Dec 21, 2009

Everlasting Covenant from the Lord

“Yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant.”

- 2Sa_23:5

This covenant is divine in its origin. “HE hath made with me an everlasting covenant.” Oh that great word HE! Stop, my soul. God, the everlasting Father, has positively made a covenant with thee; yes, that God who spake the world into existence by a word; he, stooping from his majesty, takes hold of thy hand and makes a covenant with thee. Is it not a deed, the stupendous condescension of which might ravish our hearts for ever if we could really understand it? “HE hath made with me a covenant.” A king has not made a covenant with me-that were somewhat; but the Prince of the kings of the earth, Shaddai, the Lord All-sufficient, the Jehovah of ages, the everlasting Elohim, “He hath made with me an everlasting covenant.” But notice, it is particular in its application. “Yet hath he made with ME an everlasting covenant.” Here lies the sweetness of it to each believer. It is nought for me that he made peace for the world; I want to know whether he made peace for me! It is little that he hath made a covenant, I want to know whether he has made a covenant with me. Blessed is the assurance that he hath made a covenant with me! If God the Holy Ghost gives me assurance of this, then his salvation is mine, his heart is mine, he himself is mine-he is my God.

This covenant is everlasting in its duration. An everlasting covenant means a covenant which had no beginning, and which shall never, never end. How sweet amidst all the uncertainties of life, to know that “the foundation of the Lord standeth sure,” and to have God’s own promise, “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” Like dying David, I will sing of this, even though my house be not so with God as my heart desireth.


From : Spurgeon

Oct 12, 2009

Zeal of your house - Divine Zeal for Jesus !

Psa 69:9  For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.


As a Christian (a true born-again believer), it is common to experience a burning zeal for the lord of your salvation. May the zeal never ever diminish and dwindle. The psalmist prophesies the zeal that consumes Lord Jesus. It is the choices that we make that proclaim the divine election that we have received. What topic in your life can cause zeal within you ? What topic are you passionate about, seeing that same topic evokes the most emotion or passionate response within you ?


·         Is it your pleasures ? Do you tend to become zealous if your pleasure is disturbed ? Are you aware that pleasures are of this world , of the flesh ? A true believer rejoices in only one pleasure – of close communion with God; And delights in one pastime – spending hours knowing his precepts.

·         Is it your family ? Do insults to your family drive you to anger ? Are you driven by a passion for family heritage ?

·         Is it your religion ? Discern the truth in any religion. There is only one truth – it’s the revealed word of God. Anything which goes against or beyond the Bible is untruth or part truth or a lie. Lie is of the satan – he is the liar and the father of liars.

·         Is it your job ? Do you react passionately if someone comments on your position ? Is the job yours through your credit ? Is your skill endless that your job is independent of the grace of God ?

·         Is it yourself ? Do you consider yourself to be the most important factor that you are on fire ? In order to achieve a state that God desires of you – you need to empty yourself – only at that point would God have space in your heart. He desires your empty heart – to start his perfect work on you. And once you allow him, he doesn’t stop till you become like Christ one day!

·         Is it your good works of a self righteous spirit ? Your good works are as filthy rags for the Lord.

·         Is it Christ ? Are you on fire for Him who saved you from certain death, who died a tormented death on the cross, who was pure but became impure by taking our sins on the cross ? Do you realize the love of God YHWH who, knowing the adamic nature to sin, sought to send his beloved son as a sacrifice to end all sacrifices ?


My friend, let’s choose our priorities right. Make a decision to live for him. Make Jesus the first portion in your life today. Know him intimately. Get to know more of the mysteries by poring over his word. May the holy spirit guide you and lead you in your constant journey towards Christ, and one day (and that day is coming soon!), we will be risen with him in Glory when he comes !!


Proclaim to the world – I am on fire for Christ Jesus! I delight to do my father’s bidding. I feel for the world that it has not realized the beauty and comfort of losing yourself for Christ’s sake. Win souls for him. Once you know the joy that comes from being in Christ, you would be filled with a love for the lost souls – that you would want everyone ( your friend, your family, your co-workers, your enemies, your priest, your church mates) to know Him closely and experience the love of God intimately – and to lead Salvation, repentance, renewal, baptism and a victorious Christian life!


Friend, heaven is big enough to house all of us – if only we will repent and accept Jesus as our lord and savior – and we lead a life which exhibits the fruits of the spirit.


May the holy spirit lead us all into a life closer to Jesus – A life where we burn with zeal for our lord – a life where we , through our testimony and example, lead millions to the Saviour, a life where our sole mission on this earthly abode is to win souls for him – a constant prayer life – filled with the spirit to help us overcome this world and to rebuke satan from interfering with any aspect of our life!


If you are a believer, I praise the lord that he has touched us. I greet you as a brother. May this message strengthen you and provoke you to press on in your walk of faith and in your spiritual race.

If you are one who attends a church, thinks he is a Christian, my friend, you should pray to the holy spirit to help humble yourself and seek truth. The truth is not far away but your eyes have been blinded by false religion. Enjoy the yoke of Jesus which is easy – forget the heaviness of following an organized religion.

If you are not a Christian, I pray that you may know the delight that comes from knowing Christ and intimately knowing his nature. I challenge you my friend to know him and not to love him.


I bless you in the mighty name of Lord Jesus Christ !



God's provision for believers - He cares

"Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Behold, He smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; Can He give bread also? They did eat, and were well filled."-- Psa_78:19, Psa_78:20, Psa_78:29.


THIS IS always the cry of unbelief, Can God? whilst the triumphant assertion of faith is: God can. What a difference is wrought by the collocation of words! Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? God can spread a table, even in the wilderness, and in the presence of our enemies our cup can overflow. Can He give bread also? He can satisfy the desire of every living thing, by the opening of His hand. Canst Thou do anything for us, our child is grievously possessed of the devil? If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

The wanderings of the Israelites for forty years were due to the fact that they looked at their difficulties and questioned if God could overcome them. Amongst the people, only Caleb and Joshua looked away from the Canaanites and their fortified cities to Him who had brought them where they were, and was pledged to extricate them. Some people speak of Giants with a capital G, and forget to magnify the power of God. what wonder that they account themselves as grass-hoppers, and lose heart! Let us not forget that we are sons and daughters of God, "heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ." (Compare Num_13:33 and Rom_8:17.)

Look back on the past; see what God has done for you; remember He is pledged to finish what He has begun. If He gave water, He can certainly give bread.

"They did eat, and were well filled." When we are poor and needy, we are inclined to humble prayer. But if suddenly our lot is changed, and there is abundance instead of poverty, how often there is a change in our demeanour. We are apt to become self-indulgent, and forgetful of the needs of the world. Instead of remembering that we are still God's pensioners, we magnify ourselves as though we were exclusive owners. Probably this is why God keeps some of us in poverty, for no greater temptation could befall us than to find ourselves with riches. In this way He answers our daily prayer, "Lead us not into temptation!"



We thank Thee our heavenly Father, for the new mercies of each returning day, for all that Thou hast given to us, and not less for that which Thou dost withhold. May we be receptive of all things that pertain to life and godliness. AMEN.


A note from Br. Meyer

Aug 7, 2009

Love the Lord God

“The upright love thee”
- Son_1:4

Believers love Jesus with a deeper affection then they dare to give to any other being. They would sooner lose father and mother then part with Christ. They hold all earthly comforts with a loose hand, but they carry him fast locked in their bosoms. They voluntarily deny themselves for his sake, but they are not to be driven to deny him. It is scant love which the fire of persecution can dry up; the true believer’s love is a deeper stream than this. Men have laboured to divide the faithful from their Master, but their attempts have been fruitless in every age. Neither crowns of honour, now frowns of anger, have untied this more than Gordian knot. This is no every-day attachment which the world’s power may at length dissolve. Neither man nor devil have found a key which opens this lock. Never has the craft of Satan been more at fault than when he has exercised it in seeking to rend in sunder this union of two divinely welded hearts. It is written, and nothing can blot out the sentence, “The upright love thee.” The intensity of the love of the upright, however, is not so much to be judged by what it appears as by what the upright long for. It is our daily lament that we cannot love enough. Would that our hearts were capable of holding more, and reaching further. Like Samuel Rutherford, we sigh and cry, “Oh, for as much love as would go round about the earth, and over heaven-yea, the heaven of heavens, and ten thousand worlds-that I might let all out upon fair, fair, only fair Christ.” Alas! our longest reach is but a span of love, and our affection is but as a drop of a bucket compared with his deserts. Measure our love by our intentions, and it is high indeed; ‘tis thus, we trust, our Lord doth judge of it. Oh, that we could give all the love in all hearts in one great mass, a gathering together of all loves to him who is altogether lovely!

Aug 6, 2009

Overcoming self

"He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city." _16:32

What a foe to one's peace is one's own spirit! And what shall I call it? It is often an infernal spirit. Why? Because it bears the mark of Satan upon it. The pride of our spirit, the presumption of our spirit, the hypocrisy of our spirit, the intense selfishness of our spirit are often hidden from us. This wily devil, SELF, can wear such masks and assume such forms; this serpent, SELF, can so creep and crawl, can so twist and turn, and can disguise itself under such false appearances, that it is hidden often from ourselves.

Who is the greatest enemy we have to fear? We all have our enemies. But who is our greatest enemy? He that you carry in your own bosom; your daily, hourly, and momently companion, that entwines himself in nearly every thought of your heart; that suggests well near every motive; that sometimes puffs up with pride, sometimes inflames with lust, sometimes inflates with presumption, and sometimes works under feigned humility and fleshly holiness.

Now this SELF must be overcome; for if SELF overcomes us eventually, we shall perish in the condemnation of SELF. God is determined to stain the pride of human glory. He will never let self, (which is but another word for the creature,) wear the crown of victory. It must be crucified, denied, and mortified; it must be put off, so that Jesus may be put on; that in the denying of SELF, Jesus may be believed in; and that in the crucifixion of SELF, there may be a solemn spiritual union with Him who was crucified on Calvary.

Now, are we overcoming SELF? Are we buffeted? What says SELF? "Buffet back." Are we despised? What says SELF? "Despise back; retort angry look for angry look, and hasty word, for hasty word; an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." But what says the Spirit of God in a tender conscience? "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

The way to overcome self is by looking out of self to Him who was crucified upon Calvary's tree; to receive his image into our heart; to be clothed with his likeness; to drink into his spirit; and "receive out of his fullness grace for grace."

From Philpot : Way farer

Be spiritually minded

"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." Romans 8:6

Spiritual-mindedness is life. We fearlessly challenge every believer- What has been the effect in your soul of a low state of grace? What has been the effect of carnal indulgence of allowed sin- of needless communion with the world- of conformity to its policy and its pleasures- of unruly temper- of a volatile disposition, yes, of any species of carnality whatever: has it not been "death"? When a process of spiritual relapse has been allowed to proceed stealthily and unchecked- when the world, and sin, and self have gained an ascendancy, what has been the consequence? "Death!" 

The habit of prayer may not have been totally neglected, but there has been no communion with God- and so there has been death upon prayer. The Bible has not been entirely unread, but no light has beamed upon the sacred page- and so there has been death upon the Bible. The means of grace have not been utterly forsaken, but no grace has distilled from these channels- and so there has been death upon the means of grace. Thus a spiritual deathliness has crept over the soul, the effect and fruit of indulged and growing carnality. 

But "life" is the blessed effect of heavenly-mindedness. It is life springing from life, or rather, the inner life in its outer actings. What spiritual mightiness, almost omnipotent, does he possess, whose mind and heart and faculties are deeply immersed in the Spirit of Christ, closely allied to the Divine and heavenly! As sin is weakness, so holiness is strength. As carnality impairs, so spirituality invigorates. The one deadens, the other vivifies. Close dealing with Essential Life increases the life of spirituality. Much communion with Jesus draws forth "life more abundantly." 

It is impossible to live a life of faith in the Son of God, constantly taking to His blood every sin, to His heart every care, to His sympathy every sorrow, to His grace every corruption, to His arm every burden, without being conscious of new life, of augmented power, of increased heavenliness. Inquire of the man of prayer what is the effect in his soul of close filial communion with God? Ask the reflective mind what is the effect upon his spirit of holy meditation? Ask the conscience much beneath the cross what is the result of the constant sprinkling of the atoning blood? And, as with one voice, and with one utterance, each believer will answer, "Life!" Oh, there is an energizing influence in spirituality, a quickening of the spiritual life in heavenly-mindedness, which he only can understand whose converse is much with things heavenly, much with God. 

There is life in prayer, life in the word, life in ordinances, life in the enjoyment of vital religion, which transmits the thrill of its deep pulsations through the whole soul. Nor life alone in these. But when the storm of adversity blows- when sore affliction comes- when the "noise of the water-spout" is heard, and the tossing waves and the foaming billows roll over the soul- when the shadow of death is settling upon all creature-good; then, even then, the spiritual mind panting after life exclaims, "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me." "This is my comfort in my affliction; for Your word has quickened me." And what is all this but the pledge and the prelude of the glorious consummation and crown of all- the life that is to come, even life everlasting?

From Spurgeon : The language is a bit archaic - but well explained!

Aug 5, 2009

God's Promises and God's Rest

Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest.  (Heb_4:1-3)

Through the promises of God, spiritual rest can be experienced by all who believe. Initially, those who believe enjoy rest from the guilt and condemnation of sin. Additionally, those whose faith embraces more of the promises of God can enjoy rest from carnal striving and worldly indulgence. 

When the children of Israel were delivered from Egypt, they had rest from the bondage they had known there. This pictures our rest from sin and guilt. Yet, the Lord had more rest to share with His people. He wanted to give them rest from the barrenness of wilderness striving that lay between Egypt and the Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey. This pictures our rest from fleshly striving in doubt and disobedience by drawing upon the riches that are ours in Christ. 

The Israelites wandered through the wilderness in hardness of heart for forty years. All of that generation (except Joshua and Caleb) missed the additional rest that God wanted them to experience. "Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, 'They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.' So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest' " (Heb_3:10-11). They were out of Egypt, but they would not enter into the Promised Land. 

Are we entering into the additional rest that God has for us? "Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it." The Promised Land is a picture of  the abundant spiritual life (not a picture of heaven - - no battles or failures in heaven). This additional rest is what Jesus offers to all who believe in Him. "I have come that they may have life (eternal life, forgiven of sin), and that they may have it more abundantly (richness of life, growing in practical righteousness)" (Joh_10:10). This abundant life is enjoyed by faith in the word of God, as it describes the riches that are ours in Christ. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Eph_1:3). Will we take the Lord at His word and believe that we might enter in? "For we who have believed do enter that rest." Israel did not believe, so they did not enter in. "The word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it."  

Dear Lord, I thank You for giving me rest from sin and guilt, simply by trusting in Your promises. Now, I ask for new measures of additional rest from barrenness and striving, simply by trusting in Your promises of abundant life, in Jesus name, Amen.

 From Hoekstra

Jul 30, 2009

Job's Reasons to Praise the Lord

When Job's life fell apart, and God was silent, Job still found reasons to praise God:

• He is good and loving (Job 10:12).
• He is all-powerful (Job 42:2; 37:5, 23).
• He notices every detail of my life (Job 23:10; 31:4).
• He is in control (Job 34:13).
• He has a plan for my life (Job 23:14).
• He will save me (Job 19:25).

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Jul 28, 2009

Tithe - a grand promise from the lord

"Prove me now" (Mal. 3:10).

What is God saying here but this: "My child, I still have windows in Heaven. They are yet in service. The bolts slide as easily as of old. The hinges have not grown rusty. I would rather fling them open, and pour forth, than keep them shut, and hold back. I opened them for Moses, and the sea parted. I opened them for Joshua, and Jordan rolled back. I opened them for Gideon, and hosts fled. I will open them for you--if you will only let Me. On this side of the windows, Heaven is the same rich storehouse as of old. The fountains and streams still overflow. The treasure rooms are still bursting with gifts. The lack is not on my side. It is on yours. I am waiting. Prove Me now. Fulfill the conditions, on your part. Bring in the tithes. Give Me a chance. --Selected

I can never forget my mother's very brief paraphrase of Malachi 3:10. The verse begins, "Bring ye the whole tithe in," and it ends up with "I will pour" the blessing out till you'll be embarrassed for space. Her paraphrase was this: Give all He asks; take all He promises." --S. D. Gordon

The ability of God is beyond our prayers, beyond our largest prayers! I have been thinking of some of the petitions that have entered into my supplication innumerable times. What have I asked for? I have asked for a cupful, and the ocean remains! I have asked for a sunbeam, and the sun abides! My best asking falls immeasurably short of my Father's giving: it is beyond that we can ask. --J. H. Jowett

"All the rivers of Thy grace I claim,
Over every promise write my name" (Eph. 1:8-19).

Jul 26, 2009

Walk the Gospel Walk

"Only let your conversation be as it becomes the gospel of Christ." _1:27

What is this conversation? The word means the whole of your life before God and before man. It is a very comprehensive term in the original, meaning, literally, "Conduct yourselves as citizens." It therefore includes the whole of our spiritual fellowship and daily communion with God and man. It thus views us as citizens of no base city; as citizens, I may indeed say, of a heavenly city, the new Jerusalem; and it bids us walk and speak, live and act, as becomes citizens of a heavenly country. This, then, is the meaning of the word "conversation" in our text, and by it we are called to walk with God as becomes the gospel. He has reconciled us to himself by the blood of his dear Son; and when we receive the atonement, or reconciliation, as the word means, then we can walk with God in peace, equity, and amity, for sin, which made the breach, is removed out of the way. So Levi, as ministering at the altar, and those near to God, walked of old. "My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear with which he feared me, and was afraid before my name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips--he walked with me in peace and equity, and turned many away from iniquity" (_2:5; _2:6). This is walking in the light as He is in the light, and so far as we can do this, our fellowship is with the Father (Jo_1:3-7).

And our conversation with God, our walk with God, must be as becomes the gospel of Christ. If we walk at freedom with God, in sweet liberty, with holy access, pouring out our heart before him, enjoying his presence, and having some discoveries of his goodness and mercy, then our conversation with God becomes the gospel. The gospel is a message of mercy. When, then, we embrace that mercy, and feel the power of it; when that mercy reaches our heart, melts our inmost soul, dissolves our doubts and fears, and removes legality and bondage, then we walk worthy of the gospel, as walking before God in the light of his countenance through the power of the gospel. God does not send the gospel to condemn us, for "there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit;" and they walk after the Spirit when they have access by him through Christ unto the Father.

Jul 20, 2009

Devotional - Merchants of Hope in this world

"Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life. Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope." (1Peter 3:15).

We have been justified by faith, and have peace with God through Jesus Christ. We now stand in grace and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. But as Paul contended, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable" (1 Co.15:19).

Christ has risen from the dead and thereby given us full assurance of our hope. Now our lives can be everything God intends while we are on this earth, and our future in heaven holds only the brightest of possibilities. Our hope is eternal!

John the Beloved put it this way, " Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." He then added, "And every man that hath this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure" (1 John 3:2,3).

Our hope of Christ's return, and of eternal blessing in Heaven, should have a clear and comprehensive influence in our lives while we live on this earth. So much so that others find themselves compelled to ask us why we are so hopeful.

When was the last time someone asked you that?

We are merchants of hope in a world desperately in need of it. Let's honor Christ by yielding our lives to His Lordship, and then we will be ever ready to deliver the goods of hope to all with whom we come in contact day by day.

Jul 11, 2009

Hope in trouble - God's constant care

"And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall you be also of the consolation." Co_1:7

The Lord has appointed the path of sorrow for the redeemed to walk in. Why? One purpose is to wean them from the world; another purpose is to show them the weakness of the creature; a third purpose is to make them feel the liberty and vitality of genuine godliness made manifest in their soul's experience. What am I, and what are you when we have no trials? Light, frothy, worldly-minded, carnal, frivolous. We may talk of the things of God, but they are at a distance; there are no solemn feelings, no melting sensations, no real brokenness, no genuine contrition, no weeping at the divine feet, no embracing of Christ in the arms of affection.

But when affliction, be it in providence or be it in grace, brings a man down; when it empties him of all his high thoughts, lays him low in his own eyes, brings trouble into his heart, I assure you he needs something more than mere external religion. He needs power; he needs to experience in his soul the operations of the blessed Spirit; he wants to have a precious Jesus manifesting himself to his soul in love and blood; he needs to see his lovely countenance beaming upon him in ravishing smiles; he needs to hear the sweet whispers of dying love speaking inward peace; he needs to have the blessed Lord come into his soul, manifesting himself to him as he does not manifest himself to the world.

What brings a man here? A few dry notions floating to and fro in his brain, like a few drops of oil in a pail of water? That will never bring the life and power of vital godliness into a man's heart. It must be by being experimentally acquainted with trouble. When he is led into the path of tribulation, he then begins to long after, and, in God's own time and way, he begins to drink into, the sweetness of vital godliness, made manifest in his heart by the power of God.

Wait - and Watch the glory of God unfold

"It came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land" (1 Kings 17:7).

Week after week, with unfaltering and steadfast spirit, Elijah watched that dwindling brook; often tempted to stagger through unbelief, but refusing to allow his circumstances to come between himself and God. Unbelief sees God through circumstances, as we sometimes see the sun shorn of his rays through smoky air; but faith puts God between itself and circumstances, and looks at them through Him. And so the dwindling brook became a silver thread; and the silver thread stood presently in pools at the foot of the largest boulders; and the pools shrank. The birds fled; the wild creatures of field and forest came no more to drink; the brook was dry. Only then to his patient and unwavering spirit, "the word of the Lord came, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath."

Most of us would have gotten anxious and worn with planning long before that. We should have ceased our songs as soon as the streamlet caroled less musically over its rocky bed; and with harps swinging on the willows, we should have paced to and fro upon the withering grass, lost in pensive thought. And probably, long ere the brook was dry, we should have devised some plan, and asking God's blessing on it, would have started off elsewhere.

God often does extricate us, because His mercy endureth forever; but if we had only waited first to see the unfolding of His plans, we should never have found ourselves landed in such an inextricable labyrinth; and we should never have been compelled to retrace our steps with so many tears of shame. Wait, patiently wait! --F. B. Meyer

Jul 5, 2009

Anchored on the Lord

I happened to hear an excellent sermon - where one snippet struck deep.

When you are tossed in the high and stormy seas, Anchor your life on the might and power and greatness and victory and promise and the unchanging nature of our Lord.

Devotional - Clean hands and a pure heart

External and internal cleanliness - Warnings based on the truth from C.H.Spurgeon.

“He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”
- Psa_24:4

Outward practical holiness is a very precious mark of grace. It is to be feared that many professors have perverted the doctrine of justification by faith in such a way as to treat good works with contempt; if so, they will receive everlasting contempt at the last great day. If our hands are not clean, let us wash them in Jesus’ precious blood, and so let us lift up pure hands unto God. But “clean hands” will not suffice, unless they are connected with “a pure heart.” True religion is heart-work. We may wash the outside of the cup and the platter as long as we please, but if the inward parts be filthy, we are filthy altogether in the sight of God, for our hearts are more truly ourselves than our hands are; the very life of our being lies in the inner nature, and hence the imperative need of purity within. The pure in heart shall see God, all others are but blind bats.

The man who is born for heaven “hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity.” All men have their joys, by which their souls are lifted up; the worldling lifts up his soul in carnal delights, which are mere empty vanities; but the saint loves more substantial things; like Jehoshaphat, he is lifted up in the ways of the Lord. He who is content with husks, will be reckoned with the swine. Does the world satisfy thee? Then thou hast thy reward and portion in this life; make much of it, for thou shalt know no other joy.

“Nor sworn deceitfully.” The saints are men of honour still. The Christian man’s word is his only oath; but that is as good as twenty oaths of other men. False speaking will shut any man out of heaven, for a liar shall not enter into God’s house, whatever may be his professions or doings. Reader, does the text before us condemn thee, or dost thou hope to ascend into the hill of the Lord?

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Jun 10, 2009

Devotional - Seek the kingdom of God - The lord provides

"Seek not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you."-- Luk_12:29-31.

AT THE time when our Lord spoke these words, the fields of Palestine were carpeted with wild flowers, and the air was redolent with their fragrance, bespangling the pastures, clustering in the hedge-rows, and hiding in the woodland glades. Theirs was as careless a life as that of the birds which were flying overhead. "They toil not, neither do they spin." For some plants, like the exotics of the greenhouse and nurseries, there must be extreme care and expense in their cultivation, in the provision of heat and the experienced skill of the horticulturist. But our Lord was not alluding to these, but to the flowers of the grass, which grow amid the wilds of nature, or in the gardens of the poor, and to Him these were very beautiful.

This prodigious growth teaches us that God loves beautiful things, and expends thought and skill in their production. He might have made the world without a daisy, and human life without the beauty of childhood. But since He clothed with beauty the short-lived flowers of the wilds; the ephemeral insects of a summer day; the shells of the minute creatures that build up the solid fabric of the rocks--surely this prodigality, this lavishness, this prolific superabundance of creativeness, must mean that He can and will withhold no good thing from them that trust Him.

Of course we must fulfill our part! We are not to be careless and improvident; we must certainly sow and reap, and toil and spin; but when we have done all, we must rely upon our Heavenly Father whose good pleasure it is to give, believing that it is vain for us to rise up early, and sit up late, and to eat the bread of sorrows, for our God will give us all that we need, even whilst we sleep. He will not allow His trusting children to starve, or to go unsheltered, unclothed, and unshod. "Fear not, little flock," says the comforting voice of the Good Shepherd, "for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

From Hoekstra:

Jun 9, 2009

Devotional - The Rapture of the Forward View - Marching to Zion

"Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before" (Philippians 3:13).

Scripture encourages us to remember all the way that the Lord has brought us thus far, for in each memory is a meaningful look into the way He works, and the great love He bears for each one of us as He carries us through Life's many, many episodes. Pity the one who has no memory of such Providential occurances. Yet, to live too long in memory, and to over-dwell upon that which is past, may actually work against us — if it is not balanced with the rapture of the forward view.

We have much to look forward to as we press onward and upward to Zion's Hill, where there is a City whose Builder and Maker is God; a place where there is no need of sun nor moon; for the Lord is the light of that blessed place.

There, just beyond the pearly gates, awaits a glory for each one of us that will indeed make whatever it is we are going through now on our journey fade into oblivion. Paul said that "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).

And he repeated himself just to make sure we didn't miss what he meant — "For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

Have you sorrow and heartbreak? Disappointment, and setbacks? Ridicule and rejection? Questions with no answers? Have you labors seemingly unrewarded, efforts coninually unappreciated, and victiorious apparently uncelebrated? Then lift up your head and cast a glance by faith at what awaits you ere you reach the summit of your fondest longings.

There, in that exalted place of unending joy, we will surround the Throne with praise. There we shall see His face; and never, never sin! There, from the rivers of His grace, we will drink in limitless supplies of endless pleasures. And, even now, the holy hill of Zion yields a thousand sacred sweets before we reach the heav'nly fields, or walk the golden streets! Thus, as we journey, let our songs abound and every tear be dry! For even now we are passing through Immanuel's ground to fairer worlds on high!! (adapted from the old hymn, Marching to Zion)

Oh, the rapture of the forward view!


PS: The lyrics of that beautiful song!!

1.                    Come, we that love the Lord,

                        and let our joys be known;

                        join in a song with sweet accord,

                        join in a song with sweet accord

                        and thus surround the throne,

                        and thus surround the throne.


                        We're marching to Zion,

                        beautiful, beautiful Zion;

                        we're marching upward to Zion,

                        the beautiful city of God.


2.                    Let those refuse to sing

                        who never knew our God;

                        but children of the heavenly King,

                        but children of the heavenly King

                        may speak their joys abroad,

                        may speak their joys abroad.



3.                    The hill of Zion yields

                        a thousand sacred sweets

                        before we reach the heavenly fields,

                        before we reach the heavenly fields,

                        or walk the golden streets,

                        or walk the golden streets.



4.                    Then let our songs abound,

                        and every tear be dry;

                        we're marching through Emmanuel's ground,

                        we're marching through Emmanuel's ground,

                        to fairer worlds on high,

                        to fairer worlds on high.



Devotional - forgive our sins

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."- 1Jo_1:9


 Has the Lord made sin your burden? Has he ever made you feel guilty before him? Has he ever pressed down your conscience with a sight and sense of your iniquities, your sins, your backslidings? And does the Lord draw, from time to time, honest, sincere, unreserved confession of those sins out of your lips? What does the Holy Spirit say to you? What has the blessed Spirit recorded for your instruction, and for your consolation?"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins."


 Not merely on a footing of mercy; still less because you confess them. It is not your confessing them, but it is thus -- your confessing them is a mark of divine light; your confessing them springs from the work of grace upon your heart. If, then, you possess divine life, if you have grace in your soul, you are a child of God, Jesus obeyed for you -- Jesus suffered for you -- Jesus died for you -- Jesus has put away your sin. And, therefore, you being a child of God, and Jesus having done all these things for you, God is now"faithful"to his promise that he will receive a confessing sinner; and"just"to his own immutable and truthful character. And thus, from justice as well as mercy, from faithfulness as well as compassion, he can, he will, and he does --  pardon, forgive, and sweetly blot out every iniquity and every transgression of a confessing penitent.


Amen !!



Jun 8, 2009

Devotional : His word shall come to pass - Look to the creator

“Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.”

- Num_11:23

God had made a positive promise to Moses that for the space of a whole month he would feed the vast host in the wilderness with flesh. Moses, being overtaken by a fit of unbelief, looks to the outward means, and is at a loss to know how the promise can be fulfilled. He looked to the creature instead of the Creator. But doth the Creator expect the creature to fulfil his promise for him? No; he who makes the promise ever fulfils it by his own unaided omnipotence. If he speaks, it is done-done by himself. His promises do not depend for their fulfilment upon the co-operation of the puny strength of man. We can at once perceive the mistake which Moses made. And yet how commonly we do the same! God has promised to supply our needs, and we look to the creature to do what God has promised to do; and then, because we perceive the creature to be weak and feeble, we indulge in unbelief. Why look we to that quarter at all? Will you look to the north pole to gather fruits ripened in the sun? Verily, you would act no more foolishly if ye did this than when you look to the weak for strength, and to the creature to do the Creator’s work. Let us, then, put the question on the right footing. The ground of faith is not the sufficiency of the visible means for the performance of the promise, but the all-sufficiency of the invisible God, who will most surely do as he hath said. If after clearly seeing that the onus lies with the Lord and not with the creature, we dare to indulge in mistrust, the question of God comes home mightily to us: “Has the Lord’s hand waxed short?” May it happen, too, in his mercy, that with the question there may flash upon our souls that blessed declaration, “Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.”


Devotional : Complete in every good work to do his will

Now may the God of peace . . . make you complete in every good work to do His will.  (Heb_13:20-21)

Again, our devotional study is from Hebrews 13:20-21. In our previous meditation, we saw that the God of peace makes obedience available through the shed blood of the crucified, risen Christ. That shed blood forgives our sins, making friends out of formerly disobedient enemies. Furthermore, that shed blood establishes the new covenant of grace, which supplies God's sufficiency for all our needs, including, the developing of an obedient life. 

Now, we will reflect upon God being the one who uses His heavenly resources to equip us to do His will. What a hope and joy this is! God Himself is willing to undertake the task of shaping us into His obedient servants: "Now may the God of peace . . . make you complete in every good work to do His will." 

This term, "complete," is exceedingly insightful. It speaks of equipping people for their intended task, getting them ready to do what they are called to do. To equip means to furnish whatever qualities are necessary to perform the task at hand. To equip means to supply whatever is needed for an assigned purpose. Our calling and purpose in the will of God is that we engage in a great variety of good works. God is willing to equip us "in every good work to do His will." 

Long ago, David was inspired of the Holy Spirit to speak boldly in similar terms. "The LORD will perfect that which concerns me" (Psa_138:8). In light of David's calling to obedience (and our own calling to the same), many things concern us. We are called to serve, to sacrifice, to pray, to worship, to love, to evangelize, to edify — and the list continues. How are we to expect progress in such a broad range of obedience? Our confidence is that "The LORD will perfect that which concerns [us]." 

As we have asked previously, is this work of God to equip us unto obedience an automatic issue? Not at all! Remember, we can resist (Act_7:51), quench (1Th_5:19), and grieve (Eph_4:30) the work of the Spirit of grace in our lives. So what is to be our response? Since the Lord is the one who must be equipping us to do His will, we are to be seeking Him. We are to be humbly dependent upon Him. We must not look to ourselves, to formulas, or to any other hope.

O God of peace, please do what only You can do. Equip me to obey You in every type of good work that is in Your will. I do not have what it takes to fulfill Your will for me. I often put my hope in vain places. Lord, I now look to You alone, in Jesus name, Amen.


May 14, 2009

Devotional : Owned by the Lord

"You are not your own."- 1Co_6:19


 There is a blessed sense in these words,"You are not your own."Remember you must be someone's. If God is not your master, the devil will be; if grace does not rule, sin will reign; if Christ is not your all in all, the world will be. It is not as though we could roam abroad in perfect liberty. Someone will have us. We must have a master of one kind or another; and which is best, a bounteous benevolent Benefactor such as God has ever shown himself to be; a merciful, loving, and tender Parent; a kind, forgiving Father and Friend; and a tender-hearted, compassionate Redeemer, able to save us to the uttermost; or a cruel devil, a miserable world, and a wicked, vile, abominable heart?


Which is better, to live under the sweet constraints of the dying love of a dear Redeemer; under gospel influences, gospel principles, gospel promises, and gospel encouragements; or to walk in imagined liberty, with sin in our heart, exercising dominion and mastery there; and binding us in iron chains to the judgment of the great day?


 Even taking the present life, there is more real pleasure, satisfaction, and happiness in half an hour with God, in sweet union and communion with the Lord of life and glory, in reading his Word with a believing heart, in finding access to his sacred presence, in knowing something of the droppings in of his favor and mercy -- there is more solid happiness in half an hour thus spent in the real service of God, than in all the delights of sin, all the lusts of the flesh, all the pride of life, and all the amusements that the world has ever devised to kill time and cheat self, thinking, by a death-bed repentance, at last to cheat the devil.


PS: Friends – I have been disconnected from the online world for a while. While I hope I do get back the internet, I feel quite sad because I have not been able to write regularly.

It has been a wonderful time for me – I have been reading on the beautiful topics of the holy spirit , the baptism of the holy spirit and the topics of holy living after you have received the promise of salvation (and how the holy spirit helps us in the process). Hope God opens his mysteries to me!!

May 2, 2009

Love of Christ - Its with us !

"Who can separate us from the love of Christ?"- Rom_8:35

Be this never forgotten, that if we have ever been brought near to the Lord Jesus Christ by the actings of living faith, there never can be any final, actual separation from him. In the darkest moments, in the dreariest hours, under the most painful exercises, the most fiery temptations, there is, as with Jonah in the belly of hell, a looking again toward the holy temple. There is sometimes a sigh, a cry, a groan, a breathing forth of the heart's desire to"know Him, and the power of his resurrection;"that he would draw us near unto himself, and make himself precious to our souls. And these very cries and sighs, groanings and breathings, all prove that whatever darkness of mind, guilt of conscience, or unbelief we may feel, there is no real separation.

It is in grace as it is in nature; the clouds do not blot out the sun; it is still in the sky, though they often cut off his bright rays. And so with the blessed Sun of righteousness; our unbelief, our ignorance, our darkness of mind, our guilt of conscience, our many temptations -- these do not blot out the Sun of righteousness from the sky of grace. Though thick clouds come between him and us and make us feel as though he was blotted out, or at least as if we were blotted from his remembrance, yet, through mercy, where grace has begun the work, grace carries it on --"Being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"(Php_1:6).

Apr 30, 2009

Divine supreme grace

"The God of all grace." Pe_5:10

All we have and are, everything we know and feel, comes from "the God of all grace." We have nothing spiritually good in ourselves; all therefore that we have is the free gift of his hand, and comes from the ever-flowing Fountain of mercy and truth. It will be our mercy, then, as the Lord may enable us, to be ever looking to him, not looking to books, not looking to ministers; these are only instruments, and in themselves but poor instruments. The soul must look through all and above all to "the God of all grace." The Lord enable you to examine every truth as it is brought before you by the light of God's Spirit in your heart, to "prove all things, and hold fast that which is good."

And however deeply you may feel the vileness of your heart, remember this, there is "the God of all grace" to go to. If you feel yourself the vilest of sinners, he suits you the more as "the God of all grace." If you feel dark, stupid, and barren, it is the greater reason that you should call on "the God of all grace" to revive your drooping soul. If any have lost past enjoyments, and are now "walking in darkness" that may be felt, it is the more reason they should seek "the God of all grace," that he may supply their needs out of Christ's fullness, as the covenant Head. Yes, whatever trials, perplexities, and temptations may harass your soul, it is only to open the way for "the God of all grace" to appear. In whatever affliction you may be, it will be your wisdom, as it will be your mercy, to be looking up unto him, that he may comfort your soul; and, turning from man, as Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, commit your case to him.

Apr 24, 2009

Salvation - A gift for those who believe

Salvation can never be earned, it is a gift to those who believe.  However, we must understand what it means to believe and what changes will occur when we believe.  "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder" (James 2:19).  A saving belief is much more than just acknowledging God's existence or even the existence of His Son - even the demons believe this!

Belief in Jesus in never simply an intellectual understanding.  Belief implies a humble surrender.  We will never "look to the Son" unless we first recognize our eternally lost condition due to sin; and we will never truly "believe in Him" for salvation until we accept our complete inability to save ourselves.  A drowning man will never reach up for help until he first understands and accepts his need to be rescued.

To be rescued, we must believe so completely that we abandon all other "rescuers" and cling to the only One who can truly save; "any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:33).  Giving up everything cannot save us, but true belief gives up all other sources of hope.  It also reveals the trivial nature of our worldly attachments and creates an understanding that everything belongs to Him.  We see our life as lived for Him and desire to do ALL for His glory.

James 2:14,17
"What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? ... In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."

Belief must produce a change in our life or we know it is not a true belief - it is nothing more than dead intellectual understanding!  At the moment we truly believe, we are "marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit" (Ephesians 1:13), and we become "a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).  Belief creates change through the work of the Holy Spirit!!

If we lack the evidence of a changed life, we must not focus on creating the change.  This type of change becomes self-righteous "filthy rags."  Rather, we must return to the cross and place ALL our trust in Jesus, believing He has paid the penalty for our sin and has granted us passage through the narrow gate to eternal life.  As we completely turn over control to our Heavenly Father, fruit and good deeds will abound.  Our life will be forever changed, but only when we begin with a belief that saves.

Have a Christ Centered Day!

Steve Troxel
God's Daily Word Ministries

Apr 23, 2009

Divine understanding for the simple!

"The entrance of your words gives light; it gives understanding unto the simple."- Psa_119:130

 The word"simple"means literally something which is not folded or twisted together. But owing to the treacherous and desperately deceitful heart of man, all, without exception, in a state of nature are the reverse of this. All their plots and contrivances for worldly profit or fleshly pleasure are tangled and complicated; and they are continually twisting together some thread or other of carnal policy.

 But when God the Holy Spirit begins the work of grace upon the souls of the elect, he proceeds (if I may use the expression) to untwist them. He takes hold of that rope which Satan and their own hearts have been twisting together for years, and he untwists it throughout its whole length, so as to leave the strands not intertwined as before, but sifted, separated, and isolated from each other. The light that shines into the soul out of the fullness of Jesus discovers to a man the tortuousness, the crookedness, the complicated deceit and hypocrisy of which he is guilty. A man then is made"simple,"when the folds and rumples of his heart are shaken out, and he is brought to see and feel that God looks into him; that his eye penetrates into every recess of his bosom; and that there is not a thought in his heart, nor"a word in his tongue, but the Lord knows it altogether"(Psa_139:4).

 This character is aptly represented by Nathaniel. He had gone through this untwisting work in his soul. He had been under the fig-tree, and while kneeling and praying there, the eye of God looked into him, and just as a flash of lightning runs, in a moment, through a coil of wire, so, when the eye of God looked into Nathaniel's soul, that instantaneous flash unraveled and untwisted the devices of his heart, and made him a simple man before him --"an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no deceit"(Joh_1:47).

Apr 19, 2009

Praise the Lord - for a wonderful son!

Just a quick note to thank God and praise Him for the wonderful gift he has bestowed on us - Mathew - my son - gift of our Lord. 
Today is his first birthday - and though I had to spend the day away from him, I am blessing him in the name of Jesus for the blessed life that's the inheritance of a true believer. 

God bless u Mathew ! :) 


Apr 17, 2009

Blood of Christ

“The precious blood of Christ.”
- 1Pe_1:19
Standing at the foot of the cross, we see hands, and feet, and side, all distilling crimson streams of precious blood. It is “precious” because of its redeeming and atoning efficacy. By it the sins of Christ’s people are atoned for; they are redeemed from under the law; they are reconciled to God, made one with him. Christ’s blood is also “precious” in its cleansing power; it “cleanseth from all sin.” “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Through Jesus’ blood there is not a spot left upon any believer, no wrinkle nor any such thing remains. O precious blood, which makes us clean, removing the stains of abundant iniquity, and permitting us to stand accepted in the Beloved, notwithstanding the many ways in which we have rebelled against our God. The blood of Christ is likewise “precious” in its preserving power. We are safe from the destroying angel under the sprinkled blood. Remember it is God’s seeing the blood which is the true reason for our being spared. Here is comfort for us when the eye of faith is dim, for God’s eye is still the same. The blood of Christ is “precious” also in its sanctifying influence. The same blood which justifies by taking away sin, does in its after-action, quicken the new nature and lead it onward to subdue sin and to follow out the commands of God. There is no motive for holiness so great as that which streams from the veins of Jesus. And “precious,” unspeakably precious, is this blood, because it has an overcoming power. It is written, “They overcame through the blood of the Lamb.” How could they do otherwise? He who fights with the precious blood of Jesus, fights with a weapon which cannot know defeat. The blood of Jesus! sin dies at its presence, death ceases to be death: heaven’s gates are opened. The blood of Jesus! we shall march on, conquering and to conquer, so long as we can trust its power!

Apr 16, 2009

Your priority - to know the Lord

That I may know Him . . . Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do . . . one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.  (Phi_3:10, Phi_3:13, and Luk_10:42)

Paul's goal in life was to grow in intimacy with the Lord  "That I may know Him." He wanted to know the Lord so well that his life would be transformed into "resurrected living" in this spiritually lifeless world. He humbly admitted that he had not yet reached such spiritual maturity. "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended." Thus, in light of his own need to grow, coupled with the excellence of the goal, he had a single focus in his life: "one thing I do." This one thing was his ongoing quest to know the Lord more and more. 

This focused quest is similar to the heart that Mary demonstrated, as recorded in the gospel of Luke. When Jesus visited the home of Mary and Martha, Mary "sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word" (Luk_10:39). Martha was functioning as a busy hostess, desiring to bless her Lord. However, her busy labors distracted her from the one she was attempting to serve. "But Martha was distracted with much serving" (Luk_10:40). The solution was obvious to Martha. She would insist that Jesus send her sister to help. "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me" (Luk_10:40). 

How startled Martha must have been when Jesus indicated she was the problem, not Mary. "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things" (Luk_10:41). The many concerns of Martha's ministry were causing anxiety and inner turmoil. Her desire to serve the Lord had deteriorated to self-pity and irritation. Then, Jesus offered an astounding revelation that put everything into perfect spiritual perspective. "But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her" (Luk_10:42). 

What an amazing truth: "one thing is needed." That one necessary matter is Jesus. Mary chose Jesus. She was at the feet of her master, getting to know Him, listening to His words of truth and grace. This was Paul's heart: "one thing I do . . . that I may know Him."

Dear Lord Jesus, shape in me a heart like Paul, like Mary. Stir in me a passion to know You better. May this become the consuming goal in my life. Forgive me for allowing busy service to eclipse You, the one I desire to please. Help me to spend frequent quiet times at Your feet. Then, when I rise up to serve You, may my heart always remain at Your feet, abiding in You, Amen.

Apr 15, 2009

Devotional - Courage to demand blessings from God

"I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish."- Est_4:16

 When we are in darkness, under distress of conscience, or when guilt lies hard and heavy upon the soul, these things do, and must until removed, keep us back from the Lord. But are we ever to give heed to these enemies of our soul's peace? Are we never to press through the crowd? How was it with the man who was paralyzed for so many years? He might forever have lain helpless upon his bed, had he not been brought into the presence of Jesus. How with the woman with the issue of blood? She might forever have tarried on the skirts of the crowd, a poor, polluted, self-condemned wretch. But she pressed through the crowd, and got to touch the hem of Jesus' garment.

 So with us. Shall we ever dwell in the outskirts -- in the outer court of the temple? Shall we merely walk round Zion's walls and tarry at her doors, or shall we venture into the holiest itself? Shall we, driven out by fear, act like Cain, and go out from the presence of the Lord? Or shall we, with all our sins and discouragements, still draw near? The Apostle encourages us to come with holy boldness to the throne of grace, and to venture into the presence of the King of kings.

 Esther would have ruined herself and all her nation had she given way to the weakness of the flesh; but she said,"I will go in unto the king; and if I perish, I perish."She went in with that resolution. The king held forth the scepter; Esther touched it, and she and the people were saved. So in grace. Shall we ever keep away through guilt, and sin, and shame? Now the Holy Spirit not only in the word of truth, encourages, but he himself from time to time enables us to draw near. And when we draw near under his divine operations, we feel the blessedness of so doing. Liberty is given, access, holy freedom, a spirit of prayer, power to take hold of God, to wrestle for the blessing, and sometimes to agonize with earnest sighs and groans and the energy of one of old --"I will not let you go except you bless me."

Apr 14, 2009

Bible study - Resisting temptation - away from sin

1Pe 4:1  Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 
1Pe 4:2  That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 
1Pe 4:3  For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 
1Pe 4:4  Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 
1Pe 4:5  Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 
1Pe 4:6  For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. 

The strongest and best arguments against sin, are taken from the sufferings of Christ. He died to destroy sin; and though he cheerfully submitted to the worst sufferings, yet he never gave way to the least sin. Temptations could not prevail, were it not for man's own corruption; but true Christians make the will of God, not their own lust or desires, the rule of their lives and actions. And true conversion makes a marvellous change in the heart and life. It alters the mind, judgment, affections, and conversation. When a man is truly converted, it is very grievous to him to think how the time past of his life has been spent. One sin draws on another. Six sins are here mentioned which have dependence one upon another. It is a Christian's duty, not only to keep from gross wickedness, but also from things that lead to sin, or appear evil. The gospel had been preached to those since dead, who by the proud and carnal judgment of wicked men were condemned as evil-doers, some even suffering death. But being quickened to Divine life by the Holy Spirit, they lived to God as his devoted servants. Let not believers care, though the world scorns and reproaches them.

Arm yourselves. The saints must be equipped for warfare and suffering. 

With the same mind. The mind that was in Christ when he suffered, a willingness to suffer to do the will of God. 

Hath ceased from sin. The idea seems to be that of Rom_6:7, "He that is dead is freed from sin." Suffering with Christ puts an end to (or ceases) our connection with sin. 

That ye no longer should live. Hence, because we have "ceased from sin," we should live, henceforth, to the will of God. 

The time past. That was enough time for sin. 

Have wrought the will of the Gentiles. Lived the unholy lives common among the heathen. 

To have walked. Peter describes the common sins, sins of the Gentile world, sins in which too many Jews imitated them. The first two are sins of uncleanness. 

Excess of wine. Drunkenness. 

Revellings. See Rom_13:13, and Gal_5:21. Riotous merry making is meant. 

Banquetings. Carousings, as in Revision. 

Wherein they. The outside world think it strange that you do not engage in these sins longer. Their enjoyment is in them, and they cannot understand how one can enjoy life without them. 

Speaking evil of you. Because you refuse to rush into their riotous sins. 

Who shall give account. Those sinners, who not only persist in their unholy lives, but persecute the saints because they will not sin with them. Christ shall judge living and the dead. 

For to this end was the gospel preached even to dead. This passage has been explained as meaning those spiritually dead. But the dead must be the same as in 1Pe_4:5, and there they are opposed to the living. Meyer holds that this is an expansion of 1Pe_3:20-21. There he supposes Christ, in the Spirit, preached to the antediluvians. Here, he holds, that Peter affirms that all the dead who lived before Christ came had the opportunity to hear; hence when the living and dead are judged, none can plead that they had no chance of life. Others hold that the meaning may be freely given as follows: "Whether you die or live Christ is your judge. For this cause the gospel was preached to your brethren who have died," etc. This view avoids some difficulties but does not seem to harmonize fully with the context. Others hold that Peter means all the dead who have died from the time the gospel began to be preached. These had heard and gone, but would be judged as well as the living. This interpretation has the advantage of giving "the dead" the apparent meaning of that phrase. 

That they might be judged. Without some opportunity to know of the gospel they could not be judged for its rejection. 

According to men in the flesh. These dead, who had heard, and received the gospel, though experiencing the judgment of physical death that rested on all men, were called to live according to God in the spirit; that is, live on, an immortal life.

Apr 13, 2009

Life in Christ

"But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."- 1Co_15:20-22

 Christ risen is the firstfruits of that mighty crop of buried dead whose remains still sleep in the silent dust, and who will be joined by successive ranks of those who die in him, until all are together wakened up in the resurrection morn. The figure is that of the sheaf of the firstfruits which was waved before the Lord before the harvest was allowed to be reaped (Lev_23:10; Lev_23:11). This offering of the wave sheaf was the consecration and dedication of the whole crop in the field to the Lord, as well as the manifest pledge that the harvest was fully ripe for the reaper's sickle.

 The firstfruits represented the whole of the crop, as Christ is the representative of his saints; the offering of them sanctified what was still unreaped in the field, as Christ sanctified or consecrated unto God the yet unreaped harvest of the buried dead; and the carrying them into the tabernacle was the first introduction therein of the crop, as Christ entering heaven as the firstfruits secures thereby the entrance of the bodies of the saints into the mansions prepared for them before the foundation of the world.

 Thus Christ rising from the dead presented himself before the Lord as the firstfruits of the grand harvest of the resurrection yet unreaped, and by doing so consecrated and dedicated the whole crop unto God. As, then, he rose from the dead, so shall all the sleeping saints rise from the dead at the last day, for his resurrection is the fitst-fruits, the pledge, and the earnest of theirs.

Musing on Good friday and easter

This season was probably the only easter season that I had felt no overly amount of joy or sorrow! Usually I feel sorrowed in the good friday service. The anglican church that I walked into had a set of beautiful bible readings and a few songs. But I was detached. It was like seeing a movie where you know the ending is happy ! So the sad scene doesn't sadden you any more. 

Christ died - as a part of the divine plan for our salvation. He suffered - and the enormity of His suffering should remind me -Daily- about the cost of His sacrifice for getting our salvation. PRaise the Lord - Jesus was resurrected - the start of our victory in the Lord. The holy spirit came to us, orchestrating the salvation of billions. I remembered all that with thanks during the service. 

Every day is a good friday or a monday or whatever - for a Christian. Every day - every moment - we should remember the sacrifice of our lord and his humilation on the cross - as a constant reminder to keep away from sin. Every day should be easter for us - reminding ourselves of the risen Lord and to have the lord risen in our hearts - we should die that he may rise within us. 

We are so blessed to have a loving God with us. It does seem very limiting (personally) to observe the joy of good friday and easter once in a year! :)

God bless us all abundantly ... 

Devotional - Shadow of the Almighty

"He who dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."- Psa_91:1

 What is"the secret place of the most High?"It is the same spot, of which Asaph speaks in the seventy-third Psalm --"Until I went into the sanctuary of God, then understood I their end."It is the spot, of which the Lord speaks in Ezekiel --"I will be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come."Then this"secret place"is the secret bosom of God. It is an entrance by faith into Jehovah, by a spiritual manifestation of him, leading us into a spiritual acquaintance with him."The secret place of the most High"is that solemn spot, where Jehovah meets with the sinner in Christ, and where he opens up to him the riches of his mercy, and leads him into his bosom, so as to read the secrets of his loving heart.

 It is called a"secret"place, as only known to the those to whom it is especially communicated. It is called a"secret"place, because none can get into it -- no, nor desire to get into it -- except the Lord himself, with his own mysterious hand, opens up to them a part in it, sets them down in it, and sweetly blesses them in it. Then to be in"the secret place of the most High"is to be brought into something like fellowship and acquaintance with God --  something like communion, spiritual worship, divine communion; so as to know something of him experimentally, and"run into"him, as"a strong tower,"and there feel solemn safety.

Apr 6, 2009

If God be for us, Who can be against us ?!

" If God be for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31. 

With such a Father, such a Friend, and such a Comforter, who can wage a successful hostility against the saints of God? God Himself cannot be against us, even when the clouds of His providence appear the most lowering, and His strokes are felt to be the most severe. "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him." The law cannot be against us; for the Law-fulfiller has, by His obedience, magnified and made it honorable. Divine justice cannot be against us; for Jesus has, in our stead, met its demands, and His resurrection is a full discharge of all its claims. Nor sin, nor Satan, nor men, nor suffering, nor death, can be really or successfully against us, since the condemnation of sin is removed, and Satan is vanquished, and the ungodly are restrained, and suffering works for good, and the sting of death is taken away. "If God be for us, who can be against us?" With such a Being on our side, whom shall we fear? We will fear nothing but the disobedience that grieves, and the sin that offends Him. Fearing this, we need fear nothing else. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear." Listen once more to His wondrous words: "Fear not; for I am with you: do not be dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness." Would we always have God for us? Then let us aim to be for God. God deals with us His creatures by an equitable rule. "The ways of the Lord are equal." "If you walk contrary unto me, their will I walk contrary unto you." Is not God for you? Has He not always, since He manifested Himself to you as your covenant God, been on your side? Has He ever been a wilderness to you, a land of darkness? Has He, in any instance, been unkind, unfriendly, unfaithful? Never. Then be for God- decidedly, wholly, uncompromisingly for God. Your heart for God, your talents for God, your rank for God, your property for God, your influence for God, your all for God; a holy unreserved consecration to Him, all whose love, all whose grace, all whose perfections, all whose heaven of glory is for you. Trembling Christian! God is on your side; and "if God be for us, who can be against us?"   

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