Pray for the Increase of Evangelism

Pray for the Increase of Evangelism

As believers and followers of Jesus, we’re called to pray for the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to spread over all of the earth. 

Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you . . .  (2 Thes 3:1 NIV)  Pray for your Pastor and the missionaries that your church supports that God will bless and prosper their work.  Pray also for the family of your Pastor and the families of the missionaries that you support.

. . . for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.  (1 Cor 16:9 NIV)  Remember that there are spiritual opponents and challengers who stand against the gospel of Jesus Christ.  But the Bible reminds us that God has given us the victory.  It is part of our calling to pray for that victory to be manifested in every evangelistic outreach.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  (1 Cor 15:57 NKJV)

But the word of God increased and multiplied.  (Ac 12:24 NIV)  By the grace and mercy of God, our prayers can turn a situation around by faith in Jesus.

. . . therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”  (Mt 9:38 NIV)  Ask the Lord in your prayers to send out more evangelists so that His good news of salvation may bring about the end-time harvest.

Of course, we should pray for our unsaved relatives and friends to be saved.  It’s a measure of our love for them that we desire to pray for their salvation.  Remember what the Bible tells us: If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (Joh 15:7 NIV)  Rejoice!

Self-Control Is Ours: Use It

Self-Control Is Ours: Use It

The dictionary definition of self-control is ‘the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behavior, especially in difficult situations.’    Another explanation of self-control is ‘restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires.’

The Word of God talks about self-control and how important it is in the life of a believer.

Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.  (Pro 16:32 NIV)  The Bible says that a person with self-control is better that a person who conquers a city!  Wow!

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.  (Pro 25:28 NIV)  The Scriptures compare a person without self-control to an unprotected and broken-down city.  This is a small insight into how critical our need is for self-control.  We leave our souls unprotected and open to assault and harm without self-control.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.  (Gal 5:22-23 NKJV)  This is a list of the fruit of the Spirit available to all who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior.  Self-control is one of the gifts provided to us by the Holy Spirit.

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness . . . (2 Pet 1:5-6 NKJV)  This passage of the Bible teaches us how to diligently build upon our faith in Jesus Christ, which is the foundation for our lives.  There’s an order and a method to the process which the Lord wants us to know.  Each and every part of this process is important and very necessary to our spiritual lives.

One of the greatest points to remember about the gift of self-control is that its ultimate goal is to choose Christ over everything else!  Hallelujah!

Persist in Faith for Christ is our Hope

Persist in Faith for Christ is our Hope

Because we have a living Hope who is Jesus Christ, the righteous One, we need to persevere in our faith.  We should also pray diligently for answers to our needs.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  (Rom 12:12 NIV)

Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.  (Ps 62:8 NKJV) 

Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing . . .  (1 Thes 5:16-17 NKJV)

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  (Col 1:27 NIV)

Glory to God!  God is our refuge—our safe haven and our protector. 

The tomb couldn’t hold the living and victorious body of our Savior.  Jesus lived a holy and sinless life on earth. 

He appeared to many people several days after He had been crucified bearing the wounds of the cross.  When He did, Jesus demonstrated power and victory over death.  Jesus is ALIVE.  Glory to God! Jesus is our hope because He is alive; He is almighty; and He has reconciled us to God the Father.

Trust in God & Be Not Afraid

Trust in God & Be Not Afraid

As followers and disciples of Jesus Christ, we place our trust, faith, and hope in God and in His Word.  But there are various challenging circumstances that we may face in life that might bring fear into our hearts.

Fear is not good because fear involves torment (suffering, torture, persecution).   Even the Bible confirms this fact:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.  (1 Joh 4:18a NKJV)

These Bible passages (below) encourage us to trust in God and to avoid fear.  These verses state why we can be faith-filled.

In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me?  (Ps 56:4 NIV)  With God on our side, what can a mere human being do?

The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me?  (Ps 118:6 NIV)  This echoes the same feeling as the verse above.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.  (Rom 8:31-34 NIV)  This passage from the Scriptures reminds us of the many blessings that we have received along with our salvation.  We have so many reasons to rejoice and to be full of faith.

So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”  (Heb 13:6 NIV)  Be filled with confidence. Just remember that the Lord is the One who is helping us—constantly!

Let us overflow with thanksgiving and praise.

A Relationship With Jesus is Great Gain

A Relationship With Jesus is Great Gain

Once we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we have begun an eternal relationship with the Lord.  Having a relationship with Jesus, our Savior, is the greatest blessing and gain (profit, benefit, advantage) anyone can ever have.  Hallelujah!

But godliness with contentment is great gain.  (1 Tim 6:6 NIV)  Living a holy life (godliness) with peace in our hearts (contentment) is a wonderful blessing.

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Heb 13:5)  Jesus, our living Lord, will never leave us nor reject us.  The Word instructs us to be content with such a supernatural blessing as this, as well as all of the other blessings that Jesus has purchased for us.

For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.  (1 Tim 4:8)  Godliness (righteousness, holiness) is necessary and beneficial for this life as well as for all eternity.

Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble.  (Pro 15:16)  It is better to have a small amount in this life along with awe-inspired respect for our Lord, than to have what the world considers to be “great treasure” because such things are accompanied by anxieties and dangers, and temptations to turn away from our faith in our Savior.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  (Ps 84:11)  The Lord does not deny ANY GOOD THING to His followers, His obedient ones who live in holiness. The greatest wealth that anyone can ever have is a deep and abiding relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 

Every blessing, every benefit, and every advance is a gift that flows from His loving heart.  Thank God for His blessings today, friends!

God Controls “Random Chance”

God Controls “Random Chance”

The Bible informs us in several different places that the Lord controls random chance.  Does that surprise you?  He limits evils and redeems traumatic situations when we enlist His aid, and ask for His intervention.  However, people of faith simply trust God to cover them with His mercy and protection on a daily basis. 

Here are the relevant Scriptures for you:

The dice settle conflicts and keep strong opponents apart.  (Pro 18:18 CEB)  The casting of lots (throwing the dice) can be helpful in times of conflict and stiff opposition.  The people involved must trust that God is the one controlling the outcome of the toss of the dice.

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.  (Pro 16:33 NKJV)  This verse clearly states that the way the dice land is controlled every time by the Lord.  Can you believe that?

The leaders of the people lived in Jerusalem. The rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of ten to live in the holy city of Jerusalem, while the remaining nine stayed in the other towns.  (Neh 11:1 CEB)  The people of faith in the Old Testament trusted God to control the outcome of this casting of lots.  In this instance, the result determined who was appointed to live in the holy city of Jerusalem.

In these current times, we who follow Jesus do well to trust that however people are chosen for blessings and benefits, whether by district; by names thrown into a drum; or random computer algorithms; etc., God is involved in each and every detail. 

For nothing will be impossible with God.  (Lk 1:37 ESV)  Nothing is impossible with God.

You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?  (Ps 56:8 ESV)  The Lord keeps a record of when we toss and turn in the night, and of our tears!  He knows about every single thing that we experience daily.

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  (Mt 10:30 NIV)  God is involved in even the smallest details of our lives. Let’s rejoice in God’s goodness and in the fact that He affectionately watches over all of the myriad intricacies of our lives.  Hallelujah!

Whiter Than Snow

Whiter Than Snow

Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.  (Isa 1:18 NIV)

This Scripture verse is a type of ultimatum from God full of grace and mercy.  The Lord is offering forgiveness and cleansing for the repentant soul.  The color red signifies the deep-rooted nature of sin, and the white indicates purity and innocence which only the Lord can impart.

Purify me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow.  (Ps 51:7 CEB)

Purge me with hyssop, with the blood of Christ applied to my soul by a lively faith, as the water of purification was sprinkled with a bunch of hyssop. The blood of Christ is called the blood of sprinkling, Heb 12:24.  (Source:  Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on Psalm 51:7)

. . . and to honor his glorious grace that he has given to us freely through the Son whom he loves. We have been ransomed through his Son’s blood, and we have forgiveness for our failures based on his overflowing grace, which he poured over us with wisdom and understanding.  (Eph 1:6-8 CEB)

The passage above suggests that the blood of Jesus, our Savior, has freed us from the grip of sin, and immersed us in the forgiveness and glorious grace of God.  What an eternal gift of God from the heart of our living God! 

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  (1 Joh 1:7, emphasis added)  All who have accepted Jesus Christ as their own Lord and Savior have had their souls made whiter than snow.  All we need to do, going forward, is to walk in the light of God’s Word and in fellowship with our fellow believers. All glory to God!

An Established Throne

An Established Throne

As we read the Bible, we can see a consistent theme running throughout:  that God desires ALWAYS to do good to His people.  As we follow Christ obediently, by faith, we are one of God’s people.  Furthermore, He has decreed that His throne and His kingdom shall prevail forever.

Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.  (2 Sam 7:16 NIV)

. . . 10 since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel. Also I will subdue all your enemies. Furthermore I tell you that the Lord will build you a house. 11 And it shall be, when your days are fulfilled, when you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up your seed after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My mercy away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. 14 And I will establish him in My house and in My kingdom forever; and his throne shall be established forever.”  (1 Chron 17:10-14 NKJV)

The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.  (Ps 103:19 CEB)

A throne will be established in mercy. In the tent of David a judge will sit on the throne in truth, seeking justice, eager to bring righteousness.  (Isa 16:5 EHV)

Why should God’s promise to establish a throne forever be good news to us?  Here are a few points for your meditation and reflection.

  • God, who knows EVERYTHING, is on our side.  (Ps 118:6-7 ESV; Heb 13:5)
  • God, who is ALL POWERFUL, is 100% for us.  (Ps 56:9b; Isa 41:10; Mt 28:20)
  • God is all-wise, and He shares His wisdom with us through His word.  (Ps 111:10; Pro 2:6; Lk 21:15; Jas 1:5)
  • God has good plans for each one of us.  (Jer 29:11; 1 Cor 2:9)
  • God is our healer.  (Ex 15:26; Ps 30:2; Jer 30:17; 1 Pet 2:24)
  • The Lord fights for us.  (Deu 3:22; 20:14; Josh 23:10)
  • The Lord has given us the victory.  (Deu 20:4; Rom 8:37; 1 Cor 15:57; Col 2:15; 1 Joh 5:4)

God’s plans for us are good.  He not only fights on our side, but He has already given us the victory! Hallelujah!

What’s Your Decision?

What’s Your Decision?

Whom would you rather serve?  You would do well to read our last blog titled Two Paths.  It will shed light upon this article.

Every human being on earth must make a decision whether to serve Jesus, the Son of the Living God; or to serve satan, known as the accuser of the brethren.  (Rev 12:10)

What does the Bible say about Jesus?  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  (Joh 10:10b NKJV)

The Scriptures warn us to “make our election sure.”  The Lord tells us in His Word how each and every believer may confirm and safeguard his future in eternity:

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.  10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  (2 Pet 1:5-11 NKJV, emphasis added)

After we have accepted the Lord Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer, we do well to submit ourselves to the cleansing that comes to us through daily reading and meditation upon the Bible.  Read for yourself the truth of this statement:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.  (Eph 5:25-27 NKJV, underscoring added)

Also, the Holy Spirit will teach us and lead us into all truth as we read the Word of God regularly.  (Joh 16:13) 

Trust the Lord to teach you and to guide you.  Allow Him to make changes in your life day by day, year by year, and decade by decade.  In so doing, you will bear fruit and make your calling and election sure!  God bless you.

Witnesses, Races & Crowns

Witnesses, Races & Crowns

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us . . .  (Heb 12:1)

The witnesses spoken of in the above verse are already in heaven (saints from the Old Testament).  We are instructed to lay aside every weight (cares of this life, family concerns, money issues, etc.) and sin, and to resolutely run the “race” that is set before us.  The race is the Christian life which is a marathon, not a sprint.  This is why we must run it with fortitude, patience and faith.

“If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.”  (Joh 5:31-33)

In this passage of Scripture, Jesus says that His witness is John, the Baptist.  Let us ask ourselves, who will be our witnesses? 

Every believer whom we have ever known who is already in the heavenlies, is our witness.  Other witnesses will include everyone who has ever known us, as well as our own family and extended family members.  What will they be able to say about us?  Will they be able to testify that we are Christians and that we lived as Christians?  Will our spouse and our own children be able to give a good testimony about us?  These are vital points to consider and reflect upon.

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  (1 Cor 9:24) 

Run your race in such a profoundly beautiful way that you will assuredly receive your crown in heaven which is the prize for which we strive.

For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise . . .  (Heb 10:36)

We need to endure and persevere in faith and strength, so that we may receive these blessed promises.  Hallelujah!