WHAT A GOD!

LORD God All-Powerful, who is like you? LORD, you are powerful and completely trustworthy. PSALM 89:8

Ponder the achievement of God. He doesn’t condone our sin, nor does he compromise his standard. He doesn’t ignore our rebellion, nor does he relax his demands.

Rather than dismiss our sin, he assumes our sin and, incredibly, sentences himself.

God’s holiness is honored. Our sin is punished … and we are redeemed.

God does what we cannot do so we can be what we dare not dream: perfect before God.

from IN THE GRIP OF GRACE

The Rules Of Disengagement

If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. —John 8:36

In her book Throw Out Fifty Things, Gail Blanke outlines four “Rules of Disengagement” to help people clear the clutter from their lives. The first rule states: “If it . . . weighs you down, clogs you up, or just plain makes you feel bad about yourself, throw it out, give it away, sell it, let it go, move on.”

I think this Rule of Disengagement has a spiritual application too: We don’t have to stay connected to past sin. Joseph’s brothers struggled with this. Years after they sold Joseph into slavery, they recalled their cruelty and feared revenge (Gen. 50:15). So they sent a message to Joseph, begging for forgiveness (vv.16-17). They did this despite previous merciful actions and reassurances from their brother (45:4-15).

Many of us remain connected to age-old offenses despite mercy and forgiveness from those we may have hurt. However, true freedom comes when we confess our wrongdoing to God. He forgives it (1 John 1:9) and separates us from it (Ps. 103:12). As one verse puts it, He throws our sin into the depths of the sea! (Micah 7:19). Because of this, we can remind ourselves that the Son has made us free, and we are free indeed (John 8:36).— by Jennifer Benson Schuldt

’Twas a glad day when Jesus found me,
When His strong arms were thrown around me;
When my sins He buried in the deepest sea,
And my soul He filled with joy and victory.
—Albert S. Reitz. © Renewal 1946. Hope Publishing.

The price of our freedom from sin was paid by Jesus’ blood.

That Old Serpent

“And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:2)

This prophetic vision given to John leaves no doubt as to the identity of the serpent in the Garden of Eden. That “old serpent” (literally, “that primeval serpent”) who deceived our first parents into rebelling against the word of God is none other than the Devil, or Satan, often viewed in Scripture as typified by a “great dragon” (Revelation 12:9), the fearsome animal of ancient times; probably the dinosaur.

His ultimate doom is sure—he will be bound a thousand years, then finally be “cast into the lake of fire . . . tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10). At present, however, he is not bound, for “your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We must be sober and vigilant, “lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11).

His devices are manifold, but all are deceptive (he was the most “subtle” of all God’s creatures, Genesis 3:1), malevolent, and designed to turn us away from the true Christ. “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).

He is a great deceiver. He can appear as a fire-breathing dragon or a roaring lion, deceiving us into fearing and obeying him instead of God. He can also be “transformed into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14), deceiving us into trusting the “feigned words” of his “false teachers” (2 Peter 2:3, 1) instead of the Holy Scriptures of the God of creation. Our recourse against his deceptions is to “put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). HMM

Prove me now

“Prove me now.” (Mal. 3:10.)

WHAT is God saying here but this: “My child, I still have windows in Heaven. They are yet in service. The bolts slide as easily as of old. The hinges have not grown rusty. I would rather fling them open, and pour forth, than keep them shut, and hold back. I opened them for Moses, and the sea parted. I opened them for Joshua, and Jordan rolled back. I opened them for Gideon, and hosts fled. I will open them for you—if you will only let Me. On this side of the windows, Heaven is the same rich storehouse as of old. The fountains and streams still overflow. The treasure rooms are still bursting with gifts. The lack is not on my side. It is on yours. I am waiting. Prove Me now. Fulfill the conditions, on your part. Bring in the tithes. Give Me a chance.—Selected.

I can never forget my mother’s very brief paraphrase of Malachi 3:10. The verse begins, “Bring ye the whole tithe in,” and it ends up with “I will pour” the blessing out till you’ll be embarrassed for space. Her paraphrase was this: Give all He asks; take all He promises.“—S. D. Gordon.

The ability of God is beyond our prayers, beyond our largest prayers! I have been thinking of some of the petitions that have entered into my supplication innumerable times. What have I asked for? I have asked for a cupful, and the ocean remains! I have asked for a sunbeam, and the sun abides! My best asking falls immeasurably short of my Father’s giving: it is beyond that we can ask.—J. H. Jowett.

“All the rivers of Thy grace I claim,
Over every promise write my name.” (Eph. 1:8-19.)

Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?

“Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” Romans 8:33

Most blessed challenge! How unanswerable it is! Every sin of the elect was laid upon the great Champion of our salvation, and by the atonement carried away. There is no sin in God’s book against His people: He seeth no sin in Jacob, neither iniquity in Israel; they are justified in Christ for ever. When the guilt of sin was taken away, the punishment of sin was removed. For the Christian there is no stroke from God’s angry hand—nay, not so much as a single frown of punitive justice.

The believer may be chastised by his Father, but God the Judge has nothing to say to the Christian, except “I have absolved thee: thou art acquitted.” For the Christian there is no penal death in this world, much less any second death. He is completely freed from all the punishment as well as the guilt of sin, and the power of sin is removed too. It may stand in our way, and agitate us with perpetual warfare; but sin is a conquered foe to every soul in union with Jesus. There is no sin which a Christian cannot overcome if he will only rely upon his God to do it. They who wear the white robe in heaven overcame through the blood of the Lamb, and we may do the same.

No lust is too mighty, no besetting sin too strongly entrenched; we can overcome through the power of Christ. Do believe it, Christian, that thy sin is a condemned thing. It may kick and struggle, but it is doomed to die. God has written condemnation across its brow. Christ has crucified it, “nailing it to His cross.” Go now and mortify it, and the Lord help you to live to His praise, for sin with all its guilt, shame, and fear, is gone.

“Here’s pardon for transgressions past,
It matters not how black their cast;
And, O my soul, with wonder view,
For sins to come here’s pardon too.”

Exceeding great and precious promises

“Exceeding great and precious promises.” 2 Peter 1:4

If you would know experimentally the preciousness of the promises, and enjoy them in your own heart, meditate much upon them. There are promises which are like grapes in the wine-press; if you will tread them the juice will flow. Thinking over the hallowed words will often be the prelude to their fulfillment. While you are musing upon them, the boon which you are seeking will insensibly come to you. Many a Christian who has thirsted for the promise has found the favour which it ensured gently distilling into his soul even while he has been considering the divine record; and he has rejoiced that ever he was led to lay the promise near his heart.

But besides meditating upon the promises, seek in thy soul to receive them as being the very words of God. Speak to thy soul thus, “If I were dealing with a man’s promise, I should carefully consider the ability and the character of the man who had covenanted with me. So with the promise of God; my eye must not be so much fixed upon the greatness of the mercy—that may stagger me; as upon the greatness of the promiser—that will cheer me. My soul, it is God, even thy God, God that cannot lie, who speaks to thee. This word of His which thou art now considering is as true as His own existence. He is a God unchangeable. He has not altered the thing which has gone out of His mouth, nor called back one single consolatory sentence. Nor doth He lack any power; it is the God that made the heavens and the earth who has spoken thus. Nor can He fail in wisdom as to the time when He will bestow the favours, for He knoweth when it is best to give and when better to withhold.

Therefore, seeing that it is the word of a God so true, so immutable, so powerful, so wise, I will and must believe the promise.” If we thus meditate upon the promises, and consider the Promiser, we shall experience their sweetness, and obtain their fulfillment.