gospel nuggets

Uganda 649

Rev. E. Anderson
WORKING FOR THE WIND
Taken fromSenior Life Ministries

“What profit has he who has laboured for the wind?” – Ecclesiastes 5:16
Howard Levitt lost his 200.000$ Ferrari on a flooded Toronto highway. He had driven into what seemed like a puddle before realizing that the water was much deeper and rising quickly. When the water reached the Ferrari’s fenders, its 450-horsepower engine seized. Thankfully he was able to escape the car and get to high ground.

Howard’s soggy sports car reminds me of Solomon’s observation that “riches perish through misfortune” (Eccl. 5:14). Natural disasters, theft, and accidents may claim our dearest belongings. Even if we manage to protect them, we certainly can’t haul them with us to heaven (v. 15). Solomon asked, “What profit has he who has laboured for the wind?” (v.16). There is futility in working only to acquire belongings that will ultimately disappear.

There is something that doesn’t spoil and we can “take with us.” It is possible to store up eternal heavenly treasure. Pursuing virtues such as generosity Matthew 19: 21, humility (5:3), an spiritual endurance Luke 6: 22-23 will yield lasting rewards that can’t be destroyed. Will the kind of treasure you seek expire on earth? Or, are you seeking “those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand Of God”? Col. 3: 1. Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Treasures on earth can’t compare with the treasures in heaven.

IMG_2281

Advertisements

gospel nuggets

Uganda 649

Rev. E. Anderson
FOCUS ON YOUR FAITH

The famous British music conductor, Sir Thomas Beecham, didn’t particularly care for the music of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. Charged with conducting a Williams symphony, Beecham found himself completely bored during rehearsals. At one point, he began mindlessly beating time while his mind went elsewhere.

“For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law” — ROMANS 3:28

Once he noticed the orchestra had stopped playing, he asked the first violinist, “Why aren’t you playing?” to which the he replied, “It’s finished, Sir Thomas.”

Beecham looked down at his score. Embarrassed he sighed, “So it is.”

Many times in the Christian life, it can be easy to simply ‘go through the motions.’ You go to church, you pray, you read your Bible a few times a week, and you’re left thinking, “Is that it?”

But the answer is “No.” That’s not it! In fact, God has so much more for you in the Christian life than simply a list full of tasks you need to complete. He wants you to have a deep, intimate faith relationship with Him!

Instead of living a task-focused Christian life, which will inevitably lead to boredom, focus your faith on having a vibrant faith relationship with you Saviour. When you go from religion to relationship, you’ll experience joy and excitement in your spiritual life!

PRAYER CHALLENGE

Pray and ask God to show you what it means to focus your faith on relationship with Jesus instead of on a list of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts.’

 

IMG_2281

gospel nuggets

rick warren

Rev. Rick Warren
THE REALITY OF CHOICE: ADMIT YOUR NEED OF HELP:

“God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble.” (James 4:6 NIV)

In Jesus’ most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, he explains the choices that help us heal from our hurts and hang-ups, and the habits that mess up our lives. The first Beatitude, Matthew 5:3, says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (NIV).

What does it mean to be “poor in spirit”? Jesus is saying that nobody gets into Heaven who is full of pride. We get there by grace. To be poor in spirit, you must humbly admit you need help.

Jesus said, “The truth will set you free.” You’ve got to face the truth about yourself and stop living in denial. We call this the reality choice.

But the truth is, we don’t like the truth. We love the truth about everybody else, but we don’t like the truth about ourselves. It feels a whole lot safer to avoid the truth about yourself because it is painful to face. Tithe truth will set you free, but first it makes you miserable when you realize what needs changing in your life.

The good news is your habits and your hurts and your hang-ups can be healed. The bad news is it takes humility. You’ve got to humble yourself and swallow your pride. James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble” (NIV).

There are some facts that you need to admit about yourself if God’s going to bless your life, and the first one is this: You are broken.
We live in a broken world where nothing works perfectly. The economy doesn’t work perfectly, our relationships don’t work perfectly, and our bodies don’t work perfectly.

Everybody’s confused today. They don’t know what they’re supposed to be or what they’re supposed to do. We’ve confused attitudes, attractions, and addictions. Even our identities are confused.

Yet, all you have to be is yourself. But that includes the understanding you’re broken! And that’s OK, because once you make the choice to admit it, you’re on the path to humility, which leads to grace.

And God’s grace will cover your brokenness, hurts, habits, and hang-ups.
That’s good news!

TALK IT OVER

In what ways do you try to cover up your brokenness around other people and even God?
Why do you think there is freedom in admitting our faults and hurts and hang-ups?
How do you think God can use your brokenness for his Kingdom? How do you want to be used by him?

IMG_2276

gospel nuggets

Uganda 649

Rev. E. Anderson
HEAVEN A REALITY
Taken from Senior Life Ministries

New Testament scholar A.M. Hunter relates a story in one of his books about a dying man who asked his Christian doctor to tell him about the place he was heading. His doctor fumbled a moment for the right words, and then heard a scratching at the door.

“You hear that?” he asked his patient. “That’s my dog. I left him downstairs and he’s come up because he heard my voice. He has no idea what’s inside this door, but he knows that I am here. Isn’t it the same with you? You don’t know what lies beyond the Door, but you know that your Master is there.”

When it comes to what heaven will be like, there’s much more we don’t know than we do. But one thing is for sure: our Master is there. And because of that, everything else is incidental. What makes heaven heaven is the fact that we’ll be with god forever.

That is our greatest hope of heaven. Yes, it will be great when there’s no more pain, no more tears, and no more sorrow. But the greatest thing about heaven is that we’ll exist forever in the very presence of our Heavenly Master.

PRAYER CHALLENGE

Pray that God would renew your hope in the life to come because you’ll be with Him forever.

IMG_2225

gospel nuggets

Uganda 649

Rev. E. Anderson

WHERE’S YOUR FINANCIAL SECURITY?

Taken from the Word for Today

‘…riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations’– Proverbs 27:24 NIV

ONE LARGE insurance company advertises itself as ‘the Rock,’ claiming to be the foundation of your financial security. Remember when we trusted these strap lines? Not anymore; it’s not the same world. Financial uncertainty characterises today’s world of failing banks, crumbling investment giants,- shrinking multinational corporations, swelling queues of the under-employed and unemployed, plus an epidemic of fear plaguing the hearts of the currently-employed. For the young, the joy of graduation has become the stress of university debts and a shrinking job market. Many older people are trading in their retirement dreams for a new twenty-first century reality: ‘work till you drop.’

In such times, where can we turn? To politicians? To government? To the next get-rich-quick guru? The Bible says, ‘…riches do not endure forever, and a crown [human government] is not secure for all generations.’ (Proverbs 27:24 NIV)

What’s the answer? Turn to the only reliable source of security: God! There’s no financial crisis in His kingdom! Israel hungered and thirsted and He sent them fresh manna, and water from the rock. He assigned ravens to feed Elijah, multiplied oil and flour to sustain a destitute widow’s family, fed thousands from a boy’s lunch of five loaves and two fish. And He asks us: ‘…is anything too difficult for Me?’ (Jeremiah 32:27 NAS). No! So: 1) Trust God to provide for you. 2) Do what He tells you to do. 3) Believe that God ‘will.’ The lambs will provide you with clothing, and the goats with the price of a field. You will have plenty…to feed you and your family…’ (Proverbs 27:26-27 NIV).

IMG_2281

gospel nuggets

ernest reading pose

Rev. E. Anderson

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Taken from Senior Life Ministries

 “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” – John 3: 16

A story is told from the Middle Ages about a certain monk who announced he would be preaching next Sunday evening on “The Love of God.” The next Sunday evening came, and the shadows fell and the last bit of light ceased to come through the cathedral windows. The congregation gathered inside.

To their surprise, there were no candles lit, making the inside of the church almost completely dark. In the darkness, the monk lit a candle and carried it up to the crucifix. There, he illuminated the crown of thorns, next the two pierced hands, then the spear wound on the side, and finally the feet.

After he had finished, a hush fell across the congregation. With that, the monk blew out the candle and stepped down. There was nothing else to say.

The most poignant reflection on the love of God comes when we look at what He did for us: sending His only Son to die so that we can have life in His name. There’s simply no greater way He could’ve displayed His love for us.

If you want to know what love really is, look at Jesus. His work on the cross is an enduring statement of God’s amazing love for you. Rest in that love today.

PRAYER CHALLENGE

Ask God to give you a fresh perspective on His amazing love for you through Christ’s work on the cross.

IMG_2283

gospel nuggets

ernest reading pose

Rev. E. Anderson
UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom. —Luke 23:42

A 99 years old, Leo Plass received his degree certificate from his university. He had stopped working on his teaching degree during the 1930s when he left university to earn an income in the logging industry. Seventy-nine years later he completed the three credits necessary to graduate and resolved this important unfinished business in his life.

Many of us can relate to Leo. Our unfinished business may include apol¬ogies left unsaid or, even more impor¬tant, unfinished spiritual decisions. One of the criminals who was cruci¬fied with Jesus needed desperately to make such a decision. Just a few breaths away from eternity, he realised who Jesus was and wanted to be with Him in heaven. He recognised his sin and Jesus’ innocence, and said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). Jesus replied, “Assuredly,… today you will be with Me in Paradise” (v.43).

God does not want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9). His offer of salvation is open to anyone, regardless of age, health or stage in life. His offer is open to you. Don’t delay receiv¬ing Jesus as Saviour (2 Cor. 6:2). Resolve this important, unfinished business, and you’ll look forward to eternity with Him. —Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Time after time, He has waited before,
And now He is waiting again
To see if you ‘re willing to open the door;
Oh, how He wants to come in! —Carmichaei

To be saved here means to be safe hereafter.

IMG_2229

gospel nuggets

dr john sentamu

Archbishop Sentamu
UNBROKEN PROMISE

If you checked inside your wallet today, you may have been fortunate enough to come across a piece of paper with a promise to you on it.

As you know, bank notes are promis¬sory notes. If you manage to keep one long enough to examine it, you will see that it says, “I promise to pay the bearer on demand, the sum of £…”

This promise is signed by the Chief Cashier of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey. And, whatever we think of the banks at the moment, we still trust them to redeem this promise.
A promise implies commitment and dedication – and a hopeful future. So, as long as promises are kept, we have a sense of security. That is why, when trust is lost, we become insecure.

Recently, I spoke of how God calls every person – man, woman or child – to welcome him, to receive his friendship and love. This month’s prayer tells us of the promise which comes with that call:

“Merciful God…
you have prepared for those who love you such good things as pass our understand¬ing; pour into our hearts such love toward you that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire.”

Some people like to imagine how they would spend the money if they won the Lottery. But, God’s love provides us with greater treasure than we can begin to imagine. And through that love, we receive God’s promises. God himself, living in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Enabling us to live, act and love as Jesus lived on earth. The word ‘promise’ comes from a word meaning ‘send forth’. Jesus is God’s promise, sent to the world to show God’s faithfulness and love for us, by living and dying to make us his friends.

He is God’s promise of life, joy and complete peace and safety. He is the promise which never gets broken – the same yesterday, today and forever.

If we came face to face with God and asked him, “Who is Jesus Christ?” The answer would go something like this:

“Jesus Christ is exactly like me, the God you can’t see. He is superior to all creation. I was pleased to live fully in him. He died on the cross. He is the first to be raised from death. He made it possible for human beings to become friends of God. The life he lived is freely given to all who trust in him.”

We may make promises, but only God’s promise remains unbroken.

IMG_2283

gospel nuggets

Uganda 649

Rev. E. Anderson
THE TRUTH HURTS
From Senior Life Ministries

In the early 1900s, George Riddell acquired the overly-sensational London newspaper, The News of the Word. One day Riddell met famous British journalist Frederick Greenwood and mentioned that he owned the newspaper and offered to send Greenwood a copy. So he did, and the next time they met, Riddell asked Greenwood what he thought of the paper.

However, never one to mince words, told Riddell, “I looked at it and then I put it in the wastepaper basket. And then I thought, ‘If I leave it there the cook may read it.’ So I burned it.”

Sometimes, the truth hurts. Yet, how we feel about the truth has absolutely no bearing on its truthfulness. If someone were to tell you that a giant boulder was falling over your head and was going to crush you in 30 seconds, your emotions surrounding that statement wouldn’t change the fact that you better move or else you’ll be crushed.

When Jesus makes claims as in today’s passage, where He unequivocally states that there is no other way to the Father except through Him, it causes many people to wince because of its “intolerant” attitude toward other faiths. But the reality is that it’s no more intolerant than saying the only way you’re going to survive the boulder that’s about to crush you is to move!

Believe the truth. Emotions will vary, but the truth endures forever!

PRAYER CHALLENGE

Pray and ask God to help you rely fully on His truth, not your own emotions, to guide you in life.

IMG_2229

gospel nuggets

ernest reading pose

Rev. E. Anderson
TOUCH OF THE MASTER’S HAND

‘It was battered and scarred and the auctioneer thought it hardly worth his while to waste much time on the old violin, so he held it up with a smile. “What am I bid for this old violin? Who’ll start the bidding for me? A pound, a pound, who’ll make it two? Two pounds, and who’ll make it three? Three pounds once, three pounds twice, going for three,” but no; from the back of the room a grey- haired man came forward and picked up the bow. Then sweeping the dust from the old violin, and tightening up all the strings, he played a melody pure and sweet, as sweet as the angels sing. The music ceased and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low, said, “What am I bid for the old violin?” and he held it up with the bow. “A thousand pounds, and who’ll make it two? Two thousand, and who’ll make it three? Three thousand once, three thousand twice, going, and gone,” said he.

The people cheered, but some of them said, “We do not quite understand. What changed its worth?” Then came the reply, “The touch of the Master’s hand.” And many a man with his life out of tune, battered and scarred with sin, is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin. A mess of pottage, a glass of wine, a game, and he shuffles along: going once, going twice, he’s going and almost gone. But the Master comes, and the thoughtless crowd never can quite understand, the worth of the soul, and the change that’s wrought, by the touch of the Master’s hand.’

IMG_2283

« Older entries