VIDEO Afraid of the Light – The Light Of The World

Afraid of the Light

Then they began to plead with [Jesus] to depart from their region. Mark 5:17

For instinctual reasons, nocturnal animals avoid the light, venturing out only at night. The same avoidance of light can apply to some people. When Jesus came, most people didn’t embrace the light He brought (John 1:4-5).

When Jesus drove a crowd of demons out of a deranged man, the unclean spirits rushed into a herd of two thousand pigs. The swine ran into the sea and drowned. When word of what happened got out, the local population begged Jesus to leave. Rather than celebrating that this person who had been dwelling in the tombs in his madness was now made well, they didn’t want to live with something they did not understand. The same thing happened in Philippi when Paul cast a demon out of a girl who told fortunes, depriving her owners of income (Acts 16:16). And in Ephesus, Paul preached against idols and the silversmiths lost their income (Acts 19:26-27). In both places, the apostles were persecuted for doing good. When light touches the darkness people love, they reject the light.

It is a reminder to embrace the light and share the light (Acts 17:11-12), and be prepared for rejection when you bring God’s light into a dark world.

A glory gilds the sacred page, majestic like the sun; it gives a light to every age, it gives, but borrows none.  William Cowper


The Light Of The World (Inspirational Christian Videos) Troy Black

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Muscling Through

Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 2 Chronicles 20:3

Competitive bodybuilders put themselves through a rigorous training cycle. During the initial months, they emphasize gaining size and strength. As the competition nears, the focus shifts to losing any fat that hides the muscle. In the final days before the competition, they consume less water than normal so their muscle tissue is easily visible. Because of the reduced consumption of nourishment, the competitors are actually at their weakest on the day of competition, despite appearing strong.

In 2 Chronicles 20, we read of the opposite reality: acknowledging weakness in order to experience God’s strength. “A vast army is coming against you,” people told King Jehoshaphat. So “he proclaimed a fast for all Judah” (v. 3), depriving himself and all his people of nourishment. Then they asked God for help. When he finally mustered his military, Jehoshaphat placed singers who praised God at the front of his army (v. 21). As they began to sing, the Lord “set ambushes against the men . . . who were invading Judah, and they were defeated” (v. 22).

Jehoshaphat’s decision demonstrated deep faith in God. He purposefully chose not to depend on his own human and military prowess but instead to lean on God. Rather than trying to muscle our way through the trials we face, may we turn to Him and allow Him to be our strength.

Read The Strength of Weakness at discoveryseries.org/hp144.

We must recognize our weakness to experience God’s strength.

By Kirsten Holmberg

Our Eternal Rewards

Revelation 4:9-11

Throughout Scripture, we find references to crowns. Let’s take a look at how they reveal the eternal rewards of loving Jesus Christ and following Him obediently.

The Crown of Victory. To finish life well, believers need Olympic endurance. Athletes in those ancient games were crowned with a perishable circlet of laurel leaves. But when we pursue our God-given ministry and triumph over sin, we’ll be given an imperishable crown (1 Corinthians 9:25-27).

The Crown of Exultation. Any believers to whom we ministered through the power of Jesus will be “our glory and joy” before the Lord (1 Thess. 2:18-20). Just imagine how you will rejoice in heaven upon seeing and talking with the people you care about, who appreciate your spiritual investment in them.

The Crown of Righteousness. Following Jesus is not easy, but there is great reward for living righteously when facing temptation or hardship. Believers who pursue godliness can look forward to the life to come—and to meeting God with a pure conscience (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

The Crown of Life. Anguish and pain are unavoidable in this life, but we can take heart because much spiritual growth happens in adversity. Hang in there to receive the crown of life that the Lord promised to those who love Him (James 1:12).

In heaven, what will we do with the crowns God has given us? We will cast them before Jesus’ feet (Revelation 4:10), laying them down as a tribute to the One who saved us, gifted us, equipped us, and lived in us. Everything good and right comes to us through the Lord, so He deserves our crowns.

Leadership Transfer

“Now after the death of Moses . . . the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan.” (Joshua 1:1-2)

The Lord’s ministries are many and varied—even among the churches Jesus established on Earth. Leaders of those churches and of the many groups that serve the churches add layers of character and skills that must be replaced. As expected, the Bible is not silent on this important matter.

The replacement should be identified, trained, and ready before needed. “Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd” (Numbers 27:16-17).

By the time the earlier leader dies, God has already selected His next leader. “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1). “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon” (1 Corinthians 3:9-10).

The work of God’s Kingdom will continue with or without you. “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself” (Galatians 6:3). “So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:7). “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD” (Psalm 27:14). HMM III

Come over and help us

Acts 15:35-41

Acts 15:36

An active spirit will not long be at rest. Love to Jesus sets a man at work for his cause, and leads him to stir up others, as Paul did Barnabas.

Acts 15:37, 38

He would not go out a second time with a faint-hearted deserter, and he was right. Barnabas, believing that John Mark was penitent for what he had done, and would henceforth be faithful, wished to give him another opportunity; and he was right. Now, since these two brethren had each right on his side, neither of them could yield the point without violating his honest judgment, and we do not therefore wonder that the contention grew hot. The Holy Spirit is very considerate in thus recording the difficulties which occurred even among inspired men. How can we expect always to see eye to eye, when Paul and Barnabas differed?)

Acts 15:39-41

There was no help for it but to part. Barnabas went one way with his nephew, and Paul another with Silas. Mark turned out well, and so justified the opinion of Barnabas, but Paul could not foresee that, and is not to be condemned for acting upon the general rule that he who puts his hand to the plough and looks back has proved himself unworthy. This separation, though painful in its cause, was a most excellent thing. There was no need for two such men to be together, they were each able to lead the way alone, and by their doing so double good was accomplished.

Acts 16:1-12

Acts 16:6-9

This is the great missionary call, and it is by night as well as by day sounding in the ears of the church of God. Once Europe thus called to Asia, now all the world is crying to us, “Come over and help us.”

Acts 16:10

The change of person and the use of the words “we,” and “us,” show that Luke was now in Paul’s company. Paul and Silas, Timothy and Luke, set forth to cross over into Macedonia as soon as the heavenly communication came. All servants of Christ should be thus prompt in obedience.

Acts 16:11, 12

In this manner the gospel came to our quarter of the globe. Blessed be God that ever Paul was led to cross the sea; may other lands rejoice in missionaries of the cross who shall visit them from us.

 

Weak Discipleship

Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. (Hebrews 13:13)

The absence of the concept of discipleship from present-day Christianity leaves a vacuum which men and women instinctively try to fill with a variety of substitutes.

One is a kind of pietism—an enjoyable feeling of affection for the person of our Lord, which is valued for itself and is wholly unrelated to cross-bearing.

Another substitute is literalism—which manifests itself among us by insisting on keeping the letter of the Word while ignoring its spirit. It habitually fails to apprehend the inward meaning of Christ’s words and contents itself with external compliance with the text.

A third substitute surely is zealous religious activity. “Working for Christ” has today been accepted as the ultimate test of godliness among all but a few evangelical Christians. Christ has become a project to be promoted or a cause to be served, instead of a Lord to be obeyed! To avoid the snare of unauthorized substitution, I recommend careful and prayerful study of the Lordship of Christ and the discipleship of the believer!

 

A Strong Heart

“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” Ps. 27:14

Wait! Wait! Let your waiting be on the Lord! He is worth waiting for. He never disappoints the waiting soul.

While waiting keep up your spirits. Expect a great deliverance, and be ready to praise God for it.

The promise which should cheer you is in the middle of the verse — “He shall strengthen thine heart.” This goes at once to the place where you need help. If the heart be sound, all the rest of the system will work well. The heart wants calming and cheering; and both of these will come if it be strengthened. A forceful heart rests and rejoices, and throbs force into the whole man.

No one else can get at that secret urn of life, the heart, so as to pour strength into it. He alone who made it can make it strong. God is full of strength, and, therefore, He can impart it to those who need it. Oh, be brave; for the Lord will impart His strength to you, and you shall be calm in tempest, and glad in sorrow.

He who penned these lines can write as David did -“Wait, I say, on the Lord.” I do, indeed, say it. I know by long and deep experience that it is good for me to wait upon the Lord.

 

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