VIDEO Our God

May 30, 2010 by Chris Tomlin

Unwrapping the Gifts of the Cross

Much has been said about Jesus’ “gift of the Cross.” But what of the other gifts? What of the nails, the crown of thorns? The garments taken by the soldiers? Have you taken time to open these gifts?

He didn’t have to give us these gifts, you know. The only required act for our salvation was the shedding of blood, yet He did much more. So much more.

Search the scene of the Cross—and what do you find? A wine-soaked sponge. A sign. Two crosses beside Christ. Divine gifts intended to stir that moment, that split second when your face will brighten, your eyes will widen, and God will hear you whisper, “You did this for me?” Dare we think such thoughts?

Let’s unwrap these gifts of grace– as if for the first time. Pause and listen. Perhaps you will hear Him whisper, “I did it just for you!”

From He Chose the Nails

Held by the Grip of God

held-by-the-grip-of-god-my-utmost-for-his-highest-300x255
I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me —Philippians 3:12

Never choose to be a worker for God, but once God has placed His call on you, woe be to you if you “turn aside to the right hand or to the left” (Deuteronomy 5:32). We are not here to work for God because we have chosen to do so, but because God has “laid hold of” us. And once He has done so, we never have this thought, “Well, I’m really not suited for this.” What you are to preach is also determined by God, not by your own natural leanings or desires. Keep your soul steadfastly related to God, and remember that you are called not simply to convey your testimony but also to preach the gospel. Every Christian must testify to the truth of God, but when it comes to the call to preach, there must be the agonizing grip of God’s hand on you— your life is in the grip of God for that very purpose. How many of us are held like that?

Never water down the Word of God, but preach it in its undiluted sternness. There must be unflinching faithfulness to the Word of God, but when you come to personal dealings with others, remember who you are— you are not some special being created in heaven, but a sinner saved by grace.

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do. . . I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

by Oswald Chambers

Teaching Kids About Work

Mark 1:16-20

Jesus’ call to be fishers of men extends to modern believers. In order for anyone to achieve and become all that God has in mind, it is crucial to learn the right attitude toward work, whether it relates to vocation or service to the Lord. As parents, we must teach our children these additional lessons from fishing:

A fisherman must be industrious. The Bible tells us that Zebedee had some hired help (Mark 1:20). He didn’t settle for simply catching enough fish to feed his own family; he built a successful business that could also sustain his employees. It is likely that Zebedee taught his sons to aspire to reach their full potential instead of accepting “good enough.”

A fisherman must be disciplined. He doesn’t have the option of sleeping late or leaving the water early. Even though he is tired after a long shift, he recognizes that he must clean the nets to keep them in good repair. Zebedee’s sons learned responsibility and self- control on their father’s boat.

A fisherman must be persistent.
The best catch is often made after everyone else gives up. Zebedee undoubtedly taught James and John not to quit until they gave their fullest effort. This ingrained attitude was essential when Jesus sent the disciples out to evangelize the world.

The order to spread the gospel is still in effect. The church needs committed believers who teach and demonstrate a biblical mindset. Parents who model industry, discipline, and persistence are most likely to raise children determined to win the world for Jesus Christ.

Paul at the Finish Line

“Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren. The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.” (2 Timothy 4:21-22)

These are the final words of the apostle Paul, written shortly before he was beheaded. Despite his faithfulness and fruitfulness in the Lord’s service, he was now penniless, lonely, and cold. Yet he was not complaining. “I am now ready to be offered. . . . I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (vv. 6-7).

He did yearn to see Timothy, his beloved son in the faith, before he died. “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me” (v. 9). “Without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy” (1:3-4).

Paul made one especially touching request of Timothy. “The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments” (v. 13). Paul didn’t even have a coat in the cold prison, and winter was approaching. Yet, even under such miserable circumstances, he still desired to keep reading and studying, preparing himself better for any future service the Lord might still have for him.

What a contrast there would be between his present circumstances—abused by his enemies and forsaken even by most of his friends—and the glorious reception awaiting him in the near future! “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day” (v. 8).

Paul has left us a worthy example. He had kept the faith, had gladly suffered the loss of all things for Christ (Philippians 3:8), and was still studying, witnessing, teaching, encouraging, and exhorting, even to the day of his death. HMM

Thou wilt show me the path of life; in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore

Thou wilt show me the path of life; in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.—Psalm 16:11.

LORD, it is not life to live,
If Thy presence Thou deny;
Lord, if Thou Thy presence give,
‘T is no longer death to die.
Source and giver of repose,
Singly from Thy smile it flows,
Peace and happiness are Thine,
Mine they are, if Thou art mine.
A. M. TOPLADY.

WE live from day to day, as it were, by chance; and forget that human life itself is as much an Art, governed by its own rules and precepts of perfection, as the most complicated profession by which that life is maintained or adorned. WILLIAM ARCHER BUTLER.

The art of life consists in taking each event which befalls us with a contented mind, confident of good. This makes us grow younger as we grow older, for youth and joy come from the soul to the body more than from the body to the soul. With this method and art and temper of life, we live, though we may be dying. We rejoice always, though in the midst of sorrows; and possess all things, though destitute of everything. JAMES FREEMAN CLARKE.

The Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits

The Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits. 1 Timothy 4:1

Take heed therefore how ye hear. — Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom. — Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. — I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.

Satan himself is transformed into an angel ot light. — But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Luke 8:18. Colossians 3:16. Ephesians 6:16. Psalm 119:165,103,104. Psalm 119:105. Psalm 119:99. 2 Corinthians 11:14. Galatians 1:8.

I know that my Redeemer liveth

I know that my Redeemer liveth. Job 19:25

If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. — This man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Because I live, ye shall live also. — If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

The Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. — We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. — Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

Romans 5:10. Hebrews 7:24,25. John 14:19. 1 Corinthians 15:19,20. Isaiah 59:20. Ephesians 1:7. 1 Peter 1:15,19.