VIDEO Just Enough Light – Thy Word

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

“Tactical” flashlights are all the rage today. Those are the small, usually black, flashlights with LED bulbs that are carried by many law enforcement and military personnel—they fit easily in jacket pockets or in belt holsters. These small lights with their LED bulbs shine incredibly bright. Still, no flashlight will illuminate as much, or as far, as we would like.

Whether in daytime or nighttime, we like to see as far into the future as possible. But there is no light that will give us that kind of vision. The equivalent of modern flashlights in the biblical world was an oil lamp. They would illuminate, at best, a few feet ahead of one’s steps at night. The psalmist used an oil lamp as a metaphor for God’s Word to say that we are given as much light as we need or can use. Sometimes all we need is enough light to take just the next step—to do the next right thing. The apostle Paul called it walking by faith, not by sight.

Do you need light on your path? Turn to God’s Word for light enough to take the next step.

Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.  V. Raymond Edman


 

Amy Grant – Thy Word (Live)

God of the Depths

There is the sea, vast and spacious, . . . and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. Psalm 104:25–26

“When you go to the deep sea, every time you take a sample, you’ll find a new species,” says marine biologist Ward Appeltans. In one recent year, scientists identified 1,451 new types of undersea life. We simply don’t know the half of what’s down there.

In Job 38–40, God reviewed His creation for Job’s benefit. In three poetic chapters, God highlighted the wonders of weather, the vastness of the cosmos, and the variety of creatures in their habitats. These are things we can observe. Then God spoke of the mysterious Leviathan—for an entire chapter. Leviathan is a creature like no other, with harpoon-deflecting armor (Job 41:7, 13), graceful power (v. 12), and “fearsome teeth” (v. 14). “Flames stream from its mouth . . . smoke pours from its nostrils” (vv. 19–20). “Nothing on earth is its equal” (v. 33).

Okay, so God talks about a huge creature we haven’t seen. Is that the point of Job 41?

No! Job 41 broadens our understanding of God’s surprising character. The psalmist expanded on this when he wrote, “There is the sea, vast and spacious, . . . and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there” (Psalm 104:25–26). After the terrifying description in Job, we learn that God created a playpen for this most fearsome of all creatures. Leviathan frolics.

We have the present to explore the ocean. We’ll have eternity to explore the wonders of our magnificent, mysterious, playful God.

Our exploration of creation teaches us about the Creator.

By Tim Gustafson 

INSIGHT

To learn more about the Creator, check out christianuniversity.org/CA203.

The Coming Judgment

Acts 10:42-43

Have you ever been required to appear in court before a judge? Even if your only offense was a parking or speeding ticket, the courtroom experience can be very intimidating. Your wrong cannot be undone, and you must give an account for your actions and accept whatever consequences the judge decrees.

There will come a day when every human being will be required to stand before the Judge of the universe. At that point, there’s no turning back, no chance to start over. We will each be held accountable by almighty God for our choices and actions in this life.

If you’ve trusted in Jesus, you will appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). This isn’t a judgment of your sins, because they were judged when God’s wrath was poured out on His Son at Calvary. Since the Savior has already secured your eternal destiny, you will stand before God, clothed in Christ’s righteousness. The purpose of this judgment is evaluation of your works to determine if they are worthless or deserving of a reward.

The Great White Throne Judgment is reserved for people who have rejected Jesus as Savior (Revelation 20:11-15). The works they have done will be evaluated according to God’s record books. Since their names are not written in the book of life, their eternal destination will be the lake of fire.

Although no one can avoid being judged, the good news is that you have a choice regarding which judgment seat you will appear before. But the only time you can make that choice is in this lifetime. Once your earthly life ends, your destiny is set.

Is It Catastrophe or Cataclysm?

“[God] spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly.” (2 Peter 2:5-6)

These two verses speak graphically of two different kinds of terrible physical convulsions, both of which were divine judgments. The volcanic upheaval that sent fire from heaven pouring over the wicked cities of the plains was called an “overthrow” (Greek katastrophe, from which, obviously, we get our English word “catastrophe”). Great upheavals such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and hurricanes are rightly called catastrophes.

But such events are only local or regional in extent and occur relatively often. There was one event, however, that was unique in all history. When God brought the “flood” upon the ungodly antediluvian world, the word used to describe it was the Greek kataklusmos, and this word is never applied in Scripture to any event except the terrible Genesis Flood, when “the world that then was, being overflowed [Greek katakluzo] with water, perished” (2 Peter 3:6). From these Greek words we derive the English word “cataclysm.”

There was never any flood like this flood! It covered all the world’s mountains, and everything on the land died, leaving great fossil deposits and great beds of lithified sediments all over the world.

There has been only one worldwide cataclysm in the past, but another is coming—global fire instead of global water. Jesus said, “For as in the days that were before the flood [i.e., kataklusmos] they . . . knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:38-39). HMM

If any man open the door, I will come in to him

Matthew 26:1-5, 14-16

Matthew 26:3, 4

“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed.” Oh, that the friends of Jesus were half as earnest to concert measures for glorifying him, as these men were when they resolved upon his death.

Matthew 26:5

The enemies of Christ’s cause have never ceased to oppose him by meanness and treachery; the truth fears not the day, but evil is underhanded and works by secret plots. Still do the opponents of the gospel conspire to take Jesus by subtlety. Let us, like our Lord, oppose to their cunning nothing but holy courage and truthful simplicity.

Matthew 26:14, 15

The price of a slave. This showed the contempt of the rulers for Jesus and the avarice of Judas, which permitted him to sell his Master for so small a sum. How strikingly does all this correspond with the voice of prophecy in Zech. xi. “So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver; a goodly price that I was prised at of them.” It is to be feared that thousands are selling Jesus for a less price than Judas received. A smile from the world has been a bribe sufficient to seduce many.

Mark 14:12-16

Mark 14:12

They knew that their Lord observed all the commands of the law, but as he had no house of his own, and it was usual for the inhabitants of Jerusalem to lend their rooms to strangers, they wished for his orders as to where he would keep the feast.

Mark 14:15

Among his friends he had a secret foe, but in the city of his foes he had also a secret friend: the time was come for both to be discovered, for the death of Jesus is that by which the thoughts of many hearts are revealed. The directions given to Peter and John, whom he sent, must have established in them the full conviction that he knew all things, and this would deepen their belief that his prophecy of his death would be fulfilled: thus they would be led to see how voluntarily he submitted himself to the death which awaited him.

Mark 14:16

The room in which Jesus was entertained is the emblem of a heart into which the Lord comes to sup; such a heart is enlarged by grace with love and joy and gratitude; it is an upper room lifted up from the world and sin, it is prepared and furnished by the Holy Spirit, and is freely opened to the great Master, who comes to feast with his beloved. Lord make our hearts such a room and we will receive both thee and thy disciples into our truest love.

 

If still thou dost with sinners eat,

Let my poor heart thy chamber be,

With gladness such a guest I’ll greet,

And keep the paschal feast with thee.

 

If thou wilt come to me below,

My heart shall purge out sinful leaven

And every day more meet I’ll grow

To keep the paschal feast in heaven.

 

Our Creator’s Handiwork

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handy-work. (Psalm 19:1)

Reading my Bible, I am greatly impressed by the manner in which godly men of old revealed in their writings an intense love for every natural beauty around them. They saw nature as the handiwork of an all-powerful and all-glorious Creator!

The Old Testament is a marvelous rhapsody on the creation. Start with Moses, and when you get beyond the Levitical order you will find him soaring in his acute consciousness of the presence of God in all creation.

Go to the book of Job. In the closing section you will be amazed at the sublimity of the language describing the world around us. Then go to the Psalms, with David literally dancing with ecstatic delight as he gazes out upon the wonders of God’s world. Go to Isaiah, where imagery is neither fanciful nor flighty but a presentation of the wonders of creation.

In our generation, how rarely we get into a situation where we can feel the impulses of nature communicated to us. We seldom have time to lift our eyes to look at God’s heaven—except when we are wondering if we should wear our boots!

 

Love the Church

“Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favor her, yea, the set time, is come. For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favor the dust thereof.” Ps. 102:13, 14

Yes, our prayers for the church will be heard. The set time is come. We love the prayer meeting, and the Sunday school, and all the services of the Lord’s house. We are bound in heart to all the people of God, and can truly say, “There’s not a lamb in all thy flock I would disdain to feed; There’s not a foe before whose face I’d fear thy cause to plead.”

If this is the general feeling, we shall soon enjoy times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. Our assemblies will be filled, saints will be revived, and sinners will be converted. This can only come of the Lord’s mercy; but it will come, and we are called upon to expect it. The time, the set time, is come. Let us bestir ourselves. Let us love every stone of our Zion, even though it may be fallen down. Let us treasure up the least truth, the least ordinance, the least believer, even though some may despise them as only so much dust. When we favor Zion, God is about to favor her. When we take pleasure in the Lord’s work, the Lord Himself will take pleasure in it.

 

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