Our Condition – God’s Mercy!

mercy2Our Condition–God’s Mercy!

(James Smith, “Gleams of Grace” 1860)

Many of the Psalms are poetic records of God’s mercy towards His ancient people, calling upon them to bless and praise His most glorious name. Israel’s history forms a mirror in which we see our own spiritual history. Oh for grace, so to read it, meditate upon it, and exercise faith in it–as to permanently profit by it. My eye is now fixed upon one important verse, a record of God’s goodness to them, and equally so of His kindness to us, “Give thanks to the One who remembered us in our low estate; for His mercy endures forever!” Psalm 136:23

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Enoch Walked with God

Figures_God_took_EnochI have embraced the Reformed thinking over the past three years and have come to know God in a way I did not know Him before. When I read my bible, I was moved to tears of joy as I grasped the love, long suffering and grace of the Sovereign of the universe. However, I have noticed a tendency of many Reformed teachers to emphasize correct exegesis of scripture, correct theology, correct soteriology, but lack power in their messages. Now do not take me wrong, all the above is very necessary but we can be like the Church of Ephesus and leave our first love.
When I first was enlightened to Reformed doctrines, I could not listen to enough of John Piper, then I discovered Joel Beeke and Sinclair Ferguson and found my heart being drawn out in more praise to our great Sovereign God. These men are not perfect but they have a deep knowledge of who God is and their preaching radiates the power of the Holy Spirit. Last year, I became acquainted with the Puritans through reading, “A Puritan Theology” by Joel Beeke and Mark Jones. I did not agree with all the Puritans theological or doctrinal conclusions, but I was very impressed with their passion to know God and commune with Him. As Paul Washer said, “those of us who love the Puritans need to become men and women of God as they were.”
One question I have been asking myself, “what is a man of God?” Just this morning I listened to a sermon by Paul Washer, “True Disciple Conf. 3 of 8”  I then read a sermon by John Angell James. Mr James in his sermon discussed “Enoch Walked with God” These two articles expressed very well what is needed to make a true man of God who walks in the power of the Holy Spirit. I would like to share some of these thoughts.
Firstly, Paul Washer, stated “People need a man of God. That is not just reading good books and reading the bible ( that is necessary) but being alone with God, to speak to Him, meditate on Him, commune with Him.”  ” The Christian life is not just the right things we do to be a right kind of people, it is a passion to commune and be with God. It is to know Him in real intimacy”.  Mr. Washer gave a quote from Martin Luther,
” I have so much work to do today that I must pray three hours or I will never get it done”
The following is an article written by John Angel James mentioned above:
“Enoch walked with God.” Nothing can be more beautiful, comprehensive, or expressive than these few words. They contain a figure of speech—and what a figure! The allusion is to two people voluntarily and pleasantly walking together, and conversing confidentially with each other. They are friends, for “how can two walk together except they are agreed.” They are conscious of each other’s presence, as two people in such a situation necessarily must be. They are engaged in actual fellowship; there is communion and interchange of thought by speech. They are going the same way and engaged upon the same subject. Thus did Enoch walk with God. He was, like Abraham afterwards, the friend of God, having, as a sinner, come into a state of reconciliation with God by repentance and faith in the promised “Seed of the woman.” He loved God as the effect of God’s love to him, they were friends, and the patriarch knew and rejoiced in it. He lived as in the presence of God—he endured as seeing Him that is invisible, he acted “as ever in the great Taskmaster’s eye,” and was checked in temptation, stimulated in duty, and comforted in affliction, with Hagar’s appeal, “O God, You see me.” His private, domestic, and social life was ever regulated by the assured belief that he was always and everywhere in the presence and under the notice, even to the state of his heart, of an observant God. He maintained habitual communion with God, not only by those public acts of worship and sacrificial rites, which doubtless, he celebrated before the eyes of the scoffing generation amidst which he lived, not only at the domestic altar around which he gathered his household, nor even in the usual acts of his own private and personal devotion—but also in the constant frame and tenor of his devout and holy mind. His soul was in habitual communion with God, by its thoughts, its aspirations, and its unutterable breathings of confidence, affection, and intense desires. He exercised a divine friendship, a confidential, yet reverential familiarity, and talked with God as a man talks with his friend.

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“A Feeble Folk” THE RABBIT

imagesIt seems during this wilderness walk we are often beset with spiritual battles.Eph.6:12. These are battles we cannot fight on our own and Eph.6:14 tells us what to do.
 The past few weeks I have found myself in such a battle and tried to fight on my own. It seems when you do this depression can set in very quickly. Your mind at this time is unable to concentrate and for a time it appears Satan is winning. You pray and call to God but it seems He does not hear. You try to meditate on His promises but your mind is blank. Today, God made me realize He did hear and His answer came from an unexpected source. THE RABBIT
Proverbs 30:26 “The conies ( rabbit) are but a feeble folk, yet make their houses in the rock”
Spurgeon  used this verse in his evening devotional and I was deeply touched:
Conscious of their own natural defencelessness, the conies resort to burrows in the rocks, and are secure from their enemies. My heart, be willing to gather a lesson from these feeble folk. Thou art as weak and as exposed to peril as the timid cony, be as wise to seek a shelter. My best security is within the munitions of an immutable Jehovah, where his unalterable promises stand like giant walls of rock. It will be well with thee, my heart, if thou canst always hide thyself in the bulwarks of his glorious attributes, all of which are guarantees of safety for those who put their trust in him. Blessed be the name of the Lord, I have so done, and have found myself like David in Adullam, safe from the cruelty of my enemy; I have not now to find out the blessedness of the man who puts his trust in the Lord, for long ago, when Satan and my sins pursued me, I fled to the cleft of the rock Christ Jesus, and in his riven side I found a delightful resting-place. My heart, run to him anew to-night, whatever thy present grief may be; Jesus feels for thee; Jesus consoles thee; Jesus will help thee. No monarch in his impregnable fortress is more secure than the cony in his rocky burrow. The master of ten thousand chariots is not one whit better protected than the little dweller in the mountain’s cleft. In Jesus the weak are strong, and the defenceless safe; they could not be more strong if they were giants, or more safe if they were in heaven. Faith gives to men on earth the protection of the God of heaven. More they cannot need, and need not wish. The conies cannot build a castle, but they avail themselves of what is there already: I cannot make myself a refuge, but Jesus has provided it, his Father has given it, his Spirit has revealed it, and lo, again to-night I enter it, and am safe from every foe.
C.H.Spurgeon
Psalm 27:5 “For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”

The Sovereignty of God as per John Piper

imagesGFT5PDIRRecently, I have been very troubled by the way most of the visible church is presenting God. He is presented as a God who is totally dependent on man to perform any of His plans. I find Christianity is making MAN sovereign and God subservient.
It would take a book to present the scriptures that actually presents God as supremely Sovereign with no need of man at all. While searching this out on line I came across this posting by John Piper at DesiringGod.org. Mr. Piper presents God as the scriptures present Him and what a comfort this has been. Here’s what Mr. Piper had to say:

Thesis 1

My all-shaping conviction is that God created the universe in order that he might be worshipped with white-hot intensity by created beings who see his glory manifested in creation and history and supremely in the saving work of Christ.

Thesis 2

I am also persuaded that people need to be confronted with how self-exalting God is in this purpose. To confront them with this, I give a quiz:

Q 1: What is the chief end of God? A: The chief end of God is to glorify God and enjoy displaying and magnifying his glory forever.

Q 2: Who is the most God-centered person in the universe? A: God.

Q 3: Who is uppermost in God’s affections? A: God.

Q 4: Is God an idolater? A: No. He has no other gods before him.

Q 5: What is God’s chief jealousy? A: God’s chief jealousy is to be known, admired, trusted, enjoyed, and obeyed above all others.

Q 6: Do you feel most loved by God because he makes much of you, or because he frees you to enjoy making much of him forever?

Thesis 3

I press on this because I believe that if we are God-centered simply because we consciously or unconsciously believe God is man-centered, then our God-centeredness is in reality man-centeredness. Teaching God’s God-centeredness forces this issue of whether we treasure God because of his excellence or mainly because he endorses ours.

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Christ a Refuge from the Tempest

Edward D_ GriffinThis Article is part of a PDF posting by Edward Griffin ( 1770-1830)  If you would be interested in the life of this man I found this article: http://www.thisday.pcahistory.org/tag/edward-dorr-griffin-1770-1837/
He was a very godly man and had praying godly parents.
The first part of the message was for the unsaved. In order to shorten the reading I have chosen to post the part that brings comfort to the believer. You can find the whole article here: http://www.puritansermons.com/reformed/griffin10.htm
                                 Christ a Refuge from the Tempest
“And a Man shall be as a hiding place from the wind and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Isaiah 32:2
“This prediction, which was uttered in the days of Ahaz, is thought to have had primary reference to Hezekiah, and to the relief from wicked magistrates which would be experienced in his reign. But in the opinion of the best commentators it had ultimate reference to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Such a retreat does our dear Redeemer afford to those who are fainting under the labors and discouragements of this wearisome life. This valley of tears may well be called a weary land. There are many in it who are ready to faint under the load of affliction, and can say with Job, “My soul is weary of my life.” Many are weary of sin—wearied out with a long course of painful struggles with the world, the flesh, and the devil—are often discouraged with the greatness of the contest, and sink under the apprehension that they shall never get through with safety. These evils press them so hard that they often sigh for the grave where the weary are at rest. But a nearer and more delightful retreat is to be found in him who says, “The Lord has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary.” “I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.”
When his Church wandered forty years in the Arabian wilderness, among burning sands, without a shelter or a shade, God covered them by day with a pillar of cloud. What this was intended to signify, appears from the application made of it by the prophet, “Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there—a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.”
At what time a poor fainting soul, weary of affliction, weary of sin, weary of temptation, casts itself under the shadow of this rock, he feels a sensation of relief which nothing else can bring and which none can fully describe.
My brethren, what everlasting thanks do we owe to God for providing such a refuge from the beating tempest—such rivers of refreshment in a dry and thirsty land. What could the weather-beaten pilgrim, what could the faint and weary traveler do without them in such a world as this? How greatly does this view tend to endear the Savior to us. What new motives rush upon the mind to abide in him, that we may every hour enjoy a “hiding place from the wind and a covert from the tempest,”—that we may constantly lie at the fountain of living waters, and feel the permanent shadow of a great rock in a weary land. Why do the people of God find so little relief from the distresses of life and the troubles of conscience—but because they abide no more in their everlasting refuge?
How surprising it is, that in a world where a covert from the tempest is so much needed, it is so much neglected, and that even by those who have often found it a shelter when every other refuge failed. Would it not be strange to see a person ready to die with heat and thirst by the very side of a cooling fountain, and by the shade of an overhanging rock? Yet a still greater wonder is witnessed here.
May not these sweet and heavenly truths be allowed to “light up a smile in the aspect of woe?” Will not mourners in Zion come to this refuge—and dry up their tears? Were you confined to these stormy regions without a shelter, you might well be downcast. But now, what need? I am speaking to those who know the truth of what I say. You have often found refuge here, and seen the agitations of the tempest composed, and all the fury of the storm appeased. The same shelter is ever at hand and is always offered to you; and at whatever time you are afraid—you may always find in Christ a sure retreat. What occasion have you then for these desponding griefs? What abundant reason have you to “rejoice evermore.” And while we thus enjoy the blessed fruits of a Savior’s dying love, let our souls arise and praise him; let a thousand tender recollections rise up in our hearts; let us renewedly devote ourselves to his service, resolving to live to his glory and to die with an eye fixed upon his cross! Amen

The Testimony of David Stockhover

dreamtime-miracle-of-salvationDave Stockhover’s testimony
To the Chosen Workman
The first thing I’d like to say is thank you for the opportunity to share my testimony with you.  I know that a testimony doesn’t save anybody.  But, if used properly, I think it can be a good tool to use to present the gospel and to show the mighty workings of our God.
I  do not want to sound like I’m glorifying my sin because that is not the case. But, as Paul Washer said, “The cross of Christ is most magnified when it is placed against the backdrop of man’s depravity”. I believe this to be true.
My wife and I were married at a very young age. I was 21 and she was 19. The reason for this was the fact that we put the cart before the horse, so to speak. She was pregnant with my son. We were married in February 1991 and my son was born in April 1991. 4 years later, in August of 1995, my daughter was born.
My mother stayed at home with me until I was old enough to get myself off the bus and into the house. I wanted my wife to be able to do the same thing so I worked every available hour I could at my job, as well as picking up side jobs at night, like delivering pizza, to make ends meet. We had very little money so it was a rough time for us. We had loving family that was always there for support if and when we needed it but that did not make it any less stressful.
During this time, we were going to and involved in a Free Methodist church. If you are not familiar with that denomination, they are a twin sister to the Nazarene church when it comes to theology.  There is very little difference between the two. It is in the Wesleyan / Arminian tradition….a holiness church, if you will. At any rate, we were there every time the church doors were open, for the most part. But, I can attest to the fact that I was never saved. Oh, I went to the altar and prayed several times and placed some salve on my conscience but I was never truly saved. I will not speak for my wife because that isn’t for me to judge the heart. I can tell you for a fact that I was a false convert.
Now that I have given some background, back to the story.

Spurgeon on the Narrow Way

Heaven has become a trifle to you, Hell is almost a jest, eternity an empty notion, and death but a bugbear!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able!” Luke 13:24

I do not wonder that so many are deceived, when I see the careless way in which they deal with their souls. When men have to do with their estates, they are very careful; they pay a lawyer to go back over the title-deeds perhaps for two or three hundred years. In trade they will hurry hither and thither to attend to their commercial engagements; they would not launch into speculations, nor would they run great risks.

But the soul, the poor soul–how men play with it as a toy, and despise it as if it were worthless! Two or three minutes in the morning when they first roll out of bed, two or three odd minutes in the evening, when they are nearly asleep–the fag-ends of the day given to their souls, and all the best part given to the body!

And then, with what indifference do you lend your ears too often to the preaching of the Word! It is an old song; you have heard it so many times; Heaven has become a trifle to you, Hell is almost a jest, eternity an empty notion, and death but a bugbear!

Alas! it is a marvel that there are not more deceived. The wonder is that any find the gate, that any discover eternal life, when we are so, so mad, so foolish, so insane–as to trifle where we ought to be solemnly in earnest; and to play and toy–where the whole heart should be given to a work of such everlasting importance. God help us, since it is so easy to be deceived–to search, and watch, and look, and test, and try, that we be not found castaways at the last!

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it!” Matthew 7:13-14

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” 2 Corinthians 13:5

Meditating on Isaiah 53

cross1The Report and the Revelation
 He shall grow up before Him .
a tender plant . no form nor comeliness . a man of sorrows
Isaiah 53:1-3
His growth was unique. The Lord Jesus grew up before the eye of God. Here was one Servant Who was fully devoted to His Master. He was tender, and sensitive to His Master’s will. The callousness of the nation and the failure of previous servants did not hinder Him. Though men did not appreciate the beauty of that life, it must have been a continual feast for the heart of God to gaze upon it.
His grace was evident to all. He was a tender plant amidst thorns and weeds. He was a root out of a dry ground, life sustained by nothing around Him but by His communion with His God. He was life amidst death; He was beauty in a scene of ugliness. In His service, it was not only what He did, nor was it only how He did it; but every motive, every movement, every ministry was as perfect as it could possibly be. Every touch, tear, and tender act was calculated for God’s total glory and man’s richest blessing.
His guise is noted by the writer as well. He was unappreciated by those who looked only on the outward. There was nothing outwardly impressive or attractive physically about Him. He chose, by His own will, to avoid anything which might attract human beings to Him apart from the message and ministry He came to complete. His goal was not to gather men around Himself but, as the faithful Servant of Jehovah, to bring men to Him.
His grief is highlighted in these verses as well. He was spurned by men – despised and rejected. His life was marked by sorrows – a Man of Sorrow; He knew shame and scorn from all around.
What wondrous grace that the revelation has been given to us and, by grace, we have believed the report!
 Consider:
1.  Gather up some of the botanical imagery of the Lord Jesus Christ: Psalm 1, Ezekiel 34, Isaiah 53, Luke 23, and John 12.
2.  There are four passages which speak of the Lord Jesus being despised: Isaiah 49:7; Ps 22:6; Ps 119:141; and here. Look at some of the reasons why men despised Him.
3.  Creation is ascribed to the fingers and hand of God – Psalm 8:3. What is the implication then of the fact that it is the “arm of the Lord” which is involved in salvation?
Dr.A.JHiggins

Lost: How Dismal is its Sound

41Nx2nXBf6LLOST! (Arthur Pink, 1951)

“But if our gospel is hid–it is hid to those who are LOST! The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers!” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 What multitudes of people there are who have no concern over, in fact, no consciousness of, their woeful condition! While they do not regard themselves as perfect, yet they are not aware that there is anything seriously wrong with them. They are respectable people, law-abiding citizens, and nothing particular ever troubles their conscience. They consider that they are certainly no worse than their religious neighbors, and though they scarcely ever read the Bible or enter a church, they fully expect to go to Heaven when they die. Some of them will indeed admit that they are sinners, but imagine that their good works far outnumber their bad ones. Some of them were sprinkled as infants, attended a Sunday school class as children, said their prayers each night, and later joined the church. Nevertheless, to this moment, they have never realized that they are the enemies of God, an abomination in the eyes of His holiness, and that Hell is their just deserts! They see no beauty or glory in the Gospel, no suitableness in it unto their case, and therefore do they despise and reject it.Though Satan rules in their hearts and lives (Ephesians 2:2), yet it is by their own free consent. They voluntarily obey him and submit to his will. His dominion over them is maintained by . . .  keeping their minds in darkness,  deceiving and deluding them,   blinding them by pride, prejudice, and the workings of their own corruptions. Nowhere but in the Scriptures, can we learn what is the real condition of the natural man. There his case is diagnosed with unerring precision by the divine Physician. Many are the terms used therein by the Holy Spirit to describe the solemn and direful state to which the fall has reduced every descendant of Adam; and among them probably none is more pointed and awesome than is the term LOST! How dismal is its sound! How much is summed up in that single word! It signifies . . .  that the natural man is in a sinful, wretched, and perilous state,   that he is far astray from God,  that he has willfully and wantonly forsaken the path of duty. Lost! A traveler from time to eternity, treading the road that leads to certain and everlasting destruction! Lost! A creature who has forfeited the approbation and favor of his Maker, and is now an outcast from Him!Lost! One who has squandered his substance in riotous living, and is now a spiritual bankrupt and pauper. He is out of the way of peace and blessing, and utterly incapable of finding his way back to it!

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Thy Path Drop Fatness

the_narrow_path_by_armoniasilenziosa-d2zhnuqThy paths drop fatness.” Psalm 65:11

Many are “the paths of the Lord” which “drop fatness,” but an especial one is the path of prayer. No believer, who is much in the closet, will have need to cry, “My leanness, my leanness; woe unto me.” Starving souls live at a distance from the mercy- seat, and become like the parched fields in times of drought. Prevalence with God in wrestling prayer is sure to make the believer strong—if not happy. The nearest place to the gate of heaven is the throne of the heavenly grace. Much alone, and you will have much assurance; little alone with Jesus, your religion will be shallow, polluted with many doubts and fears, and not sparkling with the joy of the Lord. Since the soul-enriching path of prayer is open to the very weakest saint; since no high attainments are required; since you are not bidden to come because you are an advanced saint, but freely invited if you be a saint at all; see to it, dear reader, that you are often in the way of private devotion. Be much on your knees, for so Elijah drew the rain upon famished Israel’s fields.

There is another especial path dropping with fatness to those who walk therein, it is the secret walk of communion. Oh! the delights of fellowship with Jesus! Earth hath no words which can set forth the holy calm of a soul leaning on Jesus’ bosom. Few Christians understand it, they live in the lowlands and seldom climb to the top of Nebo: they live in the outer court, they enter not the holy place, they take not up the privilege of priesthood. At a distance they see the sacrifice, but they sit not down with the priest to eat thereof, and to enjoy the fat of the burnt offering. But, reader, sit thou ever under the shadow of Jesus; come up to that palm tree, and take hold of the branches thereof; let thy beloved be unto thee as the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, and thou shalt be satisfied as with marrow and fatness. O Jesus, visit us with thy salvation! C.H.Spurgeon

After reading this devotional I was vey touched. The path of closet prayer and the secret walk of communion, are things I fight for daily. Yet lack of these in our Christian life causes a leanness in our souls. Thought it would be nice to share Spurgeon’s comments with others.

Spurgeon Morning Devotion on Philippians 3:8

spurgeon_chairSpurgeon: Morning Devotion
Philippians 3:8 ” I count all things but loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord”

Spiritual knowledge of Christ will be a personal knowledge. I cannot know Jesus through another person’s acquaintance with him. No, I must know him myself; I must know him on my own account. It will be an intelligent knowledge—I must know him, not as the visionary dreams of him, but as the Word reveals him. I must know his natures, divine and human. I must know his offices—his attributes—his works—his shame—his glory. I must meditate upon him until I “comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” It will be an affectionate knowledge of him; indeed, if I know him at all, I must love him. An ounce of heart knowledge is worth a ton of head learning. Our knowledge of him will be a satisfying knowledge. When I know my Saviour, my mind will be full to the brim—I shall feel that I have that which my spirit panted after. “This is that bread whereof if a man eat he shall never hunger.” At the same time it will be an exciting knowledge; the more I know of my Beloved, the more I shall want to know. The higher I climb the loftier will be the summits which invite my eager footsteps. I shall want the more as I get the more. Like the miser’s treasure, my gold will make me covet more. To conclude; this knowledge of Christ Jesus will be a most happy one; in fact, so elevating, that sometimes it will completely bear me up above all trials, and doubts, and sorrows; and it will, while I enjoy it, make me something more than “Man that is born of woman, who is of few days, and full of trouble”; for it will fling about me the immortality of the ever living Saviour, and gird me with the golden girdle of his eternal joy. Come, my soul, sit at Jesus’s feet and learn of him all this day.

The Cast Down Pilgrim

Tough-Times-AheadOne of the rules I have heard to have a successful blog is not to talk about yourself. That thought is probably correct but I know there are some of God’s Children who have gone through and are still going through some of the things I am experiencing. If the comforts I am experiencing can help them than it is worth breaking the rule of a blog.
Certainly, I will not dwell on my trials because that does not bring glory to God. Instead I will take a few minutes of your time to “Lift our eyes to the mountains, from where shall my help come?  My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. Ps.121:1,2
When we are weak physically and spiritually our great adversary attacks. Those attacks are usually very strong and can cause much pain. After he has caused us to sin than he puts us in deep guilt, he will cause us to lose assurance of our salvation and like a heavy sack over our shoulder we walk burdened down with the weight. Thanks be to God, it is at that time I am always reminded of the verse: “Ye are of God, my little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.”(1 John 4:4 ASV)
“He that is in you” this is the Holy Spirit of God. Think of that for a moment! “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Romans 8:11 ASV) The same Spirit that “raised up Christ Jesus” is the power that gives us eternal life and causes us to persevere. When Satan is attacking we need to gain our strength from that indwelling Spirit of God.
How do we draw on the strength of the Spirit of God within?

The Testimony of the Called Workman

29-1620-125_l2.jpgThis may raise some questions when I say I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not “believe”:

  1. I was a sinner
  2. Jesus died for my sin
  3. Jesus was God’s eternal perfect Son
  4. God was Sovereign over all His creation

By God’s grace I was born into a Christian family,brought up in a very fundamental church and memorized scriptures from 3 years old. At age three I can remember lying on the grass looking into the clear blue summer skies and thinking about God. As I thought, I was amazed how He loved and sent His Son to die on a cross. Actually, I would even thank God for His Son. My father would answer my varied questions about God, and was delighted to do so. I must add at this point even with all this thinking and thanking I was not yet saved.

Even though I never committed any great sins, I was very much aware that because Adam sinned I was under the curse of sin and to die in this condition would mean an eternity banished from God. The Sun in the sky always reminded me just how pure and holy God was and I had to be perfect to be in His heaven. I had memorized many of the verses in scripture with the word “believe” but I could not understand that word because I always “believed” and as yet was not saved.

At age 6 by my own reasoning I decided, I “believe” so I must be saved and openly confessed this. However, from that time on I carried a heavy burden of my sin until age 15. I had been baptized joined the church, evangelized, read my bible and did all I could to live like a Christian. As I grew older the burden of my sin nature caused deep distress until finally I told my parents and the elders of my church I remained in my sins. They were totally astonished and tried to convince me that it was just a time of doubting. I would not listen because I knew I did not have God’s salvation and I wanted that more than anything else.

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The Hallelujah Choir

Angels_singing_Signs_of_AngelsThis morning I have been enjoying wonderful thoughts from Psalm 148 and thought I might just jot them down. I pray that this posting may encourage you to read the five Hallelujah Psalms ( 146-150; called this because they all begin and end with Hallelujah)

First sit down and listen as the author wants us to hear the choirs sing a song of praise to Jehovah. In verses 1-6 the angels in heaven begin, than all the hosts of heaven join in to sing of His glories. The sun, the moon, the stars the firmament honor Him as the great creator and sustainer of the universe. In verses 7-8 the author does not stop there; but now the created sea creatures join in their praise. Imagine the fire, hail, snow, clouds and the stormy gale sing forth their praise of Jehovah’s omnipotence. In verse 9 when the author speaks of the mountains, hills, trees, birds and creeping things it took me through a mountain walk, the rustling leaves, the singing of the birds,every where you look there is beauty. My mind’s eye began to sing, “Oh Lord my God, How Great Thou Art”
Verses 11-14 seemed to me like the magnificent finale. The rulers, young men, maidens, old men and children of all the earth raise their voices in praise to Jehovah. He alone is exalted, he is recognized as reigning King. Now Jehovah “raised up a Horn for all His saints for the people of Israel who are near Him” Jehovah has given “His people their dignity and power” ( J.Flanigan, What the Bible Teaches )

Testimony of Amar

The following is the testimony of a man from Burgeon, India

I came to know Christ about 7 years ago. One of my friends invited me to church. I went and it was a nice experience. At that time my hobbies were following girls all the time, smoking, fighting and all kinds of nasty things. At that time I believed all gods were the same because I was born and brought up in a Hindu family.
I started going to church once a month for over one year. I heard the word of God and they taught how Jesus is the only true God. I learned that Christ died for my sins and He rose again on the third day and His blood paid for my sins. I must by faith trust in the work Jesus did at the cross and make Him Lord of my life. It is only then my life would change. Jesus said, you have not chosen me but I have chosen you. And faith is not my own but it is the gift of God. By his grace I gave my life to Christ.
My life and my thinking did change:
In the past I was worshipping creation but now the Creator. God is not an animal and God is not a playboy. He is holy.
I still sin but Christ died for my sin. Christ’s love is an undying love. It is not possible to grasp how wide, how deep and high is his love for us.
Now I can see myself and realized that I’m great sinner but Christ is a great Savior. I’m saved by only what Christ has done for me on the cross.
I was dead in sin but now I’m alive in Christ.
My aim is to serve The Lord.
By the grace of God my family is neutral and supportive but not Christians. I pray for their salvation that they may worship Christ alone because only Christ is worthy of all worship, honor and praise.
– Amar

Just to add to this, I received a message from Amar that he is entering seminary to become a pastor. “Amazing Grace”

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