Wade’s Wednesday

Why the Resurrection Still Matters

By Dr. Charles Stanley

What does Christ’s resurrection mean to you?  Is it simply an event in the distant past with little relevance for [today] or does it affect how you think and act each day?

Many people look at Easter as an occasion for purchasing new clothes and going to church. But, it’s not just a day to celebrate the empty tomb and then move on as if nothing has changed.

Since we didn’t personally witness the risen Christ after His burial, imagining that first Easter morning is difficult. Not only that, but our traditional celebrations and familiarity with the story make it easy to overlook the stunning magnitude of what transpired. Then we run the risk of taking the resurrection for granted and missing the impact it still has today.

In Corinthians 15:13-17, the apostle Paul gives us a glimpse of the resurrection’s importance by describing what would have happened if Jesus had not been raised. Our Easter celebrations would be a big lie, and our faith would be worthless. Worst of all, we’d still bear the guilt for every sin we’ve ever committed—with no hope of forgiveness, salvation, or eternal life in heaven.If Jesus hadn’t been raised, His death would have accomplished nothing.

That’s why Easter is an awesome reason for celebration. Jesus died in our place to satisfy the requirement for our atonement—a price far too high for us to pay. His resurrection proves that the Father was satisfied with His sacrifice (Romans 3:25) and counted it sufficient for the forgiveness of all our sins (1 Cor. 15:20-23). And because of Christ’s victory over death, we too will be resurrected and receive an imperishable inheritance reserved for us in heaven. This hope enables us to rejoice every day, even in the midst of trials and suffering (1 Peter 1:3-9).So, if we attend an Easter service but remain unchanged for the rest of the year, we’ve missed the purpose of the resurrection.

Each day is an opportunity to let the living Christ impact our character, conduct, and conversation as we “put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the one who created him” (Col. 3:10). In essence, we are displaying God’s nature with a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and love (vv. 12-14).

Jesus resurrection should also direct and motivate our mission. Christ told His disciples, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21))  Having seen the risen Lord and being filled with His Spirit, those first Christians spread the message of salvation throughout the Roman world. The impact of their witness was so great that they were described as “men who have upset the world” (Acts 17:6).

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

Thanking God for the wonderful, risen Saviour we serve! KI
Jesus Arose
Jesus arose after He hung on Calvary’s cross,
He shed His own blood so we’d never be lost;
The world sends false prophets along the way,
But Jesus is the only One still living today!
Jesus arose after lying in a borrowed tomb,
Death, for our Saviour, had no welcome room;
He paid for our sins as He hung on that tree,
Providing salvation, all we would ever need!
Jesus arose after three days, like God’s word said,
Even crucifixion couldn’t make Him stay dead!
When it came time for the stone to roll away,
God’s holy breath accomplished it that day!
Jesus arose as our risen Saviour & Lord,
It’s something no one has ever done before;
He arose after three days & still lives today,
His crimson blood still cleanses & saves!
**Written for
Easter 2015

Darkness and Light

IMG_1146

By Bill Crowder

When I was a boy, I delivered newspapers to about 140 homes on two streets that were connected by a cemetery. Since I delivered a morning newspaper, I had to be out at 5:00 a.m. walking through that cemetery in the darkness. Sometimes I would be so frightened that I would actually run! I was afraid until I was standing safely under a streetlight on the other side. The scary darkness was dispelled by the light.

The psalmist understood the connection between fear and darkness, but he also knew that God is greater than those fears. He wrote, “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.” (Ps. 91:5-6). Neither terrors of night nor evil in the darkness need to drive us to fear. We have a God who sent His Son, the Light of the World (John 8:12).

In the light of God’s love and grace and truth, we can find courage, help, and strength to live for Him.

Lord, I come to You, the Light of the World. I want You to bring Your light into the darkness of my fears.

You need not fear the darkness if you are walking with the Light of the World.

The Plan

God’s Plan

God has a plan for every life in Christ Jesus. What a wondrous truth—and yet how reasonable. Shall the architect draw the plans for his stately palace? Shall the artist sketch the outlines of his masterpiece? Shall the shipbuilder lay down the lines for his colossal ship? And yet shall God have no plan for the soul which he brings into being and puts “in Christ Jesus”? Surely he has.

Yea, for every cloud that floats across the summer sky, for every blade of grass that points its tiny spear heavenward, God has a purpose and a plan. How much more then, for you who are his own in Christ Jesus, does God have a perfect life plan. —James McConkey

He Can Lead You Out of It

By Marvin Williams

Almost everyone will at some time in their life be affected by depression, either their own or someone else’s. Some common signs and symptoms of depression include feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, worthlessness, and helplessness. Although we cannot say for certain that characters in the Bible experienced depression, we can say that some did exhibit a deep sense of despondency, discouragement, and sadness that is linked to personal powerlessness and loss of meaning and enthusiasm for life.

Elijah is one biblical character who fits this description. After defeating the prophets of Baal, he received a death threat from Jezebel. His hope was shattered, and despondency set in. He wanted to die! God helped Elijah deal with his despondency in several ways. The Lord did not rebuke him for his feelings but sent an angel to provide for his physical needs. Then, the Lord revealed Himself and reminded Elijah that He was quietly working among His people. Next, He renewed Elijah’s mission by giving him new orders. Finally, God reminded Elijah that he wasn’t alone.

In our times of discouragement, let us remember that God loves us and desires to lead us to a place of a renewed vision of Himself!

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
—von Schlegel

Friday Funnies

In Court

Lawyer: Do you recall approximately the time that you examined the body of Mr. Edington at the Rose Chapel?

A: It was in the evening. The autopsy started about 8:30 p.m.

Lawyer: And Mr. Edington was dead at the time, is that correct?

A: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy!

~  ~

Lawyer: You say that the stairs went down to the basement?

A: Yes

Lawyer: And these stairs, did they go up also?

~  ~

Lawyer: Have you lived in this town all your life?

A: Not yet.

Pastor to Farmer: “I missed seeing you at service on Sunday.”

Farmer to Pastor: “Well, I had some hay to put up. I figured it was better to sit in a hay baler thinking about God than to sit in church thinking about hay.”

~ ~ ~

A one-dollar bill met a twenty-dollar bill and said, “Hey, where have you been? I haven’t seen you around here much.”

The twenty answered, “I’ve been hanging out at the casinos, went on a cruise and did the rounds on the ship, back to the United States for a while, went to a couple of baseball games, to the mall, that kind of stuff. How about you?”

The one-dollar bill said, “You know, same old stuff – church, church, church.

A Girl’s Night Out

My parents had not been out together in quite some time. One Saturday, as Mom was finishing the dinner dishes, my father stepped up behind her. 

“Would you like to go out for a walk girl? “ he asked.

Without turning around, my mother quickly replied, “Oh, yes, I’d love to!”

They had a wonderful evening, and it wasn’t until the end of it that Dad confessed. His question had actually been directed to the family dog.

Bible study

BE NOT WEARY     TEXT: Galatians 6:9

After exhorting the believers in Galatia and warning them of the things they should avoid in 5:1-6:8 …

(Paul may have known they would be feeling a little overwhelmed with the responsibilities of the Christian life)

… He now encourages them with the words of our text

Paul, perhaps better than anyone else, knew how wearying the spiritual battle can be

He ends his warnings about sin, the works of the flesh, and the deceitfulness of the world by encouraging the Galatians, and all believers, (For that matter)

… To remember the joyful harvest we will reap if we persevere in doing good

Because the ministry involves Spiritual Warfare,

…we all get Burdened

However, Well Doing is easier in itself than ill Doing

The Danger of Growing Weary in Well Doing arises only from our own human nature opposing us …

Or the outward hindrances we may meet with, from a gainsaying and persecuting world

(gainsaying – to oppose or contradict somebody)

Growing weary in doing good is an ever-present danger in the Christian life

But there are things we can do to minimize weariness

And think on this though …“BE NOT WEARY”

Let’s read verse nine together …

v. 9 – “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”

First, we see that …

I. THE “BIBLICAL CHALLENGE”

… Is to, Not Grow Weary

Paul uses the same thought in II Thessalonians 3:13 …“But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing”

Satan does not want us involved in well doing

So he will do all he can to try and discourage you

Romans 2:6, 7 – “Who (God) will render to every man according to his deeds:” “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:”

Quote: Someone once wrote – “Many Christians are like children; they would sow and reap the same day”

It is easy to become tired of sowing and be anxious for the harvest

Humor: A Father came late to his son’s Little League Ball game. When asked what the score was, the son replied “18 – 0” “O my” replied the Father, “but you don’t look to discouraged” “Why should I” replied the son, “we haven’t come to bat yet”

Now that’s optimism

First, let me say that …

A. Weariness ‘Develops’ over Time

The phrase “grow weary” speaks of exhaustion and losing heart

God is exhorting us not to let our lives get to the point of spiritual exhaustion

We are in danger of becoming exhausted when we are not keeping our walk with the Lord fresh each day in the Word and in Prayer

Galatians 5:16 – “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh”

Walking in the Spirit brings Life

Not just physical Life, but Joy in the Lord, people being saved because of you testimony, etc.

Living according to the Flesh brings death

Death to Joy, Health, Excitement, people not getting saved, etc.

We must maintain our walk with the Lord

Mark 1:35 – “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed”

Jesus was as busy as anyone, yet He saw the importance of a balanced Life of Service and Devotion

We must Guard our Devotional Life!

I Peter 3:17 – “For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing”

B. Weariness ‘Depletes’ the Soul

The Soul houses the Intellect, the Emotions, and the Will

This phrase again is a exhortation not to get to the point of exhaustion or losing heart

Exhaustion and losing Heart go together because the Souls is affected by physical exhaustion

Yet the Inner Man can be strengthened daily even when the body is tired

II Corinthians 4:16 – “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, (is dying) yet the inward man is renewed day by day”

1. We Must ‘Consider Christ’

Hebrews 12:1-3 …looking to Jesus the author and finisher

2. We Must ‘Continue On’

We must be determined to be patience in the Lord

We live in a hurried society

For example if an internet page takes more than 8 seconds to load,  that a site will lose about a third of their visitors

I Corinthians 15:58 – “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord”

THE “BIBLICAL CHALLENGE” is to Not Grow Weary

Next there is …

II. THE “BASIC REMINDER”    … Ye Shall Reap

James 5:7, 8 – “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain” “Be ye

also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh”

First, …

A. We Reap ‘Growth’

James 1:3, 4 – “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience” “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing”

Most so-called Christians spend 6 days a week sowing wild oats, only to come to church on Sunday and pray for crop failure Next,

B. We Reap ‘Rewards’

II Timothy 4:7, 8 – “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing”

Then, thirdly …

C. We Reap ‘Souls’

Proverbs 11:30 – “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise”

Some of the greatest missionaries of history devotedly spread the Gospel and yet had to wait long periods of time before seeing fruit of their labors

Two such men where William Carey in India and Adoniram Judson in Burma

Both men waited 7 years before they saw their first converts

THE “BIBLICAL CHALLENGE” is to Not Grow Weary

THE “BASIC REMINDER” is Ye shall Reap

Lastly, there is …

III. THE “BINDING CONDITION” … If We Faint Not

A. We Must Not ‘Faint in the End’

The word “faint” means to let up in the end

II Corinthians 4:1 – “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;”

Gideon was faint, yet he pursued when fighting the Midianites

Judges 8:4 – “And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them”

B. We Must Not ‘Forget the Eternal’

Again, II Corinthians 4:15-18 …read

1. Souls are Eternal

Mark 8:36, 37 – “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” “Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

2. Stewardship is Eternal

Matthew 6:19-21 …lay not your treasures on earth, but lay them in heaven

Quote: Andrew Murry wrote – The world asks, “What does a man own?” Christ asks – “How does he use it?”

3. Scripture is Eternal

I Peter 1:23-25 …word of God endures forever

C. We Must Have ‘Faith for the Future’

II Corinthians 5:7 – “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”

Quote: J.G. Holland wrote – “Faith draws the poison from every grief, takes the sting from every loss, and quenches the fire of every pain”

Quote: George Mueller wrote – “The beginning of anxiety is the end of Faith, and the beginning of Faith is the end of anxiety”

Quote: I say – “Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, and Faith looks up”

CONCLUSION

We all have experienced physical weariness at some point in our life

However, the Bible commands us to not become weary in the work of the Lord

If we have our hope in Christ and daily refresh our faith through Him

We will gain the strength necessary to continue serving God and others

Isaiah 40:30, 31 – “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:” “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint”

THE “BIBLICAL CHALLENGE” is – to Not Grow Weary

THE “BASIC REMINDER” is – Ye shall Reap

THE “BINDING CONDITION” is – If we Faint Not

Galatians 6:9 – “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”

Wade’s Wednesday

Meditation

By Dr. Charles Stanley

Do you delight in the Bible? That’s a challenging question because the answer is revealed by our actions. To delight is to take great pleasure in something or someone and to spend time in that activity or relationship. Christians want to delight in God and His Word, but our schedules often indicate a different reality.

Time spent alone with the Lord in His Word and prayer is crucial to the Christian life. If we neglect it, the delights of the world will quickly fill our mind and capture our heart, drowning out the desire for God. Then instead of time with Him being a priority, it will become an afterthought. At first this may not seem like a big deal, but eventually we’ll wither spiritually and bear no fruit.

Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” 

Meditation is a means by which we make ourselves available to be instructed by the Lord through the Scriptures. It requires time, submission, and commitment, all of which are difficult for people who are busy running from one activity to the next. Yet if we want to grow in Christ, we must become like a tree firmly rooted by the river of God’s Word. That’s where we are nurtured and refreshed, and it is what’s required in order to have a spiritually fruitful life.

Over time we’ll learn to find peace in God’s presence even in stormy situations. And as we get to know the Lord, our love for Him will increase. Many people wish they loved God more, and time alone with Him in His Word is the key. Furthermore, as our love for God increases, both He and His Word will become our delight.

Author Kieth Miller wrote, “The Bible can change not only a life, but an entire lifestyle.”

Tuesday with Karen

Is There A Hell?

Is there a Hell where people forever go,
If Jesus, as their Lord, they do not know?
The cries of torment are inside its flames,
For the ones who never call on His name!

Is there a Hell so many talk about,
Where Satan & demons eternally shout?
The devil tries to keep hearts from the Lord;
But salvation gives us peace forever more!

Is there a Hell that’s real even today,
An eternal home for those unsaved?
God’s Word warns us how to get prepared,
Jesus died to keep all lost souls from there!

Hell is where God & Satan will separate,
Good & evil, right & wrong, in its own place;
Heaven & Hell are homes as life is through,
Which way you go is up to what you choose!
                                                  2-18-21.

The First Step To Setting Things Right

By Adrian Rogers

The Lord Jesus said, “Moreover if thy brother trespass against thee,
go and tell him his fault
” (Matthew 18:15).

You say, “He’s the one that did wrong. If he wants forgiveness let him come and ask for it.”

But Jesus said, “No, you go to him.” Whether you are in the right or whether you are in the wrong, as a child of God, you are to go to that individual.

Isn’t that what God did in the Garden of Eden? Adam and Eve sinned against God and the Bible tells us that God came looking for them: “Adam, where art thou?” That was not the voice of a detective. That was the voice of a God Who pursues us to forgive us.

Stop right now and ask God to show you if you have an unforgiving spirit toward someone. Then, in His power and strength, call that person and ask his/her forgiveness. It’s going to be impossible in your strength, but remember, God does the impossible.