Oct 20, 2011
There appeared in London a man who styled himself the messiah, and for many weeks a large crowd was attracted to him. One night, however, as he was talking in one of the open squares in the city, a small band of the Salvation Army passed along, singing,
“I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
By the print of the nails in His hand.”
The great throng joined in the chorus. Finally someone pointed at the self-styled Christ and said, “Look at his hands and see if the print of the nails is there.” They did as directed, but no print appeared, and they at once left off following him.
Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. —Psalm 115:4
Martin Lindstrom, an author and speaker, thinks that cellphones have become akin to a best friend for many owners. Lindstrom’s experiment using an MRI helped him discover why. When the subjects saw or heard their phone ringing, their brains fired off neurons in the area associated with feelings of love and compassion. Lindstrom said, “It was as if they were in the presence of a girlfriend, boyfriend, or family member.”
Many things vie for our affection and time and attention, and it seems we’re always needing to evaluate where we’re focusing our lives. Joshua told the people of Israel that they were to give their affection and worship to God alone (Josh. 24:14). This was significant in contrast to the idols worshiped by the nations around them. These idols were made of metal and were only the work of men’s hands (Ps. 115:4). They were totally powerless compared to the Lord. Therefore, God’s people were exhorted to find their security in Him and not in other gods (Judg. 10:13-16). Jesus reiterated this in His discussion of the commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37).
The Lord alone is our help and shield (Ps. 115:9). May we reserve our worship for Him.
What do our actions in the last few months reveal
about our affections? Is there any indication that we
have placed someone or something above God?
God is most worthy of our affections.
In today’s verses, John wants us to know that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (v. 31). But why is it so important that we believe He is God’s Son?
The most obvious reason is because our salvation, and therefore our eternal destiny, depends upon our faith in this truth. But after salvation, Christ’s divine identity should continue to affect us.
For one thing, knowing the Son leads to a deeper understanding of the Father. Since Jesus is both God and man, He is uniquely qualified to provide us with such insight. As we study His life, the aspects of God’s character and ways that are difficult for our human minds to grasp come to life through Christ’s teaching and example.
He also shows us who we can become. The Lord is committed to transforming each of His followers into the likeness of His Son. Though we won’t reach perfection in this life or ever attain Christ’s divine attributes, His character can be worked out in us as we yield to the Holy Spirit. Jesus is our example for godly attitudes, words, and actions.
Another way Christ affects us is by inspiring our gratitude. He left the glories of heaven in order to become our Savior, and when we recognize that sacrifice, we are filled with thankfulness and praise.
Let Jesus motivate you to live in purity. He abides within every believer through His indwelling Holy Spirit. That means selfish and sinful thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions have no place in our lives. Be mindful that He is always with you, and let Him direct your choices and purify your life.
“Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?” (Exodus 2:7)
In Exodus, Pharaoh ordered the execution of all newborn male Israelites. Moses was spared as his sister intervened, and she later became his helper as he led their people to freedom. Throughout the Bible, godly women played important roles. In “Brethren, We Have Met to Worship,” such women are enjoined to pray for sinners and testify of His power to save.
Sisters will you join and help us?
Moses’ sister aided him;
Will you help the trembling mourners
Who are struggling hard with sin?
Tell them all about the Savior,
Tell them that He will be found;
Sisters, pray, and holy manna
Will be showered all around.
In the beginning, “God created man in his own image . . . male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27). Evidently it takes the characteristics of both male and female to adequately reflect His image. Godly women are often the most effective in many situations in ministering to individual needs. In our hauntingly beautiful study hymn, such women are called to help trembling sinners convicted of and struggling with sin.
Women often are the most powerful in prayer. Lasting fruit is borne in ladies’ Bible studies and in children’s Bible lessons taught by godly women. Many rescue missions, mission fields, and counseling rooms are primarily staffed by ladies unashamed of the gospel. Thankfully, God has chosen to shower “manna all around” through the ministry of godly Christian women. JDM
From thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum, and The Three Taverns, whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.—Acts 28:15.
THROUGH the night of doubt and sorrow
Onward goes the pilgrim band,
Singing songs of expectation,
Marching to the Promised Land.
Clear before us through the darkness
Gleams and burns the guiding light;
Brother clasps the hand of brother,
Stepping fearless through the night.
BERNHARD S. INGEMANN.
WE fight not for ourselves alone. These are they—our brethren—the cloud wherewith we walk encompassed; it is for them that we wrestle through the long night; they count on the strength that we might bring them, if we so wrestle that we prevail. The morning that follows the night of our lonely trial would, if we be faithful, find us new men, with a new name of help, and of promise, and of comfort, in the memory of which others would endure bravely, and fight as we had fought. Oh! Turn to God in fear, lest through hidden disloyalty we have not a cup of cold water to give those who turn to us for succor in their sore need! HENRY SCOTT HOLLAND.
Strengthen thou me according unto thy word. Psalm 119:28
Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou has caused me to hope. — O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me.
Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. — Ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.
Fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strertethened me. — Be strong, … and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts. — Not by might nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Psalm 119:49. Isaiah 38:14. Luke 21:33. Joshua 23:14. Daniel 10:1. Haggai 2:4. Zechariah 4:6. Ephesians 6:10.
God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in the turning away every one of you from his iniquities. Acts 3:26
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercies hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. — Saved by his life.
Our Saviour Jesus Christ … who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. — As he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy for I am holy.
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, … hath blessed us with all spiritul blessings in heavenly places in Christ. — In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him. — Of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
He that spared not his own son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
1 Peter 1:3. Romans 5:10. Titus 2:13,14. 1 Peter 1:15,16. Ephesians 1:3. Colossians 2:9,10. John 1:16. Romans 8:32.