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Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1-2

Joseph Oldendorf was running in Washington’s Olympic National Forest when he slipped on ice and broke his leg. He had no cell coverage. “I wasn’t counting on my phone ever working,” he said. He crawled for hours to a spot where his phone picked up a signal, and he was able to call 911 just after midnight. Rescuers found him about 4:30 a.m. and airlifted him to the hospital. He survived the ordeal, but barely.[1]

When something awful happens to us, we need access. We need communication. We need instant help.

With our Lord, there’s never a break in service or a blackout area. Ephesians 2:18 says, “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” And Ephesians 3:12 says, “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.”

Wherever we go, God is immediately accessible to us. Never let yourself feel stranded in a crisis. You have instant communication with heaven. You have uninterrupted access with your Heavenly Father.

Prayer is the gate of heaven.  Thomas Brooks 

The Divine Guarantee of an Eternal Salvation, Part 1 (Romans 5:1–2)

Speak Up!

Pray . . . that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ.  Colossians 4:3

Brittany exclaimed to her coworker at the restaurant, “There’s that man! There’s that man!” She was referring to Melvin, who first encountered her under different circumstances. While he was tending to the lawn of his church, the Spirit prompted him to start a conversation with a woman who appeared to be a prostitute. Her reply when he invited her to church was: “Do you know what I do? They wouldn’t want me in there.” As Melvin told her about the love of Jesus and assured her of His power to change her life, tears streamed down her face. Now, some weeks later, Brittany was working in a new environment, living proof of the power of Jesus to change lives.

In the context of encouraging believers to be devoted to prayer, the apostle Paul made a twofold request: “Pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should” (Colossians 4:3–4).

Have you prayed for opportunities to speak boldly and clearly for Jesus? What a fitting prayer! Such prayers can lead believers, like Melvin, to speak about Him in unexpected places and to unexpected people. Speaking up for Jesus can seem uncomfortable, but the rewards—changed lives—have a way of compensating for our discomforts.

By:  Arthur Jackson

Reflect & Pray

When did you share the love of Jesus with someone even though it was unexpected and uncomfortable? What role does prayer play in our preparation to boldly speak up for Him?

Jesus, help me to see opportunities and step through the doors You open to speak boldly and clearly about You!

Read Pray First! The Power of Prayer in Sharing the Gospel at

God’s Perspective of Our Work

Colossians 3:22-25

Workplace conversations often revolve around achievements, recognition and advancement—as well as the energy people put into reaching these goals. Although the culture values a spirit of competition and the drive it takes to win accolades, these are not the qualities by which the Lord evaluates our work.

God calls His children to a different way of thinking and working—one that marks us as belonging to Him. It is called servanthood, and it is the Lord Jesus Christ whom we serve. However, we do so by selflessly serving others, whether they appreciate us or not.

Christ Himself is our model. He left the glories of heaven, took on human flesh, and humbled Himself to become an obedient bond-servant to His heavenly Father, even to the point of dying on the cross. As those who belong to Him, we are to imitate His humble obedience to the Father (Phil. 2:3-8).

Whatever job we may have, we should remember that we’re accountable to the Father for our attitude and diligence. He is pleased when our focus is to “work heartily, as for the Lord” (Col. 3:23) and to benefit others. With that servant-like approach, we’ll place less importance on ourselves and more on the people around us, who are likely to sense a reflection of Christ in our actions.

Our Own Sins

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)

As Christ hung on the cross, the Jewish leaders felt that He was guilty of blasphemy—a mere man, claiming to be God. In short, they felt that He was dying for His own sins. Their tragic misconceptions were predicted centuries before, as recorded in the treasured 53rd chapter of Isaiah: “We hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not….we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (vv. 3-4).

But not so! God did not punish Him for His sins but for ours. “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities” (v. 5). “For the transgression of my people was he stricken” (v. 8).

The penalty for sin has always been death, and even though “he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him” (vv. 9-10). He was the perfect “offering for sin” (v. 10), and “he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (v. 12). Justice has been served! “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many” (v. 11).

Furthermore, through His death, even our griefs have been borne and our sorrows carried (v. 4). In addition to all this, our peace has been gained through His chastisement, and our healing has been accomplished with His stripes (v. 5).

Such considerations can drive us only to the most complete prostration of wonder and amazement. Necessitated because “all we like sheep have gone astray,” God’s justice has been satisfied, because Christ, in love, has taken upon Himself “the iniquity of us all.” As in the hymn: “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.” JDM

Been Living at a Fever Pitch?

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.

—Colossians 3:23


We live at a fever pitch, and whether we are erecting buildings, laying highways, promoting athletic events, celebrating special days or welcoming returning heroes, we always do it with an exaggerated flourish. Our building will be taller, our highway broader, our athletic contest more colorful, our celebration more elaborate and more expensive than would be true anywhere else on earth. We walk faster, drive faster, earn more, spend more and run higher blood pressure than any other people in the world.

In only one field of human interest are we slow and apathetic: that is the field of personal religion. There for some strange reason our enthusiasm lags. Church people habitually approach the matter of their personal relation to God in a dull, half-hearted way which is altogether out of keeping with their general temperament and wholly inconsistent with the importance of the subject.   OGM003-004

Lord, revive my zeal for things of God. I get caught up in the fever pitch of so many things. Help me to set my priorities right and give myself more completely to enhancing my relationship with You. Amen.


In Silence or in Storm

The desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.

—Isaiah 26:8


If God knows that your intention is to worship Him with every part of your being, He has promised to cooperate with you. On His side is the love and grace, the promises and the atonement, the constant help and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

On your side there is determination, seeking, yielding, believing. Your heart becomes a chamber, a sanctuary, a shrine in which there may be continuous, unbroken fellowship and communion with God. Your worship rises to God moment by moment.

Two of Spurgeon’s greatest sermons were “God in The Silence” and “God in The Storm.” The heart that knows God can find God anywhere. I surely join with Spurgeon in the truth that a person filled with the Spirit of God, a person who has met God in a living encounter can know the joy of worshiping Him, whether in the silences of life or in the storms of life. There really is no argument. We know what God wants us to be. He wants us to be worshipers! WHT127-128

It is not the man who spends his time in the crowd and merely reflects the opinion, spirit and attainments of men who most benefits the world, but the man who listens to and speak of things that have their birth beyond and far above the street. SAN104


Threefold Sanctification

Ephesians 1:4

Sanctification carries the definition, “to make sacred or holy; to free from sin, to purify; to make Christlike.” God had nothing less than this in mind when He created man in His image. “He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight” (Ephesians 1:4).

There can be no surprise, then, that Christ purchased our sanctification.

“Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word” (Ephesians 5:22-26 KJV). He loved not only the sinful world (John 3:16), but also the believing Church.

“Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate” (Hebrews 13:12 KJV).

Conversion is becoming a Christian—the noun. Sanctification is becoming Christian—the adjective. Sanctification has three aspects, all under the administration of the Holy Spirit.

Initial sanctification is that cleansing of the outward sins of acquired depravity, largely the sins of the flesh. Writing to the unspiritual, carnal Corinthian church, Paul says, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).

Entire sanctification is complete, dealing with sins of the spirit, leaving no part of the personality untouched. This is expressed to the well-saved church in Thessalonica: “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23 KJV).

Progressive sanctification is that growth, renewal, maturing, holy living and continual cleansing, which should be the unfolding life of every believer, but especially of those who are Spirit-filled. It is typified by Paul’s statement: “We all… beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV). This is accomplished by the abiding fullness of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.

Milton S. Agnew, The Holy Spirit: Friend and Counselor