Verses compiled and combined by Jesse Jost
I want you to know how much I truly love you. Yes, I have loved you, with an everlasting love; with loving kindness I have drawn you. I have searched you and known you. I know your sitting down and your rising up, I understand your thought afar off. I comprehend your path and your lying down, I am acquainted with all your ways. I have hedged you behind and before, I have laid My hand on you. I know, such knowledge is too wonderful for you, it is so high you can not attain it.
But where can you go from My Spirit, or where can you flee from My presence? If you ascend into heaven, I am there. If you make your bed in the depths, I am there as well. If you take the wings of the morning, or dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there My hand shall lead you, and My right hand shall hold you. The darkness shall not hide you, the darkness and the light are both alike to Me.
Grace in the Rearview Mirror
A Peanuts cartoon shows Sally writing an essay entitled “Church History.” Charlie looks over her shoulder to see what she has written so far, “To understand church history, you must go back to the very beginning…our pastor was born in 1930.” Charlie Brown can only roll his eyes.
Sadly, there seems to be an epidemic of historical amnesia in the modern church. To many, it’s as if true Christianity disappeared for 1900 years and has suddenly resurfaced with their denomination. This ignorance of history is dangerous; an old Russian proverb states, “Dwell on the past and you will lose an eye; forget the past and you will lose both eyes.” Is history nothing more than by-gone eras, dusty facts, and long-since-departed souls? Emphatically, no! History is a fascinating study of our ancestors, but it is also a treasure chest full of wisdom, with many lessons to teach all who take heed. Here are a few significant reasons to study church history. Continue reading…
Captive or Captivated?
by Jesse Jost
Picture in your mind two things: First imagine yourself in a dark and grimy dungeon. Your hands and feet are shackled, and your body aches because of lack of movement. Your eyes long for color and beauty. You have a very small world. Now picture stepping out of that cell into a world ablaze with color. You notice the smells of the fresh air and flowers; the cool breeze feels so good on your cheeks. Your eyes soak up the beauty of the trees and mountains. As your heart starts pumping fresh blood through your veins, you have a sudden urge to run and leap with all your strength!
What a contrast! Every day we have the ability to choose things that will lead to either freedom or bondage. Self-focus and self-will leads to bondage. Outward focus, God-ward focus leads to freedom and adventure. We were created to be spectators – the audience of God – to observe and discover. We were given five ways of observing, through sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste. We were designed to look outward, to be attentive to what is happening around us.
Things were going wonderfully. I had a good job, a comfortable amount in the bank account, a beautiful wife who was seven and a half months pregnant, a library full of delicious books to devour, and a wish/needs list the length of my thumbnail. Did I trust God? Absolutely! I mean, I could lose my job, break a leg, buy a hundred books and still have enough to live on for months. In this position, I was what you call a man of great faith. I had unshakable confidence in God to provide. Right.
What must I do to be saved?
By Jesse Jost
In the middle of the night, I have often had surreal experiences of reality. It seems that during the day I have an ability to block out awareness of certain things. Some of these things include what happens after I die. Sure I think about it, but it is often in a detached, academic way. But there are nights when the reality hits me hard. What would it be like to stand in the presence of the almighty God? My first thought is a review of my life. Have I been good enough? Nope. Will God send me to hell…for forever? This thought used to terrify me. I would have dreams of being before the judgment seat and then sentenced to hell, and would wake up shaken but so grateful to be alive!