VIDEO The Lost Planet

He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Psalm 147:4

Poor Pluto! Many of us remember when he was one of nine planets circling the sun. But the International Astronomical Union decided he wasn’t a full-sized planet after all, so now there are only eight. Yet mathematicians insist there are nine planets, so astronomers are searching day and night for “Planet X,” which is believed to be ten times the mass of earth and lurking in the outer reaches of our solar system.

God knows the number and names of the stars, and He also knows the planets. He created the universe with a precision that baffles the wisest scientist and with beauty that outstrips the greatest artist.

Don’t let the skeptics disturb you. False theories about the origin of the universe abound, and the psychological harm they inflict is appalling. They fill the minds of entire generations with despair. But the message of our Creator God is one of love. He made us. He knows us. He has a roadmap for our lives. And the more we learn of Him, the more we understand who we are and why we’re on earth.

The universe in its immensity was especially created for us humans so that we could see and appreciate the glory and the power of God. Werner Gitt

Psalm 147:4 (+ addl verses). How Big Is Your God? / Mike Orlando

Suffering Together

If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.  1 Corinthians 12:26

In 2013, seventy-year-old James McConnell, a British Royal Marine veteran, died. McConnell had no family, and staff from his nursing home feared no one would attend his funeral. A man tapped to officiate McConnell’s memorial service posted a Facebook message: “In this day and age it is tragic enough that anyone has to leave this world with no one to mourn their passing, but this man was family. . . . If you can make it to the graveside . . . to pay your respects to a former brother in arms, then please try to be there.” Two hundred Royal Marines packed the pews!

These British compatriots exhibited a biblical truth: we’re tied to one another. “The body is not made up of one part, but of many,” Paul says (1 Corinthians 12:14). We’re not isolated. Just the opposite: we’re bound in Jesus. Scripture reveals organic interconnection: “If one member suffers, all the members suffer” (v. 26 nasb). As believers in Jesus, members of God’s new family, we move toward one another into the pain, into the sorrow, into those murky places where we would fear to go alone. But thankfully we do not go alone.

Perhaps the worst part of suffering is when we feel we’re drowning in the dark all by ourselves. God, however, creates a new community that suffers together. A new community where no one should be left in the dark.

By:  Winn Collier

Reflect & Pray

When have you felt most alone? How does God’s grace, kindness, and friendship help you deal with loneliness?

Is it true, God? Have You really placed me in a new community that knows and loves me in my suffering? Help me to believe this.

To learn more about suffering, visit

The Son Makes You Free

John 8:25-36

We all love the idea of being free to make our own choices about what to do and where to go, but Christ offers a much greater liberty than this. It’s spiritual freedom from the power of Satan and the condemnation of sin. Jesus said the only way to be set free is to know the truth and become His disciple by believing in Him and continuing in His Word.

Are you standing firm in Christ’s freedom, or have you let sinful thought patterns, emotions, attitudes, and habits enslave you once again? Although believers have been granted freedom from the dominion of sin, we must fight to overcome our unrighteous impulses. This is done by taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and putting to death fleshly desires and passions.

The good news is that we are not in this fight alone. When Christ set us free, His omnipotent Holy Spirit came to indwell and empower us. We also have God’s precious Word to guide and protect us. By His grace, we have everything we need to keep ourselves beyond sin’s control (Phil. 4:19). If you haven’t yet experienced what it is to be “free indeed” (John 8:36), put your trust in Jesus, the greatest liberator.

The Great and Precious Promises

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:4)

Scripture is full of promises, more than 2,800 in the Old Testament and more than 1,000 in the New. The first of these exceeding great and precious promises was the Protevangel (“first gospel”) of Genesis 3:15. Immediately after the fall of Adam and Eve through the temptation of Satan, God promised the coming Seed of the woman, the Savior: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; [He] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

The first New Testament promise, significantly, is this same primeval promise, now made far more specific: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

The last promise of the Old Testament speaks of a second coming of “Elijah the prophet,” who will “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:5-6). Then, the final promise of the Bible is the wonderful assurance of Christ concerning His glorious second coming: “Surely I come quickly” (Revelation 22:20).

Sandwiched between these great and precious promises are over 3,800 other promises. Some of these are in the form of promised warnings to the sinner, but promises nonetheless. Most promises, however, are to the obedient follower of God, and we know that “he is faithful that promised” (Hebrews 10:23). “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us” (2 Corinthians 1:20). HMM

Born Just After Midnight

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

—Luke 11:9-10


Among revival-minded Christians I have heard the saying, “Revivals are born after midnight.”

This is one of those proverbs which, while not quite literally true, yet points to something very true.

If we understand the saying to mean that God does not hear our prayer for revival made in the daytime, it is of course not true. If we take it to mean that prayer offered when we are tired and worn-out has greater power than prayer made when we are rested and fresh, again it is not true….

Yet there is considerable truth in the idea that revivals are born after midnight, for revivals (or any other spiritual gifts and graces) come only to those who want them badly enough….

No, there is no merit in late hour prayers, but it requires a serious mind and a determined heart to pray past the ordinary into the unusual. Most Christians never do. And it is more than possible that the rare soul who presses on into the unusual experience reaches there after midnight.   BAM007-008, 010

Lord, give me this kind of longing after revival. Help me to give myself to this serious prayer for revival. Amen.


The War Never Ends

Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

—Mark 1:11


It is the Spirit of Christ in us that will draw Satan’s fire. The people of the world will not much care what we believe and they will stare vacantly at our religious forms, but there is one thing they will never forgive us—the presence of God’s Spirit in our hearts.

They may not know the cause of that strange feeling of antagonism which rises within them, but it will be nonetheless real and dangerous. Satan will never cease to make war on the Man-child, and the soul in which dwells the Spirit of Christ will continue to be the target for his attacks. WOSO04

Immediately after a person has received the witness of the Spirit,…the adversary charges down upon the soul….It is well for all such assaulted individuals to remember that just as soon as the Son of God received the…baptism of the Holy Ghost on the banks of the Jordan, that He was immediately afterwards driven into the wilderness and there tempted forty days by the devil. He conquered by faith and in the use of the Word of God. We can do the same. SAN066


The Paradoxical Infant

1 Timothy 3:16

Billions of births have happened in the long course of human history. One, however, was unlike all others—the birth of the Man who was, and is, God. Concerning this birth the Apostle Paul uses the Greek word, musterion, meaning “a mystery.” “Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body” (1 Timothy 3:16). But the word means more than just a mystery; translated, it means a mystery that is solved, a secret that is open to those who believe in Jesus Christ.

There are many profound paradoxes having to do with the birth of Jesus, four of them about which we may think with profit.

So Young and Yet So Old. Our Lord did not begin in “the city of David.” His existence did not originate in a manger. Had we been present to watch Mary deliver her firstborn we might reasonably have assumed that we were witnessing the genesis of Jesus. But that assumption would have been wrong. The fact is that Jesus never had an origin, and the Bible states this clearly both in the Old and the New Testaments. The prophet Micah (5:2) declares, “But you, Bethlehem… out of you will come for me one… whose origins are from old, from ancient times.”

So Poor and Yet So Rich. The New Testament makes no attempt to disguise the fact that Jesus was poor. He belonged to a peasant family. He elected to associate Himself with the “have-nots” rather than the “haves.” It is not through His riches that we become rich, but by His poverty.

So Small and Yet so Great. It takes the breath away to think that the Lord of 30-trillion galaxies and constellations became the size of a tiny infant in order to enter the human race. But tiny as He was, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9). The Infinite became the infinitesimal while remaining the Infinite!

So Mute and Yet So Articulate. Here is an infant that is unable to say a single word. And yet John the evangelist says that “the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us” (John 1:14). The divine being who named the myriad stars is incapable of articulating even the name of His mother.

Now, however, the words of Jesus have been translated into every human tongue. They have been studied in every age since they were uttered. They have meant more to humanity than all the words ever spoken by all the rest of humanity put together.

These four paradoxes leap out of the Incarnation: so young and so old, so poor and so rich, so small and yet so great, so silent and yet so articulate.

Arnold Brown, Occupied Manger, Unoccupied Tomb