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The Carpenter's Chapel (7)

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by DHK, Oct 25, 2005.

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  1. following-Him

    following-Him Active Member

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    This devotional is taken from Word For Today, which can be found at www.ucb.co.uk

    Reach out24 Dec 2006'THE WORD BECAME FLESH...AND MOVED INTO THE NEIGHBOURHOOD...' JOHN 1:14Among the Christmas Eve congregation at 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church was a recovering alcoholic named Jim. It was his first Christmas alone, and when a young family sat down beside him he couldn't handle it. Leaving the church he met Pastor Thomas Tewell who asked where he was going. 'Out for a drink,' he replied. Knowing Jim's history, Tewell said, 'You can't. Where's your sponsor?' 'On vacation,' he replied. 'I came tonight needing a word of hope and ended up sitting beside this family. If I'd my life together, I'd be here with mine.' As the pastor walked to Reach out24 Dec 2006'THE WORD BECAME FLESH...AND MOVED INTO THE NEIGHBOURHOOD...' JOHN 1:14Among the Christmas Eve congregation at 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church was a recovering alcoholic named Jim. It was his first Christmas alone, and when a young family sat down beside him he couldn't handle it. Leaving the church he met Pastor Thomas Tewell who asked where he was going. 'Out for a drink,' he replied. Knowing Jim's history, Tewell said, 'You can't. Where's your sponsor?' 'On vacation,' he replied. 'I came tonight needing a word of hope and ended up sitting beside this family. If I'd my life together, I'd be here with mine.' As the pastor walked to the pulpit he prayed, 'God, give me a word of hope for Jim.' Then after welcoming the congregation he said, 'I have a request. If anyone here is a friend of Bill W's, and if you are you'll know it, please meet me in the vestry. (Bill Wilson, better known as Bill W., co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous). Immediately people from all over the congregation began to respond. Dr. Tewell says, 'While I was busy preaching about the Incarnation, the Word was becoming flesh before my eyes!' As you celebrate Jesus birth, remember that many around you are hurting; they've lost hope. Don't forget, 'The Word became flesh' only because Jesus went out of His way to redeem sinners, lift the fallen, encourage the despairing, and minister to the sick, the lonely and the forgotten. And He said, 'In as much as you've done it unto the least...of these...you've done it unto me.' So instead of keeping to yourself this year, reach out to those in need - go ahead, make it your best Christmas ever! the pulpit he prayed, 'God, give me a word of hope for Jim.' Then after welcoming the congregation he said, 'I have a request. If anyone here is a friend of Bill W's, and if you are you'll know it, please meet me in the vestry. (Bill Wilson, better known as Bill W., co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous). Immediately people from all over the congregation began to respond. Dr. Tewell says, 'While I was busy preaching about the Incarnation, the Word was becoming flesh before my eyes!' As you celebrate Jesus birth, remember that many around you are hurting; they've lost hope. Don't forget, 'The Word became flesh' only because Jesus went out of His way to redeem sinners, lift the fallen, encourage the despairing, and minister to the sick, the lonely and the forgotten. And He said, 'In as much as you've done it unto the least...of these...you've done it unto me.' So instead of keeping to yourself this year, reach out to those in need - go ahead, make it your best Christmas ever!
     
  2. Watchman

    Watchman New Member

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    The times and seasons.

    Thank you Followinghim, I am returned from vacation.

    And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power. (Acts 1:7 KJ2000)
    Just before Christ ascended into heaven, His disciples asked Him, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (v. 6). Christ refrained from answering their question as they had hoped, but in His wisdom He used the occasion to teach them that some information is for God alone, including the “times and the seasons.” In our finiteness, we are unable to handle too much information, and should we know even a small part of the “knowledge [which] is too wonderful for me” (Psalm 139:6), we would use it improperly.
    The prophet taught the same lesson many years before: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thought than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55: 8-9). God has graciously revealed enough that we know He has a wonderful plan, but the details are known by Him alone. They are under His “own power,” or authority. Certainly He knows the future, but more than that, He controls it.
    And why not? He created time (Genesis 1:1); surely He can exercise authority over it. Surely the “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Revelation 22:13) can control the destinies of individuals and nations. “Power” to work out His good pleasure rests solely with “the only wise God and Savior…now and ever” (Jude 25).
    Even though this “power” is His alone, His promise to the disciples that “ye shall receive power” (Acts 1:8) has been fulfilled in the person of the Holy Spirit. We have what we need to be “witnesses” of that which we know of Him, to “the uttermost part of the earth.”

     
  3. following-Him

    following-Him Active Member

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    Amen. Thank you Charles. I hope you had agood vacation.

    Blessings

    followinghim
     
  4. following-Him

    following-Him Active Member

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    Todays devotional is taken from Our Daily Bread, which can be found at www.rbc.org and click on devotionals.

    December 30, 2006
    Remembering

    READ: Psalm 103:1-5
    Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. —Psalm 103:2

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    About this cover
    Some days we awaken with aching joints and dull spirits and wonder how we can shake off our lethargy and make it through the day.
    Here’s an idea: Like David, try lifting up your thanks to God. Use mind and memory to rekindle thankfulness for all God’s “benefits” (Ps. 103:2). Gratefulness will lead to joy.
    Thank God for His forgiveness. He “forgives all your iniquities” (v.3), and “has cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Mic. 7:19).
    Thank Him for healing your diseases (v.3). God uses infirmity and disorders to draw you more deeply into His love and care. And, one day when your Lord comes for you, He will heal all of your diseases.
    Thank Him for redeeming your life from destruction (v.4). This is more than rescue from a premature death. It is redemption from death itself.
    Thank Him for crowning your life “with lovingkindness and tender mercies” (v.4).
    Thank the One who satisfies your desires (v.5). He is your satisfaction. Each day, He renews your strength and vigor. Then your spirit can rise up and soar like the eagle.
    “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (v.2). —David H. Roper

    Give me a spirit of thankfulness, Lord,
    For numberless blessings given;
    Blessings that daily come to me
    Like dewdrops falling from heaven. —Dawe

    Gratitude is the memory of a glad heart.
     
  5. following-Him

    following-Him Active Member

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    With the New Year a lot of people are trying to read the Bible more regularly, some following specific Bible reading plans. I thought this devotional from Word For Today at www.ucb.co.uk might be an encouragement to some.

    Never stop reading06 Jan 2007'THE DISCERNING HEART SEEKS KNOWLEDGE.' PROVERBS 15:14Do you know that Cosmopolitan is one of UK's top selling magazines? Or that 50 percent of all University students stop reading after graduation, even though a degree can become outdated in as little as five years? It might surprise you to know how little some professionals actually read. No wonder John Wesley told his students: 'Either read or get out of the ministry!' When Dr Harry Ironside was a boy he heard about somebody who read the entire Bible every year. Impressed, he started reading and by age 14 he'd read through the Bible 14 times! Consequently he was one of history's most influential preachers. His name is on over 100 books, mostly Bible commentaries. People were amazed by his knowledge of the Scriptures and how he relayed them to others in simple everyday language. In prison Paul asked Timothy for 'the books, especially the parchments' (2 Timothy 4:13 NAS). The parchments were sacred scripture manuscripts. And the books were probably the ones he was reading when he was arrested. The Bible says, 'The discerning heart seeks knowledge.' So Paul was still reading the day he died! George Muller, who was busier than most, said, 'I consider it a lost day when I haven't had a good time over the Word of God.' And J I Packer said, 'A little knowledge of God is worth more than a great deal of knowledge about him.' God said, 'My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge' (Hosea 4:6). How do you qualify for greater blessing? By growing more! Just 15 minutes a day will take you through your entire Bible in less than a year. So, what's stopping you?
     
  6. Watchman

    Watchman New Member

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    H.A. Ironside was a great preacher of the first half of the last century.
    Thanks
     
  7. Watchman

    Watchman New Member

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    At Any Moment...

    "And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (II KIngs 2:11).

    This remarkable event-the translation of Elijah alive into heaven without dying-was altogether miraculous, but it really happened! Among other things, it assures us that heaven is a real place in this created universe, for Elijah is still there in his physical body, still alive, to this very day.
    The prophet Enoch, who had also served God in a time of deep apostasy, had likewise been taken into heaven without dying (that is, into the "third heaven," beyond the starry heaven, where God's throne is), as recorded in Genesis 5:24 and Hebrews 11:5. Enoch's prophecies, addressed to the entire world of mankind, were given at approximately the mid-point of the period between Adam to Abraham, whereas those of Elijah, addressed only to Israel, were given at essentially the midpoint of the time from Abraham to Christ. Both were caught up alive into heaven before their ministries were finished. It is possible that they will return again to Earth as God's "two witnesses" who will prophesy to both Jews and Gentiles in the last days (note Malachi 4:5-6; Revelation 11:3-12), then finally to be slain and resurrected.
    In any case, there will also be one entire generation of believers who will-like Enoch and Elijah-be caught up alive into heaven "...and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air" (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
    This could very well be our generation! And, "when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is" (I John 3:2).
     
  8. Watchman

    Watchman New Member

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    Elijah

    "And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (II KIngs 2:11).
    This remarkable event-the translation of Elijah alive into heaven without dying-was altogether miraculous, but it really happened! Among other things, it assures us that heaven is a real place in this created universe, for Elijah is still there in his physical body, still alive, to this very day.
    The prophet Enoch, who had also served God in a time of deep apostasy, had likewise been taken into heaven without dying (that is, into the "third heaven," beyond the starry heaven, where God's throne is), as recorded in Genesis 5:24 and Hebrews 11:5. Enoch's prophecies, addressed to the entire world of mankind, were given at approximately the mid-point of the period between Adam to Abraham, whereas those of Elijah, addressed only to Israel, were given at essentially the midpoint of the time from Abraham to Christ. Both were caught up alive into heaven before their ministries were finished. It is possible that they will return again to Earth as God's "two witnesses" who will prophesy to both Jews and Gentiles in the last days (note Malachi 4:5-6; Revelation 11:3-12), then finally to be slain and resurrected.
    In any case, there will also be one entire generation of believers who will-like Enoch and Elijah-be caught up alive into heaven "...and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air" (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
    This could very well be our generation! And, "when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is" (I John 3:2).
     
  9. Watchman

    Watchman New Member

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    Random Luke 18:29-30

    “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that has left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, Who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting. (Luke 18:29-30).

    In my random search, I come upon this, and, I will say, it has been the hardest passage of them all for me to comment on. Earlier, the Lord Jesus had a similar statement:
    “ If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26).
    The Bible speaks clearly about one’s responsibility to our own family, Paul writes:
    “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever” (1Timothy 5:8). It would seem, by outward appearance that the Lord Jesus is advocating something that is prohibited elsewhere in Scripture. Since we know that He would not do that, there must be a deep truth here.
    Perhaps what it comes down to is how much do we trust God? We know that we can trust in His promises that He has made, we trust Him that “…he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6)” We trust Him in that “…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). David could say: “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalm 35:25).
    Somewhere I read that R.A. Torrey had no set salary for three whole years. Despite having a family, none of them went without. Torrey was a man of prayer who trusted God and they always had what they needed.
    Can we not trust such a One as the Lord Jesus to care for loved ones, if, indeed, He calls us to service away from them? Do we dismay at our circumstance, or trust in Him who loved us, and gave Himself for us?
     
  10. following-Him

    following-Him Active Member

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    Amen. Rob and I can testify to the Lord's faithfulness to us over the years. Psalm 27:1 comes to mind just now.

    Blessings

    followinghim
     
  11. following-Him

    following-Him Active Member

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    This devotional can be found at www.rbc.org and click on "Our Daily Bread":

    January 24, 2007
    Saving Ourselves


    ODB RADIO: Listen Now | Download

    READ: 1 Corinthians 15:12-20
    If we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. —2 Timothy 2:11

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    About this cover
    Inside, music was playing. Outside, leaves were falling. Catching a gust of wind, one of the last leaves of autumn blew briefly upward as I heard the phrase, “He is risen!” By the end of the song, however, the leaf had reached the ground. Gravity had overcome the breeze.
    Later, I overheard three middle-aged women discussing diets, exercise, face-lifts, and other age-defying efforts. Like the leaf, they were trying to keep gravity from pulling them toward the inevitable.
    Their conversation reminds me of the good works people do to try to save themselves from spiritual death. But just as leaves cannot keep from falling and people cannot keep from aging, no one can work hard enough to avoid the consequences of sin, which is death (Rom. 6:23).
    At the crucifixion, mockers challenged Jesus to save Himself. Instead, He put His life into the hands of God, and God gave back to Him not only His own life but ours as well. To receive salvation, we too must simply put our lives into the hands of God, for if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in us, He will give life to us as well (Rom. 8:11).
    The forces of sin outside cannot defeat the life of Christ inside. —Julie Ackerman Link

    Thank You, Jesus, for Your willingness
    to surrender to Your Father’s will.
    For if You had chosen to save Yourself,
    You could not have saved me. Amen.

    Salvation isn’t turning over a new leaf; it’s receiving a new life
     
  12. Watchman

    Watchman New Member

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    Thank you for that.
    Just about at the end of his life, his girlfriend walked in on W.C.Fields and there he was with his nose in the Bible! She asked what he was doing, to which he replied "Looking for loopholes, lookihg for loopholes."
    Well,W.C."The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). You come to God by Christ Jesus, or not at all.
     
  13. following-Him

    following-Him Active Member

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    I hope this devotional will be a blessing to others as it was to me this morning. It can be found at www.rbc.org and click on devotionals and then on Our Daily bread.

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    January 30, 2007
    Existing Or Truly Living?


    ODB RADIO: Listen Now | Download

    READ: John 10:1-11
    I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. —John 10:10

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    About this cover

    On a family visit to Disneyland, I pondered the sign over the entrance arch that read, “Welcome to the happiest place on earth.” The rest of the day I looked at the faces of the people and was impressed by the small number who were actually smiling during their visit to “the happiest place on earth.” I roamed the park with divided attention—trying to make sure my kids had a good time and wondering why so few adults seemed to be enjoying themselves.
    As I think of that day, I am reminded of a line from an old song that says, “Life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.” So it seems.
    To live life to the fullest is qualitatively different than merely existing. In fact, Jesus said that part of His mission was to enable us to live life to the fullest: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). He came so that we could experience life to the full—not according to the standards of a fallen world, but life as it was intended to be. It is life according to the designs and desires of the Creator of life.
    By coming to provide forgiveness for rebellious, broken people, Jesus has made it possible for us to live a life of joy and hope in a world of despair. —Bill Crowder

    Jesus came to bring us life—
    Abundant living, full and free;
    Trusting Him to save and keep us
    Gives us joy the world can see. —Sper

    To know God puts a song in your heart and a smile on your face.

    For similar resources, search these topics:
    Christian Life > Emotions > Hopelessness

    Bible in One Year: Exodus 23-24; Matthew 20:1-16
     
  14. Watchman

    Watchman New Member

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    A Peculiar People

    " But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out darkness into his marvelous light" (IPeter 2:9).
    In our ongoing struggle for both survival and victory in this world, we do well to recognize that we are in enemy territory. While it is true that our Captain created the world-indeed, "All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made" (John 1:3)-sacrificed His life to redeem it, and will reign over it for eternity. It is also true that "the whole world lieth in wickedness" (I John 5:19), occupied by "the prince of this world" (John 12:31); "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2).
    The fact that we are surrounded by such darkness should come as no surprise, for before we were rescued by His grace, we too were part of the darkness-indeed we had to be called out of it. John the Baptist came "To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1:79). Furthermore, as Christ taught, "men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19).
    This confrontation overshadows mere human conflict, however, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12).
    But, praise God, we have been called "out of darkness into His marvelous light" as described in our text. Although we may be still in the world, our King has "delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son" (Colossians 1:13). "In Him was life; and the life was the light of men" (John 1:4)
     
  15. following-Him

    following-Him Active Member

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    Amen.

    Thank you Charles.

    Blessings

    followinghim
     
  16. Watchman

    Watchman New Member

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    The Trinity

    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen" (II Corinthians 13:14).
    The doctrine of the tri-une God is unique to Christianity. There is only one God, yet three persons-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-each with His own distinct relation to mankind, yet each equally, fully, and eternally God. Although these truths are implicit throughout the New Testament, the doctrine of the Trinity is seldom, if ever, presented therein explicitly as a formal doctrine.
    There are several passages, however, where all three Persons are mentioned in the same context, and each one deals with a significant aspect of the Christian life. There is, first of all, the provision of salvation "...the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God..." (Hebrews 9:14). Then follows regeneration. "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His own Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father" (Galatians 4:6). Salvation and regeneration are then publicly testified in baptism "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19).
    The chief resource of the believer is prayer, and this also involves three Persons. "For through (Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father" (Ephesians 2:18). He must also continue to learn of Christ, and to bear witness of Him. "The Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things." "The Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness (John 14:26; 15:26-27).
    Finally, in the words of our text, we have eternal assurance in the tri-une God. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all Amen (II Corinthians 13:14).
     
  17. following-Him

    following-Him Active Member

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    Todays devotional comes from "Word for Today" which can be found at:

    www.ucb.co.uk

    Are you being tested?10 Feb 2007'CONSIDER IT ALL JOY, MY BRETHREN, WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER VARIOUS TRIALS.' JAMES 1:2Now, be honest. You've probably read today's verse and wondered if James was living on the same planet you live on. This may be one of the hardest commands to obey in all of Scripture. James said we are to respond to our trials with '...joy...' That leaves no room for complaining. Start praising God when your life is interrupted by a problem or circumstance you didn't plan on or see coming. Why? Because the truth is, we are either in a trial right now, coming out of a trial, or heading towards the next one. James speaks of '...various trials'. You won't get bored by the trials you face because they'll come in every variety you can imagine. They're like some of the mail we receive, simply addressed to 'occupant'. All you have to do to undergo trials is occupy space on the planet. Notice, James didn't say 'if' they come, but '...when...' Will Rogers once read a newspaper headline, 'Innocent Bystander Shot In New York'. 'How about that'? he said. 'All you have to do to get shot in New York is be innocent and stand by'. That's how it is with trials. Just stand by and you'll get hit. But why? James answers: '...under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colours. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way' (James 1:2-4 TM). Adversity produces maturity. The truth is, it can't come any other way!
     
  18. following-Him

    following-Him Active Member

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    Today's devotional comes from Our Daily Bread which can be found at:

    www.rbc.org

    February 13, 2007
    Raised In Glory


    ODB RADIO: Listen Now | Download

    READ: 1 Corinthians 15:42-49
    The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. —1 Corinthians 15:42

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    About this cover
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    Years ago, I heard a story about a man looking for flowers for spring planting. At the greenhouse he came across a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. To his surprise, it was hidden in a corner and growing in an old, dented rusty bucket.
    "If this were my flower," he said to himself, "I would place it in a beautiful pot and display it proudly! Why is it confined in this old bucket and hidden away in this concealed place?"
    When he remarked to the owner about the flower, she explained, "Oh, I started the plant in that old bucket until it blossomed. But it’s just for a short time. Soon I’ll transplant it to my garden."
    The man laughed, and imagined such a scene in heaven. "There’s a beautiful one," God will say, "the product of My lovingkindness and grace. Now it’s confined in a broken body and in obscurity, but soon, in My garden, how tall and lovely this soul will stand!"
    So we may now be "planted" in bent and battered containers for a short time while our Lord beautifies our souls. But, "as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man" (1 Cor. 15:49). Then He will display His handiwork and our loveliness for all to see. This is our assurance and delight. —David H. Roper

    In bodies that will ne’er grow old,
    We’ll reign with Him through years untold;
    O precious thought: We all shall be
    With Christ through all eternity. —Watson


    While God is preparing a place for us, He is preparing us for that place.

    For similar resources, search these topics:
    Basics Of Faith > Future/Prophecy > Heaven
    Christian Life > Personal Crisis > Suffering

    Bible in One Year: Leviticus 14; Matthew 26:51-75
     
  19. Watchman

    Watchman New Member

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    Thank you FollowingHim.
    So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power (I Corinthians 15: 42,43).
    Truly one of the most remarkable promises of the Bible is that when He appears, we shall be like Him (I John 3:2). This is the One, that, when he saw Him there on the Isle of Patmos, John "fell at His feet like a dead man" (Revelation chapter 1).
    But the glory of the Lord Jesus is deserved. The glory that all of us will display at that day will be undeserved, ours only because of what He did for us at Calvary. To Him be all the glory!
     
  20. following-Him

    following-Him Active Member

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    Amen.

    Thank you Charles.

    Blessings

    followinghim
     
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