Light

Step by Step

Dr. David Jeremiah

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. –Psalm 119:105

Sometime that surprise toy, more than a few parents were up late going step by step through the instructions while putting together a child’s toy. The temptation is to look at the picture of the completed item and just “go for it”—which usually results in having to go back to step one and starting over. Instructions are there for a reason. The designers of the product know best how to proceed.

Step by step is the way the Christian life of faith works as well. Our temptation is to rush ahead and try to bring about the end result we think God wants. But God is interested in more than the final product; He wants to build our faith as well. When the Israelites were in the wilderness, God provided manna for them to eat—but only enough for a day at a time (Exodus 16). Jesus taught His disciples to pray for “daily bread”—a prayer that needs to be prayed daily (Matthew 6:11). And the psalmist says that God’s Word, like a lamp, shines enough light on our path to walk a few steps at a time (Psalm 119:105).

Let God, by His Spirit and His Word, guide you a step at a time on your path. He is not in a hurry and neither should we be. He wants to build faith as well as put together the end result.

God not only orders our steps; He orders our stops. —George Muller

Evil For Good

Proverbs 17:13-15(KJV):
13 Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.
14 The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.
15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.
Thought for the Day

Verse 13 – Those who have been helped by someone and then return an evil act toward them will find they are cursed with evil in their own house. A man helps a homeless person and is mugged. A supervisor helps a friend become a manager and that same friend fires him in order to secure his own position. Parents invest their money and time in nursing a sickly child who grows up only to ignore them when they are elderly. These are but a few examples of how good can be rewarded by evil. Those who selfishly return evil for good will only bring evil upon themselves. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

Verse 14 – Strife can begin with a few unkind words and end in a bitter quarrel, just as a small crack in a dam quickly widens until the whole dam bursts. We must stop contention before it becomes a quarrel. One way to do this is to learn what triggers a quarrel and to refrain from saying such things. Another way is to walk in humility.Proverbs 13:10 says contention comes by pride. It is not wise to approach others with a proud, demeaning attitude. We should remain humble when others arrogantly challenge us wrongly. It does not mean that we compromise our position, but that we maintain a basic respect for all people, because they are made in God’s image and He loves them.

Verse 15 – It is easy to see that it is an abomination to justify a criminal or condemn a righteous person, but we ought also to be careful not to oppose those doing a good work for God simply because we do not agree with them in some area. We should repent if we have been guilty of doing this. Likewise, we should be careful about what we support. Many companies, for instance, produce popular products but support abortion and other evil things. Some people are now attacking the Bible and calling it “hate literature,” because it calls their sins “sin.” Isaiah has some strong words for those who do these things: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 5:20-24).

Abide

Abiding in the Vine

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.” – John 15:4-5

You’ve never saw a fruit factory. Now, you’ll see factories for making furniture, clothing, cars, and computers, but not a fruit factory. Instead fruit is grown in an orchard. It is dependent upon life.

There is no fruit without life. The only way that fruit is going to ripen and grow is in the right climate and with the right nutrients. Just like we can’t grow bananas in Alaska, we can’t grow and produce the fruit of the Spirit unless we’re in the place where the Spirit can produce His fruit in us. And that place is walking and abiding in the Spirit.

Friday Funnies

CAMP
The first day of Summer Camp, a counselor was helping his kids stow their stuff. He was surprised to see one of the youngsters had an umbrella.

The counselor asked, “Why did you bring an umbrella to camp?”

The kid answered, “Did you ever have a mother?

Teacher: Please use the words “letter carrier” in a sentence. Student: Yes, ma’am. “My dad said that after seeing how many things my sister was bringing on to summer camp, he would rather “letter carrier own luggage.”

Q: Can a frog jump higher than the average tent? A: Of course, tents can’t jump.

Q: What’s another name for a sleeping bag? A: A nap sack.

MATH LESSON
Teacher: “If I gave you 2 tents and another 2 tents and another 2, how many would you have?”
Johnny: “Seven.”
Teacher: “No, listen carefully… If I gave you two tents, and another two tents and another two, how many would you have?”
Johnny: “Seven.”
Teacher: “Let me put it to you differently. If I gave you two apples, and another two apples and another two, how many would you have?”
Johnny: “Six.”
Teacher: “Good. Now if I gave you two tents, and another two tents and another two, how many would you have?”
Johnny: “Seven!”
Teacher: “Johnny, where do you get seven from?!”
Johnny: “Because I’ve already own a tent!”

Bible Study

Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit Matthew 5:1-3

A.  Like most of the Bible, this portion of Scripture was not written to the multitudes (the lost) but to His disciples, the saved. 
1.  The unsaved cannot grasp spiritual truth that is in the Word of God because it is spiritually discerned. 
2.  The unsaved, through the preaching of the gospel and the illumination of the Holy Ghost can be saved but understanding the Bible requires the indwelling of the Holy Ghost.

B.  The Beatitudes: a condition or statement of blessedness. Blessedness is often in spite of circumstances!  Blessedness is realization, not circumstances.
1.  I have seen or heard where some have substituted the word happy for the word blessed.  This is a cardinal mistake!  Happiness is contingent upon happenings. 
2.  You can be blessed and not be happy.  We are truly blessed if we are happy or not.  We can be down in the dumps so to speak and yet be blessed with food, shelter, clothing, etc. at the same time.
3.  You can be blessed and not be rich.  If money is your pursuit of happiness, you will find that it will not bring fulfillment in your life.  Is money important?  Not as important as this world would have you believer.
4.  You can be blessed and not be well.  I hate to see people sick and do not like to be sick personally but spiritual blessedness has nothing to do with physical wellness.
5.  These Beatitudes were meant to bring quietness to a disquieted soul!  The apostles were tired:
a)  Because of the multitudes who followed them!
b)  Because of the Pharisees, Sadducees, lawyers, and scribes who constantly persecuted them!
c)  Because of the poor conditions in which they lived: their pillow was a stone and they had to glean in the fields to eat!
6.  Psalms 46:1-4, 10  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  (2)  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;  (3) Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. (4)  There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High … (10)  Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

C.  What is “poor in spirit?”  Poor in spirit does not mean a lack of spirit or a worthless spirit. 
Luke 14:10-11  But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.  (11)  For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himselfshall be exalted.
1.  “Poor in spirit” has to do with humility before God.  It means humility instead of haughtiness.  1 Peter 5:6  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
2.  “Poor in spirit” has to do with submission to God.  Philippians 2:10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
3.  “Poor in spirit” has to do with contentment with God.  Philippians 4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
4.  “Poor in spirit” has to do with thanksgiving toward God.  1 Thessalonians 5:18  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

D.  The poor in spirit:
1.  The poor in spirit Understand the grace of God.  “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men …  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ!”  So many professing Christians never grasp the necessity or the fullness of the grace of God.  To the child of God, it is all of grace!  I thank the Lord every day that He loves me in spite of me. Ephesians 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
2.  The poor in spirit Understand just how precious Christ is.  They are blessed!  “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious!”  Christ not only gives us life; He is our life!  He has not only given to us eternal life, He has given to us life more abundant. Colossians 3:4  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
3.  The poor in spirit Understand the value of the Bible and the importance of spiritual nourishment. What a wonderful gift the Lord gave us with “The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.”  Thank God for those who have faithfully published it!  1 Peter 2:2  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

4.  The poor in spirit Understand the price paid at Calvary for their redemption.  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends!”  Oh what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon the child of God!  1 Peter 1:18-19  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;  (19)  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
5.  The poor in spirit Understand their indebtedness to the lost.  “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee!”   The saved may not be able to feed the world but they have the power to free the world!  Romans 1:14  I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
6.  The poor in spirit Understand that true riches are eternal, not temporal.  “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you!”  “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  (18)  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen aretemporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
7.  The poor in spirit Understand that this world is not their home. “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims!”  This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through.   Hebrews 11:8-10  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  (9)  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  (10)  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Victory Baptist Church 29 July 2020 victorypalmetto.com

Wade’s Wednesday

The Final Trumpet Call

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” —I Thess. 4:16-17

James Milton Black loved teaching Sunday school and working with young people. He was born August 19, 1856 in South Hill, New York and acquired an early musical education in singing and organ playing. At the age of 25, he moved to Williamsport, Pennsylvania where he carried on Christian work through the Methodist Episcopal church. He taught music during the week, and he was a song leader, Sunday school teacher and youth leader in his spare hours. In addition to all this work, he edited hymnals.

James loved young people and tried to win them for Christ. One day, as he passed through an alley, he met a ragged fourteen-year-old girl who was the daughter of an alcoholic. He invited her to his Sunday school and youth group and she began to attend.

One day when he took roll, the girl did not respond. Each child had respond with a Scripture verse when his or her name was called. James saw a lesson in her silence. “I spoke of what a sad thing it would be when our names are called from the Lamb’s Book of Life, if one of us should be absent.” The thought, although not biblically sound, brought this prayer to the lips of Black: “Oh, God, when my name is called up yonder, may I be there to respond!”

After Sunday school, he went to his pupil’s home to find out why she had not showed up for class. He found her dangerously ill and sent for his own doctor—they still made house calls then. The doctor said that she had pneumonia. Since that was before the days of antibiotics, death was highly likely.

When James Milton Black returned home, his wife saw at once that he was deeply troubled. Tears filled his eyes as he entered his gate. Now he sat down at his piano and in a few minutes wrote the words and composed a song that is familiar to most American church-goers: “When the Roll Is Called up Yonder.”

A few days later, he had the sad opportunity of explaining in public how he came to write the song when it was sung at the funeral of the girl whose absence at roll call had inspired it.

The song’s lyrics were first published in a collection titled “Songs of the Soul,” and the song has since been translated into at least 14 languages and sung all over the world in a variety of Christian denominations.

James M. Black died in an auto accident in Colorado in 1948, but he will always be remembered for “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder.”

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

Never Fear, Jesus Is Here
Never fear, Jesus is here, & has been since time began,
He walks close beside us, daily holding our hand;
Life brings situations of frustration and grief,
Trusting in the Lord will bring us perfect peace!
Never fear, Jesus is here, He’ll never leave us alone,
Whatever life sends, He gives us strength to go on;
If we have trials that make us become upset,
He’ll pour on us His grace, we will never forget!
Never fear, Jesus is here, and will be forever more,
He’s still in control as Saviour, Master, and Lord;
Nothing takes place that’s not held in His hands,
All things that happen are within His command!
Never fear, Jesus is here, He has no plans to leave,
Every promise within His word is ours to believe;
So if life brings troubles causing heartaches & tears,
We’re blessed to think, “Never fear, Jesus is here!”

Diet

Eating Clean
Julia Bettencourt


Eating clean is all the rage today. People are concerned about their health and the health of their families. We are all tired of putting ingredients that we can’t even pronounce in our bodies. Eating clean is a whole concept of getting back to eating whole foods or that “real” food.

I have been thinking about this concept and wonder how clean we are about eating our spiritual food – the Word of God?

We are all concerned about adding those artificial sweeteners and preservatives into our food, but how often do we sprinkle those additives on to our Bible reading? Are you hooked on Bible study guides written by man? Some of them may enhance the flavor but unfortunately some of them can be very harmful.

If you have to have a Bible study guide and certain author’s opinion on a Bible topic, or you have a need for Bible study only through DVD, maybe your body has gotten used to it. Maybe you need to go on a cleanse and just sit down with God’s Word all by itself.

Sure, Bible study guides can be helpful at times, but unfortunately many of them don’t encourage depth and insight into the Bible passage it covers.

Reading God’s Word and developing insight helps a Christian grow. It’s the proper food for our bodies. We can’t just rely on what authors think or feel about the Bible. We need to read and study it for ourselves.

I’m not saying we have to cut out the Bible study guides and books completely but maybe we should limit our intake of those highly processed things when it comes to our spiritual health.

  • Read the Label.
    Part of being aware of what is in our food is reading the label. When it comes to Bible study authors we need to see what they are all about. We need to read the ingredients. We need to be aware of their doctrine and beliefs, and of their affiliation.
  • Increase Your Intake.
    We might not be able to cut out those additives completely out of our food, but we could all afford to up the intake of those whole and natural foods. We can all take in more whole food where the Word of God is concerned too. We need to read and study the Bible in its purest form.
  • Soak in the Benefits.
    When we start eating whole foods, we start noticing textures and flavors that we never did before. We begin gaining valuable nutrients that we were missing before.

    Look at the benefits of getting familiar with God’s Word just one on one. We acquire spiritual growth, increased vitality, and strength. It gives us conviction. It gives us focus. It gives a desire for more.

    “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6

    “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;” Psalm 63:1

    “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” Psalm 42:1-2

    “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16

    “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Psalm 34:8

    Conclusion:
    I’m not saying that Bible studies and Christian books can’t be helpful to us. Those things have their place, but I just fear that some of us have taken in so much in the way of Christian books and Bible study guides that we don’t really have a hunger for the Word of God anymore unless we have someone whispering in our ear what it means or what they think it means. We have to start reading and discerning on our own if we ever want to grow as Christians.

    So, have you tried some “clean eating” of the Word lately?

 

Gift from God

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. – James 4:14

Everyday is a gift from God…

Sometimes we fail to really enjoy the day because we’re so busy fretting about all the little things that aren’t “just right”.  Ten years from now will you even remember that on this particular day your toast wasn’t crispy enough?

Everyday is a gift from God…

We may waste away our precious day by spending most of it grumbling about little things instead of being grateful for what we have. Take a moment to think about God’s blessings. You CAN’T even count them all!

Everyday is a gift from God…

We may harbor ill feelings against others who have done us wrong.  Life is too short to waste it away on resentment.  Forgiveness benefits you as well as it does the one you resent.

Everyday is a gift from God…

It’s up to YOU to make it sweeter.  It’s up to YOU to make the most of it.  Spend it wisely. Share a smile everywhere you go. Make others around you feel loved so that they’ll see Christ’s love through you.

 

Martyr

A 20th-Century Martyr

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) was born in Germany to parents who rarely took their children to church. When, at age 14, he declared his intent to become a theologian and pastor, his parents were dismayed. According to Mark Devine in Bonhoeffer Speaks Today, Dietrich’s brother called the church a “poor, feeble, boring, petty, bourgeois institution” — to which Dietrich replied, “If what you say is true, I shall reform it!”

At 21, Bonhoeffer earned a doctorate in theology. Too young for ordination, he attended Union Theological Seminary in New York and gained sympathy for oppressed people. Bonhoeffer returned to Germany and was ordained at age 25.

Opposed to Hitler’s rule from its start, Bonhoeffer helped form the Confessing Church in resistance to Nazi persecution of Jews.

On Sunday April 8, 1945, he had just finished conducting a service of worship at Schoenberg, when two soldiers came in, saying, “Prisoner Bonhoeffer, make ready and come with us,” the standard summons to a condemned prisoner. As he left, he said to another prisoner, “This is the end—but for me, the beginning—of life.” He was hanged the next day, less than a week before the Allies reached the camp.

Used by permission of The Newsletter Newsletter