February 2, 2011 – Stanley

The Power of Consistency Daniel 6:1-28

We live in a noncommittal world, where the ability to persevere through difficulty is a rare character trait.
If a job is difficult or boring, it’s all too common for people to think, Why not quit and find another one? When a marriage becomes stressful and unhappy, it’s easier to give up or start over with a new mate. In fact, many couples live together without a marital commitment.

Sadly, this lack of consistency is evident even among believers. At the first sign of conflict or disagreement, some Christians hop to another church instead of remaining loyal to one local body of believers and working through their difficulties. And in our personal spiritual walks, many of us struggle to maintain a consistent quiet time with the Lord. Exhaustion or the demands of the day cause us to let that time slide as we pursue the things of this world.

Daniel was a man of steadfast loyalty. Even the awareness that he could be killed didn’t interfere with his practice of praying three times a day. Such devotion to the Lord was noted by others. Jealous satraps and commissioners used Daniel’s consistency to trap him, but the king believed it would be the key to his deliverance: “Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you” (v. 16).

The biblical descriptions of Daniel are impressive: he influenced nations and powerful leaders. But have you considered that the Lord was able to use him greatly because of his unwavering obedience and worship? Just imagine what God can do with you, if you likewise commit yourself to Him.

February 2, 2011 – Begg

The Amazing Gift of Pardon

Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

Hebrews 9:22

This is the voice of unalterable truth. In none of the Jewish ceremonies were sins even typically removed without blood-shedding. In no case, by no means can sin be pardoned without atonement. It is clear, then, that there is no hope for me outside of Christ; for there is no other blood-shedding that is worth a thought as an atonement for sin.

Am I, then, believing in Him? Is the blood of His atonement truly applied to my soul? All men are on the same level in terms of their need of Him. Even if we are moral, generous, amiable, or patriotic, the rule will not be altered to make an exception for us. Sin will yield to nothing less potent than the blood of Him whom God has set forth as a propitiation. What a blessing that there is the one way of pardon! Why should we seek another?

Persons of merely formal religion cannot understand how we can rejoice that all our sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake. Their works and prayers and ceremonies give them very poor comfort; and their unease is no surprise, for they are neglecting the one great salvation and endeavoring to get remission without blood.

My soul, sit down and recognize that a just God is bound to punish sin; then consider how that punishment all falls upon the Lord Jesus, and fall down in humble joy at the feet of Him whose blood has made atonement for you. It is useless when conscience is aroused to trust in feelings and evidences for comfort; this is a bad and sorry habit. The only cure for a guilty conscience is the sight of Jesus suffering on the cross. “The blood is the life,” says the Levitical law, and let us rest assured that it is the life of faith and joy and every other holy grace.
Oh! how sweet to view the flowing
Of my Savior’s precious blood;
With divine assurance knowing
He has made my peace with God.