Tag Archives: christ jesus

Charles Spurgeon – The form of sound words

 

“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 1:13

Suggested Further Reading: Deuteronomy 6:4-7, 20-25

Let me exhort you, as much as lies in you, to give your children sound instruction in the great doctrines of the gospel of Christ. I believe that what Irving once said is a great truth. He said, “In these modern times you boast and glory, and you think yourselves to be in a high and noble condition, because you have your Sabbath-schools and British-schools, and all kinds of schools for teaching youth. I tell you,” he said, “that philanthropic and great as these are, they are the ensigns of your disgrace; they show that your land is not a land where parents teach children at home. They show you there is a want of parental instruction; and though they be blessed things, these Sabbath-schools, they are indications of something wrong, for if we all taught our children there would be no need of strangers to say to our children ‘Know the Lord.’” I trust you will never give up that excellent puritanical habit of catechising your children at home. Any father or mother who entirely gives up a child to the teaching of another has made a mistake. There is no teacher who wishes to absolve a parent from what he ought to do himself. He is an assistant, but he was never intended to be a substitute. Teach your children; bring out your old catechisms again, for they are, after all, blessed means of instruction, and the next generation shall outstrip those that have gone before it; for the reason why many of you are weak in the faith is this, you did not receive instruction in your youth in the great things of the gospel of Christ. If you had, you would have been so grounded, and settled, and firm in the faith, that nothing could by any means have moved you.

For meditation: Faithful teaching from his mother and grandmother had prepared Timothy for his further education from the apostle Paul (Acts 16:1-3; 2 Timothy 1:5, 3:14-15).

Sermon no. 79

11 May (1856)

Max Lucado – Kick the Bully in the Pants

 

With all the cockiness of a neighborhood bully, the thought swaggers up to the door and says. . .“You’re a loser.  All your life you’ve been a loser.  You might as well write the word bum on your resume, for that’s what you are.” The average person would throw open the door and let the thought in.  “You’re right.  I’m a bum.  Come on in.”

But as a Christian, you aren’t your average person.  You’re led by the Spirit of God. So rather than let the thought in, you take it captive; you present the thought before the judgment seat of Christ.  How do you know if Jesus agrees or disagrees?  You open your Bible.  Romans 8:1 is a good place to check. “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

So, give the bully a firm kick in the pants—and watch him run!

Charles Stanley – God Calls in Various Ways

 

1 Samuel 3:1-21

When you hear the phrase “call of God,” what comes to mind? Many people assume it refers only to God’s call upon the lives of professional ministers. This could not be further from truth. The Lord issues no fewer than four specific calls to every single believer.

First, we are given the call to salvation. This is how God establishes a personal relationship with us. Today’s passage shows the poignant way in which God introduced Himself to young Samuel. He also reveals Himself to each of us in the wonders of nature all around us (Rom. 1:20).

Second, all believers experience the call to sanctification (Lev. 11:44). This is the Father summoning His children to experience godly living. Sanctification can be defined as being set apart—or made holy—for the purposes of God.

Third, every Christian receives the call to service. Scripture clearly reminds us that all believers—not just pastors and full-time missionaries—are called to serve the body of Christ and to spread the good news of salvation; each of us was “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand for us to do” (Eph. 2:10). This means we all have specific and important tasks to accomplish.

Fourth, we all have the call to account- ability. The Bible teaches that each of us will one day stand before our Lord and give an account of our life. This is not something to fear if we are presently seeking to walk in His ways. Rather, it will be a time of great reward and rejoicing.

Make no mistake—our loving Father still speaks to His people. As you read His Word today, ask Him to make His call in your life clear.

Max Lucado – The Fire That Consumes You

 

God will speak to you differently than He will speak to others.  Just because God spoke to Moses through a burning bush doesn’t mean we should all sit next to a bush waiting for God to speak.  No, God reveals His heart personally to each person.  We learn His will as we take up residence in His house and seek to listen to him every single day.

Want to know God’s will for your life?  Then answer the question:  What ignites your heart?  Forgotten orphans?  Untouched nations?  The inner city?  What is the fire that consumes you? Mark it down.  Jesus comes to set you on fire and he will speak to you.  The fire of your heart is the light of your path.  Fan it at your own delight.  Blow it.  Stir it.  Nourish it.  Disregard it at your own expense!  Your delight is God’s message to you!

God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing. Ephesians 2:10

 

Charles Spurgeon – Joseph attacked by the archers

 

“The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel).” Genesis 49:23,24

Suggested Further Reading: Acts 4:1-12

“The stone which the builders refused is become the headstone of the corner.” It is said that when Solomon’s temple was being built, all the stones were brought from the quarry ready cut and fashioned, and there was marked on all the blocks the places where they were to be put. Amongst the stones was a very curious one; it seemed of no describable shape, it appeared unfit for any portion of the building. They tried it at this wall, but it would not fit; they tried it in another, but it could not be accommodated; so, vexed and angry, they threw it away. The temple was so many years building, that this stone became covered with moss, and grass grew around it. Everybody passing by laughed at the stone; they said Solomon was wise, and doubtless all the other stones were right; but as for that block, they might as well send it back to the quarry, for they were quite sure it was meant for nothing. Year after year rolled on, and the poor stone was still despised, the builders constantly refused it. The eventful day came when the temple was to be finished and opened, and the multitude was assembled to see the grand sight. The builders said, “Where is the top-stone? Where is the pinnacle?” they little thought where the crowning marble was, until some one said, “Perhaps that stone which the builders refused is meant to be the top-stone.” They then took it, and hoisted it to the top of the house; and as it reached the summit, they found it well adapted to the place. Loud hosannas made the heavens ring, as the stone which the builders refused became the headstone of the corner. So is it with Christ Jesus.

For meditation: To begin with, man saw to it that the first shall be last; in the end God saw to it that the last shall be first. Where do you place the Lord Jesus Christ?

Sermon no. 17

2 April (Preached 1 April 1855)

Charles Stanley – Destined for the Cross

 

Romans 6:8-11

When you saw the title for today’s devotion, I imagine that you thought it was about Jesus. If so, you’re half right. The cross is always about Jesus, but believers are also destined for sacrifice and death.

“Death to self” happens at the moment of salvation, when we are crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6). The old self dies, and we are given a new nature as the Holy Spirit comes to live within us (John 14:17). At times it takes a bit longer to get to the sacrifice—the moment when we hand over to God everything we love and value.

God doesn’t stop at salvation; His purpose is to conform believers to the likeness of His Son (Rom. 8:29). So He gives us a new nature—then we can experience freedom because Jesus has triumphed over sin. But in order to live as God intends, we must be willing to give Christ the centermost position in our lives. As a result, the Lord calls us to the cross on a daily basis to lay down the things that might distract us from our purpose to serve and follow Him.

Don’t misunderstand what it means to be destined for the cross. God isn’t going to take away everything and leave us as lonely paupers. Putting our valuables on the cross—whether they are possessions, people, or dreams—frees us from the attachments of this world.

When we lay down worldly attachments, our self-esteem isn’t tied to “stuff” and our sense of acceptance doesn’t come from people. We are complete in the Lord. Or as Paul said, we are “alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:11). Enjoying a new life in Christ is worth a daily trip to the cross.

Our Daily Bread — Let It Go

 

Mark 11:1-11

Say, “The Lord has need of it,” and immediately he will send it here. —Mark 11:3

Many years ago, when a young friend asked if he could borrow our car, my wife and I were hesitant at first. It was our car. We owned it, and we depended on it. But we soon felt convicted to share it with him because we knew that God wanted us to care for others. So we handed the keys over to him, and he traveled to a church 30 miles away to conduct a youth rally. The meeting was used by the Lord to bring teens to Christ.

Jesus instructed His disciples to take another man’s donkey. The Son of God told His men to “loose it and bring it” to Him (Mark 11:2). If someone objected, they were to say, “The Lord has need of it,” and they would then be permitted to lead it away. That donkey carried Christ into Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday.

There’s a lesson here for us to consider. We all have things that we hold dear. We may have thought, I could never part with that. It may be a new truck, a coat, some other possession, or our precious few free hours during the week. Will we be open to give when someone obviously needs something we have?

If you sense that the Spirit is speaking to you, let your time or possession go, as the owner released his animal to Jesus. He will then be glorified as He deserves! —David Egner

Make me a channel of blessing today,

Make me a channel of blessing, I pray;

My life possessing, my service blessing,

Make me a channel of blessing today. —Smyth

 

God gives us all we need, so we can give to others in their need.

 

Max Lucado – How Quickly We Forget

 

Oh how quickly we forget. So much happens through the years. So many changes within.  So many alterations without.  And somewhere, back there, we leave Him. We don’t turn away from Him—we just don’t take Him with us. Assignments come.  Promotions come.  Budgets are made. Kids are born, and Christ—the Christ Jesus is forgotten.

Has it been a while since you stared at the heavens in speechless amazement? Has it been a while since you realized God’s divinity and your carnality? He is still there.  He has not left. Do yourself a favor. Stand before Him again. Or better, allow Him to stand before you.

A man is never the same after he simultaneously sees his despair and Jesus’ grace. To see the despair without the grace is destructive. To see the grace without the despair is futility. But to see them both is conversion!

Determination by Joyce Meyer

 

Persecutions, sufferings…​I endured, but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Indeed all who delight in piety and are determined to live a devoted and godly life in Christ Jesus will meet with persecution [will be made to suffer because of their religious stand]. —2 Timothy 3:11–12

In the beginning of my ministry, I had a dream that I was driving my car and approaching a flooded bridge. I stopped, looking first at the water-covered bridge, back where I had been, and to the side of the road, trying to decide if I should park, retreat, or keep moving forward. Then I woke up.

God used that dream to show me that there will always be opposition when pressing toward a goal. There will always be opportunity to park and go no farther or turn around and give up. It was up to me to decide each time if I would give up or go on. That dream has helped me many times to press on when difficulties came and I was tempted to quit. I have decided that even though I don’t always do everything right, I will never quit! Determination will get you a lot further than talent. So if you feel you lack in talent, take heart. All you need to win in life is more determination than anyone else you know.

Lord, today may have its challenges, but I am determined to press on following Your will. By Your grace, I will go the distance and never quit. Amen.

The Joy of Glorification – John MacArthur

 

God will perfect His work in you “until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6).

For Christians there’s an element of truth to the bumper sticker that reads, “Please be patient, God isn’t finished with me yet.” We aren’t what we used to be, but there’s much to be done to make us all He wants us to be. Yet God’s work within us is so sure and so powerful, Scripture guarantees its completion.

Pondering that guarantee led Bible expositor F.B. Meyer to write, “We go into the artist’s studio and find there unfinished pictures covering large canvas, and suggesting great designs, but which have been left, either because the genius was not competent to complete the work, or because paralysis laid the hand low in death; but as we go into God’s great workshop we find nothing that bears the mark of haste or insufficiency of power to finish, and we are sure that the work which His grace has begun, the arm of His strength will complete” (The Epistle to the Philippians [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1952], p. 28).

The completion of God’s work in you will come at a future point in time that Paul calls “the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). Scripture also speaks of “the day of the Lord,” which is the time of God’s judgment on unbelievers, but “the day of Christ Jesus” refers to when believers will be fully glorified then rewarded for their faithful service (cf. 1 Cor. 3:10-15). All your earthly cares will be gone and God’s promise to keep you from stumbling and make you stand in His presence blameless with great joy will be fully realized (Jude 24).

Concentrating on what is wrong in your life might depress you, but focusing on the glorious day of Christ should excite you. Don’t be unduly concerned about what you are right now. Look ahead to what you will become by God’s grace.

Suggestions for Prayer: Reflect on the joy that is yours because you belong to an all-powerful God who is working mightily in you. Express your joy and praise to Him.

Read 1 Chronicles 29:11-13 as a prayer of praise to God.

For Further Study: Read Revelation 7:9-17 and 22:1-5. What glimpses do those passages give you of the activities of glorified believers in heaven?

 

Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

 

Morning  “And of his fulness have all we received.” / John 1:16

These words tell us that there is a fulness in Christ. There is a fulness of

essential Deity, for “in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead.” There

is a fulness of perfect manhood, for in him, bodily, that Godhead was

revealed. There is a fulness of atoning efficacy in his blood, for “the blood

of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” There is a fulness of

justifying righteousness in his life, for “there is therefore now no

condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.” There is a fulness of divine

prevalence in his plea, for “He is able to save to the uttermost them that

come unto God by him; seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

There is a fulness of victory in his death, for through death he destroyed him

that had the power of death, that is the devil. There is a fulness of efficacy

in his resurrection from the dead, for by it “we are begotten again unto a

lively hope.” There is a fulness of triumph in his ascension, for “when he

ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and received gifts for men.”

There is a fulness of blessings of every sort and shape; a fulness of grace to

pardon, of grace to regenerate, of grace to sanctify, of grace to preserve,

and of grace to perfect. There is a fulness at all times; a fulness of comfort

in affliction; a fulness of guidance in prosperity. A fulness of every divine

attribute, of wisdom, of power, of love; a fulness which it were impossible to

survey, much less to explore. “It pleased the Father that in him should all

fulness dwell.” Oh, what a fulness must this be of which all receive! Fulness,

indeed, must there be when the stream is always flowing, and yet the well

springs up as free, as rich, as full as ever. Come, believer, and get all thy

need supplied; ask largely, and thou shalt receive largely, for this “fulness”

is inexhaustible, and is treasured up where all the needy may reach it, even

in Jesus, Immanuel–God with us.

 

Evening   “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” / Luke 2:19

There was an exercise, on the part of this blessed woman, of three powers of

her being: her memory–she kept all these things; her affections–she kept

them in her heart; her intellect–she pondered them; so that memory,

affection, and understanding, were all exercised about the things which she

had heard. Beloved, remember what you have heard of your Lord Jesus, and what

he has done for you; make your heart the golden pot of manna to preserve the

memorial of the heavenly bread whereon you have fed in days gone by. Let your

memory treasure up everything about Christ which you have either felt, or

known, or believed, and then let your fond affections hold him fast for

evermore. Love the person of your Lord! Bring forth the alabaster box of your

heart, even though it be broken, and let all the precious ointment of your

affection come streaming on his pierced feet. Let your intellect be exercised

concerning the Lord Jesus. Meditate upon what you read: stop not at the

surface; dive into the depths. Be not as the swallow which toucheth the brook

with her wing, but as the fish which penetrates the lowest wave. Abide with

your Lord: let him not be to you as a wayfaring man, that tarrieth for a

night, but constrain him, saying, “Abide with us, for the day is far spent.”

Hold him, and do not let him go. The word “ponder,” means to weigh. Make ready

the balances of judgment. Oh, but where are the scales that can weigh the Lord

Christ? “He taketh up the isles as a very little thing:”–who shall take him

up? “He weigheth the mountains in scales”–in what scales shall we weigh him?

Be it so, if your understanding cannot comprehend, let your affections

apprehend; and if your spirit cannot compass the Lord Jesus in the grasp of

understanding, let it embrace him in the arms of affection.

Bearing with an Exhortation – John MacArthur

 

“I urge you, brethren, bear with this word of exhortation” (Heb. 13:22).

Hell is undoubtedly full of people who did not actively oppose Jesus Christ, but simply drifted into damnation by neglecting to respond to the gospel. These are the kinds of people the writer challenges in Hebrews 2:1-4. They were aware of the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ, but weren’t willing to commit their lives to Him. As a result, they were drifting past the call of God into eternal disaster.

The Word of God always demands a response. Any effective teacher of it must do more than just dispense facts; he must warn, exhort, and extend an invitation. He may have impressive knowledge of the truth, but if he doesn’t have a passionate concern for how people react to it, he is not a worthy representative of Jesus Christ.

Jesus had that kind of compassion. Despite the rejection of His own people, He ached for their salvation: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen ushers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling” (Matt. 23:37). You can feel His heart go out to the people.

Paul had similar compassion: “I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of My brethren, my kinsman according to the flesh” (Rom. 9:2-3). A true teacher is interested in more than just academics; he is concerned that people respond rightly to what is taught.

Just as the writer of Hebrews had to warn and exhort his readers, at times it becomes necessary for us to warn those we are witnessing to. If you want to see unbelieving friends, relatives, or associates come to Christ, warn them. Let them see the passion in your heart and your love for them. Please don’t allow anyone to slip into eternal destruction without being warned sufficiently.

Suggestion for Prayer:     Ask God to give you wisdom regarding when to warn the people you are witnessing to.

For Further Study:   Read Hebrews 3:7–4:13, 6:4-8, 10:26-31, and 12:25-29 noting the pattern the writer followed in presenting these other warnings.