February 20 – Can I Have My Pigs Back?

The Lord loves you. He wants you to share Him with others. Have you done it?

THE RIVER WALK

can-i-have-my-pigs

But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” (Mark 5:19)

Read: Leviticus 9:7-10:20, Mark 4:26-5:20, Psalm 37:30-40, Proverbs 10:6-7

Relate: I have heard time and time again sermons, illustrations, and messages about the time Jesus cast the demons out and sent them into a herd of pigs. I have heard some amazing insights and I have heard some stuff that made me question the speaker’s sanity let alone their scholarship. There is one simple observation that I don’t think I have ever heard anyone else make, perhaps some have and I just missed it, but either way it seems too obvious to be so often overlooked… Either one individual in the community was awfully rich or this herd of pigs that just drowned was actually a community affair. In today’s market, a herd of  two thousand pigs is…

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All God’s people – King of all ages

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Nuggets – The Gifts of the Wise Men

The Gifts of the Wise Men
“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11)

These wise men (or Magi) were of great eminence in the Parthian Empire at that time, and it is unlikely that the caravan from the East consisted of only three men. They more likely had a large entourage as they came searching for the future King of Israel, so it was small wonder that “all Jerusalem” was “troubled,” along with King Herod (Matthew 2:3). The Parthians (i.e., Persians) had never been conquered by the Romans and at that very time were posing a significant threat along the eastern boundary of the extended Roman Empire.

When they found the young child and His mother in Bethlehem, the Magi “fell down, and worshipped him” (Matthew 2:11). But why did they offer Him just three gifts—and why these three gifts? Somehow they seemed to have sensed, possibly from meditating deeply on the ancient prophecies of Balaam (Numbers 24:17), Daniel (in Daniel 9:24-26), and David concerning the priesthood order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4), that this young child whose birth had been announced by a star was destined not only to be the King but would also become the Messianic Sacrifice to “make reconciliation for iniquity” (see Daniel 9:24, 26) and then eventually become our eternal High Priest who “ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). Thus, the gold would acknowledge His right to reign, the frankincense would speak of the incense to be offered in the heavenly tabernacle, and the myrrh (John 19:39) would testify that His crucified body would be so anointed as it entered the tomb for a very temporary burial. HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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LB 67…Friends In The Coop

Check out this funny story by the late Barbara Johnson.

Source: Friends In The Coop

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Please pray for missing Malaysian Pastor

A note From Pastor Raymond’s wife:
Dear friends and prayer warriors,
It has been five days now but we have not received any news of the whereabouts of my husband Raymond who was abducted by a group of men on Monday,13 February.

My children and I are very anxious for Raymond. How can this blatantly happen in broad daylight in the peaceful place of our home land.
But I am very thankful and overwhelmed by the love and generosity of God’s people. So many messages of support and encouragement have come in. God is good. He is faithful. I have peace even though at times I break down and cry. Other times I am under much pressure from the questioning from the police. I cannot imagine what it may be like for my husband, Raymond right now in the hands of his captors. Please continue to pray for his early release in a safe condition. Pray also for me and my children’s safety.
Let us persevere in prayer for the prayers of the righteous avails much. Let us continue to love God and do good to our neighbours. Raymond would be very happy today if he knows not only Malaysia is praying for him but also the whole world. Raymond always stood for justice, righteousness and truth.
He always reached out to the poor, needy and marginalized. He even loved his enemies. Jesus was his example.
Let’s follow our Savior’s example. Our Lord Jesus gave His Life for us. Such perfect Love.

Thanks for prayers and support again. God bless you. God bless Malaysia.
Romans 15:13
Thanks,
Susanna

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Nuggets – The Babe in Bethlehem

The Babe in Bethlehem
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)

This is a very remarkable prophecy, explicitly predicting that the future King of Israel would be born in the little village of Bethlehem some 700 years before He finally came. Then, to assure its fulfillment, the great Emperor Augustus had to decree a comprehensive census, compelling Joseph to take Mary with him to Bethlehem for her child to be born.

That the prophecy involves an actual birth is clear, not only from the phrase “come forth,” but also from the succeeding verse that warns God will “give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth” (v. 3). The preceding verse had also predicted that “they shall smite [this coming ruler] the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek” (v. 1), speaking of His initial rejection and execution.

But the prophecy not only foresees His birth in Bethlehem, His repudiation by His own people, and His eventual installation as King over all Israel (not merely Judah), but also that this same remarkable person was none other than God Himself! His “goings forth” had been “from everlasting.” That is, He is eternally proceeding forth from His Father. He did not become God’s Son when He was born in Bethlehem; He has been coming forth eternally.

There is still another truth implied in the Hebrew word for “goings forth.” It is also used for such things as the flowing of water from a fountain or the radiations from the sun. Thus, the never-ending flowing forth of power from God through the Son is nothing less than the sustaining energy for the whole creation, as He is “upholding all things by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). And this was the Babe in Bethlehem! HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

 

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All God’s people – Take me

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Nuggets – The Peace of Christ

The Peace of Christ
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

The peace of Christ is not the peace of the world. If history is any criterion, the search for world peace always will be futile, for there have been wars going on somewhere in the world practically every day throughout history.

But even if world leaders could bring peace to the world, it would not be true peace. “My peace,” said Jesus, “is not as the world giveth.” Peace is internal, not external. “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?” (James 4:1).

The true Christian will never be left at peace in the world, even when there are brief respites of peace between the nations of the world. Only in Christ is there real peace. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

The Lord Jesus Christ alone can give true peace, for only “he is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14). He is the true peacemaker, for He “made peace through the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:20). Before there can ever be genuine peace between man and man on Earth, there must be peace between man on Earth and God in heaven.

Once a person has been “justified by faith,” however, he has eternal “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Then, for daily peace, he can simply appropriate this truth in his life. “In every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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All God’s people – Called to serve

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Nuggets – Sorrow According to God

Sorrow According to God
“And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32)

In one of the most important passages in the New Testament regarding repentance (2 Corinthians 7:9-11), Paul uses essentially the same phrase three times to express what he means by repentance: He rejoices that the Corinthian believers were made “sorry after a godly manner” (v. 9), calls it a “godly sorrow” (v. 10), claiming that they “sorrowed after a godly sort” (v. 11). This phrase could literally be translated “sorrow according to God,” which leads to repentance. Such sorrow is contrasted to the “sorrow of the world [that] worketh death” (v. 10), which is a mere regret of consequences or remorse of conscience, which does not yield repentance but only despair and possibly suicide. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation” (v. 10).

Just as godly sorrow leads to repentance, so should the blessings of God. “Despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Romans 2:4). God desires repentance on the part of the sinning one and is free to use whatever vehicle He chooses to bring it about.

True repentance involves a recognition of sin as a crime against God and a violation of His holy nature. Our recognition of this fact brings godly sorrow that leads inevitably to a change of mindset toward the sin and a confession of it as sin (1 John 1:9), and this brings forgiveness from God.

Christ taught that this “sorrow according to God” brings great joy elsewhere in the universe: “Likewise, I say unto you there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:10). JDM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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