Thursday, July 17, 2014

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The Twelve ApostlesPart 7

Simon Zelotes

“and Simon called Zelotes” (Luke 6:15).

“Simon the Canaanite” (Matthew 10:4; Mark 3:18).

There is very little known about this disciple, except that he was a Zealot. The Zealots were a nationalistic sect with very strong political views. They hated the Romans and the historian Josephus says that they were reckless persons zealous in good practices and extravagant and reckless in the worst actions.

It is wonderful to see how the Lord took a fanatical nationalist and transformed him into a man of faith, even to being associated with Matthew, the Roman tax collector. It shows how lives can be turned completely around and how the Lord can take a person with a certain bent to their nature and use them for His glory. The zeal that Simon once had against Romans was no doubt turned into zeal in following and serving his Master.

He is listed with those that were waiting in the upper room after the ascension in obedience to the word of the Lord. “And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode…Simon Zelotes” (Acts 1:13).

 

             
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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Purpose

“Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8).

“Barnabas…when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord”
(Acts 11:22-23).

Someone once wisely said: “A river becomes crooked by following the line of least resistance, and so does a person.”

Someone else said, “If we don’t stand for something, we’ll fall for anything.”

These are thoughts worth pondering. Nobody is worth much who doesn’t have a purpose in life to which he sticks through thick and thin. The line of resistance is a rotten, twisted line. Daniel and Barnabas were men of “purpose.”

Purpose and conviction are essential to faithful living for Christ. “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).

 

             
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

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Up

“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3).

The story has often been told of a man many years ago who wanted to steal some potatoes from his neighbour’s field. One evening he put his little son on a fence to watch. “Is anyone coming from the north?” he asked. “No,” replied his son. “From the south?” “No.” “From the east?” “No.” “From the west?” “No, Daddy.” “Then I can go ahead and take the potatoes,” said the man. “But there is one direction we forgot to look,” said the boy. “Which direction is that?” asked his father. “Up,” answered the boy.

Yes, it is good to realize that we cannot hide from the all-seeing eye of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. We may hide things from others…our parents…our family…our teachers…our employer…other Christians…but not from above. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth” (2 Chronicles 16:9). When you think no one else is looking, always look up. There is Someone who is always watching you.

 

             
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Monday, July 14, 2014

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Dear Young Christian:

“Peer pressure!” We feel it every day. We want to fit in with the crowd, we don’t want to be different, we want to be looked up to, be part of the group.

As young people it is not wrong to want to be accepted. The question is, whose acceptance do we really want? Paul summed up his desire to be accepted by saying, “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him” (2 Corinthians 5:9). Above all he wanted the Lord’s approval in everything he did. He was misunderstood and even reproached by the Christians at Corinth, who he loved and tried to serve so faithfully. But he was willing to leave all that with the Lord, if it meant he had the Lord’s approval and acceptance. That counted most!

Whose acceptance will you seek this week, and when you look back on Saturday, whose approval will you have? How good to have the Lord’s “well done” (Matthew 25:21), in everything we say and do.

Your Christian Friend,

Jim Hyland

We would love to hear from you. Send your comments or questions to jhyland@primus.ca

             
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YP Blog by Bible Truth Publishers

Sunday, July 13, 2014

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Love

“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned” (Song of Solomon 8:7).

Over and over in the Word of God, He brings before us in one way or another His great love. In the above verse it is impressed upon our hearts in a very real way by the symbolism and analogy that the Spirit of God uses.

The cold, cruel, overwhelming waters of death didn’t even slow the Lord’s love, let alone quench it. His love was, and still is, so immense that nothing could stop the greatest act of love that man has ever shown. He died at Calvary voluntarily, so that we wouldn’t have to spend eternity in the lake of fire. He said to His disciples just before He was taken away to be tried and eventually crucified, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

The Lord went under the waters of judgment for us, and gave His life to win our love. How much do you love Him?

 

             
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YP Blog by Bible Truth Publishers

Saturday, July 12, 2014

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Example of Love

“I love…I will not go out free” (Exodus 21:5).

On May 2, 1962, an advertisement appeared in the San Francisco Examiner: “I don’t want my husband to die for a crime he did not commit. I will offer my services for 10 years as a cook, maid, or housekeeper to any leading attorney who will defend him and bring about his vindication.”

One of San Francisco’s great attorneys, Vincent Hallinan, read the ad and contacted Gladys Kidd, who had placed it. Her husband, Robert Lee Kidd, was to be tried for the slaying of an antique dealer. Kidd’s fingerprints had been found on a bloodstained ornate sword in the victim’s shop. During the trial, Hallinan proved that the dealer had not been killed by the sword, and that Kidd’s fingerprints and blood on the sword got there because Kidd had once toyed with it while playfully dueling with a friend when they were out shopping. The jury, after 11 hours, found Kidd to be not guilty. Attorney Hallinan refused Gladys Kidd’s offer of 10 years’ servitude.

This is a wonderful example of human love. But there is a love beyond all human love, the love of the Lord Jesus, who gave His life to save sinners. Do you know that love?

 

             
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Friday, July 11, 2014

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A Disciple

“And His disciples follow Him” (Mark 6:1).

A disciple is a follower…a disciple follows!

How much is this true of you? Are you a true disciple? Will you follow the Lord today? It is a lot easier to follow someone than just have them give us direction. With my lack of sense of direction, I am glad when someone will say, “Just follow me, I’m going that way.” The Lord has given us directions in His Word, the Bible. The Psalmist prayed, “Order my steps in Thy Word” (Psalm 119:133). But not only has He given us unfailing guidelines and directions in the Scriptures, but He also says, “follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). He also said: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27).

Let’s learn to be good followers…good disciples. He leads in good places. David declared, “He leadeth me beside the still waters…He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:2-3).

The last recorded words of the Lord Jesus in John’s gospel are an exhortation to Peter, “Follow thou Me” (John 21:22).

 

             
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

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Anti-Aging PowerPart 3

“I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the Word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one” (1 John 2:14).

We spend a great deal of energy and discipline trying to keep in good shape physically, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that, but do we spend as much time exercising in the things of God? This is why we often become spiritually weak and sickly Christians. Just as we become weak and hasten the aging process by lack of natural exercise, so it is with the spiritual. May the Lord give us the desire and motivation that is needed to “renewourstrength” day by day.

At 85 years of age, Caleb could state: “As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: As my strength was then, even so is my strength now” (Joshua 14:11). It is wonderful to meet an elderly believer who is still strong in the Word of God and in the path of faith. We also read of Moses at, “an hundred and twenty years old his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated (Deuteronomy 34:7).

 

             
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

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Anti-Aging PowerPart 2

As noted yesterday, when we put our hope and trust in the Lord, we are carried along by His strength and not our own. Like Isaiah, David also used the analogy of the eagle when he stated in the Psalms, “Bless the Lord, O my soul…Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalm 103:1,5).

Are we taking advantage of God’s anti-aging power? It is promised to all who put their confidence in Him for strength of heart, vigour of spirit, and energy of soul. Through the exercise of spiritual energy and purpose of heart we can, with youthful vitality, “run with patience [endurance] the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

To be renewed with spiritual energy there needs to be spiritual exercise. Notice what the Apostle Paul tells a young man named Timothy; “Exercise thyself…unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:7-8). What are we doing to keep spiritually fit?

Continued…

 

             
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

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Anti-Aging PowerPart 1

Statistics indicate that Americans spend more than $20 billion annually on various anti-aging products that claim to cure baldness, remove wrinkles, build muscle, revitalize the human body, and renew the power of youth. Can those products deliver all the marvellous things they promise in the advertisements? Dr. Thomas Perls of the Boston University School of Medicine says that there is “absolutely no proof that any commercially available product will stop or reverse aging.” Not very encouraging is it?

But there is a promise of spiritual vitality that defies the ravages of age and time. It is found in these words of the Holy Bible: “Even the youthsshall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:30-31). Isaiah used the eagle as a symbol of freedom and endurance, held aloft by a source of power completely outside of itself…just like the Christian carried along by the power of Christ.

Continued…

 

             
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