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Are You Bitter?

Is there someone in your life who has offended you, insulted you, or did you physical, economic, or emotional harm? How long ago? How often?

Do you still have thoughts about him/her, or do you rejoice, and are you glad?

If you still have thoughts about him/her, you are probably “bitter.” If so, you are not able to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:2).

Please write and request a copy or copies of the booklet How to Be Free From Bitterness. You can also download it from our website: ccmbooks.org. If you would like to talk, please email me or call me to set up an appointment. My contact information is: jimwilson27@frontier.com and (208) 882-4383.

The Heart: A Contrite Heart

Here is another post on the heart by Bessie, taken from a column entitled "The Heart" which was published in The Hammer (a CCM magazine) years ago. I will be posting a few more in the future.

A Contrite Heart

by Bessie Wilson

For this is what the high and lofty One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” (Isaiah 57:15)

God is very explicit in His Word regarding the conditions under which He reveals Himself to man. He is transcendent (that is, He is above and beyond His creation). He is also immanent (indwelling). He chooses to indwell those who are contrite and lowly in spirit.

Why does God emphasize the heart as the important part of man? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve”(Jeremiah 17:10).

The heart is the inmost…

Are You Literate?

Are you literate?

Or better, can you read?

Or better, do you read?

If the answer is “yes,” to any of the above, when was the last time you read all of the New Testament, or any of the New Testament? Did you understand what you read?

Ask us(http://www.ccmbooks.org/) for a copy of How to Read the New Testament in 67 Days and a New Testament. They are free! Please send us your mailing address.

In the Lord Jesus Christ,

Jim Wilson

Changing the World

From 1945 to 1956 I was on active duty in the US Navy. I was a patriot, a Christian from 1947, and loved my country, the Navy, and sea duty. I saw action in the Korean War from 1950-1953.

In 1956 I resigned my commission realizing that my faithful service in the Navy would not change the world, but preaching the gospel would.

On Tuesday night it was again apparent to me that living and preaching the gospel is the solution, not he the election of one of two natural men. (I did vote, but not for either presidential candidate.)

Please join me (and many others) in proclaiming the good news. Feel free to ask me how.

I teach evangelism in my home (114 S. Howard Street, Moscow, ID) on Saturdays at 3:00 PM. See you there.


In the Lord Jesus Christ,

Jim Wilson

Loyalty

Loyalty: Unswerving allegiance.
a) Faithful in allegiance to one’s lawful sovereign or government.
b) Faithful to a private person to whom fidelity is due
c) Faithful to a cause or custom

The common word in the above definitions is the word faithful. However, there is a big difference between the words “loyal” and “faithful.” “Faithfulness” is a fruit of the Spirit. It is God-given. “Loyal” is a humanist word. It does not show up in the King James Bible and is only twice in the NIV. It is not a fruit of the Spirit. It is the fruit of a place of birth (Yankee fans, Doger fans, Steelers or Cowboy fans), tradition, flag waving, marching bands, pep rallies, indoctrination, songs, and speakers like Hitler and Castro. In other words, it can be caused by something other than the Holy Spirit. We can be taught to be loyal with the assumption that “loyalty” is good. We can be taught to be loyal to a denomination. “I was born a ___ and I will die a ___.” Even if the Holy Spirit left the d…

The Neglected Qualification

by Jim Wilson

Many years ago my wife and I heard a message that we took very much to heart. It was preached at our wedding. The message had been given first more than 3,000 years earlier to a people who did not take it to heart. It was part of Moses’ final talk to the new generation.

"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth." (Deuteronomy 11:18-21)


There was very little application of this teaching by the people of Israel in the Old Testament. I have also observed hundreds of Christians, senior to me, contemporary to me and j…

The House Church

House churches still exist. They are existent because of
1) persecution and the consequent necessity to be secretive;
2) financial necessity. There is not enough money to rent, build, or buy;
3) the size of the church. There may be enough money, but there are not enough people to warrant a separate building used only a few times a week;
4) on principle. It is better to have forty house churches or twenty-five people each, than it is to have a building for one thousand people. The house churches will reach the city faster than the big church. They can double in size, divide, and multiply.

The house churches are not dependent on a gifted, high-powered pastor, nor a big, professional staff. In fact, they may not have a staff at all. They minister to each other. They are by nature family oriented. If they do require a pastor supported by the congregation full time, it need not be a financial burden.

If the church is made up of ten families, each of which has an …

Of Leadership

by Jim Wilson

God, in his goodness and grace, called me to be an evangelist, pastor and teacher. These different responsibilities have been mine for over forty years both in and outside of churches. During these years I have been aware of unpleasantness in some churches. Here are a few general examples:

• the pastor has been an autocrat;
• the pastor has been called to a “pastor-eating church;”
• the church is “owned” by one or two families who “hire” and “fire” pastors—who “chew them up and spit them out;”
• the church finds it easy to “choose up sides” within the church.

People tolerate, condone and allow all sorts of irregularities in a church until they are in excess. Then the Christians get angry and endeavor to correct the situation with bitterness, anger and clamor(1). The correction is not done in a Christian way. Correction must be done gently, spiritually and with all planks removed.

"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore…

MEDITATION AND IMITATION

“I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you,” Psalm 119:11. There is a kind of Bible study that goes beyond reading, synthetic Bible study, Bible memory, group Bible study, Old Testament references in their context and subject studies. Meditation is more mystical and practical. That may sound like a contradiction. Let me tell you what it is not. It is not looking for some deeper, hidden meaning. It is not looking for a codified arrangement of the text, or numerology. And it is not saying the plain meaning of the text that we got from our previous reading and studying is not the right meaning. We probably got the right meaning and we can repeat it back. We know the text! What, then, is this kind of Bible study? Well, it is not our understanding; it is where we understand it. Do we understand it in our heads or do we understand it in our hearts? Most study ends up in head knowledge. In other words, if we were given a lab examination on what we ha…

An Excerpt from the Book “Heart Cry for Revival”

“It was 1904. All Wales was aflame. The nation had drifted far from God. The spiritual conditions were low indeed. Church attendance was poor, and sin abounded on every side.
“Suddenly, like an unexpected tornado, the Spirit of God swept over the land. The churches were crowded, so that multitudes were unable to get in. Meetings lasted from ten in the morning until twelve at night. Three definite services were held each day. Evan Roberts was the human instrument, but there was very little preaching. Singing, testimony and prayer were the chief features. There were no hymnbooks, they had learned the hymns in childhood; no choir, for everybody sang; no collection, and no advertising.
“Nothing had ever come over Wales with such far-reaching results. Infidels were converted; drunkards, thieves and gamblers saved; and thousands reclaimed to respectability. Confessions of awful sins were heard on every side. Old debts were paid. The theater had to leave for want of p…

The Power That Backs Us

In the early 1950’s Dawson E. Trotman wrote of a visit to Germany in 1948. It is in the booklet The Need of the Hour (copyright 1957, 1975 by the Navigators):

I invited fifty German fellows to meet with me for three days, and twenty-five of them came. I talked to them every evening for three hours beginning to lay before them the Great Commission and the idea that I felt Germany not only needed to hear the Gospel, but that Germans themselves needed to obey the Great Commission by sending missionaries.

I gave them the opportunity to ask questions during the meetings and every once in awhile a hand would go up. I was trying to lay upon their hearts the very thing the Lord laid on the hearts of the disciples when He told them to go to every creature, make disciples of every nation, start in Jerusalem and go to the ends of the earth. One German spoke up, “But, Mr. Trotman, you don’t understand. Here in Germany some of us right in this room don’t even have the Old Testament; we only h…

The Name of Jesus

In 1927 E.W. Kenyon wrote The Wonderful Name of Jesus (copywrite 1998, Kensington's Gospel Publishing Society). The following is the first paragraph of the book, followed by the fourth chapter,(I have left the punctuation as it was published):

Several years ago I was holding meetings in a city in Tennessee. One afternoon, while giving an address on “The Name of Jesus” a lawyer interrupted me, asking:
“Do you mean to say that Jesus gave us the ʻPower of Attorney ʼ the Legal Right to use His Name?”
I said to him, “Brother, you are a lawyer and I am a layman. Tell me–did Jesus give us the ʻPower of Attorney?ʼ
He said, “If language means anything, then Jesus gave to the church the Power of Attorney.”
Then I asked him, “What is the value of this Power of Attorney?”
He answered, “It depends upon how much there is back of it, how much authority, how much power this Name represents.”
Then I began the search to find how much power and authority Jesus had.


It might be a he…

Ministering on the UI campus

In recent days we have had a free book table on the University of Idaho campus. One of those days we had a sign at the end of the book table that said “You Have to be Bad to Go to Heaven.” A student came up to the table and began and continued to turn over each book so the back cover was up. Out of curiosity we asked him why he did this. He replied, “If I have to be bad to go to heaven, I thought I would do something not very bad so I would be sure to go to Heaven.” I assured him that he had already qualified with a minimum of badness long before he turned over books. I asked him what his background was. He said that he had been baptized Roman Catholic. Soon he asked if I knew what Unitarian was. I assured him I knew. He said, “I am Unitarian.” “You just told me you were Roman Catholic.” “In Unitarian you can believe anything and it all counts.” I changed the subject and asked him, “If I believe the earth is flat and that the sun revolves around the earth, does that make …
“Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20)


This is such an obvious truth that we think no one would do such a thing. It is dumb, and the consequences are “woe.” They are anti-moral but said to be moral. Let's look at a few of these “dumb” things, since Isaiah wrote them in the eighth century B.C.

In the United States alone we have said it is a good thing to kill innocent people. God says He hates it.

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”
(Proverbs 6:16-19)


We have murdered millions of innocent people by saying, “it is good.” Many nations are now doing the same with the unborn, saying it is good. He…

Liars

Over the years, I have noticed a phenomenon. That is that liars want to be known as truth tellers. They insist on it. A truth teller does not care that people do not believe him. He is secure in knowing that he told the truth. The liar will not rest until the hearer tells him that he believes him. His security is in people believing him, not in that he told the truth.

Liars are deathly afraid of being called liars. Even when the liar has evidence presented to him to show him that you know what he said is false, he will still insist that he told the truth. He lies about his lies. He lies to himself and believes himself. The liar has great difficulty telling the truth and great difficulty believing the truth. The Bible says it this way, “evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (II Timothy 3:13).

CCM has just created a Kindle version of Assurances of Salvation! You can find it here:

http://www.amazon.com/Assurances-of-Salvation-ebook/dp/B007V96UAM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334864280&sr=8-1

Or you can download a free PDF version here: http://www.ccmbooks.org/?i=14114&mid=17

In all Christian religions there is a promise of salvation. The promise may be conditional, or it may be positive, but it will be based on doctrine or works.

This little booklet gives nine biblical, experiential evidences of salvation. When a person compares his experiences with these described in the Bible, he may come to one of several conclusions:

1. He thought he was not saved, but he finds out that he is.
2. He thought he was saved, but finds out he isn't.
3. He thought he was not saved, and that is confirmed.
4. He thought he was saved, and now he knows that he is.

"These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal…

In the Eye of the Beholder

By Bessie Wilson

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye." (Matthew 7:1-5)

Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” We have all heard this verse quoted so often to quell criticism that our mouths are closed and the person using the quote goes away satisfied.
There are two dangers in the misuse of Jesus’ statement:

1. We fail to read on to the end of verse five to see that we need to see clearly before we “remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Phillips renders it vividly in ver…

The Heart 6_Stubbornness

By Bessie Wilson

We have all known the frustration of dealing with a stubborn child or adult who will not respond to reason or argument. We know what stubbornness is even if we cannot define it. The dictionary lists many synonyms for this word such as obstinate, mulish, pig-headed, stiff-necked, arrogant or defiant. Like so many other English words, the definition of stubbornness has gone through a transition. The original meaning of the word included such good qualities as sturdy, fixed, resolute and unyielding. However, today the emphasis seems to be on the negative aspect of the word.

So it is in the Bible. When speaking to King Saul, the prophet Samuel said, “For rebellion is like the sin of divination and arrogance (stubbornness in KJV), like the evil of idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:23, NIV). What was the sin of Saul in this case? He insisted on his own way while declaring that he had obeyed the Lord (1 Samuel 15:20). Perhaps verse 12 gives us a hint of this when Samuel heard…

The Heart 5

By Bessie Wilson

"O that their hearts were inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!" (Deuteronomy 5:29)


Moses is quoting the Lord in these words as we see from verse 28, “and the Lord said to me.” We need to pause long enough to hear the yearning heart of God over His people. He longs to see His people fear Him and keep His commandments. It seems to burst from Him in an exclamation, “O that there was such a heart in them,” yearning, loving and seeking. It is an aspect of the character of God we rarely consider. We find it also in Jeremiah 29:11,

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

And here in Deuteronomy 5:29 the thought is the same, “that it might be well with them and with their children forever.”
I have often said in my teaching…

The Heart 4

By Bessie Wilson

"Let us draw near to God with a sincere [true in KJV] heart…having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience." (Hebrews 10:22 NIV)


Hebrews is a reasoned treatise explaining how Christ fulfilled all the Levitical Law in offering Himself as a sacrifice for sin. On the basis of all that Christ did for us in opening a new and living way (10:20), the exhortation follows: let us draw near to God.
I have been impressed so often with this thought and have mentioned it enough that our daughter Heather made a cross-stitched sampler of this verse which now hangs on my bedroom wall. I am still hoping and waiting for someone to put it to music because it sings in my heart, and I think it needs expression.
I have been so taken, however, with the thought of drawing near that I have neglected the part of the verse that gives our responsibility in the drawing near. We are to draw near with a sincere heart. How are we to have a sincere heart?...Having…
To all of the Saints on the West side,

The Lord willing I will be in Mountlake Terrace from March 3rd through March 10th teaching in different places.

We will start off with a UI/WSU Christian alumni reception at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 3rd, at Calvary Fellowship, 23302 56th Ave., Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043.

Here is a website to track my schedule: http:///www.gordyandjana.com_jims_schedule.html

I may not know some of you or remember those I should know. I am 84, shorter and fatter, so you should be able to find me. Pass the word on to friends.

Please pray for me.

Jim Wilson

The State of America

Here is a political statement made by Charles Dickens in 1859 about per-revolutionary France in 1775. It was made in The Tale of Two Cities:

"France, less favored on the matters spiritual than her sister of the trident and shield, rolled with exceeding smoothness downhill, making paper money and spending it.”

From Dickens' perspective, the United States is also less favored spiritually. We have the symptoms of per-revolutionary France. We are rolling with exceeding smoothness down hill, making paper money and spending it.

The Heart 3

By Bessie Wilson

The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. (2 Chronicles 16:9, KJV)

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. (NIV)

Asa, king of Judah, had been a reformer. According to 2 Chronicles 14 he was actively engaged in removing idolatrous practices from Judah with a call to his people to “seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, and to obey his laws and commands” (14:4).
Asa’s army was victorious over the Cushites, and his prayer before the battle explains why in verse 11 of chapter 14:

Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. O Lord, you are God; do not let man prevail against you.

In the fifteenth year of his reign, his reforms continued even to the extent of deposing hi…

The Heart 2

By Bessie Wilson

This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. (1 John 3:19-20)

What is it that helps us set our hearts at rest in His presence? The preceding verse (verse 18) establishes the context: “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” The immediate context is that if we see a brother in need and we have no pity, the question is, “How can the love of God be in us?”

Years ago, just after Mother’s Day, a friend (the wife of a pastor) told me that her young daughter had defied her and gone to a public park. She was wondering how to handle this when the child returned. My friend had been folding clean laundry and was about to take it to her daughter’s room when she remembered the loving card received on Mother’s Day. She put it on top of the laundry, took it to the room and handed th…

The Heart

These next two posts are from a column entitled "The Heart" which was published in The Hammer (a CCM magazine) years ago.

The Heart
by Bessie Wilson

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23

Whether we know it or not, all of us have had or have at present heart trouble. Whatever part of the spiritual anatomy the heart represents, the Scripture is clear that it is the seat of the emotions, one’s very being from which thoughts, words, and actions proceed. Jesus said,

What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean. (Mark 7:20-23)

The prophet Jeremiah gave God’s diagnosis:

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart and examine the mind. (Je…

Heart ‘e-Value-ations’

By Bessie Wilson

The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.” (Luke 16:14-15)

God knows our hearts! This can be either a comforting or a terrifying thought. Jesus first analyzed the Pharisees’ attitude (“You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men”) before He told them that God knew their hearts. Then He clarified it even more by saying that this attitude before men was a very poor standard because what men put a high value on was detestable in God’s sight.
What is highly valued among men? Perhaps by itemizing some of the things men value we will see that we have, in some cases, allowed the world to press us into its mold. However, we can, by His grace, stop this and instead be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Then we will be able to test and approve what God…