VIDEO Lord I Need You

Chris Tomlin – Lord I Need You

From the 2011 Passion live album “Here For You” this is Chris Tomlin singing “Lord I Need You”, sort of a modern-day version of the hymn “I Need Thee Every Hour”. Written by Christy Nockels, Daniel Carson, Jesse Reeves, Kristian Stanfill, and Matt Maher.

Yes,we *do* need Him. Without Him we have no hope, and we have no promise of salvation.

Guard the Gateway

The devil, your enemy, goes around like a roaring lion looking for someone to eat. Refuse to give in to him, by standing strong in your faith. 1 PETER 5:8–9

You’ve got to admit, some of our hearts are trashed out. Let any riffraff knock on the door, and we throw it open. Anger shows up, and we let him in. Revenge needs a place to stay, so we have him pull up a chair. Pity wants to have a party, so we show him the kitchen. Lust rings the bell, and we change the sheets on the bed. Don’t we know how to say no?

Many don’t. For most of us, thought management is, well, unthought of. We think much about time management, weight management, personnel management, even scalp management. But what about thought management? Shouldn’t we be as concerned about managing our thoughts as we are managing anything else? Jesus was. Like a trained soldier at the gate of a city, he stood watch over his mind. He stubbornly guarded the gateway of his heart.…

If he did, shouldn’t we … ?

Just Like Jesus

The Purpose of Pain

Matthew 16:24-27

“God, if You love me, then why must I endure pain?” This question preoccupies many believers in their darkest hours of need. While pain takes different forms and has different durations, suffering always comes with an objective greater than our comfort, pleasure, or personal goals. If we seek the Lord’s purpose for grief, we will find both His peace and His deep love for us.

Pain instructs.
Christ’s sufficiency is more apparent during times of suffering than in the midst of blessing. Discovering God’s faithful provision strengthens our resolve to endure.

Pain purifies.
Counterfeit faith cannot withstand hardship’s flames. Like gold in a refiner’s fire, suffering believers experience the burning away of impurities until only things of value remain. Trials bring into focus the truth about the world we live in, the nature of people we meet, and the incomparable worth of our Father.

Pain motivates. Pain drives us to God. How often do we hear testimony from people who discovered Him during their worst trial? In His wisdom, the Lord knows whether we require motivation from blessing or from distress.

Pain opens us to intimacy with God. At the end of our own resources is the Lord’s boundless strength. Running into His arms guarantees us the comfort and energy that is available only through an intimate relationship with the Father.

Living an easy life doesn’t earn rewards. Though our instinct is to sidestep pain, suffering helps us to find intimacy with God and the great purpose He sets for our life.

The Similitude of God

“Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.” (James 3:9)

Here inserted within a very sober condemnation of the misuse of our God-given privilege of speech, is what seems almost an incidental reference to the image of God in man. It is not a trivial reference, however, but very significant.

For one thing, it tells us that even though the image of God in man has been severely marred by sin, it is still there! That is, man is eternal just as God is eternal, and we will all continue to exist forever, either in the presence of God, or away from His presence. That “image” is not shared with the animals, even the higher animals. The latter do have a body, soul (in the sense of mind), and spirit (in the sense of breath), but they do not possess “the image of God” which was specially created in man alone after all the animals had been created (note Genesis 1:21 and 1:27).

Another implication is that the word “similitude” includes the meaning of a physical resemblance. While God in His full essence is omnipresent and therefore invisible to human eyes, it is still true that, when God became man, He took on an actual physical body. Furthermore, our Lord Jesus, God the Son, still is “that same Jesus” and therefore still in that body (note Acts 1:11; 1 John 3:2; etc.).

Since His incarnation and His work of salvation were planned by the triune God “before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20), man was apparently created in the image of that body that Christ had planned to take on when He would eventually become man.

That being the case, our bodies are even more sacred than otherwise we might have assumed, and it is indeed a serious matter to misuse the tongue or any other member of the body, which is made after the similitude of Christ. HMM

I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord

“I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord.” (Phil. 3:8.)

THIS is the happy season of ripening cornfields, of the merry song of the reapers, of the secured and garnered grain. But let me hearken to the sermon of the field. This is its solemn word to me. You must die in order to live. You must refuse to consult your own ease and well-being. You must be crucified, not only in desires and habits which are sinful, but in many more which appear innocent and right. If you would save others, you cannot save yourself. If you would bear much fruit, you must be buried in darkness and solitude.

My heart fails me as I listen. But, when Jesus asks it, let me tell myself that it is my high dignity to enter into the fellowship of His sufferings; and thus I am in the best of company. And let me tell myself again that it is all meant to make me a vessel meet for His use. His own Calvary has blossomed into fertility; and so shall mine. Plenty out of pain, life out of death: is it not the law of the Kingdom?—In the Hour of Silence.

Do we call it dying when the bud bursts into flower? —Selected

“Finding, following, keeping, struggling,
Is He sure to bless?
Saints, apostles, prophets, martyrs,
Answer, ‘Yes.'”

Gather not my soul with sinners

“Gather not my soul with sinners.” Psalm 26:9

Fear made David pray thus, for something whispered, “Perhaps, after all, thou mayst be gathered with the wicked.” That fear, although marred by unbelief, springs, in the main, from holy anxiety, arising from the recollection of past sin. Even the pardoned man will enquire, “What if at the end my sins should be remembered, and I should be left out of the catalogue of the saved?” He recollects his present unfruitfulness—so little grace, so little love, so little holiness, and looking forward to the future, he considers his weakness and the many temptations which beset him, and he fears that he may fall, and become a prey to the enemy.

A sense of sin and present evil, and his prevailing corruptions, compel him to pray, in fear and trembling, “Gather not my soul with sinners.” Reader, if you have prayed this prayer, and if your character be rightly described in the Psalm from which it is taken, you need not be afraid that you shall be gathered with sinners. Have you the two virtues which David had—the outward walking in integrity, and the inward trusting in the Lord? Are you resting upon Christ’s sacrifice, and can you compass the altar of God with humble hope? If so, rest assured, with the wicked you never shall be gathered, for that calamity is impossible.

The gathering at the judgment is like to like. “Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” If, then, thou art like God’s people, thou shalt be with God’s people. You cannot be gathered with the wicked, for you are too dearly bought. Redeemed by the blood of Christ, you are His for ever, and where He is, there must His people be. You are loved too much to be cast away with reprobates. Shall one dear to Christ perish? Impossible! Hell cannot hold thee! Heaven claims thee! Trust in thy Surety and fear not!

I will rejoice over them to do them good

“I will rejoice over them to do them good.” Jeremiah 32:41

How heart-cheering to the believer is the delight which God has in His saints! We cannot see any reason in ourselves why the Lord should take pleasure in us; we cannot take delight in ourselves, for we often have to groan, being burdened; conscious of our sinfulness, and deploring our unfaithfulness; and we fear that God’s people cannot take much delight in us, for they must perceive so much of our imperfections and our follies, that they may rather lament our infirmities than admire our graces.

But we love to dwell upon this transcendent truth, this glorious mystery: that as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so does the Lord rejoice over us. We do not read anywhere that God delighteth in the cloud-capped mountains, or the sparkling stars, but we do read that He delighteth in the habitable parts of the earth, and that His delights are with the sons of men. We do not find it written that even angels give His soul delight; nor doth He say, concerning cherubim and seraphim, “Thou shalt be called Hephzibah, for the Lord delighteth in thee”; but He does say all that to poor fallen creatures like ourselves, debased and depraved by sin, but saved, exalted, and glorified by His grace.

In what strong language He expresses His delight in His people! Who could have conceived of the eternal One as bursting forth into a song? Yet it is written, “He will rejoice over thee with joy, He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing.” As He looked upon the world He had made, He said, “It is very good”; but when He beheld those who are the purchase of Jesus’ blood, His own chosen ones, it seemed as if the great heart of the Infinite could restrain itself no longer, but overflowed in divine exclamations of joy. Should not we utter our grateful response to such a marvellous declaration of His love, and sing, “I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation?”