Sunday, April 24, 2011

Do You Believe?

John 11:25-26Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? 

Here was a house where the fear of God was, and on which his blessing rested; yet it was made a house of mourning. Grace will keep sorrow from the heart, but not from the house. 

When God, by his grace and providence, is coming towards us in ways of mercy and comfort, we should, like Martha, go forth by faith, hope, and prayer, to meet him. When Martha went to meet Jesus, Mary sat still in the house; this temper formerly had been an advantage to her, when it put her at Christ's feet to hear his word; but in the day of affliction, the same temper disposed her to melancholy. 

 It is our wisdom to watch against the temptations, and to make use of the advantages of our natural tempers. When we know not what in particular to ask or expect, let us refer ourselves to God; let him do as seems him good. To enlarge Martha's expectations, our Lord declared himself to be the Resurrection and the Life. In every sense he is the Resurrection; the source, the substance, the first-fruits, the cause of it. The redeemed soul lives after death in happiness; and after the resurrection, both body and soul are kept from all evil forever. When we have read or heard the word of Christ, about the great things of the other world, we should put it to ourselves, 

 Do we believe this truth? The crosses and comforts of this present time would not make such a deep impression upon us as they do, if we believed the things of eternity as we ought. 

When Christ our Master comes, he calls for us. He comes in his word and ordinances, and calls us to them, calls us by them, calls us to himself. Those who, in a day of peace, set themselves at Christ's feet to be taught by him, may with comfort, in a day of trouble, cast themselves at his feet, to find favor with him.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Spiritual Soldier

Luke 14:33So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”

The people were following Jesus in great numbers, but for the wrong reasons. So He made a series of statements intentionally designed to thin out the ranks. He wanted to be left with those who really wanted to follow Him, truly committed disciples and soldiers.

Jesus laid out plainly what is necessary to be His disciple, to be a soldier in His service. In essence, Jesus said, "If you want to follow Me, you must love Me more than anybody else."

If someone is trying to hold you back, say to that person, "I'm sorry, but I am following Christ. If you want to walk with me, come on. You can be a spiritual soldier with me."

A spiritual soldier must also forsake all he or she has for Jesus. That means you take everything in your life and say, "This belongs to you, Lord."

That is what it means to be Jesus' disciple. That is what it means to be His soldier: you love Him more than anyone, more than anything—just as He loves you!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Amazing Grace

When John Newton wrote “Amazing Grace” he had been through so much he truly understood what God’s grace was about. One verse sticks out: “Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; 'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home.

Our duties bring about times of uncertainty, today might be one of those days, but even though dangers, toils and snare exist we can rest in God’s grace that to will keep us safe and lead us home.

Romans 12:3 “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” reminds us that that we need to depend on Him and not our own training, skill or qualifications.

Though training, skill and qualifications should be taken seriously God’s grace gives us the strength and courage to face the dangers, toils and snares ahead of us.

Remember what God told Joshua (1:9) “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Lastly, II Corinthians 12:9My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Provisions of Prayer

Luke 4:40-44 "Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ. And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea."
Jesus rhythmically alternated between the crowds and solitude. In the deserted place his body and spirit, fatigued by the intensities of ministry, were in prayer, restored and equipped to move back into the stream of healing and preaching.

What provision do you make for prayer in your schedule?