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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Subscribe - Truth For Life--Alistair Begg

Subscribe - Truth For Life

Live Life to the Hilt

From John Piper

What's it all about?

The message of creation is this: there is a great God of glory and power and generosity behind all this awesome universe; you belong to him; he is patient with you in sustaining your rebellious life; turn and bank your hope on him and delight yourself in him, not his handiwork.
I'm so thankful that life IS all about our great God of glory. What misery there is when it's only about us!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My mother's advice

This is an excerpt from my mother's radio program, Gateway to Joy, when she talked about transformed marriages.  It is true, within 36 hrs. Of our wedding, even though we couldn't imagine before the wedding that she was right, we had sinned, and hurt each other.  She gave us wisdom and graciously prepared us, since we had really not experienced each other's sin beforehand! Walt and I are very thankful for her advice....take your hurt to the foot of the Cross, where there is forgiveness, and when one repents, one can get up with His strength and grace and go on, committing again to love and be gracious.

"Not very long before my daughter and her husband got married, they actually sat down in the kitchen and asked me to give them advice. I don't know very many young couples that do that. I was so gratified, I could hardly believe my ears.
A young couple asking me for advice, especially my own daughter and my future son-in-law? "Yes," they said. "Just start talking. Give us advice."
And you know what I said to them? I said, "You're going to hurt each other." And they looked at each other with utter disbelief. Hurt each other?? How could they possibly do that when they love each other with such a passion? I said, "Well, guess what? I'm right. You will hurt each other. Probably not until after the wedding, but you know, it could be within 24 hours or so. I know because God has given me, in His amazing providence, three different husbands. Very different. I've hurt everyone of them. I know I did. And I've had to respond differently to each of them." But what else is new?
Anyway, I said to them. "You will hurt each other. Remember you heard it here first, and when it happens then remember that there is forgiveness. Jesus Christ forgives us when we repent and take the hurt first of all to the foot of the cross, not to the other person. Don't just snap back and get even. That's not going to get you anywhere. Take it to the foot of the cross. Lay it out before the Lord. Repent of your own anger and fear and hurt." But why should I repent of the hurt, somebody might say. Well, not specifically because of the hurt itself perhaps, but what were your reactions exactly? What were your thoughts about the one who had hurt you?"

I now have been married 37 years, and it still amazes me that I can hurt my husband and am insensitive to my his needs, as well as how I could love and encourage him.....God is in the business of sanctifying us, and that is my hope and comfort!  I still have that selfish old "man" that rises up inside of me and wants his way, but I'm so thankful also for Gal. 2:20.  May that encourage you today also.

Muslims and Christ

This article encouraged me as we think of the needs around the world for the light and truth of Jesus Christ.  May it also encourage you to pray for those who do not know His light, His love, and His peace. This is from a newsletter I subscribe to called Joel Ministries International.

India: A murderer encounters Christ (2)

In our last edition we introduced Noor, a gangster who knew no mercy. One day his son developed a fatal illness.

As the hours went by, dark thoughts invaded Noor’s mind as he sat next to his failing son’s bed. Must he lose all of his children? Was this a punishment from Allah for all the murders and the torture of others? No, he had been faithful. Allah had granted him power over these infidels. He could regret nothing. His son would not die. He would not allow it. He would kill the whole world if he had to, but Waqar would survive.
When the doctor examined the boy again, he saw that he was failing. He shook his head, and turned to the boy’s father, to tell him it was hopeless. But as he turned, he found Noor’s face six inches from his own, eyes blazing. He held a knife in his hand. “You will save my son’s life, or I will kill you,” he said. The doctor remained calm. “I cannot save your son,” he replied. “It is out of my hands. I am sorry.”
“I can’t do anything for your son, but I know someone who can heal him.”
There was something wrong here. It took a few seconds to register, but then Noor understood what it was. This man was not afraid of him. He had been threatened with a knife, with death, but he had no fear. He looked peaceful. Noor stared at him, not knowing what to do. The power he always felt in harassing his victims was absent here. He had no control over this man. He put the knife back into his pocket, and looked at his son. “Then in whose hands is he? I have prayed to all the gods.” The doctor looked at him with great compassion. “I can’t do anything for your son, but I know someone who can heal him. The Lord Jesus Christ. We can pray to Jesus right now, if you wish.”
Noor Alam nodded. Together, they got down on their knees. Noor did not know this Jesus, but as he listened to the doctor pray, he was overcome with emotion. This man prayed as if he knew his God personally, as if he were alive, right there in the room with them. He prayed for Waqar as if he were his own son, as if he knew and loved him. Noor felt power in this prayer, true power, not the power of a gun, but something much more. When it was over, they rose, and the doctor turned to him. “We have asked for healing. Now we must have faith that the Lord will permit it.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small book. “Read this, my brother, and you will understand.”
Noor took the book and began reading by his son’s bed. The book was a holy book, and told about Jesus. He read for hours, that Jesus was the Son of God, sent by the Father to save all men, all who would believe in him, repent, and follow him. He read that Jesus performed many healings, and Jesus said these people had been healed by their faith. He thought of those he had killed and hurt, and he emptied himself of tears as the guilt and shame overwhelmed him. In the early hours of the morning, trembling, Noor got to his knees once more. It was a simple prayer. “Lord Jesus, I have faith that you will heal my boy. If you will do this, I will follow you with all my heart, and you will be my God. I beg your forgiveness for the terrible things I have done.”

“By mid-2012, Noor had brought hundreds to Christ.”

Waqar’s recovery was remarkable. He was back home within a week. Noor Alam immersed himself in the New Testament, then began proclaiming Jesus in his village. The Muslims could not believe what had happened, but Noor’s testimony was irresistible. His son had been brought back from the brink of death, but even more astounding was that this criminal, this murderer, was now preaching that salvation, forgiveness and healing is available through love, the love of Jesus Christ!
Some came to Christ. Then others, some in the next village. Noor Alam preached at the market and brought many to Christ. Some Muslims challenged him, but no one threatened him; his past was known to all. He met a Big Life church planter, who discipled him and showed him how to begin churches. He joined the ministry. They worked together, visiting villages, planting churches. By mid-2012, Noor Alam was known as Pastor Noor. He had brought hundreds to Christ, and had planted churches in many Muslim villages. He was following Christ with all his heart, just as he had promised.
What do you need to repent of today? There is no end to God’s forgiveness, if our repentance is sincere. Today, please pray for Pastor Noor’s ministry, and for all Christian ministries working in Bihar, historically known as ‘the graveyard of missionaries.’
This story is from an upcoming book by Peter Hone, who is involved in Big Life, a non-denominational, rapidly reproducing church planting movement focused on discipling ordinary men and women to reach their own people for Christ.

Source: Noor Alam, Peter Hone