VIDEO What a Book!

So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading. Nehemiah 8:8

Over a hundred years ago, two brothers, William and John Muir of Scotland, advanced the cause of missions in India while serving with the Indian Civil Service. William wrote this about the Bible: “It is the Bible that has been aback of all …evangelizing, and reviving movements. From it has come the inspiration which has sent out the most successful missionaries and evangelists to gather in the lost; and no evangelical agency can expect to prosper unless it keeps the Bible in the very forefront. Whether we think of the great revival of heart religion which we call the Reformation, or of the Puritan Revival…or of the Methodist Revival…we always find that the good work gathered round the Bible.”[1]

God’s Word is living and active in spiritual revival, and it’s our sword in spiritual warfare. Read it distinctly, study the meaning, and practice its message.

What a Book! Vast and wide as the world! Rooted in the abysses of creation and towering up beyond the blue secrets of heaven! Sunrise and sunset, birth and death, promise and fulfillment, the whole drama of humanity are all in this Book! It is the Book of books! Heinrich Heine


16 Nehemiah 8-13 – Pastor Chuck Smith – C2000 Series

Investing in Others

Use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves. Luke 16:9

When a corporation offered one thousand frequent-flier miles for every ten purchases of one of their foods, one man realized their cheapest product was individual cups of chocolate pudding. He bought more than twelve thousand. For $3,000, he received gold status and a lifetime supply of air miles for himself and his family. He also donated the pudding to charity, which netted him an $800 tax write-off. Genius!

Jesus told a controversial parable about a cunning manager who, as he was being fired, reduced what debtors owed his master. The man knew he could rely on their help later for the favor he was doing them now. Jesus wasn’t praising the manager’s unethical business practice, but He knew we could learn from his ingenuity. Jesus said we should shrewdly “use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:9). As “the pudding guy” turned twenty-five cent desserts into flights, so we may use our “worldly wealth” to gain “true riches” (v. 11).

What are these riches? Jesus said, “Give to the poor” and you will “provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys” (12:33). Our investment doesn’t earn our salvation, but it does affirm it, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (v. 34).

By:  Mike Wittmer

Reflect & Pray

How have you recently helped meet someone’s physical needs? Why is your charity an investment?

Loving God, help me to invest in the poor, for Jesus’ sake and Yours.

Our Protector

Though hardship in life is inevitable, God is our protector and refuge, and He is with us through it all

Psalm 62:5-8

Have you noticed all the instability in our world today? There is much to fear if we have only ourselves or others to rely on in these troubling times. But God is our Protector, and when we run to Him, we can have peace in the midst of uncertainty. If He is our Rock, then we won’t be shaken by the events in this world or even those in our own life.

The Lord is able to safeguard us in treacherous times. No matter where trouble originates—with others, external circumstances, or our own actions—we can find ourselves in danger and afraid. Thankfully, we have a loving God who leads us to safety.

Now that doesn’t mean the Lord will rescue us from all trouble, but He will walk with us through every painful circumstance. As we pour out our heart to God and let His Word bring comfort, He will renew our mind, calm our fears, and strengthen our trust in Him.

Do you take refuge in God when circumstances are frightening, or do you watch the news or browse the web looking for hope and reassurance? The world cannot provide the help you seek. Only when the Lord is your stronghold will you remain unshaken.

Delight in the Will of God

“I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” (Psalm 40:8)

This remarkable testimony of David is actually also a Messianic prophecy, fulfilled completely only in Christ. Only as Messiah could He truly say, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me” and “I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me”; “The works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me” (John 4:34; 6:38; 10:25). “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith…Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God” (Hebrews 10:5, 7).

His heart was attuned perfectly to the will of God because God’s law was written thereon, “not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:3). Even in the most trying circumstances to which any man could ever be subjected, He could pray, “Not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).

By the indwelling Spirit of God, we also must seek to make the will of God our greatest delight. We are saved solely by grace, but this is not to deliver us from the burdensome constraints of God’s holy law; as in the case of Christ Himself, He places His law in our hearts in order to enable us to love His law. “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them” (Hebrews 10:16).

Then we learn, like the psalmist, not to resist His will but to love His will and to delight in His law. “O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day….Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart….I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight” (Psalm 119:97, 111, 174). HMM

Love—God in Human Form

Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee.Psalm 31:19

The Holy Spirit…helps us recognize the kind of love we received from Jesus Christ, who has freed us from our sins by His blood. Have you yet learned that love is not a thing of reason? Love tries to be reasonable, but it seldom succeeds. There is a sweet wisdom in love that is above reason—it rises above it and goes far beyond it. Who could ever imagine the God of all the universe condensing Himself into human form and, out of His love, dying for His alienated people? It seems an unreasonable thing to do, but it was reasonable in that it was the supreme wisdom of the mighty God!

The saintly Lady Julian, centuries ago, cherished this love that is ours in Christ. She wrote: “Out of His goodness, God made us. Out of His goodness, He keeps us. When man had sinned, He redeemed us again out of His goodness. Then do you not suppose that God will give His children the best of everything out of His goodness?” JIV045

God is not justice. God is not wisdom. God is not power. God has all these attributes but none of them is great enough to constitute His essence. But love is His very nature and in love all other attributes find their completeness. CTBC, Vol. 6/361

Not Just a “Father”

Holy Father, protect them by Your name.John 17:11

John Calvin said: “That God’s name should be hallowed is to say that God should have His own honor of which He is so worthy, so that men should never think or speak of Him without the greatest veneration.”

One of the things that saddens me about the contemporary Christian church is the way that some believers refer to the Almighty in terms that drag Him down to a “good buddy” relationship. They refer to the great God of creation as “The Man Upstairs” or “My Partner in the Sky.” When people talk about God in such low-level terms, they do Him an injustice. And it’s not so much the terms but the image of God that lies behind those terms which is the real problem.

We must, of course, strike a balanced note on this issue, for Paul himself teaches us that the Holy Spirit in our hearts prompts us to call God not merely “Father,” but “Daddy” (Rm 8:15). Too much of the “Daddy,” however, can lead us, if we are not careful, into sloppy sentimentalism. I believe this is why, after the phrase “Our Father,” Jesus introduces us to another aspect of God—hallowed, holy, reverenced be His Name. It is right that we think of God in familiar terms such as “Daddy,” but it is right also that we remember that our heavenly Father is a God of majestic holiness and unsullied purity. A. W. Tozer was right when he said, “No religion has been greater than its idea of God.” Jesus put it into proper focus when He addressed God, not only as Father, but Holy Father.

Prayer

My Father and my God, help me gain a healthy and balanced view of Your person, so that while I enjoy the familiarity of Your Fatherhood, I am exceedingly conscious also of Your holiness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

Heb 12:1-14; Ex 15:11; 1Sm 6:20; Isa 6:3; Rv 15:4

Where are we to look?

How do we become holy?

A Godly Influence

Then the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you [alone] are righteous before Me in this generation.”Genesis 7:1

The children of Noah faced a significant decision. They lived in a world where everyone blatantly disregarded God. Wickedness was the norm. No one would have condemned Noah’s sons for living evil lives like the rest of society—no one except their father. In a world rampant with ungodly attitudes and every form of wicked behavior, they were fortunate to be Noah’s sons. When their father invited them to spend the next hundred years building an ark in obedience to a word from God, Noah’s sons had to choose whether to believe those around them or to trust their father. They chose to join their father. What a wonderful testimony of Noah’s godly influence in his home! How fortunate for Shem, Ham, and Japheth that their father refused to compromise his integrity, even though everyone else in his society had done so.

Your life has an influence on those around you as well. Your spouse and your children are profoundly affected by your choices. Your coworkers, your neighbors, and your friends will all be impacted by your life. As the world tries to persuade people to follow its standard, your life should stand in stark contrast as an example of a righteous person. Your life should convince those around you of the wisdom of following God. Do not underestimate the positive effect that your obedience will have upon those close to you.