VIDEO The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom

Aug 17, 2013

Her teaching focused on the Christian Gospel, with emphasis on forgiveness. In her book Tramp for the Lord (1974), she tells the story of an encounter while she was teaching in Germany in 1947. She was approached by a former Ravensbrück camp guard, who had been known as one of the most cruel. She was reluctant to forgive him, but prayed that she would be able to. Ten Boom wrote:

For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely as I did then.

She also wrote (in the same passage) that in her post-war experience with other victims of Nazi brutality, it was those who were able to forgive who were best able to rebuild their lives. She appeared on many Christian television programs discussing her ordeal during the Holocaust and the concepts of forgiveness and God’s love.

She rejected the doctrine that some asserted, of Pre-Tribulation Rapture, and wrote that it was without Biblical foundation. She believed that such a doctrine left the Christian Church ill-prepared in times of great persecution, such as in China under Mao Zedong. She often quoted a favourite saying of her sister: “There is no pit so deep that He [God] is not deeper still.”

On February 28, 1944, a Dutch informant told the Nazis of the work the ten Booms were doing, and the Nazis arrested the entire ten Boom family at around 12:30 p.m. The family was sent first to Scheveningen prison, where their elderly father died ten days after his arrest. While there, ten Boom’s sister Nollie, brother Willem, and nephew Peter were all released. Later, ten Boom and sister Betsie were sent to the Vught political concentration camp, and finally to the Ravensbrück death camp in Germany. Betsie died there on December 16, 1944. Before she died, she told ten Boom, “There is no pit so deep that He [God] is not deeper still.”[

Corrie ten Boom was released on December 28, 1944. In the movie The Hiding Place, she narrates the section on her release from camp, saying that she later learned that her release had been a clerical error. She said, “God does not have problems — only plans.” The Jews whom the ten Booms had been hiding at the time of their arrests remained undiscovered and all but one, an old woman named Mary, survived.

A Little Human Kindness – Apart but Not Abandoned

A Little Human Kindness

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. James 1:27

A California newspaper recently published a picture of a note scribbled by a woman named Wanda. She slid it under the front door of her neighbor, whose name she did not even know. The note said: Mrs.? Would you consider to become my friend? I’m 90-years-old—live alone and all my friends have passed away. I am so lonesome and scared. Please—I pray for someone. Thankfully the neighbor, Marleen Brooks, found the note and went right over to Wanda’s house with cupcakes, and the two have formed a wonderful friendship. Furthermore, Marleen has campaigned on social media to encourage others to be on the lookout for lonely neighbors who may live right next door.

When we express our loneliness to someone, whether written or verbalized, we feel better about our circumstances and it can lead to friendship. It doesn’t do any good to internalize all our feelings when we should instead be letting others know of our needs.

On the other hand, some of us simply need to look next door, down the street, and into the nursing homes, hospitals, and retirement communities. People need people, and people who need people often need the Lord.

By making someone happy as we pass along life’s way, we bring a bit of heaven to the longest, darkest day. Frona Scott

 

 


Apart but Not Abandoned

Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up. Acts 20:32

I had a lump in my throat as I said good-bye to my niece on the eve of her move to Massachusetts to attend graduate school at Boston University. Though she had been away four years as an undergraduate, she hadn’t left our state. A two and a one-half-hour drive easily reunited us. Now she would be more than 800 miles away. No longer would we meet regularly to talk. I had to trust that God would take care of her.

Paul likely felt the same way as he said good-bye to the elders of the church in Ephesus. Having established the church and taught them for three years, Paul concluded these elders to be as close as family to him. Now that Paul was headed to Jerusalem, he would not see them again.

Lord, help us to trust that Your watchful care extends over all.

But Paul had parting advice for the Ephesians. Though they would no longer have Paul as their teacher, the Ephesians did not have to feel abandoned. God would continue to train them through “the word of his grace” (Acts 20:32) to lead the church. Unlike Paul, God would always be with them.

Whether it’s children we launch from the nest or other family and friends who move away—saying good-bye can be very difficult. They move beyond our influence and into their new lives. When we let go of their hands, we can trust that God has them in His. He can continue to shape their lives and meet their real needs—more than we ever could.

Lord, help us to trust that Your watchful care extends over those we hold dear who are far away from us.

Though we’re far away from those we love, they are never far from God.

By Linda Washington 

INSIGHT

In today’s reading we see Paul’s painful good-bye to the church at Ephesus. It was Paul’s deep conviction that his departure would eventually lead to his martyrdom, not his return (v. 25).  But other Bible texts add the encouragement that even death cannot cut the spiritual tie that binds us to other believers (John 14:1–5; Rom. 8:31–39). In this life on Earth, saying good-bye to those we love is difficult. But for followers of Christ, we can trust that God has us in His care and even death will not keep us apart.

How does knowing God cares for your loved ones comfort you?

For further study on the book of Acts check out this free course at christianuniversity.org/apostles.

Dennis Fisher

The Source of Guilt

2 Corinthians 7:9-10

I once read a survey that asked 500 people what emotions they felt when experiencing guilt. The answers were heartbreaking. Respondents reported feeling punished, depressed, worthless, rejected, and isolated. Many were overwhelmed by a general sense of low self-esteem. There was no joy, no hope, and no vitality. In a sense, it was as though the feelings of guilt had completely blotted out everything else in their life.

This seems like such a sad way to exist, and yet it’s safe to assume that we all—even those of us who are believers—have experienced these exact same emotions. In fact, you may be dealing with intense guilt right now. If so, let’s consider one simple question: Where does it come from?

In 2 Corinthians 7:10, we see two forms of guilt. One is a sorrow that comes from God. This call to repentance is a tool the Lord uses to draw unbelievers to Himself through salvation in Christ. It also motivates believers to confess any wrongs causing “interference” in their fellowship with Him.

A second form of guilt is the dark emotion that plagues people with remorse and the reactions mentioned on the survey. Such sorrow isn’t from God at all, but from the world.

If you’ve received Jesus’ free gift of salvation but still struggle under the assault of guilt, let Scripture assure you: These feelings didn’t come from God. He is not attacking you. Rather, He holds the keys to your freedom. Don’t fall victim to the enemy’s lies. In Christ, you are forgiven and free. Lay down your chains today.

God’s Rescue

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

These are familiar terms within the Psalms, often glossed over because of their frequent use. Light is often associated with truth throughout the Psalms (Psalm 18:28; 36:9; 43:3). But it also indicates the provision of clarity (Psalm 37:6; 38:10; 112:4) and understanding (Psalm 119:105; 119:130), and even favor with God (Psalm 4:6; 44:3; 89:15; 90:8).

This psalm is a song of joy about God’s marvelous deliverance and may very well demand the broadest application possible. The Lord does provide truth for me as I search His Word—and sometimes that truth just pops into my head and heart when I most need it. He surely grants clarity and understanding to me. That is the primary ministry of the Holy Spirit on my behalf (John 16:13-15). And who can ignore the favor we receive in our salvation (Ephesians 2:8)?

The “rescue” of the Psalms is often set in terms of a military rescue, but it is also applicable to the eternal rescue from sin that is the ultimate focus of the Word. God is said to be the horn of our salvation (Psalm 18:2), a shield (Psalm 18:35), the rock (Psalm 89:26), our strength (Psalm 140:7), as well as my joy (Psalm 51:12) and my truth (Psalm 69:13). These descriptions draw a picture of protection, as does the phrase “strength of my life” in our text. It is consistently used in the Psalms of a rock or fortress that provides safety from enemy attack. All of these settings emphasize the often sudden and unexpected rescue of God’s people from sure defeat at the hands of an enemy. HMM III

Adapted from Treasures in the Psalms, Henry M. Morris III, 341-342.

He shall gather the lambs within his arms

2 Samuel 12:15-23

2 Samuel 12:15

God is true to his word, whether he threatens or promises.

2 Samuel 12:16

We are permitted to pray against coming ills. If David was not forbidden to plead even when the divine will had been declared, how much more may we appeal to God while as yet his purposes are unknown to us.

2 Samuel 12:17

They feared for his health, but he was ready to sacrifice himself for his poor suffering babe. He was a tender father, and it pricked him to the heart to see his child suffering through the father’s sin. Perhaps it was during this period that repentance was having its perfect work, and he was regaining the smile of his heavenly Father.

2 Samuel 12:20

While the child lived he pleaded for its life, but when it was dead he submitted at once to the divine will. He seems also to have realised his pardon by faith in the atoning sacrifice, and therefore with humble gratitude went up again to the house of the Lord to worship, and returned to his palace to pursue the ordinary avocations of life. Some by their long mourning after the loss of children appear to be angry with God, and maintain a spirit of rebellion against him. Such was not David’s mind.

2 Samuel 12:21

Those who are not themselves taught of God cannot understand the believer’s conduct. He neither rejoices nor mourns according to the world’s fashion, but allows his judgment to act, and his better feelings to have full play. This makes independent and consistent Christians appear to be odd and singular.

2 Samuel 12:22, 23

A great deal is suggested by the words “I shall go to him.” David could not have thought his child to be annihilated; it would have given him no comfort to hope to be annihilated too. Far less could David have imagined that the child was in misery, for he did not expect to go there at death. The father believed his babe to be in heaven, and expected to meet him there; and we also believe that all the dear little ones who die in infancy are in glory. We say all little ones, because this child was the offspring of shame, and if it be where David now is, we feel sure that all other departed infants are there also.

 

“Millions of infant souls compose

The family above.”

 

By the death of his babe the first blow of the rod fell upon David, and throughout the remainder of his life he found his trials multiplied.

 

It is the Lord whose chast’ning hand

Has filled the cup of woe;

The shaft of death by his command

Hath struck the fatal blow.

 

It is the Lord and he is good,

Unchangeably the same;

Though sorrow rises like a flood,

I’ll bless his holy name.

 

If You Give Mercy, You’ll Be Shown Mercy!

Romans 15:7

Have you ever been taken totally off-guard by someone who behaved in a way that was far different from what you expected from him? When this occurred, did you walk in love and forgive that person for what he did?

I’ve learned through the years that most people who act offensively don’t do it on purpose. Sometimes they just inadvertently act in a way that gives a wrong impression to others. Often people who have done something offensive or hurtful to others aren’t even aware of how they are being perceived by others.

Think about it. Haven’t you had times when your actions were perceived differently than how you meant them to be perceived? Have you ever been misunderstood? Has anyone ever called your motives into question? Did it shock you to hear what others thought about you, especially when you knew your intentions were right? You may have meant one thing, but everyone seemed to perceive something totally different from what you intended. When you learn that others have misunderstood you, don’t you wish they would believe the best about you rather than rush to judgment and condemn you for something you never intended to project?

Just as you want others to believe the best about you, you also need to reverse that grace and believe the best about others. So consider this question: If someone does something offensive, do you rush to judgment, or do you assume that the other person would never deliberately intend to be offensive?

A good rule to live by is to give the same grace to others that you want them to extend to you. You’ll never go wrong by extending mercy to people. In fact, according to the law of sowing and reaping, if you give mercy to others, you are guaranteed to reap mercy from others when you need it the most.

So before your flesh becomes stirred up and upset the next time someone offends you, remember this: The chances are very good that you’ve done the very same thing to others that this person has done to you! That’s why you need to speak to your emotions when you are tempted to get offended or to get into strife. Remind yourself of the many times you’ve been loved, forgiven, and freely accepted in spite of something you’ve done.

In Romans 15:7, the apostle Paul gave us a helpful word to assist us in our endeavor to walk in harmony and peace with other people. He said, “Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” Do you see the word “receive” in this verse? It comes from the Greek word proslambano, a compound of the words pros and lambano. The word pros means toward and carries the idea of being close to something. The word lambano is the Greek word that means to take or to receive. When the two words are used together, the compound word means to receive closely. An even better rendering would be to receive with a welcoming attitude.

  • Isn’t this how Jesus received you?
  • Didn’t He take you just as you were at the time you came to Him?
  • Didn’t He take you with all your attitude problems, defects, inconsistencies, and blemishes?

According to the meaning of the Greek word proslambano that is used in Romans 15:7, we are to receive each other with wide-open arms, just as Jesus Christ received us when we first came to Him. But for us to obey this divine command, we’ll have to do a lot of forgiving and overlooking in this life!

I strongly advise you to quit concentrating so fiercely on the faults and flaws of others and to start concentrating on how to be more forgiving and merciful. If you give mercy, you’ll be shown mercy. Take the route of mercy, and you’ll never be sorry. Believe it or not, there are times when you’re supposed to shut your eyes to what you see other people do and just let it go!

If you’ll take this approach to life, you’ll have far less emotional disappointments and problems with your nerves. So determine today to give people the same forgiveness and mercy you want others to extend to you!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, please forgive me for being so harsh and judgmental of other people when they make mistakes or behave in ways that shock me. I know I become judgmental when I forget the mercy and grace that has been extended to me through the years. Therefore, I ask You to help me walk in a constant awareness of all the times I’ve been loved, forgiven, and accepted in spite of my behavior. Holy Spirit, help me now to be an extension of this same mercy and grace to others who need it from me.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I walk in mercy and grace! I don’t rush to judgment when others do things that are less than what I expected of them. I realize that everyone makes mistakes and that no one who truly loves Jesus would intentionally do the offensive and hurtful things I’ve seen some people do. These people don’t realize how they are being perceived. I know they’re making these mistakes because they need to grow and mature. So rather than judge others for what they have said, done, or failed to do, I will walk in mercy, grace, and forgiveness toward them just as I would want others to do for me.

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. How did Jesus receive you? Did He require perfection of you before He would accept you, or did He take you just as you were at the time you came to Him?
  2. Since you started walking with the Lord, have you ever done anything to cause Jesus to turn His back on you? Or have you found Him to be completely committed to you regardless of your behavior?
  3. Since this is how Jesus has accepted you, how should you respond to other people in your life who make mistakes and are less than perfect?

I strongly advise you to quit concentrating so fiercely on the faults and flaws of others and to start concentrating on how to be more forgiving and merciful. If you give mercy, you’ll be shown mercy. Take the route of mercy, and you’ll never be sorry. Believe it or not, there are times when you’re supposed to shut your eyes to what you see other people do and just let it go!

 

Losing Heart

Recently I visited with an old friend and fellow-soldier in the faith. Years ago we had dared to believe God could and would use us to do the “impossible” for His glory. And He did! But in my recent visit with him, the old fire was gone. The “can do” spirit had dried up into a morose preoccupation with past disappointments. I was reminded of the fact that more people quit ministering to others over bitterness than problems with immorality.

 

This morning in my devotions – with that recent visit on my mind – I discovered seven reasons the Scriptures give as to why people grow weary and lose heart – all stemming from the little Greek word, egkakeo. Basically the word describes a person who no longer is living life in step with the Spirit. Rather, he has grown selfish and self-contained, exhibiting little concern for others. Here are the seven reasons :

 

1. A failure to maintain a vital life of prayer — “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” (Luke 18:1)

 

2. A failure to keep in mind the privilege of our divine calling to minister — “Therefore, since through Gods mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” (2 Corinthians 4:1)

 

3. A failure to keep in mind the fact that we will share in Christ’s triumphant resurrection — “We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presenceTherefore we do not lose heart… ” (2 Corinthians 4:14, 16a)

 

4. A failure to keep in mind the immediate task of promoting believers’ spiritual welfare and the glory of God — “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart… ” (2 Corinthians 4:15, 16a)

 

5. A failure to take the long view in reaping the fruit of our efforts — “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

 

6. A failure to trust that God has a larger purpose when fellow believers suffer — “I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.” (Ephesians 3:13)

 

7. A failure to press on in righteous living, even when you don’t feel like it — “And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.” (2 Thessalonians 3:13)

 

So, let me ask you: Do you still have that spring in your step? Do you still look forward to getting up in the morning and getting at it for God? Or has the dry rot of self-centeredness set in?

 

No, you are better than that! As His children, let’s once again take ourselves by the nap of the neck and determine to “stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)

 

 

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