VIDEO Heedfulness or Hypocrisy in Ourselves

Heedfulness or Hypocrisy in Ourselves

If we are not heedful and pay no attention to the way the Spirit of God works in us, we will become spiritual hypocrites. We see where other people are failing, and then we take our discernment and turn it into comments of ridicule and criticism, instead of turning it into intercession on their behalf. God reveals this truth about others to us not through the sharpness of our minds but through the direct penetration of His Spirit. If we are not attentive, we will be completely unaware of the source of the discernment God has given us, becoming critical of others and forgetting that God says, “…he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death.” Be careful that you don’t become a hypocrite by spending all your time trying to get others right with God before you worship Him yourself.

One of the most subtle and illusive burdens God ever places on us as saints is this burden of discernment concerning others. He gives us discernment so that we may accept the responsibility for those souls before Him and form the mind of Christ about them (see Philippians 2:5). We should intercede in accordance with what God says He will give us, namely, “life for those who commit sin not leading to death.” It is not that we are able to bring God into contact with our minds, but that we awaken ourselves to the point where God is able to convey His mind to us regarding the people for whom we intercede.

Can Jesus Christ see the agony of His soul in us? He can’t unless we are so closely identified with Him that we have His view concerning the people for whom we pray. May we learn to intercede so wholeheartedly that Jesus Christ will be completely and overwhelmingly satisfied with us as intercessors.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The Bible is a relation of facts, the truth of which must be tested. Life may go on all right for a while, when suddenly a bereavement comes, or some crisis; unrequited love or a new love, a disaster, a business collapse, or a shocking sin, and we turn up our Bibles again and God’s word comes straight home, and we say, “Why, I never saw that there before.” Shade of His Hand, 1223 L


Sin that is unto Death by John Piper

His Plan, His People, His Power

 Acts 1:1-14

 

God has a plan for redeeming the world. It’s not a new plan; it existed in the mind of the Creator before the first humans committed the first sin. None of what’s happening surprises Him. He established a covenant with Abraham and his descendants, the Hebrews, calling them to teach the Scriptures, model obedience to the Law, and become an example of living faith in God. He strategically placed the nation of Israel on a narrow land bridge, through which the great civilizations of the region had to pass when conducting trade or making war with each other, so that all could see the shalom (peace and wellbeing) of Israel and learn of their God. The plan of God had always been to send His Son, who would succeed where Israel had failed, suffer on behalf of His people, and conquer death on the third day. Remember, God had always called people to repent of sin, receive His forgiveness, and trust that His grace is sufficient to save. The city of Jerusalem had always been the Lord’s intended light on a hill (see Ps. 43:3; Matt. 5:14), and in the days of the apostles, it would finally become the starting point of world evangelism (Isa. 43:10; 44:8; Acts 1:8).

Now we are a part of His plan. We, like the disciples, do not know when the kingdom will come (1:6-8). At the present time, we know only that God has called us to join Him in reclaiming creation from evil by our witness to the resurrected Messiah. He’s given us a genuine stake in the plan’s fulfillment, and there is no “Plan B.” As I consider what the Lord is doing and how He has involved us, I have two observations.

First, to carry out the plan, people must be infused. You’ll never advance the healing power of Christianity in a sick, dying world if you stay away from those infected with sin and error. Christ made consistent contact with His disciples, those disciples made consistent contact with their generation, and the world was infused with the antidote to sin and death. To implement an effective plan, we must infuse people with the cure of the gospel. Remember, this is about truth incarnated, divine truth in human flesh. It’s not theoretical truth floating around on the pages of books that saves people. It’s one life affecting another.

Second, to impact a rapidly changing world, the power of the Holy Spirit must be released. I am amazed at how few Christians really know the dynamics of the Holy Spirit. Truly amazed. All the power it took to raise Christ from the dead—not loud power but silent, effective, dynamic power—has been given to us. But we know so little about the potential energy of having the presence of God within, how to let Him fill and control us, and how to transform that power into positive change in the world.

Many years ago, I gave the closing message at a conference. Just as soon as the last words of my prayer slipped out of my mouth and we had a little music, a couple came right down front. “You talked about the Holy Ghost today,” they said. (They used the archaic expression “Holy Ghost,” which made me curious.)

“Yes,” I said, “I mentioned the Spirit.”

“We read that in the Bible and we don’t know about that. What is it like?” This told me right away they had never been taught about the Holy Spirit. So I gave an impromptu lesson that took about twenty minutes, and their mouths literally stayed open as they heard for the first time the truth concerning how the power of God, in the control of the Holy Spirit, can literally take them through life. They had never heard it, yet they had been Christians for many years.

Unfortunately, most believers don’t really know much more—we have good theology, but no practical wisdom. If we pay attention, the book of Acts will fill in some deep gaps in our understanding of the Holy Spirit. I urge you to make the Holy Spirit a subject of intense study, not only to gain theological knowledge, but to discover how to release the incredible power of God residing within you.

By: Charles R. Swindoll

The Trustworthy Character of God

2 Samuel 7:21-22

Whom do you trust? It isn’t easy to find many people who are true to their word. At some point, we all learn the hard way that anyone other than almighty God can disappoint us. Let’s look at the Lord’s character to discover why He can be trusted.

• He is the one true God. Back in Old Testament times, it was common for people to actually carve and worship a false god. Today, it is more typical to idolize something unseen, such as wealth, power, fame, or relationships. These can consume our passion, money, and time—and in the end leave us fruitless and empty. Jehovah, on the other hand, is alive and real, ready to be intimately involved in our lives.

• God is truth, and He is always faithful (John 14:6; 1 Corinthians 10:13). Unlike sinful man, the Lord is trustworthy—and everything that He says will happen comes to pass. Our sovereign God has all power and is in control of every situation.

• Christ loves us unconditionally. How can we ever doubt His love when He willingly gave His life in our place? And His love is based not on our behavior or status but on His character alone.

• The heavenly Father is unchanging. All of the above are timeless attributes that will forever be true.

God can be trusted. So don’t give Him just the easy concerns; rely upon your Creator for everything. He desires a personal relationship with His beloved and is able to guide each believer through life victoriously. In a changing, suspicious world, you have a Friend who is 100 percent reliable.

We Are To Love Thy Neighbor

“But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:29)

This question was asked Jesus by a “lawyer” (one who specialized in the interpretation and application of the more than 600 commandments of the Old Testament) in response to Jesus’ affirmation that the greatest commandments of the law were, first, to love God, and second, to love “thy neighbour as thyself” (Luke 10:27; Matthew 22:39).

The Lord Jesus answered his question by telling the famous story of the good Samaritan, concluding by saying: “Go, and do thou likewise” (Luke 10:37). From this parable are derived several important principles concerning neighbors and what it means to love them.

In the first place, a neighbor is not necessarily someone whose home is near ours, or even one who is an acquaintance. The Samaritan had never met the traveler who had been robbed and wounded, nor was he even a fellow countryman.

However, there were three criteria that, in the mind of Christ, did make him a neighbor: (1) he was someone whose path had crossed that of the Samaritan; (2) he had a real need; and (3) the Samaritan had the ability to meet that need. Since all three criteria were satisfied, then there was such an obligation, and the Lord has told us to do likewise.

It is such an action that is involved in “loving” one’s neighbor in the same way we love ourselves. It is doing what we would want to have done for us, if the roles were reversed. However, there is still something more to it than that: The “love” of which the Lord spoke here is the well-known agape love, which describes an unselfish love—one that serves the best interests of the recipient without regard to any benefit for the one who loves. In the highest sense, therefore, a genuine love for one’s neighbor would mean seeking the will of God in and for the one who is loved. HMM

Please Continue To Pray for Me

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

—2 Timothy 4:7-8

Will you pray for me as a minister of the gospel? I am not asking you to pray for the things people commonly pray for. Pray for me in light of the pressures of our times. Pray that I will not just come to a wearied end—an exhausted, tired, old preacher, interested only in hunting a place to roost. Pray that I will be willing to let my Christian experience and Christian standards cost me something right down to the last gasp!   WPJ074

Lord, I pray for all of my fellow pastors and Christian leaders. Help us, like Paul, and like Tozer, to finish strong. Amen.

 

Behold what manner of love the Father hath

Behold what manner of love the Father hath he-stowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.—1 John 3:1.

 

Dost think thy prayers He doth not heed?

He knows full well what thou dost need,

And heaven and earth are His,

My Father and my God, who still

Is with my soul in every ill.

Hans Sachs.

 

Behold and see thy Lord thy God that is thy Maker, and thy endless joy. See thine own Brother, thy Savior, my child; behold and see what liking and bliss I have in thy salvation; and for my love, rejoice with me. How should it now be, that thou shouldst anything pray me that pleased me, but that I should full gladly grant it thee—for my pleasure is thy holiness, and thy endless joy and bliss with me.

Juliana.

 

Did not Jesus say, “I am the door of the sheepfold”? What to us is the sheepfold, dear children? It is the heart of the Father; where-unto Christ is the Gate that is called Beautiful. O children, how sweetly and how gladly has He opened that door into the Father’s heart, into the treasure-chamber of God! And there within He unfolds to us the hidden riches, the nearness and the sweetness of companionship with Himself.

John Tauler.

 

Keep Presence of Mind

“Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” Prov. 3:25, 26

When God is abroad in judgments, He would not have His people alarmed. He has not come forth to harm, but to defend the righteous.

He would have them manifest courage. We who enjoy the presence of God ought to display presence of mind. Since the Lord Himself may suddenly come, we ought not to be surprised at anything sudden. Serenity under the rush and roar of unexpected evils is a precious gift of divine love.

The Lord would have His chosen display discrimination, so that they may see that the desolation of the wicked is not a real calamity to the universe. Sin alone is evil; the punishment which follows thereupon is as a preserving salt to keep society from putrefying. We should be far more shocked at the sin which deserves hell, than at the hell which comes out of sin.

So, too, should the Lord’s people exhibit great quietness of spirit. Satan and his serpent seed are full of all subtlety; but those who walk with God shall not be taken in their deceitful snares. Go on, believer in Jesus, and let the Lord be thy confidence.

 

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