Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Don't Suffer Alone

Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.
Isaiah 55:6

Recommended Reading
1 Samuel 20:1-4

We sometimes discover that a friend had a need that he or she didn't make known; went through a time of trouble without asking for help. And we say, "Why didn't you say something? Why didn't you call me? You know I would have been there." And the answer often is, "I didn't want to bother you. This was my problem and I needed to solve it myself."

Such a scenario is going to play out during the coming Tribulation on earth. There will be multitudes of people who find themselves in a fix: They will have failed to believe on Jesus Christ before the Rapture, and they find themselves enduring the pain of tribulation on earth. But hopefully they will not fail to call out to God for salvation. We know that many will call upon Him, based on the multitudes "of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues" the apostle John saw in heaven--those who had "come out of the great tribulation" (Revelation 7:9, 14). Even if they lose their life via persecution on earth, their eternal life is secure. God always delivers those He saves.

Don't endure alone. Call out to God, or to godly friends, in your hour of need, and experience God's comfort.

Calvary is God's great proof that suffering in the will of God always leads to glory.
Warren Wiersbe

From: Turning Points Devotional Magzine

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Scarlet Thread

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Romans 5:9

When kindergarten teachers need to move children from Point A to Point B--especially when it means a walk of any distance (particularly outdoors)--they sometimes take a long piece of rope and tell each child to hold on to it as they walk. The children hold on tight to the rope, keeping themselves linked to one another as they walk.

The late, great preacher Dr. W. A. Criswell once delivered a series of messages on a similar theme: the "scarlet thread" that runs through the Bible. The scarlet thread refers to the blood-bought redemption that secures the fate of the redeemed from Genesis to Revelation--first, the blood of animal sacrifices in the Old Testament, then the shed blood of Jesus Christ on Calvary's cross. Regardless of when a person is saved--past, present, or future--"without shedding of blood there is no remission" of sin (Hebrews 9:22). If you are a Christian, someday you will join that great "cloud of witnesses" (Hebrews 12:1) that are linked together by the scarlet thread of redemption.

All it takes to grasp that thread today is the hand of faith, reaching out and holding on.

Life is not worth living apart from redemption.
Oswald Chambers

From: Turning Points Devotional Magazine

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Squandered Fortune

And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.
Revelation 5:1

An interesting obituary appeared recently, announcing the death of Huntington Hartford, heir to the A&P fortune. His grandfather had helped found the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company in 1859. It grew to be the world's largest retail empire, making the Hartford family one of the wealthiest on earth. But Huntington frittered his millions away on frivolous projects, misguided ventures, four marriages, and well-documented affairs. His biography was entitled Squandered Fortune. He died with little left.

Not so the heirs of God. According to Romans 8, if we're children of God, we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. According to Titus, the "elect" are heirs according to the hope of eternal life. James says we are heirs of the Kingdom that He promises to those who love Him.

In the Book of Revelation, Jesus is given the title deed to earth; and Revelation 11:15 proclaims: "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ." The joy of being a co-heir with Christ is beyond the limitations of our finite minds, but it should bring joy to our heart today.

Joint heirs with Christ Jesus! I defy you to exhaust that topic, though you should think about it all the days of the next week, nay, though you should muse upon it till eternity commences with your soul.
Charles H. Spurgeon

From: Turning Points Daily Devotional

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Laodicean Chruch

The Laodicean Class

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock....
Revelation 3:19-20

Recommended Reading
Revelation 3:14-22

Churches find a lot of creative names for Sunday school classes and Bible study groups. Some churches, for example, have a Berean class, named for those who studied the Bible daily in Acts 17. Others have a Lydia class, named for Paul's convert in Acts 16. But you've probably never heard of a Laodicean class, named for the church in Revelation 3 that lost its zeal. Rather than being hot with love and passion, it became lukewarm.
Unfortunately, there are many classes, churches, and Christians for whom "Laodicean" would be an appropriate title. Small compromises, neglected habits, distracted devotion... these can lower the temperature of our Christianity without our realizing it. The Lord warns us by rebuking and chastening us; but we have to respond by opening the door and letting Him back in full force (see Revelation 3:20).
It's vital to stay at the boiling point in our ardor for Christ. Are you boiling, simmering, lukewarm, or cold? If we've lost our passionate love for Christ or the driving force behind our Christian labor, there's only one thing to do. Be zealous and repent.

Our Lord would have the Laodicean church be boiling and repentant. Some of us simmer all our lives and never come to a boil.
Vance Havner

From: Turning Points Devotional