Saturday, September 20, 2014

A HEART OF PURPOSE by Nicky Cruz

When God redeems His people, He does so much more than save us; He restores us. Whatever Satan has stolen, God gives back. Whatever time we’ve lost to sin, He reclaims through love. The wounds inflicted upon us by the world are healed by His wonderful grace.

This is the Jesus we worship—the Savior who died so that we can live!

This is the message we bring to a world still bound by sin.

This is the only testimony worth telling—the only thing that really matters!

How can we not shout it from the rooftops? How can we ever slip into moments of apathy after all that God has done for us? How can we not live with uninhabited passion and zeal, knowing what we know, understanding what we understand about Satan and his lies, after experiencing the unconditional forgiveness that Jesus brings?

How can any man keep silent?

Since the day Jesus came into my heart, my obsession in life has been to save lost souls! At that moment, Jesus burned into my heart a soul obsession—a blazing passion for those in need of a Savior. It is a fire that has never waned, never tired, never relented. It is the blood that runs through my veins—that drives me forward, day after day, month after month, year after glorious year. My heart bursts with the message of God’s love and faithfulness, and all I want to do is share that truth with others!

Someone once asked me, “What is the greatest miracle you’ve ever seen?” I didn’t even have to stop and think before answering, “When God reaches into a heart of sin and replaces it with love—that is God’s greatest miracle.” I see it happen every day, and each time it is as real and powerful to me as the day I experienced it myself.

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Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run

Friday, September 19, 2014

THE JUDGMENTS OF THE LORD ARE TRUE

David's love for the Lord never grew cold because he had respect for every word. “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:9-11). “By them thy servant is warned.” Who is going to warn all those deluded sheep whose shepherds do not tell them the truth? They call this doomsday preaching negative, false prophecy but David and the prophets called it all sweet honey!

The sweetest, most merciful thing God is doing today for His people is to once again send fearless prophets and watchmen to awaken the church and instill the fear of God. How sweet the sound: “Flee the wrath of God.” Honey! “Without holiness no man shall see God.” Honey! “Except ye repent, ye shall die in your sins.” Honey! “The earth and also the works therein shall be burned up!” Honey! I trust you can say with Jeremiah, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart” (Jeremiah 15:16).

Jesus warned, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13). This speaks of those whose love never decays, but rather grows and perseveres through all trials. Timothy ties it to our attitudes toward sound doctrine: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine . . . and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). A great resistance to pure, uncorrupt doctrine is coming in these very last days. Sound doctrine conforms hearers to godliness but many will not put up with it—they won’t endure it. There will be a widespread rejection of holiness preaching and prophetic warnings (see 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).

Thousands of Christians will be so cold at midnight that not even the falling judgments will move them back to God. Jeremiah mourned for his people: “Thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction” (Jeremiah 5:3). We have this warning from Peter: “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:17-18). Do not be led away by sin or false doctrines or by anger at the Word!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

HONEY FROM HEAVEN

We must learn to accept every word from Him as honey from heaven. You can measure any believer’s love for his Lord by how much he respects every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. A preacher once said, “I can’t serve a God of wrath! I will preach nothing but encouragement—no reproof. God is love! Enough of all those lamentations and woes!” This man knows nothing of God’s honey.

The Lord instructed Ezekiel: “Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. . . . I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. . . . But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee. And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; and he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe” (Ezekiel 2:1, 3-4, 8-10).

God’s woes were honey to the prophets. “Be not thou rebellious.” How could Ezekiel be rebellious? By not preaching the truth about judgment that God had given him. “An hand was sent unto me.” This was the hand of God! God’s hand held out a scroll, inscribed on both sides with “lamentations, and mourning, and woe”—all written by the finger of God. What was Ezekiel to do with these very hard words of God? He was told to eat them! To satisfy his belly with them! “Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness” (Ezekiel 3:1-3).

This was food from heaven, manna dipped in honey! “Fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee.” Bowels represent the heart and “eat it” means to take it to heart, heed it! “Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.”

Jeremiah said that all the prophets of old warned of judgment and woe. “The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence” (Jeremiah 28:8). All the prophets lived by every word out of God’s mouth—the sad word, as well as the glad word. They took it all in as honey!