VIDEO One More Thing…

He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalm 126:6


Beneil Dariush is an Iranian-born MMA fighter. Last year he won an important match, and during the post-fight interview he addressed his countrymen in Iran. “I need to dedicate this fight to my people in Iran,” he said. “I know you’re struggling. I know you’re fighting for freedom. I know it’s a tough struggle. I want you guys to know we’re praying for you, and we love you.”

Then he said, “Let me tell you one more thing…. There is true freedom, a freedom that no one can take from you in the name of Jesus Christ, the son of God. Don’t ever forget that.”[1]

We never know when we’ll have an opportunity to say a word for the Lord or to present the Gospel. When God leads you to share Christ with someone, obey immediately. He will give you the words you need. God can help you plant a seed in someone’s heart, even if you don’t immediately see the results. Let’s not miss any opportunities!

Success in witnessing is simply taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God. Bill Bright

How to deal with dark times | Tim Keller

Praying in Difficult Times

From the ends of the earth I call to you . . . as my heart grows faint. Psalm 61:2

Author and theologian Russell Moore described noticing the eerie silence in the Russian orphanage where he adopted his boys. Someone later explained that the babies had stopped crying because they learned that no one would respond to their cries.

When we face difficult times, we too can feel that no one hears. And worst of all, we can feel that God Himself doesn’t listen to our cries or see our tears. But He does! And that’s why we need the language of petition and protest found especially in the book of Psalms. The psalmists petition for God’s help and also protest their situation to Him. In Psalm 61, David brings his petitions and protests before his Creator, stating, “I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (v. 2).  David cries out to God because he knows that only He is his “refuge” and “strong tower” (v. 3).

Praying the petitions and protests of the psalms is a way of affirming God’s sovereignty and appealing to His goodness and faithfulness. They’re proof of the intimate relationship we can experience with God. In difficult moments, we can all be tempted to believe the lie that He doesn’t care. But He does. He hears us and is with us.

By:  Glenn Packiam

Reflect & Pray

How does it encourage you to know that God hears your desperate prayers? What petitions and protests will you share with Him today?

Dear Jesus, help me to offer You my petitions, protests, and praise.

Walking Wisely

Today is a gift that will be gone tomorrow; don’t throw it away. Ephesians 5:15-17

In his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul shares how to walk wisely. In today’s passage, he gives three instructions.

First, he says to “be careful how you walk” (v. 15). Because we live in a sinful world, we must be vigilant about how we think and act. 

Second, the apostle instructs us to make the most of our time (v. 16). So often we are tempted to squander our time and energy on our own pursuits without a thought of what our heavenly Father may have in mind for us. 

Third, Paul tells us to “understand what the will of the Lord is” (v. 17). In its broadest sense, God’s will for us is that we would each become the person He created us to be and do the work He planned for us (Ephesians 2:10). Knowing this, we should look at every decision with consideration of whether our choice will further or hinder our heavenly Father’s purposes for us. 

The Lord wants us to walk wisely so that we can enjoy all the marvelous benefits He has promised in His Word. Wasted opportunities and time misspent can never be reclaimed. Let’s commit to make our lives count for Christ instead of merely living for ourselves.

By His Doing

“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1:30)

In this one verse we find described four aspects of Christ’s work on our behalf. As we look at each one, let us first note that it is “of him,” literally “by his doing,” that we are in Christ Jesus, who “is made” or “who became” these things to us and for us.

Wisdom of God: This is the preferred rendering. Paul was writing to the church at Corinth (a Greek city). The Greeks were infatuated with wisdom, but Paul declared Christ Jesus to be the “wisdom of God.” Such wisdom is likewise imparted to believers (v. 24), while “the foolishness of God is wiser than men” (v. 25).

Righteousness: Christ, being “made” righteousness, becomes an all-sufficient righteousness to us. This imputed rightness before God gives us a new standing before Him, permitting us access to Him, peace with Him, and ultimate glory with Him.

Sanctification: In Christ, we not only have this righteous standing, we are assured of a holy state as well. Through the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we know that our lives will be constantly molded into Christ-likeness.

Redemption: Christ is made redemption for us, and in its fullest definition, this is His final goal. Through His redemptive work, we have been completely delivered from the power of sin and will one day be delivered from the presence of sin.

The introductory phrase “of him” or “by his doing” is emphatic in the Greek text. When we see what He has done, we realize just how helpless we were and how strongly He has acted on our behalf. “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (v. 31). JDM

“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?”

“Thou has pleaded the causes of my soul.”

Genesis 44:14-34

Joseph ordered a silver cup to be placed in Benjamin’s sack, and when his brethren had set out upon their journey he sent his steward after them to bring them back. By this means Joseph tried his brethren, and brought them into a fit condition to be informed of their relationship. Our reading commences with the scene when the brothers had been brought back into Joseph’s court-house.

Genesis 44:15

This he said to help himself in acting the part he had assumed.

Genesis 44:16

Though innocent of the present charge, Judah confesses that their sad plight was well deserved by other sins.)

Genesis 44:17

To this Judah, the surety, could not yield; but pleaded in a marvellously touching manner. Note how eloquent he was. Our surety is our advocate, and his pleadings are mighty.

Genesis 44:18-34

The power of Judah’s advocacy lay very much in its truth. It is a simple unvarnished narrative of facts. But its master weapon is found in the proposed substitution of himself for Benjamin. He is ready to smart for his suretyship. Do we not remember how Judah’s great antitype not only proferred to be our substitute but actually was so: in this lies the power of his intercession.

Where high the heavenly temple stands,

The house of God not made with hands,

Jesus, our Judah, stands to plead,

A brother born for time of need.

He, who for men their surety stood,

And pour’d on earth his precious blood,

Pursues in heaven his mighty plan,

The advocate and friend of man.

God Will Not Play Along with Adam

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5

There is great need for us to learn the truths of the sovereignty of God and the Lordship of Christ.

God will not play along with Adam; Christ will not be “used” by any of Adam’s selfish brood.

We had better learn these things fast if this generation of young Christians is to be spared the supreme tragedy of following a Christ who is merely a Christ of convenience and not the true Lord of glory at all!

I confess to a feeling of uneasiness about this when I observe the questionable things Christ is said to do for people these days. He is often recommended as a wonderfully obliging but not too discriminating Big Brother who delights to help us to accomplish our ends, and who further favors us by forbearing to ask any embarrassing questions about the moral and spiritual qualities of those ends.

In our eagerness to lead men to “accept” Christ we are often tempted to present for acceptance a Christ who is little more than a caricature of “that holy thing” which was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, to be crucified and rise the third day to take His place on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens.

The whole purpose of God in redemption is to make us holy and to restore us to the image of God! To accomplish this, He disengages us from earthly ambitions and draws us away from the cheap and unworthy prizes that worldly men set their hearts upon.