VIDEO New Beginnings as in The Man of Nain

The dead man sat up and began to talk. Luke 7:15, NIV

In Luke 7, Jesus entered the town of Nain as a funeral procession was exiting the city. A young man had died, and his widowed mother was grief stricken. A crowd came together to wail with her and comfort her. Jesus approached the bier, gazed at the corpse, and said, “?Young man, I say to you, get up!’ The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother” (verses 14-15, NIV).

I wonder what he said? Perhaps it was “Where am I?” or “What happened?” Or maybe he said, “I felt I was in heaven! What am I doing back here?” Or perhaps he looked up at Jesus and said, “Thank You!”

The point is, whenever Jesus gives us a new beginning, we start to talk. We can’t keep our fresh start to ourselves. When the Lord helps us make a turnaround in life, we want to praise Him. When He brings us through a difficult season, we want to testify of His faithfulness. When we come to a place of fresh commitment to Him, we should tell others all He has done.

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!

Come, we that love the Lord, and let our joys be known.  Isaac Watts, “Marching to Zion”


Luke 7:11-17 – In Depth – Pastor Chuck Smith – Bible Studies

Perfectly Placed

Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?   Job 38:4

 

Scientists know our planet is precisely the right distance from the sun to benefit from its heat. A little closer and all the water would evaporate, as on Venus. Only a bit farther and everything would freeze like it does on Mars. Earth is also just the right size to generate the right amount of gravity. Less would make everything weightlessly sterile like our moon, while more gravity would trap poisonous gases that suffocate life as on Jupiter.

The intricate physical, chemical, and biological interactions that comprise our world bear the imprint of a sophisticated Designer. We catch a glimpse of this complex craftsmanship when God speaks to Job about things beyond our understanding. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” God asks. “Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone?” (Job 38:4–6).

This glimpse of creation’s magnitude causes us to wonder at Earth’s mighty oceans bowing before the One who “shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, . . . [who said] ‘This far you may come and no farther’ ” (vv. 8–11). In wonder may we sing with the morning stars and shout for joy with the angels (v. 7), for this elaborate world was made for us that we might know and trust God.

By: Remi Oyedele

Reflect & Pray

How does God’s amazing creation cause you to praise Him today? What about its design reveals a Maker?

Thank You, Creator God, for this elaborate world You designed for us.

Must Know What You Believe

Philippians 4:8-9

Many people think it doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you believe in something. But in reality, the content of our faith affects all areas of life. That’s not to say that everything we do will be 100 percent aligned with our convictions—after all, we aren’t perfect! As a rule, though, we are guided by what we accept as truth.

For example, believing what the Bible says will affect how we use our gifts, the way we treat others, and our choices about spending or investing our money. And of course the most important decision in life—trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ—hinges on whether we believe He is who He claims to be.

The Word of God contains many passages warning about false teachers and prophets, whose destructive doctrines can cause us terrible damage. But if we have a strong foundation, we are far less likely to be deceived. That’s why Scripture teaches us how to safeguard against believing error: by filling our mind with truth. If you haven’t yet developed a daily habit of spending time in God’s Word, why not start today?

Declare the Unknown God

“As I . . . beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.” (Acts 17:23)

The people of Athens were known to be quite religious, worshipping a host of nature gods. They even had set up an altar “to the unknown god.” Paul pounced on this point of contact to declare unto them the God they didn’t know.

He starts by laying the foundation: This God, he claims, is the Creator. He not only “made the world and all things therein” (v. 24), but also is “Lord of heaven and earth.” To cause to exist and then to rule over all of creation, one must be omnipotent. He is much too great to dwell in “temples made with hands.” How ludicrous to think He might need anything, including the worship of men, “seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things” (v. 25).

This God “hath made of one blood all nations of men” and “hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” (v. 26). To know all men, their race, futures, and details of their lives, God must be omniscient, eternal, boundless. He has done this so “that they should seek the Lord” (v. 27). He is not hard to find, for He is “not far from every one of us.” He is the sustainer and source of all life. “In him we live, and move, and have our being; . . . we are also his offspring” (v. 28), totally unlike gods of “gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device” (v. 29).

But mankind has not known this God. He has been patient, but hates sin and “commandeth all men every where to repent” (v. 30), to gain forgiveness based on the work of “that man whom he hath ordained” (v. 31) as a final sacrifice, or as righteous judge. We can be sure of this because, when the sacrifice was slain, God “raised him from the dead” (v. 31).

Some mocked at the declaration of this mighty God (v. 32); some refused to act; but others believed (v. 34). JDM

How Often Should We Pray Really?

Ephesians 6:18

How is your prayer life? Is prayer a central and significant part of your life, or is it something you only do when you are with other believers? Is prayer a daily discipline for you, or do you mainly pray when you get in trouble? Do you pray when you are home alone, or do you find that you only pray and worship the Lord when you come to church and are in the presence of other worshiping and praying people?

To pray regularly requires discipline. Unfortunately, most people are “on-again, off-again” when it comes to prayer. They are faithful for a while, but then they fall out of prayer because they are too tired to get up early, or they become distracted by other things.

But how often are we supposed to pray? Ephesians 6:18 gives us the answer! It says, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

The word “always” is taken from the Greek phrase en panti kairo. The word en would be better translated at. The word panti means each and every. You could say that this word panti is an all-encompassing word that embraces everything, including the smallest and most minute of details. The last word in this Greek phrase is the word kairo, the Greek word for times or seasons. When all three of these words are used together in one phrase (en panti kairo) as in Ephesians 6:18, they could be more accurately translated at each and every occasion.

 

Ephesians 6:18 conveys this idea:

“Pray anytime there’s an opportunity—no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Use every occasion, every season, every possible moment to pray….”

This clearly tells us that prayer is not optional for the Christian who is serious about his or her spiritual life. According to this scripture, believers are to make prayer a top priority. Yet, unfortunately, prayer is largely disregarded by the average Christian today.

If prayer isn’t a priority in your life right now, why not make it a priority starting today? You might say, “But I don’t have time to pray.” You have time to do whatever you really want to do. If it’s truly in your heart to pray, you can find the time. And if your schedule is as busy as you think it is, take Ephesians 6:18 to heart. Grab any available time you can find, and make it your prayer time. Why not start this day out right? Make a quality decision to make prayer your first order of business!

 

Walk in the Spirit

There is therefore now no condemnation to them…who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

—Romans 8:1

The idea of the Spirit held by the average church member is so vague as to be nearly nonexistent. When he thinks of the matter at all he is likely to try to imagine a nebulous substance like a wisp of invisible smoke which is said to be present in churches and to hover over good people when they are dying….

Now, how should we think of the Spirit? A full answer might well run to a dozen volumes. We can at best only point to the “gracious unction from above” and hope that the reader’s own desire may provide the necessary stimulus to urge him on to know the blessed Third Person for himself.

If I read aright the record of Christian experience through the years, those who most enjoyed the power of the Spirit have had the least to say about Him by way of attempted definition. The Bible saints who walked in the Spirit never tried to explain Him. POM061-062

We will never understand the Holy Spirit so long as we terminate our thought upon Him. The Scriptures always lead us on beyond every subjective experience to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. HS544

 

Word of Life

Psalm 1:2

God has most commonly and most powerfully spoken to me through the words of Scripture. Some of them stand out to my mental and spiritual vision like mighty mountain peaks rising from a vast, extended plain. The Spirit that moved “holy men of old” to write the words of the Bible has moved me to understand them, by leading me along the lines of spiritual experience first trodden by these men, and has taken the things of Christ and revealed them unto me, until I have been filled with a divine certainty as altogether satisfactory.

I am not sure that I lived so intimately with my darling wife as I have for many years lived with St. Paul. Far more constantly and intimately than he lived and traveled with his friend Barnabas and his young helpers, has he lived, traveled, slept and talked with me. Paul has been my greatest mentor.

If you want to hold the truth fast and not let it slip, you must read and read and re-read the Bible. You must constantly refresh your mind with its truths, just as the diligent student constantly refreshes his mind by reviewing his textbooks, just as the lawyer who wishes to succeed constantly studies his law books, or the doctor his medical works.

The “blessed man” of David is not only a “man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful, but [notice] his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law does he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2 KJV).

The Bible is God’s recipe book for making holy people. You must follow the recipe exactly, if you want to be a holy, Christlike person.

The Bible is God’s guidebook to show men and women the way to heaven. You must pay strict attention to its directions and follow them accurately, if you are ever to get there.

The Bible is God’s medical book, to show people how to get rid of soul sickness. You must diligently consider its diagnosis of soul diseases, and its methods of cure, if you want soul-health.

Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4); and again He said, “The words I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).

Samuel Logan Brengle, Helps To Holiness