Who is online?
In total there are 19 users online :: 1 Registered, 0 Hidden and 18 Guests

Admin

[ View the whole list ]


Most users ever online was 115 on Wed 03 Jul 2019, 3:20 pm
Latest topics
» BREITBART NEWS
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyToday at 9:36 pm by Admin

» PROPHESY NEWS WATCH
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyToday at 9:16 pm by Admin

» BIBLE STUDY on VERSE
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyToday at 8:32 pm by Admin

» Daily Disciples
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyToday at 8:31 pm by Admin

» OBAMA AGAIN
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyToday at 8:26 pm by Admin

»  Report: Jeffrey Epstein told fellow inmates he feared for his life
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyToday at 8:22 pm by Admin

» servant @ TWO LISTENERS
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyToday at 7:46 pm by Admin

»  The Bible Says "Do Not Worry about Tomorrow" - How Do We Do It?
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyToday at 7:25 pm by Admin

» PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyToday at 12:37 pm by Admin

»  BRITAIN NEWS AND ALERT's
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyToday at 12:35 pm by Admin

» ISRAEL HISTORY
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyToday at 12:30 pm by Admin

» 5 Steps To Embrace Life's Changes Like A Champ
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyToday at 11:10 am by Admin

» Head Jesuit Says Devil Just a ‘Symbol’, Not a Real Being
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyToday at 10:11 am by Admin

» BIRTH PANGS – Series of Powerful Earthquakes Volcano's Strike Around the Globe
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyToday at 10:04 am by Admin

» WAR DRUMS
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyToday at 10:02 am by Admin

» ENDTIME HEADLINES
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyToday at 9:48 am by Admin

» 4 Truths for When God Seems Hidden
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyYesterday at 10:57 pm by Admin

» R.D SOUZA Saved by faith
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyYesterday at 10:56 pm by Admin

» ISRAEL BREAKING NEWS
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyYesterday at 10:53 pm by Admin

» WORTHY NEWS
WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 EmptyYesterday at 10:40 pm by Admin

Navigation
 Portal
 Index
 Memberlist
 Profile
 FAQ
 Search

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Page 10 of 20 Previous  1 ... 6 ... 9, 10, 11 ... 15 ... 20  Next

Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Thu 25 Apr 2013, 10:39 am

Correction, Please
Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
When my parents were building a new home, my father and I went to view the progress. The living room hearth had been partially bricked, but as we looked at it, we realized it was crooked and leaning to one side. He called the contractor about the problem, and the order was given to tear down the hearth and start over. My father and I again inspected the progress and, to our dismay, the nearly completed hearth was leaning to the other side. It was still crooked! Dad called the contractor, and once again the crew tore down the hearth and rebuilt it.
When we returned the next afternoon to check on the work, the hearth and fireplace had been completed all the way to the ceiling. It was perfectly straight!
What made the difference? We found out later that the contractor had hired a young, inexperienced crew, but this time he showed them how to brick the hearth correctly. He stayed with them until the project was finished.
God has effectively done the same thing for us. The Bible is our contractor and it teaches us how to live.
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul wrote: "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." In other words, the Bible is good for teaching—it tells us what is true; it is good for reproof—it tells us what's not right; it is good for correction, literally meaning "to stand us up on our feet"—it tells us how to get it right; and finally, the Word of God trains us to perform what is right. That's a pretty hefty resume for one book. A book like this must be taken seriously.
Many years ago, a man named Robert Chapman gave Christians a powerful reminder of our privilege and responsibility as stewards of God's Word. He wrote:
This book contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, and the soldier's sword. It should fill the memory, test the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It involves the highest responsibility, rewards the greatest labor, and condemns all who will trifle with its sacred contents. Christ is its grand subject, our good is its design, and the glory of God is its end.
The question then is not "Why study the Bible," but "How can we afford not to?" What will you do with God's Word today? It's not meant to simply adorn the table in your living room or lay on your bedside table, unread.
Pick it up—use it. It's the perfect blueprint . . . for building your life!
Prayer Point: In John 17:17, Christ asked His Father to "sanctify them [His disciples] in Your truth; Your word is truth." Make this prayer a personal one for you, and pray that God, through His Word, will continue to conform you to His image.
Extra Refreshment: Read 2 Timothy 3—a powerful reminder of how vitally important the Bible is in our lives.

Take a Good Look!
James 1:23-24
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
J. B. Phillips was a British scholar who paraphrased the New Testament. Because of his nationality, he occasionally threw new light on a passage through his use of the British explanation of terms.
One example is found in his interpretation of Romans 3:20. In England, what Americans call a ruler was known as a straightedge; when Phillips paraphrased the passage "For through the Law comes the knowledge of sin," he wrote, "Indeed it is the straightedge of the Law that shows us how crooked we are."
I can show you crooked . . . have you ever tried to hang striped wallpaper? You know very well that it's only when you come to a corner, a door, or a window that you suddenly realize how crooked the wallpaper is. Stay away from stripes—they will wreck your marriage!
The straightedge for unbelievers is the Law, for by it, Paul says in Romans, they are condemned. But the straightedge for believers is the Word of God.
In His Word, God reveals to us how we should live and what He desires of us in our homes, our churches, our schools; on the ball field and golf course; at work and play. The Bible is the ruler by which a Christian measures his life, and the rule by which we should live.
This is what God's Word does for us. It not only shows us when we're doing things all wrong, but it also encourages us in knowing how to make the corrections.
In light of this, James describes God's Word as a mirror. While a mirror can, with absolute precision, reveal the dirt on your face, it can't wash it off. It can show that you need to shave your stubble, comb your hair, or brush your teeth, but it can't shave, comb, or brush anything. You have to do that.
As foolish as it would be for a man to look in the mirror and then forget what he looked like, so it would be for you and me to look into God's Word and forget what it says. The truth is, our response to the Bible is a good indication of the condition of our heart. Are you looking at yourself in the mirror of God's Word? Are you praying that God will change you into His image?
Don't be discouraged. We are all works in progress . . . just keep changing. Being a doer of the Word is evidence of true conformity; behaving in the manner of true believers is evidence of growth in Christ. Look again . . . you can become the mirror-image of our Savior.
Prayer Point: Ask the Lord to help you respond immediately to whatever His Spirit has challenged you to be as you've read this page. What needs brushing up? What needs cleaning up? Don't walk away—don't wait another moment.
Extra Refreshment: Read several sections of Psalm 119 and notice how the Word of God impacts the way we think, feel, and respond.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Tue 23 Apr 2013, 11:06 pm

Carrying the Cure
1 Peter 3:15
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.
Moody Monthly published a heartbreaking story about an event that occurred in the life of one of Chicago's most well-known surgeons. Dr. Leo Winters was awakened one morning around one o'clock. There had been an accident and a young boy was in the hospital. Nurses there felt that he alone had the skill to save the boy's life.
Without any hesitation, Dr. Winters rushed out of bed, threw on his clothes, grabbed his keys, and ran to his car. As he made his way in downtown Chicago, he took a shortcut through a dangerous area known for its rough gangs. The risk was worth it to him, for he knew that only precious minutes stood between the injured boy and death.
But something happened. As he sat at a stoplight waiting for it to change, a man wearing an old flannel shirt and a gray hat suddenly rushed from the shadows. He opened the car door, grabbed the doctor and threw him out, screaming, "I've got to have your car."
Dr. Winters tried to plead his situation but the man was gone before he could utter two words. This was before the days of cell phones, and it took at least forty-five minutes to find a pay phone and call a taxi. By the time he arrived at the hospital, more than an hour had passed.
The nurses on the floor shook their heads and said, "You're too late, Dr. Winters; the boy died thirty minutes ago. You'll find the father down the hall in the chapel. He's awfully confused—he can't understand why you didn't come."
Without taking time to explain to the staff, Dr. Winters hurried down the hallway and opened the chapel door. There, sitting in the front row, was the crumpled form of the weeping father, wearing an old flannel shirt and clutching a gray hat. In his desperation to get to the hospital, he had pushed from the car the man who could have saved his son's life.
Do you want a picture of humanity? Here it is: rushing after life; racing after satisfaction and fulfillment; hungering for meaningful relationships and lasting commitments; hoping for peace and relief from guilt and sin—yet, at the same time, pushing away the only One capable of saving their lives.
But we must never give up on them. We must continue to rush through the cold, dark streets no matter what danger awaits us and try to reach them in time.
Will some people throw you out? Yes. Will some people refuse to listen to you? Yes. Will some people curse at you? Yes. But God's mercy is worth your greatest effort. We have been given the cure for the disease of sin, and we know the Divine Healer who offers that cure to all.
So make haste to reach everyone . . . while you can.
Prayer Point: Pray that God will give you a heart for people, and a desire to see lost and dying unbelievers come to faith in Christ Jesus. Then, pray for the strength to remain a gentle and loving witness, even to those who refuse you.
Extra Refreshment: Read Acts 3—one of the many accounts whereby the disciples boldly proclaim Christ to the unbelieving Israelites.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Mon 22 Apr 2013, 11:03 pm


Under the Hood
Ephesians 4:29
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Gary Graff, a pastor in Lancaster, Minnesota, tells a story of something that happened to his friend. After shopping at the mall all day, the man walked out to his car, only to smell a foul odor coming from beneath the hood. Upon lifting the hood, he discovered the body of a cat that had been caught in the fan (cat lovers, I offer my condolences!).
In disgust, the man stared at the mess, not knowing what to do. He decided to place the remains in an empty shopping bag. After closing the hood, he walked back toward the mall to wash his hands. As he neared the entrance, he looked back and noticed something unusual happening. He watched as a middle-aged woman approached his car, looked around, then grabbed the bag he had tied and left on top of the car. He stood in shock as she walked quickly past him, hurrying into the mall. This was too good to be true! He followed her.
She went into a restaurant and sat down in a private booth. Once seated, she untied the knot to survey her stolen prize. As soon as she opened the bag and saw the dead cat inside, she screamed—and promptly fainted! Of course, the management was alarmed that a customer had fainted in the restaurant, and paramedics were called. In no time, the woman was strapped to a gurney and rolled outside. The "owner" of the cat bag couldn't resist: he took the bag from the booth and just as the woman was being loaded into the ambulance, ran over and said, "Hey lady, don't forget your bag!" Then he laid the bag on top of her.
As humorous as this story is, it reminds me of many people I know—people who look shiny and clean on the outside, but once the hood is opened, the rotten smell assaults our noses. In fact, our mouths are like that, revealing what's inside . . . they're a window of our heart.
In Luke 6:45, Christ says, "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart." One of the greatest distinctives between believers and unbelievers should be the way we speak.
If God has truly redeemed us, His Spirit has given us the power to live holy lives. We have no excuse for gossip, lies, crude jesting, cursing, or taking the Lord's name in vain. These are the marks of heart defiled, rotten . . . not redeemed.
Do you have decayed remains under the hood? Open your mouth—examine your heart—start changing your vocabulary . . . today!
Prayer Point: Pray that God will give you renewed conviction about your conversation so you will become more aware of the damage and power that lie in your words. Admit your need to a friend and ask him to hold you accountable to speak only wholesome words.
Extra Refreshment: Read James 3.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Fri 19 Apr 2013, 11:27 pm

Goodness to All
Matthew 5:43-44
"You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
God's goodness is experienced by all creation, and everyone who has ever lived has personally benefited from the grace of God in numerous ways. In Psalm 33:5 the psalmist wrote, "The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord."
Matthew 5:45b tells us that God "causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." Theologians refer to this as God's common grace. One author described it this way: "He gives both the righteous and the unrighteous food to eat, a fire to keep warm, water to quench thirst. He gives us all blue sky, a warm sun, green grass, and beautiful mountains."
If you were God, things would be very different, wouldn't they? If your neighbor ridiculed you for going to church, you would cause rain to fall on every lawn except his. In fact, you might even strike his yard with lightning and destroy his lawn altogether! But God doesn't do that. Your neighbor's lawn might look better than yours, or his kids seem healthier than yours, or his promotions come faster than yours, and his appliances last longer than yours!
God allows unbelievers to experience relationships that bring love and happiness. He gives them the thrill of excitement over the birth of a child, or the accomplishment of a life-long project. He gives them a sense of personal worth and an intuitive knowledge of right and wrong. Unbelievers can paint, sing, create, innovate; write symphonies, build skyscrapers, invent medical cures, design computer programs.
Sadly, David lamented in Psalm 107:8, "Oh, that men would praise the LORD for His lovingkindness." But they don't do that, do they?
They ignore His goodness and take it for granted. As Romans 1:21 says, "For even though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened." Yet God continues to pour out his lovingkindness even on those who will not acknowledge Him, nor give thanks to Him.
Did you know that we are to do the same? As Christ's ambassadors in this world, we are to show the same love and goodness to our enemies as God shows to us. Romans 5:7-8 declares, "For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for a good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." In other words, we are not to wish for the destruction of unbelievers, but rather to pray for their salvation. We are not to think hateful thoughts of them and condemn them in our minds, but rather forgive them for any grievance against us, and show them the love of Christ.
Loving our enemies is not an easy task, but it is what God did for us. If we are to be Christ's representatives in the world, we must learn to show "common grace" as He does . . . to all men.
Prayer Point: Pray that God will give you a merciful and gracious spirit toward unbelievers, rather than a prideful and domineering spirit which constantly says, "Look, I'm better than you." Thank God for loving you while you were still an enemy and a sinner, giving you an example of how you are to love others.
Extra Refreshment: Read Luke 10:25-37.
Only God Knows
Romans 11:33-36
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became his counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
The 1921 story of David and Svea Flood, missionaries to the Belgian Congo, is little-known today. But what follows is a remarkable story of faith . . . and restoration.
The Floods left their native Sweden with a two-year-old son, set out for the interior of Africa, and together with another young Scandinavian couple, the Ericksons, sought God's direction for their endeavors. Rebuffed by the chief who would not let them enter the village for fear of alienating the local gods, the two couples opted to go half a mile up the slope and build their own mud huts.
They prayed for a spiritual breakthrough, but the only contact with the villagers was a young boy, who was allowed to sell chickens and eggs twice a week to them. Svea Flood decided if this was the only African she could talk to, she would try to lead the boy to Jesus—and she did. But there were no other converts.
Malaria struck the members of the little team and, in time, the Ericksons returned to the central mission station. The Floods remained; when the time came for Svea to give birth, the village chief allowed a midwife to help her. A healthy girl, Aina, was born, but the delivery was difficult for Svea; she died seventeen days later.
Angry with God, David dug a crude grave, buried his young wife, and took his two children back to the mission station. He left the baby with the Ericksons and returned to Sweden, saying, "God has ruined my life." Both Ericksons died eight months later, and little Aina was taken in by American missionaries, coming to the States at age three. Aggie, as she was now called, grew up in South Dakota, attended North Central Bible College in Minneapolis, and married a young man named Dewey Hurst.
Years later her husband became president of a Christian college in the Seattle area, and she found much Scandinavian heritage there. One day a photo in a Swedish religious magazine caught her eye. There in a primitive setting was a grave with a white cross—and on the cross were the words SVEA FLOOD. Six hundred Christian believers now lived in that village . . . a testimony to David and Svea Flood!
Aggie knew she had to go to Sweden! Her father, now married with four children, and an old man, was bitter and broken. When she came to his bed, he turned away and began to cry. "Aina, I never meant to give you away." "It's all right, Papa," she replied, taking him gently into her arms, "God took care of me." By the end of the afternoon, David had come back to the God he had resented for so many decades.
Some years later, the Hursts attended an evangelism conference in London, where a report was given from the nation of Zaire, the former Belgian Congo. The superintendent of the national church, representing 110,000 baptized believers, spoke eloquently of the gospel's spread in his nation. Aggie asked him afterward if he had heard of David and Svea Flood. "Yes, madam," the man replied in French, "Svea Flood led me to Jesus Christ. I was the boy who brought food to your parents before you were born. You must come to Africa; your mother is the most famous person in our history."
Later, in Zaire, Aggie Hurst and her husband were welcomed . . . by cheering throngs of villagers in the place where she was born!
Prayer Point: Praise God for His goodness to you, even in your times of doubt and confusion. Thank him that He never leaves you in your bitterness, but restores you to Himself.
Extra Refreshment: Read Jonah—a story of how God's kindness led to salvation for thousands.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Wed 17 Apr 2013, 10:57 pm

Drawing from the Right Well
Jeremiah 2:13
For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.
If religion is a broken cistern—a shattered reservoir that can't hold water—why do so many people try to drink from it? First Samuel 16:7 answers, "Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart." That is, man runs to religion because it makes him look and feel better.
The heart is passionate about creating appearances, like a quartz that masquerades as a diamond, or "fools gold" which has false value. It gives people the impression that they are good, while veiling their inner evil.
Religion is the greatest impostor the world has ever known.
Imagine stumbling into a run-down farmyard: windswept, barren, and nothing more than hard, dry ground. But there is a well, with a wooden platform and a rusty old pump. You are dying of thirst and step onto the platform, anxiously beginning to pump the handle. It squeaks and complains with every push and pull. After five minutes—nothing but air. After fifteen minutes of sweating, coaxing, pleading, there is still nothing . . . the well is dry.
Let me tell you what the institution of religion has done: It has scraped all the rust off the pump handle and painted it bright red. Better yet, it has replaced the old handle with a shiny brass one which gleams brilliantly as the sun strikes it. Flowers have been planted around the well and a pleasant path has been marked out through the farmyard so people can come from all around. People do indeed come; they gaze; they marvel; they rhapsodize; and they decide to build a platform, put up a pump, plant some flowers, and lay a stone path. But there is no water!
You may say, "But I know people who aren't Christians and yet, are committed to their families, are ethical in business, and are moral, upright citizens. How can you say that their religion is devoid of the water of life?"
This is a fair question, but we must remember that religion focuses on the work of the hands, while ignoring the sin of the heart.
David says in Psalm 14:2-3, "The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one." God has seen what lies beneath man's facade, and He is far from impressed.
Are you satisfying your spiritual thirst with the living water of a relationship with Christ, or are you still painting broken pump handles? Christians can do it too, you know— getting more caught up in reputation than in a relationship to God. We draw from broken cisterns when we care more about what the world thinks of us than what God thinks of us.
Christian friend, even though you have already tasted of Christ's life-giving stream, you must quench your constant thirst and draw from the right well. Allow His Word to satisfy . . . nothing else will.
Prayer Point: Christ says in John 7:38 that "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.' " Thank the Lord for offering that living water to you and for reviving your thirsty soul. Then confess all the broken cisterns you have been running to for satisfaction, rather than Christ.
Extra Refreshment: Read John 4—a beautiful story of a sinner who drinks the living water of Christ and is made well.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Tue 16 Apr 2013, 10:10 pm

Just Look Up!
Proverbs 14:12
There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
There is a story in the Old Testament of a time when God judged Israel in a severe manner by sending poisonous snakes into their camp. The Bible called these snakes "fiery serpents," because their venom would cause a hot fever in the bodies of its victims, ultimately killing those who were bitten.
The Israelites cried out for mercy, and God responded with His grace and mercy toward them. He gave Moses instructions to make a brass serpent, hang it from the top of a long wooden pole, and hold it up in the midst of the camp. Then he was to tell the people of Israel that anyone who simply looked up at the brass serpent would be healed and recover from their snakebite. As easy as that!
All the Israelites had to do was look up and they would be saved. They were not required to develop medicine for the infection; they were not asked to work for their cure; they were not commanded to kill all the serpents in order to be healed. If you can imagine it, many still refused to look at the brazen serpent lifted up in the midst of the camp. Why? Because the natural instinct of the human heart is to do things its own way—to find its own remedy for sin. But there is only one remedy for sin and death, and God is the One who provided it.
Donald Grey Barnhouse, the late well-known pastor and radio preacher, illustrated how the human heart responds to "fiery serpents":
In the religious fashion of our day, there would have been a rush to incorporate the "Society for the Extermination of the Fiery Serpents." There would have been badges for coat lapels, cards for district workers, secretaries for organization branches, pledge cards, and mass rallies. There would have been a publication office and a weekly journal to tell of the progress of the work. There would have been photographs of heaps of serpents that had been killed by the faithful workers, all of them feverishly trying, by human effort, to overcome the serpent's bite of sin!
This Old Testament event, found in Numbers 21, is really a wonderful picture of what Christ would do thousands of years later on the cross. He would hang in our place as a sinner so that all who looked upon Him might be saved.
In John 14:6, Christ says, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." There is no other way to God but to look upon the crucified Savior and believe.
People today are surrounded with all the trappings of religion: they join churches, sign pledge cards, go through Bible lessons and catechisms, give money, get baptized, and in the end, still die without the cure for sin. The truth is, we all have been bitten by sin and its poison is steadily and continually rushing through our veins—we are terminally infected with the venom of sin's curse.
Our only hope is to look to that wooden cross upon which the Lamb of God was held up for all to see. Look there! . . . God has provided your cure.
Prayer Point: Though you already may have accepted Christ's gift of salvation, it is very easy to take your eyes off Him. As Paul said, we must "fix our eyes on Jesus," and that should be your prayer today. Don't let yourself forget the awesome work Christ did for you at the cross; practice thanking Him for it . . . start today!
Extra Refreshment: Read Numbers 21—the story of God's deliverance of the Israelites from the fiery serpents.

Hiding behind Your Halo
Matthew 23:27
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.
There is no doubt that first impressions can last a long time. Whether you are interviewing for a job, showing up for a class, or moving into the neighborhood, first impressions are hard to live down.
Sociologists have studied the subject of first impressions. One study concluded that a first impression is solidified in the first four minutes of a conversation. They say that if those first four minutes are positive, your acquaintances will most likely view everything about you in a positive light—even things unknown to them. Your professional skills, your morals, and even your intelligence will be held by them in high regard. Why? Simply because you made a good first impression.
Sociologists have even given a name to this phenomenon—the "halo effect." If you can put your best foot forward and come out looking and sounding impressive, you will create a certain air about you that may last a long time, regardless of whether or not it is true.
This happens all the time in our modern culture; a culture where charisma matters more than character—where image is more important than integrity. We live in a world that is consumed with creating halos and keeping them shiny at every opportunity, while hiding the sordidness of our true identity.
This is certainly not a new development. During the days of Christ, the people who wore the brightest halos were the Pharisees. They arrived at the busiest street corners in the marketplace at exactly 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m., where they prayed on public display. People thought of them as men who loved God more than other people did; men whom God loved most; but Jesus Christ was not deceived by their chicanery. He, being God, looked beyond their smiles and priestly robes and saw what was in their heart. They were hypocrites to the core and Christ was not fooled by their good impressions.
His condemnation of the Pharisees was justified when they crucified Him. How ironic! They were the supposed "Godfearers" of the day, yet at their first chance, they put Christ to death for unmasking their true identity. Though they studied the Scriptures fervently, they did not heed the words of Solomon, who wrote in Proverbs 15:33, "The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility."
Fear of man induces hypocrisy—fear of God produces humility.
Are you living a double life in order to gain the approval of others, or living a singular life that recognizes the need for God's grace and direction each day?
Are you shining your halo or cultivating your humility?
Halos make a good first impression on mankind . . . humility makes a lasting impression on God.
Prayer Point: David prayed in Psalm 139:23-24: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way." Pray this same prayer, knowing that God sees your heart—and ask Him to move you from hypocrisy to humility.
Extra Refreshment: Read Acts 5—a story of a hypocritical couple who desired men's approval rather than God's, and received their just reward.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Fri 12 Apr 2013, 9:00 pm

How's Your Resume?
1 Corinthians 1:26-27
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong . . .
We often have the idea that God is looking for people with an impressive spiritual resume—men and women who meet all the qualifications. We think if God is seeking people to serve Him, He will look for the most qualified, the smartest, the bravest.
The truth is, God doesn't look for eloquence—He looks for emptiness.
In Acts 6, the newfound church had exploded into existence and discovered their first problem: they had a great deal of money! All of its members were selling their land and possessions to give to the needs of others, but some of the widows in dire circumstances were being overlooked. The Holy Spirit moved the apostles' hearts to choose seven men to solve the problem.
That job seems easy enough, doesn't it? If I were one of the apostles, I would have called for the accountants in the church, the financiers, the treasurers, the bookkeepers—those who had experience with handling and dispersing funds. That would seem the logical choice, wouldn't it?
But the apostles had different criteria. In Acts 6:3 we find the qualifications: "Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task."
Wow! The implication here is that the men who were selected were men devoid of themselves, having been filled with the Holy Spirit. They were wise because they were surrendered to God, and because of this, God chose them for the task. Can you guess what happened next? The matter was settled and the widows were taken care of from that day forth.
God doesn't need the best-of-the-best to change the world; He can do it all by Himself. Yet, in His mercy and love, He has decided to allow us the opportunity to leave a mark on our sphere of influence for His glory. So be encouraged, friend; you don't have to be the best-looking, the smartest, or the most talented person in the world to gain God's approval.
When Jesus Christ chose twelve men to be His closest companions, He didn't go into the rabbinical schools to find the most brilliant graduates. He chose instead twelve unlearned men who were nobodies in the religious world's estimation. Why? He wasn't looking for impressive resumes.
Today Christ seeks out men and women who are both dependent upon and available to the Holy Spirit for His enabling.
He's looking for people who know they don't deserve the credit . . . have you updated your resume?
Prayer Point: Lay your heart before God at this moment and ask Him to show you the prideful things you should rid from your life. Pray that He will empty you of that pride and give you faith to rely fully on Him.
Extra Refreshment: Read the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 1.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Thu 11 Apr 2013, 10:50 pm

The Works of Your Hands
Psalm 92:4
For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.
You heard the name in history class—John Wilkes Booth, assassin of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. This is the lesson that was never taught:
After the mortal shooting of the President at Ford's Theater in April, 1865, Booth and his accomplice, David Herold, fled into Maryland, spending a restless night in an inn. At four o'clock in the morning, they awakened Dr. Mudd in his home, asking him to set Booth's broken left leg. The two fugitives hid five days until it was safe to cross the Potomac to the Virginia side of the river. A detachment of twenty-five soldiers tracked the killers to a barn on the Garrett farm near Port Royal.
The Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, ordered that these men be taken alive. But this would not be an easy task. Booth was heavily armed and determined to fight his way out; his companion surrendered, held out his hands through the slats of the barn door, was dragged outside, and tied to a tree. Simultaneously the barn was fired, the hay catching quickly.
When Booth leaned toward the barn door to get away from the flames, a soldier noticed the carbine in his hand. Sergeant Boston Corbett had been positioned at a crack in the barn; when he saw Booth raise his rifle, he fired, hoping to disable him in the arm. A sudden movement by Booth resulted in the bullet striking him in the neck. He was carried from the barn to the porch, unconscious, but was revived; unable to swallow the offered medicine, he lifted his hands and said, "Useless, useless!" He died two hours later.
Sgt. Corbett's commendation by his superiors reached the commanding general: ". . . [he]was untiring in his efforts to bring the murderers to justice. His soldierly qualifications have been tested before this occasion, and, in my judgment, are second to none in the service."
Sgt. Corbett was arrested for disobeying orders, but the charges were dropped. Sadly, due to repeated erratic behavior, he was declared insane twenty-two years later and was committed to an asylum in Kansas, where he escaped after a year and disappeared for good.
When it comes to salvation, you and I are no different from John Wilkes Booth. Salvation came when you looked at your life and cried, "Useless! Useless!"
Like Sgt. Corbett, all the good works you do will not give you peace of mind. All the Sundays you attend church, and all the money you give to charitable causes will not assure your gaining salvation. Those things are useless, vain, without meaning.
It is recorded in Hebrews 9:27 that ". . . it is appointed for men to die . . . " and then to face "judgment," but we who are in Christ will not have to face that judgment day. Christ has already been through the fire of God's wrath, dying the death of a criminal on our behalf, gaining peace for us, that we may have eternal life in Him.
Our hands are not stained with the deeds of the world—they have been washed in the cleansing blood of the Lamb! We can sing for joy at the works of our hands when they perform the most important work in the world . . . the work of God.
Prayer Point: Thank the Lord again for saving you when you could not save yourself. Thank Him for lifting you up with His loving hands and rescuing you from the wrath that you deserve.
Extra Refreshment: Read Psalm 37 (especially vs. 24) which speaks of our security in the "hand" of God.
Food for the Taking
Matthew 5:6
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
When Moses was leading the Israelites through the wilderness for forty years, God supplied bread for them to eat. Without God's provision, they never would have survived.
It's the same for us. We, like the Israelites, are walking through the dry and dreary wilderness of life, with constant dependency on, and need for, spiritual food—God's Word. Just like the manna that fell from the skies, His Word is offered to us fresh every morning, bringing nourishment to all who will eat.
There are many other similarities between the manna sent from heaven to the Israelites, and the food sent from heaven to us. Manna basically fell right into the Israelites' laps. They didn't have to search far and wide to find it; it was there for the taking. In the same way, a meal in God's Word is available to us if we will only reach out and take it.
Manna was available in abundance to those who would collect it. Similarly, the Word is available to those who will study it. It would have been foolish for the hungry Israelites to step outside their homes and gather only enough manna to whet their appetites, instead of gathering enough to satisfy their hunger. It is just as foolish when Christians open the Word of God and read only a verse or two, rather than studying it to savor the nourishing truths God has provided in the writings.
Manna was never force-fed, but the Israelites had the opportunity either to eat it or go hungry. In the same way, you will never be forced to feed upon God's Word. It will have to be your choice, whether or not you eat or go spiritually hungry.
If a friend complained of lack of energy, you would ask when she last had anything to eat. Her reply that she had skipped breakfast and lunch would tip you off to her problem, and you would be perfectly in order to say, "No wonder you're weak . . . get some food in you!" If someone came to you and told you that he was spiritually weak, you would be justified in asking, "How often do you study the Bible?" The reply would reveal the reason for his weakness: "Well, I read it a couple of times during the week, but I get a good dose of it on Sunday." He's starving himself!
Spiritual anemia is the condition resulting from not spending time in God's Word. That Word is readily available—in fact, you probably have three or four Bibles in your home and a few more in your family vehicle.
Just because it isn't force-fed, it doesn't mean that it should be ignored. The truth is, you can't live without it. You will never survive the harsh desert winds of doubt, fear, materialism, gluttony, lust, and pride if you are not reaching out every morning and gathering the food that God has offered you. You simply cannot live without physical food . . . how do you expect to live without spiritual food? You can't.
One of the critical differences between manna and Scripture is that God's Word never grows stale. Unlike manna when it was hoarded, God's Word is still fresh when you store it away in your heart; you can gather, save, stash as much as you want for future needs.
So . . . when's the last time you had a solid meal?
Prayer Point: Thank the Lord for the availability of His Word. Confess your lack of desire to know His Word better and ask Him for additional discipline to daily read and study His Word.
Extra Refreshment: Read several paragraphs from Psalm 119 and notice how each verse mentions God's Word.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Tue 09 Apr 2013, 9:20 pm

Becoming the Exception
Deuteronomy 8:6
Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.
Believers once knew what it meant to fear God. Men like John Huss and John Wycliffe willingly faced death for refusing to denounce their faith, knowing that God had warned, "If you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father."
Men like Jim Elliot and Nate Saint refused to use their guns against the attacking natives, believing that dying for Christ was far more important than killing unbelievers who would never have another chance at salvation. But this kind of reverence for God and His gospel is rare today.
Today, the church is not only losing its testimony—it is no longer living up to it.
Warren Wiersbe writes in his book, The Integrity Crisis, these sharp and painful words:
For nineteen centuries the church has been telling the world to admit and confess its sins.
Today, in the twilight of the twentieth century, the world is telling the church to face up to its sins and to begin living what it preaches.
I might add that is true for us in the twenty-first century! For hundreds of years, men have stood firm in the gospel despite being persecuted, laughed at, and at times, slaughtered. But a shift has taken place. Now, not only do Christians shy away from persecution and hardship, questioning God in the midst of it, but their lives are full of sin, hiding under the cloak of religion rather than living up to their testimony.
Part of the problem is rooted in our shamefully low viewpoint of God. When we hear truth from God's Word, we are convicted but not changed; we are challenged but not converted.
It naturally follows that an inferior view of God will birth a shallow view of His Word.
Today, the Bible is not only being questioned and debated, but it is being disobeyed. Why? The fear of the Lord is no longer before our eyes. Christ has become an after-thought, rather than an all-consuming thought.
Reverence for the things of God takes a back seat today in the public arena. The crowd who claim the name of Christ but float downstream in the current of popular culture find their lives swirling in the eddy of religious pluralism, inclusivism, and universalism— spiraling rapidly downward—moving farther and farther away from distinctiveness and purity.
This crowd becomes the rule. You must choose to be . . . the exception.
Prayer Point: Pray for the kind of faith in God that Abraham had, the kind of purity that Joseph had, and the kind of heart that David had. Pray that God will teach you to fear and love Him, and ask for strength to live an extraordinary life for Him.
Extra Refreshment: Read Hebrews 11—a chapter filled to the brim with the names of people who have lived in fear of God and who are being rewarded for it now.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Mon 08 Apr 2013, 8:04 pm

A Matter of Life and Death
John 3:36
He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
Perhaps you saw the news of the tragic fire in Colorado some years ago. The headline of a USA Today article called it the "Colorado Tragedy," and a tragedy it indeed was. It was not only a tragedy because twelve men died in the fire, but because their deaths were brought about by one wrong decision.
The article related that firefighters carry in their belt pouches a blanket called a shelter. It consists of thin cloth-like layers of aluminum foil and glass glued together, less than an inch thick, and weighs about three pounds. It can be opened, allowing the firefighter to lie under it when the flames get too close. This wonderful invention has saved the lives of many firemen, but in this case, it cost them their lives.
The inferno that raged on Storm Mountain that dreadful Wednesday afternoon took an unexpected turn; the firefighters had successfully contained the blaze to less than fifty acres when all of a sudden, monstrous gusts of wind whipped it back into a fury, spreading the flames over two thousand acres in less than five hours. Many of the men were trapped. One firefighter recalled the event and said that without warning, the forest just exploded. The article reads:
With just seconds to outwit the fires, some firefighters ran back through walls of flame to burned-out, spent ground. They were among the thirty-eight who lived. But at least nine who died had tried to climb into their shelters, in the path of the fire, and found them insufficient shields against suffocating flames and heat. One firefighter summarized it this way, "The guys who used their shelters died; those who ran back into and through the wall of fire to ground that was already burned, lived.
When I read this, I couldn't help but think of humanity running for its life before the flames of eternal judgment. Many people carry their little shelters of religion, good works, baptism, money, or morality, but these shields will not be enough to withstand the heat of God's holy wrath.
The only ones who will live are those who run to scorched ground—ground where the fires of God's wrath have already burned. That ground is none other than Jesus Christ, who has taken upon Himself the wrath of God so that all those who stand "in Christ" will be saved.
Have you made the decision to follow Christ, or are you still hiding beneath your own shelter of misguided whims and ideas? Don't wait another second to make that choice.
It's a matter of life . . . and death!
Prayer Point: If you are already a believer in Christ, thank Him for taking your punishment on the cross and for offering to you His righteousness in return. If you are not yet a believer in Christ, you can accept Him right now. Simply confess that you are a sinner, believe that Christ paid the penalty for your sin on the cross, rose again from the grave and offers forgiveness for all your sin. Receive His free gift of salvation and commit your life to His authority.
Extra Refreshment: Read the entire chapter of John 3, where God's immense love for the lost world is revealed.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Sat 06 Apr 2013, 11:35 am

Signed, Sealed, and Committed
Romans 8:9
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
Contrary to popular opinion, the power of the Holy Spirit is not a special privilege for spiritual people. Actually, according to Romans 8:9, if you do not have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside you, then you do not have a claim to Christianity. So anyone who tells you, "You haven't been baptized by the Holy Spirit" is really saying that you are not saved. All Christians are Spirit-indwelled. The Holy Spirit is not some treat for the spiritually elite, but a gift to all believers, great and small.
I used to tell my kids, "Listen, if you behave for your mother today, and do your chores, and treat each other with some semblance of civility, then I'll take you to Goodberry's for ice cream after dinner."
Now parenting experts warn against bribing your kids, but I wasn't bribing them. I was simply instructing them: "If you behave, we go to Goodberry's; if you misbehave, you go to bed." Parenting experts need to learn about the power of the promise of ice cream!
Fortunately, God does not do the same thing with us in regard to the Holy Spirit. He doesn't say, "Now if you pray long and hard, if you tarry and weep, and behave in a good manner, then I will give you a taste of the Holy Spirit." No! The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a once-for-all-time experience for every believer.
God takes the new believer and by means of the Holy Spirit, immerses him into the body of Christ.
Paul wrote to Titus in Titus 3:5-6, that "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior." In other words, you and I are no more deserving of the Holy Spirit than we are of Jesus Christ. We do not receive Christ by our own merit or works, and neither do we receive the Holy Spirit by anything we do. Both are given as gifts.
Thus, we do not pray for the Holy Spirit to descend upon us, or fall upon us, or come from heaven with power. He has been ours all along! Ephesians 1:13 says that we are "sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise," and His seal will remain fixed . . . forever.
What an incredible gift we have been given through the Spirit! Think about it. The God of the universe is actually living inside you, committed to helping you, and guiding you until the day of your redemption.
God signed our new-birth certificate; He sealed it; He committed to us for life!
From a loving Heavenly Father . . . what more could you ask?
Prayer Point: Thank the Lord for sending His Spirit into your life, confirming that you are His child. Pray for strength to walk according to His way, rather than the way of your flesh, which leads you to sin.
Extra Refreshment: Read 2 Corinthians 1.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Thu 04 Apr 2013, 5:55 pm

Invisibly Involved
Philippians 2:13
For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
The internet has allowed people to engage in events worldwide. Today we can surf sites and witness incidents unfolding in real time.
A decade ago, much was made of the approaching millennium Y2K. At that time, an article from the Wall Street Journal caught my attention. Daystar International Ministry had high hopes of using a strategically located webcam to capture an unusual sight: the second coming of the Messiah! This was expected at the stroke of midnight, signaling the year 2000.
I won’t take time to mention the prophetic problems Daystar was overlooking. Okay––maybe I will mention one . . . the people who care about His second coming won’t be watching Him descend to Jerusalem; we’ll be coming with Him!
Imagine capturingGod on film! You would have Messiah where you could actually see Him. Your own personal DVD from Daystar for $29.99—if you purchase it in the next fifteen minutes, of course!
A paparazzi photo frenzy would be old news compared to such a spectacle as this.
A miraculous sighting of the Lord seems far more marketable and exciting than the invisible working of God . . . an idea that won’t sell many DVDs.
Still, the longing in all our hearts remains—a longing that has television shows spinning off series after series: trying to understand the ways of God; imagining how heaven responds to earth; interpreting the role of angels and demons in the affairs of mankind.
There are today fabricated reports of miraculous occurrences all across the globe: visions, sightings, miracles, and strange happenings.
I’ll admit that it would be exciting to see with my own eyes a miracle performed by God. That’s so much more interesting than attempting to discern His invisible providence—His invisible working in the ordinary events of everyday life.
Yet for the believer today, that is where God actually is at work—in the mundane, tiring, ordinary, and even repetitive duties of life. It may come without the thunder and lightning of Mount Sinai, but He is working in our lives right now just as He worked in the lives of His disciples and followers in the first century.
Howie Stevenson, former Music Minister who served with Pastor Chuck Swindoll for many years, was fond of saying, “God moves among the casseroles.” He meant that God was just as much at work in a person making dinner in the kitchen as He was in Paul planting a church in Ephesus.
God knows how easy it is for you to doubt His sovereignty when you don’t see and hear His power . . . or sense His presence in the silence. But He has spoken, and He is present.
Walter Chalmers Smith put it this way when he wrote the first verse to a hymn in 1867:
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious,
The Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious—
Thy great name we praise.
Kitchens, cubicles, car pools, and conference rooms—all are the Holy of Holies. You are in His presence today; although invisible, He is at work in you at this very moment. You don’t need a camera to prove it—God promised it.
So trust His heart . . . even when you can’t see His hand.
Prayer Point: Ask the Lord for greater trust in His presence and involvement in your life, addressing Him as “The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and me.” This will help remind you that He is the God of all history—past and present.
Extra Refreshment: Read 2 Corinthians 1:2-7 to see one way that God is absolutely involved in your life.
Millions of Muslims throughout Iraq, Israel, and Jordan now hear the Gospel in their own language on Wisdom for the Heart!Click on The Forward Movement to read more about this exciting project.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Wed 03 Apr 2013, 8:50 pm

The Church That Changed
Acts 11:1
Now the apostles and the brethren who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.
I can still vividly remember a change that occurred in our household years ago. It was when I took our older daughter to her first day of kindergarten.
If you had watched us from twenty yards away, we would have made the perfect picture. She had on new shoes and was carrying her shiny lunchbox; I was holding her hand as we walked from the parking lot to the school. But if you had come within earshot, you would have discovered that we were actually arguing!
She wanted me to stay in the car, saying, "Daddy, I don't need you to take me to class; I can do this by myself!" And I was saying, "Listen, you might be feeling good about all this, young lady, but I'm not—so why don't you just allow me a little insecurity! Okay?"
I remember that change. She went from a dependent five-year-old to an independent kindergartener.
No change is easy. We naturally resist the rough waters; the upheaval; the emotions; the hardships—there're all cousins to change.
The most difficult changes to make are those involving lifelong traditions and heritage.
I'll be even more specific: changes are hard to accept when it comes to church; when it involves your relationship to Christ; when it affects how you worship.
How about you? Can you do an internal audit of your deeply cherished church traditions?
· Are they biblically based . . . or culturally based?
· Are they resistant to the things Christ resists . . . or are they conformed to your peers' opinions?
· Are they open to the things Christ teaches . . . or are they closed by personal bias?
Let's be honest: were the Lord to have restricted salvation to the Jews only, we would be lost!
Since Israel is God's light to the nations, it was His predetermined plan that this light should shine to the Gentiles. Remember Abraham was given three promises from God in Genesis 12-17:
He would have the title deed to the land of Israel.
He would have a great progeny.
He would be a spiritual blessing to the entire world.
Paul asks in Romans 3:1, "What advantage has the Jew?" His answer was that they had the oracles [Word] of God, and Christ would be born of the natural seed of Abraham, thus fulfilling God's promise to him that he would bless the entire world.

So, what about us? Are we to be a blessing, too? Are we to accept, and even promote, change that brings the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations?

Are we to drop cultural barriers for the cause of Christ? Are we to welcome all who are saved into the family of God?

These questions bear answering . . . some traditions bear changing.

Prayer Point: Ask the Lord to give you a heart for people . . . and to help you see where change is needed in your own life. Most of all, ask Him to help you love others as Christ has loved you.

Extra Refreshment: Read Acts 15, and take note of the actions of the church when God worked among the Gentiles.
Millions of Muslims throughout Iraq, Israel, and Jordan now hear the Gospel in their own language on Wisdom for the Heart! Click on The Forward Movement to read more about this exciting project.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Tue 02 Apr 2013, 8:37 pm

Revival Starts with You
Matthew 5:16
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
How does the church gain the world's attention? How will the local church catch the ears of those who so desperately need to hear the gospel? It will only happen when Christians begin to get real with their faith and start living it out before men.
People are watching you. So, when you say you will do something, do it. When you fail at something, admit it. Don't claw and scrape and climb over others like everyone else. Trust that God is at work and settle for nothing less than the holiness and purity that He requires of you. Let this so establish itself in your character that it emanates from you before a needy and watchful world. If our gospel will change the world, it must first change us.
These words are from an Anglican bishop who lived a few generations ago. They were found among his last effects:
When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older, I discovered the world would not change. So, I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country. But, it, too, seemed immovable. As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family—those closest to me. But, alas, they would have none of it. Now, as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize, if I had only been changed, then by example, perhaps I could have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country, and who knows, I may have even changed the world.
This is where we must begin. It must start with the person staring back at you from the mirror, the one willing to make any changes necessary—not for your own glory, but for the glory of God. Christ reminds us in Matthew 5 that "they [will] see your good works and glorify [the] Father in heaven." Your ultimate purpose and joy will be in seeing others come to know the Savior as you have, for it is God who changes lives, and we are living testimonies of that.
For that reason, we are to be like mirrors in the world, reflecting His character. If the world is ever going to see God, they must first see Him . . . in us.
Prayer Point: Pray that you will be a living reflection of Jesus Christ to the world, as well as to your church. Then, pray that God will work in the hearts of Christians in your church, calling them to dedicate themselves in living holy lives, breaching the gap between the church and the world.
Extra Refreshment: Read Ephesians 2—reminding the Church how we were called out, and what we have been called to do.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Mon 01 Apr 2013, 11:23 pm

Hold the Sugar . . . Pass the Salt!
Matthew 5:13
You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
Has it ever occurred to you that Jesus never told you to become salt? In Matthew 5:13, He tells us that we are the salt of the earth. Some Christians, on the other hand, have the wrong impression; they think we're supposed to be the sugar of the earth. Although both are seasonings, they serve very different purposes.
I remember when I taught my kids how to eat oatmeal—not the instant, pre-packaged kind, but the real thing. At first they turned up their noses and refused to eat it. That is, until I sprinkled brown sugar over the top and added milk to the mix. Then they ate three bowls apiece! Why the sudden change? Because they knew it would be sweet. They said, "Dad, this is good. I can taste the sugar." Well, who doesn't love sugar?!
But salt is different from sugar in that it can create intense thirst, prevent decay, cleanse, flavor, and preserve, but never sweeten. Now, I'm not suggesting that Christians shouldn't be sweet—that's an obvious pursuit.
However, in 2 Timothy 3:12-13, Paul says: "Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived," reminding the believer that the world will want to be rid of us. Christ says the same thing in John 15:20, when He claims, "If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also." Being salt is a lot more dangerous than being sugar!
Just as salt can draw attention to food, Christians can draw attention to sin. The world hates being held accountable. Our message only tastes good to those who wish to be cleansed from sin and preserved from everlasting death, not to those who hate God. We make them thirstier for a happiness they can't find, and more aware of the sin they try to hide. No wonder the world prefers something that tastes sweet . . . a message that's sugar-coated.
At the same time, the world needs salt even though it doesn't want it. Through our ministry as saltshakers, many will come to the knowledge of the truth.
It isn't surprising that salt was meant for sprinkling, not collecting. Our churches tend to become boxes of salt, which is good for keeping our flavor intact, but not for spreading it around. The world can't be reached from inside the church. As one author said, "We need to get out of the salt box and into the world."
Let's take our mission to heart and our message to the world, even if people do prefer sugar . . . to salt!
Prayer Point: Have you backed away from sharing your faith because you haven't been too well-received? Have you upset someone by your message regarding Christ, the cross, sin, and forgiveness? Ask the Lord to help you identify someone today who needs the salt of truth.
Extra Refreshment: Read Matthew 5:1-20.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Wed 27 Mar 2013, 11:58 pm

Listening to the Master's Voice
2 Corinthians 12:9
And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941) was a genius; an intellectual; a statesman par excellence; a linguist who spoke no less than seven languages fluently; a great musician; a patriot; and most of all, a humanitarian who was so generous that every act of kindness to him was always returned manifold.
Through his leadership an army of volunteers of Polish descent was organized in North America to join in the fight for Poland's freedom during World War I. Every day during roll call, when Paderewski's name was called, the entire army answered, "Present."
He signed the Versailles Peace Treaty in 1919, as Poland's Prime Minister, and became its first delegate to the League of Nations.
Substantial contributions for various causes were made by him: construction of a concert hall in Switzerland; rebuilding of a Cathedral in Lausanne; funds for unemployed workers, wartime orphans, Allied Soldier's Hospital, Jewish refugees from Germany, and the American Legion for disabled veterans.
By presidential decree he was buried at Arlington Cemetery in Washington, D.C., laid to rest under the mast of the battleship Maine until his body could be transported to a free Poland for burial after the end of WW II.
This man who was discouraged from becoming a pianist by his teachers traveled all over the world; crossed the Atlantic more than thirty times; gave more than 1500 concerts in the U.S.; appeared in every state; drew the largest crowds in history.
The term long-haired music may have originated because of him—his magnificent physical appearance and long red hair inspired admiration and awe. He was the first to give a solo recital in newly-built Carnegie Hall. Who has not heard his famous Minuet in G—the goal of doting parents of a child taking piano lessons?
It is easy to imagine that this scenario inspired by a poster during World War II could have taken place: Paderewski had organized a meeting for the Polish Relief Fund; the poster included a sketch of him next to a boy at the piano. A story was fabricated around the picture—the small boy had crept on stage and began to play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." The great musician appeared beside the lad and whispered, "Don't stop—keep playing," as he filled in the bass part with his left hand. The duo accomplished what the soloist could not . . . a mesmerizing performance . . . with the help of the master pianist.
Not one of us is truly accomplished. Not one of us has mastered life. Wrong notes are played no matter how hard we concentrate; our hands grow tired; our minds are distracted; our hearts become discouraged. But in spite of our inexperience, our ignorance, and our weakness, Jesus Christ places His sovereign fingers beside ours and whispers, "Don't stop—keep playing."
Although you may feel as immature and unskilled as a child at times, rely on the power of Christ to strengthen and help you. He has a way of making a simple tune sound like a beautiful melody.
Don't stop . . . just keep playing!
Prayer Point: Thank God for working in your life, giving you power in your weakness, joy in your trials, and mercy in your failures, while making your life into something precious and beautiful.
Extra Refreshment: Read John 16:16-33, wherein Christ encourages His fearful disciples to remain steadfast, and promises that through His Spirit, they will receive power to live.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Tue 26 Mar 2013, 4:49 pm

Confession, Cleansing, and Conversion
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
In 1971, a revival came to many churches in Western Canada. It made news in the secular press because of the number of people who journeyed to stores and other businesses to make restitution for their past sins.
Whether it was paying delinquent income tax, admitting dishonesty in business dealings, or going to the border to confess they had lied about goods brought over from the States—hundreds of people were willing to do anything to be fully right with God and man. One author writing about the incident recorded:

When these Christians displayed such a desire for righteousness, the world both admired and hated them. On the one hand, people were thankful that Christians had the courage to make past wrongs right; but on the other hand they deeply resented such integrity. For in the process of seeing righteousness at work in the lives of others, they saw their own hidden sins exposed.

The Bible describes two very different kinds of Christians: those who claim the name of Christ but refuse to live for Him, and those who not only claim the name of Christ, but live for Him as well. The hypocritical Christian is loved by the world because he gives people all the more reason to castigate the church and call it "that bunch of hypocrites"; it actually makes them feel good about themselves. The distinctive Christian, however, is hated by the world because he exposes the world for what it really is—fallen and sinful.
True Christianity is like the glass of a mirror. Not only do we reflect the glory of God to the world, but we show the world its marred image, exposing all its defects and its attempts to hide the blemishes.
This is why we must confess our sins constantly to God and to others, not only to renew our fellowship with Christ, but to show the world where our true identity lies. Indeed this is one of the greatest witnessing tools that you and I have—to live repentant lives before men.
Will you sin? Yes. Will you struggle at times with sin? Absolutely. Will the world notice it? You bet they will. But then, to their shock, they hear from you an apology . . . confessions
. . . attempts to make restitution. In so doing, you declare to the world the message of the gospel: People sin . . . but there is a Savior!
Prayer Point: Ask God to reveal any sin in your life that you are hiding, or may not even recognize. After confessing it to Him, pray for the strength needed to change. Is there anyone who needs an apology from you? Is there restitution that you should make? Ask the Lord for courage to make amends and set the record straight.
Extra Refreshment: Read Psalm 32—a prayer of repentance and restoration.
A Father's Love . . . and Loss
John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Dr. Thomas Dooley, the late missionary doctor in Laos, in his book entitled The Night They Burned the Mountain, tells the story of Laotian friends giving him a tiny Himalayan moon bear as a pet. Dr. Dooley loved the cuddly ball of brown fur, so full of interesting antics. While he was working on a cage for the animal, an old Chinese man walked by him. The man stopped, stared, and then began to sob as he stood before the cage. Dr. Dooley walked toward him, hoping to discover the reason for his tears.
The Chinese man told him how he and his son had once worked together on a commune in Red China. He reminded the doctor that laborers on the communes during harvest time were not allowed to have even one grain of rice for themselves, for it all belonged to the Republic. But his wife had become very sick with beriberi and malnutrition, and one day his son concealed a few handfuls of rice in his clothing to feed his starving mother. His act was discovered and the authorities decided to make a public example of the young boy.
He was imprisoned in a cage, not unlike the one that Dr. Dooley had built for his pet bear, and the cage was placed in the center of the city. It was so small that the boy could not move or even sit up straight. The man went on to say:
His mother and I were forced to watch, she from one side of the square and I from the other. But the guards would not allow us to go near him. Day after day, as we looked on, my boy died slowly under the broiling sun, with nothing to eat or drink, covered with filth and flies. It was good when the guards pronounced him dead.
The prolonged tragedy in this story is that the father was not allowed to save his son. He was forced to sit helplessly by and watch the horror unfold, and the image would remain with him the rest of his life.
When I read this story, the crucifixion of Christ immediately came to mind. What an amazing thought . . . God the Father could have stepped in at any moment to save His Son from the agony of the cross, but He chose to allow His death. Unlike the Chinese father in Dooley's story, our Heavenly Father could have sent a legion of angels to rescue His Son, bringing judgment upon those who sought His life; yet He willingly stood by and watched the abomination unfold.
Why? Because He loves you so much that He freely offered His Son . . . for your sins and mine.
Prayer Point: Take a moment to think upon the horror of Calvary. In humble contemplation, praise the Father for His amazing love that caused Him to choose to sacrifice His son on your behalf.
Extra Refreshment: Read John 17—Christ's incredible prayer to His Father before His own death on the cross, capturing only a fraction of the Father's love for you and me
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Sun 24 Mar 2013, 11:07 pm

God's Beloved
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The word beloved is a special word that is reserved by God only for His children. While God has a general love for the whole world and a sustaining love even for His enemies—He sends sunshine to warm them and rain to water their crops, just as He does for believers—this term of endearment is unique for those who are His precious possessions.
You may remember the first time this word was used in the New Testament. Christ was to be baptized by John the Baptist, when a voice echoed from heaven, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased" (Matthew 3:17). It was the voice of God the Father, who loved Christ dearly; that same voice still echoes today, calling you beloved.
You may be thinking to yourself, "How can God call me that? Doesn't He know how unlovable I am?" The answer is simple. He calls you beloved, not because of some righteousness you have in yourself or because you are worthy of it, but because Christ has deposited His righteousness into your personal account.
When the Father looks down upon you, He no longer sees your sin, but instead, He sees the blood of His Son that was shed on your behalf. That is why Paul can say in Romans 8:1, "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." You are eternally free in God's eyes, and that is why He loves you as His beloved.
Think of it in terms of marriage. A wedding ceremony does nothing to change the character or personality of the bride or groom. In fact, several weeks after the wedding, both of them are going to realize just how much they need to change. Although their character and personality may not have changed, their status did. They first walked down the aisle as two independent people who could have belonged to anybody, but when they walked back up the aisle, they belonged to each other. Now they were one.
Just the same, when you became a believer you immediately became the bride of Christ. Although the Lord will continually change your character over the course of your life, your status has been changed forever. You are God's special possession and He deeply, unfailingly, eternally loves you.
You forever will be . . . His beloved.
Prayer Point: Thank God for sending His beloved Son to die for your sins, that you could become a beloved child of God.
Extra Refreshment: Read Revelation 19:1-10, describing the marriage supper of the Lamb. It is the day when you, as God's bride, will finally be joined to Him.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Sat 23 Mar 2013, 10:49 am

Bearing It All
2 Corinthians 5:21
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Do you understand the concept of Christ's bearing the sin of the world? I can only imagine a fraction of what it means. Mark Mosley captured a small drop from the ocean of truth encompassing this profound act of infinite sacrifice. This is his humbling reminder of just how far Christ went on our behalf:
Jesus bore the sins of the Assyrians, who gloated over the captives they had skinned alive; the sins of SS troops, machine-gunning women and children running from burning synagogues with clothing ablaze.
Jesus bore the sins of child molesters, making sure their victims never have to testify; the sins of the Pharaohs, sacrificing thousands of laborers' lives, to build themselves deifying tombs.
Jesus was tossed about in these endless storms: enraged fathers beating toddlers to death; pimps seducing runaways into lives of drugs and prostitution; church ladies cannibalizing other church ladies over coffee; Canaanites throwing their children to Moloch, their sun god; impoverished parents in China selling their children into slavery.
Jesus bore the sins of embezzlers; gangsters; bullies; rapists; liars; the indifferent; the sadistic; the self-righteous Bible-believing leaders praying long and loud, while their wives sat in back pews praying that heavy make-up covered their bruises.
It is a scene of unbearable horror and unspeakable madness. He is the accused for us all, bearing the weight of abused children; families destroyed by adultery or apathy; civilizations decaying; wars ravaging victims. Yet, through it all, deep in the terror of hell, He keeps His eyes wide open.
He is not just a bystander caught in the accident; He has come deliberately. He will accept it all, absorbing the full force of this storm of wrath in His body, His mind, His heart, and His soul, until there is nothing left to feel.
Finally, the tumbling will slow a bit; the storm will slacken, and Jesus will lift Himself on His nailed feet to snatch a gasp of air and force His swollen tongue to shout, "It is finished—I've come; I've seen; I've paid for it all."
I would add to that last line, "And I have borne all this for them." The mercy that God expended upon mankind at the cross was immeasurable. Christ died for the worst of sinners, and loved the most hateful of enemies. What a powerful reminder of God's enormous love! Christ bore our sin and our punishment so we could bear His righteousness and His reward.
This is the greatest reversal in all of human history: Sinners become sons of God, because the Son of God became sin . . . for us!
Prayer Point: Although you can never begin to grasp the extent of Christ's sacrifice on your behalf, thank Him for the part that you can understand: that He took your place on the cross so that you could have a place with Him in heaven.
Extra Refreshment: Read John 3—another testament of God's love toward fallen humanity.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Thu 21 Mar 2013, 8:37 pm

Finding the Right Fit
1 Corinthians 1:18-19
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside."
The philosophy of Western culture has changed in the last 50 years from that of pluralism to syncretism. The term syncretism is simply the blending together of ideas. When it comes to religion, you can choose a little bit from Christianity, New Ageism, Hinduism, Protestant doctrine, Catholic tradition, and mix them all together to form your own religion. Choosing a religion is like buying a pair of shoes . . . pick the god that fits best.
In Erwin Lutzer's book entitled Christ Among Other Gods, he describes his exposure to the Parliament of World Religions, which met in Chicago in 1993. Six thousand delegates attended this convention under the major theme "Unite or Perish." It was a call for all the religions of the world to find common ground in their beliefs about God. The Parliament of World Religions actually held seminars to help people get over the thought that one religion could be superior to another—an idea that they considered "the crucial obstacle" to religious unity!
At this conference Dr. Lutzer made an interesting observation. In many of the seven hundred workshops offered, Christ was favorably admired, quoted, and compared to other religious teachers; however, He was merely one enlightened man among many. Though He was respected, He was not worshiped as the one true God.
This is the so-called wisdom of the world: That there is no right way to God, and no way to properly decipher truth from falsehood. Hence, we are told to find common ground and then agree to disagree. Even though no one is exclusively right, everyone has something valuable to bring to the table.
Paul's young apprentice, Timothy, was struggling with similar problems in his own generation as men were turning their minds from Scripture to other means of finding God. Consequently, Paul's challenge to Timothy during that era has much bearing on our dilemma today. Paul's advice is in 2 Timothy 3:13-15:
But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
In other words, Paul is saying, "Hey, Christian! Of course the world is going to hate you! They're going to think you're foolish, and closed-minded, and intolerant; that's what they thought of Christ as well! But you have been given the truth in Scripture and are being delivered by it. You have no reason to become deceived."
While everyone tries to find a religion that fits, we have a relationship that has fashioned us . . . for everlasting life.
Prayer Point: Take a few moments to examine your heart before God: have you been feeding on God's wisdom, or the world's. Have your co-workers or fellow students influenced you to be more open-minded about "other gods"? Pray that Christ will give you the power and strength to share His gospel with others, even at the risk of being considered foolish.
Extra Refreshment: Read all of 2 Timothy 3, as Paul further encourages Timothy to remain faithful to God, even in a world of deceitful men.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Thu 21 Mar 2013, 12:39 am

Victory in Jesus
1 John 5:4
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
Sometimes it takes more faith to believe that God is in control of your own personal life than it takes to believe that He is in control of the whole world.
When my children were young, my wife, Marsha, read to them before bedtime. One book that I vividly recall her reading was the biography of Adoniram Judson, pioneer missionary to Burma.
On one occasion Judson was falsely accused of being an English spy. As a result, he endured a cruel imprisonment by the Burmese government. His wife, Anne, faithfully and courageously attempted to have him released through every possible channel, but to no avail.
His prison cell was so tiny that he was forced to stand, while the cells of others allowed room to lie down to sleep. The sun was unbearably hot at times; prisoners were never allowed to bathe; pain filled every fiber of his body as he was tortured day after day. His only respite from the agony of his incarceration was a visit from Anne. In those brief but wonderful moments, she would encourage him with the same message, "Hang on, Adoniram, God will give us the victory."
Week after tortuous week, Anne came and encouraged him, delivering the same words, "God will give us the victory." After many months, Adoniram was unexpectedly released and assigned the task of interpreter for affairs between the English and Burmese. Because of this new duty, he was still separated from Anne. Sadly, during his time of absence, Anne became deathly ill.
Months passed and Judson was finally allowed to return home a free man. Body broken and weak, he approached the place he once called home. As he slowly limped toward the door, he saw a child sitting in the dirt. The little girl was so covered with filth that he failed, at first, to recognize her as his own daughter. He went into their simple hut, squinting in the darkness, and gasped as he saw the emaciated form of his wife lying on a cot, weakened by disease. Tears coursing down his cheeks, he hugged his daughter close to him and knelt beside the cot. Anne looked up at him and with her last breath, smiled and whispered the words, "Adoniram, God will give us the victory."
If you were to be able somehow to interview the Judsons today, they would no longer be saying, "God will give us the victory"; instead, they would joyfully deliver the news, "God has given us the victory!"
Be encouraged, my friend. No matter what you're going through right now, your life is in God's hands. Hold fast to your faith as Anne and Adoniram did, even in the face of squalor and disease, deprivation and disappointment, heartache and loss.
Your reward in the end is everlasting, and the celebration of final victory is . . . just ahead!
Prayer Point: Pray right now that God will give you the kind of faith that Adoniram and Anne Judson exercised, even in the face of persecution. Then, thank God for giving you victory over sin, death, and the world, through Christ's perfect life, His sacrificial death, and His resurrection.
Extra Refreshment: Read John 16
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Tue 19 Mar 2013, 6:54 pm

Almost Home
Philippians 3:20-21
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
If Jesus Christ really is immortal, infinite God and His words are completely trustworthy, then our future is eternally secure in Him. It's guaranteed forever.
Whether you have little faith or great faith; are a mature disciple or an immature one; have been a Christian for years or have just recently received Christ—you are on your way to heaven. Your hope is secure in Christ.
Is it any wonder that around 125 AD, the Greek scholar Aristides marveled at the enormous hope Christians had, even in death? He wrote: "When a member of the Christians passes from this world, they rejoice and offer thanks to God. They escort the body to burial with songs and thanksgiving, as if he were setting out from one place to another place nearby."
Do you have this hope in God that these early Christians had? Their faith was real, active—touching every part of their lives, even the most sorrowful moments—even at death.
Don Wyrtzen so beautifully wrote this truth into his song, "Finally Home":
Just think of stepping on shore, and finding it heaven;
Of holding a hand and finding it God's;
Of breathing new air and finding it celestial;
Of waking up in glory . . . and finding it home!
This is wonderful poetry but an even greater reminder—heaven is not some figment of your imagination; it is real, and far beyond your wildest dreams!
Do you have unanswered questions, fears, or doubts about eternity? If so, be encouraged. The truth is, we all do. But there will come a day when all our questions will have answers, and all our fears will be put to rest— not to mention that all our tears will be wiped away!
It will not happen here. It will happen there . . . when we are finally home. But until we reach that glorious land, remember that Jesus Christ is completely trustworthy and faithful, regardless of what you see happening around you. He will stay true to His Word.
You can bet your life . . . and your death on it!
Prayer Point: Thank the Lord for holding you firmly in His hands. Thank Him that your security isn't based on your strength or commitment, but on Him. Praise Him that He will never violate that commitment nor fail in His strong promise to take you home!
Extra Refreshment: Read the description of your future home in Revelation 21 & 22.
The Search for the Sacred
John 1:14
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Newsweek ran an article entitled, "The Search for the Sacred." It was a typical article, speaking of the search and longing for spiritual truth, without ever mentioning Jesus Christ.
What I found most fascinating—and heartbreaking at the same time—is the way people responded to the article in the "Letters to the Editor" section of the following issue:
My parents had open minds and allowed me to explore different teachings and beliefs, rather than stifling me or limiting me to any one path. I'm grateful for that. As a youth, I studied Greek mythology and I read Frazier's The Golden Bow. I then read the Bible from cover to cover after a near-death experience. I have spent my life examining various philosophic and religious beliefs through independent study. And today, I have a deep and significant relationship with the god of my understanding.
This writer has obviously rejected the God of creation, having replaced Him with a god of her own creation.
Another wrote:
Although I didn't consciously seek the sacred in my travels during the last five years, I found it—at dawn in the Hong Kong botanical gardens, observing the Chinese practice Tai Chi. I found it on a drizzly morning in a London church listening to a rehearsal of a Mozart selection. I found it at midday in an outdoor Hindu temple in Bali, and at night in the Karnak temple in Luxor, Egypt. I found it in all of those places.
I wouldn't want this person's blended religion, but I'd sure like to have his frequent flyer miles!
Yet another respondent made this complaint:
Tell me, when are we atheists going to get equal time? We don't lack inner strength, peace, identity, self-esteem, or a purpose for living. What we do lack is the need to lean on a crutch of a fantasy figure who will make everything alright [sic], who will take care of us and forgive us, no matter what we do. We lack the desire to have our lives and loves defined by a two-thousand-year-old collection of documents. Atheists don't have all the answers, but at least we know that the place to start looking is within oneself, not into the ozone.
Wow! We certainly live in a world searching for spirituality. And how do we know which religion is right? Plato, a renowned Greek philosopher, provided an answer somewhat accidentally when he wrote, "It may be that someday there will come forth from God a logos [Word], who will reveal all mysteries and make everything plain."
My friends, Plato's desire has been answered! John 1 says that the logos or Word from God came and revealed Himself to mankind. That same Word died on our behalf so we might be able to have a personal relationship with Him. Man's journey to search for God ends with . . . Jesus Christ.
Prayer Point: Ponder for a moment what an incredible privilege it is to know God and to be called His child. Then, thank Him for pursuing you, even to the point of death, and making it possible for you to know Him.
Extra Refreshment: Read John 1 and mark in your Bible the words that speak of God's revealing His truth to us through Christ (hint: came, dwelt, revealed).
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Fri 15 Mar 2013, 2:57 pm

Taking a Bath . . . Daily!
Psalm 85:6
Will You not Yourself revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?
The believer who wants true revival throws away his list of favorite excuses for sin. Confession replaces excuses. Commitment replaces compromise.
You might be tempted to say, "But I've confessed, tried, and failed so many times—revival just doesn't last." A skeptic once made a comment to evangelist Billy Sunday in the early 1900s. He tried to make the point that since personal revival wasn't a permanent end-all to temptation, sin, and failure, times of revival weren't really that important. "Revival just doesn't last," the man complained to Billy Sunday one evening. Sunday just smiled and replied, "Well, a bath doesn't last either, but it's good to take one occasionally!"
Has it ever occurred to you that a great word to describe Christianity is exposure? You become a Christian after being exposed as a sinner. You grow as a Christian after being exposed to your need of change in some area. You confess daily sin as it is exposed in your life. You flourish in your walk as a result of being exposed to the Scriptures.
No wonder every Christian is in need of daily revival. We so easily sugarcoat our selfishness and rationalize our rebellion. We manage our sin, but fail to confess it. We conveniently forget how heartbreaking sin is to our heavenly Father.
Revival, then, could be defined as a movement of God's Spirit in the believer's life, which produces both private confession of sin and public obedience to the Scriptures. The priority for our outward behavior is to please God—a priority that will undeniably impact personal relationships, financial decisions, and lifestyle choices. Therefore, revival is not a once-and-done event . . . it is daily. And it should interrupt your life over and over again.
By the way, you can't plan for revival but you can pray for it. You can't orchestrate it or announce that it is going to happen in a series of meetings the third week of May. All you can do is beg God to give you a heart that confesses and a life that obeys.
So, take His Word daily; ask God to blow on the smoldering embers of your heart, making it burst into flaming affection for Him all over again. While you're at it, remember that revival is not so much about emotion as it is about action.
Don't wait for a week of revival meetings to pray, "Revive me, O Lord" . . . do it today!
Prayer Point: Pray the prayer of David, asking the Lord to create in you a longing for Him, for His Word, for His will, and for His work.
Extra Refreshment: Read Psalm 85 and Hebrews 4.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Thu 14 Mar 2013, 6:00 pm


Pure Logic
John 14:6
Jesus said to him: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."
Men have used the laws of logic in mathematics, science, and history, but when it comes to the spiritual world, they throw these laws away. Instead, they suggest: What is right for you to believe is correct, and what is right for me to believe is equally correct.
I read about a man who was driving in the country. He passed a barn with painted targets on the side facing the road. Interestingly, in the center of each target was an arrow. The driver was amazed by this farmer's skill with the bow. He decided to drive up to the farmhouse and congratulate the farmer.
To his astonishment, the farmer laughed and said, "I didn't do that. It was done by a young guy in our town who shot a bunch of arrows into the side of my barn, and then painted bull's eyes around each arrow."
What a perfect illustration of the shift that has taken place in today's society. The once-held conviction that everyone had a right to his own opinion has been replaced with the belief that every opinion is equally right. Thus, not only is our society living in complete rebellion to Scripture, it is also living in opposition to the very laws of logic to which it holds. It simply invites you to shoot your arrow and then assures you that wherever it strikes, it will be a bull's eye!
But think about it for a minute . . . you have a pot of water sitting on top of your stove; it's boiling and the burner is red hot. You say to your friend, "I believe the water is hot," but he says, "I believe it's cold." So you and he agree that the truth is the water is hot for you, and cold for him. How absurd would that be? The water is either hot or cold. One of you believes the truth, the other believes a lie.
Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the brother of Satan and is one of many "sons of God." You, on the other hand, believe that Christ is God in the flesh and completely unrelated in essence or created matter to Satan. Although both of you could be wrong, both of you cannot be right.
The Western world now believes that you can shoot your arrow of faith in any direction and a benevolent supreme being will approve every shot. This is why you can tell someone that you believe Christ is a fine moral leader, and you will be viewed as a nice religious person. On the other hand, if you dare to say that you believe Jesus Christ is the only true and living Savior, you are labeled an intolerant zealot.
The truth remains: there is a real target—God— and Romans 3:23 informs us that our arrows are continually falling short of Him. In fact, we're consistently shooting broken arrows that don't fly straight . . . they never even hit the target. But we can get in range of it when we open our hearts to the truth in His Word . . . and maybe someday we'll hit the bull's eye!
Only by Christ's redeeming grace are we able to discover that He is the right Way, the correct Truth . . . and the only Life.
Prayer Point: Thank the Lord for opening your eyes to see the truth, and for the person or means through which it was revealed to you: the Holy Spirit, a Sunday school teacher, parent, sibling, friend, pastor, etc. Thank Him for that time when He, in His mercy, brought you into the way of salvation.
Extra Refreshment: Read Romans 3—a portrait of man's senselessness, and of God's mercy toward him.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Admin on Wed 13 Mar 2013, 7:07 pm

Sorrow Is Fleeting . . . Salvation Is Forever
Romans 8:18
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Philip Yancey tells the story of the Woodson family in his book, Disappointment with God. The Woodsons had two children, Peggie and Joey, both born with cystic fibrosis. They were thin, no matter how much food they ate, and coughed constantly, breathing laboriously. Twice a day Meg pounded their chests to clear out mucus. The children spent several weeks each year in the local hospital, and both grew up knowing they would probably die before reaching adulthood.
Joey, a bright, happy, all-American boy, died at the age of twelve. Peggie defied the odds by surviving several health crises in high school and even lived to experience her college years. To the Woodsons delight, she seemed to grow stronger as the days passed—days filled with desperate prayers from Meg and her husband, but there was no miracle. Peggie died at the age of twenty-three.
One night, sometime later, Philip Yancey came across a letter Meg had written to him after Peggie's death. Part of that letter read:

I find myself wanting to tell you something of how Peggie died. I don't know why except that I need to talk about it and I have run out of people to tell. I was sitting beside her bed a few days before her death, when suddenly she began screaming. I will never forget those shrill, piercing screams. Nurses raced into the room from every direction and surrounded her with their love. Eventually, their words and touches soothed her, though as time went on and the screaming continued, they could not comfort her. Nurses can only stay on that floor so long—God, who could have helped, looked down on a young woman devoted to Him, quite willing to die for Him to give Him glory, and it seemed He decided to sit on His hands and let her death top the horror charts.
One of the greatest frustrations we face during a trial is knowing that: God could rescue us; He could restore us; He could heal us; He could give us that much-longed-for baby; He could provide that much-needed job—all with one stroke of His omnipotent finger. Yet sometimes, He chooses not to. Why?
Is He, like Mrs. Woodson wrote, "sitting on His divine hands?" Absolutely not!
Paul reminds the suffering believers in Philippians 3:20-21, that "our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself." This is a powerful thought for a Christian who is suffering through any trial, great or small. It is as if Paul is shouting, "Remember believer! This is not the end, but merely the rugged path which leads us to the beginning!"
What a powerful hope we have in Christ. He may not promise freedom from our sorrows here on earth, but His hands are at work. He has promised us that hardships and sorrow are temporary . . . the prize that awaits us is eternal.
Prayer Point: Meditate on the fact that God is in complete control of your life, even though you may not understand what He's doing. Then pray for the willingness to accept whatever trial He brings you, whether or not you ever receive an explanation for it.
Extra Refreshment: Read 1 Peter 4.

The Fountain of Life
Matthew 26:27-28
And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins."
Imagine digging in your back yard while planting some flowers. You overturn a slab of sod and a thin spurt of water shoots upward. You watch as the water trickles onto a patch of brown, dry grass and to your amazement, the grass slowly turns green. The water then flows toward your tomato plants and immediately the wilted leaves stand upright and the tomatoes blush red. You run into your house, grab a cup, and run back out to this tiny fountain. You fill your cup, then drink it in one long gulp. Suddenly, you feel invigorated.
You run back into the house, look in the mirror, and notice that some of your wrinkles are ironed out, leaving a youthful complexion that you haven't seen in years. Your jaw drops in amazement as the realization hits you: you have discovered the Fountain of Youth!
What would you do with this fantastic discovery? Would you share it with your spouse, your children, your older sister or brother? Would you tell your mother who is dying of cancer? Would you invite all of the families in your neighborhood to a barbecue and give them all they wanted to drink? Of course you would! Who would be selfish enough to keep so great a discovery to himself?
Yet we, who have been partakers of the greatest discovery the world has ever known—namely, eternal life through faith in Christ—keep it to ourselves most of the time.
Has it ever occurred to you that the more you value Christ's sacrifice, the higher your priority will be in sharing Him with others? If you do not consider His mercy to be the most significant thing that has ever been given to you, then you will not consider it worth sharing. This would be the most terrible of all tragedies. For if there is one discovery that should never be hidden nor taken for granted, it is the fountain of living water which Christ has offered through His gift of salvation; a fountain wide enough for all to drink and deep enough for all to bathe.
Romans 10:14 says, "How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?"
How well are you doing at sharing your faith with others? Are you taking Christ's sacrifice for granted, covering it over with dirt and hoping no one will ever know that you are a Christian? Let me urge you to fervently tell the world about this miraculous, incredible discovery . . . the Fountain of Living Water.
Prayer Point: Take time to thank God for His sacrifice on the cross and for sending that person who first shared the news with you. Pray that you will cease from taking Christ's sacrifice for granted, but rather, that God will bring you to people who need the living water.
Extra Refreshment: Read John 4:1-45.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 59717
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com - Page 10 Empty Re: WISDOM RETREAT@ Crosswalk.com

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 10 of 20 Previous  1 ... 6 ... 9, 10, 11 ... 15 ... 20  Next

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum