Jun 24, 2011
We performed a stick drama to the song “Arise, My Love” by Newsong back on the Resurrection Praise Night, April 24, 2011 (Easter Sunday). Our drama team puts in so much time and dedication to their performances, and they really know how to worship the Lord in an awesome way!
God Bless You!
“Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:29
In one of his books, Charles Colson asked, “What is it about this book, the Bible, that causes people to give their lives for it, causes oppressors to try to destroy it, and so infuriates the cultural elite today?” His answer: “The reason is what the Bible claims for itself. Although it is in many respects a book like many others, a collection of ancient writings that includes a variety of genres from historical narrative to introspective philosophy, it is much more; it purports to be the Word of God itself.”
Because the Bible conveys God’s full authority, we cannot ignore it when things are going well or cast it aside during times of persecution. As Christians we must resist the lure of allowing the Bible to be marginalized in our lives, as it too often is.
Read it every day. Memorize key texts. Learn to mull over its words as you drive, shower, jog, or go to bed. Quote it to others. Teach and preach it at every opportunity. Respect its authority, for it’s like a fire and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces.
The Bible, written by men but through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gives us God’s eternal perspective on the world—truth not bound by any time or place. Charles Colson
Recommended Reading: Psalm 119:161-168
God is sovereign. This means that He is the supreme authority over everything, including sin and its consequences. Yet He doesn’t cause anyone to sin—to do so would violate His righteous and holy nature. The Lord does, however, allow temptation to enter our lives. And since we have free will and the Holy Spirit, we can decide how to respond and are fully equipped to resist. Thankfully, He retains ultimate control and weaves the consequences of our actions in accordance with His purposes.
Sometimes God permits our sin to run its full course. For instance, when the Israelites refused to turn away from their disobedience, He “gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, to walk in their own devices” (Psalms 81:12). Without divine protection, the nation succumbed to corrupt influences and ultimately was overrun. The Lord could have sheltered them, but the consequences drove the Israelites into repentance, which was His original plan.
Conversely, God will sometimes put an immediate halt to sin. Such was the case when King Abimelech took Abraham’s wife to himself. The king had been misled by the couple and was not aware that he was about to commit a sin. But the Lord knew of the deception, and He intervened (Genesis 20:1-6).
Of course, the wisest plan is to obey fully so God never has to use either of these tactics. Temptation is inevitable, but sin is not. The Lord’s sovereignty over our life means that any temptation must first pass through His permissive will. In this way, He makes sure His children are never tempted beyond what they can resist (1 Corinthians 10:13).
“Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.” (1 Samuel 17:45)
Our Lord Jesus taught us to expect ongoing instability until He returned (Matthew 24:6). Sometimes, it seems, we must be reminded by circumstances that this world is not our home!
Psalm 2 is a rather important perspective for God’s people to keep in mind. Physical circumstances often seem rather bleak, and the “bad guys” seem to have it their way much of the time (Psalm 73). But we are continually reminded that their apparent success should not trouble us (Psalm 37:1; Proverbs 3:31-34; etc.), for “he that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision” (Psalm 2:4).
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
This verse encourages the ministry. We see ourselves as fighting the “imaginations” and the “strong holds” of those who would dare to set themselves against the authority of Scripture and the evidence of the Creator and His creation. The Western world has embraced the anti-God and anti-gospel message of evolutionary naturalism as its religion. We wage spiritual warfare against that terrible lie. The battle is very specialized in our world today. God has brought dedicated “warriors” to engage the enemy, and we invite you to join us in that mission with your support and intercessory prayer. HMM III
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. —Psalm 126:5-6
The testimony of the true follower of Christ might well be something like this: The world’s pleasures and the world’s treasures henceforth have no appeal for me. I reckon myself crucified to the world and the world crucified to me. But the multitudes that were so dear to Christ shall not be less dear to me. If I cannot prevent their moral suicide, I shall at least baptize them with my human tears. I want no blessing that I cannot share. I seek no spirituality that I must win at the cost of forgetting that men and women are lost and without hope.
If in spite of all I can do they will sin against light and bring upon themselves the displeasure of a holy God, then I must not let them go their sad way unwept. I scorn a happiness that I must purchase with ignorance. I reject a heaven that I must enter by shutting my eyes to the sufferings of my fellowmen. I choose a broken heart rather than any happiness that ignores the tragedy of human life and human death. Though I, through the grace of God in Christ, no longer lie under Adam’s sin, I would still feel a bond of compassion for all of Adam’s tragic race, and I am determined that I shall go down to the grave or up into God’s heaven mourning for the lost and the perishing.
And thus and thus will I do as God enables me. Amen.
Lord Jesus, give me that broken heart as I interact with unsaved people in my ministry today. Amen.
…The appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 2 Timothy 1:10
Christianity, being in full accord with all the facts of existence, takes into account the acknowledged moral imbalance in human life, and the remedy it offers is not a new philosophy but a new life!
The ideal to which the Christian aspires is not to walk in the perfect way but to be transformed by the renewing of his mind and conformed to the likeness of Christ!
The true Christian is a saint in embryo. The heavenly genes are in him and the Holy Spirit is working to bring him on into a spiritual development that accords with the nature of the Heavenly Father from whom he received the deposit of divine life. Yet he is here in this mortal body subject to weakness and temptation, and his warfare with the flesh sometimes leads him to do extreme things.
The work of the Holy Spirit in the human heart is not an unconscious or automatic thing. Human will and intelligence must yield to and cooperate with the benign intentions of God. I think it is here that we go astray.
Either we try to make ourselves holy and fail miserably, as we certainly must; or we seek to achieve a state of spiritual passivity and wait for God to perfect our natures in holiness as one might wait for a robin egg to hatch or a rose to burst into bloom. The New Testament knows nothing of the working of the Spirit in us apart from our own moral responses. Watchfulness, prayer, self-discipline and acquiescence in the purposes of God are indispensable to any real progress in holiness!
The creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption. ROMANS 8:21
Is it possible that some of our brothers and sisters in Christ have forgotten that even though we are Christians, we live day by day in unredeemed physical bodies?
Yes, brethren, this is orthodox Christian theology, given to us by the Apostle Paul in these words: “Even though we have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we groan within ourselves, waiting for the redemption of the body” (see Romans 8:23).
These bodies of ours will be redeemed, for that is the promise of God. But in this life they are not yet actually redeemed. That is why we cannot do God’s eternal work ourselves, for only the Holy Spirit of God can bring about His eternal purposes.
If we are to successfully engage in the Christian witness God expects of us while we are here on this earth, we must consciously know and experience the indwelling illumination of the Holy Spirit of God. We must depend upon His gifts and His enduement and His anointing if we hope to cope with the universal blight which is upon mankind.
Lord, Your Word says that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). I know from personal experience that I need the power of Your indwelling Spirit to overcome the influence of the flesh.