VIDEO All Things New – Ambassadors’ Ministry of Reconciliation

 

All Things New

If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Junkyards intrigue me. I enjoy working on cars, so I frequently make trips to the one near our home. It’s a lonely place, where the wind whispers through discarded hulks that were once someone’s prized possession. Some were wrecked, some wore out, and others simply outlived their usefulness. As I walk between the rows, a car will sometimes catch my eye, and I’ll find myself wondering about the adventures it had during its “lifetime.” Like a portal to the past, each has a story to tell—of human hankering after the latest model and the inescapable passage of time.

But I take particular pleasure in finding new life for an old part. Whenever I can take something discarded and give it new life in a restored vehicle, it feels like a small victory against time and decline.

It sometimes makes me think of Jesus’s words at the end of the Bible: “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:5). These words refer to God’s renewal of creation, which includes believers. Already, all who’ve received Jesus are a “new creation” in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17).

And one day we will enter into His promise of unending days with Him (John 14:3). Age and disease will no longer take their toll, and we will continue the adventure of an eternal lifetime. What stories each of us will have to tell—stories of our Savior’s redeeming love and undying faithfulness.

Loving Lord, I praise You that I am a new creation in You, and that in Your kindness and mercy You have given me the promise of eternal life.

The end of a year and beginning of another is an opportunity for a fresh start. What might God be making new in your life?

By James Banks 

INSIGHT

Today’s passage gives us a glimpse of heaven, describing it as a physical place (vv. 1–2). Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for us (John 14:2–3), and this promise is fulfilled in the New Jerusalem, the holy city (Revelation 21:2). While it’s a great comfort that heaven is a perfect place (v. 4), the most important thing is that it’s the dwelling place of God (v. 3). In this final vision of the beginning of eternity (21:1–22:9), John hears Christ declaring, “It is done” (21:6). The New Living Translation renders it, “It is finished!” echoing Christ’s victorious cry from the cross (John 19:30). Sin’s curse will one day be completely removed and reversed (Revelation 21:4–5; see Genesis 3:16–19).

K. T. Sim


The Ambassadors’ Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

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3 Things We Teach Our Children When We Pray

 

 

Last week I posted a piece in which I encouraged each of us to actually pray when we pray. Since then my thoughts about prayer have moved in another direction, particularly as it relates to the training of our children. I am becoming increasingly convinced that one of the most significant ways we convey spiritual truth to our children is through our prayers. I believe that when we pray with our children, our children learn about our relationship with the Lord and what we believe about God. Let’s look at three things we teach our children when they listen to us pray.

1.  When we pray, our children learn that we have a sincere relationship with the Lord.

This past Sunday I was talking with a friend about what children learn when they listen to their parents pray. He shared with me that when he was growing up his father’s prayers were formulaic and seemed artificial to him. But in recent years my friend has noticed a change in his elderly father’s relationship with the Lord. What’s significant is that the chief way he has come to recognize the change is by listening to the way his father prays.

I grew up with a mother who had a sensitive relationship with the Lord, and I knew it from the way that she prayed. When I was a child she used to tell me that even if all my friends stopped being my friends, Jesus would always be my friend. I believed her. The reason I believed her is that when she prayed I could tell that she was talking to her closest friend.

 2.  When we pray, our children learn that we actually believe that God can and will answer our prayers.

Honestly, learning how to pray in groups in the United States has been kind of tough for me. When my wife and I lived in the Middle East, we were often around Christians who were expecting God to do big things. We knew it because of the way that they prayed. But one message has come through loudly and clearly to me in most of the prayer meetings I have attended in the United States: we don’t actually believe anything is going to happen when we pray! I want my children to know that when we pray, we are speaking to a God who is strong enough to answer our prayers and who cares deeply enough to act on our behalf.

(Please note that you don’t generate such faith by trying really hard to believe; rather you increasingly develop sensitivity to the Holy Spirit who helps you know how to pray and who increases your faith as you pray in dependence upon him. But that is another topic for another day.)

 3.  When we pray, our children learn what we believe about God.

I’ve thought more about this since reading Fred Sanders’s recently released book, The Deep Things of God:  How the Trinity Changes Everything. The basic biblical pattern is praying to the Father, on the basis of what the Son has done, empowered by the Spirit. It is, of course, possible that we could communicate to our children a deficient view of the Trinity by praying always to Jesus as a friend, or being overly Spirit-focused in our prayers. (I am not saying that a prayer thanking Jesus for his death on the cross or a prayer to the Holy Spirit asking for him to empower you for witness is wrong, just that it isn’t the biblical pattern.)

Your children will learn from you that God is holy by listening to the way you confess your sins; that God is a God of power when you worship him; that God truly cares when you call upon him in your time of need, and so on.

When I’m alone with the Lord, one of the prayers I pray more than any other is: “Lord, I want it to be real. I don’t want to be a fake. I need your grace to live out what I teach.” And now, by God’s grace, I want my children to see the same thing in me. I don’t pray for them; I pray to the Lord. But I think it’s good to remember that our children are listening.

 

By Ken Berding


For more, visit the Good Book Blog, a seminary faculty blog from Talbot School of Theology.

 

https://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/the-good-book-blog/teaching-our-children-through-prayer.html/

God’s Unchanging Love

Romans 8:31-39

The limitless, unfailing love of God is difficult for man to grasp. Yet the Bible clearly teaches that divine love is sure, eternal, and in no way dependent upon our worthiness or good behavior. If we are born-again believers, nothing can lessen the Father’s love for us. However, since we struggle to wrap our minds around this truth, He sometimes increases our perception by using earthly examples.

For many years, I had a German schnauzer named Rommel. Every afternoon as I pulled my car into the driveway, Rommel ran to greet me. Many times he would appear to stand at attention by the front of the house as if to say, “Welcome home, sir. Everything is under control here!”

Now sometimes I had to correct or discipline Rommel for something he had done or for the occasional accident around the house. However, no matter what I did, whether it was a reprimand or withholding attention from time to time, he never seemed to love me any less. Rommel was always happy to see me and longed for my company.

One day while I was playing with him, the Lord taught me a lesson. I looked at my faithful dog and said, “Rommel, no matter what I do, you always love me. I’d like to be that kind of friend.” If a dog can exemplify this simple truth, we should aim for nothing less.

But this realization also taught me something about Jesus: He never changes, and His love never waivers. No matter what I do or how I fail, He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Grace of God in Creation

“He left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” (Acts 14:17) 

There is abundant evidence of the mighty power and wisdom of God in the vast cosmos and the tremendously complex world. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

But in addition to such evidence of His wisdom and power, there is also wonderful evidence of the grace of God in nature. Although “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22), laboring under the awful curse on the ground imposed by God when Adam sinned (Genesis 3:17), it has been so subjected “in hope,” with God’s promise of ultimate deliverance from the “bondage of corruption,” and “we are saved by hope” (Romans 8:20-21, 24).

This goodness of God is evidenced in the daily victory of light over darkness, the annual return of spring after winter, and the oft-repeated triumph of life over death. Although individuals die, new souls are born; and always, there is hope. Man must eat his bread in the sweat of his face as he labors to wrest a living from the cursed ground, but God does send the rain and the fruitful seasons, and the food is grown. Though he must eat of it in sorrow all the days of his life, somehow God nevertheless fills his heart with food and gladness. And all of the labor and sweat and sorrow is “for thy sake” (Genesis 3:17), urging man to return to God for both his daily bread and his eternal salvation. How foolish is the man who receives all these gifts of God’s grace without acknowledging their source. “Despisest thou the riches of his goodness . . . not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Romans 2:4). HMM

Surely I come quickly. Amen

Revelation 22

Revelation 22:1

In the new Eden as in the old there is a river, but it does not take its rise from the springs of earth, its source is the throne of God.

Revelation 22:2

Eden of old had but one such tree, but it is common in the new Jerusalem, and prevents the possibility of disease and death ever invading that happy city. Fallen man. might not eat of its immortal fruit, but man restored shall feast upon it freely.

Revelation 22:7

How few are watching! How many trifle as if these things were mere dreams, or matters so remote as to deserve no consideration.

Revelation 22:8-11

There is no hope of change of character in another state. Where death leaves us judgment finds us and eternity holds us.

that they may have right or privilege to approach

Revelation 22:16-19

Omissions and additions are equally forbidden. Those who have committed this crime of tampering with the Bible, have generally professed to be Christians, hence their penalty is that their names shall be blotted out of that sacred register in which they believed them to be enrolled.

Revelation 22:21

As we close the year let us pray that our family reading may prove a blessing to us all. God grant that we may not read without profit, but may each one find Jesus in the Scriptures, as the merchant found the one pearl of great price hidden in the field.

 

God’s Plan Is Sovereign

Then cometh, the end, when he shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God… for he must reign. (1 Corinthians 15:24-25)

Many people continue to live in daily fear that the world “is coming to an end.”

Only in the Scriptures do we have the description and prediction of the age-ending heavenly and earthly events when our Lord and Savior will be universally acknowledged as King of kings and Lord of lords.

God’s revelation makes it plain that in “that day” all will acclaim Him “victor!”

Human society, generally, refuses to recognize God’s sovereignty or His plan for His redeemed people. But no human being or world government will have any control in that fiery day of judgment yet to come.

John’s vision of things to come tells us clearly and openly that at the appropriate time this world will be taken away from men and placed in the hands of the only Man who has the wisdom and authority to rightly govern.

That Man is the eternal Son of God, the worthy Lamb, our Lord Jesus Christ!

 

Loved to Perfection

“Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” John 13:1

This fact is essentially a promise; for what our Lord was He is, and what He was to those with whom He lived on earth, He will be to all His beloved so long as the moon endureth.

Having loved”: here was the wonder! That He should ever have loved men at all is the marvel. What was there in His poor disciples that He should love them? What is there in me?

But when He has once begun to love, it is His nature to continue to do so. Love made the saints “his own” — what a choice title! He purchased them with blood and they became His treasure. Being His own, He will not lose them. Being His beloved, He will not cease to love them. My soul, He will not cease to love thee!

The text is well as it stands: “to the end,” even till His death the ruling passion of love to His own reigned in His sacred bosom. It means also to the uttermost. He could not love them more: He gave Himself for them. Some read it, to perfection. Truly He lavished upon them a perfect love, in which there was no flaw nor failure, no unwisdom, no unfaithfulness, and no reserve.

Such is the love of Jesus to each one of His people. Let us sing to our Well-beloved a song.

 

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