Coffee House Chapel #3

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Dan Todd, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    January 12

    Romans 10:16, “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?”

    There are four types of soil that our Lord spoke of in the parable of the sower. We have looked at people who are hard, represented by the seed that fell on the edge of the beaten path, the hard soil where it is almost impossible for the seed to germinate and take root. Let us now look at:

    2. Those who are shallow. These folks are represented by the rocky soil, where the seed took root quickly, but wilted in the noon day sun, because an inch of soil on bed rock provides no water for the plant. Look around you today, what type of people do you see, mostly shallow people. Boice says we are surrounded by people who are “shallow in ... thinking, shallow in ... passions, shallow in ... aspirations, [and] shallow in ... deeds.” We live in an empty culture, which is well described by T. S. Eliot in “The Hollow Men.”

    “We are the stuffed men
    We are the hollow men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!”
    (The Complete Poems and Plays, 1909-1950)

    Eliot wrote that in 1925 (during the roaring 20s), before television, before computers and computer games. What do you think Eliot would say today, “when television [computers, etc] has swept over culture like a plague, catching everyone in its ever more mindless and ever more embracing web.” (Boice) Eliot worked in a day (between two world wars) when people refused to think. We now live in a day when people do not know how to think.

    It is our (Jan’s and mine) privilege to work with young people. Many of the young people the Lord has placed in our path come from broken homes, some even from homes where there was never the traditional family - where a mother and father are married and live together. It is heart breaking to see how some of these young people are brought up. I have often commented, that young people do not know how to think. As our children were growing up, I became convinced that young teens don’t know how to think. When they became older teens, I became convinced that older teens do not know how to think. For the most part, I believe that young people do not learn how to think until they are at least twenty-five.

    The big question is WHY ? And it’s not just teens who do not know how to think. The sad state of affairs in affluent countries is, “if the message is not mindless, flashy, and entertaining, they will not come [watch, listen, pay attention ] to hear it.” (Boice) The tragic state of affairs is - that they cannot even think about their souls, because their minds have been so numbed by the sinful, frivolous, trashy filth that the world has to offer.

    Adapted from “Romans” by Boice.

    In Christ,
    Dan Todd
     
  2. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    And what would young people do without a calculator or a computerized cash register?

    A much needed message.

    Thanks Dan!

    [​IMG]
    §ue
     
  3. blackbird

    blackbird
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    Tuesday, January 13, 2004

    Fruit of the Spirit---LOVE

    This is the last day we will deal with this particular fruit! We've looked at three different types of love--

    Philio---the "Brother-Brother" love

    Eros--the "Husband-Wife" love

    and Agape--the "God-Man" love

    Agape love is both a Vertical and Horizontal love! Its described in 1Corinthians 13--"The Love Chapter!" I would encourage any reader to do a careful exogesis on this chapter---do you some good to know that not only does God love us like that---but that He gives us this love so that we can in turn love other people just like God loves us!!!! Amen??

    The last thing we'll look at concerning the Spirit's Fruit is:

    HOW IT IS DISPLAYED AND DESIRED

    That old country song goes like this:

    Looking for love in all the wrong places!

    Well, when you come to a Believer who is under the control and guidance of the Holy Spirit---and you are looking for a little Godly love----friend, you've come to the right place!!!

    You and I as Born-again Believers of the Lord Jesus Christ HAVE what's desired by the world!!! And we are to put this love on display!!! We are Heaven's "Storefront" window---lots and lots of "Window" shoppers out there!!! We display it like Jesus would---and folks will come in and inquire---know what I mean???

    Anyway, love is to be displayed!! Did you know that God has shown us how to display this love?? In an unusual way, of course! Not a way you and I sometimes think would be an enjoyable way---but it was the ONLY way to display it!!

    Romans 5:8 tells us, "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

    That word "Commendeth" comes from the Greek word, "Sunistemi" which means--"To make illustrious, outstanding, set apart" Love is best displayed when a death takes place!!! Our deaths, friend!!! A death to self! A daily death!!

    This love is to be displayed toward both the saved of the world and to the lost of the world!!

    Examine 1Peter 1:22

    Examine 1John 4:7-8

    Displayed love is evidense of salvation! You are never more like Jesus than when you're loving your brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus and loving lost sinners like Jesus loved those Publicans!

    Notice 1Peter 2:17---It says, "Love the brotherhood." This means the church conglomerate!!! It means the saved people you associate with!!

    You ever watch and hear those "Political" campaigns--two people running for some "office" against each other??? Well, we who watch the campaign unfold have coined a catch phrase, "They're slingin' mud all over each other!!" Mud slingers!!!!

    Well, folks!! As believers of the Lord Jesus Christ---we're not to be in the "Mud Slingin'" business---rather---we're to be in the "Love Slingin'" business!!! Amen!!! Just go out and spread God's love around!!! Will you do that today???

    Brother David
     
  4. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    Thank you Blackbird - and have a great vacation!

    Dan
     
  5. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    One of the true lessons we learn from agape love is that Jesus loves the unlovely. Oh, that we could come to that point in OUR lives!

    Thank you Bro. David!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    January 14

    Romans 10:16, “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?”

    There are four types of soil that our Lord spoke of in the parable of the sower. We have looked at people who are hard, represented by the seed that fell on the edge of the beaten path and those who are shallow, represented by the seed that fell on the rocky soil. Today we will look at:

    3. Those who are choked by wealth. In Mark 10:17-22 we find one of Jesus’ failures, “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.”

    Note several things about this young man:
    a) He was earnest, he meant business, Mark says that he came running, which indicates urgency.
    b) Luke tells us he was a ruler (probably a religious ruler of some sort), yet he recognized that there was something spiritually lacking in his life. This admission came despite the rebuke and shame he might face, being a religious leader who did not know how to obtain eternal life.
    c) When Jesus told him to keep the commandments, and he professed his obedience to them, Matthew tells us that he asked, “what lack I yet.” I do not see this response as sarcastic or disrespectful, but rather it was a genuine admission that there was still something lacking in the young man’s life.

    The sad ending of the account occurs because Jesus told him to sell all that he had and come follow Him. Please do not misunderstand these passages, Jesus is not telling us that we must sell all we have in order to be saved. Jesus was showing this young man that there was indeed something lacking with him. He had not admitted that he was a sinner and Jesus was showing him that was his problem. If you will note the commands that Jesus mentioned, they were the “easy” ones to follow. There was no mention of the laws dealing with mans relationship to God, laws which are impossible to keep. In fact, this young man’s failure to sell his goods and give the proceeds to the poor showed that he was violating God’s commands that relate to our dealings with our neighbors.

    The young man went away sad. Jesus told the disciples that “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:24-25).

    The cares of this world were more important to this young man than his eternal destiny. This problem has existed down through the annals of time. Boice says, “I know many people who are being kept from genuine discipleship because of wealth, and it is not always a case of their having it. In some cases they are merely trying to get it. Their minds are on the high salaries, the company bonuses, and on what those benefits will allow them to do and buy. And for this they perish!”

    Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of stew, and untold millions have done likewise with their eternal destiny. Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26).

    Adapted from “Romans” by Boice.

    In Christ,
    Dan Todd
     
  7. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    It doesn't matter what our financial status is or how 'religous' we are...we can still be spiritually lacking.

    Thanks Dan, for reminding us that "where are treasures are, there will our heart be also."

    [​IMG]
    §ue
     
  8. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    January 15

    Romans 10:16, “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?”

    There are four types of soil that our Lord spoke of in the parable of the sower. We have looked at people who are hard, represented by the seed that fell on the edge of the beaten path and those who are shallow, represented by the seed that fell on the rocky soil, and people who are beset by the cares of this world, represented by the thorny ground. Today we will look at:

    4. The good soil. Perhaps you are discouraged, thinking “What’s the use in telling anyone about Christ? Nobody is going to listen, why should I bother?” Paul did tell us that “not all obeyed the gospel.” Isaiah wrote, “Who hath believed our report?” (Isaiah 53:1). Though very few follow the gospel, neither Paul nor Isaiah said that “No one” would follow. While there only may be few, yet at least some will come to Christ.

    Boice writes, “Though sparse of results at times, preaching has always been blessed by God to save some. It is not because of anything in them, of course, but because of the power of God in the gospel.” We have a job to do, that is to tell a lost and dying world about the Lord Jesus Christ. We are not responsible for the results, God is. It is our job to be obedient to the Lord and take the message to others. Perhaps you have difficulty explaining the gospel, but what is stopping you from taking a lost sinner to someone who can explain the gospel. You could bring them to a church where the Bible is taught, and Christian theology is explained without compromise. Above all, you can pray for them, remember James 5:16 tells us that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

    Perhaps you have been reading these devotionals and you have never trusted Christ. You do not believe because of your hard, shallow, or choked heart. Please understand that you do not have to remain in your unbelief. Turn from your sin and call on the Lord Jesus Christ right now.

    Someone has said, “On the great clock of time there is only one word: NOW.” The saying may be trite, but it is true. “Now is the time to pass from the sad reality of unbelief to the joyous reality of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior.” (Boice)

    Adapted from “Romans” by Boice.

    In Christ,
    Dan Todd
     
  9. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he that winneth souls is wise."
    Pro. 11:30

    Thanks Dan,
    §ue
     
  10. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    January 16

    Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

    Dr. W. A. Criswell spoke to the first “Summit Meeting” of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, in the fall of 1978, in Chicago. At that time, Dr. Criswell had been pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas for over thirty-five years, and had been in the ministry over fifty years. His message to this gathering of 350 pastors, scholars, and leaders of the major para-church organizations was entitled, “What Happens When I Preach the Bible as Literally True?” Boice explains, “His answer was a tour de force, as he explained what had happened to himself, what had happened to his church, and what he believes happens to God when God’s Word is thus used and honored.”

    About a year after Dr. Criswell had been in Dallas, he told his well-established congregation that he was going to preach through the Bible, beginning with Genesis on through to the end of Revelation. Criswell said, “You never heard such lugubrious [excessively mournful] prognostications.” Criswell was told that such preaching would kill the church. “Nobody will come to hear someone preach about Habakkuk, Haggai, and Nahum. Most people don’t even know who those biblical books or characters are,” the naysayers said. But Dr. Criswell stuck to his guns, and much to the surprise of many, the problem that developed was not the ruin of the church, but where to put all the people who came each week to hear his biblical preaching. There were thousands of conversions, and today the First Baptist Church of Dallas is one of the largest, most effective, and most biblically sound churches in the entire country. The lesson to be learned is that the unique power of the Bible changes peoples lives and builds churches.

    Our text is a summary of what Paul previous said in this chapter. The sentence in the original is interesting, because it has no verbs. A literal rendition of the verse would be, “So, then, faith by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” This verse has the same tone as verse 14, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”

    Hearing occurs twice in the text: “faith by hearing” and “hearing through the word of Christ.” The question we will answer in coming days is “Hearing what?” The answers we will look at are (1) The gospel, and (2) Christ Himself.

    As I encouraged my Sunday School class last Lord’s Day, we need to get into the Book and “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15). The Bible tells us all God wants us to know. How to be saved, how to run our churches and families, how to live this Christian life, and what will happen in the future. I encourage each of you to read and study it daily.

    Adapted from “Romans” by Boice.

    In Christ,
    Dan Todd
     
  11. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    January 17

    Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

    Our text uses the word hearing twice. What are we to hear?

    1. The gospel. The gospel is the biblical message of salvation from sin - through the work that Christ did for us by His death, burial, and resurrection. That is the message that His ambassadors are called to preach. Paul explained this all to us in verses 14-15, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” We followed Paul as he taught us four truths in these verses:

    a) For people to call on Christ for salvation, they must first believe in Christ;
    b) For them to believe in Christ, they must first hear Him;
    c) For them to hear Christ, someone must preach Christ to them; and
    d) For someone to preach Christ to them, the messenger must first be sent.

    In this section of Romans Paul stresses preaching the gospel. He particularly is concerned that the gospel is preached to his countrymen, the Jews. When the Jew, or any one else for that matter, hears the gospel preached, they are without excuse in regard to their unbelief.

    The entire Epistle to the Romans is about the gospel. “It tells us that when we were hopelessly lost in sin and under the threat of God’s judgment, God acted to save us through the work of Christ. He sent Jesus to die for us, taking the punishment of our sins to Himself, so that the love of God might go out to save the sinner. What is more, the salvation thus achieved is not only a salvation from the punishment due us for our sins. It is also salvation from the power of sin in our lives and eventually even from the presence of sin.” (Boice) This whole process ends with glorification, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30).

    What a glorious message. This is the message that the world needs to hear. The word “gospel” means “good news.” That is the literal meaning of verse 16, “But they have not all obeyed the gospel [good news].”

    2. Christ Himself. Most commentators say that the phrase “and hearing by the word of God” means that the word is the word about Christ, that He is the content of the message. Boice strongly argues that the phrase should be “through the word of Christ,” that Jesus is understood to be speaking the gospel message or word. (Boice says that both verses 14 and 17 have this meaning.) If the meaning of the phrase is as most commentators say, then the two parts of the verse are redundant. It would reduce the verse to saying “Faith comes from hearing the gospel, and the gospel that is heard is the gospel.”

    If, on the other hand, the verse says that we are “hearing Christ,” then the proper meaning of verse 17 would be, “Faith comes from hearing the gospel preached, and the reason faith come from hearing the gospel preached is that Jesus Himself, the object of the gospel as well as its subject, speaks through the messenger to call the listening one to faith.” (Boice)

    Friend, if you have not responded to the gospel message, the message that Christ speaks to you through His ambassadors, I plead with you to take Him today as your Lord and Savior. He paid a price that He did not owe, because we owe a price that we cannot pay.

    Adapted from “Romans” by Boice.

    In Christ,
    Dan Todd
     
  12. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    January 18

    Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

    One of the chief discoveries of the Reformers was the relationship between the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. That relationship is the mutual working together of the Bible and the Holy Spirit.

    Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others understood that the Holy Spirit’s work is to convert, teach, and lead people. The following verses stress these points: John 3:8 (The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.); 1 John 5:6 9 (And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.); and 1 Corinthians 2:12-14 (Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.)

    “But when the Reformers thought about these verses and others that stress the work of the Holy Spirit, they also remembered verses that taught the importance of the Bible in knowing th mind and will of God. They understood rightly that God speaks only through the written Word.” (Boice) Hebrews 4:12 (For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.); and John 5:39 (Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.).

    “Without the Holy Spirit, the Bible is a dead book. That is why the man ‘without the Spirit’ cannot understand it. But, on the other hand, without the Word as an objective guide from God, claims to a special leading by the Holy Spirit run to excess, error, or mere foolishness.” (Boice) The lesson here is that the Holy Spirit will never “speak to us” or “lead us” in any direction other than that which is expressly written in the Word of God.

    We can put the Reformer’s doctrine in the terminology of our text by saying: “When the Bible is preached, Christ speaks.” “And when Jesus speaks, His voice brings life out of death and His sheep awake from their spiritually lost condition and follow Him.” (Boice)

    In Dr. Criswell’s sermon - “What Happens When I Preach the Bible as Literally True,” he said, “No word spoken for God ever falls to the ground. Somehow, some way, in areas of life that we don’t understand and don’t know, God blesses it in His good purpose, in His electing choice, and in His heavenly time. That is the basis on which I have tried to build, with God’s help, the congregation you call the First Baptist Church of Dallas.”

    In closing, I quote Boice, “Let me say it again. The reason the Bible is powerful is that it is not the mere words of men, however insightful they may be, or even (do not misunderstand me here) the unique and inerrant Word of God, as important as that is. It is because God speaks to people through the Bible by the Spirit of Christ, and because that Word is life-giving and life-transforming.”

    Adapted from “Romans” by Boice.

    In Christ,
    Dan Todd
     
  13. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    January 19

    Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

    As a testimony of how God uses His Word to reach people, I am going to relate to you a story about Rochunga Pudaite, an Indian national from the people known as the Hmars. It is taken from “The Book That Set My People Free,” Rochunga Pudaite with James Hefley, 1982.

    “The Hmars were at one time one of the most feared tribes in India. They had descended from Mongols who had come from central China, crossed the lower Himalayas, and settled in northeast India. They were headhunters, and when they fought they took heads that they hung over the doors of their bamboo huts. The British, who ruled India in those days, called them ‘barbaric tribesmen’ and said they were almost like animals. When the British tried to enter the Hmar territory, the Hmars fought back. On one occasion they took five hundred heads in just one raid on a tea plantation. The soldiers pursued them. A few Hmars were killed, but most escaped back into the jungle, which is where they were when a Welsh missionary by the name of Watkin Roberts brought the Bible to their tribe.

    “Roberts was a chemist who had been converted during one of the great Welsh revivals of the last century, and when he read an account of the pursuit of the Hmar headhunters by British soldiers, he felt that God wanted him to take the Bible to them.

    “When Roberts arrived at the border of the Hmar territory in India, the British authorities would not let him proceed, declaring the area much too dangerous. So Roberts did the next best thing. He found some Lushais from a tribe adjoining the Hmars and began to translate the Bible into their related language. When he received a small gift for the work from a lady in England, he printed a few hundred copies of the Gospel of John and sent a copy to each of the tribal villages.

    “One of these copies came to the village in which Pudaite’s father was living. A Lushai tribesman happened to be there and read the book to him. Pudaite’s father could not understand what it meant to be ‘born again,’ and the neighbor could not explain it to him. He suggested that the chief invite the translator to the village.

    “When Roberts asked the British agent for permission to go, he was told not to enter the Hmar territory. ‘When I go in there, I take along a hundred soldiers for protection, and I can’t spare a single soldier for you,’ said the agent. Roberts showed him the tribal chief’s invitation but was told it was deceptive. ‘They only want to chop your head off,’ he said. Roberts went anyway and was able to explain the gospel to the people. After a week of teaching, the chief and four Hmar men announced that they wanted to make peace with the God of the Bible by believing on Jesus Christ. One of the four men was Pudaite’s father.

    “This man, whose name was Chawanga, became one of the first Hmar preachers. He traveled all over the territory, teaching the Bible, leading people to Christ, and founding churches. These early Hmar preachers founded churches in almost every village. Many people came to Christ. They were tired of their fighting, drinking, and fear. When they became Christians they began living different lives. They began to work harder and built schools for their children.

    “Strangely enough, the British branded Watkin Roberts a troublemaker for his part in this tribal transformation and ordered him to leave. As a result, he left only a part of the Bible in the Lushai language.

    “The Hmars chose Rochunga Pudaite to do the Hmar translation. Although none of them had ever been out of their own area of northeast India, they sent Pudaite to a mission school and then to a college in India. The missionary worked with others to see that Pudaite was able to continue his education in Scotland and then in America. Pudaite did the translation and later became the new head of the mission Watkin Roberts had founded, the Indo-Burma Pioneer Mission, which later changed its name to the Partnership Mission.

    “Today, reports Pudaite: ‘The Hmars ... have become one of the most advanced ethnic groups in all India. At least ninety-five percent are Christians, worshiping in over 200 churches. Except for Mr. [Roberts], the only missionary they have had is the Bible.

    ‘Hmar population is now up to about 125,000. Eight-five percent can read and write, a phenomenal percentage in India [and a higher percentage than the citizens of Philadelphia]. They have eighty-eight church-sponsored elementary schools, seven junior highs, and four high schools – one with an enrollment of about a thousand. They even have a good hospital, staffed by Hmar doctors and nurses.

    ‘One of our Hmars hold the rank of ambassador in the Indian Embassy in Yugoslavia. Another is the Indian charge d’affaires in Saudi Arabia. Another is the highest ranking civil servant in India. Another is the administrator of a large state. Every year the government gives test to select the outstanding young men for government service. Only about twenty are selected in the whole country. For several years one or two Hmars have been in each group of winners. And there is only one Hmar for every 7,000 people in India.’

    “The Hmars have also begun taking the gospel to other tribes, starting hundreds of churches in other territories. They have taken food to tribes that were starving. As for Rochunga Pudaite, he is now head of an organization called Bibles for the World, which has already mailed millions of Bibles to postal addresses in scores of countries and has a vision for mailing in this decade at least one billion Bibles to the more than one billion telephone addresses worldwide.

    “Pudaite says, ‘The Bible is the Book that reveals the mind of God, the heart of man, the way of salvation, and the blessedness of believers. It is the book that tells us where we come from and where we are going. It is the Book that set my people free.’”

    Taken from “Romans” by Boice.

    In Christ,
    Dan Todd
     
  14. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Rochunga was a dear close personal friend of mine when I was speaking around the world for ACE christian school conferences (1980's). His testimony and subsequent film of his life were motivating to scores of thousands.

    It was a joy to travel with him and eat with him and see the real spiritual depth of this man and his conscious belief of a sovereign God in control.

    BTW, he was about 4'10" and I am 6'6" so we made an odd looking team!

    Thanks for sharing the story for everyone!
     
  15. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    January 20

    Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

    There are two important applications that can be gathered from our text. The first is for believers and the second is for those who have not yet trusted on Jesus as Lord and Savior.

    1. If people can only be converted by hearing the gospel message, then it is from believers that the lost must here this message. It is the believers responsibility to take the gospel to the lost, and if we cannot go, then it is our responsibility to send others who can go. God has chosen to save people by sending messengers. He could save them by a direct word from heaven, or by an angel preaching the good news (as it appears will happen during the Great Tribulation), but God has entrusted us, His children, to tell others about Him. “All who are saved are saved because Christians have done something to bring the gospel to them.” (Boice)

    Now I am sure that someone will object to this statement, claiming that they were alone when saved, or that they found Christ by reading the Bible, with no help from others. I beg you to think of what led to your salvation. Perhaps is was a godly parent, grandparent, or friend who spoke to you in the past. Some one may have left a tract that you found, or perhaps it was a Gideon Bible in a hotel room that led you to the Lord. The tract and the Bible did not spontaneously appear in your hand or in your room, someone placed them there. If your salvation came as the result of a radio or television program, someone had to preach, produce, buy time, etc. in order for that program to be there to reach you for the Lord.

    “The Bible says, ‘Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.’ That is the way that salvation came to you. It is also the way it must go from you to others.” (Boice)

    2. If you have not yet trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you need to understand that our text is true when it says that, “faith comes from hearing the message.” How do people become believers? By hearing the message! “It is because the Lord Jesus Christ Himself speaks to you through the preacher to call you to faith.” (Boice)

    So take advantage of the teaching - listen to it! I encourage you to find a faithful pastor who teaches the Word of God each time he preaches. Listen to the words, open your heart to the message that is being taught. Donald Grey Barnhouse wrote, “If you will open your heart now, and willingly pay attention to the good news that God has nothing against you, that He loves you, that He sent the Lord Jesus Christ to die for you, that Christ did die for you personally, and that He was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead on the third day as the guarantee of your salvation – if you will open your heart to this, you will find faith coming to you.”

    “Faith comes from hearing.” That is how God planned it. As you hear the message, your part is to open your ears to the truth, trusting that, as you do, God will make the message true for you, and that you will find yourself calling on the Lord Jesus Christ to be your Savior.

    Adapted from “Romans” by Boice.

    In Christ,
    Dan Todd
     
  16. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Thanks, Dan, for the reminder God has elected a "means", too!
     
  17. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    January 22

    Romans 10:18-20, “But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.”

    The Apostle Paul devotes the entire 10th chapter of Romans to the subject of whose fault is was that the Jews did not believe the gospel. Paul states categorically that the fault laid with the Jews and not with God. But those who are overly concerned “fair play” would ask why we haven’t considered that maybe it wasn’t the Jews fault either? It seems to me that Paul and the Holy Spirit anticipated such a question, because our text gives two excuses for Jewish unbelief, and then answers those questions.

    Boice ponders the Apostle in a teaching situation, explaining the details of election, reprobation, free will, human responsibility, grace, and the ways in which the gospel comes to those who need it. Just as Paul pauses to catch his breath - up goes a hand. “That is all very interesting, but is it really necessary to go into all that intricate explanation about words most of us can’t even pronounce and can’t define? Why do you have to justify the ways of God in that manner? Isn’t it just simpler to say that the Jews failed to believe because they just haven’t heard the gospel? Or, if they have heard it, perhaps they just haven’t understood it. You theologians are always making things too complicated.”

    Paul undoubtedly heard similar questions and/or statements many times. Our text gives us Paul’s answer! But again Boice imagines Paul’s conversational answer to the questioner! “It might be nice if we could make excuses like that, but unfortunately we can’t. The Jews have heard the message, just as the Gentiles are now also hearing it. The Bible says, ‘Their voice [that is, the voice of the gospel messengers] has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.’ What is more, the Jews have also understood it. This is proved by Moses, who quoted God as saying, ‘I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding,’ and by Isaiah, who told us that God says, ‘I was found by those who did not seek Me; I revealed Myself to those who did not ask for Me.’”

    Rather than dismissing theological terms and doctrines we do not understand, and replacing them with simplistic ideas [as some of Paul’s audience may have done], we should be digging into the Word, asking that the Holy Spirit guide us in our study, seeking to chew on and digest the meat of the Word.

    For the next devotionals, we intend to consider the two excuses that Paul answered: they didn’t hear, and they didn’t understand. Then we will consider the real answer for the Jews unbelief [an answer that also applies to many Gentiles in our day], that they were offended by the grace of God!

    Adapted from “Romans” by Boice.


    In Christ,
    Dan Todd
     
  18. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Certainly describes many believers today, unwilling to be "confused" by sound doctrine!

    Easy believism is a false Gospel!
     
  19. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    There are things, I have heard preachers say, that are oftentimes hard to swallow. That is why we must always strive to study and meditate in the Word to see what God is saying to US.

    "...Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."
    Mark 9:24

    Thanks Dan!
     
  20. Watchman

    Watchman
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    Thanks Dan. I have felt for some time now that the Jews, particularly the leaders, would not believe because Jesus simply did not fit their idea of what the Messiah should be. Same problem, really, with their fathers and the prophets. I mean, they could not even grasp what Isaiah 53 was about. So, I look forward to the coming posts.
     

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