Archive | September, 2012

THE TOP 10 DEFENSES YOUTH CAN GIVE FOR THEIR BELIEFS

30 Sep

The Top 10 Defenses Youth Can Give for Their Beliefs by Josh McDowell & Bob Hostetler

Tony Brickner cringed at the voice. He turned to face Clay Andrews’s ridicule for roughly the billionth time.

“You can’t tell me you really buy that bit about Jesus dying and coming back to life again!”

Why is Clay always giving me such a hard time for being a Christian? Tony swallowed hard and cleared his throat, hoping his voice would sound confident.

“Why don’t you tell me what you believe, Clay?” he said. “Then I’ll give you reasons for what I believe.”

Tony’s position was uncomfortable, but he got off to a good start by asking Clay about his beliefs. Many people challenge Christian beliefs, such as the resurrection, without stopping to consider what they themselves believe—or why. By inviting Clay to voice what he believed (and sincerely listening while he answered), Tony laid some solid groundwork. However, if Tony is like most of us, however, he will be mostly unprepared to answer Clay’s question. Unless he happened to read this article beforehand. And if you’re anything like Tony, you can prepare yourself for those kinds of encounters—from peers to professors—by familiarizing yourself with the following top ten defenses to have ready when your faith is challenged.

1. How can you know for sure that anything is true?

Among your acquaintances are likely to be some people who don’t believe in truth. That is, they don’t believe truth can be known. However, that idea is easily refuted, as this fictional conversation in the 2011 novel, The Quest, illustrates:

“I think truth is out there, somewhere. I just don’t think we can ever really know it.”

“You don’t think truth can be known or discovered?”

“No, I don’t.”

“Do you think that’s a true statement?”

I blinked. “What do you mean?” “What you just agreed to: ‘I don’t think truth can be known.’ Do you view that as a true statement?”

“Well, ye-eah,” I said slowly. Something didn’t sound right.

She smiled and leaned forward in her chair. She didn’t say anything, but looked at me like she was waiting for something.

It took a minute, but I finally realized what she was waiting for. “You’re saying that if I think that’s a true statement, then I’ve claimed to know something that is true….By saying truth can’t be known. I contradicted myself.”

“It’s called a self-refuting statement,” she said.

2. Is God a human invention?

A popular view these days is the idea that humans invented God in order to meet their needs and fulfill their desires. But it is at least as reasonable to believe exactly the opposite: that the innate desire humans have for God exists because there is Someone who satisfies that desire. As C. S. Lewis wrote,

Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire, which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only arouse it, to suggest the real thing.

3. Doesn’t the Big Bang disprove Creation?

There is a common misconception that the Big Bang has pretty much eliminated the idea that God created the heavens and the earth. But the opposite is true. Former atheist Antony Flew, in his book There Is a God, explained that the Big Bang model eventually led him to believe in a God who created the universe, because it pointed to a beginning point in the universe, and to something (or Someone) behind that beginning that was too big for science to explain.

4. How can an intelligent person not believe in evolution?

Atheist Richard Dawkins has famously written, “Beyond doubt evolution is a fact,” adding that no reputable scientist disputes it. However, neither statement is true. First, it is necessary to understand what people mean when they use the world “evolution,” because it can refer to both micro-evolution (the observable process by which change happens over time within species) and macro-evolution (the arguable claim that starting with a common ancestor, over time simple organisms have changed into the species that exist today). Macro-evolution is not as widely accepted as some claim. In fact, more than eight hundred world-class scientists have signed a formal dissent from Darwinian evolution.

5. How can you trust the Bible when it has been changed and corrupted so much through the centuries?

I (Josh) set out as a young man to refute Christianity. I aimed to show everyone that Christianity was nonsense. I thought it would be easy. It wasn’t. In fact, I discovered that the Bible is far and away the most meticulously preserved and widely attested documents of the ancient world. No other book even comes close (we go into greater detail on this subject in our book, Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door). This reliability was confirmed by the 1948 discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which showed that after a thousand years of copying, the text as it appears in modern Bibles was more than ninety-five percent the same, word-for-word and letter-for-letter, as it had been three thousand years earlier! And what differences did exist were mainly spelling variations.

6. Hasn’t modern science pretty much disproved the Bible?

It’s hard to imagine anything that is farther from the truth than the idea that modern science has disproved the Bible. In fact, the science of archaeology, to name one field, has repeatedly confirmed the trustworthiness of the biblical accounts (we devote a chapter to this subject in our book, Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door). Archaeologist William F. Albright wrote,

The excessive skepticism shown toward the Bible by important historical schools of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, certain phases of which still appear periodically, has been progressively discredited. Discovery after discovery has established the accuracy of innumerable details, and has brought increased recognition to the value of the Bible as a source of history.

7. Who even knows if Jesus ever really existed?

The existence of a man named Jesus who lived in Galilee and Judea in the early part of the first century is utterly indisputable from a historical standpoint. In fact, if you ever encounter such a view from a friend or teacher, invite that person to travel with you to Israel. In the land where Jesus once lived, everyone—Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists—consider the idea that never existed to be laughable. Why? Because the evidence of his historicity is a daily reality there.

8. Don’t you think Jesus could have been just a good teacher who didn’t intend to be worshiped as god?

Though Christianity and Christians can be pretty unpopular these days, Jesus remains widely admired… even by many people who don’t profess to believe in him or worship him. He is revered as a “good teacher,” as a “philosopher,” but not as who he said he was, according to the historical record. C. S. Lewis famously wrote about this phenomenon:

I am trying to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic— on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg— or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

9. Do you really believe that Jesus literally rose from the dead?

Many theories have been put forth to try to cast doubt on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. All of them are inadequate; some are even ludicrous (we devote three chapters to these theories in our book, Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door). In fact, the historical evidence for the resurrection is so overwhelming, historians have to become “anti-historical” in their efforts to build a case against it. As Lord Darling, a prominent English judge, once said, “No intelligent jury in the world could fail to bring in a verdict that the resurrection story is true.”

10. How can you believe in that stuff?

The most convincing evidence for the Christian faith is not historical, textual, or archaeological; it is the testimony of a changed life. When I (Josh) set out to disprove the Christian faith, my mind met unassailable facts… but my heart met irresistible love. I met a group of Christians at Kellogg College in Battle Creek, Michigan, who exposed me for the first time to the love of God. Oh, how they loved each other. And I wanted what they had. That love paved the road of faith for me, and thus began my journey of faith. All the evidence in the world—the most powerful arguments and most convincing proofs—probably wouldn’t have gotten through to me if the transforming power of God’s love had not reached my heart through that student group and others.

Always keep in mind that the same will be true of anyone who challenges or questions your faith. Your answers can help open their hearts, but the vibrant evidence of a changed life will always be the most convincing apologetic you can offer.

http://www.crosswalk.com/church/pastors-or-leadership/top-10-defenses-youth-can-give-for-their-beliefs.html

INITIAL POINT

30 Sep

It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” —Matthew 4:4

If you drive south of our home in Boise, Idaho, you’ll see a volcanic butte that rises out of the sagebrush on the east side of the road. This is the initial point from which the state of Idaho was surveyed.

In 1867, four years after Idaho was organized as a territory, Lafayette Cartee, the Surveyor General of the United States, commissioned Peter Bell to survey the new territory. Bell took a sledge and drove a brass post into a little knob on the summit of that butte, declaring it to be the initial point from which he began his survey.

The survey established the language of land description in Idaho: Townships are designated north and south of the initial point; ranges are designated east and west. With such descriptions, you always know exactly where you are.

We may read many books, but the Word of God is our “initial point,” the fixed reference point. John Wesley read widely, but he always referred to himself as “a man of one book.” Nothing can compare to the Book of books, the Word of God. When we allow the Bible to be our guide in all of life, we can say with the psalmist, “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Ps. 119:103).

Dear Lord, we are grateful for Your Book. In it we learn of You and find guidance and direction for our lives. Help us to learn to love Your Word and to eagerly dig into its pages. Amen.

THE BIBLE IS LIKE A COMPASS: IF FOLLOWED, YOU’RE GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

Taken from “Our Daily Bread” by RBC Ministries.

FINDING STABILITY AMIDST MARRIAGE STRESSORS

29 Sep

Finding Stability Amidst Marriage Stressors by Dr. Harold L. Arnold, Jr.

Couples lose their orientation towards God and each other when buffeted by cultural ideology, family history and personal choices that are contrary to God’s plan.

Have you ever seen a gyroscope? In terms of physics, its purpose is to maintain orientation, by providing stability. You don’t need to understand this in depth to be fascinated by watching a gyro at work – frantic, multi-directional rotation, spinning on three axes, with a fixed center. This center, using the force of inertia, creates a stable force along a single axis.

We can use this metaphor to help us understand one purpose for which God designed marriage – to maintain orientation in three ways: husband and wife toward Him, husband and wife toward one another and, by example, others toward God. Without God’s stability, our marriages risk spinning frantically out of control.

Couples struggle to maintain this godly orientation and can feel disoriented by the magnitude of marital destabilizers. Let’s briefly review five stressors that many couples struggle with, so that you may equip and prepare. These stressors, all consequences of our broken world, distort the orientation of the marriage from God to ourselves.

Compromised “Truth”

Western culture gravitates towards truth that is relative to human desires – what philosophers call humanism. Humanism is a commitment to find truth in human rationale rather than the absolute Word of God. Humanism seeks to replace God’s divinity with human ingenuity.

Increasingly, our culture relies on media moguls, political pundits and erudite educators to define the structure and purpose of marriage. This secularization of marriage has led to the promotion of self-gratifying behaviors that weaken the pursuit of shared identity, the acceptance of divorce as a solution for marital unhappiness and the legitimization of same-sex unions as a civil right. However, God-oriented marriages refuse these distortions, relying instead on God as the ultimate bearer of truth.

Cultural Values

Fueled by humanism, much of Western culture compromises marriage by promoting values that weaken reliance on God. These values are most evident in the decision-making processes that reek of consumerism and convenience. Western culture values decision-making that is individualistic (what works best for me?); fear-based (how can I protect myself?); and short-term (how soon can I have what I want?).

But, the ultimate difficulty that this value system imposes on marriage is that it places individual interests as the focal point rather than a mutual sense of God’s direction for the marriage. Contrarily, a God-oriented marriage prioritizes decisions based upon mutuality over individualism, faith over fear and long-term over short-term thinking.

Family Interpersonal Patterns

Your interactions with your caregivers in your youth are arguably the most influential factors in the self you bring to marriage. Your sense of appropriate behavior, communication style, conflict resolution and relational boundaries are impacted by what you learned from your caregivers. Consequently, your attitude, expectations and commitment towards marriage are developed well before you met your spouse.

If you had a positive model of marriage in your life, you may have transferred positive qualities into your own marriage. Unfortunately, many marriages have at least one partner who grew up in an abusive, neglected or conflicted marriage. Couples in a God-oriented marriage seek to extend grace to one another, allowing the marriage to serve as divine healing to these conscious and unconscious emotional wounds.

Indebtedness

Marriages are struggling under the weight of financial obligations and indebtedness. With record home foreclosures, excessive credit card debt and dwindling portfolios, marriages are reeling with fear and uncertainty.

Couples in a God-oriented marriage prioritize modesty over extravagance, saving over spending and giving over getting. Regardless of the current state of your finances, it is important to make financial stewardship a shared goal around which you and your spouse rally.

Time Sinks

Spending time together is the key to marital intimacy. Few couples, however, communicate well – that is, going beyond what’s necessary for day-to-day functioning to the deep sharing of emotional worlds.

One reason that couples interact so infrequently is their endless activities. After days and weeks of busyness, couples are surprised and disappointed that intimate encounters don’t just happen.

Couples in a God-oriented marriage learn to draw boundaries that preserve their time together by looking for reasons to come together rather than excuses to remain apart.

The Gyroscope Revisited

Marriage stressors wreak havoc on your commitment to God and to one another. Marital discord tears at your very identity as a couple. In the mist of these stressors, however, God provides a way of escape from every temptation.

Your marriage’s purpose is to orient others to the Lord as the liberator from these stressors. Like the center of the gyroscope, your God-oriented marriage offers stability in the midst of storms. You know your marriage is in the center of God’s will when you and your spouse feel nearer to God through the union, when your partnership shapes you into God’s image and when your union draws people into relationship with God.

Copyright © 2008, Dr. Harold L. Arnold, Jr. All rights reserved.

Source:www.focusonthefamily.com

TRUTH IN A TAXI

29 Sep

I am the way, the truth, and the life. —John 14:6

One day when I was in downtown Chicago, I hailed a taxi. Once inside, I noticed several advertisements for a New Age guru posted on the seat in front of me. The driver claimed that this mystic was the “divine one” for our day. He believed that God appointed various leaders throughout the ages, and that Jesus had merely been the appointee for His time.

Of course, I had to disagree. As we talked, I mentioned Jesus’ words: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Contrary to the cabbie’s belief, Jesus was not just one in a series of enlightened religious leaders— He is the only way to know God, and only through Him can we get to heaven.

As the “Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16), Jesus didn’t simply declare Himself to be the ultimate spiritual authority. He proved it with His death and resurrection. Christ “offered one sacrifice for sins forever” (Heb. 10:12).

Jesus said of Himself: “I am in the Father and the Father in Me” (John 14:11). Therefore we don’t need to investigate any “new” path of salvation. It’s better to learn all we can about Christ; He is the only One who can provide spiritual certainty.

My heart is stirred whene’er I think of Jesus, that blessed Name that sets the captive free; The only Name through which I find salvation, no name on earth has meant so much to me. —Eliason 

SPIRITUAL PHONIES WILL ONLY TAKE US FOR A RIDE, BUT JESUS WILL TAKE US ALL THE WAY TO HEAVEN.

Taken from “Our Daily Bread” by RBC Ministries.

USE YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS TO HELP YOUR CHURCH GROW

28 Sep

Use Your Spiritual Gifts to Help Your Church Grow by Whitney Hopler, Live It Editor

If you’re a Christian, God has given you at least one spiritual gift. And those gifts aren’t just for your own benefit; their purpose is to bless entire Body of Christ. When you discover your spiritual gift(s) and use them in your local church, you’ll see amazing growth take place for everyone in your congregation.

Here’s how you can use your spiritual gifts to help your church grow:

Understand what truly constitutes a spiritual gift.

Know that your spiritual gift (or combination of gifts) determines your purpose in Christ’s Body. Spiritual gifts are special attributes given by the Holy Spirit to every member of the Body of Christ, according to God’s grace, for use within the context of the Body. A spiritual gift is not a natural talent (everyone has natural talents, but only believers have spiritual gifts), a fruit of the Spirit (all Christians should develop the same fruit, whereas only certain Christians receive particular spiritual gifts), or a role (Christians should be ready to fill any role in case of an emergency or temporary need, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the role makes use of their unique strengths). Ask God to help you discern true spiritual gifts from counterfeit ones that come from the evil side of the spiritual realm.

Recognize that many people have a mix of spiritual gifts.

Realize that you may likely have more than one spiritual gift. Know that God expects you to use all the gifts He has given you as you serve Him.

Be thankful rather than proud.

Humbly be grateful to God for giving you whatever spiritual gift(s) He has. Don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought, but also realize that you are a valuable person whom God wants to use. Seek to glorify God and bless other people whenever you use your spiritual gifts.

Don’t abuse the gifts.

Never use a spiritual gift to acquire personal power, gain wealth, take revenge, or exploit fellow believers. Don’t exalt any particular type of gift over another; realize that in God’s eyes, all are equally valuable. Don’t project a gift you have onto another person to whom God may not have given that specific gift. Give other people the freedom to exercise their own unique gifts.

Discover your unique gifts.

Remember that there are four prerequisites to discovering your gifts: You have to be a Christian, you have to believe in spiritual gifts, you have to be willing to do the work necessary to use your spiritual gifts, and you have to pray for God’s guidance. Explore the possibilities by studying what the Bible says about spiritual gifts, learning your church’s position on spiritual gifts and how to use them in ministry, read what Christian authors have to say on the subject, talk to people who are already using their spiritual gifts, and discuss with friends and family what you think your gifts might be. Then experiment with as many gifts as you can by looking for needs in your church and trying to meet them.

Through the process, take note of what gifts you seem to have – and those you seem not to have. Examine your feelings to see if the work you’re trying out excites you or not (ministry that makes use of one of your spiritual gifts should excite you). Evaluate your effectiveness by seeing if your church gets positive results from your work. Know that when true gifts are in operation, whatever is supposed to happen through them will happen. Look for confirmation from other people in your congregation that you have (or don’t have) particular spiritual gifts.

Help your church maximize the potential of its members’ spiritual gifts.

Encourage church leaders to develop a philosophy of ministry that details how members’ spiritual gifts should be used in ministry. Initiate programs to help people put their gifts to use in specific ways within your church. Use members efficiently. Don’t chain people’s energies in activities for which they are not gifted. Instead, concentrate on people’s strengths in order to give the Holy Spirit free reign. Have the pastor preach sermons on spiritual gifts and teach about the topic often. Provide opportunities for laypeople to study spiritual gifts in Bible studies, small groups, and Sunday School classes. Set goals for people to discover their spiritual gifts, expecting that emotionally mature adults should be able to discover their gifts within about four months to one year after becoming Christians. Hold people accountable to each other for discovering their gifts and using them. Make an emphasis on spiritual gifts part of your congregation’s permanent lifestyle.

Understand the different types of spiritual gifts:

  • The gift of celibacy is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to remain single and enjoy it and not suffer undue sexual temptation.
  • The gift of martyrdom is a special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to undergo suffering for the faith even to death while consistently displaying a joyous and victorious attitude that brings glory to God.
  • The gift of hospitality is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to provide an open house and warm welcome for those in need of food and lodging.
  • The gift of intercession is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to pray for extended periods of time on a regular basis and see frequent and specific answers to their prayers to a degree much greater than that which is expected of the average Christian.
  • The gift of leading worship is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to accurately discern the heart of God for a particular public worship service, to draw others into an intimate experience of God during the worship time and to allow the Holy Spirit to change directions and emphases as the service progresses.
  • The gift of giving is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to contribute their material resources to the work of the Lord liberally and cheerfully, above and beyond the tithes and offerings expected of all believers.
  • The gift of voluntary poverty is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to renounce material comfort and luxury and adopt a personal lifestyle equivalent to those living at the poverty level in a given society in order to serve God more effectively.
  • The gift of discernment is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to know with assurance whether certain behaviours purported to be of God are in reality divine, human, or satanic.
  • The gift of deliverance is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to cast out demons and evil spirits.
  • The gift of teaching is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to communicate information relevant to the health and ministry of the Body and its members in such a way that others will learn.
  • The gift of pastor is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ (both clergy and laypeople) to assume a long-term personal responsibility for the spiritual welfare of a group of believers.
  • The gift of exhortation is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to minister words of comfort, consolation, encouragement, and counsel to other members of the Body n such a way that they feel helped and healed.
  • The gift of administration is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to understand clearly the immediate and long-range goals of a particular unit of the Body and to devise and execute effective plans for the accomplishment of those goals.
  • The gift of faith is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to discern with extraordinary confidence the will and purposes of God for the future of His work.
  • The gift of leadership is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to set goals in accordance with God’s purpose for the future and to communicate these goals to others in such a way that they voluntarily and harmoniously work together to accomplish those goals for the glory of God.
  • The gift of evangelist is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to share the gospel with unbelievers in such a way that men and women become Jesus’ disciples and responsible members of the Body of Christ.
  • The gift of missionary is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to minister whatever other spiritual gifts they have in a second culture.
  • The gift of apostle is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to assume and to exercise divinely imparted authority in order to establish the foundational government of an assigned sphere of ministry within the church. An apostle hears from the Holy Spirit and sets things in order accordingly for the church’s health, growth, maturity, and outreach.
  • The gift of knowledge is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to discover, accumulate, analyze, and clarify information and ideas that are pertinent to the growth and well-being of the Body.
  • The gift of wisdom is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to know the mind of the Holy Spirit in such a way as to receive insight into how given knowledge may best be applied to specific needs arising in the Body of Christ.
  • The gift of mercy is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to feel genuine empathy and compassion for individuals, both Christian and non-Christian, who suffer distressing physical, mental, or emotional problems, and to translate that compassion into cheerfully done deeds that reflect Christ’s love and alleviate the suffering.
  • The gift of helps is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to invest the talents they have in the life and ministry of other members of the Body, thus enabling those others to increase the effectiveness of their own spiritual gifts.
  • The gift of service is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to identify the unmet needs involved in a task related to God’s work, and to make use of available resources to meet those needs and help accomplish the desired goals.
  • The gift of prophecy is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to receive and communicate an immediate message of God to His people through a divinely anointed utterance.
  • The gift of tongues is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ (1) to speak to God in a language they have never learned and/or (2) to receive and communicate an immediate message from God to His people through a divinely anointed utterance in a language they have never learned.
  • The gift of interpretation of tongues is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to make known in the vernacular the message of one who speaks in tongues.
  • The gift of miracles is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to serve as human intermediaries through whom it pleases God to perform powerful acts that are perceived by observers to have altered the ordinary course of nature.
  • The gift of healing is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to serve as human intermediaries through whom it pleases God to cure illness and restore health apart from the use of natural means.

http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/use-your-spiritual-gifts-to-help-your-church-grow-1339549.html

PRAY FOR MEXICO

28 Sep

PRAY FOR MEXICO

Country name: Mexico| Capital: Mexico City

Population: 112.3 million. | Religion: Roman Catholic

Unique Feature: Mexico is one of the most popular tourist destinations on earth.

  1. The economic shaking which has struck Mexico has opened the eyes of the government and made them realise that only God can bring recovery to their country. Keep praying for the power of God to be revealed more in the life of the people. The spirit of corruption that has bound this government strongly will be broken in the name of Jesus Christ.
  2. Let the children of God be on fire to witness and make an impact in their nation. Let the government acknowledge the churches and co-operate with them to solve the problems and issues of this nation (gangs, drugs, kidnappings and violence).
  3. Pray that the Holy Spirit will unite the churches in Mexico; that they will humble themselves, pray and seek the Lord. Mexico will experience breakthrough in their social and economic conditions.
  4. Let every knee in Mexico bow down and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and that there is no salvation in any other name under heaven given among men by which Mexican must be saved except the Name of Jesus Christ(Act 4: 12).

 

DAY UNKNOWN

28 Sep

Of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. — Matthew 24:36

To many Londoners, 1666 looked like the year when Jesus would return. Prophecy enthusiasts had added 1,000 years since Christ’s birth to 666, the number of Antichrist, to arrive at the date 1666.

The world did seem to be on the verge of destruction when in 1665 a plague claimed the lives of 100,000 people in London. Then in September 1666, a London fire destroyed tens of thousands of buildings. Some wondered, Didn’t the Bible predict catastrophes at the end of the world? (see Matt. 24:1-8). Yet the year 1666 passed, and life went on seemingly as it had before.

Even in our own day, there are those who have predicted the end of the world. A date is predicted, the media covers the frenzy, and then that day passes uneventfully.

In God’s wisdom, the actual time of Christ’s return has been kept from us. Jesus said, “Of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36). This any-moment aspect of Jesus’ return helps keep believers motivated in Christian service and spiritual growth all the time—not just near a certain date (25:1-13; 1 John 3:2-3). Be assured, Christ’s personal return will take place. And as we await that day, our lives should be marked by “holy conduct and godliness” (2 Peter 3:11).

Should He come in the dawn of morning, at noon or at twilight dim, I only pray that every day. I’ll be waiting and watching for Him. —Bearden

NO DOCTRINE IS MORE CLOSELY LINKED TO PRACTICAL DAILY LIVING THAN THAT OF THE LORD’S RETURN.

Taken from “Our Daily Bread” by RBC Ministries.