Learn How to Live a Victorious Christian Life and Seek the Heart of God
Victorious Christian Living Newsletter – August 2014
This issue includes:
1 Article From Me
Something to Think About
Interesting Bible Facts
A Powerful Story
Favorite Article from My Blog
Links to My Other Sites
Do You Want To Know God’s Purposes For Your Life?
Nothing matters more than knowing God’s purposes for your life, and nothing can compensate for not knowing them.
This quote got my attention, because it seems very out of touch in the world in which we live today. At least, I think this is true in North America where I live. Most TV commercials talk about how you need to live life for yourself and make sure YOUR needs are met first before worrying about the needs of others.
The things we listen to and read have slowly changed our thinking to be a culture of ME first and if there is anything left I will then think about doing a little something for someone else as long as it does not cost me in a sacrificial way.
When you get to the point that you desire God’s purposes first for your life and want to serve Him more than anything else, it changes your whole perspective to one of ‘what does God want me to do’ rather than ‘what do I want to do.’
You are made to serve God, and that is the only way you will be truly fulfilled as you go about your everyday life. Even though you lose control of self when you give the control to God, you are really gaining a life that you can never imagine.
The things of this world will pale in comparison to the awesomeness of seeing God work in your life. To be used by God in a supernatural way is an awesome thing, and the only way to feel truly fulfilled in this life. Don’t get to the end of your life and regret not doing things that really mattered for eternity.
After all, God is preparing you for heaven where you will live forever in a place of majesty and beauty that can’t be compared to even the most beautiful place on earth.
Give God control and gain a life that will matter for eternity!
Something To Think About
The Coyote’s Wail
When businessman Allen Emery was in the wool business, he once spent an evening with a shepherd on the Texas prairie.
During the night, the long wail of coyotes pierced the air. The shepherd’s dogs growled and peered into the darkness. The sheep, which had been sleeping, lumbered to their feet, alarmed, bleating pitifully.
The shepherd tossed more logs onto the fire, and the flames shot up. In the glow, Allen looked out and saw thousands of little lights. He realized those were reflections of the fire in the eyes of the sheep.
“In the midst of danger,” he observed, “the sheep were not looking out into the darkness but were keeping their eyes set in the direction of their safety, looking toward the shepherd. I couldn’t help but think of Hebrews 12: ‘looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…'”
The early American Indians had a unique practice of training young braves. On the night of a boy’s 13th birthday, after learning hunting, scouting, and fishing skills, he was put to one final test.
He was placed in a dense forest to spend the entire night alone. Until then, he had never been away from the security of the family and tribe.
But on this night, he was blindfolded and taken several miles away. When he took off the blindfold, he was in the middle of a thick woods, and he was terrified. Every time a twig snapped, he visualized a wild animal ready to pounce.
After what seemed like an eternity, dawn broke and the first rays of sunlight entered the interior of the forest. Looking around, the boy saw flowers, trees, and the outline of a path.
Then to his utter astonishment, he beheld the figure of a man standing just a few feet away, armed with bow and arrow. It was his father. He had been there all night long.
Interesting Bible Facts
(circuit) This name, which in the Roman age was applied to a large province, seems to have been originally confined to a little “circuit” of country round Kedesh-Naphtali, in which were situated the twenty towns given by Solomon to Hiram king of Tyre as payment for his work in conveying timber from Lebanon to Jerusalem. ( Joshua 20:7 ; 1 Kings 9:11 )
In the time of our Lord all Palestine was divided into three provinces, Judea, Samaria and Galilee. ( Luke 17:11 ; Acts 9:31 ) Joseph. B.J. iii. 3.
The latter included the whole northern section of the country, including the ancient territories of Issachar, Zebulun, Asher and Naphtali. On the west it was bounded by the territory of Ptolemais, which probably included the whole plain of Akka to the foot of Carmel. The southern border ran along the base of Carmel and of the hills of Samaria to Mount Gilboa, and then descended the valley of Jezreel by Scythopolis to the Jordan.
The river Jordan, the Sea of Galilee, and the upper Jordan to the fountain at Dan, formed the eastern border; and the northern ran from Dan westward across the mountain ridge till it touched the territory of the Phoenicians.
Galilee was divided into two sections, “Lower” and “Upper.” Lower Galilee included the great plain of Esdraelon with its offshoots, which ran down to the Jordan and the Lake of Tiberias, and the whole of the hill country adjoining it on the north to the foot of the mountain range. It was thus one of the richest and most beautiful sections of Palestine. Upper Galilee embraced the whole mountain range lying between the upper Jordan and Phoenicia.
To this region the name “Galilee of the Gentiles” is given in the Old and New Testaments. ( Isaiah 9:1 ; Matthew 4:16 ) Galilee was the scene of the greater part of our Lords private life and public acts. It is a remarkable fact that the first three Gospels are chiefly taken up with our Lords ministrations in this province, while the Gospel of John dwells more upon those in Judea.
(Galilee in the time of Christ . –From Rev. Selah Merrills late book (1881) with this title, we glean the following facts: Size . –It is estimated that of the 1000 square miles in Palestine west of the Jordan, nearly one-third, almost 2000 square miles, belongs to Galilee.
Population –The population is between 2,000,000 and 3,000,000. Dr. Merrill argues for the general correctness of Josephus estimates, who says there were 204 cities and villages in Galilee, the smallest of which numbered 15,000 inhabitants.
Character of the country . Galilee was a region of great natural fertility. Such is the fertility of the soil that it rejects no plant, for the air is so genial that it suits every variety. The walnut, which delights above other trees in a wintry climate, grows here luxuriantly together with the palm tree, which is flourished by heat. It not only possesses the extraordinary virtue of nourishing fruits of opposite climes, but also maintains a continual supply of them. Here were found all the productions which made Italy rich and beautiful. Forests covered its mountains and hills, while its uplands, gentle slopes and broader valleys were rich in pasture, meadows, cultivated fields, vineyards, olive groves and fruit trees of every kind.
Character of the Galileans .–They were thoroughly a Jewish people. With few exceptions they were wealthy and in general an influential class. If one should say the Jews were bigoted in religion, he should remember at the same time that in regard to social, commercial and political relations none were more cosmopolitan in either sentiment or practice than they. The Galileans had many manufactures, fisheries, some commerce, but were chiefly an agricultural people. They were eminent for patriotism and courage, as were their ancestors, with great respect for law and order.
Sea of Galilee
So called from the province of Galilee, which bordered on the western side. ( Matthew 4:18 ) It was also called the “Sea of Tiberias,” from the celebrated city of that name. ( John 6:1 ) At its northwestern angle was a beautiful and fertile plain called “Gennesaret,” and from that it derived the name of “Lake of Gennesaret.” ( Luke 5:1 )
It was called in the Old Testament “the Sea of Chinnereth” or “Cinneroth,” ( Numbers 34:11 ; Joshua 12:3 ) from a town of that name which stood on or near its shore. ( Joshua 19:35 ) Its modern name is Bahr Tubariyeh.
Most of our Lords public life was spent in the environs of this sea. The surrounding region was then the most densely peopled in all Palestine. No less than nine very populous cities stood on the very shores of the lake. The Sea of Galilee is of an oval long and six broad. It is 60 miles northeast of Jerusalem and 27 east of the Mediterranean Sea.
The river Jordan enters it at its northern end and passes out at its southern end. In fact the bed of the lake is just a lower section of the Great Jordan valley. Its more remarkable feature is its deep depression, being no less than 700 feet below the level of the ocean.
The scenery is bleak and monotonous, being surrounded by a high and almost unbroken wall of hills, on account of which it is exposed to frequent sudden and violent storms. The great depression makes the climate of the shores almost tropical. This is very sensibly felt by the traveler in going down from the plains of Galilee.
In summer the heat is intense, and even in early spring the air has something of an Egyptian balminess. The water of the lake is sweet, cool and transparent; and as the beach is everywhere pebbly it has a beautiful sparkling look. It abounds in fish now as in ancient times. There were large fisheries on the lake, and much commerce was carried on upon it.
(Taken from Smith’s Bible Dictionary)
A Powerful Story
He Was Never Fearful
Dr. L. Nelson Bell was serving as a medical missionary when the Japanese invaded China, and his family was at great risk.
It was November 1938, and Sutsein, his neighbor station a few miles away, had fallen. Rumors of missionary casualties were rampant.
On Christmas Day, Nelson wrote to his mother in America:
This past Thursday it was my time to lead foreign prayer meeting, and I talked about the place of physical fear in the life of the Christian. Last week it dawned on me that our Lord, tempted in all points the same as we are, yet without sin, hungered, thirsted, was tired, became angry, and gave every evidence of his humanity, but He was never fearful. Fear, therefore, must come from lack of faith – sin. Just as we never become sinless, so we never entirely lose fear, but it surely is His will for His children to live with peace in their hearts, trusting in Him and His promises.
Years later, his daughter, Ruth Bell Graham, said this in describing her growing-up years in China:
I can never recall going to sleep at night without hearing gunshots in the countryside around the house. I remember one tremendous fire over in the city. We went up to the third story attic window where we could see it and hear the explosions. We thought the city was being invaded. The whole skyline was lit up… I think the greatest tribute to mother’s courage is that we children never sensed fear and we ourselves never had any fear. Now this is bound to reflect your parents. If they had been nervous, we would have been nervous.
My Favorite Blog Post For The Month
Two Parts To Every Burden
There are two parts to every burden. One is the burden in itself, and the other is how much of that burden you internalize and take for your own. You cannot magically transport yourself away from difficult circumstances. Yet you can choose to see, understand and live the fact that even the most difficult burden is not a part of who you are.
When a huge trial comes your way and stays there for awhile, it seems as if it tries to become a part of you. If you are not careful, it can change your whole personality and make you go from being cheerful and lively to bitter, depressed or moody. God never intended for you to carry a huge burden on your own with no help from Him in any way.
Matthew 11: 28-30
Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy-laden and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
The following quote is from Charles Finney, who explains it very well.
1. Then let it be understood that Christ’s real yoke, or the true service of Christ, is never hard. His real yoke is never heavy. It is self-will and selfishness that at any time fault the yoke or the service of Christ.
2. If what we call religion is burdensome, it is not Christ’s yoke, it is not Christ’s religion. If we make an uphill business of it, and if we find it “hard to obey, and harder still to love,” Christ says to us, Who has required this at your hand? What I require of you is a love-service, not this slavish service. If you love me not, if you do not serve me from love, I abhor your doings. Let no one think himself truly religious whose religion is a bondage, and not the highest liberty.
3. Whatever is hard in religion is made so by our want of heart, our want of love, our want of confidence; and is therefore not Christ’s yoke at all. It is not true religion, it is not Christian liberty, but legal bondage.
4. All truly religious duties are easy. If we make them hard, they are not a love-service, and not what Christ requires. If we make them hard we spoil them. If we go complainingly about his service, grumbling about the difficulties and the hardness of his service, he loathes our bondage, he cannot accept it.
I know that many times I have lived in huge bondage because I took on burdens and problems that I should have given to God and left with Him to work out when the time was right.
Charles Finney has written such an awesome definition of the difference between living in bondage and living in freedom.
Make the choice right now that you will choose the way of Christ’s yoke of freedom!
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That’s it for this newsletter. May God bless you as you strive to live for Him and walk in obedience to what He desires!