In the year 1920, young Oswald Smith stood before the examining board for the selection of missionaries. He had wanted to be a missionary for as long as he could remember, and for all that time had been crying out to God that He might open a door for him to do so. Finally, his time had come. There he stood awaiting his destiny. His long-awaited was about to come…"No."
In the Greek olympic games of old, a unique race was run. The winner was not the runner who finished first — it was the runner who finished with his torch still lit!
It ought to be obvious to all of us believers that we are in a spiritual war that is taking place all over the earth — and that we are called to fight in this battle. In the world's armies, soldiers are not sent into battle before receiving many months of serious training. They need to get physically in shape first and then to learn how to handle different wartime situations and tactics of the enemy.
Being hated without cause is an aspect of Messianic prophecy that applies to both Mashiach ben Yosef and Mashiach ben David. Just as Joseph was hated by his brothers, and David was hated by Saul without cause, is it any wonder that Yeshua (Jesus) was hated by the world without cause…
In the 1940's, the world fought against the greatest evil it had ever seen, Adolf Hitler and his terrible regime. In the midst of this war, Winston Churchill said, "We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."
There is a process going on in us believers. Since the day the Holy Spirit came to dwell in us He has been at work with perfect wisdom and supernatural power to renew and transform our character, to some extent, our personality, and even our physical body.
The summer Olympics now taking place in London have reminded me of a marathon run in Mexico City at the 1968 Olympic games. Hours behind the runner in front of him, the last marathoner finally entered Olympic stadium. By that time, the drama of the day's event was almost over and most of the spectators had gone home. But the story of Tanzanian marathoner John Stephen Akwari was still being played out.
According to church history, the apostle Thomas, died in Calamina, a city in the East Indies. While there, Thomas had put a stop to the idolatry that was running rampant in the land. The idolatrous priest was not happy about this at all and accused him before their king. The king sentenced Thomas to death — first to be tormented by red hot plates and then cast into a glowing furnace and burned. When the priest saw that the fire was not hurting him, he pierced Thomas' side with spears and javelins, and finally Thomas died.
Failure is never a pleasant feeling. It isn’t enjoyable to lose a job, see a relationship falter, or fail a test. But the disappointment we feel when we face defeat can be turned to joy if we look at it the right way!
In our house we have an old lounge chair that has a built-in foot rest operated by a lever on the side. It's my captain chair. It's so comfortable that oftentimes our guests plop in the chair, kick up the foot-rest, and within minutes, fall asleep. As a matter of fact it happened last night!
Just a few weeks prior to this incident, the disciples were trembling for their lives as their Lord was arrested and then crucified. They had all fled in the Garden of Gethsemane and then Peter, whose boldness was legendary, had denied him three times. The fact that they had been serving with Yeshua (Jesus) for three years, witnessing many miracles, including Peter's amazing walk on the water…
In this world we will face all kinds of obstacles, trials and tribulations and we should be wary of any doctrines or teachings that say we shouldn’t have to face these things. Why? Because the Lord said we will have tribulations. So the encouragement He is giving is simply this: You’re going to face trials, but GOD is greater than any problem you will face in this world!
I suppose one of the hardest questions to answer is: "Why do I have to deal with so much adversity?!"
Knowing He was about to depart, Yeshua (Jesus) left His disciples with a final command: stay in Jerusalem, and wait…for the promise. Of the thousands who had witnessed His miraculous ministry and heard His amazing teaching, and the hundreds that had actually seen Him after the resurrection, we read in Acts that only 120 stayed and tarried until the promise arrived. But these 120 were steadfast. They waited the full term…
Isaiah 58:11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. Bill Bright tells an amazing story in his book, "How You Can Be Filled with the Holy [...]
Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. When missionary Dr. David Livingstone was working in Africa, a group of friends wrote him: "We would like to send other men to you. Have you found [...]
2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his [...]