The Power of the Glory of God
“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places…” Habakkuk 3:17-19; “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.” 1 Chronicles 29:11-13; “In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:11-14; “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 2 Corinthians 3:4-6; “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 (ESV)
Have you ever wondered why God chose Saul of Tarsus, who had been a zealous persecutor of Christians, and why Jesus personally appeared to him in His resurrection power and glory on the road to Damascus? Also, why did Jesus lead Saul into the Arabian desert to personally tutor him as He had the original 12 apostles? Have you considered the fact that Jesus chose Saul to become Paul – the apostle to the gentiles; that he was a highly educated Jewish rabbi, a Roman citizen from Tarsus, a scholar who had also studied Greek poets as well as philosophers and could speak Greek fluently; that his training was excellent background for cross-cultural evangelism; that his zeal for Judaism could be transformed by the Holy Spirit into dogged, persistent zeal for the truth of the gospel; that his cross-cultural training and experience illuminated his understanding that for Israelites the epitome of truth was expressed in light over darkness, for Greeks it was knowledge over ignorance, and for the Romans it was the glory of victory over the failure of defeat? Now please re-read that last passage (above) (2 Corinthians 4:3-6). Is the Holy Spirit transforming your questions into awesome wonder at the wisdom and glory of Almighty God? “Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back? For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.” Romans 11:33-36 (NLT)
Potent Questions for an Atheist
I recently heard a Love Worth Finding broadcast in which Adrian Rogers shared an amazing account of the conversion of an atheist husband of a believing wife years ago when he was a young pastor in Florida. A man whose wife attended their church called Adrian and asked for his help because his wife wanted to commit suicide. Adrian agreed to do what he could to help – on the condition that the man and his wife came together to meet with him.
When they met, the wife tearfully confessed that she had contemplated suicide, but as Adrian probed and drew out her reasons for feeling suicidal, he learned that her husband was an adulterer, gambler, and abuser.
He turned to her husband and asked, “Are you a Christian?” The man laughed and said, “No! I’m an atheist!” Adrian asked him if that meant that he knew that there is no God. The man was arrogantly confident that, yes! – he knew that there is no God. So, Adrian asked him if he knew everything there is to know. The man replied, “No – of course not!” Adrian then asked him if it would be generous to agree that he might know half of everything that there is to know. The man agreed. Then Adrian asked him, “So isn’t it a possibility that God does exist in the half you don’t know?” With that question, the man was caught in a dilemma – and agreed that was a possibility. Adrian informed the man that since he did not know for certain that God does not exist, therefore he was not an atheist. However, he might be an agnostic, since an agnostic is someone who doesn’t know. Next, Adrian informed the man that there are two kinds of agnostics: 1. Honest agnostics who don’t know but are willing to find out. 2. Dishonest agnostics who don’t know if God exists because they don’t want to know and aren’t willing to find out. “Which kind are you?” When facing such a pointed question, the man declared himself to be an honest agnostic. “Therefore, since you are willing to find out, if I can show you a way that you can know for certain if God is real or not – will you test it?” Again, the man was facing a pointed question and his integrity was on the line – so he agreed to the test. Adrian showed him John 7:17, where Jesus said: “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.” (ESV) Then the man asked Adrian how he could test it, and Adrian handed him a Bible, opened to the Gospel of John, told him to take it home, read it, and obey every command of Jesus. Adrian clarified – “It is not just reading it that will demonstrate the truth, but if you read and obey Jesus you will KNOW that God is real!”
Some time later the man was back in Adrian’s office bubbling with excitement that he not only believed in God but knew that God is real. His wife no longer had suicidal thoughts because her husband had repented. He gave his life to Christ and became a caring husband for her.
Eventually they moved north, and Adrian didn’t hear from them for a long time, but one day he received a letter from that man thanking him for his influence. That former “atheist” agnostic had become a Bible teacher and actively involved in outreach to their community.
How Perceptive Are You?
Have you noticed that Marxists have thoroughly infiltrated American society? Does it appear to you that the FBI has become the Federal Bureau of Inquisition? That the Department of Justice has become the Department of Injustice? That the Department of Education should be renamed the Department of Indoctrination? Has it occurred to you that the term “politically correct” actually means politically corrupt? Also, if gender doesn’t matter, would you try getting eggs from a rooster – milk from a bull? (The guy trying to get eggs from a rooster is bound to get frustrated. The one trying to get milk from a bull may get killed!)
From Our Mailbox
“Rick, thanks for another well written newsletter. I especially enjoyed your summary of ‘Revelation.’ I have spent lots of time in the first few chapters but have skipped to the end most of the time. Your castle illustration helps me grasp a deeper meaning and inspires me to study it all over again. Thanks for speaking out! – David Davolt”
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“Rick, thank you for letting me see your newsletter in advance, with an invitation to comment. I enjoyed your comments on the Scriptures and our current needs/challenges. I think you have treated the important subject of Christian love, and tolerance vs. unity quite well. In these times balancing critical truth and loving outreach is not at all simple; you do it extremely well, in my opinion. – Tim (Beatty) ‘In God We Trust’”
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“Hi Rick, you have always confronted the issues with the Word of God. I would say you are holding true to form on this newsletter as well! Somebody needs to yell, ‘Tripe!’ when tripe is being served. If the emperor has no clothes, it behooves someone to point that out. You meet the issues head on. We can count on you to speak up with the truth as best you are able when the truth needs to be spoken. Thank you for your courage in speaking the truth in love. Prayerfully, we hope there are people who will listen. You have done your part, and now we pray that the Lord will use your offerings to make a difference in people’s lives. God bless! – Rich (Schell)”
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“Rick, I read this just now and thought you would enjoy seeing it. Written by Rachel Younis who is studying at Lincoln this year.
And by the way – we are planning a trip to the Ark the end of the month.
‘Genesis 1 & 2 just fill my heart to be more in love with God. Nothing incidental or accidental but rather intentional and purposeful. In which we see God investing His heart and mind to form & fashion this world and once it is created He said, ‘good’ and ‘very good.’ Every verse is full of deep theological awareness and philosophical expressions. So many topics dwelling in these two chapters that one can do endless writings and can find ways to answer the very struggles of our today’s world through the lens of God’s perfect intended plan. While reading it, I have taken so many notes and still a lot to capture. I am so thankful that we have this opportunity to study and reflect this written Word of God anytime, any moment with freedom. It’s an honor and privilege to read and hear the first Words (or kalam) of God. I am in awe.’
There is hope for the upcoming generations. – David Davolt”
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Sehr Gehrte Rick,
Thank you for your email. Yes, IDES has been such a blessing! They’ve given us several grants in the past and one recent one allowed us to drill a well in Mariupol that saved so many lives during its siege! I am in awe of God’s provision. I hope you and Della are doing well.
Blessings, Natasha Reimer, Mulberry International
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“Rick, sometimes I feel like I am being boringly repetitious in my expressions of thanks to you – but please know that although the words may be similar – they are never thoughtless but are genuinely heartfelt. While I thank you once again for your repeatedly sending me the sermon CDs from the Eagle church as well as “Issues in Education” and others – I also thank you very much for the monthly Overseas Outreach update. While the news from and concerning Ukraine is so helpful – I also thank you for tackling issues and matters that are often considered as potentially divisive – so thereby to be avoided – such as the literal six day creation of all things by My Lord’s Word – and the teachings of the Revelation – as well as the state of our society with respect to God’s inspired and unchanging and inerrant Word. Thank you – and may my Beloved Lord continue to bless you and Della as you serve Him faithfully.
I continue to pray daily for you both – for the ministry – for Della’s health challenges. – Ken Morris”
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“Rick and Della,
I truly wish that I had words to adequately express my deep thanks to you – the monthly newsletters and your always timely thoughts so much needed in our twisted, troubled, distanced from God nation and world – the articles and writings that you send from time to time – I especially thank you for the excellent paper written by R.A. Torrey – certainly as you wrote in the newsletter, much too valuable thoughts and truths to be lost. I thank you also for your occasional notes and phone calls. And how very much I thank you for the recordings of the sermons and other programs. While Steve Crane’s preaching series on the book of Hebrews was very excellent and insightful – the series on 1 Peter is absolutely outstanding. Thank you so very much for sending them to me – also the Issues in Education programs.
As you included the article on Fellowship in the Body of Christ and wondered if I had any reflections – while that brother’s words about non-essentials not dividing us as Christians – while I certainly would agree – yet as I read I continually thought – ‘yes, but so often we differ on what is essential.’ Case in point – while it seems crystal clear to us that baptism is essential – there are many who view it as optional for salvation – hence arises division.
I praise my Dear Lord that Zhenya and his parents are now reunited with Natasha and children. May my Dear Lord Jesus bless you both. I pray daily for you. – Ken”
At Anchor by Evelyn Knowles
When the Crying is Over
Back in 1972, when our family was new to Eugene, Oregon, we invited the Fox family to our house for a Sunday dinner. Our little Mindy and Norm and Sheryl’s little Cindee were the same age – about three years old. They played hard together and really enjoyed each other’s company.
Later, when the Foxes prepared to leave, Cindee began crying inconsolably. That is when God gifted me with a touching scene to observe. Parents with stress and time constraints sometimes bark out orders to get immediate results from their children. But not Norman Fox. Not that day. He was intuitive enough to understand a child’s heart. Cindee was not being contrary. She was disappointed and sad. Norm saw a child who could not yet comprehend the “whys” of the adult world, and his father heart took time to deal tenderly with his little girl. As he knelt down to button her coat, he spoke kind words of wisdom and hope, “I know you don’t want to go, Cindee, and I’m sorry, but we have other things we need to do right now. But, sweetie, someday in heaven we will never, ever have to leave our friends.” He picked her up and carried her to the door. Cindee still had quiet tears on her cheeks, but the crying was over.
Tears are mentioned about 40 times in the Bible. God told Hezekiah, “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you” (2 Kings 20:5). Did you know our loving God sees our tears and counts each one of them? Psalm 56:8 (CEV) says, “You have stored my tears in your bottle and counted each of them.” Even our Lord Jesus shed tears when He prayed. The Bible says He “offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission” (Hebrews 5:7). Just as little Cindee’s tears mattered to her loving and understanding father, our tears matter to our merciful and tenderhearted Father.
Some sweet day in heaven the crying will be over for every believer. Revelation 21:3-5 assures us with these comforting words: “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’”
An old hymn says, “Then let our songs abound, and every tear be dry; we’re marching to Immanuel’s ground. To fairer worlds on high” (Isaac Watts, w. 1707). Let every tear be dry! For “someday in heaven we will never, ever have to leave our friends.” O happy day! 😊
[Note: The first five paragraphs of this article were read by my husband in his message at the Celebration of Life service for Norman Fox, November 6, 2021, at the Garden Way Church in Eugene, Oregon. The last three paragraphs were written by Victor.]
“What this country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds!” – Will Rodgers (It was true in his day – how much more now!)
We need to share God’s truth like we believe everything depends on us!
We need to pray like we know everything depends on God!
We need to trust like we realize that God works mightily through our prayers!
The evidence of a powerful message about the gospel is not when people go out saying, “Oh, what a preacher!” Rather than that it’s when they go out saying, “Oh, what a Savior!” Paul realized this and the Holy Spirit inspired him to write: “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (ESV)
Christians Don’t Lie –
In a tribe where there were only a few Christians, the chief was approached by a group of his tribe, who accused one of the Christian leaders of hiding a prisoner. The chief took the group with him to confront that leader. “Augustu, did you hide a prisoner?” When he answered, “No! I did not,” the chief turned to the group and said, “You bunch of liars! Augustu doesn’t lie!”
The Man Who Tried to Disprove the Bible
“In the 1800’s, a young English scholar journeyed to Asia Minor with the goal to prove the Bible wrong, specifically that which was recorded as history by Luke in the Book of Acts. He began digging among the ancient ruins of Greece and Asia Minor. To his surprise, he uncovered that the New Testament writings were accurate down to the smallest of details. The evidence was so convincing that the archeologist became a Christian. His name was William Ramsay, one of the greatest of biblical scholars. What do we learn? The Bible is true. Archaeology has never disproved it but has often and most amazingly backed up its words. The Bible is filled with promises and statements of faith. Test them out. Do what it says. Follow the commands. And you know what you’ll uncover? You’ll uncover that God is real, His word is true, His promises are good, His power is strong, and His love is faithful. Go ahead, test His word, do what it says, and see if He will not open up to you the windows of Heaven.” – Jonathan Cahn
What Are We Striving For?
In the academic realm of our world, many individuals are intensely working, striving, and sacrificing for a Ph.D. Why? It is indeed an accomplishment – but what is the motivation for it? Service to humanity? Recognition, respect, and honor? More income? All of the above? Can we find a spiritual application?
Let’s apply ourselves to strive for our spiritual P.H.D. – Persistent Heavenly Determination! In practical application, we should ask: 1st – Is this Scriptural? 2nd – Is this the will of God for each of us to strive for our Persistent Heavenly Determination? Yes! Definitely! If it is Scriptural – then it is God’s will for us! Jesus said: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 (NKJV); “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” Luke 13:24 (NKJV)
Also, the Holy Spirit inspired these exhortations to Hebrew believers: “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?… Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” Hebrews 2:1-4: 12:1-3 (NKJV)
Now, just in case you are being pressured by our corrupted culture and/or compromising Christians to just go along to get along and just leave your strong Biblical convictions behind, and if you are asking yourself, “Am I too narrow?” the answer is “probably not!” Why not? Because now most Americans are about a mile wide (broad-minded) and an inch deep in understanding of Biblical and historic truth with very little commitment to that truth. Please re-read and memorize these passages.
Yes, Della and I are striving for our P.H.D. degree in our marriage, as well as in other areas of our life together as servants of the Living God. If we continue to faithfully strive, our marriage will thrive, and we will celebrate our 60th anniversary on December 14, 2022! Yes! In spite of almost 60 years, we still must strive because (as you know) opposites attract, and we still have opposite mannerisms and perspectives that clash. Yes, we recognize that God’s Word says wives are to submit to their own husbands, but His Word also says: “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21 Therefore, we pray morning by morning for our Father to fill us with His Holy Spirit in order for each of us to produce the fruit of the Spirit, including patience, gentleness, kindness, and self-control! We are enlisted in God’s 4S troops – Striving, Surrendered, Submissive Servants of our Living, Loving Lord! What an exciting, joy-filled journey! In spite of occasional lapses when we clash over contrasting perspectives, we continue to grow in love, grace, forgiveness – and enjoy lots of laughs together in the process. Want to join us in striving for your P.H.D.?
Happy Thanksgiving – Every Day!
(Note: God has gifted Shasta Hutton with the ability to express her thoughts through poetry.)
“Rick & Della,
Graciously setting us free from our sin,
Offering hope – a new life to begin,
Dying for us that we might be free,
Issuing pardon for you and for me,
Sending us blessings to brighten our day,
Loving us fully each step of the way,
Outpouring goodness for all earth to see,
Voicing His joy at each sinner set free,
Eternally watching from Heaven above.
How true it is that our GOD IS LOVE!
“I choose to be thankful for all that God’s done,
For all of His blessings, for sending His Son.
I choose to be thankful when life’s going well,
For it pleases my King when His blessings I tell.
I choose to be thankful when things get real tough,
For my King stands beside me when things are so rough.
By fixing my eyes on my Savior and King,
I can be thankful whatever life brings.
Amazing Answers to Prayer!
Sergei Golovin is the regional director of Good News Productions, International (GNPI) for the former Soviet Union, and we serve on their prayer team. What we received from their office recently needs to be shared and we believe you will understand why. If you and your family can watch their video featuring Sergei in the foreground and the devastation of part of inner-city Kiev in the background, you will probably never forget what you have seen and heard! Their website is www.gnpi.org.
Sergei from GNPI-Eurasia says, “We feel the power of your prayers and highly appreciate them!”
| Sergei’s Prayer Requests |
* Please pray for our obedience to the Lord’s guidance in the walk through the valley of the shadow of death Ukraine faces now!
*Pray for the safety of all our GNPI-Eurasia workers, friends, and partners scattered across the country and beyond.
*Pray for our courage to be faithful to the kingdom’s work despite all the troubles we face.
*Praise God for sparing the lives of our coworkers at GNPI-Eurasia last month! Sergei and his wife Olga were preparing to leave for the clinic for his medical procedure when someone called and canceled the appointment. Soon after, bombs hit the clinic where they would have been for the procedure. Sergei said we serve a God who turns curses into blessings!
*GNPI-Thailand is working on a short film called The Memories. The cast and crew were singing praise songs together on one production day. The lead actress (Moowan) was touched by the interactions with other believing actors and even made a decision to follow Jesus.
*Isaac Masiga from GNPI-Kenya shares that, by God’s grace, over 50 people gave their lives to Jesus at the time of the filming of Where the River Divides. He also said the Christian leaders have planted a church in this area. One generous person even offered a meeting hall where the new church could gather. What an answer to your prayers from last month!
Your prayers are fueling the gospel around the world!