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.”