Anchor

Patience and God’s Plans
A compilation

free-bible-studies-online-anchorSuppose you … simply don’t know what God wants you to do here and now. Don’t give up on yourself or God. God is answering you, but his answer for now is: Wait. God will fulfill all his promises, but in his time. He gave us promises, not timetables. He’s a lover, not a train.

Patience is the art of waiting. It is not necessarily the art of waiting patiently. Job is a famous example of patience, and of the distinction between patient waiting and waiting patiently. Poor Job cannot discern the meaning of his sufferings. He does not know what he has done (to provoke God to let him suffer so), nor what he can do (to find God or to understand his situation). He searches for thirty-seven agonizing chapters, without finding God, or answers, or comfort. Yet he holds on, and hopes. That is his patience.

I used to think that only those who never read his book could call Job patient. I thought Job was the most impatient man in the Bible. But then I realized that the Bible itself calls Job patient, (James 5:10–11) so I had to rethink what patience meant. I concluded that it did not necessarily mean a calm emotional state, for Job certainly didn’t have that, yet Job had patience, according to James. So patience has to be something deeper than an emotional state.

I think patience is simply waiting, enduring, holding on. This is all some of us can do. But it is enough. When you can do nothing but hang on and keep trying and losing, or suffering and dying, know that that is something more precious than winning—that is patience.

God had patience with us. He stuck it out with us. He stayed with us, even after we rejected him. It’s the least we can do for him when he seems to forsake us, as he seemed to reject Job, because he has promised us that he will never leave us or forsake us, no matter how much our situation seems to tell us that he has. Faith believes God’s promises, beyond appearances. Faith holds on, like an anchor, even in the murky depths, even when discernment and light are not possible. Discernment is not always necessary, but faith is.

On the last day, when God calls the rolls, when he gets to your name he will ask, like your old grade school teachers, Present? Are you still here? Are you still with me? If you can honestly answer yes, if you are “present,” if you are still seeking God and his righteousness, then you will have all other things added unto you, including the gift of discernment. All the things you failed to discern during your time on earth, you will discern in the light of eternity. In this life, discernment sheds a little light on the future; in the next life, it will shine Godlight on the past.

—Peter Kreeft

 
Waiting and learning patience

Look at the examples in the Bible of patience: Job, Moses, and David!

Job lost everything: his family, fortune, and finally his health! But he just kept on believing and obeying, saying, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15) He hung on and would not give up. “The patience of Job” ( James 5:11) served as an inspiring example for generations to come.

When Moses was in a hurry to deliver the children of Israel, he killed an Egyptian and had to flee alone for his own life. But after 40 years of patiently, humbly tending sheep in the wilderness, with time to listen to the voice of God instead of his own impulses, he was finally ready for the slow, laborious, patient work of the Exodus—slow, but sure!

David spent 17 years working under King Saul, and the Lord taught him important lessons as he watched how Saul tried to do things in his own strength, without waiting on the Lord, and he found he wasn’t strong enough. David learned that you have to wait for God.

Learning patience is one of God’s most frequent lessons to us all. So “let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.” (James 1:4)

—David Brandt Berg

 
His master plans

In 2007, the Netherlands instituted a two-hundred-year plan for adapting to and preparing for climate change. With two-thirds of the Dutch population living below sea level, changes in climate can have a drastic and tragic effect on this nation—hence the extreme caution. The plan, from my understanding, consists of 20 billion dollars being put toward the research and construction of better water defenses along their shoreline—the scope of this plan reaches till the year 2200. Their reason for this elaborate plan is simple: without it, due to changes in climate—and greater risk of floods—there is no guarantee that the Netherlands will continue to exist in 200 years unless such measures are taken now.

There is someone else, though, who leaves all other plans and planners in the dust. In Acts 17:26 the apostle Paul talks about a plan that encompasses every plan ever made. He said, “From one man, [God] made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” In other words, from the very beginning, God had a plan: the act of creation wasn’t haphazard. God wasn’t in need of something to do on a Sunday afternoon, so bang—the earth! There is an overarching plan that is being played out every day of mankind’s existence on planet earth.

But there’s something even more personally awesome in this for you and me: every human put on earth was an intentional act of creation. God is a planner; He has plans for everyone. King David affirms about God, “Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:16 NIV) And in a talk Job gives describing God’s nature, Job says to God, “You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer.” (Job 14:5 NLT)

Imagine God planning out Moses’ life. Chapter One doesn’t have Moses parting the Red Sea; it actually doesn’t even start with Moses receiving God’s directives at the burning bush on Mount Horeb. There are roughly 80 years’ worth of chapters and pages that come before either of those events. When studying Moses’ life it’s easy to marvel at the 40 years Moses spent tending sheep—we think of how patient he must have been at the end of that ordeal. I’m realizing now that it was really God who exercised patience in this story. Imagine creating a character and knowing that he’d only be ready to do what you wanted him to do 80 years after his creation.

Somehow, I’m comforted at the realization of God as a planner. Here’s why: even if you feel like nothing is happening for you right now, and it’s hard to wait, it could be that you’re only at the beginning pages of God’s plan for your life and the really great stuff is on page 492. Or perhaps your “awesome” is a life simply filled with days lived well and to God’s glory. Whatever the case may be, the great thing about God’s plans for you is that even when nothing seems to be happening on the surface, God has all these intricate plans going on. His Spirit is at work even on ordinary days. His Spirit is working in your life toward you reaching page 492 of your book, and beyond that page as well.

In a letter to the Romans, Paul calls God “the God of patience.” (Romans 15:5) God is described as patient and longsuffering in the Bible; it’s one of the characteristics attributed to Him. If God was that patient with His plan for Moses, and His plans for all of mankind, I’m thinking it’s not a far stretch to imagine that God wants us to also be patient with what He is doing in our lives. If God believes we’re worth the wait, then we should believe that, too.

—T.M.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

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Anchor

Becoming Your Best You—Part 2

From the Roadmap series

free-bible-studies-online-anchorThe dictionary defines a habit as an acquired pattern of action that is so automatic it’s difficult to break.

Our daily life is made up of habits and routine, which can greatly help us to be successful and accomplish our life’s goals, provided those habits are good ones. Positive habits are a great asset. Negative habits, however, are like a black hole sucking up productive, innovative, and beneficial assets in our life. We need to learn how to tell if a habit is positive or negative, and have a process for dealing with negative habits, to replace them with positive ones. Here’s a humorous account of how habits can become so engrained that they control our actions, sometimes without our noticing it.

Tiring of the drive from the airport to his country place, a man equipped his plane with pontoons so he could land on the lake directly in front of his cottage.

On the next trip, he made his approach down the runway as usual. Alarmed, his wife cried out, “Are you crazy? You can’t land this plane here without wheels!”

The startled husband abruptly yanked up the nose of the aircraft and narrowly averted certain disaster. Continuing, he landed the plane on the lake without mishap.

As he sat there, visibly shaken, he said to his wife, “I don’t know what got into me. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever done!” And with that, he opened the door and stepped out, falling into the water.

—C. Clarke Johnson

We all have habits, plenty of them. The question is, are they good habits or bad habits? Someone once said, “People don’t decide their future; they decide their habits, and their habits decide their future.”

 

The progress formula

When dealing with a mathematical problem, you simply follow the formula. Having predetermined formulas helps the process of resolving problems. Can you imagine trying to figure out mathematical problems if there were no formulas to follow?

What we need then is a formula to follow for crushing the bad habits that keep us from making forward progress. Here’s a pretty good formula for this. Let’s call this “the progress formula,” because it can help you when you are evaluating your habits, and help you formulate a plan and strategy for progress.

The elements of this formula are desire, believe you can, examine your surroundings, expose your excuses, create a plan, and monitor your progress.

 
Desire

Do you desire some change in your life? If so, how much do you want the change? Do you want it enough that you are willing to change your life to accelerate your success? Do you want it enough to ditch your negative habits and replace them with positive ones? Do you want it enough to sacrifice whatever is working against the particular change and progress that you desire?

A helpful tip is to imagine yourself where you want to be and imagine how you would feel if you reached that goal. Then ask yourself, “How much am I willing to pay to get there?”

Many people want to change any number of bad habits, but they don’t want the change enough to do what is necessary to get there; thus their desire is superficial and ineffective.

We each can ask ourselves: “How much do I desire the results of the change I seek, and am I willing to pay the price?” If the answer is yes, then we’ll be well on our way to reaching our desired destination.

 
Believe you can

You might desire a change and feel that you are willing to pay the price for that change, but deep in your heart you might be wondering if you can actually do it. You might feel that others can but you can’t, even though you want the change with all your heart. Or maybe you feel you don’t have the talent, the time, the physical strength, or the endurance to change.

Belief is an amazing thing, as the Bible says, “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) Another verse reads, “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity.” (Proverbs 18:14)

These two Bible verses show us that the human will is a very powerful force. We are “wonderfully and fearfully made,” and the human spirit can survive and change in even the most adverse situations. The deciding factor is often our will and faith.

If you are having a hard time believing you can change, adopt a positive, full-of-faith attitude, even if you don’t “feel” it. Adopt an “I can” attitude. Start saying positive, change-reinforcing statements such as, “By the grace of God, I can change. I will change. With His help, I can do it.”

 
Examine your surroundings

Many times the desire to change is not enough to complete the change process. We have to honestly and practically look at our surroundings and identify the things we are doing on a day-to-day basis that are working against the progress we seek or that reinforce our negative habits.

We may find that with every habit we are trying to create or break, there are certain physical things that work for or against us. We need to find out what those are and change them or it will be frustrating and much slower for us to make the changes we desire.

 
Expose your excuses

We also need to take an honest look at ourselves and the excuses we have been using. Be honest with yourself and see what excuses come to mind. Write those down, and then formulate a counterattack. If your excuse for not getting up early is that you went to bed late, then formulate your counterattack of a reasonable cutoff time at night so you can get to bed earlier. If your excuse is that you like your late-night internet browsing, formulate a counterattack to remind yourself of what you will lose the next morning by not going to sleep on time. For every excuse, have a counterattack ready and keep it handy to remind yourself of it often.

Consider this concept: Great achievers create goals; underachievers create excuses.

Each of us might think this doesn’t apply to us, or that we are disadvantaged because our circumstances are difficult. However, there have been countless successful people who triumphed over obstacles, handicaps, or difficulties.

Here is one such example:

[This is] a story about a woman who truly understands what it means to prepare for success. The woman’s name is Laura Sloate, and she is the senior partner of a New York money-management firm that oversees half a billion dollars in assets.

Sloate is phenomenally successful, by the way. During one five-year span, the private accounts she managed averaged returns of 25 percent or more a year!

Needless to say, in Sloate’s line of work, her job is information intensive. She has to constantly monitor international markets, she must assess scores of financial reports every week, and she must stay on top of even the smallest global buying trends.

Sloate’s success comes as no surprise to people who know her, for, according to her friends and family, she has been preparing herself for success ever since she was a little girl.

Even as a child Sloate listened to tapes, attended seminars, and counseled with mentors. Since age six she has sought out every piece of new technology that could help her prepare herself for success. Amazingly, the only thing she did not do was read.

In fact, to this day, Laura Sloate does not read, despite the fact that information is the life blood of her business. That’s not to say that Laura Sloate is undisciplined. Or unprepared. On the contrary, Laura Sloate is a fountain of information on just about any subject you can think of. But as unlikely as it may seem, she didn’t get that information through reading.

You see, Laura Sloate has been blind since age six!

—Burke Hedges

 
Create a plan

Next, create a plan. Like that familiar saying, plan your work, work your plan. We need to document our goals and how we are going to get there. A plan is not a plan unless it is written down. And a plan is not an effective plan unless it is reviewed often. We might have the most organized plan in the world, but if it is tucked away, never to be seen again, then it was nothing more than a waste of time.

Often we use the excuse that we don’t have the time to stop and write down our plan, or to go back to our plan and monitor our progress. But if we don’t write it down, then we are not really planning; we only think we’re planning. It’s too easy to forget or compromise a plan in our head if it’s not formulated well on paper. Or worse yet, when we don’t write our plan down, we aren’t taking the time and brainpower needed to come up with a good plan, so our plan will likely be mediocre, and our follow-through even worse.

When making your plan, remember to be realistic, because if you are unrealistic, you will get discouraged too soon, and then you may quit and never reach your goal. It’s better to be realistic and reach your goal gradually than never get there at all.

And last of all, don’t allow yourself to get discouraged. We all have times when we slip or have a bad day. This is not a serious problem; in fact, we need to expect that there will be some setbacks and anticipate them so that we are not overwhelmed when they happen.

 
Monitor your progress

Last but not least,monitor your progress. Regularly evaluate your plan to see if it is working for you; if not, change it! Your plan is a tool for progress. If you find that your original plan was unrealistic, adjust it. If you were too lenient, tighten it.

With every plan we make in life, it’s helpful to have it broken down into three categories:

  1. Long-term goals (to be reached within two to five years)
  2. Short-term goals (to be reached within six months to a year)
  3. Immediate goals (to be reached within 30 days)

Using a fitness example, we could specify goals as follows:

  • Long-term goal: Reach my ideal weight and become more fit overall, with more muscle tone and endurance.
  • Short-term goal: I will lose 10 kilos over the next year, which is less than one kilo a month, and I will add a weight-lifting plan to my current exercise routine.
  • Immediate goals: I will monitor my calorie intake, I will drink more water, I will exercise five times a week, and I will cut down on snacks, alcohol, and sugar.

Having each plan broken down into long-term, short-term, and immediate goals gives structure to our plan and life. This also gives us a yardstick by which we can measure our progress. If our plans are vague, we will not know how to properly gauge our progress. But if we have our goals broken down into these three segments, our progress will be more easily noticeable and tracked.

We can make it a habit to revisit our plans every month. We can measure our progress according to last month’s immediate goals, adjust our plan, create new immediate goals, and then keep going.

If we are faithful to do this each month, we will see tremendous progress. If we take the time to apply the progress formula to our lives, we will know what to do each time a nonproductive hole appears in our day, and we will know how to fill it and what to fill it with because we have a plan!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

—Jeremiah 29:114

 

 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

Anchor

Becoming Your Best You—Part 1
From the Roadmap series

free-bible-studies-online-anchorOur lives are the result of the choices we make each day. Every day is a chance to make decisions that will guide our future. Every day is a chance to make decisions to perform the tasks before us with a commitment to excellence, or decisions to invest the minimal effort necessary and to settle for mediocrity.

We consciously make decisions each day whether to pursue life in a mediocre way, doing only the minimum necessary, or to rise to the occasion, work hard, and make our goals a reality. Every one of us can just sleepily live life half throttle, being content to drag ourselves through life, one lazy, uneventful day at a time. Or we can attain new levels of success by vigorously evaluating and improving our life, day by day, week by week, year by year.

Let’s explore how to deal mediocrity a lethal, below-the-belt blow, and in so doing, put ourselves in a better position for a life of fulfillment.

 
We each choose

We make many choices every day, one after the other after the other that ultimately set the course for our lives and future. The quality of our lives doesn’t just appear like magic. The magic lies in making good choices that will set us on the right course for the future. But not only that, it’s in realizing that our choices will ultimately shape what our lives become. Will they be full of passion, commitment, and determination, in spite of the bad stuff that comes our way? Will we take advantage of opportunities and progress, even if our resources and finances are limited?

Your choices will ultimately guide the path of your life. That’s a pretty amazing concept, but it’s true. We each determine how circumstances will affect us by the decisions we make in response to our circumstances.

This is sometimes a difficult concept to accept, as often we want the circumstances to change before we’re willing to make the right choices. Yet if we can embrace it, our lives can change regardless of our circumstances, if we choose to commit these to God and trust in His plan for our lives. We will begin to feel more empowered, less victimized, and that the Lord is in control of our lives.

When we feel trapped and as if we aren’t making our own choices, we feel like victims. From time to time, many of us fall into the trap of believing that our circumstances are entirely beyond our control, and that there is no use in attempting to change them. Taking responsibility for the choices that we can make, however, takes us out of the victim mentality and into an empowering “all things are possible with God” mindset.

Contrary to popular opinion, God does not usually choose for us. We have to choose for ourselves, find His will for ourselves, and seek Him diligently to know His will. This is why He put us here, this is what we’re here to learn, and the major part of our training: how to make the right decisions through our personal contact with Him, our knowledge of His Word and His will, and our love for Him and others. We must do what we know is right, and be willing to live and to die for what we know is the truth.

But as He says, “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” Be sure you’re right, and then go ahead and do what you know is right, no matter what anybody says, and not because anyone has said it, but because you yourself are personally convinced it’s God’s will.

—David Brandt Berg

If we accept that we are responsible for our own choices, then we won’t blame others or our circumstances for any difficulties or hardships that arise from those choices. We’ll take responsibility for our lives—how we live, how we fulfill the Great Commission, and how we make a living—which will ultimately be a reflection of the decisions we make each day.

 
The role of discipline

It’s pretty easy to decide that we want to be successful at whatever we choose to pursue in life and to set lofty goals for where we want to be in a few years. But it’s much more difficult to actually get there. Accomplishment is not just about thinking, wishing, hoping, or even planning. It’s about doing! Planning is important, but a great plan and a tremendous destination is not much help if we never get started, persevere, and work to reach that destination. It takes self-discipline to get to where we want to go and achieve what we want to achieve. We have to evaluate our life, our priorities, our schedule, our off-hours, and take a good, hard look at what we are doing that is not productive, so we can change what needs to be changed, and then commit to the self-discipline needed to reach those goals.

We each need to kick our own butt! What a concept! This means that if we want to achieve success in life, in any endeavor, it’s going to require self-discipline. Achieving our goals is not necessarily synonymous with just taking life as it comes. If we want to mature and grow and reach our goals, if we want to pursue a profession or career or field of study, or devote ourselves to the mission; if we want to be responsible and make a difference, then self-discipline will be an important quality to cultivate.

If you never seem to be reaching your goals, or worse, if you don’t have any goals, there is something you can do about it. You can kick your own butt.

This takes developing self-discipline. Self-discipline—a bad word? No. It might be a painful or uncomfortable word, but really, it’s a powerful word when you consider that discipline is a key to achieving success. Self-discipline is not easy. It can be hard, even grueling. But if you want to be all you can be, if you want to be your best you, that’s the price.

Discipline derives from disciple—disciple to a philosophy, disciple to a set of principles, disciple to a set of values, disciple to an overriding purpose, to a goal or a person who represents that goal.

In other words, if you are an effective manager of yourself, your discipline comes from within; it is a function of your independent will. You are a follower of your own deep values and their source. And you have the will, the integrity, to subordinate your feelings, your impulses, and your moods to those values.

One of my favorite essays is “The Common Denominator of Success,” written by Albert E. N. Gray. He spent his life searching for the one denominator that all successful people share. He found it wasn’t hard work, good luck, or astute human relations, though those were all important. The one factor that seemed to transcend all the rest [was] putting first things first.

“The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do,” Mr. Gray observed. “[Successful people] don’t like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.”

—Stephen R. Covey

The good news is that the better you get at self-discipline, the easier it becomes.

No one who achieves greatness does so without discipline. [But] … when you discipline yourself to do the things you need to do, when you need to do them, the day’s going to come when you can do the things you want to do, when you want to do them. It’s also true that life is tough, but when you are tough on yourself, life will be infinitely easier on you.

Discipline yourself today so you can have a better life tomorrow.

—Zig Ziglar

Success is rarely luck. Sure, there is the rare case when someone just happens to be at the right place at the right time and stumbles onto a gold mine. But for most of us, success in whatever goals we set for ourselves comes as a result of self-discipline and methodical plodding, so that when an opportunity presents itself, we are in the position to reach out and grab hold of it.

In his book, The Life God Blesses, Gordon MacDonald tells a story about his experiences on the track team at the University of Colorado in the late fifties. In particular, he remembers the difficult workouts he did with a teammate named Bill. “To this day I have anguished memories of our workouts each Monday afternoon,” says Gordon. “When those Monday workouts ended, I would stagger in exhaustion to the locker room.” But Bill was different. When he was finished, he would rest on the grass near the track. But after about 20 minutes, while Gordon showered, Bill repeated the entire workout!

Bill didn’t consider himself to be an exceptional athlete in college. “I was not a great athlete,” observed Bill. “But I had a ‘bag of tricks theory,’ that is, there is no one big move you can make in your training or in competition, but there are thousands of little things you can do.”

Bill might not have made a great impact during his college years, but his discipline and desire paid off over time. Through disciplined effort and continual improvement, the unspectacular college athlete who had worked out with Gordon MacDonald became the world-famous athlete, Bill Toomey, the decathlete inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame in 1984.

What elevated Bill to such high accomplishments was his discipline. Gordon MacDonald’s insight says it all: “The difference between the two of us began on Monday afternoons during workout. He was unafraid of discipline and did the maximum; I was afraid of discipline and did the minimum.”

—John C. Maxwell

 
“I don’t have time…”

One of our most common excuses is “I don’t have time.” We’ve all said that on numerous occasions. And at first glance, this might seem like a solid excuse. It’s true we are busy.

But how are we spending our time? Let’s look at an everyday example: watching TV. According to a recent survey, Americans now watch an average of five hours of television every day, 35 hours a week. The average American television viewer is watching more than 151 hours of television per month. If someone works 40 hours a week—the average American work week—that means they spend almost as much time watching television as working.

Okay, let’s say we don’t watch that much television. But what about computer games? Blogging and chatting online? Surfing the internet? If we add up those hours, how do we fare?

You’ve probably heard the concept that if you devote one hour a day to studying a topic, after about 10,000 hours, or in about five years, you’ll be a master or expert. What do each of us want to be an expert at? Does how we spend our time prove that?

Do we read and study to become the professional that we want to become? If we’re not reading and studying on our particular field of interest or what we’re hoping to excel in, then it’s likely we’re not reaching our full potential.

Consider this example:

Before becoming a full-time writer, John Grisham was a lawyer. Like most successful lawyers, he put in long hours at the office, often 60 hours a week, sometimes 80! Despite his grueling schedule, Grisham wanted more than anything to write a novel.

However, Grisham had countless ready-made excuses as to why he could NOT write a book, excuses like the fact he had no “creative” writing experience, that he had obligations to his wife and two kids, that he didn’t have time because he was working 10-hour days, six days a week, that he was under incredible stress at work.

But Grisham knew that he had a choice. He could either find reasons TO write a novel or he could find reasons NOT TO write a novel and then justify to himself why he couldn’t do it. Fortunately, Grisham chose to find reasons TO write his first novel.

He wrote his first book, A Time to Kill, by making one simple adjustment in his life. He started getting up at 5:00 a.m. and working on his novel. In effect, he didn’t have time to write. So he made the time by getting up a couple of hours earlier each day. Less than one year later, Grisham had a completed manuscript to send to publishers.

Only one problem. The first publisher said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” So did the second, and the third, and the fourth, and so on. But Grisham was determined, so he kept submitting his book until, finally, publisher number 26 said, “yes!”

The publisher had so little faith in the book that only 5,000 copies were printed. At the time it seemed like 4,000 too many! The book was a flop.

So Grisham made another choice. He bought 1,000 copies and decided to market the book himself. It took months before his habit of giving talks and signing books on weekends began to pay off.

Word of mouth kept building and building until, finally, after nearly a year’s worth of weekend personal appearances, John Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill, exploded onto the best-seller list, where it stayed for 100 weeks! To date there are more than 10 million copies of Grisham’s first novel in print.

Grisham was able to accomplish what he did because he changed his habits. … Grisham’s new habit of getting up at 5:00 a.m. allowed him to accomplish a lifelong dream. The habit of adding two productive hours a day can make a world of difference; over the span of a year, you could add 15 work weeks of productive time to each and every year of your life.

—Burke Hedges, adapted

Having self-discipline pays off over time. This can happen in our lives as well.

With self-discipline most anything is possible.

—Theodore Roosevelt

 

With God all things are possible.

—Jesus, Matthew 19:265

 

 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

Activated

Points to Ponder: Be Kind!

free-bible-studies-online-be-kind

Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you—not because they are nice, but because you are.
—Author unknown

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Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

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Getting money is not all a man’s business: to cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)

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To err on the side of kindness is seldom an error.
—Liz Armbruster

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How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

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How beautiful a day can be
When kindness touches it!
—George Elliston (1883–1946)

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Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910)

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If you haven’t any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.
—Bob Hope (1903–2003)

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Always be a little kinder than necessary.
—James M. Barrie (1860–1937)

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I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble.
—Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936)

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A kind word heals, but a malicious word maims.
—Russian proverb

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Don’t be yourself—be someone a little nicer.
—Mignon McLaughlin (1913–1983)

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Don’t wait for people to be friendly, show them how.
—Author unknown

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There is no greater loan than a sympathetic ear.
—Frank Tyger (1929–2011)

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When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.
—Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907–1972)

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By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.
—Winston Churchill (1874–1965)

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Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
—Leo Buscaglia (1924–1998)

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You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

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A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.
—Dave Barry (b. 1947)

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Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.
—Og Mandino (1923–1996)

 

 

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

 

Your New Life of Love!

David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-your-new-life-of-love

Have you ever wondered what life is really all about?–What you are here for, and if there is anything special that you are supposed to do? Well, the answer to these important questions can be found in the Bible, God’s loving Words to us all!

The Bible tells us that “God is Love!” (1John 4:8)–And that He loves you! He is your kind and loving Heavenly Father Who made this beautiful World as a home for you to live in, and He has given you a wonderful body, mind and heart with which to enjoy it!

God is not only Love, but “God is a Spirit!” (John 4:24) He is the great Spirit of Love Who created the entire Universe! He is so big and so great, that He is far beyond our simple human understanding! But because He loves us and wants us to know and love Him, He sent His Own Son to Earth in the form of a Man, Jesus Christ.

Jesus is like a picture of God to show us what God is like. Jesus talked about Love and showed Love to others and lived Love all the time.–And finally, He loved us so much that He gave His Own life to save us–you and me.

To receive God’s Love and Salvation in Jesus, all you have to do is confess that you re not perfect, that you have made mistakes and that you need God’s forgiveness. We have all done wrong, so we all need to be forgiven, because without forgiveness for our sins we will be separated from God’s perfect Love! (Romans 3:23; 6:23)

Jesus is our Big Brother, Who knows that we have done wrong and deserve a punishment. But He loved us so much that He offered to take our punishment for us, and God loved us so much that He sent Jesus, and promised to forgive us if we would believe in Jesus & accept His suffering for our sins.

Jesus wants to come and live with you as your very dear and close Friend. He says, “I stand at the door [of your heart] and knock: If you hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to you.” (Revelation 3:20) All you need to do is ask Him to come into your heart.

To receive Jesus and His everlasting forgiveness and Salvation is just that simple! There is nothing you can do to earn it or work for it, for it is the free Gift of God! The Bible says, “By grace [God’s Love and mercy] we are saved through faith, and not of ourselves or by our own good deeds. It is the gift of God!” (Ephesians 2:8,9)

If you have not yet received Jesus, you can ask Him to come into your heart right now by simply praying this little prayer:

Dear Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God, and that You took my punishment and died for me. Please forgive me for all of my sins. I now invite you into my heart. Jesus, I know that I can never be good enough to save myself, so I ask You to please come in and give me Your free gift of Eternal Live! In Jesus name I ask, amen.

Jesus not only saves you, but He keeps you saved. The gift of God is Eternal Life (Romans 6:23), and once you have received Eternal Life, you cannot lose it!–If you could, it wouldn’t be eternal! Even if you fall and make mistakes, Jesus promised, “Whoever has come to Me, I will never cast him away!” (John 6:37) He may have to spank you if you are naughty and disobedient, but you will always be His saved child, for He says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you!” (Hebrews 13:5)

When Jesus comes into your heart, your whole life is changed, like a newborn baby born into a whole new World! Jesus even said that Salvation is like being born again, that you are now a new and different person! (John 3:3; 2Corinthians 5:17)

Of course, like all new babies and small children, you have a lot to learn and a lot of growing to do!–And the way to grow in faith and understanding is to, like a newborn baby, hunger and thirst for the pure milk of the Word of God, and you will grow! (1Peter 2:2)

If you prayerfully read God’s wonderful Word in the Bible, you will find that it is a lamp for your feet and a light for your path, a living guide to you in your new life! (Psalm 119:105)

God’s Prophet, Jeremiah, exclaimed, “I found God’s Words and I did eat them! And His Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart!” (Jeremiah 15:16) God’s Word is food for your soul, and if you wish to grow spiritually, you must feed and read from it faithfully!

The four Gospels of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, give us the beautiful story of Jesus life on Earth. If you read the fourth Gospel first, the Gospel of Saint John, you will find that it is one of the easiest to understand and contains the most Words of Jesus and His loving plan for your life!

Another great help to you in your new life will be the wonderful power of God’s precious Holy Spirit! When Jesus comes into your heart, you are born again of the Spirit (John 3:8), so you have God’s Spirit living in you already. But you can also overflow with the Holy Spirit, if you simply ask the Lord to fill you with His Power.

We are all like jars or glasses. When we receive Jesus, we are no longer dry and empty glasses, we have received a wonderful portion of God’s living waters! (John 7:38,39) But when we ask the Lord to fill us with His Holy Spirit, He then pours so much of His Heavenly Spirit of Love and power into us that we are filled up to overflowing!

When the Lord fills us with the Holy spirit, we also receive the extra power and strength to boldly tell others about Jesus and God’s Love, to witness to them of the wonderful new life we have found! Jesus promised, “You shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto Me!” (Acts 1:8)

The Bible also says that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, Who, like a loving mother, tender and gentle with a little baby, hovers over the newborn child of god, waiting, comforting, nursing and caring for us.

To receive this wonderful power, all you have to do is sincerely pray and ask Jesus for it! Ask and it shall be given unto you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you!–For your Heavenly Father shall give the Holy Spirit to all those who ask Him! (Luke 11:9-13)

Just as every healthy newborn baby cries for his mother when he needs her comfort, help or nourishment, so crying out to the Lord in prayer is something that comes naturally to every born-again child of God.

Prayer is not just a religious ritual or tradition, but it is personal living communication between a child of God and his Heavenly Father! It is the royal telephone that keeps you in touch with Heaven!

Jesus is your closest and best Friend, and will always hear when you cry to Him for help. He says, “Call unto Me, and I will answer you and show you great and wonderful things that you know not!” (Jeremiah 33:3)

Prayer is not just a one-way communication in which you do all the talking and God does all the listening. God speaks to His children today just like He always has! If you sincerely ask Him for answers, He will speak to your heart, and open your eyes to see wonderful things out of His Word as you prayerfully read it. (Psalm 119:18) He will also answer your prayers by supplying all your needs for help, healing, guidance, material needs, etc. (Philippians 4:19)

Another important part of a newborn child of God’s spiritual life is fellowship with other Christians who also know and love the Lord. Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them!” (Matthew 18:19,20) So there is great power and blessing in spiritual unity!

Real Christian fellowship is not just sitting in church listening to someone speaking from the pulpit. It is joining together with others to pray and read and study God’s Word. “If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another!” (1John 1:7)

If you don’t know anyone else who has asked Jesus into their heart, and you don’t have any other spiritual brothers and sisters nearby that you can fellowship with, don’t despair!–You can personally lead other folks into God’s Heavenly Kingdom by simply telling them how they can ask Jesus into their hearts, and then inviting them to pray with you to do so!

Telling others about Jesus, explaining god’s simply plan of Salvation to them, is called witnessing. Just as every child should grow up to become a useful member of his family or useful citizen of his country, so the newborn child of God can prove himself a useful and grateful member of God’s Kingdom by witnessing to others!–This is the most important and wonderful job in the whole World, telling other folks the Good News about God’s Love in Jesus! (Mark 16:15)

You can start out by telling your friends and family how happy you are since you asked Jesus into your heart. You can share this comic with them to help them understand how they too can receive Jesus.

God will greatly bless you, inspire you and reward you as you step out and share His Love with others and tell them how they can find Jesus and a new life in Him too!

The Bible not only gives us spiritual nourishment, but it even tells us the future! It is full of many predictions and prophecies written by God’s Prophets thousands of years ago that describe events happening in the World right now! We are now living in the period which the bible calls the Time of the End, the very last days of evil Man’s selfish and cruel rule!

The Bible warns us that a powerful One-World government will arise in these very last days, ruled by a Devil-possessed dictator known as the Antichrist, or Red Beast, who will try to force all of the World’s people to worship him for 3-1/2 years! (2 Thessalonians 2)

–And be branded like cattle with his credit mark or number–666–in their foreheads or hands! The Antichrist’s reign of terror will bring on the world the worst time of trouble it has every known! (Revelation 13 & Matthew 24)

But during this darkest night of world history, the brightest Dawn will suddenly occur!–For at the end of the Antichrist’s reign, Jesus Christ Himself will return, in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory to rescue His children from the Red Beast’s persecution! (Matthew 24:29-31; 1Corinthians 15:51,52; Revelation 14:14-16)

All of the Christians who have already died will receive new immortal, indestructible, resurrection bodies! Those of us who are still alive on Earth will be instantly changed as we receive new miraculous super-bodies also!–And we’ll all sail up into the sky to meet the Lord in the air! (1Thessalonians 4:14-17)

After a great Party in Heaven, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, we will all return to Earth with the Lord, to crush and defeat the evil forces of the Antichrist in the supernatural Battle of Armageddon!! (Revelation 19)

Then Jesus and all of His resurrected children will take over this World to organise it, rule it and run it the way it should have been run all along!–The Kingdom of God on Earth! (Revelation 20:4)

After a thousand years of this wonderful reign of Christ on Earth, God’s great Heavenly City, 1500-miles high, wide and long will descend onto the beautiful recreated Garden-of-Eden-like New Earth where we will all live with Him forever!

In God’s Heavenly City, we will enjoy more beauty, pleasure and excitement than we have ever before imagined!–And we will be challenged and thrilled with the task of spreading God’s Love throughout the whole Universe!

Those who have been the most faithful to the Lord now will receive the greatest rewards and blessings then! (Revelation 2:10; Daniel 12:2,3)

So be faithful to love Jesus, and to try to help others to find Him here, so that they too can enjoy His wonderful Heavenly City of the Future!

REMEMBER!:
For a wonderful New Life of Love, all you have to do is:

  1. Be born again!
  2. Read God’s Words!
  3. Be filled with God’s Spirit!
  4. Pray!
  5. Fellowship!
  6. Tell others!
  7. Know that Jesus is returning soon!

If you would like to know more about your New Life and how you can live for Jesus, please write us today! God bless you! We love you!

 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

You Can Have Freedom from Fear!

free-bible-studies-online-you-can-have-freedom-from-fear

David Brandt Berg

Fear is today’s No.1 killer! Believe it or not, fear causes more sickness and more mental illness and more premature deaths than anything else on Earth! Doctors have discovered that heart muscle is actually DESTROYED when people are subject to great fear. Dr. Marilyn Cebelin, writing in the General Practitioner’s newspaper, “Pulse,” says the hormone, adrenalin, literally DESTROYS heart muscles when people are subjected to intense stress and fear.

Canadian medical circles also report that WORRY increases chances of infectious disease, in that it weakens the body’s ability to fight off germs. A recent study of cases of streptococcal infection, according to Dr. Robert Haggerty, revealed that one out of four cases of such infections occurred after prolonged trauma and anxiety. Heart trouble, high blood pressure, arthritis and stomach ulcers are all basically caused by worry, tension, stress and fear!

Jesus said that in the Last Days “men’s hearts would be failing them for FEAR.”–Luke 21:26. Doctors say that there’s more heart failure today than ever in the World’s history because there’s more FEAR. In 1982, heart attacks caused 554,900 deaths in the U.S. alone, while hypertensive diseases caused 31,500 deaths!

People today are afraid! They’re afraid of the future, they’re afraid of what’s going to happen in the World, they’re afraid of each other, they’re afraid of social pressures, afraid of failing in school or work, afraid of being unemployed.–Afraid that they won’t have enough money for their families. They worry about so many things!

MUCH of this type of fear, believe it or not, stems from selfishness, from being overly concerned about one’s self, one’s self preservation, self-image, what the future holds for one’s SELF. The Apostle John wrote, “Perfect LOVE casts OUT fear, for fear has torment.”–1John 4:18. When that “perfect love” that comes from Jesus fills our lives, it crowds out this type of selfish worry and fear, and when our hearts are filled with love for others, then we don’t think and worry about ourselves so much.

There are many different types of worries and fears, and two of the most common concern the past and the future: Regret over the past and fear of the future.

A lesson on how to keep such fears from affecting us can be learned from modern ocean liners: They are constructed so that the captain can press a button and lower steel doors that separate one watertight bulkhead (compartment) from another, so if the hull is pierced in a disaster it can be sealed off and the ship can stay afloat. So it should be in the “ship” of our own lives; we have to learn how to make doors come down and shut out our worries about yesterday with its mistakes and failures, and also lower another door that shuts out our needless fears of the future, so we can live for just this day alone.–Otherwise our worries may cause us to go under!

Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”–Matthew 6:34. But too many people are like a man in the insane asylum whose chief trouble was his fear that he wouldn’t get his next meal. As soon as one meal was finished, he immediately began to worry about the next, and most of his time and strength were spent worrying!–How ridiculous! It just doesn’t make sense to worry about the future. Why open an umbrella when it’s not raining anywhere near you? Besides, have you noticed that it’s the things that never happen that seem to worry us the most? Like the famous writer, Mark Twain, said towards the end of his life, “I’m an old man, and I’ve had many troubles–most of which never happened!”

I read recently about a businessman who drew up what he called a “Worry Chart”, in which he kept a record of his fears. He discovered that 40% of them were about things that, in all probability, would never happen; 30% concerned past decisions that he could not now unmake; 12% dealt with other people’s criticism of him; and 10% were worries about his health. He concluded that there were valid reasons for only 8% of his worries!

Of course, as CHRISTIANS we don’t have to fear or worry about ANYTHING, because we know that “ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love the Lord!”–Romans 8:28. The famous evangelist, Dwight L. Moody, used to say, “You can travel FIRST or SECOND class to Heaven! SECOND class is, ‘What time I am AFRAID, I will TRUST.’–Psalm 56:3. And FIRST class is, ‘I will trust, and NOT be afraid.’–Isaiah 12:2. So why not buy a first class ticket?”

That’s one of the greatest of all liberations for a Christian, to be free from fear!–EVERY type of fear: Fear of the unknown, fear of the dark, fear of enemies, fear of failure and fear of death. We have COMPLETE FREEDOM from fear in JESUS! If you trust GOD, then you have FAITH and not fear. You know your Heavenly Father loves you and is going to take care of you and yours–your family, your future, your job, your wife, your children, your EVERYTHING, if you do your best to love, obey and follow Him!

It’s FAITH in Jesus that keeps us from fear. Faith in God is the best cure for fear in the World! “The LORD is my LIGHT and my SALVATION; WHOM shall I FEAR? The LORD is the STRENGTH of my life; of WHOM shall I be AFRAID? God has NOT given us a spirit of FEAR, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND! For perfect LOVE casts out ALL fear!”–Psalm 27:1; 2Timothy 1:7; 1John 4:18.

Faith and fear cannot totally occupy your mind and heart at the same time.–It’s just impossible! It’s like the natural law of physics that states, “Two bodies cannot occupy the same place at the same time.”–And the same holds true in the spiritual. Faith is the opposite of fear, and when you have faith, you cannot fear!

Turning on the FAITH in your HEART is like turning on the LIGHT in a ROOM! If you go into a room and it’s dark, how do you get RID of the darkness? Do you try to SHOO the darkness out? Do you go in with your fists and FIGHT it? No, when you don’t want darkness in the room you just turn on the light, right? You just let the light in!–And the darkness turns tail and runs! “Chase away the shades of night, by letting in God’s love and light!”

And that’s how you get rid of fear!–By turning on faith! And how do you get faith?–From reading the Word of God in your Bible and Daily Food! The Bible says, “Faith COMES by hearing the WORD of GOD!”–Romans 10:17. Faith comes and grows as you faithfully read and hear God’s Word! It’s the WORD that will strengthen you and give you more faith. So the more you read the WORD, the MORE FAITH you will have and the LESS FEAR you will have!

On the other hand, believe it or not, SOME kinds of fear are healthy! It’s good to fear–or at least have a healthy RESPECT for–fire, electricity, lightning and anything that can cause accidents and do us or others damage and harm. God has placed within us beneficial automatic reactions, protective instincts, that make us react quickly and instinctively to danger!

The most healthy fear of all is to fear GOD! The Bible says, “The fear of God is the BEGINNING of WISDOM.”–Proverbs 9:10. A part of our LOVE for God should be a healthy RESPECT and FEAR of Him, like a child respects his father, especially if he’s been naughty and done wrong and knows that he deserves a spanking! Fearing God is a form of worshipping God. It’s giving Him the reverence and respect that He deserves.

However, in like manner, fearing the DEVIL is another example of the WRONG kind of DESTRUCTIVE fear that tears you down and brings you under stress and spiritual bondage. To fear the Devil and his powers is really worshipping the Devil!–So DON’T do it!–Not for a fraction of a second! “Thou shalt worship the LORD thy God and HIM ONLY shalt thou fear!”–Matthew 4:10. “This,” the wise King Solomon said, “is the whole duty of Man, to fear God”–only God–“and keep His commandments”!–Ecclesiastes 12:13. If you pin your faith in God, and fear God, all other fears will disappear!

Of course, we must recognise that the Enemy, the Devil, does have certain power. In fact, almost the Devil’s total power is in fear. He’ll often say “Boo!”, and say all kinds of terrible things to try to frighten you! But you don’t have to listen to him. Jesus called him, “A LIAR from the beginning.”–John 8:44. The Devil is a liar and is usually bluffing and hardly ever able to accomplish his threats!–Especially to a child of God who is protected by the Lord’s Holy Spirit and Angels!

The Devil reminds me of an ugly little Pekinese dog that I encountered while shopping the other day. For no reason he started barking and yapping at me like crazy. Its owner, an old lady, picked him up and actually said, “Oh, don’t worry! He’s just a little DEVIL!” And that struck me as a good lesson on what the Devil is like!–He makes such a big noise, when actually he’s so little and powerless compared to the LORD!

So you don’t ever have to worry or fear Satan’s power, because God is much bigger than any devil!–Or even Satan himself! The power of the Lord is much, much greater! “GREATER is He that is in YOU (Jesus), than he that is in the WORLD (the Devil).”–1John 4:4. In other words, God is saying, “My power in you is much greater than the Devil’s power in the World’s children!–MUCH greater!” In fact, all the devils of Hell, including Satan himself, are subject to your power, because you have the power of CHRIST! Jesus said, “ALL power is given unto ME in Heaven and in Earth!”–Matthew 28:18. YOU’RE not stronger than the Devil, but JESUS is!-And you have Jesus and His power, and the Devil and his demons have to do what you tell them to when you COMMAND them to do it in Jesus’ name!

If you feel the Devil is attacking you with fears, worries, anxiety etc., you can pray in the Name of Jesus and resist and overcome him!–Jesus said, “Behold, I give you power over all the power of the Enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”-Luke 10:19. This power is YOURS if you believe His Word, claim His promises and pray in the Name of Jesus! In fact, if you are filled with faith and His Holy Spirit, you have the authority to resist the Devil directly, just like Jesus and His early disciples did.

I’ll never forget when I was a kid about 12 years old, delivering newspapers, and I had to go into a certain yard to get to a house in the rear. Suddenly, out from the back yard came this huge Great Dane dog, barking and growling furiously, coming at me full speed, leaping and bounding! I thought, “Oh, no!–I’m a goner! This is IT!” But I knew I didn’t dare turn my back on him to run or he would bite me for sure. Yet, on the other hand, he was too big for me to face, and I was invading HIS territory! He was just too big for me!

I thank God that I remembered to cry out to the Lord, and I did something that I’d never done before, but which I’ve since done to the Devil many times when he’s tried to attack and frighten and scare me!–I suddenly jutted my hand out toward him and I yelled, “I REBUKE YOU IN JESUS’ NAME!”–And, boy, did he put on the brakes! He skidded to a stop and looked absolutely STARTLED!–And turned tail and ran away!

The Devil is just like that dog, a coward!–And if you face him down and RESIST him in Jesus’ name, he’ll run! You don’t get the victory over the Enemy by running FROM him! You get the victory by standing your ground and making HIM run!

Some fears are imaginary, and others, like that big dog, really exist. But whether real or imaginary, you have power over your fears to REBUKE and get RID of them in Jesus’ Name! You have to fight fear and fight the Devil! You have to face your fears, recognise they’re there, decide between the real fears and the unreal ones, the truth and the lie, and then go to the attack to dispel the vaporous fiction of the fairy tale and to drive away the genuine reality of real threat!

Praising the Lord and quoting God’s Word out loud is an excellent way to attack your fears! Memorise faith-building Scriptures like Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd…I will fear no evil.” Put all other thoughts out of your mind and just think about Jesus and His Love and His power. “Thou wilt keep him in PERFECT PEACE whose mind is stayed on Thee.”–Isaiah 26:3.

There are also some fears that you may need HELP in fighting. Some people have deep-rooted fears that are actual phobias.–For instance, some people almost panic when they’re shut up in a closed place. Others fear to go outside. Others fear heights, tunnels, the dark, snakes etc.–If you feel terrified by some extreme fear that you don’t feel strong enough to overcome just between you and the Lord, then it helps greatly to have someone else pray WITH to be delivered from that fear! The Bible says, “ONE can chase a THOUSAND, but TWO can put TEN THOUSAND to flight!”–Deuteronomy 32:30. “If any TWO of you shall agree on Earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it SHALL be done for them of My Father which is in Heaven!”–Matthew 18:19. Often, deep-rooted irrational fears are caused by bad SPIRITS, demons, and–as mentioned before–these spirits of fear can be commanded to depart in the Name of Jesus!-And they HAVE to obey! “SUBMIT yourselves to GOD, RESIST the Devil and he WILL flee from you!”–James 4:7.

So don’t be afraid of the Devil, HE’S afraid of you! “The Devil flees each time he sees the weakest saint upon his knees!” There’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes to the Devil!–He was defeated 2,000 years ago!–When Jesus Christ, the Son of God, won the victory for our souls on the Cross of Calvary!

“And though this World with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us!
We will NOT fear, for God hath willed,
His TRUTH to TRIUMPH through US!

The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble NOT for him!
For lo, his doom is sure,
One little Word shall fell Him!”–JESUS!

You have power over the Devil and all fears through JESUS and His WORD!–Pray and believe and be freed from fear today!–In Jesus’ name! Amen?

 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

The Word!

Based on the writings of David Brandt Berg

 

free-bible-studies-online-the-word

 

MEDITATING ON THE WORD!

The Bible is an absolutely inexhaus­tible source of wisdom and knowledge in which you constantly find treasures new and old! (See Matthew 13:52.)

The Word of God will stand a thou­sand readings, and he who has gone over it most frequently is the surest of finding new wonders there.

We must read the Word like men digging for hidden treasures.

What makes the difference is not how many times you have been through the Bible, but how many times and how thoroughly the Bible has been through you.

To do God’s work we must have God’s power. To have God’s power we must know God’s will. To know God’s will we must study God’s Word.

How can you have faith in the Bible unless you know what’s in it?

A thumbprint on the Bible is more important than a footprint on the moon.

The Word… Know it-in your head; Show it-in your life! Sow it-in the World; Stow it-in your heart!

To read the Word without reflecting, is like eating without digesting.

Besides the once-and-for-all cleans­ing of Salvation, you need the daily cleans­ing of the Word from daily sin.

 

TAKING TIME FOR GOD!

Many people struggle through life needlessly, when only a little more time spent with God’s Word would bring the peace, faith and happiness they seek.

Put the Word first and the Lord will always give you time to do the other things.

Whatever keeps me from the Word is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to be.
 

No time for God?
What fools we are… No time for God?
As soon to say no time
To eat. to sleep, to live, to die.
Take tine for God,
Or a poor misshapen thing you’ll be
To step into eternity,
And say, “I had no time for Thee.”

 
The most desirable time to read the Word is as often as possible.

 

THE BIBLE AND ITS CRITICS!

Most people don’t read the Bible, not because they can’t understand it, but because they can understand it, and they don’t like to hear it!

Daniel Webster once said that he believed that “the Bible is to be believed and understood in the plain and obvious meaning of its passages; for I cannot persuade myself that a Book intended for the instruction and conversion of the whole World should cover its true meaning in any such mystery and doubt, so that none but critics and philosophers can discover it.”

Nothing contradicts itself in the Bible! People just think it does because they can’t understand what it means in the first place.

Men do not usually reject the Bible because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them.

Don’t criticise the Bible; let the Bible criticise you.

The Bible’s incredibly correct his­torical memory has been validated many times by archaeological discoveries. No discovery has ever contradicted a Bible reference.- Dr. Nelson Blueck, Jewish archaeologist.

I know it’s the Word of God, because I know it works!

Other books have been written for our information; the Bible was given for our transformation!

Bible verses will save you from spiritual reverses.

 

POWER OF THE WORD!

Love is the greatest force in the World, and the Word of God the most powerful Truth on Earth!

The Bread of Life never becomes stale.

The Bible contains the vitamins for a healthy soul.

Thank God for the Word, the Water of Life! That’s why He likened the Word to Water, because it’s so essential for your spiritual life, and you’re not going to last very long without it.

The secret of power and victory and overcoming and fruitfulness and fire and life and warmth and light and leadership, and everything, is the Word!

The word is our weapon against the Enemy and his stronghold on people’s minds and hearts. (See 2Corinthians 10:4,5.)

The Word of God is the most power­ful weapon in the World, greater by far than any nuclear weapon imaginable. It can change hearts and minds, something no nuclear wea­pon has ever done or will ever do.

 

THE SIMPLE TRUTH!

Why waste time on complicated con­fused theories and thoughts of Man, when the Bible is right there, so simple, direct and to the point?

No man is uneducated who knows the Word and no man is wise who is ignorant of its teachings.

William Lyon Phelps (called the most beloved professor in America) of Yale University said, “I thoroughly believe in university education for both men and women, but I believe a knowledge of the Bible with­out a college course is more valuable than a college course without the Bible.”

If you know this Book-the Bible- you can run circles around any man that has graduated from a university or seminary- because you’ve got the Truth!

I’ve never read any worldly man’s writings that weren’t dumber than the Bible! Only the Words of God have lived on! Only the Words of Jesus have accomplished any­thing!

The answers we find in the Word are not quick and easy answers, but they are in fact the only real answers.

If I find something in the Bible that I can’t explain or something happens that I don’t understand, I just wrap it up in a little package of faith and put it on the shelf and wait for the Lord to unwrap it for me and reveal it to me later.

Just like with any other book-you don’t quit reading the Bible just because you can’t understand one little thing. You keep on reading, and there will be something else you can understand.

 

INTERPRETING THE WORD!

If you find a whole lot of Scriptures that say so-and-so, but then you find one little passage that seems to say the opposite, then what are you going to accept?-The preponderance of the Script­ures!-Right?

If one Scripture seem to contradict several others, you must be interpreting it wrong or the translation may be wrong. You’ve got to balance Scripture with Scrip­ture.

The Bible would not be the Book of God if it had not deep places here and there which Man has no ability to fathom.

 

THE BIBLE’S AUTHORITY!

The Bible is not just a history book, it’s a news book! It not only tells you about yesterday, it tells you about tomorrow!

The Bible is the Bureau of Standards by which we measure all truth and all error!

Your ignorance of God’s law is no excuse. If you don’t read the Word, then it’s your own fault, not God’s fault.

If you know the Scriptures, you have the answer for everything!

As we search the Scriptures, we must allow them to search us, to sit in judgement upon our character and conduct.

 

PROMISES AND WEALTH!

Wealth in the Word is wisdom!

The promises of God are the cur­rency of Heaven, and if you’ve got a lot of verses in your heart you’re really rich! You can cash them in at the bank of Heaven and get back answers!

You have to quote the terms of the contract (The Bible) to the Contract Maker (God), and hold Him to it!

With every promise God makes to us there are some conditions that we must ful­fil. God makes promises, but His promises are contracts with conditions!

Learn to put your hand on all spiritual blessings in Christ and say “Mine”.

 

GOD’S WORD FOR TODAY!

The more dearly you begin to love His Word and read and study it, the more mature you will become and the more you’ll find that God can speak to you loudly and clearly and supernaturally and miraculously and ecstatically, right through the reading of His Word!

The minute we begin to listen to the Lord’s recorded written Word, immediately we put ourselves in the position of being willing to listen, so then the Lord begins to speak and give us the living Word!

We must have the Word in every form possible. The Bible was the one to begin with, the already recorded and established Word down through the centuries. It works, which is the greatest proof of its efficacy. Also we need to have His present Word, di­rect answers to prayer, direct revelations, messages, prophecy, tongues, interpretation, information straight from Heaven to know exactly what He wants us to do right now!

The Bible is still the yardstick of measurement, the bureau of standards by which we measure everything else God has ever given us. If it isn’t confirmed and can’t be corroborated by the Bible, if you can’t prove it also by the Bible and if it’s not in accordance with the Bible, you don’t have to believe it! That doesn’t mean every­thing is in the Bible, because we’ve had lots of revelations that you can’t find any­thing about in the Bible. But it means that those revelations will not be contrary to anything in the Bible-that is, anything that is in the Bible which is for today.

In what we’ve taught, you won’t find anything contrary to the basic prin­ciples of the Bible, of faith in God and His Love and His Salvation. There’ll be nothing contrary to the Bible, except that the Lord has used us to fill in a lot more of the picture, a lot more pieces of the puzzle. He gives us a lot of details and clearer things that we never had before.-Not contrary to the Bible but more like a fulfilling or a filling up of the gaps and spaces that were not filled in before.

Our writings are a commentary or an extension or an enlargement or greater detail, but it’s all based on the Bible, and you should know your Bible. It would even help you to believe the Bible better if you knew our writings well, because you’d know that what we write is based on the Bible and is in conformity with the Bible. They don’t contradict or deny it in any way. They only confirm it.

It’s a damnable doctrine of church devils to confine all the truth and revela­tions of God strictly to the Bible! True prophecy won’t teach anything contrary, but it sure can fill in a lot of gaps! The Bible is still going to be the standard of measurement, for that was God’s Message for them. But today we have to tell this generation how to do it under these present circumstances.

Since the Word of God has been so horribly wrested and distorted by the Church all these years, we now have to interpret and explain it, and that’s what our writings are for, besides supplying the general training that people today need.

You’ve missed a lot if you don’t know the Bible, because that’s our basic foundation. Our writings are largely a com­mentary or they are an extension, further revelations, further knowledge, more detail on subjects that you can already find in the Bible.

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Joshua 23:14b And ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.

Job 23:12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the Words of His mouth more than my necessary food.

Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.

Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy Word.

Psalm 119:11 Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.

Psalm 119:18 Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.

Psalm 119:103 How sweet are Thy Words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Psalm 119:106 Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Psalm 119:130 The entrance of Thy Words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

Proverbs 6:20-23 My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother; Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our God shall stand for ever.

Isaiah 46:10b,11b My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

Isaiah 55:10,11 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from Heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the Earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Jeremiah 15:16 Thy Words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy Name, 0 Lord God of hosts.

Jeremiah 23:29 Is not My Word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

Matthew 4:4 Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the Words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

John 14:23,24 Jesus answered and said unto him, if a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him. He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings: and the Word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent Me.

John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth.

John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His Name.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

1Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the World are come.

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of Salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Colossians 3:16a Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.

1Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

2Timothy 3:16,17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profit­able for doctrine, for reproof, for correc­tion, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Hebrews 4:12 For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the divid­ing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

James 1:21b,22 Receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

1Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby.

2Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the World through lust.

 

WHAT GREAT MEN HAVE SAID ABOUT THE BIBLE!

SIR ISAAC NEWTON, ENGLISH SCIENTIST who formulated the laws of gravitation & motion, 1642-l727: Newton’s achievements in science are very well known, but it is not so well known that he spent more time study­ing the Bible than studying the stars. “There are more sure proofs of authenticity in the Bible than in any secular history. All my discoveries have been made in answer to prayer. I can take my telescope & look millions of miles into space; but I can go away to my room & in prayer get nearer to God & Heaven than I can when assisted by all the telescopes of Earth!”

IMMANUEL KANT, GERMAN PHILOSOPHER, 1724-1804: “The existence of the Bible as a Book for the people is the greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced. Every attempt to belittle it is a crime against humanity.”

GEORGE WASHINGTON, 1st USA PRESIDENT, 1732-1799: “It is impossible to rightly govern the World without God & the Bible.”

JOHN ADAMS, 2nd PRESIDENT OF USA, 1735-1826: “The Bible contains more philoso­phy than all the libraries that I have ever seen, & such parts as I cannot reconcile with a little philosophy, I postpone for future investigation.”

PATRICK HENRY, AMERICAN PATRIOT & radical leader, 1736-1799: “The Bible is worth all other books which have ever been printed.”

SIR WILLIAM HERSCHEL, GERMAN-BORN ASTRONOMER, discoverer of the planet Uranus, 1738-1822: “All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more & more strongly the truth contained in the Sacred Scriptures.”

THOMAS JEFFERSON, 3rd PRESIDENT OF USA, 1743-1826: “I have always said that a studious perusal of the Sacred Volume will make you better citizens, better fathers & better husbands.”

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, 6th PRESIDENT OF USA, 1767-1848: “The first & almost only book deserving of universal attention is the Bible. I speak as a man of the World. So great is my veneration for the Bible, that the earlier my children begin to read it, the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country & respectable members of society. I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year.”

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE, EMPEROR OF FRANCE for 10 years, conquered large parts of Europe, 1769-1821: “The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it… Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne & I myself have founded empires, but upon what do these cre­ations of our genius depend?-Upon force! Jesus alone founded His Empire upon Love, & to this very day millions would die for Him. “What happiness the Bible procures for those who believe it! What marvels those admire there who reflect upon it!

SIR WALTER SCOTT, SCOTTISH NOVELIST, POET, 1771-1832:

“Within this ample Volume lies
Humanity’s most precious prize.
Happiest they of human race
To whom their God has given grace
To read, to fear, to hope, to pray,
To lift the latch, to force the way;
But better had they ne’er been born
That read to doubt or read to scorn.”

 
DANIEL WEBSTER, AMERICAN ORATOR, SECRETARY OF STATE for 3 U.S. Presidents, 1782-1852: “If there is anything in my thoughts or style to commend, the credit is due to my parents for instilling in me an early love of the Scriptures. If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering & to prosper, but if we & our posterity neglect its instructions & authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us & bury all our glory in profound obscurity.”

ZACHARY TAYLOR, 12th PRESIDENT OF THE USA, 1784-1850: “It was for the love of the truths of this great & good Book that our fathers abandoned their native shores for the wilderness.”

WILLIAM HENRY SEWARD, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE, 1801-1872: “The whole hope of human progress is suspended on the ever­growing influence of the Bible.”

ROBERT E. LEE, AMERICAN GENERAL, commander of Southern forces in U.S. Civil War, 1807-1870: “In all my perplexities & distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light & strength.”

ALFRED LORD TENNYSON, ENGLISH POET LAUREATE, 1809-1892: “Bible reading is an education in itself.”

WILLIAM GLADSTONE, PRIME MINISTER OF ENGLAND, 1809-1898: “All that I think, all that I hope, all that I write, all that I live for, is based upon the divinity of Jesus Christ, the central joy of my poor, wayward life. I have known 95 of the world’s greatest men in my time, & of these, 87 were followers of the Bible.”

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, 16th AMERICAN PRESIDENT, 1809-1865: “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to Man. All the good from the Saviour of the World is communicated to us through this Book.”

HORACE GREELEY, PROMINENT AMERICAN NEWSPAPER EDITOR, & publisher, 1811-1872: “It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a Bible-reading people. The prin­ciples of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom”

CHARLES DICKENS, ENGLISH NOVELIST, 1812-1870: “The New Testament is the very best Book that was or ever will be known in the World.”

ULYSSES S. BRANT, AMERICAN GENERAL, 18th PRESIDENT OF THE USA, 1882-1885: “To the influence of the Book we are indebted for the progress made in civilisation, & to this we must look as our guide in the fu­ture. The Bible is the anchor of our liber­ties.”

MARK TWAIN, AMERICAN AUTHOR, 1835-1910: “It is hard to make a choice of the most beautiful passage in a Book which is as gemmed with beautiful passages as the Bible.”

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, 26th PRESIDENT OF USA, 1858-1919: “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college edu­cation. Almost every man who has by his lifework added to the sum of human achievement…has based his lifework largely upon the teachings of the Bible.”

WOODROW WILSON, 28th PRESIDENT OF USA, held office during WW1, 1856-1924: “A man has deprived himself of the best there is in the World who has deprived himself of a knowledge of the Bible.”

HERBERT HOOVER, 31st PRESIDENT OF USA, 1874-1964: “There is no other book so various as the Bible, nor one so full of concentrated wisdom. Whether it be of law, business, morals etc., he who seeks for gui­dance may look inside its covers & find il­lumination.”

DOUGLAS MacARTHUR. FIVE-STAR GENERAL IN WW2, 1900-1964: “Believe me, never a night goes by, be I ever so tired, but I read the Word of God before I go to bed.”

 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International