And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4
Medical science has made it possible for humans to live longer. But ask the average senior citizen if that excites them and the answer may be, “Yes and no.” Yes, we want to live longer but not while battling a disease. Disease remains a potential source of fear for all humans, regardless of age.
But does it need to be? We know all of creation has been impacted by sin. When creation malfunctions or begins to break down, we shouldn’t be surprised. We know death is coming for all. But we need not be afraid of death or any disease that may hasten its arrival. Rather, we should echo the apostle John’s prayer: “I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health” (3 John 2). Health is a desire we should pray for and work toward, while leaving the answer to God.
One deadly condition we can eliminate today is fear! Fear is not from God (2 Timothy 1:7). Live well, pray well, and be well—one day at a time.
The destined end of man is not happiness, nor health, but holiness. Oswald Chambers
Surprising Facts about Your Eternal Home – Revelation 21-22 – Skip Heitzig
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”John 14:9
According to legend, British conductor Sir Thomas Beecham once saw a distinguished-looking woman in a hotel foyer. Believing he knew her but unable to remember her name, he paused to talk with her. As the two chatted, he vaguely recollected that she had a brother. Hoping for a clue, he asked how her brother was doing and whether he was still working at the same job. “Oh, he’s very well,” she said, “And still king.”
A case of mistaken identity can be embarrassing, as it was for Sir Beecham. But at other times it may be more serious, as it was for Jesus’ disciple Philip. The disciple knew Christ, of course, but he hadn’t fully appreciated who He was. He wanted Jesus to “show [them] the Father,” and Jesus responded, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:8–9). As God’s unique Son, Christ reveals the Father so perfectly that to know one is to know the other (vv. 10–11).
If we ever wonder what God is like in His character, personality, or concern for others, we only need to look to Jesus to find out. Christ’s character, kindness, love, and mercy reveal God’s character. And although our amazing, awesome God is beyond our complete comprehension and understanding, we have a tremendous gift in what He’s revealed of Himself in Jesus.
By: Con Campbell
Reflect & Pray
How well do you know God’s character? How does it match your perception of who Jesus is?
Dear God, help me to grow in my knowledge and appreciation of who You are.
Have you ever wondered what causes envy? On the surface, it may seem like simply a reaction that occurs when we want something another person has. But it actually goes much deeper than this: The real root is resentment that God hasn’t provided for us what He has given someone else.
Jealousy arises from a heart overcome by:
• Greed. We become discontent with what God has given to us, and we want what other people have, believing that will make us happy.
• Selfishness. We compare ourselves to others, and instead of rejoicing with them, we focus on our own life and what we don’t have.
• Pride. Seeing the success of other people makes us feel inadequate, and in an attempt to build ourselves up, we belittle them and their accomplishments.
Jealousy and envy can cause great damage to relationships and spiritual health. That’s why it is important to act quickly, correcting such attitudes before they become a habit. At the first awareness of such a mindset, confess it as sin and acknowledge God’s right to bless someone else abundantly. Then express gratitude for what He has given you, and ask Him to help you rejoice with others He has blessed.
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.” (Philippians 1:3-5)
This poignant letter was written to a church that Paul founded early in his ministry to the Gentiles (Acts 16:12-15). He endured challenging opposition there, followed for days by a demon-possessed young girl, tossed into prison by an angry business community, beaten and locked immobile into wooden stocks (Acts 16:16-24).
Yet in that dark midnight while Paul and Silas sang the hymns of the faith, God struck the jail with an earthquake and opened both the chains and the doors of the prison. The head jailor became converted, and along with the successful businesswoman Lydia, the seed of a flourishing church was planted (Acts 16:25-34).
It is to these “saints” and the “bishops and deacons” of the church at Philippi that Paul writes. The church has matured enough over the years of Paul’s absence to have established leadership and a strong testimony in that pagan city. The “rememberance” of these faithful men and women gives rise to his thanks to God for their “fellowship in the gospel.”
May we never take for granted the sweet friends that we have known in our churches. Their fellowship is far more valuable than business or political contacts. Theirs is the bond of an eternal brother or sister—theirs is the friendship that is “closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
The apostle John understood this: “Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). And because we share in a love for the Lord Jesus and walk together in the “light” of God’s truth, “we have fellowship one with another”(1 John 1:7). HMM III
Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.) —Galatians 1:1
Conformity to the Word of God is always right, but obedience to religious leaders is good only if those leaders prove themselves worthy to lead. Leadership in the church of Christ is a spiritual thing and should be so understood by everyone. It takes more than a ballot to make a leader….
If the church is to prosper spiritually she must have spiritual leadership, not leadership by majority vote. It is highly significant that when the apostle Paul found it necessary to ask for obedience among the young churches he never appealed to them on the grounds that he had been duly elected to office. He asserted his authority as an apostle appointed by the Head of the church. He held his position by right of sheer spiritual ascendancy, the only earthly right that should be honored among the children of the new creation. WOS162-164
Renew within me, even today, a sense of my divine call. Then help me to live a holy life, exemplary in faithfulness, so that I might indeed be a leader worthy to lead. Amen.
What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? —Matthew 27:22
Where is Jesus now?” asks the world, and the Christian answers, “At the right hand of God.” He died but He is not dead. He rose again as He said He would….Better than all, His Spirit now reveals to the Christian heart not a dead Christ but a living one. This we are sent to declare with all the bold dogmatism of those who know, who have been there and experienced it beyond the possibility of a doubt.
The gospel is the official proclamation that Christ died for us and is risen again, with the added announcement that everyone who will believe, and as a result of that belief will cast in his lot with Christ in full and final committal, shall be saved eternally.
He…will not be popular and…he will be called to stand where Jesus stood before the world: to be admired by many, loved by a few and rejected at last by the majority of men. He must be willing to pay this price; or let him go his way; Christ has nothing more to say to him now. GTM040-041
The question for every man is the Christ question.
… The turning point of every life is its direct relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. CTBC, Vol. 5/420
A secret is not common property. The best kept secret is the one that is kept only to oneself. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Ps. 91:1 NKJV). This secret place is different. Only you and God know of its whereabouts. It cannot be localized by time or space. It is a state of being. And only he who dwells in the secret place can invade it. It is peculiarly and privately his alone.
While this place is private, there is no dearth of such places. God deigns and desires to provide this secret place to every individual who would aspire to such lofty living.
The secret place was an Oriental phrase for the interior room or rooms of the house or tent, reserved for the master or chief whose abode was in the center of the camp. This was a place of honor and greatest safety. This then is a place where none but God can find him, where the enemy cannot reach him. It is a place not seen or known but by the eye of faith. In the words of a simple, uneducated saint, “It’s better felt than telt.”
Being in the secret place is no guarantee against trouble. Rather, we are likely to experience the onslaught of Satan there. But the Psalmist affirms, “Surely He shall deliver you” (Ps. 91:3 NKJV).
Paul epitomizes this lofty life in the words, “Your life is now hidden away with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). This is not to be confused with some type of a monastic retreat, but more likely is most evident in the lives of those encompassed in a maelstrom of activity. The exercise of prayer is the heart and soul of the secret place, which has been described as, “quietly opening a door and slipping into the very presence of God, there in the stillness to listen to His voice.”
McAfee captures the tenor of this mystical experience in the words: