Anchor

Building Spiritual Endurance

By Maria Fontaine

free-bible-studies-online-anchor“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. In your patience possess ye your souls.”
—Hebrews 10:36; Luke 21:19

As a part of our spiritual growth and Christian development, we inevitably experience the process of learning how to endure difficulties and delays. At different points in our lives, we may find ourselves having to get used to fighting more long-term battles. And in the process, we learn what it means to really hold on, not just for one day or one week or one month, but perhaps for many months or even years at a time. Through these experiences, we learn to truly cling to God’s Word and “endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ.” (2 Timothy 2:3)

We may not have had to learn such heavy lessons of patience and endurance before, and it may seem like a hard saying when these lessons come knocking at our door. In our personal battles and trials, in many cases we may have experienced shorter struggles with quick victories in answer to our prayers. We’ve seen lives changed and souls won so easily. We’ve finished projects and have gotten quick answers to our prayers. We’ve seen rapid healings.

However, we all will face times in life where we have to make up our minds that we may have extended periods of not seeing any evidence of victory or even improvement at all, times when, if anything, you may be feeling pretty rotten. There may be times when you won’t be able to go on your feelings at all, but will have to cling to the promises of His Word, that God still loves you and God still cares. He is expecting you to go on for Him, no matter what you feel like, and no matter how long you don’t feel like it. It may come down to having to learn to keep going even if you feel like you’re just going through the motions, just doing what you’re supposed to do because God says so in His Word.

The Word tells us, “Blessed is the man that endures temptation.” (James 1:12) “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (James 5:11) “Endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:5 NKJV) “We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces patience; and patience, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3–4 NKJV)

Knowing that God’s Word tells us that we are blessed when we endure can give us courage to keep on going in the face of seemingly hopeless situations. You may have to keep going even when it seems like everything has turned against you, believing that God will never fail in one of His good promises. You may have to choose to wait on the Lord and rest in Jesus’ arms with those unbreakable promises in your mind and heart, like many of the hymn writers expressed, who learned to endure. We have to ground our faith in His Word and trust that His purpose for each one of us will be fulfilled, as we continue to believe and trust in His promises.

You can’t look at faith the way that a lot of people look at marriages nowadays, “Oh well, if it doesn’t work out, I’ll just get a divorce.” You’ve got to be “fully persuaded” in your own mind and heart that God is able to do whatever He promises. (Romans 4:21) You’ve got to have the attitude of “to whom shall we go; no one else has the words of eternal life!” (John 6:68) If you have consecrated and dedicated yourself and have made that kind of a commitment to the Lord, then no matter how hard things get, you’ll keep going by His grace and keep living for the Lord in whatever way He has called you.

Should we cower and tremble and hide our faces at the prospect of enduring hardness? No! We should be challenged and excited at the wonderful things the Lord is going to do through us.

If you are worried or fearful of the future and its uncertainties, the secret lies in increasing your faith through His Word and the wonderful promises that the Lord has given. Even if you find yourself in a time of suffering or enduring hardship in this life, you can rejoice that it is your destiny and your calling to be victorious over it, whether in this life or the next! The thing you have to realize when you go through trying times is that as a Christian there is a purpose in everything you experience in your life.

We don’t have to fear! Although we may have lots of problems, at least we know there’s a good reason for it, a purpose behind it all. We understand that we are in a spiritual warfare, and that most of our problems are a result of that, and they ultimately teach us lessons and make us strong. So just the fact that we know that these trials have a valuable, eternal purpose makes it a lot easier for us to bear them.

We have God’s Word, we have prayer, we have the Lord’s promises, we have a vision, we have a purpose, we have Holy Spirit power, and we know God’s plan for the future and where we’re going after this life. We have a reason for patient endurance during times of tribulation.

As Christians, we should not only believe it but we should preach it, even when what we believe and practice and preach is in opposition to much of what the world believes and practices. We’re called to preach the gospel, in season and out of season. It’s our calling as Christians to stand up for what we believe, even when God’s truth is unpopular. How much better to suffer affliction now with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin for a season. (Hebrews 11:25)

So let us rather “boast all the more gladly of our weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon us.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) He has promised that His grace will be sufficient!

 

 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

Why Evolution!

“The FOOL hath said in his heart,’There is no God’!” (Psalm 14:1)

By David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-why-evolution

It’s so ridiculous for Man to NOT believe in GOD!–Because Man can’t help but believe in God if he just looks at CREATION! If you’re not an absolute FOOL, if you have a reasoning mind at all, all you have to do is LOOK at the Creation to know SOMEBODY had to design it, PLAN it & FIGURE it out, because it’s all so beautiful, so orderly, & works so perfectly!

If you haven’t got enough sense to know that there is a GOD, just look at His CREATION! Just look at the sea, the sky, the clouds, the mountains, the valleys, the trees, the flowers, everything! They’re all virtually shouting, “There IS a God! Look what He MADE! Look what a beautiful World He made for you to live in!”

The greatest PROOF of the existence of GOD is His CREATION! And that’s why EVOLUTION is so DAMNABLE & Devil-inspired, because it tries to explain away Creation by saying that it just happened by ACCIDENT & that God had nothing to do with it, that it somehow just threw ITSELF together!

The Bible says that, “The INVISIBLE things of God from the Creation of the World are clearly SEEN, being understood by the things that are MADE.” (Romans 1:20). The existence of our invisible God is proven by His visible Creation!–It’s “clearly seen” through the beautiful World He made. That’s why the Scripture says that only “the FOOL hath said in his heart ‘There is no God’!” (Psalm 14:1). Only an absolute fool, an idiot, would actually believe in his heart that there is no God! Most people who CLAIM not to believe in Him really DO believe, but they’re in REBELLION against Him!

THAT’S why the World wants to reject Creation & say it’s all just a meaningless chaotic Evolution!–Because if the World & its inhabitants ARE God’s Creation, then they are HIS property.–And if they are HIS property, then HE’S the BOSS & they DON’T WANT God to be Boss! Therefore the Scripture says, “they do not LIKE to retain God in their knowledge.” (Romans 1:28).

“Because, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, but became VAIN in their IMAGINATIONS, & their foolish heart was DARKENED. Although they claimed to be wise, they became FOOLS!” They got so smart they thought they could do without God, so they became what?–Absolute FOOLS, who “changed the glory of the immortal God into an image like to that of corruptible MAN, & BIRDS, & four-footed BEASTS, & REPTILES! Who changed the truth of God into a LIE, & worshipped the CREATURE more than the Creator!” (Romans 1:21-25).

So WHY did the Devil & Man COOK up this ridiculous, idiotic scheme of evolution? To try to get rid of God & the knowledge of God, “as they did NOT like to retain God in their education!” (Romans 1:28). And since they threw God & Creation & the Bible out, they HAD to cook up something new! They didn’t want the TRUTH, so they figured out a BIG LIE! EVIL EVOLUTION!

Dr. Robert A. Millikan, the great atomic physicist who pioneered the splitting of the atom, said, “If you’d say that a watch just put ITSELF together, invented itself, you’d be crazy! And just as there had to be a WATCHMAKER behind the synchronised perfection & order of every WATCH, so there had to be a CREATOR behind the synchronised PERFECTION of the Universe!”

There is NO PROOF for evolution! It has to be BELIEVED, therefore it’s a RELIGION! Even the founding father of this false faith, CHARLES DARWIN himself, confessed that “the BELIEF (note the emphasis on belief) in Evolution must at present be grounded entirely on general considerations. When we descend to details, we can prove that NO one species has changed, NOR can we prove that the supposed changes are BENEFICIAL, which is the GROUNDWORK of the THEORY.” Ha!

The very first verse of the first chapter of the first book of the RIGHT Book says, “In the beginning, GOD created the Heavens & the Earth!” (Genesis 1:1). Now either you believe that, what GOD’S Book says, or you’re going to have to believe what some LIAR says instead!

“And GOD created Man in His Own image, He created him in the image of God; He created them male & female.” (Genesis 1:27). And God formed Man out of what?–Previous forms?–Apes?–Beasts? “And God formed Man of the DUST of the GROUND, & breathed into his nostrils the BREATH of LIFE; & Man became a living soul!” (Genesis 2:7). This is the TRUTH of GOD’S Word!

CREATION is the basic FOUNDATION of the entire Bible! If you DON’T believe THIS, you won’t believe ANYTHING! Because when you doubt ONE word of the Bible, you’ll soon doubt the WHOLE thing! Jesus said, “Had you believed MOSES, you would have believed ME! But if you believe not HIS writings, how shall you believe MY Words?” (John 5:46,47). Now, what’s the FIRST of Moses’ writings, upon which all of his writings are based?–GENESIS! All about Creation!

If they had believed GENESIS, all about Creation, then they would have accepted JESUS CHRIST as their Saviour! So what did the Devil do to try to prevent people from believing in Jesus? He tried to destroy their belief in the writings of Moses, & in the book of GENESIS in particular, the story of the glorious Creation! And how did the Devil do that? By what big lie?

EVOLUTION! That was his greatest lie & most diabolically clever piece of teaching! EVOLUTION! As ridiculous & idiotic as anything you could possibly study, because it has NO foundation in FACT whatsoever; there’s NO evidence for it; no discovery has been made to prove it! It’s just a bunch of GARBAGE & ROT!

But even garbage doesn’t stink as bad as the lies of Evolution, of which the Bible warns, “BEWARE of the LIES of SCIENCE FALSELY SO-CALLED! For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They shall turn AWAY their ears from the TRUTH, & shall be turned unto FABLES!” (1Timothy 6:20; 2Timothy 4:3,4). This time has COME & these days are HERE, & their ears HAVE turned from the truth & are turned to fables! Like EVOLUTION! Don’t let the Devil & his Evolutionists fool you! Stand up for JESUS and His TRUTH TODAY! God bless you!

 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Anchor

How to Become a Hero

A compilation

free-bible-studies-online-anchorI can remember reading The Hiding Place (the story of Corrie ten Boom, a woman who risked her life to save Jews during World War II) and desperately praying that I would have Corrie’s courage and self-sacrifice when I’m eventually confronted with a time that requires it.

How does one become such a person? Jonathan Parnell has some thoughts about this on the Desiring God Blog, where he writes about Jon Meis, a young man who risked his life to save his fellow students during the shooting at Seattle Pacific University:

The person who’d be willing to put the good of others before himself in the event of great loss is the one who puts the good of others before himself in the hundred events of little losses every day. “We are always becoming,” as Joe Rigney puts it, “who we will be. Right this minute, we are headed somewhere, and sooner or later, we are bound to end up there” (Live like a Narnian, 52).

The person of great sacrifice, therefore, must be the person of little sacrifices—the person who has discovered that the life of sacrificial love is the life of greatest joy. The response of sacrificial love in the midst of panic is the end of a trajectory that gets played out as sacrificial love in the midst of normalcy….

The big moment of courageous action doesn’t occur in a vacuum, but has behind it tiny moments of simple sacrifice that have been trending that direction all along. In other words, if we can’t wash dishes and change diapers, we shouldn’t kid ourselves with the idea that we’d step in front of a bullet. If we are stingy with our time and money toward those in need, we’ll be stingy with our lives when a gun gets pulled on innocent people.

Stories like Jon’s should make us pause and ask whether we’d respond like he did. But the question isn’t what we’d do in a particular situation; it’s about what we’re doing now.

We won’t truly know who we’ve become until we’ve been tested. Until then, pray the Holy Spirit enables us to give up our lives in the everyday moments. “The person of great sacrifice must be the person of little sacrifices.” Now is the time to practice dying by His power, looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.

“Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:43–45)

—Amy K. Hall

 
The heart of a hero

I remember memorizing Hebrews 11 as a child, which detailed quite a few gruesome ways to die: “They were stoned; they were [sawn] in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and [in] mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.” (Hebrews 11:37–38 NIV)

It made me wonder how much it hurt to die. I knew that I was quite a pansy when it came to pain, so I tried to figure out, if one had to die, what would be the least painful way to go—as I’d opt for that. You see, I really didn’t want to disgrace God by being a total wimp.

Today I can look back at my childhood worries with amusement. I realize now that the real issue was that I’ve always felt lacking in courage. In the Bible there are countless stories of men who did courageous things. Open to almost any book and you read of brave deeds galore. Again, Hebrews 11 lists many of these courageous folk. “And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.” (Hebrews 11:32–34 NIV)

Looking at the brave men listed in this chapter, the origins of the word “courage” take on greater meaning—their hearts were in the right place. These men who did such courageous things had something wonderful in common—which was the source of their courage. In Psalm 37:31 King David says this about a righteous man, “The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip.”

There’s the famous Bible account of three Hebrew boys who were told to either worship a golden image or be thrown into a furnace. But, no, these boys stand there and they say they’re not going to bow down. This is what they probably thought were their last words in response to an angry king:

“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold[en] statue you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16–18 NLT)

I read this account in the safety of my house, separated from this scene by thousands of years—but still the strength of their belief is loud in their words; there isn’t any faltering or trying to negotiate something less mortally dangerous for themselves. But to have the courage to face an experience like this, I think you have to go back a bit. You see, I don’t think their parents ever told them, “You know, one day you’re going to be brought before a scary king, and there’s going to be a furnace, and you’re going to choose between your life or worshipping an idol—when that happens, remember to choose the furnace.”

Instead, I think they told these boys something more along the lines of, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV) And, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10 NIV)

I doubt that the parents of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew what lay in store for them, or when and how they might be faced with needing to act courageously. But there is one thing they knew they could control—what was stored up in their children’s hearts. Proverbs 4:23 explains this concept well: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The New Living Translation has translated this same verse into these words: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

Everyone loves a good hero story; the ones with the good guys in capes and tights are a particular favorite of mine. The thing is, in real life, you don’t get to decide whether you will have the opportunity for a huge heroic moment—if you get to rescue someone, or somehow or another save the day—but what you do have control over is what you put in your heart. That’s how you can be prepared for these larger-than-life moments, as well as those everyday moments that require courage.

—T. M.

 

 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

Why Does God Allow Sin and Suffering?

By David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-why-does-god-allow-sin-and-suffering

I was talking to a pretty young travel agent the other day, and during the course of our conversation we began to talk about God.

“Oh, I don’t believe in God!” she said. “If there is a God, why is there so much suffering in the World today? Why do thousands die of starvation every day in Africa? What kind of God would allow a terrible disease like AIDS to run rampant? Why was my best friend just crippled in an automobile accident?”

“Well,” I replied, “you can’t blame GOD for all the suffering in the World! He’s not some kind of monster that enjoys making people suffer. It’s not GOD Who causes all these things. A lot of it is the evil work of a powerful being called Satan, or the Devil, and he just loves to hurt Man and see him suffer! In fact, that’s one of his main tactics to try to turn Man away from God. He tries to give GOD the blame for his OWN dirty deeds!”

The young lady was quiet for a moment as she pondered this, and then she shot back with the atheists’ trump card question which they always try to stump Christians with! “Well then, if there is a God, and He’s ALL-POWERFUL, why doesn’t He STOP the Devil and not allow him to cause all this suffering? Why does He ALLOW evil in the World? For example, why didn’t He stop Hitler?”

“Well, that’s a very good question!” I answered. “But you see, if God had put a stop to Hitler, He also would have to put a stop to YOU!–Because YOU’RE a sinner too, aren’t you? I’m sure you’re not as bad as Hitler, but we’ve ALL been bad sometimes, haven’t we? The Bible says, `ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God.’ (Romans 3:23). So He would have had to stop everybody in the whole World from doing ANYthing bad! Right at the very beginning God would have had to step in and use FORCE to stop Adam and Eve from eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden. He would have had to interfere with our FREE WILL and the majesty of PERSONAL CHOICE that He’s given each of us to choose good or evil!”

“But wouldn’t it have been BETTER if He had MADE us all to be good?” she challenged.

“If the Lord had wanted ROBOTS, yes, He could have MADE everybody do good and love Him. But He made us with FREE choice and FREE will, so we could CHOOSE to love Him! You wouldn’t enjoy YOUR children much if they were FORCED to love you, would you?” I questioned.

Puzzled, she replied, “Well no, but what does this have to do with suffering?”

I explained, “Because Man was put here to make a CHOICE between good and evil, between doing things GOD’S way or his OWN, and THAT’S the ROOT CAUSE of why there is so much suffering, misery, pain, ill health, wars, economic troubles and so on in the World today.–Because instead of choosing to love and obey GOD, Man has chosen to REBEL against His loving rules that were made only for our health and happiness, and do things his own way, and so he is suffering from the consequences of his own wrong choices! `There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death!’ (Proverbs 14:12).

At that point she was called away to attend to a customer, so that was the end of our conversation. But I was thinking later about how much of the World’s suffering is not even caused by the DEVIL, and certainly not because GOD wants to be mean to people, but rather through MAN’S OWN FOOLISHNESS. Man is his own worst enemy!

Look at the untold suffering that Man has caused himself by continually fighting terrible wars in which millions have been slaughtered and maimed! Martin Luther called war “the greatest scourge that can afflict humanity; it destroys religion, it destroys states and it destroys families. Any scourge is preferable to it!” But is GOD to blame for Man’s wars? The Bible says, “What causes wars and fightings among you? Don’t they come from your OWN LUSTS that battle within you?” (James 4:1). God is not to blame for the suffering caused by war, but rather Man’s own selfishness, greed, pride and competitive spirit–the destruction of others for greed or selfish gain–THIS causes wars!

But, believe it or not, even more lethal than war is the death and suffering Man inflicts on himself through car accidents! AUTOMOBILES have killed more Americans, for example, than were killed in all of its wars put together!–56 THOUSAND deaths every year in the U.S. alone, and half of those caused by drunken driving!

Far too many of Man’s inventions, such as weapons of war, too-rapid transportation, towering skyscrapers, pesticides, lethal chemicals, drugs etc., are death-dealing and destructive and cause all sorts of suffering. When Man starts wilfully following his own way and building things that God never wanted in the World, what else can you expect?

If there were no automobiles, there would be practically no deaths and injuries resulting from highway accidents. Our air would not be polluted with smoke from factories and automobile exhaust if there were no cars and factories. Our MODERN unnatural LIFESTYLE is a large contributor to much of the World’s suffering! Up until about the last hundred-and-fifty years, the main form of land transportation was horses and carriages.  And most of the World went at a more peaceful, leisurely and healthful pace as a result.

It’s the unnecessary stress and rush and anxiety and tension of modern-day living that brings on so many of the various psychosomatic diseases like severe headaches, stomach ulcers, heart troubles etc. We have not learned to cast all our cares upon God, as we are advised to do in 1Peter 5:7, and so we let our worried and harried minds make us sick!

Also, much of the suffering brought about by SICKNESS is man-made and comes from a poor diet. God gave us natural sugar, but we bleach out its nutrients and make it unhealthy and white. We eat white bread when whole wheat is much better for us. We disobey God’s health rules by eating all kinds of junk foods, sugary sweets, chemical preservatives etc., instead of the delicious natural fruits, vegetables and foods that God has so abundantly provided. We also make ourselves sick voluntarily by smoking, drinking and taking drugs that harm our minds and bodies. Is it GOD’S fault if we voluntarily abuse ourselves in this way?–Of course not!

For another example of how Man causes his own suffering, look at the millions who are starving in countries like Sudan and Ethiopia. The deserts of Northern Africa used to be a beautiful, fertile, wooded area. But over several centuries people cut down all the trees! As a result, the topsoil eroded and there was nothing left but desert. As the people moved south, seeking fertile land, they continued to cut down the trees, and so of course the desert moved southward too!

Today there are THREE-AND-A-HALF MILLION SQUARE MILES of desert in the Northern part of Africa because men have disturbed the ecological balance of nature. As a result, untold numbers of people are dying of starvation there every day!

Can you blame GOD for this? Problems like these are caused by MAN’S own foolishness over a number of years, often centuries! Problems which have steadily grown over successive generations.

Also, there is a huge surplus of food in other parts of the World–MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF TONS A YEAR–so God has provided more than enough so that NO ONE needs to go hungry! But while the Western World spends hundreds of millions of dollars on storing or destroying these surpluses and on exercise and diet programmes to lose weight, and pay farmers NOT to grow crops, the poor nations of the World starve!

There are other forms of suffering that men bring on themselves. Take AIDS for example, which is particularly rampant among homosexual men. Homosexuality or SODOMY, as GOD calls it in the Bible, is strictly FORBIDDEN by God as being unsanitary, unhealthful, unnatural and cursed! “Men committing indecent acts with other men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” (Romans 1:27). AIDS, as well as a good many other diseases, are caused and spread by abusing the body in a way that is contrary to God’s Word and His health laws. So is it God’s fault when men suffer the consequences of their own sins? No! As the Word says, they receive “the DUE penalty for THEIR perversion.”–By LAW they were STONED!

Another cause of misery and suffering is the pitiful poverty and squalor of the poor in the Third World’s huge cities. Shanty towns have sprung up around cities from Bombay to Cairo to Rio de Janeiro to Manila, where millions of squatters live in little shacks and lean-to’s, in the midst of foul water, garbage, sewage, filth and the most unsanitary conditions imaginable!

But God didn’t intend for people to live that way! They never should have come to the city in the first place! They would have been much better off to stay out in the country, where there’s fresh air and food, plenty of good hard work and exercise, fewer people, beautiful clean flowing streams, and plenty of place for the children to play, and where they can have animals and enjoy all the other benefits of good healthful country living. This is the good wholesome, healthful country life that God designed for Man!

But the poor see the fine cars and beautiful homes and all the fancy material luxuries and useless bric-a-brac that the rich own in the cities, and they think that those things will make them happy! They think that in the city they will be able to work less and make more money and live in luxury!

So they swarm to the cities, and soon their families fall apart, their children get into drugs and crime, they can’t find work and they suffer from terrible disease and malnutrition. In many instances, they wind up virtually living in their own excrement–washing in, cooking with and even drinking horribly foul polluted water!

Is it any wonder thousands die from typhoid and cholera and every other kind of disease? “Cities,” as the great historian Toynbee said, “are the festering sores on the World.” But they’re not GOD’S fault! They’re a MAN-MADE curse!

In some countries, the poor crowd into the cities to escape civil war, guerilla activity or criminal groups and bandits in the countryside, so their suffering is sometimes brought on by OTHERS’ greed and oppression and Man’s inhumanity to Man in WAR.

Of course, much of the reason that millions of people around the World suffer deprivation, want and squalor is because of the selfishness of the RICH. Most of the rich simply do not share their wealth or lands as they should, or invest it in jobs and industries to employ the poor.–Or pay the poor decent wages or fair prices for their labor and produce so that they can make a decent living. If they did, there would certainly be enough to go around, as the Lord INTENDED for there to be. In His Word He REPEATEDLY advises and even COMMANDS the rich to share with the poor because He doesn’t want the poor to suffer!

So MOST of the suffering in the World is not GOD’S fault at all, but MAN’S fault, because of disobedience to God’s Own loving laws! And believe it or not, the rich ALSO suffer! In some ways even more than the poor! The poor at least have the HOPE that riches could one day make them happy. But the rich have it all and are STILL not happy. In fact, a good many of them got their riches by robbing and cheating the poor. This is contrary to God’s laws for happiness and SPIRITUAL prosperity, which say that we must show love and concern and give and share with our fellow man.

Consequently, the rich usually suffer from a bad conscience as well as fear that someone will try to take away their riches. So they have to live like prisoners in their own homes, behind the high gates and walls that they’ve built to keep out thieves and robbers and their enemies! But the demons of Hell are able to pass through those walls and gates and enter into their homes with fear and sickness, worry and death!

Another very difficult kind of suffering that God allows is the PERSECUTION that His followers suffer at the hand of the godless Gospel-rejecting wicked. For millenniums the righteous have suffered pain, persecution and deprivation at the hands of a wicked World! In fact, any Christian who courageously stands up and actively fights the evils of this World is bound to suffer persecution. “For ALL who live GODLY in Christ Jesus SHALL suffer PERSECUTION!” (2Timothy 3:12).

If we were to try to cover ALL the causes of suffering in this World, it would probably take a book! But we hope we’ve at least given you SOME answers to one of the great eternal questions of this life: “Why does God allow suffering?”–Because WE’VE brought it on OURSELVES! Though we can understand MANY of the reasons through reading God’s Word and through prayer, we probably won’t know ALL the answers to that question until we get Up There, as there are some things we won’t understand until we see things as God sees them.

A very fitting illustration of this is the story of Doctor Handley Moule, when he visited a coal mine immediately after a terrible underground explosion. At the pit’s mouth was a large crowd, among whom were the relatives of the trapped and suffering miners.

“It is very difficult,” he said, “for us to understand why God should let such an awful tragedy happen. But I have at home an old bookmarker given me by my Mother. It is woven in silk, and when I look at the wrong side of it, I see nothing but a tangled mass of threads. It looks like a big mistake! One would think that someone had made it who did not know what she was doing. But when I turn it over and look at the right side, I see there, beautifully embroidered, the letters, ‘GOD IS LOVE!'” “We are looking at this today,” he continued, “from the wrong side! Someday we shall view it from another standpoint and we shall understand.”

God ALWAYS has a purpose and a plan in suffering, even though we can’t always see it right away! Sometimes, “His ways are past finding out” (Romans 11:33), and we just have to TRUST God, knowing that whatever He does, He does it in LOVE, and that if we don’t understand NOW, we will LATER!

Lastly, we must also mention the BENEFITS of suffering. Suffering is often GOOD for you! The ancients Greeks believed this, and this is why the Greeks put a lot of sorrow and suffering in their Tragedies. They called it “catharsis”, a purging or purifying. They believed that deep emotion and weeping washes away the impurity, the silliness and foolishness in you, and makes you honest and pure. Like an old poem says:

I walked a mile with Folly,
She chatted all the way,
But never a thing I learned from her,
For all she had to say!

I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And never a word said she,
But oh, the things I learned that day,
When Sorrow walked with me!

It’s amazing how suffering often brings out the sweetness and goodness in people! The sorrow, the suffering, the sacrifice and sadness brings out the best in them, the compassion, the love, the tenderness, the brokenness, the love and concern for others! Suffering is meant to be a strength-giver to you, and to equip you for giving strength to others. The Bible says, “We comfort others with the comfort that we ourselves are comforted with of God!” (2Corinthians 1:4). And for us who are Christians, it gives us the desire to give OTHERS the answer that WE’VE found that can solve ALL their problems and suffering–JESUS!

Many times suffering turns people to God and inspires them to plead with Him for forgiveness and to repent and ask God to save them. They realise that God is dealing with them and they ask, “Lord, what did I do wrong? Why did I need this?” As King David said, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but in my suffering I cried unto the Lord and He saved this poor man out of all his troubles!” (Psalm 18:6; 34:6; 119:67). Suffering and affliction drive us closer to the Lord!

And finally, let us never forget that “we have not an High Priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but He was in all points tempted like we are.” (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus Himself knows what it’s like to suffer! He suffered more than any of us! He suffered for ALL the sins of ALL the World, and some day soon, God’s Word promises us, all the suffering for those who love God will come to an end, and He “shall wipe away every tear from our eyes, and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things are passed away”! (Revelation 21:4).

Until that perfect day, we will have to endure some suffering, but our compensation, our reward waiting for us in Heaven, far outweighs the temporary pain and suffering we may experience down here. As the Apostle Paul said, “For I judge that the sufferings of this present time are NOT WORTHY to be compared to the GLORY which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18).

Are YOU saved and ready for that Day?

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Who Should Get the Credit?

Speak Up for Jesus!

Based on the writings of David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-who-should-get-the-credit

As Christians who are seeking to please and serve the Lord, when we succeed in a task or accomplishment, what should our reaction be? Should we exalt ourselves like most people in the World do, and have the attitude of, “Oh, look what a great thing I did!–I’m just WONDERFUL, aren’t I?”–Or should our motivation and attitude be something other than mere pride and the desire to receive praise and esteem from others?

The answer really depends on whether we are doing GOD’S Will and serving HIM, or if we are doing your OWN will and serving our OWN interests. If we’ve given our heart and life to JESUS, and our desire is to please and serve HIM, then we will no doubt be looking to Him for help and guidance, and will therefore want to give HIM the thanks and credit when He helps us to succeed!

Like Peter did when the awestruck crowd gathered around him after the lame man was healed at the Temple one day. The Bible tells us, “All the people ran together unto Peter and John, greatly wondering. And when Peter saw it, he answered the people, `Oh, men of Israel, why do you marvel and stare upon US as though we by our own power or holiness have made this man walk? GOD has glorified His Son, JESUS, of Whom we are His witnesses! By faith in HIS name this man is now healed!” (Acts 3:11-16).

God’s Word tells us, “Let the redeemed of the Lord SAY so!” And, “You that make mention of the Lord, DON’T be SILENT!” (Psalm 102:7; Isaiah 62:6). The Lord wants and expects His children who know and love Him to SPEAK UP and let others know that HE is their God, their Strength, their Helper and their Saviour! So we shouldn’t be ashamed or afraid to let people know that we are the LORD’S, on HIS side, and that HE is the One we’re living for, and that HE is the One Who helps us to accomplish His Will! “For it is GOD which works IN us, to do His Own good pleasure!” (Philippians 2:13).

And if you constantly remind yourself and others that you are just a TOOL in the LORD’S hands, that HE is the only One Who can really accomplish anything, then HE will get all the glory for anything good that He does through you. And you will find that He will BLESS and USE you MORE than you ever have been before if you faithfully give HIM all the glory!

To truly accomplish God’s will and purpose, you must rely on the LORD’S help. To meet the challenges you face, you must know that REAL strength comes “not by your OWN might, nor by your OWN power, but by MY SPIRIT, says the Lord!” (Zechariah 4:6). But if WE try to take the credit and glory to ourSELVES, God will not be able to bless us nearly as much as He would like to.

The Bible tells us the story of King Herod, a pompous ruler who, “on the appointed day, wearing his royal robes, sat on the throne and delivered a public address to the people. After his oration, the people shouted, ‘This is the voice of a GOD, not of a man!’ Immediately”–the Bible says–“because Herod did NOT give PRAISE to GOD, an angel of the Lord struck him down and he was eaten by worms and died!” (Acts 12:21-23).

God did not kill Herod just because he made a great speech. In fact, God probably HELPED him to make that speech in the first place! But when he refused to give GOD the glory, and didn’t silence the people for giving HIM so much credit, but rather took it all to HIMSELF, God was very displeased and therefore smote him!–“Because he did not give the praise to GOD!”

How different is the story of the good kings, prophets and men of God throughout the Bible whom the Lord was able to mightily bless because they gave HIM all the credit and glory! A good example of this is David, who when he was just a young lad, boldly came before the enemies of his people and accepted Goliath’s challenge to confront him in battle.

Before engaging the giant, David loudly cried out to Goliath so that ALL would hear, “YOU come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a shield: But I come to you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied! This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand! And all these people who are gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the LORD’S, and HE will deliver you into our hands!” (1Sam.17:45-47). And the Lord did the miracle and enabled little David to triumph over the giant, and everyone KNEW that it was GOD’S doing, because David gave the LORD ALL the credit.–Even BEFORE Goliath was defeated!

If you really want God’s BLESSING and His help, be like David, and boldly declare not only what you’re against, but also what you are FOR!–That you are for JESUS and for GOD and HIS WILL! “The LORD is on my side! I will not fear what MAN can do unto me!” (Psalm 118:6).

In the Book of Acts, we find another good example of speaking up for the Lord and giving God the glory. The Apostles Peter and John prayed for a lame man who was then miraculously and instantly healed, & it says, “All the people ran together unto them greatly marvelling. But when Peter saw it, he rebuked the crowd and said, ‘Why do you look upon US as though WE by our OWN power or godliness have done this good deed? GOD has glorified His Son, JESUS, and by faith in HIS Name this deed has been done!'” (Acts 3:11,12).

God’s Word says, “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches. But let him that glories glory in THIS, that he understands and knows ME, that I am the LORD!” (Jeremiah 9:23,24).

If you really BELIEVE in something, or you really LIKE something or are excited about something, you’ll TALK about it, you’ll BOAST about it, you’ll GLORY in it! If you believe in your favourite athletic team, you’ll TALK about them! If you believe in your political party, you TALK about it! If you enjoy and believe in your work, you TALK about it! If you enjoy your leisure and your play, you TALK about that!–And if you really believe in JESUS, you’re going to talk about HIM! As Jesus said, “Out of the FULLNESS of the HEART, the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34).

This doesn’t mean that you have to become a learned theologian, priest, preacher or minister of some organised religious organisation. In fact, you can glorify the Lord WHEREVER you go just by acknowledging and mentioning the Lord and His Love and not being ashamed or afraid to speak His Word and His Truth to others.

By simply saying, “Thank God!” when things are going well, you are giving God the glory and it is a witness to those who hear you! Every time you say, “Thank the Lord!”, you are giving GOD the credit and being a faithful witness. Even if you only say, “God bless you!” to others, you are reminding them of the Lord.

But if you feel somewhat uncertain and unsure of yourself, if you feel incapable of boldly speaking His Name before others, take heart from the disciples of the Early Church. After the powerful religious authorities threatened and commanded them to stop telling others about Jesus, they desperately prayed, “Lord, consider their threats and empower Your servants to continue to speak Your Word with BOLDNESS!” They confessed their weakness and fears and cried out to the Lord for help, and He answered!–“And they were all FILLED with the HOLY SPIRIT and spoke the Word of God with GREAT BOLDNESS!” (Acts 4:29,31).

Jesus promised us, “You shall receive POWER after the HOLY GHOST is come upon you, and you shall be WITNESSES to Me in all the World!” (Acts 1:8). So if you feel the need for more power to stand up for Jesus and to speak His Name boldly before others, simply PRAY and ask Him to FILL you with the power of His precious HOLY SPIRIT, and He WILL!

Jesus said, “Whoever shall be ASHAMED of Me and of My Words, of HIM also shall the Son of Man be ashamed!” (Mark 8:38). But He also says, “Whoever shall CONFESS ME before MEN, HIM will I also confess before My FATHER which is in Heaven!” (Matthew 10:32). So stand up for Jesus NOW, then, when you stand before the Lord one day soon, HE will stand up for YOU before our Heavenly Father! And all Heaven will know that you were NOT ASHAMED of Him and His Words, but CONFESSED Him before others!

Stand up for JESUS today, and He will stand up for YOU, and you will hear Him say, “WELL DONE, My good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of your Lord!” (Matthew 25:21; Acts 7:55,56). God BLESS you!

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Anchor

God’s Love for Humankind

By Peter Amsterdam

free-bible-studies-online-anchorGod loves unconditionally. What does unconditionally mean? We could say that God’s love has no bounds, is unchanging, and without limitations. Unconditional love is sometimes defined as a love that is “given freely” to the loved one “no matter what.”

Each of us has sinned, and sin brings separation from God, and there is nothing we can do by ourselves to repair that breach. Nevertheless, God loves us. His love isn’t dependent on us, as we can’t earn His love. He loves us despite our sinful nature. He loves those who don’t love Him. He loves us all “no matter what.” It doesn’t mean He loves all that we do, but He loves us. In fact, He loves humanity so much that He made it possible for the breach caused by our sins and wrongdoing to be bridged through the sacrificial death of His Son, Jesus. Though we are sinners, God, because of His love for us, made it possible for us to be reconciled to Him.

As it says in Romans, chapter 5: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6–8 NIV)

God loves us not because of who we are but because of who He is. He is the creator of all things. He’s the Almighty. He is all-powerful and knows everything, and yet He loves you and me. In fact, not just you and me and those of us who are Christians and who appreciate the great sacrifice He made in giving His only Son to die for us, but He loves every single person in the whole world equally and unconditionally. He loved us before we believed in Him, before we loved Him. Even if someone has never heard of God the Father, even if someone says they hate Him, He still loves that person unconditionally. God’s love is unfathomable. It is perfect. It is unconditional.

The foundation point for us as Christians in helping to meet the needs of those we come in contact with, regardless of whether those needs are physical or spiritual, is the understanding that every person is precious to God, regardless of age, race, nationality, physical appearance, economic status, religious belief, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. None of that matters; everyone is loved by God. He loves the beggar on the street as much as He loves the richest man in the world.

God asks that we value every individual, that we see humankind through His eyes of love, which means that we will look at others without bias, prejudice, or preconceived negative opinions. By embracing God’s perspective and seeing others as He does, we will avoid stereotyping people, or thinking of ourselves as better than others.

We don’t have to like every person’s belief system, lifestyle, or choices. We may not agree with them. They may live without regard to God’s moral standards, they may live lives of grave sin, but no matter what their state, God loves them. “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45)

Each person on earth is God’s creation just as we are, and God loves them just as He loves us. We are all equal in God’s eyes. God loves each human being, and Jesus died for each human being. We are instructed to love people, and to show God’s love in both practical and spiritual ways, to the best of our ability.

Jesus said that the two most important commandments are to love God and to love others. (Matthew 22:37–40) When we remember that Scripture says that every human being is made in the image and likeness of God, that love is of God, that God is love and He loves us all, (Genesis 1:26–27; 1 John 4:7–8) then the awesome love of God becomes our touchstone; it’s an example of how we should love others. When we look at this benchmark, we understand that we are to emulate God’s attributes of love, compassion, and mercy, just as Jesus did.

We are told to let our light so shine that others may see our good works and glorify God. (Matthew 5:16) This is a call to action, as it expresses the understanding that God intends for us to interact with others in a manner that reflects Him. It’s a call to emulate Him, to treat others with love, compassion, and mercy. We’re called to be conduits of His beautiful, unconditional love to others. This, like many other things on the path of discipleship, often requires some sacrifice. But when you think about Jesus’ sacrifice for us, there really is no comparison.

This touching story makes the point well:

The story has been told of a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.

The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. He hesitated only for a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save her.”

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”

The little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

What a tender and beautiful example of love! The Bible says, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16)

James, the brother of Jesus, expressed that the true practice of our faith consists of both outward and inward action. Outward toward others in practical ways, and inward through our devotion to God. He said: “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27 NAU)

Manifesting our faith is not only inward activity; we are called to express it through our Christlike, Christ-emulating actions. This calls for sacrificing time we would use for ourselves, and instead giving it to others. It’s letting go of previously made plans in order to help others in need. It’s living our faith by intentionally doing things for the benefit of those in need.

In his book Well Done, Thomas said, “Roll-up-your-shirt-sleeves Christians see Christianity as faith and action. They still make the time to talk with God through prayer, [they] study Scripture with devotion, [they are] super-active in their church and take their ministry to others to spread the Good Word.”

As Rick Warren said in The Purpose Driven Life: “In heaven God won’t say, ‘Tell me about your career, your bank account, and your hobbies.’ Instead he will review how you treated others, particularly those in need.”

Jesus set the example of the “roll-up-your-shirt-sleeves” concept. He constantly showed love to others. He felt compassion for those in need and was moved to loving action. He was merciful. He showed kindness. He fed the hungry and healed the afflicted. He fought against evil and unrighteousness.

Jesus said: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40) Let’s do what we can to be tangible examples of God’s love for humanity, by following what He shows us to do to share Him and His love with those in need, spiritually through introducing them to Jesus, and practically through ministering to their other needs.

 

 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

Anchor

God’s Masterpiece

A compilation

free-bible-studies-online-anchorWe are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
—Ephesians 2:10 NLT

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The reason you have value is because of what God says about you, not because of what other people say about you.

Many people lack self-esteem. They don’t feel good about themselves because they’re always trying to pump themselves up by the kind of clothes they wear, the kind of car they drive, and the things they say. They’re always trying to pump themselves up to make them feel better about themselves because they really don’t accept themselves—which is rebellion against God.

If God wanted you to be somebody else, you wouldn’t exist. But he wanted you! He made you to be you. Real self-esteem comes from three facts:

  1. God created you.
  2. Jesus died for you.
  3. God’s Spirit lives in you.

The Bible says, “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT) The New Testament was written originally in Greek. The Greek word for “masterpiece” is “poema.” It’s the word we get “poem” from. God says, “You’re my poem. You’re my masterpiece. I don’t want you copying somebody else. I’ve put gifts in you—heart, abilities, personality, and experiences—and I want you to use them.” You have worth because of what God says about you and has done for you.

You’re not just wanted; you’re needed! The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12:4–6, “There are different spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them. There are different ways of serving, and yet the same Lord is served. There are different types of work to do, but the same God produces every gift in every person.”

You are needed. You’re needed in your church. You are needed in your community. You are needed in this world. If you weren’t needed, God would not have made you. He didn’t create you to just sit and soak and sour. He brought you here to make a contribution with your life. And everybody is needed.

There are no little people in the family of God. Every part is necessary. Do you know what the most important light is in my house? It’s not the big chandelier in the dining room. It’s the little dinky light I turn on every night so that when I get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I don’t stub my toe.

Every role is important. You are important. You have value because God said so and because he paid such a large ransom for your life when he sent his Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for you.

—Rick Warren

 
God’s unfinished business

On a rare day that I actually had a bit of time to do some organizing, I came to a realization about myself (not the most impressive one): I have a lot of “unfinished business,” at least with personal projects. I often wonder why so many of my personal projects or work is left undone. Why does it seem difficult to complete even one? And why do I operate this way?

Is it procrastination? Busyness? Lack of organization? Too many pies up there in the sky? All of the above? What’s the solution to getting projects or other to-dos from “pending” in my brain to the complete version where they can actually make a difference?

In his book, The Weathering Grace of God, Ken Gire writes of the importance of “stillness.”

Poets know the importance of … stillness. They know that if they are still enough, long enough, the art they are working on will speak to them, tell them what it wants to be and what it needs from them to become it. All artists know this, whether they work with paint or clay, words or musical notes.

Michelangelo knew how to be still before the stone and listen to the David within it. Strauss knew how to be still before the Danube and listen to the waltz that was eddying about in its waters. Monet knew how to be still before the pond and listen to the lilies sunning on its surface. … Our culture knows little of this kind of listening.

The best ideas, and the completion of them, require not only time to do them, but also stillness and quietness of body, mind, and spirit. The Lord encourages us in the book of Psalms to “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) The finishing work, whether of a small project or of life itself, requires stillness in mind and soul.

It’s easy to start something. It’s good to start something. Well begun is half done, they say. But to finish something—to see it through to the end—that’s not always easy.

It takes time. Patience. Faith. And those aren’t always easy to come by. We don’t always find them by looking within or looking around. But when we look up, and with peace and quiet of mind, listen to the still, small voice of God that whispers to us when we take time to listen, we will know the path to take. We will know how to complete what we have begun … and what He has begun in our lives.

We are all, in a way, God’s unfinished business. He has started a lot of “projects” that are well begun, even perfect in their own right, but they are not complete. The work of the Master on His creation continues: the molding, the shaping, the cutting, the polishing. It all comes with the promise, “He makes all things beautiful in His time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

—Jewel Roque

 
A perfect work of art

I was getting a haircut one day when the guy cutting my hair suddenly stopped and said, “Look at that!”

I looked over my shoulder, and there was one of the most stunning sunsets I had ever seen. Several people got up out of their chairs and walked outside to take a look. It was such an incredible sunset that people stood there in awe.

Of course, it is a reminder that “the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1 NKJV) God is a great artist; there is no question about it.

But God’s greatest masterpiece isn’t some of the sunsets you may have had the privilege of seeing, or the Alps (as spectacular as they are), or the islands of Hawaii and Tahiti (as gorgeous and beautiful as they can be).

God’s greatest masterpiece of creation is you. And it is me. We are God’s greatest masterpieces.

In fact, we read in Ephesians 2:10 that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” That word workmanship could be translated as “we are His work of art.” We are His poem. Or as another translation puts it, we are God’s masterpiece. …

In addition to “workmanship” speaking of a poem or a work of art, it is a word that speaks of something that is perfect. It carries the idea of rhythm, orderliness, and beauty. When I look at my life, I don’t necessarily see rhythm, orderliness, or beauty. And I can guarantee that I don’t see perfection. When we see ourselves, we tend to see our flaws. We see so many things that need to change. But God says, “You are my work of art. You are my poem. You are my masterwork.”

God is not like a doting father who’s oblivious to his child’s faults. Rather, He is your all-knowing, yet all-powerful Father in heaven who can envision what you will be when it is all said and done. God can look at you and can see what you will become before you have actually become it.

We look at ourselves and say, “I don’t get it. This doesn’t look like a perfect person. This doesn’t look like a work of beauty.”

But you are a work in progress. It is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. It is going to take all of your life on earth. It won’t be completely finished until you get to heaven.

Then you will see that you indeed are a perfect work of art—God’s masterpiece.

—Greg Laurie

 
 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.