VIDEO Tank Full of Love – Tank Full of Love

For the love of Christ compels us… He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

A Russian soldier, Lieutenant Denis Kazantsev, and his fellow soldiers were driving their tanks through a training area outside Moscow when suddenly sixteen of the T-72B3 tanks broke ranks. They executed a maneuver that formed a giant heart. Kazantsev then climbed out of his tank, guided his girlfriend into the center, knelt on one knee, and proposed. The event made the news on Russian television.[1]

Love is a great thing, but it’s only good when it’s demonstrated. We all try to find creative ways of sharing our love with those closest to us. But no one could ever offer a display of love as Jesus did on Calvary. The cross is the greatest symbol of love the world has ever seen—far greater than a heart, a candle, a hug, or a love letter.

His love becomes our motivation for serving others. We don’t have to have a tank to express our love to others. Just a tank full of love.

The love of Christ influences every decision we make and everything we do; His love becomes our way of life and not mere emotion. Ed Stetzer


The Reconciling Gospel (2 Corinthians 5:11-20)

Playing the Fool

God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. James 4:6

My most humiliating experience ever was the day I addressed the faculty, students, and friends of a seminary on its fifty-year anniversary. I approached the lectern with my manuscript in hand and looked out on a vast crowd, but my eye fell on the distinguished professors seated in the front row, garbed in academic gowns and looking very serious. I immediately took leave of my senses. My mouth dried up and detached itself from my brain. I fumbled the first few sentences and then I began to improvise. Since I had no idea where I was in my lecture, I began frantically turning pages, while talking a line of nonsense that baffled everyone. Somehow I made it through, crept back to my chair, and stared at the floor. I wanted to die.

However, I learned that humiliation can be a good thing if it leads to humility, for this is the key that opens God’s heart. The Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6). He showers the humble with grace. God Himself said, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word” (Isaiah 66:2). As we humble ourselves before God, He lifts us up (James 4:10).

Humiliation and shame can bring us to God for His shaping. When we fall, we have fallen into His hands.

By:  David H. Roper

Reflect & Pray

What was your most humiliating and embarrassing moment? What good thing did you see come from it?

Loving God, help me to accept humiliation if it in some way brings honor and glory to You.

Changing Doubt to Trust

Psalm 19:7-11

On occasion, every believer faces moments of doubt. Perhaps a prayer goes unanswered, or our obedience is met with worsening circumstances. Or maybe someone’s criticism makes us question our ability to carry out God’s plan.

Doubting God’s character can hinder our …

Fellowship with Him. Believers live by faith, which is the only way to please God (Rom. 1:17; Heb. 11:6). Doubt undermines faith and causes insecurity.

Prayer life. The impossible becomes possible for those who believe God and do not doubt (Matt. 21:21).

Kingdom service. The Lord asks Christians to do God-sized tasks and promises the Holy Spirit will empower them to do so. If we doubt, we won’t answer the call or complete the job.

Blessings. Doubt prevents us from experiencing joy in the Lord and the peace Jesus gives (John 14:27).

Spiritual uncertainty can come from a variety of sources: unconfessed sin or lingering guilt; tunnel vision on circumstances; and misunderstanding or ignorance of the truths of Scripture. When it comes, try following these steps:
• Identify what is causing you not to trust God.
• Recall a time when He sustained you through a trial.
• Identify a promise or attribute of God that points the way back to faith.

Good Seed

“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.” (Luke 8:11)

The Word of God is pictured by many beautiful symbols in the Scriptures, and perhaps one of the most meaningful is that of the seed sown in the field of the world by the great sower, the Lord Jesus Christ. The first reference to seed sowing in the Bible is in the story of Isaac, who “sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him” (Genesis 26:12).

Now Isaac himself was the “seed” of God’s promise to Abraham, and he was a precursive fulfillment of the ultimate promised “seed, which is Christ” (Galatians 3:16). Isaac’s sowing of literal seed in the land of the Philistines is thus a type of Christ’s sowing of spiritual seed throughout the world. As Isaac’s sowing brought forth a hundredfold, so the beautiful parable of the sower indicates that at least some of the seed “fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold” (Luke 8:8).

Although not all seed will come to fruition, it must be sown throughout the world. Some of the seed will bear fruit, for God has said “that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be…it shall not return unto me void” (Isaiah 55:10-11). “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23).

The first of Christ’s parables is this parable of the sower. The second, complementing the first, indicates that the seed is not only God’s Word but also God’s children—those regenerated through the Word. “He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom” (Matthew 13:37-38). Thus, we also become sowers of the Word, witnessing to the world and bearing good fruit in His name. HMM

There is Power in Church Finances

But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

—James 2:9

 

It is an ominous thing in any church when the treasurer begins to exercise power. Since he may be presumed to be a man of God he should have a place equal to that of any other member, and if he is a man of gifts and virtues he will naturally have certain influences among the brethren. This is right and normal as long as he exercises his influences as a man of God and not as a treasurer. The moment he becomes important because he is treasurer, the Spirit will be grieved and His manifestations will begin to diminish….

Again, it is a sign and a portent when a member is cultivated for his generosity and given a place of eminence in the church out of proportion to his spiritual gifts and graces. To court a Christian for his financial contributions is as evil a thing as to marry a man for his money. To flatter a man for any reason whatever is to degrade ourselves and imperil his soul. To flatter a man because he is a heavy giver is to offer him a concealed affront as well, for back of the purring and the smirking is the hidden opinion that the man’s money is more important than the man and more to be esteemed.   WOS007-008

Deliver us from the dominance of the dollar. You meet our needs, Lord, and then help us to minister faithfully, with no thought of how the finances might be affected. Amen.

 

The Holy Spirit is in the Details

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

—1 Corinthians 6:20

 

God has given each of us an individual temperament and distinct characteristics. Therefore it is the office of the Holy Spirit to work out as He will the details in Christian experience. They will vary with the personality.

Certainly we can be sure of this: whenever a person truly meets God in faith and commitment to the gospel, he will have a consciousness and a sharp awareness of the details of that spiritual transaction….The experience may have been brief, but the results will be evident in the life of the person touched as long as he or she lives….

We can always trust the moving and the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our experiences. On the other hand, we cannot always trust our human leanings and our fleshly and carnal desires. MMG017-018

[A]re you sure you want to be possessed by a spirit other than your own? even though that spirit be the pure Spirit of God…even though He be wisdom personified, wisdom Himself?…That Spirit, if He ever possesses you, will be the Lord of your life! HTB043

 

Impossible!

Acts 2:24

Death is final. Who has ever gone beyond the limits of life into the domain of death to return with word of what lies beyond?

Jesus died. There can be no question about that, in spite of current attempts to concoct tales of His swooning so convincingly as to persuade His practiced executioners that He was truly dead. The centurion detailed to hasten His death on the cross by breaking His limbs certified His decease before breaking a single bone. The greater miracle would have been the possibility that He might have still survived under such conditions. But it was not so. He died.

The executioners knew it. His mother knew it. His beloved friend and disciple John knew it. Joseph of Arimathea, member of the high court of Judaism, knew it, for it was he who laid His lifeless body in His own tomb. And for three days His corpse lay there, sealed under guard, lest friends, thinking Him less than dead, should try to revive Him or even to steal away His body in order to proclaim Him yet alive.

How can reasonable people conceive of the possibility of the dead coming to life again? Unless, of course Jesus knew what He was saying when He declared, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). Could it be true? Was Jesus who He claimed to be?

Look closely at the man: His miraculous birth, the precise correlation of ancient prophecy with the unfolding drama of His life. Listen closely to His words of grace and truth, of hope and salvation. Hear the note of authority in His voice as it grips the hearts of His hearers. Watch Him still the storm, release the possessed, heal the sick, feed the hungry. Stand with the cynical crowd and see Him call His friend Lazarus to life, still bound in grave clothes. Hear from His lips as he hangs upon a Roman cross whispered words of forgiveness for His tormentors. This is the Jesus who says, “I lay down my life—only to take it up again” (John 10:17).

God raised Him from the dead. And in raising Him, He released life-giving, resurrection power into the life of our jaded world. The living Christ strikes off the chains of addiction, binds up the wounds of the abused and lightens the darkness of the despairing. He forgives the sinner and restores us to fellowship with the welcoming Father.

Impossible? “God raised Him from the dead… because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him” (Acts 2:24). He is able to share that life with you and me. And with it, the possibility of a new and abundant life of fellowship with God. “The promise is for you!” (Acts 2:39)

Paul A. Rader, The War Cry