VIDEO Would You Help?

 

Last month I put up a post called “Speak Up For Those Who Cannot Speak”. The subject of rape  is a cause to speak up about. Not to mention, would you help person about to be rape like situation in the video? Remember you don’t have to be a male to help with rape.

Divine Interruptions

Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied.  Luke 18:40–41

Experts agree that a staggering amount of time is consumed each day by interruptions. Whether at work or at home, a phone call or an unexpected visit can easily deflect us from what we feel is our main purpose.

Not many of us like disruptions in our daily lives, especially when they cause inconvenience or a change of plans. But Jesus treated what appeared to be interruptions in a far different way. Time after time in the Gospels, we see the Lord stop what He is doing to help a person in need.

Jesus, fill us with Your wisdom and compassion.

While Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem where He would be crucified, a blind man begging by the side of the road called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Luke 18:35–38). Some in the crowd told him to be quiet, but he kept calling out to Jesus. Jesus stopped and asked the man, “‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Lord, I want to see,’ he replied. Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has healed you’ ” (vv. 41–42).

When our plans are interrupted by someone who genuinely needs help, we can ask the Lord for wisdom in how to respond with compassion. What we call an interruption may be a divine appointment the Lord has scheduled for that day.

Lord Jesus, fill us with Your wisdom and compassion that we may respond as You did to people in need.

Interruptions can be opportunities to serve.

By David C. McCasland 

INSIGHT

In Acts 8 we read of another divine interruption. Philip had a fruitful ministry in Samaria (Acts 8:4–25), so he may have wondered why God would tell him to leave and take “the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza” (v. 26). In obedience, Philip took the road few used. But God had sovereignly arranged for Philip to meet with an Ethiopian—a Gentile who himself had embarked on a long journey as he earnestly sought after God (v. 27). Philip made contact with the Ethiopian just as he was reading a prophecy about Jesus (vv. 28–34). The man believed in Christ, and Philip baptized him on the spot (vv. 36–38). Imagine how Philip must have felt when he realized he had been sent out on a divine assignment of leading a person to faith in Christ! Philip being on the road less traveled was no accident; he was there by divine leading.

What might the Lord be prompting you to do today?

Sim Kay Tee

Our Helper for All Occasions

John 14:16-18

Have you ever wished there were some kind of emergency telephone that rang in heaven, allowing you to access God anytime you wanted? Well, in a way there is. We all face situations that cause us to cry out to God for help. And He has given us a Helper for all circumstances.

Even the disciples, who received Jesus’ personal teaching, could not live successfully without divine aid. That is why the Lord insisted they wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to come before beginning to share their faith. Jesus told them, “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you” (John 16:7).

While Jesus was living on the earth, He couldn’t simultaneously be with everyone who needed Him. Now, however, God’s help is readily available through the Holy Spirit, who indwells all believers and is constantly present with each one.

Thanks to the Spirit, every Christian can become the person God designed him or her to be. Through the Helper’s knowledge and power, we can be devoted Christ-followers, even in a corrupt culture. The Spirit’s work includes opening our minds to God’s truth, providing supernatural energy when we are weary, and comforting us during heartache.

God loves people so much that He provided an ever-present Helper to all who place their faith in Jesus Christ. When we are in trouble or in need, we can call upon the Holy Spirit and instantly connect to the power of our heavenly Father.

Angels Round About

“The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” (Psalm 34:7)

Since God’s angels are normally unseen, we have little appreciation of how intimately they are involved in our lives. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). As in our text, there may well be a protecting angel embracing and delivering us in times of danger. “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone” (Psalm 91:11-12).

Angels are sometimes called on to rout the enemies of God and His people. “Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul . . . and let the angel of the LORD chase them. Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them” (Psalm 35:4-6).

Angels are intensely interested in the salvation and spiritual growth of believers, “which things the angels desire to look into” (1 Peter 1:12). “For we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men” (1 Corinthians 4:9). There are even occasions when “some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2).

There is “an innumerable company of angels” (Hebrews 12:22), beings of great power and wisdom (2 Kings 19:35; 2 Samuel 14:20). They are not omnipotent, omnipresent, or omniscient, of course, since they—like us—were created by God simply to obey God. “Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word” (Psalm 103:20).

Finally, we shall be “carried by the angels” (Luke 16:22) into God’s presence. Then we can better understand and thank them for all the many services rendered to us here on Earth. HMM

He shall sustain thee

Psalm 55

This Psalm most clearly describes David’s condition when he had fled far away into the wilderness to escape from his son. He bitterly bewails the treachery of Ahithophel, and prophesies his doom; but his Psalm ends with most faithful and cheerful advice, which we shall all do well to follow.

Psalm 55:1-23

Let us dwell a moment upon the twenty-second verse, “Thy burden,” or what thy God lays upon thee, lay thou it “upon the Lord.” His wisdom casts it on thee, it is thy wisdom to cast it on him. He gives thee thy portion of suffering, accept it with cheerful resignation, and then take it back to him with assured confidence. “He shall sustain thee.” He who ordains the burden will also ordain strength. Thy bread shall be given thee, thy waters shall be sure. Abundant nourishment shall fit thee to bear all thy labours and trials. “As thy days so shall thy strength be.” “He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” He may move like the boughs of a tree in the tempest, but shall never be moved like the tree torn up by the roots. He stands firm who stands in God. Many would destroy the saints, but God has not suffered them to perish, and he never will. Like pillars, the godly stand “stedfast, unmoveable,” to the glory of the Great Architect.

 

God shall preserve my soul from fear,

Or shield me when afraid;

Ten thousand angels must appear,

If he command their aid.

 

I cast my burdens on the Lord,

The Lord sustains them all;

My courage rests upon his word,

That saints shall never fall.

 

Wives, Don’t Be ‘Preachy’ With Your Husbands

1 Peter 3:1, 2

Many years ago we had a young couple in our church who were madly in love with each other. Every time I saw them, they were holding hands and looking blissfully into each other’s eyes. We all got such a kick out of watching them and were excited about their upcoming wedding.

Several months after they were married, I noticed that this young husband looked downcast and depressed. I went to him privately and asked, “How is marriage?”

He replied, “Why didn’t someone warn me about how terrible this was going to be?”

I was shocked by his response, so I asked him, “Please tell me what is happening to give you such a bad impression of marriage.”

The husband proceeded to tell me about all the rules his wife had made for him and their household. For instance, if he didn’t read his Bible when he woke up in the morning, she refused to make his breakfast. Her rule was “No Bible, no breakfast!” He told me that many mornings he would go to the kitchen to get his sack lunch for the day, and his new bride would tell him, “Today the Lord has told me that you need to fast, so there won’t be any lunch for you today. You need to spend time in prayer.”

The young man continued to tell me that many evenings when he came home from work exhausted, his wife would order him, “Tonight we are going to sit on the couch and read the Bible together for two hours—you, me, and my mother. Then we’re going to spend an hour in prayer.”

When I heard what was happening, I chuckled inside. I knew this sweet little new bride was trying to encourage her husband to be the spiritual leader of their new home, but her approach wasn’t effective. In fact, it was having just the opposite effect she desired.

Instead of causing her husband to feel closer to her, this young wife was pushing him far away by constantly preaching at him and demanding that he become the spiritual leader she expected him to be. But after the couple attended a few counseling sessions with me, the wife backed off and let her husband assume his leadership role on his own terms. When she relaxed and let him lead in a way that was more natural to him, the tension left their marriage and they reentered marital bliss!

A wife who takes on the role of preaching at her husband will never find this method very effective. It is usually a huge turn-off for a husband because it makes him feel like his wife, who is supposed to be his greatest supporter, has instead become his corrector and boss. Men resent this behavior. This is why Peter told the wives, “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives” (1 Peter 3:1).

In the first century, women came to Christ more readily than men—a situation that has always seemed to exist in the Church. This meant that a huge portion of the Early Church was comprised of women who had come to Jesus Christ but whose husbands remained unsaved. Of course, these women wanted their husbands to be saved, so after a church service, they would often run home and begin to preach to their husbands. They saw themselves as God’s anointed evangelists to bring their husbands into the fold.

But those unsaved husbands didn’t perceive this to be a blessing! From the husbands’ perspective, their wives’ preaching sounded like nagging and complaining. This approach produced such negative results that Peter told wives to stop preaching to their husbands and to instead live godly lives before them as their method of evangelizing. Peter wrote, “… If any [husbands] obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives” (1 Peter 3:1).

The phrase “… if any obey not the word…” alludes to unsaved husbands, but it could also refer to saved husbands who are not living in obedience to God’s Word. The words “obey not” are from the Greek word apeitho, which emphatically refers to someone who refuses to be persuaded. This person isn’t just ignorant of the truth; he is defiant and rejecting of it. Therefore, besides referring to unsaved husbands who hear the message and reject it, as Peter was most likely writing about, this phrase could also refer to saved husbands who refuse to do what they know God wants them to do.

I can think of so many Christian wives who want their husbands to change. These wives beg, plead, nag, and pester their husbands all the time to do this different or to do that different. But no matter how hard a wife pressures her husband, he will remain stubborn, obstinate, and unmoved. If God doesn’t touch his heart and cause him to respond on his own, all the begging and nagging in the world won’t change his heart.

Wife, whether your husband is saved or unsaved, the method of impacting him is the same. Peter says you can win your husband without ever uttering a single word!

Now look at the phrase “… they also may without the word be won….” The word “won” is the Greek word kerdeo, an old Greek word which means to act cleverly. It was often used in secular literature to depict someone who won a game, such as the game of casting lots. In today’s world, it could depict a person who plays his cards right and therefore walks off with the booty!

Therefore, the word kerdeo (“won”) means to wise up; to act cleverly; to play the game correctly; or in today’s vernacular, to play your cards right. Peter is telling wives how to win the game of positively influencing their husbands without ever saying a word! He tells them that the most influential thing wives can do is to let their husbands see their “conversation.”

The word “conversation” is the Greek word anastrophe, a Greek word that refers to how a person rises up and sits down; goes in and goes out; and turns this way or that way. In other words, the word anastrophe gives a picture of how a person conducts his life and how he or she behaves in every situation. By using this word, we are told that there is no message more powerful than a godly life—and that a wife who lives a godly life before her husband greatly impacts his decisions and the way he lives.

 

The Greek words used in this text present the following idea:

“… If any refuse to comply with the Word and do what it says, you can still win the game without ever uttering a single word by simply letting your husband take note of and observe the way you live your life before him.”

I am married to a very godly woman. Denise has great influence in my life, not because of what she says but because of how she lives. I see her pray every morning. I watch as she sacrifices to follow me and how she has always done it with a willing and joyful heart. I have watched her forgive those who wronged us and our ministry. I see how attentively she takes care of our sons and how she loves our son’s wife. She stands by me, supports me, helps me, encourages me, and is indeed my closest friend.

Denise’s godly life is her greatest pulpit. I see her rising up, her sitting down, her going in, her going out, her turning this way and that way. Because I know her life and her outstanding attitude, I have great respect for her, and I listen when she speaks to me about things that concern her. In fact, of all the people in my life, my wife has the single greatest impact on me and my decisions. Her godly life has empowered her to have this authority with me. You could say that she won me and my respect because she showed me her life instead of just preaching sermons at me.

This is a good example of Peter’s statement to wives in verse 2 that husbands will “… behold your chaste conversation….” The word “behold” is the Greek word epopteuo, which in Greek means to observe, to watch, to monitor, to scrutinize, or to keep under observation. The tense used in the Greek indicates a continual observation. This means a husband doesn’t just notice his wife’s behavior once; rather, he keeps a watch on her behavior and attitude all the time.

Wife, let me tell you a secret. Your husband may not tell you, but he is watching you. He sees and is amazed when you remain happy and content in very unhappy circumstances. He notices when you have an opportunity to be angry but choose instead to be silent and to take that anger to the Lord. Your husband observes your uncomplaining attitude when financial sacrifice is required. On the other hand, he also takes note when you blow your top and say ugly things. You can be sure that even though your husband may not tell you, he is constantly monitoring your attitude and responses to the situations of life.

This is why Peter says that you should let your husband “… behold your chaste conversation….” The word “chaste” is the word agnos. It refers to holiness, purity, or irreproachable conduct.

In other words, men notice it when their wives are awesome! A wife’s godly conduct is the most influential, powerful sermon she could ever preach to her husband.

Peter goes on to say, “While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.” This word “fear” does not refer to the kind of fear that makes a person shake and tremble because he is terrified. In this context, it carries the idea of respect. Knowing that a husband feels valued when he senses his wife’s respect, Peter urges women to live holy lives before their husbands and to do everything they can to demonstrate respect to them.

 

The words in First Peter 3:2 could be paraphrased to carry this meaning:

“Wives, your husbands are watching you constantly. They see you rising up; they see you sitting down; they see you going in; and they see you going out. They are constantly observing you, so make sure they are seeing you live a pure and holy life, and give them honor and respect as you do it.”

If you’ve been preaching at your husband to no effect, perhaps it’s time for you to change your method. Make the quality decision to stop talking to him about the things you’ve been wanting him to change in his life. Instead, take your concerns to God in prayer. Leave your husband alone, and let God deal with him.

When you suddenly fall silent and cease to preach at your husband, I guarantee you that he will notice a change has taken place in your approach toward him. He will “behold” this change in your attitude. He will “behold” that you aren’t correcting him anymore. He will “behold” that you are leaving him alone and that you have chosen to take a different route.

As you learn to stay silent rather than preach at your husband, he will probably begin to hear the Holy Spirit speaking to his heart. And when your husband sees you maintain an excellent attitude in the midst of circumstances that aren’t going your way, his heart will be drawn to you. He’ll begin to get convicted, and his desire to do more to please you will start to grow.

You see, wife, Peter knew exactly what he was talking about when he wrote that you could win your husband without a word. Therefore, it’s time for you to get before God and ask Him to change your heart and your attitude about your husband. Learn to be clever by keeping your mouth closed and letting your godly life and good attitude do the preaching for you!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I ask You to help me learn when to speak and when to be silent. I don’t want my husband to perceive me as a nagging wife. Please forgive me for preaching at him when I should have been praying for him. Help me to stop focusing on all the things I don’t like about him and to start working on all the things that need to change inside me. I want to be a blessing to my husband. Please help me live a life so godly and powerful that it becomes my pulpit in our marriage.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I live a powerful, godly, and chaste life before my husband and am therefore a constant encouragement to him. He seeks my advice; he wants my help; and he desires to know what I believe is right regarding decisions that affect our family and relationship. God’s Spirit is changing me and making me to be the kind of wife He wants me to be!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Can you think of a time when your husband resisted your continual requests for him to do something—but then suddenly changed his mind after you backed off and left him alone?
  2. Have you had moments when you’ve heard the Holy Spirit say, “Leave your husband alone, and I’ll deal with him”? Did you leave your husband alone as the Spirit instructed you, or did you keep hammering at him to do what you wanted?
  3. What is the most important thing you have learned from today’s Sparkling Gem?

If you’ve been preaching at your husband to no effect, perhaps it’s time for you to take your concerns to God in prayer and leave your husband alone so God can deal with him.

 

Hans Schneider Died Of Cancer

I got the impression that when Hans learned of the disease, he took it in stride, resting in His Sovereign’s perfect plan. Within three months he was gone. Or should I say, promoted“?

 

Hans was a carpenter by trade. A German who immigrated to the U.S. in his late teens. Somewhere along the way, he became quietly and deeply obsessed with the Lord Jesus, and with getting His message of love and hope out to the world.

 

What I loved about Hans was the fact that he was a laboring man. No flair. No superlatives. Just a down-home get-the-job-done kind of guy. Because he told it straight, it wasn’t hard to get his drift.

 

I doubt that Hans gave much attention to the latest computer gadgetry, or that he thought much about the GNP, leveraging, IPO’s, PE ratios, etc.

 

But he knew the Book… and he knew its Author. And he knew how to connect the average Joe with the Author of the Book.

 

You know, when you think of it, most of Jesus’ twelve disciples were the Hans Schneiders of the world. Guys close to the pavement. Today, I suppose they would be the men driving trucks, putting up dry-wall, or working jackhammers.

 

In fact, now that I think about it, Jesus was a carpenter – also a working man.

 

It seems to me that unless the Gospel is communicated in ways that infect “Joe six pack,” it will be hopelessly impeded in the narrow corridors of academia and among the minority class of the privileged elite.

 

QUESTION: If you happen to belong to that class of upwardly mobile fast trackers, you face a grave danger of developing an attitude of elitism and class pride. If, in ministering the Gospel, Jesus moved naturally among the common people of this world, shouldn’t we? If we are uncomfortable with that idea, do we not need to humble ourselves and pray for a spirit of brokenness?

 

Harmonize with others in your thinking; do not aspire to eminence, but willingly adjust yourselves to humble situations; do not become wise in your own conceits.The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Romans 12:16 – Berkeley Translation; Psalm 51:17; see Matthew 9:9-13)

 

 

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