VIDEO Open Doors, Jesus the Head of the Church

Praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ. Colossians 4:3

How can we spread the love of Jesus? By praying for open doors, then looking for them. There are hundreds of ways:

Invite friends to a church event. Tell others about Turning Point television and radio or that of another ministry you enjoy. Give away a Christian book. Wear a t-shirt that expresses your faith. Invite unsaved friends to a cookout and start building bridges. Tell your ride-share driver about a Bible verse you’ve been pondering. Keep small Bibles with you to give away. Put a Bible verse or word of testimony on social media. Learn to say, “God bless you” when you pick up your fast food order. Pray for a missionary God puts on your heart. Financially support your local church and other ministries that are sharing the Gospel. Take your Bible to school. Read your Bible at airports. Consider going on a missions trip. Learn a presentation of the Gospel message. Find someone who needs a caring touch and minister to them.

We have the privilege of expressing the love of Jesus everywhere in the world. Let’s seize the opportunity.

Share His love by telling what the Lord has done for you. Share His love by sharing of your faith. William J. Reynolds


John MacArthur: Jesus, the Head of the Church

The Gift of Peace

You may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation.  Luke 2:29–30

“I believe in Jesus and He is my Savior, and I have no fear of death,” said Barbara Bush, the wife of former US President George H. W. Bush, to her son before she died. This incredible and confident statement suggests a strong and deep-rooted faith. She experienced God’s gift of peace that comes from knowing Jesus, even when faced with death.

Simeon, a resident of Jerusalem during the first century, also experienced profound peace because of Jesus. Moved by the Holy Spirit, Simeon went to the temple when Mary and Joseph brought baby Jesus to be circumcised as required by the law for a newborn boy. Although not much is known about Simeon, from Luke’s description one can tell he was a special man of God, just and devout, waiting faithfully for the coming Messiah, and “the Holy Spirit was on him” (Luke 2:25). Yet Simeon did not experience shalom (peace), a deep sense of completeness, until he saw Jesus.

While holding Jesus in his arms, Simeon broke into a song of praise, expressing full satisfaction in God: “You may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations” (vv. 29–31). He had peace because he foresaw the future hope of the whole world.

As we celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the promised Savior, may we rejoice in God’s gift of peace.

By:  Estera Pirosca Escobar

Reflect & Pray

Have you experienced this deep sense of satisfaction and completeness that comes from knowing Jesus? How can you celebrate God’s gift of peace today?

Dear Father, thank You for Jesus, Your gift of peace.

The Cross: The Heart of Christianity

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

The cross has become the symbol of Christianity, but it’s so much more than a mere piece of jewelry worn around the neck. The crucifixion of Christ is a central doctrine of our faith, and understanding it correctly is essential for eternal life. In fact, Paul was convinced the cross was the most vital subject he could address.

It’s important for us as believers to understand what happened on the cross—then we too can be thoroughly convinced of its supreme significance. It was not simply the execution of a Jewish man. What transpired in that event was the solution to mankind’s biggest problem: sin and our resulting alienation from God. The crucifixion is the divine transaction that saves us. Only the blood of Christ can cleanse us from sin and reconcile us to the Father. Although the Jews and the Romans viewed the crucifixion as the execution of a criminal, God saw the death of His Son as the perfect atoning sacrifice, which allowed for the justification of sinful mankind.

Nothing else is required to pay for our salvation. To be saved, all we must do is believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for our sins.

A Righteous Man’s Heart

“And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel.” (1 Kings 11:9)

The Scriptures have an interesting commentary on Solomon’s life: “When Solomon was old…his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God” (1 Kings 11:4). How is it possible to start well and end sadly?

We Must Guard Our Heart: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life,” Solomon admonished in Proverbs 4:23. The Hebrew word for “keep” is natsar and the main verb for “guard” or “set a watch.” Psalm 119 uses natsar 10 times to demand our careful “watch” on our obedience and use of the Word of God. The promise is “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart” (Psalm 119:2).

Store the Good Treasure: In one of his many confrontations with the Pharisees, Jesus gave several illustrations about the impact of the “heart” part of our nature. Jesus spoke of binding the “strong man,” noting that a tree produces the fruit it was grown for and that snakes are always snakes. Then Jesus makes this observation: “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (Matthew 12:35).

Others Will Try to Turn Your Heart: Jeroboam (1 Kings 11–12) led Israel in rebellion against Judah and against God. He “devised of his own heart” (1 Kings 12:33) liturgical practices that “made Israel to sin” (1 Kings 15:34). Peter warns: “Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness” (2 Peter 3:17).

We must guard our hearts, “for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). HMM III

Truth Is Divorced from Life

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

—James 1:22

 

There is scarcely anything so dull and meaningless as Bible doctrine taught for its own sake. Truth divorced from life is not truth in its biblical sense, but something else and something less….

No man is better for knowing that God in the beginning created the heaven and the earth. The devil knows that, and so did Ahab and Judas Iscariot. No man is better for knowing that God so loved the world of men that He gave His only begotten Son to die for their redemption. In hell there are millions who know that. Theological truth is useless until it is obeyed. The purpose behind all doctrine is to secure moral action….

Any man with fair pulpit gifts can get on with the average congregation if he just “feeds” them and lets them alone. Give them plenty of objective truth and never hint that they are wrong and should be set right, and they will be content.

On the other hand, the man who preaches truth and applies it to the lives of his hearers will feel the nails and the thorns. He will lead a hard life, but a glorious one. May God raise up many such prophets. The church needs them badly.   OGM025-028

Lord, I want to be one of those bold prophets, faithfully declaring Your word, no matter the consequences. Enable me by Your Spirit, I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Unknown Graces

When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.

—Job 22:29

 

“No one was ever filled with the Holy Spirit without knowing it. The Holy Spirit always announces Himself to the human consciousness.” What…[is] the nature of this “announcement”? Of what does it consist? How may we recognize it? Is it some kind of physical evidence, or what?…

There is such a thing as the secret workings of the Spirit in the soul of man, for a time unknown and unsuspected by the individual. In fact, most of the fruits of the Spirit are unsuspected by the man in whom they are found.

The most loving, most patient, most compassionate soul is unlikely to be aware of these graces….Others will discover the operations of the Spirit within him long before he will and will thank God for his sweet Christian character while he may at the same time be walking in great humility before God, mourning the absence of the very graces that others know he possesses. WTA087-088

There is an inseparable connection between a holy heart and a holy life. A holy life can no more proceed from an unholy heart, than a pure stream can flow from an impure fountain. DTC206

 

While on the Way Home

Luke 24:32

Two disciples from Emmaus were on the road home, having been in

Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. They had been with their fellow believers who, with them, had their hopes in Christ as the Messiah crushed by His arrest, trial and crucifixion. It all had happened so quickly and with such finality. What remained there to do but to go home?

The long walk gave Cleopas and his companion time to discuss their disappointment. They had hoped that their Lord would redeem Israel and usher in a new golden age, only to see the might of Rome march Him to Golgotha and nail Him to the cross.

As they walked, a stranger suddenly drew near and walked with them. He discerned their state of mind but still solicited their story, which they related in detail. The stranger reminded them of their prophets who had foretold that Christ would suffer but also enter into eternal glory. He opened to their understanding the teachings of the Scripture and how they were fulfilled by the events of recent days. The word of the prophets of old were illumined by a new light, and that dusty road to Emmaus became as a royal road to life’s deepest meaning.

Wanting to hear more, and with evening fast approaching, the disciples invited the unknown traveler to stay with them. Then at their evening meal, in the simple act of the stranger breaking bread, there was a flash of discovery. It was the Lord, risen and alive! Their burning desire on the walk to Emmaus was now fulfilled by the wonderful realization that Christ had triumphed over death.

Their new-found hope sped them back to Jerusalem to share the glorious news with the other believers. Disappointment and discouragement were replaced by joy and a now unshakable faith.

The good news is that it can be the same for us. We are all on our journey home. We are only passing through on this earthly pilgrimage. And we can discover the reality of our Lord and Savior as we travel toward our eternal home. May His presence and power, as with those disciples of old, cause “our hearts to burn within us,” (Luke 24:32) as the risen Lord deigns to walk and talk with us on our road of life.

Edward Fritz, Salvationist