Storms

The whole earth will hear

God uses us

We are Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you.

1 Corinthians 5:20
 

Storms over Romania

WATERS OF LIFE

 

In the summer of 1990, following the overthrow of the communist regime in Romania, a number of Romanian church leaders invited me to return to the country for a preaching mission in four cities. I will long remember the first night in Timisoara. I was preaching the gospel in a stadium that had been built to promote and proclaim communism. When I gave the invitation following the message, I thought my translator, Peter, had misinterpreted what I had said and dismissed the crowd. It seemed as though everyone got up to leave. I then realized the people were not leaving, they were responding to the invitation to accept Christ!

After several nights of rich harvests, we began meetings in the city of Medias. As I was preaching, a storm approached the stadium. The wind began to blow, and I could see a huge black cloud approaching. I knelt on the platform and prayed, “Lord God, there are people in this stadium who have never heard the gospel. They may never have another opportunity. I ask that You stay the storm and allow us to continue.”

Several American businessmen in our ministry team were sitting in the top rows of the stadium that evening. They later reported that as the storm approached, it literally divided and went around the stadium. In the path of the storm, houses were destroyed, trees were uprooted, and power lines were downed. But in the stadium, we continued the service, and hundreds of people gave their lives to Christ that night. To God be all the glory!
Steve Wingfield in Live the Adventure

Adapted from The Prayer Bible Jean E. Syswerda, general editor, Tyndale House Publishers (2003), p 1593.

Digging Deeper: Read To Fly Again, the follow-up to In the Presence of My Enemies, in which Gracia Burnham reflects on the lessons and spiritual truths she learned in the jungle and how they apply to anyone’s life.

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

God Is In Charge

00-end-time-bible-prophecy-word-of-god-is-alive

 
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
 
 

God is in charge of the world

Is God really in charge today?

Lord, in the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. Even they will perish, but you remain forever. They will wear out like old clothing. You will roll them up like an old coat. They will fade away like old clothing. But you are always the same; you will never grow old. Hebrews 1:10-12 Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch the Lord rescue you. The Egyptians that you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. You won’t have to lift a finger in your defense!” Exodus 14:13-14

About this week’s promise

Wars, starvation, disease, natural disasters — when we see all the pain in the world, it is easy to wonder if God is really in control. This passage assures us that however unpredictable, fearsome, and seemingly out of control the world is, Christ is Lord and King of all. Although we fully understand how he exercises his authority over daily events, we can trust fully that eternity is his and that we, adopted children of God, will exist in eternity long after the present trials are over.

Adapted from TouchPoint Bible with devotional commentary by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers, Tyndale House Publishers (1996), p 1083

Digging Deeper

For more on this week’s promise, see examples in The One Year® Book of Christian History by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten, Tyndale House Publishers (2003) — one of our source books for God’s Daily Promises.

What happened on this date in church history? From ancient Rome to the twenty-first century, from peasants to presidents, from missionaries to martyrs, this book shows how God does extraordinary things through ordinary people every day of the year. Each story appears on the day and month that it occurred and includes questions for reflection and a related Scripture verse.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Christ will return

Christ will return

Everyone will see

[Jesus said], “Then everyone will see the Son of Man arrive on the clouds with power and great glory. So when all these things begin to happen, stand straight and look up, for your salvation is near!”

Luke 21:27-28

No fear of judgment

 

What images come to mind when you think of “end times prophecies”?…Most people, if they were honest, would admit that their view of the end times is a frightening one.…They imagine an angry and vengeful God hovering high above it all, bent on destruction and raining terror on all who have rejected him.

Have we missed something? In many ways I think we have. God didn’t reveal these graphic images of the coming judgment to express his wrath or even to frighten us into believing. He revealed them to show us his wonderful grace and mercy in the midst of our sin and unworthiness. The story isn’t about pending gloom and doom, but it’s about a loving Father who will do anything he can to help people escape the consequences of evil.

Bible prophecy isn’t intended to frighten us, but it’s to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is real and omnipotent and active in our lives; to warn us of the very real danger lying ahead for those who reject his love and mercy; and to encourage us to accept his gracious and free offer of salvation through his Son, Jesus.

In his first letter to Timothy, Paul tells us that God “wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth” (2:4).…Time and again in Scripture we are told that God longs for his people to be with him in heaven. The Bible is not a story of wrath and judgment but of unconditional love and redemption. God longs to be with us and wants desperately for us to accept his hand of salvation. What we do is up to us.

Adapted from Embracing Eternity by Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins and Frank M. Martin, Tyndale House Publishers (2004), entry for January 3.

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

What is security?

God is our security

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
Psalm 118:8

What is security?

Put on the whole armor, and take up your shield. Prepare for battle, and come to my aid.

Psalm 35:2

Security is our nearness to God, not our distance from danger.

Kenneth R. Hendre

In the gun sights

 

When Ira Sankey was at the height of his ministry, he was traveling on a steamer in the Delaware River. Some passengers had seen his picture in the newspaper and knew he was associated with evangelist D. L. Moody. When they asked him to sing one of his own compositions, Sankey said he preferred a hymn by William Bradbury, “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us.” One of the stanzas begins, “We are thine, do thou befriend us; be the guardian of our way.”

When he finished, a man stepped out and inquired, “Were you in the army, Mr. Sankey?”

“Yes, I joined up in 1860.”

“Did you ever do guard duty at night in Maryland, about 1862?”

“Yes, I did.”

“Well, I was in the Confederate Army,” said the stranger. “I saw you one night at Sharpsburg. I had you in my gun sight as you stood there in the light of the full moon. Just as I was about the pull the trigger, you began to sing. It was the same hymn you sang tonight,” the man told an astonished Sankey. “I couldn’t shoot you.”

I. M. Anderson in Moody

Life is filled with near misses. We know only a fraction of the many situations in which God preserves us from severe physical and emotional injury.

Adapted from Men of Integrity Devotional Bible with devotions from the editors of Men of Integrity, a publication of Christianity Today International (Tyndale, 2002), entry for May 14.

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Overcoming discouragement

Overcoming discouragement brings great blessing

How do you remind yourself of God’s leading in the past?

Joshua said to the people, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: …I took your ancestor Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him to the land of Canaan. I gave him many descendents through his son Isaac.… Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I brought terrible plagues on Egypt; and afterward I brought you out as a free people.… With your very own eyes you saw what I did.… Finally, I brought you into the land of the Amorites on the east side of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I gave you victory over them, and you took possession of their land.… When you crossed the Jordan River and came to Jericho, the men of Jericho fought against you. There were also many others who fought you. … It was not your swords or bows that brought you victory. I gave you land you had not worked for, and I gave you cities you did not build—the cities in which you are now living. I gave you vineyards and olive groves for food, though you did not plant them.

Joshua 24:2-13

Joshua’s story of hope

Joshua reminded a discouraged people of all the times God had provided for them and demonstrated his goodness. Reviewing past blessings can encourage us to continue to serve God faithfully. Keep records—through a journal or a scrapbook—of the love God has shown for you. When you need encouragement, review what God has already done, revisiting the mementos of his work in your life. And read the Bible in order to refresh your knowledge of the many blessings God has given his people throughout history.

adapted from TouchPoint Bible with devotional commentary by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers, Tyndale House Publishers (1996), p 208

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Bible

Fill yourself with the Word

How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your Word and following its rules.

Psalm 119:9

Let the Bible fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.

Henrietta Mears

A drunk meets a cop

Fragrance

Dawson Troter, founder of the Navigators, was student body president, basketball team captain, and class valedictorian when he was in high school. But then life fizzled out. He gambled, drank to excess, and caroused. He was staggering through the streets one night when a policeman stopped him, took his car keys, and asked, “Son, do you like this kind of life?” “Sir, I hate it,” replied Trotman. Instead of arresting him for drunkenness, the policeman urged Dawson to change his life.

That encounter was a turning point. Dawson attended a church gathering where he was challenged to memorize ten Bible verses stressing salvation. Trotman memorized the verses, then memorized another ten the next week. Several weeks later, as he pondered the meaning of what he had learned, he quietly prayed, “Oh God, whatever it means to receive Jesus, I want to do it right now.”

Trotman never got away from the power of the Word. As his knowledge of the Bible grew, he realized that a combination of prayer, worship, service, and the study of Scripture produced spiritual growth.

Harold J. Sala in Heroes

David used every technique he knew to ensure that he’d do things God’s way. He programmed God’s Word into himself so that he could retrieve it at crucial points along the way. He recited God’s Word aloud, reinforcing his learning. He studied and reflected on God’s Word. All this transformed his character and kept him on the right path.

Adapted from Men of Integrity Devotional Bible with devotions from the editors of Men of Integrity, a publication of Christianity Today International (Tyndale, 2002), entry for June 5.

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Hearing God

Hearing God

“My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

John 10:27

He knows our name, our nature

“Usually, when someone says, “God has been speaking to me lately,” we get a little suspicious (justly so, in many cases). Many who say God speaks to them are far too often what I describe as a few clowns short of a circus.

Yet as our Good Shepherd, Jesus promises that we can hear and know His voice. This does not, however, need to be some mysterious, mystical process. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that God speaks to you quite often.

You see, the Good Shepherd knows not only your name (John 10:3), but your nature.

Yes, God speaks—but we do not always like what He says. Have you sensed the conviction of the Holy Spirit when you were in a relationship or a place you did not belong? At times, God’s Holy Spirit whispers in the stillness of your heart, “What are you doing here?” How else can we know when God is speaking to us?

God speaks to us through His word. (Psalm 119:105)

God speaks to us through circumstances (Psalm 119:67)

God speaks to through His peace (Colossians 3:15)

And once we have heard God’s voice, what should we do? We must follow. Jesus calls, we responds. He whispers, we move. We follow—and then we keep on listening.

from the Breakfast with Jesus by Greg Laurie (Tyndale) pp 243-45

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House


 

A faithful witness

A faithful witness

GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS

…they will see your honorable behavior, and they will believe and give honor to God when he comes to judge the world.

1 Peter 2:12

…it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.

Matthew 18:14

A prayer for an unsaved tribe

On Sunday afternoon, December 18, Nate Saint sat at his typewriter to tell the world why they [the missionaries] were going [to work among the Auca Indians] — just in case. In speaking these words he spoke for all [those involved in reaching the Aucas]: “As we weigh the future and seek the will of God, does it seem right that we should hazard our lives for just a few savages? As we ask ourselves this question, we realize that it is not the call of the needy thousands, rather it is the simple intimation of the prophetic Word that there shall be some from every tribe in His presence in the last day and in our hearts we feel that it is pleasing to Him that we should interest ourselves in making an opening into the Auca prison for Christ.…May God give us a new vision of His will concerning the lost and our responsibility.

“May we know that we could comprehend the lot of these stone-age people who live in mortal fear of ambush on the jungle trail those who think all men in the world are killers like themselves. If God would grant vision, the word sacrifice would disappear from our lips and thoughts; our lives would suddenly be too short, we would despise time-robbing distractions and charge the enemy with all our energies in the name of Christ.” [Nate Saint and his four missionary companions were killed by the Auca Indians only two weeks later, in early January 1956].

Elizabeth Elliot in Through Gates of Splendor

Adapted from The Prayer Bible Jean E. Syswerda, general editor, Tyndale House Publishers (2003), p 283.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House


 

Nathan- God Provides

God helps those who help the poor

 

Why should I help the poor?

Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor. The Lord rescues them in times of trouble. The Lord protects them and keeps them alive. He gives them prosperity and rescues them from their enemies. The Lord nurses them when they are sick and eases their pain and discomfort.

Psalm 41:1-3

He will rescue the poor when they cry to him, he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them. He will save them from oppression and from violence, for their lives are precious to him.

Psalm 72:12-14
A greedy person tries to get rich quick, but it only leads to poverty. Greed causes fighting; trusting in the Lord leads to prosperity. Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing. But a curse will come upon those who close their eyes to poverty.
Proverbs 28:22,25,27

About this week’s promise

To be poor means that something is lacking from our life.

The Bible focuses primarily on two kinds of poverty — people who are in need of basic necessities (like food and clothing) and people who are in need of God (for they lack the Holy Spirit’s presence in their life). We are called — commanded — to help both of these kinds of people as much as we possibly can.

From the TouchPoint Bible (Tyndale House) p1244

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House


Word Study:  Hebrew “Nathan’

Nathan

(1), provide (1), provided (2), provides

Source


 

God’s Mercy

God is merciful

Have You Received God’s Mercy?

Praise the Lord, I tell myself; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives my sins and heals all my diseases. He ransoms me from death and surrounds me with love and tender mercies.

Psalm 103:1-4

Having chosen [his people], he called them to come to him. And he gave them right standing with himself, and he promised them his glory.

Romans 8:30

Pardoned

The essential act of mercy was to pardon; and pardon in its very essence involves the recognition of guilt and ill-desert in the recipient. If crime is only a disease which needs cure, not sin which deserves punishment, it cannot be pardoned. How can you pardon a man for having a gumboil or a club foot? But the Humanitarian theory wants simply to abolish Justice and substitute Mercy for it. This means that you start being “kind” to people before you have considered their rights, and then force upon them supposed kindnesses which no one but you will recognize as kindnesses and which the recipient will feel as abominable cruelties. You have overshot the mark. Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful. That is the important paradox. As there are plants which will flourish only in mountain soil, so it appears that Mercy will flower only when it grows in the crannies of the rock of Justice: transplanted to the marshlands of mere Humanitarianism, it becomes a man-eating weed, all the more dangerous because it is still called by the same name as the mountain variety.
C. S. LEWIS in God in the Dock

Quoted in The Quotable Lewis edited by Wayne Martindale and Jerry Root (Tyndale House) p 426


Not what thou art, nor what thou hast been, doth God regard with his merciful eyes, but what thou wouldst be.
JULIAN OF NORWICH

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House