CSN Pentecost Sunday – Messages of Light – 5/31/2020

Note From the Founder…

Dear Citizen Sentinels Network newsletter readers,

The Citizen Sentinels Network has maintained a project, originally deemed the David Project since 2018. Especially, for those readers of faith, the Messages of Light originated as a genuine inspiration from Heavenly Father. It was initiated to bring Light into the dark in this time. At this time in which we celebrate Pentecost Sunday, it is appropriate to remember the foundation that was established by those who chose to live their lives for the sake of others and for God’s sake.

If you consider the messages in our Sunday edition relevant or meaningful and know others who might value them as well, consider yourself a Light mail messenger, please pass this message on to those whom you feel could receive it. Otherwise, please receive it yourselves.

 “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and    I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself  to them.” John 14:15-21 (NIV)

On Tuesday, May 19th, I received word from CSN’s Editor-in-Chief, Judy Palmer, that Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias had passed away. He had lost his battle with cancer even though he had a strong desire to recover and carry on his work. Such sudden news of a luminary passing caused me to pause for a while in silence because I felt Ravi Zacharias was a great teacher. I also felt that the world would truly miss such a man of God. In honor of this man of God, in this edition, we will share a bit more about Ravi Zacharias.

On this Pentecost Sunday, in addition to honoring Ravi Zacharias, we also offer a message from Pastor Earl Wallace of Liberty Christian Fellowship. Pastor Wallace shares his message about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, and how the message of the Messiah was consistent with the  Ten Commandments. Pastor Wallace is speaking around the nation in reference to his points regarding the Biblical Basis of the Bill of Rights.

In reading about the illness of Ravi Zacharias, I also realized that the same type of cancer that conquered him also took my wife’s life. Although he did not pass from COVID-19, there are many who have, some 100,000 have died in the United States (depending on how the statistics are recorded). Indeed, the loss of a single life can affect many. Americans are watching in dismay as the riots over one man’s unjust death could instigate so much mayhem. If such mayhem resulted from every aborted black baby in America, the nation would be shaken to its foundation. Yet, the statistics regarding deaths due to murder or to disease do not truly help a single family deal with the pain of loss. Nor would it help an international community who loved Ravi Zacharias to deal completely with the loss of such a man of God.

From his obituary:

Frederick Antony Ravi Kumar Zacharias was born in Madras, now Chennai, in 1946, in the shadow of the resting place of the apostle Thomas, known to the world as the “Doubter” but to Zacharias as the “Great Questioner.” Zacharias’s affinity with Thomas meant he was always more interested in the questioner than the question itself…

It was the culmination of a remarkable transformation set in motion when Zacharias, recovering in a Delhi hospital from a suicide attempt at age 17, was read the words of Jesus recorded in the Bible by the apostle John: “Because I live, you will also live.” In response, Zacharias surrendered his life to Christ and offered up a prayer that if he emerged from the hospital, he would leave no stone unturned in his pursuit of truth. Once Zacharias found the truth of the gospel, his passion for sharing it burned bright until the very end.

https://www.rzim.org/read/rzim-updates/ravi-zacharias-obituary

Pastor Wallace’s message about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is ”essential” and hopefully he can have the opportunity to share it in many places throughout the nation. As President Trump stated only three days after Ravi Zacharias had passed away:

We want our churches open,” Trump told a group of bikers during a White House ceremony honoring our nation’s veterans and POW/MIA on Friday. “We want our places of faith, synagogues—we want them open. And that’s going to start happening. I consider them essential, and that’s one of the things we’re saying. We’re going to make that essential. (emphasis mine)

He also proclaimed “In America, we need more prayer not less.” And, so we do.

These words are being freely offered and are being sent to you as part of the “David Project.” Please receive this message as a gift from those who care. They are only words that are being offered, freely, but some contain a deep message of faith, or a deeper expression of heart that readers can hopefully receive into their hearts. As it was written: “Where there is no vision,  the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”  Proverbs 29:18 – KJV

May we humble ourselves, seek His face, repent, and turn from wickedness – even if that may mean to become more serious about what was most important to the son of God that he urged all of those who were his followers to put into practice. May we seek His kingdom and His righteousness more fully and more frequently.

“Ravi Zacharias, Now with Jesus”

                            By Sarah Davis

5/19/2020

 The following are excerpts from a statement made by Sarah Davis, his daughter, after her father’s passing. Sarah Davis is now the Global CEO of RZIM. Ravi Zacharias’ other daughter, Naomi, is now the Director of his other organization, Wellspring international. Ravi Zacharias’ son Nathan is RZIM’s Creative Director for Media.

On January 4, my dad recited a stanza from this hymn from the late Richard Baxter (1615-1691):

“Lord, it belongs not to my care

Whether I die or live;

To love and serve Thee is my share,

And this Thy grace must give.

If life be long, I will be glad,

That I may long obey;

If short, yet why should I be sad

To welcome endless day?

Christ leads me through no darker rooms

Than He went through before;

He that unto God’s kingdom comes

Must enter by this door.

Come Lord, when grace hath made me meet

Thy blessed face to see;

For if Thy work on earth be sweet

What will thy glory be!

Then I shall end my sad complaints

And weary sinful days,

And join with the triumphant saints

That sing my Savior’s praise.

My knowledge of that life is small,

The eye of faith is dim;

But ‘tis enough that Christ knows all,

And I shall be with Him.”

None of us could have imagined just two months after reciting that last stanza that my dad would learn he had cancer and he would experience the realization of this more than 300-year-old hymn so soon. Today we affirm, as my dad recited and Baxter penned, “But ‘tis enough that Christ knows all, and I shall be with Him.” My dad, at 74, has “join[ed] with the triumphant saints that sing [his] Savior’s praise.” We who knew and loved him celebrate his life, and more importantly, his Savior.

It was his Savior, Jesus Christ, that my dad always wanted most to talk about. Even in his final days, until he lacked the energy and breath to speak, he turned every conversation to Jesus and what the Lord had done. He perpetually marveled that God took a seventeen-year-old skeptic, defeated in hopelessness and unbelief, and called him into a life of glorious hope and belief in the truth of Scripture—a message he would carry across the globe for 48 years.

His thoughts and conversations in recent years and his final weeks were saturated with gratitude for this team of evangelists, apologists, and staff that he called family: RZIM—Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. He spoke of our evangelists’ tender hearts and their love for people. Some have said my dad blazed a trail when he began commending the Christian faith and addressing life’s great questions of meaning nearly five decades ago. As one friend dear to him remarked, he has also paved that path, desiring that his teammates around the world would continue so untold millions might know the same Jesus he faithfully served—the one he now sees face-to-face.

My dad’s humility, grace, tenderness for people, and above all love for the Lord are forever imprinted on my mind, my heart, and my life. His love for our family will be impossible to replace until we join him in heaven one day. Ravi and Margie just celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary. My mother was entirely committed to my dad’s calling and to this ministry, believing God called them together. I cannot recall even one moment when I saw her commitment to this calling weaken, because she always placed unwavering trust in the God who called them and in His purposes. We experienced God’s kindness and faithfulness in so many ways as we felt Him journeying with us in bringing my dad home. For this we are at peace and filled with deep gratitude to God for the innumerable expressions of His love. Naomi, Nathan, and I are deeply grateful for your continuing prayers for our mother, Margie, and the many expressions of love you have shown to her and to us.

Soon our family will gather for a graveside service. In the days ahead we will provide details for a public memorial service to be held in Atlanta and streamed around the world.

The Gospel of John records these words of Jesus: “Because I live, you also will live” (14:19)—seven words that changed the trajectory of Ravi Zacharias’s life some 57 years ago. It is a verse etched on his grandmother’s grave stone and will be etched on his too. Today my beautiful father is more alive than he has ever been. We thank God for him and recommit our lives to sharing this truth with all who will hear, until He calls us to our eternal home.

With deep love and gratitude, and on behalf of Margie, Naomi, and Nathan,

    “At The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 And Luke Jesus Did Not Abolish, But Fulfilled, The Ten Commandments”

                              By Pastor Earl Wallace

                                               4/25/2020

The following is an article from Pastor Wallace submitted specifically to the Citizen Sentinels Network. Link to Pastor Wallace’s current work can be found at the end of this excerpt.

We often say and hear others say, “We are not under the law.” We also read that Jesus said, “I came to fulfill, not abolish the law.” This can seem like a contradiction, but here’s how both statements are true!

Jesus did not come to abolish, but to fulfill, God’s law, which originally was given to the Jews. Christ fulfilled the ceremonial requirements of the Old Testament laws, which provided temporary atonement for sin. When we receive Christ, the Holy Spirit disciples us to increasingly walk the narrow path of Scripture to conform us to keeping God’s eternal moral laws. These moral laws are synopsized in the Ten Commandments, which Christ explained in the Sermon On The Mount.

The Sermon on the Mount’s Beatitudes work together with the Ten Commandments like a hand fits in a glove. We only understand how one fulfills the other when we see them as the combination I express as “The Law of Love.” We must distinguish between the “temporary, ceremonial law,” which Christ fulfilled and the “eternal, moral law” that is valid for all time.

Love indeed is the fulfillment of the law (Gal. 5:14, Rom. 13:10). The Beatitudes and The Ten Commandments express how we behave when we fulfill the Greatest Commandment to love God and others (Matt. 22:36-38).

The Ten Commandments can be broken into several categories:

  • Commandments one through four express what we will do if we love God.

  • Commandment five encapsulates the concept that honor is the foundation of love in a family.

  • Commandments six through ten express what we won’t do if we love others, both those within our families and those within society: We won’t #6 –  murder; #7 –  sexually violate;  #8 –  steal from; #9 – lie to or about;  and #10 – covet their “four ‘P’s:” their persons, people, position or possessions!

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus does not abolish the moral law, but actually ups the ante and increases our responsibilities under it.

In Matthew 5:11-12 (and in the parallel passage in Luke 6:22-23), Jesus explains what we can expect by keeping Ten Commandments one through four. 11:“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12: Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Then, in Matt. 5:21-22 (and in Luke 6:27-29), Jesus explains how the Holy Spirit will motivate us to exceed Ten Commandment number six to not murder by convicting us to not be angry and insult others. Thus, we avoid what leads to murder. 21: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22: But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’  will be liable to the hell of fire.”

The parallels continue and expectations also increase in Matt. 5:27-29 in which Jesus explains how the Holy Spirit will motivate us to exceed Ten Commandment number seven to not sin sexually by convicting us to not lust after others. Thus, we avoid what leads to sexual sin. 27: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28: But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29: If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.

Finally, in Luke 5:29-30, Jesus explains how the Holy Spirit will motivate us to exceed Ten Commandments number eight and number ten to not steal by convicting us to be generous and forgiving. In this way, we overcome the temptation to covet and steal and act on what leads to sinful vengeance. Through Christ we are empowered to 29: not withhold our tunic from one who takes away our cloak, and 30: Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.

Video View –  Ravi Zacharias: True Love in a Time of Crisis

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=ravi+zacharias#id=2&vid=f317cdef0561a46c4b391512708f53e3&action=click


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