VIDEO Honor Your Father

June 17, 2016

The Bible says that “…the glory of children are their fathers.” (Prov. 17:6b) Sadly, in America today fathers are seen far too often as an optional accessory to a family than the glory of their children. The value of fathers cannot be underestimated. Father’s Day is a small, but necessary yearly reminder for us to pay tribute to the dads who by their words, actions, and love, made us who we are.

Good fathers bring out the best in us, so I encourage everyone to take a moment this weekend to honor your father. I’m thankful to the Fatherhood CoMission for inviting me to share a few thoughts about my own father.

Follow the Son This Summer: Enjoy Your Freedom – Keep Recognizing Jesus

Follow the Son This Summer: Enjoy Your Freedom

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:36

The doors of the school burst open on the last day of school and kids come pouring out, laughing with joy that school is out for three whole months. Freedom! Summer certainly represents a measure of freedom for everyone. Because school is out, families are free from car pools, homework, and other activities that regulate the September–May calendar.

As glorious as the freedom of summer is, there is a greater freedom that lasts all year long and which is only found in the Son of God: the freedom from bondage to sin and the guilt of the law. Just as children are freed from the regulations and policies of school for three months, Christians are freed from the regulations of the law forever. But liberty is not license. Being free from the law doesn’t mean we are free to indulge our sinful nature. Rather, we are free—by the power of the indwelling Spirit—to please God because we want to, not because we have to. The Spirit writes God’s law on our heart, giving us a newfound freedom to please Him (Jeremiah 31:33).

Enjoy the freedom of the summer! Even more, enjoy the freedom granted by the Son of God by which you are “free indeed.”

The Christian is not free to please himself but to please God. John Blanchard


Keep Recognizing Jesus

…Peter…walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid… —Matthew 14:29-30

The wind really was boisterous and the waves really were high, but Peter didn’t see them at first. He didn’t consider them at all; he simply recognized his Lord, stepped out in recognition of Him, and “walked on the water.” Then he began to take those things around him into account, and instantly, down he went. Why couldn’t our Lord have enabled him to walk at the bottom of the waves, as well as on top of them? He could have, yet neither could be done without Peter’s continuing recognition of the Lord Jesus.

We step right out with recognition of God in some things, then self-consideration enters our lives and down we go. If you are truly recognizing your Lord, you have no business being concerned about how and where He engineers your circumstances. The things surrounding you are real, but when you look at them you are immediately overwhelmed, and even unable to recognize Jesus. Then comes His rebuke, “…why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31). Let your actual circumstances be what they may, but keep recognizing Jesus, maintaining complete reliance upon Him.

If you debate for even one second when God has spoken, it is all over for you. Never start to say, “Well, I wonder if He really did speak to me?” Be reckless immediately— totally unrestrained and willing to risk everything— by casting your all upon Him. You do not know when His voice will come to you, but whenever the realization of God comes, even in the faintest way imaginable, be determined to recklessly abandon yourself, surrendering everything to Him. It is only through abandonment of yourself and your circumstances that you will recognize Him. You will only recognize His voice more clearly through recklessness— being willing to risk your all.

The Bible is a relation of facts, the truth of which must be tested. Life may go on all right for a while, when suddenly a bereavement comes, or some crisis; unrequited love or a new love, a disaster, a business collapse, or a shocking sin, and we turn up our Bibles again and God’s word comes straight home, and we say, “Why, I never saw that there before.” Shade of His Hand, 1223 L


By Faith Alone

Romans 1:16-17

If you are too proud to bend your spirit before God, you’ll never get to heaven. You may be a kind, gentle person; you may even be naturally benevolent and charitable. But if your pride keeps you from admitting your need for Christ, then you will not accept His gift of salvation. Many people have missed out on eternal life because their heart was too hard and they believed they knew better than the God who created them.

There is only one way to reach heaven. Holy God cannot tolerate sin in His presence, and He decreed that the penalty for it is death (Rom. 6:23). And the truth is, all people are sinners (Rom. 3:23). So, to provide a bridge between mankind and Himself, merciful God sent Jesus to die in man’s place. Christ’s sacrifice is all that is necessary for a person to enter into a relationship with God the Father.

The believer does not work or reason his way into heaven. The bridge spanning the gap between each individual and God is crossed only through an act of faith: acknowledging the need for a Savior and accepting Christ’s death on the cross as payment for one’s sins.

Perhaps you’re thinking, I want only what I deserve. But no one deserves grace (Rom. 3:23-24). Maybe you tell yourself, I want only what I have worked for. But nobody can earn salvation (Eph. 2:8-9). And yet the heavenly Father wants to give grace and salvation to you and to me, undeserving though we are. The truly wise people of this world are those who have accepted the truth and bent their spirit—and their knees—before the Lord.

The Obedient Christ

“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:8)

The only begotten Son of God substituted Himself for all humanity to save them from the righteous judgment of a thrice-holy Creator.

Jesus found Himself “in fashion as a man,” which therefore made it possible for Him to humble Himself and to become obedient to the death that had been ordained for Him prior to the very foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20).

Perhaps it is too much to suggest that Jesus “woke up” when He “found” Himself in Mary’s womb, but it is certain that He “increased in wisdom” (Luke 2:52) as He grew in “stature.” Basically, because He “became” human, He experienced the normal increase in awareness and experience that all of us do.

The difference was, obviously, that He “humbled” Himself, even though He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Christ’s sinless behavior could have easily “exalted” Him as His wisdom and miracles became known throughout Israel. Indeed, many tried to make Him King.

Isaiah prophetically records the mindset of the Lord many years before He actually entered Jerusalem: “I set my face like a flint” (Isaiah 50:7). Later, Jesus told His disciples, “I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” (Luke 12:50).

Finally, the obedience of our Lord Jesus, understood fully and deeply at Gethsemane, was fully accomplished, “even the death of the cross.” May our hearts never forget or tire of these great truths. HMM III

Faithful to Forgive

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. —1 John 1:9

Frances Havergal said that she came to a spot where she believed that the Lord meant exactly what He said. When He said, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9), she found out that the Lord meant exactly what He said.

Why don’t you start reading your Bible with the thought that God meant exactly what He said there?…

When you read your Bible, instead of wondering about it, say to yourself, “God wrote this and God is faithful; God cannot lie.” For example, read First John 1:7:

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

That’s a heartening and wonderful truth, if you are a Christian who may have sinned.

Thank You, Lord, that what You have spoken in Your Word, You truly meant—especially about Your much-needed forgiveness of our sin! Amen.

The Soul Of Truth

Neither knoweth any man the father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son shall reveal him. (Matthew 11:27)

I believe there is a positive warning in the gospels that a person’s faith may stand in the revealed Bible text—and still be as dead as the proverbial doornail!

Consider the prayer of our Lord in Matthew 11: “All things are delivered unto me of my Father; and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.”

There is more than a body of truth—and if we do not get through to the soul of truth, we have only a dead body on our hands.

When the power of God moves in on the text and sets the sacrifice on fire, then you have genuine Christianity! We try to call that revival, but it is not revival at all. It is simply New Testament Christianity.

People who thought they were saved get saved! People who have only believed in a code now have placed their faith and trust in Christ’s person. It is not any deluxe edition of Christianity—it is simply New Testament Christianity having its place!

Abide with us, for the day is far spent

Abide with us, for the day is far spent Beloved, remember what you have heard of your Lord Jesus, and what he has done for you; make your heart the golden pot of manna to preserve the memorial of the heavenly bread whereon you have fed in days gone by. Let your memory treasure up everything about Christ which you have either felt, or known, or believed, and then let your fond affections hold him fast forevermore. Love the person of your Lord! Bring forth the alabaster box of your heart, even though it be broken, and let all the precious ointment of your affection come streaming on his pierced feet