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*Light*

Independent Fundamental Baptist
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  1. Like
    *Light* got a reaction from Doc Flay for a sermon entry, A remnant   
    Hello Family of God,   My heart grieves over the lost who are deceived and led astray by the cares of this world, its riches, enticements, and earthly pleasures which result in spiritual decay and ruin. Worldliness (e.g., "gambling, bars, nightclubs, wealth, sensuality, physical attractiveness, lusts, etc.,") has crept into the hearts of many "professing" Christians and are now leading them down the broad way towards ultimate destruction and eternal condemnation in the Devil's world which will one day pass away along with all its lusts (cf. Matt. 7:13-14; 24:37-39; Lk. 12:15-20; 15:13; Eph. 2:3; Col. 4:14; 1 Tim. 6:9-10; 2 Tim. 4:9-10; 1 Jn. 2:15-17). If you're struggling with carnal desires and worldly appetites and cannot seem to overcome them, then you may want to ask yourself if you have truly been born-again. There will be MANY who attend their local church and listen to the preaching of their Pastor's sermons each Sunday who will be rejected by the Lord Himself at the day of Judgment; this is why every one professing to be [in] Christ is commanded to "examine" themselves (Matt. 7:21-23; 2 Cor. 13:5; 2 Pet. 1:10-11).   In the life of every Christian, there should be:   Repentance from all sins. An increasing hatred towards sin. An increasing Faith and Trust in the Lord. An increasing sorrow and remorse over your sins when committed. An increasing hatred for carnal and worldly things. An increasing desire toward holiness and godliness (i.e., "to hunger and thirst after righteousness"). An increasing desire to please the Lord out of Love for Him. An increasing desire to serve others before yourself. An increasing desire to be fed from the Word of God. A desire to fellowship with other True Christians. Spiritually maturing in Christ and the Christian fruits (e.g., "Love, Joy, Peace, Self-Control, etc."). Loving God and Jesus Christ above all else (including self, and willing to die for Him if necessary).
  2. Like
    *Light* got a reaction from Roselove for a sermon entry, The Absolute Sovereignty of God   
    Hello Family of God,
    I will be focusing on the Absolute Sovereignty of Almighty God; how all Christians are to understand its purpose in Creation according to His unchanging Nature, and the Eternal consequences of willful rebellion and rejection against the Most High. My message will consist of:
    I. Resistance and willful rebellion against the Sovereignty of God. II. Absolute Faith and Trust in God is connected to understanding God's Sovereignty. III. The Sovereignty of God over the the knowledge and wisdom of conscious creatures (His Omniscience). IV. The Sovereignty of God in the midst of the suffering of His people. V. The Sovereignty of God over the forces of evil. VI. The Condemnation of Christ-rejecters. VII. The hardening of the hearts of the lost/unbelievers and the death of innocent people. VIII. Closing remarks.
  3. Like
    *Light* got a reaction from Roselove for a sermon entry, Who turned on the lights?   
    Hello Family of God,
    "No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For [NOTHING IS SECRET], that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, [THAT SHALL NOT BE KNOWN] and come abroad." (Luke 8:16-17)
    Words contained within [brackets] are used to expound on/place emphasis on certain words or phrases; there may also be grammatical errors, such as: punctuation, sentence fragments, and misplaced modifiers; so i apologize if you may have difficulty understanding any content within this message. ALL CAPS within [brackets] are utilized to place extreme importance and special attention in order that the reader may have a clearer and definite understanding concerning the Context of Bible passages cited in this discussion. I am fully aware that some readers may be overwhelmed by the length of this message; however, I believe that this is vitally important and crucial if we are to grow in the Knowledge of the Truth and to ascertain it, because none of us have "arrived" spiritually.
    The bombardment of attempts made by the Devil and his cohorts to put an end to my ministry is what elicited me to write this message; these ultra pathetic losers just can't seem to get it through their thick skulls that Satan does not have their best interests in mind. These men and women are under his absolute control; he has them on a leash, and when he is done taking advantage of these poor saps, he will dispose of them like the trash that they are. When God's Absolute Sovereignty over all creatures who oppose Him and His Faithful remnant are understood with acute discernment, it will then reveal that such men and women most certainly do live up to their name. This topic will be [ongoing], as there are countless methods the god of this world uses to deceive the unbelieving and simple-minded; so please be patient and bear with me on this. Let's fight this battle together, soldiers!
    "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and [THAT WICKED ONE TOUCHETH HIM NOT] (Grk. ouch haptetai autou; i.e., to lay hold of or grasp). And we know that we are of God, and [THE WHOLE WORLD LIETH IN WICKEDNESS]. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." (1 John 5:18-20)
  4. Like
    *Light* got a reaction from Alan for a sermon entry, Spirit Empowered Living   
    Hello Family of God,   "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for [the devil sinneth FROM THE BEGINNING]. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might [DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL]. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not from God, neither he that loveth not his brother." (1 John 3:8-10)   All of us will eventually come to a fork in the road which will determine our Eternal Fate (Deut. 1:26-38; Josh. 24:15; Matt. 8:21-22; 16:24; Jn. 3:18; Heb. 3:7-19; 4:1-8); we must be ensured that the path we take is the correct one, because many will travel too far in the wrong direction at some point in their life and encounter pitfalls, thorn bushes, and ravenous birds, they can't seem to extricate themselves out of, and eventually towards the edge of a cliff to their own destruction. One must be settled in their hearts and consider the consequences of both good and bad life decisions. In the life of every man or woman, there are only two paths to take: the broad way, or the narrow way; and the exclusivity of the One True Religion of Christianity cannot be compromised in the least (Isa. 35:8; Matt. 7:13-14; Lk. 13:23-25; Jn. 6:40; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Jn. 14:6; Heb. 10:26). If one feels as if they have already taken the narrow path and cannot make any distinction from whence they were before up to that point, then perhaps they are continuing down that broad and wide gateway, and it may unexpectedly slam shut (cf. Ex. 10:20; Isa. 6:10; Prov. 14:12; 16:25; Matt. 21:32; Mk. 8:17-18; Rom. 2:5; Eph. 4:18; 1 Tim. 4:1-2).   If sin is dominating your life, then I would suggest that you examine your pattern of living in light of what the Scriptures teach concerning the lifestyle of the fruitful and the barren; you want to make absolutely certain that your life is Spirit-led, and not the pull of the flesh and its sinful desires. In both the parable of the vine and the branches, and the parable of the sower, there are those who produce fruit, and there are branches that dry out because there is NO life [in] them. There are the results of Christian ministry that result in some bringing forth a harvest of thirty, sixty, and even a hundredfold; we find a parallel in 1 Cor. 3:8-15 where the fruits of ones labor in ministry yields results that remain (i.e., gold, silver, precious stones), and those done in vain as a result of not tending to the crops (i.e., "wood, hay, stubble"). The lifeline of every Christian is Christ the Vine (Jn. 15:5; Phil. 4:13; 1 Jn. 2:27), and if there is no connection to the vine, then the branch will continue to remain barren and eventually "cut off" and cast into the fire to be burned (Matt. 3:12; 25:24-30,41; Rev. 20:15).
  5. Thanks
    *Light* reacted to Alan for a sermon entry, Do Not Interpretations Belong to God?   
    Genesis 40:1-23, “Do not interpretations belong to God?”
    Only God knows the future. In the Bible, God recorded all of the knowledge of the future that God wants us to have. The Bible is the word of God and can tell us what is important. The philosophy of man, the religions of man, the interpretations of man, and the idols made by men, cannot help a person when he dies. The interpretations of man, false religions and prophets, are erroneous.
    Joseph is an example to the every Christian who wants to have a close relationship with God and walk in the Holy Spirit. God gave us the story of Joseph to show us how to walk with God.
    In Genesis 40:1-23, in the confines of a prison, while suffering tremendous adversity, we can see several fruits of the Spirit in this passage in the life of Joseph: longsuffering, gentleness, goodness and faith. Galatians 5:22 and 23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
    Because Joseph walked in the Spirit of God; he could have the proper interpretations of the dreams.
    Verse 1-8 Interpretations belong unto God.
    Astrologers and false prophets cannot accurately foretell the future. The reason why we have so many different interpretations of the prophecies of the scriptures is due to the fact that false prophets, and false teachers, cannot accurately interpret the scriptures. The apostle Peter clearly stated that only holy men of God, using the scriptures as their standard, can properly interpret the scriptures. 2 Peter 1:20 and 21 says, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scriptures is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
    “… but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Because Joseph was ‘holy,’or as Galatians 5:23 states, ‘temperance,’ God gave him the proper interpretation. The meaning of temperate is; (1) marked by moderation: as, keeping or held within limits: not extreme or excessive; and, marked by an absence or avoidance of extravagance, violence, or extreme partisanship. A saint cannot be ‘holy’ without having ‘temperance’ in his character.
    Daniel 2:27 & 28, “Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these.” The false prophets, and false teachers, in the churches, the false gods of the Taoists, the Confucian, and the Buddhists, cannot reveal the end times. Only the Bible can give us the events of the end time.
    The prophecies of the scriptures are true and will come to pass. Joseph was a true prophet. God gave him dreams and Joseph could interpret the dreams of others. In this story God gave us two examples.
    As with Daniel, God gave Joseph the proper interpretation and Joseph gave the honour and glory to God. “Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these.” Daniel 2:27 & 28
    Even though Joseph was in prison unjustly, Joseph still had goodness in his life to help the Baker and the Butler in their trials of life in the prison. Please take note that Joseph saw the sadness of these men and had an inward desire, without the prospect of a reward, to help both of these men in their sorrows of life.
    Is not this act of goodness, this act of kindness, without any prospect of reward, like the goodness and kindness of the Lord Jesus? “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Acts 10:38
    Verse 9-13 The dream of the Butler.
    The butler told Joseph the dream and Joseph told the the butler the correct interpretation of the dream. Only God could have told Joseph the interpretation.
    Verse 14 and 15 Joseph's Request and Testimony.
    Joseph asked the butler to make mention of him to Pharaoh. Joseph then told the butler his story. Joseph reminded the butler that he did nothing wrong. The life of Joseph, as the life of the Lord Jesus, was above reproach.
    Verse 16-19 The dream of the Baker
    The chief baker told Joseph his dream and Joseph told the baker the correct interpretation of the dream.
    Verse 20-22 The Fulfillment of the Two Dreams
    The interpretations of Joseph were correct. God gave the interpretation to Joseph and Joseph told the interpretations of the two dreams to the butler and to the baker. The dreams were fulfilled in public.
    As with Daniel, God gave the correct interpretations of both of the dreams.
    The interpretation of a true prophet is always right. Deuteronomy 18:22, “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”
    Verse 23 the Butler forgot Joseph
    Man forgets, but God does not. In God's proper timing, and in His proper ways, He will fulfill His will. In the life of Joseph we know that he had a good relationship with God. Even though he is in prison, he did good, the butler forgot him and Joseph remained in prison. Even in intense adversity, Joseph was kind to those around him.
    In spite of the other peoples failure, Joseph still trusted in God. In spite of his still being in prison, Joseph still trusted in God and did good. Joseph, throughout his life, and in this instance, had longsuffering, gentleness in adversity, goodness and faith.
     
     
  6. Like
    *Light* got a reaction from Alan for a sermon entry, Understanding and Knowing the One True and Living God   
    Hello Family of God,
    I will be sharing some FACTS regarding the Triune God of Scripture and His Immutable Attributes. It seems as if the God of Holy Scripture has been accused and slandered among many, even those who profess to belong to Christ and God. I will begin with . . . 
    [Why God must be Triune in BEING]:
    Simple Answer: God is Love; and what I mean by that is the Divine/Perfect Love shared within the Triune Godhead from Eternity past (cf. Matt. 17:2; Jn. 17:24; 2 Pet. 1:17). Love is an emotion that is directed toward someone other than ourselves. The Perfect Love of the Father is manifested in His Grace, Mercy, and Forgiveness. We see this manifested in the Giving of His One and Only Son, and how Jesus Christ experienced the most unimaginable suffering that a finite being could never fully understand (Isa. 53:3-12; Ps. 22:14-18; Matt. 26:36-39; Lk. 22:44; Jn. 10:18; 18:11; Rom. 5:8; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 2:9-11; 5:7-8; 12:2-3; 1 Jn. 4:7-12).  Also keep in mind that God is Love, NOT Love is God; and this has been taught by many well-meaning Christians (e.g., "the car is red, NOT red is the car").
    "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God [must believe that he is], and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6)
    First and foremost: there is NONE like the One True God. The above verse cited is not to be interpreted as simply believing in the Existence of God (everyone should know this); it is to be understood that those who desire to Know God must believe that He is the One TRUE GOD, separate from all other gods, who are all false gods or demons (Jer. 10:11; Rom. 1:20; 1 Cor. 8:5-6; 10:20-22). The God of Holy Scripture is unique in the sense that there is no other "god" like Him (One in BEING), and Eternally Existing in Three distinct persons (2 Kgs. 19:15; 2 Sam. 22:32; Neh. 9:6; Isa 37:16,20; 43:10; 45:5; 64:4; Joel 2:27; Mk. 12:32; Jn. 17:3; 1 Tim. 1:17). He does not change, for He is the Eternal I AM.
    "For thus saith [THE HIGH AND LOFTY ONE] that inhabiteth eternity, [WHOSE NAME IS HOLY]; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of [a contrite and humble spirit], to revive [the spirit of the humble], and to revive the heart of [the contrite ones]." (Isaiah 57:15)
    Even the name of the One True God is set apart from all the false "gods" of this world. I have often heard atheists accusing God as arrogant and haughty because of the verse above, and the Irony in this is absolutely stunning. Even the [a]theist knows in their heart of hearts that God obviously exists; and it is their deceitful hearts, corrupted consciences, and the fallen nature of the unregenerate man which suppresses this Truth (cf. Jer. 17:9; Rom. 2:14-16; 1 Cor. 2:14-15; 1 Tim. 4:2). To the unregenerate man or woman who questions the Absolute Sovereignty of God:
    Who brought you into this world? Have you existed from Eternity past? Are you Deserving/Worthy of Worship? Is God HIGH AND LOFTY? Is the name of God HOLY? Would God be lying if He were to deny any of His self-existent and Immutable Attributes?  Did you the Universe into existence from absolutely NOTHING? A Is there any "created" being in existence who would fit the characteristics and nature of God? Does the above quote cited bother you? And if so, why? Would a man or woman be considered humble and take issue with God in any way? "[HE MUST INCREASE], but [I MUST decrease]. He that cometh from above is [ABOVE ALL]: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is [ABOVE ALL]." (John 3:30-31)
    "I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears. Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth." (Isaiah 43:6-9)
    Learn some humility my friend! The Word Incarnate became flesh not only to reconcile man unto God, but to demonstrate and prove that Christ is Lord, and is to be exalted. He had took the sins and burden of mankind upon Himself as an act and accomplishment of Divine Love beyond all human comprehension that no creature in existence would forego. His life and ministry is without doubt confirmed Him as Lord over all. God has created mankind to KNOW Him, to see His Glory and enjoy everlasting fellowship with Him in a way that cannot be fully understood by the fallen man, even in his redeemed state (cf. Isa. 43:6-9; Jn. 17:3; 1 Cor. 2:9; 13:12; 1 Jn. 3:2; Rev. 4:11).
    "[THOU ART WORTHY, O LORD], [TO RECEIVE GLORY AND HONOUR AND POWER]: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." (Revelation 4:11)
    "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and [I will GIVE you rest]. Take my yoke upon you, and [learn of me]; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find [rest unto your souls]. For [my yoke] is easy, and [my burden] is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
    "I am the LORD: that is my name: and [MY GLORY] will I [NOT GIVE TO ANOTHER], neither my praise to graven images." (Isaiah 42:8)
    "I have [GLORIFIED THEE] on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, [GLORIFY THOU ME] with thine own self with [THE GLORY WHICH I HAD WITH THEE] before the world was." (John 17:4-5)
    Do the above passages seem paradoxical at first glance? Only if you are a "natural" man (1 Cor. 2:14). We all know what the pronoun "another" means, correct? If all Three  persons of the Godhead are ONE IN ESSENCE, co-equal, co-eternal, and of equal power (i.e., "Omnipotence"), then it stands to reason that the Son and the Holy Spirit are NOT to be considered as additional "Gods" (i.e., three Gods in total), rather they are One in BEING as the Father (Jn. 10:30).
    To better understand this, we must first understand that when the Word became flesh, the Incarnate Word then had a dual nature (i.e., "He was BOTH God and Man"). So does this mean that there was an additional person added to the Triune God? Not at all. By the way, Mary is NOT the Mother of God, and this has been erroneously taught by Catholics, who venerate Mary above Jesus Christ. Jesus is BOTH God and Man; therefore, Mary is the mother of Jesus the "man", and NOT Jesus as God.
    Who decided that God is One Person? Where did this idea come from? It is the "fallen nature" of the corrupted man which clouds his understanding of a Transcendent Being, who is The One True Creator God (Jn. 8:42; 1 Cor. 3:19). The Son of Man came into this world to not only reconcile mankind unto God, but to "reveal" the True Nature of God in all His Glory, and this will be fully expressed in the Eternal State (Matt. 11:27; Jn. 14:7,20-23). Sin separated man from God, and because of this separation, God is distanced from the unregenerate mind (Isa. 59:2). A Unipersonal "god" spells trouble for this so-called "god," Look what it did to the Devil:
    "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, [I will] ascend into heaven, [I will] exalt my throne above the stars of God: [I will] sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: [I will] ascend above the heights of the clouds; [I will] be like the most High. [YET THOU SHALT BE BROUGHT DOWN TO HELL], [TO THE SIDES OF THE PIT]. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?" (Isaiah 14:12-17)
    I will ascend into heaven (No chance in hell) I will exalt my throne above the stars of God (There's going to be a new heaven and a new earth) I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north (False prophecy) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds (Stop dreaming) I will be like the most High (That position is already taken, and it's PERMANENT) Satan is only concerned about himself, and he will use any means necessary to exalt himself. He will make false promises to those who would carry out his bidding in order that he may lifted up on high. He is the epitome of selfishness, self-centeredness, arrogance, hatred, deceit, malice, contempt, and every wicked thing under the sun. Isn't this what we see with many false teachers today who are only in it to fleece the flock, and feed their own selfish ambition and carnal desires? The Pharisees of Jesus' day did just that: they stole money from widows and deceived them into believing that they can "buy" their way to Heaven by literally giving ALL that they had, and these poor and destitute widows had nothing left to offer (cf. Lk. 21:1-4; 1 Tim. 6:5; 2 Tim. 3:6; Tit. 1:11; Jas. 5:1-3; 1 Pet. 5:2). Jesus referred to such religious hypocrites as children of the Devil (Jn. 8:44-45).
    The time will come when this creature called the Devil and Satan will be brought to the lowest pits of hell. God and Christ is Glorified, and the accuser of our Brethren will be an abhorrence to all those who will gaze upon him. No more masquerading as an angel of light, the ugliness and shame of this foul creature will be seen for who he truly is. Let this be an example and lesson to all who resist God's Will and Sovereignty over all Creation. God alone is to be worshiped, and none other, because there is no other BEING in existence who can stake this claim. When all is said and done, every knee will bow before God and Christ whether they refuse to acknowledge Him now as Lord over all or not (Rom. 10:9-10; Phil. 2:10-11; Isa. 45:23).
    Since mankind was [separated] from his Divine Creator as a result of disobedience and sin, mankind's understanding of the True Nature of One has been lost. It is the Father in Heaven who draws the unregenerate towards God, and reveals who the One True God is (Matt. 16:16-17; Jn. 6:44; 14:6). The curse of death (BOTH physical and spiritual) was the consequence of disobedience in the paradise of God; however, Jesus Christ cannot sin, and therefore the curse of death does not apply to Him (Rom. 5:12). Jesus did NOT die as a result of having a sin nature, but was murdered by His own at the age of 33. He "aged" to Perfection from the Cradle to the Cross, and accomplished all that His Father foreordained by fulfilling the Perfect Will of God (Ps. 16:10; Jn. 5:19; 8:29; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28). The redeemed of all the ages will understand with perfect knowledge the True Meaning of ONE as they will SEE God in all His Glory.
    "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for [WE SHALL SEE HIM AS HE IS]." (1 John 3:1-2)
    The Greek verb "see" (Grk. optanomai -- future middle indicative). To SEE GOD is to see Him in All His Full Glory in the Eternal State when God may be ALL IN ALL (1 Cor. 15:28). Christ will reign for 1,000 years upon the Earth, and after the consummation of the Millennial reign, God and Christ will continue to reign for all of Eternity as God the Father AND the Son sits on the Eternal Throne in the Eternal State. The Triune God will be manifested in His FULL GLORY, and the entire Family of God will see THE FACE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD (i.e., "God the Father") in the person of Jesus Christ (Matt. 11:27; 16:27; Jn. 1:18; 10:30; 14:9; 17:5; 1 Tim. 6:16).
    "And there shall be no more curse: but [THE THRONE OF GOD AND OF THE LAMB] shall be in it; and his servants shall serve [HIM]: And they shall see [HIS FACE]; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for [THE LORD GOD GIVETH THEM LIGHT]: and they shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 22:3-5)
    "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for [THE GLORY OF GOD DID LIGHTEN IT], and [THE LAMB IS THE LIGHT] thereof." (Revelation 21:23)
    The Lamb is the Light that God the Father gives to His redeemed, and it is a SHARED GLORY within the TRIUNE BEING of the Godhead. This Full manifestation of the Invisible God and His Glory is seen in the Face of the Son on the Eternal Throne. The redeemed throughout history will be Immersed in the Glorious Light of God and His Christ Forever and ever. Believers are ONE in the Body of Christ, and this is an appetizer of what will come about in the Eternal State; then will they know the meaning of ONE in the Truest sense of the Word (cf. Jn. 14:20; 17:21; 1 Cor. 6:17; 12:13).
    "And now, O Father, [GLORIFY THOU ME WITH THINE OWN SELF] with the glory which I had with thee [BEFORE THE WORLD WAS]." (John 17:5)
    "For the Son of man shall come [IN THE GLORY OF HIS FATHER] with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." (Matthew 16:27)
    "And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, [BE OF GOOD CHEER] (Grk. tharseite -- present imperative; i.e., a command to "take courage"); [IT IS I] (Grk. ego eimi -- present indicative; i.e., "THE ETERNAL I AM"); [BE NOT AFRAID] (Grk. me hobeisthe -- present imperative; i.e., "a command to FEAR NOT"). And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, [HE WAS AFRAID]; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" (Matthew 14:25-31)
    "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you [another Comforter] (Grk. allon parakleton), that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: [I will come to you]." (John 14:16-18)
    The Greek word "another" means another of the SAME kind (i.e., "Of the same essence with the Holy Spirit"). Jesus will come to them when He sends the Holy Spirit to indwell True Believers at Pentecost (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 12:13). This is not semantic nonsense, this is CONTEXT according to the Totality of Scripture; for Scripture is the best interpreter of Scripture, and Context is KING. Jesus would come to His followers (Grk. erchomai -- future indicative in the middle voice) when the Holy Spirit is sent to His disciples to equip them for their ministry.
    Moreover, if God were to be Unipersonal, then who is this Perfect Love directed at? If that were to be the case, then the God revealed in Holy Scripture is no different than the god of Islam; and he is the epitome of an arrogant, unworthy, and self-serving person. God, by definition, is a Being who is PERFECT in all His Divine Attributes, and they are Immutable. Therefore, it stands to reason that in order for the Eternal and Immortal God to possess a Perfect Love, this Perfect Love must have been directed towards someone other than Himself, and this person must also possess a Perfect Love from Eternity past (cf. Isa. 42:1; Jer. 31:3; Matt. 12:18; Jn. 1:1; 3:35; 5:20; 17:26; Phil. 2:6; Col. 1:19; Heb. 1:3).
    "Thou believest that there is [one God]; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble (Grk. phrisso; lit., "have one's hair stand on end")." (James 2:19)
    The verse cited above does not say that God is One [Person], it says that God is ONE in the literal translation of the Greek grammar. The Divine Attributes of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the same (Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent). Omnipresent does not imply that God is literally IN all things (e.g., "Pantheism"). Does Christ have and agreement with Satan? Are we to have fellowship with unbelievers who want nothing to do with the Truth? God will dwell with His people, and will be in them; He will not live among the unregenerate, nor will He partake with the world and its system (cf. Jn. 18:36; 2 Cor. 6:14-16; Jas. 4:4; 1 Jn. 2:15-17; Rev. 18:4).
    The Apostle John, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote:
    "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will [MANIFEST MYSELF] to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and [we will come unto him, and MAKE OUR ABODE with him]." (John 14:21-23)
    "That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; [Who ONLY hath immortality], dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom [no man hath seen, NOR CAN SEE]: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen." (1 Timothy 6:14-16)
    "[I AM HE THAT LIVETH] (Grk. zao; present participle), and [WAS DEAD] (Grk. ginomai nekros; aorist indicative); and, behold, [I AM ALIVE FOR EVERMORE] (Grk. idou eimi zao eis aion; aorist imperative/present tense/present participle), Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou [hast seen], and the things [which are], and the things [which shall be] hereafter;" (Revelation 1:18-19)
    It is the Holy Spirit of God that raised Jesus from the dead (Rom. 1:4; 8:11; 1 Pet. 3:18). Jesus also proclaimed that He will raise Himself from the dead (Jn. 2:19; 10:17-18; 11:25). The Bible also teaches that God the Father has raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:24,32; Rom. 6:4).
    This will be continued in my next message . . .
    God Bless!
     
  7. Like
    *Light* reacted to Jim_Alaska for a sermon entry, Contrary Doctrine   
    Text: Rom.16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

    1Tim.4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

    2Tim.1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

    2Tim.2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

    We claim to be Christians, followers of a specific way and teaching Jn.14: 6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. We claim to be guided by the unerring Word of God, the Bible. Yet it seems we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of history and repeatedly disregard the warnings of those in the faith that have gone before us.

    We have a parallel in the history of the nation of Israel. We can see this parallel in the remarkable scriptures of Duet.1:2-15. An eleven day trip took them forty years! We can see a direct parallel between Israel’s relationship to God and our relationship to God…. how slowly we cover the ground! What winding and turning! How often we must go back and cover the same ground again and again. We are slow travelers because we are slow learners. We might marvel at their unbelief and slowness to OBey, but we, like them, are kept back by our own unbelief and slowness of heart.

    The doctrine that we are to hold and pass on is the Word that we have received: The pure, unadulterated truth of God.

    The Galatian Church is a negative case in point. Gal.3:1-4. O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not OBey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
    This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
    Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
    Have ye suffered so many things in vain? If it be yet in vain.
    Saved by grace, but then allowing themselves to be seduced by a perversion of Scripture.

    Deut.1:3. And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them; Here is instruction for all who labor in the Word and doctrine:
    Moses gave what he received from God, nothing more or less; this is the grand principal of the ministry, to bring people in direct contact with the Living Word of God.

    The Apostle Paul makes this argument better than I can. 1Cor.2: 1-5. And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
    2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
    3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
    4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
    5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

    1Cor.15: 1-3. Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
    2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
    3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

    The ‘so called’ church has wholly departed from the authority of the Word of God. In these churches, things are taught that have no foundation in the Scripture.
    They not only tolerate, but sanction and defend that which is in direct opposition to the mind of Christ. He spoke of them in Mat.15:8-9.
    This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
    9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

    If you ask for the Divine Authority for their institution or practice, you are told that God has left us free to act according to our conscience. It is considered that professing Christians are left free to form churches, choose their own form of government and appoint their own officers. Can this be true? Are we to assume that the church is worse off than Israel in instruction and authority?

    We can see in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, the marvelous pains God took to instruct His people in even the minutest particulars concerning their worship and private life. Nothing was left to human arrangement. Man’s wisdom, judgment, reason and conscience had no part in it. There was no place for, “I can’t see this, or, I can’t go with that, or, I can’t agree that this is so.” Such language could only be regarded as self-will, for in that day all the instruction came with, “Thus saith the Lord.” They might as well say they could not agree with God. Are we left to think and arrange for ourselves in worship and service to God? I think not! 1Tim.3: 14-15. These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
    But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
    He then goes on to show how things ought to be done by believers.

    Why are there different doctrines among professing churches? We have
    possession of God’s Word. We also have division, sects, creeds and denominations,
    Why? Because they refuse to submit their whole moral being to the authority of the Scripture. Free exercise of thought is the boast of Protestant Christianity.

    Such thinking will not stand at the Judgment. Mat.7: 21-23. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    The duty of the servant is to OBey, not to exercise his will. The confusion between so-called churches is due to an unwillingness to bow to Divine Authority.

    Mat.7:28. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
    For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

    It is impossible for the Holy Scripture to teach opposing doctrines. It cannot possibly teach the doctrines of Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Assembly of God, Church of Christ and Baptist….they oppose one another!

    Let’s look at a direct command in the name of Jesus for unity. 1Cor. 1:10. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

    The so-called “church”, has departed from the authority of Christ long ago. They gave themselves over to man’s reasoning, feelings and religious perversion. They did not heed the teaching of Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    It is every Christian’s sacred duty to test every ecclesiastical system by the Word of God. If we have no Divine authority, no perfect standard, how can we be certain that we are on the true path?

    All that claim to be His church cannot justify the confusion of doctrines that they hold true. 1Cor.14:33. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

    If God is not the author of this confusion, then who is? Jas 3:16. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

    If we cannot say that “this is the thing that the Lord has commanded”, then we are in error.
    If a church or religious organization is not in subjection to God as revealed in His Word, what and to whom are they in subjection to? There are only two powers in this world, the power of God and the power of Satan. Satan is the master of deception and mimicry and his masterpiece of all time deception is a false religious system.

    Rom.16:17-18. Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
    For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

    What kind of doctrine has God won your heart with? Can you go on to perfection with an opposing doctrine having once known the truth? Rom.6: 17. But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have OBeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

    The religious liberals will say that there is some good in all churches. My answer is that there is good grain in rat poison too, but it only takes a small amount of poison mixed in with the grain to kill the rat. Any Christian that thinks that he can take what good there is and leave the bad, is ignorant of the nature of evil. Make no mistake; that which is contrary to God’s Word is not of God! 1Cor.10:21,
  8. Like
    *Light* reacted to Bibleman30 for a sermon entry, Be Ye Followers Of Christ   
    What does it mean to be a follower of Christ?

    We are saved by the Blood of Christ, forgiven of our sin, and eternally secured with Him. But what does it mean to be a Follower of Christ?

    1Co_4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
    1Co_11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
    Eph_5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
    Php_3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
    1Th_1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
    1Th_2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
    Heb_6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
    1Pe_3:13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

    To follow Christ is to keep all, and to practice all those things which Christ taught. The first time the phrase “Follow Me” is used in the New Testament, is when Jesus saw Peter and Andrew caster their nets, and Christ said follow me and I will make you fishers of men. The first time Christ called, it was to ask that those that would follow, that they would learn to spread the Gospel of Christ. The first mention was witnessing, Christ’s 1st point in being a follower is learning how to preach the Word of God.

    The second point is in Matthew 8:19-23
    And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.

    The Lord is instructing his followers to leave those things that would distract you from walking with Christ. The Lord was not being insensitive to this man, but was trying to help him understand that the things and cares of this world are not as important as keeping yourself on the path of the service of the Lord. As He said “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”. The Lord wants us to learn to not care for ourselves, He promised that He would take care of us, that He would provide our every need. So why would we need to take it upon ourselves? Taking the load from the Lords shoulders and placing it on our own.

    The third point is in Mat 16:24-27 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.


    What does it mean to deny ourselves? It is again, to not care for any of the pleasures and luxuries of this life. Like He said to Peter and Andrew, to follow Him and leave behind their cares. They were fishermen, and Christ asked them to leave their livelihood and take up a new vocation as a fisher of men, a preacher of the word. Here the Lord is asking now to deny even the finer things of this life. To fully trust in God is to completely let go of everything that would take your mind off of what Christ would be trying to teach you. “or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” what in this world could possibly be more important than the salvation of someones soul? What could you possibly have in your life that would take the place of the Gospel of Christ?

    To leave the cares of this world the Lord doesn’t want us to be as Monks in Monasteries, for we would have to leave this world all together to escape the sin and temptations. The Lord only asks that we would be mindful, and keep ourselves in subjection to His Word.

    1 Corin 15:58 – Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

    Always abounding, that’s being always mindful, praying without ceasing. Inviting the Lord into every aspect of your life, asking Him to bless and guide you in your daily work. Being a follower is more than just accepting a belief, but living it. Zealousness, fervency, and devotion in living out its principles is a must. Knowing to do what is necessary and neglecting it, not only harms your own spiritual life, but will rOB you of a chance for Christ to work with and help you in the physical life. God won’t force you to serve Him, He isn’t going to grab your hand and pull you along the path. But He will wait, He will stand by offering assistance and wait until we have had enough in trying to figure things out on our own, and finally acknowledge Him and ask for His hand.

    Denying yourself can be, and may just be the hardest of the instructions that Christ has given us. But God did say in 1 Corin 10:13 – There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

    The Lord promised that anything that you would be tested by would not be anything more than you could handle. It may seem an impossible task to leave behind your life, but Christ promised that all you must do is ask of Him and He will give you the ability to overcome.

    Phil 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
    There are many other instructions and teachings that Christ gave. But if these main points are followed, the others will naturally come. You have to want to follow, to want to overcome this life for the Lord to give you the victory. He is no going to make you change, but He is going to prick your conscience and try to get your attention.

    Serving the Lord must be with the whole self. Just going through the motions and “tipping your hat to God”, or in any way treating Christianity as just a religion and not a faith, is not being a follower of Christ. Eph 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

    God does not want religious rOBots, He wants true disciples, those who WANT to follow and OBey His instructions. Those who would be willing to give up everything to serve Him, if He so called. Being a follower of Christ is more than appearance, it is a sincere full bodied and full life decision. You would be willing to accept any calling, any challenge that the Lord presented you with.

    Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

    The first mention in Psalms is the Lord asking that we leave off the way of the world and follow Him. To not think of the way you want to do things, but to constantly think of, to meditate on the teachings of God. But not only to think on, but that it would be something that we would be delighted in OBeying. It is a heart issue, the Lord wants excited followers, He wants, and would like his children to be joyful in the instructions He lays out for us.

    The Word of God would be something that would fill you with joy. That it would be something that you just could not get enough of. The Way of the Lord is not a hard or laborious path as it says in Mat 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

    To follow the path of Christ is to denounce your own self and desires, and to have absolute trust in Him. To follow the fruits of Christ Gal 5:22-25 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

    The Lord is not ordering us here, but is asking that we would follow these things, that we would be willing to put aside ourselves. These are the things that the Lord asks us to meditate on and strive to become.

    The Lord laid out some instructions for us in Eph 5:1-20 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disOBedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;


    Meditate on these things, strive to follow His teachings. Ask for His help and He will give it.
  9. Like
    *Light* reacted to Alan for a sermon entry, Peace in the Midst of the Storm   
    Matthew 14:22-33 “Peace in the Midst of the Storm.”
    By Alan
     
    “And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”
    Matthew 14:22-33
     
    The account of the Lord Jesus walking on the water is a wonderful story that shows us His lordship over His creation and loving care for His saints.
     
    Before we begin this devotion, let me bring a reminder that the disciples in the ship were Jews and were familiar with the account of how the LORD God takes care of the saints; even on the dangers in the sea. “They that do down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.” Psalm 107:23 and 24 God, in either Testament, God is Lord over all of the creation.
     
    The Bible is a wonderful book. The Bible is God’s Word and it gives us an understanding of God and His will for our lives. It also gives us peace in our hearts as we go through the storms of life and the hope of eternal life in heaven.
     
    “... tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.”
     
    In this world, all of us go through storms of life. We have physical, mental, and spiritual problems. We have fears in our hearts, doubts, wants, needs, and stress, in our family and work. Everybody has storms in their lives. The Lord Jesus wants us to have peace in the midst of our storms: whether those storms are physical, mental, spiritual, societal, governmental, family, or work related. 
     
    What a wonderful story! This story tells of the power and majesty of the Lord Jesus. Jesus is truly Lord.
     
    “... walking on the water.”
     
    During the time of their deepest anxiety of life, the disciples saw the Lord Jesus walking on the water. Also, there was a very big storm on the water at the same time.
     
    How was it possible for Jesus to walk on the water? Can you walk on the water? Do you know of anybody else that can walk on the water in front of other people? Did Confucius walk on the water? Did Buddha walk on the water?
     
    Job knew, as the Jews knew, and as those who know their Bible know, only God in heaven, the LORD, can walk on the water. Job 9:8 says, “Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.”
     
    Jesus could walk on the water because He is Lord. Colossians 1: 15-17 says, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Because Jesus created all things, He is Lord and has the power to walk on the water!
     
    God, who lives in heaven, is invisible to all of us. The Lord Jesus is His only son. Jesus is the image of God. The Lord Jesus created this world and all that is in it. He created all of the things that you see and all of the spiritual things that you cannot see. The Lord Jesus created: the oceans, land, mountains, islands, our body, the thrones, or the governments, of this world, the angels, the Devil, or Satan, heaven and hell. All of the creation of the Lord is used for His purposes.
     
    “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.”
     
    The Lord Jesus can give us peace in our heart in the midst of the storms of life.
     
    The disciples were on the boat and the storm was raging. They thought that maybe they would die. Some of the disciples were fishermen. The disciples knew the dangers of the sea. Also, they never had seen a person walking on the water.
     
    The disciples had never seen a person walk on the water, so they thought that a ghost was coming to them. At the beginning, they did not understand what was happening. They were very scared. Then they cried out with fear. Like the disciples, so often in our lives we are fearful of the dangers in our paths and do not have a full understanding of the spiritual happenings around us.
     
    The Lord Jesus said, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” The Lord Jesus does not want the Christian to have fear in their hearts.
     
    The Lord Jesus also said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave unto you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
     
    The Lord Jesus gives the Christian peace in our hearts. The Christian has peace in their hearts that only Jesus can give. Jesus gives the Christian peace in the midst of the storms of live. When a Christian dies, he knows that he will ascend into heaven and live with Jesus.
     
    “Come.”
     
    When Jesus spoke these words the apostle Peter realized that it was the Lord walking on the water. Peter had faith in the Lord. So, Peter asked the Lord if he could come on the water and walk to Him. Jesus said one word, “Come.” We need to come to Jesus in the storms of life!
     
    Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
     
    Peter is a good example. In verse 29 we see how Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus. How did Peter walk on the water? Because of his faith the Apostle Peter was able to walk on the water. Faith is an amazing thing. We all need to have faith.
     
    “Lord, save me.”
     
    But, now we see that Peter took his eyes, his thoughts, off of the Lord Jesus, and looked at the wind and waves. Then he became afraid. Then he started to sink .That caused Peter to cry out, “Lord, save me.”
     
    “Lord, save me.” All of us need to pay careful heed to these words of Peter. If you are not a Christian then you need to cry out to Jesus and say, “Lord, save me I do not want to go to hell. I do not want to go to hell forever. Lord save me! I am a sinner and deserve to die and go to hell. But, Lord, in your mercy save my soul.”
     
    If you are a Christian, and you have taken your eyes and thoughts off of the Lord Jesus and onto the world and all of its problems then you need to turn your eyes on Jesus and say, “Lord save me.”
     
    In the hymn book there is a song called, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus.” The stanza says, “Turn your eyes on Jesus, look full into His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” Jesus is Lord and He is truly wonderful. We need to take our eyes, our thoughts, our actions, off of the things of this life and trust in the Lord Jesus for all of our needs and give Him our fears.
     
    “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
     
    In verse 31 we read these wonderful words, “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
     
    Faith pleases God but doubting does not. When we doubt, and criticize the Bible, and the things of God, then we displease God. The Bible, and all of the doctrines, stories, miracles, prophesies written therein, are to be believed and not doubted.
     
    With very little argument, the greatest defender of the faith in the Chinese world was Wang Ming-Dao, July 25, 1900-July 28, 1991. Wang Ming-Dao is one of the best examples of the work of the scriptures in the heart of a Chinese convert. After salvation, as he was teaching in a Presbyterian mission school, because of his biblical stand to be immersed, he was dismissed in 1920.
     
    Later on, in the beginning days of the Charismatic Movement in China, he openly taught against the Charismatic movement and denominational hierarchies. Wang Ming-Dao became known for his indigenous church work. From 1955-1980 he was imprisoned, twice, by the Communist government. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Ming-Dao
     
    Through all of his intense verbal, spiritual, cultural, family relations, religious, denominational jealousy, and governmental persecution, Wang Ming-Dao maintained a rock-solid faith in Christ, doctrinal integrity, and inward peace through his personal storms in life.
     
    Wang Ming-Dao said, 王明道「魔鬼敗壞信徒的計策很多,但最毒的莫過於使他們對神的話發生疑惑,因為這是根本的方法。」“Satan has many scheme’s to destroy the believer, but the greatest poisonous, and the original, method is nothing more than to cause them to doubt the word of God.”[1] The English translation is a free translation from the author.
     
    The Lord Jesus saw that, without divine intervention, Peter would quickly drown and lose his life. But, until Peter called out for the Lord to save him Jesus did nothing. But, when Peter called out to Him then Jesus saved him. When we call upon the Lord to save us He will do so. “I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” Psalm 18:3
     
    Many a person, in time of extreme distress, potential loss of life, war, accidents, and other physical dangers or spiritual dangers, have called upon the Lord for not only the eternal salvation of their soul, but for physical deliverance.
     
    “Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”
     
    The Lord Jesus took Peter’s hand then both Jesus and Peter walked back to the boat walking on the water. Peter embraced Jesus! When they got back to the boat the wind ceased. When Jesus and Peter arrived back to the boat the other disciples realized the wonderful thing that Jesus did. Then the disciples worshipped Jesus. They said, “Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” As Job realized that only the Lord in heaven could walk on the waves of sea, so must we. The confession that Jesus was the Son of God was a confession that Jesus was the Lord from heaven and equal in attributes, character, power, and authority. Both the Father and the Son are eternal and worthy of worship.
     
    Psalm 2:7 and 12, “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee. ... Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”
     
    In conclusion, we need to be like Peter and the rest of the men in the boat. We need to worship the Lord Jesus. Why not be saved today? Call upon Him in prayer and say, “Lord save me.”
     
     
      [1] Wang Ming Tao, Treasuries of Wang Ming Tao, Volume II The Hard Road, (Touliu, Taiwan: Conservative Baptist Press, 1996), Page 256.
  10. Like
    *Light* reacted to Alan for a sermon entry, Glory in Heaven   
    “Glory in Heaven.”
    Daniel 12:3, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament;
    And they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”
    According to the scriptures, what is wisdom? And who is a wise person?
    “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28:28  A person who fears the Lord, and is trusting in the Lord for the salvation of their soul, has wisdom. 
    God looks at the heart. Our motives, our character, our personal righteousness (or sanctification), and our walk with the Lord will determine the glory, or rewards, we will have in eternity. In the scriptures, we see a contrast between various people who were wise in salvation and wise in sanctification. 
    Contrast in Salvation
    The fool trusts in his own heart, merits, works, religious ceremonies, wealth, influence, and other foolish things for the eternal salvation of his soul. The rich man in hell was a fool and Lazarus was the wise person in
    Contrast after Salvation
    After salvation, a wise person is one who decides to forsake the pleasures, comforts, ideology, philosophy, and the striving for wealth, fame or other worldly pursuits, in order to please the Lord in heaven. Lot was wise in salvation but not in his personal walk with with the Lord. Abraham was wise in salvation and in his walk with the Lord. 
    Lot was righteous in the heart but not in his character.
    Abraham was righteous in his heart, character, and beliefs.
    “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament”
    Winning souls is wise and will be rewarded in eternity. Proverbs 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”
    When an individual tells another person, whether by word of mouth, testimony, preaching, a tract, or the manner of his life, and the person witnessed to turns to the Lord in salvation, then that person who witnessed is wise and in eternity will 'shine as the brightness of the firmament.' 
    As the glory of one star is different from the glory of another star, so are our rewards in eternity.
    Sanctification – Holiness – Right Living
    Righteousness in our life, or Sanctification, or Holiness, is wise and will be rewarded in eternity. 1 Thessalonians 4:4 and 7, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; … For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.”  
    In a direct reference to the shameful living of the Corinthian believers (who were righteous in soul but not in daily living), Paul the apostle wrote, “I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? No, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?” 1 Corinthians 6:5. Please take careful note. The lives of the Corinthian saints were 'shameful' even though they were wise in salvation, Paul clearly said they were not wise in judging; i. e., they could not discern spiritual things.
    Lot is an example of this type of saint. They are unrighteous, unholy, and not sanctified, in their life. 1 Corinthians 6:  8 & 9. They allow the world, the pleasures of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, to destroy their testimony. Therefore, they do not win souls by either word of mouth nor testimony and their glory in eternity will not be so bright.
    In eternity, those saints who lived in the flesh and taught false doctrine will be ashamed.
    A wise Christian is one who is righteous in his daily walk with Christ. Abraham was a man righteous in  his heart for salvation and righteous in his heart in his walk with the Lord. Abraham was holy and sanctified  in his life. Since the scriptures have been written down the personal testimony of Abraham has caused the salvation of many throughout the ages and in many lands. 
    Therefore, in eternity, the glory of the rewards given to Abraham will cause him to shine as the stars for eternity.
    Righteous in Belief
    A heart belief, before salvation, in an incorrect, or unrighteous, doctrine cannot save the soul. 1 Timothy 4:16, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” The saint who walks with the Lord will take heed about every doctrine he believes.
    A heart belief in Buddhism, Taoism, baptismal regeneration, salvation by works, and other erroneous methods of salvation will cause a person to spend eternity in hell. As Timothy preached salvation by grace, through a sincere, and repentant, heart belief in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour; Timothy could win those people to Christ. 
    Timothy could lead many to righteousness through correct doctrinal salvation preaching. In eternity, Timothy, and many other sound gospel preachers, will shine as the stars in heaven.
    A heart belief in an incorrect, or unrighteous, doctrine, after salvation, will cause the believer to be deceived. The false teachers (some are saved, but teach erroneous beliefs), that are teaching in the churches (or an Internet theologian), is causing confusion among the saints by using deceptive doctrines and bibles. 
    After salvation, a belief in incorrect, or unsound, or corrupted doctrines, will cause many saints to lose their rewards in eternity. At the Judgment Seat of Christ, they will be ashamed of their erroneous doctrinal beliefs.
    “And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” 2 Timothy 2:5  If a man that is in the ministry, or a teacher of the scriptures in any capacity, teaches unsound doctrine, then he is not striving lawfully (according to the scriptures), and is not leading people to sound doctrine, or, a belief in right doctrine.
    Unsound doctrine would include, but not limited to,  corrupted bibles (any modern version starting from the RV of 1881 is a corrupted bible), heresies like the Charismatic Tongue Movement, The Gap Theory, any form of a non-belief in the creation of the world in six days, Calvinism, CCM music, Ecumenicalism, and any perversion of the Second Coming of Christ (Preterist, A-millennialism or Post-millennialism).
    “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. ” 2 Timothy 3:8 & 9 Saints, who resist the truth of the scriptures, are in error.
    Paul the Apostle will be rewarded, and shine as the firmament in heaven, for eternity. But, the saved teachers of false doctrines in the churches will be openly shamed at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
    Concluding thoughts
    If a person is not a Christian, the wisest decision they will ever make it to trust in the Lord Jesus as their Saviour. 
    If a Christian is to be wise in their relationship with the Lord Jesus, our lives, and the lips of our mouths, should be a testimony of the saving grace of the Lord Jesus and His work in our lives.
    If a Christian is wise, sanctified, and is striving lawfully, according to the correct doctrines in the scriptures,  he will be able to lead other saints to a sanctified life. In eternity, the wise saint will shine as the stars in the heavens.
    “The Galactic Bulge – A field of White Dwarf Stars”
    Note: A White Dwarf is actually bluish white.
    Courtesy of NASA – the Hubble Space Telescope
    “Sagittarius Window Eclipsing Extrasolar Planet Search (SWEEPS)

    “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament:
    and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Daniel 12:3
    “… for one star differ from another star in glory.” 1 Corinthians 15:41

     
  11. Like
    *Light* reacted to Samer for a sermon entry, Salvation is of the LORD   
    Taught March 10 and 17 at church.

    Jonah 2:9: "Salvation is of the LORD."
    Salvation can mean temporal deliverance or eternal salvation. The Hebrew word is "yesh-oo'-aw"--almost the same as the word for Jesus ("yesh-u-a"). In Hebrew, there is here one extra letter in the word for salvation, which adds to the sense of not only physical deliverance, but all kinds of salvation. All are of the LORD.

    Other verses that say the same thing: Psalm 3:8; 37:39; Acts 4:12; Rev. 7:20.

    The LORD's Work
    God uses the belly of a whale to bring Jonah to the necessary point of humility and repentance. A sinner will not be saved until he sees his sin, and has humility and repentance. Jonah here made a great prayer, but his prayer was not what saved him from the whale's belly--it was the LORD. Jonah 2:6--God's deliverances are so sure that we can look into the future and speak of God's mercy and deliverance in the past tense.
    God's work of salvation is sure because it's founded on Christ and His work. The same God who could cause a whale to swallow and spit out a man is the same God who sent Jesus to die on the cross to save us.
    Just as Jonah could take no credit for being spit out of the whale alive, we can take no credit for being plucked out of the pits of Hell. Ephesians 2:8,9. Jonah was as good as dead, and the lost are dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1)--only God's power can heal the sick and raise the dead. Only God in flesh could fulfill the law and die to pay the price of all the sins of all humanity, to defeat Hell and death.

    The LORD's Will
    Jonah ran off and hid from the LORD. God sought after him and used the belly of a whale to get his will in submission.
    You can run away from God's will, but it won't do you any good. If you're His, God will chase after you and chastise you until you get on board with what He wants you to do.
    Before Jonah could be saved from the whale, he had to be put in the whale and brought low. In the salvation of a soul, God first brings the sinner down--His Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Once the sinner's heart is humbled and turns to God in faith, God saves. Through it all, God is working in the heart of the sinner. God brings low, and God raises back up again. God's Spirit and God's law seek out and convict the sinner, and God's Christ saves the sinner through the Gospel. This happens according to God's timing. 2 Cor. 6:2. A sinner can only repent with God's drawing. John 6:44; Acts 11:18. But it is another fact that God draws all men unto Himself, and God wills all men to be saved—1 Tim. 2:4 and John 12:32.
    John 1:12,13--we didn't will ourselves into salvation. We didn't seek God in our lost state. God came down and sought us and gave us the free offer of salvation, which He gave us the grace to respond to.

    The LORD's Wisdom
    What a strange story, that God swallowed Jonah by a whale! But this is no fancy, for the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus stand on the historicity of Jonah. Mat. 12:39-41. 1 Cor. 1:17-31. The cross seems so foolish--that God should come and die for all His creatures, as the only way to save them from Hell. But it was the only way for God to be just, and the justifier of him that believeth on Jesus (Rom. 3:26).
    God's justice must punish sin. It cannot be overlooked. Josh. 24:19. Heb. 12:14. Rev. 22:14,15. God's love and mercy desire to save us, and the cross was the only way to reconcile the two. Psalm 85:10.
    Eze. 11:19. Not only does God forgive our sins on the merit of Jesus Christ, who paid our penalty, when we repent and believe; He also turns our hearts to righteousness. He grants the prisoners pardon and, to be just on society, He changes the prisoners' hearts, for when we learn of the agony that Jesus endured so that we could be saved, the Spirit of God fills us with the desire to serve Him in love.
    And so it was with Jonah, that his physical trouble and salvation from the whale was so shocking and foolish, that it caused him to turn around and go to Ninevah (yet, as a parallel, we see he still had to deal with his sinful flesh). Salvation causes one to stop running against God's will, and to change direction. In this sense, it's not only of the Lord, it's for the Lord. 1 Pet. 5:10.
  12. Like
    *Light* reacted to Pastor Scott Markle for a sermon entry, Wisdom Crieth Without - Proverbs 1:20Ff   
    Proverbs 1:20-33 is the first occasion in the book of the Proverbs wherein we encounter the personification of Wisdom as a virtuous woman who calls for us to come unto her and learn her ways of righteousness. (Proverbs 8:6-8) This activity of personified Wisdom is also encountered in Proverbs 8:1-36 and in Proverbs 9:1-12. Through these passages we find a progression to the call of personified Wisdom, and thereby we find five responsibilities that we are to maintain toward the wisdom of God’s Holy Word. (Contextual note: I myself believe that the personified Wisdom of Proverbs represents the wisdom of God*s Word.)

    Repentance

    First, we must repent of (turn from) our selfish, sinful ways at the reproof of God’s Holy Word. This we must do in order that we might be able to learn the wisdom of God’s Holy Word. In Proverbs 1:22-23 the personified Wisdom of God’s Word proclaims, “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.” Indeed, this is where our growth in the wisdom of God’s Word must begin – with repentance. If we will not turn at the reproof of God’s Word, then we cannot learn the spiritual wisdom of God’s Word.

    Reception

    Second, we must receive (hear) the truth of God’s Holy Word with all readiness of mind and all meekness of heart. This we must do in order that we might be transformed through the wisdom of God’s Holy Word. In Proverbs 8:5-6 the personified Wisdom of God’s Word proclaims, “O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.” Again in Proverbs 8:10 she proclaims, “Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.” Indeed, we should be more motivated to acquire the treasures of God’s wisdom through His Word, than to acquire the treasures of material wealth in this world. (See also Proverbs 3:13-15)

    Reverence

    Third, we must revere (love) the truth of God’s Holy Word, seeking after its wisdom each day with great priority. This we must do in order that we might walk in the blessings of our Lord’s daily fellowship and of the abundant spiritual life. In Proverbs 8:17 the personified Wisdom of God’s Word proclaims, “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” Again in Proverbs 8:34-35 she proclaims, “Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall OBtain favour of the LORD.” Indeed, there is no greater blessing in this life than our Lord’s fellowship and the abundant spiritual life. Yet in Proverbs 8:36 the personified Wisdom of God’s Word delivers the warning, “But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.”

    Rejection

    Fourth, we must reject (forsake) the foolish, that is – all those who rebel against the truth of God’s Holy Word. This we must do in order that we might not be influence by their close companionship to turn back from the righteous ways of God’s Holy Word. In the opening portion of Proverbs 9:6, the personified Wisdom of God’s Word proclaims, “Forsake the foolish, and live.” Indeed, we must not walk in the way with the spiritually foolish, but must turn away from their companionship, counsel, and course. (See Proverbs 1:15; 4:14-15) “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” (Proverbs 13:20)

    Responsiveness

    Finally, we must respond to the instruction of God’s Holy Word with committed, consistent OBedience. This we must do in order that we might be prosperous in our spiritual growth, and might not be self-deceived in our negligence. In Proverbs 8:32-33 the personified Wisdom of God’s Word proclaims, “Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.” Again in the closing portion of Proverbs 9:6, she proclaims, “And go in the way of understanding.” Indeed, we must hearken unto, follow after, and go in the righteous ways that God’s Word instructs. We must be “doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving [our] own selves.” (James 1:22)
  13. Like
    *Light* reacted to Pastor Scott Markle for a sermon entry, Let Us Examine Ourselves - 1 Corinthians 11:28   
    Speaking of the Lord’s Supper, 1 Corinthians 11:26-28 reads, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.”

    In the opening portion of verse 28, God’s Word declares, “But let a man examine himself.” As we come to the end of one year and the beginning of the next, it is appropriate that we should examine ourselves. It is appropriate that we should examine our lives over the past year, whether we have grown in spiritual character and conduct before our Lord, or whether we have gone away backward into sinful iniquity against our Lord. It is appropriate that we should examine ourselves, and that we get right with our Lord in any area wherein we have sinned against Him. It is appropriate that we should heed the exhortation of Lamentations 3:40 – “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.” Yea, it is appropriate that we should ask our Lord to examine us and try our hearts. It is appropriate that we should join in the prayer of David from Psalm 139:23-24 – “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Even so, let us examine ourselves through the following questions.

    1. Have we been faithful in our private walk with our Lord?


    John 15:4 – “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”

    Colossians 2:6-7 – “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”

    Philippians 3:8, 10 – “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ . . . that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”

    2. Have we been delighting in the wisdom of God’s Word?

    1 Peter 2:2 – “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”

    Joshua 1:8 – “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest OBserve to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

    Psalm 119:97 – “O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.”

    3. Have we been constant in watching unto prayer with thanksgiving?

    Colossians 4:2 – “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.”

    Ephesians 6:18 – “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

    Philippians 4:6 – “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

    4. Have we been OBedient in our daily ways for God’s glory?

    James 1:22 – “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

    John 14:15 – “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

    1 Corinthians 10:31 – “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

    5. Have we been edifying in the words of our communication?

    Ephesians 4:29 – “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

    Colossians 4:6 – “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

    Proverbs 15:1-4 – “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”

    6. Have we been loving in our affectionate warmth toward one another?

    John 13:34-35 – “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

    Romans 12:10 – “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.”

    Galatians 5:13-14 – “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

    7. Have we been zealous in our gospel witness to the lost world?

    Mark 16:15 – “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

    Matthew 28:19-20 – “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to OBserve all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

    1 Peter 3:15 – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

    8. Have we been abounding in the ministry work of the Lord?

    1 Corinthians 15:58 – “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

    Hebrews 10:24-25 – “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

    Ephesians 4:15-16 – “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

    9. Have we been willing to withdraw ourselves from wrong influences?

    Psalm 1:1 – “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

    Ephesians 5:11 – “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

    1 Corinthians 15:33 – “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”

    10. Have we become weary in well-doing through discouragement?

    Galatians 6:9 – “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

    2 Thessalonians 3:13 – “But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.”

    Hebrews 12:2-3 – “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”

    11. Have we been consumed with worry over life’s difficulties?

    Matthew 6:31-33 – “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

    John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

    1 Peter 5:7 – “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

    12. Have we become filled with wrath and bitterness at others?

    James 1:19-20 – “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”

    Hebrews 12:15 – “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”

    Ephesians 4:31-32 – “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

    13. Have we been infected with worldliness in our affections?

    Colossians 3:2 – “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

    1 John 2:15-17 – “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

    James 4:4 – “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

    14. Have we been overcome with the wickedness of covetousness?

    1 Timothy 6:9-10 – “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

    Luke 12:15 – “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”

    Hebrews 13:5 – “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
  14. Like
    *Light* reacted to Alan for a sermon entry, And God gave Solomon wisdom   
    1 Kings 4:29-34, “And God gave Solomon wisdom.”
    1 Kings 4:29-34, “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon's wisdom excelled of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.” 
    Wisdom and understanding is very important. We need wisdom is our lives. We need wisdom to learn how to raise our family, working on our job, dealing with our neighbors, and those in the church congregation. As God gave King Solomon wisdom; so can the Lord give us wisdom. “If any of you ask wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5
    James does add one thought concerning asking God wisdom that we need to consider in our hearts. “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” James 1:6 & 7  
     “And God gave Solomon wisdom” 
    Why did God give King Solomon wisdom? In 1 Kings 3:5-15 God appeared to King Solomon in a dream and said, “… Ask what I shall give thee.”  1 Kings 3:5
    I am going to ask the reader of this devotion to read, and consider, every word that occurs in the dream of King Solomon. God is looking at the heart of King Solomon and Solomon is speaking from his heart.
    In his heart, King Solomon knew that God wanted His people to walk in righteous and in truth. “..according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness...”  1 Kings 3:6
    King Solomon was very humble and of a sincere heart. At this time, Solomon was 20 years old. In 1 Kings 3:7 Solomon said that he was a servant of God and was like a little child. “… and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.”1 Kings 3:7 Most people are very proud and will not follow the ways of God. Most people are unwilling to be a servant of God. Even though Solomon was king he felt that God was his king. King Solomon willingly called himself a servant. Solomon believed that he was a servant of God in order to do the will of God. 
    1 peter 5:5-7, “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” King Solomon humbled himself.
    God made us. He is the King in Heaven. God is not our servant. We are His servants. God resists a proud person. One of the reasons why God does not answer a Christian’s prayer is because they are not humble nor sincere. If we want God to give us wisdom, we need to walk in unrighteousness, truth, be humble, and sincere .
     1 Kings 3:9 “Discernment”
    ! Kings 3:9, “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?” God gave King Solomon wisdom because he asked for wisdom in order to discern between good and evil  and to judge the nation of Israel. Solomon did not ask wisdom for his own fleshly desires or experience. He asked God for wisdom to lead the nation of Israel according to the will of God.
    King Solomon was unselfish. He did not ask for wisdom to help his own desires. He did not ask for money. He did not ask for health. King Solomon loved God and loved the nation of Israel. King Solomon wanted wisdom to help him to discern between good and evil. Long before God gave Solomon wisdom, Job wrote the definition of wisdom; “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28:28
    Most people are selfish and they do not care to help others. A Chinese proverb says, “To care nothing outside one’s window – one does not care what is going on beyond one’s own surroundings.” 俗語說「兩耳不聞窗外事」
    It is the will of God for Christians to discern between good and evil. The Lord Jesus wants all Christians to discern between good and evil. The Lord Jesus wants us to discern between evil and good, right and wrong, and good and bad doctrine. Ephesians 4;14 , “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” A Christian who is not concerned about good doctrine, or is unwilling to forsake bad doctrine, is like a child who is unconcerned about the parents guidance, is deceived, and is like the waves of he sea driven hither and yonder by every wind of the heretics of this world. A lost person, or an immature Christian, cannot discern between good and evil. But a mature Christian can discern between good and evil: or judgment. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14
    God blessed King Solomon
    “And Solomon's wisdom excelled of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.” 1 Kings 4:30The East country would include Iran, India, China and Japan.  “And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.” 1 Kings 4:34 Even today, in the Western world, when a person thinks of wisdom, he thinks of King Solomon and the book of Proverbs.

    King Solomon was humble, righteous, and sincere in the sight of God. He asked for wisdom to judge the nation of Israel and to learn how to discern between right and wrong. We need to have the same attitude. God can give us wisdom if it is His will. says, Proverbs 2:6, “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” 
  15. Like
    *Light* reacted to Alan for a sermon entry, Trust in the Lord   
    Psalms 37:1-5, “Trust in the Lord.”
     
    Verse 1 – 5, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”
     
    David was King over the nation of Israel. He was not a pastor, a religious leader, or a priest. He was a man who trusted in God and God anointed him become King. David trusted in God and in the promises in the Bible. So, God lifted him up in his life.
      
    A lot of people commit evil. We see, or hear; people do evil, commit crimes, war, deceit or other bad things. Sometimes we see evil people become famous or rich. Sometimes this causes us to worry or to envy them. God says not to worry or fret. Why? They will perish like the grass one day and spend eternity in hell.
     
    Instead of worrying, or being jealous, we need to trust in God and do good.
     
    Verse 9 says, “For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.”
     
    The Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5
     
    All of us have desires in our lives. We have plans and hopes for our lives, our jobs and our families. God can help us overcome obstacles so we can have these desires. God wants to bless us. We need to know and enjoy the things of God as written in the Bible. 1 John 4:4 says, “Ye are of God, little children and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
     
    In order for God to bless us, we need to decide to commit our lives to Him. God knows our situation and when we trust in Him, He can give us our needs and desires.
    Jesus is Lord. When we trust in Christ as our Saviour, He promised to give us eternal life in heaven. Titus 1:2 says, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.”
     
    God knows the situation of this world. He knows that it is full of evil. So often, because we see the wicked prosper, we forget God. God knows that the wicked will be punished in God’s proper time. By studying the Bible, we can know God. We can know how He will punish the evildoer in the future. And, because we have Christ in our hearts we can overcome the Devil and the world. So, we need to trust in God and not worry. He will bless us when we trust in Him.
     
    May God bless all of you.
    Alan
  16. Like
    *Light* reacted to Alan for a sermon entry, The Kindness of God   
     
    “The Kindness of God”
    2 Samuel 9:1-13 David & Mephibosheth
    The theme of this story is the kindness of God. In David’s life, we can see the kindness of God. Because David and God had an intimate relationship, David developed a kind heart.
    Background
    Before David became the King of Israel King Saul tried to kill David and prevent David from becoming King over Israel. King Saul was David’s enemy. For seven years, David fled from King Saul.
     
    Except during times of  religious expediency, King Saul did not obey God. He rebelled against God, listened to the people, and had a stubborn heart.
     
    God rejected King Saul and anointed David to be king over Israel. 1 Samuel 15:10 & 11 and 23 says, “Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried all night.” and, Samuel told King Saul, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king."
     
    King Saul is like many people. Most people, yea, even a lot of religious people, reject the will of God because they are rebellion against the Bible, stubborn, and will only listen to the world.
     
    David, before he became King, had a close relationship with King Saul’s son, Jonathan. Jonathan was an individual who had a love for God, for the will of God, and for the man of God.
     
    Verse 1-3, “And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake? And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he. And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet.”
     
    King David loved God and God gave David peace and love in his heart. King David did not have hate nor have bitterness in his heart towards the house of Saul. King David put into practice the love and kindness of God. “Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy loving kindnesses; for they have been ever of old.” Psalm 25:6
     
    King David is a good example for us how we should love our enemies and exhibit the love and kindness of God. In this passage twice, King David said that he wanted to show the kindness of God towards the house of Saul. Jonathan was King Saul’s son and a friend of David. Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son and King Saul’s grandson.
     
    Mephibosheth was lame. He could not walk nor could he earn money. He was very poor. Mephibosheth was the grandson of Saul. Mephibosheth represents the Christian. Before we are saved, we are a child of the Devil and unworthy to enter into the presence of God and into heaven. And, only the love and mercy of God makes us worthy enough to enter heaven.
     
    “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved.) Ephesians 2:4 and 5
     
    Love Produces Kindness
     
    Verse 5 & 6, “Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar. Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant!”
     
    Please note that even though David was the King he sought Mephibosheth. King David is a type of God. God loves us and He is seeking us. 1 John 4:9 & 10 says, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
     
    God loves us!
     
    The Lord Jesus, the Son of God, said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10 God is seeking the salvation of man in order for man to escape the torment of hell and enter the joy of heaven.
     
    Jesus loves us!
     
    Verse 7 & 8, “And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said, What is they servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?”
     
    The first words out of the mouth of King David was “Fear not.” King David relieved the heart of Mephibosheth. Is that not like the kindness of God? “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee: yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10
     
    Mephibosheth realized that he was not worthy to receive this honor and was humble. In this passage, Mephibosheth twice said that he is David’s servant and did not deserve his mercy.
     
    Before we are saved, we are unworthy to enter into the presence of the King of Heaven. We deserve to go to hell. Like Mephibosheth, we need to have a grateful heart to the king of heaven and be God’s servant and follow Jesus.
     
    Verse 13, “So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king’s table; and was lame on both his feet.”
     
    King David gave commandments that his servants were to provide the physical necessities for Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth could not take care of himself so David took care of his needs.
    The Lord Jesus is our king and one day we will sit at His table in heaven and eat. The Lord Jesus, as an added blessing to the salvation of our soul, will give us a new, glorified body, and will take care of the needs of our new body for eternity. Revelation 19:9, “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”
    Conclusion
    The story of King David and Mephibosheth is a wonderful story of the loving kindness and mercy of God. It shows us how God gave David love for his enemies’ grandchild. It shows us the humility of Mephibosheth and love and kindness of God in a practical manner. It shows us how God will take care of our spiritual, physical, and eternal needs.
     
    Like King David, when we have a close relationship with God we can have the love and kindness of God in our hearts.
     
    God loves us! He is Merciful and Gracious! Before we loved God He loved us! Because God loves us He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus, to die on the cross and become the propitiation for our sins. This story shows us how God is seeking man for the eternal salvation of our soul so we can escape the torment of hell and enter into the joy of heaven.
     
    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
     
  17. Like
    *Light* reacted to Jim_Alaska for a sermon entry, Righteousness and Justification   
    WHAT DID JESUS SAY ABOUT:
                                                                                           Righteousness and Justification
                                                                                                                   
     
     
    Mat.5:1-6-10-12.
     
     
     
    Introduction:
                Jesus had some very specific things to say about righteousness and justification.  His teaching has, for the most part, been perverted and twisted until it means something quite different from what the early church understood it to mean. The nature of this perversion is so degenerate that it has changed the meaning of these words so that they mean exactly the opposite of what Jesus taught. The result is that most of the religious world believes a lie and perpetuates this lie simply because it has been repeated as truth for so many years. These same people castigate those who would hold to the purity of God’s word; relegating them to the ranks of some obscure sect or calling them religious fanatics.
                We can be thankful that God’s word does not change, the religious world has had to invent new versions of the Bible to prove their blasphemous lies, because the Bible does not support their teaching, in fact, it condemns it.
                In order to have a proper study on this subject, it must be determined what the word “righteousness” means with regard to the righteousness that Jesus spoke of for the remission of sin. Three references will serve to define the word: Rom.5:21.   Phil.3:9.  Tit.3:5.
                Jesus pointed to John the Baptist as he that came in the way of righteousness, some accepted that way and others did not, thus representing the two different sides of this argument. Mat.21:28-32.
    Now if John came in the way of righteousness, then we must ask, what was John’s message? Mat.3:1-2.           
                Salvation presupposes the idea that I am unable to help myself, this is called depravity. Jer.17:9.  If I think that because my sin is gone, then I am righteous, what about tomorrow? If I sin tomorrow do I lose my righteousness? This is where the idea comes from that you can lose your salvation. Rom.10:3.
                Where then does this righteousness come from? Does it come about because of the good things that I do? This is the adult version of--- “If you be a good little boy you will go to heaven.” It is also the mistake of the Pharisees who looked within themselves for their righteousness and despised those who did not act righteous as they did.
    Rom.5:21 Puts righteousness in the proper perspective.
    Rom.4:21-25. Shows that the righteousness that the Christian has is not his own, it is the righteousness of Christ, and I, by repentance and faith become adopted into the family of God with all of the benefits of being a son.
    1Cor.1:30. There will come a day when the Christian will not have sin to deal with, but until that day I have the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is this that makes me acceptable to God the Father, the scripture calls being acceptable, “justification”.           
    Let’s look at what Jesus said about those who trust in their own righteousness, as compared with those who realize that they have no righteousness. Lk.18:9-14.
     
                Why is it so important to have the proper righteousness and justification? The answer is simplicity itself: If, in the judgment day, I have only the righteousness that I have got by my good deeds it will not be accepted by God! Why? Because I have not accepted the righteousness that he provided, this is the same as saying that Christ’s death is not the only way to get to heaven. I have no need of Christ’s blood, I can do it myself. Gal.2:16. 
    Heb.10:29.  In that day there will come a separation, the angels will sever the just from the wicked and man will have no say in the matter. Mat.13:47-49.  This is why it is so important to get it right the first time, now you have a choice, there are no second chances in the grave, and we are not reincarnated until we get it right as some teach. Ecc.9:10
    Psa.31:17    Psa.6:5.  In short Jesus said that only the just or righteous will enter the kingdom of heaven. See how Jesus puts it in Mat.25:31-34. 
                Mat.5:6. shows that becoming righteous by the grace of God is no accident. The words, “hungering and thirsting”, as it pertains to righteousness, comes only as one desires it. There must be an active choice on your part, salvation is no accident, and those who receive God’s salvation have made the choice to do so. It is also not just a determination on your part to become religious, the Pharisees were religious and Jesus condemned their religion.
                Salvation comes about as you determine that you are a sinner and it is not physically possible for you change this situation. It is seeing the need of having your sin forgiven and blotted out. The scripture says that the wages of sin is death, Jesus came and died to pay the price of my sin, and his blood is the cleansing agent that will make me look as white as snow when I stand before God in the judgment day. In that day I will stand, having his righteousness to wear as a robe, and his justification which makes my sin as if it never was in the eyes of God.
  18. Like
    *Light* reacted to irishman for a sermon entry, Jonah And The Whale   
    Jonah 1

    “Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” (v. 17)

    It looks as if Jonah had a “whale” of a prOBlem! First let us clear the air about something; Men say that a whale’s throat is not big enough to swallow a man, but my God is big enough to make it happen! Furthermore, if anyone takes issue with this, let him take issue with Christ, who said “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Mt 12:40). Even Jesus says it was a whale! Whether it was a whale, or simply a large fish, is not the key issue here, it is actually irrelevant to the story, but the Truth must always prevail for Truth’s sake.
    More importantly though, we need to keep one thought in mind as we read through these pages, and that is that Jonah had a rotten attitude all the way through, and God used him anyhow! This is somewhat amazing to me. It tells me there is still hope for me! There is also a sign here for us, a picture of Christ’s death and resurrection, which He Himself alludes to in the aforementioned verse.
    This is a beautiful picture of a resurrected Savior coming to a lost and dying world, but the type stops there! Jonah’s attitude was horrific! He did not rejoice when Nineveh repented, but wanted to see God’s wrath spewed upon them! He complained all the while about going; about the heat, and then about the gourd! The amazing thing is that God used him in spite of his attitude! We hear that God will not use a dirty vessel, but He did it here! God can use ANY vessel to promote His kingdom and glorify His name. I do not recommend, nor condone backsliding, it just isn’t healthy spiritually or physically, but if and when you do, God can still use you for His glory! Don’t put yourself on the shelf if you have fallen under a bad attitude, and think that God can no longer use you. He can use anyone that will go. Yes, someone has said “God’s grace is greater than all my sin” and I believe it is; another has said “God will not go against our will, but He’ll sure make us willing to go!” and that is what happened with Jonah.
    Don’t wait until God makes you willing, go now, and save yourself a multitude of troubles.
  19. Like
    *Light* reacted to holster for a sermon entry, River of Death, River of Life - Ex 1:22, Rev 22:1   
    Video and Audio available on DVD and YouTube
    also see www.monteloresbaptist.com for (possibly) this and other sermons

    River of Death, River of Life
    G. Schneck Mar 21, 2010 - Montelores Baptist Chruch, Lewis, CO
    - Exodus 1:22, -Rev. 22:1-7

    1. Read Rev. 22:1
    2. The scene: Heaven… we've been told about
    - A New Heaven… - A new Earth
    3. We now learn of a a PURE RIVER OF WATER OF LIFE…
    4. BUT.. Before we look at this river… Let's look at a:

    I - A River of Death
    A. A Prideful Situation
    1. Read Exodus 1:22
    2. Background.
    - Israel had gone down into Egypt
    - Joseph had fell in favor with Pharaoh and became great
    - But we read in 1:6 - Joseph died, and all that generation….
    - and "there arose up a new king… which know not Joseph."
    - This new Pharaoh was afraid the Israelites would become powerful
    - Made their life hard… "in all manner of service"
    - Told the midwives to kill the baby if it were a son. They failed to do so!

    B. The Instigator, a Prince
    1. Pharaoh
    a. The very one over Egypt. He had it all, but he was jealous.
    b. He is the guilty one in the Prideful Situation
    c. It was Pride that causes Lucifer to sin and….

    2. Pharaoh is a type of Satan.
    a. He was prince and god of Egypt… Egypt being a type of the world.
    b. Satan is the prince and god of this world.
    - we are delivered out of worldly bondage

    3. The instigator is none other that Satan himself.

    C. A Charge Given -
    1. Pharaoh used by Satan to "charge his people"
    a. As the God of this age, Satan is giving the orders.
    2Cor 4:4 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.

    D. The River of Death -
    1. The command is "Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river."

    2. Here we discover the River of Death.
    a. The Nile… Used of Satan in an attempt to destroy the Hebrews.
    b. Satan's desire was to destroy the Line of Christ.
    c. As Pharoah wanted to destroy the sons…
    - Satan wants to destroy THE son of God
    - and those who would become adopted sons.
    Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

    E. Illustration - The River of Death

    When I was a small boy growing up in southern Indiana we often found ourselves playing around the river that ran close to our home. One evening I received a phone call from a classmate. "Is it true?" he asked. "Did Mike drown in the river? You're his best friend... Have your heard?"

    "What are you talking about?" I asked in a panic, what's happening? The caller explained: "We've heard that something awful happened and he drowned."

    Sadly, the story was true. We learned that, on a perfectly beautiful day, Mike was out practicing for cross country, got hot, and tried to swim the river to cool off. His body cramped up in the cold and turbulent water, and though a strong young man, he couldn't win the fight against the dirty river. My best friend had drowned and was dead.

    Satan had used the "attractiveness" of the river, to tempt this young boy into it's grasp! It looked pleasant.. cool, refreshing, fun. But it brought death!

    My best friend… Dead! 15 years old..
    Satan has and used many tools to deceive!

    F. Has Satan Deceived you?
    1. Are you in the river? Do things seem cool, refreshing, fun?
    a. My best friend had fun for a while (above illustration)
    - then the struggle began!
    b. As the Hebrew babies were thrown into the river image the cries, the wailing, the struggle…..


    But Praise God… there is another type of river!
    II. - A River of Life
    - The Setting
    a. The Tribulaton over, His 1000 reign is over.
    b. All battles done, Satan and Hell have been cast into the Lake of Fire.
    c. God has shown John a New Heavens and New earth
    d. We are moving into "the eternal state"… Paradise.!
    e. We are looking at the "eternal city" (21:10,11 & 22-26)

    A. The Uniqueness of this River
    - Read 22:1
    1. A PURE River
    a. Promised - Rev 21:6
    b. Pure: This river is not dirty as was the "river of death" (Nile)
    - Describe the river that my friend drowned in- stumps, snags, etc)
    c. Satisfies: This river and it's pure nature satisfies…
    The following Psalm seems to speak of this river.
    Psalm 36:7-9 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

    2. "River of Water of Life" (22:1)
    a. This water is SPECIAL! It' not the water from your tap!
    b. Life is in this water! The Fullness of Heaven!
    John 4:14* But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

    3. A River "Clear as Crystal!" (22:1)
    a. Not only is the river pure.. it CLEAR !
    b. I am reminded that when I stand and gaze at that river my God will see me as pure.. and clear… perfect & free from sin!

    B. The Source of this River
    1. "Out of the Throne of God and of the Lamb" (22:1)
    a. Life comes from God and Life is given by God's Grace!
    b. He gives physical life… He gives Spritual life!

    2. It was in constant supply…
    a. The New City will last for eternity - So will it's walls, in street of Gold
    b. Here is a river that will last forever…

    C. The Comfort of this River
    1. Looking forward to this city and the river can be a comfort to us!
    Isa 43; 2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

    Song:
    Shall we Gather at the River - (often mistakenly sang at Baptisms)
    Shall we gather at the river,_Where bright angel feet have trod,_With its crystal tide forever_Flowing by the throne of God?
    Yes, we'll gather at the river,_The beautiful, the beautiful river,_Gather with the saints at the river_That flows by the throne of God.
    On the bosom of the river,_Where the Savior-King we own,_We shall meet and sorrow never_'Neath the glory of the throne.
    chorus.
    When we reach the shining river,_Lay we every burden down;_Grace our spirits will deliver_And provide a rOBe and crown.
    chorus
    Soon we'll reach the shining river,_Soon our pilgrimage will cease;_Soon our happy hearts will quiver_With the melody of peace.
    chorus

    III. - Challenge
    A. We've seen two rivers….
    1. A River of Death…. A River of Life
    2. Though I lost I good friend when I was 15 I have comfort in that I have reason to believe he was saved. He may have gone through the turbulent waters of death, but he had previously found eternal life. He and I will, one day, stand by the Pure River of Water of Life together!
    3. How about YOU!
  20. Like
    *Light* reacted to Jerry for a sermon entry, From: A Psalm Of Guidance (Psalm 25) - Part One   
    A Psalm Of Guidance (Psalm 25) - Part One

    This is the first of seven Acrostic Psalms (see also Psalms 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, and 145), where each verse (or each section of eight verses in the case of Psalm 119) begins with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

    Psalms 25:1 A Psalm of David. Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.

    The Bible, especially the Old Testament, refers to various people lifting up their hands, their eyes, their voices, but here we have the Psalmist lifting up his soul to the Lord. Instead of choosing to focus on the vain things of this world (see Psalm 24:4), David resolved to focus only on the Lord. Truly, that is the secret of finding out God's will for your life - having a heart and soul focused steadfastly on the Lord.

    "With poetic passion, David cried out to God how that he laid his very soul before the Lord. Truly, this is fervent prayer. His heart was bared. His soul was offered up in prayer to God. God pays heed to such prayer." (David Sorenson, Understanding The Bible, JOB Through Psalms, page 265.)

    "...In worshipping God we must lift up our souls to him. Prayer is the ascent of the soul to God... With a holy contempt of the world and the things of it, by a fixed thought and active faith, we must set God before us, and let out our desires towards him as the fountain of our happiness." (Matthew Henry.)

    Psalms 86:4 Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

    Psalms 143:8 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

    Lamentations 3:41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

    Let us lift up our hearts and voices to the Lord in praise, our hands in service and in holy prayer, and our souls in worship - looking unto Jesus.

    Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    Psalms 25:2 O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.

    This is the first of three verses in this Psalm that speak about being ashamed or not ashamed. Notice that it is our trust in the Lord God that will ensure that we are not ashamed. The Apostle Paul had that same idea when he penned these words:

    2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

    God's enemies will be ashamed, but those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and commit themselves unto Him will have nothing to be ashamed about on the day of judgment when the Lord returns for His own.

    Psalms 25:3 Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

    To trangress, according to Webster's 1828 Dictionary, means: "1. To pass over or beyond any limit; to surpass. 2. In a moral sense, to overpass any rule prescribed as the limit of duty; to break or violate a law, civil or moral. To transgress a divine law is sin."

    Those who rebel against the Lord will have cause to be ashamed, but those that wait on Him in faith will be blessed and rewarded. When studying the Bible, it is always good to pay attention to any repetition of words, phrases, or ideas. There are three references to waiting upon the Lord in this Psalm. When God repeats Himself in His Word, we need to listen and hearken. In the context of God's guidance, this verse may very well be indicating that God will bless those who wait upon His leading, but woe to those who rush ahead of the Lord and run headlong into sin. (See Isaiah 50:10-11) Wait upon the Lord!

    Psalms 25:4-5 Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

    "When the believer has begun with trembling feet to walk in the way of the Lord, he asks to be still led onward like a little child upheld by its parent's helping hand, and he craves to be further instructed in the alphabet of truth... Patience is the fair handmaid and daughter of faith; we cheerfully wait when we are certain that we shall not wait in vain. It is our duty and our privilege to wait upon the Lord in service, in worship, in expectancy, in trust all the days of our life. Our faith will be tried faith, and if it be of the true kind, it will bear continued trial without yielding. We shall not grow weary of waiting upon God if we remember how long and how graciously He once waited for us." (Spurgeon, Morning And Evening.)

    "What he desired to learn: 'Teach me, not fine words or fine notions, but thy ways, thy paths, thy truth...' God's paths and his truth are the same; divine laws are all founded upon divine truths. The way of God's precepts is the way of truth, Ps. 119:30. Christ is both the way and the truth, and therefore we must learn Christ... What he pleads, (1.) His great expectation from God: Thou art the God of my salvation. Note, Those that choose salvation of God as their end, and make him the God of their salvation, may come boldly to him for direction in the way that leads to that end. If God save us, he will teach us and lead us. He that gives salvation will give instruction. (2.) His constant attendance on God: On thee do I wait all the day. Whence should a servant expect direction what to do but from his own master, on whom he waits all the day? If we sincerely desire to know our duty, with a resolution to do it, we need not question but that God will direct us in it." (Matthew Henry.)

    It is God's ways, God's paths, and God's truth that David longs to know. Is this what you long for? There are seven direct references in this Psalm to God's guidance: teach (5 times), lead, guide. According to Psalm 23:4, if the Lord is your Shepherd, it is up to Him to lead you in the paths of righteousness, and up to you to submit to that leading and follow the Good Shepherd. We don't need to run ourselves ragged trying to "figure out" what the Lord would have us to do; we just need to OBey what He has already revealed to us, and He will show us the next step we are to take when it is truly needed - in His time.

    "Do what you know, and God will teach you what to do. Do what you know to be your present duty, and God will acquaint you with your future duty as it comes to be present." (Samuel Annesley, Treasury Of David.)

    Psalms 25:6-7 Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.

    A.) Remember.

    Three times in these verses we see the word remember (once it is remember not). To remember something in a Biblical sense means to act on it. For example, when the Bible states that God remembered Noah, it means that God acted on Noah's behalf, that God did something for Noah or about his situation. (See the linked study for more on this theme.) Here the Psalmist is pleading with the Lord to actively show mercy, lovingkindness, and goodness to him.

    On a side note: Psalm 13:1 (and similar passages such as Psalm 42:9; 77:9; Isaiah 49:14; Hosea 4:6) had puzzled me until recently when I recalled the Biblical usage of remember, in contrast with God forgetting something (ie. not actively working on behalf of that person or situation - or even actively working against someone; see Jeremiah 23:39 and Lamentations 2:1). How could true, faithful believers think that the Lord God had completely forgotten about them? Surely their faith could not be that small or falter that much when they are striving to focus on the Lord!

    Psalm 13:1 How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?

    The Lord God cannot forget about His people (in the sense we use the term today); however, sometimes we can get discouraged when it seems He is not actively working on our behalf in a given situation. In Psalm 13, David was lamenting that he could not see the Lord at work, and in Psalm 25, he is crying out to this effect: Lord, let me see Your lovingkindness and mercy at work in my life, let me see You at work in this situation that has me distraught.

    B.) For Thy Sake.

    ...according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake...

    It is a blessing to note that in the Psalms, there are five different aspects of God's character and nature that the various Psalmists plead as reasons for God to help them: because of His mercies' sake, His goodness' sake, His truth's sake, His righteousness' sake, and His name's sake (five is typical of God's grace). God is merciful, good, righteous, and truthful. He is the only source of truth - He is Truth. He is also the only source of righteousness for man.

    There are seven times the book of Psalms refers to the Lord doing something for His name's sake (seven is typical of the Lord's perfection/completion). His name - Jesus, which means "the Lord is salvation/Saviour" - represents who He is and why He came. When He does something for His name's sake, it is a reflection of His character as Saviour.

    It is wonderful to see the grace offered to God's children, and how He will perfect the work He has begun on the behalf of those who trust in Him.

    Psalms 6:4 Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake.

    Psalms 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

    Psalms 25:7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.

    Psalms 25:11 For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

    Psalms 31:3 For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.

    Psalms 31:16 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake.

    Psalms 44:26 Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies' sake.

    Psalms 79:9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake.

    Psalms 106:8 Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.

    Psalms 109:21 But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me.

    Psalms 115:1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.

    Psalms 143:11 Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name's sake: for thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble.

    The references in the Psalms to His name's sake (and their surrounding context) all have to do with deliverance from trouble (including deliverance from enemies) and forgiveness of (deliverance from) sins. Jesus' name means "Saviour," and deliverance (both physical and spiritual) is what being a Saviour is all about!

    C. Remember Not.

    Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions...

    Here is the first of three references to forgiveness of his sins in Psalm 25. Strong's Concordance gives this definition of sins: "from 2398; an offence (sometimes habitual sinfulness)." He also gives this for 2398: "properly, to miss; hence (figuratively and generally) to sin." In other words, to "miss the mark" of God's will for our lives in that area. The New Testament equivalent would be the Greek word, hamartia, from a root meaning: "properly, to miss the mark (and so not share in the prize), i.e. (figuratively) to err, especially (morally) to sin." Picture a game of darts, where each contestant is striving to throw their darts at the dartboard. The target is the bullseye. It does not matter how much each person misses the target, if they miss it by a millimeter or by a mile, they have still missed the mark and will not share in the prize. All of mankind has missed the mark of God's perfect will for their lives because of their sin and rebellion against Him, and has forfeited the prize of eternal life. But, praise the Lord, the story does not end there! What mankind could not do (ie. perfectly fulfill the will of God, perfectly OBey the Law of God), the Lord Jesus Christ did. He lived a perfect, sinless life, and by His death, burial and resurrection - by His completed work of redemption, by His payment for our sin on Calvary - salvation is freely offered to all!

    Transgression means "The act of passing over or beyond any law or rule of moral duty; the violation of a law or known principle of rectitude; breach of command." Basically, going beyond the bounds commanded by God and sinning; ie. the Lord commands us not to do something or go somewhere, and we do it or go there anyway.

    As stated already, to remember something Biblically means to act on it. To remember not something would be the exact opposite. In this context, to not remember our sins means that the Lord is not holding them against us; He is not acting against us because of our sins. When we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone to save us, when we place our faith in Jesus and His finished work of redemption, then God forgets our sins (not in the sense that He no longer has knowledge of them, but in the sense that He is no longer actively holding those sins against us). This is an example we can follow - we may not be able to stop a past sin from coming to mind, but we can choose not to hold those sins against someone.

    Psalms 79:8 O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low.

    Isaiah 64:9 Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.

    Here are two passages that illustrate what it means to remember our sins:

    1 Kings 17:17-18 And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?

    Jeremiah 14:10-12 Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins. Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an OBlation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.

    Praise the Lord Jesus Christ for His New Covenant provided by His shed blood and death upon the cross for our sins!! The following two passages show us God's promise to remember [our] sins no more:

    Jeremiah 31:31-34 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

    Hebrews 10:14-18 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

    Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

    "'Remember not the sins of my youth; that is, remember them not against me, lay them not to my charge, enter not into judgment with me for them.' When God pardons sin he is said to remember it no more, which denotes a plenary remission; he forgives and forgets." (Matthew Henry.)

    We know the Lord will never forget His children - but we can praise Him forever for forgetting our sins!

    Basic outline preached February 27th/2010
    Study written March 4th/2010
    Jerry Bouey

    Source: A Psalm Of Guidance (Psalm 25) - Part One
  21. Like
    *Light* reacted to PastorMatt for a sermon entry, The Mule Walked on by Lester Roloff   
    While I did not hear this message in person, this message touched my heart as a young teen. Please listen to this powerful sermon that has touched so many hearts.
     
     
  22. Like
    *Light* reacted to Musician4God1611 for a sermon entry, Create In Me A Clean Heart, O God; And Renew A Right Spirit Within Me.   
    Psalm 51:19
    1. Create in me a clean heart. Our old heart is evil from our youth (Genesis 8:21) and is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:5-10), and must be purged of the sin that indwells our affections and passions. For this to happen, our heart, which is the seat of the affections and passions of a human, must be created as clean. Create is defined as, "to form or make by investing with a new character." Our heart, filled with evil, was opened by the Lord. He took hyssop and dipped it in his blood, and then not just washed, but purged our heart. That was when we were saved. But as new Christians we still have much to learn, and at times we stumble, and we sin. So we come to God with a contrite heart and ask for forgiveness (Psalm 51:17), and He takes his hyssop and washes and purges our heart once more. After it has been purged again, He is willing to create a clean heart by filling it with a new character, so that the wicked heart that was once filled with evil is replaced with a clean heart that is filled with righteousness. Not our righteousness, but God's righteousness. How is that done? by searching His Word and meditating on it. By filling our heart with His Word so that, when temptation does arrive, it is His Word that is our thought and not our own fleshly desire (Psalm 119:9-16). I'm afraid that too many times Christians seek the Lord to purge them with hyssop and make them white as snow but then don't ask for Him to create a clean heart and so the evil that was once in this white heart soon returns. Ask the Lord to not only take the hate and bitterness but to also fill you with love. To take the deceit and fill you with truth. To take the selfishness and fill you with compassion. To take the fret and fill you with peace. Ask Him to create in you a clean heart.

    2. Renew a right spirit within me. This is a result of you clean heart, because your spirit is your temper and disposition of mind, whether habitual or temporary. Don't be fooled into thinking that this will be an easy task, because it is a right spirit that will help you not yield to temptation. It is one thing to think instantly of Scripture when you are tempted, but thinking on Scripture is not doing what the Scripture says. It is your right spirit that will keep your heart clean. Your disposition is what you make it and unless you make it a right spirit, you can think about all the Scripture you want to but that isn't going to keep you from yielding to the temptation. Your heart will decide how you feel but your spirit will determine how you react. It will also determine how other people look at you. A right spirit is one that is "fit, suitable, proper, becoming, or straight." How properly do we portray Christ? How straight is our life? Romans 12:11 tells us that we are to be fervent in spirit serving the Lord, and Proverbs 29:23 tells us that we are to have a humble spirit. How is your spirit? Is it haughty? The Bible says that he that hath no rule over his spirit is like a city broken down and without wall. Let the Lord renew a right spirit within you so that you can keep that clean heart you asked Him to create.
  23. Like
    *Light* reacted to irishman for a sermon entry, The Characteristics Of Love   
    The Characteristics of Love

    1. Love desires reciprocation.
    A one-sided love promotes frustration and discontent.
    Love desires company (companionship). 1 John 4:19.

    2. Love is unbiased, without prejudice.
    It is unconditional;
    Conditioned love is mock love.

    3. Love is eternal.
    There is no “falling out of love”;
    Nothing can replace true love, as it has no end.

    4. Love cannot be described.
    No words adequate enough to describe love. (“so much” as in John 3:16)
    Love is seen in action, not in words. (Calvary).

    5. Love is not self-seeking.
    There is no pride in love; no self seeking.
    Love is “others” minded, it gives and asks nothing in return.

    6. Love is pure.
    Real love promotes chastity.

    7. Love is powerful.
    Love brings the strongest and most nOBle of men to their knees.

    8. Love is motivational.
    It promotes Truth;
    Love demands action.
  24. Like
    *Light* reacted to Alan for a sermon entry, The LORD is good.   
    “The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble;
    and he knoweth them that trust in him.”
    Nahum 1:7
     
    “The LORD is good.”
     
    In this short devotion I would like to consider Nahum 1:7 in the light of our Saviour Jesus Christ being LORD and a few thoughts brought out by the Lord Jesus when He preached the Sermon on the Mount.
     
    The LORD is good. The character of God, is good and perfect in every sense of the word. God is good in character, in holiness, in righteousness, and in every act, deed or word. God is perfect in all aspects. To question the work of God, the word of God, or the actions of God, is to put doubt on His character and His word.
     
    The character, the inward righteousness of the Jesus Christ, is good and perfect in all aspects. Jesus is Lord.
     
    God above has given to all of us good things: life, food, shelter, friendship, families, and many blessings too many to mention. God is good to the lost and to the saved. The Lord Jesus said, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:44 and 45
     
    We need to remember the goodness of God in our lives before we were saved and after we are saved.
     
    “…a strong hold in the day of trouble.”
     
    A strong hold is a place of safety and protection from evil and the enemies of the righteous. A strong hold is a place of protection from whatever will harm us. This is true in both the physical and spiritual realm. Heaven is a strong hold.
     
    The Lord God was a stronghold for the nation of Israel when they trusted and followed His words, leading, commandments, statutes, and precepts. God was a strong hold for Abraham, David in the wilderness, King Solomon on the throne and the beggar Lazarus sitting at the gate of the rich man.
     
    The Lord Jesus is our strong hold. The Lord Jesus is our Rock of Salvation. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” Matthew 7: 24 and 25
     
    A wise man will hear and do what Jesus says.
     
    "and he knoweth them that trust in him.”
     
    In the Old Testament, beginning from the days of Adam, through Abraham, the Judges, the Kings of Israel, and the prophets, people have trusted in God.
     
    On the contrary side, in those times there were false saints, false prophets, false priests, and false teachers mentioned throughout the Old Testament. A close look at the work of Moses and the prophets reveal that they were hindered and resisted primarily by false, or backslidden, brethren.
     
    At times, these false, or backslidden, brethren used the very word of God the true saints used, used the very same prayers that the righteous saints used, and, as for as the outward appearance was concerned, was “religious.”
     
    The LORD said, “…and he knoweth them that trust in him.”
     
    The wisest man in the world once observed, “The thing that hath been, is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9
     
    In the New Testament nothing has changed. The Lord Jesus, “… knoweth them that trust in him.”
     
    After the discourse of the Lord Jesus concerning the false prophets in Matthew 7:15-20 the Lord Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name hath cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23
     
    The Lord Jesus never knew these lost, religious, charlatans who used His name to build religious edifices, denominations, good work organizations, and falsely taught and preached His word. As with Moses and the prophets, the Lord Jesus, Paul the Apostle and the other true men of God were resisted by false, or backslidden, brethren or other religious individuals.
     
    The problem is a heart problem. Solomon said, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” We need to trust in the Lord above with all of our heart and do those things which are commanded of us in spite of the false ministers, false teachers, social problems, political unrest, economic unrest, and other problems in this short life.
     
    The Lord knows all and He is good. We need to trust in the Lord Jesus with all of our heart and follow Him.
     
    May God truly bless all of you.
    Alan
  25. Like
    *Light* reacted to Alan for a sermon entry, Psalm 19:1 Integrity   
     “Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity,
    than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool”
    Proverbs 19:1
     
    The meaning of integrity is moral soundness or purity; incorruptness, uprightness; honesty.
     
    Job is an excellent man of integrity. Job 2:3, “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 [ hate ] evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.”
     
    Job eschewed, or hated, evil. Job was upright, morally pure, incorrupt in business, and honest in his dealings.
     
    A person who hates sin, and stays away from sin, is a person of integrity. Psalms 97:10, “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.” Job, a man of God, was a man of integrity.
     
    “... than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool”
     
    The meaning of perverse is: to be obstinate; in the wrong; disposed to be contrary; or stubborn.
     
    Balaam, a false prophet, because his way of life was contrary to God, was perverse. Numbers 22:31 & 32, “Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me.”
     
    Balaam, and other false teachers, are obstinate, contrary, and stubborn against the ways and doctrines of God as written in the scriptures. They are fools and perverse in the sight of God.
    Jude 11, “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” See also 2 Peter 2:1-22
     
    Conclusion
     
    Job is a fine example of a man of integrity. Job maintained his integrity in spite of intense physical, mental, social (his three friends), and spiritual testing. In these last days of spiritual unrest, false teachers, political uncertainty, wars and rumors of war, legal persecution, verbal animosity, and other trials of these perilous last days, we need to maintain our integrity. May God bless you all.
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