And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day,Jude 1:6(NASB)
“Take now thy son . . and offer him there for a burnt-offering
upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.”
Character determines how a man interprets God's will (cf. Psalm 18:25-26). Abraham interpreted God's command to mean that he had to kill his son, and he could only leave this tradition behind by the pain of a tremendous ordeal. God could purify his faith in no other way. If we obey what God says according to our sincere belief, God will break us from those traditions that misrepresent Him. There are many such beliefs to be got rid of, e.g., that God removes a child because the mother loves him too much - that's a devil's lie and a travesty of the true nature of God. If the devil can hinder us from taking the supreme climb and getting rid of wrong traditions about God, he will do so; but if we keep true to God, God will take us through an ordeal which will bring us out into a better knowledge of Himself.
The great point of Abraham's faith in God was that he was prepared to do anything for God. He was there to obey God, no matter to what belief he went contrary. Abraham was not a devotee of his convictions, or he would have slain Isaac and said that the voice of the angel was the voice of the devil. That is the attitude of a fanatic. If you will remain true to God, God will lead you straight through every barrier into the inner chamber of the knowledge of Himself; but there is always this point of giving up convictions and traditional beliefs. Don't ask God to test you. Never declare as Peter did - "I will do anything, I will go to death with You." Abraham did not make any such declarations, he remained true to God, and God purified his faith.
There still exists, therefore, a full and complete rest for the people of God. (Hebrews 4:9 Phillips)
I am sure it will sound to many of you like going a long way back and going out into a very broad realm when I say that we Christians are being constantly confronted with and challenged by our Christianity. Many of us have not really entered into Christianity yet. What do I mean? Well, for one thing, the very door into true Christianity is the door of rest, the rest of faith. The very simple way in which the Lord put it in His appeal was – "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). That was to a multitude, and those words are usually employed in Gospel messages to the unsaved. The meaning of the Lord in using those words is given to us here in the letter to the Hebrews, a very much deeper and fuller meaning than is generally recognized in the usage of the simple invitation "Come unto Me... and I will give you rest." There is something that we have to hear, to detect, in that statement – "There remaineth therefore a sabbath rest for the people of God" (Heb. 4:9; A.S.V.).
You will not think me too elementary, for you know in your heart, as well as I do in mine, that this matter of heart rest, the rest of faith, is a live question continually, it is coming up all the time. One of the things which is lacking in so many of us is this rest, or, to put it the other way, the things which characterize us so much are fret, anxiety, uncertainty, and all those things which are just the opposite of calm assurance, quiet confidence, the spirit and attitude and atmosphere which says all the time, "Don't worry, don't fret, it's all right." One thing our great enemy is always trying to do is to disturb that, to destroy that, to rob us of that, churn us up, fret us, drive us, harass us, anything to rob us of our rest or to prevent us from entering into rest. It is the rest of faith, not just the rest of passivity, indifference, or carelessness. There is all the difference between carelessness and carefreeness. There remaineth, there is still to be had, still to be obtained, there still exists, there is still preserved a rest for the people of God – a REST for the people of God.
Underneath are the everlasting arms. § When [Peter] saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” § The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.
The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him, who shelters him all the day long; and he shall dwell between His shoulders. § [Cast] all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. § He who touches you touches the apple of His eye.
They shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all.
The church of God which He purchased with His own blood. Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun. § “The marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. § The righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.
The glory which You gave Me I have given them.
And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).
The heartbreaking knowledge of self brings a life-giving compensation, which is knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. The needs generated by the realization of the sin of self produce the necessary motivation and hunger which cause us to focus upon the Lord Jesus and become conformed to His image. "And we all, while with face unveiled we behold in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are ourselves transformed continually into the same likeness" (2 Cor. 3:18, Cony.).
"Many a new believer has obtained relief in his conscience from his sins, because of faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ; that is, he does not see further than Romans 3. He has faith in the work of Christ, but has not yet come in faith to Christ. He is like the woman who touched the hem of His garment, assured of His work but not yet acquainted with Himself." -J.B.S.
"It is one thing to believe on the Lord Jesus, to be born again, to be saved. That is a glorious thing as a beginning, but it alone will not take you right through all you have to meet; and if you are really in the Lord's hands He will see to it that by virtue of need you are drawn into knowing more and more of His Son. It is the normal course of a true, Holy Spirit-governed Christian life that, in order to get through, an increase of Christ, a growing discovery of Christ, is necessary." -T. A-S.
"That I may know Him" (Phil. 3:10).
Oh foolish Galatians…after starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?
Scripture contrasts two ‘ways’ a believer seeks to live the Christian life. Paul outlines both options in his epistle to the Galatians: 1) the grace-promise-faith way and 2) the works-merit-law way. The grace-promise-faith way is 100% achievable and done by God for man. The works-merit-law way is 100% unachievable and done by man for God. There is probably no more important message to the church today than this, for most believers having started their Christian life by grace through faith, revert from grace back to the law, by trying to live their life for God. Blessings abound for those humble enough and courageous enough to seek to live their life the grace-promise-faith way.
Paul challenges those given initial salvation by grace thru faith with these words: are ye so foolish, having begun in the spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? He is saying, having begun ‘the grace-promise-faith way’ are ye now made perfect by ‘the works-merit-law way?’ Many believers aren’t properly schooled in these two contrasting ways of living the Christian life and fall into the works-merit–law trap.
The grace way is sanctification God’s way. The works way is sanctification man’s way. The grace-promise-faith way is the ‘spiritual’ route. The works-merit -law way is called ‘carnal’, ‘the flesh’ ‘being under law’ etc. Carnality and legalism is often connected with worldly sins, pride and unbelief, but are also produced by a believer trying hard to please God, but in the wrong way.
In reality carnality and legalism often describe believers who deeply desire to be spiritual, but are trying to please God the ‘works-merit -law’ way. Remember, the flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh. Within the inner ‘being’ of man are two continuously conflicting camps:- the old sinread more
Psalm 100 is a psalm: for giving thanks.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before Him with joyful songs and know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His. We are His people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to His and praise His name, for the Lord is good and His love endures forever. His faithfulness continues through all generations.
What a joyful, wonderful psalm of thanksgiving and praise. Many are the things for which we need to give thanks to the Lord.. they are without number, and His mercies are new, fresh and wonderful every single day. This morning I gave thanks for my life – the lives of my own children, just as God rejoices over us – His children, with singing. This morning I received a little devotional from my daughter – one she prepared in thanksgiving for the birth of her friend’s baby..Zoe. A wonderful truth of that the joy of the LORD is our strength. A glorious reminder that the joy of the LORD will fill you to overflowing. So I share my daughter’s thoughts – and may you be as blessed as I.
Verses 1 & 2
Shout with joy to the LORD, O earth!
Worship the LORD with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
The birth of a baby is such a joyful event, it is a great time to shout for joy to the Lord. But there will be times when your boys have had busy full days (which means your day has also been busy and full!!) and other times where your girls need your attention – when shouting for joy may not come so easily. But just remember that God delights in our songs of thanksgiving. He enjoys our praise and desires our worship. And as He smiles lovingly down on you – He understands that maybe today you may be be able toread more