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The Good News

“Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.”   II Kings 4:26

           We never know when some calamity will come into our life to test us. Perhaps you have already experienced losses so severe you wondered how you would survive? 

           The story of Horatio Gates Spafford offers us hope. He was born in North Troy, N. Y. in 1828. He became a lawyer and he and his wife Anna lived in Chicago where they were close associates of D. L. Moody, the great evangelist.

They were grief stricken when their only son died in 1870 at four years of age of scarlet fever and later on October 8, 1871 Horatio lost his real estate holdings in the Great Chicago Fire.

            He and his family planned a holiday to Europe to recover from their grief and assist Moody in a great revival.  Due to last minute responsibilities he had to send his wife and four daughters ahead on the Ville du Havre, a French ship, and he planned to catch a later vessel.

The Leverage of Prayer

Acts 8:30

We would be more able teachers, and not so easily carried away by every wind of doctrine, if we sought to have a more intelligent understanding of the Word of God. As the Holy Spirit, the Author of the Scriptures, is the only one who can enlighten us rightly to understand them, we should constantly ask His help to lead us into truth. When the prophet Daniel was called upon to interpret Nebuchadnezzar's dream, what did he do? He set himself to earnest prayer that God would open up the vision.

Glorify and Praise God

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:20

What was the subject of their praise? They praised God for what they had heard--for the good tidings of great joy that a Savior was born unto them. Let us copy them; let us also raise a song of thanksgiving that we have heard of Jesus and His salvation.

For he has made with me an everlasting covenant.
2 Samuel 23:5

This covenant is divine in its origin. "He has made with me an everlasting covenant." Oh, that great word "he"! My soul, consider--God, the everlasting Father, has positively made a covenant with you; yes, the God who spoke the world into existence by a word; He, stooping from His majesty, takes hold of your hand and makes a covenant with you. Isn't this act so stupendous and such an example of condescension that it would overwhelm us forever if we could really understand it? "He has made with me an everlasting covenant."

A king has not made a covenant with me--that would be something; but the Prince of the kings of the earth, Shaddai, the Lord All-sufficient, the Jehovah of ages, the everlasting Elohim--"He has made with me an everlasting covenant."

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 4:30

All that the believer has must come from Christ, but it comes solely through the channel of the Spirit of grace. Just as all blessings flow to you through the Holy Spirit, so also no good thing can come out of you in holy thought, devout worship, or gracious act apart from the sanctifying operation of the same Spirit.

Even if the good seed is sown in you, it still lies dormant until He works in you to will and to do of His own good pleasure.

Do you desire to speak for Jesus--how can you unless the Holy Spirit touches your lips?

Do you desire to pray? Sadly, what dull work it is unless the Spirit makes intercession for you!

For the love of Christ controls us.
2 Corinthians 5:14

How much do you owe to my Lord? Has He ever done anything for you? Has He forgiven your sins? Has He covered you with a robe of righteousness? Has He set your feet upon a rock? Has He established your goings? Has He prepared heaven for you? Has He prepared you for heaven? Has He written your name in His Book of Life? Has He given you countless blessings? Has He laid up for you a store of mercies, which eye has not seen nor ear heard?

I Will Be Their God
Jeremiah 31:33

Good News
The Greatest Invitation

     During a recent week, I received several invitations in the mail. Those inviting me to attend "free" seminars on retirement, real estate, and life insurance were immediately thrown away. But the  invitation to a gathering honoring a longtime friend caused me to reply immediately, "Yes! I accept". Invitation +Desire = Acceptance.

     Isaiah 55:1 is one of the great invitations in the Bible. The Lord said to his people who were in difficult circumstances, "Come,  all of you who are thirsty, come to these waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money or other cost." This is God's remarkable offer of inner nourishment, deep spiritual satisfaction, and everlasting life (vv. 2-3)

     Jesus's invitation is repeated in the last chapter of the Bible: "The Spirit and the bride say 'Come!' And let the  one who hears say, "Come!" Let the the one who is thirsty come;  and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life" (Rev. 22-17)

     We often think of eternal life as beginning when we die. In reality, it begins when we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.

     God's invitation to find eternal life in Him is the greatest invitation of all! Invitation + Desire = Acceptance.

    Lord Jesus, thank You for Your promise of mercy, pardon, and eternal life. I acknowledge my failures and receive Jesus Christ as my Savior today.

Weight Control
by Regina Gardner

The majority of us have a weight issue and with fast food, an assortment of restaurants in every city, and microwave foods, we are surrounded with quick access to food. Oh the temptation! So we start a diet but soon we’re off track. It’s just one slice of cake. It won’t matter that much. Next week it’s a whole pie. My family will help me eat it. Wrong! Now you have more pounds to lose.

The struggle is real and it’s not easy. It takes more than a made up mind. It requires a plan of action to lose weight and keep it off. There are a multitude of programs to count calories or points, fitness trackers, even with the convenience of your phone and watch, fitness gyms, and fitness videos you can do in your own home.

The temptation to keep the weight of the world off is just as real and just as hard. We are surrounded with worldly entertainment in every city, on the shelves in our stores, on the TV in our homes, and on our devices we carry in our pockets. When we first came to God, we had such determination to say no to temptation. But then we would say, oh, it’s just one little lie; just one movie; just one drink; just one time with these people that have bad influence, I will win them. Then one leads to another then another and the guilt is pushed farther and farther away until the weight of the world is heavier and heavier and the program to remove the weight is harder and harder.

He Understands and Cares

When asked if he thought that ignorance and apathy were problems in modern society, a man joked, “I don’t know and I don’t care.

     I suppose many discouraged people feel that way about the world today and the people in it. But when it comes to the perplexities and concerns of our lives, Jesus fully understands,  and he deeply cares. Isaiah 53, an Old Testament prophecy of the crucifixion of Jesus, gives us a glimpse of what he went through for us. “He was oppressed and afflicted...led like a lamb to the slaughter”(v.7). “For the transgression of my people he was punished”(v.8). “It was the Lord’s will to crush him and to cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand”(v.10).

      On the cross Jesus willingly bore our sin and  guilt. No one suffered more than our Lord did for us. He knew what it would cost to save us from our sins and, in love, he willing paid it(vv4-6).

     Because of Jesus’s resurrection from the dead, he is alive and present with us today. Whatever situation we face, Jesus understands and cares. And he will carry us through.

                                                                           David McCasland

 

     Lord, we give thanks for Your knowledge of our circumstances and Your care for us. He is alive and present with us today. Today we want to walk with You and honor You in all we do.

 

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