I Must Personally Acknowledge Christ Today
IMPACT is a weekly devotional sent out by Pastor LaTour on Sunday mornings for the purpose of encouraging our college-age young people to stay true to what they have been taught. If you would like to be placed on the e-mail list to receive this devotional, please contact us with your e-mail address. These devotionals are sent as a BCC to protect your personal information. Click on the title to see the PDF for each IMPACT.
IMPACT-1 2014 The War To End All Wars The news abounds with stories about wars that seem to be ever increasing and ever far-reaching. The first two IMPACTS will deal with thoughts on The War To End All Wars and how changes in our world may increasingly impact Christians.
IMPACT- 2 2014 Perilous Times The persecution of Christians is escalating abroad and militants have their eye on America. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) states that “ISIS is the most well-funded, well-armed jihadist army in history. They’re committing mass genocide. They’ve beheaded Christian children and journalists. They’re massacring Christian men and selling Christian women as sex slaves. They’re determined to strike America.”
IMPACT-3 2014 More Than Your Name In your “essential self,” in your character, in your core values and non-negotiable convictions, who are you?
IMPACT-4 2014 Who Are You Becoming The process of “becoming” is shaped by the choices that we make, by the people with whom we interact, and by the trials and temptations that can develop or destroy opportunities, relationships and reputations.
IMPACT-5 2014 Take a Look in God’s Mirror How thankful we should be that we have the complete canon of Scripture as both the mirror of self-disclosure and the means of spiritual development.
IMPACT-6 2014 A State of Being People can know a great deal about the Bible without knowing experientially what it really means to BE a Christian.
IMPACT-7 2014 The Deadly Deception In at least one respect, genuine faith is very similar to genuine love— they both produce evidence of their existence.
IMPACT-8 2014 TheNecessity of Repentance “Without repentance no real faith…. Without faith also no true repentance.
IMPACT-9 2014 The Reality of Warfare As attacks against true Christianity grow, “summer soldiers” and “sunshine patriots” who profess belief in Christ, but who do not possess the conviction that accompanies true saving faith, will not stand their ground.
IMPACT-10 2014 Corpses Don’t Care Every Christian knows the tension between the remnant desires of the “old man” that was put to death with Christ our Substitute and the righteous desires of the “new man” who is alive in Christ our Savior.
IMPACT-11 2014 Dependent Responsibility “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
IMPACT-12 2014 Saved Doer or Self-Deceiver Hearers of the Word who are not doers of the Word are guilty of self-deception of the worst kind.
IMPACT-13 2014 Secure in His Faithfulness True Christians are no longer “natural men” who disdained spiritual things that they viewed as the emotional crutches of simple-minded people who can’t “cut it” in the real world.
IMPACT-14 2014 Confident or Complacent There is no such thing as “cruise control” when it comes to living the Christian life with a desire for God’s “well done, good and faithful servant.”
IMPACT-15 2014 Satan’s Frontal Attack The allurements of the world, failure to obey the mandate to study the Word of God and Satan’s age-old tactic of seeking to denigrate God’s character or deny His very existence top the tactics that he uses in his lost cause.
IMPACT-16 2014 Hard Questions, Biblical Answers In IMPACT 15, we mentioned Satan’s long-held tactic of seeking to denigrate God’s character or deny His very existence. How can we respond to blatant, unsubstantiated speculation by secularists who seek to dismiss God altogether?
IMPACT-17 2014 How Do You ‘Stack Up?’ Practically speaking, what part does the Word of God play in your daily life?
IMPACT-18 2014 Add to Your Faith Virtue What should motivate a Christian to pursue moral excellence? The G-R-A-C-E of God, the eternal benefit of which is God’s Righteousness At Christ’s Expense!
IMPACT-19 2015 Add to Your Faith Knowledge, Part I Do you ever wonder what God thinks of your thoughts towards Him, His Son and His Word? Would He say that your fear of Him is growing as you meditate upon His Word?
IMPACT-20 2015 Add to Your Faith Knowledge, Part II The fear of God is an attitude of adoration and awe by which a believer guards and guides his thoughts, words and deeds with the Word of God for the glory of God.
IMPACT-21 2015 Add to Your Faith Self-Control With God’s enabling, Christians are to add to their faith self-control which is the mastery of natural appetites or desires.
IMPACT-22 2015 Add to Your Faith Perseverance Perseverance is steadfast determination to react to the pressures, pains and duties of life in ways that embrace God’s providence.
IMPACT-23 2015 Add to Your Faith Godliness “Godly character is not the result of good intentions, wishful thinking, some mystical ‘zap,’ or even sheer Bible knowledge. It’s developed through the self-disciplined application of God’s Word at a very basic level, enabled and empowered by God’s Spirit.” John MacArthur
IMPACT-24 2015 Add to Your Faith Brotherly Kindness “We must add to our faith brotherly kindness, a tender affection to all our fellow-Christians, who are children of the same Father, servants of the same Master, members of the same family, travelers to the same country, and heirs of the same inheritance, and therefore are to be loved with a pure heart fervently.” Matthew Henry
IMPACT-25 2015 Add to Your Faith Love Biblical love is “that divine love which is produced in the heart of the yielded believer by the Holy Spirit, and which impels him to deny himself for the benefit of the one loved.” Kenneth Wuest
IMPACT-26 2015 Deluded or Delivered If you do not have a growing sense of the exceeding sinfulness of sin that could only be atoned for by the shed blood of Christ, yours may be a counterfeit faith at best.
IMPACT-27 2015 Living With Serious Intention “The reason why you see no real mortification or self-denial, no eminent charity, no profound humility, no heavenly affection, no true contempt of the world, no Christian meekness, no sincere zeal, no eminent piety in the common lives of Christians, is this, because they do not so much as intend to be exact and exemplary in these virtues.” William Laws (1686-1781)
IMPACT-28 2015 Fake Fruit of ‘Another Gospel’ Churches are crowded with people who learned some facts, who made a decision in their past and who hold loosely to the Christian religion, but who have never really embraced the truth of the gospel. Union with Christ has never become the vital, inseparable essence of who they are.
IMPACT-29 2015 The Witness of the Spirit “When the Spirit produces fruit, God gets the glory and the Christian is not conscious of his spirituality; but when the flesh is at work, the person is inwardly proud of himself and is pleased when others compliment him. The work of the Spirit is to make us more like Christ for His glory, not for the praise of men.” W. Wiersbe
IMPACT-30 2015 The Fruit of the Spirit, Love “The loveless life is the ungodly life; and the godly life is the serving, caring, tenderhearted, affectionate, self–giving, self–sacrificing life of Christ’s love working through the believer.” J. MacArthur
IMPACT–Christ’s Resurrection If we cannot believe the Scriptural account of the resurrection which is mentioned more than 100 times in the N.T., then all Scripture is brought into question.
IMPACT–Christ’s Resurrection, Part 2 Christians have a living hope that is closer to becoming reality with each passing day! Even so come, Lord Jesus!
IMPACT-31 2015 The Fruit of the Spirit, Joy God intends the Christian life to be a life of joy — not drudgery. The idea that holiness is associated with a dour disposition is a caricature of the worst sort. In fact, just the opposite is true. Only those who walk in holiness experience true joy.” Jerry Bridges
IMPACT-32 2015 The Fruit of the Spirit, Peace The peace of God produces a unique harmony that can only come through the Holy Spirit enabling those who are eternally secure in Christ to place the welfare of others ahead of their own desires.
IMPACT-33 2015 The Fruit of the Spirit, Longsuffering If you knew ahead of time the specific offences that someone was going to commit against you after you already forgave them several times, how longsuffering would you be? Praise God for His longsuffering!
IMPACT-34 2015 The Fruit of the Spirit, Kindness Time grants no grace for paths not walked, for love not shown, for truth not taught. Once spent it’s gone and ne’er regained. What might have been can’t be reclaimed.
IMPACT-35 2015 The Fruit of the Spirit, Goodness Whenever an opportunity arises, good character does good deeds for God’s glory and the eternal welfare of others.
IMPACT-36 2015 The Fruit of the Spirit, Faithfulness “Often times God demonstrates His faithfulness in adversity by providing for us what we need to survive. He does not change our painful circum-stances. He sustains us through them.” Charles Stanley
IMPACT-37 2015 The Fruit of the Spirit, Gentleness “The meek Christian does not throw his weight around or assert himself. Just as wisdom is the right use of knowledge, so meekness is the right use of authority and power.” W. Wiersbe
IMPACT-38 2015 The Fruit of the Spirit, Self-Control For the glory of my Father’s praise, through the Savior of my soul, I’ll captivate my ev’ry thought. My mind I will control. For the good of all that I hold dear, I will battle lust and sin. By faith, I will subdue my flesh through the Spirit’s pow’r within.
IMPACT-39 2015 The Fruit of the Spirit, Summary “To those whose faith is in Christ alone, the message of the gospel brings the fragrance of eternal life and rewards. To those who are not placing their trust exclusively and entirely in Christ, it is a stumbling stone of offense that brings eternal death and punishment.” (MacArthur)
IMPACT-40 2015 Actions Speak Louder Than Words “The true believer, the hearer and doer of the Word, proves his faith in three ways: In relation to himself, he is willing to apply the Word without deception; in relation to others, he is willing to apply the Word without selfishness; and in relation to the world, he is willing to apply the Word without compromise.” (JM)
IMPACT-41 2015 Ready And Willing Profession without confession is evidence of counterfeit faith, callused hearts, or cowardly pride!
IMPACT-42 2015 Take Your Stand Being a Christian is a free gift of God provided by grace alone through faith alone in the death and resurrection of His Son. And yet, biblical Christianity brings with it a “price tag” that takes various forms for all who confess Jesus as Lord.
IMPACT-43 2015 Dress For Combat Superiors would discipline a soldier who forgot part of his gear for drill because they realize that this same careless attitude in battle might result in far more harmful, or even fatal, consequences!
IMPACT-44 2015 Girdle of Truth, Commitment For Christians, girding your waist with truth refers to “inward, practical acknowledgement of the Truth.”1 It is “an attitude of truthfulness, sincerity, honesty, integrity or COMMITMENT.” (MacArthur)
IMPACT-45 2015 Breastplate of Righteousness, Consecration At our conversion, God applies the very righteousness of Christ to our account once and for all, and declares us justified in His sight. “Practical righteousness, however, is an on-going exercise that involves “avoiding all known sin, and performing every commanded duty; it is not a single action, but a constant course of holy actions, that (identifies) a person as holy.” (2 Cor.5:21; W. Burkitt)
IMPACT- 46 2015 Sandals, Confidence As spiritual warfare rages around us, we are eternally secure! We can do all things through Christ, “the originator and captain” of our salvation, who is working all things together for our good!
IMPACT-47 2015 Shield of Faith, Convictions Faith is not static! Apart from growing in the grace and knowledge of God, our shield of faith will be an inadequate defense against defamation from scoffers, discouragement in well-doing, disillusionment during persecution and defeat in the battle with our flesh.
IMPACT-48 2015 Helmet of Salvation, Concentration Like faith and love, hope is not static. It is strengthened as we purposefully guard our minds and hearts against deceitful teaching, deceptive temptation and discouraging trials.
IMPACT-49 2015 Sword Part I, Confident Conquest The Bible is a one-of-a-kind collection of 66 books written by 40 authors over a span of 1,600 years on three continents using three languages with one central theme from the first book to the last—God’s restoration of a people for His glory through the death and resurrection of His Son!
IMPACT-50 2015 Sword Part II, Confident Conquest Without the conviction that Christ arose as He foretold, the early Christian religion could never have come into being and endured!
IMPACT-51 2015 Watch and Pray Like Paul, each Christian must be a soldier whose purpose is contending for the faith; whose power lies in the Spirit of God; whose preparation reflects knowledge of, loyalty to and love for God and His Word; whose presentation of the gospel is with meekness, fear and dependency; whose perseverance demonstrates commitment to Christ, and whose prayer life shows dependency upon God alone for victory!
IMPACT-52 2015 Do All You Can Colossians 4:7 “Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me.” When God gives an assignment, it is never “minor.” Tychicus was a beloved and faithful servant in the Lord. Enough said!
IMPACT-53 2015 Look to Jesus “When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the ship captain tried to turn him back, saying, ‘You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages.’ To that, Calvert replied, ‘We died before we came here.’” [Galatians 1:1-5; 2:20; 5:24; 6:14]
IMPACT-54 2015 Gut Check Time If we are not seeking to make an IMPACT with the gospel, then perhaps the gospel has made no IMPACT upon us!
IMPACT-55 2015 Joy Grounded in The Word As a Christian maintains fellowship with God through reading, studying and applying Scripture, the joy of the Holy Spirit will become increasingly evident.
IMPACT-56 2015 Joy Grounded in Fellowship Peter wrote, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light….”
IMPACT-57 2015 Joy Through Confession “None but a child of God cares for the eye of God, but where there is grace in the soul it reflects a fearful guilt upon every evil act, when we remember that the God whom we offend was present when the trespass was committed.” Charles Spurgeon
IMPACT-58 2015 Joy Through Love Biblical love paves the way to sharing the gospel by demonstrating the joyful difference that Christ makes in hearts that are naturally self-serving.
IMPACT-59 2015 Joy Through Purity What do your choices say about who you really are, about who you want to be and about your desire to honor the Lord through your life?
IMPACT-60 2015 Joy Through Confession of Christ In New Testament times, confessing Christ publicly often came at the ultimate price—death. In a growing part of the world, it still does!
IMPACT-61 2015 Joy Through Prayer Do you seek through your prayers to embrace with confidence and contentment God’s providence for your life? The benefit for all who pray, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is a heart-felt assurance that Almighty God has answered our prayers exactly as they should be answered for His glory and our good.
IMPACT-62 2015 Joy through the Spirit’s witness The indwelling Holy Spirit is the vital difference that distinguishes those whose trust is in Christ alone from the sincerely religious person who agrees with some facts in the Bible. Just as the presence of invisible wind is evident by its effects that are seen and felt, the presence of God’s Holy Spirit is evident by His effect upon the life of a Christian.
IMPACT-63 2015 Joy through the Lord Jesus Christ Please consider reading this particular IMPACT and ponder carefully the powerful quote in it.
IMPACT-64 2015 The Godliness of a Grateful Heart “Our first problem is that our attitude towards sin is more self-centered than God-centered. We are more concerned about our own ‘victory’ over sin than we are about the fact that our sin grieves the heart of God.” Jerry Bridges
IMPACT-65 2015 This Could Happen To You Slowly, but surely, Solomon’s pursuit of “the good life” had changed him. The Law of God was replaced by the lust of his own flesh as the driving force in his life.
IMPACT-66 2015 Sovereign or Santa Claus “What comes into our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God.” Tozer
IMPACT-67 2015 God is Incomprehensible “Godliness means responding to God’s revelation in trust and obedience, faith and worship, prayer and praise, submission and service. Life must be seen and lived in the light of God’s Word. This, and nothing else, is true religion.” J. I. Packer
IMPACT-68 2016 God Alone “The Lord our God is the one and only living and true God; Whose subsistence is in and of Himself. Who is infinite in being and perfection; Whose essence cannot be comprehended by any but Himself.” (1689 Baptist Confession of Faith)
IMPACT-69 2016 God’s Self-Portrait, Introduction “The Lord our God is “a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, who only hath immortality, dwelling in light which no man can approach unto.” (1689 BCF)
IMPACT-70 2016 God–Infinite and Self-Existent “The Lord our God is the one and only living and true God; Whose subsistence is in and of Himself. Who is infinite in being and perfection; Whose essence cannot be comprehended by any but Himself.” (1689 BCF)
IMPACT-71 2016 God is Light “The Lord our God is a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, who only hath immortality, dwelling in light which no man can approach unto.” (1689 BCF)
IMPACT-72 2016 God is Love “Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade, To write the love of God above, Would drain the ocean dry. Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky.” From: The Love of God by Frederick M. Lehma
IMPACT-73 2016 God is Unchanging “God cannot change for the better, for He is perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse.” A.W. Pink
IMPACT-74 2016 God is Transcendent What sob’ring truth that the Most High humbles Himself to view the span of tapestry in earth and sky—a spec to Him, immense to man. Such condescension bids saints join creation’s hymn with pensive thought. God’s majesty of holiness demands saints worship as we ought.
IMPACT-75 2016 God is Immanent “This is the fundamental thing, the most serious thing of all, that we are always in the presence of God.” D.M. Lloyd-Jones
IMPACT-76 2016 God is Holy God is called The Holy One “because the sum of all moral Excellency is found in Him. He is absolute purity, unsullied even by the shadow of sin. Holiness is the very Excellency of the divine nature.” A.W.Pink
IMPACT-77 2016 God is Wrathful “His robes for mine: O wonderful exchange! Clothed in my sin, Christ suffered ‘neath God’s rage. Draped in His righteousness, I’m justified. In Christ I live, for in my place He died. His robes for mine: what cause have I for dread? God’s daunting Law Christ mastered in my stead. Faultless I stand, with righteousness works not mine, Saved by my Lord’s vicarious death and life.” Chris Andersen
IMPACT-78 2016 God is Righteous and Just “His ways and works are both worthy to be praised. Jehovah cannot be unjust or impure. In the salvation of his people he is as righteous and holy as in any other of his ways and works: he has not manifested mercy at the expense of justice.” Charles Spurgeon
IMPACT-79 2016 God is Gracious Against the backdrop of God’s righteous wrath against sin, His grace towards sinners is truly amazing! Grace is God’s goodness “directed towards human debt and demerit.”1
IMPACT-80 2016 God is Merciful Lamentations 3:22-23 “Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”
IMPACT-81 2016 God is Faithful Christ’s faithfulness is not dependent on our faithfulness, because He cannot act contrary to His own nature.” D.A. Carson The capstone of God’s faithfulness is found in the Person and work of His Son.
IMPACT-82 2016 God is Long-Suffering Romans 2:4-5 “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?”
IMPACT-83 2016 God is Good “God doesn’t work on our timetable. He has a plan that He will execute perfectly and for the highest, greatest good of all, and for His ultimate glory.” C.R. Swindoll
IMPACT-84 2016 God is Omnipresent I Kings 8:27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!” “According to the NASA web site, traveling at the same speed of “the 3-day-trip time that it took the Apollo spacecraft to reach the moon, it would take over 900 thousand years” to reach the nearest star.” Just how “big” is your God?
IMPACT-85 2016 God is Omnipotent God is all-powerful, and can do anything consistent with His holy character. Jeremiah 32:17 “’Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.” 27 “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” “As God hath a will to resolve what He deems good, so has He power to execute His will.” A.W. Pink
IMPACT-86 2016 God is Omniscient “God fully knows all things actual and possible in one simple and eternal act. He knows and sees the past, the present, and the future with equal clarity and absolute certainty. To Him, all is the present.” (Precept Ministries)
IMPACT-87 2016 God is Wise Failure to faithfully and fervently plead that God will give you wisdom reveals prideful self-sufficiency.
IMPACT-88 2016 God is Sovereign, Part I All that God is in His character guides all that God does in His conduct to bring about His eternal providence.
IMPACT-89 2016 God is Sovereign, Part II “Often times God demonstrates His faithfulness in adversity by providing for us what we need to survive. He does not change our painful circumstances. He sustains us through them.” Charles Stanley
IMPACT-90 2016 God is Glorious “A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling ‘darkness’ on the wall of his cell.” C.S. Lewis
IMPACT- 91 God’s Self-Portrait, Now What May God help us never to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed into the image of Christ
IMPACT- 92 Model the Message of the Gospel Our message must be “modeled” if it is to be meaningful to those with whom we interact.
IMPACT- 93 Saving Faith Is Obedient Faith Perhaps stating that I have a degree in art education is best “justified” in the eyes of others by the works that I produce and not simply by the words that I say, or the diploma on my wall. The same is true of faith. People know its genuineness by its visible “fruit.”
IMPACT- 94 Trust And Obey As it was with Abraham on Mount Moriah, it is during our most difficult trials that we best show forth our complete trust in God Who is our Savior and our Sovereign.
IMPACT- 95 Impossible Apart From Grace! There is an eternal difference between professing Christ and possessing Christ as Savior and Lord. I trust that you know by experience the difference, and that you rejoice daily in the state of being a Christian!
IMPACT- 96 Joyful Confidence “My hope is in the Lord Who gave Himself for me, and paid the price for all my sin on Calvary. No merit of my own His anger to suppress. My only hope is found in Jesus’ righteousness. His grace has planned it all. ‘Tis mine but to believe, and recognize His work of love and Christ receive.” Norman J. Clayton
IMPACT- 97 Preservation, Secure in Him “The perseverance of the saints means that all who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives, and that only those who persevere until the end have been truly born again.” W. G.
IMPACT- 98 Persecution Paul warned Timothy that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them….”
IMPACT- 99 Prayer, Relationship “We have heard of many people who trusted God too little, but have you ever heard of anyone who trusted Him too much?” J. Hudson Taylor, Missionary
IMPACT- 100 Prayer, Reverence “People only have true understanding when they look at everything from God’s perspective. Authentic wisdom begins when we understand that God is to be the object of our devotion, or adoration, and our reverence.” R. C. Sproul
IMPACT- 101 Prayer, Resignation “There are no ‘ifs’ in God’s Kingdom. His timing is perfect. His will is our hiding place. Lord Jesus, keep me in Your will! Don’t let me go mad by poking about outside it.” “You can never learn that Christ is all you need until Christ is all you have.” Corrie Ten Boom, Survivor of a German Concentration Camp
IMPACT- 102 Prayer, Requests Unlike some believers in the today’s world, most of us in America have never had to pray, “Give us THIS day, our DAILY bread!” That day may come to America again, as it did during the Great Depression days with their soup kitchens!
IMPACT- 103 Prayer, Repentance In the 1800’s, J. C. Ryle reminded Christians that “True repentance is no light matter. It is a thorough change of heart about sin, a change showing itself in godly sorrow and humiliation -— in heartfelt confession before the throne of grace -— in a complete breaking off from sinful habits, and an abiding hatred of all sin. Such repentance is the inseparable companion of saving faith in Christ.”
IMPACT- 104 Prayer, Rescue As believers, we must respond to temptation as we would to a poisonous snake—flee! We must fear sin as a cancer that will grow in its capacity to destroy us if it is not dealt with speedily, seriously and completely.
IMPACT- 105 Prayer, Rest “Character is the product of daily, hourly actions, and words and thoughts; daily forgivenesses, unselfishness, kindnesses, sympathies, charities, sacrifices for the good of others, struggles against temptation, submissiveness under trial. Oh, it is these, like the blending colors in a picture or the blending notes of music which constitute the man.” J.R. Macduff
IMPACT- 106 Show Time, Alone Time Psalm 91:1 “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” What does your private worship of God in prayer and Bible study say about your relationship with Him?
IMPACT 107 Praise the LORD! “When we praise God let us arouse our innermost self, our central life: we have but one soul, and if it be saved from eternal wrath, it is bound to praise its Savior. Come heart, mind, thought! Come my whole being, my soul, my all, be all on flame with joyful adoration!” Charles Spurgeon
IMPACT- 108 Be An Example In any endeavor, public success takes private preparation.
IMPACT-109 Approved Unto God “You do not do God a favor by serving Him. He honors you by allowing you to serve Him.” V. Nyquist
IMPACT- 110 Learn From Your Heroes David wrote, “Those who fear You will be glad when they see me, Because I have hoped in Your word.” (Psa. 119:74). May that be true of us as well!
IMPACT- Christmas 2016 May God enable us to rejoice in the living hope that is ours through faith in the Prince of Peace—Immanuel, God with us!
IMPACT 111 2016 The Gospel “When we preach Christ crucified, we have no reason to stammer, or stutter, or hesitate, or apologize; there is nothing in the gospel of which we have any cause to be ashamed.” (C.H. Spurgeon)
IMPACT- 112 Grieving the Holy Spirit Gratitude that God has secured our salvation, and given us His indwelling Holy Spirit should inspire us to guard against grieving Him in any way.
IMPACT 113 War Between the Flesh and the Spirit In all of life, we are to display devotion to God, discipline of self and deferment to the welfare of others.
IMPACT 114 Don’t Fall For The Bait! The lives of believers in the Bible clearly demonstrate that we are all prone to wander. Allurements arise from within, from uncontrolled appetites and evil passions
IMPACT 115 Giving An Account To God What would you choose to change in your thoughts, words and deeds if you knew that they all were recorded? What if everything was to be played back and judged at the end of each day by someone to whom you were responsible and for whom you have great respect and admiration?
IMPACT- 116 The Battlefield of Your Mind On the path to every temptation, God has provided an “exit ramp” to safety. We cannot be made to stay on the road to sin.
IMPACT 117 Carefulness and Compassion The pathway to entrapment and destruction may be through a door that looks innocent and welcoming. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
IMPACT- 118 Trials Can Make or Break You Our response to a trial determines whether it becomes a test that can develop us or a temptation that can destroy us.
IMPACT 119 A God-Centered View of Life When faith drives obedience, we strive to obey even when we do not understand “the what” and “the why” of trials that God brings into our lives.
IMPACT- 120 Glory to Galilee By God’s grace and for His glory, we must humbly be whoever, endure whatever, go wherever and do whatever He demands whenever He demands it.
IMPACT- 121 Gethsemane, Garden of Grief and Grace It is the Christian who daily praises God for His faithfulness that is confident to petition Him for power and for peace in the midst of difficulty.
IMPACT- 122 Gabbatha, Crucible of Shame and Pain “My sorrow and sickness laid stripes on His back, My sins caused the blood that was shed; My faults and my failures have woven a crown Of thorns, that He wore on His head.” Ira F. Stanphill
IMPACT 123 The Compelling Incentive To Holiness The term, “carnal Christian,” makes about as much sense as the term “adulterous soul mate!” As Christ’s bride, a true believer cannot practice the spiritual adultery of loving the world and living in sin.
IMPACT 124 Godly Character, Part I All-knowing God, Thy searching eye looks past my habits to my heart Where weaknesses and strengths lie bare before Thy piercing, holy stare.
IMPACT 125 Godly Character, Part II What should characterize an individual who has been saved from the penalty for sin by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone for the glory of God alone?
IMPACT 126 Be Faithful No Matter What, Part I “Character is the product of daily, hourly actions, and words and thoughts; daily forgivenesses, unselfishness, kindnesses, sympathies, charities, sacrifices for the good of others, struggles against temptation, submissiveness under trial. Oh, it is these, like the blending colors in a picture or the blending notes of music which constitute the man.” J.R. Macduff
IMPACT 127 Be Faithful No Matter What, Part II “We have heard of many people who trusted God too little, but have you ever heard of anyone who trusted Him too much?” J. Hudson Taylor, missionary
IMPACT 128 Be Faithful No Matter What, Part III No one is immune to doubt and discouragement when dealing with a crisis; however, we must refuse to become sinfully distracted by circumstances that we see as our problem to escape and not as God’s providence to embrace.
IMPACT- 129 God’s Providence Among the Nations We live in a dangerous world that is becoming increasingly hostile towards biblical Christianity. We can rest in the unshakable truth that God is the Sovereign Who will have the final say in History. No current event is a surprise to Him!
IMPACT- 130 God’s Providence in the Lives of His People “When my spirit, clothed immortal, wings its flight to realms of day. This my song through endless ages, ‘Jesus led me all the way.’” (Fannie Crosby, blind hymn writer) As Christians, we embrace the truth that God ordains the events that come into our lives. How we respond to them makes them obstacles to deter or defeat us, or opportunities for us to grow and “glow” for His glory.
IMPACT 131 Portraits With Purpose, Abel’s Worship “Worship is, essentially, the reverse of sin. Sin began (and begins) when we succumb to the temptation, ‘You shall be as gods.’ We make ourselves the center of the universe and dethrone God. By contrast, worship is giving God His true worth; it is acknowledging Him to be the Lord of all things, and the Lord of everything in our lives. He is, indeed, the Most High God!” – Sinclair B. Ferguson
IMPACT- 132 Portraits With Purpose, Enoch’s Witness “Let your Christianity be so unmistakable, your eye so single, your heart so whole, your walk so straightforward that all who see you may have no doubt Whose you are and Whom you serve.” J.C. Ryle
IMPACT- 133 Portraits With Purpose, Noah’s Work “Some people fail to recognize opportunity because it so often comes to them in overalls and looks like work.” [Unknown] Work can be an opportunity to glorify God when done with excellence!
IMPACT- 134 Portraits With Purpose, Abraham’s Willingness For the obedient Christian, life is all about pleasing God; it is about doing what He wants, when He wants, where He wants, and how He wants for why He wants—to display the glory of His grace and to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ in the gospel.
IMPACT- 135 Portraits With Purpose, Sarah’s Waivering “The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith. The beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.” [“George Müller, a Christian evangelist and Director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England, cared for 10,024 orphans in his life.”
IMPACT- 136 Portraits With Purpose, Abraham’s Wealth “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot (Missionary martyred by the Auca Indians)
IMPACT 137 Portraits With Purpose, Isaac’s Will What more could anyone ask when it comes to leaving a lasting impact upon others than to have it said that we personified trust in, and fear of, the Lord?
IMPACT 138 Portraits With Purpose, Moses’s Wisdom “God has wisely kept us in the dark concerning future events and reserved for himself the knowledge of them (so) that he may train us up in a dependence upon himself and a continued readiness for every event.” Matthew Henry
IMPACT 139 Israel’s Wonders “There is a living God. He has spoken in the Bible. He means what He has said and will do all He has promised.” J. Hudson Taylor, Missionary to China
IMPACT 140 Rahab’s Wickedness “How can it be? How can it be? That God should love a soul like me, O how can it be?” A.B. Christiansen
IMPACT 141 Gideon’s Wit “Trust in yourself and you are doomed to disappointment; but trust in GOD, and you are never to be confounded in time or eternity.” Dwight L. Moody
IMPACT 142 Portraits With Purpose, Barak’s Weakness “God is not a deceiver, that He should offer to support us, and then, when we lean upon Him, should slip away from us.” –Augustine
IMPACT 143 Portraits With Purpose, Samson’s Worldliness “True faith does not contradict its words by its conduct.” Anonymous
IMPACT 144 Portraits with Purpose, Jephthah’s Word “It’s amazing how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.” Unknown
IMPACT 145 Portraits With Purpose, David’s Warfare “Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it….” David
IMPACT 146 Portraits With Purpose, Samuel’s Worthy Service “I am only one, but I am one; I cannot do everything, but I can do something; What I can do, I ought to do; And what I ought to do, by the grace of God, I will do.” [Attributed to several sources]
IMPACT 148, God’s A Honor Roll, Introduction “Many Christians estimate difficulty in the light of their own resources, and thus they attempt very little and they always fail. All giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on His power and presence to be with them.” James Hudson Taylor, Missionary to China
IMPACT 149 Gods A Honor Roll, Ambition “This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it– or use it for good, but what I do today is important, because I am exchanging a day of my life for it! When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something that I have traded for it. I want it to be gain, and not loss; good, and not evil, success, and not failure; in order that I shall not regret the price that I have paid for it.” Heartsill Wilson, motivational speaker 1950s
IMPACT 150 God’s A Honor Roll, Attitude “One thing we may be sure of…: For the believer all pain has meaning; all adversity is profitable. There is no question that adversity is difficult. It usually takes us by surprise and seems to strike where we are most vulnerable. To us it often appears completely senseless and irrational, but to God none of it is either senseless or irrational. He has a purpose in every pain He brings or allows in our lives. We can be sure that in some way He intends it for our profit and His glory.” Jerry Bridges
IMPACT 151 God’s A Honor Roll, Accomplishment Don’t despise small things; remember that a little lantern can do what a great sun can never do—it can shine in the night.” –Unknown
IMPACT 152 God’s A Honor Roll, Affections “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love. Take my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for thy courts above.” Robert Robinson
IMPACT 153 God’s A Honor Roll, Attendance “Active local church membership is imperative to living a life without compromise. It is only through the ministry of the local church that a believer can receive the kind of teaching, accountability, and encouragement that is necessary for him to stand firm in his convictions. God has ordained that the church provide the kind of environment where an uncompromising life can thrive.” J. MacArthur
IMPACT 154 God’s A Honor Roll, Abundance “All through Scripture there is an intimate (relationship) between the development of a man’s character and how he handles his money.” R.C. Halverson
IMPACT 155 God’s A Honor Roll, Affliction “Jesus did not promise to change the circumstances around us. He promised great peace and pure joy to those who would learn to believe that God actually controls all things.” Corrie Ten Boom, Survivor of a German concentration camp
IMPACT 156 God’s A Honor Roll, Adversity “Adversity is God’s most effective tool for the advancement of our spiritual lives.” Charles Stanley
IMPACT 157 God’s A Honor Roll, Anguish A vital lesson that we must learn from Christ’s emotional journey to Calvary is this: our response during the anguish of our own “Gethsemanes” must be “Father, if it is possible, let this ‘cup’ pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
IMPACT 158 God’s A Honor Roll, Appearance, Part I Clothes and company tell true tales about character.” J, C, Ryle, written in the 1800’s
IMPACT 159 God’s A Honor Roll, Appearance Part II Jesus laid a foundation for the truth that every area of our life should clearly be addressed with our testimony in view. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
IMPACT 160 God’s A Honor Roll, Advancement You are now becoming who you will one day be. As we enter a new year, it behooves each of us to ask some questions. “Who have I become?” “What plans for growth and change do I intend to make in 2018?” “How might I make a positive impact upon others?”
IMPACT 161 God’s A Honor Roll, Ability “For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” I Corinthians 4:7
IMPACT 162 God’s A Honor Roll, Advantages or Assets Presuming that a person has the needed skills for a particular occupation, there are four assets available to everyone that will give a clear advantage when it comes to getting, keeping and excelling in their job for the glory of God and the good of their employer: punctuality, respect, diligence and commendable appearance.
IMPACT 163 God’s A Honor Roll, Actions When evaluating our involvement in an activity, our first and foremost considerations should be the glory of God and the eternal good of others.
IMPACT 164 God’s A Honor Roll, Articulation Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
IMPACT 165 God’s A Honor Roll, Amusements Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” “The question is not, ‘How much may I indulge in and still be saved?’ God forbid!” R.A. Cook.
IMPACT 166 God’s A Honor Roll, Acquaintances Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
IMPACT 167 God’s A Honor Roll, Adoration How subtle is the flesh within that worships worship and not Him—the great and glorious God of light Whose grace redeemed me from sin’s night. Oh, Holy Spirit, guide my thoughts that I might worship as I ought, and weigh the word-gift that I bring in homage to the King of kings.
IMPACT 168 God’s A Honor Roll, Assurance “Assurance grows by repeated conflict, by our repeated experimental proof of the Lord’s power and goodness to save; when we have been brought very low and helped, sorely wounded and healed, cast down and raised again, have given up all hope, and been suddenly snatched from danger, and placed in safety; and when these things have been repeated to us and in us a thousand times over, we begin to learn to trust simply to the word and power of God, beyond and against appearances: and this trust, when habitual and strong, bears the name of assurance; for even assurance has degrees.” John Newton
IMPACT 169 God’s A Honor Roll, Acclaim May our investment of every day that God gives to us be consumed with bringing acclaim to the Lord Jesus Christ.
IMPACT 170 LORD, My Name Forever “Upon describing God’s greatness, Job rightfully exclaimed, “Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?” 26:14
IMPACT 171, The Lord Our Righteousness GRACE is God’s unearned and undeserved favor. Nowhere is it more evident than in the giving of His Son that we might be righteous in His sight and thereby be granted eternal life. [God’s Righteousness At Christ’s Expense]
IMPACT 172 The Lord is My Shepherd Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” (John 10:11, 14-15)
IMPACT 173 The LORD Will Provide “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Paul
IMPACT 174 The LORD Who Sanctifies “Godly character is not the result of good intentions, wishful thinking, some mystical ‘zap,’ or even sheer Bible knowledge. It’s developed through the self-disciplined application of God’s Word at a very basic level, enabled and empowered by God’s Spirit.” J. MacArthur
IMPACT 175, The LORD is Peace “If God be our God, He will give us peace in trouble. When there is a storm without, He will make peace within. The world can create trouble in peace, but God can create peace in trouble.” Thomas Watson
IMPACT 176, The Lord Who Heals “God has a purpose in every pain He brings or allows in our lives. We can be sure that in some way He intends it for our profit and His glory.” Jerry Bridges
IMPACT 177, The God Who Sees “Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ‘Tis grace had brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.” John Newton
IMPACT 178, The Lord Who Protects “Often times God demonstrates His faithfulness in adversity by providing for us what we need to survive. He does not change our painful circumstances. He sustains us through them.” Charles Stanley
IMPACT, Year-End Thoughts on Finishing —doing my best for the glory of God and the eternal good of others. I Corinthians 10:31-33
IMPACT 179 The Lord is There No one is immune to doubt and discouragement when dealing with a crisis; however, we must refuse to become so sinfully distracted by hard circumstances that we see them as our problem to escape and not as God’s providence to embrace. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us!
IMPACT 180 Adonai, Master We best imitate Christ in all of life’s circumstances when we pray, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven….” Matthew 6:9-10
IMPACT 181 Elohim, Strong and Faithful One “God is not a deceiver, that He should offer to support us, and then, when we lean upon Him, should slip away from us.” –Augustine
IMPACT 182 El Shaddai, Almighty God “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.” Missionary J. Hudson Taylor
IMPACT 183 El Elyon, God Most High Author Paul David Tripp writes, “Many people have talked to me about God in the middle of difficulties, and after listening to them, I have been struck that, if I believed in the ‘God’ they described, I wouldn’t run to him for help either, and I’d be in a panic.”
IMPACT 184, The Everlasting God Scripture clearly describes the providence of the Everlasting God that is unfolding with each passing day. Because of His grace, Christians can have confidence in the approaching storm. The Lord is coming! [Romans 1; II Timothy 3; II Peter 3]
IMPACT 185, Proper Reverence for God’s Name The proper use of God’s name is to praise Him, to plead with Him as our Provider and Protector, to proclaim Him as Savior to those who are not Christians, and as “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” to those Christians who are experiencing severe trials.
IMPACT 186, The Fear of God “The fear of God is respecting Him, obeying Him, submitting to His discipline, and worshipping Him in awe.” J. I. Packer in Knowing God
IMPACT 187 In the Beginning God If you do not believe that “In the beginning God created…” then what do you believe about the Bible and about God?
IMPACT 188 The Unknown God God is not a “Master Card” through Whom self-deceived individuals think they get a ticket into heaven and out of hell only to live the remainder of their life as they think it should be lived.
IMPACT 189 Love for God and Others “Agape love is not a feeling; it’s a motivation for action that we are free to choose or reject. Agape is a sacrificial love that voluntarily suffers inconvenience, discomfort, and even death for the benefit of another without expecting anything in return. We are called to agape love through Christ’s example.” [From “Compelling Truth”]
IMPACT 190 No Biblical Love, No Spiritual Life! Agape love is the fundamental expectation and evidence of saving faith. John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love [agapao] one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love [agape] for one another.”
IMPACT 191 Love in the Family God’s plan for marriage is one man and one woman fulfilling their vows made before Him for a lifetime of growing and giving.
IMPACT 192 Roles in the Family, the Wife Harmony in the home necessitates fulfilling God-given roles for His glory.
IMPACT 193 Roles in the Family, the husband The keys to harmony in the home involve fulfilling God-given roles for His glory.