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"AND ABRAM BELIEVED GOD"
by Barnabas

June 2010

“Now the LORD said to Abram, go forth from your country…to the land which I will show   you…So Abram went forth as the LORD had spoken to him….”  (Genesis 12:1, 4)

Dear Brethren,

"Abraham believed God.” (James 2:23)  That is a word of encouragement for each of us as we live in these times of uncertainty. Abraham, the father of our faith (Romans 4:16), was living in a pagan city when he heard the voice of the Lord.  Abraham left his home and entered a strange land, trusting that the One who spoke to him would prove Himself.  While the Lord may not be calling us to pack up and leave home for a location that is known only to Him, as believers we still need to place our trust in the One who is trustworthy, allowing Him to guide our steps day by day (Proverbs 3:5).

Today we find ourselves living in a world that is becoming more and more pagan in its faith and practice.  Sins that were kept secret are being openly promoted, targeting young and old alike.  The World Wide Web is a growing marketplace for temptations that lure and entice men and women into sin (James 1:14).  Corruption is no longer an exception in business and politics.  The people are being systematically exploited by wicked and deceitful men and women who are casting aside all restraint, daring to be challenged as they live out “…the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life” (1John 2:16) in defiance of God the Creator.

As with some of us, the Prophet Jeremiah cried out in His prayers, troubled by what was going on around him.  He pleaded with the Lord, “Why has the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease?” (Jeremiah 12:1)    What the Prophet saw then, we are seeing in our day.  Along with the prophet we can cry out, “Where is justice oh Lord?”  Look around and watch the wicked  work to rig the system in their favor.  As evil as our day may be, we can receive great comfort from God’s Word.  According to the Bible, God declares concerning those who do wickedly, “Shall I not punish these people…on a nation such as this shall I not avenge Myself?” (Jeremiah 5:29)  Judgment is coming, and as it was in former days, the righteous will suffer as well.  Yet the righteous will suffer in hope and not despair.

Abraham trusted the Lord and lived in faith, believing that the God who promised would indeed keep His Word.  We have great examples in the Bible of men and women just like us who heard the voice of the Lord – audibly for some – in the heart and mind for others – then stepped out in faith and trusted God.  It was by trusting that their faith was proven.  Trust is a behavior; it means action.  Trust is demonstrated in the life of the believer by how he lives in public and in private.

The Word of God says that Abraham believed God and that faith kept him through his trials. The question for us is, as our trials come, are we holding fast to our faith and trusting the Lord? In these times of trial and testing are we ready to yield to the Word of God and allow the Holy Spirit to comfort and encourage us regardless of our circumstances?

I am having a hard time trying to sort out all of this and take my next step forward.  While my faith in the Lord is strong, I am troubled about what is unfolding in America. How will this affect my wife, children and grandchildren and the rest of the world.  What is happening in the economy is giving many churches an excuse to cut support for missionaries while they “hunker down”, doing what they can to preserve their building program.     

I believe that the Lord is using America to set the stage for the return of Jesus Christ.  God used Rome then, He is using America now.  The times may have changed but Man has not.  We who believe need to trust the Lord all the more as this spiritual darkness continues to spread over all the earth.   


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“Now there was a rich man…And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate....” (Luke 16: 19-20)
Life after death is a popular topic of debate today.  Even in the Church there are many who want to downplay the Biblical reality of eternal judgment after death for those who have rejected Christ Jesus and His Gospel of redemption, in favor of a more “positive” and “seeker friendly” approach, one that isn’t so “negative”.  But what does the Bible say about life after death?  We can learn a lot from the stories Jesus shared in the Gospels, especially the testimony of the Rich Man and Lazarus  FULL STORY

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"Jesus...as was His custom..." (Luke 4:14-16)

“And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.” (Luke 4:16)

Dear Brethren, Family & Friends,

Customs help to define a culture, and as we study the life of Jesus Christ, we can learn a lot about the culture of the Kingdom of God.

It was Jesus’ “custom” to go to fellowship with other believers, to read the Word of God, and to teach God’s Word to others.  But it was also His “custom” to heal the sick, the lame, the blind and the leper.  His “custom” was to forgive sins, preach the Gospel and to pray, and so much more.

In this world that is filled with spiritual darkness, as we yield to the Holy Spirit and allow the Word of God to live in us, we can “let our light shine” so that lost men, women and children will be drawn to Christ Jesus as we model the “customs” of His Kingdom.

We hope that this newsletter will be an encouragement to you and help you in your walk of faith in Christ Jesus.  And as it was Jesus’ “custom” to pray for others, we hope that you will set aside some time to pray for the missionaries and their families that are listed.  In some cases, we cannot even provide you their names, but the Lord knows your heart and He knows them.  Your prayers on their behalf helps them to stand firm in their faith and have victory in the face of opposition from the devil.

In these trying times, may the Lord continue to have Mercy on us all.

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“O that a man might plead with God as a man with his neighbor!” (Job 16:21)
In these trying times it is all the more important that we encourage one another to stay close to the Lord.  Our relationship with God our Father through His Spirit and the Word will comfort and sustain us regardless of what we have to face.  The Bible has many testimonies of those who endured times of suffering, trial and persecution.  For some those were times when their fellowship with the Lord grew deeper and more intimate, while for others, it was the suffering that led them to the feet of Jesus to be saved.

Our relationship with our God and Savior grows as we spend time in His Word and through prayer.  As the financial and political pillars of the international community and America grow weaker, it is critical that we encourage one another to put our trust in the Lord all the more.  Remembering the Lord’s great deliverance of His people on the shores of the Red Sea, King David wrote “Some trust in Chariots and some in horses, but we will trust in the Name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7)

Let’s encourage one another to read the Word, remembering that it was the Lord who delivered then and it is the Lord who will deliver now, so that when the trials come we can endure, both for God’s glory and our benefit.  FULL STORY

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"Be of sober spirit, be on the alert..." (1Peter 5:8)

When we look at what is going on in the world, especially the political and economic turmoil, we can be tempted to interpret these events as just part of the ongoing cycle of human civilization. But if we want to have peace in the midst of what is happening, faith not fear, we need to allow the Word of God to give us understanding so that we can know how these events fit into God’s timeline as He prepares the world for the Second Coming of His Son, Jesus Christ.

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"Well done thou good and faithful servant..." (Matthew 25:21)

We know from the Scriptures that judgment is coming upon the whole world someday.  But the Word of God says also othat there is a special "judgment" for the believers at the Bema Seat, or the Judgment Seat of Christ.  That is when the Christian is judged for the work that was done for the Kingdom of God after they came to faith in Jesus Christ.

What will we hear the Lord say on that day?  Will it be "Well done!"

Let's encourage one another to live our lives so that they will be pleasing in the sight of God the Father and bear good fruit for His Kingdom.

  CONTINUED...

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