VIDEO No Humdrum in Heaven – Olivet Parables

Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.  Matthew 25:23

For those who serve the Lord faithfully on earth, the best is still ahead. The Lord will not say to us, “Enter into this boring place called heaven.” He won’t say, “Come on in and be seated for an endless church service.” Nor will He say, “Enter into the humdrum of heaven.”

Jesus used the word JOY.

The Bible gives us glimpses of the new heavens, the new earth, and the city of New Jerusalem. Throughout the Bible we have descriptions of our eternal home. It will be a place of enthusiasm, energy, and adventure. His servants will serve Him there, and our work will be meaningful. We’ll be able to accomplish it without frustration or fatigue, and everything will be done with harmony and holiness. The air of heaven will be fresh, full of praise, and bright as sunshine. You’ll never be bored.

So get ready! Be a good and faithful servant today at whatever God is calling you to do.

There will be new planets to develop, new principles to discover, new joys to experience. Every moment of eternity will be an adventure of discovery. Ray Stedman


Matthew 25 (Part 1) :1-30 – Olivet Parables

A Friend in Failure

Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them. Acts 15:38

On November 27, 1939, three treasure hunters accompanied by film crews dug through the asphalt outside of the Hollywood Bowl amphitheater in Southern California. They were looking for the Cahuenga Pass treasure, consisting of gold, diamonds, and pearls rumored to have been buried there seventy-five years earlier.

They never found it. After twenty-four days of digging, they struck a boulder and stopped. All they accomplished was a nine-foot-wide, forty-two-foot-deep hole in the ground. They walked away dejected.

To err is human—we all fail sometimes. Scripture tells us that young Mark walked away from Paul and Barnabas on a missionary trip “and had not continued with them in the work.” Because of this, “Paul did not think it wise to take him” on his next trip (Acts 15:38), which resulted in a strong disagreement with Barnabas. But in spite of his initial failings, Mark shows up years later in surprising ways. When Paul was lonely and in prison toward the end of his life, he asked for Mark and called him “helpful to me in my ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11). God even inspired Mark to write the gospel that bears his name.

Mark’s life shows us that God won’t leave us to face our errors and failures alone. We have a Friend who’s greater than every mistake. As we follow our Savior, He’ll provide the help and strength we need.

By:  James Banks

Reflect & Pray

What mistakes or failures have you faced recently? In what ways have you discovered God’s strength as you shared them with Him in prayer?

Jesus, thank You for being there whenever I want to talk to You. I praise You for the comfort and hope only You can give!

The Slow Burn of Insecurity

Romans 8:33-39

How would you answer if someone were to ask, “Do you feel good about yourself?” Would your thoughts be filled with self-doubt and second-guessing, or would you be able to stand tall and say, “Yes, I do”?

There are many behaviors and attitudes that clearly cross boundaries—such as unforgiveness, adultery, and greed. But insecurity is different. It’s more like a slow flame burning just beneath the surface, influencing our thoughts and subtly harming us from within. This issue is harder to identify, but it’s powerful and can impact how we respond to God’s call.

What do we mean by insecurity? It’s a feeling of inadequacy, often compounded by a sense of complete helplessness, purposelessness, disapproval, or rejection. All of these things can slowly accumulate and weigh us down if we don’t learn how to identify them.

Try spending time today in earnest prayer and honest self-discovery. Ask the heavenly Father to shine His light on any area of insecurity that may be a burden on your heart. Let Him remind you just how special you are in His eyes. After all, our value comes from being God’s children, and that will never change.

Light of the Word

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

As the sun provides physical light for the world, so Jesus Christ is spiritually “the light of the world” (John 8:12). However, we clearly can see His light only through the light holder, the lamp, as it were, of His written Word. The Word, therefore, is a lamp and, since it contains and reveals the light, is also a light in its own right. Without the Holy Scriptures, this world would lie in the deepest darkness, but “the entrance of thy words giveth light” (Psalm 119:130).

The Lord Jesus Christ is the living Word, and “without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:3-5). Although He “was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9), when He Himself came into the world, those who were made by Him refused to receive Him. “Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

Just so, although the written Word has come into the world, the world does not receive it, either. The lamp and the light of the written Word have been in the world (in complete and final form) for 1,900 years, but people still reject and ridicule it, and the world still lies in darkness. Nevertheless, for those who receive it, there is wonderful light. “Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light” (John 12:35-36).

God’s Word always brings light. His first spoken Word was “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3), and wherever He speaks, God sees the light, and it is good! HMM

Activities For Activities Sake

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.

—Ephesians 4:15

 

 

In an effort to get the work of the Lord done we often lose contact with the Lord of the work and quite literally wear our people out as well. I have heard more than one pastor boast that his church was a “live” one, pointing to the printed calender as a proof—something on every night and several meetings during the day…. A great many of these time-consuming activities are useless and others plain ridiculous. “But,” say the eager beavers who run the religious squirrel cages, “they provide fellowship and they hold our people together.”

To this I reply that what they provide is not fellowship at all, and if that is the best thing the church has to offer to hold the people together it is not a Christian church in the New Testament meaning of that word. The center of attraction in a true church is the Lord Jesus Christ….

If the many activities engaged in by the average church led to the salvation of sinners or the perfecting of believers they would justify themselves easily and triumphantly; but they do not. My observations have led me to the belief that many, perhaps most, of the activities engaged in by the average church do not contribute in any way to the accomplishing of the true work of Christ on earth. I hope I am wrong, but I am afraid I am right.   TIC136-137

Help us, Lord, to be willing even today to look at our church programs and evaluate what we do in the light of the truth of this challenge. Amen.

 

An Attribute Called Omnipotence

If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

—Mark 9:23

 

God knows everything that can be known. He is perfect in wisdom. God never has to excuse Himself….His ability to deliver on His promises is tied directly to His omnipotence. If God was not omnipotent, He would be unable to keep His promises. He could not give any of us assurance of salvation.

This attribute of God we call omnipotence does not really mean that God can do anything. It means that He is the only Being who can do anything He wills to do….

Because holiness is God’s being, He cannot lie. Because He is God, He cannot violate the holy nature of His being. God does not will to lie. He does not will to cheat. He does not will to deceive. He does not will to be false to His own dear people….

Confidently knowing that the Lord God omnipotent reigns, and knowing that He is able to do all that He wills to do, I have no more doubts. I am safely held in the arms of the all-powerful God. JMI088-089

[There is] an innate conviction, strong as the everlasting foundations, that, if there is a God above us, all is well, all must be well. JAS156

 

The Ascended Lord

Hebrews 2:18

Most folk prefer a story to have a happy ending and this is how Luke concluded the first section of his two-part account of the birth and growth of the early Church. “They returned to Jerusalem with great joy” (Luke 24:52).

For one thing, the first disciples learned that the Jesus who had conquered death and returned to the Father was the same understanding Lord whom they had known in Galilee, as the conversation on the way to Emmaus demonstrated.

The other cause for their joy was that no more would they be separated from their Master. Delivered from the limitations of space and time His word now was: “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). Whom seeing not, they could still love (1 Pet. 1:8).

We can also share this first century joy. First of all, the ascended Jesus never forgot what it was to be a man. What He learned by the things He suffered He never unlearned. We who are His followers can count ourselves blessed that He who returned to the Father shared our lot.

It pleased God as Man with man to dwell. Before that God was in heaven,

“dwelling in the light which no man can approach” (1 Timothy 6:16 KJV). To Greek minds God was more remote still. They conceived God as impassible—that is, beyond or incapable of feeling. But with the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ there is no sorrow common to man which He has not shared.

A doctor may know what is the matter with me and yet not be able to effect a cure. My assurance lies in the title given to the ascended Christ of “Great High Priest” (Hebrews 4:14). Our Great High Priest is both fully in touch with God and fully in touch with man. Jesus brings our multitude of needs to the plenitude of grace. Supply always exceeds demand! Seated “on the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1) is not a physical description of the place of Jesus but a theological statement concerning the power at His disposal from which He can meet the need of all who call upon His name.

So far as our earthly struggles are concerned Jesus has been here. He has passed this way before. He knew—and still knows—the way we take. And our Great High Priest also knows how best to help us hold fast our profession.

“Because He himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:18).

Frederick Coutts, In Good Company