17th January 2020
THE FORMER PROSTITUTE OF MAGDALA 4:4
”After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; ”
Luke 8.1 to 2 NIV
You would never imagine that the fourth woman at the cross matched the other three women. She had been a fallen woman. She was a notorious prostitute from Magdala, a town on the northern shores of Lake Genesis. There she lived and became infamous for her activity, so everyone knew her by the name of Maria Magdala, or translated into English Mary Magdalene.
She had been an unclean woman. Early in her life, she had fallen into sin and had succumbed to the demonic world. Well, she had even become so tied up that the demons propelled her between the villages on the north side of Lake Genesis, where she offered her body in return for money. She had thrown herself so deep into sin that seven evil spirits had entered her, as we read about in the Bible.
She wandered endlessly around like a fallen, obsessed woman who had surrendered to demonic desires. Eventually she was run down and despairing, worn, unhappy and totally ruined by sin.
But one day she met Jesus. - It was a deadly showdown. The demons in her responded immediately when she saw the Master.
The encounter was brief but dramatic. The Holy One met the demons and the unclean. She fell to the ground, howling and screaming. Then Jesus spoke to the evil spirits in her, "Get out!" And the demons got out of her with loud cries, and she lay like dead in the square.
Then Jesus from Nazareth went to her. He raised her up, and from that moment on Mary Magdalene was a completely new person.
Now she stands there with the three other women at the cross of Jesus Christ and is allowed to experience the greatest events in world history. She was truly the one Jesus first revealed himself to after he was resurrected from the dead, and he asked her to pass the message on to the disciples.
Have you heard anything this wonderful? It was a converted harlot who first brought to the world the greatest news ever of Jesus' resurrection! But it was a transformed harlot, a purified harlot who had been cleansed and justified at the cross of Jesus Christ.
Effie Campbell translated
16th January 2020
CLEOPAS' WIFE – THE HOUSEWIFE 3:4
”They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
The third woman at the cross was Mary, Cleopas' wife.
Cleopas was one of the two emmaus migrants mentioned in Luke 24,18. It may seem that he lived in Emmaus, a small poor village about eleven kilometers from Jerusalem.
Cleopas did not belong to the upper class. He was a regular and ordinary workman who struggled for the daily bread. The Bible tells us that this married couple were little Jacob's and Joseph's parents. They had several children.
Mary, Cleopas's wife was the housewife, an example of an ordinary and regular woman. She struggled and was working hard with the usual housework. She was busy with husband and children - a poor village woman. But she also had to come to the cross of Jesus for salvation.
You may also be saying about yourself that you are "just an ordinary person" - a plain and simple worker, a housewife. Well, because then the cross and the Man Jesus is just for you. Come to the cross of Jesus Christ and receive Him who hung on the cross and died for your sins! He is your salvation.
Effie Campbell translated
15th January 2020
SALOME, THE UPPER-CLASS WOMAN 2:4
”but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in.”
John 18.16 NIV
The next woman standing there at the cross of Jesus was the sister of Jesus' mother, Salome. We have heard that she was married to Zebedee and was the mother of the apostles, James and John. She had married into a wealthy family that was part of the upper class, and she knew the high priest and the upper class in Jerusalem. This is also the case when Jesus is brought to the high priest. John is there too. He is used to walking in and out among these people and he went to the servant girl on duty and spoke to her to allow Peter to come inside.
But listen here - she too, Salome, had to go to the cross of Jesus Christ!
I am afraid that many people believe that the gospel is only for a particular social class or group. But the gospel is for rich and poor for all social classes, i.e. for all people on earth. No one reaches Heaven without first having the sins forgiven at the cross of Jesus Christ. At the cross we all become equal.
If you belong to those you call the "the fashionable world", you do still need to come and stand at the cross of Jesus Christ. For whoever we may be, rich or poor, whether we belong to the upper class or the nobility, we do all need to meet God at the cross of Jesus Christ.
Effie Campbell translated
14th January 2020
THE FOUR WOMEN AT JESU CROSS
”Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. ”
John 19.25 NIV
Four women stood at the cross of Jesus, Mary, the mother of Jesus, her sister, Salome – Mary, Cleopas' wife - and Mary Magdalene. They simply gathered their thoughts about Him that hung on the cross.
These four women stand here as representatives of humanity and show us the way where everybody should go: to the cross of Jesus Christ.
These four women, who had so different beginning of life, all became identical through Jesus' cross. In spite of their very different past, they became completely alike, for at the cross of Jesus our past is hidden and purified in the blood of Jesus Christ. Let's take a closer look at these four women.
The Mother of Jesus, the Holy Woman 1: 4
Jesus' mother, Mary, had been holy from childhood. When we read that the angel is coming to Mary with the message that she is to give birth to the Savior of the world, we understand from the angel's words that God had held his hand over this young woman from her childhood. She grew up in purity and holiness. She was a human being like everyone else. But God had in a special way preserved and protected her from sin. She had always lived near God and had been happy not to slip into sin and into the world.
Undoubtedly, someone reading this has been allowed to experience something similar by the grace of God. You have belonged to God from childhood and have been preserved in the faith of your childhood. Therefore, you have avoided falling into the horrific sins we hear about in the world around us today. God has been good to you. You can be happy and grateful! You have been allowed to grow in an atmosphere of purity.
Of course, you have had your struggles, your difficulties and your hardships. But God has preserved you from the many wounds of sin. You have been a believer all your life. But listen now - and you will most likely agree with me in this: you too must stand close to the cross of Jesus. It is at the cross of Jesus Christ that your hope and your future is. Only at the cross you have your salvation.
Just imagine, once again, Mary, the holy woman, had to go to the Cross of Jesus Christ to find salvation! Mary, Jesus' own mother, shows the whole world where we all should be - near the cross of Jesus Christ.
Effie Campbell translated
13th January 2020
A SEAMLESS GARMENT
”When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. ”
The Bible doesn't say much about Jesus' clothing – however there is an exception. John mentions this as he tells what happened at Calvary. John says: ”they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.”. It was common for Jewish mothers to sew such a garment for sons to travel from home. We do not know whether Mary made this tunic for Jesus; but it was a precious piece of clothing nonetheless. It was also significant because clothing throughout the Bible was a sign of behavior and character. Peter writes: ”In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”” 1. Pet. 5.5NIV
Paul says: ”for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. ” Gal.3,27NIV And David tells us that wicked men are wearing: ”He wore cursing as his garment; it entered into his body like water, into his bones like oil. ” Psalm 109,18NIV
Jesus was like his garment, it was ”woven in one piece from top to bottom” - He was whole, complete and perfect. The words "woven in one piece" indicate that he was guided by God's thoughts. He said, ”Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. ”
But when Jesus was crucified, He let go of His precious tunic, swapped places with us, and put on the costume of sin that bore our names. He died as a common criminal for trespasses he had never committed so that we could be allowed to wear his garment of salvation. So that sinners like us can move on if we seek the cross - come and say, ”I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61,10NIV
Just imagine, Jesus has not only prepared us a place in Heaven. He also made sure we are appropriately dressed for the occasion!!
"... a Word of the Day"
Effie Campbell translated.
12th January 2020
GOD DIDN'T GIVE UP OR: THE WAY TO HEAVEN
”Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ”
It is vital that we boldly spread the gospel, for salvation is found only in Christ. - Jesus says:
"" I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ”John 14: 6
This personal testimony below comes from a young man from the Middle East who searched God and the way to Heaven:
“My grandmother was a God-fearing Muslim, and she prayed the traditional prayers regularly. I went to ask her various questions. I don't know why Grandma didn't answer my questions. Maybe she didn't want to answer, or maybe she didn't know the answers. She simply said that I did not know God and that I simply had to remember to pray my prayers.
I was not happy with the answer, so I went to see the local mosque. I watched people there, and I talked to the mullah; but I still did not get the answers to my questions. Frustrated and disappointed, I returned home and decided to seek God elsewhere. I joined Hare Krishna, later I met the Baha'l sect people, but in both places I stayed for only a month or so. Finally, I prayed, "I do not know who you are: Allah, Buddha, Krishna or Jesus? I only know that you exist and that you hear me. Will you show me the only right way? "
The next day I went to the city's college. On the train I met three men - they were Christians. Two of these were Cossacks and they were the first to tell me about Jesus. They showed me a verse in the Bible where Jesus says, ”Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ” John 14,6 Here was the answer to my questions. But I felt that this had to be due to pure coincidence.
But in the second semester of the study, I again asked God if he could show me the way. This need arose because violence, rape and murder was committed in the area of my own student residence. All this made me seek God once again. One day I met a Christian Cossack girl. She talked about Jesus; but I opposed this and tried to prove that Islam was the truth, even though I no longer believed this. The girl did not object and did not even try to disprove my claim, but simply found her New Testament and read exactly the same Scripture test that the men on the train had shown me earlier.
Once again, I considered that this was simply due to pure luck and complete coincidence. A month later, I met a Christian girl from Uzbekistan and started discussing with her. She then opened her Bible and read from the same text in Scripture, where Jesus says, "" I am the way ... "Then I realized that I had now received the answer of my questions and that the answer came from God Himself."
Source: TWR Central Asia
Effie Campbell translated
11th January 2020
SHOULD WE ALWAYS FOLLOW OUR HEART?
”Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. ”
Humanism has a strong influence in our society. It puts man at the center of things and emphasizes the qualities that characterize man and says that man has value in himself and has the aptitude / talent for reasonable logical thinking. There are good elements in humanism that Christianity can support and accept, but where man is the center and the focal point of the universe, that is to take the Creator's rightful place. In humanism it is essential to live in the way one's emotions dictate. Humanism claims that man is free and subject to nothing.
The Bible has a completely different view and focus than humanism. Of course, it also speaks of the heart: ”Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. ” Proverbs 4:23 Of course, we must guard the heart. That's why we need practice. We need to protect the heart from attitudes and currents from the outside world. The heart is constantly bombarded with thoughts, attitudes and opinions. But following your heart can be life-threatening! Just look at Mat.15,19NIV where Jesus says the following about the heart.
”For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. ” All this comes from the heart," says Jesus.
We must take our ideas and thoughts from Heaven, not only from this world. Therefore, do not only follow your heart, but do follow Jesus and His living Word. Then His attitudes will affect our daily lives, choices and deeds. He simply wants to put his mark on our hearts.
We can also pray David's prayer: ”Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. ” Psalm 51.12NIV
10th January 2020
THE VICTORY OF JESUS–DEFEAT OF SATAN–HOPE OF THE WORLD
”Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, ”
Rom. 8.1 NIV
The most important message of the Bible is the word about the cross. It is the only assurance for Christians in the present and future. For Satan, the cross represents his d-day and eternal perdition. He hates being reminded of the cross. Have we understood this?
The greatest demonstration and proof of God's love took place when Jesus died for the sins of the world on the cross. The Bible says: ”He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. ” 1 John 2,2NIV
But what happened in the invisible, spiritual world, when the most tremendous event in world history took place during the six hours that Jesus hung on the cross? Paul expresses himself very clearly: ”having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. ” Col.2: 14-15NIV
The image is from Roman times when the victorious general in procession and great triumph marched through the streets of Rome with his soldiers and the prisoners they had taken from the enemy army. After them the prisoners followed and the commander of the slain army in chains, shame and disgust.
The devil stood behind and incited the crowds to crucify Jesus. He might have thought the following: “If I kill Jesus, then I will defeat him and I can then ascend the king's throne of the universe. Then everyone will worship me.” But what happened in reality? Jesus experienced those six hours as a horrific struggle, when he, being perfectly pure, had all the dirty sin of mankind laid on his shoulders at all times. There he felt God's judgment upon all sin. No one can see or understand what that experience entailed for Jesus. The pure Jesus got God's judgment and the torment of hell laid on him. He became our redeemer. Suddenly and unexpectedly, after six hours, Jesus shouted the most important and crucial cry of victory and triumph in world history: "It is finished" John 19:30NIV
The word means, "Everything is fully paid!" With his sacrificial death, he bore the penalty for all sin for us, "outlining the debt." The sin of the human race was paid and can now be annihilated, erased from God's book, canceled, rendered powerless and wrecked. This proclamation came suddenly and unexpectedly, as a shock to the devil and his angelic army. In the spiritual world, he was "openly shown" as a loser in shame and disgust.
When he was about to take up his arms, the weapons were taken from him. The devil had caused people to sin and therefore had a squeeze on them. So far no sin had been paid. But when Jesus paid for the sin of the human race, the debt was removed for time and eternity and the judgment was fully paid. (2.Cor.5,19)
The devil's weapon is now to accuse us and point to the sin in our lives. When you meet Satan with the word about the cross, he says in his ears, "You have lost! You are defeated!" On this basis, the Bible says: ”Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. ” James 4.7 The word "flee" here means to escape "in horror". Therefore, Paul can say about the believer: ”Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, ” Rom. 8.1 NIV
For us who believe, the cross is a sign of victory. It also means protection from the demonic powers. The cross is Satan's D-day, which is why Satan's footmen want to remove the crosses from all churches around the world.
Effie Campbell translated
9th January 2020
A MOCKER'S GRAVE
”Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’”
This is the story of the atheist and idolater, Chester Bedell. Bedell died at the age of 82 in 1908. He had spent his entire life mocking Christianity. Already while alive he made a large stone pillar to stand on his grave sometime.
On top of this stone pillar he got cast a large statue in bronze to represent himself. Under one foot was a book that represented the Bible. He thus stood and stepped on the Bible. On a plate attached to his outstretched right hand was engraved: "The Bible is just fables, fairy tales and fabricated tall stories."
Before he died, he said the following words: "If any God exists, let him prove it as follows: There shall be swarming numbers of snakes upon my grave when I die!"
Here's what happened: Before the coffin was buried, you could already spot several snakes! When the Norwegian priest, Thorleif Myckland was at the grave in 1946, the engraver could tell him that he had killed about 20 snakes one day and only at this grave! In addition to this, everyone could see a lot of snake holes at the statue of Bedell, and all holes went down.
Myckland also spoke to others who worked in the cemetery. They told Chester Bedell's grave was to be removed as people became angry with it. Among others, many foreigners came from different places to see and investigate the phenomenon and take pictures. Now the grave itself has been removed a little outside the grave site, and a cedar tree has been set down next to it. Later it was said that many snake holes have also been seen here. Thus, it is obvious that the snakes follow the atheist's grave. A little from the grave, the soil has been examined very closely; but here there are no trace of snakes!
Effie Campbell translated
8th January 2020
FROM THE DEATHBED TO A BUBBLING LIFE
”... “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.””
Matt. 8.17 NIV
A married couple was a guest on Channel 10. The wife, named Edith, told of a very special period in her life. “I got sick and the disease worsened rapidly. I became yellow all over my body, also inside my eyes and I had an intolerable itch. I was admitted to two different hospitals and in both places they took blood tests galore and I was run through the various machines. But you couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, so I was sent home again. I realized that I had come to the end of life, and we talked about my funeral and how it was going to be organized.
But then my spouse came into the room and sat down on the bedside and said, "Now I will read three scriptures for you: ”But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. ” Isaiah 53.5NIV
”... “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.”” Matt. 8.17 NIV
”“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.””
Do you believe Jesus is the same today and yesterday and forever? ”- Yes, I believe, there is no changing shadow with him. "Do you believe Jesus is the truth?" He continued. - Yes, I believe that too. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.
"Well, in that case it must be true that he has taken your illness."
And suddenly a certain certainty settled in me. I knew, I knew, I knew Jesus would heal me. I just had to be patient and wait for him. When people called and asked how I felt, I answered that Jesus was going to heal me. They doubted this, but I held on to what I believed.
I had been unable to do anything myself. My husband had to do it all, including the laundry. But now I forced myself out of bed and tried to wash. It was a huge challenge for me. I made it, and the next day I tried to do a little more, and the strength grew as the days went on. I got such energy that I washed all the windows one day, and now I have even more energy than my husband and I am totally healthy. The Lord must have all thanks and praise. He has done a great miracle in my life. I, who could see the end of my life quickly approaching, I have now become completely healthy. I want to spend my time serving him. "
7th January 2020
VOID - A PEOPLE'S DISEASE
”He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. ”
He welcomed me at the wrought-iron gate, and he paid for the taxi.
"My wife and I are immensely glad you could come," he said, shaking my hand. "I know you are up to your ears in work."
"It seems to me that most people are so busy today," I replied.
"Follow me," he said, leading me along the paved courtyard and into the garden.
"Here you see how we live." He led me through this beautiful garden that lay in front of the house. This was a magnificent property.
At the far end of the ridge, we stopped and let our eyes fall over the city. The house was situated on a hill in the centre of the town. From here we saw this whole unobtrusive Norwegian village.
I had come to this village to attend a series of meetings. Several different churches and congregations organized these revival meetings. We were now in the middle of the meetings, and early this morning I had received a call where this man had asked me to have a conversation with him and his wife.
We considered the village. He pointed to the shipyard in the middle of the village near the quay area. "It is me who owns it," he said, "at least most of it."
His wife now also came out through the glass door and down the marble stairs. She greeted them smilingly. But behind the smile, I was able to see a couple of sad eyes hidden. "It was nice of you to spend your time with us," she said. They were both aged 45-50. Nice people.
They showed me around the garden and then went into the house. Everything seemed so complete and distinguished. It seemed to me that they had everything that could be bought for money. Persian rugs on the floor. Leather furniture. Expensive paintings. The corridor and kitchen were tiled. Even the handles on the doors must have cost a fortune.
We sat in the leather sofa in one of the living rooms of the house. "Well, now you have seen how we are doing," the shipyard owner said. After all, we should be happy. We have achieved all the goals we set ourselves as young people. We've a beautiful home. Our three children are married and in good positions. We have money and can buy pretty much anything we want to buy. We can travel to the Canary Islands several times a year if we want to. ”He looked at his wife, and they smiled a little sadly at each other.
“My wife and I have been talking about this lately. We have acknowledged and seen that despite all this, we are not happy. "He looked down to the floor, kicked to the edge of the carpet that curled together, and then he continued:" We don't understand what's wrong with us. We feel an inner emptiness, i.e. that a void is about to consume us. We feel that we simply merely exist in the midst of all this - but we are not alive. And the void inside us just gets bigger and bigger every year. "
He looked me straight in the eye: "We have read about you in the magazines - both the good and the less good things. And when we saw that you were in town, we decided to try to get hold of you and have a conversation. There must be something that can fill this void, something my wife and me have not yet found. "
Emptiness! I had been watching them both while he was talking.
Except for this splendid house that they owned that was far beyond the ordinary, they looked like a kind of Scandinavian that I often come across. Materially, they have everything they need to have. They have been talented, hardworking, progressive in every field, but the emptiness inside is growing more and more and will continue to grow in the coming times. Today, emptiness is becoming one of the greatest diseases of our time. This married couple had not managed to get around this emptiness despite all their wealth.
This day, in this magnificent home, I was allowed to tell this middle-aged married couple the eternal truth - that "man does not live by bread alone."
Finally, I fell to my knees at the leather couch with the ship's owner and his wife next to me, and they were allowed to experience a new dimension in their lives as they allowed Jesus to take up their hearts and surrendered their lives to Him. The emptiness disappeared like dew before the sun, and they were both gloriously saved.
”“There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”” Isaiah48,22NIV
So God has created a space in our hearts that only He can fill. Therefore, it is "that the heart finds no peace until it rests in you, O God."
The church bell ”1985
Effie Campbell translated.
6th January 2020
LIGHT OF THE WORLD
”When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8.12 NIV
Jesus expressed himself precisely in his wording, so precise that the audience had to respond. His words were powerful. Many people dishonored his words, while others let themselves be guided. The same thing happens everywhere the gospel is preached today. Either people become very glad of the Word, or the Word also arouse anger and displeasure.
But when Jesus said that he was the light of the world, people became angry and mocked him. The Word tells us that He is the light that does not flicker in the wind, but which will shine brightly for all eternity.
Jesus had hardly finished uttering these words before the crowd criticizes and sharply challenges Him. Suddenly, he is in a spiritual war zone, where the air was thick with accusations simply because he says he is the light of the world. But here we are at the very core of things. Man does not want to be in the light and wishes rather to wander in the dark.
Our response to his Word should be a great joy. We ought to say, “Thank you, Jesus, for revealing the truth to us that you are the light. We have been waiting for a light throughout the generations. Isaiah has spoken of you. Finally, the light is in front of our very eyes. "
But no, people instead scream vehemently against him. Here the prophetic word ”Many have become my enemies without cause; those who hate me without reason are numerous.” 38.20NIV is fulfilled. Jesus merely listened to his Father who had said: Come. Now, tell everybody that you are the light of the world - Jesus was obedient and came with the revolutionary message that has changed the lives of millions of people.
Eventually, the crowd is so upset that they are ready to stone him: ”At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. ”
But how fantastic that Jesus said these precious words. The evangelist John also mentioned this at the beginning of his gospel. It says of John the Baptist: ”He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” John 1,8-9NIV
Effie Campbell translated
5th January 2020
THE OIL OF JOY
”... the oil of joy instead of mourning, ...”
Isaiah 61.3 NIV
Praise works the same way as a magnifying glass. When we gather around the hymn of thanksgiving everything becomes bigger - "exalted". Davis sang in Psalm 34.4-5 NIV: ”I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. ”
It is wrong to wait in order to praise the Lord until you have no more problems or fewer problems or until all your problems are resolved. Praise is one of the strongest tools to solving problems, because it makes you concentrate on God, the One who is behind and the author of the solution to your problems.
Charles Spurgeon said: "I have my happiest moments when I sing praises to God, in truth praysing Lord Jesus Christ ... during the song of praise I forget the care of the congregation and everything else. For me, it's the closest thing I get to something that reminds me of Heaven. "
God has promised you ”... the oil of joy instead of mourning, ...” It works like this: If you start singing with a heavy heart, you will have a new sense of hope and joy. Through the praise, you will be reminded that God is greater than the situation you are in and that He alone is able to resolve your fears and concerns, but that He is also ready to take them away from you. He wants it warmly and He waits to do it.
The psalmist wrote, ”Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws. ” Psalm119,164NIV
Fill your day with praise. Limit, shorten or cancel a coffee or tea break occasionally, and instead take a moment to praise God! Begin by praising Him for two things: His attributes, His omnipotence, love, grace, benevolence, leadership, etc.
And his deeds: Remember all the goodness he has shown you. Come forward, say goodbye and leave your mourning suit behind and replace it with the praise suit instead.
"... a Word of the Day"
Effie Campbell translated.
4th January 2020
THE MAN WHO HAD NEVER SINNED
The church pastor, Trond Løberg, preached at the Oasis summer convention in Norway. There he said, among other things:
“Two men were sitting in a restaurant. They fell into good conversation with each other. One of them was an evangelist. Just as the talk goes merrily, the speech falls on the word "sin". "I am no sinner," remarked the one. "I behave properly in every respect."
"You know what," the evangelist replied, "I want to read a small text for you. It says in "The Song of Love". You heard most of it when you got married. It says in 1 Cor.13,4-7. I read it by putting my name as a replacement for the word love. You can also use the word "I" instead of the name.
”I am patient, I am kind. I do not not envy, I do not boast, I am not proud. I do not dishonor others, I am not self-seeking, I am not easily angered, I keep no record of wrongs. I do not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. I always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere. ”
"Have you kept all this?" The evangelist asked. The other just sat and gasped in amazement. “This passage the priest read to you when you got married”. Then it appeared that he wasn't married, but merely lived with his wife, and he did not know that fornication was a sin, because he had probably never read the Bible. (2 Cor.12: 21 & Gal. 5,19).
“Do you know, dear friend, that every human being who has lived on this earth is a sinner. But God sent Jesus in our place. He has paid for all the sins of the world. He who welcomes Jesus into his heart as Lord and Savior and asks for forgiveness, receives the forgiveness of sins as a gift, and God sees us white and pure because of what Jesus has done. We sin every single day, so we need to pray daily for forgiveness. This is what Jesus showed us when He taught us the Lord's Prayer, ”And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
3rd January 2020
THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE
”... grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. ”
”Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”” John 8,32NIV
Grace does not free us, it is the truth that does it, and this we see clearly in the story of the Samaritan woman Jesus meets at the well of Sikar. They talk to one another, and Jesus says to her, ”He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”” John 4:16.
The woman replies, ”“I have no husband,”” She holds to the truth and says, ”“I have no husband,””. Then Jesus reveals her and says, ”Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.””
You would almost think she was offended when Jesus reveals her. But no, she's set free. She left to fetch water in the hottest part of the day because she did not want to meet anyone - possibly because the villagers had mocked and downplayed her because of her way of life - she now boldly enters the village and speaks to her villagers and says she has seen a man she thinks may be Christ. Based on what she tells and witnesses, the villagers go out to the well to meet Jesus, and Jesus spoke to them and many came to believe in him. They asked Him to stay there, and He stayed there for two days, and many more came to believe, and these immediately testified, and they went to the woman and said, ”They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.””
The woman who had previously shunned her villagers and hid from them, she now meets them with great boldness and witnesses to them. The truth has set her completely free. Her testimony was brief but had a great impact. It might have seem strange to Jesus that the joy was so great for a stranger, while his own did not receive him.
2nd January 2020
COMFORT FROM HEAVEN
”But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”... ”
2nd Cor. 12.9NIV
A man was speaking in the parish hall. To his speech he linked a story of sorrow and hope to those who have been visited by death:
A woman in England had a son. When the boy was 4, he died of cancer. His mother grieved fiercely and everything seemed to her at once to be so empty, lonely and meaningless. Then three years passed and on April 1st she got into the car in order to visit the cemetery. This day, her son would have turned 7 years old had he been alive. She cried and shouted loudly inside the car: "Show Mom a sign!"
When she arrived at the cemetery, she sat down on the tombstone. Then something happened. A small bird with the name of robin, sat on the tombstone. Then it flew towards her mother and sat on her index finger. There it sat for a long time, looking directly into the mother's eyes. Then it sat on her shoulder and lightly taped her shoulder twice, after which it flew way.
The mother got on her feet again and felt immensely comforted and relieved as she drove home.
1st January 2020
WHEN JESUS WAS STOLEN
”Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.””
Matt. 28.19 to 20NIV
Have you ever seen a small model of the little Jesus child lying in a manger with lots of hay? And the manger might be in a barn where there are animals - possibly a cow and a few sheep? And Joseph and Mary standing around the manger? And possibly also a big sparkling star above the barn?
In some countries, they make such a manger at Christmas time. And then they use a doll as the Jesus figure. In a certain congregation tehey could afford buying a particularly fine Jesus doll. It cost appx. £1,000 and then the Jesus doll was stolen. This happened two consecutive years. In the third year, a GPS was inserted into the Jesus doll, and it showed the way to the thief's home.
Even cheaper versions of Jesus-dolls are sometimes stolen from the shop windows simply because people like them. Once a man went to an exhibition where there was an approximately three-foot-tall version of the Jesus child in a crib. The man walked over to the exhibition without a word, took the Jesus figure and then strolled out of the store with the big figure in his lap. When he was stopped and asked why he had nipped the doll, he replied: "I like it and I wanted it. So I took it. "
So people like Jesus as a doll that much that they are willing to steal the Jesus doll. What do you think they can use a Jesus doll for? Can they talk to it? Can it hear what they say? Can it answer them? Is it warm to sleep with in bed? No, a Jesus doll is exactly as other dolls are - it cannot do anything - other than what we say and play, it can. But possibly you can sell an expensive Jesus doll to others and get a few pence for it.
But then think of the real Jesus. Is it possible to steal him? Does the true Jesus cost anything? No, the true Jesus does not cost money. And all people can, without breaking the law, take Him along with them - without being stopped - for Jesus wishes to be taken with.
Jesus wants you to take Him into your life. Every day, all 365 days of the year. Not just as an infant Jesus, but as an adult Jesus. A Jesus who hears what you say to Him. A Jesus who sees you and sends his angels to look after you. A Jesus who speaks to you.
You cannot sell the true Jesus for money. But you can share Him with others - even without it costing them a penny. And that is the unique thing about Jesus. We can all have Him at the same time. No one needs to steal Him from anyone else. We can all have Him.
Jesus wants to be friends with everyone everywhere on earth. And when you have found the true Jesus, He wants you to help others find Him too.
Effie Campbell translated