Wednesday, July 31, 2013

He Shall Save His People

Matthew 1:21 – “He shall save his people from their sins.”

This is one of the greatest promises in all the Scriptures – in fact, it is the theme of the entire Bible.  From the fall of man in the garden to the preaching ministry of John the Baptist, the focus of the Old Testament is the coming of the Messiah is fulfillment of all the types and shadows of the Jewish Law.  And from the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1 to the prophetic new heaven and new earth, the focus of the New Testament is the preaching of Christ and Him crucified for the salvation of the sinner.

When God created man, he was in an innocent state – not perfect, because sin was not yet in the world – but innocent, because he had not yet been tempted.  Then when the temptation came and the woman yielded to the temptation, man made the conscious decision to commit sin.  From that moment on, a Saviour was needed, for man then fell “short of the glory of God (Rom 6:23).”  God set the beginnings of salvation in motion when He had to judge man for his sin.  He placed the curse of God on man and on all His creation.  Just as He had promised when He told man “thou shalt surely die,” man became spiritually dead, and a saviour was needed to reconcile him to God.  Speaking to the serpent, He made a promise to man that a saviour would indeed come, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel (Gen 3:15).”

From that time on, the sons of man began looking for the Messiah.  When Eve delivered a manchild, they were sure that this was the saviour they were promised, so they named him Cain, “Saying I have gotten a manchild from the Lord (Gen 4:1).”  But he wasn’t the one promised.  He became a murderer.  When another son was born, they once again acknowledged their need of a saviour – they named him Seth, which means “a substitute needed.”  When God called out Abraham for a chosen people unto himself, He passed to them the knowledge of their need for a saviour.  He promised His chosen people in the Abrahamic Covenant that the Messiah would come from the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – and then made the same promise to Moses in the Mosaic Covenant.  He gave Moses the Law, summed up in the Decalogue, which established the ceremony and ritual of the Jewish religion.  In these ceremonies were hidden pictures, types, and shadows of the eternal Lamb which would one day come.

The prophets then foretold the coming of the true Messiah; the psalmists and poets sang of His advent; the bards of Israel directed the imagination of the people to the incarnation of God among men; but the Jewish religious leaders got tired of waiting for Him.  So they began making their own way – adding to the law of God – burdening down the people of God with loads too heavy to bear. 

But God was not to let this take the place of His plan.  He began to bring about the fulfillment of His promise from so long ago.  He caused His Son to be born among men – the Lamb of God was now come.   “And they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us (Matt 1:23).”  He commanded that they “call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins (Matt 1:21).”  And in Him was every picture – every type – every shadow – completely fulfilled.  He was perfection in person.  He was the altogether lovely one of the Canticle.  He was God in the flesh – the God man – the Son of God.  He is the source of our salvation.  He came to die upon a cruel cross and through His blood we are offered the free gift of salvation.

Quote – “If our preaching does not turn men from drunkenness to sobriety, from thieving to honesty, from unchastity to purity, then our Gospel is not worth a button! But if it does all this, then this shall be the evidence that it comes from God, seeing that in the world so sorely diseased by sin, it works the wondrous miracle of curing men of these deadly evils!” – Charles Spurgeon

"Lord, Thank you for one day leaving the glory of heaven - for being born in a lowly stable - for putting on the flesh of man - for enduring the trials of humanity - for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank you for salvation.  Amen."

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

As a Thief in the Night

1 Thessalonians 5:2 – “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”

Paul begins this section of his letter to the church at Thessalonica by reminding them that they know the times and the seasons – that’s not an issue.  In our lives today, we need to remember the same thing.  The times and seasons are well known to us, for we have been preached to for years.  We have been instructed in how to read the times and seasons, both of this world and the spiritual world.  But knowing and acting on that knowledge are two different things.  We know that the Lord will come at any time – that’s the eminence of His return.  But in spite of knowing that He will come “as a thief in the night,” it will catch some off guard.

Ezekiel tells us that we are to be watchmen on the walls, shouting out warnings of trouble to come.  We are to warn those within the city.  We know that the day of the Lord will come soon, yet we continue through our lives in apathy and complacency.  We know what shape the world’s in, and we know what to do about it.  Some say, “It’s too big a task – we can never get it done.” So they do nothing. 

I heard a story once about a young girl who lived in the days when coal was burned for heat.  As she attempted to carry a ton of coal a shovelful at a time from the sidewalk to a coal bin in the cellar, she was asked by an onlooker, “Do you expect to get all that coal in with that little shovel?”  “Yes sir,” she answered, “if I work long enough.”  That should be our response to those who ask us, “There are so many to win – can you win enough?”  We should answer, “Yes sir – if I work long enough.”

But the task is large and daunting, and so many don’t take it up.  Many have become weak and powerless.  They can’t tell of His great love, because they don’t have it in their heart.  They neglect God’s Word and prayer.  Many haven’t kept themselves free from worldliness, so their garments have become spotted with the world.  They have let sin creep in and make them unfit for service.  Many have neglected the house of God where we get charged up through the preaching of the Word and fellowship with fellow-believers.  They have forsaken the assembling of themselves together.  Many have gotten caught up in themselves and their own lives and don’t keep a watch for the souls of men, losing sight of the fact that those souls are lost and bound for a devil’s hell.

My friend, we have the knowledge; we have the solution; we have the command of God.  Paul tells us in verse 7 of the same chapter, “Therefore let us not sleep, as do other; but let us watch and be sober.”  This is the same admonition we get from Ezekiel to be watchmen on the walls.  Our job is to warn those around us of the coming danger.  Carry gospel tracts with you everywhere you go, handing them out or just leaving them where others will find them.  Always be ready to give a witness to everyone you meet.  Live in such a way that others see Christ in you.  But please, don’t turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to those souls that are rushing headlong into an eternity without Christ.  Time is short - Christ is coming soon - "as a thief in the night."

Quote – “I never begin my work in the morning without thinking that perhaps He may interrupt my work and begin His own.  I am not looking for death, I am looking for Him.” – G. Campbell Morgan

Monday, July 29, 2013

Praise the Lord

Romans 15:11 – “Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people.”

The Apostle Paul here takes a psalm of David, which was written for the nation of Israel, “O praise the Lord, all ye nations; praise him all ye people (Ps 117:1),” and directs it specifically to the gentiles.  He is expressing his love for the Jews and at the same time reaffirming his call as the apostle to the gentiles.  In verse 16, he says, “That I should be the minister of Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.”   He is instructing the gentiles to offer up praise to God for His goodness.  We can never praise Him enough.

The Duke of Wellington, the British military leader who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, was not an easy man to serve under. He was brilliant, demanding, and not one to shower his subordinates with compliments. Yet even Wellington realized that his methods left something to be desired. In his old age a young lady asked him what, if anything, he would do differently if he had his life to live over again. Wellington thought for a moment, then replied. "I'd give more praise," he said.  This is exactly what we need to do in our lives – give more praise to our Lord.

Time and time again Paul tells us as gentile dogs that we owe God a goodly amount of praise.  In Romans 11:17, he tells us, “Thou being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them . . .”  Yes we, who were so undeserving of God’s grace have gained a special place in the mind of the Almighty.  What place, you say?  We gentiles make up the Church – the Bride of Christ.  We are nothings in the grand scheme of things and God loves us and gave Himself for us.  So whatever happens in you life, gentile dogs, praise the Lord for His great goodness.

All God’s Children

All God’s children sing aloud
To praise the King of Kings.
They lift their voices high and proud,
As if on eagle’s wings. 

In days of wandering, they extolled
The mighty acts of God –
Divine deliverance, battles bold,
As wilderness they trod.

In David’s day ‘twas psalm and hymn
That praised Messiah dear.
In Bab’lon they wept ‘neath willow limb –
No glad song did they hear.

If one would worship God above
In spirit and in truth,
Then worship Him in songs of love
And with the zeal of youth.

For one day Heaven’s streets we’ll crowd,
With woodwinds, brass and strings,
As all God’s children sing aloud
To praise the King of Kings.
© 2006 Paul Stultz

Quote – “The happiness of the creature consists in rejoicing in God, by which also God is magnified and exalted.” – Jonathan Edwards

"Lord, Thank you for your goodness to us. Thank you for the many blessings you send our way each day. And Lord, teach to praise you more - we can never offer you enough praise.  Amen."

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Mind of Christ

Philippians 2:5 – “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”

The natural mind of man is exceedingly wicked.  There is absolutely nothing good about man in his natural state.  He is a being conceived in sin, born into sin, and nurtured in sinfulness.  Romans 3:12 tells us, “There is none that doeth good, no not one.”  Romans 5:12 tells us the cause and result of that sinfulness, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”  So man, in his natural state, is condemned to death, because of Adam’s decision so many years hence.

But there is hope – Romans 5 continues in verse 19, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”  That second man is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Apostle Paul, in Romans 12:2, tells us, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  If a person will recognize the sinfulness of his natural mind, and accept the free gift of salvation provided by Christ, then he renews his mind in so doing.

Yes, when we renew our minds, we put off the natural man and take on the spiritual man and, as 1 Corinthians 2:16 says, “We have the mind of Christ.”  What does it mean to put on the mind of Christ?  Romans 12:16 says, “Be of the same mind one toward another.  Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate.  Be not wise in your own conceits.”

And then our text verse tells us, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”  Paul continues, “Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (vv. 6-8).”  He humbled Himself – the Lord of Glory – He who was God Himself – humbled Himself.  And what do most of us who are nothing do?  We get puffed up – we exalt ourselves – we lift up ourselves in pride.  The mind of Christ is one of humility.

Let me say that again, the mind of Christ is one of humility.  The way up in God’s eyes is always down.  Verse 3 tells us, “But in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”  God hates a proud look (Prov 6:17).  Pride goes before destruction (Prov 16:18).  If you think you’re something, God will cut you down (1 Cor 10:12).

Let us make a conscious choice to be like-minded with Christ.  Let us put others first.  Let us “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (Phil 2:4).”  If we’ll do that, then God will exalt us.  He’s looking for us to humble ourselves, to abase ourselves, to die daily to self.

Quote – “Let the mind of the master be the master of your mind.” – Unknown

"Lord, Help us each day to develop your mind in us.  Help us to strive for meekness - humility - lowliness of mind.  Help us to lay aside self and be filled with the Spirit daily.  Amen."

Saturday, July 27, 2013

This is the Day

Psalm 118:24 – “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Arthur Smith used to open every show with this verse in song, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”  It’s a praise the born again believer should be able to sing every day, for every day is a new day in which to glorify God.  A humorous e-mail I received recently contained the following: “If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance!”  How true, even though comical.  George Burns used to include in his routine the observation, “It’s good to be here tonight.  At my age it’s good to be anywhere.”  What a healthy way to look at each new day.

Yet so often, we don’t look at each new day as an opportunity to praise God.  We look at new days as drudgeries – we drag out of bed – drag into the shower – drag to the breakfast table – drag to our cars – drag in to work – drag through the day – drag home at the end of the day – drag to bed – again and again and again.  Where’s the rejoicing?  Where’s the being glad?  Your life is only as exciting as you make it!  If you look at it as a drudgery then it will be a drudgery – if you look at it as an opportunity then it will be an opportunity.  An opportunity to do what?  Here are some suggestions:

Get closer to God.  We can begin each day with a positive attitude if we get out of bed and say “Good Morning” to the Lord.  Go to God right away in prayer.  David says, “Early will I seek thee (Ps 63:1).”  Again, “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up (Ps 5:3).”  Isaiah says, “I will seek thee early (Isa 26:9).”  Have a short time of Bible reading before you defile your mind with the world, while your mind is fresh from a good night’s sleep.  “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law (Ps 119:18).”  While driving to work, sing praises to God.  “But I will sing of thy power; yea I will sing loud of thy mercy in the morning (Ps 59:16).”  We will be surprised at how doing these things will build our personal relationship with Christ, and God will surely bless us.

Tell others about God.  Look at every new day as an opportunity to tell someone the great gospel of Christ.  Just tell someone what God has done for you – share your testimony – invite someone to church – get in the habit of using phrases like “God bless you,” or “Praise the Lord,” or “Hasn’t the Lord been good to us to give us a new day?”  Statements like that testify to others without your even realizing it.  Carry gospel tracts in your pocket or purse – lay one down in the restroom – on the lunch counter – at the gas pump – anywhere you can.  If we’ll use every day as an opportunity to spread the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, God will surely bless us.

Let others see God in us.  How oft we have heard, “You are the only Bible some people will ever read.”  Does this make you pause and reflect on what they are reading in you?  Christ instructs us to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Mat 5:16).”  It’s a fact of Scripture that no man can see God and live, so it is crucial that we reflect His glory so that they can see God through us.  We can be a light in a lost and dying world and let others see Christ through us, and God will surely bless us.

Dr. Harold Sightler used to tell his church/school staff, “I don’t ever want to hear one of you say ‘Thank God it’s Friday.’  Every day around here is just as important as the next.  Use each day to do God’s work here in this place.”  What a wonderful way to look at each new day – as an opportunity to please the Master.

Quote – “Take courage.  We walk in the wilderness today, the Promised Land tomorrow.” – D.L. Moody

"Lord, Thank you for this new day.  Help us to live it for you.  Help us to give it back to you and let you get praise from it.  May we treat each new day as a special gift from you.  Amen."

Friday, July 26, 2013

Take a Stand

1 Samuel 17:26 –“And David spake to the men that stood by him . . . who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

In the midst of a tough battle in World War II, General George Patton, one of the greatest military leaders of all time, said about battle, "God, I love it!" When faced with the same circumstances, the shepherd boy David said, "God, I love you!"  After this, he became a great warrior, yet his love for God never faded.

As a youth, he was only visiting the battlefield.  He heard the Philistine giant Goliath spewing his hateful, blasphemous epithets against the men of Israel and against their God, the one and only true God of heaven.  David became incensed that no one would stand up to the giant – after all their God was greater than any uncircumcised Philistine dog.  What was wrong with these cowardly troops?

His courageous speech was reported to the king, and he was summoned to appear before him.  David went humbly, yet confidently, and told the king that God was more powerful than the giant, and if no one else would take a stand for right, then he would.  Saul showed why Israel was so weak – he tried to equip David with armaments of this world – where David just depended on his faith in an all-powerful God.  Ephesians 6 tells us to arm ourselves with spiritual armaments, because the battle we fight is a spiritual warfare not a physical one – the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the gospel, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the spirit (which is the Word of God). 

This spiritual armour will defeat the worldly enemies of the child of God.  David put off the armour of Saul, put on the armour of the Spirit and his shepherd’s sling, and went out to face the giant, who he told, “God will defeat you for me.”  And He did.  David stood for the right and God blessed him with victory.  He’ll do the same or each of us – if we’ll take a stand for right against this present world, God will give us resounding victories.

Take A Stand

The giant stood and blasphemed God
Full of contempt and hate.
But there was none who would take a stand
And defend their God so great.
But there was a lad within the crowd
Who pointed out their shame.
He slew the wretch with sling and stone,
All in the Saviour’s Name.

The devil does the same today –
He blasphemes God above.
And we sit back and let him rail
Without telling the Saviour’s love.
He carries the world to a burning hell,
And we must stop his plan,
And pluck those brands from within the fire,
And save the souls of man.
© 2006 Paul Stultz

Quote - "If he gives you the grace to make you believe, he will give you the grace to live a holy life afterward." - Charles Spurgeon

"Lord, Thank you for giving us the power of God in our lives. Help us to take a stand for what's right.  Help us to live holy lives for you. Amen."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

No Offense

Matthew 11:6 – “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.”

In this age of political correctness, people tip-toe around the truth for fear of being offensive to someone with “different beliefs.”  At Christmastime, stores are refusing to recognize the Christian holiday for fear of offending some customers.  The spokesperson for one major retailer stated that they consider the use of “Merry Christmas” to be disrespectful.  Another major retailer said they “don’t want to offend Jews, those who celebrate Kwanzaa, and those who have no religious preference.”  And at another, customer service informed a customer that “It is politically incorrect to mention Christmas, because we don’t want to offend our customers who are not Christians.” 

These are but three instances of major stores who have abandoned any reference to Christmas in their advertising, their greetings, their “holiday” displays.  There are many others throughout this great land of ours.  One employee stated, “These retailers are profiting from the traditions of giving that have developed out of Christianity but refuse to acknowledge the faith that feeds them.” 

Yet in a recent survey, over 95% of Americans are not offended by the use of the Christmas holiday.  So our country is allowing 5% of the population to dictate the societal traditions to the majority.  Our country whose very foundations are grounded in Judeo-Christian values – whose founding was undertaken by godly men who believed in the Bible – whose very core beliefs acknowledge the Almighty and the Christian faith that is taught in the Scriptures – is abandoning the very God who guided her founding fathers in the formation of this great land.  We have begun to be offended in Him. 

We’ve kicked Him out of our schools – we’ve expelled Him from the public square – we’ve taken Him out of the courthouse – we’ve removed Him from our daily lives.  Oh America, America, “how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.  Behold your house is left unto you desolate (Mat 23:37-38).”  Christ said this to Jerusalem, but it fits as a dirge against America, because we have become offended in Him.

Psalm 119:165 says, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”  Where will it all end?  When will America stop worrying about offending the minority and just do what’s right?  Have we ever thought that we may have sacrificed peace on the altar of political correctness?  We use to love the law of God – we were strong – spiritually, morally, psychologically.  Then we abandoned Him – we have abandoned our morals – we have abandoned our goodness – we have abandoned our soul. 

Quote - "I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbours and her ample rivers, and it was not there: in her fertile land and boundless prairies, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."  - Alexis de Tocqueville, a young French historian who came to America in 1826 to find out what made her “tick”

"Lord, Help us to do right, regardless of what's 'politically incorrect.' Help us to take a stand for you in spite of societal pressure to do otherwise. Help us to love you more. Amen."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Enduring Love

Hebrews 12:2 – “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

The only perfect man that ever lived was condemned to a criminal’s death.  The Lord Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, was judged by man and found to be wanting.  The Jewish High Priest prophesied “that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people (Jn 11:50).”  So they took the Christ of glory and crucified Him on an old rugged cross.  Paul, in Galatians 3:13 said, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”  He was quoting the Old Testament passage in Deuteronomy 21:23, “. . . (for he that is hanged [on a tree] is accursed of God) . . .”  These passages show that death by crucifixion was perhaps the most humiliating death that a man could undergo.  And our text verse tells us that Christ despised the shame of the cross.

But it also tells us that He endured the cross.  I have read after many writers and preachers that make this verse say that Christ endured the cross for the joy of returning to the glory that He had once known – that it was the setting down “at the right hand of the throne of God” that caused Him joy – or that it was the example that He was providing for the saints that caused Him joy.  I prefer to think of it another way.  “Who for the joy that was set before him” to me represents the great love that the Bridegroom had for His bride.  The entire book of Song of Solomon speaks of this love – the whole Bible teaches us of that love – the love of a perfect God for His imperfect creation – a love that drove Him from glory into this world – a love that caused Him to suffer pain and humiliation – “And being found in fashion as a man he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phi 2:8).”

Yes, away off yonder, Christ saw His lovely bride taking her place beside Him at the marriage supper of the Lamb.  Ephesians 5:25 tells husbands to love their wives, “even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”  So I don’t think I’m wresting scripture to say that what caused Christ to endure the cross – what held Him suspended between heaven and earth – what kept Him from summoning those 10,000 angels – what drove Him to finish His work on the cross was the thought of His eternal union with His precious gentile bride.  This was “the joy that was set before him.”

Why hast Thou forsaken Me, O Father up above?
‘Tis anguish here on cruel cross – This place devoid of love.
What is there in a death so hard That makes it worth the pain?
What drives Me to endure the shame – What providential gain?

And as I lift My eyes I see A world that’s lost in sin.
They mock Me and they wag the tongue, These puny mortal men.
Can they not see I give My life To save the human race –
That I must die for all mankind – To hang here in disgrace.

But lo, I see in ages hence A bride so wondrous fair.
I see her robed in spotless white – I see her golden hair.
‘Tis for that joy before Me set That I must face the shame,
And by my blood that now is shed, I give My bride My Name.
© 2006 Paul Stultz

Quote – "In math, if you divide an infinite number by any number, no matter how large, you still have an infinite quotient. So Jesus' love, being infinite, even though it is divided up for every person on earth, is still infinitely poured out on each one of us!" - Charles Spurgeon

"Lord, Thank you for your sinless life - thank you for your great love - thank you for your vicarious death on the cross. Help us to love you more each day for the precious gift of salvation. Amen."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

He Died for Me

1 Peter 2:24 – “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

There are many stories out there of one who died in the place of another.  Here is one that Dwight L. Moody used to tell in the days when the gold fever swept California.

A man went west, leaving his wife and son in New England.  Soon he succeeded and sent for his loved ones.  The wife’s heart leaped for joy.  Taking her boy to New York, she boarded a Pacific steamer sailing for San Francisco.  The ship had not been long out at sea before there was cry of “Fire! Fire!”  On board was a powder magazine, and the captain knew that the moment the fire reached the store, all on board would perish.  Lifeboats were crowded, but they proved to be too small and few.  Quickly they were overcrowded.  As the last boat pushed away, the mother pleaded with the boatman to take her and the boy.  “No, I dare not take another.  If I do, we shall all sink,” was the reply.  Earnestly the woman continued to plead, and at last the boatman consented to take one.  Do you think the mother leaped into the boat leaving her boy to perish with the others?  No, she seized him, gave him one last hug, and dropped him into the boat with the wail, “My boy, if you live to see your father, tell him that I died in your place.”  And if he did live, do you think he spoke contemptuously of the mother who went down into a watery grave for him?

Such is the great truth of Christ’s substitutionary death on Calvary.  It was through the shedding of His blood that He fulfilled every promise in Scripture and made a way for each member of the human race to be reconciled with God.  You see, man in his sinful state is at variance with God.  Romans 3:23 says it thus, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  God has a certain standard of holiness to maintain, and we in our sin, cannot measure up to that standard.  So we are hopelessly lost.

But, as the mythical phoenix, hope rises from the ashes in the person of Jesus Christ.  If we get what we deserve, we die – “For the wages of sin is death (Ro 6:23).”  But the verse doesn’t stop there.  Christ makes a way – “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Yes a free gift – no death – no condemnation – “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (Ro 8:1).”  Paul continues the thought in Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  That’s all it takes dear friend, just call upon the name of the Lord – “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (Ro 10:9).”

Yes, that was Christ’s purpose in coming to this earth – “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many (Mat 20:28).”  And through His death, we are reconciled to God – “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (Ro 5:8-10).”

Quote - "His finished work is the basis of our salvation. We depend on Him -- our Substitute!" - Anonymous

"Lord, Thank you for the salvation we have through your substitutionary work on Calvary.  And Lord, if any who read this don't know you as Saviour, please convict their hearts and save their souls. Amen."

Monday, July 22, 2013

Be Still and Know

Psalm 46:10 – “ Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

We live in a fast-paced, hectic world.  We want to drive faster cars – we want faster food – we want everything in a hurry.  Just a few short years ago, we were satisfied to move a bit slower.  When the internet came along, we settled for slow dial-up connections, now we want instant connections.  We want instant coffee – instant potatoes – instant profits – instant credit – instant education – instant – instant – instant.  In our rat-race lives, we push God out or try to encapsulate Him into a fifteen-minute sermonette on Sunday morning.  Then we get back to our rat-race.

Yet, in this fast-paced, go-go, get ‘em existence we call life, God tells us to slow down every now and then and let Him work in our lives.  “Be still, and know that I am God,” He says.  We need to pause and reflect on His goodness – we need to wait on Him instead of rushing ahead and plunging headlong into things.  Think about it – we have a gracious Father that desires to be involved in our lives, to work for us through problems, to give us His mercy and grace, to give us strength for this present age.  Yet we don’t be still long enough to let Him work.  Just think of all we miss by not waiting on Him.

If we will wait on Him, He provides deliverance from our problems.  Look what He did for Israel after they came out of Egypt.  Moses told them, “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord (Ex. 14:13).”  They had just fled Egypt before the face of Pharaoh, and now Pharaoh’s armies were pursuing them.  They were backed up against the Red Sea, with no place to go.  They waited on God and He provided a way of escape, not around their problem, but through their problem.  He’ll do the same for each of us.  He knows what’s ahead.  He knows what’s on the other side of the problem.  He didn’t provide the three Hebrew boys a way to avoid the fiery furnace – He provided them a way through the furnace.

If we will wait on Him, He provides blessings in this present world.  Isaiah tells us in 30:18, “Blessed are all they that wait for Him.”  Earlier in the same verse, he tells us that God wants to be gracious to us and have mercy on us – that means He wants to impart grace to us – and wants to impart mercy on us.  My, oh my!  Grace and mercy – mercy and grace.  Two blessings that we would not want to live without.  In his epistles, Paul wishes grace and mercy and peace over and over to the readers.  He tells us in Hebrews 4:16, “Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” 

If we will wait on Him, He provides strength for everyday life.  Isaiah again promises “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength (Isa 40:31).”  He continues by telling us we will “mount up with wings of eagles . . . run, and not be weary . . . walk, and not faint.”  Now, this is the kind of strength that can get us through our busy, hectic days.  We just need to be sure and give Him a few moments of “still” each day.

Quote – “Every true Christian life needs its daily ‘silent times,’ when all shall be still, when the busy activity of other hours shall cease, and when the heart, in holy hush, shall commune with God. One of the greatest needs in Christian life in these days is more devotion. Ours is not an age of prayer so much as an age of work. The tendency is to action rather than to worship to busy toil rather than to quiet sitting at the Saviour's feet to commune with him.” – Wilbur J. Chapan, in “Present Day Parables”

"Lord, Help us in this hectic day of 'instant' everything - this day of speed and hurry - this day of impatience - to just slow down and let you speak to us.  Help us to hear your still, small voice.  Amen."

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Altogether Lovely One

Song of Solomon 5:16 – “His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”

Dr. Bob Jones, Jr., in his classic sermon by the same title, begins thus: “There are some tasks that are impossible for men. No matter how high imagination may soar, no matter now colorful language may be, no matter how moved may be the heart of the speaker, no man can properly glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. Preachers have tried, prophets have sought, poets have sung, singers have praised, sibyls have exalted, and sages have meditated, but no man is ever able to picture Him in all His wonders.”

He was lovely in His names.  He goes by many names in the Scriptures, each as lovely as the next, I Am that I Am being the chief.  Each of the various names He is called has a special meaning – a special significance to His task here in the lives of men.  As you come across another name as you read the Bible, think of what that name means to you.  You’ll find that He becomes more lovely as you do.

He was lovely in His purpose.  He set aside His glory and took upon Himself the flesh of humanity.  He could not set aside His deity – He remained every bit God – but He had to taste of humanity to make Himself a vicarious atonement for mankind.  He came to earth in lowly estate, yet even so, He was the essence of perfection. 

He was lovely in His work.  The bride in the Song of Solomon described Him as one who was Altogether Lovely, yet in His work on the cross, He became one who “hath no form nor comeliness; . . . no beauty that we should desire him (Isa 53:2).”  He took upon Himself the sins of mankind – “his visage was so marred more than any other man (Isa 52:14).”  Yet His work on the cross was Altogether Lovely. “Surely he hath borne our grief, and carried our sorrows: . . . But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities . . . and with his stripes we are healed (Isa 53:4-5).”  Yes, in providing salvation for every man, He was Altogether Lovely.

The Altogether Lovely One

The Altogether Lovely One is Jesus Christ, my Lord,
The Way, the Truth, the Life is He, the Love of God outpoured.
The Blessed Holy Lamb of God, the Saviour of all men,
I’ll trust in Him forevermore – He saved me from my sin.

The Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, the Everlasting Light,
My Rock, my Door, my Hiding Place, He leads me in the right.
The Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End,
I’ll live for Him forever, He’s my one and only Friend.

The Great Physician, Living Word, the Mighty God is He.
Emmanuel, Deliverer, He came to set me free.
The Everlasting Father in a human form did come –
The Great I Am, the First and Last, the Most Exalted One.
© 2006 Paul Stultz

Quote - “Altogether Lovely does not mean just completely lovely, but lovely in His completeness.”  - Dr. Bob Jones, Jr.

"Lord, You are altogether lovely, for by your work on the cross, you brought salvation and peace to the heart of this once-dead soul.  Thank you for being who you are.  Amen."

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Way, The Truth, The Life

John 14:6 - “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Christ is about to go away – He knows His time on earth is drawing to a close.  So He is trying to impart some comforting words to the disciples.  He tells them they can follow Him where He is going.  Thomas, who receives such a bad rap from those of us who are so perfect, asks Him, “Where are you going, and how can we know the way?”  Thomas is called “Doubting Thomas,” but if it were not for Thomas’ question, we would not have this great statement of truth.  So, you go, Thomas!

In answer to Thomas’ question, Christ tells the disciples, “Okay, Thomas. You say you don’t know the way – I’ll tell you.  It’s through Me – and only through Me.”  How much plainer could He be?  He tells us that if we wish to see the Father – if we wish to go to heaven – if we wish to follow Him, we must follow the precepts that are spelled out in His Word.  He expresses this in verse 15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

And modern religion has decided that there must be another way.  They attach works to grace – they attach dogma to grace – they attach ritual to grace – they create another way.  But Christ’s words still ring in their ears – “No man cometh to the Father, but by me.”

The Way, The Truth, The Life

In the Holy Scriptures Jesus tells us true
That abiding in Him we should be.
If you’ll make this promise, here’s what He will do:
He will set your captive spirit free.

Once you’ve let the Saviour come into your heart,
Once you’ve let the Spirit have control,
God will then adopt you; sonship He’ll impart;
To live in Heaven while the ages roll.

Now to live for Jesus is your daily task.
He will guide you in each step you take.
He will shine out through you if you’ll only ask.
Let Him of your life a beacon make.

Yes, our Saviour is the Way, the Truth, the Life.
Without Him there’s no one can enter in.
He’ll deliver you from all your earthly strife.
He will cleanse your heart from all its sin.
© 2006 Paul Stultz

Quote – “Remember, Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Without him men are vagabonds, liars, and dead.” – Unknown

"Lord, Thank you for not only showing us the way, but Lord, for being the way. And thank you for the life we can have through you.  Amen."

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Light of the World

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

A poor little boy once heard his Sunday School teacher say Jesus was the light of the world. He took her remark quite literally. After class, the boy said to his teacher, "If Jesus really is the light of the world, I wish He'd come hang out in my alley. It's awful dark where I live."

Oh, the innocence of child-like faith.  But, as Christ Himself said in Matthew 21:16, “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise.”  This simple illustration shows how Christ, the Light of the world can come into a dark world and permeate every corner with the light of His blessed salvation.  In the Scriptures, darkness is a picture of spiritual blindness, human sin through which man tends to separate himself from God.

The apostle John tells us in John 1:9, speaking of Christ, “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”  But man persistently refuses to believe – refuses to follow – refuses to see or understand the light.  John 3:19 tells us, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."  Again, John 1:5 says, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” 

But Christ tells Nicodemus in John 3:21, “But he that doeth truth, cometh to the light.”  And because of Christ’s finished work at Calvary, those who come to the Light, “whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).”

The Light of the World

I am the Light of the world, He said,
I light the way in the night.
And any who wish the darkness to leave
Must follow me into the light.
But men, in their natural fleshly state,
Would rather in darkness stay,
For they love the darkness rather than light,
Which illumines their evil way.

I am the Light of the world, He said,
Through which man’s life is made whole.
My light shines bright from Calvary’s cross –
Illuminates man’s sinful soul.
It searches out every corner so dark
And brings to light all evil deeds.
It permeates every inch of his heart
And satisfies all of man’s needs.

I am the Light of the world, He said,
The Light from which no man can hide.
Why do you continue to walk in the world,
When with me you ought to abide?
Walk in the light as I do, He says,
My fellowship you can enjoy.
My blood shall have cleansed your heart of all sin,
And my grace in your life I’ll employ.
© 2006 Paul Stultz

Quote – “Since Christ is our Light and He has ordained us to be lights in the world, let us shine to the utmost of our capacity until the Master shall take us to dwell with Him in the Light of God forever!” – C.H. Spurgeon

"Lord,  Help us to worship you as the light - help us to shine your light through our lives - help us to reflect your glory in all we do.  Amen."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Himself a Lamb

Genesis 22:8 – “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.”

The late Dr. Harold B. Sightler, long-time pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Greenville, SC, preached a message on this passage, in which he pointed out that too often we misread this verse. “We tend to add the word 'for' to make it read 'God will provide for himself a lamb.' But no, not so,” he said. The patriarch Abraham was prophesying that one day God would come down to this earth and actually make a sacrifice of Himself. And this occurrence which played out on the crest of Mt. Moriah was the actual place where so many years later Jerusalem would sit and the Lord Jesus Christ would give Himself as the Lamb of God. Glory Hallelujah!

Himself a Lamb

“God will provide Himself a Lamb,” Abraham said of old.
As he and Isaac trudged along This truth to him was told.
He was there to offer his only son, To prove his undying love,
The son of his prayers on an altar of stone As bidden by God above.

‘Twas on Mt. Moriah the act was begun – He trusted his God on high –
He knew that the Lord would deliver the boy As to the place they drew nigh.
He built a mound of unhewn rocks And piled the wood thereupon.
And then he tied the hands of the youth And laid on the altar his son.

He stretched forth his arm with knife in hand, For to slay his only son,
And God, who saw his wondrous faith, Stopped him before it was done.
He said, “Now I know that thou fearest God, Even more than paternal love.”
And at that time He provided a ram To offer to Him above.

Nearly two thousand years passed from that time On Mt. Moriah’s crest,
When another young son climbed the same low hill At His Father’s sad behest.
Upon His own back He carried the wood, Just as Isaac had done of old,
But this wood was cut in the form of a cross – It held agony untold.

This obedient Son was known as the Lamb Which taketh all sin away,
And upon a cruel cross the Lamb was slain–There was no substitute that day.
For this eternal Lamb was taking my place Upon the old rugged tree.
He was the substitute for every man born Who would accept the gift so free.

Yes, God Himself left Heaven above To dwell among sinful men,
To suffer and die a vicarious death For to save our souls from sin.
The love of our Lord was so great indeed This promise one day was told,
“God will provide Himself a Lamb,” Abraham said of old.

© 2006 Paul Stultz

Quote – “There is nothing like the doctrine of the atoning sacrifice, it is the doctrine for this world, and it is the doctrine for the next.” – George Rogers, Congregationalist Pastor

"Lord, Thank you for your sacrificial death on Calvary.  Help us to love you more as we consider your great love for us.  Amen."

Forsake Not the Assembly

Hebrews 10:25 – “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

I heard once of a complacent Christian who prayed the following prayer: “Almighty God, as I sit here this lovely Sunday morning surrounded by the paper and half listening to one of the big preachers over the radio, it has just come to me that I have lied to thee and to myself.  I said I was not well enough to go to church.  That was not true.  I would have gone to the office if it had been Monday morning.  I would have played golf if it had been Wednesday afternoon.  I would have attended my lunch club if it had met this noon.  But it is Sunday morning, and Sunday sickness seems to cover a multitude of sins.  God, have mercy on me, I have lied to thee and myself.  I am not sick, I am lazy. Amen.”  Ernest H. Gross, Sr. once said, “When it is too cold for a man to go to church but not too cold for him to go to work, he is a warm worker but a cold church member.”    

Why exactly did God command that we not forsake the assembling of ourselves together?  Lenin said that “religion is the opiate of the people.”  Did the command to assemble come about only so that the church could control its people more easily as Lenin suggests.  No, I think not.  The answer to that question is actually in the same verse with the command – “but exhorting one another.”  We meet to encourage each other.

We meet together to encourage each other against worldliness.  In this old world, it’s such a struggle to get by.  We are bombarded on every side by worldliness.  So it would be so easy for the child of God to get discouraged and down in the spiritual dumps or worse to be tainted with the defilements of this world.  But the strength that getting together brings is an encouragement to all.  We strengthen each other as we meet together.  Through instruction – through fellowship – through testifying – through the preaching of God’s Word – we get strengthened to fight the onslaughts of the world.

We meet together to encourage each other in waiting.  He says “So much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”  Christ’s return is right around the corner.  We’re closer to it than we’ve ever been.  Oh, you say, I’ve heard that all my life and life goes on as usual.  So we get discouraged in waiting.  1 Thessalonians 4 tells us about the rapture of the church.  Paul concludes the chapter by saying, “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”  So in our verse, Paul tells us to get together to encourage each other to hold fast in faith and keep looking up – “Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and the Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13).

We meet together to encourage each other in worship.  Our thrice holy God desires for us to worship Him, praise Him, fellowship with Him.  Ephesians 5:18-19 tells us to “be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”  As we gather together, we fulfill that command and lift up our voices in worship and praise and adoration to Him who provided us with life, liberty, salvation, and continual blessings.

Quote – “‘Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together’ is as much Bible as ‘Thou shalt not steal.’” – Anonymous

"Lord, Thank you for our church - our assembly - our place of worship. And Lord, I know the building is not what's important - it's the group of people that assembles in that building.  Help us Lord to be joyful in meeting together with those of like precious faith.  Amen."

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Praise Ye The Lord

Psalm 150:6 – “Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.”

One Sunday evening soon after the New Year in 2012, Bryan Galloway gave this testimony before the church:  “I’m glad I’m saved tonight.  I don’t want it to get too quiet.  I’ve been in some places that just get too quiet.  Heaven’s going to be a loud place, Doc.  I’ll grant you, it’s going to get loud – it ought to get a little loud around the house of God.  I’m glad I’m a part of a family that believes it ought to be loud.

You say, ‘Well I don’t know so much about that.’  Well cut the book of Psalms out of your Bible then.  That’s right, that’s right – the book of Psalms begins by saying Blessed is the man – that man’s on the receiving end of something from God.  But the book closes by saying Praise ye the Lord – God’s on the receiving end and we’re giving Him the glory for all the blessings that transpired in our life.  You think about it, the book of Psalms is the most extensive book in the Bible, is it not? 150 chapters – and what’s its theme? Praise Ye The Lord!  That lets me know that the Holy Ghost inspired men to praise God more than he did anything else. 

Think about it – yessiree – I’m glad I’m in on that!  Praising God’s not a strange thing – it’s not a strange thing – and praise is not only vocal, it’s also visual.  You study it out – it’s a visual thing.  You say, ‘I can praise God in my heart.”  Well that’s a little weak – that’s a little weak.  It’s great, and it’s commendable – but that’s pretty weak.  I like something with some strength about it, don’t you?  And boy, does He ever deserve all our strength, all our might, all our praise, all our worship.  I mean as we start every new day, man, I’d like to be found praising Him.  I really would – I’d like to be found praising Him.  I’m not worthy to tote hog guts to the woods to feed the bears – I’m not – I’m not worthy.  But I’m glad that I’m not praising Him because I’m worthy, I praise Him because He’s worthy.  That’s right – He’s worthy!  Hallelujah!”

Then the Galloway Family sang this song:

Praise Him
This could be the hour we've been waiting for.
This might be the dawning of that day
When the trumpet sounds and all the clouds roll back,
And we see the King of Glory as the saints all start to Praise Him,
Praise Him, Praise Him for the blood that made us free.
Just in case this is the hour of our Lord’s return,
Oh I’d like to be found praising Him for saving me.

In the next few moments if we’re called away,
We will meet inside those eastern gates.
We’ll see angels step aside and fold their wings –
For the angels cannot join the blood-bought singing Praise Him,
Praise Him, Praise Him for the blood that made us free.
Just in case this is the hour of our Lord’s return,
Oh I’d like to be found praising Him for saving me.
Author Unknown

Quote – “There cannot be any peace where there is uncertainty.” – D.L Moody

"Lord, Thank you for being worthy of all praise.  Thank you for saving us from our sins.  Help us to love you more - help us to praise you more.  Amen."

Monday, July 15, 2013

Who Then Is Willing

1 Chronicles 29:5b – “And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD?”

David wants so badly to build the House of God!  He has prepared for this occasion for his entire reign.  He has built Jerusalem into a capital city envied by all the kings round about.  He has built up an army prepared for any invasion force.  He has built a huge palace for himself.  And he wanted desperately to build an edifice to show God his great love for Him.  He felt it was not proper for him to dwell in a palace and the House of God to be in a tent.  Yet because of his bloody career as a warrior, God would not allow him to build His House.  That job, He told David, would be passed to his son Solomon, who would be a man of peace.

But David did the next best thing.  He gathered together all the cedar wood, gold, silver, precious stones, marble, and other materials that Solomon would need in the building of the Temple.  Then he charged the people to give of all their substance and talents to the building of the Temple.  He didn't have to remind them of the great blessings of God on the Hebrews throughout their history.  They knew of their deliverance from Egypt, their possession of Canaan, God’s longsuffering through their rising and falling with every tide of religion, God’s wonderful blessings on the nation of Israel.  So they gave.  They gave of all that they had.  They gave sacrificially, knowing that whatever they could give was not nearly enough to repay God for His goodness.  But they gave – of their goods, of their harvest, of their service.

Who Then Is Willing?
God the Father watches o’er us
From His throne in Heaven above,
Daily showers us with blessings,
Gives us gifts of boundless love.

Jesus all our sins has taken.
In Himself He bore our shame.
On His back our stripes were given,
On His head heaped all our blame.

The Blessed Spirit dwells within us
Ever filling us with peace,
Floods our hearts with joy unending,
Guides us to God’s great increase.

O friend, if you are in His Body
He desires your service true.
Give yourself unto the Master;
He has giv’n his all for you.

Who then is willing God’s Will to do?
Who then is willing to serve Him true?
Who then is willing to stand the test?
Who then is willing to give his best?
© 2006 Paul Stultz

Quote - "The assembly needs our time, talents, toil, and tears." - R. Dawes

"Lord, Thank you for your great Love to usward.  Than you for the sacrifice you made for us.  As we give you our service each day, help us to be willing to consecrate our all to you just as you did for us.  Amen."

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Misguided Faith

Hebrews 11:1 – "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

One would not think of faith with the words substance and evidence when considering it in a worldly light.  But Christians must look at faith with spiritual eyes, an insight guided by the Holy Spirit.

In a worldly sense, people exercise faith each day – and that faith is substance and evidence.  When someone desires to sit in a chair or on a bench, does he first check the structural soundness of the seat before sitting on it?  Not usually!  He acts on faith that the chair will support him.  Yet in some cases that faith can be misguided.  I once knew a college professor who, out of habit, would sit on the edge of his desk while lecturing, showing faith that the desk would hold up under his rather portly frame.  Well, during one class period, he sat on the edge of the desk, the legs gave way, and this paragon of wisdom ended up sprawled on the floor.  His faith in the desk was misguided.

Even in Hollywood, the lawyer character in Miracle on 34th Street made the statement, “Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to.”  This was on the surface good advice, yet the faith he was speaking of was a faith in Santa Claus – once again, a misguided faith.

The same can be true in our spiritual life.  Our faith can be put in the wrong things and we fall flat on our faces and don’t understand why.  Well it’s because we put our faith in things – things not bad in themselves but made bad by our misplaced faith.  Sometimes we put our faith in a man – a man of God perhaps – but a man nonetheless.  Or we put our faith in an organization and too often our faith is dashed into pieces.  Or more personally, we depend on position, power, or prosperity – or on people or popularity – or sometimes on public profession or tithing.

Anything, whether real or abstract, in which we place our faith, aside from the Lord Jesus Christ, is a recipient of misguided faith.  He is the foundation of our salvation, therefore the cornerstone of our faith.  Hebrews 12:2 regales Him as “the author and finisher of our faith.”  Hebrews 11 recounts the great successes of those who displayed true faith.  How can the believer exhibit faith in anything else, whether it be denomination, dogma, teacher or preacher?

Quote – “Faith in anything instead of Christ is really not faith at all but Folly.” – Anonymous

"Lord, Help us to have a true faith in you. Help us to see the world and everything in it as you see it - not worthy of our trust - only you are worthy.  Amen."

"He Knows My Name" - MVBC Young Ladies Trio

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