Wade’s Wednesday

When Others Grieve

By Steve Goodier

People should never have to suffer loss alone. Yet, how do you comfort those who hurt? I think that offering genuine comfort to another is one of the most important things we can do for others. And sometimes one of the most difficult.

Experts tell us, among other things, to simply say, “I’m sorry” or “I love you.” They warn us against trying to explain away the death or loss; against theologizing or philosophizing about it. Often, the less said, the better, so long as you are present, you care and you listen.

American poet Edgar Guest told of a neighbor by the name of Jim Potter. Mr. Potter ran the drug store in the neighborhood where Edgar Guest lived. Their relationship was cordial, but not deep. Mostly they smiled and exchanged greetings when they happened to see one another.

One tragic night the poet’s first-born child died. He felt crushed and overcome with grief. Several days after the death, Guest had reason to go to the drug store run by his neighbor. When he entered, Jim Potter motioned for him to come behind the counter.

“Eddie,” he said, “I really can’t express to you the great sympathy that I have for you at this time. All I can say is that I am terribly sorry, and if you need for me to do anything, you can count on me.”

Many years later Edgar Guest reflected on that encounter. He said, “Just a person across the way—a passing acquaintance. Jim Potter may have long since forgotten that moment when he extended his hand to me in sympathy, but I shall never forget it—never in all my life. To me it stands out like the silhouette of a lonely tree against a crimson sunset.”

As the poet thought back to that unhappy time, one vivid memory of a brief and genuine moment of comfort still lingered years later. It was a moment that meant everything to a grieving father.

Those who comfort others bring no less than a piece of heaven to earth

Tuesday With Karen

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by Karen Icenhour

God Knows Where We Are
God knows where we are, when our heart has been hurt,
He is there beside us, healing us with His word;
He knows our full name when He wants to speak,
Giving our spirit strength when we are so weak!
He knows where we are, when we need His sweet touch,
His love is always there, when we need it so much;
He has the right answer, if we only ask, “Why?”
He listens to us pray, even if we just cry!
He knows where we are, when we go the wrong way,
He walks beside us when we fall & make mistakes;
His wisdom will guide us on the straight, narrow path,
And His care will lead us, not anger or wrath!
He knows where we are, watching us from above,
Pouring upon us daily His sweet mercy and love;
He never forsakes us, or refuses to hear our heart,
Oh what a blessing, He knows right where we are!

Walk

Going on a Nature Walk 
Julia Bettencourt


“O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast
thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.”
 Psalms 104:24

Have you ever been on a nature walk? I love walking through the park trails in the woods, which I haven’t done in several years, but it’s always so beautiful when you get out there among all that lovely nature that God created. I love especially getting out there during the fall and letting those leaves crunch under my feet and feel that cold air hit my face.

Here are few things we might find along the trail that we can learn from.

  • Brown Leaf.
    When you pick up a brown leaf, it usually just crunches and falls apart if you handle it too much. Why? Because it is dead. There’s no life in it.As Christians, we were all dead in sin before we met Christ. By accepting Him, we have that color and life added to us. It’s not just a temporal life, but eternal.

    And you hath he quickened, who
    were dead in trespasses and sins.
    ” Ephesians 2:1

  • Red Leaf
    Those red leaves in the fall are so pretty. I can remember places when we’d travel in Tennessee where all you could see for miles in the fall were lines of trees with those beautiful red colors and tints to them. It was stunning.Do you have a red letter edition of the Bible? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s one that everything that Jesus said is in red ink. I think sometimes it’s good to travel through those “red” passages and see all the beauty there. Christ said some wonderful things for us to ponder. What about those parables? Every time I read through one of those, it seems like I see and learn something new or notice something I never noticed before.

    Heaven and earth shall pass away:
    but my words shall not pass away.
    ” Luke 21:33

  • Yellow Leaf
    I love all those yellow and golden leaves. None of those leaves start out with those pretty fall colors. They start out green. Getting to the red, orange, yellow, and gold colors is a process.Getting to that gold in us is a process too. Sometimes the Lord has to bring us through some trying things in our lives to get us there.

    But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath
    tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
    ” Job 23:10

  • Feather
    We know that feathers are light and soft to the touch. That is why they have been used inside of pillows for years. It is because they are soft and comforting to our heads.I’m so glad that I have the Lord to lean against for comfort and strength. He comforts me and loves me with that soft touch.

    He shall cover thee with his feathers,
    and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth
    shall be thy shield and buckler.
    ” Psalms 91:4

  • Pinecone
    I’m pretty fond of pinecones and I like having them in the house, especially around the holidays. I guess because they kind of bring the outdoors in with them.Have you ever just grabbed and picked up a pinecone though? They can be a little pokey and prickly. I guess sometimes I can be a little prickly too in what I do or say, but I know Christ doesn’t want me to be that way.

    Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger,
    and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from
    you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another,
    tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God
    for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
    ” Ephesians 4:31-32

16 TONS

“Sixteen Tons,” written by Merle Travis and recorded by Tennessee Ernie Ford, became one of America’s most popular songs in the mid-1950s. People seemed to identify with this coal miner’s lament about feeling trapped and unable to change his situation no matter how hard he worked. Coal miners often lived in company-owned houses and were paid in “scrip”—coupons valid only at the company-owned store. Even if summoned to heaven, the miner said, he couldn’t go because he owed his soul to the company store.

That sense of hopeless resignation may help us understand the feelings of the Hebrew people during their 400 years of bondage in Egypt. When Moses told them of God’s promise to release them from slavery, they didn’t listen to him “because of anguish of spirit” (Ex. 6:9). They were so far down they couldn’t look up.

But God did something for them that they could not do for themselves. The Lord’s miraculous deliverance of His people foreshadowed His powerful intervention on our behalf through His Son Jesus Christ. It was when “we were powerless to help ourselves that Christ died for sinful men”

IN THE MIDST

BY DENNIS FISHER

n C. S. Lewis’ book God in the Dock, he wrote: “Imagine a set of people all living in the same building. Half of them think it is a hotel, the other half think it is a prison. Those who think it a hotel might regard it as quite intolerable, and those who thought it was a prison might decide that it was really surprisingly comfortable.” Lewis cleverly used this contrast between a hotel and a prison to illustrate how we view life based on our expectations. He says, “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable; think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.”

Sometimes we expect that life should be happy and pain-free. But that is not what the Bible teaches. For the believer, this world is a place of spiritual development through both good times and bad. Jesus was realistic when He explained what to expect in life. He told His disciples, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). In facing life’s blessings and bruises, we can have the inner peace that God is orchestrating events according to His sovereign plan.

Christ’s presence in our lives enables us to “be of good cheer” even in the midst of pain.

 

Friday Funnies

Missing You

Dearest Lauren,

I’m so sorry for the things I said.  I’ve been unable to sleep since I broke off our relationship last month. I think about you day and night. Your absence is breaking my heart and recently I’ve begun to realize that nobody can take your place. Sweetheart, I miss you so much. Please call me.

All my love,

Robert

P.S. Congratulations on winning last week’s Powerball Lottery.

Tainted Money

Timmy didn’t want to put his money in the offering plate Sunday morning, so his mother decided to use some hurried creative reasoning with him.

“You don’t want that money, honey,” she whispered in his ear. “Quick! Drop it in the plate. It’s tainted!”

Horrified, the little boy obeyed.

After a few seconds he whispered, “But, mommy, why was the money tainted? Was it dirty?

“Oh, no dear,” she replied. “It’s not really dirty. It just ‘taint yours, and it ‘taint mine,” she replied. “It’s God’s.”

Warnings

A state trooper stopped a Congressman for going 15 miles over the speed limit.

After he handed him a ticket, the Congressman asked, “Don’t you give out warnings?”

“Yes, sir,” he replied. “They’re all up and down the road. They say, ‘Speed Limit 65.'”

Bible Study

THE CONCLUSION OF THE BOOK  Revelation 22:6-21

Our study of the book of the Revelation has taken us from the days of the early church in the past all the way into eternity in the future. John has been faithfully fulfilling the divine purpose he shared in the first verse of the book, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John,” Rev. 1:1.

        John has been used of the Lord to reveal to God’s people the God’s plan for the future. We have seen the words of Rev. 1:19, where it says, “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter,” fulfilled in the pages of this amazing book.

        The Lord has shown us how the church age will end. It will end with the church in apostasy, cold and dead, with Jesus on the outside. We are steadily moving in that direction today.

        He has shown us what will follow after the church is removed from the world. There will be a terrible tribulation period that will engulf the world. Billions will die from war, disease and the tragedy of divine judgment. This age will also end with the Antichrist and Satan judged and sentenced to an eternity in the Lake of Fire.

        We have even been given a glimpse of our own future. We have seen a place called Heaven, where death, disease, sin and Satan will be prohibited. We have been given a small foretaste of that wonderful place we will call home some day, we have arrived at the end of the book.

 

I.  v. 6-10 A CONCLUDING WORD ABOUT THE SCRIPTURES

A.  v. 6  The Scriptures Are Accurate – John is assured that everything he has seen is both “faithful and true”. There has not been a single exaggeration, nor has there been a single falsehood. Every prophecy made in this book will come to pass in the Lord’s time. One of the names given to Jesus in the book of Revelation is “Faithful and True”, Rev. 3:14; 19:11. That name declares Him to be trustworthy and worthy of faith. The Lord can be trusted! When He makes a statement, it is truth. When He makes a promise, it will come to pass. When He issues a prophecy, it will be fulfilled. God has tied the truth of His Scriptures to the integrity of His Name, Psa. 138:2”I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”

        You can believe the words of your Bibles! When God speaks, He speaks the truth! Every word in this book is “God-breathed”, 2 Tim. 3:16. You can trust your Bible!

B.  v. 7-9  The Scriptures Are Authoritative – With the statement, “Behold, I come quickly”, the Lord declares His authority! Man can say what he wishes about the Bible and about God’s promises and prophecies, but God will have the final say! The Lord also reaffirms His promise to bless those who “keepeth” the words of the Revelation. That word has the idea of “guarding, protecting, and attending to carefully”. The Lord will bless the people who read, believe and live out the words of this book. That was His promise at the beginning, Rev. 1:3, and it is His promise at the end.

The Bible was not given to us so that we would have something to lay on the coffee table or in the rear deck of the car. The Bible was given to us to read, believe and live out. The Word of God has authority over our lives and we are to heed its words, John 14:15; James 1:22-23.

It is easy to become like the world and become guilt of worshipping this person or that thing. The only Person Who is worthy to be worshipped is the Lord God Almighty! (Matt. 4:8-10; Deut. 10:20)

C.  v. 10  The Scriptures Are Accessible – John is commanded to “seal not” the book he has written. The word “seal” means “to conceal, or to keep secret”. Many years earlier, the prophet Daniel was commanded to seal up a book he had written, Dan. 12:4. The time for the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy had not arrived and it was not time to share it with the world.

John, on the other hand, is not to hide these things away and keep them secret. He is to publish them so that the world may hear the news that Jesus is coming and judgment is about to fall on this world.

The Bible we hold in our hands is a living witness to the God of Heaven. It reveals Him in all His glory, His power and His wrath. The Bible is not a closed book, but it is open and its message is available to all who will pick it up and read with an honest and obedient heart! If this book is closed, it is closed to those who refuse to know the Lord and to those who have been blinded by the devil, 2 Cor. 4:3-4.

One day, this book that is so hated by those who deny the Lord, will be the standard of judgment, John 12:48. If I were you, I would read this book and heed this book! After all, it is the Word of God, and it will stand for all eternity, Matt. 24:35.

 

I.  A Concluding Word About The Scriptures

II.  v. 11-16, 20-21  A CONCLUDING WORD ABOUT THE SAVIOR

A.  v. 12, 20-21  A Word About His Advent – Again, we have the Lord’s promise that He is coming again! That was His promise before He left this world, John 14:1-3, and that is His promise now. He is coming!

We know that the Lord’s return will happen in two stages. First, He will return in the clouds above the earth to claim His redeemed Bride and take her home to Heaven, 1 Thes. 4:16-18. Then, He will return in power and glory to claim this earth for Himself. He will defeat all His enemies, establish His kingdom and rule in righteousness in this world.

For the saints of God, the thought of our Lord’s return offers peace and hope. Just the thought that we might be able to cheat death and leave here in the Rapture is a wonderful thought. It is no wonder that John prayed for the Lord to come, Rev. 22:20. Every child of God who loves the Lord and believes the Bible is looking forward to leaving this world in the Rapture.

B.  v. 11-12, 14-15  A Word About His Awards – According to verse 12, the return of Jesus will be a mixed blessing. He is going to reward every man according to “his works”. That is, those who have received Him as their Savior will enjoy a time of blessing when He returns. He will reward them for their works and bless them for their service. Many faithful saints of God will hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” What a day that will be!

However, those who do not know Jesus will discover that the day of His return will spell their eternal doom. That is what He means in verse 11. When Jesus returns to this world, there will be no time to “get ready”. When He comes, how He finds the souls is how that soul will remain throughout eternity. If I were you, I would be sure that I was saved and ready to meet Jesus when He comes!

He pronounces a blessing on those who obey the Gospel in verse 14. He pronounces a curse on those who reject the Gospel in verse 15. Those who receive Him will enjoy the blessings of Heaven and of everlasting life, v. 14. While those who choose sin over a relationship with Jesus will be shut out of Heaven, v. 15.

The question you need to consider today is this: where would you be if Jesus was to return today? Are you saved? Are you ready to meet Him? Has your soul been made fit for Heaven by the blood of the Lamb? Is your name in the Lamb’s book of life? Jesus is coming! For some is will be a time of rejoicing. For many more it will be a time of horrible rejection and retribution.

C.  v. 13, 16  A Word About His Authority – In these two verses, Jesus declares His ability to make these statements and to bring them to pass. He reminds us that He was here when everything began and that He will still be here when all things wind up, v. 13.

He reminds us that He is the King of Kings, v. 16. He is the “root” of David. That is, He is David’s ancestor. He is the “offspring” of David too. He is David’s descendent. Jesus is the ultimate authority! He founded the throne and He will occupy the throne.

He is the “bright and morning star”. To be called a “star” in that culture was to be “elevated”. The “morning star” signaled the advent of a new day. Jesus is reminding us that He, Who is greater than all, will return to destroy the darkness of this world forever. The light of His glory will fill both heaven and earth when He comes again!

Jesus can make the promises He made because He has the power and the authority to being them to pass. He is coming and He will rule and reign in righteousness and power some day!

 

l.  A Concluding Word About The Scriptures

II.  A Concluding Word About The Savior

III.  v. 17-19 A CONCLUDING WORD ABOUT THE SPIRIT

A.  v. 17a There Is An Appeal To Appear – Here we find the “Spirit” and the “Bride” inviting the Lord Jesus to “come”.

The Spirit of God desires nothing more than the glory of the Son of God, John 16:14. The Spirit of God longs for the Savior to return so that He might defeat His enemies and occupy His rightful place on the throne of the universe. The Spirit desires the glory of the Son of God. Therefore, the Spirit says, “Come!”

The Bride of Christ echoes the invitation of the Spirit. There is a longing in the heart of the redeemed for the advent of the Redeemer. How many here can identify with that desire? There are times when the burdens of life press us down and we long for Jesus to come. There are times when sin and Satan harass us and they seem so strong, and we long for Jesus to come. There are times when this world seems like a foreign place, and we long for Jesus to return. Well, hang on a little longer sweet Bride of Christ; your Redeemer is coming again to take you unto Himself.

B. v. 17b  There Is An Appeal To Accept – Here on the last page of the last chapter in the last book of the Bible the Spirit of God offers one last invitation to lost sinners to come to Jesus for salvation. Anyone who sees their need of a Savior and understands that Jesus Christ can save their soul can be saved. They can drink the  water of life and “pass from death unto life”, John 5:24. Even as the Lord brings things to a close, people are still being inviting to come to Him for their soul’s salvation.

Have you ever trusted Jesus as your Savior? If you haven’t, let me invite you again to come to Jesus and trust Him to save your soul! If you will come to Him, He will save you and prepare you for an eternity in Heaven, John 6:37-40.

C.  v. 18-19  There Is An Admonition To Avoid – People are warned not to tamper with the words of this book. The Lord pronounces a curse on those who would add to or take away from the words of the Bible. This is not a new warning, but it is a warning that runs like a thread through the pages of Scripture, Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Pro. 30:5-6. In fact, the warning given here is two-fold.

·         Men are warned not to add to the Bible – The Bible is a complete book. When the Bible was finished, the revelation of God to man was brought to an end. There are no more new revelations being given today! Every person who stands up and claims to have a “new word from the Lord” is guilty of adding to the Word of God! They are bringing the threat of divine judgment upon themselves.

One of the hallmarks of the charismatic movement has been the inclusion of new revelation. Someone will stand in a service and claim to have a word from God. That is dangerous and it is heresy! We have all the words from God that we will ever have, right here in the Bible!

These verses also let me know that every book written by man that claims to be Scripture is a lie of the devil! The book of Mormon; the writings of Mary Baker Patterson Glover Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, which is neither Christian nor scientific; the so-called “lost books of the Bible”; are all attempts by Satan to undermine our faith in the Word of God.

Those who add the Word of God will face divine vengeance and judgment. God does not want His Word tampered with!

·         Men are warned not to subtract from the Bible – Many people are guilty of picking and choosing what they want from the Word of God. They may not add to the Bible, but they are guilty of subtracting from its words. For too many are guilty of diluting the message of God. They deny its truth; water down its doctrines; and ignore its warnings. They too will face divine judgment!

Many years ago J.A. Seiss, in his commentary on Revelation, said, “O, my friends, it is a fearful thing to suppress or stultify the word of God, and above all ‘the words of the prophecy of this Book.’ To put forth for truth what is not the truth,—denounce as error, condemn, repudiate, or emasculate what God himself hath set his seal to as his mind and purpose, is one of those high crimes, not only against God, but against the souls of men, which cannot go unpunished.” God does not take it lightly when people tamper with His Word. And, neither should we!

Let every preacher of the Gospel, every Sunday School teacher, everyone who leads in a devotion, take heed to how you handle the Word of God! It deserves our best effort! We should study it, meditate over it and present it in the power of the Spirit. If you lack that power, prostrate yourself before the Lord until He gives you that power! When you have found the meaning of His Word, then stand forth and proclaim it in the authority of the Spirit, being careful not to add to or take away from its divine message!

 

Wade’s Wednesday

Prayer: Our Time Saver

By Dr. Charles Stanley

What’s the first thing you think about when you wake up? Are your thoughts instantly focused on the day ahead, or are they centered on the Lord? Although most of us have busy lives and are involved in activities that consume much of our time and attention, the most important and timesaving part of each day is that which is spent in quiet solitude with God.

Yet many of us feel so rushed that we don’t think there’s enough time for the Lord. We immediately jump onto the treadmill of life and then wonder why we’re so frustrated, confused, and dissatisfied. Even if our desire is to follow God, we don’t know where He’s going since we haven’t stopped to get directions for the day. Without daily communication, no one can have intimacy with Christ.

Perhaps the problem is our own human logic. We think spending time reading the Bible and praying each morning will result in having less time and lower productivity. However, when we seek Christ’s direction and wisdom for the day and invite Him to control our lives, He’ll accomplish more through us than we can do by ourselves. He will give us wisdom for good decisions, increase our strength and energy, and free us from time-wasting anxiety.

Ask yourself, Am I too busy for the Lord? If the answer is yes, then you’re denying yourself the blessing of an intimate relationship with Christ. When you make time for Him, He’ll fill you with peace and joy, guide your decisions, grant you wisdom, empower you to obey, make you more productive, and comfort you with His love.

Tuesday With Karen

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Our Cup Runneth Over

Our cup runneth over, by blessings He gives,

He shows us His wisdom each day as we live;

He is our Shepherd, we’re the sheep He leads,

Watching over us daily, meeting every need!

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Our cup runneth over, by the Shepherd Himself,

He blesses us with more than our tongue can tell;

He guides our footsteps every day coming along,

Never one time will He leave His children alone!

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Our cup runneth over, from being in His will,

The needs within our heart, only He can fulfill;

He bestows gifts on us by His awesome hand,

Giving us much more than we can understand!

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Our cup runneth over, it’s abundantly blessed,

He gives us strength, even in facing our tests;

Goodness & mercy will follow us all our days,

Until we go Home, to give Him glory & praise!

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