VIDEO Hillsong – O Holy Night

Nov 15, 2011

From the album “Born is the King”

Where the Battle is Won or Lost

praying
“If you will return, O Israel,” says the Lord… —Jeremiah 4:1

Our battles are first won or lost in the secret places of our will in God’s presence, never in full view of the world. The Spirit of God seizes me and I am compelled to get alone with God and fight the battle before Him. Until I do this, I will lose every time. The battle may take one minute or one year, but that will depend on me, not God. However long it takes, I must wrestle with it alone before God, and I must resolve to go through the hell of renunciation or rejection before Him. Nothing has any power over someone who has fought the battle before God and won there.

I should never say, “I will wait until I get into difficult circumstances and then I’ll put God to the test.” Trying to do that will not work. I must first get the issue settled between God and myself in the secret places of my soul, where no one else can interfere. Then I can go ahead, knowing with certainty that the battle is won. Lose it there, and calamity, disaster, and defeat before the world are as sure as the laws of God. The reason the battle is lost is that I fight it first in the external world. Get alone with God, do battle before Him, and settle the matter once and for all.

In dealing with other people, our stance should always be to drive them toward making a decision of their will. That is how surrendering to God begins. Not often, but every once in a while, God brings us to a major turning point— a great crossroads in our life. From that point we either go toward a more and more slow, lazy, and useless Christian life, or we become more and more on fire, giving our utmost for His highest— our best for His glory.

by Oswald Chambers

Our Long-Awaited Jesus

VOD_TEMPLATE
Luke 2:11

When I meditate on Christmas, I think about our Jesus—about the miracle of our Savior. About being free from my sins and being able to rest in his grace all because he came here to save us. But I don’t often think about the fact that people longed and waited for him to come.

Patience isn’t something that comes naturally for most people, especially when there’s no ETA. And waiting for Jesus had to require more patience than anything else we’ve ever waited for.

They knew he had been promised. They believed he would come. But they didn’t know when. I can’t even imagine how amazing it felt for those shepherds, who were just going about their day, to hear those glorious words:

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

The Lord was here. Our Jesus had come. They would be set free. The Savior born was declared to be the divine Messiah, and an angel had been sent to tell them personally.

After all that waiting, he had finally arrived.

The hymn Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus puts this into perspective:

Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.

He was the desire of every nation, the longing of every heart. Jesus, the best king they could ever hope for—their strength, hope, and joy. People didn’t care about gifts, or great food, or even good company. Their long-awaited Savior had suddenly come, and that’s all that mattered.

This Christmas, let’s remember what a miracle Jesus was. Let’s not take his birth for granted. Let us drop everything and bask in the glory of our long-awaited Savior, who was born on earth, would die to save us, and who will never leave us.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

—John 3:16

Hallelujah, our Savior is here! Let us rejoice.

by Tayler Beede

Spiritual Hygiene

“But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” (1 Timothy 4:7-8)

We are bombarded these days with diet plans, exercise programs, health foods, beauty aids, etc.—all aimed at improving our lives or lifestyles. These may profit a “little” and should not be ignored, but we must never allow a preoccupation with physical things to negate our true priorities.

Spiritual hygiene is much more important than physical hygiene. As infants, we should “desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). For adults, “strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age” (Hebrews 5:14)—those who are no longer “unskillful in the word of righteousness” (v. 13).

We are to be “nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:6), and admonished to profess “sound [literally ‘healthy’] doctrine” (Titus 1:9; 2:1) and healthy “faith” (1:13; 2:2), as well as healthy “charity” and “patience” (2:2), and use healthy “speech” (2:8). Exercise must not be ignored, but it should be “exercise . . . unto godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7), enabling us to “discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14). It may take the form of chastisement, which “yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness” (12:11).

And, of course, cleanliness is important. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalm 119:9). Christ gave Himself “that he might sanctify and cleanse [the church] with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:26-27). JDM

Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God, as a little child shall in no wise enter therein

Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God, as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.—Luke
18:17.

DEAR Soul, couldst thou become a child
While yet on earth, meek, undefiled,
Then God Himself were ever near,
And Paradise around thee here.
GERHARD TERSTEEGEN.

CHILDLIKENESS, in its Scripture sense, is a perfectness of trust, a resting in a Father’s love, a being borne on in its power, living in it—it means a simplicity which resolves all into the one idea of lowly submissiveness to One in whom it lives, a buoyancy of spirit, which is a fountain of joy in itself, always ready to spring forth afresh brightly and happily to meet the claims of the present hour, not looking lingeringly back to the past, nor making plans independently, as of oneself, for the future; a resting contented in one’s lot, whatever that lot may be; a singleness of intention a pliancy, a yielding of the will, a forgetfulness of self in another’s claims. To be thus childlike in the pure sense of such an ideal, is to be living in God, as one’s Father, one’s Preserver, one’s Guide, felt to be a perpetual Presence and Providence.
T. T. CARTER.

We would see Jesus

We would see Jesus. John 12:21

O LORD, we have waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.

The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. — I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. — Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face. — Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.

Beloved, now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Isaiah 26:8. Psalm 145:18. Matthew 18:20. John 14:18. Matthew 28:20. Hebrews 12:1,2. 1 Corinthians 13:12. Philippians 1:23. 1 John 3:2,3.

Thy sins be forgiven thee

Thy sins be forgiven thee. Mark 2:5

I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. — Who can forgive sins but God only?

I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. — Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity. — Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity?

God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. — The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. — Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

Jeremiah 31:34. Mark 2.7. Isaiah 43:25. Psalm 32:1,2. Micah 7:18. Ephesians 4:32. 1 John 1:7-9. Psalm 103:12. Romans 6:14,18.