VIDEO What a Rush! – “God Is Love”

What a Rush!

God is love. 1 John 4:8

Levi Bliss, 23, found a scenic location and arranged to have the words “MARRY ME” displayed on the side of a large hill. Taking his girlfriend on a drive, he paused where she could see the letters. Just as he knelt to propose, the girl’s father, knowing of the plan, stepped out with a large sign with the words: “SAY NO!”

It was a joke, and the fiancée said “Yes.” But it’s a reminder to us of the devil’s ploy. The Gospel is God’s proposal to us, His expression of love. Satan is always standing nearby telling us to “SAY NO!”

D. L. Moody said, “It would not take twenty-four hours to make the world come to God, if you can only make them believe God is love. If you can really make a man believe you love him, you have won him; and if I could only make people really believe that God loves them, what a rush we would see for the kingdom of God!”

God loves you; it’s His nature to love—and that’s a proposal that deserves full acceptance.

If I thought I could only make the world believe that God is love, I would only take that text and go up and down the earth, trying to counteract what Satan has been telling them. D. L. Moody


“God Is Love”

 

Living Out Loud

In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. 1 Peter 3:15

While staying at a hotel in Austin, Texas, I noticed a card lying on the desk in my room. It said:

Welcome
Our prayer is that your stay here will be restful
and that your travels will be fruitful.
May the Lord bless you and keep you, and make
His face shine upon you.

This card from the company that manages the hotel made me want to know more, so I accessed their website and read about their culture, strength, and values. In a winsome way, they seek to pursue excellence and live out their faith in the workplace.

Their philosophy reminded me of Peter’s words to the followers of Jesus scattered throughout Asia Minor. He encouraged them to demonstrate their faith in Christ in the society where they lived. Even as they faced threats and persecution, Peter told them not to be afraid, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

A friend of mine calls this “living a lifestyle that demands an explanation.” No matter where we live or work, may we in God’s strength live out our faith today—always ready to reply gently and respectfully to everyone who asks the reason for our hope.

May our lives cause others to ask the reason we have hope.

By David C. McCasland 

INSIGHT

When we think of Peter, we often think of young Peter—his rash denials of Christ (John 18:17, 25, 27), his jumping out of the boat to walk on the water to Jesus (Matthew 14:22–31), or his cutting off a servant’s ear in the garden of Gethsemane (John 18:10). Yet aged Peter—mature Peter—is a much different man who wrote letters to encourage believers in Jesus. The man who called down a curse on himself as he denied Christ (Matthew 26:73–75) now writes that believers should be prepared to give an answer for their hope—something he was once unwilling to do. Such is the difference the Spirit makes in our lives.

How has the Spirit been transforming you and helping you to live out your faith?

J.R. Hudberg

Put On a Heart of Compassion

Colossians 3:12-14

Have you ever noticed that some people are more naturally compassionate than others? Maybe it’s their personality or upbringing. Nevertheless, in the church, every believer is told to “put on a heart of compassion” (Col. 3:12). When empathy doesn’t come naturally, some Christians may wonder if something is wrong with them. So, what can we do to develop a greater sense of caring?

While emotions cannot be manufactured on demand, we can change our thoughts, which in turn affect our emotions. Compassion, like all the other qualities listed in today’s passage, is possible only when we think of others before ourselves. Self-centeredness keeps us from seeing the needs and hurts of those around us and acting on their behalf. What we need is a renewed mind.

We are all born with a selfish, sinful nature, referred to as the “old self.” But when a person puts his trust in Jesus, he receives a “new self” created in righteousness by God. (See Eph. 4:22-24.) As our minds are renewed with His Word and we grow in obedience, Christ’s love and compassion begin to flow through us. Instead of our being oblivious to the pain and suffering around us, God will open our eyes and use us to comfort those in need.

A heart of compassion is achieved not through self-effort but through a God-focused life. As we draw near to Him through His Word and His Son, He transforms our focus, thoughts, and feelings. What a relief to know that God has provided everything we need to follow Jesus’ example of caring. He always equips us to obey His every command.

Moments of God

“For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.” (Isaiah 54:7-8)

This gracious promise to Israel gives a beautiful insight into both God’s character and the relation of time to eternity. God can be a God of wrath, for He must punish unforsaken sin in His people, but He is much more the God of mercy. His prolonged judgment on His chosen people of Israel is only “for a small moment” compared to His “everlasting kindness” toward redeemed Israel in the ages to come.

This theme occurs a number of times in Scripture. “For his anger endureth but a moment,” said David, “in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). To the people faithful to God during a time of judgment against their nation or against the world, God says: “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers . . . hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast” (Isaiah 26:20).

Thus, a time of testing or judgment may extend over many days, or years, or even centuries, but this is only a moment in relation to the endless ages of blessing yet to come.

As applied to Christians, this concept is stated explicitly in the only occurrence of the Greek parakutika (“moment”) in the New Testament. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. . . . They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 65:17, 25). May God give us eyes of faith to see these “moments” of God in their eternal setting. HMM

Who hath believed our report?

Mark 12:38-44

Mark 12:38-40

Mark the honesty of Jesus; he never flinched from declaring the truth concerning the highest in the land. No fear of man ever fettered his speech. The object of his rebuke was pride, pride of dress and rank, and the outward display of religion. Let us avoid these things, for the Lord abhors them. Shall pardoned sinners be proud? God forbid.

Matthew 22:44

How often do we hear persons speak of “giving their mite,” when they know that they are doing no such thing. This poor woman gave her all; where do we find such givers now-a-days? We must measure our generosity not by what we give, but by what remains. Jesus sat over against the treasury, and he is sitting there still. He knows what we bring to him, and he sees whether it is a fair proportion of our means. He measures our offerings not by their amount, but by the will of the giver.

John 12:37-50

John 12:39, 40

Continued sin and pride brought on a judicial blindness, so that the plainest truth was not seen by them. Have we believed in Jesus? If not, is there not great danger that we shall be blinded too?

John 12:41

We shall find a description of the prophet’s vision in the sixth chapter of Isaiah. It is worthy of note that the prophet says, “I saw also the Lord, sitting upon his throne” and that he heard the seraphim adore him. Yet the passage is here used in reference to Jesus, who is therefore Lord and God.

John 12:42, 43

Alas, that men should be such shameful cowards as to be ashamed of the Lord of glory.

 

Most gracious Lord, what can we pay

For favours so divine?

We consecrate our every power,

To be for ever thine.

 

Had we ten thousand hearts and lives,

We’d give them all to thee;

Had we ten thousand tongues, they all

Should join the harmony.

 

Our Critical Decisions

The Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country… So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him. (Genesis 12:1, 4)

People have many different ideas about the most important moment of their lives on this earth. We know of many who have testified to the great importance of their own spiritual decision—the act of faith whereby they committed themselves and their entire futures to God!

I believe the Bible makes it plain that the single most critical, most important time in the life of Abraham was when he heard and answered the call of God. Unexpectedly and dramatically, God revealed Himself to Abraham and call him to be a pilgrim. It is a lesson to us that when Abraham was called, he by faith obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going!

I have found comfort in the doctrine of prevenient grace, which, simply stated, is the belief that before a sinner can seek God, God must first have sought him.

In Abraham’s case, I believe that if he had been insensitive, he would never have heard God’s voice calling him, and if Abraham had rejected God’s overtures, the whole history of the world would have been vastly different—and different for the worse!

 

A Refreshing Sleep

“So he giveth his beloved sleep.” Ps. 127:2

Ours is not a life of anxious care, but of happy faith. Our heavenly Father will supply the wants of His own children, and He knoweth what we have need of before we ask Him. We may therefore go to our beds at the proper hour, and not wear ourselves out by sitting up late to plot, and plan, and contrive. If we have learned to rely upon our God we shall not lie awake with fear gnawing at our hearts; but we shall leave our care with the Lord, our meditation of Him shall be sweet, and He will give us refreshing sleep.

To be the Lord’s beloved is the highest possible honor, and he who has it may feel that ambition itself could desire no more, and therefore every selfish wish may go to sleep. What more is there even in Heaven than the love of God? Rest, then, O soul, for thou hast all things.

Yet we toss to and fro unless the Lord Himself gives us not only the reasons for rest, but rest itself. Yea, He doth this. Jesus Himself is our peace, our rest, our all. On His bosom we sleep in perfect security, both in life and in death.

“Sprinkled afresh with pardoning blood, I lay me down to rest, As in the embraces of my God, Or on my Saviour’s breast.

 

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