VIDEO God with Us

Many of us who’ve been in church most of our lives and become believers along the way sometimes take for granted that Jesus is our Savior. Have you taken time lately to consider what it means to have Jesus in your life?

As Dr. Henry Morris III points out this month in his article “Creator, Redeemer, King,” Jesus’ name Immanuel is translated “God with us.” God with us. What does it mean to share life with the Creator of the universe?

God comforts and heals, helps us when we struggle, and provides grace to persevere in suffering.

If we’ve accepted Jesus’ gift of salvation, we are never alone. We enjoy the presence of almighty God every second of every day. He’s always available for conversation—we always have Someone to talk to. He walks through life with us—He is there in our celebration, defeat, fear, uncertainty, strength, weakness, and grief. He provides wisdom and guidance as we make decisions. He assures us that He has a plan for our lives, and He orchestrates circumstances to fit with that plan. He works all things for our good in His time. He comforts and heals, helps us when we struggle, and provides grace to persevere in suffering. Dr. Morris reminds us that He is “full of grace and truth.” And this ever-present God of grace lives in us.

Dr. Morris says Christ’s redemption is sufficient and satisfactory for “the sins of the whole world.” When God looks at us, He sees Jesus because Jesus, our Redeemer, paid the price for our sin—past, present, and future. As Brian Thomas notes, “Jesus is the last Adam—the first Adam brought death, but the last Adam brings life for those who trust Him” (“Four Observations Evolution Can’t Explain”).

Our identity rests in Jesus. God sees us as clean, complete, and chosen children of God (1 John 1:7Colossians 2:9-101 Peter 2:9). Henry Morris IV says, “This perfect gift is the reason we celebrate Christ’s birth on Christmas Day….What joy is ours to accept it, knowing we shall spend eternity in heaven with Him!” (“God’s Greatest Gift”).

Our identity rests in Jesus.

We don’t have to die to enjoy the blessings of salvation. Eternity begins the moment we accept Christ. We have new life—He lives in us. God’s free gift of salvation takes away all shame and blame, and we have the awesome privilege of walking in newness of life, having “God with us” every day. This new life, walking with our Savior, is something to celebrate at Christmas and all year round!

* Jayme Durant is Director of Communications at the Institute for Creation Research.

Cite this article: Jayme Durant. 2018. God with UsActs & Facts. 47 (12).

 

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Acts of Kindness

[Tabitha] was always doing good and helping the poor.  Acts 9:36

“Estera, you got a present from our friend Helen!” my mom told me when she got home from work. Growing up we didn’t have much, so receiving a present in the mail was like a second Christmas. I felt loved, remembered, and valued by God through this wonderful woman.

The poor widows Tabitha (Dorcas) made clothes for must have felt the same way. She was a disciple of Jesus living in Joppa who was well known in the community for her acts of kindness. She was “always doing good and helping the poor” (Acts 9:36). Then she got sick and passed away. At the time, Peter was visiting a nearby city, so two believers went after him and begged him to come to Joppa.

When Peter arrived, the widows Tabitha had helped showed him the evidence of her kindness—“the robes and other clothing that [she] had made” (v. 39). We don’t know if they asked him to intervene, but led by the Holy Spirit Peter prayed and God brought her back to life! The result of God’s kindness was that “this became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord” (v. 42).

As we’re kind to those around us, may they turn their thoughts to God and feel valued by Him.

By Estera Pirosca Escobar

Today’s Reflection

Dear Lord, help me to follow You and show kindness to those around me, so they can see You in me.

Profiting From Pain

Romans 5:1-5

We have so many blessings for which to be grateful. And greatest of all is our salvation, because it’s the “hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:2). Someday we’ll step out of this life into the marvelous glories of heaven, which we can’t even imagine at present. But we can joyfully thank God for such an amazing prospect. It’s the hope that helps us endure all the hardships we face on earth.

However, Paul mentions another cause for exultation: our tribulations (Rom. 5:3). People rarely think of suffering as profitable and see no reason to rejoice, but God promises to use it for good. Oftentimes adversity results in spiritual growth. In times of pain, the façade we typically display is withdrawn to expose who we truly are. As our security or comfort is shaken, our true priorities, spiritual crutches, pride, and self-reliant ways are revealed. God may use the opportunity to strip away everything we depend on until nothing competes with Jesus’ reign in our life.

The Lord prioritizes spiritual growth over ease and comfort, and He knows how to develop perseverance and proven character within us. We may be tempted to fight or cry for a way out of hardship, but that gains us nothing in the end. Yet we can profit from pain by accepting the Father’s work in times of difficulty, knowing that He is shaping us into the image of His Son.

Instead of focusing on the pain or loss, turn your trials into a cause for hope. According to 2 Corinthians 4:17, “Momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.” That’s why we can exult in our tribulations.

The Real Saints

“Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.” (Philippians 4:21-22) 

The apostle Paul typically began and ended most of his church epistles with greetings to and from “the saints.” The context in each case shows that this term was applied to all those who were “in Christ Jesus”—that is, all true Christians. The Greek word hagios meant essentially those people or things that are set aside or consecrated to the Lord. It is frequently translated “holy” and can be applied to objects dedicated to the Lord, as in Hebrews 9:24 (“holy places made with hands”).

The term is applied also to Old Testament believers. At the time of Christ’s resurrection, we are told that “many bodies of the saints which slept arose” (Matthew 27:52).

Although “saints” should be altogether godly and righteous as well as set aside to the Lord, that is not necessarily always how they act. Thus, special men have been called by God (i.e., pastors, teachers, etc.) “for the perfecting of the saints” (Ephesians 4:12).

Some of these latter have been given the supposedly exclusive right to be called saints by the Catholic church. Other than “St. Mary” and “St. Peter,” the best known of these may be “St. Patrick,” the so-called “patron saint” of Ireland. Patrick was certainly a very zealous missionary, largely responsible for the conversion of the Irish from paganism back in the early fifth century, and all we know about him would confirm that he was indeed a “saint” in the true biblical sense.

Since the sole biblical criterion to be classed as “His saints” is “them that believe,” that includes us! That being the case, should we not be zealous to see that our lives are such as “becometh saints” (Ephesians 5:3)? HMM

Daunting Task

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

—Romans 1:16

The greatest event in history was the coming of Jesus Christ into the world to live and to die for mankind. The next greatest event was the going forth of the Church to embody the life of Christ and to spread the knowledge of His salvation throughout the earth.

It was not an easy task which the Church faced when she came down from that upper room…. Left to herself the Church must have perished as a thousand abortive sects had done before her, and have left nothing for a future generation to remember.

That the Church did not so perish was due entirely to the miraculous element within her. That element was supplied by the Holy Spirit who came at Pentecost to empower her for her task. For the Church was not an organization merely, not a movement, but a walking incarnation of spiritual energy. And she accomplished within a few brief years such prodigies of moral conquest as to leave us wholly without an explanation—apart from God.   PTP007-008

Empower us for our work, Holy Spirit, even as You empowered the early Church. Amen.

 

I, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.—Ephesians 4:1.

 

Knowing Thou needest this form, as I Thy divine inspiration,

Knowing Thou shapest the clay with a vision and purpose divine,

So would I answer each touch of Thy hand in its loving creation,

That in my conscious life Thy beauty and power may shine.

Christopher P. Cranch.

 

Let us examine our capacities and gifts, and then put them to the best use we may. As our own view of life is of necessity partial, I do not find that we can do better than to put them absolutely in God’s hand, and look to Him for the direction of our life-energy. God can do great things with our lives, if we but give them to Him in sincerity. He can make them useful, uplifting, and heroic. God never wastes anything. God never forgets anything. God never loses anything. As long as we live we have a work to do. We shall never be too old for it, nor too feeble. Illness, weakness, fatigue, sorrow,—none of these things can excuse us from this work of ours, That we are alive today is proof positive that God has something for us to do today.

Anna R. B. Lindsay.

 

You Will Deal With God

“I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man.” Hos. 11:9

The Lord thus makes known His sparing mercies. It may be that the reader is now under heavy displeasure, and everything threatens his speedy doom. Let the text hold him up from despair. The Lord now invites you to consider your ways, and confess your sins. If He had been man, He would long ago have cut you off. If He were now to act after the manner of men, it would be a word and a blow and then there would be an end of you: but it is not so, for “as high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are his ways above your ways.

You rightly judge that He is angry, but He keepeth not His anger for ever: if you turn from sin to Jesus, God will turn from wrath. Because God is God, and not man, there is still forgiveness for you, even though you may be steeped up to your throat in iniquity. You have a God to deal with, and not a hard man, nor even a merely just man. No human being could have patience with you: you would have wearied out an angel, as you have wearied your sorrowing father; but God is longsuffering. Come and try Him at once. Confess, believe, and turn from your evil way, and you shall be saved.

 

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