Posts Tagged ‘New Testament’

The Extravagant Love of Christ

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The last rays of light that will fall on this darkened earth just before the end comes will be a revelation of God’s character of love. This is Bible teaching:

 

That last “revelation” will obviously be the same as the light of that “another angel” who comes down from heaven having great power. The “earth is lightened with his glory” (Rev. 18:1, 2). It’s not legalism gone wild, nor soft-soap emotionalism; it’s love (agape).

 

That “glory” in turn will obviously be the same as the message Jesus describes in John 12:32, 33: “‘I, if I am lifted up, will draw all to Myself.’ This He said, signifying by what death He should die.” That “love” which will “reveal the character of God” must be the same love that “holds together,” “controls” and “compels,” or motivates the ones who believe in Jesus. They are moved henceforth to live only for Him, “no longer for themselves” (2 Cor. 5:14, 15. There is tremendous power locked away in that “love” known as agape. Jesus longs to put His character in every believer! John 3:16

 

Again, that revelation of love in the last days must be what Paul meant when he said that he “determined not to know anything among [the Corinthians] except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). That was not extremism; it was only a “reasonable service” that Paul saw as appropriate to the extravagant love Christ had shown for him  ( Rom. 12:1). It was agape, not ordinary human love. Paul saw what we have not yet seen clearly.

 

In these last days when sin and selfishness will become so rampant, the Lord Jesus will be honored by those who “follow the Lamb [the crucified, risen Christ] wherever He goes. … They are without fault before the throne of God” (cf, Rev, 14:1-5). Whoever they are, there WILL be such a people who will glorify Christ! We might eventually be surprised who will end up in that group; let’s walk humbly before Him.

God has done this to demonstrate his righteousness both by the wiping out of the sins of the past and by showing in the present time that he is a just God and that He justifies everyone who has faith in Jesus Christ.  Romans 3:26 (J.B. Phillips New Testament)

Jesus longs for you to come to Him so He can change you into His image and likeness thus  ready for Heaven!! 2 Corinthians 3:18, 2Corinthians 5:14-15,17,20, 1John 3:2

 

Deserter Or Disciple?—Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers

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 By Oswald Chambers

Author of: “My Utmost for His Highest”

Devotion For December 29th

 

“From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.”

John 6:66

When God gives a vision by His Spirit through His word of what He wants, and your mind and soul thrill to it, if you do not walk in the light of that vision, you will sink into servitude to a point of view which Our Lord never had. Disobedience in mind to the heavenly vision will make you a slave to points of view that are alien to Jesus Christ. Do not look at someone else and say – Well, if he can have those views and prosper, why cannot I? You have to walk in the light of the vision that has been given to you and not compare yourself with others or judge them, that is between them and God. When you find that a point of view in which you have been delighting clashes with the heavenly vision and you debate, certain things will begin to develop in you – a sense of property and a sense of personal right, things of which Jesus Christ made nothing. He was always against these things as being the root of everything alien to Himself. “A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things that he possesseth.” If we do not recognize this, it is because we are ignoring the undercurrent of Our Lord’s teaching.

We are apt to lie back and bask in the memory of the wonderful experience we have had. If there is one standard in the New Testament revealed by the light of God and you do not come up to it, and do not feel inclined to come up to it, that is the beginning of backsliding, because it means your conscience does not answer to the truth. You can never be the same after the unveiling of a truth. That moment marks you for going on as a more true disciple of Jesus Christ or for going back as a deserter.

We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future. Salvation is Now!!  1John 5:11-13,   1 John 3:2,   John 17:3

Praying God’s Promises In The Spirit

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 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.

John 12:32

 

 

 

 

Post By Pastor Dennis Smith

Please visit Pastor Smith’s Website.


 

God has given us many promises in the Bible to meet our every need.  Both the Old and New Testaments have outstanding examples of God’s people claiming the promises of His Word when facing difficulties.

One of my first exposures to the Bible’s teaching on prayer was in The ABC’s of Bible Prayer; a book by Glenn Coon.  I learned the concept of claiming God’s promises in prayer as a young Christian, and it was proved to be a great blessing throughout my life and ministry.  The prayer formula is simple:

Ask – “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”  (Matt. 7:7)

Believe – “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”  (Mark 11:24)

Claim the promise with thanksgiving before any answer is seen – “And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.  And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.’ Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’”  (John 11:41-43)

In these verses we see that Jesus thanked the Father for hearing and answering His prayer before there was evidence of it being answered.

God’s promises are sure.  We can be confident that God will do what He says:

“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent.  Has He said, and will He not do it?  Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”  (Num. 23:19)

And He can do what He promises:

“Ah, Lord God!  Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm.  There is nothing too hard for You.”  (Jer. 32:17)

Just as the oak tree is in the acorn, so is the fulfillment of God’s promise in the promise itself when claimed by faith.  Concerning the promises of God’s Word, Ellen White writes:

“In every command and in every promise of the Word of God is the power, the very life of God, by which the command may be fulfilled and the Promise realized.”  (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 38)

God’s power and very life are contained in the promises of the Bible.  Nothing can stand in the way of His promises being fulfilled when we claim them by faith in persevering prayer.

In 2 Chronicles 20:6-12 we find a marvelous prayer model of claiming God’s promises.  Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was facing an imminent invasion by a confederacy of armies.  He had made preparation for such a crisis by building up Judah’s army and defenses.  He had more than 1 million well-trained men ready for battle.  However, when the threat became known to the king, his first response was not to look to his preparations for war, but rather look to the Lord.

When we face problems in life, our response should be the same – look to the Lord first.  This doesn’t mean that we don’t do what we can to meet whatever situation may arise.  The danger is that we have the tendency to go immediately to our human resources for help and deliverance.  Our mind often begins formulating ways to solve the problem rather than turning to God first.  Jehoshaphat’s response is a good example for us to follow.

This prayer reveals five steps for victoriously praying for the promises of God:

  1. The king began by praising God’s attributes, especially those related to the problem he was facing (verse 6).  He recalled that God rules over all the kingdoms of the nations, that “power and might” are in His hand, and that no one can withstand Him.
  2. The king recalled past victories, similar to the present victory Judah needed (verse 7). Recalling God’s provision in the past, as related to our present need, reminds us of God’s faithfulness and builds our faith.
  3. He stated in prayer a promise God had made to His people in the past – a promise related to the problem he was facing (verses 8, 9).
  4. Jehoshaphat then stated the problem (verses 10-12).
  5. He praised God before any evidence of victory was seen (verses 18, 19).

He Will Manifest His Victory In And Through Us!! Praise God!!

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 We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future. Salvation is Now!!   1John 5:11-13,   1 John 3:2,   John 17:3

 

 

 

 Post By Pastor Dennis Smith

 

Be Enlightened

 

In short, whatever attitudes or behavior the Lord asks us to exhibit He will manifest in and through us if we choose to let Him and believe He will.  This requires us to be aware of the attitudes and behaviors God wants us to exhibit.  We find this instruction in the Word of God. Such sections as Christ’s Sermon on the Mount clearly reveals to us God’s will for us in many situations of life.

The Sermon on the Mount sets the standard very high; impossibly high for us to attain by our own efforts no matter how hard we try.  This standard will be met only as Christ lives out this standard through us.  Paul actually points this out in his letter to the Romans.

 

“For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.  And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:3-4 NIV

 

In these verses Paul tells us that it is impossible for sinful man to fulfill the righteous requirements of God’s law.  However, because Christ came in the flesh, obeyed the law perfectly and fulfilled all the righteous requirements of the law He condemned sin breaking its power.  Therefore, through Christ the “righteous requirements of the law” can be “fully met in us” who do not yield to our sinful nature, but allow the Spirit to manifest obedience in us.

New Covenant Promise

 

What I am presenting in this chapter is how God fulfills the new covenant promise.  In the new covenant God says He will write His law on our hearts and minds (Hebrews 8:8-10).  Our part is to choose to allow Him to do it.  God foretold through the prophet Ezekiel that He would do this.

 

“Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel 36:25-27

 

The New Testament confirms this promise in such texts as the following:

 

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6

 

Note that it is God who “performs” this work.  Paul presents this same truth in his first letter to the Thessalonians.

 

“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” 1Thessalonians 5:23-24

 

Again Paul is clear; it is God who does the sanctifying.  Our part is to choose to allow Him to perform that work within our spirit, soul and body.

 

Lighten Up

 

Every Christian who is not experiencing deliverance from temptation through Christ, but is trying to do it through their own efforts asking God to add His power to their efforts is not experiencing the “light burden” Jesus is referring to in Matthew 11:28-29.  Instead, their life is weighed down with frustration, bewilderment, and feelings of defeat.  Jesus calls us to come to Him with this burden.  If you learn how to do that you will find “rest,” and your walk with the Lord will become much “easier” and “lighter.”  Why; because Jesus is giving you His victory and you are resting in Him.

Before I came to personally understand and experience the reality of abiding in Christ and allowing Him to manifest Himself in and through me I did not understand these words of Christ.  For me the Christian life was a burden and obedience was not easy.  Once I came to understand and experience Christ’s abiding presence then I found His words to be true – “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  He offers the same abiding experience to all who believe in Him.

 

Stay in Touch

 

This kind of victory in Christ requires us to be in moment-by-moment communion with Him.  Remember what David wrote, “I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved” (Psalm 16:8).  David knew the necessity of the Lord being “always before him.”  We must not let our communion with Jesus be broken.

We can also see that the victory Jesus is offering requires a moment-by-moment surrender to Him.  Whenever a temptation comes we must surrender it to Him no matter how much we have enjoyed yielding to it in the past.  Complete 100 percent surrender is the only way to complete 100 percent victory.

Why Did God Set A Limit To His Creative Activity?

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A Potomac Sunset

 

 

What would lead God to set a limit to His creative activity and mark the occasion by hallowing the seventh day?

Clearly by ceasing His creation, the Creator stoops to the level of His creatures because God’s heart desire is to be with His creation. The relation marker becomes clear! This is true because God is love! And God’s love “does not seek its own” 1Corinthians 13:5 “is not self-seeking” 1Corinthians 13:5, or “never seeks its own advantage” 1Corinthians 13:5.

Indeed, the reason why He refrains from further activity on the seventh day is that He has found the object of His love and has no need for any further works!

This is a staggering thought. On the one hand, God’s love thus magnifies human value, showing forth in bold print the worth of human beings to God! On the other hand, the seventh day thus understood brings God’s love into focus at Creation, placing love at the front and center of God’s character and activity from the very beginning.

In the New Testament John makes love the centerpiece of his description of God. “Whoever does not love, does not know God, for God is love. 1John 4:8. Love is God’s defining attribute from the beginning. From first to last love is the wellspring from which all other actions radiate and around all else unites.

What is most important about God at Creation is that God is love. God ceases from working on the seventh to enjoy the company of the person God has created. It is as if we hear God speaking, “I am ceasing on the seventh day not only that you may acknowledge and love me, but in order to make it known that I recognize and love you.

I pray that the lost meaning of The Sabbath will come alive in your life right now and cause you to have an intimate relationship with God.

Please Visit Often!!

Wayne

We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future.

1 John 5:11-13,   1 John 3:2,   John 17:3,

It is just that simple!

“Courtesy Come And Reason Ministries”

Thanks to Sigev K. Tonstad.

The Rest Of The Sabbath Is God’s Love-3a

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The very foundation of Salvation is grounded in the realization that God’s unmerited love toward us is greater than any other power–Including Death!!

Romans 8:35-39, Ephesians 3:14-21, 1John 4:8

 

What would lead God to set a limit to His creative activity and mark the occasion by hallowing the seventh day?

Clearly by ceasing His creation, the Creator stoops to the level of His creatures because God’s heart desire is to be with His creation. The relation marker becomes clear! This is true because God is love! And God’s love “does not seek its own” 1Corinthians 13:5, NKJV “is not self-seeking” 1Corinthians 13:5, NIV or “never seeks its own advantage” 1Corinthians 13:5.

Indeed, the reason why He refrains from further activity on the seventh day is that He has found the object of His love and has no need for any further works!

This is a staggering thought. On the one hand, God’s love thus magnifies human value, showing forth in bold print the worth of human beings to God! On the other hand, the seventh day thus understood brings God’s love into focus at Creation, placing love at the front and center of God’s character and activity from the very beginning.

In the New Testament John makes love the centerpiece of his description of God. “Whoever does not love, does not know God, for God is love. 1John 4:8. Love is God’s defining attribute from the beginning. From first to last love is the wellspring from which all other actions radiate and around all else unites.

What is most important about God at Creation is that God is love. God ceases from working on the seventh to enjoy the company of the person God has created. It is as if we hear God speaking, “I am ceasing on the seventh day not only that you may acknowledge and love me, but in order to make it known that I recognize and love you.

I pray that the lost meaning of The Sabbath will come alive in your life right now and cause you to have an intimate relationship with God.

Thanks to Sigev K. Tonstad.

 

 

     We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future. Salvation is Now!!  1John 5:11-13,   1 John 3:2,   John 17:3

 

The Opened Sight—Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers

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       By Oswald Chambers

Author of: “My Utmost for His Highest”

Devotion For January 10th

“To open their eyes … that they may receive …”

Acts 26:18

This verse is the grandest condensation of the propaganda of a disciple of Jesus Christ in the whole of the New Testament.

The first sovereign work of grace is summed up in the word – “that they may receive remission of sins.” When a man fails in personal Christian experience, it is nearly always because he has never received anything. The only sign that a man is saved is that he has received something from Jesus Christ. Our part as workers for God is to open men’s eyes that they may turn themselves from darkness to light; but that is not salvation, that is conversion – the effort of a roused human being. I do not think it is too sweeping to say that the majority of nominal Christians are of this order; their eyes are opened, but they have received nothing. Conversion is not regeneration. This is one of the neglected factors in our preaching today. When a man is born again, he knows that it is because he has received something as a gift from Almighty God and not because of his own decision. People register their vows, and sign their pledges, and determine to go through, but none of this is salvation. Salvation means that we are brought to the place where we are able to receive something from God on the authority of Jesus Christ, viz., remission of sins.

Then there follows the second mighty work of grace – “and inheritance among them which are sanctified.” In sanctification the regenerated soul deliberately gives up his right to himself to Jesus Christ, and identifies himself entirely with God’s interest in other men.

 

The Right Lines Of Work—Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers

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By Oswald Chambers

Author of: “My Utmost for His Highest”

Devotion For December 20th

“I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me.”

John 12:32

Very few of us have any understanding of the reason why Jesus Christ died. If sympathy is all that human beings need, then the Cross of Christ is a farce, there was no need for it. What the world needs is not “a little bit of love,” but a surgical operation.

When you are face to face with a soul in difficulty spiritually, remind yourself of Jesus Christ on the Cross. If that soul can get to God on any other line, then the Cross of Jesus Christ is unnecessary. If you can help others by your sympathy or understanding, you are a traitor to Jesus Christ. You have to keep your soul rightly related to God and pour out for others on His line, not pour out on the human line and ignore God. The great note to-day is amiable religiosity.

The one thing we have to do is to exhibit Jesus Christ crucified, to lift Him up all the time. Every doctrine that is not imbedded in the Cross of Jesus will lead astray. If the worker himself believes in Jesus Christ and is banking on the Reality of Redemption, the people he talks to must be concerned. The thing that remains and deepens is the worker’s simple relationship to Jesus Christ; his usefulness to God depends on that and that alone.

The calling of a New Testament worker is to uncover sin and to reveal Jesus Christ as Saviour, consequently he cannot be poetical, he must be sternly surgical. We are sent by God to lift up Jesus Christ, not to give wonderfully beautiful discourses. We have to probe straight down as deeply as God has probed us, to be keen in sensing the Scriptures which bring the truth straight home and to apply them fearlessly.

The Test Of Loyalty—Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers

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By Oswald Chambers

Author of: “My Utmost for His Highest”

Devotion For December 18th

 

 

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.”

Romans 8:28

It is only the loyal soul who believes that God engineers circumstances. We take such liberty with our circumstances, we do not believe God engineers them, although we say we do; we treat the things that happen as if they were engineered by men. To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty, and that is to our Lord. Suddenly God breaks up a particular set of circumstances, and the realization comes that we have been disloyal to Him by not recognizing that He had ordered them; we never saw what He was after, and that particular thing will never be repeated all the days of our life. The test of loyalty always comes just there. If we learn to worship God in the trying circumstances, He will alter them in two seconds when He chooses.

Loyalty to Jesus Christ is the thing that we “stick at” to-day. We will be loyal to work, to service, to anything, but do not ask us to be loyal to Jesus Christ. Many Christians are intensely impatient of talking about loyalty to Jesus. Our Lord is dethroned more emphatically by Christian workers than by the world. God is made a machine for blessing men, and Jesus Christ is made a Worker among workers.

The idea is not that we do work for God, but that we are so loyal to Him that He can do His work through us – “I reckon on you for extreme service, with no complaining on your part and no explanation on Mine.” God wants to use us as He used His own Son.

The Absoluteness Of Jesus Christ—Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers

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By Oswald Chambers

Author of: “My Utmost for His Highest”

Devotion For November 29th

He shall glorify Me.

The pietistic movements of to-day have none of the rugged reality of the New Testament about them; there is nothing about them that needs the Death of Jesus Christ; all that is required is a pious atmosphere, and prayer and devotion. This type of experience is not supernatural nor miraculous, it did not cost the passion of God, it is not dyed in the blood of the Lamb, not stamped with the hall-mark of the Holy Ghost; it has not that mark on it which makes men say, as they look with awe and wonder – “That is the work of God Almighty.” That and nothing else is what the New Testament talks about.

The type of Christian experience in the New Testament is that of personal passionate devotion to the Person of Jesus Christ. Every other type of Christian experience, so called, is detached from the Person of Jesus. There is no regeneration, no being born again into the Kingdom in which Christ lives, but only the idea that He is our Pattern. In the New Testament Jesus Christ is Saviour long before He is Pattern. To-day He is being despatched as the Figurehead of a Religion, a mere Example. He is that, but He is infinitely more; He is salvation itself, He is the Gospel of God.

Jesus said, “When He the Spirit of truth is come . . . He shall glorify Me.” When I commit myself to the revelation made in the New Testament, I receive from God the gift of the Holy Spirit Who begins to interpret to me what Jesus did and does in me subjectively all that Jesus Christ did for me objectively.

John 16:14

The Forgiveness Of God—Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers

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By Oswald Chambers

Author of: “My Utmost for His Highest”

Devotion For November 20th

In whom we have . . . the forgiveness of sins.

Beware of the pleasant view of the Fatherhood of God – God is so kind and loving that of course He will forgive us. That sentiment has no place whatever in the New Testament. The only ground on which God can forgive us is the tremendous tragedy of the Cross of Christ; to put forgiveness on any other ground is unconscious blasphemy. The only ground on which God can forgive sin and reinstate us in His favour is through the Cross of Christ, and in no other way. Forgiveness, which is so easy for us to accept, cost the agony of Calvary. It is possible to take the forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and our sanctification with the simplicity of faith, and to forget at what enormous cost to God it was all made ours.

Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace; it cost God the Cross of Jesus Christ before He could forgive sin and remain a holy God. Never accept a view of the Fatherhood of God if it blots out the Atonement. The revelation of God is that He cannot forgive; He would contradict His nature if He did. The only way we can be forgiven is by being brought back to God by the Atonement. God’s forgiveness is only natural in the supernatural domain.

Compared with the miracle of the forgiveness of sin, the experience of sanctification is slight. Sanctification is simply the marvellous expression of the forgiveness of sins in a human life, but the thing that awakens the deepest well of gratitude in a human being is that God has forgiven sin. Paul never got away from this. When once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vice, constrained by the love of God.

Ephesians 1:7