The Shadow of Death

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

I seem to be doing more funerals as the years mount – and more of the deceased are friends and family. Not too long ago I celebrated four funerals in a five-day period. It is an honor to help families celebrate the life of a loved one. Most funerals I celebrate are from folks in our community – folks I have not had a previous chance to minister to or with – and I just try to bring them a measure of comfort for the short time I have with them. I usually talk with them on the phone and meet them on the day of the service. I often read the 23rd Psalm at the service.

I love today’s portion of the 23rd Psalm. One of the great hopes and blessings of our faith is that we do not have to fear death. I can usually tell people of faith versus people will little or no faith when I share at funerals. The way we face death is telling.

Read the rest of Ray’s blog at: https://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/2020/06/09/the-shadow-of-death-2/

A worldly Christianity 

(Octavius Winslow)

“Do not be conformed to this world.” Romans 12:2

Professor of the gospel! Guard against the world; it is your undoing! Watch against conformity to it . . .
in your dress,
in your mode of living,
in the education of your children,
in the principles, motives, and policy that govern you.

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit by . . .
any known inconsistency of conduct,
any sinful conformity to the world,
any inordinate pursuit of . . .
its wealth,
its honors,
its pleasures,
its friendships,
its great things.

Pray against the sin of covetousness, that canker-worm that feeds at the root of so many souls!

Read the rest: http://steverebus.com/2020/06/17/a-worldly-christianity/

A Consuming Fire

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

The burning bush wasn’t the first time God revealed His glory in the appearance of brilliant flame, nor would it be the last. Today, R.C. Sproul visits several passages in Scripture to discuss what this radiant glory ultimately reveals about Christ.

Three Marks of a Godly Person

The Bible tell us that King David was a a godly person; he was a man after God’s own heart.

So what set him apart as a godly person? David was a regenerated man, a man with a new heart, a man with a different spirit than other men of the world. We read of his godliness throughout the Old Testament books of first and second Samuel, as well as in the Psalms.

I want you to notice three truths that made David such an outstanding servant of the Lord, what distinguished him from all the rest. Let’s measure ourselves against these and remember that these are the gifts that Christ holds in His hands, and He offers them to us.

A Godly Person Has a New Heart

Read the rest: https://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/377210-three-marks-of-a-godly-person.html

Have Compassion

Pray

Lord, sensitize me to others and their needs.

Observe 

Is God challenging you to adjust your outlook or attitude? When we adopt a positive attitude, it directly impacts our outlook, personalities, and relationships. With our busy schedules and multitudes of distractions, we rarely stop to consider what’s going on in the lives of others. When we intentionally slow down and observe the world around us, we can see more clearly the struggles and challenges many are facing.

Are you simply being polite when you bump into a co-worker, friend, or loved one and ask, “How are you?” Or do you really want to know? Have you ever been asked that question, only to realize the person asking really doesn’t care about the answer?

When we take the time to ask people how they are doing and genuinely listen to and care about their response, we gain a more realistic perspective of the person’s circumstances and put ourselves in a better position to feel and show compassion.

Wife of evangelist Billy Graham, Ruth Bell Graham, was known to be the glue that held the Graham family together. It’s said she modeled Christ-like compassion and would happily give someone the dress off her back. In fact, that’s exactly what she did. During a world evangelism conference, Ruth found a change of clothes and gave an African pastor the dress she was wearing when he mentioned he just couldn’t return home without bringing his wife a gift.

Go to: patheos.com/blogs/courageforlife/2019/05/have-compassion/

Christ through the Holy Spirit Proceeding from the Father Makes All-Wise Fishermen

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/eidos/2020/06/all-wise-fishermen-for-the-season-of-pentecost/

How Joy Is A Source of Strength

The joy of the Lord is a source of strength, but it’s so much more.

Joy is a Gift

If you are grieving or going through a difficult time right now, it’s hard to have joy, but the joy of the Lord is a great source of strength, but it’s also a gift from God. Human joy can’t take us very far. It disappears in the dark shadows of our trials and tribulations, but the joy which God gives is permanent and is as eternal as the life God has given us through Christ. Prior to Jesus going to the cross and returning to the Father, He told His disciples, “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). Notice that they must have had some joy in order for it to be full, so even though the disciples were troubled about Jesus leaving them, He said, “you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (John 16:22). The Lord has “spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). The psalmist understood that joy did not from a human source, but from God, writing, “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound” (Psalm 4:7). What God puts there, stays there, so first of all, joy is a gift from God.

Continue at: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2019/06/05/how-joy-is-a-source-of-strength/

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman

https://lifereference.wordpress.com/2020/06/14/jesus-and-the-samaritan-woman-3/

Heaven Is Community Restored

by Keith Haney

Cross shaped key

Heaven is a community of incredible, precious and eternal fellowship.

10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— 13 on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates.  Revelation 21:10-13

Thirty men, red-eyed and disheveled lined up before a judge of the San Francisco police court. It was the regular morning company of “Drunks and disorderlies.” Some were old and hardened; others hung their heads in shame. Just as the momentary disorder attending the bringing-in of the prisoners quieted down, a strange thing happened. A strong, clear voice from below began singing:

“Last night I lay a sleeping

There came a dream so fair.”

Last night! It had been for them all a nightmare or a drunken stupor. The song was such a contrast to the horrible fact that no one could fail of a sudden shock at the thought the song suggested.

“I stood in old Jerusalem,

Beside the Temple there,”

The song went on. The judge had paused. He made a quiet inquiry. A former member of a famous opera company known all over the country was awaiting trial for forgery. It was he who was singing in his cell.

Meantime the song went on, and every man in the line showed emotion. One or two dropped on their knees; one boy at the end of the line, after a desperate effort at self-control, leaned against the wall, buried his face in his folded arms, and sobbed, “Oh mother, mother!”

More at: https://alightbreaksthrough.org/heaven-is-community-restored/

Rebuke the Devil – He is Real

by raymcdonald

The devil is real and not a figment of someone’s imagination. Some churches and pastors try to suggest that the devil is not real – that the devil is merely a personification of evil as a whole. Not sure what Bible they read – if they read the Bible at all – but the Bible tells us over and over that the devil is real. Please do not fall prey to false teachers and false religions. Run as fast as you can from a pastor or church that doesn’t believe that the devil is real!

According to Scripture – the devil tempted Jesus after His baptism.  Matthew 4:1-11 – 1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

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