Thursday, October 23, 2014

LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS


John 8:12 (Darby): “Jesus spoke to them, saying, I am the light of the world; he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Patricia John, who has been described as an ordinary woman with an extraordinary faith, poured out her life ministering to people in the neediest places on our planet.

She was in Sudan when war refugees flooded that country. They had suffered terribly and had lost everything, yet those among them who were Christians still gave thanks to God.

Patricia said that she stood one night in a crowded little Sudanese church listening to those uprooted believers singing joyfully.

Suddenly a life-changing insight burned its way into her mind. "We would have changed their circumstances," she said, "but we would not have changed them."

She realized that God "does not always lift people out of the situation. He Himself comes into the situation. . . He does not pluck them out of the darkness. He becomes the light in the darkness." (Our Daily Bread)

“To the one who delights in the sovereignty of God, the clouds not only have a 'silver lining' but they are silvery all through, the darkness only serving to offset the light!” - A.W. Pink.

Psa 112:4 :(GNB) “Light shines in the darkness for good people, for those who are merciful, kind, and just.”

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

SHINE FOR JESUS!


Mat 5:16 (KJV): “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Among the ancient Greeks the runner that won the race was not the man who crossed the line in the shortest time, but the man who crossed it in the least time with his torch still burning. We are so busy with life's activities that we are in danger of allowing the torch of our spiritual life to become extinguished. - Doran's Ministers' Manual.

How to shine before men?

~Don’t be ashamed.

~Don’t be intimidated.

~Don’t cover your light to avoid others discovering it.

~Let it penetrate and dispel the darkness around you.

~Let them see your good works.

~Let them see how you love even when you’re treated unfairly.

~How you’re kind and generous in situations of favoritism and injustice.

~How you’re patient and self-controlled in the midst of irritation and inefficiency.

It is our choices that will ultimately be an example of Christ to the world and ultimately bring glory to God. And as our very lives reflect His light, He is glorified through us. (jacquewatkins.com)

“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.” - D.L. Moody.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

THE RIGHT ANSWER


There was a preacher who was interviewing with a pastoral search committee.

An English teacher headed the committee & was very concerned that the future pastor spoke properly. "When the hen is on the nest, does she sit or set?" he asked the candidate.

The hopeful pastor was frustrated. He didn't know what to say & his career was on the line.

Finally he replied, "It really doesn't matter if she's sitting or setting. What I want to know is this: when she cackles is she laying or lying?" (sermonillustrations.com)

Col 4:6 (GNB): “Your speech should always be pleasant and interesting, and you should know how to give the right answer to everyone.”

Monday, October 20, 2014

SOW IN PEACE – REAP JUSTICE


In 1886, Karl Benz drove his first automobile through the streets of Munich, Germany. He named his car the Mercedes Benz, after his daughter, Mercedes.

The machine angered the citizens, because it was noisy & scared the children & horses. Pressured by the citizens, the local officials immediately established a speed limit for "horseless carriages" of 5.5 km/hr in the city limits & 11 km/hr outside.

Benz knew he could never develop a market for his car & compete against horses if he had to creep along at those speeds, so he invited the mayor of the town for a ride. The mayor accepted.

Benz then arranged for a milkman to park his horse & wagon on a certain street & as Benz & the mayor drove by, to whip up his old horse & pass them & as he did so to give the German equivalent of the Bronx cheer. The plan worked.

The mayor was furious & demanded that Benz overtake the milk wagon. Benz apologized but said that because of the speed law he was not permitted to go any faster. Very soon after that the law was changed. (Bits & Pieces)

“The kingdom of God is righteousness and peace. True wisdom is never argumentative or quarrelsome. It does not strive. It maintains harmonious relationships with everyone, as far as possible.” - Zac Poonen.

Jas 3:18 (CEV): “When peacemakers plant seeds of peace, they will harvest justice.”

Sunday, October 19, 2014

RICH TOWARD GOD


George W. Truett, a well-known pastor, was invited to dinner in the home of a very wealthy man in Texas. After the meal, the host led him to a place where they could get a good view of the surrounding area.

Pointing to the oil wells punctuating the landscape, he boasted, "Twenty-five years ago, I had nothing. Now, as far as you can see, it's all mine." Looking in the opposite direction at his sprawling fields of grain, he said, "That's all mine." Turning east toward huge herds of cattle, he bragged, "They're all mine." Then pointing to the west and a beautiful forest, he exclaimed, "That too is all mine."

He paused, expecting Dr. Truett to compliment him on his great success. Truett, however, placing one hand on the man's shoulder and pointing heavenward with the other, simply said, "How much do you have in that direction?" The man hung his head and confessed, "I never thought of that." (Our Daily Bread)

“You had better be a poor man and a rich Christian, than a rich man and a poor Christian. You had better do anything, bear anything, and be anything rather than be a dwarf in grace.” - Thomas Brooks.

Luke 12:20-21 (ISV): “But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Now who will get the things you've accumulated?' That's how it is with the person who stores up treasures for himself and isn't rich toward God."

Friday, October 17, 2014

JOY


Men have pursued joy in every avenue imaginable. Some have successfully found it while others have not.

Perhaps it would be easier to describe where joy cannot be found:

~Not in Unbelief - Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote: "I wish I had never been born."

~Not in Pleasure - Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure if anyone did. He wrote: "The worm, the canker & grief are mine alone."

~Not in Money - Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying, he said: "I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth."

~Not in Position and Fame - Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote: "Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret."

~Not in Military Glory - Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Having done so, he wept in his tent, before he said, "There are no more worlds to conquer."

Where then is real joy found? - the answer is simple, in Christ alone.
(The Bible Friend, sermonillustrations.com)

"In thy presence is fulness of joy... - King David (Ps 16:11).

"Most of those who fail to experience the joy of the Lord have refused to take up a cross." - Walter J C.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

THE JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST


Sometime when you're in an airport, observe the difference between passengers who hold confirmed tickets & those who are on standby.

The ones with confirmed tickets read newspapers, chat with their friends or sleep.

The ones on standby hang around the ticket counter, pace & smoke, smoke & pace.

The difference is caused by the confidence factor.

If you knew that in fifteen minutes you would have to stand in judgment before the Holy God & learn your eternal destiny, what would your reaction be?

Would you smoke & pace? Would you say to yourself, "I don't know what God's going to say - will it be 'Welcome home, child,' or will it be 'Depart from me; I never knew you'? (Bill Hybels; sermonillustrations.com)

Rev 20:15 (ESV): “And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

“You cannot come to Christ unless the Spirit of God brings you. But what if you ignore His warnings? Then you are in the gravest danger, for some day God will no longer be speaking to you. Then it will be too late. Come to Christ while there is still time. Christ, God's greater Ark, stands ready to welcome you to safety today.” - Billy Graham.

Rev 22:12 (GNB): "Listen!" says Jesus. "I am coming soon! I will bring my rewards with me, to give to each one according to what he has done.”

The Judgment seat "is meant for us professing Christians, real & imperfect Christians; it tells us that there are degrees in that future blessedness proportioned to present faithfulness." - Alexander Maclaren.