VIDEO Only One Way

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

The Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus established a “zero-mile” monument in Rome to measure distances throughout the empire. It eventually led to, “All roads lead to Rome.” A variant on that idea is found in modern computer and phone software that maps various routes from “city A” to “city B”—different roads leading to the same destination.

Sadly, this idea of “multiple roads, one destination” has made its way into theology: “All roads lead to God.” Proponents of this idea suggest that all religions have the same ultimate destination. Said another way, “There are many ways to get to God.” However, the Bible doesn’t support this idea. The apostle Peter was clear when speaking to the Jewish elders after Pentecost. He stated clearly that the Name (Person) of Jesus is the only means of salvation. Paul echoed this position when he wrote that there is only one Mediator between God and man, “the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

Don’t be confused by non-biblical positions on salvation. There is only one road to God and His heaven. That road begins and ends with Jesus.

Nobody can call himself a Christian who does not worship Jesus.  John R. W. Stott


No Other Way, Acts 4:12 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study

The Life of Peace

The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

In Perth, Australia, there’s a place called Shalom House where men struggling with addictions go to find help. At Shalom House, they’ll meet caring staff members who introduce them to God’s shalom (Hebrew for peace). Lives crushed under the weight of addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling, and other destructive behaviors are being transformed by the love of God.

Central to this transformation is the message of the cross. The broken people of Shalom House discover that through the resurrection of Jesus, they can find their own lives resurrected. In Christ, we gain true peace and healing.

Peace isn’t merely the absence of conflict; it’s the presence of God’s wholeness. All of us need this shalom, and it’s only found in Christ and His Spirit. This is why Paul pointed the Galatians to the Spirit’s transformational work. As the Holy Spirit operates in our lives, He generates His fruit that includes love, joy, patience, and more (Galatians 5:22–23). He gives us that vital element of true, enduring peace.

As the Spirit enables us to live in God’s shalom, we learn to bring our needs and concerns to our heavenly Father. This in turn brings us “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding”—the peace that “will guard [our] hearts and [our] minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

In Christ’s Spirit, our hearts experience true shalom.

By:  Bill Crowder

Reflect & Pray

What things tend to rob you of God’s peace? How will you allow the Spirit to produce His peace in your heart?

God of shalom, thank You that Your desire is for peace to reign in my life. Thank You for the work of Jesus to make peace available and the work of the Spirit whose fruit in my life brings peace.

Walking Through the Dark Times

Psalm 105:16-24

Did you ever peek ahead to the end of a story because you just couldn’t wait for the conclusion? This is oftentimes what we long to do in our own life, especially in difficult seasons. We want to know when our affliction will end. But only God knows the future, so we must learn to trust Him in the meantime.

Joseph probably wished he could glance into the future to find out when his life would stop spiraling downward. Between the hatred of his brothers who sold him into slavery, the anger and lies of his master’s wife, and incarceration that left him languishing, it would have been easy for Joseph to lose hope. Those 13 years of his life must have seemed like an eternity.

Even though Joseph couldn’t see the future, God was with him every step of the way. And at the end of the dark years, he proclaimed he had learned that “God meant it for good” (Gen. 50:20).

We can’t avoid trials. But knowing that God is with us and His purpose is good gives us the hope needed for enduring hardship with peace. 

The Obedient Christ

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:8)

The only begotten Son of God substituted Himself for all humanity to save them from the righteous judgment of a thrice-holy Creator.

Jesus found Himself “in fashion as a man,” which therefore made it possible for Him to humble Himself and to become obedient to the death that had been ordained for Him prior to the very foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20).

Perhaps it is too much to suggest that Jesus “woke up” when He “found” Himself in Mary’s womb, but it is certain that He “increased in wisdom” (Luke 2:52) as He grew in “stature.” Basically, because He “became” human, He experienced the normal increase in awareness and experience that all of us do.

The difference was, obviously, that He “humbled” Himself, even though He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Christ’s sinless behavior could have easily “exalted” Him as His wisdom and miracles became known throughout Israel. Indeed, many tried to make Him king.

Isaiah prophetically records the mindset of the Lord many years before He actually entered Jerusalem: “I set my face like a flint” (Isaiah 50:7). Later, Jesus told His disciples, “I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” (Luke 12:50).

Finally, the obedience of our Lord Jesus, understood fully and deeply at Gethsemane, was fully accomplished, “even the death of the cross.” May our hearts never forget or tire of these great truths. HMM III

“What Manner of Man!”

Mark 4:35-41

FULL of truth for us today is the Gospel account of our Lord stilling the tempest (Matt. 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25). Matthew tells us (8:18) that when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave orders to depart unto the other side of the sea. There is a time to mix with and minister to the crowd, and there is also a time to leave the crowd. Some of us, in our zeal to serve, stay with the crowd when we need to get away for rest and renewed strength.

Mark says the disciples took the Lord “even as He was” in the ship. Tired from the busy day, He soon fell asleep. The storm must have been terrific, for these disciples were seasoned fishermen for the most part, used to the waves, and yet they were alarmed. But no matter how fierce the tempest, they had seen our Lord perform His miracles, had witnessed His power over nature, and they should not have given way to panic. How typical of human nature! We believe in a Christ who works wonders. We believe, theoretically, in His supernatural power, but when the actual crisis arises, we are terrified. No wonder that He asks, “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” This incident has been misinterpreted again and again. We have heard it applied in this way: Christ asleep in the boat is Christ in the believer, dormant, not called into action; but when the crisis arises, we may call upon Him and be delivered. But this is erroneous. If the disciples had more faith they would not have awakened our Lord, they would have let Him sleep. It was fear and not faith that led them to arouse Him. Besides, Christ is not supposed to be a dormant guest in our hearts, to be aroused only in emergency. He abides in us, and if we trusted as we ought we would rest in peace in any storm because, although at times He may seem to be asleep, we are sure of the fact of His presence—and that is enough.

We have grown accustomed to hearing this familiar story, but if we valued it aright we would cry out as did these disciples: “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Here He manifested His power over wind and wave, for all things are subject to Him by whom and for whom all things were made.

Mark also adds the significant little note: “And there were also with him other little ships.” We are not alone upon life’s sea. Other lives share in our blessing; and if the Lord is with us, His benefits to us reach out and indirectly bless others. All the little ships profited from our Lord’s presence in one ship. The ship that carries Jesus liveth not unto itself. Even lives in which He does not dwell personally are benefitted by His presence in our lives.

Is the Lord in your boat? At times He may seem asleep. He may answer you not a word. He may tarry as He did in Lazarus’ sickness. But rest assured that if He be present, all things shall work together for good. Do not awaken Him in panic; rest upon His word, “Where is your faith?”

Love Creating Love

Carrying His own cross, He went out to what is called Skull Place … there they crucified Him.—John 19:17-18

Although the love of God is clearly laid out in the Old Testament, why did humankind have to wait so long to have the message spelled out in such clear terms as John uses: “God is love” (1Jn 4:8)? People could not see this sufficiently clearly until they had looked into the face of Jesus. In the life of Jesus is the clearest revelation that God is love.

So few of us open ourselves to the love of God. We have more fear of Him than we have love for Him. There is, of course, a godly fear (or reverence), but that is not what I mean. If we fail to comprehend how much we are loved by God, then there will be no energy to turn the machinery of our lives in the way they were meant to turn.

Whenever I doubted the love of God as a young Christian, I was told I should go to Calvary. I never quite understood what that meant until one day I complained to God that He could not really love me; if He did, He wouldn’t let such things happen as were befalling me. He gave me no answer but showed me the Cross. And as I saw His Son dying there for me, the scales fell from my eyes and I found love for Him flowing out of His love for me. I discovered what 1 John 4:19 means: “We love because He first loved us.”

Love for God is not the fruit of labor but the response of our hearts to being loved. It is not something we manufacture; it is something we receive.

Prayer

O God my Father, save me from believing that my problem is “I don’t love You enough,” when the real problem is “I don’t know how much I am loved by You.” Let the scales fall from my eyes right now and let me see—really see. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

Jn 19:16-30; Eph 2:15-16; Col 1:19-22

What is the result of the Cross?

Spend some moments in prayer contemplating the Cross.

Universal Culture in Christ

Luke 2:10

To view the Chinese as Asian is only half the truth. The term “Asian” lacks exact geographical boundaries. I am not a “minority” either, simply because I am not a quantity. Minorities in one place may become majorities in another. It suggests comparison instead of distinction.

I am a person in the family of man. I am Chinese by ancestry. The hard fact of sociology is not exactly what John Oxenham described in his song, “In Christ There Is No East or West.” The song is the theology of the love of God, not the sociology of man. For in Christ there is East and West. And such distinction is absolutely essential and ethical.

I am writing this book in English but with my Chinese mind. I am a Chinese-American, an honorable term earned with much blood and tears.

The simple truth is, as long as our sociologists separate man’s spiritual needs from his social needs everything will seem complicated. So our sociologists watching human perversity, political power plays and economic corruptions are totally helpless. They’ve reported the scene of disasters, but cannot redeem or reform.

Speaking of reform, that’s where Christianity comes in. Jesus Christ, as the transformer of culture, introduces a universal culture in which each race maintains its own distinction. But the goals and treatments toward the optimum are the same.

Jesus said, “My commandment is this: love each other as I have loved you”

(John 15:12). Dr. Lin Yutang regards this as “a natural, beautiful, new voice, never heard in history.” On this subject Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, said, “If I have one thousand lives, I would not withhold even one, but give them all to China.”

I have been asked which era of history I wished I could have lived in. I answered without any doubt, that time is now! For I am enjoying my journey which was paved with the blood and tears of the pioneers. Despite much disappointment, our endeavors have not been in vain, because God is so faithful to those who love Him.

Jesus is not the Savior of the East nor the West alone. He is the Savior of the whole human race everywhere. All who follow Him are walking in the Light where darkness is extinguished by a thousand rays!

Check Yee, For My Kinsmen’s Sake