Negatives to the Unsaved

“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)

How good it is to experience victories in spiritual warfare, to see God’s values triumph, and to see an ungodly scheme thwarted! We especially rejoice if we somehow participated in the process.

The prophet Elijah saw “big” victories over the forces of evil—the defeat of hundreds of Baal’s prophets, and the bold confrontation of wicked Ahab and Jezebel (1 Kings 18). Elisha did likewise in the stunning and overcoming of Syria’s army (2 Kings 6:8-23). Yet many of Elisha’s victories would be ranked “little” by modern newspaper journalists, like rescuing an ax (2 Kings 6:1-7), curing a pot of stew (2 Kings 4:38-41), and helping a poor widow’s cashflow crisis (2 Kings 4:1-7). God works out spiritual victories in “big” crises, but He also works in seemingly “little” problems.

God even cares about the artistic details of each snowflake, the inner structure and workings of each humble pine needle, and the edible seeds needed by desert-dwelling songbirds. Much more so, He cares for our “big” and “little” needs and problems (Luke 12:22-31). Yet our most basic need was to be created in the first place, and our greatest problem was (and is) our sin. Both of these are solved in Christ! He is our Creator (John 1:3) and He is our Redeemer (John 3:14-16). To be “in Christ” is always our main cause for rejoicing; its victory hangs on the Lord Jesus alone, not on changing circumstances or the outcome of our latest earthly skirmish. Put today’s problems in perspective. Rejoice when a victory is won; thank God with promptness. However, prioritize appreciation for Christ creating us, and for His greatest victory for us, saving our souls forever (1 Corinthians 15:57). JJSJ

Be not slothful to go, and enter to possess the land

“Arise… for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good; and are ye still? Be not slothful to go, and enter to possess the land: for God hath given it into your hands; a place where there is no want of anything that is in the earth.” (Judges 18:9, 10.)

ARISE! Then there is something definite for us to do. Nothing is ours unless we take it. “The children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, took their inheritance.” (Joshua 16:4.) “The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.” (Obad. 17.) “The upright shall have good things in possession.”

We need to have appropriating faith in regard to God’s promises. We must make God’s Word our own personal possession. A child was asked once what appropriating faith was, and the answer was, “It is taking a pencil and underscoring all the me’s and mine’s and my’s in the Bible.”

Take any word you please that He has spoken and say, “That word is my word.” Put your finger on this promise and say, “It is mine.” How much of the Word has been endorsed and receipted and said “It is done.” How many promises can you subscribe and say, “Fulfilled to me.”

“Son, thou art ever with Me, and all that I have is thine.” Don’t let your inheritance go by default.

“When faith goes to market it always takes a basket.”

What think ye of Christ?

“What think ye of Christ?” Matthew 22:42

The great test of your soul’s health is, What think you of Christ? Is He to you “fairer than the children of men”—”the chief among ten thousand”—the “altogether lovely”? Wherever Christ is thus esteemed, all the faculties of the spiritual man exercise themselves with energy. I will judge of your piety by this barometer: does Christ stand high or low with you? If you have thought little of Christ, if you have been content to live without His presence, if you have cared little for His honour, if you have been neglectful of His laws, then I know that your soul is sick—God grant that it may not be sick unto death! But if the first thought of your spirit has been, How can I honour Jesus? If the daily desire of your soul has been, “O that I knew where I might find Him!”

I tell you that you may have a thousand infirmities, and even scarcely know whether you are a child of God at all, and yet I am persuaded, beyond a doubt, that you are safe, since Jesus is great in your esteem. I care not for thy rags, what thinkest thou of His royal apparel? I care not for thy wounds, though they bleed in torrents, what thinkest thou of His wounds? are they like glittering rubies in thine esteem? I think none the less of thee, though thou liest like Lazarus on the dunghill, and the dogs do lick thee—I judge thee not by thy poverty: what thinkest thou of the King in His beauty? Has He a glorious high throne in thy heart? Wouldst thou set Him higher if thou couldst? Wouldst thou be willing to die if thou couldst but add another trumpet to the strain which proclaims His praise? Ah! then it is well with thee. Whatever thou mayst think of thyself, if Christ be great to thee, thou shalt be with Him ere long.

“Though all the world my choice deride,
Yet Jesus shall my portion be;
For I am pleased with none beside,
The fairest of the fair is He”

Hitherto hath the Lord helped us and still is

“Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” 1 Samuel 7:12

The word “hitherto” seems like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. Twenty years or seventy, and yet, “hitherto the Lord hath helped!” Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, on the sea, in honour, in dishonour, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation, “hitherto hath the Lord helped us!” We delight to look down a long avenue of trees. It is delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of verdant temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves; even so look down the long aisles of your years, at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of lovingkindness and faithfulness which bear up your joys. Are there no birds in yonder branches singing? Surely there must be many, and they all sing of mercy received “hitherto.”

But the word also points forward. For when a man gets up to a certain mark and writes “hitherto,” he is not yet at the end, there is still a distance to be traversed. More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; and then come sickness, old age, disease, death. Is it over now? No! there is more yet-awakening in Jesus’ likeness, thrones, harps, songs, psalms, white raiment, the face of Jesus, the society of saints, the glory of God, the fulness of eternity, the infinity of bliss. O be of good courage, believer, and with grateful confidence raise thy “Ebenezer,” for— He who hath helped thee hitherto Will help thee all thy journey through. When read in heaven’s light how glorious and marvellous a prospect will thy “hitherto” unfold to thy grateful eye!

VIDEO Do You Hear What I Hear?

Dec 4, 2008

This is CeCe’s remarkable soul stirring rendition of a Christmas favorite. It is from her award winning Christmas album “His Gift”. It was also featured on the Wow Christmas collection. This is a great song with CeCe’s heavenly and anointed vocals. I pray that you enjoy this beautiful song and the songs that follow and be blessed.

Immersed in Grace

He called you to share in his glory in Christ, a glory that will continue forever. 1 PETER 5:10

To believe we are totally and eternally debt free is seldom easy. Even if we’ve stood before the throne and heard it from the king himself, we still doubt. As a result, many are forgiven only a little, not because the grace of the king is limited, but because the faith of the sinner is small. God is willing to forgive all. He’s willing to wipe the slate completely clean. He guides us to a pool of mercy and invites us to bathe. Some plunge in, but others just touch the surface. They leave feeling unforgiven.…

Where the grace of God is missed, bitterness is born. But where the grace of God is embraced, forgiveness flourishes.…

The more we immerse ourselves in grace, the more likely we are to give grace.

In the Grip of Grace

When God Is Silent

John 11:1-6

As Lazarus was dying, his sisters urgently called for Jesus to come. Imagine how their grief must have compounded when He didn’t instantly respond to their request.

God’s silence is difficult to accept. We want Him to leap into action at our call, particularly if we are hurting or afraid. But since He promises to meet our needs, we can be sure that a silence from heaven has purpose.

• Silence grabs our attention. The disciples knew that Jesus could heal, so they must have wondered why He delayed instead of rushing to His friend’s bedside. But the Lord wanted them to witness something even greater: His power over death. They had been confused by His statements about conquering death, and they needed to understand that He could fulfill His own resurrection prophecies (Mark 9:31-32). The miracle at Lazarus’s tomb was part of their preparation.

• Silence teaches us to trust. Mary and Martha sent word of Lazarus’s illness because they anticipated the Lord would heal him. But if that expectation was not met, would their faith waver? Martha answered the question by stating that she believed Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of God” (John 11:21-27). The women’s trust was rewarded with a stunning miracle: their brother’s return to life.

At times, the only thing we can hear when we pray is our own breathing. That can be frustrating and frightening. But Scripture says God is always with us, and His silence won’t last forever (Ps. 38:15; Heb. 13:5). Cling to those promises as you seek the purpose behind His silence.

The Gospel and Health

“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” (Matthew 4:23)

This is the first mention of “the gospel” in the New Testament, and it is significant that Christ was emphasizing, first of all, the long-range future aspect of the gospel, the Kingdom. In that great day, all manner of sickness and even death itself will be eternally healed, when the earth’s age-long curse, pronounced originally because of man’s sin (Genesis 3:17), is finally removed (Revelation 22:3). As a token of this future deliverance, He demonstrated His power by supernaturally healing great numbers of needy people.

The next verse elaborates further on the ubiquity of His healing ministry—“all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy” (Matthew 4:24). No one was omitted. It was not a matter of only those who had faith, or those with psychosomatic ailments, or any other distinction. Everyone was healed of every infirmity of every kind!

Nothing was too hard for the Lord to cure—not even psychiatric disorders or demon possession. However, it was not that way later on in His ministry (e.g., Mark 6:5) nor in that of the apostle Paul (e.g., 2 Timothy 4:20) or the other apostles (e.g., Matthew 17:14-16). Evidently the tremendous scope of this initial healing ministry of the Lord was intended to serve as a type and promise of what will occur worldwide and eternally when His kingdom comes and His will is done on Earth as it is in heaven. In the meantime, this record serves to assure us all that He who came preaching the gospel of the Kingdom should indeed be received by faith right now as the great King of all creation! HMM

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” (Phil. 4:4.)

“Sing a little song of trust,
O my heart!
Sing it just because you must,
As leaves start;
As flowers push their way through dust;
Sing, my heart, because you must.

“Wait not for an eager throng—
Bird on bird;
‘Tis the solitary song
That is heard.
Every voice at dawn will start,
Be a nightingale, my heart!

“Sing across the winter snow,
Pierce the cloud;
Sing when mists are drooping low—
Clear and loud;
But sing sweetest in the dark;
He who slumbers not will hark.”

“An’ when He hears yo’ sing, He bends down wid a smile on His kin’ face an’ listens mighty keerful, an’ He says, ‘Sing on, chile, I hears, an’ I’s comin’ down to deliber yo’: I’ll tote dat load fer yo’; jest lean hawd on Me and de road will get smoother bime by.'”

I came not to send peace on earth, but a sword

“I came not to send peace on earth, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34

The Christian will be sure to make enemies. It will be one of his objects to make none; but if to do the right, and to believe the I true, should cause him to lose every earthly friend, he will count it but a small loss, since his great Friend in heaven will be yet more friendly, and reveal Himself to him more graciously than ever. O ye who have taken up His cross, know ye not what your Master said? “I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother; and a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” Christ is the great Peacemaker; but before peace, He brings war. Where the light cometh, the darkness must retire. Where truth is, the lie must flee; or, if it abideth, there must be a stern conflict, for the truth cannot and will not lower its standard, and the lie must be trodden under foot.

If you follow Christ, you shall have all the dogs of the world yelping at your heels. If you would live so as to stand the test of the last tribunal, depend upon it the world will not speak well of you. He who has the friendship of the world is an enemy to God; but if you are true and faithful to the Most High, men will resent your unflinching fidelity, since it is a testimony against their iniquities. Fearless of all consequences, you must do the right.

You will need the courage of a lion unhesitatingly to pursue a course which shall turn your best friend into your fiercest foe; but for the love of Jesus you must thus be courageous. For the truth’s sake to hazard reputation and affection, is such a deed that to do it constantly you will need a degree of moral principle which only the Spirit of God can work in you; yet turn not your back like a coward, but play the man. Follow right manfully in your Master’s steps, for He has traversed this rough way before you. Better a brief warfare and eternal rest, than false peace and everlasting torment.