VIDEO His Commission to Us – The True Shepard, End Times Warning Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing

This is love in the making. The love of God is not created— it is His nature. When we receive the life of Christ through the Holy Spirit, He unites us with God so that His love is demonstrated in us. The goal of the indwelling Holy Spirit is not just to unite us with God, but to do it in such a way that we will be one with the Father in exactly the same way Jesus was. And what kind of oneness did Jesus Christ have with the Father? He had such a oneness with the Father that He was obedient when His Father sent Him down here to be poured out for us. And He says to us, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21).

Peter now realizes that he does love Him, due to the revelation that came with the Lord’s piercing question. The Lord’s next point is— “Pour yourself out. Don’t testify about how much you love Me and don’t talk about the wonderful revelation you have had, just ‘Feed My sheep.’ ” Jesus has some extraordinarily peculiar sheep: some that are unkempt and dirty, some that are awkward or pushy, and some that have gone astray! But it is impossible to exhaust God’s love, and it is impossible to exhaust my love if it flows from the Spirit of God within me. The love of God pays no attention to my prejudices caused by my natural individuality. If I love my Lord, I have no business being guided by natural emotions— I have to feed His sheep. We will not be delivered or released from His commission to us. Beware of counterfeiting the love of God by following your own natural human emotions, sympathies, or understandings. That will only serve to revile and abuse the true love of God.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

Sincerity means that the appearance and the reality are exactly the same. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, 1449 L


THE TRUE SHEPHERD – END-TIMES WARNING – WOLVES IN SHEEP CLOTHING

Mar 30, 2015

Pastor Andrew Russell preaches on John 10:1-10 and explains the tasks and the daily work of a good shepherd. The sheep know his voice and follow him. Jesus is the True Shepherd and He warns us about False Teachers and False Prophets. To hear His voice we have to be rooted and grounded in the Word of God.

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Kindness Incarnate – Two Portraits

Kindness Incarnate

But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared. Titus 3:4

The Greek word for kindness in Titus 3:4, chrestotes, has its origin in the smaller word, chre—“to lend.” It’s not hard to see how the idea of kindness evolved from the act of lending. When someone is in need we step forward and lend what aid we can. We might lend a neighbor our car or give them our daughter’s outgrown baby clothes for their new arrival. Both, whether temporary or permanent, are acts of kindness.

Need, giving, and kindness are linked together intimately by two verses: John 3:16 and Titus 3:4. The first verse we know well: God saw our need and gave us His Son as the remedy. But in the second verse, God’s Son is actually referred to as “the kindness . . . of God.” Jesus appearing on earth was not only evidence of kindness, He was kindness itself; He was kindness incarnate. Instead of judging the earth, God sent kindness Himself to earth to save us. In a day when it appears there is little kindness on earth, it is good to remember that God’s love was demonstrated by kindness. Not the kindness of His Son, but the kindness which is His Son.

Think of ways you can be kindness to someone in need today. You can appear in their life as kindness incarnate.

Kindness is a grace that all can understand. J. C. Ryle


Two Portraits

Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. John 16:22

Clutching two framed photographs, the proud grandmother showed them to friends in the church foyer. The first picture was of her daughter back in her homeland of Burundi. The second was of her grandson, born recently to that daughter. But the daughter wasn’t holding her newborn. She had died giving birth to him.

A friend approached and looked at the pictures. Reflexively, she reached up and held that dear grandmother’s face in her hands. All she could say through her own tears was, “I know. I know.”

When we put our cares into His hands, He puts His peace into our hearts.

And she did know. Two months earlier she had buried a son.

There’s something special about the comfort of others who have experienced our pain. They know. Just before Jesus’s arrest, He warned His disciples, “You will weep and mourn while the world rejoices.” But in the next breath He comforted them: “You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy” (John 16:20). In mere hours, the disciples would be devastated by Jesus’s arrest and crucifixion. But their crushing grief soon turned to a joy they could not have imagined when they saw Him alive again.

Isaiah prophesied of the Messiah, “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering” (Isa. 53:4). We have a Savior who doesn’t merely know about our pain; He lived it. He knows. He cares. One day our grief will be turned into joy.

Lord, thank You for going to the cross for us. We certainly know trouble in this world, but You overcame the world and took our sin and pain for us. We look forward to the day when our sorrows will be turned into joy and we see You face to face.

When we put our cares into His hands, He puts His peace into our hearts.

INSIGHT:It was necessary for Jesus, who is fully God, to be made in every respect like us—fully human—so that He could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Only by becoming a human being could He die, and only by dying could He break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. While on earth, the Lord Jesus “walked in our shoes” and, therefore, He fully knows and understands us. We are now to walk in His “shoes” and imitate His example of compassion and care. “In your relationships with one another,” Paul tells us, “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). How can you bring comfort to others today by walking in Jesus’s shoes?

 

Facing Your Fears

Psalm 91:1-16

Fear creeps into our life and wraps itself around our mind and heart. This can happen so subtly that we don’t recognize how anxiety has affected our decision making, our health, and our spirit. Ultimately, many people miss God’s best because apprehension keeps them from stepping out in faith to do His will.

The fear may seem unimportant at first, but left unchecked, it begins to interfere with our life. Physically, we may experience tension that keeps us from relaxing and enjoying the day’s pleasures. Anxiety can lead to health problems, especially if it is constant. Mentally, our mind may be clouded by fear, which can limit what we are willing to think about and consider. If that should happen, our dreams and creativity will almost certainly be stifled.

But the mental paralysis that often accompanies unchecked fear is most dangerous to our spiritual life. Unless it is entrusted to God, a single fear can easily rule over us, coloring our attitude with a general sense of disquiet. We become indecisive, worried that we will make the wrong choice. So we are trapped, trying to avoid anything that might make us anxious. Consequently, we stop growing as Christians and are usually hindered in our work and family life, too.

If you allow yourself to be paralyzed by worry, you cannot be placing complete trust in God and following Him wholeheartedly. Make an honest assessment of your life, and ask the Lord to reveal places where fear is holding you back.

Exhorting One Another

“But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:13)

The fascinating word rendered “exhort” (Greek para-kaleo) in our text verse, elsewhere translated “comfort,” “beseech,” etc., literally means “call alongside.”

For example, note 2 Corinthians 1:4: “[God] comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” Also look at Paul’s appeal to Philemon: “I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds” (Philemon 1:10). Such words as “desire,” “entreat,” and “pray” are also used.

The unusual importance of the word is pointed up by the fact that its noun form (parakletos) is used as one of the titles of God the Holy Spirit. Jesus said: “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” (John 15:26).

Thus, a Christian who is “called alongside” to comfort a sorrowing friend, to beseech a person to do right, or to exhort him to useful action all in the name of Christ, is in effect performing the same type of service on the human level that the Holy Spirit Himself performs on the divine level. Further, our text would inform us that this type of service—whether done in the context of exhorting or comforting or beseeching—is designed specifically to prevent the one to whom he is “called alongside” from being “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” And since this is a moment-by-moment danger to the unwary, the ministry of exhortation (or comforting or entreating, as the need may be) is one which must be performed “daily, while it is called To day.” HMM

“We are not ignorant of Satan’s devices.”

Job 1:1-12

It is the general opinion that Job flourished at some time between the age of Abraham and the time of Moses. It is probable that Moses wrote the sacred poem which records the discussion between Job and his friends. We shall therefore, in this place, consider his history, and gather a few gems from the remarkable book which bears his name.

Job 1:1

he was but a plain “man” and not a noble, yet was he more noble than the nobles of his time.

His character is given him by infallible inspiration, and surely no man could win a better. His life was well balanced and displayed all the virtues, both towards God and towards man.

Job 1:2-3

So that a rich man may be a good man, and though “gold and the gospel seldom do agree,” yet it may happen that a man of substance may also have substance in heaven. Job was gracious in prosperity, and therefore was sustained in adversity.

Job 1:4

Probably they celebrated their birthdays in this happy and united manner. It is a great happiness to see brothers and sisters knit together in love.

Job 1:5

He did not forbid their festivals, for they were not in themselves sinful, but knowing how prone men are to forget their God, if not themselves, when in the house of feasting, he was anxious to remove any spot which might remain. It is to be feared that few parents are as careful as Job was in this matter.

Job 1:6

To do this he need not be in heaven. God’s assembly room includes all space. What impudence it was on Satan’s part to come before God! What equal impudence when hypocrites pretend to worship the Most High.

Job 1:7

He is a busy itinerant. He is never idle.

Job 1:8

Satan reflects carefully and acts craftily. He had “considered” Job, and watched him narrowly.

Job 1:10

And why not? If Job had been poor and wretched, Satan would have said that the Lord paid his servants wretched wages.

Job 1:11

A cruel insinuation, but Satan was measuring Job’s corn with his own bushel.

Job 1:12

The Lord intended to glorify himself, to further perfect the character of Job, and to furnish his church with a grand example. Hence his challenge to the arch-enemy. Satan went off upon his errand willingly enough, but he little dreamed of the defeat which awaited him.

 

Hast Thou protected me thus far,

To leave me in this dangerous hour?

Shall Satan be allow’d to mar

Thy work, or to resist Thy power?

 

Oh never wilt Thou leave the soul

That flies for refuge to Thy breast!

Thy love, which once hath made me whole,

Shall guide me to eternal rest.

 

‘Filthy Stinking Rich!’

1 Corinthians 1:5, 6

My dictionary says that the word “rich” means to have goods, property, and money in abundance; to have possession of abundant resource, material goods, and significant wealth; to have more than enough to gratify one’s normal needs or desires.

Who wouldn’t enjoy being “rich” enough to satisfy his own needs and desires? Who wouldn’t like to have so much wealth that he could give large amounts of money and special gifts to family, friends, and loved ones? What person wouldn’t enjoy being able to financially help someone who has suffered due to difficult circumstances?

The dream of being “rich” has consumed human beings since the very beginning of man’s life on this earth. In fact, this insatiable desire and voracious appetite for wealth has driven both men and nations to lie, to steal, to fight, and even to murder and kill. However, if you are a child of God, you don’t have to lie, steal, fight, murder, or kill to be rich! You are already “rich” beyond your wildest imagination! Even though you may not have tapped into your riches yet, those resources are nonetheless at your disposal—and they will make you feel like you’re filthy stinking rich!

The apostle Paul told the Corinthians about these riches when he wrote, “… In every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you” (1 Corinthians 1:5, 6). The word “enriched” is the Greek word plousios, which describes extreme or vast material wealth. In fact, the word plousios is where we get the term “plutocrat,” referring to a person who is so prosperous that he is unable to ascertain the full extent of his own wealth. Because his investments, his companies, and the percentage of interest he earns on his portfolio all grow so rapidly, it is impossible for his accountants and bookkeepers to keep track of how much wealth he actually possesses.

Can you imagine being so rich that no one can figure out how much you own or control? Well, that is the description of a plutocrat”!

Now Paul uses this same word plousios in First Corinthians 1:5 when he says we are “enriched by him….” The Greek word for “by” in this verse is the word en; and in this verse, it can be translated either in him or by him. This conveys two very powerful truths to you and me:

  1. The day we were born again and placed into Jesus Christ was the richest day of our lives. On that day, we literally became joint heirs with Jesus Christ, with a legal right to all the promises of God! Indeed, that was a rich day for all of us! In light of this, First Corinthians 1:5 could be interpreted, “… We were made rich the day we were placed into Him….”
  2. But the Greek word en could also emphasize the point that just as we were enriched the day we got saved, this enrichment process continues throughout our lives as we walk with God. The verse could thus be interpreted, “… We are continually being enriched as a result of being in Him….”

 

Because the word plousios is used, this verse conveys the following idea:

“… You are invested with great spiritual riches because you are in Him, and that’s not all! The longer you remain in Him, you just keep getting blessed with more and more wealth that comes from being in Him.”

Of course, Paul is talking about spiritual riches, not worldly riches. As time progressed, the word plousios came to depict riches in a more general sense, including the riches of honor, wisdom, mercy, and so on. First Corinthians 1:5 uses the word plousios to happily proclaim that the Corinthian church was “enriched” with gifts of the Spirit, such as the gifts of utterance and knowledge: the word of knowledge, the word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, prophecy, tongues, and interpretation of tongues.

The church of Corinth was loaded with these kinds of spiritual gifts. In fact, these gifts were in such mighty manifestation in Corinth that Paul had to write and tell them how to administrate such a huge abundance of spiritual gifts (see 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14). It appears that the Corinthian believers had more of these gifts in manifestation than any other church of that time. In a real sense, they were extremely wealthy in spiritual manifestations that had come to them as a result of being in Christ.

The Corinthians had been enriched when they first came to Christ, becoming joint heirs with Jesus Christ and inheritors of the promises of God. But by remaining in Jesus, they were constantly made richer and richer as the gifts of the Spirit began to operate mightily among them.

In the same way, the gifts of the Spirit bring spiritual riches into our lives. In fact, the more these gifts operate, the richer we become spiritually!

So don’t settle for spiritual poverty. You have every right to expect an abundance of manifested promises, power, and spiritual gifts in your life. These spiritual riches are yours by virtue of your relationship with Jesus. The day you were placed in Him, they legally became yours! In God’s eyes, you are a spiritual plutocrat— so loaded with spiritual assets and treasures that you’ll never be able to fully explore or exhaust all of them in your lifetime!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I’m so glad You saved and delivered me from the life I used to lead. Thank You for making me a joint heir with Jesus and for allowing me to have access to the riches of Heaven! I ask You to forgive me for the times I’ve lived so far below what You provided for me. I sincerely ask You to help me explore the spiritual riches I possess. Help me to release those riches so my own life can be enriched and so You can use me to enrich the lives of people around me.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I boldly declare that the day I was born again and placed into Jesus Christ was the richest day of my life. On that day, I literally became a joint heir with Jesus Christ and obtained the legal right to claim all the promises of God! From that day until now, I have been constantly enriched by His Presence in my life. I no longer have to settle for spiritual poverty, because I have every right to expect an abundance of manifested promises, power, and spiritual gifts in my life. I possess more spiritual treasure than I’ll ever be able to explore or fully exhaust!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Do you see yourself as spiritually rich or spiritually poor?
  2. What spiritual gifts operate in your life, and how have they enriched you and others?
  3. Have you been hungering for and seeking God concerning the spiritual gifts He desires for you to operate in (1 Corinthians 14:1)?

 

The Nails Of The Cross

All of us carry the nails of the cross in our pocket,” wrote Martin Luther.

 

How easily we crucify Him!

  • By subtly moving Him to the peripheral of our conversation when it is embarrassing to be identified with Christ.
  • By compromising His principles in business when it is to our advantage to hedge the truth.
  • By smugly taking credit for accomplishments that would have been impossible without His help.

While enjoying a warm and secure evening with Christ and the other disciples the night before the cross, Peter declares, “Lord, I will lay down my life for you.” In a matter of hours however, Peter distances himself from any association with Christ: Personal survival winning over telling and identifying with the Truth.

 

It is easy to promise Christ the moon when we are among His friends. The true test comes amidst times of guerrilla warfare in hostile enemy territory.

 

We would never physically crucify Christ. Of course. But how often do we subtly abandon Him when identifying with Him would jeopardize our peace, prosperity, or social standing?

 

Yes… we, like Peter, “carry the nails of the cross in our pocket.

 

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)

 

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