VIDEO A Story of Amazing Grace with song

A music video of the song “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” and the “Amazing Grace” movie trailer.

The movie is well worth watching. It is amazing what God can do with anyone – if you let Him.

Performed by Chris Tomlin and the Wilberforce University Choir.

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God Honors Our Choice

We all have wandered away like sheep; each of us has gone his own way.ISAIAH 53:6

How could a loving God send people to hell? That’s a commonly asked question. The question itself reveals a couple of misconceptions.

First, God does not send people to hell. He simply honors their choice. Hell is the ultimate expression of God’s high regard for the dignity of man. He has never forced us to choose him, even when that means we would choose hell.…

No, God does not “send” people to hell. Nor does he send people to hell. That is the second misconception.

The word “people” is neutral, implying innocence. Nowhere does Scripture teach that innocent people are condemned. People do not go to hell. Sinners do. The rebellious do. The self-centered do. So how could a loving God send people to hell? He doesn’t. He simply honors the choice of sinners.

When Christ Comes

GOD’S NAME IN YOUR HEART

The Lord is like a strong tower; those who do right can run to him for safety.PROVERBS 18:10

When you are confused about the future, go to your Jehovah-raah, your caring shepherd. When you are anxious about provision, talk to Jehovah-jireh, the Lord who provides. Are your challenges too great? Seek the help of Jehovah-shalom, the Lord is peace. Is your body sick? Are your emotions weak? Jehovah-rophe, the Lord who heals you, will see you now. Do you feel like a soldier stranded behind enemy lines? Take refuge in Jehovah-nissi, the Lord my banner.

Meditating on the names of God reminds you of the character of God. Take these names and bury them in your heart.

God is
the shepherd who guides,
the Lord who provides,
the voice who brings peace in the storm,
the physician who heals the sick, and
the banner that guides the soldier.

from THE GREAT HOUSE OF GOD

Confession

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

The Bible book in which this glorious promise is given was written entirely to the saint of God, not to the unbelieving sinner.

Confession is what saints do when they sin.
Repentance is what sinners do before they become saints.
Confession is agreement (identity) with the sin against God.
Repentance is reversal (changed mind) to trust (from me to God).

Psalm 51 is a classic prayer of confession. King David poured out his heart of sorrow for the terrible affair with Bathsheba and yearned for God to “wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin” (v. 2). David acknowledged that “against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight” (v. 4). He confessed his sin, and asked God, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation” (v. 12).

Three of the gospels record the declaration of Jesus that “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17). Repentance is not an apology for specific sins, it is a heart-mind-soul turning from self-righteous sufficiency to God’s holiness. It is the lost that repent, not the saved: “Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance” (Luke 15:7).

One day, however, “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:11). Far better to repent in sorrow today than confess in terror at the Judgment. HMM III

“Feed on his faithfulness”

“Feed on his faithfulness.” (Psalm 37:3, R. V.)

I ONCE met a poor woman, who earned a precarious living by hard daily labor; but who was a joyous triumphant Christian. “Ah, Nancy,” said a gloomy Christian lady to her one day, “it is well enough to be happy now; but I should think the thoughts of your future would sober you.

“Only suppose, for instance, you should have a spell of sickness, and be unable to work; or suppose your present employers should move away, and no one else should give you anything to do; or suppose—”

“Stop!” cried Nancy, “I never supposes. De Lord is my Shepherd, and I knows I shall not want. And, Honey,” she added, to her gloomy friend, “it’s all dem supposes as is makin’ you so mis’able. You’d better give dem all up, and just trust de Lord.”

There is one text that will take all the “supposes” out of a believer’s life, if it be received and acted on in childlike faith; it is Hebrews 13:5, 6: “Be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”—H. W. S.

“There’s a stream of trouble across my path;
It is black and deep and wide.
Bitter the hour the future hath
When I cross its swelling tide.
But I smile and sing and say:
‘I will hope and trust alway;
I’ll bear the sorrow that comes tomorrow,
But I’ll borrow none today.’

“Tomorrow’s bridge is a dangerous thing;
I dare not cross it now.
I can see its timbers sway and swing,
And its arches reel and bow.
O heart, you must hope alway;
You must sing and trust and say:
‘I’ll bear the sorrow that comes tomorrow,
But I’ll borrow none today.'”

The eagle that soars in the upper air does not worry itself as to how it is to cross rivers.— Selected.

Search the Scriptures

“Search the Scriptures.” John 5:39

The Greek word here rendered search signifies a strict, close, diligent, curious search, such as men make when they are seeking gold, or hunters when they are in earnest after game. We must not rest content with having given a superficial reading to a chapter or two, but with the candle of the Spirit we must deliberately seek out the hidden meaning of the word. Holy Scripture requires searching—much of it can only be learned by careful study. There is milk for babes, but also meat for strong men.

The rabbis wisely say that a mountain of matter hangs upon every word, yea, upon every title of Scripture. Tertullian exclaims, “I adore the fulness of the Scriptures.” No man who merely skims the book of God can profit thereby; we must dig and mine until we obtain the hid treasure. The door of the word only opens to the key of diligence. The Scriptures claim searching. They are the writings of God, bearing the divine stamp and imprimatur—who shall dare to treat them with levity? He who despises them despises the God who wrote them. God forbid that any of us should leave our Bibles to become swift witnesses against us in the great day of account. The word of God will repay searching. God does not bid us sift a mountain of chaff with here and there a grain of wheat in it, but the Bible is winnowed corn—we have but to open the granary door and find it.

Scripture grows upon the student. It is full of surprises. Under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, to the searching eye it glows with splendour of revelation, like a vast temple paved with wrought gold, and roofed with rubies, emeralds, and all manner of gems. No merchandise like the merchandise of Scripture truth. Lastly, the Scriptures reveal Jesus: “They are they which testify of Me.” No more powerful motive can be urged upon Bible readers than this: he who finds Jesus finds life, heaven, all things. Happy he who, searching his Bible, discovers his Saviour.

The Lord hath done great things for us

“The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.” Psalm 126:3

Some Christians are sadly prone to look on the dark side of everything, and to dwell more upon what they have gone through than upon what God has done for them. Ask for their impression of the Christian life, and they will describe their continual conflicts, their deep afflictions, their sad adversities, and the sinfulness of their hearts, yet with scarcely any allusion to the mercy and help which God has vouchsafed them.

But a Christian whose soul is in a healthy state, will come forward joyously, and say, “I will speak, not about myself, but to the honour of my God. He hath brought me up out of an horrible pit, and out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings: and He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God. The Lord hath done great things for me, whereof I am glad.” Such an abstract of experience as this is the very best that any child of God can present. It is true that we endure trials, but it is just as true that we are delivered out of them.

It is true that we have our corruptions, and mournfully do we know this, but it is quite as true that we have an all-sufficient Saviour, who overcomes these corruptions, and delivers us from their dominion. In looking back, it would be wrong to deny that we have been in the Slough of Despond, and have crept along the Valley of Humiliation, but it would be equally wicked to forget that we have been through them safely and profitably; we have not remained in them, thanks to our Almighty Helper and Leader, who has brought us “out into a wealthy place.”

The deeper our troubles, the louder our thanks to God, who has led us through all, and preserved us until now. Our griefs cannot mar the melody of our praise, we reckon them to be the bass part of our life’s song, “He hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.”