Thursday, November 2, 2023
Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Sing, O Earth, His wonderful love proclaim!
Hail Him! Hail Him! Highest archangels in glory;
Strength and honor give to His holy name!
Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children,
In His arms He carries them all day long:
Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
For our sins He suffered, and bled, and died;
He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation,
Hail Him! hail Him! Jesus the Crucified.
Sound His Praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows,
Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong:
Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Heavenly portals loud with hosanas ring!
Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever;
Crown Him! crown Him! Prophet, and Priest, and King!
Christ is coming! over the world victorious,
Power and glory unto the Lord belong:
Praise Him! praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness;
Praise Him! praise Him! Ever in joyful song!
– F. J. Crosby
ILLUMINATED FOR INHERITANCE
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” Col. 1:12-14.
Oh, what a wonderful Father we have by faith. What marvelous things He has done for His family. Shall we not thank Him forever, and even now? How could we not appreciate being delivered from the dominion and controlling influence of darkness.
WE HAVE REDEMPTION
Our deliverance is spelled redemption through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. In fact the Triune God is involved in our being made meet (fit, qualified, entitled, illuminated) to partake fully of this vast, rich, glorious, eternal inheritance. By Jesus Christ we were bought, by the Father – begot, and by the Holy Spirit we are brought into the revelation and realization of an heirship for His Holy ones, in the realm of light.
BLESSED BY RESURRECTION
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again in unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you…” I Pet. 1:3-4. We, being delivered by redemption, have blood rights, and being translated by resurrection and regeneration we enjoy birth rights. Our wholehearted thanks must ascend to our heavenly Father for transforming us from our former condition. We, who were “sometimes darkness,” are now light in the Lord to walk as children of light. Consider Eph. 5:5-15. Our former conduct was to do the bidding of Satan. Eph. 2:1-3.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” Jas. 1:17-18. Having called us out of darkness into His marvelous light, (I Pet. 2:9) the Father of lights has given unto us many good gifts. He has given us the ministry of the Apostle Paul to turn us from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that we may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified by the faith that is in Jesus. Acts. 26:18. So Paul commends unto God and the word of his grace. Acts 20:32.
Therefore the calling, the turning, and deliverance is that we might “show forth” His praises, display His excellence, manifest the virtues of His person.
“God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all…If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” I Jn. 1:5-6. We manifest our thankfulness to the Father by staying in fellowship with Him. We have a new realm to walk in and a new course to travel since we’ve been –-
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them…For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” II Cor. 4:3-4,6. Being illuminated and walking in the light will bring us into direct conflict with the forces of darkness, set against God being glorified and enriched by our entering into the fullness of our God given inheritance. Therefore when we go after those eternal spiritual things the way is not easy, and we experience a “great fight of afflictions.”
“But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.” Heb. 10:32-35.
Divine enlightenment points all God’s family toward full partakership. “He that overcometh shall inherit all things”…Rev. 21:7. Will a full share to those that neglect or reject the provision given to enhance complete appreciation and enable full appropriation in the face of satanic opposition?
To be continued
Walk In The Light
Let us walk in the light of the Lord,
Let us heed all the truth we have heard;
’Tis the goodness of God that has come to abide,
And reveal wondrous things through the Word.
To the world we must say one “Goodbye,”
To the flesh and all sin one “Nay! Nay!”
Neath the shade of the wings of the Christ we will hide,
And to Him shout an eternal “Yea.”
When our friends pass away with disease,
Having yielded to flesh and applause;
And when some turn to selfishness, envy and hate,
Then we know what’s the deep-seated cause,
Let us walk in the light of the Lord,
And with hearts full of gladness press on,
Never slacken our gate, Jesus coming await,
Then in triumph we soon will be gone.
Thru the ages eternal we’ll prove
All the marvels of infinite grace,
And forever rejoice that we walked in the light
By the Spirit, and quickened our pace.
In the glory we’ll find a reward,
We will walk on the evergreen plane,
And forever have Jesus our Bridegroom in sight,
And to Him shout an eternal “Yea.”
– A. S. Copley
Gordon Crook, PastorGrace Assembly, Wichita, Kansas
When studying human nutrition, we come across something called vitamins. These are necessary for the optimal function of our bodies, and we must get them in the necessary amounts.
If you are worried this is going to be an article on human nutrition, you can relax. There is no Vitamin G amongst those we need for our human body. Vitamin G is just a way to think of Gratitude. It is a necessary part of our spiritual life, and we need a daily dose to stay healthy.
This week, Cathy and I welcomed our grandaughter and a great wave of gratitude has come over us. We are so grateful for God’s faithfulness, and for the miracle that is a child. While it is easy to be grateful for something wonderful like a grandchild being born, we need to be grateful everyday.
We are coming up on the US holiday of Thanksgiving which has mostly become about commerce and excess. However, we can make it into a day where we truly reflect on how much we truly have for which to be grateful. I always feel like we can just take back the holidays that the world has turned into simple commerce.
We, as God’s precious people, have so much for which to be grateful. Starting with the amazing fact that we are God’s children. If God never did anything for us after salvation, we would still be thanking and praising Him for all eternity. Thankfully, there is so much more prepared for us.
Just as we need to take in vitamins daily for our natural body, we should be taking our spiritual vitamin G daily. Every morning when you wake up, there is reason to be grateful to God. “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,” Psalms 92:1-2. Thankful for the breath to start another day, and grateful to know that God will be with me in that day.
In the night time, we can give thanks. If You wake up in the middle of the night, give thanks for God’s faithfulness through the day. “At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.” Psalms 119:62. At any time, and anywhere, we can get some vitamin G and show gratitude to our Father.
For David, considering God’s holiness was enough to get his vitamin G. “Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.” Psalms 30:4. “Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.” Psalms 97:12. God’s holiness is something we can be grateful for. I’m not sure if people realize the importance of God’s holiness. He is separate from us in a way that benefits those that are His people. It takes the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the beauty of His holiness.
We should be continually reminded that God’s mercies are new every morning. It is His mercies that we are not consumed. Lamentations 3:22. David encourages us to thank God for His mercy. “Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.” Psalms 106:1. Are we truly grateful for God’s mercies? Do we truly understand what God has given us by His grace? The world system encourages us to believe that we deserve better, that we deserve to have more. I think we need to understand what we really deserve is God’s wrath, but He has taken that away because of what Jesus did for us.
David also encourages us to show our gratitude in front of others. “I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.” Psalms 35:18. We often do that in giving a testimony in church, but it could be as simple as telling other people that we are thankful for God. When something good comes in our lives, we tell others that we recognize it is God’s grace and we are grateful.
What about when things are not going so well. When it seems that our life is in upheaval for some reason? We should still be grateful and express that gratitude to our Father. He is working in our lives and that is more valuable than just walking a perfect tranquil path. James 1:2-4. Perhaps this is why David tells us: “I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.” Psalms 116:17. We often think that gratitude should be easy, but sometimes it is not. It might be a sacrifice. It is also a sacrifice in that we are recognizing God is sovereign and all He does is good.
So, have you been getting enough Vitamin G? Just as our natural bodies need their vitamins to function optimally, so do we need our spiritual vitamins to function optimally. We certainly have good reason to get lots of Vitamin G, as our God is so good to us.
I encourage you to get into God’s Word, and study to know what we have been given in our Lord Jesus Christ. It will amaze you and elicit serious amounts of gratitude from your heart.
Count It All Joy
Anita Clark, PastorGrace Chapel, Carbondale, Kansas
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2-4.
“Count it all joy” or “Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren” (AMP). When you fall into divers temptations.” The word “temptations” in the original Greek means, “a putting to the proof.” A temptation is any trial that tempts us to complain or lose faith in Who God is, and is perpetrated by the devil. God allows these trials as tests of faith. “Trials are dynamic – they have the ability to work in us and produce growth and greater trust in Christ.
“The trying of your faith works patience,” means ‘trying or proving” of our faith, that testing period when we must wait upon the Lord for Him to work and change the situation we are enduring. God is so very patient with us, and loves this characteristic of patience in His people. He is constantly working so tirelessly to product this beautiful attribute in our lives.
We are reminded of Romans 5:2-5, where Paul says, “We glory in tribulations…knowing that tribulations worketh patience, and patience, experience; and experience hope and hope maketh not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Tribulation is “pressure, anguish, burdens, persecution, or trouble.” Notice Paul ;says, “Knowing” that these things “work” in us. Through experience with the Lord over time, we learn that trials and tests are doing a work in God’s perfect will for us, “changing us from glory to glory “ (II Cor. 3:17). Romans 8:28 is true, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”
There are some things that every believer in Christ can positively know that should give us confidence in all our trials and tests. (1) II Cor. 1:7 – “Knowing that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.” (2) Col. 3:24 – “Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance for ye serve the Lord Christ.” (3) Heb. 10:34 – “Kook joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in your selves, that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.” (4) Ps. 118:6 – Knowing that “The Lord is on our side, what can man do unto me?” And as Paul says, “If God be for us, who can be against us.” Rom. 8:31.
James 1:4 says, “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire wanting nothing.” “Let endurance and steadfastness have full play and do a thorough work that you may be fully developed (with no defects), lacking nothing” (AMP. Version).
In II Corinthians 4:16-18, Apostle Paul says, “For which cause we faint not, but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we look not at the things which are seen, but the things which are snot seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” “We faint not” speaks of failing, being weary and exhausted.
There is no way that we can overcome the trials in our own strength. This is the lesson we must learn. Col. 1:27 says, “Christ in you the hope of glory.” “For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). The “eternal weight of glory” speaks of a “load beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons, and all calculations, a vest and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease.” (AMP. Version). Our part is to let god do the work.
II Cor. 4:18 says, “While we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things that are not seen.” The word “look” in the Greek means “to take aim.” Is our “aim set on the trial and the suffering or on the victory and our Lord Jesus Christ. The things of this life, the trials, tests and deaths are just temporary detours. “The things which are seen,” are these “temporal” natural things that only go on for a time before relief comes. “The things which are not seen,” (meaning not seen with our natural eye) are “eternal weights of glory.” There will come a day very soon when He will come again, and we will stand before our Beloved Lord Jesus and enter into the glory there.
Those things we see in Spirit through our Spiritual eyes or vision. Let us press on. The time is short. “For I reckon 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.
Debra Isenbletter, pastorChristian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri
Jonah 4:11—”And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?”
The City: “And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city.” The Lord reveals His compassion and the justification for that compassion. The Lord reveals to Jonah those that He saw that Jonah did not see. Again the city is called “great,” that cannot be denied. It had a great name. It had great power. It had great wickedness. It had great repentance. Jonah could not see the great repentance but the Lord did.
The Children: “wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and knew the exact number. There were more than 120,000 thousand, apart from the adults. He saw each one of them, He saw their innocence. They had not reached the age of accountability, not old enough to understand. They had “no knowledge between good and evil” (Deu.1:39). The adults had already repented, so they are not mentioned. If there were 120,000 children, what was the total population of Nineveh? Many commentaries say it is generally calculated that the young children of any place are a fifth of the population, so that the whole population of Nineveh would amount to about 600,000. (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown; Treasury of Scripture knowledge; Ryrie Bible). If that is true, then the Lord spared at least 600,000 lives. He spared the parents who repented and He spared the children not yet old enough to repent.
The Cattle: “and also much cattle?” The Lord gives another example of His compassion. It was the cattle. He does not give their number but takes note of their lack of guilt. They are not guilty for what men have done. He cares for all of His creation and if we read what Paul writes in Romans, creation is suffering and waiting for deliverance (Rom.8:22). The lesson and theme seen throughout Jonah is God’s love and pity and His patience and grace. Jonah has experienced it twice. First when he ran away from the Will of God and second when He complained about the Will of God. He saw it in his life, in Israel’s life and now in Nineveh’s life. He is a picture of Israel who has repeatedly seen God’s mercy and grace throughout their history. Who stumble at God’s mercy to the Gentiles. Who will one day be obedient servants when they receive God’s grace through God’s Son, their Messiah. Who will one day fulfill their true destiny and be a light to the nations. But Jonah teaches us the same lesson in God’s patience and grace and mercy. It is a wonderful reminder of how easy it is to be legal and to judge based on what we feel and not what we know, for the Lord knows the heart and sees the heart. I am so grateful and thankful for His grace and love. Let us never forget that. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us” (Eph.2:4).
Part 1 of 2
There are many Scriptures in the New Testament concerning the phrase “eternal life” or “everlasting life.” The most well known one is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
In the Greek, the words which have been translated “eternal” and “everlasting,” relating to life, are the same word. That word is “aionios.” What does this word really mean, and what is its significance to us spiritually? According to the Greek lexicon compiled by Zodhiates, “eternal life” means “the life which is God’s and hence not affected by the limitations of time; not belonging to what is transitory; not only during the time of one’s natural life, but through endless ages.”
Eternal life, therefore, is divine life and is not affected by our physical life or by our physical or spiritual limitations or actions. It is the life of God which has been given to us through His Son, Jesus, as John 5:26 declares: “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” The life of the Father and the Son are both eternal.
John describes eternal life for us further in I John 1:1-2: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us).”
John is declaring that “eternal life” was manifested in the person of Jesus Christ, Himself, and that they were eye witnesses of that life. He further clarifies this thought in I John 5:11: “And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” In v.12 he makes it clear that there is no other way to have eternal life: “He that hath the Son hath life [eternal]; and he that hath not the Son hath not life.”
Then, in v.13, he sums up the matter in order to remove all doubt: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life…” This is intended to give present tense, not simply future, assurance for all Christians that the gift of eternal life is ours the moment we believe. It is not something that we must strive to achieve. All we have to do is to believe and receive. And because it is eternal, it will never end.
John also stated previously, in chapter 2:25, that the gift was promised to us by Jesus: “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.” This promise refers back to the words of Jesus in John 10:27-29: “My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” In these verses, Jesus promises His sheep (all believers) the gift of eternal life, and states emphatically, “They shall never perish.” He then declares that the reason for this security is not based on the merits of the sheep, but on His power as a Shepherd to protect them. As His sheep, we are not only kept safe in His strong hand, but also in the hand of His Almighty, Omnipotent Father.
Paul reiterates this fact in Col. 3:3 when he states, “…and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
(to be continued)
How important is the Bible to the Christian’s daily life?
II Timothy 3:16-17: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” God speaks to us by His Word, that we might know His purposes, His will for us and His plans for the whole world. He tell us in Proverbs 8, “my voice is to the sons of man, I will speak of excellent things. My mouth shall speak truth. All my words are in righteousness. Receive my instruction… rather than choice gold. I love them that love me.” As children of God we have a responsibility to read what He has to say to us. “Till I come, give attendance to reading the holy Writings” – I Tim. 4:13.
John 5:39, Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” In doing so, we learn about our Lord Jesus Christ and the more we learn of Him, our love for Him deepens. To know Him is to love Him. I always liked reading Lk. 24:32, those disciples hearts burned within them by the words Jesus spoke to them from the written Word. Thank God for the written Word. By it the Holy Spirit convicts hearts of sin, revealing our need of the Savior. When we receive Jesus, we have someone who is real to us and more so, for He dwells within us. Jesus is not visible to our natural eyes, but by feeding on God’s Word our spiritual life is nourished and we are growing in the Lord.
The Apostle Paul preached the gospel in many cities and he gave special commendation to the Bible students at Berea. Acts 17:11, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” They were “more noble” meaning of superior excellent quality. They were receptive, receiving the Word of God with eagerness, “With all readiness of mind.” Searching the scriptures daily to know if what they were hearing was the truth.
Today, there is so much error preached in Christendom. How do we test their words? By checking them out, do they ring true with the Word of God. We don’t want to be fooled with cleaver words that entertain us intellectually, we want the truth. As we read in I Thess. 3:13, that “he may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” As we follow the Berean example and search the scriptures daily, it may also be said of us that we are “more noble.” That is not a bad testimony. I remember a dear brother, Bill McDaniel, and his wife telling us when we visited her in the hospital, “Old Bill reads his Bible everyday.” It impressed her, but she didn’t follow his example.
As we explore God’s Word, something happens, we grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – II Peter 3:18. We wont remain a baby spiritually, ignorant of God’s Word. As newborn babes in Christ, we desire the pure milk of God’s Word that we may grow up, a spiritual man in Christ (Eph. 4:11-16). God would have us to grow up into Christ. He has given godly teachers to give forth His edifying Word that it may be worked in our lives by the Holy Spirit unto perfection. So we wont be deceived by false teachers.
It is a sad thing in the natural if a baby never grows, God wants to bring us to spiritual maturity. Even in the natural, we need food to grow. Spiritually we need spiritual food, to grow, God’s Word. Heb. 5:12-14, We need the milk of the Word as babes, but then we need to go on to solid nourishment, the strong meat of God’s Word. I Jn. 2:12-14 speaks of the different stages of growth in Christ: little children, young men and fathers. God has spread a great feast before us, His Word, in which thousands never venture. Not desiring to know the Word or else wanting it sugar coated.
The Bible is the most fascinating book in all the world if you take it in and let the Holy Spirit reveal Christ to you on every page. The Word of God covers every experience of life. Let us consider a few citations from Psalm 119, the longest psalm or chapter in the Bible, 176 verses using different descriptions for His Word in every verse: such as His law, His judgments, His commandments, His statutes, His testimonies, His precepts, His words, His ordinances, His ways. V. 11 – may we hide His Word in our hearts. V. 89 – thy word is settled in heaven, founded for ever. V. 103 – we find his Word sweeter than honey to our taste (taste and see). V. 105 – His Word is a light unto our path, guiding us. V. 130 – The Word of God gives us understanding, enlightenment. V. 140 – we love the pure words of our God.
Isa. 40:8 – “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” It endures, as we read in Mt. 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” God sanctifies us through His truth – Jn. 17:17. We are admonished in Col. 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” It is profitable for you and for me, for God’s word is powerful, living and active. Heb. 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
We are comforted by God’s Word that gives us hope in Him, when we receive it by faith (Rom. 15:4). If we have His Word in our hearts, the Holy Spirit will bring it to our remembrance to sustain us at different times (Jn. 14:26). It also cleanses us (Eph: 5:26), being washed in the laver of His Word, that we may be wholly separated from every defiling thing that would mar our fellowship with Christ. We desire that our lives be a sweet smell to the Father of His Son.
Let us see ourselves in Christ, that He is walking in us and that others will see Jesus and be drawn to Him. The Spirit will actually work in us God’s prefect will, as we are separated wholly unto Him. I am so glad I know Him, but even more important, I am so glad He knows me. He speaks to me by His Word and sets my heart aflame. The presence of His Holy Spirit is so powerful, that sometimes I feel like I hear an audible voice.
My Precious Bible
My Bible ‘tis a book divine,
Where heavenly truth and mercy shine;
And wisdom speaks in every line,
It speaks to thee and speaks to me.
My Bible here with joy I trace
The records of redeeming grace -
Glad tidings for a sinful race,
Good news for thee, good news for me.
My Bible in this book alone,
I find God’s holy will made known;
And here His love to man is shown,
His love to thee, His love to me.
My Bible source of comfort pure
To those who trials here endure;
The hope of heaven it renders sure,
Best hope for thee, best hope for me.
I love my Bible; may I ne’er
Consult it but with faith and prayer,
That I may find my Savior there;
Who died for thee, who died for me.
Christ my hope, an anchor sure,
With-in the vale I am secure;
Not I, but Christ who doth endure,
‘Tis Christ with-in, ’tis Christ with-in.
– Isaac Baldwin (1851)
A Wonderful Day
Glorious Day when we stand in His presence.
All of our heartaches and sorrows are past,
No more burdens too heavy to carry -
We shall see Jesus at last!
Wonderful day when we shall be like Him,
Features were marred by sin here below,
Now they are radiant, beautiful, glorious!
Cleansed by His blood, made whiter than snow.
Marvelous day, all suffering ended,
Glorious bodies now, like to His own;
We will be kings and priests in God’s kingdom,
With glory and honor around Christ’s throne.
Radiant day – the day of His crowning –
The thought of this day is immeasurably sweet;
Then we will stand transformed in His likeness,
Casting our trophies and crowns at His feet.
Victorious day – the day of the Rapture,
The Lamb who was slain is now become King!
The Bride of the Lamb in garments all glorious
I singing sweet songs the Bride only can sing.
Triumphant day – great day of His power!
All the kingdoms of earth put under His feet!
The saints of all ages in garments of splendor
Are crowning Him King to rule over all!
The Encouraging Word
“I wait for the Lord, I expectantly wait, and in His Word do I hope.” Psalm 130:5
“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving kindness endure forever.” Psalm 118:29
“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life – his (blessed) life in the kingdom of God? Or what would a man give as an exchange for his (blessed) life – in the kingdom of God?” Matt. 16:26 [Amp]
“Keep and protect me, O God, for in You I have found refuge, in You do I put my trust and hide myself.” Psalm 16:1
“Love one another with brotherly affection – as members of one family – giving precedence and showing honor to one another.” Romans 12:10 Amp
“Lean on, trust and be confidant in the Lord with all your heart and mind, and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
“When I cannot understand my Father’s leading, And it seems to be but hard and cruel fate, still I hear that gentle whisper even pleading, God is working, God is faithful, Only Wait”
Tuesday, October 3, 2023
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
Romans. 15:4 & 13
Who in the world, who on earth has anything good to look forward to? I like to think of hope as happy expectation, or pleasant anticipation of good. The word deals mostly with the unseen future. Believers beloved of the Lord, should never be hopeless. The God of hope has written marvelous messages to our hearts that comforts, teaching us patience, producing and promoting an experimental hope. Ignorance and unbelief stand in the way of this reality.
God our Father is indeed the author and Jesus Christ is the object upon whom our hope is to be fixed. I Tim. 1:1. His redemptive cross and His resurrection is the ground upon which our hope is based. I Pet. 1:3, I Cor. 15:12-20, Rom. 4:25.
Through the comfort of the Scriptures we have Hope, for God’s Word tells us what to expect. The scriptural promises define Christian hope. By faith we may enter therein, and stay by the “Hope of the Gospel,” Col. 1:5,23. And be stirred by the “Hope of Glory” – Col. 1:27, Rom. 5:2, Titus 2:13. Paul prayed that the saints would know the hope of God’s calling, not only what God expects but also the wonderful prospects in store for those responding to the gospel call. Eph. 1:18. He also urged that the hope of our calling unite us. Eph. 4:4.
The believer’s hope is described in Scripture as “good” – II Thess. 2:16, “better” – Heb. 7:19, “Blessed” – Titus 2:13, and “living” – I Pet. 1:3. In the Old Testament, that which was written aforetime for our learning, teaches us to depend upon God, and His promises. “Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word. Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.” Ps. 119:49,81,114.
A well rounded hope is the resultant outcome of growth under daily pleasures such as expressed in Rom. 5:2-5, tribulation, patience, and experience. It greatly stimulates and strengthens our hope when we can see in the Scripture how these elements worked in those who truly trusted while being sorely tested. I think of the example of Abraham and Sarah. (“As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations) before him whom he believed, even God who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope that he might become the father of many nations according to that which was spoken, so shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God: And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able to perform.” Rom. 4:17-21.
Therefore Abraham learned by experience to count on Him that was able to call into existence that which didn’t exist. While facing great difficulty, impossibility, and knowing of both he and Sarah’s physical incapability, contrary to all human expectation, they counted on God to fulfill His promise. Heb. 11:11.
We read in Hebrews 6:15, “And so after he (Abraham) had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Hope finds its greatest expression in endurance under trial. Paul commends that “patience of hope,” wherein we await the coming of Christ. We are urged to be followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises, and show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end. God’s word strongly encourages us who have fled to Him for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us, in fact is laid up for us in heaven. As we lay hold of that which is laid up, it stays and stabilizes us during the many storms of this earthly sojourn, anchoring our soul.
Hope in Christ, generally characterizes what sort of person we become, as well as the actions it produces. See I Pet. 3:15-16, II Pet. 3:11, such contains great purifying propensity and powers activated with faith and promoted by love. I John 3:1-3. Expecting Jesus’ return and our complete ultimate deliverance is indeed great protection for our minds in the most stressful times. I Thess. 5:8, I Pet. 3:13.
By being currently aware of the good of glory and grace that awaits us, serves to overcome depression and is the opposite of despair, or hopelessness. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” Psa. 42:11.
“For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” Gal. 5:5. The hope of the righteous is not to become righteous, but describes what the righteous are to expect. That which pertains or belongs to the righteous is especially the believers complete conformity to God’s will at the coming of Christ.
At the beginning of this article we quoted Rom. 15:13, God the source, giver, fountain of hope has for us His wonderful qualities of joy and peace and he purposes to fill His children with these. The power of the Spirit has made us alive unto God. He makes these characteristics alive in us, filling us with abundant life. Therefore it is our privilege by the yieldedness of faith to make ourselves available, accessible for such wonderful infilling.
This provision has multiplied purposes, not the least of which is the imparting hope. Verse 4. Yet, it is important that we more than “have hope,” but rather abound therein! Our Father would have us looking ahead with contagious Holy Spirit inspired infused enthusiasm!! In the same way He floods our being with joy and peace, and saturates our hearts with love, He makes His trusting people abundantly expectant. He gives an overflowing supply making our whole life and outlook radiant with glorious, joyous expectation.
Grace could be considered the most essential of all the teachings for the Church today. Paul’s epistles are centered around Grace. In some respect, however, Grace is one of the most controversial teachings in the epistles of Paul. Many believe that to teach grace is to teach licentiousness. There are others who believe that God is all loving and so gracious that He would never allow anyone to go the hell. Neither of these is scriptural. It is my opinion (based on scripture) that a personal revelation of the Grace of God is of utmost importance to the growth of the child of God.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee” Titus 2:11-15.
The grace of God has appeared to all men. Paul tells us in Romans that all men are without excuse. God has revealed Himself in many ways to humanity, the greatest of these being in the gift of His Son on Calvary. “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” John 1:14. The psalmist tells us that all of creation reveals God unto us. Those who were alive in the time of Jesus had the privilege of seeing God’s grace in person, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. So, was God’s grace revealed unto them only? No, His grace is revealed through the Word unto us today. We must by faith accept and appropriate the grace of God personally. Rom. 5:2.
Grace is not merely favor, but rather mercy, loving kindness, a free gift. Favor may be deserved or gained, but grace is totally undeserved and unmerited. There was none that deserved the grace of God, and yet He offered it freely in His Son. In Rom. 4:4, grace is contrasted with debt. If it is owed, it is not by grace. In Romans 11:6, grace is contrasted with works. If we can work for God’s favor, it is no longer grace. In John 3:16 we see the grace of God. God so loved the world, but in His righteousness could not (not that He would not) accept sinful man. He had to atone for our sins before He could accept us into His presence. Do you see the grace shown here? Man believes that God is so all loving that He could never send anyone to hell. Well, God is so all loving that He provided a way to escape, but it is our responsibility to accept His grace.
Eph. 1:13-14, 2:4-10 and 2 Cor. 8:9 teach us about the wonderful grace of God, and how He intends to show, through us, His grace throughout eternity. Our finite little minds cannot comprehend the fulness of this plan, but we can take hold by faith of all that He has for us, and He still get glory for that.
Psalms 103:10 is possibly the best description of the grace of God. The psalmist knew about God’s mercy and lovingkindness. He had experienced the grace of God in his life. Have you experienced the grace of God? So you have a good understanding of the grace of God? Ask God to give you a revelation of His grace. I repeat again, it is of utmost importance in our lives to have a full revelation of the grace of God. It will cause us to live godly lives in this world. Those who think that teaching grace invites licentious living, do not have a revelation of the grace of God. Paul tells us that grace teaches us to live godly, not ungodly, lives.
I have never considered myself a very good writer, and trying to explain what the Lord has shown me concerning His grace is proving this to be true. I cannot put together the words to teach you adequately about the grace of God. You must take time to study this for yourself and ask God to give you a greater revelation of His grace. There is so much in the Word about grace. The Bible is a book about Him and in it we find His grace revealed, but until His grace becomes real to us on a very personal basis, we cannot truly live godly lives for Him. It is grace that teaches us.
Godliness is an outward manifestation of the inward life. In Ephesians we are told that we are created unto good works. The new creation in us is only capable of godly living, and as we yield to the new creation, we will live godly here and now. Christ always accompanied His forgiveness with the statement “go and sin in more.” He was compassionate, but He wanted righteous living. We can live righteous lives, because of His grace. The outward manifestation of the inward life is essential to shine the light of the gospel to those around us. In I Thess. 1:5-10 shows what a godly life can do. Paul says that he did not even have to Say anything because these saints had lived a exemplary lifestyle.
Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric of the world today. Christ is coming soon and we must be ready. We must be prepared to be showed off for all eternity as examples of the grace of God, but He will not show off ungodly lives. This is not a matter of being better than someone else. Again, the grace of God leaves no room for that kind of thinking. This is a matter of bringing glory and honor to our Father. Please consider carefully the things concerning the grace of God, and may God grant you a deeper fuller revelation.
CALLED CHOSEN AND SEPARATED UNTO GOD
Anita Clark – PastorGrace Chapel, Carbondale, Kansas
Throughout the Old Testament we read that God chose men and women to serve him in special ways. We see Abraham, Jacob, Moses, the Prophets and King David and many more. As we read the New Testament we see many more individuals i.e. the Disciples, and the Church Apostles, including especially Apostle Paul.
Apostle Paul wrote to the people of God in Romans 1:1, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called as apostle, separated unto the gospel of God. The word used here “Apostle” means “a delegate, ambassador, he that is sent.” Many characters in the Bible were chosen by God before they were born. We see this in Galatians 1:15-16, where Apostle Paul says, “But when it pleased the Father, who separated me from my mother’s womb; and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen, immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.”
In Romans 8:28, Paul says, He was “called according to His purpose.” In verse 29, Paul says, “Whom He did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son.” The word “conformed” in the Greek means “fashioned like unto.” The word “image” means “likeness or resemblance.” Verse 30 states, “Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called, them He also justified, them He also glorified.” The word “justified” means “just, innocent, or righteous.” Those who are “righteous” are declared “glorified.” (“rendered glorious”). In this portion of the Scripture, Apostle Paul speaks of 6 steps of the work of God in our lives: 1. “Whom He foreknew” (Vs.29). 2. He did “predestinate” (Vs.29). 3.”He conformed (fashioned like His Son) (Vs.29). 4. “He Called” (Vs.30). 5. “He justified” (declared innocent and righteous). (Vs.30). 6. “He glorified” (Vs.30) (“to render glorious, honored, and to magnify”). Also in Ephesians 1:4, “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of sons...” The word “predestinated” means “to determine before, or ordain.” The words “adoption of sons,” means “son placing.”
The second part of this message is “We Belong To Christ.” Jesus said this in Mark 9:41. We need to be separated unto the Lord. In II Corinthians 6:14-18, Apostle Paul emphasizes this theme, speaking of the separation of believers in Christ. Verse 14 states the separation of the believers with unbelievers, and how we are not to marry unbelievers. Verses 14-16 stress the fact that spiritually light and darkness do not mix. Verse 16 states, “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Paul was dealing with real worship of literal idols in his day. Today, many various religions worship idols. Our God is real and living not made with stone or gold or some other precious stone.
Verse 17 “Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you. And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters saith the Lord Almighty.” “Idols” are anything in the world that we love more than God the Father and Jesus Christ. In John 15:19 Jesus said, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
Do you feel this? Jesus said, we belong to Him. We are separated unto Him. John 17:16, Jesus said in his prayer to His Father, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” Romans 12:2, states, “Be not conformed to the world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The word “conformed” means “to be fashioned like.” The word “transformed” is the word “metamorphose.” This speaks of the change that happens in our lives as we yield to the Lord, and His Word. I Corinthians 7:31 says, “They that use this world, as not abusing it, for the fashion of this world passeth away.” This verse in The Amplified Version reads like this, “And those who deal with this world, over using the enjoyments of this life, let them live as though they were not absorbed by it, and as if they had no dealings with it. For the outward form of this world - the present world order is passing away.” Philippians 3:20 says, “For our citizenship is in heaven from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME, I’M JUST A PASSING THROUGH, MY TREASURES ARE LAID UP SOMEWHERE BEYOND THE BLUE.
Debra Isenbletter, PastorChristian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri
Jonah 4:10—”Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not labored, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:”
Jonah’s Pity: “Then said the Lord”—Jonah had answered the Lord’s question, but he had answered in anger, he did not hide it, he was not ashamed of it, and he had not yet judged it. Now, it is the Lord’s turn and He answered Jonah differently. He speaks personally to His prophet. He speaks powerfully. He speaks patiently to His prophet. The Lord could have spoken in anger but He did not. The very way He answers Jonah is part of the lesson He is trying to teach him. He shows patience to Jonah to teach Jonah patience. What the Lord does is look past the anger and focus on another emotion that Jonah felt, a different emotion, an emotion he maybe did not even admit to himself. The Lord focuses on the pity behind the anger. He focuses on the plant that caused the pity. He uses the pity for the plant to teach Jonah to pity the people. The Lord reveals His patience which reveals His grace. It is His patience made verbal and His grace made visible. It is “a word fitly spoken” (Prov.25:11). It is “grace seasoned with salt” (Col.4:6). It is knowing “how ye ought to answer” (Col.4:6). It is “speaking the truth in love” (Eph.4:15). It is how we should answer and can answer because of the Christ life. It is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Thou hast had pity on the gourd”— The word “pity” has two levels of meaning. It means “to look upon with compassion.” It means to see it. It means “to have compassion for it and to feel it. It is one thing to look and another to feel. Jonah did both. The Lord uses pity and not anger as the basis for His lesson to His prophet. Jonah did not just feel anger, he felt pity, though he did not admit it. Jonah said that he was angry for the gourd but the Lord said he was sorry for the gourd. Jonah saw the worth of the plant and felt the loss of the plant. The Lord knows our heart better than we do. He knew Jonah’s heart better than Jonah did. The gourd is a practical lesson used to teach Jonah a spiritual lesson. He knows Jonah felt compassion for the plant, He wants Jonah to feel compassion for the people. Jonah needs to be like Abraham who felt compassion for the wicked in Sodom. He had prayed the righteous might be spared (Gen.18:23-33). Abraham would have rejoiced if there were any righteous that were spared. The people of Nineveh were not righteous but they had repented, God had spared them and Jonah should have rejoiced. The Lord will show the value of the plant is not greater than the people. He is the Creator. He has complete power over His creation.
God’s Plant: “for the which thou hast not labored, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:”— By this statement the Lord declares that this was His plant and that He is Sovereign. He can do what He wants with what He creates. There are four statements that the Lord makes to show His Sovereignty.
God Planted it: “for the which thou hast not labored.” Jonah did not work for it, or ask for it. It was provided by grace, and Jonah received and accepted it through grace.
God Nurtured it: “neither madest it grow., Jonah did not give it life or sustain that life.
God Created it: “which came up in a night,” this was the first miraculous sign. It came up unexpectedly and suddenly. It came up because it was needed. It was a blessing from the Lord.
God Destroyed it: “and perished in a night,” this is the second miraculous sign. It lasted only a short time. It met a need when it was given and it revealed a need when it was taken away. The One who gave it also took it away. We do not understand it. We do not question it. We can only learn from it. God has a right to do what He wants. He can give life and He can take life. He can destroy a people and He can forgive a people. His justice and righteousness is balanced by His mercy and His grace. This is a lesson in the power and the provision and the sovereignty of God.
Is Eternal, Ps. 103:17, “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him…
And Boundless, Ps. 108:4, “For thy mercy is great above the heavens…and reacheth unto the clouds.”
Making Salvation Possible, Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
God’s Timing and Purposes – Ecc. 3:1-8
Pastor Vicky MootsKingman, Kansas
Ecc. 3:8d: “…and a time of peace.” A time of peace is always the desired result after “a time of war,” but it comes at a great price: the blood of those who fought the battle. Spiritual peace is also the result of precious blood that was shed. It is the result of the battle that was won on the cross by Jesus Christ.
Paul tells us in Col. 1:20 that Jesus “…made peace through the blood of his cross…” We receive that peace by faith in His atoning sacrifice, as Paul declares in Rom. 5:1: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” By accepting Christ as Savior, we have peace with God, and no longer need to fear His judgment.
But, as Christians, did you know that we can have peace even in the midst of our battle, even in the foxhole while surrounded by the enemy, even in the midst of our stormy trial? Sometimes the battle is raging all around us, and at other times it is raging within, but we can still have peace. Not only can we have peace with God through salvation, through the blood of Jesus, but we can also have the peace of God, through Christ.
Jesus speaks peace to us through His Word, as He stated in John 16:33: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace…” He spake peace to the wind and the waves, as well as to the troubled disciples, in Mark 4:39, when He said, “…Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”
His Word still speaks to us today and brings peace to our troubled hearts, if we will but read it and heed it. David, who had faced many trials and battles, found this to be true in His own life and exclaimed in Ps. 85:8, “I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints…” There is power in His voice, and yet it brings peace when we are fearful and under attack by the enemy.
Are you willing to listen and to hear what the Lord is speaking to you from His Word? Faith comes by hearing what God is saying. Let His Word speak to your heart personally, and you will discover the peace of God which Paul referred to in Phil. 4:7: “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep [guard] your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
The peace of God is not like the peace of this world. The word “peace” means “the absence of conflict,” but that only applies to natural peace. The peace of God safe-keeps, or guards, our hearts from conflict in the midst of the conflict, both physical and spiritual, which is all around us. This peace is beyond all human comprehension. It is not a state of mind; it is a state of the heart. Unbelievers can not understand it, for it must be experienced spiritually.
The peace of God is the peace that Jesus promised to His disciples, and to us, shortly before going to the cross: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
So, we see that we are now in both “a time of war” and “a time of peace” during these end-times. Satan is attacking us from all sides, and there are many things currently happening which are causing people to fear. However, we need not fear the things that are coming to pass, for we can have peace in our hearts, no matter what happens, if we keep our minds and our eyes focused on the Lord, and not on the world or our circumstances. God promised this to us in Isa. 26:3: “Thou [God] wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee…” The word “stayed” means “fixed; established; unwavering.” This means that if we unwaveringly fix our minds on the Lord, then we will have an unwavering, perfect peace in spite of the circumstances.
Are you still looking for “a time of peace” in your life? There is no way to have true peace, the peace that passes understanding, other than through the blood of His cross. His blood has made peace between God and man, and Jew and Gentile, and can give us peace in our hearts. Now is the time to stop your struggling and to claim your “time of peace” through the Prince of Peace who was sent by God to bring “peace on earth, good will to men.”
Pastor Greg GilliamGrace Christian AssemblyIndependence, Missouri
“Who (God) delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;” II Cor. 1:10.
We have all had times in our lives when God brought a quick deliverance. Amen? However, sometimes the deliverance doesn’t come quickly. It is with long patience that we wait for it and then it comes. Sometimes those praying for the deliverance never see the deliverance come in their lifetime. I think of a dear sister who prayed constantly for her son to come back to the Lord. She went home to be with the Lord. In the months following we saw her son start attending the assembly. Later her son became an elder in our assembly before going home to be with the Lord. Don’t stop praying dear one. God hears your prayer and will answer.
Yet other times we (emphasis placed on the word we) see no deliverance ever come. Many of God’s children find themselves “Awaiting Deliverance.” A circumstance in their life. A child with an illness. A personal physical ailment. Comfort from a grieving heart. Maybe something that I haven’t mentioned here. I am not going to try to tell you how God will move in your circumstance. I am not going to make you a promise or give you some flowery words. I do know that God is sovereign and will do with things as He sees fit. I only know that, “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” - I Cor. 10:13.
It is during these times of “Awaiting Deliverance” that we take solace in the scriptures. We search the scriptures allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us from the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is faithful to give us that portion that we need, for that particular time. I liken this to a baby bird awaiting its mother to come back to the nest with something for it to eat. They are anticipating her return. We too are awaiting our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ to move in circumstances in our lives for which we find ourselves “Awaiting Deliverance.”
As we think of those “Awaiting Deliverance” let us look at several references in scripture. The Children of Israel faced terrible burdens (Ex. 1:11, 13, 14). Taskmasters were set over them to afflict them with their burdens. They built for Pharaoh treasure cities, and the Egyptians made them to serve with rigour: making their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. Moses is born and when he is grown (several years has passed and the Children of Israel are still faced with these terrible burdens). We read in Ex. 2:11, “...that Moses went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens:” Ex. 2:23-25, “And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them. God speaks to Moses (Ex. 3:7), “I have surely seen the affliction of my people…and have heard their cry…I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. I have seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.” Isn’t it wonderful to know that God knows exactly what we are going through and has a plan to deliver us?
God’s plan involved sending Moses. Ex. 3:10, “Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people…out of Egypt.” Moses’ question - Who Am I? If you have ever been used of God for a particular responsibility you have asked yourself, “Who Am I?” If not for the grace of God we could not be used. The Apostle Paul states in I Cor. 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” Comforting words are given to Moses and to us. Ex. 3:12, “...Certainly I will be with thee.” We can go on when we know that He is with us.
Joshua also was given this assurance in Deut. 31:23, “...Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.” Josh. 1:5, “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
We read in Isa. 41:8-13, “But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth…I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded…they shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them…for I the Lord thy God will help thee.”
Jesus to his disciples, Matt. 28:20, “...lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” We close with these words in Romans 8:31, Apostle Paul writes, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
The Encouraging Word
“But thou, when you pray enter into thy closet, and when you have shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret; and thy Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly.”
“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever.” Psalm 118:29
“But God”… “But the Lord has become my high tower and defense, and my God, the rock of my refuge.”
“Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.” Psalm 147:5
“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
“I will extol you, O Lord, for you have lifted me up, and have not let my foes rejoice over me.” Psalm 30:1
“And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
“Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body.” Proverbs 16:24
Monday, September 11, 2023
“AT JESUS’ FEET”
“And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them…and they glorified the God of Israel. Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way…And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.” Mt. 15:30-32 & 35.
For fallen humanity there may be found a wonderful place of healing and wholeness. You may have come there with “many others” before God’s Son to be made complete. Thank God, there is deliverance from all the ailments covering the human condition. The triune man, body, soul, and spirit may be made whole. What a gracious place! At His feet, nourishment is ministered for multitudes of every type of sufferer. Here we read how the crowd was astonished, certainly the people were amazed. He was so accessible, and sufficient for their needs. There is still found before Him a place of feasting, and renewal of faith.
A Place of Comfort
“Then when she was come where Jesus was and saw him, she fell down at his feet saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. Jn. 11:32. Had Mary been here before? OH, yes she knew Him well! At His feet, for her was now a place of comfort. She had come to know Him as the preserver of life. This woman had heard his word, experienced his work, before going to the cross, and had begun to realize some measure of His worth, and expressed it with the alabaster box of ointment. “It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.” Jn. 11:2.
A Place of Pardon
We read of an unnamed woman in Luke seven that became a real worshiper at Jesus feet. Simon the Pharisee had invited Jesus to his house to eat with him. “And behold a woman of the city which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with her tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet and anointed them with ointment” - Lk. 7:37-38. Simon who began to judge Jesus for allowing her to touch him was sharply corrected by Jesus, and showed the ignorance of his own great need of forgiveness, lack of faith and true love. We all are in great need of forgiveness, of all that God’s great love affords. Some of us are more fully aware of this than others. Jesus let it be known that her sins which were many, were “forgiven.” He said, “Thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace.” By the exercise of faith she was set on a course of peace. She, loving much, blessed the Beloved.
A Place of Rest
“…they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus and found the man out of whom the devils were departed, setting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind…” Lk. 8:35. This man had been a great danger to himself and any that got near him. In verse thirty-nine of this chapter we find that he had been driven by evil spirits, and bound. This is the way Satan does all his captives, but our dear Lord motivates His captives by love – II Cor. 5:14. He realized a marvelous sense of relief and release while setting there, no longer held by Satan’s power. He was another set free by the Son of God. Oh, how blessed in coming by faith to the feet of Jesus, we are clothed in His righteous, and given to partake of His mind. From what we read in verse twenty-eight of this chapter we understand that Jesus’ presence had been a torment to him. He ‘cried with a loud voice, what have I to do with thee Jesus, thou Son of God most high?” What a wonderful change! After he was found setting at Jesus’ feet; he requested to be with Him. But Jesus sent him to his own people to tell what great things God had done for him.
A Place of Perception
Jesus was often a guest at the house of friends in Bethany, a brother named Lazarus and two sisters Martha and Mary. Martha served and Mary sat at Jesus feet, and heard His word. Martha complained to Jesus that Mary wasn’t helping her. “And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Lk. 10:40-42. Mary enjoyed this place of privilege by choice. The full overcomer today comes to this high and lofty position by choice also. Mary learned by listening, and came to an understanding as to why He was here on earth, and to a deeper appreciation of his matchless worth. Jesus said, “Come unto me, learn of me, take my yoke. It is at his feet that we learn His will for our service.
There is a great a lack of wholehearted worship in Christendom today. This seems to come from vastly differing reasons. Some have a lack of knowledge of God’s Word. Others lack a full grasp and appreciation of His marvelous work on the Cross. Oh, the satisfactory, sufficient, immeasurable, gracious, glorious, eternal value of that work will take all eternity to tell. But we think especially of the inexpressible value of His person to God the Father, to the world, the universe, to us personally. Isn’t there a lack of wholehearted love, taking too much of Him for granted? It is abundantly evident in the book of Revelation, that the full overcomers count it a priceless privilege to take this glorious position voluntarily. They are seen so often “falling down: before Him.
The Place of Praise
While Jesus was passing through the midst of Samaria and Galilee He met ten lepers which asked him to have mercy on them. Jesus then sent them to show themselves to the priest, and as they went they were healed. “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks…” Lk. 17:15-16. At His feet is a special place for the truly thankful. All those delivered from sins pressures, Satan’s power, and selfish pride are urged to come there and enjoy the pleasant presence of His precious person. Where would (will) you be found? Jesus asked; “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.” Lk. 17:17-18. Let us continue to come to Jesus feet with thankful hearts, and while there He always gives us more and more to be thankful for. Should we ever get so high and exalted, so as to never fall down there. God forbid!
Gordon Crook, PastorGrace Assembly, Wichita, Kansas
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalms 46:10.
Still – to sink, relax, abate
One of the things that God tells us over and over again is that we need to trust in Him and not be anxious for our circumstances. We need to learn that God is in control of everything that affects His children. Moreover, God is able to take care of everything.
When the children of Israel were coming out of Egypt, they came to the place where they were unable to continue and unable to help themselves. Here God reminds them who He is and that He is there for them. “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.” Exodus 14:13.
I think God often brings us to this same place so that we can learn to trust Him completely. We often must come to the complete end of our own rope so that we will grab on to God’s rope and let Him take control.
When we take time to be still (abate: let up on our own effort) we can then allow God to tell us and show us His work on our behalf. “Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.” Job 37:14.
“Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the LORD of all the righteous acts of the LORD, which he did to you and to your fathers.” 1 Samuel 12:7.
“Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalms 100:3.
Paul encourages to let go of anxiety and bring everything to God. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6.
It is truly amazing when we can just let God speak to us to remind us of His love and His care over us. Paul reminds us that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17) and that is because we learn there of God’s power and faithfulness. I think we might sometimes miss out because we are not “still” when we come to study God’s Word. Our heart is so anxious about how we might solve our own problem. How we are going to change our circumstance and we fail to hear God speaking to us. “Be still and know that I am God.”
In all of this God wants us to “know” Him. “Be still and know that I am God.” We are privileged to know Him as our Father, but we also need to know Him as God. He is Sovereign and there is nothing He cannot do. Paul says, “What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?” Romans 8:31. How privileged we are to “know” Him and to know these precious truths about Him.
“Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.” Jeremiah 9:23-24. There are so many ways for us to know our God. I just want to encourage you today to take time to be still and know God. Let Him reveal Himself to you.
Be like Paul who was willing to let go of everything dear to him to “know” Jesus. “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” Philippians 3:10.
Some times people act like it is some kind of drudgery and a difficult duty to study God’s Word. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is a joy and privilege because we find our God revealing Himself to us in many ways. I want to know Him better every day.
GOD’S CUNNING WORKMEN
Anita Clark – PastorGrace Chapel, Carbondale, Kansas
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that ye should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure...that ye may be blameless and harmless; the sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation among whom ye shine as lights in the world. Holding forth the Word of life...” Philippians 2:13-16.
God’s work in preparing His people to dwell in our eternal home in heaven is going on in the world today. He has been doing this work for ages. In Psalms 45 we have a beautiful description of the Lord Jesus Christ upon His throne, and the glorious work of God in His people. In verse 9 the writer speaks of “...upon Thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.” Also, Verse 11 speaking of the beauty of the Queen, “So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for He is Thy Lord and worship thou Him.” Verses 13-15 speak even more of the beautiful queen, “The King’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the King’s palace.”
In II Corinthians 11:1-3, Apostle Paul speaks of the espousal of the Bride for Jesus Christ. “Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly; and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy; for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
In the Old Testament Exodus 31:1-11 Moses was instructed by God to build the Tabernacle. The Lord gave him special workmen who were very capable to do wonderful, beautiful work.
Divine provisions were made by God. Nothing was left to chance. Although Moses was skilled in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, Moses was not left to draw up the plans. The first thing God did was to collect all the precious items that would be needed to produce this beautiful place of worship for the people of Israel. In Exodus 25 the Lord spoke to Moses to take up offerings from the people of all kinds of things needed to build the tabernacle. All of these items were collected from the Israelites, who received many of these precious items taken from the Egyptians, when Israel left Egypt. God made the provision available.
In the book of Exodus God introduced some very talented men who would do all the work. In Exodus 31:3 God says to Moses, “And I have filled him (Bezaleel) with the Spirit if God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and knowledge and in all manner of workmanship.” He goes on to say that this would involve “cunning works in gold, and silver and in brass...and in cutting stones...and carving timber to work all manner of workmanship.” Verse 6: God speaks of another worker, “And I, behold, I have given with him, Aholiab...of the tribe of Dan, and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded.”
In Exodus 35:30-35 Moses speaks of the ability of these two workmen, who were so talented and produced exactly according to the plan of God. These men represent the Holy Spirit Who is working in the hearts and lives of believers today. The beautiful Tabernacle in the wilderness was built exactly as God had planned.
Now, think about God’s work being done so perfectly by these men which God ordained. The Scripture speaks of the work that the Holy Spirit is doing in those lives who will yield themselves to God. He is working continually to prepare us for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Romans 5:2-4 it says, “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulation also knowing that tribulation worketh patience.” Then, James 1: 2-4 says, “My brethren count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations. Knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience, but let patience have its perfect work , that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
After this we have the promise from God in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”
Then read II Corinthians 4:17-18, “For our light affliction which is but for a moment worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not see; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. “Philippians 1:6, says, Being confident of this very thing that He which hath begun the good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. “All these verses from Apostle Paul’s writings are so very powerful and have ability to give us victory in our lives.
God is doing a very important work to prepare the Bride for Jesus Christ. This work has been going on from the beginning of the Church Age - over two thousand years. We are looking for the soon coming of Christ, as spoken of in I Thessalonians 4:13-18. Christ will return and take His overcoming people home to heaven at any time now. In Revelation 19:6-7 a Great Multitude in heaven began to proclaim in verse 7- “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him (Christ): for the marriage of the Lamb is come and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen; clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”
The Unspeakable Gift
Pastor David BeckSedalia, Missouri
Thanks be to God for His unspeakable (indescribable) gift, Jesus. How marvelous is His abundant Grace. Truly, we are accepted in the Beloved, and nothing can pluck us from our Father’s hand. As I was reading in Romans 5, the following portion was especially speaking to me.
“Therefore as by the offense of one judgement came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Romans 5:18-19
I wrote this short poem afterward:
Except for ONE, we would have no hope,
All men hanging in the noose of sin’s rope.
Except for ONE none could answer our cry;
All helpless, doomed, and condemned to die.
Except for ONE, none be righteous, ‘tis true.
But this ONE came to answer for me and for you!
And so by giving his only Son,
God offers Salvation to everyone.
The Lord Jesus Christ accomplished this feat;
The ONE who made our Redemption complete!
The coming of Jesus for his Bride is surely so very soon! And for those who apprehend that glorious truth, Redemption will be supremely complete.
Debra Isenbletter, PastorChristian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri
Jonah 4:9—”And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.”
The Lord questions Jonah to see if he has learned from his experience. God is the Teacher and the question is the Test. He waits until the lesson is completed, until the gourd dies; until Jonah faints; until Jonah despairs, until Jonah gives up. God waits until Jonah feels the loss of His grace though he does not seem to realize it is grace. The Teacher asks the question, “Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd?” or “Do you have a good reason to be angry for the gourd? Or “Is it right for you to be so angry for the gourd?” This is the same question God asked Jonah earlier in verse 9. Then, Jonah did not give an answer, now he will.
The meaning for “Doest thou well” is still the same. Was Jonah “happy”? Was Jonah “content”? Was Jonah “well-pleased”? The answer has not changed because Jonah has not changed his attitude. As far as God is concerned the answer is no, Jonah was not doing well. Jonah does not see this is the problem and this is part of the lesson. He needs to see he is not “better,” he is not “happier,” he is not “content” and he is not “well-pleased.” This is about Jonah’s anger and why he is angry. It is about two things. Is his anger justified? How has his anger affected him? Earlier he was angry when Nineveh was not destroyed. Now he is angry when the gourd was destroyed. Earlier he could not justify his anger but now he feels like he can, he has a good reason. How sad that he feels anger for the loss of a plant, but not the loss of the people.
What did Jonah grieve over? “for the [loss of the] gourd.” It was not over the destruction of a city but the destruction of a gourd. It was not over the loss of life but the loss of comfort. It was not about others, it was about himself. Jonah did not do well because he gave up and did not grow up. Two times he said, “it is better for me to die than live” (v3, v8). He gave up. When things did not go his way, he gave up. When things got hard to bear, he gave up
What a difference between Jesus’ attitude and Jonah’s attitude. Jesus attitude about God’s Will stands in sharp contrast. He knew God’s Will (Heb.10:8-9); He obeyed God’s Will (Heb.5:8) and he accepted God’s Will (Mt.26:39,42). It is one thing to know the Will of God, it is another to accept it and it is another to obey it. Jonah struggled with these three things. Jesus’ attitude toward death also stands in sharp contrast to Jonah’s attitude. Jonah gave up on life when things were hard. He said “Take my life from me” (Jonah 4:3) and “It is better for me to die than to live” (Jonah 4:3,8). Jesus on the other hand had a different attitude. He offered up His life. He said, “I lay down my life” (Jn.10:17).
“And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.”— This is Jonah’s answer. It is Yes. It is I have a good reason to be angry. It is I have a right to be angry. The excuse or justification for his anger is the destruction of the plant. The plant died quickly, before its time. The plant had potential and a purpose. What about the people? Jonah should have felt the same about the people who would have died suddenly, who had potential and a purpose, because God could use them just as He used the plant. Jonah did not realize that God was already using them as a lesson to Jonah, just as He used the plant as a lesson for Jonah. Jonah does not see the problem with is anger and that it comes from pity for the plant and for himself. He cared about the destruction of the plant and not about the destruction of the people. Both the plant and the people are God’s Creation.
The extent of Jonah’s anger is “even unto death.” Another translation is “I am angry enough to die.” He was so angry that he wished to and wanted to die. He is still self-destructive. He is still self-centered. He is still self-seeking. He is still self-absorbed. He is still angry. But he is still God’s prophet! What he needs to see is that if he is this angry there is something wrong with his anger. If his anger is that self-destructive, there is something wrong with his anger. Because he is still God’s prophet, his God is trying to teach him a lesson, so that he will learn and grow and so that he can be profitable.
Jonah can be seen as a type of Israel in all their weakness and struggles to obey the Lord, in their rebellion and resistance, in their attitude to the Gentiles. But the anger of Jonah can also picture how a child of God can be angry and how destructive that anger can be. Paul tells us we can be angry for all the wrong reason. He tells us that anger needs to be “put off,” we can let go of it. We can release it. We can surrender it. He tells us of the danger of anger, that it leads to wrath and that wrath leads to malice (Col.3:8). It leads to sin (Eph.4:26). It is destructive, both to others and us. It needs to be faced and judged. Jonah had tunnel vision and we can have the same problem.
Jonah is angry about the plant but not the real problem. He is even more angry about his condition. He is miserable, unhappy and unsatisfied. He needs to realize he is the problem. He needs to surrender whole-heartedly to his God, to submit to His Will and His Word. One day the nation of Israel will do this but as God’s children we do this now. We do this as a testimony of the power of the Word of God in our lives and the power of the Life of Christ in our lives. One of the hardest things we have to do sometimes is just to face those uncomfortable things in our lives, to let go of those things that hurt us and others, put them off and to put on Christ. To surrender. To submit. When we do this, we will do well and one day hear our Lord say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant” (Mt.25:21,23).