Forgiveness Trumps Tragedy in Charleston

It was a tragic event that is etched in our minds just as the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster or the 9-11 Twin Towers attack.

Nine African-American members of historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, were murdered by a visitor they had welcomed into their Bible study. The perpetrator was a young white supremacist who intended to divide our country and ignite a race war.

But . . . the response of the members of Emanuel and the families of the victims stunned the media and the world. In the midst of their pain and loss was the kindest and most gracious display of forgiveness possible. These parents, spouses and close friends demonstrated to the world what knowing Jesus Christ in a remarkably close way is all about.

My wife, Bev, and I were reflecting on this yesterday, and I shared with her that I was strongly sensing in my own heart a deeper love for Christ and people, a greater desire to be in God’s word and to obey it more fully — all since observing their genuine forgiveness. She had been experiencing something similar, and thought that this could be the beginning of revival in our nation.

I want to challenge you to meditate on the promises found in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Let’s:

  • Humble ourselves before the Lord and people
  • Pray and seek the face of God
  • Turn from anything in our lives that is not pleasing to Christ
  • Forgive those who have harmed us in any way and communicate that to them

If we do this as the people of God, He promises:

  • To hear our prayers
  • Forgive our sin
  • And heal our land.

The cost of revival is high. Let’s not waste the incredibly expensive down payment of the lives of nine members of Emanuel AME Church.

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The Real Prosperity Gospel

Received this question recently: “I’m a new believer in Christ, and a friend told me that God wants us all to be financially wealthy. Is this what the Bible teaches?”

This view is known as prosperity theology which says that all Christians who have enough faith will always be prosperous, but that’s just not true.

Just look at some of God’s people in the Bible. Joseph was born into a wealthy family—then was a slave and prisoner for 17 years before God elevated him to prime minister of Egypt. David was anointed king of Israel, and then had to flee for his life for 10 years from King Saul before he became king. The apostle Peter told a lame beggar, “Silver and gold have I not, but in the name of the Lord Jesus, walk.”

Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11, “I have learned the secret of being content whether I am in abundance or want.” And in his life that is exactly what he experienced.

 Our job is to be faithful to handle money God’s way. It’s the Lord’s responsibility to decide how much to entrust to us at any time whether it is much or little.

To learn more about contentment and other principles of biblical financial stewardship head over to our website at http://www.compass1.org.

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Canadian trip

Several things stood out to me during my trip to Calgary, Canada, last week. First, standing among the Canadian Rockies I’ve never felt so small. And to think that these magnificent towering mountains were created simply when God spoke them into existence. As Luke 1:37 says, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” The Lord can do anything, and He alone is worthy of our trust and worship.

Then, I was stunned to learn that Canadians pays an average of 9.8% of their income for interest alone on consumer debts . . . not including interest on their mortgages! The need for Compass Canada to teach people God’s way of handling money is enormous.

Finally, the Compass Canada leadership is world-class! Take a look at the Compass Director, Lorne Jackson, taking a selfie of us outside of Banff, Canada. Please join us in praying for the Lord to move in a powerful way in this great country to free God’s people from the bondage of debt so they can be truly free to serve Christ.

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“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood”

In the last two weeks, two of our most effective Compass global teams have been attacked. The first was our South American Home Office in Guatemala. A sophisticated gang seriously injured the guards protecting the seven story office building in which Compass is housed. They gained access to three stories stealing every piece of electronic equipment and making a giant mess. Fortunately, our Latino team routinely backs up all data off-site.

 

Then on Monday we received this email from our Compass India Director: “One of our ministry sites in Madurai was attacked over the weekend by a crowd of more than 40 hard core anti-Christian elements and we are working thru the aftermath of it.”

 

Writing to the Ephesians the apostle Paul reminds us that we are really engaged in an unseen war. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

 

As one of the Compass team observed, “We must be doing things right to have these kinds of attacks.”

 

We have been sensing since January, that in many ways the Lord would enable 2015 to be a breakthrough year for Compass. But not without a fight.

 

Paul tells us how to conduct ourselves in this war in Ephesians 6:13-18.

 

  • Take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything to stand firm
  • Having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness
  • Having shod your feet with the . . . . gospel of peace
  • Taking up the shield of faith which you will be able to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one
  • Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
  • With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit

 

In a war people can see, none of these things would be considered effective things to do: armor of God, truth, righteousness, gospel of peace, faith, salvation, word of God, and prayer. But in the war every follower of Christ is engaged, these are the only weapons we have.

 

Please be serious about engaging in this war for the hearts and souls of people.

 

If this blog post has been a blessing to you please share it with a friend through email, Facebook, or Twitter.

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Salvation letter

We recently received this letter from Roger:

Greetings from Nebraska!

 

I have some EXCITING news. I have been listening to MoneyWise for several weeks. I learn new insights every week. After a recent broadcast, I knew it was time to get serious about my faith. I got down on my knees, repented, and asked Jesus to be part of my life. Thanks to God’s grace and mercy I am a new Christian because of your efforts.

 

I do have some questions for you. I am saving my money to buy a good study Bible. Could you please recommend one? Should I invest in a concordance, dictionary and atlas? Are there other resources I need?

 

You are a blessing and encouragement to me.

We rejoice when a listener gets out of debt or increases their giving or starts saving for future needs. But the greatest blessing occurs when someone comes to the Savior or grows closer to Him. What joy to learn that Roger has come to know Jesus as his savior . . . and on top of that is serious about growing in Christ.

If you’d like to check out the MoneyWise radio programs, visit www.compass1.org and on the homepage under Radio, click on “Podcasts, stations and news” to locate a station near you.

My prayer for you:

Like Roger from Nebraska, if you don’t know Jesus Christ as your personal savior, you’d come to know him by genuinely asking him to come into your life and become your savior and Lord. If you do know Christ that you would come to know Him very well.

Warmly in Christ,

Howard Dayton

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Six and Counting . . . .

I wanted to introduce you to Dan Schilling who serves as the Compass North American Director. He and his wife Cheri are expecting their seventh son next month . . . that’s not a typo . . . their 7th son!

And yes, they were hoping for a little girl this time around. After 17 years straight of diapers, they are preparing for another round and will pass 20 years by the time this child is finished! Doesn’t this make you tired just thinking about it!

After the birth of their sixth son Jesse, they weren’t ready for another child, but felt they shouldn’t do anything permanent. Then, the Lord began to speak to their hearts, asking them to trust Him.

The Lord directed them to Matthew 6:19 where Jesus says, “Store up for yourselves treasure in heaven.” They sensed the Lord asking them, “If I wanted to entrust you with something eternal, would you be willing to receive it? Of everything I’ve entrusted your family, there is only one thing you can physically touch today, that you can touch again in heaven—your children.”

Soon they will welcome that eternal gift…Noah Nathaniel, to the Schilling family!

Dan and Cheri Schilling are extraordinarily committed to following Christ and growing as His disciples. They live on a big farm in Ohio where the boys have learned a wonderful work ethic and where Cheri home schools them as well.

Dan was selected as the Compass North American Director because he is remarkably capable and because of his heart to humbly serve the North American team. He has embraced the vision of doubling the number of Compass small group study participants annually for the next five years so that 250,000 people will be enrolled each year by year five.

Please join me in praying for the Lord’s hand of blessing to remain on Dan and his family.

Warmly in Christ,

Howard Dayton

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On the Ground Report from Nepal

I want to share an email I just received from Johnson Samuel who is on our Compass team and serving the people of Nepal who are slowly recovering from an earthquake that devastated their country. Here is Johnson’s email:

Dear Howard,

Thank you so much for the prayers generated amongst the Compass family.

At this stage I can only say that I am grateful to God. Most of the believers have lost their homes. But because they were in Church (They have Church service on Saturday morning in Nepal) many lives were saved. Search and Rescue is still on and the power and water supply still not restored.

As communications came to a stand still, we are still not able to assess the full situation. I am still in Kathmandu, and I opted not to be evacuated. God gave me the previlege to help a few, especially in the church where I preached until 10 minutes before the earthquake.

We are still unable to contact Tatopani near Kodari where Compass has worked. The second quake of 6.9 had its epicenter there. Please pray for the situation.

I plan to leave for India today. Hopefully the flight will take off. Tremors are still felt here this morning. I think its aftershocks, but there pretty strong.

God bless,

Johnson

Please continue praying for the people of Nepal and their recovery efforts during this time of crisis.

Blessings,

Howard

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