by Bill Rudge
To download this PodCast please click here.
by Bill Rudge
To download this PodCast please click here.
Bill Rudge has challenged thousands of believers and Christian leaders to fast and pray. Fasting enables you to enter God’s presence with a hunger in your belly that represents the hunger in your soul. This powerful booklet will equip you to master the ancient biblical principles of fasting, which have so greatly impacted Bill’s life and ministry. Bill’s new and updated E-Book on fasting is a great way to start the New Year as it teaches you:
• The Purpose of Fasting • Biblical Fasts
• My Fasting History • Types of Fasts
• The Big Three • Fasting Procedures
• Physical Restoration • “Impossible” Situations
• Principles of Prayer • Powerful Prayers
• Personal, Family, and Ministry Prayer and Fasting Lists
Bill’s E-Book on fasting is available free of charge on our web site (billrudge.org) or you can purchase it for .99 from amazon.com (in order to list it, we were required to charge a minimal amount).
by B.J. Rudge, Ph.D.
Are you willing to endure ridicule, rejection or loss of a job for your faith in Jesus Christ?
A few years ago, four Iraqi youth under the age of 15, were beheaded by ISIS for not renouncing their faith in Jesus (Yesua).
Their response, “We have always loved Yesua; we have always followed Yesua; Yesua has always been with us” is reminiscent of what one of the first Christian martyr said before he was tied to a stake and burned alive. With the opportunity to be released if he only renounced Jesus, Polycarp stated the following words:
Eighty-six years I have served him, and he never once wronged me. How then shall I blaspheme my King who has saved me?
While we may never experience what these young Christians did, are we willing to acknowledge Jesus Christ and demonstrate this same type of commitment in the face of opposition? Remember Jesus’ words:
Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven (Matthew 10:32, 33).
by Dr. David Jeremiah
When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt. Matthew 2:14
Many of our Christmas traditions are very old. We typically date nativity scenes from the time of Francis of Assisi; Christmas trees from the time of Martin Luther; and greeting cards from Victorian England. But a few traditions are as old as the Nativity itself. For example, the singing of Christmas carols was started by the angels, and the custom of gift-giving was begun by the Wise Men. Their gifts had spiritual significance – the gold pointed to Christ’s role as King; the frankincense to His role as Priest; and the myrrh pointed to His role as Savior and to His redeeming death. But these gifts were also practical, for they conveyed financial value. Some scholars believe it was God’s way of providing Joseph and Mary the funds needed to flee to Egypt and raise their baby in a foreign but safe environment.
How wonderful when our gifts can be both meaningful and practical!
But wait! There’s a mistake in today’s devotion – did you spot it? Christmas gift-giving didn’t start with the Wise Men, did it? No, its origin is even older.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son . . . .
by Bill Rudge
To download this Podcast please click here.
by Jim Weikal
Jesus’ mother Mary not only had the privilege of giving birth to the holy infant, but she and Joseph had the responsibility of instructing Him as He grew. They needed to know the Torah and Judaism to teach the maturing Jesus its divine commandments.
These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
This teaching process was more than transmitting information. It was more than sending Him to a religious school for someone else to instruct. It was a process of living a righteous life as an example. The circumstances of daily living were an opportunity to show the child how to live a God-honoring life.
Luke tells us that Jesus “continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom” (2:40). A large part of His growth came from His parents (who were obedient to the law), as well as the teachers of Israel. We know He had a lot of questions for them at Jerusalem (Luke 2:46-47).
If you have children at home this Christmas season, make a commitment to teach them in the ways of the Lord “when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” In today’s culture, can you afford to do anything less?
by BJ Rudge
To download this PodCast please click here
by Bill Rudge
No news from Karen is good news regarding BRM finances! But on Wednesday, October 31, 2018, Karen informed me that we needed $1,163 from Emergency Funds to cover October’s remaining expenses. Since we had to leave for Franklin, Pennsylvania for the District 10 Girls’ Soccer Championship, we were unable to get to the bank before closing. No one knew of this need outside Karen and me. Halfway to Franklin I received a call from a friend of the ministry. She shared in a follow-up e-mail:
It was about the middle of October when I was looking for a card for my granddaughter at the store. Bill and Karen’s son, BJ, walked by me and gently tapped me on the shoulder and said hello. I replied “hello” and after a few other words we went our separate ways. It remained with me that just the simple gesture of a touch on the shoulder can be so meaningful. It made me want to show the same kindness to others.
At the end of October, I was sorting money that is received from the sale of snacks and drinks at our work place. I usually never have time to roll the loose coins but was able to this time. While sorting and wrapping the coins I felt God speak to me that I needed to take the box of coins and money to Bill Rudge. Keep in mind it was after 3:00 p.m. and I had a busy evening ahead. I thought about taking it the next day but felt God urge me to take it that evening. It was after 4:00 p.m. when I got to the ministry and it was closed. I called Bill’s cell phone and reached both him and Karen as they were driving to Franklin.
I explained why I was calling. We were interrupted several times due to poor reception but by then I was determined to finish my mission as God instructed me. Bill informed me that they did have a special need to end the month but would not tell me the amount. I placed the money box in a secure location Bill advised me to use and prayed it would help toward the deficiency they were facing for October. I honestly did not believe there would be enough money in the box but God knew and whether God multiplied it overnight I do not know.
I was driving the next morning when Bill called to inform me how much was in the box ($1,177) so I pulled my car over to the side of the road and I am glad I did. Bill explained exactly how much was needed ($1,163) and that there was $14.00 left over towards November. God never ceases to amaze me! HE knows all and there is no coincidence with the time-line of events leading up to this. I am thankful I could help Bill and that I listened and followed God’s urging. I encourage everyone to be obedient to God’s call.
This “miracle” would have never happened if this woman was not sensitive and obedient to God’s Spirit, or if all our other ministry supporters had not previously sent in their donations (both large and small). A heart-felt thanks to all of you for your generous, faithful and sacrificial giving!
by BJ Rudge
To download this PodCast please click here.
by Wendy Wippel
Wendy Wippel is a molecular biologist who specializes in genetics. She has conducted research for the University of Cincinnati and the Center for Disease Control. She focuses on medical writing, but she also does a lot of writing concerning biblical topics. This article first appeared in The Omega Letter in 2013.
It’s the Christmas season, and amid the baking and the bustling and the bows, it’s easy to lose sight of what the fuss is all about — a baby. As the old carol asks, “What child is this?”
There’s a lot riding on your answer. Because that baby is the central figure of human history. Human history, in fact, is divided into two eras (BC and AD) by His existence. (Your birth date? Counted from His.)
• He never traveled more than 100 miles from home, but His followers permeated every country in the world with His story.
• He never wrote a book, but more have been written about Him than anyone else in history, by far.
• The first book about Him, the Bible, has been translated into more than 500 languages, and portions of it into more than 3000 languages. The first runner-up, believe it or not, is Pinocchio. Only 260.
• He had only 12 disciples, but billions of people discuss His teachings every day. According to one Harvard professor (not a Christian), the Sermon on the Mount alone represents the “most luminous, most quoted, most analyzed, most contested, most influential moral and religious discourse in all of human history.” The professor adds, “This may sound like an overstatement, but it is not.”
• He was homeless during His public life, but most of the world’s most beautiful buildings were built in His honor (Notre Dame, Westminster Abbey, Hagia Sophia, Chartres, St. John’s Cathedral, and so on.)
• He died as a criminal, but today thousands of names of cities and countries memorialize His life. (San Salvador, for example, which means Holy Savior.)
• He never married, but more wedding vows have asked His blessing than any other.
• He never had kids, but there’s a really good chance you’re named after one of his family or his friends.
• Untold numbers of people throughout history have willingly gone to their deaths rather than renounce His name.
It begs the question, “What Child IS This?”
Author Ralph Waldo Emerson (an atheist) observed that the name of Jesus was not so much written as ploughed into the history of the world. And author H.G. Wells (also an atheist) said this:
An historian like myself finds the picture centering irresistibly around the life and character of this most significant man . . . The historian’s test of an individual’s greatness is . . . did he start men to thinking along fresh lines with a vigor that persisted after him? By this test Jesus stands first.
Jesus is recognized by skeptic and saint alike as the turning point of history. What child IS this?
We’ve had 2000 years to speculate: A really moral man? A great philosopher? A champion of social justice? A pacifist? A mythical figure? A revolutionary? A fruitcake? An example for all of us to follow?
Those really aren’t the right questions, though. The real question is “Who does He think He is?” And Jesus, tellingly, said none of the above. Jesus said that He came to “seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus said that He came to “give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). In fact, He said that He came specifically for one moment in time, His crucifixion (John 12:27). And Jesus said that He came to be the make-or-break issue in your life and mine: “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind” (John 9:39).
What child is this? We all have to answer that question for ourselves. And eternity rides on our answer. Why? Because God created humans to be with Him. But you probably know what happened next — Adam and Eve disobeyed the one rule that God established, and humanity became tainted with sin. And as descendants of Adam and Eve, we inherited that condition.
We’re all SIN positive.
The problem is that sin can’t survive in the presence of the holiness of God. But that same God still loves us and wants us to be with Him. So Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost. We’re what was lost.
Some Christmas carols call Jesus another name: Emmanuel. It means “God with us.” And Jesus, God in the form of a man, came to earth to make a bridge. A bridge described in a lot of different places in the Bible:
To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12).
He who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life (John 5:24).
For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Maybe you’re thinking, “That’s great for you, but it’s just not my thing.” Or, “I have my own faith.” Or, “We all worship the same God.”
Then what child is this? One that made some pretty amazing statements:
I am the way, the truth, the life. No man comes to the father but through me (John 14:6).
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me (Matthew 28:18).
Nobody else said things like this. Not Mohammed. Not Confucius. Not Buddha. Not Joseph Smith. Nobody.
People these days say that makes Christianity exclusive. Except that Jesus also said that whosoever believes in Him can have eternal life. Whosoever.
So what child is this? You can call Him a liar. You can call Him a lunatic. Or you can call him Lord. “Undecided” isn’t really an option. He didn’t mean for it to be.
Jesus was crucified because He claimed to be the Messiah, a Messiah described in Isaiah as “wounded for our transgressions,” whose chastisement made peace for us with God. Jesus said that He came to give us life as a ransom for many. Nobody else said that. Not Mohammed. Not Confucius. Not Buddha. Not Joseph Smith. Nobody.
That’s what sets Jesus apart. Only He laid down His life for your sins and mine. And when He died on that cross (a fact documented in Roman records) it would have certainly seemed that was the last history would hear of Him.
But the cross that He died on is now the world’s most common symbol, engraved on tombstones, mounted in and on churches, scattered on hillsides and hung around a whole lot of necks. (And at Ground Zero — at least for now.)
So what child is this? That’s the question. And the answer, as G. K Chesterton observed:
Since Jesus died on the cross it has never been quite enough to say that “God is in His heaven and all is right with the world,” since, according to the Bible, “God left His heavens to set it right.”
God, in the form of Jesus, left heaven to seek and save that which was lost, meaning you and me. When He died on the cross, God was saying that He loves you. He Himself came to earth to give His life as your ransom. It was the God of all the universe, whispering into your ears, “I do.” And that God, who still loves you, stands at the altar, waiting for your answer. He’ll wait. He has all eternity to do so. Do you?
Article from The Lamplighter magazine, November-December 2018. Used with permission.