Jan 2010

7557 - Three Who Testify

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In our study of the first Letter of John we are now in Chapter 5, verses 7 & 8. Listen as I read them, “For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.”

The one of whom these three testify is none other than the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man and Son of God.

We should keep in mind the times in which the Apostle John is called upon to write. It’s thought that John could be past 90 years of age as he writes.

Although John has not written of Biblical truth in the early years of the Church, he is now called upon by God to write from his extensive experience with Jesus Christ while he was here on earth. He was to share what Jesus had said and what he did. Emphasis of Spiritual truth is the bottom line as John writes his five documents.
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7556 - Robin Ullrich - Ministry Family

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An interview with Robin Ullrich about her work as a missionary and a mother of 4 kids in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Robin was originally trained as a nurse, and is now a teacher at a private christian school in Bulgaria. She shares how she and her husband Scott have created a Christian foundation of discipline and love for their children.

She currently teaches math and science to middle school children, and although the faculty and staff are Christian, the students themselves are from a variety of primarily non-Christian backgrounds. Many of the students may come from all over the world; former communist countries, embassy employees, mafia members and other international businesses.

Outside of the classroom, Robin and Scott are reaching out to other Bulgarian people, and Robin shares briefly about the interactions with two local adults.

Only about 1% of the population of Bulgaria claim to be of an evangelical faith, and Robin and her husband are working hard to reach to more of the Bulgarian people. They are trying to expose the people to a biblical world view and to show that the Bible has answers for everyday problems, and is ultimately Jesus is the only one that can bring true satisfaction and peace.

Since Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007, there are now more spiritual freedoms in the country, but that freedom has not yet brought about large spiritual growth.

To read more about the ministry of Robin and Scott Ullrich and their work in Bulgaria, view their profile page through Send International, where you can also view prayer requests and contact Scott and Robin.
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7555 - Psalm 34 - He Keeps His Own

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Are you aware that one of the primary purposes for which the Lord created people is that we might give praise to Him.

Ephesians (1:12) says: “We who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of His glory,” and Isaiah (43:21) tells us: ‘the people who I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.”

Today let’s give praise by looking at Psalm 34.
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7554 - By Water and Blood

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Let’s seek to understand the meaning of 1 John 5; verse 6. It says, “This is the one who came by water and blood –– Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.”

This is one of the highly debated verses from the Bible. The scholar Dr. Plummer calls this first phrase the ‘most perplexing’ in the letter.

The difficulty is to understand what is meant by the terms water and blood.
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7553 - Faith in Whom

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In our study of 1 John we are now in chapter 5. Let’s read verses 4 and 5 since they overlap in thought.

“For everyone born of God has overcome the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

In our last study in God’s Word we discussed verse 4, which tells us that our victory over the world comes by reason of our faith. The requirement of faith was emphasized.

Today we want to expand on that thought by finding in whom we must place our faith?
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7552 - Greg Queen - Church Mobilization for West Africa

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An interview with Greg Queen, Sub Sahara Africa Connector for the IMB (International Mission Board). He and his family formerly served in Dakar, Senegal, as career missionaries heading up an engagement team that assisted churches in partnering with unreached people groups.

Greg discusses his new role in coordinating church involvement with unreached people groups in West Africa.

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The IMB is moving towards transforming from just sending out individuals to facilitating churches reaching out themselves. Greg shares that there are over 1600 unreached people groups in West Africa, and that it is one of the most diverse areas of the world, with over 1100 languages spoken. 80% of the unreached people groups in this area are categorized as “micro people groups”, having less than 100,000 members.

The end-vision is to get churches involved in starting churches among the unreached people groups. Greg facilitates churches using their specific skills to reach these people in West Africa. He works with two levels of church involvement: engaging and partnering churches. The partnering churches will work with other churches to reach a people group in a collaborative way.

Greg also shares the exciting story of a convert from the very first trip a church made to West Africa.

To learn more about Greg Queen and the opportunities available to churches of many denominations, read Churches Reaching the Unreached in our Interview section.
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7551 - Faith Required

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In our study of the First Letter of John we are in chapter 5 verse 4. Listen as I read it, “For everyone born of God has overcome the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”

The use of the words ‘overcome’ and ‘victory’ brings up the mental picture of a conflict or warfare. Let’s seek to understand what God is saying.

Let’s start with the world ‘world.’ In the Bible this word does not just mean this planet. More often it is talking about the network of systems on this planet. The economic system, and system of power over the peoples of the world are all included in this word. Often times it is referred to as the world system or the Kingdom of the World.
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7550 - Praise Him for Grace

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Scripture commands that we praise Him. His Word tells us that even so called inanimate things like mountains and trees, sun and stars all praise God.

Revelation 5:11-14 has a most interesting heavenly scene:

"Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: 'To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!' The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshipped."

I want to be included in this great host who are praising our infinite God, and I pray you will be there too. It will be a glorious occasion.
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7549 - Commands not Burdensome

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In this study we’ll be talking about “His commands are not burdensome.”

This subject comes up as we look at 1 John chapter 5, verse 3. It reads, “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.”

Many Christians would agree with the first thought in this verse, “This is love for God: to obey his commands.” Many people tell us that they want to obey, but as often as they try, they often meet failure as they compromise. To them they carry heavy loads and they have stumbled over sin more than once.

But this verse has good news. It says God’s commands are not burdensome.

Let’s open God’s word and find God’s plan for keeping his commands from being burdensome.
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7548 - Born with a Purpose

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Let’s focus on Jesus Chirst as the unique One who was born with a specific and important purpose.

The four gospels are our primary sources for knowledge about the earthly life of Jesus Christ. However, at least three secular historians – Josephus, Tactius and Suetonius – have written of Him, and many historians confirm the historical record of the existence of Jesus and His earthly life and death.

The mission of Jesus on earth was threefold. First, His life was to reveal the nature of the Father to mankind. Second: His reliance and dependence upon the Father demonstrated to Christians the manner in which we are to live – totally dependent upon Jesus Christ who lives within each of us to guide and direct our lives. Third: Jesus came to redeem mankind.
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7547 - How We Know

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The human mind is such that it relishes the assurance that we’re on the right track or that we have the right answer.

Gain some assurance from God’s Word that we are on the right track as we discuss 1 John 5, a portion of verses 1 and 2. Which read, “Everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.”

The central issue about which assurance is being given is “how can we know that we love the children of God?”

The answer is that the proof of our love for the Christian brothers is that we love and obey God.
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7546 - Born Of God

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In this study lets talk about being “Born of God”.

With this study we enter chapter 5 of the First Letter of John. Verse 1 says, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves his child as well.”

John begins this chapter with another truth designed to cut the rug out from under the false teachers. The Greeks were famous for stressing the use of intellect. These false teachers had trouble accepting the spiritual dimension regarding Jesus. They denied the deity of Jesus and rejected the truth that He was the anointed One of Old Testament prophesy.

John boldly speaks that Jesus is the Christ and that everyone who believes this truth is born of God. This is a statement of faith and not intellect. There is no evidence to be gained by experiment or observation, which proves that Jesus is the Christ to the intellect.
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7545 - A New Beginning

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Today marks a new beginning for many people. Let me share a true story and as you listen consider what God can accomplish in a life.

These words are from a story by Paul Deutschman as found in the book Great Stories Remembered, published by Focus on the Family.

Traveling a New York subway I was struck by the features of the passenger on my left. He was probably in his late 30’s, and when he glanced up, his eyes seemed to have a hurt expression in them. He was reading a Hungarian-language newspaper, and something prompted me to say in Hungarian, “I hope you don’t mind if I glance at your paper.”

The man seemed surprised to be addressed in his native language. But he answered politely, “You may read it now. I’ll have time later on.”

During the half-hour ride to town, we had quite a conversation. He said his name was Bela Paskin. A law student when World War II started, he had been put into a German labor battalion, and later he was captured by the Russians and put to work burying the German dead. After the war, he returned to his home in a large city in eastern Hungary.

When he went to the family apartment he found strangers living there. Then he went to the apartment that he and his wife once had. It also was occupied by strangers.

As he was leaving, full of sadness, a boy ran after him calling “Uncle Paskin.” The child was the son of a former neighbor of his. He went to the boy’s home and was told that his wife and whole family was taken by the Nazis to Auschwitz.
Auschwitz was one of the worst Nazi concentration camps. Paskin gave up all hope. Too heartsick to remain any longer in Hungary he managed to immigrate to the United States just three months before I met him.
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