The wonders of God's grace and mercy, His power and purpose are magnified in the truth of election. God's choice of His elect family in Christ before the world was far reaching and yet specific to a multitude not existing as yet, but in His mind before they were in Adam.
God sent His Son in to this world in the man, Jesus Christ, to pay the debt of enmity resulting by the sin of Adam inherited in all of His children scattered among the race of man. As Jesus hung on the cross separated from this world and offered to God, He paid that debt in full for the entirety of the elect family all the while seeing His seed individually as they were embraced within Himself.
Holy Spirit God quickens, regenerates, gives life to all those that were chosen and atoned without the exception of one. He does so specifically to the individual with complete knowledge of what they are now in Adam to the end of what they will be in Christ. The election stands sure in that regeneration is not a random granting of spiritual ability to those that merit it, but predetermined, purposefully, bestowed upon the person that was known of God the Father, redeemed by God the Son, and born again by God the Holy Spirit.
Though they have been corrupted by Adam's sin, they are loved of God and not forgotten. They are the choice possession of the Father and the kindred of the Son. They can not be lost or separated from His love and power. Though their flesh and natural birth can not attain or earn what they gain in Christ, their flesh can not hinder nor prevent it. The resurrection will find each one, and the whole, of the elect family rising to meet the Lord in the air and so forever to be. All known before the world will be there after the world is gone. Each one by name shall hear the glorious call, "Come home, my child!" How marvelous and beautiful the thought.
This is why salvation is of grace and must be so. This is God's sovereign work in regeneration to us, even me! He does so because He purposed and said so and brings it to pass. Not because of what He sees of Adam, but what He knows in Christ Jesus. Thanks be to God for His amazing mercy and grace to such as we. Amen.
At the end of the 7th chapter of Matthew and beginning with chapter 8 we are confronted with an evidently marvelous response to the preaching/teaching of Jesus. As stated the people were astonished by His manner and words. It is noted that He was not like the scribes.
What appears to be the impressive manner of our Lord is that He broke the scripture down to the common person and applied it to their daily lives in a way that was foreign to the norm of temple worship. In essence He made the gospel personal, to Himself as well as them. It was an inclusive message, not exclusive criteria to be attained to. In other words, the teacher was involved with the students. He brought the word off the page into the person.
How is it with preaching today? Is the message nothing more than a set of rules and formulas to restrict or entice the hearer to become what they obviously are not? Is it nothing more than the chant of an auctioneer or spirit of competition? Are we left with the impressive volume of verses that somehow apply to a topic without explanation to impress the hearers with the wealth of memory of the speaker? Is it the scream of an inconsistent teacher/parent trying to regain control by volume and threats? Lord help.
Jesus related scripture well known to those that heard. He taught in terms and example applicable to the hearers. He taught in various manners in multiple settings and expressed intimate details that baffled some and left others with no doubt. He was not necessarily 'politically correct', if ever. He confronted sin and assured forgiveness. He was separate from sin and accessible to sinners.
Makes you wonder, doesn't it, when we say, "Now, preaching is --------", if we really know? And yet, we have the clear pattern and example of others. I wonder how Jesus judged Paul's preaching??? Do to ponder, right?
If you visit this page or listen to any message from our website, please let us know. Need to take account of the need to continue this and all media efforts. This will require response, not likes or funny faces; responses with names and comments.Thanks.
The "finger" of God is an interesting thought and study. Exodus 8:19, & 31:18 speak of the tables of the law given to Moses which were "written by the finger of God". Deuteronomy 9:10 repeats this fact for us.
When Jesus was questioned and challenged by many concerning His power over demons and devils; He said that He cast them forth with "the finger of God". Luke 11:20
Now, consider that Peter teaches us also that prophesy came in Old Testament times, not by the whims and imaginations of men, but by the Holy Ghost's moving upon men. Thus the interpretation is not left to men, even those that spake it, but God who sent and gave it. 2 Peter 1:20,21
Now to verify a thought: God is sovereign in all His ways and doings. That is a clear and established fact in scripture. He does not need men to accomplish His purposes. He can speak and create. The power of His voice can take hold of demons and cast them forth or move mountains as He so chooses.
And yet, He used Moses to teach the law. He used prophets to speak. He came in person and taught, fulfilled, and finished this work in the man, Jesus Christ. He remains the power of the word today in the manner He has chosen to manifest His power in the Church, preaching.
God does not need men, but there is no reasonable doubt that He uses men to preach. What a sobering thought to be touched by the "Finger" of God and moved to proclaim His truth today. Oh God, may it be so. Not to be cut to the heart, but pricked. The power and authority is not the man, but the "Finger" that moves him. Amen.
The least I can do is pray??? The least? Perhaps we need a renewed vision of whom we pray to! There is no doubt that from our perspective our words seem to be nothing compared to the circumstance. Even scripture teaches that we know not what or how to ask as we ought. Yet, the same scriptures teach us as children of God, that the Holy Ghost intercedes with groaning and utterance that we can not. Jesus assures us that he hears and pleads our case and needs before the throne of the Father. And Father God invites us to His throne to cast all our cares on Him, because He does care for us.
We are promised to never be forsaken or forgotten. When we pray according to God's will He hears and if we know that He hears, we have the petitions for which we ask. We are admonished to place our needs and concerns before Him, and yet that He knows our needs better than we and nothing is hidden from His view. The riches of heaven are His supply and the army of heaven surrounds us in our conflicts and battles. The enemy is a defeated foe and is retrained by the word of God at His command.
The least we can do? How about the best and first we can and should do? Pray without ceasing. Pray with joy as well as with tears. Pray in thanksgiving as well as request. Pray for the glory of God daily as well as deliverance for self and others. Pray my friends for me as I do for you. To God be the glory! Amen.
The gospel of salvation is so misunderstood and mixed among the self help theories of our day. It is if it is nothing more than one among many of the suggested cures for our discomforts in such trying times. God Help!
As another season of religious vigor nears and some begin to muse upon the cross and sufferings of Christ, can it be believed that the reason for such was to make us feel better about ourselves? To know we deserve better? To help us balance our checkbook? To justify our apathy and complacency toward others and indifference toward God and His truth?
Would we dare to explore the reality of our corruption and hopeless condition apart from God? Would we venture into the halls of truth in scripture to view the end of the wicked? Could we dare to believe that the Lamb of God would descend to this pit of sin to rescue such a one as self? Could it be that unless He had come and died, we could not live? Is it true that what He did, we could not do? Did He accomplish salvation or present an example for us? Is it finished or does a cross await you?
Have you seen the truth of the crucifixion yet or are you still drowning in the storm of religion and ceremony? Thanks be unto God for the unspeakable gift of eternal life in and by Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory! Amen.
Gospel Conversion: a clearly taught point of experience in the life of a regenerated child of God. It is the point in life where the reality of personal responsibility and participation in the death of Christ comes to bare in the understanding of the preaching of the gospel of truth. It is when the message of "It is finished" registers upon the heart of an individual with such power that the peace of God overwhelms the soul in joy.
It is all within the same moment that the mind and heart of an individual is so torn with grief because of the obvious fact that they are indeed one that inherited Adam's sin and were the reason Jesus came, suffered, and died at Calvary. It is in that same moment that the stone is removed from their heart to shout, "He is risen, INDEED!", and He did so for ME!
This moment of spiritual life is not when life originates, but that moment eternal life is realized and manifested for that soul in such power and demonstration of the Spirit that for a while heaven is open and doubt flees away. This is the power of the gospel and the salvation to be had in it.
Oh that more of God's elect people would hear and understand the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ and turn from the bondage of religion and know the freedom of Christ! To understand they have no more power to make Jesus Lord than they do to make Adam a sinner, nor so within themselves, and yet the truth of both is real within. This is the truth of sovereign grace and the assurance of faith, not in self, but all in Christ alone. Amen.
"Opinion is asked for, advice is free", or so I have been told. Seems that more are free with what they think in whatever form it is shared.
"Thus sayeth the Lord", at one time was the end of the matter. Regardless of opinion or persuasion, respect for the word of God at one time was the conclusion to all discussion. "The Bible says", was the last word in debate or disagreement.
Over the years such phrases as, "But our people have always believed", and "That's not the way we do it", have risen to seemingly undisputed significance as to be the 'trump' card in all conversation.
And who can forget the simple, "Well, I believe" and "You know I just feel like"? What has come to pass is that we live among a society that hates God and His word. I realize that this is not new, however, it has come to such blatant reality in a country that once professed to honor God and the scriptures.
The attempt to talk of God is met with resistance from so many that claim to not believe in Him or have any regard for any 'out of date book written by men', or so they claim. The opinions of men have seared over the consciences of even those that sit on pews any given Sunday. Thus, why it takes more and more of the world to get them there and to keep them entertained.
"Take the book and eat it up" is still the command of heaven to any seeking truth. To any individual who hungers for stability and thirsts for a cool drink in such a barren land of ignorance there remains only one source of refreshment, THE WORD OF GOD! May we be reminded the labor and sacrifice to hold a copy of inspiration in our hands and to have the God of heaven to speak to such undeserving wretches as we. If we answer not from this standard, there is no light in us. God help! Amen.
In Matthew 13:44 a man found a treasure hidden in a field. For the joy of what he had found he was moved to return home and leave the treasure hidden in the field to sell all he had to buy the field. Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is likened to this.
Question for the day is: Have you found that treasure, the Lord Jesus Christ? Have you sold out to own the field were he is found? Have you given up the past to own the present and rest for the future, to lay claim to the field, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, and embrace the treasure?
Oh, you are not to take the treasure home and put him on a shelf with your other keepsakes or trophies. You are not to bring your possessions into the field to compare with him. You have to give up to gain and lose to win. You can either walk away with a white knuckle grip on your toys, or turn loose and find a multitude of joys. What you waiting on?
Claim the field and lay hold on eternal life, Jesus Christ.
As with a tree, the source of the strength in the limbs and the sweetness of the fruit is covered with dirt: the root. So it is with the child of God, the flesh can disguise the source of our thoughts and actions: the heart.
Sometimes it is hard to see past the dirt to acknowledge the source. Yet, the results we see are evidences of just that. The tree may suffer a season of lack in cold times or lose a branch or two in stormy days, but as long as the root grows deep it can be refreshed.
It is the long droughts and hot days when no moisture can be found as the heavens have withheld their rains that the root drys and the tree dies. Much like the soul when the connection from above withholds the nurture and refreshing insights of God's word and the spirit dries within.
Lord send your word today to our thirsty souls and revive us again to your service. Help me to know that perhaps I might be that source of a cup of water to another parched traveler. "As cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." May it find its way past the dirt to the root of my heart. Amen.