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Today’s Devotional | January 28 | JOHN 13:1-17 | Pride

Today's Devotional

Memory Verse
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet (John 13:14).

A British general once entertained a number of guests. The general’s assistant seated a prominent lady at the left of the host rather than at his right, the place of honor. She fumed quietly and then said indignantly: “I suppose you have great difficulty getting your aide-de-camp to seat your guests properly!” “Not at all,” the general responded. “Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.”

One of the most destructive traits is super sensitivity. Those who are constantly looking for some trifle to touch off their tempers and upset their dispositions are sure to be successful in their search. People who wear their feelings on their sleeves are often in a stew. Individuals who are continually drawing invisible emotional lines over which they dare others to step, will find their energies taken in nursing their many hurts and will have little time or strength left for worthwhile tasks.

If you are easily offended, you have a simple but serious problem — PRIDE. Secretly, you expect others to treat you rather special because you think you deserve that kind of treatment. No wonder your feathers are ruffled regularly!

Consider the Saviour washing the disciples’ feet. Contrast His attitude to the frame of mind that makes you so hard to live with. Meditating on His humble act that day will enable you to put away petty pride and its resultant touchiness. You will become insulated against insults. And nothing will offend you!

Daily Devotionals

 

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God…”

Psalm 42:1, 2

 “Soul Food” is a daily devotional written by Dr. Jack Van Impe that brings God’s Word to life.

“The Tender Touch” is a weekly devotional from the heart of Dr. Rexella Van Impe.


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    January 27 | LUKE 15:25-32 | A Time To Rejoice
    Memory Verse
    It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found (Luke 15:32).

    The scribes and Pharisees were continually critical of the life and ministry of Jesus. They were especially bothered by His love for sinners. In the parable of the prodigal son, the older brother pictures one who, like the Pharisees and scribes, did not really care for backsliders and lost people.

    The older brother was a grumbler. It was a time to rejoice and he was complaining. Sadly, there is a similar attitude among Christians today. They complain about everything from the weather to their pastor. This unpleasant spirit of negativism kills churches and destroys testimonies. It renders the greatest potential force on earth (the church) ineffective. Christians must find enough in Christ to make them rejoice or they will never win others to Him.

    The older brother was bitter toward the prodigal. Because his heart was not right with his brother, he fell prey to wrong attitudes about a number of things. He began to feel sorry for himself. He exaggerated his own righteousness and his brother’s sins. He forgot the blessing of his father’s fellowship. He lost sight of his own inheritance. You cannot serve God unless your heart is right with your brothers and sisters in Christ.

    The older brother did not care about the wandering one. He worked around the homestead and kept up the buildings but he didn’t care about his backslidden brother. And because of that he was unlike his father. Christians who only keep the church buildings in repair and serve on boards but do not care for souls are unlike their Heavenly Father.

    He cares and so must we, if we are to be like Him.

    January 26 | LUKE 14:7-14 | The Way Up
    Memory Verse
    For whosoever exalteth himself shall he abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted (Luke 14:11).

    Evangelist D. L. Moody said that he had once thought that God’s blessings were on shelves and that one received more as he reached higher and higher, but that he had learned later God gave His best to those who went lower and lower. Moody concluded: “Faith gets the most, love works the most, but humility keeps the most.”

    Jesus stated an unaltering law: “...he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” But humility comes hard. Even a small amount of success can bring songs of praise from some and unless we learn to give all glory to God, pride overtakes us.

    Humility is elusive. The moment you know you have it, you’ve lost it. To parade humility is to admit you don’t know what it is. Some are humble and proud of it.

    The clearest evidence of humility is thankfulness. The thankful person does not boast of his accomplishments but appreciates the health and ability to achieve them. He does not view his possessions as his personal kingdom, bought and paid for, but sees whatever degree of success he has attained as the blessing of God. He does not look down on others because they are different but gives thanks for the diversity of creation. He does not number his spiritual attainments and religious recognitions in order to claim a favored place with God, but lifts his voice in praise for grace enough to care for all his sins.

    Jesus is the supreme example of humility. Those who walk as He walked will be exalted.

    January 25 | DANIEL 1:1-15 | Daniel
    Memory Verse
    But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself (Daniel 1:8).

    Daniel was given a preview of the future. He troubles skeptics because his prophecy concerning the rise and fall of the major empires of history is absolutely accurate. But what kind of man received such inside information from God? And how can we best understand his prophecies of the end time?

    Dr. H. A. Ironside gives this important recommendation: “This little company, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, four devoted young men, set themselves against all the evil of the kingdom of Babylon. They said, ‘We will not defile ourselves’ and these were the men to whom God would communicate His mind. I believe it is important to dwell on this, because in our own day, alas, in many cases prophetic study has been taken up by very unspiritual persons. If we are going to get the mind of God in studying this book we must remember that it consists of revelations, deliverances, and visions given to a spiritually-minded man who was separated from the iniquity of his day; and if we are to understand it, we also need to be spiritually-minded, and to walk apart from all that is unholy, all that would hinder progress in divine things. We need ever to have before us the words, Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward (2 John 8).

    So, if we are to understand Daniel’s book, we must follow his example.

    How is it with your heart? Have you purposed to be clean?

    January 24 | II CORINTHIANS 4:13-18 | Eternal Things
    Memory Verse
    While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).

    Most spend their time working and scheming to get visible assets; money, property, stocks, bonds, etc. Yet all these things are temporal ... tied to time. And because they are temporal their value is fleeting.

    Some material possessions are fleeting in value because our time on earth is limited. No matter how enduring the possession, the lifetime of the possessor determines the life of its usefulness to that person. Homes and automobiles are of no value to those who have passed from this life. The other dimension to the brevity of use of earth’s trinkets is the fact that someday they will all be destroyed. In view of this truth, Peter wrote: “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness” (2 Peter 3:11).

    But some things have lasting value.

    Jesus said: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).

    Faithful service for Christ may not bring earthly acclaim or material rewards, but treasures in heaven await the Christian who gives of himself in labor for his Lord. Suffering here may be difficult but it cannot be compared with the blessings awaiting those who stand true to the Saviour:

    “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

    January 23 | ROMANS 14:1-12 | Accountable
    Memory Verse
    For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God (Romans 14:11).

    We’re accountable for our words.

    The Judgment Seat of Christ will test our words as well as our works.

    Dr. Wilber Penfield, director of the Montreal Neurological Institute, in a report to the Smithsonian Institute, said: “Your brain contains a permanent record of your past that is like a single continuous strip of movie film, complete with sound tract. This ‘film library’ records your whole waking life from childhood on. You can live again those scenes from your past, one at a time, when a surgeon applies a gentle electrical current to a certain point on the temporal cortex of your brain.” The report goes on to say that as you relive the scene from the past, you feel exactly the same emotions that you did during the original experience.

    Could it be that the human race will be confronted with this irrefutable record in judgment when God “shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ” (Romans 2:16)?

    Signs of the times indicate the return of Christ for His Church is very near. Remember — the Christian’s first appointment at the Rapture is the Judgment Seat of Christ. We will give an account of all our words and works as they affected our service since we were born again.

    On that great day we will gladly own Him as Lord.

    Let us prepare for that day by speaking for Him at every opportunity.

    At the Judgment Seat of Christ, we’ll be glad we were faithful.

    January 22 | ROMANS 13:7-14 | High Time
    Memory Verse
    And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed (Romans 13:11).

    We live in a strategic period of history. This is not time for lazy, lethargic Christianity. There is too much at stake, too much to do.

    Vance Havner hit the target when he wrote: “We have too many casual Christians who dabble in everything but are not committed to anything. They have a nodding acquaintance with a score of subjects but are sold on nothing.” Evaluating the conditions in many churches he said, “Most church members live so far below the standard, you’d have to backslide to be in fellowship. We are so subnormal that if we were to become normal, people would think we were abnormal!”

    And all this when closing time seems to be upon us! The prospect of the Lord’s soon return ought to awaken us to the need of total involvement in taking the gospel to the world. D. L. Moody said, “I have felt like working three times as hard since I came to understand that my Lord is coming again.” How has that truth affected your life?

    In what areas of Christian responsibility are you lethargic? What would a genuine awakening do to your lifestyle? Which of your present activities would cease? How would your involvement in your church change? What would happen to your giving?

    Time is counting down.

    Days of opportunity are slipping away.

    Christ is coming.

    It is high time to awake out of sleep.

    January 21 | MATTHEW 24:32-42 | What Time Is It?
    Memory Verse
    But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only (Matthew 24:36).

    Somewhere in time there is a sacred date known only to the Lord, the date of Christ’s return for His Bride...the Church. No one on earth can tell the day or pinpoint the hour of this long promised event. We know only that it is sure to come and that wise ones get ready for it.

    In his book, Pepper ‘N Salt, Dr. Vance Havner tells of a wild duck that came down on migration into a barnyard and liked it so well that he stayed there. In the fall his former companions passed overhead and his first impulse was to rise and join them, but he had fed so well that he could rise no higher than the eaves of the barn. As time passed, the day finally came when his old fellow travelers could pass overhead without his even hearing their call. Many Christians have become content in this world and scarcely hear the call of God concerning the needs in their lives. Preaching doesn’t touch them. They have settled down in the barnyard and have forgotten they belong to the Lord.

    On that special day to come, they will hear the call of the Lord and will rise to meet Him. All who have been born again will be taken in the Rapture of the Church...but many will be ashamed. The weight of worldly trinkets had overloaded them. John warned: “And now, Little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (1 John 2:28). The coming of Christ is imminent...an event to be expected at all times. He will return right on time. PERHAPS TODAY!

    Remember who you are.

    The time of His coming draws nigh.

    Get out of the barnyard.

    Week 4 | They Shall Mount Up

    All of us at some point in our lives have had
    traumatic experiences. Life has a way of forcing us to
    cope with difficulty, pain, sorrow, and stress.

    Some people seem to come through every test
    stronger... and rise above every tumult. Others
    appear to be in danger of drowning in their sorrow
    ...of being totally overcome by seemingly
    insurmountable circumstances.

    What makes the difference?

    I believe a large part of the answer is a matter of
    perspective... the point-of-view we have of life and
    its challenges.

    Let me share with you a beautiful experience of
    Dr. Van Impe's and mine which helps reveal the
    way I feel we should look at life's problems. It
    happened when a special friend of the ministry called
    and asked if we'd like to ride in his hot air balloon.

    Of course we said yes. And Mr. John Raya, of
    Father and Son Construction Co. in Rochester,
    Michigan, set a time for us to meet him.

    So on a glorious afternoon, we climbed into the
    passenger basket and looked up at the beautiful
    blue-and-white balloon billowing fifty or sixty feet
    above us. My pulse was pounding with excitement
    ...and I have to admit the tiniest bit of
    apprehension gripped my stomach.

    But not for long! With a blast of flame from a
    propane burner above our heads, additional hot air
    was pumped into the balloon... the crew turned
    loose of the basket... and we took off -- up, up,
    and away!

    What a sensation! What a thrill! If you've ever
    gone up in a balloon, you know what I mean -- it's
    an unforgettable experience.

    Ballooning is nothing like flying in an airplane,
    enclosed by glass and aluminum. Instead, you
    begin to feel like a free spirit -- there is a distinct
    sense of physical disembodiment as you feel
    yourself floating upward, leaving the earth, rising
    higher and higher.

    A new way to see!

    First of all, I was astonished at what I could see.
    There was more sky than earth! Once above the
    walls and enclosures of man-made structures, a
    panorama of incredible beauty and unlimited
    space unfolded all around me. I remember
    thinking that this must be like seeing things from
    God's viewpoint.

    In their now miniature size, things that
    appeared so important on the ground seemed
    somehow insignificant. Dented car fenders, a
    burned-out house, rushing traffic -- everything
    seemed to blend into a much larger background.
    The walls and fences separating people
    diminished before my eyes and faded into mere lines in a
    magnificent tapestry of soft color and interwoven
    patterns.

    I began to see a bigger picture of life itself.
    Suddenly I understood as never before how
    even events that seem like disasters close-up can
    actually disappear into the perfect pattern of
    God's master plan for our lives. And rather than
    being overwhelmed, it is possible to accept each
    circumstance as a purposeful part of God's will...
    of His greater good for us!

    How good it is to develop our spiritual sight in
    faith. If only we would make it a practice to allow
    the Holy Spirit to lift us above ourselves and see
    our situation from God's viewpoint.

    A new way to hear!

    The second thing I discovered up in the balloon
    was that in addition to a new way to look, there
    was also a new way to listen.

    As a musician, I am very conscious of sound --
    of voices, cries, music. Floating hundreds of feet
    in the air, I discovered there was no noise -- no
    traffic roar, no barking dogs, no ringing
    telephones, no blaring radios or TV sets. There was
    only the soft sigh of the wind... and the silence.
    It was so quiet I could almost hear my own
    heartbeat. I actually had to get used to hearing
    nothing. And in the soothing, uninterrupted
    silence, I felt a healing, restoring power washing out
    my brain and smoothing down the wrinkles in my
    inner being.

    With crystal clarity, I sensed a message of
    reassuring love being whispered inside my heart in a
    still, small voice. I recognized that Voice! And
    suddenly I thrilled with new understanding of what
    my Heavenly Father meant when He gently
    commanded, Be still, and know that I am God
    (Psalm 46:10).

    On that crisp autumn afternoon, drifting
    quietly above the patchwork quilts of the earth and
    under the brilliant blue of the heavens, I knew God
    afresh and anew.

    Satisfied!

    The Lord ministered to me through all my
    senses on that special day. In addition to being
    blessed through seeing and hearing, I became so
    aware of God's presence that I could almost reach
    out and touch Him -- I'm sure I felt Him touch me!

    And smell -- the air above our beloved Michigan
    homeland was so pure, so unpolluted at that
    height. I've never smelled anything so clean. It
    was like the very breath of God... exhilarating...
    delicious!

    I distinctly remember being aware that my
    senses were totally filled up -- that I wanted
    nothing to be satisfied. I had no need for food or
    drink. I could cry out with the Psalmist David, O
    taste and see that the Lord is good
    (Psalm 34:8).

    All too soon our balloon ride came to an end, and
    it was time to descend back to earth. Almost
    reluctantly we left the sky and stood once more on the
    ground.

    But I'll never be quite the same again. How
    much I learned about Christian living through
    what I experienced that day up in the balloon.

    I'm told that in stormy weather, that greatest of
    birds, the eagle, does not seek a shelter or place of
    refuge. Instead, he flies high into the sky, turns
    into the wind and sets his wings so that the very
    force of the storm lifts him safely above it.

    Surely it is no coincidence that God's Word
    declares --

    They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their
    strength; they shall mount up with wings as
    eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and
    they shall walk, and not faint
    (Isaiah 40:31).

    Week 3 | The Quest for Peace

    I heard a story recently about a nagging wife
    who kept writing complaining letters to her
    serviceman husband who was on combat duty in
    another country. Finally, after receiving yet
    another hateful letter, the husband wrote back,
    "Will you please stop writing me vicious letters so
    I can fight this war in peace?"

    We all want peace, don't we? Personally and
    nationally we crave it. Yet, so few of us find it.
    I've read that over half the beds in our hospitals
    today are filled with people who have mental
    problems. These individuals have desperately sought
    for peace but haven't found it. At last, they have
    reached the place where they can no longer cope
    with life, and they have become ill.

    A noted doctor once said that if all the
    tranquilizers were taken away from the American people,
    we would have a national nervous breakdown so
    big there wouldn't be enough well people to take
    care of the sick ones. People who take
    tranquilizers are trying to push the turbulence in
    their lives out of their minds. They have to resort
    to a little pill to put them in "peaceful" oblivion.

    My heart goes out to those who do not know the
    meaning of peace. Each day is a repetition of the
    previous one, filled with hostility, despair, and
    loneliness. They are miserable, frustrated, and
    unhappy with themselves and everyone around
    them.

    A picture of peace

    Remember the story of the rich man who
    commissioned an artist to paint him a picture
    illustrating true peace. The artist painted a
    beautiful picture of a lake surrounded by trees. In the
    distance were majestic, snow-covered mountains.

    When the rich man saw it, he shook his head.
    "It's very beautiful," he told the artist, "but it's not
    a picture of true peace. Please try again."

    This time the artist thought a long time before
    he began to paint. On the canvas, he painted a
    huge, thundering waterfall. He showed the water
    churning over the falls and crashing onto rocks far
    below. Then, at one side of the waterfall, he
    painted a birch tree whose slender branches
    reached out over the roaring water. On one of the
    branches, he painted a little bird sitting quietly
    and contentedly on her nest, oblivious to the
    danger around her.

    That is true peace -- not an escape from the
    pressures and trials of life but the quiet repose of a
    heart at rest with God. Jesus said, These things I
    have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have
    peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but
    be of good cheer; I have overcome the world

    (John 16:33).

    Jesus' life was anything but peaceful. Yet, His
    last legacy to His disciples and to all those who
    would follow Him was the promise of peace. Peace
    I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as
    the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your
    heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John
    14:27).

    I love the old hymn that goes:


    Trust and rest when all around thee
    Puts thy faith to sorest test;

    Let no fear or foe confound thee,

    Wait for God and trust and rest.

    Trust and rest with heart abiding,

    Like a birdling in its nest,

    Underneath His feathers hiding,

    Fold thy wings and trust and rest.

    I don't know the things in your life that cause
    you unrest and destroy your peace. But I want to
    remind you that there is a way to handle them.
    God has given us guidelines that can take us
    through these troublesome times.

    Guidelines for troubled times

    In His sermon on the mount, Jesus said,
    Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be
    called the children of God
    (Matthew 5:9). What
    does that mean to you in your everyday life? It
    means that if you will turn your thoughts to God,
    He will take control. Then, regardless of the
    conditions around you, you have His abiding peace, joy,
    patience -- whatever you need at the moment -- to
    draw on.

    The Apostle Paul tells us that He [Jesus] is our
    [way of] peace (Ephesians 2:14). It's only when we
    follow after Him that the walls of hostility which
    surround us come tumbling down. He is our way
    of living at peace with others. Paul also speaks of
    those who do not seek after God, and he observes
    that they do not know the way of peace (see
    Romans 3:17).

    A verse that has helped so many who were going
    through turbulent times is Isaiah 26:3, Thou wilt
    keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed
    on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
    When you
    keep your mind on the Lord and trust
    unwaveringly in Him, you can truly live in peace though
    the world around you be filled with turmoil and
    strife.

    My prayer for you today is that... the peace of
    God, which passeth all understanding, shall
    keep your hearts and minds through Christ
    Jesus
    (Philippians 4:7).

    Week 1 | How Do You Handle Guilt

    "How do I handle the guilt of having lived in
    adultery for twenty years?" a woman asked me.

    First, I led her to the Lord. Then I assured her that
    the past was forgotten, just as if she had never sinned.
    The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
    The moment we receive Him, we start a new life. Our
    past is never remembered again.

    God has promised, "Their sins and their iniquities
    will I remember no more" (Heb. 8:12). It is often said
    that God casts our sins into the sea of His forgetfulness
    and puts up a sign: "No fishing allowed."

    However, Satan can use guilt feelings to rob us of
    our joy and effectiveness for Christ. Often he brings to
    our remembrance the past with all its ugliness. To
    overcome this assault, we must have full assurance
    that we have been forgiven of our sin (the promise of 1
    John 1:9). Then we must dwell with Christ in daily
    communion, constantly aware of His glory and the joy
    of knowing that He wants to use us in spite of our past.

    Having received forgiveness in Christ, we must next
    forgive ourselves for our failures. This is what I believe
    the apostle Paul was thinking when he wrote, "forgetting
    those things which are behind, and reaching forth
    unto those things which are before" (Phil. 3:13).

    I picture Paul sitting down one day and, in a state of
    despair, declaring, "I am the worst of sinners." Then
    the Holy Spirit whispers, "Forget those things which
    are behind. You did your best. You did all that you
    could do, and God knows all about it, so forget all the
    things which are behind you. Press toward the mark
    for the prize of the high calling of Christ" (see Phil.
    3:13,14).

    The Holy Spirit makes the same statement to us
    today. Do all that you can now and leave the rest with
    the Lord. Look toward the future.

    Our thought processes can work to our advantage
    or to our disadvantage. I believe that "Gird up the
    loins of your mind" (1 Pet. 1:13) means don't allow
    yourself to look back, especially on failure and on the
    sins for which you have been forgiven. Think on those
    things that edify the soul. Philippians 4:8 expresses
    beautifully the kinds of thoughts that should fill the
    minds of Christians: things that are true, honest, just,
    pure, lovely, and of good report.

    It is very hard for me to reflect on my life. I have
    found it much healthier to look ahead, reflecting only
    long enough to say "Thank you, Lord." I never
    wallow in guilt, even for two minutes. I will not allow my
    mind to do that.

    I learned to control my thoughts at a very young
    age. After singing in church one night, I was angry
    with myself because I thought I had done a bad job.
    My brother Bob asked, "Did you do your best?"

    "Yes, I did," I answered.

    He simply said, "Well?"

    "Thank you, Bob," I replied.

    That lesson stuck with me. During the first year of
    our ministry, I fought those angry feelings when I
    didn't do a good job. The Holy Spirit seemed to speak
    to me as Bob had done.

    "Did you do your best?"

    I did.

    "Well?"

    I realized that although I might not do a superb job
    every night, I could do my best... and that's all that is
    required.

    Each of us struggles with personal failure.
    Remember Paul's frustration in Romans 7? The things he
    wanted to do, he didn't do. The things he didn't want
    to do, he ended up doing. That is also true in my life. I
    echo his cry, "O wretched man that I am! who shall
    deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God
    through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 7:24,25).

    You may feel guilty over a son or daughter who has
    strayed away from God. Don't condemn yourself by
    asking, "Where did I go wrong?" Did you do your best
    in rearing him or her for Christ? Then claim the promise
    of Proverbs 22:6: "Train up a child in the way he
    should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from
    it." Don't spend the rest of your days in regret. Rather,
    seek God's guidance in helping your child now.
    Forget the past and let your love and concern show
    through your prayers to the God who cares. Hands
    off -- God is at work!

    We will never be perfect in this life, but it's good to
    know we have been forgiven -- not only for our past
    sins, but also for our daily shortcomings and the
    weaknesses that will cause us to fall short of the glory
    of God throughout life on earth.

    Think of it! We are forgiven... past, present, and
    future! "There is therefore now no condemnation to
    them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the
    flesh, but after the Spirit" (Rom. 8:1).

    No condemnation! And no guilt!

    Week 1 | Encounters

    "You have such an exciting life! It must be
    wonderful to travel about and meet so many
    interesting and important people..."

    In years past, Dr. Van Impe and I have visited
    dozens of cities hosting fellowship banquets and
    conducting areawide evangelistic crusades. It
    always was a delight to renew old acquaintances
    and make new friends. And always we were
    overjoyed at the tremendous results we saw in the
    crusades. Truly, the Holy Spirit is at work bringing
    revival to America!

    Many people I talked with said they had seen me
    on television and some mentioned that they
    enjoyed the on-location interviews I've had over
    the years with various well-known people. They
    often expressed the feeling that I was fortunate to
    be able to enjoy such interesting encounters.

    And they're right. Jack and I have had many
    beautiful encounters with people in this life. We're
    grateful for the wonderful opportunities God has
    given us to serve Him and minister across the
    United States and Canada and around the world.

    We've met important international figures, like
    Israel's Abba Eban, and numerous national
    leaders, such as Senator Charles Grassley, Senator
    William Armstrong, Senator Roger Jepsen,
    Congressman Mark Siljander, Mrs. Barbara Bush
    (when her husband was Vice President), and so
    many others.

    We've had encounters with rich and successful
    businessmen, great men of science, national
    heroes like several of our astronauts, and some of
    the most beautiful and charming women in the
    world.

    It has been intensely interesting to have
    encounters with great writers and performers --
    learned men and women, experts and authorities
    in many fields.

    We've also had the pleasure of working personally
    with a great many outstanding Christian
    leaders, including some 10,000 pastors all across
    this great nation. These are encounters we can
    never forget!

    A life-changing encounter

    Of course, the greatest encounter of my life was
    when I met Jesus and accepted His salvation.
    Never have I experienced such love, such
    renewing, cleansing, life-giving power! He
    touched me... changed me... transformed me.
    Since that great and wondrous encounter, I've
    never been the same.

    And every day since then, I've had the privilege
    of going into the presence of God himself and
    having personal, precious fellowship with the
    Lord Jesus Christ, my Saviour, my Strength, and
    my Friend.

    In the words of that grand old song -- "And He
    walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells
    me I am His own; and the joy we share as we tarry
    there, none other has ever known."

    Because of that encounter, I have dedicated my
    life to serving Christ. I want to do everything I can
    to help others have this same wonderful
    encounter with God. Right now my heart is
    rejoicing because of the thousands and thousands
    who have accepted Christ through the witness of
    our national television specials and weekly
    telecasts. God used the messages of these programs
    to bring a great harvest of souls. More than 60,000
    people responded to the telecast on "The Occult
    World," either requesting literature and prayer or
    sharing their testimony about making a decision
    for Christ. Thank God for allowing us to be a part
    of these great soulwinning outreaches.

    Your most important encounter

    Would you be excited and filled with anticipation
    if you knew you were going to meet the
    President of the United States? Of course! No
    doubt you would try to look and act your best for
    such an important encounter.

    But I tell you, there is Someone greater than
    him waiting for you, eager to be with you and
    have intimate, personal fellowship with you -- not
    just once, but every moment of every day, for now
    and forever!

    His name is Jesus.

    Don't neglect your encounter with God --
    renew it daily. Nothing... and nobody... is more
    important!

    If you were to make only one resolution in your
    whole life, it should be to have a daily encounter
    with Christ Jesus. And remember, as you allow
    the Holy Spirit to fill you, this will become a
    reality. What could be more exciting, more
    thrilling, more fulfilling than this?