Monthly Archives: November 2009

Before The Throne of God Above

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea:
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on his hands,
My name is written on his heart;
I know that while in heaven he stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because a sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I am,
The King of glory and of grace!
One in himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by his blood
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God
With Christ, my Savior and my God.

Words by: Charitie Bancroft, 1863.

John MacArthur on Adoption

As November is Adoption Month, I thought I would post something else on adoption.  Pastor John MacArthur speaks on the importance of adoption and brings it home how it is something vital in our lives.  Please listen and ask the Lord what you can do to help out an orphan!

 

 

HT: Grace Church SunValley

Charles Spurgeon (3)

“Effective Prayer”

“You have not quite completed the ordering when you have asked for what you want through Jesus Christ. There should be a looking round the blessing in which you desire, to see whether it is assuredly a fitting thing to ask; for some prayers would never be offered if men did but think. A little reflection would show to us that some things which we desire were better let alone. We may, moreover, have a motive at the bottom of our desire which is not Christ-like, a selfish motive, which forgets God’s glory and caters only for our own case and comfort. Now although we may ask for things which are for our profit, yet still we must never let our profit interfere in any way with the glory of God. There must be mingled with acceptable prayer the holy salt of submission to the divine will. I like Luther’s saying, “Lord, I will have my will of thee at this time.” “What!” say you, “Like such an expression as that?” I do, because of the next clause, which was, “I will have my will, for I know that my will is thy will.” That is well spoken, Luther; but without the last words it would have been wicked presumption. When we are sure that what we ask for is for God’s glory, then, if we have power in prayer, we may say, “I will not let thee go except thou bless me”: we may come to close dealings with God, and like Jacob with the angel we may even put it to the wrestle and seek to give the angel the fall sooner than be sent away without the benediction. But we must be quite clear, before we come to such terms as those, that what we are seeking is really for the Master’s honour.”

What Do You Mean…Discipline and SUBMISSION?!?! (Part 11)

Submission in Prayer (Part 2)

Prayer consists of several parts.  There is no set way of praying and, if you look in the Bible, you will see that there are different kinds of prayers by different ones.  Some are short and some are long.  It’s important to realize that if you are praying in public, not every time should you pray a long prayer.  When you are praying privately, you should realize that you ALWAYS have an attitude of prayer!  It is quite succinct in 1 Thess 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” At no time throughout the day should we be lacking in prayer!  Let’s discuss some of the parts of prayer.

One of the ways of prayer is through meditation.  As I’ve said previously, this is not contemplative mysticism.  We are not thinking one word, a litany of words or even a sentence until some kind of inspiration hits us.  We don’t go to the Bible for the lucky dip method and wherever we open the Bible to that’s what we think the Lord is telling us to do.  We don’t see a sign in front of us and say that the Lord has given us a sign to do something.  The Lord does NOT work in that manner.  He no longer gives extra prophecies since His Word is completed.  All we have comes from the Word of God not from visions, signs and wonders, overwhelming feelings, etc. etc. etc.!  The meditation I am speaking of is meditating on God’s Word which means to murmur, speak, utter, talk, ponder, or study.  It is important that we ponder God’s Word and even talk to ourselves throughout the day to remind us of what we have learned or are learning.  Here are a few ways we can meditate on Scripture:

  1. Thinking on ScripturePs. 1:1-3, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (See also Josh. 1:8.)  It is so important for us to delight in God’s law but we will not do it if we don’t keep thinking on Scripture continuously.  Our minds will be filled with the filth of this world instead of keeping it on those things that are true, pure, lovely, etc. as it says in Phil. 4:8.  Keep the Word of God constantly in your mind.
  2. Bible MemorizationPs. 119:11, Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (See also Ps. 37:31; 40:8; 119:16, 24, 47,92; 2 Cor. 3:3.)  This is very important because we must needs remember the Word of God so we won’t sin against the God of the Bible!  The best way of doing it is to memorize it so when you are away from any place where you would have a Bible then you can repeat it to yourself and keep yourself from sinning!
  3. Listening to ScriptureEcc. 5:1, Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.” (See also Jn. 10:25-28; Acts 8:35;  Rom. 4:3;  10:11; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20.)  All these verses (and more) tell us by the apostles and others what the Scripture says.  They heard the Scripture, memorized it, meditated on it to have known!  Let us follow their example!

Do you make a regular practice of meditating on Scripture?  If not, then seek to do so and delight yourself in the Lord through meditation of Scripture — God’s way!

Another part of prayer is confession.  Ps. 32:5, “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.”

We should be willing to confess our sins as soon as they are committed or as soon as we know we’ve committed the sin.  This is normally immediately!  Ps. 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:”

Prov. 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”

Confession of sin should be continually.  1 Jn. 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Ps. 51:2-10, “Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.  Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Ps. 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Confession must also be done privately and within the fellowship of the church in 3 different areas:

  1. In thought
  2. In word
  3. In deed

Jms. 5:16, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Ps. 10:17, “LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:”

Ps. 34:15, “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.”

Pr. 15:29, “The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.”

Pr. 4:3, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

Mk. 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,  Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:   All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

Rom. 3:10-17 tells how we are wicked in our thoughts, words and deeds  but it’s important that we keep that wickedness under control through seeking forgiveness.

“Ahh, I have you there!” you are probably thinking.  “God looks on us with the righteousness of Christ covering us!”  Yes, I admit that He does and I am so thankful that He does as are every true believer.  However when we sin, even the Bible mentions that we once again put Christ to death so it’s important that we seek forgiveness for those sins.  There is also something else that has an effect on us when we sin.  Our relationship to the Father is broken and it’s important for us to seek forgiveness so that relationship would be completely restored!  It’s similar to the parent/child relationship.  When one of our children disobey or do something that they know is wrong, their relationship with us is no longer right.  They begin doing more and more things that cause us, as parents, grief and heartache.  When the situation is corrected, they have sought forgiveness, and our relationship is restored then they can look us in the eye again and truly mean it when they say they love us!  Let us remember this when we have sinned and it is time to confess those sins!

To be continued…

Charles Spurgeon (2)

“Effective Prayer”

“If any ask what order should be observed in prayer, I am not about to give you a scheme such as many have drawn out, in which adoration, confession, petition, intercession, and ascription are arranged in succession. I am not persuaded that any such order is of divine authority. It is to no mere mechanical order I have been referring, for our prayers will be equally acceptable, and possibly equally proper, in any form; for there are specimens of prayers, in all shapes, in the Old and New Testament. The true spiritual order of prayer seems to me to consist in something more than mere arrangement. It is most fitting for us first to feel that we are now doing something that is real; that we are about to address ourselves to God, whom we cannot see, but who is really present; whom we can neither touch nor hear, nor by our senses can apprehend, but who, nevertheless, is as truly with us as though we were speaking to a friend of flesh and blood like ourselves. Feeling the reality of God’s presence, our mind will be led by divine grace into an humble state; we shall feel like Abraham, when he said, ‘I have taken upon myself to speak unto God, I that am but dust and ashes.’ “

Thanksgiving

Let us give thanks today for our Saviour and all that He has done.  Let us praise His name because He alone is worthy of all praise!  Let us show forth His glory to all people by praising Him in all things!

Ps. 18:49, “Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.”

Ps. 30:4, 12, “Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Ps. 97:12, “Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.”

Ps. 107:1, “O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”

Ps. 119:62, “At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.”

Eph. 5:4, 20, “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;”

Col. 3:17, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

1 Thess. 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Heb. 13:15, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”

Rev. 11:17, “Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.”


Persecution and Suffering…For What?!? (Part 6)

The first questions…”Why am I suffering?” and “Where does it say in Scripture that there will be persecution and suffering in a true believer’s life?”  and “Why is it that those who do what is right are the ones who are treated with the most hatred and anger?” are very good questions for today.  We will address these three questions at the same time as they are interlinked together.  There are several reasons for a true believer to suffer!  The reality is that in the midst of suffering, we should be growing spiritually and becoming more like the Lord Jesus Christ.  If you have found that you are NOT growing and even becoming bitter over it then it might be time to check up on your salvation to see if you are in the faith or not.  Here are some very Biblical reasons why you might be suffering or going through persecution:

  1. Those who live godly lives will suffer persecution.  2 Tim. 3:12, Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (See also Jn. 15:18-20;  17:14; Php. 1:28-29; 1 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pt. 2:21; 4:13; 1 Jn. 3:1, 13.)
  2. We learn how to comfort those who are going through what we have gone through.  2 Cor. 1:4-7, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.  For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.  And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.  And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.(See also Rom. 8:17; 2 Cor. 4:10, 15.)
  3. The Lord purges us.  Jn. 15:1-, I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” (See also Jn. 17:17; Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 4:22, 24-25; Col. 3:9; 1 Pt. 1:22.)

These are just 3 reasons for us to understand that we will go through persecution and suffering.  God does not leave us without hope because our hope is in Him.  Here are a few verses that will uplift you during this time of persecution and suffering you might be going through.

Is. 40:31, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Ps. 27:14, “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”

Ps. 62:1, 5, “<<To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.>> Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”

Ps. 130:5, “I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.”

Is. 25:9, “And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

These are just a few of the verses that tell us to wait on the Lord’s direction.  As we wait, we begin to see how the Lord uses persecution and suffering to change us as long as we are doing it patiently.  Eventually, the Lord does give us a short breathing space so we can prepare for the next onslaught so we must wait for His salvation.  Remember that at no time are we promised an easy time if we are saved.

There is always a price to pay.  We can pay it now or we can pay it later.  When you pay it now, you go through times of persecution and suffering for the Lord.  Throw yourself on HIM and let Him bring peace in your heart and soul during the hard times!  Make the Lord your all-in-all during this hard time!  When you pay it later, you will find things go great for you now but one day there will be a time of suffering and persecution but it will last forever!  Pay the price, one way or another!

To Be Continued…