VIDEO Friend, Brother, Take The Leap

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17

When Job lost everything (Job 1–2), his three friends came to commiserate with him. Their intent was to be loving: to “mourn with him, and to comfort him” (Job 2:11). They wept, mourned, and sat in silence with Job for seven days, seemingly loving him as best they could. But then, after a week, they couldn’t help themselves. They had to explain to Job that his suffering was his fault, that he was being punished by God. They had no proof beyond their judgments and opinions. Their support turned to legalism and discouragement—exactly what Job (in the midst of great suffering) didn’t need.

If Job’s friends had stuck with their original efforts, things would have been better: consolation, love, shared sorrow. No words of advice, just acts that demonstrated, “We know you are hurting. We don’t know the answers. We are here to go through this with you.” That’s what friends are for—love in times of adversity.

If you know someone who is suffering, take the love-leap. Sit with them, pray with them, write to them, take a meal to them, babysit their kids. A friend loves at all times.

Our job is to love people we don’t have to love. Keith Miller

TRUE FRIEND, TRUE BROTHER – The Best Sermon Ever Preached on Proverbs 17:17 // Dr. A.R. Bernard

The Mouse That Roared

The one who is in [us] is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

Several years ago my sons and I spent a few days camping in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in Northern Idaho. It’s grizzly bear habitat, but we carried bear spray, kept our campsites clean, and anticipated no major grizzly encounters.

One evening, in the middle of the night, I heard Randy scramble around trying to get out of his sleeping bag. I grabbed my flashlight and turned it on, expecting to see him in the clutches of an enraged grizzly.

There, sitting upright on its haunches and waving its paws in the air was a field mouse about 4 inches tall. It had Randy’s cap firmly clenched in its teeth. The little creature had tugged and tugged until he pulled Randy’s cap from his head. As I laughed, the mouse dropped the cap and scampered away. We crawled back into our sleeping bags. I, however, fully adrenalized, couldn’t get back to sleep and thought about another predator—the devil.

Consider Satan’s temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4:1–11). He countered his enticements with the Scriptures. With each answer, Jesus reminded Himself that God had spoken on this issue and therefore He wouldn’t disobey. This caused the devil to flee.

Although Satan wants to devour us, it’s good to remember that he’s a created being like the little rodent. John said, “the one who is in [us] is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

By:  David H. Roper

Reflect & Pray

What are your greatest temptations? What does God say about these issues and how might you use that when you’re tempted?

Dear God, I’m grateful that You’re greater than any temptation that comes at me. Please provide the way out.

Our Loving Friend

Romans 5:6-11
Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and many people received cards, gifts, or kind words from friends and family. But human love can’t compare to Jesus’ love, which He demonstrated by dying on the cross for us.

Jesus lived a perfect life: He was sinless and fully pleasing to God. He didn’t have any unrighteousness or sin for which He owed payment (Rom. 6:23), but we do. If Jesus had never come to earth, we would be headed for eternal separation from God. Yet our Savior cared so much that He left heaven and died for the world He loved—even for those who rejected Him.

Today’s passage describes the mystery of an innocent person dying in place of a guilty one. Paul asks who among us would volunteer to take on someone else’s deserved punishment. Maybe we’d consider helping a righteous person, but Jesus was willing to help the guilty. He became our substitute—taking on both our sin and our penalty. God’s wrath was poured out on Him for all our sins.

Jesus died on the cross so that we might enter God’s family and live with Him forever. Jesus’ sacrifice changed us from outsiders to children of God, from enemy to beloved, and from stranger to friend. No one could care about us more deeply than that.

There Were Nests in the Ark

“Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.” (Genesis 6:14)

Details surrounding the story of Noah and the Flood have long caused laymen and theologians alike to stumble and compromise.

None could argue that the wording was not clear. God had commanded Noah to build a wooden boat of huge dimensions and to take on board representatives of land-dwelling, air-breathing animals. The Flood, Scripture reveals, devastated the entire world. But 19th-century theologians, pressed on by James Hutton, Charles Lyell, and others proposing the new uniformitarian interpretation of Earth history, became convinced that the scriptural account must be understood in a figurative sense. Their later counterparts repeat this error, promulgating the non-biblical idea that the Flood was only local.

Some have wondered how Noah could gather all the animals, but the Bible simply says they “went in two and two unto Noah into the ark” (7:9), evidently migrating to the location on God’s command.

Their care while on the Ark has also been raised as a problem. But, in all likelihood, the animals entered a state of semi-dormancy, as nearly all of their descendants do today when faced with danger over which they have no control and from which they cannot flee.

Scripture supports this idea in our text: The word “rooms,” which is more properly translated “nests” everywhere else in Scripture, implies a small place to sleep or nestle rather than a large cage. The job of caring for the animals may have been difficult, but our gracious God would have seen to it that it was possible. Questions like these are no cause for compromise. JDM

Not Less Than Trinitarian

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and me love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

—2 Corinthians 13:14


Our blunder (or shall we frankly say our sin?) has been to neglect the doctrine of the Spirit to a point where we virtually deny Him His place in the Godhead. This denial has not been by open doctrinal statement, for we have clung closely enough to the biblical position wherever our creedal pronouncements are concerned. Our formal creed is sound; the breakdown is in our working creed.

This is not a trifling distinction. A doctrine has practical value only as far as it is prominent in our thoughts and makes a difference in our lives. By this test the doctrine of the Holy Spirit as held by evangelical Christians today has almost no practical value at all. In most Christian churches the Spirit is quite entirely overlooked. Whether He is present or absent makes no real difference to anyone. Brief reference is made to Him in the Doxology and the benediction. Further than that He might as well not exist. So completely do we ignore Him that it is only by courtesy that we can be called Trinitarian. The Christian doctrine of the Trinity boldly declares the equality of the Three Persons and the right of the Holy Spirit to be worshiped and glorified. Anything less than this is something less than Trinitarianism.   POM060-061

Make me so aware of the power of the Holy Spirit in my life that I might give Him the recognition and worship that He so rightly deserves. Amen.


“Real” Truth

If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

—John 8:31-32


Truth must be understood by inward illumination. Then we know the truth. Until that time, we do not know it….

I heard through missionaries of a boy overseas who had memorized Jesus’ entire Sermon on the Mount. He did it in such record time and with such apparently little effort that someone called him in to find out how he had done it.

“Well,” said the boy, “I would memorize a verse and then trust God to help me put it into practice. Then I would memorize the next verse and say, ‘Lord, help me to live this one, too.’…”

That boy had truth on his side. He did not consider truth to be something objective, simply to be filed in the mind as knowledge. Rather, truth to him was also subjective—to be acted on.

Truth becomes real to us within our beings by obedience and faith. FBR064-065

Before we can truly obey Him, we must fully receive Him and be so united with Him that His interests are ours and His will is just the expression of our inmost being. NJ100


Holiness to the Lord

Exodus 28:36

On January 9, 1885, at about nine o’clock in the morning, God sanctified my soul. I was in my own room at the time, but in a few minutes I went out and met a man and told him what God had done for me. The next morning, I met another friend on the street and told him the blessed story. God used him to encourage and help me.

That confession put me on record. It cut the bridges behind me. I could not go back now. I had to go forward. God saw that I meant to be true till death.

So two mornings after that, just as I got out of bed and was reading some of the words of Jesus, He gave me such a blessing as I never had dreamed a man could have this side of heaven. I walked out over Boston Common before breakfast weeping for joy and praising God.

Oh, how I had longed to be pure! Oh, how I had hungered and thirsted for God! He gave me the desire of my heart. He satisfied me. God has become my Teacher, my Guide, my Counselor, my All and All.

He has helped me to speak of Jesus and His great salvation in a way to instruct, comfort and save other souls. He has been light to my darkness, strength to my weakness, wisdom in my foolishness, knowledge in my ignorance.

When my way has been hedged up and it seemed that no way could be found out of my temptations and difficulties, He has cut a way through for me.

When my heart has ached, He has comforted me. When my feet have well-nigh slipped, He has held me up. When my faith has trembled, He has encouraged me. When I have been in sore need, He has supplied all my need. When I have been hungry, He has fed me. When I have thirsted, He has given me living water.

He has taught me that sin is the only thing that can harm me. He has taught me to hang upon Jesus by faith for my salvation from all sin, and to show my love by obeying Him in all things and by seeking in all ways to lead others to obey Him.

My whole being is His for time and eternity. I am not my own. He can do with me as He pleases for I am His.

“Holiness to the Lord” (Exodus 28:36 KJV) has been my motto. It has been the only motto that could express the deep desire and aspiration of my soul.

Samuel Logan Brengle, Helps To Holiness