Tag Archives: child of god

Alistair Begg -The Danger of Unbelief

 

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. John 10:28

The Christian should never think or speak lightly of unbelief. For when a child of God mistrusts His love, His truth, His faithfulness, it is greatly displeasing to Him. How can we ever grieve Him by doubting His upholding grace?

Christian, it is contrary to every promise of God’s precious Word that you would ever be forgotten or left to perish. If it could be so, how could He be true who has said, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”1 What would be the value of the promise–“‘The mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,’ says the LORD, who has compassion on you”?2 What truth would there be in Christ’s words–“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand”?3 What value would there be in the doctrines of grace? They would be all disproved if one child of God should perish. What value could be placed in the veracity of God, His honor, His power, His grace, His covenant, His oath, if any of those for whom Christ died, and who have put their trust in Him, should nevertheless be cast away?

Banish then those unbelieving fears, which so dishonor God. Arise, shake yourself from the dust, and put on your beautiful clothes. Remember, it is sinful to doubt His Word in which He has promised you that you will never perish. Let the eternal life within you express itself in confident rejoicing.

The gospel bears my spirit up:

A faithful and unchanging God

Lays the foundation for my hope,

In oaths, and promises, and blood.

 

1) Isaiah 49:15

2) Isaiah 54:10

3) John 10:28-29

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

Charles Spurgeon – A bottle in the smoke

 

“For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.” Psalm 119:83

Suggested Further Reading: Job 1:13-22

Let me give a word of consolation. If you have been persecuted, and still hold fast by God’s word—if you have been afflicted, and still persevere in the knowledge of our Lord and Master, you have every reason to believe yourself a Christian. If under your trials and troubles you remain just what you were when at ease, you may then hope, and not only so, but steadfastly believe and be assured that you are a child of God. Some of you, however, are very much like Christians, when you hear sermons full of promises; when I preach to you about bruised reeds, or address you with the invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labour;” but when I give you a smoky sermon—one which you cannot endure—if you then can say, guilty, weak, and helpless I may be, but still I fall into his arms; sinful I know I am, and I have grave cause for doubt, but still:

“There, there, unshaken will I rest,
Till this vile body dies;”

I know, poor, weak, and helpless though I am, that I have a rich Almighty Friend; if you can stand a little smoke, then you may believe yourself to be a child of God. But there are some fantastic people we know of, who are shocked with a very puff of smoke, they cannot endure it, they go out at once, just like rats out of the hold of a ship when they begin to smoke it; but if you can live in the smoke and say, “I feel it, and still can endure it,”—if you can stand a smoky sermon, and endure a smoky trial, and hold fast to God under a smoky persecution, then you have reason to believe that you are certainly a child of God.

For meditation: In the parable of the sower, the true believer is the one who hears the word and accepts it; those making a false profession are found out in time either as a result of troubles or of worldly success (Mark 4:16-20). Job passed both tests (Job 1).

Sermon no. 71
23 March (1856)

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – We Hear His Voice

 

“My sheep recognize My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish. No one shall snatch them away from Me, for My Father has given them to Me, and He is more powerful than anyone else, so no one can kidnap them from Me. I and the Father are one” (John 10:27-30).

Are you one of God’s “sheep”? Do you know for sure that you are a child of God? Do you have any question about your salvation? How do you know that Christ is in your life and that you have eternal life and that no one can take you away from our Lord? What is the basis of your assurance?

Frequently, one hears a Christian share the dramatic testimony of how Christ changed his life from years of drug addiction, gross immorality or some other distressing problem. On the other hand, there are many, like myself, who have knelt quietly in the privacy of the home, at a mountain retreat, or in a church sanctuary, and there received Christ into their lives with no dramatic emotional experience at that time of decision. Both are valid, authentic ways to come to Christ.

The apostle Paul had a dramatic conversion experience. However, Timothy, his son in the faith, had learned of Christ from his mother and grandmother in his early youth. The important thing is not how you met Christ, but the assurance that you are a child of God, your sins have been forgiven and you have eternal life. It is not presumptuous or arrogant to say that you know these things to be true, because God’s Word says so (1 John 5:11-13): “And what is it that God has said? That He has given us eternal life, and that this life is in His Son. So whoever has God’s Son has life; whoever does not have His Son, does not have life. I have written this to you who believe in the Son of God so that you may know you have eternal life.”

Bible Reading: John 10:22-26

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: As one of God’s sheep, I will ask the Holy Spirit to help me be more sensitive and alert to the voice of my Savior, in order that I may follow Him more closely and always obey Him, and especially that I may be sensitive to what He would have me say to those around me who are in need of His love and forgiveness.

Alistair Begg – How Many Prayers?

 

Praying at all times.   Ephesians 6:18

 

What countless prayers we have offered from the first moment we learned to pray. Our first prayer was a prayer for ourselves; we asked that God would have mercy upon us and blot out our sin. He heard us. But when He had blotted out our sins like a cloud, then we had more prayers for ourselves. We have had to pray for sanctifying grace, for constraining and restraining grace; we have been led to crave for a fresh assurance of faith, for the comfortable application of the promise, for deliverance in the hour of temptation, for help in the line of duty, and for comfort in the day of trial. We have been compelled to go to God for our souls, as constant beggars asking for everything.

Remember, child of God, you have never been able to get anything for your soul anywhere else. All the bread your soul has eaten has come down from heaven, and all the water it has drunk has flowed from the living rock–Christ Jesus the Lord. Your soul has never grown rich in itself; it has always been dependent upon the daily provision of God; and consequently your prayers have ascended to heaven for a vast range of spiritual mercies. Your wants were innumerable, and therefore the supplies have been infinitely great, and your prayers have been as varied as the mercies have been countless.

So then have you not reason to say, “I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy”? For as your prayers have been many, so also have God’s answers been. He has heard you in the day of trouble, has strengthened you and helped you, even when you dishonored Him by trembling and doubting at His throne. Remember this, and let it fill your heart with gratitude to God, who has graciously heard your poor, weak prayers. “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.”1

1) Psalm 103:2

Today’s Bible Reading

The family reading plan for February 6, 2015
* Genesis 39
Mark 9

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

Alistair Begg – Caring for His Own Sheep

 

The sheep follow him, for they know his voice.  John 10:4

What is it that provides the infallible evidence that you are a child of God? It is a foolish presumption to answer this by our own judgment; but God’s Word reveals it to us, and we may walk confidently when we have revelation as our guide. We are told concerning our Lord, “to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”1 So if I have received Christ Jesus into my heart, I am a child of God. That reception is described in the same verse as believing in the name of Jesus Christ.

If, then, I believe on Jesus Christ’s name—that is, simply from my heart entrust myself to the crucified but now exalted Redeemer—I am a member of the family of the Most High. Whatever else I may not have, if I have this, I have the privilege of becoming a child of God. The Lord Jesus puts it in another way: “The sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”

Here is the matter in a nutshell. Christ appears as a shepherd to His own sheep, not to others. As soon as He appears, His own sheep perceive Him—they trust Him, they are prepared to follow Him. He knows them, and they know Him; there is a mutual knowledge—there is a constant connection between them. And so the evidence, the infallible mark of regeneration and adoption, is a hearty faith in the appointed Redeemer. Reader, are you in doubt, are you uncertain about whether you are one of God’s children? Then do not let an hour pass until you have said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart.”2 Do not linger here, I warn you! If you must linger anywhere, let it be about some secondary matter—your health, if you wish, or the title deeds of your home. But about your soul, your never-dying soul and its eternal destiny, I urge you to be in earnest. Make certain of this eternal issue.

1) John 1:12  2) Psalm 139:23

The family reading plan for December 22, 2014 * Zechariah 9 * John 12

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

Joyce Meyer – Take a Stand

Joyce meyer

Blessed and happy and enviably fortunate and spiritually prosperous (in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions) are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven! —Matthew 5:10

In our world today most people compromise rather than take a stand for what is right. Jesus said we would be persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and most people are not up for that. Jesus also promised a reward; however, the majority of people want reward without commitment. If we do what God has asked us to do, we will get what He promised us we could have. Salvation is free, and its only condition is to “believe,” but the benefits of being a Christian do come with conditions. God simply said, “If you will, I will.” Most Christians live far below their God-ordained destiny and privileges because they compromise rather than take a stand.

Take a stand. If you are the only one you know who is willing to do what is right, it may be a lonely walk, there may be persecution along the way, but the rewards are worth it. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that you lived your life fully and completely and refused to let fear be your master.

Lord, I am willing to join with You and stand up for what I know is right. My destiny lies with You, and I choose Your kingdom above all. Amen.

Alistair Begg – Our Identity

Alistair Begg

…man greatly loved.  Daniel 10:11

Child of God, do you hesitate to appropriate this title? Has your unbelief made you forget that you are also greatly loved? Surely you must have been greatly loved, to have been bought with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot? When God crushed His only Son for you, what was this but being greatly loved? You lived in sin and rioted in it; surely you were greatly loved for God to have been so patient with you. You were called by grace and led to a Savior and made a child of God and an heir of heaven. Doesn’t this all prove a very great and superabounding love?

Since that time, whether your path has been rough with troubles or smooth with mercies, it has been full of proofs that you are greatly loved. If the Lord has chastened you, it was not in anger; if He has made you poor, still in grace you have been rich. The more unworthy you feel yourself to be, the more evidence you have that nothing but unspeakable love could have led the Lord Jesus to save a soul like yours. The more disapproval you feel, the clearer is the display of God’s abounding love in choosing you and calling you and making you an heir of heaven.

Now, if such love exists between God and us, let us live in the influence and sweetness of it and use the privilege of our position. We should not approach our Lord as though we were strangers or as though He were unwilling to hear us—for we are greatly loved by our loving Father. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”1 Come boldly, believer, for despite the whispers of Satan and the doubts of your own heart, you are greatly loved. Meditate on the exceeding greatness and faithfulness of divine love this evening, and then go to your bed in peace.

1) Romans 8:32

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The family reading plan for October 2, 2014 * Ezekiel 35 * Psalm 85

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Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

Charles Spurgeon – God in the covenant

CharlesSpurgeon

“I will be their God.” Jeremiah 31:33

Suggested Further Reading: 2 Samuel 22:1-7

Child of God, let me urge thee to make use of thy God. Make use of him in prayer; I beseech thee, go to him often, because he is thy God. If he were another man’s God, thou mightest weary him; but he is thy God. If he were my God and not thine, thou wouldst have no right to approach him; but he is thy God; he has made himself over to thee, if we may use such an expression, (and I think we may) he has become the positive property of all his children, so that all he has, and all he is, is theirs. O child, wilt thou let thy treasury lie idle, when thou wantest it? No; go and draw from it by prayer.

“To him in every trouble flee,

Thy best, thy only friend.”

Fly to him, tell him all thy wants. Use him constantly by faith, at all times. Oh! I beseech thee, if some dark providence has come over thee, use thy God as a sun, for he is a sun. If some strong enemy has come out against thee, use thy God for a shield, for he is a shield to protect thee. If thou hast lost thy way in the mazes of life, use him for a guide, for the great Jehovah will direct thee. If thou art in storms, use him, for he is the God who stilleth the raging of the sea, and saith unto the waves, “Be still.” If thou art a poor thing, knowing not which way to turn, use him for a shepherd, for the Lord is thy Shepherd, and thou shalt not want. Whate’er thou art, where’er thou art, remember God is just what thou wantest, and he is just where thou wantest . I beseech thee, then, make use of thy God.

For meditation: The false gods of the Greeks and Romans were given specific individual roles; the one true God is a glorious all-rounder—omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent—the complete opposite of the false god (1 Kings 18:27,37).

Sermon no. 93

3 August (1856)

Presidential Prayer Team; C.P. – Child of God

ppt_seal01

Often it’s easy to recognize parents in their children, both in the way they look and in the way they act. If you believe in Jesus, you are a child of God. You may not sport a beard or robe, but every day you should strive to copy Christ in your behavior.

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

I John 3:3

Preceding today’s passage is the teaching: “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” (I John 3:1) People don’t recognize Christians when they don’t recognize Jesus, though God’s children are easy to spot; those who hope in the Lord will live pure lives and not entangle themselves in sin.

Do you ever feel like the odd man out at work or in a social situation because of your values? It’s only to be expected. “Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.” (I John 3:13) Stand strong. Don’t be ashamed of who you are in Christ. Ask God to open the eyes of the people around you – and of this nation – to who Jesus is, and why they should know Him.

Recommended Reading: John 15:18-27

Charles Spurgeon – Israel at the Red Sea

CharlesSpurgeon

“He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.” Psalm 106:9

Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 136

How sweet is providence to a child of God, when he can reflect upon it! He can look out into this world, and say, “However great my troubles, they are not so great as my Father’s power; however difficult may be my circumstances, yet all things around me are working together for good. He who holds up the starry heavens can also support my soul without a single apparent prop; he who guides the stars in their well-ordered courses, even when they seem to move in mazy dances, surely he can overrule my trials in such a way that out of confusion he will bring order; and from seeming evil produce lasting good. He who bridles the storm, and puts the bit in the mouth of the tempest, surely he can restrain my trial, and keep my sorrows in subjection. I need not fear while the lightnings are in his hands, and the thunders sleep within his lips; while the oceans gurgle from his fist, and the clouds are in the hollow of his hands; while the rivers are turned by his foot, and while he digs the channels of the sea. Surely he whose might wings an angel, can furnish a worm with strength; he who guides a cherub will not be overcome by the trials of a worm like myself. He who makes the greatest star roll in dignity, and keeps its predestined orbit, can make a little atom like myself move in my proper course, and conduct me as he pleases.” Christian! There is no sweeter pillow than providence; and when providence seems adverse, believe it still, lay it under your head, for depend upon it there is comfort in its bosom. There is hope for you, child of God!

For meditation: You may find it easy to think like this when all seems to be going well. The Christian is still able to look up spiritually when circumstances would make him look down naturally (Romans 8:28,31,35-39).

Sermon no. 72

30 March (1856)

Charles Spurgeon – A bottle in the smoke

CharlesSpurgeon

“For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.” Psalm 119:83

Suggested Further Reading: Job 1:13-22

Let me give a word of consolation. If you have been persecuted, and still hold fast by God’s word—if you have been afflicted, and still persevere in the knowledge of our Lord and Master, you have every reason to believe yourself a Christian. If under your trials and troubles you remain just what you were when at ease, you may then hope, and not only so, but steadfastly believe and be assured that you are a child of God. Some of you, however, are very much like Christians, when you hear sermons full of promises; when I preach to you about bruised reeds, or address you with the invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labour;” but when I give you a smoky sermon—one which you cannot endure—if you then can say, guilty, weak, and helpless I may be, but still I fall into his arms; sinful I know I am, and I have grave cause for doubt, but still:

“There, there, unshaken will I rest,

Till this vile body dies;”

I know, poor, weak, and helpless though I am, that I have a rich Almighty Friend; if you can stand a little smoke, then you may believe yourself to be a child of God. But there are some fantastic people we know of, who are shocked with a very puff of smoke, they cannot endure it, they go out at once, just like rats out of the hold of a ship when they begin to smoke it; but if you can live in the smoke and say, “I feel it, and still can endure it,”—if you can stand a smoky sermon, and endure a smoky trial, and hold fast to God under a smoky persecution, then you have reason to believe that you are certainly a child of God.

For meditation: In the parable of the sower, the true believer is the one who hears the word and accepts it; those making a false profession are found out in time either as a result of troubles or of worldly success (Mark 4:16-20). Job passed both tests (Job 1).

Sermon no. 71

23 March (1856)

 

Alistair Begg – Abide Upon the Rock of Ages

Alistair Begg

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.

Psalms 118:8

No doubt the reader has been tempted to rely upon the things that are seen instead of resting alone upon the invisible God. Christians often look to man for help and advice, and so spoil the noble simplicity of their reliance upon God.

Does this evening’s passage meet the eye of a child of God who is filled with anxiety? Then let us reason with you. You trust in Jesus, and only in Jesus, for your salvation; then why are you troubled? “Because of my great care.” Is it not written, “Cast your burden upon the Lord”? “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”3

Can you trust God for your physical needs? “Ah! I wish I could.” If you cannot trust God with the physical, how dare you trust Him with the spiritual? Can you trust Him for your soul’s redemption, and yet not rely upon Him for a few lesser mercies? Is God not enough for your need, or is His all-sufficiency too narrow for your wants? Do you need another to watch for you when you have Him who sees every secret thing? Is His heart faint? Is His arm weary? If so, seek another God; but if He is infinite, omnipotent, faithful, true, and all-wise, why do you run around seeking another confidence? Why do you scour the earth to find another foundation when this is strong enough to bear all the weight that you can ever build on it?

Christian, do not mix your wine with water; do not tarnish the gold of faith with the dross of human confidence. Wait only upon God, and let your expectation be from Him. Do not covet Jonah’s gourd but rest in Jonah’s God. Let the sandy, shaky foundations be the choice of fools; but you, like one who sees the approaching storm, build for yourself an abiding place upon the Rock of Ages.

3 Philippians 4:6

The family reading plan for  March 7, 2014  Job 36 | 2 Corinthians 6

 

 

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – We Hear His Voice

dr_bright

“My sheep recognize My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish. No one shall snatch them away from Me, for My Father has given them to Me, and He is more powerful than anyone else, so no one can kidnap them from Me. I and the Father are one” (John 10:27-30).

Are you one of God’s “sheep”? Do you know for sure that you are a child of God? Do you have any question about your salvation? How do you know that Christ is in your life and that you have eternal life and that no one can take you away from our Lord? What is the basis of your assurance?

Frequently, one hears a Christian share the dramatic testimony of how Christ changed his life from years of drug addiction, gross immorality or some other distressing problem. On the other hand, there are many, like myself, who have knelt quietly in the privacy of the home, at a mountain retreat, or in a church sanctuary, and there received Christ into their lives with no dramatic emotional experience at that time of decision. Both are valid, authentic ways to come to Christ.

The apostle Paul had a dramatic conversion experience. However, Timothy, his son in the faith, had learned of Christ from his mother and grandmother in his early youth. The important thing is not how you met Christ, but the assurance that you are a child of God, your sins have been forgiven and you have eternal life. It is not presumptuous or arrogant to say that you know these things to be true, because God’s Word says so (1 John 5:11-13): “And what is it that God has said? That He has given us eternal life, and that this life is in His Son. So whoever has God’s Son has life; whoever does not have His Son, does not have life. I have written this to you who believe in the Son of God so that you may know you have eternal life.”

Bible Reading: John 10:22-26

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: As one of God’s sheep, I will ask the Holy Spirit to help me be more sensitive and alert to the voice of my Savior, in order that I may follow Him more closely and always obey Him, and especially that I may be sensitive to what He would have me say to those around me who are in need of His love and forgiveness.

Alistair Begg – Equal to the Greatest Christian

Alistair Begg

Infants in Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:1

Are you mourning, believer, because your spiritual life is so weak, because your faith is so small, your love so feeble?

Cheer up because you have reason to be grateful. Remember that in some things you are equal to the greatest and most mature Christian.

•You are as much purchased with blood as he is.

•You are just as much an adopted child of God as any other believer. An infant is as truly a child of its parents as is the full-grown man. You are as completely justified, for your justification is not a matter of degree: Your little faith has made you clean every bit.

•You have as much right to the precious things of the covenant as the most advanced believers, for your right to covenant mercies does not lie in your growth but in the covenant itself; and your faith in Jesus is not the measure but the token of your inheritance in Him.

•You are as rich as the richest-if not in enjoyment, yet in real possession. The smallest star that gleams is set in heaven; the faintest ray of light has affinity with the sun. In the family register of heaven, the small and the great are written with the same pen.

•You are as dear to your Father’s heart as the greatest in the family. Jesus is very tender toward you.

You are like the faintly burning wick; a rougher spirit would say, “Put out that useless flame; it fills the room with an offensive odor!” But the feeble wick He will not quench. You are like a bruised reed, and any less tender hand than that of the Chief Musician would tread upon you or throw you away; but He will never break the bruised reed. So instead of being downcast by reason of what you are, you should rejoice in Christ. Am I but small and feeble in the vast company of believers? Yet in Christ I am made to sit in heavenly places. Am I poor in faith? Yet in Jesus I am heir of all things. I do not need to boast or elevate myself; even as an infant in Christ I will rejoice in the Lord and glory in the God of my salvation.

 

Charles Spurgeon – Conversion

CharlesSpurgeon

“Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” James 5:19: 20

Suggested Further Reading: 2 Corinthians 2:5-11

The poor backslider is often the most forgotten. A member of the church has disgraced his profession; the church excommunicated him, and he was accounted “a heathen man and a publican.” I know of men of good standing in the gospel ministry, who, ten years ago, fell into sin; and that is thrown in our teeth to this very day. When you speak of them you are at once informed, “Why, ten years ago they did so-and-so.” Brethren, Christian men ought to be ashamed of themselves for taking notice of such things so long afterwards. True, we may use more caution in our dealings; but to reproach a fallen brother for what he did so long ago, is contrary to the spirit of John, who went after Peter, three days after he had denied his Master with oaths and curses. Nowadays it is the fashion, if a man falls, to have nothing to do with him. Men say, “he is a bad fellow; we will not go after him.” Beloved, suppose he is the worst; is not that the reason why you should go most after him? Suppose he never was a child of God—suppose he never knew the truth, is not that the greater reason why you should go after him? I do not understand your excessive pride, that won’t let you go after the chief of sinners. The worse the case, the more is the reason why we should go. But suppose the man is a child of God, and you have cast him off—remember, he is your brother; he is one with Christ as much as you are; he is justified, he has the same righteousness that you have; and if, when he has sinned, you despise him, in that you despise him you despise his Master. Take heed! You also may be tempted, and may one day fall.

For meditation: Discipline should not be lax or non-existent (1 Corinthians 5:1-2). But it is possible to go to the other extreme and overdo it.

Sermon no. 45

7 October (1855)

Presidential Prayer Team; J.K. – Encouraging Attitude

ppt_seal01

The people of Israel were trapped between the Red Sea and an advancing, unhappy, powerful army. You likely recall Moses’ command to them: “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today.” (Exodus 14:13)

The gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand.  I Corinthians 15:1

The apostle Paul captured the same sentiment for the Corinthians. He said, in effect: I have preached to you Christ…His death, burial and resurrection. Don’t be swayed by wickedness surrounding you. Hold steadfast to your faith (I Corinthians 15:1-2).

Do you understand how grand a message that is…and the impact that believing it can make upon your life? You are a child of God – accepted by Him and protected by Him. He desires that you have an attitude of cheerful courage, rejoicing in His love and faithfulness. Satan relishes your retreat to the way of the world, but God will have you stand tall, hold to your principles and respond to His guidance.

Bombarded daily with news of government corruption and human failings, remain firm in your faith. Be encouraged in the Word. Pray for God’s leading…particularly for those in national leadership. May they know His grace and truth and act upon it.

Recommended Reading: I Corinthians 15:50-58 

Alistair Begg – Constrained on All Sides

Alistair Begg

Stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord.  Exodus 14:13

These words contain God’s command to the believer when he is reduced to great straits and brought into extraordinary difficulties. He cannot retreat; he cannot go forward; he is shut up on the right hand and on the left; what is he now to do? The Master’s word to him is, “Stand firm.” It will be well for him if at such times he listens only to his Master’s word, for other and evil advisers come with their suggestions.

Despair whispers, “Lie down and die; give it all up.” But God would have us put on a cheerful courage and even in our worst times rejoice in His love and faithfulness. Cowardice says, “Retreat; go back to the worldling’s way of action; you cannot play the Christian’s part-it is too difficult. Relinquish your principles.” But however much Satan may urge this course upon you, you cannot follow it if you are a child of God. His divine decree has bid you go from strength to strength, and so you shall, and neither death nor hell shall turn you from your course. Even if you are called to stand firm for a while, this is in order to renew your strength for some greater advance in due time.

Precipitancy cries, “Do something. Stir yourself; to stand still and wait is sheer idleness.” We must be doing something at once-we must do it, so we think-instead of looking to the Lord, who will not only do something but will do everything. Presumption boasts, “If the sea is before you, march into it and expect a miracle.”

But faith listens neither to presumption, nor to despair, nor to cowardice, nor to precipitancy, but it hears God say, “Stand firm,” and immovable as a rock it stands. “Stand firm”-keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long before God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward.”

Max Lucado – Your Place at God’s Table

Max Lucado

Angry.  Sullen.  Accusatory.  Whiny.  Put them all together in one word and spell it b-i-t-t-e-r.  If you put them all in one person, that person’s in the pit, the dungeon of bitterness.  The dungeon calls you to enter.  You can, you know. You’ve experienced enough hurt.  You’ve been betrayed enough times. You can choose, like many, to chain yourself to your hurt.

Or you can choose, like some, to put away your hurts.  You can choose to go to the party.  You have a place there. If you’re a child of God, no one can take away your sonship. Which is precisely what the father said to his prodigal son in Luke 15. “You are always with me; all that I have is yours.”

What you have is more important than what you don’t have, and that is, your relationship with God the Father!  Your place at God’s table is permanent!

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – We Are Held Securely

dr_bright

“No one who has become part of God’s family makes a practice of sinning, for Christ, God’s Son, holds him securely and the devil cannot get his hands on him” (1 John 5:18).

“I am enjoying my new-found liberty. I know that I am a Christian. I know that I am going to heaven, but for the moment I want to do my own thing. I recognize that the Lord may discipline me for the things that I am doing which the Bible says are wrong. I was reared in a very strict, legalistic Christian family and church and I have never enjoyed life before, but now I am having a ball. I don’t see anything wrong with drinking and sex and the other so-called sins that I have been told all my life were so terribly wrong.”

Do you believe that person is a Christian? Of course I have no way of judging, but according to the Word of God it is quite likely that this person has never really experienced a new birth. Can you imagine a beautiful butterfly going back to crawl in the dirt as it did as a caterpillar?

It is possible of course, for a Christian, one who has experienced new life in Christ, to sin, and even to continue in sin for a period of time, but never with a casual, flippant indifference to God’s way as this person expressed.

In the second chapter of the same epistle, the writer says the same thing in different words: “How can we be sure that we belong to Him? By looking within ourselves: are we really trying to do what He wants us to? Someone may say, ‘I am a Christian; I am on my way to heaven; I belong to Christ.’ But if he doesn’t do what Christ tells him to do, he is a liar. But those who do what Christ tells them to will learn to love God more and more. That is the way to know whether or not you are a Christian. Anyone who says he is a Christian should live as Christ did” (1 John 2:3-6).

Though it is not possible for us in this life to know the perfection that our Lord experienced, there will be that heartfelt desire to do what He wants us to do. Therefore, anyone who is a child of God will not make a practice of sinning. Those who are inclined should consider the possibility that they could be forever separated from God on judgement day.

Bible Reading: I John 5:1-21

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I am assured of my own salvation through faith in Christ which is demonstrated by the transformation of my attitudes and actions. I will encourage professing Christians, whose lives do not reflect God’s desires, to appropriate by faith the fullness of the Holy Spirit and His power in their daily walk so that they, too, can have the assurance of their salvation and their place in God’s special kingdom.

Charles Spurgeon – The believer’s challenge

 

“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Romans 8:34

Suggested Further Reading: Romans 6:1-11

Christ was in his death the hostage of the people of God. He was the representative of all the elect. When Christ was bound to the tree, I see my own sin bound there; when he died every believer virtually died in him; when he was buried we were buried in him, and when he was in the tomb, he was, as it were, God’s hostage for all his church, for all that ever should believe on him. Now, as long as he was in prison, although there might be ground of hope, it was but as light sown for the righteous; but when the hostage came out, behold the first fruit of the harvest! When God said, “Let my Anointed go free, I am satisfied and content in him,” then every elect vessel went free in him; then every child of God was released from imprisonment no more to die, not to know bondage or fetter for ever. I do see ground for hope when Christ is bound, for he is bound for me; I do see reason for rejoicing when he dies, for he dies for me, and in my room and stead; I do see a theme for solid satisfaction in his burial, for he is buried for me; but when he comes out of the grave, having swallowed up death in victory, my hope bursts into joyous song. He lives , and because he lives I shall live also. He is delivered and I am delivered too. Death has no more dominion over him and no more dominion over me; his deliverance is mine, his freedom mine for ever. Again, I repeat it, the believer should take strong draughts of consolation here. Christ is risen from the dead, how can we be condemned?

For meditation: The reality of having been united with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection should be acted out in believer’s baptism; but it should also be acted out in believer’s daily living (1 Peter 3:21-4: 2).

Sermon no. 256

5 June (1859)