VIDEO You’re a Trillionaire!

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God. Romans 12:1

You have 30,000,000,000,000 individual cells in your body. That’s thirty trillion, and you have about two hundred different types of cells, including red blood cells, skin cells, nerve cells (neurons), and fat cells. Each type of cell performs a vital role in keeping your body healthy. As amazing as it seems, the average human body makes between two and three million new red blood cells every second.1

Oh, how we want each of our thirty trillion cells to be devoted to Jesus. We’re to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. As amazing as our incredibly-designed bodies are, we also have minds, personalities, and spirits. And we have gifts, talents, abilities, and strengths.

The Lord gave you the wonderful workmanship of YOU so you could serve Him. Today, present your body to Him as a living sacrifice and let your life be transformed by the renewing of your mind, which happens as you meditate on His Word. Let Him be Lord of all there is of you.

We are more than the chemicals that form our body. We are a special creation of God. Man is God’s masterpiece—His workmanship, the crown of creation. Werner Gitt

Paul Washer “A Living and Holy Sacrifice” Romans 12:1-2

Rainbow Halo

My rainbow . . . will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Genesis 9:13

On a hike in the mountains, Adrian found himself above some low-lying clouds. With the sun behind him, Adrian looked down and saw not only his shadow but also a brilliant display known as a Brocken spectre. This phenomenon resembles a rainbow halo, encircling the shadow of the person. It occurs when the sunlight reflects back off the clouds below. Adrian described it as a “magical” moment, one that delighted him immensely.

We can imagine how similarly stunning seeing the first rainbow must have been for Noah. More than just a delight to his eyes, the refracted light and resulting colors came with a promise from God. After a devastating flood, God assured Noah, and all the “living creatures” who’ve lived since, that “never again [would] the waters become a flood to destroy all life” (Genesis 9:15).

Our earth still experiences floods and other frightening weather that results in tragic loss, but the rainbow is a promise that God will never judge the earth again with a worldwide flood. This promise of His faithfulness can remind us that though we individually will experience personal losses and physical death on this earth—whether by disease, natural disaster, wrongdoing, or advancing age—God bolsters us with His love and presence throughout the difficulties we face. Sunlight reflecting colors through water is a reminder of His faithfulness to fill the earth with those who bear His image and reflect His glory to others.

By:  Kirsten Holmberg

Reflect & Pray

How does God’s promise reassure you in the midst of weather-related catastrophes? Who in your life needs your reflection of God’s glory?

Thank You, God, for Your faithfulness to protect and provide for me by sustaining the natural laws of Your creation. Help me to reflect Your glory to those around me.

Saving Troubled Friendships

Matthew 5:21-26

We all want our friendships to last. But each relationship involves two imperfect humans who were born with a sinful nature—that means hurt feelings are bound to happen. And if they go unaddressed, the friendship can be damaged. How do we avoid this common pitfall?

First, acknowledge that damage exists. This takes place the moment you say, “Something isn’t right. I’d like for us to find and fix the problem.” It’s helpful to work together to assess how the trouble began—perhaps it resulted from a misunderstanding, an unresolved conflict, one person’s busyness, etc.

After recognizing the problem, take responsibility for your part in it. Apologize without justifying your actions or blaming anyone else—doing so shows love and commitment.

An apology must be followed up with amends. Ask your friend what specific action you both can take to rebuild the relationship, and then be sure to do it.

Repairing a troubled friendship requires humility to admit faults, effort to fix the problem, and time to heal. Instead of waiting until a relationship is in trouble, wise friends will go through these steps as soon as they are aware of having hurt a loved one. Preventative care can soothe minor scrapes before they become serious wounds.

A Little Flock

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

The world tends to measure success by size, and this seems generally true in the Christian world as well. The most “successful” churches are considered to be those with the largest congregations, or the largest budgets, or the greatest number of converts baptized each year, or some other quantitative index. But this is not God’s criterion. At the judgment seat of Christ, “the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:13). Not how big it is, but of what sort it is! Quality, not quantity, is the criterion.

Christ’s encouraging words to the “little flock” were given toward the end of an extended warning against the desire to accumulate wealth. “Take heed, and beware of covetousness,” He had said (Luke 12:15), speaking to His small group of followers. He was their Shepherd and would provide the needs of His “little flock.”

Christ’s warnings against individual covetousness evidently apply also to group covetousness. A church, or any other Christian organization, needs continually to guard against the desire to be impressive in the eyes of the world. The cities of Christendom exhibit many ornate cathedrals and temples that are now mostly empty and spiritually dead.

The Lord Jesus promised an “open door” to the little church at Philadelphia because it had “little strength” and had “kept [His] word” (Revelation 3:8), but threatened to “spue…out of [His] mouth” the tepid church at Laodicea, which was boasting that it was “rich, and increased with goods” (Revelation 3:16-17). Not every “little flock” has kept God’s Word, nor has every big flock become lukewarm, but Christ’s words serve as both warning and encouragement. The greater blessings of the coming kingdom have been promised to the faithful “little flock.” HMM

“Thou Art the Christ”

Matthew 16:13-20

MARK relates the gradual healing of a blind man by our Lord (8:22-26). First he saw men as trees walking, then after a second touch he saw clearly. Is it not a lesson that not all are healed instantly, but that our Lord often uses a gradual process?

Three Gospels (Matt. 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21) record Peter’s confession of our Lord as the Christ, the Son of God. Men still differ concerning our Lord’s first question: “Whom do men say that I am?” To some He is one of the prophets or a great teacher or a great ideal. But Jesus comes down to the individual with “Whom say ye that I am?” It is because of who He is that the Master is what He is. Sadly, many speak kindly of Him today who will not confess Him as Christ and Son of God.

Much argument has raged about our Lord’s statement: “Upon this rock I will build My Church.” Of course, “this rock” has been made to mean Peter himself, a view utterly out of line with the Word, for Peter never claimed to be more than an apostle and elder. It has also been held that the Church was built upon Peter as “a foreshadowing of redeemed humanity confessing Christ as Son of God.” This, too, would make the Church rest upon man. Others hold that the Church is built upon the apostle’s confession, but the Church does not rest upon a creed or a doctrinal statement. It is more likely that by “this rock” our Lord meant Himself for Christ is the foundation of the Church as Peter himself says (1 Pet. 2:4-9).

Against this Church all the powers of hell shall not prevail! Then, our Lord gives to Peter the keys of the “kingdom of heaven.” Not the keys to heaven nor to eternal life, but to the kingdom in the sphere of Christian profession. It was Peter who opened the door of Christian opportunity to the Jews on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38-42) and to the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius (Acts 10:34-48). But let us remember that Peter was not infallible, for he himself later tried to close the very door which he opened (Gal. 2:11-18).

The power of “binding and loosing” was not authority to decide the eternal destinies of souls but authority to pass upon matters of discipline and doctrinal and moral issues. A rabbi received at ordination authority to decide upon what was lawful and unlawful. That which was allowed as lawful was said to be “loosed,” and that which was unlawful was “bound.” This is the terminology our Lord used here.

It is evident that we have here a delegated authority which the church today is failing to use. Of course, it must be used only under the Spirit’s guidelines, and it is there we fail because we are so little under the Spirit that when we undertake these matters we decide and act mainly in the strength of the flesh. The thought is well brought out in John 20:22-23 where authority to retain or remit sins is given, but this prerogative is first prefaced by Christ’s symbolic breathing out of the Holy Ghost. Unless the Spirit empowers and directs, we have no true authority and can only make matters worse.

How Problems Occur

If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink!—John 7:37

In my opinion, the biggest single preventative to us having feet like “hinds’ feet” is a stubborn commitment to independence. This reflects itself in the lives of every one of us—even those who have been on the Way for several decades. In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, who were designed to experience fulfillment by being dependent on God, decided to act independently of Him. Sin can be summed up as a “Declaration of Independence”—an attempt to do for ourselves what only God can do for us.

What happened in the garden of Eden is duplicated millions of times daily, not only in the lives of unbelievers but in the lives of Christians also—Christians who use self-centered strategies to satisfy the deep thirst that is in their heart for God. Almost every spiritual or psychological problem has at its roots this condition—the person is failing in some way to let God satisfy his deep inner thirst.

This might sound simplistic to some, but after many years of experience working in the field of counseling, I am convinced that this is what underlies such conditions as anorexia, sexual perversions, worry, hostility, depression, homosexuality, and so on. You see, if we are not conscious that God is meeting the deep thirst we have for Him on the inside of our being, then the inner emptiness will move us in one of two directions—to fill the emptiness in any way we can or to withdraw and protect ourselves from the possibility of any further pain.


Father, I see yet again that until and unless my deep thirst for You is being quenched, I am in deep trouble and vulnerable to all kinds of problems. I simply must get this issue straightened out. Help me, dear Father. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

Mt 5:1-6; Jn 4:1-42

What was the message of Jesus to the woman?

How was this reinforced through the Sermon on the Mount?

Good Grief!

1 Thessalonians 4:18

Christians are not immune from grief. They suffer loss and feel the pain as deeply as anyone. What are the reasons for the power of grief?

First, we grieve because we are concerned over our departed loved one. Death is sin’s final blow, and we can’t help feeling, when we lose loved ones, that they have been deprived.

Paul declares that “The dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). They will meet the Lord before any of the living will.

But knowing this doesn’t put grief to an end. We are also concerned about ourselves. Our grieving can’t change anything as far as the departed is concerned, but the death of this person may leave us with quite a bit to work through.

Our grief also expresses our fear about our own destiny. Facing the death of a loved one means remembering that we are accountable for our lives. This consoling passage of Scripture should not obscure the dimension of judgment. In this very letter Paul speaks of “the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10 KJV), warns that it will come “like a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2), with “sudden destruction” (1 Thessalonians 5:8).

Our society tries to keep us forgetting about death. And then someone we love dies, or maybe we have a close brush with death, and we realize then that we are not prepared. This is a hidden gift in our grief. It brings us face to face with death and eternity and beckons us to be prepared.

What is the answer to our grief? What are the sources of comfort?

The first source of comfort is that Jesus died and rose again. For those who are His, the day of wrath is transformed into the day of light and salvation.

The second source of comfort is that we have been, we are, and we shall always be, with our Lord. This is the overriding assurance of the Christian’s life. Those who die in Christ remain in Christ.

The third source of comfort is that we shall be together. There will be a final homecoming as we, and every believer, will “meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). We shall be with our departed loved ones in Christ.

“Therefore, comfort one another” (1 Thessalonians 4:18). We thank God for Christian brothers and sisters who stand by us in our grief and know how to weep with those who weep.

Let us thank God that our grief experiences force us to pay attention to our deepest needs, and let us thank Him for comfort which is lasting, because it is based on a sure and certain hope.

Philip D. Needham, The War Cry