I think we could all learn from the message.
This video comes to us from http://www.icr.org
I think we could all learn from the message.
This video comes to us from http://www.icr.org
Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. . . . And I too will love them and show myself to them. John 14:21
When I was a young boy, my mom warned me that I should never play with fire. Yet one day I decided to see what would happen if I did. Taking a book of matches and some paper, I went out into the backyard to experiment. With heart beating fast, I knelt on the ground, struck the match, and set the paper aflame.
Suddenly I saw my mother approaching. Not wanting to get caught, I put my legs over the flames to hide what I was doing. But Mom shouted, “Denny, move your legs! There’s a fire underneath them!” Fortunately, I moved my legs quickly enough and was not burned. I realized then that my mother’s rule about not playing with fire was not to spoil my fun but because of her concern to keep me safe.
God always has our best interests at heart.
Sometimes we don’t understand the reasons behind God’s commands. We may even think He is a cosmic killjoy, setting up rules and regulations to keep us from enjoying ourselves. But God asks us to obey Him because He has our best interests at heart. As we obey, we “remain in his love” and are filled with joy (John 15:10-11).
So when God warns us not to sin, He does it for our own good. He really wants to protect us from “playing with fire” and getting burned.
Dear heavenly Father, may Your Holy Spirit empower us to obey Your Word. We thank You for the protection Your precepts provide and the love and joy we find in obeying You.
God gives us loving warnings in His Word to protect us.
When it pleased God…to reveal His Son in me… —Galatians 1:15-16
If Jesus Christ is going to regenerate me, what is the problem He faces? It is simply this— I have a heredity in which I had no say or decision; I am not holy, nor am I likely to be; and if all Jesus Christ can do is tell me that I must be holy, His teaching only causes me to despair. But if Jesus Christ is truly a regenerator, someone who can put His own heredity of holiness into me, then I can begin to see what He means when He says that I have to be holy. Redemption means that Jesus Christ can put into anyone the hereditary nature that was in Himself, and all the standards He gives us are based on that nature— His teaching is meant to be applied to the life which He puts within us. The proper action on my part is simply to agree with God’s verdict on sin as judged on the Cross of Christ.
The New Testament teaching about regeneration is that when a person is hit by his own sense of need, God will put the Holy Spirit into his spirit, and his personal spirit will be energized by the Spirit of the Son of God— “…until Christ is formed in you” (Galatians 4:19). The moral miracle of redemption is that God can put a new nature into me through which I can live a totally new life. When I finally reach the edge of my need and know my own limitations, then Jesus says, “Blessed are you…” (Matthew 5:11). But I must get to that point. God cannot put into me, the responsible moral person that I am, the nature that was in Jesus Christ unless I am aware of my need for it.
Just as the nature of sin entered into the human race through one man, the Holy Spirit entered into the human race through another Man (see Romans 5:12-19). And redemption means that I can be delivered from the heredity of sin, and that through Jesus Christ I can receive a pure and spotless heredity, namely, the Holy Spirit.
The vital relationship which the Christian has to the Bible is not that he worships the letter, but that the Holy Spirit makes the words of the Bible spirit and life to him. The Psychology of Redemption, 1066 L
God is without sin. There’s no evil in His thoughts, motives, or actions. Because of His holy character, He is against all iniquity. He truly loves the sinner, but He despises sin.
The heavenly Father’s holiness is revealed not only in His moral purity, but also in His separateness from all evil. Because of His righteous character, He cannot tolerate or ignore sin. His justice requires that wrongdoing be paid for, and the only acceptable payment is death (Rom. 6:23).
Only faith in Jesus Christ bridges the gap between holy God and sinful man. The Son of God, having lived a perfect life, died to pay our sin debt in full and provide a way for each of us to have a relationship with righteous God. The heavenly Father, having accepted Jesus’ payment for sin, invites all people to become His children.
First, we must acknowledge we cannot pay for our own sins. Then we must confess our wrongdoing and ask Him to pardon us, based on the fact that Christ fully paid the penalty for our sins after suffering God’s wrath, condemnation, and judgment in our place. God justifies us the moment we receive Jesus as our personal Savior—the Judge of all humanity declares we are no longer guilty. He accepts the transfer of our guilt to His Son, who stood as our substitute.
Pardoned of all our sin. Clothed in Jesus’ righteousness. Made a child of holy God. These are the free gifts the Father gives us once we have accepted Jesus as our Savior through faith in Him. When we give Him our lives, He gives us His. Can you think of a better trade off?
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” (Colossians 1:9)
Paul has chosen a particular word, pleroo, to describe an action that “fills to the top” so that the knowledge about which he prays has no more space to fill. While speaking to his friends in Rome, Paul said that he was “persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another” (Romans15:14).
This includes the kind of knowledge (Greek epignosis) of God’s will that stresses precise and complete understanding of that will for our lives. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness . . . . that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.” These “things” (the knowledge, the precious promises) enable us to escape “the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:3-4).
This magnificent and complete knowledge of His will includes the wisdom (Greek sophia) to use the knowledge acquired by experience. And even that grace God made to abound “toward us in all wisdom and prudence” (Ephesians 1:8), which, since it comes from God, is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).
The wonderful knowledge and wisdom that God has provided for us includes a spiritual understanding (Greek pneumatikos sunesis), an ability to put complicated matters together with the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). Indeed, “he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man” (1 Corinthians 2:15). “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things” (2 Timothy 2:7). HMM III
And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? —Genesis 16:13
Faith is the least self-regarding of the virtues. It is by its very nature scarcely conscious of its own existence. Like the eye which sees everything in front of it and never sees itself, faith is occupied with the Object upon which it rests and pays no attention to itself at all.
While we are looking at God we do not see ourselves—blessed riddance. The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect One. While he looks at Christ, the very things he has so long been trying to do will be getting done within him. It will be God working in him to will and to do….
When we lift our inward eyes to gaze upon God we are sure to meet friendly eyes gazing back at us, for it is written that the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout all the earth. The sweet language of experience is “Thou God seest me” (Genesis 16:13). When the eyes of the soul looking out meet the eyes of God looking in, heaven has begun right here on this earth.
Keep my eyes fixed on You, Lord. Help me to stop tinkering and realize my total inability to change. I look to You to change me and give me victory as I focus on Your friendly eyes looking lovingly at me. Amen.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15:7
In evangelical Christian circles, the question is often raised: “Why are there not more miracles and wonders wrought in our midst through faith?”
In our day everything seems to be commercialized, and I must say that I do not believe in wonders and miracles that are organized and incorporated!
“Miracles, Incorporated”—you can have it!
“Healing, Incorporated”—you can have that, too! And the same with “Evangelism, Incorporated”; you can have it all.
I have my doubts about some signs and wonders that have to be organized, that demand a letterhead and a president and a secretary and a big trailer with lights and cameras. God isn’t in that!
But the man of faith can go alone into the wilderness and get on his knees and command heaven—God is in that!
The Christian who is willing to put himself in a place where he must get the answer from God and God alone—the Lord is in that!
But there is no use trying to cover up the fact that there is a great deal of praying being done among us that does not amount to anything—it never brings anything back!
It is like sending a farmer into the field without a plow.
Little wonder that the work of God stands still!
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. 2 TIMOTHY 3:5
Millions of men and women refuse to face up to the fact that religion, in and of itself, is not enough for the sinner’s need.
It is amazing how many things religious people want to do to you. They can start with infant baptism and end up with the last rites when you are 108 years old—and all of that time they will manipulate you, maul you and sweet massage your soul. When it is all done, you are just what you were. You are just a decorated and massaged sinner—a sinner who did not eat meat, or on the other hand, a sinner who did eat fish!
When religion has done all it can, you are still a sinner who either went to church or did not go to church. Religion can put us on the roll and educate us and train us and instruct us. But after all that, there is still something within our beings that cries, “Eternity is in my heart and I have not found anything to satisfy it!”
Only our Lord Jesus Christ is enough to satisfy the eternal longing in our souls.
Lord, deepening my relationship with You is more important than my involvement in “religious traditions” that have nothing to do with my eternal destiny. I love You, Lord Jesus.