VIDEO Thank You Jesus

Jul 22, 2014

The lyric video for ‘Thank You Jesus’, from the album No Other Name.

Man’s Anger and God’s Righteousness

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James 1:20—For the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

That Scripture came to mind this morning as I reflect on the state of our nation and the political developments in recent years.

Proverbs 29Anger over sin is not a sin in itself, but whenever anger becomes the driving force for what one does, we go off the rails spiritually.

There are legitimate reasons for anger:

  • Over 57 million babies aborted since the Roe v. Wadedecision in 1973;
  • The ongoing destruction of Biblical morality in the area of sexual relations and marriage;
  • The assault on religious liberty, particularly for conservative Christians;
  • The trend toward the government as the solution for all problems;
  • The arrogance and increasing corruption of political leaders;
  • The overthrowing of the rule of law in general.

Those are the ones that come readily to mind, but there are others.

How has the Christian community responded? Some have taken a bold stand against this cultural and political devolution; others have caved to the spirit of the age and have tailored their “Christianity” to fit the new trends.

Politically, starting in 2009, a movement arose—and many in the movement were Christians—that sought to reverse some of these trends. Anger helped begin that movement, but it also was focused on a return to basics, both spiritually and constitutionally.

DSC00018For that reason, I was pleased to participate in it. It was given a name: the Tea Party. I have spoken to a number of such groups since their inception, and have done my best to help this movement stay on track by pointing to the principles we need to follow.

What I’m about to say is not an indictment of the movement as a whole because I know enough sincere, honest people who are part of it. However, what I’ve witnessed over time is a tendency to allow anger over what is occurring in the nation to overwhelm the more positive aspects of the movement.

Whenever we let anger dictate our responses, we lose. When we drift away from concentrating on the positive message of restoration and humility before God, seeking His mercy, we lose.

Instead, we latch onto a charismatic figure who only fans the flames of the anger we naturally feel. We overlook his character, his past, and even the things he says that are completely inconsistent with what we claim are our principles.

In the heat of our anger, we lose our souls.

I am just sad this morning. I am now a political outsider. I often feel like one of those lonely voices in the wilderness. It’s not a comfortable place to be.

Yet I am willing to be what God has called me to be. I am willing to continue to speak and write what I believe to be true. And because I also believe that God is a God of mercy as well as discipline and judgment, I continue to hope for the best.

LamentationsIn the face of God’s judgment over His people Israel in the Old Testament, the prophet Jeremiah stated this in the book of Lamentations:

This I recall to my mind; therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning.

Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul. “Therefore I have hope in Him.”

That’s the only safe place for our hope to reside: in Him. There is no political savior. We will survive the results of this coming election only because there is hope in Him.

Lay aside the anger as your primary motivation. Look to Him instead.

James 1:20—For the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

 

by Dr Alan Snyder

 

original here

Have The Patience of God

2 Peter 3:8-9

God’s seemingly slow reaction to sin is often puzzling to believers. Why doesn’t He immediately punish those who violate His principles? The answer is found in today’s passage—the Lord is patient so that all people have an opportunity to repent (2 Pet. 3:9).

In our humanness, we at times want people to suffer for wrongdoing. Jonah ran away from his duty to preach in Nineveh, because he expected that if the inhabitants repented, his gracious, compassionate God would relent about destroying the city. And that is precisely what came to pass. Instead of rejoicing in the Lord’s success, the prophet complained about His treating the Ninevites with patience and mercy (Jonah 4:2).

Jonah was angry at God despite the fact that he himself had received divine mercy. (Unpleasant though it was, there are worse forms of discipline than being swallowed and regurgitated by a fish.)

More often than not, believers have ample reason to be thankful that the Lord, unlike human beings, is slow to anger. When we are stubborn and unrepentant, He waits patiently for us to respond to conviction. Discipline is painful to both the recipient and the one carrying it out. God prefers that we see the error of our choices, stop thinking that we’re getting away with sin, and turn back to His righteous path.

The Lord places a high value on repentance and maintaining fellowship. However, His justice demands a penalty. Do not wait for discipline. Instead, do what’s right, and turn your heart toward God.

Sealed by the Holy Spirit

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)

From very ancient times it has been the custom to confirm and guarantee an agreed-on purchase by sealing the contract with a seal that could only be broken by the buyer when he was ready to take possession of his purchase.

The marvelous transaction seen by John at God’s throne in heaven was in reference to this practice. There, only the Lamb is found worthy to open the seven-sealed scroll on which is recorded the title to the whole creation. “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the [scroll], and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood” (Revelation 5:9). The purchase price had been paid on Calvary, and the resurrected Lamb had come to claim His possession.

And we are part of that possession! The price has been paid for our redemption from sin’s bondage, but we have not yet entered on the inheritance which our great Redeemer has promised us. In the meantime, our individual title deed, as it were, has been sealed by none other than the Holy Spirit. He is not only the seal, but also the “earnest”—that is, the down payment, the earnest money—who guarantees the total “redemption of the purchased possession.”

His personal presence in our lives is our assurance that the full promise will be fulfilled, and we are urged to “grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). He “hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:22). HMM

He Is That Majesty on High

And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. —Genesis 28:17

God has indeed lent to every man the power to lock his heart and stalk away darkly into his selfchosen night, as He has lent to every man the ability to respond to His overtures of grace, but while the “no” choice may be ours, the “yes” choice is always God’s….

How deeply do men err who conceive of God as subject to our human will or as standing respectfully to wait upon our human pleasure. Though He in condescending love may seem to place Himself at our disposal, yet never for the least division of a moment does He abdicate His throne or void His right as Lord of man and nature. He is that Majesty on high. To Him all angels cry aloud, the heavens and all the powers therein: to Him cherubim and seraphim continually do cry, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth, heaven and earth are full of the majesty of thy glory.” He is the Fear of Isaac and the Dread of Jacob, and before Him prophet and patriarch and saint have knelt in breathless awe and adoration.

Lord, help me recapture some of that dread and awe and admiration with which You were viewed in the Old Testament. I’ve become too familiar, and I’ve distorted and cheapened the picture in the process. Amen.

BeenTesting Our Faith

That ye may be sincere and without offense until the day of Christ. (Philippians 1:10)

Any belief that does not command the daily walk of the one who holds it is not a real belief: it is a pseudo-belief only!

I think it might shock some of us profoundly if we were suddenly brought face to face with our beliefs and forced to test them in the fores of practical living. How many professing Christians boast in the Lord but watch carefully that they never get caught fully depending on Him? Pseudofaith always arranges a way out to serve in case God “fails.”

What we need very badly these days is a company of Christians prepared to trust God as completely now as they must do at the last day! For each of us, the time is surely coming when we shall all have nothing but God! To the men of pseudo-faith, that is a terrifying thought!

For true faith, it is either God or total collapse, and not since Adam first stood up on the earth
has God failed anyone who trusted Him! We can prove our faith by our committal to it—and in no other way!

A little stay on earth will make heaven more heavenly

A little stay on earth will make heaven more heavenly. Nothing makes rest so sweet as toil. Our battered armor and scarred countenances will render more illustrious our victory above, when we are welcomed to the seats of those who have overcome the world. We should not have full fellowship with Christ if we did not for a while sojourn below, for he was baptized with a baptism of suffering among men, and we must be baptized with the same if we would share his kingdom. Fellowship with Christ is so honorable that the sorest sorrow is a light price by which to procure it.