Resources from 2017

April

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

—Romans 12:11-12

 

Authentic Christians don’t lag behind when it comes to service for the Lord Jesus Christ. They lead the way, taking care of God’s business!

 

I believe there ought to be a sense of urgency, a sense of intensity, and a passion for spiritual ministry. And certainly there is no room for laziness and there is no room for lukewarmness when it comes to serving the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” If it’s worthy to do, then it’s worthy to do with all of your might.

 

Ephesians 5:16 says that we are to make “the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” Friend, we’re to turn it up a notch or two in these evil days, and redouble and triple our efforts. Not our self-efforts, but our spiritually energized efforts in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ!

 

So are you working hard in the service of Jesus Christ? Or are you hardly working? 

 

Don’t be like so many Christians who are rusting out instead of wearing out in serving the Lord Jesus Christ!

 

Determine to serve God with all of your might.

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What's a Christian to do with Earth Day
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 21, 2017

What's a Christian to Do with Earth Day?

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 
                                                                                            Genesis 1:1

The first verses of Genesis lay out God’s perfect plan, a process that created earth and sky and oceans and rivers, a paradise that would provide for every need of His greatest creation, humanity.

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… he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

—Philippians 1:6

 

There are many churches these days that avoid talking about sin. It’s not a “feel good” topic. But sin is a critical topic if we want to be effective servants of Christ and to grow spiritually.

 

So let me address one of the big questions before we go any further. People frequently ask me, “Can sin cause me to lose my salvation?” And I’ll tell you what I’ve told them, “Absolutely not!” You cannot sin your salvation away.

 

You see, when you asked Jesus to forgive your sin and made him Lord of your life, he began a “good work” in you. And he promised to complete that work within you!

 

But beyond salvation, God is also at work to help you deal with the issue of sin in your life on a daily basis. You and I desperately need this because sin will remain a reality in our lives this side of heaven. But we can overcome.

 

We see this clearly in some of God's choicest saints. Men like Simon Peter and Paul admitted to the sin in their lives. But listen, sin was not a pattern in their lives! And that’s the difference that Christ made in their lives!

 

Will you let Jesus do the same for you? He wants to! Let Jesus break the sinful patterns and habits in your life!

 

Let Jesus break the sinful patterns and habits in your life!

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If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.

—John 7:17

 

We live in a multiple-choice society. There so many options when it comes to everything from entertainment to food that the average person can be overwhelmed with a barrage of decisions to make.

 

Of course, some decisions such as which color shirt to wear on a given day or what to put on your hamburger aren’t really that important in the larger scheme of things. But there are other choices we are called upon to make that can be life-shaping and life-changing: the choice to be true to our mates, or the decision to be honest in business, for example.

 

Making the right choices is vital to our Christian walk. Some people, such as Adam and Eve, make poor choices.  And in their case the human race will always be paying for their poor choice. Still others, such as Moses and Daniel, made good choices that proved them to be people of great faith.

 

Making the right choice is important because our lives are shaped by decisions. We first make our decisions, but then our decisions turn around and make us. We are free to choose our actions, but not free to choose the consequences of those actions.

 

The person you are right now is the sum of all of the decisions that you’ve made in the past. And Jesus said if you want to know and do God’s will, He will reveal the truth to you. So if you are facing...

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And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

—Philippians 1:6

 

Sometimes problems are like a big truck you’re following on the highway. It’s so big that you can’t see around it…and you’re not sure you can get around it because you don’t know what’s ahead of you.

 

A problem can sometimes seems so big and overwhelming that you simply don’t know if you’re ever going to get around it.

 

The good news is that even though you can’t always see on the other side of a problem, there’s something good there—the anticipation that comes from knowing that when you wrestle through a problem, God is there on the other side with the promise of a brighter and hopeful future.

 

As a follower of Christ, you have the promise of God that He will finish what He started in you and not leave you stranded in the middle of a problem. And let me remind you that God permits trials in your life to strengthen your faith…and that should give you the anticipation of knowing that He is doing something wonderful through you and for you, even when the testing is hard.

 

So if you’re going through a hard trial today, don’t let go of the hopeful anticipation of what Christ is doing in your life.

 

Live in hopeful anticipation; God has promised to finish what He started in your life.

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The Prayer Promise
By Jack Graham | April 4, 2017

With headlines growing darker every day and the institutions forming the foundation of our society under attack, we live in a world that needs healing that can come from only one source, the source of all that is sacred and beautiful.

We must pray fervently, with all humility, putting our faith in God.

"If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).

This passage, one close to my heart, gives us the reason to pray, how to pray, and what to pray.

The verse is directed to “my people” – God listens to the cries of His children. He tells us to humble ourselves because He alone is sovereign and we are His servants. And we must repent.

Then and only then, God tells us, He will forgive our sin and heal our land.

The healing begins at home, within our families. In Mark 3:25, we read that “if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” Pray for your family and the families across the nation. Pray for revival!

In Philippians 4:8, Paul tells us to turn from the fallen world and look to God: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

The world has so twisted our notions of good and bad, right and wrong, that our moral compasses no longer point to anything pure...

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[God] has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

—Hebrews 13:5

It’s great to have really close friends you can trust with just about anything, isn’t it. I’m blessed enough to have quite a few, and I know these true friends love me unconditionally.

 

But the most amazing “friend” you and I have is God Himself.  In John 15:15, Jesus makes an incredible statement when He says, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

 

Now, one of the best definitions of the word “friend” I’ve ever heard is, “a person who comes in when the world goes out.” And that’s a pretty good summary of today’s verse.

 

God is the truest of all friends…One who is always there and, no matter the circumstance, will NEVER forsake you.  He will support you and love you absolutely unconditionally. He is the Friend “who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).

 

Jesus Christ is indeed your greatest and dearest Friend.  And like any friend, I trust you speak with Him daily and love Him completely.

 

Jesus Christ is the truest of all friends!

 

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Your support brings hope through our Prayer Warriors
By PowerPoint Ministries | April 1, 2017

When Alana* called PowerPoint recently, she was at a crisis point.

Alana’s husband has been addicted to crack cocaine for the last four years – and she and her kids have been living through the frightening consequences.

“She had tried to get help from her church and called several prayer request lines,” explains Jerry, one of PowerPoint’s Prayer Warrior volunteers. “But no one stepped forward. She was ready to totally give up on everything.”

Alana’s call to PowerPoint was her last-ditch cry for help. Praise God that Jerry was there to respond that day. He spent time counseling Alana over the phone, prayed with her – and offered to continue in intercession for her desperate situation.

Thanks to Jerry, Alana now knows God cares – and that He has heard her cries for help.

“I am so blessed by my role as a Prayer Warrior,” says Jerry. “I give thanks to PowerPoint for the opportunity – and I give Jesus all the glory for His faithfulness in answering our prayers.”

Your support for PowerPoint means Prayer Warriors like Jerry will continue to be on hand for those like Alana who are in desperate need of the hope, strength, and comfort of God’s Word. Thank you.

* not her real name

     

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From Pastor’s Desk
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 1, 2017

Dear Friend,

It’s often in the very toughest of times that God works in us to teach us to pray. You may have heard it put like this: “When you’re swept off your feet, get on your knees.”

I experienced such a time of trial in 2009 when I was diagnosed with cancer. I’m so thankful that I made it through surgery without incident. But I must tell you that recovery nearly did me in. I was exhausted. I was fearful. I was weak and despondent.

Strangely, during this time of pain and fragility, more than at any other point in my life, I became utterly convinced of the power of prayer. Though I was wobbly and wounded, the more I pursued interaction with my heavenly Father, the more divine strength I sensed in my life.

Which is why I’m so excited about this edition of the PowerLiving newsletter – and why I’m sure it will encourage and inspire you in your own prayer life.

Whatever circumstances you are facing today – in your marriage, your home, your work – know this: The more you knock on the door of heaven, the more you will find God ready and willing to carry the burden you bear.

I’d love to encourage you even more about prayer, by sending you a copy of my new 30-day devotional, Lord, Hear Our Cry, as my thank-you for your donation to PowerPoint this month. I pray the Lord uses it to revitalize your prayer life and renew your devotion to Jesus.

God bless you for your partnership!

     

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Q & A with Jack and Deb
By Jack and Deb Graham | April 1, 2017

Q    Pastor Graham, why is prayer such a vital part of the Christian life?

A  Let me be straight: If you’re not praying, then there is no way you can ever grow as a Christian. Without prayer, you’ll never truly know God intimately. And so if you want to know God in a deeper and more meaningful way, if you want to grow in your relationship with Him, start with prayer.

As you pray, you’ll begin to discern afresh the character of God – and you’ll realize that God is bigger and greater than any situation, any crisis in your life.

And prayer will not only change things. It will change you! It will change your attitudes and your priorities, and it will get your life in sync with God’s plan. When we humble ourselves in prayer and hunger more for God, we will discover a life filled with spiritual breakthroughs and benefits.

Q    Deb, how do you and Pastor Graham cultivate prayer in your marriage?

A  Jack and I have learned that the first 10 minutes of each morning can really determine how the rest of our day will go. And so before we get out of bed each morning, it’s our habit to lift our hearts to the Lord in prayer, saying, “God, I praise You; I want You to have my all this day.”

Life is so busy! And we all have obligations that must be met. But before we tend to our responsibilities, we should devote ourselves to God in prayer. Then we’ll make sure that Jesus comes first in our lives – rather than all the other thoughts and things that want to consume us.

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March

He is great in power; justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate. Therefore men fear him; he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.

—Job 37:23-24

 

I recently was in London to visit our radio and TV stations in the UK, and I found myself staring at and admiring the great 95 story skyscraper, called “the Shard.”  So called because it, the tallest skyscraper in the UK, resembles a shard of glass. It is huge and powerful, and loomed over me as I stood beneath it on the sidewalk.

 

But when I flew over it in a plane, I got an entirely different view. Although it towered over me and made me feel small when I was standing next to it, it looked tiny when I saw it from the air.

 

God views all human efforts to impress Him as tiny grains of sand…even though we may think that we are pretty great.  A good example is the tower of Babel in Genesis 11.  It may have impressed its builders in their vain attempt to reach up to God, but it was just a tiny speck to Him. 

 

Our wisdom is considered pretty foolish to God.  God is never impressed with even our best efforts to please Him in our own strength.

 

Instead, God wants us to put our faith in Him, not ourselves or our own works.  We need to take a “God’s eye” view when it comes to our efforts to reach up to Him, because anything we do on our own falls short of His standards.

 

If...

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There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. 

—Proverbs 14:12

 

Proverbs 14:12 is such a humbling verse for me because as humans, we often think we have such great knowledge and wisdom. But God says that human wisdom leads to death.

 

That’s what makes living the Christian life so difficult sometimes. There are so many choices out there that look good and seem to make sense, but they do not lead us to the narrow way that is the only road to eternal glory in heaven.

 

To the human way of thinking, it seems common sense that if you try hard to be good and don’t kill anyone or commit any other horrifying crime, then you’re one of the better candidates for citizenship in heaven. This may seem right to many people, but this kind of thinking leads to destruction because the only way to heaven is to abandon our efforts at good works and trust Christ alone for salvation.

 

We don’t get voted into heaven, nor will we make it because we come out looking pretty good in comparison to others. Only the blood of Christ shed on the cross to forgive sin can qualify us for heaven.

 

Take time today to thank God for His great gift of salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ…and make sure you aren’t traveling the road that the world thinks is right. 

 

 

Take time today to check the “road” you’re traveling—and make sure you are heading toward Christ.

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Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

—Genesis 11:9

 

What a scene it must have been when the survivors of Noah’s Flood began to build the Tower of Babel.  They were determined to build a monument to their pride and as their way of trying to approach God on their own terms.

 

It’s hard to imagine the arrogance of that act, or the confusion that must have reigned in Babel as mighty and intelligent men began speaking different languages for the first time.

 

The Tower of Babel is a real historical event, but it is also an illustration of society even today. Men and women in our day are just like the proud people of Babel . . . believing they know everything there is to know and therefore can approach God on their own terms.

 

The Lord states many times in the Scripture that He detests arrogance and pride. “Haughty eyes” (Proverbs 6:17), or a proud look, is first on the list of things that God hates. People today are building towers to try and reach heaven; not physical structures, but towers of pride and self-sufficiency.

 

God honors a humble heart.  So don’t let the world fool you into thinking you need to be self-sufficient, rather reach up to God with with an open hand and heart to receive His grace each day.

 

 

God hates pride…but honors humility!

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Why Study Revelation?
By | March 21, 2017

In almost all of its length, the Bible tells the history of God’s people, from Adam to Jesus and His church. Then there’s the Revelation — the history of the future.

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Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 

—Genesis 2:23

 

Marriage is not some humanly devised idea that someone came up with one day. God Himself ordained man and woman to join together in complete union of body and spirit. The Bible teaches that man and woman were made for one another right from the start!

 

God’s ideal for marriage is one man and one woman together for a lifetime. Anything else is a perversion and an alteration to His original plan. But despite the clarity of Scripture on this issue, the world continually tries to change and amend the concept of marriage to accommodate it to the latest cultural trends and ideas.

 

We human beings have a strong need for companionship. God put that desire and need in us, and He created marriage for the fulfillment of that desire. Man and woman were designed to share their lives together.

 

Marriage at its best is a companionship on many levels. It is a spiritual companionship in which the partners grow and support one another. Marriage is also a psychological union in which each partner knows and loves the other. And marriage is also a physical companionship, for the pleasure and enjoyment of one another.

 

Isn’t it interesting that in Genesis God pronounced each day of His creation as “good”? The only part that was “not good” was the aloneness of the man. Marriage is God’s idea and God’s plan to fill that emptiness. Don’t let anyone else tell you what...

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The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

—Genesis 2:15

 

The desire to work is built into everyone. Now I know what you’re thinking: If that’s true, then why are there so many lazy people out there? I certainly can’t account for every case of laziness, but I believe our need, desire, and capacity for work are God-given.

 

The creation account in Genesis says that God placed Adam in a perfect place called the Garden of Eden. Eden was a real, physical place, not just an imaginary garden. Other than being in the Mesopotamia region, we don’t really know where it was. But it was real, and Adam lived there and cared for it.

 

Please notice that God’s command for Adam to tend and care for the garden was given before sin entered the picture. In other words, Adam’s job came straight from God, and it was a part of His perfect creation.

 

Work is not, as some would like to believe, a part of the curse that came about from mankind’s sin. God means for us to find purpose and satisfaction in work, and He gives us the desire to succeed and be productive in that work.

 

That’s why the Bible says in Colossians 3:23 that whatever our job may be, we are to work hard at it and do it for the glory of God, as if we were working for Him and not just for the boss.

 

When we fulfill our purpose in life, then we are in a sense...

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Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

—2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Everyone has a worldview, whether they are aware of it or not. Your worldview is your basic belief system, the way you look at the world through the lens of your own mind and life. Your worldview is important because it determines both your attitude toward life and your actions in life.

 

It is that driving force behind everything we do—that thing inside of us that motivates us to follow a certain path in life and make the decisions we make, good or bad.

 

We can boil every worldview down into one of two basic categories: either Christ-centered or man-centered. If you are a Christian, then your view of life should be Christ-centered. This simply means that Christ is your sufficient and sovereign Lord in every area of life. This view places Christ at the center of every idea and decision.

 

But unfortunately, many people place themselves at the center of life. The man-centered view says that humans are basically good, capable of making it fine on their own, and therefore have no need for God.

 

What’s the driving force behind your life? How does your worldview impact the decisions you make and the actions you take every day? Those questions are worth thinking about. If you live with Christ at the center of your life, you will experience joy, peace, and fulfillment beyond your greatest imagination.

 

Make sure your worldview is centered on Christ.  

 

 

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And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

—Genesis 1:28

I believe the human mind is one of the most incredible parts of God’s handiwork in creation. The animals have a certain level of mental capacity, but none can compare to human beings. The difference is clearly stated in the first chapter of Genesis.

 

God gave humans dominion and power over all the animals of the earth. There are some animals we call smart, but they can only be trained, they don’t necessarily learn. Being taught an idea or a concept is unique to human beings because God gave us a unique mind that gives us self-consciousness and God-consciousness.

 

God gave us the ability to think and be creative. We can play beautiful music, write a great story, paint a picture, and build a magnificent skyscraper. God does give animals many internal instincts, such as a beaver’s ability to build a dam, and a bird’s ability to build a nest. But animals don’t have the desire for growth and learning.

 

What’s even more amazing to me about the human mind is that we are told we only use about 10% of our brain capacity. Think of the potential God has given us to think and act and respond to Him. What a challenge to us to maximize the mind God has given us.

 

Your hopes, joys, and desires are all things God has given you the ability to develop...

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