VIDEO Touch of the Master’s Hand

Jan 22, 2011

A magnificent motion picture based on a true story. Old John was a truly God-fearing man, a good influence for any boy. Bates the butler envisioned falling heir to some of Lord Asbury’s estate. However Lord Asbury’s death caused a succession of unanticipated events which bring the movie to a stunning climax, Running Time 65 minutes. An Evangelical Outreach Ltd Production, Released by Ken Anderson Films. Copyright Approved.

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The Father’s Mercy

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14

When a teenager defiantly says “No!” to his parent, the result will be discipline. But when that teen’s two-year-old sister says “No!” the consequences will be different. Instead of discipline, the two-year-old will receive patient correction and instruction; she will be taught to learn respect for her parents—something a teenager should already know. In other words, there is a difference in accountability between a child and an adult.

In the same way, God judges a child differently than He judges an adult—or anyone who has reached an age of accountability, knowing right from wrong. For that reason, God welcomes into His kingdom children who die without an opportunity to understand their need for a Savior. Psalm 86:15 says that God is “full of compassion, and … abundant in mercy and truth.” And Psalm 145:9 says that His “tender mercies are over all His works.” And Jesus clearly taught the principle of proportionality in Luke 12:47-48.

When a child is lost, we have the comfort of knowing that child is with God—who lovingly extends His abundant mercy and compassion to the child and to the parents.

The name Jehovah carries majesty in it; the name Father carries mercy in it.  Thomas Watson

The Privilege of Knowing God

Psalm 19:1-6

There is no greater privilege than knowing God—and no greater tragedy than failing to develop a relationship with Him. Yet many people live their entire life apart from Jesus, and therefore, when they die, they are separated from Him eternally.

While on earth, both the righteous and unrighteous enjoy benefits of divine blessing (Matt. 5:45), so those who choose to live without Christ probably have no clue how dreadful a godless eternity will be. Some people seem to ignore the Bible’s warnings about “outer darkness,” “weeping,” and “gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 25:30). Or perhaps they’ve simply never heard the good news of salvation. Yet Romans 1:18-20 tells why such an excuse won’t hold up: Creation offers so much evidence of God that man is held accountable for unbelief. Consider nature’s design, beauty, and order—these things don’t just evolve.

Furthermore, God reveals Himself in the human conscience (Rom. 2:14-15). Even societies with no access to Scripture forbid ungodly behaviors like rape, murder, and theft. And as if all that weren’t enough, we also have God’s revelation of Himself through both His Word and the incarnation of Jesus (John 14:7-9). Christ, who was fully God, became fully man. His life perfectly demonstrates the heavenly Father’s character and heart.

Can you recognize evidence of the Almighty in creation and in the “law” written on your conscience? Do you seek to know Him better through His Word and the example of Christ? The Lord desires a relationship with you and is calling. Answer with a seeking heart, and watch for God to show up.

The Arm of the Lord

“The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” (Isaiah 52:10)

The human arm is often used in the Bible to symbolize spiritual strength or power. The word is first used in Jacob’s dying prophecy concerning his beloved son Joseph: “But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob” (Genesis 49:24).

The source of all true strength is in the mighty God, so it is not surprising to find at least 40 biblical references to the Lord’s powerful “arm” or “arms.” One of the most striking is our text, promising that when God “bares his arm” for His great work of delivering the lost world from its bondage to Satan and sin and death, then the whole world will see His salvation (literally His “Jesus”).

In a real sense, therefore, “the arm of the Lord” is none other than Jesus Christ. When He came into His world, however, the world refused Him. Just a few verses later, introducing the incomparable 53rd chapter of Isaiah, appears this tragic question: “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1).

Nevertheless, some believed, and the first was His own mother. In her “Magnificat,” spoken in faith before Jesus was born, Mary said, “God my Saviour . . . hath shewed strength with his arm” (Luke 1:47, 51). This confession of faith is the first use of “arm” in the New Testament and again refers to the saving arm of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Finally, His arm is not only mighty to save, but also secure to hold: “His arm shall rule for him. . . . He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom” (Isaiah 40:10-11). HMM

“Charity never faileth.”

1 Corinthians 13

Let us for our instruction read Paul’s description of holy love, which is so excellent a grace as to be absolutely essential to the Christian character.

1 Corinthian 13:1

Eloquence of the most lofty kind is mere sound, unless there be love in the speaker’s heart to give weight to his words. Better to have a loving heart than to speak twenty languages.

1 Corinthian 13:2

Gifts may be plentiful, and those of the highest order, and yet we may perish; grace in the heart is the only sure evidence of salvation. A man may prophesy and be a Balaam, he may understand mysteries and be a Simon Magus, he may have all knowledge and perish like Ahithophel, and he may have a mountain-moving faith, and be a son of perdition like Judas. Love to God and man there must be, or we have nothing good in us.

1 Corinthian 13:3

Men may endow the poor with all their substance out of mere ostentation, or die as martyrs out of sheer obstinacy, but if they have no love to God they have suffered in vain. Love is an essential grace, it is the soul of godliness, and without it religion is but a dead carcase.

1 Corinthian 13:4

It is glad of another’s good.

1 Corinthian 13:4

It never glorifies itself.

1 Corinthian 13:4

It hates flattery.

1 Corinthian 13:5

Christian love conducts itself properly. Love to others will not allow us to act in a manner unbecoming our position and the decencies of society.

1 Corinthian 13:4

Is not suspicious and captious.

1 Corinthian 13:6, 7

Covers many things with its mantle, and as Old Master Trapp says, “swallows down whole many pills which would be very bitter in her mouth if she were so foolish as to chew them.”

That is to say, all things which are for a neighbours credit; trying to put a good construction upon everything, even where it needs great faith to be able to do so.

1 Corinthian 13:8, 9

It is an unwithering flower.

1 Corinthian 13:8, 9

Our greatest knowledge is to know that we know nothing. We are but scholars in the lower forms of Christ’s College.

1 Corinthian 13:10-12

He shews that our best intellectual attainments here below, even in heavenly things, must be necessarily temporary, and thus he leads us to prize those choice graces of the heart which will outlast time, and be perfected in eternity.

1 Corinthian 13:13

It is not true that faith and hope will cease any more than love. The three divine sisters are each immortal. We shall trust the Lord all the more when we meet him face to face, and we shall hope all the more ardently for the continued enjoyment of his glory when we enter into it. Still love bears the palm, may we be made perfect in it.

 

Had I the tongues of Greeks and Jews,

And nobler speech than angels use.

If love be absent, I am found

Like tinkling brass, an empty sound.

 

Should I distribute all my store,

To feed the bowels of the poor,

Or give my body to the flame,

To gain a martyr’s glorious name:

 

If love to God and love to men

Be absent, all my hopes are vain;

Nor tongues, nor gifts, nor fiery zeal,

The work of love can e’er fulfil.

 

Gird Up the Loins of Your Mind!

1 Peter 1:13

Today I want to draw your attention to the phrase “gird up the loins of your mind” that is used in the verse above. This isn’t just an interesting phrase that Peter concocted when he wrote this verse. It is an extremely powerful and graphic picture that expresses something very important that you and I need to understand and apply in our lives!

This phrase “gird up the loins” comes from the Greek word anadzonnumi. This word was used to describe Orientals who wore long robes. Before taking a long journey or before running in a race, they would gather up their loose robes and tuck them up under their girdle.

Most frequently this word would be used to depict a runner who was running a race. To run freely and without hindrance, he would reach down to gather the long, dangling ends of his garments and then tuck them up under his belt. With the loose ends out of the way, he could then run freely and without distraction.

But the runner would get in trouble if he ever allowed his garments to fall down and become entangled in his legs. Even though he may have been picking up his stride and running a good race up to that point, the encumbrance of dangling, loosely hanging clothes would hinder his steps. And allowing those loose ends to keep dangling would have been a sure way to lose the race!

But notice that Peter is not talking about a garment made of material; he is referring to the loins of our minds. You see, Peter is telling us that if we don’t:

  • deal with the loose ends that exist in our minds and emotions;
  • correct those parts of our thinking that we know are wrong;
  • grab hold of all those dangling areas in our thinking and put them out of the way;
  • and remove them by the authority of the Word of God—
  • then we are choosing to permit things to exist in our lives that will hinder our steps and slow us down in our race and in our ability to successfully walk with God!

If we want to be successful in our spiritual lives and truly walk with God, then we must start by dealing with the “loins of our minds.” In other words, we must seek to deal with all the loose ends in our thinking that haven’t yet been submitted to the Word of God or surrendered to the Holy Spirit’s power.

If we deliberately allow wrong thinking and wrong believing to continue in our lives, we are making the same kind of mistake the runner does who deliberately allows his garment to hang down and get caught in his legs. This is why Peter admonishes us to tighten up those areas that the devil would try to grab hold of and use against us!

Are there any loose ends that you need to deal with in your life right now? If there are, I am certain you already know what those areas are! The Holy Spirit has been trying to deal with you about those areas for a long time, but have you been listening? If you continue to ignore His voice, you will pay the price of failure—of never realizing your maximum potential.

You see, God is only trying to help you when He speaks to you about the loose ends in your life. If you’re smart, you’ll stop everything you are doing to grab hold of those dangling ends and get them out of your way once and for all. Then you’ll be able to run the race set before you with no distractions!

So what are you going to do about the loose ends in your life today? If you’ll open your heart to the Holy Spirit’s help, He will assist you in identifying every area that needs your attention; then He will help you grab hold of those loose ends and move them out of your way forever!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I ask You to help me tie up the loose ends that I’ve allowed to remain in my mind and emotions. Today I am making the deliberate choice to start submitting every area of my mind and emotions to the Word of God and to the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit. Please let the power of Your Word and Spirit flow into every area of my mind and emotions, energizing them with Your Presence so that the devil can no longer access me through these areas of my life!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that my mind and emotions are submitted to and renewed by God’s Word. The devil has no access to my mind because my thought life is dominated by God’s Word and by the power of the Spirit. I think God’s thoughts, and I have the mind of Jesus Christ. Therefore, no entrance is available in my mind or emotions through which the devil can access me! I believe the truth; I think the truth; and I confess the truth about who Jesus Christ has made me to be!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. If you take an honest look at the spiritual attacks that have assaulted your life, how many of them have been a result of your failure to renew your mind or take authority over the devil’s strategies in your life? If your mind had been dominated by the Word of God and if you had been walking in the Spirit, how might the situation have turned out differently?
  2. What are you doing right now to make sure the devil can’t find access to your mind and emotions again? What practical steps are you taking to make sure that you won’t fall into that same trap the next time?
  3. If you encounter someone who is constantly being assaulted by the enemy, what preventative steps should you advise that person to take to ensure that the next demonic attack that comes against him is ineffective?

 

What Are You Becoming?

The gods we worship write their names on our faces, be sure of that. And a person will worship something, have no doubt about that either. One may think tribute is paid in secret, in the dark recesses of his or her heart, but it is not. That which dominates imagination and thoughts will determine life and character. Therefore it behooves us to be careful what we are worshipping, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.

 

For a while we may appear to defy gravity by juggling our secret inner imagination and thoughts with our external world of studied conformity to accepted norms. In fact, some of us should get an Oscar for our acting ability!

 

God cautions us however, that sooner or later, the truth will emerge: “You may be sure that your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23)

 

Either:

  • God will expose our deepest secrets:

What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” (Luke 12:3)

  • Or we will come to a point where we will tire of acting. It is then that the true life and character that has dominated our thoughts and imagination will bubble to the surface for all to see.

Perhaps that is why some older people are so unpleasant to be around. Having grown weary of acting in an “acceptable” manner, they are now reaping what they have sown these many years by allowing their true inner imagination and thoughts to find expression.

 

Dont be under any illusion: You cannot make a fool of God! A mans harvest in life will depend entirely on what he sows. If he sows for his own lower nature his harvest will be the decay and death of his own nature. If he sows for the Spirit he will reap the harvest of everlasting life by that Spirit.” (Galatians 6:7, 8 – Phillips Translation)

 

QUESTION: Just what is it that dominates your imagination and thoughts? Are you pleased with the fact that you are in the process of becoming what you have been thinking and dreaming about?