I was searching through a box of old photos a few days ago and noticed my dad’s wallet nestled down between photo albums.
“What’s in Your Wallet, Dad?” I wondered, as I gingerly picked it up and looked inside.
It’s been decades since I last explored the contents of his wallet; and frankly, I had never been able to get past the family photo contents without tearing up and closing it. But on this day, I slid my finger behind his old driver’s license and pulled out this card:
It stopped me for a second… “Good for you, Dad! Ever the Lord’s witness, you carried this gospel tract in your wallet. How many times did you pull out your wallet and show this witness card to someone?”
Now, forty years later, I believe that God wanted me to notice Dad’s wallet and be curious enough to investigate further. This side of Heaven, I will never know; but as we commemorate the resurrection of Jesus this Sunday, I’m sharing this card. A Living Hope has been tucked away in Dad’s wallet for half a century… safe, and preserved… and I am thankful for the opportunity to shed light and ask,
What’s in Your Wallet?
“Thank you, Lord, for the mysterious and wondrous workings of Your Holy Spirit and how You move so powerfully and purposefully throughout the earth to bring the hearts of men back to you. Woo us, Father God, through the Good News that Jesus loved us so much; that He gave His life for our redemption and broke free of the bonds of death – giving us A Living Hope. Stir us up and revive us again, Lord, to proclaim Your Gift of Grace, Jesus Our Messiah, to the world. In His Matchless, Powerful Name, Amen.”
So where is A Living Hope now?
In my wallet, of course.
Happy Resurrection Day!
Tribute to Good News Publishers for its tracts publishing ministry. I was unable to determine if the publisher at Westchester, Illinois, is the same one as the Good News Publishers of Wheaton, Illinois, that later published the ESV Bible. Here is a link to the history of the founders of that great tracts publishing ministry at Crossway.org.
As we approach Resurrection Day in memory of Jesus Christ’s victory over death, the Book of John includes a message about the days of Christ’s appearing after His resurrection. Simply, the Apostle John states his reason for writing the gospel book about Jesus:
30The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in Him you will have life by the Power of His Name. ~ John 20:30-31 NLT
In these verses it seems that John is making sure that the salvation message of Christ Our Redeemer is understood – We have Life by the Power of His Name! That is the same power that broke Jesus free of the tomb!
The next Chapter (21) of the Book of John records the famous “Feed My Sheep” message from Jesus to Simon Peter. As Jesus is waiting for his disciples to come to shore after fishing all night, it becomes clear there was no catch. At dawn, Jesus appears to His disciples for the third time since His resurrection and begins to speak to the crew. If we only copy the text containing Jesus’s words in verses 5-19:
“Fellows, have you caught any fish?”
Then He said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!”
(Of course, the net immediately filled with fish. The boat is about one hundred yards from shore and Peter jumps out, rushing to Jesus on the shore. Amazingly, when Peter gets there, Jesus already has a meal of fish and bread cooked over an open fire!)
“Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,”
“Now come and have some breakfast!”
Is it possible that Jesus is giving us a picture of what His Great Commission Plan should look like?
Hmmmm… catch some fish…
by sharing the Truth…
He promises we will certainly experience a harvest of souls…
and then bring them to Him for a big breakfast that He already prepared ahead of time…
The marriage supper of the Lamb?
Wow! By the Power of His Name! (Not our power)
Later in the same chapter Jesus asks if Peter loves Him three times; in which case Peter responds that he does. Jesus says,
“Feed My lambs”
“Take care of My sheep”
“Feed My Sheep.”
Then Jesus explains what it’s going to cost Peter to be an evangelist for Christ. Sadly, Peter will be crucified.
18”I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and others will dress you and take you where you want to go.”19Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow Me.” ~ John 21:18-19
“Father God, we pray for Your children who have suffered and given all to spread the message of Christ’s crucifixion on the cross to save the world from sin. We also glorify Your Holy Name that Jesus arose from the grave and is alive today! What a glorious testimony to all who will listen and repent of sin. Thank you, Jesus, for loving us while we were yet sinners. Thank You for giving us The Gift of Life by the Power of Your Name if we repent and follow You. AMEN.”
I thought, “I have survived the worst that life can throw at me.”
But that was before I experienced the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. As I sat at my brother’s bedside; holding his hand to my cheek, he slipped into eternity.
That was one month ago. Every day my brother’s last words play over and over in my mind:
“I love you, Sherron,” he declared.
And, “I’m going straight to Jesus!” until he did.
Now the hardest thing I face each day is … each day.
I love you, brother, like no other.
I yearn to give you a hug.
God blessed me when He gave me you –
Just you; I have no other.
Though I held your hand, it was no use. You slipped away.
I’m left wondering, how long until we meet again
In that age of timelessness?
This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
I am lost without you.
I love you brother, like no other.
Like no other…
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that my brother has victory in Christ over death and the grave. He is joyfully dancing in heaven with our dad; they are both completely healed and free of cancer forever. Hallelujah!! Glory to Your Holy Spirit for giving strength, comfort, and hope to family and friends. I respect the wisdom of Your will that took him to Your heavenly home where he is now ageless, painless, and living the abundant life that You originally intended for us all. Thank You for Your grace that, by the blood of Jesus, our separation is only temporary. Maranatha, Jesus! Maranatha!
Forever, O Lord, thy Word is settled in heaven. ~ Psalm 119:89 KJV
Thy Word is true from the beginning: and every one of Thy righteous judgments endureth forever. ~ Psalm 119:160 KJV
Special blessings, Lord, to the family member who recently shared Your Word:
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. ~ Psalm 116:15 KJV
We don’t need more to be thankful for. We just need to be more thankful.
Dr. Rexella Van Impe
When we are feeling deprived and think we need more stuff to make us feel good, just look around. Start at the ceiling of the room you are in and work your way down the wall clear to the floor. Do the same with the other walls. Name each object you notice and then start making a pile to donate to charity.
What am I saying here? Perhaps if you realize how much you already have, you may feel more blessed – maybe give most of it away to someone less fortunate. Then go out and buy updated stuff to replace that stuff. If you don’t feel thankful, hopefully the new owners will feel thankful.
Trust me, everything I just said is wrong. Except for the last part about the less fortunate being more thankful to have our cast-off stuff.
Thankfulness is another word for appreciation. Appreciation is an attitude which is mostly held by the humble and meek of this world. Yes, the inheritors …
Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, “God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours.” ~ Luke 6:20 NLT
The longer I live, the more I realize that being thankful has less to do with how much I have to be thankful for and more to do with thanking my Creator for EVERYTHING, for it all belongs to Him.
Jesus claimed to be The Son of God to crowds of people who constantly weighed and tested His Word. Today humans still ask for credible proof that Jesus is The Son of God. Once again, His true followers can only point to Bible scripture for Truth and to one word – “Listen”.
This scripture is all about God’s Promises to three different groups of people. Picking up the story in John 10:22, the season is winter around the time of Hanukkah, or the Festival of Dedication. Jesus is walking through Solomon’s Colonnadein the Temple, surrounded by people. The throng is three camps combined:
One camp contains true believers
The second camp is sprinkled with noncommitted followers and some seekers. They are leaves blown by the Jesus-is-in-Town-Wind. They are not entirely innocent. They desire to be witnesses of Jesus’s demise (should He blunder). It is the “Where’s the popcorn?” movie crowd.
The third camp is made up of doubters, deceived Pharisees, and Satan’s own: those following primarily to challenge Jesus. I call these “THE ONCE-AGAINS”:
24bHow long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.
Here is a magnificent example of how perfectly Godlike Jesus is. He testifies to all three groups at the same time with the same words- and Jesus says what He means and means what He says:
26But you don’t believe Me because you are not my sheep. 27My sheep listen to My Voice; I know them, and they follow Me.
So, Jesus answered the questions on the hearts of all three groups in two simple statements.
Watch now: Jesus goes on to powerfully state the most reassuring scripture in history for true believers and for seekers alike. It is the oft-quoted “eternal security” scripture straight from the mouth of Jesus. Notice that He ends His testimony with an even more powerful statement directed to THE ONCE-AGAINS in verse 30:
28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from Me, 29for My Father has given them to Me, and He is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. 30The Father and I are One.
31ONCE AGAIN the people picked up stones to kill Him. 32Jesus said, “At My Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone Me?”(emphasis added)
33They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”
Well, isn’t that exactly the same silliness going on in the earth today? Instead of reverancing their Powerful and Majestic Creator, people are not listening to the true message of Jesus. THE ONCE-AGAINS (the lost)continue in their blind rejection of Jesus as the Promised Savior.
Jesus patiently responds to the crowd in verses 34 – 38, and
39ONCE AGAIN they tried to arrest Him, but He got away and left them. 40He went beyond the Jordan River near the place where John was first baptizing and stayed there awhile. (emphasis added)
Isn’t that just like Jesus? He leaves the city, leading a few chosen out into the country for some peace and quiet. For reflection at the river. The River of Life.
Yes! And the Bible states that many people follow Jesus there, and believe that He is their Messiah.
Why? Because John the Baptist did not perform signs and wonders. That was reserved for Jesus’s ministry. But some of them get to thinking about the testimony of John once they are away from that mind-numbing distraction of THE ONCE-AGAINS:
41beverything he (John the Baptist) said about this Man has come true. (Italics added)
THE ONCE-AGAINS (those who refuse to believe that Jesus is God) are like wolves in the sheepfold that scatter and devour the flock (John 10:12). They mimic their true father of lies (Satan). They mock, scorn, and deny all that is Truth. They still plot to persecute believers worldwide with murder, imprisonment, and unspeakable torture.
Our Almighty Father Above All, I thank You today that Jesus, Your Son, is sitting at Your right hand at Your throne in Heaven. And that while He walked this earth He gave testimony to all who would listen the Words that You told Him to speak. Thank You for Your promise to never lose a single sheep who sincerely follows Jesus. Thank You for defeating the agenda of Satan at the cross of Calvary. Holy Spirit, help me to be gentle in my dealings with the lost for Jesus’s sake, and for theirs. May everyone who hears Your Word listen and respond with repentance and take into their hearts the love of Jesus that abides within us for eternity. Help us to understand Your Holy Message as we study Your Word each day – In the Powerful Name of our Blessed Lord Jesus, Amen.
Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” ~ John 11:40
Another powerful “eternal security” Bible scripture is found in Romans 8:38-39.