DISCUSSION FORUMS
MAIN MENU
Home
Help
Advanced Search
Recent Posts
Site Statistics
Who's Online
Forum Rules
Bible Resources
• Bible Study Aids
• Bible Devotionals
• Audio Sermons
Community
• ChristiansUnite Blogs
• Christian Forums
• Facebook Apps
Web Search
• Christian Family Sites
• Top Christian Sites
• Christian RSS Feeds
Family Life
• Christian Finance
• ChristiansUnite KIDS
Shop
• Christian Magazines
• Christian Book Store
Read
• Christian News
• Christian Columns
• Christian Song Lyrics
• Christian Mailing Lists
Connect
• Christian Singles
• Christian Classifieds
Graphics
• Free Christian Clipart
• Christian Wallpaper
Fun Stuff
• Clean Christian Jokes
• Bible Trivia Quiz
• Online Video Games
• Bible Crosswords
Webmasters
• Christian Guestbooks
• Banner Exchange
• Dynamic Content

Subscribe to our Free Newsletter.
Enter your email address:

ChristiansUnite
Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
January 23, 2018, 04:38:44 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
278190 Posts in 26570 Topics by 3790 Members
Latest Member: Goodwin
* Home Help Search Login Register
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10

 1 
 on: January 22, 2018, 06:14:07 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
The Death of Children
From Timeless Grace Gems
George Mylne, 1871



Oh! what a world we live in! How full of painful facts and harrowing incidents! How many souls are ushered into life; each one the offspring of a parent — each one tied to the native stock, by bonds of strictest intimacy! And thus a parent sees himself multiplied and reproduced in "olive branches round his table." Are they not bone of his very bone, flesh of his very flesh, bound up with him in all that is binding; their interests identical with his own; his energies expended on them, his thoughts devoted to them? For them he labors, for them he lives; their every pleasure twofold, both theirs and his; their every sorrow reflected in his own; his very life lived over again in theirs. In them, and with them, he plays with childhood's toys afresh. With them, in thought, he goes to school once more, and learns his early lessons over again. With them he joins once more in childish sports.

How closely dovetailed into one another, are a parent and his child, if only there be first the inclination, then time and opportunity, to cultivate parental ways — for, alas! this falls not to the lot of all, for where there is the will there may not always be the way. It is pleasant to see a father walking with his son, their very manner betokening a mutual intimacy, companionship in thought and feeling, like brothers in friendship — yet neither childlike reverence nor parental dignity lost sight of. And if so with son and father, is it not the same with a mother and her daughters, only, if possible, more intimate the union still?

But such is life, and such the law of its realities in fallen man, that joys prepare the way for sorrows, proportionate in degree. The closest unions are but preludes to the keenest separations; so that, in life's pictures, each gleam of light is counterbalanced with its shadow; and, sooner or later, sunny days are sure to usher in a night of darkness. And hence the fact of parents weeping for their children, and refusing to be comforted — their very persons, as it were, smarting as though a limb were amputated.

"The flowers of spring have come and gone;
Bright were the blossoms, brief their stay.
They shone, and they were shone upon;
They flourished — faded — passed away.

"So, hidden from our sorrowing eyes,
Our young, sweet spring-bloom buried lies;
One blast of earth swept o'er the flower —
It died, the blossom of an hour."

Reader, is this your sad condition? Have you lost a child? Whether son or daughter, infant or of riper years, it is much the same — in any case, a portion of yourself is gone. How sharp the visitation! How short its work! The grave has opened and has closed again; yet closed it not before it received its tenant — until in its yawning space you had committed "dust to dust, ashes to ashes, earth to earth." How shrank your soul within you, as you heard those moving words, that grating sound upon the casket! And as you hastened home, enrapt in your tenderness, the thoughts of other children left to you (if indeed you have them), healed not the smart, nor seemed to make amends for your lost treasure. Oh, what a fearful wrench it must have been, to tear that branch from out its parent stem, never to grow and flourish there again! Oceans of tears shed over that silent grave would not avail to bring your loved one back to you. Long might you kneel on that cold ground, and yet, nor verdant sod, nor marble tomb, nor modest headstone, could listen to your sobbing tale.

Think not, my friend, I blame you for your tears; neither does God reprove you. He knows that you must feel the wound inflicted on your sorrowing heart. He knows your frame, remembers you are dust (Psalm 103:14), and bids you seek Him in your tears, inviting you to tell your sorrows freely into His waiting ear. Believe me, this is the only remedy. Must the grave be visited unceasingly, and sorrow nursed until it becomes a morbid ailment a wound unsoftened with ointment, a standing sore; and all, because you sorrow to yourself, and not to Jesus?

Poor mourner, no! This is not the path to consolation, nor yet to rightly exercised distress. Do you ask, "What would you have me do?" See Love in it my friend! Is it not written, "God Is Love?" (1 John 4:8, 16). It was God who did it! It was God who took your child. Shall we say that God is love, in all but this? Have we found an end to His perfections — a limit to His love? Are there, then, exceptions to His perfect rule? No, God is love. Has He required of you what He Himself was not prepared to do? Has He not set you the example? Did God withhold His Son, His Only Son, for you and your salvation? Then say, could you withhold your child, when thus it pleased Him to ask you for what He only lent you for a season?

If you have grace, my friend, the grace of God in Jesus Christ, you only have to reason with yourself, to say "Amen" to God's appointment. Your heart will bleed — it must, it will. Shall a blow be dealt, and the frame not stagger at it? Yet faith will rise above it, and while you weep, the rainbow tints of resignation will cast prismatic glories on your tears. Visit not the tomb for mournful musings. If you can do it in joyful expectation of the coming day — the day of days — the resurrection morn, when earth shall render up the righteous dead to meet their Lord, then you may go with profit to the tomb — not otherwise. Take heed, then, what you do.

But if this way be foreign to your mind, and you can only weep as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13) — if you cannot go to Jesus in your tears, nor take Him with you to the tomb — you need to be enlightened by the Spirit, not only for healthful mourning, but for eternal life.

 2 
 on: January 22, 2018, 06:09:02 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
The First Break in the Family
From Timeless Grace Gems
George Mylne, 1871



A break in the family! Did I say the first? Yes; for there are families where death, as yet, has never entered — no breach has occurred in the fair circle of domestic happiness — children and parents, parents and children, in full enjoyment of each other's company. How gladsome thus to see it! We feel inclined to say, "Enjoy it while you have it, and quaff the cup of family endearment with meekness and a thankful heart, remembering from whence the mercy comes — that the Giver be not forgotten in His gifts.

It is sweet to see a family unbroken. But, watch it long enough, and a break is sure to come At last — sooner or later must their domestic sky be overcast. Sickness may enter (if not some fatal accident), sickness not curable — but unto death. Oh, what a chill follows — what dread forebodings when the worst is feared, and apprehensions prove too true — when that once happy circle has been found no longer armored against the inroads of the last enemy! Then desolation reigns — where all before was gladness:
the darkened rooms,
the silent step, as though the softest footfall might disturb the slumbering dead,
the muffled voice,
the utterance choked with tears,
the look of anguish,
the chastened deportment of deep yet noiseless sorrow,
directions given, needful, yet harrowing to the soul,
activity that goes against the grain, costing unutterable pains.

Oh, who can paint the change where all appears disjointed, turned from its former course of unclouded and serene happiness! The little ones scarcely realize the fact, the infant mind not understanding the sad reality. Yet, from . . .
the tears,
the mournful preparations,
the putting on of dark apparel,
and the funeral procession —
they gather glimpses of the truth; and in their romps (how hard to be restrained!) they move about as half ashamed.

In the youthful members of the family, advanced a stage in the ability to understand — how subdued the light that shines upon them, like the lurid beams of an eclipse. They sadly feel their loss, and struggle with sorrowful restraint! How touchingly Cowper describes his feelings, as a child, on the occasion of his mother's death!

"I heard the bell toll'd on your burial day;
I saw the hearse that bore you slow away —
And, turning from my nursery-window, drew
A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu."

But with the older ones of the family, how different! Their sorrow is realized in all its fullness — present is compared with past — weighed in the balances of serious and mature thought. Outbreaks of sorrow are curiously met with arguments for resignation — a truthful picture of unvarnished woe.

Reader, is it thus with you? Are you one of a family newly broken? Full well I know your feelings, the shock experienced in your inmost soul.

What deep emotions are occasioned by that empty chair!

How eloquent the death-like stillness of that now untenanted chamber!

That congenial voice no more will greet your ear.

That once familiar face no more be seen.

When the family meets together in the morning — what a blank pervades all!

When at night you separate, one well-known "good-night" is listened for in vain!

Oh, what a desolator is Death! The fairest form, the sweetest disposition, the finest mind, the most useful character — is often the first to go — the choicest treasure of your garden nipped in the bud of fond enjoyment.

"One flower may fill another's place,
With breath as sweet, with hues as glowing;
One ripple in you ocean's space,
Be lost amid another's flowing.

One star in you bright azure dome
Might vanish from its sparkling cluster,
Unmiss'd, unmourn'd, and in its room
Some rival orb eclipse its luster.

But who shall fill a brother's room?
Or who shall soothe the bosom's grieving?
Who heal the heart, around his tomb
Too faithfully, too fondly cleaving?"
 — Bonar

Poor mourner, do you ask for consolation? Gladly would I give it, If you are able to receive the only consolation I can offer. I might listen for hours to your tale of grief — telling the virtues of the dead, opening afresh the sorrows of your soul. I might attend you to all the haunts of the deceased, bend over the relics that you love to show, go with you to the grave, and there weep with you sob for sob, and tear for tear. But say, would that alone suffice to comfort you? It would help to nurse your sorrow — and give a fresh impulse to your morbid strain; it might tie you down more strongly to earth's regrets and unavailing musings. But would it indeed console you? Would it turn your bitterness to sweetness? Would it give you "the oil of joy — for mourning, the garment of praise — for the spirit of heaviness?" (Isaiah 61:3.)

Oh no I my friend, oh no! Elsewhere must you seek it. Do you ask me where?

Where, but in God?

Where, but in Jesus?

Where, but in The Holy Spirit, the Comforter?

Fond recollections of the dead are not forbidden you. It is allowed to trace the haunts and love the relics of their earlier days, in fond association with their memory. But then, do you take Jesus with you in your musings? As much as you loved your friend — do you love Jesus better still? And, as you gaze on fond mementoes, is it with the reserve of grace, lifting your heart all the while, as though to say, "Lord, let not this keep my heart from You! Through You I wish to see them all! Lord, sanctify my recollections — may I indulge them in deference to You!"

But now permit me, reader, to ask a question. Do not think me rude. Do not think it out of place. It underlies the matter both of your duty and your consolation. I ask you then, Do you feel yourself to be a sinner?

And why this question? Because nothing else will bring you to the Cross of Jesus.

You say, "How will that comfort me?" Simply because true comfort comes from God alone; and nothing can be received from God, except through the Cross and Him who hung thereon.

No God — No Comfort.

No Christ — No God.

No Sense of Sin — No Christ.

No Christ — No Savior.

No Christ — No Holy Spirit The Comforter.

No Comforter — No true Friend.

Do you doubt me? Then speak about it to God Himself. Tell Him your sorrow. Tell Him that you sigh for consolation. Ask Him to put you in the way of finding it. Take with you words (Hosea 14:2). Speak to Him as a little child.

Confess Your Sins.

Entreat His Pardon, through the Blood Of Christ.

Pray for the teaching of the Spirit.

Commit your cause to God fully and unreservedly, prepared to follow His leadings fully. And if you feel your heart melting, and thoughts arising in you of God and Christ, of Sin and Pardon, of Penitence and Prayer — then give yourself to the meditation. It is as though He said, "Seek My face!"

And may your heart say unto Him, "Your face, Lord, will I seek" (Psalm 27:8.).

Who knows but that this day of your bereavement, may be the day of saving grace — the dawning of Christ in your heart; the day of true consolation!

 3 
 on: January 22, 2018, 06:07:34 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
BEREAVEMENT
From Timeless Grace Gems
George Mylne, 1871



Bereavement! What a word it is — a word of many-headed woes! A word telling . . .
of families made desolate;
of wounded hearts;
of weeping eyes;
of closest bonds abruptly torn asunder;
of social fellowship extinguished;
of life's fondest hopes destroyed;
of earth becoming one large graveyard.

There is no domestic bliss secure against deaths inroads. There is no promise of long companionship so flattering, but in a moment the dream may vanish, and nothing be left but the hard reality of woe.

Bereavement! Yes, it is a word of anguish. It says . . .
that hearts are broken,
that the iron enters into the very soul;
that the axe is laid at the root of life's romance;
that the sky of former joys is clouded over with the mantle of distress.

How many tales of sorrow does bereavement tell! Yet, it is a word fraught with importance to the soul; a word, for purposes of good, framed in the vocabulary of Heaven, God's mind and will impressed upon it. Bereavement is . . .
the exponent of God's judgments;
the expression of His love in chastening;
the verbal embodiment of His good pleasure.

Bereavement is His voice in action; speaking in facts; preaching in visitations; the Lord himself walking abroad in His realities.

Bereavement speaks of Death. This is the head and substance of its teaching. It tells how "Sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12).

It is not only a solemn word — but also a searching word — a word speaking its volumes to all who hear it! Moreover, it is a special word to you. It says, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). It says, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25). Who may say to him, "What are you doing?" (Ecclesiastes 8:4). Then, why are you struck dumb, as though God dealt strangely with you? Was He bound to grant your friend a lease of life — to leave the family bond unbroken, as long as it suited you — or to give you warning of what He meant to do? Must the tide of death be stayed, that it should not rob you of your cherished one?

Ah no! We are brought through sin into harsh contact with confounding providences; yes, face to face with sudden painful visitations! How often are we made to "drink the wine of astonishment," by the stern realities of a fallen world — nature diverted from its normal course by sinful contrarieties, calling for exceptional and sharp strokes — bereavement suddenly coming to wound the circle of our satisfactions!

This is the method that the Lord adopts to arrest our notice; to bring to mind, that there is a God who rules in Heaven and earth — a truth too often overlooked. It is as though He said, "Mourner, are you prepared to die? Prepared to balance your final account with Me? Are you ready — if I should send for you next?" And thus He brings before us all the realities of an unseen world — the facts of death, of judgment, and eternity!

Then, is there not mercy in bereavement — mercy, not in disguise, but manifest — not silent, but speaking plainly? Is it not mercy to be led to see our sins — and to see our need of Jesus, and His precious Blood — and through grace, to be at peace with God through Jesus? Thus God has ordered it, that joy and sorrow should be linked together in His providential visitations. And thus "the valley of Achor" (in other words, the valley of trouble) is made "a door of hope." And thus "vineyards" are filled with fruits of peace. And thus mourners are made to "sing as in the days" of youth, from blessings found where least expected.

So wondrous are God's dealings with a fallen world. No sorrow but has its mate — its appropriate and true consolation — the very grief leading to consequences, if rightly followed out, involving peace — solid, well-grounded peace.

Afflicted friend, I hope you know the secret. If not, may God reveal it to you. Receive, I beg you, this word of exhortation, kindly intended, and, I trust, not heedlessly expressed. May you be comforted, not with earth's flimsy consolations, but with the solid verities of Heaven. Accept the following pages which now I dedicate to your perusal. And if therein you find anything suited to your need — then give God the glory. And may your sore affliction of bereavement be duly sanctified, and gilded with His grace.

 4 
 on: January 22, 2018, 06:04:05 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
_______________________________________________
More Minutes With The Bible
From The Berean Bible Society

Free Email Subscription


For Questions Or Comments:  berean@execpc.com
_______________________________________________


Are the Pentecostal Signs Being Restored?
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


With convincing “signs and wonders” being wrought all about us in increasing numbers, some are being carried away from the truths so clearly set forth for our day in the epistles of Paul.

Some have concluded from these “supernatural manifestations” that toward the close of this present dispensation we may expect a revival of the divine gifts of tongues, healing, etc.

As to healing, may we first point out that no instructed believer in Pauline truth questions that God can and often does heal the sick and infirm as, for example, in the case of Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:25-27). We believe too that God is constantly working miracles. But we deny that healers and miracle workers, or that signs and miraculous demonstrations, have any part in God’s program for today.

First, the apostle did not say in I Corinthians 13:8 that the gifts of prophecy, tongues and knowledge would be done away until the closing days of the dispensation. He simply declared that these miraculous manifestations were to be done away (i.e., In this new dispensation), and that “faith, hope and love” would “abide” (Ver. 13). Nor is there any indication in the Pauline epistles that the Pentecostal signs are to be restored at the close of this dispensation.

The apostle does declare, however, that after the close of the dispensation of grace, the “man of sin” will appear “with all power and signs and lying wonders” (II Thes. 2:9). In this the apostle confirms what our Lord says in Matthew 24:24 about the same period of time:

    “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

During the “tribulation period,” then, after the members of the Body of Christ have been “caught up” to be with the Lord, the ministers of Satan, from Antichrist down, will come with “all power and signs and lying wonders,” to deceive, if possible, “the very elect.”

But now let us see how this affects us today.

In the very same passage about Antichrist and his “power, and signs, and lying wonders,” the apostle warns that

    “…the mystery of iniquity doth already work…” (II Thes. 2:7).

What does all this tell us about the multiplied miraculous manifestations we are seeing all about us as the days grow darker: tongues, healing, prophecies, ESP, witchcraft, spiritism, exorcism, etc., not to mention false doctrine? Obviously it tells us that these are not of God, but of Satan.

A wondrous manifestation is to some the end of all argument. So-and-so must be of God or he could not work these miracles! But the above passages from the Scriptures tell us differently. Satan has power. He can work wonders, but he does so to deceive men and draw them away from the truth of God’s glorious purpose and grace.

Indeed, the apostle, in I Timothy 4:1, issues a stern warning to this effect:

    “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, 1 giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils [demons].”

This is why the apostle rightly urges all believers:

    “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

    “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness [wicked spirits] in high [heavenly] places” (Eph. 6:11,12).

Be not deceived. Satan is not a grotesque creature with horns, hooves, a tail and a pitchfork. He inspired that caricature to draw attention away from himself, for when the apostle warns of “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apos-tles of Christ” (II Cor. 11:13), he adds:

    “And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

    “Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness…” (Vers. 14,15).

There you have it! If Satan did appear as men portray him, the multitudes would flee from him. But “an angel of light” with “ministers of righteousness”! This attracts the unwary.

But here is one who is stricken with some deadly disease. He is taken to a healing meeting and, seemingly at least, is completely restored. Can this possibly be of Satan?

Why not? Besides all his other powers, is it not he that inflicts sickness and disease? Think of the case of Job. Did not God permit Satan to bring Job to the point of death, physically (Job 2:4-9)? Think of Paul himself. Was it not “a messenger of Satan” who was sent to “buffet” him until he cried again and again for deliverance (II Cor. 12:7,8.)? And is it not clearly stated in Hebrews 2:14 that for the pres-ent Satan has “the power of death”?

If it is Satan, then, who inflicts sickness and disease, why cannot Satan stop inflicting them? Why can he not—why would he not, withdraw the illness he has inflicted if this will cause you to center your interest on the wrong thing, and cause you to walk by sight, rather than by faith?

We specially mention bodily healing because most people are attracted and convinced by this sort of supernatural demonstration. But the physical healings under our Lord’s earthly ministry and at Pentecost were “signs.” Signs of what? They were signs of the Messiahship of Christ. Had He been accepted as King, all those thus healed would have gone into the prophesied kingdom, where sickness and disease would never again overtake them.

This is not so today, for the King and His kingdom have been rejected, and the reign of Christ on earth now awaits a future day. Thus it is that those who are “healed,” all finally die like the rest. Though “healed” again and again, there always comes that last time when nothing avails.

One of the saddest aspects of the modern healing campaign is the long, sad trail of disillusionment and shaken faith it leaves behind. Some are not healed at all, and even those who are “healed” finally come to “that last time” when Hebrews 9:27 is fulfilled, for “it is appointed unto men once to die.”

What a list could be made of all those who once sincerely preached that it was a lack of faith, a sin, not to claim and expect from God a strong, sound body, yet they themselves all died. After the long list of the greatest of all these “healers” could be copied those familiar words from Genesis 5: “and he died…and he died…and he died”!

Pastor J. C. O’Hair rightly said that despite the claims of all the Christian Scientists, the Roman Catholics, the Pentecostalists, and all the other “healing” folk, the death rate still remains one apiece.

How much better, then, to walk by faith and leave ourselves in His loving hands to do as He sees is best for us?

Thus we beg our Christian readers not to be carried away with amazing demonstrations that can only beguile us to take our eyes off Him. Rather let us heed the Spirit’s exhortation through Paul:

    “Be careful 2 for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.

    “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6,7).

Notes:

1    Obviously, “the faith” he had proclaimed, hence “the latter times” of this “dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph. 3:1-3).
2    “care full,” or anxious.

 5 
 on: January 22, 2018, 06:01:44 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
_______________________________________________
Two Minutes With The Bible
From The Berean Bible Society

Free Email Subscription


For Questions Or Comments:  berean@execpc.com
_______________________________________________


Godliness In An Ungodly Day
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


It is an interesting fact that the words “godly” and “godliness” are not found in Paul’s writings until we come to the Pastoral Epistles, the very epistles that have so much to say about evil days and evil surroundings.

In the epistles to Timothy we read about the “perilous times” with which this present dispensation of grace will be brought to a close, while in the letter to Titus we read of “unruly and vain talkers and deceivers,” of “liars… evil beasts… lazy gluttons,” whom Satan would use to neutralize the work and witness of God’s servants.

To Timothy and Titus, these young men of God, the Apostle had much to say about godliness, and we must not forget that Paul’s words to them are also God’s Word to us, believers in Christ, who indeed appear to be living in the closing days of the dispensation of grace, surrounded by a steadily-rising tide of evil and an ever-growing number of wicked, godless men.

We do not mean to imply that the Apostle does not deal with the various phases of the Christian life in his other epistles, but rather that here in the Pastoral Epistles he wages a sort of campaign for individual godly living in the midst of increasing apostasy and godlessness.

May God help us, in our character and conduct, to exhibit “the power of godliness,” the spiritual power that comes from putting Christ first in all things.

 6 
 on: January 22, 2018, 06:00:28 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
_______________________________________________
Two Minutes With The Bible
From The Berean Bible Society

Free Email Subscription


For Questions Or Comments:  berean@execpc.com
_______________________________________________


Walk, Don't Run!
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “…as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk… Art thou called being a servant? Care not for it…” (I Corinthians 7:17,21).

Some Christians find it troubling that the Bible counsels slaves to be content in their difficult circumstances, and walk in obedience to their masters rather than run away from them in rebellion (Eph. 6:5; Col. 3:22). But there were legitimate reasons why men were slaves in those days, and God has never been in favor of freeing “a lawful captive” from his owner (Isa. 49:24).

The Apostle Paul did tell slaves, “if thou mayest be made free, use it rather” (I Cor. 7:21). For example, if a man was a slave because he was working off his financial debts, if someone offered to pay his debts, this was benevolence that no servant should ignore. But if there was no legitimate means by which a servant could be made free, it was God’s will that he walk in the calling wherewith he had been called (I Cor. 7:17).

Of course, unbelievers think that this is terrible advice, and they aren’t shy about criticizing the Bible for not encouraging slaves to run away from their masters. But that’s because they’re thinking of the kind of slavery that existed in the early days of our country, when innocent people were kidnapped from Africa and brought here as slaves to serve in an illegitimate form of bondage. This type of slavery is condemned in Scripture, and those who dared perpetrate it in Israel were given the death penalty (Ex. 21:16). Yet even when men were kidnapped and wrongfully enslaved, Paul’s advice to be content in servitude was good counsel, for often it was just not possible for slaves to escape bondage, and God does not wish His children to live lives of abject frustration and misery.

But if you are thinking that it is equally impossible to “care not” for being a slave, consider the counsel that Paul went on to give servants in the very next verse,

    “For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman…” (I Cor. 7:22).

The key to finding contentment as a slave was to remember that believing slaves were free men in the eyes of the Lord. In other words, the secret to being content in the harsh circumstances of bondage was for servants to look past their circumstances and focus on how God saw them in Christ. That is, when slaves couldn’t change their circumstances, the key to contentment was to change how they thought about their circumstances.

Now, is there anything you can learn from that about your difficult circumstances? Sometimes our situation in life can’t be changed any more than a slave could change his. Of course, if there is a legitimate means by which you might be made free from your difficulties, by all means do what Paul told slaves to do with such an opportunity and “use it.” But if you can’t change your circumstances, why not follow Paul’s advice and change the way you think about them?

If life has you feeling like a captive for whom there is no escape, never lose sight of the spiritual reality that you are “the Lord’s freeman.” Focusing on the problems that have you feeling imprisoned will only make you as miserable as the slave who focused on his. Focusing on “the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free” (Gal. 5:1) is the only path to rejoicing.

It’s the secret of life.

 7 
 on: January 22, 2018, 05:58:31 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
_______________________________________________
Two Minutes With The Bible
From The Berean Bible Society

Free Email Subscription


For Questions Or Comments:  berean@execpc.com
_______________________________________________


The Power Of Godliness
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


God would have us live as His own sacred possession, separate from this world-system, but godliness is out of style these days. Religious leaders in ever greater number are telling us that to win the world we must become part of it and to win the people of the world we must fellowship with them in the things they do and the places to which they go. But the believer cannot impress the world by conforming to it. And even if he could this approach would still be contrary to the Will of God, for His Word exhorts us:

    “Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the re- newing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and accept- able and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:2).

It is true godliness, consistent separation to God from this world, which most deeply impresses the lost to whom we bear witness.

True godliness exerts enormous spiritual power. It causes men to toil and sacrifice, yea to suffer and die for Christ and for others. It exerts a profound influence upon those with whom it comes into contact. A truly godly believer will win the respect of other believers and by his example encourage them to live godly lives, while at the same time his godliness will convict the lost, so that they will either be angered or will turn to Christ for salvation.

This is why II Tim. 3:12 says: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Carnal Christians do not like to think about the word “all” in this passage, but it is there and stands as a rebuke to their lack of consecration to God. They have “a form of godliness” but deny “the power thereof” (II Timothy 3:5).

 8 
 on: January 22, 2018, 05:57:13 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
_______________________________________________
Two Minutes With The Bible
From The Berean Bible Society

Free Email Subscription


For Questions Or Comments:  berean@execpc.com
_______________________________________________


The One True Church
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Religious people — even sincere Christian people — may divide themselves into various denominations or churches, but there is no indication in the Bible that God recognizes these divisions. Indeed, God makes it abundantly clear that in His sight there is but one Church, composed of all who truly trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. In I Cor. 12:12,13 the Apostle Paul declares by divine inspiration:

    “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ:

    “FOR BY ONE SPIRIT ARE WE ALL BAPTIZED INTO ONE BODY….”

Again, in Rom. 12:5, he says:

    “SO WE, BEING MANY, ARE ONE BODY IN CHRIST, AND EVERY ONE MEMBERS ONE OF ANOTHER.”

Indeed, it is on the basis of the fact that there is but “one body” in God’s sight that He exhorts us to seek to “keep the unity of the Spirit”:

    “ENDEAVORING TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT IN THE BOND OF PEACE.

    “THERE IS ONE BODY….” (Eph. 4:3,4).

How can we become members of that “one Body ,” the true Church? Ephesians 2 explains how Christ died for all, Jew and Gentile alike, “that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross…” (Ver. 16). Indeed the Epistles of St. Paul show how God “hath concluded… all in unbelief that He might have mercy upon all” (Rom. 11:32), and offer to them reconciliation and salvation by grace through faith in Christ who died for our sins.

The question, then, is not: What church do you belong to? but, Do you belong to the Church, the Body of Christ, composed of all who have acknowledged themselves to be sinners in the sight of God and have trusted in Christ and His finished work for salvation?

 9 
 on: January 22, 2018, 05:56:02 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
_______________________________________________
Two Minutes With The Bible
From The Berean Bible Society

Free Email Subscription


For Questions Or Comments:  berean@execpc.com
_______________________________________________


A Close Personal Relationship
by Pastor John Fredericksen


Shortly after meeting the woman who became my wife, I knew she was the one for me.  It was hard to explain, but she had captured my heart.  I thought about her as soon as I woke in the morning, continually during the day, and she was one of the last things I thought about before going to sleep.  I consistently pursued a relationship with her allowing all other relationships to become secondary.  I not only confirmed that I loved her, I also expressed to her that she satisfied and completed me like no other woman could.

Many of the same principles that make close human relationships work are the same in our personal relationship with the Lord, after salvation.  Even though the program has changed from the Law of Moses to the principles of grace, walking with the Lord every day is essentially the same now as it was for David.  In Psalm 63, he expresses many of the things that made his daily walk with the Lord such a sweet and joyous experience.

David did not merely have a passive interest in the Lord.  He longed for a vibrant relationship with the God of his salvation.  He told the Lord, “my flesh longeth for Thee [as] in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is” (v. 1).  Since David wrote these words “when he was in the wilderness of Judah”, where water was extremely scarce, his description of being thirsty for the Lord pictured his surroundings.  Just as only water can satisfy the need of one in the desert, David realized that only God could satisfy the thirst of his soul.

These were not mere empty words on the part of David.  He promised the Lord: “early will I seek Thee” (v. 1).  David, like Abraham before him (Gen. 19:27), was in the habit of beginning the early part of his day in communion with the Lord (Psa. 5:3).  Just as two people in love long to see each other, David longed “to see Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary” (63:2).  As David went through the day, he continued to think about the Lord and talk about Him.  He wrote, “…my lips shall praise Thee.  Thus will I bless [or praise aloud] Thee while I live” (vv. 3b-4a).  When a man and woman love each other, they talk to others about the one they love, extoling each other’s virtues.  It was the same with David, who happily expressed the virtues of the Almighty.

David’s walk with the Lord was so fulfilling that he couldn’t help but express it.  He told the Lord, “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips…in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice” (vv. 5,7b).  When two people are in love and maintain a healthy, growing relationship, they too make a conscious decision to be satisfied and joyful in time together.  David experienced an even richer and more complete joy by being in the satisfying presence of his God.

David not only began his day in fellowship with the Lord and spoke of Him throughout the day, he also ended his day with the Lord.  He wrote, “I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches” (v. 6).  For soldiers and shepherds, the night was divided into three watches: from sunset to 10 p.m., from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., and from 2 a.m. until dawn.  In verse six, David is sharing that, throughout the night, sleep sometimes evaded him because even then he was thinking about the Lord and His greatness.

David also explained: “My soul followeth hard after thee” (v. 8.).  Just as a young man oftentimes pursues hard after a young woman to win her love, David fervently pursued his relationship with the Lord.  Of course, David did not have to win His love.  The Lord already loved David.  Nonetheless, David was not casual or complacent in the way he nurtured his relationship with the Lord.  His walk with the Lord meant too much to him for his efforts to be anything less than diligent and wholehearted.  In principle, we should exert the same kind of effort in our relationship with the Lord as we read that David did.

Are you following hard after the Lord?  We encourage you to pattern your walk with Christ after the example of David’s wholeheartedness.  Make a strong effort to make each day one of fellowship with the Lord from beginning to end.

 10 
 on: January 22, 2018, 05:53:56 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

It is no wonder that they were so dejected!

(James Buchanan, "The Office and Work of the Holy Spirit" 1842)

"I am now going away to Him who sent Me . . . Because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart." John 16:5-6

It is no wonder that they were so dejected in the prospect of losing the personal presence of Him who was . . .
  their kindest friend,
  their unwearied benefactor,
  their patient teacher--whose . . .
wisdom was their guide,
power was their defense,
sympathy was their consolation,
approval their was reward, and
salvation was their highest hope.

They were attached to Him as a personal Friend--by the strongest ties of gratitude, and admiration, and love.

They had long associated with Him on terms of most endearing intimacy.

They had often looked with delight on His compassionate countenance, 'full of grace and truth'.

They had listened to his public preaching and His private conversation, when 'He spoke as never any man spoke'.

They had witnessed His miracles of mercy, and His life of unwearied beneficence, 'when He went about continually doing good'.

They had themselves received at His hands every benefit which divine love, combined with the most perfect human kindness, could bestow.

And can we deem it astonishing, if the thought of parting with such a Friend, whose appearance, and voice, and person were entwined with their fondest affections--filled their hearts with especial sadness?

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10



More From ChristiansUnite...    About Us | Privacy Policy | | ChristiansUnite.com Site Map | Statement of Beliefs



Copyright © 1999-2016 ChristiansUnite.com. All rights reserved.
Please send your questions, comments, or bug reports to the

Powered by SMF 1.1 RC2 | SMF © 2001-2005, Lewis Media