"I have prayed for thee." Luke 22:32
30 August 2009
"I have prayed for thee." Luke 22:32
29 August 2009
28 August 2009
27 August 2009
What are you saved from? Are you saved? Can you answer those questions? Your soul depends on it.
Can you say as Paul said "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me". Gal 2:20.
Can you say that RIGHT NOW?
19 August 2009
17 August 2009
16 August 2009
15 August 2009
O CHANGELESS GOD,
Under the conviction of thy Spirit I learn that
the more I do, the worse I am,
the more I know, the less I know,
the more I love, the more there is to love.
O wretched man that I am!
I have a wild heart,
and cannot stand before thee;
I am like a bird before a man.
How little I love thy truth and ways!
I neglect prayer,
by thinking I have prayed enough and earnestly,
by knowing thou hast saved my soul.
Of all hypocrites, grant that I may not be
an evangelical hypocrite,
who sins more safely because grace abounds,
who tells his lusts that Christ’s blood
who reasons that God cannot cast him into hell,
for he is saved,
who loves evangelical preaching, churches,
Christians, but lives unholily.
My mind is a bucket without a bottom,
with no spiritual understanding,
no desire for the Lord’s Day,
ever learning but never reaching the truth,
always at the gospel-well but never holding water.
My conscience is without conviction or contrition,
with nothing to repent of.
My will is without power of decision or resolution.
My heart is without affection, and full of leaks.
My memory has no retention,
so I forget easily the lessons learned,
and thy truths seep away.
Give me a broken heart that yet carries home
the water of grace.
13 August 2009
11 August 2009
BLESSED LORD JESUS,
Before thy cross I kneel and see the heinousness of my sin,
my iniquity that caused thee to be ‘made a curse’,
the evil that excites the severity of divine wrath.
Show me the enormity of my guilt by
the crown of thorns,
the pierced hands and feet,
the bruised body,
the dying cries.
Thy blood is the blood of incarnate God,
its worth infinite, its value beyond all thought.
Infinite must be the evil and guilt
that demands such a price.
Sin is my malady, my monster, my foe, my viper,
born in my birth,
alive in my life,
strong in my character,
dominating my faculties,
following me as a shadow,
intermingling with my every thought,
my chain that holds me captive in the
empire of my soul.
Sinner that I am, why should the sun give me light,
the air supply breath,
the earth bear my tread,
its fruits nourish me,
its creatures subserve my ends?
Yet thy compassions yearn over me,
thy heart hastens to my rescue,
thy love endured my curse,
thy mercy bore my deserved stripes.
Let me walk humbly in the lowest depths
bathed in thy blood,
tender of conscience,
triumphing gloriously as an heir of salvation.
They see their SIN
They see what Jesus endured for their salvation
They see Jesus and His selfless sacrifice
They see His love for a fallen and broken world
They see His forgiveness to all who come by repentance and faith.
Jesus set the standard to which we are to follow, Jesus said "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses." Mark 11:25-26. God’s forgiveness of us demands that we forgive others. Why? Because it’s only by His grace that are forgiven and it’s only by His grace that we are able to forgive others. Christian forgiveness starts with a heart for reconciliation, not resentment and bitterness. Why? Because God places no limits on the extent to which Christians are to forgive others otherwise if God put limits on forgiveness, no one could be saved. Listen to what Jesus said to Peter when asked about forgiveness: Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven (Jesus said forgiveness should be granted unendingly, we must always forgive no matter what). Matt 18:22. See when it comes to the matter of forgiveness we have to consider what the Lord Jesus demands from us. It may require you and me to make the first move towards reconciliation with the person who hurt you. For example Stephen the first martyr as he faces the Sanhedrin (Acts 7) with a loud voice “Lord do not charge them with this sin”, David in his wickedness with Bathsheba (Psalms 51) “have mercy upon me, O God”, Jesus’ love for his broken servant Peter (John 21) “Lord you know all things; you know I love you”, Joseph over his brother’s betrayal (Gen 45 a) “he kissed all his brothers and wept over them...” Every single one of those people displayed a willingness to listen to their hearts because they knew who they served the sovereign Lord of all creation. Is there someone you know who needs your help of encouragement, in this area of forgiveness? I guess the big personal question is do you need help in this area of your life? Or Do you say this is not for me, you really don’t know what I have been through Mike? Your right I don’t know what you have been through, but I know one thing, there is someone who does, and He laid His life down for you and me His name is Jesus Christ! Don’t let selfish pride get in the way of a refreshed and fervent (a burning passionate) heart for others."He who cannot forgive others destroys the bridge over which he himself must pass." George Herbert. I like how Neider and Thompson put it:
To forgive is to smash a clay pot into a thousand pieces so it can never be pieced together again.
Christ called it sin and we need to be able to forgive any and all of our little problems or grievances that come our way whether big or small. Why? Because Jesus, did for you and for me! Need I say anything else? To Him be the Glory...
09 August 2009
My brother and pastor friend Trevor over at http://loveinthetruth.blogspot.com/ posted this. So I had to do the same. Praise His holy name! Not as a simple man who lived among us, but as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is to be our greatest treasure, that Pearl of great price!
08 August 2009
From out of the millions of the earth
Before him are the souls of men
Now surely God has called the man
If he should stand up for the wrong,
But soon both sides will find him out
Why does the church exist? Is it to bring Him glory? Is it to bring Him praise? Is it to grow in our sanctification? The answer to these questions is YES! We need to understand and be mindful that God intended the local church to be a corporate display of His glory and mercy, and the soul purpose of the church whether its locally (believer's in your community) or universally (all believer's around the world) is to demonstrate to the entire world; His grace and love to fallen mankind. Does our church glorify God or self? Paul wrote “to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, Eph 3:10-11. The church’s purpose is to display the glory and wisdom of the saving work through the Son, Jesus Christ. The church’s function is to glorify God by making Him known to the community and people around us. What does the word church mean? It's a Greek word “ekklesia” which means: a gathering or congregating of people. The church is God’s vehicle for displaying His glory to His creation. The uniqueness of the church is the Message of the Gospel. The church is the only institution entrusted by God with a message of forgiveness and hope to those who come to Him in repentance, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
What should be the structure of the church? God centered, designed to display the glories of God’s character and the Truth of the Gospel in the written word. “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus' sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” 2Cor 4:5-6. I love Mark Devers take on the local church when he says “ the Word builds the Church. Our power is not in having small groups, or meeting the felt needs of our target audience, or using the right evangelism programs, or having funny skits, or providing plenteous parking, or targeting our ministries to postmodern. Our power is in our unique message ‘the Gospel’ not in our innovations” John MacArthur adds that “When a sinner wanders into the church and sits through skits, mimes, interpretive dances, and the like, and yet never hears a clear, convicting message about his dangerous and tenuous spiritual situation– that he is a depraved sinner headed for an eternal fire because he is a daily offense to a holy God– how can that be called successful? You could achieve the same level of success by sending a cancer patient to receive treatment from a group of children playing doctor. A sinner must understand the imminent danger he is in if he is ever to look to the Savior. What’s worse is when seeker-focused churches baptize the masses with their watered-down gospel, assuring them that positive decisions, feelings, or affirmations about Christ equal genuine conversion. There are now multitudes who are not authentic Christians identifying with the church. As you set your strategy for church ministry, you dare not overlook the primary means of church growth: the straightforward, Christ-centered proclamation of the unadulterated Word of God. John is right! This is essential for any church to survive, it all begins here. Solomon said in Prov 9:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
A healthy structure for the church begins with a high view of His power and glory.
A healthy structure for the church begins with a high view of His sovereignty.
A healthy structure for the church begins with a high view of His heavenly wisdom.
A healthy structure for the church begins with reverence for a God who created us in the likeness of the Himself.
See in order for us to have a high view of His presence in our churches, we must understand 4 basic fundamental truths about His character:
2. He is Eternal (Rev 4:8-10) The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!" Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:The heavens declare your Eternal holiness, the heavens sing to the King of Kings. Every church should be on their knees praising Him for His wonderful goodness to a undeserving generation.
3 He is all Consuming Fire (Heb 12:29) “for our God is a consuming fire..”This is taken from Deut 4:24, a consuming fire, a jealous God. The object here seems to show that there was the same reason for fearing the displeasure of God under the new dispensation, as it was to the people of the Old Testament. There had been no change in His attributes, or in the principles of His government. He was no more the friend of sin now than he was then and the same perfection's of His nature which would then lead Him to punish transgression of the Old
4. He fills Heaven and Earth (Jer 23:23-24) "Am I a God near at hand," says the LORD, "And not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?" says the LORD; "Do I not fill heaven and earth?" says the LORD. These people forgot about these truths, they cared only about themselves, they had no regard for sanctuary of the Lord, they used His sovereign house as a place to do business. Again we come back to the title of this message what would He find? My prayer is that He will see:
1. A people devoted to Him as Lord of our Life
2. A people who delight in His word as food for life
3. A people who meditate and memorize His precious Word
4. A people who want nothing more than to serve a Holy God
5. A people who are available to serve one another
6. A people who have a desire to pray not just for themselves but for one another
7. A people who want to share the good news of the Gospel
8. A people who want nothing more than to embrace the Kingdom of God with a heart of holiness
05 August 2009
The world is artful to entrap,
approaches in fascinating guise,
extends many a gilded bait,
presents many a charming face.
Let my faith scan every painted bauble,
and escape every bewitching snare
in a victory that overcomes all things.
In my duties give me firmness, energy, zeal,
devotion to thy cause,
courage in thy name,
love as a working grace,
and all commensurate with my trust.
Let faith stride forth in giant power,
and love respond with energy in every act.
I often mourn the absence of my beloved Lord
whose smile makes earth a paradise,
whose voice is sweetest music,
whose presence gives all graces strength.
But by unbelief I often keep him outside my door.
Let faith give entrance that he may abide
with me for ever.
Thy Word is full of promises,
flowers of sweet fragrance,
fruit of refreshing flavour
when culled by faith.
May I be made rich in its riches,
be strong in its power,
be happy in its joy,
abide in its sweetness,
feast on its preciousness,
draw vigour from its manna.
Lord, increase my faith.
03 August 2009
1. It’s in His Character (2 Cor 13:11)
2. Its Everlasting (Jer 31:3)
3. Its Unfailing (Is 49:15-16)
4. Its Great (Eph 2:4)
5. His love is Constraining (Hos 11:4)
6. A Special object of His Affection (John 15:9)
7. A Sending Love (Rom 5:8) (1John 4:10)
8. Is a Giving Love (Rom 5:8)
The bible says “but God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. This is what biblical love is. The best example is found in John’s Gospel "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved". John 3:16-17. The Father is going to demonstrate this love through His only begotten Son[Jesus Christ]. All things stem from this surpassing love. How important is this Love?
2. It’s a Love for all Humanity, verse16-17 (Salvation is for the whole world)
3. It’s a Love of Forgiveness, verse 17 (Salvation is provided through the Son)
4. It’s a Love that Overcomes Evil, verse 18-19 (The bondage of Mankind's flesh)
02 August 2009
O LORD MY LORD,
This is thy day,
the heavenly ordinance of rest,
the open door of worship,
the record of Jesus’ resurrection,
the seal of the sabbath to come,
the day when saints militant and triumphant
unite in endless song.
I bless thee for the throne of grace,
that here free favour reigns;
that open access to it is through the blood
that the veil is torn aside and I can enter
and find thee ready to hear,
waiting to be gracious,
inviting me to pour out my needs,
encouraging my desires,
promising to give more than I ask or think.
But while I bless thee, shame and confusion
I remember my past misuse of sacred things,
my irreverent worship,
my base ingratitude,
my cold, dull praise.
Sprinkle all my past sabbaths with the cleansing
blood of Jesus,
and may this day witness deep improvement
Give me in rich abundance
the blessings the Lord’s Day was designed
May my heart be fast bound against worldly
thoughts or cares;
Flood my mind with peace
may my meditations be sweet,
my acts of worship life, liberty, joy,
my drink the streams that flow
from thy throne,
my food the precious Word,
my defence the shiled of faith,
and may my heart be more knit to Jesus.