VIDEO What’s Going on Here?

What’s Going on Here?

Tell them what great things the Lord has done for you. Mark 5:19

A friend of Turning Points got tired of nuisance calls on his cell phone, but, upon reflection, decided to use the calls to practice his evangelism. If the caller is hawking credit cards, our friend replies, “I don’t need another card, but I take every opportunity of sharing the gift of God that money can never buy. May I tell you about it?” If the caller is selling vacation rentals, the man says, “I would love to tell you about the ultimate destination in life, a home in heaven.” And so forth. While the man hasn’t yet led a caller to Christ, he’s found several who listened to the Gospel. One salesman said, “Hey! What’s going on here? You’re the second person today who has told me that!”

We’re living in a day when we must be creative about sharing the Gospel, both personally and through our church ministries. Our culture is changing, and, while our message never changes, we need endless creativity in making sure we get the message to as many people as possible. Too many times we focus on keeping cultural traditions instead of reaching the lost wherever they are.

Jesus was nonconventional in His ministry. Let’s do as He did and tell others what great things the Lord has done for us.

If being conventional doesn’t succeed, try being original! Greg Laurie


What The Lord Has Done In Me – Hillsong Worship

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Unexpected Ways

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. John 14:9

In 1986, five-year-old Levan Merritt fell twenty feet into the gorilla enclosure of England’s Jersey zoo. As parents and onlookers cried out for help, a full-grown male silverback, named Jambo, placed himself between the motionless boy and several other gorillas. Then he began to gently stroke the child’s back. When Levan began to cry, Jambo led the other gorillas into their own enclosure as zoo-keepers and an ambulance driver came to the rescue. More than thirty years later Levan still talks about Jambo the gentle giant—his guardian angel who had acted in a shockingly unexpected way, changing his perception of gorillas forever.

Elijah may have expected God to act in certain ways, but the God of gods used a rock-shattering wind, a powerful earthquake, and raging fire to show His prophet how not to think of Him. Then He used a gentle whisper to show His heart and to express His presence (1 Kings 19:11–12).

Elijah had seen God’s power before (18:38–39). But he didn’t fully understand the One who wants to be known as more than the greatest and most fearsome of gods (19:10, 14).

Eventually, that quiet whisper found fullness of meaning in the powerful gentleness of Jesus, who said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Then He quietly allowed Himself to be nailed to a tree—an unexpected, compassionate act by the great God who loves us.

Father in heaven, please help us to find courage in Your whisper—and in the ways of Your Son. Have mercy on us for not seeing beyond Your power to a love we’ve barely begun to know.

God won’t shout if we only need a whisper.

By Mart DeHaan

The Witness of God

Romans 1:16-23

No one is born an atheist or agnostic, “because that which is known about God is evident within them” (Rom. 1:19). The Father has given every person an inborn witness of His existence, but this isn’t the only evidence given to mankind. Creation itself testifies of God’s invisible attributes, eternal power, and divine nature (Rom. 1:20). However, it’s possible to ignore or reject both the internal and external witnesses of God. When that happens, the mind becomes progressively darker until it can no longer see the light of truth.

On hearing this, many believers react with concern for the multitudes who have never heard the gospel. They wonder, How can people be saved if the only evidence they experience of the one true God is the natural world and an inborn sense of His reality, which their culture may try to deny or manipulate? Yet our text today says there is no excuse for anyone who rejects both these witnesses (Rom. 1:20).

One thing we must remember is that God will be just, and we cannot claim to be more righteous, compassionate, and merciful than He. We can trust that He will judge every person rightly (Deut. 32:3-4). All people will be evaluated according to the truth they received, the opportunities they had, and what they did with both: Did they believe or reject what God revealed?

One thing we can know for certain is our part in the divine plan for unbelievers—Scripture is clear that we’re to be witnesses to as many as possible. You have the opportunity to share the gospel with people in your sphere of influence. That is God’s plan for the unreached.

Similitude of God

“Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.” (James 3:9)

Here inserted within a very sober condemnation of the misuse of our God-given privilege of speech is what seems almost an incidental reference to the image of God in man. It is not a trivial reference, however, but very significant.

It tells us that even though the image of God in man has been severely marred by sin, it is still there! That is, man is eternal just as God is eternal, and we will all continue to exist forever, either in the presence of God, or away from His presence. That “image” is not shared with animals, even the higher animals. The latter do have a body, soul (in the sense of mind), and spirit (in the sense of breath), but they do not possess “the image of God” that was specially created in man alone after all the animals had been created (note Genesis 1:21, 27).

Another implication is that the word “similitude” includes the meaning of a physical resemblance. While God in His full essence is omnipresent and therefore invisible to human eyes, it is still true that, when God became man, He took on an actual physical body. Furthermore, our Lord Jesus, God the Son, still is “that same Jesus” and therefore still in that body (note Acts 1:11; 1 John 3:2; etc.).

Since His incarnation and His work of salvation were planned by the triune God “before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20), man was apparently created in the image of that body that Christ had planned to take on when He would eventually become man.

That being the case, our bodies are even more sacred than otherwise we might have assumed, and it is indeed a serious matter to misuse the tongue or any other member of the body, which is made after the similitude of Christ. HMM

The turning away of the simple shall slay them

Acts 24:1-19, 22, 24-27

Acts 24:1-3

He flattered the detestable Felix, of whom it was hard to say a single good word. To gain their ends men stoop to anything.

Acts 24:11-16

the way which they call heresy or a sect

Acts 24:24, 25

This aged sinner had enticed Drusilla while a girl of about eighteen from her husband, and was living not only in open sin with her, but also in the commission of every other crime. Paul did well, therefore, to preach to him concerning the judgment: the cowardly voluptuary trembled, but continued in his sins.

Acts 24:26

He longed for bribes, and therefore retained his innocent prisoner. Men will do anything for gain. This man felt the power of Paul’s sermon, but loved the wages of sin too well to repent. If we also are saying, “When I have a more convenient season I will call for thee;” is it not because we do not mean to give up our sins?

Acts 24:27

And thus the apostle remained shut up for two whole years, and then was compelled to appeal unto Cæsar to avoid being taken up to Jerusalem, and murdered on the road. During the time that he waited to be sent to Rome, he was brought before Agrippa. Of his noble speech on that occasion we shall read in our next lesson.

 

Better Not Love This World

The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not. (2 Corinthians 4:4)

Our Lord Jesus Christ drew a sharp line between the kingdom of God and this present world. He has instructed us that no one can be at the same time a lover of both!

The apostles stood together in the New Testament teachings that it is necessary for a person to turn the back upon the world and have not fellowship with it.

What, then, is this world against which we are warned?

It is the familiar world of human society. No Christian need fail to recognize it, providing he wants to know what it is. Here are a few of its marks of identification:

1. Unbelief. To have fellowship with those who live in unbelief is the love of the world. Religion without the Son of God is worldly religion.

2. Impenitence. The worldling shrugs off his sin and continues in it. The Christian mourns over his sin and is comforted.

3. Godless philosophies. Men and women of this world accept the sufficiency of this world and make no provision for any other, esteeming earth above heaven.

4. Externalism. The man of the earth lives only for the world around him—he has no kingdom within him!

 

Let Trials Bless

“Knowing that tribulation worketh patience.” Rom. 5:3

This is a promise in essence if not in form. We have need of patience, and here we see the way of getting it. It is only by enduring that we learn to endure, even as by swimming men learn to swim. You could not learn that art on dry land, nor learn patience without trouble. Is it not worth while to suffer tribulation for the sake of gaining that beautiful equanimity of mind which quietly acquiesces in all the will of God?

Yet our text sets forth a singular fact, which is not according to nature, but is supernatural. Tribulation in and of itself worketh petulance, unbelief, and rebellion. It is only by the sacred alchemy of grace that it is made to work in us patience. We do not thresh the wheat to lay the dust: yet the flail of tribulation does this upon God’s floor. We do not toss a man about in order to give him rest, and yet so the Lord dealeth with His children. Truly this is not the manner of man, but greatly redounds to the glory of our all-wise God.

Oh, for grace to let my trials bless me! Why should I wish to stay their gracious operation? Lord, I ask thee to remove my affliction, but I beseech thee ten times more to remove my impatience. Precious Lord Jesus, with thy cross engrave the image of thy patience on my heart.

 

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