VIDEO The Servant’s Primary Goal

The Servant’s Primary Goal

We make it our aim…to be well pleasing to Him. —2 Corinthians 5:9

“We make it our aim….” It requires a conscious decision and effort to keep our primary goal constantly in front of us. It means holding ourselves to the highest priority year in and year out; not making our first priority to win souls, or to establish churches, or to have revivals, but seeking only “to be well pleasing to Him.” It is not a lack of spiritual experience that leads to failure, but a lack of working to keep our eyes focused and on the right goal. At least once a week examine yourself before God to see if your life is measuring up to the standard He has for you. Paul was like a musician who gives no thought to audience approval, if he can only catch a look of approval from his Conductor.

Any goal we have that diverts us even to the slightest degree from the central goal of being “approved to God” (2 Timothy 2:15) may result in our rejection from further service for Him. When you discern where the goal leads, you will understand why it is so necessary to keep “looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2). Paul spoke of the importance of controlling his own body so that it would not take him in the wrong direction. He said, “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest…I myself should become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27).

I must learn to relate everything to the primary goal, maintaining it without interruption. My worth to God publicly is measured by what I really am in my private life. Is my primary goal in life to please Him and to be acceptable to Him, or is it something less, no matter how lofty it may sound?

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

Am I getting nobler, better, more helpful, more humble, as I get older? Am I exhibiting the life that men take knowledge of as having been with Jesus, or am I getting more self-assertive, more deliberately determined to have my own way? It is a great thing to tell yourself the truth. The Place of Help


The Servant Song

 

Paradigm Shift

Now when [Jesus] had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” John 11:43

A paradigm shift happens when a long-held pattern, model, or worldview is changed—something new happens that alters the way we look at life. A paradigm shift occurred in the three years of Jesus’ ministry on earth. Prior to Jesus, the pattern was that dead people remain dead. But three times in three years, Jesus brought dead people back to life. They were raised to life, not resurrected; that is, they ultimately died again. But Jesus established a new model for viewing life: Death is not an unconquerable enemy (Hebrews 2:15).

We talk the most about Jesus’ Resurrection, but we should not miss the significance of the three raisings-from-the-dead Jesus accomplished. Imagine what people of that day must have thought: dead people coming back to life! It was a signal that the kingdom of heaven Jesus was preaching about was a kingdom of power and compassion. It was a signal that death, life’s greatest threat, is subject to the power of the Son of God.

We live in the age of the new paradigm—life in Christ is not ruled by death. The new life we have in Christ can be canceled by nothing (Romans 8:35-39).

Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave it with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.  C. S. Lewis

My Assurance: God Is Still in Control

Jeremiah 32:17

During one of the most trying seasons of my life, I would sit by the fire with a dear friend and pour out my heart to him. Since this man was a good listener, he could sense when I felt discouraged, and he would remind me that the Lord is in control. This truth became an anchor in my life—no matter how much the adversity intensified, I found solace in knowing that my heavenly Father is sovereign.

The Lord has supreme and absolute rule, control, and authority over the universe and everything in it. The Scriptures state that there is “one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph. 4:6).

Consider the assurances that this truth provides for believers. First, if God created everything and has complete power over all, then nothing can happen apart from His direction and permission. Second, we know from the Bible that He is intimately involved in our personal lives and cares about the details of each day. Third, Romans 8:28 guarantees that He makes something beautiful for His children in every circumstance—even in situations that seem painful and wrong. If our loving Father protects us in this way, we can experience peace in the present and confidence about the future.

In painful times, how do you view the Lord? Especially during hardships and heartbreak, it’s important to remember that He is in control. Focusing on His sovereignty will give you the confidence to carry on. Reread today’s passage, and spend time meditating on the power, love, and ability of your heavenly Father.

Yes, I Come Quickly

“He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20)

This is the next-to-the-last verse in the Bible, and it contains the last promise in the Bible. The final promise of the Lord is that He would come back to Earth again “quickly,” but it has been almost 2,000 years since He made the promise, and He hasn’t come yet. Evidently, the word “quickly,” as He used it, did not mean “immediately.”

As a matter of fact, this promise appears no less than six times here in Revelation (Revelation 2:5, 16; 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20). The first three are in Christ’s messages to the churches at Ephesus, Pergamos, and Philadelphia, respectively. The last three are in His final message to all churches (Revelation 22:16).

The Lord Jesus has not forgotten His promise, for “all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us” (2 Corinthians 1:20). Furthermore, many spiritual believers in every previous generation have been looking for His coming “quickly,” as He promised, yet they all have died before its fulfillment.

It seems evident that “quickly” must be understood in the sense of “suddenly.” It may well be “in such an hour as ye think not” (Matthew 24:44), and it will occur “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52) when it happens. It does seem that all the signs of the nearness of His sudden coming are being fulfilled today, except perhaps one. “And the gospel must first be published among all nations” (Mark 13:10) “for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14).

Even this is now being done, it seems. In any case, it is vitally important that we “abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we . . . not be ashamed before him at his coming” (1 John 2:28). “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” HMM

Lo, this is our God, we have waited for Him

Luke 2:21, 22, 24-38

Luke 2:21

Jesus signifies “Jehovah the Saviour,” and is the most melodious of all names in the ears of penitent sinners.

Luke 2:22, 24

Our Lord having placed himself, for our sakes, under the law, was obedient to it in all points, thus fulfilling all righteousness on our behalf. The poverty of his parents is showed by their presenting the second poorest offering accepted by the law; there was one offering poorer still, but they were not in abject poverty, that worst distress was reserved for Jesus in his after years, when he would not have where to lay his head. Though he was rich, for our sakes he became poor.

Luke 2:25

He was just before men and devout towards God, and his faith looked steadily forward for the coming of the Messiah, whom those who believingly searched the Scriptures were daily expecting.

Luke 2:35

The highly-favoured mother had to endure unusually sharp and killing griefs as she saw the sorrows and the death of her blameless son.

Luke 2:37

Having lost her husband for eighty-four years, she had devoted herself to the continual worship of God, and had, no doubt, as a prophetess, been spiritually useful to many. Women are much more honoured under the gospel than under the law. It was meet that two of the first witnesses to our Lord should be an aged man and a venerable woman.

Luke 2:38

O for grace to embrace Jesus, to love Jesus, to testify to Jesus, and to be so joyful in Jesus that we may be willing, like Simeon, to die, or, like Anna, to speak of him to all around!

 

Saints, before the altar bending,

Waiting long with hope and fear,

Suddenly the Lord descending

In his temple shall appear;

 

Come and worship,

Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Sinners, wrung with true repentance,

Doom’d for guilt to endless pains,

 

Justice now repeals the sentence,

Mercy calls you—break your chains;

Come and worship,

Worship Christ, the newborn King.

 

Worldly “Virus”

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour… be put away from you. (Ephesians 4:31)

As Christian believers, we must stand together against some things. So, if you hear anyone saying that A.W. Tozer preaches a good deal that is negative, just smile and agree: “That is because he preaches the Bible!”

Here are some of the things we oppose: we are against the many modern idols that have been allowed to creep into the churches; we are against the “unauthorized fire” that is being offered on the altars of the Lord; we are against the modern gods that are being adopted in our sanctuaries.

We are against the world’s ways and its false values. We are against the world’s follies and its vain pleasures. We are against this world’s greed and sinful ambitions. We are against this world’s vices and its carnal habits.

We believe this spells out clearly the Bible truth of separation. God asks us to stand boldly against anything or anyone who hurts or hinders this New Testament body of Christians. Where the church is not healed it will wither. The Word of God is the antibiotic that alone can destroy the virus that would plague the life of the church!

 

Drawing Near to God

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” James 4:8

The nearer we come to God, the more graciously will He reveal Himself to us. When the prodigal comes to his father, his father runs to meet him. When the wandering dove returns to the ark, Noah puts out his hand to pull her in unto him. When the tender wife seeks her husband’s society, he comes to her on wings of love. Come then, dear friend, let us draw nigh to God who so graciously awaits us, yea, comes to meet us.

Did you ever notice that passage in Isaiah 58:9? There the Lord seems to put Himself at the disposal of His people, saying to them, “Here I am.” As much as to say — “What have you to say to me? What can I do for you? I am waiting to bless you. How can we hesitate to draw near? God is nigh to forgive, to bless, to comfort, to help, to quicken, to deliver. Let it be the main point with us to get near to God. This done, all is done. If we draw near to others, they may before long grow weary of us and leave us; but if we seek the Lord alone, no change will come over His mind, but He will continue to come nearer and yet nearer to us by fuller and more joyful fellowship.

 

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