In over two decades of teaching, preaching, and pastoring, I have taught parishioners that any time you read a promise in the Bible, you need to start looking around for the conditions to obey in order to receive the promise. If you do your part in obeying the Scripture, God does His part, and the promise will be realized in you. It's a central theme throughout the Bible. The "Bible Promise" books that have been so popular over the years leave the conditions of the promises of God out, leaving people standing on the promises, but ignorant to the conditions to obey in order to receive them.
Now we have a book that explains how to read and understand Scripture finding the conditions that lead to fulfilled promises, and it is written by a friend and mentor of mine, Robert P. Holland, who has been pastoring since 1965. First a word concerning Pastor Holland, and then I will talk more about his book which I have completed reading and highly recommend for all those who are serious about understanding and receiving the promises of Holy Scripture.
Pastor Holland is one of my heroes of faith. I have known him for two decades and had opportunity to sit under his ministry for a short season prior to pastoring my first church in the early 1990s. Pastor Holland has a keen understanding of Scripture that is reflected in his life. He portrays the image of Christ more than any other person I have had the privilege of knowing. His ability to communicate and teach the Word is a gift given to us by God. Those who have had the privilege of sitting under his ministry have not experienced a famine of the Word under it, and have instead been given a bountiful feast that brings growth in the Lord.
I just finished reading his book, Some Understand 1 + 6 = 7, and highly recommend it. The book begins with an explanation of the title which is fundamental to the 44 chapters which follow. In each chapter, which Pastor Holland refers to as "Wisdom and Promise workshops", a Scripture promise and its conditions (Pastor Holland refers to as "Wisdom") are identified and proper exegesis, application and exhortation is given.
For those who will read the book, I believe that the Holy Spirit will bring attention to the areas of life where proper wisdom is not applied, and where promises are not being realized, allowing for proper application of Scripture to take place. I"m sure that every reader who has a desire to please God and live for Him will be able to properly apply wisdom and receive promises as they prayerfully read and glean from each chapter.
There have been some great books that I have read that I commit to reading again. With this book, I plan to incorporate it into my daily discipline of reading, studying, and meditating on Scripture, by reading a chapter each day for a while to come. In the days ahead, I will also be tweeting (@Gregory_Johnson) some quotes from the book and posting some quotes on my Facebook page (GregoryAJohnsonPage).
I encourage you to get a copy of the book today, read it, and let God speak into your life as you discover the wisdom and promises that God would have you receive. The book is available as a paperback and as an ebook on Amazon. Click here and get your copy today - Some Understand 1 + 6 = 7: Finding Wisdom and Receiving Promises.
Dr. Tom Dannals in Huntington, West Virginia, is on a mission to do everything he can to bring better health to that city. West Virginia leads the nation in heart disease which is the number one killer in the United States.
Most heart disease is preventable and can even be reversed through proper diet and exercise. Dr. Dannals introduce the city to the Dr. Dean Ornish program of heart disease prevention and reversal. Dr. Dannals also founded HealthyHuntington.org along with founding and directing the annual Marshall University Marathon, half marathon and 5k held on the first Sunday of November every year. It’s a wonderful marathon with a stadium finish.
Through these processes, Dr. Dannals is using his life to bring healing to that city and is saving countless number of lives from the grip of heart disease. God is using Him. People are being touched at their point of need.
I’m so thankful for medical professionals. They minister at the point of need. Sure, many do not realize it and some are in it just for the monetary rewards, but God uses them nevertheless to bring the healing needed.
I’m fortunate to have a sister-in-law, Shelia, who has been a nurse taking care of the ill and ministering at their point of need for over 20 years. She now teaches nursing. The beautiful part is that her daughter Kristen was one of her students and is following her mother’s steps in using her life to help others. It thrills my heart. I’m also fortunate to have a cousin, David, who is a surgeon. I’m sure that you also have friends and family in the medical profession. God is using each of these to bring much healing and ease of suffering.
My sister, Ramona has been battling Lupus for over two decades. There is no cure and the disease has caused so much damage to every part of her body. She has had multiple strokes in her young life and has trouble getting around, but she doesn’t have trouble meeting the felt needs of others. She ministers the love of Christ to everyone she comes in contact with. She cooks meals and she and her husband Chuck takes food to people. They have provided my family with manna many times and God has used them to sustain us in ministry over and over again. These are Christ followers who get it and they are revealing the Kingdom of God to so many through taking care of their felt needs.
I was fortunate to be raised by Christ following parents who used their God given abilities to minister at the point of need and take care of felt needs just as Jesus did. I grew up seeing them do without and give of their time, talent and treasure so that the needs of others would be taken care of. I’m glad that they did not teach me to leave the needs of others in the sovereign hands of God. I am glad that Jesus did not teach us to leave the needs of others in the sovereign hands of God. I am glad that so many people get it and are continuing the point of need ministry of Jesus and not just merely attending a church service expecting God to take care of people.
Mom and Dad are now in their senior years of life and I will take care of them and their needs. I will do it out of my love for them and in obedience to Scripture, just as they taught me by example.
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8 ESV)
In the paragraph of Scripture as given to us in Acts 7:54-60, the religionists break the Roman law which prohibits them from executing a death sentence. As a mob, they react to Stephen’s stand for faith and justice. They kill the messenger and God’s instrument of grace. Instead of making the right choice, repenting of their religious ways and following Christ, they make the wrong choice and choose religion over Christ. Their actions show how religion is full of anger and leads to death and not life.
As I read this paragraph of Scripture, it is Stephen’s reaction that catches my eye and speaks volumes into my life. Notice with me:
Stephen the Christ follower, even in death, kept his eyes fixed on Jesus who is the author and perfecter of faith (Acts 7:55).
Stephen the Christ follower left this world praying to Jesus and releasing himself to Jesus’ care (Acts 7:59).
Stephen the Christ follower prayed for his enemies as they violently attacked and killed him (Acts 7:60).
Sean and Rebecca Lawrence are precious Christ followers who love God and people with a genuine authenticity. Sean is student of God’s Word and a gifted teacher.
Last month Sean Lawrence was credentialed as a licensed minister under Loving God Fellowship. Becky and I traveled to Middletown, Ohio, yesterday to attend a Bible study that Sean conducts on Wednesdays from noon to 1pm at the public library there. We were blessed and recognized God's hand upon Sean and Rebecca as they ministered to all who were present there.
Sean and Rebecca also minister on Sundays in the basement of a local church providing a meal and message for those in the community. They minister at the point of need as unto Christ and reflect through their words and actions what Loving God Fellowship is all about. Becky and I are so thankful that God has added them to the Loving God Fellowship team.
Please uplift Sean and Rebecca in your prayers. Pray for the people of Middletown, Ohio – that they will experience the love of God firsthand through loving Christ followers such as Sean and Rebecca Lawrence.
Cowardice asks the question: Is it safe? Expediency asks the question: Is it politic? Vanity asks the question: Is it popular? But conscience asks the question: Is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular -- but he must take it simply because conscience tells him it is right.
Newton was a living testament to the power of God's transforming grace. In his early days, He captained slave ships bringing slaves from Africa. After experiencing God's amazing grace, he became a minister and worked in abolishing the slave trade along side William Wilberforce.
Newton wrote the great hymn "Amazing Grace" that has been sung in churches across the land. If you were raised in the church like I, you will have at least a portion, if not all, of the great hymn memorized.
Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav'd a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev'd;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ'd!
Thro' many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promis'd good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the vail,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call'd me here below,
Will be for ever mine.
In 1962, slavery was finally made illegal throughout the world, but yet slavery still exists in our day through sex trafficking, bonded labor and child labor. According to Strom's research and documented in the epilogue, it is estimated that there are 12 million slaves today. The U.S. Government estimates that there are 15,000 to 18,000 trafficked into America each year.
In the epilogue of Strom's well written book, she informs how we can be twenty-first century abolitionists. I recommend you read this book and get involved in being a twenty-first century abolitionist. We can make a difference in our day just as Newton did in his day.
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