ASSURANCE OF VICTORY

This is the victory that conquers the world—our faith. 1 JOHN 5:4

What is unique about the kingdom of God is that you are assured of victory. You have won! You are assured that you will someday stand before the face of God and see the King of kings. You are assured that someday you will enter a world where there will be no more pain, no more tears, no more sorrow.

If you have no faith in the future, then you have no power in the present. If you have no faith in the life beyond this life, then your present life is going to be powerless. But if you believe in the future and are assured of victory, then there should be a dance in your step and a smile on your face.

from THE INSPIRATIONAL STUDY BIBLE

A Gift from the Father

John 3:16

Think about all the presents you’ve received in your life. Some may have seemed heavenly, but Jesus Christ is the only gift any of us will ever receive that came straight from heaven. Without a maker, without a beginning or end, He is unlike any other gift in human experience. And although He arrived as a tiny infant, He is precisely what all mankind desperately needs.

When you placed your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you could not have been given a gift that was more practical or necessary. Sin had so wrecked humanity that we were all under the wrath of God and in desperate need of forgiveness and deliverance from our guilt, shame, and fleshly behaviors. We had emotional needs, material needs, and all manner of brokenness.

So God the Father sent His only begotten Son into our lives. He knew that no other gift could ever provide for our needs or fulfill our longings as completely as Christ Jesus.

He came in human flesh. That’s what the incarnation is all about. God came into this world with a body like ours so that we could see Him, touch Him, and understand Him. And yet the tragedy is that most people never “unwrap” this gift. They keep Him a baby in the manger scene or categorize Him as just a teacher or preacher. But this will never do. If you do not unwrap the gift, you will never know what is inside. To open the present, open the Bible. The more you get to know Jesus, the better you will understand how perfect the gift is for you.

The Brightness of the Glory

“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:3)

This verse constitutes one of Scripture’s most magnificent declarations of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us examine the phrase “the brightness of his glory.”

The word for “brightness” is used only this one time in the Bible and means, literally, “out-radiating.” The word picture conveyed is of the energy overflow from the sun. The sun constitutes a tremendous generator of energy, more than adequate to sustain all processes on Earth. However, these energies would be utterly useless for any such noble purpose if they could not somehow be transmitted from sun to Earth. They are transmitted, however, through the remarkable radiant energy known as sunlight, or solar radiation.

It is this figure which the writer is using. As the sun’s rays are to the sun itself, so is Christ to the Godhead. He is “the light of the world” (John 8:12). It is He whose “goings forth” have been “everlasting” (Micah 5:2). His glorified countenance is “as the sun shineth in his strength” (Revelation 1:16). The Lord Jesus Christ is the life-giving radiation of the ineffable glory of the eternal One, from whose face one day the very heaven and earth will flee away (Revelation 20:11). “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings [or ‘outspreadings’]” (Malachi 4:2).

And through this One who mediates God to us, we can enter boldly into His presence. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). HMM

To human thinking it was simply impossible, but nothing is hard for God

“Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts. And this is but a light thing in the sight of the Lord: he will deliver the Moabites also into your hands.” (2 Kings 3:16-18.)

TO human thinking it was simply impossible, but nothing is hard for God. Without a sound or sign, from sources invisible and apparently impossible, the floods came stealing in all night long; and when the morning dawned, those ditches were flooded with the crystal waters, and reflecting the rays of the morning sun from the red hills of Edom.

Our unbelief is always wanting some outward sign. The religion of many is largely sensational, and they are not satisfied of its genuineness without manifestations, etc.; but the greatest triumph of faith is to be still and know that He is God. The great victory of faith is to stand before some impassable Red Sea, and hear the Master say, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord,” and “Go forward!” As we step out without any sign or sound—not a wave-splash—and wetting our very feet as we take the first step into its waters, still marching on we shall see the sea divide and the pathway open through the very midst of the waters.

If we have seen the miraculous workings of God in some marvelous case of healing or some extraordinary providential deliverance, I am sure the thing that has impressed us most has been the quietness with which it was all done, the absence of everything spectacular and sensational, and the utter sense of nothingness which came to us as we stood in the presence of this mighty

God and felt how easy it was for Him to do it all without the faintest effort on His part or the slightest help on ours.

It is not the part of faith to question, but to obey. The ditches were made, and the water came pouring in from some supernatural source. What a lesson for our faith!

Are you craving a spiritual blessing? Open the trenches, and God will fill them. And this, too, in the most unexpected places and in the most unexpected ways.

Oh, for that faith that can act by faith and not by sight, and expect God to work although we see no wind or rain. —A. B. Simpson.

I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some

“I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” 1 Corinthians 9:22

Paul’s great object was not merely to instruct and to improve, but to save. Anything short of this would have disappointed him; he would have men renewed in heart, forgiven, sanctified, in fact, saved. Have our Christian labours been aimed at anything below this great point? Then let us amend our ways, for of what avail will it be at the last great day to have taught and moralized men if they appear before God unsaved? Blood-red will our skirts be if through life we have sought inferior objects, and forgotten that men needed to be saved. Paul knew the ruin of man’s natural state, and did not try to educate him, but to save him; he saw men sinking to hell, and did not talk of refining them, but of saving from the wrath to come. To compass their salvation, he gave himself up with untiring zeal to telling abroad the gospel, to warning and beseeching men to be reconciled to God. His prayers were importunate and his labours incessant.

To save souls was his consuming passion, his ambition, his calling. He became a servant to all men, toiling for his race, feeling a woe within him if he preached not the gospel. He laid aside his preferences to prevent prejudice; he submitted his will in things indifferent, and if men would but receive the gospel, he raised no questions about forms or ceremonies: the gospel was the one all-important business with him. If he might save some he would be content. This was the crown for which he strove, the sole and sufficient reward of all his labours and self-denials. Dear reader, have you and I lived to win souls at this noble rate? Are we possessed with the same all-absorbing desire? If not, why not? Jesus died for sinners, cannot we live for them? Where is our tenderness? Where our love to Christ, if we seek not His honour in the salvation of men? O that the Lord would saturate us through and through with an undying zeal for the souls of men.

Base things of the world hath God chosen

“Base things of the world hath God chosen.” 1 Corinthians 1:28

Walk the streets by moonlight, if you dare, and you will see sinners then. Watch when the night is dark, and the wind is howling, and the picklock is grating in the door, and you will see sinners then. Go to yon jail, and walk through the wards, and mark the men with heavy over-hanging brows, men whom you would not like to meet at night, and there are sinners there. Go to the Reformatories, and note those who have betrayed a rampant juvenile depravity, and you will see sinners there. Go across the seas to the place where a man will gnaw a bone upon which is reeking human flesh, and there is a sinner there.

Go where you will, you need not ransack earth to find sinners, for they are common enough; you may find them in every lane and street of every city, and town, and village, and hamlet. It is for such that Jesus died. If you will select me the grossest specimen of humanity, if he be but born of woman, I will have hope of him yet, because Jesus Christ is come to seek and to save sinners. Electing love has selected some of the worst to be made the best. Pebbles of the brook grace turns into jewels for the crown-royal. Worthless dross He transforms into pure gold. Redeeming love has set apart many of the worst of mankind to be the reward of the Saviour’s passion. Effectual grace calls forth many of the vilest of the vile to sit at the table of mercy, and therefore let none despair.

Reader, by that love looking out of Jesus’ tearful eyes, by that love streaming from those bleeding wounds, by that faithful love, that strong love, that pure, disinterested, and abiding love; by the heart and by the bowels of the Saviour’s compassion, we conjure you turn not away as though it were nothing to you; but believe on Him and you shall be saved. Trust your soul with Him and He will bring you to His Father’s right hand in glory everlasting.