Tag Archives: children of god

Max Lucado – Claim Your Inheritance

 

We are in the middle of our 4 week Scripture Memory Challenge. This week’s verse is John 1:12.“Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”

Claim your inheritance! As a child of God you have the power of God in you to fight any battle you face. He set us free so he could raise us up. The gift has been given. Will you trust it?

God said to Joshua, “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.” The people of Moses’ day chose the wilderness. Don’t make the same mistake! Joshua didn’t. He took God at his word and set about the task of inheriting the land! I encourage you to do the same!

Get started at GloryDaysToday.com.

 

Max Lucado – A Deposit of Power

 

This may be the best-kept secret in Christendom. Conversion is more than a removal of sin. It’s a deposit of power! When you were born into Christ, you were placed in God’s royal family. John 1:12 says, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God.” You have access to all the family blessings.

Surprised? You ain’t heard nothin’ yet! Paul described the value of your portfolio. “The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16-17).

Whatever He has—we have!  We were made for more than the wilderness. God saved you from Egypt so that He could bless you in the Promised Land. The gift has been given. Will you trust it? Don’t measure your life by your ability; measure it by God’s!

Visit GloryDaysToday.com to learn more.

Charles Stanley – The Grace of God

 

Romans 5:1-2

Grace is far more than a mealtime prayer. The word communicates the idea of blessing. As children of God, we are the recipients of grace, which is poured out on us by our heavenly Father. Let’s look at how we experience this amazing benefit of His love.

God’s favor is seen in our salvation, as Ephesians 2:8 tells us: “For by grace you have been saved.” The blessing is undeserved and unearned—nothing about us prompted God to save us. He acted purely out of His goodness, sacrificing His precious Son Jesus Christ in our place. In that way, we could be reconciled to the Father and adopted into His family.

Grace is also the sphere in which we live the Christian life. At salvation, we were transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light (Col. 1:12-13). Here, we live out our new identity as God’s children and carry out His purpose of glorifying Him—both of which result in manifold blessings.

The beauty of grace becomes especially clear when we consider who we once were—a people hostile to the Lord and alienated from Him. We were spiritually dead, living according to our own selfish interests (Eph. 2:1). But now, through faith in Jesus as our Savior, God has justified us and given us new life. He has declared that we have right standing before Him (Rom. 8:1). All of our sins were placed upon Jesus, and His righteousness has been credited to our account permanently.

Picture yourself living in the favor of God. Internalize this truth, and then give Him thanks.

Bible in One Year: Ecclesiastes 9-12

Charles Stanley – The Living Word

 

Hebrews 4:12-13

The Bible is the most amazing book ever written. God used human beings to record His thoughts and words in writing so that others could know Him (2 Peter 1:20-21). The One who spoke the universe into existence still speaks just as powerfully through the pages of the Bible that you hold in your hands.

At the moment of salvation, believers receive the Holy Spirit, and the lines of communication with the Lord are established. Then, whenever the Scriptures are read, children of God can hear His voice, and the Spirit enables them to understand and put into practice what they have heard.

The Bible is not just a good book with comforting verses but is effective, always accomplishing the purpose for which God sends it (Isa. 55:10-11). Scripture is active and alive and “performs its work in [those] who believe” (1 Thess. 2:13). The Word of God has the power to change our lives if we will believe Him and do what He says.

God uses Scripture to transform us from the inside out. His Word has the quality of a sword that cuts through our hearts and judges thoughts and intentions, delivering light to the darkness hiding in our souls. This Book tells us not only who God is, but also who we are.

Sometimes life’s concerns can deafen our “spiritual ears.” Before reading Scripture, ask God to help you hear and understand what He’s saying. As you believe and obey, your spiritual hearing will become more acute, and your time in the Word will be an intimate conversation with the Lord.

Bible in One Year: Proverbs 16-18

Charles Spurgeon – A caution to the presumptuous

 

“Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12

Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 10:19-25

These strong men sometimes will not use the means of grace, and therefore they fall. There are some persons here, who rarely attend a place of worship; they do not profess to be religious; but I am sure they would be astonished if I were to tell them, that I know some professedly religious people who are accepted in some churches as being true children of God, who yet make it a habit of stopping away from the house of God, because they conceive they are so advanced that they do not want it. You smile at such a thing as that. They boast such deep experience within; they have a volume of sweet sermons at home, and they will stop and read them; they need not go to the house of God, for they are fat and flourishing. They conceit themselves that they have received food enough seven years ago to last them the next ten years. They imagine that old food will feed their souls now. These are your presumptuous men. They are not to be found at the Lord’s table, eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ, in the holy emblems of bread and wine. You do not see them in their closets; you do not find them searching the Scriptures with holy curiosity. They think they stand—they shall never be moved; they fancy that means are intended for weaker Christians; and leaving those means, they fall. They will not have the shoe to put upon the foot, and therefore the flint cuts them; they will not put on the armour, and therefore the enemy wounds them—sometimes well-nigh unto death. In this deep quagmire of neglect of the means, many a proud professor has been smothered.

For meditation: Thomas was absent to his cost (John 20:24,25). Can you always give your “apologies for absence” to the Lord and to your fellow-members with a clear conscience?

Sermon no. 22
12 May (Preached 13 May 1855)

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – One More Reason to Praise 

 

“His presence within us is God’s guarantee that He really will give us all that He promised; and the Spirit’s seal upon us means that God has already purchased us and that He guarantees to bring us to Himself. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God” (Ephesians 1:14).

To me, this wonderful verse means that, as children of God, we have the ability to obey God’s laws if we are filled continually with the Holy Spirit and refuse to obey the old evil nature within us.

In order to live the supernatural life which is available to us through the indwelling Holy Spirit, we must know our rights as children of God. We need to know our spiritual heritage. We must know how to draw upon the inexhaustible, supernatural resources of God’s love, power, forgiveness and abundant grace.

The first step is to learn everything we can about God. We also need to know about the nature of man and why he behaves as he does. The best way to learn who God is, who man is and about our rights as children of God is to spend much time – even at the sacrifice of other needs and demands on our schedules – in reading, studying, memorizing and meditating on the Word of God, and in prayer and witnessing.

Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome, “For His Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts, and tells us that we really are God’s children. And since we are His children, we will share His treasures – for all God gives to His Son Jesus is now ours too. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering” (Romans 8:16,17).

Bible Reading: Ephesians 1:15-23

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will acknowledge God’s presence, believe His promises and surrender to His special will for me, and thus will I praise Him throughout the day.

Alistair Begg – God’s Children Now

 

See what kind of love the Father has given 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. Beloved, we are God’s children now.  1 John 3:1-2

 

See what kind of love the Father has given to us.” Consider who we were and what we feel ourselves to be even now when corruption is at work within us, and you will wonder at our adoption. Yet we are called God’s children. What a high relationship is that of a son, and what privileges it brings! What care and tenderness the son expects from his father, and what love the father feels toward the son! But all that, and more than that, we now have through Christ.

As for the temporary drawback of suffering with the elder brother, this we accept as an honor: “The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” We are content to be unknown with Him in His humiliation, for we are to be exalted with Him.

Beloved, we are God’s children now.” That is easy to read, but it is not so easy to feel. How is it with your heart this morning? Are you in the lowest depths of sorrow? Does corruption rise within your spirit, and grace seem like a poor spark trampled underfoot? Does your faith almost fail you? Fear not, it is neither your graces nor feelings on which you are to live: you must live simply by faith in Christ.

With all these things against us, now–in the very depths of our sorrow, wherever we may be–now, as much in the valley as on the mountain, “Beloved, we are God’s children now.” “Ah, but,” you say, “look at my condition! My graces are not bright; my righteousness does not shine with apparent glory.” But read the next: “What we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him.” The Holy Spirit shall purify our minds, and divine power shall refine our bodies, and then we shall see Him as He is.

Today’s Bible Reading

The family reading plan for February 13, 2015
* Genesis 46
Mark 16

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

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Children of God

 

“But to all who received Him, He gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust Him to save them” (John 1:12).

My wife, Vonette, had been active in the church since she was a little girl, and I assumed that she was a Christian. However, after my proposal and during our engagement, I realized she had never received Christ, though she was a very moral, religious person.

Because of the emotional involvement, I hesitated to press her to receive Christ because I was afraid she would go through the motions of receiving Him to please me, which certainly would not be pleasing to our Lord. So I asked the Lord to send someone who could introduce her to Christ. He clearly led me to call upon a dear friend, the late Dr. Henrietta Mears, who had played such a vital role in my own spiritual growth.

One day at Forest Home, a Christian conference center in California, Dr. Mears took time to talk with Vonette. “Receiving Christ,” she explained, “is simply a matter of turning your life – your will, your emotions, your intellect – completely over to Him.” With that, the great transaction took place and Vonette became a new creature in Christ.

Similarly, in India, a convert from Hinduism could neither read nor write, so he asked others to read the Bible to him. His favorite verse was John 1:12.

“I have received Him,” he said, “so I have become a son of God.”

Radiantly happy, he returned to his village.

“I have become a son of God,”he proclaimed. And his life was so transformed and his simple witness so effective that the other villagers all wanted to become “sons of God,” too.

That radiant convert led the whole village to Christ – and hundreds of others besides. A poor, illiterate, former Hindu, he realized that he had indeed become a son of God and he longed for others to become sons as well.

Bible Reading: John 1:6-11

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will make certain first of all that I have truly received Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord by faith – with the intellect, the emotions, the will. Then I will seek to be God’s instrument in helping to introduce others to Him as well.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – A New Life to Enjoy

“The Ten Commandments were given so that all could see the extent of their failure to obey God’s laws. But the more we see our sinfulness, the more we see God’s abounding grace forgiving us. Before, sin ruled over all men and brought them to death, but now God’s kindness rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

“Well, then, shall we keep on sinning so that God can keep on showing us more and more kindness and forgiveness? Of course not! Should we keep on sinning when we don’t have to? For sin’s power over us was broken when we became Christians and were baptized to become a part of Jesus Christ; through His death the power of your sinful nature was shattered. Your old sin-loving nature was buried with Him by baptism when He died, and when God the Father, with glorious power, brought Him back to life again, you were given His wonderful new life to enjoy” (Romans 5:20-6:4).

“When I think upon God, my heart is so full of joy that the notes dance and leap, as it were, from my pen,” replied the great musician Haydn when asked why his church music was so cheerful. “And since God has given me a cheerful heart it will be pardoned me that I serve Him with a cheerful spirit.”

A careful reading of 1 John 2 helps us realize that we will not want to sin if we really are children of God, any more than a butterfly would want to crawl on the ground as it once did as a caterpillar. “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, he is a liar” (1 John 2:4).

“The person who has been born into God’s family does not make a practice of sinning, because now God’s life is in him; so he can’t keep on sinning, for this new life has been born into him and controls him – he has been born again” (1 John 3:9).

Bible Reading: Romans 5:15-19

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will thank God often throughout the day for the fact that I don’t have sin. He has made a way of escape. “For sin’s power over us was broken when we received Christ.” So, I will “resist the devil” and he will flee from me. Today I will enjoy my new life in Christ by demonstrating a joyful spirit.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – A Place of Rest

 

“So there is a full complete rest still waiting for the people of God. Christ has already entered there. He is resting from His work, just as God did after the creation. Let us do our best to go into that place of rest, too, being careful not to disobey God as the children of Israel did, thus failing to get in” (Hebrews 4:9-11).

A Christian leader was asked: “How do you handle the incredible pressure of your schedule – speaking, writing, giving leadership to a great movement that touches the lives of millions of people around the world? How do you do it? You must carry a tremendous load!”

The inquirer was surprised at the response. “No, quite honestly I don’t carry the load. I’m not under any pressure. I made a great discovery, probably the greatest discovery that a Christian can make. In the Christian life there is a place of rest which one enters by faith and obedience. No matter how great the pressure, or how terrible the testing, the supernatural resources of God sustain, empower, bless and encourage us and our Lord carries the load and fights for us.”

Though few Christians ever enter into this rest, it is available to all believers. When the Israelites were on their way to the promised land, God had already prepared the hearts of the inhabitants, filling them with fear. There is reason to believe that they would have capitulated readily. But when the twelve spies returned after forty days of checking out the land, ten of them reported, “There are giants in the land, and we felt like grasshoppers in their sight.” Only Joshua and Caleb said, “Let’s go in and take the land. God has withdrawn His blessing from the people and He will fight for us.”

But three million Israelites agreed with the majority report, and as a result, wandered in the wilderness for forty years. Why did it take so long for them to enter the land God had already given them? Because, as recorded in verse 2, they failed to mix the promises of God with faith.

Why does the average Christian not enter into a place of rest with God – that supernatural life which produces an abundance of fruit? Because he fails to mix the promises of God with faith. That is what this book, Promises, is all about – to remind us daily of our heritage as children of God and to show us how we can draw upon the mighty, inexhaustible resources of deity to live the supernatural life. Are you experiencing the life of the Spirit? Have you entered into God’s rest? If not, you can begin to do so now.

Bible Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: As an act of faith and obedience, I will enter that place of rest and I will encourage every believer with whom I have contact today to join me in the adventure.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Everything Belongs to Us

dr_bright

“Now we are no longer slaves, but God’s own sons. And since we are His sons, everything He has belongs to us, for that is the way God planned” (Galatians 4:7).

In the sense of being under the servitude of sin, you and I are no longer servants or slaves. We are sons, children of God, adopted into His family, and are to be treated as sons.

What a glorious privilege is ours in Christ!

In our exalted position as sons, of course we are to be treated as sons. We are to share God’s favors, His blessings. And as sons, it follows that we have responsibilities – not only to our heavenly Father, but also to other sons (and daughters) in Christ.

All that God has, Paul is saying, belongs to us as well for we are His sons. But there is another side to our exalted position – obedience to the Lord. And His calling is sure: “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.”

If we are following our Lord, we are becoming fishers of men – soul-winners. We are regularly and naturally, as a part of our daily routine, sharing the good news of the gospel with those whose lives we touch.

That does not necessarily mean buttonholing people and making a nuisance of ourselves; it does mean being available for God’s Holy Spirit to speak through us in every conversation as He chooses. It also means being “prayed up,” with no unconfessed sin in our lives.

Bible Reading: Revelation 8

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: With the Power of the Holy Spirit available to me by faith, I will behave like a child of the King – a son of the Most High. I will live a supernatural life for the Glory of God

Presidential Prayer Team; C.P. – Abba, Father

ppt_seal01

Most parents-to-be anticipate the arrival of their baby with a deep desire to love, nurture and raise their precious child. Where did this longing come from? “Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?” (Malachi 2:10) God created people in His image. Along with that came the need to have children.

I said, “How I would set you among my sons, and give you a pleasant land, a heritage most beautiful of all nations.”

Jeremiah 3:19

From the time God created Adam and Eve, to the time He set Israel apart as His people, to the time of Christ, and to the church – God’s goal has always been to be a loving Father to His creation. He has gone to great lengths to accomplish this. “You have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:15) “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God.” (I John 3:1)

Thank the Lord for the rich heritage America has enjoyed—of following after God, helping nations less fortunate, and being blessed as a result. Pray for this nation, its citizens and leaders to turn wholeheartedly to the Heavenly Father once again.

Recommended Reading: Luke 11:1-13

Charles Stanley – Grace Extended

Charles Stanley

Colossians 1:3-6

Grace is God’s goodness and kindness freely extended to the utterly undeserving—you and me. Because of His grace, He offers salvation through Jesus Christ so that anyone who trusts Him as Savior might have a new relationship with the Father. As a result, God . . .

  • Declares we are righteous. The Father sees Christ’s righteousness as our own (2 Cor. 5:21). The guilt and shame of sin have been removed (Rom. 8:1), and we can live boldly for Jesus, no matter who we were before.
  • Claims us as family. A spiritual adoption has taken place so that we could become children of God and call Him “Father.” The world would have us believe the lie that we are insignificant, but God’s view is the truth: As believers, we are children of the eternal King and have great worth.
  • Provides an inheritance for us, as co-heirs with Christ. Our inheritance is guaranteed and kept for us in heaven. We are set free from the trap of possessions because we’re rich in the only way that matters (2 Cor. 8:9).
  • Gives us, who were spiritually dead, a new heart and a new spirit. We are born again. God has given us a fresh start in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
  • Raises us out of the life we once lived and into a new life with Him. Believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, whose fruit is love, joy, and peace.
  • Sets us free from the power of sin, Satan, and self. Obedience and victory become a reality in our life as our faith in Jesus Christ grows.

Praise God for His unending grace.

Charles Stanley – God’s Special People

Charles Stanley

1 Peter 2:9-10

Sometimes, even believers have trouble remembering their purpose in life. In the busyness of our day-to-day activities, it is rather easy to forget how wonderfully and purposefully designed we are in the eyes of our Creator. Yet 1 Peter 2:9-10 brings our focus back to God, showing us that He made us to be . . .

  1. A chosen race. You did not have to fight for a place in the house of the Lord. Instead, He chose you. The God of the universe actively sought you out because He wanted an unending relationship with you. You were selected by God Himself!
  2. A royal priesthood. In the days of the Old Testament, a king could not be a priest, and a priest could not be a king. The two offices were separate and distinct. However, in Christ, God has called every believer into a new category. We are now sons and daughters of the King, and we have unrestricted, intimate access to almighty God. We are royal priests.
  3. A holy nation. The word holy simply means “set apart.” The Holy Spirit has sealed all believers as children of God (Eph. 4:30), and nothing can ever dissolve their relationship with the Father.
  4. God’s own possession. Do you realize how valuable you are to the heavenly Father? You are worth so much to Him that He purchased your eternal salvation at great cost: the life of His only Son (1 Cor. 6:20).

Nothing about you takes our omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God by surprise. He made you to be His representative in the world and therefore knows you completely. Does your life reflect your God-given position?

Presidential Prayer Team; H.L.M. – Spiritual Birthday

ppt_seal01

Happy Birthday to you…Happy Birthday to you… That’s the song you often hear on that special day you celebrate your physical birth and were placed in your parents’ family. Yet even more important is the day that you prayed and invited Jesus Christ into your heart and your life. You were reborn spiritually, receiving new life from God. Through faith in Christ, this new birth changes you from the inside out, makes you spiritually alive and puts you in God’s family!

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

John 1:12

As His child, God has given you the greatest privilege to receive His blessing, favor and eternal life. However, did you know that God sings over you? Zephaniah 3:17 says, “He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.” That’s an amazing way He celebrates you every day!

Think of someone who does not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Commit to pray for that person every day. Look for opportunities to share God’s love through your actions and your words. Pray also for America’s leaders who don’t know Him to embrace a spiritual birthday!

Recommended Reading: Galatians 4:1-7

Our Daily Bread — All We Need To Know

Our Daily Bread

Romans 7:18-25

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells. —Romans 7:18

In a Fernando Ortega rendition of “Just As I Am,” Billy Graham’s voice can be heard faintly in the background. Dr. Graham is reminiscing about an illness during which he believed he was dying. As he mused on his past, he realized what a great sinner he was and how much he continues to need God’s daily forgiveness.

Billy Graham was putting an end to the notion that apart from God we’re okay. We can feel good about ourselves, but that confidence must come from the knowledge that we’re greatly loved children of God (John 3:16), not that we’re very good children (Rom. 7:18).

The first step in becoming a truly “good” person as a follower of Christ is to stop pretending that we’re good on our own and to ask God to make us as good as we can be. We will fail many times, but He will keep growing us and changing us. God is faithful and—in His time and in His way—He’ll do it.

In his final years, the writer of “Amazing Grace,” John Newton, suffered from dementia and lamented the loss of his memory. Yet he confided, “I do remember two things: I am a great sinner, and Jesus is a great Savior.” When it comes to faith, those are the only things anyone needs to know. —David Roper

The Lord has promised good to me,

His word my hope secures;

He will my shield and portion be

As long as life endures. —Newton

God’s grace accepted is God’s peace experienced.

Bible in a year: Psalms 66-67; Romans 7

Insight

The Christian life is one of struggle with sin and growth in holiness. On this side of heaven, we will not be totally freed from this struggle (James 3:2; 1 John 1:8–2:1). In today’s text, the apostle Paul writes of the war between good and evil that wages within him. Elsewhere Paul explains, “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want” (Gal. 5:17 NIV). Yet we can take comfort in the fact that Jesus delivers us from this “body of death” (Rom. 7:24).

Our Daily Bread — Family Trademarks

Our Daily Bread

1 John 4:7-16

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. —1 John 4:7

The Aran Islands, off the west coast of Ireland, are known for their beautiful sweaters. Patterns are woven into the fabric using sheep’s wool to craft the garments. Many of them relate to the culture and folklore of these small islands, but some are more personal. Each family on the islands has its own trademark pattern, which is so distinctive that if a fisherman were to drown it is said that he could be identified simply by examining his sweater for the family trademark.

In John’s first letter, the apostle describes things that are to be trademarks of those who are members of God’s family. In 1 John 3:1, John affirms that we are indeed part of God’s family by saying, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” He then describes the trademarks of those who are the children of God, including, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God” (4:7).

Because “love is of God,” the chief way to reflect the heart of the Father is by displaying the love that characterizes Him. May we allow His love to reach out to others through us—for love is one of our family trademarks. —Bill Crowder

Father, teach me to love with the love of Christ

that others might see Your love reflected in my

care and concern for them. May Your love

drive and dominate my responses to life and to others.

Love is the family resemblance the world should see in followers of Christ.

Bible in a year: Psalms 51-53; Romans 2

Insight

In 1 John 4:9, John’s words parallel those of Paul in Romans 5:8, which reads: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Notice that with both Paul and John the emphasis is on how God’s love has been proven through the sending of His Son to us. Paul’s perspective, however, is rooted in our unworthiness while John’s focus is on the gift of life in Christ.

Charles Stanley – God’s Perfect Love

Charles Stanley

1 John 4:7-9

We were created to be members of God’s family and recipients of His perfect love. In fact, through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus, He demonstrated just how much He loves us.

When we receive Christ as our Savior, we become children of God and experience His unconditional love. Divine affection for us does not vary in quality or quantity. It will never end or even diminish. No circumstance can cause the Lord to stop loving us. Several stories in the New Testament exemplify this:

  • Consider the Roman centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant. Was the soldier’s request ignored because he wasn’t one of God’s chosen people—the Jews? No. Seeing the man’s genuine faith, the Lord granted his request out of love for him (Luke 7:2-10).
  • Jesus extended forgiveness to the thief on the cross, who placed his faith in Christ (23:39-43).
  • Before his conversion, Saul of Tarsus was convinced that Jesus was not the promised Messiah and His followers must be stopped. To that end, the future apostle Paul persecuted the Christian Jews and uttered murderous threats against the church. God’s love did not even skip over one so violently opposed to His children. On the road to Damascus, the Lord appeared to him with an offer of salvation and gave him a great work to do—evangelizing the Gentile world (Acts 9:15).

The human mind cannot fully comprehend divine love. In Christ, thieves, persecutors, and those who may look like outsiders are all equally loved.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Overflowing Blessings

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“Lord, I am overflowing with Your blessings, just as You promised” (Psalm 119:65).

As the father of Dr. Harry Ironside, famous Christian leader, pastor and author, lay dying, he seemed to have a recurring view of the descending sheet which Peter saw in a vision.

“A great sheet and wild beasts,” he mumbled, over and over, and…and…and.”

The next words would not come, so he would start over again.

“John,” a friend whispered to him, “it says, ‘creeping things.'”

“Oh, yes,” the dying man said, “that’s how I got in – just a poor, good-for-nothing creeping thing. But I got in, saved by grace.”

And considering the fact that each one of us, in ourselves, outside the Lord Jesus Christ, is but a poor creeping thing saved by grace, we must marvel anew as we overflow with His blessings.

What an exalted place we can have Children of God, heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ, indwelt by His Holy Spirit, we are recipients of eternal life, given supernatural, abundant life as we yield ourselves to Him.

God has dealt well with each one of His children. He has given us work to do – to serve Him is to reign. He has given us provision. He has given us encouragement. He has given us many tokens of the pay we shall receive at the end of life’s journey. He has dealt with us according to His Word.

Even the testings and trials are for a divine purpose: to conform us to His image; to make us more Christlike. Truly, we are on the winning side; how important it is that we tell men and women, boys and girls, around us each day, that they too can be on the winning side.

Bible Reading: Psalm 119:66-72

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will make a special effort to count my blessings today, and in deep gratitude share the good news of the gospel with others.

 

Charles Spurgeon – A caution to the presumptuous

CharlesSpurgeon

“Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12

Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 10:19-25

These strong men sometimes will not use the means of grace, and therefore they fall. There are some persons here, who rarely attend a place of worship; they do not profess to be religious; but I am sure they would be astonished if I were to tell them, that I know some professedly religious people who are accepted in some churches as being true children of God, who yet make it a habit of stopping away from the house of God, because they conceive they are so advanced that they do not want it. You smile at such a thing as that. They boast such deep experience within; they have a volume of sweet sermons at home, and they will stop and read them; they need not go to the house of God, for they are fat and flourishing. They conceit themselves that they have received food enough seven years ago to last them the next ten years. They imagine that old food will feed their souls now. These are your presumptuous men. They are not to be found at the Lord’s table, eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ, in the holy emblems of bread and wine. You do not see them in their closets; you do not find them searching the Scriptures with holy curiosity. They think they stand—they shall never be moved; they fancy that means are intended for weaker Christians; and leaving those means, they fall. They will not have the shoe to put upon the foot, and therefore the flint cuts them; they will not put on the armour, and therefore the enemy wounds them—sometimes well-nigh unto death. In this deep quagmire of neglect of the means, many a proud professor has been smothered.

For meditation: Thomas was absent to his cost (John 20:24,25). Can you always give your “apologies for absence” to the Lord and to your fellow-members with a clear conscience?

Sermon no. 22

12 May (Preached 13 May 1855)