Monthly Archives: September 2015

contentment

Contentment in Christ

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13 NKJV)

The apostle Paul was imprisoned in Rome when he wrote to the Philippians. Written in his later years, this great man of God had to learn to be content, just as we do.

True contentment is rare and doesn’t come naturally to anyone. Much of our discontentment stems from our sin nature that’s naturally selfish and self-centered. (Galatians 5:17) Comparing our lot in life with those who are more prosperous, successful, or talented than we are can fuel discontentment. To complicate matters, the world we live in encourages dissatisfaction with our lives. There’s always something new that will make life better. There’s always a dream that must come true before our lives are complete. But when that dream is fulfilled, we often discover it has its problems. Real contentment comes from the joy of knowing Christ, serving Him, and realizing just how blessed we are.

Be inspired by the words of Charles H. Spurgeon: “Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated. It will not grow in us by nature; it is the new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in it.”

Devotional by Susan Ferguson

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faith

Seeing the Unseen

So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (II Cor 4:18 NLT)

It is easy in the light of the present cares of this world to become overwhelmed and lose our hope. The antidote for this is seeing the unseen God.

It is what we gaze upon that shapes us. If we dwell only on the temporal or transitory aspects of life, the things that we can see, feel, or touch, we will always be disappointed. As the Scripture states, “For the things we see now will soon be gone.” We must be able to look at our troubles with a backdrop of God’s sovereign eternal goodness.


God is always enough. What enabled Moses to persevere when he asked Pharaoh to let his people go and resulted in them being in a more precarious situation? (Exodus 5&6) He saw this invisible God finishing the task. And what about Joseph when was betrayed by his brothers in Genesis 37? Or when he was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife in Genesis 39, or forgotten by the chief baker in Genesis 40. Joseph saw this seemingly distant God as one who brought good out of bad. If we see this unseen God, it will always be enough.

Devotional by Ken Barnes

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GLS BOOK FAIR

GLS Book Fair

Date : 12th  to 17th October 2015 (Tuesday to Saturday)

Timing: 10.00 am to 8.00 pm (Saturday 10.00 am to 1.00 pm)

Venue: Mount Zion Resource Centre

A-7, Sara Park, N-2, CIDCO, Mukundwadi, Jalna Road,

Aurangabad, Maharashtra 431006

Contact: Pastor Paul Rainer Cell: 09890020750

                Pastor Alisha Navgire Cell: 09822372214

On Display

GLS Publishing Books on Apologetics, Biography/Testimony, Church, Commentary & Expositions, Counseling, Christian Living, Doctrinal, Devotional, Family, Marriage, Mission & Evangelism, Issues, Leadership, Pulpit Helps, Prophecy, Song Book, Study, Youth, Children’s Literature (Books in English, HINDI and Marathi ), Bibles in
various languages, Movie/Music DVDs in HINDI/Marathi/English, Tracks, Booklets and other Evangelical tools will be available.

Contact:

GOSPEL LITERATURE SERVICE

Udyod Bhavan, 250D, Worli Colony,

Mumbai – 400030

Tel: 022-24930116/66627243 Cell: 07506712148

Email: marketing@glsindia.com

www.glsindia.com

 

The Oracles of God

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church-sign

Church Signs

People are like tea bags — you have to put them in hot water before you know how strong they are.

God so loved the world that He did not send a committee.

When down in the mouth, remember Jonah. He came out all right.

Fight truth decay — study the Bible daily.

How will you spend eternity? Smoking or non-smoking?

Dusty Bibles lead to Dirty Lives.

Do not wait for the hearse to take you to church.

If you’re headed in the wrong direction — God allows U-turns.

If you don’t like the way you were born, try being born again.

Looking at the way some people live, they ought to obtain eternal fire insurance soon.

This is a ch_ _ ch. What is missing?” ———> (U R)

Forbidden fruit creates many jams.

If you can’t sleep, don’t count sheep. Talk to the Shepherd.

No God — No Peace. Know God — Know Peace.

Free Trip to heaven. Details Inside!

Try our Sundays. They are better than Baskin-Robbins.

In the dark? Follow the Son.

Running low on faith? Stop in for a fill-up.

Searching for a new look? Have your faith lifted here!

Come in and pray today. Beat the Christmas rush!

Sign broken. Message inside this Sunday.

Come work for the Lord. The work is hard, the hours are long and the pay is low. But the retirement benefits are out of this world.

It is unlikely there’ll be a reduction in the wages of sin.

An ad for St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church has a picture of two hands holding stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed. The headline reads “For fast, fast, fast relief, take two tablets.”

When the restaurant next to the Lutheran Church put out a big sign with red letters that said, “Open Sundays,” the church reciprocated with its own message, “We are open on Sundays, too.”

Have trouble sleeping? We have sermons — come hear one!

A singing group called “The Resurrection” was scheduled to sing at a church. When a big snowstorm postponed the performance, the pastor fixed the outside sign to read, “The Resurrection is postponed.”

 

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hitchhiker

Seeing God

I had a decidedly bad attitude the other day.

In the morning, I was taking a homeless man to a clinic for his bad back and found myself drumming my fingers, thinking, “How late am I going to be to work?”

The man called while I was in a meeting at work to have me pick him up and bring him back to his camp and I was thinking, “Great, I’ve interrupted this meeting and now I’m going to miss lunch.”

There were problems at work, problems I couldn’t fix for some reason. I was being rather snippy with people.

On the way home, I was scheduled to give another homeless man a ride so he could stay at our house and be close to where he was working the next morning.

Heavy sigh. I’d have to make sure he had dinner as well as fixing something for the kids.

After dinner, I was tired, wanting to be left alone. A voice (it sounded like my own) suggested I treat myself to some frozen custard a couple miles from the house. I loaded my son in the back seat and off we went.

Halfway there, on the other side of the road, I could see a large, unkempt-looking man hitchhiking. That’s pretty unusual in the affluent neighborhood I was driving through. Part of me thought, “Thank God I’m not going that way. I don’t have to give him a ride.”

But I realized that, 10 minutes later, I’d be coming back.

“God,” I found myself praying, as I watched car after car passing that man by, “Please let someone else pick him up. You know I’ll stop if he’s still there on the way back. But Lord, I’m just tired. Send someone else. I need a holiday.”

Yes, a holiday, my mind echoed. That would be great. …

I got my frozen custard — to go — and started driving back, eyes scanning ahead on the roadside for any sign of the hitchhiker.

There he was. Car after car ahead of me drove blissfully by the man.

My car coasted to a stop next to him. He climbed in.

He didn’t look good. It had been a very hot day — over 100 degrees — yet he wasn’t perspiring. Just breathing heavily.

“Where you going?” I asked.

“The hospital,” he breathed. “I need to get my blood pressure checked.”

God, I thought, please tell me you aren’t going to give this man a heart attack in my car!

The hospital was less than a mile away. I dropped him at the entrance, helping him out of the car and making sure he felt able to get inside.

“God bless you and your family,” he said. “I never would have been able to walk here.”

Then he extended his hand and said, with no trace of a smile:

“My name’s Holiday.”

—-

I got this silly grin on my face. I could just picture God rolling His eyes at this punch line that spoke to me on so many levels.

“My yoke is easy, my burden is light,” He was telling me. God wasn’t ready to stop calling on me, but he was merciful enough to provide a blessed sign of his providence without pushing me over that edge I felt like I was treading.

God is so amazing! How can we ever forget that!?

At least, when we do, He gently reminds us.

The incident reminded me of a story in John 1: 47-51.

When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.”

“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”

Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.”

Certainly, Nathanael would see greater things, but how incredible to have this one miracle that he could call his own! Jesus saw HIM under that fig tree. He cared enough to remember it.

In the same way, God saw my frustrations, my weakness, and chose to acknowledge them WITHOUT abandoning His agenda. He even did so with a sense of humor.

—-

I tell this story and others about seeing God’s hand, and people will ask, “What do I have to do to see God myself?”

When you break down the story, you see the answer.

  • You believe in God.
  • You believe God works through you.
  • You believe God knows what you are going through and will answer your prayers when you are tired and out of sorts.
  • You look for God’s answer to that prayer everywhere, not just where you expect to find it.
  • You obey God even as you search for His providence.

As a result, you may get to feel God’s loving presence, His mercy, even His humor.

The ultimate answer? EXPECT GOD. He’s always there, and the more you see His hand, the better you get at recognizing it.

Devotional by Al Boyce

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in-prayer

In Prayer

 ” And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” [Romans 8:27 RSV]

The heart may be longing to ask for the needs of others, but are we cognizant of the power of His presence, recognizing His Spirit at work, more for the will of God than bringing an instant answer to our petition? When we understand that His desire for us; is to be still and know Him, [Psalm 46:10] the better we’ll grasp the intimacy He desires with us.

In today’s world, we become too enmeshed in the fast life all around us, such that even when we spend time with our Lord on our prayer alter, it’s as though we’re saying…”Lord let’s get on with it!” But are we willing to rest awhile and listen, to become intent to hear His Spirit interceding for us with sighs too deep for words?

We know to build a strong personal relationship with someone we must spend time with that individual, if we truly want intimate knowledge of what that person is made of. It’s no different when we want the best out of our love relationship with our Lord. I like the way the Living Bible translates John 3:30. “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

God searches the hearts of each one of us, looking into the depths of our soul to intercede, more often for what we individually need than what our heart might be concerned about.

Meditation by Robert Schaetzle

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columbian-road

The Calling

A crumpled, dirty tissue was pressed to Marisol’s lips. Her head was swimming and her stomach churning as the jeep she was riding in navigated the pothole and dip ridden dirt trail the locals referred to as a road. She thought the contents of her insides would be released any minute as the jeep hit another rut and almost tossed her out. Tears filled her eyes as the taste of bile burned her throat. Why, oh, why had her daughter moved here?

Once steady, she gripped the roll bar and pulled herself forward, “Is it much further?” she yelled over the droning engine.

The robust driver forced the stick shift into second, and called over his shoulder, “A couple of more miles.”

Marisol’s eyes rolled in rhythm with her stomach; she wasn’t sure how much more she could take. She had only been in this vehicle for a couple of hours, but she had been traveling through equatorial South America for almost a day. Her skin was sticky with sweat which facilitated the Columbian dust, dirt and grime in clinging to her body and matting her hair to her head. As she wiped a fat drop of sweat from her eyebrow she wondered why Sarah and John had picked this isolated part of the world to minister. Her mind recalled the last face to face conversation she’d had with Sarah.

*****

“But, mama, these are the people who need us the most,” a bright-eyed Sarah explained with a broad smile. “Don’t you want to see others come to know Jesus?”

Pulling baby Annabeth closer to her chest, Marisol replied with a scowl, “I don’t see why you can’t do that missionary thing closer to home. Why can’t John just go be pastor of a church?”

Sarah let out a loud breath, “He will be. He’ll be starting a church for this people group in Columbia.”

“People group, humph,” Marisol huffed, “There are plenty of people groups here in the states that need to be reached, but you have to go to a God forsaken place where I need a passport and vaccinations to get in.”

Gritting her teeth Sarah replied, “We’re going because that’s where God has called us to go.”

The ladies fell silent for a moment. After several minutes, Sarah broke the silence. She caressed the tuft of down on her baby’s head. In a hushed tone she said, “I know you ‘re going to miss the baby, but you can come and visit anytime. There’s also internet in the neighboring village. We can e-mail each other, and I’ll send you pictures as often as I can.”

Tears filled Marisol’s eyes. With her bottom lip quivering, she answered, “Annabeth isn’t my only baby I’ll miss.”

*****

The jeep came to a screeching halt. Marisol looked around, but no village could be seen. They were in a small clearing surrounded by trees; a Spanish hymn could be heard wafting on the breeze. “Where are we?” she asked.

“Sarah told me to bring you here. Their church is having a special service at the lake.”

Still feeling a bit inconvenienced, but grateful to be out of the rocking jeep, Marisol followed the driver down a well worn foot path through the trees in the direction of the singing. She ducked under a tree branch and stepped into a breath taking view. A still lake that seemed to be covered in glass cast a perfect reflection of the trees encircling the small body of water. She looked down the hill and past the crowd. Not far off shore, John was standing with two dozen dark skinned, smiling people. Sarah spotted her mother.
She grabbed up Annabeth and made her way through the throng of people. “Mama, you made it,” she cried, embracing her mother.

Tears filled Marisol’s eyes as she took a jabbering Annabeth from Sarah’s arms. Looking around, she asked, “What’s all this?”

Full of excitement, Sarah, answered, “This is our baptism service. Look at all the new believers.”

Casting her gaze back to the lake Marisol understood Sarah and John’s calling.

Written by Rhonda Clark

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inspiration

A Source of Inspiration

A light was on in one office, even though most of the other offices had been dark for hours. The manager continued to work in the silence of the empty building, reviewing reports, studying numbers, responding to messages and emails that others would not read until the next morning. There was so much to do, so many responsibilities and so many decisions that would wait for the manager’s guiding hand.

The silence was broken as the manager was startled to see one of the employees standing at the door. The employee knocked hesitantly, one foot in the office and the other still in the hallway. “May I come in for a moment?” asked the employee.

“Of course,” smiled the manager, leaning back in the chair. “What are you doing here so late?”

“I had a lot of work to do and I wanted to catch-up,” said the employee. “If I get behind then it could impact our customers, and I don’t want that to happen. It’s my responsibility, and I want to take care of it. I know that’s what you would do.”

“You’re probably right,” the manager said with a laugh. “So what made you stop in here?”

The employee approached the desk, sat down in one of the chairs beside it and said, “I wanted to ask you a question.”

“Go ahead.”

The employee began, “You always work so hard, and you always take care of us. You come in early. You stay late. No matter how much you have to do, you always take time to talk to any one of us when we need you. You are so busy taking time for us during the day that you have to stay late at night to catch up on your own work. Yet, you never complain. You make us want to work harder and do better, and you give us every opportunity to be successful. You are an inspiration to the rest of us, so what inspires you?”

The manager’s eyes widened, “Wow, well that was quite a surprise. I appreciate the kind words and admit that you completely caught me off guard.”

“Well?” persisted the employee, “What is your source of inspiration?”

The manager was silent for a moment, carefully contemplating the response. Then the manager stood up and said, “follow me.”

As the manager and the employee walked down a row of cubicles, the manager started to point into them one by one. The cubicles belonged to the colleagues of the employee. “This person is a single parent and comes to work each day to support two children. Those children need someone to look up to, someone to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. This person doesn’t work for me, this person works for them.”

The manager paused at the next cubicle and said, “This person is a grandmother who is working days so she can pay for her college education at night. She doesn’t need a degree and it won’t make any difference for her career. She is already past retirement age and she could quit at any time. She wants that degree to make her children proud and to give her grandchildren someone to look up to. She doesn’t work for me, she works for them.”

The manager moved to the next cubicle and said, “This person is overqualified for the job. It would be easy to leave for another company, probably get a promotion out of it and earn better pay. Why doesn’t this person leave? After eleven years working with the same group of people, it is like a family. This person doesn’t work for me, this person works here for all of you.”

The manager paused at the next cubicle and said, “This person has a family to support. Two kids in school, a mortgage, two car payments, and a whole host of obligations that comes with taking care of a family. Needless to say, you know that this person doesn’t work for me.”

The manager pointed down the line of cubicles, “That young man is engaged to be married, and he is saving up to buy their first home. That next person has a daughter in college. The next one wants to build a career out of this experience. The one after that wants to be a musician and only does this job to earn enough money to pay the bills.”

Walking into the corridor, the manager paused and smiled as the custodian came around the corner. “This person barely speaks our language, but comes to work every day when everyone else has gone home. More than half of the money earned will go to family members who do not even live in our country, while this person keeps only enough to pay for food, shelter and transportation here every day. This person comes into my office and takes away my trash, not for me, but because it is what needs to be done to earn the money that goes to a family that lives hundreds of miles away.”

“And then there is you,” said the manager with a big smile. “You have your own reasons for coming in here every day. When I need a source of inspiration, all I have to do is look around me. I am surrounded by it. Inspiration comes from recognizing what is important to the people around you and making it your own. If I can feel the dedication that these people feel for their children, for their families, for their hopes and dreams, then I have all the inspiration that I need. They are inspired by their own sense of purpose, and I am inspired by them. Just as you believe that you are inspired by me, I am inspired by you.”

Words of Wisdom

“Inspiration may be a form of superconsciousness, or perhaps of subconsciousness – I wouldn’t know. But I am sure it is the antithesis of self- consciousness.” – Aaron Copland

“Leadership is based on inspiration, not domination; on cooperation, not intimidation.” – William Arthur Wood

“Keep your fears to yourself, but share your inspiration with others.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Written by John Mehrmann

 

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phergamum

Faithful Witness

I know where you live – where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city – where Satan lives. Revelation 2:13 NIV

Ah Pergamum; beautiful Pergamum, you have allowed Satan to make his home in your city. One day as I read this verse, Antipas caught my eye. “Who are you?” I asked. A search of Scripture found no other mention of him. There is some historical information, but even that is not extensive.

I was impressed that Christ would mention him by name when addressing the church of Pergamum. When Antipas was martyred, I’m sure he heard, “Well done, faithful servant.” Not only is he mentioned as a martyr, but also as “faithful witness.” Even under extreme persecution, he stood firm and no one could still his voice. He witnessed to the people of Pergamum until the end.

What a contrast: a beautiful but corrupt city and a faithful witness, one who was willing to witness until death. There are places in the world today where Christians are martyred for their faith. We only hear a trickle of stories coming out of these countries. I believe that many more are standing firm for Christ, even in the midst of persecution, even with the threat of death.

Search your heart to see if your spiritual condition is strong enough to withstand the ravages of persecution. If not, it’s time to study the word of God and labour in prayer for this kind of faith. I call it persecution faith. Do you have it?

Meditation by Sharon  Dow

Photo: Remains of ancient Pergamum city

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Worthy Treasure

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44 NKJV

When I taught school, I had a “treasure chest” filled with trinkets. The students were allowed to choose something when they had performed well. In a parable, Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to a treasure a man found and hid in a field. Then he sold all of his possessions to purchase the field.

Treasure -something that is valuable. Books have been written about treasures; men have given their lives, some hide it, and others steal it, but we all have things we treasure. For some, treasure is materialistic with no desire for the gospel, they place all their faith and security in money and or fame. But for those who have come to the knowledge of Christ; our treasure is found in Jesus. While salvation is free and cannot be purchased as the man who bought the field in the parable, salvation did come at a cost, Jesus paid with His life. For us, salvation is free yet in order to receive it we must accept Him as our Savior; giving up our sinful ways and becoming like Him in our words and actions.

And like my students, when we learn to glorify Him we receive blessings on Earth. But the greatest treasure will be when we are reunited with Him in heaven to live for all eternity. Now that is a worthy treasure.

Dear Lord, thank You for providing Your Son so that one day I may be able to live among the treasures of Heaven. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Meditation by Karen White

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