Relationships are hard. And right now we are living in divisive times marked by anger, hatred, and even violence. But such ways don’t bring people together, or change one another’s opinion. And Christians need to stay out of the fray, instead sowing seeds of peace and producing fruits of righteousness. How? By setting aside the flawed, selfish, jealous, me-first, wisdom of the world. And instead apply the wisdom from above. For godly wisdom is, “pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy, and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17) We’ve all heard the phrase, “Do you want to be right, or happy?” With God we can have both. But it’s important to always check our motives and attitudes when dealing with others. Are we examples of God’s love and grace? Are we sharing God’s truth in love and humility, or are we using the Bible as a weapon; proving others wrong and justifying our own actions?
Corrie Ten Boom once said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” It’s only human to fret over things we can’t control. But as Christians we can let go of worry and anxiety because of the faith we have in God, our gracious Provider. Many suffer in this world with not having clean water to drink, food to eat, or shelters over their head. And as hard as that can be, life is more than just about basic necessities. It’s about working for God, including trusting Him to provide what we need to live. Jesus tells us to look at the birds of the sky. They don’t plant, harvest, or store up their crops in a barn. They live day to day, moment by moment. And still they get fed from the hand of God. We are much more valuable to our Father than the birds. And as such, we can trust God to take of us in every way. Meaning we may not always get what we want, but God promises to always provide exactly what we need at exactly the right time.
Megachurch Pastor Says There Is No Credible Religious Argument Against Covid Vaccines
Because a fetal cell line was used during the testing phase of covid vaccines, some Christians are reluctant to get vaccinated. But Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, says religious faith is no reason to not get vaccinated. Evangelical Christians, according to the Pew Research Center, are more likely to be anti-vaccine. But Jeffress recently said that “there is no credible religious argument against the vaccines,” adding in an email sent to the Associated Press that he and his staff “are neither offering nor encouraging members to seek religious exemptions from the vaccine mandates.” Read more about his position here.
SoCal Harvest Returning After Halt From Pandemic
One of the longest evangelistic events in the nation is returning. Pastor Greg Laurie, who leads Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, is hosting the event, SoCal Harvest, in person on October 3 in Anaheim at 7:00 pm PST. The annual Christian event will be making a return next month for the first time in two years after it was postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’ve never in my entire life and ministry encountered more hearts awakened to the Gospel,” said Laurie. “I believe in the wake of the global pandemic we might be on the precipice of a great, global revival.” Read more about the event here.
Christian Magician Wins America Got Talent
Season 16 of America’s Got Talent came to a close on Wednesday, September 15 after Christian magician. Dustin Tavella was crowned the winner. Tavella gained popularity with tricks about family, hope and generosity. “This is what I was hoping for. This is what I was praying for.” said the magician. ‘I am so blessed.” Each of Tavella’s tricks had a theme. In Tavella’s final trick of the season, he urged the audience to be generous and told them that a “small act of kindness can go a really long way.” In recent years he and his wife, Kari, have been involved in homeless ministry and a crisis pregnancy ministry. Read more about his win here.
Standing More Often Could Help Prevent Chronic Diseases
In a Finnish collaborative study, researchers noticed that standing is associated with better insulin sensitivity. Increasing the daily standing time may therefore help prevent chronic diseases. Insulin is a key hormone in energy metabolism and blood sugar regulation. Normal insulin function in the body may be disturbed, leading to decreased insulin sensitivity and increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Researchers have noticed that standing is associated with better insulin sensitivity. Increasing the daily standing time may therefore help prevent chronic diseases. Read more about the study here.
Once we receive Jesus as our Savior, our eternity is secured. But the life we lead before going home to heaven has only two paths. A path that sows to the flesh, or a path that sows to the Spirit. One leads to moral decay and destruction. And the other leads to an orchard of spiritual fruit for God. Once we were dead in our sin nature, separated from our Heavenly Father. But through Jesus, we have been given the power to die to that old sin nature. Now as farmers working for the Lord, we have the freedom from sowing seeds of sinfulness, bitterness, and fleshly evil. Instead we can sow seeds of faith, goodness, and righteousness. So what kind of harvest do you want? An orchard of abundant fruitfulness for God, or a field of dust laid barren by fleshly desires? Every day we make the choice of how we will live and the fruits we will pursuit. May it be the rich, eternal fruit of the Spirit that will never rot.
A pastor once famously said, “Disappointments are inevitable. Discouragement is a choice.” There is never a more true test of our faith than when God lets suffering into our lives. During times of trials do we still trust God and cling to Him even tighter? Or do we curse God and turn away from Him in despair? The prophet Habakkuk faced a similar decision. As a judgement from the Lord, the Babylonians were preparing to invade Judah. Destruction of Israel would follow and its people were headed for captivity. Yet even though his world was crumbling around him, and there would be no intervening from God, Habakkuk could still rejoice. For the silver lining in his dark cloud was God’s justice and mercy. And by focusing on God’s goodness, the prophet could say, “I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.” (Hab. 3:18) We may not always rejoice in our circumstances. But we can always rejoice in our Lord!
Caring for the needy is an idea we can all agree on. But when it comes to putting that idea into action, how many of us step up to the plate? As Christians being charitable isn’t just a suggestion, God says it’s an obligation. When the ancient Israelites harvested their fields, they did so following the rules of God. Rules set up so that the bounty of the fields benefited everyone. For the poor, hungry, and hurting, have a special place in the Lord’s heart. And as His followers, they should have one in our hearts as well. Because once we were in need of charity; needy, poor in spirit, and dead in our sin. But Christ in His amazing love, gave to us the greatest charity of all; the gift of eternal life. And out of hearts of overflowing thankfulness, we should be eager and cheerful to give. The way in which we care for the needy is a direct reflection of our love for Jesus. And to honor the Lord is to extend charity to others based in love, and peppered with grace.
I love the quote that says, “Sometimes just spending quality time with good friends is the only therapy you need.” From the beginning God created us for fellowship. Fellowship with Him, and with others. And so He gifted us the blessing of friendship. …
Jeremiah was called the “weeping prophet” because of the tears he cried over the rebellious Israel. The wickedness of its people and the judgement their sins provoked, grieved Jeremiah greatly. And if he could see the condition of the world today, he would describe it as he did ancient Israel. “This people has a stubborn and rebellious heart.” (Jer. 5:23) Just like the Israelites, our society celebrates moral rottenness. The gospel and its message are being corrupted and perverted by false teachers and prophets. And like the days of Noah, we call good wicked and wicked good. The people of Israel were punished for their sins, and we will be too. For we have failed to learn from the example of God’s people, that fighting against God always leads to despair and destruction. For just as He withheld the blessings of rain and harvest of Judah, unless we repent, God will do the same to us.
God’s fields are in need of many workers. And each of us have an important role to play. Some will sow seeds, other will nourish those seeds, and still others will reap the seed. But regardless of our duty, we can all rejoice together over the bounty of the Lord’s harvest. And to each of us, the laborers of God, He gives mighty promises. Our work in the harvest will be rewarded. The goodness of our work will last forever. And each one of us will share in the happiness of the harvest. Just like the angels who rejoice over every saved soul (Luke 15:10), we too will celebrate the sweetness of God’s crop. But the days are growing short before the time of planting is over forever. And no more will the fields give up their goodness. So now, while we still can, we need to roll up our sleeves and get our hands beautifully dirty in God’s soil. Time to plant, nourish, and reap the seeds of God’s Word. So that at the time of God’s great harvest, we can celebrate with endless joy!
Bible Translator Marilyn Laszlo Passes Away At Age 88
A Bible translator who helped develop a written language for a Papua New Guinea village has died from Alzheimer’s near Valparaiso, Indiana. Laszlo spent 24 years living in the Hauna Village in Papua New Guinea. There, she formulated a written language and translated the Bible for the once-unreached Sepik Iwam people, starting by carving words into banana leaves. The ministry efforts she began in Hauna more than 50 years ago, including a church, school, and clinic, continue to this day. Read more about this woman of God here.
Rapper Pardoned By President Trump Receives Jesus As His Savior
Rapper Bill Kahan Kapri, popularly known by his stage name “Kodak Black,” was one of 73 people granted pardons by former President Donald Trump before he left office. Now the rapper has announced his acceptance of “Jesus as my Lord and Savior.” In 2019, Kapri was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for making a false statement in order to buy a firearm. He was serving His sentence when hevreceived the pardon. A number of religious leaders, including Pastor Darrell Scott and Rabbi Schneur Kaplan, also supported the pardon. Read more about his conversion here.
Religious Exemption Requests Spike After Vaccine Mandate
President Joe Biden has issued sweeping new vaccine mandates covering more than 100 million Americans, including executive branch employees and workers at businesses with more than 100 people on the payroll. Since then requests for opting out of the vaccine due to religious beliefs are on the rise. About 3,000 Los Angeles Police Department employees are citing religious objections to try to get out of the required COVID-19 vaccination. In Washington state, hundreds of state workers are seeking similar exemptions. Read more about the exemptions here.
Boy Raises Over $32,000 For Charity From Lemonade Stand
Wyatt Dennis, an 8-year-old Piedmont boy, set up a free lemonade stand that was a must-stop destination for many attending this year’s 81st Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. His free lemonade stand started off as a way for him to raise money for college and get himself a Lego set, but also included a way to give back to St. Jude’s Research Hospital. He earned that money and much more thanks to thousands of shares on social media and even national news. Because of the generosity of those who donated, Wyatt was able to give $31,394.50 to the hospital. Read more about this remarkable young boy here.