Sunday, November 29, 2020

Just Seconds Away From Death

Jakob is an international businessman from Austria. In the 1990s, he flew to Belize to scuba dive. Although Jakob is an experienced diver, he wasn’t prepared for what was about to happen. He was not a Christian at the time, although he had narrowly escaped death on two previous occasions. Both times he prayed for God to save him, but then quickly explained away the idea of divine intervention and went back to living as he had previously.
 
Scuba divers are taught to descend underwater in pairs because if one diver gets into trouble, the other can rescue him. Jakob and his scuba partner descended to 130 feet. After a short time of exploring, his air tank ran out of oxygen!
 
Immediately he looked around for his diving buddy, who wasn’t anywhere to be found. They had gotten separated and now Jakob was trapped deep below without an air supply. His lungs would burst if he tried to ascend to the surface due to the difference in pressure. He frantically prayed, “God, please save me and I’ll give my life to you!”
 
At the moment his prayer ended, an unknown diver appeared out of nowhere! What were the odds of that? Jakob made a sign to him, using his hand as if cutting his throat, which signaled to the other diver he was out of air. The unknown diver put his regulator in Jakob’s mouth so he could use the oxygen from his tank. They slowly ascended to the surface, taking turns breathing oxygen through the stranger’s tank.
 
When Jakob climbed into the boat, he broke down crying. He had explained away the other two miraculous escapes from death, but now he knew only God could have sent an unknown diver to rescue him at just the right time. Jakob has been living for the Lord ever since.  
 
Romans 10:13 says, “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” But it’s not just saying the right words that brings salvation. It’s genuinely calling on God from your heart.
(Note: Jakob attends a Bible study with my brother and shared his experience concerning his salvation)
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Sunday, November 22, 2020

Would You Trade Places With a King?

King Solomon was the richest man in the world at his time
(1 Kings 10:23). Would you like to trade places with him? He didn’t have electricity, television, the Internet, a cell phone, air-conditioning or heating. But you do.
 
Solomon didn’t have ovens, stoves, slow-cookers, microwave ovens, refrigerators, freezers, hot and cold running water, toilets, or purified water. But you do.
 
He had to ride a donkey or camel on dusty roads. He didn’t have a car that could drive 70 mph on paved highways, or listen to his favorite music as he drove, or have a GPS to guide him to his destination. But you do.
 
King Solomon didn’t have a grocery store filled with hundreds of choices of canned food, frozen foods, boxed cereals, bottled drinks, or pastries. But you do.
 
The king didn’t have hospitals, dentists, optometrists, glasses, chiropractors, hearing aids, or medicines to treat nearly every illness imaginable. But you do.
 
Solomon didn’t have a variety of restaurants serving American food, Chinese, Mexican, Italian, fast food, or buffets. But you do.
 
He didn’t have the entertainment like today—golf, football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, movies or video games. But you do.
 
Perhaps you now understand that you live with far more luxuries than kings did in ages past. So, do you still want to change places? Probably not. But Solomon might love to change places with you!
 
Thankfulness is directly tied to your perspective, and you cannot be thankful until you actually look for and see the good things that you’ve taken for granted. “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18).
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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Sunday, November 15, 2020

The Scales of Injustice?

Now that the election is over, there have been many accusations of voter fraud. Was there massive cheating? God knows if there was, or if there wasn’t. But what if there was massive voter fraud and the cheaters get away with it? God knows how to deal with those who unjustly tip the scales.
 
Proverbs 11:1 says, "A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight." In biblical times, some merchants would cheat their customers by using two sets of weights when weighing merchandise. They placed lighter stones on their scales when they were selling so they could sell a lesser quantity for a stated price. Then, when they were buying from someone, they used heavier stones so they could obtain more than the stated price.
 
They could cheat their customers without them knowing it, but they couldn't hide their sleazy tricks from God because He called it “an abomination.” An abomination is something that is disgusting and intolerable to God, but the Lord was pleased when merchants used “a just weight,” meaning they were fair and just in their dealings.
 
When people cheat, they fail to realize God is watching and will punish them. Those who falsely balance the scales will suffer harmful repercussions for their actions. Proverbs 20:17 says, “Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel." At first the bread tastes sweet, but then it becomes as unpleasant as eating gravel. Even if it seems like they’re getting away with it, they will one day answer to God for their abominable deeds.
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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Sunday, November 8, 2020

The Only Way to Defeat Fear

Are you afraid
about the uncertainty going on in our country? King David tells us how to get rid of fear.

After David killed Goliath, Saul became jealous of David and constantly tried to kill him. David knew he would be recognized anywhere in Israel, so he fled to Gath, hoping to live inconspicuously among the Philistines. He knew Saul would never look for him there.

Goliath was from the city of Gath (1 Sam. 17:4), and it didn’t take long for the servants of king Achish to recognize David. They even knew about the song the women sang after his victory over Goliath, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (see 1 Sam. 18:7 and 21:11). David was terrified when he heard the king’s servants talking about seizing him. “Now David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath” (1 Sam. 21:12).

Later, David wrote Psalm 56 about his experience when the Philistines captured him in Gath. In Psalm 56:3-4, he tells us how he overcame his fear. He said, When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You … In God I have put my trust. I shall not be afraid.” David knew fear can only be defeated by replacing it with trust in God. He said, “I sought the Lord and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4). 

To “put” means to transfer something from one place to another. When you put gasoline into your car, you transfer the fuel from the gas pump to your tank. So when you put your trust in the Lord, you stop trusting in yourself and transfer your trust completely to Him. How will you know if you trust Him? Your fear will leave and you will have peace in your heart.

PRAYER: “Lord, you know that I’m afraid. I choose right now to put my trust in you. I trust you to guide me and provide for me. I will not be afraid because I believe you are in control and I trust you completely.”

For more about overcoming fear, read The Sure Cure for Worry.

Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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Sunday, November 1, 2020

What is the Purpose of Fasting?

Fasting is choosing to go without eating for a period of time.
Matthew 4:2 says, “And after He (Jesus) had fasted for forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry” (Matt. 4:2). I love to eat, and it’s hard for me to fast 40 minutes without becoming hungry! The Bible talks a lot about fasting, but it doesn’t specifically tell us WHY we need to fast.
 
So what is the purpose of fasting? If you don’t know why you are doing something, it won’t be long before you quit doing it. Prayer and fasting often go together. I believe fasting shows God how desperately we want Him to answer our prayers. Fasting is not something that I enjoy doing, but some situations are so important that my desire to see God answer my request is more important than eating that day.
 
In Matthew 17:14-21, the disciples couldn’t cast a demon out of a boy. Jesus commanded the demon to leave the boy, and it immediately came out. He then said, “This kind (of demon) does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matt. 17:21). Evidently, fasting increases the effectiveness of our prayers.
 
I ask you to FAST and PRAY for the election on Tuesday. Ask God to foil the attempts at voter fraud. Pray for our nation to turn to God in repentance. Pray that God will have His way in the outcome of this election.
 
Whoever is elected, whether it’s Trump or Biden, will have to deal with the ticking time bomb of over $27,000,000,000,000 of debt That’s 27 trillion dollars of government overspending since 1970. This by itself could instigate an economic depression. That’s another big reason to pray for our country.
 
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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