VIDEO The Vision and The Reality – Christianity is the one true worldview

The Vision and The Reality

Thank God for being able to see all that you have not yet been. You have had the vision, but you are not yet to the reality of it by any means. It is when we are in the valley, where we prove whether we will be the choice ones, that most of us turn back. We are not quite prepared for the bumps and bruises that must come if we are going to be turned into the shape of the vision. We have seen what we are not, and what God wants us to be, but are we willing to be battered into the shape of the vision to be used by God? The beatings will always come in the most common, everyday ways and through common, everyday people.

There are times when we do know what God’s purpose is; whether we will let the vision be turned into actual character depends on us, not on God. If we prefer to relax on the mountaintop and live in the memory of the vision, then we will be of no real use in the ordinary things of which human life is made. We have to learn to live in reliance upon what we saw in the vision, not simply live in ecstatic delight and conscious reflection upon God. This means living the realities of our lives in the light of the vision until the truth of the vision is actually realized in us. Every bit of our training is in that direction. Learn to thank God for making His demands known.

Our little “I am” always sulks and pouts when God says do. Let your little “I am” be shriveled up in God’s wrath and indignation— “I AM WHO I AM…has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:14). He must dominate. Isn’t it piercing to realize that God not only knows where we live, but also knows the gutters into which we crawl! He will hunt us down as fast as a flash of lightning. No human being knows human beings as God does.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

There is no allowance whatever in the New Testament for the man who says he is saved by grace but who does not produce the graceful goods. Jesus Christ by His Redemption can make our actual life in keeping with our religious profession. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, 1465 R


How do you know that Christianity is the one true worldview?

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Two secret churches in North Korea show how powerful the Bible really is

 

In the early morning light, a small group of North Korean believers meets on the riverbank, lugging their fishing gear with them.

Quietly, they load into a small boat and push off from land. It’s not until they’re far into the middle of the river that they dare to dig through their gear and pull out their Bibles.

This is the only place where they feel safe enough to worship together and study God’s Word. And even then, they are constantly on alert.

If they are caught reading the Bible, they could immediately be sentenced to 15 years in a labor camp – or worse. They’ve heard the stories of what happens to people who are heard speaking the name of Jesus. Many of them have family members and friends who are living in the camps now … or have been buried there.

That’s why when another boat approaches, they panic and scramble to hide their Bibles. “It’s the police!” someone shouts.

Only after the man in the boat greets them in the name of Jesus and tells them he has a gift for them do they start to calm down. He asks to see their Bibles, and the believers who own one hand them to him.

There are only a few Bibles among the church members – not nearly enough for everyone. And each copy is practically falling apart. After years of being carefully studied and then hidden over and over again, the bindings have come loose and pages are beginning to slip out. Many of the Bibles have water damage from these early morning meetings on the boat. But they are still these Christians’ prized possessions … they risk their lives for these Bibles.

So when the stranger pulls out a box of new Bibles provided by generous World Helpdonors, there is an immediate celebration on the boat. The believers clutch God’s Word to their chests and many of the people who had not had one previously break down into tears.

To them, a new Bible is the greatest gift they could receive.

There are still countless believers across this dark nation who are desperate for Bibles. Some people have never even seen a copy of the Scriptures in their life … but they know they would do anything to get their hands on one.

After the man delivered the new Bibles to the secret church on the river, he took the damaged copies back to the hotel where he was staying and hid them. But soon afterward, they disappeared.

He later discovered the janitor had found the Bibles. Instead of reporting them, he took them. It turns out that he was a Christian himself, and his tiny house church of four people had been praying for Bibles.

He praised God for the Bibles – even as damaged and falling apart as they were – because he and his friends could finally study God’s Word for themselves. That’s how desperate North Korean Christians are for copies of Scripture!

The story above is true. We heard it from our partners – defectors among them – who help us smuggle Bibles into North Korea. They also told us the No. 1 request from the church in North Korea was getting more Bibles. So, a year ago we set the goal of sending 100,000 Bibles to North Korea. It was both a daunting and ambitious goal, but we knew these Christians are longing for a chance to have a Bible, despite the risks.

A year later, we are not far from reaching our goal. With the help of generous supporters more Christians in North Korea now have access to a Bible of their own.

Today, Nov. 4, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Christians in America and across the world will dedicate time in their services and personally to pray for those who are suffering persecution because of their faith. I hope you will join us in praying for these brave men and women.

Togetherness in the Body

1 Corinthians 1:10-11

Today’s passage comes from a letter Paul wrote to the divided body of Corinthian believers. That church was allowing a disagreement to hinder their fellowship. Paul knew the steep danger of dissension among believers.

Scripture is clear about the church’s mission. Some of its highest goals include sharing the gospel with all nations, caring for those in need, and worshipping together, along with loving, encouraging, and admonishing one another in God’s truth. Each of these requires the members of a church to be unified.

God wants His people to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3 NIV). So if all Christians base their beliefs on the Bible, they should be able to settle every argument according to its truth, right?

Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Our human nature, preferences, and different interpretations of Scripture can cause disagreements. Consider, for example, how many churches have strife over music styles.

Tragically, when differences are divisive, our mission becomes blurred and we are ineffective. Just as fishermen cannot catch fish with a broken net, we are unable to effectively share Jesus with the world when our fellowship is not intact.

Are your actions and words strengthening your fellow Christians? Or do you gossip, express negativity, and push for your own preferences and opinions? Be careful. God wants our conduct to positively impact the church’s unity. This is essential if we are to accomplish His purpose.

Sanctified, Preserved, and Called

“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.” (Jude 1:1) 

Although the Scriptures have much to teach about each of these precious terms, Jude is the only New Testament writer to use them together in sequence. This is also the only passage that identifies specific roles for the Persons of the Trinity in the lives of believers.

God the Father is said to “sanctify” us (separate, consecrate), but He apparently does this through the Holy Spirit based on the Father’s foreknowledge (1 Peter 1:2). We are not told all that is involved, but our sanctification does include our “belief of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13) and the “offering of the body of Jesus Christ” (Hebrews 10:10), who “was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20).

Jesus Christ “preserves” us. The common use of this term in the New Testament is to “guard” or “watch” over something or someone. The believer is most often the subject of this verb— e.g., we are to “guard” our obedience to the instructions of God (1 Timothy 6:14; 1 John 2:3). Jude’s use, however, highlights the special attention our Lord gives to each of us so that our “whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

The sanctification and the preservation come with the “calling,” the invitation that is issued from God to those who are “the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). It is a “high calling” (Philippians 3:14) and a “holy calling” (2 Timothy 1:9), and once we are “called,” God will “justify” and “glorify” (Romans 8:30). The twice-born of God are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that [we] should shew forth the praises of him who hath called [us] out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9). HMM III

Christ in you, hope of glory

Colossians 1:21-29

Paul continues to glorify the Lord Jesus, and to stir up his brethren to faithfulness. He shows how the death of Jesus has reconciled us to each other and to God.

Colossians 1:21, 22

Thus the work of grace produces in us the highest degree of holiness: to be unblameable in man’s sight is much, but to be unblameable even in the sight of God is absolute perfection. This will be the condition of every believer when the Lord’s designs are accomplished in him.

Colossians 1:23

Steadfastness in the faith is an essential of true religion: a tree often transplanted cannot thrive. Since the gospel is assuredly the truth of God, it is foolishness in the extreme to be enticed from it by the novel teachings of men. Paul gloried in being a minister of the old unchanging gospel.

Colossians 1:24

All the body must suffer in order to have sympathy with the Head; and in order to gather in all the Lord’s chosen the church must undergo a measure of suffering and persecution; in this Paul was glad to take his share. The atoning sufferings of Jesus were finished long ago, his sufferings in his mystical body are not for the expiation of sin, but arise out of our conflict with the powers of evil.

Colossians 2:1-7

Paul a second time declares his call to the ministry.

Colossians 2:1-3

What wisdom, therefore, it is to know Christ: however simple the gospel may appear to be, it is in very truth far superior in wisdom to all the systems of philosophy, or schools of “modern thought.”

Colossians 2:6, 7

May the Lord grant us so to do. The gospel which has saved us will do to live by and to die by. To turn from it would be to forsake fulness for emptiness, the substance for the shadow, and the truth for falsehood. May the Holy Spirit continue to lead us yet further into the knowledge of Christ crucified, and never may we in any degree cease from earnest belief of the truth, or lose our thankfulness for it.

 

I rest upon thy word,

The promise is for me;

My succour and salvation, Lord,

Shall surely come from thee.

 

But let me still abide,

Nor from my hope remove,

Till thou my patient spirit guide

Into thy perfect love.

 

Time To Claim Your Inheritance

That thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (3 John 2)

Did you know that it is possible for a Christian believer to live day after day, clutching the book of Ephesians, and still not realize that he is spiritually lean and hungry?

If a pastor or evangelist suggests that this person could be in a more prosperous spiritual state, his reaction may be bristling: “Am I not accepted in the Beloved? Is not God my Father and am I not an heir with God?”

Holding the text of the will is not enough. It is necessary to come into the possession of the riches. Suppose a rich man dies, leaving a will which passes on all of his millions to his only son. That boy borrows the text of the will from the attorney and carries it around with him. He is satisfied with the text of the will, but it has never been properly executed. Thus the son has never presented his legitimate claims to the inheritance.

He may be going around ragged, hungry and weak. In actual experience he has received nothing. He simply holds the text of his father’s will!

 

You Mark the Trenches

And he said, Thus saith the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches. For thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts. 2Kings 3:16, 17

Three armies were perishing of thirst, and the Lord interposed. Although He sent neither cloud nor rain, yet He supplied an abundance of water. He is not dependent upon ordinary methods, but can surprise His people with novelties of wisdom and power. Thus are we made to see more of God than ordinary processes could have revealed. Although the Lord may not appear for us in the way we expect, or desire, or suppose, yet He will in some way or other provide for us. It is a great blessing for us to be raised above looking to secondary causes, so that we may gaze into the face of the great First Cause.

Have we this day grace enough to make trenches into which the divine blessing may flow? Alas! we too often fail in the exhibition of true and practical faith. Let us this day be on the outlook for answers to prayer. As the child who went to a meeting to pray for rain took an umbrella with her; so let us truly and practically expect the Lord to bless us. Let us make the valley full of ditches and expect to see them all filled.

 

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