Rejoice in the Lord

Page 234 – Paul exhorted us to rejoice in the Lord always and to give thanks in all things. Peter admonished his readers to greatly rejoice in the midst of their trials. James encouraged his audience to count it all joy when they found themselves being tried. David declared, “I will bless the Lord at all times…” This was not an uncontrolled emotional outburst, but a determined act of the will based upon his experience of deliverance. As David put his trust in God, he experienced God’s goodness and discovered that He should be praised at all times.

Excerpt from ‘The Heart and Soul of God’ by Dave Stone.  Available as an eBook from http://www.Smashwords.com, and as an eBook or paperback from http://www.Amazon.com.

Taste and See

Page 233 – David writes in Psalm 34:8, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.”  You can read about God’s goodness.  You can hear about it from others, and you can even desire it because of what you have read and heard.  But, it is not until you have tasted it that God’s goodness is made real to you.  David invites you to take a taste, for after you taste you will see that the Lord is good.  How do you taste?  You trust: “Blessed is the man who trusts in Him.”

Excerpt from ‘The Heart and Soul of God’ by Dave Stone.  Available as an eBook from http://www.Smashwords.com, and as an eBook or paperback from http://www.Amazon.com.

Afraid? Of What?

Pages 229-230 – The years leading up to World War II were very dangerous for missionaries to China.  Political uproar, bandits, the Japanese Invasion and the Communist Revolution caused many of them to fear for their lives.

One of the missionaries, Jack Vinson, was seized by bandits and carried off in the night.  He was eventually shot and beheaded.  A witness later described how earlier she had seen Vinson threatened by a bandit with a revolver who said, “I’m going to kill you!  Aren’t you afraid?”

“No, I am not afraid,” Vinson had replied.  “If you kill me, I will go right to God.”

The news of Vinson’s martyrdom deeply moved the Christians in China.  When missionary E. H. Hamilton heard the story after emerging from another bandit infested area, he wrote a poem that became the watchword for the missionary community during the dark days that followed.  It was this poem that strengthened John and Betty Stam before their martyrdom.

Afraid?  Of What?

To feel the spirit’s glad release?

To pass from pain to perfect peace,

The strife and strain of life to cease?

Afraid – of that?

Afraid?  Of What?

Afraid to see the Savior’s face

To hear his welcome, and to trace

The glory gleam from wounds of grace?

Afraid – of that?

Afraid?  Of What?

A flash, a crash, a pierced heart;

Darkness, light, O Heaven’s art!

A wound of His a counterpart?

Afraid – of that?

Afraid?  Of What?

To do by death what life could not –

Baptized with blood a stony plot,

Till souls shall blossom from the spot?

Afraid – of that?

Excerpt from ‘The Heart and Soul of God’ by Dave Stone.  Available as an eBook from http://www.Smashwords.com, and as an eBook or paperback from http://www.Amazon.com.

July eBook Sale

You can purchase an eBook copy of “The Heart and Soul of God” by Dave Stone for only $1.49 from http://www.smashwords.com/books – Use the code SSW25 at checkout.  Offer expires July 31.

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Not to be Feared

Page 228 – When we read through the New Testament, after Christ’s resurrection, you don’t read about a disciple dying.  Stephen fell asleep.  Peter was about to put off his tent.  Paul spoke of his departure.  These all are terms that express an ongoing condition, rather than a final one.  You awake out of sleep, put on another tent, and a departure implies going somewhere – an arrival.

As you can see, death is not something to be feared for those who believe in Jesus Christ.  In fact, it is not only good for us, it is something He is looking forward to as well.  That is how I understand Psalm 116:15: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”  Our Heavenly Father rejoices that His children are home with Him again.

Excerpt from ‘The Heart and Soul of God’ by Dave Stone.  Available as an eBook from http://www.Smashwords.com, and as an eBook or paperback from http://www.Amazon.com.

A Divine Appointment

 Page 222-223 – A fabled Baghdad merchant once asked his servant to run an errand.  While at the marketplace, the servant rounded a corner and saw Lady Death.  She terrified him so much that he returned with haste to his master.  “I am terrified,” said the servant.  “I want to take the fastest horse and ride toward Samarra.”  The master granted his request.

Later that afternoon the merchant visited the market and he, too, met Lady Death.  “Why did you startle my servant?” he asked.  Lady Death answered, “Frankly, it was I who was startled.  I couldn’t understand why your servant was in Baghdad, because I have an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.”

Just like the servant, many people are afraid of death.  It is shrouded in mystery and clouded by strong opinions, folkloric legends and religious beliefs.  It is easy to be confused about it.  But a healthy understanding of death is essential to dispel the fear, grief and anxiety about it.

D. L. Moody, realizing that his death was near, said to a friend, “Someday you will read in the papers that D. L. Moody of Northfield is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now.  I shall have gone higher, that is all – out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal, a body that sin cannot touch, that sin cannot taint, a body fashioned into His glorious body.”

Excerpt from ‘The Heart and Soul of God’ by Dave Stone.  Available as an eBook from http://www.Smashwords.com, and as an eBook or paperback from http://www.Amazon.com.

A Choice to Make

Page 220 – Temptation presents us with an opportunity to do good.  Every time we are tempted, we have a choice to make.  We can resist it, or we can give in to it.  When we choose to do good, we will grow spiritually.  As we grow, we become stronger and more mature.  This is how Christian character is developed.  Every time you resist temptation, you become more like Christ.

Excerpt from ‘The Heart and Soul of God’ by Dave Stone.  Available as an eBook from http://www.Smashwords.com, and as an eBook or paperback from http://www.Amazon.com.

An Example to Follow

Page 215 – Among the spies sent into the land were Joshua and Caleb.  When the other 10 brought a negative report, they tried to encourage the people to trust God.  When the 10 said “We are not able,” they replied, “Yes, we are able.”  The 10 spies were looking at the circumstances; Joshua and Caleb were looking to God.  The 10 spies saw the problem; Joshua and Caleb saw the power of God.  If you want to enter the Promised Land, let Joshua and Caleb be your examples.

Excerpt from ‘The Heart and Soul of God’ by Dave Stone.  Available as an eBook from http://www.Smashwords.com, and as an eBook or paperback from http://www.Amazon.com.

 

Learning to Trust

Page 213-214 – God wants us to learn to trust Him…What we need to learn most of all is that our circumstances are not the problem.  The problem is our heart.  God only allows the circumstances to expose what’s in our heart.  When we murmur and complaining about our circumstances, we have missed the point.  God can change the circumstances if He wants.  That’s the easy part.  But, what He really wants is for us to change our attitude.  When we begin to see our circumstances from this perspective, we can learn to praise instead of pout.  When we fail the test it only means another lap around the mountain.

Excerpt from ‘The Heart and Soul of God’ by Dave Stone.  Available as an eBook from http://www.Smashwords.com, and as an eBook or paperback from http://www.Amazon.com.

The 4 Choices

Page 211-215 – There are four choices we can make every time we are tempted:  1. We can give up and go back to Egypt.  2.  We can take another lap around the mountain.  3.  We can die in the wilderness.  4.  We can enter the land.

God’s purpose for Israel was not just to escape Egypt, but to enter Canaan.  God’s purpose for you is not just deliverance from sin, but entrance into abundant life…Our goal in Christ is always to go onward and upward, never backward.

Excerpt from ‘The Heart and Soul of God’ by Dave Stone.  Available as an eBook from http://www.Smashwords.com, and as an eBook or paperback from http://www.Amazon.com.

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