Feb 9, 2011
“In the Presence of Jehovah” by Nashville Singers
Feb 9, 2011
“In the Presence of Jehovah” by Nashville Singers
On June 6, 1944, three American officers huddled in a bombshell crater on Utah Beach in Normandy, France. Realizing the tide had carried them to the wrong place on the beach, the trio made an impromptu decision: “We’ll start the battle from right here.” They needed to move forward from a difficult starting point.
Saul found himself in a difficult place, needing to make a decision after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-20). Suddenly, the location and direction of his life was revealed to him as a mistake, his prior life perhaps even feeling like a waste. Moving forward would be difficult and would require hard and uncomfortable work, perhaps even facing the Christian families whose lives he had torn apart. But he responded, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” (v. 6).
We often find ourselves in unexpected places, places we never planned nor wanted to be. We may be drowning in debt, inhibited by physical barriers, or suffering under the weight of sin’s consequences. Whether Christ finds us this day in a prison cell or a palace, whether He finds us broken and broke or absorbed by our own selfish desires, Scripture tells us to heed Paul’s advice to forget what lies behind and to press forward toward Christ (Phil. 3:13-14). The past is no barrier to moving forward with Him.
Are you paralyzed by your past? Have you drifted away from Christ? Or perhaps never even met Him? Today is the day to begin anew with Christ, even if you’ve tried and failed before.
It’s not too late for a fresh start.
By Randy Kilgore
“Work Out” What God “Works in” You
…work out your own salvation…for it is God who works in you… —Philippians 2:12-13
Your will agrees with God, but in your flesh there is a nature that renders you powerless to do what you know you ought to do. When the Lord initially comes in contact with our conscience, the first thing our conscience does is awaken our will, and our will always agrees with God. Yet you say, “But I don’t know if my will is in agreement with God.” Look to Jesus and you will find that your will and your conscience are in agreement with Him every time. What causes you to say “I will not obey” is something less deep and penetrating than your will. It is perversity or stubbornness, and they are never in agreement with God. The most profound thing in a person is his will, not sin.
The will is the essential element in God’s creation of human beings— sin is a perverse nature which entered into people. In someone who has been born again, the source of the will is Almighty God. “…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” With focused attention and great care, you have to “work out” what God “works in” you— not work to accomplish or earn “your own salvation,” but work it out so you will exhibit the evidence of a life based with determined, unshakable faith on the complete and perfect redemption of the Lord. As you do this, you do not bring an opposing will up against God’s will— God’s will is your will. Your natural choices will be in accordance with God’s will, and living this life will be as natural as breathing. Stubbornness is an unintelligent barrier, refusing enlightenment and blocking its flow. The only thing to do with this barrier of stubbornness is to blow it up with “dynamite,” and the “dynamite” is obedience to the Holy Spirit.
Do I believe that Almighty God is the Source of my will? God not only expects me to do His will, but He is in me to do it.
by Oswald Chambers
1 Corinthians 12:4-7
Many people hear the word serve and feel that they do not have the necessary qualities to make a difference in others’ lives. This is true—apart from God. But He has gifted each of us in unique ways with a purpose in mind. His plan for us involves using these talents to serve Him for the good of others.
Satan would like us to believe otherwise. Our enemy wants us to notice what others are doing and then to feel inferior. For instance, I have heard women say, “I am just a homemaker.” They see people preaching and singing in the choir and wish they could accomplish something so great for God. Friends, nothing could be further from the truth. An enormous responsibility rests with those who train their children in righteousness.
In fact, the Holy Spirit has gifted each believer for specific work in God’s kingdom. Scripture explains this idea by a comparison with a human body: Each person has gifts and purposes that make the entire system function well. But if the heel wants the eye’s role, the whole being will lose balance.
Each part is crucial, even though some aren’t as noticeable as others. Truthfully, those with less apparent talents have an advantage because pride and self-sufficiency may not be so great a temptation.
Notice how Peter defined himself: “a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1). He was no longer a man motivated by self-interest. Once He began to follow Jesus, he saw himself as a servant of God. We, too, are called to serve the King of Kings with whatever abilities we are given.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” (1 Timothy 4:1)
In chapter one of his first epistle to Timothy, Paul warned about false teachers and heresies in the church of his day, evidently particularly implicating the agnostics and their false skepticism and low moral standards. In our text for today and throughout chapter four, he warns of false teachers “in the latter times,” i.e., in our day and in our churches.
Paul had received an explicit (i.e., “express”) teaching from the Holy Spirit. There was nothing vague about it. The false teachers would, among other things, be “forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats” (v. 3), with other false teachings implied throughout the chapter. What does this teach us about those who today forbid their leaders, both men and women, to marry? Or those who insist upon certain dietary regimes for spiritual reasons?
These “doctrines” will cause some to “depart from the faith.” Evidently, some who consider themselves Christians and yet have incomplete discernment will fall into the trap of “seducing spirits,” espousing the “doctrines of devils.” The Greek word translated “depart” is apostesontai, which means “to fall away” from an original position, in this case, “the faith.” The teachers will typically be hypocrites, “speaking lies,” having “their conscience seared” (v. 2). “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:9).
In this time of great apostasy, we desperately need to know the biblical doctrine concerning devils (or Satan and his demonic henchmen), for their influence has nearly captured American education and culture. But we must be on guard against, and teach others to be on guard against, “doctrines of devils.” JDM
Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. —Psalm 33:8
When we come into this sweet relationship, we are beginning to learn astonished reverence, breathless adoration, awesome fascination, lofty admiration of the attributes of God and something of the breathless silence that we know when God is near.
You may never have realized it before, but all of those elements in our perception and consciousness of the divine Presence add up to what the Bible calls “the fear of God.”…
There are very few unqualified things in our lives, but I believe that the reverential fear of God mixed with love and fascination and astonishment and admiration and devotion is the most enjoyable state and the most purifying emotion the human soul can know.
Oh Lord, let me reach these heights in my worship today— astonished reverence, breathless adoration, awesome fascination, lofty admiration, breathless silence—let me experience that “reverential fear of God” this morning. Amen.
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame…. Revelation 3:21
Genuine holiness of life and spirit can be put into the place of testing without fear! Whenever there is a breakdown of holiness, that is proof there never was any real degree of holiness in the first place.
Whenever Satan has reason to fear a truth very gravely, he produces a counterfeit. He will try to put that truth in such a bad light that the very persons who are most eager to obey it are frightened away from it. Satan is very sly and very experienced in the forming of parodies of truth which he fears the most, and then pawns off his parody as the real thing and soon frightens away the seriousminded saints.
I regret to say that some who have called themselves by a kind of copyrighted name of holiness have allowed the doctrine to harden into a formula which has become a hindrance to repentance, for this doctrine has been invoked to cover up frivolity and covetousness, pride and worldliness.
I have seen the results. Serious, honest persons have turned away from the whole idea of holiness because of those who have claimed it and then lived selfish and conceited lives.
But, brethren, men of God have reminded us in the Word that God does ask and expect us to be holy men and women of God, because we are the children of God! The provision of God by His pure and gentle and loving Spirit is still the positive answer for those who hunger and thirst for the life well pleasing to God!
Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. EPHESIANS 5:19
I do know something of the emotional life that goes along with conversion to Jesus Christ. I came into the kingdom of God with joy, knowing that I had been forgiven.
I have had people tell me very dogmatically that they will never allow “feeling” to have any part in their spiritual life and experience. “Too bad for you!” is my reply.
I say that because I have voiced a very real definition of what I believe true worship to be: “Worship is to feel in the heart!”
In the Christian faith, we should be able to use the word feel boldly and without apology. What worse thing could be said of us as the Christian Church if it can be said of us that we are a feelingless people?
I think we must agree that those of us who have been blessed within our own beings would not join in any crusade to “follow your feelings.” But if there is no feeling at all in our hearts, then we are dead!
Lord, if we didn’t have feelings, we’d all be like robots. Thank You for creating us as whole people—intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. It is a joy to worship You with feeling!