VIDEO No More Shame, reclaim the joy that’s yours

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  –John 16:33

As I look at our world today, I see so many people who are afraid – they’re worried about the future, fearful about the present, and ashamed about the past. These fears act like emotional drags upon their spirit that keep them from becoming all that God has called them to be.

But Jesus Christ came so that those fears that paralyze might be overcome. He is the answer to every fear because He comes into our lives with grace, peace, and joy when we place our faith in Him for the forgiveness of our sins.

So why is it that so many people today – even Christians – live under the oppression of fear and worry? I think that one reason is that they’ve trusted Christ for eternal life, but don’t honestly believe He can make a difference in their lives today. This gives the enemy a foothold, allowing him to create incessant anxiety in their lives.

But in Christ, you have the power to overcome because He has already overcome. You can tell the world and the enemy, “I’m not letting you steal my joy!”

This day, make it your goal to live in the joy of Jesus Christ, trusting fully that He can change not only your future, but your past and present as well because He has already overcome!

JESUS CHRIST CAN CHANGE NOT ONLY YOUR FUTURE, BUT ALSO YOUR PRESENT. SO TRUST IN HIM TO GIVE YOU JOY AND HOPE FOR TODAY!

By Dr. Jack Graham


No More Shame

 

Our world needs the soul-saving and healing message of Jesus Christ. But it won’t get it through more church programs, bigger events, better marketing strategies, and the latest outreach methodologies. We can only transform the world when we choose to live totally for Jesus—set ABLAZE through the power of the Holy Spirit! Follow Pastor Graham as he takes you through this power-packed study of the first seven chapters of Acts. You’ll see how the early Church did so much with so little, and you’ll find a fresh fire burning bright in your heart to reach the world for Christ!

Parade of Colors

With your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. Revelation 5:9

For decades, London has been one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. In 1933, journalist Glyn Roberts wrote of England’s great capital, “I still think the parade of peoples and colours and tongues is just about the best thing in London.” That “parade” is still in evidence today with the blended smells, sounds, and sights of a global community. The beauty of diversity is part of the breathtaking appeal of one of the world’s greatest cities.

As with any city inhabited by human beings, however, London is not without its problems. Change brings challenges. Cultures sometimes clash. And that is one of the reasons no city built by human hands can compare to the wonder of our eternal home.

When the apostle John was transported into the presence of God, diversity was one of the elements of heavenly worship, as the redeemed sang, “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9–10).

Imagine heaven: a parade of every people group in the world celebrating the wonder of being children of the living God—together! As believers in Jesus, may we celebrate that diversity today.

By:  Bill Crowder

Reflect & Pray

What are the best things about the church being so diverse? What can make that diversity occasionally challenging?

Father, I thank You that no people group is excluded from Your great love. Teach us to truly love one another, as You have so generously loved us.

Sunday Reflection: The Lord’s Heart for His People

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, where we find the Beatitudes, wasn’t about how to be more polite or acceptable in society. The Lord wanted to remind His followers that God examines the heart—He searches out our devotion to Him in every area of our life, including our most inward thoughts and desires.

That truth corresponds to another of Jesus’ important lessons, which is found in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). The younger son turns away from his father and his family, pursuing pleasure and satisfaction in the material world. Then, desolate, he journeys homeward only to see his father running toward him from a long way off. So it is with our heavenly Father: In His great love, He runs toward His beloved children to reconcile them to Himself, no matter where they’ve been or what they’ve done.

Think about it

  • Read the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. Do you relate more to the elder or younger brother?
  • Think of the father in the story as a representation of God. How does it feel to know the Lord’s heart for you remains unchanged, regardless of your choices or time spent away from Him?

The Rain, the Word

“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)

In these familiar verses, there is a beautiful anticipation and spiritual application of the so-called “hydrologic cycle” of the science of hydrogeology. The rain and snow fall from the heavens and eventually return there (via the marvelous process of river and groundwater runoff to the oceans), then later evaporation by solar radiation and translation inland high in the sky by the world’s great wind circuits, finally to fall again as rain and snow on the thirsty land, beginning the cycle once more.

But they do not return until they first have accomplished their work of watering the earth, providing and renewing the world’s water and food supplies to maintain its life.

Analogously, God’s Word goes forth from heaven via His revealed Scriptures and their distribution and proclamation by His disciples. It does not return void, for it accomplishes God’s spiritual work on Earth. But it does return, for it is “for ever…settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89).

The fruitful spreading of God’s Word is presented in many other Scriptures. For example: “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.…In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good” (Ecclesiastes 11:1, 6).

Thus, as we sow and water the seed—which is the Word of God—we have God’s divine promise that it will accomplish that which He pleases. HMM

Judging by the Financial Report Is Not A True Picture

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.

—1 Timothy 6:17

 

 

We in the churches seem unable to rise above the fiscal philosophy which rules the business world; so we introduce into our church finances the psychology of the great secular institutions so familiar to us all and judge a church by its financial report much as we judge a bank or a department store.

A look into history will quickly convince any interested person that the true church has almost always suffered more from prosperity than from poverty. Her times of greatest spiritual power have usually coincided with her periods of indigence and rejection; with wealth came weakness and backsliding. If this cannot be explained, neither apparently can it be escaped….

The point I am trying to make here is that while money has a proper place in the total life of the church militant, the tendency is to attach to it an importance that is far greater than is biblically sound or morally right. The average church has so established itself organizationally and financially that God is simply not necessary to it. So entrenched is its authority and so stable are the religious habits of its members that God could withdraw Himself completely from it and it could run on for years on its own momentum.   WOS009-011

Lord, it’s hard to ask for You to send us poverty. Keep us mindful that though we have so much our only real wealth is in You. Amen.

 

A Pain Felt in Heaven

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

—John 19:30

 

The Father in heaven so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. It was the love of the Father that sent the Son into our world to die for mankind. The Father and Son and Spirit were in perfect agreement that the eternal Son should die for the sins of the world. We are not wrong to believe—and proclaim—that while Mary’s Son, Jesus, died alone, terribly alone, on that cross, the loving heart of God the Father was as deeply pained with suffering as was the heart of the holy, dying Son.

We must ask our Lord to help us comprehend what it meant to the Trinity for the Son to die alone on the cross. When the holy Father had to turn His back on the dying Son by the necessity of divine justice, I believe the pain for the Father was as great as the suffering of the Savior as He bore our sins in His body. When the soldier drove that Roman spear into the side of Jesus, I believe it was felt in heaven. JMI110

 

Well might the sun in darkness hide

And shut His glories in,

When Christ, the Mighty Maker, died

For man, the creature’s sin. HCL085

 

The Perfect Heart

2 Chronicles 16:9

What is the perfect heart? It must be a different kind of heart to hearts in general. All hearts are not perfect toward God, or else His eyes would not have to be running to and fro throughout the earth to find them. They would be plentiful enough if they were the common sort of hearts. And another thing is evident on the face of the text, that these kind of hearts are very precious in the sight of God.

This cannot mean a merely natural heart; it must mean a renewed heart, because there are no perfect hearts by nature. It must mean, then, a heart renewed by the Holy Spirit, put right with God, and then kept right.

A perfect heart is one in its loyalty to God. It means a heart perfect in its obedience. That man or woman who has this kind of a heart ceases to pick and choose among the commandments of God which he shall obey and which not. He ceases to have his own will, though sometimes he may have a struggle with his own will and the way that God may call him to take.

The partial heart, so common, wants to serve God a little. It is willing to go a little way with God, but not all the way. Can it be expected that the Lord should show Himself strong in behalf of such people?

This perfect heart is perfect in its trust, and, perhaps, that ought to have come first, for it is the very root of all.

How beautiful Abraham was in the eyes of God; how God gloried over him. How do I know that Abraham had a perfect heart towards God? Because He trusted Him. I dare say he was compassed with infirmities, had many erroneous views, manward and earthward, but his heart was perfect towards God. Do you think God would have failed in His promise to Abraham? Abraham trusted Him almost to the blood of Isaac, and God showed Himself strong in his behalf, and delivered him, and made him the Father of the Faithful; crowned him with everlasting honor so that his name, from generation to generation, has been a pillar of strength to the Lord’s people, and a crown of glory to his God.

Catherine Booth, Godliness