Seconds Count – The Nature of Degeneration

Seconds Count


Show me, Lord, my life’s end. Psalm 39:4

At the age of 59 my friend Bob Boardman wrote, “If the 70 years of a normal life span were squeezed into a single 24-hour day, it would now be 8:30 in the evening in my life. . . . Time is slipping by so rapidly.”

The difficulty in admitting that our time on earth is limited inspired the creation of “Tikker”—a wristwatch that tells you what time it is, calculates your estimated normal life span, and displays a running countdown of your remaining time. It is advertised as the watch “that counts down your life, just so you can make every second count.”

In Psalm 39, David grappled with the brevity of his life, saying, “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is” (v. 4). He described his life span as no longer than the width of his hand, as only a moment to God, and merely a breath (v. 5). David concluded, “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you” (v. 7).

The clock is ticking. Now is the time to seek God’s power to help us become the people He wants us to be. Finding hope in our eternal God gives meaning for our lives today.

In what ways am I wasting time? In what ways am I making my days count? In what areas do I need to make changes?

The time to live for Jesus is now.

By David McCasland
The Nature of Degeneration

thought prayer

Just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned… —Romans 5:12

The Bible does not say that God punished the human race for one man’s sin, but that the nature of sin, namely, my claim to my right to myself, entered into the human race through one man. But it also says that another Man took upon Himself the sin of the human race and put it away— an infinitely more profound revelation (see Hebrews 9:26). The nature of sin is not immorality and wrongdoing, but the nature of self-realization which leads us to say, “I am my own god.” This nature may exhibit itself in proper morality or in improper immorality, but it always has a common basis— my claim to my right to myself. When our Lord faced either people with all the forces of evil in them, or people who were clean-living, moral, and upright, He paid no attention to the moral degradation of one, nor any attention to the moral attainment of the other. He looked at something we do not see, namely, the nature of man (see John 2:25).

Sin is something I am born with and cannot touch— only God touches sin through redemption. It is through the Cross of Christ that God redeemed the entire human race from the possibility of damnation through the heredity of sin. God nowhere holds a person responsible for having the heredity of sin, and does not condemn anyone because of it. Condemnation comes when I realize that Jesus Christ came to deliver me from this heredity of sin, and yet I refuse to let Him do so. From that moment I begin to get the seal of damnation. “This is the condemnation [and the critical moment], that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light…” (John 3:19).

Always keep in contact with those books and those people that enlarge your horizon and make it possible for you to stretch yourself mentally. The Moral Foundations of Life, 721 R


What Is The Church?

Colossians 1:18

When most people hear the word “church,” the first thing they think of is a certain type of building. But let’s see what Christ said about the church so we can more fully understand its biblical meaning.

In Matthew 16:18, Jesus proclaimed, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (KJV). He obviously had in mind something much greater than a mere architectural structure. In fact, He was referring to the whole body of Christ, which is comprised of all believers worldwide—everyone who has trusted Jesus as personal Savior and is a child of the heavenly Father. The church began on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came and anointed a group of Jesus’ followers (Acts 2). It will continue until an event referred to as the rapture of the church, when every believer in Christ will be caught up to meet Him in the sky (1 Thess. 4:17).

The church is not merely a place for social action or fellowship, though these are important aspects of its ministry. Rather, the church is the entire body of Christ, both corporately and individually filled and enabled by the Holy Spirit to carry out the task designated by Jesus Himself. In other words, the purpose of the church is to bring people to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and to make disciples, instructing them and growing them up in the things of God (Matt. 28:19-20).

Our responsibility is to obey. Have you asked yourself what role you should be playing in the ministry of the church?

Lessons from Colossians

“To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Colossians 1:2)

Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae is especially instructive to those who would seek a close relationship with the Lord Jesus.

Chapter 1 provides a breathtaking summary of the purpose for which we are saved and the eternal changes that take place at salvation: “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight” (Colossians 1:21-22).

Chapter 2 provides clear warnings about the spiritual battle that is taking place and precise insights on gaining victory over the world: “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7).

Chapter 3 insists that our responsibility is to take advantage of what has been provided by Christ and to live as Christ-ians: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2).

Chapter 4 gives practical instructions for our day-to-day relationships through the lives of the godly men who worked with Paul: “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:5-6). HMM III

No Past at All!

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; be—hold, all things are become new. —2 Corinthians 5:17

In our churches we often sing, “Arise, my soul, arise! Shake off thy guilty fears.” But nothing happens and we keep our fears. Why do we claim on one hand that our sins are gone and on the other act just as though they are not gone?

Brethren, we have been declared “Not Guilty!” by the highest court in all the universe. Still there are honest Christians, earnestly seeking the face of God, who cannot seem to break loose and find real freedom. The grave clothes trip them up every time they try to move on a little faster. Satan uses their past sins to terrify them.

Now, on the basis of grace as taught in the Word of God, when God forgives a man, He trusts him as though he had never sinned. God did not have mental reservations about any of us when we became His children by faith. When God forgives a man, He doesn’t
think, I will have to watch this fellow because he has a bad record. No, He starts with him again as though he had just been created and as if there had been no past at all! That is the basis of our Christian assurance—and God wants us to be happy in it.

Thank You, Father, for that glorious freedom of forgiveness. Thank You for Your marvelous grace. No past at all! What a wonderful, incomprehensible truth! I humbly and joyfully worship You this morning. Amen.

Spiritual Fruit Comes Only from Spiritual Life

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:21

Water cannot rise above its own level, and neither can a Christian by any sudden, spasmodic effort rise above the level of his own spiritual life!

I have seen in my own experience how a man of God will let his tongue go all day in light, frivolous conversation; let his interest roam abroad among the idle pleasures of this world; and then under the necessity of preaching at night, seek a last minute reprieve just before the service by cramming desperately in prayer to put himself in a position where the spirit of the prophet will descend upon him as he enters the pulpit.

Men do not gather grapes of thorns, nor figs of thistles. The fruit of a tree is determined by the tree, and the fruit of life by the kind of life it is. What a man is interested in to the point of absorption both decides and reveals what kind of man he is; and the kind of man he is by a secret law of the soul decides the kind of fruit he will bear.

The catch is that we are often unable to discover the true quality of our fruit until it is too late!

Of what do we think when we are free to think of what we will?

What object gives us inward pleasure as we brood over it?

Over what do we muse in our free moments?

To what does our imagination return again and again?

When we have answered these questions honestly we will know what kind of persons we are, and when we have discovered what kind of persons we are we may deduce the kind of fruit we will bear. If we would do holy deeds we must be holy men and women!

The Winsome Saints

Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ. PHILIPPIANS 1:11

Much of Christianity overlooks the fact that if we are led by the Spirit of God and if we show forth the love of God this world needs, we become the “winsome saints.”

The strange and wonderful thing about it is that truly winsome and loving saints do not even know about their attractiveness. The great saints of the past did not know they were great saints. If someone had told them, they would not have believed it, but those around them knew that Jesus was living His life in them.

I think we join the winsome saints when God’s purposes in Christ become clear to us. We join them when we begin to worship God because He is who He is! Brethren, God is not a charity case—He is not some frustrated foreman who cannot find enough help.

Let us remember that God has never actually needed any of us—not one! But we pretend that He does, and we make a big thing of it when someone agrees “to work for the Lord.”

God is trying to call us back to that for which He created us—to worship and to enjoy Him forever!

Thank You, Lord, for the faithful men and women who have gone before us. Thank You for the example of their lives that delighted in having close fellowship with You.