VIDEO God Is Listening – A Pure Walk in a Polluted World

You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. Psalm 116:8

One troubled man finally said, “I’m tired of being sad.” Sometimes we have to make an emotional stand, buttressed by prayer. Those who are in Christ don’t stay sad forever. In Psalm 116, the writer had been in deep physical trouble. He had experienced so much pain he thought he was dying (verse 3). His life had fallen into “trouble and sorrow” (verse 3). But he had turned his problems into prayers (verse 4), and God had helped him.

Everyone faces seasons of pain, trouble, or sorrow, and sometimes we can’t keep from crying. In fact, weeping is one of the ways we express our feelings and process our emotions. But God’s ears are much bigger than our tears, and He hears us. He helps us.

An old Gospel song from more than a hundred years ago says, “Soon you never more will sigh, / Tears no more shall dim your eye, / Pray to Him who’s always nigh, / Never failing.”[1]

God will never fail to answer your prayers. He will deliver your soul from death, your eyes from tears, and your feet from falling. Why not decide to no longer live in sadness?

The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears. John Vance Cheney


July 19, 2020 | Dr. Jack Graham | A Pure Walk in a Polluted World | Sunday Sermon

Faithful Until the Harvest

Let us not become weary in doing good. Galatians 6:9

A woman I know planned an event at a local park and invited all the neighborhood children to participate. She was excited about the opportunity to share her faith with her neighbors.

She recruited her three grandchildren and two high school students to help her, gave the assignments, planned a number of games and other activities, prepared food, prepared a Bible story about Jesus to present to the children, and waited for them to gather.

Not a single child showed up the first day. Or the second day. Or the third day. Yet, each day my friend went through that day’s activities with her grandchildren and helpers.

On the fourth day, she noticed a family picnicking nearby and invited the children to join in the games. One little girl came, entered into the fun, ate with them, and listened to the story about Jesus. Perhaps years from now she’ll remember. Who knows what the outcome will be? God, through the book of Galatians, encourages us, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people” (6:9–10).

Don’t worry about numbers or other visible measures of success. Our job is to be faithful to what He wants us to do and then leave the harvest to Him. God determines the outcomes.

By:  David H. Roper

Reflect & Pray

What best-laid plans of yours have gone wrong? How can you learn to trust God with the outcome despite disappointment?

God, I’m grateful that You’re the one in charge of the results. You’re the one at work. Help me to do what You ask no matter what.

The Judgment of Believers

2 Corinthians 5:9-10

What do you feel when you think about standing before the judgment seat of Christ—fear or dread? The apostle John says that if we abide in Christ, then when the Lord appears, we can have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame (1 John 2:28). The reason is that we belong to Jesus, who went to on the cross to bear our sins and take the penalty we deserved.

Our future judgment has nothing to do with determining our eternal destiny; that has already been settled. Instead, this judgment is Christ’s evaluation of our deeds—to evaluate “whether [they are] good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). The word bad refers not to evil acts but to those that are of zero value. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 likens Christ’s judgment to a fire that consumes every worthless deed but leaves untouched those worthy of eternal reward. Although our life may look impressive by worldly standards, God alone knows the heart’s motives and which deeds are truly good (1 Corinthians 4:5).

Our actions don’t determine whether we spend eternity with God, but He is gracious to consider them for the purpose of reward. Together, let’s seek to live for Him and His glory each day. And let us also rest, knowing that His righteousness makes us worthy of heaven.

 

Into the Looking Glass

“For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1:23-25)

The Word of God is not a magic mirror, but if we seek real truths concerning ourselves, the biblical looking glass can bring great blessing. He who reads or hears the Word but does not believe or obey it is “a forgetful hearer” (v. 25) who is deceiving himself. It is these who merely “behold” themselves in the Word. The Greek word used here for “beholding” and “beholdeth” means “looking from a distance”—standing erect, as it were, while posing before the mirror. The man who “looketh into” the Word, on the other hand, “and continueth therein” being an obedient doer of its work is the one who receives eternal blessing. The Greek word here for “looketh” conveys the idea of intense scrutiny, requiring the one who is looking actually to stoop down in order to see. In fact, it is often translated “stoop down.”

As we allow the mirror of God’s Word to evaluate and correct our lives, “we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Yet, this is only a token of what we can experience in the future. “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). Now we can see ourselves in the written Word. When we see the living Word, “we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). HMM

Our Longing after Eternity

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart.

—Ecclesiastes 3:11

 

We take it for granted and we are not surprised at all about the eternal nature of God but the greater wonder is that God has seen fit to put His own everlastingness within the hearts of men and women….

I believe that this is the truth about our troubles and our problems: We are disturbed because God has put everlastingness in our hearts. He has put something within men and women that demands God and heaven—and yet we are too blind and sinful to find Him or even to look for Him!…

Men and women need to be told plainly, and again and again, why they are disturbed and why they are upset. They need to be told why they are lost and that if they will not repent they will certainly perish. Doctors and counselors will tell troubled men and women that their problems are psychological, but it is something deeper within the human being that troubles and upsets—it is the longing after eternity!   CES052-054

Lord, we long for eternity, but there is so much commotion, activity and noise in our world that that longing is too often drowned out. Help me to break through that madness with the message of Christ today. Amen.

 

Temperance is a Beautiful Word

And [add] to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness.

—2 Peter 1:6

 

The beautiful word temperance occurs strategically in the theology of the New Testament. Temperance is the helmsman in easy control of the powerful ship as it ploughs through the sea with all parts working in harmony.

Temperance is that in the Christian man’s life which brings every faculty into harmony with every other, and the total personality into accord with God’s plan for the whole man. In a life so directed there can be no place for excess….

[T]emperance is not automatic. It is listed among the fruit of the Spirit, but it requires prayer, Bible reading, cross-bearing, hard discipline, obedience and self-denial before it can become a fixed part of the Christian’s character. WOS084

Those who are in the flesh…live unto themselves; those who are in the Spirit…live unto Christ. There are but two moral characters that are essentially different, and this is the radical difference between them. DTC147

 

Introduction to Greatness

Matthew 1:21

Wouldn’t you agree that the word “great” is greatly overused and abused in the English vocabulary?

What would a sportscaster do without the word? No longer could he say:

“What a great play… great catch… great throw… great stop.” Or the talk show host. No longer could he introduce “a great actress” or plug “a great book” or listen to “a great song” or watch “a great performance.”

You get the point. The word “great” isn’t so great anymore. Too bad. It used to be a noble word. It meant distinguished, preeminent, elevated, remarkable, of large scale and stature. The Greek word Luke uses to describe the angel Gabriel’s word to address Mary, is megas, from which we get megaton, megalopolis, megabucks. Basically the Greek word means the ultimate of whatever it is you’re talking about.

When the angel Gabriel made his startling announcement to Mary, he was talking about a person. “He will be great.” Mary was not only to become great with child, she was to become great with a great child. Very few people in the world would deny the greatness of Jesus of Nazareth.

He was a great teacher. He had a mastery of simple parables to convey profound spiritual truth, and a phenomenal insight into the longings, fears, hopes and needs of others. He was a great healer and miracle worker. He was a great prophet, with the seer’s insight into the times and course of events. He was a great lover of people, always with time for the individual and a special place in His heart for society’s outcasts.

Wherein lies the greatness of a man? By accident or fortune of history some men rise to positions of importance, but they are not great men. Great men are men of simplicity and humility. They have the ability to see through the complex maze of life to the basic realities, and they live before those realities with great reverence and humility. Jesus was such a man.

But there is more to be said about Jesus’ greatness. It was the greatness of God incarnate. He interpreted His own life on earth as an act of God.

In Jesus we see the greatness of a Savior. It seems that the parents of the Bethlehem Babe had no choice about their Son’s name. As His destiny was fixed, so must His name be fixed to suit it: “You are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

Have you in your life met this true greatness? If you haven’t, make the acquaintance. Meet Immanuel—God with us. And you’ll never be the same again.

Philip D. Needham, The War Cry