Monday, November 24, 2014

BOLD Christian Outreach Reflections from Psalm 33

Subtitle: Thank God for His Saving Grace

Joyfully sing to the LORD, you righteous people. Praising {the LORD} is proper for decent people. Give thanks with a lyre to the LORD. Make music for him on a ten-stringed harp. Sing a new song to him. Play beautifully and joyfully on stringed instruments. The word of the LORD is correct, and everything he does is trustworthy. The LORD loves righteousness and justice. His mercy fills the earth. The heavens were made by the word of the LORD and all the stars by the breath of his mouth. He gathers the water in the sea like a dam and puts the oceans in his storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD. Let all who live in the world stand in awe of him. He spoke, and it came into being. He gave the order, and there it stood. The LORD blocks the plans of the nations. He frustrates the schemes of the people of the world. The LORD'S plan stands firm forever. His thoughts stand firm in every generation. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD. Blessed are the people he has chosen as his own.
“The LORD looks down from heaven. He sees all of Adam's descendants. From the place where he sits enthroned, he looks down upon all who live on earth. The one who formed their hearts understands everything they do. No king achieves a victory with a large army. No warrior rescues himself by his own great strength. Horses are not a guarantee for victory. Their great strength cannot help someone escape.
“The LORD'S eyes are on those who fear him, on those who wait with hope for his mercy to rescue their souls from death and keep them alive during a famine. We wait for the LORD. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts find joy. In his holy name we trust. Let your mercy rest on us, O LORD, since we wait with hope for you.” Psalm 33:1-22 (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

This is Thanksgiving week. It is a time when (at least in the past) we would take time to pause and thank God for every blessing we had received from Him and then we would, in good Sabbath fashion, feast on the bounty of those provisions. However, lately it seems that for many Thanksgiving has become the day to check their list of Christmas wants against the Black Friday specials and plan their strategy for scoring the most for the least. Thanking the ONE who has provided for their means has become secondary to acquiring more for themselves. Oh they can justify their actions by saying that they are being good stewards or thrifty or they are just doing their part to stimulate the economy and keep their neighbors employed. But then if someone looks hard enough they can find justification for every action in one way or another. So before we join in that rush to the store for that once in a life-time bargain, let us pause…………… really PAUSE…

In this Psalm we can recount the ways God has provided for us, beginning with the fact that He created us. He formed us physically and spiritually; body and soul! He knows who we are. He knows what we have done. He is engaged in our lives. He fights for us. He is our defender, our help, and our provider. Everything we have has been given to us by Him. So take the time to think about what that means for you today. PAUSE………… and GIVE THANKS TO GOD.

This is our Outreach promise: God rescues those who fear Him; “those who wait with hope for His mercy to rescue their souls from [eternal] death…” In the Psalm we receive the promise that everyone who waits on the LORD will be saved from eternal death. It is God who gives life. It is God who gives us a new life in Jesus Christ. This is a certain truth! 

On this Thanksgiving Day let us pause to THANK God for this promise fulfilled, for giving us salvation and then let us BOLDly tell someone else this good news!  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BOLD Christian Outreach Reflections from Psalm 32

Sub title: The Freedom of Confession

“A psalm by David; a maskil. Blessed is the person whose disobedience is forgiven and whose sin is pardoned. Blessed is the person whom the LORD no longer accuses of sin and who has no deceitful thoughts. When I kept silent {about my sins}, my bones began to weaken because of my groaning all day long. Day and night your hand lay heavily on me. My strength shriveled in the summer heat. Selah I made my sins known to you, and I did not cover up my guilt. I decided to confess them to you, O LORD. Then you forgave all my sins. Selah”  Psalm 32:1-5 (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

There is a time in my life that I became so caught up in the fulfillment of my personal dreams for success that I sacrificed the relationship with my children and the relationship with my wife on the altar of personal achievement. I was driven to succeed even in the midst of financial ruin. The deeper in debt I became, the harder I worked to survive, and my family paid the price. I expected God to bless my efforts, but in the end I was forced to give up my personal dream. This was a hard pill to swallow and I blamed everyone around me for not caring enough to help me fulfill my dream. In my selfish anger I also rebelled against God.

God did not give up on me. He crushed that rebellious spirit, and humbled me. I finally realized that God loved me, not because I was good or worthy, but because He is a God of love. He desires everyone to be saved. He loved me because I needed to be saved. I had nothing to offer God. I was broken and helpless, but He had everything I needed. He gave me forgiveness and the full pardon of my sins. In Christ I was set free.

When I confessed my sin to my wife, she forgave me! I didn’t deserve that kind of unconditional love! I also confessed my sin to my children; it was difficult to admit that I had failed them as a father when they needed me the most. As a result of my selfishness I had lost out on many precious moments with them that I will never be able to reclaim. The most difficult task in this process was forgiving myself. It took many years before I could totally accept God’s unconditional forgiveness for me.

The words of this Psalm still ring clearly in my head and I am always reminded that I am still a sinful being who daily needs the assurance of God’s forgiveness. But I am not alone; Jesus died for everyone and has already paid the price for their sins. Every person who confesses their sin before God will receive a full pardon from Him.

This is our outreach promise. It is God’s Word that convicts people of their sin and it is God who will forgive those who confess their sin. “Day and night your hand lay heavily on me. My strength shriveled in the summer heat. I made my sins known to you, and I did not cover up my guilt. I decided to confess them to you, O LORD. Then you forgave all my sins.” Psalm 32:4-5 (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

BOLDly share this good news with those you love: it is the most loving gift you can give.  

Friday, November 14, 2014

BOLD Christian Outreach Reflections from Psalm 31

Sub title: God’s Hiding Place

Psalm 31:14-20   I trust you, O LORD. I said, “You are my God.” My future is in your hands. Rescue me from my enemies, from those who persecute me. Smile on me. Save me with your mercy. O LORD, I have called on you, so do not let me be put to shame, Let wicked people be put to shame. Let them be silent in the grave. Let {their} lying lips be speechless, since they speak against righteous people with arrogance and contempt. Your kindness is so great! You reserve it for those who fear you. Adam's descendants watch as you show it to those who take refuge in you. You hide them in the secret place of your presence from those who scheme against them. You keep them in a shelter, safe from quarrelsome tongues. (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

The primary focus of this blog is to encourage Christians to BOLDly share their faith with friends, neighbors, and others they meet as they are going about their daily tasks. It is a reflection on the sure promises of God to gather unto Himself all who call out to Him and seek refuge in His embrace. To understand the principles of this saving faith it is helpful to remember that God desires everyone to be saved and to trust in Him for salvation. 

However, this saving faith comes from God as a gift and may be rejected by those who are content in living for themselves and by themselves because of their love of sin and sinful pleasures in life.

David’s enemies had selfish ambitions in mind. Their desire was to obtain power through David’s demise. Their true master was the deceiver (Satan) who delights in corrupting the minds of God’s people and turning them against Him. 

This still happens today when people who call themselves Christians live for their own glory and power at the expense and welfare of those around them. It could be as subtle as fudging a few numbers on a tax form, or jacking the price on a product, or turning away from those in need when the means to help is within their wallet. 

Christians also live for themselves when they hold on to the riches of salvation and eternal life but fail to share those with their neighbors and friends who do not yet know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

God forgives our sins. He hides us in that secret place of His presence where Satan cannot get to us, that is, unless we give him the opportunity to come back into our lives, which he, of course, is so willing and eager to do.  God’s promise of salvation is fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

He is our rock and our refuge. 

But we cannot take this salvation for granted. It is ours through faith that is given as a free gift from God; however this faith must be nurtured and exercised if it is to develop and grow into a lasting relationship with God.

It is easy to say “You are my God. My future is in your hands.”, it is quite another thing to actually put that into practice. But when we do, people take notice, which then gives us an opportunity to bear witness to “the hope that is in us” that Peter refers in his letter to the church. 

My encouragement to you is that you live BOLDly for the Lord in whatever circumstances you find yourselves in, and then, intentionally tell others of the hope you have been given through faith in Jesus Christ.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

BOLD Christian Outreach Reflections from Psalm 30

Subtitle: Facing the Pit (Death)  

 “I will honor you highly, O LORD, because you have pulled me out {of the pit} and have not let my enemies rejoice over me. O LORD my God, I cried out to you for help, and you healed me. O LORD, you brought me up from the grave. You called me back to life from among those who had gone into the pit.” Psalm 30:1-4 (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

Have you ever hit rock bottom? It is a very lonely place to be. Danger awaits you in the morning! Fear fills your senses! Your body silently screams at you for an escape! Panic grips your mind! Your thoughts race in several directions and then they become silent, and still you realize that you have no control over what will happen next, so you do the only thing that makes sense at the time…you call out to God. “Help! Please help me LORD! My life is in your hands. I have nothing and without YOU I am nothing. But with YOU, through YOU, and by YOUR divine intervention I will live to see another day.”

This is where faith is tested. Faith isn't something you create, but it is planted in you by God and then it is nurtured through trials and adversity until it becomes ingrained in the very fabric of your existence. Some people are only tested a few times, and go through deep valleys once or twice, but they are the exceptions, for most of us these deep valleys are regular occurrences. Sometimes as we get older the valleys in life seem to be less frequent and not as difficult to endure. This may be the result of our growth in faith as we learn to trust in the promises of God. 

As I look back over my life I have started to understand what David experienced in the 23rd Psalm as he wrote, “Even as I walk through the valley of death, I will not fear evil, because YOU are with me and YOUR rod and staff brings me comfort.” When I reflect on how my LORD has rescued me in the past, it is a little easier to let go of the fear and then trust that HE will rescue me again.

In the beginning of this Psalm, David is expressing that emotional bottom. He had been in the pit of death with little hope for escape, yet God turned the tables on David’s enemies and rescued him. At the same time, God used these words of David to prophesy of the death and resurrection of the Messiah.

Our outreach promise from this Psalm has been fulfilled in the body of our LORD Jesus Christ when He rose from the dead.  While David’s words were of emotional death and rescue, they point to the life of Jesus who physically died and rose from the dead. Jesus fulfilled the prophesy, “O LORD, you brought me up from the grave. You called me back to life from among those who had gone into the pit.”

If you are feeling like your life is in the pit; there is hope! If you are ministering to someone else who is at rock bottom; there is hope! GOD HAS THE POWER TO RESCUE US FROM THE PIT!

Death has been defeated and has no power. Jesus the Messiah has won the victory over death. We have nothing to fear when we by faith let God lift us up. And then… with David we can BOLDly sing praises to the God who saves us.

You have changed my sobbing into dancing. You have removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy so that my soul may praise you with music and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever.” Psalm 30:10-12 (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

BOLD Christian Outreach Reflections from Psalm 29

Sub title: The Sound of God’s VOICE – His WORD.

Give to the LORD, you heavenly beings. Give to the LORD glory and power.
Give to the LORD the glory his name deserves. Worship the LORD in {his} holy splendor.
The voice of the LORD rolls over the water. The God of glory thunders.
The LORD shouts over raging water. The voice of the LORD is powerful.
The voice of the LORD is majestic. …
The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the LORD makes the wilderness tremble. Psalm 29:1-4,7-8
My word, which comes from my mouth, is like the rain and snow. 
It will not come back to me without results. 
It will accomplish whatever I want and achieve whatever I send it to do. Isaiah 55:11

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was already with God in the beginning. Everything came into existence through him. Not one thing that exists was made without him. He was the source of life, and that life was the light for humanity. The light shines in the dark, and the dark has never extinguished it. John 1:1-5

The Word of life existed from the beginning. We have heard it. We have seen it. We observed and touched it. This life was revealed to us. We have seen it, and we testify about it. We are reporting to you about this eternal life that was in the presence of the Father and was revealed to us. This is the life we have seen and heard. We are reporting about it to you also so that you, too, can have a relationship with us. Our relationship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:1-3  
The LORD [Jesus] sits enthroned as king forever. The LORD will give power to his people. The LORD will bless his people with peace. Psalm 29:10,11 (All scriptural quotes taken from God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

Can you imagine what the sound of the LORD would be like?
When God spoke to Moses the people heard what sounded like thunder in their ears.
When God spoke at the baptism of Jesus, 
     those who were standing there said it sounded like thunder.
David heard the sound of thunder and reflected on the power of God’s voice.
Thunder is mild compared to the full force of the voice of God.
God said “Let there be light!” And there was light!
At the sound of His voice everything on earth and in the heavens were created.
By His voice, His spoken word, everything came into being.
Faster than the crack of lightening; He said “Let there be… and it was!”
The end will be as the beginning. God will speak and the entire world will be gathered together to see Jesus return as LORD over all.

A few weeks ago, lightening hit our house. It went through our electrical panel so fast that the breakers didn’t have time to react. Surge protectors failed to trip, TV’s were blown, along with other random appliances. Some appliances were left undamaged while others were rendered cold stone dead.

God’s Word is like that. It is fast and powerful. It gets through to some people while others are left untouched. Only in the case of God’s Word, instead of destroying, it resurrects. The people who are penetrated by God’s Word are dead sinners who are brought back to life.
God’s Word became flesh in Jesus Christ. He lived among us and spoke clearly so we would know the way of salvation. He died in our place. He destroyed the power of sin and death. He made it possible for sinful people (like myself) to have an everlasting relationship with God in heaven. He gives us the privilege to be heirs in His kingdom. He gives us everlasting peace.

Our outreach promise in Psalm 29 is this: In spite of what things look like on the outside, in spite of the trials or difficulties or storms in our lives, in spite of darkness and sorrow; 
   God’s living Voice, the living Word, Jesus Christ has overcome our enemy, Sin.
Jesus has destroyed the power of sin, death, and the devil.
He gives the power to live a new life to everyone who trusts in Him for the forgiveness of their sin. And by His Spirit He fills them with internal and eternal peace.

If you have experienced this peace within, 
    BOLDly share the source of that peace with your friends and neighbors.   

Monday, September 22, 2014

BOLD Christian Outreach Reflections from Psalm 28

Subtitle: Lord have mercy… Christ have mercy… Lord have mercy.

Psalm 28:1-3, 6-9
(By David)  O LORD, I call to you. O my rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. If you remain silent, I will be like those who go into the pit. Hear my prayer for mercy when I call to you for help, when I lift my hands toward your most holy place. Do not drag me away with wicked people, with troublemakers who speak of peace with their neighbors but have evil in their hearts. … Thank the LORD! He has heard my prayer for mercy! The LORD is my strength and my shield. My heart trusted him, so I received help. My heart is triumphant; I give thanks to him with my song. The LORD is the strength of his people and a fortress for the victory of his Messiah. Save your people, and bless those who belong to you. Be their shepherd, and carry them forever. (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

Lately in my ministry, God has placed me in four situations where I have had opportunities to minister to the families of those who are near death. For some the process was slow, labored, and to some degree a painful experience. For others, the process happened relatively quickly and left the family members in a state of shock and sudden grief. I struggled with the right words to say; wanting to extent the hope and comfort that comes from faith and the assurance of eternal life with Christ, without discounting God’s ability to bring about physical healing and the extension of life on earth in the flesh.

In each situation the words that I spoke were a prayer of mercy.

I called upon God to remember His promise to be merciful to those who call on His name and trust in His promise of salvation. This is the example that David (by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) has given to us in Psalm 28. “Hear my prayer for mercy when I call to you for help…” [Do not hold my sin against me; forgive me because YOU are merciful.] – (my interpretation).

I also prayed that God would give us His peace. The same peace that David received at the end of the Psalm, “Thank the LORD! He has heard my prayer for mercy! … My heart trusted Him, so I received help.” This peace comes from the assurance that God has already won the victory over death by His Son, the Messiah.

This is our outreach promise.
We can BOLDly proclaim its truth.
It is a sweet message for those who trust in Jesus Christ. 

What a comfort it is to know that soon the one you love will be in the presence of Almighty God, free of pain, sorrow, suffering, and sin. The cancer that was eating away at their body has at last been removed. The sin that has separated them from the holiness of God has been completely destroyed. For the rest of eternity they will be living as they were once intended to live – full of joy, peace, patience, kindness, and love beyond comprehension.

As I prayed with these believers in Christ and their dear family members, they each acknowledged that peace and contentment, nodding with the assurance that they would soon be in the presence of their loving Savior and Lord. They did not fear death, because they knew that Jesus would carry them in His arms, much like a parent carries a newborn child, to that place of eternal peace and rest.

Soon they would be with God, their provider, shepherd, and LORD, in His heavenly kingdom forever.   

Saturday, September 20, 2014

BOLD Christian Outreach Reflections from Psalm 27

Subtitle: Someday we will see God ‘face to face’.

Psalm 27:1-14  
By David. The LORD is my light and my salvation. Who is there to fear? The LORD is my life's fortress. Who is there to be afraid of? …
I have asked one thing from the LORD. This I will seek: to remain in the LORD'S house all the days of my life in order to gaze at the LORD'S beauty and to search for an answer in his temple. He hides me in his shelter when there is trouble. He keeps me hidden in his tent. He sets me high on a rock. …
{When you said,} “Seek my face,” my heart said to you, “O LORD, I will seek your face.” …
I believe that I will see the goodness of the LORD in this world of the living. Wait with hope for the LORD. Be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Yes, wait with hope for the LORD. (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

What does God want us to seek?                   
God wants all sinners to repent and to look to Him for forgiveness.
God calls, “Seek my face.” And David replies, “O LORD, I will seek your face.”

This is our promise.
Those who seek after God’s protection will receive it.
It comes to those who trust in God.
Only the righteous can stand before God and gaze upon His face.
Only the forgiven will be made righteous.
Forgiveness cannot be earned, it is a free gift given to those who humbly confess their sins.
Forgiveness only comes to those who submit to the grace and mercy of the ONE who has the power to destroy both the sin and the sinner in the fires of hell.
But this ONE has already chosen to take the place of the sinner and destroy the power of sin.

Through God’s act of love, carried out by His Son, Jesus Christ, the Savior/Messiah’s death on a cross and resurrection from the dead, the penalty of sin has been paid in full. There is nothing stopping us from receiving forgiveness except our unwillingness to repent of our sins.

If we say we have NO sin, we deceive ourselves and must carry the burden of our sins throughout eternity, but if we confess and repent of our sins, God’s Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior, the Messiah tells us that we are free from their burden because He has already taken it upon Himself. 1 John 1:9

This gift is for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ. 
Jesus said, “My Father wants all those who see the Son and believe in him to have eternal life. He wants me to bring them back to life on the last day.” John 6:40 (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

Our task is to BOLDly tell others this GOOD NEWS message.
The Spirit of God uses this GOOD NEWS to bring them to repentance.
And those who repent… well you know… they get to see God - ‘Face to Face.’

In the past two weeks, I was at the bedside of two people who were waiting for their journey on this earth to end and their new life with Christ to begin. They knew that they were going to see Jesus - ‘face to face’, and in the midst of pain and suffering, they had peace, real peace! 

Within hours after my visit each of these individuals left their earthly bodies behind as they entered into the presence of their Lord Jesus Christ. 
By faith they knew that God's promise for them would be fulfilled, 
they would have eternal life with Jesus Christ. 
Now that life is reality!! 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

BOLD Christian Outreach Reflections from Psalm 26

Subtitle: Walking In the Security of God’s Mercy

Psalm 26:1-3 (By David.) “Judge me favorably, O LORD, because I have walked with integrity and I have trusted you without wavering. Examine me, O LORD, and test me. Look closely into my heart and mind. I see your mercy in front of me. I walk in the light of your truth.” (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

God is merciful. He does not give us what we deserve. Instead, He extends mercy to those who trust in Him. David does not ask God to judge him fairly, or to give him what he deserves, but to judge him FAVORABLY, out of the abundance of God’s mercy. David’s claim is God’s truth; those who call on the name of the LORD will be redeemed, forgiven, cared for, and set free from the guilt of their sins. The integrity that David walked in is a relationship of dependence upon God’s mercy. He trusted in the promise of deliverance, and even though he would have been found guilty in the eyes of many, he submitted to God’s merciful judgment, where he received redemption and forgiveness.

This is our outreach promise. God in His mercy forgives those who call upon Him, trust in Him, and depend on Him for their salvation from sin. There is no other way to be forgiven. Forgiveness only comes from one source, Jesus Christ who died for our sins. Forgiveness is only given to those who trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Forgiveness of sin comes from God, through Jesus Christ, and is given to those who trust in Him for their salvation. It cannot be earned! It cannot be bought by some price, such as, living a saintly life! It only comes as a gift to those who recognize that they are incapable of inquiring on their own.

But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”  John 1:12-13 (King James Version)

God will forgive the humble, those whose hearts are broken before Him. He promises to forgive the sins of all who call out to Him for mercy. If you know this to be true in your life, BOLDly give witness to others, that they may hear its “good news”.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

BOLD Christian Outreach Reflections from Psalm 25

Sub title: Salvation comes from the LORD.
                                He has promised it! He will deliver it!

The LORD is good and decent. That is why he teaches sinners the way they should live. He leads humble people to do what is right, and he teaches them his way. Every path of the LORD is {one of} mercy and truth for those who cling to his promise and written instructions. For the sake of your name, O LORD, remove my guilt, because it is great. Who, then, is this person that fears the LORD? He is the one whom the LORD will teach which path to choose. He will enjoy good things in life, and his descendants will inherit the land. The LORD advises those who fear him. He reveals to them the intent of his promise. Psalm 25:8-14 (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

To whom does God promise salvation? Guilty sinners! It not given to the righteous, or those who claim to be righteous, but it is given to those who recognize their sin. It is not given to the proud, self-sufficient, self-reliant person who makes his or her own way in life and strives to earn God’s favor through righteous living and acts of mercy. It is not given to the ultra-conservative or ultra-religious person who practices meditation, fasting, ritual prayers, or self-sacrifices all in an effort to please God.

No, it is ONLY given to those who humbly cling to God’s promises of mercy. These are the ones who recognize that they cannot of themselves remove their guilt or make amends for their sin filled ways. They have come to realize that they have only one recourse; total surrender, flat out submission to the mercy of God.

This is NOT an act of reaching out to God to take hold of Him (as if someone could have a part in their salvation), but an act of surrender; a recognition that they are helpless to do anything, except submit to God. To be at the mercy of God is to recognize that there is nothing you can do that would please Him or remove the guilt of your sin. It is the absence of action. It is the essence of humility. It is the death of your willful disobedience. It is the stillness of total submission. This can only come from the Holy Spirit, working through the Word of God, which reveals to us the helplessness of our sinful human condition in the presence of God’s holiness and almighty power. This is rightfully a fearful place to be. We resist. We shudder to think about it. We are non-the-less sinful sinners at the mercy of ONE who hates sin and has the power to destroy both the sin and the sinner.  

However, this is the work of God at His finest! God is merciful and compassionate and forgiving. He forgives and shows His mercy to those who submit to His mercy. He redeems the broken hearted. He gives spiritual sight to those who call out to Him for mercy. He forgives their sins, washes away their guilt, and lifts up and restores those who depend on Him for salvation. David said, “The LORD is good and decent. That is why he teaches sinners the way they should live.” David recognized this truth about God; ‘God desires to restore the lives of sinful beings’.

The humble, broken-hearted, repentant sinner will be forgiven. They will follow the instructions of the LORD. They will have a relationship with God that is built on the mercy of God. They will come to realize their total dependence upon their Creator, LORD, and Savior. They will believe in the words of Jesus and trust in His death and resurrection for the forgiveness of their sins. They will receive the gift of everlasting life in presence of Jesus in heaven.  

Our BOLD Outreach Promise from God: 
When we faithfully share God’s word with others, God has promised to open the hearts of the spiritually blind. By the power of the Holy Spirit, God the Father will give faith to those who call out to Him for mercy and He will lead them to saving faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Monday, March 24, 2014

BOLD Christian Outreach Reflections from Psalm 24

Subtitle: Seekers Will Find God

Who may go up the LORD'S mountain? Who may stand in his holy place? [The one who] has clean hands and a pure heart and does not long for what is false or lie when he is under oath. [This person] will receive a blessing from the LORD and righteousness from God, his savior. This is the person who seeks him, who searches for the face of the God of Jacob.” Psalm 24:3-6 (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

Those who desire to be with God will find Him. Those who resist the Spirit and reject God will be rejected by God. The promises of God only apply to those who by faith submit to His power and authority over them. It takes God’s Spirit working through God’s Word to rescue an unbeliever from the grip of Satan and bring them into a new life in Jesus Christ. As Christians our role in this rescue is to faithfully proclaim God’s Word and God will take care of the rest. This work takes place in the midst of genuine relationships with our neighbors.

Our witness begins in our neighborhood. We proclaim God’s Word through our actions, our humility, our failures, our acts of love, and in the midst of conversations with those we have built genuine relationships. We live as salt, melting away the ice within stone cold hearts. We live as light, guiding people toward the Savior. God promises to do the rest!

To those who are looking for God, he says,
Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened for you.
To those who are broken by the weight of their sin and guilt, he says,
I have come to bind up the broken and to open the eyes of the blind.

To us, he asks, How can they hear, unless they are told? 
How can they see unless their eyes are opened?
For (the Gospel, that is, God’s Word) is the power unto salvation to everyone who hears it.

It is the power of the Spirit of God working through his Word that calls, gathers, enlightens, and leads seekers to faith in Jesus Christ. I know that I did not come to God by my own reason or strength, but it was the power of the Holy Spirit that worked faith in me, to believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. And God promises that He will give that gift of faith to everyone who seeks after Him.

Jesus invites seekers to listen to him,
Those who have the ears to hear, listen to what I have to say.
These are the ones who receive the promises of God spoken to us by the Psalmist.
[This person] will receive a blessing from the LORD and righteousness from God, his savior. This is the person who seeks him, who searches for the face of the God of Jacob.

Here is an outreach promise and word of encouragement from Psalm 24:
Be BOLD in your outreach! Do not give up!
Trust in God!
Be faithful in your work and the Holy Spirit will create faith within the hearts of those who are seeking the Lord.

They will see God face to face.  

Friday, February 28, 2014

BOLD Christian Outreach Reflections from Psalm 23

Subtitle: The Promise of Peace

Psalm 23:1-6 (GW) 
1  A psalm by David. The LORD is my shepherd. I am never in need.
2  He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside peaceful waters.
3  He renews my soul. He guides me along the paths of righteousness for the sake of his name. 4  Even though I walk through the dark valley of death, because you are with me, I fear no harm. Your rod and your staff give me courage.
5  You prepare a banquet for me while my enemies watch. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows.
6  Certainly, goodness and mercy will stay close to me all the days of my life, and I will remain in the LORD'S house for days without end. 
(God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

This is probably the most often quoted Psalm in the Bible. Christian families almost always request this Psalm be used in memorial services for their loved ones. It is simple. Easily memorized, and yet, profoundly rich in content.

In those times when we have doubts or when we are faced with the news of tragedy, cancer, sudden illness, loss of job, or the loss of a loved one; this Psalm provides comfort. Its simple truth is that God is in control. He watches over us, and provides us with all that we need in this life and the next.

In David’s words, God promises to restore souls. He will guide us along the path of righteousness. 

But what does that mean for those who don’t yet know Him?

God is the process of seeking a relationship with those who have rejected Him. He has gone to great lengths to touch the hearts of all mankind. He gave us prophets, psalmists, kings, a called out people (the Children of Israel), His written word, and finally, He sent His only son, Jesus. Like a good shepherd, God has been searching for His lost sheep, while still protecting the ones He has gathered. He will restore the souls of those who trust in Him. And for those who are truly seeking Him, He will lead them to righteousness, because He desires everyone to be with Him for eternity.  

As those who have experience the blessings and banquet feast of the Lord, let us be BOLD to share what we have received with those who are still searching. As we meet people along our journey through life, we can walk with them and guide them to see our Lord who provides for us all. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BOLD Christian Outreach Reflections from Psalm 22

Subtitle: He Has Finished It

Psalm 22:16-18 “Dogs have surrounded me. A mob has encircled me. They have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones. People stare. They gloat over me. They divide my clothes among themselves. They throw dice for my clothing.” (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

God spoke through His servant David to reveal to us specific promises concerning the coming of the promised Messiah. Psalm 22 is often used during Good Friday because of its portrayal of Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross. While skeptics will always have their doubts about the Bible, it is no coincidence that Jesus was tortured and killed as predicted in this Psalm. Or that His garments were divided among the soldiers at the foot of the cross in the exact way that David described. Or that a soldier pierced Jesus’ side with a sword without breaking the bones in His legs in accordance to Psalm 34, even though the bones of the other two crucified with Him were broken according to the eye witness account of His disciple John. One could argue that Jesus knew of the prophecies concerning the promised Messiah and so He did things to intentionally fulfill them, but after His death, only God could have orchestrated the events of that day to move the Roman soldiers to fulfill the rest of the prophecies which were written hundreds of years before. 

Psalm 34:20 “The LORD guards all of his bones. Not one of them is broken.”
Zechariah 12:10 “I will pour out the Spirit of blessing and mercy on David’s family and on those who live in Jerusalem. They will look at me, whom they have stabbed. Then they will morn for him as one mourns for an only son, and they will cry bitterly for him as one cries for a firstborn son.” (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

God’s mercy for us is extended through the punishment He places on His very own begotten Son Jesus. After everything was completed, after the punishment for our sins had been fulfilled, after Jesus had been killed; the LORD was still with Him and raised Him from the dead. I can’t explain how it was done, but understand that it happened because death has no hold on one who is righteous before the LORD. Jesus was born in righteousness and was faithful to the end. He was God in human flesh. He was one with God, and yet, fully human in so much as He became one with us in our sufferings and death.

And here is the BOLD Outreach promise of this chapter. For generations to come the people who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, (those who have experienced the joy of having their sins forgiven), will share this good news with others. They will tell the good news that it is finished, because Jesus has paid the price for all of our sins. Not in part, but completely! By His death He paid the penalty for the sins of everyone, believer and non-believer, alike. The difference between the two is the faith that accepts the forgiveness the Jesus gives; and the LORD does not turn His back on those who call out to Him for forgiveness.    

Psalm 22:24, 30-31 “The LORD has not despised or been disgusted with the plight of the oppressed one. He has not hidden his face from that person. The LORD heard when that oppressed person cried out to him for help. … There will be descendants who serve him, a generation that will be told about the Lord. They will tell people yet to be born about his righteousness— that he has finished it.” (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,


Sunday, January 12, 2014

BOLD Christian Outreach Reflections from Psalm 21

Title: A Song of Praise

The king finds joy in your strength, O LORD. What great joy he has in your victory! You gave him his heart's desire. You did not refuse the prayer from his lips. You welcomed him with the blessings of good things and set a crown of fine gold on his head. He asked you for life. You gave him a long life, forever and ever. Because of your victory his glory is great. You place splendor and majesty on him. Yes, you made him a blessing forever. You made him glad with the joy of your presence. Indeed, the king trusts the LORD, and through the mercy of the Most High, he will not be moved. Psalm 21:1-7 (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

In reading this Psalm of King David, I wonder if he was speaking of himself as the king or of God’s “promised one” (Jesus – The King who would reign on the throne forever.)? Or is he speaking for everyone who believes in the salvation of the Lord that would come through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

We know that David is speaking of eternity and being in the presence of God forever. This certainly is assurance of salvation that comes from trusting in God for salvation. This is counting on God to provide and knowing without a doubt that He will deliver and provide a victory over sin. This is the reflection of one who is living their life resting in the promises and strength of God, confident that no one in this life nor anything in death can separate him from the love and care of God.

This is also a prophecy concerning “The King” who would deliver us from sin and establish His throne in the heavens forever. This king is Jesus, who died for our sins and rose from the dead to crush the hold that death had over us. Jesus surrendered to the will of his Father, and was rewarded with an everlasting crown of glory.

Can I leave it there or is it also the fulfillment of my prayer?

And what about those who hear the word of God and come to understand the victory we have been given in Christ? Can they place their names in the text and claim the Psalm for themselves? Look at what happen when I replace the word “king” with a personal pronoun? Does this bring a fresh and personal meaning to the reading?

I find joy in your strength, O LORD. What great joy I have in your victory! You gave me my heart's desire. You did not refuse the prayer from my lips. You welcomed me with the blessings of good things and set a crown of fine gold on my head. I asked you for life. You gave me a long life, forever and ever. Because of your victory my glory is great. You place splendor and majesty on me. Yes, you made me a blessing forever. You made me glad with the joy of your presence. Indeed, I trust the LORD, and through the mercy of the Most High, I will not be moved.

Thank God for the victory we have in Jesus Christ.

May we BOLDly proclaim this message to others with the assurance that God will set them free to sing this Psalm of praise.

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