1 Thessalonians 5:11 (KJV)

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (KJV)

Monday, March 31, 2014

Worthy of Nothing

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Pocket Devotions

Romans 4:5
However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

Thoughts for Today:

Who gets justified? Who gets blessed? Is it the self righteous do-gooder? What about your neighbor who follows every homeowner association rule and traffic law? How about that co-worker of yours who has never been late or missed a day of work? A man told me once that for over thirty years he had not missed one Sunday service and whenever the church had a function he always participated. Surely he is justified by his works and has earned a godly blessing.

In our passage today, Paul tells us just the opposite is true: "...the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness." In other words, the only one who is justified is the one who realizes he is worthy of nothing.

Questions to Ponder:

Have you been getting a little prideful lately?
Thinking perhaps you are better than that guy sitting next to you in church?
Think again.
Romans 3:23: "...for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
" All means even you.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The April Scripture of the Month

John 6:68-69:
"Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go?
Thou hast the words of eternal life, and we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."

This is Simon Peter's response to Jesus who asks, "Will you also go away?" The previous verse mentions that many of the "disciples" went back and did not walk with Jesus anymore. Peter, however, has the wise answer. He and the other eleven had nowhere else to go, for only Christ had and has the words of eternal life.

The devil and the flesh often tempt us to walk away, to chuck this Christian lifestyle, to join the world and have "fun." But we know that "the pleasures of sin are only for a season." We know a day of reckoning is nigh. We know that the only path to peace and joy is the narrow road, the road that leads to Jesus Christ.

May each of us walk more closely to Him this month.

This message is from The Gideons International.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

If you seek God, then read His Holy Word.

Pocket Devotions

Romans 3:10-12
As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."

Thoughts for Today:

So what about the Tibetan monks who live their entire lives in celibacy and simplicity? Surely they are seeking God. No they're not, the Bible says none seek after God.

Then what are they seeking?
Perhaps inner peace, maybe a transcendent form of consciousness, even an emotional experience -- but they're not seeking God.

The history of religion would say man is out seeking God -- therefore religion in general must be man's search for God. The Bible says it isn't.
Man hasn't found out very much about God on his own -- the reason: Because he's been going in the wrong direction -- away from God.

Questions to Ponder:

Have you been seeking God on your own?
Have you been attracted to the latest New Age books which promise a higher learning or consciousness?
Do you think any of this will help you to find or understand God more fully?
The Bible tells us "No".
The Bible contains all the information about God we need to know.
Do you seek God?
Then read His Holy Word.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Authority of Scripture Confirmed by the Holy Spirit

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Pocket Devotions

Romans 4:3a
[Paul writing:] What does the Scripture say?

Thoughts for Today:

In our passage today, Paul's question provides the right direction for all of us who seek answers: "What does the Scripture say?" Let me affirm some basics about Scripture:

1. The Bible is God's Word to us. (2 Timothy 3:16-17: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.")

2. The Holy Spirit is our personal teacher. (John 14:26: "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.")

3. The Holy Spirit honors and uses God's Word to us. (1 Thessalonians 1:6b: "...you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.)

4. The Scriptures are our source of authority -- for faith and practice. (Psalms 19:9,11: "How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.")

We cannot depend solely on traditions, our experience, or the experience of others to be accurate authorities of God's will and ways. Experience and tradition must always be tested against the backdrop of Scripture.

As Christians, the Holy Spirit is at work in us -- confirming in our own hearts the truth of Scripture. Therefore, whenever a teacher or pastor presents what they consider to be a Biblical principle we can depend on the Holy Spirit to validate if what is being taught comes from God. (John 7:17: "If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.")

Questions to Ponder:

Paul poses the question in our passage today: "What does Scripture say?"
My immediate response is to open and read my Bible. What is your response?
Is it simply to listen to the teacher's opinion?
We must always be on guard -- Scripture can sometimes be twisted to fit a teacher's intent or purpose (not that Paul is doing so). That is how cults are started and evil is done in the name of the Lord. Our best response is to always read Scripture in its full context while allowing the Holy Spirit to instruct, confirm or correct.

Monday, March 24, 2014

What Abraham Discovered

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Pocket Devotions

Romans 4:1-2
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about -- but not before God.

Thoughts for Today:

Here are two questions to consider which will help us understand what Abraham "discovered in this matter":

1. When Abram [later name changed to Abraham] left Ur of the Chaldeans, did God declare him righteous? Answer: No.

2. When Abraham took his son Isaac to Mount Moriah in order to sacrifice him, did God declare him righteous? Answer: No.

Abraham was only declared righteous when he believed God (Genesis 15:6: "Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.")

So when is a man saved? Is it when he is obedient to God? What about when he dutifully sacrifices something important for God? No, the Bible tells us it is only when we believe what God has said that we are saved. When we simply say to the Lord: "I believe in you -- I believe what you said is true -- and I believe Jesus died for my sin." It is only by belief, not works, that we are forgiven (justified and declared righteous).

Questions to Ponder:

Abraham discovered he was not justified by works (so he couldn't brag). He was declared righteous because he believed what God said. Righteousness does not come from our obedience or sacrifice -- it comes through belief.
What has God said to you through His Word that you struggle to believe ?

Friday, March 21, 2014

One God = Same Faith

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Pocket Devotions

Romans 3:29-30
Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.

Thoughts for Today:

Paul is basically saying to the Jews: "You don't own God." This is a good lesson for us as well because if we are not careful we too can be guilty of limiting what God can do (or has said) based upon our own beliefs and biases.

Throughout the centuries of church history debates have regularly occurred over interpretation of Scripture. The furor and passion of these disputes have sometimes led to denominational or congregational splits. However, the one positive thing that comes out of most types of Biblical discussion is a lot more people open, read, and study their Bibles with greater interest and passion to find out what God has said about a subject. And when God's people read the Word -- revival almost always follows.

In our passage today, Paul sums up God's position on divisiveness within the church: "There is only one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith." I think this statement is God's equation for resolving controversies within the body from His perspective: One God = Same Faith (in Jesus' sacrifice).

Questions to Ponder:

Sometimes Christians get caught up in their differences with other denominations rather than what we all have in common: One God = Same Faith. If our focus is placed on our similarities, the disagreements seem a lot less significant.
Are other Christians rubbing you the wrong way because they don't see things the same way you do?
Where is your focus today?    Where should it be?
Answer: On Jesus

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Who Wants to be Punished ?

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Pocket Devotions

Romans 3:26
...he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Thoughts for Today:

Imagine for a moment a courtroom setting. A man stands before the judge convicted of murder and awaits sentencing. The judge's own son enters the courtroom to stand at the side of the murderer, then addresses the court: "I am willing to take this man's punishment -- let him go free." But before gavel of judgment can fall, the murderer interrupts to say: "I reject your son's offer. I choose to accept punishment for my own crime." Who among us would feel sorry for the murderer when he gets what he deserves? Who would shed a tear?

In our passage today, Paul tells us God provides this same offer of "justification" (just as if I hadn't sinned) for all who choose to have faith in Jesus Christ. God did so "to demonstrate His justice." Unfortunately, too many people have better things to do than consider God's plan for redemption and eternal life. I guess career, vacations, relationships and other distractions are more important than eternity.

Questions to Ponder:

Would anyone in their right mind choose punishment for what they deserve?
God has offered His own Son as payment for our sin --
Have you accepted His incredible offer of forgiveness?

Monday, March 17, 2014

About Us


In 1893 a teenage girl named Helen Cadbury found new life in Jesus Christ and discovered the power of the Scriptures. Helen organized a group of girls who sewed pockets into their dresses so they could carry the Word of God with them. They were united with the simple pledge to read a portion of the scripture daily, carry it wherever they went, and use it to share their faith with others. They called their group The Pocket Testament League.

Since then, members of The Pocket Testament League have faithfully shared the Word of God in simple one-to-one encounters. The lives of friends, family, co-workers and total strangers have been changed for eternity through these humble acts of obedience.


Why go to Church?

If you're spiritually alive, you're going to love this!
If you're spiritually dead, you won't want to read it.
If you're spiritually curious, there is still hope!

Why Go To Church?

A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. "I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."

This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:

"I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this. They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!" When you are DOWN to nothing..... God is UP to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment! 
"When Satan is knocking at your door, simply say,
"Jesus, could you get that for me?"

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Purchased and Set Free

Pocket Devotions

Romans 3:24b
...by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Thoughts for Today:

For Paul's readers the idea of redemption was clear because at the center of most Greek cities stood the "agora" -- "the place of redemption, a marketplace where buying and selling took place". The Greek word for the "act" of redemption (to buy or bought) is "agorazo", but that is not the word used here.

The second Greek word for redemption is "exagorazo" which is the "act of purchasing or redeeming never to return". In Biblical times a slave for example, could be purchased for a season of harvesting, then returned to the market and sold again. "Exagorazo" was the opposite of this practice -- it meant permanent possession. However, ''exagorazo" is not the word used here.

In our passage today is the third Greek word used for redemption: "apolutrosis", which means "liberation procured by the payment of a ransom", or practically: to purchase a slave with the intent of setting him free completely -- to never be a slave again.

For us redemption is all of these: agorazo -- because we have been purchased by the Lord (see 1 Corinthians 6:20, 7:23, 7:30; 2 Peter 2:1); exagorazo -- because we will never be sold again (see Galatians 3:13 and 4:5; Colossians 4:5); and it is specifically in our passage today apolutrosis -- because the Lord purchased us so we could be set free from sin (see Luke 21:29; Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 1:30).

Questions to Ponder:

The Bible tells us we have been purchased and set free.
Do you feel free or do you still live under the illusory power of sin?
In Romans 8:2, Paul will tell us because of Christ's death sin has no power over us ("...through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death...") we therefore have a choice.
Jesus has purchased you with his life and you have been set free --
the only question that remains --
will you accept (or acknowledge) your freedom?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

"Can a Christian lose salvation?"

Before this question is answered, the term “Christian” must be defined. A “Christian” is not a person who has said a prayer, or walked down an aisle, or been raised in a Christian family. While each of these things can be a part of the Christian experience, they are not what “makes” a Christian. A Christian is a person who has, by faith, received and fully trusted in Jesus Christ as the only Savior.

John 3:16

   “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 

Ephesians 2:8    

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 

 So, with this definition in mind, can a Christian lose salvation? Perhaps the best way to answer this crucially important question is to examine what the Bible says occurs at salvation, and to study what losing salvation would therefore entail. Here are a few examples:

A Christian is a new creation. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This verse speaks of a person becoming an entirely new creature as a result of being “in Christ.” For a Christian to lose salvation, the new creation would have to be canceled and reversed.

A Christian is redeemed. “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19). The word “redeemed” refers to a purchase being made, a price being paid. For a Christian to lose salvation, God Himself would have to revoke His purchase that He paid for with the precious blood of Christ.

A Christian is justified. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). To “justify” means to “declare righteous.” All those who receive Jesus as Savior are “declared righteous” by God. For a Christian to lose salvation, God would have to go back on His Word and “un-declare” what He had previously declared.

A Christian is promised eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Eternal life is a promise of eternity (forever) in heaven with God. God promises, “Believe and you will have eternal life.” For a Christian to lose salvation, eternal life would have to be taken away. If a Christian is promised to live forever, how then can God break this promise by taking away eternal life?

A Christian is guaranteed glorification. “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” (Romans 8:30). As we learned in Romans 5:1, justification is declared at the moment of faith. According to Romans 8:30, glorification is guaranteed for all those whom God justifies. Glorification refers to a Christian receiving a perfect resurrection body in heaven. If a Christian can lose salvation, then Romans 8:30 is in error, because God could not guarantee glorification for all those whom He predestines, calls, and justifies.

Many more illustrations of what occurs at salvation could be shared. Even these few make it abundantly clear that a Christian cannot lose salvation. Most, if not all, of what the Bible says happens to us when we receive Jesus Christ as Savior would be invalidated if salvation could be lost. Salvation cannot be reversed. A Christian cannot be un-newly created. Redemption cannot be undone. Eternal life cannot be lost and still be considered eternal. If a Christian can lose salvation, God would have to go back on His Word and change His mind—two things that Scripture tells us God never does.

The most frequent objections to the belief that a Christian cannot lose salvation are 1) What about those who are Christians and continually live an immoral lifestyle? 2) What about those who are Christians but later reject the faith and deny Christ? The problem with these two objections is the phrase “who are Christians.” The Bible declares that a true Christian will not live a continually immoral lifestyle (1 John 3:6). The Bible declares that anyone who departs the faith is demonstrating that he never truly was a Christian (1 John 2:19). Therefore, neither objection is valid. Christians do not continually live immoral lifestyles, nor do they reject the faith and deny Christ. Such actions are proof that they were never redeemed.

No, a Christian cannot lose salvation. Nothing can separate a Christian from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39). Nothing can remove a Christian from God’s hand (John 10:28-29). God is both willing and able to guarantee and maintain the salvation He has given us. Jude 24-25, “To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”

While he is not the author of every article on GotQuestions.org, for citation purposes, you may reference our CEO, S. Michael Houdmann.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

5 Reasons Why Pocket-Sized Gospels Are Effective:

1. The Word of God is Alive!
No words of man can be as effective for evangelism as the Word of God. That's why the full book of John is included in each pocket-sized Gospel.
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."  - Hebrews 4:12
2. Pick-Up Appeal 
These aren't just ordinary, run-of-the-mill Gospels. Every pocket-sized Gospel has a colorful and innovative cover that is designed to attract the attention of the recipient. Are you ministering to a dog-lover? A skateboarder? A business person? A military man? A flower lover? We have the ideal pocket-sized Gospel cover for you! There are over 100 covers in a variety of languages to choose from. You are covered for all sharing situations!
3. A Clear Salvation Message
Each Gospel begins with a simple to understand plan of salvation in a section called "Finding the Answers to Life's Most Important Questions." This short section tackles the tough questions like "Why am I here?" and "Where did I come from" and most importantly "Where am I going?" The section ends with a simple prayer of salvation, instructions on how to utilize the Gospel and first steps for new believers. 
4. It's a Proven Method! 
Thousand upon thousands of stories are received each year. Stories of salvations, changed lives, God’s power! And it’s all because you have been bold in sharing these pocket-sized Gospels with others. 
“People just love reading them. Last Sunday, we had fifteen get saved.” - Rev. Boyce B. From Anderson, SC
“I was truly saved after a church gave me a Pocket Testament Gospel of John. My life has been transformed. I am now sharing Pocket Gospels!” - Theresa A. from Cromwell, CT
”The Lord blessed me with an opportunity to use Pocket Testaments to witness to my 15 year old niece. She texted me the next morning and told me that she had prayed the night before to receive Jesus as her Savior!!” - Debbie L. from Farmville,VA
5. They are Available for Everyone! (EVEN FREE!)
YOU (and every League member) are eligible to receive up to 30 FREE Gospels per month via the Sponsorship Program. The Sponsorship Program is made possible by donations from your fellow members. If you are able, we encourage you to make a small donation to cover the cost of printing and shipping the Gospels. More Christians will be equipped with pocket-sized Gospels and tools to share their faith because of your giving!
What are you waiting for? Choose your Gospels now! 
Yes, I want to get equipped! ►