Oct 11, 2009
A joyful song from Maranatha! Singers
Oct 11, 2009
A joyful song from Maranatha! Singers
Paul says that we must all, preachers and other people alike, “appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” But if you will learn here and now to live under the scrutiny of Christ’s pure light, your final judgment will bring you only delight in seeing the work God has done in you. Live constantly reminding yourself of the judgment seat of Christ, and walk in the knowledge of the holiness He has given you. Tolerating a wrong attitude toward another person causes you to follow the spirit of the devil, no matter how saintly you are. One carnal judgment of another person only serves the purposes of hell in you. Bring it immediately into the light and confess, “Oh, Lord, I have been guilty there.” If you don’t, your heart will become hardened through and through. One of the penalties of sin is our acceptance of it. It is not only God who punishes for sin, but sin establishes itself in the sinner and takes its toll. No struggling or praying will enable you to stop doing certain things, and the penalty of sin is that you gradually get used to it, until you finally come to the place where you no longer even realize that it is sin. No power, except the power that comes from being filled with the Holy Spirit, can change or prevent the inherent consequences of sin.
“If we walk in the light as He is in the light…” (1 John 1:7). For many of us, walking in the light means walking according to the standard we have set up for another person. The deadliest attitude of the Pharisees that we exhibit today is not hypocrisy but that which comes from unconsciously living a lie.
Christianity is not consistency to conscience or to convictions; Christianity is being true to Jesus Christ. Biblical Ethics, 111 L
In John 14:15, Jesus taught His disciples, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” He repeated the connection between love and obedience several times because of its great importance. (John 14:23; 1 John 5:3; 2 John 1:6.)
Following God’s agenda amounts to telling Him, “I love You.” Having the correct view of obedience—namely, that it’s an expression of love toward our heavenly Father—enables us to endure any difficulties in our life. And God also pours out His blessings on those who obey Him.
Consider Peter’s example. Jesus asked for use of his boat to preach to the crowd. Having been up all night without catching any fish, Peter might have given Jesus an excuse—too tired, too discouraged, a lot of cleaning up to do. Instead, he responded positively to Jesus’ request and took a step into a life of obedience and blessing. On the surface, lending his vessel and helping Jesus did not appear to be important beyond the moment. But God had more in mind than a one-time loan of a boat. He was going to use Peter’s life and make him a fisher of men (Matt. 4:19).
Because we cannot foresee what our Lord has in mind, we may not comprehend the importance of what He asks of us. We could be tempted to modify the request to suit ourselves, to delay until a more convenient time, or just to skip it all together. Such actions are always unwise.
God rewarded Peter with service in His kingdom. He wants to do the same for all believers. How is the Holy Spirit prompting you, and what is your response?
“And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul?” (Deuteronomy 10:12)
In the final weeks before his death, Moses gathered the people of Israel together for a final look back at God’s miraculous provision for the nation and a restatement of the Law. He repeated the Ten Commandments and reminded them of their supernatural origin (chapter 5). He charged them to remember the Law and to pass it on to their children, for God Himself had entrusted it to them (chapter 6). He insisted that they utterly destroy the enemies of God in the land, for their holy and special status as the people of God would be in jeopardy if they didn’t (chapter 7). The longest section of the speech consisted of a command to remember their unique history: how God had supernaturally intervened for them on so many occasions (8:1-10:11).
Finally, Moses brought them to a time of commitment, charging them, in our text, to fear, obey, love, and serve the “LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Even the commandments were for their good (v. 13); they were not merely petty or malicious. In fact, throughout the lengthy lecture, Moses had several times adjured the people to love their Lord with their entire being (see 6:5; 7:9; 10:20; 11:1, 13, 22).
And why not? “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is” (10:14). The God who placed His sovereign mark on Israel (v. 15) deserved their total devotion, obedience, and service.
Does not the Creator God, who has done so much more for us than He had done even for Israel, deserve our total devotion, obedience, and service? JDM
For what man knoweth me things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. —1 Corinthians 2:11
We can best conceive of God by conceiving of what He is not. We can always know what God is not, but we can never know quite what God is…. The greatness of God’s mind leaves all our soaring thoughts behind. God is ineffable (incapable of being expressed in words), inconceivable and unimaginable….
As I said, we are driven to the use of negative statements when speaking about God. When we speak of the self-existence of God, we say God has no origin. When we speak of God’s eternity, we say God has no beginning. When we speak of the immutability of God, we say God has no change. When we speak of the infinity of God, we say that God has no limits. When we speak of the omniscience of God, we say that God has no teachers and cannot learn….
Well now, the Scripture takes this negative method too. Scripture says the Lord “fainteth not, neither is weary” (Isaiah 40:28) and that He “cannot lie” (Titus 1:2). It says, “I am the LORD, I change not” (Malachi 3:6). It says, “with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37)….
Teach me, Lord, that I might know all of You that I can within the limits of my humanity. I await the day when I will more completely know who You are. Amen.
The rest of mankind… still did not repent. (Revelation 9:20)
There are many compelling lessons to be drawn from the Scriptures and one of the clearest is that sinful and rebellious people can never be forced into repentance.
The same act that may cause one person to repent and believe will cause others to hate and despise God!
The same Bible sermon that brings the person to tearful submission at an altar of prayer will send others out with pride and a resolve to have their own human way.
Students of the Scriptures are aware that the Old Testament prophets and the writing apostles of New Testament times foresaw and proclaimed God’s coming day of judgment—the consummate settling of accounts between the Sovereign God and his rebellious and sinful creation.
How desperately we would like to believe that in the face of coming judgment, all lost men and women will cry out to God, but such will not be the case: “The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent” (Revelation 9:20).
The Bible is a vein of pure gold, unalloyed by quartz, or any earthly substance. This is a star without a speck; a sun without a blot; a light without darkness; a moon without its paleness; a glory without a dimness. O Bible! it cannot be said of any other book, that it is perfect and pure; but of thee we can declare all wisdom is gathered up in thee, without a particle of folly. This is the judge that ends the strife, where wit and reason fail. This is the book untainted by any error; but is pure, unalloyed, perfect truth.