everything and size
nothing….

Man’s moral fall has clouded his vision, confused his thinking and rendered him subject to delusion. One evidence of this is his all but incurable proneness to confuse values and put size before quality in his appraisal of things. The Christian

faith reverses this order, but even Christians tend to judge things by the old Adamic rule. How big? How much? and How many? are the questions oftenest asked by religious persons when trying to evaluate Christian things….

The Church is dedicated to things that matter. Quality matters. Let’s not be led astray by the size of things.

Encourage all those pastors who are discouraged today because they don’t match up to the “success” of the big churches. Amen.

The Deadening Effect of Religious Make-Believe

Let… no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. Romans 14:13

The deadening effect of religious make-believe on the human mind is beyond all describing.

What can the effect be upon the spectators who live day after day among the professed Christians who habitually ignore the commandments of Christ and live after their own private notions of Christianity?

Truth sits forsaken and grieves until her professed followers come home for a brief visit, but she sees them depart again when the bills become due. They protest great and undying love for her but they will not let their love cost them anything!

Will not those who watch us from day to day conclude that the whole thing is false?

Will they not be forced to believe that the faith of Christ is an unreal and visionary thing which they are fully justified in rejecting?

Certainly the non-Christian is not too much to be blamed if he turns disgustedly away from the invitation of the Gospel after he has been exposed for a while to the inconsistencies of those of his acquaintances who profess to follow Christ.

In that great and terrible day when the deeds of men are searched into by the penetrating eyes of the Judge of all the earth what will we answer when we are charged with inconsistency and moral fraud?

And at whose door will lie the blame for millions of lost men who while they lived on earth were sickened and revolted by the religious travesty they knew as Christianity?

God at the Center

He built there an altar, and called the place El-beth-el: because there God appeared unto him. GENESIS 35:7

After Jacob’s first memorable encounter with God in the wilderness, he called the place Beth-el, which means “the house of God.” Many years later, after he had suffered and sinned and repented, and discovered the worthlessness of all earthly things, he renamed the place, El-beth-el; literally “the God of the house of God.”

Thus Jacob had shifted his emphasis from the sacred place to the God he had met there. God Himself now took the center of his interest.

We need to consider that many Christians never get beyond Beth-el. God is in their thoughts but He has not been given first place. Faithfulness to the local church is a good thing; but when the church becomes so large and important that it hides God from our eyes, it may become a good thing wrongly used.

Always God must be first—and we ought never forget that the church was never intended to substitute for God! What is our primary interest? Is it Beth-el or El-beth-el? Is it my church or my Lord? Is it my creed or my Christ?

Father God, I want You to have first place in my life and in the lives of the people in my local church. Help us to focus on You so that we can enjoy Your presence wherever we are—at church, at home, in the office or on vacation.