VIDEO Your Presence Is Heaven

Aug 16, 2012

Your Presence Is Heaven by Israel Houghton

Who is like You Lord in all the earth?

Matchless love and beauty endless worth
Nothing in this world can satisfy
Cause Jesus You’re the cup that won’t run dry

Your presence is heaven to me
Your presence is heaven to me

Treasure of my heart and of my soul
In my weakness You are merciful
Redeemer of my past and present wrong
Holder of my future days to come

Your presence is heaven to me
Your presence is heaven to me
Your presence is heaven to me
Your presence is heaven to me

Oh Jesus Oh Jesus
Your presence is Heaven to me
Oh Jesus Oh Jesus
Your presence is Heaven to me

All my days on earth I will await
The moment that I see You face to face
Nothing in this world can satisfy
Cause Jesus You’re the cup that won’t run dry

Nothing in this world can satisfy
Jesus You’re the cup that won’t run dry
Jesus You’re the cup that won’t run dry

Oh Jesus oh Jesus
Your presence is heaven to me
Oh Jesus oh Jesus
Your presence is heaven to me

Pride at the Core – Impulsiveness or Discipleship?

Pride at the Core
pray folded hands
Ezra . . . was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses. Ezra 7:6

“He thinks he’s really something!” That was my friend’s assessment of a fellow Christian we knew. We thought we saw in him a spirit of pride. We were saddened when we learned that he soon was caught in some serious misdeeds. By elevating himself, he had found nothing but trouble. We realized that could happen to us as well.

It can be easy to minimize the terrible sin of pride in our own hearts. The more we learn and the more success we enjoy, the more likely we are to think we’re “really something.” Pride is at the core of our nature.

#Humility lets us trust in the goodness of our forgiving God.

In Scripture, Ezra is described as “a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses” (Ezra 7:6). King Artaxerxes appointed him to lead an expedition of Hebrew exiles back to Jerusalem. Ezra could have been a prime candidate to succumb to the sin of pride. Yet he didn’t. Ezra didn’t only know God’s law; he lived it.

After his arrival in Jerusalem, Ezra learned that Jewish men had married women who served other gods, defying God’s express directions (9:1-2). He tore his clothes in grief and prayed in heartfelt repentance (vv. 5-15). A higher purpose guided Ezra’s knowledge and position: his love for God and for His people. He prayed, “Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence” (v. 15).

Ezra understood the scope of their sins. But in humility he repented and trusted in the goodness of our forgiving God.

Lord, fill us with such a love for You that we think first of what will please You, not ourselves. Free us from the subtle captivity of our own pride.

Pride leads to every other vice: It is the complete anti-God state of mind. C. S. Lewis

by Tim Gustafson
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Impulsiveness or Discipleship?
bird flock scaters

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith… —Jude 20

There was nothing of the nature of impulsive or thoughtless action about our Lord, but only a calm strength that never got into a panic. Most of us develop our Christianity along the lines of our own nature, not along the lines of God’s nature. Impulsiveness is a trait of the natural life, and our Lord always ignores it, because it hinders the development of the life of a disciple. Watch how the Spirit of God gives a sense of restraint to impulsiveness, suddenly bringing us a feeling of self-conscious foolishness, which makes us instantly want to vindicate ourselves. Impulsiveness is all right in a child, but is disastrous in a man or woman— an impulsive adult is always a spoiled person. Impulsiveness needs to be trained into intuition through discipline.

Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. Walking on water is easy to someone with impulsive boldness, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is something altogether different. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he “followed Him at a distance” on dry land (Mark 14:54). We do not need the grace of God to withstand crises— human nature and pride are sufficient for us to face the stress and strain magnificently. But it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, going through drudgery, and living an ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God— but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people— and this is not learned in five minutes.

There is no allowance whatever in the New Testament for the man who says he is saved by grace but who does not produce the graceful goods. Jesus Christ by His Redemption can make our actual life in keeping with our religious profession. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

OSWALD CHAMBERS

Grace: God’s Second Chance

Romans 5:1-6

Scripture records a grim picture of mankind: dead in our sins, under God’s wrath, and subject to eternal separation from Him (Eph. 2:1-3). Through the cross, He gives us a second chance to be in a loving relationship with Him. When we place our faith in Christ, He pours out His unconditional love—His grace—upon us.

Because of grace, we have been justified by faith. Justification is a declaration by God that we are not guilty in His sight. At salvation, Jesus’ death on the cross is counted as payment for our sins. All our disobedience—past, present, and future—is fully forgiven.

The means of obtaining this pardon is through genuine faith in Jesus Christ. What does that look like? It’s a faith that accepts the Lord’s judgment that we are sinners who are unable to rescue ourselves and in need of a Savior. It believes that Jesus paid for our sins through His death, that God accepted His payment on our behalf, and that we are forgiven and made part of His family. If we have true faith, we’ll give Him our allegiance and wholeheartedly seek to serve Him.

Grace also gives us peace with the Lord. Before salvation, we were His enemies, under a sentence of eternal death. But after trusting in Christ, we were adopted into God’s family and have His favor forever.

Through grace, we have been given a second chance. Instead of receiving the eternal punishment we deserved, we’re given acceptance through faith in Christ (Rom. 15:7) and have become members of God’s family (Rom. 8:15). Make full use of this second opportunity by passionately pursuing Him.

Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge

“In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3)

Paul had just promised the twice-born that they would be endowed with the “riches of the full assurance of understanding” that would enable them to possess an acknowledgment of the triune Godhead. The ability to understand and the profound awareness of the Trinity is possible because all “the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” are in Christ—who is in us!

In Colossians 1:9, Paul prays that they “might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,” a sufficient awareness of information that will enable them to have “understanding in all things” (2 Timothy 2:7). Jesus explained to His apostles that His parables were devices to reveal to them “the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand” (Luke 8:10).

This wisdom and knowledge is the “treasure” of the Lord Jesus, not of the world (1 Corinthians 1:17-31), nor is it contained in the intellect of the “natural” man (1 Corinthians 2:6-16). The understanding and acknowledgment that comes through the world’s philosophy out of the reasoning of the unsaved mind is “earthly, sensual, devilish” (James 3:15).

Thankfully, “the wisdom that is from above 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). God’s work is “very good.” When the creation of our new man is executed (Ephesians 4:24), we are given the “mind of Christ”—not His omniscience but the kind of mind that can now understand spiritual matters (1 Corinthians 2:16). Truly, we have been made friends with God. Jesus said, “For all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you” (John 15:15). HMM III

No Little Failures

And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh thou that wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that
thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.
—1 Chronicles 4:10

When Simpson succeeded it was in a big way. When he failed he made great failures. It had to be so. Men of his caliber do not make little mistakes. They fly too high and too far to steer their courses by city maps. They ask not, “What street is that?” but “What continent?” And when they get off of the course for a moment they will be sure to pull up a long way from their goal. Their range and speed make this inevitable. Little men who never get outside of their own yards point to these mistakes with great satisfaction. But history has a way of disposing of these critics by filing them away in quiet anonymity. She cannot be bothered to preserve their names. She is too busy chalking up the great successes and huge failures of her favorites.

Lord, give me the boldness to attempt big things for You—so that whether I succeed or fail it will be in a big way! Amen.

Mankind’s Basic Need Remains Ever the Same

By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation… which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people. Psalm 65:5, 7

Some earnest persons try to reason that since there is no stillness in this mechanized world, we must learn to get along without it.

This is the summation of their reasoning: we cannot hope to bring back the still waters and the quiet pastures where David once led his sheep. This rat race of civilization is too noisy for us to hear the still, small Voice, so we must learn to hear God speak in the earthquake and the storm. And if modern evangelism is geared to the tumult and the agitation of the times, why should anyone complain? Does it not represent an honest effort to be all things to all men that by any means some should be saved?

The answer is that the soul of man does not change fundamentally, no matter how external conditions may change!

The aborigine in his hut, the college professor in his study, the truck driver in the bedlam of city traffic have all the same basic need: to be rid of their sins, to obtain eternal life and to be brought into communion with God. Civilized noises and activities are surface phenomena, a temporary rash on the epidermis of the human race.

To attribute sound values to them and then to try to bring religion into harmony with them is to commit a moral blunder so huge as to stagger the imagination, and one for which we shall surely be paying long after this frenetic extravaganza we call civilization has ended in tragedy and everlasting grief!

Faith and Prayer

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. JAMES 5:16

In Hebrews we find a long list of benefits which faith brings to its possessor: justification, deliverance, fruitfulness, endurance, victory over enemies, courage, strength and even resurrection from the dead.

Then, everything that is attributed thus to faith might with equal truth be attributed to prayer, for faith and true prayer are like two sides of the same coin—they are inseparable!

Men may, and often do, pray without faith (though this is not true prayer), but it is not thinkable that men should have faith and not pray.

Whatever God can do, faith can do, and whatever faith can do, prayer can do when it is offered in faith.

It should not be considered strange, then, that an invitation to prayer is an invitation to omnipotence, for prayer engages the Omnipresent God and brings Him into our human affairs. According to the Bible, we have because we ask or we have not because we ask not. It does not take much wisdom to discover our next move. Is it not to pray and pray again and again until the answer comes? Let us not fail the world and disappoint God by failing to pray!

Heavenly Father, thank You that You are a God who welcomes dialogue with His children! My prayer this morning is that You will build Your Church in significant ways around the world today.