IMPACT 2014-15

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.  The following are the IMPACTS for the 2014-15 school year. 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.