VIDEO Inexhaustible!

We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19

Charles Spurgeon preached on this verse—1 John 4:19—many times. He said: “I hope to preach from it a good many more times… for it is one of those inexhaustible wells into which you may let down the bucket every morning, and always pull it up full. It is a mine with a good many seams of the richest ore. You may think that you have dug all its treasures out, but you have only to sink a new shaft, to find that there is another seam just as rich as the former one; and when you have brought all that wealth to the surface—and that may take your whole lifetime—someone else may… open up a fresh vein.”[1]

We should take this verse into our heart today! Only eight words, yet the wealth of heaven is contained in the syllables! Say it aloud. Ponder it. Imagine it. Believe it. Rest on your pillow tonight with this simple sentence ushering you to sleep.

No matter what we face in life, God will always love us. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from His love!

The love of God to his people is omnipotent; there is no force in nature that can for a single moment be compared with it.
Charles Spurgeon

[1] Charles Spurgeon, “The Secret of Love to God,” Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Volume 47, August 15, 1880.

Why We Love Jesus – 1 John 4:19

Love like Blazing Fire

[Love] burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Song of Songs 8:6

Poet, painter, and printmaker William Blake enjoyed a forty-five-year marriage with his wife, Catherine. From their wedding day until his death in 1827, they worked side by side. Catherine added color to William’s sketches, and their devotion endured years of poverty and other challenges. Even in his final weeks as his health failed, Blake kept at his art, and his final sketch was his wife’s face. Four years later, Catherine died clutching one of her husband’s pencils in her hand.

The Blakes’ vibrant love offers a reflection of the love discovered in the Song of Songs. And while the Song’s description of love certainly has implications for marriage, early believers in Jesus believed it also points to Jesus’ unquenchable love for all His followers. The Song describes a love “as strong as death,” which is a remarkable metaphor since death is as final and unescapable a reality as humans will ever know (8:6). This strong love “burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame” (v. 6). And unlike fires we’re familiar with, these flames can’t be doused, not even by a deluge. “Many waters cannot quench love,” the Song insists (v. 7).

Who among us doesn’t desire true love? The Song reminds us that whenever we encounter genuine love, God is the ultimate source. And in Jesus, each of us can know a profound and undying love—one that burns like a blazing fire.

By:  Winn Collier

Reflect & Pray

Where have you encountered strong love? How does Jesus’ love encourage you?

Dear God, please help me to receive Your love and share it with others.

For further study, read How God Loves Us

Life Before Grace

Whether pursuing sin or goodness, people are without hope apart from Christ Ephesians 2:1-3

Grace is the unmerited love that God shows to sinful people. He expressed this love through the sacrificial death of His Son, and it becomes ours when we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior. Because of grace, we are forgiven by God and adopted into His family. 

Today’s passage describes our life before grace—when we were dead in our trespasses and sins. This means that every one of us is born with no spiritual life, numb to the things of God. Our nature leans away from the Lord and instead toward ourselves and the ways of the world. 

Before encountering grace, Saul of Tarsus (later known as the apostle Paul) was very religious but blind to God’s perspective and plan. He actively opposed those who followed Christ (Acts 26:9-11). With a goal of destroying the church, he sought to eradicate the Christian faith, which he deemed false. He continued persecuting believers until he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-6). There he surrendered his will to the Lord and became a true follower of Christ. 

Like Paul, some people are religious and yet lack a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Does that describe you? God offers every one of us grace and salvation today through faith in Him.

How Are You Living?

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.” (2 Peter 3:10-11)

Peter tightly grips his quill, carefully writing his final words upon the parchment, as the sands in his hourglass of time are quickly running out. Soon neither his voice nor quill will serve the Savior again in his earthly role.

Take a moment to ponder these last words. What kind of person should you be? If our Lord Jesus is coming soon, how should these words impact your life and way of living right now? He says, “What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness” (v. 11). Notice the missing question mark even though it appears to be written as a question.

In fact, “what manner of persons” comes from the Greek word potapos. Rather than a question, the phrase assumes “an exclamation of astonishment,” without expecting an answer. One person translates the phrase this way: “What devout and dedicated lives you should live!”

Therefore, these verses become a challenge to conform to the life-changing reality of eternity. If the glorified Lord Jesus is coming to take you to be with Himself, to deliver you from judgment, to present you with a glorified body, and to take you into the kingdom of eternal righteousness, then now is the time to begin living in the reality of this eternal truth. CM

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.

“All things are yours.”

Genesis 13:5-18

Genesis 13:7

Rich men may be godly, and godly men may be rich, but riches are the sure source of trial. In this case abundance did not bring peace, but became the source of discomfort. Good men cannot rule their servants’ tempers, even though they control their own. When relatives dwell together they must be very careful, lest they be made to disagree through their servants. It is a rare thing for relations in the second degree to live in the same house without strife; and it becomes every inmate of such a household to watch against suspicions, envies, and bickerings.) (The presence of such powerful enemies ought to have made these good men cautious how they disagreed. Since the eyes of the world are upon us we must be careful how we act. Let not a Christian household make sport for worldlings by internal disagreements.

Genesis 13:9

Abram was the older, the greater, the richer, and the better man, yet he gave way to his nephew. In all differences it becomes the more powerful to be the first to yield. By so doing he will prove himself to be of the nobler disposition. Abram’s faith brought forth in this case the fruit of a noble, generous, yielding spirit. All true faith is thus fruitful.

Genesis 13:13

This was a grave fault on Lot’s part. He looked only to the richness of the country, and not to the character of the people. He walked by sight not. by faith; he looked at temporal advantage, and did not seek first the kingdom of God. Hence he became worldly himself and gave up the separated life of faith to go and dwell in a city; thus he forfeited all claim to the promised inheritance, and pierced himself through with many sorrows. In the end, he who sought this world lost it, and he who was willing to give up anything for the honour of God found it.

When friends leave us we may look for renewed visits from the Lord to sustain and console us, for when Lot was gone the Lord appeared again to Abram.

Genesis 13:17

He was bidden to survey his possessions and walk abroad like an owner in his own grounds: even thus may our faith behold the covenant blessings which are ours in Christ Jesus, and we may rejoice in them with joy unspeakable.

So let our lips and lives express

The holy gospel we profess;

So let our works and virtues shine,

To prove the doctrine all divine.

Thus shall we best proclaim abroad

The honours of our Saviour God,

When his salvation reigns within,

And grace subdues the power of sin.

Wisdom: Knowing the True Fear of the Lord

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.... Proverbs 1:7

A truth fully taught in the Scriptures and verified in personal experience by countless numbers of holy men and women throughout the centuries might be condensed thus into a religious axiom:

“No one can know the true grace of God who has not first known the fear of God!”

The first announcement of God’s redemptive intention toward mankind was made to a man and a woman hiding in mortal fear from the presence of the Lord.

The Law of God was given to a man trembling in terror amid fire and smoke, quaking at the voice of thunder and sound of the divine trumpet.

Even the famous annunciation, “On earth peace, good will toward men,” was given to shepherds who were “sore afraid” by reason of the sudden overwhelming presence of the heavenly host.

The presence of the divine always brought fear to the hearts of sinful men, a terror having no relation to mere fear of bodily harm.

I do not believe that any lasting good can come from religious activities that do not root in this quality of creature-fear. The animal in us is very strong and altogether self-confident. Until it has been defeated God will not show Himself to the eyes of our faith.

It is sad but true that the love of God affects a carnal heart not at all; or if at all, then adversely, for the knowledge that God loves us may simply confirm us in our self-righteousness!