VIDEO Broken Faith

Oct 26, 2014

DESCRIPTION: A troubled young man’s broken faith in God becomes strengthened by a young girl whose tragedy leads her to discover her only true Source of joy and peace.

Of the 4 Christian films SMF has produced, this is SMF’s 1st full length feature Christian film.

http://sugarloafmountainfilms.com

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Love Through the Ages

Jesus replied, “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” Matthew 22:37, NLT

Two wings of a bird; two halves of scissors; two sides of a coin. Sometimes two things go together so well that, alone, they are only part of the picture. That is true of the Old and New Testament revelations of God’s love.

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word hesed—“loyal-love” or “lovingkindness”—illustrates the central theme of God’s love. God’s loyalty to, and compassion toward, Israel was demonstrated by His hesed toward them. But there were conditions to be met: the requirements of the Mosaic Covenant. By the time we get to the New Testament, Israel’s failure to walk in God’s covenant resulted in discipline. God’s loyal love was then extended to all the world in an expanded way. Agape is the New Testament word that means unconditional, sacrificial love—love “in spite of.” Even while we Gentiles were sinners, Paul wrote, God loved us unconditionally and sent Christ to die as payment for our sins. Loyal, unconditional, sacrificial love—that is the full expression of God’s love for us.

Toward you, God is loyal and faithful and unconditional. Meditate on how life-changing His love is and what your respond should be to Him.

God’s love for his people is infinite and unconditional.  John Blanchard

Foundation of Wisdom

Proverbs 9:7-12

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10). Initially, the connection between these two concepts may be difficult to grasp. How can fearing God make us wise?

First, we need to understand what it means to fear the Lord. This term is used to describe an awesome reverence for God that moves us to acknowledge Him as the sovereign ruler of heaven and earth, submit to His will, and walk in obedience. The result of such a response will be the acquisition of wisdom.

If we commit ourselves to living for God’s purposes rather than our own, we will gain greater understanding of Him. The Holy Spirit will enable us to see circumstances and people from His divine perspective. This kind of wisdom reaches beyond human perception and gives us discernment to make decisions that fit into the Lord’s plans for our life. Knowing that He always works for our best interests, we are empowered to walk confidently through both good and bad times.

But if we reject God’s instructions, we dishonor Him with our refusal to acknowledge His right to rule our life. It’s foolish to rebel against His authority and think we can ever win. Those who won’t fear God will never know real wisdom.

What is your attitude toward the Lord? If you truly revere Him, you will listen for His directions and heed His warnings. A desire to honor and please Him will motivate you to turn from evil and seek to live in obedience. The result will be wisdom beyond human understanding.

Both Together

“And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.” (Genesis 22:6)

The familiar story of Abraham’s willingness to offer up Isaac his son, in obedience to God’s command, is rightly cited as a prime example of Abraham’s great faith. It is also a testimony to the remarkable faith of Isaac, for it is recorded twice in Genesis 22 that “they went both of them together” (see also v. 8).

This emphasis on the fellowship of both father and son in this tremendous act of obedient faith is surely given by divine inspiration for our edification.

Isaac was a grown young man at this time, not a little boy. Isaac soon understood what was happening, yet he willingly carried the wood himself and then submitted to being bound on the altar of sacrifice. Abraham fully intended to slay his son (and Isaac to allow himself to be slain), for they understood this to be God’s Word. Actually, however, God had commanded Abraham only to “offer him there for a burnt offering” (v. 2) and, when he did that, God stayed his hand, and provided a ram as a substitute for his son.

The New Testament, of course, makes it clear (see Galatians 3:16; Hebrews 11:17-19) that this was a beautiful type of the mutual love-gift of the heavenly Father and His beloved Son, providing salvation for all who would receive it by faith. They went both together to the cross!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). The Father loved the Son before the world began (John 17:24), but they both loved us so much that they both went to the place of sacrifice, together, for us! HMM

“We shall see Him as He is.”

Genesis 46:29-34

Genesis 46:30

As if now he could lie down and sleep, for his last desire was fulfilled. Bishop Hall says, “And if the meeting of earthly friends be so unspeakably comfortable, how happy shall we be in the light of the glorious face of God our Father! of that of our blessed Redeemer, whom we sold to death for our sins, and who now, after his noble triumph, hath all power given him in heaven and earth”

Genesis 46:33, 34

To speak the honest truth is always the best policy, and to follow an honest calling the best condition. Joseph might have bid them ask to be made nobles, but he knew that they would prosper better as shepherds. “Seekest thou great things for thyself, seek them not.”

Genesis 47:2-10, 12

Genesis 47:2-9

He avowed himself a pilgrim, thus bearing witness to the hope which sustained him, but he gave to Pharaoh a more gloomy view of pilgrim life than Abraham or Isaac would have done. However, since this man of many trials yet reached the promised rest, even so shall every afflicted believer.

Genesis 47:10

The reverend age of Jacob gave him liberty to bless even the monarch of the land. An old mans blessing is precious. Let us so act towards the aged, that they may invoke blessings upon us.

Genesis 47:12

Thus our elder brother Jesus, who is Lord over the whole earth for the good of his church, takes care to nourish all his Father’s household “according to their families? Be pleased, O Jesus, to let this family share in thy great love.

 

When famine frowns and fields are bare

God shall for saints provide;

He has a land of Goshen where

He makes their souls abide.

 

In darkest times they need not fear,

Their wants are all foreknown;

Jesus their Lord shall now appear

As Joseph on the throne.

 

A Picture of Who You Used To Be!

Ephesians 2:2

Do you ever look through old photographs to reminisce about the past? When browsing through those old images, does it ever make you drift back to moments in the past that are precious to you or perhaps not so pleasant? Photographs are reminders of who we were back then, what we once looked like, what we once did, and so on.

Ephesians 2:2 is like looking at a photograph of what you were like before Jesus Christ came into your life. It says, “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” The King James Version says, “Wherein in time past….” But the Greek could be better translated, “Back then….”

Paul was reminding his readers of what they were like before the grace of God touched their hearts. With this one statement, he reached into his pocketbook, pulled out a stack of old photographs, and began flipping through them, searching for one old photo that would remind them of their past. When Paul wrote Ephesians 2:2, it was like he held that old photo up in the air and said, “Hey, look at this! Do you remember what you looked like back then?”

Then Paul reminds his readers, “Back then… you walked according to the course of this world.” The word “walked” is the Greek word peripateo, a compound of the words peri and pateo. The word peri means around and the word pateo means to walk. When these are joined together, it means to walk around habitually in one general area all the time. The Greek grammar implies that it is a path from which these people cannot deviate. You might say they are trapped on this path—bound to walk it again and again. They are locked in this one general sphere and can’t find their way out by themselves.

The verse goes on to say, “Back then… you walked according to….” That phrase “according to” is from the Greek word kata, which portrays something that is forceful or dominating. By using this little word, Paul reminds us that before we met the Lord, we “habitually walked around under the dominating influence of this world, unable to alter the path we were taking.” Although unaware of our condition, we were spiritual prisoners that were dominated and manipulated by the influence of a lost society.

But Paul goes on to say, “Back then… you walked according to the course of this world….” The word “course” is from the Greek word aiona, a word that describes a specific, allotted period of time, such as an age, a specific era, or a generation. It often denotes the influence of a particular generation or a period of time, like a decade, a century, or even a millennium.

The word aiona also denotes the spirit of a period; for instance, the 1920s were typified as “the Roaring Twenties.” The spirit of the 1960s and 1970s was typified as a “rebellious” period because of drug use and the strong reaction against the Vietnam War. Many times in Greek literature, this word aiona carries this same meaning of the spirit of the age.

Then Paul adds the next word: “Back then… you walked according to the course of this world….” This word “world” in Greek is kosmos, a word that depicts something that is fashioned or ordered. In this verse, it denotes systems and institutions in society, such as fashion, education, or entertainment. Because Paul uses the word kosmos, he paints a picture of people who have no standard like God’s Word by which to live; therefore, they are guided by the constantly changing ethics and whims of the times. Sadly, education, entertainment, and fashion are the forces that guide the lost world.

 

You could rephrase Ephesians 2:2 this way:

“Don’t you remember what you used to be like? Why, back then you habitually walked around trapped and unable to get off the track you were stuck on—totally unaware that you were being dominated and manipulated by the constantly fluctuating thinking of the day, by the whims of the times, and by whatever society was giving its approval to at that moment….”

That is who you were, but that is not who you are today! Now you are a child of God who has been redeemed, sanctified, and indwelt by the Spirit of God. But think for a moment of all the people you know who still don’t know Jesus Christ. That means they still fit into this category! They are still trapped, unable to get off the treadmill they are stuck on!

Don’t you think it’s time for you to tell those people the Good News about Jesus Christ? Aren’t you glad someone told you? They may not act thrilled when you first approach them, but after a while the message will begin to sink in, and they’ll be so thankful you told them the Good News!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, as I read this today, it makes me so thankful that I am not the person I used to be! Thank You for sending someone to me to share the Good News of the Gospel. My life has been transformed, and now I’m on the path that You planned for My life. I ask You to forgive me for not telling others about the saving message of Jesus Christ. I have freely received, and now I have a responsibility to freely give. So today I thank You that I have all the power I need to be a witness to my lost family and friends!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I am a witness for Jesus Christ. When I was filled with the Holy Spirit, I received power to tell my friends and family about the Good News of the Gospel. I have no reason to be afraid of their reaction, and I refuse to allow a spirit of fear to keep me from giving them the truth that will set them free!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Have you ever stopped to think about what you were like before you were saved?
  2. Seeing God’s saving work in your own life and how far He has brought you, is there anyone in particular you can think of who needs to hear your testimony of God’s grace and saving power?
  3. Have you thanked God yet today for saving you from being completely dominated by the enemy and the world’s system?

 

Guarding Your Heart

 

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23a)

 

Ah, the “heart“… that is where our problems lie, is it not?

 

The heart here represents your ethical center, your intellectual center: What you think, what is going on with your will, your perceptions of yourself and your knowledge of God.

 

The condition of your heart is critical because what goes on there determines the course of your life.

 

So… guard what is happening in your HEART with all diligence.

 

Picture your physical heart pumping blood through the arteries to the extremities of the body. The health of the heart determines the health of the body.

 

So it is with your spiritual heart. What goes on there affects all the extremities of your life.

 

Want to keep your heart pure? Then check your ACTIONS in three areas:

 

1. Your speech:

 

Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put devious lips far from you.” (Proverbs 4:24)

 

QUESTION: Is your speech truthful? Straightforward?… Or misleading?

 

2. Your eyes:

 

Let your eyes look directly ahead, and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.” (Proverbs 4:5)

 

QUESTION: Are you looking only at things that enhance your mind and your morals?

… Or do you have wandering eyes?

 

3. Your path:

 

Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil.” (Proverbs 4:26)

 

QUESTION: Are you only going to places that keep your heart pure… Or are you drifting into questionable areas?