Bible study

Generosity Toward All

God has His people in areas and in "flocks" that we know nothing of, and with the humility of Jesus we should be reaching out to other Christians and encouraging them in their spiritual journey, all the while, refraining from statements and actions that offend other Christians who claim to be followers of Jesus, yet do not live their relationship with Christ exactly as we do. These gospel stories invite us to generosity toward all who claim to be followers of Jesus.

Christ's high priestly prayer in John 17 is a reminder that He is still concerned about Christian unity today. His focus is not on organiational or structural unity, but on unity in faith, truth, and love. His prayer should be ours as we seek to solidify our faith in His sanctifying Word. Surely, love for one another should characterize our relationship with fellow Christians, however diverse our understanding of the gospel may be.

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A Perfect Work

Today the One who uttered this prayer is interceding before the Father in behalf of the human beings He has redeemed. He presents them to Jehovah, saying, "I have graven them upon the palms of My hands" (cf. Isaiah 49:16).

Sanctification is to come through the truth; oneness with Christ--this is God's purpose for us. By their sanctification and their unity, Christians are to give evidence to the world that a perfect work has been done for them, in and through Christ. Thus they are to bear witness that God sent His Son to save sinners. Will you not let Christ carry on this work of sanctification in your hearts? You may all be complete in Him. You have the assurance that through the sanctification of the truth you may be made perfect in one.

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Mighty to Save

The omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit is the defense of every contrite soul. Not one that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy's power. . . . When temptations and trials come, do not wait to adjust all the difficulties, but look to Jesus, your helper.

There are Christians who think and speak altogether too much about the power of Satan. They think of their adversary, they pray about him, they talk about him, and he looms up greater and greater in their imagination. It is true that Satan is a powerful being; but, thank God, we have a mighty Saviour, who cast out the evil one from heaven. Satan is pleased when we magnify his power. Why not talk of Jesus? Why not magnify His power and His love?

The rainbow of promise encircling the throne on high is an everlasting testimony that "God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). It testifies to the universe that God will never forsake His people in their struggle with evil. It is an assurance to us of strength and protection as long as the throne itself shall endure.

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Friends for Eternity

There is danger of allowing a needs-based ministry to eclipse the sharing of the gospel message. Some people never go beyond ministering to physical and emotional needs, because it doesn't carry the same risk of offending as does sharing Bible truth. However, unless those for whom we labor are invited to follow Jesus and His Word, what has truly been gained? The gospel is still the world's greatest need. . . .

Even when suffering from illness or disease, the greatest and most urgent need is often the healing of the soul. Christ's pronouncement to the paralytic that his sins were forgiven, which He made prior to healing his body, provides a striking example of this. . . .

If we mingle, sympathize, and minister, but never invite, we are making friends for this life only. But God would have us make friends for eternity.

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