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Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
279668 Posts in 26928 Topics by 3790 Members
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56716  Theology / General Theology / Continuing in the Word of His Grace - More on: December 05, 2003, 01:36:30 AM
Hoekstra Devotion - December 5

Still More on Continuing in the Word of His Grace:

I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able . . . But as for you, continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  (Act_20:32 and 2Ti_3:14-15)

The present verses again point us to our current theme, continuing in the word of God's grace. Only the grace of God is able to provide what is needed for the life we are called to live. This necessary grace is held forth for our learning and appropriating in "the word of His grace." This life-giving grace is to be lived in day by day (ideally, from childhood through old age).

Paul urged Timothy to continue in the biblical truth that he had been taught, truth about which he had become convinced. "Continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of." God's word not only instructs us in His ways, it also convinces us of their validity. In this process, God uses human instruments: "knowing from whom you have learned them." In Timothy's spiritual training, the Lord used the prophets of old (who were inspired to write the scriptures), as well as Paul (who discipled Timothy). Timothy's mother and grandmother were also a vital part of this process. "I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice" (2Ti_1:5). Thus, his spiritual nurture began in his childhood years. "From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures." It is the will of God that children be raised upon the scriptures. "Do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Eph_6:4). If we were not raised upon the word, God wants to begin feeding it to us at new birth. "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby" (1Pe_2:2). If we have never had a serious diet of the word, today is now the day to begin.

As we are learning the word of God, its ability is unleashed in our lives. Saving grace is the first great matter the Lord wants to bring to us through the scriptures: "which are able to make you wise for salvation." People can be exceedingly foolish concerning salvation, until they are enlightened through the word of God . Some think they do not need to be saved. Others think they can somehow save themselves. The Bible reveals the necessary path for all: "through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

Dear God of my salvation, I praise You for Your word, which brought me the wisdom to trust in the saving grace of Christ. I thank You for every person You have ever used to bring me any aspect of Your truth. Please teach me more and more and please use me to get Your word to others, in Jesus name, Amen.
56717  Theology / General Theology / Continuing In The Word of His Grace on: December 05, 2003, 01:33:28 AM
Hoekstra Devotion - December 4

Even More on Continuing in the Word of His Grace:

I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able . . . Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed" . . . For this reason I have sent Timothy to you . . . who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.  (Act_20:32; Joh_8:3; 1Co_4:17)

God's grace characterizes His word: "I commend you to God and to the word of His grace." This permeating presence of grace in the scriptures is what makes God's word so able to effect godly changes in our lives: "the word of His grace, which is able." This is why the Lord wants us to continue in His word: "continue in the faith" (Act_14:22). Also, continuing in the word allows the Lord to remind us of things pertaining to grace, things we need to hear over and over again.

Jesus called professing disciples to continue in His word. "Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you abide [remain, continue] in My word, you are My disciples indeed'." It is impossible to truly live as a follower of Jesus without continuing in His word. The Christian life is lived by grace. The Bible is "the word of His grace." We cannot follow Jesus by grace apart from hearing regularly of His grace. The natural bent of our humanity (including, the flesh of true believers) is toward human works and law performance. This is one reason why the Lord wants us to hear of His effective grace day by day.

The ministry of reminding is part of this process. The Apostle Paul sent out his ministry partner, Timothy, to remind the saints of matters that he himself had previously expounded upon in all the churches. "For this reason I have sent Timothy to you . . . who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church." Later, after Timothy had become a pastor in Ephesus, Paul wrote urging him to remind the saints of some basic elements of grace (matters pertaining to the faithfulness of God). "This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. Remind them of these thinhgs" (2Ti_2:11-14). Such vital truths need to be considered repeatedly. The Apostle Peter knew that it would amount to spiritual irresponsibility to neglect the import of reminders. "Therefore I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know them, and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you" (2Pe_1:12).

O Lord of persistence and patience, I confess the need to hear of Your grace day after day. I long to be a true disciple, living by grace. Please remind me of the necessity to be in the word of Your grace consistently, Amen.
56718  Prayer / Prayer Requests / Re:Very Toubled on: December 05, 2003, 01:03:27 AM
Oklahoma Howdy to PeachyKeen,

You are most welcome. You really sound upbeat and positive. I give thanks that things are going better for you, and I look forward to hearing about what God is doing in your life.

Love In Christ,
Tom
56719  Theology / Bible Study / Re:Galatians Bible Study on: December 03, 2003, 02:01:24 PM
Oklahoma Howdy to All,

After considerable thought and prayer, I do not feel led to continue. We got through Verse 10, and anyone who wishes to continue, please do.

I would simply pray that whatever is done will be for the Glory of God and not for the vanity of man in petty arguments.

Love In Christ To All,
Tom
56720  Theology / Apologetics / Re:Welcome Back Brother! on: December 03, 2003, 12:06:03 PM

Thanks, though I am trying to stay in the bible study really.  I don't remember when I left but it seems sort of sad I still see some of the same topics still in the forefront from when I left.   Sad

Oklahoma Howdy to Saved_4ever,

I understand Brother. I remember you saying that you were going to take some private time and study HIS WORD. I find this to be a daily necessity and really enjoy this portion of my day. I find peace, joy, and strength in HIS WORD that is pure and apart from the distractions and evils of this world. I've been praying for you and would appreciate your prayers for me in the study of HIS WORD.

Love In Christ,
Tom
56721  Prayer / General Discussion / Welcome! on: December 03, 2003, 11:47:21 AM
Oklahoma Howdy to EndTimeAction,

I sincerely hope you enjoy the Christian fellowship here.


Love In Christ,
Tom
56722  Theology / General Theology / More on Continuing in the Word of His Grace on: December 03, 2003, 05:39:22 AM
Hoekstra Devotion - December 3

More on Continuing in the Word of His Grace:

I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance . . . receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.  (Act_20:32 and Jam_1:21)

Paul's exhortation to followers of Jesus Christ was to "continue in the faith" (Act_14:22). "The faith" (in which we are to continue) is the word of God.  Paul later called it "the word of His grace." Since God's word is permeated with His grace, it is able to do glorious things in our lives.

James wrote of "the implanted word, which is able to save your souls." God wants to plant His word into human hearts that the word might bear fruit therein. This is how the Lord began His work in us: "having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever" (1Pe_1:23). By communicating His word to us (through preaching, teaching, witness, or evangelism), God sowed the incorruptible, eternal seed of "the word of His grace" in our lives. As we believed on Him, the seed of the word germinated in our hearts unto everlasting life. Now, the Lord wants to continue sowing His life-giving seed into our lives that we might grow, mature, and abound in Him.

Our role involves a humble receptivity of His word. "Receive with meekness the implanted word." We are to continually take in the scriptures with a sense of urgent, personal need. Such an attitude would indicate agreement with the words of Jesus. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Mat_4:4). We cannot truly continue in grace without regularly partaking of "the word of His grace." If we humbly take in God's word consistently, the grace of God at work through the word will demonstrate the transforming power of the Bible: "which is able to save your souls." This delivering work of the scriptures is not limited to justification (that is, saving us from the guilt and condemnation of sin). It  also includes sanctification (that is, saving us from the tempting and controlling influence of sin in daily living). Jesus prayed for His followers concerning this sanctifying work of the word of God. "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" (Joh_17:17). God's word is able to make our lives all that He wants them to be: "the word of His grace, which is able."

Lord God, giver of life, I thank You for planting in my heart the life-giving seed of Your word. I praise You for the changes Your word has already brought into my life. Now, I long to continue partaking of the word of Your grace, which is able to deliver my soul from all that is diminishing and destructive to all that is edifying and sanctifying, Amen.
56723  Theology / Apologetics / Welcome Back Brother! on: December 03, 2003, 04:25:24 AM
Oklahoma Howdy to Saved_4ever,

Welcome back Brother! We missed you.

Love In Christ,
Tom
56724  Fellowship / You name it!! / Re:PC Bible software? on: December 03, 2003, 03:56:16 AM
Oklahoma Howdy to 2nd Timothy,

You are most welcome. I have the whole works installed, except for some of the language translations I would never use (i.e. Chinese, Thai). Everything is visible on a single page as point and click. You also have the quick option for full screen in any category: Bible, Commentary, Dictionary, Topic Notes, Study Guides, etc. The various modules also interact with each other automatically as you go. Click on a Bible Verse and everything with information about that Verse shows a symbol you can click on. The same thing happens when you click on a word. Old guys like me can make the fonts whatever size we want. The search functions are great, and the rest of the feature list is too long to post.

If you install it and don't like it, I'll buy you a gift certificate for a big mac, biggie fries, and a large soft drink.   Grin

In Christ,
Tom
56725  Welcome / Questions, help, suggestions, and bug reports / Re:Jail on: December 03, 2003, 12:23:03 AM

*sigh*  the judges these days...    Undecided

I want some justice, Man!  


And, seems Tibby's absconded.   Roll Eyes

Oklahoma Howdy to Symphony,

It sounds like you need to run for judge. Maybe you could style the court after the one Judge Roy Bean had in the Old West. I've read and seen various documentaries, stories, and movies about him. There had been a gunfight one day, and one of the deceased was lying in the dirt street. I don't know if this is true or not, but the story is that Judge Roy Bean counted the money in his pocket and fined the deceased that amount for littering.   Grin

Regardless, I think we need you as a Judge. We haven't had a good, old fashioned "hanging judge" in quite some time.   Grin

Love In Christ,
Tom
56726  Fellowship / You name it!! / Re:PC Bible software? on: December 02, 2003, 09:20:35 PM
Oklahoma Howdy to 2nd Timothy,

I have been using e-Sword for several years and must admit that I am completely spoiled by it. The features and components are too lengthy to list, AND IT IS FREE.

http://www.e-sword.net/

That's right, it is free with no strings attached and probably has more features and functions than commercial Bible study packages that may cost $500 or more.

You can download all of the components from the URL listed above. I still use a slow dial-up modem, so I opted to order the CD. There is a donation requested of $15 if you want the CD. I have no problem at all in trying to help support the ministry of the author, Rick Meyers. He is doing a wonderful work in trying to distribute excellent Bible study tools in numerous languages. By the way, the software, functions, and features are all first class.

Love In Christ,
Tom
56727  Theology / General Theology / Re:Share A Thought on: December 02, 2003, 08:42:13 PM
I can't tell you how much this series on Grace has been a blessing to me.   I have been like a beggar feasting on this thread.

Thank you!

Grace and Peace!

Oklahoma Howdy to 2nd Timothy,

You are most welcome Brother!

It is truly overwhelming to consider God's Grace and Love to us, especially the GIFT of HIS Son on the cross for our sins.

Jesus Christ will be our LORD AND SAVIOUR if we accept HIM. This one GIFT is so great in magnitude that our problems in this short life are of little significance. "Much More" Grace and Love should cause all of us to "KEEP LOOKING UP!, realize that our citizenship is in Heaven, keep our hearts and minds focused on HIM, and contemplate ETERNITY WITH HIM IN GLORY.

We are rich beyond measure in HIS GRACE AND LOVE.

Love In Christ,
Tom
56728  Welcome / Questions, help, suggestions, and bug reports / Re:Jail on: December 02, 2003, 08:15:56 PM
Hear, hear!

But I say we put anyone who "bugs" us straight in the ice-cold slammer! Heeheehee! Get it? Website...bugs... Embarrassed Grin

Oklahoma Howdy to Whitehorse,

 Grin  I got it.

The executioner could deliver the punishment after the defendant spends several days in the "ice-cold slammer!"

The defendant was tried in absentia without counsel or notice of rights, but that should be no concern for the executioner.   Grin

As Symphony might say, "He He".

Love In Christ,
Tom
56729  Welcome / About You! / Re:Leaving on: December 02, 2003, 07:53:35 PM
Oklahoma Howdy to Willowbirch,

I will pray that God keeps you and your family safe in your travels.

Love In Christ,
Tom
56730  Theology / Bible Study / Re:Galatians Bible Study on: December 02, 2003, 07:09:04 PM
Oklahoma Howdy to All,

When we started the Galatians Bible study, I thought we were capable of an in-depth Bible study. I am now thinking there is a greater interest in argument than in Bible study.

I'll have to pray about this and see if I feel led to continue.

Thanks for your prayers about my health. I am getting better.

Love In Christ,
Tom
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