WHAT DOES FREEDOM MEAN TO YOU?

By Kingsley Baehr

The Statue Of Liberty

 For the past ninety years the majestic statue “Liberty Enlightening the World” has towered above Liberty Island, near the entrance to New York Harbor, as a symbol of the freedom which we enjoy here in America.
 The famous sculptor, Bartholdi, gave twenty years of devoted effort to the work, personally superintending the raising of the subscription of $4,000,000 with which the French nation gave the statue to the United States. When the subscriptions lagged, Bartholdi pledged his own private fortune to defray the running expenses and practically impoverished himself over the work.
 At the start, when Bartholdi looked for a model whose form and features he could reproduce as “Liberty,” he received much contradictory counsel. One of the leading art authorities advised him that the statue should depict “figures of thought which are grand in themselves.” After examining outstanding heroes, Bartholdi chose as a model for the colossal masterpiece—his own mother.[1]
   —Christian Victory

 Revealing isn’t it? That Bartholdi could find no better hero than his own mother as his model for liberty and freedom?
 The Bible, God’s inspired Word, tells us in no uncertain terms that God is extremely interested in the freedom of the human race.
 The Bible also gives us the best model for liberty and freedom.

Here is what it says:

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? – Rom. 8:31,32

  Notice that God is for us. He wants us to be on His side.
  Notice that God delivered up His own Son, that we might be delivered from slavery to sin.
  Notice that God wants to freely give us all things.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. – Gal. 5:1
For you... have been called to freedom; only do not use freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. – Gal. 5:13

True freedom is only possible through Jesus Christ Who can free you from the enslaving yoke of sin so that you can lovingly serve God and others. During this month when we celebrate our political freedom from England, why not celebrate your personal freedom from the bondage and penalty of sin by asking the Savior to save you? He will, you know, but you must ask. He will not force His way into your life.

References

  1. Tan, P. L. 1996, c1979. Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : [a treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers]. Bible Communications: Garland TX

GRADUATING TO DEPENDENCE

By Kingsley Baehr

When we think of June, graduations come to mind.
 When we think of July, independence comes to mind.

"Graduation" came into English from the Latin word "gradus" meaning "step or degree."
"Independence" came into English from the Latin words "in" meaning "not", "de" meaning "down" and "pendere" meaning "hang from."
So, when we graduate we step up by degree/s to the state of "not hanging down from" or "loosing ties with":
That old school ~ those old rules and regulations ~ that old way of living ~ and maybe even those old means of support!

But when we graduate from that old life of slavery to sin and Satan, not by our own work or design,
but because Jesus Christ chose to be dependent on His Father
 and because of His own work on the cross at Calvary and
  subsequent resurrection,

We step up, not to independence, but to dependence on Him for
Life [eternally in heaven],
  Liberty [from the slavery to sin and self],
   and the Pursuit of Happiness [through His sustaining power].

Graduating to dependence on Jesus Christ is the greatest thing you can do in the life, because it is also good for your everlasting future!
   Will you try it?

MAY, THE MONTH FOR MOTHERS’ DAY.

By Kingsley Baehr

Mothers mean much to most of us. Minus mothers, where would we be? Missing in action!
Here is a story from the Bible about a magnificent mother, even though she was a slave, whose son would most definitely have been missing in action, if it were not for her Godly life!
It is found in Exodus 1:7 – 2:15; Acts 7:17-22; and Hebrews 11:23-26
The timing could not have been worse, must have been the thought plaguing Jochebed’s mind just about every waking minute. She would glance down at her growing abdomen and wonder if her unborn baby would be a boy or a girl. How long would she be able to hide her pregnancy under her loose-flowing clothing from Pharoah’s secret service men who were keeping a list of pregnant Israelite slave women for future reference.
Pharoah’s new edict to drown their newborn baby boys in the Nile River was causing her great stress. How should she pray? All around her, her people were abandoning the God of Israel Who seemed helpless to deliver them from their slavery.
But she would not do so! Her faith in Jehovah sustained her through the uncertain days of her pregnancy.
And yet, the timing, it seemed, could not have been worse!
“As for God, His way is perfect” the Bible tells us in 2 Samuel 22:31. Moses’ mother, Jochebed, had no way of knowing that as we do. She had no Bible. What was happening in her life certainly did not look perfect to her. Yet we know that she remained faithful to God. We also know that our times are in His hands [Psalm 31:15]. God’s timing is also perfect, even when it seems that it could not be worse!
The anticipated and feared day arrived. Jochebed held in her arms a magnificent baby boy! When he screwed up his face to cry, his whole family frantically tried to shush him. He just could not be heard outside the house! Jochebed knew as soon as she saw him that she would never be able to abort his life in the Nile River.
Acting quickly to put their agreed-on plan into motion, the parents were able to hide their new baby boy for three months! “How?” you might ask. I have no clue! But they did, and they succeeded.
Then even their ingenuity was not sufficient. They had to do something else. What? I am sure Jochebed pleaded with God for an idea of what to do.
Quickly it came! She took him to the Nile just as Pharoah had ordered. She put him in the Nile, but not just as Pharoah had ordered. He was in a waterproofed basket, floating gently among the papyrus reeds along the bank, just a little distance from where Pharoah’s childless daughter came daily to bathe. If God was with Jochebed, her son would be saved.
“O, God of my fathers, work it out, I beg You,” Jochebed prayed as she went about her work. “Keep him safe, even if I have to lose him. Protect little Miriam, standing watch out there.
Keep the crocodiles away. Thank you, God, for little Aaron and his hugs. I—”
   “Mommy, Mommy, you’ll never guess what happened!”
   “What, Miriam, what?!”
   “O, Mommy, Pharoah’s daughter found him—”
   “She did?!”
   “Yes, Mommy. How wonderful! She wants to keep him, and when I offered to find a nurse for him, she said yes! Mommy, come quickly! You’re the nurse! Come, she’s waiting for you!”
   And that is how Jochebed’s precious son was returned to her home and heart by no less than Pharoah’s daughter herself!
Since God’s timing is perfect, I am sure that this whole plan was His idea, communicated by Him to that faithful, praying mother. “Faithful,” and “praying” are words which should characterize each one of us if we desire to see God’s perfect plan worked out in our lives. This faithful, praying slave woman thwarted the most powerful potentate in the world at that time because of her connection to the God of heaven and earth!
We all know how Moses turned out. During his first three or four years that he spent in his mother’s home before she had to relinquish him to Pharoah’s daughter, she diligently taught him about her God and the history of her people, the Israelites. She crammed his head full of God and Israel.
How did she do as a teacher? About forty years later, after spending most of his life in Pharoah’s palace, being taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians and enjoying all the pleasures and treasures of that great country, Moses chose to suffer with God’s people—his own people—instead, and we know the rest of the story!
What a mother Jochebed was! What an example for us to follow! Are we trusting in God? Are we faithful to Him? Are we in constant communication with Him through prayer and meditation on His Word, the Bible? Only then can we see His perfect will and timing at work for His glory in our lives.

PEACE AND WAR

By Kingsley Baehr

What though wars may come with marching feet and beat of the drum,
 For I have Christ in my heart! What though nations rage as we approach the end of the age,
 For I have Christ in my heart!
God is still on the throne--
 Almighty God is He--
  And He cares for His own
   Through all eternity!
So let come what may, whatever it is, I only say
 That I have Christ in my heart!
I HAVE CHRIST IN MY HEART!
     - Words and music by Wendell P. Loveless
Jesus Christ said:
"Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God-- believe also in Me.
In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and pre-pare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also."
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
"These things I have spoken to you that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but, be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

Are you on speaking terms with Jesus Christ?
Is He filling your life with His presence?
Have you received Him as the Savior from your sins?
If so:
You can experience the peace which Jesus Christ promises!

The spring is sprung, The grass is riz;

By Kingsley Baehr

The spring is sprung,
The grass is riz;
I wonder where the flowers is?

It is spring.
The boid is on the wing.
(Why that’s absoid—
I always thought the wing was on the boid!)

With such silly rhymes did I, in my tender youth, celebrate the return of spring each year. Trees are retressed. Warm breezes ca-ress. Small streams, unlocked from winter’s grip, effervesce. Animals protectively watch over the results of their mating success. Life, in all of us, seems to exude excess.

But most important of all,
The body of the Lord Jesus Christ disappeared from its recess in the tomb!
He is alive!
He has conquered death!
He offers His life to anyone who will receive it by faith

John 11:25,26 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?

Jeremiah 17:13b says, “Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.” They may be famous and their names on everyone’s lips, but they are unknown in heaven.

Luke 10:20b says, “…rejoice because your names are writ-ten in heaven.” Jesus said these words to those who had decided to follow Him.

WHAT WILL BE YOUR DECISION TODAY?

BLACK HISTORY MONTH.

By Kingsley Baehr

FEBRUARY IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH. AND HIS STORY [THAT IS, GOD'S STORY] IS INTERTWINED WITH SOME VERY INTERESTING BLACK PEOPLE AS RECORDED IN THE BIBLE.
One of them was Ebed-melech. You will find his account in Jeremiah 38:1-13 and 39:15-18
"Jerry!" he shouted. "I'm Ebed, come to get you out!"
"Ebed! Hurry! I'm sinking in the mud down here! And thanks!"
"Here, Jerry, some old rags. I'll drop them down. Put them under your arm-pits; then slip your arms through the loops in these two ropes you see coming down at you. I have thirty men here to haul you up. We'll have you out soon!"
And so, Jeremiah the prophet, the lone voice in Jerusalem speaking God's truth, was rescued from an unused well by Ebed-melech, an African official in King Zedekiah's court.
Other officials-- Israelite officials-- had wanted Jerry dead. They had accused him of treason against Judah because he had said that the only way to stay alive was to surrender to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who had been besieging Jeru-salem for two years. They had been responsible for persuading the spineless king to turn Jerry over to them. They had then lowered him into the old well that was now used as the dungeon in the prison where he was already being held, hoping that he would die a slow death in the sucking mud at the bottom.
God's Word is often very unpopular with people because it tells them that sur-render is the way to eternal life-- surrender of person, pride, plans and prospects to God. Therefore, faithful communicators of God's Word become unpopular as well. Jeremiah told it like it was. What is our reaction to the truth?
However, Jerry's enemies did not account for Ebed. His differences in nation-ality, skin color, and outlook were probably contributing factors, but here was a man, a real man, ready to do what was right and be a "friend in deed," even though he was endangering his own position in the palace and maybe even his life.
He went to King Zedekiah, told him of Jerry's predicament, and asked permis-sion to save his life. Yes, the same king who had just allowed for Jerry's presence in the well was being asked to authorize his removal from it.
I cannot help but think that Ebed-melech's request had been bathed in prayer before he brought it before the king. How else can we explain his belief that his request would be granted? All evidence seemed to show that the opposite would happen. He is to be admired for his willingness to go through channels rather than trying to circumvent them, which human wisdom would have advised. It shows his trust in the power of God. Are we as willing to trust God in the face of all evidence to the contrary?
And then there was the matter of the old rags. Even though time was of the essence, Ebed was caring and thoughtful enough to realize that the rough ropes would be extremely painful to Jerry's armpits because of his own weight and the added suction of the sticky mud. So Ebed rummaged in the basement under the treasury building, found the rags he knew were there, and used them as padding to prevent pain and rope burns as Jerry was being hoisted out.
Ebed was an official. Knowing the location of old rags is not usually consider-ed part of an official's necessary knowledge. But Ebed did not consider such know-ledge beneath him. He showed himself to be a loving, thoughtful, creative, humble servant of God and God's people. Could we be described in a similar fashion?
What was the eventual outcome? Jerusalem was overrun by Nebuchadnezzar. Jerry's enemies were killed. King Zedekiah was blinded and carried away into capti-vity. Jerry was left behind with the common people and poor folk considered too worthless to deport or kill.
And what of Ebed-melech? Listen to what God said to him! "I will ... destroy [this city] before your eyes, but I will deliver you. You shall not be killed by those you fear so much. As a reward for trusting me, I will preserve your life and keep you safe."
God still delights to say to those who have put their trust in Him, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My Hand." (John 10:28)
HAVE YOU EVER ENTRUSTED YOUR LIFE TO JESUS AND CLAIMED THIS PROMISE?

WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU?

By Kingsley Baehr

New resolutions?
 New opportunities?
  A new lease on life?
   A new start?
    A new leaf?
     A "new and improved" you?
But it is not long before the new year becomes the same old...same old.
 Broken resolutions
  Inopportune opportunities
   Old rent on life coming due
    Old endings recurring
     New leaves, stained and torn
ONLY GOD CAN OFFER NEW THINGS THAT STAY NEW FOREVER!
He does not patch up old lives; He makes a NEW CREATION out of you [2 Cor. 5:17].
He gives a NEW HEART, a NEW SPIRIT [Ezek. 36:26], and a NEW MIND [Rom. 12:1], resulting in a NEW LIFE [Rom. 6:4], which makes you a whole NEW PERSON[Eph. 4:24]!
He adds NEW STRENGTH [Isa. 40:31; 41:1], and a NEW SONG [Psa. 33:3; 40:3], which enable you to perform NEW SERVICE [Rom. 7:6] to Him, such as you have never accomplished before!
He promises that according to His own timetable, you will be there when He creates NEW HEAVENS and a NEW EARTH [Isa. 65:17], when, in fact, He will make ALL THINGS NEW [Rev. 21:5], and you will fit right in, because you are already a NEW CREATION [Gal. 6:15]!
SO WHY CONTINUE ON IN YOUR OLD WAYS?
WHAT HAVE THEY EVER DONE FOR YOU?
WHY NOT COME TO THE ONLY GOD WHO CAN MAKE A NEW PERSON OUT OF YOU?
HIS NAME IS JESUS CHRIST.

Everlasting life

By Kingsley Baehr

New "Improved!" products!
 New drug therapies!
  New technologies!
   New space discoveries!
    New Age philosophies!
SUCH A SWIFT PACE WITH SPEEDY OBSOLESCENCE!
Same old humanity
 Same old philosophies
  Same old psychologies
   Same old "self-discovery"
    Same old sinfulness
SUCH A SPIRITUAL SWAMP WITH HOPELESS OPTIMISM!
 GRAND OLD STORY - of OPTIMAL LOVE!
  GRAND OLD GOSPEL - of OPTIMAL GOOD NEWS!
   GRAND OLD PLAN - of the OMNIPOTENT GOD!
    GRAND OLD SALVATION - of OPTIMAL VALUE!
     GRAND OLD REMEDY - of OPTIMAL HOPE!
SUCH A SURE FOUNDATION WITH ETERNAL OPPORTUNITY!
Enjoy an everlasting life with the Lord Jesus Christ!
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. - 1 Corinthians 3:11
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. - Acts 4:12
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:13

His Be the Victor’s Name

 By Kingsley Baehr

HIS BE THE VICTOR'S NAME
"Having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." - Colossians 2:15
WHO FOUGHT THE FIGHT ALONE;
"Then all the disciples deserted Him and fled." - Matthew 26:56
"...Jesus cried out... `My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'" - Mark 15:34
TRIUMPHANT SAINTS NO HONOR CLAIM--
"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." - 1 Corinthians 15:57
HIS CONQUEST WAS THEIR OWN.
"In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us." - Romans 8:37
THROUGH WEAKNESS AND DEFEAT HE WON A GLORIOUS CROWN;
"...Christ Jesus, Who being in very nature God... made Himself nothing... as a man... humbled Himself... even to death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place... that... every tongue [should] confess that Jesus Christ is Lord..." - Philippians 2:5-11
TROD ALL OUR FOES BENEATH HIS FEET BY BEING TRODDEN DOWN
"... when this priest [Christ] had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God." - Hebrews 10:12
"... sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet." - Hebrews 1:13
HE SATAN'S POWER LAID LOW.
"Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death-- that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." -Hebrews 2:14,15
MADE SIN, HE SIN O'ERTHREW.
"God made Him Who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." - 2 Corinthians 5:21
BOWED TO THE GRAVE, DESTROYED IT SO,
"O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?" 1 Corinthians 15:55
AND DEATH, BY DYING, SLEW!
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" - John 11:25,26
BLESS, BLESS THE CONQUEROR SLAIN,SLAIN IN HIS VICTORY!
"Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain to receive power... and honor and glory and praise!" - Revelation 5:12
WHO LIVED, WHO DIED, WHO LIVES AGAIN
"I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One. I was dead; and, behold, I am alive forever and ever!" - Revelation 1:17,18
FOR THEE, HIS CHURCH, FOR THEE!
"Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her." - Ephesians 5:25
JESUS CHRIST WAS CRUCIFIED, BURIED, AND RESURRECTED FOR US;
Crucified
to prove that we had really sinned.
Buried
to prove that He had really died.
Resurrected
to prove that he was really God.

VICTORY THROUGH PRAYER

 By Kingsley Baehr

The terrorists attacked us suddenly.
We were not ready.  
We had never had to fight before. 
We were totally confused.
Then that grand old man took charge.
“Josh,” he shouted, “organize the men!  Grab anything you can as weapons!  Go out and resist them as best you can!”
We obeyed. 
We tried hard. 
We did the best we could.  Yet it wasn’t good enough.
We were being whipped soundly.
But then—almost without our realizing it, amazingly, we slowly began to win. 
We gained confidence. 
We fought harder. 
And yet—it wasn’t easy.  The terrorists were experienced fighters.  All morning, back and forth we went; sometimes we seemed to start winning, but then they would.
As the day wore on, however, we began to gain the upper hand, and by the end of the day, we were stunned to realize that we had won and our enemies were running away—at least those who could.
We could hardly believe it.
How could it have happened?
Then as we turned back toward camp, for the first time, we saw him.  Sitting on a small hill, with Aaron and Hur on each side, was Moses, arms uplifted in prayer, supported by his aides. 
And suddenly we knew. 
We had not won because of our skills in battle, but because he had been praying to our God all day long.
And God had answered him. 
God had won the battle for us. 

We realized that the battle belongs to the Lord;  we were simply His instruments.
-  A report from Joshua Ben Nun (based on Exodus 17:8-16)

[Friends, remember—depending on God is the only way to win life’s battles.  Do you know Him?  Are you depending on Him?  Even during these days of concern and fear because of what happened in our country on September 11, 2001, if you are members of God’s family, you can trust Him for peace and guidance each day.
“But to as many as received Him [Jesus Christ], to them He gave the right to be called children of God, even to those who believe on His name.” – John 1:12]

Peanut butter!

 By Kingsley Baehr

How can I find out which brand is the best? (Price is no object.)
 Read the labels.
 Find the brand with the best claims for itself.
 Try it out.
 If it lives up to its claims, why buy anything else?

Religions!

 Possibilities upon possibilities of religions!
  All brands and kinds of religions!
   How can I find out which one is best? (There is only one with a free offer.)

    Investigate their teachings.
    Find the religion with the best claims for itself.
    Try it out.
    If it lives up to its claims, why commit to any other?

Biblical Christianity!

 The only brand that claims that its founder Jesus Christ rose bodily from the grave conquering death once and for all! – John 11:25; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22
 The only brand which offers free forgiveness for all of our offenses against a holy God! – 1 John 1:9; Luke 24:46
 The only brand which can give complete relief for a guilty conscience. – Hebrews 9:14
 The only brand which teaches that acceptance into heaven is based on the work of Jesus Christ alone, and not on our works! – Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:4,5
   Try it out. If it lives up to its claims, you will never want anything less.

Thank God for air conditioning!

    By Kingsley Baehr

How can I find out which brand is the best? (Price is no object.)
 Read the labels.
 Find the brand with the best claims for itself.
 Try it out.
 If it lives up to its claims, why buy anything else?

Religions!

 Possibilities upon possibilities of religions!
  All brands and kinds of religions!
   How can I find out which one is best? (There is only one with a free offer.)

    Investigate their teachings.
    Find the religion with the best claims for itself.
    Try it out.
    If it lives up to its claims, why commit to any other?

Biblical Christianity!

 The only brand that claims that its founder Jesus Christ rose bodily from the grave conquering death once and for all! – John 11:25; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22
 The only brand which offers free forgiveness for all of our offenses against a holy God! – 1 John 1:9; Luke 24:46
 The only brand which can give complete relief for a guilty conscience. – Hebrews 9:14
 The only brand which teaches that acceptance into heaven is based on the work of Jesus Christ alone, and not on our works! – Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:4,5
   Try it out. If it lives up to its claims, you will never want anything less.

TRUE FREEDOM

By Kingsley Baehr

Which of these freedoms would we willingly give our lives to protect?
Freedom of speech?
Freedom of the press?
Freedom to bear arms?
The rights of the unborn child?
Freedom of choice?
Freedom to pursue happiness?
Freedom of religion?
HERE ARE SOME FREEDOMS THAT JESUS CHRIST WILLINGLY GAVE HIS LIFE TO PROVIDE!
FREEDOM FROM SLAVERY TO SIN!
FREEDOM FROM A CONTINUOUS GUILTY CONSCIENCE!
FREEDOM FROM AN ETERNITY SEPARATED FROM GOD!
FREEDOM TO BECOME ALL GOD CREATED US TO BE!
FREEDOM TO LIVE A JOYFUL AND PRODUCTIVE LIFE!
FREEDOM TO GLORIFY GOD AS WE WERE DESIGNED TO DO!
Which of these freedoms will serve us best throughout eternity?
Which will be most satisfying to us in this present life?
Which will be most pleasing to our CREATOR?
THINK ABOUT IT!
First, would you not want to receive the freedoms that Jesus Christ died to give you--- the ones that begin in this life and last throughout eternity?
Then if you are ever called upon to give your life to preserve our country's freedoms, you will be able to do so, knowing that your eternal future is secure!
John 8:31,32,36 - Jesus said, "If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. So if the Son [of God] sets you free, you will be free indeed."
Galatians 5:1 - It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Romans 6:17,18 - But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin... you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
Revelation 1:5 b, 6 b - To Him [Jesus Christ] who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood... --- to Him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen!

JUNE! THE MONTH OF CELEBRATIONS!

By Kingsley Baehr

WEDDINGS! - When two voluntarily commit themselves to each other "until death parts us or the Lord comes again!"
Have you been "wedded" to the Lord Jesus Christ as the church's Bridegroom by committing yourself to Him forever? - Ephesians 5:25-27
GRADUATIONS! - When the past is put behind us, and future hopes are placed before us!
Can you look forward to your future with the confidence that you will be "graduated" to heaven some day? - Philippians 3:12-14
FLAG DAY! - When we celebrate the adoption of our flag as our national banner! [June 14]
Have you adopted the Lord God as your banner, your guarantee of victory as you serve in His army? - Exodus 17:15,16 (New International Version)
FATHER'S DAY! - When we honor our fathers for the love, support, and stability which they have provided to our families? [June 17]
Have you honored the Lord and Father of all people as your loving Father yet? - Ephesians 3:14-21
JUNETEENTH! - The oldest known celebration of the end of institution of slavery in America! [June 19]
Have you experienced the freedom from slavery to sin and Satan that can be yours through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? - Galatians 5:1

MAYBE FLOWERS

By Kingsley Baehr

Flowers flower.
Talents flower.
Pubescent girls flower physically.
College graduates flower mentally.
Bible students flower spiritually.
Do you flower?
Are your ”roots" reaching deep into Biblical flower beds?
Are you "stalking" the Savior, wanting to be as close as possible?
Are your "leaves" drinking in the Son's shine?
Are your "buds" bursting into flower?
Are your "fruits" ripening under the Gardener's care?
Are you a planting from which God receives honor?
or
Are you chaff which the wind tosses away?
Are you wondering about these things?

APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS

By Kingsley Baehr

This old adage has more significance that just a statement about the weather.

Consider the following:

APRIL SHOWERS

MAY FLOWERS

Habakkuk 3:17 Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines... and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herds in the stalls.
Habakkuk 3:18 - Yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Psalm 126:5 Those who sow in tears.
Psalm 126:5 shall reap in joy.
Matthew 5:11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My (Jesus') sake.
Matthew 5:12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.
2 Corinthians 6:10 As sorrowful, as poor, as having nothing,
2 Corinthians 6:10 yet always rejoicing; yet making many rich yet possessing all things.
Psalm 30:5 Weeping may endure for a night,
Psalm 30:5 but joy comes in the morning.
John 16:33 - ... In the world you will have tribulation...
John 16:33 - These things I have spoken to you, that in Me (Jesus) you may have peace... but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
1 Corinthians 15:19 - If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
1 Corinthians 15:57 - But thanks be to God Who give us the victory through our Lord

1 Corinthians 15:58 - Therefore, ... be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

No one else had ever done it!

By Kingsley Baehr

No one else had ever done it!

That's why people had such a hard time believing it. His friends... His enemies too.

Frightened, cowering in a secret meeting place, his friends sat wondering what would become of them.

Frightened, wary, all over town His enemies were taking extreme precautions to insure that He couldn't do it.

No one really believed that He could. But then came the rumors!

Some woman said she had actually seen Him alive!

Two of His friends claimed that He had talked to them on their way home.

None of His enemies ever saw Him, but the rumors kept flying around.

Even some of their own men came with a very disturbing report, that had to be squelched with bribes and threats.

Then the mass meetings started!

Before large crowds, some of His known collaborators began insisting that He had done it!

...even when they met with skepticism and bias from the local authorities that quickly turned into vicious harrassment.

All the best evidence, which could have proved beyond reasonable doubt that He had NOT done it, mysteriously disappeared!

In fact, as years went by, and books began to appear, marshalling compelling evidence that He had done it, it became more and more difficult to insist that He had not, without seeming foolish.

Many decided that He had, and accepted His authority in their lives.

The rightness of their decision has been abundantly confirmed to them, because...

JESUS TRULY DID ARISE BODILY FROM THE DEAD, AND OFFERS HIS LIFE AND POWER TO THOSE WHO WILL ACCEPT HIS AUTHORITY IN THEIR LIVES!WILL YOU?

Are you experiencing February?

By Kingsley Baehr

FEBRUARY is frigid!

Temperatures below freezing, bedraggled by sneezing and wheezing! Its predominant color is gray.

Are you experiencing February? Huddling against the coldness of loneliness? Acutely conscious of spiritual sickness in your life? Color you gray?

But its central celebration is VALENTINE'S DAY! The winsomeness of wooing! The ardor of affection! The loyalty of love!

The LORD of LOVE is wooing you! This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. - 1 John 4:9 "I have loved you, " says the Lord. - Malachi 1:2 a

The LORD of LOVE longs to bring you to Himself! The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." - Jeremiah 31:3 "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28

Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. - John 13:1 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:38,39

If instead of continuing to live a February gray life,you would like to become a VALENTINE belonging to the LORD JESUS CHRIST, then accept His loving offer of salvation from the penalty of your sins, bathe yourself in the wonder of His gracious love,and allow Him to turn your grayness into glory!

National Blood Donor Month

By Kingsley Baehr

The American Red Cross has designatedJanuary as Blood Donor Month. If you are free of disease, you can be a blood donor for someone who needs blood for a physical ailment.

JESUSis the greatest blood donor who has ever existed!

JESUS was completely free of the disease of sin sickness(1 Peter 2:22 a, 1 John 3:5 b), so His blood is totally effective in curing that dreadful and deadly disease which has infected the whole human race(Romans 3:23 a, Romans 6:23 a), because He donated His blood, free of charge, on the cross at Calvary(Philippians 2:8). Some of us give blood because we were asked by a friend.

JESUSdonated His blood for us when we were still sinners(Galatians 1:4 a).Some of us know that a family member or a friend might need blood some day.

JESUSfrom the beginning of creation, knew that we would need Him to donate His blood to cure us of our sins(Revelation 13:8).

Since JESUSis GOD,His donated blood can completely cure sin sickness by providing forgiveness to anyone and everyone who wants it(Ephesians 1:7 a). So, the question is “Do you want it? Do you want Jesus’ blood donation to be applied to your sin sickness? If you do, here is what will happen:

You will be redeemed [cured of your sin sickness] …with the precious blood of Christ…(1 Peter 1:18-19)

He will be your Physician, your Medicine, your Medicaid, your Rehabilitation Center your Spiritual Security, and your Guarantor of Eternal Life!

What will you do with Jesus? Neutral you cannot be.Someday your heart will be asking, “What will He do with me?”

[Jesus] committed no sin…
– 1 Peter 2:22 a
… in [Jesus] there is no sin.
– 1 John 3:5 b
All have sinned…
– Romans 3:23 a
The wages of sin is death…
– Romans 6:23 a
And being found in human form [Jesus] humbled Himself… to the point of death, even death on a cross.
– Philippians 2:8
[Jesus] gave Himself for our sins…
– Galatians 1:4 a
…while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
– Romans 5:8 b
… the Lamb [Jesus] slain from the foundation of the world.
– Revelation 13:8
In [Jesus] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins…
–  Ephesians 1:7 a