He is Not Done With Us Yet!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you” (Philippians 1:21-24 KJV).

God cannot use us in heaven until He is done with us on earth!

Recently, a Christian brother was telling another believer and myself that he was ready to go home to heaven. He was tired of the struggles and troubles. He longed to meet a certain loved one in heaven. But, he explained how he was able to share the Lord Jesus Christ with a lost person not long ago. It was then that the thought struck him. God had not taken him home yet because He was still using him for His glory!

Beloved, the same could be said all of us. Our time, talent, prayer lives, material goods, and so on, we can all use them to further the name of Jesus Christ in some way or another. First Corinthians chapter 12 describes how one Body of Christ is actually many members working together. All parts are needed. Sadly, a lot of Christians wrongly believe it is not their responsibility to share Jesus Christ with others. They think that it is the “pastor’s job,” the “evangelist’s job,” and the “Bible teacher’s job.” If that were true, I am quite sure all the non-pastors, all the non-evangelists, and all the non-teachers would have been taken to heaven by now!

Our Apostle, Paul, in today’s Scripture, wanted to “be with Christ,” which is “far better.” It was better than a prison in Rome. Yet, he put aside his selfish desires. He preferred to stay on Earth, for many people still needed to benefit from his ministry. There were still sermons to be preached, more Scripture to write, more people to meet. Yes, we all long to go to Heaven, but until we find ourselves there, may we be content staying until Father is done with us on Earth! 🙂

May Ye Be Cheerful Givers!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:6,7 KJV).

Dearly beloved, we take this opportunity to let you be “cheerful givers!”

We serve many pastors, local churches, ministries, Bible teachers, and other Bible students. Some have recently and kindly inquired about how they could support us financially. After extensive planning, and various delays, we have now established a secure donation website via PayPal. Our ministry has grown much these last 10 years, but I have never mentioned donations until now. For 4½ years now, 333 Words of Grace has been a free ministry/Bible service to you. It will continue to be free and will always be free (as long as I am living), but we are incurring some operating costs (bills). We have financial needs that must be met at this point. Friend, if you are benefiting from this ministry, we now allow you an opportunity to help us. Please prayerfully consider supporting us financially. Whatever amount and however often is irrelevant but greatly appreciated. What matters most is that, if you do give, give “cheerfully.” And, rest assured, your donations will certainly not go to waste.

During these last few years, ministry has taken up more and more of my time and energy. When we first began many years back, I wrote a handful of Bible studies a month. Currently, I produce—at minimum40 written Bible studies a month, not including replies to our emails. As you can imagine, that is an extremely demanding schedule, crammed with prayer and Bible study. It now prevents me from having outside employment for the time being. The necessity for print materials (booklets, books, et cetera) has also arisen, particularly for those who want to use and distribute our material without internet access. In the future, we do plan on becoming a legally recognized (United States) non-profit organization, so that we may better serve you. That too will require some financial commitment. Again, friends, it will be up to you how far along we will get this year in the ministry. Thanks ever so much, and we look forward to serving you in the future. Now is your chance to show your gratitude! Praise our Lord Jesus Christ! 🙂

Philippians 4:17: “Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.”

1 Timothy 5:18: “The labourer is worthy of his reward.”

You may give securely by visiting the following website:
https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux
(This “PayPal – Donate Now” link has also been added to our homepage.)

In Christ, Shawn Brasseaux (2 Corinthians 5:20)

Final Flight

Friday, January 29, 2016

“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:13,14 KJV).

How our “now-now-now,” “me-me-me” society needs to hear this verse!

Gregory Jarvis, a Hughes Aircraft specialist and engineer, was scheduled to fly the Space Shuttle Columbia on January 12, 1986. His task was to accompany a communications satellite into space and ensure its launch. However, before launch, a politician replaced him, and Jarvis was bumped down to the next space shuttle launch, Challenger’s January 22 launch. When Challenger finally took flight six days later—exactly 30 years ago yesterday—just 73 seconds into its launch, it exploded over 18 miles above earth, killing all seven crewmembers, including Jarvis. What tragic irony!

Life is uncertain in almost every which way. Friendships and marriages come not with a lifelong guarantee. Accidents and sudden illnesses can render you immobile, temporarily, or for life. House fires can consume all that you own. Thus, 1 Timothy 6:17 reminds us not to “trust in uncertain riches.” What you have today may very well be gone tomorrow. This is particularly true of your earthly life (today’s Scripture)… and especially your soul!

Gregory Jarvis knew not the future. Mission 51L, the 25th space shuttle mission, was supposed to have been another successful mission. Unfortunately, it would be Challenger’s last mission, and Jarvis’ too. Consider the ill-fated February 1, 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, whose 13th anniversary we approach. Its seven-member crew had no idea they were taking their final flight either. Were any of these astronauts and payload specialists ready to meet their Maker? Most probably were not.

“…NOW is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Not tomorrow—NOW—for tomorrow you have not been guaranteed. Why not trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone as your personal Saviour today? Why not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for your sins today? Then, when your final flight comes—especially if it comes tomorrow—you will be prepared!

We Have Seen Strange Things Today! #2

Thursday, January 28, 2016

“And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day” (Luke 5:26 KJV).

What did these people see that was “strange?”

As Jesus taught and healed people, a group of men brought a paralyzed man on a bed (verses 17-19). “[20] And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. [21] And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? [22] But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? [23] Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? [24] But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.”

Notice verse 22. How could Jesus reveal the thoughts of the scribes and Pharisees? Who alone but God can read minds? (Those were some shocked people indeed!) Jesus is validating His identity: He is their Messiah, and God the Father has given Him the power to accomplish His will on earth! He can heal Israel of her sin problem. Note the next verse: “And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.”

How quickly did the sick man rise up? After Jesus prayed and laid hands, and prayed some more? After accepting a “collection” from the man? After the man had enough faith to be healed? No, the Bible says “immediately.” And the Bible says Jesus looked at the faith of the people carrying the man, not the faith of the man. It was nothing like those phony “healing” campaigns on “Christian” television networks! Christ said, “Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.” That paralytic instantly jumped up from off his sick bed and walked home glorifying God. Yes, God’s Word is “powerful” (Hebrews 4:12)…able to do the most extraordinary things! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who is the ‘them’ of Romans 5:14?

We Have Seen Strange Things Today! #1

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

“And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day” (Luke 5:26 KJV).

What did these people see that was “strange?”

Let us begin in context: “[17] And it came to pass on a certain day, as he [Jesus Christ] was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. [18] And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. [19] And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.”

While Jesus Christ is teaching, and healing the sick, the hypocritical Pharisees and Mosaic-Law scholars are watching Him to catch Him in a mistake. Meanwhile, certain men are attempting to bring in a bed on which a paralyzed man lies. They want Jesus to heal him, but crowds blocking the entrance into the building keep them outside. So, these men—undeterred—climb on the rooftop and lower the sick man’s bed down through the ceiling, right before Jesus: “[20] And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. [21] And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”

Jesus forgives the man of his sins, thereby angering the Pharisees and scribes. This Jesus of Nazareth is claiming to be the JEHOVAH God of the Old Testament! They finally have Jesus in a tight spot, or so they “think.” Too blind to see it, they do not know that paralyzed man symbolizes them (Israel), spiritually paralyzed, unable to do anything. But, just like the paralytic, God can heal Israel, too. Note how verse 21 obviously indicated Jesus Christ is God Himself manifested in human flesh!

But, Christ will awe them again shortly….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did John 10:16 predict the Church the Body of Christ?

Hated Without a Cause

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

“But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause” (John 15:25 KJV).

No marvel the world hates us Christians—they hated Christ first!

On the night of His arrest, our Lord uttered a long discourse (John chapters 14-16) to His disciples in the upper room. In that light, we read today’s Scripture in context:

“[18] If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. [19] If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. [20] Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. [21] But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. [22] If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. [23] He that hateth me hateth my Father also. [24] If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. [25] But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law [Psalm 69:4], They hated me without a cause.”

While these verses were not spoken to or about us, the world persecuting believing Israelites parallels the world persecuting us believers today. The commonality is the Lord Jesus Christ, who indwells both born-again Jews and the members of the Body of Christ. “For to me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21). “Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20). Lost people do not hate us personally; they do not realize it, but they hate Jesus Christ who lives in us. Let it be for that reason alone that they hate us. May we not be hated for acting obnoxious, contentious, or unrighteous! 🙂

333’s 1700th – The Reign of Grace

Monday, January 25, 2016

“Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:20,21 KJV).

Dearly beloved, devotional #1700 is here!

Readers, friends, and brethren, these last 4½ years (!) have been quite a learning experience for us all. With each passing day, we are moving onward and upward in the Holy Scriptures. For years, we were spiritually starved in denominational systems. Whether we were lost and sitting in spiritual ignorance, or saved and sitting in spiritual ignorance, praise our Lord Jesus Christ that we have been delivered from that mess!

Today’s Scripture says the Mosaic Law was instituted to point out “the offence.” The Law is God’s straight line (righteousness) to manifest our crooked one (sin). Still, in His grace, He sent His only begotten Son (Jesus Christ) to die for our sins, resurrect, and give us eternal life—His life! Sin only leads to death, but by Jesus Christ, grace will reign through righteousness unto eternal life. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). We have daily victory over sin by simply relying on Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork. The grace life will be manifested in us and through us who believe!

As our world rushes toward more uncertainty, more problems, more error, and more darkness, let us not lose sight of what really matters—the eternal Word of God being deposited into our eternal souls. We have all been privileged to take a few minutes here every day—for 1700 days nonstop!—to look at the preserved words of God. We were all wondering if our Saviour would come in 2015. He has not come yet, of course. Whether or not He comes in 2016, we must be about our labor in Him. More studies must be written about the grace of God in Jesus Christ, and more people must be reached with it. May we all continue to let grace reign in our Christian lives!

Beloved, thank you for your prayerful support, and onward to #1800! 🙂

(NOTE: By the way, we have some VERY exciting ministry news to be revealed in the coming weeks!! Please stay tuned!!!)