VIDEO Running, Christian movie

Jan 9, 2016

Eric is angry with God for the early death of his mother and a life of loneliness and as a result pushes away those who truly love him – including God. After spending 5 years in jail, his older brother Ryan comes home a changed man after coming to Christ and tries to rebuild his relationship with Eric. He sees that Eric is running head on to a life of crime and destruction. Before Eric ends up just like he once was, Ryan tries to show him that only Christ can bring the peace and fulfillment Eric is looking for and he can finally stop running.

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A Small Fire

The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. James 3:5

It was a Sunday night in September and most people were sleeping when a small fire broke out in Thomas Farriner’s bakery on Pudding Lane. Soon the flames spread from house to house and London was engulfed in the Great Fire of 1666. Over 70,000 people were left homeless by the blaze that leveled four-fifths of the city. So much destruction from such a small fire!

The Bible warns us of another small but destructive fire. James was concerned about lives and relationships, not buildings, when he wrote, “The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark” (James 3:5).

Let your conversation be always full of grace. Colossians 4:6

But our words can also be constructive. Proverbs 16:24 reminds us, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” The apostle Paul says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Col. 4:6). As salt flavors our food, grace flavors our words for building up others.

Through the help of the Holy Spirit our words can encourage people who are hurting, who want to grow in their faith, or who need to come to the Savior. Our words can put out fires instead of starting them.

Lord, I can always use help with the way I talk. For this day, help me to speak words of hope and encouragement to build up others.

What will our words be like today?

INSIGHT:Foolish words are likened to a powerfully destructive “scorching fire” (Prov. 16:27), and the deadly weapons of war, the “flaming arrows of death” (26:18). Jesus said that our words come from our hearts and reveal if we are good or evil. “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:45). How can you use words that will delight God and bless others?

 

What Does It Mean to Be “Saved”?

Psalm 25

How does a person become acceptable to God? The path to redemption begins not with the decision to live a better life or to stop doing something wrong, but with the realization that we cannot correct our sinful nature. To find favor with the Lord, we must grasp that it’s impossible to make ourselves righteous. Instead, we need to depend on the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf. When we trust in Christ as our Savior, God the Father applies the benefit of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice to our sin debt, thereby making us saved—that is, acceptable in His eyes.

Your good works and righteous acts are of absolutely no value in the mind of God. Compared to others’ actions, your generosity and good works might seem like enough to bring favor with the Lord, but Scripture tells us salvation is “not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:9). When you stand before God, the only way you can be forgiven of your sins is through Christ and His sacrificial, substitutionary atoning death at Calvary. The Savior came to give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).

Jesus’ crucifixion was a public demonstration of God’s hatred for sin and immense love for mankind. He who was blameless bore the penalty for all in order that wicked, corrupt people could be made righteous.

No matter what you have done, you can be cleansed of the stain left by sin. Confess any known transgressions to the Lord and turn from them. Then Jesus will forgive you and write your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life (1 John 1:9; Revelation 21:27). By trusting in Him, you are assured of eternity in His presence.

The Terror of the Lord

“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.” (2 Corinthians 5:11)

The use of the English word “terror” in this verse as a translation of the Greek phobos (from which we get our word “phobia”) indicates that the frequent Old Testament phrase “fear of the LORD” means much more than implied in the modern euphemism “reverential trust.” The only other New Testament use of this phrase is in Acts 9:31: “Then had the churches rest . . . and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.”

These two passages seem to be informing us that when a church is “walking in the terror of the Lord,” its members will be seeking every means whereby to “persuade men” to come to Christ, and therefore its numbers will increase.

This impassioned persuasion of the lost is motivated by knowledge that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10). That is, we know that the Lord Jesus, who died for lost sinners and has commissioned us to tell them of His great salvation, will be highly displeased if we don’t do so, or if our testimony is compromised by our selfish lives. At His judgment seat, “the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. . . . If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (1 Corinthians 3:13, 15).

The terror of the Lord, when we appear before Him in that day, is not the only motive for witnessing, of course. “The love of Christ constraineth us,” and when our testimony is received (our motives being “manifest unto God” and even to the “consciences” of those to whom we witness), then the glorious result is “a new creature” in Christ! (2 Corinthians 5:14, 17). HMM

“When I see the blood I will pass over you.”

Exodus 12:1-15

Israel’s deliverance from Egypt was a redemption both by blood and by power. In the following chapter we read of the redemption by blood.

Exodus 12:1, 2

To be redeemed is the greatest event in a mans history. The day in which we realise redemption must be the pearl of days to us for ever.

Exodus 12:5

Jesus was perfect, and in the fulness of his strength when he became the lamb of our passover.

Exodus 12:6

It was both in the evening of the day and in the evening of time, that by the general voice of the nation, Jesus was put to death.

Exodus 12:7

Not on the threshold, for woe unto the man who tramples on the blood of Christ.

Exodus 12:8

Do these bitter herbs signify our repentance or the Redeemers woes? Perhaps both.

Exodus 12:9

Our Lord’s sufferings are well symbolised by the fire before which the lamb was roasted.

Exodus 12:10

We must feed upon Christ and upon a whole Christ.

Exodus 12:13

Mark that word, “when I see the blood.” Our sight of the atonement brings us comfort, but the Lord’s own sight of it is the true reason of our salvation.

1 Corinthians 5:6-8

Sin is that sour leaven which must go from the heart where Jesus is the Saviour. The apostle Paul puts this more at length in

1 Corinthians 5:6

It is a spreading thing, and if any be left it will speedily multiply itself.

1 Corinthians 5:8

May the Holy Spirit grant us grace to accomplish this sweeping of the house. Where the precious blood is sprinkled, no sin can be tolerated.

 

Saints behold your Paschal lamb,

Trust his blood, and praise his name;

Keep the sacred feast and be

Now from guile and malice free.

 

Stand as pilgrims, staff in hand,

Quitting soon this servile land,

Follow on where Christ has trod,

Till he brings you home to God.

 

The Necessary Attitude for Success

1 Corinthians 15:58

Today I want to talk to you about an attitude you must possess if you wish to achieve success in your life. If you study the lives of achievers and history-makers, you will find that all of them remarkably share certain attitudes that helped them reach success. However, the attitude I wish to speak to you about today is so essential that it should be considered non-negotiable, especially if you wish to do anything significant with your life.

This non-negotiable attitude is found in First Corinthians 15:58, where Paul urges us, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord….” The word “stedfast” in this verse is dealt with in the March 12 Sparkling Gem, but today I want you to consider the word “unmoveable.” This word refers to one of the most critically important attitudes for those who want to please God and do something noteworthy in their lives.

The word “immovable” is the Greek word ametakinetos, which has several meanings:

  • It means not easily excited, shaken, or affected.
  • It describes something that is not changeable or unpredictable.
  • It was also frequently used in connection with stone structures or to refer to people who are known to have a strong and unbending character.
  • Thus, this word portrays something that is solid, unbending, and not easily excited,
  • shaken, or affected; a person, building, or place that is constant, stable, enduring, and dependable.

In other words, this is not a flighty, fickle, “here-today, gone-tomorrow,” “on-again, off-again” type of person; rather, this is someone who is constant, stable, and dependable. Because the word ametakinetos describes something immovable, it carries the idea of someone whose attitude can be described as:

  • Rock-solid
  • Fixed
  • Grounded
  • Established
  • Rooted
  • Anchored
  • Unvarying
  • Permanent
  • Stable

When you start a new project or step out in faith to do something new, there will always be obstacles that try to get in your way. If you aren’t determined to be tougher than the problems that arise, it won’t be long until you throw in the towel and give up. That’s why this word ametakinetos is so vital. It is an attitude that says, “I’m not moving until I see my dream come to pass!”

Anyone who wants to be great or to do great things must learn to be constant, stable, dependable, inflexible, unbending, and unyielding in the face of challenges. This is a common characteristic shared by all great achievers.

 

First Corinthians 15:58 could be translated:

“… Be constant, stable, enduring, and dependable—one who is always abounding in the work of the Lord….”

When you know God has called you to do something, you have to develop this kind of rock-solid, immovable attitude about that task or project because one thing is certain: Satan will attempt to sidetrack you. That’s what the enemy does to anyone whom God calls to do a job!

The devil will try to use people’s negative words, a lack of finances, adverse circumstances, discouragement, and a host of other tactics to move you off course from your intended goal. That’s why you have to make up your mind to be fixed, rooted, grounded, anchored, and unwavering in your commitment to accomplish the task God has set before you!

So don’t allow yourself to be inconsistent and wavering in your commitment to accomplish your God-given assignment. Remember—others around you are watching your example. In this world where a lackadaisical, “who cares?” attitude predominates, people need to see what true commitment looks like!

Be steadfast and immovable in the place where God has called you. Make the rock-solid decision that you will be a “permanent fixture” within your divine call until your task is completed with excellence, regardless of what it costs you!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, as I step out in faith to do something new, I realize there will always be obstacles that try to get in my way. So today I am asking You to help me stay tougher than any problems that may arise. Help me maintain the attitude that says, “I’m not moving until I see my dream come to pass!” I understand that if I am going to do great things for You, I must be constant, stable, dependable, inflexible, unbending, and unyielding in the face of challenges. With Your help, I know this is exactly the kind of person I will be!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I declare that I am steadfast and immovable! I have a non-negotiable attitude of absolute determination to do what God has called me to do. I am fixed, solid, grounded, established, anchored, unvarying, permanent, and stable in my tenacity to grab hold of all that God has destined for me to accomplish with my life. I will not stop, give in, give up, or surrender to anything that tries to discourage me or to throw me off track. I am committed to stay in the race until I’ve made it all the way to the end.

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. If others were asked what they think about you, would they say you are flighty and fickle or stable, consistent, and solid?
  2. If you were looking for someone you could depend on to do a job, would you want to choose someone like you?
  3. If you’ve been consistently unstable in the past, can you think of ways to correct this in your life?

 

Life Is Short, Death Is Sure, Eternity Awaits

“We have finished our years like a sigh.”

 

As I write, an Asia-Pacific-wide economic conference is in progress in this City. Red carpets are rolled out, the press stands at the ready, police sirens blare, and people gawk as the influential and powerful confer over economic policies affecting tens of millions of lives.

 

Impressive. Daunting.

 

Recently the founder of a FORTUNE 500 company passed into eternity. I had the privilege of knowing this man and his family. He was impressive! Daunting!

 

Shortly after his death, his son dined in our home and told of his father’s waning months, as cancer slowly took its toll. This once powerful giant of American industry withered into a shell, finding the most basic functions a chore.

 

He had, as the Psalmist forewarned, “finished [his] years like a sigh (or whisper).

 

And that will be the inevitable conclusion of these powerful leaders attending this Asia-Pacific economic conference… As it will also be with us.

 

PERSPECTIVE is what is needed here: Life is short. Death is sure. Eternity awaits us.

 

Just walk through a cemetery and observe the infamous and the unknowns, along with the rich and powerful. All share the same piece of real estate.

 

There is no status in a cemetery.

 

Just as men share a common place of burial, men apart from Christ—regardless of “standing,” will meet God in a common judgment:

 

And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and the books were openedand they were judged, every one of them… “ (Revelation 20:12, 13a)

 

The Psalmist’s wise words speak to our soul,

 

“So teach us to number our days that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.”

 

QUESTION: As you contemplate the inescapable reality that your life is moving toward death’s conclusion, are you presently applying your heart to wisdom?

 

 

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