Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 21:45 | No Comments »

For most families, the Easter season is a time of happy memories—gathering eggs in little baskets, joining family for special meals, and dressing up in their Easter best. However, it’s also the most important holiday of the year for Christians. As a parent, you’ll want to teach your kids about the true meaning of Easter.

Here are 4 truths to teach your kids about Easter.

 

The Need for a Saviour

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

Romans 5:6

In order to appreciate the Saviour, our kids need to understand why He came. Teach your kids about the concept of original sin—that, because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, we are born with a sin nature.

Describe examples of everyday sin—disobeying Mommy, having a bad attitude, etc. Help them understand that they, too, have sinned. And don’t forget to explain God’s punishment for sin. At the local church’s prison ministry, we know that we can never meet God’s perfect standard. We needed a Saviour.

 

The Perfect Lamb

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

John 1:29

Next, teach your kids about the Perfect Lamb. Tell them that Jesus never sinned, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.“ (Hebrews 4:15) 

Take them back to Exodus 12, and tell the story of the first Passover. Explain that the Passover lamb foreshadowed the coming of a perfect Lamb. He would take away the guilt and stain of sin—not just for one year, but for all time. And tell them that Jesus was that Perfect Lamb.

 

The Willing Sacrifice

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

John 15:13 

One of the most remarkable truths of the Easter story is that Jesus didn’t have to die. He could have resisted arrest. He could have gotten off the cross and said, “Time out! I’m done now.” 

But, out of His great love, He stayed on the cross. He laid down His life so we could have life eternal. The Bible describes it this way, “…who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2) Make sure you explain that He willingly gave His life for ours. 

 

The Importance of the Resurrection

“But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” 

1 Corinthians 15:13-14

Finally, teach your children that the Resurrection is foundational for our faith. Because Jesus was God’s Son, the grave could not contain Him. After 3 days of lying in a cold tomb, He rose from the dead. And His resurrection gives us the assurance that someday, we, too, will rise (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18).

At the local church’s prison ministry, we are so grateful to live on this side of the Cross. We can enjoy the blessings of forgiveness, grace, and a close relationship with God. 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


Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 16:30 | No Comments »

Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t believe Jesus really rose from the dead,”? As Christians, we need to be ready to give an answer for what we believe. As we approach Easter, this is the perfect time to look at historical evidence for the Resurrection of Christ. 

Here are 4 proofs of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

 

An Empty Tomb

Three days after Jesus’ crucifixion, a group of faithful women visited the garden tomb. Yet they were shocked to find the stone rolled away from an empty tomb. Two angels explained to them, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen…” (Luke 2:5-6) 

Astonished, they returned to the disciples and told them what they had found. Peter and John also visited the tomb and found it empty, just as they had said.

News spread quickly throughout Jerusalem. Even though the priests tried to hush it up, the disciples boldly preached of the resurrection in Jerusalem. If Jesus had not truly risen, they could not have preached with such great success. 

Writer Matt Perman explains, “No one would be foolish enough to believe a man had raised from the dead when his body lay dead in the tomb for all to see.” The empty tomb gave credence to the disciples’ preaching.

 

Multiple Eyewitnesses of the Resurrected Christ

“And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.”

1 Corinthians 15:5-6

As Paul teaches in these verses, Jesus appeared on several different occasions after His resurrection. 


-He appeared to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18).

-He appeared to Salome, Joanna, the other Mary, and another woman (Matthew 28:1).

-He appeared to Simon Peter (Luke 24:34).

-He appeared to Cleopas and another disciple on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-15).

-He appeared to the eleven disciples minus Thomas (Luke 24:36-43).

-He appeared to the eleven disciples including Thomas (John 20:26-29).

-He appeared to disciples and a large gathering of people at a mountain in Galilee (Matt. 28:16-17).

-He appeared to James (1 Corinthians 15:7).

-He appeared to the disciples before His ascension to Heaven, 40 days after the Resurrection (Luke 24:49-53).

 


Although a small group of people could have agreed to lie about seeing a risen Jesus, it would be impossible to involve 500 people in such a plot. Jesus’ multiple appearances provide convincing evidence for the Resurrection.

 

The Disciples’ Transformation

When Jesus was in the grave, His disciples were fearful and confused. They worried about what the religious leaders might do to them. Instead of public preaching, they worshipped in secret.

“Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” (John 20:19)

After Jesus’ Resurrection, the disciples became so bold that they preached on the street, in the temple, and before the high priest. God even used them to heal people and work miracles. 

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)

The disciples changed dramatically because they believed their Saviour had risen from the dead. Many of them later became martyrs for their courageous faith.


The Growth of the Early Church

After Peter’s first sermon, which proclaimed the Resurrection of Christ, three thousand people were saved. Despite great persecution, the Early Church continued to grow and prosper. They sent out missionaries; they baptized converts daily; and they rejoiced in God’s goodness.

If Jesus had not truly risen from the dead, His followers would soon have given up preaching about Him. Their credibility would have been lost. Yet, the opposite happened. 

Thousands of years later, the Church has grown beyond the disciples’ wildest dreams. Millions around the world call Jesus Lord and Saviour. They have experienced His power firsthand…as their lives have been transformed by it. Marriages have been healed. People have found freedom from addictions and spiritual oppression. 

At the local church’s prison ministry, we are so thankful for the Resurrection power of Jesus that is available to every believer. And we rejoice in seeing how He can change lives!

 

He Arose

We hope this article has helped you understand more of the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. Feel free to contact us at the local church’s prison ministry with your questions or comments!

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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


Thursday, April 4, 2019, 19:06 | No Comments »

Have you ever thought about the fact that God existed before the universe began? It’s mind-blowing to think that God has always existed. Before time, before planets and stars, before people and animals, He was. And, even greater, He is entirely self-sufficient. The self-sufficiency of God is an attribute we don’t often think about. But it is vital for a proper understanding of God.
 

Here are 3 incredible truths about the self-sufficiency of God.
 

God is the Source and Sustainer of all life.

“For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” Acts 17:28
 
When Adam was formed in perfect clay, he lay motionless until God, “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7) Since then, each new life is a gift from God’s hand. Without His constant creation of new lives, mankind would soon die out. 
 
In Psalm 104, David wrote of God’s life-giving power over His creatures. “Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.” (Psalm 104:29-30) 
 
He also explained how God sustains all life on earth, “These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.” (Psalm 104:27) By His power, God not only provides food for all living things, but also keeps the rhythms and laws of earth running smoothly. Without His active involvement, life on earth would soon wither and die.
 
Yet, in His lovingkindness, He gives life to all creatures. At the local church’s prison ministries, this truth is so encouraging!
 

God is perfectly complete and self-sufficient.

“For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;” John 5:26
 
No human being can ever be truly self-sufficient. He will need God’s sun to shine upon him, God’s rain to water his crops, and God’s breath to fill his lungs. Without God, he cannot exist. 
 
However, God truly is, and always has been, self-sufficient. A. W. Tozer explains, “To admit the existence of a need in God is to admit incompleteness in the divine Being. Need is a creature-word and cannot be spoken of the Creator.” 
 
Because God is perfectly complete and mature, He has no need of improvement. He has no teachers, no governors, no advisers, and no providers. No circumstance can catch Him unprepared. No storm can cast the slightest wave over His ship. 
 
Unlike us, God is self-sufficient.  
 

God doesn’t need us.

“If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.” Psalm 50:12
 
And, as a natural result, God has no need for us. He would have been perfectly happy had we never existed. And He is perfectly capable of carrying out His plans without our assistance.  
 
As A. W. Tozer explains so well, “Probably the hardest thought of all for our natural egotism to entertain is that God does not need our help. We commonly represent Him as a busy, eager, somewhat frustrated Father hurrying about seeking help to carry out His benevolent plan to bring peace and salvation to the world…” (The Knowledge of the Holy, pp. 25). 
 
However, for His sovereign good pleasure, He chose to create us, to delight in us, and to send His Son to die for us. He gives us the inestimable privilege of knowing Him. He allows to worship Him. And He asks us to serve Him.
 
Knowing that God does not need us should not discourage us from giving our all for Him. Rather, it should free our minds from the weight of “helping” God. It should motivate us to serve God from a heart of love, not duty.
 
As Paul wrote, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
 
At the local church’s prison ministries, we want to serve God joyfully and let Him work through our lives. Will you join us? 
________________________________________________________________
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
 


Wednesday, March 27, 2019, 20:38 | No Comments »

Have you ever tried to shoot a moving target? If you’re a hunter, you know what I’m talking about. It takes skill, determination, and experience to successfully take down a moving deer, rabbit, or coyote. Likewise, in the Christian life, there are certain targets we need to shoot for. We are aiming for nothing less than a holy, consecrated life. What does a consecrated life look like? What targets are we aiming for?

Here are 6 marks of a consecrated life.
 

Forsaking sin

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13
 
To live a consecrated life, we must learn to hate sin. When the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, we need to confess it and forsake (turn away from) it immediately. Why is this so serious? “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” (Psalm 66:18) We cannot fellowship with God if we are tolerating sin in our hearts and lives.
 

Rejecting the world and its lusts

“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” Titus 2:12
 
To live a consecrated life, we need to be different than the world. Consecrated means “dedicated to a sacred purpose” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. For a Christian, consecrated means “dedicated to God’s service.” 
 
However, we cannot chase the world and serve God at the same time. Our faith should make a difference in the TV shows we watch, the books we read, the music we listen to, the clothes we wear, and the friends we spend time with. If you’re not pursuing holiness in these areas, you’ll soon find yourself slipping into worldly ideas and values. And it’s a slippery slope, friends.

 

Eagerly obeying God’s Word

“But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” Luke 11:28
 
To live a consecrated life, we need to eagerly obey God’s Word. In the Bible, “hear” meant not only understanding what God said, but also obeying it. If you are a born again Christian, the Holy Spirit will help you understand God’s Word. For example, He may show you that you need to forgive someone who’s hurt you. Or He might remind you to tithe 10% of your income. When you hear God’s Word, you are accountable to obey it. And God will richly bless you for doing so! 
 

Cheerfully serving others

“If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.” John 13:14
 
To live a consecrated life, we must serve others. Although Jesus could have told His disciples to wash HIS feet, He stooped down and gently washed their dirty feet. He reached out His hand to heal grimy beggars and bless sticky children. He was not concerned with His own happiness. Instead, He served others lovingly and gladly. How can you follow His example by serving someone today?
 

Forgetting ourselves 

“Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.” 1 Corinthians 10:24
 
One of the most difficult aspects of the Christian life is forgetting about yourself. Naturally, we tend to think of ourselves first. What would make us happy? What would be best for us? 
 
However, God calls us to a radically different attitude. He wants us to ask, What would our spouse like best? What would make my sister/brother/friend/neighbor happy? What do they need?
 
When we shift our perspective from serving self to serving others, we will find incredible joy in ordinary life. It is satisfying to serve others. It’s rewarding to feel the smile of God when you’ve served with the right heart. Don’t miss out on the joy of serving others! At the local church’s prison ministry, we love to serve one another.
 

Seeking God 

“O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;” Psalm 63:1
 
To live a consecrated life, we need to seek God. Without Him, we simply cannot live the Christian life. We can’t forsake sin or reject worldly lusts in our own strength. We don’t have the power to obey God’s Word and serve people who don’t care. And we certainly aren’t good at forgetting ourselves and putting others first. 
 
However, when we seek God, we will discover more than just the strength to do all of the above. We’ll discover the incredible, life-changing love of God. We’ll taste and see that the Lord is good, and that He is more than enough to satisfy our souls. We’ll gaze on His glory in the Scriptures. And we’ll rise up from our devotions with the strength to live for Him today. 
 

What About You?

Are you aiming to live a consecrated life? If so, which of these targets do you need to focus on right now? Let us know in the comments! And join us at the local church’s prison ministry for encouragement and teaching from God’s Word.
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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
 
 


Sunday, March 17, 2019, 17:33 | No Comments »

When the news about John and Betty Stam leaked out of China, it sent shock waves around the globe. The young missionary couple had only been in China two years before they were captured by the Communist Red Army. Their daughter, Helen Priscilla, was only 3 months old at the time. The brutality and atheism of the Communists were well known. What fate would they suffer at the hands of the Red Army?

What would happen to young missionaries John & Betty Stam?
 

Background

While Helen had grown up in a missionary family in China, John was born into a Dutch immigrant family in the United States. His parents founded the Star of Hope Rescue Mission in Paterson, New Jersey. Both John and Helen accepted Christ during their youth and felt called to a lifetime of ministry. 
 
To train for ministry, they both enrolled at Moody Bible Institute. There, they met and fell in love. While John felt a definite call to missionary service in China, Betty was torn between serving lepers in Africa or working in China. She surrendered her future to the Lord, and He led her back to China.  At the local church’s prison ministries, we want to know God’s will for our lives and follow it.
 

Ministry in China

After graduating, Betty was accepted with the China Inland Mission and returned there to serve as a missionary. A year later, John graduated from Moody and was happily reunited with Betty. They were soon engaged and took wedding vows in October 1933.
 
The happy couple began to share the gospel in the Anhui province of China. In the evenings, they would hold evangelistic meetings in the villages. During the day, they would travel to nearby communities for evangelism. 
 
In September of 1934, John and Betty welcomed a daughter into the world. Helen Priscilla Stam was a constant delight to them. And, soon, when they were promoted to their own mission station in Jingde, their happiness was complete. They were aware of Communist activity nearby, but it did not seem like a serious threat. They were confident that God had led them here and would keep them safe.
 

Capture by the Red Army

One fateful day in December 1934, John and Betty heard gunfire in the distance. Soon, Communist soldiers pounded on the door of the Stams’ home. After eating the tea and cookies that Betty served them, the soldiers arrested the young family and took them to prison.
 
John was ordered to write a letter to the China Inland Mission. He began, “Today at Jingde, my wife, child, and I fell into the hands of the Communists. They demand a ransom of twenty thousand dollars for our release…As for us, whether by life or by death, may God be glorified.”
 
The next day, they were transferred to a rich man’s home, which served as a temporary prison. Annoyed by the baby, the soldiers talked about killing her. A Chinese criminal who had just been released begged them not to kill little Helen. They threatened, “Then it’s your life for hers.” He said, “I am willing,” and was killed immediately. 
 
It is difficult to imagine how John and Betty must have felt that night…knowing that they were staring torture and death in the face. It was not so bad to suffer themselves, but what about baby Helen? Early the next morning, Betty wrapped tiny Helen in warm clothes and pinned extra diapers and two five-dollar bills inside her garments. She hid the baby in a small sleeping bag and left her in the house. 
 
Within hours, John and Betty were marched down the street to face the executioner’s sword. They were taken to Eagle Hill, outside the village, and were ordered to kneel. John was beheaded first, and then Betty. They were the 73rd and 74th martyrs of the China Inland Mission.
 
About thirty hours later, baby Helen was discovered by a local pastor. She was unharmed and safe, and Chinese Christians spirited her away to a missionary hospital. She was called the “Miracle Baby” because of her incredible escape. A Christian doctor examined her and found her in perfect health, and she was taken to her mother’s parents, Reverend Charles and Clara Scott. She lived there for 5 years before returning to the States.
 

A Powerful Legacy

When news spread of John and Betty’s martyrdom, both Chinese and foreigners were appalled. The Chinese governor of their province ordered an official reburial of the Stams, which was attended by both Chinese and consular officials. 
 
Western Christians were heartbroken over the loss of this young missionary couple. Letters, condolences, and donations for baby Helen flooded the China Inland Mission headquarters. Several families even offered to adopt the young baby. Hundreds of newspapers around the world told the story of John and Betty’s martyrdom, thus sharing the Gospel they preached.
 
Seven hundred students at Moody and two hundred at Wilson College offered themselves in Christian service, promising to be faithful event to death. And many people volunteered as missionaries to China. Seven years later, the first 5 converts from Jingde were baptized on Eagle Hill by a Chinese pastor. Where the Stams’ blood had flowed, precious fruit sprang up from barren ground.
 
Only eternity will reveal the untold fruits of John and Betty’s brief, courageous ministry. As Jesus said in John 12:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” In their martyrdom, John and Betty brought forth more fruit than they ever could have in their life.
 

What About You? 

God may not call you to serve on a foreign field or lay down your life to the executioner’s sword. But He calls you to take up your cross daily in obedience. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) Will you take up your cross today? Join us at the local church’s prison ministries to learn more.
________________________________________________________________
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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