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Showing posts from December, 2005

Praise! (Part 1)

My mouth is filled with praise, declaring your splendor all day long. (Psalm 71:8 NIV)
It is the custom of all churches to sing hymns of praise at worship services. It is not the habit of Christians to sing praise all day long.
I remember clearly the text that was preached the Saturday night in October 1947 when I received Christ. It was Psalm 40: 2:
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. (NIV)
The result of my cry to God that night is expressed by verse three of Psalm 40:
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. (NIV)
Truly he put a new song into my mouth. Because of his new song, many have put their trust in the Lord.
Please make a habit of singing hymns daily if you have a new song in your mouth. Here are two hymns of praise:

All Hail the Power

All hail the pow’r of Jesus’ name!
Let angels prost…

Creation

Psalm 33:6,9

6" By the word of the LORD were the heavens made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth."

9" For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm."

I have been slightly acquainted with the Evolution/Intelligent Design discussion. From my middle distance perspective I have observed several things about the I. D. presentations:

1. They have had to dumb down the presentation to the level of understanding of the evolutionists. Apparently they have not dumbed it down enough.

2. Intelligent Design is the greatest understatement in history.

3. "Design" is singular--How many designs are there?

4. Design only has to do with the architecture/the drawings.

5. How about the contractor, the builder, the technician who implemented the design?

6. This contractor, builder, technician has no shop, raw materials, equipment, or machinery to implement the drawing.

Psalm 115:3

" Our God is in heaven;
he does whatever pleases him"

John 1:3

"Throu…

Lack of Joy

Here is an answer to a question posted on my comments for the post "Joy!"

Q: If sin has been confessed and forsaken, and joy is still not present (more of a dry, dusty, maybe-lost-in-the-wilderness-for-40-years kind of life, actually), what then?....

A: There are several possibilities for the dry, dusty, long life.

You have confessed and forsaken the big sins but not all of the little ones that set you up for the big ones. "Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless,innocent of great transgression." (Psalm 19:13)You do not believe that God has forgiven you. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)You are not obeying Philippians 4:4, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" That is a command. Disobeying it is sin. Confess and forsake the sin of not rejoicing.You do not think it is right to r…

God's Joy

The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17 NIV)
This is one of the great verses of God’s character expressed towards us. Most of us know that He is with us, that He saves us, and that He loves us. But there are two additional expressions that cause me to wonder:
He will take great delight in you.
That ought to help any Christian with a “poor self-image.” God delights in me greatly!
He will rejoice over you with singing.
Most of us love to sing praises to Him with joy. Here it tells us that He also sings with joy over us.

Joy!

Most of us can remember the joy we had when we received Christ. Perhaps some will have to make an effort to remember, simply because they no longer have joy.
A friend came to our home in Yokohama, Japan some years ago. He had been my roommate aboard an aircraft carrier, and during our time together he had become a Christian. On this visit he said, “I have that deep inner peace that I belong to Christ, but I don’t have daily victory. I don’t have daily joy.”
Of course something was wrong. It is basic that joy, as well as peace, are results of salvation. Our joy is in our salvation. Jesus promised in John 16:22b:
I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. (NIV)
When the seventy returned from their evangelistic itinerary, rejoicing because of the power and authority they had and miracles they had done, Jesus told them their joy was misplaced…
However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:…

God's Grace (Part 2)

But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation¾ if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. (Colossians 1:22-23 NIV)

Notice the wonderful phrases, like these: holy in His sight, without blemish, free from accusation. This is in contrast to the phrases in the preceding sentence: alienated from God, enemies in your minds, evil behavior.
This is what reconciliation means. It changes our relationship with God. The change is not minimal, like from “aliens” to “friends,” but is overwhelming, i.e. “alienated from God” to “holy in His sight;” similarly from “enemies in your minds” to “without blemish” and “evil behavior” to “free from accusation.” Let us praise Him for His grace.

God's Grace (Part 1)

His love has no limit;
His grace has no measure;
His power no boundary known unto man.
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.
--Annie Johnson Flint

Here are a few phrases from the Scriptures describing grace in quantitative terms:

...how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! (Romans 5:15 NIV)

...grace increased all the more… (Romans 5:20 NIV)

...God’s abundant provision of grace... (Romans 5:17 NIV)

...Grace and peace be yours in abundance. (1 Peter 1:2 NIV)

But he gives us more grace... (James 4:6 NIV)

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. (John 1:16 NIV)

...and much grace was upon them all. (Acts 4:33 NIV)

And God is able to make all grace abound to you... (2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV)

...because of the surpassing grace God has given you. (2 Corinthians 9:14 NIV)

...in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us... (Ephesians 1…

The Truth

Illustrations are an effective means of teaching truth or falsehood. They can be used to hammer home a truth and to make it easier to apply the truth. They are also easy to remember. They also make it difficult for the student to sneak by or ignore a strong command.

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind;' and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" "You have answered correctly,"Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. T…