VIDEO The Doorway to the Kingdom – “Doorway Of Grace”

The Doorway to the Kingdom

Blessed are the poor in spirit… —Matthew 5:3

Beware of thinking of our Lord as only a teacher. If Jesus Christ is only a teacher, then all He can do is frustrate me by setting a standard before me I cannot attain. What is the point of presenting me with such a lofty ideal if I cannot possibly come close to reaching it? I would be happier if I never knew it. What good is there in telling me to be what I can never be— to be “pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8), to do more than my duty, or to be completely devoted to God? I must know Jesus Christ as my Savior before His teaching has any meaning for me other than that of a lofty ideal which only leads to despair. But when I am born again by the Spirit of God, I know that Jesus Christ did not come only to teach— He came to make me what He teaches I should be. The redemption means that Jesus Christ can place within anyone the same nature that ruled His own life, and all the standards God gives us are based on that nature.

The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount produces a sense of despair in the natural man— exactly what Jesus means for it to do. As long as we have some self-righteous idea that we can carry out our Lord’s teaching, God will allow us to continue until we expose our own ignorance by stumbling over some obstacle in our way. Only then are we willing to come to Him as paupers and receive from Him. “Blessed are the poor in spirit….” This is the first principle in the kingdom of God. The underlying foundation of Jesus Christ’s kingdom is poverty, not possessions; not making decisions for Jesus, but having such a sense of absolute futility that we finally admit, “Lord, I cannot even begin to do it.” Then Jesus says, “Blessed are you…” (Matthew 5:11). This is the doorway to the kingdom, and yet it takes us so long to believe that we are actually poor! The knowledge of our own poverty is what brings us to the proper place where Jesus Christ accomplishes His work.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The attitude of a Christian towards the providential order in which he is placed is to recognize that God is behind it for purposes of His own.  Biblical Ethics, 99 R


“Doorway Of Grace” Live – Christ Church Music

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Dedicated to Love

My heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. Romans 10:1

As a convert to Jesus Christ, Nabeel Qureshi has written books to help his readers understand the people in the religion he left. His tone is respectful, and Qureshi always displays a heart of love for his people.

Qureshi dedicated one of his books to his sister, who has not yet put her faith in Jesus. The dedication is brief, but powerful. “I am begging God for the day that we can worship him together,” he wrote.

We get a sense of that kind of love as we read Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. “My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief,” he said, “for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them” (Romans 9:2–3 nlt).

Paul loved the Jewish people so much that he would have chosen separation from God if only they would accept Christ. He understood that by rejecting Jesus, his people were rejecting the one true God. This motivated him to appeal to his readers to share the good news of Jesus with everyone (10:14–15).

Today, may we prayerfully dedicate ourselves to the love that aches for those close to us!

Father, we ask You to fill our hearts with Your love for others. We hold ______ up to You and beg for them to see the truth about Your Son Jesus.

We must love those for whom Christ died as well as those in whom Christ lives.

By Tim Gustafson 

INSIGHT

Paul’s concern that his Jewish brothers and sisters would come to Christ echoes the heart and plan of the Father for both Jew and Gentile. Hebrews 2:9 tells us that Jesus “was made lower than the angels for a little while, [and is] now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” God’s concern is for all to come to Him through the sacrifice of His Son. This idea resonates with Peter, who declared, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Notice God’s great concern for this broken, rebellious world. Not only has He provided in Jesus a sufficient sacrifice, He also extends patient love to people who do not know Him. Truly, as John 3:16 says, this is evidence of a God who so loved this world that He would pay the greatest possible price to satisfy His desire to reach to us. This is the great good news of the gospel!

Bill Crowder

Handling Praise

Proverbs 27:2

How do you respond when someone gives you a compliment? For some people, praise is nearly as difficult to handle as criticism. This can be especially true for believers since God’s Word instructs us to be humble (Col. 3:12). Yet we’ve all experienced how encouraging a word of praise can be. Most of us can remember a time when a parent, teacher, employer, or friend voiced approval that motivated us to even greater heights.

God knows that we all need encouragement, and one way He supplies this need is through the words of others. That’s why it’s important to address our confusion regarding the best way to give and receive compliments.

Acknowledge the comment by simply thanking the person. Don’t belittle their words in any way or explain reasons why you do not deserve them.

Identify the character quality that led the other person to offer praise. For example, does he have a discerning spirit, compassion, or strong love for others?

Share what the encouragement means to you. If someone tells you how he enjoyed your teaching, you might say, “That really motivates me to study harder so God can use me as He desires.”

When appropriate, include others in the praise. For instance, if you are complimented on something that was a group effort, be sure to acknowledge the contributions of the others. This not only encourages them but also protects you from pride.

Praise can help each of us become the person God intends us to be, or it can lead to the sin of pride. Our attitude and response are the determining factors.

Vessels of the House

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.” (2 Timothy 2:20)

The “house” referenced here by Paul to young Timothy is the “house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). In the Old Testament, the tabernacle and temple were the dwelling place of God and the center of worship led by a high priest from the tribe of Levi.

Now, we are members of the Lord’s “house” (Hebrews 3:6) and are like “lively stones” that are being “built up a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5), led by Jesus, who is the “high priest over the house of God” (Hebrews 10:21).

This “great house” has many “vessels” in it of different values. Some are “honorable” instruments (vessels of high value) that serve in the New Testament economy in some parallel function to that of the vessels of the inner court of the tabernacle and temple. Those instruments of gold, silver, and brass (Exodus 25; 2 Chronicles 4) each played a part in the liturgical worship, designed as part of the “schoolmaster” to teach us about the law of God (Galatians 3:24). The more public and formal the use, the more valuable the vessel. The most valuable were set closest to the Holy of Holies.

There are also vessels of “dishonor” in the great house. The tabernacle and temple had “earthen” vessels for certain functions (Leviticus 14). These were expendable—necessary, perhaps, for some short-term need, but not valuable. Since the church now functions as the “pillar and ground” of the truth, the “honorable” vessels are expected to purge themselves from that which is “dishonorable.” HMM III

It is good to sing praises unto our God

Psalm 147

Having now completed our reading of the life of our Lord up to his resurrection, we will meditate upon a few choice psalms. The first is full of praise and adoration.

Psalm 147:1

Few things are both good and pleasant. Medicine is good, but not pleasant; sin, to the ungodly, is pleasant, but it can never be good. In the praise of God both the good and the pleasant are combined.

Psalm 147:2

With poor self-condemned outcast souls he builds up his church. His grace delights to select such, and to do great things for them.

Psalm 147:4

It will be well to read these two verses over again. The Lord who tells the stars, bends over wounded sinners, and binds up broken hearts—condescension like this is amazing. In the contemplation of it we are lost in love and wonder.

Psalm 147:9

The Creator cares for the work of his own hands. Does he hear the ravens cry and will he not hear us when we confess our sins and ask for pardon? Ay, that he will.

Psalm 147:10, 11

We value men by their strength, God cares more for their weakness; we admire those who can run with speed: he favours those who have learned to rest in his mercy. Let the weak in body and mind be consoled by the fact that the Lord of Mercy cares for them.

Psalm 147:12-15

Whether it be in the realm of nature or grace the word of the Lord brooks no hindrance, yields to no obstacle.

Psalm 147:16

so that the tender plants are protected from the frost

Psalm 147:17

Dwellers in severe climates feel the force of this. It is a striking expression. If the comforts of grace and nature were removed from us we should soon perish. Who can stand before his cold?

Psalm 147:20

We who dwell in this land of privileges ought to be as grateful as ancient Israel. As a family we have been highly favoured, and let us, one and all, unite in praising the Lord.

 

From all that dwell below the skies

Let the Creator’s praise arise;

Let the Redeemer’s name be sung

Through every land, by every tongue.

 

Eternal are thy mercies, Lord;

Eternal truth attends thy word:

Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore

Till suns shall rise and set no more.

 

Let God Act Like God

The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:18)

When Jesus walked and taught in Galilee 2,000 years ago, many asked, “Who is that Man?”

The Bible’s answer is clear: that Man walking in Galilee was God, acting like God! It was God, limited deliberately, having crossed the wide, mysterious gulf between God and not God, between God and creature. No man had seen God at any time.

In John 1:18, the English translators have said, “The only begotten Son hath declared him.” Other versions skirt around it, doing everything to try to say what the Holy Spirit said, but when we have used up our words and synonyms, we still have not said all that God revealed when He said, “Nobody has ever looked at God, but when Jesus Christ came He showed us what God is like” (paraphrase of John 1:18).

He has revealed Him—He has shown us what God is like!

He has declared Him! He has set Him forth” He has revealed Him!

He is in the Father’s bosom. It is stated in present, perpetual tense; the language of continuation. Therefore, when Jesus hung on the cross, He did not leave the bosom of the Father!

 

Confidence Not Misplaced

“The Lord God will help me.” Isa. 50:7

These are in prophecy the words of Messiah in the day of His obedience unto death, when He gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair. He was confident in divine support, and trusted in Jehovah.

O my soul, thy sorrows are as the small dust of the balance compared with thy Lord’s! Canst thou not believe that the Lord God will help thee? Thy Lord was in a peculiar position; for as the representative of sinful men — their substitute and sacrifice — it was needful that the Father should leave Him, and cause Him to come under desertion of soul. No such necessity is laid upon thee: thou are not bound to cry, “Why hast thou forsaken me?” Did thy Saviour even in such a case still rely upon God, and canst not thou? He died for thee, and thus made it impossible that thou shouldst be left alone; wherefore, be of good cheer.

In this day’s labors or trials say, “The Lord God will help me.” Go forth boldly. Set your face like a flint, and resolve that no faintness or shamefacedness shall come near you. If God helps, who can hinder? If you are sure of omnipotent aid, what can be too heavy for you? Begin the day joyously, and let no shade of doubt come between thee and the eternal sunshine.

 

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