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December 09, 2022, 03:45:34 AM

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Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
286297 Posts in 27567 Topics by 3790 Members
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 1 
 on: December 08, 2022, 07:44:31 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
A Spiritual Pillow

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

There is not one electron outside the absolute control of our sovereign God. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What doest thou?” (Daniel 4:35). So, in a world full of suffering, how do we make sense of Romans 8:28?

First, we know God has a precious, sovereign plan for all believers. Second, we may not know how God uses difficulties for our greater good. Job didn’t understand what was motivating his trials, but he knew his God experientially when he said, “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee....I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee” (Job 42:2, 5).

Third, God can’t be blamed for evil. He may allow evil things into our lives (Paul’s thorn in the flesh, Peter’s imprisonment, believers’ suffering) for refining ends, but He is not a culpable agent since He “neither tempteth…any man” (James 1:13). Theologians call this seeming paradox “concurrence”—God supervising the actions of sinful agents for His own purposes.

Fourth, God causes all things to providentially work together for good—God’s ordering of all events after the counsel of His own will. God richly supplies us with all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17), but we know His loving providence may also include suffering (Romans 8:18).

There is deep comfort in this “pillow” verse as we are reminded that life is not a random collection of messy events. You may not be able to trace His hand, but like suffering Job you can trust His heart. CM

 2 
 on: December 07, 2022, 08:23:40 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Be Diligent

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge.” (2 Peter 1:5)

The importance of diligence is urged by Peter as basic in the development of the seven other virtues listed by him—that is, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity—as vital additions to our faith. Diligence is seldom considered as a particular Christian attribute, but it is essential if we really desire to develop the other Christian virtues in our lives. They do not come by wishing or hoping. Peter also exhorts us to “give diligence to make your calling and election sure” (v. 10), and then to “be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (3:14).

Essentially the same Greek word is also translated “study” and “labor” and “endeavor.” Paul commands, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). He beseeches us always to be “endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). We are even told to “labour therefore to enter into that rest” (Hebrews 4:11).

There are many other such exhortations in which Christian diligence is urged or shown in reference to other Christian virtues. There is one key verse, however, in which diligence itself is commanded as a Christian duty: “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11). Here the word “business” is the same as “diligence.” That is, each Christian is commanded to “be diligent in diligence!”

Christian salvation is received solely by grace through faith. The Christian life, however, demands diligence. Can we not, as today’s verse commands, give all diligence in our service to the Lord who gave His life for us? HMM

 3 
 on: December 06, 2022, 08:11:45 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Get Your Mind Ready

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13)

We have been born again (1 Peter 1:3), Peter tells us, to an incorruptible inheritance in heaven (v. 4), which is secure (v. 5) even though the intervening time is difficult (vv. 6-7). Such a salvation as we have is both mysterious and hard to understand, pondered by both the saints of old (v. 10) and angels (v. 12). Yet, we have it with more complete understanding and fulfillment than even the prophets ever dreamed possible.

Our rightful response to this knowledge and experience is given in today’s verse. We are to “gird up the loins of [our] mind.” Just as the flowing robes worn by the men of New Testament times had to be bundled up and tied at the waist to allow for rapid, unencumbered movement, so the Christian is expected to be ready to be on the move, to discipline his or her mind by the renouncing of all sinful and/or confining habits and attitudes.

To do so we must “be sober,” be clear-headed, calm, and in control. We must “hope to the end,” or more explicitly, “hope to the utmost degree” in our ultimate glorification at the return of Christ. The construction of “hope” implies a command to “fix our hope” on Him, a sure hope, not a wishful hope. This is the “grace that is brought [present tense] to the believer.”

Furthermore, we must renounce “the former lusts in [our] ignorance” (v. 14), being “obedient children” of our Father.

It is not enough simply to eliminate sinful patterns from our lives. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy” (v. 15).

A mind that is disciplined and purified is ready for action and victory. JDM

 4 
 on: December 05, 2022, 08:52:24 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Forget Not His Commandments

“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments.” (Proverbs 3:1)

It is vitally important that even though we are saved by grace and not by the works of the law, we never forget that God’s law is essentially a statement of God’s holiness. We should desire to know and follow God’s commandments simply because they are “holy, and just, and good” (Romans 7:12), not because we seek salvation through them.

It is noteworthy that the anonymous writer of the longest chapter in the Bible (Psalm 119), in which practically every verse refers to the Scriptures, stressed seven times that he would never forget the laws and commandments of his Lord. May the Lord teach us to share the same determination. Note:

“I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word” (v. 16).

“For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes” (v. 83).

“I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me” (v. 93).

“My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law” (v. 109).

“I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts” (v. 141).

“Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law” (v. 153).

“I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments” (v. 176).

This seventh reference is actually the closing verse of this remarkable 119th Psalm. It beautifully points up the urgency of not forgetting the commandments of God. He will seek us when we stray and bring us back home to Him, for we remember and love His law. HMM

 5 
 on: December 04, 2022, 07:23:59 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Believing God

“Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.” (Acts 27:25)

Most people believe in God—some kind of god—but it’s a different thing altogether to believe God! And our text makes it clear that believing God simply means believing what He says, “that it shall be even as it was told me.” Paul spoke these words at the height of a terrible storm at sea, when it appeared certain that “all hope that we should be saved was then taken away” (v. 20). But God had spoken otherwise, and Paul believed God rather than adopting the fears of those around him. Abraham, “the father of all them that believe” (Romans 4:11), had set the example. “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform” (Romans 4:20-21).

God does not speak to us audibly today as He did to Abraham and Paul, but He does speak far more comprehensively to us through His written Word, and we have even less excuse for unbelief than they might have had. It is a terrible offense against our Creator to question His Word. This, indeed, was the very sin of pride that led to Satan’s fall and then to the fall of Adam and Eve. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God [literally, ‘is God-breathed’]” (2 Timothy 3:16) and thus should be fully believed and explicitly obeyed, for “he that believeth not God hath made him a liar” (1 John 5:10).

But what about those Scriptures that modern scientists claim to be wrong? “Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:3-4). “For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth” (Psalm 33:4). HMM

 6 
 on: December 03, 2022, 08:08:30 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
The Divine Designer

“Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?” (Isaiah 40:12)

The answer to this rhetorical question can only be God, the divine Designer of all the intricate interrelationships of His great creation. Four of the disciplines of natural science are implied here, and in each case a key principle of that science is anticipated.

The emphasis is on the precision of the divinely allocated quantities of each component. First, there is the precise balance of the waters of the earth between the oceans, rivers, groundwater, and atmospheric waters. Hydrology is the science of Earth’s waters, and life on Earth is dependent on the fine-tuning of the components of the hydrologic cycle. “He looketh to the ends of the earth....To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure” (Job 28:24-25).

The atmospheric heaven also has been carefully dimensioned in size and composition to make life possible, as formulated in the science of meteorology.

The “dust of the earth” is nothing less than the basic chemical elements out of which all things are made. The accuracy with which elements combine with each other is based on their valences, and all of this is involved in the study of chemistry. The principle of isostasy (“equal weights”) is the fundamental principle of the science of geophysics, involving the weights of mountains and hills, continents, and ocean basins.

God does not deal in chance and caprice, even with inanimate physical systems such as mountains and waters. Not even a sparrow can “fall on the ground without your Father” (Matthew 10:29). HMM

 7 
 on: December 02, 2022, 07:17:32 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
The Urgency of Christ's Work

“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” (John 9:4)

It is striking how often the Lord Jesus used the term “must” in connection with the different aspects of the work He came to do. Since He is our example, we also must be serious and urgent about our Father’s work. Even as a boy in the temple, He told His parents, “I must be about my Father’s business” (Luke 2:49).

Then early in His ministry, as He went from place to place, He said, “I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent” (Luke 4:43). Toward the end of His earthly ministry, He said one day, “I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem” (Luke 13:33). He also said to His disciples that “he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day” (Matthew 16:21).

He had told the great teacher of Israel, Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again.” To explain how this could be, He then said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:7, 14-15). Before we could ever be born again to everlasting life, therefore, Christ must be lifted up on the cross to die for our sins.

Still, all “the scriptures must be fulfilled” (Mark 14:49), and accordingly, “he must rise again from the dead” (John 20:9). Yet, even this did not fully complete “the works of him that sent me,” for Christ had said that “the gospel must first be published among all nations” (Mark 13:10). Therefore, we also must work the works of Him who sent us, before our days of opportunity are gone. HMM

 8 
 on: December 01, 2022, 08:22:51 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Did He Really Die?

“And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.” (Mark 15:44-45)

The absolute and total physical death of Christ is essential to the gospel. Certain liberals and detractors have for years tried to obscure or deny this vital teaching, claiming that Christ merely “swooned” on the cross and later revived in the tomb, then appeared to His followers who falsely claimed His resurrection.

But to the Christian, the death of Christ is not an option. The Bible teaches that sin had separated each man from God: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” being declared righteous only “through faith in his blood” (Romans 3:23, 25) that was shed on the cross. “Without shedding of blood is no remission” of sin (Hebrews 9:22). There can be no Christianity without the real death of the real, sinless Son of God.

It seems that the gospel writers, in recounting the events of the crucifixion, go to great lengths to make sure no one misunderstands. In Mark 15, for example, nearly 20 people are mentioned who no doubt would testify to His death. Consider the likely testimony of the Roman guards who had tortured Him to the point of death (vv. 15-23), nailed Him on the cross (v. 24), and watched Him die. The executioner (v. 25) and the centurion (vv. 39, 44-45) were trained in killing. They knew how to recognize death. The thieves (v. 27), the mocking passersby (v. 29), the chief priests and scribes (v. 31), the grave keepers (v. 46), all would have had no doubt. Pilate was convinced (vv. 44-45), as were His many friends who watched (vv. 40-41, 47).

There can be no doubt Christ surely died, and He died “to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). JDM

 9 
 on: November 30, 2022, 08:18:29 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
He Is Able

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” (Ephesians 3:20)

Despite man’s arrogant pride, he is utterly unable to save himself or to make himself acceptable to God. Neither is he able to keep himself saved nor, above all, is he able to defeat sin and conquer death.

But God is able! The word “able” (Greek dunamai) is closely related to the word for “power” (Greek dunamis), both speaking of God’s spiritual dynamics. He is all-powerful, His ability is without limit, and His power “works in us”!

Therefore, “he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” (Hebrews 7:25). Because the gospel of Christ is the “power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16), God “is of power to stablish you according to my gospel” (Romans 16:25).

Even when great troubles and sorrows and temptations come, He is able. “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18). He “is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24).

In fact, He is able to meet every need of our lives and even to use us in His service. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

Finally, “he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). That day will surely come, but then He will give us bodies of glory, for “he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:21). HMM

 10 
 on: November 29, 2022, 08:12:39 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
The Living Word/the Word of Life

“Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” (Philippians 2:16)

There is such beautiful correlation between the living Word (Christ) and the written Word (the Bible) that certain Scriptures could well apply to either one. Such is the case with our text. The Philippians were exhorted to hold forth the Word of life, which presumably could mean either Christ, the living Word, or else the Scriptures, which speak of eternal life.

The same dual meaning can be discerned in such texts as 2 Timothy 4:2 (“preach the word”) and Hebrews 4:12 (“the word of God is quick, and powerful”). In fact, there are many beautiful figures of speech that are applied in the Bible to the ministries of both Christ and the Scriptures in a believer’s life.

For example, Christ is “the light of the world” (John 8:12), but also “the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light” (Proverbs 6:23). Similarly, Jesus said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), but He also said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4).

The Lord Jesus Christ said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:37). God also promised that “as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven,...So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth” (Isaiah 55:10-11).

Both are described as the very personification of truth. Jesus said, “I am...the truth,” and He prayed to the Father, “Thy word is truth” (John 14:6; 17:17). Finally, both must be received. “Receive...the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21), for “as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God” (John 1:12). HMM

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