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I have a friend. He is the best friend I have ever had. He is so kind and true that I would like you to know Him, too. His name is Jesus. The wonderful thing is that He would like to be your friend.
Let me tell you about Him. We read this story in the Bible. The Bible is true. It is God’s Word.
God is the one Who created the world and everything in it. He is Lord of Heaven and earth. He gives life and breath to all things.
Jesus is the Son of God. God sent Him from heaven to this earth to be our very own Savior. God loved the world so much (that means He loved you and me) that He sent His only Son, Jesus, (to die for our sins) that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
Jesus came to earth as a tiny baby. His father and mother on earth were Joseph and Mary. He was born in a stable and laid in a manger.
Jesus grew up with Joseph and Mary and He obeyed them. He had brothers and sisters to play with. He helped Joseph in his carpenter shop.
When Jesus grew to be a man, He taught the people about His Father in heaven. He showed them that God loved them. He healed the sick and comforted those in trouble. He was a Friend of the children. He wanted to have the children close to Him. He had time for them. The children loved Jesus and loved to be with Him.
Some people did not love Jesus. They envied Him, and even hated Him. They hated Him so much that they wanted to kill Him. One dreadful day they killed Jesus by nailing Him to a cross. Jesus had done nothing wrong. He had to die in our place because you and I have done wrong.
The story of Jesus does not end with His death. God raised Him from the dead! His followers saw Him. Then one day He went back to heaven.
Today He is able to see and hear you. He knows all about you and cares for you. Just come to Him in prayer. Tell Him all about your troubles. He is ready to help you. You can bow your head and talk to Him, anytime, anywhere.
Someday He is coming again! He will take all those who believe on Him home to heaven.
The Bible gives us the blueprint for a home that is beautiful in design, solid in structure, and pleasant in atmosphere. Home can be a place of harmony and contentment, or one of tension and strife. Is your home happy, strong, and able to survive the storms of life?
Home is an important social unit. It is divinely ordained for our spiritual development, emotional happiness, and physical fulfillment. God's plan has always been that members of the home should bring happiness one to another and that families should live in harmony.
Why, then, are many homes unhappy? Why are they being broken by discord, separation, and divorce? It is because God's pattern has been disregarded. Within His Word is found the needed building material for a happy home. Homes built according to His Word are places of love, trust, mutual interest, and unselfish service one to another. Such homes will bring happiness into our lives and preserve our communities and nations. Are you following the plan of God, the Master Architect? "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it" (Psalm 127:1).
In youth the foundation is laid for our future homes. A life pure before God is an important ingredient in our preparation for marriage. Premarital sinfulness undermines moral stability and places the future home in jeopardy. Self-centeredness and self-gratification in our youth set a pattern of living that wreaks havoc in marriage. The high rate of divorce is sufficient proof of these facts. These sins must be thoroughly repented of before there can be a new life in Christ. The past can then be laid to rest and God will enter with His blessings.
A home begins when a man and a woman are joined together in marriage. The Bible says we are to marry "only in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 7:39). This means that both man and woman have surrendered their lives and wills to the Lord. God must have first place. When man, woman, or both are selfish, where is the basis of mutual happiness?
Marrying "in the Lord" not only means that the man and woman are Christians, but also that the Lord will lead them to one another. Passions, physical attractions, and infatuations are a poor beginning for a marriage. When these are the basis for our attraction to each other, there may be frustration and conflict after marriage. As we trust the Lord to guide our choice, His divine wisdom foresees the helpmate we will need, not only for today but for the years ahead. The Lord may choose different tastes and temperaments, which will complement each other, resulting in a more balanced unit. "And they twain shall be one flesh" (Mark 10:8).
Marriage is meant to be a life-long bond, not a mere legal contract. Jesus gave this clear-cut command, "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder"(Matthew 19:6).
The home is a little community within itself, and, like every social unit, delegated areas of responsibility are necessary. God has given us an outline of this order in the Bible. It is a framework of authority, which, if followed, will bring order and happiness to the home. The greatest responsibility is required of the husband, then the wife, and then the child, in that order. (Read also 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:22-24). When God establishes and sanctions a principle, it becomes sacred. Any disobedience to that order will bring its measure of sorrow. On the other hand, He blesses those who are obedient with godliness, happiness and grace.
At marriage the husband and wife begin a union in which each has a responsibility and obligation. Both are needed with their different functions and natural abilities to make the home complete. Someone must take the lead; and God has delegated this position to the man. "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church, and gave himself for it" (Ephesians 5:23). Such love is immersed in a spirit of self-giving. It is a caring love that causes the husband to treat his wife "as his own body" (Ephesians 5:28). A loving husband will not consider his wife to be his inferior. He will rather confide in her and seek her counsel, making her a true partner through his love for her.
"Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands" (1 Peter 3:1). When a wife follows her husband's leadership in the home, as He obediently follows Christ, that home will be a haven of peace and contentment. Ephesians 5:33 says, "and the wife see that she reverence her husband." Rebellion against this principle has brought much unhappiness into the homes of today. Sidestepping this principle not only brings conflict into the life of the family, but also brings spiritual conflict into the heart of the wife.
We like to think of children as pure and innocent. However, all are born with sinful natures. As a child grows, his selfish nature will become increasingly evident. He will bring much unhappiness upon himself and others unless the parents discipline these tendencies.
A child's duty is to obey his parents. "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right" (Ephesians 6:1). A perfect example of this obedience is noted in the life of Jesus as a child. "And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them" (Luke 2:51). When the principle of submission is practiced and is the routine of the home, parents and children will be happier, and the home will be more pleasant.
When God's order is maintained, the parents will live for their children, the children for their parents, and all will live for God. Such homes will bless our communities and give quality to our nations.
Many youth are involved in drugs, fads, fashions, and the world of entertainment. They are captivated by a fast society that is throwing away values and morals. At one time these gave a degree of integrity and stability to our communities. Is the absence of secure and happy homes an underlying cause of our restless and discontented youth? What can you do about it? Has it ever occurred to you that the making of your home depends upon you and your heart's loyalty to God?
If we want to build a strong and happy home, Jesus Christ must be the foundation. Rains may come and storms beat against it, but with Christ it will stand(Matthew 7:24-27). He will give us the direction, strength, and courage that will make our homes successful and happy in this cruel, unsympathetic world. Jesus was a home lover, and He is ready to move into our homes. He says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock" (Revelation 3:20). First He knocks at the door of our hearts and then at the door of our homes. Will we let Him in?
A happy home begins in our hearts. We cannot have genuine peace in our homes without peace in our hearts. Personal daily victory over the irritations and frustrations of the day can be ours when we place our trust in God. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee" (Isaiah 26:3).
A godly family will pray together for their own hearts, their home, and the needs of the community. Prayer binds a family together. A faithful saying is, "The family that prays together stays together."
Believe and accept God's plan for your life and home. Open the door of your heart to Christ. "Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts" (Hebrews 3:7-8). The Lord is waiting to bless your heart and home. Turn to Him with all your heart and remain faithful. Some day He will open the door of that heavenly home for you, where happiness and perfect peace will welcome you forever.
Are you a happy person? Or does guilt and fear overcome all your happiness? You wish you could get rid of your guilt, but how? You may wonder, Am I ever going to be happy again?
I have good news for you! There is Someone who can help you, forgive your sins, and give you lasting happiness. His name is Jesus. Let me tell you about him.
God is the One Who made the world. He made everything in the world. He made you and me.
God loves us. He loves everyone in the world. God loves us so much that He sent Jesus, His only Son, to this world. While Jesus was on this earth, He healed the sick; He comforted the sad. He opened blinded eyes. He taught the people many things. We read about this in the Bible.
Jesus wanted us to understand the great love that His Father had for you and me. He told this story that explained that Love of His Father.
A Man was happily living in a town with his two sons. He thought all was going well. One day one of the sons rebelled and came to him and said, I don’t like this home, I want my own way and I am leaving. Give me my share of the inheritance. The Father was very sad but he gave him the money and let him go. He wondered if he would ever see the son again. Why was the son so rebellious?
The son went far away and enjoyed himself with his money and his friends. He wasted his money and did many bad things. He thought he was having a very good time until suddenly his money ran out and his friends left him. Then he was left all alone and he felt very guilty. What should he do?
He went to a farmer and the farmer sent him to feed the pigs. He was not given enough to eat. He was so hungry he would have eaten the pig’s food. He started to think of all the bad things he had done and how he had mistreated his Father. He got more and more miserable.
One day he remembered how loving his Father was and how well he had it when he was still at home.
He thought, Could I go back to my Father after all I have done to Him? Would He still love me? I am not worthy to be his son. I would be just a servant in his house if only he would take me in.
Suddenly he got to his feet and started for his Father’s house. He would see if His father would still love him.
The Father had been longing for his son ever since he left. He wondered, Will my son ever come back? Then one day he saw someone coming in the distance. Could it be my son? He ran to him with outstretched arms and welcomed him back. He said, This my son was lost but now is found.
We have all been like this son; we have all strayed from our Heavenly Father. We have wasted the opportunities and all the good things He has given us. We have done bad things and rebelled against Him. Today our heavenly Father wants us to come to Him. He is waiting for us with outstretched arms.
Do we realize the love that Jesus has for us? After He had been teaching on this earth for three years He allowed wicked men to nail Him to a cross. He suffered pain and rejection as He gave His life and shed His blood as a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.
When we come to the Father, we ask him to forgive our sin. When he sees we are sorry for our sins, He forgives us and washes away all our sin with His blood that He shed. What a wonderful experience. Jesus has become our Saviour. We have been born again and become a new person. Life takes on a new meaning. Jesus has replaced our guilt and fear with joy and happiness.
In the beginning, after God had created Adam and Eve, He loved to fellowship with them while they walked together in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve did not know about sin and evil because they were innocent and pure. God gave Adam and Eve only one commandment to obey. They were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. From the beginning, God has given mankind the power of choice, and He has never revoked it.
Satan, a powerful fallen angel, deceived Eve by tempting her to eat of the fruit from the forbidden tree. He told her she could disobey God without any consequences, and that eating the fruit would give her godlike knowledge. Then Eve chose to eat and offered the fruit to her husband, and he made the same terrible mistake.
What a fatal choice! Their innocence was gone. They were guilty. Shamefully recognizing their nakedness, they tried to cover themselves with aprons of fig leaves. They became afraid of God and hid when they heard His voice. That was only the beginning of trouble. Adam and Eve were banned from the Garden of Eden and they became subject to sin and death. Even the earth was cursed because of what they had done.
They now found they were inclined to do evil. Their knowledge of good and evil did not keep them from doing wrong. Spiritual death passed down to their children and, eventually, to all their posterity.
The influence of evil is all around us. We find every evil thing imaginable in our world today. People are proud and lustful, seeking pleasure and power. They make many wrong choices and suffer the sad consequences. One person's choice often makes those around him miserable. How terrible are the results of sin!
Many homes are unhappy because of wrong choices. Children often suffer when families are separated through divorce. People indulge in addictions and evil habits. Innocent children grow up under this influence, accepting it as normal, corrupting their young minds. How will this cycle be broken?
There is hope! God in His mercy came to Adam and Eve and clearly revealed the great sin they had committed, but He promised a Redeemer who would deliver them.
Many years later, Jesus Christ was born. He taught the way of truth. He came so that we could have spiritual life, and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). To receive this new life, we must become converted. Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).
Like Adam and Eve, our sins bring guilt and shame. Jesus calls us to repent of our sins, which means we are sorry for them and are willing to forsake them. If we turn to Jesus, asking Him to forgive our sins and believing He is able to save us, He cleanses our hearts. He gives us daily grace as we yield to His Spirit and walk in obedience to His Word. We are filled with the Holy Spirit, which gives us power to overcome sin. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).
The Christian believer trusts God to provide and care for him. He listens to the voice of the Holy Spirit, who comforts him when he does right and reproves him when he does wrong. He learns more and more to trust God for strength to overcome temptations. Each victory strengthens his faith. He finds that victory is always within reach when he relies on God's enabling grace each day.
A Christian believer becomes aware that sin separates him from God. Therefore, he no longer associates with evil companions and he avoids ungodly activities. God does not force him to do this. He chooses to live separately from the evils of the world.
The child of God is at peace because the guilt of sin has been taken away. Confident in God’s love and forgiveness, he brings his cares and burdens to God in prayer. This makes it possible to live without anxiety and fear. He walks daily with Jesus, thus finding true happiness and fulfillment. As long as he does not sin wilfully, he remains at peace with God.
A true believer in Christ seeks fellowship with those who share his faith and trust in God. Together, they find joy in talking about their Christian lives. They share their blessings and struggles to strengthen each other. Burdens become lighter, and there is new strength for victory
Will you surrender your life to Jesus? God’s grace is available to all who will repent and believe. Commit your past, present, and future to Him. Nothing less than complete, heartfelt repentance and faith in Christ will bring the peace, joy, and enabling grace of God into your life. Give Him your heart today.
Chapters of Pure Gold
The Bible is a precious book that fills the need of every soul. The messages found in it provide spiritual nourishment. There are chapters exactly suited for your particular need or inquiry.
God's message to man is expressed in different ways in various chapters of the Bible. There is much knowledge of God and the history of His people to be found in Genesis and other Old Testament chapters. The Psalms and many New Testament chapters can be read as a source of real spiritual inspiration. Many teachings of Jesus such as Matthew 5, 6, and 7, as well as writings of the Apostles, give direction for our daily lives. It all combines to provide an understanding of God, His will for us, and His promises.
God has warmed the hearts of many readers as they have drawn from these blessed resources. Let us be encouraged to read these chapters. Let us read them not only to make ourselves feel better, but to let the message of God touch the need of our inner self.
WHAT YOUR BIBLE SAYS ABOUT
|Birth of Jesus Chapter||Luke 2|
|Creation Chapter||Genesis 1|
|Deliverance Psalm||Psalm 18|
|God's Greatness Chapter||Isaiah 40|
|God's Holiness Psalm||Psalm 99|
|Good Shepherd Chapter||John 10|
|Holy Spirit Chapter||John 16|
|Messianic Psalm||Psalm 110|
|Nature Psalm||Psalm 104|
|Redemption Chapter||Luke 23|
|Sad Chapter||Luke 22|
|Sufferer's Chapter||Isaiah 53|
|Your Spiritual Need|
|Beatitude Chapter||Matthew 5|
|Comfort Chapter||2 Corinthians 1|
|Endurance Chapter||Hebrews 12|
|Hypocrite Chapter||Matthew 23|
|Infidel's Psalm||Psalm 14|
|Prison Chapter||Acts 23|
|Refuge Psalm||Psalm 46|
|Safety Psalm||Psalm 91|
|Shepherd Psalm||Psalm 23|
|Temptation Chapter||James 1|
|Wisdom Chapter||Proverbs 3|
|Atonement Chapter||Hebrews 9|
|Baptism Chapter||Mark 1|
|Blessing Chapter||Deuteronomy 28|
|Conqueror's Chapter||Luke 4|
|Cornelius Chapter||Acts 10|
|Courage Chapter||Joshua 1|
|Crucifixion Chapter||John 19|
|Fisherman's Chapter||Luke 5|
|Guilty Chapter||Romans 1|
|Invitation Chapter||Isaiah 55|
|John the Baptist Chapter||Luke 3|
|Lost and Found Chapter||Luke 15|
|New Birth Chapter||John 3|
|Pentecost Chapter||Acts 2|
|Prayer Chapter||Matthew 6|
|Saul of Tarsus Chapter||Acts 9|
|Today Chapter||Hebrews 3|
|Whosoever Chapter||Revelation 22|
|Happiness in the Lord|
|Abiding Chapter||John 15|
|Golden Chapter||Psalm 16|
|Growth Chapter||2 Peter 1|
|Joyful Psalm||Psalm 98|
|Mercy Psalm||Psalm 136|
|Peace Chapter||John 14|
|Song Chapter||Luke 1|
|Thank You Chapter||Luke 17|
|Traveler's Psalm||Psalm 121|
|Practical Directions for Living|
|Abraham Chapter||Genesis 15|
|Asa's Reform Chapter||2 Chronicles 15|
|Bishop's and Deacon's Chapter||1 Timothy 3|
|Character Chapter||Job 29|
|Charity Chapter||1 Corinthians 13|
|Christian's Psalm||Psalm 15|
|Confidence Chapter||Psalm 27|
|Consecration Chapter||Romans 12|
|Divorce Chapter||Matthew 19|
|Employee's Chapter||Colossians 3|
|Employer's Chapter||Colossians 4|
|Faith Chapter||Hebrews 11|
|Family Chapter||Ephesians 5-6|
|Golden Rule Chapter||Matthew 7|
|Greatest Commandment Chapter||Luke 10|
|Humility Chapter||Luke 18|
|Judgment Chapter||Romans 14|
|Law of Love Chapter||Romans 13|
|Life in the Spirit Chapter||Romans 8|
|Preparation Chapter||Matthew 25|
|Separation Chapter||2 Corinthians 6|
|Sermon on the Mount Chapters||Matthew 5-7|
|Soldier's Chapter||Ephesians 6|
|Stephen's Chapter||Acts 7|
|Ten Commandments Chapter||Exodus 20|
|Tithing Chapter||Malachi 3|
|Watchman's Chapter||Ezekiel 33|
|Wife's Chapter||Proverbs 31|
|Wise Man's Chapter||Proverbs 15|
|Works Chapter||James 2|
|Ascension Chapter||Acts 1|
|Great Commission Chapter||Matthew 28|
|John and Peter's Chapter||Acts 4|
|Lame Man's Chapter||Acts 3|
|Macedonian Chapter||Acts 16|
|Philip's Chapter||Acts 8|
|Sower's Chapter||Luke 8|
|When You Have Fallen|
|Backslider's Chapter||Jeremiah 3|
|Excuse Chapter||Luke 14|
|Intemperance Chapter||Proverbs 23|
|Overcome Chapters||Revelation 2-3|
|Prodigal Psalm||Psalm 51|
|Revival Chapter||2 Kings 23|
|Life after Death|
|Brevity Psalm||Psalm 90|
|Heaven Chapter||Revelation 21|
|Last Judgment Chapter||Revelation 20|
|Lazarus Chapter||John 11|
|Resurrection Chapter||1 Thessalonians 4|
|Second Coming Chapter||2 Peter 3|
|The Garden of Eden||Genesis 2-3|
|Cain and Abel||Genesis 4|
|Noah's Ark||Genesis 6-8|
|Destruction of Sodom||Genesis 18-19|
|Isaac on the Altar||Genesis 22|
|Joseph Becomes a Ruler||Genesis 37, 39, 47|
|Moses, Babe in a Basket||Exodus 2|
|Crossing the Red Sea||Exodus 14|
|Israel, a Nation|
|The Two Spies||Joshua 2|
|Fall of Jericho||Joshua 6|
|Thief among the Soldiers||Joshua 7|
|Gideon and his 300||Judges 6-7|
|Strong-bodied Samson||Judges 13-16|
|Ruth, the Gleaner||Ruth|
|The Boy Samuel||1 Samuel 1-3|
|Jonathan, Brave Young Prince||1 Samuel 14|
|David Kills the Giant||1 Samuel 17|
|Elijah the Prophet||1 Kings 17 to 2 Kings 2|
|Elisha the Prophet||1 Kings 19: 2 Kings 2-8|
|The Israelite Maid||2 Kings 5|
|"Jonah, Go to Nineveh"||Jonah|
|Book of the Law is Found||2 Kings 22|
|Fiery Furnace||Daniel 3|
|Daniel in the Lion's Den||Daniel 6|
|Life of Christ|
|Birth of Jesus||Matthew 2; Luke 2|
|Jesus Tempted||Matthew 4|
|Jesus at a Wedding||John 2|
|Woman at Jacob's Well||John 4|
|Through the Roof||Mark 2|
|Girl Raised from the Dead||Mark 5|
|Five Thousand Fed||John 6|
|Jesus Walks on the Sea||Matthew 14|
|A Blind Man Healed||John 9|
|Good Samaritan||Luke 10|
|The Runaway Boy||Luke 15|
|Rich Man and Lazarus||Luke 16|
|Dead Man Raised to Life||John 11|
|Last Days of Jesus||Matthew 26-27|
|Resurrection of Jesus||John 20|
|Death from a Lie||Acts 5|
|Saul Sees a Light from Heaven||Acts 9|
|Conversion of Cornelius||Acts 10|
|How a Prison Gate Open||Acts 12|
|A Song Opens Prison Doors||Acts 16|
|Paul is Shipwrecked||Acts 27-28|
|The City of God||Revelation 21-22|
(Adapted from Lessons for Christian Workers, by C.H. Yatman)
Read Your Bible……..
For it contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, doom of sinners and happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable.
Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword and the Christian's charter.
Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.
Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be open at the judgment and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, rewards the greatest labor and condemns all who trifle with its holy contents.
Published by the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite
Une fois, il n’y avait rien dans ce monde.
Aucune étoile dans le ciel.
Aucune mer, aucune fleur.
Tout était vide et sombre.
Mais il y avait Dieu.
Dieu avait un plan merveilleux. Il envisageait un beau monde et pendant qu’il y réfléchissait, il le créa. Dieu créa le monde avec ce qui n’existait pas, et en le créant Dieu déclara simplement : «que ce soit fait» et cela fut ainsi.
Il créa la lumière. Il créa les rivières et les mers, la terre couverte d’herbe, les animaux, les oiseaux et les arbres.
Finalement il créa l’homme, et il créa la femme pour l’homme. Ils s’appelaient Adam et Ève.
Dieu les aimait tendrement. Ils habitaient dans un beau jardin et chaque soir Dieu y allait pour leur rendre visite.
Le jardin leur appartenait pour qu’ils en profitent, à l’exception d’un arbre que Dieu leur avait défendu de toucher.
Adam et Ève étaient heureux, mais un jour Satan, l’ennemi de Dieu, les tenta. Ils se décidèrent de manger du fruit défendu, et ils commirent un péché. Pour la première fois, ils étaient tristes et honteux.
Ils ne pouvaient plus parler à Dieu. Ils éprouvaient de la douleur et de la tristesse. Ils devaient mourir. Ils étaient désolés!
Dieu leur promit de les aider. Il leur dit, «Au temps voulu, j’enverrai mon fils Jésus dans ce monde. Il descendra du ciel. Jésus ôtera vos péchés, mais il souffrira et il mourra pour vous.» Qu’ils étaient contents que Dieu allait leur envoyer un Sauveur!
Adam et Ève avaient des enfants et des petits-enfants. Bientôt ce monde était très peuplé.
Dieu voulait qu’ils soient très heureux. Il leur dit ce qu’ils devraient faire. Voici une liste des règles que Dieu leur donna :
1. Vous n’aurez pas d’autres dieux devant ma face.
2. Vous ne ferez point d’image taillée, ni aucune représentation de Dieu.
3. Vous ne prendrez point le nom de l’Éternel en vain.
4. Souvenez-vous du jour du repos, pour le sanctifier.
5. Honorez votre père et votre mère.
6. Vous ne tuerez point.
7. Vous ne commettrez point d’adultère.
8. Vous ne déroberez point.
9. Vous ne direz point de faux témoignages contre votre voisin.
10. Vous ne convoiterez point la maison de votre prochain; vous ne convoiterez point la femme de votre prochain, ni son serviteur, ni sa servante, ni son boeuf, ni son âne, ni aucune chose qui appartienne à votre prochain. (Exode 20.3-17).
Elles sont écrites dans la Bible, ainsi nous pouvons les lire. Si nous y obéissons, nous serons heureux.
Satan ne veut pas que nous obéissions. Parfois il nous dit de voler quand personne ne nous voit. Mais Dieu le sait. Dieu voit tout.
Parfois Satan nous pousse à dire un mensonge et il nous fait croire que personne ne le saura. Dieu le sait. Il entend tout.
Quand nous désobéissons, nous nous sentons, intérieurement, mal à l’aise. Dieu nous aime et il veut nous aider à être bon. C’est pourquoi il envoya Jésus dans ce monde. Dieu s’est souvenu de sa promesse.
Après de nombreuses années, Jésus vint au monde. Il grandit et devint un homme.
Il faisait des choses merveilleuses. Il guérissait les malades. Il rendait la vue aux aveugles. Il bénissait les enfants.
Jésus ne faisait jamais rien de mal. Il parlait de Dieu et il enseignait aux hommes comment ils devaient lui obéir.
Ensuite les ennemis de Jésus le clouèrent sur une croix. Il mourut.
Il a souffert et il est mort pour les péchés du monde, même pour ceux qui l’avaient crucifié.
Jésus a été enseveli. Puis une chose merveilleuse arriva. Il ne resta pas dans la tombe. Il ressuscita!
Bientôt Dieu l’emmena au ciel, sur une nuée. Pendant que ses amis le regardaient, un ange leur annonça que Jésus reviendrait.
Jésus est mort aussi pour nos péchés. Il veut que nous les regrettions et que nous les confessions. Il est prêt à nous pardonner. 1 Jean 1.9.
N’importe quand, nous pouvons prier Dieu. Il entend chaque parole et il connaît nos pensées. Quand nos péchés sont pardonnés, il nous rend, intérieurement, très heureux. Ensuite nous voulons faire du bien et nous voulons être bon.
Nous pouvons choisir de désobéir à Dieu et de suivre Satan. Mais la Parole de Dieu dit que si nous le rejetons dans cette vie, il nous jettera dans l’enfer. L’enfer est un lieu où le feu brûlera éternellement.
Mais si nous aimons Jésus et si nous lui obéissons, à son retour il nous prendra au ciel. Le ciel est la belle maison de Dieu et de son fils Jésus. C’est une maison d’amour et de lumière. Nous y serons toujours heureux.
GOSPEL TRACT AND BIBLE SOCIETY USA P. O. Box 700 Moundridge, Kansas 67107 U.S.A. Contact Gospel Tract (USA)
GOSPEL TRACT AND BIBLE SOCIETY CANADA Box 180, RR 1 Ste. Anne, Manitoba R5H 1R1 CANADA Contact Gospel Tract (Canada)
Published by the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite
Who can think about the future without considering whether there is another existence after this life? Man cannot escape the thoughts of his state after death, but is inclined to put them out of his mind. He busies himself with the things of this life, placing thoughts of death, heaven, and hell into the distant future (Matthew 24:48, Ecclesiastes 8:11). The reality is, however, that a choice must be made. To do nothing will mean being eternally lost.
The glories of heaven and the terrors of hell convince us that we must make heaven our eternal destiny. There is a choice to be made if we are to realize this reward. No sin will enter heaven; this is sure. There will be eternal punishment in hell for those who do not find forgiveness for their sins. “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:46).
To the redeemed, those who have been washed in the blood of Christ, heaven is a special place (Revelation 7:13-14). It is home. Their desire for heaven is like the desire of the psalmist in Psalm 63:1, “my soul thirsteth for thee…in a dry and thirsty land.” To the fleshly, earthly mind, heaven seems a distant, far-off place. To the person born of the Holy Spirit of God, heaven is close and real. He experiences a foretaste of his eternal home.
The virtues exemplified by Christ, truth, humility, purity, and love, are precious to the child of God. As God graces the believer’s life with love from heaven, he is careful to be honest and humble. His heart longs for the fullness and purity of these Christian graces in the heavenly home (2 Corinthians 5:1).
Life on this earth has many shadows. We often encounter things we do not understand. We attempt to look into the future, but are not able to do so. Disappointments are often experienced in our lives. All of this could be described as darkness.
Heaven has only light. It is where God dwells. “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). In His light is perfect understanding. Knowledge will be complete. The past and all events will be totally clear. In this light, there will be full fellowship between the Father and all those who reside with Him.
Heaven is described as “the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:12). Attributes of light listed in the scriptures are knowledge, holiness, and joy. This light is without interruption—forever! There shall be no night there (Revelation 21:25).
“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie” (Revelation 21:27). Discouragement, disappointment, temptation, and sin are part of the earthly life. They will never enter that beautiful land.
In Revelation 21:4 we read, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” To the Christian, heaven is the fulfilling rest, the completion of the journey. He knows that even as God has wiped away his tears on earth, so all sorrow will be taken away in the perfection of heaven.
Human relations are important to us here on earth. Others’ joys and sorrows touch our emotions. Family ties are meaningful and separation is painful. All of this is a necessary part of our mortal state.
When Jesus returns for judgment, everyone will be transformed. The dead will rise. The mortal body that is corrupt and subject to death will become immortal. “And the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:52, 53).
In this state, family relationships will no longer carry the same meaning for us. Jesus taught that there will be no marriage relationships in heaven (Matthew 22:30). The emotions of this life will pale in comparison to the joy that will be in the presence of the Lord God. Nothing will blemish the relationship between the saved and the Lamb of God.
The saints shall continually look on things which mortal eyes have never seen; they shall hear things which mortal ears have never heard; and they shall know that which the heart has never thought upon.
A day is coming when the Lord Jesus shall appear to all the inhabitants of the earth. Everyone will stand before Him to be judged (Matthew 25:31-34). His true followers, even though they were despised and rejected in their earth life, will be taken into glory (heaven). There they will be able to praise and glorify God without end. Mortality will give way to immortality. “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54). See also 2 Corinthians 5:1.
In this life the saints have had many trials, temptations, and difficulties. Through grace those that have trusted in the Deliverer and persevered to the end will be taken to heaven. People from all lands and of all tongues and ages who have kept the faith will be there. This great and innumerable throng, pardoned from sin and sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ, will inhabit heaven (Revelation 7:9-14).
These souls who have been redeemed in this life will be glorified in heaven. How wonderful it will be to experience the marriage of His Church with the Lamb of God. This will be glory beyond compare (Revelation 19:7-9).
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
The glory and splendor of heaven cannot be fully understood or described. Our minds understand the things which we can see and feel. While we understand that heaven is the abode of the soul with God, He has chosen not to reveal all the aspects of that eternal home.
Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was given a glimpse of heaven. As he was being stoned for his faith, he “looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55).
Even though much about heaven cannot be explained, we know enough that we, like faithful people through the ages, desire to dwell eternally in the city that God has made. Hebrews 11:10 tells us that Abraham by faith “looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Read also Hebrews 11:13-16.
Where will we go when life is over? Will we go to Heaven? The Spirit of God gently knocks and reminds us to prepare for our eternal future.
We need to recognize our need of God. Through the fall of man in the beginning, man has forfeited (lost) his favor with God. Repenting of our sins and finding forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ can restore this relationship. God then accepts us as just, and pardons us. We thus become a child of God through the power of the Word and Spirit (John 3:5; 1:12). The peace that we experience is a foretaste of the fullness of rest that will be ours in that eternal abode. Every soul can have clear evidence in his heart that a mansion has been prepared for him in heaven (John 14:2-3).
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Peace of Mind In a Troubled World
"Peace, where is peace-for our nations, our homes, and most of all our hearts and minds?" The agonizing cry has echoed down through the ages, but it is heard with increasing intensity as the world becomes progressively more tempest-tossed and panic-stricken. Is it also the cry of your heart? Amidst the prevailing discontent and disturbance, do you long for an inward quietness that transcends all else?
Endless achievements directed at making the world a safer, better place have only made life more complex and complicated. In many ways people have it easier than their parents, yet they are more uneasy. People are weary and worried. Beyond question there is a need for direction and counsel, security and confidence. We need and want peace of mind.
Peace of mind-what a treasure! Can this treasure actually be found in a world of so much conflict and despair, of so much turmoil and trouble?
The great search is on! Multitudes are seeking peace in fame and fortune, in pleasure and power, in education and knowledge, in human relationships and marriage. They desire to fill their heads with knowledge and their purses with wealth, but their souls remain empty. Others are seeking to escape the realities of life with drugs or alcohol, but the peace they seek eludes them. All their seeking only takes them in a vicious circle of frustrations and futility. They are still empty and lonely, still in a troubled world with a troubled mind.
Many search among outward and tangible things, but neglect to look within. They are afraid of what they may discover. They would like to blame a troubled world for their troubled minds, but the cure must begin within their own hearts.
Man in Turmoil
God created man and placed him in a beautiful garden to enjoy perfect peace, joy, and happiness. But when Adam and Eve disobeyed, they were at once stricken with guilt. Before they had longed for the presence of God, but now they hid themselves with shame. Guilt and fear replaced the peace and happiness they knew. Here was the beginning of a troubled world-and a troubled mind.
Like Adam and Eve, when you are out of tune with God, fears and anxieties crowd into your life. When you focus your attention on the uncertainties of life, on a changing, decaying world, your security and confidence are shaken. Your peace is disturbed.
Sin has separated man from God. "All we like sheep have gone astray" (Isaiah 53:6). "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Guilt, fear, irritation, resentment, selfishness, and other hostile impulses plague man wherever he goes. They bring weariness and mental exhaustion.
The love of self was at the root of the first disobedience of man. It continues to be one of the basic evil inclinations that take you down the path of despair and heartache. When you become self-centered in your wants and ambitions, you become anxious and fretful. The longer you travel the path of self-centeredness, the more troubled you become.
God-centered Living Brings Peace
Instead of seeing yourself as the center of existence, you need to turn to God and make Him your central purpose in life. Without God as your center, you fall easy prey to petty worries, self-pity, fears, and anxiety. With God in the center, every area of your life will reach out from the "hub" like spokes in a wheel and make your life complete and worth living. Only a heart centered in God can be kept steady and peaceful.
The psalmist declares, "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed, I will sing and give praise" (Psalm 57:7). With his whole trust in God, he could rejoice in quietness of mind. With our hearts fixed on God, we have inward peace in the midst of outward troubles. It is possible to be "troubled on every side, yet not distressed ... perplexed, but not in despair" (2 Corinthians 4:8).
Jesus Christ, the Author of Peace
Jesus invites all men to the most meaningful, life-changing experience. "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matthew 16:24). "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Will you accept His invitation, "Come unto me"? He offers light for darkness, trust for doubt, peace for strife, joy for sorrow, rest for weariness, hope for despair, and life for death.
God made man with a living soul which longs to be in fellowship with its Maker. "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God" (Psalm 42:1,2). Only the living God will satisfy the soul. Of this you may be certain: you will never be at peace until you are at peace with God.
The Battleground in Our Hearts
Although our soul longs for God, our sinful nature rebels at His ways. Part of us yearns for God and part of us reaches for fleshly desires. Our hearts are a battleground of continual conflict. This inner struggle causes tension and excessive strain. Without God we are "like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt" (Isaiah 57:20).
There can be no peace until all of life—mind, body, and spirit—are coordinated by the One who made us and understands us. He is not only master of the world but knows your life and mine from the beginning to the end. He was thinking of us when He came into the world "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).
As the Prince of Peace, He invites you to come to Him. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). When you come to Him, you will find relief and relaxation in the freedom He gives. Your peace will be as a river (Isaiah 48:18)—an active, sparkling peace that is refreshing and strong, a peace that passeth all understanding. (Philippians 4:7) Will you come to Jesus, casting your burden upon Him? He says, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you ... Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
Faith and trust are the antidotes for fear and anxiety. How restful it is to trust in the only God who is from everlasting to everlasting, to have a Friend who never changes, whose love never dies. This Friend is ever thinking of us, ever caring for us. So why worry and fret? Learn to do as we read in I Peter 5:7, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." There is peace when the battle is over, so why not surrender your life to the Lord? Remember, if you trust, you don't worry, and if you worry, you don't trust. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee" (Isaiah 26:3).
Resentment is a poison that also robs your peace of mind. It leads to discouragement and hopeless confusion. It is hard to forgive those who have done you an injustice, but you must if you wish to be forgiven. "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6:15). As faith is born in your heart, you are able to surrender your will. Instead of resentment and irritation, your heart is filled with love and mercy, and you experience an inner tranquility. When Jesus is reigning in your heart, you will love your enemies. Only through Christ's redeeming blood can this occur.
Repentance and Confession of Sin Leads to Peace of Mind
Maybe you feel the heavy load of past sins weighing you down, and you feel you have more than you can bear. The Lord offers the remedy in Acts 3:19. "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." 1 John 1:9 also says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. "As a result, you will have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).
In the Twenty-third Psalm David expresses his confidence in God. He gives a very descriptive message of the peace he experienced. This peace and fellowship is for all those who have a vital companionship with the Shepherd.
The Twenty-third Psalm
"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."
Do you know this Shepherd? Do you believe and trust Him? Isaiah tells us that this tender, merciful Shepherd "shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom" (Isaiah 40:11). Are you ready to be lifted out of confusion into the serenity of God's everlasting arms? Are you ready to commit to Him your past sins, your present temptations, your fears of the future, and yield yourself completely to Him? The Lord gives you the choice. It is yours to make.
When you come to Jesus Christ with your whole heart, your search for peace of mind will be over. He will give peace, and a calm that comes only from trusting Him. You will be able to say with the poet:
I know a peace, where there is no peace,
A calm, where wild winds blow,
A secret place where face to face
With the Master I may go.
-Ralph Spalding Cushman
You will have peace of mind in a troubled world! Open the door of your heart to Christ—just now—and someday He'll open the door of heaven for you, where perfect peace will reign and never end.
GOSPEL TRACT AND BIBLE SOCIETY USA P. O. Box 700 Moundridge, Kansas 67107 U.S.A. Contact Gospel Tract (USA)
GOSPEL TRACT AND BIBLE SOCIETY CANADA Box 180, RR 1 Ste. Anne, Manitoba R5H 1R1 CANADA Contact Gospel Tract (Canada)
Published by the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite
Repentance: Door of Mercy
Do you know that man has been found guilty of sin by a Holy God, and sentenced to death? If he is to escape this eternal death and be eternally saved, he must receive God’s mercy. Mercy in this respect is God withholding from man the penalty which he deserves. But God does not bestow His mercy on people without condition, even though salvation is free, without price, and cannot be earned. The condition upon which God grants mercy is repentance.
John the Baptist came preaching the Word of God and his message was simple and powerful, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). Jesus, the Son of God, began His ministry with the same message: “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Repentance is a requisite of salvation, as Peter the apostle said, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). Through repentance, the door of mercy is opened and salvation obtained.
In our world there are multitudes of people, and in many ways we are different one from another. But this message we all share: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And listen further, “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). God spoke through His Prophet Isaiah and said, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). Do you notice the central thought of these scriptures? “All have strayed.” “None righteous.” “All have sinned.” Wouldn’t this also include you? Your soul, your life belongs to God. The man or woman, who does not recognize God as the master of his life lives in disobedience and sin. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4).
Your sins have separated you from God. You feel a longing inside that you can’t explain. You may feel forsaken and that God doesn’t hear. The reason is pointed out by God, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities [sins] have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1, 2). Again, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). As you think of your life and your sins, think also about God. God is without sin, therefore He is holy, righteous and just. God says sin must be judged: “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). There is a great gulf between you and God. Unless you find the way which spans that gulf between a holy God and sinful man, you shall die an eternal death! (Luke 16:26) But listen, there is a way – there is hope for you!
While it is true God has decreed a judgment of death upon sin, He is also a God of love. “God is love” (1 John 4:16). God loves you even if you are living in sin. His love has made a way for you to be saved. (John 3:16) God will carry out His judgment on sin, and if this justice would be meted out to man, he would instantly die. Therefore God, not willing that any should perish, sent His son Jesus to take the penalty of our sins that we may live. The Bible says: “Behold … the goodness and severity of God” (Romans 11:22). The goodness of God desires to save man but His judgment demands sentence.
Jesus came to this world for the express purpose of redeeming our souls. He was holy, without sin, the spotless Lamb of God. God’s love for us was proven when He took our sins and guilt, and put them upon Jesus. Behold His goodness! Jesus was now made sin in our place, and to satisfy the judgment of God, He was crucified on a cross. He endured the pain and agony, and then died. Our sins were paid. Behold the severity of God!
Can you see that Jesus died for you; He died because of your sins? Who really crucified Jesus? Were only the Jewish rulers, or Pilate, or the Roman soldiers responsible? Peter the apostle preached a sermon to a multitude of people numbering thousands. Peter’s message was right to the point: “Him [Jesus] … ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23). Will you look to Jesus, the One who was crucified, and acknowledge your sin?
By the power of the Spirit of God you will realize that you are helplessly lost. As this realization weighs on your heart, it will bring a burden and regret for sin. In despair, you will cry out, “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13). As God hears your honest plea, He will save you. Your burden will be gone, and you will be born again. As you continue to follow you will turn away from your former ways of sin to heavenly things. This is the work of repentance as it is wrought by God in the heart of all those who will come to Him. Then your heart will be washed clean, and you will have peace, happiness, and security.
Finally, repentance results in a deep appreciation and loyalty to Christ and God’s will. When we were doomed to die with no way out, Christ said, “Come unto me … and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
Published by the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite
Do you know that there is Someone Who knows everything about you? Jesus, God’s Son knows everything that you have ever done. He created the world and everything in it. He knows the past, present, and future. He loves you and came to this world to save you from sin. He has a plan for your life to bring you happiness.
One day Jesus was traveling with His friends. He came to a village in Samaria. Jesus sat down by a well to rest while His friends went to buy food.
As Jesus was sitting there, a woman came to get water from the well. Jesus asked her, “Can you give me a drink of water?”
The woman was surprised. “You asked me for a drink?” she asked. “Don’t you know that I am a Samaritan and the Jews don’t have anything to do with us?”
Jesus gently answered, “If you really knew about God and Who you are talking to, you would have asked Me to give you living water. I would gladly have done it.”
The women looked at Him in surprise. “Sir,” she said, “the well is deep. You have nothing to draw with. How will you draw out this living water?
Again Jesus replied, “Those who drink from this well will get thirsty again. But if you drink the water that I can give, you will never thirst again.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “give me this water so I won’t ever be thirsty again nor will I need to come back here to get water.”
“Go, tell your husband and come back here,” Jesus said.
“I don’t have a husband,” she replied.
“That is true,” Jesus said. “You have had five husbands, but the one you have now is not your husband.”
How does this Man know about me, she wondered. “Sir, I can see that You are a prophet. I have a question for You. My people have worshipped God here at this place. You say that Jerusalem is the place to worship.”
Jesus told her, “It is not so important where we worship; today true believers can worship the Father in spirit and in truth.
“I know that the Messiah is coming Who is called Christ,” she said, “and when He comes, He will explain everything.”
Then Jesus simply told her, “I am He.”
She left her waterpot and went back into the city. “Come,” she cried, “come and see a Man Who has told me everything that I have ever done. Is He not the Christ?”
Then the people of the city went out to meet Jesus. Many believed that He was the Christ, the Savior, because He knew everything about them. You can read this account in the Gospel of St. John 4:3-42.
Jesus knows everything about us, the good as well as the bad. We would like to hide the bad things we have done in our lives, but we can’t hide them from Jesus. He has come to save us from the punishment we deserve for doing wrong. He can take away that heavy feeling we feel in our hearts and give us peace. He died to take away our sins and make it possible that we can have a home in Heaven when we die.
Jesus is the answer to all of your needs and all of your questions. He wants to be your friend. He wants to fill the emptiness in your heart. He can replace your fear and unrest with peace and calm.
Jesus says, “Come unto me…and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Just pray to Him and ask Him to come into your life. As you accept this great God in faith, He will abide in your heart. His presence will give you joy. He will give you strength and purpose in life. He will be the answer for you.
Do you have feelings of loneliness, or a sense of guilt and fear deep inside your heart? Do you wonder about the purpose of your life? Many people are trying to find the answer to these feelings. You may find entertainments or other activities that may relieve you of these feelings for a short time, then they return, perhaps stronger than ever before.
In the beginning God’s creation was perfect. Man had no problems until the devil came and enticed him to disobey God. He fell into sin and he was no longer perfect. Ever since that time all humanity has been sinful.
Can you relate to this fall? When you were a child, God was not keeping track of your sins but was forgiving you for Jesus' sake. As you matured these things began to change and you started to have guilty feelings. What happened? God was letting you feel the guilt of your sins. No longer was the blood of Jesus covering your sins. God was saying, "You are now responsible for what you are doing." If you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior, you are still carrying a burden of guilt.
What can you do to change these feelings of guilt? You cannot pay for your sins no matter how many good deeds you do. In God's eyes you are still a sinner. God cannot tolerate sin. Sin separates us from God (see Isaiah 59:2).
Now here is the beautiful and simple plan God has to help you. Jesus, God's sinless and perfect Son came to bring this plan. He took our sins upon Himself and died on the cross, paying the price that was demanded for our sins. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus we can have salvation today. Jesus invites us to come to him with the burden of sin.
God wants to help you. He will forgive you when you are willing to admit that you are a sinner and call on Him to help. All your efforts and good intentions cannot cleanse you from sin. There is only one way you can be cleansed from your sins and that is by having the blood of Jesus Christ applied to your heart.
When you have been cleansed by the blood of Christ, you will realize that you could not change your life by your own power. You must believe that God has the wisdom and keeping power for your life. If you come to God with all your heart, forsake your sins and follow in obedience, He will do what is best for you. This is faith—trusting God completely with your life. Once you have given all to God, the peace that you receive in your heart will be the evidence that He has forgiven you.
The forgiveness you receive from God will make you FREE; free with the sweet confidence that now you are a child of God, made perfect by the blood of Jesus Christ. A new purpose is born that will enable you to overcome feelings of fear and emptiness.
In the large city of Paris, France, stands a monument erected to the memory of General Napoleon. In the closing years of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century he became a feared man in Europe. His famous victories in battle and impressive conquests reached to such an extent that practically all of Europe, with the exception of England, was under his control. The ambitious general was entertaining the thought of controlling the whole world.
In Paris on the monument of the Arch of Triumph can be read a list of battles Napoleon fought and won. There is, however, one very important battle missing–Ah, yes!–The historic battle of Waterloo. It was lost. The tide had turned. His ambitions were shattered for he had lost this all-important battle. Upon this he was sent into exile, and he died a hated man.
What would it have availed Napoleon to have gained the whole world only to lose at Waterloo? His glory, fame and fortune were suddenly gone. All the victories of the past did not profit him at the time of this crushing defeat. By losing this battle he lost everything.
Every responsible soul encounters great spiritual battles in life. The consequences of these battles are of tremendous weight and importance. The defeat at Waterloo brought disgrace for Napoleon during his life. The loss of the battle of your soul brings anguish for eternity. Have you thought of the inevitable consequences of a self-centered Christless life?
Are you going to lose the battle of life? The battle between life and death? The battle between heaven and hell? The battle between self-denial and self-love, your soul and the devil? Jesus says: “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).
Whether we have much or little of this natural world in our possession, if we lose our own soul, what a tragedy! Our eternal destiny will be sealed. Many people don’t realize that there is a great spiritual battle to be fought. Their understanding has been blinded by Satan and the world, and they are asleep to the realities of the battle against sin. The Bible says: “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Ephesians 5:14). Shake off the chains of sin and Satan. Make it a fight to the finish! You cannot escape natural death but you can escape eternal death. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14). “Where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44). If you lose the battle for your soul’s salvation, it will be an eternal doom in hell and torment.
Did you ever stop to consider there is but one step between you and death? Are you ready to pass over the threshold of time into eternity? To gain the victory that will lead you to your heavenly home, you must come to Jesus who “came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). “God now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). NOW! Not tomorrow or some other convenient season. “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). If you are yet without Christ in your heart, if your past condemns you, if you have not experienced the new birth (John 3:3), do not rest at ease. Repent! Come to Jesus just as you are while He stands knocking at the door of your heart. He said: “If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). You may ask, “Can a sinner really be saved?” Yes! Come to Christ in faith with your whole heart and accept Him as your personal Savior, repenting of your sins and obeying the voice of the Holy Spirit. Then you will win the battle of your soul. You will not only enjoy peace and joy in this life, but also bliss and glory with your Savior in eternity. Thousands of years ago the prophet Ezekiel said: “If the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed…and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live” (Ezekiel 18:21).
If you intend to enjoy the pleasures of a sinful world, you will find yourself losing out in the end as Napoleon did in the battle of Waterloo. You will be as a drowning man without a savior, and will perish. What a fate to spend eternity in hell! Grasp hold of Jesus Christ, the great Life Preserver without delay. He will save to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25). Eternity in Heaven! Then, concerning the last battle, you will say with the apostle Paul: “Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Dear soul, you have the choice of victory or defeat, Heaven or Hell, the living God or the devil, a joyous, glorious eternity or endless woe and torment. “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:19). Choose Jesus Today!
Once there was nothing in this world.
No stars in the sky.
No seas and pretty flowers.
All was empty and dark.
But there was God.
God had a wonderful plan. He thought of a lovely world, and while He thought, He made it. He made it all out of nothing. When God made anything, He just said, "Let it be made”, and there it was!
He made light. He made the rivers and seas, the grass-covered earth, the animals, birds, and trees.
Last of all, He made a man, and then He made a wife for the man. Their names were Adam and Eve.
God loved them very dearly. Every evening He visited them in the lovely garden they lived in.
The whole garden was theirs to enjoy, except for one tree, which was God's forbidden tree.
Adam and Eve were happy until one day Satan, the enemy of God, tempted them. They decided to taste the fruit of God's forbidden tree. They sinned. For the first time they were ashamed and sad.
No longer could they talk to God. Now they would have pain and trouble. And they would have to die. How sorry they were!
God promised to help them. When the right time would come, He would send His Son Jesus into the world. Jesus would come down from Heaven and make a way for sin to be forgiven. To do this He would suffer and die for mankind. How glad they were that God would send a Savior!
Adam and Eve had children and grandchildren. By and by there were many people living in the world.
God wanted everyone to be happy. He told them what to do. Here is a list of rules God gave them:
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor thy father and thy mother.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's. (Exodus 20:3-17).
These were written in the Bible so we can read them, too. If we obey them, we will be happy.
Satan does not want us to obey them. Sometimes he tells us to steal something when no one is looking. But God knows it. God sees everything.
Sometimes Satan tempts us to tell a lie and makes us think no one will find it out. God knows it. He hears everything.
When we do these things, we feel bad inside. God loves us and wants to help us to be good. That's why He sent Jesus into the world. God remembered His promise.After many years, Jesus was born as a little baby. He grew up and became a man.
He did many wonderful things. He healed the sick. He made the blind to see. He blessed the children.
Jesus never did anything wrong. He told the people about God and how to obey Him.
After a while the enemies of Jesus nailed Him to a cross. He died.
He suffered and died for the sins of all the people, even those who nailed Him to the cross.
Jesus was buried. But then a wonderful thing happened. He did not stay in the grave. He arose from the dead!
Soon God took Him back to Heaven in a cloud. While His friends were watching Him leave, an angel told them Jesus would come back again.
Jesus died for our sins, too. He wants us to be sorry and confess our sins. He is ready to forgive us.
We can pray to God anytime. He hears every word and knows every thought. He makes us feel happy inside when our sins are forgiven. Then we want to do what is right. Then we want to be kind.
We may choose to disobey God and follow Satan. But God’s word says that if we reject Him in this life, He will cast us down to hell. Hell is a place of fire that burns forever.
But if we love and obey Jesus, He will take us up to Heaven when He returns. Heaven is the beautiful home of God and His Son Jesus. It is a home of love and light. There we will always be happy.
In the Holy Bible we read, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12). This is evidence that God keeps a record.
Joshua Harris, a young man of Maryland, USA, was spending some time in Puerto Rico. One night he had a dream. He felt God had given him this dream as a reproof for a lack of faithfulness. This dream reminded him of the life-transforming power of Jesus Christ and His blood. We would like to share it with you.
In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features save for the one wall covered with small index-card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endless in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read “Girls I Have Liked.” I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.
And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn’t match.
A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their contents. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. A file named “Friends” was next to one marked “Friends I Have Betrayed.”
The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. “Books I Have Read,” ”Lies I Have Told,” “Comfort I Have Given,” “Jokes I Have Laughed At.” Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: “Things I’ve Yelled at My Brothers.” Others I couldn’t laugh at: “Things I Have Muttered under My Breath at My Parents.” I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes there were fewer than I hoped.
I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my twenty years to write each of these thousands, possibly millions, of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.
When I pulled out the file marked “Songs I Have Listened To,” I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn’t found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music, but more by the vast amount of time I knew that file represented.
When I came to a file marked “Lustful Thoughts” I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed contents. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded.
Suddenly I felt an almost animal rage. One thought dominated my mind: “No one must ever see these cards! I have to destroy them!” In an insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn’t matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took the file at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it.
Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore “People I Have Shared the Gospel With.” The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.
And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.
But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus.
I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn’t bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one?
Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn’t anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn’t say a word. He just cried with me.
Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.
“No!” I shouted, rushing to Him. All I could find to say was “No, no, as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn’t be on these cards. But here it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood.
He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and continued to sign the cards. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, “It is finished.”
I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.
Have you ever wondered how God looks at your life? Jesus tells us, “That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36). If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit with sorrow and regret that we have failed in our thoughts and actions. We, too, will blush in shame for thoughts harbored and deeds committed in secret. The Bible says in Romans 2:16 that "God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ." The Apostle Peter preached “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). Has Jesus blotted out your sins, or do they still haunt you today?
Would you like to be set free? Are the thoughts and actions of the past weighing you down? Our sins are a great weight on our hearts and lives. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
Jesus offers forgiveness. He came to earth and shed His blood for all sinners. The salvation plan is now complete. Would you like to be made whole? “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). (Psalm 51) Come to Jesus now! Repent and confess your sins. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Trust Jesus to lead you to a satisfying life with Him. He will provide direction for your daily walk of life.
The Room – Copyright 1995 – New Attitudes/Joshua Harris.
I started out in life so carefree and happy. I was like a little butterfly with beautiful wings and a world of flowers to see. Life seemed wonderful as I looked to the future.
It didn’t take long and my views changed. I realized I had to perform to be accepted. Life seemed like a circus. There were hoops held out far into the future. If I jumped through the rings I received approval. If I didn’t—well—everybody else did.
Life became a performance. Leap through the rings; make the football team, or the cheerleading squad, or the honor roll. Go to the right college and get a degree. I did some things I wished I hadn't, but everybody else did them—so—go on and hope to forget. Get a good job and make lots of money. At the right time get married, have the correct amount of children, buy a house—a nice big house, and a better car. I think I'm getting tired. Join a club—not any old club, but the right club—jump, jump, jump. Retirement, I have to think about retirement—buy stocks, sell stocks—hit some bumps, go, go, go.
And suddenly, I stand before the last hoop. But, it isn't round, it=s rectangular, and it=s in the ground. The grass stops at the ragged edges. Here is where it all ends.
What happened to me anyway? Life wasn't supposed to be this way. Where is the little butterfly with the beautiful wings? What happened to the flowers? Was I truly happy? What about my soul? Is this what it’s all about?
“God, what happened?”
“I’m glad you finally asked,” God said. “I will take you back and show you what went wrong and what your life could have been, if you would have chosen my way.
“When you were a child, I was with you. All children are in my care. (Matthew 19:13-14) Don’t you remember the little butterfly with the beautiful wings?”
My heart ached as I recalled those happy innocent days—gone, forever gone.
God continued, “The time came when you became responsible for your decisions. Do you remember that argument you had with your Mom? It made you feel terrible, but you wouldn't admit that you were wrong. You chose to take your own way.
“I tried to stop you. Do you remember when your closest friend died? The lonesome feeling you had—that was me, talking to you. Deep in your heart you knew things weren't right, but you were afraid to change. You were afraid of what your friends would think, so you ignored me, and drifted farther away from me.”
God’s voice grew sad. “Do you remember your years in college?”
“Oh! God, don't remind me. I’m trying to forget those days,” I begged.
Gently, God said, “Forgetting doesn't take care of the sin. (Ecclesiastes 12:14) I would have been glad to forgive you if you would have asked—but you never asked. (1 John 1:9) All those times you felt lonely and sad, that was me, calling you, but you didn't listen. Do you remember when you landed that good job? The pay was terrific, but did it do for you what you thought it would? (1 Timothy 6:9) I tried to tell you that contentment comes only from me. For a while you did consider taking my way, but it seemed too hard so you followed your own way. Oh, if only you would have come to me, I would have given you what you were searching for—peace in your heart, peace in your home, and confidence about the future.” (Matthew 11:28)
God continued, “You were so busy. I tried talking to you on those cool beautiful evenings, but you didn't hear. I tried to get your attention during the storms. I thought you might be listening, but you weren't. If only you would have listened, I could have helped you solve those problems between you and your spouse. It would have prevented so many heartaches. (1 Peter 3:7)
“If you would have prayed and asked me for wisdom, I would have helped you to deal with your son. It could be so different now. (Proverbs 29:17) But no, you were too busy, too wise, too big a man to turn to me.”
As God turned away, He said, “You wasted your life on your own selfish whims, and now you are lost forever.” And then I felt myself slipping away from God, away—away.
Lost—forever lost! What does it mean? It means being away from God—forever—in a place of torment prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 13:41-42) But, you can change this. If you know things are not right with your life, admit it. Turn to God, repent of your sin, and surrender your will to Him. (Acts 2:37-38) God loves you, and wants to forgive you. (John 3:16) The price has already been paid. (Romans 5:8-11) Jesus died on the cross in your place. He paid the ransom so you could be saved. You can have peace and rest in your heart, and in the end—heaven. (John 14:1-3)
This is what it is all about.
YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN
Jesus tells us that the gates of heaven are closed to us unless we are born again. Therefore we ask: Friend, are you born again? Church member, are you born again? If not, then you are lost. For Jesus says, ". . . Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).
But you may ask, What is being born again? First we will say what it is not. It is not baptism, for some were baptized and yet not born again. (Acts 8:18-25). It is not joining the church, for some slipped in unawares. (Galatians 2:4). It is not eating of the Lord's table, for some ate unworthily and it brought condemnation. (1 Corinthians 11:29). It is not reform or trying to live better, ". . . for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able" (Luke 13:24). It is not praying, for Jesus says, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth and honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me" (Matthew 15:8).
Someone may say, "If I try and do all I can; giving to the poor, visiting the sick, and be as good as I can every day, then surely I am born again." No, we cannot be what we are not: "for the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7). WE MUST HAVE A CHANGE OF HEART. For God by the prophets says: "A new heart also will I give you" (Ezekiel 36:26).
Then, what is the new birth? How and when do we receive it? Jesus says, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh . . ." (John 3:6). When a child is born a new life comes forth, a new person in the flesh. So likewise when we are born again, a new life in Christ Jesus after the Spirit comes forth. Therefore it is called a birth-a new life in Christ Jesus which is to live forever.
If we come to God as a lost, burdened sinner longing for peace, and in our distress cry, "what must I do to be saved?" then we must, as Paul said, "believe on the Lord Jesus." We must completely surrender to God.
God who looks on the heart sees your sincerity. He comes to you through the power of the Holy Ghost and creates within you a right spirit. (Psalm 51:10). Thus you are born again-a new creature in Christ Jesus by faith in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:17).
But when may I expect to be born again? God says by the Holy Ghost ". . . Today, if ye hear his voice," (Hebrews 3:7). That means at any age, time or place if we hear the call and respond, we can be born again by the Spirit, thus becoming children of God.
But how long will it take, must I not grow in to the new birth? No, we are born into the kingdom of God; that makes us children and heirs, and may take place the moment we surrender all and come to Jesus for pardon.
Finally: How may I know that I am born again? Paul in Romans 8:1,6,9,10 teaches, "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." The Bible teaches the lost are dead in sin, condemned, having an evil conscience, carnally minded, without hope, disobedient, and without God in the world. Contrariwise, a born again Christian is a child of God, alive in Christ, saved, having no condemnation, having a good conscience, spiritually minded, filled with the Holy Ghost, and faith, with a hope of everlasting life. His sins are blotted out by the blood of Jesus. His heart is filled with love and the peace of God which passeth understanding. He loves, desires, and has the power to do the Lord's will. He cherishes a hope beyond the grave, and the promise of a home in heaven. Could anyone go through such a change and not realize it? Hardly, for "the spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Romans 8:16).
Dear reader, if you have not had this experience with the peace and joy it brings to the soul, do not rest in ease, for you are trifling with God and your own soul. YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN.
Published by the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite