VIDEO How Can They Say There is No God?

God Wonders Psalm 40 5 kristiann1
Dec 20, 2010

Philippians 2:9-11 (NKJV)

9) Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11) and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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Rescuing the Reluctant – The Strictest Discipline

water rescue
Rescuing the Reluctant

The men took hold of his hand, . . . the Lord being merciful to him, and they . . . set him outside the city. —Genesis 19:16

Many years ago during a water safety class, we were taught how to save a drowning person who is resisting rescue. “Approach the person from behind,” the instructor told us. “Place one arm across the person’s chest and flailing arms, and swim toward safety. If you approach from the front, the person may grab you and pull both of you down.” Panic and fear can paralyze the ability to think and act wisely.

When two angels sent by God came to rescue Lot and his family from the impending destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:12-13), they encountered resistance. Lot’s sons-in-law thought the warning was a joke (v. 14). When the angels told Lot to hurry and leave, he hesitated (v. 15). At that point, the two angels “took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters,” and led them safely out of the city because God was merciful toward them (v. 16).

When we reflect on our journey of faith in Christ, we can see God’s faithfulness in overcoming our reluctance and resistance. When we encounter people lashing out in spiritual desperation and fear, may we have God’s wisdom to show His love to them—and to every person who is reluctant to be rescued by Him.

Father, as I look at my own heart, I know I have resisted You and have been reluctant at times to come to You. Thank You for Your mercy. Help me to share with others who You are.

God’s mercy can overcome our resistance.

By David C. McCasland

Nature's Pearls - rain drops leaf
The Strictest Discipline

If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. —Matthew 5:30

Jesus did not say that everyone must cut off his right hand, but that “if your right hand causes you to sin” in your walk with Him, then it is better to “cut it off.” There are many things that are perfectly legitimate, but if you are going to concentrate on God you cannot do them. Your right hand is one of the best things you have, but Jesus says that if it hinders you in following His precepts, then “cut it off.” The principle taught here is the strictest discipline or lesson that ever hit humankind.

When God changes you through regeneration, giving you new life through spiritual rebirth, your life initially has the characteristic of being maimed. There are a hundred and one things that you dare not do— things that would be sin for you, and would be recognized as sin by those who really know you. But the unspiritual people around you will say, “What’s so wrong with doing that? How absurd you are!” There has never yet been a saint who has not lived a maimed life initially. Yet it is better to enter into life maimed but lovely in God’s sight than to appear lovely to man’s eyes but lame to God’s. At first, Jesus Christ through His Spirit has to restrain you from doing a great many things that may be perfectly right for everyone else but not right for you. Yet, see that you don’t use your restrictions to criticize someone else.

The Christian life is a maimed life initially, but in Matthew 5:48 Jesus gave us the picture of a perfectly well-rounded life— “You shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

by Oswald Chambers

Drawing from the Source – Proactive Love

Drawing from the Source

Jeremiah 2:13

For us who believe in Jesus, contentment should be governed by inner attitude and the decisions we make rather than by external circumstances. Because Paul had learned this secret, he was able to experience joy and peace in any kind of situation—whether he was surrounded by friends or isolated in a Roman prison; whether he had plenty or was in great need.

The apostle understood what it meant to live in Christ and to have Christ living in him (John 15:1-9; Galatians 5:22-23). He had made a simple but profound faith decision to draw his life from the Lord and, as a result, had the calm assurance that what he possessed inside could never be stolen. He was confident in his identity as a child of the Almighty, with full access to the abundant life Jesus offers.

I want to challenge you—this week, when something threatens to steal your contentment, choose to draw from God; decide to stop drawing from other sources and trying to be in control. When you find yourself becoming flustered, anxious, or angry, stop and say, “Lord, You are my source, and I draw from You the capacity to be kind. I draw from You the forgiveness I need to extend right now. I draw from You the love I need to express.” This decision is a matter of simple trust.

Watch and see how God will quiet your spirit and provide confidence when you draw only from Him as your source. You’ll be surprised at your own attitude: When you respond from within—rather than from the flesh—Jesus will give you the ability to respond as He would.


Proactive Love

Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 7:12

The Golden Rule is found, in varying forms, in all religious and cultural traditions, many predating the time of Christ. Ethicists call it the “rule of reciprocity”—letting how we desire others to act toward us be the guide for how we act toward them. But when Jesus Christ stated His version of the Golden Rule, He gave it a twist that had been missing in other cultures.

Prior to Jesus, the rule of reciprocity had been stated in negative terms only. For instance, the Jewish book of Tobit said, “Do to no one what you yourself dislike.” In other words, prior to Jesus, the Golden Rule focused on what not to do to others. But when Jesus stated it, He put it in positive terms: “Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them.” Instead of only withholding negative actions, Jesus said to demonstrate positive actions: Be proactive in your behavior toward others by loving them the same way you would want to be loved. He said such a proactive posture was a good way to summarize the whole Old Testament: “the Law and the Prophets.”

Not doing bad things is commendable, but doing good things is even better. Doing both is to love as God loves.

Our job is to love people we don’t have to love. Keith Miller

Recommended Reading: Galatians 5:13-14

Signs of the Times

“When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:2-3)

This sharp rebuke by the Lord Jesus was well deserved, for His critics were challenging Him to prove His right to be heard by performing a miracle. But they had already been confronted with a tremendous body of evidence, both in their Scriptures and in the very life and teachings of Jesus (as well as in the miracles already wrought by Him) that He was their Messiah. They paid great attention to weather forecasting and other mundane matters, while ignoring or rejecting the evidence that God Himself, in Christ, was in their midst.

Today we are more occupied with daily weather even than they were, with all sorts of forecasting devices in operation. There is also a growing army of doomsday forecasters, loudly concerned about a predicted nuclear winter, overpopulation, pollution, alien invasions from outer space, and a host of other foreboding secular “signs of the times.”

Yet they ignore the overwhelming evidences, both in science and Scripture, that our great Creator/Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is still in control and is coming again soon to fulfill His great purposes in creation and redemption. A mere listing of the many real signs of God’s times would take many pages. One such sign, of course, is this very proliferation of science and technology. At “the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4). Another is the great following achieved by these false teachers, as multitudes “turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:4). “Hypocrites,” Jesus said, are concerned with secular trends, but spiritual discerners can recognize the true signs. HMM

Truck loads of Gadgets

Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. —Psalm 55:17

These people who have to have truckloads of gadgets to get their religion going, what will they do when they don’t have anything like that? The truck can’t get where they’re going.

I heard a man boast this afternoon on the radio to come to his place because they were going to bring in equipment from Pennsylvania and Ohio to serve the Lord with. What equipment do you need to serve the Lord with, brother? Why, the dear old camp meeting ladies used to say, “See, this is my harp with ten strings and I praise the Lord!” And they’d clap their little old wrinkled hands with shining faces. What claptrap do you need? Do you need a bushel basket full of stuff to serve the Lord with?

Brother, if you have two knees and even if you’re stiffened up with arthritis so you can’t get on your knees, you can look up in your heart. For prayer isn’t getting on your knees—prayer is the elevation of the heart to God. That’s all a man needs. You can pray in a prison, you can pray in an airplane, you can pray in a ship; you can pray anywhere and you can worship God, because it’s Himself that we want, Himself.

Lord, show me Yourself this morning. I don’t have any “claptrap” or equipment here; I just want to get on my knees and worship. I meditate on Your works, my soul longs for You, here in the quiet of my study. Amen.

Sad But True: Many Know God Only by Hearsay

In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God…. 1 John 3:10

Do you realize that there are many, many in the churches of our day who talk some of the Christian language but who know God only by hearsay?

Most of them have read some book about God. They have seen some reflection of the light of God. They may have heard some faint echo of the voice of God, but their own personal knowledge of God is very slight.

Many Christians are staking their reputations on church attendance, religious activity, social fellowship, sessions of singing—because in all of these things they are able to lean upon one another. They spend a lot of time serving as religious props for one another in Christian circles!

Let us look at the example of Jesus. When He was here upon earth, the record shows that He had work to do and He also knew the necessity for activity as He preached and healed, taught and answered questions and blessed the people. He also knew the fellowship of His brethren, those who followed Him and loved Him.

But those were the incidental things in Jesus’ life compared to His fellowship with and personal knowledge of the Father. When Jesus went into the mountain to pray and to wait on God all night, He was not alone, for He knew the conscious presence of the Father with Him!

Eternity in Our Hearts

The high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity… with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit. ISAIAH 57:15

The only reason that men and women can be saved is the fact that God has put eternity in our hearts!

Man is fallen—yes! Man is lost, a sinner and needs to be born again—yes!

But God made man in His own image and He keeps the longing after eternity and a desire after everlasting life there within the hearts of men.

What, then, is the matter with man? Like the lion in the cage, he paces back and forth and roars to the heavens before he dies.

I think this is the truth—we are disturbed because God has put everlastingness in our hearts. He has put a longing for immortality in our beings, something that demands God and heaven. Yet, we are too blind and sinful to find Him or even to look for Him!

As Christian witnesses, we must be faithful and timely in our preaching and teaching. There is a note of warning in this—telling men and women why they are lost and that if they will not repent they will certainly perish!

Lord, at times I have felt that this world is not my real home. I have a longing for things eternal. Yet, Lord, there are still so many people whose hearts are stone cold and who need to be told about Your free gift of eternal life.