"And the Lord was with Judah; and he drove out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron" (Judges 1:19). "But the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong" (Joshua 17:18).
Satan himself acknowledges that God has a protective hedge all around the righteous and that the hedge protects not only themselves but all that they have — including their descendants.
When seeking to tear Job down, Satan complained to God, "Hast thou not made a hedge around him, and his house, and all that he has on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land" (Job 1:10).
"And there shall be famines, and troubles, and these are the beginning of sorrows…" (Mark 13:8).
There is a terrible famine raging in the land today. It's not a food famine. In fact, the United States has been producing such an overabundance of food the government is currently devising a number of incentives for farmers to take some of their land out of production.
Resurrection from the dead is the "ultimate healing." I tried to share that glorious truth with the grieving parents of a five-year-old boy who had died just hours before of leukemia. They had begged God for the healing of their dear child. The whole church prayed earnestly. Friends had prophesied: "He will not die; he will be healed." One week prior to the little boy's death, the heartbroken father picked the fevered child up in his arms and walked him around the room. "God, I'll not give him up. Your promises are true. My faith has never faltered.
It was the night of the Last Supper, and Jesus was winding down his final conversation with the disciples. Everything he said that evening was with the knowledge he was about to leave them. So he concluded the gathering with an encouraging prayer about things to come: a church that would overcome and be triumphant; a people whose love for each other would be a testimony to the world; a divine power and authority flowing through his followers; and the glory of the Father resting on his people. These were all things Jesus would give to his church through the Holy Spirit.
A Fresh Call to Receive God’s Baptism of Love
This spring, I was in a hotel in Amman, Jordan, when I had an experience that changed me profoundly. I’ve written hints about this experience previously, but I haven’t shared it in full. I do so now because it has everything to do with our vision at World Challenge and our partnership with you in serving Jesus.
Using the Strength that God’s Spirit Has Given You
The apostle Paul exhorts us, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12, NKJV). Paul lived the kind of fight he describes. Near the end of his ministry, he could boast, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
When I was a boy the cry of the church was, “Jesus is coming!” All through my teenage years, every evangelist who came to preach in my father’s church had a stirring message about the soon return of Christ. Even today their sermons remain burned in my memory: “The Bible says Christ will come like a thief in the night, when you least expect him. It will happen in the twinkling of an eye, with the sound of a trumpet. You must be ready at all times.”
Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables: “All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 13:34-35, my italics).
The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). At the time these words were proclaimed, the Israelites had just returned from captivity in Babylon. Under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah, the people had rebuilt Jerusalem’s ruined walls. Now they set their sights on reestablishing the temple and restoring the nation.