Saturday, 27 October 2018

THE RICH MAN AND LAZURUS

BIBLE TEXT : LUKE 16:19-31

19
NIV:“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.
20
At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores
21
NIV:and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22
NIV:“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.
23
NIV:In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.
24
NIV:So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25
NIV:“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.
26
NIV:And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
27
NIV:“He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family,
28
NIV:for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29
NIV:“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
30
NIV:“‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
31
NIV:“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Christ shows that in this life men decide their eternal destiny. During probationary time the grace of God is offered to every soul. But if men waste their opportunities in self-pleasing, they cut themselves off from everlasting life. No after probation will be granted them. By their own choice they have fixed an impassable gulf between them and their God.  

This parable draws a contrast between the rich who have not made God their dependence, and the poor who have made God their dependence. Christ shows that the time is coming when the position of the two classes will be reversed. Those who are poor in this world's goods, yet who trust in God and are patient in suffering, will one day be exalted above those who now hold the highest positions the world can give but who have not surrendered their life to God.  

"There was a certain rich man," Christ said, "which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table."  
The rich man did not belong to the class represented by the unjust judge, who openly declared his disregard for God and man. He claimed to be a son of Abraham. He did not treat the beggar with violence or require him to go away because the sight of him was disagreeable. If the poor, loathsome specimen of humanity could be comforted by beholding him as he entered his gates, the rich man was willing that he should remain. But he was selfishly indifferent to the needs of his suffering brother.  

There were then no hospitals in which the sick might be cared for. The suffering and needy were brought to the notice of those to whom the Lord had entrusted wealth, that they might receive help and sympathy. Thus it was with the beggar and the rich man. Lazarus was in great need of help; for he was without friends, home, money, or food. Yet he was allowed to remain in this condition day after day, while the wealthy nobleman had every want supplied. The one who was abundantly able to relieve the sufferings of his fellow creature, lived to himself, as many live today.

Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?  Isaiah 58:7

There are today close beside us many who are hungry, naked, and homeless. A neglect to impart of our means to these needy, suffering ones places upon us a burden of guilt which we shall one day fear to meet. All covetousness is condemned as idolatry. All selfish indulgence is an offense in God's sight.  

God had made the rich man a steward of His means, and it was his duty to attend to just such cases as that of the beggar. The command had been given, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" (Deuteronomy 6:5); and "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Leviticus 19:18). The rich man was a Jew, and he was acquainted with the command of God. But he forgot that he was accountable for the use of his entrusted means and capabilities.

The Lord's blessings rested upon him abundantly, but he employed them selfishly, to honor himself, not his Maker. In proportion to his abundance was his obligation to use his gifts for the uplifting of humanity. This was the Lord's command, but the rich man had no thought of his obligation to God. He lent money, and took interest for what he loaned; but he returned no interest for what God had lent him. He had knowledge and talents, but did not improve them. Forgetful of his accountability to God, he devoted all his powers to pleasure. Everything with which he was surrounded, his round of amusements, the praise and flattery of his friends, ministered to his selfish enjoyment. So engrossed was he in the society of his friends that he lost all sense of his responsibility to co-operate with God in His ministry of mercy. He had opportunity to understand the word of God, and to practice its teachings; but the pleasure-loving society he chose so occupied his time that he forgot the God of eternity.  

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might"  Deuteronomy 6:5.

The time came when a change took place in the condition of the two men. The poor man had suffered day by day, but he had patiently and quietly endured. In the course of time he died and was buried. There was no one to mourn for him; but by his patience in suffering he had witnessed for Christ, he had endured the test of his faith, and at his death he is represented as being carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom.  
Lazarus represents the suffering poor who believe in Christ. When the trumpet sounds and all that are in the graves hear Christ's voice and come forth, they will receive their reward; for their faith in God was not a mere theory, but a reality.  

"The rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame."  

In this parable Christ was meeting the people on their own ground. The doctrine of a conscious state of existence between death and the resurrection was held by many of those who were listening to Christ's words. The Saviour knew of their ideas, and He framed His parable so as to inculcate important truths through these preconceived opinions. He held up before His hearers a mirror wherein they might see themselves in their true relation to God. He used the prevailing opinion to convey the idea He wished to make prominent to all--that no man is valued for his possessions; for all he has belongs to him only as lent by the Lord. A misuse of these gifts will place him below the poorest and most afflicted man who loves God and trusts in Him.  

Christ desires His hearers to understand that it is impossible for men to secure the salvation of the soul after death.  Thus Christ represented the hopelessness of looking for a second probation. This life is the only time given to man in which to prepare for eternity.  

Friday, 26 October 2018

PLAYING YOUR PART

The second-period algebra test had been a disaster for Charlene Markham. Then she had slipped and fallen in hallway in front of two dozen other students. As she sat in sixth -period band practise, her mind was everywhere except on the sheets of music.

“ Sometimes I wonder if my being here at Springbrook High makes any difference at all,” she thought as the music filled the room. “It's like the flautist's part in the medley. All you can hear are the trumpets and trombones, anyway.”

As an experiment, Charlene raised the flute to her lips but only pretended to play. “ See,” she thought after the place, “ no one even noticed.”

Just before the bell rang, Mr Westmore, the music teacher, instructed the students to put away their intrustments. Then, he asked Charlene to stay after the bell.

“Why didn't you play in Sousa medley?”  he asked.

Charlene was stunned that he knew. She didn't answer him. “Charlene,” he said kindly, yet firmly, “we need every part in a piece of music to make it complete. The conductor looks for everyone to be playing his or her part.”

Somehow Charlene felt better that her knowing she had been missed. “Maybe I have a part to play after all,” she thought. Learn what Jesus says about your importance in Matthew 10:24-33.

25
NIV:It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!
26
NIV:“So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.
27
NIV:What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.
28
NIV:Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
29
NIV:Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.
30
NIV:And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31
NIV:So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
32
NIV:“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.
33
NIV:But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.


Questions To Consider
  • How does the Bible passage speak to Charlene's feelings of worthlessness?
  • How does knowing that God loves you affect your feelings about yourself?











Motion Points
  • Investing thirty minutes today in an activity for your own growth, health and well -being?
  • Listing all of the “sections” in God's “bank” (the church ) you can think of, such as musicians, leaders, helpers and so forth, Pick the one section that you're most interest in, and volunteer to “play” in it.

Further Study
  • Romans 5:1-11
  • 1 Corinthians 12: 12-31
  • Psalm 8:3-9

Interesting Fact
The “three kings” traditionally associated with Matthew 2:1-12 were probably neither “three” nor “kings”. Some  sources suggest that as many as a husband of these phililosophers, doctors and astrologers visited Jesus. Now that would make a Christmas play! The traditional idea of “three” comes from the three gifts they brought -gold, frankincess and myrrh.

Shalom!


FRENCH SPIDERMAN' ARRESTED AFTER SCALING LONDON TOWER


A climber known as the “French Spiderman” has been arrested after scaling one of London’s tallest buildings. Alain Robert ascended the 202-metre (662ft) Salesforce Tower – formerly the Heron Tower – in the City of London without a rope or other safety equipment.

Police arrived at 1.37pm, set up a cordon around the building and ushered the growing crowd to move back and keep out of the road.

Robert reached the top at 2.14pm and raised his arms to cheers from below. City of London police said they arrested a 56-year-old man on suspicion of causing public nuisance.

Commander Karen Baxter condemned the stunt. “The incident this afternoon has had a considerable impact on police, other emergency services and the local community. Our officers, the London Fire Brigade and the London Ambulance Service all attended this incident, taking them away from genuine emergencies,” she said.

“Road closures meant a significant disturbance to local transport and businesses and their staff located in the building were also considerably affected.”

CHINESE, RUSSIAN SPIES ARE LISTENING IN ON TRUMP’S IPHONE CALLS
Chinese and Russian spies are listening to President Trump’s casual phone conversations as he chats with friends and close advisers on an unsecured iPhone, it was revealed on Wednesday.

US intelligence agencies have warned Trump that Chinese spies have been eavesdropping on his calls — and exploiting the information as they negotiate an ongoing trade dispute, according to The New York Times.

The calls are intercepted by foreign government through cell towers and cables that are part of cellphone networks.

The president has two official iPhones, which have been partially secured by the National Security Agency. A third, personal, iPhone is completely unsecure and vulnerable to hackers, according to the Times.

Trump continues to use the phones despite repeated warnings from aides that the practice is unsafe, the paper said.

MAN ARRESTED  IN CONNECTION WITH SUSPICIOUS PACKAGES, 2 MORE FOUND TODAY
A man in Florida was taken into custody this Friday and will be charged in connection with the series of bombs found this week addressed to critics of President Donald Trump, law enforcement officials said shortly after the latest two devices were discovered.

Cesar Sayoc, Jr., 56, who has been previously arrested on unspecified charges, is currently in custody, law enforcement officials said. DNA evidence played a role in the arrest, law enforcement told NBC News.

Investigators in the Plantation, Florida, parking lot where Sayoc was arrested could be seen placing a tarp over a van with windows covered with dozens of pictures of Trump and decals, one of which appeared to be a version of a presidential seal.

Two more packages containing explosive devices were discovered this Friday, one in Florida addressed to Sen. Cory Booker and another in New York addressed to former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, officials said. The total packages so far are 12.

The package addressed to Booker, D-N.J. was discovered at a postal facility in Opa-locka, Florida. On Thursday, investigators said they believed some of the packages may have passed through that mail sorting facility. .

The package mailed to Clapper was addressed to CNN's New York offices, according to a picture obtained by NBC New York, and discovered at a postal facility in Midtown Manhattan.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?


For as long as she could remember. Louise had believed in God. Her whole family were very involved in the church, and at home God was a huge part of their lives.

Then, things began to change in Louis’s house. Her parents started arguing, and eventually they told Louise and her brother they were getting divorce. Louis was devasted ; she didn't understand what was happening. The following month Louise's gran died and it felt like things couldn't get any worse. But soon Louis found out that her dad had a gambling problem and that they were thousands of pounds in debt. Her mum seemed to be getting sick all the time and Louise and her brother spent a lot of time visiting her hospital.











Although the rest of her family didn't seem to care about God any more, Louis did. She still went to church and youth group; she really tried to read her Bible and she certainly prayed lots.

Sometimes through, Louise couldn't help being angry with God . Why were all these awful things happening to her? Why had it all gone so wrong? Was it something she had done?

In 1Kings 17:17-24, a widow was also going through a really hard times when her son fell I'll and died.

17
KJV:And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.
18
KJV:And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?
19
KJV:And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.
20
KJV:And he cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?
21
KJV:And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again.
22
KJV:And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.
23
KJV:And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth.
24
KJV:And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.

Questions To Consider
  • Why did widow think her son was ill? Did Louis feel the same way?
  • What did the widow learn from her son coming back to life?

Motion Points
  • Whether there are any difficult situations in your life that you need to trust God with?
  • Keeping a journal and writing down all that is happening in your life. You will be amazed, when you look back , at how much God was working in your life, even through the hard times.

Further Study
  • John 9:1-7
  • Isaiah 53
  • Romans 5:1-5


GLORY TO GOD HALLELUJAH


1.We are never, never weary of the grand old song;
Glory to God, Hallelujah;
We can sing it loud as ever, with our faith more strong
Glory to God, Hallelujah.
O the children of the Lord have a
right to shout and sing
For the way is growing bright,
and our souls are on the wing;
We are going by and by to the
palace of the king;
Glory to God, Hallelujah!

2. We are lost amid the rapture of redeeming love,
Glory to God, Hallelujah!
We are rising on its pinions to the hills above;
Glory to God, Hallelujah!

3. We are going to a palace that is built of gold
Glory to God, Hallelujah!
Where the King in all His splendour
we shall soon behold;
Glory to God, Hallelujah!

4. There we'll shout redeeming mercy
in a glad new song,
Glory to God, Hallelujah!
There we'll sing the praise of Jesus
with the blood-wash'd throng,
Glory to God, Hallelujah!
Amen.

I WAS IN THE SPIRIT ON LORD'S DAY

1.O day of rest and gladness,
O day of joy and light,
O balm of care and sadness,
Most beautiful, most bright,
On thee, the high and lowly,
Through ages join'd in tune,
Sing Holy, Holy, Holy,
To God the great Triune.

2. On Thee, at the Creation,
The light first had its birth,
On thee, for our salvation,
Christ rose form depths of earth;
On Thee our Lord victorious
The Spirit sent form heav'n;
And thus on Thee most glorious
A triple light was giv'n

3. Thou art a post protected
From storms that round us rise;
A garden intersected
With steams of Paradise;
Thou are a cooling fountain
In life's dry dreary sand;
From Thee, like Pisgah's mountain,
We view our promised Land.

4. Today on weary nations
The heav'nly manna falls;
To holy convocations
The silver trumpet calls,
Where Gospel-light is glowing
With pure and radiant beams,
And living water flowing
With soul refreshing streams.

5. May we, new graces gaining
From this our day of rest,
Attain the rest remaining
To spirits of the blest,
And there, our voice upraising,
To father, and to Son,
And Holy Ghost, be praising
The blessed Three In One.
Amen.

FACEBOOK STANDS BY WHATS APP LIMITS, DESPITE BRAZIL ELECTION TURMOIL

Facebook Inc’s (FB.O) messaging service WhatsApp has no plans to change its group messaging limits in Brazil, an executive said on Tuesday, resisting calls from the leading presidential candidate to allow easier forwarding of viral messages.

Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right lawmaker forecast to clinch the race on Sunday, vowed last week to “fight” to let users forward text, audio and video messages to hundreds of contacts on a platform that has become a key political battleground.

With few traditional campaign resources and almost no TV ads until this month, Bolsonaro stormed to the front of a crowded presidential race with an outsized social media presence and grassroots organizing via WhatsApp and other online platforms.

“We’re pretty comfortable with that number 20,” Victoria Grand, vice president of policy and communications at WhatsApp, told journalists in Sao Paulo on Tuesday. She called the policy as an “experiment” that “could change over time.”

With just five days to go before the vote, she said there was no way that WhatsApp could change those limits before Brazilians choose their next president. She highlighted efforts to shut down accounts engaged in spamming activity, along with a marketing campaign encouraging users to be skeptical of rumors.

PACKAGES IDENTIFIED AS POTENTIAL EXPLOSIVE DEVICES SENT TO HOMES OF BARACK OBAMA, HILLARY CLINTON
The U.S. Secret Service said on October 24 that it had intercepted packages, identified as potential explosive devices, sent to the homes of former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Secret Service said it recovered a single package addressed to Hillary Clinton in Westchester, a suburb north of Manhattan on October 23, and one addressed to the Obama residence in Washington on October 24.

“The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such,” the Secret Service said.

CNN’S NEW YORK HEADQUARTERS EVACUATED AFTER SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE FOUND
The Time Warner Center in New York City was evacuated Wednesday morning after police were called about a suspicious package there. The evacuation came as news broke about suspicious packages being sent to the White House, former President Barack Obama and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The news network CNN, whose headquarters are in the Time Warner Center, was broadcasting out of its Washington, D.C. bureau after the evacuation. Anchors Jim Sciutto and Poppy Harlow have pulled off the air as alarms went off in the building. Watch the moment above.

REAL MADRID APPROACH CONTE
Antonio Conte has been approached by representatives of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez over his availability, according to reports. Conte is Perez's first choice to replace current head coach Julen Lopetegui should he be sacked from his role at the Bernabeu.

Lopetegui was appointed Zinedine Zidane's successor in June but already finds himself under pressure after winning just six of his 13 games in charge of the club.

Perez's representatives have made contact with Conte, who has been away from football since he was replaced by compatriot Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea in July.

Reportedly, the former Italy manager rejected the chance to join Real Madrid last summer in order to take a break from football following his departure from Stamford Bridge.

SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE  SENT TO OFFICES OF CONGRESSWOMAN IN FLORIDA AND NYC GOV. ANDREW CUOMO
A suspicious package sent to a Florida building housing the offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman and a former Democratic National Committee member, was being investigated Wednesday as a string of explosive devices were sent to several high-profile recipients.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also said he was informed that a suspicious package had been sent to his office in Manhattan, adding that the device “has been identified and is being handled as we speak.” “We wouldn’t be surprised" if more devices show up, Cuomo said.

The US Secret Service announced Wednesday it had intercepted explosives sent to Bill and Hillary Clinton in New York, as well as former President Barack Obama’s home in Washington. A suspicious package was also being investigated within the vicinity of a California building housing the offices of Senator Kamala Harris as well as the San Diego Union Tribune. Another one was also sent to CNN headquarters in New York City this morning.

Police in Florida confirmed they were investigating the possible suspicious package sent to the lawmaker’s Sunrise offices after a Broward Sheriff’s Office bomb squad unit and firefighters were deployed to the scene.

Elon Musk Says Twitter  Blocked Him After Bitcoin Tweet
Elon Musk says Twitter briefly blocked him because the tech firm suspected his account had been hacked. The Tesla chief indicated the safety precaution was prompted by a tweet he had sent asking: "Wanna buy some Bitcoin?"

Several fake accounts have previously used images of Mr Musk and variations of his name to promote cryptocurrency scams, sometimes within replies to his posts.

Twitter declined to comment. "For privacy and security reasons, we don't comment on individual accounts," explained a spokeswoman.

However, the account was locked down rather than "blocked".

Mr Musk's suspect tweet had featured an anime drawing of a girl wearing Bitcoin-themed clothing.

TRUMP CONDEMNS  POTENTIAL EXPLOSIVES SENT TO CLINTON, OBAMA, CNN AS 'DESPICABLE ACTS'
Authorities are investigating potential explosives sent to CNN and liberal political figures including former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and billionaire donor George Soros, as the White House denounced the “terrorizing acts.”

Details are still emerging about the suspected bombs, and authorities have not offered any information about any potential suspects. But the rash of packages to some of President Donald Trump's avowed rivals has injected a tense new dimension into the final stretch before the midterm elections.

Trump on Wednesday afternoon said that a major federal investigation is currently underway, and said that the government will "bring those responsible for these despicable acts to justice."

"I just want to tell you that in these times, we have to unify, we have to come together, and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America," the president said, despite his own track record of engaging in divisive and, at times, violent rhetoric. He also did not mention CNN.

Trump said that investigators "will spare no resources or expense in this effort." "We're extremely angry, upset, unhappy about what we witnessed this morning and we will get to the bottom of it," Trump concluded.

RIYADH WOULD NOT HAVE MURDERED KHASHOGGI WITHOUT U.S. PROTECTION
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia would not have murdered prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi without American protection, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday Saudi authorities staged the “worst cover-up ever” in the killing of Khashoggi in Turkey this month, as Washington vowed to revoke the visas of some of those believed to be responsible.

“No one would imagine that in today’s world and a new century that we would witness such an organized murder and a system would plan out such a heinous murder,” Rouhani said, according to IRNA. “I don’t think that a country would dare commit such a crime without the protection of America.” Khashoggi’s death in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 has triggered global outrage.

FBI  RELEASES STATEMENT ON SUSPICIOUS PACKAGES, SAYS ALL 5 ARE BEING ANALYSED AT A LAB IN VIRGINIA
The FBI says five packages containing explosives targeting Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, CNN and others are being analyzed at the bureau’s lab in Virginia.

“This investigation is of the highest priority for the FBI. We have committed the full strength of the FBI’s resources and, together with our partners on our Joint Terrorism Task Forces, we will continue to work to identify and arrest whoever is responsible for sending these packages,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “We ask anyone who may have information to contact the FBI. Do not hesitate to call; no piece of information is too small to help us in this investigation,” the statement read.

The agency says each package had a return address of “DEBBIE WASSERMAN SHULTZ,” a misspelling of the Florida congresswoman’s name. The FBI confirmed all of the packages had printed address labels and six stamps.

The first of the packages was found Monday at the suburban New York compound of liberal billionaire George Soros. The package delivered to CNN on Wednesday was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan.

Another package was addressed to former Attorney General Eric Holder. The FBI says that package did not reach its intended destination and was rerouted to the return address on the envelope in Florida.

"The FBI will continue to work with our federal law enforcement partners at the United States Secret Service, United States Postal Inspection Service, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as our state and local law enforcement partners, to identify and arrest the person or people responsible for sending these packages."

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