VIDEO What’s Your Perspective?

Nov 30, 2016

Through our own narrow lens of experiences, our viewpoint is often unclear and unreliable. We can feel confused and in the dark. When we realign our perspective to God’s vision, we can see clearly.

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Christmas Notes: The New Year Hope

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1b-2a, NASB

Christmas carols have been sung, and now the New Year is on the horizon. Consider these beautiful verses written by Frances Ridley Havergal, the nineteenth-century British poet and hymn writer—as contemplation on the coming year:

Recommended Reading: Psalm 96:1-13

Another year is dawning, Dear Father, let it be,
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee;
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service, of witness for Thy love;
Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning, Dear Father, let it be,
On earth or else in heaven, another year for Thee.

Lead on, O King eternal, we follow, not with fears. For gladness breaks like morning where’er Thy face appears. Ernest Shurtleff

Ending Well

Luke 12:15-21

In today’s passage, we read about a rich man who made poor use of his days. Incorrectly assuming that his life would last for many years, he not only left God out of his plans but also allowed materialism to guide him.

Paul, on the other hand, knew his time was short and made the most of His remaining days on earth. For one thing, his priority was to care for others as long as possible. His letters from prison illustrate this: Despite knowing he would soon face death, Paul devoted his time and energy to instructing fellow believers and praying for them.

The apostle also recognized the value of time spent encouraging Christians to do everything as if for the Lord (Col. 3:23). This is important even when one’s task seems unrelated to the church. Our Father’s work isn’t just for missionaries and pastors; He calls all His children to different fields and assignments.

Paul also knew that the Christian life encompasses struggles. And he was realistic about acknowledging his own imperfections (Rom. 7:5-25). This meant that to make the best use of his time, he needed to persevere, remember God’s promises, and rely on divine power for victory. Indeed, at the end of his life, Paul was able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7).

Life is a gift. Every one of us has a limited number of days on this earth. How will you utilize your time so you can look back and, like Paul, confidently say that you ended well?

Willful Sins

“For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:26-27)

This is one of the most controversial passages of Scripture because of its apparent conflict with passages that teach salvation by grace entirely apart from the law or any form of works (e.g., Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5), and absolute security in salvation to those who belong to Christ (e.g., John 10:28-29; Romans 8:35-39).

Actually, many passages warn against deliberate acts of sin by Christians. “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar” (1 John 2:4). “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him” (Titus 1:16).

Clearly, there are dozens of “proof texts” on both sides of this question, and it cannot be settled by citing a cliché or two in a brief study like this. There can be no real contradiction in God’s Word, however, so the Lord must have had a good reason for inspiring this apparent paradox in His book. On the one hand, it is vital for every true believer in Christ to know that He is saved and has eternal life. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). On the other hand, it is deadly dangerous for a person merely to think he or she is saved when there is no evidence of a changed life. Such Scriptures as our text give sober warning that professing Christians have no basis for any assurance of salvation if they do not obey His words. “Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3). Therefore, “examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5). HMM

Our Redemption Draws Near

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. —Matthew 28:20

We must meet the present emergency with a spirit of optimism. This is no time for repining, no time for looking backward, no time for self-pity or defeated complaining. We are on the winning side and we cannot lose. “I am with you alway” (Matthew 28:20) makes ultimate defeat impossible.

Surely the days are evil and the times are waxing late, but the true Christian is not caught unawares. He has been forewarned of just such times as these and has been expecting them. Present events only confirm the long-range wisdom of Jesus Christ and prove the authenticity of the prophetic Word. So the believer actually turns defeat into victory and draws strength from the knowledge that the Lord in whom he trusts has foretold events and is in full command of the situation….

Surely this is not the time for pale faces and trembling knees among the sons of the new creation. The darker the night the brighter faith shines and the sooner comes the morning. Look up and lift up your heads; our redemption draws near.

We impatiently await Your coming, Lord, and we seek to be prepared for that glorious day. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Amen.

God’s Perfections

Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. (Psalm 29:2)

I hope that if I am remembered at all it will be for this reason: I have spent my efforts and my energies trying to turn the direction of the people away from the external elements of religion to those that are internal and spiritual.

I have tried to take away some of the clouds in the hope that men and women would be able to view God in His glory. I would like to see this sense of glory recaptured throughout the church— too many Christians do not expect to experience any of the glory until they see Him face to face!

Within our Christian fellowship and worship, we must recapture the Bible concepts of the perfection of our God Most High! We have lost the sense and the wonder of His awe-fullness, His perfection, His beauty.

Oh, I feel that we should preach it, sing it, write about it, talk about it and tell it until we have recaptured the concept of the Majesty of God!

Only that can be beautiful ultimately which is holy—and we who belong to Jesus Christ should know the true delight of worshiping God in the beauty of His holiness!

On the last day, that great day of the feast

On the last day, that great day of the feast Jesus stood and cried, saying, if any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink!” No other distinction is made but that of thirst. No waiting or preparation is so much as hinted at. Drinking represents a reception for which no fitness is required. Sinful lips may touch the stream of divine love, they cannot pollute it, but shall themselves be purified. Jesus is the fount of hope. Dear reader, hear the dear Redeemer’s loving voice as he cries to each of us, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.”