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Scripture is Powerful

JESUS SPEAKING

    So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you continue in my word then you are my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8: 31-32.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

   God, in His wisdom, has chosen to use language (words) to reveal Himself to mankind. The written and spoken words of God and of His only Son Jesus Christ are recorded within the pages of The Holy Bible. These words have the power to grant eternal life; to purify and to heal; to transform and to enlighten. The word of God can do so many things; but unless it is harnessed and utilized, it isn’t likely to produce any meaningful change. Daily scripture reading is essential for the growth of the believer; a dusty bible is a reflection of the heart of its owner.
   Francis A. Schaffer was a brilliant 20th century American scholar and theorist. As a young adult he had been eagerly studying the works of the Greek philosophers. In his quest for knowledge he had been exposed to many interesting questions; for which there were no answers (he was drowning in theory, speculation, and conjecture.) At this same time he was also attending a very liberal church on the weekends, which failed to provide him with the answers he desired (because they did not preach bible based sermons.) ‘He thought, “I wonder whether I should stop calling myself a Christian, and discard the bible?” Then he reconsidered; choosing instead to face the fact that he had never actually read the bible.’ In desperation he began reading the scriptures for himself; with every turn of the page, his amazement grew. He had finally found the answers to his questions. His curiosity had led him to a genuine faith in Jesus Christ. Francis Schaffer never stopped reading his bible. He chose to commit the rest of his life to helping others discover the truth that he had received from God.
   Nearly 130 million books have been written throughout human history. Every year 50,000 new titles are published. Yet in a sea of literary works, only the Holy Bible contains the truth. The bible transforms lives; it creates affection, produces kindness, and generates love; it relieves addictions, and delivers from despair; it can heal the sick and bring hope to the hopeless; it contains the answers to life’s deepest questions; it is a powerful tool; yet like all tools, it can do nothing unless it is put to use. Read God’s word and discover your purpose. Grab hold of the promises of God and never let go. Open His Holy Scriptures and you will neither stumble nor stray from the path of everlasting life.
    “Lord Heavenly Father, show us the importance of daily bible reading. May we cling to Your words as a dying man clings to his last breath. Instill in us the desire to seek You. May we be transformed through the power of Your word. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit, that we may be more like Your Son; may others see our lives and praise Your Name. We love You Father, we thank You, and we praise You, and we ask all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Why Jesus had to Die

JESUS SPEAKING

     Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem.  And they talked together of all these things which had happened.  So it was, while they conversed and reasoned that Jesus himself drew near and went with them.  But their eyes were restrained so that they did not know him.  And he said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”  Then the one whose name is Cleopas answered and said to him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have you not known the things which happened there in these days?”  And he said to them, “What things?”  So they said to him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.  But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel […] Then he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!  Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory?”  And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself (Luke 24: 13-27.) 

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

  After the annual Passover feast, millions of pilgrims were departing from Jerusalem and returning to their homes.  Two of Christ’s followers joined in the mass exodus; their hearts had been broken and their minds were filled with confusion; like many, they had believed Jesus was the messiah; but their hopes were shattered at the foot of the cross, and buried with Christ in His tomb.  Thinking he was dead, the two disciples debated the meaning of his brief existence.  Suddenly Jesus Christ himself drew near to them in the guise of another pilgrim traveling along the road.  The men could not comprehend why the messiah would need to suffer and die.  Quoting the Old Testament scriptures, Jesus cited prophesies that foreordained his punishment and affliction.  The cross was not a display of weakness, but rather, an illustration of strength; nor was his blood a symbol of death; for every drop that was shed has come to represent God’s forgiveness.  Jesus Christ took the punishment for sin upon himself; he died so that others could live.

   In 1943, a ship named the USS Dorchester was sailing to Greenland as a part of a World War 2 navy convoy.  The Dorchester was carrying 903 American soldiers and 4 chaplains.  One evening, as the ship slumbered through the icy waters of the North Atlantic, the men were abruptly awakened by a loud explosion.  A German U-boat torpedo had torn a hole in the bow of the vessel.  All of the men immediately appeared on deck.  The four chaplains began distributing the life vests to the soldiers as they abandoned the sinking ship.  Within a matter of minutes, they had run out of vests.  One of the chaplains bravely removed his vest and gave it to a soldier; the other three chaplains followed his example. These brave men then locked arms and began to sing and pray before drowning in the frigid waters.  They chose to die so that others could live.  

     The disciples did not initially understand why Jesus Christ had to die.  He died because the punishment for sin had to be administered; and the punishment for sin is death.  He perished in our stead.  He embraced agony and suffering so that we could inherit eternal life.  He took our place because he loves us.  We can return that love today by embracing Him.  We should thank Him for His sacrifice and honor Him for His courage; we are only alive today because he was willing to die for us.

  “Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you and praise you for enduring our punishment.  We understand that it was necessary for you to suffer for our sins.  You loved us when no one else could.  Because of your sacrifice we have eternal life.  May we never forget what You have done; may we always remain grateful; and may we continually serve You and worthily magnify Your Holy name.  We love You Jesus, we thank You, and we praise You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!

The Salt of the Earth

JESUS SPEAKING

   “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it become salty again?  It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Mathew 5: 13.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

   In ancient time’s salt was a very important commodity used to preserve meat; it was also a common ingredient included in many medicinal remedies.  And yet despite its numerous applications, salt was most often utilized to flavor foods; a tiny pinch and an otherwise bland dish would become rather tasty.  In this parable, Jesus likens every believer to salt; those who remain flavorful are those who continue to fulfill their primary purpose; these individuals consistently seek to serve their fellows, love others, and give to those in need.  Unfortunately, some who start out strong in the faith will eventually lose their saltiness and become self-centered and ungodly; the zeal that once drove them to accomplish good words fades away. If we begin serving ourselves and not others, our usefulness to God will become compromised.

   The statue of liberty is one of America’s most widely recognizable icons; an enduring symbol of freedom to all nations.  And yet ‘Lady Liberty’ has changed considerably over the years.  On the day of her dedication in 1886, her polished copper surface was a vibrant spectacle of orange and bronze; a truly marvelous sight to behold.  However, when copper interacts with the atmosphere it corrodes; and over time, her shiny exterior has grown dull, muted, and green.  The Statue of Liberty is still a magnificent example of ingenuity and craftsmanship; and yet she is no longer as magnificent as she was on the day of her dedication.

  Similarly, numerous Christians dedicate themselves to Jesus Christ, and initially they shine quite brilliantly.  Their zeal for what is good and their desire to spread the gospel is unparalleled.  As they serve, the love of The Lord is manifest in them; drawing others toward God.  Sadly however, over time, as other things displace their faith, selfishness arises; reigning in their hearts.  They become dull and muted; incapable of being used to accomplish God’s work.  May we never grow dull; may we continually put the Lord first in everything we do; and may we tirelessly strive to accomplish His will in this world.

   “Heavenly Father, fill us with Your Holy Spirit and give us opportunities to lovingly serve others.  We yearn to be pleasing to You in all things; that you might use us to further Your Kingdom.  May we always be zealous and flavorful; and may we never grow dull.  If we have turned from Your path, convict us and correct us.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!


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