Sunday, October 11, 2009
1. A Submission to the Holy Spirit
Romans 8:14- "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
The leading of the Holy Spirit is seen when the fruit of the Spirit is experienced in your life.
Galatians 5: 22-23- "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance."
2. A Desire to Live a Righteous Life
1 John 2:15-17 "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
3. Correction from the Heavenly Father
Hebrews 12:5-8 "And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons."
EVERY child of God receives discipline from God.
4. The Ability to Love God's People
1 John 3:14-17 "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?"
5. The Ability to Obey God's Word
1 John 2:3-6 "And hereby we do know that we know him, of we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."
6. The evidence of a Changed Life
2 Corinthians 5: 17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
7. The Understanding of Spiritual Matters
1 Corinthians 2:14 "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
The Lord Jesus Christ is returning very soon. Do you show the evidence of being a child of God?
* This note is a copy of a tract written and printed by Pastor Stevens and Manna Baptist Church in Shelby,NC. All scripture is from the King James Version Bible.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
As the resurrected Christ ascended into heaven, He promised to return and end this present age, with all its trials and troubles. "Surely I come quickly" (Revelation 22:20), He said. The saints will eternally thereafter enjoy the presence of their Lord. Since "we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7) in this life, with much we don't yet understand, the prayer of each faithful saint has mirrored John's response to the Lord's promise, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22:20). The fourth and climactic verse of "It Is Well with My Soul" focuses on this coming event.
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll: The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend, Even so-- it is well with my soul.
For centuries, faithful men and women have gazed upward, desiring to see " the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together" (Revelation 6:14) and His return. Many have died in faith, and they now have fuller understanding, but they await the final resurrection. As the great day draws nearer, we should be all the more expectant. This hope of the Christian provides great comfort while we wait.
But on that day, "the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4:16- 18). Until then, "it is well with my soul. JDM
When Christ was nailed to the cross as our atoning sacrifice, our sins- all of them- were nailed there, as well. His death paid the entire penalty, "having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross" (Colossians 2:12-14). This is the theme of the thrilling third verse of "It Is Well with My Soul."
My sin- O the bliss of the glorious thought
my sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more:
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). On what basis? "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (v.7). "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness" (1 Peter 2:24).
The fact that our sins are gone-- "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12), and we bear them no more, gives us the courage, strength, and stamina to bear up, with His help, under the trials of this age-- the theme of the song's first two verses.
If ever the circumstances of this present life threaten to overwhelm us, we can "consider him that endureth such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds" (Hebrews 12:3). The certainty of our future overrides any uncertainty in this life.
"It is well, it is well with my soul." JDM
Sunday, September 6, 2009
there's within my heart a melody
Jesus whispers sweet and low
"Fear not I am with thee,
Peace be still,"
In all of life's ebb and flow.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Sweetest name I know,
Fills my every longing
Keeps me singing as I go
All my life was wreaked by sin and strife
Discord filled my heart with pain
Jesus swept across the broken strings
stirred the slumbering cords again
Feasting on the riches of His grace
Resting 'neath His sheltering wing
Always looking in His smiling face
That is why I shout and sing
Though sometimes He leads through waters deep
Trials fall across the way
Though sometimes the path seems rough and steep
See His footprints all the way
Soon His coming back to welcome me
Far beyond the starry sky
I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown
I shall reign with Him on high.
*Day By Day*
Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here; Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
Every day the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.
Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a Father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Friday, August 14, 2009
I married Liz, my wonderful bride, in November of 1985. We had our ups and downs like most marriages, but seven years later, she decided our marriage should end. I was devastated! November 6, 1992 was a tragic date. My wife and I were found shot, lying at the front porch of my in- laws' home. I had written a suicide note and had done the unthinkable. My wife died, but I survived the gun shot wound. I was arrested, found guilty of first degree murder, and sentenced thirty to life in prison.
I knew in my heart that was going to die and go the Hell for what I had done. I had to get right with God, but I didn't know how. While in jail, I attended all of the prison church services including Catholic, Mormon, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Protestant. On March 7, 1993, a minister preached about Heaven, Hell, repentance of sin, and about a Savior named Jesus Christ. At the end of the sermon, he asked, "Who is in need for a Savior?" I jumped up and shouted, "I am!" The preacher talked with me for a moment, and then with all my heart, I confessed, "Dear Lord, I realize I am a sinner, in need of Your Great Salvation. I believe Jesus is the Son of God and that He bled and died to pay the price for my sin..." I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and I was finally at peace.
In prison, I completed a four year theological correspondence course and received my Graduate of Theology and Bachelor of Biblical Studies degrees. The Lord is now using me as a soul inner. I have a Bible tract ministry and I give Bible studies in the prison yard. I wrote this to let you know that no matter how rich, how poor, how depressed, or how desolate you may become, there is always help and hope in God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed From Birth
I was born to Christian parents and have spent the majority of my life involved with some kind of ministry, mostly involving youth. I grew up in a small Independent Baptist Church in the town I grew up in. Not much to be said of any extraordinary things taking place there as far as daily events are concerned but in the Fall of 1991 at six years of age, something extraordinary did happen and it happened to me.
I can remember it clear as day, I was at the youth program that special night, it was Awannas at the time and I was a Sparky. It was my favorite thing to go and play games, eat refreshments, and win points for memorizing Bible verses. But that particular night I didn't find the games or prizes as much fun as usual. I just couldn't wait to get to our Bible lesson for the evening. My own mother was our main teacher and she had many helpers because there were so many squirmers and scratchers to be cared for. We all sat on the floor in front of her and she began to tell us about the wordless color book. (Black for sin, Red for the blood of Jesus that washes our hearts clean, which was the color white, yellow for the gold in Heaven and Green for growth in our walk with Christ.) Through out all of it she told us about God's love, how we were all born into sin and that all of us needed a Savior so Jesus, God's own son, was sent to die on the cross for us. All it takes, she told us, is for us to believe and trust in God as our Savior and ask Him to come in and cleanse our hearts from all unrighteousness. We could do it right then, no time to waste. I went up shyly to my mother, tugged on her skirt and said, "Momma, I'd like to be saved, I want to go to Heaven to be with Jesus..."
She had another worker come up and take me outside to talk. His name was Bill and while he was at our church, I had made it a point to be his personal pest. I was his little buddy, like a little sister, I guess... always hanging on his back pockets. Well, we had a seat outside in the cool air and he wrapped a towel around my shoulders to keep me warm. He began to talk to me about how I could be saved, how I could know that I would go to Heaven when I died to be with Jesus; of God's love and what Jesus did for me. I trusted in the Lord as my personal Savior that night. I couldn't wait to tell my mother and family! I went up to the door of the fellowship hall where we had class and banged on the door. My mother opened it and asked what all the noise was about. I jumped into her arms and told her I had gotten saved...
That was 18 years ago in 2 months. I can't say I've done right everyday since that day, I've made some mistakes, but it's been a life blessed since birth and planned from before the beginning of time. I truly have grown from day to day not only physically, but spiritually also. I don't claim any good on my part but all by God's amazing grace.
Now, the first testimony you've read is true and was written by a name by the name of George A. The second testimony you read was my own. There is one thing that a murderer and I have in common. We both were in need of a Savior and God's saving grace. You may not have committed murder either, maybe you have had a good life blessed from birth, but you too are just a much a sinner, and in need of a Savior just like George and I!
The Bible says that we are all sinners.
"As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one:" Romans 3:10
"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23
There is a price that must be paid for sin.
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23
You can't save yourself.
" Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us..." Titus 3:5
Jesus died to pay the price for your sins.
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
Repent and Believe the Gospel.
"I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." Luke 13:3
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Romans 10:9
all verses are KJV
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
David makes three simple points in his final admonition to those who struggle with trusting in God's loving kindness and truth.
First, God loves His saints, but those with a pride problem are not going to gain His attention (Psalm 138:6). This is somewhat basic to Christian doctrine. Pride is one of the seven things that God hates (Proverbs 6:16-19). God responds to the desire of the humble person (Psalm 10:17) and He stays near to those who have a broken heart of a contrite spirit (Psalm 34:17).
Second, God will revive us when we are in trouble (our text). The promise is about the reviving and the saving. That is, we may gain God's sufficient grace to endure (as in the case of Paul's "thorn in the flesh," 2 Corinthians 12:7) rather than a physical cure. We may receive the ability to be victorious in the face of opposition (as during Paul's ministry to Ephesus, 1 Corinthians 16: 8-9) rather than relief from the circumstances. We may, indeed, be delivered from the pressure of the enemies or have God's miracle performed in our lives, but whatever the circumstantial occasion, God will respond for our good.
Third, God will bring about our perfection (Psalm 138:8). That term, both in the Old and the New Testaments, relates to completing God's work or purpose. Here, it is specifically related to that which concerns the saints of God. The sovereign Lord will see to it that His chosen will make it (1 Peter 2:9). There is no question about this. God's mercy is always refreshed. There is no limit to His forgiveness. Nothing about who we are will defeat God's plan for us (Philippians 2:13).
Friday, July 31, 2009
There shall be showers of blessing:
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.
Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need:
Mercy drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.
There shall be showers of blessing,
Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and the valleys,
Sound of abundance of rain.
There shall be showers of blessing;
Send them upon us, O Lord;
Grant to us now a refreshing,
Come, and now honor Thy Word.
There shall be showers of blessing:
Oh, that today they might fall,
Now as to God we’re confessing,
Now as on Jesus we call!
There shall be showers of blessing,
If we but trust and obey;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
If we let God have His way.
Oh that I might have those showers of blessing today :) AMEN! PRAISE THE LORD!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
July 24, 2009
By Ben Stein
We've Figured Him Out
Why isin such a hurry to get his socialized medicine bill passed?
Because he and his cunning circle realize some basic truths:
The American people in their unimaginable kindness and trust voted for a pig in a poke in 2008. They wanted so much to believe Barack Obama was somehow better and different from other ultra-leftists that they simply took him on faith.
They ignored his anti-white writings in his books. They ignored his quiet acceptance of hysterical anti-American diatribes by his minister, Jeremiah Wright.
They ignored his refusal to explain years at a time of his life as a student. They ignored his ultra-left record as a "community organizer," Illinois state legislator, and Senator.
The American people ignored his total zero of an academic record as a student and teacher, his complete lack of scholarship when he was being touted as a scholar.
Now, the American people are starting to wake up to the truth. Barack Obama is a super likeable super leftist, not a fan of this country, way, way too cozy with the terrorist leaders in the Middle East, way beyond naïveté, all the way into active destruction of our interests and our allies and our future.
The American people have already awakened to the truth that the stimulus bill -- a great idea in theory -- was really an immense bribe to Democrat interest groups, and in no way an effort to help all Americans.
Now, Americans are waking up to the truth that ObamaCare basically means that every time you are sick or injured, you will have a clerk from the Department of Motor Vehicles telling your doctor what he can and cannot do.
The American people already know that Mr. Obama's plan to lower health costs while expanding coverage and bureaucracy is a myth, a promise of something that never was and never will be -- a bureaucracy lowering costs in a free society. Either the costs go up or the free society goes away.
These are perilous times. Mrs. Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State, has given Iran the go-ahead to have nuclear weapons, an unqualified betrayal of the nation. Now, we face a devastating loss of freedom at home in health care. It will be joined by controls on our lives to "protect us" from global warming, itself largely a fraud if believed to be caused by man.
Mr. Obama knows Americans are getting wise and will stop him if he delays at all in taking away our freedoms.
There is his urgency and our opportunity. Once freedom is lost, America is lost. Wake up, beloved America.
Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes "Ben Stein's Diary" for every issue of The American Spectator.
Monday, July 27, 2009
It Satisfies Me
In the garden of Gasseminee
I can see my Savior there
As He talked to His Father
in earnest prayer
He said if it be Thy will
let this cup pass from me,
but if not, Lord, it satisfies me.
Now if it satisfies you, Lord,
then it satisfies me
These few words may my prayer
If you have me on a mountain
or in a valley on my knees
either way, Lord,
it satisfies me
Now the signs of the times
They are on every hand
And how my heart
longs to see that promise land
If I go by the grave
Or in the rapture your face I'll see
either way, Lord,
It satisfies me
If you have me on a mountain
Or in a valley on my knees
either way, Lord,
It satisfies me...
Friday, July 24, 2009
This promise is our text is followed in a later Pauline epistle by two nuanced commands in the letter to the church at Galatia.
"This I say then," Paul says, "Walk in the spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). Then again, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25).
Althought they appear to be the same command in English, there is a significant distinction in the original Greek language in which Paul penned the letters.
Both the Romans 8:1 and the Galatians 5:16 passages use the word perepeto, which carries the connotation to "walk around" and to "be at liberty."
The second iteration in Galatians 5:25 uses stoicheo, which means to "step precisely," to "march," or to "go in procession." Same command, but different emphasis.
The context of Galatians 5 stresses the difference between a lifestyle of fleshly behavior and a life controlled by the Holy Spirit. The "fruits" of the flesh and the "fruit" of the Spirit are diametrically opposed. They cannot exist together; they are not harmonious (Romans 8:5-8). We either "mind" the things of the flesh or the "things of the Spirit" (Romans 8:5).
The Christian walk has great liberty (Romans 8:21), but that liberty must "step precisely" in honesty (Romans 13:13), good works (Ephesians 2:10), and in truth (2 John 4-6). Our walk is expected to be by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) and we are to conduct a spiritual warfare in the Holy Spirit's power (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) protected by the full armor of God (Ephesians 6: 10-18).
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday.. "I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."
This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:
"I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals But I do know this.. They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"
When you are DOWN to nothing... God is UP to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment!
All right, now that you're done reading, send it on! I think everyone should read this! "When Satan is knocking at your door, simply say, "Jesus, could you get that for me?
Katie: "This is great and it speaks real truth. I can tell you there has been more than once my flesh didn't want to get myself going and into church, whether it be b/c getting out of bed in the morning seemed too hard or I've just had a long day and having to go out the door for one more thing instead of staying home seemed too much... It has been THOSE times that I need to be in church to hear God's Word preached more than any other. It was and is nourishment for the soul! Praise God for it!"
I was born of the flesh in 1985. I was born of the Spirit in 1991. That which is born of the flesh may die. That which is born of the Spirit will live forever.
Mankind has always found it easy to fall into the trap of thinking that suffering of any sort is due to sin. To be sure, much suffering is due to sin, and even after repentance and forgiveness, scars may remain. Futhermore, evil and its attendant grief surround us. Our civilization is plagued by sin and its evil fruits- some of which reach even the most godly Christian. Indeed, "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain" (Romans 8:22) as a result of the curse brought about by sin. If there had been no sin, there would have been no suffering.
But this does not imply that all personal suffering stems from personal sin. The blind man was the way he was to bring glory to God, we are told. Although many at the time failed to recognize "the works of God" when this man was healed, countless millions have glorified God throughout the centuries for this act of creation.
Now some may ask, how could God have been glorified in this grown man's life of blindness up until his healing? Actually, all life is a miracle, even the single-celled amoeba. Nothing living could possibly have arisen by accident, and such testifies to the marvelous "works of God." In this case, the item of interest was a human being, complete with fully functioning organs and systems. Even though he could not see, he could smell, taste, hear, speak, touch, move, walk, eat, breathe, digest, think, etc. This could not be the result of time and chance acting on "primeval slime," as the evolutionist would claim. Any living system points to a loving Designer. Thos who "willing are ignorant" (2 Peter3:5) or such facts are more blind than the Pharisees.
- this is an excerpt from "Days of Praise": June, July, August 2009 issue. Printed by Institute for Creation Research in Dallas, TX.
Hey you guys! I just wanted to send this to you to watch. There was something about it on TV WJZY ( i think). Someone sent me the website so I could watch it. It is a battle out there. It's speaking about the new hate crime laws that have come out in the past few years and the "homosexual agenda" that started back around 1989 with a book. (don't remember the name of it) What do you know of the AFA (American Family Association)? I don't know much about them or what they stand for so I'm not sure if they are a reliable source. I just thought I'd send this to you because it peaked my interest and got me to thinking some on the issue today.
I've known some who claimed homosexuality and spoke with them, even been persecuted by more than one. Our nation is becoming more like Sodom and Gamarra everyday. My question is "How much longer before the Lord is no longer merciful?" It isn't long now before we are to be called home, and while I am overjoyed for I long to be in the presence of my Lord, I feel an urgency to speak out, to share Christ with others because I'm saddened by the truth of the outcome of eternity is for those who don't except Christ as their Savior.Now is the time to be bold and zealous for Christ and while I know this, I fear that I too have fallen into a stagnant pool of "do nothing" What do we do? What can we do? How do we move forward for the Lord in this world we now live in? We're being attached from all sides and even from the inside out in some cases. How do we fight? Are we to fight or do we just stand? I know what my weapons are, and I'd like to think I have a pretty good idea on how to use them, (though I'm not perfict), but then what? Logically I would think the next thing would be to go to battle but perhaps thats just me leaning unto my own understanding.
I'm just voicing some questions that came to mind as I watched this video and also as I sit and think on this spiritual battle we are in. More rambling than anything, but I did want to share it with you because it is a subject that we face today. I'm thankful that as of right now, though it is increasingly difficult, we can still home school. I hope a pray that the government will not be allowed to take that away. But what of our churches and our businesses? I had often toyed with the idea of a Christian library or bookstore or some other Christian based business but with this issue how would that be affected? Or any other faith based Christian activity in the public eye... God forbid we not be allowed to even hold church services in a building but end up having to go underground or something... This really concerns me. I pray for our nation and our leaders but I also pray for us Christians, that we would stand firm for the cause of Christ. They are taking away from what Christ did for us that day upon calvary and while God does not force himself on anyone and they have a right to be wrong if they so chose someone has to stand up and point out the fact that it is, in fact, wrong. Isn't that suppose to be us? So I end with asking, "Lord, what can I do? How would you use me? How can I be of service for the Lord and for others?" Not because of what I am or what I have done, but because of WHO HE IS and WHAT HE HAS DONE...
The blessings we have in Christ are far too many to number, but it is a blessing even to note just a few of those indicated by the words "we have" or "ye have." First of all, in Christ "we have" redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Ephesians 1:7). As a result, "being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).
Thus, through such promises, His Word assures us of salvation. "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life" (1 John 5:13). Further assurance is given by the witness of the Spirit who indwells our bodies when we believe on Christ. "Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father" (Romans 8:15).
There are many other blessings that are ours in Christ. In Him, for example, "we have obtained an inheritance" (Ephesians 1:11), for we are joint-heirs with Him. God has even confirmed His promises, the writer of Hebrews says, by taking an oath in His own name that "we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast" (Hebrews 6:18-19). Indeed, "we have a great high priest" (Hebrews 4:14) ever living to intercede for us at the throne of God.
Finally, in the words of our text, when God calls us home, "we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, " and then we are "to be present with the Lord" throughout the ages to come (2 Corinthians 5:8). These are a few of the blessings we have in Christ.
It has been observed that this first- written of Paul's epistles contains more direct references to the second coming of Christ than any of his other writings. Each of its chapters comes to a close with a reference to Christ's return in relation to some aspect of His great salvation, as applied to our personal lives.
In the first chapter, he speaks of the second coming in relation to SERVICE. "... how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven" (1:9-10).
Then, in the second chapter, Paul speaks of SOUL-WINNING. "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?" (2:19).
Next, there is an emphasis on STABILITY. "To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints." (3:13).
The fourth chapter concludes with perhaps the greatest passage on the second coming in any of the epistles, verses 13- 17. All of this said by Paul to be the basis of our Christian STRENGTH. "Wherefore comfort [literally 'strengthen'] one another with these words" (4:18).
Finally, the last chapter concludes with the words of our text, speaking of our eternal SANCTIFICATION as a result of this blessed hope of the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The second coming is thus all-important. It is a practical incentive and enablement for the Christian life, encouraging service, soul-winning, stability, strength, and sanctification; culminating in full and everlasting salvation.
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.
His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men was the greatest of all the men of east.
And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.
And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burt- offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
And the LORD and said Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:
And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:
And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:
And behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped,
And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
In Job chapter 1 we are shown true faith in the Lord during the darkest hours of life by Job, a righteous man who feared God. Job could have forsaken God and said "to heck with it and with the Lord." but he did not... not only that but Job eschewed evil, meaning he avoided it. What a lesson we as Christians can learn from this fine example given to us by God in His inspired and Holy Word. As you read through this chapter notice the last verse in particular. Not once in all this did Job sin or turn from God. This was just the beginning of this time of testing for Job. As one gets farther into the book of Job you see how things seem to get worse and worse for him. Then at the end of the book you see that "this too passed" from Job's life and he was once again blessed of the Lord. Job's faith wasn't falsely placed in the Lord nor did the Lord forsake him. We need to remember Job when we too are being tested. I hope this has been a blessing and an encouragement. I hope the rest of your day is a blessed one.
It is bound to be significant that, in the only place where the Scriptures even mention philosophy, we are warned to beware of it! Likewise, the only philosophers mentioned were evolutionary humanists who called the apostle Paul a "babbler...because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection" (Acts 17:18).
The word "philosophy" literally means "love of wisdom," and every philosophy- ancient or modern- is essentially a humanistic devotion to man's wisdom for it's own sake.
But such wisdom is false wisdom. It derives in type from "the tree of knowledge," through the "vain deceit" of Satan, who tried to persuade us that partaking of it would "make one wise" and that "your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods" (Genesis 2:17; 3:5-6). It has "indeed a shew of wisdom" (Colossians 2:23), but "the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God" (1 Corinthians 3:19), and eventually all "the wisdom of this world... [and] of the princes of this world,... [will] come to nought" (1 Corinthians 2:6).
Genuine wisdom, on the other hand, is as our text reminds us, "after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power" ( Colossians 2:8-10). For in Him "are hid [literally 'stored up'] all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3).
The Lord Jesus Christ is "the truth" (John 14:6), and is both "the power of God, and the wisdom of God" ( 1 Corinthians 1:24). This true wisdom is freely available to all who desire it. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God... and it shall be given him (James 1:5). Therefore, we need never waste our God-given time on human philosophy.
Much of modern, self- oriented Christian preaching and writing has tended to downgrade biblical "doctrine" in favor of an emphasis on "love" and "fulfillment," the "pursuit of happiness," "sharing and caring," and other such sentiments. Some popular religious leaders major on "confident living," "self- improvement," "personal success," and the like.
Doctrine is thus downgraded in favor of practice, and "works" are considered more important that the Word. But this type of emphasis places the cart before the horse and can never succeed for very long. "Doctrine" is simply "teaching," and true teaching must come from God's infallible Word, whether that teaching relates to great divine truths (creation, atonement, sanctification, etc.) or to the daily Christian walk.
As the apostle Paul reminds us, "evil communications corrupt good manners" (1 Corinthians 15:33). "Profane and vain babblings... increase unto more ungodliness" (2 Timothy 2:16). We cannot escape being taught doctrine somewhere. If we will not receive true doctrine from God's Word, we will inevitably become indoctrinated with the world's humanistic deceptions, for these impinge upon our thinking continually, from classroom and journal, from television and (unfortunately) sometimes even from the pulpit.
If we are REALLY concerned about love and happiness and such things, we must acquire them from the right sorce, the doctrinal truths of the Word of God. It is knowing and obeying the commandment, as our text says, that generates pure love, a faithful heart, and a daily life that supports a clear conscience.
When we "know the truth" (John 8:32), then and then only can we "walk in truth" (3 John 4).
Beverly J. Anderson
They miss so much who do not know
The simple joys of long ago
When life was lived with easy pace,
And thankful hearts said table grace.
When folks took time to be a friend,
A helping hand, so quick to lend.
When houses had front proch swing,
(Oh how we loved that creaky thing!)
On summer evenings friends would call
And they were welcome, one and all,
And mom would serve homemade ice cream
As laughter from the porch would stream.
And vendors came to sell their wares;
The fun- filled trips to county fairs.
The concerts at the old bandstand
When music was so very grand!
They miss so much who never knew
Old- fashioned joys, such as I do.
The village church so gleaming white,
It’s steeple bells that rang each night,
The solace that we all found there
As we met for a time of prayer.
Our values were quite different then,
Oh, time, can’t I go back again!
We were not rich in days of yore,
But we had blessings by the score;
Our wealth was found in many things
From which the soul’s contentment springs.
Our homes were filled with so much love,
Deep faith was ours in God above.
How much they miss who do not know
The lovely joys found long ago.
I wish that they could share with me
My pleasant trip in memory
Back to the good old- fashioned days
When life was lived in simple ways
You ask why I follow this Jesus?
Why I love Him the way I do?
When the world's turned away from His teachings
And the people who serve Him are few.
It's not the rewards I'm after,
Or gifts that I hope to receive.
It's the Presence that calls for commitment
It's the Spirit I trust and believe.
The Lord doesn't shelter His faithful,
Or spare them all suffering and pain,
Like everyone else I have burdens,
And walk through my share of rain.
Yet He gives me a plan and a purpose,
And that joy only Christians have known,
I never know what comes tomorrow,
But I do know I'm never alone.
It's the love always there when you need it.
It's the words that redeem and inspire,
It's the longing to ever be with Him,
That burns in my heart like a fire.
So you ask why I love my Lord Jesus?
Well, friend, that's so easy to see,
But the one thing that fills me with wonder
Is Why Jesus loves someone like me.
If you pull into my driveway and honk you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure not picking anything up.
You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter's body, I will remove them.
I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don't take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, in order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist.
I'm sure you've been told that in today's world, sex without utilizing a "barrier method" of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.
It is usually understood that in order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is "early."
I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.
As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process that can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don't you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?
The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka - zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which feature chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folk’s homes are better.
Do not lie to me. On issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.
Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over a rice paddy near Hanoi. When my Agent Orange starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, and then return to your car - there is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face at the window is mine.
2 RESIST the temptation to butt in- You should have learned in kindergarten that interrupting is rude. It also creates confusion by fragmenting thoughts. If you've ever watched political news programs, you know that when people are constantly interrupting each other, the truth suffers.
3 REMAIN calm- especially if the person you're listening to becomes agitated or uses inflammatory language. Keep in mind that anger is one of Satan's most effective tools. He knows that if you get mad at the messenger, you'll completely miss any wisdom that may be in the message.
4 REVIEW for the purposes of clarification- When the person has stated their case and you're still not sure exactly what they mean, you can paraphrase what you just heard and ask, "Is that what you're saying?" If it isn't then keep asking questions untill you get it straight.
5 REFLECT on the advice itself- Pray about it and search the Scriptures to determine God's will in the matter. Imagine yourself following the suggested course of action. What might happen? How would your life be changed? How would others be affected?
6 RECEIVE or REJECT- As stated earlier, you do not have to take anyone's advice. Over the course of your life you'll undoubtedly reject a lot more advice than you'll take. The point is simply that you should work through the process to avoid making a hasty, thoughtless decision.
(taken from the book "The Samson Syndrome" by Mark Atteberry)
12) For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open untotheir prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
13) And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
14) But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
15) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
16) Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conersation in Christ.
17) For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
18) For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
19) By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
20) Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
21) the like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the puting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answering of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
22) Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
1) FORASMUCH then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
2) That he no longer shoud live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
3) For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
4) Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
5) Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
6) For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
An elderly, deaf man was knocked down in the street by a cart and horse. The accident severly injured his head. As he was lying in the street, he moaned, "Why did this happen?" Those who were standing nearby picked him up, and as they did so, his eyes grew big, and he cried out, "I can hear you speaking." His hearing had been restored by the sharp blow he recieved to his head.
There are times when Christians are dull of hearing, and they need the sharp blows of adversity to bring them to the place of dependence upon the Lord. However, suffering does not come only to those who are out of fellowship with the Lord. There are other reasons why Christians experience suffering.
Peter's readers needed the encouragement the apostle could offer because of his personal experience. He had been persecuted, and he had been an eyewitness to the abuse heaped upon his Savior. Such is the background of this message to suffering saints.
- this is the introduction to chapter 5 "Suffering Saints" in the adult study book "Strong Faith for Rough Times" by William G. Bellshaw1978, revised in 1986
PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD
"Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel." Amos 4:12 (KJV)
There is only one thing that everyone can know for sure. Not even death and taxes are certain, for some will never die. But "every one of us shall give account of himself to God" (Romans 14:12).
Even those who don't believe in God, those who ridicule His Word, those who disobey His laws, those who worship false gods- everyone must some day meet God. There is no better advice than "Prepare to meet thy God!"
If anyone should ask what God, the answer is the TRUE God, the Creator. Not the false gods of pagan pantheism, not the natural systems and processes of evolutionism, but the one and only God of Creation. He is the one who knows the thoughts of man and "maketh the morning darkness" (Amos 4:13) for all who reject or ignore Him. Thw word here for "darkness" is used only one other time in Scripture and is synonymous with hell- "A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness" (Job 10:22).
In the coming judgement, "the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God" (Psalm 9:17). The message of Amos needs to be heard in every generation: "Prepare to meet thy God!" For "the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement" (Psalm 1:5), and the judgement is sure: "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement," and for those who die unprepared, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 9:27; 10:31).
The only way to come into His presence prepared, of course, is through Jesus Christ, who is Himself the Lord of all the hosts of Heaven.
This was written by Dr. Henry M. Morris in Days of Praise for the months of March, April, and May.
Shining the brightest in the night.
The stars all day patrol the sky,
But only when the night is nigh
We comprehend their splendor. So
A woman's love we hardly know
Until some moment when we need
A hand to help, a light to lead;
Then woman's love is love indeed.
A woman's love when life is best
Is happy as the happiest,
Signs with the singer, with the gay
Joins in the gladdest roundelay
But, in the hour of grief, her voice,
When there is little to rejoice,
Takes on another timbre, when
The cymbals all are still again
Speaks with an angel's voice to men.
A woman's love is good to own
In hours of joy, But he alone
Knows a woman's love, how deep, how strong,
Who has had hurt and loss and wrong.
Perhaps he hardly knew he had
Her love when all her love was glad.
But he shall learn, who love may slight,
A woman's love is like a light,
Shining the brightest in the night
- Douglas Malloch
Edward T. Welch
1 This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good.
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their's also was.
10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life; purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
In the first part of this chapter we are warned of godless religion that we are to stay apart from. We are told of how they act and how to spot them so that we can turn away. In the midst of the chapter Paul (which can be seen as a type of Christ in this chapter) uses his own character as an example of how we should be and as a means of proving scripture. He tells us that as true Christians we will suffer persecution but at the same time, while the evil of this world get worse and worse we are to continue on in truth, in that which we have learned through faith. God has provided the tools we need through scripture. It is good for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction that we "may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."
He moved among the cogregation as person after person was touched with the Spirit and gave testamony today and it just touched my soul. I really needed that today because I've been feeling a little discouraged and without the closeness of the Lord. I've really been trying to stay faithful and trusting in Him and His perfict will... Then as I listened to the others and felt the Lord tugging at my heart this morning and then again tonight, I took hold of the hymnal in front of me and started to flip through its pages.
Music has always been a passion and love of mine and the Lord has used it more than once to get my attention or to bless me or remind me of some simple truth or one of God's promises. Well... its no surprise that the Lord would use this once again to impart peace in my heart and that was when I came across this hymn:
My heart can sing when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a stepping stone
Along a trail that's winding always upward,
This troubled world is not my final home.
But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I'll carry on
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.
The Things of earth will dim and lose their value
If we recall they're borrowed for a while;
And things of earth that cause the heart to tremble,
Remembered there will only bring a smile.
This weary world with all its toil and struggle
May take its toll of misery and strife;
The soul of man is like a waiting falcon;
When it's released, it's destined for the skies.
When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as
in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away
from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own
debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the
wars of the world.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can
prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under
the pretense of taking care of them.
My reading of history convinces me that most bad
government results from too much government.
No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
The strongest reason for the people to retain the
right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves
against tyranny in government.
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to
time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the
propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and
Very Interesting Quote:
In light of the present financial crisis, it's
interesting to read what Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:
'I believe that banking institutions are more
dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever
allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by
inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow
up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their
children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.'
Just for Today
My Father this I ask of Thee;
Knowing that Thou wilt grant the plea,
For this, and only this, I pray,
Strength for today, just for today.
Strength for each trial and each task,
What more my Father, should I ask?
Just as I need it, day by day,
Strength for my weakness, this I pray.
I do not ask a lifted load,
Nor for a smooth and thornless road;
Simply for strength enough to bear
Life's daily burdens anywhere.
Strength for the present hour and need-
This given, then I'm blest indeed;
For each day, as it comes, will bring
Sufficient strength for anything.
Strength for each trial and each task,
What more my Father, should I ask?
Just as I need it, day by day,
Strength for my weakness, this I pray.
Strength for today, that I may make
Some sad souls glad, for Jesus' sake;
Then they, with me, at eve shall say,
"Thank God for strength He gave today."
DIOS DICE que todos tenemos una cita con la muerte.
"Y de la manera que esta establecido para los hombres que mueran una sola vez, y despues de esto el juicio," ~ Hebreos 9:27
No hay nada que tu puedes hacer que sea mas importante que el prepararse para encontrarse con Dios.
Puede una persona estar 100% serguro que el o ella ira al cielo?
DIOS DICE que puedes saberlo!
"Esta cosas os he escrito a vosotros que creeis en el nombre del Hijo de Dios, para que sepais que teneis vida eterna..." ~ 1 Juan 5:13
Mucha gente creen que siendo una buena persona les llevara al cielo.
DIOS DICE que no hay ni uno que es bueno.
"Como esta escrito: No hay justo, ni aun uno;"
"... No hay quien haga lo bueno, no hay ni siquiera uno." "por cuanto todos pecaron, y estan destituidos de la gloria de Dios," ~ Romanos 3:10, 12b, 23
DIOS DICE que hay un castigo que se ha de pagar por nuestro pecado.
"Porque la paga del pecado es muerte, mas la dadiva de Dios es vida eterna..." ~ Romanos 6:23a
Jesucristo murio por nosotros para que nosotros no tuvieramos que ir al infierno!
"Porque de tal manera amo Dios al mundo, que ha dado a su Hijo unigenito, para que todo aquel que en el cree, no se pierda mas tenga vida eterna." ~ Juan 3:16
"Mas Dios Muestra su amor para con nosotros, en que siendo aun pecadores, Cristo murio por nosotros." ~ Romanos 5:8
Jesus derramo su sangre preciosa para limpiarnos da nuestro pecado.
"en quien tenemos redencion por su sangre, el perdon de pecados." ~Colosenses 1:14
3 dias despues que enterraron su cuerpo en una tumba, Jesus se levanto de los muertos.
DIOS DICE que tenemos que creer esto, no solamente con nuestra mente, sino con todo nuestro corazon.
"que si confesares con tu boca que Jesus es el Senor, y creyeres en tu corazon que Dios le levanto de los muertos, seras salvo." ~ Romanos 10:9
DIOS DICE que hay que arrepentirse.
"Os digo: No; antes si no os arrepentis, todos perecereis igualmente." ~ Lucas 13:3
Esto significa estar triste por tu pecado, y tener el deseo de dehar u pecado por Jesucristo, y recibirle como su Senor y Salvador.
"Porque la tristeza que es segun Dios produce arrepentimiento para salvacion..." ~ 2 Corintios 7:10
"Mas a todos los que le recibieron, a los que creen en su nombre, les dio potestad de ser hechos hijos de Dios;" ~ Juan 1:12
DIOS DICE que cualquier persona puede ser salvo.
"porque todo aquel que invocare el nombre del Senor, sera salvo." ~Romanos 10:13
Si usted cree en este evangelio de Jesucristo con todo su corazon, entonces con fe, simple como la del nino, recibelo por medio de invocar su nombre. Por favor, hazlo ahora, antes que sea muy tarde!
"El que cree en el Hijo tiene vida eterna; pero el que rehusa creer en el Hijo no vera la vida, sino que la ira de Diosesta sobre el." ~ Juan 3:36
"Y el que no se hallo inscrito en el libro de la vida fue lanzado al lago de fuego." ~ Apocalipsis 20:15
1) God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2) Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3) Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mointains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
4) There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
5) God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall halp her, and that right early.
6) The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
7) The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
8) Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
9) He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breakesth the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
10) Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exhalted in the earth.
11) The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
This Psalm is a great one to read when you need to find rest and refuge in the Lord. There are 3 things I see in this particular one... I see God's Protection (verses 1 through 3), God's Presence (verses 4 through 7), and God's Power (verses 8 through 11). Also, through out the Psalm it is said 3 times that God is our refuge and that He is with us. (us being those who have trusted him as their one and only Savior.)
A man says to me, "Can you explain the seven trumpets of the Revelation?" No, but I can blow one in your ear, and warn you to escape from the wrath to come.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Evangelical repentance is repentance of sin as sin: not of this sin nor of that, but of the whole mass. We repent of the sin of our nature as well as the sin of our practice. We bemoan sin within us and without us. We repent of sin itself as being an insult to God. Anything short of this is a mere surface repentance, and not a repentance which reaches to the bottom of the mischief. Repentance of the evil act, and not of the evil heart, is like men pumping water out of a leaky vessel, but forgetting to stop the leak. Some would dam up the stream, but leave the fountain still flowing; they would remove the eruption from the skin, but leave the disease in the flesh.
Some of us think at times that we could cry, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" There are seasons when the brightness of our Father's smile is eclipsed by clouds and darkness; but let us remember that God never does really forsake us. It is only a seeming forsaking with us, but in Christ's case it was a real forsaking. We grieve at a little withdrawal of our Father's love; but the real turning away of God's face from His Son, who shall calculate how deep the agony which it caused Him? In our case, our cry is often dictated by unbelief: in His case, it was the utterance of a dreadful fact, for God had really turned away from Him for a season. O thou poor, distressed soul, who once lived in the sunshine of God's face, but art now in darkness, remember that He has not really forsaken thee. God in the clouds is as much our God as when He shines forth in all the lustre of His grace; but since even the thought that He has forsaken us gives us agony, what must the woe of the Saviour have been when He exclaimed, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"
Snarling at other folks is not the best way of showing the superior quality of your own character. He is blind who thinks he sees everything. The observant man recognizes many mysteries into which he can not pretend to see, and he remembers that the world is too wide for the eye of one man. But the modern sophists are sure of everything, especially if it contradicts the Bible.
A chasm is opening between the men who believe their Bibles and the men who are prepared for an advance upon Scripture. Inspiration and speculation cannot long abide in peace. Compromise there can be none. We cannot hold the inspiration of the Word, and yet reject it; we cannot believe in the atonement and deny it; we cannot hold the doctrine of the fall and yet talk of the evolution of spiritual life from human nature; we cannot recognize the punishment of the impenitent and yet indulge the "larger hope." One way or the other we must go. Decision is the virtue of the hour.
There is a general kind of praying which fails for lack of precision. It is as if a regiment of soldiers should all fire off their guns anywhere. Possibly somebody would be killed, but the majority of the enemy would be missed.
You say, 'If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.' You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.
Our prayers may be very beautiful in appearance and might appear to be the very paragon of devotion, but unless there is a secret spiritual force in them, they are vain things.
If you want the truth to go round the world you must hire an express train to pull it; but if you want a lie to go round the world. it will fly; it is as light as a feather, and a breath will carry it. It is well said in the old proverb,'a lie will go round the world while truth is putting its boots on.
Be not proud of race, face, place, or grace.
A genuine revival without joy in the Lord is as impossible as spring without flowers, or day-dawn without light
It is not hard for the Lord to turn night into day. He that sends the clouds can as easily clear the skies. Let us be of good cheer. It is better farther on. Let us sing Hallelujah by anticipation.
It is not thy hold on Christ that saves thee; it is Christ. It is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee; it is Christ. It is not even thy faith in Christ, though that be the instrument; it is Christ's blood and merit.
These are but a few of the things that Spurgeon ever said that planted, cultivated, or watered the seeds of the Spirit. All, I believe, were given by God's grace to men who needed inspiration, encouragement, and solid truth. Like a slap on the back of the head; it isn't meant to be demeaning, it is meant to be an eye opener.
Life Verse: Acts 20:24~ “ But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God”
My Ultimate Purpose: To love God with all that is me according to His word in Matthew 22:37. Also to love my neighbor as myself and to serve God and others. Finally, to follow the Lord wherever He leadeth me to go and do His will, sharing the gospel.
Freedom in Truth: (some of God’s promises, to remember throughout life.) I must remember God’s promise to comfort us in times of trouble (John 14:1-6).
That He is constantly working to make me more like Him (Philippians 1:6 and 1 Thessalonians 5:24)
That He is faithful and just to hear my prayers and answer them according to His perfect will.
My weakness is made strong in Him. (Philippians 4:13 and 2 Corinthians 12:7- 10)
Some Gifts of the Ministry: (some skills and abilities that God has given or is developing in me)
• Music: singing and playing piano
• Speech: sign language and speaking to others and to groups
• Management skills
• Computer skills
• Working with youth, teens and young college age
• Offering new solutions
• My education
• Developing teaching skills
• Friendly personality
• Crafts or other things done with the hands
• Caring for others
• Developing soundboard abilities and audio/ computer program abilities
• Sewing clothing
• Listening to others and offering encouragement
For Such a Time as This: (how I am using this now)
Quote: “ Develop a love for God, the rest will come naturally in time as He gives it.”
I can apply this today by doing my very best in the ministry of Morning Star Baptist Church and my surrounding community; by thinking of others and not myself; by singing and speaking about Christ throughout the day. Being friendly, praying always, quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger, and should God give opportunity to reach out then I should share the gospel with another. Using my skills at Sign Language to share the gospel with others and teaching others to do the same. Reaching out to my Sunday School students and teaching them about the Lord. Always being willing to follow the Lord and trust Him with all that comes in my life. By assisting the Pastor and his wife and other workers in my local church in whatever way might present itself as well as fulfilling my duties as the church’s Assistant Clerk and by being an encouragement to others.
My Prayer: (this I prayed after writing this purpose statement and wrote it down to always remember.)
“ Lord, it is with a sincere and earnest heart that I pray to you, that you would take Acts 20:24 and apply it to every part of my life. And that you would take these things written in this my purpose statement and use them for thy honor and glory all the days of my life. Amen.”
Psalm 27 (kjv)
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me, the the Lord will take me up.
11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of min enemies.
12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mune enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
Psalm 27 has always been my favorite, I think, mostly because it is a well-spring of encouragement and confidence in the Lord. If you know anything about what King David was going through when the Holy Spirit inspired him to pen this particular psalm, then you can see how it's words can be so compelling when a Christian is going through a difficult time.
When I read what John White had to say about the 27th Psalm in his study book "Songs That Touch The Heart: selected Psalms" I wanted to share it with others. I agree with what Mr. White had to say and truely believe that it is through the Lord that he was given such insight into the words of this piece of scripture. So I have taken this and typed it here so that others may read it.
Confidence and Crying
The Lord is worthy of the believer's confidence.
Can confidence and crying exist in the same person at the same time? As we first consider it, this combination may seem impossible. But after we consider it further, we realize that crying, or pleading, is often based upon confidence.
In Psalm 27 David expressed great confidence in God. In the first six verses of the psalm express this great trust. In the last six verses David cried out to God with a pleading prayer. He built his prayer life upon the foundation of confidence. Because of God's past care for the king, David knew God would hear and answer his prayer for the problems he faced day by day.
Confidence Quiets Fears
Having declared that Jehovah was his light and his salvation, David asked the question, "Whom shal I fear?" (Ps. 27:1). The obvious answer is no one. God provided light in his life; therefore, David was unafraid of the sin around him.
Many people fear the dark, where unseen and unknown things lurk. However, when they see those things in the light of day, they feel no fear.
Tiffany Marie was a happy little girl and a genuine pleasure to her parents. One evening after her parents had put her to bed, she became restless and began to scream. Her mother rushed to the room and picked her up. After Tiffany had quieted down, her mother put her back to bed; but as she left the room, Tiffany began to scream again. Night after night this problem continued without relief.
The worried mother urged her husband to do something about the situation. So one night he went to Tiffany's room and sat down beside her. His wife turned out the light and left the room. Suddenly he saw something he had not noticed before. A sreetlight down the block shone through the branches of the trees outside Tiffany's window. It cast shadows on the wall at the foot of the bed. As the wind blew gently, the branches seemed to reach down toward the bed with grotesquely shaped fingers.
Tiffany began to scream. Her father wanted to scream with her. But understanding that the grasping hands were only shadows on the wall, he got up and turned on a little light. With a flick of the switch, the terrible shadows of the darkness disappeared, and so did the little girl's fears. Tiffany slept peacefully thereafter because she had nothing to fear. The light had removed the imagined foes of darkness.
All of us have been afraid of the darkness of the world about us. We have cried to the Lord, and He has come to dispel the darkness and doubt. He has taken away the confusion and stumbling caused by sin and has restored our confidence. Thus the Lord has become our light, even as He was David's light.
David declared that the Lord was also his salvation and the strength of his life (v.1). Time after time God intervened to deliver the psalmist and strengthen him to live his life as he faced wild animals and the willful men of his day. As the strength of David's life, God stepped in to becomea shield, a wall and hedge when David desperately needed protection (Ps. 3:3; 28:7; 33:20; 84:11; 115:9-11; 119:114; 144:2).
Confidence Conquers Foes
In Psalm 27:2 David testified, "When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell." David did not play the peer-group game; he was able to stand alone. He did not care whether an entire army set up camp against him (v.3). He knew that even if the odds were a thousand to one, everything would turn out all right because God would defeat his enemies.
Can you imagine a solitary figure facing an entire army in battle? The desperation of such a situation would drive that lone soldier to flight or dispair unless he knew that a supernatural force was on his side to defeat the foe.
When I was a young child, a recurring nightmare would occasionally disturb my nights. In my dream, everybody in school was against me. My brothers, who usually protected me, weren't around to help. The other students tried to beat me or throw desks at me, but somehow they could never actually get to me. An invisible field shielded me from my opponents, and when they ran into the shield, they were rebuffed or injured.
David knew that God had served as an invisible shield so that when his enemies approached him, they stumbled and fell (v.2). Their greatest efforts were insufficient to get them near the man of God.
Confidence Gives Calm
David explained that in the midst of the tumult coming against him, he would "not fear" (Ps. 27:3). His confidence in the Lord quieted his heart.
Sometimes the anticipation of problems causes a doubting Christian to be silent when he should speak and to retreat when he should fight. With clammy hands, he freezes in terror, waiting for the worst.
But great men of faith have a confidence in God that will not allow them to falter in the face of great odds. In the case of Old Testament men of God, their confidence gave them a powerful calm that took them from battle to battle, through clashing swords and prancing hooves to victory for God. (cf. Exod. 17:9-16; Judg. 6; 7; 1 Sam. 17:25-53).
Confidence Prompts Fellowship, Prayer and Praise
A desperate, fearful person has a tendency to be extrememly self-centered. He worries about what will happen to him. He needs continual reassurance. Well-defined objectives give way to simple self-preservation. Preoccupation with problems inhibits ambition and saps strength. Movement gives way to lethargy, and accomplishment is swallowed up by defeat.
The man who has great confidence in God, however, takes certain well-defined steps that produce happy results. In Psalm 27:4 David recorded his desire to "dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of [his] life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple." "To enquire" means to pray. The temple hadn't been built in David's day; the word temple in this verse indicates a large public building.
David's words in verse 5 reflect his belief that God would take care of him: "For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me." In response to God's protective care, David proclaimed, "Therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord" (v.6b).
Thus we learn from David that the confident believer has victory over his enemies and creates sacrifices of joy through signing to and praising the Lord.
It is inappropriate to have undue confidence in ourselves in the humanistic sense, but it is appropriate to have confidence in God, knowing full well that with God on our side, we are more than conquerors (Rom. 8:37). We can look at the future with expectation and plan for accomplishments in the name of God, realizing that the One Who has begun a good work will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6).
Having stated this confidence, David turned to prayer. Six specific requests came to his lips as he cried out to Jehovah.
A Cry for God's Attention
Each of us at some time has spoken to another person who did not listen. At times even God does not listen to the cries of men. Isaiah wrote, "Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear" (Isa. 59:2).
When Elijah faced the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, he pleaded for the ear of Jehovah: "Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou has turned their heart back again" (1 Kings 18:37). David called for God's attention in Psalm 27:7: "Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me." Calling for God's attention demonstrates our intensity and sincerity of heart as God's children.
David desired for God to grant him His full attention concerning the problems he faced. In verse 8 David recorded his response; he told God, "When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek." David obeyed the Lord by seeking Him, or calling for His attention.
A Cry for God's Assistance
Four strong requests in Psalm 27:9 indicate David's intense desire for God's assistance in his life. The fist, "Hide not thy face far from me," involves God's watchfulness. When a pilot flies his plane into heavy clouds, he wants to know that someone at a radar screen knows his location and the location of other planes in the vicinity. Without the watchful eye of the radar observer, he might collide with another plane. In a similar way, David requested God to keep His eye constantly on him to guide and guard him.
Second, David pled, "Put not thy servant away in anger." He did not want God to isolate him because of failure or sin in his life. Third, he requested, "Leave me not." David did not want God to turn His attention away from him.
Fourth, David asked God not to forsake him. David had no desire to be left to his own devices. He depened upon God and knew that no amount of his own knowledge or prowess could preserve him.
A Cry for God's Attachment
David wrote, "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up" (Ps. 27:10). Family loyalty and protection are among the most precious possessions on earth. But today adults often leave children by themselves. They languish in neglect or seek the companionship and advice of peers who lead them astray. What a comfort it is to know that the Lord does not abandon His children, young or old.
A Cry for God's Advice
In Psalm 27:11a, David asked God, "Teach me thy way, O Lord." Every child of God needs to let God chart the course of his life lest he become confused by the storms and cross-currents of his environment. Desperation rises in the heart of a man lost in the forest without a compass, adrift on a sea without charts or wandering in the darkness without light.
God has graciously given us a chart and compass. It is His holy Word. In it He gives advice for any situation in life. David himself could tell the Lord, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Ps.119:105). Besides the infallible Guidebook, God has given to every believer a personal Interpreter and Guide, the Holy Spirit.
A Cry for an Uncluttered Life
In Psalm 27:11b David asked the Lord to lead him "in a plain path, because of [his] enemies." The word plain here means straight and carries the idea of moral straightness- righteous, or with equity and justice. David wanted God to spare him from paths strewn with trees, brush and rocks because his enemies often lurked along the path to destory him. He wanted an open road, where no enemy could attack him by surprise. He wanted God to keep his life free from the clutter that harbored his desperate foes.
Each of us believers should pray that prayer. When our lives become so filled with activities, involvements and investments that we cannot see clearly, our enemies-- whether they be men or demons-- attack and often defeat us. Single-minded simplicity furnishes a safe walkway for the child of God.
A Cry for an Undefeated Life
Although the events alluded to in Psalm 27 could apply to a number of different times in David's life, David may have written the psalm around the time his son Absalom rebelled against him. Absalom had killed his half-brother Amnon for revenge and then fled (2 Sam. 13:22-30, 33, 38). David missed Absalom, so his servant Joab arranged for Absalom to return home (chap. 14). Two years later, David and Absalom were reunited. Absalom used this return to the king's favor for his own advantage. David was old and weak, so Absalom began judging the people (vv. 2-5), and he "stole the hearts of the men of Israel" (v.6). Eventually he proclaimed himself king (vv.10-13), and David and his followers fled from Jerusalem (vv.14-17). At that point in David's life, his enemies included his son; his former counselor, Ahithophel (15:31); Shimei, an old enemy (16:13); and Ziba, who lied to him about Mephibosheth (vv.1-4).
David was physically and emotionally drained. He cried to God for his continued preservation: "Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living" (Ps. 27:12, 13). Only his faith in God kept David from giving up.
Having expressed his confidence and his cry, David concluded with verse 14: "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." In time, Absalom was killed, and David returned to the throne (chaps. 18;19). God had heard and honored David's cry.
Like Daivd, we are at times physically exhausted; our firends and family disappoint us and sometimes even turn against us; the world opposes us. And we just want to give up. At those times we, like David, should recall "the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living," should take courage and strength from our relationship with God and should wait on His deliverance.