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- HELP THE HURTING, SUPPORT THE LAME! - Lessons from Isaiah by ... Pastor Dave Strem with James Skeen
Let us learn from Isaiah 14:12-14. These verses tell us what happened to Lucifer. "How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world. For you said to yourself, 'I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God's stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High." Lucifer wanted God's place in the universe. He wanted God's prestige. The respect and honor that God, the sovereign God was getting, he wanted for himself. He wanted God's control over all of creation.
- AGENTS OF CHANGE by ... Alec Brooks
We often find ourselves in situations where there seems to be nothing we can do. This is because we forget that God has given us the tremendous privilege of prayer. And und unfortunately, when we do think of praying, it is often as a last resort. This is not a Christian perspective. Our attitude should be, "Above all else, pray." ... Throughout the Bible the prayers of men and women of God are like Elisha's: short, but achieving great results. We often pray long prayers but don't achieve a great deal.
- STRONG DESIRE - A KEY TO RECEIVING GOD'S PROMISE by ...George Foster
Our ability to receive the promises of God seems to be directly linked to the degree to which we earnestly desire to receive them. Yet, we often find it hard to maintain an intense desire to seek God and His blessings. We so easily become passive concerning the things of god and His promises. To desire is to long for, to ask, to wish for, and to feel a need of. Intense desire has the power to overcome gigantic obstacles and win tremendous battles.
- BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL! AND THANK HIM FOREVER! by ... Ryan J. Haase
The idea is that we are to praise the Lord with all that we have, with our entire lives. The next verse repeats the call to praise and completes it with a call to remember what God has done for us. "Forget not all his benefits" (NIV), or, as the New Living Translation puts it, "never forget the good things he does for me." I believe that the reason this call to remember is included is because this is one of the best ways to praise God. ... Just in verses 3-4 alone there is enough to write an entire paper on. God forgives our sins. It is written in the present tense. He still forgives us. He redeems our lives from the pit. This is also in the present tense. Another way of saying this is that he "ransoms me from death" (NLT).
- LIVING FROM THE HEART
by ... Pastor Harold Brokke
From Matthew 18, in the parable of the unforgiving servant, we learn that if we do not forgive our brother from the heart, we likewise will not be forgiven of our heavenly Father. The other person being responsible to clear up everything is not a requirement here. It is possible to forgive someone in your heart even when they are still practicing the sin against you. As Christians, we are to have perpetual forgiveness in our hearts. ... The Bible refers to the thoughts and intents of the heart. Intent has its source in the heart. Whenever you have a true heart intention, you must do all in your power to act upon it. If you don't, you have only a good intention. A pure intention involves action.
- THE PROBLEM OF SPIRITUAL PASSIVITY by ... LeRoy Dugan
The divorce race, we are now told by the experts, finds saints and sinners running neck and neck. Premarital sex, according to a recent West Coast survey, is as rampant among professed "Christian" youth as it is among their counterparts in the secular society that surrounds them. ... Surely a Holy God can never have endorsed the peaceful coexistence of such mutually exclusive phenomena! Where, then, can we find a reason for this apparent anomaly? Let's begin our search with the third amazing feature of American evangelicalism-the multiplication of spiritual passivity!
- JACOB - THE MAN WHO BECAME THE PRINCE OF ISRAEL by ... Pastor Dave Strem and Jaames Skeen
The two main facets of the Abrahamic promises are the promises for a coming deliverer and a nation. The deliverer is Jesus Christ and the nation is Israel. The promise of a deliverer was not unique to the Abrahamic promises. The very first promise after the fall of Adam and Eve was of a 'seed' who would crush the head of the serpent, God's and humankinds' enemy. The Abrahamic promises made it clear that this 'seed' would be somehow connected with what God was going to do through Abraham and his progeny. ... There are two main reasons. First, Jacob is the one who directly fathered the 12 sons through whom the 12 tribes of Israel would be named. So it seems reasonable that the writer would want to chronicle the events surrounding their lives. Second, it records how God formed Jacob into a man of faith, the prince of Israel, who started out being a greedy, grasping, scheming individual and who ended up valuing and longing for that 'city of God' that was yet future.
- SOME NEWS OF INTEREST, AND SOME NEWS FOR CONCERN
The news emanates from the state of Kerala in India, where, according to the Indian Christian belief and tradition, the apostle Thomas labored and established the earliest Christian church. "The business process outsourcing (BPO) wave is not quite sweeping through Kerala as yet, but a different kind of outsourcing, from the U.S. and Europe is. Enter spiritual outsourcing." ... New Testament translated into American sign language -- Praise God for this achievement!
- IN THE MIDDLE OF ANYWHERE BUT SOMEWHERE by ... Todd J. Holcomb
Just about every story I wrote used to open with some great panoramic sweep over the countryside, and then I would swoop in on my main character. I used to write as if a movie was playing in my head and I was trying to describe every nuance of the scene unfolding before me. This made for a great burst of emotional writing, but the problem was that I had no concept of how to correctly use setting and atmosphere. Contrasting a character with his background setting can be a useful technique, if done correctly. This technique is often used in painting where the contrast can be seen and understood; likewise, the contrast needs to be seen and understood in writing. The secret is details. Let the reader see, touch, smell, and feel the contrast between character and setting.
Christian Literature & Living is a monthly online journal devoted to the worship of the Lord Jesus Christ through literature, and through living according to His Word. We wish to introduce our readers to the best Christian literature, Christian devotionals, counseling, and to the understanding of the relevance of the Word of God in our daily life, in popular language. Christian Literature & Living is a cross-cultural journal, focusing on Christian literature written in all the languages, and Christian living around the world. We learn by listening to and reading our brothers and sisters in Christ from all around the world. We believe that any creative writing with literary sensibilities that focuses on the presence and life-changing ministry of Jesus Christ is Christian literature. We believe that we all need the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ in order to live a life according to His Word. Christian literature and other writings anointed by the Holy Spirit help us to develop a personal relationship with Jesus as the Lord and Savior.
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