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Big Dream Ministries exists to help people understand the Bible as God's amazing Word and help them apply Biblical truth to their daily lives. We do this by offering studies that drive people to the Scriptures for answers and equipping leaders with excellent resources to reinforce learning.
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Keep up the good work, Moms!!! 

In a sample of Barna’s 2019 research on Households of Faith1, moms were at the top of the list of who teenagers trusted to talk to about life problems and spiritual matters. In all areas of spiritual life – going to church, talking about God, teaching the Bible – moms were identified as the “main spiritual coaches for teens.” This message is consistent with well-known theologians in history: John Newton, Hudson Taylor, Charles Spurgeon, and even John Piper. They all proclaimed the significance of their mothers in their spiritual development.2 

The Apostle Paul also gave significance to the impact of moms when he commended Eunice and Lois to his protégé, Timothy. Their deliberate teaching of the Scriptures and modeling wisdom led to Timothy’s salvation in Jesus Christ. His mother and grandmother, respectively, provided the spiritual development Timothy needed for life as a Christian, in spite of the fact that his father was a Greek and not described as a believer (2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15).   

It will look different for each mom, but being genuine with your faith and intentional to instruct your children in spiritual disciplines will have an eternal impact on their lives.  

Happy Mother’s Day 

1 https://www.barna.com/research/moms-christians-households/  

2 https://www.challies.com/articles/christian-men-and-their-godly-moms/ 

Written by Pat Harley

Based on John 11:1-44

We are in the midst of a pandemic. Around the world as of this morning, there have been over 200,000 deaths from the Coronavirus. It makes no difference if one is rich, powerful, poor, or even destitute. The virus is no respecter of persons and makes no differentiation between social classes or bank accounts. At present, no weapon, no medication or vaccine can take it down. It is a ruthless enemy. And behind every one of those deaths is a home where loved ones are grieving, their lives changed forever.

Two thousand years ago, there was another home with a family who was grieving deeply. The two sisters knew there was a cure for the disease their brother was suffering from, yet they were unable to procure it. And so as days went by, they simply had to sit by helplessly and watch their brother, whom they loved dearly, slowly slip away unto death.

It was enormous sorrow – certainly sorrow over their great loss, yet that sorrow was intensified, because the cure was none other than the One they had accepted as the Messiah, and He was their dearest friend. They had witnessed His power. They had heard amazing stories from reliable witnesses about healings from disease, from demon possession, and paralysis. It had been His very words that had raised the young man in Naim, raised him right out of a coffin. They had heard about the leper whose body had been completely healed and cleansed. The disciples had told them about the calming of the storm and the feeding of the five thousand. And yes, they had believed every one of those stories. They had believed without a doubt that Jesus was the Christ, sent from God, and the Son of God.

Lazarus Suffered

They had enjoyed His company and friendship, but they had never needed His power until now. And so, as Lazarus lay suffering, the sisters cried out to Jesus through an anguished message. “Behold, he whom you love is sick.” And then they waited, knowing surely He would come at once. But Jesus did not come. The hours of suffering continued as life gradually slipped away. And then … Lazarus was dead. Anguish, Loss, Confusion, Doubt. No more chances for healing; all hope was gone.

And so, the sisters wrapped Lazarus’ body in strips of cloth layered with the accustomed spices. Some of the men then carried his body to the family tomb, laid it on a cold stone slab, and rolled the stone across the opening. Done. The end.

Almost a week went by. No word came from Jesus. Then after six days, Martha heard that He was coming to Bethany and their home. She went to Him immediately and spoke the words that had plagued her for days. “Lord if You had been here my brother would not have died.” But clinging to the last bit of faith, she continued, “Even now I know whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”

And Jesus responded, “Your brother will rise again.” But Martha continued, seeking perhaps answers, perhaps an explanation, most likely seeking HOPE.

“I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”

And then Jesus spoke words of comfort, assurance, joy, TRUTH. Words so important for us today as we are surrounded with sorrow and grief and fear death.

“I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE: HE WHO BELIEVES IN ME LIVES EVEN IF HE DIES.”

Within the next few hours, Jesus would once again show His awesome power, and yet in a way he had never done before. Mourners once again gathered at Lazarus’ tomb along with the sisters. Jesus, even as Martha objected, asked that the stone be rolled away. And then Jesus spoke, no commanded. “Lazarus come forth.” And in a moment, death was replaced with life, mourning with joy, and doubt with robust faith, for death had been conquered and Lazarus was alive.

The Resurrection and the Life Are For Us

As I sat under the awning, reserved for family members at my mother’s grave during the funeral, the casket resting just above the open grave, I was overcome with sorrow and loss. I had prayed for healing for Mom. I had prayed that she would walk again and enjoy life for a few more years. That prayer was not answered. But then as I looked upon the opened grave that was before me, the Lord brought to mind those same words He had spoken to a sorrowful sister some two thousand years ago. Only this time my name was inserted into the sentence. “Pat, I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. HE WHO BELIEVES IN ME SHALL LIVE EVEN IF HE DIES.”

And then I envisioned Mom, not with limbs twisted from debilitating disease, but whole and joyful and free of pain and suffering. It was a glorious picture but one that was real because Momma KNEW Jesus. And at that moment she was more alive than she had ever been, never to face death again. She was with her Savior and there was LIFE. And for me those words brought immense comfort, abundant comfort for such a sorrowful heart.

At Easter, we celebrate the empty tomb. It is an awesome reminder that he has indeed overcome death and for those of us who believe, death truly will be swallowed up, and we will be fully alive, fully healed, and fully at home with the One who gives life to enjoy Him forever.

The Savior Is Calling

The Savior IS calling to all of us, not just during a terrifying pandemic, but every day. Come to Me. I AM the resurrection and the life…even if you die you will live.

Life is such a struggle at times! There are real battles going on around us. The world is so unsettled, especially now with the pandemic impacting all facets of human life. The current virus may be new for our generation, but the Bible tells us that early in the creation story, a war was waged against humanity. A war without and a war within. The evidence is all around us. The world we live in is anything but peaceful, with an enemy who desires to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). As if that is not bad enough, personal struggles with sin keep us from thriving.

But there is good news! You can have faith over fear and be victorious over the battle. You can overcome whatever battle you are facing through the powerful love of God. He is not surprised by any situation you are facing. In fact, He will equip you with everything you need for victory.

Discover the battle plan God revealed in the story of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, through the Invincible Love, Invisible War Bible study. The six-week Bible study is an overview of the entire Bible, which highlights the war we encounter and the love that triumphs over it.

You will discover who the battle is really against and have access to the weapons to prevail. You will realize that the promised future victory is available today.

When you follow God’s battle plan, you will avoid the despair and hopelessness that many people find themselves consumed by. But rather, you will live confident in the plan, knowing God is always in control. You will recognize that you are a part of a much larger story that God is weaving throughout human history – a story of an invincible love that is victorious over an invisible war.

Are we in a battle? Absolutely! But we can live victoriously!

There are heroes on the frontlines of this war against the COVID-19 virus that is threatening every nation – one person at a time. They are health care workers! Doctors, nurses, lab specialists, imaging techs, and therapists of all types are in a hand-to-hand combat to diagnose and treat patients against the deadly and highly contagious disease. Working tirelessly, often with limited supplies, the medical teams are trying to help as many people as possible. The emotional toll of watching patients struggle to regain health is enormous.

Behind the medical team who are working directly with the infirmed, is an army of support workers keeping the medical facilities operating – transportation, food preparation, sanitation, supply logistics, to name a few.

These virus-time heroes ae not deployed away on assignment, they go home to their loved ones. The risk of exposure is near certain, even with precautions.

Our prayer is for divine protection from contracting any illness – for both them and their families. We are asking for strength and stamina, along with supernatural rest. May they sense the overwhelming support from the community and be encouraged in the Lord. And above all, may they recognize the healing of God through their work.

Join us in praying Psalm 138:6-8 for medical workers to be saved from the enemy of illness.

Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly;
    though lofty, he sees them from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    you preserve my life.
You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes;
    with your right hand you save me.
The Lord will vindicate me;
    your love, Lord, endures forever—
    do not abandon the works of your hands.

May God keep you and your family healthy and safe.

Churches were told to shut the door of their building without warning. The abrupt halt of ministry as usual has Pastors and their leadership teams scrambling to adapt to the situation. The burden for their congregations is heavy. We are praying for churches, pastors, and ministry leaders.

Psalm 86:11-12

Teach me your way, Lord,
    that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
    that I may fear your name. I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify your name forever.

We are asking God to guide you in wisdom as you formulate ways to minister to your church body and your communities. We ae asking the Lord to provide all that you to do what He has purposed you to do.

May you be strengthened in the Lord as you creatively minister to the many needs surrounding you.

 

The virus is not a social condition that we must endure. It is an illness that is affecting human lives. Daily, the numbers tell us how many people have contracted the disease. But what the numbers don’t say – is how many people are experiencing symptoms at home yet are unable to get testing. Beyond the COVID-19 virus, people are still dealing other illnesses that makes them particularly susceptible to the new coronavirus. Social isolation is an absolute imperative to keep people healthy. Yet, social isolation makes the situation so much more difficult for the sick as they now must go through medical testing and procedures without their support system. The psychological toll is also growing as a result.

We NEED a miracle from God to stop the pandemic and the ripple affect it is having in the lives of families and the world at large. We NEED Jesus to HEAL the masses as recorded in Matthew 14:13-14.

Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.”

This is our prayer! God still heals, He is the miracle worker who we seek. A couple of days ago, a friend asked us to pray for a young pastor who was hospitalized with the virus. His family was told to make final arrangements because the prognosis was not good. Two days later, he is doing better. As we pray for his continued improvement, we also pray for everyone who are suffering. We invite you to pray Psalm 77:11-14 with us for those who are sick and infirmed.

I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
    yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all your works
    and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

Your ways, God, are holy.
    What god is as great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles;
    you display your power among the peoples.

Let’s remember the healing miracles Jesus has performed and beseech Him to do it again. If you are joining us in prayer or if you have someone specific you are seeking healing for, let us know in the comments.

#PrayerChangesThings #FaithOverFear #BibleTruth

Churches were told to shut the door of their building without warning. The abrupt halt of ministry as usual has Pastors and their leadership teams scrambling to adapt to the situation. The burden for their congregations is heavy. We are praying for churches, pastors, and ministry leaders. The words of Psalm 86 is a simple prayer for the Lord to guide the leadership teams, to give them a godly focus that is not divided with fear, and to lead them to praising Him.

Psalm 86:11-12

Teach me your way, Lord,
    that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
    that I may fear your name. I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify your name forever.

We are asking God to guide you in wisdom as you formulate ways to minister to your church body and your communities. We ae asking the Lord to provide all that you to do what He has purposed you to do.

May you be strengthened in the Lord as you creatively minister to the many needs surrounding you.

If you would like your church, ministry, or pastor specifically prayed for, put their name in the comments or simply respond with “yes.”

Not long ago, Crawford Lorritts offered the opening address for the Moody Bible Institute’s Founder’s Week Celebration. In his message, he explained that the Bible must be the context from which Christians live, not the culture. The emotions that the culture stirs up in individuals must be set aside to look at the truth. Truth doesn’t change, but our emotions change how we respond to it. I couldn’t agree more.

But how is the Bible supposed to be the context of our lives when our current culture is so far removed from when the Scriptures were written? We have a 21st century understanding of the world and reading even the New Testament with a modern point of view can be difficult to fully grasp. After all, why are hair and hats worth discussing in 1 Corinthians 11? How is it that slavery still exists after the resurrection (Colossians 3:22-25)? And what’s the harm of having a replica of a statue (Ephesians 19:26)?

There are realities of the early church that are vastly different from the realities of today.

We cannot assume that we can fully understand the core of what is being communicated unless we know the circumstances of the original message. Who was delivering the message and to whom was the message delivered? Were there any specific situations or issues that were being addressed? If so, why?

These are important questions, especially when reading the epistles. The Apostle Paul delivered his message to be received by the audience he was addressing. He used images and examples that they would understand and relate to in their own lives. By his second missionary journey, he had developed a pattern of sharing the gospel in his ministry journeys. Upon entering a new city, Paul and his traveling companions would enter the synagogue to share with the Jews that the Scriptures had been fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 17:2-3). As a “Jew of Jews,” Paul had a heart first for his own people to know that Jesus was the promised Messiah. His message was rejected by most of the Jews and he was banned from the synagogue. Paul would then take the good news to the Gentiles of the city (Acts 13:46-47).

In Acts 17, Paul arrived in Athens and was “provoked” in his spirit by the sheer number of idols in the city. When the opportunity presented itself to speak with some of the thought leaders of the day, he gave a culturally-specific sermon that was tailormade for the listeners on Mars Hill. For those who can remember learning about ancient Greece in history class, you may remember the pictures of all the temples and altars to the numerous gods that provides a backdrop of what was taking place while Paul was there. The historical context lends richness to our current understanding of the message.

The gospel may have been contextualized for the Athenians, but the good news is just as relevant for our culture. The ancient idols may have been carved from stone, but today’s idols are just as numerous. And the sneering response of the philosophers to the resurrection of Christ is no different from the reactions given today.

There is much we can learn from the cultures of another era that applies to our own culture.

Reading the epistles, you sense how Paul was equally intentional with each letter he wrote to the different churches. If we are observant, we will discover the specific issues and challenges that Paul was addressing in each letter. When we learn more about the context and the culture of the original recipient of the letters, we realize the essential truth that Paul is conveying. Paul was teaching the early church how to live a life worthy of the gospel. Because the letters were written many years ago, it is crucial to understand Biblical context, because the practices may have changed over time, but the principles have not.

The timeless principles can be then be contextualized for today’s culture.

When the norms of today are the foundation of a person’s life, it will be difficult for him or her to see the biblical truth through that “lens.” It will be hard for him or her to live biblically, much less have the Bible be the foundation for living. As Bible teachers, we can help broaden students’ perspective of the Scriptures by helping them discover the biblical context first, and then they will be able to accurately discern the truth that is being portrayed.

Jesus said to those who believed in Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32).

The word “continue” is the root word for “abide.” This is ongoing remaining; never departing. What truth! John wrote the words Jesus spoke, so the original hearers would be free from the cultural norms and so can we!

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the truth of the Bible can be the foundation of Christians of every era.