VIDEO Are You Washed In The Blood Of The Lamb?

Mar 14, 2008

A well-known Christian hymn written by Elisha A. Hoffman in 1878. Sung in the video by the Antrim Mennonite Choir, from their album ‘Amazing Grace.’

Where Can I Help?

As we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. —Galatians 6:10

Last winter our city was hit by an ice storm. Hundreds of ice-heavy tree limbs cut into power lines, leaving thousands of homes and businesses without electrical power for days. Our family kept basic energy coming into the house through a generator, but we were still unable to cook meals. As we set out to find a place to eat, we drove for miles past closed businesses. We finally found a breakfast restaurant that had not lost power, but it was packed with hungry customers who were in the same fix as we were.

When a woman came over to take our order for food, she said, “I’m not really an employee of this restaurant. Our church group was having breakfast here, and we saw how the staff was overwhelmed with so many customers who came in. We told the restaurant management we would be willing to help by waiting on tables if it would ease the burden and help people to get fed.”

Her willingness to serve reminded me of Paul’s words: “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all” (Gal. 6:10). In light of the many needs around us, I wonder what could happen if we all asked God to show us opportunities to serve Him and help others today. By Dennis Fisher

Dear Lord, show us where and how we might
serve others and ease their burdens. Give us
hearts of love and compassion that reflect
Your love. Then help us to take action.

We follow the example of Christ when we serve people in need.

All Our Anxiety

1 Peter 5:6-10

Did you ever wonder why a passage dealing with anxious thoughts mentions Satan prowling like a roaring lion? Worry can feel like an attack—we get torn up on the inside by fears, frustration, and helplessness. Anxiety is a tormenting emotion, and today’s reading reminds us that the devil wields it skillfully.

But we don’t have to live with worry, because God closes the mouths of lions that threaten His followers (Dan. 6:22). Peter described how to keep clear of anxiety’s jaws. First, we humble ourselves before God. What causes worry is a sense of helplessness in a given situation, so the best response is yielding yourself to God—submitting to Him with the confidence that He has the power to control your life. Another thing that builds trust is the realization that God is always engineering circumstances for your good and His glory (Rom. 8:28).

Remember, prayer is a declaration of dependence. When you humble yourself, you’re kneeling before omnipotent God. And since nothing is a challenge for His power, the second step in casting cares on Him is the simple exercise of telling the Lord your troubles and then trusting Him to deal with them. He assumes responsibility for meeting believers’ needs; your part is to prioritize obeying Him and living a righteous life (Matt. 6:31-33).

Lastly, resist Satan by remaining firm in faith. In other words, don’t snatch those concerns out of God’s hands to worry over them anew. When the devil’s ways make you tremble with anxiety, reject his lie and affirm that the Lord is adequate to handle the situation.

Declaring the Unknown God

“As I . . . beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.” (Acts 17:23)

The people of Athens were known to be quite religious, worshipping a host of nature gods. They even had set up an altar “to the unknown god.” Paul pounced on this point of contact to declare unto them the God they didn’t know. He starts by laying the foundation: This God, he claims, is the Creator.

He not only “made the world and all things therein” (v. 24), but also is “Lord of heaven and earth.” To cause to exist and then to rule over all of creation, one must be omnipotent. He is much too great to dwell in “temples made with hands.” How ludicrous to think He might need anything, including the worship of men, “seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things” (v. 25).

This God “hath made of one blood all nations of men” and “hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” (v. 26). To know all men, their race, futures, and details of their lives, God must be omniscient, eternal, boundless. He has done this so “that they should seek the Lord” (v. 27). He is not hard to find, for He is “not far from every one of us.” He is the sustainer and source of all life. “In him we live, and move, and have our being; . . . we are also his offspring” (v. 28), totally unlike gods of “gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device” (v. 29).

But mankind has not known this God. He has been patient, but hates sin and “commandeth all men every where to repent” (v. 30), to gain forgiveness based on the work of “that man whom he hath ordained” (v. 31) as a final sacrifice, or as righteous judge. We can be sure of this because, when the sacrifice was slain, God “raised him from the dead” (v. 31).

Some mocked at the declaration of this mighty God (v. 32); some refused to act; but others believed (v. 34). JDM

Intimate With Jesus

holding hands
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip?” —John 14:9

These words were not spoken as a rebuke, nor even with surprise; Jesus was encouraging Philip to draw closer. Yet the last person we get intimate with is Jesus. Before Pentecost the disciples knew Jesus as the One who gave them power to conquer demons and to bring about a revival (see Luke 10:18-20). It was a wonderful intimacy, but there was a much closer intimacy to come: “…I have called you friends…” (John 15:15). True friendship is rare on earth. It means identifying with someone in thought, heart, and spirit. The whole experience of life is designed to enable us to enter into this closest relationship with Jesus Christ. We receive His blessings and know His Word, but do we really know Him?

Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go away…” (John 16:7). He left that relationship to lead them even closer. It is a joy to Jesus when a disciple takes time to walk more intimately with Him. The bearing of fruit is always shown in Scripture to be the visible result of an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ (see John 15:1-4).

Once we get intimate with Jesus we are never lonely and we never lack for understanding or compassion. We can continually pour out our hearts to Him without being perceived as overly emotional or pitiful. The Christian who is truly intimate with Jesus will never draw attention to himself but will only show the evidence of a life where Jesus is completely in control. This is the outcome of allowing Jesus to satisfy every area of life to its depth. The picture resulting from such a life is that of the strong, calm balance that our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him.

by Oswald Chambers

The Flock of God: Safe in Jesus Christ

Feed the flock of God which is among you… And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 1 Peter 5:2, 4

The people who want to know God and walk with God, those who have learned to recognize the voice of the good Shepherd, will always be at home in a Spiritfilled congregation.

It is sad indeed that some have never heard the voice of the Shepherd. His voice is as tender as a lullaby and as strong as the wind and as mighty as the sound of many waters. The people who have learned to hear and recognize the voice of Jesus—that healing, musical, solemn, beautiful voice of Jesus in His church—are always at home where everything centers around Him.

The true Christian church can be a conglomeration of everything under the sun. That is, we may have Calvinists and Arminians and Methodists and Baptists and Catholics and Orthodox and all sorts of others [the Bible does not have any denominations mentioned, denominations are man made], and yet we are all together on one thing—Jesus Christ is wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption! He is All in all, and the people of the Lord who have learned to hear the voice of the Shepherd gravitate towards that kind of church! [If Jesus Christ is not in the ‘church’ building, all you have is a building.]

They may not be so sure about who else is present, but they know the Lord is present and they are sensitive to that.

Do you find your own heart sensitive to the Lord’s presence or are you among those who are “samplers” “and “nibblers”? God help you if you are, for the child of the king is a sheep who loves his Shepherd and he stays close to Him! That’s the only safe place for a sheep. Stay close to Jesus and all of the wolves in the world cannot get a tooth in you!

Riches of Grace

God… hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son… by whom also he made the worlds. HEBREWS 1:1-2

Would it startle you if I dared to say that the living God has never done anything in His universe apart from Jesus Christ?

Christians seem to be woefully unaware of the full meaning and measure of the grace of God. Why should we question God’s provision when the Holy Spirit tells us through the Apostle John that the Word who became flesh is “full of grace and truth”? Brethren, the stars in their courses, the frogs that croak beside the lake, the angels in heaven above and men and women on earth below—all came out of the channel we call the eternal Word!

In the book of Revelation, John bears record of the whole universe joining to give praise to the Lamb that was slain. Under the earth and on the earth and above the earth, John heard creatures praising Jesus Christ, all joining in a great chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing” (5:12).

Yes, surely the entire universe is beneficiary of God’s rich grace in Jesus Christ!

Lord, I praise Your name. You alone are worthy of all my adoration. Help me to walk uprightly today as a testimony to Your presence in my life.