Wednesday, February 13, 2019, 15:01 | No Comments »

In honour of Valentine’s Day, I want to draw your attention to one of the most romantic stories in the Word of God…the story of Ruth and Boaz. It’s a Cinderella story of a Moabite girl who had nothing but a servant’s heart. Yet, by God’s matchmaking grace, she became one of a handful of honoured women mentioned in the genealogy of Christ. 
 

Here’s what Ruth teaches us about love.
 

Love does not seek its own.

After Ruth’s husband died, her Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi, encouraged her to remarry. She told her, “Go, return each to her mother's house: the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.” (Ruth 1:8) Now that the famine had ended, Naomi was planning to return to Israel.
 
Yet Ruth knew that Naomi would need an able young person to help her. It was no easy task to make the long journey and to find food and shelter. Ruth made up her mind to return to Israel with Naomi, and nothing could discourage her. In one of the most memorable speeches in the Bible, Ruth said,
 
“Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” (Ruth 1:16-17)
 
With these words, Ruth not only declared her loyalty to Naomi, but she also expressed her faith in Naomi’s God. Even though she was a Moabitess, she had embraced the God of Israel as her own. No wonder she had such remarkably selfless love! Her devotion to Naomi motivated her to give up her own future to serve her mother-in-law.
 
Like Ruth, we ought to seek the good of others first.
 

Love serves.

When Naomi and Ruth reached Bethlehem, barley harvest was just beginning. According to Jewish custom, impoverished people could gather the leftover grain after the reapers had collected most of it. This provided food for those who could not afford it. 
 
Because she and Naomi needed food, Ruth began to glean in the field of Boaz. She worked tirelessly from sunup to sundown. On her shoulders rested the burden of providing for herself and her mother-in-law. Yet the Bible never records her complaining or doubting God. Instead, she faithfully served Naomi with a sweet spirit.
 
Like Ruth, we ought to serve others unselfishly.
 

Love is kind.

Although the Bible doesn’t come right out and say it, the story of Ruth looks very much like love at first sight. When Boaz noticed Ruth in his field, he asked the supervisor, “Whose damsel is this?” (Ruth 2:5) 
 
After learning her identity, he approached Ruth and showered her with unexpected kindness. He told her to keep gleaning in his field and offered her protection. He shared his food and water with her at mealtime and even ordered his servants to drop extra handfuls for her on purpose. 
 
For a wealthy landowner, this was highly unusual behaviour. However, Boaz recognized her integrity and courage. He told her, “It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband…The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.” (Ruth 2:11-12) At the local church’s prison ministry, we want to keep trusting God, too.
 
Like Boaz, we ought to show kindness to others.
 

God rewards true love.

After finishing the harvest, Ruth went back to live with her mother-in-law. Perhaps she lay awake at night, wondering what her future held. Yet, God had a wonderful surprise in store for her.
 
In Ruth chapter 3, Naomi advised Ruth to go to Boaz and reveal her true identity. According to Jewish law, the closest relative of Ruth’s husband could marry her and take over her husband’s property. Because he was a near kinsman, he could have that right. However, he might not want to marry Ruth. What if he had other plans?
 
Ruth followed Naomi’s counsel and approached Boaz humbly. Surprised, he told her, “Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter…And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.” (Ruth 3:10-11) 
 
After ensuring that he was the closest willing relative, Boaz took Ruth to be his wife. Soon after, God blessed them with a son, whom they called Obed. This son would someday be the father of Jesse and the grandfather of King David.
 
Like Ruth and Boaz, we need to love others even if it looks like we’re on the losing end. True love is not looking for a reward. Instead, it’s seeking to be a blessing to others. Jesus told His disciples,
 
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6:38)
 
At the local church’s prison ministry, we want to give to others without expecting anything in return. That’s what Jesus did for us!
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Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message here on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!

For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email anchorofhopeheb@gmail.com
 


Tuesday, February 5, 2019, 22:18 | No Comments »

Have you ever felt frustrated because life changes so fast? When you finally get used to new things, they change again! People, circumstances, possessions, culture, and more continue to change at a rapid rate. However, God never changes. Today, we’re going to learn why (and what it means for you and I). 
 

Here’s what you need to know about God’s immutability.
 

What does immutability mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, immutability means “not capable of or susceptible to change.” Why doesn’t God change? According to A. W. Tozer, there are 3 possible ways for a moral being to change. He may become morally better, grow morally worse, or change within himself in a non-moral quality. However, because God is perfect and fully complete, “His perfections forever rule out any such possibility,” wrote Tozer.
 
Now, let’s take a look at 3 practical ways that God never changes. 
 

He is always good.

“Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually.” 
Psalm 52:1
 
Since the beginning of time, God has always been good. He never lowered His standards or bent His rules. He always acted in perfect righteousness and holiness.

When Jesus walked this earth, He was accused of many things. But His enemies’ accusations could never stick. Even the secular governor Pilate told the Jews, “I find no fault in this man.” (Luke 23:4)

 

He is always faithful.

“Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.” 
Psalm 119:90
 
God’s faithfulnessis His reliability. When He begins something, He will finish it. When He promises something, He will do it. When He creates something, He will take care of it. 
 
One year after God promised a child to Abraham and Sarah, they cradled a son in their arms.
Hundreds of years after Messianic prophecies were written, Jesus fulfilled those prophecies to the letter.
Thousands of years after Creation, God continues to sustain life on our planet.
 

His mercy will endure forever.

“O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”
Psalm 136:1
 
As Christians, we know that our sins are forgiven. We all deserve death and hell forever, but God’s mercy withholds the punishment we deserve. That is because we have turned from sin and believed on Jesus. Join us at the local church’s prison ministries to learn more.
 
But, what if God’s mercy did not last forever? What if it only lasted a few hundred years? As sinners, we would be in big trouble! We would have no way to pay for our sins or justify ourselves in God’s eyes.
 
However, the wonderful truth is that God’s mercy DOES endure forever. We can trust Him!

 

What does God’s immutability mean to us?

We can find comfort and strength in knowing that God never changes. As A. W. Tozer wrote,
 
What peace it brings to the Christian’s heart to realize that our Heavenly Father never differs from Himself….He is always receptive to misery and need, as well as to love and faith. He does not keep office hours nor set aside periods when He will see no one. Neither does He change His mind about anything. Today, this moment, He feels toward His creatures, toward babies, toward the sick, the fallen, the sinful, exactly as He did when He sent His only-begotten Son into the world to die for mankind.
 
God’s great love for mankind, and particularly for His children, never changes. His ear is bent to hear our prayers, and His heart is willing to forgive our sins. His hands are outstretched to the repentant sinner and the weary saint. 
 
In addition, Tozer remarks that God will not compromise or answer selfish prayer. Do we want to know God, to walk with Him, and to have Him answer our prayers? “We have but to meet His clearly stated terms, bring our lives into accord with His revealed will, and His infinite power will become instantly operative toward us in the manner set forth through the gospel in the Scriptures of truth,” teaches Tozer. 
 

He is always the same.

As the waves of time surge around our feet, what a comfort to know that we stand on the Rock that never changes. As the author of Hebrews wrote, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8) At the local church’s prison ministries, we are so thankful that our God never changes. Join us to learn more!
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Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message here on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!

For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email anchorofhopeheb@gmail.com
 
1. Tozer, A. W. The Knowledge of the Holy, Chapter 9. 
 


Wednesday, January 30, 2019, 14:45 | No Comments »

Have you ever asked yourself, “Can we lose our salvation if we turn away from God?” Or have you ever committed a serious sin and wondered, “Can God forgive me for even this?” Christians often have serious struggles with this topic because they don’t know what the Bible teaches about it. At the local church’s prison ministries, we believe that, once saved, a person is always saved. Today, we’re going to look at what God’s Word says about salvation. This concerns those who have been truly born again.
 

Let’s answer the question, “Can a Christian lose their salvation?”
 

Jesus’ work is the foundation of our salvation.

First, who or what made it possible for you to be saved in the first place? Was it your own good works? Was it your church attendance or Christian background? No, the Bible teaches that nothing we can do is good enough to pay for our sins.
 
Only Jesus’ death on the cross can pay the penalty for our sins. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
 
Because our salvation completely depends on Jesus, it cannot change no matter what we do. No good work can add to our salvation, and no sin can take away from it. 
 

Jesus promises us eternal security.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28)
 
In these verses, Jesus is talking about saved people. This means people who have repented of sin and believed on Him for salvation. Jesus gave them eternal life, and He promised that no one could steal them out of His hand. 
 
According to the Bible, Jesus is faithful. He keeps His promises. The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:12, 
 
“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”
 
If you are saved, then Jesus is the One responsible for keeping your soul secure. And He will never fail you.
 

Jesus will keep us from falling.

Often, Christians worry about losing their salvation because of a particular sin they have committed. Or they look at believers who are rebelling against God and ask, “Are they truly saved?” 
 
However, a true believer will sometimes go through periods of disobedience. This does not mean that they are not truly saved. Only God can see the heart. 
 
If a person is truly saved, they may suffer serious consequences and God’s hand of discipline. To those who believe a Christian could do anything they want once they are saved, the Lord promises chastening to those who are His but do not want to follow Him. But they cannot lose their salvation because of sin. 
 
The Bible describes how God keeps true believers secure in these verses.
 
“Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:5
“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:” Philippians 1:6
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,”Jude 24
 
From these verses, we can see that God’s power keeps us from losing our salvation. We can trust Him to keep us saved.
 
At the local church’s prison ministries, we are thankful that we cannot lose our salvation. God has promised to keep His children secure, and He always keeps His promises. What a wonderful God we have!
________________________________________________________________
Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!

For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email anchorofhopeheb@gmail.com
 


Tuesday, January 22, 2019, 22:30 | No Comments »

Many of our great hymns of the faith have heart-warming histories. Born out of the daily struggle, toil, and victory of saints before us, they ring through the ages with truth.
 

Here is the story behind the timeless hymn hymn “My Jesus, I Love Thee.”
 

With its poignant lyrics and simple melody, this sweet hymn has become a favourite with many Christians. But did you know that it was actually penned by a Canadian teenager? 

 

A Young Convert

On July 24, 1846, William Ralph Featherston was born in Montréal, Canada, to Methodist parents. His family attended the Wesleyan Methodist Church. As a young man, William accepted Christ as his personal Saviour. Join us at the local church’s prison ministries to learn how you can do this, too.
 
Even at his young age, William’s love for the Lord was unusually deep and mature. As you read through the first stanza of his famous hymn (first written as a devotional poem), you can see his desire to please God. He realized that, in order to love Jesus, he would have to give up personal sin and deny himself.
 
My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
 
In the second stanza, he explored the wondrous truth of the gospel. He expressed his deep thankfulness for Jesus’ sacrifice.
 
I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree;
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
 
With all the strength and fervour of his youth, he purposed to praise his Saviour with every breath he took. 
 
I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now. 
 
As he closed the hymn, William looked forward with eyes of faith to the day when he’d see Jesus face to face.
 
In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
 

An Instant Favourite

According to some historians, young Featherston mailed the poem to his aunt in Los Angeles. Recognizing its potential, she submitted it for publication. It first appeared in print (though anonymously) in The London Hymn Book in 1864. 
 
Sadly, William’s time on earth was short-lived. At the tender age of 27, he entered the presence of the One he loved so much, Jesus Christ. History tells us that he may have left behind a wife and young child. But he also gave us the legacy of a cherished hymn.
 
Several years after William’s death, Adoniram Judson Gordon (named after the famous missionary) added a melody and re-published it. Later, he composed a new melody for the lyrics and published it in its modern-day form in the 1876 hymnal The Service of Song for Baptist Churches.
 
Since then, it has become a favourite with believers across the world. Its clear and honest lyrics are the testimony of a heart that loves Jesus. At the local church’s prison ministries, we love singing this hymn.
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Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message here on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!

For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email anchorofhopeheb@gmail.com 


Friday, January 18, 2019, 18:57 | No Comments »

Ever since the slippery serpent tempted Eve, Satan’s favourite tactic has been deception. If you’ve already accepted Jesus as your Saviour, Satan knows he can’t steal your soul. But he can do his best to ruin your testimony, destroy your life, and make you miserable. 

Read on to learn 3 truths that Satan doesn’t want you to know.

 

1. Sin always steals from us.

Have you ever thought that you can sin and “get away with it”? Because many people believe this lie, they are unafraid to sin. When they experience no immediate consequences, they become even bolder in disobeying God’s Word. 
 
However, they have forgotten the principle of sowing and reaping. When you sow a tomato seed, you cannot expect a tomato immediately. First, you must wait for it to germinate, sprout, blossom, and finally produce a mature tomato. 
 
Although we may not see immediate effects from one sinful choice, we will always reap what we sow. Paul wrote in Galatians 6:8,
 
“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” 
 
Here are just a few of the consequences of sin in our lives:
-It breaks our fellowship with God. (Psalm 66:18)
-It steals our joy. (Psalm 51:12)
-It can cause physical stress, anxiety, and actual illness. (Psalm 32:3-4)
-It hurts our relationships with others. (1 John 2:11)
-It enslaves us. (Romans 6:6)
 
When we consider these consequences of sin, we realize that sin is not as fun as it looks. At the local church’s prison ministry, we believe that it’s never worth it to disobey God.
 

2. Obedience brings us joy.

In addition to telling us that sin is fun and harmless, Satan also tries to tell us that obeying God is extremely boring, too hard, and completely joyless. That’s a pretty good sales pitch, isn’t it? 
 
Looking back on your life, how would you describe the times when you obeyed God? Did you regret choosing to follow Him? Or did you find yourself strangely at peace, filled with a quiet happiness, and satisfied in the knowledge that you had done the right thing?
 
No matter how loud the devil may shout, obeying God will bring us joy. Unlike the pleasures of sin, it comes with no hidden regrets or guilts. Jesus described it this way:
 
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love…These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:10-11)
 
Have you been delighting in obeying God? Have you been experiencing true joy in Him? If not, choose to obey Him wholeheartedly from now on. And ask Him to fill your heart with His joy. 
  

3. God never stops loving us.

While each of his lies are dangerous, Satan’s most deadly lies are his lies about God. He tries to persuade us that God is not really good, or trustworthy, or faithful.
 
And, horror of horrors, he tries to convince us that God’s love depends on our behaviour or circumstances.
 
“God won’t love you anymore,” he whispers. “Look at what you’ve done!” 
 
Sometimes, in our darkest moments, we listen. And we pull away from God, hurt. 
 
Is this the right way to respond? Not at all!
 
When such thoughts enter our minds, we must learn to reject them immediately. We must replace them with the truth from God’s Word.
 
The apostle Paul, who’d been both Christ’s worst enemy and one of His greatest preachers, had discovered the truth. He wrote…
 
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
 
Are you, like Paul, fully persuaded of God’s love for you? If not, ask Him to show you how much He loves you. Ask Him to spell it out in words, sounds, colours, and circumstances unmistakably written by a Heavenly pen. And prepare to be amazed! 
 
At the local church’s prison ministry, we are so thankful for God’s love for us.

Let’s Chat:

Have you been tempted to believe any of these lies before? What truths from God’s Word have encouraged you to trust God instead? Let us know in the comments!
________________________________________________________________
Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message here on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!

For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email anchorofhopeheb@gmail.com
 
 


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