Wednesday, 28 May 2014

If Jesus Must Die, Then....

This reading is based on Jeremiah 27 and is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

What do you do when you are burdened with an overwhelming sense of hopelessness as for years unending we seem shackled by certain besetting sins. We fast and pray; we even share with others, and we still struggle. Can God really help us; can we be delivered from our sinful habits?
Major undertakings within and outside the Church are usually preceded by a feasibility study. A major component of such a study is a cost benefit analysis. From a cost benefit analysis you essentially want to answer the question of whether or not the investment of resources will produce the desired rewards.
I believe that the most expansive project that's occurring in the universe today is the Plan of Salvation. The tremendous cost of this project is life of Jesus Christ. It had to have been that God saw the possibility of everyone being delivered from the bondage of the sins that Jesus died. Although the statement of Paul in Romans 8: 32 appears to be referring primarily to God's WILLINGNESS to supply our needs, it also alludes to His ABILITY to actually supply these needs: "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" Salvation is not just a good idea - it's a fool-proof plan!
            The Passion of the Christ
Jeremiah 27 taken in its entirety not only shows God being aware of the impending Babylonian captivity that awaited His people, but the passage importantly ended with God eventually restoring His people. In similar fashion, the formulation and execution of the Plan of Salvation not only included His knowledge of our eventual sin, but it also sets forth His plan to restore His image within us. It is important that we believe that if Christ has done so much already He is able to carry through that which He has started to its completion. "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" Phil. 1: 6. We must never resign to just sinning, but must believe God for a change... claim it!
So yes, we may be yoked...shackled by sin, but Jesus knew about that even before we were born, and He still decided to die for us. Surely then, if Jesus must die, then it must be that He ought to also be able to deliver us from sin. After all, that's why He died.
So Father in Heaven today in confidence that You are not only willing but able to deliver us, we come to with our burdens. May it be that when we would have come to the end of this special day of prayer, that we will all be fully unshackled, and that in freedom we all become Your willing servants, we pray in Jesus' name, amen.

Charles Evans

To read and/or listen to Jeremiah 27 and to read other related blogs, please click here.

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Thursday, 22 May 2014

NCU Research News & Events: U.S. Department of State: International Student Ex...

NCU Research News & Events: U.S. Department of State: International Student Ex...:

U.S. Department of State: International Student Exchange Programmes

Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release                                                                                                  May 2, 2014
U.S. Department of State Unveils 100,000 Strong in the Americas Website
Today, the U.S. Department of State unveiled a new 100,000 Strong in the Americas website available at  President Obama launched 100,000 Strong in the Americas to
increase educational exchange opportunities in the Western Hemisphere. 
The initiative is implemented through partnerships between the U.S.
government, including the White House and the Department of State;
Partners of the Americas, NAFSA:  Association of International
Educators, foreign governments, universities and colleges, and the
private sector.
The goal of 100,000 Strong in the Americas is
to strengthen U.S. relations with the countries of the Americas through
increased student mobility. Students from the United States and the
Western Hemisphere select international exchange programs that
will equip them with a broad base of skills and experiences, including
exposure to other countries and cultures.  The initiative reflects a
growing focus on ensuring youth throughout the Western Hemisphere are
prepared with the language and cross-cultural skills needed to succeed
in the 21st century economy. 
updated website contains resources for students interested in studying
abroad in the Americas, higher education institutions who want to
increase their footprint in the Western Hemisphere, and private sector
companies who want to contribute to the future prosperity of the
Americas. 100,000 Strong in the Americas will enable a new generation to reach across borders to address common challenges and seek out new opportunities. 
Follow @ECAatState, @EdUSAupdates, and @USAenEspanol (Spanish) for the latest on #100KStrongAmericas.
For more information, please contact WHA Press at or the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Press at

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Estrangement, Conviction and Rebirth

This reading is based on Jeremiah 20 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
"Cursed be the day in which I was born!" Jeremiah 20: 14
Wouldn't you think that knowing that you are doing God's will should make you feel so satisfied and fulfilled, and totally void of depression? My daily struggle is to be in God's will. So why would Jeremiah, clearly doing the will of God, be so depressed - cursing the day he was born?
The call to mission is a call to tare ones self away from the ordinary regular life of those who have not heard that call, or has refused to answer. Separating yourself from human traditions and values, not sharing common human goals, and not being a "normal" individual, but always sticking out as a sore thumb in meetings at work, possibly among your siblings at home (Joseph), and even in discussions at church, can often lead you down a lonely path of estrangement.
The Fire of Conviction
But although you naturally would want to be a regular human being, enjoying good relations with all around, you somehow cannot bring yourself to doing so at the expense of what you know and believe to be the truth. The pull of conviction brought on by the Holy Spirit can often overpower the pull of our carnal desires. Jeremiah says, "You induced me and I was persuaded," (verse 7). That became for him, "fire, shut up within (his) bones," (verse 9). Oh that the fire of conviction would burn within our hearts today Lord. Please send Your Holy Spirit upon us.
Choosing to Be Born Again
A positive spin to the "day of my birth being cursed" is that at the crossroads of choosing God's way, or the conventional human way, I choose to turn my back on the natural pull and claims of my human birth; I'm now ready to be "born again," (John 3: 7) into the ministry to which I've been called.

Charles Evans
To read and/or listen to Jeremiah 20 and to read other related blogs, please click here.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Broken Pots: Through the Prism of God's Grace

This reading is based on Jeremiah 19 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Prisms: an Object Lesson
I recall my high school physics class when for the first time I discovered that white light (what we normally get from the bulbs in our homes, and the headlamps on our cars, etc) is actually made up of many colours (I believe the colours of the rainbow). What we did in order to see the spectrum of individual colours making up the light was to shine a beam of light through a prism (a specially shaped glass object). As the mono-colour entered the prism on one side what came out on the other side of the prism were all the colour that are combined to make white light. Verse 11 of Jeremiah 19 speaks of God breaking His people as one would break a potter's vessel that cannot be repaired. Is this a hopeless picture painted? Let's look at the broken pot phenomenon through the prism of God's grace.
God's Frustration Flows - as From a Broken Pot
The utterances of Jeremiah 19 come across with gushing finality - as from a God who, like a broken vessel that cannot withhold the outflow of its contents, can no longer restrain His anger and frustration over a rebellious people. There will come a time when enough will be enough, and God will have to execute the words of His mouth. But as with the manner in which He treated Nineveh, what He mostly appears to be aiming at is to apply to us shock therapy that He hopes will jerk us into the reality of the danger we're courting.
Broken Pots Ministries
Some of the most noble ministries today are borne from the bowels of our brokenness. It is much like Jesus who through His personal suffering is that much more qualified to succor us, and to be our High Priest. Our miseries mold us for mission, our tests are transformed into testimonies, and our trials transport us to triumph. Through God's amazing grace our brokenness does not have to be final, but rather fitting us to fill vital spots on the mission field.
Prayer of Consecration

Father, today we acknowledge the call You have given us to mission that based on our peculiar past we have been prepared to perform. Grant us now Thy Holy Spirit we pray in Jesus' name, amen.

Charles Evans
To read and/or listen to Jeremiah 19 and to read other related blogs, please click here.
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Monday, 19 May 2014

Lessons From the Wood-Shop

This reading is based on Jeremiah 18 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

My very first job after high school was in a wood-shop. I did that for about four and one half years. On reflection there were some important things I learned during those years:

1. A chair never had to worry about how it was going to be built. That was always my concern - from design, to selecting material, to cutting, shaping, and sanding the pieces, to fitting it all together, to finishing it. In all this, the chair did nothing. I guess its the same for pottery, as it definitely is for our Creator/Redeemer God.


2. The ultimate test of competence came with doing repair work. That's the hardest; it takes great patience, and many persons shy away from that sort of job. It's always easier to start a job from scratch. Perhaps that's why, while the original creation of man took place within a 24 hour period, the work of sanctification is the work of a lifetime. I'm glad that God as the consummate Master Artist has tremendous patience and commitment to making a thing of beauty of my life. Moses captures it beautifully in Ex 34: 6, 7 " And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth/ Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin...."

3. Some materials are harder than others to work with; they require special attention. Sometimes, in view of certain recurring problems that I face, I feel like a particularly difficult material to work. It's again good to know that God has the expertise and willingness to work with my peculiar traits, and will yet make a thing of beauty of me.

Father in Heaven, it is comforting to know that it is not up to me to make myself worthy of life, but that that is Your gift of grace to me. Thank You for Your grace and mercy, and it is my desire to be in Your display window showing the world what they may become in Your hands. Use me I pray, amen.

Charles Evans

To read and/or listen to Jeremiah 18 and to read other related blogs, please click here.

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Friday, 9 May 2014

Begin With the End in Mind

This reading is based on Jeremiah chapter 8 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Prov. 16: 25
Until I discovered that the late bestselling leadership author, Stephen Covey, had written about "The Eighth Habit" I thought he was the consummate "Seventh-day Adventist" for his famous book, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." Of interest however is the second habit in the 7-pack he offered, "Begin With the End in Mind."
As if to jerk His people into the harsh reality of where the course they have chosen will lead them, the prophet Jeremiah and those involved in the canonization process were led to start the discussion in chapter 8 on the exhumed bones of the dead. The funny thing is that the bones remained dead - quite unlike the case with Ezekiel where the bones came to life again (Eze. 37).
The offer in the Plan of Salvation is that through the ministry of Jesus, who declared and demonstrated His power over death at the resurrection of Lazarus assured all who would believe in and follow Him, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." John 11: 25. It is within this spirit that Jesus is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life." John 14: 6.
Clearly outside of the Plan of Salvation would fall the appropriate caution of the wise man Solomon, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." This refers to the second death (Rev. 2: 11; 20: 6, 14; 21: 8). Pragmatism would dictate that upon deciding on a path to pursue, due diligence should be done to ascertain its after-death value. We need to ask ourselves, "Will this choice get me in the first resurrection, or the second" (Rev 20: 5, 6)? Stephen Covey did capture it quite succinctly, "Begin with the end in mind."
Dear God of the eternal future, thank you for going ahead and laying down plans for our future salvation. Thank you for establishing the process that by believing and following after Christ we'll "not perish, but have everlasting life," (John 3: 16), in His name amen.

To read and or listen to Jeremiah 8 and to read other related blogs, please click here.
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Thursday, 8 May 2014

"Tell me a Lie:" The Truth About Lies

(This reading is based on Jeremiah 7 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.)

"Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ‘The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these.’" Jer. 7: 4

The desperation to hear embellished (soothing) words instead of the often "harsh" and inconvenient truth that declares our preferred path, a sinful one, has driven persons to write songs like, "Tell me a Lie" - as penned by Barbara Wyrick and Mickey Buckins. Read how stupidly (yeah brazingly) desperate things get in this song, "Tell me a lie, say you're not a married man/ Even though I saw you slip off your weddin' band..."
The truth about lies is that, told long enough, lies will provide temporary satisfaction. But truth, as oil in water, will ultimately rise to the top and its unyielding requirements cannot be any longer ignored. Then will set in, disappointment, heartbreak, and death, for indeed lies are not sustainable.  The word of advice is, "Do not trust these lying words."
Scripture speaks of a time when life will be rife with mass multitudes who will find truth intolerable, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears." (2 Tim 4: 3). But such have their rewards coming.
Father in heaven, our desire today is like that of the unnamed Greeks who asked of Phillip, "Sir, we would see Jesus," (John 12: 21). This is Jesus, "The way, the TRUTH and the life." John 14: 6. It is as you expressed through Psalmist - we desire truth in our inward parts (Ps 51: 6). So to Jesus we sing, "Into my heart, into my heart, come into my heart Lord Jesus...."

To read Jeremiah 7 and other related blogs, please click here.
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