Tag Archives: Scripture

From “Rylisms” by James Ryle

The Pot of Boiling Acid

“For God does speak—now one way, now another— though man may not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds, he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn man from wrongdoing and keep him from pride, to preserve his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword.” (Job 33:14-18, NIV).

In a dream I saw an angel standing with a large vat in his hands. The vat was filled with what appeared to be acid. A man came and stood before the angel, who then began to pour the acid upon the man’s head! “What are you doing?!” I exclaimed. The angel continued pouring as he looked at me and solemnly said, “These are the curses with which he has cursed others, now being poured out upon his own head!”

The sight was so riveting that I woke up and lay still in my bed. I wondered first if I was the man, and quickly started blessing everybody I could think of! Next, I questioned if what I had seen in the dream could even be true, for it seemed so sinister. And yet it also had a sobering sense of Divine justice about it. I found the sight to be deeply disturbing. I got up and began searching through the Scripture for an answer. My search was not fruitless.

“He loved to pronounce a curse – may it come on him; he found no pleasure in blessing – may it be far from him. He wore cursing as his garment; it entered into his body like water, into his bones like oil” (Psalm 109:17-18).

I clearly saw the lesson that Lord was illustrating through this dream: The man who curses others will himself be cursed. Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:1-2).

As it applies to cursing, so also does it apply to blessing. The man who blesses others will himself be blessed. Whatever measure you mete out will be measured back to you. In yet another text Jesus said “bless those who curse you!” (Matthew 5:44).

Could it be that the blessing we speak to those who are cursing us is for the purpose of keeping us from coming into the place of cursing ourselves? I think so. How solemn to think that cursing another postures you to receive that very curse upon yourself!

But then, how wonderful to believe that by blessing another you inevitably inherit the blessing yourself! Despite the bewildering images of this night vision, one thing is certain: Since having this dream I have been very careful with my words.

As for me and my house — we are going to BLESS others; that we might inherit a blessing.

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian

TRANSLATED

The Bible says Jesus has “delivered” us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of [God’s] dear son.”  The New King James Bible says, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of Son.”  In one version it says we were “conveyed” in the other it says we were “translated.”  Both translations are correct; each just gives us a different slant on the truth.  Let’s look at each: (1) Conveyed.  When a buyer purchases a house, the deed conveys ownership into the buyer’s name.  “You were bought at a price; therefore glorify God” ( 1 Co 6:20 NKJV).  God owns you, therefore He has the right to send you anywhere and ask anything of you.  (2) Translated.  We translate books from one language to another.  As a result the words sound different.  Understand this: you live in the new kingdom, so stop speaking the language of the old one!  When God’s word says you “can” and you say “can’t,” it’s a signal to satan that he can influence you.  Or worse, control you!  The new birth calls for a new language.  The Bible says that the power of life and death are in your tongue.  So to thrive in God’s kingdom and enjoy it’s benefits you must learn to say what God’s word says about each situation you face.  This is not easy, and it’s not learned overnight.  But if you steep yourself in the Scriptures each day, you’ll get to the place where your first response will be to quote God’s word.  When that happens your life will change for the better.

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian

LIVING FOR OTHERS

Jacques Cousteau, the famous French explorer, said, “If a man for whatever reason has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself.”  Jesus lived that way.  He said, “I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (Jn 10:11 NKJV).  To be like Him, you must live for something greater than your own interests.  In his book Half Time: Changing  Your Game Plan from success to significance, author Bob Buford says, “The first half of life has to do with getting and gaining, learning and earning.  The second half is more risky because it has to do with living beyond the immediate.”  By that he means living for a cause that is greater than yourself, and for others beyond yourself.  The greater men and women of Scripture were not great because of what they earned and owned; they were great because they gave themselves to people, and causes that lived beyond them.  There dream was to do something that benefited others.  Only a rare minority of people are able to hold closely to their dream to make a difference, and are willing to give up everything to make that dream come true.  Of people like that it will never be said that when they died, it was as though they had never lived.  Their dream lives on after them, because they lived for others.  And it was in living in for others and not for self that they found their greatest joy and fulfillment.  The poet wrote: “Others, Lord, yes others; Let this my motto be.  Help me to live for others, that I may live for Thee.”

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian – Abounding

     This is a great read.  Very well written.

ABOUNDING

     In scripture the word “abounding” means to “overflow.”  Today, lets look at three “abounding” Scriptures and see what we can learn: (1) Abounding iniquity.  “Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Mt 24:12).  The word “iniquity” means “lawlessness.”  Do you remember your life before you met Jesus?  You had no boundaries.  You were ruled by your own impulses.  You’d go anywhere, do anything, and say whatever you pleased.  Now, we’re not bringing up your past to make you feel bad, but to make you grateful and to show you how far God has brought you.  And what was God’s solution to your sin problem?  (2) Abounding grace.  “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Ro 5:20 NKJV).  God’s grace can not be earned or merited.  And that’s a good thing, because we were all spiritually bankrupt.  But as Martin Luther said, “The recognition of sin is the beginning of salvation.”  It’s feeling bad about your sin that leads to feeling good about God’s grace.  Do you remember the day Jesus found you, saved you, brought you into His family and showered you with His blessings?  What should your response to such grace be?  (3) Abounding in the work of the Lord.  “Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”  You were saved to serve!  When you don’t, you’ll feel like a fish out of water.  So pray, “Lord, today I give myself fully to You, to be used in your service as You see fit.”

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian, What Kind of Example are You? (5)

     How true this is.  Read it and see if you don’t agree.

WHAT KIND OF EXAMPLE ARE YOU (5)

     In Bible times, Jews looked down on non-jews.  They actually referred to them as “dogs.”  So when Christ’s disciples went into a Samaritan village to find accomodation for the night, they were turned away.  How did the disciples handle this?  With understanding?  Not a chance?  “They said, ‘Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?’  But he turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what …spirit you are of”  (Lk 9:54-55 NKJV).  Check your spirit!  You can be totally unaware of your attitude toward others.  You can even use Scripture to justify yourself.  The disciples thought that because Elijah called down fire on his enemies at Mount Carmel they should be able to zap these poor Samaritians.  Amazing!  Christ had just got through telling them: “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.  Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!  For indeed your reward is great in heaven” (Lk 6:22-23 NKJV).  Only as you read the Scriptures and pray, can God shine the spotlight on your hidden biases and help you correct them.  Often the look on your face has more impact than the words you speak.  You can be arrogant and think you’re being assertive.  You can be insensitive and think you’re a truth-teller.  You can be purpose-driven and convince people that their only value to you is in what they contribute.  When it comes to your “spirit,” you need a regular checkup.

From “Morning and Evening” by C.H. Spurgeon

     How much of our conversations with others lead to any benefit?  Do we quibble and strive over things of no importance.?  What a waste to spend our time contending with people over things that don’t matter.

“Avoid foolish questions.”

Tit_3:9

Our days are few, and are far better spent in doing good, than in disputing over matters which are, at best, of minor importance. The old schoolmen did a world of mischief by their incessant discussion of subjects of no practical importance; and our Churches suffer much from petty wars over abstruse points and unimportant questions. After everything has been said that can be said, neither party is any the wiser, and therefore the discussion no more promotes knowledge than love, and it is foolish to sow in so barren a field. Questions upon points wherein Scripture is silent; upon mysteries which belong to God alone; upon prophecies of doubtful interpretation; and upon mere modes of observing human ceremonials, are all foolish, and wise men avoid them. Our business is neither to ask nor answer foolish questions, but to avoid them altogether; and if we observe the apostle’s precept

(Tit_3:8) to be careful to maintain good works, we shall find ourselves far too much occupied with profitable business to take much interest in unworthy, contentious, and needless strivings.

There are, however, some questions which are the reverse of foolish, which we must not avoid, but fairly and honestly meet, such as these: Do I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? Am I renewed in the spirit of my mind? Am I walking not after the flesh, but after the Spirit? Am I growing in grace? Does my conversation adorn the doctrine of God my Saviour? Am I looking for the coming of the Lord, and watching as a servant should do who expects his master? What more can I do for Jesus? Such enquiries as these urgently demand our attention; and if we have been at all given to cavilling, let us now turn our critical abilities to a service so much more profitable. Let us be peace-makers, and endeavour to lead others both by our precept and example, to “avoid foolish questions.”

From “Light and Truth” by Horatius Bonar

     This is a geat word.  Well worth reading.

 

The Charity Of The Lord Jesus.

 

“Neither cold nor hot.”- Rev_3:16.

 

“He that is not with me is against me.”- Mat_12:30.

 

“He that is not against us is on our part.”- Mar_9:40.

The first of these texts proclaims as a ruinous sin what many regard as a misfortune which cannot be helped,- lukewarmness. To be neither cold nor hot is an abomination in the sight of Christ, awakening disgust, and leading to entire casting away. It is not lukewarmness occasioned by the cold passing gradually into heat, but that produced by the heat passing into the cold. Once there was warmth; now that warmth and glow are giving way, and the hateful medium condition is coming on. Church of the living God, beware of letting your temperature sink even one single degree. Christian man or woman, watch! Mark your spiritual thermometer; take alarm when it begins to go down, though but a hairbreadth. See that it rises, and rises from day to day. How loathsome to the great Master is the tasteless, tepid, vapid Christianity of multitudes in our day! One can hardly tell what it is, or whither it is tending. Neither cold nor hot! Making the best of both worlds; mixing up heaven and earth; a compound of zeal and indifference; a dilution of genuine religion, to such an extent, that the original element has almost disappeared. Alternate folly and wisdom; levity and seriousness; the ball and the prayer-meeting; the concert and the communion; the opera and the committee; the gay evening party and the mother’s meeting or the Sabbath school; the cup of the Lord and the cup of Belial mixed together;-such is the condition of things among multitudes who name the name of Christ.

The second text points not so much to the lukewarm and half-hearted, as to the deliberately undecided,-those who, from prejudice, or fear of man, or love of ease, willfully stand aloof from Christ, while yet not openly joining with His foes. Their conscience says, ‘Join Christ; follow Him.’ But there is a lion in the way: they must take up their cross, and deny self; they must incur loss, or hatred, or shame. So they shrink back, all the while defending their indecision, and soothing their consciences with the thought that they do not oppose Christ or His cause. Of such Christ here says, he that is not with us is against us. He that stands aloof,-afraid, perhaps, of being called a saint or a bigot, unwilling to commit himself to a life of decided religion, reluctant to come wholly out from the world, or set himself against its opinions and ways,- is as if he were an enemy. For no man can serve two masters, or follow two religions. Why halt ye between two opinions? is God’s appeal to such; and Balaam stands in history as the awful specimen of the double-hearted.

The third text speaks to a very different class from either of these. If Laodicea, with her lukewarmness, is the representative of the first, Philadelphia is the representative of this last: ‘Thou has little strength, yet hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name’. How cheering and gracious to the feeble-hearted the Master’s words, ‘He that is not against us is on our side!’ How like him who breaks not the bruised reed, nor quenches the smoking flax! How encouraging are His words, in circumstances in which we might have expected rebuke and sternness! He thus comforts the feeble-minded, supports the weak, and shows His patience toward all men. He accepts the will for the deed; the weak effort for the accomplished fact. If the spirit be willing, he overlooks the weakness of the flesh.

There is one Old Testament character which seems to illustrate this affirmation of our Lord,-Abijah, the son of Jeroboam,-who is evidently reckoned upon the Lord’s side, and yet all that can be said of him is that there was found in him some good thing towards the Lord God of Israel. We may conclude the same respecting the seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to Baal. They had not come out openly; they had been so timid that even Elijah did not know of their existence; yet in silence they had cleaved to Jehovah, and He owns them. They had not been against Him, and He proclaims them as with Him. How gently the Lord deals with fearful ones! How tender and charitable His judgments! He beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. He heeds the faintest breath that goes up to Him; He despises no petitioner, even the most troubled and timorous. There are two New Testament characters whose history brings out this,-Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. They are for more than three years very timid witnesses for Christ. One can hardly call them disciples. They do not follow Him; and even when the council plots against Him, all the length they go is, ‘Doth our law condemn a man before he is heard?’ Yet they are owned of the Master, and are examples of the gracious truth, ”He that is not against me is for me.” And then what a reward they get! What an honour is put upon them even for this weak protest! They are filled with boldness, and stand forward in behalf of Christ when all others have shrunk back. ‘The last becomes the first, and the first last.’

What grace is this! What tender love and condescension! What a charitable construction our Master puts on all we say or do! He makes the best of everything in our behalf. He puts the kindest possible interpretation on every effort, however faint, put forth for Him; on every word, however feeble, spoken for Him. And even when we speak now words, and do no deeds, if we do not deny Him, He says, ‘He that is not against me is for me.’

What encouragement is this to those who are cast down about their acceptance! They afflict themselves; they write bitter things against themselves; for they fear they are not the Lord’s. O sorrowful doubter, O weary, troubled spirit, hear the Master’s gentle, loving words, ‘He that is not against me is for me!’ He owns your feeble faith, and does not cast you off. And what encouragement to those who are depressed because of their poor, poor work for Him! He thinks more of your work than you do. He is well pleased with that cup of water which you gave to one of His brethren. He owns it now; He will own it hereafter.