For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders.And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count. -From Psalm 40
What would a man think if his bride-to-be invited him to her house, sat him in the living room and then went her way? While he waits, she works in the kitchen, dusts the furniture, mops the floors—and never says a word to him!
Jesus endures the same pain any man would feel if his beloved continually praised him, saying “I love you” over and over, yet showed him little or no attention!
The sweetheart may claim, “Well, He’s always on my mind.” I have heard people say that about Jesus: “He’s on my mind all day, in everything I do.” But you can have Him on your mind all day and still neglect Him! When a bride-to-be does this, her so-called love is a lie! She may tell her fiancé she truly loves him, but her actions tell him she does not.
The Lord asks, “Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number” (Jeremiah 2:32). David also said Israel kept forgetting the Lord: “They forgot God their Savior, Who had done great things in Egypt” (Psalm 106:21).
The Lord mentioned His pain in Scripture for the whole world to see! He said openly, “My people neglect Me for days on end!” Why would the Lord tell the world about such neglect? Shouldn’t lovers’ differences be kept quiet? No—He wants us to know how hurt He is! He tells the whole world because He is so heartbroken by our behavior!
Imagine that you are an engaged young woman going to church with your husband-to-be. You grasp his hand and tell everyone, “We’re going to be married. I love him—he is absolutely wonderful!” But as soon as you are out the door, you just clam up and do not say a word to him! What is he supposed to think?
I would not want a bride who extols my virtues, says loving things about me in public, tells me how precious I am, and then later gets cold and avoids spending time with me. That is not true affection!Beloved, if you do not have quality time with Jesus every day—if you do not spend time in prayer with Him, or seeking His Word—you do not love Him and you are breaking His heart!
But as none can fully comprehend, so few consider properly, the difference between the rational soul of man, and the spirit or life of the beast. The spirit of man goes upward, to be judged, and is then fixed in an unchangeable state of happiness or misery.
Let our inquiry be, how an eternity of existence may be to us an eternity of enjoyment? To answer this, is the grand design of revelation. Jesus is revealed as The Son of God, and the Hope of sinners.
One of Satan’s most effective traps for robbing Christians of peace is to convince them they must strive in the flesh to please God. He springs this on me all the time!
Hosea 11:7 says, “My people are bent on backsliding from Me.” The word bent here means “hanging in suspense, hanging in doubt.”
God promises wonderful favor to the blameless believer. “ Keep My commands . . . let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man” (Proverbs 3:1-4). God is saying if you set your sights to walk blameless before Him, you will walk in His favor and be pleasing to Him.
But that is not all. God’s favor also includes power! Paul said, “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in The Holy Spirit and in much assurance” (1 Thessalonians 1:5). His favor brings the power of The Holy Spirit to all you say and do. Your words will not fall to the ground, because they will have Holy Spirit power.
Paul said those Holy Spirit-empowered words produce great results: “And you became followers of us and of The Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of The Holy Spirit” (1:6).
Why were Paul’s words so powerful, so effective? Because, he says, “[We] became examples to all . . . who believe” (v. 7). It was not Paul’s preaching nor his praying that won people to The Lord. It was his exemplary life! God had found in Paul a clean heart—one that He could favor with the power of the Holy Spirit!
God’s divine favor also brings high esteem among men. It is written of David: “David behaved more wisely than all the servants of Saul, so that his name became highly esteemed” (1 Samuel 18:30).
The man who protects the name of Jesus by living holy before others will be given a good name before them—by God Himself!
Some Christians say, “I don’t care about my name. It doesn’t matter what people think of me. I just want to be an unknown, a nobody. Let The Lord have all the glory.” That may sound humble but according to Scripture, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1). God gives the righteous a good name so they can use it to glorify Him in greater measure!
The LORD sustains all who fall And raises up all who are bowed down.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.
Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself,
not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Now the pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this and said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, He would have known who is touching Him and what kind of woman she is. She's a sinner!"
"And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them."
The paralyzed man who got up, walked, and carried his bed is a type of the believer who has mastery over sin! What an expression of Christ's power he was. What hope he must have given to all who were helpless and in need.http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/node/12964
Isn't this what God is after today? Is he not seeking overcomers who will set an example for the world, showing an evil generation how Christ completely delivers from sin's dominion?
Sinners should see believers who live above the lusts and pleasures of this world. Men who love their wives and are faithful; wives who do not cheat and are good mothers and keepers at home; young people who practice purity and separation from all that defiles.
"...the happiness of those that are in Christ. We may serve Him without slavish fear. God's restraints are not a bondage, but our own corruptions are so. The doom passed upon impenitent sinners at last, will be judgment without mercy. But God deems it His glory and joy, to pardon and bless those who might justly be condemned at His tribunal; and His grace teaches those who partake of His mercy, to copy it in their conduct."
"Christians are called out of the world, from the evil spirit and temper of it; called above the world, to higher and better things, to heaven, things unseen and eternal; called from sin to Christ, from vanity to seriousness, from uncleanness to holiness; and this according to the Divine purpose and grace. If sanctified and glorified, all the honour and glory must be ascribed to God, and to Him alone. As it is God who begins the work of grace in the souls of men, so it is He who carries it on, and perfects it. Let us not trust in ourselves, nor in our stock of grace already received, but in Him, and in Him alone. The mercy of God is the spring and fountain of all the good we have or hope for; mercy, not only to the miserable, but to the guilty."-quotes from Matthew Henry
Verses of the day:
He was despised and forsaken of men,Isaiah 53:3-6
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But The LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great,Isaiah 53:12
and He shall divide the spoil with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.
Terror accomplishes no real obedience. Suspense brings forth no fruit unto holiness. No gloomy uncertainty as to God's favor can subdue one lust, or correct our crookedness of will. But the free pardon of the cross uproots sin, and withers all its branches. Only the certainty of love, forgiving love, can do this.-Horatius Bonar, found the quote here: http://thoughtsonthewayblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/terror-accomplishes-no-real-obedience.html added the blog to the links.
Glory be to Him Who loved us,---
Washed us from each spot and stain!
Glory be to Him Who bought us,
Made us kings with Him to reign!
Glory, glory, glory, glory,
To THE LAMB that once was Slain!
Observe the solemn profession Paul made of relation to God. No storms or tempests can hinder God's favour to His people, for He is a Help always at hand. It is a comfort to the faithful servants of God when in difficulties, that as long as The Lord has any work for them to do, their lives shall be prolonged. If Paul had thrust himself needlessly into bad company, he might justly have been cast away with them; but God calling him into it, they are preserved with him.and on Acts 25:1-12
They are given thee; there is no greater satisfaction to a good man than to know he is a public blessing. He comforts them with the same comforts wherewith he himself was comforted. God is ever faithful, therefore let all who have an interest in His promises be ever cheerful. As, with God, saying and doing are not two things, believing and enjoying should not be so with us.
Hope is an anchor of the soul, sure and stedfast, entering into that within the veil. Let those who are in spiritual darkness hold fast by that, and think not of putting to sea again, but abide by Christ, and wait till the day break, and the shadows flee away.
In suffering times the prudence of The Lord's people is tried, as well as their patience; they need wisdom. It becomes those who are innocent, to insist upon their innocence. Paul was willing to abide by the rules of the law, and to let that take its course. If he deserved death, he would accept the punishment. But if none of the things whereof they accused him were true, no man could deliver him unto them, with justice. Paul is neither released nor condemned. It is an instance of the slow steps which Providence takes; by which we are often made ashamed, both of our hopes and of our fears, and are kept waiting on God.
The man who thinks lightly of Christ also has but poor comfort as to his own security. With a little Savior I am still in danger, but if He be the mighty God, able to save unto the uttermost, then am I safe in His protecting hand, and my consolations are rich and abounding. In these, and a thousand other ways, an unworthy estimate of our Lord will prove most solemnly injurious. The Lord deliver us from this evil.
If our conceptions of The Lord Jesus are very enlarged, they will only be His due. We cannot exaggerate here. He deserves higher praise than we can ever render to Him. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high is He above our loftiest conceptions. Even when the angels strike their loudest notes, and chant His praises most exultingly on their highest festal days, the music falls far short of His excellence. He is higher than a seraph’s most soaring thought! Rise then, my brethren, as on eagle’s wings, and let your adoring souls magnify and extol The Lord your Savior.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
"Days of trouble must be days of prayer; when God seems to have withdrawn from us,
we must seek him till we find him.
In the day of his trouble the psalmist did not seek for
the diversion of business or amusement,
but he sought God, and His favor and grace."
"The Spirit distributes to every one as He will.
We must be content though we are lower and less than others.
We must not despise others, if we have greater gifts.
How blessed the Christian church, if all the members did their duty!
Instead of coveting the highest stations,
or the most splendid gifts,
let us leave the appointment of His instruments to God"
"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me."
"The wealth of the wicked means nothing. They have nothing.---
Without God, without forgiveness, without heaven, they have nothing.
With God we have everything and always have everything,
no matter the outward circumstances of our lives."
Recently I had an unusual experience while in meditation with The Lord. His still small voice asked of me, “Do you still believe?”
“Do you believe I still love you unconditionally—that you are right now being led by The Holy Spirit—that every tear you shed I bottle—that you are right now in this place, in this very hour, in the perfect will of God?
“Do you believe all things still work together for good to them that love Me—that I hear your prayers, even when you have no audible words to express them, when all seems dark and you are overwhelmed—when fear lays hold on your mind and soul—when it seems I have shut the heavens to you?
“David, do you still believe I feed all living things: the fish of the sea, the cattle, the fowls, all creeping things? Do you still believe I count every hair on your head—that I take note of every fallen bird on the face of the earth? Do you truly believe that?
“Do you still believe—when death comes to your loved ones? Do you still believe what you have testified, that I give comfort and strength to face even the grave?
“Do you still believe I love you—I forgive you all your past sins, your present sins—and I will forgive all future sins if you rest and trust Me? Do you believe I understand when Satan sends his messengers against you to implant lies, doubts, blasphemies, fears, despair?
“Do you still believe you are in the palm of My hand—that you are more precious than gold to your Savior—that eternal life is your future—that there is no power that can pluck you out of My hand—that I still am touched by every infirmity and affliction you endure? Do you still believe these things are true?”
My answer is emphatically YES! Yes, Lord, I still believe it all and more—much more!Read all of Psalm 103 and ask yourself, “Do I still believe it? All of it?”
How much less when you say you do not behold Him,
The case is before Him, and you must wait for Him!
35:14-26 As in prosperity we are ready to think our mountain will never be brought low; so when in adversity, we are ready to think our valley will never be filled up. But to conclude that to-morrow must be as this day, is as absurd as to think that the weather, when either fair or foul, will be always so. When Job looked up to God, he had no reason to speak despairingly. There is a day of judgment, when all that seems amiss will be found to be right, and all that seems dark and difficult will be cleared up and set straight. And if there is Divine wrath in our troubles, it is because we quarrel with God, are fretful, and distrust Divine Providence. This was Job's case. Elihu was directed by God to humble Job, for as to some things he had both opened his mouth in vain, and had multiplied words without knowledge. Let us be admonished, in our afflictions, not so much to set forth the greatness of our suffering, as the greatness of the mercy of God.---
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils:
freely you have received, freelygive.
Wherever they went they must proclaim, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. They preached, to establish the faith; the kingdom, to animate the hope; of heaven, to inspire the love of heavenly things, and the contempt of earthly; which is at hand, that men may prepare for it without delay. Christ gave power to work miracles for the confirming of their doctrine.
In proclaiming the gospel of free grace for the healing and saving of men's souls, we must above all avoid the appearance of the spirit of an hireling. They are directed what to do in strange towns and cities. The servant of Christ is the ambassador of peace to whatever place he is sent. His message is even to the vilest sinners, yet it behoves him to find out the best persons in every place. It becomes us to pray heartily for all, and to conduct ourselves courteously to all. They are directed how to act as to those that refused them. The whole counsel of God must be declared, and those who will not attend to the gracious message, must be shown that their state is dangerous. This should be seriously laid to heart by all that hear the gospel, lest their privileges only serve to increase their condemnation.
For who makes you to differ from another? and what have you that you did not receive? now if you did receive it, why do you glory, as if you had not received it?from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on 1 Corinthians 4:7-13
We have no reason to be proud; all we have, or are, or do, that is good, is owing to the free and rich grace of God. A sinner snatched from destruction by sovereign grace alone, must be very absurd and inconsistent, if proud of the free gifts of God.
All Christians are not alike exposed. Some suffer greater hardships than others. The apostle enters into particulars of their sufferings. And how glorious the charity and devotion that carried them through all these hardships! They suffered in their persons and characters as the worst and vilest of men; as the very dirt of the world, that was to be swept away: nay, as the offscouring of all things, the dross of all things. And every one who would be faithful in Christ Jesus, must be prepared for poverty and contempt. Whatever the disciples of Christ suffer from men, they must follow the example, and fulfil the will and precepts of their Lord. They must be content, with Him and for Him, to be despised and abused. It is much better to be rejected, despised, and ill used, as St. Paul was, than to have the good opinion and favour of the world. Though cast off by the world as vile, yet we may be precious to God, gathered up with His own hand, and placed upon His throne.
The peace we have with God through Christ distinguishes our faith from all other religions.
In every other religion besides Christianity, the sin question is never settled. Sin’s dominion simply hasn’t been broken. Therefore there can be no peace: “There is no peace, saith The Lord, unto the wicked” (Isaiah 48:22).
But we have a God who provides peace by pardoning sin. This is the very reason Jesus came to earth: to bring peace to troubled, fearful humankind.