May 10, 2014
Whitney Houston’s official music video for ‘When You Believe’ ft. Mariah Carey
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. —Psalm 37:5
Don’t plan without God. God seems to have a delightful way of upsetting the plans we have made, when we have not taken Him into account. We get ourselves into circumstances that were not chosen by God, and suddenly we realize that we have been making our plans without Him— that we have not even considered Him to be a vital, living factor in the planning of our lives. And yet the only thing that will keep us from even the possibility of worrying is to bring God in as the greatest factor in all of our planning.
In spiritual issues it is customary for us to put God first, but we tend to think that it is inappropriate and unnecessary to put Him first in the practical, everyday issues of our lives. If we have the idea that we have to put on our “spiritual face” before we can come near to God, then we will never come near to Him. We must come as we are.
Don’t plan with a concern for evil in mind. Does God really mean for us to plan without taking the evil around us into account? “Love…thinks no evil” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). Love is not ignorant of the existence of evil, but it does not take it into account as a factor in planning. When we were apart from God, we did take evil into account, doing all of our planning with it in mind, and we tried to reason out all of our work from its standpoint.
Don’t plan with a rainy day in mind. You cannot hoard things for a rainy day if you are truly trusting Christ. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled…” (John 14:1). God will not keep your heart from being troubled. It is a command— “Let not….” To do it, continually pick yourself up, even if you fall a hundred and one times a day, until you get into the habit of putting God first and planning with Him in mind.
An intellectual conception of God may be found in a bad vicious character. The knowledge and vision of God is dependent entirely on a pure heart. Character determines the revelation of God to the individual. The pure in heart see God. Biblical Ethics, 125 R
1 Timothy 1:18-19
The Lord gives every person a conscience, which is like a radar system meant to send warnings when a behavior or decision might be harmful. This makes it possible for people to distinguish between what is morally right and morally wrong, especially as it applies to their own life. We ignore the conscience at our own peril.
In a believer, the conscience is a tool of the Holy Spirit; He programs it with principles from God’s Word and sharpens it to respond quickly. Even so, our radar’s sole purpose is to send a signal. What happens next is up to us. Either we ignore the warning, or we stop to hear what the Spirit has to say about the situation. The Holy Spirit reveals God’s will or reminds us of His principles so we can make a wise decision about the warning bell ringing in our conscience.
Paul’s letter to Timothy mentions people who’d rejected God’s leadership and guidance in their lives—they had paid no attention to the alarm of their conscience (1 Tim. 1:19), and the result was shipwrecked faith. When something appears on the radar that speaks of disobedience to God, we have to reject that action. Otherwise, the detection device becomes impaired and won’t work right. If we keep ignoring the alarm, it will eventually go silent.
We all know people who have “run aground” in life. A shipwrecked faith is inevitable when believers ignore their conscience and rationalize or defend disobedience. It’s far better to turn yourself over to the great captain of your soul, Jesus Christ. His Holy Spirit will guide you correctl
“Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” (Philippians 2:16)
The Bible is always the best commentary on itself—especially when the word or phrase is not frequent. In this case, “the word of life” is only used twice and might be interpreted in various ways without this qualifier: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life” (1 John 1:1).
In the context of Philippians 2, the emphasis is obviously on the person and work of our Lord Jesus. We who bear His name are His “sons” and are charged with the responsibility of being “lights” (Philippians 2:15) to a world that is steeped in darkness. The light that we shine is the word of life—and that is, according to the Scriptures, the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Thus, the word of life must certainly involve who Christ is (Creator, Lord, incarnate Word, King) as well as the “glorious gospel” of salvation by grace (2 Corinthians 4:4). Charged with the responsibility of “holding forth the word of life,” we are to be “the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1). Thus, we should be well-versed in the written Word, since Jesus specifically said: “Search the scriptures . . . they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39).
Ultimately, of course, our “light” comes from “the Light.” Since we have been delivered “from the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13) by our Lord’s substitutionary atonement, we who “were sometimes darkness” are now “light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). HMM III
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. —John 16:8
The Holy Spirit, whom Jesus also called the Spirit of Truth, has not come into this world to fool around. He will be found wherever the Lord’s people meet, and in confirming the Word and the Person of Jesus Christ, He will demand moral action!…
The Holy Spirit came to do a confirmatory work and He raised Him from the dead and since this mysterious witness is come, Jesus Christ is no longer on trial. It is no longer a question of “Was Jesus the Son of God?”
The Holy Spirit has taken that out of the realm of polemics and has put it in the realm of morals. The silent, immediate witness, this penetrating voice in the conscience of men tells us that this Person was indeed the very Son of God….
Yes, the Holy Spirit’s witness is a witness to the lordship and deity of the Son of God. Jesus Christ needs no more books written to prove that He is God. He needs no advocate pleading His cause before the unfriendly court of this world. He needs no witness to rise and say, “I know He is the Son of God.”
The proof of the Sonship of Jesus has been removed from the realm of the intellect and placed where it has always belonged—in the realm of morals. And it is the Holy Spirit who has put it there.
Holy Spirit, convict us of the reality of Jesus’ deity and bring about moral action among Your people, I pray. Amen.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:2)
I have heard people say that “Only doctrine is important.”
Would they leave no room for Christian experience?
Consider the preaching and the example of the famed Jonathan Edwards, used so mightily by God in the Great Awakening throughout New England in the 18th century.
But, you say, “Jonathan Edwards was a Calvinist!”
I know—and that is my point. Edwards was acknowledged by society to have been one of the greatest intellects of his time. Yet he believed in genuine Christian experience so positively that he wrote a well-accepted book, Religious Affections, in defense of Christian emotion.
Charged by some that his revivals had too much emotion, Edwards stood forth and proclaimed that when men and women meet God, accepting His terms, they experience an awareness that lifts their hearts to rapture.
What higher privilege is granted to mankind on earth than to be admitted into the circle of the friends of God!
Christ will be master of the heart, and sin must be mortified. If your life is unholy your heart is unchanged; you are an unsaved person. If the Saviour has not sanctified you, renewed you, given you a hatred of sin and a love of holiness, the grace which does not make a man better than others is a worthless counterfeit. Christ saves his people, not in their sins, but from them. “Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.” “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” If not saved from sin, how shall we hope to be counted among his people. Lord, save me even now from all evil, and enable me to honor my Saviour.