Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ye of Little Faith

Matthew 17:20 – “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, … nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

A group of people were waiting for the elevator in a department store. One woman seemed extremely nervous. When the elevator door opened and she was about to enter, she looked down the elevator shaft and drew back in a gesture of panic. “I can’t,” she trembled. “See how deep it is below!” All eyes immediately looked at the open space down the elevator shaft. The practical operator said to her with the kindliest of advice, “If you always look up in an elevator, Ma’am, you’ll have no need to fear.” So often we look down in fear instead of looking up in faith.

Where is your faith? In the book of Matthew, Christ several times rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith. We see the first instance in Matthew 6:30 – a lack of faith in the provision of God –“Wherefore if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not so much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” You know, we have that same problem today. We worry about all the little things that God knows we have need of. And this passage tells us that He will provide if we’ll just trust in Him. Look at verse 33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.” That is what we should be concentrating on – fulfilling His will for us – spreading the word of His gospel – telling others about Christ and His salvation – living holy, consecrated lives. If we will do these things, then “all these things shall be added unto you.”

Next, remember when Jesus and the disciples were on the restless sea and Christ in Matthew 8:26 rebuked the disciples – “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?” he said to them. This was a lack of faith in the protection of God. John 10:29 tells us that we are smack dab in the center of the hand of God, and in that place of protection, nothing can harm us. How many times have we seen David in the Psalms praise God for His divine protection? We have the same God watching over us that David had. We have the same God watching over us that Paul and Silas had when they sang praises to Him from the prison cell and God delivered them. We have the same God watching over us that Peter and John had when God delivered them from prison. We have the same God watching over us that John had on the Isle of Patmos. We have His divine protection.

Next, we see in Matthew 14:31, the disciples had a lack of faith in the preeminence of God. In this instance, Peter actually showed tremendous faith in God by asking Christ to allow him to come to Him on the water. He got out of the boat and began to walk on the water towards Christ. What power – what faith – what courage – and then he began to doubt. He was out there – he was walking on the water – he was defying the law of gravity – but as he saw the boisterous sea and the waves crashing about him, he forgot that the one who was master of all the waves is the one he should trust in. He began to consider his circumstances – oh, how those circumstances will swallow you up! He forgot that God was preeminent over all circumstances – He began to sink – He cried out to the Lord – “Lord, save me.” Christ reached out and lifted him above his circumstances and then rebuked him for his lack of faith – “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” He was reminding him of His preeminence over every circumstance.

Then lastly, we see the disciples’ lack of faith in the providence of God in Matthew 16:8, “O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread.” They had forgotten to bring bread with them across the sea and were worried that Christ was rebuking them for it. He was teaching them about the leaven of the Pharisees – their wickedness – their hypocrisy – their false doctrines. But they thought he was rebuking them for not bringing bread – He who blessed five loaves and had twelve baskets full to spare – He whose providence was in control of every situation. Yet they doubted that providence. So I ask again – where is your faith?

Quote – “When the outward look is dark, try the upward look.” - Unknown

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Coming Again

Matthew 16:27 – “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.”

The hymnwriter said it – “Jesus is coming to earth again; what if it were today?” It’s a promise that Jesus made – John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again.” It’s a promise that the angels made – Acts 1:11, “Ye men of Galilee … this same Jesus … shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” It’s a promise that the Holy Spirit made through the apostles – James 5:8, “For the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:16, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven.” – Revelation 19:14, “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses.”

When He came the first time, He came as Saviour – next time He comes as Sovereign. When He came the first time, He came quietly – next time He comes openly before all nations. When He came the first time, He came as a servant – next time He comes as a King. When He came the first time, He came to die – next time He comes to reign. When He came the first time, He came in humility – next time He comes in exaltation. When He came the first time, He came as a babe in a manger – next time He comes for His bride. When He came the first time, only a few knees bowed to Him – next time He comes every knee shall bow. When He came the first time, He came in weakness – next time He comes in power and great glory.

Coming Again

Christ is coming to earth again,
As sure as He did long ago.
First He came as a helpless babe
And laid in a manger low,
Worshiped by shepherds and common folk,
Surrounded by things of no worth,
Cattle and donkeys and sheep and such,
To welcome the dear Saviour’s birth.

Then Christ did live a sinless life
Here in this sinful place.
Yet man in his sin despised Him so –
They cursed Him and spat in His face.
They hung Him upon a criminal’s cross
And laughed and mocked His dear name.
But these were the ones He came to save –
He loved them all the same.

But Christ is coming to earth again,
And that day the Tide will turn,
When men of time will face the wrath
Of the One they chose to spurn.
And He who came as Saviour first,
In that day as Judge will come,
And those who trust His saving grace
Will go to a heavenly home
© 2006 Paul Stultz

Quote – “I clearly see in Scripture that the Lord Jesus Christ will come—so far I go, and take my stand—that he will come personally to reign upon this earth.” – C. H. Spurgeon

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Good Name

Proverbs 22:1 – “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.”

In William Shakespeare’s classic play Romeo and Juliet, the love-struck Juliet tells Romeo that his name, Montague, means nothing to her. Her family, the Capulets, are embroiled in a feud with the Montagues, but she assures him that she loves him, not his name or his family. The theme of the play – its central struggle – its tragic circumstances are encapsulated in Juliet’s quote: “What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet.” But contrary to Juliet’s assessment of the situation, names are extremely important. It should be our desire to maintain for ourselves a good name – oh, not necessarily our earthly moniker – but our new name. In fact Juliet asks Romeo to “deny [his] father,” to which Romeo promises to be “new baptized” as Juliet’s lover. We have denied our father – the father of lies – the prince of the power of the air – the devil and his minions – and been “new baptized” into the family of God. His is the name that we must strive to protect – to keep good – to maintain.

But to whom are we to maintain this good name? First of all, we are to keep a good name before the world. How men see us is important. In Matthew 5:16 Christ tells His disciples, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Our testimony before the world needs to be protected. Someone once said, “We are the only Bible some people will ever read.” Therefore it is important that we so live before them that they will want what we have. Our reputation before the world needs to be protected. Shakespeare said in his Othello: “He that filches from me my good name Robs me of that which not enriches him And makes me poor indeed.” The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates said, “Regard your good name as the richest jewel you can possibly be possessed of - for credit is like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again. The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”

Secondly, we are to keep a good name before God the Father – how He sees us is the only thing that is important. Pastor Steve Griffith once said, “Reputation is what the world thinks you are; character is what God knows you are.” When God looks at you, He looks for only one thing – the blood of Christ applied. If He sees that blood, then He can’t see the sins or the sinful nature that once controlled our hearts. If He sees not the blood applied, then all He can see is the sinful nature that is present. And He has to turn away, for His holiness cannot look upon sin. When Christ was on the cross taking upon Himself the sins of mankind, God had to turn His back upon Him. Look at Mark 15:34, “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried … My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” A thrice holy God cannot look upon sin. And every time we who are saved choose to sin, we grieve the Spirit of God – Ephesians 4:30, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God.” Our primary goal in this earth is to glorify God – to please Him in all we do. And how can we please Him if we don’t keep His commandments? 1 Thessalonians 4:1, “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.” And Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith, it is impossible to please him.” So, let us keep our testimony clean before the world and our hearts and lives clean before God.

Quote – “Your testimony is the most important thing you have – Keep it clean!” – H. M. Mickel

Monday, March 26, 2007

Nothing But The Blood

1 John 1:7 – “And the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

Dave Griffith reports the following story on his website. One night in a church service, a young woman felt the tug of God at her heart. She responded to God's call and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. The young woman had a very rough past, involving alcohol, drugs, and prostitution. But, the change in her was evident. As time went on she became a faithful member of the church. She eventually became involved in the ministry, teaching young children. It was not very long until this faithful young woman had caught the eye and heart of the pastor's son. The relationship grew and they began to make wedding plans. This is when the problems began. You see, about one half of the church did not think that a woman with a past such as hers was suitable for a pastor's son. The church began to argue and fight about the matter. So they decided to have a meeting. As the people made their arguments and tensions increased, the meeting was getting completely out of hand. The young woman became very upset about all the things being brought up about her past. As she began to cry, the pastor's son stood to speak.

He could not bear the pain it was causing his wife to be. He began to speak and his statement was this: "My fiancĂ©e’s past is not what is on trial here. What you are questioning is the ability of the blood of Jesus to wash away sin. Today you have put the blood of Jesus on trial. So, does it wash away sin or not?" The whole church began to weep as they realized that they had been slandering the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Too often, even as Christians, we bring up the past and use it as a weapon against our brothers and sisters. Forgiveness is a very foundational part of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. If the blood of Jesus does not cleanse the other person completely then it cannot cleanse us completely. If that is the case, then we are ALL in a lot of trouble. Ask yourself; "What can wash away my sins;" nothing but the blood of Jesus....end of case!!!

Remember the words to this great hymn? “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Oh! precious is the flow That makes me white as snow; No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” These wonderful lyrics, penned by Robert Lowry and first published in 1876, give us the great truth that there is nothing that can answer our sin question but the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is indeed a fact of Scripture that men can be redeemed, but not without the blood of Christ – Hebrews 9:22, “And with out shedding of blood is no remission.” Men can be justified, but not without the blood of Christ – Romans 5:9, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Men can be sanctified, but not without the blood of Christ – Hebrews 13:12, “That he might sanctify the people with his own blood.”

Since His miraculous conception and birth in the stable of Bethlehem, Christ set His face “like a flint” to fulfill His purpose at Calvary. “The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again (Lk 24:7).” This is the reason He was born – this is the reason He was called – this was the reason He ministered. He came to shed His blood. John proclaimed it by the River Jordan, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (Jn 2:29).” And He was faithful to the end – He fulfilled His purpose – He died on Calvary – He shed His precious blood. “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

Quote – “The blood of Jesus runs like a scarlet cord throughout all the books of the Bible.” – Unknown

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Safety in the Cross

Galatians 6:14 – “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

D. L. Moody once asked, “When men see that a prairie fire is coming, what do they do? Not the fleetest horse can escape it. They just take a match and light the grass around them. They take their stand in the burnt district, and are safe. They hear the flames roar as they come along, but they do not fear. They do not even tremble as the ocean of flames surges around them, for over the place where stand the fire has already passed and there is no danger. And there is one spot on earth that God has swept over. Nineteen hundred years ago the storm burst on Calvary, and the Son of God took it into his open bosom; and now, if we take our stand by the open cross, we are safe for time and eternity.”

Wherein do we have to boast? In what worldly place do we find safety? In what earthly thing can we glory? There is none – no hope of salvation – no wisdom of this world – nothing in which we can put our trust. For the world is in just as bad shape as we are – there is no hope. So along with the Apostle Paul and the great Chicago preacher, D.L. Moody, we have to doff our caps to the one and only hope we have – the only thing wherewith we have to glory – the cross of Christ. For without the cross of Christ, we are yet in our sins – without the cross of Christ, we are of all men most miserable – without the cross of Christ, we are lost, destined for a devil’s hell. Therein is salvation – therein is hope – therein is safety. If we will put our trust in Christ’s finished work on Calvary, we can find safety from the eternal wrath of God.

The cross is our beacon in a treacherous world. Just as the lighthouse on the rocky crags of the ocean cliffs guides wayward ships through the dangerous shoals, so the cross of Christ guides us to safe harbor in Him. How many shipwrecks we see – those who have scuttled on the rocks – with no hope of salvation. Fanny Crosby wrote that wonderful hymn, “Rescue the perishing; care for the dying. Jesus is merciful; Jesus will save!” If we’ll look to the cross, we’ll see the way. There’s safety in the cross.

The cross is our healing in a sin-cursed world. Christ told Nicodemus in John 3:14, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” And just as those who looked to the serpent as God instructed were healed of their snakebites, so everyone that looks to the cross is healed of the curse of sin on his life. How many have looked to their own way – rejecting the way of the cross – with no hope of healing. But if we’ll look to the cross we find the cure. There’s safety in the cross.

The cross is our banner in an unforgiving world. Where but Christ can we find such an ensign? Song of Solomon 2:4 says, “His banner over me was love.” The love of Christ, so purely expressed in the cross, is disseminated to the hearts of all men. The choice of accepting or rejecting this love is squarely on the shoulders of every man. If you reject the love of Christ, so generously offered, the only recourse is damnation. Look to the cross – accept his loving forgiveness – “Look and Live.” There’s safety in the cross.

Now the world won’t accept it, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God (1 Co 1:18).” No the world won’t accept it – to them it’s foolishness. But to us it is the power of God. There’s safety in the cross.

Quote – “A bloodless gospel is the gospel of the devil.” – Dr. Ian Paisley

Saturday, March 24, 2007


2 Chronicles 29:31 – “Now ye have consecrated yourselves unto the Lord, come near …”

Charles Spurgeon was saved on January 6, 1850, and on February 1 he wrote the following prayer of consecration: O great and unsearchable God, who knowest my heart, and triest all my ways; with a humble dependence upon the support of Thy Holy Spirit, I yield up myself to Thee; as Thy own reasonable sacrifice, I return to Thee Thine own. I would be for ever, unreservedly, perpetually Thine; whilst I am on earth, I would serve Thee; and may I enjoy Thee and praise Thee for ever! Amen.

Though thousands of years apart, both Hezekiah, the speaker in the above passage of scripture, and Spurgeon made the same commitment – to be wholly consecrated to God. They both purposed in their hearts to give themselves totally to His Will. That’s what consecration is. A technical definition of consecration means that you are to set yourself apart from evil, turn to the Lord, and be prepared to be used by God. The difference between sanctification and consecration is that in sanctification, God is setting you aside for His service, but in consecration, He is actually cleansing you for His service. The two go hand in hand – God sanctifies you and then consecrates you.

It is not all God though. You have a part in both sanctification and consecration. God takes into account your will – He does not force sanctification on you – He does not force consecration on you. He yields to the will of the individual. The individual must, after salvation, make a decision to separate himself from the world. Romans 8:1 tells us to “Walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Galatians 5:17 tells us to “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” He instructs us to cleanse ourselves from the world by not partaking in the world. He also tells us to draw near to God – James 4:8, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.” In doing this, we allow Him to do the work of washing us – we begin to lose interest in worldly things. The Apostle John tells us in 1 John 2:15, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” This is essential to our consecration.

In Matthew 23, Christ condemned the Pharisees because they cleaned the “outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.” These scurrilous Pharisees were hypocrites – “whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” They wanted to appear consecrated, but were actually just putting on – pretending – hypocrites.

This consecration is a continual process. Christ says in Luke 14:27, “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” This implies a continual bearing and a continual coming. It is not something that we do just once and our consecration is complete – No, it is an ongoing process. We will never get to the point on this side of the grave where we can put our cross down. 2 Corinthians 4:10 tells us, “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus.” We must get used to bearing Him about with us – letting Him live in us – carrying Him wherever we go. This is what consecration is all about.

Quote – “People spend too much time making preparations for life on this earth, and not making preparations for eternity.” – Dr. Bob Jones, Jr.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Christian Living

Micah 6:8 – “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

General William Booth of the Salvation Army had ten rules for Christian living. They are: 1.) Consider your body as the temple of the Holy Spirit and treat it with reverence and care. 2.) Keep your mind active. Stimulate it with thoughts of others that lead to doing something. 3.) Take time to be holy with daily Bible reading and prayer. 4.) Support the church. Mingle with others. 5.) Cultivate the presence of God. He wants to enter your life and will as far as you let him. 6.) Take God into the details of your life. You naturally call upon Him in trouble and for the bigger things. 7.) Pray for this troubled war-threatened world and the leaders who hold the destinies of the various nations. 8.) Have a thankful spirit for the blessings of God -- country, home, friends, and numerous other blessings. 9.) Work as if everything depended upon work, and pray as if everything depended upon prayer. 10.) Think of death not as something to be dreaded, but as a great and new experience where loved ones are met and ambitions realized.

How we live in this world is of extreme importance. Of course the most important aspect of our life in this world is that we “must be born again.” Our salvation determines not only how we are going to live here, but also how and where we are going to spend eternity. But once we have established the condition of our soul, we must turn our attention to the condition of our life. God continually directs us to live for Him – through Him – in Him. And if we will apply the principles of Scripture to our lives, we will walk in such a way that will please Him. 1 Peter 1:15 tells us, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation [conduct].”

And how are we to do that? He tells us in our verse above. “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good” – notice He does not direct this to Israel, to whom the prophet is speaking directly, but to man – all mankind – Jew and Gentile alike – “he hath showed thee, O man!” What did He show us? He showed us “What is good.” He expects goodness of us – then our goose is cooked, for He tells us in Psalm 14:1 and again in Romans 3:12, “There is none that doeth good,” and Paul adds, “No not one.” Then how can we comply with what God expects of us – how can we do what is good if “there is none that doeth good?” The answer is in Christ – through His strength – through His Spirit. In ourselves we don’t have the strength to do good, but in Him we have complete strength – we have complete righteousness – we have complete goodness. In Christ we can meet all the conditions of God for living a good, clean Christian life.

First, He says we must “do justly.” This speaks of our dealing with God and our dealing with man. In our dealing with God, we are to keep His commandments (Jn 14:5), we are to glorify Him (1 Co 16:20), we are to live holy (1 Pe 1:16), we are to walk carefully (Ep 5:15). This is what God’s justice demands. In our dealing with man, we are to be honest (Ro 12:17), we are to be true (Phi 4:8), we are to be pure (Js 1:27). Even in the Decalogue, the ten commandments, the first four commandments deal with our relationship to God, the next six, our relationship to man. Secondly, He says we must “love mercy.” In the Beatitudes, Christ said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy (Mt 5:7).” In His parable of the Good Samaritan who showed mercy, Christ commands that we “Go, and do thou likewise (Lu 10:37).” We are to love the mercy of God on us and then return that mercy upon our fellow man (Mt 18:35). Thirdly, He says we must “walk humbly with thy God.” Enoch walked with God through faith and it pleased God (He 11:5). And God hates pride and haughtiness, so our walk must be in humility (Pr 6:17; 16:18).

Quote – “Live with eternity’s values in view.” – Unknown

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It's Springtime

Song of Solomon 2:11-12 – “For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;”

Yes, it’s springtime in my soul. It’s the season of new growth – of rebirth. It’s the season when the doldrums of winter are left behind – life springs anew. There’s babbling brooks – rushing rivers – mighty currents spring forth from the melting of the winter snows. There’s the robin redbreast singing his new song – there’s the budding of trees – there’s the blooming of flowers. It’s springtime!

But you know, for the child of God, it’s always springtime. We don’t need the vernal equinox to supply us with streams of water. For within us flows that River of Life – “For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert (Isa 35:6).” Christ calls it in John 4:14 living water – “a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” To the Christian, there are no winter doldrums. We have the eternal Son of God lighting up our soul. John 1:9, “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” To the child of God, there is no darkness. 1 John 1:5, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

We don’t need trees and flowers to see new life. Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).” He said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10).” He said, “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).” In Christ is everlasting life – eternal life – abundant life. That’s life everlasting – no death – no dormant state – no winter – ever again! Who needs springtime?!?


Much can be said of the wonders of springtime,
All of which has been repeated time and time again –
The brightly colored blossoms –
The freshness of newly budding trees –
The beauty of tiny tender shoots of grass
Springing up in the meadows –
The song of the red-breasted robin
Just returned from its long migration –
The buzzing of new life all around.

Yes the vernal equinox ushers in a glorious spectacle.
The busy bees traverse from bloom to bloom
Gathering the sweet floral nectar,
Spreading about more springtime as they go.
The air is so fresh and pure after the long cold winter
That it fills the lungs with its freshness
Till it seems that they may burst with excitement.
One could only wish to gulp in enough springtime
To last a lifetime.
© 2006 Paul Stultz

Quote – “Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.” – Martin Luther

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Happy is the Man

Psalm 144:15 – “Yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.”

On his deathbed, John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim's Progress, was heard to say, "Weep not for me, but for yourselves. I go to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will, through the mediation of His blessed Son, receive me, though a sinner, where I hope we shall meet to sing the new song, and remain everlastingly happy, world without end." John Bunyan found happiness in this world and knew that he would have happiness in the next. Men have strived for centuries to find happiness – most have not found it. Think of all the unhappiness that pervades our society today. Here in America, we live in the most affluent society that has ever existed – in all of history. But this is also probably the most unhappy of all time. Just what is it that brings happiness into our lives? An old man was asked what had robbed him of joy the most in his lifetime. He replied, "Things that never happened!"

Of course, the most crucial first step to happiness is to be saved – truly born again – trusting in Christ for salvation. But what about after salvation? Someone has cited these three keys to happiness:
1) Fret not – He loves you. Just read John 13:1 – “Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” Now, isn’t that just wonderful – He loved us unto the end. John 3:16 – “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.” What a great and wonderful concept – God loves us – there’s no need to fret.
2) Faint not – He holds you. Look at Psalm 139:10 – “Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” We, as saints of God, are positioned in His hand, where none can touch us. John 10:29 – “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” We are safe in the hand of God – there’s no need to faint.
3) Fear not – He keeps you. Read Psalm 121:5 – “The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.” There is none more powerful than God, and He has promised to keep us safe in Him. In Philippians 4:7 Paul says, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” What could be more able to keep us and keep us happy than the blessed peace of God – there’s no need to fear.

Ten rules for happier living:
1. Give something away (no strings attached)
2. Do a kindness (and forget it)
3. Spend a few minutes with the aged (their experience is a priceless guidance)
4. Look intently into the face of a baby (and marvel)
5. Laugh often (it’s life’s lubricant)
6. Give thanks (a thousand times a day is not enough)
7. Pray (or you will lose the way)
8. Work (with vim and vigor)
9. Plan as though you’ll live forever (because you will)
10. Live as though you’ll die tomorrow (because you will on some tomorrow)
Author Unknown

Quote – “To see some people you would think that the essential of orthodox Christianity is to have a face so long you could eat oatmeal out of the end of a gas pipe.” – Billy Sunday

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Daniel Purposed in His Heart

Daniel 1:8 – “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank.”

In 1904, William Borden, heir to the Borden Dairy Estate, graduated from a Chicago high school a millionaire. His parents gave him a trip around the world. Traveling through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe gave Borden a burden for the world's hurting people. Writing home, he said, "I'm going to give my life to prepare for the mission field." When he made this decision, he wrote in the back of his Bible two words: "No Reserves." Turning down high-paying job offers after graduating from Yale University, he entered two more words in his Bible: "No Retreats." Completing studies at Princeton Seminary, Borden sailed for China to work with Muslims, stopping first at Egypt for some preparation. While there he was stricken with cerebral meningitis and died within a month. A waste, you say! Not in God's plan. In his Bible underneath the words "No Reserves" and "No Retreats," he had written the words "No Regrets."

Daniel made a conscious decision to follow God – this decision affected the rest of his life. He chose to keep himself clean from the world – this choice affected others as well. He could have gone along with the king’s plan – after all, he was miles away from home – no one would know – right? Daniel knew that God was always watching, and his choice was pleasing to God. His location and circumstances did not affect his conduct. It was the same in Babylon as it had been at home in Jerusalem. And his three friends, influenced by the stand that Daniel took, found the courage to take their own stand against the wicked king.

And because of his stand for God, Daniel was able to be used of God to do great things. We see in chapter 2, he interprets the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar and is honored for his efforts; in chapter 5, he interprets the handwriting on the wall for Belshazzar; in chapter 6, he is made a high official, a position which carries over into the reign of Darius; also in chapter 6, he is cast into the den of lions because of his faithfulness to God. He served God literally his whole life – his consecration to God, he “purposed in his heart,” carried him through to the end.

Dare To Be A Daniel

The prophet Daniel, when a youth, Was wont to make a choice.
With Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael In God they did rejoice.
There came a time when Satan’s crowd Did tempt them to give in,
By offering the devil’s fare, And thus partake of sin.

But Daniel purposed in his heart To not defile himself
For when we practice evil deeds God sets us on the shelf.
He told the king that he would not Be taking sumptuous fare.
“Just give us beans and we’ll be fine – You needn’t have a care.”

So beans and water they did take, Surpassed the rest by far,
And proved that worldly appetites Serve only flesh to mar.
So food or drink or whatsoe’er When choices come your way
Choose to follow Holy God And please Him every day.

© 2006 Paul Stultz

Quote – “A dog doesn’t go so far from home that his tail doesn’t follow.” – Missionary Bob Garrett

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Whosoever Will

Revelation 22:17 – “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

While preaching on this verse, the great evangelist Sam Jones related this story: That reminds me of the penitent down in Georgia at the altar. He was agonizing, praying. The preacher went up to him, trying to encourage him, and, "Well," he said, "I am not one of the elect, I am one of the reprobates; I feel it all over." And I don’t reckon a poor soul ever did try to seek God that the devil didn’t slip up with something of that sort. "You are one of the reprobates; God never died to save you." And there he was in agony, and the preacher said to him, "Well, my brother, listen to me a minute. Now," said he, "if you could see your name, James B. Green, written upon the Lambs book this minute, would you believe then Christ died for you and you were one of the elect?" The poor fellow thought a moment and he said, "No, sir. There are other people in this world of my name." "Well," said the preacher, "if you could see it, James B. Green, Scriven County, Ga., would you believe it was you then?" “Well," he says, "there may have been other people of my name in this county before I was born. I don’t know." "Well," said he, "if you could see it, James B. Green, Scriven County, Ga., and the year 1867, would you believe it was you?" "Well," he said, "it may be there is somebody in this county now of my name." "Well," said he, "if you could see it, James B. Green of Scriven County, and the Nineteenth District and the year '67, would you believe it was you?" "Well," he says, "I could not know definitely." "Now," said he, "my friend, God Almighty saw all that trouble and he just put it into one word and he said: 'Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." And the poor fellow jumped up and clapped his hands and said, "Thank God! I know that means me."

Sam Jones continued: Thank God, it is "whosoever will." If you will, God will; and I say tonight God don’t say "whosoever feels," or whosoever says this or that or the other, but he throws it all on your will as a man, and says: "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." And I like the conclusion: "Let him take the water of life freely." Blessed be God, ye thirsty men can drink, and there is enough for to-day, enough for all of us, enough forever and evermore. Come and drink freely.


Whosoever loves the Lord – That included me –
Whosoever trusts His Word, Him He maketh free.
Whosoever doth believe That Jesus is the Christ,
Whosoever wilt receive, God gives eternal life.

Whosoever knoweth Him Knows that He is love.
Whosoever turns from sin Finds a home above.
Whosoever will repent, Leaving worldly fare,
Whosoever quits his bent Finds wherewith to care.

Whosoever learns to love Those around about,
Whosoever’s born above Shows what love’s about.
Whosoever trusts His Word, Him He maketh free.
Whosoever loves the Lord, That included me.

© 2006 Paul Stultz

Quote – “Blessed be God! It is for all of us. It is for all of us.” – Sam Jones

Monday, March 12, 2007

Paul's Spiritual Biography

Philippians 3:4 – “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more.”

An interesting map is on display in the British Museum in London. It's an old mariner's chart, drawn in 1525, outlining the North American coastline and adjacent waters. The cartographer made some intriguing notations on areas of the map that represented regions not yet explored. He wrote: "Here be giants," "Here be fiery scorpions," and "Here be dragons." Eventually, the map came into the possession of Sir John Franklin, a British explorer in the early 1800s. Scratching out the fearful inscriptions, he wrote these words across the map: "Here is God." All those former misconceptions had to be conquered before they could really get anywhere.

The Apostle Paul finds himself here in an interesting position – one in which he defends his ministry in the present by defending his past. It is well known that Paul’s heart’s desire was to see Israel saved – yet he was called of God as the Apostle to the Gentiles – and Peter was given the dubious distinction of Apostle to the Jews. It’s interesting though that it was Peter who opened the door of the gospel to the Gentiles when he led Cornelius to the Lord – and it was Paul who wrote most of his epistles to the Jews in the various ports of call to which he ministered.

So it is in this passage in Philippians. Paul finds himself using his past life as a Jew’s Jew giving his defense of his calling. What he was actually doing in this passage was warning the Gentile Christians in Philippi of the false doctrine that some Jewish Christians were spreading around, that the Gentiles would have to be circumcised in order to be saved and follow Christ. Paul was refuting this erroneous doctrine. He told them, “If anyone deserves salvation based on Jewish heritage, it’s me. I was born a Jew – circumcised a Jew – raised a Jew – educated in the Scriptures – trained as a Pharisee – courted as a member of the Sanhedrin – followed a career path of persecuting the followers of Jesus – lost as a goose. All of that did me no good. I had to lose myself in Christ in order to find myself in Christ.” Then he explained in the next few verses exactly how he had to get rid of all his misconceptions about his former life and turn to Christ.

First, in verse 9, he had to be found in Him. He said that his own righteousness wasn’t enough to be found in Him – he had to lose all those things that he counted dear – he had to suffer loss. And Christ had to be found in him for him to be found in Christ – he had to put on the righteousness of Christ, which is completely by faith in Him. That faith is what is important – “For by grace are ye saved through faith (Eph 2:8).” He had to be found in Christ through faith.

And then, in verse 10, he had to fellowship with Him – “The fellowship of his sufferings.” How? Through the power of His resurrection and conforming to His death, he had to follow Him (v. 12), forget the past, and reach forth for the future (v. 13). These are some difficult steps, but they would eventually lead him to “prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (v. 14).” This is the ultimate goal – to reach the prize – a difficult task indeed, but reachable with God’s help (v. 15). He had to partake in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings to reach for the prize.

Lastly, in verse 21, he had to be fashioned like Him. He was to do this by changing his walk from an enemy of the cross of Christ (v. 18), changing his desires from earthly things (v. 19), and changing his conduct to a heavenly look for the Lord Jesus Christ (v. 20). Romans 12:1 tells us to “present our bodies a living sacrifice,” and in verse 2 to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.” In Philippians 2:5, he tells us to “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Only when he became fashioned like Christ was he able to go forward for Him.

Quote – “The Bible is our “Him” Book – It’s all about “Him.” – Dr. Jimmy Robbins

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Soul-Winner's Passion

2 Corinthians 5:14 – “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because … one died for all ….”

When Dwight L. Moody was in London during one of his famous evangelistic tours, several British clergymen visited him. They wanted to know how and why this poorly educated American was so effective in winning throngs of people to Christ. Moody took the three men to the window of his hotel room and asked each in turn what he saw. One by one, the men described the people in the park below. Then Moody looked out the window with tears rolling down his cheeks. “What do you see, Mr. Moody?” asked one of the men. “I see countless thousands of souls that will one day spend eternity in hell if they do not find the Saviour.” Obviously, D. L. Moody saw people differently than the average observer does. And because he saw eternal souls where others saw only people strolling in a park, Moody approached life with a different agenda.

The context of our verse is one of living separated unto God, but in the verse cited, we can also see a soul-winning thrust. It is the love of Christ that constrains us to seek out those who know not Christ – it is the love of Christ that constrains us to tell others about His saving grace – it is the love of Christ that constrains us to pluck them as brands from the fire. Christ Himself had a passion for soul-winning. Everywhere He went He told of the free gift of salvation. Look in John 4 at His example of witnessing to the woman at the well. Verse 4 says, “And he must needs go through Samaria.” He was constrained to go through Samaria, for He knew there was a precious woman in great need of the salvation that only He could provide. He sought her out – He witnessed to her – He led her to the fountain of life – and He made a soul-winner out of her. He truly had a passion for lost souls.

But what gives us that passion? There are several things in this chapter that become new for us – that encourage us to win souls for Him.
First, in verse 1 we see we will have a new body in the future – “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” We have the promise that when this temporary body is gone, we will have a permanent new body – one that is eternal.
Secondly, in verses 2-4 we see we have a new desire – “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven … that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” We have the promise that when we have put off this body and gained a new body, we will live in heaven eternally with God.
Thirdly, in verse 5 we see we have a new assurance – “Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given us the earnest of the Spirit.” We have the promise of God through the assurance of the Holy Spirit – given to us a downpayment of that eternal glory that we will one day partake of.
Fourth, in verse 7 we see we have a new sphere –“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” We have the promise of God that we now walk in a different plane. Whereas we once could only walk in places we could actually see, now we have the ability to walk in places that only our faith can take us. We can actually walk with God in His plane – and someday, when we have that new body, we’ll physically walk with Him.
Lastly, in verses 8-9 we see we have a new incentive – “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.” We have the promise of God that one day we will be present with Him – and that promise keeps us going that we may be accepted of Him. That’s our incentive – that’s our ambition. For one day we will have to stand before the judgment (v. 10), therefore, we persuade men because of the terror of the Lord, that is that their eternal destination without Christ is hell (v. 11). So, “the love of Christ constraineth us.”

Quote – “If you can get a man to think about his soul and where he will spend eternity for five minutes, then more than likely he’ll be converted.” – D. L. Moody

Friday, March 9, 2007

This Man - The Man Christ Jesus

John 7:46 – “The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.”

In A.D. 381, Gregory of Nazianzus described Christ thus: He began His ministry by being hungry, yet He is the Bread of Life. Jesus ended His earthly ministry by being thirsty, yet He is the Living Water. Jesus was weary, yet He is our rest. Jesus paid tribute, yet He is the King. Jesus was accused of having a demon, yet He cast out demons. Jesus wept, yet He wipes away our tears. Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver, yet He redeemed the world. Jesus was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He is the Good Shepherd. Jesus died, yet by His death He destroyed the power of death.

Yes, this man is the focal point of all history – His birth split history fore and aft – His death initiated the church that bears His Name. This man is every bit God, but was born into flesh – He ruled heaven, but was “made a little lower than the angels” – He spoke the worlds into existence, but wept at the death of a friend. This man – the man Christ Jesus – our eternal Lamb – the Lord of glory – the Altogether Lovely One – became so marred as to not be recognized as a man. Let’s take a closer look at “this man.”

Luke 15:2 – “This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.” This the charge the Pharisees made against Him – oh, what a charge – He receiveth sinners. Praise God! He receiveth sinners. And I am one of them. I’m just an old sinner saved by grace. If He came only to receive good people – righteous people – spiritual people, I would be lost forever. For in me there was no goodness at all. But he receiveth sinners – Hallelujah!

Luke 23:44 – “I find no fault in this man.” This was the conclusion Pilate made about Him – oh, what a conclusion – no fault in Him. That did not stop Pilate from condemning Him to death. But he was perfect – sinless – faultless – “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin (2 Co 5:21)” – “And in him is no sin (1 Jn 3:5).”

John 18:17 – “Art thou one of this man’s disciples?” This is the question that was asked of Peter – and Peter answered, “I am not.” What would your answer be? He was kissed by a friend – taken by a mob – judged by religious leaders – lied on by strangers – mocked by a king – beaten by soldiers – denied by his closest friend. He is still going through the same treatment today. What would your answer be? “Art thou one of this man’s disciples?”

Hebrews 3:3 – “For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses.” Yes, Christ is worthy – “Worthy is the Lamb (Rev 5:12).” Moses was but a servant, but Christ is the Son. If the servant is worthy of honor, then how much more the Son. Christ is worthy of all praise – all honor – all worship. Do you honor men more than Christ? Or do you give Christ the praise?

Hebrews 7:24 – “But this man … hath an unchangeable priesthood.” The next verse says, “He ever liveth to make intercession for [us].” He is our Holy Priest – He makes intercession for us – He is our Advocate – He is our Saviour. The book of Hebrews tells us that Christ’s priesthood is better than that of Levi’s. They were but men – they would die – but He is God, and He “ever liveth.” In verse 21, God said, “Thou art a priest for ever.”

Hebrews 8:3 – “It is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.” He begins this verse by saying, “Every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices.” That was the priest’s job – to offer sacrifices to God – to make intercession between God and man. And what better sacrifice could He make than Himself – He is the Lamb – He was born to die – “God will provide himself a lamb (Ge 22:8).” He was the ultimate sacrifice – the end of all sacrifices – the last of a long line of lambs.

Hebrews 10:12 – “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.” Hallelujah, what a saviour who could take a poor lost sinner, lift him from the miry clay and set him free. I will ever sing the story, shouting glory, glory, glory, Hallelujah, Jesus ransomed me!

Quote – “I would propose that the subject of the ministry of this house, as long as this platform shall stand, and as long as this house shall be frequented by worshipers, shall be the person of Jesus Christ.”C.H. Spurgeon, first words in the pulpit of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Secret Sins

Psalm 19:12 – “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.”

Back in the days of wooden sailing ships, a young couple was taking a sailing cruise for their honeymoon. One sunny day, there was a hubbub taking place on the deck. With the crew rushing to and fro, the young bride asked the captain of the ship, who was hurrying across the deck, what the trouble was. "The fact is, Madam," he said, "our rudder is broken." Showing her total ignorance of sailing ships, the young woman replied, "Oh, I shouldn't worry about it. Being under water all the time, no one will notice it." Hidden sins, just like that ship's rudder, may not be seen or known by others, but it greatly affects one's own life.

All of us harbor secret sins – hidden sins – “presumptuous sins.” But, contrary to our beliefs, they are not hidden. Look at verse 6 of our passage in Psalm 19, “His going forth is from the end of heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.” Our God is all-knowing, and “there is nothing hid from His eyes." And the sad fact is – these sins hinder your ministry – they hinder your Christian walk – they hinder your relationship with God. Sin separates the believer from God. Look at David’s great sin, recorded in 2 Samuel 11. David committed the sin of adultery and, to keep from getting caught, compounded the problem by committing murder. And he thought he had gotten away with it – till the man of God pointed his bony finger in the face of the king and proclaimed, “Thou art the man!” in 2 Samuel 12. This was living proof of Numbers 32:23, “Be sure your sin will find you out.” These sins separate you from God – Psalm 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” – Isaiah 59:2, “”But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Then in Psalm 51, we see David’s psalm of repentance, in which he requests of God, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation.”

And just as David did in Psalm 51, we too can seek God’s forgiveness for these presumptuous sins. The Holy Spirit will help you get rid of these sins. First we must see sin just as God sees it. You must admit it to yourself and to God. In fact, 1 John 1:9, which says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” actually is telling us that we have to agree with God as to our sins and see them as He sees them. Then, and only then, can we begin the next step, which is to surrender sin to God – confess those sins before God. Proverbs 28:13 says, “he that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” And then, we must starve sin – starve the interest – starve the desire – starve the thought. Be honest with yourself and God. Call sin sin – surrender it to God – starve it into submission.

And how do we go about resolving this sin issue? Continue reading in Psalm 19 – the answer is in verses 7 through 11. “The law of the Lord” – the Scriptures – the Word of God is the only way. Look at the end of verse 11, “In keeping of them [law, commandments, statutes, etc.] there is great reward.” This is the only way possible to find the strength to counter the problem of sin. Verse 14 says, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” Meditating upon God’s teaching acts as a mirror to make visible the inner man. Therefore, the psalmist closes by requesting the strength to overcome all types of sin and be found acceptable.

Quote – “Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, and takes off the relish of spiritual things--that to you is sin.” – Susannah Wesley

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Ten Commandments for Teenagers

1 John 2:14 I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”

William Moses Tidwell wrote: Passing through a country graveyard, I was struck by the inscription on a tombstone. The stone was by the side of the path where everyone could see it. It had been placed there in memory of a young man who died at the age of seventeen. It was, "Reader, stop and think; I am in eternity! and you are on the brink." In eternity! A young man, only seventeen years of age, in eternity! In a fixed, a changeless state, heaven or hell! And yet many have gone to hell before they were seventeen years of age.

Oh, the condition of today’s youth – it’s such a sad state! Yet the Apostle John speaks with hope about youth in the verse above. He speaks with a confidence in the zeal of youth – in the potential of youth – in the persistence of youth. Granted, there are many distractions around today that pull at young people. It seems that today’s young people grow up so much quicker than in the past. According to surveys in 1990, 65% of all H.S. Christian students are sexually active, 75% of all H.S. students cheat regularly, 30% of all H.S. students have shoplifted in the past 30 days, 45-50% of all teen pregnancies are aborted, 3.3 million teens are alcoholics, 1000 teens try to commit suicide daily, and 10% of H.S. students have experimented with or are involved in a homosexual lifestyle. Those are some staggering statistics – and they were from 1990.

But – has it occurred to you that the same God that sat on the throne a hundred years ago sits on the throne today? Has it occurred to you that Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to day, and for ever.”? Has it occurred to you that our God is all powerful, all knowing, and all wise? Do you think God is going to let the devil win the hearts and minds of our young people when his time on this earth is so close to being over? I don’t think so. Just as John had confidence in the young people of his day, we can have confidence in those of ours. Sure, they need guidance. Sure, they need direction. Sure, they need the gospel of grace. But with the proper preaching and teaching and focused attention, they will make us proud. They will carry on the torch of the gospel from now until Christ returns or takes them home to be with Him.

Teens, let me give you some pointers that Dr. Jimmy Robbins gave the teens in his church. He called these the Ten Commandments for Teenagers:
1. Don’t let your parents down – they brought you up.
2. Stop and think, and you won’t drink.
3. Be smart and obey – you’ll give the orders one day.
4. Show-off driving is juvenile – Don’t act your age.
5. Ditch dirty thoughts quick, or they’ll ditch you.
6. Pick the right friends to be picked for a friend.
7. Choose a date fit for a mate.
8. Don’t go steady until you’re ready.
9. Love God, your neighbor, and your church.
10. Live carefully; the soul you save may be your own.

Quote – “When I was young I was sure of everything; in a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times, I was not half so sure of most things as I was before; at present, I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed to me.” – John Wesley

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Resist The Devil

James 4:7 – “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

To continue our thoughts from yesterday, we are promised by Christ that we will be victorious in our life with Him. Happy victorious Christian living is completely within our grasp. We saw yesterday in Ephesians 6 the gospel armour that God provides for us – we saw the complete salvation that we have in Him – we saw the abundant life we have in Him – we saw the everlasting life we have in Him – and we saw how this salvation gives us victory over sin and the world. Today, we’re going to look at some other wonderful aspects demonstrated by our victory in Christ Jesus.

Next, we have victory over Satan. Our verse above tells us that we can get victory daily over the devil. The first part of the verse tells us, “Submit yourselves therefore to God.” This seems to be a recurring theme throughout our studies of our Christian walk – complete submission to Him. Paul tells us in Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” This requires a humble obedience to the will of God. In Ephesians 5:18 Paul tells us to “be filled with the Spirit.” This comes from selling out to Him. It’s only through selling out to Christ that we will find the strength to defeat the devil. Then in Ephesians 6:11-12, he tells us to equip ourselves with the gospel armour, “That ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against … spiritual wickedness.” It takes God’s special equipment to defeat the devil, because he “as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pe 5:8).” In His prayer of intercession in John 17, Christ asked God to “keep them from the evil [one].” We can be assured that God gives us the strength daily to defeat the devil in our lives, just as He has assured us that He will have the ultimate victory over Satan.

Next, we have victory over tribulation. It’s a fact of Scripture that the world hates Christians. Christ told us in John 15:18, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” And in 2 Timothy 3:12 Paul tells us, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Therefore tribulation at the hands of the world will come. But as we saw yesterday, in John 16:33, Christ tells us, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” There is not any persecution that the world can throw at you that Christ cannot meet with the full force of heaven and overcome. There are some tribulations that we shall meet that do not come from the world. Sometimes, bad things just happen to good people – it may be a test from God – it may be to get a chance to witness to someone – it may be for the building of our faith. But, be assured, God will always receive glory from it and He is always there to help us get through it and to overcome it.

I heard about His healing,
Of His cleansing pow'r revealing.
How He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see;
And then I cried, "Dear Jesus,
Come and heal my broken spirit,"
And somehow Jesus came and bro't
To me the victory.
E. M. Bartlett

Quote – “There are no victories at discount prices.” – Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Friday, March 2, 2007

Victory In Jesus

1 John 5:4 – “And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
Of His precious blood's atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory.
E. M. Bartlett

We who have believed in Christ as Saviour are promised by Him that we will be victorious in our life with Him. It is a promise that guarantees us happy victorious Christian living if we will sell out to Him. He gives us the strength necessary to overcome all that fights against us in our walk with Him. Look in Ephesians 6 where He shows us the equipment we have at our disposal.
Verse 13 – “Take the whole armour of god.”
Verse 14 – “Loins girt about with truth, … the breastplate of righteousness.”
Verse 15 – “Feet shod with … the gospel of peace.”
Verse 16 – “The shield of faith.”
Verse 17 – “The helmet of salvation ... the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Verse 18 – “Praying always.”
We definitely have the equipment we need – we have the support from on high – we have the Spirit within us to guide and direct us to victory. That victory demonstrates itself in several wonderful aspects.

First, we have victory over sin. Here in 1 John, “that disciple whom Jesus loved” tells us in verse 1, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” Our salvation is assured. Christ tells us in John 10:10, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” We have abundant life. Again He says in John 5:24, “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life.” We have eternal life. Not a bad trifecta. Paul tells us in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” And because of this sin, he cries out in Romans 7:24, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me?” He answers the question in the next verse, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The very next verse, Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation.” In verse 2, he continues that his faith in Christ “hath made me free from the law of sin.”

Next, we have victory over the world. It’s a fact of Scripture that the world system and its teachings are diametrically opposed to Christ and His teachings. John warns us in 1 John 2:15, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” Paul tells us in Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world.” In Christ prayer of intercession in John 17, He asks God not to take His disciples (that’s us) out of the world, but to protect us from the world. Then in John 16:33, Christ tells us, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” And if He has already overcome the world, then that is a guarantee that we also shall overcome the world.

That’s all we have space for this time, but we’ll continue the thought tomorrow.

Quote – "See, here is victory! Thou shalt have thy triumph. Palm, and crown, and white robes shall be thy recompense; thou shalt be treated as a conqueror, and owned as such by the Lord Himself." – CH Spurgeon

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Going Home

Psalm 39:12 – “For I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner.”

I once heard of a little boy who was on a train running the long trip between two Western cities. It was a hot, dusty day, very uncomfortable for traveling, and that particular ride was perhaps the most uninteresting day's journey in the whole land. But the little fellow sat patiently watching the fields and the fences hurrying by, until a motherly old lady, leaned forward to ask with some sympathy in her voice, "Aren't you tired of the long ride, dear, and the dust and the heat?" The little boy looked up brightly, and smiled, "Yes, ma'am, a little. But I don't mind it much, because my father is going to meet me when I get to the end of it.” What a beautiful thought it is that when life seems wearisome, monotonous, and sometimes filled with trouble that we can look forward hopefully and trustingly and not mind much because our Father, too, will be waiting to meet us at our journey's end!

David’s psalm here is a confession that he, like all his forefathers before him, was just a misplaced traveler in this world. He had been promised a better tomorrow, just as Abraham had when he was called out of Ur of the Chaldees, as Paul tells us in Hebrews 11:8-10 – “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

We as saints have that same promise. We also look for that city whose builder and maker is God. The Apostle Peter reminds us again, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts (1 Peter 2:11) And the Scriptures remind us constantly that one of these days this sojourn will be over, and we’ll go home to be with Christ. John 14:2-3 tells us, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” One day soon we will go home to be with Him. And we have a heavenly Father that will meet us there at our long journey's end.

Home Sweet Home

The other day as I returned Home from a business trip,
My heart was filled with great relief, A smile did cross my lip.
“It’s good indeed to be back home,” I thought with joyful bent.
“There’s no place quite like home sweet home,” As through the door I went.

And then my mind did take a turn And wander just a bit.
I thought of how we’ll one day feel, When this old world we quit.
For this is but a journey long For those who trust in God,
And we are only travelers here Upon this earthly sod.

The day will come, ‘tis surely soon, When He will call us home,
And we’ll be taken from this earth, No longer here to roam.
And, oh, what joy will fill our hearts, As Heaven’s gate we see,
For then we’ll be at home with Christ For all eternity.
© 2006 Paul Stultz

Quote – “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” – CS Lewis

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