What Does The Bible Say About Angels?

ANGELS PROTECT AND MINISTER TO GOD’S PEOPLE
See Psalm 91: 11 & 12
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.  12 In their hands they shall bear you up,  lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

Angels are mentioned throughout the Bible as protecting God’s chosen people or bringing them messages from God—appearing to Jacob (Genesis 32:1); Daniel (Daniel 6:22); Moses and the children of Israel (Numbers 20:16); Zacharias, Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds (Matthew 1: Luke 1; 2); and Philip (Acts 8:26), to mention a few.  Angels ministered to Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4), and angels rolled back the stone of Christ’s empty tomb (Matthew 28:2).

ANGELS GLORIFY GOD
See Revelation 5: 11, 12
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

Angels sing praises to God, and they will accompany Christ when He returns to earth to set up His kingdom.  Matthew 25:31 says, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.”

ANGELS CHARACTERISTICS
See Isaiah 6: 2, 6
2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.  6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar.

There are many opinions about angels and what they are like; we look to the Bible for God’s insight on His messengers.  The Bible may not tell us everything we want to know about angels; but we know God’s Word is true, and from it we can glean the following.  Some passages, as this one, describe angels as having wings (see also Daniel 9:21).  Angels are powerful holy beings (2 Peter 2:11; Luke 9:26) who do not have physical bodies as we know them.  They are usually invisible to the human eye; however, at times their appearance is glorious with the light of God surrounding them (Matthew 28:2-4).  They occasionally appear in human form (Genesis 19).  In fact, Hebrews 13:2 warns, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.”
In his book, Angels: God’s Secret Agents, Billy Graham said, “We may not always be aware of the presence of angels.  We can’t always predict how they will appear.  But angels have been said to be our neighbors.  Often they may be our companions without our being aware of their presence.  We know little of their constant ministry.  The Bible assures us, however, that one day our eyes will be unscaled to see and know the full extent of the attention angels have given us (1 Corinthians 13:11, 12).”

These excerpts were taken from The Billy Graham Training Center Bible.

If you are visiting The Cove before December 31, 2012, stop by Ruth’s Attic Bookstore and save $5 on the softcover, hardcover & bonded leather Billy Graham Training Center Bible and $10 on the genuine leather edition Billy Graham Training Center Bible.   Click here to print coupon.

Kendra’s Bible Study: Joshua 10:6-11

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study. This is a place where women can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!
Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture. We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.
Step 1: Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 10:6-11

What Does it Say? FACTS

6-7. Gibeon sent word to Joshua, “Do not abandon your servants, come to us, save us, help us for all the kings in the hill country have assembled against us.” Joshua went.
8. The LORD said, “DO NOT FEAR, I have given them into your hands”
9. So Joshua came upon them by marching all night
10 The LORD confounded them before Israel, He slew them, & pursued them
11. They fled before Israel, while on the descent, the LORD threw large stones from heaven. More died from hailstones than whom Israel killed with the sword.

What Does it Mean? LESSONS

6-7. Allowing the Canaanite Kings to wipe out Gibeon would have been tempting…. then Joshua is out of his vow, and the conquering of the promised land could go on as scheduled. In Joshua 9:15, it says, “Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them to let them live” Joshua said “he” would not kill them…. but hey, if the other kings in the area wanted to kill Gibeon…. who was he not to allow it…. right? You can see here, just what a man of honor Joshua is! Gibeon is grafted into Israel at this point, just the same as Rahab and her family were, “If you mess with me, my family, or my servants… you are in for it!” Joshua gets the army suited up for battle, and they are going to protect everyone, from the greatest to the least! What a great reflection of what Christ does for us in John 10:11 “I AM the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep”. Joshua is willing here to lay down his life, and the lives of his men, for these new sheep, brought into the fold. Remember Matthew 25:40 as well, as Jesus says, “Truly I say to you to the extent you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” Joshua is a man of honor. May I be the same in the vows I make, even to (especially to) the “least of these”.

8. God commands me not to fear in my obedience to Him & promises victory. Challenges force choices…. choose not to fear, “Press toward the goal” Phil. 3:14. LORD, help me to set my unbelief down and pick up the courage and victory in Your Word!

9. Faith is found in the “verb position”. I must participate, “Be careful to do all…Joshua 1:8” Faith is dependent on courage and obedience. I cannot speak of having a deep meaningful faith without having both.

10. As I show up and stand where God has asked me to stand, and say what He has asked me to say, even if it involves an all night march, just wait and watch because God will do what only He can do. If I never have the courage to obey, I will never see what my God wants to show me. It is not what I can do, but through my obedience I get to see what only my God can do!

11. I must have the courage to obey; God does the work. To Him who can do far more than I can ask or think…. Ephesians 3:20

What Does it Mean to Me? APPLICATIONS

6-7. Am I constantly looking for loopholes to “get out of” promises made? Do I say what I mean and mean what I say because of the God I serve? Does honor and integrity matter in my life? Will I keep my word if it is a person of “importance” and “title”, but not so much if the person has neither importance or title in my eyes?

8. Do I have a faith that beats back fear, or does my fear consistently get the best of my faith?

9. How has obedience to God required courage in my life? Did I face up, press in & have the necessary courage to obey…. or not?

10. What testimony of God’s character have I seen displayed in my life? Where has God asked me to stand and what has He asked me to say?

11. Will I be careful to do according to what God has asked of me (Joshua 1:8) or will I shrink back in fear?

LIVE IT OUT.

Lord, help me to have the courage to press in to faith and not to run in fear, help me to stand where You have asked me to stand and say what You have asked me to say with courage.

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications and what they mean
to you.   Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?  Please share this blog link with them.

HOMEWORK: Joshua 10:12-14

Service, Sacrifice and Freedom

In honor of Memorial Day, we are featuring excerpts from two Billy Graham books, in which he describes the impact of his ministry to soldiers on the front lines of the Korean War.

From I Saw Your Sons at War

Seated here I can close my eyes, and for the moment shut out these familiar scenes of home.  Then I can hear again the roar of artillery…see the utter devastation of the Korean countryside…see the homeless orphan children crying for food and warmth in the chill of a Korean winter.

I can see also the American GIs standing on a snow-covered, wind-swept hillside to hear the Gospel, and then go back to the trenches…see some of those same GI’s in a front  line MASH hospital (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital), dying, and as they die,  hear them talk about home in Arkansas…Oregon…Minnesota…Vermont.

And when I open my eyes, and it hardly seems possible, for here the only planes we ever see here are friendly passenger planes, headed north to Washington…or south to Charlotte, and Atlanta.

It seems unbelievable that just weeks ago I walked amid the complete destruction which is the aftermath of a modern bombing and artillery barrage.

And though the entire trip seems so remote and far away now that I am home, I know this, that my visit to Korea was the greatest experience of my ministry. Nothing has ever made such a profound, and I pray, lasting impression on my Christian life.

From Just As I Am

My first sermon on the front lines saw me on a newly built platform graced by a painting done by a soldier forty miles away. Troops had carried the painting (which depicted Christ watching over an exhausted soldier) to us overnight, and it stood next  to me as I preached.

I did not use humor or stories to break the ice that night. I dove right into the Gospel, and
hundreds responded. I felt the Spirit of God in that meeting.

Men of every rank came forward, many in tears—and they were rough, rugged men—to receive Christ.

In a field hospital about a mile behind the front lines on Christmas Eve, we went from bed to bed, bringing greetings and trying to encourage the wounded.

One young man was so mangled that he lay face down on a canvas-and-steel contraption. A doctor whispered to me, “I doubt he’ll ever walk again.”

“Mr. Graham, can I see your face?” asked the young man. “We’ve all been praying for you and looking forward to your coming. I won’t be able to be at the service.” So I lay on the floor beneath him and looked up into his hollow eyes, still stunned with his fate. I prayed with him.

“Sir,” said the young man to General Jenkins, who was escorting me, “I fought for you, but I’ve never seen you. Could I see your face?” The general got down on all fours, slid under that bed as best he could, and talked with the young man. I saw a tear fall from the soldier onto the general’s cheek.

When we walked from the bleeding, broken dying men of that hospital into the crisp, clean, thirty-below-zero air of Christmas Eve, I felt sadder, older, and more aware of the needs and suffering not only in Asia, but also in the entire world.

Billy Graham My Answer Columns for Memorial Day

Our son is planning to enlist in the military in a few months. I know we’re supposed to
believe God will take care of him, but right now we’ve got a bad case of nerves and our fears are a lot stronger than our faith. How can we get over this?
Read Mr. Graham’s Answer »

My husband is serving with the military overseas, and I can’t begin to tell you how difficult
it’s been for our children and me. How can we get through this? I pray all the time, but it’s still very hard.
Read Mr. Graham’s Answer »

I prayed a lot while I was on duty in Iraq and I made all sorts of promises to God about the
way I’d live if He got me out of there alive. Well, He did, but I’ve been back about six months now, and I’m ashamed to say I have not followed through on my promises. How can I do better?
Read Mr. Graham’s Answer »

 

Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 10:1-5

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1: Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES selected from Joshua 10:1-5 homework:

The FACTS: What does it say?
10:4&5:  (The King of Jerusalem said) Come and help me attack Gibeon for it made peace with Joshua and Israel.(5) So they gathered with their armies and fought against it.

LESSONS: What Does it Mean?
These two verses in Joshua 10, struck me as I read them and immediately thought of the words Jesus said:
John 15:18-22, 25 “If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before if hated you. (19) If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this, the world hates you. (20)…. if they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you, if they kept My word they will keep yours also. (21) All these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. (22) If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. (25) They have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law: ‘THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE’.”

The rest of the nations around Gibeon are furious that Gibeon made peace with God and His people.  Some are convicted to repentence (Gibeon) and others convicted yet angered and embittered.  I love the fact that Gibeon was not a city of weaklings, but a city of great men of valor, and that valor is shown more boldly in their humility to put aside their brute strength, take on the title of slave, in order to be part of God’s people! WOW!!! Humility before God is strength and LIFE!
Zechariah 4:6 “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of hosts.”

I should not be surprised that when I decided to follow Jesus, things will get tough, Jesus told me they would, but REMEMBER:
John 15:26,27 “..I will send to you from the Father, that is, the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also..”

DO NOT BE SHOCKED BY ADVERSITY!  BE CONFIDENT IN THE GOD WHO CALLED ME. DO NOT SHRINK BACK.  BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS.  The enemy attacked the new members of God’s family, Be on alert and be ready to fight with those, for those, encourage (pour courage into) those who are new in their faith.  STAND STRONG TOGETHER, and have your eyes peeled, ready to see God fight for His people!  Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto Me and I will answer thee and show thee GREAT ND MIGHTY things which thou knowest not!”

APPLICATION: What does it mean to me?
When have I felt the weight of the world against me? Did I stand strong in the Truth of God’s Word or fall hard in the reality of my own strength or lack thereof?

Am I surprised by the hatred of the world against God’s people?

How have I been challenged and encouraged by these verses?

LIVE IT OUT:
Know what God’s Word says.  Pray for and encourage new and seasoned believers.  Challenges force choices, Lord, give me the strength to stand and not run.

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications from a verse or two
and what they mean to you.
Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?  Please
share this blog link with them.

Homework: Joshua 10:6-10

 

A Christmas Wish Granted…

By Trevor Freeze

It’s the beginning of December and the wracking of brains begins.

What do we get mom and dad for Christmas?

Another tie? Sweater? Movie passes? Weed eater?

For the Stevens family, the decision of what to get the folks for Christmas has become a whole lot easier.

“They know we love to travel,” Lynn Stevens said of her three grown children. “And they know we love this place.”

“This place” is The Cove — The Billy Graham Training Center — in Asheville,  N.C., and this past weekend, Tom and Lynn Stevens were using a gift certificate  from their three children to stay over after attending the Night of Worship
event.

“Stuff you forget,” Tom said. “A night at The Cove, you don’t forget. It’s an experience.”

It’s the second straight Christmas that Mandy, 33, Andrew, 29, and Emily, 27, decided to bless their parents with a trip to The Cove, although it was a  little easier the second time around.

“It was kind of a not-so-subtle hint,” Tom said.

That hint came shortly after the Stevens used the first Cove Gift Certificate to attend A Night of Worship with Andrew Peterson in 2011 and fell in love with  the place.

“The closeness you feel here,” said Lynn, who came from Eden, N.C., north of  Greensboro. “You can just sense the presence of God.”

But it wasn’t until the Stevens were in the car on their way to The Cove in  December that they felt God’s timing. The gift certificate was set to expire the very next day.

“We looked at the gift certificate and I said ‘What day is today?’ ” Tom said.
“That’s just how God works. He’s got a sense of humor.”

And as far as next year’s Christmas gift?

Any other ideas come to mind?

“We’re going to keep talking about this,” Tom said.

To learn more about The Cove, click here.
To purchase a Cove gift certificate for your loved one, click here.

Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 9:22-27

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study. This is a place where women can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!
Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture. We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.
Step 1: Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 9:22-27

FACTS: What Does it Say?

22: Joshua spoke: “Why have you deceived us, saying ‘We are far’ When you are within our land?”
23: Now you are cursed and shall never cease being slaves
24: They answered: “It was told that the LORD had commanded Moses to give you the land & destroy the ALL inhabitants, we feared for our lives.”
25: “We are in your hands, do as it seems good and right to do.”
26: They did not kill them.
27: Joshua made them hewers of wood, drawers of water for the congregation and the altar of the LORD

LESSONS, What does it Mean?

22: Joshua confronts the lie. Sin must be dealt with, not shoved under the rug or ignored. We are sinners. We will all find ourselves at one time or another in this situation, confronted with our wrongdoing. Romans 3:23 “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:10 “There is none righteous, no not one.”
23: There are consequences for deceitful actions, sin. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” We too, all find ourselves deserving of a punishment, we too have no hope of getting out of. BUT…. GOD!!! Romans 5:8 “BUT GOD demonstrated His own LOVE for US that while we were still sinners (enemies, Gibeonites,) Christ died for US!” Romans 10:9 “ that if you confess with your mouth, Jesus as LORD and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
24-25: The Gibeonites knew the Truth, when confronted with their deceit they did not fight the charges, “Yes, we came in deceit. You are calling us liars, that is accurate, do as you (Israel) think is right.” The Gibeonites believed God would do what He said he would do when they heard it through Moses, so they were doomed, a people without hope. Gibeon is trying to be counted in with Israel and their God, they realize they don’t deserve to be saved, and they put their future in the hands of Joshua. Romans 10:9 “ that if you confess with your mouth, Jesus as LORD and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.”
Before I get all up in Joshua’s grill for “letting Gibeon off the hook” I need to remember that same grace is extended to me and to you from God Almighty! We are all no better than the Gibeonites, and yes, grace and mercy have been extended to us through Jesus, if we are willing to accept it. The choice is ours! (this same grace was extended to Rahab and her family in chapter 6)
26: Gibeon did not receive what they deserved. By the grace of God, they were saved.
Romans 5:1 “Therefore since we have been justified by faith we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ.” Romans 8:1 “Therefore there is NOW NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
27: Once saved by grace, honestly it doesn’t matter what it is that God has asked me to do, no task is too menial or too far beneath me, because of the depths to which God has come to invade my life and save me. By the grace of God, Gibeon was able to cut wood and draw water for the God of Israel, now, their God…. the God who saved them, not because they lied were they saved, but because of God’s grace and His grace alone. PRAISE GOD! Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that is greater than all my sin….
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast.”

Applications, What does it Mean to Me?

22: Am I willing to confront the sin in my life and deal with it? Have I ever stopped to realize that I am a sinner, unholy before a holy God?
23: Do I get mad at God when I am faced with the consequences for my own actions? Do I find myself in a place of hopelessness because of my sin? Did I ever realize the consequences for my sin are separation from a God who loves me and provided a way to fix that gap of separation?
24-25: Am I quick to agree with God about the status of my heart, or am I stubborn trying to fight the charges with some fancy lawyering? Have I asked God what the status of my heart is? Am I thankful for the grace God extended to me, but when it comes to “other worse” people in my eyes, do I judge them and get angry with God’s mercy and love? Do I believe and take God at His Word, like the Gibeonites did?
26: Do I realize God has provided a way out from underneath the consequences of my sin?
27: How has God extended His grace to me? Have I accepted God’s gift of grace in my life, Have I accepted Jesus? (God’s gift is always a gift, offered, free and undeserved, but it is not mine until I receive it and take it for myself)

LIVE IT OUT!
Have you ever accepted the grace God has offered to us through Jesus? We too can be counted in as His people, like the Gibeonites and Rahab, but we have to accept the gift. The great thing about this gift, is that is it always available 24/7 to everyone who will accept Him! God’s gift is not a groupon available to just a select few, it will never be sold out! Jesus was God, with skin on. Jesus lived a perfect life, and died a horrific death, the death which demonstrated the wrath God Almighty has against sin. Three days later Jesus rose from the grave! The payment of sin paid in full when He died on the cross, and the grip of sin broken when He rose from the grave. God loves you that much, that He came personally to fix the separation your sin created between you and Him. If you have never accepted God’s free gift of grace, will you now?

If so, here is a simple prayer you can pray to God. Saying this prayer is a way to declare to God that you are relying on Jesus Christ for your salvation. The words themselves will not save you. Only faith in Jesus Christ can provide salvation! “God, I know that I have sinned against you and am deserving of punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. With your help, I place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness – the gift of eternal life! Amen!”

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications from a verse or two and what they mean to you. Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?  Please share this blog link with them.

Homework: Joshua 10:1-5

Jesus Through The Centuries

By Stuart McAllister

Walking along the road with his followers one day, Jesus asked the question, “Who do people say I am?” The disciples offered a summary of the prevailing and popular views. There seemed to be a range of perspectives and a diversity of opinions amongst the people. Jesus then asked those closest to him, those he was mentoring, the ones who were captivated by him and committed to him: “Who do you say that I am?” Peter famously replied, “You are the Christ.” To any normal Jewish hearer, this meant Jesus was being recognized as the Messiah, the Hope of Israel, the promise of redemption.

From the birth of Christ to the present time, controversy has surrounded the name of Jesus. Was he a Jewish rebel, struggling against the status quo? Was he a religious zealot
eager to throw off the shackles of Rome? Was he a mysterious prophet come to impart sacred wisdom to the masses? Was he a good man whose moral example is simply a model for humanity? Was he a legend created by those with a penchant for myth? Was he a symbol constructed for a power-hungry religious empire?

From the earliest rejections of Jesus’s claims about his identity to historical debates ever
since, we now arrive in the era of vitriolic atheism and the culture of suspicion. It never ceases to amaze me how one question asked 2000 years ago can elicit such diverse, conflicting, and passionate discussion. Yet the question is one of such value that a degree of diligence and vigor is rightly demanded. Modern and postmodern claims that the Christian faith is something intellectually untenable have been ably addressed by writers such as Alister McGrath, N. T. Wright, Ben Witherington, Jr., Darrell Bock, and many more. Jaroslav Pelikan’s Jesus Through the Centuries and Philip Yancey’s The
Jesus I Never Knew
are good popular writings on the continuing quest to
rediscover Jesus.

Moreover, long before our quests or attacks on the historical Jesus, ancient writings pointedly answered the question of Christ’s identity. Writing to the young church in the city of Colossae, the apostle Paul wrote these startling words about Jesus: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17). Against the backdrop of Roman Imperial rule and power, these words would have been immensely subversive, a direct challenge to the reigning worldview. Indeed, the central conflict for the Christian became: Who is Lord—Caesar or Jesus? The outcome of this decision was costly, but as history demonstrates, it led to the gospel’s eventual penetration of the heart of Roman power.

Who is Jesus? This question remains as pertinent today as it was to those who were first asked. Is he a mere legend, as some would claim? Volumes of good New Testament studies
have been written that easily refute this claim. Or was he then, as C. S. Lewis asked, a lunatic (one who merely thought he was God), a liar (one who made horrendously false and misleading claims), or indeed, the Son of God?

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus invites those who are weary to come to him. Many centuries earlier, the prophet Jeremiah spoke of the wisdom and insight available to any and all true
seekers: “You shall seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart,” proclaims the divine heart. Perhaps if we meet these conditions, we may find ourselves in for a surprise. Who do you say that he is?

Join Stuart at The Cove in Asheville, NC on August 1-3, 2012 for his seminar titled Conversations That CountClick here to register or call 1-800-950-2092.

A native of Scotland, Stuart McAllister is North American Regional Director and Vice President of Training at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a renowned speaker, writer, and an associate fellow at Oxford University. Stuart speaks all over the globe with the same passion for the Gospel that he found when he first became a believer. Stuart is a frequent contributor to A Slice of Infinity, RZIM’s daily reading on issues of apologetics and philosophy, Just Thinking, the ministry’s tri-annual journal, as well as Engage, a magazine published quarterly by RZIM Educational Trust. Visit his website here to learn more.

Billy Graham: A Tribute to His Mother

“Of all the people I have ever known, she had the greatest influence on me,” Billy Graham said of his mother, Morrow.

Writing in Just As I Am, Billy shared several stories that point to the important role his mother played in shaping his life.

As we prepare to honor mothers this Sunday, check out what he had to say in the autobiography and also at the May 11, 2003, San Diego Crusade.

“In many Crusades over the years,” wrote Billy, “I have devoted at least one message to the subject of the family. In my Depression-era growing-up years, I suppose we Grahams on our North Carolina dairy farm bore some resemblance to the fictional Walton family on television. It’s easy to feel nostalgic about simpler times, but they obviously were not easier times. Nor were they necessarily happier times.

“What we did have back then was family solidarity. We really cared about each other, and we liked to do things together. Jesus’ word picture of a hen gathering her brood under her wing fits my mother. She saw to it that we gathered frequently and regularly—and not just around the dinner table or in front of the radio for favorite broadcasts. She gathered us around herself and my father to listen to Bible stories, to join in family prayers, and to share a sense of the presence of God.”

On August 14, 1981, Morrow Graham quietly left this earth in her sleep and entered Heaven.

“When word came,” said Billy, “I wept and yet rejoiced at the same time. Of all the people I have ever known, she had the greatest influence on me. I am sure one reason that the Lord has directed and safeguarded me, as well as Ruth and the children, through the years was the prayers of my mother and father.”

Speaking on Mother’s Day 2003, Billy told the audience in San Diego that his mother was a farm woman. “She and my father didn’t have much education … But my mother was a woman of God. She always had devotions with us, she always prayed with us, she always loved us, and did so many things, as I look back now, out of the way. And she and my father, when I was in Bible school, they would go up to a room upstairs and kneel down every morning at 10 o’clock to pray for their son in Bible school.”

PHOTO shows Billy Graham and his mother.

A Night of Worship

This Saturday evening, area worship leaders and musicians will offer A Night of Worship – a free community concert event at The Cove, in Asheville, NC beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Robert Williams from Seacoast Church Asheville will be the musical director for the evening, and Seacoast will also be the house band.  Nate Huff of Highland Christian Church and Lucas Parry of Biltmore Baptist East will join us in leading worship. While it’s free, registration for this event is required as space is limited. Before the concert, you can enjoy a gourmet meal. (The cost for this option is $20).

Call us at (800) 950-2092 to reserve your seat!

Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 9:16-21

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 9:16-21 

FACTS, What Does it Say?

16: At the end of 3 days after they made a covenant with them, they heard they were neighbors, living within their land.

17: Israel came to their cities on the third day.

18:  Israel did not strike them b/c the leaders swore an oath by the LORD God of Israel.  The congregation grumbled

19: The leaders said, “ We swore by the LORD the God of Israel, we can’t touch them.”

20: We will let them live, lest wrath be upon us for the oath we swore.”

21:  They became hewers of wood and drawers of water for the whole congregation.

LESSONS, What does it mean?

16-17:  The deceit of Gibeon towards Israel is discovered.  People will set out to deceive me in this world, unfortunately it is a cold hard fact.

18-19:  Hold fast to your word, your word needs to be your bond, it reflects upon the God I say I serve, especially when it is difficult.   Popular opinion may try to sway and pressure me to break my word, after all, the oath was made upon a lie… so doesn’t that make a nice loophole for me to get out of it?  The right thing to do is never the easy thing.

20:  Don’t sin on top of a sin.  Perspective is everything… Don’t be so quick to complain about someone else’s integrity that I degrade my integrity in the process, maybe I am currently being tested in the exact same way…  “In your anger do not sin” Psalm 4:4, Eph 4:26

21:  Better is one day in Your courts as a wood chopper, water carrier, door holder or bathroom cleaner…. than a thousand elsewhere! Perhaps my reaction to the situation will bring that person into contact with their Saviour! PRAISE that God kept His Word to me in spite of my poor behavior!

Application, What Does it Mean to me?

16-17: When have I been purposely deceived by someone and what was my reaction when I found out? Have I ever purposefully deceived someone to get my way or to get ahead, and what was the other person’s reaction when they found out? Anger? Hurt? disappointment? What was my reaction in both situations?  Godly or ungodly?  Did I attempt to make things right, or is it always right so long as I come out ahead? 

18-19: Even strong godly leaders will make mistakes, am I quick to point the finger, or do I realize I am just one decision away from making the exact same mistake?  Am I swayed by the convincing arguments of friends to break my word to someone?

20: Will I give people what I think they deserve? Or will I be careful that I don’t find myself in the same exact sin?  Will I hold fast to my oath for the sake of God’s name even when it’s difficult?  Will I hold fast to my oath for the sake of God’s name when people both godly and ungodly would understand if I didn’t?

21:  Will I keep an eternal focus when I am currently suffering and taking a loss? When has my reaction to a situation been a good example of Christ for someone else and when has my reaction to a situation been a not so good example of Christ? Have I thanked God for His faithfulness to me regardless of my deceitful actions?

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications from a verse or two and what they mean to you.  Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?  Please share this blog link with them.   

HOMEWORK: Joshua 9:22-27