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The Ultimate Judge

     In my life, there have been multiple times when other people have talked negatively about me or have even tried to hurt me in some type of way. As a kid I had friends who I thought were very good friends of mine who went behind my back and told others personal information about me. I felt like I was being stabbed in the back. I could have easily turned around and hurt them by talking negatively about them as well. In the Bible it does talk about an eye for an eye in the Old Testament. In our human nature, we are sinners, and that’s what we want to do. We want to take revenge on those who have wronged us.

    However, in this passage, Peter is talking to us about submitting to our authority. He is showing that the only one with the write to judge is God himself. He is the only righteous person who can judge. In our time of pain and hurt we must not submit to our flesh and get payback but must hand it over to God for him to judge. If we judge others, then we are in the wrong just like the person who went against us. 

Leanne R

  ’95 / ’02  Jacksonville FL


Doris Jean H

’44 / ’55 Manheim PA

No Steps Backward

Many times, during our birthdays, we tend to look backward to the times when life was simpler, we had more fun, or even when we were in better physical shape. Others look back to see how far they’ve come from to where they are now. While it is ok to take some time to reflect over the past, it is important to remember that we can’t go back there. In some cases, we can’t go back to the younger carefree version of ourselves to relive “the good old days”. In other cases, we can’t revisit the past to undo our past mistakes. Whether good or bad, we had a completely different outlook when we were younger. We were practically different people. We can’t go back. We really don’t need to. 

In 2 Timothy 2:22 Paul advises to flee from youthful lusts. To run away from the things we wanted in the past. We aren’t that person anymore. We should want different things than when we were younger. Take me for example. When I was younger, I studied martial arts with the hopes of becoming a professional fighter. Now, in my current stage of life, I now have zero interest in any of that. I am much more focused on being a better husband, father, and missionary to God’s glory. Things change. They are supposed to. 

There is another part to Paul’s advice. We aren’t just supposed to flee our youthful lusts, we are to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. While we aren’t taking any steps backward, we are not standing still either. It’s not good to just stay the same and be stagnant. We are to pursue things that are going to make us better than we were. God wants us to both grow closer to Him and mature as believers. Doing so is much easier when we surround ourselves with likeminded people. Which means that sometimes we must let go of those relationships that are still living in the past and expect us to be our younger selves forever. So, as you enjoy your special day, please remember that it is fine to look back and reflect on where you’ve been and who you were. Let’s not step backwards though trying to get back what we lost. God calls us forward to pursue better things. To be better people than our younger selves. God Bless.

Frank H

 ’80 / ’94 San Jose Costa Rica www.colaborers.com/Hynsons


pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Doris Jean H

’44 / ’55 Manheim PA

A Prepared Vessel of Honor

Sanctification can be a big, intimidating word. In fact, it’s a lot easier to focus on the moment of salvation and look forward to the moment of full perfection when we are with Jesus in Heaven. But the real work is done in the middle, when we allow the Holy Spirit to challenge, grow, and equip us for every good work. While there is nothing, nothing, we can do to earn salvation, we do have an active part in the process of sanctification in our own life. It is a mysterious mixture of the Holy Spirit convicting us, us listening to Him, and then actively working alongside Him to bring about that change. I’m not sure it’s possible to define where one-part ends and the other begins. And this process is what every believer in Christ is called to do. We are called to turn away from sin, submerge ourselves in the Truth of His Word, and grow in understanding of Him, all so we can be a vessel of honor, suitable for God’s use and prepared for every good work. In this passage, Paul is encouraging Timothy to stick to the Truth he’s been taught like a good soldier, or an athlete, to endure the coming hardship in his life. Paul’s recipe for endurance is to remain in constant communion with Jesus and not let go of the Truth. When he tells Timothy in verse 21 to ‘purge yourself from these’, ‘these’ refers to what other leaders around him are doing, engaging in “empty chatter” that leads to ungodliness (v. 16). He is to “properly handle the Word of Truth”, and in so doing, will become a vessel of honor, prepared for every good work. I think that’s pretty good advice for us too. If we can stay focused on Jesus rather than pointless distractions around us, we will be able to hear the Holy Spirit convicting us, and work with Him to be sanctified and useful for God’s use. And then on that day when we do enter Heaven, we’ll be able to hear those treasured words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” That is the glory I am striving toward. How about you?

Brittany H

’94 / ’08 San Jose Costa Rica

CoLaborers International Missionary

www.colaborers.com/Hynsons

The Ultimate Gift

Well, it is that time of year again when we say, “Happy Birthday to You!!” It may come as a birthday card, a phone call, a friend at work, a spouse rolling over in bed whispering it in your ear or it may come as a gift.

Have you ever thought about the best birthday gift you have ever received? Maybe it was a gift you received in your youth. Maybe you were proposed to you on your birthday, or maybe one of your children was born on your birthday. Over the years we have all received gifts that have brought us immense joy.

Yet consider this, on your spiritual birthday, you received the ultimate gift. God’s Son’s willingness to live in you… I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

When we get saved, when we give our hearts to God, the Trinity in turn returns the favor by giving us gifts… And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:5

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for theday of redemption. Ephesians 4:30

God pours His love into our hearts; Jesus sets up residency in us and the Holy Spirit seals us until we arrive in heaven. Talk about birthday gifts!! Unlike the gifts that you will receive on your physical birthday, those gifts that will wear out, get lost or become outdated, the gifts from God, well they just keep on giving.

There is no religion, no church or teaching that makes or implies this claim. That their founder would set up residency in your heart. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”

Enjoy this day, because it is a special day, it is the day that God planned for you to celebrate long before the creation of the world. Now on the other 364 days, if there ever comes a day when you cannot find anything to be thankful for, remember the gift that keeps on giving, the Ultimate Gift, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Brian G

 ’54 / ’66  Columbia SC


Doris Jean H

’44 / ’55 Manheim PA

Read Everything before taking the Test

When I was in high school, I had a teacher give us a test!  He handed out the papers to each student. On the very top of the page it said, “Read everything before starting the test”. Easy enough! So, I started taking the test. I read all the instructions for problem one, completed it, then problem two. After a few minutes I noticed a couple of people turning in their test. Confused about how they could be done already, and I was only on problem number two. So, I started reading each problem and to my surprise the last problem said put your name on the paper and turn it in. So, I did.  The point of the illustration was how we do not often follow instruction. This makes me think of God’s law and how we cannot follow all the laws. Jesus came to earth and fulfilled the law because He knew we never could.

Galatians 2:19 (EASY) ”But God’s Law showed me that I could never obey all its rules. So I became like a dead person, free from the authority of those rules. That means that I can now live to please God.“

This is good news! We can be saved by faith, not by keeping laws, not by all my works, but because of what Jesus did on the cross.

 I shared this story about the illustration the teacher used with my boys. One day my youngest son had a teacher do this same test for his class.  He turned in his paper before anyone else in the class. His teacher looked surprised. My son told him that his mom had this same test when she was in school. I had prepared him! So, I want to prepare you today! Enjoy your birthday! Go in God’s good grace.

Michelle R

  ’67 / ’84 Jacksonville FL

A Hindrance ?

How often do we find ourselves wanting to do something but feel like Paul here that Satan is holding us back? I definitely feel that in my life. I felt like I tried and tried to get out on the mission field. I tried 3 different times because I felt God had called me and all 3 times something stopped me. Sometimes I think God had different plans, which in part He did. But other times I believe Satan is doing as much as possible to get us to fall off track of what the Lord truly has for us. 

   If we allow Satan to win, he will be so happy. He will feel accomplished. But how do we avoid that. 1) Go. Do not wait. If the Lord is calling, respond to that, you never know how close you are to your next blessing from above. 2) Saturate your heart with His word so we do not let Satan hinder us from anything God has for us! Meditate on His Word so that nothing said can throw us off track of what God says. 

   Knowing your scripture is vital when it comes to fighting off the evil one. It seems like too many times in this world we live like we always must do more, learn more, be more. But knowing God’s Word is one thing that can help us through all the rest of them. Know God so that you can resist Satan and not have him hindering what the Lord has for you! 

Cody R

 ’96 / ’08 Jacksonville FL

Law Vs Faith !

The Bible doesn’t use a lot of exclamation marks, but this verse ends with one. This section of verses is taking head on the law vs faith in Christ. The law cannot save us – only Christ can save us! Neither does “going into all the world” mean that we become like the world. We need to take Christ into the world and not lose our faith in Christ in the process. It’s our faith in Christ that allows us to become witnesses for Him. It’s not our own power but Christ’s power. As Christ works in us and through us, it’s always important to give God the glory for what He has done. Obviously without Him we’d be worth nothing. It all starts with Jesus shedding His blood on the cross for us. When we come to salvation and accept the free gift of grace for what the Lord has done, that is when our life starts anew. Yes, we remember our past life and often God uses that to reach other people, we are all sinners saved by His grace after all. At the point of accepting what Christ has done for us is when we are justified. That is when we step away from the law and are “declared” righteous. As we strive to live for God’s glory our past becomes unimportant. What is important, is living for God within our own sphere of influence. This is the day which the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it! Psalm 118:24 (NASB)

Denise R

’67/’81 Quarryville, PA


Doris Jean H

’44 / ’55 Manheim PA

The Problem With Two

I am currently doing a study through the book of 1 Samuel.  In the opening chapter, Elkanah, Samuel’s father, has two wives.  And whenever we read stories about a man having two wives, the story doesn’t end well or it involves a lot of heartache and plenty of pain.  Earlier in scripture, we find the same type of trouble haunting the patriarch Jacob.  The problem with having two wives is that men are incapable of loving two women.  It just isn’t a part of human nature.  God didn’t create us that way.  A man with two wives will ultimately have a favorite and in both the stories of Jacob and Elkanah, one wife was loved and the other wasn’t.  This truth is not just applied to wives but can be applied to masters.  The Lord made this point when he said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Matt. 6:24)  It isn’t in man’s nature to serve two masters.  Man will be totally devoted to one but be less committed to the other.  We know that “masters” are metaphoric for anyone or anything that we are obedient to or things that hold our deepest commitment and devotion.  For example, a drug can be my master if I wake up in the morning and do everything I can to score that drug.  My world revolves around scoring that drug daily. A drug addict will wake up in the morning trying to score and every routine revolves around the drug.  That’s commitment.  That’s devotion.

My encouragement for you today is for you to develop the same type of commitment for the Lord.  When you wake up, do you talk to Him in prayer?  Do you thank Him for the blessings in your life?  Do you have a daily routine that fits God in?  The problem is that it is too easy nowadays to love the world and everything it has to offer, especially in this country.  We live in a country of opulence and extravagance.  Everything seems to be geared towards pleasure and reward.  Many believers and nominal Christians (and I don’t say this lightly as if I have arrived at spiritual maturity myself) have both feet firmly planted in this world.  But this world is not our home and is certainly not our final resting place.  Do you act like this is true?  There is nothing wrong with saving or buying a home or being involved in anything temporal.  BUT!!!  Where is your daily commitment?  Is it in your 401K or your job?  Does it lay in the success of your favorite sports team?  This is what Jesus said a few verses before, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:19-21) The point is this:  if you are completely devoted to these temporal things, then you will be a lot less committed to God.  Don’t fall prey to this world.  Serve the Lord daily and love the only Master that counts!!!

Dave F. 

   ‘69 / ‘76 / Egg Harbor Twp   NJ


Doris Jean H

’44 / ’55 Manheim PA

The Problem With Two

I am currently doing a study through the book of 1 Samuel.  In the opening chapter, Elkanah, Samuel’s father, has two wives.  And whenever we read stories about a man having two wives, the story doesn’t end well or it involves a lot of heartache and plenty of pain.  Earlier in scripture, we find the same type of trouble haunting the patriarch Jacob.  The problem with having two wives is that men are incapable of loving two women.  It just isn’t a part of human nature.  God didn’t create us that way.  A man with two wives will ultimately have a favorite and in both the stories of Jacob and Elkanah, one wife was loved and the other wasn’t.  This truth is not just applied to wives but can be applied to masters.  The Lord made this point when he said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Matt. 6:24)  It isn’t in man’s nature to serve two masters.  Man will be totally devoted to one but be less committed to the other.  We know that “masters” are metaphoric for anyone or anything that we are obedient to or things that hold our deepest commitment and devotion.  For example, a drug can be my master if I wake up in the morning and do everything I can to score that drug.  My world revolves around scoring that drug daily. A drug addict will wake up in the morning trying to score and every routine revolves around the drug.  That’s commitment.  That’s devotion.

My encouragement for you today is for you to develop the same type of commitment for the Lord.  When you wake up, do you talk to Him in prayer?  Do you thank Him for the blessings in your life?  Do you have a daily routine that fits God in?  The problem is that it is too easy nowadays to love the world and everything it has to offer, especially in this country.  We live in a country of opulence and extravagance.  Everything seems to be geared towards pleasure and reward.  Many believers and nominal Christians (and I don’t say this lightly as if I have arrived at spiritual maturity myself) have both feet firmly planted in this world.  But this world is not our home and is certainly not our final resting place.  Do you act like this is true?  There is nothing wrong with saving or buying a home or being involved in anything temporal.  BUT!!!  Where is your daily commitment?  Is it in your 401K or your job?  Does it lay in the success of your favorite sports team?  This is what Jesus said a few verses before, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:19-21) The point is this:  if you are completely devoted to these temporal things, then you will be a lot less committed to God.  Don’t fall prey to this world.  Serve the Lord daily and love the only Master that counts!!!

Dave F. 

   ‘69 / ‘76 / Egg Harbor Twp   NJ


Doris Jean H

’44 / ’55 Manheim PA

Changed Heart – Changed Life

James points out in this verse that genuine, heart changing salvation results in works which can be observed by man. As Matthew 5:16 points out “in the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”. When you let your light shine people will see your faith in action and believe. In comparison Paul teaches that salvation is based on sincere faith which can only be seen by God! Paul is talking about the root of our faith, while James is talking about the fruit of our faith!

   When we as Christians are walking in spirit and truth, we will produce fruit, the good works which God has prepared for us to do. (Eph 2:10) Paul also speaks of something similar in Galatians 5:22-2422 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts.” Both the root and the fruit of salvation are only manifested in a man or woman that is a born-again believer, and not in an unsaved person who is professing to believe in Jesus or pretending to be a Christian.

   Genuine faith is visible only to God in the inner heart of a saved man or woman, but genuine faith is not visible to other believers as we cannot see into the heart of one another. Only the fruit of saving faith can be demonstrated through the good deeds and the fruit of the Spirit that are carried out to the glory of God by the believer who is walking in spirit and truth! 

Check your heart and your motives today! Jesus is the source of life! Completely turn your heart over to him today! Let him do the heart work that is required, and the root will grow and produce fruit. you will be moved by His spirit to “Do good WORKS” in His name!

Glenn C

  ’68 / ’87 Winter Garden FL


Doris Jean H

’44 / ’55 Manheim PA