Fasting for Sensitivity and Power 2

by Bill Rudge

Bill Rudge has challenged thousands of believers and Christian leaders to fast, pray, and study Scripture. This five part series will equip you to master the biblical principles of fasting which have so greatly impacted Bill’s life and ministry. They fasted when they were humbling themselves before the Lord. They fasted when they were confessing their sins and repenting. They fasted when they were mourning. They fasted when they faced crises and emergencies or suffered defeats. They fasted when they were seeking God’s help or guidance. They fasted when they were given a special calling or were stepping out on a special mission. They fasted when they were earnestly praying and seeking the Lord with all their hearts. Moses fasted. David fasted. Elijah fasted. Daniel fasted. Esther fasted. Nehemiah fasted. Jesus fasted. Paul fasted. And many throughout church history who have impacted their world have also fasted.

To download this amazing broadcast please click here.

Fasting for Sensitivity and Power 1

by Bill Rudge

Bill Rudge has challenged thousands of believers and Christian leaders to fast, pray, and study Scripture. This five part series will equip you to master the biblical principles of fasting which have so greatly impacted Bill’s life and ministry. They fasted when they were humbling themselves before the Lord. They fasted when they were confessing their sins and repenting. They fasted when they were mourning. They fasted when they faced crises and emergencies or suffered defeats. They fasted when they were seeking God’s help or guidance. They fasted when they were given a special calling or were stepping out on a special mission. They fasted when they were earnestly praying and seeking the Lord with all their hearts. Moses fasted. David fasted. Elijah fasted. Daniel fasted. Esther fasted. Nehemiah fasted. Jesus fasted. Paul fasted. And many throughout church history who have impacted their world have also fasted.

To download this amazing broadcast please click here.

Points of Light

Wise men saw Jesus’ star in the east (Matthew 2:2).

Shepherds in the fields outside the village of Bethlehem saw the brilliant radiance of the Lord’s glory in the night sky (Luke 2:8, 9). John testified that Jesus is the “true Light” (John 1:9). No wonder Christmas celebrations include a multitude of lights!

Christmas also involves gift-giving. Times of great joy were often accompanied by the giving of gifts (Nehemiah 8:10; Esther 9:22). This Christmas, as you enjoy the lights and give and receive gifts, be sure you honor the One who is the true Light of the World and the Greatest of All Gifts – Jesus Christ.

Micah Identifies Messiah’s Birthplace

By BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

Several years ago I had an opportunity to go to Israel. One of my favorite places is the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the traditional site of Jesus’ birth. This place is special, not only because it attests to the historical birth of Jesus Christ, but also because it testifies to His true identity:

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity” (Micah 5:2).

This prophecy identifies Bethlehem as the birthplace of the Messiah. The uniqueness of Micah’s prophecy is fourfold: First, the Jewish chief priests and scribes recognized this passage in Micah as prophesying the Messiah (see Matthew 2:3-8). Second, this prophecy is specific (not vague). It highlights the exact city where Messiah would be born (Bethlehem Ephrathah). This was important because there were other cities named Bethlehem (see Joshua 19:15). Third, this prophecy was declared by Micah more than 700 years before Jesus Christ was born, rendering just an educated guess to be impossible. Fourth, this prophecy was just one of many Messianic prophecies fulfilled by Jesus during His first coming.

According to Scripture, Bethlehem was more than just a place where Jesus was born; it helped to identify Him as the promised Messiah

Christmas is the Season for Reason

by Bill Rudge

Atheists have altered the popular Christian slogan, “Jesus is the reason for the season” to “Christmas is the season for reason.” I have no problem with their modified version because “reason” and evidence are why I put my faith in Jesus Christ.

A Wise Decision

Without a doubt, Jesus of Nazareth is the most unique individual who ever lived. No one before and no one after has influenced history as greatly as He has. This alone should motivate anyone to know more about Him. Jesus stands high above the greatest of religious leaders and is in a category all by Himself. We have unsurpassed proof that He is the promised Messiah, God incarnate and Savior of the world.

Acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is not a blind leap of faith in the dark, but a wise and reasonable decision. Check out the facts: Facts are validated by history, archaeology, prophecy and science. They speak loud and clear; the evidence is compelling. Jesus’ credibility is sound; His claims are true.

Let’s pray that the atheist, agnostic and skeptic will discard bias and prejudice, humble their pride, honestly examine the evidence, wisely acknowledge the truth of the Christmas message, develop the courage to resist the pressure of their peers and sincerely surrender their lives to Jesus Christ. He is the One who created them and was born to die for them. Then their slogan will be proven to be true: “Christmas is the season for reason.”

Those who come with an open heart, sincerely seeking the God Who created them, will find Him.

Many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book [Gospel of John]; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name (John 20:30, 31).

 

The Last Chance

by Bill Rudge

Lynne Patton Stewart called the ministry to see if I could visit her ex-husband, Terry (and father to their children, Eric and Kristin) who was in the hospital. He was an atheist and dying of cancer.

Entering Terry’s hospital room, I saw a man who was mere skin and bones. After telling him that I was a chaplain and that Lynne had sent me, he welcomed me. I sat down beside his bed and spoke a few minutes while he ate, slowly chewing each bite. Between bites he responded to my questions with one or two words. When I asked if he would like to talk about eternity he responded, “Not at this time.” But knowing I would probably not see him again as I was leaving on a ministry trip, I asked if I might say something briefly. He nodded a “yes” but seemed distant and disinterested.

I told him that I had spent a lifetime seeking the answers to three questions: First, Is there a God? I assured him that after examining the evidence I was convinced that there was and that both of us will stand before Him when we die. Second, I wanted to know if there were many ways to this God or only one? And I had become convinced that the Bible truly is God’s Word; that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven. Third, I wanted to know what this God requires of me? I discovered I must ask His forgiveness and accept Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord.

He had stopped eating and was listening intently. He said he had been thinking about these things. He thanked me several times for coming and wanted to continue our conversation. I went on to share illustrations of how we can know Jesus Christ and to assure him that God would forgive him and receive him into His heavenly kingdom – even at this late point in his life. He responded, “I guess God is pulling me up by my bootstraps.” Asking him if he wanted to receive Jesus as his Savior, he said that he did. I prayed a salvation prayer and at the end he said a clear “Amen.” Terry died a little more than a week later.

Isn’t God’s love toward us amazing? Even at the end of his life, God snatched Terry from the fire (Jude 23). What irony that earlier, that very day, I had read the book of Jude. Verses 21 – 25 state:

“Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them…. To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and for evermore! Amen.”