Escaped

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“Having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” – 2nd Peter 1:4b

Who says you’ll ‘never get away with it?’ That was the phrase my big brother would use after he found out I was snooping in his room. I would hear him coming and hide behind the door so after he walked in I’d run for my life and think I had escaped. Instead of chasing me he would threaten with “I’ll get you, you’ll never get away with it.” He was right. Eventually, I’d find myself pinned to the floor begging for mercy with the unintentional promise of, “I’ll never do it again”.

Our salvation continues to preserve us until Glory, we have the promises of God that allow us to be partakers of the divine nature. It’s an account that contains everything we need that pertains to life and godliness and a glimpse of what awaits us in Heaven. Another benefit is that we finally get away with something. The blood of Jesus has made a way for us to be forgiven of our sins and the enemy can’t make us pay for them. Unlike my big brother who eventually evened the score and made me pay for my transgression against him, the forgiveness extended to through Christ gives us mercy and grace. It’s the great escape.

Peter starts off his second epistle with a truth that should give us a grateful heart and cause us to devote ourselves to God. Verses 3 and 4 tell us “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust”. Escaped is the key word, no longer held down with the burden of our sin. Our fate was set, but because of the work Jesus did on the cross, we’ve escaped.

When we understand this and comprehend the cost of our salvation, we no longer should desire to continue to sin but grieve it when we choose to do it. Paul asks and answers this question in Romans 6, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

Our identity in Christ and belief that we are who He says we are gives us “Victory in Jesus.” We walk in truth, becoming a sweet smelling aroma to those who desire a relationship with our Father. These truths help to give us a perspective that cause us to become overcomers in Christ. The struggles we face today are instruments for our good. The 1st chapter of 2nd Peter goes on to instruct us to build. The encouragement in verse 10 seals it, “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble”.

So take a moment in prayer to God and be reminded of the benefits that come with being a child of the King. Amen?

Written by Rob Russomano: Rob Russomano is married to Terri, he is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member. He is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events. You can contact him at rrussomano@americaskeswick.org.

The Daily Bible Reading: Jeremiah 37 – 41| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “This day, my God, I hate sin not because it damns me, but because it has done Thee wrong. To have grieved my God is the worst grief to me.” – Charles Spurgeon

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials. 1 Peter 1:6

 

 

DEAD FAITH

iStock-478408546.jpg“If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” – James 2:15-17 (NASB)

It was an impromptu sit down on a Thursday night that consisted of cheese fries, coffee, and a simple glass of cold water. I was meeting with one of the Elders in our church just to talk, but it did lead into some issues that had taken its toll on our walk. Eric is a few years younger than myself, but he has an insight that is on the same level as my own and it makes him easy to talk to. As we were talking about how others around us react to certain things, I told him the thing I noticed was how people will say things out of reflex.

One of those things being, “Well okay. Hope God works that out for you. Sorry you have to go through that, I’ll be praying for you” and as fast as they get those words out is as fast as they disappear into the sunset, never to ask you if God really did work things out. Eric and I got a bit of laugh out of that, but we did agree that it is a sad state of affairs to see that in our churches today. I compare this to what we read about in the Book of James. Take a look at the verse I begin with today and let’s get into it, shall we?

The first thing to note is folks who do the ‘lip service’ routine. “Go in peace, be warmed, and be filled” or “Hope God works that out for you. Sorry you have to go through that, I’ll be praying for you” can be examples that pretty much reflect that we know the correct vocabulary for prayer and doctrine, our walk may not measure up to our talk. You could say that when we exhibit this, we show we only have an intellectual faith. We know the doctrine of salvation and showing compassion for one another, but we haven’t really submitted to God or trusted the words of Jesus Christ. We only know the “words” but we don’t back them up with “works.”

The second thing to take away is that there is no salvation with an intellectual faith. None, zilch, zero. Three times in James 2:17-26 we’ll see that James will emphasize that “faith without works is dead.” Now one could go up on a mountain and yell out to the world “I BELIEVE IN GOD!!” but if there is no change in the life of that person all that yelling did nothing and all that academia is good for is an episode of “Jeopardy” Without any change in a person life, even if they say they believe in God, results in what I dare call a dead faith or a counterfeit faith. This kinda faith lulls us into a sleep that only the devil would appreciate and gives us a false confidence that we are partaking in the eternal life that only Jesus Christ freely gives.

I know the father of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, had some issue with “faith without works is dead.” His initial thought was that to simply trust in God’s perfect love would be the only correct way of responding to God’s plan of salvation and that had lead into by faith alone would be the way one would be saved. But if you look through the Bible, especially at some guy I’ll call Abraham, you’ll see that it took some act to reflect the faith that one had in their heart to God that they are willing to OBEY Him and walk in His ways. Keep in mind that Faith and Good Works go hand in hand in the life of a child of The Most High God.

Sometimes we see folks that are having a bad day and we think that they need to be shown a bit of compassion, so we walk up to them and say something encouraging… and that’s fine, BUT if it isn’t done in the compassion of Jesus Christ it’s just you…and you can fail people every once in a while. So, if you’re gonna say you’ll pray for someone, then pray and if you have prayed, go back and see if God answered… and if He did, then praise Him as The Most High God. It is in Him that we have the words of life simply because, “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life” (1 John 5:12). In the meantime, if you find yourself at a diner, Brother Eric and I recommend the cheese fries and coffee, for from that will spring up a cool glass of water. Amen?

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Job 39-40| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote:“No man can come to Christ by faith and remain the same, anymore than he came into contact with a 220-volt wire and remain the same.” — Warren Wiersbe

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials. 1 Peter 1:6

 

 

 

Already Seated Above the Fight

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It has come these days with new light and power that the first thing we have to see to as we draw near to God day by day is that our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. If we listen in the stillness till our hearts begin to respond to what he is thinking and feeling about the matter in question, whether it concerns ourselves or others, we can, from that moment, begin praying downwards from the Throne, instead of praying upwards from ourselves. ~ I. Lilias Trotter

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
~ paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Ephesians 2

Oh beloved, it is true.

Life on this plane is so brutally difficult, and there are so many enemies of our soul, that we simply cannot win. We will be disdained, hurt, rejected, and killed by our enemies. And even those close to us, will often swing at us in their pain and fear.

We will be…
Judged
Slandered
Forgotten
Doubted
Blasted
Hated
And purposely misunderstood.

It really is too much. We cannot win, if we try to fight in this theater.

Those who are in the heavenly places see God’s counsels in what to the wisdom of the world is arrogant stupidity.
~Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

And so. It is really a good thing that we are not here. Really.

Can we see it?

G_d understands the battles through which we are passing in this world. He understands how devastating things are in this cosmos. We will have trouble. We will be killed. We will be hurt. But now, thankfully, all of this is irrelevant.

So, He has already seated us above the storm, with Him.

Jesus did not just come to give us a few supplies for the battle, and then give us some remote possibility of everything turning out OK in the end. No, He has already seated us with Him, in Heavenly places, that we might fight the battles we are surely going to face from a completely different stance.

And that stance is as a radical overcomer, saved from our sins, saved from ourselves, and working from a position of His Strength.

Said simply: We have, in Him, already won.

So, are you struggling with all the stuff that is flying at you in this life? It is definitely a problem if you (and this fool of a writer) do not understand our actual position. While it may feel like we are stuck on the ground, the reality is that we are already seated, with Him, in heavenly places.

Maybe it is time we begin acting like it.

Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 57-59 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: If all Jesus Christ came to do was to upset me, make me unfit for my work, upset my friendships and my life, produce disturbance and misery and distress, then I wish he had never come. But that is not all he came to do. He came to lift us up to “the heavenly places” where he is himself. The whole claim of the redemption of Jesus is that he can satisfy the last aching abyss of the human soul, not hereafter only, but here and now. ~Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials. 1 Peter 1:6

 

Perfect Assurance…

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What have you placed your confidence in… I mean, if everything were to come apart in your life, what could you count on to remain?

The past few years have been a bit crazy as I sit here looking back over them; I realized that God has touched almost every aspect of my life… revealing how transient our health, relationships, wealth, education, employment, possessions, and desires all are. As heart rendering and stressful each of these trials are, I have also seen how faithful and loving our God is. In each circumstance, He has provided through someone that He has used to reveal His faithfulness to me and my family. There is not room in the message to communicate all Our Heavenly Father has done, but I can tell you this, there is one precious thing that has grown in me that I would never have known if not for the struggle; that is confidence in Jesus my Savior. The song writer called this “Blessed Assurance.”

In preparing for the sunrise service, I have been moved by the account of Mary Magdalene. Her heart was truly broken in the loss of her Lord. I think of all of the believers at the time, she truly understood what it meant to be redeemed; you see Jesus had removed 7 demons that had possessed her. The freedom and renewal this must have had on her would have provided her a glance at the salvation from sin and death Jesus’ sacrifice would provide. I believe her weeping over His death came from a heart that knew that her life depended on His presence for all eternity. Even though He spoke many times of His resurrection, and even though they had the testimony of Lazarus being called forth from the grave, Jesus defeating sin and death and rising again without someone like himself present to call His name, seemed so impossible… And ‘then came the morning’ that Mary Magdalene would hear Jesus call her name once again. How her heart must have soared to hear His voice say ‘Mary’…

John tells us what happened next, he says “she came ‘announcing’ to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord,’ and that He has said these things to her!” (John 20:18)

What confidence she exuded! What joy must have sprung in her words, how her life had changed, all because she had met our Savior face to face in the midst of her ‘storm’…

Mary’s confidence was no longer in the transient things of this world, but in her living and eternal Savior who the writer of Hebrews tells us, “is able also to save forever (completely, perfectly, for eternity) those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede and intervene on their behalf [with God]” (7:25).

I pray your confidence is anchored in Him as well, I hope you will turn to Him in all things, not just the struggles, and give Him the praise due the One who loves you with His life.

Choose wisely….

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:19-23)

Praying 4 U

Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, and grandfather with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is a member of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.

The Daily Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 15-19| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Faith is a living and unshakable confidence, a belief in the grace of God so assured that a man would die a thousand deaths for its sake.” – Martin Luther

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials. 1 Peter 1:6

That I May Know Him (Part 1)

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“that I may know HIM and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings being conformed to His death, if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:10-11

Easter is behind us now by several weeks and in churches across the country, we preached and talked about the resurrection.

Jesus stepped out of the tomb defeating sin and death forever. But the big question is SO WHAT?

For some it’s like checking off this “holiday” off our check-list and we move on living life like any other day.

But the implications of the resurrection are life-changing, life-transforming – or so they should be.

Paul’s prayer for HIMSELF was that he would KNOW Christ and the power of  His resurrection.

For the next couple of Freedom Fighter blogs, I would like to dissect these two verses and share with you what I have been learning.

The first thing I want to share is that part of knowing Him is knowing what He is doing now. Can I suggest to you 7 things?

  1. The risen Christ is seated at His Father’s right hand. He finished the work that His Father gave Him. He completed His earthly ministry. Don’t take my word for it. Read Ephesians 2:1-10 and Hebrews 1:1-4
  2. He is holding the world together by the “word of His power.”
    Hebrews 1:3 says that Everything is working according to the way He created it. We talked several weeks ago about this amazing universe.
  3. He is living His perfect life THROUGH you! Galatians 2:20 is the reference you need to underline in your Bible. YOU can’t live the Christian life in and of yourself. It’s impossible apart from Him living it through
  4. He is praying for you! I love Hebrews 7:25. Jesus is seated at His Father’s right hand and one of the things He is doing is praying for you!!! In fact it says “He ever lives” to make intercession for you and me. Jumping Jehosopat!!!
  5. He is conforming you to His image and preparing His bride. Read Colossians 1:15-23
  6. He is preparing a place for you in heaven. Some translate it “mansions,” some “dwelling places.” But think about this – Jesus, the master carpenter is building a place for YOU! (John 14:16)
  7. He is coming again! 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16 The last chapter has already been written. And what a day that will be.

So Paul’s wanting to know this One has some amazing implications for you and me today. This Jesus, the Son of God, who came to earth as a Babe, lived His life perfectly and was obedient to His Father in every way. This One is the One who gave His life for you and me, and is the One who wants to have an intimate, abiding relationship with Him. (Colossians 3:1-3) Wow!

My prayer for you this week is that your desire to know HIM who increase more and more each day.

Rejoice! Pray! Give thanks!

Bill Welte
President/CEO
America’s Keswick

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader..

The Daily Bible Reading: Exodus 25-28| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Think about this: “The surest sign that you have been chosen by God is when you find yourself depending on NOTHING by God’s mercy. Pastor Dave Ridder

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials. 1 Peter 1:6

 

It’s Not That Difficult?

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“Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is with those who uphold my life.”

– Psalm 54:4 (NKJV)

There are no problems quite like “difficult people” problems, are there? Sometimes I would rather shove a broken plastic fork into my right eye than deal with difficult people, but when one claims to be a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the fork idea can only remain as a comical footnote in a Freedom Fighter. I also have a regular job that is full of difficult people who assure me that it is better for me to clean the sludge from the bottom of a waste water evaporator unit that handles 350 gallons of dirty shop water than to give them audience. So, when it comes to the daily grind of my every day, difficult people can be the road bumps that really didn’t need to installed…ever.

Scholars say it may have been anywhere from 18 months to 20 years that King Saul pursued David. Maybe it began with 5 stones that were picked up to slay The Giant instead of wearing that over-sized armor that set the guy off. I know Saul wasn’t too cool with hearing “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands!” (1 Sam 18:7). This king even hurled a spear at David while he was trying to ease his unsettled spirit with a harp…toys in the attic don’t even describe how difficult it was for David to deal with King Saul. The history of this pursuit can be found in 1 Samuel and you should go check it out yourself, but what I would like to focus in on is a little song that David wrote called Psalm 54.

David gives us a perfect example of what we should do when we are faced with difficult people—pray!! “Save me, O God, by Your name, and vindicate me by Your strength. Hear my prayer, O God; Give ear to the words of my mouth. For strangers have risen up against me, and oppressors have sought after my life; They have not set God before them” (Psalm 54:1-3). David acknowledges that YHVH was not in the minds of his enemies before they all sought to destroy him. It just may his way of saying to YHVH “Father, forgive them. For they know not what they do.” Coolness!

“Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is with those who uphold my life. He will repay my enemies for their evil. Cut them off in Your truth” (Psalm 54:4-5). In these verses, David not only acknowledges that YHVH is his defender but he reinforces what is written in the first verse of Psalm 46, “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” David also points out that the wrong that is being done will backfire on those who are against him, and that his integrity would win the day… like when the coyote tries to catch the road-runner in those cartoons of old!! Beep-beep!!

“I will freely sacrifice to You; I will praise Your name, O LORD, for it is good. For He has delivered me out of all trouble; And my eye has seen its desire upon my enemies” (Psalm 54:6-7). And then David concludes this Psalm with praises to his One true Defender!! If you turn to 1 Samuel 23:26-29, read it then see that the enemies of David actually left the mountain that he and his men were hiding out in. Saul and his men were surrounding David, but a Philistine raid turned the table and David gave the praise due to his Defender. David was even afforded the chance to watch as Saul and his men got smaller and smaller as they went off into the distance.

If we were to think about it, difficult people take up a big slice of everyone’s life and if we allow it to happen, they can dominate our thinking and drain our energy. This is why we need to pray—for them. Pray that the constant hostility turn to friendly relationship (easy to type on paper, hard to get the rubber to the road).

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Jeremiah 32-36| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote:“It seems strange to me that we all talk of the glory and delight of heaven where we will be surrounded by the very saints we couldn’t look at or get along with on earth!” — Charles R. Swindoll

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” Philippians 2:16

 

It Will Be Okay.

Appreciating the helping hand of his friends

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Father of mercies and God of all comfort…” – 2nd Corinthians 1:3

Those four words that are supposed to make everything better, “it will be okay.” That phrase has been ringing out for years by those who try to comfort the sorrows of another. We as believers in Jesus bring a message of hope that is truly able to make all things good.

As we were discussing the importance of a surrendered life to the Lord the other day, a thought came to my mind about how difficult it is to surrender or submit to something I didn’t know anything about. God slowly revealed to me all of the insecurities and anxieties I had that were paralyzing me and keeping me from experiencing the comfort of hope and peace.

I felt like a walking container of baggage that had accumulated over my life. It was as if I was carrying the weight of the world, and for the first time in my life, I had a glimmer of hope that there was a better way. So, how do we enter into a relationship with God that will help us to trust Him with all the issues of our lives? After all, I just wanted to feel safe and secure knowing that, well, “it was going to be okay.”

As I began to read God’s Word, the Holy Spirit began to assure me that this was real, that an important element is fellowship with other believers that have walked by faith with God and could help me see it played out. Paul starts his 2nd letter to the Corinthian church by revealing an important aspect to the Christian walk.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

This equation is simple, we share with others what God has given us, and then they tell two friends who tell their two friends and so on. God, in His economy, has designed a system that we can use to comfort and give hope to one another. As believers, we can comfort someone with “it can be alright” by leading them into the hope that we experience. This has to be followed up with scripture and testimony that leads to putting their faith in God. We can come along side of a person who is in distress and is having a hard time carrying a heavy load by simply sharing the hope that is found in Christ. Once we come to a trusting and secure place where we know God is for us and our lives have a purpose, we can claim Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

It’s a simple equation that can make all the difference in the world. So, if you’re in need of being comforted, pray through God’s Word and seek out fellowship from like-minded believers who can remind you and comfort you with the Hope we all need. Also, be ready to minister that same comfort that you have experienced to others. This is how the body of Christ can be effective in a world full of uncertainties.

So remember, when times are tough, “It will be okay,” Amen?

Written by Rob Russomano: Rob Russomano is married to Terri, he is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member. He is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events. You can contact him at rrussomano@americaskeswick.org.

The Daily Bible Reading: Job 37-38| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Our love to God is measured by our everyday fellowship with others and the love it displays.” – Andrew Murray

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” Philippians 2:16

To Know…

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“That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10).

Last week a couple of the guys in the program and I went to see Lee Strobel’s Case for Christ. It was a refreshing movie with a lot of great insight. Without spoiling, the movie was interesting story of how Lee and his wife came to know Jesus on different journeys. The Word coupled with some sensitive circumstances and the actions of a kind woman pricked his wife. Alternately, Lee the investigative reporter needed hard-core evidence. Lee sought, with a hardened heart, to disprove the risen Savior with every protocol that contemporary journalism offers. He wanted to know…

Paul approaches Jesus with both personal encounter and a wealth of understanding. In addition, he never settled for mediocre Christianity; he wanted to know more. Paul knew what the scriptures were saying, but he wanted the knowledge of the ‘Person.’ He yearned for deeper complexity and sustenance; a richer understanding of the Christ.

Know that there is no complete comprehension of the righteousness of Christ, without proper understanding. We will never have a full understanding of the whole counsel of God; however… Have you become complacent in your understanding, have you built towers around a theology that leaves no room for error, how do you know what you know? To know is to allow the Holy Spirit to illuminate God’s Word, His presence, His Way to directed you in the purpose He has for you. Wouldn’t it be awesome to really Know?

Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 54-56| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “We need to learn to know Him so well that we feel safe when we have left our difficulties with Him. To know in that way is a prerequisite of all true prayer.” – Ole Hallesby

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” Philippians 2:16

The Future is as Bright as the Promises of God

 

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“The future is as bright as the promises of God.”  ~ Judson

Jesus’ resurrection bolstered up the faith of His followers. In fact, all of them went on to willingly give their lives in martyrdom, all looking forward to God fulfilling all of His promises. This is the emphasis in Hebrews 11 where the writer describes each Believer enduring hardship and reproach ‘because they considered God faithful who had promised, being sure of what they hoped for.’

The word translated ‘being sure’ was used for a ‘title deed’ which legally guaranteed the possessor future possession of a property. Faith gives certainty to our hopes. Faith is not the projection of our wishes and desires into the future, a kind of spiritual wishful thinking; rather, faith is the title deed to what we hope for. It gives solid confidence… a compelling certainty that what God has said, He will do. It is a certainty planted in the Believer’s heart by The Spirit, based on God’s Word (Ingid). It is why Jesus could pray ‘thy will be done’ in the garden, knowing the horrific sacrifice that was yet ahead of Him. God has promised to ‘never leave you nor forsake you.’ As for Christ’s Sacrifice, God had said, “But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands.” (Isaiah 53:10)

Do you see the promise of resurrection and eternity in the verse? It was this ‘joy that was set before Jesus that enabled Him to endure the cross, despising its shame.’ It was the promise of your salvation and becoming a descendant that bolstered Him up in His trial and grief.

You too can press on through whatever besets you, knowing He who has promised is leading the way, caring for your every need. When our thoughts, desires, hopes, and actions line up with His “Perfect Will” and we are operating according to His “Perfect Design”, as Jesus was, we can say ‘being sure of what we hope for’ as we press on through each day.

Choose wisely…

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him…. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11:6,16)

Praying 4 U

Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, and grandfather with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is a member of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.

The Daily Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 10-14| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.” – Oswald Chambers

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” Philippians 2:16

I Saw A Different Side of Addiction

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Jan and I were privileged to take an 11 day trip to the Holy Land with America’s Keswick.  When people say it will change you, they are so right. I will never read the bible the same way again.

We met a couple on our trip that have lived in Toms River most of their lives and yet have never heard of America’s Keswick. They come from a Catholic background and it was fascinating to hear the husband’s questions. You could see the wheels turning as we visited each site.

As we arrived at the airport to leave, the wife’s cell phone rang and she screamed and almost fainted. The call was from the coroner reporting that their 22 year old son had been found dead in his room from an overdose to heroin.

The next hour was very painful to watch as this Mom sobbed over the death of her son. He had been through Teen Challenge and was at a halfway house with good accountability.

I have served at America’s Keswick for 20 years and this was my first time to be in the presence of a family when they received the news that their loved one had died from an overdose. This moment will be forever etched in my mind.

It is a reminder that:

  1. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy.
  2. Addiction is such a powerful thing and too often ends in death.
  3. Every man or woman who is yielding to their drug of choice should have to sit with a family when the news is delivered to witness first hand the pain that comes with an addiction related death.
  4. Statistically, parents who lose kids to death are at great risk for marital failure and even suicide.
  5. Jesus Christ has come to give life and set the captives free. We’ve seen it happen over the course if our soon to be 120 years.

If you have a loved one struggling with addiction, we have a team of folks who stand ready to pray for you and your loved one. If you will email me their first name, we will join you in crying out to a God to rescue, redeem and restore them.

Rejoice! Pray! Give thanks!

Bill Welte D.D.

President/CEO

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader..

The Daily Bible Reading: Exodus 21-24| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Think About This: “Whoever wants the next generation  most will get them.” – Adolph Hitler

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” Philippians 2:16