READ: John 14:1-10
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” —John 14:6
On a teaching trip outside the US, my wife and I were denied entry into our country of destination because of visa problems. Although we were under the assumption our visas had been correctly issued by the country we planned to visit, they were deemed invalid. Despite the efforts of several government officials, nothing could be done. We weren’t allowed in. We were placed on the next flight back to the States. No amount of intervention could change the fact that we did not have the proper validation for entrance.
That experience with my visa was inconvenient, but it can’t begin to compare with the ultimate entry rejection. I’m speaking of those who will stand before God without valid entry into heaven. What if they were to present the record of their religious efforts and good deeds? That would not be enough. What if they were to call character references? That wouldn’t work. Only one thing can give anyone entry into heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
Christ alone, through His death and resurrection, paid the price for our sins. And only He can give us valid entry into the presence of the Father. Have you put your faith in Jesus? Make sure you have a valid entry into heaven. —Bill Crowder
There aren’t many ways into heaven;
The Bible says there’s only one;
Good works won’t gain anyone entrance;
It’s only through faith in God’s Son. —Sper
Only through Christ can we enter the Father�s presence.
“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” – Jeremiah 17:7
Have you ever considered at what point a test becomes so difficult that you decide you can no longer trust in God and you must take over to solve the problem? The prophet Jeremiah describes a situation in which the temptation to solve a financial problem can become so great that we trust in man’s way to solve it.
This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:5-8).
Jeremiah drew a sharp comparison between the man who trusts in his own effort to solve his problem and the man who trusts in God when he cannot see the outcome. The man who trusts in God bears fruit despite the circumstances in his life. He does not shrivel when the heat comes; in fact, his roots go deeper into God’s grace. He continues to bear fruit in spite of his circumstances.
Recently, a friend from South Africa explained to me that whenever a plant lives in an arid climate, the roots drive deeper and deeper into the soil to get the water they need. This forces the plant to develop a root system that is far beyond the normal plant because it is forced to go deeper to gain the water it needs. Sometimes God forces us to go deeper into the grace of His love in order to build a greater foundation in our own lives. These lean times are designed to accomplish this in us. If you find yourself in this condition, ask the Lord who provides the water for our soul for the grace you need today to continue to bear fruit in the desert.
Today God Is First
By Os Hillman
David Wilkerson Today
I believe Jesus is coming very soon. We see the Lord gathering the nations
together against Israel. Events are moving rapidly toward Armageddon.
“When you see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors”
“Of the day and hour knoweth no man, no, not even the angels of heaven, but
my Father only” (v. 36).
All signs point to a Mideast war against Israel. Out of the turmoil in Arab
nations will come a united call to destroy Israel. We are beholding the
fulfillment of prophecies we have preached about for many hears.
Those who know the Scriptures have a Holy Ghost inner sense of the Lord’s
return. We hear the call of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, crying, “Even so,
Lord Jesus, come.” Jesus said,
“Watch therefore: for you know no what hour your Lord will come” (v. 42).
“Be ready, for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man cometh” (v.
“Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord, when he comes, shall find so
doing” (v. 46).
Beloved, do you feel—do you sense—that these are the last of the last days?
Do you share the longing for his appearance?Look up; our redemption is drawing near!
“The Word For Today” with Bob Gass…
“Let God transform the way you think” - Romans 12:2 NLT
Behind everything you do, there’s a thought! So if you’re serious about changing your life, you must change how you think. That’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen instantly. Picture yourself in a boat with the automatic pilot set to go in a certain direction, then you suddenly decide to go somewhere else. First option: willpower. Grab the wheel and force it to go where you want; by sheer willpower, overcome the autopilot. But you’ll feel constant resistance. Your arms will get tired, and when you let go of the wheel, guess what? The boat will go the way it’s programmed to go. Get the idea? That’s what happens when you try to change your life through willpower: ‘I’ll force myself to quit drinking, cheating, or overeating’, and so on. Your willpower can only produce short-term change, but it creates constant stress because you haven’t dealt with the root cause and reprogrammed your mind. The change doesn’t feel natural so eventually you give up, revert to your old patterns and say, ‘I guess this is just the way I am. I’ll never change.’ Second option: God’s power. There is a better way! The Bible says, ‘… Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.’ Change always begins in your mind! The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel determines the way you act. You say, ‘How can I change the way I think?’ By programming your mind each day with God’s Word. ‘How can a… man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word’ (Psalm 119:9 NKJV).
…”If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow Me.” – John 21:22
Jesus was talking to Peter after he had just had a very important encounter with Him-one of the last meetings the two would have. This was the third time Jesus had shown Himself to the disciples after His resurrection. It is the famous dialogue between Jesus and Peter in which Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. Jesus followed by commanding, “Feed My sheep.” Jesus went on to foretell of Peter’s future death. As they were walking together, John was with Peter and Jesus. Peter asked Jesus about John and whether he would die also. Jesus reacted sharply to Peter’s comment, telling him not to worry about what John’s role or purpose was in life. All Peter had to do was worry about fulfilling his own purpose.
As workplace believers we tend to measure our success on whether we have achieved a certain position or stature in life. Even as Christians the temptation to believe that someone is blessed if they have achieved prominence is always confronting us. In His discussion with Peter, Jesus was getting at the very heart of the matter of a person’s calling. Peter was worried about whether his friend John was going to get the same lot in life as he was. Jesus told him it should not be his concern. He was to concern himself only with one thing: his own calling before God.
Are you tempted to compare yourself with where others are in their life? Are you dissatisfied with where God has you right now? Be of good cheer-”[be] confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6).
READ: Jeremiah 23:25-32
I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. —Jeremiah 9:24
Some say that theology is only for “professionals.” But the situation in the days of the prophet Jeremiah illustrates why it’s important for everyone to know what God says about Himself.
The religious experts in Jeremiah’s day were misrepresenting God by prophesying “the delusions of their own minds” (Jer. 23:26 NIV) and leading people astray with their lies (v.32). Due to their dishonesty, the people did not know the true nature of God.
Today there are people who portray God as angry, vengeful, and eager to punish people for every minor offense. God, however, describes Himself as “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth” (Ex. 34:6). Othe rs show the world a picture of a loving God who is too kind to punish wrongdoing. But God describes Himself as one who exercises judgment and righteousness (Jer. 9:24). He is both a just Judge and a loving Father. If we emphasize one over the other, we paint a false picture of God.
The most important thing we can know about God and proclaim to the world is that God does not want to punish people; He wants them to repent so that He can forgive (2Peter 3:9). But to be truly loving, He must also be absolutely just. —Julie Ackerman Link
Though love for God should always move
My heart to do what’s good and right,
It’s wise to fear His judgments true
And stand in awe of His great might. —D. De Haan
Everyone must face God as Savior or as Judge.
Personal debt has skyrocketed in our Western culture. Easy credit, a desire for material goods, and an unwillingness to save and wait have led many people down the path of financial bondage. The Bible doesn’t forbid borrowing, but it clearly warns us of its negative consequences. Our verse today describes the borrower as the lender’s slave.
Every dollar you borrow costs you a measure of freedom. Your paycheck is no longer entirely yours; a part of it must be set aside to repay your creditor. As the interest adds up, the financial burden may necessitate longer working hours. For Christians, the obligation to repay debt oftentimes hinders the ability to give to
the Lord‘s work or help people in need. Instead of getting the first part, God gets leftovers or nothing at all.
The consequences of accumulating debt reach beyond monetary issues. The burden of mounting bills creates emotional and relational stress. In fact, financial problems are one of the leading causes of divorce. Even our relationship with the Lord is affected when we let our appetite for the world’s goods override our obedience to biblical principles. Although God promises to supply our needs, how often do we jump ahead of Him and provide for ourselves with “easy payment plans.”
The next time you are tempted to charge a purchase that you really can’t afford, stop! Go home and ask the Lord if He wants you to have it. If He does, ask Him to provide it. Then wait. True freedom comes to those who rely on the Lord’s promises instead of their credit cards.
Dr. Charles Stanley
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Today’s “The Word For Today” with Bob Gass..
“Let… patience… do a thorough work… ” – James 1:4 AMP
Larry Moyer tells the story of a prison warden who asked a man on death row what he would like to eat for his last meal. He said, ‘A huge piece of watermelon.’ The warden said, ‘You must be joking! This is December. Watermelons haven’t even been planted, let alone harvested.’ The inmate replied, ‘That’s okay, I don’t mind waiting.’ So here’s the question: do you mind waiting? How do you act when things don’t move fast enough for you? Graciously, or not so graciously? A well-known minister writes, ‘I happened to be in a store and had waited a long time in a slow-moving line to pay for one little item. The people in front of me had stacks of items. Then I was overlooked while somebody else was served ahead of me. When it was finally my turn, the sales assistant looked at me and said, “Thank you for waiting. Are you who I think you are… that preacher on TV? I knew the minute you walked in that it was you.” I thought to myself, “What if I’d been angry and mouthing off because I wasn’t served in the proper order?” Impatient behaviour can adversely affect our witness.’ When you view life’s irritations through God‘s eyes, it changes how you feel about situations that are testing your patience. You begin to see them as friends, not enemies. You realise that God permits them to help mature you. So, ‘… Let… patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be… perfectly… developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.’
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“My Father is the husbandman” (John 15:1).
It is comforting to think of trouble, in whatever form it may come to, us, as a heavenly messenger, bringing us something from God. In its earthly aspect it may seem hurtful, even destructive; but in its spiritual out-working it yields blessing. Many of the richest blessings which have come down to us from the past are the fruit of sorrow or pain. We should never forget that redemption, the world’s greatest blessing, is the fruit of the world’s greatest sorrow. In every time of sharp pruning, when the knife is deep and the pain is sore, it is an unspeakable comfort to read, “My Father is the husbandman.”
Doctor Vincent tells of being in a great hothouse where luscious clusters of grapes were hanging on every side. The owner said, “When my new gardener came, he said he would have nothing to do with these vines unless he could cut them clean down to the stalk; and he did, and we had no grapes for two years, but this is the result.”
There is rich suggestiveness in this interpretation of the pruning process, as we apply it to the Christian life. Pruning seems to be destroying the vine, the gardener appears to be cutting it all away; but he looks on into the future and knows that the final outcome will be the enrichment of its life and greater abundance of fruit.
There are blessings we can never have unless we are ready to pay the price of pain. There is no way to reach them save through suffering.