30 December 2011

David O. McKay

"How different the peace of God from that of the world! It calms the passions, preserves the purity of conscience, is inseparable from righteousness, unites us to God, and strengthens us against temptation. The peace of the soul consists in an absolute resignation to the will of God.

28 December 2011

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

"How does one know if she has forgiven? You tend to feel sorrow over the circumstance instead of rage, you tend to feel sorry for the person rather than angry with him. You tend to have nothing left to say about it all."

Marjorie Pay Hinckley

"We all have a responsibility--a responsibility to make a difference, to be an influence, to lift someone. We are all in this together to wok out our salvation, to reach our potential, and to be our brother's keeper--to help each other."

26 December 2011

Billy Graham

"The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless."

25 December 2011

Thomas S. Monson

"Born in a stable, cradled in a manger, He came forth from heaven to live on earth as mortal man and to establish the kingdom of God. During His earthly ministry, He taught men the higher law. His glorious gospel reshaped the thinking of the world. He blessed the sick. He caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear. He even raised the dead to life. To us He has said, 'Come, follow me.'

"As we seek Christ, as we find Him, as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas spirit, not for one fleeting day each year, but as a companion always. We shall learn to forget ourselves. We shall turn our thoughts to the greater benefit of others."

The Real Christmas

"The real Christmas comes to him who has taken Christ into his life as a moving, dynamic, vitalizing force. The real spirit of Christmas lies in the life and mission of the Master....

"If you desire to find the true spirit of Christmas and partake of the sweetness of it, let me make this suggestion to you. During the hurry of the festive occasion of this Christmas se.ason, find time to turn your heart to God. Perhaps in the quiet hours, and in a quiet place, and on your knees—alone or with loved ones—give thanks for the good things that have come to you, and ask that His Spirit might dwell in you as you earnestly strive to serve Him and keep His commandments."

George Matthew Adams

"Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world of the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years... Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart."

Why Did Jesus Become a Human?

Hebrews 4:15-16 says, "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (NKJV). Talk about having friends in high places. The Bible is saying that you are not serving a God who is disinterested in you. You are not serving a God who doesn't know what it is like to literally walk in your shoes. So you can go boldly to the throne of grace and find grace to help in time of need.

 Jesus Christ, who was God in human form, never lived for a moment outside of the perfect will of God. He never gave in to a temptation. He never had an impure thought. He never did one wrong thing. He never displeased His Father in the smallest matter. He was flawless. He was sinless. He was perfect.

 So why did Jesus come to earth as God in human form? Was it to give us the ultimate teachings ever? No. Though they were the greatest teachings ever given, He came here for more than that. Did Jesus come to set the perfect example of how a man or woman should live? He came to do that and much more. Did Jesus walk this earth merely to do miracles and heal people? While He always reached out to people in need, that was not His primary purpose.

 C. S. Lewis said it well: "The Son of God became a man that men might become sons of God." God became a man so that you might become God's child. Now that is something worth celebrating.

20 December 2011

Carolyn J. Rasmus

"Charity...is the kind of love that allows us to give of ourselves, to reach out to other people, to build them, and to really love them. The real gifts are gifts of listening and caring and sharing."

How is Jesus Our Substitute?

On the cross, God treated Jesus as if He had committed every sin ever committed by every person who would ever believe. Did you get that? God treated Him as if He committed, personally, every sin ever committed by every person who would ever believe though the fact is He committed none of them. That’s the great doctrine of substitution. And that’s the first side of imputation. God imputed our sins to Him. He was guilty of none of them. God treated Him as if He committed all of them. And He just unloaded His fury for all the sins of all the people who would ever believe in Him in the history of the world. He unloaded all His fury against all their sins on Christ.

To borrow the language of Leviticus 16, Jesus became the “scapegoat.” The scapegoat was guilty of nothing. But the High Priest, as it were, laid all the sins of the people on the scapegoat and sent him away. He was without sin. But sin was credited to His account as if He had personally committed it and then God punished Him though the fact is He never committed any of it. That’s imputation.

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “When Jesus came into the world why did He have to live all those years?” If I was planning the plan of redemption I’d have had Him come down on Friday, die, rise on Sunday and go back to Heaven Monday. Why 30 years? Why 30 silent years?

Jesus lived a full life was that He might live a complete life fully righteous. That He might live a complete life absolutely without sin, absolutely perfect, so that that perfect life could be credited to your account. That’s the backside of imputation. On the cross, God treated Jesus as if He lived your life so He could treat you as if you lived His life. That’s the Gospel. That’s substitution.

What Message Did the Angels Bring?

We were on our way to a certain judgment, but God sent Jesus. Because of His death and His shed blood, we have now been reconciled with God.

 That was really the essence of the angel’s message to the shepherds as they watched over their flocks on that first Christmas Eve. Part of that message was, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14 NKJV). A more literal translation of this statement would be, “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth among men with whom God is well-pleased.”

 That is the key to peace on earth, peace between nations, and peace in a family: Peace on earth among men with whom God is well-pleased.

 How do we please God? It is only through Jesus Christ, only through the way of reconciliation He has made available to us. So if we want to be reconciled to God and want to be reconciled with others, then it must be through Christ.

 So many of us need reconciliation today. Husbands need to be reconciled to wives. Parents need to be reconciled with children. Sinners need to be reconciled with God. We all need reconciliation.

 Sin is the great separator. Ever since it entered the world, it has divided people throughout human history. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, sin immediately began its work of separation. It separated Adam and Eve from God. It ultimately separated their sons, Cain and Abel. It was all because of the separating impact of sin.

 But at the cross of Calvary, Jesus eliminated the wall that separated us from Him. He brought about reconciliation.

13 December 2011

God Blocked Paul's Path?

Facing a "closed door" can be extremely frustrating. The apostle Paul knew exactly how that felt. On his second missionary journey to share the gospel in Asia, he repeatedly found the way blocked by the Holy Spirit. Eventually the apostle was stuck in Troas with the sea before him and closed doors behind.

How strange it must have seemed to Paul that God would prevent him from spreading the gospel. But he knew this wisdom from the book of Proverbs: The Lord will make a straight path for anyone who chooses to trust God rather than himself (vv. 3:5-6). Instead of getting angry or trying to force his way into new territory, Paul got on his knees.

The Bible does not record how long he and Timothy lingered in Troas, but we can be sure that the apostle did not move until the Lord revealed the entrance to a new mission field. Christians in a period of watchful waiting should view the situation as a chance to seek not only God's purpose but also His guidance. This is the time to ask the Lord why He has barred the way forward—perhaps the timing is wrong or we need to deal with unconfessed sin. Whatever the reason, we must be sensitive to the Spirit's leading. We want to be ready for the door that will open.

When an opportunity is blocked, God has a reason. And He is providing love and protection, even in your disappointment. The Lord is also keeping His promise to work everything for your good (Rom. 8:28). When one door has closed, a greater one is about to open. Be wise and watch for it.
Dr. Charles Stanley

They Weren't So Different?

Everywhere the first-century Christians went, they were ridiculed, opposed, persecuted, and physically assaulted for their beliefs. Some were even put to death. Yet within a period of about 30 years, this original group of 120 Christians and their converts came to be known as those who turned their world upside down (see Acts 17:6).

Their world was not too different from the world in which we are living right now. In fact, in some ways it might even have been worse. They were living under the jurisdiction of the godless Roman Empire. Immorality was rampant. The religious establishment was corrupt. Idolatry, spiritism, and demon worship were openly practiced. In their time, they did not have the liberties and freedoms that we have today in our nation.

When we read through the Book of Acts, these Christians almost seem radical with their fearless preaching, their expectant prayer, and their willingness to obey. But they weren’t radical. What we see in the Book of Acts is normal, New Testament Christianity. It is the standard that God has set. If we feel it is radical, then it only shows that we are living a watered-down version of it.

I am not saying that a miracle should happen every day in the life of the believer. I am not saying that each time we walk out the door, we will preach the gospel and thousands of people will be saved. But I am saying that as Christians today, we should seek to live at the same level of commitment as these first-century believers did. So how are you living? What are you doing? After all, the church is made up of individuals like you and me.

 Greg Laurie

John 16:33

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

8 December 2011

شکر گزار

شخص شکرگزار، شخص شادمان است. چون حاکمیت و خداوندی مسیح را در هر جنبه از زندگی تشخیص داده، و در مقابل آن سر تعظیم فرود می آورد. می بیند که چگونه پدر آسمانی "همه چیزها را برای خیریت" ما و جلال نام خود بکار می برد (انجیل مقدس، رومیان ۸: ۲۸).

فقط کسانی که عمیقاً مسیح را دوست دارند، و او را برای خودش دوست دارند نه برای آنچه که از او بگیرند، می توانند در "در هر امری شاکر باشند." شخص شکرگزار شخص فروتن است. چون تشخیص می دهد که هر آنچه دارد از لیاقت او نیست، حق او نیست، بلکه از فیض و محبت پدر آسمانی است.

5 December 2011

Joshua 1:9

"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."

What Does the Name Jesus Mean?

The name Jesus means "Savior." It is the same name as Joshua in the Old Testament. It is given to our Lord because "He saves His people from their sins." This is His special role. He saves them from the guilt of sin, by cleansing them in His own atoning blood. He saves them from the dominion of sin by putting in their hearts the sanctifying Spirit. He saves them from the presence of sin, when He takes them out of this world to rest with Him. He will save them from all the consequences of sin, when He shall give them a glorious body at the last day.

 Jesus is a very encouraging name to weighted-down sinners. He, who is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, might lawfully have taken some more high-sounding title. But He does not do so. The rulers of this world have often called themselves great, conquerors, bold, magnificent, and the like. The Son of God is content to call Himself Savior. Those seeking salvation may draw near to the Father with boldness, and have access with confidence through Christ. It is His role and His delight to show mercy. "For God didn't send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him" (John 3:17).

 Jesus is a name, which is especially sweet and precious to believers. It has often done them good. It has given them what money cannot buy - that is, inward peace. It has eased their wearied consciences and given rest to their heavy hearts. The Song of Solomon describes the experience of many, when it says, "Your name is oil poured forth" (Song of Solomon 1:3). Happy is the person who trusts not merely in vague notions of God's mercy and goodness, but in "Jesus."

Adapted from The Gospel of Matthew by J.C. Ryle (Chapter 1).


The word Trinity cannot be found in the Bible, but the truth of it can. While there's only one God, the Godhead consists of three distinct persons - the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All are equally omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal, and unchanging, but each one has unique functions.

 Scripture shows how each member of the Trinity fulfills His specific role, and it also reveals how those three roles interrelate. Let me express this idea in simple terms: The Father creates a plan, Jesus Christ implements the plan, and the Holy Spirit administers the plan.

 The way of redemption showcases these roles in a clear manner. The Father designed and organized how mankind would be redeemed (Galatians 4:4-5). He set into motion a complex set of events, actions, and prophecies which culminated in the life and death of a Savior. The Son carried out the plan (John 6:37-38). He followed the Father's instructions to come to earth, even though that meant He would have to die. The Holy Spirit sees to it that every person feels a call toward God's saving grace (John 14:26, 16:8; Romans 1:19-20). Furthermore, He transforms the lives and hearts of those who receive salvation through Jesus Christ.

 The Father, Son, and Spirit are equal in their divine attributes. Yet each relates to mankind in a different way because He has a specific role. It's very important to understand this distinction: We do not have three gods; we have one God in three persons functioning uniquely and perfectly.

Oprah Winfrey

"Keep a grateful journal. Every night, list five things that you are grateful for. What it will begin to do is change your perspective of your day and your life."

Living water

The story of the Lord’s encounter with a Samaritan woman is a wonderful example of His loving response to hurting individuals (John 4:1–42). Jesus is always reaching out in love, even when we do not recognize His extended hand.

Although this meeting may have appeared accidental, it was really a providential appointment with the Messiah. As the woman reached the well, Jesus initiated conversation by asking for a drink of water. His direct approach surprised her and opened the door for a dialogue that would change her life forever.

Throughout the exchange, Jesus’ goal was to help the woman recognize her greatest need so He could supply her with the only gift that would meet that need: salvation and the forgiveness of her sins. She had spent her life trying to find love and acceptance in all the wrong places. Christ offered her the living water of the Holy Spirit—the only thing that would quench her spiritual and emotional thirst.

Like the Samaritan woman, we can at times be so intent on getting our immediate needs met that we fail to see God’s hand reaching out to us in love, offering what will truly satisfy. Only Christ can fill our empty souls for eternity and provide for our essential emotional needs now.

This world is filled with wells that promise to provide love, acceptance, and self-worth but never fully satisfy. When your soul is empty and the well runs dry, look for Jesus. He has a divine appointment scheduled with you, and He will quench your thirst with His Spirit—if you let Him.

live in mission

Paul and Barnabas set the standard for the church’s mission work when they obeyed God’s call to go forth. The local body of believers—those left behind to share Christ with neighbors and friends—equipped the men for their journey. They did so for the same reasons that apply today:

1. The spiritual condition of mankind. Romans 1:21–32 describes this sinful world. Unchecked sin leads people down a slippery slope toward a depraved conscience and, ultimately, a darkened mind that cannot perceive what is right. Every unbelieving person is sliding on that treacherous path.

2. God’s spiritual provision. The Father responded to mankind’s plight with grace: He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to save the world. On the cross, Christ bore the sin of every person—living, no longer alive, and yet to be born. The offer of salvation is for all; God’s grace is blind to race, creed, and color (Romans 10:12). Those who believe in Jesus are forgiven their sin, and they will spend eternity with the Lord.

3. The commission from Jesus Christ. Acts 1:8 says we receive the Holy Spirit so we may bear effective witness to those who need salvation. Notice that we don’t simply begin at home and work steadily outward. People everywhere are waiting for the Good News. The word is to be carried far and fast.

The purpose of the church is to worship and witness. Some will go and some will send, but all are called to the work of spreading the gospel. This is not a suggestion; it is a command (Matthew 28:19). Believers living in God’s will are all to be involved in missionary work.

Jeffrey R. Holland

"God expects you to have enough faith and determination and enough trust in Him to keep moving, keep living, keep rejoicing. In fact, He expects you not simply to face the future (that sounds pretty grim and stoic); He expects you to embrace and shape the future--to love it and rejoice in it and delight in your op.portunities."

light of the world

Jesus was speaking to a crowd of just ordinary folks. Yet Christ said to them, "You are the light of the world." And today, you are the light of the world. That's how God intends to get his work done on earth today: through you!

And that's how God intends to get his work done on earth today: through you! It's not just pastors and missionaries who are the light; it's everybody who loves the Lord.

You see, the world doesn't understand. The world looks at Christians and thinks, "They don't count." God takes an ordinary person and uses them to share His message to people who needed Him. When we share our faith, we spread His light.

Jesus describes what we are in this passage - the light of the world, not the light of the church. That means we have to get beyond the church walls and take the light out to where it is dark.

You were saved to shine! Don't hide your testimony or be ashamed to take your Bible to work. Don't be afraid to pray over your lunch at school. Let others know that you love the Lord Jesus.

Jesus also talked of the strength of collective light. Each house in a city with its lights on cast a glow across the sky. As Christians come together, there is a glow for the Lord that we cannot create individually. We shine brightest when we shine together.

How can we shine for God? Jesus says that we are to let our lights shine before men in such a way that they will see our good works and glorify God. That's how we do it. We live for God.

Jean Maalouf, The Healing Power of Kindness

"More than anything else, kindness is a way of life. It is a way of living and walking through life. It is a way of dealing with all that is--our selves, our bodies, our dreams and goals, our neighbors, our competitors, our enemies, our air, our earth, our animals, our space, our time, and our very consciousness. Do we treat all creation with kindness? Isn't all creation holy and divine?"

Barbara B. Smith

"Family needs. . . are not always physical. Often faith, forgiveness, encouragement, comfort, counsel, listening, teaching, moral support, examples of loving and caring, and a host of other experiences will see loved ones through a crisis--and their crisis needs may last a lifetime. Time with a family member may pay the greatest dividends of all."