VIDEO The Whitest White – What’s Next

His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow. Revelation 1:14

How do paint companies find their colors? According to livescience.com, engineers are looking at the little-known Cyphochilus beetle found in the sugarcane fields of Southeast Asia. The bug has remarkably white scales and studying the natural shade of the creature has helped paint companies begin to create the whitest white color.

Imagine a white so white and bright that it’s blinding.

In the Gospels, Jesus was transfigured, and for a few moments He revealed His intrinsic glory. Matthew 17:2 says, “He was transfigured before them. His face shown like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” Revelation 19:11 pictures Christ coming again on a white horse; and the eternal throne of judgment is described in Revelation 20:11 as “a great white throne.”

According to Revelation 21 and 22, the city of New Jerusalem will be illuminated by the Lamb Himself, who radiates light. The city will shimmer, gleam, and flash with supernatural light.

Since all this is true, let’s grow in holiness and reflect the glory of the Lord to a darkened world. Others should see in us the whitest white.

Break down every idol, cast out every foe. / Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

James Nicholson


What’s Next? – Revelation 1 – Skip Heitzig

What Comes Next?

There is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord . . . will award to me on that day. 2 Timothy 4:8

On the night of April 3, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King gave his final speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” In it, he hints that he believed he might not live long. He said, “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. . . . [But] I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” The next day, he was assassinated.

The apostle Paul, shortly before his death, wrote to his protégé Timothy: “I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. . . . Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day” (2 Timothy 4:6, 8). Paul knew his time on earth was drawing to a close, as did Dr. King. Both men realized lives of incredible significance, yet never lost sight of the true life ahead. Both men welcomed what came next.

Like them, may we “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

By:  Remi Oyedele

 

Reflect & Pray

What is your understanding of this life’s temporary nature? How do you think it plays into the life that comes next?

Heavenly Father, help us to keep our eyes on You and not on the troubles and trials of this life.

Read Life to Come: The Hope of the Christian Faith at discoveryseries.org/q1205.

A Divine Demonstration of Love

1 John 4:7-19

To better understand divine love, consider its opposite —false “love,” which sets limitations and always withholds something. This so-called love clings to control and gives only in order to manipulate. It is emotionally detached and unwilling to be vulnerable.

Genuine love, on the other hand, respects people as they are. It means understanding who the other person really is and loving without restriction. If you must be in control and your heart is not 100% in it, you’re missing true love.

Looking at the love of Jesus Christ on the cross, I see the most perfect demonstration of love anywhere. The Savior showed us how unlimited His love is: He gave His life for us and withheld nothing (Rom. 8:32)! He did not give His love to manipulate us but instead gave us free will to accept or reject Him. And He loved us with vulnerability, already knowing His love would be rejected—even ignored or mocked. In loving with His whole heart, Jesus was willing to be turned down.

If you’re ever unsure about what true love really looks like, turn to the cross. Jesus gave His best—His all—to love us so that we could become children of God (1 John 3:1)

First Stone

“For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20)

When the self-righteous men in the crowd surrounding the woman caught in the act of adultery were about to stone the woman (apparently indifferent to the man with whom she had been caught!), the Lord Jesus turned them all away with His suggestion that the privilege of casting the first stone should go to one who was without sin of his own (John 8:7). They realized that He knew the condition of their sinful hearts, and “being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one” (John 8:9).

This incident is a perpetual reminder that “the Father…hath committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22), not to any one of us. We are not qualified to judge others, since we ourselves are also sinners—saved sinners, perhaps, but sinners.

One of the most certain doctrines of Scripture is the universality of sin in human experience. “There is none that doeth good, no, not one,” the Scripture says (Romans 3:12). “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). “The Scripture hath concluded all under sin” (Galatians 3:22). “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10). These and many other Scriptures tell us clearly that, while we urgently need to judge sin in ourselves, we are not qualified to condemn others, at least not on a personal level.

Only the Lord Jesus Christ, being Himself sinless (1 Peter 2:22), can judge a sinner. Thus it is only He who could be made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) and thereby forgive sins and bring salvation. HMM

Our Real First Responsibility

I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word. Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.

—Psalm 119:147-148

 

Briefly, the way to escape religion as a front is to make it a fount. See to it that we pray more than we preach and we will never preach ourselves out. Stay with God in the secret place longer than we are with men in the public place and the fountain of our wisdom will never dry up. Keep our hearts open to the inflowing Spirit and we will not become exhausted by the outflow. Cultivate the acquaintance of God more than the friendship of men and we will always have abundance of bread to give to the hungry.

Our first responsibility is not to the public but to God and our own souls….

It is by humility, simplicity and constant trustful communion with God that we keep the fountain open with our hearts.   GTM115-116

Lord, why does our first responsibility so easily get crowded out? Quiet me today that this first thing might get the time and attention it deserves. Amen.

 

Getting Rid of the Handles

There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

—Luke 15:10

 

In the things-which-God-cannot-do category is this: God cannot do our repenting for us. In our efforts to magnify grace we have so preached the truth as to convey the impression that repentance is a work of God. This is a grave mistake….God has commanded all men to repent. It is a work which only they can do. It is morally impossible for one person to repent for another. Even Christ could not do this. He could die for us, but He cannot do our repenting for us.

God in His mercy may “incline” us to repent and by His inworking Spirit assist us to repent; but before we can be saved we must of our own free will repent toward God and believe in Jesus Christ….

Repentance involves moral reformation. The wrong practices are on man’s part, and only man can correct them. Lying, for instance, is an act of man, and one for which he must accept full responsibility. When he repents he will quit lying. God will not quit for him; he will quit for himself. PTP017-018

Anyplace where a person sins, he puts handles on his soul for Satan to grasp. Repentance gets rid of the handles. unknown

 

Go From Darkness to Light

Luke 24:33-34

The tomb is empty! Christ is risen! From the newly hewn tomb in Joseph’s garden this victorious cry of the gospel has emerged, crossing oceans and continents to encircle the world.

Its message brought the disciples from the dark night of the tomb into the bright sunshine of the first Easter day. Its reality confirms for all believers,

“Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19).

It is upon the hinges of the resurrection that the doors of Christianity swing open. It is the core of Christian theology, the basic tenet of the Christian faith.

Yet, at the close of the first Easter day, the light of truth had only penetrated the darkness within a few hearts. It had reached Mary Magdalene and her sister in sorrow. It had been revealed to John the Beloved, as well as to a lone fisherman who had denied his Master.

It had also touched two disciples who rehearsed the joyful news of their unexpected encounter with their Master as they hastened from the city of Emmaus to tell the others. Finding the Eleven gathered, and others with them, they announced, “The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon” (Luke 24:34). As the group pondered these things, some doubting, some half persuaded, some believing, but all sorrowing and depressed, remembering how they had failed their Lord, suddenly He appeared in their midst. His presence changed the darkness of their perplexity into the sunlight of peace.

One cannot help but contrast the lives of the disciples before and after the resurrection. Often during their walk with Jesus they had failed to comprehend His words. He spoke of meekness; they spoke of might. He spoke of servanthood; they thought of self. He spoke of a heavenly kingdom; they could only comprehend an earthly one.

However, following the resurrection, these same men now became stamped from a different mold, with their spiritual eyes opened and their understanding enlarged. They feared neither punishment nor death. Nothing could stop them from proclaiming the good news of the gospel.

The same transformation, from the darkness of the tomb to the light of the risen Lord, may permeate the hearts and lives of all who receive Him today. He brings gladness into all hearts and lives when He enters, and we too can state with confidence, “The Lord is risen indeed!”

Willard S. Evans, The War Cry