VIDEO The Blessing Place – God Knows All

I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. Jeremiah 17:10

The sun is made up of nearly seventy percent hydrogen, twenty-eight percent helium, and a handful of lesser gasses. It converts six hundred million tons of hydrogen into helium, and four million tons of matter into energy every second. This fusion process has been going on for thousands of years and is estimated to continue for thousands more. In relative human lifespan terms, the sun is a never-ending source of light and energy to planet Earth.

During daylight hours, all we have to do to benefit from the sun is stand in its glow, plant a seed in its warmth, or hang wet laundry in its heat. The sun is “always on.” Like the sun’s Creator, God is “always on” as well. The warmth of His blessing flows continually to all who stand in His presence. And where is that presence? It is in the place of His will. Live in His will and His blessings flow continually.

God wants to bless His creation. He asks only that we stand in the presence of His blessing: loving and doing His will in all things.

Come, Thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace. Robert Robinson


The God Who Knows All, Jeremiah 17:9-10 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study

Secret Delivery

When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.  Matthew 6:3

A clear, glass vase with bell-shaped lilies of the valley, pink tulips, and yellow daffodils greeted Kim at her front door. For seven months, an anonymous believer in Jesus sent Kim beautiful bouquets from a local flower shop. Each monthly gift arrived with a note filled with scriptural encouragement and signed: “Love, Jesus.”

Kim shared photos of these secret deliveries on Facebook. The flowers gave her opportunity to celebrate an individual’s kindness and to acknowledge the way God expressed His love to her through His people. As she trusted Him through her battle with a terminal disease, every colorful blossom and handwritten note affirmed God’s loving compassion for her.

The sender’s anonymity reflects the heart motive Jesus encourages His people to adopt when giving. He warns against practicing righteous acts “to be seen” by others (Matthew 6:1). Good deeds are intended to be expressions of worship overflowing from hearts grateful for all God’s done for us. Highlighting our own generosity with the hope or expectation of being honored can take the focus off the Giver of all good things—Jesus.

God knows when we give with good intentions (v. 4). He simply wants our generosity motivated by love as we give Him the glory, the honor, and the praise.

By: Xochitl Dixon

Reflect & Pray

How can you place the spotlight on Jesus by giving to someone in secret this week? How can you give God credit while still accepting appreciation?

Jesus, thank You for reminding us that giving to others is a privilege and a wonderful way to thank You for all You’ve given us.

The Key to Acceptance

Luke 6:46-49

Many churchgoers will be disheartened to learn that ministry work doesn’t reserve them a place in heaven. Good deeds mean nothing to God unless they are the outgrowth of a relationship with Him. It doesn’t matter how many acts of kindness or service a person has performed—only those who have received Jesus Christ will enter heaven.

The definition of believe often confuses church members who lack genuine faith. They believe in God, Jesus, and heaven. But there’s a difference between giving intellectual assent to an idea and spiritually acknowledging Christ as Savior. What we see in the Bible is that when someone truly comes to faith in Jesus, he or she changes. It’s impossible to remain the same after realizing one’s desperate need for Him. (See John 4:39.)

A desire for salvation begins with the recognition that we’ve sinned against God and there is no hope of salvation apart from Jesus. When we trust in His sacrifice for the payment of our sin debt, God promises to respond. If you desire to be in heaven with Him for eternity, ask yourself, Have I been saved? If not, now is the time.

The Holy Spirit’s Ministry on Stimulating Patience for Us

“For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. . . . Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” (Romans 8:19, 21-25)

The Holy Spirit has insured us with a witness with our own spirit that, as the children of God, we have certain affirmations about our relationship with the Creator. Clearly, we are to know that our eternity is “reserved in heaven” for us, since the power of none other than the Creator Himself keeps us (1 Peter 1:4-5).

The current “fellowship of his sufferings” that we are privileged to now endure (Philippians 3:10) has absolutely no comparative value to the glory we will share with our Redeemer for eternity. It is a fact that the creature (read “creation”) is an unwilling participant, “groaning” in those sufferings. Yet, because of the Holy Spirit’s witness, we have an “earnest expectation” that assures us “that in nothing [we] shall be ashamed, but that . . . Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death” (Philippians 1:20).

We “are saved by hope,” but we have not seen that hope. Hope seen is not hope. Hope expected is patiently waited for. HMM III

How To Remedy Spiritual Boredom!

James 1:22

Do you ever get bored with church or with your spiritual life? If you say, “Yes, I get bored with my spiritual life all the time,” I want to help you understand the root of that spiritual boredom.

There is one primary reason why people get spiritually bored. It is very simple: Knowledge without application eventually becomes boring and unfulfilling—every time.

If all you do is sit and listen, listen, and listen to the Word without ever taking steps to apply it to your life, you’ll soon reach a place where you’ve heard, heard, and heard so much of the Word that you are sick of hearing it! Instead of anticipating what you might receive from the Lord, you’ll think, Oh, no, another sermon!

But the problem isn’t the Word! God’s Word was meant to be acted on. So if you just sit and listen to more and more sermons, gathering more and more information but never acting on what you’ve heard, you’ll eventually become so oversaturated that you won’t want to hear any more!

If this describes you, it is likely that you are tired of hearing the same ol’ Word over and over again. You probably wish someone would come along to preach or teach you something that you’ve never heard before. You might even find yourself roaming from church to church, seeking someone or something to spice up your spiritual life. However, the problem is not the church, your pastor, or the kind of preaching you are hearing. The problem is you!

You are bored because you’re not doing the Word that you’ve heard preached. Let me tell you the truth: If you will simply do what you have already been told to do, you won’t have time to be bored!

Applying the Word you already know will necessitate that you have a serious prayer life. It will require great discipline; it will demand that you learn to crucify your flesh. In fact, walking in the kind of obedience that God expects of you will take every ounce of your focus. You’ll be so busy trying to obey what you’ve already heard preached that you’ll never have a moment to be bored!

This is why James 1:22 tells us: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” Notice especially the words “hearers only” in the verse above. These words are taken from the Greek word akroates, which was used in classical Greek times to describe people who audited a class rather than taking it for credit.

In other words, these people didn’t attend the class to receive credit for the course. They were simply there to hear the lecture, think about what was taught, and then later discuss it with their friends. But they had no intention of actually applying what they heard!

In addition to being intellectually stimulating, these lectures could be quite entertaining. So these “hearers only” would roam from meeting to meeting because they loved special speakers and the excitement of hearing something they hadn’t heard before. Sometimes they followed their favorite speakers from city to city.

Although the “hearers only” had no intention of applying anything they heard, they loved to gather new information that made them look knowledgeable in the eyes of other people. It was their delight to attend meetings in order to be with the crowd, to have a good laugh, or simply to hear something new. But they never put any action to what they heard, because they were “hearers only.” They weren’t listening to the messages they heard to get credit for it, but simply to have a good time!

 

This means James 1:22 conveys this idea:

“Don’t be like those who attend meetings and listen to sermons for the sole purpose of being with the crowd or of gathering information that makes them look smart in other people’s eyes….”

Since this is the background to the phrase “hearers only” used in James 1:22, we must take a good look at ourselves and ask:

  • Am I serious about the Word of God and its application in my life?
  • Or am I simply an “auditor” who has no intention of doing the Word?
  • Am I doing something with the Word I’ve heard preached, or am I among those who hear the Word but do not act on what they have heard?
  • Does God consider me to be a hearer or a doer of the Word?

The fact is, many people attend church regularly, go to special meetings, read books, listen to teaching tapes, and watch nonstop Christian television. They’ve seen a lot, heard a lot, and they really do know a lot—yet they do nothing with what they have heard. That’s why they eventually become bored with spiritual matters. They haven’t acted on what they’ve heard or put into practice the information they’ve gathered; therefore, they’ve become oversaturated and spiritually numb.

Don’t let this happen to you. Make the decision to be a “doer of the Word and not a hearer only.” Receive deep into your heart the truths you’ve heard preached over the years and let them begin to work in your life. You can be sure of this one thing: If you determine to obey every scriptural truth that’s ever been preached to you, you’ll never have time to become spiritually bored again!

 

Who is the Holy Spirit?

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things.

—John 14:26

How shall we think of the Spirit? The Bible and Christian theology agree to teach that He is a Person, endowed with every quality of personality, such as emotion, intellect and will. He knows, He wills, He loves; He feels affection, antipathy and compassion. He thinks, sees, hears and speaks and performs any act of which personality is capable.

One quality belonging to the Holy Spirit, of great interest and importance to every seeking heart, is penetrability. He can penetrate mind; He can penetrate another spirit, such as the human spirit. He can achieve complete penetration of and actual intermingling with the human spirit. He can invade the human heart and make room for Himself without expelling anything essentially human. The integrity of the human personality remains unimpaired. Only moral evil is forced to withdraw. POM065

By nature we are in correspondence with sin; but by union with Christ in His death and resurrection and by the incoming and indwelling of the Holy Spirit we are out of correspondence with it…[and] dead alike to its presence and power. CDL166

 

Reason to Celebrate

2 Corinthians 5:17

Tax gatherers in Judea in the time of Jesus were considered by their fellow

Jews to be the arch betrayers of their nation. They were regarded contemptuously as collaborators with the Roman authorities for whose hungry coffers they extorted enormous taxes from those to whom they were bound by blood, race and history. Levi was such an individual.

He had sufficient resources to provide a “great feast” for “many” publicans,

“many” sinners, and “many” disciples, and he was affluent enough to do it “in his own house” (Matt. 9:9-11). And what was it that Levi was celebrating? For one thing, a new name, in all probability bestowed by Jesus Himself. Hereafter he would be known as Matthew, “gift of God.” With a new name there would be a new life, a life beyond all imagining.

It would be something of a wonderment if the stylus which, in the hand of Levi, had completed Herod’s tax returns had in the hand of Matthew, recorded the first words a reader would find 20 centuries later when opening his New Testament—copies of which would have been reproduced in the mega-millions and found in every corner of the globe!

At the feast given by Levi, the fraternization was incredible. “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners'” (Matt. 9:11) was not merely the voice of curiosity. It was the voice of censure. But it did not go unanswered.

His answer would not soon be forgotten. It was a classic riposte that would echo through the centuries. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Matt. 9:12). His task was not to minister to the righteous, but to lead sinners to repentance.

Fare is provided for both soul and mind in pondering what we have come to call “the Feast of Levi,” an event which began by celebrating Levi’s entry into discipleship, and ended with a trenchant reaffirmation by Jesus of His evangelical mission. Levi had been given a new name. He had discovered a worthy vocation. He had found a new life. No wonder he rejoiced and wanted others to share his unbounded joy.

Like Levi/Matthew we, too, have been given a new name—one that is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. To have gained through Christ not only a new name but a new nature should provoke us more often than perhaps it does to invite our friends to join us in celebration and provide them with an opportunity to meet our Master.

Arnold Brown, With Christ at the Table