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December 13, 2017, 05:36:32 PM

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Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
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 1 
 on: Today at 09:04:00 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Seek Ye First

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
 
This has become a favorite memory verse for millions and has even been set to music by a number of artists. Indeed, its truth is of foundational importance. Let us look with care at what it says.
 
First, notice that the tense of the verb “seek” in Greek implies a command to establish an ongoing habit or lifestyle of “seeking” the things of the kingdom. We are commanded to put first things first on a continual basis and watch Him take care of the items of secondary interest.
 
We should strive to make His priorities our priorities—to so mold our thinking by the Word of God that we think as He does on every issue. Our lives should exhibit the purity and righteousness that He exhibited when on Earth. While it is true that we will never fully achieve such perfection this side of heaven, we should be striving, i.e., “seeking,” to do so by the power of His Spirit living in us.
 
The chapter surrounding today’s verse is permeated by the concept of proper priorities in relation to pride (vv. 5-8, 16-18), treasures on Earth (vv. 19-21), singleness of purpose (vv. 22-23), serving two masters (v. 24), or anxious thoughts about the future (vv. 25-32, 34). Remember, “your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things” (v. 32).
 
If we reverse the proper order, not only will we not attain kingdom priorities and His righteousness, but we will probably miss the secondary “things” as well. The word “added,” a mathematical word, implies the prior existence of something to which other things can be added.
 
Surely in our “seeking” we should also adopt the prayer Jesus taught His disciples: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (v. 10). JDM

 2 
 on: December 12, 2017, 07:58:31 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
A New Name

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” (Revelation 2:17)
 
This intriguing promise is one of seven promises in Christ’s letters to seven representative churches—promises made “to him that overcometh.” Although there are various opinions as to who constitute these overcomers, 1 John 5:4 would indicate that “whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
 
On this assumption, all who have been truly born again through faith in Christ will someday be given a new name by their Lord. No one will know what his new name will be until he receives it, and even then it may remain unknown to everyone else.
 
It would be reasonable to assume, however, that each new name will reflect the Lord’s evaluation of the character and service of the one who receives it. We have the primitive examples of Abram, Sarai, and Jacob being given new names by God, perhaps to serve as types of this coming investiture. Abram became “Abraham” (meaning “Father of Multitudes”), Sarai became “Sarah” (meaning “Princess”), and Jacob became “Israel” (meaning “Prevailing Prince with God”). See Genesis 17:5, 15; 32:28.
 
Whatever each of our new names will turn out to be, our Savior will also know them, of course, and this will perhaps be how we will be addressed by Him from then on in the new earth. This should be a great incentive to godly living and faithful service here on this present earth, for we surely desire to receive a good name there from our Lord on the future earth. HMM

 3 
 on: December 11, 2017, 10:57:52 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Without Natural Affection

“Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.” (Romans 1:31)
 
The phrase “without natural affection” is the translation of one Greek word, astergeo. It was a characteristic of many pagans of the ancient world. Significantly, it is also prophesied to be a characteristic of the humanistic pagans of the end-times. “In the last days . . . men shall be . . . without natural affection” (2 Timothy 3:1-3). These are the only two occurrences of this word in the New Testament.
 
The word stergeo (“natural affection”) is one of four Greek words for “love,” but it is never used at all in the New Testament. It refers to the natural love that members of the same family have for each other. It is such a common characteristic of all peoples that there was apparently no occasion to refer to it at all—except when it is not present, when people lose their instinctive love for their own parents and children and thus are “without natural affection.” One thinks of the widespread abortion of these last days, as well as the modern breakdown of the family in general.
 
Another Greek word for “love” is eros, referring to romantic love, or passion. Like stergeo, eros also is never used in the New Testament. The other two words, however, are used frequently. Phileo, referring to “brotherly love,” occurs over 30 times. It indicates fondness, based on a community of interest with the person or persons so loved.
 
The fourth “love” word, of course, is agape, which is used over 300 times. This is the type of love called out of one’s heart by the preciousness of the object loved, the love that impels one to sacrifice his own interests for the benefit of the person loved. This is the love of Christ, who “loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). And this is the love generated by the Holy Spirit in the believer, for “the fruit of the Spirit is love” (Galatians 5:22). HMM

 4 
 on: December 10, 2017, 10:20:36 AM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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An Exhortation to Pray
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


Did you hear about the woman who bowed to pray on New Year’s Eve, saying, “Lord, for the coming year, I pray for a fat bank account and a thin body. And whatever You do, please don’t mix the two up like You did last year.”

While Christians often forget to pray for others, most of us remember to pray for ourselves, especially when it comes to things like that!

Of course, you wouldn’t think a pastor would forget to pray for others, but pastors are Christians too. So Paul wrote to Pastor Timothy, saying,

    “I exhort therefore, that, first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men” (I Timothy 2:1).

Now, when Paul only exhorts Timothy to pray after charging him to “teach no other doctrine” (1:3,18.), it’s easy to conclude from this that praying is not as important as teaching. But an exhortation from God is a serious thing! After the Lord told the Jews that “the blood of all the prophets” would be “required of this generation” (Lu. 11:50,51), Peter chose to “exhort” them, “saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:40). That sounds serious to me! And when Paul then exhorts us to pray, we know that prayer must be just as serious a matter in the eyes of God.

As we look back to the previous chapter to see why Paul would exhort Timothy to pray “therefore,” we see that Paul just finished charging him to “war a good warfare” (1:18.). Well, what does every soldier do before going into battle? He prays! I don’t care if he’s a Christian or not. An old saying says, “There are no atheists in foxholes!”

Yet, as Christians, it is so easy to forget that God has called us to “wrestle… against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12). After Paul went on in that passage to describe the armor God gave us to conduct that warfare (v. 13-17), he exhorted the Ephesians to pray (v.18.). Naturally! After donning his armor, every Roman soldier was certain to pray to his god, and so must we.

Beloved, we must pray for the lost with whom we share Christ, and we must pray for the saints with whom we share the mystery, if we hope to “war a good warfare” against the wicked spirits that are keeping them in darkness with their “doctrines of devils” (I Tim. 4:1). If you are laboring to bring souls to Christ and then build them up in the faith, why not follow the example of Epaphras, who was “always laboring fervently…in prayers” that people might “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Col. 4:12).

 5 
 on: December 10, 2017, 10:18:54 AM 
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
___________________________________________

They have often destroyed, by their daily lives--the whole work of their lips!

(J.C. Ryle, "The Gospel of Luke" 1858.)

"He told them: Take nothing for the journey--no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town." Luke 9:3-4

Let us observe that our Lord charges His apostles, when He sends them forth--to study simplicity of habits, and contentment with such things as they have.

These instructions contain a lesson for all time. The spirit of these verses is meant to be remembered by all ministers of the Gospel. The leading idea which the words convey--is a warning against worldliness and luxurious habits.

Well would it be for the world and the Church, if the warning had been more carefully heeded! From no quarter has Christianity received such damage--as it has from the hands of its own ministers! On no point have its ministers erred so much, and so often--as in the matter of personal worldliness, and luxury of life. They have often destroyed, by their daily lives--the whole work of their lips! They have given occasion to the enemies of religion to say that they love ease, and money, and earthly things--far more than souls.

From such ministers, may we pray daily that the Church may be delivered! They are a living stumbling-block in the way to Heaven. They are helpers to the cause of the devil--and not of God. The preacher whose affections are set on money, and finery and feasting, and pleasure-seeking--has clearly mistaken his vocation. He has forgotten his Master's instructions. He is not an apostolic man!

 6 
 on: December 10, 2017, 09:29:21 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Blessed Is He

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity.” (Psalm 32:1-2)
 
What true believer is there who is not eternally thankful for the truths found in today’s verse? Sins of omission, sins of commission, sins of deliberate action, sins of the heart, youthful sins, covert sins, “big” sins, “little” sins, etc. What a thrill to know that the penalty for our sins has been paid in full if we but accept His free gift. What rejoicing and freedom forgiveness brings.
 
Note that there are three different expressions for wrongdoing in today’s verse—transgression, sin, and iniquity. The differences in these words are not insignificant, but precise differentiation is beyond the scope of this discussion. Suffice it to say that they can be understood to mean the whole gamut of sinful activity.
 
Likewise, there are three separate aspects of God’s forgiving grace mentioned: “forgiven . . . covered . . . not imputed.” In every way possible, our sin is removed from us, and no more payment is necessary.
 
However, God’s forgiveness must be conditioned on the individual’s action. A lack of action results in the bearing of the sin, the guilt, and the consequences, again specified in a threefold manner. “My bones waxed old . . . my roaring . . . thy hand was heavy upon me” (vv. 3-4).
 
In keeping with the pattern of the psalm, three such actions are mentioned. “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD” (v. 5). The result? “And thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.”
 
Because of all this, we should have a threefold response: “Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart” (v. 11). JDM

 7 
 on: December 09, 2017, 04:45:21 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
Post-mortem Love
From Timeless Grace Gems
J.R. Miller



Why is it that so many people keep all their pleasant thoughts, and kind words about a man — bottled and sealed up until he is dead, when they come and break the bottle over his coffin, and bathe his shroud in fragrance? Many a man goes through life with scarcely one bright, cheering, encouraging, helpful word. He toils hard and in lowly obscurity. He gives out his life freely and unstintedly for others.

I remember such a man. He was not brilliant, nor was he great — but he was faithful. He had many things to discourage him. Troubles thickened about his life. He was misrepresented and misunderstood. Everybody believed that he was a good man — but no one ever said a kindly or pleasant thing to him. He never heard a compliment — nor scarcely ever a good wish. No one ever took any pains . . .
to encourage him,
to strengthen his feeble knees,
to lighten his burdens, or
to lift up his heart by a gentle deed of love, or by a cheerful word.
He was neglected. Unkind things were often said of him.

I stood by his coffin — and then there were many tongues to speak his praise. There was not a breath of aspersion in the air. Men spoke of his self-denials, of his work among the poor, of his good qualities, of his quietness, his modesty, his humility, his pureness of heart, his faith and prayer. There were many who spoke indignantly of the charges that falsehood had forged against him in past years, and of the treatment he had received. There were enough kind things said during the two or three days that he lay in the coffin, and while the company stood around his open grave — to have blessed him and made him happy all his fifty years, and to have thrown sweetness and joy about his soul during all his painful and weary journey. There was enough sunshine wasted around that black coffin and dark grave, to have made his whole life-path bright as clearest day. But his ears were closed then, and could not hear a word that was spoken. His heart was still then, and could not be thrilled by the grateful words. He cared nothing then for the sweet flowers that were piled upon his coffin. The love blossomed out too late. The kindness came, when the life could not receive its blessing.

I then promised myself that I would not keep all my kind words, and all my pleasant thoughts and feelings, about my neighbor — locked up in my heart until he is dead. They will do him no good then. He will not need them then. His dead hand cannot feel the warm pressure. Gentle words will not make his pale, cold face glow. It will be too late, when he lies in the coffin, to seek to make him happy, to lift the shadows off his life, or to brighten his path.

It was a beautiful thing that the country did on Grave Decoration-day. The gardens were stripped of their flowers. Hundreds of thousands of graves were strewn with the richest sweetness and fragrance of earth. Many words were spoken of the dead. Their valor was praised. Their heroism was lauded. Their brave and gallant deeds were recounted. Orators exhausted the resources of language to find words strong enough, and beautiful enough, to weave into garlands for their brows. And it was well. It was a fit and noble thing to do. It is well, too, to build monuments to mark the spots where our dear dead sleep, and to inscribe upon them the sacred names. The memory of a sweet and beautiful life should be kept ever green and fresh in our hearts; and there is no richer tribute to a life than the sincere witness of sorrowing friends around the coffin and the grave. It is well that even death has power to stop the tongue of detraction; to subdue enmities, jealousies, and animosities; to reveal all the beauties and excellencies of a man's character; to hide his blemishes and defects; and to thaw out the tender thoughts and kindly feelings of his neighbors' hearts.

But in the meantime there is a great host of weary men and women toiling through life toward the grave — who need cheering words and helpful ministries. The flowers are now growing which are to be scattered about their coffins — but why should they not be scattered in their paths today? The kind words are lying in men's hearts and trembling on their tongues — which will be spoken by-and-by when these weary ones are sleeping in the grave; but why should they not be spoken now, when they are needed so much, and when they would be so pleasing and uplifting?

It costs but little to give men a great deal of joy and help. One brought a bunch of flowers to my table, and for a whole week they filled my room with fragrance. One wrote me a cheering letter, breathing a spirit of gratitude and love. It came when I was weary and depressed — and was like the meal prepared by the angel for the old prophet. I went on its blessed strength for many days. One met me on the street and spoke an encouraging word and grasped me warmly by the hand; and for hours I felt that warm grasp and heard that word echoing through my soul.

A little child may brighten scores of lives every day. There is not one of us who may not gladden and strengthen many a heart between every rising and setting sun. Why should we not live . . .
to bless the living,
to cheer the disheartened,
to sweeten cups that are bitter,
to hold up the hands that hang down,
to comfort those that mourn,
to bear joy into joyless homes?

Kind words will not spoil a man. If a sermon helps you — then it will do the preacher no harm to tell him so. If the editor writes an article that does you good — he can write a still better one if you send him a word of thanks. If a book blesses you, do you not owe it to the author to write him a grateful acknowledgment?

If you know a weary or neglected one — would it not be such work as angels do, would it not be Christ-like work — to seek every opportunity to brighten and bless that life? Do not wait until the eyes are closed, the ears deaf, and the heart stilled. Do it now. Post-mortem kindnesses, do not cheer the burdened heart. Flowers on the coffin, cast no fragrance backward over the weary days.

 8 
 on: December 09, 2017, 04:42:19 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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Is Christ Your King?
by Pastor Ricky Kurth

Most Christians would answer this question with a resounding yes, but most grace believers would respond with an emphatic no. They know that the people of Israel lived in a kingdom (I Sam. 24:20), and they know that the Lord was born “King of the Jews” (Mt. 2:2) and will one day rule over them in the kingdom of heaven on earth. They rightly reason that a kingdom is ruled by a king, but that believers today are members of “the Body of Christ” (I Cor. 12:27), and a body is ruled by a head. Since Christ is our Head (Eph. 4:15), it is easy to see why some say He is not our King.

But the same apostle who tells us we are members of Christ’s Body also tells us that “the Father…hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son” (Col. 1:12,13). Paul is speaking here of God’s overall kingdom of the saved of all ages, but any kingdom, by definition, is governed by a king.

There are, of course, some dispensational differences. A kingdom has to be governed by law, so God gave Israel a law, a law that said that if your neighbor is hungry you should feed him (Deut. 15:8.). But bodies aren’t governed by a law, they are governed by love. When your stomach is hungry, your head doesn’t need a law to tell you to feed it. You feed it because “no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it” (Eph. 5:29). In a kingdom, you have to have laws that say things like “thou shalt not kill,” and “thou shalt not steal,” so God gave the kingdom of Israel a law that said things like that. But our apostle says that laws like “thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt not steal” are “briefly comprehended in this…Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…” (Rom. 13:9,10). So after telling the Galatians that we are not under the law but under grace, Paul told them, “by love serve one another” (Gal. 5:13). Under grace, we don’t kill or steal from one another because we love one another! But what would happen in the kingdom of Chicago if the mayor announced that he was suspending all laws, and from now on everyone should just love one another? It wouldn’t take long for people to realize that love works well when it comes to governing a body, but a kingdom needs laws!

But despite these dispensational differences, Christ is still the king of the overall kingdom of which we are a part. Someday He will “sit upon the throne of His glory” in the kingdom of heaven on earth (Mt. 25:31). In the meantime, does He sit on the throne of your heart? Why not choose to give “the King” the “honour and glory” He deserves (I Tim. 1:17) by choosing to obey Him.

 9 
 on: December 09, 2017, 04:41:12 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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The 23rd Channel

The TV is my shepherd, I shall not want for entertainment.
It maketh me to lie down on the sofa.
It leadeth me away from the Scriptures.
It destroyeth my soul.
It leadeth me in the path of sex and violence for the sponsor’s sake.
Yea, though I walk in the shadow of my Christian responsibilities,
There will be no interruption,
For the TV is with me, its cable and remote, they control me.
It prepareth a commercial before me in the presence of worldliness;
It anointeth my head with humanism,
My coveting runneth over.
Surely laziness and ignorance shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house watching TV forever.

—Author Unknown

 10 
 on: December 09, 2017, 04:39:40 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
___________________________________________

A crucified Savior will never be content to have a self-pleasing, self-indulging, worldly-minded people!

(J.C. Ryle, "The Gospel of Luke" 1858.)

"If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it--but whoever loses his life for Me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world--and yet lose or forfeit his very self?" Luke 9:23-25

We learn here, the absolute necessity of daily self-denial. Every day we ought . . .
  to crucify the flesh,
  to overcome the world,
  and to resist the devil.

We ought to keep our bodies under control, and bring them into subjection. We ought to be on our guard, like soldiers in an enemy's country. We ought to fight a daily battle--and war a daily warfare. The command of our Master is clear and plain, "If any man will come after Me--let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."

Now what do we know of all this? Surely this is a question which ought to be asked. A little formal church-going, and a decent attendance at a place of worship--can never be the Christianity of which Christ speaks in this place.

Where is our self-denial?

Where is our daily carrying of the cross?

Where is our following of Christ?

Without a religion of this kind--we shall never be saved.

A crucified Savior will never be content to have a self-pleasing, self-indulging, worldly-minded people!

No self-denial--no real grace!

No cross--no crown!

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