Wednesday, May 27, 2015

THE FOOL'S FOLLY

THE FOOL'S FOLLY
— Warren W. Wiersbe
Read Psalm 53:1-6


This psalm describes the atheist and gives eight reasons why he is a fool. First, he does not acknowledge God (v. 1). He lives as if there is no God. He does not obey God (v. 1). Some people think that human nature is basically kind and good. Not so. We are abominably corrupt by nature (Rom. 3:9). He does not understand God (v. 2). If you don't have the Spirit of God, you can't understand the things of God. Atheists say they won't accept anything they can't understand. Actually, there is little in the world they do understand!

The fool does not seek God (v. 2). No one by himself seeks God and comes to know Him. God invites us to seek Him, and He has mercy on us. He does not follow God's way (v. 3). God has ordained the right path for us. Being a Christian is not easy, and many people do not want to pay the price. The narrow road leads to life and is tough; the broad road is the easy way until the end (Matt. 7:13,14).

The fool does not call on God (v. 4). Such people are mercenary and do not treat others right. He does not fear God (v. 5). The day will come when the fool will be afraid. He lives with a false confidence and one day will face judgment. He does not hope in God (v. 6). The person who leaves God out of his life has no future.

God's people have a future of eternal life. However, anyone who professes to be a Christian, but lives like an atheist also is a fool. May Jesus, help us to acknowledge the goodness, greatness and majesty of Almighty God.
***@***

The atheist lives as if there is no God. You, as God's child, eagerly await eternal life. However, if you fail to walk with the Lord, you behave as a fool. Lay hold of your spiritual resources in Christ and hope in Him.

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(An adaptation from the book  “Prayer, Praise and Promises” A Back to the Bible Publication, Few copies of this devotional book is now available with Back to the Bible Head Qts. for a reasonable donation. Please contact:@ info@backtothebible.in OR philip@backtothebible.in or by Telephone 040 27796353)



Source: Back to the Bible Intl. 
Picture Credit: Google.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Christianity In Concrete

Christianity In Concrete
 by Warren W. Wiersbe (President Back to the Bible Intl.)


Dwight L. Moody was certainly one of the most practical preachers who ever ministered the Word. He had been a successful salesman prior to becoming an evangelist, so that might explain his down-to-earth approach to Christian service. "Every Bible ought to be bound in shoe leather!" he said, a statement that summarizes his philosophy of Christian living.

Moody was attending a YMCA convention in Indianapolis, and there he met Ira Sankey, who was later to become his associate in ministry. He asked Sankey to meet him at a certain corner late one afternoon. When Sankey arrived, he discovered that Moody had planned a street meeting and Sankey was supposed to sing!

Soon a crowd gathered, and Moody began to preach. He spoke for less than 30 minutes and then invited the growing crowd to follow him to the opera house. In a few minutes, the opera house was full. Moody mounted the platform and preached another sermon to the attentive congregation. At the close of his message, Moody said, "Now we must close, as the delegates to the convention wish to come to discuss the topic 'How To Reach the Masses.' "

That was D. L. Moody! While others were discussing a subject, he was achieving an object! He believed in Christianity in the concrete, not in the abstract.

This was our Lord's approach to life and service. A lawyer wanted to discuss "Who is my neighbor?" but Jesus said, "To whom can you be a neighbor?" The lawyer wanted to travel in the abstract heights of theology and law, but Jesus brought him down to earth and told him about a man dying by the side of the road.

 Abstract Christianity never won a soul for Christ, never dried a tear, never fed a hungry child and never encouraged a fainting heart. While there certainly is a place for committees, conventions and the frank discussion of "abstract" issues and problems, unless those discussions produce concrete ministry, we have wasted valuable time and money avoiding the real issues.

Let me share with you some areas of Christian life and ministry that need to be dealt with in the concrete, not the abstract.

First, there is this thing we call "the world." You hear about it especially at missionary conventions where speaker after speaker reminds us of the needs of "the world." Quite frankly, I can't conceive of seven billion people, even when the speaker dramatizes this number in some pictorial fashion. Seven billion people! The world!
But God doesn't want me to get concerned about "the world" in the abstract. He wants me to start with my world, right where I am. Dr. Oswald J. Smith has often reminded us, "The light that shines the farthest will shine the brightest at home." It is difficult to believe that a committee member is burdened for Africa when he has no concern for his own neighborhood.

"Abstract Christianity" will enable you to keep up your reputation for dedication without having to pay too great a price.

Whatever "the world" may be, it begins at my front door. What good is it for me to use my missionary prayer list each morning and intercede for my friends overseas, if I am not burdened for the people I meet day after day?

While attending a convention, I missed a friend of mine who was not in the session on personal witnessing. I saw him at lunch and told him what a great session we had enjoyed. "Where were you?" I asked him. He replied, "I was out in the lobby leading one of the bellhops to Christ." Believe me, I felt very small.

Second is the matter of "the home." I hear zealous speakers telling me that we must do some-thing about "the home." They tell me "the home" is deteriorating, and no doubt it is. But I can do very little about "the home" in the abstract. I can do something about my own home, and you can do something about your home.

It is frightening to realize that today we have more books on marriage and the home, more films, more CDs, more lectures, more radio and TV programs and more seminars and conferences, and yet we seem to have more marital and family problems! We seem to have a great deal of information but not enough motivation. I wonder if the time hasn't come for us to move "the home" out of the abstract and into the concrete.

One way we sometimes deal with "the home" in the abstract is by putting the blame for our failures on the church and the public schools. We forget that nobody can replace father and mother or assume their responsibilities. If my children didn't learn to enjoy the Bible at home, they aren't likely to enjoy it at Sunday school or church. If they didn't learn to study, obey and work at home, they will probably not learn it on the Christian school campus. A Christian family is built at home, not someplace else. The Christian school and the church can only fortify what is built at home, and we thank God for their ministry.

During one of my pastorates, I was counseling a couple who were also seeing a Christian psychiatrist. One day the wife said to me, "Can you recommend another Christian psychiatrist?" When I asked her why, she replied, "Our psychiatrist just left his wife and ran off with one of his patients." He knew a great deal about "marriage" in the abstract, but he wasn't keeping his own home in good repair.

A third abstraction that needs to be dealt with in the concrete is "the church."

As a lifelong student of the Bible, I know what people mean by "the Church." Or I think I know. They mean that great host of people who have trusted Jesus Christ and belong to the family of God. Some of these people are on earth, and many more of them are in heaven. Some preachers and teachers talk about "the invisible church," a term I dislike, especially when I used to count the crowd on Sunday evenings. "The Church universal" is another term.

Let's stop avoiding responsibility by talking in the abstract about "the Church." Let's get busy and support the local church we belong to, the ministry that is concrete.

One Sunday our congregation was singing "I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord," a beautiful hymn that magnifies the importance of God's church. As I stood on the platform singing, I looked across the congregation and thought to myself, "How many of these people really love this church?" How easy it is to sing about some spiritual abstraction! How difficult it is to get involved in a real fellowship where there are needs and problems!

I must tread softly as I share this fourth area, because I may be misunderstood; but I think the time has come to quit talking about "the victorious Christian life" in the abstract and start dealing with the needs in our own lives individually. To be sure, there is such a concept as "victorious Christian living," although I find that not all "deeper life" speakers agree on what it is. But what good does it do me to study the books and attend the conferences if I am not honestly facing and solving the problems in my own personal life?

 Perhaps my pastoral experience has prejudiced me, but I have met many people who live in a dream world of "victorious living" only because they have isolated themselves—and insulated them-selves—from the realities of life. If they would get out in the real world and start witnessing to people who hate God, or if they would visit the nearest hospital or rest home where people hurt and bleed, they would discover that their "spiritual abstractions" just don't work.

A young minister attended a "deeper life" convention and was so "blessed" that he visited the great Scottish preacher, Alexander Whyte, to share the excitement. Dr. Whyte listened patiently and then said, "Aye, laddie, it's a battle all the way to the gates of glory!" And it is! "The victorious Christian life," said Whyte, "is a series of new beginnings." It takes battles to have victories, and you don't fight battles in the abstract. They are very concrete!

The way to enjoy a "victorious Christian life" is to handle it in the concrete, moment by moment, and one day at a time. We will not change everything immediately; we must tackle our weaknesses and problems one at a time. Yes, by a sincere act of faith and surrender, we can enter into a deeper relationship with the Lord; but if that one act is not followed with new attitudes and actions, nothing will be changed.

We need to say to ourselves, "Today, with God's help, I want to be victorious in my discipline. I'm going to watch my eating, I'm not going to waste time, and I'm going to get up early enough to read my Bible and pray." Or perhaps we need to focus on some other personal challenge—not gossiping, for instance, or (to be positive) making it a point to encourage others and witness for Christ. A victory in one area usually encourages victory in other areas, and when small "concrete victories" are combined, they lead the way to a "victorious Christian life."

 Nothing is so safe as an abstract idea that shelters me from reality. But nothing is so dangerous! The Christian who deals only in the abstract is living in a fool's paradise. He is also missing exciting opportunities to grow and to serve others.


We had better start practicing our Christianity in the concrete. After all, the Judgment Seat of Christ is not an abstraction. CL

Source:
Back to the Bible India,
Confident Living Magazine

Monday, May 18, 2015

THE DONE UNDONE

THE DONE UNDONE
by Dr. Woodrow Kroll & Tonny Beckett

Psalms 148-150, 1 Corinthians 15:29-58 Key Verses: 1 Corinthians 15:55-57


You can't unscramble an egg. That simple statement reminds us that some things, once done, can't be undone. One noticeable exception is death. In the Resurrection, all that death has done was undone by Jesus.

Death's sting is sin. As the sting of a bee injects its poison into our system, so sin injects death into mankind. We die and our bodies decay. The power of sin is the Law because it shows us our sin and condemns us. We are guilty and sentenced to death.

Yet there is complete victory over death and sin through Christ. It is not that death is destroyed so that it cannot continue to harm God's people. But its effects are reversed so that death is defeated—and we will live forever, victorious.

The hope of the Christian is expressed by the epitaph Benjamin Franklin wrote for himself: "The body of Franklin, printer, like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out and stripped of its lettering and gilding, lies here food for worms. But the work will not be lost, for it will appear once more in a new and more elegant edition, revised and corrected by the Author."

The defeat of death, the hope of the Christian, is the resurrection of Jesus


Our hope is in Jesus, not just as a man of history, but as the resurrected Lord. Thank Him now for this truth, by which you are saved, by which you know that death is defeated Praise God! 

An adaptation from the book "Faith Walk" Written by  Dr. Woodrow Kroll & Tonny Beckett

Source: 
Back to the Bible Publishing, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Confident Living Magazine, Secunderabad, India.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

READ AND SUBSCRIBE CONFIDENT LIVING MAGAZINE

READ AND SUBSCRIBE 
CONFIDENT LIVING MAGAZINE
(An Official Organ of Back to the Bible)
(Read Few Pages From The Magazine)





   

















Source:
Back to the Bible,
Confident Living Magazine

Monday, April 13, 2015

G for Glory: Glory in the Morning

Glory in the Morning
by Dr.Woodrow Kroll

And in the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD.  Exodus 16:7

Some days make you wonder if you should have stayed in bed. You cut yourself shaving, you spill coffee on your clothes, you have a computer crash at work, you receive overdue notices in the mail, and your son breaks his arm on the jungle gym at school. It's enough to make you want to crawl under the covers and hide.
The Israelites also were experiencing difficulties. They were hot, tired, hungry and upset. They even wondered if they should have stayed in Egypt. This trip was more difficult than they thought it was going to be.

In the midst of these trials, God did two things: He gave them manna for their physical bodies, but He also promised to reveal His glory to them "in the morning" for their spiritual well-being. God knew that the trials of the day needed a spiritual response as well as physical relief. And He chose to meet that spiritual need while the day was yet young.

When the day is hectic, the frustrations plentiful and the disappointments thick, it's  time to turn to God. Yet how different the day might have gone had we turned to the Lord before we ever got started. Whether the events of the day change or not, when we have first spent time fellowshipping with God, we are better prepared to face them.

Perhaps you aren't a morning person—many people aren't. Yet getting up even 10 minutes earlier and spending those moments reading your Bible and praying will yield greater dividends than you might imagine. When you meet with God first in the morning, it's much easier to keep Him first all day.

How you begin your day will frequently determine how you end it. 

F for Friends: A Little Help From Your Friends

A Little Help From Your Friends
by Dr. Woodrow Kroll
(Former President Back to the Bible Int.)
hrexach.wordpress.com/Google
And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.    Exodus 1 7:1 1 -1 2

Few things of importance come easy. Noah Webster worked 36 years on his dictionary, while Gibbon labored 26 years on his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. When Milton was writing Paradise Lost, he rose at 4:00 every morning to begin work. Plato wrote the first sentence of the Republic nine times before it was acceptable to him.

In the midst of challenging circumstances, it's wonderful to have friends who will come along and give their help. Moses experienced such a blessing. The conflict with the Amalekites was a key battle. If the Israelites were defeated at such an early stage on their journey, they likely would become so discouraged that they would turn around and go back to Egypt. Victory was essential, but it wouldn't come easy. The Israelites were winning only when Moses held up his hands in prayer. After hours in this position, however, his arms began to tire and defeat seemed a real possibility. That was when Aaron and Hur stepped in. With a little help from his friends, Moses was able to keep his hands held up until the enemy was thoroughly defeated.

Prayer is the key to victory, but it's also hard work. Often our spirits, if not our hands, grow weary and we face the potential of defeat. That's when we need other believers like Aaron and Hur to step in and lend their strength to our efforts. Praying with friends gives us renewed vigor.

Be sensitive to the opportunities to respond as Aaron and Hur did. Maybe there is someone today who needs you to lend your prayers to his efforts. God will lead you to that person; just make yourself available. Your strength may be essential for his victory.


Victory is never won alone. 

Source: Back to the Bible

E is for Evening: Trouble in the Evening



Trouble in the Evening
by Dr. Woodrow Kroll
pic credit. www.allgraphic.com
The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters; but God will rebuke them and they will flee far away, and be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind, like a rolling thing before the whirlwind. Then behold, at eventide, trouble! And before the morning, he is no more. This is the portion of those who plunder us, and the lot of those who rob us.  Isaiah 17:13-14


What do Assyria, Babylon and the Roman Empire have in common? All of them, at one time or another, conquered Israel. Yet they share another commonality—none of them exists today as a nation. You will never get an Assyrian stamp in your passport. No one will every proudly announce to you, "I'm a Babylonian!" None of these once-powerful nations has survived into the 20th century—but Israel has. 


Throughout history men and nations have demonstrated their hatred for God's people. The Roman Emperor Diocletian is a good example. He issued an edict in 303 A.D. designed to annihilate the Christian religion and destroy the Bible. The emperor even built a monument on which were inscribed the words Extincto nomene Christianorum (The name Christian is extinguished). Only 25 years later, however, the emperor was dead, and the new ruler, Constantine, commissioned 50 copies of the Bible to be prepared at government expense.


Are you are facing persecution at work or school? Maybe people in your own family are seeking to discourage you from living out your Christian faith. God never promised that you wouldn't face these kinds of trials. What He did promise, however, was that ultimately those who afflict His people will fail. Your day of difficulties may seem long, but it won't last forever. Take heart? Morning is coming and when the sun rises, the night of despair is no more.


For every night of trouble, there's a morning of glory.