VIDEO Dead or Alive – Freedom

To this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. Romans 14:9

A friend of Turning Point recently stood by his wife’s bedside as she went to heaven. Two days later in his Bible reading he came to Joshua 2:11: “The Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” What a comfort to know our loved ones in heaven are walking with the same God we are walking with here on earth. A lot of things change when we’re transported upward (all for the better!) but one thing doesn’t—the One we serve. He’s the God of the living and the dead. Our fellowship with Him is enriched, not interrupted, at the moment of our earthly departure.

If you’ve never asked Jesus Christ to come into your life, remember—to this end He died and rose and lived again, that He might be your Lord and give you everlasting life.

Today make a decision to serve Him. Pray something like this: “Dear God, I confess my sins, and I’m willing to change and to be Your child. Here and now, I receive Jesus Christ and His full pardon of sins and His gift of everlasting life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Christ’s voice sounds now for each of us in loving invitation. Alexander MacLaren


Romans 14 sermon by Chuck Swindoll

Slow for a Reason

You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.  Nehemiah 9:17

In the BBC video series The Life of Mammals, host David Attenborough climbs a tree to take a humorous look at a three-toed sloth. Getting face to face with the world’s slowest moving mammal, he greets it with a “boo!” Failing to get a reaction, he explains that going slow is what you do if you are a three-toed sloth living primarily on leaves that are not easily digested and not very nutritious.

In a rehearsal of Israel’s history, Nehemiah reminds us of another example and explanation for going slow (9:9–21), but this one isn’t comical. According to Nehemiah, our God is the ultimate example of going slow—when it comes to anger. Nehemiah recounted how God cared for His people, instructing them with life-giving laws, sustaining them on their journey out of Egypt and providing them with the Promised Land (vv. 9–15). Although Israel constantly rebelled (v. 16), God never stopped loving them. Nehemiah’s explanation? Our Creator is by nature “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love” (v. 17). Why else would He have borne so patiently His people’s complaints, disbelief, and distrust for forty years? (v. 21). It was because of God’s “great compassion” (v. 19).

What about us? A hot temper signals a cold heart. But the greatness of God’s heart gives us room to patiently live and love with Him.

By:  Mart DeHaan

Reflect & Pray

In what areas of your life do you need to practice being slow to anger? How does it make you feel that God is slow to anger with you?

Father in heaven, fill us with the Spirit of Your graciousness, compassion, mercy, and love so that others can see not just our restraint, but our love because of You.

Trusting God With Your Finances

Proverbs 3:5-10

Yesterday we learned about the Lord’s plan for financial security: giving back to Him the first part of our earnings. For many of us, however, that’s hard to put into practice. The thought of giving that way creates anxiety about not having enough. We’re tempted to replace the Father’s plan with our own because His feels so uncertain.

The good news in today’s Scripture passage is that the Lord promises to provide everything we need if we will honor Him with the first part of our wealth. Many of us have staked our eternal security on what the Lord has said in the Bible, but some still doubt what He says about money and His provision for us. What conflicted creatures we are! We take one part of Scripture and say it’s true, and yet we dis- count another section, feeling that God cannot be trusted in the area of our wealth.

God tells us to test Him in this and see if He is faithful (Mal. 3:10). In giving to the Lord, we have the privilege of watching Him fulfill His Word. Which is more reliable—our instincts or the Word of almighty God? If we can trust our Father with salvation, we should certainly be able to trust Him with our finances. And generosity is a way to demonstrate that we believe what He says.

A Moment of Time

“And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.” (Luke 4:5)

It is interesting that there are just three “moments” mentioned in the New Testament and that there are three different Greek words so translated, each used one time only in the Bible. Furthermore, each of these three “moments” is used in a context that is anticipatory of the future.

First of all, Satan tempted Jesus by flashing before His eyes a vision of the whole world, offering it to Him immediately without His having to endure the cross, if He would rule it for the devil. Here the Greek word for “moment” is stigme, meaning a “point,” like a period after a sentence. In an infinite “timeline,” it would be just a dot on the line, a “point” in time. Satan’s apparent dominion over this world, though it lasts six thousand years or so, is only a moment compared to eternity, and Jesus knew this was a poor bargain.

One day, in fact, He will return to reclaim the world from Satan. At that great day, “we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). In this passage, the unique word is atomos, meaning an indivisible particle. That is, in an “atom of time,” too instantaneous to measure, we shall be changed to be like Him in “his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21).

Right now, however, our bodies are weak and easily beset with pain and sickness. Nevertheless, we are assured that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). The word here is parautika, referring specifically to the present moment. What we must endure “here and now” is so brief compared to the eternity “then and there” that it is not even “worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). HMM

There Are Prophetic Preachers

And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred.

—1 Chronicles 12:32

 

A prophet is one who knows his times and what God is trying to say to the people of his times….

Today we need prophetic preachers—not preachers of prophecy merely, but preachers with a gift of prophecy. The word of wisdom is missing. We need the gift of discernment again in our pulpits. It is not ability to predict that we need, but the anointed eye, the power of spiritual penetration and interpretation, the ability to appraise the religious scene as viewed from God’s position, and to tell us what is actually going on….

What is needed desperately today is prophetic insight. Scholars can interpret the past; it takes prophets to interpret the present. Learning will enable a man to pass judgment on our yesterdays, but it requires a gift of clear seeing to pass sentence on our own day….

Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne.   OGM019-022

Lord, I pray for that gift of prophetic insight. Move me beyond the knowledge You’ve enabled me to gain through education, reading and study. I pray that I might lead as one “who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the throne.” Amen.

 

Old Cross…Old Power

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.

—Galatians 2:20

 

God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life He offers is life out of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross….

What does this mean to the individual, the condemned man who would find life in Christ Jesus? How can this theology be translated into life?

Simply, he must repent and believe. He must forsake his sins and then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing, excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let him bow his head before the stroke of God’s stern displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die.

Having done this, let him gaze with simple trust upon the risen Savior, and from Him will come life and rebirth and cleansing and power.

The cross that ended the earthly life of Jesus now puts an end to the sinner; and the power that raised Christ from the dead now raises him to a new life along with Christ. OCN004

There will be nothing in heaven that does not have the mark of the cross upon it. unknown

 

So Why Me?

Isaiah 6:8

 

Find someone else!

Your files are full

Of super-gifted saints

Who’d love to do this job for you,

No groans and no complaints!

It’s just not fair,

When You must have

A million men or more,

Your finger falls on me again,

Does no one keep the score?

 

Forgive me, Lord.

It’s not by chance

You want me for this task.

Just call me any time You like,

You only have to ask.

With You there’s no “coincidence,”

But only good design.

No doubt You have Your reasons

Why the name You name

Is mine!

John Gowans, O Lord Not More Verse!