Feb 15, 2013
Great movie based on Helen Keller!
Feb 15, 2013
Great movie based on Helen Keller!
And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16
Ancient pagans spent much time trying to meet their gods’ demands and beg them for blessings. Sacrifices—even human sacrifices—were a central part of their efforts. Pagan peoples approached their gods the same way they approached other people because they created the gods (idols) in their own image. Because human beings can be unpredictable and vengeful, so the gods they created were the same. The character of the gods reflected the character of those who made them.
But the God of the Bible is different. He created mankind in His image, not vice versa. God’s character has been eternally the same, a character summed up in one word: Love. The Bible says “God is love,” and there is nothing that can separate us from His love as revealed through Christ. Everything God does is based on His character of perfect love. There is nothing we can do to earn God’s love or favor. We are loved because He created us in His image to be loved by Him.
Don’t doubt God’s love for you today. Wherever you are in life, know that you are loved by the God who is love.
God’s love is not drawn out by our lovableness, but wells up, like an artesian spring, from the depths of His nature. Alexander MacLaren
1 Peter 1:3-5
Believers are born into a living hope, whereas people without Christ have no foundation for their expectations and desires. Many non-Christians live with a false sense of security. They assume that what is important in this life is the physical and material. But there is no safety in things (1 Tim. 6:9). Those who pursue wealth and health rather than God find that their dreams either go unfulfilled or fail to satisfy.
Christians anchor their hope in the solid rock of Jesus Christ. His words are always true and His promises are never broken. I’ll sometimes hear a person project his or her unfulfilled desires on God and then argue that He came up short. But believers who make a request and submit to God’s will always get an answer: yes, no, or wait.
The Lord does not disappoint those who seek His will. Don’t misunderstand that statement. We might feel temporarily let down when something we hope for is not in God’s plan. But He doesn’t go back on the biblical promise to give His children what’s best (Isa. 48:17; Isa. 64:4). When one door closes, there is another about to open with something better behind it. And remember, the Lord cannot be outdone. We can’t even wish ourselves as much good as God has in store.
The best choice a Christian can make is to fix his or her hope on the Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome whatever fits His will for your life, and turn away from all that does not. Circumstances may shift and change, but Jesus never does. He is a living hope who never disappoints.
“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:23-24)
When the Pharisees asked for His view on divorce, Jesus replied by quoting our text, giving the Creator’s view on marriage and how men and women should approach it if they are to function as they were designed (Matthew 19:4-5). He added, “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (v. 6).
In some special way, known fully only to Him, a man and woman in a marriage relationship can truly become one flesh, just as Adam and Eve were one flesh after Eve had been fashioned from Adam’s side. (Christ’s doctrine of marriage has no logical foundation, by the way, nor do we have any reason to marry if Adam and Eve were not real, specially created people.)
Our text was also quoted by Paul as he more fully explained the marriage doctrine (Ephesians 5:31), prefacing it with a brief discussion of the relationship between the Lord and His Church (v. 30). Just as we are inseparably “members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones,” He designed each of us to be inseparably “one flesh” with his or her spouse.
Paul uses a forceful word for “leave,” meaning to completely leave one’s parents and “be joined” to the spouse. This word is equally forceful and leaves no room for a half-hearted commitment.
Marriage partners, in the eyes of the Creator, should be inseparable, just as the bones and flesh of a body cannot be separated, and just as we cannot be separated from the love of God in Christ (Romans 8:35-39). JDM
The Lord’s promises are always fulfilled to the hour.
Or laughter, for both parents had laughed for joy. The best laughing in all the world is that which arises from fulfilled promises; then is our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing.
Abraham’s laughter was no worldly merriment, but a joy which led him to be obedient to the Lord’s will. This is solid pleasure.
When the promise is realised by any of us, others ought to share our joy. Let us tell the saints what the Lord has done for us, that they may rejoice also.
Children are too apt to do this; but how wrong it is for the elder to tease and grieve the younger. God notices it and is displeased.
It was hard for Ishmael to be sent from home, but God ordered it for the best, even for him.
Had she forgotten the Lord who appeared to her before? So it seems. Our forgetfulness of former mercy is the root of present despair.
God takes pity on boys and girls, and hears their little prayers as well as those of their fathers and mothers. Dear children, do you pray?
Thus God who ordered Hagar and her son to be sent away, took good care of them in the desert: he will therefore watch over us if we commit ourselves to his care.
Our Lord is rich and merciful,
Our God is very kind;
O come to him, come now to him,
With a believing mind.
The Lord is great and full of might,
Our God is ever nigh:
O trust in him, trust now in him,
And have security.
Would you like to more fully appreciate how the grace of God has changed you? Why not take a little time today to recall what your spiritual condition was like before His grace touched your life? As you do that, I think you’ll realize that before Jesus Christ came into your heart, life was doomed to failure. In fact, it was so unpromising that Romans 6:17 says you were in reality a “servant” to sin.
When Paul writes that we were previously the servants of sin, he uses the Greek word doulos, one of the most wretched expressions for a slave in the ancient Greek language. It described a servant who was so totally sold into slavery that he had no destiny of his own; rather, he was perpetually obligated to do the bidding of his owner—fulfilling the whims, impulses, quirks, urges, and desires of his master for the rest of his life.
In other words, the word doulos depicts one whose very existence is to fulfill the commands of his master. Or as one expositor explained, the word portrays one whose will is completely swallowed up in the will of another.
This is the word Paul uses to describe our slavery to sin before Jesus came into our lives. Paul is saying that prior to our salvation experience, we were completely consumed, swallowed up, devoured, and engulfed in the will of Satan. We may have thought we were in charge of our lives; we may have assumed we were “calling the shots” ourselves. But in reality, you and I were in the grip of sin, and our sin nature was controlling our lives and destinies. We were like captives sold into the depravity of slavery. As the slaves of sin, our destinies were being masterminded by an unseen, diabolical spirit that wanted to destroy us.
Because of the word doulos in Romans 6:17, one section of this verse could be taken to read:
“… In the past you were the wretched slaves of sin—sold out entirely to sin—and you had no ‘say-so’ about your life, your future, or your desires. At that time, your entire existence on earth was centered around fulfilling the whims, impulses, quirks, urges, and desires of your master—sin….”
Our prior slavery to Satan was so deeply rooted in our nature that we became inseparable from the sinful nature that so constantly worked in us and controlled us. Indeed, this pervading demonic presence in our lives was so absolute and supreme that Paul described it this way in Ephesians 2:2: “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.”
In Greek, the word “worketh” is the word energeo. The word energeo denotes a force that is energizing. In fact, this is where we get the word energy.
By choosing to use this word, the Holy Spirit is vividly portraying how destitute our spiritual condition was before you and I were born again. It plainly means that prior to our salvation experience, we were energized by the spirit that works in all the sons of disobedience. The devil himself used to have authorization to accomplish his destructive will in our lives. Because we were his slaves, he could do whatever he wanted with us.
But when Jesus Christ came into our lives, we were immediately emancipated—totally set free! Because of this, we are no longer servants to sin; now we are servants of the Almighty God.
The evil spirits that once exacted every ounce of your being and required your all-inclusive servitude no longer possess the authorization to control you or to dictate your destiny. Now Jesus is your Lord. Now it is the Spirit of God who works in you and supernaturally energizes you to fulfill God’s will in your life. You have a new Master, and His name is Jesus! You have a new Source of energy on the inside—the power of the Holy Spirit!
Refuse to let sin have its way in your life any longer. Yes, you were a servant to sin in the past, but now you are a servant of Jesus Christ. So tell the devil to hit the road and take his temptations elsewhere! It’s time for you to yield to the Holy Spirit so He can mightily release His divine power in you and give you the energy you need to live a life of obedience to God!
Lord, I thank You for coming into my life and for breaking the power of sin that used to hold me captive. I remember the futility I felt as I tried to change myself but couldn’t do it. But when You came into my life, everything changed! I praise You for loving me so much that You left Heaven and descended into a world filled with sin and depravity. You did that for me, and I thank You so much!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
I confess that I am free because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The shedding of His blood paid the ransom for me. The hold Satan used to have on me is broken, and I am liberated and set free! Now God’s divine power operates mightily in me, and I have authority over the enemy who used to control me!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
A tough but achievable assignment.
God’s assessment of Noah’s life?
“You alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this generation.” (Genesis 7:1)
The Lord was painfully aware of societies’ blatant sins as SEX and VIOLENCE dotted the landscape as it does ours.
“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil… continually… [God] was grieved in his heart… that He had made man… ” (Genesis 6:5, 6)
Living amidst this decadence, Noah stood up and was counted:
“Noah found favor in the eyes of God” – That is, he was pleasing to God! (Genesis 6:8)
“Noah was a righteous man” – That is, he was lawful and just before God! (Genesis 6:9)
“Noah was blameless in his time” – That is, he lived a life of integrity before his fellow man. (Genesis 6:9)
“Noah walked with God” – That is, he and God were conversant. They had a relationship. (Genesis 6:9)
STANDING ALONE FOR GOD is a tough but achievable assignment which God expects us to accomplish!