VIDEO By Your Name

May 4, 2014

Paul Baloche – Your Name, Album: A Greater Song, Year: 2006

As morning dawns and evening fades
You inspire songs of praise
That rise from earth to touch Your heart and glorify Your Name

CHORUS
Your Name is a strong and mighty tower
Your Name is a shelter like no other
Your Name, let the nations sing it louder
‘Cause nothing has the power to save
But Your Name

Jesus, in Your Name we pray
Come and fill our hearts today
Lord, give us strength to live for You and glorify Your Name

CHORUS
Your Name is a strong and mighty tower
Your Name is a shelter like no other
Your Name, let the nations sing it louder
‘Cause nothing has the power to save but Your Name

INSTRUMENTAL

CHORUS
Your Name is a strong and mighty tower
Your Name is a shelter like no other
Your Name, let the nations sing it louder
(1st & 2nd endings)
‘Cause nothing has the power to save but Your Name

Willing to Wound

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Proverbs 27:6

The modern religions of tolerance and pop culture have created a dangerous crossroads: Almost anything is considered to be acceptable behavior. From dress to language to moral boundaries, few people are willing to hold up a hand and say, “Wait! Are you sure that is a choice you should make? Have you considered carefully the implications?” Those who advise restraint are considered old fashioned or intolerant. The danger is this: If we refuse to say “Stop!” we run the risk of going along ourselves.

We need friends—and need to be a friend—like the one described in Proverbs 27:6. We need to be a friend who will run the risk of wounding another for the sake of their temporal and eternal well-being. We need to be a source of salt and light, illuminating the path of righteousness and preserving a friend’s safety. Our biblically-based counsel may not be heeded or appreciated, but we would be wrong not to offer it.

Which would be better when Jesus Christ appears: to be loved by our friends because we approved their choices or to be commended by our Lord? If separating ourselves from impurity is the only way to maintain our own purity, then so be it.

For the Christian, to do wrong, is to wound his Friend. William Temple

What Is Temptation?

Matthew 26:41

Everybody experiences temptation. No matter how spiritual you are or how long you’ve followed Christ, you have been tempted. Sometimes this experience seems like a faint whisper, and other times it’s an unbearable shout in your mind. Regardless of how it sounds, you know just what temptation feels like. But if someone asked, could you define the term?

Temptation is simply an enticement to take a God-given desire beyond God-given boundaries. Many people reject this idea, refusing to believe that guilt-instilling allurements could be even remotely related to the Lord. But think about it: In what ways are you most often tempted? In the area of material possessions? Intimacy? Companionship? Food? These are all things that God not only created but also uses to bless His people. The problem comes when we—who still carry around the old “programming” of our flesh nature—take those drives beyond the healthy limits that God has set for our lives.

For example, He created sex for enjoyment within a marriage relationship. However, when this divinely approved desire is corrupted by physical intimacy outside of marriage, then what the Creator designed for His purposes becomes a source of guilt and shame. That is not what God intended.

One of the enemy’s top strategies is to distort a God-given drive for his own vile purposes. You can short-circuit such an attack: Remind yourself where this urge came from in the first place, and then ask God for the strength to use such drives for His glory, as He intended.

The Eternal God

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” (Psalm 90:2)

This verse was written by Moses as the children of Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land. Perhaps the most basic of all the attributes of God is that He “inhabiteth eternity” (Isaiah 57:15). He is “from everlasting to everlasting,” the God who ever was and ever shall be.

Creatures of time cannot really comprehend the idea of past eternity. “But who made God?” children ask. “Nobody made God,” we answer. “He always was.” The alternative would be to believe in the eternity of “space” and “matter,” but these in themselves are utterly incapable of producing our complex universe. God, however, is an adequate First Cause to explain all the effects of our infinite, intricate cosmos.

There are many other Scriptures assuring us that God has always been. “Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting” (Psalm 93:2). He is “the everlasting God, the LORD” (Isaiah 40:28). And this truth applies to God the Son as well as to God the Father. The Lord Jesus could say, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Revelation 22:13).

We find it somewhat easier to contemplate the fact that God will live forever. Still, certain foolish men have imagined that God is dead, but “the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king” (Jeremiah 10:10).

The most glorious fact of all is that this living God did also become man, in the person of Christ Jesus, and He did die. But He soon defeated death and now can say, “I am alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:18). And now, since “we believe that Jesus died and rose again, . . . so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:14, 17). HMM

He Came

He came unto his own, and his own received him not. —John 1:11

I confess that I am struck with the wonder and the significance of the limitless meaning of these two words, He came. Within them the whole scope of divine mercy and redeeming love is outlined. All of the mercy God is capable of showing, all of the redeeming grace that He could pour from His heart, all of the love and pity that God is capable of feeling—all of these are at least suggested here in the message that He came!

Beyond that, all of the hopes and longings and aspirations, all of the dreams of immortality that lie in the human breast, all had their fulfillment in the coming to earth of Jesus, the Christ and Redeemer….

All… our fond visions of a life to come are summed up in these simple words in the Bible record: He came!…

There are times when the use of the superlative is absolutely necessary and you cannot escape it. The coming of Jesus Christ into this world represents a truth more profound than all of philosophy, for all of the great thinkers of the world together could never produce anything that could even remotely approach the wonder and the profundity disclosed in the message of these words, He came!

I am awestruck, Loving God, that You humbled Yourself in order to bring hope and salvation. I worship You. Amen.

Is Discipline Dismissed?

Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. (Matthew 4:19-20)

We live in a land noted and favored for its freedom; a country where Protestant Christianity is popular and well accepted.

I noted this to speak of one of the great spiritual dangers inherent in Protestantism, the fact that there is no discipline involved. Anyone in our churches is pretty much free to do anything he wants to do. If he does not like one church he has only to cross the street and go to another. If he does not like the preacher, he can leave and soon be attending a church where he is quite pleased with the preacher and with the music and with the atmosphere.

You see, he is demanding Christianity without discipline. He is refusing to acknowledge that the Christian faith makes its own demands of obedience to God and humility of spirit.

When his personal desires take the upper hand, the voice of the Spirit of God is stifled and silenced. There can be only one result—the human soul will become starved and deformed!

God ordains with accurate wisdom the most fitting time

God ordains with accurate wisdom the most fitting time for the redeemed to abide below. Surely, if there could be regrets in heaven, the saints might mourn that they did not live longer here to do more good. Oh, for more sheaves for my Lord’s garner! more jewels for his crown! But how, unless there be more work? When we are fully serving God, and he is giving us to scatter precious seed, and reap a hundredfold, we would even say it is well for us to abide where we are. Whether our Master shall say “go,” or “stay,” let us be equally well pleased, so long as he indulges us with his presence.