VIDEO No Better News

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded. Matthew 28:19-20

John 3:16 clearly states that the whole world is the object of God’s love. Though Jesus was sent first to the house of Israel (Matthew 15:24; Romans 1:16), it was so Israel might be readied to fulfill her role of being a “light to the Gentiles” (Isaiah 42:6; 49:6). From the beginning, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19).

When Israel failed to fulfill her role, Christ called out a people to take the Good News of God’s love into all the world. In His last days on earth, He commissioned His apostles to go into the world and make disciples by baptizing and teaching everything He had taught them during His time on earth. The Church in every generation has inherited that Great Commission as a responsibility to be carried out until Christ’s return.

The world today is hungry for good news. And there is no better news than “God so loved the world.” Look for a way to share that message today.

The Gospel is not a secret to be hoarded but a story to be heralded. Vance Havner


I am Weak But My God Is Strong | Matthew 28:16-20 Sermon by Paul Washer

Fleeing from Turkeys

David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 1 Samuel 17:48

Two wild turkeys stood in the country lane ahead. How close could I get? I wondered. I slowed my jog to a walk, then stopped. It worked. The turkeys walked toward me . . . and kept coming. In seconds, their heads were bobbing at my waist, then behind me. How sharp were those beaks? I ran away. They waddled after me before giving up the chase. 

How quickly the tables had turned! The hunted had become the hunter when the turkeys seized the initiative. Foolishly, I had wondered if they were too dumb to be scared. I wasn’t about to be carelessly wounded by a bird, so I fled. From turkeys.

David didn’t seem dangerous, so Goliath taunted him to come near. “ ‘Come here,’ he said, ‘and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!’ ” (1 Samuel 17:44). David flipped the script when he seized the initiative. He ran toward Goliath, not because he was foolish but because he had confidence in God. He shouted, “This very day . . . the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel” (v. 46). Goliath was puzzled by this aggressive boy. What’s going on? he must have thought. Then it hit him. Right between the eyes.

It’s natural for small animals to run from people and shepherds to avoid giants. It’s natural for us to hide from our problems. Why settle for natural? Is there a God in Israel? Then, in His power, run toward the fight.

By:  Mike Wittmer

Reflect & Pray

What problem or person are you avoiding? How might you express confidence in God?

Father, whenever I’m afraid, remind me that Your Spirit is in me. Help me run in Your strength.

The Requirements for Godly Influence

God can do great things through any heart submitted to Him

1 Corinthians 1:25-31

If you were asked to name influential people, strong individuals with impressive credentials might come to mind. But today’s passage tells us that God has chosen the weak, the base, and the foolish things of the world to shame the things that are strong and wise (1 Cor. 1:27-28). 

This principle is woven throughout the fabric of biblical history: A prostitute named Rahab made a right choice and became the ancestor of the Messiah. A widow named Ruth chose the God of Israel and became the great-grandmother of King David. An infertile wife named Hannah poured out her soul to God and gave birth to Samuel the prophet. A man called Abram responded to God, left his relatives behind, and became the father of all who believe. A woman named Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ head, and she’s still memorialized by her lavish, loving act more than 2,000 years later. 

Those with great influence are the ones who follow the Lord and have proven themselves to be “blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom [they] appear as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15). You may not think your light is very bright by this world’s standards, but the opinion that matters belongs to God—the one who is Himself light (1 John 1:5). 

Beguiling with Enticing Words

“And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.” (Colossians 2:4)

This Scripture is a perfect representation of those who would try to deceive people into accepting the false paradigm of Darwinian evolution, in which nature serves as an imposter diety magically crafting and molding creatures over millions of years.

The verse contains two very interesting Greek words that occur rarely in the New Testament. The first word of note is only used twice and is the verb paralogizomai, translated here as “beguile.” It was used by the ancient Greeks to denote persuasiveness of speech or the putting forth of a seemingly plausible argument undergirded by dangerously false information. The second time it’s used is in James 1:22 concerning self-deception: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving [paralogizomai] your own selves.”

The second Greek word of note is the highly descriptive noun pithanologia, translated as “enticing words,” and is only used in this one place in the New Testament. It’s a combination of the word pithanos, meaning convincing, persuasive, or plausible, with logos, meaning word or account. The Greeks used it to describe arguments made by sophists, who were noted for affirming false scenarios, trying to make them appear true. In modern English we would say “to talk someone into something false.”

Paul indicated he had to make this warning concerning deception because he’d just previously declared “the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2-3). Indeed, all evolutionary deception ultimately steals the glory of Jesus Christ the Creator, “for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (v. 9). JPT

As They Are, so He Is

Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him.Matthew 12:18

To the reverent question, “What is God like?” a proper answer will always be, “He is like Christ.” For Christ is God, and the Man who walked among men in Palestine was God acting like Himself in the familiar situation where His incarnation placed Him.

To the question, “What is the Spirit like?” the answer must always be, “He is like Christ.” For the Spirit is the essence of the Father and the Son. As they are, so is He. As we feel toward Christ and toward our Father who art in heaven, so should we feel toward the Spirit of the Father and the Son. POM070-071

Holy Father, Holy Son, Holy Spirit

Three we name Thee;

Though in essence only one,

Undivided God we claim Thee,

And adoring bend the knee

While we sing our praise to Thee. Amen. HCL006

Somebody pointed out that hymnody took a downward trend when we left the great objective hymns that talked about God and began to sing the gospel songs that talk about us. TWE096

The Burden of Revival

But no longer refer to the burden of the Lord, for each man’s word becomes his burden.Jeremiah 23:36

God loves His children to be involved with Him in bringing about His purposes, and it is not in God’s nature to ignore the great principle of prayer which He himself has established in the universe. Although revival begins in the sovereign purposes of God, it comes into the world through the doorway of believing prayer.

John Wallace, principal of the Bible college I attended prior to entering the ministry, used to say: “Before somebody can experience a blessing, somebody has to bear a burden.” He used to illustrate the point in this way: “Before deliverance came to the nation of Israel when they were in Egypt, Moses had to bear a burden. Before the great Temple of God could be built in Jerusalem, Solomon was called to bear a burden. Before the sins of the world could be removed Christ had to bear a burden. Before somebody can experience a blessing, somebody has to bear a burden.”

This is a principle that can be traced throughout the whole of the Bible—from Genesis to Revelation. It can be seen at work, too, in the history of all religious revivals. Before God comes from heaven to work in extraordinary ways He places the burden of revival on the hearts of His people. And who does He choose to carry this burden? You can be sure that they will be men and women who are drawn to prayer and understand something of its power and potential. Would you, I wonder, be one?

Prayer

Gracious Father, You know how my heart shrinks from such a great challenge as this. All I can say is—I am willing to be made willing. Help me, dear Father. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

Ps 21:1-13; 38:9; 73:25; Isa 26:9; Mk 11:24

What will God grant to us?

How can a desire become a burden?

I Will Rejoice!

Though the fig tree does not bud

and there is no fruit on the vines,

though the olive crop fails

and the fields produce no food,

though there are no sheep in the pen

and no cattle in the stalls,

yet I will triumph in the Lord;

I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!—Habakkuk 3:17–18

At times it seems that everything around you is collapsing. Endeavors you invested in may fail. People to whom you minister may disappoint you. The business or career you worked hard to build may crumble. These times, as difficult as they are, are opportunities to stop and examine what is truly important to you.

Habakkuk witnessed the collapse of most of what mattered to him. Yet through the loss, failure, and disappointment, he was able to distinguish between what was precious to him and what was transitory and empty. He came to the point where he could sincerely say that even if everything around him failed, he still would rejoice in God. If the fig tree bore no fruit; if the vine produced no grapes; if the flocks and herds stopped reproducing; he would still praise God. His praise might not come easily, as he watched everything fall short of his expectations, but he would praise God nonetheless. Habakkuk could not make fig trees produce figs. He could not control the productivity of the flocks and herds, but he could control his own response to God. He chose to praise the Lord.

Do things seem to be falling apart around you? You can still praise God. Your praise for Him does not depend on the success of your endeavors but on God’s nature and His love and faithfulness to you. Ask God to help you look past worldly concerns to understand the reasons you have to praise Him.