Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.
Saul, prior to becoming Paul, approved of the stoning to death of Stephen.
And Saul approved of [Stephen’s] execution.—Acts 8:1
Today, those two stand shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm, worshiping the One who saved both of them. Paul has no more animosity toward Stephen, only love; and Stephen holds absolutely no grudge against Paul.
It’s here, it’s there, it’s …
E v e r y w h e r e!
Where it comes from, only One knows.
But, it comes and stays
And seldom goes.
It creeps in slowly and then explodes
In each fiber of every muscle fold.
A single cell emits the call
And soon it’s joined by one and all.
A heartfelt testimony from Liz Blom, a young mother at Bethlehem:
This is a guest post by Caryn Turner, member of the Women's Ministry Leadership Team:
As I reminisce over the past six Spring Conferences that I have attended, I am full of joy! However, I am also saddened for the ladies that I have interacted with over those years who do not attend the conferences- the ladies who have said, "I'm not the Women's Ministry type" or "l don’t do Women's Ministry."
We are routinely drawn to slip into one of two ditches: legalism on one side and lawlessness on the other.
Our God is a commandment-giving God. Jesus said if we love him, we will keep his commandments.
So while we are saved by grace through faith apart from our works, we miss the point of grace entirely if we think it means that we can sin with impunity.
We are not saved by our works, but our works are evidence that we are saved.
The Bethlehem Women's Spring Conference, Be Holy For I Am Holy; Growing in Holiness...How?, will be held April 25/26. Nancy Guthrie will be the guest speaker. We will also feature "testimoments" from three Bethlehem women; one of those sharing her story of God's grace in times of trial and loss will be Emily Thiel, who writes:
This year's Women’s Ministry theme is very practical—how to grow in holiness. And our speaker for our 2014 Spring Conference, Nancy Guthrie, will address the glorious truth that we are holy because of our position in Christ, and yet we have been commanded to be holy and to pursue holiness.
Last week this blog posted a couple snippets of John’s remarks at the Desiring God Conference for Pastors. He spoke again, and here are a few other snippets:
There is more joy to be yours than you now have.
Union with Christ produces action!
Satan is servant, not master.
“Nothing in the universe is more important than union with Christ.
“God is more zealous for your fruit-bearing than you are.”
Last week in referring to how he speaks to his children about obedience, he said:
Do it right away.
Do it all the way.
Do it with a happy heart.