An unexpected knock on the door at an unexpected time of the day or night, always throws us off. Do you answer it? Or do you pretend you’re not home? What if it was Jesus standing on the other side? Would you invite Him in, or would you peek from behind a curtain until He leaves? There’s nothing Jesus wants more than to have a loving, personal relationship with each of us. Yet He will not force us into a friendship. Instead He stands at the door of hearts, knocking, waiting for us to ask Him in. For He knows the joy awaiting us when we abide in the Lord. A joy made complete in Christ as we declare Him as our Savior and receive the glorious transformation through the work of the Holy Spirit. Do you hear Jesus knocking on the door of your heart? Open it wide, invite Him in, and receive the greatest blessings you’ll ever know!
Referring to the fear of the Lord, preacher John Bunyan said, “Christian, let God’s distinguishing love be a motive to you to fear Him greatly. He has put fear in your heart, and may not have given that blessing to your neighbor, perhaps not to your husband, your wife, your child, or your parent. Oh, what an obligation should this thought lay upon your heart to greatly fear the Lord! Remember also that this fear of the Lord is His treasure, a choice jewel, given only to favorites, and to those who are greatly beloved.” …
Do you ever get frustrated trying always to do the right thing only to see the wicked prosper? Asaph, who was a mighty worship leader, felt the same. And he too wondered if walking with God was really the route to happiness. Christianity isn’t an easy path to follow. And when we see the sinful living joyfully and well, our human nature can fall into the temptation of wanting to live the same. But as Asaph realized, growing closer to God is always the path to victory. For unlike unbelievers, we have a mighty fortress, a place of refuge, and a rock of salvation in the Lord our God. And there is no better place to be than sheltered in Him. And so like Asaph we too can declare, “it is good for me to draw near to God.” We can trust in the Lord for our safety and declare boldly all of God’s marvelous works!
Do you ever wonder why God laid down His Law? Especially when here in Romans, Paul tells us that it made sin even greater and everyday life much worse. With one swoop, God’s Law made us criminals and blatant lawbreakers. And the penalty for our trespasses? Death! Pretty convicting right? But Paul also goes to say that while sin increased greatly, grace abounded even more. And that was God’s purpose. For the Law, and our inability to obey it in our strength, points out our great need for a Savior. Jesus Christ is that Savior. The perfect fulfillment of God’s Law, He came to declare us innocent, throwing out the case against us. Through His blood we are freed from death, reconciled back to the Father, and declared righteous before God!
Michigan School Suspends Student For View On Homosexuality
A Michigan high school student who was suspended for calling homosexuality a “sin” and for failing to report his classmates’ inappropriate jokes filed a federal lawsuit last week, claiming the school’s actions violated his constitutional rights. David Stout, a junior at Plainwell High School in Plainwell, Mich., was suspended for three days last fall for allegedly violating the school’s bullying/cyberbullying/harassment policy. Stout says he was only stating his Christian beliefs and that the conversation was private. Stout is a member of the football team and the band. The Great Lakes Justice Center is representing the family. Read more about the suspension here.
“The View” Suspends Host Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg found herself in hot water and suspended for two weeks over comments claiming that the Holocaust wasn’t based on race. On “The View,” the daytime talk show she co-hosts, they discussed the recent controversy over a Tennessee school board’s decision to ban “Maus,” the iconic graphic memoir about the Holocaust. The genocide was “not about race,” Goldberg said, insisting instead that it was about “man’s inhumanity to man.” And it involved “two white groups of people.” The comments immediately went viral and struck a nerve, leading to what Goldberg described as a deluge of accusations of antisemitism and Holocaust denial, and criticism from groups like the Anti-Defamation League. Read more about the suspension here.
An Arizona Woman Claims To Have Met Jesus Face To Face
An Arizona woman claims to have gone to heaven and met Jesus Christ face to face after suffering a near-death experience. On February 12th, 2018, Tina Hines suffered a sudden heart attack, rendering her unconscious. Despite resuscitation attempts by paramedics while on the way to the hospital, Tina remained unresponsive for over 20 minutes. But doctors were able to bring her back with use of defibrillation. Regaining consciousness, Hines wrote a message saying, “I-T-S-R-E-A-L.” She stated, “I just wanted to share that I saw Jesus face to face and the unbelievable rest and peacefulness of what I was experiencing was Jesus standing there with His arms open wide, and right behind Jesus standing there was this incredible glow it was the most vibrant and beautiful yellow.” Read more about her experience here.
Flying Car Certified As Airworthy To Fly
A flying car capable of converting from a road to an air vehicle has been granted an airworthiness certification in Slovakia, as its makers eye mass manufacturing. The Slovak Transport Authority awarded the AirCar by Klein Vision a Certificate of Airworthiness earlier this week, after the vehicle completed more than 70 hours of successful flight testing. The AirCar is a dual-mode vehicle with a petrol engine that can convert from a car to an aircraft at the push of a button. Last June, this car deployed some mechanical wings and took off from a runway in the city of Nitra in Slovakia, and landed in Bratislava 35 minutes later. After it folded up its wings, the exotic-looking sports car drove off down the highway. Read more about the car here.
What is the glory of God? The Bible tells us that the world is full of it. God created this world and filled it with the splendor of his glory. Every created thing, being, or person points to the Creator and has intrinsic value given by the Creator. Creation showcases a supreme being who is beyond what creation can fathom. We catch glimpses but we can’t fully comprehend the perfection and Holiness of the One who made us and gives us purpose.
Adam, who witnessed Creation at its finest and who knew the most intimate relationship with His Creator failed to truly appreciate and surrender to his God given place and purpose. He sinned and through Adam, all human beings are born with a sinful nature. That sinful nature separates us from the Holiness of God. We are ALL sinners. We all have the same need. Sinners need a savior. God loved us enough to provide that Savior. Christ is the Savior who can reconcile us to God and His glory.
Have you noticed that the Christian life continues the same way it begins – through faith? The apostle Paul gives us three practical ways to keep us moving forward and growing in our walk with Jesus. Abiding in Him, being strengthened through faith, and overflowing with thankfulness.
We are to remain in the Lord in order to be rooted and built up in Christ. Imagine a large oak tree that is able to withstand the wind, rain (the storms of life) and even seasons of drought! It flourishes no matter what life throws at it because of its strong root system. Think of faith like a muscle that needs to be constantly exercised. Allowing it to grow strong, get in shape and be ready to withstand anything and everything. Often times God uses times of adversity, or those who rub us the wrong way and cause friction to strengthen our faith.
In keeping with our tree analogy, gratitude is the branches and fruit; thenatural and visible part of the tree. These show the health of the tree, and when dead branches are trimmed it benefits the life of the tree. In the same way, a believer’s life without thanksgiving and gratitude can damage the spiritual health of the believer, and a life that overflows with gratitude flourishes.
Colossians 2:6-7 is a beautiful picture of the redeemed life; rooted, secure, strong, mature, and continually bringing glory to God through a life of gratitude.
“To God Be The Glory”, Cincinnati Bengals Evan McPherson Sends Team To Super Bowl
Christian kicker, Cincinnati’s Evan McPherson, on Sunday booted four field goals, set an NFL record, and – more significantly – catapulted the Bengals to their first Super Bowl since the 1988 season with another walk-off kick. McPherson also continued to represent his Christian faith in a public way, wearing a “God is good” T-shirt to a postgame news conference and referencing his faith on social media. “To God be the glory!!” he wrote on Instagram. The Bengals will face the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl on Feb. 13. Read more about this remarkable athlete here.
China Bans From Attending Church And Threatens Parents
The persecutions of Christians in China continues to escalate. “It is getting worse,” David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors, stated. Christians in China must attend government-approved churches that face heavy regulations, such as the editing of sermons. Because of that, many Christians attend illegal underground churches. “So parents either have to disciple them themselves or sneak them into some sort of Bible study,” Curry said. “What happens, in this case, is that the kids may not be let into the college of their choice if they attend Bible study, they may not get jobs, the parents may lose their job. So there’s repercussions for this sort of thing.” Read more about the persecution here.
Who doesn’t love Charlie Brown? In sad news, Peter Robbins, the original voice actor for Charlie Brown in the iconic Peanuts cartoons, has died by suicide at the age of 65. Robbins’ family confirmed the tragic news and asked for privacy as they grieve the loss of their loved one. Robbins, who voiced Charlie Brown in the 1960s, reportedly struggled with various issues, including addiction, mental illness and legal problems, among other things. His agent, Dylan Novak, told news outlets that Robbins was in a bad place mentally and checked himself into a mental health facility in California right after Christmas. Read more about his death here.
Chic-fil-A Buries Bible In Foundation
A Texas-based Chick-fil-A set to open this spring was literally built on the Bible. When the foundation for the restaurant was laid, a Bible was placed in it. The chicken restaurant, based in Marshall, will be led by East Texas natives David and Holley Snow. The Snows are committed to God and wanted to honor Him through their restaurant by making the Bible a part of its foundation. The couple’s 4-year-old son, Montgomery, placed a Bible on the foundation during construction which was left open to Joshua 1:9, which reads, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Read more about the building here.
Esther was a young queen in over her head. Told by her cousin Mordecai about the prime minister’s plot to kill the Jews, the fate of her people laid heavy on her small shoulders. Yet Esther knew where to go; straight to God. For three days and nights Esther sheltered in His presence through prayer and fasting. And as she grew closer to the Lord, Esther received the wisdom and courage she needed to save her people.
Life is hard. And trying to do it on our own is near impossible. But thankfully, as Christians we never have to face anything alone. Because God is there welcoming us to come to Him. To spend time in His presence, bathing in His strength, mercy, and guidance. A place of refreshment, the arms of the Lord is where we experience His perfect peace. Where we find the answers we seek, the wisdom of God’s counsel, and the warmth of His unconditional love.
That’s why it’s vital we make our relationship with God a priority. For it’s the most important one we have. So today I challenge you to be intentional. Set aside some quiet time for just you and God. Soak in the rays of His presence and make it a ritual. Did you know science now says it takes around 66 days to form a habit. Through perseverance and consistency we can make growing in our relationship with God not just a habit, but second nature!