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Ambassador4Christ
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« on: December 23, 2003, 02:43:40 PM »

REALIZING OUR RICHES




This is an article that I kept from years back in fact the date was April 29, 1973,  and thought it bears repeating at this time.

"To my thinking the richest verse in the Bible for the believer is Ephesians 1:3, 'Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ' (or more accurately - 'in the heaven-lies').  Why we, as members of the body of Christ, do not show forth more radiantly our eternal heritage, I do  not know. Maybe it is because we have eyes too fixed on time's boundaries rather than God's eternity and His purpose.  The context of this tremendous verse reveals that we were chosen of God for an eternal purpose and ministry. 'Chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world' Verse 4. (The church is always referred to as such; Israel, 'from the foundation of the world.')  There is then design and purpose in God's saving us. It is an eternal purpose and ministry. Life's little day soon ends and we pass on, but in passing on it is to some ministry beyond the sunset of time. What it is we have never been told for the Bible is prin-cipally the history of redemption. This puts the believer today in a high calling. It should be a great outlook; for each of us 'is necessary'.
Paul declares in 1 Corinthians 12:22 'Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary.' As the redeemed we should with the great apostle declare, Blessed by God'. We, how-ever, do not always pray that way - rather we cry 'bless me' when He 'hath blessed us'.
Again, the context reveals that we were 'chosen' and 'predestinated'. Why some saints are frightened when they hear of pre-destination, I'll never know. We should rejoice over it. I suppose the reason some become disturbed in this doctrine is because they read some things into it that should not be there. We start meddling in God's busi-ness. God has kept some thing to Himself.  I'm  glad that he has. Do you remember when Jesus told Peter about his, i.e. Peter's future? (See John 21:20). Peter started doing just what we do. He said, speaking of John, 'What shall this man do?' Do you remember what Jesus said? He said, 'What is that to thee?' In our language it would be, 'That is not your business, you follow me.' Always remember dear child of God, that God has your interest at heart. You need never fear the truth of pre-destination, rather rejoice in it.
There are two key words in Ephesians 1:4 which belong to verse 5. They are: "in love'. Thus verse 5 reads as follows, 'In love having predestinated us.' It is 'to the good pleasure of His will' and 'to the praise of His glory' and 'according to the riches of His grace' and 'in all wisdom and prudence' 'which He purpos-ed in Himself.'
Space does not permit further exposition but read and reread Ephesians, Chapter 1. May we this week radiate the Savior's coun-tenance. May the Holy Spirit help us to mani-fest the reflection of such a rich heritage. No doubt this week we shall more than once ask God to remove the hindrances in the way so that the Holy Spirit will well forth in our lives 'springs of living waters'. As a result of all this we shall better realize our riches in Christ Jesus.

Amen and love,
Pastor Lloyd Peterson
=================================
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2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a  workman  that needeth  not  to  be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
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The Crusader
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« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2003, 06:29:46 AM »

Ambassador, thanks for the Daily Inspirational, and thanks for the link and e-mail address.

The Crusader
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Ambassador4Christ
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« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2003, 01:51:45 PM »

Ambassador, thanks for the Daily Inspirational, and thanks for the link and e-mail address.

The Crusader

Your welcome Bro, I will try to post them daily.
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« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2003, 01:53:22 PM »

Brief Study of Omniscience
 


1.  Isaiah 46:9-10,   "...I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure."  This shows the believer that God knows the future as certainty.  There is no guessing, contingency, or failure in God's knowledge.  He knows the beginning, the middle vectors (not as spec-ulative possibilities), and the end.  The Prophet Isaiah doesn't allow us to wonder whether God knows things thoroughly.  God has revealed Himself to us through the in-spired words of the Prophet.
 
2.  I Samuel 23:12 records under inspiration the question of David and the answer of the Lord God, "Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?  And the Lord said, They will deliver thee up."  This verse teaches us that the Lord knows -- with certainty -- even the potential possibilities of evil men who are free moral agents -- even when the result is averted through prudent action.  In this case, David sought the Lord, and the Lord directed him to escape the potential conclusion which never occurred.  God knows with certainty what would happen in every possibility even though men must view an event as contingent upon many factors.
 
3.  Isaiah 41:17-23,  "...I, the God of Israel, with not forsake them.  I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys...that they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together that the hand of the Lord hath done this.... Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they be, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.  Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods..."   The Lord God challenges anyone to foretell the future.  He makes it a test of deity to know and accu-rately predict the future.  Our Lord has never been incorrect on anything He has foretold.  If He were wrong once, He would be a liar.  He would not be God.  If God did not fore-know all things with certainty, He could not foretell anything with certainty.  Although He knows even all possibilities, He knows what will actually occur.  What He "knows-will-occur" -- will occur.  It is not a wise guess or an intelligent projection.  
 
4.  Psalm 147:5,  "Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite."  His understanding could not be infinite if His knowledge were finite.  Infinite understand-ing requires infinite knowledge.  This should not surprise us in the light of all that the Bible tells us of the Lord.  God is at work in the fall of a bird and the hairs of a man's head.  All birds and all human heads are a part of His work.  Compare Matthew 10:29-30 and Acts 15:18.  It is reassuring that all of His creation and all the workings of it are a part of His work.  Nothing is outside the work of God -- even the acts of fallen angels and wicked men!  Our conclusion is in agreement with the words of Lewis Sperry Chafer, "...God knows to an infinite degree and eternally all that is knowable whether actual or possible" (Syst. Theol., vol. VII, page 244).
 
5.  I Kings 8:39,  "...Thou, even Thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men..."  This is linked to God's omnipresence along with the infinite nature of all His attributes.  Knowing all about all men -- past, present, and future -- demonstrates that God is Omnisicient.  He never learns.  He knew all before it happened.  God is a Spirit and does not need the senses to perceive and gain wisdom and understanding.  All His know-ledge is intuitive (to borrow a finite term and expand it to fit the infinite God).  All His knowledge is innate -- not acquired.  All His knowledge of all things past or future is immediately present with Him at all times.  
 
6.  Our conclusion to this brief study is the following:  Omniscience is "...God's perfect and eternal knowledge of all things which are objects of knowledge, whether they be actual or possible, past, present, or future" (Systematic Theology, A. H. Strong, page 282).
 
7.  No one should be discouraged by the fact that God sometimes reveals Himself in anthropomorphic terms (He portrays Himself as if He were in the condition of His creatures).  See Genesis 6:6, Genesis 11:5, Exodus 32:14, etc.  Also, sometimes people (especially unbelievers) make up irrational conditions, self-contradictory situations, and nonsense which supposedly refute the overall testimony of the Bible to the omniscience of God.  We should not be bothered by these tricks. Let the Word of God stand as it is in testifying to the Greatness of our Sovereign God.  

Pastor John McKay

=================================
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2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a  workman  that needeth  not  to  be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2003, 04:00:52 PM »

THE SUPREMACY OF LOVE
1 Cor. 13:1-3





   This chapter of Corinthians is known as the love chapter of Scripture. These first three verses show the value of love. It is supreme above all other experiences of Christian faith. The problem in Christian assemblies today was a problem in the early Corinthian church - 'such talk with too little walk'. The Christians of Corinth boasted of nine gifts, maybe more. However, with all these gifts, something was lacking. They could talk in different languages (12:30) and have them interpreted, but the language most understood by all was missing. This was the language of love. Someone said, 'The language of love is understood by everyone, every-where.' Paul did not condemn the exercise of the gifts of the spirit but he declared them value-less without the expression of love.

   It may be well at this point to remind ourselves of the true meaning of love as spoken of in the chapter. We must never associate the LOVE mentioned here with the silly, slushy, empty, meaningless sentimentality gener-ally associated with love. It is unfortunate that the King James version translates the word as 'charity'. Verse three makes that clear for 'bestowing goods to feed the poor' is not necessarily the expression of love; it might be sympathy.

   We all know that there are three words used for love in the Greek language. Two of them are used in the New Testament. Years ago while a student at the Moody Bible Institute, I heard my Greek professor say, 'There are three words for love in the Greek language. One is eros - love which could be spelled lust-love. Another is philos - love, which could be spelled like - love and the third is agapa - love which could be spelled love - love.' The latter is the word used in 1 Cor. 13. It is a divine love. This love is always, with no discrepancy used of man's love to God. Thus when man loves God it is a divine, pure and holy love.

   However, God's love to man is expressed with the use of the latter two Greek words mentioned above. That is, He both likes and loves His own. The love of this chapter then is a love that is pure, holy and unwavering. Paul declares that unless our claims of spiritual gifts are founded up this love we 'become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.' 'Sounding brass' could mean a roar-ing trumpet with no certain message in its blast ( 1 Cor. 14:7-8). 'Tinkling cymbal' also means some inharmon-ious sound. Thus unless love prevails in the Christian's life the gift claims are meaningless. We get our English word love from the Teutonic 'leben' which means 'to live'. This is true, for love is the means, dispenser and preserver of life.

   How easy it is for people today to declare that they love the Lord, but sad it is that there is no connection or relationship between the testimony and the life. There is no harmonious sound of the two. The noise of the mouth and noise of the life are incongruous. When a Christian boasts of his or her spirit-filled life with accompanying gifts, a life manifesting the love of God should be very evident. One's walk and talk should be a symphony. How often in the ministry it has been our experience to hear people testify of their faith in the Lord and their love for Him but when called upon for a sweet humble service or the exercise of gifts given by the Savior, they neither have the time nor interest to do so. One of the big prob-lems in our fundamental and evangelical churches today is to get Christians to serve. Choir chairs remain empty, Bible school classes are without teachers, many vacancies are unfilled - the world rushes on madly toward the pit and Christians stand idly by.

   Do these so-called Christians really LOVE God? It is possible to have been given gifts of God, to know it and also to know there is a desperate need for those gifts and refuse to exercise those gifts for One whom you are supposed to love? Is this possible?

   Remember there is the 'sounding brass and tinkling cymbal' of Christian testimony. Christians, let us 'awake to righteousness'.

   The world hates our lovely Lord, religious or other-wise. Let us who are of the faith be sure that we have what Paul declares to the Galatians: 'Faith which worketh by love' (5:6). A real good test of our sincerity and genuineness is to evaluate our service to God. It is so easy to say, 'Yes, I'm a Christian' or 'I believe' or 'I love the Lord' and then have no time, money or talent for Him who loved so much 'that He gave' yes, gave ALL. 'You can give without loving but you cannot love without giving.' It is because of this that Paul was inspired to write 1 Cor. 13. The Corinthian Christians claimed all gifts but love was not evident - either for the Lord or one another. Paul said, 'The trumpet gives an uncertain sound - sounding brass.' There is an inharmonious jangle - 'tinkling cymbal'. No little wonder that he wrote them later saying, 'Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith.' 2 Cor. 13:5. This is good advice to much of modern Christianity today.

Pastor L. Peterson
=================================
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2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a  workman  that needeth  not  to  be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2003, 04:07:28 PM »

SPIRIT-DEPENDENT





"God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctifica-tion of the Spirit and belief of the truth" ( 2 Thess.2:13).

To be Christ centered, we must be Spirit dependent.

"It is basically the belief of the truth; it is not belief of the fruits. The Holy Spirit cannot present to me the fruit He has produced in me, as the object of my faith.  He speaks to me of my faults, of my sins, but not of the good works that may be in me.  He produces them in me, but He hides them from me; for if we think of them, it is but a more subtle self righteous-ness.  It is like the manna which, being kept, produced worms. All is spoilt --- it is no more faith in action.  The Holy Spirit must always present to me the Lord Jesus Christ, that I may grow and have peace." ---J.N.D.

"An understanding of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is basic to Christian growth.  Spirituality is Christ likeness, and Christ like-ness is the fruit of the Spirit.  Spiritual power is not the miraculous or the spectacular, but rather the consistent manifesta-tion of the characteristics of the Lord Jesus in the believer's life.  All this is the work of the Spirit, of whom the Lord Jesus said, 'He shall glorify Me' (John 16:14).

"What are the ingredients of spirituality?  First, a spirit of dependence, whatever may be the state of faith and the blessings we may have realized.  Secondly, an entire  confidence in the good-ness of the Father;  for He is love. Thirdly, the Lord Jesus as the constant object of the affec-tions of the heart, for the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart is to fill it with contemplation of and fellowship with the Lord Jesus in glory."

"Changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18).

MILES J. STANFORD
=================================
Should this devotional be a blessing to you, maybe you have a friend or family member that would like to start receiving the daily word. You may forward this to them, by copy and paste method,  and they can use the below link to subscribe. We love to meet new people

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WEB SITE
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E-Mail GracentheTruth@aol.com

2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a  workman  that needeth  not  to  be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2003, 04:19:51 PM »

THE HEART OF THE MATTER




"You...hath He reconciled" (Colossians 1:21).


Our Father's Cross-love was personal; we were there in the Son.  Our Father's heart-love is personal; we are hidden there in the Son.

"Have you ever thought of the Father dealing with you not as to what you are in yourself, but as to where He has positioned you in His Son?  Have you ever thought that it is the affections of the Father's heart which flow down to us where we are, seeing us in the Son, not in our poor wretched selves?  What we are in the old man is not the thing to scan,
but what we are, and where we are, in the Son; and what there is in the living affections of the Father, who has raised us up together with His Son, and has given us all heavenly blessings in Him."---G.V.W.

"Nothing can make up for a lack of personal acquaintance with the Lord Jesus.  Intimacy with Himself is certainly the secret of true
devotedness.  Occupation with Him, the heart readily detects, and rejects the voice of the stranger, and cannot but own the Lord's   claims to be paramount.  Nothing so thor-oughly tests the state of our hearts, as
whether or not we have intimacy with the Lord Jesus Himself." ---H.H.S.

"A great deal of our time is spent in learning that there is nothing here to meet the require-ments of our new affections.  There is a wandering in the wilderness in a solitary way, and yet no city is found to dwell in. But our Father allows this in order that His children may find that their desires can only be sat-isfied by and in Him.  We must learn that we are not of this world." ---J.B.S.

"To present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in His sight" (Colossians 1:22).

MILES J. STANFORD
=================================
Should this devotional be a blessing to you, maybe you have a friend or family member that would like to start receiving the daily word. You may forward this to them, by copy and paste method,  and they can use the below link to subscribe. We love to meet new people

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2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a  workman  that needeth  not  to  be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.




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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2003, 04:31:31 PM »

LIBERATED FROM LAW



"In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature" (Galatians 6:15)

It required nothing less than the Cross to liberate us from the law.

"The law is not our ' rule of life' for the simple reason that it was the Israelite's.  The Chris-tian not being a Jew, the law is not for him.
'Holy, just and good' it is, but the Christian's rule of life is 'in Christ....a new creature' (Galatians 6:15).  The believer's place and
rule is to walk as a 'pilgrim and stranger' upon the earth.  The law has nothing of this.  Had it been fulfilled, it would have made earth morally a paradise; and will, when written upon Israel's heart in millennial days.  But being a stranger on earth and a heavenly walk, is never taught."---F.W.G.

"The Christian is on larger, higher, firmer ground than that on which Israel after the flesh stood.  The law is good if a man use it lawfully; and its lawful application is ex-pressly not to form, guide, and govern the walk of the righteous, but to deal with the lawless and disobedient, ungodly and sinful, unholy and profane, and, in short, with what-ever is contrary to sound doctrine (1 Timothy 1:9,10)."---F.W.G.

"Any aspect of life or conduct which is under-taken in dependence on the energy and ability of the flesh is, to that extent, purely legal in character, whether it be the whole revealed will of God, the actual written com-mandments, or the exhortations of grace.  Dependence on the arm of flesh is consistent with pure law; dependence on the power of God is demanded under pure grace."---L.S.C.

"Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty with which Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage" (Galatians 5:1).

MILES J. STANFORD
=================================
Should this devotional be a blessing to you, maybe you have a friend or family member that would like to start receiving the daily word. You may forward this to them, by copy and paste method,  and they can use the below link to subscribe. We love to meet new people

Daily Inspirational

WEB SITE
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E-Mail GracentheTruth@aol.com

2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a  workman  that needeth  not  to  be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2003, 04:38:31 PM »

A NEW YEAR CHALLENGE FOR ALL





WHAT DO YOU KNOW

You've heard it said, "What you don't know won't hurt you."  Wrong!  In Christianity, what you don't know will destroy you!  On the other hand, what you know and Who you know--Jesus--will grant you the peace that passes human understanding.

You know....

WHO YOU ARE:  God is Spirit and He created you in His image; therefore, you are a spirit critter who lives temporarily in an earthsuit.  You are not a physical critter with a spirit.  The essence of your identity is spiritual, not physical.

WHO GOD IS:  God is love.  He created you to need love so that you would need Him.  But, not knowing God, you set out to get your love-need supplied through only people, and naively ignored the only Source that can fully satisfy our need to be loved.

WHO YOU WERE:  God's job description is, "He runs things."  He's in control.  At birth, however, you imme-diately homesteaded everything you wanted to control, staked a claim, drew an imaginary circle around it,
established your fences, held an election, stuffed the ballot box and declared yourself god of your"turf."  You crowned yourself lord of the ring.  You took control, and that put you in competition with God. Ultimately, you built your self-image upon your ability, or inability, to effec-tively play lord of the ring.

GOD STARTED ALL OVER WITH YOU:  When you said, "Yes," and allowed Jesus to save you from yourself, many wonderful things happened instantly.  And you didn't do a thing to make them happen---Jesus accom-plished them for you.  All your sins were laid on Jesus when He was crucified in Christ (Romans 6:6).  He not only took your sins to the cross, He took you to the cross.

WHY YOU SIN:  As a saint (holy one), you long to obey God.  But because you programmed your brain with thoroughfares (software) that God calls "flesh," this makes you vulnerable to sin.  A power called "sin" dwells
in your as yet unredeemed body (Romans 7:21-23).  The law of (power of) sin is an agent of Satan that seeks to control your behavior by using the thoroughfares of the flesh to trigger thoughts into your mind with first person singular pronouns (I, me, my, etc.)  Victory over this power is experienced as you act out ("life" out) reality; that is, as you "act dead" to sin's thoughts and "act alive" to the truth that Jesus is overcoming your circum-stances through you.  This is God's command to us
(Romans 6:12-13).

THE CONFORMATION PROCESS:  You know that to "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ," you must develop a lifestyle of "setting your mind on (these) things above," that you are resting in Christ in heaven while Jesus meets your circumstances through you on earth.  You do this by faith, not by feel, because feelings will often deceive you. This technique makes it much easier to recognize sin's thoughts when they penetrate your awareness.  You think, Nope, that's not my thought; I'm dead to that, and you press on.  Through this pro-cess, you are "transformed by the renewing of your mind".

WHO YOUR LIFE IS:  One life came out of the grave 2,000 years ago as Christ began a whole new spirit-race:  Eternal Life, Christ, Resurrection Life.  Jesus is the Vine, you are a branch.  You know that God's will is that you allow Christ (Vine) to express His Life through you (branch). In this way you can gain God's approval ("Well done, good and faithful servant.")

YOUR TRUE IDENTITY:  You are a new creation in Christ ( 2 Corinthians 5:16-17).  You know the criteria you once embraced as the means for determining your identity are false, a ruse.  Physical appearance, intellect, race, educational achievement, alumnus of (fill in the blank),
personal worth, and things of this type are used to generate and maintain acceptance from others and to bestow or withhold self-acceptance.  But you no longer have to strive for acceptance from others or yourself.
Jesus has set you free to rest in God's unconditional acceptance through Christ.

By God's grace, you and I know these things and can be used by God to help lead other Christians into appro-priating their true identity in Christ.  In so doing, we can celebrate together knowing Christ, His life in us, and the matchless grace of our Heavenly Father.  So, sic 'em,
Tiger!

Bill Gillham
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« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2003, 04:45:56 PM »

CHASTENING---CHILD TRAINING




"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous" (Hebrews12:11a).

Our Father chastens us "for our own profit, that we might be par-takers of His holiness" (Hebrews 12:10).  We are not chastened because we deserve it, but because we need it.  And there is no wrath in His child training.






"Many have the wrong idea of that word 'chastening'. We think, perhaps, that it represents God as having a big stick in His hand and knocking us about all the time.  You have only to make a mistake and down comes the big stick!  That, of course, is a totally wrong conception of the Father, and is not at all what the word means.  The word 'chastening' simply  means child training, which has to do with sonship.  Sonship  in  our  Father's mind is to have people who are reliable and responsible, who know in their own hearts what is right and what is wrong, and do not have to be constantly told and admonished.

"We should always look at our  difficulties in the light of this training. It often seems that the life of a  Chris-tian is more difficult than any other life, and more troubles come to us than to anyone else.  Whether we re-cognize it or not, these difficulties and troubles which come to us are to train us for something and to develop in us the spirit of son-ship; that is, to develop  spiritual  intelli-gence and spiritual ability in us." ---T. A-S.






"One of the main purposes of all the Father's dealings with us is to bring us into a greater knowledge of His Son.  We never know any-thing about greatness unless we have a great need to know it.  Therefore we are brought into situations where we must know something much greater than we already know.  This is why our Father brings His children into difficult circumstances --- that they may learn how great their Lord Jesus is." ---T. A-S

"Nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them who are exercised by it" (Hebrews 12:11b).

MILES J. STANFORD
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« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2003, 04:58:16 PM »

Press Forward in Christ


                   

     My dear child, I want you to forget all the things that are behind you and press on toward the mark that is the high calling of Jesus Christ. (Phil. 3:14)

     Let the words of your mouth be My Words.  Fresh water and salt water do not come out of the same stream.  My love has been shed abroad in your heart and that love is perfecting you more and more into My image. (Col. 3:16)

     My love shines forth from you in your smile, in your eyes, in your actions.  Love shines from you because love is in you.  Oh, My dear child!  My precious child!  How I love you!  I love you so much that I died on the cross for you.  I endured all sin and all diseases so that you would not have to bear them.
 
     I bore all your grief's so that you wouldn't have to bear any.  So, why do you carry around with you the cares of this world?  They are not yours to carry.  Give them to Me.  Cast all your cares on Me.  Trust in Me and do good.  Delight yourself in Me.  Commit your way unto Me.  Trust Me, and I will help you.

     My dear, I want you to know that I am pleased with you.  You are the apple of My eye.  I continually encompass you about with mercy and loving- kindness.  I intercede for you daily.  I know the circumstances that you're in right now.  I know that Satan has been shooting fiery darts at you from every side.  I know that he is battling you in your mind.  He puts thoughts in your mind. (Rom. 8:26-27)

     Don't listen to Satan!  He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  (2 Cor. 11:14-15; 1 Peter 5:Cool   But he cannot devour you! No! No! No!  For you are God's property! (1 Cor. 6:19)

     You have been bought with a price!  You are made free from sin!  You cannot be defeated! (1 Cor. 6:20)

     You are a winner!  You are redeemed from the curse.  You are more than conqueror.  You're redeemed from darkness. (Rom. 8:37)

     You are a child of light.  You're redeemed from poverty.  Your needs are met according to His riches in glory.  You're redeemed and in Christ, who God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, and set apart, and redemp-tion; therefore He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. (1 Cor. 1:30-31)
   
     You are redeemed from the curse of  the law, being made a curse for us (Gal. 3:13 Freedom begins and ends at the Cross of Christ. Not only was the penalty for our sin  dealt with that day, but the power of sin as well. A Christian can have the joy of the Lord as he yields (presents) his body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God. (Rom. 12:1) The joy of the Lord is your strength in weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9)  The love of God has been shed abroad in your heart, and that love you never had till He redeemed you. We now in the age of grace are promised the peace of God which passeth all under-standing, (Phil. 4:7) which will guard your heart and thoughts in Christ Jesus. In turn you will then be experiencing the joy of the Lord, in what ever circumstances the Lord brings into your life for His purpose.

Unknown Author
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« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2004, 09:54:10 AM »

THE SUPREME IMPORTANCE OF GOD’S WORD TO THE BELIEVER


The Bible will always have first place in the life of the spiritual Christian.

It is of utmost importance that we understand this, for some who feel themselves quite spiritual give much time to prayer, but little, if any, to the study of the Word. Such have actually fallen for the subtle trick of the adversary to play upon their natural human pride and cause them to exalt self and push God into the background.

In saying this we do not for one moment minimize the importance of prayer; we only stress the supreme importance of the holy Word of God. In this we are surely Scrip-
tural, for David says, by inspiration:

“For Thou host magnified Thy Word above all Thy name” (Psa. 138:2).

Of those who would still object and place first emphasis upon prayer rather than upon the Word, we would ask one simple question: Which is the more important, what we have to say to God or what He has to say to Us?There    can be but one answer to this question, for obviously what God  has to say to us is in-finitely more important than anything we might have to say to Him. Our prayers are as fraught with failure as we are, but the Word of God is infallible, immutable and eternal.

Yet some, having fallen for one of Satan’s “devices” and feeling quite spiritual about it, are like the talkative person to whom one listens and listens, occasionally nodding his
head, but receiving little or no opportunity to “get a word in edgewise.” They do all the talking, but give little time listening to what God has to say to them.

Author unkown
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« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2004, 12:59:57 PM »

SAUL IN DAMASCUS AND ARABIA




Scripture Reading:  Acts 9:8-22

Saul, as the leader of the rebellion against Christ, was on his way to Damascus to take prisoner any whom he fund to be followers of Christ and return them to Jerusalem to be put to death.  It was while on the road, before he reached Damascus, that Saul was confronted by Christ from heaven.  It was at this time that Saul recognized that Jesus was truly  God the Son.

Once Saul had entered Damascus and receiv-ed his sight again, we read, in Acts 9:20, that "straightway he preached Christ in the syn-agogues, that he (Christ) is the SON OF GOD."  This is not the Grace message, for Saul had not been given this revelation as yet.  It was while he was in Arabia that he received the revelation of the Mystery.  But Saul now knew that Jesus was the Son of God and he began to tell this great truth to the Jews dwelling in Damascus.

It is interesting to note the difference be-tween Saul's presentation of Jesus and Peter's presentation during his Pentecostal ministry.  Peter preached Jesus as the SON OF DAVID.  There was no offense in this
message, but Saul (also known as Paul when he ministered to Gentiles---Acts 13:9) present-ed Jesus as THE SON OF GOD  and this was an offense to the Jews for this is the reason they had Christ put to death. They thought that he, being a man, was making himself to be God and this was punishable by death according to the Law of Moses.  Now that Saul was saying that this man was the Son of God, they wanted to put him to death also.  From the very outset of Saul's ministry, we find him at odds with the Jews and threaten-ed with death (Acts 9:24 and 9:29).  Never was Peter in danger of death because of preach-ing that Jesus was the Son of David.

MARVIN DUNCAN, Pastor

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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2004, 09:20:20 AM »

SAUL --- AND THE JERUSALEM CHURCH




Scripture Reading:  Acts 8:1-4

The Greek word for church means "an assembly (congregation)", or "a called out group".

"The church which was at Jerusalem" began with God promising Abraham "a great nation" (Genesis 12:2).  It was later named Israel.  It was present on Mount Sinai when God gave "the Law" (Exodus 19:5, 6).  It was called
"the church in the wilderness" (Acts 7:38).  Christ spoke of it in Psalms 22:22.  It was also referred to as "the little flock" (Luke 12:32).

The Jerusalem Church existed during Christ's earthly ministry: "...tell it to the church..." (Matthew 18:17).  There were 120 in "the Jerusalem Church" before the day of Pente-cost (Acts 1:4, 15).  Those who were saved
on the day of Pentecost and who "were add-ed to the church" (2:41, 47), were added to a church that already existed.  This was the church that Saul persecuted.  He represented the nation Israel in its rejection of Christ.

Saul wasn't save by receiving the message of the Twelve.  He was saved by the glorified Christ, who changed his name to Paul, and made Him the Apostle to the Gentiles.  He became an example and pattern of God's grace (1 Timothy 1:14-16).  Saul became "a new creation", and with him God began "the one New Man" (Ephesians 1:15), which is called "the Church which is His Body" (Ephesians 1:22, 23).

"The church which was at Jerusalem" and "the Church which is His Body"  are two distinct churches.  The Jerusalem Church was prophesied.  In it there is a distinction between the Nation Israel and the nations.  It has an earthly hope with material blessings.  The Body of Christ was a mystery.  In it there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile.  It's hope is in the heavenlies and it is blessed with every spiritual blessing.  These are but a few distinctions.  By the grace of God, may
you not confuse the two!

DICK WARE, Pastor
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2004, 07:12:55 AM »

THE TRUTH PREVAILS



Scripture Reading:  Acts 8:5-25

Let us notice three main movements of our passage.  Preaching, receiving, and sinning.  First, The preaching of the Messiah by Philip was accompanied by the signs of the king-dom.  Philip declared the Lord Jesus as the Messiah of Israel.  He worked sign-miracles as his authorization from the Lord that he was an accredited representative (See Hebrews 2:3-4).  Demons were removed and people were healed of physical afflictions.  Water baptism was part of the message con-sistent with the things of the kingdom of God.

The second part of our passage includes the receiving of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the Apostles' hands.  The work of the Holy Spirit was not immediate and externally powerful for these Samaritans in the nearly automatic manifestation as at Pentecost in Acts chapter two.  The Samaritans had to be taught that salvation is of the Jews in the kingdom program.  It is not to everyone everywhere without distinction.  The Lord Jesus insisted on this point in His discussion with a Samaritan in John 4:22.  The fact that the Apostle Paul's Gospel of Grace includes possession of the Holy Spirit at the same time one possesses the Lord Jesus, is  power-ful evidence that the Kingdom program is different from that which the Apostle Paul initiated.  Read Romans 8:9 as it asserts, "Now if any have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His."

The third part of our text contains the fascin-ating story of Simon who sought to purchase the power of God with money.  The full account is given in Acts 8:9-24.  Let us SPIRITUALLY profit from the things which we
read here.

JOHN McKAY, Pastor
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