VIDEO Unwavering

The Lord has promised good things.  Numbers 10:29

In his commentary on the book of Joshua, John Calvin wrote, “Our faith, unless founded solely on [God’s] promise, must be continually wavering…. Faith ought properly to recline on the truth of God alone.”[1]

Are you troubled today? The Bible says, “For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion” (Psalm 27:5).

Do you feel weak? The Lord declares, “My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Are you anxious about how a situation will work out? Proverbs 3:5-6 says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

For every pulsing thought, there is a pulsating Scripture. There’s always a Bible verse waiting to be requisitioned to your need. Search it out and write it on the tablet of your mind. If our faith is founded solely on God’s promises, we’ll be unwavering.

That which God promises to us in word he seals by act.   John Calvin

  1. [1] John Calvin, The John Calvin Bible Commentaries: The Book of Joshua (North Charleston, SC: Createspace, N.D.), 43.

You Gotta Come – Numbers 10:29-32 – Jon Courson

Surrendering All

Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” Mark 10:28

Two men remembered for serving others for Jesus left careers in the arts to commit themselves to where they believed God had called them. James O. Fraser (1886–1938) decided not to pursue being a concert pianist in England to serve the Lisu people in China, while the American Judson Van DeVenter (1855–1939) chose to become an evangelist instead of pursuing a career in art. He later wrote the hymn “I Surrender All.”

While having a vocation in the arts is the perfect calling for many, these men believed God called them to relinquish one career for another. Perhaps they found inspiration from Jesus counseling the rich, young ruler to give up his possessions to follow Him (Mark 10:17–25). Witnessing the exchange, Peter exclaimed, “We have left everything to follow you!” (v. 28). Jesus assured him that God would give those who follow Him “a hundred times as much in this present age” and eternal life (v. 30). But He would give according to His wisdom: “Many who are first will be last, and the last first” (v. 31).

No matter where God has placed us, we’re called to daily surrender our lives to Christ, obeying His gentle call to follow Him and serve Him with our talents and resources—whether in the home, office, community, or far from home. Watch Annahita Parsan’s devotional video, “Jesus, the Revolutionary.” She surrendered to God’s call to share the gospel in Sweden. As we submit to His call, He’ll also inspire us to love others.

By:  Amy Boucher Pye

What If Christ Hadn’t Been Resurrected?

1 Corinthians 15:12-20
Have you ever considered what your life would be like if Jesus had not been raised from the dead? Paul explained the dire consequences of such a scenario and the effect it would have on every believer.

The Christian faith would be worthless. There would be no gospel to preach and no reason to go to church. And if anyone did preach the resurrection, he’d be a false witness.

Jesus would be proved a liar, since He predicted His resurrection. He’d be just like any other sinful man who was crucified. Moreover, this lie would make it difficult to believe anything the Bible said.

There would be no pardon for sin. Without the resurrection, which was the proof that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice, there would be no basis for the forgiveness of our transgressions.

We would have no hope after death. Instead of being raised to eternal life in heaven, we’d all be doomed to eternal punishment and separation from God.

Seeing the horrible alternative often leads to greater appreciation of the truth. We can rejoice that Christ has been raised, our faith is valid, the Bible is true, our sins are forgiven, and our hope of resurrection is secure

A Hill Far Away

“And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha.” (John 19:17)

The Hebrew word golgotha and the Latin word calvarie actually mean “skull.” The Romans had selected a place of execution outside Jerusalem (Hebrews 13:12) but near the city (John 19:20), near a public highway (Matthew 27:39), and easily visible from some distance away (Mark 15:40). This has led many to speculate that it was on a hill, as in the first verse of the well-loved hymn “The Old Rugged Cross.”

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

Truly His cross involved great suffering: “Christ also suffered for us….Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:21, 24). Likewise, it involved great shame: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:13). But this suffering and shame was not in vain, for as we see in both passages above, it was on our behalf. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

However, God’s dearest and best, indeed God’s “only begotten Son” (John 3:16), was slain, not so much for “friends,” but for enemies! A world of lost sinners put Him on the cross. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Romans 5:8, 10). So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross. JDM

Kindness of God

Gracious is the LORD, and righteous: yea, our God is merciful. The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.

—Psalm 116:5-6

 

Satan’s first attack upon the human race was his sly effort to destroy Eve’s confidence in the kindness of God. Unfortunately for her and for us he succeeded too well. From that day, men have had a false conception of God, and it is exactly this that has cut out from under them the ground of righteousness and driven them to reckless and destructive living….

The God of the Pharisee was not a God easy to live with, so his religion became grim and hard and loveless. It had to be so, for our notion of God must always determine the quality of our religion….

It is most important to our spiritual welfare that we hold in our minds always a right conception of God. If we think of Him as cold and exacting we shall find it impossible to love Him, and our lives will be ridden with servile fear. If, again, we hold Him to be kind and understanding our whole inner life will mirror that idea.

The truth is that God is the most winsome of all beings and His service one of unspeakable pleasure….

The fellowship of God is delightful beyond all telling. ROR011-013

Lord, I’ve already seen much of Your majesty. How phenomenal that You are also so gracious and kind, so winsome and delightful in fellowship! I thank You. Amen.

 

Worship and Work in the Spirit

God is a Spirit: and they at worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

—John 4:24

Only the Holy Spirit can enable a fallen man to worship God acceptably. As far as that’s concerned, only the Holy Spirit can pray acceptably; only the Holy Spirit can do anything acceptably. My brethren, I don’t know your position about the gifts of the Spirit, but I believe that all the gifts of the Spirit not only ought to be but have been present in His Church all down the centuries….

You cannot account for Augustine and Chrysostom and Luther and Charnock and Wesley and Finney except they were men gifted by the Holy Ghost.

I believe that the Holy Spirit distributes His gifts severally as He will….The Church has been propagated by the Holy Spirit, so we can only worship in the Spirit, we can only pray in the Spirit, and we can only preach effectively in the Spirit, and what we do must be done by the power of the Spirit. WMJ014-015

We do not need many gifts but one….The Holy spirit is wisdom, power, holiness, faith, love…all comprehended in the one living Presence that comes to abide in the heart that is yielded wholly to Him. CTBC, Vol. 4/332

 

From Tragedy to Triumph

1 Corinthians 15:58

The incredible Easter miracle, the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, is either the greatest fact of history or it is the greatest fraud ever perpetrated. Our belief in the resurrection is at the very heart of our Christian faith. It is the resurrection that interprets the cross. It transforms what initially appeared to be an irreversible tragedy into a brilliant triumph, the power of God unto salvation.

Unbelievers and opponents have through the centuries attempted to discredit the truth of the resurrection. Of all the theories introduced to disprove it there is none further from the truth than that suggesting it was a hoax perpetrated by the disciples and followers of Jesus. That overlooks one indisputable fact. The followers of Jesus were themselves amazed and astounded by the resurrection, and had to be persuaded that it was true.

Mary Magdalene came first to the tomb. She approached the tomb with concern for a proper burial. She was horrified to find an open tomb. According to the scriptural account, Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. Jesus appeared. Mary did not recognize that the One who spoke to her was Jesus, until He intoned her name. When our name is uttered by the one we love, the source can never be mistaken. When Jesus said, “Mary,” she immediately knew it was Jesus. Tears of sorrow changed to tears of joy. All doubts were dispatched and belief in the resurrection instantly infused.

As the disciples met at night behind locked doors, Jesus, no longer bound by earthly limitations, came and stood in their midst. All is changed when Jesus comes. As soon as the disciples saw Jesus they rejoiced and believed. Thomas, absent that night, eight days later came to the inescapable belief when Jesus honored his presumptuous request to see the nail prints in His hand and to put his hand into His side.

The evidence is irrefutable. The overwhelming truth of the resurrection is that it was not planned by men, it was of God. The further resurrection miracle was that out of disillusioned, despondent, defeated and divided disciples was fashioned a force that turned the first century world upside down, that established a church so strong it has endured two thousand years and is a growing, dynamic influence in the world today.

With resurrection faith, we too determine to be “steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as we know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV).

James Osborne, The War Cry