VIDEO Lead me to Calvary

Apr 6, 2009

Lead Me to Calvary

Pipe organ and vocal with lyrics words

Godly Ambition

Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly. 1 Peter 5:2

The famous American evangelist Dwight L. Moody collapsed in Kansas City and returned by train to his home in Massachusetts. There in the upstairs bedroom, he drifted in and out of consciousness, talking to his family as he was dying. At one point, looking at those around him, he said, “I have always been an ambitious man, ambitious to leave no wealth or possessions, but to leave lots of work for you to do.” A few minutes later he said, “This is my triumph; this is my coronation day! I have been looking forward to it for years.” Shortly afterward, he passed into the presence of Christ.

The Lord wants us to be ambitious, not for fame or fortune, but for doing His will and leaving work for others. We are to take the work from those who preceded us and hand it off to those who follow. God uses us like links in a chain stretching from His resurrection to His return.

Effective ministry begins with a heartfelt concern for other Christians and a consecration to sharing the Gospel with others. It cannot be for personal notice or gain if it’s to be effective for God’s glory.

I want to live as long as I’m useful, but when my work is done I want to be up and off Dwight L. Moody, on his deathbed

Why Our Needs Remain Unmet

James 1:5-8

If our loving, omnipotent Father really does desire to meet His children’s needs, then why do some go unmet? Let’s look at a few key reasons why we may lack essentials.

We don’t ask. If this seems elementary, it is. And yet it’s astonishing how many people fail to bring their concerns to God. Some say, “Oh, He has too much to do to worry about my little problems.” Nonsense! Our Father is a very personal God, who cares deeply about everything that affects His children. In fact, Matthew 10:30 says He even knows the number of hairs on our head. So of course we should share with Him the details of our life.

We ask but doubt that God can or will do it. It’s a tragic mischaracterization to go before the omnipotent, sovereign God of the universe and essentially say, “You aren’t big enough to handle my needs.” James 1:8 describes such a person as “double-minded” and “unstable.” When you approach God, do so knowing that He can meet your needs.

We ask God to address the symptom, not the real need. At times we pray and pray about something—a particular emotional pain, perhaps—without seeing any change. The reason may be that we are focusing on the symptom rather than the actual need. As you continue talking to the Lord about the situation, you may discover the root need is something you have not even considered.

The heavenly Father wants to meet all of your needs. If you cannot see Him acting on your behalf, be sure to take a critical look at yourself from His perspective. Then ask yourself, Is it possible that I could be standing in the way of God’s intervention?

Evil Choices Produce Evil People

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” (Romans 1:28)

The apostle Paul provides a chilling analysis of the process by which the human mind progresses through rejection of the evidence of God’s existence to ultimately worshiping the creature more than the Creator and finding pleasure only among those of like mind.

God has displayed His “eternal power and Godhead” since the creation of the world (Romans 1:20). Those who reject that clear physical evidence are “without excuse” since they do know God but will not recognize His existence and engage in such destructive thinking that “their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Romans 1:21-23).

That foolish behavior so shifts their intellect that they serve “the creature more than the Creator” and wind up so distorting their lifestyle that they become unable to tell what gender God made them (Romans 1:24-28). Once that kind of behavior is sanctioned, their emotions become consumed with hatred of God and all things good, winding up inventing “evil things” and living within a godless world (Romans 1:29-31).

Having rejected the truth that God has openly displayed for everyone to see and having plunged into a foolish and damaging lifestyle that warps their intellect and emotions beyond repair, they can find pleasure only in those who live, think, and love as they do. All the while heaping a “treasure” of wrath that will be poured out upon them when the Creator returns (Romans 2:1-6). HMM III

Set Aside the Agenda

Then all the multitude… gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. —Acts 15:12

When we compare our present carefully programmed meetings with the New Testament we are reminded of the remark of a famous literary critic after he had read Alexander Pope’s translation of Homer’s Odyssey: “It is a beautiful poem, but it is not Homer.” So the fast-paced, highly spiced, entertaining service of today may be a beautiful example of masterful programming—but it is not a Christian service. The two are leagues apart in almost every essential. About the only thing they have in common is the presence of a number of persons in one room. There the similarity ends and glaring dissimilarities begin….

Throughout the New Testament after Pentecost one marked characteristic of all Christian meetings was the believers’ preoccupation with their risen Lord. Even the first Church Council… was conducted in an atmosphere of great dignity and deep reverence…. It is of course unthinkable that such a meeting could have been held without some kind of agenda. Someone had to know what they had gathered to discuss. The important point to be noticed, however, is that proceedings were carried on in an atmosphere of Christian worship. They lost sight of the program in the greater glory of a Presence. ROR105-107

Thank You, Father, for the commitment to excellence in many churches. But don’t let us lose sight of the glory of Your presence, which is so much more important. Amen.

Are You Answering God’s Call?

The Lord called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak, for thy servant heareth. (1 Samuel 3:10)

When will men and women realize that when God calls us out He is completely faithful to call us into something better?

In his faith, Abraham was against idolatry and idol-making, but that was not his crusade. Because of his faith, God led him into a promised land, into possessions and into the lineage that brought forth the Messiah. The call of God is always to something better—keep that in mind!

God calls us into the joys and reality of eternal life. He calls us into purity of life and spirit, so that we may acceptably walk with Him. He calls us into a life of service and usefulness that brings glory to Himself as God. He calls us into the sweetest fellowship possible on this earth—the fellowship of the family of God!

If God takes away from us the old, wrinkled, beat-up dollar bill we clutch so desperately, it is only because He wants to exchange it for the whole federal mint, the entire treasury! He is saying, “I have in store for you all the resources of heaven. Help yourself!”

There is no elevation of grace

There is no elevation of grace, no attainment of spirituality, no clearness of assurance, no post of duty, which is not open to you if you have but the power to believe. Lay aside your sackcloth and ashes, and rise to the dignity of your true position. The golden throne of assurance is waiting for you! The crown of communion with Jesus is ready to bedeck your brow. Wrap yourself in scarlet and fine linen and fare sumptuously every day; if thou believest, thy land shall flow with milk and honey, and thy soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness. Gather golden sheaves of grace, for they await thee in the fields of faith. “All things are possible to him that believeth.”