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January 26, 2020, 03:06:30 AM

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Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
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 1 
 on: January 25, 2020, 07:22:48 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
The Indwelling Christ

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)

The fact that Jesus Christ is actually in each believer is both a great mystery and rich in glory. In fact, it is our very hope and assurance of glory in the age to come.

How Christ may be both seated at “the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3) and yet living in us is surely a mystery, yet it is fully true. He Himself told His disciples: “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. . . . Abide in me, and I in you. . . . He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 14:23; 15:4-5).

The apostle Paul also confirmed this great truth: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20). One of his prayers for the Ephesians was “that Christ [might] dwell in [their] hearts by faith” (Ephesians 3:17).

The mystery as to how this can be is resolved in yet another mystery—that of the triunity of the Godhead. Christ, the Second Person, is present in His people through the Holy Spirit, the Third Person. Christ said: “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter. . . . Even the Spirit of truth; . . . for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16-17).

In fact, as our text says, His indwelling presence is our very hope of glory, for “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9).

Thus, where we go, He goes; whatever we say, He hears; even what we think, He knows. Christ, by the Holy Spirit, is our ever-present comforter and guide and counselor. This is, indeed, a glorious mystery! HMM

 2 
 on: January 24, 2020, 07:58:31 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Paul's Growth

“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3)

Many times today we look at Paul and wish to be greatly used of God as he was. But Scripture teaches us that use of Paul as a role model requires a proper view of Paul—his humility and his submission to Christ.

Paul didn’t start out as a humble servant. In fact, before his conversion, he was quite proud of his pedigree (Philippians 3:4-6). He was the overseer at the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58). He was fanatical, the haughty persecutor of the early church (8:3). In grace, he was informed of his error by “Jesus whom thou persecutest” (9:5), and soon Paul recognized the worthlessness of his background and human achievement, and counted all these things “but dung, that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:8).

Once his view of Christ was proper, Paul’s view of himself began to decrease. In AD 56 or so, Paul, who had been set apart for a ministry to the Gentiles “from my mother’s womb” (Galatians 1:15), called himself “the least of the apostles, that am not meet [fit] to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:9-10).

While in prison several years later, Paul wrote to the Gentile churches he had founded, marveling that this ministry was given “unto me, who am less than the least of all saints” (Ephesians 3:8). Shortly before he was beheaded in prison for his faith, he testified “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15).

As Paul grew older, his evaluation of his own worth decreased. As one draws closer and closer to the light, he is able to see more clearly his own unworthiness. JDM

 3 
 on: January 23, 2020, 02:51:04 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________



        September 3.

        "And Nehemiah continued, "Go and celebrate with a feast of choice foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Do not be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!" Nehemiah 8:10

        God loves to have us enjoy ourselves. He does not want us to be long-faced!

        JOY is the ideal Christian life!

        Of course we are to be sorry when we sin; but when we have confessed the sin, truly repented of it, and found mercy—we are to dry our tears—and rejoice! Why should we not be happy when God has forgiven us, made us His children, and assured us of everlasting glory?

        But our joy must not be selfish. When we are prosperous—we should not forget those who are poor. When we are happy in our homes of love, with unbroken circles—we should not forget the families that are in sorrow. The good things God gives us—are not meant for ourselves alone. They are given us to be passed on. "It is more blessed to give—than to receive."

        People who keep all to themselves, and consume the choice foods and sweet drinks in their own houses, at their own well-covered tables, never thinking of the hungry ones outside—are not the kind of children God wants them to be.

        The very essence of Christian life—is unselfishness!

 4 
 on: January 23, 2020, 02:50:02 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

                                                                                                                                                                     

        September 2.

        "The laborers who carried the loads worked with one hand—and held a weapon with the other hand. Each of the builders had his sword strapped around his waist—while he was working!" Nehemiah 4:17-18

        We should all work on the wall of God's temple, everyone building near his own door. We should never slacken in our diligence; there is some duty for each moment. But we work amid enemies! On every side are those who oppose us, and are ready to assault us and to stop us in our service. The Christian young man in the store or shop, in the school or college, is constantly exposed to temptation. His companions are not all godly. Some of them will seek to draw him away from Christ. In his own heart, too, there are enemies which resist the good that is striving within him—and seek his destruction! So while he works—he must also be ready any instant to fight.

        Every Christian should have his sword girded continually by his side. The Christian's sword is "the Word of God." The best preparation, therefore, for meeting the world's enmity—is to become filled with the Holy Scriptures. There come many occasions through life when a verse quoted will be a sword drawn to smite an enemy. Thus it was that Jesus vanquished the tempter, at each temptation drawing out a Word of God, and with it smiting the adversary!

        So we all may learn to fight, building ever on the wall of character, and ever thrusting back the enemy that assails us!

 5 
 on: January 23, 2020, 02:49:02 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________



        September 1.

        "I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes!" Nehemiah 4:14

        Everyone with a spark of manhood in him—will fight to the death, for his family. We are all so tied up together, that this motive is really present in all our defending of 'justice'. We must seek the safety of the town in which we live because our family is in it, and peril to the town—is peril to us. We must seek wholesome water supply, good drainage, and clean streets for the town, because our children and friends live there.

        Likewise with the moral and religious influences of the community; the welfare of our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, is involved. A man may have no interest in the fight against the saloon; but if the evil is let alone—by and by his own boys may be destroyed by it!

        A distinguished man was speaking at the opening of a reformatory for boys, and remarked that if only one boy were saved from ruin—it would pay for all the cost. After the exercises were over, a gentleman asked him if he had not put it too strongly when he said that all the cost of founding such an institution would be repaid—if only one boy should be saved. "If it were MY boy!" was the answer. It is only when we learn to look at all such movements as if we were working for our own—that we do bur best work.

 6 
 on: January 23, 2020, 02:48:00 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________



        August 31.

        "Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, "The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall!" Nehemiah 4:10

        There are always croakers and discouragers! They find fault with their part of the work, and object to the methods of those in charge.

        We remember how it was with the spies sent to look over the promised land. It was a good country, they said, rich and fertile—but, oh, the giants that were there! So these ten frightened men discouraged a whole nation!

        People are forever making it harder for others to live righteously—by going about with their murmurings and groanings!

        These people of Judah in Nehemiah's time, seem to have been only half-hearted. They were not willing to make sacrifices to get the city rebuilt.

        Nothing good is ever accomplished without cost! Gold is not picked up in the streets! Half-heartedness is not merely weakness; it is sin! All through the ages, men who have been blessings to the world, have been willing to bear burdens that were too heavy for them. Easy living never accomplished much for God or the world!

 7 
 on: January 23, 2020, 02:47:01 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________



        August 30.

        "But we prayed to our God—and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat!" Nehemiah 4:9

        We are in danger of making prayer a substitute for duty; or of trying to roll over on God, the burden of caring for us and doing things for us—while we sit still and do nothing! When we pray to be delivered from temptation—we must keep out of the way of temptation, unless duty clearly calls us there. We must also guard against temptation, resist the Devil, and stand firm in obedience and faith. When we ask God for our daily bread, pleading the promise that we shall not lack—we must also labor to earn God's bread, and thus make it ours honestly.

        A lazy man came once and asked for money, saying that he could not find bread for his family. "Neither can I!" replied the industrious mechanic to whom he had applied. "I am obliged to work for it!"

        While we pray for health—we must use the means to obtain it.

        While we ask for wisdom—we must use our brains and think, searching for wisdom as for hidden treasure.

        While we ask God to help us break off a bad habit—we must also strive to overcome the habit.

        Prayer is not merely a device for saving people from toil, struggle and responsibility. When there is no human power adequate to the need—we may ask God to work without us, and in some way He will help us. But ordinarily WE must do our part, asking God to work in and through us, and to bless us through faithful obedience.

        "I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me!" Colossians 1:29

 8 
 on: January 23, 2020, 02:45:59 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________



        August 29.

        "When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven!" Nehemiah 1:4

        Tears were not all. Nehemiah also carried the burden to God in prayer. He did this before he took any step himself for the relief of the suffering, and the advancement of his work. Compassion is Christlike; but tears alone are not enough. This is a lesson we should not forget in our compassion for others: God cares more for them than we do, and his compassion is deeper than ours; we may, therefore, be sure of interest upon His part—when we speak the names of our friends in His ear. Besides, He knows best how to help. We should take the burden to Him first—and then be ready to do whatever He may tell us to do.

        The best way for us to help others—usually is to PRAY for them. Of course praying is not all we should do; Nehemiah did not stop with tears and prayers. He gave himself to the work in behalf of his people. He left his luxurious palace, and journeyed away to Jerusalem, and took earnest hold with both hands, giving all his energy and influence to the cause.

        Likewise, more than tears and prayers are needed; there is something for us to DO. Many people can weep over distress, and then pray fervently for the relief that is needed—but never DO anything themselves! Nehemiah's way is better: sympathy, prayer, work. This makes a threefold cord which cannot be broken!

 9 
 on: January 23, 2020, 02:36:22 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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Christian Liberty
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler

But what if an unbeliever invites us over to dinner, Paul, what should we do in this case? Once again, the mature believer understands that an idol is nothing; therefore, don’t ask the unsaved if the meal he is serving was offered to an idol. Since your host hasn’t raised the issue, there’s no need to ask. Once again, liberty says it’s okay to eat!

    “But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that showed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof. Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other” (I Cor. 10:28,29).

Next the apostle turns his attention to the weaker brother in the faith. If a weaker brother is sitting across the table from you and someone comments that the meat about to be served had been offered to an idol, Paul says--don’t eat it! If you partake of the sacrifice in front of the weaker brother, he will think you are compromising, simply because he hasn’t yet come to a full appreciation of his liberty in Christ. Note the apostle states a second time, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,” to make it perfectly clear the earth belongs to the Lord, not the false gods. However, with this said, these false gods would be honored in the mind of the weaker brother if the stronger brother eats in his presence. You see, we have liberty to not exercise our liberty, so as not to offend a brother in Christ who may not be as far along as we are in the faith. Essentially, meat was not as much the issue as love. Love will not partake out of concern for the weaker brother’s conscience.

    “For why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience? For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (I Cor. 10:29-31).

Why was Paul judged? Why was he “evil spoken of?” He had given thanks to the Lord. After all, this is the age of grace--he had liberty to partake if he so desired! Paul could have demanded his rights, but he chose rather to allow grace to control his actions. You see, the apostle understood we are to glorify God in everything we do. Of course, this would be impossible to accomplish if he caused a weaker brother to stumble; consequently, it was best for him to abstain from eating all meats offered to idols if it caused an offense. And he was willing to do so! Thus the apostle concludes: “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God” (I Cor. 10:32).

LIBERTY IS ACCEPTANCE

    “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations” (Rom. 14:1).

Here we learn that we are to receive the weaker brother with a cordial welcome, not with a spirit of critical analysis or an attitude of superiority. There are many questionable areas in the Christian life where there is no specific command in the Word of God to guide us. Today a believer may choose to be a vegetarian because he is of the opinion that red meat could harm his body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Another brother in Christ may not share this view, believing this type of protein, within moderation, is necessary to maintain sound physical health, which would also glorify God. Who’s right? Grace says there is liberty to do either!

Several years ago I came across the following list of questionable areas in the Christian life. I’ve taken the liberty to add a few things to it from my denominational days:

1. Working in the yard on Sunday afternoon

2. Shopping on Sunday after church

3. Wearing certain clothing

4. Watching television

5. Listening to secular music

6. Dining at a restaurant where alcohol is served

7. Having a glass of wine for dinner

8. Wearing jewelry

9. Not having a quiet time everyday

10. Going to the movies

We must remember that these are questionable things. Some would call them gray areas. This could be grounds for excommunication in certain denominational churches if you are guilty of one or more of these infractions. These types of assemblies have an unwritten code of ethics (their’s) you must follow or run the risk of being given the cold shoulder or worse.

If you were to ask six believers to list 10 things they deem to be unacceptable Christian conduct, not directly addressed in the Word of God, I think you will find each list would differ dramatically. What one believer may find acceptable another may find unacceptable, which is fine, as long as they don’t impose their convictions on another brother in Christ. Liberty says we are to respect one another’s convictions even though they may not be the same as our own.

Sadly, many believers establish these unspoken rules to measure whether or not others are spiritual. But spirituality is not trying to conform to someone’s list of do’s and don’ts. This is nothing more than a form of carnality! The spiritually-minded man is a man who desires to conform his life to the image of Christ. He always has a balance in the Christian life because his attitude and responses are always in line with the Word of God. Having a Christ-like spirit, he walks in lowliness of mind and consistently esteems others better than himself. He values his liberty in Christ, yet is very careful never to misuse it.

 10 
 on: January 23, 2020, 02:35:11 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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From The Berean Bible Society

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Christian Liberty
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler

Paul also speaks of a third table--the table of devils. When the unbeliever offered a sacrifice to idols they were sacrificing to devils, not to God. Unbeknown to them they were worshiping devils. An idol is nothing in this world--they have eyes, but they can’t see; they have ears, but they cannot hear. But Paul is careful to expose the evil influences behind the idol. While the cup of the Lord is full of realities and truth, the cup of devils is full of vanities and false religions. Here are a few examples:

Islam teaches: “humans are basically good, but fallible and need guidance. The balance between good and bad deeds determines eternal destiny in paradise or hell.”

Christian Science teaches concerning Christ’s death: “One sacrifice, however great, is not sufficient to pay the debt of sin.”

Modernism teaches that every man must atone for his sin, and they add: “the gospel of gore (referring to the blood of Christ) is outworn.”

Separation is a theme that is woven throughout the Scriptures. You will recall when old King Nebuchadnezzar erected an idol to himself, a blatant act of self-deification, he required that all bow and worship him when the musical instruments played. Those who failed to do so would be cast into the burning fiery furnace, which by no means was an idle threat. Even though Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego served in the king’s court, they lived separated lives unto God and refused to obey the king’s commandment. They remained standing when everyone else lay prostrate on the ground. When they were hauled before the king by their jealous enemies they gave this memorable response:

    “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up” (Dan. 3:16-18).

Paul wanted those at Corinth who were still dabbling in idol worship to separate themselves from this evil practice because it was affecting their testimony for Christ. The apostle was not advocating isolation, but separation from the world. As the old saying goes, “you want the boat in the water, but not the water in the boat.” Sadly, today the Church has been so influenced by the world that it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the two apart. Living a separated life more clearly defines who we are as ambassadors of Christ. Remember our three Hebrew friends; they stood out among their countrymen who compromised their convictions on the altar of conformity.

The following is an excerpt of a letter we received from a young prisoner which vividly demonstrates how others are drawn to those who live a separated life for the Lord.

“I am speaking on behalf of myself and my cousin who is only 14 years old--I am 19 years old. We both are locked up in a big prison, in a small town, on big charges. We both came from a nice family and a loving church, but we strayed. We watched a young man [from our local assembly] who carried himself in a well-behaved manner and we asked, how can we be like that in a place like this…? Well, we are both asking that you keep us in your prayers and if it isn’t a problem, could you send us some reading materials…to help our spiritual growth? Thank you!”

LIBERTY IN CHRIST

    “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not” (I Cor. 10:23).

Paul says, “All things are lawful,” that is, permissible, under grace, but all things are not expedient or profitable; all things are lawful but not all things edify or build up. Having separated us from false religions, the apostle now touches on our liberty in Christ, which has been purchased for us at a great price. We should be ever mindful what our Savior endured to deliver us from the slave market of sin. Death by crucifixion is one of the most inhumane forms of death that mankind has ever devised. Even the hard-hearted Roman soldiers often pitied those who suffered this cruel means of ending a life.

Liberty is like fire. It can be used for good such as cooking, heating or a romantic candlelight dinner. But it can also be destructive. Fire that is out of control all too often takes lives and destroys everything in its path. We are not to use our liberty for an occasion to the flesh or to further our cause. Paul says: “Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth” (vs. 24). That is, we are to be looking out for the welfare of other believers. Liberty is considerate! It’s tolerant! It accepts others where they are in their spiritual life without being judgmental.

    “Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake. For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof” (I Cor. 10:25,26).

Before we continue, it will be necessary to define the terms “shambles” and “conscience.” The term shambles was usually used of the slaughterhouse, but recent archeological digs have discovered that the slaughterhouse and meat market were often one and the same. Modern day excavations of Pompeii, the city frozen in time due to a volcanic eruption, also substantiate this finding.

Conscience is a warning system that God has placed within each of us to differentiate between right and wrong. We might liken it to the long striped gates at a railroad crossing. When a train is approaching the gates come down, lights begin to flash and in some cases bells ring. The flashing lights and gates are warning you that danger is approaching--beware! However, the warning system does not have the ability to make you stop; that’s a matter of the will. You must apply the brakes to stay out of harm’s way; those who fail to do so proceed at their own peril. In similar fashion, the conscience doesn’t have the power to keep you from doing something wrong; it can only warn you of the danger.

In regard to meats offered to idols, Paul essentially says to the mature believer--don’t ask questions for conscience sake. It’s a non-issue; therefore don’t trouble your conscience or the conscience of others who never entertained the thought. After all, an idol is nothing in the world anyway. Furthermore, the “earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof,” which in this context implies there are no dietary restrictions today, so all foods can be received with thanksgiving. Liberty says it’s okay to eat!

    “If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake” (vs. 27).

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