Know that the Lord, He is God. Psalm 100:3
Those words—Know that the Lord, He is God—are what separate Christian optimism from the rest of the body of literature about positive thinking. There’s a wide array of material about optimism and positive thinking. Books, magazines, seminars, courses, workshops, and websites. But positive thinking is worthless unless it’s grounded in God’s theology. It’s nothing but cotton candy and vaporous thoughts without this truth—“The Lord, He is God.”
On the other hand, the existence and perpetual reign of the Lord Himself as God of the universe is sufficient to fuel anyone’s optimism. Those words—The Lord, He is God—are the answer to every problem, the solution to every heartache, and the remedy for every perplexity we ever face.
The Lord, He is God. He is on His throne. He is in control. He is our God, and nothing can withstand Him. God is the sovereign ruler of the earth to whom everyone will give an account. He wants us to make a joyful shout to Him, to serve Him with gladness, and to come before Him with singing. That’s something we can be positive about.
The Lord reigns; let the earth be glad!
Sovereignty characterizes the whole being of God. He is sovereign in all His attributes. A. W. Pink
Adrian Rogers: Having Strong Faith [#2245]
1 Corinthians 13:11-13
Since our Father wants us to mature in the faith, we should stop periodically and examine our life to see if we’re making progress in this area. Physical growth is fairly easy to evaluate—all you need is a tape measure. But how can you tell if you’re growing spiritually? Let’s begin by considering how children develop.
Desires. Have you noticed that your childhood toys no longer interest you? The maturing process changes our desires in the spiritual realm, too. When we’re growing, the world’s pleasures lose their appeal, while our hunger for God and His Word increases. We are eager to be with Him and share with others how He’s working in our life.
Understanding. When you were young, your perception of the world was very limited. In the same way, we lack spiritual understanding when we’re new believers. But in time, we begin to see life from God’s perspective. Trials and temptations become opportunities for growth, and service for the Lord becomes an honor instead of a burden.
Selflessness. The most obvious sign of a toddler’s immaturity is his selfishness. He wants his way, and he wants it now! Hopefully that is no longer characteristic of you. A mature believer is submissive to the Lord, willing to wait, and more concerned about others than himself.
How are you doing in these three areas of growth? Maybe it’s time to let go of a few childish ways in order to grow into a mature believer. The greatest evidence of maturity is love. When the Lord and other people have first place in our heart, it’s then that we’re most like Jesus.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
The Bible book in which this glorious promise is given was written entirely to the saint of God, not to the unbelieving sinner.
- Confession is what saints do when they sin.
- Repentance is what sinners do before they become saints.
- Confession is agreement (identity) with the sin against God.
- Repentance is reversal (changed mind) to trust (from me to God).
Psalm 51 is a classic prayer of confession. King David poured out his heart of sorrow for the terrible affair with Bathsheba and yearned for God to “wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin” (v. 2). David acknowledged that “against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight” (v. 4). He confessed his sin, and asked God, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation” (v. 12).
Three of the gospels record the declaration of Jesus that “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17). Repentance is not an apology for specific sins, it is a heart-mind-soul turning from self-righteous sufficiency to God’s holiness. It is the lost that repent, not the saved: “Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance” (Luke 15:7).
One day, however, “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:11). Far better to repent in sorrow today than confess in terror at the Judgment. HMM III
Paul’s bold preaching soon aroused the enmity of those who had formerly admired him.
This was three years after his conversion, after he had been in retirement in Arabia. It must have been a hard lesson for Paul to find himself suspected by brethren whom he loved.
This was a right brotherly deed. New converts need a friend.
Christians are always ready to do good to the sick. We cannot now restore them by miracle, and, therefore, by kind nursing and care to provide hospitals, we must do the best we can to show that we care for them. Spiritual healing is, however, still among us, and it is our joy to whisper in the despairing sinners ear, “Jesus Christ maketh thee whole.”
Dorcas or gazelle
Peter healed and Dorcas clothed; grace prompts the saints to help the helpless.
and shewing the coats and garments or upper and under garments
These are the best relics of the saints. Many leave behind them wealth wrung out of the poor: hers was a noble legacy.
Acts 9:40, 41
nothing can be done without prayer, not even by an apostle
Acts 9:40, 41
Luke describes the weeping of the widows at her death; he relates nothing concerning their joy at her being raised, for that was indescribable. Have we so lived that the poor would rejoice to see us back again when we die? Christian women should make Dorcas their example, and labour according to their ability for the needy ones around them.
Acts 9:42, 43
Whose hospitality has immortalized his name. It matters little what trade a man is, if he serves the Lord in it. Are we doing so in ours?
Your life is hid with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3)
We ought to recognize one of the great problems in our modern Christianity: those who come to Christ probably have their minds made up that to stay sane they must remain “adjusted” to society around them.
This notion has been drilled into them from their playpen, and it never occurs to them to question it. There is a “norm” out there somewhere to which they must conform, and that norm is above criticism. Their success and happiness depend upon how well they adjust to it; and Christianity, though it may add something to it, must never disagree with the main idea!
This is the popular notion in the world: “To be happy, adjust to the social norm!” The problem is that the idea will not hold up under examination. The world does not know where it is going; it has not found life’s highest good; it is instead puzzled, frightened and frustrated.
Thankfully, it was to this kind of world Jesus came. He died for its sin and now lives for the salvation of all who will repudiate it!
“As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me Ps. 55:16
Yes, I must and will pray. What else can I do? What better can I do? Betrayed, forsaken, grieved, baffled, o my Lord, I will call upon thee. My Ziklag is in ashes, and men speak of stoning me; but I encourage my heart in the Lord, who will bear me through this trial as He has borne me through so many others. Jehovah shall save me; I am sure He will, and I declare my faith.
The Lord and no one else shall save me. I desire no other helper, and would not trust in an arm of flesh even if I could. I will cry to Him evening, and morning, and noon, and I will cry to no one else, for He is All-sufficient.
How He will save me I cannot guess; but He will do it, I know. He will do it in the best and surest way, and He will do it in the largest, truest, and fullest sense. Out of this trouble and all future troubles the great I AM will bring me as surely as He lives; and when death comes, and all the mysteries of eternity follow thereon, still will this be true: “the Lord shall save me.” This shall be my song all through this autumn day. Is it not as a ripe apple from the tree of life? I will feed upon it. How sweet it is to my taste!