APPLAUD LOUD AND OFTEN

I sing to the LORD because he has taken care of me. PSALM 13:6

God has never taken his eyes off you. Not for a millisecond. He’s always near. He lives to hear your heartbeat. He loves to hear your prayers. He’d die for your sin before he’d let you die in your sin, so he did.

What do you do with such a Savior? Don’t you sing to him? Don’t you declare, confess, and proclaim his name? Don’t you bow a knee, lower a head, hammer a nail, feed the poor, and lift up your gift in worship? Of course you do.

Worship God. Applaud him loud and often. For your sake, you need it.

And for heaven’s sake, he deserves it.

from CURE FOR THE COMMON LIFE

Advertisements

The Compassionate Christ

When he arrived, he saw a great crowd waiting. He felt sorry for them.… So he began to teach them many things. MARK 6:34

When Jesus lands on the shore of Bethsaida, he leaves the Sea of Galilee and steps into a sea of humanity. Keep in mind, he has crossed the sea to get away from the crowds. He needs to grieve. He longs to relax with his followers. He needs anything but another crowd of thousands to teach and heal.

But his love for people overcomes his need for rest.…

Many of those he healed would never say “thank you,” but he healed them anyway. Most would be more concerned with being healthy than being holy, but he healed them anyway. Some of those who asked for bread today would cry for his blood a few months later, but he healed them anyway.… He had compassion on them.

In the Eye of the Storm

An Acceptable Sacrifice

“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5)

Our text instructs us that we, as a corporate church and as individuals, are designed for the purpose of offering up acceptable sacrifices to God. These are not animal sacrifices as before, but “spiritual” sacrifices, made “acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” What kinds of spiritual sacrifices are acceptable?

Prayer: An amazing scene is recorded for us in heaven, for an angel is seen at the altar offering up to God incense mingled with “the prayers of the saints” (Revelation 8:4, see also 5:8). Our prayers are precious to Him.

Giving: The use of our financial resources for the furtherance of His kingdom becomes “an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God” (Philippians 4:18).

Praise: In some way, not fully comprehended by us, we can “offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15).

Good work and sharing: “But to do good and to communicate |share| forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:16). Remember, we are saved entirely by

God’s grace, but also created specifically unto good works (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Ourselves: We have a distinct privilege in that we may “present |our| bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is |our| reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).

God is a magnificent God! He can be trusted with our prayers, our resources, our praise, our works, and our lives. His perfect sacrifice has made it possible for our sacrifices to be meaningful.

by John D. Morris, Ph.D.

The Face of Jesus Christ

“And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.” (Revelation 22:4)

This is the last reference in the Bible to the face of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a glorious promise it is, with its assurance that all His servants will finally see Him face to face! Although they give us no specific description of His physical appearance (the only description of His appearance is in Revelation 1:13-16), the gospel writers do frequently mention His face.

On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James, and John saw how “his face did shine as the sun” (Matthew 17:2), as He spoke of His forthcoming death. Shortly after this, “he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51) to meet His death.

A few days after His entrance into Jerusalem, He was delivered into the hands of wicked men who took delight in desecrating that face which, in loving grief, had just wept over the city and its indifference to God. But first, in the garden just before His arrest, He “fell on his face” in agonizing prayer (Matthew 26:39).

Then the Roman soldiers began “to cover his face” (Mark 14:65), and to “spit in his face” (Matthew 26:67), and finally, “they struck him on the face” (Luke 22:64). In fact, they abused Him so severely that “his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men” (Isaiah 52:14).

But when He comes again, the Christ-rejecting world will cry out to the mountains to “fall on us, and hide us from the face . . . of the Lamb . . . from whose face the earth and the heavenfled away” (Revelation 6:16; 20:11). All the redeemed, on the other hand, will rejoice forever in “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).


by Henry Morris, Ph.D.