VIDEO The Way of the Cross Leads Home

May 13, 2015

The Way of the Cross Leads Home
Words: Jess­ie B. Pounds
Music: Charles H. Gab­ri­el

I must needs go home by the way of the cross,
There’s no other way but this;
I shall ne’er get sight of the gates of light,
If the way of the cross I miss.

Refrain
The way of the cross leads home,
The way of the cross leads home,
It is sweet to know as I onward go,
The way of the cross leads home.

I must needs go on in the blood sprinkled way,
The path that the Savior trod,
If I ever climb to the heights sublime,
Where the soul is at home with God.

Refrain

Then I bid farewell to the way of the world,
To walk in it never more;
For the Lord says, “Come,” and I seek my home,
Where He waits at the open door.

Divine Protection – The Servant’s Primary Goal

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Divine Protection

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

Sometimes it helps to have an insight from Greek grammar to get the fullest meaning of a New Testament text. There are several kinds of conditional sentences in Greek: “if . . . then.” One kind, by its grammatical form, conveys that the premise (“if”) is understood to be true. This is the form that occurs in Romans 8:31b, which could be translated this way: “If God is for us—and He definitely is for us—who can be against us?”

This verse occurs in one of the most powerful passages in all of Paul’s letters: Romans 8:28-39. Paul has said that God uses everything in life (verse 28) to contribute to His purpose of conforming us to the image of His Son (verse 29). Given that fact, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us—and He definitely is for us as I have just said in verses 28-30—who can be against us?” This is the greatest form of spiritual security the Christian can have, both temporally and eternally.

Your ultimate defense against Satan is God Himself. Nothing can separate you from His love in Christ (verse 39). God’s promises are the shield of your faith and helmet of your salvation (Ephesians 6:16-17).

The spiritual battle, the loss of victory, is always in the thought-world. Francis A. Schaeffer

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The Servant’s Primary Goal

We make it our aim…to be well pleasing to Him. —2 Corinthians 5:9

“We make it our aim….” It requires a conscious decision and effort to keep our primary goal constantly in front of us. It means holding ourselves to the highest priority year in and year out; not making our first priority to win souls, or to establish churches, or to have revivals, but seeking only “to be well pleasing to Him.” It is not a lack of spiritual experience that leads to failure, but a lack of working to keep our eyes focused and on the right goal. At least once a week examine yourself before God to see if your life is measuring up to the standard He has for you. Paul was like a musician who gives no thought to audience approval, if he can only catch a look of approval from his Conductor.

Any goal we have that diverts us even to the slightest degree from the central goal of being “approved to God” (2 Timothy 2:15) may result in our rejection from further service for Him. When you discern where the goal leads, you will understand why it is so necessary to keep “looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2). Paul spoke of the importance of controlling his own body so that it would not take him in the wrong direction. He said, “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest…I myself should become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27).

I must learn to relate everything to the primary goal, maintaining it without interruption. My worth to God publicly is measured by what I really am in my private life. Is my primary goal in life to please Him and to be acceptable to Him, or is it something less, no matter how lofty it may sound?

For the past three hundred years men have been pointing out how similar Jesus Christ’s teachings are to other good teachings. We have to remember that Christianity, if it is not a supernatural miracle, is a sham. The Highest Good, 548 L

OSWALD CHAMBERS

Principles Of Obedience

Luke 5:6-11

Peter’s interaction with Jesus by the Sea of Galilee illustrates three important principles.

1. Compliance in small matters has eternal significance and leads to blessings from God. As we read yesterday, a seemingly small act—loaning a boat to Jesus—resulted in Peter being called to become a fisher of men.

2. Following Jesus is always beneficial to others.
For one thing, Peter’s action made it possible for more people to hear Jesus’ words of truth and life. Later on, when Peter lowered nets back into the water at Jesus’ request, his obedience meant a big catch for his coworkers. In a similar way, when we live out biblical principles, our families will be enriched, and those within our circle of influence will be encouraged to follow our example. And as we share how God responds to our obedience with His goodness, others may be motivated to seek after His Son Jesus.

3. God may tell us to respond or act in ways that make little sense. The Lord told Noah to build an ark, instructed Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, and directed Joshua to conquer Jericho through silent marching on six days and shouting on the seventh. All of these men agreed to God’s plan even though it did not make sense. Their trust in God overruled any concerns and led to great reward.

God has a plan for our eternal good, and it is foolish not to obey Him. Like Peter, we have no idea what God will do in and through us if we commit to living a life of obedience.

No Fear in the Days of Evil

“Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?” (Psalm 49:5)

This enigmatic question should be a real concern to elderly unbelievers—or of unbelievers of any age, for that matter. The “days of evil” seem specifically to refer to old age, as in Ecclesiastes 12:1, which exhorted young people to “remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.”

Those who have not “remembered their Creator” while young may one day come to realize that the iniquities which had been accumulating against their record day by day through a long lifetime had actually involved the venom of that old Serpent, which God long ago had warned would bruise the heels of the children of Mother Eve (see Genesis 3:15). Their sins, which will eventually become so numerous as to “compass them about,” might even destroy them both now and eternally. After all, the devil will have “the power of death” (Hebrews 2:14) until that day when the true seed of the woman the Lord Jesus Christ (even though His own “heel” has been viciously “bruised” by Satan when the sins of the whole world were placed upon Him) will “crush the head” of that wicked one forever.

But because of Christ’s great victory over Satan—when He both died for our sins and then defeated death by His resurrection—we need no longer fear death, even when the evil days draw nigh.

Though it is far better to accept His gift of salvation from sin and death while we are young, it is never too late, as long as we live. So, “wherefore should I fear in the days of evil?” “We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and . . . perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:16, 18). HMM

I Fell on My Face

For our God is a consuming fire. —Hebrews 12:29

Just because God cannot tell us what He is He very often tells us what He is like. By these “like” figures He leads our faltering minds as close as they can come to that “light which no man can approach unto” (1 Timothy 6:16). Through the more cumbersome medium of the intellect the soul is prepared for the moment when it can, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, know God as He is in Himself. God has used a number of these similitudes to hint at His incomprehensible being, and judging from the Scriptures one would gather that His favorite similitude is fire. In one place the Spirit speaks expressly, “For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). This accords with His revelation of Himself as recorded throughout the Bible. As a fire He spoke to Moses from the burning bush; in the fire He dwelt above the camp of Israel through all the wilderness journey; as fire He dwelt between the wings of the cherubim in the Holy of Holies; to Ezekiel He revealed Himself as a strange brightness of “a fire infolding itself” (Ezekiel 1:4)….

This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake. (1:28)

Great God, if I really saw You in all Your majesty I too would fall on my face before You. And this is only a glimpse of what You are! Show me Your glory, I pray. Amen.

Respond to the Word

The word of God…is sharper than any two-edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12)

Men and women who read and study the Scriptures for their literary beauty alone have missed the whole purpose for which they were given.

God’s Word is not to be enjoyed as one might “enjoy” a Beethoven symphony or a poem by Wordsworth.

The reason: the Bible demands immediate action, faith, surrender, committal. Until it has secured these, it has done nothing positive for the reader, but it has increased his responsibility and deepened the judgment that must follow.

The Bible was called forth by the fall of man. It is the voice of God calling men home from the wilds of sin; it is a road map for returning prodigals. It is instruction in righteousness, light in darkness, information about God and man and life and death and heaven and hell.

Further, the destiny of each individual depends upon the response to that Voice in the Word!

In the time of faith is the time of comfort

Poor sinner, do take heart, remember God knows, as we know not, where thou art. If thou art in the deepest pit in the forest, his almighty eye can see to the bottom. Ay, and in one of the favored moments of the day of salvation—that time accepted—he will send home a promise so sweetly that all thy fetters shall break off in an instant—thy night shall be scattered—thy dawn begin; and he will give thee the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Believe now, and thou shalt be comforted now; for the time of faith is the time of comfort.