VIDEO More Than Is Needed

Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Isaiah 55:2

In Christ, we have abundant life, as He promised in John 10:10. But how should we define the word abundant?The thesaurus defines it as: “lavish, overflowing, bountiful, plenteous, teeming, more than is needed.”

Think of it! God is abundant in mercy (Numbers 14:18). That is, His mercy is lavish, overflowing, bountiful, plenteous, teeming, and more than enough to forgive any guilt we’ve been feeling. He gives abundant joy (Philippians 1:26), more than is needed for any trial. We can delight ourselves in the abundance of peace (Psalm 37:11), and He is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). When we get to heaven and look back on our earthly days, we’ll find that He answered our prayers with lavishing, overflowing, bountiful, plenteous, teeming generosity.

He gives so much more than is needed!

And think of the eternal abundance of our inheritance in heaven! Jesus is not insolvent. The abundant life is ours through Him. We should delight in the abundance of Christ, who is our life.

What is more abundant life? It is the Lord Jesus Himself…. Life more abundant is glorious life… victorious life… fruitful life… strong life… praising life. Vadakunnu David, evangelist in Ceylon 


Isaiah 54 – 56 • “My steadfast love shall not depart from you.”

Taken In

People who . . . lack understanding are like the beasts that perish .Psalm 49:20

My old dog sits by my side and stares off into space. A penny for her thoughts. One thing I know she isn’t thinking about is dying because dogs don’t “understand.” They don’t think about future things. But we do. No matter our age or health or wealth, we at some point think about dying. That’s because we, unlike beasts, have “understanding,” according to Psalm 49:20. We know that we will die, and there’s nothing we can do about it. “No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them” (v. 7). No one has enough money to buy himself or herself out of the grave.

But there is a way out of the finality of death: “God will redeem me from the realm of the dead,” insists the psalmist. “He will surely take me to himself” (v. 15; literally, “He will take me in”). Robert Frost said, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” God has redeemed us from death through His Son, “who gave himself as a ransom for all people” (1 Timothy 2:6). Thus Jesus promised that when our time comes, He will greet us and take us in (John 14:3).

When my time comes, Jesus, who gave to God the price of my life, will welcome me into His Father’s house with open arms.

By:  David H. Roper

Reflect & Pray

How do you deal with the thought of dying? On what do you base your confidence of heaven?

I’m grateful, God, that You have provided a place for Your children. I look forward to being at home with You.

Visit ChristianUniversity.org/CA204 to learn more about life after death.

Learning Through Adversity

Psalm 119:65-80

When we experience adversity, we tend to wonder, Why is this happening to me? Although the answer might remain a mystery, Scripture gives us a foundation from which to view difficulties. God’s Word tells us that we live in a fallen world filled with sinful people, that even the redeemed are not exempt from trouble, and that Satan has great influence here.

But as believers, we know God uses our troubles to accomplish His good purposes. Although they are sometimes the Lord’s means of correcting us when we stray, trials also teach us to depend on Him rather than ourselves and to trust He will supply our needs. A diet of nothing but manna must have seemed like a great trial to the Israelites wandering in the wilderness. Yet that was God’s means of humbling them and teaching that He alone was their Provider (Deut. 8:3).

Understanding these things about God, you can begin to recognize adversity as a reminder of His great love. And not only that, but difficulties are also a way to know Him more intimately—that is, you won’t ever experience God as Comforter if you’re never in need of comfort. So whatever the reason for your trial, realize that He has allowed it for your good (Rom. 8:28).

Present with the Lord

“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8)

This verse has proved of great comfort to many a sorrowing believer who has just lost a loved one. Especially if they know that the parent or child or friend was also a believer in the saving work and person of Christ, then—although they sorrow—they “sorrow not, even as others which have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

For that loved one, though no longer in that old body that had perhaps been filled with pain, is now with the Lord. That is, he or she has been given a somewhat indescribable spiritual body in which to function in heaven until the coming resurrection day. Although that may not yet be the wonderful life that awaits them in their glorified, resurrection bodies in the ages to come, they will be “with Christ; which is far better” than this present life (Philippians 1:23).

There are a number of sincere believers who argue that dead Christians will simply “sleep” until He comes again to raise the dead. While a certain case can be developed for this “soul sleep” concept, it is hard to see how that could be “far better” than this present life. Paul said that he had a “desire to depart, and to be with Christ,” and also that “to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:23, 21). But what “gain” could there be for him in simply “sleeping” instead of continuing to live in Christ?

The Scriptures do not reveal much about that “intermediate state,” as it has been called. But there is that intriguing verse about being “compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses” who perhaps are somehow watching us as we “run with patience the race that is set before us” here on Earth (Hebrews 12:1). That possibility can be a real incentive to do just that. HMM

Warnings and Invitations

Matthew 11:20-30

IN Matthew 11:20-30, our Lord reaches one of the crossroads in His ministry. Hitherto He has preached to the lost sheep of the house of Israel the gospel of the kingdom, offering Himself as the long-expected Messiah. But Israel has refused Him, so now He pronounces judgment upon them and turns to the world at large with a general invitation for all who are weary—the laboring and the laden—to come to Him for rest.

It is a remarkable fulfillment of prophecy that the cities here condemned lie today in ruins. Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum are mute witnesses to the truth of this judgment. That it would be “more tolerable” for Sodom and Tyre and Sidon indicates that there will be degrees of punishment.

Then our Lord thanked God that the deeper truths were hidden from the wise and prudent and revealed unto babes. It has ever been so; the wise in their own conceits pass the gospel by while the simple receive it. Only those who abandon their pride and become childlike can enter the kingdom. If it were otherwise, men would take credit for being saved, and flesh would glory in His presence.

Then follows one of those sublime statements that show the resources of our Lord: “All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.” Here all things belong to Jesus, and Paul says all things also are ours (1 Cor. 3:21-23), for we are joint-heirs with Christ. In this passage all things are Christ’s, and He says “Come” (v. 28). In John 3:35-36 again all things are His, and He says “Believe.” And in Matthew 28:18-20 all power is His, and then He says “Go.”

Having first stated His resources, Jesus then invites the laboring and laden to come to Him. Since all belong to these classes, all are invited. Notice, He says He will give us rest; but in the next verse He bids us learn of Him and find rest. Rest is both an obtainment and an attainment. Positionally, we receive His rest when we come to Him. But conditionally, in experience, this rest is ours daily as we abide in Him and learn of Him. It is not earned, but it is learned! Hebrews 4:9-11 bears the same thought concerning His rest: the person who has entered into God’s rest has ceased from his own works; yet the next verse bids us labor to enter into that rest. His yoke is not an extra burden to be added to our others, but it is meant to make all our burdens lighter! (Perhaps the collar of the “disciple” is meant here, rather than the yoke placed upon a beast of burden.)

Those who would reduce the Christian experience to a tedious round of observances and restrictions forget that His yoke is easy and His burden light.

Our faith is not weights but wings! Coming to Him, rest is ours; as we practice His rest, it becomes our condition as well as our position.

The Great Triune God

The Word became flesh and took up residence among us.—John 1:14

Dr. W. E. Sangster tells the story of following three children out of church. One remarked to the others: “I can’t understand all this ‘Three in One and One in Three’ business.”

“I can’t either,” said another child, “but I think of it like this: my mother is Mummy to me, she is Mabel to Daddy, and Mrs. Douglas to lots of other people.”

Is that the answer? Is it just a question of names? Are we right in finding the doctrine of the Trinity in the text of Matthew 28:19, where the word “name” is singular, but three names are given—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

No, that is just part of it; there is much more to it than that. God, we know, is one God. But there stepped into the world someone who claimed also to be God. His name was Jesus. He forgave sins, claimed to have existence before Abraham, and accepted worship as His right. Worship, remember, is for God alone. After Jesus was resurrected and returned to heaven, He sent back the Holy Spirit, who was also seen as God (2Co 13:13). He—the Holy Spirit—came into the disciples and brought with Him the resources of the Godhead, breaking the sin in their nature, pleading in prayer, and exalting the Savior.

Thus we see God is One but also Three in One: God above us, God among us, God within us. The Father in majesty, the Son in suffering, the Spirit in striving. This is the central mystery of our most holy faith. Together, and with all our hearts, let us adore the great triune God.

Prayer

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, though I cannot comprehend Your essential oneness and unity, I can worship You nevertheless. This I do now, in humble adoration. Glory, honor, and power be unto Your name forever and ever. Amen.

Further Study

Jn 1:1-14; 8:58; 10:30; 17:5

How did John describe Jesus?

What did Jesus declare of Himself?

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

VIDEO Don’t Be Short-Circuited

And truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:3

Every married couple has experienced the temporary loss of fellowship. When a word or action offends a spouse, there is a loss of closeness in the relationship. The root meaning of fellowship is “oneness”: two become one in marriage. But sin can break that oneness until the offense is dealt with through confession and forgiveness. The marriage doesn’t end because of the offense, but intimacy is short-circuited.

It’s the same with us and God. Our sin separates us from God until it is dealt with. God sent Jesus into the world to deal with our sin so we might be reconciled to God and have our oneness with Him restored (2 Corinthians 5:19). What happens if we sin as believers? We are not lost; our relationship with God is not set aside. But our fellowship with Him is interrupted until we say about our sin what God says about it (that is what confess literally means—“to say the same thing”). Because of Christ’s sacrifice for our sin, we can be forgiven and our fellowship with God restored (1 John 1:9).

Don’t let sin short-circuit your fellowship with God. Confess and be reconciled to Him.

The fellowship of God is delightful beyond all telling. A. W. Tozer


Paul Washer | 1John 1 | University Lectures

Abundant Waters

Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink. Exodus 17:6

In Australia, a report outlined “a grim story” of extreme drought, heat, and fire. The account described a horrific year with only minuscule rainfall, turning parched brush into tinder. Raging fires torched the countryside. Fish died. Crops failed. All because they didn’t have a simple resource we often take for granted—water, which we all need in order to live.

Israel found itself in its own terrifying dilemma. As the people camped in the dusty, barren desert, we read this alarming line: “There was no water for the people to drink” (Exodus 17:1). The people were afraid. Their throats were dry. The sand sizzled. Their children suffered thirst. Terrified, the people “quarreled with Moses,” demanding water (v. 2). But what could Moses do? He could only go to God.

And God gave Moses odd instructions: “Take . . . the staff [and] . . . strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink” (vv. 5–6). So Moses hit the rock, and out gushed a river, plenty for the people and their cattle. That day, Israel knew that their God loved them. Their God provided abundant water.

If you’re experiencing a drought or wilderness in life, know that God is aware of it and He’s with you. Whatever your need, whatever your lack, may you find hope and refreshment in His abundant waters.

By:  Winn Collier

Reflect & Pray

Where are the parched and barren places in your world? How can you look for and trust in God’s abundant waters?

I need Your water, God, Your provision. If You don’t help me, I don’t think I’ll make it. Will You bring me the water I need?

Motivation to Press On

1 Corinthians 15:51-58

We would all agree life can be difficult. Pressures of daily living can feel overwhelming, relationships can disappoint us, and at times our expectations go unmet. So it’s good to remember an important truth that can sustain us: This life is not all there is; the best is yet to come.

Having the promise of the resurrection gives us the motivation we need to “be firm, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). We know that our efforts are never in vain and our Father has provided everything we need to succeed:

• God’s Word reveals His purpose for all believers and transforms our character, thoughts, and behaviors to align with His desires.

• The Holy Spirit providentially guides us into God’s will and empowers our obedience. 

• Spiritual gifts are given by the Holy Spirit and enable us to serve the Lord in the way He’s planned.

• Prayer allows us to communicate with God at any time to receive guidance and grace to help with every need.

These remarkable divine provisions, together with the promise of resurrection and the glories of heaven, give us good reason to persevere and never lose heart.