VIDEO Resurrected, Restored, and Victory

So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 1 Corinthians 15:54

In the modern era, cartoonists have pictured saints in heaven like members of a heavenly choir, wearing floor-length white robes. Unlike earthly choir members, the heavenly ones also have halos and angel wings—and some carry harps. From what source did this notion spring? Certainly not the Bible.

Rather than embracing the speculations of artists (especially artists in the Middle Ages), we should look to the Bible. The Bible makes no mention of us appearing like angels, but we know this: Our mortal, perishable earthly bodies will become immortal, imperishable bodies in the new earth. When the resurrected Jesus appeared to the disciples, He showed them His hands and feet—He retained His earthly form. Likewise, when the two disciples on the Emmaus Road encountered the resurrected Jesus, He appeared as another man to them—a fellow traveler—until their eyes of understanding saw that it was indeed the Risen Savior (Luke 24:13-16).

So get ready for a new, glorified body—resurrected and restored to an immortal body by God Himself!

The human body is formed for immortality…by sinking into death, it does not utterly perish.  John Calvin


The Mystery of Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:50-58)

Not Taking Advantage

Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!  Acts 16:28

Several inmates were collecting roadside garbage to reduce their jail time when their supervisor, James, collapsed. They rushed to his aid and realized he was having a medical emergency. One inmate borrowed James’ phone to call for help. The sheriff’s department later thanked the inmates for helping get their supervisor prompt medical attention, especially because they could have instead neglected him—to his great detriment as he was having a stroke—or used the situation to their own advantage to escape.

The kindness of the inmates’ actions is not unlike those of Paul and Silas when they were imprisoned. After they’d been stripped, beaten, and thrown into prison, an earthquake struck so violently that it loosed their chains and shook the prison doors off their hinges (Acts 16:23–26). When the jailer awoke, he naturally assumed the prisoners had fled, so he prepared to take his own life (to preempt what would’ve been his punishment for their escape). When Paul shouted, “We are all here!” (v. 28) the jailer was so moved by their actions—uncharacteristic of prisoners—that he became curious about the God they worshiped, ultimately coming to believe in Him too (vv. 29–34).

The way we treat others reveals what we believe and value. When we choose to do good instead of harm, our actions might just prompt them to wonder about the God we know and love.

By:  Kirsten Holmberg

Reflect & Pray

In what situation can you choose to not take advantage for your own gain? How might that decision benefit someone else?

Loving God, help me to make choices that will draw others to You.

Rekindling the Flame

1 Timothy 4:14-16

Passion to serve the Lord and share the gospel will ebb and flow throughout a believer’s life. Some choose to settle for a lukewarm existence—neither risking much for His name nor receiving many blessings. Others stop ministering altogether and drift aimlessly through life. But whenever we feel indifferent, we should try to rekindle the flame of passion that was first lit at the moment of salvation.

When we were saved, we received the gift of the Holy Spirit. So, the first step is to pray for the Holy Spirit to fill—or control—us afresh. That requires self-examination and repentance of any sins the Lord brings to mind. It also means giving back to God the right to reign over our life.
Next, think about what was (and what wasn’t) happening in life when passion last burned brightly. What external pressures and activities affected your ministry then and now? How can you prioritize such things wisely?

Finally, devote a day or more to retreat and refocus on the Lord. Meditate on His words of encouragement, such as Isaiah 41:10. This way, instead of fixating on our problems, we can remember He is our shepherd in every situation. The passion we experienced at salvation can be ours again as we focus on the Lord.

His Exceeding Greatness

“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.” (Ephesians 1:19)

There are a number of scriptural superlatives that convey something of the tremendous magnitude of our great salvation. These are marked by the adjective “exceeding,” which in the Greek implies essentially boundless, surpassing dimensions of the attributes it describes.

First of all, as our text implies, His power available to us is one of exceeding greatness. Its magnitude is measured by the power required to bring Christ back from death and Hades.

Consider also the measure of His grace, “that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7). His grace has saved us when we were dead in sins, but this is only a small token. In the ages to come, we will experience His grace as one of exceeding riches.

Then there is the wonderful peace of God. “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). In this verse, the word “passeth” is the same word. Paul is saying that God’s peace is one exceeding understanding.

Finally, consider His glory. “For 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 future eternal glory is one of exceeding weight, or abundance.

Thus, the infinite blessings and resources of our salvation in Christ are described as providing the power of surpassing greatness, the grace of surpassing richness, the peace which surpasses all understanding, and the eternal glory of surpassing abundance! All of this is freely available “to us-ward who believe.” HMM

And What Does God Say?

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine for reproof for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

—2 Timothy 3:16

 

I knew a man from India who got hold of a New Testament, was converted and started to preach, but he had no background at all. That is, he started from scratch. He did not have a Greek Orthodox or Roman Catholic or Protestant background. He just started from the beginning. He didn’t know anything about churches. He testified, “What I did when I had a problem in the church was to go straight to the New Testament and settle it. I let the New Testament tell me what I was to do.” The result was that God greatly blessed him and his work in the land of India.

This is what I would like to see in our church—the New Testament order of letting Scripture decide matters. When it comes to a question—any question—what does the Word of God say? All belief and practices should be tested by the Word; no copying unscriptural church methods. We should let the Word of God decide.   RRR140

Lord, help us to lead our churches to seek clear direction from Your Word and Your Spirit. Amen.

 

The Holy Spirit Is Waiting

My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.

—Psalm 63:8

 

I am reminded that one old saint was asked, “Which is the more important: reading God’s Word or praying?” To which he replied, “Which is more important to a bird: the right wing or the left?” The writer to the Hebrews was telling his readers—and telling us—that Christians must believe all there is to be believed. They are to do all that the Word commands them to do. Those two wings take the Christian up to God!…

God has purposefully given us a mental capacity with wide human boundaries. Beyond that, if we are justified, regenerated believers, He has given us an entirely new spiritual capacity. God wants us to believe, to think, to meditate, to consider His Word. He has promised that the Holy Spirit is waiting to teach us. He has assured us concerning all of our blessings in Jesus Christ. JMI104-105

O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more….I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing;

I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory. POG019

 

Getting or Giving?

Matthew 25:31-46

I read recently of a little girl who finished her prayer saying, “And now, dear God, what can I do for You?” The writer went on to say that, inspite of her years, the girl was spiritually mature enough to see the other side of prayer. Getting form God should be balanced by giving to God.

It is the nature and spirit of League of mercy members—those devoted Salvationists who regularly visit hospitals and institutions of all kinds where people are in pain or have problems—to demonstrate their gratitude to God for all His love by carrying that love to others. What they get from God they return to Him in loving service for others

The achievements of love cannot ever really be computed or adequately recorded. Done as they are in the name and power of Christ, every kindness shown to someone else is, as Jesus Himself said, a kindness done to Him. A smile, a handclasp, a friendly word, a prayer, are all tools of League of Mercy workers as they follow their rounds, bringing good cheer and perhaps a new hope to the lonely patient of the housebound aged. No one, however, can calculate the eternal results that flow from the use of such simple means when those means are invested with divine love. Perhaps there are others, like the little girl, who, in such a service, would find the answer to the question: “And now, dear God, what can I do for You?”

Jean Brown, Excursions in Thought