The Garment of Praise

[The Lord hath given] the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. —Isaiah 61:3

Jesus Christ came to bring good tidings to a sin-sick world. He brought spiritual healing and deliverance to souls bound for hell. Where there was mourning and sorrow, there is now joy and peace. Where there was a spirit of heaviness and oppression, Jesus offers a garment of praise.

It is a choice people make whether they will maintain a spirit of heaviness in sin or whether they will open their burdened heart and allow Jesus to give them rest and peace. The Lord desires to wrap His children in a garment of praise that will bring glory and honor to the Father.Read more

We Shall All Be Changed

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. —1 Corinthians 15:51

Paul wrote to the saints at Corinth to encourage them to be faithful to the Lord. Some will be dead and others will be living at the time of Christ’s return. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye…the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52).

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The Minister’s Wife

Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. —1 Samuel 25:41b
Abigail’s above response to David’s marriage proposal demonstrated a willingness to serve in humble places, even in washing the feet of the servants. There are many ministers’ wives who are daily living out Abigail’s expression. They quietly work without pay or recognition while serving the people around them. The life of a minister’s wife has a unique set of challenges and she should be honored and respected for her life of sacrificial service. Minister’s wives fill a unique role in the body of Christ and are to be valued.

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God Knows You Need These Things

What shall we eat? …. or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? …. Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God….
 —Matthew 6:31-33

Dedicated, full-time gospel workers will often experience financial hardship and even poverty as they labor to promote the richer treasures of Christ rather than the mammon of this life. While time and talents should be fully invested for the furtherance of the kingdom of God, money is necessary to live in this world. God is well aware of this reality and will not forget His servants in their time of need. Ministers of the gospel must be willing to suffer while maintaining a steadfast faith that God has promised to provide those necessary things. In times of difficulty, our trust must rise beyond the present need in acknowledging that God has a higher purpose and plan.Read more

A Spectacle Unto the World

God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.  We are fools for Christ’s sake….  —1 Corinthians 4:9-13

The apostle Paul paints a vivid picture of the trials and suffering of the apostles in 1 Corinthians 4:9-13. It is an encouragement and challenge to devoted ministers of the gospel.

Paul alludes to the Roman practice of bringing gladiators, armed with weapons, into the amphitheaters to fight wild beasts. If the gladiators survived, they were later disarmed and left defenseless before beast and man to be killed. If they escaped, they were eventually forced to contend with another assailant that would bring certain death. Ministers of the gospel may as Paul suffer many trials, persecutions, false accusations, poverty, and sufferings in this life; but it is an honor to be counted worthy to suffer for the name of Christ.Read more