VIDEO Under Construction – The Most Important Day of Your Life

He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

 

George W. Bush wasn’t doing well as a young man. He was drinking heavily and was lost in life. One day he went for a walk with evangelist Billy Graham and asked if reading the Bible would make him a better person. “He told me about one of the Bible’s most fundamental lessons,” Bush recounted. “One should strive to be better, but we’re all sinners who earn God’s love not through our good deeds, but through His grace.” Shortly afterward, Bush received a package from Graham—a copy of The Living Bible. “He had inscribed it and included a reference to Philippians 1:6: ‘And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.’”1

That began a dramatic change in Bush’s life. It does for all of us. We can never improve ourselves in any lasting, significant way without the grace of God. We need for Him to begin a good work in us, and then we need to remember that the One who started His work will finish it.

Be patient. God is not finished with you yet.

Every human being is under construction from conception to death.
Billy Graham

  1. George W. Bush, “George W. Bush: How Billy Graham Changed My Life,” Fox News, February 23, 2018.

The Most Important Day of Your Life

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Another Archaeological Find, Another Confirmation That Events Recorded in Bible Actually Happened

May 2, 2019 By John Stonestreet

Holy Bible (left) (Photo by Stephen Morton/Getty Images) and Nathan-Melech bulla found in the City of David (right) (Screenshot)

No one names their son Jehoahaz. It’s just too tough to pronounce. On the other hand, most of us know a Josiah or two. Not only is it a much more pronounceable, but as we read in 2 Kings chapter 22, “Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years … He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.”

See, King Josiah stands out among Judah’s final monarchs. Not only did he refuse to take part in idol worship, he tore down the high places and the Asherah poles, and he reinstated the worship and feasts of the true God.

According to the Bible, Josiah did all this because of a discovery in the Temple of a scroll of the Law, which had long been neglected and forgotten. He wept over Judah’s disobedience and recommitted his kingdom and people to the covenant recorded in that scroll. As a result, God promised that the judgment He would eventually send would not occur during Josiah’s lifetime.

A much more recent discovery brought this particular section of 2 Kings to light even more. The Times of Israel recently described two tiny objects unearthed at a dig in the City of David: an agate stone and a lump of burnt clay that both had Hebrew inscriptions which were the names of two individuals—“Ikkar son of Matanyahu”—and “Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King.” Whoever can tell me which one of those two names appears in Scripture deserves this week’s Bible trivia award.

These were seals, you see—the kind once pressed into wax or dipped into ink to sign letters. According to Yiftah Shalev of the Israel Antiquities Authority, where these seals were found sets the 2,600-year-old signets apart for archaeologists. They were discovered in the remains of what was likely an administrative building dating to the 8th century B.C.

Many such artifacts hit the antiquities market, but often no one is really sure where they come from. These, however, were found in “their true archaeological context.”

The name that astute students of Scripture might recognize, by the way, is Nathan-Melech, an official who gets just a passing mention in 2 Kings 23:11, just as Josiah is purging Jerusalem of the trappings of idolatry. Outside of the Bible, this tiny clay seal is the first confirmation of this man’s existence.

And to be clear, it’s the obscurity of his name—both in recorded history and in Scripture—that should amaze us.

In biblical archaeology, it’s often the big players we look for—Moses and David and Paul. Last year’s announcement of a ring bearing Pontius Pilate’s name was big news, and rightly so. It’s a name we say every time we recite the Apostles’ Creed, proclaiming that Jesus’ redeeming work happened in real history.

Still, names like Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King, may offer an even stronger confirmation that the events recorded in the Bible actually happened. The seemingly insignificant name from 2 Kings reminds us that King Josiah, who rediscovered the Law in the Temple and cleansed the nation of idols, isn’t just a character from a mythical story. He was a man in history; he had court officials and administrative headquarters; and he was part of the lineage that led to another King—the Lion Who sits on the throne of Judah and is ushering in a Kingdom—one that, unlike ancient Jerusalem—will never be conquered.

Of course, we don’t believe this big story because someone unearthed a piece of clay with an obscure name on it. But it is exciting to see how even the smallest details in Scripture can hold up under the digging and the scrutiny.

John Stonestreet is President of The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and BreakPoint co-host.

Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published by BreakPoint.

https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/john-stonestreet/another-archaeological-find-another-confirmation-events-recorded-bible

Communicating God’s Truth

Matthew 28:18-20

You’ve probably heard people say, “That may be true for you but not for me.” Genuine truth is not relative. Nor is it a part-time phenomenon. So, when Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), He meant it for everyone. The rock-solid principles that God has communicated should be shared with others.

We see this admonition repeatedly in Scripture. In Matthew 28:18-20, the Lord gives us what is known as the Great Commission. This is a charge for all of us who believe: We’re to go out and spread the truth about Jesus Christ, teaching others what we have learned.

Likewise, in 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul instructs Timothy not only to tell others what he has learned, but also to encourage those men to tell even more people. And Paul elsewhere states that we, as believers, are “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20). In other words, we are His emissaries to the world. We are to take what we know and make it known to those we encounter. For what purpose? The passage makes it clear that our mission is to help others be reconciled to God.

How can we ever doubt the urgency of this message? We have a truth to tell, and we must share it!

This week, take the time to write out your faith story, and review it so you’ll feel comfortable and confident sharing that testimony with others. Pray for opportunities to share how God’s love has changed your life. Then trust the results to the Lord.

Trust Him

“That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.” (Hebrews 6:18-19)

As children of God, we possess everything we need, from an invincible refuge from the enemy to a certain hope for eternity with our heavenly Father. The third verse of the hymn “Praise the Savior, Ye Who Know Him” reminds us that our trust in Him is well placed.

Trust in Him, ye saints, forever;
He is faithful, changing never;
Neither force nor guile can sever
Those He loves from Him.

Trust in something or someone would be worth much less if the object of our trust might change his mind. Thankfully, our Savior never changes. His love for us is constant. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war” (Revelation 19:11). As long as we are with Him, we are safe and secure.

Consider that we are safe in Christ’s hand, as He is secure in the Father’s hand. All believers are further sealed by the Holy Spirit. “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29). Who or what could break such a bond?

We have no need to fear. We are safe and secure in Him. JDM

Let Everyone Seek His Face

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD; and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

—Isaiah 55:7

It will require a determined heart and more than a little courage to wrench ourselves loose from the grip of our times and return to biblical ways. But it can be done. Every now and then in the past Christians have had to do it. History has recorded several large-scale returns led by such men as St. Francis, Martin Luther and George Fox. Unfortunately, there seems to be no Luther or Fox on the horizon at present. Whether or not another such return may be expected before the coming of Christ is a question upon which Christians are not fully agreed, but that is not of too great importance to us now.

What God in His sovereignty may yet do on a world-scale I do not claim to know. But what He will do for the plain man or woman who seeks His face I believe I do know and can tell others. Let any man turn to God in earnest, let him begin to exercise himself unto godliness, let him seek to develop his powers of spiritual receptivity by trust and obedience and humility, and the results will exceed anything he may have hoped in his leaner and weaker days.   POG066

Lord, today I commit myself to “turn to God in earnest,” to “begin to exercise [myself] unto godliness,” and to “seek to develop [my] powers of spiritual receptivity by trust and obedience and humility.” Amen.

Tozer on Christian Leadership: A 366-Day Devotional.

The meek shall inherit the earth

The meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.—Psalm 37:11

 

Joy is Thy gift, O Father!

Thou wouldst not have us pine;

In darkest hours Thy comfort

Doth aye most brightly shine;

Ah, then how oft Thy voice

Hath shed its sweetness o’er me,

And opened heaven before me,

And bid my heart rejoice!

Paul Gerhardt.

 

To be with God, in whatever stage of being, under whatever conditions of existence, is to be in heaven.

Dora Greenwell.

 

I perceive we postpone all our joys of Christ, till He and we be in our own house above, thinking that there is nothing of it here to be sought or found, but only hope and fair promises; and that Christ will give us nothing here but tears, sadness, crosses; and that we shall never feel the smell of the flowers of that high garden of paradise above, “till we come there. Nay, but I find it possible to find young glory, and a young green paradise of joy even here. We dream of hunger in Christ’s house, while we are here, although He alloweth feasts to all the bairns within God’s household.

Samuel Rutherford.

 

Just Like Palm And Cedar

“The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.” Ps. 92:12

These trees are not trained and pruned by man: palms and cedars are “trees of the Lord,” and it is by His care that they flourish; even so it is with the saints of the Lord, they are His own care. These trees are evergreen and are beautiful objects at all seasons of the year. Believers are not sometimes holy and sometimes ungodly: they stand in the beauty of the Lord under all weathers. Everywhere these trees are noteworthy: no one can gaze upon a landscape in which there are either palms or cedars without his attention being fixed upon these royal growths. The followers of Jesus are the observed of all observers: like a city set on a hill they cannot be hid.

The child of God flourishes like a palm tree, which pushes all its strength upward in one erect column without a single branch. It is a pillar with a glorious capital. It has no growth to the right or to the left, but sends all its force heavenward, and bears its fruit as near the sky as possible. Lord, fulfill this type in me.

The cedar braves all storms, and grows near the eternal snows, the Lord Himself filling it with a sap which keeps its heart warm and its boughs strong. Lord, so let it be with me, I pray thee. Amen.