VIDEO I Could Never Outlove The Lord

Apr 11, 2014

I Could Never Outlove The Lord by The Collingsworth Family.

See if you can out love the Lord.

Copyright © 2013 The Collingsworth Family
Album: The Lord Is Good
Label: StowTown Records
Released : Sep 6, 2013
[I do not own this music and artwork]
**No copyrights infringement intended in this video**
**All the rights belong to their respective owners**

Usefulness or Relationship?

Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven —Luke 10:20

Jesus Christ is saying here, “Don’t rejoice in your successful service for Me, but rejoice because of your right relationship with Me.” The trap you may fall into in Christian work is to rejoice in successful service— rejoicing in the fact that God has used you. Yet you will never be able to measure fully what God will do through you if you do not have a right-standing relationship with Jesus Christ. If you keep your relationship right with Him, then regardless of your circumstances or whoever you encounter each day, He will continue to pour “rivers of living water” through you (John 7:38). And it is actually by His mercy that He does not let you know it. Once you have the right relationship with God through salvation and sanctification, remember that whatever your circumstances may be, you have been placed in them by God. And God uses the reaction of your life to your circumstances to fulfill His purpose, as long as you continue to “walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7).

Our tendency today is to put the emphasis on service. Beware of the people who make their request for help on the basis of someone’s usefulness. If you make usefulness the test, then Jesus Christ was the greatest failure who ever lived. For the saint, direction and guidance come from God Himself, not some measure of that saint’s usefulness. It is the work that God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him. All that our Lord gives His attention to in a person’s life is that person’s relationship with God— something of great value to His Father. Jesus is “bringing many sons to glory . . .” (Hebrews 2:10).

by Oswald Chambers

Worthy of Heaven

Nabeel Qureshi
How my friendship with a Christian led me from Islam and into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

It was the most devastating assessment that had ever been leveled against me, and possibly the most offensive. I sat staring at the man who cast the judgment—reeling from the impact of what he said and shocked that he would utter it so blatantly. His words hung in the air, seeping into my pores and penetrating my mind.

“You are a sinner and not worthy of heaven.”

Time came to a standstill as I surveyed his face. Stolid. His tone had been resolute and devoid of vitriol. All the same, my reaction was visceral. How could he accuse me of deserving hell? Did he know who he was talking to?

Long before I could remember my name, I followed the precepts of Allah. My mother had taught me the ways and recitation of the Quran, and I had dedicated countless hours of my life to memorizing its chapters. My father had led me in daily prayers since the time I was able to stand and perform its postures. From the days I could first think and make my own decisions, I chose to live as an upright Muslim, embodying the Islamic life and following Muhammad to the best of my ability. It was in my very DNA; I was a Qureshi, a descendant of Muhammad’s tribe.

Proud of both my noble heritage and my faith, I stood confidently in Islam, knowing I would be justified before God on the day of judgment. Yet this man had the gall to declare me hell-bound? Who did he think he was?

His name was David, and he was a Christian. Years earlier, in college, I had seen him reading a Bible and decided to challenge him with the arguments against his faith that I had learned in my mosque. I questioned the Bible’s reliability and inspiration, as I had with many Christians before, but to my surprise, he was ready to respond and defended the Bible with impressive skill and insight. Our dialogue continued, venturing into matters concerning Jesus, the Trinity, historical inquiry, and the like.

We started spending more time together and passed innumerable hours dialoguing during meals, homework, and road trips. Some of the times spent together were momentous: In addition to births, funerals, and graduations, we were together when he first met the woman who would become his wife, and I ultimately stood by him as a groomsman at his wedding.

So who did he think he was? He was my best friend, and that was the only reason he could say what he said without causing me to leave in disgust. We had been through thick and thin together, so I knew his judgment was not a personal attack, offensive though it was.

I continued to scrutinize his face while considering his words. His oddly misshapen nose stood out, a testament to a former way of life. He had not always been a Christian. Raised in trailer parks by atheist parents, he had gotten into more than his fair share of fistfights and lawlessness in younger years. Unlike me, who spent as little time as possible contemplating my own sins, he was transparent about his past. And it was ugly.

He couldn’t really condemn me when his past was so much worse than mine, could he?

But he had somehow left those years behind. The David I knew was one of the most loyal, generous, and thoughtful individuals I had ever encountered. His transformation was—in a word—miraculous. How this conversion came about was anyone’s guess, but he was adamant that Jesus had changed him.

Of course, I knew that couldn’t be true. As a Muslim, I had the utmost respect for Jesus, believing Him to be the most miraculous man who ever lived, even the virgin-born Messiah. But Islam taught me that Jesus was not God, and He did not change people today. I believed that people who thought these things were either misled or deluded and that even the most basic consideration of the facts would clarify these false notions.

But then, here was David, staring right back at me. He was an intelligent young man who had thought deeply about what he believed and had come to the conclusion that it was true. I might not agree with him, but the sheer fact that he was a thoughtful Christian was forcing me to reframe my understanding of his faith.

Instead of causing David’s words to fade away, the silence only amplified them. Could it be true that I was a sinner, unworthy of heaven? That I was a sinner was no surprise to me, but Islam had taught me that if I did more good deeds than bad, I would go to heaven. Considering myself to be on the positive side of the scales, I was able to ignore my sins. What David was saying turned everything I believed, everything I had built my life upon, on its head. It caused me to confront my depravity, something I wanted to avoid at all costs. But David’s gaze held me there.

Did he know what this meant, though? If he was right, it meant Islam and everything my family had ever taught me was wrong. All we had ever stood for was false. How could he expect me to believe this? It would cost me everything. My Muslim friends would consider me a traitor, my family might disown me, and my life would be devastated. In some circumstances, my life might be forfeit.

The cost of the message made me want to run, but his loyal friendship made me stay right there, forcing me to consider his words. They were unpleasant, but his relationship with me covered over a multitude of offenses. He must have known his words were an affront to everything I stood for, yet he held to its truth because that truth held him. His entire life had been changed by this message, and there was no arguing with that.

After a few heavy moments, I spoke. “If I am a sinner unworthy of heaven, what hope is there for me, David?”

David smiled reassuringly and said, “Only the grace of God.”

“But why would He give me His grace?”

“Because He loves you.”

He loves me? God, the Creator of the universe, loves me? How could that be? The Quran teaches that Allah does not love those who sin.

“Why would He love me, a sinner?” I asked.

His smile unrelenting, David said. “Because He’s your Father.”

Those four words hit me hard. I had heard Christians call God “Father,” but it had never clicked. Only when I tried to figure out why God would give mercy and grace to someone who deserved none did the gears start turning. David’s simple assertion reminded me of my earthly father, who would love me no matter what I did. Of course, if God is the greatest being, His love would be greater than my earthly father’s. Unconditional.

And just like that, because of my friend’s courage and conviction, I understood the gospel for the first time. The power of the message, combined with the evidence for its truth, meant I had to make a decision: the life I had, or the life God had for me.

When I left Islam, my family was fractured, and it has never been the same. That was the most painful time of my life, and I had to lean on God completely to get through the storm. Nine years later, my life has been blessed in ways I could never have imagined, and I now have the privilege of speaking at university campuses around the world, sharing the same life-changing message that David shared with me. And I wouldn’t change that for anything.

by Nabeel Qureshi

The Glory of the Lord

“So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:14)

With the coming of the Shekinah glory cloud into the great house, God showed His acceptance of Solomon’s beautiful temple as His symbolic earthly dwelling place. This had happened once before in the wilderness. “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34).

But as the glory once departed when the Ark of the Covenant was taken from the tabernacle by the Philistines (1 Samuel 4:22), so it later also departed when Solomon’s temple was plundered by the Babylonians and the people carried into exile (2 Chronicles 36:17-20; Ezekiel 10:18; 11:23).

It returned for a time when “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt [literally, ‘tabernacled’] among us, (and we beheld his glory . . .)” at least in a spiritual sense (John 1:14). On one occasion Christ’s glory shone through even in a physical sense: “And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and . . . they saw his glory” (Luke 9:29-32) on the Mount of the Transfiguration.

There is also a great day coming when the ascended Lord will return with His heavenly temple, “coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30), even as “the glory of the Lord shone round about them” (Luke 2:9) at His first coming. His glory will be present forever when the heavenly tabernacle, the New Jerusalem, comes to Earth (Revelation 21:3-10), “having the glory of God” (v. 11).

In this present age, the body of each believer “is the temple of the Holy Ghost,” and he must “therefore glorify God in [his] body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). “For God . . . hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). HMM

The Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save

Behold the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you.—Isaiah 59:1,2.

ONE thing alone, dear Lord! I dread—
To have a secret spot
That separates my soul from
Thee, And yet to know it not.

IT is a condition of enjoying continued insight into the laws which govern spiritual truth, that we should conform our moral being to that measure of truth which we already see. A deliberate rejection of duty prescribed by already recognized truth cannot but destroy, or at least impair most seriously, the clearness of our mental vision. A single act may thus involve grave inward deterioration; it may land the soul upon a lower level of moral life, where passion is more imperious, and principle is weaker; where a man is less his own master, and more readily enslaved to the circumstances and beings around him. H. P. LIDDON.

It is a strange but inflexible spiritual law, that those who aim at anything short of the best according to their conception, as God has given them light, will sooner or later come to grief. It is merely a matter of time. CHARLES H. BRENT.

Occupy till I come

Occupy till I come. Luke 19:13

The Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. — Unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every
man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. — Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? — Leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. — Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it. — Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Mark 13:34. Matthew 25:15. John 9:4. Luke 2:49. 1 Peter 2:21. 2 Timothy 4:2. 1 Corinthians 3:13. 1 Corinthians 15:58.

The free gift is of many offences unto justification

The free gift is of many offences unto justification. Romans 5:16

Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. — I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified. — I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. —Not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. — And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Isaiah 1:18. Isaiah 43:25,26. Isaiah 44:22. John 3:16. Romans 5:15. 1 Corinthians 6:11.