VIDEO To God Alone

Aaron Shust – To God Alone

The shattered glass represents us: the broken and hurting people of this world. The designer represents God who collects all of it and through his skill, makes something beautiful. This is what he is doing with you. The main message of the video is that God can turn brokenness into beauty for His glory.

Advertisements

A POSITIVE POWER

What you say can mean life or death. PROVERBS 18:21

Nathaniel Hawthorne came home heartbroken. He’d just been fired from his job in the custom house. His wife, rather than responding with anxiety, surprised him with joy. “Now you can write your book!”

He wasn’t so positive. “And what shall we live on while I’m writing it?”

To his amazement she opened a drawer and revealed a wad of money she’d saved out of her housekeeping budget. “I always knew you were a man of genius,” she told him. “I always knew you’d write a masterpiece.”

She believed in her husband. And because she did, he wrote. And because he wrote, every library in America has a copy of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

You have the power to change someone’s life simply by the words that you speak. “What you say can mean life or death.”

from A LOVE WORTH GIVING

Imaginary Friend?

Abraham believed God . . . and he was called the friend of God. —James 2:23

Not long ago, I heard about this billboard along the highway: “God is an imaginary friend—choose reality. It will be better for all of us.”

Obviously, the bold statement compares Christians to children whose vivid imaginations invent a make-believe companion. But is that what God is—an imaginary friend?

Actually, the evidence favors His reality. Ponder these ideas: The creation of the world shows there is a Designer behind the universe (Rom. 1:18-20). The conscience indicates a Lawgiver behind each human’s sense of right and wrong (Rom. 2:14-15). The creativity we express in music and art reflect the same attribute that the Creator possesses (Ex. 35:31-32). Christ reveals what God is like in human form (Heb. 1:1-4). And the communion or fellowship of the Spirit in the Christian heart manifests the reality of God (Gal. 5:22-23).

The Bible tells us there will be those who deny the reality of God (2 Peter 3:4-6). But James reminds us of His reality and how an Old Testament believer befriended Him: “‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God” (James 2:23). Have you met the redeeming God? He gave His Son to become your real, eternal Friend (John 15:15).

I’ve found a Friend, O such a Friend!
He loved me ere I knew Him;
He drew me with the cords of love,
And thus He bound me to Him. —Small

The dearest friend on earth is but a mere shadow compared to Jesus. —Chambers

The Opened Prison

“The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” (Isaiah 61:1)

The Lord Jesus appropriated this beautiful verse of the prophet Isaiah to Himself, preaching from it one day in the Nazareth synagogue and proclaiming: “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21). Note that He came to preach the gospel to the meek, not the arrogant, and to bind up the brokenhearted, not the hardhearted.

He also came to set the captives free. This was not, however, to deliver the Jews from Roman bondage as many had hoped, but a far greater deliverance. In the Hebrew, the phrase “opening of the prison” is only one word (a doubled word), and it occurs only this one time in the Old Testament. When Christ quoted it in the synagogue, He actually expanded and interpreted it as follows: “. . . recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18).

The “prison” which Christ came to open is evidently a spiritual prison, a binding of the soul, a blinding of the mind. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36)—free from the bondage of sin, translated, “out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

There was also another prison, a very real prison, deep in the heart of the earth to which He came. While His body slept in the tomb, His spirit descended into Hades where the spirits of all who had died in faith were awaiting Him, and “when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and . . . ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things” (Ephesians 4:8, 10). HMM

I have prayed that your own faith may not fail

“I have prayed that your own faith may not fail.” (Luke 22:32.)

CHRISTIAN, take good care of thy faith, for recollect that faith is the only means whereby thou canst obtain blessings. Prayer cannot draw down answers from God’s throne except it be the earnest prayer of the man who believes.

Faith is the telegraphic wire which links earth to Heaven, on which God’s messages of love fly so fast that before we call He answers, and while we are yet speaking He hears us. But if that telegraphic wire of faith be snapped, how can we obtain the promise?

Am I in trouble? I can obtain help for trouble by faith. Am I beaten about by the enemy? My soul on her dear Refuge leans by faith.

But take faith away, then in vain I call to God. There is no other road betwixt ray soul and Heaven. Blockade the road, and how can I communicate with the Great King?

Faith links me with Divinity. Faith clothes me with the power of Jehovah. Faith insures every attribute of God in my defense. It helps me to defy the hosts of hell. It makes me march triumphant over the necks of my enemies. But without faith how can I receive anything from the Lord?

Oh, then, Christian, watch well thy faith. “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” —C. H. Spurgeon.

We boast of being so practical a people that we want to have a surer thing than faith. But did not

Paul say that the promise was by FAITH that it might be SURE? (Romans 4:16.)—Dan Crawford.

Faith honors God; God honors faith.

A deep sense and clear sight of sin

“O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face… because we have sinned against Thee.” Daniel 9:8

A deep sense and clear sight of sin, its heinousness, and the punishment which it deserves, should make us lie low before the throne. We have sinned as Christians. Alas! that it should be so. Favoured as we have been, we have yet been ungrateful: privileged beyond most, we have not brought forth fruit in proportion. Who is there, although he may long have been engaged in the Christian warfare, that will not blush when he looks back upon the past?

As for our days before we were regenerated, may they be forgiven and forgotten; but since then, though we have not sinned as before, yet we have sinned against light and against love—light which has really penetrated our minds, and love in which we have rejoiced. Oh, the atrocity of the sin of a pardoned soul! An unpardoned sinner sins cheaply compared with the sin of one of God’s own elect ones, who has had communion with Christ and leaned his head upon Jesus’ bosom. Look at David! Many will talk of his sin, but I pray you look at his repentance, and hear his broken bones, as each one of them moans out its dolorous confession! Mark his tears, as they fall upon the ground, and the deep sighs with which he accompanies the softened music of his harp!

We have erred: let us, therefore, seek the spirit of penitence. Look, again, at Peter! We speak much of Peter’s denying his Master. Remember, it is written, “He wept bitterly.” Have we no denials of our Lord to be lamented with tears? Alas! these sins of ours, before and after conversion, would consign us to the place of inextinguishable fire if it were not for the sovereign mercy which has made us to differ, snatching us like brands from the burning. My soul, bow down under a sense of thy natural sinfulness, and worship thy God. Admire the grace which saves thee—the mercy which spares thee—the love which pardons thee!

Delight thyself also in the Lord

“Delight thyself also in the Lord.” Psalm 37:4

The teaching of these words must seem very surprising to those who are strangers to vital godliness, but to the sincere believer it is only the inculcation of a recognized truth. The life of the believer is here described as a delight in God, and we are thus certified of the great fact that true religion overflows with happiness and joy.

Ungodly persons and mere professors never look upon religion as a joyful thing; to them it is service, duty, or necessity, but never pleasure or delight. If they attend to religion at all, it is either that they may gain thereby, or else because they dare not do otherwise. The thought of delight in religion is so strange to most men, that no two words in their language stand further apart than “holiness” and “delight.”

But believers who know Christ, understand that delight and faith are so blessedly united, that the gates of hell cannot prevail to separate them. They who love God with all their hearts, find that His ways are ways of pleasantness, and all His paths are peace. Such joys, such brimful delights, such overflowing blessednesses, do the saints discover in their Lord, that so far from serving Him from custom, they would follow Him though all the world cast out His name as evil.

We fear not God because of any compulsion; our faith is no fetter, our profession is no bondage, we are not dragged to holiness, nor driven to duty. No, our piety is our pleasure, our hope is our happiness, our duty is our delight. Delight and true religion are as allied as root and flower; as indivisible as truth and certainty; they are, in fact, two precious jewels glittering side by side in a setting of gold.

“‘Tis when we taste Thy love,
Our joys divinely grow,
Unspeakable like those above,
And heaven begins below.”