Author: John Page 2 of 110

Your Birthday

John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:6-7 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”

John 3:16 “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.”

Leap Days are a chance to consider God’s marvelous creation.  The earth travels around the sun at a pace that is almost exactly 365.25 days.  Our solar calendar requires a Leap Day every four years (with a few exceptions) to keep our dates aligned with our seasons.  But for some, it creates an interesting dilemma related to the date of their birth.

Those born on a Leap Day only see their actually birthday date every four years.  Unlike some fictional plot lines, these individuals don’t actually age much more slowly than the rest of us.  But legally, when is their birthday?  Do they reach the status of full adulthood on 28 Feb or 1 March?  Are they legally able to drive on the last day of February or the first day of March?  The answer to these questions differs depending on the nation whose relevant case law dictates the answer.

Regardless of the date of your physical birth, there is an even more important date – the day of your spiritual birth.  Jesus Christ reminded the Pharisee leader Nicodemus that a man must be born again to see the kingdom of God, not by being physically reborn but by being born of the Spirit.

As we consider the interesting anomaly of Leap Day, may we consider the weighty truth of being born again.  As we talk about Leap Day to others, may we use it to discuss the significance of Jesus’ mandate – ye must be born again.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE SPIRITUAL TRUTHS WITH THOSE AROUND US.  The day of your physical birth is a day to celebrate, but the day of your spiritual birth is a day to rejoice in our Saviour, whether it is on Leap Day or during the rest of the regular calendar.

Moved With Compassion

John 3:16 “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.”

Matthew 9:36 “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”

Mark 1:40-41 “And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.  And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will:  be thou clean.”

It is a magnificent thought to consider that Christ came to be the Saviour of the world.  It is amazing that Christ is moved with compassion on the multitudes.  He deeply and compassionately loves His human creation.

Yet, it is a supernaturally stunning thought that He deeply and compassionately loves us as individuals. He is moved with compassion by us – not just us collectively but us individually.  He loves the world, but also loves the whosoever.  He came to save the world, but that means saving individuals.  Our Saviour is personally and intimately interested in us, no matter who we are and what we have done. 

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO BE MOVED WITH COMPASSION BY THE STRUGGLES OF THE INDIVIDUALS AROUND US.  Our Saviour is moved with compassion by the challenges of the lowliest among us – so must we!

With My Soldiers

(Guest contributor – Chaplain Scott Foust)

Matthew 20:28 “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

In 2015, while serving at Ramstein, Germany, I received an assignment notification, indicating I would be reporting to … drumroll … the 11th Operations Group at Arlington.  I wondered two things: 1) Why am I being downgraded from a Wing to a Group?  2) What Air Force base is in Arlington, TX?  Come to find out, it was not Arlington, TX; it was Arlington, VA.  Furthermore, it was definitely not a downgrade; it was a special opportunity to serve at Arlington National Cemetery.  I was not even aware that we had Air Force chaplains at Arlington, but we do!  The Arlington mission is basically all about conducting funerals for Air Force members and their dependents.  It may sound depressing, but I spent three of my favorite years at Arlington, and I would be open to returning, should the United States Air Force ever decide to send me back!

Whenever an officer is buried at Arlington, he/she is eligible for a “Full Honors Funeral,” which includes not only a team of pall bears, a rifle team, and a bugler to play “Taps,” but also something like a “parade,” which involves a military formation—to include the Air Force Honor Guard, the Air Force Band, and a caisson (a spectacular-looking horse-drawn carriage)–marching approximately one mile from what’s called a “transfer point” somewhere in the cemetery to the burial site.  Our marches often took us past Section 1 of the cemetery, where you catch a glimpse of how officers from early on practiced a version of one-upmanship, when it came to choosing their headstone.  The headstones were getting bigger and gaudier until the government stepped in and began regulating them.

One of the heroes buried at Arlington is General John “Black Jack” Pershing.   You know why he’s called “Black Jack”?  Because in 1898, during the Spanish-American War, he led a cavalry of black troops, who took San Juan Hill.  This helped propel Pershing to notoriety.  Eventually, General Pershing was promoted to Commander of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I, and then to General of the Armies.  Until that time, the only other person with that rank had been George Washington!

Pershing died in 1948, at the age of 87.  Before his passing, he picked out his headstone.  If anyone could have gone big and gaudy, it was General Pershing.  But, that wasn’t his style.  Instead, he asked for a standard government-issue headstone, the same as any private.  Moreover, he could have had been buried at any of the prime locations within the Cemetery.  Yet, he pointed to the section where his enlisted troops had been buried and made the following request: “Here let me rest among the World War veterans.  When the last bugle call is sounded, I want to stand up with my soldiers.”

My prayer is that those of us who’ve been called to lead God’s children will never view ourselves as being “above” them or “beyond” them, but that we will live and lead—and even be willing to die—”with” them!  PLEASE PRAY TO BE A MINISTER TO THOSE AROUND US.  Always be willing to proudly stand up with our life’s fellow soldiers.

The Great Fault

Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

Luke 18:1 “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint”

George Müller, the Nineteenth Century British evangelist stated the following: “The great fault of the children of God is, they do not continue in prayer; they do not go on praying; they do not persevere.  If they desire anything for God’s glory, they should pray until they get it.  Oh, how good, and kind, and gracious, and condescending is the One with Whom we have to do!  He has given me, unworthy as I am, immeasurably above all I had asked or thought!”

It is easy to get dismayed and discouraged by the environment around us.  In Twenty-first Century America, there are plenty of things that should rightfully raise our concern.  There is divisiveness and discord, strife and sin, meanness and maliciousness, and contentiousness and corruptness all around us.  It is easy to throw up our hands and throw in the towel. The situation seems hopeless.

Yet, are we praying for revival in this land as we should?  Are we coming boldly unto the throne of grace?  Are we knocking with importunity?  Are we faintlessly praying?  Are we seeking God with a continuing spirit of perseverance? 

Until we do, there is more for us to do to reverse the errant direction of this land.  PLEASE PRAY FOR AN AMERICAN REVIVAL WITH PERSEVERANCE AND IMPORTUNITY.  If we fall prey to the great fault of passiveness and prayerlessness, then the dire situation in this land is actually our fault.

Piercing Through the Uncertainty of Transition

Joshua 1:6-9 “Be strong and of a good courage:  for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.  Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee:  turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that though mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein:  for then thou shalt have good success.  Have not I commanded thee?  Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:  for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

Moses had just died, and Joshua had been named the leader.  This new young leader had been given clear direction, to bring the people into the promised land.  The entire situation was characterized by the uncertainty of transition.  Yet, God had very clear assurance to punctuate His calling. He repeated it multiple times in four short verses – be strong and courageous in Him!  This clarity was divinely designed to pierce through the concerns of uncertain transition.

Life is filled with uncertain transition: birth and death, success and failure, stagnation and acceleration, regression and progression, health and sickness barriers and opportunities. It includes new relationships, new jobs, new burdens, new homes, new struggles, new skills, and new expectations. Uncertainty and transition are the only aspects of life that stay the same.  God’s calling may be thrusting you into a new role or prodding you across your own Jordan River.  It will sometimes take you across town or around the world.  Regardless of the type of uncertain transition you are facing, God repeats again-and-again a clear assurance to punctuate His calling – be strong and courageous in Him!  This clarity is divinely designed to pierce through the concerns of uncertain transition. 

PLEASE PRAY FOR STRENGTH AND COURAGE TO HANDLE THE UNCERTAIN TRANSITIONS OF LIFE.  God-given clarity is divinely designed to pierce through any of your concerns.

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