VIDEO Lost and Found

For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.  Luke 19:10

In America, it’s called “lost and found.” In Great Britain, “lost property.” And in Canada, “lost articles.” More than just a phrase, these are usually designated places in a facility or building where lost articles are collected and can be retrieved. The first modern lost and found office was organized by Napoleon in Paris in 1805. Its purpose was to collect all objects found on the streets of Paris and make them available to their owners.

Lost and found might also be an appropriate way to describe the theme of the Bible. Ever since Adam and Eve were evicted from the Garden of Eden, humanity has been lost. Thankfully, as soon as the predicament of lostness was realized, God put in place a means of finding lost humanity and reconciling them to Himself. He sent Jesus Christ to the world “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

Some people today feel lost but don’t know why. Others don’t believe they are lost at all. The Church’s mission is to declare not only man’s lost condition but also God’s rescue mission to find us and bring us home.

I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.   John Newton, “Amazing Grace”


Luke 19:1-10 – In Depth – Pastor Chuck Smith – Bible Studies

Under Construction

For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.  Hebrews 10:14

They just repaved this road, I thought to myself as the traffic slowed. Now they’re tearing it up again! Then I wondered, Why is road construction never done? I mean, I’ve never seen a sign proclaiming, “The paving company is finished. Please enjoy this perfect road.”

But something similar is true in my spiritual life. Early in my faith, I imagined reaching a moment of maturity when I’d have it all figured out, when I’d be “smoothly paved.” Thirty years later, I confess I’m still “under construction.” Just like the perpetually potholed roads I drive, I never seem to be “finished” either. Sometimes that can feel equally frustrating.

But Hebrews 10 contains an amazing promise. Verse 14 says, “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Jesus’ work on the cross has already saved us. Completely. Perfectly. In God’s eyes, we are whole and finished. But paradoxically, that process isn’t done yet while we’re still on earth. We’re still being shaped into His likeness, still “being made holy.”

One day, we’ll see Him face-to-face, and we shall be like him (1 John 3:2). But until then, we’re still “under construction,” people who anxiously await the glorious day when the work in us is truly complete.

By:  Adam R. Holz

Reflect & Pray

Do you ever get frustrated that spiritual progress seems slower than you expected? How does this passage from Hebrews encourage you to think about your spiritual growth?

Faithful God, sometimes I get frustrated that my spiritual progress seems slow. Help me to remember that You’re still at work in my life, shaping me and helping me to become more and more like You.

Who Really Is the Holy Spirit?

John 14:16-18

Some Christians don’t realize the Holy Spirit came at the moment of salvation to live permanently within them. And some who do realize this don’t understand who the Spirit is, how He works, or why His indwelling presence is so significant.

The Holy Spirit is a person—not simply a power or force—and He, along with the other two members of the Trinity, was involved in creation. We know this because when God created mankind, He said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Gen. 1:26). The plural pronouns in this passage refer to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit.

On the night before the crucifixion, Jesus told the disciples that the Father would send them a Helper who would be with them and in them forever (John 14:16-17). Even though the Lord would no longer be physically present, He wasn’t going to leave them to fend for themselves like orphans. Instead, He promised to come to them through the presence of His Spirit (John 14:18).

Because of the crucifixion, today the Spirit is our leader, guide, teacher, and comforter. His presence in us means that we are God’s children and that God has upheld His promise to always be with us.

Our Dreamers

“It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.” (Isaiah 29:8)

The dreamers of this world are not only the utopian idealists and the contemplative meditationists. The really impractical dreamers are those who most pride themselves on being pragmatic materialists and scientific naturalists, dreaming that by their own efforts they can bring about perfection on Earth. The fact is that this world is not the real world but only a temporary world that, like a dream, will soon fade away in the light of God’s eternal day, when we awake in His presence to experience the world as God intended it.

In our text, it is significant that the sleeping men are dreaming only about eating and drinking. In the same manner, those whose interests and desires are centered in this world only will find all their objectives have turned to nothingness. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:16-17).

In that great day when the real world that will last for eternity arrives, all the “multitudes” in “all the nations” of the world— those who have ignored the will of God and who have thus, in effect, been “fighting against mount Zion”—will finally awaken, but it will be too late. How urgent it is that men now awake to God’s Word and God’s will. “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Ephesians 5:14). HMM

Voice Instead of the Echo

But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

—Acts 4:19-20

 

To escape the snare of artificiality it is necessary that a man enjoy a satisfying personal experience with God. He must be totally committed to Christ and deeply anointed with the Holy Spirit. Further, he must be delivered from the fear of man. The focus of his attention must be God and not men. He must let everything dear to him ride out on each sermon. He must so preach as to jeopardize his future, his ministry, even his life itself. He must make God responsible for the consequences and speak as one who will not have long to speak before he is called to judgment. Then the people will know they are hearing a voice instead of a mere echo.   GTM133-134

Lord, I’m going to sit quietly before You this morning and make sure these challenges are indeed the expression of my heart today. Amen.

 

Emotions under Control

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.

—Ephesians 5:18

 

Peter and Paul…join in urging us to practice and display the loftiest fruits of the Spirit of God with the Spirit Himself in control of our emotions and our affections, our worship and our praise. Yes, brothers, the Spirit will make the believing child of God generous but He will never make him foolish! He will make him happy but He will never make him silly! The Spirit will warm the inner life of the Christian’s being but he will never lead him to do the things that would cause him to hang his head in shame afterward.

I say, “Thank God” for the kind of enduring joy which comes to the believer whose emotional life is in the keeping of the Spirit. I stand with the dear child of God whose reason is sanctified and who refuses to be swept from his mooring in the Word of God either by the latest popular vogue in religious fad or the ascendence of the most recent sensational personality in gospel circles. ICH148-149

Even the Holy Spirit does not take away our mental poise or expect us to surrender our common sense and will or yield ourselves to any hypnotic influence. WCC102

 

The Twofold Work of the Spirit

Psalm 84:7

The ceaseless activity of love as expressed in the life of Jesus is the distinctive element in the Christian experience of holiness. Therefore Christlikeness is holiness. Where Christ is enthroned, there is holiness. Christian holiness will spring from the inward possession of that same Holy Spirit who was in Jesus and by whose power He wrought and taught.

So the blessing of holiness is never an “it.” No one should say: “I’ve got it!” for the experience is personal and the source of the experience is personal. Things and places can never be holy because of any intrinsic virtue which they may be held to possess.

The work of the Spirit was perfectly exemplified in Jesus. He can make us like Him, not through any outward conformity but by the workings of inward grace.

Finally, if it be asked whether this experience is the work of a moment or a matter of years, the answer is—both. For example, I was commissioned as an officer of The Salvation Army on May 3, 1920. But I have been learning ever since how better to do my work as an officer, and that task is never-ending. There will always be some fresh truth to be discovered. Perfection in any full and final sense will never come my way.

I can yield my forgiven life to God that He may bestow upon me as much of His Spirit as I am able at that moment to receive. That may take place at a moment of time. But the work of the Holy Spirit in my life will never be ended, for it is the greatest of the saints who have been the most conscious of their imperfections. Those who live closest to Jesus are most aware of how far they fall short of His glory. Their sense of their shortcomings is not due to His absence but to His presence.

Here then is the twofold work of the Spirit. He can purify, but He will reveal what more remains to be purified. He can provoke us to that disinterested service for God and man which is love in action, but He will make us long to serve more selflessly still. His work will never be done though His first coming may have been at a recognizable moment.

Though the presence of the Holy Spirit does not guarantee immunity from temptation or exemption from failure, He will give us grace to grow.

Frederick Coutts, Essentials of Christian Experience