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How Immense Is God’s Love? 

Summer Intern Hope Mortan shares what she learned in John 17.



If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

Scripture

John 17 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Jesus Prays for Himself

17 Jesus spoke these things, looked up to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you,since you gave him authority over all flesh, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him. This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent —Jesus Christ.I have glorified you on the earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, glorify me in your presence with that glory I had with you before the world existed.

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

“I have revealed your name to the people you gave me from the world.They were yours, you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.Now they know that everything you have given me is from you,because I have given them the words you gave me. They have received them and have known for certain that I came from you. They have believed that you sent me.

“I pray for them. I am not praying for the world but for those you have given me, because they are yours. 10 Everything I have is yours, and everything you have is mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.Holy Father, protect them by your name that you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I was protecting them by your name that you have given me. I guarded them and not one of them is lost, except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture may be fulfilled. 13 Now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy completed in them. 14 I have given them your word. The world hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I am not praying that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctifythem by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 I sanctify myself for them, so that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

Jesus Prays for All Believers

20 “I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in me through their word. 21 May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me. 22 I have given them the glory you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me, so that they may be made completely one, that the world may know you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me.

24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they will see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the world’s foundation. 25 Righteous Father, the world has not known you. However, I have known you, and they have known that you sent me. 26 I made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love you have loved me with may be in them and I may be in them.”

Christian Standard Bible (CSB) The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Who Is Our Helper? 

Jedidiah Wright, summer intern, shares about what it means to listen to the holy spirit in your life.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

Scripture

John 16 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

“I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling. They will ban you from the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering service to God. They will do these things because they haven’t known the Father or me. But I have told you these things so that when their time comes you will remember I told them to you. I didn’t tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going away to him who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Yet, because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: About sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; 11 and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

Our morning Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag 

Our mornings at the Christian Training Center start out right. We have our devotion time (together). Before breakfast, we gather to say the Lord’s prayer, the pledge of allegiance to the flag, and pray for our country..

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

 

What are the blessings of acknowledgement?

Susan Pons grew up in Valdese, North Carolina. Prior to her marriage, she performed professionally on stage and dinner theaters. The mother of four and grandmother of six, she and her husband, Larry, direct Christian Training Center, International, a ministry dedicated to the restoration of families. She has loved her life.

Susan ends our Train to Reign Devotionals with some final words.

Check our Susan’s book here.

What are The Consequences of Fatherlessness?

Courtney reads  our Train to Reign program devotional for the day.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

Scripture

Malachi 4:5-6 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Look, I am going to send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Master comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise, I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

Ephesians 6:1-3 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Children, obey your parents in the Master, because this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, so that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life in the land.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

 

Christian Standard Bible (CSB) The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

 

What Is God Testing You In?

Hope Morton shares what it is like to trust Jesus in her life. Hope lives in Franklin, N.C.

If you would like to donate to CTCI please click here.

Check our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

 

What does it mean to be born again?

2019 summer intern Jesse Wahl shares his wisdom on John chapter 3. What does it mean to be born again?

John 3 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

There was a man from the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to him at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one could perform these signs you do unless God were with him.”

Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

“How can anyone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week semester program focused on personal and spiritual development for young adults. While immersed in a way of life that emphasizes the Word of God, prayer, relationships, family, servanthood and personal discipline, you will be renewed, trained, and challenged to walk with God in a deeper way. Learn more here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a residential, “family style” living experience like no other! Emphasizing the biblical truths of relationships, family, servanthood, and personal discipline, young men and women are challenged to live a faith that reaches beyond the four walls of the church and affects everyday life.

“The Heroes Semester is taking place, and all that I can say is that the Lord is showing me Himself! Christ is mesmerizing me; He’s opening my heart to fall more in love with Him!”

CB -Tennessee (Participant)

Participants ages 18-26 come from all walks of life with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord and seek Him for their lives and future. Each semester is filled with teaching, activities, and experiences designed to take you on the mountaintops with the Lord as well as train you to live a disciplined life in Christ in the plains and valleys.

Participants spend their days in study sessions, work duties, or on the unpredictable outdoor adventure. The evenings have a natural rhythm of group Bible studies, prayer & intercession, and recreational activities. Everyone pitches in with the usual chores that come with living life together. Electronics take a back seat in daily life, unplugging from usual habits helps to make space for new ones. Each day ends with a note of gratitude and lessons learned.

If you are ready to go deeper in relationships, devotion, and surrender to the Lord, then CTCI’s Heroes Semester could be the most purposeful 10 weeks of your life! Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

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Why is Jesus the light for all of us? Why can’t His light be overcome?

Light shines

What is Jesus to me? Jesus is life. In Jesus, and only Jesus, I have life. There is no way around it. I can’t, and don’t, want to deny it. It is reality for me. Jesus is life!

In Jesus [him] was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world was created through him, and yet the world did not recognize him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God. | John 1:4-13 (CSB)

Life is a key theme in John’s good news book; it is used thirty-six times. What are the essentials for human life? There are at least four: light (if the sun went out, everything would die), air, water, and food. Jesus is all of these!

Jesus is the Light of life and the Light of the world. He is the “Sun of righteousness”. By His Holy Spirit, He gives us the “breath of life”, as well as the Water of life. Finally, Jesus is the Living Bread of Life that came down from heaven. He not only has life and gives life, but He is life.

Light and darkness are recurring themes in John’s good news book. God is light while Satan is “the power of darkness”. People love either the light or the darkness, and this love controls their actions. Those who believe on the Messiah are the “sons of light”. Just as the first Creation began with “Let there be light!” so the New Creation begins with the entrance of light into the heart of the believer. The coming of Jesus the Messiah into the world was the dawning of a new day for man.

You would think that blind sinners would welcome the light, but such is not always the case. The coming of the true light brought conflict as the powers of darkness opposed it. A literal translation of John 1:5 reads, “And the light keeps on shining in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it or understood it.” The Greek verb can mean “to overcome” or “to grasp, to understand.” Throughout the good news book of John, you will see both attitudes revealed: people will not understand what the Master Jesus is saying and doing and, as a result, they will oppose Him. John 7–12 records the growth of that opposition, which ultimately led to the crucifixion of the Messiah.

Whenever Jesus taught a spiritual truth, His listeners interpreted it in a material or physical way. The light was unable to penetrate the darkness in their minds. This was true when He spoke about the temple of His body, the new birth, the living water, eating His flesh, spiritual freedom, death as sleep, and many other spiritual truths. Satan strives to keep people in the darkness, because darkness means death and hell, while light means life and heaven.

This fact helps explain the ministry of John the Baptizer. John was sent as a witness to Jesus the Messiah, to tell people that the Light had come into the world. The nation of Israel, in spite of all its spiritual advantages, was blind to their own Messiah! The word witness is a key word in this book; John uses the noun fourteen times and the verb thirty-three times. John the Baptizer was one of many people who bore witness to Jesus, “This is the Son of God!” Alas, John was martyred and the Jewish leaders did nothing to prevent it.

Why did the nation reject Jesus as the Messiah? Because they “knew Him not.” They were spiritually ignorant. Jesus is the “true Light”—the original of which every other light is a copy—but the Jews were content with the copies. They had Moses and the Law, the temple and the sacrifices; but they did not comprehend that these “lights” pointed to the true Light who was the fulfillment, the completion, of the Old Agreement.

As you study John’s good news book, you will find Jesus teaching the people that He is the fulfillment of all that was typified in the Law. It was not enough to be born a Jew; they had to be born again, born from above. He deliberately performed two miracles on the Sabbath to teach them that He had a new rest to give them. He was the satisfying manna and the life-giving Water. He is the Shepherd of a new flock, and He is a new Vine. But the people were so shackled by religious tradition that they could not understand spiritual truth. Jesus came to His own world that He had created, but His own people, Israel, could not understand Him and would not receive Him.

They saw His works and heard His words. They observed His perfect life. He gave them every opportunity to grasp the truth, believe, and be saved. Jesus is the way, but they would not walk with Him. He is the truth, but they would not believe Him. He is the life, and they crucified Him!

But today we need not commit those same blunders. John 1:12–13 gives us the marvelous promise of God that anyone who receives Christ will be born again and enter the family of God! John says more about this new birth in John 3, but he points out here that it is a spiritual birth from God, not a physical birth that depends on human nature.

The Light is still shining! Have you personally received the Light and become a child of God?

If you would like to donate to CTCI please click here.

Sources:

  1. Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Jn 1:1–51). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  2. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, pp. 285–286). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Why did Jesus visit the wedding in Cana?

2019 summer intern Courtney Potter shares this mornings devotion from John chapter 2.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

On the third day a wedding took place in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’s mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were invited to the wedding as well. When the wine ran out, Jesus’s mother told him, “They don’t have any wine.”

“What does that have to do with you and me, woman?” Jesus asked. “My hour has not yet come.”

“Do whatever he tells you,” his mother told the servants.

Now six stone water jars had been set there for Jewish purification. Each contained twenty or thirty gallons.

“Fill the jars with water,” Jesus told them. So they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the headwaiter.” And they did.

When the headwaiter tasted the water (after it had become wine), he did not know where it came from—though the servants who had drawn the water knew. He called the groom 10 and told him, “Everyone sets out the fine wine first, then, after people are drunk, the inferior. But you have kept the fine wine until now.”

Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee. He revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.

After this, he went down to Capernaum, together with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples, and they stayed there only a few days.

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Jn 2:1–12). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Where can we find our Lord and Savior?

Welcome, from all of us at Christian Training Center International. Please join us this morning as we read and ponder this devotion written by Susan Pons about seeking the Lord with all of our heart. We have a promise from the Lord that He will be found if we seek Him with all our heart, so don’t give up – keep seeking until you find Him! Genuinely: Pray, ask, talk to God, be in Scripture daily with full focus.

Healing for your spirit

Are you checking your spiritual health regularly? Like our body we need to keep our spirit healthy too! Please join us in this mornings devotion by Susan Pons and let’s each check our current state.

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away (Hebrews 2:1). Staying the path with God requires a discipline to take the time to hear Him speak: Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. (Proverbs 4:25-27) There are seasons in this life when we can drift away from our “first love.” Similar to an earthly marriage that needs careful attention to keep the flame burning, so it is in our union with the Lord. How do we keep these two most important relationships alive? (1) inclining our ears towards the Lord and our spouse; (2) seeking both relationships with all of our hearts (3) cutting off those things that keep us from nourishing these two highest unions. So, today, let’s make the effort not to drift away from our relationships with the Lord and in our marriage. The rewards are great!

1.What is it in your personal life that can cause you to drift away?

2.What kind of discipline does this require of you?

3.How does our not drifting away affect the Body of Christ of which you are a

part?

We would love to hear your answers in the comments section!

Why are you cast down?

God is our HELP, our HEALER, our HOPE!!!! Please join us as we study this devotion written by Susan Pons regarding how David dealt with his time of distress.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God (Psalm 42:7).

I suppose most of us have experienced David’s weep expressed in this scripture at some time or another…those moments when an uninvited, unnerving, unsettled anxiousness blasts into our soul. Many times we can put our finger on reasons for the turmoil. But, there are those experiences when we simply cannot begin to understand such dis-quietness troubling us. So, David gives us the answer for these paralyzing emotions. Hope! Hope! Hope in God! Your help! Your God! Because the tumultuous waves of the ocean obey Him, how much more will our souls obey as we hope in Him?

1.What are some circumstances in your life that can cause your soul to become restless (disquieted)?

2.If we cannot put our finger on the reason for our restlessness, Whom should we turn?

3.What does “hope in God” mean to you?

We would love to hear some of your answers in the comments!

You can find HOPE!

As we search for healing, for HOPE, let us begin that search in the GOSPEL! Please join us as we spend time in God’s Word today and read this devotion by Susan Pons.

Hope in His Word

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope (Romans 15:4).

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path (Psalm 119:105).

Imagine that!From Genesis— In the beginning— to Revelation— Blessed are those who hear the Word and take to heart what is written in it.Because of His Word,we are not left in the dark as to God’s desire for us in our lives here on earth.He has not left us as orphans…unfed, unclothed, unclean.The great prophet, Jeremiah exclaims, Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts. His Word feeds us! For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ (Galatians 3:27).We are literally clothed with Jesus! After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven (Hebrews 1:3). We are pure and spotless (clean) in His sight!

Holy words long preserved
For our walk in this world,
They resound with God’s own heart
Oh, let the ancient words impart.

Words of life, words of hope
Give us strength, help us cope
In this world, where e’er we roam
Ancient words will guide us home.

Ancient words, ever true
Changing me, and changing you.
We have come with open hearts
Oh let the ancient words impart

            –Lynn DeShazo—

  • What hope in God’s word does the Word of God give you?
  • What do you believe Jeremiah meant by eating God’s Word?
  • In what ways, in your personal lives does it mean to clothe yourself in Christ?
  • In our failures, was your salvation and purification completed in Christ?  How does scripture show us this marvelous happening?