VIDEO I Beheld His Glory

Aug 13, 2016

I Beheld His Glory was produced by Cathedral Films in 1952. This christian bible movie is a story about the time period immediately following the crucifixion. Cornelius, a Roman centurion, retells in flashback sequence the story of Jesus and his witness to the crucifixion.

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Time to Flourish

“Sir,” the man replied, “leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.” Luke 13:8

Last spring I decided to cut down the rose bush by our back door. In the three years we’d lived in our home, it hadn’t produced many flowers, and its ugly, fruitless branches were now creeping in all directions.

But life got busy, and my gardening plan got delayed. It was just as well—only a few weeks later that rose bush burst into bloom like I’d never seen before. Hundreds of big white flowers, rich in perfume, hung over the back door, flowed into our yard, and showered the ground with beautiful petals.

God’s patience is good news for all of us.

My rose bush’s revival reminded me of Jesus’s parable of the fig tree in Luke 13:6–9. In Israel, it was customary to give fig trees three years to produce fruit. If they didn’t, they were cut down so the soil could be better used. In Jesus’s story, a gardener asks his boss to give one particular tree a fourth year to produce. In context (vv. 1–5), the parable implies this: The Israelites hadn’t lived as they should, and God could justly judge them. But God is patient and had given extra time for them to turn to Him, be forgiven, and bloom.

God wants all people to flourish and has given extra time so that they can. Whether we are still journeying toward faith or are praying for unbelieving family and friends, His patience is good news for all of us.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5).

God has given the world extra time to respond to His offer of forgiveness.

 

By Sheridan Voysey 

INSIGHT:Right before the words of today’s passage, Jesus described how His coming causes division between those who accept Jesus and the new reality He brings and those who reject Him (Luke 12:49–56). Words like these could have led some to interpret tragedies like lives lost in a collapsed tower (13:4) as God’s judgment. But Jesus rejected this way of thinking (v. 5), teaching that we should not condemn others, but instead look at ourselves. The parable of the barren fig tree (vv. 6–9) illustrates that although God is merciful and has given the world extra time to turn to Him (v. 9), a choice to live in Him must be made. That’s the only way to live fruitfully.

How can you, instead of condemning others, focus more deeply on your response to Christ?

Releasing the Holy Spirit’s Power

Romans 8:26-27

God’s Spirit indwells believers at salvation, which means His power is available from that moment (Eph. 1:13). God created a simple way for us to access that strength every single day.

First, we must accept the truth that in and of ourselves, we are powerless to live out God’s will. No matter how capable we may be, our own strength and wisdom are insufficient. Sometimes Christians become prideful about the good they have done or the number of years they’ve been saved. Imagine how much more we could serve the Lord if we would humbly get out of God’s way and let Him work through us.

Second, we surrender our entire life to the guidance and governing of the Holy Spirit. In other words, we choose to conduct our spiritual walk—as well as our vocation, finances, family, and relationships—as God desires. His Spirit is not going to release supernatural power into a life that is continuing in rebellion.

Third, we exercise faith, which means demonstrating belief and trust in the Lord. Faith is the “switch” that releases the Spirit’s power. It’s like saying, “I believe You’ve got a plan, God, so I’m going to trust You to give me what I need in order to do Your will.” Then He will move heaven and earth to provide for your need, whatever it may be.

Merely memorizing and reviewing the steps isn’t enough. Instead, commit to these principles as a way of life. Get used to thinking, I can’t but God can— I’ll submit to His will because His plans are for my good and His glory. That’s the kind of life that overflows with the Holy Spirit’s power.

No More Problems

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” (Matthew 24:9)

All too often in these days of “easy believism” and the erroneous “peace and prosperity” teaching, we hear someone say, “Once you become a Christian, all your problems will be over.” It is doubtful that anyone really believes such a statement, much less experiences it. Certainly the Israelites who had just been miraculously delivered from bondage didn’t experience it.

Of course, this concept is not biblical. In fact, the Bible teaches quite the opposite. Christ promised, “Ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake” (Matthew 10:22). He, Himself, would have many problems. “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). Later, after experiencing many problems, John wrote, “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you” (1 John 3:13).

These problems may take the form of general troubles that come from living in a sinful, cursed world; specific afflictions, which God allows in our lives to bring about His purpose; or discipline for personal sin, as well as direct persecution from without.

While troubles will come, all is not lost! Christ promised, “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” (John 16:33). Through Him we have the strength to meet every difficulty of this life with peace, good cheer, and victory. Through Him we also receive the promise that throughout eternity “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4). JDM

“Bring forth fruits meet for repentance.”

Judges 2:6-16

We will now return to the Bible narrative.

Judges 2:6

After a good sermon, the fittest thing is diligent practice.

Judges 2:7

Mighty is the influence of good men. Pray that God may preserve to us useful ministers and holy men in the church. They act as anchors to the church, which else might drift into error. How well is it for the good cause that our great Joshua never dies.

Judges 2:8, 9

The best of men must finish their course in due season: even those who live longest die at last, and so must we.

Judges 2:12, 13

Gross infatuation, to leave the true God for idols, the work of men’s hands.

Judges 2:14, 15

Sin must be chastened in God’s people. Even though others transgress with impunity, the Lord’s chosen shall not. Alas! what misery comes of departing from the Lord.

Judges 2:16

He was far more ready to deliver them than to smite them. He delighteth in mercy.

Judges 2:1-5

Judges 2:1

Was not this the great angel of the covenant, even the Lord Jesus? Who could use such language but one who is equal with God?

Judges 2:2, 3

Their sin was to be their punishment. If we will not smite our sins, our sins will smite us.

Judges 2:4, 5

And they called the name of that place Bochim or weepers

Tears will not serve, there must be sacrifice also. Blessed are they who with broken heart compass the altar of the Lord. May the Holy Spirit work in each of us a sacred sorrow for all sin. Amen.

 

Why, O my soul! why weepest thou?

Tell me from whence arise

Those briny tears that often flow,

Those groans that pierce the skies?

 

Is sin the cause of thy complaint,

Or the chastising rod?

Dost thou an evil heart lament,

And mourn an absent God?

 

Lord, let me weep for naught but sin!

And after none but thee!

And then I would—O that I might,

A constant weeper be!

 

What God Thinks About People Who Gossip!

Ephesians 4:29

When I was a young man, my family attended a church where the pastor was a fabulous Bible teacher. Wednesday night services were my favorite, because that is when he would really open the Word of God and teach us. But there was one aspect of the Wednesday night services that I absolutely despised—a gossiping church member who always started running her mouth as soon as church was finished!

This woman would stand to the side, peering at others and whispering about them behind their backs. But whenever the subject of her gossip approached her little clique, she’d stop whispering and smile at him or her so nicely and graciously. I hated the hypocrisy of this gossiper’s behavior and never understood how she could talk so badly about people immediately after hearing the Word of God taught with such power!

I remember how this woman always looked so elated when she found a new choice morsel of information about someone else in the church that she could start broadcasting. Yet most of what she gossiped about was based on hearsay. She didn’t even know if the “tidbits” she shared were factual. As long as they were enticing to hear, she knew she’d always have a small clan of devoted listeners. But even if the things this woman gossiped about had been factual, she had no business talking about them with others.

How does God feel about people who gossip? Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” The following verse continues to say, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God….” The implication is that when “corrupt communication” comes out of a believer’s mouth, it causes the Holy Spirit to be grieved (see January 5).

You see, gossip is a sin that grieves the Holy Spirit. Did you notice that Paul calls it “corrupt communication”? This phrase comes from the Greek word phaulos, which refers to something that stinks or to something that is rotting, such as meat that is full of maggots. This kind of communication is dead, decaying, and it stinks. It is offensive to the Spirit of God, and it grieves Him.

Gossip is so destructive and offensive that Paul forbids gossip in Second Corinthians 12:20. In this verse, Paul says, “For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, back-bitings, whisperings, swelling, tumults.” Do you see the word “whisperings”? This is the Greek word psithurimoswhich means gossip!

To make sure we know how evil gossip is, Paul lists it side by side with several other horrible attitudes and actions. He places gossip right alongside with:

Debates:

From the Greek word eris, which depicts a church divided by church politics. It could be translated as the word quarrels or wranglings.

Envyings:

From the Greek word zelos, which pictures a person so self-consumed that he fiercely fights for his own cause, not considering the needs or desires of others. It can be translated as the word jealousy.

Wraths:

From the Greek word thumos, portraying a person who suddenly flares up and loses his control of some kind of unresolved, deep-seated anger. This is a person who literally boils over with anger and blows up, erupting in an ugly outburst that negatively affects other people.

Strifes:

From the Greek word eritheia, depicting a selfish desire to promote one’s own way even if it means splitting and dividing the church. This is a picture of people taking sides in the church and thus dividing, splitting, and splintering the church into opposing factions.

Backbiting:

From the Greek word katalalia, meaning to talk down or to speak derogatorily about someone else. It can be translated as the word slander.

Whisperings:

From the Greek word psithurismos, which expresses the idea of a gossiper. The reason they whisper is that they know this kind of talk is wrong and that they’d get in trouble for what they were saying; therefore, they whisper their tidbits of information to others in secret.

Swellings:

From the Greek word phusiosis, which carries the idea of a person filled with pride. In fact, it can be translated to be puffed up. This is a person who is puffed up in pride about something that isn’t even important; nevertheless, he has allowed this thing to delude him into a false sense of over-significance or of being better than others. This word could also be translated as the word arrogance.

Tumults:

From the Greek word akatastasia, referring to anarchy, chaos, insubordination, or to some kind of attitude or action that creates upheaval, unrest, or instability. It describes the attitude or actions of a person who creates some type of disastrous disturbance.

I want you to notice that “gossip” is right smack dab in the middle of this list! What does this tell you about what God thinks of gossip and of those who are involved in the act of gossiping?

Let’s be sure we understand what the word “gossip” describes! It describes a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts, rumors, or reports of an intimate nature that are none of his business.

For instance, gossip would include:

  • Talking about other people’s business and things that do not concern you.
  • Repeating what someone else said, even though you don’t know whether or not it’s true.
  • Talking to others as if you were an authority about matters that are other people’s business, when in reality you don’t know what you are talking about.

In a certain sense, gossip is like a deadly poison. It hurts people; it kills relationships; and it destroys trust. In the workplace, “gossip” usually happens between two employees who have become friends and feel like they can truly “share” with each other. They are often people who have been offended or hurt by the one who is the subject of their gossip; therefore, every rumor they hear becomes a “choice morsel” to share with the other offended party. This is what Proverbs 18:8 (niv) is talking about when it says, “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.”

Gossip is usually based on hearsay; it is usually inaccurate; it creates suspicions; and it divides people. It is so evil that I absolutely forbid it in our ministry.

It is interesting to note that the Greek word for gossip means to whisper. This means that gossip almost always takes place in secret. Just think about it—where does gossip usually takes place? If you have engaged in gossip in the past, you probably listened to someone tell you information or hearsay about other people, which you then whispered to someone else:

  • In the women’s bathroom at the office.
  • In your office when the doors were closed and no one was watching or listening.
  • In the lunch-break room when it was only you and the person to whom you were talking.
  • In a prayer meeting, where people often whisper about others under the camouflage of “prayer.”
  • In a corner where the boss, director, pastor, or subject of your gossip couldn’t hear what you were saying.

You need to know that gossipers usually attract to each other like magnets. When they get together, they see things alike and therefore begin to think they are right. Thus, they form a little faction right inside the office or church, often concluding that they are doing God’s business as they meet together to discuss all the problems going on in other people’s lives, even though it isn’t their business to discuss or solve these problems or to meddle in other people’s affairs.

Since the word “gossip” really means to whisper, it would be good when you are about to tell something you’ve heard to first ask yourself: Would I say these things publicly? Would I say this in front of the person I am talking about? If your answer is no, you can conclude that you shouldn’t say it privately either.

So I urge you not to allow the devil to snag you and drag you into the sin of gossip. James 3:8 tells us that the tongue is “… an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” But you can refuse to be the source of gossip or to participate in it when it takes place. If you really love Jesus, why would you want to participate in something that will poison people’s opinions and ultimately divide and hurt others? Think of it—if it were you whom people were talking about, wouldn’t it be hurtful to you to discover that they were talking this way behind your back?

It’s too hurtful to get into this business! If you have to whisper it, then you probably shouldn’t be saying it at all. In fact, a good rule to live by is this: If you can’t say it publicly, don’t say it at all! Make the decision today to refrain from gossip and to stay away from those who practice it!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I admit that I’m guilty of occasionally talking behind people’s backs, and I’m wrong for doing it. I ask You to please forgive me for allowing the devil to use me in this way. I am asking You to help me keep a tight rein on my tongue and to refrain from gossiping about other people. When I find myself in a situation where the conversation turns to gossip, help me know how to graciously dismiss myself from the conversation so I can avoid participating in this sin and falling back into this trap. I repent for my activity in gossip, and I turn from it in Jesus’ name!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I will no longer participate in the sin of gossip. If it can’t be said publicly, I refuse to say it. If I have to whisper it, I will not repeat it. I refrain from gossip, and I stay away from those who practice it. Gossip is a sin, and I refuse to be a part of it. My mouth speaks only what is good for the use of edifying those who hear me!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Do you find that you are tempted to repeat information about other people, even though what you are repeating has nothing to do with you and is none of your business? Be honest in your answer, because God has already observed your behavior and knows the truth!
  2. Sometimes gossip happens during prayer meetings. Have you ever witnessed a moment when a prayer request turned into a gossip session, and you felt guilty for talking so badly about that person before you prayed for him or her?
  3. If you’ve been involved in gossip, have you sensed the conviction of the Holy Spirit trying to tell you to stop this activity?

 

Why Our Marriage Works

This morning I crept back into the bedroom to kiss my wife good-bye before catching an early flight out to Malaysia.

 

Groggily she muttered, “I forgot to pack your tiesWes (our son) called last nightDo you have handkerchiefs?” A hug, a kiss – and out the door to the airport… savoring that warm sense of belonging.

 

This is my woman and I am her man.

 

Here are five good reasons why our marriage works:

 

1. We take time to cultivate a close walk with Christ, thereby helping to ensure the fact that we share a common vision and mission.

 

Let us draw near [to God] with a sincere heart in full assurance of faithMayGodgive you a spirit of unity as you follow Christ Jesus… “ (Hebrews 10:22a; Romans 15:5a)

 

2. We respect each other in our differences; we take each other seriously.

 

There are different kinds of giftsministries(and) effects, but the same God works all of them in all men.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)

 

3. We choose to identify and attack our problems rather than each other.

 

Let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead… ” (1 Peter 3:8, 9a)

 

4. We laugh a lot, taking time to play and have fun together.

 

A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.” (Proverbs 15:13)

 

5. I lead and she follows.

 

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church… ” (Ephesians 5:22a)

 

Ruth has hung in there with me these 33 years, through the easy and tough times, clearly understanding the term “helpmate“. (Genesis 2:18) We most likely are in the 4th quarter of our lives now. I understand we are now viewed as “Senior Citizens“. When I return home in a few days, we’ll probably spend the evening playing Scrabble and tennis, and then relax around an old movie. Weve not had better days

 

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