VIDEO Settled at the Cross

Dec 16, 2012

“Settled at the Cross” sung at Cleveland Baptist Church, Sunday night, June 26th, 2011. See words below.

How I love to read the book You wrote for me
You loved the world so much You gave Your Son
Written there in crimson You told me I’m forgiven
It is done it is done

So if You never speak another word of blessing
And the silence leaves me with a sense of loss
I’ll remember when my heart begins to question
Any doubt that You loved me
Was settled at the cross

I would be the first to admit I don’t deserve
The kind of favor You have always shown
But You don’t have to tell me
You proved how much You loved me
And I know I’ll still know

That if You never speak another word of blessing
And the silence leaves me with a sense of loss
I’ll remember when my heart begins to question
Any doubt that You loved me
Was settled at the cross

Every word of mercy
Every breath forgave
Every drop of blood
Testifies of grace

If You never speak another word of blessing
And the silence leaves me with a sense of loss
I’ll remember when my heart begins to question
Any doubt that You loved me
Was settled at the cross
Any doubt that You loved me
Was settled at the cross

Better Than Feelings

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:3b

Aleister Crowley was an early-twentieth-century British artist, novelist, and occultist. He founded a religion he called Thelema and saw himself as a prophet who would guide humanity into an age of self-realization. The Beatles were fans—Crowley was one of those appearing on the cover of the famous “Sgt. Pepper’s” album cover. Supposedly, the guiding rule of his religion was, “’Do what thou wilt’ shall be the whole of the Law.” Many people trace one of the guiding maxims of the 1960s—“If it feels good, do it”—back to Crowley.

“The Sixties” took that principle to heart and many today still do. How often do we hear people explain a decision by saying, “It just felt right”? But is “feeling good” enough of a guiding principle for life? Think about your own feelings: Today you feel good and tomorrow you don’t. The decision you make today, you wouldn’t make tomorrow. We need something more permanent, consistent, and dependable as a guiding principle for life. The psalmist trusted in God’s guidance (Psalm 23:3b) and in God’s Word (Psalm 19:7-11).

Don’t get caught up in the religion of “anything goes.” Establish your life on the guiding principles of God and His Word.

Men give advice; God gives guidance. Leonard Ravenhill

What Is the Spirit-Filled Life?

Ephesians 5:18-21

Although God wants every believer to be filled with the Spirit, many Christians are not sure what this means or what it looks like. To help us understand that whatever fills us controls us, Paul cites drunkenness as a negative example of “filling” and tells us to avoid it. Every believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but the extent of His rule is determined by the Christian’s freedom to comply.

Think of this as a voluntary choice to surrender your life to the Spirit’s control—in other words, to be sensitive to His leadership and guidance, obedient to His promptings, and dependent upon His strength. The evidence of the Holy Spirit’s control is revealed in a person’s character. Those who have yielded their lives to Christ’s leadership are continually being transformed into His likeness. The degree of surrender determines the level of transformation.

Even though good works and faithful service are a result of being filled with the Holy Spirit, they are not necessarily signs of being yielded to Him. Remember, we are talking primarily about character rather than actions. It’s easier to serve the Lord in some manner than to love the unlovable or be patient with difficult people. But when the Spirit is in charge of our lives, He does through us what we cannot do for ourselves.

All believers decide who rules their life, by either actively surrendering to Christ or deliberately going their own way. Even those who try to avoid the issue by making no choice at all unknowingly opt for self-rule. The fullness of the Spirit and godly character await those who choose God over self.

Following the Mark

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

Paul called his personal achievements (Philippians 3:4-6) as valuable as dung (v. 8), rejecting his own righteousness (v. 9). Now he is focused on reaching the “high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” He is well aware that he has not already attained God’s ultimate design for him, nor is he perfect in any sense of what he will become, but he intends to follow after and be “apprehended” of the Lord Jesus (Philippians 3:12).

To begin with, Paul knows that he must forget “those things which are behind.” Not only his rather stellar reputation and achievements, but especially the awful conditions of being “without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). Those terrible conditions were done away with when Paul (and those of us who are twice-born) were created after God “in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).

Now, having been apprehended of Christ and forgetting those things that were part of our old lives, we can “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (today’s verse). Like for an athlete, the prize is gained only by those who win, not by those who run “uncertainly” (1 Corinthians 9:24, 26).

Thus, we cannot win if we have “two masters” (Luke 16:13), nor can we please “him who has chosen” us if we entangle ourselves with the affairs of this life (2 Timothy 2:4). May God keep us focused on the prize. HMM III

God Did It!

Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. —Zechariah 4:6

He says, “I will do it for you. Why do you worry? I will do it for you. I am God. I am Jehovah. Iam your righteousness. I am your provider. I am your healer. I am your banner of victory. I amyour shepherd. I am your peace. I am your everything.”

If God is all this to us, then there is no reason why anybody should be downhearted in this hour.If God could make a world out of nothing, why can’t He make anything He wants now for Hispeople? God invites us to see Him work….

If we will unite our hearts and intentions and dare to believe it, we will see God begin to move in
great strength and in great power. We will see coming down from heaven that which we so desperately struggled to bring in from the outside. We will see the great God do it and then it will not be said, “This man did it,” or “That woman did it.” But we can all say together, “Not by might,nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).

Lord, may I always dare to believe that You are more than enough to provide my needs. I ask You to do great works in Your world as I trust and watch. Amen.

Christian Virtue

Let brotherly love continue. (Hebrews 13:1)

I am being very frank about this and I hope I am being helpful: do not ever say you are not right with God because you like some people better than others!

I believe you can be right with God and still not like the way some people behave. It is easy to love those who are the friendly; others rub us the wrong way or perhaps they cut us down.

The writer to the Hebrews has appealed to us as Christian believers to “let brotherly love continue”—in other words, “never stop loving one another in the Lord.”

Here is what I have found: it is possible to love people in the Lord even though you may not like their boorish or distasteful human traits. We still love them for Jesus’ sake!

Yes, I believe you can be right with God and still not like the way some people behave. Our admonition is to love them in a larger and more comprehensive way because we are all one in Christ Jesus. This kind of love is indeed a Christian virtue!

Christians are not to be praised for neglected duties

Christians are not to be praised for neglected duties under the pretense of having secret fellowship with Jesus: it is not sitting, but sitting at Jesus’ feet, which is commendable. Do not think that activity is in itself an evil: it is a great blessing and a means of grace to us. Those who have most fellowship with Christ are not recluses or hermits, but indefatigable laborers who are toiling for Jesus, and who, in their toil, have him side by side with them, so that they are workers together with God. Let us remember, then, in anything we have to do for Jesus, that we can do it, and should do it, in close communion with him.