VIDEO The Reason for Christmas

Dec 1, 2011

Dr. Charles Stanley says about Christmas: “It’s not a holiday, it’s a moment in time when you have the privilege of asking Christ into your life.”

The Right Kind of Help

And I, if I am lifted up…will draw all peoples to Myself. —John 12:32

Very few of us have any understanding of the reason why Jesus Christ died. If sympathy is all that human beings need, then the Cross of Christ is an absurdity and there is absolutely no need for it. What the world needs is not “a little bit of love,” but major surgery.

When you find yourself face to face with a person who is spiritually lost, remind yourself of Jesus Christ on the cross. If that person can get to God in any other way, then the Cross of Christ is unnecessary. If you think you are helping lost people with your sympathy and understanding, you are a traitor to Jesus Christ. You must have a right-standing relationship with Him yourself, and pour your life out in helping others in His way— not in a human way that ignores God. The theme of the world’s religion today is to serve in a pleasant, non-confrontational manner.

But our only priority must be to present Jesus Christ crucified— to lift Him up all the time (see 1 Corinthians 2:2). Every belief that is not firmly rooted in the Cross of Christ will lead people astray. If the worker himself believes in Jesus Christ and is trusting in the reality of redemption, his words will be compelling to others. What is extremely important is for the worker’s simple relationship with Jesus Christ to be strong and growing. His usefulness to God depends on that, and that alone.

The calling of a New Testament worker is to expose sin and to reveal Jesus Christ as Savior. Consequently, he cannot always be charming and friendly, but must be willing to be stern to accomplish major surgery. We are sent by God to lift up Jesus Christ, not to give wonderfully beautiful speeches. We must be willing to examine others as deeply as God has examined us. We must also be sharply intent on sensing those Scripture passages that will drive the truth home, and then not be afraid to apply them.

by Oswald Chambers

The Light of the World

John 1:1-5

The book of Malachi contains the last prophecies of God recorded in the Old Testament. The intertestamental period, as the next four centuries are known, was devoid of messages from God to His people. Zacharias—the father of John the Baptist—broke the 400-year silence when he prophesied that “. . . the Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death” (Luke 1:78-79).

Zacharias was announcing the birth of Jesus into a spiritually dark world. Here is how Paul described the condition of mankind without Christ: “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Rom. 1:21). The state of unbelievers today is the same as it has always been. Darkness plagues the earth because people live with a sense of frustration and futility as they attempt to please fleshly appetites that are never satisfied.

The light of Jesus Christ lets people see themselves as they really are: sinners in need of a Savior. When His hope is allowed to penetrate the heart, darkness is chased away. Receiving Him as Savior means that sins are forgiven and the death sentence lifted. The Son’s light has a second purpose for the believer. Jesus illuminates the right path for our life so that we need not give in to temptation. Whoever chooses to walk in the light—obeying God’s commands and seeking to live by His principles (Eph. 5:8-10)—cannot walk in darkness.

Zechariah’s Visions: The Four Chariots

“And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass.” (Zechariah 6:1)

These four great angelic creatures appear in several roles in Scripture. They are specifically identified as “four spirits” and are positioned “before the LORD of all the earth” (Zechariah 6:5). They come out from between two mountains of brass to walk “to and fro through the earth” (Zechariah 6:7). The horses are the same color as the horses in Revelation 6, indicating that these horsemen are age-long angelic authorities that execute and implement God’s will in the earth.

The four living creatures seen by Ezekiel may be the chariots that the horsemen are riding in Ezekiel 1:5. Those living creatures have four faces and four wings (Ezekiel 1:6), and a “wheel was on the earth beside each living creature” (Ezekiel 1:15).

The similar descriptions and connection with the book of world judgment in Zechariah and Revelation argue for a close relationship with four special creatures that are directly positioned with, and to, the throne of the Second Person of the Godhead—the Lamb of God. The differences are tantalizing but can easily be understood as eyewitness testimony by different people at different times in history.

Zechariah was told of their work in the “north country” (Babylon, Gog, and Magog) and in the “south country” (Egypt, Libya). Given Daniel’s previous prophecy of the north and south (Daniel 11), Zechariah would understand the future focus of the horsemen as history moved forward. “They are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Corinthians 10:11). HMM III

If the Lord would make windows in heaven might this thing be?

If the Lord would make windows in heaven might this thing be? 2 Kings 7:2

Have faith in God. — Without faith it is impossible to please God. — With God all things are possible.

Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. —Prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. — LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many or with them that have no power.

We should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead.

Mark 11:22. Hebrews 11:6. Matthew 19:26. Isaiah 50:2 Isaiah 55:8,9. Malachi 3:10. Isaiah 59:1. 2 Chronicles 14:11. 2 Corinthians 1:9.

I would have you to be free from cares

I would have you to be free from cares.—1 Corinthians 7:32 (R.V.).
He that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.— Psalm 32:10.

I HAVE no cares, O blessed Will!
For all my cares are Thine,
I live in triumph, Lord, for Thou
Hast made Thy triumphs mine.
FREDERICK W. FABER.

LET my soul roll itself on Him, and adventure there all its weight. He bears greater matters, upholding the frame of heaven and earth, and is not troubled or burdened with it. ROBERT LEIGHTON.

What is needed for happy and effectual service is simply to put your work into the Lord’s hands, and leave it there. Do not take it to Him in prayer, saying, “Lord, guide me, Lord, give me wisdom, Lord, arrange for me,” and then arise from your knees, and take the burden all back, and try to guide and arrange for yourself. Leave it with the Lord, and remember that what you trust to Him you must not worry over nor feel anxious about. Trust and worry cannot go together. HANNAH WHITALL SMITH.

He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world

He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4

That we should be holy and without blame before him in love.

God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto he called you, … to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. —Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. — Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. — God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

Ephesians 1:4. 2 Thessalonians 2:13,14. Romans 8:29,30. 1 Peter 1:2. Eze. 36:26. 1 Thessalonians 4:7.