*Volume 76 *No. 01 *Published by Christian Triumph Co. *Permit # 695 * JAN 2012
Contents: Holiness in 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-3 Christian Triumph News . . . . . . . . . . 4 New Beginnings by Ron . . . . . . . . . . 5 Byrum, Anita . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Mary and Martha. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
In 2012 Life is a journey. We are born; we grow, and in time “if [we] plant the good things of the Spirit, [we] will reap the everlasting life which the Holy Spirit gives…” (Galatians 6:8) TLB
In seeking Holiness, our quest begins much like the religious leader’s who came to Jesus after dark.. There he heard the most startling words: “Unless you are
born again, you can never get into the Kingdom of God.”1 The journey of Holiness in 2012 begins the same, with a new birth by repentance which means to turn from sin and turn to God. At once, God then creates a new nature “that becomes a part of the believing sinner the instance he or she receives Christ.”2 That miraculous change sets in motion the holy relationship between the born-again Christian and his or her Father God. This promise of a new life through Jesus Christ is guaranteed because of His sacrifice on a cruel Cross. Fully human and fully Divine, He paid the penalty for all our wrong-doings, and He arose to deliver us from a life of confusion and disappointment. The Apostle Peter described it this way: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”3 Page 2
Holiness includes seeking more of our Father God; in fact, Jesus often spoke about seeking, and He promised: “…all who seek, find…”4 Then He added, “…don’t you realize that your heavenly Father will…give the Holy Spirit to those who ask for Him?”4 In doing so, God begins a transformation that sets us apart “as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, [and] we become more and more like Him.”5 It becomes noticeable that our thought processes have changed and then our actions, even though, at times, this work of the Spirit may require some perseverance. Christians are human beings and personal growth includes patience with a greater spiritual knowledge - especially if one has been outside the church or experienced abuse or the bondage of addictions or other circumstances.
instance, Galatians 6 reminds us of God’s great compassion, a precious and holy attribute. This scripture portrays the love of an ideal Friend, gently helping another who has been overcome by a sin, reminiscent of the Prodigal son and His journey home to his Father. Similarly, with unconditional love, holy Christians can gently, without shame or blame, help a wanderer back to the safety of His eternal journey. Truthfully, it might be one of us next time that loses our way. It is well known that long, extraordinary trips are famous for the loss of one’s direction. God the Holy Spirit is a Comforter, yet His Presence has also been portrayed as a dove, fire, wind and even water.7 His Being is the powerful force of the Christian’s life;
(Note: Please remember that dedicated,
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trained counselors can be very helpful in these situations.)
As we open our hearts to Holiness we discover on the journey that God the Holy Spirit helps us when we are weak and intercedes for us with God the Father. This is explained in the Living Bible as “the Holy Spirit prays for us with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words.”6 Even though we lack God’s perfection, Holiness is possible through a personal, caring relationship with our Divine Creator. It is there we mirror His image. For
L.Y. Janes, Founder (deceased); Israel Hernandez, President; William Anderson, Vice-President; Fred Pena, 2nd Vice-President; Diana Beletic, Secretary/Treasurer; Una Collins, Asst. Sec./Treas. This periodical is issued without charge in the name of the Lord Jesus to help inspire child-like faith and maintain Christ-like simplicity among the people of God. To send donations or for your FREE SUBSCRIPTION, write to the address above or contact Christian Triumph Co. at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or see us on the web at ChristianTriumph.org 2
His guidance is faultless and forever near. Jesus described God’s precious Spirit in John 14 by declaring that He is a distinct Person who ministers to those that follow Jesus on this earthly journey to Holiness and Heaven. One of the Spirit’s great gifts is His conviction of sin in our lives. Thankfully, Christians become more sensitive to transgressions as they seek for Holiness. Repentance is then available and certainly needed at times. We may strive for perfection; yet, so quickly, we can become distracted again and step off the course. As well, even though a Christian’s desire is to be obedient, on occasion, anger, judging, a few words of gossip, a sense of religious pride or another weakness may cause us to stumble on our path. It is then we trust in our Creator to forgive us because of Jesus our Savior. There is absolutely no shame in repentance! In fact, there is something truly beautiful when even a Saint kneels at the altar and humbly asks the Lord’s pardon. The excellence of holiness is filled with obedience, humility and submission to a Loving God; this is often the prayer of holiness: “melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.”8 Indeed the Christian continues to develop as God patiently leads in the “paths of righteousness.” 23rd Psalm In all things, however, no one is ever alone (without support) for God’s word promises company along the way.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”9 So soon, we will complete our journey of Holiness, arriving at our Heavenly HOME. There we, perhaps, will witness the Living Beings described in Revelations 4, who kept saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty- the one who was, and is, and is to come,”TLB 1 The Living Bible Copywrite 1971 by Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois 60187. All rights reversed.> 2 NIV The Living Insights Study Bible, Charles R. Swindoll General Editor, Glossary of Doctrinal Terms Pg 1423 (Regeneration) 3 NIV The Living Insights Study Bible, Acts 2:38 4 TLB Luke 11:10, 13. 5 TLB 2 Corinthians 3:18 6 TLB Romans 8:26 7 NIV The Living Insights Study Bible Page 912, God’s Indwelling Presence 8 NIV The Living Insights Study Bible Page 915 9 NIV The Living Insights Study Bible, Hebrews 12:1-2
Rock of Ages, cleft for me. Let me hide myself in Thee. Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and me pure.
Augustus M. Toplady
regional president of the Churches of God. www.WalkingMan.ws has the last few blog posts by Narciso. These are being updated by Donna Schillinger, granddaughter of Evelyn Anderson, somewhat regularly. Because of demands for updated literature, English tracts are not being requested as much as before; however, Tamara Rose is designing some of the Christian Triumph original tracts with a new look, yet with the same God-inspired stories. (more news on that later) The local Spanish Bible Institute will begin again soon. The Christian Triumph mission church, held now in the Institute rooms, recently received news about a lady who lived in proximity to the church; she had begun coming once again during the summer and if unable to attend, sent her offering. The unexpected news was that she had gone to meet her Lord. Her family has lived in the neighborhood for years, and we pray her good example will soften their hearts and lead them into the arms of God. Recently, a reader of the Faith Messenger requested that we print some of your conversion experiences and we would like to do just that. Please send to Christian Triumph 905 Bluntzer, PO Box 5187 Corpus Christi, TX 78465-5187 Prayer requests always welcome!
Good News in 2012!
“…all the kindness of God has been poured out upon us undeserving sinners; and now He is sending us out around the world to tell all people everywhere the great things God has done for them, so that they, too, will believe and obey Him. And you, dear friends…are among those He dearly loves; you, too, are invited by Jesus Christ to be God’s very own – yes, His holy people. May all God’s mercies and peace be yours from God our Father and from Jesus Christ our Lord.” The Living Bible (Copywrite 1971 by Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton Illinois, 60187)
Christian Triumph News In 2011, Christian Triumph piloted a new collaboration with Narciso Zamora (Church of God missionary) in Peru, where we now send the finished copy for the Mensajero de Esperanza to a local printer. Narciso receives the periodical, bundles it and sends it to the Peruvian churches that have been requesting multiple copies. This works very well. As mentioned in the December issue of the Faith Messenger, we also recently sent some of our most popular Spanish tracts to be printed in Peru; as well the distribution of these will be overseen by Narciso who is being modestly compensated for his work; this will help him have a steady income which will aid in his ministry in the Cajamarca region of Peru. In this area, he serves as
There was no issue of the November Faith Messenger due to circumstances beyond our control. 4
everything we do. Our actions should match how we think and what direction we are going. “Turning” means to go a different direction than at the present. 2. Evaluating what the last year brought, the victories as well as the defeats, is one of the hardest challenges of our New Year, but in doing so, we receive the guidance needed to change. Prepare for your New Year - remove anything that slows you down or gets in your way. Then place the foundational base rock which is what you will build on. Make your paths straight so you can travel in the right direction at a good speed.
New Beginnings For 2012 By Chaplain Ron Scripture: “Later, John the Baptizer appeared in the desert of Judea. His message was, ‘Turn to God and change the way you think and act, because the kingdom of heaven is near.’ Isaiah the prophet spoke about this man when he said, ‘A voice cries out in the desert; “Prepare the way for the Lord! Make his paths straight!”’ “John wore clothes made from camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His diet consisted of locusts and wild honey. Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole Jordan Valley went to him. As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.”
3. The third point is the confession of sins. We realize that we have not been perfect this past year. And in going forward again, we must rely on the Word where Paul speaks of crucifying ourselves daily. God still loves us and wants us to grow in the Lord one step at a time. We are reminded in the book of James that “knowing to do good and doing it not is sin.” As we begin a New Year, let us remember the Baby in the Manger but more so let us get a vision of the Almighty God sitting on His Throne, and let us follow Him. Bless the Lord for He is Good!!!
The Scripture here lists three things: 1. The second verse says “Turn to God, change the way you think and act.” In beginning the New Year, one of the great things that we can do is just this: Turn to God and change the way we think on almost 5
Strength for Renewal By Anita God’s word tells us in Luke 18 that “none is good, save one, that is, God.” The Book of Romans follows with, “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” But there is a sure plan that works, that helps us become new persons in the sight of God. Jesus bore our sins; He is the Great Restorer of all times. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6 Jesus loves each and every one of us, irregardless of our mistakes or present condition. His Blood can make the vilest sinner clean; He waits for us to ask Him for cleansing and restoration. The Time is Now!
BACKSLIDING Backsliding isn't a sudden fall from grace, But a gradual slipping from one's former place. It's not like jumping off a precipice Into a deep, dark, and deadly abyss; It's a gradual departure from daylight Into the in-between of twilight, And the encroaching dark of night— With the loss of one's spiritual insight. Backsliding is like floating downstream, With no purpose — or so it would seem; Drifting helplessly along, without an oar, Toward some distant, unknown shore. Satan often appears to us in disguise, Hoping, that him, we won't recognize. Temptation, tho' it comes from a friend, Still will have no less deadly an end.
2011 IS GONE! GONE!
But if prayer, that has been neglected, Is lifted to God for the help that is needed, Christ, himself, will come to our rescue, And strength for renewal he will endue.
Byrum C. Lee: 11/2011
In Luke, the alternate example is Mary who was cooking and cleaning, too, but upon seeing her Lord and Friend quickly sat down at His feet and focused on His sweet and Holy Presence. Indeed it is our Creator who truly makes life wonderful and worth the living, keeping us closely connected, comforted by His love. It is in our Savior’s nearness that we re-discover our identity, our purpose, and contentment. Jesus cared for Martha as well as Mary. He knew her good works, her desire to make things perfect for Him and her belief that she had to keep pushing to get the job done. But He also knew that God’s Spirit supplies the answers and the energy which she needed to face the mysteries of life that are often sad and complex. She would experience those feelings more than once. Mary was honored for her willingness and choice to slow down a while as she embraced the Creator of her soul, mind and body. Spending moments with Jesus, listening carefully to His Words brought the contentment Mary sought for her everyday living. In effect, Jesus was teaching all of us that digesting His eternal words is much more valuable than any other activity. Bathing in the Springs of Living Water (Jesus) can happen anywhere, anytime; yet focusing on Him will result in a Peace like no other. Discover it again in 2012. Editor
One busy evening, little Jimmy told his family that he would just like to stay home for a while and play with his toys.
Did you ever feel that way? In our attempts to make life better, do we sometimes deprive ourselves of the time needed for relaxation or spiritual contentment? In the Book of Luke, we read that Martha experienced a similar challenge. She welcomed Jesus into her home, sincerely wanting to please Him with a delicious dinner. But, quickly, she noticed that her sister, Mary, was in the other room, leaving her tired, with all the work. Truthfully, we often find ourselves as overly busy as Martha and maybe for good cause. In fact, we are taught to do numerous good deeds, to attend multiple meetings, to very seldom say the word, “No,” even when our feet hurt, our head aches, and responsibilities wait at home. And, at times, with all the busyness, we still feel lonely and disconnected. 7
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NEW BEGINNINGS IN 2012
Jesus: “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” TLB