VIDEO Unchanging Love

For I am the Lord, I do not change. Malachi 3:6

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Lt. Carey H. Cash was chaplain to a battalion of frontline combat Marines. In his memoir, A Table in the Presence, he spoke of praying with his troops. “Our prayers were simple,” he wrote, “but they were exactly what we all needed. We prayed for protection, for courage, for victory, for faith in difficult moments, for the assurance that we were not alone, for help in making tough decisions, for grace to endure, and for strength to overcome…. We relied on the power of the Psalms, the will of God, the teachings of Jesus, and the promises of eternal life. We clung to hope, trusted in God’s love, and believed in a divine purpose and plan behind it all.”[1]

Like those Marines, we must trust in God’s love and in the divine purpose He has for all our days.

God’s love for us is unchanging and not dependent on our actions. How encouraging to know that God’s love for us remains the same, even when we make a mistake or a wrong decision—for He never does. We can trust Him during life’s battles.

God never once, even amidst the chaos of war, stopped pursuing our own hearts.
Casey H. Cash

[1] Lt. Carey H. Cash, A Table in the Presence (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004), 120.

R.C. Sproul: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: The Immutability of God

Rescue Mission

Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. Psalm 38:15

Volunteers at a farm animal rescue organization in Australia found a wandering sheep weighed down by more than seventy-five pounds of filthy, matted wool. Rescuers suspected the sheep had been forgotten and lost in the bush for at least five years. Volunteers soothed him through the uncomfortable process of shearing away his heavy fleece. Once freed from his burden, Baarack ate. His legs grew stronger. He became more confident and content as he spent time with his rescuers and the other animals at the sanctuary.

The psalmist David understood the pain of being weighed down with heavy burdens, feeling forgotten and lost, and desperate for a rescue mission. In Psalm 38, David cried out to God. He had experienced isolation, betrayal, and helplessness (vv. 11–14). Still, he prayed with confidence: “Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God” (v. 15). David didn’t deny his predicament or minimize his inner turmoil and physical ailments (vv. 16–20). Instead, he trusted that God would be near and answer him at the right time and in the right way (vv. 21–22).

When we feel weighed down by physical, mental, or emotional burdens, God remains committed to the rescue mission He planned from the day He created us. We can count on His presence when we cry out to Him: “Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior” (v. 22).

By:  Xochitl Dixon

Reflect & Pray

How has God revealed His faithfulness when you’ve felt weighed down? How has God used others to comfort and support you?

Gracious God, help me to encourage others who feel weighed down, lost, or forgotten.

We Have a Trustworthy Guide

Jesus will lead us through life’s joys and sorrows—and into eternity

Psalm 32:8-11

In my office is a print of the Lord Jesus standing behind a young man and pointing ahead. Jesus’ hand is on the man’s shoulder, and I imagine Him saying, “This is the way we’re going. I’ll get you to the destination.” Although the road will be marked with both joy and suffering, the Lord leads His followers all the way to their eternal home. 

It takes honesty to admit that we’re ill-equipped to go through life alone—in our own strength, limited knowledge, and human reasoning, we simply cannot be sure our decisions are wise. Thankfully, the Lord is willing and able to guide us if we’ll let Him. To fall in step with God, follow His lead by regularly spending time in His Word and applying biblical principles in your life.  

For those of us who follow the Lord, eternity in heaven lies just beyond our last heartbeat. And that’s where our Savior is leading us. The path may not be clear to our eyes, but Jesus is guiding us there with a steady and sure hand. Our part is to follow in obedience so that when we reach heaven, we’ll hear the Father say, “Well done” (Matthew 25:21). 

Infallible Proofs

“To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3)

To the first Christians, faith in the deity of Christ was not a blind leap into the dark. Only God could defeat death, and they knew—beyond all doubt—that Jesus Christ had risen bodily from the tomb. They had seen Him, touched Him, and eaten with Him, alone and in crowds, in closed rooms, and out in the open.

The term “infallible proofs” translates a Greek word used only this one time, meaning literally “many criteria of certainty,” and it is significant that the inspired Word of God applies it only to the resurrection of Christ. It is not too much to say that Christ’s resurrection is the most certain fact in all history, and many large volumes have been published setting forth the evidences thereof. No wonder the apostle Peter could say, “We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter 1:16).

The apostle John testified thus: “The life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us” (1 John 1:2). John not only saw Him in His resurrection body but also in His glorified body, hearing Him say, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:18).

It is true that we, like the first Christians, must believe on Christ to receive salvation, but this faith is not a credulous faith, a leap into the dark. It is a reasonable faith, based on many infallible proofs, and we can, therefore, trust Him with our eternal souls. HMM

“Thou Shalt Call His Name Jesus”

Matthew 1:21-23

ONLY Matthew and Luke give us any account of the birth of our Lord. Matthew records that Mary “was found with child of the Holy Ghost” and that the angel appearing to Joseph declares the child shall be called “Jesus,” which is equivalent to the Old Testament “Joshua” and means “Savior.” All this also is a fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14.

Luke records more details. Joseph and Mary at Bethlehem for the taxation find no room in the inn. Alas, there still is no room for the Lord Jesus to be born in the crowded inns of many hearts.

The Lord Jesus was first made known to shepherds, who represent the working class; to the wise men, who represent the student class; and to Simeon and Anna, who represent the worshiping class. Christ has ever been made known to men in their work, their study, their worship. It is significant that the first to hear the glad tidings were the humble shepherds, as if to declare in advance that these things should be received by the weak and base and despised—more by babes than by the wise and prudent.

Yet the learned are not excluded, for the wise men also came to the young King. This story has been twisted somewhat out of its original shape. It is not said that there were three, nor are their names given. Their gifts are significant: gold symbolizes royalty; frankincense speaks of the fragrance of our Lord’s life, a sacrifice to the Father; myrrh, used in embalming the dead, points to His death. In Isaiah 60:6 similar gifts are spoken of in connection with our Lord’s Return, but the myrrh is omitted for His death then is past.

In Matthews account, several scriptures are fulfilled. Micah 5:2, in regard to Bethlehem, comes to pass. The flight to Egypt fulfills Hosea 11:1, which applies primarily to Israel but also to our Lord, who was identified with His brethren according to the flesh. Jeremiah 31:15 is fulfilled in the slaughter of the children by Herod; it personifies Israel in Rachel weeping for her children. The contest shows that Israel will weep until she accepts her Messiah.

Mary must offer sacrifice (Luke 2:24) because she was sinful as other women. Devout Simeon and Anna, waiting for the consolation of Israel and not to die until they had seen the Christ, are Spirit-led to recognize Him. Simeon quotes from Isaiah 42 and 49 that the Lord Jesus shall be “a light to the Gentiles,” the glory of Israel and yet a stumbling stone to Israel (Rom. 3:29; 1 Cor. 1:23-24; 2 Cor. 2:16; 1 Pet. 2:8). Truly a sword pierced Mary’s heart at the cross (John 19:25) as Simeon declared. The rest of the verse, “that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed,” belongs to verse 34. In the attitude men take toward Christ all else is revealed.

Anna testified to others who looked for the Messiah, but doubtless her witness to other Jews was rejected, as it has been to this day.

“Praise ye the Lord.”

Genesis 1:14-23

There was light before the appearance of sun or moon; but God made these the bearers thereof, that they might declare his glory. He could have done without them, but he did not please so to do. He could enlighten men’s minds without his ministers or his church; but, if he chooses to use them as lights in the world, let us be thankful for them, and pray for them.

Genesis 1:16

Thus a chaos of light was reduced to order. Order is a law of God. Families are unhappy without it.

Genesis 1:17-18

The delightful alternation of the day so suitable for labour, and the night so proper for rest, is certainly “good” for us in many ways, and we ought to adore the goodness of God therein.

Genesis 1:19-20

Thus the Lord’s work of creation advanced to higher stages each day, and we shall find it so in grace; he will yet reveal choicer mercies to us.

Genesis 1:23

The inconceivable numbers of fish and fowl in the earth show how potent was this primeval blessing. Let but the Lord bless his church in the same manner, and her converts shall be as the stars of heaven for multitude. Such wonders of creation ought not to be rehearsed without a song of praise: let us therefore turn to—

Psalm 148

Psalm 148:14

All this day let us praise God with our hearts, words, and actions; for he has dealt very kindly with us as a family. Blessed be his name.

Praise him, ye gladdening smiles of morn;

Praise him, O silent night;

Tell forth his glory all the earth;

Praise him, ye stars of light!

Praise him, ye stormy winds, that rise

Obedient to his word;

Mountains, and hills, and fruitful trees,

Join ye and praise the Lord!

Praise him, ye heavenly hosts, for ye

With purer lips, can sing—

Glory and honour, praise and power

To him, the Eternal King!

Holy Spirit: God in Contact with His Creatures

The Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me. John 15:26

If I read aright the record of Christian experience through the years, those who most enjoyed the power of the Spirit of God have had the least to say about Him by way of attempted definition.

The Bible saints who walked in the Spirit never tried to explain Him. In post-biblical times many who were filled and possessed by the Spirit were by the limitations of their literary gifts prevented from telling us much about Him. They had no gift for self-analysis, but lived from within in uncritical simplicity.

To them the Spirit was One to be loved and fellow-shipped the same as the Lord Jesus Himself. They would have been lost completely in any metaphysical discussion of the nature of the Spirit, but they had no trouble in claiming the power of the Spirit for holy living and fruitful service.

This is as it should be. Personal experience must always be first in real life. Knowledge by acquaintance is always better than knowledge by description, and the first does not presuppose the second nor require it.

What we have in the Christian doctrine of the Holy Spirit is Deity present among us.

He is not God’s messenger only—He is God!

He is God in contact with His creatures, doing in them and among them a saving and renewing work.