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New Devotional – Worth studying – BPL
When the Road Narrows After Deciding to Follow Jesus!
The date was November 6, 1983. There was an altar call after the evening service that night, and my whole body shook as the pastor gave the invitation. Though I was embarrassed, I knew I couldn’t leave that service until I surrendered my heart completely to the Lord! I had seen a burning bush, and my life would never be the same.
After the service, I remember praying that the Lord would use me fully for His glory. At the time, however, I had no idea what I was really asking for or what the cost of my request would be. Somehow I missed the fine print about the journey of faith being a ‘narrow road’ when I signed on the dotted line!
Just as Jesus was baptized in the Jordan and immediately sent into the wilderness, I was tempted and tried after my commitment to Christ. Unlike Jesus, however, I didn’t pass my tests so well, and chose a course for my life that wasn’t God’s best. The result of my disobedience was struggle and pain. Though I would never want to live through those years of suffering again, I am deeply thankful for the fruit that came through that time. The strange thing is, I don’t know if I would have been prepared for the ministry God called me to later in life had I not suffered.
On my narrow road of trials and suffering, I learned that pain is a powerful tool in the Lord’s hands. The Lord is the master redeemer who takes our mistakes, other peoples’ mistakes, and the sorrows of this world and uses them as tools to shape us into the image of his Son. In Christ, the stones that cause us to stumble can become rocks that slay giants if we use them for the Lord’s glory!
I love the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis. He dreamed about his destiny as a teenager and then spent many years being prepared to fulfill it. The Lord used pain to make Joseph a vessel who could carry the authority God would one day give him to save his own people. The narrow road to Pharaoh’s palace in Eqypt was one of pits, slavery, false accusations, and dungeons. Joseph proved himself faithful every step of the way, and in the end God promoted him to the highest position in the land, second only to Pharaoh!
The truth is, none of us can fulfill the Lord’s highest purpose for our lives – only Christ in us can do that! To be fully used by God, we must learn to die to ourselves that He might live through us, but few of us are willing to walk that costly road of surrender. Like a McDonald’s value meal, we want our promotion to happen by the time we get to the drive-through window with no personal cost. What we may not understand, however, is that personal cost is the road to the wonderful plan God has for each of us!
When we are faced with trials, we have two choices. We can either get stuck in discouragement and give up, or we can follow Jesus, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2) In Christ, there is no transformation without a cross. There is no shortcut, but there is joy on the other side! God can use our deepest sorrows to bring us to the land of our destiny.
Finally, the best news of all is that the Lord never leaves us alone on the journey. We always have the Holy Spirit as our guide, our strength, and our comfort. There’s even joy on the journey as we discover God’s presence with us and in us at all times! Because Christ dwells in us, we don’t have to fear pain anymore. As Paul said in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
So here I am today – a very long way from where I was on November 6, 1983. If I could speak to the young Jean who was taking the first steps on her journey of faith that day, I would say, “Don’t be be afraid and don’t give up. The road of your highest calling in Christ might be narrow, but there will be joy along the way as you keep your eyes on the Him. And remember, little Jean, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it. (Phil 1:6)
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:14)
Friends: Please take the time to watch this movie about the Book in the
Holy Bible: John
I endorse it 100% as being a true depiction of the Birth, Life, Death and Resurrection
of The Son of GOD: Jesus Christ
Revelation Four – The Judgment of God on Earth – Video & Audio
To Be “in Christ Jesus”
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ
Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
What does it mean to be “in Christ Jesus?” First, think about what it was for Noah to be in the ark. The ark was waterproof. How do we know that? Well, God told Noah, “Put pitch on the inside and on the outside” (Genesis 6:14). The word “pitch” in the Hebrew is kapar, and it is exactly the same word translated “atonement.” You see, we are “in” Jesus Christ, as Noah was “in” that ark. Just as the storms of God’s wrath beat upon that ark, the storms of God’s wrath beat upon the Lord Jesus. But we are on the inside, and not one drop of judgment can come through.
Read Romans 8:35-39. Reflect on the things that Paul says will never separate you from God’s love. Give glory to God that your sins have been atoned for by the righteous blood of the Savior.
For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org.
“The Greatest thing that ever happened to me was when I realized that GOD forgave me of all my sins through the Death, Burial and Resurrection of His Son, Jesus and through my Faith in Him.”
And there came a lion (1 Samuel 17:34).
It is a source of inspiration and strength to come in touch with the youthful David, trusting God. Through faith in God he conquered a lion and a bear, and afterwards overthrew the mighty Goliath. When that lion came to despoil that flock, it came as a wondrous opportunity to David. If he had failed or faltered he would have missed God’s opportunity for him and probably would never have come to be God’s chosen king of Israel.
“And there came a lion.” One would not think that a lion was a special blessing from God; one would think that only an occasion of alarm. The lion was God’s opportunity in disguise. Every difficulty that presents itself to us, if we receive it in the right way, is God’s opportunity. Every temptation that comes is God’s opportunity.
When the “lion” comes, recognize it as God’s opportunity no matter how rough the exterior. The very tabernacle of God was covered with badgers’ skins and goats’ hair; one would not think there would be any glory there. The Shekinah of God was manifest under that kind of covering. May God open our eyes to see Him, whether in temptations, trials, dangers, or misfortunes.
–C. H. P.
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Today, we are starting a Weekly feature called:
“A Word From Casey!”
Dr. Winfield Casey Jones is a Retired Pastor from the First Presbyerian Church of Pearland, TX, He can be reached at: email@example.com
Do Not Fear Those Who Can Kill Only the Body
What if someone broke into your house and threatened to kill you? How do you think you or I might react?
What if you were about to be killed because of your faith in Christ? What do you think you would say or do?
Or what if the fears of some came true, and the nuclear bombs began to fall? How do you think we would respond? Does the Bible have anything to say to us about such horrible and catastrophic events?
Earlier this week I read a scripture in which Jesus specifically addresses such fears. (I had not read it in a while, and it got my attention precisely because I myself have feared the kinds of things I just mentioned.) Jesus said, “And do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can kill both body and soul in hell.” (Matthew 10:28).
These words of Jesus are sobering to say the least. But they are also comforting!
Imagine you were a Christian in a part of the world where some people wanted to kill you just because you believed Jesus is the Son of God. Your potential persecutors would of course want you to fear them, but would they have ever heard this verse where Jesus says not to fear those who can kill only the body but instead to fear only Him who can destroy both body and soul in hell? (Then your persecutors would be the ones who should be afraid for what they are about to do!)
Persecution, and even being killed for our faith, can happen in America. Christians have been shot in church worshipping God. It happened at Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, S.C. and at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX. Be honest. Have you feared that? Could such a fear keep you from going to church? Jesus says that a crazy shooter could kill your body but not your soul, and for that reason you should not fear such a person! He says you and I should fear only the One who can destroy both body and soul in hell.
Winfield Casey Jones is a retired pastor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column first appeared in the Pearland and Friendswood Reporter News.
GODLINESS EXALTS A NATION, BUT SIN
IS A REPROACH TO ANY PEOPLE!
Dr John Morgan
1 Thessalonians 5:6
Let us not sleep, as do others.
There are many ways of promoting Christian wakefulness. Among the rest, let me strongly advise Christians to converse together concerning the ways of the Lord. Christian and Hopeful, as they journeyed towards the Celestial City, said to themselves, “To prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse.” Christian enquired, “Brother, where shall we begin?” And Hopeful answered, “Where God began with us.” Then Christian sang this song-
“When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,
And hear how these two pilgrims talk together;
Yea, let them learn of them, in any wise,
Thus to keep open their drowsy slumb’ring eyes.
Saints’ fellowship, if it be managed well,
Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell.”
Christians who isolate themselves and walk alone, are very liable to grow drowsy. Hold Christian company, and you will be kept wakeful by it, and refreshed and encouraged to make quicker progress in the road to heaven. But as you thus take “sweet counsel” with others in the ways of God, take care that the theme of your converse is the Lord Jesus. Let the eye of faith be constantly looking unto Him; let your heart be full of Him; let your lips speak of His worth. Friend, live near to the cross, and thou wilt not sleep. Labour to impress thyself with a deep sense of the value of the place to which thou art going. If thou rememberest that thou art going to heaven, thou wilt not sleep on the road. If thou thinkest that hell is behind thee, and the devil pursuing thee, thou wilt not loiter. Would the manslayer sleep with the avenger of blood behind him, and the city of refuge before him? Christian, wilt thou sleep whilst the pearly gates are open-the songs of angels waiting for thee to join them-a crown of gold ready for thy brow? Ah! no; in holy fellowship continue to watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.
Purchase your own copy of Spurgeon’s classic Morning and Evening devotional
Why I Believe in the Return of Christ
God continues to bless Sagemont Church. In the last two Sundays, over 100 people have made public decisions to make Jesus Christ Lord of their life. Pastors Chuck Schneider, Stuart Rothberg, and Jim Hastings have been teaching the scriptures as both the Old and New Testaments prophesy and proclaim that Jesus Christ is coming back to this earth again to claim and receive His children unto Himself. During the worship services, I am preaching the message and promise of the return of Christ.
One may ask, “Pastor, why do you passionately believe that Jesus is literally going to return to the earth?” These are a few reasons:
Why I Believe in the Return of Christ
- Jesus said He would! John 14:3 “I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
- The entire Christian view of history demands it.
- The prophetic signs found in scripture are now clearly being fulfilled.
- Earthquakes all over the globe. Matthew 24:7 – (over 20,000 since 1971)
- Hearts will fail for fear. Luke 21:26 – Suicides are epidemic.
- Great explosions of learning. II Timothy 3:7 – People cannot discern the truth.
- Immorality abounds. Luke 17:26-27 – Like the days of Noah.
Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus will come to save His children and judge the rest.
God and Churchill
I have just completed reading one of the best books that I have read in the last twenty years. God and Churchill, written by one of our newest Sagemont members Jonathan Sandys (pronounced “sands”), great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill. Wallace Henley, staff member at Second Baptist Church, Houston, assisted Jonathan in this profound book. The purpose of the book is to make clear “how the great leader’s sense of divine destiny changed his troubled world and offers help for ours.” Tyndale Momentum is the publisher. The book has many profound quotes. However, there is one that has impacted my life more than many others. Prime Minister of Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher, addressing the Church of Scotland General Assembly in 1988, said “I think back to many discussions in my early life when we all agreed that if you try to take the fruits of Christianity without its roots, the fruits will wither. And they will not come back unless you nurture the roots.”
One of the responsibilities of the Bride of Christ, the Church, is to keep Christianity on track and prevent the derailing of His ultimate purpose. The paganism that is engulfing us today will ultimately destroy us unless we return to the roots of our faith. “Our faith is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” It is on the solid rock we must stand for truly all other ground is sinking sand.
Note: The book God and Churchill is available in the Sagemont Bookstore.
Read and hear each Chapter from the Book of Revelation:
Recommendation: Let your Marriage be a Dance… Choreographed by God!
Please Pray for our Troops that remain in Harm’s Way over-seas;
Please Pray for the Unemployed, the Homeless and the Unsaved around the world;
ADDITIONAL PRAYER REQUESTS: Please Pray for the economy in our Great Nation . For Peace, Democracy and Freedom in the Middle East; For a solution to our Immigration Problem; Protection for Jerusalem and Israel; Wisdom, Common Sense and Good Judgment for our World, National, State and Local Leaders; For our Military Men & Women in harm’s-way overseas; For our Police, Fire and EMS Personnel watching over us on a local level; For our Country; that it will turn from its wicked ways and humble itself before God so that He will heal our land! That we will elect the people that God would have us to elect to office. Please Email your Prayer Requests to:
Bob’s Favorite Quotes:
1.) The beginning of anxiety is the end of Faith and the end of anxiety is the beginning of Faith. George Mueller
2.) Its not Red, Yellow, Black or White Races; Its the HUMAN RACE! Bob Lewis – June 2, 2011 (You can quote me on that!)
3.) God will NOT do what YOU can do and YOU cannot do what GOD can do!
4.) FAITH MAKES THINGS POSSIBLE… NOT EASY!
5.) GOD is GOD alone; I am NOT GOD;
We should ALL state that to ourselves;
He does NOT need our help, we need His!
Other favorite Verses:
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
He that endureth to the end shall be saved.
The Lord hath given him rest from all his enemies.
11 Samuel 7:1
Thy remembrance shall endure into all generations.
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.
He that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life.
I rejoice in thy salvation.
1 Samuel 2:1
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well please.
Blessed is the man who maketh the Lord his trust.
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden.
Sleep on now, and take your rest.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
…Well done, thou good and faithful servant.
I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
…All things work together for good to them that love God.
…Be thou faith unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
…Not my will, but thine be done.
The Lord watch between me and thee, while we are absent, one from the other.
For with thee is the foundation of life: in the light shall we see light.
God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1 John iv:16
Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends.
This is the promise… the life everlasting.
1st Epistle of John ii:25
For of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Tell everyone about the amazing things He does!”
Bible Chapter Look-Up Just Enter the Book and Chapter and click enter! If you don’t know the Chapters in the Old & New Testaments in order, Just go to: Books and Chapters in the Holy Bible: Click Here! and look them up!)
May God Bless the reading of His Word and may He Bless you and your family and let His Favor shine down upon you today in everything you say and do, in Christ’s Name, Amen.
The most important verse in The Holy Bible is: Jesus told Nicodemus: “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish but have Everlasting Life!” John 3:16
The SECOND most important verse is: Jesus said: “I Am The Way The Truth and The Life: NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME!” John 14:6
From a Subscriber: “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
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His Great Commission, as He ascended back into Heaven while on the road to Bethany was:
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