Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Faith Conquering Feeling

Faith Conquering Feeling
2Co 5:7  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 

     The man who does not have feelings is the man who does not exist.  As sure as we are, we feel.  How marvelous the feeling of ascending crescendos in our very soul.  Yet, however high the happy heart, devastating is its valley.  The emotional man is the normal man; yet the emotional man is not the stable man.  Behold the text, we walk by faith, not by sight.  How things may feel are not always how things are.  Consider the reasoning of the Scottish sailor Duke Reinheart when he said this after a voyage for his majesty's royal service, "Aye sir, in the midst of this terrible night I seemed to have lost all me wit.  Whilst all that was in me said steer her one way, the stars above said go another.  Seeing it is that me feelings change as quick as the waves crash, I thought I would do better to trust the stars.  They don't change."  Such an assurance it is to have a steady place of reference for the soul.  Again hear the words of a certain pilot who, after years of flying experience, caught in the air an unusual case of vertigo.  "While in the clouds, I was unable to see land.  A certain unfamiliar feeling caught hold of me.  It was this, I could not tell whether or not I was up or down.  How great-full I was for my instrument panel!  I had to look to it to tell me where I was and where I was going. I could not tell, but the instruments guided me to  a safe landing."
     So it may be to you today, Christian, that through fatigue of mind, body, or spirit, you have lost your sense of direction.  Perhaps satan has tempted and tormented you sore, and you feel as if you know not whether you are upside down or not.  Remember this glorious fact, God has left you with a map.  There is an instrument of instruction for safe landing to the child of God, and this instrument is His infallible Word.  Through faith in His unwavering promises we shall conquer feeling that has gone sour.  We have this strong confidence on a cloudy day, that behind dark patches, the sun in all its splendor still shines with a strong and steady purpose.  We have a faith that when night wraps its arms around the heavens, on the morrow the sun will once again rise and vanquish the chill of darkness.  These things are reasonable and logical to assume. We should have confidence in this; but if we are confident in this, how much more sure are the promises of God than the stability of the sun.  For it is the Creator who is greater than the created.  Though your feelings may confuse you, His word will guide you.  Though your thoughts should deceive you, His promises shall keep you.  Have faith in God, for His people walk by faith, not by sight.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Charity Never Faileth

Charity Never Faileth

1Corinthians 13:8  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 
     Dear beloved saints of God, what is your lot at this moment?  Has despair knocked upon your door this day?  Have feelings of unworthiness plagued your thoughts even all the while you endeavor to follow God?  Have people, loved ones, and associates failed to lift you to an encouraging place?  Have you failed your own expectations and let alone, you are sure you have failed God?  Take good joy in this, Love shall never fail.  God has met you with grace, and wrapped you securely in His love so that the warmth of His passion for you shall always be felt, even if your own heart plays treason and grows cold.  In all of our days remember this thought:  God has not given us what we deserve, but what Christ deserves.  We are in the midst of His unwavering love.  Let this encourage us in these ways.
     One.  In God's love to the saints.  We are secure in Christ, and as such we have become the adopted sons of God. Nothing shall separate us from this showcase of love in which God proudly displays His own to the world itself.  This love is never based on our merit, for who could impress holy perfection with unholy disorder?  He loves us because we are His children.  Always shall this be the unwavering token of His declaration of love to us: we are His sons.  Two.  We are the inheritance of Christ.  God has forgiven us for Christ's sake, proving us twice secure in our adoption.  What good father should hate the bride of his own son?  If we shall love those who are grafted in, so much more does God delight in the bride of His Son.  Three.  God's love is in the saints.  It is shed abroad by His Spirit which indwells the very being of believers.  Surely today, if you look deep into the heart, you can feel at least the faint spark of God's divine love.  As cold and iced as we may become, let us know this, that there is ever a faint spark of love to be felt!  We may know of this love, but to feel it in our very soul, what a grand privilege of the highest degree!  Let all proclaim what they may of feelings and pleasures, the sons of God shall flock to the flame of God's love.  Let us gather to it as the moth to the light against the night sky.  And when there, fan it carefully: to stir its hot embers to evoke a raging flame!  For as it is shed abroad in our hearts, we may then shed it upon others, in whom there is no shortage of those in need.  God loves you and loves through you.  Look into your  heart and find the coals of warmth and sit there for a while.  See if it is that while you muse, the fire may burn to stoke feelings of God's love.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Envious unto Destruction

Envious unto Destruction

Proverbs 24:1- 2 Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.  For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.

     Why would we ever be envious of evil men?  As the blackberry in the back of the thorn bush, satan always tempts us that even though its path is through briers, that furthermost berry is better.  Alas, we soon find that the self-inflicted travail was not to a better end, but rather a tormented road needlessly traveled.  So often we fall to the thoughts of greener grass on the other side, but remember this today believer: God has made us to lie in the green pastures and this is according to His infallible Word.  What has the sinner to offer you?  Surely how senseless it would be to partake of this self-destruction.  To even be with the evil man is to take damage to your very soul, for you will learn his ways.  Cast off now that penchant to search out what is seen to be a life of mirth.  It is all vanity, said the wise man Solomon.  What may be seen is not nearly as relevant as what cannot be seen in such a case.  Look in the sinner's heart; and if you could, the lying pictures of joy pasted on his outward appearance would be in drastic contrast to their true feelings within.  Where is his joy?  Where is his security?   Where is his peace?  In Christ we find all these things and more, but to the sinner they are lacking.  What of his rioting in excess?  Does it not appear well to him?  Believer, if you could only but for a second take a revealing look into his soul, you would find the thunders of life's storms raging by the fuel of hate, envy, and sinfulness.  Look now to his end: he studies destruction, and truly by his very ways destruction is brought unto him by his very own doings.  Even in all this, still evil men cannot leave destruction to themselves, they lay these certain troubles at the feet of others to pass on misery and despair.  Make a rebuke at such a thought that would entice you today believer to try the ways of sin.  Their end is clear, and recorded, their joy is far removed.  Rather look now unto Christ, who in Himself, has offered to all the free gifts and blessings of God.  Why would you bring yourself now to seek out your own destruction when Christ is so near?  Let not our eyes deceive us, and let not our hearts turn us when it is beckoned by the nature of the flesh.  Evil men have nothing of value to offer to the saints, for Christians are supplied by the wealth of Heaven.  Desire not to be with evil men, but turn your desires to be with Christ!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Assurance of a True Gospel

The Assurance of a True Gospel

1 Thessalonians 1:5  For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. 

     Dear believer, what a wonderful thought that our Gospel is validated by the God of Heaven!  For we received not the wonderful message of Christ by Word only but by the Holy Spirit and His confirmation.  Remember now the day of your conversion; did not the Gospel come unto you in power and much assurance that its truth was the way of eternal life?  It was the Spirit of God that turned your soul unto the Savior, with much power, convincing you of the reality of sin, hell, and your need for the Savior.  How remarkable that this confrontation with God was one that lead to your own salvation.  God by His Spirit wrestled with our souls about our eternal state, and we allowed Him to win that battle, thus securing our eternal destiny forever in Christ!  What great validation by God that the Gospel is true!  God in our spirit has met us personally and how real Christ became that day!  What power came by the Holy Ghost to convince you to turn to Christ!  What a wonderful seal of approval God placed on the Gospel, that His own presence would bear witness to its truth!  What assurance falls now to our heart that we preach a true Gospel!  Just as real as Christ was that day, so is He just as real to thee now, dear believer.  Do you feel just as assured now, as then, that you serve a real and living God?  I trust you feel assured that you serve a true a living God.  He that cometh to God must believe that He is God and a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.  We must have no doubt of the truth of the Gospel and hold it in much assurance.  If we trust without reservation, then we can progress to have joy without reservation.  But first we must have a deeper faith in the reality of the Gospel, as we had on the day of our conversion; then we will have a deeper faith to trust what He is doing in our lives now!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Constraining Christ

Constraining Christ

Luke 24:28 - 29 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. 

Song of Solomon 3:4  It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me. 

     Solomon is a beautiful picture of the Lord Jesus Christ in this written Scripture.  How his beloved sought for him tirelessly until she found him!  Oh that the bride of Christ should search just as tirelessly for their groom, who cares more to be found than any other!

     Christ made as though He would have gone further to these wondering Believers, according to Luke's gospel, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  What wonderful insight these had, who not yet knowing they were talking to the risen Lord, constrained Him to stay.  O believer, in doctrine the child of God shall never be severed from the bliss of eternal sonship, but shall you sell your blessings short of their full potential while you live?  What of the blessed presence of God upon thy life?  How void are most without the anointing of God, and they seem very satisfied to be in this state.  Look fervently to the example set by the beloved of Solomon in this passage of holy Scripture.  Have you sought for Christ today?  Believer, can you say, "Today I have found the presence of the Lord."?  Have you sought Him near and far on the wings of great desire to be with Him?  Ride upon this impulse now to search for His presence, for it is He who is drawing you gently by those chords of love strumming in your softened heart.  Is His blessed presence made tangible to you?  Search and search again! for His Spirit draws you to Him!  
     "At last, I have found Him!" you say.  Then hold Him, tightly, and make no allowance to let Him go.  Did not even Jacob wrestle with the Lord until a blessing was brought upon his head?  How soon many that meet with Christ often fail to constrain Him, and His blessed presence leaves for the one who will.  Was the church at Ephesus not warned in Revelation that unless they returned to their first love, He Himself should remove the candlestick, their loveless church, out of its place?  Oh carnal churches that have left your  first love, you have not a church but a social gathering if it be that Christ is not in your midst.  Find Christ and hold Him close!  
     Now bring Christ with you, dear Believer.  Bring Him to worship with you.  Christ lives in the hearts of men, yet how often we gather in a Spiritless building expecting Christ to be there.  Nay, Christ lives not in blocks of wood but the tabernacles of our souls.  The Spirit of Christ must arrive at church through the saints' for we are temple of the Holy Spirit.  Find Him on Sunday, then bring the Lily of the Valley with you to worship.  Replace the spirit of slothfulness with the Spirit of Christ in our service.  Bring Him with you on your daily discourse.  Others may never see the compassion God wishes to have on their lives if we allow not the Spirit of Christ to use our hands and our lives.  Bring Christ with you in times of trouble, for certainly the Rose of Sharon will sort all things according to the will of God!  Do you bring Him wherever you go?  If you say no, then depart quickly and search for Christ even now!  Do not think it a strange thing that on occasion we leave Him, for didn't Jesus' own parents travel a half a days journey without Him and knew it not?  Verily, they did, but not able to remain without their Savior, running they drew near the point of departure and found their blessed Child there.  At what point we leave Him, there He will be, waiting willingly and patiently for the return of His bride who is searching for His presence.  Find Christ now; hold Him close to thee, then let others see you have brought Him with you.  


Saturday, April 16, 2011

God Cares for You

God Cares for You

Proverbs 15:11  Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men? 

     Let there be no more doubt in your wondering mind, God cares for you!  And there is not one who is excluded from this love!  Think now of our omniscient God, how He sees all, and is ever aware.  There is not a beach that lies upon the boundaries of the waters that God has not numbered it's sandy grain.  No galaxy reaches farther than His span, and every atom of the body is monitored tirelessly in every person.  Every destruction and progressing force, God has known its secrets before the foundations of its terrain were laid.  These are things before the eyes of God and never out of His mighty control.  Now think of this wonderful thought: you are in the thoughts of God.  "How much more then the hearts of the children of men?" our text reads.  It is a true thing, even today, your heart is always before the Lord.  And how precious the condition of your heart is to Him, dear believer!  To think, that of all the events of the world (which many are held in great importance) God even more keeps our heart before Him!  Do you feel alone today my friend?  God will lend His full attention to thee!  Have sorrows compassed you about and no man can understand the deep things of your soul?  God cares you.  Is there a particular burden, or many, that life has dealt to you, and you feel as you would faint?  God cares for you.  We should cling mightily to this uplifting thought: if God cares for us, then who can bring us down?  Take now a heavenly look, you who have shifted your focus on the world.  Troubles may come, but God has regarded the state of your heart!  There is a place to turn if you doubt the love of God for you, and God awaits you there with open hands, hands filled with love and healing.  Precious ointments awaiting to be freely handed to the longing saint.  It is here with God the wounded believer may be decorated by the ornaments of grace, and be seen blessed openly as a child of the King.  Who does it seem may discredit you today?  Could it be your own heart selling you lies concerning your value to God?  Christ has redeemed you, and words fail to manifest better news!  Embrace this love today God has for you!  Evermore hold it firm and always keep it before thee!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

How Do We Distinguish a Good Church from a Poor One?

How Do We Distinguish a Good Church from a Poor One?

Galatians 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, v23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 

     How may we know, as we look around in the world today, if a church is a good one?  We see an over abundance of buildings that call themselves churches; are they all doing the will of God from the heart?  Is it by the structure and elegance that presents itself upon the face of a multi-million dollar facility that makes the church a good one?  What is it  that separates the great from the dreadful?  All too many people look for the wrong things in finding a place of worship. We may by God's word however distinguish the differences that are present in a God empowered church, and a lifeless, barren one.
     There must be evidence of the fruit of the Spirit.  These are the things produced by the presence of God when He moves in our midst.  Love and joy shall be to the Christian who is surrounded by godly people.  Even to the sinner and the backslider, upon repentance, the fruit of the Spirit shall rest upon his soul.  They shall trade in the conviction pulling on their heart caused of sin, and supplant it with the gentleness and goodness of grace.  In a God-empowered church there must be evidence of the true teachings of Christ.  His Gospel and faith in Him alone must be the triumphant theme of the church!  Let us make no mistake, God will not manifest Himself in pleasure if another Gospel, which there is none other, is preached.  Travail shall be to them, not the sweet presence of God!  "What if a church stir my emotions?"  you may ask.  It is well if they can, but does not even Hollywood do that at their will?  It is rather the fruit of the Spirit we must have to be a God-driven church.  We are by nature are an emotional people, but we are not by nature a spiritual one, unless the grace of God has found our soul.  
     The church ought to be about spiritual things; and if so, how shall we have a spiritual understanding if the Spirit of God is not in our midst?  We must be a church where God's Spirit meets with us! It is God who enlightens our understanding of all things spiritual.  It is in the church we meet together for corporate worship and the preaching of the Word of God to nourish our souls.  In this time of meeting the same great evidence of a good church is found in the preaching.  It is filled with the fruit of the Spirit.  Do you feel now Christian, the love of God in the heart of the preacher?  Is God using joy of the saints to show you a difference from the world?  We may beg God that this is so, for where the Spirit is, His fruit will be also.  
     Christian, check now your own heart.  Is it so hard that much temperance has been had towards you and you have not seen it?  It may be a hard heart that causes us not to detect the workings of God.  Grieving of the Spirit often causes blindness to what is so clear to others.  If it be that you live in altogether sin then do not expect to receive the things of God with understanding.  Conviction may be your lot, and what a good lot it is.  God only seeks to edify His people for their own good!  Be in great care now not to take your church's warnings as soured milk, for we must all except the Spirit's call or reject it. What we do with God's dealings in our hearts will ultimately make us what we are by our own choosing.  
     May the very presence of God meet with His people!  A great crowd does not determine a good church, but rather a holy crowd.  A Spirit-filled church must be one whose people seek the Lord.  They come to their place of attendance with an attitude of "we must have God or else nothing will do."  Let us be Spirit-filled; for church is to be about the things of God.  Worldly things may be attended to within worldly affairs.  May we let the church be the church, for what a great church it is, for ourselves, our spouses, our children, and all others, if it be a church that is evident of holding the fruit of the Spirit! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Precious Blood of Christ

The Precious Blood of Christ

Ephesians 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

     How close we can be to God through the eternal blood of His Son, Christ Jesus.  Are you far and astray today?  The blood shed on the cross of Calvary can make you nigh unto God.  Is there a sin to dark to keep a sinner from the love of God?  Nay, not one can be mentioned that will cause Christ to turn away a repentant sinner.  Oh the wonders of this precious blood which was sprinkled on Heavens mercy seat for an eternal cleansing to all who claim it!  Try to think now of the wonders of this blood, and truly only try we will, for neither tongue nor mind can adequately express the magnitude of the blessings that are found within.  It is our ransom, the price paid that God excepts fully for our redemption!  Heaven is entered by this blood, and hell is forever escaped by it.  We, who were all at one point as sheep gone astray, are reconciled to the God of Heaven by Christ and His blood.  And wonderful news there is yet beyond this: this same blood keeps us in the love of God forever!  Never are merits and rituals needed to draw us close to God, rather only the blood will do such a thing.  Never a good work shall cause us to gain righteous favor, yet through this blood we are all seen not just as  righteous, but as the righteousness of God!  Wonderful thought of divine joy: despite my failure, sin, shortcomings, and inadequacies, through the blood of Christ I am more than a conqueror over these things!  Believe this in your life Christian and let it encourage you today.  Now to the Saint who needs assistance, for his life must needs be turned back to the ways of Heavenly direction; let not the accuser burden you with the thought that you are worthless.  For all of mankind would be in this state if we lived on our own tab.  Rather, follow this Biblical pattern: stand now to your feet; a righteous man falleth seven times yet rises again.  It is in the blood if Christ that he has found that liberty.  It is not liberty to sin without remorse at will, but rather liberty to repent and be in perfect standing with God.  Observe this closely now: we are made nigh by the blood of Christ, so the text says; therefore do not think you must earn, work, or wait to obtain your way back into usefulness and joy.  We rest in the grace of God touching this matter, repent and leave it on Christ's shoulder.  Set your labors on the Great Commission reaching others, not upon a thing God has already worked out in full at Calvary.  See your life in shipwreck and turmoil?  Plead then the blood, for nothing else can draw us close to God, and never a time can or will God reject this plea.  He has bound Himself to this remarkable decree by His holy and unchangeable Word.  We are made close by the blood!  What a powerful blessing to forget past follies and draw nigh to God!  We are made close by the blood!  How amazing beyond human words that the partition of sin is broken down, and we may now commune with the Creator of Nature and Earth!  Realize now this blessing, and take not for granted this wonderful verse God has given to help His people, we are made nigh unto God by His blood!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Careful to Maintain Good Works

Careful to Maintain Good Works

Titus 3:8  This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

      A great exhortation is found in the scripture for those who have believed in God and trusted Christ as Savior.  Be ever mindful Christian to maintain good works.  What a command of great proportion!  So great it was, that Paul took the necessity to instruct his protégé Titus to teach the church to do just that!  What an emphasis on good works, serving the Lord; and if there is a great emphasis, what then Biblically are good works?  Certainly they are not merit to pay for our Heavenly airfare, only Christ can do that; and do that He has by His cross; reconciling people to God; all who will come unto Him!  Rather than payment, good works are an outward act of love and obedience towards God.  It is faith with works, a mixture that God requests from His people.  Your various labors may take the form of good works.  One may spend hours on bended knee, while another trims the grass of the church's meeting place.  One may donate to the poor, and yet another may visit the sick and feeble to uplift their spirit!  However the method, we are all required to serve God with works pleasing to the Savior.  Why is it that we are to be constantly affirmed of such a duty?  Let nature itself be our teacher: have you not struggled today Christian in seeing the hidden needs of others?  Have you lived the past hours placing the needs of yourself abase and tearfully tending to the care of others?  What trouble we have often times as God's people in maintaining an eye that diligently looks for opportunity to do good!  So troublesome this mindset is to our flesh, that God in His infinite wisdom made it a commandment: maintain good works.  Oh glorious blessing the commandment is!  As a commandment we shall seek to obey more than if such a thing were left to ourself.  What then of the constantly affirming?  Saint, is it not day by day our souls seek to cheat the God of Heaven?  Do we not hold the world at times in higher regard by giving carnal things first place in our heart?  Then of a surety, as we must daily commit our souls to the Savior for help in living close and holy, we must also daily be encouraged to look for opportunity to do good to others.  Christian, roll this suggestion over in thy mind now until it blooms into the desired thought that we seek: good works show others our Christianity.  Christ is not in flesh among us to go about doing good; are we not here to occupy in His stead?  Others may see our example and thereby be willing to hear the Word of God as they see it working effectually in our life.  Are good works not productive?  Do your daily chores and labor not produce?  Daily labor and chores do produce a desired result, so we may also expect the work of God to produce positively when we are about it!  That produced of good works shall bring eternal profit, in your life, and in the life of others.  Let us not forget this thought from Biblical principle: others shall be pointed in the direction of the Lord Jesus Christ by our good works!  

Friday, April 1, 2011

How to Turn Your Job from Dread to Joy

How to Turn Your Job from Dread to Joy

Eph 6:5-8  Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

      How have you started your Monday, Christian?  Have you fallen in the rut of joy on Sunday and misery on Monday through Friday?  Let us deal with this now, for it is a great portion of our life that we spend at our place of employment.  Work is the perfect and divine plan of our Heavenly Father.  It is a necessary means for all men whether they be saved or lost.  It is curious why so many Christians spend such little time in maintaining a part of their life that they spend so much time involving themselves in.  Even so, let us think of this though, work does not have to be a dreadful thing we despise upon waking every day.  It is well spoken to say there will be days in which we may be worn, sick, or stressed with a special burden, and in these rest is well desired.  However, the child of God need not attend every day in despair and drudgery for the desire of God to His people is great joy and labor a part of His plan.  What example have we in this Biblically?  There is creation; God worked and rested on the Sabbath.  It is God who planted a garden in Eden, and it was Adam who was placed there to attend to it.  Ponder this thought today, Christian: Adam was instructed to keep the garden (Gen 2:8) before the curse of sin.  So we see then work is not the curse, but rather thorns and the sweat of the brow from hard labor are man's curse.  For our sake was the ground cursed, for our own good God did this.  It was urgent that man stay busy and not idle considering the temptation of satan.  Oh wicked man that I am to view work, the plan of God, as a burden, for His commandments are not those that cause grief!  It is the fallen nature in us that causes us to view all things spiritual as dreadful, and work is in no way different.  We are not to say a person who has labored long and hard will not thirst for the rest his body needs at the quiting hour. Rather it is the attitude of how we view the idea of work that the people of God need to address.  How is your spirit today, Saint, in the work place?  Shall you say it holds up well in pleasing God?  Work is a means to provide for ourselves.  We labor (Prov 16:26) because we have a need in life.  Food must be gathered and bills must be paid.  It is our duty to meet our needs by work, and as well the needs of others who cannot labor (Eph 4:28).  It is a godly thing to help those who cannot help themselves, and it should be our joy and pleasure to do so.  May we discern this wisely, for if they are well and able to work, it is a sin to even feed such a one in a time of hunger because of their idleness (2 Thess 2:10)!  If we do not support them and their lack of self motivation (that is not to say we do not try to win them and disciple them), then it will be very soon that they will find a job.  God's people must not think it a righteous thing to support the lazy, though it is our joy to support the truly disabled.

     Christian, now observe these principles and from them serve in joy at your place of employment.  See our text:  If God has graced your life with a job given to you by His eternal hand, stay in this blessing.  In doing so, you are acting in a part of the will of God for your life.  "What of the most mundane of jobs?" you may ask.  Even they, from arrival to departure, are placing you where God would have you be at that time, so as long as you are not there on the Lord's day.  Your employer, Christian, is commanded of God to regard such a day for you, and if they do not, bring it to God, and He will plead your cause!  Every day is a God-given opportunity! Truly, in each day there lies the grandest of opportunities to please God and show Christ to others around us.  Working hard is pleasing in the eyes of God, and a great example to those who see us daily.  What a perfect stage God has set for us to perform work willingly in our place of labor.  Tell me now, Saint, have you submitted to the proper things of work as Christ became obedient and submitted unto the cross?  Is your labor as such that others know you are dependable and productive?  Have you shown a good report to all by arriving at the appointed time to start the day?  Have you separated yourselves from the filthiness of dirty talk and gossip about others?  Do you steal a great amount of time from your employer by dealing with the slack hand of slothfulness?  Do you support openly your boss, or do you join in talk of how they govern poorly when the notion is undeserving?  Do you answer your employer in anger or gentle submission?  We should always yield unless the thing submitted would disobey God in its action, for we ought to obey God rather than man.  Temper yourself now to muse on this wise: if work be the will of God, then we must presume doing the will of God earns us eternal rewards.  What a perspective altering thought! our labor in the week to come shall earn us Heavenly rewards! This is a double blessing to the Saints, nay rather a triple blessing! If we grace our place of employment Spirit-filled we have entered it with great joy, earned payment for our labor, and gained eternal rewards! May we now think even more positively of work!  Work is a gift of God to man, and great rewards and privileges may we earn  thereby!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Prevailing Prayer

Prevailing Prayer

Psalm 28:6  Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.

     Today it may be, dear Christian, that your heart is heavy, toppled with a burden of care and sorrow.  Or perhaps yesterday that weight settled upon thee, or maybe it will be yet on the morrow.  There is but only One who can lift this care and create light in the dark tunnel of uncertainty.  The Lord God shall hear the voice of our supplications.  Have we seen ourselves as trapped in a mountain of darkness?  Then hold your course in prayer.  So as it was with the young boy who took to the darkness of night to wait upon the coming train by the tracks.  There he waited, patiently, even into the late hours of night.  Though the train seemed as tardy or not coming at all, he was determined to board it.  The need must me met, the journey must be made.  So it was after a while, in the distance, a great light was seen on the horizon.  Finally it had arrived, and unmistakable was that arrival; for it boasted itself vividly with a great light and the whistle of the steam engine.  Even as this, so must it be with you and your prayer life.  Have you taken these burdens to God and awaited His light to fill your soul?  If so, why then should we so soon rise from our knees if God has not taken every pound of that dreadful weight off our shoulders?  Yea rather, we must beseech our Lord until we can say as David, "He hath heard the voice of my supplications."  The train has arrived, our Lord has heard our supplications.  We may undoubtedly know the Lord has heard our prayer when the Spirit of God turns our heaviness into joy.  When the unpleasurable feelings of our heart are swallowed by peace that passes all understanding, it is the hand of God taking the helm of our supplications.  Tell me, saint, have you ever in great distress fallen to your knees and prayed until God's peace has filled your soul?  Such a thing is an unmistakable evidence your burden has been lifted from your shoulders and is carried now in the hands of God.  Burdens are dispersed at times from the hand of God onto His people.  These burdens are to drive us, an apathetic people at times, into action: the proper action.  This action is prayer, and certainly prayer is the tool that moves God into action.  God does all things well!  Oh, praise be to God who knows how to stir the hearts of the saints for their own bettering!              

Monday, March 21, 2011

New Timber at God's Expense

New Timber at God's Expense

Ezra 6:3-4  In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits; With three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber: and let the expenses be given out of the king's house: 

     Here we find a letter sent from King Cyrus to inform of the building of the temple, and its full payment from the king's hand.  It is a most true statement that God turns the heart of kings to fulfill His will; however, let us take this logic and correctly apply it to the maintenance of Christians from the expenses of Heaven.

     The timber is new, not that of rotten wood.  So is it that Christ can make all things new.  The hard-working Carpenter, who carried His trade into Heaven to build the lives of people, is not interested in rewarding His bride with more old timber, rather Christ is in the business of making new construction in the lives of people.  Do you know a man who is down in the pits of sin?  Do you know one who has wrecked his life to the uttermost?  Do you know one who is disheartened and depressed and can see no light?  Send them to the Savior!  Christ can rebuild a life with new timber for the soul.  Let the construction begin!  Let Christ remodel the inward parts and see how quickly the outward road and the path it leads to change!  How can Christ do this?  He does it justly through the cross of Calvary where He shed His blood for all men.  No matter how deep and dark the sinner, Christ will utterly forgive all and purge their life to build it anew.  New timber is new desires that are present because of the wonderful act of salvation brought to man by God's perfect plan.  New timber is new principles in which the believer now builds his life upon.  And what of the cost?  Do not think it must be paid by us, for we cannot pay such a large debt; rather Heaven has paid for this by giving the Son of God to die for our sins.  And as such, the Christian life must continue in the same grace.  Observe this thought: we are saved by grace and not the works of the law.  Why then do so many people start in the Spirit and try to grow by holding to the works of the law?  Rather they should let the grace of God uphold them in righteousness by asking Him to do so.  Heavens airfare was paid by Christ and so is the price of our growing in grace.  Christ is graciously still building us to make us what we ought to be; herein is a great work of sanctification in the saints.  Happy is the Christian who meets daily with the Master Carpenter, and allows Him time and room to build with new timber in his life.    

Sunday, March 20, 2011

As a Christian, Have you Found God Today?

As a Christian, Have you Found God Today?

Jeremiah 29:13  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

     So then Christian, God has found you, and you have found God through His Son. Only, have you stopped at that?  Your eternity is of the most important state very true, but is there a hunger to know Heaven on earth?  Do you find yourself longing for the fellowship of God to land on your heart as the tender morning dew?  Is your soul twisted inside of you, fighting for the hope of deeper communion with the God of the universe?  Then seek the Lord, and seek Him with your whole heart.  It is the Christian who disciplines himself to search with much passion who finds God in the fuller extent.   Let us not think that a half-hearted approach shall get us far.  God desires the full heart to seek Him; a heart that is overflowing with desire to hear and obey His leadings.  It is a full heart that gets filled.  Not a heart that is full of the world but rather one that is full of holy yearning for the Savior.  A heart that is filled with desire shall soon have that desire turned to joy.  Only press on and let not the world distract you.  If our hearts be in another place, we are not seeking God with our whole heart.  Be attentive, for if  your mind is consumed with the thoughts of possessions then God has not your whole heart.  The saint who whole heartedly seeks the Lord is the saint who gets the special privileges of God.  It is they who have the most peace and the most power.  So then seek the Lord today!  Have your life full of better blessing than the rest!  Seek Him with all your heart and you will soon find that He will be found of you!  What child can be in the direct favor of God and not receive more than his cup will hold?   Make a promise to yourself and God now; ask Him to help you seek Him daily with your whole heart.  In doing this you shall truly find the greater blessings and power of God.

Friday, March 18, 2011

How to Get Things From God

How to Get Things From God

Jer 33:1  Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying, 
Jer 33:2  Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; 
Jer 33:3  Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not

     Have you found yourself afflicted today, saint?  There is good news, and not just good, yea rather jubilation for the soul.  God answers prayer.  Tell me, Christian, who is heard of their parents the most?  Is it not the child who lies in distress that first steals the aid of the loving father?  So then afflicted soul, expect God not just to hear but to answer our prayers.  The word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah while in the middle of great distress.  Yet it is here God chose to bring this wonderful thought to His servant: "Call unto me.".  A great encouragement to the discouraged child of God.  Should we dare expect any other form of delivery than that which comes by prayer? Certainly not, for prayer is God's appointed means to give His children their requests.  "But I have prayed,"  you may say.  Even then, pray again.  Jeremiah had prayed (Jer 32:16-25), yet the solution had not changed.  Think of this: a busy father may not fully notice the tug of his child on his leg at the first, for he is covered up in work.  Yet in much persistence, he should surely come to notice them if they do not relent on the intentions.  You may be assured God sees our first prayer and regards it.  It is altogether in His divine will at times to act as though He did not.  This is to teach us reliance on God and not our own doings.  So pray and pray again.  
     Be now encouraged by this promise those of you who remain afflicted.  We are bid to call, and God has obligated Himself to answer.  We should not remain hopeful for answers, but rather we should expect them.  Oh, to see great and mighty things which we know not, and we shall!  They are here for the taking!  Heaven has stored them, and Christ has unlocked them for distribution unto the saints!  Our Father waits now upon His throne willing and waiting, pleading with us to come in earnest prayer so that He may bestow on us what should be ours.  Are you in turmoil?  Has a grievous cloud come upon you today so that it seems hard to find good?  Then take the instruction of God to Jeremiah and claim it as your own, for it is yours!  Call upon the Savior now!  He sits always able and willing to move Heaven and earth to aid His own.  Wait upon the good things which you know not, for in them God is able to apply a soothing salve to our heart which may heal us in a much greater way than we think possible.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The More Excellent Roads of Life

The More Excellent Roads of Life

Proverbs 15:24  The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.   
     My soul, what now is the direction that you may take?  May it exuberantly proclaim the road above!  For in this choice the benefit of one's self and the good of others is at stake!  Aim for this high road now with me!  Choose it because there lay another path, and its end is one of bitterness and sorrow.  With such knowledge, why then would we not make the road above to be our blissful choice?  This good road is one of instruction, a beaten path, cleared by the Word of God so it may be happily traveled.  On this road lay the good things of God and to those who stay on it the deep and rewarding things of His inexpressible fellowship.  Never has such a feast of divine blessing been laid out to men as while in this path.  Abiding therein the  believer finds nourishment in times of languish and good consequences to his wise choices.  This road is lovingly hedged by the protecting hands of a caring Father, and its road signs are those marked by peace, joy, and tranquility to the inner parts.  The way of path is maintained by the workings of the great Creator.  While sojourning on this better way, the unforgiving damage of winds and storms are corrected by God, and it is more than hasty patchwork.  These sinkholes are repaved, smoothed for the soul by the counseling Spirit of the Almighty, so  there is no more sorrow found hidden in them.  Choose now this higher road!  The road to live by God's principles as a holy Saint!  I beckon to all now choose the godly road, for below it is hell beneath!  Retain the path above and you shall remain unclaimed by the damage of foolishness!  Let us not think to take the road of the world.  Rescue your loved one by supplication if they be on this path!  For we have seen its end and it is a sorrowful one.  The road of ungodliness is one of bitter remorse, full of needless destruction which wisdom calls to deliver us from!  Such a terrible road of self-created sorrows!  On this road paved below the cruel world may have the mastery of those who abide thereon, but praise be to God who can lift us off this path!  Have you found yourself on this dreadful highway today, saint?  If so lift your voice to God who can deliver you and set your feet on the right trail.  Have you wondered the worth of following Biblical principle and denying sin?  Never has the path of destruction lead to anywhere other than to destruction and as well never has the path of God's love fallen short of expectation!  Let not foolishness dictate your heart's purpose now, saint; for in choosing the way above you shall miss many sorrows and avoid much destruction.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Are you 100% For Sure You Are Going To Heaven?

Are You 100% For Sure You Are Going To Heaven?

      There are only 4 basic things you need to know that can assure you Heaven is your home.  We can know for sure!  God wants us to know for sure!  Here is how we can know!

1. We have all sinned.

Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
     We have all sinned.  There is none righteous, no not one.  There is not a person alive who can say they have lived their entire life without sin.  The Word of God clearly states that we have all sinned and have come short of God's glory.

2. Sin has a penalty.
Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
     Wages are what you earn.  The paycheck for sin for everyone is death.  What is death?  It is separation.  Upon death our soul is separated from our body.  If we are lost without God and not going to Heaven, then death is also separation of the eternal soul from God.  God is in Heaven; therefore if the paycheck for sin is separation, then that penalty is a place of eternal torment called Hell.

3. Christ Jesus has made a way for us to go to Heaven.
Romans 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 
     God showed His great love to us by giving Christ to die on the cross.  There, Jesus suffered the torment and separation that a sinner would face in Hell.  God loves man, but sin must be payed for.  So Jesus Christ the Son of God payed the debt of death that we owe by dying on the cross.  He made the way to Heaven.  He is the door to Heaven.  God laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  Christ was buried, and three days later He was raised again from the dead, showing His triumphant victory over death, so we could have victory in Him!

4. God wants to give everyone this free gift of Heaven paid for by Christ.

Romans 10:9-10  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.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 

Romans 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 

     God tells us in His word, that if we shall confess the Lord Jesus and believe the good news that He is the way to Heaven we can be saved.  With the heart we believe and we desire salvation.  With the mouth we pray and ask God to come into our heart and save us.  
      Many may ask what else is there?  Must I work?  Must I be baptized?  Must I take communion?  No to all of these.  Christ has done all the work needed for you to go to Heaven.  You need not  add anything else to the good news of what Jesus did on the cross, His burial, and His resurrection.  You need not take anything away either, if you take away Jesus, you take away the door to Heaven.  

Do you believe all have sinned?
Do you believe hell awaits those separated from God?
Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?
Do you believe that Jesus made the only way to Heaven by dying on the cross for our sins?
Are you willing to put your faith in the work of Jesus on the cross to take you to Heaven?

The Bible says anyone, "whosoever" shall call on the Lord shall be saved.  
Pray now if you need to be saved and ask God to save you and take you to Heaven.  Tell Him you are trusting only Jesus to get you there.  Now believe God has saved you if you prayed this.  God has promised everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  Our part is to only call on Him in faith, His part and His promise is to save you!

Have you trusted Christ as your Savior just now?  Then tell someone about the good news!

What is Your Value In Life?

What is Your Value in Life?

Proverbs 10:20  The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.

     Ask yourself this question today, Christian, "How valuable are you to God and others?".  There is a sure answer for this question, in that, this question reveals its answer by the condition of our heart.  Is your thinking ravaged with unlawful thoughts?  Are your desires overwhelmingly drawing you into sin?  Have you a deep abiding love for the Savior and for souls?  If we in truth answer these things and with avid searching find the result of these question to be negative, we are then living a life that presents little value to God and others.    
     Think now of the value of living righteously.  Is not choice silver a most desirable thing?  Certainly it is, and so is your life ever valuable and full of worth when  living holy and yielded to God.  When others see the wisdom given to men from such dependence on the Son of God, they may find great value and respect for the vibrant thoughts that roll from their lips.  If they, who have a quickened desire to know God's principles hear us expectantly and they find our mouths full of wisdom, then have we bent an ear to acknowledge the wisdom found in the Word of God?  What value there is in speaking right things to people, and what value to God that we can be used by Him to influence people!  Yet only consider this, with the wicked heart it is not so.  They cannot build up others; but rather in their lips are poison.  They intend to strike as a venomous snake with grievous words looking to wound their prey.  Their tongue is poised and ready to strike with words that stir up anger or eat as a cancer at the emotion of those afflicted.  The wicked look to deceive and gratify their pleasures in sin, all the while harming those who are close and sometimes those who are afar.  What little value to God is the heart of one who stinks of death.  How should God spend your value to service others when we offend with the rank odor of sin?  How could God value the wicked of as much worth as He could those who are as choice silver in His service?  May our hearts be in right standing with God!  
     Now take this final thought.  All the while God sees the sinful, and in them He sees the potential in every life.  This is so true that if the wicked would allow God to reign in their life they would find the Savior has masterfully crafted a road for them follow. And what a road  it is; one of sweet splendor and joy found in knowing Christ!  The value of every soul was worth the life of the Son of God, and in that great transaction that took place at Calvary, a wicked heart may be made new and become of great worth and value in the service of the King!    

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What Do You Provoke God to do in Your Life?

What Shall We Provoke?

Ezra 5:12  But after that our fathers had provoked the God of heaven unto wrath, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house, and carried the people away into Babylon.

     In what way today, Christian, has your life provoked the Lord?  There is a law which holds ever true:  sowing and reaping.  Have you sowed your life today to God and brought blessings on your life?  Or have you been lacking, sowing to the flesh bringing about certain corruption?  Let us look now at how we may provoke God to blessings!

Hosea 10:12  Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

     We have a field to sow in.  And what a responsibility it is, for this field is our heart.  As any proper field, this soil, when met with seed, cultivates and nurtures the seed.  A fallow ground is a plowed heart ready to receive the Word of God in its fertile soil.  The good seed is the Word of God.  Good seed is that which is produced by the Holy Spirit and takes root in your heart.  There is another seed type present among us as well.  This is the ungodly seed which is held by satan and the ungodly people of the world.  This is planted in your heart to produce that which is sinful.

     Our hearts will cultivate the seed of suggestion.  It is in design that God has made us to do just that.  The ideas and thoughts which we allow to pass through the gates of our senses lodge in our minds.  There they sit, often nourished, thought upon, and in doing they grow until they produce the fruit of their kind.  Every voluntary action has a thought before it.  Tell me Christian, have you ever sinned a sin that you have not thought about first?  Has not every yielded temptation come because you gave into the thought of it?  And so it rings true, a thought is cultivated until it blooms, and that bloom is the action produced from the planted seed.  So then, think and realize the direction of your life.  Your actions determine the direction of your life, and they are the fruit of what you have sown in abundance to your mind.

     Christian, be ever careful in this day!  For we are bent towards the hazards of sinfulness.  Beware,  because we have an enemy who wishes to sow tares and thistles in our minds.  And how subtle he shall be when doing it at times.  If we see unholy fruit we may be sure that we are not sowing good seed but the seed of the world in our minds.  And what if this is the case today, Christian?  Then we must diligently weed the tender soil of our minds.  Ask Christ to help you, and He will.  Count all tares as the curse they are and let the Lord pull them out of your heart so that it may be ready to receive that good seed !

     I encourage you today, child of God, to sow the good seed of the Bible in your heart.  Daily it should be sent to cover the field of your heart, and its harvest shall be rewarding.  The righteous Word harvested shall be mercy, which when gathered in its due time shall cause the God of Heaven to rain righteousness upon your thirsting soul!  His reward will come in the splendors of showers of blessings.  Surround yourself then Christian with godly influence; for we must sow to reap!  And if it be that the seed is good, and from it we produce holy actions, then we shall provoke the God of Heaven to bring blessings in our lives.  Only let not the seed be that which the enemy has sent the world to sow.  Unholy actions may provoke the Lord to a righteous anger.  Sow to the Spiritdfe and reap in joy, for it is time to seek the Lord!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pierced Hands

Pierced Hands

Luke 24:5-51  And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.  And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

     Christian, imagine today if you will this marvelous sight as beheld by the disciples.  Those precious hands of the Savoir, lifted to bless, as He began His ascent into Heaven to be received of the Father.  The disciples were first taken to a personal place, a small town of Bethany.  It is here that the Lord decided to make His departure into Heaven.  Bethany was not the center of any splendor, except that the Lord was there.  Yet it was Bethany that was chosen; so a lesson is born: we must get with God in secret before we have proper things to say in public.  Find Bethany, and there find the Lord!
     But think now of this, those wonderful hands of the Savior which were lifted, were lifted to bless.  And so does God intend to bring blessings on the heads of His people.  These great hands were lifted to bless, because authority was given unto the Son to do just that.  These hands were lifted to bless by unloading to the disciples that wonderful work of going to the multitudes with the message of the Gospel.  The human duties to be entrusted to the disciples, in this regard, were a blessing to them.  Never could the Heavenly duties be transferred, because only Christ can be our great High Priest, and with those pierced hands He holds the office firmly.  Ah but the human duties to occupy until He comes.  So we see a great blessing given, the blessing that man may lead sinners to God through Christ.
     Imagine now this sight, as Christ raised His hands in ascension, the last glimpse of Him being His palms,  turned down towards the disciples, as His hands were raised.  The state of those hands, pierced, scarred where calvary had at one time left Him lifeless. But praise be to God He was not left that way!  Such a statement made without a word said when the scars of calvary are pondered upon.  Perhaps this served as a great reminder of what authority Christ had, who gave His life and He Himself took it back again.  Undoubtedly, these hands served as a sobering reminder of the great price which was paid for redemption.  How could the disciples forget such a sight?  These hands could be raised to bless because they were pierced for our sins!  And as these hands bought our pardon, they are the continued way of blessing for God's people.  We do not lean on the works of the law, our ability to control, or our character in right and wrong when dealing with besetting sin; rather, we come to these strong hands which are mighty enough to cover us in God's grace, and they alone lift us to our proper company in sonship.
     These hands, as the disciples well-knew, were the hands which would hold their future.  And so it is with us as well, Christian!  What mighty hands they are!  There is no circumstance too small or too great to place on those nail scarred hands!  These hands hold our earthly affairs and our eternal ones.  May we rejoice in the thought of such!
     Think now lastly on these thoughts regarding Christ's hands.  They are hands which eternally bear the proof of payment for the sins of mankind.  These mighty hands are they which grasped the arm of Peter and brought him up from the waters with his simple earnest exclamation of, "Lord save me!".  And so is it with us today, Christian!  These are the hands of the Master Carpenter, calloused from hard work; and they were hands which healed all who would come to Him.  These hands were they which were seen limp and lifeless after calvary, but vibrant and and full of life they were three days later!  These are the nail-printed hands which now knock on the hearts of men.  Does He knock on your heart with these hands?  Why would one ever deny such a loving Savior entrance?  Call on Him now as Peter did, "Lord save me!".   Christian, do these hands knock in an area of life in which you will not let Him reign?  Throw open the door and allow Him access now!  For these hands are gentle and loving, and they shall never lead thee wrong.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Can We Have Revival?

Romans 5:20  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

     Believer in Christ, take notion if you will of this wonderful fact: we have truth diffused to us as sons!  God has made many things abundantly clear to man in His revelation of Himself.  Perhaps one thing most well-known is the great favor that God has given in bestowing grace to cover sin.  We must quickly learn this; that where there is sin, there is an abundant supply of grace to correct it.  Joyful is the man who is pulled from the deepest places of sin, for much grace is his reward in repentance.  To us is offered grace in greater proportion than sin multiplied of itself. What a wonderful truth that brings vast jubilation to the soul!  Grace is greater than all of our sin! So then, what of this grace?  How far can it take us today, Christian?  Can  it propel us to the brink of this thought and beyond: can we have revival in this day?  While we ponder on this, we may think to ourselves, "One says things are worse than ever, and another says God has foretold that revival cannot be in this age."  Look now soul to this encouraging truth, if sin abounds, then grace shall be in greater supply.  God needs not to send a revival in the midst of revival.  Rather it is reserved for when needed, held until things become grim and unbearable to the soul.  For if greater the display of sin, then greater the manifestation of grace.  Take great comfort now in this delight, we are in the wonderful age of grace, and the church is on the offensive!  Grace can bring us revival.

     Is then revival as imminent as the Lord's return?  Shall we see it if we desire to?  Observe this thought of sensible reasoning.  Ponder this until it becomes clear to your mind.  If we are in sin then the Lord would have us claim fire from Heaven to revive and our souls.  If Christians are to keep themselves in a Christ-like way then, from time to time, we need a revival ourselves.  If we must be revived so we may return to holy and Christ-like living, then we now see that reviving ourselves has become a duty.  This makes revival our duty because living holy is our duty.  Muse on this thought, would God deny us the power to fulfill a duty He requires of us?  Would He deny us the power to live in the Spirit as He has commanded?  Should He then deny us the method of restoring our spiritual walk?  Certainly not.

     Think on this verse.  2 Chronicles 7:14  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.  Is this verse not true?  If we then meet a condition, God shall give a result.  Has this verse been found false?  Or have you found an expiration printed within its words?  Was this not written by the same God that we have today?  Has God not honored the fullness of His counsel?  Have some portions of canonized Scripture become unprofitable?  Truly all Scripture is profitable and all of its divine promises true!  Herein is grace extended to the saints by a condition to meet with the promise of revival.

     Might I interpose now into your mind this one thought of conclusion, the devil loves preaching that would say we cannot have revival.  He quivers in delight over such a mind set but quivers in fear over the thought of revival coming to fruition.  Revival would lead to holy living of saints and sinners being converted in masses.  Our adversary wishes to deaden all such hope of revival.  May we then in duty more than ever expect God to give revival to our souls and churches.  We are robed in grace and indwelled of the Holy Spirit.  In such sure hands we should excite ourselves now, church, on this fact: we can have revival.  Meditate on this my fellow Christian and let it ring in abundance through the hallways of thine ears; if sin abounds, then grace does much more abound!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Do We Need A Revival?

Do We Need A Revival?
Hab 3:2  O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy. 

     Without a doubt yes!  And He so desires to send us revival!  Never is there a thing more dear to God than sinners being converted to Christ and believers drawing in closer fellowship to the Lord.  A revived work is what the Lord longs to do for His people!  May we believe He can and know He wishes to do so.
     For what reason would it be that we need revival?  Has the church the same power as it had in Acts?  So we say yes it does, in that, it is available to us now just as it was then.  Only we differ in this: we seem to be drawing from a well of lesser proportion than in yesterdays.  Have we seen mass conversions of souls to Christ?  Have we seen carnal Christians repentant and grieved deeply over their sin?  Has the heart of God's people been in great travail to birth in prayer a revival that was planted in the mind of men by the Holy Ghost?  By all means we need revival.  We would all hastily admit that we live in a day where we see multitudes in churches.  Only I interject this; if they were in revival, we would see the end of backbiting and malice in that church.  They should be rid of distrust of the pastor and the longing of the world if they were in revival.  Multitudes of conversion would be present by the working of God's people to reach others with the Gospel if they were in revival.  They should be more readily, individually and collectively, formed into the image of Christ if they were in revival. So then we whole-heartedly see evidence of a need for the revival of God's work in America.  This is so, but in some countries this type of godly zeal is taking place even now.

     A revival makes tender the heart of the saint who has hardened themselves through the deceit of sin and the cares of the world.  The flesh of our carnal nature is a wicked thing, and it pulls naturally on us, relentlessly at times, to position us in opposite directions of God's will.  We must be abased from pride and admit that from time to time we need a revival to tune us to the sweet orchestra of God's melody.  A revival is needed when the church slows at winning souls.  It is needed when the service is preached as if to dry bones that lay lifeless due to the preaching being absent of unction from God.  We may boldly say a revival is needed when the church of God has lost their desire and enthusiasm to serve Christ and see success in the church.  A revival is needed when the altar has dried of tears, for if the Spirit has moved then the altar would be full, or the people have grieved God in rejecting His leading.  A revival is needed when the people of God are no longer willing to do what they must to see success in the church.  We may know that we are in a most desperate state for revival when there is discord among the people.  We conclude that revival is an envied thing when their is rebellion against the direction of a godly pastor doing right.  If we think we need not revival, then we need it most certainly even more.

     Are God's people grieving deeply over their sin and the sin of others?  Are they weeping over the eternal state of lost ones who have not Christ?  If this is not a dominating concern in our lives we need revival.  Certainly, we must remember our fellowship with God and our family; yet after that may we live in the world but care for the things of eternity.  Has God planted in you the desire for revival?  If not, then go to Him and beg Him for it!  If yes, then do not grieve the Spirit until He leaves you alone, but rather pray until He lifts the burden in a sense of fulfillment!  Is it as it should be with us towards God?  If not, we need a revival.

Next post - Can we have a revival?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Are You Wise or Foolish?

Are You Inherently Wise?

Proverbs 24:7  Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.
     How lies the fundamental direction of your discernment today Christian?  Is it well with you and with God, or does it lack the quintessential elements of truth and understanding?  May we strive to be able to truly say, "not so!".  We lack nothing in good discernment for we are graced with the wisdom of God, and He has bowed the heavens to deliver it unto us by His hand!
     Wisdom is unattainable to the fool, while he is a fool.  It is in his nature that the problem lies.  A fool may even be born again, in that, he has made one wise decision by the enlightening of the Holy Spirit for his need for Christ; however, to one who has seared himself from the holy things of God, the holy things of God have no clarity to him.  Overtime they will become as one who has forgotten they were once purged from their sin. A scorner is one who purposely rebels against the things of God, and the fool is one to whom it has become as a nature to live in error.  Though they hear, they cannot bring themselves to comprehend.  Though they see the truth displayed in the lives of Christians, they cannot bear to live it themselves, even though it would better them.  They are without a desire for wisdom; and the comprehension to find the wisdom in the well-explained proverb, though it be taught plainly, is dormant.  The fool's way is to him better than any other way, even while his life is in a course of decline.  He may receive instruction, and while he can repeat the matter back to others, he himself will not heed it.  The nature of wisdom lies on a shelf much higher than the reach of a fool.  The fool opens not his mouth in the gate.  He has nothing constructive to offer in the place where high councils may meet.  If the gate be the entrance of a city, then we may conclude that a fool has not the ability to start a practice or relationship with wisdom. For he opens not his mouth to seek God to begin in wisdom.  In this, the fool sets up his life for constant folly.                                    
     But to the wise man, there is a different course that grace has paved in his midst.  If the spirit of wisdom rests upon a believer as it did with Solomon and the apostles, then we can attain to this necessity of life even now!  Solomon asked of God and wisdom was distributed to him with the personal caring touch of the Father!  Does God care any less for you?  Certainly not!  So we may expect the same!  The apostle James boldly proclaims that if any man be without wisdom, let he himself ask of the Father!  Christian reader, it will be with great liberality that God shall pour out His spirit of wisdom upon you fresh and anew!  May this thought bring jubilation to the soul, for this is not the decree of a man but the promise of the One who holds the  universe in His palm!  God shall not withhold wisdom from His children who seek wisdom earnestly, and He never tires of our asking for it.  Do we seek monetary gain?  Do we not search for bargains and deals as well as earthly knowledge?  Then how much more should we seek wisdom in whose return is much better than that of gold?  How precious it is to enter every situation endowed with the mindset of God.  Let this mind be in you which also was in Christ Jesus! As we ask of the Father for this wonderful grace,  He shall lift our souls to the attainable places of wisdom so that we may reach that which was once incomprehensible.  When we hand God control of our life, He transforms our thinking from that of foolish in nature to wise in nature!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Prophets Helping Them

Helping Prophets

Ezra 5:1  Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them. 
 5:2  Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them.

     What is the purpose of the prophets may we ask?  Many see only their job as to pester them.  They may be viewed by the world as troublesome people, rebelling against the wicked causes of the unregenerate.  Yet God has given them to us, pastors and evangelists, to help the people.  Many times they are seen as unfavorable, for they tell the truth in righteousness; and as long as they do this, the offence of the cross will not cease.  But as offensive as the cross may be, preach it they must!  May the prophets given us by God be regarded differently by the people of God; not as a nuisance, but as a helper in the Christian life.
     The goal is to help people, not to belittle them or destroy their lives.  There is not a God called preacher who purposely tries to do these things if he operating in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Their purpose is to persuade people to a better place in their fellowship with God.  They are to try to bring benefits into the lives of people by their reasoning with them.  Their reason for this is they are called of God.  Sent and commissioned not of their choice, but as by choice of the Saviour; for as it written, he has said, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you."  They are representatives of God, persuading you of better things!  So let us not see the godly Spirit filled man as a bother, but rather as a refreshing wind sent to refurbish our lives.
     They are set in the ministry of God's word.  There is no other authority.  They wish to solace hurting souls by propagating the healing qualities of the Word.  This they do with great joy, for the scripture has concluded they are to be ministers of joy.  The ministry which has sweep them into the passion of God's work also brings upon them the necessitation of correction.  The word heals, but as well it corrects, and this correction is not aimed as to be picking on ones feelings; but rather on the bettering of their lives, so that they may avoid shipwreck.  The prophet of God is a guidance representative of the Bible.  His ministry is to guide people in the Bible, and not of opinion or preference.  
     Christian, are you weary with your prophet that God has given you?  If he be a man of God then by all means find place to listen to him.  For his job is to represent God.  He is a proclaimer of the written word.  He has an unction with Holy One (as do all believers) and is ordained of God to watch for your souls.  His passion is not prove you wrong, but to warn of impending danger.  He has a message for you.  One divinely written at the desk of God and burned into his heart by the groaning of the Holy Spirit.  Listen to your prophet, for any preacher called of God may deliver God's message if you are prepared to listen.
     His message is also, one of this: a message of warning, which is of the upmost importance.  For this is the message of Christ and the need of salvation for man.  In this message we find the hope and theme of eternity.  Christ came to redeem man from the wages of sin and everlasting torment.  How is it today prophet with your message?  Is Christ the central theme?  Have we slowed the gospel from leaping off our tongue? and have we traded it in place for the fear of man?  Certainly we hope not!  For there is no other thing we shall do in this life that bears more importance.  Bring forth with power the message of Christ!  For unto the lost it is the power of God unto salvation, and to us who are saved it is the power of God evidenced in our lives and eternity. Oh preachers! preach the word! and listeners, listen to the word; for if you would allow it to be so, the prophet is not your enemy, but your helper!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

For the Sorrowing Christian

Righteousness in Him
Corinthians 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 

     Why do you sorrow for today, Christian?  Has sin put you into a great despair?  Know Christ and know freedom from this dreadful curse, for Christ has redeemed you!  Truly repentance is accepted in the eyes of God when His children weep for sorrow.  Weep; then let us quickly move on!  For the most holy infallible Scripture has stated we are made the righteousness of God in Him!  There is no condemnation to the child of God, for we are seen as perfect in our Father's eyes.  We are seen as though we had never sinned.  Yet even better are we than if we had never sinned!  For we would be robed in the righteousness of a perfect man if that were our state.  But we are robed in the righteousness of God.  A divine garment given to us through Christ.  And how much better is the righteousness of God than of man!  So we are seen as perfect in God's eyes because we were made the righteousness of Christ.  If God cannot condemn us, then how can man?  If God cannot condemn us, then how can satan?  Or how can you condemn yourself by penance?  So pick up yourself today, Christian!  For the day will dawn when we shall be like Christ in body; yet today, while we are living in this flesh, we may know our Father views us as already perfect.  For the transaction of salvation is done!  It is settled!  We are God's, and He will not condemn His elect!  Boldly then enter the throne room of God and settle yourself in deep communion.  For Christ has taken what we deserve, wrath and death on the cross, being made sin for us; and we have taken what Christ deserves, the riches of sonship in the family of God!  Oh that we would realize the power given us as sons of God!
     May we not use this liberty as an occasion to live unholy!  For the goodness of God should lead thee to repentance.  Move forward, for as while you have not kept the law, Christ has; and we are made the righteousness of Christ!

Friday, February 18, 2011

When We Are Considered

Job 1:8  And the LORD said unto 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? 

I.                What man may consider of temporal things
          A.    There is no certainty in wealth.
     All men must surely know by now that during the enterprise of life money can certainly make itself wings and flee quickly from us.  Markets may rise or fall, and life is filled with unexpectancies.  Money may become the strength of some men and the lack thereof the weakness of others.  Yet in the day of wrath, dollars cannot provide loving protection as the Heavenly Father can!  Why would we base the purpose of our lives solely on wealth?  Certainly Job had no certainty in wealth.
B.    There is no certainty in health.
     And as so many have experienced, life is but a fragile thread.  There are many natural causes that brings a man to death and certainly when accidents are taken into account, we see life is not guaranteeing itself to any man.  Strong health is not a promise in the physical but in the spiritual.  We see as well that Job had no certainty in health.
C.    There is no certainty in loved ones.
     They may turn astray from us, from God, and from what they know.  Every man is commissioned to make free choices of free will.  May our choices honor God!  Loved ones may be taken from us in great tragedy.  There is no certainty in loved ones.  Even the wife of Job turned on him.  His friends brought him only scorn and ridicule.  May we be wary of thinking there is an absolute in loved ones.
D.    Satan walks to and fro (1:7).
     He is seeking permission to devour the saints of God.  His chief motive is to wear out the saints of God, so if he cannot have their soul, he will try to have their testimony.  We can be sure satan will tempt us with temporal things.  If there lies a price tag on the heart of man, think not that satan will defer to pay that price. To ruin the testimony of a saint is his mission.  
     May we praise God now for the preservation He has bestowed on us! Else in the ebb and flow of life, we would be washed away into the oblivion of unimportance!  Thank the Savior (even now! as we speak!) that He has covered all the transgressions of the saints, and made us to sit at God's royal table. A feast it is, served by the girded Master, offering all the splendors of sonship to us- even now- at a table reserved for the sons of God!
II.              What satan may consider of the saints
A.    No consideration of well-being
     He hates us, for we remind him of Christ.  He has no consideration of our well-being but rather longs for our ruin.  The Spirit of the Savior dwells in us, forming us into His image! And oh how blessed it is, that God forms us into His image!  For if this work was not of God, we could never progress in our Christian life.  So then, the more we become like Christ, the more satan hates us.
B.    Consideration of God-given grace over sin
1.    Forgiveness
     Satan wonders, "How can such a foul being as a human, bring God to earth to die for them?  Why would such a righteous and holy God forgive such a despicable and rebellious creature?  Why should they glory in the hope of eternal bliss and not I?".
2.    Happiness
     He sees we are a happy people.  A people indwelled with the Spirit of Christ.  If we be sons, we have the Spirit of God in us, or else we be not sons of God.  Romans 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. This is a joy that was once in man at the garden of Eden.  As sons of God we have it back being regenerated by the Spirit!  Now this joy may seem tainted because of our flesh, yet in a soon-coming day its graces will shine pure and perfectly through all eternity.  
     When man is passed from death unto life his spirit is resurrected by the same power that brought Christ from the grave! So we see with such a salvation we are a happy people if living at the feet of the Savior!  Satan considers this and hates us for it.

3.    Faith
     We trust God- or so we should.  If our faith wavers, it may be because our relationship with the Holy Word has wavered.  Satan considers how we trust God still when we perhaps have been ravaged by the circumstances of life; and yet still cling to the Father; as Job our example did.
4.    Praise
     It is certain we should praise or Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the Father who sent Him.  "Why should man praise God?" you may ask.  Time would fail us to list the innumerable reasons why.  Satan sees this praise in which he desires to have for himself, and again, he hates us for it.

C.    Flaws to be detected for accusation
     We may be sure that since the tempter hates us so, he wishes to accuse us before the throne of God.  And if he will accuse us to God, think not that he will not bring it to your mind.  Yet to a blood-bought child of God, redeemed in Christ, this accusation is in vain for our sins our washed and covered, not to be remembered by God anymore!  "And what if I remember them?" you ask.  Not to fear, for God only convicts His sons of unconfessed sin.  Believers who live in guilt of sin which they have confessed and forsaken are living under satanic accusation, not Holy Spirit conviction.  We may be brought to tears by the loving stir of the Spirit over our corrupt desires and nature, but God repents of judgment when you repent of sin.  Let go of your past! God can forgive you justly because of what Christ has done on the cross! He can blot out sin from your remembrance and from the remembrance of others!  God needs not to ask of any permission to do this! He may do this as He desires, justly, for Christ has taken our guilt and bought our pardon!

III.            What satan may consider for temptation
A.    The ebb of effectiveness due to transgression against God
     Our influence and effectiveness will greatly decrease if we live in sin so satan may consider how to make sin.  In this, if satan causes us to stumble, we have tossed the holy power of God to the swine.  If we live in sin, what then?  Shall we then try to continue in the power of self?  If we try to live in the power of the flesh (which is no power) rather than the power of God then we have manufactured an awful setback in God's work.  Satan shall consider how ineffective an unholy believer is in the work of God.
B.    The Uniqueness of his approach for each individual (Jm 1:14)
1.    Heating of one’s desire as a smith's metal-working tactics
     The plan of satan to tempt us will vary from saint to saint for we all have points of temptation that differ one from another.  One may fall at one point, where another may think to himself, "How is it that he fell to that particular sin?".  We are all drawn away from our own lusts, and satan has studied them.  He knows what tempts us.  And work our desires he will, heating them.  He does this as a blacksmith works his metal to make it bend to his will.  The blacksmith heats the metal first, then when it is heated enough, he shapes it.  If we are not under the hand of God and submitted to His word, we may be certain our passions may become so inflamed that we fall.  Heating our sinful desires with temptation is a tactic used of the devil to make us bend to his sinful will.  Oh resist the devil, saint of God! Submit yourself to the Word of God so you may become tempered by this fire and not sinful by it!
2.    The plan of isolation or congregation
     If you are alone, satan may use this as a way to provoke you.  If you are in a crowd, this may be a means of worldly influence to temp you.  We must be sober, watchful and pray that God would not lead us into temptation.
3.    The type of mood that promotes sinful behavior
     If anger shall make you abound is transgression, then satan will do his diligence to trigger this in you.  If passion is the emotion that triggers your sinful desires, then beware.  The moods that trigger sinful behavior should be resisted, as this too is a method of temptation. 
4.    The industrially lax man
     For the lazy man who has nothing to do, satan will find him something to do.  You can be sure that it will not be a godly thing brought before him.  To be busy is God's plan.  While we must all come apart for a while to rest, we must not be habitually lazy.  Idle hands often breed terrible thoughts.
5.    Objects of our affection, diverse for all
     What you may like, immoral or amoral, satan may use these against us.  If it can draw our heart from God, then it may be used as a tool of temptation.  And it will be different for us all, because we are all diverse.
IV.            What God considers for saints in times of temptation
A.    To pray for the brethren (1 Thess 5:25)
     We must pray for strength for our brethren!  Who knows what temptation they may face today?  May we wrap them in holy strength through our prayers.  May our prayers cause the breath of God to blow on the flames of their heart, to stoke them to a passion for righteousness this day!
B.    Individually, corporately be sober, be vigilant (1 Pet 5:8)
     Be aware, for the most subtle of things may be a  means in which the deceiver tries to lure us into sin.  Be watchful and filled with the Spirit so that God may warn us of impending danger!
C.    Be submissive to God, resistant to satan (James 4:7)
     If we are to defeat temptation we must put ourselves under the authority of the Holy Scripture.  It is so true that if we are living them we cannot live sinfully. Oh Christian, resist the pull of satan to drag you out from under the umbrella of righteousness found in the Scripture.  For in a while, satan will flee. As God's people, beloved of Him, we must resist, knowing that this too will pass though it may feel as an eternity.
D.    Know this, it is never too much (1 Cor 10:13) We have victory!
      Our Heavenly Father loves us too much to ask us to pass a temptation that we could not pass! It will never be a weight too heavy or too strong!  He will withold from us what would be too much!
E.     Schedule the Holy Scripture for reading and reciting (Lk 4).
     We see Jesus, our perfect example.  His example to us in the moment of temptation is the effectual working of God's weapon given to His people for the battle.  This weapon is the sword of the Spirit.  Child of God, we must know the scripture.  We must use the scripture!  
F.     The passing of a test always makes a stronger Christian ,
     A crown is given to those who endure well.  Experience is the reward of those who pass this test.  Strength is gained to all those who experience victory by the grace of God.  May we not fail!  And if we do, confess it to God!  He will heal and forgive you!  Then the love of our Savior will pick you up,  and set you on your feet again.  May we resist temptation!  Only beware, for if we think we stand, then it is we may be most apt to fall.