The following post by Bryan Daniels is a powerful post, and one not to be missed. I highly recommend it. “It Is Well”: A Supernatural Confession
Here Confidence to face the unknown is some very sound wisdom for those of us who need some help when it comes to having confidence to face the unknown. It’s 24 minutes long, but you won’t spend your time any better than by listening to it. Just click on the title, sit back, and listen.
The following post is a well written, and incisive comment upon the Christians of today. We should all examine ourselves in the light of God’s truth, evaluate our lives based upon it, and then make whatever changes are necessary. http://realityofchrist.me/2013/01/07/the-spiritual-disease-of-apathetic-christianity/
Pastor Mike has some wise words in this post Patience and Hope – A look at Job through new eyes.
“Who has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” 2 Timothy 1:9
THERE is an external and an internal call of the Spirit. The external call is thus alluded to: “I have called, and you refused;” “Many are called, but few are chosen.” This outward call of the Spirit is made in various ways. In the word, in the glorious proclamation of the gospel, through the providences of God-those of mercy and those of judgment-the warnings of ministers, the admonitions of friends, and, not less powerful, the awakening of the natural conscience. By these means does the Holy Spirit “call sinners to repentance.” In this sense, every man who hears the gospel, who is encircled with the means of grace, and who bears about with him a secret but ever-faithful monitor, is called by the Spirit. The existence of this call places the sinner in an attitude of fearful responsibility; and the rejection of this call exposes him to a still more fearful doom. God has never poured out His wrath upon man, without first extending the olive-branch of peace. Mercy has invariably preceded judgment. “I have called, and you have refused.” “All day long I have stretched forth my hands.” “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” He reasons, He argues, He expostulates with the sinner. “Come, let us reason together,” is His invitation. He instructs, and warns, and invites; He places before the mind the most solemn considerations, urged by duty and interest; He presses His own claims, and appeals to the individual interests of the soul; but all seems ineffectual. Oh, what a view does this give us of the patience of God toward the rebellious! That He should stretch out his hand to a sinner-that instead of wrath, there should be mercy-instead of cursing, there should be blessing-that, instead of instant punishment, there should be the patience and forbearance that invites, and allures, and reasons!”-Oh, who is a God like unto our God? “I have called, and you refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded.”
But there is the special, direct, and effectual call of the Spirit, in the elect of God, without which all other calling is in vain. God says, “I will put my Spirit within them.” Christ says, “The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live.” And in the following passages reference is made to the effectual operation of God the Spirit. “Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power.” “The word of God which effectually works in you that believe.” Thus, through the instrumentality of the truth, the Spirit is represented as effectually working in the soul. When He called before, there was no inward, supernatural, secret power accompanying the call to the conscience. Now there is an energy put forth with the call, which awakens the conscience, breaks the heart, convinces the judgment, opens the eye of the soul, and pours a new and an alarming sound upon the hitherto deaf ear. Mark the blessed effects. The scales fell from the eyes, the veil is torn from the mind, the deep fountains of evil in the heart are broken up, the sinner sees himself lost and undone-without pardon, without a righteousness, without acceptance, without a God, without a Savior, without a hope! Awful condition! “What shall I do to be saved?” is his cry: “I am a wretch undone! I look within me, all is dark and vile; I look around me, everything seems but the image of my woe; I look above me, I see only an angry God: whichever way I look, is hell!-and were God now to send me there, just and right would He be.” But, blessed be God, no poor soul that ever uttered such language, prompted by such feelings, ever died in despair. That faithful Spirit who begins the good work, effectually carries it on, and completes it. Presently He leads him to the cross of Jesus-unveils to his eye of glimmering faith a suffering, wounded, bleeding, dying Savior-and yet a Savior with outstretched arms! That Savior speaks-oh, did ever music sound so melodious?-“All this I do for you-this cross for you-these sufferings for you-this blood for you-these stretched-out arms for you. Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest-Him that comes to me, I will in no wise cast out-Look unto me, and be you saved-only believe. Are you lost? I can save you. Are you guilty? I can cleanse you. Are you poor? I can enrich you. Are you low sunk? I can raise you. Are you naked? I can clothe you. Have you nothing to bring with you-no price, no money, no goodness, no merit? I can and will take you to me, just as you are, poor, naked, penniless, worthless; for such I came to seek, such I came to call, for such I came to die.” “Lord, I believe,” exclaims the poor convinced soul, “Help You mine unbelief.” You are just the Savior that I want. I wanted one that could and would save me with all my vileness, with all my rags, with all my poverty-I wanted one that would save me fully, save me freely, save me as an act of mere unmerited, undeserved grace-I have found Him whom my soul loves-and will be His through time, and His through eternity.” Thus effectually does the blessed Spirit call a sinner, by His especial, direct, and supernatural power, out of darkness into marvelous light. “I will work,” says God, “and who shall let it?” (marg. turn it back.)
It’s late so tonight’s post is going to be very short. I’ve been seeing a lot of negativity about our country lately, and it seems to be coming from everywhere. Everywhere I look, a lot of what I read, and hear is all about how bad our country is falling, and how we’re beyond hope, and that we’re doomed. What saddens me is that the majority of people I’m hearing this from are “Christians.”
The thing I want to say is this: what this country needs isn’t more wealth, more democrats, more liberals, more conservatives, more fairness, or more of anything we as people can give ourselves. What this country needs are great people of prayer, people who have a deep-down, soul-stirring, faith and trust in the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, who actually believe and live by what the word of God says.
If you’re praying, and you live and act as if what you’re praying for will not happen, then you’re wasting your time, and God’s. Please friends, take a little time, and give this a little thought. Are you a man or woman of great faith and great trust in God. Answering this question will answer this next one: are you a great man or woman of prayer?
WHEN YOU CAN’T UNDERSTAND, TRUST GOD
The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths” (Pro 3:5-6 NKJV). But what if your path leads through pain, pressure, and problems? John the Baptist’s did. He didn’t deserve imprisonment. After all, he was the forerunner of Christ and the voice of God in the community. Plus, he was Jesus’ cousin. So he sent Jesus a message asking, “Are you really the Messiah, or should we keep looking?” Paraphrased: “Lord, if I’m in your will, how come I’m in this situation?” It’s a question motivated by unfulfilled expectations. We think, “Lord, I’ve obeyed you, how come things aren’t working out for me?” And it feels worse when you’ve faithfully served Him. Writing about her daughter’s death, Meg Woodson says, “I’ll never forget those shrill, piercing screams, that the God who could have helped, looked down on this young woman who was devoted to Him…and decided to sit on His hands and let her death top the horror charts.” Talk about unmet expectations! Jesus could have saved John, but He didn’t. Instead He sent back word: “Don’t worry, everything’s on target, the kingdom is being built. You did your job well” (See Mt 11:4-5). It probably wasn’t the answer John hoped for. He was looking for solutions to temporal problems while Jesus was busy establishing an eternal kingdom. So next time God doesn’t seem to meet your expectations, it’s not that He doesn’t care; it’s that He sees the big picture and He’s handling issues you can’t even begin to comprehend. So trust Him!
“Trust you in the Lord forever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.” Isaiah 26:4
THERE is no act of the soul more acceptable to God, because there is none that brings more glory to His great name, than this. Wherever we trace in the Scriptures of truth a trust in the Lord, there we find especial and remarkable deliverance. It is recorded of the children of Israel that the Lord delivered their enemies into their hand, “for they cried to God in the battle, and He was entreated of them; because they put their trust in Him.” Again, we read of God’s wondrous message sent by Jeremiah to Abed-melech, the Ethiopian, “I will surely deliver you, and you shall not fall by the sword, but your life shall be for a prey unto you; because you have put your trust in me, says the Lord.” The experience, too, of God’s people confirms the blessedness of trusting in the Lord. “In God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped.” The promises connected with trusting in the Lord are equally rich and encouraging. “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You; because he trusts in You.” “None of those who trust in Him shall be desolate.” “The Lord knows those who trust in Him.” “Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You; which You have wrought for those who trust in You before the sons of men. You shall hide them in the secret of Your presence.” What a marvelous and precious cluster of Divine encouragements to those who trust in the Lord with all their heart, under all circumstances, and at all times! “Only trust,” is Jesus’ word. “This is all I ask of you, the utmost thing I require at your hand. I demand no costly sacrifice-no wearisome pilgrimage-no personal worthiness-no strength, or wisdom, or self-endeavors of your own. Only trust me. Only believe that I wait to answer prayer-that I am gracious-that I have all power at my command-that I have your interest at heart-that there is no good thing I am willing to withhold-that I, and I alone, can guide your present steps, can unravel the web of your difficulties, guide your perplexities, extricate you from the snares that have woven their net-work around your feet, and bring you through fire and through water into a wealthy place. Only trust me!” Beloved, is this too hard? Is the request unreasonable and impracticable? What! only to trust Jesus? Only to trust your needs to His ear-your burdens to His arm-your sorrows to His heart? Is this too hard? Is it beyond your power? Then tell Jesus so. Remind Him of His own words, “Without me you can do nothing.” And ask at His hands the faith to trust, the heart to trust, the courage to trust, and the power to trust all your interests, temporal and spiritual, for time and for eternity, into His hands.
One of the most clear, concise, posts I’ve ever read, and absolutely true. I pray this is shared by many…
If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
1 Corinthians 14:8
I know that the things we believe and preach place us in direct conflict with the religious world around us. That really shouldn’t surprise us. When our Lord Jesus told the religious leaders of his day the things regularly preached in this house of worship, they started grabbing rocks to stone him to death. So we must never be surprised when lost religionists get upset with us for preaching the gospel. Here are four things which place us in direct conflict with the entire religious world.
That which we believe and preach about God himself is the primary, basic difference between us and those who do not believe the gospel. We believe, according to the plain statements of Holy Scripture, that the one true and living God, the God of the Bible…
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