by Barnabas

There are some who debate the question of choice when it comes to faith.  Does God choose, or do we?  When we search the Scriptures we find that the life of Faith in God is a life that is an endless path of choices that must be made.  Day after day we choose when to rise up and when to go down at the end of our day.  What to eat, where to go, what to say in answer to the simplest of questions. 

The Word of God gives us testimony after testimony of believers, in both the Old and New Testaments, who made choices that affected not only their lives, but the lives of family, friends and the destiny of nations.  Christians need to be sober in their choices and the choice that is made must be weighed against God’s Word.  Since God made us in His image, and since He gave us His Word, we need to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit so that our lives and lifestyles will conform to God’s standard.  What the Lord considers important concerning “faith and practice” should be important to us and it is to our blessing and benefit to allow God’s concerns to guide our walk through this world of sin.

Near the end of his life Moses said to God’s people, "See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to [choose to] walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments that you may live…” (Deut 30:15-16).

Not long before he went to be with the Lord, Joshua was moved to confront the people one more time saying, "If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

Read these testimonies and be encouraged.  You are not the first person who has believed in God Almighty and needed to make a choice.  Abraham (Gen 12:4); Moses made a choice, “So Moses said, "I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up. When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And [Moses replied] "Here I am.” (Ex 3:3-4)

Rahab chose to fear God which led to the salvation of her family (Joshua 2:8-14).  When King David sinned against God and numbered the people he had to choose which judgment was to come upon the nation.  “…the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad saying “Go and speak to David, 'Thus the LORD says, "I am offering you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you."'" (2 Samuel 24:11-12)

Obadiah chose to protect the servants of the Lord (1 Kings 18:1-16), Elijah called the people to choose (1 Kings 18:20-40), and when he came face to face with God, Isaiah had to choose.  “Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah (6:8); the Rich Young Ruler chose no (Matt 19:16-26) but the Philippian Jailer chose yes (16:30-31).  Cornelius feared the Lord and chose to obey the heavenly vision which brought life and salvation to his household (Acts 10:7-8).

Moses said to the people (and to us), "But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may [choose to] observe it.” (Deut 34:14)  The Lord had His prophet(s) and His testimony in the midst of the people then and today we have God’s testimony and His Word in us.  What a blessing that through the Holy Spirit we are encouraged to deny ourselves so that we might walk in His ways and not the way of the world.

The people of God have always had to deal with temptation.  In the face of what the world, the flesh and the devil have to offer, are we willing to stand on the Word for the Word?  The choice is self or self-denial; obedience or disobedience; culture or Christ.  The choices have always been the same.  Even though we are saved “according to the Scriptures”, we still must choose the Lord over life.

In Africa the Anglican Bishops are choosing the Word of the Lord over the practice of a Church that is adrift. (1)  In Texas the Baptists are choosing the Word over pressure from the Culture. (2)  The Episcopal Church in America is in turmoil over the issue of the “authority of the Word of God” (3), as are Presbyterians (4) and Lutherans (5).  Choices are being made – choices must still be made as the Lord strives to call His Church back to the clarity and simplicity of the very Word of God.  All who “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” and are saved are the Church.  While we may not be members of a denomination, we who are “born again according to the Scriptures” are part of the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), the One True Church in the world, over which Christ is the head.  (Ephesians 5:23)

Billions in this lost world are watching the spiritual battle in the Church.  The war over the Word of God is critical because it is God in His Word who declares, “"I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God…” (Isaiah 45:5-6; Colossians 1:16), and this war is handicapping efforts to evangelize “those who are lost.” (Luke 19:10)

The battle that is raging in this nation, in this world, in the context of our universe, is over the Scriptures.  Men, women and children, in every nation, culture and tongue, must choose between the Word of the Lord or the flesh and the devil.  It is black and white – cut and dry.  Each of us must search our souls and choose not just concerning our personal lives, but also, how much of the world am I willing to tolerate in the Church.

Jesus declared to His disciples, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you.” (John 15:16, 19)  When His puzzled disciples asked the question, “Who can be saved”, Jesus replied, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:25, 26)  Three times in the Bible the Word of God says that the door into the Kingdom of God is open wide and that “Whosoever calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.”  (Acts 2:21; Joel 2:32; Romans 10:13)

Yes, salvation is a mystery, but God’s Sovereignty and Authority are not.  In this sin sick and fallen world, Christians must continually choose to yield to the Word of God and obey the Lord so that lost men, women and children will be drawn to Christ through our living sacrifice on His behalf. 


“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

"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.


“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

"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.


"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.



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