Differences in Withstanding the Storm

Here is another great devotional by John MacArthur. Please visit his Grace to You site, where you will find tons of wonderful Biblical information, sermons, studies, links and other resources. This was last Saturday’s daily Bible reading, which I subscribe to via email.  Matt7-25-StormySky-35--AMP

July 11 – Differences in Withstanding the Storm

“‘The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. . . . The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against the house; and it fell—and great was its fall’” (Matthew 7:25, 27). Everyone’s religion, whether true or false, will be tried one day. That test will determine with great finality who are the wheat and who are the tares—in other words, the unredeemed will be revealed from the redeemed. When the storm of final test comes, those whose houses are on the bedrock of Jesus Christ and His Word will be spared “from the wrath to come” (1 Thess. 1:10). However, those whose houses are on the sand will not be spared, but, like the goats in Jesus’ prophecy of the end times, “will go away into eternal punishment” (Matt. 25:46; cf. Ex. 12:23; Rev. 20:12, 15). The house of the wise man—the life and ministry of the genuine believer—is spared because he has built carefully and faithfully, with a sense of substance and divine importance. After obediently doing all that God commands, he humbly realizes he was only doing his duty (Luke 17:10). The house of the foolish man—the life and ministry of the pseudo-believer—suffers a devastating judgment from the storm and is destined for eternal punishment. Because of this inevitability, everyone who claims to be a Christian must carefully heed James’s words: “Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22). The greatest difference between “wise” and “foolish” resides in what promise from God they can claim. To the wise He says, in the words of the hymn, “Though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no, never, no, never forsake!” Ask Yourself Those who are foolish in planning and preparation are often foolish as well in their assessment of the damage. Why do some whose lives are falling apart not seem to notice? How can you help one you know? From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610,www.moodypublishers.com. BlogSL2-smallest

What is the Christian’s hope?

I often write about living a joyful life filled with hope, in spite of painful or devastating circumstances. So, what exactly is hope—the kind of hope Christians have? Here is a great answer to this question from GotQuestions?, one of my favorite sites. Question: “What is the Christian’s hope?” Answer: Most people understand hope as wishful thinking, as in “I hope something will happen.” This is not what the Bible means by hope. The biblical definition of hope is “confident expectation.” Hope is a firm assurance regarding things that are unclear and unknown (Romans 8:24-25;Hebrews 11:1,7). Hope is a fundamental component of the life of the righteous (Proverbs 23:18). Without hope, life loses its meaning (Lamentations 3:18;Job 7:6) and in death there is no hope (Isaiah 38:18;Job 17:15). The righteous who trust or put their hope in God will be helped (Psalm 28:7), and they will not be confounded, put to shame, or disappointed (Isaiah 49:23). The righteous, who have this trustful hope in God, have a general confidence in God’s protection and help (Jeremiah 29:11) and are free from fear and anxiety (Psalm 46:2-3). The New Testament idea of hope is the recognition that in Christ is found the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises (Matthew 12:21,1 Peter 1:3). Christian hope is rooted in faith in the divine salvation in Christ (Galatians 5:5). Hope of Christians is brought into being through the presence of the promised Holy Spirit (Romans 8:24-25). It is the future hope of the resurrection of the dead (Acts 23:6), the promises given to Israel (Acts 26:6-7), the redemption of the body and of the whole creation (Romans 8:23-25), eternal glory (Colossians 1:27), eternal life and the inheritance of the saints (Titus 3:5-7), the return of Christ (Titus 2:11-14), transformation into the likeness of Christ (1 John 3:2-3), the salvation of God (1 Timothy 4:10) or simply Christ Himself (1 Timothy 1:1). Read more here. BlogSL2-smallest

The Spread of the Gospel

This is the coolest video I’ve seen in some time, from the Western Conservatory of the Arts and Sciences site. It is a short animated presentation of the spread of the Gospel over the last 2,000 years. 

From the Western Conservatory site:

This animated map is a powerful visual depiction of the most important movement in history: the spread of Christianity. Every frame is one year in the last 2000 years of the Great Commission. This is an animated version of the data on our 24×36″ printed Spread of the Gospel Map:

westernconservatory.com/products/the-spread-of-the-gospel-map

Charting the geographic progress of the Gospel over the last 2,000 years, this map shows the missionary journeys of the apostles, the outposts of the early church, the hotbeds of persecution, the staging grounds of the Church’s major theological battles, and more. See the power of the Gospel to transform “every nation and tribe and language and people,” and be inspired by the legacies of the brave brothers and sisters who faithfully carried the Gospel of Christ to the farthest ends of the earth.

The 24″ x 36″ color printed map is available for purchase on their site. You can read more about these here.

BlogSL2-smallest

Jesus = Yeshua = Christ = Messiah

I love the One for Israel site. This post is from their blog and is a wonderful teaching on the history of the name of Jesus Christ, our Messiah.

Jesus vs. Yeshua?

“And you shall call his name…” announced the angel Gabriel, “Jesus”.

No he didn’t. He said “Yeshua”. But then again, Gabriel wasn’t really called Gabriel either – in Hebrew it sounds different: “Gav-ree-el”. Mighty one of the Lord. But at least Gabriel sounds a BIT like Gav-ree-el. It’s at least recognisable! How in the world did Yeshua, the actual Hebrew name for our Lord and Messiah, turn into Jesus? It sounds nothing like Yeshua! And does it really matter what we call him?

How did we end up calling him Jesus?

The name “Jesus” comes from the Greek way of expressing his name: Ἰησοῦς, which is pronounced “Yay-soos”. While we have an English version of the Hebrew name for Gabriel, we seem to have ended up with an English version of the Greek version of the Hebrew name for our Messiah, that doesn’t even sound close anymore. It makes him all the less recognisable to his Jewish brethren. Jesus just sounds so… gentile! But when Jewish people hear his name in Hebrew, quite often the lights go on. Ah! Yeshua! The name Yeshua was known and used in Jewish history – you can find men called Yeshua in the roll calls of teams serving in the temple (1 Chronicles 24:11, 2 Chronicles 31:15, Ezra 2:2,6,36). It’s a version of Joshua, and it means “salvation”. This makes much more sense to Jewish ears.

Read the rest here. 

BlogSL2-smallest

It’s Global Outreach Day!

 

Today is Global Outreach Day 2015! 

What is it about?

It is about YOU sharing the gospel in any possible way to people who never heard it or are not yet born again Christians and leading those people to salvation in Jesus.

All you need is a willingness to go. Share the gospel according to your personal gifting and calling as the Lord leads you.

There are thousands of ways to do this, either personal or together with a group or a church.

What can I do?

Reach at the least ONE person with the Gospel and the Global Outreach Day!

From a personal approach to unsaved friend or neighbours to sharing the Gospel on streets, campusses, public plasses or transportations to larger evangelistic events and outreaches, there are many, many options.

Reach out to the people, don’t wait for them to come to you!
Create opportunities to:

  • get in contact and start a conversation
  • share your testimony and the Gospel message
  • offer them prayer
  • lead them to a decision

It is not so difficult as you might think!

Read about creative ideas to share your faith here.

BlogSL2-smallest

Following Jesus – Social Network Style

I love the site One for Israel. I wrote about it earlier this month in my post Reaching Israelis and Arabs for Jesus.” 

I recently came across one of their videos titled Following Jesus – Social Network Style. This great video illustrates what it would be like if Jesus was alive today, and how people would use social media to talk about Him.

I realize many people do not (or do not care to) use social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and for many reasons. But if you do use social media or are thinking of doing so, here are a couple of questions for you to ponder:

  • If you do use social media, which do you use and how do you use them to share the Gospel message? 
  • If you do not use social media yet, would you consider doing so to share your faith with people who need to hear it?

Beloved, please pray about this and allow the Holy Spirit to guide your mind and heart in what He wants you to do to help further God’s kingdom here on earth.

BlogSL2-smallest

Save the Date! Global Outreach Day 2015

Global Outreach Day (G.O.D.)

This from the Global Outreach Day site.

The vision of the Global Outreach Day is to build up a network of Christians worldwide, equipping and mobilizing them to share the Gospel to over 200 nations on one single day.

Mobilizing

The G.O.D. is a massive mobilisation movement in the body of Christ to fulfil the Great Commission to our generation. It started with a single day, but it’s already growing into a mighty movement!

Our focus is not only to mobilize the already active evangelistic people. We aim to see the WHOLE church – every single believer – stepping into divine action to reach the lost.

We are believing for a revolutionary change in the culture and thinking of the global body of Christ concerning practical evangelism.

The Great commission of our Lord and Master will never be fulfilled only by great evangelistic ministries alone – how excellent and efficient they ever may be. It takes all of us.

EVERY believer and every church is needed to reach every lost soul!That is the very heartbeat of God!

The Equipment

Although many Christians want to reach people with the Gospel they feel limited and inadequate, sometimes not even called to do it… We are providing spiritual and practical training for you to experience a real breakthrough in personal and corporate Evangelism!

You don’t need to be a “super-evangelist” with a “super-budget”. There are thousands of ideas and creative ways to lead someone to Jesus Christ. Let us help you to release your potential

The Momentum: One single Day!

The Global Outreach Day creates a global momentum that makes it easier for every believer to step out and do something.

Millions of Christians move, pray and act all on the same day and encourage and inspire each other. A wave of evangelism and salvation will sweep the globe.

The testimonies are already awesome. And so are the results! Millions of souls have already been saved.

Come and join us and be a part of it!

 

 

 

BlogSL2-smallest

Reaching Israelis and Arabs for Jesus

By Anna Popescu
First published at Cataclysm Missions International (CMI) on May 14, 2015  

Please visit CMI to see how you can become part of a team
to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world!

Reaching Israelis and Arabs
for Jesus

OneForIsrael-BlueBackground

ONE FOR ISRAEL is an organization utilizing many methods of reaching out to Jews and Arabs with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. Today, because of the ongoing and escalating persecution and threats against them, Israelis believe that their lives are more endangered than ever before.

On the streets of Israel, terrorism is a constant.

“Young people generally feel very little hope for the future and are therefore more open to the gospel,” said Tuvya Zaretsky, chairman of the board for the Israel branch of Jews for Jesus.

According to the ONE FOR ISRAEL site, 99% of all Israeli homes are connected to the internet. For every 100 people, there are 122 computers. Israel is the number one country worldwide for time spent online, and social media is abundantly used:

About 97% of all Israelis between the ages of 13-34 have a Facebook account and actively use it.

Here’s another important piece of information. Israel ranks second in the world for how many smart phones are used per person. They spend about 70% of their time surfing the internet on those smart phones.

It is no wonder that ONE FOR ISRAEL is making such a great impact by utilizing the internet to show Israelis that their only hope is to believe in Jesus (Yeshua) as their Savior. Their site tagline reads:

Because the best way to bless Israel is with Yeshua (Jesus)

From the ONE FOR ISRAEL site:

ONE FOR ISRAEL is a ministry-initiative of native-born Israels (Jews & Arabs one in Christ!) on the forefront of high-tech evangelism, proclaiming salvation in Jesus to Israel, raising up leaders and equipping them with the tools they need to transform Israel with the gospel of Messiah! ONE FOR ISRAEL is perhaps the only place in the Middle East where true peace can be found – in Jesus!

ONE FOR ISRAEL in Netanya, Israel has a media center which enables them to broadcast the Good News worldwide. Their facilities also include the only Hebrew-speaking Bible College in Israel (and in the world). They know that there are many ways to share Yeshua with the Israelis and they strive to do this online by:

  • Reaching Israelis with the Gospel message.
  • Training up the next generation of leaders.

They have also launched several organizations, including I Met Messiah, We Love Israel – Because of Jesus, iGod, and Messiah Project (the English version of the Messiah Project is www.oneforisrael.org/messiah). You can also find a link there to a virtual community for Israelis.

ONE FOR ISRAEL has a newsletter to which you can subscribe, as well as a blog. They broadcast through Radio Agape – Messianic Radio from Israel (Agape.fm) and have a Q & A forum which is accessible through each of their sites.

One of the other great ways they share the Gospel message is through YouTube videos. Israel leads the world in the amount of time spent watching videos on YouTube, so ONE FOR ISRAEL has taken some of the most frequently asked questions from the Q&A forum and turned them into short video clips.

There are so many ways to partner with ONE FOR ISRAEL in using social media to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the Israelis and Arabs that you’ll have no problem finding your best fit. Read more here.

BlogSL2-smallest

When Little Ones Pray – The Power of the Meek

I wrote this post last week and scheduled it for today. However, as you must know by now, the people of Nepal and Kathmandu are in great need of prayer because of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck central Nepal this past Saturday, April 25th. Some of those affected include the Bridge of Hope centers that I refer to in the original post I wrote which follows this news release I received in an email from Gospel for Asia:

VectorPageDivider April 25, 2015

More than 1,000 Dead, Survivors Struggling After Nepal Earthquake

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck central Nepal, less than 50 miles outside the capital city of Kathmandu, just before noon Saturday, killing more than 1,000 people in Nepal, India, Tibet and Bangladesh. The death toll is expected to rise.

Rescuers in Nepal are searching through the rubble for survivors. More than 1,700 have been injured, and hospitals are overwhelmed.

Gospel for Asia has 450 churches and 20 Bridge of Hope centers in the region. Some churches and some centers have been destroyed by the quake.

Between 30 and 40 of Gospel for Asia’s missionaries serving in Uttar Pradesh, an Indian state bordering Nepal, are headed toward the destruction to help.

This is estimated to be the worst earthquake to hit Nepal in 80 years.

Read the rest here.  Beloved, thank you for praying about this.

VectorPageDivider

When Little Ones Pray –
The Power of the Meek

I often post about prayer. There is nothing else like prayer. It blesses us and God to pray for others. Our hearts become one with those for whom we pray. And God uses our prayers for our good and for His glory.

At the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus preached the Beatitudes. This is one of them:

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. —Matthew 5:5

K. P. Kohannan is the founder and president of Gospel for Asia, and his wonderful book, No Longer a Slumdog, tells the story of how the children (the meek) of Asia have learned to pray. They daily use the power of prayer to affect their lives and those of their family and neighbors.

From the Gospel for Asia’s No Longer a Slum Dog site:

When you teach a child that the God who loves them unconditionally answers prayer, miracles can happen. Sagan and his friends learned of the power of prayer from watching their Bridge of Hope teachers. Soon they were praying for those in need, while watching God answer. See what happens when they hear of a young boy with a terminal condition in a neighboring village.

Beloved, please take the time to watch this 5-minute video. You will be touched by the faith of these little children that God is using to change lives in Asia. Click here to get a free copy of No Longer a Slumdog.

BlogSL2-smallest

Gray-Haired Splendor

Those of us blessed with gray hair will really appreciate this wonderful devotional by Joni Eareckson Tada. Please visit her great site, Joni and Friends.

Prov20-29-GrayHair-elderly-woman-50--AMP

 Gray hair is the splendor of the old. —Proverbs 20:29

Ernest Barkaway, a 90-year old Englishman, looked bright, sprightly and dapper in his woolen vest and British tam. He told me that when one of his kidneys was removed, he received a blood transfusion: “I watched the drops trickle through the tube, and I thought of all the people–male and female, English and foreign, black and white–who had given freely of their life blood for my need.” After a pause he wistfully added, “How much more Jesus gave freely of His life blood for my deepest need!” I could tell he had garnered much godly wisdom in his 90 years. He proved it with a poem he gave me…

They say that I am growing old; I’ve heard them say times untold,

In language plain and bold–but I am not growing old.

This frail old shell in which I dwell is growing old, I know full well!

But I am not the shell.

What if my hair is turning gray; gray hairs are honorable they say.

What if my eyesight’s growing dim; I still can see to follow Him

Who sacrificed His life for me–upon the Cross at Calvary!

Why should I care if time’s old plough has left its furrows on my brow?

Another house, not made with hands awaits me in the Glory Land.

What though I falter in my walk and though my tongue refuse to talk?

I still can tread the narrow way; I still can watch and praise and pray!

The robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise to seize the everlasting prize

I’ll meet you on the streets of gold and prove I am NOT growing old.

As I wrote the above, I learned Ernest Barkaway went home to be with Jesus. Write a note of encouragement or call an elderly friend today. Share Mr. Barkaway’s poem. 

Father, reveal to me ways I can ascribe dignity and show respect to the elderly people in my life. May I never take lightly their struggles and trials.

Blessings,

Joni and Friends
www.joniandfriends.org

Copyright © 2006. Pearls of Great Price by Joni Eareckson Tada. Published in print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan

BlogSL2-smallest