A COMPLETED WORK

As William Tyndale was born, then educated, at Oxford, where he was converted; there was a special call upon his life. He spent time in translation work and in preaching. He clashed with a group of preaching friars who objected to his theme of “justification by faith alone.” When they complained to the Archdeacon, he was charged with heresy, warned and then released. Despite his controversial evangelical views, he persisted in maintaining his stance by use of the Bible as God’s law.

He had determined to bring out a new translation of the Bible. He was convinced through experience that the lay people needed the truth to read for themselves, in their original language. Despite the threat of the stake, where people had been burned for teaching their children the Lord’s Prayer, he pressed on.

England was not a safe place for his work, so William moved to Germany. He took the finished work to the center of printing in Germany to arrange its publication. But the city was hostile to the Reformation and secret plans for printing the book were discovered. William was able to rescue his work and fled. By the following year, copies of the English New Testament were being shipped to London by his friends, soon to reach the cities and universities.

As copies poured into England, they were eagerly bought and read by all sorts of ordinary people. The authorities were furious and issued an order that all “heretical” books should be seized and were publicly burned.

By 1530, most of the Old Testament was translated by William. Meanwhile agents were scouring the Continent looking for William. Eventually William was tricked by a spy of the King and was arrested by the officers. In 1535, charges were prepared against him.

At his trial, Tyndale was found guilty of being a heretic. He wouldn’t recant, so in October 1536, he was taken from his dungeon, strangled and his body burnt. Ten years before his death, William wrote that if they were to kill him, “if it be God’s will it shall be so. Nevertheless, in translating the New Testament I did my duty.”

Today 90 percent of William Tyndale’s work on the translation of the New Testament still remains as we read it in the Bible.

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TODAY’S LEADERS ARE TOMORROW’S RESULTS

If there ever was a time in this land where there is such a need for leadership, it is today. Not just any leaders; leaders with principles and who will stick to them. Many of today’s leaders are hirelings that are mouthpieces for those with agendas, not with the good of the people in mind. People want to control and to manipulate. The Bible refers to this as witchcraft.

Today’s technology age puts pressures on leadership like never before, and it has crept into the church. There is hardly found a statesman who will stand for what’s right, but we have an abundance of politicians. Some Christian leaders have allowed secular thinking and methods run God’s work, and He’s left it to them for He’s no longer there.

Today’s leaders, at all levels, need guidance from God’s Holy Spirit- not the latest opinion poll or the most influential group that can pressure their way into decisions. The Bible tells us in 2 Chronicles 16:9, “The eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” Leaders need the wisdom of God and know how to use it. This world is on a course of sure changes coming that most of us are not going to like.

God needs men and women who will choose who they are going to serve. The day is coming when we’ll have to choose one side or the other.

To violate the God-ordained principles that America was founded on is to invite certain disaster. Society’s great deficit lies in our rejection of the Christian principles this nation was founded upon. We’ve gone too far now. We are going to have to pay for allowing the gap to widen between God’s way and man’s way. The question now is what will be the total cost?

 

THE REAL SHEPHERD

A true shepherd is indeed to be a minister of God, only using the Word of God accordingly by His commands from God, having been appointed by God to this position.  The shepherd is obedient to His master’s command concerning the sheep.  He should be one that trusts God rather than his own senses.  His conduct should be blameless and a leader of strong discipline.

They ought to be adorned with all virtues and show an example of a Godly life to all others and a humble manner.

The shepherd of the people should follow in the steps of the Great Shepherd with a never ceasing passion for the life of Christ.  They may at times suffer from great adversities, even inflicted by others.  But the shepherd will wear their cross proudly and humbly as they mourn over the sins of other sheep for the shepherd cares.

As God’s shepherd, righteousness should go before you.  The shepherd that cares stays in the battle with you and even fights for you and the real shepherd of the congregation knows how to understand each individual because the real shepherd knows how to ask God about how they should handle each one.

The shepherd that God chooses for the sheep knows how to be meek yet when the wolves of the world come, this shepherd can be as fierce as a lion.

The true shepherd knows true love even for the unruly sheep and at the same time strong for the weaker.  At times the sheep’s strength may falter but the shepherd’s won’t for this shepherd knows how to draw their strength from the True Shepherd.  They remain when others fail.  They stand as the sentinel on the hill.  They never leave nor forsake the sheep of their pasture.  For they always allow the True Shepherd control so we remain in His hands.  So, how does the Shepherd in your church compare to the True Shepherd.

STRENGTH BEYOND OURS

The strength of prayer is not limited by human hands; rather it can reach any place, any where, at any time.  For prayer to be exercised with full force, it takes discipline and maturity to learn how to use such a powerful weapon.  Prayer can overcome any obstacle that comes against it.  Prayer requires a connection to God and through His son, Jesus.  The power in His name alone attaches us to the greatest power in the universe.  This great power is even available to a small child or the oldest person alive on the planet today.  God is not a respecter of who prays but of who is sincere with such prayers.

 

There are no limits with prayer except those we impose upon it.  Prayer can do what we cannot.  Prayer can go to places we send it that we, ourselves, will never be able to go.  Our prayers can touch lives that we can’t physically touch.  Our prayers can even affect the lives of people who would never talk to us or even want our prayers.  For prayer is more powerful than any person.

 

Prayer can hold a marriage or relationship together.  Prayer can send healing right to your side or even hundreds of miles away.  It can touch many and change a situation within an instant.  Prayer has possibilities we don’t have in ourselves but God does.  For that’s where prayer gets its power.

 

THE CROSS IS NOT A LUCKY CHARM

I remember many years ago when I used to wear a necklace with a turquoise cross on it and later when I hung one from my driver’s mirror. All the time I expected this symbol to somehow save me from harm or sin. But I didn’t know what the cross was really for until it became personal years later.

I see people who have a cross on their keychain but never give God a real second thought. I’ve been in businesses or homes where people displayed a cross, but their place was one that never lived it out.

The cross of Christ is real, and it is a symbol of Christianity, but the cross can never be real until you follow the principle the Bible says we are to really do with it. In Matthew, chapter 10 and verse 38, it tells us how to display the cross where Jesus says, “He who does not take His cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.” That’s the only way the cross has any power in our life or even any church.

When people surrender their lives to the life of Christ and bear His cross to a world of people who desperately need it, then it has power to save, to start anew, to live life to its full and real potential.

The cross is not a lucky charm to be used, worn or displayed. It will not have a magical affect in our life. It’s only when the real purpose is displayed as we live like Christ has called us to and bear His cross with our lives. Then it will have the true effect that it is entitled to.

ONLY THOSE WHO WANT TO BE…

Let’s say that you were very ill and went to a doctor. The doctor examined you and prescribed certain medicines to take, certain changes in what you eat, and changes in your lifestyle. He said that if you’d do this, you will be well and remain healthy.

But let’s say you only took half of the medicine the doctor suggested, made a few changes in what you ate, and did a couple of healthy lifestyle adjustments. Would you get well? Maybe, but more than likely, you would feel better but not get fully well. Or you might not do better and just die.

That’s exactly what many people do with Jesus. He is the true way and the true life for any of us, yet many don’t want too much of His ways in conducting their lives. They only want to take the prescribed requirements when they feel like it. So most of the time, they don’t feel so well in this world. Their lives constantly have problems, as most, but they don’t have the joy that comes with making it through those times.

We have a world full of anemic Christians who have so little power in their lives to stop hardly an ant. There are people who God wants to use. They attend church and do good works but live their lives with no authority of the real life they could have if they would just truly surrender their lives to do things God’s way and abandon their own.

These people would live a much more satisfied life than most do. Quit being one of those who just want to have a more joyous life and let Jesus give you the real joy He offers through a surrendered life.

YOU DON’T SEPARATE AND WIN

It’s been going on year after year, from one civilization to another. It is people always believing they can fool God. People who believe they can live their lives one way in one place and then do completely differently in another.

You find this in the Bible of the different kings who wanted to look holy and honor God, then allow, in other places, things that were an abomination to God.

King Solomon is a good example. Here’s a man considered the wisest man to ever live. Yet, by the end of his life, he’d become deceived by his very own actions. He believed, all through his time as King, he could operate in two separate worlds, and it would not matter to God. The very key point is what the scripture states in 2 Chronicles 8:11, that his Egyptian wife, which he wasn’t supposed to have in the first place, was given a house built for her by him, but in a place away from the holy things of God.

But God wasn’t fooled.

Solomon still kept- not one- but hundreds of pagan wives, all for the sake of approval and treaties with other nations.

It still goes on today. People believing they can live as holy with God in one place but going to the other places which God despises. It’s evident with a good example of church folks going to church singing about the love of God, looking spiritual than a few days later visiting a casino and gambling or watching movies that are full of foul language and immoral behavior. (Well, even regular TV shows can do that these days). And then we’re back in church looking spiritual.

The point is that God is not going to live where you want Him to when you want Him to. And like so many others, in the end, it will cost us a great deal more, and that could put your eternal soul in jeopardy.

TAKE A STAND REGARDLESS

There will come a time when all of us will be given the opportunity to take a stand for what we believe.

The results will vary because of how you stand for what you believe. With God’s Word, we never have to worry about the stand we take; for if we base our lives on God’s Word, then we find in Proverbs 30:5 that we can make the right decisions and trust in God for the best outcome. It says, “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”

Some of us struggle with standing on God’s Word because we have failed, yet if we don’t keep trying to do what God wants, we may fall back to the place where we won’t be making much of a difference for Him. Keep standing on God’s Word even when you keep slipping. The more you stand, the stronger you’ll be, and the longer you’ll stand.

Hugh Latimer was a Protestant preacher who lived in England during the 1500s. When Queen Mary (known as bloody Mary) came to the throne, she attempted to bring England to the one-church order. Latimer spoke against her and was thrown into jail, along with his friend Nicholas Ridley. They were convicted of heresy and sentenced to be burned at the stake.

On Oct. 16, 1555, as they were led to the stake, Ridley drew back in fear, but Latimer comforted his friend with these words that have echoed through generations: “Be of good cheer, Master Ridley, and play the man, for we shall this day light such a candle in England as I trust, by God’s grace, shall never put out.”

And so they did light a candle for God from their fiery ordeal that sent a great move of God in the hearts of the people that has shown many the way to Christ.

Take your stand, whether large or small, for the cause of Christ, and point the way for others to make the right decision for the Kingdom of God. If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything, but if you stand for God, you will stand tall.

If you feel yourself falling, hold tight to the Word of God, and your candle will burn brighter and brighter.

THE UNTAPPED POWER OF GOD

There are many resources that remain to be found for mankind to use. Some will be found, others may never be found.

There’s one power that remains hidden to so many that they either don’t know about it, don’t understand how to use it, or are afraid to try it.

This power is the ultimate of all power, for it comes from God and is unlimited. It’s available to every person who is a true “born again” child of God. Very few use it, but the fact is: it’s still there.

In 1916, there was a man named VonBureon, who was a butcher of British decent who lived a comfortable life in Johannesburg, South Africa. He became sick and was told by the doctors that he had an incurable disease. VonBureon sold all that he had and moved his family to the country to set up a farm so that his family would have provisions for the future when he died. Soon after he left, an evangelist came to the city, and people’s lives were being touched in great ways.

VonBureon received letters from friends telling him of the great works of good, needs that were met, healings and salvations. VonBureon took their letters out to his field and laid them open on the ground and asked God, “If you can do this for others, surely you would do so for me.”

As he cried out to God, he was touched by that power that is available to us all. For 18 days, people saw a man’s life transformed as he went to people and told them of God’s Word for their soul. Many fell and repented, and others were touched by the power of God. Even before he could return from the field, his wife, who had not been a true believer, was already changed and touched by the power of God. All 11 of his children were saved, and for years to come, VonBureon served God faithfully.

That same power is available to us all. You can be changed and make an impact on those around you. God’s willing. Are you?

You Can Only Be One of Two

There are only one of two types of people any of us can be. God does not allow those who want to ride the fence to see what side they want to be on today and what side tomorrow. The Bible says, concerning you and God, that you are either hot or cold about Him and that He will not accept lukewarm people.

So the bottom line is that you can only be one of the two: with God or without. God does draw a line. You’re the one who chooses which side you’ll stand on.

You might say, “How do I know?” Well, let’s test your ways against what the Scripture can test us on. Proverbs is a good area, so I’ll choose some, and you determine which one of the two you would be.

Proverbs 10:20: “The tongue of a righteous is choice silver. The heart of the wicked is worth little.” (Which are you?)

Next, Proverbs 10:32: “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.” (So how’s your language?)

Proverbs 11:5: “The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way right, but the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.” (How are you traveling through life?)

Proverbs 11:17: “The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.” (Now where do most of your troubles come from?)

Proverbs 11:28: “He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage.” (Do your money and possessions have you, or do you have them?)

Proverbs 10:6: “The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, but the unfaithful will be caught by their lust.” (Well, what’s got your attention lately?)

Proverbs 12:22: “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.” (Here’s a tough one, or is it? For it all depends on what you say.)

See, there’s a lot to learn from God’s Word. Not just to condemn, but also to forgive if you choose which of the two you will be. Remember, God knows which one you are.