VIDEO He Knows My Name by Maranatha Singers

Mar 16, 2007

I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hands

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and He hears me when I call

I have a Father
He calls me His own
He?ll never leave me
No matter where I go

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and He hears me when I call

A Giving Competition

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! —2 Corinthians 9:15

A television commercial I enjoy at Christmastime shows two neighbors in a friendly competition with each other to see who can spread the most Christmas cheer. Each keeps an eye on the other as he decorates his house and trees with lights. Then each upgrades his own property to look better than the other’s. They then start competing over who can give the most extravagantly to other neighbors, running around cheerfully sharing gifts.

God’s people aren’t in a competition to see who can give the most, but we are called to be “ready to give, willing to share” (1 Tim. 6:18). The apostle Paul instructed the church at Corinth: “Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).

At Christmastime, as we share gifts with others, we remember the generosity of God toward us—He gave us His Son. Ray Stedman said, “Jesus set aside His riches and entered into His creation in a state of poverty in order to enrich us all by His grace.” by Anne Cetas

No gift-giving could ever compete with the Lord’s extravagance. We thank God for the indescribable gift of Jesus! (v.15).

No gift is greater than the gift of Christ Himself.

No Work for God Is Unimportant

Colossians 4:7-18

The final lines of Colossians seem to have little theological impact. Most of the names listed, except for Luke and Mark, are unfamiliar. We could easily skip these verses and jump to 1 Thessalonians. But Paul’s closing words to the Colossians carry the subtle message that no ministry is unimportant.

It isn’t hard to recognize Paul’s amazing contributions to the faith—much of the New Testament is made up of his divinely inspired letters. The people mentioned in his Colossian missive seem to pale in comparison, but the apostle considered all of them important enough to include. For instance, Tychicus, the first mentioned, played a big role—wherever he appears in Scripture, he is running errands for Paul (Acts 20:4, Eph. 6:21, 2 Tim. 4:12). Thanks to this man, the Colossian letter traveled over 800 miles to its destination, then moved from church to church to be read repeatedly and copied. Tychicus’s job was important in spreading the gospel; without his assistance to Paul, modern believers might not have this valuable letter.

We tend to judge types of service as important or unimportant, and too often pride prevents our approval of a particular ministry. We want a big, impressive job to prove to everyone how much we love the Lord. But God desires the exact opposite: He wants our love for Him to motivate us to do anything He asks, no matter how insignificant or unnoticeable it may seem.

What is God asking you to do that you are resisting? Repent of your pride, and humble yourself to do all that He desires. None of His work is unimportant.

The Man of God

“But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” (1 Timothy 6:11)

There are just two places in the New Testament where a person is called a “man of God” (both of which are in Paul’s letters to Timothy), and they reveal the attributes which warrant us to call someone a man (or woman) of God.

The first occurrence, found in our text, tells us that such a person should, first of all, not be one who loves money and the material things money can buy, for “the love of money is the root of all evil” (see previous verse, 1 Timothy 6:10). Instead, his pursuit should be after personal righteousness and godliness, as well as stronger faith, more genuine love for others, more patience, and true meekness.

Speaking of meekness (not weakness), Moses was called “the man of God” in the very first use of this phrase in the whole Bible, and we are told that “the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3). Yet he was able to lead two million Israelites out of slavery in Egypt and then through 40 years in the Sinai desert.

The second New Testament reference to the “man of God” is in reference to his use of the Scriptures. He will recognize that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God. . . . That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Thus, the essential characteristics of a true man of God will be a great desire for personal righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and strong meekness, accompanied by the avoidance of any taint of greed or covetousness. In terms of his Christian beliefs, he will have an unshakable confidence in the verbal inerrant truth and authority of the Holy Scriptures. HMM

If I am in distress, it is in the interests of your comfort

“If I am in distress, it is in the interests of your comfort, which is effective as it nerves you to endure the same sufferings as I suffered myself. Hence my hope for you is well-founded, since I know that as you share the sufferings you share the comfort also.” (2 Cor. 1:6, 7.)

ARE there not some in your circle to whom you naturally betake yourself in times of trial and sorrow? They always seem to speak the right word, to give the very counsel you are longing for; you do not realize, however, the cost which they had to pay ere they became so skillful in binding up the gaping wounds and drying tears. But if you were to investigate their past history you would find that they have suffered more than most. They have watched the slow untwisting of some silver cord on which the lamp of life hung.

They have seen the golden bowl of joy dashed to their feet, and its contents spilt. They have stood by ebbing tides, and drooping gourds, and noon sunsets; but all this has been necessary to make them the nurses, the physicians, the priests of men. The boxes that come from foreign climes are clumsy enough; but they contain spices which scent the air with the fragrance of the Orient. So suffering is rough and hard to bear; but it hides beneath it discipline, education, possibilities, which not only leave us nobler, but perfect us to help others. Do not fret, or set your teeth, or wait doggedly for the suffering to pass; but get out of it all you can, both for yourself and for your service to your generation, according to the will of God.— Selected.

Whose heart the Lord opened

“Whose heart the Lord opened.” Acts 16:14

In Lydia’s conversion there are many points of interest. It was brought about by providential circumstances. She was a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, but just at the right time for hearing Paul we find her at Philippi; providence, which is the handmaid of grace, led her to the right spot. Again, grace was preparing her soul for the blessing—grace preparing for grace. She did not know the Saviour, but as a Jewess, she knew many truths which were excellent steppingstones to a knowledge of Jesus. Her conversion took place in the use of the means. On the Sabbath she went when prayer was wont to be made, and there prayer was heard.

Never neglect the means of grace; God may bless us when we are not in His house, but we have the greater reason to hope that He will when we are in communion with His saints. Observe the words, “Whose heart the Lord opened.” She did not open her own heart. Her prayers did not do it; Paul did not do it. The Lord Himself must open the heart, to receive the things which make for our peace. He alone can put the key into the hole of the door and open it, and get admittance for Himself. He is the heart’s master as He is the heart’s maker. The first outward evidence of the opened heart was obedience.

As soon as Lydia had believed in Jesus, she was baptized. It is a sweet sign of a humble and broken heart, when the child of God is willing to obey a command which is not essential to his salvation, which is not forced upon him by a selfish fear of condemnation, but is a simple act of obedience and of communion with his Master. The next evidence was love, manifesting itself in acts of grateful kindness to the apostles. Love to the saints has ever been a mark of the true convert. Those who do nothing for Christ or His church, give but sorry evidence of an “opened” heart. Lord, evermore give me an opened heart.

So shall we ever be with the Lord

“So shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:17

Even the sweetest visits from Christ, how short they are—and how transitory! One moment our eyes see Him, and we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, but again a little time and we do not see Him, for our beloved withdraws Himself from us; like a roe or a young hart He leaps over the mountains of division; He is gone to the land of spices, and feeds no more among the lilies.

“If today He deigns to bless us
With a sense of pardoned sin,
He tomorrow may distress us,
Make us feel the plague within.”

Oh, how sweet the prospect of the time when we shall not behold Him at a distance, but see Him face to face: when He shall not be as a wayfaring man tarrying but for a night, but shall eternally enfold us in the bosom of His glory. We shall not see Him for a little season, but

“Millions of years our wondering eyes,
Shall o’er our Saviour’s beauties rove;
And myriad ages we’ll adore,
The wonders of His love.”

In heaven there shall be no interruptions from care or sin; no weeping shall dim our eyes; no earthly business shall distract our happy thoughts; we shall have nothing to hinder us from gazing for ever on the Sun of Righteousness with unwearied eyes. Oh, if it be so sweet to see Him now and then, how sweet to gaze on that blessed face for aye, and never have a cloud rolling between, and never have to turn one’s eyes away to look on a world of weariness and woe! Blest day, when wilt thou dawn? Rise, O unsetting sun! The joys of sense may leave us as soon as they will, for this shall make glorious amends. If to die is but to enter into uninterrupted communion with Jesus, then death is indeed gain, and the black drop is swallowed up in a sea of victory.