Dec 24, 2009
Let There Be Peace on Earth by Vince Gill
Dec 24, 2009
Let There Be Peace on Earth by Vince Gill
“He is kind even to people who are ungrateful and full of sin.” LUKE 6:35
How often do we thank God for his kindness? Not often enough. But does our ingratitude restrict his kindness? No. “Because he is kind even to people who are ungrateful and full of sin.”
In the original language, the word for kindness carries an added idea the English word does not. Chiefly it refers to an act of grace. But it also refers to a deed or person who is “useful, serviceable, adapted to its purpose.” Kindness was even employed to describe food that was tasty as well as healthy. Sounds odd to our ears. “Hey, honey, what a great meal. The salad is especially kind tonight.”
But the usage makes sense. Isn’t kindness good and good for you? Pleasant and practical? Kindness not only says “good morning,” kindness makes the coffee.
from A LOVE WORTH GIVING
What does it mean to “work out your salvation”? Many people mistakenly think Paul was telling us to work for our salvation. But the apostle was saying something completely different: Your salvation experience isn’t the end of your spiritual journey—it’s the catalyst that turns on your “operation mode.”
So having trusted Jesus as Savior, you can begin living out what He has given you, which is His abundant life. If you’ve given your heart to Him, the Holy Spirit now indwells you—He is with you forever. It is God’s Spirit working in and through you, empowering you to live out your salvation. The degree to which you yield to Him impacts the work He will accomplish through you and the changes He’ll effect in your life.
Let’s say you start reading the Bible and learning about the Lord. As your faith and relationship with God develop, you will begin to notice Him moving in your life. When you share your faith and your blessings with others, you’ll realize He’s working through even more avenues. Keep following Him, and the seeds He’s planted within you will flourish (Isa. 55:10-11). So when Scripture speaks about working out our salvation, it means we’re to reverently live out what we’ve already been given and allow Christ’s life in us to come fully to fruition.
Your salvation should be a reflection of Jesus everywhere you go. As you work it out among your friends and family, on the job or in school, and even with strangers, God’s Spirit will energize you to make a difference and impact others—that is, to be salt and light (Matt. 5:13-16).
“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (Jude 1:7)
These cities provide two stern examples of God’s judgmental wrath. Their sin had reached such an intensity and had become so widespread that the entire region suffered the “vengeance of eternal fire.” Just like the awful misuse of human sexual potential distorted by the angelic beings cited in the previous verse, these cities had become so perverted that God’s longsuffering and mercy had ended.
“But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly” (Genesis 13:13). Whatever they were involved with had become so heinous and so completely a distortion of everything God created man for that God appears to have reached the limit of human vocabulary to describe it. Their character (wickedness) and their deeds (sins) were “too much” for God.
Two classifications are listed. The first, fornication, is cited nearly 100 times in the Old Testament and is referred to over a dozen times in the New—always as a condemnation of sexual behavior outside of the intimate relations of husband and wife. The other classification is going after “strange flesh.” Genesis 19 makes it perfectly clear that this “exceedingly” awful sin was homosexual perversion.
For these sins—especially the homosexual cravings—God rained down “brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven” (Genesis 19:24). The Scripture is precisely clear: Vengeance belongs to God (Romans 12:19), and He made Himself absolutely clear about His view of widespread fornication and homosexual behavior. This example is a sobering warning for those societies who promote such lifestyles. HMM III
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much,—and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.—Luke 16:10.
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.— Matthew 5:48.
PERFECTION in outward conduct consists not in extraordinary things, but in doing common things extraordinarily well. Neglect nothing; the most trivial action may be performed to ourselves, or performed to God. If love be in your heart, your whole life may be one continual exercise of it. Oh, if we did but love others! How easily the least thing, the shutting of a dew gently, the walking softly, speaking low, not making a noise, or the choice of a seat, so as to leave the most convenient to others, might become occasions of its exercise. MÈRE ANGÉLIQUE ARNAULD.
He is wont to carry on His hidden dealings with the soul by means of what we should call very little things. He requires an absolute purity of heart in those with whom He vouchsafes to dwell, and a spirit of self-sacrifice, which is ever ready to offer all things, however seemingly small, to Him.
When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Luke 18:8
He came unto his own, and his own received him not. — The Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall from the faith.
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables.
Of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. — Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching. — Looking for that blessed hope, … the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ,
John 1:11. 1 Timothy 4:1. 2 Timothy 4:2-4. Mark 13:32,33. Luke 12:37. Titus 2:13.
If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only. 1 Samuel 7:3
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. — Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. — Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.
Thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. — Serve him with a perfect heart with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts.
Behold, thou desireth truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. — Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. — Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
1 John 5:21. 2 Corinthians 6:17,18. Matthew 6:24. Exodus 34:14. 1 Chronicles 28:9. Psalm 51:6. 1 Samuel 16:7. 1 John 3:21.