VIDEO Becoming the “Filth of the World” – offscouring of the world

These words are not an exaggeration. The only reason they may not be true of us who call ourselves ministers of the gospel is not that Paul forgot or misunderstood the exact truth of them, but that we are too cautious and concerned about our own desires to allow ourselves to become the refuse or “filth of the world.” “Fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ…” (Colossians 1:24) is not the result of the holiness of sanctification, but the evidence of consecration— being “separated to the gospel of God…” (Romans 1:1).

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you…” (1 Peter 4:12). If we do think the things we encounter are strange, it is because we are fearful and cowardly. We pay such close attention to our own interests and desires that we stay out of the mire and say, “I won’t submit; I won’t bow or bend.” And you don’t have to— you can be saved by the “skin of your teeth” if you like. You can refuse to let God count you as one who is “separated to the gospel….” Or you can say, “I don’t care if I am treated like ‘the filth of the world’ as long as the gospel is proclaimed.” A true servant of Jesus Christ is one who is willing to experience martyrdom for the reality of the gospel of God. When a moral person is confronted with contempt, immorality, disloyalty, or dishonesty, he is so repulsed by the offense that he turns away and in despair closes his heart to the offender. But the miracle of the redemptive reality of God is that the worst and the vilest offender can never exhaust the depths of His love. Paul did not say that God separated him to show what a wonderful man He could make of him, but “to reveal His Son in me…” (Galatians 1:16).

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

For the past three hundred years men have been pointing out how similar Jesus Christ’s teachings are to other good teachings. We have to remember that Christianity, if it is not a supernatural miracle, is a sham.  The Highest Good, 548 L


Christians – seen as the filth and offscouring of the world

Mar 4, 2014

My thoughts on the contemporary application of 1 Cor. 4:12-13 “And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; [13] being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.”

 

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Listening to His Voice

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27 nkjv

I’m hard of hearing—“deaf in one ear and can’t hear out of the other,” as my father used to say. So I wear a set of hearing aids.

Most of the time the devices work well, except in environments where there’s a lot of surrounding noise. In those settings, my hearing aids pick up every voice in the room and I cannot hear the person in front of me.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27

So it is with our culture: a cacophony of sounds can drown out God’s quiet voice. “Where shall the Word be found, where will the Word resound?” poet T.S. Eliot asks. “Not here, there is not enough silence.”

Fortunately, my hearing aids have a setting that cuts out the surrounding sounds and enables me to hear only the voices I want to hear. In the same way, despite the voices around us, if we quiet our souls and listen, we will hear God’s “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11–12 nkjv).

He speaks to us every day, summoning us in our restlessness and our longing. He calls to us in our deepest sorrow and in the incompleteness and dissatisfaction of our greatest joys.

But primarily God speaks to us in His Word (1 Thessalonians 2:13). As you pick up His book and read it, you too will hear His voice. He loves you more than you can ever know, and He wants you to hear what He has to say.

Dear Lord, thank You for giving us Your Word. Help me to listen to Your voice as I spend time alone with You.

God speaks through His Word when we take time to listen.

By David H. Roper 

INSIGHT

Throughout the Scriptures, God used a variety of ways to speak to people. Sometimes, God spoke audibly (Abraham, Moses). Sometimes, He communicated by way of dreams (Joseph, Nebuchadnezzar). At other times, God gave His message through prophets (Samuel, Ezekiel). Occasionally, God even sent His message by way of angels, which means “messengers,” as He did with Mary and Joseph.

No wonder the writer of the letter to the Hebrews said, “God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways” (1:1). However, God’s greatest means of expressing His heart to people was His Son, as verse 2 states: “In these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.” That explains why John opened his gospel by describing Jesus as the Word (the Logos) who “became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). Jesus—the living Word—is God’s ultimate message of love to us! And He is revealed to us in the Scriptures—the written Word.

For more on Jesus as the living Word, check out the conversations from Discover the Word at discovertheword.org/the-living-word.

A Divine Guarantee

Matthew 6:31-34

Today’s passage contains one of the most amazing promises in all of Scripture. If we truly believed it and lived accordingly, our lives would be transformed, and worry would lose its grip on us. Yet if we keep seeking our security in the things the world values—bank accounts, stable jobs, and a strong national and global economy—we will be filled with anxiety at every fluctuation.

Instead, why not take God up on His guarantee in Matthew 6:33? Make Him your number one priority, seeking both His kingdom (His rule over you) and His righteousness (His transformation of you). What that means is obeying His instructions and submitting to whatever He uses to transform your character, whether it be hardship, suffering, or ease. What I’m talking about is not a sinless life but, rather, the desire to live in God’s will and become increasingly like Christ.

When we make a commitment toward that goal, the Lord promises to take full responsibility for providing whatever we need. Now, this doesn’t mean He will give us everything we ask for, but aren’t you grateful that He doesn’t? Just think back to some of the foolish things you’ve requested in the past. He alone knows what our true needs are.

God has a plan for each believer’s life, and the spiritual benefits of living in His will are amazing. But our loving Father doesn’t stop there—He promises to provide for our physical needs as well. So even though each day will have its own trouble (Matt. 6:34), you can rest in the faithfulness of the heavenly Father and trust Him to keep His Word.

From Darkness to Light

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.” (Genesis 1:3-4)

The initial aspect of God’s newly created world was one of darkness in the presence of the all-pervading waters. Since “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5), the darkness had to be specially created (Isaiah 45:7) before God could then call for the light to appear in the darkness.

This would later serve as a striking picture of the entrance of light into the darkness of a soul born in sin. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). The light enters our soul by His Word. “The entrance of thy words giveth light” (Psalm 119:130).

This great theme, contrasting the darkness of the soul without Christ to the glorious light He brings when that soul receives Him by faith, is found often in Scripture. “[Christ] hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9). “The darkness is past, and the true light now shineth” (1 John 2:8). Jesus even called Himself that true light that divided the light from the darkness. “I am the light of the world,” He claimed. “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

And because we have received the true light, we should henceforth live in the light of His truth. “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). “Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light” (Romans 13:12). God’s light is good. In the Holy City, “there shall be no night there” (Revelation 22:5). HMM

With great mercies will I gather thee

Jeremiah 25:1-14

Let us now read that famous prophecy of Jeremiah in which a period of seventy years was indicated as the time of the captivity in Babylon.

Jeremiah 25:1-3

It is a great grief to a minister when his earnestness is disregarded, and men still turn a deaf ear to his appeals. This is, moreover, a great aggravation of sin; for every rejected reproof adds a new degree of sinfulness to transgression. Are any of our household resisting the voice of God, and sinning against light and knowledge? If so, may the Lord turn them by his grace.

Jeremiah 25:4

When parents, teachers, brothers, and sisters have spoken to us, and we remain hardened, we have much to answer for.

Jeremiah 25:5-7

Wrong-doing always hurts those who are guilty of it. Every man who sins is an enemy to himself.

Jeremiah 25:8, 9

The Medes and other northern people were confederate with Babylon, and by their ferocious destructiveness turned Judea into a desert, and made its cities heaps of ruins.

Jeremiah 25:10

The houses which remained standing were uninhabited; in the morning no grinding of the handmill proclaimed the preparation of the early meal, and in the evening no night lamp was lit at the time when labour ends. Destruction reigned supreme.

Jeremiah 25:11-14

Seventy years Judah must be captive, the exact amount of the Sabbaths of the 490 years from the reign of Saul to the captivity, and therefore a most righteous retribution for violated Sabbaths. God’s judgments are by rule and measure, but his mercy knows no bounds. To Babylon judgment came more terribly than to Judah, according to the spirit of that text: “If judgment begin at the house of God, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” Judah rose again, but Babylon never; the Lord utterly consumed the rod with which he had so sorely smitten his chosen nation. Lord, when thou dost chasten us, deal with us as with sons, and not as thou dost with aliens and enemies.

 

Jesus Is Both Lord and Christ

God hath made this same Jesus… both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:36)

No Christian believer should ever forget what the Bible says about the Person and the offices of the eternal Son, the Christ of God.

“God hath made this same Jesus whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). Jesus means Savior; Lord means Sovereign; Christ means Anointed One.

The Apostle Peter did not proclaim Jesus only as Savior—he preached to them Jesus as Lord and Christ and Savior, never dividing His Person or His offices.

Remember, also, the declaration of Paul: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, thou shalt be saved.”

Three times in the passage to the Roman Christians telling how to be saved, Paul calls Jesus “Lord.” He says that faith in the Lord Jesus plus confession of that faith to the world brings salvation to us!

 

Justice Satisfied

When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” Exod. 12:13

My own sight of the precious blood is for my comfort; but it is the Lord’s sight of it which secures my safety. Even when I am unable to behold it, the Lord looks at it, and passes over me because of it. If I am not so much at ease as I ought to be, because my faith is dim, yet I am equally safe, because the Lord’s eye is not dim, and He sees the blood of the great Sacrifice with steady gaze. What a joy is this!

The Lord sees the deep inner meaning, the infinite fullness of all that is meant by the death of His dear Son. He sees it with restful memory of justice satisfied, and all His matchless attributes glorified. He beheld creation in its progress, and said, “It is very good”; but what does He say of redemption in its completeness? What does He say of the obedience even unto death of His Well-beloved Son? None can tell His delight in Jesus, His rest in the sweet savor which Jesus presented when He offered Himself without spot unto God.

Now rest we in calm security. We have God’s Sacrifice and God’s Word to create in us a sense of perfect security. He will, He must, pass over us, because He spared not our glorious Substitute. Justice joins hands with love to provide everlasting salvation for all the blood-besprinkled ones.

 

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