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Christian Concourse
Newsletter of the Month

June 2011

   

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We send you loving appreciation for your prayers and support. Many of you may not know that Dar is home, recovering from surgery last week to remove 1/3 of her small intestine to clear a blockage caused by an old operation. Gangrene had set in. She was in excruciating pain for two days while doctors tried to find the cause - they didn't know until they started the surgery. God Almighty saw her through! Our heavenly Father was very close to her in every moment of the nine day hospital stay. You could say we are embarking on a new level of fellowship with Him in our home as a result of this ordeal. We would deeply appreciate continued intercession as her recovery continues.

   

Knowing the Father's unwavering faithfulness and His enduring mercy, we trust each of you are doing well in body, soul and spirit. Of course, we also know that you are in the midst of struggles and trials - they come with the territory, don't they?! Jesus told us that we would have tribulations in this world. But, He added: "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). He also said, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." So, no matter how dark our cloud, because we have put our faith in the words and the work of Jesus, He outlines the storms with the joyous prospect of our eternal destiny. And to seal our hope in Him, to grant us the "know so" confidence in His guarantee to save us, and to empower us to live the testimony of His love, to those who ask, He has given His Holy Spirit!..."Christ in you, the hope of Glory!" (Col 1:27). What a wonderful, infinite gift He gives when we so naively ask for Him to come into our heart!

   

Saints, what are we doing with this Gift? Do you remember the parable of the Talents? (Review Matt. 25:14-30). One servant received five talents, one servant received two talents, and one servant received one talent. According to Nelson's NKJV Study Bible, in New Testament times, a talent was a lot of money, equal to 6000 denarii. A denarius represented one day's wages for the average worker. Today, in the U. S., the average wage is about $123.00 a day. That would make a talent worth about $738,000.00 in today's economy! This is NOT pocket change!
What did the Master say when He took an accounting of His investment to the three servants? He gave the same reward to both who had put His investment to work: "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master" (vss. 21-23, ESV). Remember what the servant who was given one talent did? He buried it. He buried it! What did the Master say to him? - "You wicked and lazy servant...!" (see vss. 24-30).

   

A prominent application of this parable focuses on the question of what we do with our personal relationship with God. John 17:3 says "And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (ESV). What is the most valuable thing in the world to a Christian? It's not "eternal life." It's not relief from our discomforts and inconveniences. It's not how much property we own, how many children we have, how much money we have in the bank, or how talented we are in sports, business or gardening. It's not that these things are "bad" or "wrong"...it's just that the most valuable thing in the world to a Christian is knowing the only true God...knowing Him in a dynamic, ongoing, conversational, loving relationship with the Father, through Jesus Christ, by the Holy Ghost!

   

So, again, we need to consider what we are doing with this Gift, this Great Talent from God -  "Christ in you!" What a pleasing return we offer Him on His "investment" in us when we hand over to Him all that we are; when we lay at His feet our whole life; when we surrender to Him reign over our property, our family, our money, our time and our natural talents for Him to use for the building of His Kingdom in the hearts of men!

   

And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels" (Luke 9:23-26 ESV).
 
How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? (Hebrews 2:3a ESV)

   

Please, take this letter today as an expression of our love to you. We go through struggles just like you; and we often stumble just like you. But this message comes to us by the Word of God and all of us need to hear it often and heed with renewed vigor. May it be so, Lord. Amen.

   

Love in Christ,

Jerry and Dar 

Jerry and Dar Johnson.

 

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