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The Light of the World

Jim_Alaska

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The Light of the World

James Foley

 

 

John 1:1-13

 

A. Our text begins at the very beginning of time as mankind knows it. Since God has no beginning and no end, this reference supports the fact that God is from eternity past. Because we are creatures of time, we cannot possibly comprehend the infinite nature of God. 

I would like to speak to you today regarding the contrast between a Holy, Just and Righteous God and mankind in his natural state, meaning without God.

There are very few churches today that preach about the total depravity of man. This doctrine is very offensive to most, simply because it teaches that mankind, outside of Christ, does not have any good. He is incapable of generating any righteousness at all.

Isa 64:6  “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

Definition of depravity: A state of corruption due to original sin that infects every part of man’s nature. Depravity makes the natural man unable to know or obey God.

This then is what the bible has to say about the natural man, or those who have not been born again: 1Co 2:14But 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.”

1. Our scripture speaks of Jesus as the personification of light and life. Thinking in these terms, anything outside of Jesus is then darkness and death. 

John 8:12 “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” 

We have the light of the world in yet another form, a form other than the person of Jesus. The bible we hold in our hands is the written Word of God. The Scripture speaks of His Word as light also. Ps. 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. 

To the saved His word guides us through this life. It lights our way so that we know good from evil. It convicts us of our sin, but it also points out His will for our life. This light reveals the otherwise unfathomable love that he has for you and me. 

B. In the scriptures we see a sharp contrast between God and man. “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”  By contrast, man is in darkness and this darkness is so black that man does not even know he is in darkness.

Scripture speaks of this condition in: John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

Illustration: The man huddled on the cabin floor was slowly freezing to death. It was high in the Rockies in southwestern Alberta, and outside a blizzard raged. John Elliott had logged miles that day through the deep snows of the mountain passes. As he checked for avalanches and as dusk and exhaustion overcame him he had decided to "hole-up." He made it wearily to his cabin, but somewhat dazed with cold and fatigue, he did not light a fire or remove his wet clothing. As the blizzard blasted through the cracks in the old cabin walls, the sleeping forest ranger sank into oblivion, paralyzed by the pleasure of the storm's icy caress. Suddenly, however, his dog sprang into action, and with unrelenting whines, finally managed to rouse his near-comatose friend. The dog was John's constant companion, a St. Bernard, one of a long line of dogs famous for their heroics in times of crisis. "If that dog hadn't been with me, I'd be dead today," John Elliott says. "When you're freezing to death you actually feel warm all over, and don't wake up because it feels too good."

This moving story illustrates the spiritual condition of many people today. They are cold spiritually, and sadly are oblivious of their true condition. Thank God for all the ways in which He arouses such sleepers. He sends His messengers to nudge them awake. Sometimes the methods used to awaken them are drastic, but always for their good. Let’s not imagine that because He shakes us, He therefore hates us. He awakens us from lethargy because He loves us, and wants to save us from an eternal death.

How about you friend, are you asleep today in the icy grip of sin’s darkness? How long has God been trying to wake you? When you come to church do you not feel the gentle nudging of God’s love? We can thank God that He does not leave us in a perpetual condition of darkness. His great love for lost and dying mankind compels Him to try to wake us from our sleep. 

John 12:46. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” 

1. In speaking of this particular darkness and light, we are not referring to something that can be seen with the eye. Instead we point to a very real spiritual darkness and light. 

Although the title of this message is “The Light of the World” it is needful to also speak of the darkness that envelopes the people around us. This darkness is spiritual, as we have already pointed out. But what needs to be shown is that this darkness can take many forms, even the form of light…."WHAT? How can this be? It sounds like you’re talking in circles. How can darkness be light, this must be a contradiction." No friends, it is no contradiction for the Bible speaks of this subject in this manner: 2Cor. 11:14 and no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 

So then, in speaking of spiritual darkness it is needful that we point out that one of the most important things that keep people in darkness is not only Satan, but also his ministers. For lack of better words we will call them and it, false religion. Today people by the thousands will sit in so called churches and be fed the poison that assures that they will remain in darkness. They can’t see the poison, nor can they taste it. It is very much like the cold that encompassed that ranger, after a sufficient time of exposure to it, it becomes pleasurable, it actually feels good. And so, Satan has his churches and his ministers, but his followers think all is well; after all, they go to church every Sunday. They listen to a sermon, never once thinking that it contains the very poison that will ensure that their minds are blinded to the real light. 

The Apostle Paul said this: 2Cor. 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 

In this world of political correctness we are told that we should not talk in a negative way about other churches. Paul addressed this in this manner: 2Cor.11:12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 

Do we bow to the god of political correctness, or do we call false religion what it is? If your neighbor’s house was on fire with his family inside would you wake him to warn him or would you sit back and watch, safe and secure in your house? Spiritually speaking there are hundreds in your town today whose spiritual house is on fire, unless someone wakes them to warn of imminent danger they will surely die. 

Ok this last part was important simply because it shows that spiritual darkness can appear as light in some cases. 

But what about other examples of things that can hold people prisoner in the darkness that envelopes this world we live in? Many of these things come in the form of diversions. It doesn’t take much looking to see how the things of this world work against God and against spiritual light breaking through the darkness that seems to hold people in an iron grip. I’ll list just a few for your consideration. 

Sex is probably at the top of the list. It sells everything from food to housing. Never in the history of this nation has sex held such a captive audience. Books, TV, movies, computers, store advertising, or any advertising, how we look, how we dress; sex is “in our face” every waking moment. What better tool for Satan to use than one that can become all encompassing, diverting millions from every thought of God and narrowly focusing the mind on a life of fleshly pleasure? 

And speaking of pleasure or in some cases fun, we can see without too much effort, a world obsessed with pleasure. There was a time in this country that people worked for a  paycheck to be able to feed their family, put a roof over their head, save for a rainy day and generally assure that their family would be taken care of.

When we compare this long gone time to the day we live in we can see something quite different. We have become a nation of pleasure seekers. Sure we work, but there is no work ethic. Today’s worker is only interested in two things; how much can I make and how much time off will I have to play? In and of themselves these two things are not bad, but when these become the whole direction of our work experience they set the scene for “pleasure first” and everything else second. We have a whole generation of people where both husband and wife work, sometimes two jobs, and still they will spend above their means and even indebt themselves for years to come for pleasure and toys. 

Even more insidious is that they teach their children the same lifestyle. Look around you; it is hard to find a kid that doesn’t have a cell phone that will do everything for him except tuck him into bed. And think about all the other electronic devises to keep his young mind occupied. I can’t even list them all. Video games, smart phones, tablets and computers take the place of family interaction and family relationships. 

This is not meant to be a rant against having possessions; it is meant to simply show that there are things in our world that work toward keeping people in darkness regarding spiritual things and especially the things of God. There are thousands, if not millions today for whom the thought of God or their own spiritual condition never even enters their mind. This is where the work of Satan comes in. He has many tools at his disposal; I have just listed a few. He keeps people in darkness in regard to the things of God. The light of Jesus has gone throughout the world through His Gospel, but for many millions it has no effect; why is this? 2Cor 4:3 but if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 

Now that we have looked at how darkness and the forces of evil try to block out the light, we need to look at the light itself. For it is only in the light of Jesus Christ that this world has any hope. 

John 3:19 “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” 

This scripture and especially the word “condemnation” speak directly to the subject at hand. It addresses both the fact that God sent Jesus to be the spiritual light that dispels this world’s spiritual darkness and the fact that this world is in darkness due to the depravity of the human race.

This word, “condemnation”, is a judicial word that shows that something has already happened that has resulted in my being condemned. Because Adam was the first man, when he sinned he passed his sinful nature on to all who followed. Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: God must judge sin. As the righteous judge He must pronounce a righteous sentence on those who have sinned. The scripture tells us that the wages of sin is death, and so, all are condemned to death simply because all have sinned. 

But thank God, there is a remedy, for God is not willing that any should perish. 2Pet 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 

Rom 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. 

If you have not taken advantage of God’s Grace and the free pardon of sin that He has offered you, would you consider accepting the forgiveness He holds out to you this hour? This very day the light of God’s love has shined in the darkness that encompasses your soul. 

Knowing all of this, can you go on in the way you have all of your life? Can you continue to ignore the light that has been revealed and continue in the darkness of unrepented of sin? God sent His own Son that you might have the light of life. Listen to that still, small voice inside you; for that voice is the none other than God’s Holy Spirit showing you the truth of His love.



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Brother Jim, I also commend you on this excellent message!!! I like how very well it was tied together as well! "When you're freezing to death you actually feel warm all over, and don't wake up because it feels too good."  That's so true.  I have a relative (no names mentioned) who has to be "connected" to the worldly things of the world. Radios, TV's, cell phones, internet, games, ,etc. are not bad in themselves, but it's how they are used (and what they REPLACE) that's the issue. You brought it out so well! Anyways, this relative has in his or her home all of these devices (as do I) but it's how those devices are used which is concerning. He or she has to have some "background noise" going at all times day/night asleep/awake 24/7. At their house the radio is playing secular music, the TV is playing worldly programming, the cell phone is used as a means to also distract/divert from family conversation (rather rudely in my opinion), the games played are nothing short of evil blood lust. And this was many years ago when I could still walk/drive/visit them. It's bad enough that these things are coming between family discussions, taking the place of Bible study, and When did/does God have a chance to speak to their hearts and minds if the worldly diversions are taking the place of even quiet time to reflect??? How could they focus or even know what God wants for them if they are continuously bombarding their senses with worldly things? Could it be that if they had a moment of quiet/reflective time they may be pricked in their hearts by their conscience or better yet by the Holy Spirit leading? Could it be they would rather resist the Holy Spirit's guiding to abide in Christ instead of abide in worldly things? Could it be they would prefer to distract themselves with entertaining worldly things so they do not have to think about the fact that there are countless millions of people who have yet to hear the gospel? And that maybe just maybe THEY should be at least attempting to give the gospel to a lost and dying world which is going to hell?  Yes it's easy to judge people from the outside looking in, but just because a person attends church once a week does not mean they have devoted their life to Christ by any means. (Please do not think I am against going to church by any means, that is truly not my point at all). Yet this seems to be the common misconception of many professing Christians these days. Do they make time to pray (and not just when they want or need something for themselves?) Do they make time to fellowship (and not just at church)? Do they ever attempt to share the gospel?  And if you ask them if or why they don't read or study the Bible more, their answer is likely to be "I don't have time".!?!?!?  Ummm... well I understand working people have less time, I understand family life means lots of responsibilities that must be attended to, I understand people need "down time" and there's nothing wrong with (clean... if you can even find clean) entertainment in and of itself. But what IS wrong is when that "down time" is ALL used for worldly entertainment of one form or another.  Do we treasure salvation and desire to share it with others? Do we treasure fellowship amongst believers? Do we treasure sharing the gospel? Do we treasure Bible study? Do we treasure prayer time? Do we treasure Jesus Himself? Or do we treasure worldly things and entertainment more? I think that's a question each person can only answer for themselves. Matthew 6:21 "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." 

Again, excellent message, brother Jim,  and very timely for today's circumstances. 

Edited by Ronda

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Thank you for your thoughts on this message and also for your excellent points made about "time". This is a sticky issue. If people like you mentioned could just prioritize time, they would quickly see that what is most important is being left out of their schedule.

Thank you again lady.

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Yes! This is a wonderful and muchly needed message!  Yet again tears of gladness water my eyes because of the truth presented here.  A couple of years ago I memorized John 3:16-21....(I noticed you included John 3:19 in the message)...and I've referred to that passage countless times since then.  What a blessing and encouragement the other scriptures are in this message also!  In and of myself is no good thing, but with my Saviour's indwelling presence...I'm a child of the King!  The more I'm aware of my depravity without Him (including the times that I fail to include Him and attempt to venture at anytime without His leading), the more I can comprehend and know the vastness of His love for me!  O what a Saviour!! 

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Thank you for your thoughts and comments on this sermon WellWithMySoul. I am happy that this was a blessing to you and reminded you of the place we would be without Jesus, the Light of the World.

It is always a blessing to me when I study to present a message that actually has a positive affect on others and glorifies our gracious Lord.

God bless you as you serve Him.

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Thanks for the devotional, Jim! And I stand by every word you have said.

Anyone who has truly been born-again through the shed blood of Jesus Christ will in no doubt have the light of life dwelling within them -- and that light can be seen among those who they come in contact with. What grieves me is that there are so many false converts who have prayed a prayer so that they might be saved; but their sole reason for calling upon the Lord was so that they might escape hell; or they simply desired Eternal life. And what these false converts miss is genuine repentance; and turning to the Lord with a true broken and contrite spirit. Their tree is barren of any fruits of the Spirit, and completely devoid of any sort of conformity to the image of Christ. Christians are supposed to stand out above the rest of the world by their new nature being manifest in their actions; and sadly . . . there are MANY professing Christians who continue to walk in darkness and are no different than the rest of the unbelieving world -- and sometimes even worse. All of us need to do a spiritual inventory and examine ourselves if we have truly been born again (2 Cor. 13:5; 2 Pet. 1:10-11). If we don't express Divine love, then all the "good deeds" amount to nothing -- and are done in vain; because they are not done through the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 13:2).

God Bless!

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    • "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts" (Proverbs 21:2 KJV). The Bible is written to God's people. The message is primarily directed to the believer, but from time-to-time, God points to the unbeliever and says, "This is for you." Verse 2 seems to be one of those verses, though it can certainly also be applied to a disobedient believer, whether Old Testament saint or New Testament Blood-washed believer. Ask almost any man and he will tell you that he is a decent fellow. Often when asked if they know they are going to heaven they will answer, "Of course!" When pushed for the reason they are sure, they respond with, "Well, I'm a good person. I go to church, I donate to charity, I follow the golden rule in my life." The basis of their belief is that being good is the only requirement for gaining God's presence. This verse takes that man's belief and shreds it to pieces. He thinks he is good in his own eyes, because he has only himself to compare with. God's Word sets up Jesus Christ as the One to Whom we are to judge our own life against, and when we do that, we must admit that we fall far, far short of His perfection. The Lord ponders our heart . . . He can see it just as it is, and He can see us just as we are. The truth is, though, that even a man knows his own heart and knows that if the truth were known--he would be ashamed of what folks would see. The Old Testament Law can only reveal the justice and judgment of God. God gave us the whole Bible to find His grace and love as well. God's greatest expression of love is found at a hill that looked very much like a human skull where Jesus Christ died a cruel death to exchange the vileness of our own heart for the beauty of a new creature in Him. Come to the cross, and let God give you a new heart! "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26 KJV). Lord, let us love the lost in the same way that you loved us. Amen.
    • "The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him" (Proverbs 20:7 KJV). Nowhere is this more vividly illustrated than in the lives of Jonathan Edwards and Max Jukes. This anecdote is taken from "America is Too Young to Die by Leonard Ravenhill, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany Fellowship, 1979, p. 112) Max Jukes, [an] atheist, lived a godless life. He married an ungodly [woman], and from this union there were 310 who died as paupers, 150 were criminals, 7 were murderers, 100 were drunkards, and more than half of the women were prostitutes. His 540 descendants cost the State one and a quarter million dollars [before inflation]. Then there is a record of a great man of God, Jonathan Edwards. He lived at the same time as Max Jukes, but he married a godly [woman]. An investigation was made of 1,394 known descendants of Jonathan Edwards, of which 13 became college presidents, 65 college professors, 3 United States Senators, 30 judges, 100 lawyers, 60 physicians, 75 army and navy officers, 100 preachers and missionaries, 60 authors of prominence, one Vice-President of the United States, 80 public officials in other capacities, 295 college graduates, among whom were governors of states and ministers to foreign countries. Jonathan Edwards' descendants did not cost the state a penny. Today, in the name of tolerance and multiculturalism, we are told that God must be kept out of public view. It is even wrong to say, "God bless America" or "Merry Christmas," according to these "politically correct" demagogues. Instead of the blessings that came to Jonathan Edwards' progeny, we see a growing multitude like the descendants of Max Jukes! "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34). Lord, let us live our lives not for today, but for the generations that shall follow us, should You tarry Your return. Perhaps, by Your grace, it might be said a couple of hundred years from now that the reason a family is godly and serving Jesus is because of the life of their great, great grandfather. Give us, O Lord, a godly heritage and progeny! Amen!
    • "A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape" (Proverbs 19:5 KJV). "A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish" (Proverbs 19:9 KJV). Often, in Scripture, when the word "witness" is used it is speaking of a spiritual, or godly, testimony. Of course, that includes lying to others, or bearing a false witness. In this instance I believe it is pointing to the false shepherd assuming to speak for the Lord, giving directions to the people, when he was not sent by God. And I doubt there is anything more loathsome to the Lord than a lying shepherd . . . "My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace" (Jeremiah 50:6 KJV). Someone presuming to speak for the Lord and telling lies to the people is forewarned that not only will he not escape [God's righteous judgment] but he shall perish [spend an eternity in hell]. I do not unjustly judge, for if a man preaches another gospel other than the one that Paul delivered of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a salvation of grace and not works - that man is accursed - and cannot possibly be saved himself for that would mean that he knew the true gospel and would teach it. Lord, help us to always carefully handle Your Word so that we do not allow error to creep in. We know we are saved, but in some areas of the Word we are prone to wonder into error. Help us, dear Lord, to rightly divide the Word of truth which has been delivered to us and preserved unto all generations. Amen.
    • Daniel, Thank you  for your comments. So often we let the affairs of this life hinder our walk with the Lord. As your comments were a blessing to me I am sure they are a blessing to the other brethren. Alan
    • "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24 KJV). What a Friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear!
      What a privilege to carry Ev'rything to God in prayer!
      O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
      All because we do not carry Ev'rything to God in prayer! Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
      We should never be discouraged-Take it to the Lord in prayer.
      Can we find a friend so faithful Who will all our sorrows share?
      Jesus knows our every weakness-Take it to the Lord in prayer. Are we weak and heavy laden, Cumbered with a load of care?
      Precious Savior, still our refuge-Take it to the Lord in prayer.
      Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer;
      In His arms He'll take and shield thee-Thou wilt find a solace there. -Joseph Scriven, written 1855 Joseph Scriven knew heartache and devastation first hand. As a young man his hopes and dreams vanished on the day before his wedding when he watched in horror as the lifeless body of his beloved was pulled from the water where she had drowned. Sorrow overwhelmed him, yet in the months and years that followed, Scriven turned repeatedly to the only Friend who would never leave him. Although he battled loneliness and depression for the rest of his life, he never let go of the hand of his Savior. Scriven knew that Jesus cared and that He was acquainted with loneliness and sorrow. This man knew that he could take his grief to Jesus and find strength and peace that no one else could give. Years later Scriven took what he had learned through his pain and put it into the words of a poem that we now sing as "What A Friend We Have In Jesus." Lord, I have had friends in the past that have led me far from Your purpose and will for my life, but I thank You that You have become my personal friend and have led me into all riches and honour and grace through You. You gave all You had in order to give me all that I have, and I thank You. Amen.
    • "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding" (Proverbs 17:28 KJV). I guess we've all heard the quote, attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but certainly derived from Proverbs, that is: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt." Ecclesiastes add to the thought: “For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words” (Ecclesiastes 5:3 KJV). We can almost feel Job’s exasperation when he said, “Oh that ye would altogether hold your peace! And it would be your wisdom” (Job_13:5 KJB). The wise man would do well to heed the Apostle Paul, he had an answer for just about everything thanks to the indwelling Spirit of God that he listened to every moment, "Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man" (Colossians 4:6 KJV). How many words will the Devil yet try to steal and change. Today, we must carefully consider our context when we use a word like “gay.” It is sickening and disgusting to take what once meant happy to where it now mean a person that is incredibly sad, and without hope. Even the word “salt” is now “salty,” which means profanity—the total opposite of Paul’s usage. Put it down, if our Saviour owns a word, the Devil will try to steal it: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Matthew 5:13 KJV). Another old saying is that to keep a bird from flying, sprinkle a little salt on his tail. I have not proven this, so I don't know if it is true or not . . . but you can bet that the way to keep the tongue from running off is to use a little "spiritual" salt on it. A man that possesses the “mind of Christ,” should never be guilty of wicked, stupid speech. We represent the Lord Jesus Christ as ambassadors of heaven. This makes us dignitaries, and that ought to make us sober, grave, temperate in all things. God has no use for court jesters. Lord, You know we are prone to speak our own opinion and that gets us into trouble, as You did for Job, please do for us . . . "Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred" (Job 6:24). Amen.
    • "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil" (Proverbs 16:6 KJV). Is not Jesus Himself called Mercy, and that mercy promised? Doesn’t He say that He is truth? Those attributes have met together at the Cross, where we first saw the light, and the burden of our sin fell away. It was there that He became “our righteousness.” And that rises or falls on “thus saith the Lord!” God has given us His Word! Titus tells us that our God "cannot lie," so we can depend on whatever He tells us, but sadly, many Christians claim to have faith in a Bible that doesn’t exist. They say they believe the “original autographs” were without error, but they don’t have them. We need a Bible we can trust that we can actually hold in our hands. We have such a Bible! Because it is such a Bible, we can appreciate what Titus adds to the believer's hope (which is assured faith, not wishful thinking). "But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:4-5 KJV). And, because we have confidence in such a book, we can know that we are saved and have an unique relationship with the Father, we are filled with a deep and abiding fear of His holiness, so that we would not dream of offending Him . . . though we do. I have given God a million reasons not to love me. None of them changed His mind. If we do not have a perfect Bible, how can we claim to have a perfect salvation? How can we trust that our iniquities have been purged? How can we truly claim to know that we have a home in heaven? An imperfect Bible speaks to me of an imperfect God, Who can do nothing more than make imperfect promises. "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity" (II Timothy 2:19 KJV). Lord, help us to love you even more than we do now. Let that love grow daily, and let our love teach us to avoid those things which offend you. We choose to keep these words in our Lord's prayer, "Lead us not into temptation!" Despite what the religious "leader" says.  Amen!
    • As we go through the life of Joseph in these devotions, I would like to express to all of you that God was with Joseph in all of the extreme trials that he went through. Joseph, as with all of God's saints, and the favoured nation of Israel, are led through the trials of life in order to know God,  His will, and experience the work of God through our lives for our good and the good of others; Romans 8:28 As we can see in the life of Joseph, and his love for God, and his trust in God, God has been with Joseph and God will work out all things for his good.The Chinese have a saying, a proverb, that may be a blessing to you as it has been to me. 「天理昭彰」Translated into English, it says that, "The law of heaven always prevails." The will of God will be performed in the life of Joseph as, "... the LORD was with Joseph." May God richly bless all of you  
    • "A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies" (Proverbs 14:25 KJV). Nowhere does this seem to be truer than in the realm of "religion." A faithful preacher speaking the truth is not very popular in this world, yet those that consider him their undershepherd are blessed and strengthened by his sermons. They know that when they listen to Him they are going to hear the Word of God in such a way that it applies to them personally and results in them becoming fully equipped to live the life that pleases the Lord. Unfortunately, the multitudes prefer to hear messages that tell them how wonderful they are and how sins are simply mistakes but that God loves them anyway and accepts them just the way they are. They prefer the lies that make them feel good and doesn't convict them of sin and hell, while the Bible-believer prefers the truth that makes them feel bad but points them to the Cross, the Blood, and the Saviour. After being convinced by the false witness that there is nothing to fear from God, that He is a loving grandfatherly-type being that loves all and accepts all, the lost continue to bear their sin under the false notion that God will excuse them, while the Word of God as a faithful witness says that they are “condemned already” and that they are “without Christ,” “without hope,” and “without God in the world.” The megachurches are filled with those that are wish to feel good in this world, but eternity is a long time to ponder their willful act of letting themselves be deceived, for they are without excuse. The lying and false preacher is only reinforcing what they themselves want to believe for the invisible things from the beginning of the world are clearly seen, but rejected. The believer clings to the cross where the Blood of Christ cleanses them from all sin and unrighteousness and makes it possible for them to serve the living and true God, as they await the day when their faith will become sight in the very presence of their Saviour. Paul strengthened many by his epistles, and still does in the written word, yet he had those that hated him and his message. At one point he asked, "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" (Galatians 4:16 KJV). Ever will it be true, that, “Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:5-6 KJV). Lord, help us to be honest and tell our friends what they need to hear, and not only what they want to hear. Give us stars for our crown as we share your precious gospel with our lost loved ones and friends. But above all, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer" (Psalm 19:14 KJV). Amen!
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