This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. (1 John 4:10 NLT)
Ecclesiastes 8:8 (KJV)
There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.
In Old Testament times all Hebrew males over 20 were required to serve in the army, as I believe is customary in Israel still. However, there were a number of exemptions given in the Law that allowed some to not serve. They could have a “pass” on fighting and going to war through these laws.
Today we often see folks that by-pass the way things “should” be by various means. Some times money or fame or political clout gets a person out of a jam that Joe Average would just be stuck in. And we all see the injustice in these kinds of things but rarely have the means to do anything about them.
The Bible teaches that one day there will be a righteous judgement for all by the Righteous Judge: Christ Jesus. On that great and terrible day fame, fortune nor collateral will matter, only connections. And the one connection will be this: Are you His, under His blood? How each one answers that question will determine their eternal fate, one of joy and rest or weeping and gnashing of teeth. Are you sure of your connection? Have you examined yourself to make sure as Scripture enjoins? It’s far too important a question to not know that you know that you know the answer to!
A man shared the Gospel with two young ladies. When he finished he asked the first girl if she would like to pray and receive Jesus as her Savior; she said yes. After they prayed, he then asked the second girl the same question; she replied that she wasn’t ready to make that choice.
That young lady may not have realized it but she had made her choice; to reject Jesus. There’s no middle ground, no gray area in this matter; it’s completely black and white, crystal clear. If your answer to Christ is anything other than yes, you are rejecting Him and saying no to His grace. It can’t be worded much simpler than that.
Luke 11:23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.
We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty (2 Peter 1:16).
Scripture: 2 Peter 1:16-21
I witnessed it, watching in horror as a pick-up truck veered out of its lane and smashed into a friend’s car. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. The truck’s driver tried to deny his responsibility, but the police were quite interested in my firsthand, eyewitness account.
The apostles were eyewitnesses too. How wonderful to walk with Jesus, to dine with Him, to hear Him teach. They witnessed His miracles; they heard the voice of the Father affirming Jesus as His Son. They even saw Jesus raised to life, and then ascending to Heaven.
We encounter difficult days when our faith may be tested. We may begin to doubt in the darkness what seemed so sure in the light. It’s then that we can return to the beginning point of faith-to the clear, firsthand accounts of those who were with Jesus. After all, you just can’t argue with an eyewitness. Let Christ shine in your heart, no matter how dark your days may seem.
Father, thank You for the faithful witness of those who were with Jesus. May their testimony be a constant source of strength and faith for me. In the name of Jesus, my Savior, I pray. Amen.
(Dan Nicksich is the senior minister of First Christian Church in Somerset, Pennsylvania.)
A nurse on the pediatric ward, before listening to the little ones chests, would plug the stethoscope into their ears and let them listen to their own hearts. Their eyes would always light up with awe, but she never got a response equal to four-year old David’s comment. Gently she tucked the stethoscope into his ears and placed the disk over his heart. ‘Listen’, she said, ‘What do you suppose that is?’ He drew his eyebrows together in a puzzled line and looked up as if lost in the mystery of the strange tap – tap – tapping deep in his chest.
Then his face broke out in a wondrous grin and he asked, ‘Is that Jesus knocking on my door?’
What a wonderful story! With the innocence of a child, we too must listen for that “knock”. Jesus knocks on the door of our hearts because He desires we let Him in to make us new creatures. He knocks because He desires we yield to Him to do His will. He knocks because He loves us. The question is simply this: Are we listening for the knock? And then, are we answering His call?
Mat 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
I am so thankful that You do knock at my heart’s door. I pray for the discernment and courage to always answer Your call and be obedient to it.
Yesterday we had the pleasure of watching our grandson. Connor, for several hours and to our surprise he spent the night with us, too. He’s on a bit of a different schedule then we are; he is late to bed lat to rise, Maw-maw and Papaw, not so much. In fact, as I write this he is still asleep.
Watching the little fellow lay there so peacefully, without a care in the world, is a something I enjoy a lot. But the thought comes to mind as to what he will have to face in his life time and it is not quite as an enjoyable thing. I know how much I have seen the world change, and not mostly for the better, in my lifetime and can only wonder how many different things the young ones we have now will have to face as they grow up.
There is one thing I know for sure amidst the doubts and cares of this world: We serve an unchanging God and He will be there for those children as He is for us. As the old song says:
How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!
Calm assurance it certainly is to have the comfort of knowing that Jesus will be there to help us, our children, and grandchildren and so on through the all of the uncertain times.
Heb 13:5b-6 …for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (6) So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
I am so thankful to know that You are with us always. Your constant presence gives me the strength to go on toward the prize that awaits me.