VIDEO I Am Redeemed!

Redeemed
Sing to the Lord, bless His name; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. —Psalm 96:2

One day when Ann was visiting her husband in the hospital, she began talking with a caregiver who was assisting him. Ann enjoys engaging people in conversation wherever she is, and she also looks for ways to talk to people about Jesus. Ann asked the caregiver if he knew what he wanted to do in the future. When he said he wasn’t sure, she suggested that it’s important to know God first so He can help with such decisions. He then pulled up the sleeve of his shirt to reveal “I am redeemed!” tattooed across his arm.

They realized that they shared a mutual love for the Lord Jesus Christ! And both had found ways to show their faith in the One who died to give us life.

The title of an old song by Steve Green says it best: “People need the Lord.” It’s up to us to find ways to share “the good news” with them (Ps. 40:9). Not everyone feels comfortable talking to strangers, and there is no one-size-fits-all method. But God will use our personalities and His light in us to spread His love. By Dave Branon

“I am redeemed!” Let’s allow God to guide us to find ways to tell others about Jesus Christ, our Redeemer!

Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy—
His child, and forever I am. —Crosby

The good news of the gospel is too good to keep to ourselves.

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Have You Ever Been Alone with God?

man water sunset
Part 1

When they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples. —Mark 4:34

Our Solitude with Him. Jesus doesn’t take us aside and explain things to us all the time; He explains things to us as we are able to understand them. The lives of others are examples for us, but God requires us to examine our own souls. It is slow work— so slow that it takes God all of time and eternity to make a man or woman conform to His purpose. We can only be used by God after we allow Him to show us the deep, hidden areas of our own character. It is astounding how ignorant we are about ourselves! We don’t even recognize the envy, laziness, or pride within us when we see it. But Jesus will reveal to us everything we have held within ourselves before His grace began to work. How many of us have learned to look inwardly with courage?

We have to get rid of the idea that we understand ourselves. That is always the last bit of pride to go. The only One who understands us is God. The greatest curse in our spiritual life is pride. If we have ever had a glimpse of what we are like in the sight of God, we will never say, “Oh, I’m so unworthy.” We will understand that this goes without saying. But as long as there is any doubt that we are unworthy, God will continue to close us in until He gets us alone. Whenever there is any element of pride or conceit remaining, Jesus can’t teach us anything. He will allow us to experience heartbreak or the disappointment we feel when our intellectual pride is wounded. He will reveal numerous misplaced affections or desires— things over which we never thought He would have to get us alone. Many things are shown to us, often without effect. But when God gets us alone over them, they will be clear.

It is in the middle that human choices are made; the beginning and the end remain with God. The decrees of God are birth and death, and in between those limits man makes his own distress or joy. Shade of His Hand, 1223 L

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Part 2

When He was alone…the twelve asked Him about the parable. —Mark 4:10

His Solitude with Us. When God gets us alone through suffering, heartbreak, temptation, disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted desires, a broken friendship, or a new friendship— when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are totally speechless, unable to ask even one question, then He begins to teach us. Notice Jesus Christ’s training of the Twelve. It was the disciples, not the crowd outside, who were confused. His disciples constantly asked Him questions, and He constantly explained things to them, but they didn’t understand until after they received the Holy Spirit (see John 14:26).

As you journey with God, the only thing He intends to be clear is the way He deals with your soul. The sorrows and difficulties in the lives of others will be absolutely confusing to you. We think we understand another person’s struggle until God reveals the same shortcomings in our lives. There are vast areas of stubbornness and ignorance the Holy Spirit has to reveal in each of us, but it can only be done when Jesus gets us alone. Are we alone with Him now? Or are we more concerned with our own ideas, friendships, and cares for our bodies? Jesus cannot teach us anything until we quiet all our intellectual questions and get alone with Him.

Christianity is not consistency to conscience or to convictions; Christianity is being true to Jesus Christ. Biblical Ethics, 111 L

OSWALD CHAMBERS

Praying God’s Way

Luke 18:1-8

We like to keep things simple: Follow a few steps and reach the preferred result. Prayer, however, cannot be reduced to an easy formula. It isn’t some static activity where repeating certain words brings the desired solution. It’s ongoing communication with the heavenly Father and should involve listening, speaking, and acting on what we hear from Him.

God has promised to answer His children’s prayers, but He often waits before responding. He does so for many reasons.

Preparation. Sometimes God has to make us ready for what He wants to give us. We may have some attitudes or behaviors not aligned with His will (James 4:3). He’ll deal with them before He gives us His gift.

Spiritual growth. The Lord may use delays to test our faith or deepen our relationship with Him. No response from Him means He wants us to continue to seek Him and converse with Him.

Timing. God’s timetable often doesn’t match ours. He knows what He wants to accomplish in our spiritual life and in our relationship with Him. We can trust that He will put to good use the time between our request and His reply.

God includes delays as part of the believer’s prayer life. Sometimes He answers our first request, but often it takes several petitions before He responds. In certain situations, we have to keep knocking—as the persevering widow did—before God gives us His answer. (See Luke 18:1-8.)

Jesus calls us to a lifestyle of “asking, seeking, and knocking”—a lifestyle based on trust in God’s promise to answer His children. Are you persistent?

The Righteous Word

“Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments. Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.” (Psalm 119:137-138)

The writer of the book of Hebrews called God’s Word “the word of righteousness” (Hebrews 5:13). Nehemiah declared that God had “performed thy words; for thou art righteous” (Nehemiah 9:8). Those two concepts merge in the beauty of the Word. “For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth” (Psalm 33:4). The written Word is righteous; the cause of the Word is righteous. That theme pervades this stanza of Psalm 119. Several synonyms describe this characteristic of the Scriptures.

The Lord is righteous, and therefore His judgments are upright. “Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way” (Psalm 25:8).
God’s Word is very pure (Psalm 119:140), like refined gold. “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6).
Because the righteous acts of the Lord have everlasting consequences, the “law is the truth” (Psalm 119:142)—“the righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting” (v. 144).
Since the psalmist dedicated his heart and life to the clarity of God’s Word, righteous jealousy consumed him on behalf of God because the enemies of the Lord forgot His Word (v. 139). Furthermore, even though he felt “small and despised” (v. 141) and trouble and anguish surrounded him, he still delighted in understanding God’s righteous commandments (v. 143).

May the Lord God strengthen our resolve this day to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22). HMM III

The Secret Garden

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. —Genesis 3:8

However we may explain this mysterious “ground” within us, we will not have been long in the Christian way until we begin to experience it. We will find that we have within us a secret garden where no one can enter except ourself and God…. This secret inner chamber is the secret trysting place for Christ and the believing soul; no one among all our dearest friends has the open sesame that will permit him to enter there. If God is shut out, then there can be only everlasting loneliness and numb despair.

Where God is not known in the inner shrine, the individual must try to compensate for his sense of aloneness in whatever way he can. Most persons rush away to the world to find companionship and surround themselves with every kind of diversionary activity. All devices for killing time, every shallow scheme for entertainment, are born out of this inner loneliness. It is a significant and revealing fact that such things have in these last days grown into billion-dollar enterprises! So much will men pay to forget that they are a temple without a God, a garden where no voice is heard in the cool of the day.

What a privilege, Lord, to fellowship with the God of the universe. Slow me down today, that I might know this intimate inner fellowship. Amen.

Love For Us Without Measure

Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)

I once wrote something about how God loves us and how dear we are to Him. I was not sure I should put it down on paper—but God knows what I meant.

I wrote: “The only eccentricity that I can discover in the heart of God is the fact that a God such as He is should love sinners such as we are!”

On this earth a mother will love the son who has betrayed her and shamed her and is now on his way to a life in prison. That seems to be a natural thing for a mother. But there is nothing natural about this love of God. It is a divine thing. It is forced out by the inward pressure within the heart of the God of all grace. That is why He waits for us, puts up with us, desires to lead us on—He loves us!

My brethren, this should be our greatest encouragement in view of all that we know about ourselves: God loves us without measure, and He is so keenly interested in our spiritual growth and progress that He stands by in faithfulness to teach and instruct and discipline us as His own dear children!

As sure as God is God

As sure as God is God, if you this day are seeking him aright, through Christ, the day shall come when the kiss of full assurance shall be on your lip, when the arms of sovereign love shall embrace you, and you shall know it to be so. Thou mayest have despised him, but thou shalt know him yet to be thy Father and thy friend. Thou mayest have broken his Sabbaths and despised his Word; the day is coming when the Sabbath shall be thy delight, and his Word thy treasure.