VIDEO Let’s Just Praise the Lord

Dec 20, 2012

Music video by Bill & Gloria Gaither performing Let’s Just Praise the Lord featuring Joy Gardner

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Your Complete and Effective Decision About Sin

…our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. —Romans 6:6

Co-Crucifixion. Have you made the following decision about sin—that it must be completely killed in you? It takes a long time to come to the point of making this complete and effective decision about sin. It is, however, the greatest moment in your life once you decide that sin must die in you– not simply be restrained, suppressed, or counteracted, but crucified— just as Jesus Christ died for the sin of the world. No one can bring anyone else to this decision. We may be mentally and spiritually convinced, but what we need to do is actually make the decision that Paul urged us to do in this passage.

Pull yourself up, take some time alone with God, and make this important decision, saying, “Lord, identify me with Your death until I know that sin is dead in me.” Make the moral decision that sin in you must be put to death.

This was not some divine future expectation on the part of Paul, but was a very radical and definite experience in his life. Are you prepared to let the Spirit of God search you until you know what the level and nature of sin is in your life— to see the very things that struggle against God’s Spirit in you? If so, will you then agree with God’s verdict on the nature of sin— that it should be identified with the death of Jesus? You cannot “reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin” (Romans 6:11) unless you have radically dealt with the issue of your will before God.

Have you entered into the glorious privilege of being crucified with Christ, until all that remains in your flesh and blood is His life? “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” (Galatians 2:20).

Jesus Christ is always unyielding to my claim to my right to myself. The one essential element in all our Lord’s teaching about discipleship is abandon, no calculation, no trace of self-interest. Disciples Indeed, 395 L

OSWALD CHAMBERS

The Book of Books

Acts 17:10-12

The Bible provides an accurate account of the heavenly Father’s character, actions, and purposes. Together, the Old and New Testaments teach us that man’s problem is sin and that the only remedy is faith in the Son of God: Jesus Christ. Through the Bible, we learn what happens at the moment of our salvation—our sin’s penalty is reckoned as paid, its power over us is broken, and the Holy Spirit becomes our daily companion.

Through His Word, God has entrusted to us the knowledge of who He is, what He is doing, and how the future will unfold for mankind. The Scriptures were intended to lead us into a growing personal relationship with our heavenly Father and to empower us for fruitful service as Christ’s ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20). In this position, we are called to follow Jesus’ example in glorifying God (Matt. 5:16)—our Savior focused not on Himself but on the heavenly Father, whose plan is to reach the entire world with His saving grace.

The Father’s will includes different tasks for His children to accomplish, according to the way He’s planned for each one to function (Rom. 12:4-6). Meditating on scriptural principles and examples will help us discern what He has in mind for us. Just as Jesus’ work was to do His Father’s will, that is our calling as well.

What place does this Book of books—the Bible—have in determining the course of your life? Take time today and every day to listen to the Lord, to partake of His wisdom, and to determine what He is saying to you personally. In so doing, you will orient your mind to His priorities, will, and thinking.

Privileged Suffering

“For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” (Philippians 1:29)

Paul wrote in the previous verses that we are to conduct ourselves as though our only citizenship was worthy of the gospel message that we proclaim, and that in doing so we should be committed to a mindset held together by the Holy Spirit. Then, he encouraged us not to be “terrified by your adversaries” (Philippians 1:28).

Such adversaries—from the devil himself (1 Peter 5:8) to business (Matthew 5:25) and family problems (Luke 12:13)—are part and parcel to those who would “live godly in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:12). We should not be surprised when such challenges come; rather, we should be alarmed if all men “speak well of you” (Luke 6:26).

Curiously, Paul wrote that we are “gifted” (Greek verb charizomai, same idea as the related noun charis) with this privilege, in the interests of our Lord Jesus, to “suffer for his sake.” The apostles understood this paradox as they left the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name” (Acts 5:41).

Peter wrote that we should follow the example set for us by the Lord Jesus, “who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:23). In fact, we should “rejoice” when asked to share in the same kind of sufferings that our Lord endured, and whenever we are “reproached for the name of Christ” we should be happy, “for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you” (1 Peter 4:14).

Privileged suffering indeed! James wrote that we should “count it all joy” (James 1:2) when we are tested. Those times increase our faith and allow us to demonstrate our allegiance to Christ. HMM III

Only God’s Goodness

How excellent is thy loving—kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. —Psalm 36:7

Why were we created? Was it that we deserved to be created? How can nothing deserve something? There was a time when there was no human race. How therefore could a human race that hadn’t existed deserve something? How could a man that wasn’t yet created earn anything or pile up any merit? It couldn’t be so. God out of His goodness created us. Why were we not destroyed when we sinned? The only answer is that God, out of His goodness, spared us. The cordial, kind-intentioned God spared us.

Why would God the Eternal Son bleed for us? The answer is, out of His goodness and lovingkindness. “Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings” (Psalm 36:7). Why would God forgive me when I’ve sinned and then forgive me again and again? Because God out of His goodness acts according to that goodness and does what His loving heart dictates that He do.

Loving Father, I bow today in humble dependence on Your goodness, undeserving as I am. Amen.

Church Leaning Toward Heresy

The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken… thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself. (Psalm 50:1, 21)

When large numbers of adherents in the Christian churches come to believe that God is different from what He actually is, that concept becomes heresy of the most insidious and deadly kind!

When the Christian church surrenders her once lofty concept of God and substitutes for it ideas so low, so ignoble as to be utterly unworthy, her situation is tragic indeed.

Into the life and the practices of the church comes a whole new philosophy; and the sense of the divine Presence and the majesty of God is no longer known.

Although “morality” is no longer a popular word in our world, it is apparent that such low and unworthy concepts of God’s Person actually constitute a moral calamity for professed believers in great segments of Christianity. The records of both sacred and secular history show that low views of God will surely destroy the appeal of the Christian for all who hold them!

To all sinners, Jesus said, “You must be born again—from above!” He knew that the gods begotten in the shadowy thoughts of the fallen sons and daughters of Adam will quite naturally be no true likeness of the true and living God!

From nature’s God down to nature

The old saying is, “Go from nature up to nature’s God;” but it is hard working up hill. The best thing is to go from nature’s God down to nature; and, if you once get to nature’s God, and believe Him, and love Him, it is surprising how easy it is to hear music in the waves, and songs in the wild whisperings of the winds; to see God everywhere, in the stones, in the rocks, in the rippling brooks, and hear him everywhere in the lowing of cattle, in the rolling of thunders, and in the fury of tempests. Get Christ first, put him in the right place, and you will find him to be the wisdom of God in your own experience.