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The book that bears the reputation as the world’s best seller is that book that has been used in our courts to swear in a witness, found in our hotel rooms and distributed throughout the world. Its manuscripts have been preserved from the first century and there are ancient copies that I under-stand have sold for over a million dollars. Today there are translators in remote civilizations that continue to develop copies of this message into the language of the native residents. In response to the call they received from God they are bringing His message to many remote civilizations, enabling them to read the message referred to as the Word of God.fb_05282016

I am reminded of my roommate at Wheaton College, Walter Steinkraus, who was a Wycliffe Bible translator in Papule, New Guinea. He and his wife Vonnie with their two daughters now lie buried beneath 14 feet of mud when a mountain of soil collapsed after intense rain covering their home while they were resting in it. Their work was not in vain, for I now understand that the people of Papule now can read God’s Word in their own language.

This book itself claims that is to be understood as the Word of God. The statement over and over again in the Old Testament repeats the phrase, “Thus saith the Lord…” In the New Testament it is confirmed that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine (teaching), for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished for all good works. Scriptures here point to the Old Testament. Regarding the New Testament, Peter compared the writings of Paul to be of equal authority with Old Testament Scripture. Jesus, Himself had great reverence of the scriptures, quoting them and empathizing their importance.

God introduces Himself to Moses in Exodus at a burning bush which, while aflame, is not consumed by the fire. As Moses approaches a voice calls out for him to remove his scandals, for he is standing in the presence of God on holy ground. God introduces Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (the father of Israel). As the conversation progresses Moses learns that he is to lead the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt into the Land which God had promised. When Moses asks who he can say sent him when he goes back to Egypt, he is told to tell them that “I am that I am” has sent him. I understand this to be a semantic idiom meaning “I shall be what I shall be.” Perhaps a better way to put this is “I shall be all that is necessary for the occasion that will arise.”

In the New Testament Jesus refers to Himself with this phrase over and over again throughout the gospels. Some examples include “I am the light of the world…,” I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” His divinity is further illustrated in John 8:58 where an emphasis similar to the Old Testament passage states “Truly, truly I say unto you, before Abraham was born, I am,” which means that Jesus existed before His human life on earth.

In the gospel of Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus invites us to “come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is easy, and by burden is light.”

May I close with this question? Whatever your situation may be, is this invitation meaningful to you?

By Robert Mason Outreach Pastor, Redeeming Grace Bible Church

hillary-scott

(Instagram/Hillary Scott)  – Hillary Scott shares this behind-the-scenes photo with a beautiful white horse taken during “Thy Will” video shoot.

Christian singer Hillary Scott, from the country music group Lady Antebellum, has just shared details about her upcoming album “LOVE REMAINS by Hillary Scott & The Scott Family.”

The album is very dear to Scott’s heart because it is a special collaboration made with her parents Lang Scott and Linda Davis and little sister Rylee Scott. All of the songs are produced by Ricky Skaggs and each one contains a “personal and precious” story involving the Scott family.

The first song Scott released from the album is called “Thy Will,” which Scott describes as her personal plea to God.

“I wanted to first share ‘Thy Will.’ I wrote this song about a very recent experience that left me heartbroken, asking why, and facing some of my most difficult days. This song is my letter to God,” she says in a press release. “As I ask some really hard questions, I hold onto the truth that there is so much to the story of my life that I can’t see, but that I still choose to trust Him.”

Scott explains she made a faith-based album because it is a reflection of who she really is. “These songs and many like them are the cry of my heart. I have been singing songs like this my whole life, whether it be in church, with family and friends gathered around with guitars on my screened-in porch, rocking my baby girl to sleep, or while holding the hand of a dying loved one,” she says.

Songs rooted in her Christian faith have gotten Scott through the best and worst of times, and it has always given her a sense of love, peace, and strength. She hopes that she would be able to share those same feelings to her fans. “It’s my desire that these songs can be that for you too…that they will bring hope,” she says.

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ciara and son 2

Grammy Award winning artist Ciara has taken to social media to celebrate her son Future Zahir, who recently turned two.

The singer thanked God for the gift of her son in an Instagram post and how proud she is watching him grow.

“It Was Just Yesterday I Was Holding You In My Arms Like I Am In This Photo. Now My Angel Baby Boy Is 2 Years Old!!….Running Around, Talking Up A Storm, Learning Fast & Getting Into Everything! It Has Truly Been The Best Life Experience Watching You Grow! I Am So Grateful To God For You, & I Can’t Wait To See All The Many Other Amazing Things He Has In Store For You! Mommy loves You Soooo Much! #HappyBirthdayTo My Prince, Future Zahir,” she said.

The singer, who has openly proclaimed her faith since she started dating Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, also credited their relationship to God.

In one interview, she bared that she has told her friend that she has been specifically praying for a God fearing man who would genuinely love her and her son from her previous relationship with rapper Future. Her trust in the Lord paid off.

“But the moment I realised I was going to be a single mother, I had to reflect and reorganise my thoughts. I decided to trust that God had a plan for me, and move forward one day at a time,” she said.

When the duo finally got engaged, the star took to Twitter to share her joy with her fans.

“God Is Good! Grateful For You @DangRussWilson. You Are Heaven Sent. I’m Looking Forward To Spending Forever With You,” she captioned a video clip of her with her beau wearing a giant diamond on her finger.

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Church-based volunteering can cut violent crime and anti-social behavior by more than half, new research has revealed.

The Cinnamon Network
Street Pastors, like Chichester’s Street Angels, work on town center streets from 10pm-4am to help people in trouble.

A report by the Cinnamon Network, a Christian social action charity, highlighted the effect church partnerships with police had on crime levels. The study found that anti-social behavior was reduced by up to 79 per cent with help of Church-based volunteers and violent crime was reduced by up to 67 percent when church-based volunteers were brought in to help police.

The findings were based on evidence from Sussex Police’s relationship with Chichester City Angels, a local Christian charity working to help with late-night revellers on Friday and Saturday evenings.

PC Upton from Sussex Police said the contribution of the Church based charity has been “really useful”. A chief constable in Devon and Cornwall, Paul Netherton added church groups had a “key role to play” in supporting police.

“Police and faith communities are an essential partnership that can have a huge positive impact on our communities,” he said.

The Cinammon Network urged police to use local churches to tackle crime and social disorder. “Church have a wealth of resources, such as volunteer capacity, premises and a passion to serve their community, which in turn can help the police to support those communities,” read the report.

Matt Bird, founder of the Cinnamon Network said: “Church-led social action is making a positive difference in the community and partnerships are the best way to deliver projects and get results.

“I sincerely hope this report will open the door to increased partnerships between local churches and police.”

pope francis

Vatican City – Pope Francis on Wednesday called on the faithful to pray to God to “convert the hearts” of terrorists in Syria after over 160 people were killed in a series of attacks on the cities of Jableh and Tartus earlier this week. “I exhort everyone to pray to the merciful Father, to pray to the Madonna, that (God) might give eternal rest to the victims, and consolation to their families,” the Pope said during his weekly general audience, “and He might convert the hearts of those who sow death and destruction”.


“Oh I’ve seen a lot,” said Mae Lou Hendrix. She has lived through a World War, the Civil Rights Movement, and 16 presidents. Hendrix indeed has seen a lot.

Her secret? Simple, stay active.

“I worked hard all my life,” she said. “Drove tractors. I’ve done everything. Pulled cotton. I’ve done everything. I think that’s what’s kept me going.”

Her family said she takes great care of herself and in turn, she is still able to live an independent lifestyle.

“She worked all her life, hard, in the fields and all this stuff,” said Susan Ford, Hedrix’s daughter. “She doesn’t eat fried foods, she’s a healthy eater. Boiled food. She eats cabbage, okra, and corn bread. She cooks, she lives by herself, she plays dominoes, and she keeps her own bank money because she doesn’t trust the banks, So she counts her own money, pays her own bills.

Ford said she has learned a lot from her mom.

“She’s a God blessing,” she said. “That’s how she lives. With him on our side, who can’t live to be a hundred. Plus a hundred. A hundred and more.”

Hendrix said she has had so much fun this year that she cannot wait for the next.

evangelist-billy-graham

Evangelist Billy Graham speaks during his Crusade at Flushing Meadows Park in New York, June 25, 2005. Graham, 86, has preached the Gospel to more people in a live audience format than anyone in history – over 210 million people in more than 185 countries. His followers believe that the New York Crusade which runs from June 24 to 26 will be his last live appearance. — (PHOTO: REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON)

The 97-year-old evangelical leader Billy Graham responded to a reader’s question, “If Jesus was really God, does this mean that God somehow died or ceased to exist when Jesus was put to death on the cross?”

Graham responds by saying: “No, God did not die or cease to exist when Jesus was put to death on the cross. He was truly God in human form — fully God and yet also fully man. And as a man his body could die, but not his divine nature, because God is eternal,” in a recent blog post in the Kansas City Star.

Jesus’ ability to be divine and eternal after human death is similar to what we as Christians will experience when we die, the renowned evagelist says.

Graham goes on to write that Jesus’ death sets him apart from all humans in that he was able to rise from the dead.

“Jesus was different from every other human being who has ever lived or ever will live, because his body did not stay in the grave! By the power of God, the chains of death were broken, and Jesus rose again from the dead.”

According to a 2015 Barna study, the vast majority of Americans believe Jesus was a real human who walked the earth. The study’s results found that “nine out of 10 adults say Jesus Christ was a real person who actually lived.”

This same poll also found that Americans differ in their opinion of whether Jesus lived without sin here on earth, with half of Americans (52 percent) saying they believe Jesus committed sins, and less than half (46 percent) saying they don’t believe Jesus committed sins. Orthodox Christianity teaches that Jesus was sinless and died in place of humankind’s sins.

As Graham teaches in an April post, Jesus Christ was able to live as a human here on earth and still be fully human but without sin.

“Jesus Christ is unlike any other person who ever lived — or ever will live. The reason is because he alone was both fully human and fully God. On that first Christmas a miracle took place that we can barely imagine: God came down from heaven and became a man. Jesus wasn’t just like God. He was God, in human flesh,” Graham writes.

Graham adds that because Jesus was without sin, he was able to take on our sins, as well as the guilt and judgment meant for us, when he died on the cross.

“[…] you and I are sinners, and our greatest need is to be forgiven and cleansed of our sins. But how is this possible? It’s possible only because on the cross Jesus Christ — who was without sin — took upon himself the guilt and judgment that we deserve,” the Baptist minister writes.

By Katherine Weber , Christian Post Reporter

There are so many beautiful, good things in this life that people take for granted.  Everything we have that is good is a gift from God. Blessings of love from our almighty King. He knows each one of us and loves us unconditionally. Even when we feel that we don’t deserve Him, His love, or the blessings bestowed on us, we need to be grateful. Think about this: God’s provisions are in place before the need arises.

Blessings from Jesus

Did you live a life filled with uncertainty and fear before you accepted Jesus into your heart? Joshua 1:9 tells us: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Just think about that. The Lord your God, maker of heaven and earth is with YOU wherever you go. Nothing is better than knowing Jesus is with you. Tell your family, your friends, people you meet on the street what Jesus has done for you. Shout it out so everyone knows that Jesus is the answer.

Jesus Is With You!

Thank You Jesus for all the parables and teachings you gave us in the Bible.  The lessons we learn from You are life changing.  Read 1 Corinthians 15 at www.onlywithJesus.com

1 Corinthians 15

1 Corinthians 15

1 Corinthians 15

The Resurrection of Christ

15 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

The Resurrection of the Dead

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

29 Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? 30 Why are we in danger every hour? 31 I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! 32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 34 Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

The Resurrection Body

35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36 You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Mystery and Victory

50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.


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