YOU CAN REST IN THE LORD
–Days of Heaven upon Earth
From: Closed Doors, Open Windows,
By: Mrs. Pamela Steiner
In this video a group of Chinese young adults have received packages that contain new Bibles. As soon as they open the packages and see what it in there, the people all rush to the center and start reaching for the Bibles as quickly as they can.There is a shout of joy coming from their hearts as each person receives his or her very own brand new Bible. Then the shouting of joy turns to awe and amazement as they each grasp their Bibles in their hands and hug them to their breast. Many put the Bibles right up to their lips and kiss them and smell them and caress the Bible as if it is the very best gift ever received. Some begin to weep softly as they hold this priceless treasure and realize that it is their very own Word of God, written especially for them and to keep and cherish forever. I noticed some eagerly taking off the outer wrappers and opening their Bible, already searching for the Words of Life.
This 1 minute video touched my heart so deeply. I cannot get it out of my mind, and that is why I had to share this with you. Actually, this is a theme that has been on my mind for a little while. The wonderful treasure that we have…God’s Word, written as a love letter to His precious children….you and me…a message so powerful that kingdoms have been created, others have been conquered, lives have been changed so radically that the whole world has noticed. There is no other Word by which men’s lives have been saved and changed….I could go on and on and on. This book is THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD, written for us,
“the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
II Timothy 3:15-17
I recently was listening to a conversation among some church leaders who made the comment about an individual whom they considered to be a real Christian…he even brought his Bible to church. I piped up and said, “and that’s unusual?” The reply was, “Well, yes, for a _______.” (name of denomination). I had to bite my tongue to keep from commenting further, but this is what I was thinking:
To not expect or encourage a person to take their own Bible to church with them is like telling a soldier to go into battle without his weapon. It’s like telling a Doctor to go into surgery without his instruments. Like expecting the carpenter to build a house without any tools. Like telling an expert violinist to make music without his violin and bow. It’s like telling a student to take a test on a subject without him ever having read the book. It’s like telling a believer that he’s on his own in the world without any guidebook.
We wonder why denominations are having difficulty maintaining their churches and reaching the lost when they haven’t been reading the instructions given to them by God…the whole foundation for establishing the church in the first place. When the average church member doesn’t know how to find the book of John or Isaiah or Genesis or Ruth or Revelation or Matthew or Daniel or Micah or Zephaniah or Deuteronomy or Job or Psalms or Proverbs or Leviticus or Acts or Romans or Ephesians or Galatians or Philippians or Numbers or Nahum or Esther or Jeremiah or I Chronicles or I Corinthians or James, Jude, I Thessalonians or II Timothy or Hebrews….need I say more…?, then how can they expect to stand up against the foes of this life and have the Word of Life hidden in their hearts that they might not sin against God? (Psalm 119:11)
How will they know how to find words of comfort and peace when they are afraid or dying or lost or sick? How will they know how to “Train up a child in the way he should go, so that when he is old he will not depart from it?” (Proverbs 22:6). How will they know the only way to heaven…”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life?” (John 3:16). Will they know that Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me?” ( John 14:6 )
Oh, dear friends, we cannot take this book, the Bible, God’s Word, for granted. Take one look at the faces of these precious Chinese children of God. Listen to the joy in their voices as they received the Word of God into their hands. Take note of the tears trickling down their faces, tears of joy, as they give thanks to the Lord for the gift of His Word, given to them so that they might find “the way, the truth, the life.”
These Chinese Christians are most likely in an underground church, hidden away from the Chinese Government that forbids them to have their own Bibles, * and forbids missionaries from teaching God’s Word to them. But they are willing to risk their lives for the sake of having this treasure that we so take for granted. It ought not be so. If you have a Bible…maybe you have more than one or two…where is it? Do you read it daily? Do you treasure it and hide its Words in your heart? The day may come when we are no longer permitted to have our own Bibles in our country. It could happen…don’t think it can’t. (* Click on link above for more information on this.)
From: Through The Bible
Joshua 24:15 (NIV) 15But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
It seems as though some of the Israelites still had little golden “gods” that their parents had taken from Egypt. Archeologists suggest that they were very small, one to three inch long gold images of cows or other creatures. They thought of them like some today think of a good luck charm. Joshua was about to die, and he told them to get rid of those things. Amazing how gracious God had been to allow that compromise for so long! Now Joshua was saying that if you can’t give them up, go worship them, but I’m not going to.
You have to come to a crossroad where you must decide once and for all. Make up your mind. Choose today! Pick between the gods of Egypt and the Amorites, or JHWH! My family is going to serve JHWH!
Standing on the fence is really not serving Jehovah. He will have no other gods before Him. Life is about making this choice and then carrying it out to the end, as Joshua had done. Have you settled the issue in your heart? Have you chosen to serve the LORD? Are you sticking with that choice with 100% commitment?
The future of the nation depended on their choice that day. Your future depends on your choice. If you are reading this, God has probably made His sovereignty known to you. If you have not already made that commitment Joshua made, do it today.
Consider: Choose! See that your family chooses. Then live the rest of your life in service to that commitment.
Luke 5:4-5, 8 (NIV) 4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
8When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”
Jesus may have been speaking in the Bay of Parables near Capernaum. It is a natural amphitheater. From the deck of Peter’s boat, thousands of people could have heard Jesus speaking. Once Jesus was done ministering to the crowd, He knew it was time to convince Peter once and for all that he needed to give all else up to follow Him. He asked Peter to go back out onto the lake. Peter knew fishing. The fish come up in the cool of the night, not in the heat of the day. He has been doing this all his life. He’s tired, and experience says that it will be a wasted effort. Peter had known Jesus since Andrew introduced him down south around John’s ministry on the Jordan. Peter probably saw Jesus do some healing miracles at the first Passover of His ministry. He saw his mother-in-law healed instantly. He respected Jesus and would do whatever He asked.
When he lowered the nets, they were instantly swamped with fish. The nets were loaded to the breaking point, and others had to come help haul in the load. Suddenly Peter realized something that hadn’t sunk in before. This man, Jesus, is not just a prophet. Creation obeys the Creator. Now respect is not quite enough. Reverence is more appropriate, if not outright worship. Who could do such a thing but God? A revelation of the majesty of God also reveals the depravity of self. Peter’s response is not, “Now I will follow You!” but “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” Then Jesus could call him out of fear of failure to faith in the ability of God to transform and work with him.
Consider: Have you gone from respect to reverence and worship? Have you seen that Jesus is Lord of all? Do you see how unworthy you are to be in His presence? Then He can call you to His purposes.