Celebrating the life and legacy of Rev Dr Rick Seaward

Rick Seaward, born a Singaporean a Charismatic church planter who helped plant thousands of churches around the world and the founder of Singapore’s first megachurch, was killed in a car accident last Saturday while in Brazil for a missions conference.

 

 

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Nuggets – The Dark Valleys

The Dark Valleys
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)

There are many dark valleys mentioned in Scripture, and these typify the many sufferings and hard experiences through which the people of God must pass. “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake” (Philippians 1:29).

The valley of Achor—which means “trouble”—was so named because sin in the camp of God’s people had caused great defeat for their armies there (Joshua 7:25-26). Willful sin inevitably must result eventually in a trek through the dark vale of trouble and defeat.

Then there is the vale of tears called Baca, or “weeping.” Opinions differ as to whether this was an actual valley in Israel, but it came to symbolize a time of deep loss and sorrow. Repentance and restitution will lead one out of the valley of Achor, but God’s comfort will guide through Baca. “Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee. . . . Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well. . . . They go from strength to strength” (Psalm 84:5-7).

Perhaps the darkest valley of all is the valley of the shadow of death. All must enter that valley once at least—some may even travel it often before its thick darkness finally conquers them. For those without Christ, it is a valley of great fear; there have been multitudes “who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:15).

But for those who know the Lord, they need fear no evil for God is with them. Even His guiding staff and buffeting rod are comforting for they prove the love of the Shepherd. No wonder the 23rd Psalm is the most requested passage of Scripture by those deep in this dark valley. HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Life Lessons from Softball

It’s Spring in Atlanta, Georgia! And here at our house, that can mean only one thing … Softball!

We’re geared up and Leia’s 11th season of base hits and pop flies is underway! So early this past Saturday morning, she packed up her bag, laced up her cleats, grabbed her freshly-oiled glove and in no time, we were heading to the ballpark. On the way, we were reflecting on the highlights (and lowlights) of all her previous seasons and before we pulled into the parking lot, we had recounted a significant number of the good plays and bad errors, the championships and bitter losses, and the extra base hits and easy outs. As we unloaded the van with the necessary gameday supplies and headed to the field, she paused to reflect for one more minute, then told me that her years of softball had taught her several important things. As I thought about her conclusions, I realized that Christians would do well to come away from our victories and losses with the same set of lessons.

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Nuggets – Jesus Sees and Cares

Jesus Sees and Cares
“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (John 5:19)

What the Father sees, the Son sees, and what the Father does, the Son does, for “I and my Father are one,” said the Lord Jesus (John 10:30). God sees everything, of course, for “the eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3), but it is noteworthy that there are just seven occasions where John’s gospel stresses specifically that Jesus saw a particular event and then took special action to do something about it.

At Jesus’ baptism, two seekers followed Him and “Jesus turned, and saw them following” (John 1:38). He invited them to come and they followed Him from that day on. Nathanael, a devout Jew, also followed Him when Jesus said, “When thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee” (v. 48).

There was an incurable cripple at a pool, and “when Jesus saw him lie” (John 5:6), He said, “Rise, . . . and immediately the man was made whole” (vv. 8-9). There was a hungry multitude: “Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him,” and He prayed, and soon “they were filled” (6:5, 12).

Next, Jesus “saw a man which was blind from his birth,” and soon the once-sightless man could testify, “Whereas I was blind, now I see” (9:1, 25). Not only the lame and blind, but also the grieving came to His attention. When Mary’s brother Lazarus died, Jesus “saw her weeping.” Then “Jesus wept” and soon “he that was dead came forth” (11:33, 35, 44). Finally, even while Christ was dying on the cross, He “saw his mother” and provided for her care (19:26).

Jesus sees those who hurt, or grieve, or hunger, and He cares. For, after all, He is our Father. HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Nuggets – Magnified Mercy

Magnified Mercy
“Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die.” (Genesis 19:19)

This rather presumptuous plea of Lot to the angels who had spared his life when they called down fire from heaven to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah is noteworthy because it contains the first reference in the Bible to the mercy of God. Lot was a believer and a righteous man but carnal in attitude and greedy in motivation. Yet, God not only showed grace in His dealings with Lot but even magnified mercy!

As appropriate for the principle of first mention in Scripture, this first reference to mercy lays the foundation for the dominant theme of the doctrine of mercy throughout Scripture. The key is that God’s mercy can only be described properly in superlatives, and this fact is noted repeatedly throughout Scripture.

“The mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him,” said David (Psalm 103:17). “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him” (Psalm 103:11). His mercy, therefore, is both eternal and infinite. Nothing could ever be more “magnified” than this!

No wonder, therefore, that Paul says He is “rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us” (Ephesians 2:4), and Peter tells us that “his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope” (1 Peter 1:3).

It is only “according to his mercy he saved us” (Titus 3:5), surely “not [because of any] works of righteousness which we have done.” Therefore, with David, we can say, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever” (Psalm 23:6). HMM

From the Instituie for Creation Research

 

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Too Blind to See

 

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Vision: The act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be.”

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Nuggets – In the Spirit

In the Spirit
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)

When a person accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, believing on Him as the Son of God and personal Redeemer, the One who saves him from his sins, a wonderful event takes place. The Spirit of God enters his very body, there to reside and to guide his new life in Christ. Henceforth he is, whether he senses it or not, “in the Spirit.” “Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9).

The believer’s body even becomes a temple in which the Spirit can reign over his life. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

In addition to leading us (through the Scriptures which He inspired and through the circumstances which He ordains), “The Spirit [Himself] beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16). “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit” (1 John 4:13).

The indwelling, comforting, leading, witnessing Spirit is not alone, for Jesus promised that, when the Comforter comes to “be in you,” then through the Spirit, “I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (John 14:17, 20). Thus, we can “be filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).

Such a marvelous relationship will surely transform our lives. As today’s verse exhorts us: “If we live in the Spirit” we should certainly “walk in the Spirit.” The practical result is then obvious. “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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When Forgiveness is Hard

IMG_8102“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” Romans 3:23-24

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15

 

 

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Nuggets – No More Tears

No More Tears
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

Surely this is one of the most glorious promises in the Bible! No more suffering, no more sorrow, no more death! In this present life, in this present world, every one of us must endure suffering and sorrow in various degrees, and eventually death. But our gracious Savior “hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows,” and because “the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. . . . he was cut off out of the land of the living” (Isaiah 53:4, 6, 8), and He endured for us the awful suffering of death on the cross.

In dying, however, He defeated death, rose from the grave, and is now alive “for evermore” (Revelation 1:18). Thus, He can promise immortal physical bodies that will never die again to all who trust Him.

How can He do this? He “shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:21). “The dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52).

The believers of pre-Christian days will also share in these blessings. Isaiah recorded a beautiful promise to them, as well as us, hundreds of years before Christ came to make it possible. “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: . . . And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him . . . we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation” (Isaiah 25:8-9). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Nuggets – Moral or Sanctimonious

Moral or Sanctimonious
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” (Luke 6:41)

This rhetorical question by the Lord Jesus incisively points out a sin common among most Christians—the sin of sanctimoniousness, committed in the good name of morality. It is easy to criticize fellow Christians for their moral or ethical deficiencies while simultaneously justifying one’s self for the same or worse defects. “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things” (Romans 2:1).

True morality is generated internally from a heart of gratitude and love for the Lord and His Word, then manifested externally in a godly life of non-self-centered service. Sanctimoniousness is generated from a heart of pride and is manifested in a critical spirit. Morality judges one’s self; sanctimoniousness judges others.

This inconsistency afflicts all of us to some degree, so we need to be especially alert to its outcropping in our own lives. We must condemn sin, of course, but we must at least be as concerned to correct it in ourselves as we are in others. “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” (Romans 14:10).

And if, indeed, we do see a mote—or even a beam—in a brother’s eye, one that really needs to be removed for the Lord’s sake and that of His testimony, the best procedure is not one of sanctimonious rebuke but of gentle and empathetic edification. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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