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In The Light prove r b s nwi s d o m.co m

Finding Your Calling Finding God’s will

God Seeks The Invisible God doesn’t seek the known

M arc h/Ap r il 2012 Vol. I Iss u e I

PLUS Our Interview with author Deborah Bateman Encouragement: God Can Use You Read more inside...

TOP 6

Movies and books Christians love

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IN THE LIGHT |MAR/APR 2012

I n Th e L i g ht M aga z i n e Editor-I n- Chief : ASHLE Y ORMON a- or mon@ p rove r b snw i s d o m . co m

Executive Editor : STEPHEN POR TER sppor te r @ p rove r b snwi s d o m . co m

CONTENTS 4

EDITOR’S NOTE

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LET TERS

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TOP 6

Christian movies, books and authors

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ENCOURAGEMENT

The unqualified become trained by God. Editoral Direc tor : Susan D uster hof t susan @ p rove r b snw i sd o m . co m

Editoral Assistant: DANIELLE WRIGHT dan ielle @ p rove r b snw i s d o m . co m

Contr ibuting Wr iters: AMANDA BE TH DE VON C ARR OW BRIT TNE Y MOSES LAMAR YOUNGINER

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BEING INVISIBLE

A life outside of the limelight. Making God first and everything to serve Him

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BREATHE

God’s gift to you is relaxation

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INTERVIEW: DEBORAH BATEMAN We may have one

plan, but God’s plan for us always goes far beyond it.

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FIVE SMOOTH STONES

Facing and defeating our giants -- David style. Learning to use what God gave us.

I n Th e L i g ht M a g a z i n e i s p u b lished bi-monthly by Prover bs & Wisdom. Please email us at magazine@proverbsnwisdom.com or visit our website w w w. p r o v e r b s n w i s d o m . c o m / magazine. Requests for permission and reprints must be sent to contact@proverbsnwisdom.com. Copyright 2012.

IN THE LIGHT |MAR/APR 2012

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E D I TO R ’ S N OT E R emain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself ; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4

ASHLE Y ORMON is the

I t ’s difficult to find anything new. As King Solomon said, “ There is no thing new u nder the s u n” (Ecc le s i a s te s 1:9 ). S u re there are new tec hno l o gies o u t – iPad s, co mp u t e r s, c e l l p h o n e s w h i c h p r a c t i c a l l y c a r r y o u r e n t i r e lives – but the lifest yles we have and the wor ld in which we live has not changed. War is not obsolete, as it wasn’t dur ing Biblical times; we hear of individuals dwelling in p over t y, wo m en being raped, and w ithin o u r ow n l i ve s we face the same struggles our ancestors faced: depression, hear tache, sickness, and finding our purpose.

founder and editorin- chief at Prover bs & Wisdom. Connec t with her at t wittter. com/prover bsnwisdom and facebook .com/ prover b snwisdom.

Ups etting as this m ay s eem , w ith l ife’s s t r ug g l e s o n e t h i n g a l s o h a s n’ t c h a n g e d – h o p e . I t i s b e c a u s e o f h o p e t h a t I b e g a n Pr o v e r b s & Wi s d o m a y e a r a g o. I d e s i r e d t o e m p o w e r, e n l i g h t e n a n d e n c o u r a g e i n d i v i d u a l s t h a t t h e y c o u l d g e t t h ro u g h l i fe a n d f i n i s h a s a c o n q u e r o r. Pr o v e r b s 2 3 : 1 8 t e l l u s a l l t h a t t h e r e i s a future hope for us, one that will not be cut off. However, t his ever l as ting ho pe is o nl y fo u nd in o ne pl ace a n d i n One per s o n, J es u s C hr is t, w ho is the Lig ht o f the wo r l d. The vision for In the Light magazine came f r o m J o h n 9 : 5 i n w h i c h J e s u s s a y s, “ W h i l e I a m i n t h e world, I am the light of the world” and in John 15:4

that tells us to remain in Christ. By having G o d ’s L i g h t ( J e s u s C h r i s t ) w e c a n b e e n c o u r a g e d t o p r e s s o n . B y l i v i n g w i t h G o d ’s L i g h t , we are empowered to overcome our present s t r u ggle s. And mo re imp o r t ant ly, by re m aining in the Light we can receive eternal salvation.

a wonder ful year being a par t of your lives.

The contents of this magazine are designed to uplif t your spirit regardless of the beliefs and background you contain. Our team of editors chose ar ticles which we hope will enlighten you on how to l i ve wi th the pur po se G o d inten ded fo r yo u.

- A s h l ey

Christ said we are light that cannot be hidden. As that light we ought to represent C h r i s t the be s t we can , wit h all we can . N o thing may be new under the sun, but your purpose a nd the d i v i ne dest iny G o d p laced o n yo u r l ife is needed. The world needs you, the Body of Chr ist needs you, and G od in heaven needs you. All of us at Prover bs & Wisdo m are thankf u l fo r yo u r h e a r t fe l t m e s s a g e s a n d t h e d i v i n e re ve lati ons you sh are wit h us daily. I t has been

A s G o d ’s b l e s s i n g s c o n t i n u e t o f l o w from heaven, I pray God allows us to b l e s s y o u . Fo r n o w a n d e v e r m o r e , m a y you remain in Christ because with Him, peace, grace and hope are present.

O r mon

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all o f y o u , b e c a u s e y o u r fa ith is being reported all over th e w o rld (Ro man s 1:8).

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THE READER’S VOICE: YO U S P E A K .

WE CARE ABOUT

WE LISTEN. T WEET US: @PROVERBSNWISDOM

I J U S T WA N T TO S AY T H A N K YO U. YO U R W O R D S S U R E LY I N S P I R E M E AND IT SEEMS LIKE I T A L S O CO M E S AT THE RIGHT TIME FOR ME :) -FROM @ S P 2932

FA C E B O O K ,

FOR HE IS JUST AND

W H AT YO U

FA I T H F U L . TO G O D B E

LIKE:

T H E G LO R Y !!! - D E N N I S

FROM OUR

THE MORE WE DESIRE G O D, T H E M O R E H E P O U R S I N TO U S . YO U CO U L D N ’ T H E L P B U T H AV E V I S UA L S READING THIS! STEPH HALL ON THE QUIET PLACE.

WEBSITE AND B LO G :

IN THE LIGHT |MAR/APR 2012

W H AT YO U H AV E

TO S AY:

EMAIL US:

YO U T W E E T B E AU T I F U L REMINDERS OF W H AT L I F E I S R E A L LY A B O U T. -FROM @WTBFL

T H A N K YO U F O R A L L YO U R T W E E T S . I T R E A L LY I N S P I R E S PEOPLE. GOD B L E S S YO U - F R O M @ K AT H Z 8 2 7

I F YO U CO N T R O L YO U R A N G E R YO U M AY N OT S AY O R D O H U R T F U L T H I N G S TO OT H E R S T H AT YO U W I S H YO U W O U L D N ’ T H AV E S A I D.

L I K E U S AT:

H AV E YO U

FA C E B O O K . CO M /

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I P R AY W I T H YO U T H AT G O D CO N T I N U E 2 WORK THROUGH YO U T H AT H I S W O R D M AY R E A C H ALL OVER THE W O R L D. - F R O M @ HESMYBUZLITEYR

O N FA C E B O O K YET?

- A N D R E W H A R DY

H AV E A CO M M E N T ? LET US KNOW O N O U R B LO G !

INTIMACY WITH GOD I S F O U N D AT I O N A L FOR THE CHRISTIAN AND CAN NEVER BE E M P H A S I Z E D TO O M U C H . - P H I L I P LO N G ON KNOWLEDGE PUFFS UP

THIS IS GREAT. SOMETHING FOR ME TO REALLY THINK ABOUT. SIMPLY AND ELOQUENTLY SAID. THANKS! -ANONYMOUS ON WHY (SOME) PEOPLE SAY “I LOVE YOU” AND DON’T MEAN IT

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BEING INVISIBLE B ein g a nob od y m e a n s b e i n g somebod y, to som e on e a f te r a l l.

By Brittney M oses

We l i ve i n a c u l t u re t h at t h r i ve s o n t h e i d e a o f b e i n g “ k n o w n .” I m e a n f a c e i t ; n o b o d y w a n t s t o b e … a n o b o d y. N o b o d y ’s a re li ke t h at ex t ra yo u see in a m ov ie that no o ne re m e m b e r s. Wh o wa nt s to b e t h at g u y ? N o o n e c a re s a b o u t h i m . Ty p i c a l l y, w h e n we t h i n k o f o u r s e l ve s we te n d to v i e w o u r li fe as a movie. I am t h e main ch arac ter ; ever yo ne el s e is an ex tra and my close loved ones play a suppor ting role to MY life movie. Sound familiar? You may not have thought it out as clearly as this but subconsciously this is how we have all lived

at one point or another. Ever y day our world tells us what our lives should have in order to b e a “s o m e b o d y ”. Wh e t h e r it ’s the latest smar t phone, an a c t i ve s ex l i fe, a h i g h p ay i n g c a r e e r, o r l i v i n g i n a c e r t a i n neighbor hood, societ y is cons t a n t l y s e t t i n g a s t a n d a rd t o be worthy of significance. But let me tell you a s ec ret: The day I fo u n d a b s o lute freedom, was the day I learned to be secure in my i nv i s i b i l i t y. M y t r a n s p a re n c y. My unknown-ness. And I found this through a revelation from the Holy Bible. When you read the Bible from cover to finish, you learn that this movie of life has always been about God and his finished wor k in Jesus C hr is t. I t ’s abo u t the o n e w h o began it all! Technically we are all the extras! (Dang!) There i s a n i n n u m e ra b l e a m o u nt o f stars and galaxies, 9 discovered planets in our M ilk y Way, 6,993,761,874 people on the Earth, 313,002,849 people in the US and G o d c reate d i t a l l !

IN THE LIGHT |MAR/APR 2012

H ow co u l d we p o s s i b l y t h i n k t hat i t i s all a bo ut o ur sin gle lifespan of 70 years (give or t a k e a f e w ) ? B e i n g “ k n o w n” means NOTHING. My name a nd your name an d B eyo n ce’s celebrity name will not save A N Y B O DY b e yo n d t h e g r a ve o n l y t h e a cce p t a n ce o f J e s u s C h r i st. M any of us are so f ull o f o u r s e lve s that we h ave n o room to be full of the Lord. As long as we are willing to be invisible, to have integrity and r i g hte o u s c h a ra c te r w h e n n o o n e i s look i ng, to ser ve f ait h fu lly wi thou t s e ek in g reward, to be a NOBODY who is willing to help save the life of anybody, then God can use you to impact His Kingdom- the only cause we can eternally invest in.

The be s t par t o f it all is

t h a t w h i l e we a re n o t h i n g i n comparison to the glor y of God t h e C r e a t o r, H e s t i l l t h o u g h t o f us as wo r thy eno u g h to die for! While there are billions of people in this world God h a s c h o s e n to b e i nvo l ve d i n ever y littl e detail o f yo u r perso n al li fe and wants to f u l f il l a l l t h e d e s i re s o f yo u r h e a r t . Luke 12:7 tells us (in so many wo rds ) that G o d k nows you down to the exact number o f ever y s ing l e s trand o f hair on your head. Sometimes we think, “God has so many children, so many believers to use, so much other t a l e n t b e t t e r t h a n m y o w n .” But God has never created anyo n e l ik e yo u. He has m ade yo u un i q u e in yo u r ow n gif ts, st ren gt hs and tal ents and has

an individual purpose for you. Think about it this way : If you are at an amusement park with your 10 children and one of them gets lost, you will d o e ve r y t h i n g i n yo u r w i l l to find that child and get them b a c k to yo u e ve n i f i t i s o n l y one - that is still your child. This is a per fect example of h ow G o d re l ate s to e a c h a n d ever y one of us when we begin t o g o a s t r a y. G o d e v e n w e n t to great lengths of having H is o nl y s o n s ac r if iced s o t h at H e could have a close relationship and spend and eternity with you. This is true love. Will today be the day that yo u dec ide to beco m e i nvi s i ble for the eternal cause of our Father w ho l oves u s s o m uc h ?

“Many of us are so full of ourselves, we have no room to be full of the Lord. But the day I found absolute freedom, was the day I learned to be secure in my invisibility.”

Brittney Moses is a young and happily married mother of a 2 year old son named Austin.

She and her husband came to

Christ together as young adults out of high school and since then have been impassioned to change the world one day at a t i m e i n J e s u s’ n a m e. B r i t t n e y h a s b e e n a n a c t i v e l e a d e r i n K i d s Ministr y at Oasis Church in Los Angeles and has devoted her life to impacting the future generations to come.

Read more

o f h e r w r i t i n g a t b r i t t n e y m o s e s . c o m . Tw i t t e r : @ b r i t t n e y _ m o s e s

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FINDING YO U R CALLING BY AMANDA BETH

Th ere a re m a ny p osi ti o n s in m i ni st r y we c a n ta k e on . An d ye t, e ve n i f we a re doin g K i ngd om’s wor k , we st ill may not b e f ul f i l l i ng th e c allin g G od p re d e st i ne d fo r us. S o how d o we f i nd th at pu r pose? What d i d G od ca l l u s to d o he re on e a r th ?

A woman asked me recently “How do yo u k now w hat G o d ’s w il l is fo r yo ur l i fe ? ” Th at i s p ro b a b l y t h e n u m b e r o n e q u e s t i o n e ve r y C h r i s t i a n h a s. Th at wa s my number one question for many ye a r s. I o f te n h e a rd p re a c h e r s s ay t h at G o d ’s c al l ing was s o m ething yo u wo ul d b e d r a w n t o. A n d i t w o u l d b e s o m e thing you were empowered to do. At the time I was a waitress. I k n e w G o d w a n t e d m e t o b e t h e re, b u t I d i d n’ t l i k e i t a n d I d e f i n i t e l y w a s n’ t g o o d at it. Thro u g ho u t the year s I t r i e d many different things to seek out my calling in Christ, but nothing worked out. I eventually came to the conclus io n that I had no gif ts and no c a l l i n g. Despite the thought that I had n o c a l l i n g, I wa s d e te r m i n e d to d o t h e

Amanda B eth is the author of Y ou Can Have a Happy Family – Steps to Enjoying Your M ar r iage

and Children . She passionately desires to see individuals and families transfor med through the power of G od. Her teachings can be found on her website amandabeth.net. Twitter : @abdaubs

best with whatever I was d o i n g. I t h o u g h t m a y b e G o d would still use my life to reach someone. Therefore I was determined to live in integr i t y i n my w a i t re s s i n g, i n my m a r r i a g e, i n r a i s i n g my c h i l d re n , and i n e ver yt h in g I did. E v e n t h o u g h I w a s n’ t a good waitress I strived to be on time, do the best I could, and allow Jesus to s hi n e through me. At h o me, I s t r i ve d to be a go o d wife an d allow my marriage to shine for o t h er s to s e e G o d wo r k in g in m y f a m i l y. I s t r i v e d t o b e a good role model for my k ids in

h o p e t h a t t h e y wo u l d fo l l o w Christ, not because I told them t o, b u t b e c a u s e t h e y w o u l d see H im wo r k ing in o u r l ives. I strived to be honest in my everyday dealings. If the cash ier at the s to re fo rg o t to ring something up I would ret ur n it. I f I m ade a pro m is e to s o m e o n e I wo u l d s t r i ve to fulfill it. I f I cou ldn’t fu lfill my p ro mise I wo u l d apo l o gize. I f I borrowed something from someone I would retur n it. I f I was in a quarrel with someone I would quick ly apologize, even if I wasn’t at f au l t. I f s o m eo ne w a s g o s s i p i n g I wo u l d t r y t o

s ay s o m ething nice ab o ut t h e person being talked about. At times I thought I was being pett y, bu t I k ne w d e e p in my hear t God wanted me to live honestly in all my dealings. If by chance God had something bigger for me to d o i n t h e f u t u r e, I h a d t o b e faithful with the little things f ir s t. O ther w is e I wo u l d n’t b e faithful withgreater things. Jesus said, “If you are faithful in little things, you will b e f a i t h f u l i n l a rg e o n e s. B u t if you are dishonest in little t h i n g s , y o u w o n’ t b e h o n e s t

wi t h gre ate r re sp o n sib ilit ies” (Luk e 16:1 0 N LT ). Though I n ever did ever yt h in g p er fec t, and I f ail ed m any tim es in my m ar r iag e, ra i s i n g my c hi ld re n, and my ever yday dealin gs, I s til l s tr ived to do the bes t I co u l d w hil e rel yi n g o n G o d to he lp m e. I st ro n gly believe G o d u s ed tho s e tim es as preparatio n fo r w hat I am d o i n g now. I d on’t be l ieve I wo uld h ave fo un d my tr u e c al l ing and dis covered my hidden gi f t s i f I ha d ke pt the m b ur ied un der dish o n est deal ing s and l az y l iv ing. And I k now I w il l not re a c h my f ull pote nti al in Ch r ist if I do n’t co ntinu e s tr iv ing to wal k u pr ig htl y. G od has given yo u t alent s to do w hat He has c al l ed yo u to do. I ns tead o f was ti n g t i m e t r yi n g to fi nd yo ur callin g, st ar t b ein g f aithf u l w here yo u are and G o d w il l br ing yo u r c a l l i n g to yo u. I c a n l o o k b a c k a n d s e e e ve r y j o b I wo r k e d h a d a p u r p o s e to p re p a re m e fo r G o d ’s u lt i mate c a lli ng o n my life. G o d was t raining m e thro u g h tho s e year s, and s til l co ntin ue s to. S o if you are miserable cleaning toilets today, remember to do it with joy k nowing G od i s t rai ni ng you fo r so met h in g h igh er. I n a l a rg e h o u s e t h e re a re a r t i c l e s n o t o n l y o f g o l d a n d s i l ve r, b u t a l s o o f wo o d a n d c l ay ; s ome a re fo r n o b le pur po ses an d s o m e fo r igno bl e. I f a m an c l eans es him s el f fro m t h e lat te r, he wi ll be an in st rument fo r n o b l e pu r po s es, m ade ho l y, u s ef u l to the M as ter a n d p re p a red to do a ny go o d wo r k . —2 Timo t hy 2: 20 -21

B R E AT H E Pi c t u re d : The s i t t in g area at t h e B o t an ic al G ardens l o c ated in B ro nx, N ew Yo r k . The G a rde ns i s a place o f b eaut y, t ran quilit y, and rel axatio n.

IN THE LIGHT |MAR/APR 2012

Wh e n wa s th e l a st ti m e yo u s at d own a n d really to o k a b re a k ? N o t a 5 m i n u te bre ath e r, but a period of re l a x ati o n w h e re yo u d e s tre s s e d, cl e a re d yo u r th o u g hts, a n d e n joye d a l l th e wo n d e r f u l th i n gs l i fe h a s to o f fe r. The cool breeze blows and the birds chirp. You inhale and exhale. Stress gone! If only it was that easy. We’re so accustomed to being on-the - go that rarely do we take time, or have time, to enjoy the simple pleas u r e s o f l i fe. We n e e d t o d o t h i s , we want to do that, bu t w h e n w i l l we ever res t? Have yo u tak e n t i m e to s it bac k and enj oy al l th e wo r k you’ve accomplished? Ecclesiastes 3:13 reads, “And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gif ts from G o d .” S o d o n’ t b e a f r a i d t o e n j o y life and relax! I t ’s God’s gif t to you.

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D E B O R A H B AT E M A N

IN THE LIGHT |MAR/APR 2012

INTERVIEW WITH

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Prover bs & Wisdom’s D evon Car row and Ashley Or mon inter viewed D eborah Bateman. She is the founder of Chr istian Daily and the author of The B ook of Ruth: A

Stor y of Love and R edemption . You can visit her website at deborahhbateman.com. Twitter : @D ebBat

Ye a r s a g o d i d y o u e n v i s i o n yourself as a writer? No, I d i d n’ t e v e r t h i n k o f m y s e l f a s b e i n g a w r i t e r. H o w e v e r, when I look back , it has always been easier for me to write my thoughts and feelings than to express them verbally. How did yo u r w r iting exper i en ce be gin? M y w r iting expe rience began a couple years ago when I got started on Fa c e b o o k . I s t a r t e d s h a r i n g B ible Ve r s es in my s tatu s as a way of encouraging people. Th en , I to o k an o nl ine co u r s e

on blogging and website building and it grew into Bible studies and eventually into writing The Book of Ruth-A Stor y of Love and Redemption . Ever y writer experiences writer ’s block since you are a pub l i s h e d a u t h o r, h o w d i d y o u overcome it? I have a Bible study blog that I do ever y day called Daily-Bible -Reading. Some days are better than others, but because I have t o p r o d u c e a b l o g e a c h d a y, it has helped me develop a h a b i t o f w r i t i n g e v e r y d a y.

IN THE LIGHT |MAR/APR 2012

Out of all the books in the Bible, why Ruth? I love the b o o k of Ruth. I h ad st udied it b e fo re a n d re a l l y e n j o ye d i t . I got so much out of it that I decided to do it as a Bible s t u d y. Af te r a w h i l e o f d o i n g t h e B i b l e s t u d i e s, I d e c i d e d I would like to publish them. How long did it take you to wr i te i t? I t i s e i ght lesso n s so the original lessons took me eight days. Then, there was putting it together to create a book , editing myself, wor k ing with the artist on the book cover, sending it to editors and re v i e we r s a n d f i n a l l y g e t t i n g it published as an eBook. It took longer than I anticipated, but most of that was waiting on other people to do t he i r par t. We e ks t ur n ed into m o nths, but I a m glad I went through the whole process.

“I am a very determined person and that helps me to persevere when things get tough.”

Would you say your book is for males and females, or specifically for one gender? I b e l i e ve The B ook of Ruth-A Stor y of Love and Redemption has lessons in it for both male and female readers. There are t h e ro l es o f B o az and the other men in the book and t h e ro le s o f Ru th and N ao m i, a l s o. T h e r e f o r e , I t h i n k b o t h can lear n a lot from the stor y. Most of all, what do you hope readers will take away from your book? I hope they [the readers] will get a c l e a re r p i c t u re o f G o d ’s s o v ereign will for their lives, through studying The Book o f R u t h a n d s e e i n g h ow G o d w o r k e d i n R u t h ’s l i f e a n d t h e o t h e r s l i ve s i n t h e b o o k . Did you learn anything in the process of writing your book? Ever ything was a learnin g proces s s ince I am s o new

to this field. I love studying the Bible and sharing it with others, but learning all the things I need to know to be able to do that is m o nu m ental at tim e s. I a m a very determined person and that helps me to perseve re w h e n t h i n g s g e t to u g h . Is there anything else want to s hare w ith u s ? I wo u l d l i k e to ask the readers to pray for me that God would continue to lead, guide and direc t me into the path He wants m e to g o. I am anxio u s to s ee w h e re H e wants my m inis tr y to g o a n d am ready to take it to the nex t level, whatever that might be.

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5 S M O OT H S TO N E S B

Y LAMAR YOUNGINER

Lamar Younginer is a full-time college administrator who

Have you ever read a stor y or a series of verses over and over and over without seeing anything new or different only to read it one more time and see something you never saw before? This hap p e n e d t o m e a fe w d ay s a g o. I cannot tell you how many tim es I have read o r he a rd t h e story of David and Goliath. I have heard the stor y from the time I was a little kid, a n d t r u s t m e t h at wa s a l o n g tim e ag o. This tim e, h owe ve r, I saw something I had never real l y s een befo re. S u re I h ave read the verses, but I just d i d n’ t s e e i t . L e t m e s h a r e the par tic u l ar ver s e w i t h yo u.

enjoys wr iting and anything that involves being outdoors. He is mar r ied with three k ids bet ween the ages of 7 and 14. O utside of wor k and family he tr ies to find time to play golf. R ead more of his wr iting at pasgraphe.blogspot.com. Twitter : @lyounginer

Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shep herd ’s bag and, w ith h i s s l i n g

IN THE LIGHT |MAR/APR 2012

“Christ has defeated death and sin. We now have direct access to the throne of God.” in his hand, approached the Philistine. (I Samuel 17: 40) Did you see it? The pro found message in this verse!?! Read it again and see if it jumps out at you. (pause...) H o w a b o u t n o w, d o y o u s e e t h e l e s s o n i n t h i s v e r s e ? N o, ok, let me share what I saw that I have never seen before. What caught my attention this time was that David chose five smooth stones. Why five? If you re a d the re s t of t h e sto r y yo u will see that he only needed one. The first one he threw killed the giant or at least immobilized him enough, so he could finish him off with the s w o r d . S o w hy f i v e s t o n e s . . . I have no idea... but I will s ha re wi th you w h at t h e Lo rd showed me in this passage. There are times in our lives where we face giants. We face obstacles that we think we cannot ove rco me.

O u r s p o u s e a n n o u n ce s h e o r sh e no l o ng er wants to b e mar r ied to u s. We l o s t o u r job and cannot seem to find anything else. It seems as t h o ugh they are nine feet tal l and all they do is mock us. “You a re a l o s e r ! ” “ Yo u a re i n c a p a b l e o f d o i n g a ny t h i n g ! ” “ Why c a n’ t y o u b e s u c c e s s f u l l i k e yo ur f r iends and neig hbo r s ?! ” S o w hat do we do, how do we defeat the giants in o u r l i v e s . We d o w h a t D a v i d did; we chose five smooth stones, spiritually speaking of course, and star t swinging! Here are five spiritual stones we have access to: The f ir s t s to ne is J es u s Christ. David killed Goliath with the first stone. Christ has defeated death and sin, he conquered them when God raised him from the dead. Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might des troy him w ho ho l ds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those w h o a l l t h e i r l i ve s we re h e l d in slaver y by their fear of death. (Hebrews 2: 14-15)

The second stone is the Holy Spirit. When Christ ascended into heaven, he sent us the Holy Spirit. He now lives w ithin eac h o ne o f u s h e l p i n g us live out a life that would othe r w i s e b e i m p o s s i b l e to l i ve. As we spend time in prayer and in the Word of God, the Holy Spirit will begin a work in us that nothing else can compare to. No counselor, no therapist, no pill can do fo r u s w h a t G o d t h r o u g h h i s Ho l y S pir it c an do. Th e re m ay be tim es in o u r l ife w h e re we do not feel the Holy Spirit, ut our faith is not based on feelings; it is based on k nowledge of what Gods’ word says.

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IN THE LIGHT |MAR/APR 2012

The third stone is the Word of God. God has given us his instructions on how we are to live, how we are to handle situations. He has told u s a b o u t h i m s e l f t h r o u g h h i s Wo r d . All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuk ing, correc ting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for ever y good work . 2 ( Timothy 3:16-17) That i s all scr ip t ure, n o t just t h e New Testament, not just the Red Letters, all scr ipture. The key to this is spending t i m e re a d i n g t h e G o d - b re a t h e d wo rd s. Fi nd i ng ti m e to read, st udy an d memo r i ze G od ’s word will h elp us as we f ace the giants in life. Many people can recall statistics on their favorite ball player or remember the words of a favorite s o n g, b u t h o w m a ny c a n r e c i t e v e r s e s of scripture from memory? If we do n o t s p e n d t i m e i n G o d ’s wo rd co m m i tt i n g i t t o m e m o r y, we w i l l n o t b e a b l e to recall verses when we need them. T h e f o u r t h s t o n e i s p r a y e r. We now have direct access to the throne o f G o d. We c a n t alk to G o d at any t ime a b o u t o u r n e e d s . We c a n t e l l h i m a t a ny ti m e how than kf ul we are fo r wh at h e h a s d o n e fo r u s. We d o n o t h ave to g o t h ro u g h a n o t h e r p e r s o n t o d o t h i s. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help u s i n o u r t i m e o f n e e d. ( H e b re ws 4 : 1 6 ) We do this according to the above verse with confidence. Not confidence in us or c o n f i d e n t t h a t h e w i l l wo r k t h i n g s o u t t he way we wa nt t h em wo r ked o ut but confident that he is sovereign, that he is in complete control whether things work

o u t the way we want them to o r no t. My kids will often come to me with a request that I cannot grant. Not because I can’t but because I know what they want is not what ’s best for them. G o d i s t h e s a m e way, h e wa nt s w h at is bes t fo r u s and he k nows w hat that is on a much deeper level than we do. Th e re fo re co n fe s s yo u r s i n s to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is power ful and effective. (James 5:16) Accountability is when Christians get real with each other; this is when we decide to get our h a n d s d i r t y. We d e c i d e t o i n v e s t i n each other in a way that will bring true repentance and change. Accountability means you are willing to invest time and effor t in another person. The next time you feel as though the enemy is attacking, rem em ber that yo u have f ive s m o o th stones at your disposal. Instead of running from your problem, grab a stone and start swinging!

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IN THE LIGHT |MAR/APR 2012

TO P

6 We a ske d our Prove r b s & Wi s d o m co m m u n i t y to na me t he i r f avo r i te C h r i s ti a n a u th o rs, book s a nd m ov i e s. H e re a re th e i r re s p o n s e s. . .

MAX LUCADO

FEARLESS

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Lucado is a Minister at Oak Hills Church.

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IN THE LIGHT |MAR/APR 2012

WORDS OF E N CO U R A G E M E N T

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Although people may judge you, G od k nows your hear t. G od sees the wonder ful things you do and in due time, He wi ll honor you.

T H E R E I S A LWAY S A R E A S O N TO H AV E H O P E . YO U DON’ T KNOW W H AT YO U R F U T U R E E N TA I L S S O YO U D O N ’ T H AV E A R E A S O N TO D O U B T I T. UNEXPECTED THINGS ARE A LWAY S O CC U R R I N G .

IN THE LIGHT |MAR/APR 2012

Encouragement

#1:

Th e Bi ble s ays i n t h e bo o k o f Genesis, when you intended to harm me, God intended for good. I personally love this verse. It demonstrates to me that in times I think I h ave b e e n “s e t- u p” fo r s o m e t hi n g bad, G od h as a p ur p o se to “s e t m e u p” fo r s o m e t h i n g m u c h be tte r. J osep h was so ld by his brothers, Daniel was p u t i n t o a l i o n ’s d e n , a n d J e su s wa s be trayed by Judas. I n all of these situations when t h e s e p e o p l e we re s e t u p fo r harm, God had a bigger plan d e s t i n e d fo r t h e i r l i v e s . G o d used these negative circumstances to bring each of these p e o p l e h i g h e r. S o w h e n e v e r you feel like you’ve been “s e t- u p” fo r h a r m , re m e mber that it could be part of G o d ’s m as te r plan to “set yo u u p” fo r s o m e t h i n g gre ate r !

Encouragement

#2:

Have you not known? Have you n o t h e a r d ? T h e LO R D i s t h e ever last ing G o d, the Creato r of the ends of the earth. He do es n o t f aint o r grow wear y ; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the f aint, a nd to him w ho has no m i g h t h e i n c re a s e s s t re n g t h . Even youths shall faint and be wear y,and young men shall fall ex h austed; bu t they w ho wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be wear y ; t h ey shal l wal k and no t f aint. -I saiah 4 0: 28 -31

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Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.


March/April Issue