We live in a culture that is obsessed with having “self-confidence”. Look around you, and you will see examples of this in many ways in many venues of life. And yet, the Word of God teaches the concept of “Christ confidence”. Both in the Old and New Testaments, the admonition is to trust in the Lord and to not lean or rely on our own understanding. When did you learn that life lesson?
This was a difficult story to tell without choking up. It’s about a father and son relationship that was greatly impacted by the cancer that enveloped the son. The son thanks his father for the character he felt was implanted in him by that father. Would anyone say that about you or me? What are we implanting in the next generation? Character is something we not only possess, we model it for others!
I can honestly say this is one of the most moving Visual Stories for me, personally. Just hearing it has blessed me in inexplicable ways. I’m not sure I can explain it to you, but I think you will have the same response! It’s about God entering our lives and existence in ways we were not expecting. Maybe He will use this opportunity today through this story to touch your life! Let Him do it!
Sometimes a word takes on a whole new meaning or significance in our lives when something happens. For instance, the word “cancer” can take on a whole new meaning when a doctor mentions it in regard to our physical condition. We never read or hear the word the same again after that. The word covenant takes on an eternal significance when we realize that Christ’s death on the cross is the heart of my “covenant” relationship with the Creator of the Universe! You will never look at the word covenant the same after coming to a personal relationship with God the Father through God the Son!
Guilt & Grief
Guilt and grief are two powerful forces in your life and mine. They both take the power of the Living God in our lives to face them. They really do. Guilt will keep you up at night. Grief can keep you from living your life! Guilt works on our minds; but grief works on our hearts. We don’t “get over” guilt and grief. We overcome guilt through the cross of Jesus Christ. We ultimately overcome grief through what happened after the cross. It’s called the resurrection of Christ from the grave. We need the power of both in our lives!
Rarely am I moved spiritually or even emotionally by a fictional story. I prefer to hear a “real” story of real events and real people. You may be of the same opinion. But I must admit, this story on CrossHope Visual Stories spoke to me in a powerful way. It’s a fictional story about a man who was not “convicted” about his sin or transgression until he found out he was forgiven by the man he had framed for murder. When he found out that his victim forgave him, then he came under conviction for his sin. What the law couldn’t do, grace and mercy were able to do! That’s true with you and me!
There is no two word phrase in the Bible that is more quoted and more misunderstood in my opinion than the phrase “born again”. It’s used as a term of mockery, a political label, even a mental health tag to put on someone. And yet Biblically, it’s one of most important phrases in the New Testament. According to Jesus Himself, if a person does not have a “born again” moment in his or her life, he or she “cannot see the Kingdom of God!” Think about that and what it means for your life!
Most people can recall the opening scene from ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” with Jim McKay that aired every Saturday afternoon for years. That scene provides a lesson for life when you hear the “back story” of that moment in time! It’s about being willing to make a change in the course of your life in order to accomplish a greater good. Sometimes a change has spiritual implications; what needs to change in your life, today?
Into God’s Hands
I have no idea what kind of “birth experiences” you have had in your life and family. Many never think about others having to deal with a premature birth or with birthing complications. For others, it’s one of their most difficult memories. Listen to this story of a baby being born 15 weeks early, and all that was involved with that spiritually. It’s a powerful story that may speak to you in a powerful way!
Faithfulness to anything in our culture in 2020 is novel! Faithfulness to the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings is even rarer today. We are usually faithful to that which we really love in life. What are you faithful to? What do you love with all your heart, soul, and mind? Hopefully it is to the One who gave His all for you, who loves you, and who forgives you!
Perhaps the most powerful evidence of a person’s faith in Jesus Christ is not what you may think it is. It’s not simply boldness or verbosity. It’s not calling attention to what you believe or think. It’s a willingness to stand alone, when no one else is willing to stand with you. Have you ever been in that situation? It can happen at a work place, a school, a neighborhood venue, and even at a family gathering. When you do that, you do not really stand alone; the One you stand for stands with you! He really does!
God claims to have known you and me before we were even born! He claims to have known us in the womb. If that is true, He knows what’s going on in your life now! He knows your future, before one second of it happens. If you really believed that concept, why would you say, “He doesn’t know the trouble I’m involved in, or the dilemma I’m facing, or the medical challenges ahead in my life?” You can trust the God who knows; His name is Jesus!
If you have children, you need to listen and watch this visual story on CrossHope! You really do. If you don’t have children, watch it anyway so you can help someone who does! This is really one of the most creative pieces of writing I have ever seen about our relationship to those God gives every parent, your children. Watch it, listen, and learn!
When the Lord makes a promise, He not only means it. He keeps that promise! When Jesus says, “I go to prepare a place for you, He really has!” When He said that He will come again to claim His own, He will! The promise that is the focus today is, “I will never leave you or forsake you!” You may have had people leave or abandon you. But we serve a God who keeps His word. He is faithful to His word; He is faithful to you and me. We trust the promises because we trust the promise giver!
Being in control in life is largely a myth! When people brag about being in charge of their destiny or fate, I think the Lord laughs! Even the ability to make a living according the Bible is a gift of God. The Lord can take one failure after another in your life and mine, and turn that into success at His hand! This story proves that!
To conquer means to overcome or subdue something or someone. Simply put, Jesus Christ, rising from the grave conquered death. That’s no small thing, because the Bible refers to death as the “final enemy” in life. When He walked out of the grave alive, a seismic event happened in the world. It’s an event that impacts your life and mine. This dramatic story of the death of a young man in Mexico will powerfully impact you in terms of what Jesus accomplished for us all!
This year, 2020 is already a year of uncertainty! That may be a major understatement! Many pundits and “experts” are saying, “Nothing will ever be the same again in our culture.” Work, business, family, church, and our social lives will all be dramatically changed. This video is for such a time as this! What if you found out that “your times” were in the hand of God? Would it make any difference?
The most familiar voice in “broadcast radio” would have to be Paul Harvey. More people in the United States have listened to his voice than any other voice you can name. That voice was silenced when he died in February of 2009. His piece, “If I Were the Devil” was one of his most famous. It’s the basis of this Visual Story about Satan. The apostle Peter said that “Satan is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”. He is real, alive, and active in our world in 2020!
If there were ever two words that have “hijacked” our culture in 2020, they would have to be “social distancing”. (Even my grandchildren in Germany talk over the phone about the term at school, “sociale abstand”, to stand away from others.) But does social distancing mean spiritual distancing from the Lord God Almighty? Oswald Chambers says that the Lord sometimes creates a “crisis” in our lives where we have to decide for or against the Lord. What have you decided in this crisis?
To “validate” is to confirm something or someone with facts or authority. We validate something in an argument; we can even attempt to validate our very existence! How many people have said, “This company or organization couldn’t make it without me?” We can’t pull that with the Lord God Almighty. What Jesus said about validation just may surprise you and me. Read the parable of the “rich, young ruler” in Mark 10:17-31. He tried to validate himself, but failed miserably.
Many people think that “pity” and “compassion” are the same things. They are not! Pity is a feeling; compassion is an action. Pity is the feeling of regret or suffering at the misfortune of others. Compassion is that and more. It’s the feeling that actually motivates you or me to do something for the person in need. Pity shakes its head in sadness; compassion rolls up its sleeves and says, “What can we do to help?” When have you shown compassion?
Most people know exactly what we mean when we say, “You have a wall up between you and a brother or sister, a son or daughter, or a parent.” You may have had a wall up between you and someone at work or school. Have you been there or done that? Walls define us in terms of what we say and what we do with certain people. This story will touch you deeply about the walls that need to come down in your life and mine!
Reconciliation is the bringing of those at odds with another person back together. Did you know that the Bible only speaks of “two” reconciliations in our lives? They encompass all of our relationships on this earth! One is reconciliation with God the Father; the second one is with my brother or sister. That’s it? Yes, that’s it! What does that word say to you and your life?
Would God really withhold something from me because He knows what I might do with the gift? That thought offends! And yet, have you ever withheld something from a son or daughter, because of your concerns of what they might do with the gift? Isn’t God more wise and intelligent than we are? The Giver of every good and perfect gift is also “all-knowing” (omniscient) and all-wise! He’s the perfect gift giver!!
There are some stories that are memorable. Some are moving. Some may actually bring a tear to the eyes. Then there is this kind of story. My father told me as a young minister that there are stories that can “overwhelm” a message or sermon. What he meant was sometimes a story takes over the message; it stands over and above the sermon. It turns out to be the only thing that people may remember. Such a story is one you are going to read now! It’s called “Mother”, by Ravi Zacharias. Brace yourself!