VIDEO I’ll Give a Million (1938)

Mia B.
Published on Jun 1, 2014

Low-budget remake of Mario Camerini’s “Darò un milione” directed by Walter Lang and starring Warner Baxter, Peter Lorre, and Marjorie Weaver. A story is circulated that a millionaire is walking about the streets disguised as a tramp and will give a million dollars to anyone who shows him kindness.

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It Takes Time to Grow

Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:15

On her first day in preschool, young Charlotte was asked to draw a picture of herself. Her artwork featured a simple orb for a body, an oblong head, and two circle eyes. On her last day of preschool, Charlotte was again directed to draw a self-portrait. This one showed a little girl in a colorful dress, a smiling face with distinct features, and a cascade of beautiful red tresses. The school had used a simple assignment to demonstrate the difference that time can make in the level of maturity.

While we accept that it takes time for children to mature, we may grow impatient with ourselves or fellow believers who show slow spiritual growth. We rejoice when we see the “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22–23), but are disheartened when we observe a sinful choice. The author of Hebrews spoke of this when he wrote to the church: “Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again” (Heb. 5:12).

Speak the truth in love. Ephesians 4:15

As we continue to pursue intimacy with Jesus ourselves, let’s pray for each other and patiently come alongside those who love God but who seem to struggle with spiritual growth. “Speaking the truth in love,” let’s continue to encourage one another, so that together we may “grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ” (Eph. 4:15).

Lord, we love You! In our walk with You, help us to receive and give encouragement.

Words of truth spoken in love can guide us all toward maturity in Christ.

By Cindy Hess Kasper 

INSIGHT

When children begin to accept responsibility for their actions and demonstrate more patience, we say they are “growing up.” The children of God are to grow up spiritually—to express a heart for God and others in the spirit and attitudes of Christ. In Paul’s New Testament letter to the Ephesians his message is subtle but clear. He knows that just as there is a time to celebrate the miracle and wonder of a child, there is a time to get beyond childishness. But he writes with patience and gentleness and doesn’t set a timeframe, reminding us that our desire for maturity must be expressed with love (4:2).

For further study on spiritual growth read God at the Center.

Mart DeHaan

The Landmine of Compromise

1 Kings 11:1-13

Carefully camouflaged landmines are deadly weapons of war—if a soldier unwittingly steps on one, he or she will suffer serious injury or death. What is true in a physical battle is also true in the spiritual battles we face. Treacherous spiritual landmines are scattered in the path of every believer; they can cause major damage if we’re unsuspecting and tread on them.

One such hidden danger is compromise. King Solomon is a tragic example of a man who was hurt by this spiritual landmine. God equipped him with surpassing wisdom to rule Israel and gave him the task of building the temple. Yet despite these blessings, his heart began to drift from the Lord. He followed his own desires and married many foreign women, who led him into idolatry. His heart didn’t become divided suddenly; the problem developed through a slow process of bad choices that violated God’s commands.

Too often we think that one small step away from God isn’t so bad—after all, we can always turn back. But Satan is just waiting for you to take that first step. As soon as you do, he gains a foothold in your life and will redouble his efforts to draw you farther along the path of disobedience. From that point on, each successive step becomes easier. In short order, you begin rationalizing that “this really isn’t sin.”

Compromise endangers in ways you may not realize. It breaks fellowship with God, and because you’ve ignored the Holy Spirit, your strength to resist temptation is weakened. Since unbelievers are quick to see hypocrisy in Christians, it also ruins your witness. Refuse to take that first step.

The Urgent Patience

“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” (Psalm 27:13-14)

The closing comments by David in this prayer are a wonderful testimony to his faith as well as a stable axiom for our own. God’s promises may well have ultimate fulfillment that “the eye hath not seen, nor ear heard” (1 Corinthians 2:9), but they are not just for the “by and by.” Many of God’s precious promises are focused on “the land of the living.” Peter insists that “his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

Even in the midst of the terrible destruction of Israel and the awful captivity looming in Babylon, God told Israel, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you . . . thoughts of peace, and not of evil” (Jeremiah 29:11). Jesus tried to calm His frustrated followers and direct them away from worry about the things of life (Matthew 6:24-25). “Behold the fowls of the air,” Jesus said. They don’t work or do anything particularly notable, “yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” (Matthew 6:26). If God takes care of the “grass of the field,” will He not care for us—“O ye of little faith?” (Matthew 6:30).

Paul’s command to the Philippian church is sufficient to conclude this thought. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). HMM III

Adapted from Treasures in the Psalms, Henry M. Morris III, 346.

Let patience have her perfect work

2 Samuel 16:5-14

2 Samuel 16:5

At the moment when grief had made poor David most sensitive, the foul mouth of Shimei was opened to curse him. It is an evidence of a very cruel disposition when those who need pity are singled out for abuse. It is reckoned a very cowardly thing to strike a man when he is down, and Shimei was just such a coward. All the while that David prospered we hear nothing of Shimei; but as our trials shew us who are our friends, so do they reveal our enemies.

2 Samuel 16:6

His stones and his words were meant not only to hurt the king, but to shew his utter contempt for him,—contempt which he had found it convenient to conceal through so many years.

2 Samuel 16:7, 8

This was a base libel, for David had never laid his hand upon Saul or any of his house. Did he not execute the Amalekite who professed to have slain Saul? Did he not pour out a passionate lament for Saul and Jonathan? Did he not enquire for any of the house of Jonathan, that he might shew him kindness? Had he not entertained Mephibosheth at his own table? Evil tongues will not be quiet, and no innocence can ward off their calumnies.

2 Samuel 16:9

Nobody can wonder at Abishai’s anger. Shimei was barking like a cur, and it seemed only justice to return him iron for his stones; but David was not of a revengeful mind, and therefore rebuked his angry guardsman.

2 Samuel 16:10-12

How humbly did David kiss the Lord’s rod, and refuse to avenge himself upon the instrument which smote him so furiously. Nothing helps us to bear a provocation so well as humbly seeing the hand of God in it, chastening us for our former faults. David has well said in the Psalms, “I opened not my mouth because thou didst it.” He also consoled himself with the belief that the Lord would not always chide him, but would in due time return and comfort him. Nothing brings God to his children’s rescue like the revilings of their enemies. Fathers cannot bear to hear their dear ones abused.

2 Samuel 16:13

David’s patience encouraged Shimei’s insolence, so that the base fellow went from bad to worse; yet he could not provoke the king to revenge. In this forbearance the exiled monarch looks greater than even in his prosperous days. No ermine or gold so well adorn a king as patience and longsuffering. How like was David to our Redeemer who “endured such contradiction of sinners against himself,” and answered his revilers with prayers and benedictions.

2 Samuel 16:14

So that at his lowest estate David had some followers; and when he and his men were weary, providence found them refreshment. Let us hope in the worst times, for better days are in store.

 

When gathering clouds around I view,

And days are dark, and friends are few,

On him I lean, who, not in vain,

Experienced every human pain.

 

If wounded love my bosom swell,

Deceived by those I prized too well,

He shall his pitying aid bestow

Who felt on earth severer woe.

 


When trouble, like a gloomy cloud,

Has gather’d thick and thunder’d loud,

He near my soul has always stood,

His lovingkindness, oh, how good!

 


Calm me, my God, and keep me calm,

Let thine outstretchèd wing,

Be like the shade of Elim’s palm

Beside her desert-spring.

 

Calm in the sufferance of wrong,

Like him who bore my shame;

Calm ‘mid the threatening, taunting throng,

Who hate thy holy name.

 

Calm me, my God, and keep me calm,

Soft resting on thy breast;

Soothe me with holy hymn and psalm,

And bid my spirit rest.

 


Lord, what a thoughtless wretch was I,

To mourn, and murmur, and repine,

To see the wicked, placed on high,

In pride and robes of honour shine.

 

But, oh their end! their dreadful end!

Thy sanctuary taught me so;

On slipp’ry rocks I see them stand,

And fiery billows roll below.

 

Their fancied joys, how fast they flee!

Just like a dream when man awakes:

Their songs of softest harmony

Are but a preface to their plagues.

 


My God, I feel the mournful scene,

My bowels yearn o’er dying men;

And fain my pity would reclaim,

And snatch the firebrands from the flame.

 

But feeble my compassion proves,

And can but weep where most it loves;

Thy own all-saving arm employ,

And turn these drops of grief to joy.

 


Pray that Jerusalem may have

Peace and felicity:

Let them that love thee and thy peace

Have still prosperity.

 

Therefore I wish that peace may still

Within thy walls remain,

And ever may thy palaces

Prosperity retain.

 

Now, for my friends’ and brethren’s sakes,

Peace be in thee, I’ll say:

And for the house of God our Lord,

I’ll seek thy good alway.

 


O worship the King,

All glorious above;

O gratefully sing

His power and his love;

Our Shield and Defender,

The Ancient of Days,

Pavilion’d in splendour,

And girded with praise.

 

Frail children of dust,

And feeble as frail,

In thee do we trust,

Nor find thee to fail;

Thy mercies how tender,

How firm to the end,

Our Maker, Defender,

Redeemer, and Friend!

 

If You Lack Wisdom

James 1:5

Have you ever had a time in your life when you needed answers for a problem you were facing, but it seemed that you just couldn’t come up with the right solution? Even though you tried hard to figure things out, did it seem like the right answer to your problem kept eluding you?

In our own ministry, I have found myself baffled in this way on several occasions. When I face one of those moments, I claim James 1:5 and go to God for wisdom. I have even brought our top leadership together so we could corporately pray to get God’s wisdom on how best to confront and conquer the challenge we were facing.

James 1:5 promises that if we will go to Him when we need wisdom, He will give us the answers we need! This verse says, “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

If you’ve ever faced a time when you lacked:

  • Wisdom about how to pay your bills;
  • Wisdom about how to deal with debt;
  • Wisdom about how to reverse a decline you were experiencing in your business;
  • Wisdom about how to resolve challenges with your children;
  • Wisdom about how to fix things between you and your spouse;
  • Wisdom about how to get along with your boss or fellow employees;
  • Wisdom about how to make key decisions that affect your future—then the word “lack” in James 1:5 perfectly describes you!

You see, the word “lack” is the Greek word leipo, a Greek word that pictures a deficit of some kind. In our modern-day language, we might call this a shortfall, a shortage, a scarcity, or a deficiency. For instance, people often speak of a “shortfall” of finances. When they experience such a financial shortfall, it greatly impairs their ability to do business as necessary. Or when a city experiences an electrical blackout, they experience a “shortage” of electrical power. This kind of shortage paralyzes the whole city and has a powerfully negative effect on people’s lives.

For example, when my family first moved to the Soviet Union at the end of the Soviet period of Perestroika, there was a scarcity or deficit of almost every kind of product. For instance, it was very problematic to find sugar, flour, eggs, milk, butter, meat, and gasoline to purchase. We would search store after store, trying to find these nearly nonexistent products. If items did suddenly become available, the news raced across the city so fast that long lines of people almost instantaneously formed around the store and down the street. Citizens would stand in those lines for hours at a time, clinging to the hope that there would be enough of these products to last until they reached the front of the line. However, those at the end of the lines usually went home disappointed, for whenever a product did suddenly become available, it usually arrived in very small quantities.

In fact, if a person didn’t have in his possession the government-issued “ration coupons” necessary to obtain these basic products, he couldn’t purchase them at all. Once a person’s monthly supply of those coupons were used up, it was impossible for him to go back to the store to get more until the next month. Thus, when a person’s coupons ran out, so did his ability to get any of these basic essentials. This meant that people were very careful about how they used sugar, flour, eggs, milk, butter, meat, and gasoline.

This was life when I first moved my family to the USSR. The system was economically broken, and the scarcity or deficit that existed was so far-reaching, it affected the entire nation. I can tell you from personal experience that when this kind of scarcity exists, it has a great effect on one’s ability to live and to function normally.

These kinds of scarcities and deficits could be described by the Greek word leipo, which is translated “lack” in the King James Version of James 1:5. But the “lack” James is referring to is not sugar, flour, eggs, milk, butter, meat, or gasoline. James says, “If any of you lack wisdom….”

A lack of “wisdom” is the most devastating kind of deficit a person or nation can face, for wisdom has the answers, the solutions, and the principles that are needed to reverse any situation and turn it around for the better. A person is at a great disadvantage when he is void of wisdom about how to pay his bills and conquer debt; how to reverse a decline in his business; how to resolve challenges with his children, his spouse, his boss, or his coworkers; or how to make key decisions that will affect his future. When a person lacks this kind of wisdom, it nearly paralyzes him, because he doesn’t know what to do!

When James says, “If any of you lack wisdom,” the word “wisdom” is the Greek word sophias. This word sophias could describe enlightenment, insight, or even special insight.

Just because someone has a university degree doesn’t mean he possesses wisdom. I assure you that there are many stupid university graduates in the world. Although they are intellectually bright and have diplomas hanging all over the walls of their homes and offices, many of them have an approach to life that is totally impractical and fruitless. They theorize all day long but never get anything done. On the other hand, there are many down-to-earth people who never had the privilege of going to college but possess so much wisdom that they’ve become very successful in life.

You need to treat education like it is important, for it definitely is. However, you also need to understand that having an education is not the equivalent of having wisdom. Education gives you information and facts; but wisdom gives you principles, solutions, and answers. Wisdom gives you special insight that helps you know what to do. Wisdom contains the principles that will lead you out of that baffling situation and into a place where things begin to work again! Wisdom guides you to do what is right. Man has education; but God has wisdom.

Are you experiencing a time in your life right now when you need wisdom about a particular situation? Even though you’ve studied and tried to find solutions on your own, have those solutions been evading you? If so, it’s time for you to get a good dose of wisdom from on High! That’s why James says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God….”

The word “ask” is the Greek word aiteo. As noted earlier (see March 23), the word aiteo means to be adamant in requesting and demanding assistance to meet tangible needs, such as food, shelter, money, and so forth. This person may insist or demand that a certain need be met, but he approaches his superior with respect and honor as he makes his very strong request. The word aiteo also expresses the idea that the one asking has a full expectation to receive what has been firmly requested.

When James tells us to “ask” God for the wisdom we need, the Greek tense used is a command. This plainly means God isn’t suggesting that we come to Him for wisdom; He is commanding us to do so!

 

When these words are used together in one phrase, it could be translated:

“If anyone lacks insight, let him firmly request it….”

“If anyone has a shortage of wisdom, he should demand it….”

“If anyone is baffled and doesn’t know what to do, he should be bold to ask….”

You see, God wants you to come to Him for wisdom first instead of trying to figure things out on your own. Instead of relying on your education and the books on your shelf to give you the answers you need, go to God first and firmly ask Him for wisdom. Approach Him with respect and honor, but also be bold. As a child of God, you have a right to request wisdom from God when you need it!

When your mind is suddenly enlightened and you miraculously see exactly what you need to do or what steps you need to take, those problems that have seemed so mountainous will melt before you. You see, your biggest problem is not the one that is staring you right in the face. Your biggest problem is your lack of wisdom about how to deal with that situation.

So rather than continue to struggle in your own strength, why don’t you go to God and ask Him to give you the necessary wisdom to conquer the situation you are facing in your life right now? As a child of God, you have every right to ask Him. In fact, God commands you to come to Him when you lack wisdom! So take a few minutes today to obey that command. Ask God to give you the wisdom you need!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, help me to come to You when I find myself lacking answers about situations that need to be changed in my life. When I have done all I know to do and don’t know what else to do, remind me that every answer I need resides with You. Your wisdom holds the answers I am looking for; therefore, I am making the decision to come to You now so You can start speaking to me!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I boldly confess that I go to the Father when I need wisdom from above. He has the answers to all my problems, and He is standing before me, ready to help. God is on my side. He wants to help me. He is waiting for me to come into His Presence so He can give me the wisdom I need to confront and overcome every situation I am facing right now. God wants me to succeed, and His wisdom is what I need to achieve what is in my heart. So rather than try to figure it all out on my own, I run to the Father and ask Him for wisdom—and He is swift to give me the wisdom I need!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. When was the last time you drew near to the Lord and asked Him to give you the wisdom you need for the situations you were facing at that moment?
  2. Have you gotten so busy that you often forget to seek God in your affairs?
  3. If you suddenly received the answers and the wisdom you need for the situations you are facing right now, what kind of change would this bring to your life?

 

Prayerful Meditation On The Scriptures

Prayerful meditation on the Scriptures is fundamental to spiritual growth. Yet most believers find the experience something less than fulfilling. Here are five suggestions:

 

1. Meditation on the Scriptures should not be viewed as a method or system, but as an attitude: Faith, openness, reverence, expectation, supplication.

 

This people draw near to me with their wordsbut they remove their hearts far from me, and their reverence for me consists of traditions learned by rote.” (Isaiah 29:13 nasb)

 

2. Meditation can actually be quite difficult at times. Thus, we should not judge its value on how we feel. Yet it is important that our efforts are enlightened, well-directed, and sustained.

 

Let me understand the teachings of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders.” (Psalm 119:27)

 

3. It is only if we have a heart fixed on obeying God without reservation that a little effort goes a long way. When we are resisting Him through disobedience or compromise, no amount of effort can produce the desired result.

 

I have more understandingfor I obey your precepts.” (Psalm 119:100)

 

4. In our pride, we don’t want to be beginners. In truth, we will never be anything but beginners. Given the challenge in learning to effectively utilize meditation for spiritual growth, we would do well to recognize the need for a mature mentor.

 

Whatever you have learned or receivedfrom me, or seen in me – put into practice.” (Philippians 4:9)

 

5. Often, what first seemed easy and rewarding, suddenly becomes utterly impossible. We struggle with inner confusion, coldness, and lack of confidence. We find concentration difficult. Our imagination and emotions wander – or run wild. We often feel dry and desolate. Repugnant fantasies buried deep within us take over. We totally lose interest in spiritual matters.

 

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I doFor what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:15, 19)

 

My friend in Christ, don’t give up, because God promises you that “the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.” (Proverbs 4:18)

 

 

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