Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Life and the Light

 "In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men."
John 1:4

John's gospel begins with the deity of Christ; that He is the Word of God made flesh. God has always existed and all of life comes from Him. But what is more is that in Christ there is spiritual life. Until we come to Him and receive Him as our Savior, we are spiritually dead, living in darkness. Jesus is the Light that illumines our hearts and minds to the truth of who God is and how we fall so short of His perfection. When we fail to realize how imperfect (sinful) we are, then we are still encased in darkness. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life." (John 5:24) Jesus takes us from death to life. From darkness to light. "The vast majority of mankind in every age have refused to know Him, have forgotten the fall, and their own need of a Savior. The light has been constantly shining 'in darkness.' The most have 'not comprehended the light.' But if any men and women out of the countless millions of mankind have ever had spiritual life and light, they have owed all to Christ." (J C Ryle)

Friday, March 30, 2012

If You Know It, Show It

"and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts 
with food and gladness.”
Acts 14:17

Throughout the Bible we see God's goodness. From Genesis to Revelation we see His faithful provision for all man's needs. Living where I do, I see God's goodness even to the wildlife that visit our homestead. Have you ever noticed how the deer are perfectly camouflaged from predators? Or how they always seem to have enough to eat? Jesus mentioned that the sparrows would always be cared for, and since that's true how much more God would care for us His beloved children. It's so easy for man (and woman) to forget his Maker and Provider. But Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides, always leaves a witness to His goodness. It's up to those of us who know it -- to show it.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Quenching the Spirit

"Do not quench the Spirit; "
1 Thessalonians 5:19

Jesus promised that He would ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit,  a "Helper" and "Spirit of truth" (John 14:16- 17), to His followers. The Spirit teaches us, convicts us of sin and empowers us to live the life God has called us to. The Holy Spirit transforms us into the image of Christ. Knowing this, why would we ever want to quench the Spirit? Yet we do. How? "Just don't bother to study the Word. Just don't see the beauty of Christ. Just use the Bible as a means to solve all your problems and don't let it just reveal Christ to you. Don't be humble and admit that you're so far short of the glory of Christ that you desperately need to see His glory and to be moving to a new level of glory. Spiritual pride will hold you back, lack of humility will hold you back...all those things will quench, retard, hinder the work of the Spirit and grieve His heart." (John MacArthur)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

We Walk

"for we walk by faith, not by sight—"
2 Corinthians 5:7

There is no other way to follow Christ, but to walk by faith. We can't see Him, we can't touch Him, but when we have committed our lives to Jesus, His spirit living within us testifies to our spirit that we know Him, and that we are known by Him.  And so we walk. Walking implies movement, advancement. "We are always to be making advances. We are to be going from faith in its beginnings to faith in its perfections— from faith to assurance—from assurance to full assurance. And from there we are to go to the full assurance of hope to the full assurance of understanding—always forward, waxing stronger and stronger. There is a progress to be made in every Christian Grace and he who carefully marks the terms used about Christian Graces will discover that there are degrees in all of them, while each of them are degrees one above the other. Walking implies progress and the genuine Christian, when he is in a healthy state, may truthfully say—“We walk.” (Spurgeon)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Boast in the Cross

"But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."
Galatians 6:14

When Paul wrote his letter to the Galatian church, false Jewish teachers were trying to persuade the new Gentile Christians that salvation through faith in Christ was not enough to save them, that they also needed to be circumcised. In truth, these legalists were looking to make a name for themselves. They wanted to show it was their works that saved these Christians, and therefore they could boast in themselves. Paul, a redeemed Jewish man, fought against their heresy. He exhorted the believers, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage" (Gal. 5:1). Paul boasted only in the cross of Christ for his salvation. "What did he mean, however, by the cross? Of course he cared nothing for the particular piece of wood to which those blessed hands and feet were nailed, for that was mere materialism, and has perished out of mind. He means the glorious doctrine of justification-free justification-through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ." (Spurgeon)

Monday, March 26, 2012

The More We Call, the Better

"My heart is in anguish within me, 
And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. 
Fear and trembling come upon me, 
And horror has overwhelmed me. 
said, 'Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. 
Behold, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness.'                          
'I would hasten to my place of refuge From the stormy wind and tempest.'”
Psalm 55:4-8

David's heart was in anguish. A victim of treachery, he longed to escape to a place far away where he could rest. By the end of this psalm he testifies that it is God who is his refuge.
"As for me, I shall call upon God, And the LORD will save me." (v. 16) When the storms of life rage, we, too, may long to "fly away and be at rest." We may even attempt to escape the storm by some other means than calling out to God to save us. It's foolish to seek refuge in any other person or thing besides the Lord. He loves us and is faithful to rescue us when we call to Him. "In every trial let us call upon the Lord, and he will save us. He shall hear us, and not blame us for coming too often; the oftener the more welcome."(Matthew Henry) 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Joyful Worship

"Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. 
Serve the LORD with gladness; 
Come before Him with joyful singing." 

Psalm 100:1-2

I've often wondered why it is we so easily shout and get excited over our favorite sports team, yet maintain a sober disposition and practically sit on our hands when it comes to worshiping God. The psalmist didn't seem to have a problem with this. He wanted the whole earth -- everyone around the world -- to shout joyfully to the Lord. We praise athletes for their abilities, while failing to praise God for our very existence. We call baseball players heros just because they win a game. But a hero is someone who sacrifices his life to save the life of another. Jesus Christ sacrificed His life to save us from hell. Shouldn't we serve Him with gladness? Shouldn't we come before Him with joyful singing? Something to think about. 
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