VIDEO New Beginnings with Manasseh

Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God. 2 Chronicles 33:13

Franklin Graham once preached a sermon on the “most wicked man in the Bible.” It was about King Manasseh, whose life is described in 2 Chronicles 33. Manasseh became king when he was twelve, and from the beginning he was as evil as any ruler in antiquity. He loved the false gods that let him live as he pleased, and he sacrificed his children in their flames. The occult fascinated him; he used witchcraft and sorcery. Nor did he avoid violence. He filled Jerusalem with the blood of innocent martyrs.

Then to our surprise we come to 2 Chronicles 33:12-13, which says Manasseh “humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him…. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.”

Manasseh’s new beginning reminds us that no one is beyond God’s grace. If you’re praying for a loved one who seems far from God, don’t give up. Manasseh in the Old Testament and Saul of Tarsus (the apostle Paul) in the New Testament are examples of how God is able to save to the uttermost.

Keep praying to the God who gives new beginnings.

Against our besetting sins, against the spirit of the world, against the wiles of the devil, let us pray on. J. C. Ryle


Would You Forgive This Man, 2 Chronicles 33:12-13 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study

The Only King

They bowed down and worshiped him. Matthew 2:11

As five-year-old Eldon listened to the pastor talk about Jesus leaving heaven and coming to earth, he gasped when the pastor thanked Him in prayer for dying for our sins. “Oh, no! He died?” the boy said in surprise.

From the start of Christ’s life on earth, there were people who wanted Him dead. Wise men came to Jerusalem during the reign of King Herod inquiring, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him” (Matthew 2:2). When the king heard this, he became fearful of one day losing his position to Jesus. So he sent soldiers to kill all the boys two years old and younger around Bethlehem. But God protected His Son and sent an angel to warn His parents to leave the area. They fled, and He was saved (vv. 13–18).

When Jesus completed His ministry, He was crucified for the sins of the world. The sign placed above His cross, though meant in mockery, read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews” (27:37). Yet three days later He rose in victory from the grave. After ascending to heaven, He sat down on the throne as King of kings and Lord of lords (Philippians 2:8–11).

The King died for our sins—yours, mine, and Eldon’s. Let’s allow Him to rule in our hearts.

By: Anne Cetas

Reflect & Pray

What does it mean for you to have Jesus as your King? Are there areas of your life where He’s not?

Jesus, thank You for willingly dying for our sins and offering forgiveness. Teach us to submit to Your rule.

To learn more about Christ’s life, visit christianuniversity.org/tgs.

When We Are Fearful

Isaiah 41:8-20

Throughout the Bible, God encourages us not to be afraid or anxious, because as His children, we have no basis for fear. Of course, there are reasons to be cautious about what we do and where we go, but living in a state of anxiety is uncalled-for.

We all have different fears—such as fear of criticism, illness, death, and poverty. These are universal worries, but they’re symptoms of something deep inside that feeds our concerns. Some of the root causes are:

A basic sense of inadequacy. We might feel incompetent to tackle some challenges or tasks.

The tendency to set unrealistic standards for ourselves. We can go through life trying to measure up to expectations that are self-imposed rather than ones set by God.

An innate sense of unworthiness. We might feel we don’t deserve God’s goodness.

In the midst of our fears and anxieties, we need to remember God’s promise from Isaiah 41: “Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10). It’s important that we look to Him and not at our circumstances.

The Holy Spirit’s Ministry: God’s Fail-Safe Plan–Foreknowledge

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)

God “foreknew” everyone who would become His children. The Greek term is proginosko and is used only four other times in the New Testament. It means precisely as conveyed: “to know ahead of time.”

Paul used it in Acts 26:5 when he told Agrippa that the Jews “knew [him] from the beginning.” In Romans 11:2, Paul spoke of Israel whom God “foreknew,” and Peter insisted that the Lord Jesus was “foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20).

The common use, however, is illustrated in 2 Peter 3:17, where the twice-born are told: “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.”

The foreknowledge of God is very specific of every living creature. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father” (Matthew 10:29).

“(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of him that calleth), it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger” (Romans 9:11-12).

Is it not affirming to know that “he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Ephesians 1:4)? HMM III

A Longing for God

As me hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

—Psalm 42:1-2

God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ name. Amen.   POG020

“I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still.” Amen.

 

The Godhead of the Spirit

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter…even the Spirit of truth.

—John 14:16-17

 

In her sacred hymnody the Church has freely acknowledged the Godhead of the Spirit and in her inspired song she has worshiped Him with joyous abandon. Some of our hymns to the Spirit have become so familiar that we tend to miss their true meaning….

In the poetical works of Frederick Faber I have found a hymn to the Holy Spirit which I would rank among the finest ever written…:

 

Fountain of Love! Thyself true God!

Who through eternal days

From Father and from Son hast flowed

In uncreated ways!

I dread Thee, Unbegotten Love!

True God! sole Fount of Grace!

And now before Thy blessed throne

My sinful self abase.

O Light! O Love! O very God

I dare no longer gaze

Upon Thy wondrous attributes

And their mysterious ways. POM068-069

 

[T]he Holy Spirit is a Being dwelling in another mode of existence….He nevertheless exists as surely as you exist. HTB011

 

Need The Mind of Christ

Philippians 2:5

What is the mind of Christ? First, Jesus had a nonstop God-consciousness. God was part of every experience of His life. He did not split His life into two parts: the sacred and the secular, the religious and the ordinary.

When questioned about His miracles or His teaching He would reply humbly, “I do always the will of My Father,” (John 8:29) or “I speak only what My Father tells me to speak” (John 12:50). Life was all of one piece, like the seamless robe He wore.

The awareness of God’s presence and purpose was most perfectly seen in His obedience to God’s will in the Garden of Gethsemane. As He prays beneath the olive trees lit by the Pascal moon, we hear His words in that sacred moment,

“Not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Jesus was prepared to subordinate His own will, good and blameless as it was, to the will of God. So He rose from His knees and went forward to face the cross and become the world’s Redeemer. That was the mind of Christ. Unquestionably obedient.

How obedient to the will of God are we? Does the world crowd in too much and put God to the margin of our experience? Let us ask the Holy Spirit to shape our attitudes to Christ’s, to make us more aware of God’s presence and ready to do His will above all else. Let this obedient mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.

Secondly, a beautiful characteristic of the mind of Christ was His awareness of others. He was never self-absorbed, but always concerned for the people He met among the crowds that milled around Him.

It is fascinating to watch Jesus in the Gospel stories, calling the children closer to Him when His disciples would chase them away, or noticing a poor woman quietly putting two coins in the temple treasury. He made friends with unsavory characters. His ear caught the faint cry of a blind man almost lost in the noisy crowd. His compassion reached out to each one. He was love personified.

The mind of Christ is a loving mind. Do we have a mind like that? That kind of love is costly. To have the mind of Christ is to love like that.

Eva Burrows, The Salvationist Pulpit