Friday, October 31, 2014

November 1, 2014

"And  if  anyone  gives  even  a  cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward." Matthew 10:42

This morning in an African village, a teen-aged young lady awakens with a sense of relief knowing she won't have to carry clay jars through the bush and make her way to the river in order to get water for her family. Instead, she can go to school on time and focus on her learning!

This morning in an African village, a mother looks forward to cooking breakfast for her family excited in the knowledge she only has to walk a few hundred feet to the village well for the water she will need for cooking! Once her family has finished their breakfast she will have the same short walk to collect more water for doing her dishes!

This morning in an African village, parents arise knowing their children will be much safer since they won't have to risk a trip through the bush getting to the river to bathe. And they take comfort knowing that their children will be able to drink water that is pure and uncontaminated! No longer do they need to fear contracting cholera from unsafe drinking water!

This morning in an African village, an entire tribe of people welcome the arrival of a new day with a carefree joy they never knew before the well was drilled in their village. It is a dream come true!

Life in an African village has significantly improved because a few people in a tiny church in small town Virginia made a few small financial sacrifices. 

It is hard to comprehend how much life has changed for an entire village because a few Wesleyans in Fredericksburg, VA decided they could do with a little less in order to give a little more! 

Tomorrow, these Wesleyans at FredWes will get to discover the name and location of this village where the well they sponsored was drilled! AND, they will also have the opportunity to make commitments to raise funds for another well in another remote African village to improve the quality of life for more families!

FredWes family, allow me to remind you that a cup of cold water provided for them pleases the heart of God!

FredWes family, let's keep living with a little less so we can keep giving a little more!

FredWes family, let's keep "loving people to LIFE!"

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 31, 2014

"For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.  And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.” II Corinthians 8:3-5                                

The American church of today is not great at giving. This isn’t exactly news. But it is a statistical fact: 

·    Tithers make up only 10-25 percent of a normal congregation. 
·   Only 5 percent of the U.S. tithes, with 80 percent of Americans only giving 2 percent of their income. 
·   Christians are only giving at 2.5 percent per capita, while during the Great Depression they gave at a 3.3 percent rate. 

The truth is: Giving is a heart issue, not a money issue. 

Numbers like that can invoke a lot of guilt, which isn’t really the point. The larger point is what would happen if believers were to increase their giving to a minimum of, let's say, 10 percent. There would be an additional $165 billion for churches to use and distribute. The global impact would be phenomenal.

Here's just a few things the Church could do with that kind of money: 

·    $25 billion could relieve global hunger, starvation and deaths from preventable diseases in five years.
·     $12 billion could eliminate illiteracy in five years. 
·    $15 billion could solve the world’s water and sanitation issues, specifically at places in the world where 1 billion people live on less than $1 per day. 
·     $1 billion could fully fund all overseas mission work.
·     $100 – $110 billion would still be left over for additional ministry expansion. 

Those are some amazing numbers.

Those are some world-changing possibilities.

Our "Flow H2O" project that produced $8,500+ to drill a permanent fresh water well in a remote African village is an example of what can happen when a relatively small group of people commit to giving a little extra beyond their tithes!

That village will never be the same and most of us will never miss the money we gave! Giving that didn't hurt us much helped them a lot!

Loving one village to LIFE is a start!

But here's the bottom line - loving is expressed in giving. The more you love the more you will give. If you say you love but do not give the sincerity of your love must be questioned.

You can complain about corrupt and greedy politicians all you want. And you can point to them as problem with our nation, but is their greed the real problem?

Imagine what an extra $165 Billion could do for relieve suffering world-wide, and educating children to elevate living standards around the world in the name of Jesus! Imagine the health care that could be provided to extend the life expectancy of underprivileged children world-wide.

So much could be done if Christians would simply love God enough to obey Him in tithing. How much more could be done if Christians were will to do with less in order to give more! What a shame!

FredWes gives at a higher per capita level  than the average church. That is important for a church that is committed to "loving people to LIFE".

This Sunday we have another opportunity to check how much we love by writing a check to "Flow H2O" as we launch our next well project.

We can do our part to change our world one village at a time!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 30, 2014

“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. John 6:9-11

Somewhere in an African village, teen-age girls get to go to school in the morning rather than having to make a trip to the nearest stream to carry water. In that village, the children and aged will be spared from cholera and other water-borne bacterial maladies because they will have clean water flowing from a newly drilled well in the center of their village!

The women of that village will no longer need to risk the dangers and the difficulties of carrying their laundry to the river and back.

Everyone in that village will stay healthier because they will have clean safe water to use for cleaning their homes and dishes.

The quality of daily life in that village has been significantly upgraded for generations because a modern, deep, sanitary well has been drilled in their village!

Much like the little boy who offered his simple lunch to Jesus Who used it to feed thousands of hungry people, some FredWes people gave what they could afford to give to God through World Hope International toward the goal of drilling a fresh water well. Because generous people worked together and trusted God, the FredWes family raised the $8,500 needed for a well PLUS several thousand toward the NEXT well!

This coming Sunday we will receive the exciting news from Scott Drury about where our well was drilled! When you leave church Sunday you will know the name of the village and the name of the state and nation where the village is located!

Won't that be exciting!

You won't want to miss that announcement!

Also, on Sunday we will be receiving pledges to launch the fund-raising for next year's "Flow H2O" Well Project. Once those promises are fulfilled at the end of April 2015, we will send in the money to bless another African village!

Many can be blessed and much can be done when a few faithful followers give what they can to meet a need!

Have you been praying about your commitment to "Flow H2O?"

FredWes is "Loving people to LIFE" all around the world!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 29, 2014

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ Luke 10:33-35

At FredWes we believe in the power of love!

We believe in God’s love manifest through us by virtue of our attitudes and our actions.

When Jesus was seeking to illustrate the Great Commandment, He told a story about a Good Samaritan who literally loved a badly beaten Jew to life!

Let me give you a very touching contemporary illustration of the life-giving power of life. Copy and paste this link into your browser:

If a bat can be loved to life by a caring stranger, think of the impact a church like FredWes can have if we commit to loving God passionately, each other unconditionally and our community generously!

Monday, October 27, 2014

October 28, 2014

"Love must be honest and true. Hate what is evil. Hold on to what is good. Love each other deeply. Honor others more than yourselves." Romans 12:9-10

Who doesn't want true love? Who wouldn't benefit from it? What church couldn't use more of it?

True love is hard to find. Maybe that is because it is hard to do.

In these two verses Paul gives us perhaps the most concise description of true love found anywhere - even more concise than I Corinthians 13.

Life is all about relationships and therefore, love is essential. God wired you to thrive within loving relationships but sin infected your nature with selfishness and selfishness is the great "anti-love".

So, the reason why it's hard for you to love others is because you love yourself more. Until you want to love more than be loved you will struggle with true love. Wow, that's honest!

Perhaps that's why this verse describing true love begins by demanding honesty. Until you are honest about your lack of love how can you ever hope to honestly love?

Selfish love is manipulative. It always look for an edge or an angle to get what it wants. When you are angling for what YOU want you will not be interested in what others want. Self-love is the "anti-love". Insincere love uses people rather than serves them. When others feel used by you not only do they not feel loved by you, it is demeaning to them. No one wants to feel like an object.

How do you get over the self-love so you can love others with a sincere love?

Back to the honesty! True love begins with repenting to God for your self-love. Call it what it is - SIN. The root of all sin is selfishness and that must be dug out by the root! Only the God of perfect love can do that.

The antidote for self-love is God's love. Maybe that is why Jesus commanded us to "Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself". Until you love God more that you love yourself it will be impossible to love others and not try to manipulate them. Actually, you will try to manipulate God, too!

Get over it! Root out SIN and get sincere!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

October 27, 2014

"When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” Psalm 8:3-4

Why did God create some 350 BILLION galaxies!

Because He can!

Here are just a few facts about ONE galaxy:

Our Milky Way galaxy is a spiral galaxy. A spiral galaxy is shaped like a flat disk with a thicker bulge in the center. Bright spiral arms start from the center and then coil outward like a pinwheel. All spirals rotate very slowly. The Milky Way completes a single revolution once every 250 million years.

Most galaxies are billions of years old. The youngest known galaxy is 1 Zwicky 18. At an estimated age of a mere 500 million years, it is a babe in diapers compared to the Milky Way at 10-14 billion years, which is the average age of the known galaxies (Some dispute these ages but even if they are correct only a matter of a few years in God’s timing).

The Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy is the closest galaxy to ours. It is actually contained within the Milky Way and only 42,000 light years form the galactic core.

A light year is the distance light travels in a year at a speed of 186,000 miles per second. That factors to about 6 trillion miles in a year! Now think about 42,000 x 6 trillion!

Now consider that is a relatively SHORT distance in space between galaxies – all 350 BILLION of them!


Why did God make everything SO Big?

Because He can!

Now think about the intelligence that knows just how much space that is needed to maintain the gravitational balance to keep everything synchronized and moving together at thousand of miles per hour without crashing into one another and without running out of space!

Who can do that?

God can!

There must be someone (or Someone) bigger than all that vastness and maintains control over it all! Whoever that is would necessarily be larger and more powerful than all of this! Who could be that infinite?

God is!

Whoever is that HUGE and that powerful had better be kind and holy or we would have a frightening threat hanging our heads!

God IS kind and holy and loving and has done everything He possibly can to reveal Himself to you as the powerful, personal and loving God He is!

Why would you not receive that love and embrace it and treasure it and surrender to it and grow in it and share it?

You can!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

October 26, 2014

"The   Lord   isn't  really  being  slow  about  his  promise  to return,  as  some  people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent." II PETER 3:9

"I write this to you who believe in the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for." I JOHN 5:13-15

I have shared several steps on who to deal with people who are skeptical toward your faith. Each of them are important but none is no more important than this final one, praying for God's Holy Spirit to work on the skeptical person.

Here's how to pray intercessory prayers:
  • Claim these two promises from God's Word. He doesn't want anyone to perish without knowing Christ and He promises to give us what we ask when it is according to His will.
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to convict him of his sin.
  • Pray for the light of God's truth to break through his spiritual darkness.
  • Pray for God to give you favor in his life so he will be open to what you share.
  • Pray for other Christians to intersect his path and enhance your witness to him.
You did not come to know Christ without someone or several someones praying for you. Neither did I. No one does!

Whenever God allows me to lead someone to faith in Christ, I will ask them, "Who has been praying for you?" and they always have an answer.

All of these steps I have shared combine to form a very powerful strategy for winning over skeptics to faith in Christ. It's how you got there and it how I got there and it is the only way your friend will get there.

So, who are you praying for?

How are you praying for them?

Friday, October 24, 2014

October 25, 2014

"You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." I Peter 5:5

What would happen if it was required of me to completely and fully understand everything in the Bible before I was allowed to preach my first sermon - or my next one?

Not much preaching would happen, that's for sure!

I certainly have a good grasp on the Scriptures and I make sure I have thoroughly studied the text of my sermon each week before I present my message. However, I know the next time I study that passage I will see some new truths that I missed the first time. That's just how the Bible is!

Just as I, or any other pastor, do not have to know everything about the Scriptures in order to be a preacher neither do you need to have all the answers about the Bible before you talk to others about faith. 

You should study and learn to have a basic knowledge of creation, evolution, science, resurrection, how Bible was written and translated, for starters.

What you need the most is your witness and your testimony.

Your witness is what you know about God. Knowing about God's Word is important but knowing God personally through a relationship with Jesus Christ. And, your witness is what you show about Jesus by how you live.

The old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words" is true. Your life needs to show evidence of a supernatural change or your words will lack credibility.

Your testimony is what you have experienced from knowing God. Your testimony is what develops as your faith is tested by the difficulties of life and you discover how much difference it makes to have Jesus in your life!

Not many people are won to Christ through clever arguments but by credible lives that show the power of God present and active in a person they know and love.

How is your witness?

What is your testimony? 

October 24, 2014

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Romans 1:16

"For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of the soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

In my 58 years as a Christ-follower and 42 years in local church ministry I have never met a person who was argued into the Kingdom of God. Maybe there are some people out there who one day heard a compelling argument for the existence of God and then immediately fell to his knees and cried out to God for salvation, but I have never heard such a story.

Perhaps you have constructed such a compelling and convincing case, complete with charts, that someone far from God recognized his need for salvation and confessed His faith in Christ. Or, maybe you have known someone who has. If either of those are true I would be delighted to hear the story.

The hundreds of people I have known over the years who came to faith in Christ were not argued or debated into the Kingdom but were loved into the Kingdom by a person who demonstrated an unconditional love for him. That kind of love is practically irresistible!

That's why at FredWes we say we are committed to "Loving You to LIFE" rather than "Debating You to Life".

Lee Strobel is a best-selling author, former teaching pastor at Saddleback Community Church, at Willow Creek Community Church, and is one of the foremost Christian apologists of the 21st Century. But before he claimed those titles he was an investigative reported for the Chicago Tribune. When his wife accepted Christ through the ministry of Willow Creek, he was not a happy husband. Immediately he began trying to discredit her faith. When that was unsuccessful he began an effort to expose Willow Creek Church as a fraudulent enterprise. Here's his testimony in his own words:

Lee Strobel, who can argue faith with anyone in the world, was not argued into the Kingdom, he was loved in. Just like you and just like me.

The old saying goes, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

That's the key winning skeptics over to faith!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October 23, 2014

"but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;" I Peter 3:15

How do you respond to one who is skeptical of your faith?

That is the final question to be addressed in the four week series following up the "God's Not Dead" movie.

Keep in mind there are generally two categories of skeptics - religious skeptics and non-religious skeptics. Each have their unique challenges in confronting their skepticism.

Religious skeptics can be challenging because they are often self- righteous or self-satisfied about what they believe. Trying to communicate your faith with them is like trying to explain thirst to a fish. They are so absorbed with their "water" they miss the point of it.

On the other hand, non-religious skeptics can be so enamored with their intellect, their education and scientific theories that they lose their objectivity in searching for truth. They trust their "pat answers: more than they value new ideas.

So, how do you make a convincing argument with skeptics of those mindsets?

We have given you some good ammunition you could use in an argument but sometimes your argument is not as important as the your attitude.

As a Christian it is always our goal to win people's hearts, not judt winning arguments. How many times have you won an argument but lost ground in a relationship? 

The Apostle reminded the young pastor, Timothy, "The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." I Timothy 1:5

In our chosen text for this devotional, Peter reminds you to make your defense "with gentleness and reverence".

Stop and remember for a moment, when you came to faith in Christ was it because of a compelling argument someone made with you OR was it because of the quality of the love they showed toward you? If you were won more by an attitude than by an argument, how should you then approach others?

A powerful Biblical illustration of how to approach people who are far from God is the father in Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son. Luke 15:20 records, "So he (the son) got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him and ran and embraced him and kissed him."

When you defend your faith, do it first with that same loving compassionate attitude demonstrated by the father. Make sure you are filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, and self-control when discussing your faith.

You don't like a know-it-all and neither do I. Don't try to impress others with how much you know but first show them how much you care!

"with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth."  II Timothy 2:25

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 22, 2014

"So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord! But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." John 20:25
Have you ever heard news that was so good you had trouble believing it?
Thomas has been vilified over the years as "Doubting Thomas" because he hesitated to accept the report of the appearance of the Resurrected Jesus. But was it doubt that Thomas struggled with or was it the fear of being disappointed?

I suspect it was the latter but we will never know for sure. Since we are talking about confronting skeptics, this story of Thomas reminds me that dealing with skepticism sometimes requires overcoming our own skepticism. That was the case with Thomas. It is often the case with me.

How about you?

Perhaps you are thinking, "Brad, are you saying I should have no skepticism at all? Am I supposed to believe everything I hear?"

My answer, "No and yes!"

I think Thomas is a good case study for the issue of skepticism. I say that based on how Jesus responded to him.

When Jesus appeared to Thomas he didn't condemn him He simply offered Thomas the proof he had asked for:

"A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:26-29

There is a skepticism that wants to believe but needs some help and there is a skepticism that is looking for reasons NOT to believe. Thomas is an example of the former. Jesus knew that and that's why He responded as He did to Thomas. But He also urged Thomas to grow beyond his skepticism. 

If you are thinking, "How do I grow beyond my skepticism?" 

Let me offer a few ideas from this incident:

1) Consider the source

Thomas heard of Jesus' post-resurrection appearance from the other disciples. These were men he knew and loved and should have trusted. When he saw their excitement and sensed their passion, he should have dropped his guard and believed their report.

When you hear something from people you know and love and trust you have far less need for skepticism. However, if your source is less reliable then your level of skepticism should rise.

2) Consider the Scripture

Whenever you hear a report, even from reliable people, always run the report through the filter of God's Word.  If the report is consistent with the truth of God's Word and if it comes from trustworthy people, then you can drop your skepticism and lift up your faith.

In Thomas' case, Jesus had clearly told Thomas and the other disciples that He would be killed and He would rise again on the third day. So when Thomas heard his Brothers give this exciting report about the Resurrected Jesus, he should have believed and joined their celebration!

Skepticism is a natural human response. Some people are naturally more skeptical than others. But Thomas shows you that your skepticism doesn't have to turn you into a doubter! Learn to use your skepticism as a gateway to stronger faith!

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 21, 2014

"But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence." I Peter 3:15

Following up on the thought-provoking movie "God's Not Dead", we have spent this month firming up our faith with reasons to believe by addressing there three questions:

1) If God exists, why would he allow so much suffering and evil?
2) Is faith blind?
3) Do all roads lead to Heaven?

This week we will address on final question in an attempt to help you apply what you have learned by equipping you to respond to those who are skeptical about your faith? So, "How should you respond to skeptics?"

First, you should have an awareness.

It is good to be aware of why you believe as you do, but you also should attempt to discern what is driving the skepticism of this person.

As I review the movie in my mind I recall four examples of skeptics who were driven by four different reasons for their skepticism. Let me help you recall how each of them illustrate causes of skepticism.

• Ayisha’s father–some people are not interested in the gospel at all, and are even violently opposed to it.

Ayisha was the Muslim girl in the movie who was eventually disowned by her father when she refused to renounce her Christian faith.

His skepticism was caused by his antagonism against Christians that is inherent in his Christian faith.

• Professor Radisson–some just want to argue, to contest truth no matter what proofs are presented.

The professor is typical of many skeptics who became angry with God because of some disappointment he had attributed to God. In the case of the professor, he prayed for his mother to be healed but when she died it crushed his faith and planted seeds of bitterness in his heart. Early in life as a heart-broken child, he became disillusioned with God.

• Amy–some are content with their life, as she seemed to be when dismissing Willie’s invitation to church, “No thanks.  I’m good.”

Amy was the reporter who ambushed Willie and Kory Robertson on their way into church. Her skepticism was driven by an agenda. As a journalist she was trained to be skeptical by nature. Add that to her ambition to become a well-known writer on the national scene and she was driven to create controversy that would attract readers.

• Martin Yip–and some are honestly searching for the truth about God, even someone from a communist country who knows nothing of Jesus Christ.

Martin's father was a wealthy business man back in his atheistic home country of China. Having been raised by atheistic parents in an atheistic culture he had discounted the existence of God and had never cultivated a spiritual faith.

Martin's skepticism was the result of his spiritual ignorance toward God and Christians.

If you practice your faith and live a Godly life, you will meet with skepticism from non-believers. Skeptics will not understand your faith nor will they understand your need for faith. Because they have intellectually rationalized their neglect of faith, they will consider you simple or lacking intelligence because of you believe strongly in God.

When you encounter a skeptic who ridicules you or rejects you due to your faith. Don't allow yourself to become defensive. Remember there is a story behind their skepticism. Seek to discover the reason behind their doubts:





A better understanding of their skepticism with help you be more patient and sympathetic when dealing with this person. It will give you better insights into how you should pray for this friend. 

With prayer and patience God may be able to eventually use you to turn their skepticism into faith!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October 20, 2014

“Give us this day our dailbread.” Matthew 6:11

Bread was associated with some significant events in Jesus’ earthly life and ministry.

When He was tempted in the wilderness following a 40 day fast, He was challenged to turn stones into bread. That indicates two things about Jesus: (1) He COULD have done it; and (2) there was a hungry human part of Him that wanted to do it! But He preferred being the Bread of life to having a bite of bread and He responded, “Man should not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from God.”

Of course, there were the two miraculous feedings – the 4,000 and the 5,000 – using just a couple loaves of bread each time.

There was the intimate final meal He had with His disciples on the evening before His arrest and subsequent crucifixion. Near the end of that meeting He took bread and broke it and passed it out to His disciples to eat it in commemoration of  His sacrificial death  – something He was preparing to do for them.

What does this mean for you? It means that because of Jesus, God understands your hunger. Having been hungry His self and having enjoyed feasts with His friends, Jesus understood and appreciated the importance of tasty satisfying bread! And, by feeding several thousands of people through supernatural means, He proved His ability to feed anyone who is hungry.

I saw Him provide for my family on three seperate occasions we sat down to eat with barely enough to go around. We had a partial loaf of bread and a mostly filled gallon of milk. Counting kids at the table against the number of slices of bread on the table we knew it would be close. Each time we said grace and thanked God for His goodness to us.

On one of those occasions, we were still praying grace when a knock came at the door. Going to the door my mother saw my Little League baseball coach standing with a stringer of freshly caught fish that he gave to us. We were amazed at the goodness of God to provide for us that way.

One other time we were about to sit down for a less than complete meal and again someone knocked on the door. When we went to the door we saw a woman from our church standing there with a box of groceries to give us. Again, my brothers and sisters and I had a visual example of how God could provide!

The third time, was even more incredible because the person who appeared at the door at precisely the right time as an eccentric neighbor who hardly ever ventured out of his house, but there he stood with bags of groceries for our family!

God, on those three dramatic demonstrations, proved to us that He would “give us each day our daily bread”! We learned to trust Him more!

You can trust God to give you your “daily bread” and take good care of you! He is “Jehovah Jireh” your provider!

As your Father, He cares that you have what you need. And as your God He has the power to make it happen!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

October 19, 2014

"Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

Imagine you are walking your dog in your neighborhood when a stranger pulls up to the curb and asks you for directions. That person is hoping you will give him very clear, simple and specific directions.

What will you do?

You start thinking about the way you should tell him to go, but then you get worried that when you tell him the one way he should go that he will be offended and call you intolerant and narrow-minded. So, you respond. "Well, you COULD go to your left at the next intersection and then go two blocks and take a left then go straight for a mile. OR, you could turn around and go back the way you came until you come to the intersection. Take a left at that intersection where you will turn right and go for five blocks. OR, you could take a right at the next intersection and go five blocks and take a lift at the Fire Department. You can choose whichever way you like because they will all get you to the same place - eventually. After all, it doesn't really matter which way you take as long as you are sincere."

You wouldn't do that. No one would. When someone asks you to show them the way you will direct him in the best way you know.

Why, then would you hesitate to direct someone to the one true way to Heaven, through faith in Christ?

And why should someone call you intolerant if you tell him that Christ is the only true Way to Heaven? 

If he expects clear and specific directions to his desired earthly destination, why should he be offended if you share clear specific directions for his eternal destination?

But, how can you do less than share the truth about how to get to Heaven when you know the way?

How can you do less than share the one way to Heaven when you believe in that way and when you have trusted in that way for your own eternal destiny?

If they ask you for directions, and if you know the way and if you are personally convinced of that way, why should you worry about them being offended? If you don't share the truth about Heaven for fear of offending him, you will be offending God and your own conscience.

You know you can't isolate yourself to Heaven as the Buddhists try to do by avoiding all attachments and distractions in life. So why would you direct anyone down that road?

You know you can't meditate yourself to Heaven as the Hindus try to do. So why would you ever want to someone to take that road?

You know you can't earn yourself to Heaven by way of good works like the Muslims and several major cults try to do. So why you ever want to tell someone else to go on that road?

The way to Heaven comes through a relationship because Heaven is about a Person! If Heaven was just a place, then maybe a religion could get you there, but it is about God! Heaven is His place! It is the place of His presence, and the place of His peace, and the place of His purity!

Jesus boldly declared that He is the ONLY Way to Heaven, so you if you are hesitant to say that there is only one way to Heaven, just quote the Words of Jesus, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me!" 


Sure! And you may be considered narrow-minded.


Sure! And some day it might considered "hate speech" to say that  Christ is the only way.