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September 16, 2021, 02:20:22 PM

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Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
283384 Posts in 27521 Topics by 3790 Members
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 1 
 on: Today at 09:47:58 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
God Is Love

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16)

God is clearly “the Lord, the righteous judge” (2 Timothy 4:8), but He is also “the God of love and peace” (2 Corinthians 13:11). Not only in our text verse but also in another place, we are reminded that “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Of all the attributes of God, His nature of love is the most definitive. God is love!

It was not His omnipotence nor His omniscience that constrained Him to create men and women in His image. It must have been His nature of love, the desire for fellowship with beings like Himself. There is not much revealed on this question—only hints. “I have created him for my glory” (Isaiah 43:7). “The LORD hath made all things for himself” (Proverbs 16:4).

But fellowship is a two-way relationship and requires freedom to choose on the part of both. When man volitionally broke that fellowship, sin came into the world and God’s creation purpose was to all appearances set aside.

But God is love! He had not only a plan of creation but also a plan of salvation already in process. He “saved us,... according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Timothy 1:9).

And so “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us” (1 John 3:1). God is, indeed, a God of love! HMM

 2 
 on: September 15, 2021, 08:56:18 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
The Riches of His Grace

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)

The attributes of God are characterized by the “riches of His grace.” This amazing grace led Him to shed His blood as the price of our redemption.

No wonder men have developed the familiar acrostic for GRACE—“God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.” “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).

Paul seems again and again to try to find descriptions for these riches. To the Romans he wrote of “the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering” (Romans 2:4) and of His plan to “make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of [his] mercy” (Romans 9:23). Speaking of God’s mercy, he exclaims, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Romans 11:33).

The inexhaustibility of these infinite depths of grace and mercy led Paul to call these attributes “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8). Desiring that all believers might learn to appreciate the tremendous future they have in Christ, he prayed that “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened,” somehow we might come to appreciate even now “the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18).

Yet, marvelously rich and full though His grace is now, there is much more to come. “God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ,...That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-5, 7). HMM

 3 
 on: September 14, 2021, 08:59:41 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
The God of All Comfort

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.” (2 Corinthians 1:3)

The apostle Paul uses two important titles for God in this passage, “the Father of mercies” and “the God of all comfort,” that give us unique insight into the character of our mighty Creator and Redeemer. First, God is noted as the fountainhead of all fatherly mercies that were ultimately expressed in the sacrificial death on our behalf of His perfect sinless Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Then we are introduced to this important theme of “comfort,” which is used a total of 10 times in this section of the epistle as either some form of the noun paraklesis or the verb parakaleo (vv. 1:4, 6-7). Paul goes on to elaborate on his declaration of God as the source of all true comfort in the next verse as the one “who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” The participle form of the verb “comforteth” (parakaleo) is given in the Greek as a timeless present tense that conveys ongoing encouragement, support, and exhortation in all kinds of affliction and distress. Indeed, Paul goes on to say, “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation [paraklesis] also aboundeth by Christ” (v. 5).

But this comfort and consolation in the midst of our trials is not just for our own benefit but that we might also be agents of “the God of all comfort” to His church and a lost and hurting world. Paul emphasizes this in verse 6: “And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.” JPT

 4 
 on: September 13, 2021, 09:31:48 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
The Gate of Praise

“But thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.” (Isaiah 60:18)

Walled cities were standard measures in the time of the Old Testament to protect the inhabitants from attack by enemy forces. In this Scripture in Isaiah, the city wall represents the protective salvation of God available to those who put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Concerning city walls, there were two types of openings in them. One was a breach in the wall that allowed enemy forces to come in and wreak havoc on the city. In this respect, the apostle Paul warned us in Ephesians 4:27, “Neither give place to the devil,” and in 2 Corinthians 2:11, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” The other type of opening was a controlled gate that could be opened or closed at the will of the ruler of the city. Isaiah likens these gates as “Praise.”

It’s interesting that in regard to the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:21, we are told, “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls.” As most people know, pearls are formed by irritation in which a foreign particle becomes lodged inside the shell of an oyster, and over time a beautiful pearl is formed by the secretion of minerals accumulating around the particle. Indeed, Acts 14:22 says, “That we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”

Giving praise to God in the difficult trials and irritating circumstances of a sin-cursed world is one thing you can’t do in heaven but is highly needful for the sojourning believer in this present life. Hebrews 13:15 says, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” And David says, “Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem…to give thanks unto the name of the LORD” (Psalm 122:2, 4). JPT

 5 
 on: September 12, 2021, 08:34:00 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Two Faithful Friends

“But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.” (Philippians 2:19-20)

Paul cited Timothy and Epaphroditus as two faithful ministry friends (Philippians 2:19-30). Their activities provide a great inventory to follow as we “work out [our] own salvation” (Philippians 2:12).

    Likeminded: The Greek word is isopsuchos, or “equal in soul.” Effective ministry friendships agree in purpose (Amos 3:3).
    Genuine Care: The Holy Spirit used merimnao, a burden for others’ needs. Philippians 2:2-4 lists the restrictions.
    Seek Christ’s Things: Edify each other (1 Corinthians 14:12), focus on heavenly ideals (Colossians 3:1), and crave the kingdom and God’s righteousness more than our welfare (Matthew 6:33).
    Serve Together: Timothy was to Paul like a “son with the father” serving with him “in the gospel” (Philippians 2:22). To be acceptable, that service must be in “righteousness, and peace, and joy” (Romans 14:17).
    Companion in Labor: Similarly, Epaphroditus is said to work with Paul (Philippians 2:25). As with Timothy, their focus was “to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith” (1 Thessalonians 3:2).
    Fellow Soldier: Military metaphors abound in the Bible, with a common thread of the spiritual warfare defined in Ephesians 6:10-18. We must “endure hardness” when we assist in the ministry (2 Timothy 2:3).

Not every Christian meets the excellence of these faithful friends. “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6). HMM III

 6 
 on: September 11, 2021, 08:53:05 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Understanding the Times

“And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.” (1 Chronicles 12:32)

This chapter lists the numbers of men from each of the tribes of Israel who cast their lot with David in his conflict with King Saul. All these numbers are given except those of Issachar, but of these it was said that all their brethren followed their 200 leaders in turning to David. The reason for their unanimity in this decision was that these leaders “had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” It was time to “turn the kingdom” to David, “according to the word of the LORD” (1 Chronicles 12:23). God had given them a Benjamite, Saul, as king for a time, but now David had been anointed, and it was the time to give “the sceptre” to Judah, according to the prophecy of their father, Jacob, given over 600 years before (Genesis 49:10).

How desperately we need leaders today who are spiritual “sons of Issachar,” understanding these times! Christ told the apostles: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons” (Acts 1:7); it was more urgent that they proceed to witness for Him “unto the uttermost part of the earth” (v. 8).

Nevertheless, He would return to the earth in some generation, and that generation should be expected (when they would see all these things) to “know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33). They could understand the signs, and even though they should never attempt to guess the date, they could “look up...for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28) when they would see “these things begin to come to pass.”

The signs are everywhere, yet few of our leaders—even many Christian politicians—seem to understand the real meaning of these times. Christ is “even at the doors!” HMM

 7 
 on: September 10, 2021, 09:02:20 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Choose Life

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Shortly before his death, Moses restated the law and the covenant between God and His people summed up in the greatest commandment: “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6:5).

Furthermore, Moses claimed that “this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven...Neither is it beyond the sea” (Deuteronomy 30:11-13). Nothing about it was hard to understand. “But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it” (Deuteronomy 30:14).

Indeed, the evidence that God is Creator, Judge, Provider, and Redeemer is all around us. Our text informs us that “heaven and earth” are witnesses of God’s nature. We have more than enough information than we need in order to respond. In fact, these things “from the creation of the world are clearly seen” so that those who reject are “without excuse” (Romans 1:20). Indeed, to ignore the evidence of creation and the Flood, one must be “willingly...ignorant” (2 Peter 3:5). Rejection is foolishness.

“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil” (Deuteronomy 30:15). The choice is between blessing (v. 16) and cursing (v. 19). All lines of reasoning point toward the God of the Bible as the one true God. “Therefore choose life,” as our text encourages us, “That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life” (v. 20). JDM

 8 
 on: September 09, 2021, 06:01:55 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
God's Remnant

“It may be the LORD thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left.” (2 Kings 19:4)

These words were part of King Hezekiah’s plea to Isaiah for help in prayer against Rabshakeh and the Assyrian army besieging Jerusalem. It marks the second time in which this particular word is used for “the remnant,” the first being in Genesis 45:7, when Joseph assured his brothers that God had sent him into Egypt to preserve for Israel “a posterity” in the earth. However, this word (Hebrew sherith) is prominent later in the writings of the prophets, who frequently refer to the faithful Israelite “remnant” during times of apostasy.

The same doctrine appears in the New Testament. Speaking of the children of Israel during the time of their dispersion among the nations because of their rejection of Christ, Paul says: “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace” (Romans 11:5). There are many Jews even today who have received Jesus as their Messiah and personal Savior, even though Israel as a nation still rejects Him.

This biblical doctrine of the remnant applies especially to faithful Israelites who witness to God’s truth even in times of national apostasy. Nevertheless, the principle seems also to apply to so-called Christian nations as well—such as the nations of Europe and America. Although nominally “Christian,” each of these nations, like the church at Sardis, “hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” (Revelation 3:1), as far as true biblical Christianity is concerned. Nevertheless, in each, there is still a remnant of real, believing Christians, and these have the great responsibility to maintain a true witness for Christ in just such a time as this. HMM

 9 
 on: September 09, 2021, 05:59:24 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
God's Remnant

“It may be the LORD thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left.” (2 Kings 19:4)

These words were part of King Hezekiah’s plea to Isaiah for help in prayer against Rabshakeh and the Assyrian army besieging Jerusalem. It marks the second time in which this particular word is used for “the remnant,” the first being in Genesis 45:7, when Joseph assured his brothers that God had sent him into Egypt to preserve for Israel “a posterity” in the earth. However, this word (Hebrew sherith) is prominent later in the writings of the prophets, who frequently refer to the faithful Israelite “remnant” during times of apostasy.

The same doctrine appears in the New Testament. Speaking of the children of Israel during the time of their dispersion among the nations because of their rejection of Christ, Paul says: “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace” (Romans 11:5). There are many Jews even today who have received Jesus as their Messiah and personal Savior, even though Israel as a nation still rejects Him.

This biblical doctrine of the remnant applies especially to faithful Israelites who witness to God’s truth even in times of national apostasy. Nevertheless, the principle seems also to apply to so-called Christian nations as well—such as the nations of Europe and America. Although nominally “Christian,” each of these nations, like the church at Sardis, “hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” (Revelation 3:1), as far as true biblical Christianity is concerned. Nevertheless, in each, there is still a remnant of real, believing Christians, and these have the great responsibility to maintain a true witness for Christ in just such a time as this. HMM

 10 
 on: September 08, 2021, 05:36:05 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
The Righteous Judge

“That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25)

People often make erroneous judgments. Even those who are officially appointed or elected to judge others are sometimes mistaken, and so we have a whole system of appeals courts. Yet even the Supreme Court, composed as it is of fallible human beings, often seems to be wrong. But as Abraham recognized long ago while interceding for the people in Sodom, we can be confident that the Judge of all the earth will do right!

He not only can judge our actions in relation to His revealed will but can also discern thoughts and motives and, therefore, “judge the secrets of men” (Romans 2:16), and He will do so in absolute rightness. Furthermore, “he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:...and my judgment is just,” asserted the Lord Jesus (John 5:22, 30). To those who reject or ignore His redeeming love, relying instead on their own worth, “there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-27).

To those who have been redeemed through saving faith in Christ, there will, indeed, be a Judgment Day, but it will be for dispensing of rewards for faithful service rather than for salvation, and this also will be done righteously. “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day” (2 Timothy 4:8). HMM

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