Standing Strong Through the Storm

Duration: 365 days

EVANGELISM OPPORTUNITIES EVERYWHERE

“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10

Pastor Joseph Bondarenko sat on the sunny deck of the Russian river boat as it pulled out of Tyumen in Siberia and headed north up the river. The leaves on the trees were already changing colour in a blaze of autumn beauty. But this was no Love Boat. On board this old river scow were over one hundred and fifty other Christians joining this adventure. The passengers were there to assist in a one-month evangelism outreach in northern Siberian cities—places where the gospel had not been preached before.

As Joseph soaked in the beauty of the sun and God’s creation, he thought back on his early ministry years in the nineteen fifties and sixties. His aggressive evangelism in those days resulted in imprisonment three times. Yet there in those filthy prison cells, God was still present and his ministry continued. Joseph led so many to Christ in prison that they kicked him out each time. In total he lived nine years in a prison cell, isolated from his beloved wife, Mary.

He smiled to himself as he recalled that eventful day in 1989 when the KGB agent who had him imprisoned came to talk. The officer had been watching him for years and now articulated his desire to know Jesus too. Joseph’s spirit leaped with joy as he thought back on the day that KGB agent and his family were baptized. Nothing is impossible with God.

He relived the many crusades in recent years when Open Doors provided as many as twenty thousand Russian Scriptures for new believers who responded to the call of God on their life.

And now with a group of musicians, preachers and follow-up personnel his vision for evangelism was continuing to be fulfilled; one whole month stopping and preaching at twenty cities along the main rivers of Siberia. At the end of the month, Joseph’s “cruise-ade” had seen over 10,000 people pray the sinner’s prayer and commit their lives to the Lord! And even more exciting is the fact that Christian young people were left behind in sixteen communities to do follow-up training and establish new churches.

On the walls of a hall in Joseph’s church is the missionary journey history of this local body and the missionary vision maps. Joseph becomes very animated and excited as he traces the colour-coded missionary journeys for the past summers that young evangelists he is training had made into Siberia and onward toward the Far East. But more exciting for him are the dotted lines that lay out next summer’s trip plans. They reached right to the Pacific Ocean!

Like his Master, Joseph went through much suffering and deprivation in his life. But like his Master, nothing gives Joseph more joy than knowing the angels in heaven were rejoicing.

RESPONSE: Today I will recommit to share the good news of the gospel with everyone wherever I am.

PRAYER: Pray that the many Joseph Bondarenko’s of our world will continue to bear much fruit.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

The Plan

Duration: 365 days

PROPHECY THREAD OF WEEK 34

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary Definition of Truth:
Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be. The truth of history constitutes its whole value. We rely on the truth of the scriptural prophecies.

MESSIAH BECOMES THE CORNERSTONE

For over seven hundred years it had been prophesied that the Messiah would become the cornerstone. Meaning he would be the building block that all the kingdom of heaven would be founded upon. As the One who spoke all things into existence (1Co 8:6), He has every right to called the foundation cornerstone. When He returns He will put an end to all opposition to the Kingdom.

PROMISED

HOSHEA – THE LAST KING OF ISRAEL

726 BC (U)

Isa 28:16 So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.

THE COMING OF ZION’S KING

495 BC (U)

Zec 10:4 From Judah will come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler.

FULFILLED

ONE IN CHRIST

64 AD (U)

Eph 2:20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.

THE LIVING STONE AND A CHOSEN PEOPLE

66 AD (U)

1Pe 2:6 For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

WILL BE FULFILLED

ISRAEL GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE

ONE THOUSAND YEAR REIGN

Dan 2:34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them.

Prophecies declared are in blue, prophecies fulfilled are in red, prophecies currently being fulfilled are in green, and prophecies to be fulfilled are in orange. Bold historical context dates are from Jeff Swanson’s The Plan dating system, and dates marked (U) are Archbishop Ussher’s 1658 dating system.
** The date of this prophecy is in its referential context: the verse has been moved to the time frame of its contextual orientation.

Excerpts drawn from The Plan: The Chronology of God’s Word from Creation to Completion, published by The Plan Bible™, Inc. Copyright © 2010, 2012.  All rights reserved worldwide. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. WARNING: This book is not transferable. It is for your own personal use. It cannot be sold, shared, or loaned as that is an infringement of the copyright. No portion of this book may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Family Talk Night Light for Couples

Duration: 365 days

ON TARGET

“Get a new heart and a new spirit.” Ezekiel 18:31

Maybe you heard the story about the day Lisa finally had enough. Her husband, Greg, loved to shoot. An expert marksman, he traveled widely to compete against other enthusiasts, and occasionally he brought home a trophy. But Lisa had no interest in marksmanship. In fact, she didn’t like guns—period. To make matters worse, she missed her husband terribly while he was away pursuing his hobby.

One day it dawned on her that their relationship was in trouble. That was the day Lisa finally had enough. Lisa asked Greg to teach her how to shoot a rifle, then joined him in his travels. Soon she decided to compete at the shooting events. To Lisa’s surprise, she liked firing a rifle. And to her husband’s surprise, Lisa was a very good shot. She even started bringing home more trophies than he did. But of the prizes they brought home, one stood out above all the rest: Their marriage seemed reborn. The time they spent together at their newfound common interest helped them develop a closeness that simply hadn’t existed before.

Lisa’s story is a good reminder that what seems like an obstacle might really be an opportunity. Creative, committed couples discover this secret everyday. Just ask a husband who’s learned to love ballroom dancing or a wife who’s gotten hooked on fly fishing. That’s because the best times always seem to come in pairs.

JUST BETWEEN US…

  • When was the last time we tried a new activity together?
  • Did you enjoy it? Why or why not?
  • Are there activities keeping us apart that we could do together?

Dear God, we ask for fresh determination to explore new interests and activities together. Where our marriage would be strengthened by playing together, help us let go of the old habits and assumptions that keep us apart. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Family Talk Night Light for Parents

Duration: 365 days

ONE STEP AT A TIME

Let us…go on to maturity. Hebrews 6:1

Our teenage daughter had taken the proper course work, passed the state driver’s test, and was already a responsible young lady. Yet the first time Danae drove off in our car alone, it was still a frightening moment for Mom and Dad! There is no sweeter sound than hearing your teen come to a complete, controlled stop in the driveway after her first solo trip in the family car.

By the teen years, however, parents should already be used to the idea of granting new responsibilities and freedoms to their kids. That vital process should begin at a pace consistent with their age and maturity during the preschool years. When your child can tie his shoes, let him. When he can choose his own clothes within reason, allow him to make his own selections. When he can walk safely to school, grant him that privilege. If responsibility and freedom are meted out gradually throughout childhood, the final release in early adulthood will be much smoother for you and your kids.

David became the king of Israel, but the Lord prepared him for the responsibility of leading His people in stages—first as a shepherd boy, then in battle against Goliath, then as a commander of soldiers in the army of Saul (1 Samuel 16:1117:4918:13). Likewise, we must prepare our sons and daughters for the responsibilities of adulthood one step at a time. A sudden transfer of power can be disastrous for both generations.

BEFORE YOU SAY GOOD NIGHT…

Are you gradually granting responsibility and freedom to your kids?

What should be the next step in this process for each of your children?

Great God and King, we ask for Your grace and wisdom as we seek to prepare our children for life as adults. Show us how to grant responsibility and freedom in appropriate measure, always depending on Your guidance for choosing the right path. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.