Sunday, June 7, 2015

Bible Commentary (New Testament) Pocket Reference Edition



Warren W. Wiersbe
President Back to the Bible

(This book is now available from Back to the Bible 

Office for a donation of Rs. 260.00. 

including packing and postage. 

Avail this treasure before stock ends!

For more information please contact: OR call 040 

27796353; OR SMS To 09492440070

Source Courtesy: 
Copyright 1991 by Warren W. Wiersbe
Thomas Neslson's Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee
Back to the Bible Intl.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Growing In Christ - 40 Days To Deeper Faith


"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." — Luke 2:11-12

The Birth of Jesus

Picture Credit: Back to the Bible, Lincoln, Nebraska

It doesn't seem like a suitable place for the King of kings: the animals, the filth, the smells, the flies, the dusty scratchy hay—and having a feeding trough, of all things, for a crib! But God, in His infinite love, chooses the humblest possible surroundings. No one can accuse Jesus of not knowing hardship and pain.

As Mary studies the face of her baby, she isn't just looking at a precious child; she's peering into the face of her Lord—His Majesty. Mary knows she's holding God in her arms. So this is the One the angel told me about.

She remembers what the angel had told her: "You are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob's descendants forever; his kingdom will never end." 1
But at this very moment, baby Jesus looks like anything but a king. His face is reddish and prunelike. His cry, though strong and healthy, is still the helpless and piercing cry of a baby. 2 And He is absolutely dependent upon Mary for His well-being. 3

The sky above the manger is torn open with a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and promising peace on earth to those who please Him: "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."4

 As the angel choir withdraws into heaven, the sheepherders talk it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." They leave, running, and find Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing is believing. They tell everyone they meet what the angels said about this child. All who hear the sheepherders are impressed.' 5

Meanwhile, Mary remains as obedient as ever.6

Explore the Word: Luke 2:1-20

Two things strike me (Arnie) as I read this passage:

I can't help thinking about the stigma of being an unwed mother in the early Jewish culture. Imagine the angry stares and cruel remarks from those you once thought were friends. In spite of the fact that Mary's world has been forever altered in extraordinary ways, she remains committed to God's plan.  

Second, it's not to the kings, or to the great intellectual-As, or even to the celebrities that God sends the ultimate birth announcement. Instead, the Creator of the universe first shares His great joy with simple, humble shepherds. [Apparently high positions don't impress Him very much!)

Are our eyes fixed on God's faithful love? Can we see beyond our own problems and experience His love—just as Mary did? If you're having trouble with that, keep in mind that part of His love involved coming all the way down to our level to live in this dirty, sin-infested world in the person of His Son. Let's move in closer and get a better look at this Son....

No beauty. "He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him" (Isaiah 53:2).

No reputation. The Bible describes Jesus as one who
"made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness" (Philippians 2:7).

No sin. "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21).'

è KNOW Him

·         Meet the God of wonder. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. . . . His name shall be called.... Wonderful" (Isaiah 9:6 KJV). Even now He is working in just as amazing ways as when He created heaven and earth. Our challenge to you in the days ahead: Strive to get the full picture of Jesus and be attracted to Him with new awe and new wonder.

·          Work It Out: When you think of Jesus, what images come to mind? Are you attracted to Him with awe and wonder? (Please explain.)

·         Focus on Christ's image. His beauty comes from the inside out. His eyes radiate with unlimited peace; His smile speaks of incomprehensible joy. Most of all, His heart beats with boundless love.

* Work It Out: Do the negative opinions of skeptics sometimes shake your faith? (Please explain.) Are you able to stick with what God says is right. . .even in the face of doubters?

Pray: "Lord, guide me today; help me know the purpose , You have created just for me."
Ask Jesus to give the kind of obedience that Mary demonstrated. Ask Him to focus your vision on His boundless love.


A Key Point I Learned Today:


How I Want to Grow:


My Prayer List:


1. Luke 1:31-33. 2. Max Lucado, God Came Near (Portland: Multnomah Press, 1987), 23.
3. Ibid.
4. Luke 2:14
5. See Luke 2:15-18, MSG.
6. A portion of this story was adapted from Bill Myers and Michael Ross, Faith Encounter: Experience the Ultimate With Jesus (Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 1999), 16-17.
7. Author and missionary Manfred Koehler contributed to today's devotional entry.

(An adaptation from the book “ GROWING IN CHRIST 40 Days to Deeper Faith” written by Dr. Arnie Cole & Michael Ross.  Copyright 2015 by Back to the Bible.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Old Testament WORDS for Today

Old Testament WORDS for Today
By Warren W. Wiersbe
(President Back to the Bible)
Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die."
Genesis 3:4

Warren W. Wiersbe the author of this book in its Preface Says: 

Yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.  1 CORINTHIANS 14:19

“If you know how to select them, five words can express unforgettable, life-changing thoughts.

Thomas Jefferson put five words in the Declaration of Independence that declared liberty for the American colonies: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." Abraham Lincoln quoted those five words in his famous Gettysburg Address.

"A specter is haunting Europe" are the words Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels chose to open their Communist Manifesto, a small book whose message changed the map of Europe.

On June 18, 1940, Prime Minister Winston Churchill heartened the British people with a speech that concluded with five unforgettable words: "Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Commonwealth and its Empire lasts for a thousand years, men will still say, `This was their finest hour.'"

The Bible contains many memorable five-word statements that are "living and powerful" (Heb. 4:12), inspired words that the Holy Spirit can use to direct us in today's chaotic world. In this book, I have provided meditations based on one hundred of these phrases as they are found in the Old Testament, using the New King James Version of the Scriptures. I trust that as you meditate on God's Word and ponder my words, the Spirit of God will enlighten you and encourage you, enabling you to discover the will of God and enjoy doing it."

Here is a page from this treasure:

God put our first parents into a lovely garden where all their needs were met and they had the privilege of fellowshipping with him and serving him. The enemy was prepared to attack, as he always is, and from this event we can get the instructions we need to obey to defeat him.

Don't give Satan a foothold. One of Adam's responsibilities was to "keep" the garden (Gen. 2:15), which means to guard it. It's the same word used in Genesis 3:24, "to guard the way to the tree of life." It seems that Adam was not with his wife at that time, so she was an easier target for the evil one. Ephesians 4:27 warns us not to "give place to the devil," for all he needs is a small foothold and he can begin to wage war. Even today, his servants stealthily creep in and cause trouble (2 Tim. 3:6; Jude 4). Cultivating a lustful or unkind thought can provide a foothold, and so can deliberately re-fusing to do God's will.

Don't listen to Satan's offers. Satan is a counterfeiter and a masquerader who never reveals his true nature. He can even come as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14) and lead us astray. We can tell when Satan is at work because he questions God's Word and encourages us to deny the authority of Scripture, asking us, "Has God indeed said . . . ?" Satan first questions the Word, then denies the Word, then substitutes his own lies. Our reply must be, "Yes, God did say, and I am going to respect it!" We must immediately turn to the Lord in prayer and seek his wisdom. He will remind us of what we have learned from the Scriptures and we can use the sword of the Spirit to defeat Satan, as Jesus did when Satan attacked him (Eph. 6:17; Matt. 4:1-11). It's important that we hide God's Word in our hearts, because this will enable us to overcome him (Ps. 119:11).

Remind yourself of God's rich blessings. A temptation is Satan's offer to give you something he claims that God hasn't given you. When Satan tempted Jesus, he suggested, "Your Father just said you were his beloved son. If he loves you, why are you hungry?" The warnings against temptation found in James 1:12-15 are followed by reminders that we are the recipients of God's good and perfect gifts (vv. 16-18). A temptation is Satan's cheap substitute for the real gifts from heaven, the Father has given us. The devil wanted Jesus to transform stones into bread, but Jesus preferred the nourishing bread of life, the Word of God (Matt. 4:4).

First Timothy 2:14 reminds us that Eve was deceived by Satan, but when Adam showed up, he sinned with his eyes wide open because he wanted to remain with his wife. It was his deliberate disobedience that plunged the human race into sin and judgment (Rom. 5:12-21). It was our Lord's obedience and death on the cross that saved us from condemnation and made us the children of God.

Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

And take . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:17

(An adaptation from the book  "Old Testament WORDS for Today"  This book is now available from Back to the Bible Office for a donation of Rs. 590.00. Including packing and postage. Avail your copies before stock ends. For more information, please contact: OR call 040 27796353; 
OR SMS To 09492440070

Source: BakerBooks - Used by permission

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Read And Subscribe Confident Living Magazine

Read And Subscribe Confident Living Magazine. 
Read some of contents from the April - May Issue.
Please click on the pictures to read clearly.

Source: Back to the Bible, India,
Confident Living Magazine, Secunderabad, India

Monday, June 1, 2015

You Can't Run Away From Problems

You Can't Run Away From Problems
By Warren W. Wiersbe

(Ruth 1:1-5)

The First Edition Cover Page
Two mighty forces are at work in the world today. One force is pulling everything apart, while the other force is seeking to put things back together again. Sin is the destroyer, but Jesus Christ is the builder.

 So many people need to put their lives together today! Their lives and homes are being pulled apart, and their jobs are in jeopardy. For these people, everything seems to be crashing down around them. They are falling apart physically, mentally, socially, financially and, most of all, spiritually. In the Old Testament book of Ruth, we have a vivid account of two widows—one young and the other old—who were able to put their lives together and find happiness and fulfillment in the will of God.

In chapter 1 of Ruth, everything is falling apart. Naomi and her family made some mistakes. People today are making these same mistakes. Let me survey the first chapter for you, and then we will look at the first mistake that Naomi and her family made and the reasons behind it.

Ruth 1:1-5 reveals the family's first mistake. They were trying to run away from their problems. Bethlehem-Judah was experiencing a famine. Naomi, her husband and two sons packed up and went to Moab to avoid the famine and other problems. But in Moab they only found more problems!  

The second mistake that Naomi made was trying to cover up her disobedience (vv. 6-18). She tried to send her two daughters-in-law back home so they would not come to Bethlehem with her and be evidence that she had disobeyed God. First, she ran away from her problems, and then she tried to cover her sins and hide them.

The third mistake that Naomi made is found in verses 19 through 22. She became bitter against God. Ruth went back to Bethlehem with Naomi, but Naomi was a bitter woman. The name "Naomi" means "pleasant," but she was not at all pleasant! She said, "Call me not Naomi, call me Mara; for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me" (v. 20). The name "Mara" means "bitter." It comes from the same word as myrrh, the bitter perfume that was used for embalming.

If you want to destroy your life, then make these same three mistakes: try to run away from your problems, try to cover up your disobedience, and become bitter against God. I guarantee that if you will take these three steps, your life will begin to fall apart. 

"Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem-Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife, Naomi, and the name of his two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem-Judah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. And Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. And they took themselves wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other, Ruth; and they dwelt there about ten years. Arid Mahlon and Chilion died also, both of them; and the woman was bereft of her two sons and her husband" (vv. 1-5).

The scene is now set. A famine has come upon the people of Israel. Instead of trusting God to provide, this family chooses to pack up and go to Moab. They decide to run away from their problems rather than facing them.

Why do people try to run away from their problems? Let me suggest several possible reasons.

Indian Edition Cover Page
 Living by Sight—Not by Faith
One reason why this family ran from their problems is because they were living by sight and not by faith. In comparing their life in Bethlehem with life in Moab, they made the mistake of only looking at the situation from a human point of view. When they looked at Bethlehem, they only saw hunger and pain, while Moab appeared to be the land of plenty.

From God's point of view, their decision was wrong. Moab was a heathen land, and the Moabites worshiped false gods. They were the enemies of God and of Israel. God had said in Deuteronomy 23:3, "An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the Lord forever."

The Ammonites and the Moabites were the descendants of Lot as the result of an act of incest (see Gen. 19:30-38). When Lot was delivered from Sodom, he and his daughters lived in a cave. His daughters made him drunk and then committed incest with him. The sons born to these women became the fathers of the nations of Ammon and Moab, and these nations became the enemies of the people of God. From God's point of view, Elimelech and his family were leaving home and going to reside with, and depend on, the enemy.

The name "Bethlehem" means "house of bread." Judah can be translated "praise," while Ephratah means "fruitful." Bethlehem was called Bethlehem-Ephratah. As this family looked at the "fruitful house of bread," they could only see famine and barrenness. The sound of complaining filled the land of "praise." Elimelech said to Naomi, "The wisest thing we can do is leave." If you are living by sight and not by faith, difficult situations look hopeless to you. Running away seems like the best solution.

Why didn't they just trust God? God had made it very clear in His Law that if His people obeyed Him, He would bless them. We are told in Deuteronomy 28 that famines were a discipline from God. God promised to send the harvest, the rain and the sunshine—all that was needed—if His people would obey Him. Instead of running away, the people should have run to God, bowed down, confessed their sin and asked for His forgiveness.

When you start living by sight and not by faith, then you will start running away from your problems and sins instead of trusting. God to help you overcome them. You will try to find an easy way out of a difficult situation.

Living for the Physical—Not the Spiritual
A second reason why people run away from their problems is because they are living for the physical and not for the spiritual. Some people may argue, "Well, these people had to live!" I would rather be hungry in the will of God than full and satisfied out of the will of God.

Back Cover Page
The first temptation that Satan presented to the Lord Jesus was a choice between the physical and the spiritual. Our Lord had just spent 40, days fasting in the wilderness, and He was hungry. Satan said to Him, in effect, "Since you are hungry, turn these stones into bread." If the Father in heaven would have said to His Son, "Turn the stones into bread," Jesus would have done it. But the Father had not given Him that commandment. Jesus answered, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). Jesus did not succumb to the temptation to put His needs before the will of God.

I've often heard people say, "Well, a person has to live." While it is true that we must live in the will of God, it is not true that we must live—no matter what the cost. It is far better for us to be poor and hungry in the will of God than to have all the comforts of life apart from the will of God.

This was the mistake that Esau made. He despised his God-given birthright. Esau had been out in the field hunting and came home famished. Jacob was making some delicious stew, and Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of it. He put his physical desires before God's plan for his life.

When you begin putting the physical ahead of the spiritual, you start living to please yourself. You begin to think that the most important thing in life is to be comfortable, not to be conformable to the will of God. What if our Lord Jesus Christ had put the physical ahead of the spiritual? What if He had been more concerned about His own comfort and pleasure than about doing the will of God? Where would we be today? 

Living for the World—Not the Lord
A third reason why people make the mistake of running from their problems is because they are living for the world and not for the Lord. The Word of God says, "Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled" (Ruth 1:1). We have already discovered that the Book of Judges is the book of "no king." At least four times in the Book of Judges we read: "There was no king in Israel" (17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25). Twice we read: "In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes" (21:25; see also 17:6). Naomi and her family were living in an era of anarchy. The popular argument was "Everyone is doing it! Why shouldn't we?" But: the fact was that everyone was not doing it! Boaz did not go to Moab. He stayed where he was, and God later used him to rescue Naomi and Ruth.

When the situation became difficult in Bethlehem, Naomi and her family made three wrong decisions: (1) they decided to leave Bethlehem; (2) they decided to go to Moab; and (3) after Elimelech died, Naomi allowed her two sons to marry women from Moab. In Ezra 9:1 and Nehemiah 13:1 you find both Ezra and Nehemiah protesting against the Jews who had married women outside the nation of Israel.

The problem today is that people are conforming to the world with its rebellious atmosphere and attitudes. When you start running away from your problems, you are living for the world and not for the Lord. Your excuse becomes "Everybody is doing it!" And you start doing what is right in your own eyes.

Ignoring the Source of the Problem
 A fourth reason why people run from their problems is that they ignore the real source of their problem—their own heart. When Naomi, Elimelech and their two sons went to Moab, they took their problem with them. What was their problem? The spiritual deterioration in their hearts. They were the problem. They were proud because they believed they could manipulate and manage their own lives and do a better job of it than God was doing.

The source of every problem is inside, not out-side. The heart of every problem is the problem in the heart. We blame circumstances, and we even blame God. But when you reach the root of the problem, we are the ones who are to blame. We doubt God and disobey His Word. We put the world and the flesh ahead of the will of God. We think we can run away. But the Word of God makes it clear that when you run away, you take your sinful heart right along with you. That's why you can't run away; that's why running away only causes the problems to increase. You may be in a new location and have a new situation, but you still have the same old heart. You will repeat the same old mistakes. Ralph Waldo Emerson used to say that a change in geography will never overcome a flaw in character.

Naomi and her family traveled the 50 miles from Bethlehem to Moab, and it was a trip that took them out of the will of God. They planned to sojourn in Moab just for a while, but they tarried there for ten years. Everything fell apart. The fruitful fields of Moab became a cemetery for Naomi's husband and her two sons. Instead of having hope, Naomi became hopeless. God had to discipline this family to bring Naomi back where she belonged. It never pays to rebel against God.

Unfortunately, Naomi still had not learned her lesson. We will see that she made another mistake. She tried to cover up her sins and blame other people. Hebrews 12:11 says, "No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them who are exercised by it." Naomi had to learn to surrender to the discipline of God and stop running away. 

(An adaptation from the book "Put Your Life Together -Studies in the Book of Ruth.)

Source: Back to the Bible Intl.
Confident Living Magazine, Secunderabad.
Copyright:: Back to the Bible (1985)

Friday, May 29, 2015

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread! Do We Need To Pray This Prayer Today?

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread
(Is this Petition Relevant Today?)
                                                     by George V Thiruvanathapuram

Picture Credit:

In Mathew Chapter 6 verses 9-13, we have what is generally called as the Lord’s Prayer.”  In using this title, however we should remember that Jesus never prayed it Himself.  It was given to the disciples as a model after which they could pattern their prayer.  In some Christian groups this prayer is often used, as a matter of routine, without knowing the real meaning of each petition.  Out of the seven petitions here, the first three concerns the name, kingdom and will of God.  The Lord must occupy the highest place, and indeed in our whole lives.  The four petitions for ourselves rise by degrees from “bread” up to “deliverance from evil”: teaching us that we ought to grovel in prayer, but to increase in spirituality while we pray. (C H Spurgeon)  “Give us this day our daily bread.” Give us necessary food, bread for the day; our own bread, yet thy gracious gift; give it not only to me, but to all of us thy children.  Is this petition needed today when our purses are thick, bank balances sufficient, and our store houses and fridges are full with food materials from salad to chicken?  There was a time when our forefathers and evangelists like George Muller or M E Cherian and many others fully depended on our gracious Lord for each meal?  I still remember a time when a friend of mine, was examining the rooftop of their wooden house to check, whether he could get few pieces of dried Tapioca, which was stolen by rats from them.  Such was the hard time!  Now the situations have changed!  Who needs such a prayer when many could join with that fool in Luke 12 who said, “soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years, take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry”! (v. 19).  

Let us examine this Lord’s teaching on the basis of the Scriptures:

Picture Credit:

Physical Needs:
“Our daily bread” refers primarily to the supply of our temporal needs.  With the Hebrews,  bread was a generic term, signifying the necessities and conveniences of this life.  (Gen: 3:19; 28:20), such as food, raiment and housing.  Inherent in the use of the specific term bread  rather than the more general term food  is an emphasis, teaching us not to ask for dainties or for riches, but for that which is wholesome and needful.  Bread here includes health and appetite apart from which food does us no good.  It also takes into account nourishment:  for this comes not from the food alone, nor does it lie within the power of man’s will.  Hence God’s blessings  on it is to be sought.  “For every creature of God is good, and on it is nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:  For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer”  (1 Tim. 4:4,5).

Spiritual Needs:
Mathew Henry has correctly pointed out that the reason for this request for the supply of our physical needs heads the last four petitions in this prayer is that “our natural well being is necessary for our spiritual well being in the world.”  In other words, God grants to us the physical things of this life as helps to discharge of our spiritual duties.  And since they are given by Him, they are to be employed in His service, and not for our selfish activities for making money.  What gracious consideration God shows toward our weakness: we are inept and unfit to perform our higher duties if deprived of the things needed for the sustenance of our bodily existence.  We may also rightly infer that this petition comes first, in order to promote the steady growth and strengthening of our faith.  Perceiving the goodness and faithfulness of God in applying our daily physical needs, we are encouraged and stimulated to ask for higher blessings (Cf. Acts. 17:25-28).

Solomon’s Attitude
In begging God to give us our daily bread, we ask that He might graciously provide us with a portion of outward things such as He sees will be best suited to our calling and station.  “Give me neither poverty nor riches;  feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny Thee and say, Who is Lord? Or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain (Prov. 30:8,9).  If God grants us the superfluities of life we are to be thankful, and must endeavor to use them to His glory; but we must not ask them.  “And having food and raiments let us be therewith content.   We  are to ask for “our daily bread”  (1 Tim. 6:8)  It is to be obtained not by theft, nor by taking force or fraud what belongs to another, but by our personal labor and industry.  Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty, open thine eyes, and thou shall be satisfied with bread”  (Prov. 20:13)  “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness”  (Prov. 31:27)  Is this request restricted to our daily bread)   No.  First, we are reminded of our frailty.  We are unable to continue in health for twenty four hours, and are unfit for the duties of a single day, unless constantly fed from on high.  Second, we are reminded of the brevity of our mundane existence.  None of us know what a day brings forth, and  therefore we are forbidden to boast ourselves of tomorrow (Pro. 27:1)  Third, we are taught to suppress all anxious concern for the future and to live a day at a time one day at a time.  “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought of the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6: 34) Fourth, Christ inculcates a lesson of moderation.  Finally, observe that our Lord’s word “Give us this day our daily bread” is appropriate for use each morning, whereas the expressions, He teaches in Luke 11:3 “Give us day by day our bread” ought be our request every night.  Then the question that comes before us is “Do we have family worship (prayer) every morning and evening?  Let us all re-confirm this in our lives during this year, to have family altar.  Let me conclude this by quoting our Lord’s words from Matthew Chapter 6:25-28  “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  It then came to the ground to pick up a crum and rising merrily again seemed to repeat its simple song “Mortals, cease from toil and sorrow, God provideth for the morrow.”  This greatly comforted the Reformers heart”  (C.H. Spurgeon)  

Let us cheer our hearts by reading that delicious song of contentment: Psalm 23:  The Lord is my shepherd is ENOUGH:   “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.”  The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge (Ps. 46:11).  It is good to sing this twice; It is a truth of which no believer wearies, it is a fact too often forgotten.  

John Wesley was sick and could not be understood.  He attempted to speak.  At last, with all his strength he cried.  “The best of all is, God is with us.”  Again, raising his hand and waving it in triumph, he exclaimed with thrilling effect,  “The best of all is, God is with us.”  These words seem to express the leading feature of his life.  God had been with him from early childhood.  His providence had guided him through all the devious wanderings of human life.  Now when he was entering the “valley of the shadow of death,” the same hand sustained him (Spurgeon: “The Treasury of David”).  

Beloved, is the Lord on your side?  

Is Emmanuel, God with us, Your Redeemer? 

(An adaptation from Harvest Times, Mumbai.  A GLS publication. Used by permission)

Back to the Bible, Secunderabad.
Gospel Literature Service (Harvest Times, Mumbai)
Confident Living Magazine

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


— Warren W. Wiersbe
Read Psalm 53:1-6

This psalm describes the atheist and gives eight reasons why he is a fool. First, he does not acknowledge God (v. 1). He lives as if there is no God. He does not obey God (v. 1). Some people think that human nature is basically kind and good. Not so. We are abominably corrupt by nature (Rom. 3:9). He does not understand God (v. 2). If you don't have the Spirit of God, you can't understand the things of God. Atheists say they won't accept anything they can't understand. Actually, there is little in the world they do understand!

The fool does not seek God (v. 2). No one by himself seeks God and comes to know Him. God invites us to seek Him, and He has mercy on us. He does not follow God's way (v. 3). God has ordained the right path for us. Being a Christian is not easy, and many people do not want to pay the price. The narrow road leads to life and is tough; the broad road is the easy way until the end (Matt. 7:13,14).

The fool does not call on God (v. 4). Such people are mercenary and do not treat others right. He does not fear God (v. 5). The day will come when the fool will be afraid. He lives with a false confidence and one day will face judgment. He does not hope in God (v. 6). The person who leaves God out of his life has no future.

God's people have a future of eternal life. However, anyone who professes to be a Christian, but lives like an atheist also is a fool. May Jesus, help us to acknowledge the goodness, greatness and majesty of Almighty God.

The atheist lives as if there is no God. You, as God's child, eagerly await eternal life. However, if you fail to walk with the Lord, you behave as a fool. Lay hold of your spiritual resources in Christ and hope in Him.

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(An adaptation from the book  “Prayer, Praise and Promises” A Back to the Bible Publication, Few copies of this devotional book is now available with Back to the Bible Head Qts. for a reasonable donation. Please contact:@ OR or by Telephone 040 27796353)

Source: Back to the Bible Intl. 
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Christianity In Concrete

Christianity In Concrete
 by Warren W. Wiersbe (President Back to the Bible Intl.)

Dwight L. Moody was certainly one of the most practical preachers who ever ministered the Word. He had been a successful salesman prior to becoming an evangelist, so that might explain his down-to-earth approach to Christian service. "Every Bible ought to be bound in shoe leather!" he said, a statement that summarizes his philosophy of Christian living.

Moody was attending a YMCA convention in Indianapolis, and there he met Ira Sankey, who was later to become his associate in ministry. He asked Sankey to meet him at a certain corner late one afternoon. When Sankey arrived, he discovered that Moody had planned a street meeting and Sankey was supposed to sing!

Soon a crowd gathered, and Moody began to preach. He spoke for less than 30 minutes and then invited the growing crowd to follow him to the opera house. In a few minutes, the opera house was full. Moody mounted the platform and preached another sermon to the attentive congregation. At the close of his message, Moody said, "Now we must close, as the delegates to the convention wish to come to discuss the topic 'How To Reach the Masses.' "

That was D. L. Moody! While others were discussing a subject, he was achieving an object! He believed in Christianity in the concrete, not in the abstract.

This was our Lord's approach to life and service. A lawyer wanted to discuss "Who is my neighbor?" but Jesus said, "To whom can you be a neighbor?" The lawyer wanted to travel in the abstract heights of theology and law, but Jesus brought him down to earth and told him about a man dying by the side of the road.

 Abstract Christianity never won a soul for Christ, never dried a tear, never fed a hungry child and never encouraged a fainting heart. While there certainly is a place for committees, conventions and the frank discussion of "abstract" issues and problems, unless those discussions produce concrete ministry, we have wasted valuable time and money avoiding the real issues.

Let me share with you some areas of Christian life and ministry that need to be dealt with in the concrete, not the abstract.

First, there is this thing we call "the world." You hear about it especially at missionary conventions where speaker after speaker reminds us of the needs of "the world." Quite frankly, I can't conceive of seven billion people, even when the speaker dramatizes this number in some pictorial fashion. Seven billion people! The world!
But God doesn't want me to get concerned about "the world" in the abstract. He wants me to start with my world, right where I am. Dr. Oswald J. Smith has often reminded us, "The light that shines the farthest will shine the brightest at home." It is difficult to believe that a committee member is burdened for Africa when he has no concern for his own neighborhood.

"Abstract Christianity" will enable you to keep up your reputation for dedication without having to pay too great a price.

Whatever "the world" may be, it begins at my front door. What good is it for me to use my missionary prayer list each morning and intercede for my friends overseas, if I am not burdened for the people I meet day after day?

While attending a convention, I missed a friend of mine who was not in the session on personal witnessing. I saw him at lunch and told him what a great session we had enjoyed. "Where were you?" I asked him. He replied, "I was out in the lobby leading one of the bellhops to Christ." Believe me, I felt very small.

Second is the matter of "the home." I hear zealous speakers telling me that we must do some-thing about "the home." They tell me "the home" is deteriorating, and no doubt it is. But I can do very little about "the home" in the abstract. I can do something about my own home, and you can do something about your home.

It is frightening to realize that today we have more books on marriage and the home, more films, more CDs, more lectures, more radio and TV programs and more seminars and conferences, and yet we seem to have more marital and family problems! We seem to have a great deal of information but not enough motivation. I wonder if the time hasn't come for us to move "the home" out of the abstract and into the concrete.

One way we sometimes deal with "the home" in the abstract is by putting the blame for our failures on the church and the public schools. We forget that nobody can replace father and mother or assume their responsibilities. If my children didn't learn to enjoy the Bible at home, they aren't likely to enjoy it at Sunday school or church. If they didn't learn to study, obey and work at home, they will probably not learn it on the Christian school campus. A Christian family is built at home, not someplace else. The Christian school and the church can only fortify what is built at home, and we thank God for their ministry.

During one of my pastorates, I was counseling a couple who were also seeing a Christian psychiatrist. One day the wife said to me, "Can you recommend another Christian psychiatrist?" When I asked her why, she replied, "Our psychiatrist just left his wife and ran off with one of his patients." He knew a great deal about "marriage" in the abstract, but he wasn't keeping his own home in good repair.

A third abstraction that needs to be dealt with in the concrete is "the church."

As a lifelong student of the Bible, I know what people mean by "the Church." Or I think I know. They mean that great host of people who have trusted Jesus Christ and belong to the family of God. Some of these people are on earth, and many more of them are in heaven. Some preachers and teachers talk about "the invisible church," a term I dislike, especially when I used to count the crowd on Sunday evenings. "The Church universal" is another term.

Let's stop avoiding responsibility by talking in the abstract about "the Church." Let's get busy and support the local church we belong to, the ministry that is concrete.

One Sunday our congregation was singing "I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord," a beautiful hymn that magnifies the importance of God's church. As I stood on the platform singing, I looked across the congregation and thought to myself, "How many of these people really love this church?" How easy it is to sing about some spiritual abstraction! How difficult it is to get involved in a real fellowship where there are needs and problems!

I must tread softly as I share this fourth area, because I may be misunderstood; but I think the time has come to quit talking about "the victorious Christian life" in the abstract and start dealing with the needs in our own lives individually. To be sure, there is such a concept as "victorious Christian living," although I find that not all "deeper life" speakers agree on what it is. But what good does it do me to study the books and attend the conferences if I am not honestly facing and solving the problems in my own personal life?

 Perhaps my pastoral experience has prejudiced me, but I have met many people who live in a dream world of "victorious living" only because they have isolated themselves—and insulated them-selves—from the realities of life. If they would get out in the real world and start witnessing to people who hate God, or if they would visit the nearest hospital or rest home where people hurt and bleed, they would discover that their "spiritual abstractions" just don't work.

A young minister attended a "deeper life" convention and was so "blessed" that he visited the great Scottish preacher, Alexander Whyte, to share the excitement. Dr. Whyte listened patiently and then said, "Aye, laddie, it's a battle all the way to the gates of glory!" And it is! "The victorious Christian life," said Whyte, "is a series of new beginnings." It takes battles to have victories, and you don't fight battles in the abstract. They are very concrete!

The way to enjoy a "victorious Christian life" is to handle it in the concrete, moment by moment, and one day at a time. We will not change everything immediately; we must tackle our weaknesses and problems one at a time. Yes, by a sincere act of faith and surrender, we can enter into a deeper relationship with the Lord; but if that one act is not followed with new attitudes and actions, nothing will be changed.

We need to say to ourselves, "Today, with God's help, I want to be victorious in my discipline. I'm going to watch my eating, I'm not going to waste time, and I'm going to get up early enough to read my Bible and pray." Or perhaps we need to focus on some other personal challenge—not gossiping, for instance, or (to be positive) making it a point to encourage others and witness for Christ. A victory in one area usually encourages victory in other areas, and when small "concrete victories" are combined, they lead the way to a "victorious Christian life."

 Nothing is so safe as an abstract idea that shelters me from reality. But nothing is so dangerous! The Christian who deals only in the abstract is living in a fool's paradise. He is also missing exciting opportunities to grow and to serve others.

We had better start practicing our Christianity in the concrete. After all, the Judgment Seat of Christ is not an abstraction. CL

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