VIDEO Heart Transplant Recipient Thankful for New Life

March 7, 2015

Whether it’s physical or spiritual, a new heart brings new life. John was a healthy, active person until shortness of breath led to a diagnosis of an extremely rare heart disease that required a transplant. The spiritual insight of Jesus giving all who believe a “new heart” became very real to John as he awaited his physical transplant.

Advertisements

Don’t Forget – The Price of the Vision

Don’t Forget

Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me. Romans 15:30

Paul was going from Corinth with money for the Jerusalem church. The Jews in Jerusalem would be eager to persecute him. So he wrote to the church in Rome asking for their prayers “that [he] may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe” (Romans 15:31).

Prayer is often the forgotten ingredient in spiritual warfare. In Paul’s classic passage on the believer’s spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-18), prayer is often neglected. But it is Paul’s final admonition: “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints” (verse 18, NASB). It is as if Paul is saying, “Once you are clothed with God’s armor against Satan, you must win the battle on the field of prayer!” He makes the point by asking for prayer for himself against the temptation to fear the repercussions from preaching the Gospel (verses 19-20).

Be clothed with God’s spiritual armor—but don’t neglect to pray for strength and steadfastness against “the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).

The believer may be known by his inward warfare as well as by his inward peace. J. C. Ryle

Recommended Reading: Ephesians 6:18-20

The Price of the Vision

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord… —Isaiah 6:1

Our soul’s personal history with God is often an account of the death of our heroes. Over and over again God has to remove our friends to put Himself in their place, and that is when we falter, fail, and become discouraged. Let me think about this personally— when the person died who represented for me all that God was, did I give up on everything in life? Did I become ill or disheartened? Or did I do as Isaiah did and see the Lord?

My vision of God is dependent upon the condition of my character. My character determines whether or not truth can even be revealed to me. Before I can say, “I saw the Lord,” there must be something in my character that conforms to the likeness of God. Until I am born again and really begin to see the kingdom of God, I only see from the perspective of my own biases. What I need is God’s surgical procedure— His use of external circumstances to bring about internal purification.

Your priorities must be God first, God second, and God third, until your life is continually face to face with God and no one else is taken into account whatsoever. Your prayer will then be, “In all the world there is no one but You, dear God; there is no one but You.”

Keep paying the price. Let God see that you are willing to live up to the vision.

by Oswald Chambers

The Foundation of Unwavering Faith

Hebrews 13:8

In our ever-changing world, families move, friendships drift, allegiances shift, and technology advances by quantum leaps. If we seek security in people, possessions, or positions, we’re doomed to be disappointed.

Yet we all need somewhere to turn during the storms of life. The one true anchor for our soul is Jesus Christ, who Scripture assures us will not change. To find comfort in Him, we must learn who He is, what He does, and how He works. Today we will explore a few details about His life and character.

John 1:1 reveals that Jesus was Deity from the beginning. Fully God and fully man, He was born of a virgin, lived 33 years on Earth, was crucified despite His innocence, and rose after three days. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life—the Christ, the Son of the Living God (John 14:6; Matthew 16:16-17). Our Lord fulfilled countless prophesies in the Old Testament, such as Isaiah 53. Like us, Jesus has feelings—He wept for hurting people and felt angry when people misused the temple. Most importantly, His resurrection defeated death, and He still lives today.

God’s character never varies. Of course, as situations change, He acts accordingly. But the merciful, loving, compassionate, and holy Jesus we know in Scripture is the same Messiah we can cling to today.

Where do you turn in trying times? Difficult circumstances are inevitable. Prepare yourself for them by learning who Jesus is—He’s the only true shelter and rock that will not change. What a wonderful Savior!

Resurrection in the Old Testament

“Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” (Isaiah 26:19)

Some have argued that the doctrine of a bodily resurrection was unknown to the Israelites of the Old Testament. In fact, this denial was a cardinal doctrine of the sect of the Sadducees at the time of Christ (Matthew 22:23).

Our text, however, makes it clear that this promise has always been known to the people of God. Long before Isaiah’s time, Job had said: “I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And . . . in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:25-26). After the time of Isaiah, the promise was still known. “Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2). Such promises were not referring to some vague “immortality of the soul,” as taught in pagan religions, but to resurrection of the body!

First, however, the Creator must become man, die for the sins of the world, and defeat death by His own bodily resurrection. In our text, in fact, Christ is saying that Old Testament believers would be raised “together with my dead body.” This was literally fulfilled when “the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many” (Matthew 27:52-53). Then, when Jesus first ascended to heaven (John 20:17), He led those who had been in “captivity” in the grave with Him into heaven (Ephesians 4:8). All who have trusted Christ in the Christian era will likewise be raised from the dead when He comes again. He has defeated death and has promised, “because I live, ye shall live also” (John 14:19). HMM

Philip The Calculator

Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. —John 6:7

Here in the New Testament was Philip the Calculator—Philip the Mathematician, Philip the Clerk. There was need for a miracle, and Philip set out to calculate the odds. Probably every Christian group has at least one person with a calculator. I have sat on boards for many years, and rarely is there a board without a Philip the Calculator among its members. When you suggest something, out comes the calculator to prove that it cannot be done….

As I say, I have been sitting on these boards for many years, and there are always two kinds of board members: those who can see the miracle and those who can only see their calculators and their strings of calculations….

The people with the calculators have seen the problem, but they have not seen God. They have figured things out, but they have not figured God in.

Philip the Calculator. He can be a dangerous man in the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. Every suggestion made in the direction of progress gets a negative vote from this man.

Lord, deliver us from the control of the calculator. Increase our faith. Amen.

Many Practice Fraud upon Their Own Souls

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8

Of all forms of deception self-deception is the most deadly, and of all deceived persons the self-deceived are the least likely to discover the fraud! The reason for this is simple. When a man is deceived by another he is deceived against his will. He is contending against an adversary and is temporarily the victim of the other’s guile. Since he expects his foe to take advantage of him he is watchful and quick to suspect trickery.

With the self-deceived it is quite different. He is his own enemy and is working a fraud upon himself. He wants to believe the lie and is psychologically conditioned to do so. He does not resist the deceit but collaborates with it against himself. There is no struggle, because the victim surrenders before the fight begins. He enjoys being deceived!

It is altogether possible to practice fraud upon our own souls and go deceived to judgment. The farther we push into the sanctuary the greater becomes the danger of self-deception. The deeply religious man is far more vulnerable than the easygoing fellow who takes his religion lightly.

Before a man’s heart has been wholly conquered by the Spirit of God, he may be driven to try every dodge to save face and preserve a semblance of his old independence. This is always dangerous and if persisted in may prove calamitous!

Out of Balance

If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. JOHN 8:31

We must admit that in the evangelical Christian churches of our day, almost all of us are guilty of a lopsided view of the Christian life—all is made to depend upon the initial act of believing. At a given moment a decision is made for Christ, and after that everything is “automatic.”

This is because of our failure to lay a scriptural emphasis in our evangelical preaching.

In our eagerness to make converts, we allow our believers to absorb the idea that they can deal with their entire responsibility once and for all by an act of believing. This is in some vague way supposed to honor grace and glorify God, whereas actually it is to make Christ the author of a grotesque, unworkable system that has no counterpart in the Scriptures of Truth.

In the New Testament accounts, faith was for each believer a beginning, not an end. Believing was not a once-done act; it was more than an act. It was an attitude of heart and mind which inspired and enabled the believer to take up his cross and follow the Lamb whithersoever He went!

Lord, the Christian life is a lifelong maturing process. And some days are better than others! Help me to continue to progress in my walk of faith with You.