Weekly Newsletter – September 20, 2021
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Give Me Your Hand
In my daily Bible reading, I’ve been noticing how much is mentioned about the hands of our Lord. Again and again the Gospels relate how He reached out to people in their need and hurt and sorrow. And when He touched them, they were never the same again.
His hands healed the sick
After He began His earthly ministry, great multitudes thronged about Him wherever He went. Those who were sick, blind, and lame — even those marked for death with the curse of leprosy — came to Him seeking to be healed and made whole.
When the hands of Jesus touched them, pain and suffering ceased, diseases and infirmities were cured, and lives shattered and ruined by sickness were restored.
His hands fed the multitude
It was the hands of Jesus that fed the multitudes who followed Him out into the desert place to hear His words. When evening came, Christ’s disciples urged Him to send the people away. But Jesus saw their hunger and weariness and, in compassion, desired to minister to them.
Taking a few small loaves and fishes — barely enough for one small boy’s lunch — the Lord blessed the food. Then His hands began to break and divide the bread and fish into portions which He gave to His disciples to serve.
We’re told that 5,000 men were fed that day, not counting the women and children. And when everybody had eaten all they wanted, there were twelve baskets full of leftovers! The hands of Jesus not only provided enough…but plenty to spare.
His hands blessed the children
Loving children as I do, my heart is touched to read the biblical account of how the hands of Jesus blessed and comforted the little children. He specifically told His disciples not to prevent them from coming to Him. And in my mind’s eye, I can see the Lord sitting down and opening His arms to them. As they eagerly jostled about, perhaps He lifted a toddler into His lap, shook hands with an older lad, touched the cheek of a shy little girl. And as His gentle hands patted little shoulders and smoothed tousled hair, the Lord blessed these little ones. Somehow I think they probably never forgot that day when the hands of Jesus touched them.
The hands of the Master
No doubt the hands of Jesus were strong and powerful. Growing up around Joseph’s carpenter shop, He probably learned to hold and use various tools to shape and assemble wood into useful items. His hands knew how to work.
It was those strong hands that later would grasp a whip as an indignant Jesus drove the callous money changers out of the holy halls of the Temple. Those hands were instruments of righteousness and justice.
It was those hands that reached out to lift and save impetuous Peter who, after walking on the water toward Jesus, took his eyes off the Lord and began to sink.
There are so many other references to the hands of Jesus that we could talk about. But the single most important mention of Christ’s hands is when they were nailed to the cross.
A very dear, life-long friend gave me a beautiful wall plaque, which I have hanging in my kitchen. It says:
I asked Jesus, “How much do You love me?”
“This much,” He answered, and He stretched out His arms and died.
Greater love hath no man than this, said Jesus, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).
And who is Jesus’ friend? The deeply spiritual and very religious? The learned and respectable? The proud traditionalists?
No, our Lord said that He was called a friend of…sinners! (Luke 7:34).
The Apostle Paul reminds us that Christ died for the ungodly… in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6,8).
It is strangely and beautifully significant that the first person to benefit from Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary was a thief on the cross next to His! Think of it — the first person to whom the Lord stretched out His nail-pierced hands was someone totally unworthy of His love.
Some time ago my husband, Jack, and I were guests at a Christian fellowship dinner in another city. During the meal I got acquainted and talked with a dear little mother who sat next to me. After a while, with tears streaming down her cheeks, she leaned over and whispered the sad story of a wayward daughter who had run away from home, mounted up many debts, and fallen to the very depths of sin, even into a life of prostitution.
“I pray for her every day,” she said, “and every time I hear from her I beg her to come home. My husband doesn’t make a lot of money, so I got a job to help pay off the debts our daughter made. I’m doing everything I know how to do to help her. Please pray with me.”
When I reached out to take hold of this precious mother’s hands to comfort her, they were rough and calloused, scarred by long hours of hard work, week after month after year. Those hands were scarred by love…by a mother’s selfless sacrifice and desperate desire to reach and save her wayward daughter.
As I held those hands and prayed, I was reminded of Christ’s nail-scarred hands that also were pierced for that lost daughter…and for every lost sinner in the whole world. They were scarred for me…and for you!
Just as the hands of our Lord ministered to men and women, boys and girls, wherever He went during His time on earth, so we today can feel the touch of His hands in our daily lives. His power is still available to us today.
In our times of pain and suffering, He is still the Great Physician who lays His hands upon us and restores our bodies. Whether our healing comes through medication, the skill of a surgeon, or by the power of faith alone, we know that He is the source of all healing.
When we are hungry and experiencing a lack of supply — when we’re empty physically, emotionally, and spiritually — Christ’s hands will bless and multiply the smallest things we have to offer Him and make it sufficient to meet our need…with plenty to spare.
When we’ve tried and failed — when like Peter, we’re sinking into the depths of trials and tribulations, with no hope in sight — He will come to us, walking on the waters of our stormy sea. His hand will save us, lift us up, and lead us safely to the solid rock!
My challenge to you
Let us be challenged to reach out in His love into every man’s world with a helping hand. Let us emulate our Lord’s great example and use the resurrection power that flows through us to minister to the needs of those around us.
Never forget that for many people in the world, their first glimpse of Christ may be in you…the only hands that will touch them in love, that will comfort, lift, and bless them, may be your hands.
Reach out whenever you can, wherever you can, to whomever you can. However unlovely or unworthy the person you find may be, remember that Christ’s sacrifice is sufficient…and that He loves that individual just as much as He loves you.
Do not be afraid to stretch forth your hand to anybody. For you minister, not in your own strength and ability, but in His love. So when you reach out, it will not be just your hand that touches them, but the hand of God through you!
I love the beautiful gospel chorus that cries out
Oh, to be His hand extended,
Reaching out to the oppressed,
Let me touch Him, let me touch Jesus,
So that others may know and be blessed.
Look around you today and find someone who is hurting or needy, someone who is in trouble. Ask God to guide you to someone who needs Jesus.
When you find them, don’t hesitate or delay. Go to them with a smile filled with the light of His love and simply say…
“Give me your hand.”
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
Israel’s Final Holocaust
World conditions, especially the tense Middle East situation, have aroused interest in Bible prophecy to an all-time high. But it is impossible to grasp God’s prophetic plan apart from an understanding of His promises to Israel.
All prophetic truth revolves around the Jews. The Bible reviews their history and unfolds their future. The future of the world will be affected by the future of Israel.
In this work we will give special attention to the dispersion and sufferings of the Jewish people, believing this will lead to a better understanding between Jews and Gentiles and that it will help readers to appreciate the Jewish longing for a national home.
The history of the Jews during the past two thousand years is a panorama of persecution. It is doubtful that any people have suffered so consistently and so long as have the descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Anti-Semitism is a cancer that never seems to heal. Although there have been periods of respite, this evil has erupted periodically, bringing misery and heartache to the children of Israel.
Are we about to witness another wave of persecution of Jews?
Old Testament prophets were careful to outline the events of the end time as they would affect Israel and the world. They saw a return of the Jews to their homeland in the latter days. Does the existence of the State of Israel fulfill that prophecy?
Today, most Christians are acquainted with terms in the prophecy vocabulary, such as the Rapture of the church, the Tribulation period, the Antichrist, the mark of the Beast, Armageddon, and the Millennium. What do these mean? And when will the events of which they speak find fulfillment?
ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE
In 1860, a French scientist named Pierre Berchelt predicted: “Within a hundred years of physical and chemical science, man will know what the atom is. It is my belief that when science reaches this stage, God will come down with His big ring of keys and will say to humanity: ‘Gentlemen, it is closing time.'”
The first part of Berchelt’s forecast is history. We live in the perilous atomic age. But what about the remainder of the prediction? How near is closing time?
And what is closing?
Are we to expect the end of the world? Judgment? Will some power-hungry leader plunge the world into a life ending nuclear nightmare? Will experiments in germ warfare or the creation of new life forms bring about scientific suicide?
Today’s uncertainties have produced immense interest in the future. Something is in the wind, and it has not gone unnoticed. Mystics, psychics, and leaders of occult groups have seized this opportunity to swell the ranks of their followers. Astrology is flourishing; instruction for living in tune with the stars is available in nearly every newspaper. False prophets are legion and their very presence in ever-increasing numbers is a fulfillment of prophecy. But curiosity about the future is not new. Even the disciples longed for more light on things to come when they asked, “…what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matt. 24:3).
The Lord’s answer to their question, along with other Bible prophecies, provides a composite of required conditions for closing time.
And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom… (Matt. 24:6,7).
War seems unthinkable in this era of unparalleled education. One would think that enlightened man would have forsaken such a barbaric practice. Yet the twentieth century, more than any other, has demonstrated that full heads and empty hearts produce violence. Twice in the span of a generation, Europe’s most scientifically advanced nation plunged the world into bloody conflict.
William Howard Taft wrote: “The battlefield as a place of settlement of disputes is gradually yielding to the arbitral courts of justice. The interests of great masses are not being sacrificed as in former times to the selfishness, ambitions, and aggrandizement of the sovereigns.”
Sounds like progress, doesn’t it? But Mr. Taft wrote his evaluation in 1911.
Many years later, General Douglas MacArthur declared:
Military alliances, balances of power, leagues of nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. The utter destructiveness of war now blots out this alternative. We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at the door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all material and cultural developments of the past 2,000 years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.
But the search for a more equitable system has been fruitless. Too many have died in battle since MacArthur’s thought-provoking analysis. Genuine spiritual revival still has not taken place. The present worldwide military buildup surpasses any ever known.
And Armageddon approaches.
Although wars have been fought throughout history, the Bible says the end-time battles will be more frequent and disastrous. The situation is compared to a woman in travail — labor. The pains increase with frequency and severity as the birth draws near (Rom. 8:22,23).
Fifty-two million were killed in World War II, compared to eight million in World War I. The prospect of casualties in a future conflict is mind-boggling.
Even small nations are assembling arsenals of doomsday proportions. This is another fulfillment of prophecy: “Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears: let the weak [small nations] say, I am strong” (Joel 3:9,10).
Meanwhile, peace continues to be an elusive dream, as it has through the centuries. Though peace talks continue and disarmament dialogues claim spasmodic progress, tranquility will be temporary at best. “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thess. 5:3).
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
I absolutely enjoy your newsletters and am grateful that you are continuing Jack’s Ministry. I pray for you daily and am so proud of you for doing such a fantastic job for the Lord. Thank you for the newsletter that you send out as I enjoy reading it. I loved Jack and yourself so very much, and you both taught me so much about the Lord’s word. You’ve helped me understand scriptures on prophesy and my eyes are wide open, have been for many years since I started watching Jack Van Impe’s weekly program. I am grateful the Lord led me to you both. Take care of yourself and God Bless Rexella.
I get so excited when I get your weekly email, I’m 89 Yrs. old & don’t get out because of covid & what a Blessing your statement & Bro. Jack’s message is to Me. Thank you. See you in Heaven.
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