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Stopping Your Ears and Humming Loudly

One of the freedoms that man has received from the Lord is the ability to refuse to listen to Him. Man has exercised that freedom many times. Here is an account of one of those times: “But they refused to hearken, and turned a stubborn shoulder, and stopped their ears that they might not hear. They made their hearts like adamant lest they should hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets” (Zechariah 7:11-12). But God has the same kind of freedom that He has given man. Here is His response: “As I called and they would not hear, so they called and I would not hear” (Zechariah 7:13). This is a dreadful statement. He had also said, “I will not listen” 200 years earlier and 100 years earlier in Isaiah 1:15 and Jeremiah 11:11. There is something that God will listen to, though. He will listen to a prayer of repentance. But repentance is more than the words, “I’m sorry.” Repentance is a change of heart, mind, and action. Look a
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Our Weapon: The Grace of God

Our first weapon in the spiritual war is the gospel. What moved God to offer the gospel to us? The answer is the grace of God, which we in turn wield as weapons in this warfare. “Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (Jn. 1:16–17). “So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace” (Rom. 11:5–6). “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Col. 4:6). “The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more” (Rom. 5:20). “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Cor.

Our Weapon: The Gospel

  In order to understand the weapons of our spiritual warfare, we must begin with the gospel. “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, that He appeared to Peter, then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all He appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born” (1 Cor. 15:1–8). “Then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Chri

Filled with Praise: Psalm 71

  "My mouth is filled with praise, declaring your splendor all day long " (Psalm 71:8). Nearly all churches sing hymns of praise at their worship services, but Christians are not in the habit of singing 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." This was the result of my cry to God that night: " 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" (Psalm 40:3). Truly He put a new song into my mouth. Because of His song , many have put their trust in the Lord. "I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly" (Psalm 40:10). If you have a new song

The Weapons of Our Warfare

If this is a war, then there must be weapons. What are those weapons? “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3–5). The world wages war with weapons that kill and destroy, whether they be clubs, arrows, swords, rifles, bombs, missiles, starvation, or chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. The history of warfare is filled with pillaging, looting, rape, torture, murder, and prostitution. Secular warfare is motivated by envy, covetousness, pride, glory, fear, vengeance, patriotism, anger, hatred, and defense of home. There are legitimate reasons for war (there was, after all, war in heaven), but most of the warfare in this world is simply carnal. But the weap

Where Morning Dawns and Evening Fades

This morning my attention has been drawn to every phrase of the 65th Psalm. Here are a few of those phrases: Verse 3: “When we were overwhelmed by sins you atoned for our transgressions.” Verse 8: “Where morning dawns and evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.” Verses 9-13: “You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.” This post coordinates with today's reading in the To the Word! Bible Reading Challenge . If you are not in a daily reading plan, please join us. We would love to have you reading with us.

The Spiritual War Today

  In the last century, many changes have taken place in the sophistication of weaponry for physical war. We now have smart bombs and guided missiles that are very accurate. If a cruise missile were fired from Boston, it could be guided through the goal posts at JFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The principles of war have not changed. Superior weapons have always had an effect on the outcome of a battle or war. However, superior weapons have not guaranteed the outcome. The morale of combatants, the reason for fighting, and most of all, the implementation of the principles of war, are the main guarantees of victory. The United States lost the war in Vietnam because of the practical disregard of these principles. We had no clear political or military objective. We had clear superiority in weapons, training, and men. But morale was low, and the men did not know why they were fighting. If they did know, the people at home did not know. The Viet Cong, in contrast, knew where they were going