VIDEO Except for Grace/ Grace Greater Than Our Sin

Nov 1, 2012

Music video by Bill & Gloria Gaither performing Except for Grace / Grace Greater Than Our Sin, featuring The Martins.

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Loving His Appearing

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8

Picture a fourth grade boy sitting in the principal’s office, waiting for the appearing of the principal. Now picture the same boy at noon on a Friday, anxiously waiting for his mom to pick him up early from school to begin a long family vacation weekend. He is waiting for the appearing of his mother. Which “appearing” does the lad love? Obviously, the appearing that will precede a weekend of fun and excitement.

There is a difference between waiting and waiting-with-excitement-and- anticipation. Or so the apostle Paul seems to suggest in 2 Timothy 4:8. There he mentions the “crown of righteousness” that awaits all who “love” the appearing of Christ at His Second Coming. It’s one thing to wait for Christ’s return; it’s another to wait with love and anticipation. Those who love the idea of seeing Christ face to face will live in such a way as to welcome His appearing—not shy away like the boy waiting in the principal’s office.

If Christ appears today, will He find you loving His appearing?

The subject of the second coming of Christ has never been popular to any but the true believer. Billy Graham

Our Trials: Allowed by God

1 Peter 1:3-9

Some people have the wrong idea about the Christian life. Once they become believers, they expect smooth sailing. Yet Jesus made it clear that troubles are inevitable for God’s children. His own life was no exception: He endured false accusations, rejection by His own people, and betrayal by a close friend—to name just a few.

As His followers, we can expect difficulty. The cause of tribulation differs with each circumstance. Some problems arise from the fallen nature of the world, while others result from satanic warfare. And we can cause our own heartache from ignorance, sin, and poor decisions. There’s also another possibility—sometimes God Himself brings trials. While this last option is difficult to accept during a painful time, the Lord never brings hardship unless He has a beautiful purpose. And He gives strength to endure.

Remember, God allows struggles—whatever their source—for our benefit. Perhaps they are to purify and grow us for greater service. Maybe He has in mind to test our endurance and devotion to Christ, thereby strengthening our trust. Or He might be revealing His sustaining power. This side of heaven, we may never know the cause of each challenge. But we can trust God’s ability to deliver and mature us.

What trials are you facing? Jesus understands your pain, and He longs to be the One you cling to through good times and bad. You can choose to look elsewhere for comfort, or you can use your hardship as a source of growth. No matter how painful the trial seems, don’t waste the opportunity.

Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus

“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20)

The doctrine of verbal inspiration implies that not only are the words of Scripture inspired, but the very order in which they appear is also inspired. Studies by commentators and translators have rightly noted that a change in the order of the words would at times change the meaning or emphasis of a passage. This phenomenon is often seen in the order in which the various names of Christ appear. By noting this order, one may sometimes gain new insight into a passage.

While the name Jesus, alone, normally appears in the gospels and the book of Acts, the compound name Jesus Christ appears on occasion. Interestingly, the same compound name is used exclusively by the disciples John and Peter in their letters, and by James and Jude, the brothers of our Lord. Of course, these men knew Him first by His human name, Jesus, and only fully comprehended the fact that He was the Christ (meaning “the Anointed,” or “the Messiah”) after His resurrection and ascension.

Paul, on the other hand, first encountered Christ in all His glory on the road to Damascus. Perhaps, as a consequence, he frequently reversed the order, speaking of Christ Jesus, although he used both orders many times.

The reason for this choice of order perhaps can best be illustrated in Philippians 2:5-11. In verse 5, Paul described the Anointed One, who first emptied Himself of certain aspects of His deity to take on human form. Therefore, Paul used the name Christ Jesus. In verse 11, however, the order is reversed. In this case, as in our text, the movement is from humanity to glory. In one, the glory of the risen Savior is emphasized; in the other, the glory that we shall share with Him. This glory is assured us through His victory. JDM

He Never Changes

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. —Hebrews 13:8

It seems to be very hard for us to comprehend the importance of the fact that Christ does not change and that there is no fluctuation in His character, in His nature, in His resources, in His love and mercy.

Because change is everywhere around us at all times on this earth and among human beings, it is difficult for us to grasp the eternal and unchanging nature and person of Jesus Christ…. But nothing about our Lord Jesus Christ has changed down to this very hour. His love has not changed. It hasn’t cooled off, and it needs no increase because He has already loved us with infinite love and there is no way that infinitude can be increased. His compassionate understanding of us has not changed. His interest in us and His purposes for us have not changed.

He is Jesus Christ, our Lord. He is the very same Jesus. Even though He has been raised from the dead and seated at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, and made Head over all things to the Church, His love for us remains unchanged. Even though He has been given all authority and power in heaven and in earth, He is the very same Jesus in every detail. He is the same yesterday, today and forever!

I am human and always changing, and my life is so uncertain. Thank You, Lord, for being such a solid anchor. Amen.

Our Godly Conversation and Calling

Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened and heard it. (Malachi 3:16)

I have met Christians who were so intent upon winning souls to Christ that they would not talk to you about anything but God and His goodness!

Such a man was the Canadian, Robert Jaffray, one of our early pioneer missionaries. His family owned the Toronto Globe and Mail and as a young Christian he was disinherited because he chose to follow God’s call to China rather than join the family business.

That good godly man spent his lifetime in China and the south Pacific, searching for the lost— and winning them! He was always reading maps and daring to go to the most difficult places, in spite of physical weaknesses and diabetic handicap. He sought out and lived among the poor and miserable, always praying to God, “Let my people go!”

When on furlough, he could not sit and talk about common things. Always his thoughts went back to God and missions and winning the lost. I am reminded of Malachi who said, “They that feared the Lord spoke often one to another; and the Lord hearkened.”

When God seems most to leave his church

When God seems most to leave his church, his heart is warm towards her. History shows us that whenever God uses a rod to chasten his servants, he always breaks it afterwards, as if he loathed the rod which gave his children pain. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.” His blows are no evidences of want of love. You may fear that the Lord has passed you by, but it is not so: he who counts the stars, and calls them by their names, is in no danger of forgetting his own children. He knows your case as thoroughly as if you were the only creature he ever made, or the only saint he ever loved. Approach him and be at peace.