VIDEO The Last Train to Auschwitz

Jun 28, 2015

The film depicts the fate of some of the last remaining Jews in Berlin, who in April 1943 were rounded up at the Berlin-Grunewald station and sent to the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. The film stands out due to its proximity as well as the unsparing realism with which the brutality of a transport to the Auschwitz concentration camp appears.

Praying for Adult Children – The Spiritual Search

Praying for Adult Children

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

Many parents assume that when they get their children raised, out of diapers, out of school, and out of the house, they won’t have to worry about them anymore. But, oh, the stress of being the parent of an adult child! Our world is filled with problems and pitfalls, and our children are at risk whatever their age; but each need can be met with prayer.

Our children can’t get away from our intercession, though the answers may come slower than we’d like. The best strategy is finding Scriptures we can convert to prayers. For example, the concluding benediction in Hebrews 13:20-21 asks the Lord to “make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ….”

When worried about a child, there’s peace and power in finding a quiet place to offer that very prayer, effectively and fervently, for your youngster. You might even keep a small notebook of Scripture prayers to persistently bring before the throne.

Parenting involves a lifetime commitment to prayer; therein resides the power that avails much.

The Bible…was meant to be prayed. Mark Batterson, in Praying Circles Around Your Children


The Spiritual Search

The illustration of prayer that our Lord used here is one of a good child who is asking for something good. We talk about prayer as if God hears us regardless of what our relationship is to Him (see Matthew 5:45). Never say that it is not God’s will to give you what you ask. Don’t faint and give up, but find out the reason you have not received; increase the intensity of your search and examine the evidence. Is your relationship right with your spouse, your children, and your fellow students? Are you a “good child” in those relationships? Do you have to say to the Lord, “I have been irritable and cross, but I still want spiritual blessings”? You cannot receive and will have to do without them until you have the attitude of a “good child.”

We mistake defiance for devotion, arguing with God instead of surrendering. We refuse to look at the evidence that clearly indicates where we are wrong. Have I been asking God to give me money for something I want, while refusing to pay someone what I owe him? Have I been asking God for liberty while I am withholding it from someone who belongs to me? Have I refused to forgive someone, and have I been unkind to that person? Have I been living as God’s child among my relatives and friends? (see Matthew 7:12).

I am a child of God only by being born again, and as His child I am good only as I “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7). For most of us, prayer simply becomes some trivial religious expression, a matter of mystical and emotional fellowship with God. We are all good at producing spiritual fog that blinds our sight. But if we will search out and examine the evidence, we will see very clearly what is wrong— a friendship, an unpaid debt, or an improper attitude. There is no use praying unless we are living as children of God. Then Jesus says, regarding His children, “Everyone who asks receives…” (Matthew 7:8).

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The vital relationship which the Christian has to the Bible is not that he worships the letter, but that the Holy Spirit makes the words of the Bible spirit and life to him.  The Psychology of Redemption, 1066 L

Jesus Is Stronger Than Our Fears

Mark 4:39

The Sea of Galilee is about eight miles wide and 13 miles long. If you’d been sitting on its shore the evening Jesus calmed the fierce gale, you might have seen ominous clouds and lightning out over the water. Experiencing a thunderstorm while watching at a distance or from the safety of your home is easy and even thrilling. But it’s another thing altogether when your boat starts rocking wildly on the waves and the rain is pelting your face. Then, what is fascinating from a distance can set off panic in your heart—panic that’s not entirely unreasonable if you’re at risk of capsizing in the middle of the sea.

In this fallen world, everyone will face storms of some sort, whether they involve physical, relational, financial, or other issues. These adversities are hard and they hurt. But they’re not the whole story of our lives, especially if we are followers of the One who calms the storm.

When troubles hit, we might find ourselves wondering, God, where are You? But He is where He’s always been; the problem is that we forget to look in the right direction.

So remember, it is Jesus whose voice commands nature, and He is also sovereign over every other type of tempest we face (1 John 4:4). Knowing that we are frail in storms, He stands with us, sheltering us from the full brunt of the pounding rain and speaking peace into our heart (Psalm 103:13-14).

A storm-tossed sea was no match for Jesus. With three words from Him, it calmed instantly. He’ll do the same for you and me every time if we just turn to Him and trust.

Knowledge of Eternal Life

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13)

It is important that a believer have real assurance of eternal life, and our text indicates that this was John’s very purpose in writing his epistle. It is dangerous, however, to use this verse as a “proof text” apart from the whole context of “these things” that John had written to give such assurance, because the question must be faced as to what constitutes real belief “on the name of the Son of God.” Many professing Christians may well have a superficial assurance of salvation because of a superficial faith.

According to the apostle John, genuine belief in the Son of God can be tested by “these things” that he had written. Space here permits listing only a few of them, but all are important. “Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him” (1 John 2:5). “Ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him” (2:29). “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren” (3:14). “And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us” (3:24). “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not” (5:18).

Such words of assurance do not require that the believer be sinless (note 1 John 1:8-10), for the Greek tenses imply only that he does not sin habitually. Nevertheless, Christians who are comfortable in a nominal profession of faith, with little outward evidence of that faith, would do well to examine their faith in light of John’s “tests of faith,” whereby we may “know that [we] have eternal life.” HMM

“God is my defense.”

Psalm 59

This Psalm is entitled “A golden Psalm of David, when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him.”

Psalm 59:1

They were all round the house armed with the royal warrant and with a sufficient force to seize him, yet he had faith enough to pray and not to give up in despair, God has ways of escape for his birds of paradise, even when the fowler’s nets are most cunningly spread.

Psalm 59:2

When a habitation is beset by thieves, the good man of the house rings the alarm bell, and in these verses we hear it sounding aloud, “deliver me,” “defend me,” “deliver me,” “save me.” David could not fall by Saul’s hand while he prayed in this fashion.

Psalm 59:5

Be merciful to them as men, but not as transgressors, for mercy to such criminals would be cruelty to the inoffensive.

Psalm 59:7

None are so utterly brutal and abandoned as those who think that God has deserted the world, and no longer takes notice of the words and actions of men.

Psalm 59:9

Is my persecutor strong? Then, my God, for this very reason I will turn myself to thee, and leave my matters in. thy hand. It is our wisdom to see in the greatness of our difficulties a reason for casting ourselves upon the Lord.

Psalm 59:11

Enemies help to keep God’s servants awake, therefore let them live, but let them have no power to do such evil as they desire.

Psalm 59:12

Swearers are generally liars.

Psalm 59:15

David speaks as a prophet, and not as a man of vindictive spirit seeking revenge; this was very far from being his character, for when his enemies were in his power he often spared them, taking no vengeance upon them but the sacred one of heaping coals of fire upon their heads by his kindness. These passages may be read as predictions rather than as wishes.

Psalm 59:17

David felt sure of escaping, for he believed that God regarded prayer; and therefore he began to sing unto his deliverer. This was no easy task. How should we have acted under the circumstances? Furious murderers were in the street around the house, thirsting for the good mans blood, and yet his faith enabled him to sing praises to God. O for the like confidence!

 

Thou’rt my rock and my defence;

Thou a tower unto Thy saints;

Thee I make my confidence,

Thee I’ll trust, though nature faints.

 

Glad thy mercies will I sing,

All thy power and love confess;

Thou hast been, O heavenly King,

My safe refuge in distress!

 

Make Up Your Mind To Live Fearlessly And Peacefully in These Last Days!

2 Thessalonians 2:2

In Second Thessalonians 2:2, the apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonian believers and warned them about events that would occur right before the coming of the Lord. He wanted to prepare them so these major world events wouldn’t take them off guard and throw them into a state of panic. Therefore, Paul told them, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand” (2 Thessalonians 2:2).

Notice that Paul told the Thessalonian believers not to be “soon shaken.” The word “soon” is the Greek word tachus, which means quickly, suddenly, or hastily. The word “shaken” is the Greek word saleuo, which means to shake, to waver, to totter, or to be moved. The tense used in the Greek points to events so dramatic that they could result in shock or alarm. In fact, the Greek tense strongly suggests a devastating occurrence or a sequence of devastating occurrences so dramatic that they will throw the world into a state of shock or distress.

By using the words “soon shaken,” Paul was urging his readers (and us!) to resist being easily shaken up by events that will occur just before the coming of Jesus. He was particularly careful to mention that we must not be “soon shaken in mind.” The Greek word for the “mind” is nous, which describes everything in the realm of the intellect, including one’s will, emotions, and ability to think, reason, and decide.

Whoever or whatever controls a person’s mind ultimately has the power to dictate the affairs and outcome of that person’s life. Thus, if a person allows his mind to be doused with panic or fear, he is putting fear in charge of his life. Because Paul wanted his readers to remain in peace regardless of the tumultuous events that transpired around them, he urged them not to allow fear from these shocking and distressful events to penetrate their minds, will, and emotions.

Then to make certain we comprehend the magnitude of these last-day events, Paul went on to say, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled….” The word “troubled” is the Greek word throeo, which indicates an inward fright that results from the shocking occurrence described above. The shock resulting from these nerve-racking events could be so severe that it could cause a person to be devoured with worry, anxiety, or fear.

Paul is confident these events will not be only a one-time occurrence; thus, he uses a Greek tense that points to an ongoing state of worry and inward anxiety resulting from these outward events that keep occurring again and again. It is as if he prophesies that there is no pause between these shocking, debilitating, and nerve-racking happenings. One scholar therefore translates the word “troubled” as being jumpy or nervous.

These words are so jammed-packed with meaning that it is almost impossible to directly translate them. To help you see exactly what Paul was communicating to his readers, I have translated and paraphrased the original Greek words, pulling the full meaning out of each word and then transferring those meanings into the interpretive translation below.

 

All the words Paul used in Second Thessalonians 2:2 convey this idea:

“Some things will be happening right before His coming that could shake you up quite a bit. I’m referring to events that will be so dramatic that they could really leave your head spinningoccurrences of such a serious nature that many people will end up feeling alarmed, panicked, intimidated, and even unnerved! Naturally speaking, these events could nearly drive you over the brink emotionally, putting your nerves on edge and making you feel apprehensive and insecure about life. I wish I could tell you these incidents were going to be just a one-shot deal, but when they finally get rolling they’re going to keep coming and coming, one after another. That’s why you have to determine not to be shaken or moved by anything you see or hear. You need to get a grip on your mind and refuse to allow yourselves to be traumatized by these events. If you let these things get to you, it won’t be too long until you’re a nervous wreck! So decide beforehand that you are not going to give in and allow ‘fright’ to worm its way into your mind and emotions until it runs your whole life.”

Paul strongly urges us not to allow ourselves to be shaken or moved by anything we see or hear. He tells us that we must get a grip on our minds and refuse to allow ourselves to be traumatized by the events that occur in the world around us or to allow fear to control our whole lives. Instead of letting these things “get to us” and rob us of our joy, peace, and victory, we need to be deeply rooted in the confidence of God’s promises!

If you take a look at the world around us today, it is clear that Paul’s prophecy about the last days is unfolding before our very eyes. Because of the many different situations that our generation is facing, we must take a stand against fear and determine to stay in faith! But in order for us to stay in faith, it is imperative that we keep our minds focused on the Word of God.

Colossians 3:15 says, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts….” Verse 16 goes on to say, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” When the Word of God dwells richly in our lives, it produces peace— so much supernatural peace that it actually rules our hearts!

The word “rule” that is used in this verse is the Greek word brabeuo, which describes an umpire who calls all the shots and makes all the decisions. You see, when God’s Word is dwelling richly in your heart, suddenly the peace of God makes all the big decisions, calls all the shots, and umpires your emotions. Rather than being led by the ups and downs of the day or by what you read in the newspaper, you will be ruled by the wonderful peace of God!

But to receive this benefit of God’s Word, you must let it dwell in you richly. This word richly is the Greek word plousios, and it can be translated lavishly. This presents the picture of you giving the Word of God a wonderful reception as you roll out the red carpet so you can richly and lavishly welcome the Word into your heart. When you let God’s Word have this place of honor inside your heart, mind, and emotions, it releases its power to stabilize you and keep you in peace, even in the most difficult times.

There is no doubt that we are living in the very end of the last days. We are a chosen generation—and we will observe events that no other generation has ever seen.

If you are going to keep your heart fear-free so you can live in continual peace, you must make a firm commitment to let God’s Word rule in your heart! God’s Word will protect your mind and prohibit fear from worming its way into your emotions and turning you into an emotional mess. Is God’s Word the foundation of your life today?

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I am so thankful that Your Word prepares us for every event that comes along in this life! I know I am living in the last days and that these challenging times require a higher level of commitment from me if I am going to live free from fear. This is such a critical moment for me to be strong, free, and secure. When I am strong I can be a tower of strength to others who are drowning in the world around me. Help me be that source of strength and power to the people who surround me, Lord. I want to be all that I need to be in this hour.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that God’s Word dominates my mind, my will, and my emotions! Because I have put God’s Word into my heart, I am not shaken or easily moved by the things that occur in the world around me. I know who I am; I am secure in my Father’s love; and I recognize that He destined me to live in these last days because He has a special plan for me. Regardless of what I see or hear, I take my stand on the promises of God’s Word, and it provides me with safety and security!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. In light of the world events that have occurred in recent years, how pertinent for you are Paul’s words in Second Thessalonians 2:2? Does it sound like Paul is writing about the nonstop traumatic events that have shaken the world over the past several years?
  2. If it is true that we are living in the last days just before the coming of Jesus Christ, how should this affect the manner in which you are living your life?
  3. Do you spend more time reading your Bible, reading the newspaper, or watching the news? Whatever you dwell on the most is what will dominate you, so isn’t it time that you make God’s Word the primary focus of your attention?

 

Here Are Three Truths We Need To Understand About God

I.  HIS GRACE – Given our daily struggle with sin, it is important that we grasp His grace, lest we despair:

 

If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.” (Psalm 130:3, 4)

 

Yet we need to understand that grace gives us no license to play with sin:

 

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1)

 

II. HIS SOVEREIGNTY – We can count on the fact that He is there, making sure that everything in His Universe is running just fine:

 

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor: for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11)

 

Knowing He is in charge, and that everything is under His control, we can “be still and know that [He] is God.” (Psalm 46:10) The alternative is to languish in a life of insecurity that is immobilized by fear.

 

III.HIS HOLINESS – Living as we do in a highly sensual society, grasping God’s holiness is not an easy task. Spiritually attuned Isaiah was terrified at God’s holy revelation of Himself:

 

I saw the Lord… ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts… ‘ Then I said, Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.‘” (Isaiah 6:1-5 – selected)

 

All the more reason for us to understand that we have taken on the very righteousness of Christ: “[God] made [Christ] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

 

Our responsibility therefore must be holy behavior: Telling the truth. Avoiding sensuality. Humility.

 

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.” (1 Peter 1:14, 15)

 

The alternative is sullying His name, while living a life of bondage to our passions and inner corruption.

 

QUESTION: Are there steps you need to take at this time, to know and experience these truths about God?

 

 

%d bloggers like this: