Charles Stanley – A Vision for Believers

Charles Stanley

People often have bright aspirations for their lives. Some aim for a high-powered career or financial success. Others dream about making close friendships or impacting the world.

But no matter what our personal goals may be, the Lord has cast a vision for all of His children. It is known as the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).

What does it mean, to “make disciples”? Some Christians think this refers to adding new church members and growing the size of the congregation. But God is not interested in numbers or external appearances; He’s concerned about genuine heart change. So He commissions His followers to lead others, first to saving faith in Jesus Christ and then to the next step—baptism—as a public declaration of their trust in the Savior.

Once Jesus shared these objectives, most of the disciples spent the rest of their days fulfilling them. In fact, almost every one gave his life to accomplish them.

This command has not changed. God still expects us, His children, to share the good news of the gospel, to teach people how to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to baptize those who are saved.

Are you living with God’s purpose as your guide? Ask Him for opportunities and the courage to share His message of hope and love.

Excerpt from In Touch magazine. Subscribe to In Touch magazine free here.

 

Related Resources

Related Video

A Heart for God – A Vision for the World

Do you have a heart for God? If so, you are compelled to share the good news of salvation with a lost and dying world. In this sermon, Dr. Stanley explains how having a heart for God means we desire to know God, obey Christ, and share the gospel. (Watch A Heart for God – A Vision for the World.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Daily Bread — Letter To A Child

Our Daily Bread

All of 3 John

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. —3 John 4

Even at the end of his life, C. S. Lewis showed an interest in the spiritual nurture of younger believers. Although in ill health, he took time to respond to the letter of a child named Philip. Complimenting the boy’s fine written expression, Lewis said he was delighted that Philip understood that in the Narnia Chronicles the lion Aslan represented Jesus Christ. The next day, Lewis died at his home in the Kilns, Oxford, England, one week before his 65th birthday.

The apostle John, in his later years, sent a letter to his spiritual children. In it we see the joy of a mature believer encouraging his spiritually younger disciples to keep walking in the truth and following Christ.

John wrote, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 1:4). Short by New Testament standards, John’s letter demonstrates the joy that comes in nurturing and watching the next generation’s spiritual growth.

Encouraging spiritual understanding in the next generation should be the pursuit of mature believers. Sending a note of appreciation, giving a word of encouragement, praying, or offering sound advice can all be ways of helping others on their spiritual journey with God. —Dennis Fisher

To help another in Christ to grow

You have to pay a price

It takes the giving of yourself

And that means sacrifice. —D. DeHaan

The journey is better with someone who knows the way.

Bible in a year: Zechariah 9-12; Revelation 20

Alistair Begg – The Lord Has Helped Us

Alistair Begg

Till now the Lord has helped us.

1 Samuel 7:12

The phrase “till now” is like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. Twenty years or seventy, and still “till now the LORD has helped us.” Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, on the sea, in honor, in dishonor, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation, “till now the LORD has helped us.”

We delight to look down a long avenue of trees. It is delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of verdant temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves. In the same way look down the long aisles of your years at the green branches of mercy overhead and the strong pillars of loving-kindness and faithfulness that support your joys.

Are there no birds singing in those branches? Surely there must be many, and they all sing of mercy received “till now.”

But the word also points forward. For when a man reaches a certain point and writes “till now,” he is not yet at the end; he still has a distance to go. More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; and then he faces sickness, old age, disease, death. Is it over then? No! Then there is wakening in Jesus’ likeness, thrones, harps, songs, psalms, white raiment, the face of Jesus, the company of saints, the glory of God, the fullness of eternity, the infinity of bliss. Be of good courage, believer, and with grateful confidence raise your banner, for-

He who hath helped thee hitherto

Will help thee all thy journey through.

When read in light of heaven, how glorious and marvelous a prospect will the “till now” provide for your grateful eye!

 

Charles Spurgeon – The cleansing of the leper

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“And if a leprosy break out abroad in the skin, and the leprosy cover all the skin of him that hath the plague from his hand even to his foot, wheresoever the priest looketh; Then the priest shall consider: and, behold, if the leprosy have covered all his flesh, he shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague: it is all turned white: he is clean.” Leviticus 13:12-13

Suggested Further Reading: Colossians 3:5-14

Sinner, if you are to be saved, Christ must do it all; but when once you have faith in Christ, then you must be washed; then must you cease from sin, and then by the Holy Spirit’s power you shall be enabled to do so. What was ineffective before shall become mighty enough now, through the life which God has put into you. The washing with water by the word, and the cleansing of yourself from dead works, shall become an effectual and mighty duty. You shall be made holy, and walk in white, in the purity wherewith Christ has endowed you. The shaving off of his hair was fitly to represent how all the old things were to pass away, and everything was to become new. All the white hair was to be cut off, as you read in Leviticus 14:9: “He shall shave all the hair off his head, and his beard, and his eyebrows.” There was not a remnant or relic left of the old state in which the hair was white; all was to be given up. So it is with the sinner. When he is once pardoned, once cleansed, then he begins to cut off the old habits, his old prides, his old joys. The beard on which the hoary Jew prided himself was to come off, and the eyebrows which seem to be necessary to make the countenance look decent, were all to be taken away. So it is with the pardoned man. He did nothing before, he does everything now. He knew that good works were of no benefit to him in his carnal state, but now he becomes so strict that he will shave off every hair of his old state. Not one darling lust shall be left, not one iniquity shall be spared, all must be cut away.

For meditation: Very soon many will be breaking their New Year’s resolutions! The Christian is already a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), a new person with a new nature. May God give us grace and strength to be what we are in Christ.

Sermon no. 353

29 December (Preached 30 December 1860)

 

 

John MacArthur – He Who Sanctifies

John MacArthur

“Both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, ‘I will proclaim Thy name to My brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will sing Thy praise.’ And again, ‘I will put My trust in Him.’ And again, ‘Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me'” (Heb. 2:11-13).

From our own perspective and experience, it is difficult to think of ourselves as holy. Sin simply is too much a part of us in this fallen world. In thought and practice we are far from holy, but in Christ we are perfectly holy.

We may not always act holy, but because of our faith in Christ we are perfectly holy in God’s sight. Just as a child may not always act like his father, he is nonetheless still his son. We are holy in the sense that before God, the righteousness of Christ has been applied and imputed on our behalf through faith. We were made holy through His sacrifice and have become “those who are sanctified.”

“By one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified” (Heb. 10:14). We are as pure as God is pure, righteous as Christ is righteous, and therefore entitled to be called His brothers because we now share in His righteousness.

The Sanctifier and sanctified now have “one Father,” and the Sanctifier “is not ashamed” to call the sanctified His brothers. What an overwhelming truth!

The practical experience of a Christian’s life in this world includes sin, but the positional reality of his or her new nature is holiness. “In Him [we] have been made complete” (Col. 2:10). Yet practically we have a long way to go. So the overriding purpose of our lives is to become in practice what we are in position. Now that we are Christ’s brothers and God’s children, let that be all the motivation we need to live like it.

Suggestion for Prayer:

Thank the Lord for His sanctifying work on the cross, which enables you to be holy.

For Further Study:

Read Romans 1:16. Based on what God has done for you through Christ, can you wholeheartedly echo Paul’s statement?

 

 

Joyce Meyer – Dwell in Unity

Joyce meyer

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!—Psalm 133:1

Great power was manifested in the lives of the early believers. Acts 2:46 tells us why: “And day after day they regularly assembled in the temple with united purpose.” They had the same vision, the same goal, and they were all pressing toward the same mark. They prayed in agreement (see Acts 4:24), lived in harmony (see Acts 2:44), cared for one another (see Acts 2:46), met each other’s needs (see Acts 4:34), and lived a life of faith (see Acts 4:31). The early church lived in unity—and operated in great power.

Now the church is divided into countless factions with different opinions about everything. Even individual congregations are split by the most trivial differences. When we finally see Jesus face-to-face, we will surely discover that not one of us was 100 percent right. Only love holds people together. Make a strong commitment to do whatever is necessary to live in unity—you will discover how good it is!

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Tempted Like We Are

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“For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15, KJV).

“In your opinion, who is the greatest person who ever lived, and who has done more good for mankind than anyone else who ever lived?” I asked a student who was both an atheist and a card-carrying Communist.

There was an awkward silence. Then finally came this reluctant reply, “I guess I would have to say Jesus of Nazareth.”

How could an atheist and a Communist, who had been reared in another religion, give such an answer?

Jesus has done more good for mankind than anyone else who has ever lived. He is the greatest person of the centuries, because it is a fact. Compare Jesus, even as a man, with any other person – Muhammad, Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, anyone else in any country at any time in history – and it would be like comparing a giant with a midget.

Though he lived 2,000 years ago and changed the course of history, though He was the greatest leader, the greatest teacher, the greatest example the world has ever known, He is infinitely more than these. He is God.

The omnipotent Creator God visited this little planet earth and became a man, the God-man, Jesus of Nazareth. He was perfect God and perfect man, and as perfect man He understands our weaknesses, since He had the same temptations we do – though He never once gave way to them and sinned.

Do you believe that Jesus ever had the temptation to lie, to lust, to steal or to be immoral? Make a list of your temptations, all your weaknesses, all your failures, and then, as suggested in the verse following our reference, “Let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive His mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

Bible Reading: Hebrews 2:14-18

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Since Jesus is my high priest and knows everything about me, having been tempted as I am and yet without sin, I will come boldly into His presence today and every day. I will come to receive His mercy and grace to live a supernatural life, which will enable me to live victoriously and to be fruitful for the glory and praise of His matchless name.

 

Presidential Prayer Team; P.G. – Great Way to Start

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Some 50 years ago, an American president challenged, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” More than 2,000 before, that phrase might have been used by Jesus to His apostles: “Ask not what the Lord can do for you. Ask what you can do for Him!”

You received without paying; give without pay.

Matthew 10:8

It’s easy to feel conflicted with the giving and receiving of this season when you consider Syrian Christians being persecuted in their hometowns, Filipino Christians flooding into makeshift churches to pray for relief after the super-sized typhoon, and fellow Americans in the Midwest sifting through what’s left of their homes after devastating tornadoes. As you look to toward the New Year, consider how you can comfort the suffering and support the needy. A great way to start is to share your knowledge of the immeasurable gift that God has given with a hurting world – one prayer and one word of love at a time. Remember you have freely received; now it is time to be a good steward of that gift.

Offer prayers today for members of Congress and others in government and the Pentagon that, in the last days of this year, they might find Jesus, the only gift worth having.

Recommended Reading: Matthew 10:5-15